Sunday, April 30, 2017

CT Residents Still Pay Highest Taxes Nationwide and Getting Worse!


Connecticut Residents Still Have the Heaviest Tax
Burden in the United States... and it's Getting Worse.

According to the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan tax research group, Connecticut continues to have the latest “Tax Freedom Day” of any state in the nation. Tax Freedom Day is the day each year when the average citizen has made enough money to pay their combined local, state and federal tax bills.

With the highest tax burden per capita of any state in the nation, it’s no wonder our Tax Freedom Day comes later than any other state: May 21. We don't under-tax, we over-spend!

Incredibly, there are still those who believe Connecticut residents are not paying enough in taxes, and think YOU should be paying even more.

As a result of our state government's insatiable appetite for spending, the state budget is perpetually in crisis, with a $3,700,000,000.00 deficit projected for the upcoming budget cycle.

Until we stop spending so much money, create a stable tax and regulatory landscape and stop passing legislation that fuels Connecticut’s anti-business climate, our state will continue to suffer from a lagging economy and shrinking workforce.  

I will continue to work hard this session to convince the Democrats that raising taxes on the people and businesses of this state will not lift us out of this fiscal crisis. We need to cut unnecessary government spending and oppressive regulations to retain and attract business and grow jobs.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at or (800) 842-1423.


Doug Dubitsky

47th District - Canterbury, Chaplin, Franklin, Hampton, Lebanon, Lisbon, Norwich, Scotland, and Sprague.

State Rep. Doug Dubitsky
800-842-1423 (Toll Free)
860-240-8700 (Local)

Guilford Savings Bank Supports Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries with "Green for Greens"

(front row, l to r) Guilford Saving Bank Branch Manager,
Dave Carswell, SSKP Board Member Rick Westbrook,
SSKP Executive Director, Patty Dowling, and Guilford
Saving Bank Community Development Officer, Lisa La Monte.
(Back row, l to r) Guilford Saving Bank Assistant Branch Manager,
 Sandra Miller, and Guilford Saving Bank tellers Ryan Donovan
and Brandy Reilly.
Guilford Savings Bank has awarded a $4,000 grant to Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries to purchase fresh produce for needy residents of the shoreline. The grant, called “Green for Greens”, helps assure that local families who come to SSKP’s food pantries will be provided with fresh fruit and vegetables, in addition to non-perishable foods.

Lisa LeMonte, Marketing and Community Development Officer at Guilford Savings Bank, shared, I know I speak for everyone at GSB when I say how proud we are to provide “Green for Greens” that allows The Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries to supplement their budget with funds to purchase additional fresh produce.”

“The support of Guilford Savings Bank and their generous “Green for Greens” is truly a gift to those we serve at our 5 food pantries.  We all know the feeling of eating a fresh crisp apple, or finding a banana in our lunch bag when we are hungry midday.  Because of GSB, those in need will share in that feeling, and on behalf of those we serve, I sincerely thank Guilford Savings Bank for their commitment to providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director.

About The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries
Founded 28 years ago, The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving the Connecticut shoreline towns of Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook and Deep River.

About Guilford Savings Bank
GSB has been serving the financial needs of the Connecticut shoreline for over 140 years.  Recently named the #1 Community Bank in Connecticut, it is the premier relationship bank, providing banking, lending, wealth management and life insurance solutions for personal, small business and commercial customers. For more information visit

In Middlefield: Celebrating – and Recruiting - CT Volunteer Firefighters

Celebrating – and Recruiting - CT Volunteer Firefighters

Sen. Len Suzio and Rep. Emil “Buddy” Altobello on Apr. 23 joined with local officials in Middlefield to mark Volunteer Firefighter Day in Connecticut. The event helped to kick off National Volunteer Week to spread the word about the need for more volunteer firefighters and other department personnel.  Volunteer Firefighter Day is part of Everyday Hero CT, a program dedicated to increasing the number of volunteer firefighters throughout the state. A partnership of the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Everyday Hero CT campaign is a two-year Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS) initiative designed to address the shortage of volunteer firefighters in Connecticut. Interested volunteers can visit or call 1-800-Fire-Line.

