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DAVID COLLINS - RECENT COLUMNS

Party under the palm trees in New London

Published: June 22, 2021 | David Collins

City Dock is open and should transform the city waterfront this summer, maybe breathing new life into the downtown.

Groton overlooks oral school developer's history of bribing officials

Published: June 17, 2021 | David Collins

The developer who has a contract to buy Mystic oral school for $1 has a troubling resume and a history of paying bribes to public officials.

The price for Coast Guard museum bridge is now $25 million, and looming

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney is proposing a $4.9 million federal earmark to add to the $20 million already committed from the state, to reflect rising costs.

Gov. Lamont continues to thumb his nose at FOI laws

Gov. Ned Lamont has not responded to two different requests for correspondence made under FOI law, despite pending complaints with the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission about his lack of compliance.

Artist who gave house to Mystic museum had been diagnosed with dementia

Harvey Fuller had been diagnosed with dementia before he deeded his house overlooking the Mystic River to the Mystic Museum of Art, according to a doctor's testimony in a probate hearing. The museum has left the house abandoned and in disrepair.

Dirt artists to the rescue of my pandemic-challenged septic system

The end of the pandemic is punctuated with a fine new septic system.

Masks off: The unvaccinated are on their own

Entering a store with maskless people is less safe for the unvaccinated.

Mystic Aquarium president was paid $563,000 in 2019

The year after aquarium President Stephen Coan was paid more than a half-milion dollars, a state rescue package included forgiveness of a $2.6 million loan balance.

New London must insist on a Fort Trumbull Coast Guard museum

The city should make it clear now that the three-year deadline to finish the museum downtown is firm.

'Mystic Pizza,' the musical

A staged version of "Mystic Pizza" is planned for this summer at the Ogonquit Playhouse in Maine.

Pandemic layoffs at Mystic Seaport were permanent

Only about a third of those who were laid off last spring have been hired back and the others are not promised new jobs being created.

New London could take back land for downtown Coast Guard museum

The city can take back the land it donated for the museum if it is not constructed there by May 2024.

The downtown Coast Guard museum has become a sham

The museum is proposed for an impossible site with nowhere near enough money raised, after seven years of trying.

Two beloved hens get eviction notices from New London

The city has told Jane Barton she must get rid of her chickens because they are not allowed in the zone she lives in.

Bidenism will wash over Connecticut

Popularity for Biden's agenda is going to make it harder for Connecticut Republicans to move on from Trump

Finally, outrage at Gov. Lamont's $235 million pier boondoggle

Sen. Paul Formica calls for resignations if the Connecticut Port Authority can't get the State Pier project on track.

Why is so much vitriol aimed at Aundre Bumgardner?

Attacks on the Groton mayoral candidate who won the Democratic primary seem more personal than about policy.

Is that a sizzling summer in the COVID-19 crystal ball?

Clearing of pandemic clouds may be in store for the summer of 2021.

Seaside developer has waited years for his day in court

The developer first sought permission in 2015 to sue for $20 million in damages over his failed deal to buy Seaside.

Local lawmakers get a shot in the arm

Lawmakers in eastern Connecticut are more forthcoming about vaccinations than Republicans in Rhode Island.

Gov. Lamont flouts Freedom of Information law

The governor's office has not supplied communications requested more than six months ago and has given no reason for the lack of compliance.

Mystic history demolished to make way for a parking lot

A parking lot is being proposed for an empty lot created when two buildings, one a contributing structure to the historic district, were demolished on the residential street.

Is wind turbine assembly an allowed water-dependent use of State Pier?

The issue of whether wind turbine work meets the criteria for coastal development has been raised in permit hearings for the $200 million State Pier project.

Is it safe to come out of the cave?

A Florida doctor says vaccinated people anxious about resuming normal routines may suffer from Cave Syndrome.

Fire hose of COVID-19 money could drown Connecticut Republicans

The enormous amount of money to flow into Connecticut should help the party in power.

Democratic chairwoman owned Eversource stock when voting to remake State Pier for the utility

Nancy DiNardo owned an undisclosed number of shares of Eversource when she voted in early 2020 for a deal that would use tens of millions of public money to rebuild the pier for use by the utility.

