Thanks to The Daily Voice for publicizing this event. The need is greater than ever and at the end of the day we are bone tired...but it's a good tired. Please give what you can and know that ANY contribution will be used locally by those in need.
All you have to do is leave your donation in the supplied bags out by your mailbox. Letter Carriers will do the rest. As the article states, help is also needed where the food is collected to help sort and distribute the food. If you'd like to be a part of this country's largest one-day food drive please consider donating your time. You can't believe how good you'll feel.
All the local and federal agencies involved in capturing this man alive deserve the accolades being shown them. Hopefully we will gain some insight as to the motivations for this attack and possibly some intel regarding future attacks. The residents of Boston and the surrounding communities can now breathe a little easier and look forward to a good night's sleep.
I hope the guy whose boat was bloodied and ventilated can get some kind of compensation too. It was, after all, his alertness that led to the end of this drama. View Comment
There's no good reason for the Postal Service to cut off Saturday delivery of mail in the first place. The losses they are incurring are the result of a 2006 law that places a highly onerus financial burden on the agency, and the continued obstruction and willful disregard for the will of the people by House republicans to repeal that 2006 law.
And nice poll. Two of the choices are negative towards 6-day mail delivery while the one positive choice merely cites the oft-paraphrased postal motto....all the while posing as a yes or no choice.
Postal management says they could save $2 billion by cutting out Saturdays. What they don't tell you is their own internal investigation shows that such a move would also result in a loss of revenue to the tune of $5.2 billion as mailers would seek alternate delivery methods. Save $2 in order to lose $5. That's postal logic that they hope the public embraces, as they move steadily towards privatization.
And if you think privatization is such a great deal, just take a look to see how well it's worked out in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. Much higher prices to mail stuff with less efficiency . The USA has one of the cheapest postal operations in the industrialized world (I think New Zealand wins that one) and IS the most efficient. It has also been voted as the most trusted government entity for several years running. No wonder the republicans hate it so much. If it ain't broke they'll stop at nothing until it is.
Repeal the prefunding mandate of the 2006 PAEA and streamline management (who needs 38 Vice presidents anyway?). Without that $5.5 billion prefunding mandate the US Postal Service would have shown an operational SURPLUS of over $100 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2013. The agency is required by law to be break-even, yet it has been used as a piggy bank by Congress to make the government deficits look smaller so it continues to run in the red.
Change what REALLY needs to be changed, and then leave the rest alone. View Comment
I've enjoyed Mr Aykroyd in many of his ventures from SNL to The Blues Brothers and beyond. He's a very talented individual and a creative one as well. Can't say that I buy into this latest gimmick, Herkimer diamonds or not, but I guess we'll see who has the last laugh. View Comment
Oh boo hoo. CL&P's Bill Herdegen is afraid storm costs will eat into his six-figure bonus (on top of his already exhorbitant salary) and so he wants the state PURA to allow him to further fleece the people who are already struggling to make ends meet. I hope the state regulators not only turn him down but rip him a new one in the process.
I have long advocated burying the power lines in areas where the utilities are at greatest risk and have always been told it would be too cost-prohibitive. Really? More costly than ferrying in utility crews from Quebec, California, Kansas City and other places to help clean up every time Mother Nature throws a hissy fit in our direction?
We can only hope and pray the public utility advocates listen to the consumer for once and stop bending over for these greedy CEOs. View Comment
If the PMG goes ahead with his accelerated plans, both Stamford and Wallingford will be closed and your mail will be sorted either in Westchester NY, or Springfield, Massachusetts.
I know how idiotic that sounds but that's why PMG Donahoe has lost credibility and support within the rank and file of the Postal Service. The only people supporting his actions are the ones hoping to drive the last nails into the USPS coffin. View Comment
The truth of the matter is, it IS the republicans in the House that are trying to destroy the Postal Service. They have been trying ever since Reagan's budget director James Miller III called for privatization.