Attached photo, left to right:  Rep Emil “Buddy” Altobello, Sen. Len Suzio, Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Tyc, Middlefield First Selectman Ed Bailey, Killingworth Volunteer Fire Co. Retired Chief and VWS Program Manager Fred Dudek, Killingworth Volunteer Fire Co. member Erin Bowman, and Middlefield Volunteer Fire Co. member Ken Wilson.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Roots in Ripon - One Nation, Under God . . .

Roots in Ripon
Chuck Roots
24 April 2017

This past Thursday Isaura and I attended the San Juaquin County 26th Annual Leadership Prayer Breakfast as guests of Susan Vander Schaaf. This event brings together the leadership of the entirety of San Joaquin County. Having attended a number of times in the past, I am always heartened by the emphasis on prayer for those in leadership across our great land, right down to local public officials and first responders.

          This gathering of concerned citizens brings in several hundred people on a Thursday at 6:00am where prayer is the primary focus. There is always a featured speaker, and this year was no different. Joshua Charles is a concert pianist, a best-selling author, an accomplished historian, and is earning his law degree at the Regent University School of Law. “In his book, The World’s Most Important Book, Joshua examines how the Bible has greatly impacted many areas of human life, from art, to music, to government, healthcare, and works of compassion. No book (referring to the Bible) has exerted greater influence.” (taken from the program pamphlet). He has authored a second book, entitled, Liberty’s Secrets: The Lost Wisdom of America’s Founders. I picked up a copy of this book, and am anxious to get started on it, especially because Joshua Charles has done a thorough job of researching his topic as evidenced by the talk he gave. And this man is only twenty-nine years old!

This Week's "American Political Zone"

The American Political Zone - A Political Commentary on Current Events

One of the best political discussion programs you can find, our hosts possess a vast knowledge of current affairs and they share this with us in a lively and interesting fashion.
Featuring Daria Novak, 2nd District Congressional Candidate and President of the Institute for American Politics, and Frank Vernuccio, New York Analysis Policyand Government, The American Political Zone is a regular feature in the Middletown Insider.

Shoreline Republicans Stand in Support of Balanced, No-Tax-Increase Republican Budget Proposal

House and Senate Republicans presented a united front today  (April 27th) when unveiling a proposed state budget that boosts education spending, protects core services, and closes projected deficits without pushing the burden on hospitals and municipalities. The proposal is a balanced budget that does not raise taxes and adheres to the state spending cap.

Representatives Devin Carney (R-23), Jesse MacLachlan (R-35), Robert Siegrist (R-36) and Senator Art Linares (R-33) said the proposed budget provides a blueprint for restoring confidence in Connecticut by creating predictability and showing that legislators are ready to produce spending plans that live within the state’s means. 

Sen. Linares, who serves as Co-Chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, said his constituents have told him that Connecticut needs smaller, more responsible government and that senior citizens have complained that taxes keep rising while they live on a fixed income. Many seniors say they can no longer afford to line in Connecticut.

“I am proud to say that this budget provides relief for middle class seniors by eliminating the income tax on Social Security income below $75,000 and phasing out the tax on pension and annuity income for most residents,” Sen. Linares said. “We also propose mandate relief to help towns manage their budgets and identify savings.

“By creating a balanced budget that reduces spending and does not raise taxes, we are putting Connecticut on a path of fiscal responsibility that will bring back business and jobs,” he said.
Rep. Carney said the proposed budget provides vision for dealing with the state’s present problems, as well as how to navigate for future prosperity.

“Connecticut is in a dire fiscal crisis,” noted Carney the ranking member of the Transportation Committee. “Year-over-year of reckless spending has left the taxpayers of this state burdened and struggling to maintain their livelihood. Spending without restraint and an anti-business climate has made it nearly impossible for Connecticut residents and businesses to survive – let alone thrive. I stand with my Republican colleagues in the General Assembly as I believe that we have drafted a plan that seeks to enact the long-term changes we need to move Connecticut forward in a more prosperous direction.”  

Rep Siegrist said the proposed Republican budget shows that House and Senate Republicans have learned from the mistakes of past budgets. 

