To the Editor:

It was a calm day in December in the middle of the morning, and the kids were at school. I was home working. My friend Scott, our electrician, was outside fixing some lights. He came inside. “Did you hear what happened?”

“What do you mean?”

“At the school.”

I went cold. “What school?”

He named an elementary school in the town 45 minutes from my house that has since become a household word. All I could think was, Not again. Please. Not again.

That was more than five years ago. By now my reaction has become hashtag-able, almost a cliche. I’ve sent donations to gun control and expand-mental-health-treatment groups. I’ve written to U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and to U.S. Rep. Jim Himes. My husband wrote to then-state Rep. Chris Murphy.

Three Wednesdays ago during the national student walkout after the Parkland, Florida, shooting, I went out on the patio with my dog. I stood by the chest that holds birdseed and charcoal briquettes and a Frisbee and a football and Wiffle ball equipment. I turned in the direction of Darien High School, where students were congregating in the courtyard. I got to my knees, and for 17 minutes — in honor of each of the 17 people who died at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018 — I prayed.

I wish I could tell you what I prayed for, exactly, while my dog sat in the sun: to keep children safe from gun violence in the inner cities; to keep them safe from mass school shootings and from random acts of murder in churches and in shopping centers. The day was bright. My memory has blurred. I do remember praying for us to find a way to help lost and angry, often young, men in our communities. Potential shooters. To help them change and find the goodness in their hearts.

Thoughts and prayers. They do more than we know. But are they enough? What will ever be enough? Saturday my eighth-grade daughter and I caught the 10:46 a.m. Metro-North train to join the March For Our Lives in New York. One picture I posted on Facebook after the march showed the backs of my daughter and me holding up our signs. Her sign said: “#Enough. We The People Should Never Have To Fear Going To School.” My sign said: “Love and Gun Reform. Reach Out to Troubled, Angry, Lonely People and Help Them Heal.”

The last photo in my post pictured the reverse side of my sign. Painted black, it showed the names, in white, of the children and adults who lost their lives on Dec. 14, 2012, during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. At the bottom of the sign letters in white spelled out: Newtown.

God bless the children.

Holly Russell

Darien

To the Editor:

The headline “Handler’s claims of Stamford successes under scrutiny” (news story, March 23) is the type of misguided headline that could destroy a candidate for governor who is well qualified and experienced, and has what it will take to get this state out of its financial mess.

Members of the public typically are bored or confused by public finance, other than the simple issue of whether taxes are going up. Gubernatorial candidate Mike Handler makes well-supported claims about how poorly Gov. Dan Malloy has managed public finance in Hartford as governor and in Stamford as mayor, and also makes well-supported claims about his own experience and actions that have contributed to the reasonably good financial condition of Stamford’s government during the current Democratic and immediately prior Republican administrations.

If, as the article suggests, Handler’s claims are true but are claimed by some to be exaggerated, it should be left for lame duck Gov. Malloy and the Democratic candidates running for governor to defend Malloy’s and the Democrats’ public finance record. After all, “true” means Handler’s claims are true overall.

It’s clear and virtually undisputed that Connecticut’s finances are in terrible shape; and that most of the problem is attributable to the politicians. And yes the politicians belong to both major political parties. Those politicians’ primary expertise has been to use smoke and mirrors to create short-term financial fixes that result in long-term quagmires.

So please leave the debate over Gov. Malloy’s track record , including his smoke and mirrors, to be left to Malloy and the politicians running for governor.

Lester Freundlich

Stamford

To the Editor:

I am the owner of North Haven Auto Body, and I can speak firsthand on the impact that technology is having on my business. New safety features such as automatic braking and collision avoidance are being built into even the most basic of models, something that will undoubtedly lead to lower accident rates in the future, which will directly impact my two companies. And my only thought is “Thank God.”

Automobile accidents are fourth leading cause of death in the world. If these new technologies save a single injury or death, I say bring it on. I will gladly get ready for the future knowing that we will need to adapt to thrive and survive.

But not everyone in our state is ready to embrace change. For those of you who may not have been paying close attention, Tesla - the electric car manufacturer that has been leading the charge against climate change - is trying now for the fourth year to gain the ability to sell its vehicles and other products here in Connecticut.

For a state that has been bleeding jobs and a government that remains caught in a permanent fiscal crisis, you may be asking what’s the problem here? Surely our elected leaders in the state Legislature wouldn’t stand in the way of a company that wants to invest its own money and create jobs?

For the past three years, Tesla has pushed for legislation that would allow this innovative company to invest millions of dollars of their own money and create hundreds of jobs without a single dollar from taxpayers.

And for the past three years, our Legislature has done exactly nothing to get this bill over the finish line. We have the chance this year to finally get this right.

As we deal with the last throws of winter, let’s send a message that Connecticut is still a place where innovation can thrive. Let’s pass HB 5310 and bring Connecticut into the 21st century.

Robert McSherry

North Haven