In 2006 the republicans passed the Postal Accountibility and Enhancement Act (PAEA) during a lame duck session, and it mandated that the Postal Service prefund it's share of retiree health benefits for the next 75 years within a 10-year window. That burden is ONLY on the Postal Service and no other business in the private or public sector could sustain themselves long under such a burden. The legislation was specifically designed to drive the Postal Service into the financial ditch it now finds itself.
To place any blame on democrats for this is disengenuous because they only held a majority in the House for 14 days...not enough time to fix this bad legislation. So much for your "everyone's fault" DLB.
It has been the House republicans, specifically Darrel Issa (who chairs the committee that has oversight on postal affairs) and his buddy Dennis Ross that have made it their mission to do whatever they can to block the Postal Service from regaining any financial stability. In the last congress they ignored HR 1351 that had 227 co-sponsors and bipartisan support and pushed their own bill (HR 2309) through committee even though it only had 2 co-sponsors (Issa & Ross) where it ultimately died for lack of support.
One may think the Postal Service is an anachcronism in modern times, much like a buggy whip, and that nobody cares about it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The mailing and direct marketing industries are a $1 billion+ entity that accounts for almost 10% of this country's GNP. Now we see why the repubs are so hot to privatize it; they want that cash in their pockets, not serving the public and building the middle class through good paying union jobs.
The Postmaster General is fully complicit with the efforts to destroy what has repeatedly been America's most trusted government institution. Now that the GAO has ruled he doesn't have the legal authority to do away with Saturday mail delivery he has accelerated his deliberate erosion of the postal infrastructure. Stamford and Wallingford are just two of many mail processsing facilities across the country slated for closure. Rather than save money, it will increase transportation costs. Rather than provide more efficient and reliable service, it will do the exact opposite. There have already been calls for him to step down and resign, but those within the Postal Service would rather he be arrested and thrown in jail for his malfeasance.
PMG Donahoe has repeated the oft-worn mantra that cuts need to be made because the Postal Service is losing $25 million a day. Never mind that the PAEA prefunding mandate accounts for over 80% of that figure and when the numbers are crunched...in the first fiscal quarter of 2013 the Postal Service actually had an operational SURPLUS of over $100 million. So much for the doom and gloom being spewed and repeated by the media. Meanwhile Donahoe and his 37 Vice Presidents are all raking in 6-figure incomes and blaming the problems on those who actually do the work of processing and delivering your mail.
All that said, there are a lot of things that need to be fixed within the Postal Service. The unions, usually demonized, are the entities actually keeping the agency afloat. Letter Carriers, with their "Customer Connect" program, have brought millions of dollars in new revenue streams into play. Both clerk and carrier unions have acknowledged that changes need to be made and have been more than willing to be partners in the discussion for modernization...only to be rebuffed and ignored repeatedly. The problems are real, but hardly insurmountable. But the Postal Service needs leadership that is genuinely involved with growing the business in the 21st Century, not destroying it. And we need a Congress willing to give the agency the flexibility it needs to adapt and then get the hell out of the way. View Comment
Please wake up. The government steals from "we the people" every second of every day. According to you that effectively nullifies all the laws we have. That is to say rather than try to hold those accountable, we should just embrace chaos. I don't buy your reasoning.
The governement doesn't give a rat's patootie about your little bands of weekend warrior militia types. Most of those yahoos could be taken out with a single drone strike before their beer is cold. Likewise, you can barracade yourself inside your house loaded with enough weaponry to defeat half the countries in the world and nobody will care. They'll grab another potato chip while watching you and your house burn to the ground on CNN.
If the government wanted you dead, you'd be dead already. If they wanted to confiscate your guns they'd have taken them when Bush signed the Patriot Act (when most of your rights were REALLY flushed down the toilet). You and your other paranoids think you're the only thing keeping the government honest? Then you're delusional, paranoid and should probably be more worried about blowing your own fool head off while exercising your rights.
