- FUN FEATURES
Do you have e-Edition Questions? Click Here to find your answers.
It should be an interesting week as Town Manager Michael Milone will release his budget tomorrow. What's inside, only he knows. Everyone will have an eye on the education budget. The Board of Education chose to keep Superintendent of Schools Dr. Greg Florio's 5.09 percent increase request intact when it forwarded the school district budget on to Milone. Will the Town Manager follow suit? Usually, whatever the BOE requests is sent on to the Town Council with few changes, however, most years the Board makes anywhere from minor to significant reductions to the superintendent's request before sending it forward. Could their decision to hold off on suggested cuts prompt Milone to take any action? We will see.
Here are a couple of other interesting notes:
*Former defense attorney for Steven Hayes, Thomas Ullmann, will be speaking at Jewish Community Center this month as a part of a new series called Perspectives. The title of his lecture will be “Why Zealous Representation was Essential in the Cheshire Case.” Ullmann, no doubt, is going to talk in general terms about the need to defend those who many believe are indefensible. One expects he will talk about high-minded principles like presumption of innocence and every man deserving a vigorous defense, ideas with which few, if any, will argue.
However, it is unlikely Ullmann will get specific about the way in which he decided to approach his vigorous defense. It is one thing to defend your client to the fullest. Yet, Ullmann routinely went beyond that line.
To defend his client, Ullmann put everyone and everything other than Hayes on trial. He successfully delayed the initial jury selection process by suggesting that the infirmary in which Hayes was sent to recover after a botched suicide attempt was in deplorable shape. The judge ruled otherwise, finding the facility perfectly acceptable. Then, Ullmann and the rest of his defense team threatened to quit the case if Hayes were allowed to plead guilty, somehow suggesting that their client shouldn't have the right to change his own plea.
It was also obvious that Ullmann was far more interested in trying the very idea of capital punishment rather than fight to prove his client should be spared from it.
But nothing was as deplorable as Ullmann's decision to attack Dr. William Petit during the trial, at one point publically chastising the lone survivor of his client's depravity for holding what he called “daily press conferences” outside the courthouse and deliberately trying to influence the jury pool (could one blame him if he was?). He also commented that he found Petit's interaction with the media “offensive” and further embarrassed himself by pulling the race card, suggesting that if Hayes were black or Hispanic rather than white, there would have been no media attention and a life sentence would have been sought.
Ullmann can pretend that he was a pillar of legal righteousness, standing up for a client on the basis of the law, but he cannot hide from the facts. Ullmann went well beyond vigorous defense several times during the Hayes trial, and helped soil the already sullied reputation of defense attorneys even further.
*This week, Cheshire High School student Hasher Nisar will be spending the week in Washington, D.C., as Connecticut's representative to the U.S. Senate Youth Program. Want to know how he is doing? Check out his blog at http://hnisar.tumblr.com. Technology is a wonderful thing and, while it can feel as if blogs and Twitter are saturating the culture at an unhealthy level, one of the true benefits is bringing a person's individual experiences to life for anyone interested.
Hopefully, Nisar gets a full and broad view of Washington, D.C. and a glimpse behind the curtain, so the speak, to see how things really work.
*Last week, The Herald ran a story about how well the Wastewater Treatment Plant had held up despite rain and melting snow. Well, a week later and things aren't so rosy. As you will read in the Herald tomorrow, the heavy Monday morning rain, combined with the melting snow piles left over from the harsh winter, all made for a difficult time earlier in the week, with some areas flooding and certain roads having to be partially closed. The fear, now, is that Thursday's expected storm, which could feature as much as two inches of rain, could strain the plant to serious levels.
What does it prove?
It proves that, despite good planning and proper investment, no one can either predict or completely prepare for what mother nature has in store.