“Uncontrollable spending habits followed by two of the highest tax increases our state has ever seen and anti-business policies have left us further in the hole. Our jobs and economy have remained stagnant,” said Rep. Siegrist a member of the Insurance, Public Safety, and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. “We need to change course. I stand by my colleagues in the House and Senate in support of leading our state in a path toward fiscal health.”

Rep. MacLachlan said the budget shows that Republican legislators are ready to responsibly deal with the state’s problems.

“During this volatile fiscal climate, it is imperative that the legislature adopt a budget that will restore confidence in Connecticut’s economy,” said Rep. MacLachlan a member of the Transportation, Banking and Executive Nominations Committees. “We are showing, yet again, a pathway forward without the need for taxes or tolls. My House and Senate Republican colleagues are ready to lead and ready to solve our state’s fiscal crisis.”

Other Budget Highlights include:
  • Consolidations of state agencies
  • Restores funding for senior Meals-On-Wheels programs
  • Eliminates taxpayer funded campaigns
  • Restores funding for Care4Kids
  • Mandatory Approval of labor contracts by the General Assembly
  • Requires $700 million in union concessions
  • Cancels bonding $250 million for the XL Center
  • Enact a constitutional Transportation Lockbox
  • Phases out the income tax on pensions and annuity income
  • Exempts social security from income tax for middle income seniors

Suzio, Altobello Lead Lake Beseck Invasive Species Discussion

Sen. Suzio, Rep. Altobello Discuss Solutions to Lake Beseck Invasive Species

Sen. Len Suzio (at left) and Rep. Emil “Buddy” Altobello (not pictured) convened an Apr. 20 meeting at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to discuss solutions to the invasive species problem at Lake Beseck.  Middlefield First Selectman Ed Bailey, Lake Beseck Association President Amy Poturnicki, and representatives from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were among the meeting’s attendees.  Suzio and Altobello thanked Middlefield officials for making the trip to the State Capitol complex to advocate for Lake Beseck and said they would continue to do all they can to expedite long-term improvements at the lake.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Rep. Dubitsky - Sprague Coffee Hours Apr. 29th

We Should do no Lesser Than Matt

File photo, original source unknown
I am happy to hear that Matt Lesser is moving up in the world of politics. He has proven himself to be a champion of election reforms that even a playing field currently tilted in favor of large contributions. His work in the House includes successes, and works in progress that I am concerned could suffer from his absence.

Efforts to sunset the failed approach of the Drug War, sold to us under the guise of a health issue that it never improved, and was likely not designed to achieve, are still an unfinished campaign. Undefining people as criminals for acts that merit treatment as patients are streamers to be added to our colors in the battle for human dignity and equal treatment under the law, an indivisible pair of tenets that are, together, a cornerstone of the health and wellness of our society, as a whole.

A standard is the extension of the standard bearer, and Matt has been that for as long he has served in the State House. He has earned our support in his pursuit of higher office, and deserves relief of his role leading the fight for causes that, while unfulfilled, are the undertakings of a benevolent leader. We are obliged to assure that the baton of Matt Lesser is passed, and carried across the finish line, put in site by the strides he has taken so far.

A guest submission from:
John Kilian, RN

And Justice for All - “Qualifications! We don’t need no stinkin’ qualifications!”

Image from
And Justice For All

“Qualifications!  We don’t need no stinkin’qualifications!” 

Issue # 48                                                                                                              Opinions Of A Citizen
April 25, 2017                                                                                                                     John Milardo

Editor's note:  This opinion piece updated and corrected by the author.

And Justice for All is a newsletter involving my opinions, views, and commentary as a lifelong Middletown resident.  As my capacity as a former employee and staunch Labor Leader of City of Middletown Unions (retired with 42 years of service), I have a different perspective of how and why public figures do what they do.

Well, well, well.  Public requests are now officially dead in Middletown.  Your opinions and demands mean nothing to our elected officials.  Time of death was on Monday, April 3, 2017 at 7:00pm, Eastern Standard Time.

Cause of death: The Common Councils approval of Mayor Daniel T. Drew’s nominee, Joseph Samolis, a non-qualified individual, as the Director of the Planning, Zoning & Conservation Department for the City Middletown.

