Address climate change

To the Editor:

Lost in the more media-enticing national news is the recent announcement by the Trump administration of the Affordable Clean Energy rule to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan was designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants by 32 percent by 2030.

The new plan would reduce 2005 CO2 emissions levels by only 1.5 percent by 2030, effectively stopping any progress on emissions reductions and would increase carbon emissions and lead to up to 1,400 premature deaths annually.

This is not the time to roll back efforts to limit the threat of climate change, given the wildfires, heat waves and other climate-related disasters that are currently happening.

Recent Yale polling shows 68 percent of Americans favor a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Hopefully after this horrific summer for so many of our states and the tremendous amounts of money being spent in our own state to mitigate the effects of climate changes it is time to address the problem at its roots: reducing the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted.

Edith Cassidy


Barriers to sex abuse suits

To the Editor:

News of sexual abuse allegations has become so commonplace nationally that it no longer seems new, but to the victims of long-ago assaults on their bodies and their minds, emerging horror stories and recent revelations often spur an intense desire for justice.

That may not be as easy as it seems, however, since statutes of limitations often hinder the victims from even getting into court, much less prevailing before judge and jury. As with the scandal that recently broke concerning Roman Catholic priests and the church hierarchy in Pennsylvania, many victims are prevented by archaic laws from seeking justice either criminally or through the civil court process.

In Connecticut, childhood victims of sexual abuse seeking to file a civil must file a lawsuit prior to reaching the age of 48. But a child who is molested when they are of elementary school age - 8 years old for example - could easily run out of time before they have reached a point in their lives where they are no longer reluctant to speak openly about their attackers.

This point is made clearly in the ongoing Pennsylvania Catholic Church scandal as many of the priests named in a just-released grand jury report have died or been removed from the church, but will not face criminal or civil complaints lodged by their victims. It should be stressed that the church is not the only entity that is undergoing scrutiny regarding sexual abuse.

Fortunately, all the media attention given the high profile cases seems to have helped victims realize they are not alone. Victims can overcome shame, embarrassment and feelings of powerlessness. They can come forward and they have. The #METOO movement has helped. Many still need more time to come to grips with their past.

In New York State, where efforts to change the statute of limitations have passed the lower house of the state legislature, those same measures have been blocked in the state Senate after intense lobbying by the church and the Boy Scouts of America.

The fact is, victims of childhood sexual assault and abuse take years, even decades to recover, if a full recovery is ever truly possible.

A well-researched and evidence-supported lawsuit can go a long way toward achieving justice and healing these victims. A greater window of opportunity to seek justice should be available.

The current statute of limitations should be expanded to allow those victims that have previously been prevented from seeking justice because of their age to be allowed to bring an action providing them with the widest possible opportunities to seek and find justice.

Jason E. Tremont


Editor’s note: The letter writer is a lawyer with Bridgeport-based Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C.