Make internet accessible
It is now axiomatic that community access to computer and Internet technology is a crucial resource for connecting people to the information and skills they need in an increasingly digital world. The fact is that no fewer than a dozen neighborhoods in Hamden do not have access to broadband Internet access, according to FCC data.
Making this resource accessible to all school students is no less important to their educations than providing them books and transportation to school. Our community can accomplish this at almost no cost with installation of mesh nets. Using low cost, off-the-shelf hardware and open-source software, mesh nets are independent, nonprofit wireless networks in which each node, such as a phone or wireless router, relays the connection onward to the next node. This structure can be deployed over areas in size from a couple of houses to entire apartment buildings and blocks.
Hundreds of cities and towns across the country have established mesh nets to provide internet access to residents who would not otherwise have access. Most recently, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit, New York City, Portland, Oregon, Hoboken, St. Louis, Houston, Seattle, Santa Fe, Oakland and Ypsilanti have brought the internet to tens of thousands of people using mesh nets.
Until the digital age becomes part of the national infrastructure, like electricity and running water, Hamden owes it to its students, and its posterity, to undertake this initiative.
I read the other day an article where Salman Hamid, the Republican candidate for mayor, proposed a memorial wall for pet owners interested in keeping the memory of their pets alive. By purchasing a brick in the wall honoring their pet, they were also providing for the maintenance and upkeep of the facility. Everyone benefitted, the pet owners, sheltered animals, and the taxpayers. I ran into Mr. Hamid while he was campaigning and told him that I thought the proposal was a good one.
He then told me about another one of his ideas where he would ask local landscaping companies to adopt a ballfield. He would then allow the landscapers to advertise the fact that they would be caring for the ballfield for the season. He would publish guidelines that would be used for judging the parks in a contest for originality, beauty and quality of care. At the end of the season, he would provide an award and publicity for the best ballpark. He indicated that the ballplayers would benefit from the beautification effort and condition of the fields, the taxpayers would benefit at no cost to them and the landscapers would benefit from free advertising and promotion providing as well as an opportunity to showcase their work.
I said this is too good to be true, wouldn’t the unions object? He suggested that there is already and existing partnership between town residents who volunteer their time on the Clean and Green commission and the unions who would normally clean up after an event such as the summer concert series. He would fashion a similar agreement related to the ballpark scenario.
I thought to myself, this guy has some great ideas, maybe it is time for a change. He has my vote!
I met Chris Vega at my front door a couple summers ago as he canvased for signatures to run back then. Though he did not achieve this goal at that time, he never gave up on his endeavors to unite our community. When we met I was impressed by his intent to do good for Hamden, his enthusiasm is infectious. He listened intently to my concerns and my efforts to make Hamden a thriving, nurturing, safe community for my family. He supports this outlook and has the vision to implement a new inclusive direction for the Hamden Plains neighborhood. Chris strives to bring our community together creating a better life for our families and neighbors. He loves his community and has hosted many events showing his dedication. He has a fresh down to earth approach to interacting with the community and is truly endearing. He not only puts his innovative ideals into action he invokes others to support him as needed. He inspired me to become more involved. Chris’ ability to support and uplift makes him the kind of leader that will enhance Hamden’s Second District. I am ever grateful for my connection with Chris Vega and his beautiful family.
For these reasons it is my privilege to write this endorsement of Chris Vega for Hamden Town Council.
Mrs. Stacey Hampton
Hamden Democratic Town Committee
Jesus was a Liberal
Why do people put down Liberals — what’s wrong with accepting all people for what they are? I’m not a very religious person, but I do talk to my God daily. I ask him to help with my health — to protect my family — and help make me a better person. Making me a better person is an ongoing battle and I take 2 steps forward and 1 backwards daily, but I keep trying. I’m getting better at being good because I’m older and don’t have the energy to get in trouble, but I ask God to keep me from judging people — that’s the trick.
Whether a person is black, brown, Muslim, Jewish or straight or gay — is it possible that they are good people? The new Pope accepts everyone and doesn’t judge anyone. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all tried to live by that standard? I know that it’s very hard and I’m not saying I’m perfect at it or even good at it — but at least I try most of the time.
We are not perfect; all we can do is try — and ask our own God to help us — and he will, I promise.
John A. Fortuna