DAVID COLLINS - RECENT COLUMNS

Tables turn: New London has leverage over the port authority

Published: August 15, 2019 | David Collins

Plans for making New London into an exclsuive port for wind turbine assembly, already submitted for environmental permits, might require approval by the New London City Council.

Port authority hired friend of director's wife for renovations

Published: August 13, 2019 | David Collins

The authority hired a Rhode Island firm for renovations to its Old Saybrook offices, paying more than twice as much as the bid by a Groton designer.

How Scott Bates steered $78,000 from the port authority to an associate

As chairman of the board of the Connecticut Port Authority, Scott Bates, deputy secretary of the state, helped an associate win a $6,500-a-month contract from the authority, beating out a local firm with more experience.

Bates approved port authority purchase of Reemsnyder photos

Scott Bates, deputy secretary of the state, while chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority signed off on the agency buying photographs from the daughter of board member Bonnie Reemsnyder, first selectwoman of Old Lyme.

Gov. Lamont spits on New London

The governor ignores a promise he made with great ceremony: to give New London a seat on the Connecticut Port Authority board.

Port authority is paying two consultants with ties to Bates

Deputy Secretary of State Scott Bates, a board member and former chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority, hosted at his Stonington home a campaign event for Gov. Ned Lamont's election campaign.

On port authority books, Reemsnyder payments appear to be disguised

Payments made to the daughter of Bonnie Reemsnyder, the former chairwoman of the Connecticut Port Authority, were made through an interior designer in Providence, R.I., and the name Reemsnyder does not appear on the authority books.

Bribery too at the Port Authority?

Before he was threatened with a police inivesigation, port authority critic Kevin Blacker was offered a consulting gig.

Port authority shouldn't rush into secret $93 million deal while scandal roars

Sen. Cathy Osten of Sprague has requested a hearing into the troubled Port Authority and the stalled $93 million wind deal.

One resignation won't pop the port authority scandal bubble

Problems at the Connecticut Port Authority remain unexplained in the wake of its chairwoman's resignation.

Lamont should demand resignations at scandal-ridden port authority

The former board chairman presided over hiring a colleague without port management experience for a no-bid, $50-an-hour consulting contract while the current chairwoman did not stop the agency from paying $3,000 to her daughter for decorative photographs.

Port Authority has applied to demolish part of historic pier

The Central Vermont Railroad Pier, in the center of a $93 million port transformation being planned for New London, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

'Personnel issues' unfold at port authority as audit begins

When asked about reports that the Connecticut Port Authority no longer has an executive director, the chairman and vice chairman refused to talk about what they called personnel issues.

Will Connecticut Republicans sign on for Trump’s party of racism?

Connecticut Republicans just left in office a Trump-loving party chairman who lost the last election.

Stonington planning director targets public comments on Smiler's

There have been calls for Jason Vincent, director of planning in Stonington, to recuse himself from the review of the Smiler's Wharf project because of his complaints about public criticism.

Is the governor's wind deal for New London in jeopardy?

The $93 million deal with the wind companies to create a wind turbine assembly port in New London has not been signed.

Smiler's opens political fault lines in Stonington

Two town selectmen have expressed varying degrees of support for the development, while the town's state representative has withdrawn hers.

The seven myths of Smiler's Wharf

Supporters of the proposed massive development in downtown Stonington use a lot of misleading logic to sell the project.

Stonington officials seem in the tank for Smiler's Wharf developers

The sharpest criticism of the project has come from the state, not town planners.

New London’s embrace of electronic billboards is another bad sign

The city bucked the trend of municipalities legislating against electronic billboards and instead allowed one to be installed on city property at a city gateway.

Downtown's biggest tourist draw gets a new home

The Mystic Whaler has a new street level storefront next to Union Station in downtown New London

Historic preservation plan advances in New London

Talks are underway to craft a preservation ordinance in the city that would allow for the enforcement of design standards for work done in the historic district.

DEEP gives Smiler's Wharf a big thumbs-down

The proposed development violates state law pertaining to coastal development as well as many provisions of the town's own master plan, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The last project by Smiler's Wharf developer ended in foreclosure

Nothing has been built on the 5-acre property off Masons Island Road proposed for 55 luxury condominiums since the three-year foreclosure lawsuit ended in 2009.

Simmons and Somers: Confused or lying?

Sen. Heather Somers says the town asked for $10 million for Smiler's Wharf, while the town says it didn't but the developer did.

Two Stoningtons: One rich and protected, the other going to the highest bidder

Stonington Borough, which has its own Planning and Zoning Commission, with strict rules, protects historic character in a way that other neighborhoods in town can't. The developer-enabling first selectman exploits that lack of protection.