And for the record, I'm NOT anti-second amendment. I just choose to view it in the context of the 21st century, not the 17th like you do. If I was that afraid of my own government, I'd move to a different country. Yes, our founding fathers were geniuses. You....not so much. View Comment
So if such a thing were to happen in this country, you think walking into a bank with a loaded gun and demanding money would work?
Sounds like a fine plan if your ambition in life is to one day be a chalk outline on a sidewalk somewhere.
"Those people are all dead more directly because of gun control than any lack thereof."
Wow...what convoluted logic Ken P. Also not true, which isn't surprising. The fact is Lanza wouldn't have had access to that Bushmaster had the assault weapons ban been still in effect. His mother would not have been able to purchase it, but that prohibition was allowed to expire under GW "Mission Accomplished" Bush.
It was that very LACK of gun control that allowed her to buy that gun, and she wound up paying the price for her enthusiasm about guns. Unfortunately, so did 20 innocent kids and 6 heroic adults.
Rachel Maddow also pointed out on her show the report from The Hartford Courant that Lanza carried out his horrific crime in about 5 minutes. That would not have been possible, or would at least have been mitigated had he been forced to use clips with fewer rounds. We might be mourning 10 kids instead of 20, but even those 10 are 10 too many. View Comment
Tone down the testosterone Blabbermouth. Nobody is coming for your PCU (penis compensation unit), despite the recommendations of one committee member who probably knows a hell of a lot more about what these weapons are capable of than you.
You may have trouble getting those 30 round clips in the future however. You may not realize it, but if you were any good at handling weapons, you wouldn't need more than a 10-round clip. A 30-round clip is just an admission that you're a lousy shot.
So by all means, curl up at night with your loving weapons and hug them as you drift off into the dreamworld you inhabit even when you're awake. Pray you don't twitch in your sleep. View Comment
I wouldn't be so quick to demonize the teacher's unions, although some people love to point the blame in their direction. That speaks more about the poster's hate for unions rather than focusing on the real problems facing our BoE.
We simply have too many administrators who soak up a giant portion of the funds available, leaving the kids short of valuable resources. There isn't any kind of accountibility, and the money gets sent to the BoE and disappears into a black hole where the public never knows how or where their tax money is spent. Considering over half our property taxes go to Education, this shouldn't be acceptable to anyone.
As far as our kids getting less of an education than they did in 1970 I would simply say we didn't have the federal or state mandates back then that we do now. Our teachers are forced to teach the kids how to pass standardized tests rather than equip them with the tools they need to become productive citizens. Many of our outstanding teachers try to instill values and higher skills in their students despite this.They should be commended for this, not demonized.
I'm not a teacher, nor am I related to one currently working in the Norwalk school system. Blaming the unions for the problems we have in our BoE is not only the easy way out, but a disingenuous distraction from focusing on the real problems of our schools. I am a taxpayer, and don't have any kids in the school system. To see over half of my taxes vanish without a trace of transparency or accountibility is simply unacceptable. We should strive to replace several unneccesary administrators with one financial oversight person who can see our money is spent where it belongs...in educating our future citizens, not on some bureaucrat. View Comment
So easy to just sit there and say "cut spending!" but not so easy in real life to find where cuts can be made. Also easy to say there's a lot of fat on the budget but not so easy to identify it. Plenty of our legislators have gone to Hartford with such promise-filled aspirations, and guess what?
It is a continued delusion that we can cut our way out of our financial problems.I'm not saying tolls are the answer, although states like New York and Massachusetts do charge virtual entrance & exit fees and such an idea could be explored here.
Nobody likes paying taxes and everybody, no matter what their social strata, thinks they're paying too much already. It's the price we pay for living where we do. Don't like it? Move. Just that simple. Your indignant outrage at such a concept has no more or no less validity than anybody else's. View Comment
Our current Mayor is no savior either but we need to steer as clear of liberal govt as we can. Almost every issue facing us, especially our financial problems, are the result of liberal policy.
Hoo boy. Ken P Jr couldn't possibly live more in a delusional world. He blames liberals for our financial problems. Let's see. We had 14 years of Frank Esposito followed by TWO years of Alex Knopp. That was followed by our current Mayor Moccia. Yep, those damn liberals sure have had a strangle hold over Norwalk for the past 20+ years alright.