The general consensus of everyone was that the nominee --- and I cannot say applicant as he never applied for the job --- did not hold any of the minimum qualifications for the position.  Joe is Mayor Dan Drew’s Administrative Assistant, which is a political appointment job, and not considered a City employee. 

How people described Joe was that he is a “nice guy”.  I must digress for a minute as I reflect on my own public service career for the citizens of Middletown.  There was this one time, when a person called me a “nice guy”.  How stupid I was not to ask then Mayor Thomas Serra to make me the Director of a department!!  Back to the present.  So the unqualified “nice guy” is going to be more of a public relations/office manager for the PZ&C Department?  That’s what it sounds like to me.  Councilman Gerry Daley and the Mayor stated they will hire a person who is a true City Planner with all the proper qualifications for the department to compensate for Samolis not having any.  That means, Mr. Unqualified Nice Guy, who does not have the minimum qualifications gets to keep the $130K+ per year Director salary, and the citizens will be on the lamb for another $150+ worth of salary and benefits for an additional real Planner.  We didn’t get fleeced, we got slaughtered!!  If this were an election year, this appointment would have never gone through.  Bring back two (2) year terms!!  Too bad if the Council member’s feel there is too much of a burden with a two (2) year term.

Russell Library - May Schedule of Events

Russell Library
Russell Library Hours for May 2017
Russell Library, 123 Broad St. in Middletown has hours: Mondays 10am – 6pm; Tuesdays 10am – 8pm; Wednesdays 1pm – 8pm; Thursdays 10am – 8pm; Fridays 10am – 6pm; Saturdays 10am - 2pm. The library is closed Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day.  
All library programs are free of charge.


Independent Day School Exhibit
In the lobby case throughout May. Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. This exhibit from the Independent Day School in Middlefield includes clay pieces from students in kindergarten through eighth grade completed under the guidance of IDS art teacher Madeleine Smith.  

Middletown Summer Hoopfest Exhibit
In the lobby and alcove galleries. Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. In celebration of the upcoming Tenth Annual Middletown Summer Hoopfest, an exhibit of photos from the nine previous years will be decorating the lobby and alcove galleries. The photos, all taken by photographer Tony Donovan, show basketball at its best. Producers Malik Pemberton and Tony Donovan have collected many memories over the years. The outdoor tournament has included players from all over Connecticut. Each year many players return, some older players becoming role models for the younger ones. On May 20th Russell Library and the Middletown Summer Hoopfest will host a reception in the lobby of the library. All are welcome.

World War I Poster Exhibits
Throughout May, Second floor galleries. In order to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I, Russell Library presents a collection of original posters from the library’s collection.
Food Will Win the War brings together a variety of food conservation posters from the library’s collection featuring images that persuaded, informed, and inspired Americans to eat less, garden more, and preserve the bounty from their gardens to help win the war.


The Russell Writers’ Online Forum.  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

South Fire District 2017-2018 Budget Approved

South fire District Chief Rob Ross announced that the 2017-2018 budget was approved by South Fire District residents, with 396 votes in favor and 327 opposed.

I don't know what the population in that district is, but it is many thousands more than the 723 voters who bothered to come out and vote.  This is a shame.  So many, in fact everyone, in the district is effected by the budget, yet so many don't bother to come to the poll for the few minutes it takes to cast a ballot.

There are many voters in the district who think that, because they are tenants, this does not effect them.  They are wrong.  Taxes are a cost of doing business and are passed on to the consumer, in this case tenants, in the form of higher rents.

So, get off your goddam lazy asses, learn the issues and cast an informed ballot!

Circophony's Circus Indivisible in Middletown Friday & Saturday

Circophony Teen Circus debuts its newest show, Circus Indivisible, this Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29, at Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown. Performances are Friday at 7 pm and Saturday at 2 pm and 7 pm.

Circus Indivisible features 14 seasoned teen performers who juggle, perform acrobatics on stilts, fly through the air, ride unicycles, dance, balance on ladders and engage the audience in an exciting new circus about making connections and appreciating differences. The Company’s Roman Ladders begin as walls that divide people, become bridges that bring them together, and ultimately emerge as ladders which take everyone higher.

