Day: May 5, 2018

Barlow students register to vote

by Redding League of Women Voters

Joel Barlow students were greeted by an unusual sight when they headed for lunch last Wednesday, April 25.  Flanking the door to the cafeteria were two tables festooned with red, white and blue balloons, American flags and a big bowl  of candy called—appropriately—Smarties.  Large signs urged: Register to Vote.

Several times each year the registrars from Easton and Redding visit the high school to offer students who will be 18 by election day in November the opportunity to register on the spot.  Last week they were joined by members of the Redding League of Women Voters (who provided the balloons and candy).   Redding registrar Joanne Perlman had addressed the League on up-to-date registration requirements at an earlier board meeting so the volunteers were prepared to answer questions and help the students fill out the forms which they then presented to the registrars who, after checking for proper identification, made it official.

By the end of the second lunch shift when the last student had returned to class and the hall fell silent again, 41 students had been successfully registered as voters in their respective towns of Easton and Redding.  Says League board member Phyllis Rhodes who was active in organizing the League’s participation in the event, “One of the League’s main goals is to encourage people to register.  We were certainly successful in  fulfilling that goal today.”

Registrars present for the event were David Smith from Easton and Joanne Perlman from Redding.  Ms. Perlman was joined by Deputy Registrar Laura Hoenig.  Mary Ann Carman, Emily d’Aulaire, Janice Meehan, Jean Taylor and Jean Whitham represented the Redding League of Women Voters.

left to right: League of Women Voters board members Jean Whitham and Jean Taylor, and Joel Barlow High School student Mackenzie Wenzel who registered to vote at the event.

Mutt Strut

by Charlie Taney
Executive Director, Norwalk River Valley Trail

The Mutt Strut is one week from tomorrow, May 5th, 10 AM – 2 PM at three NRVT locations; Norwalk, Wilton & Ridgefield.  You KNOW your dog wants to do this.

There’ll be Doggy Bandannas, Doggy Goody Bags, Doggy Selfie Stations. And, there’s a great prize for the most creative costume; a free Mobile Spa Grooming from the Canine Company.

You can see all the details, and register, at:

All proceeds go towards building more of the NRVT.

Your dog will thank you. I know we certainly will.

Hope to see you on the Trail.

HB5542: Bill to Ban Bump Stocks

by Jennie Davidson Brown, hello Bethel

Yesterday, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed by a large majority HB 5542: An Act Concerning Bump Stocks and Other Means of Enhancing the Rate of Fire of a Firearm. The purpose of the bill is “to ban the sale or transfer, possession, manufacturing or use of bump stocks or other accessories to increase the rate of fire of a firearm. Bethel’s representatives were split on their votes. Stephen Harding, R-107, supported the bill. Will Duff (R-2) voted against the bill.

Duff’s office issued the following statement regarding his vote: “I’m empathic [sic] to those who are passionate about this issue—and like everyone else I serve with in the legislature; I want every Connecticut community to be as safe as possible. But in pursuit of their well-intentioned goal, proponents of the legislation considered in the House last night created a scenario that’s simply unfair for law-abiding residents who, through the text of this bill, would wake up one day and find themselves branded a criminal because they had in their possession something that was legal to own the day before. What happens to these residents? Their bump stock under the law will be confiscated without any due compensation. Connecticut’s gun laws are among the strictest in the nation, and the legislature should instead focus on ensuring that the level of enforcement of those laws matches the intent described when they were adopted. Last night, I supported amendments that would have delivered funding for school resource officers and gun trafficking enforcement—both examples of the types of concrete proposals I will continue to pursue in the ongoing debate on public safety.”

Raghib Allie-Brennan, who has declared his candidacy as 2nd District Representative, responded to Duff’s no vote: “In Will Duff’s Connecticut, bump stocks – devices that enhance a firearm’s rate of fire – should be available and accessible to anyone. Bump stocks were a major aggravating factor in last year’s devastating attack in Las Vegas. Some of the staunchest gun rights advocates have denounced the availability of bump stocks. Yet Will Duff, in a recent House vote, sided with the gun lobby and voted AGAINST a bill to ban bump stocks in Connecticut. Fortunately, the legislation passed by a vote of 114 to 35, supported by a bipartisan coalition, including Bethel Rep Steve Harding. Time and again, Will Duff proves just how out of step he is with the rest of Connecticut and – in this instance – his own Party, in advocating for the most extreme policies. In November, we have the chance to show him that this is NOT Will Duff’s Connecticut.”

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