I think Buddy's questioning of his stability is overly generous.
That said, Rilling promises his administration will be transparent, accessable, and responsible. It will apparently also be even more in denial than our current mayor. His track record as police chief isn't something he should crow about. He still hasn't acknowledged publicly there's a gang problem in Norwalk. While crime statistics may show a decrease in overall violent crime, the public has seen shootings and violence in parts of town that never had these issues before. No longer simply a matter of avoiding certain parts of town; you can now get shot or robbed just leaving Stop & Shop.
Rilling isn't the answer and it remains to be seen if the dysfunctional Democratic Party leadership can get its act together enough to field a viable candidate that could challenge our current mediocrity. It seems doubtful considering the Republicans at least have a solid organization running their show. Norwalk will continue its downward spiral, yet it will be all sunny smiles at The Norwalk Inn.
You've got to be pretty out of it not to realize you've hit a bunch of cars and a dumpster, and are STILL trying to go somewhere. Thanks to those officers who finally put a stop to her madness. I hope she isn't allowed to drive for a VERY long time. View Comment
We continue to fork over an amazing amount of our tax dollars to the Board of Ed, and are never given a detailed accounting of where that money goes. We cut back on education and have administrators tripping over themselves trying to prove how necessary they are to the system. When we finally manage to get a school superintendant we promptly run them out of town if they don't kowtow to the political hierarchy.
For those of us who don't have children in the school system it is an annual slap in the face. We are told we need to continue this smoke and mirror festival to protect our property values.
Our police can't fight crime because most of them are protecting road destruction projects all over town.
Zoning goes after the little guy for nickel and dime violations while allowing unfettered development of eyesores that will probably remain vacant because nobody wants to live or work where taxes are so high.
Big development projects have to be scaled back or continue to be stalled because of one thing or another. Lots of taxpayers were displaced and had to move out of town because the city needed those properties for those "vital" projects. Big dirt lots don't generate much revenue, do they?
Clearly Norwalk needs a change. Unfortunately the republicans want more of the status quo and the democrats don't have a clue (they're too busy fighting amongst themselves and wondering why their smartest members are jumping ship).
Welcome to Norwalk, or (if it were truthfully named), "Dysfunction Junction". View Comment
I would take issue with David A's assertion that police in Easton, Redding, and Weston are paid exhorbitantly. To compare their salaries to police in Bridgeport or NYC is disingenuous at best. Perhaps police in those municipalities are not paid ENOUGH for the increased risks they face. We place a high value on the services they provide, but not high enough value on the cost of providing those services, or the risks they face providing them.
I am not a police officer, fire fighter or municipal employee or resident of any of these towns, but we have the same issues in the city where I do live.
Would you feel safer in a town of lower wage Barney Fifes just because your taxes went down a little? The training these civic employees have to go through to provide you with safety don't come cheap. Their job entails a lot more than responding to deer strikes or break ins at Homer's woodshed.Look what came out of the blue at Sandy Hook. That's what they have to be ready for.
People seem to all want first class resources, but don't want to pay for them. Taxes are the price you pay for living in the best country in the world. Look elsewhere for cuts that won't jeopardize you, your family's, or your neighbor's safety or peace of mind. View Comment
Internal audits within the Postal Service have taken issue with PMG Donahoe's projection of $2 billion in savings. The projected cuts would not only NOT save that much money, but would lead to even more substantial losses in revenue.
It would be like going below decks on the Titanic to punch even more holes in the hull to try and let the water out.
Patrick Donahoe has been a total failure as a Postmaster General. In the private sector he would have been fired years ago. He doesn't know how to lead, and he has no vision to move the agency into the 21st century. He clearly needs to resign now. View Comment
One of the recurring myths being circulated by the right wing is that the only solution to the Post Office woes is a taxpayer bailout. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even PMG Donahoe, who has been a willing accomplice in the wholesale destruction of an institution that predates our country, has NEVER sought taxpayer money. The mentioning of taxes in regard to the Postal Service in this poll is just more misleading information designed to poison the public's perceptions.