Circophony, now in its sixth season, is a collaboration between ARTFARM and Oddfellows Playhouse. Directed by ARTFARM Circus artists Dic Wheeler and Allison McDermott (who both also perform in ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet and Isaac Newton’s Little Apple Circus), Circophony offers year-round circus training for teenagers in central Connecticut. Each winter auditions are held for Circophony’s Traveling Company, and a select group of experienced teen performers develop a new show which debuts at the Playhouse and is then available to tour throughout May and June. This year’s show is Circus Indivisible.

For tickets, go to Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, or $20 per family.

To bring Circophony to your venue this Spring, contact

119 Highland Ave
Middletown, CT 06457

Theater. Simple Living. Activism.

Connecticut is Not Broke… It is Broken: Opinion by Rep. Rob Sampson


As long as I have been in office, I have tried to use the opportunity to keep my constituents connected with what happens at the State Capitol and vice versa. I have also done my best to be honest about my efforts and intentions as well as those of my colleagues, including those with whom I disagree.  I want to help restore the trust citizens are entitled to have in their elected officials and to elevate political discourse, now sunk to a near-toxic level.

One of the things I am known to point to is the way we conduct ourselves in Hartford. Though we bring vastly different perspectives to the Capitol, we debate politely and respectfully, and often find common ground many would assume is impossible.  Recently, however, I have watched the dialogue take a sharp turn for the worse and for the brazenly political.

Legislative Democrats have seen their numbers decline from a supermajority of 114-37 in 2010 to 79-72 today, only three elections later. Given complete control of both the executive and legislative branches, they imposed the state’s two largest tax increases in history and doubled our annual bonded indebtedness.  Now we face yet another behemoth of a budget deficit.  Democrat demand—already coming from the Speaker of the House—for yet another tax hike is likely to cause even more Democrat losses and bring a Republican majority in the General Assembly.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Coming soon!

The Middletown Insider will soon be returning with a vengeance. Watch for articles in the near future exposing incompetence and corruption at many levels of our city government! As Douglas MacArthur once said, "I shall return!"

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Sigh of Relief Premature

Thumbs Up Smiley Face Hehehehahahah Pinterest SmileyFor those who might utter a sigh of relief at the news of my departure: You haven't heard the last of me!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Senator Hwang: “Please join me: Community Diversity Conversation 7 p.m. Tues., Apr. 25 at U. of Bridgeport


Welcome "Ditto Dan" Drew, the Dems new Frontrunner


Have you heard the news?  Dan Malloy is not running for re-election!  He's leaving the spot of Democrat Frontrunner open for his carbon copy, Ditto Dan Drew!

Don't be fooled by this new Dan, he's a CARBON COPY of Dan Malloy, supporting:
We'd like to welcome Ditto Dan to face any one of our qualified candidates for Governor - we are proud to say our candidates all stand for fiscal responsibility and will continue to work for middle-class families across the state.

Sign this welcome card and let Ditto Dan know you're against his liberal extremist agenda and will stand in solidarity with Republican principles.

Paid for by the Connecticut Republican Party.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology - The Biggest Birding Event of the Year!


The biggest birding event of the year is almost here — BIG DAY 2017!

Big Day is a 24-hour, midnight-to-midnight birding blitz — and the Cornell Lab’s most important conservation science fundraiser of the year.

Every year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology sends a team of experts to identify as many bird species as possible in a 24-hour period to help raise awareness around bird conservation and raise funds to advance conservation science and research efforts at the Cornell Lab.

On May 13, 2017, the Lab’s birding Dream Team, the Sapsuckers, will reach for an audacious goal: finding 300 bird species in just 24 hours - and raising $475,000. Can they do it?!?

For the first time in its 34-year history, Team Sapsucker will travel to the Yucatán Peninsula, a destination so rich in birdlife that they will divide into three teams to cover it all. The Sapsuckers’ Team Belize, Team Guatemala, and Team Mexico will join forces with local birders in a quest to find the most bird species and raise funds for conservation.

