Fight for Fairfield grad’s sex abuse victims, rail plan skepticism, CT tennis future top weekend news

March 4, 2019 GMT

Broke, jailed, homeless and duped by crooks. It’s been a grim outcome for some of the 20 Haitain sexual assault victims involving a Fairfield University grad since sharing a $20 million settlement in 2013.

Advocates are now worried the more than 100 victims will face the same fate when they soon each receive a $250,000 payout.

In other news, some doubt Gov. Ned Lamont’s 30-30-30 Plan will become a reality for rail service from Hartford to New York.

Here are some stories you may have missed this weekend:

Advocates: Fairfield grad’s sex-abuse victims need more than payout

As more than 100 Haitian victims of the Project Pierre Toussaint sexual assault scandal — connected to a 1992 Fairfield University grad — will soon each receive a $250,000 payout, advocates are concerned they will be targeted by criminal groups, unscrupulous financial planners and other crooks. They point to the perils of the 23 victims who shared an initial $12 million settlement in 2013 as evidence.

Stamford to New York in 30 minutes: Pipedream or reality?

There are few details of Gov. Ned Lamont’s 30-30-30 Plan, but plenty of skepticism. The plan, which would conceivably reduce train time to 30 minutes from Hartford to New Haven, New Haven to Stamford, and Stamford to Grand Central Terminal, has received bipartisan support from legislators. But some are not so sure it will become a reality.

“It’s a beautiful dream,” said Jeff Maron, vice chairman of the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council. “People want it, it sounds great, but the reality is it’s not feasible.”

Court docs: Greenwich Boys’ Club leadership negligently ignored rampant sexual abuse

The leadership at the Greenwich Boys’ Club in the late 1970s and early 1980s knew a counselor was sexually abusing boys as young as 6 and did nothing to stop it, court documents say.

Five men now in their late 40s and early 50s have come forward in a lawsuit filed in state Superior Court in Stamford to say that Andrew Atkinson, who was affiliated with the Boys’ Club from 1975 through 1984, permanently damaged their lives through repeated sexual abuse when they were children.

Can the Connecticut Tennis Center in New Haven be saved?

The future of the Connecticut Tennis Center in New Haven remains uncertain after it was announced last month the professional women’s tournament will not return in August. The Connecticut Open sold its sanction on the WTA calendar, which it held since 1998. While some have suggested purchasing a smaller tournament, others like state Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said the neither the city nor the state should be in the sports tournament business.

Public housing: Once desired, now a decades-long decline in CT

Inadequate federal funding has forced local Public Housing Agencies to cultivate private partnerships to provide affordable housing. Results for tenants have been mixed. In November, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sent a directive to PHAs, instructing them to “reposition” their housing stock because the need outpaced the funding. This decrease has happened at varying rates in Connecticut municipalities.

Colin McEnroe: More than one dude must not abide by Lehman

Martin M. Looney, president pro tempore of the Senate since 2015, sent a message last week by sending forward Gov. Ned Lamont’s pick for commissioner of economic development and chief economic policy adviser, but warning that he may not support David Lehman when it’s time for the full Senate confirmation vote.

Walk Bridge debate focuses on river’s ‘navigable’ designation

Amid calls to scale back the Walk Bridge Project, Mayor Harry Rilling is holding his ground on the state-proposed, 240-foot vertical lift bridge design. Rilling said “a movable bridge is the most effective and least disruptive option” for Norwalk.

But opponents of the project, which was introduced in 2016 to replace the 122-year-old railroad bridge over Norwalk Harbor, are now saying it interferes with the harbor’s “navigable waterway” designation.