Editor: Jeeze, thanks for the invite. Some of us are actually working this summer. The news of Darien is not covered by the Vineyard Gazzette — even in the summer. But I am planning to make it to Shakespeare on the Sound, which opens next week in Rowayton.
Ryan: And now that you have attained stature as a regular contributor to CTCapitolReport.com (the media nexus of Connecticut political/government news), isn’t just a matter of time until someone asks you to do a rendition of the National Anthem?
Editor: Last year I did a baseball park in which I saw seven games in six days. This year I haven’t even seen a single game in person. But we did launch a great new DarienTimes.com, which also features links to all the news you are supposed to be mentioning in this column. Can we get to that?
Ryan: Summer touring has to be a great tradition, after all your governor is off visiting Connecticut tourism hot spots (is that an oxymoron?), as you can see in “Connecticut Governor Tours Vineyard in Goshen to Promote Tourism” (CountryTimes.com, July 3)
Editor: That’s understandable. Mr. Malloy must have been very stressed after working on all of those tax increases. I thought people lived in Connecticut to avoid tourists. And New York’s tourism commercials are still vastly better than ours, just as they were 30 years ago.
Ryan: But don’t think your tax dollars are going just to tourism, see “CT spends $1.3M to create sports bureau,” (HartfordBusiness.com June 27). Isn’t it just a matter of time before we start seeing more delusional requests from politicians to bring the Whalers back?
Editor: While I do miss the Whalers, I am sure their owners don’t miss Connecticut taxes. Where else are our tax dollars going this week?
Ryan: I’m glad you asked. Under the category of economic development see CTMirror.org‘s June 28 article, “State gives $24 million to keep company in Connecticut.”
Think of it, you could call up the state Department of Economic & Community Development and tell them that Hersam Acorn is leaving Darien unless the Governor gets you $20 million (a bargain).
Editor: There might be an idea there. After all there are some online news organizations that cover Darien from all sorts of locations. Is there any other exciting economic development news?
Ryan: Absolutely! Economic development coming to Bridgeport (home of former Sen. Newton’s imminent political comeback). Check out “Euphoric crowd hooked on bass pro shops” (OnlyInBridgeport.com, July 8). Of course it seems that no one actually tracks whether any of this “economic development” really does create new permanent jobs… details, details.
Editor: Of course a week can’t pass in Connecticut without bad fiscal news, right?
Ryan: Our perceptive, insightful editor must have already seen “State Budget Deficit Projected at $192 Million For Just-Completed Year; GOP’s Larry Cafero Scoffs At Numbers” at CapitolWatch (courant.com, July 3)
And for a very non-political viewpoint, see “State Must Face True Pension Liabilities” (courant.com, July 9) by the past president of the Connecticut Society of CPAs. (If you can’t trust your friendly family CPA or attorney, whom can you trust?)
Editor: Maybe a better story to link would be “Legislators go home, and 24 won’t come back” (CTMirrorr.com, June 13). If the Legislature did less and stayed home more, wouldn’t Connecticut be much better off?
Ryan: And I had a sad reminder this week of just how much the General Assembly has sadly faded into mediocrity in recent years with the passing of Judge William Wollenberg, the former state representative of Farmington and a friend of my predecessor Reg Jones. There actually used to be real debates, and knowledgeable, substantive, meaningful discussions of issues and the components and merits of legislation in the not-so-distant legislative past; Rep. Wollenberg’s debates with the late Rep. Tulisano of Rocky Hill on topics such as the death penalty were the stuff of legend. Rest in peace Bill Wollenberg, and thanks for your service to the Constitution State.
John J. Ryan is of counsel to the Darien law firm Tibbetts, Keating & Butler, and served 14 years as Darien and Rowayton’s state representative.