He was a soldier and a good man

He was a soldier and a good man

Tomorrow I will say good bye to a friend, it will not be easy, he was an inspiration, and he was an example for other men. Bob was a good man, giving, loyal and kind.

We met in the world of politics. Bob had his thoughts, ideas and opinions and every one was delivered with a smile. When the Republican Party needed a volunteer for most any task Bob would be stepping forward, ready, willing and able to serve. Bob was a good man, he always served with a smile.

In private moments we shared our thoughts about military service. Bob was proud of his military service and always supported those that served. If you knew Bob long you were also aware of the Nike missile and Bob’s experience. He was a soldier, he was a good man.

Bob never forgot the men that served, and he took an active role with the American Legion. The traditional Memorial Day parade in town had the mark of Bob’s organizational skills all over it. He was a proud solder and he was a good man.

If there was need in the neighborhood Bob was always willing to do his part. At one time or another over 35 years he served as their President, Secretary, Treasurer and even Tax Collector. Yes he was a smiling Tax Collector and he was a good man.

Bob had also served the Town of Coventry as a member of the Coventry HUD Home Rehabilitation Committee, the Coventry Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Board of Assessment Appeals. I recently spoke with Bob, knowing he was facing some difficult challenges. I asked about his participation on the Board of Assessment Appeals and another run for the office. I will never forget his answer, he was clear, he was determined and he was memorable when he said, “I want to serve”. Four little words that spoke so clearly to define the man, and he was a good man.

The last time we spoke, we sat alone, friends sharing some old stories and talked about challenges ahead. It was then I saw the tender side of my friend, raw with emotion he conveyed to me his undying love and appreciation for his wife, Bev. He told me about her loving care that had brought him through some tough times recently. It was another inspirational moment, another time when Bob’s words had more meaning than I think he even realized. He was a loving man, a friend and an inspiration, he was a good man.

Rest in Peace Bob Kramer you have served your fellow man well, you were a good man.

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Honor and Memory Worthy of More Than Brief Notice

Iwo JimaUp, down, up, down recently our national flag has been sliding half way up and down flag poles like never before. What was once a rare occurrence and distinguished honor has more recently become more a symbol of political correctness and response to media coverage.
Make no mistake many deaths are tragic, many men and women have gone to their graves far too early, often times in service to their country. Today, far too often, we have death as a media event immediately sent far and wide on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
Public response is fast, often a knee jerk reaction, something must be done, some show of reaction to the event, ribbons, flowers, flags and challenges to one another. All of which are more about those performing the action than about any real honor or remembrance of the deceased.
We as a nation have seen many tragedies, many fallen national figures of men and women that truly had an impact on our nation. Many deserving of a national honor and recognition such as lowering the American flag. At no time in the last 70 years have we seen our national flag lowered more often for more people than in recent years.
Are we lowering the threshold and hence the honor by reacting so often to death by lowering our nation’s flag? I think back to World War Two, I think of the battle for Iwo Jima, I think of the thousands killed in action, but I am reminded of the horror with the image of the American flag being raised over Mt. Suribachi. In just four days thousands of our sons had been killed and wounded, and yet they raised the flag.
The men had fought a brutal battle, yet they raised the flag. It could have been at half-staff, they could have “honored” the fallen by lowering the flag. They chose to raise it full staff high on the hill called Mt. Suribachi. Joe Rosenthal preserved that event on film, and today we have monuments recalling the event and honoring the sacrifice of those that served their nation.
Were the Marines wrong that day, were the Marines thoughtless of their fallen brothers? No they were proud of their nation, they were proud of the accomplishments of their mission. It was not about lowering a flag, it was about raising the flag in the face of our enemies. It was more about telling the world that America would prevail, the flag was flown as a symbol of our nation. There was no political correctness, no emphasis on individualism, it was about our Nation and the pride in America.
Today we think about the five minutes of fame, the instant answer, sometimes our reactions are really rather shallow in the face of history. The greatest generation didn’t lower the flag, but they honored their fallen. When was the last time you visited the Iwo Jima Memorial or memorials in your local park.
The next generation will be better served with a trip to remember the fallen with a tour of monuments than a brief lowering of a flag. Remembering and honoring is a lesson that should be passed forward to every generation, it is a lesson paid for with the blood of our sons and daughters.

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The Scales of Justice  The Old State House  Hartford, CT

The Scales of Justice
The Old State House
Hartford, CT

If you are a resident of Hartford and your child registers for school in Glastonbury without the permission or knowledge of the Glastonbury Board of Education you would be breaking the law. You would be in essences stealing educational services paid for by the taxpayers of Glastonbury. It is a reasonable position for Glastonbury to expel that student or even prosecute the parent that knowingly registered the student illegally.

Laws are in place to protect society, to ensure safety, fairness and order among other things. When you break the law you should expect to pay a price for your transgression, you should learn early in life the meaning of personal responsibility.