The whole reasoning in PMG Donahoe's book has been simply, to break the unions and hire a workforce for substandard wages and minimal, if any, benefits. Widen the gap between the haves and have nots.
Whereas the health care and benefits package offered to postal employees is pretty good, it pales by comparison to CT state employees. If you compare postal wages to their closest competitors, FedEx and UPS, you'll find their drivers and delivery people make more per hour than Letter Carriers. The wages are the same across the country. A postal worker in Arkansas could live in a huge house with a comforable mortgage, where one in the Northeast might well need a second income just to keep up payments and put food on the table. Area wages have been suggested many times but never implemented.
Two separate audits have confirmed that both civil service AND federal employee retirement system retirement funds are flush with cash and the mandated PAEA payments are not needed. Congress refuses to act to repeal this burden placed on the Postal Service and simply makes off with the funds to pay for their pork. The USPS has been their cash cow since the Reagan years.
My final point. Many people have suggested that e-commerce will only grow and the Postal Service will become even more irrelevant. The direct mail industry, which accounts for almost 10% of this country's GNP, would disagree. What would happen to e-commerce if some rogue terrorist nation were to set off an EMP device in the atmosphere? If you had all your eggs in the e-basket, there goes all access to your money and accounts, as well as your ability to communicate the simplest thing. While I don't suggest such a thing is likely to occur, it does give you something to think about.
Call me a luddite, but I'll keep writing checks too. View Comment
The ONLY reason the Postal Service is in financial trouble is a bill that was passed by Congress in 2006. The PAEA mandated the Postal Service to prefund it's share of it's retiree health benefits 75 years in advance within a 10-year window. No other government agency has that kind of onerus burden to bear, and no business in the private sector could remain viable as well.
If it were not for that one law, the Postal Service would actually be over $1 billion in the black and there would be no talk about reducing delivery days, closing post offices, or relaxing delivery standards.
Congress, especially the House committee charged with overseeing postal operations (chaired by Rep Darrell Issa (R-CA) has had ample opportunity to review this law and fix the problem but they haven't, mainly due to the fact they WANT to see the Post Office fail. They want to privatize the Service and the fast track is to bankrupt the agency beyond repair. We are now seeing the fruit of those labors.
Decline of first class mail has contributed some to the financial problems but the internet has been the big scapegoat... Another myth perpetrated by the forces trying to erode the public's confidence in the USPS. While some people pay their bills online and do their banking electronically, parcel volume has exploded with the advent of Amazon.com and other big internet retailers.
Eliminating Saturday mail will have dire consequences for seniors who need their medicines delivered in a timely manner. It will disrupt retailers planning big weekend sales. It will deprive people of their Netflix movies. It will drive away more business and revenue from the mail stream and cause a downward death spiral for the agency...an agency that is the second largest employer in the country (after Wal-Mart) and the driver behind the $1 trillion direct mail industry. The Postal Service is also the leading employer of veterans. It has an 80% approval rating by many public polls (compared with Congress' 9%) and is among the cheapest and most efficient postal operations in the industrialized world. Why mess with something that works?
Because the republicans in Congress see those $1 trillion dollars and want their grubby paws on YOUR money.
It is true the Postal Service doesn't use any tax dollars. All the revenue it generates is from the sale of postage and services. It doesn't make widgets. It is a service company, which explains why 80% of the money it generates goes to employee salaries. That 80% also includes the salaries of a bloated management structure, which doesn't touch the mail, improve service, or contribute to the agency's bottom line. PMG Patrick Donahoe has 37 Vice Presidents and more than a few of those bueaucrats make more in salary than many of the President's cabinet members.
We are fortunate in Connecticut to have good representatives in Congress. Jim Himes, Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal all see through the smoke and mirrors and are staunch advocates for keeping the Postal Service viable in the future. View Comment