I liked Mayor Passero's State Pier comments before he signed a gag order

Mayor Michael Passero agreed to support and promote current and future Eversource and Orsted wind projects in an unusual pledge he signed last month.

Lamont should justify tens of millions in utility subsidies

The $200 million remake of State Pier is not required for Connecticut to obtain renewable energy from offshore wind farms.

Winner or loser, Bumgardner is a harbinger of Connecticut politics

The surprise strong showing by a challenger against a two-term incumbent suggests a broader shakeup in state politics.

And then there were vaccines

Some good came out of a year of pandemic.

Someone should explain what a deal is to Gov. Lamont

Instead of making a deal with the Mashantuket Pequots, the governor insulted them, forging ahead without them.

As AG Tong investigated $523,000 fee, Lamont's team paid it

The attorney general said he has been investigating a whistleblower complaint about a success fee paid to the employer of a former port authority board member.

Lawmakers suggest new train system for eastern Connecticut

A bill introduced in the General Assembly would study the idea of extending train service from New London to the Rhode Island border and Massachusetts, through Norwich.

Salem tries to shut down Trump-inspired sign shrine

Enforcement began after homeowner was elected to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Block Island girds for next battle in development wars

The Rhode Island attorney general has asked the state Supreme Court to intervene in a deal that would have allowed a marina a large expansion into Great Salt Pond.

Is State Pier another of Gov. Lamont's dead deals?

With potential cost overruns in the tens of millions of dollars, the governor who boasts of being a dealmaker seems ready to give up.

Alas, my doctor is retiring

Dr. Melvin Yoselevsky is closing his decades-old family practice in New London, a dying art

Port Authority paid $700,000 to employer of former board member

A contract which included a $523,000 "success" or reward fee, was signed with a company that employed an authority board member only a few months before.

Regulators looking at port authority and quasi agencies issue SOS

The board that reviews state contracts and procurement says it needs clarification that it can scrutinize port authority deals.

Connecticut Port Authority Chairman Kooris navigates the truth

At hearing, Kooris directs and receives criticism about the accuracy of port authority characterizations.

Bravo for New London's community center plans

The city's plans for a recreational center fulfills a community need and will help heal the still open-wounds of eminent domain.

Groton councilors abandon coastal access effort in 4-4 vote

Councilors who wanted to pursue a legal claim by the town for public coastal access in the Fort Rachel section of Mystic lost in a tie vote.

Legislators' bill asks for plans to abolish Connecticut Port Authority

The proposed legislation asks the transportation commissioner to "detail" steps necessary to return the duties of the port authority to state government.

Game on: Mayor Passero dons his superhero cape

New London this week filed a request to participate in environmental hearings on Gov. Ned Lamont's proposed $200 million remake of State Pier.

Include car dealers when you buy local

Unlike big internet retailers, they employ local people and pay a lot of taxes.

Judge Spellman's DUI arrest won't impact his $113,000-a-year pension

The judge, who is 69, will reach mandatory retirement age in June, beginning a lifetime pension of two thirds of his salary.

The prosecution of Kevin Blacker, critic of Gov. Lamont's port authority, continues

The port authority, which got Blacker arrested on a felony charge, is trying to keep him from intervening in hearings on the environmental permits for a remake of State Pier.

Pets are pandemic winners

The animal shelters have emptied out as pets have become irresistible pandemic companions.

Lamont vs. New London

Gov. Lamont suggests the city is ungrateful about plans that it host, with no compensation, a commercial project at State Pier with a growing cost estimate of more than $200 million.

WFSB Channel 3 punts on good journalism — again

WFSB ended publicist Duby McDowell's role as a news show host after reporting she got a no-bid contract award from Gov. Lamont, but she says she will remain a political analyst for the station.

2021 could bring Groton City a person of color as mayor

Aundre Bumgardner, who left the Republican party because of Donald Trump's racism, is running for mayor.

Connecticut Republicans need to confront Trumpism

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes complained the GOP response to Wednesday's Trump-induced violence was too little, too late.

Lamont's scandal-ridden port authority is still on fire

Local lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation that would provide more oversight.