Should there be exceptions to the rule, should we reward criminals for their transgressions? Should we as a society say, it is fine for you to ignore our rule of law, we as a society are willing to accept responsibility for your actions and we will pay the price for your transgression?

Before you answer that last question look at another set of circumstances dealing with education. Suppose a person illegally enters the country, illegally enrolls their child in the same Glastonbury school district as the Hartford resident did in the first paragraph. If the student stays two years and graduates from Glastonbury without Glastonbury discovering the illegal act, what should be done?

Well there is no need to answer because the reality of the situation is the Democratic leadership in the State Legislature with the approval of Governor Dan Malloy has already put the answer into law. The graduate would be rewarded with better treatment than a native born child of a taxpaying family from our neighboring State of New York.

Under our previous law an undocumented student had to attend school in Connecticut for four years to be eligible for in-state tuition fees, when a student graduates and enrolls in state institution of higher learning. Now if they entered the country illegally (call it undocumented if you like) and managed to have the taxpayers provide them with free education for only two years they will be rewarded with in-state tuition fees if they choose to enroll in a state institution of higher learning.

When it comes to personal responsibility, rule of law, and public trust the Governor and his minions in the Connecticut General Assembly have failed the law abiding taxpayers in Connecticut. While they dream up new taxes, and new burdens for working families struggling to make ends meet they willingly reward those that thumb their nose at our culture and our belief in the rule of law and personal responsibility.

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Iphone shots 022-1It all started with an image, some promises, and dreams of better days. All it took was a wisp of creative imagination, some smoke and mirrors, a few false promises and a willing populous, ready to float like clouds through dreamland with the winds of hope and change upon their back.

What voters got was more like a wobbly three legged wooden stool. Dan Malloy as Governor, Brendan Sharky as Speaker of the House and Martin Looney as President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

Their first order of business was to deliver to the taxpayer’s of Connecticut the largest tax increase in Connecticut. Not exactly what the people were told was going to happen or what they thought they voted for, but facts don’t always match political promises.

Their second order of business was the recent creation of the second largest tax increase in Connecticut history. This coming within 6 months of Dan Malloy telling the taxpayers he made the hard choices, fixed the budget and would not be raising their taxes. Poof, the promises went up in smoke.

Where there is smoke there is fire. Today there is a firestorm of negative reaction rocking the foundations of employment and family finances across Connecticut. The legs of the wooden stool are feeling the heat of flames.

Time to fix the problem? No, remember these are tax and spend Democrats. It is time to reach for the taxpayer’s wallet to purchase fire protection for the wobbly wooden stool instead of protection for the people.

Last week the House Democratic caucus hired the Hartford public relations firm of McDowell and Jewett Communications to review their public relations operation. Of course this will be paid for with taxpayer’s dollars, after all it is time for local elections and the Democrats will need all the smoke, mirrors and Vaseline they can find to slide by the voters in this election cycle.

The funds will come from a budget provided to each legislative party caucus to hire, a legal team, legislative assistants and communications staff, functions normally associated with doing the work of the people. This reviewing of the public relations operations, is more akin to a study of how to put out the fire that threatens the wobbly stool for the tax and spend Democratic caucus.

For many taxpayers and their families the burden of increase government spending is a growing concern. This fall many communities will have a choice, more tax and spend or a new policy, a financial path followed like your family budget with restraint, reason and common sense.

We will all choose our seats. You can take your chances on another tax and spend wobbly wooden stool or a solid Republican oaken bench, you can sit on the sidelines or you can get in the game by taking the time to vote. The decision is yours.

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The brightest future for our towns, cities, states and indeed our nation is found within the Republican Party.  While the Republican Party is diverse in thoughts and opinions there is a common thread of values founded in the strength of the individual and the responsibilities we each hold as citizens and neighbors.

Make no mistake there are fringe elements in both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.  The fringe road to the liberal left or the conservative right are not the paths to follow.  Both are narrow paths of division and intolerance.

The strength of our nation is found in the roots of our being.  We are a melting pot of cultures, beliefs and opinions.  The founding fathers understood the strength found in unification, walking not a narrow path but a wide path of inclusion and protection for an individual’s thoughts, beliefs and responsibilities.

Found in our Constitution and Bill of Rights are protections for individuals of diverse opinion.  The founding fathers recognized the need for limits on government.  They included restrictions with a system of checks and balances designed to insure the preservation of the inalienable rights of the citizens.

Today, too many folks look to government as our strength and not to the individual citizens. Today we find leaders willing to divide our citizens into special interest groups each with their hand out for government support.  Pandering politicians picking the pockets of taxpayers to pad a base of support is no way to run government.  Our goal should be to unify and build together a stronger foundation to support a better future.

The solution for inefficient government is not found in a coalition of special interests.  The special interests are the root of the problem, not the solution.  The solution is found within each of us as individuals, the solution is found in our commonality, our responsibilities and our own efforts.