Watch this video of Team Captain, Chris Wood, as he explains the importance of Big Day and how you can participate.
Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 12.36.44 PM.png

I hope you will join us on our birding adventure!
Many thanks,
Jessica Cassidy Sig sm.jpg
Jessica Cassidy
Director of Membership and Annual Giving
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology   159 Sapsucker Woods Rd.    Ithaca,  NY   14850

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dear Resident of the South Fire District,

For your review is the proposed budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. This budget will be voted on next Tuesday, April 25, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the South Fire District.

This budget was set by the Fire Commission after our annual series of budget workshops. The fire commissioners made an effort to ensure that the budget was carefully and cautiously composed. This budget is as lean as possible while ensuring the normal contractual growth was not overlooked. We believe the budget as it stands meets the funding levels to ensure we can continue to provide critical core fire, rescue, EMS, Haz-mat, code enforcement and fire prevention services to the residents of the district.

We, like the city officials, took into our consideration the volatility and unpredictability of the state revenues. We used a great deal of caution ensuring a safe and less reckless approach to the application of state revenue streams to the budget. We have made every possible effort to look for ways to cut cost, buy efficiently, track spending trends and eliminate any expense possible.

We hope that you will come and participate in the vote next Tuesday. If you have any questions on the budget or the fire district please do not hesitate to contact me.

Robert J. Ross
South Fire District
445 Randolph Road
Middletown, CT 06457

South Fire District, An Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer

Oath Keepers - HuffPo Hoax Says Much about 'Progressive' Media's Subversive Goals

By David Codrea
Even though the article turned out to be a hoax, don't think for a minute it doesn't express the sentiments and goals of those who published it.

"White Men And The Vote: Why We Took The Blog Down," The Huffington Post admits in a contrived mea culpa written less as an apology  for journalistic malpractice than an exercise in finger-pointing and excuse-making. Huffington Post SA has removed the blog 'Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?' published on our site on April 13, 2017."


South Africa. Nothing like adding a more fuel to an already volatile situation.
Why did they take it down?
Bottom line: It wasn't for moral reasons, like it might inspire more violence, terror and misery. The simple truth is, they got punked. The author of the article wasn't a real leftist spouting the requisite subversive and hateful inanities. It was a setup, an intentionally outrageous submission from a fake contributor who succeeded in appealing to HuffPo's elitist strain of privileged "progressivism" and getting the piece published in a forum that would reach the world.
They didn't take it down because they found the premise objectionable.  Any pretenses of self-righteousness and responsibility now being feigned are just that. If the whole thing hadn't proven an embarrassing fraud, they'd still be defending the author and the proposals, that:

"[A] denial of the franchise to white men, could see a redistribution of global assets to their rightful owners ... A period of twenty years without white men in the world's parliaments and voting booths will allow legislation to be passed which could see the world's wealth far more equitably shared."
"Gullible Huffington Post Falls for Hoax Article Calling for White Men to be Stripped of Voting Rights," HeatStreet reported. "They even crowed about how much traffic it was getting and mocked readers for complaining, before suddenly reversing their decision and deleting the post over the weekend."
That in itself is telling. As someone who has been blogging and writing internet articles for some time, I have experienced being hoaxed myself. No matter how much due diligence you engage in, it can still happen. But the important thing is, you don't then try to erase the past, at least if you're honest. You admit where you erred but don't try to hide it. After all, the whole point behind all of this is to discern the truth. Unless you have an agenda where truth is an inconvenience to be supplanted by historical revisionism (SOP for collectivists)...
 To read more, or make a comment on this post, GO HERE

.If you believe in the mission of Oath Keepers, to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, please consider making a donation to support our work.   You can donate HERE.
Oath Keepers | Email | Website

Friday, April 21, 2017

Anti-Hunters Trying to Stop Bear Hunting Again this Year

NRA-ILA: Institute for Legislative ActionThis is a heads up to hunters who  believe that bear hunting should be restored in Florida.  As you can see from the article below (reprinted with permission) the anti-hunting groups are gearing up to continue their fight to stop bear hunting again this year. 

