Walsh’s Wonderings — When trust goes bust

Nothing screams “first world problem” more than the whining about Apple’s recent announcement that they designed iPhones to throttle their own batteries as they aged. While the flagship tech company put out a tone-deaf press release to quell the storm (it didn’t), it did little to remove the impression that they’d just been caught making their phones artificially antiquated in order to get their customers to buy new ones. Things like this matter. Not because it’s Apple, and not because battery life is so important. Rather, it’s the idea that another institution in which we placed our trust has let … Read more

Commentary: Extreme times call for extreme measures

Connecticut residents recently received two discouraging pieces of information. First, the state lost $2.6 billion in revenue during 2015 as high-earning individuals left Connecticut. Second, the Special Transportation Fund used to maintain and improve the state’s aging highways and rail lines is going broke. The two are not entirely unrelated. Residents are using our state’s roads, railways, and airports to flee before Connecticut collapses into an enormous infrastructure and economic sinkholes. We saw this coming. For years, the legislature siphoned money from the Special Transportation Fund to fill potholes in the General Fund. Without funding to repair and improve the … Read more

Editorial: Christmas Message

WESTON EDITORIAL

Christmas is the transcendent holiday of our culture. It is a Christian holiday, reflecting our nation’s history as a colony and refuge for Europeans. But its appeal and the trappings of its celebration reach beyond the holiday’s deep sacred meaning for Christians, and it has become something not greater, but broader, more encompassing. The symbols are everywhere. Its celebration seems at times to have been appropriated entirely by commercial interests and pop culture foolishness, leading to concerns among some of the devout that the true meaning of Christmas is lost. Do not fear. The message is alive and shines for … Read more

About Town: Vision 2020

“Vision 2020” is what I call the next Town Plan project. It could perhaps be subtitled “you have to have a map.” Periodically since I moved to Weston in 1980, both when I was a Planning & Zoning Commission member during the 1980s and at other times, I’ve dutifully gone through my own planning processes, separate from those of P&Z but paralleling its efforts and sometimes contributing to them. My process for 2010 appears in a column on my website at aboutweston.com. In 2000, I was an adviser to the commission, providing guidance on how to think like a planner, … Read more

Walsh’s Wonderings — The rise of the North Star (Shower)

The holiday season hits me like a swing from a coal-filled stocking once CVS starts playing Christmas carols the day after Halloween; the pressure alone could turn that coal into a diamond. Many of us spend the next two weeks struggling to manage seasonal stress like underfed reindeer pulling a giant, gift-laden sleigh. Americans have spent decades trying to make the holidays more manageable. My siblings and I grew up circling pictures in the Sears catalog for Santa (How had he grown so lazy? And brand-loyal?) while buying pre-filled stockings for our dog. Soon enough, Christmas trees were coming out … Read more

About Town: Less

“Less is more.” I have always loved that expression without realizing why. Now I know. It hails from the poetry of Robert Browning and the designs of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Words and architecture. Two of my favorite things. But speaking of “less,” right now the drumbeats are beginning in Hartford once again. Cut, cut, cut! The state’s comptroller has seconded the governor’s opinion that the budget is running over projections. And by more than the amount that calls for his mandatory rescissions. One of the basic reasons I love Weston is our simplicity. For one thing, that means … Read more

Editorial: Gift giving in Weston

WESTON EDITORIAL

This is the time of year when most people are gearing up for Christmas and Hanukah, two significant religious holidays that are celebrated with much gift giving. It’s a festive time for many families, but it can be a difficult time for others. Those who have lost loved ones often struggle with loneliness. Those who face health issues — their own or of those for whom they give care — battle fatigue and are often overwhelmed by the extra obligations that accompany the holidays. There are many who cope every day with financial struggles, too, and for them, the holidays … Read more

About Town: Beginning

It’s that time again. Every 10 years the Planning and Zoning Commission is required to update the Town Plan of Conservation and Development. Every decade, P&Z dutifully and conscientiously goes through the exercise. They began the preliminaries last spring with a community discussion” of “open space cluster development.” But the formidable crowd which turned out that morning in the high school auditorium didn’t stop wanting to speak. At least until lunchtime, when the heat was turned down in the auditorium. That was one hot issue discussed at the meeting. Another involved the idea of a modernized center in the central … Read more

About Town: Objectives

Well, now we know. We know precisely the objectives of the three members of the Board of Selectmen for the term just begun. They were recorded for posterity, courtesy of Town TV Channel 79, whose video of the board’s lengthy Nov. 18 meeting about objectives can be seen at youtube.com/user/Channel79WestonCT. The board has prioritized these objectives into three tiers, as suggested by the first selectman. The first tier will comprise objectives deemed to require the most immediate attention by our local government. This is a variation of methods employed by past boards of selectmen as I recall. Will this ultimately … Read more

Editorial: New start

WESTON EDITORIAL

Following the municipal election on Nov. 7, Weston has a new start, with many new leaders and new members on town boards and commissions. During this time of adjustment, it’s important to offer support and encouragement to these newly elected officials. There will be a learning curve, as can be expected, and these new representatives will have much to absorb in order to properly conduct town and school business. The Board of Selectmen is off to a running start. First Selectman Chris Spaulding and selectmen Brian Gordon and Stephan Grozinger are working cooperatively and have compiled a list of priorities. … Read more

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