The very foundation of the Republican Party has always been built on the belief in the strength of the individual over government.  This is why the best road for our future is found within the Republican Party.  It is found in the grounded thinking of pragmatic conservatives.  They provide a bonding commonality based on practical and reasonable logic with which to set policy.

If we are to prosper as a community or nation we can no longer embrace tax and spend government digging us deeper in debt, and reallocating our money for their special interest spending.  It is time to endorse and elect logical, realistic and reasonable thinkers.  Reasonable budgets are like household budgets they must be constructed with common sense, leaders must be pragmatic.  Their budgets should have limits just as your household has limits after all it really is your money.

It is time to elect pragmatic conservatives to serve in government.  It is time for a realistic approach to spending.  We need a common sense practical approach, our budgets should be based on logical rational facts.  The time for budgets based on intentions, hopes and dreams is past it was the wrong road.  It is time for pragmatic conservative Republicans.

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Coventry After Dark

1 Coventry Night 4 011-2X-2Coventry Connecticut known as the birthplace of Nathan Hale and the Gateway to the Quiet Corner is a rather traditional New England small town. A rural community, with farms and forests, a town bifurcated by the state roads Route 44 and 31, Coventry provides visitors and residents a respite from the harsh lights and noise found in other cities and towns.
A night time trip through Coventry can pass uneventfully and yet there is plenty to fill the eyes and embed a memory. Like any town, residents of Coventry can become accustom to the sights, take them for granted, but what will you see if you visit at night?
If you are a current resident of Coventry we hope you enjoy this presentation, if you are a former resident, perhaps this will bring back some memories of Coventry. If you have never been to Coventry let this be an introduction but not a substitution for a visit.
Coventry After Dark provides a glimpse of the lights and sights as you spend some time at night in this Quiet Corner of Connecticut. You’re invited to view this photographic slide show as we take in a view of Coventry as it appears to the night time traveler.

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Manchester Mascot An Honor To Our Past

Opining Quill Response

Opining Quill Response

Manchester Connecticut has a rich history dating back before there was a United States of America and long before the arrival of English settlers. The area now known as Manchester was a camping and hunting ground for Native Americans known as the Podunk.

Before recorded written history, there is evidence of Native Americans living across not only Manchester but all of the lands we now call the United States. When the Pilgrims arrived in 1620 they first encountered Wampanoag Indians from the Nauset tribe in what is now Eastham, Mass. It is well documented that the early settlers learned to plant corn from the Native Americans. A crop that significantly helped the pilgrims survive in this harsh new land.

From the early days of this nation to this day the contribution of culture and service to this country by Native Americans is significant. The Navajo Code Talkers of World War II provided our military with a method of communication that proved to be priceless. To honor and recognize Native Americans is not only justified it is politically correct.

The history of the lands within the boundary of what is now the west end of Manchester was home to Indian settlements in areas we know as Hillstown Road, Olcutt Street and West Center Street. The early English settlers adopted some of the language and names from the Indians. We can look to the Native American word Hocquaun meaning hook-shaped or crooked river to find where the name of the Hockanum River came from. Even the name of our State, Connecticut comes from the Native American language.

Manchester High School athletic teams have been known as the Manchester Indians for generations, it is a tribute to the Native Americans that originally occupied the lands upon which the school previously and currently is located. The mascot for any school should reflect some of the history, it must be something that is held in high esteem by the community, it is a symbol which not only the students but the community can look to proudly.

Manchester High School could have chosen the farmer, weaver or even the silkworm as a mascot. Who would question as politically correct a “farmer” mascot? Yet today some would question the selection on an Indian as the mascot.

If one understands the honor and esteem a community places in a mascot they understand the true nature of the importance the mascot holds within history of the community. In the case of Manchester High School when a cheering section chants “We are the Indians, mighty mighty Indians, everywhere we go people want to know who we are, so we tell them” they are endorsing the roots of the community. The original inhabitants are remembered and their strength as a culture is recalled. The Podunks were known as a peaceful people and their history is our history, their history is a key building block in the foundation of the Manchester we know today.

Today there are some folks that although well intentioned, may be misguided in their interpretation and understanding of the Manchester High School Indian Mascot. Those that would call for a change in the mascot are calling for a revision of history. They are asking that we remove an honored part of our heritage, a building block and a memory for generations of Manchester alumni. They are asking the community to take away a position of leadership, esteem and reverence the current Manchester Indian holds.

I submit it would be far better to educate the misguided to understand the historical importance of the Native American, Indian people in Manchester. It would be far better if those that want to replace the current mascot with some less meaningful symbol would instead join with the generations of the past and remember the significance of the Indian mascot.

Perhaps it is time for a block of instruction within the school curriculum at the middle school level to introduce the Manchester Indian to the next generations so that as they enter high school they will not only understand the contribution and importance of the original inhabitants but also take great pride in being known as a “Manchester Indian”. Calling ourselves, Manchester Indians shows our understanding and kinship with our historical roots. Manchester alumni are proud of those roots and the next generations should share in that pride.

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