If you support bear hunting, the next Co
mmission meeting when the bear hunting issue will come up is April 19, 2017, at the Florida Public Safety Institute, 85 Academy Drive, Havana, FL 32333.  The meeting will start at 8:30 am and the bear issue will fairly early on the agenda.
If you can't attend, you should send an email to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and urge them to have some back bone this year and stand up to the anti-hunters.

To have one email reach all of the commissioners use this email  address: 



THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, April 10, 2017.........  Florida game officials will get an update next wee
k on the state's growing black bear population, a discussion animal-rights supporters contend is a first step  toward holding a hunt later this year.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife  Conservation Commission staff update that will be presented April 19 at the  Florida Public Safety Institute in Havana --- northwest of Tallahassee ---  doesn't include "anything specific" about holding a bear hunt this year, said  Thomas Eason, director of the commission's habitat and species conservation  division.

"However, with that said, a t
all of the previous commission meetings recently, the public has come and talked about bear hunting," Eason said Monday. "We anticipate that likely will happen again, and our commissioners can always engage on that topic if they wish to do so."
Hunting backers have argued that a hunt is one way to manage bear populations and to reduce potentially dangerous bear-human interactions.

A one-page agenda item on 
bear management for the meeting says, "This presentation is for informational purposes and any direction the commission may want to provide staff."

Bear hunting has been a controvers
ial issue since the commission in 2015 allowed the first bear hunt in more than 20 years. The commission decided against holding a hunt in 2016.
mal-rights supporters consider such hunts as trophy excursions and question the agency's bear population numbers.

"The bear population is so fra
gmented, and there are so many bears hit by cars, we should be conserving them and helping connect the different subpopulations with safe passages over interstates and things like that," said Kate MacFall of the Humane Society of the United States. "Floridians don't want a hunt."

Chuck O'Neal of the
Seminole County group Speak Up Wekiva said that if the commission plans to start 2017 hunt discussions, it will happen at this month's meeting.

The commission meets quarterly, and  directions would have to be given at the meeting in Havana for staff to outline  a fall hunt --- from the days and locations to permit requirements --- that  could be voted on at 
a July meeting in the Kissimmee area and a late September  meeting in Okeechobee.

"They need to let wh
at they're doing take effect," said O'Neal, whose group was among those that went to court to try to stop the 2015 hunt in court. "The number of nuisance calls is down.It's well known the number of bear conflicts, where there is a result of injuries, is way down. It's working. There is no reason why they should even contemplate even having a hunt if what they're doing is working."

r 304 bears were killed in two days during the 2015 hunt, the commission narrowly rejected a hunt last year.  The decision was to give the agency more time to build a case for future hunts and to provide more time for non-lethal efforts to reduce human-bear conflicts to take hold.

The agency used money from t
he state and through fees paid for bear hunting permits in 2015 to spread $825,000 across 12 counties --- Seminole, Lake, Orange, Santa Rosa, Collier,Franklin, Gulf, Leon, Marion, Putnam, Volusia and Wakulla --- to increase the use of bear-proof trash containers.

Also, after the 2015 hunt, the 
agency completed a population estimate that raised the number of bears in the state from just over 3,000 to 4,350.

"A growing bear population is good
to see," Eason said. "A lot of us have worked hard to recover bears in Florida.They continue to do well, and that is why we are looking at all aspects of bear management."

The staff 
update comes as the number of bear-related calls has fallen from 6,688 in 2014 to 6,088 in 2015 and 5,132 last year, according to the state agency.

February, Eason advised state lawmakers that a number of factors could be involved in the reductions in calls: an abundance of natural foods that would make bears less likely to come into more-urban areas; work in 2015 and 2016 to relocate about 100 bears that were generating the most calls; and the impact of  a 2015 hunt and the public reaction to the hunt.

"There's been strong 
reaction to the bear hunt," Eason told members of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee. "We definitely get reports that people are not calling in when they maybe would have in the past."

Lopez, the Center for Biological Diversity's Florida director, noted that a recent Colorado Parks and Wildlife study found that an increase in bear-human conflicts was more a sign that the creatures adapted to urban expansion into their habitats rather than a growth in population.

"It supports our 
position that if the real reason for a hunt is to address a growing so-called problem bear population, hunting is not the correct tool to address that problem," Lopez said in an email.

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