Litchfield News







Letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or partners of Letters to the editor should be 300 words or less. Letters over the 300 word limit will be continued on another page. We reserve the right to edit and shorten the text. We encourage letters providing positive solutions for current issues. Letters should be brief and refer to current or recent events. Please include your full name, a street address and a daytime telephone number for verification; only the name and town will appear. Letters should be e-mailed to


To the Editor of
Putting affordable housing in the former Bantam school and/or on its valuable site (if the decrepit building is mercifully demolished) is a terrible, unacceptable idea.
Sad to say, even though commercial and residential developers have shown interest in the site, were it not for the Bantam borough zoning board’s long-term obstinate, unreasonable refusal to seriously consider allowing its use for anything other than a municipal function (read town hall), Litchfield’s selectmen wouldn’t even have had to consider the last-ditch, defeatist affordable-housing option.
The convoluted rationale to justify affordable housing on the Bantam site runs like this: The town is losing the courthouse revenue from the state. The building is nothing but a money pit. Litchfield needs to have at least ten-percent affordable housing to thwart predatory residential property developers. Litchfield public schools have declining enrollment and need to keep the buildings and staff fully utilized.
Bantam holds all the cards and is agreeable to affordable housing. So the obvious solution is to build more affordable housing because it will put the property back on the tax rolls and attract young families from who knows where with lots of children who will fill the schools and make work for the currently underutilized teachers and administrators who can never be laid off. Right? Yeah, right.
Truth is, affordable housing on the Bantam site is another losing proposition for Litchfield taxpayers because, among other things, a swarm of new kids in the schools will cost far more than the marginal revenue generated by the real estate.
It’s high time, then, for Litchfield’s selectmen and finance board to show some mettle and tell Bantam’s nearsighted zoning board and Litchfield’s arrogant school board where to get off . . .
Yours faithfully,
Paul Mordecai Rosenberg
To the Editor:
The Tri-Town youth baseball and softball program would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Simoncelli Family for your recent donation to the league.
This May, the Stonybrook Men's Memorial Golf Tournament was played with the proceeds donated to our league in the memory of George Simoncelli. I had the pleasure to play in the tournament and it was a fantastic outing for a good cause.
Along with the $1,000.00 the Simoncelli's donated, we also received individual donations from both Chris Hill and Jon Torrant. Again, we could not be more grateful for all of your kind gestures. Please know that the funds that you have donated have been deposited into our special savings account that we have with Thomaston Savings Bank. These funds will soon be put to good use for special projects that will enhance the baseball and softball experience for the youth of our community.
Kind regards,
Brian Coffey, Treasurer
Tri-Town Youth Baseball and Softball
To the Editor:
Bantam lost one of its most talented sons yesterday with the passing of Joe Shaughnessy, after a long and debilitating illness. I first saw Joe perform around 1969 in a band led by Wink Wilson at the Cul de Sac. He was playing bass at the time. After that, he formed a group called the People of Tomorrow with Steve Gardner, Gerry Pesce, Alan Jeanfavre, and others.  I’ll never forget watching him sing Magic Carpet Ride through the side port of an EV 664 at the Sac.
I started playing with Joe when he and Steve were starting a new band with Al Cattey. They asked me to join them in 1970 if I would put a pickup on a violin. It was in this band, Dirty Al’s Blues Band, that Joe’s beautiful voice and tasteful guitar playing really started to develop. He could sing deep and soulful blues and wail on rockabilly tunes. He would sing psychedelic classics by Pearls Before Swine, and then transition into Country. In 1972, we formed the band Ol Croc, with Joe handling most of the vocal work, and a young guitarist from Torrington, Freddy Derwitsch playing lead guitar.
Anyone who remembers hearing Joe sing and play guitar with that band from 1972 to 1974 was treated to Joe at the peak of his singing ability. Alan, Al, and I continued to hook up with Joe over the years in various musical settings, and whether he was singing or joking around, he was always a joy to be with. We will miss him.
Jim Katzin
To the Editor:

On June 12, 2017, Litchfield Superior Court's Judge Danaher ruled in favor of the Litchfield Housing Trust (LHT) and Litchfield Inland Wetland Commission (IWC) settlement to approve eight affordable housing units on Rt. 202's Torrington Road. Three Litchfield residents intervened in the settlement and self-represented against two seasoned attorneys. The case lasted more than a year.

Court intervenors likewise intervened in IWC hearings that preceded court action.  In February 2016 IWC denied LHT's project, but the housing trust sued and one month later, IWC flipped to approve in executive session. So doing, IWC failed to notify intervenors about the proffered LHT settlement and executive session to discuss and vote on it.

CGS §4-181a states that agencies must notify intervenors of reconsideration meetings in contested cases.  Intervenors were not informed; however, Danaher ruled that intervenors ceased to be parties once IWC public hearings were closed and thus were not entitled to be included in the settlement process. Intervenor rights are unsettled law in Connecticut.  continued