Somers seeks $10 million in state money to help campaign donors

Sen. Somers won't talk about her attempts to secure $10 million in state bond money for developers of Smiler's Wharf in Mystic, who donated to her Senate campaign.

This project would change Mystic forever

The buildings proposed for 7 acres on the Mystic River would tower over the historic village.

14 years after Kelo, a phoenix stirs

A new proposal for apartments has promise but puts new emphasis on a conflict of interest at the Renaissance City Development Association.

New London gets shorted in the wind deal

The city gets promised crumbs from a $93 million transformation of State Pier.

Where are all the Mystic gas stations going?

Three have closed during renovations while two others have closed for good.

Just when you thought New London couldn't make more stupid decisions

Three new wind- and solar-powered streetlights are planned for a park that doesn't open at night.

Old Lyme GOP chairman launches local newspaper

David Kelsey, chairman of the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee and a member of the town Finance Board is underwriting a new newspaper in town.

New London spurns its downtown angel

George Waterman, who has been investing and keeping the lights on in downtown New London for more than 30 years, is appalled the city would move City Hall workers out of the heart of the city.

Malloy's Seaside State Park debacle lands on Lamont's desk

The bid process to find a developer for the Seaside buildings has stretched long past the original deadline of last summer, and the state won't discuss the search.

Simmons admits expediting demolition of 1840 Mystic house

The first selectman said he could have delayed the demolition in downtown Mystic even though the town doesn't have a delay ordinance, but chose not to.

Joe Biden should endorse Pete Buttigieg

The South Bend mayor is right. It's time for a new era in America.

Does the country need the Coast Guard Academy?

The military academies are attacked as unnecessary by some people who suggest officer candidate schools and ROTC programs produce officers just as qualified, at half the cost.

Prospective City Hall landlord is subject of police probe

Julian Enterprises is the subject of a police investigation into the dumping of hazardous materials, including PCBs, at a construction materials fill site it managed for the town of Fairfield.

Bill would make it easier to demolish historical New London buildings

Proposed legislation aimed at facilitating the demolition of two buildings in Willimantic would erode protections for historical buildings in three other distressed municipalities, including New London.

Will its new owners protect New London's Union Station?

The owner of the landmark downtown building, committed to its further restoration, died last month.

Save New London City Hall

Don't let the mayor suburbanize New London and move city government out of the downtown.

Plans for a $100 million State Pier project, filling in acres of dock space, are secret

The Connecticut Port Authority is refusing to disclose the documentation that is part of discussions about rebuilding New London port facilities to make them more accommodating to wind turbine assembly and less useful for other kinds of shipping.

If New London turned a corner while run by Passero, I missed it

New London Mayor Michael Passero says the city is "breaking out."

Why can't New London have a dog park, too?

A New London resident suggests that the city should catch up with surrounding towns and build a dog park.

When it's fun to see a police cruiser coming at you

An association of state police troopers keep a fleet of antique police cruisers on the road.

Voila: A fire exposes the best property in Fort Trumbull

The unveiling by fire of Bill Cornish's waterfront property brings his conflict as an RCDA board member into focus.

The demolition of historical buildings in Stonington continues

No one in Town Hall this week lifted a finger to stop the demolition of the 19th century mill on Mechanic Street that was an imporant contributing building to the Mechanic Street Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shame on New London for trying to hide blight records

The city spent much of March denying access to blight enforcement records.

MGM Springfield is no match for Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods

The tribal casinos in southeastern Connecticut are much more appealing destinations than MGM Springfield.

Legally buying pot 100 miles from New London

Varieties at the marijuana store in Northhampton, Mass., promise all kinds of highs, starting at $12 for a pre-rolled joint.

New London shouldn't abandon its downtown buildings

The city would be making a mistake to abandon any of the downtown office buildings it owns, to rent space.

What's wrong at the Coast Guard Academy?

A series of news stories have reported on unsettling complaints about a culture at the academy that seems to tolerate sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

The tale of two Mystics: Groton outshines Stonington

Groton is much more careful than Stonington in protecting the historic character of its side of Mystic.

What could be inside Lamont's secret casino plan?

The governor suggests the Indian tribes and MGM might be poised to come up with a deal to divide the state's gambling market.

Advice to GOP: Muzzle Stefanowski

The failed gubernatorial candidate has surfaced recently in television and radio interviews, complaining about the governor who beat him in 2018.

A plot to kill Sen. Blumenthal is not funny

President Trump and right-wing radio trumpeted the Jussie Smollett story and ignored news about a domestic terrorist allegedly planning to assassinate liberal Democrats.

Will New London Dems lose their safe 39th District seat?

The endorsed Democrat in the race didn't make a very strong case for himself in this week's debate.