1) SAVE YOURSELF
Triple-digit heat and news feeds full of horrible things made the last couple of days lousy ones to spend indoors or out. It also would have made it easy to miss hearing about a Milford, CT Driver's depraved vehicular assault on a cyclist. This past week, 20-year-old Louis A. Melfi III, having reportedly verbally threatened and knocked down a bicyclist with his car, then reversing toward the man again, crushing his bicycle, was arrested and slapped on the wrist with a paltry $500 bail and evading responsibility and reckless driving charges.
Think about that.
From a minimal blurb about this case, I'm hearing an assault using deadly force, multiple counts of threatening by TWO people including a death threat, violation of the three-foot passing law and destruction of property. From the charges and the paltry fire-sale bail, it sounds more like a lousy driver who pulled a stupid and took off. That sounds astoundingly and irresponsibly inadequate. Would someone who deliberately fired a gun at someone's head TWICE but merely grazed their ear be let off so easily? Would the person who shouted, "FIRE!" to the shooter face no repercussions whatsoever? If so, remind me to stay the hell out of Milford. I feel safer in Hartford. It sounds like the Milford Police consider a person to be less than a person when they climb on a bicycle. Shameful. If this angers you, one of the things you can do is support Bike Walk Connecticut's efforts to protect vulnerable users. Advocacy is the more positive and attainable goal than, say, crushing Mr. Melfi's car with a monster truck (though, in theory, if you did so without being reckless or fleeing the scene, Milford Police might not charge you at all!)
2) SAVE THE FERRIES
The historic Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry, hobbled by reduced hours of operation, is being dangled over the chopping block by Governor Malloy along with the Chester-Hadlyme ferry. The ferry is the nicest way I know for a bicyclist to get across the Connecticut River, and it connects two especially nice areas to ride to boot. The threatened Aug. 25 closing of the ferries would be a sad day, indeed. If you'd like to get involved and informed, there will be a Save The Ferry Roundtable this very Monday, July 25th at 7 PM at the Welles Turner Memorial Library, 2407 Main Street, Glastonbury, CT.
3) SAVE CEDAR MOUNTAIN
As mentioned previously in this space, Cedar Mountain in Newington is threatened by the Toll Brothers' desire to replace natural settings with shoddily-built McMansions and condos. Your next opportunity to speak your mind about this affront is this coming Wednesday, July 27. The turnout at last week's Conservation Committee meeting was weak, so please take some time this Wednesday evening to be seen (I seem to recall organizers suggesting that supporters wear green) and heard. Newington Town Hall is at 131 Cedar Street, Newington, CT. Meeting is called to order at 7 PM.