To the Editor:
When the lawyers representing Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County Inc.in its shakedown litigation against the little Borough of Litchfield submitted their bills, $602,000 in fees for so-called billable time was claimed by Florida Attorney Frederick Nelson at $410 an hour, and another $16,000 by his helpers. All the other lawyers, from Hartford and Detroit, together billed $605,000; only one, Daniel Dalton of Detroit, billed as high as $410. Happily (but not happily enough) the court divided all the billable hours in half because Chabad prevailed, on appeal, in only one part of its all-inclusive vexatious suit.
Court documents clearly indicate that the firm Frederick Nelson was working for was and is the nonprofit American Liberties Institute, which proclaims (through Guidestar.org because ALI doesn’t have its own website), “We provide pro bono legal assistance to people and entities when their constitutional freedoms are threatened.” While maintaining a private practice, Frederick Nelson is president and general counsel of the religiously oriented American Liberties Institute.
For those unfamiliar with the term, “pro bono” is short for the Latin “pro bono publico,” “for the public good.” It means the professional service is provided voluntarily and without charge or payment. So why did Frederick Nelson submit a bill in the first place for what was supposed to be pro bono representation; and why was this flagrant breach of lawyerly integrity allowed to make its way through the courts without dispute or even comment?
Asked and answered . . .
Paul Mordecai Rosenberg
To the Editor:
The municipal elections are only two months away. So what is the big issue?
A merger of the Litchfield and Wamogo high schools? No. Both the Litchfield and Wamogo boards of education, under the guidance of Superintendent Leone, have this quietly under way.
A new Town Hall? Hardly. When the middle and high schools are merged, Litchfield is very apt to end up with an empty town building, most likely an empty intermediate school. Nobody seriously wants to discuss a new town hall until this is cleared up.
So, any candidate pursuing those two matters is barking up the wrong tree. The perfect issue, worth at least 400-500 extra votes, is a long overdue dog park.
Why? Litchfield's major industry is residential living. Nice houses, beautiful open space, great restaurants and shops, and great schools (which are getting even better). Litchfield is an all-around great town. Except we need a dog park. Having talked with many taxpayers, only one guy grumbled about the idea, but his bark is worse than his bite.
I live in the center of town and every day I see dogs of every shape, size and color walking tax payers of every shape, size and color around the town center. Both those on four feet and those on two feet would love a dog park.
Also, in this dog eat dog world, this is an issue that both parties can readily support.
Where? The best place is the large open space behind Town Hall. Nobody uses it, but one or two skaters in the middle of winter......occasionally. My office is next door; the only people I ever see there are cutting the grass. Centrally located, the space is large enough for a great dog park.
Cost? I 'm trying to get some figures, but it can't be much. Not even a blip on the town budget. All we need is fencing, some benches and lots of poop bags. Maybe some citizens will even pitch in some stuff, pro bono.
Now, candidates, no one can guarantee that you'll be top dog by supporting this issue, but, based on numerous conversations with your constituents, you'll clearly be way ahead of the pack if you do.
(Editor’s note: James Stedronsky is a member of the Board of Finance.)
To the Editor:
The Litchfield Patriots wish to express their sincere gratitude to the many organizations and citizens who supported the Sept. 7 Living History Day on the Litchfield Green.
This day, when the Litchfield Green was transformed into a colonial village was a highlight in celebrating the 300th anniversary of the town.
Participating organizations included the American Legion, Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Children of the American Revolution, 5th Connecticut Regiment, Colonel Tallmadge’s Dragoons, Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield’s First Congregational Church, St. Paul’s Masonic Lodge, the Lions Club and the Mattatuck Drum Band. Participants included the many historical actors who portrayed actual Litchfield people.
This event would not have been possible without the generous donations and moral support of over a hundred citizens, businesses and churches. Special thanks to them and to the Connecticut Community Foundation/Give Local, the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, First Congregational Church Board of Missions, L. Cleveland Fuessenich, the Greater Litchfield Preservation Trust, Klemm Real Estate, Philip Samponaro, the Seherr-Thoss Foundation, Connecticut Public TV, Daughters of Wisdom, Lourdes of Litchfield, St. Anthony’s Church family, Union Savings Bank, Kim and Bryan Simmons, and Litchfield Bancorp.
In addition, the valued volunteer work of many townspeople, the Borough of Litchfield, the office of the town clerk, the Rotary Club, and the collaborative service of the police and Cpl. Peter Russo all came together to create a successful and meaningful event.
One participant said, “This was a wonderful day with many people. Getting a whole community together is something that doesn’t happen much in our modern days. It felt so good.”
Another said, “The re-enactors were so real! They took on the personality of the character they represented and transported us into the 18th century. This was an amazing education for my children and me.”
Thanks to all who celebrated Living History Day on the green.
The Litchfield Patriots