I wish to publicly acknowledge the help Rep. Themis Klarides’ office, particularly that of Administrative Assistant Jackie Bertolone, provided in helping me resolve long-standing problems with Access Health CT.

After months of frustration in dealing with Access Health’s awful website and phone calls with representatives who provided friendly, but contradicting information, I was at my wits end about how to ensure I was getting the health insurance I signed up for.

On the same day last week I called the offices of both of my representatives in Hartford and left detailed voice messages for Sen. Gayle Slossberg and Rep. Klarides hoping that they could put me in touch with the right person at Access Health that could do what needed to be done.

The next day I received a call from Jackie Bertolone with instructions to send her a synopsis of the issues I was experiencing. Within hours of her forwarding my letter to her contact at Access Health, I received a phone call from someone at Access Health who assured me that the issues I was experiencing with my coverage had been resolved.

The bigger issue is why does this agency operate in such an inconsistent and inefficient manner? Who is in charge and who is responsible for making the changes necessary to make it function to properly serve the residents of the state?

I am appreciative of the opportunity to receive health insurance from the state of Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange.

However, there is no reason people should become “sick with worry” about their coverage while caught in a bureaucratic quagmire.

Within a few days, I should know if the promised solutions have been implemented. If not, I know who to call and who not to call.

— Andrew Danzig Woodbridge

On April 23, the day the New Haven Jewish community observed Holocaust Remembrance Day remembering the 6 million innocents who were murdered for no crime except for being Jewish, an event took place at Yale which was an insult to people of good will everywhere. Omar Barghouti, a founder of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction movement whose aim is the destruction of the Jewish state, was honored with a “peace” award at Yale.

The BDS movement’s ultimate goal, as many of its founders happily proclaim, is the elimination of Israel and thus the murder of another 6 million Jews. Honoring a man like Barghouti with a peace prize is not just insulting to the Jewish community but to all who care about peace in the Middle East and to all people who care about tolerance and history. Honoring such a man on Holocaust Remembrance Day is not just an ignorant oversight by some zealous Palestinian advocates but a repulsive show of anti-Semitism.

— Elaine Albom Braffman


The Israeli government’s policies towards Palestinians, and the behavior of some Israeli settlers, do not reflect the Jewish moral code by which I was raised. Rather, they mirror the actions of the oppressors of European Jewry particularly at the turn of the 20th century and in the 1940s: violent pogroms by Russian cossacks drove my grandparents to seek refuge in New Haven in 1905; during WWII, governments conducted roundups of Jews in all German-occupied territories, ghettoizing, deporting, and murdering until the allied countries prevailed.

My family celebrated the formation of the Jewish state in 1948, yet at that time and to this day Palestinians were forced from their land into refugee camps — ghettos — their rights and livelihoods severely curtailed, their lives continuously threatened and taken. The ironies are tragic: many descendants of European Jews have themselves become oppressors; having routed Palestinians and destroyed their homes, Israelis claim their own existence is threatened by those they have banished and marginalized.

My Jewish upbringing requires me to stand up and resist injustice, not to perpetrate it. I support BDS as a means to protest nonviolently. Speaking truth to power, so-called “fringe” groups like JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace) and PEP (Promoting Enduring Peace) recognize that only with equality for Palestinians — the other Semites — is a just, ethical and enduring peace possible.

— Susan Klein New Haven

For all the great work that the state of Connecticut did in rebuilding the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, it has failed miserably on the new bridge being built on the West Haven/New Haven border on Interstate 95. The engineers must have gone out and had a drink or 10 to celebrate when they sat down to do these designs. While Rome wasn’t built in a day, it certainly was built faster than this bridge is going up and it appears completion is quite a bit into the future. This contributes to backups running all the way to that new Pearl Harbor Bridge along Long Wharf heading toward New York and delays back to almost Milford heading toward Rhode Island.

The temporary entrance ramps in both directions allow you a few precious yards to merge into I-95 traffic, which depending on the time of day, is not an easy or safe process. It is funny how human nature is not quite so accommodating when you have been inching along in a bottleneck.

Also, this new design removed one of the greatest exit ramps on all of the abomination that is I-95. The old Exit 44 loop onto Kimberly Avenue, over the Kimberly Avenue Bridge and into West Haven, was a classic. It looks like 95 percent of that exit ramp is still there. The whole area, including the highway and surrounding streets, is an eternal logjam.

I believe the state of Connecticut needs to reassess what it is doing in this area and include the old Exit 44 in future plans. If need be, I am willing to offer my input over a couple, and only a couple, of cold ones.

— John Fraser Guilford