Thank You To Our Veterans

Why is there a Memorial Day? This is a question not often asked because Memorial Day has come to symbolize the “official” start of summer. Many Americans take the holiday for granted and do not fully appreciate the deeper, true significance of it. There is more to it than just a day off from work or a day of parades and marching bands. Let’s a take a moment to remind ourselves about why there is a Memorial Day.  

The holiday began after the Civil War to remember those who fell in battle. It was initially called Decoration Day because gravesites of the many fallen Union soldiers were decorated, usually with flags, as a sign of remembrance. It was not until 1967 that the holiday was officially called Memorial Day.   In 1968, Congress moved the holiday from May 30th to the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day holiday weekend. Congress in the same single fell swoop also created the three-day holiday weekends of Veterans Day, Washington’s Birthday, and Columbus Day, through legislation blandly named the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.  

Memorial Day and Veterans Day are the only two holidays during which America officially honor our veterans. However, every day should be a day for us to remember not only those who have served our country over the years and generations, but also those who are doing so right now. This is always poignant because Americans are stationed across our country and around the world, in places familiar and unfamiliar, friendly and unfriendly, near and far.  

Our veterans and soldiers may not ask for recognition. Those with whom I have talked are incredibly humble and rightfully proud. We may know little about what they have done and are doing as we focus on our own busy lives. But, this does not diminish the gratitude we owe them. Whether or not we agree with each and every military policy or action, surely we all agree that we must support the men and women in uniform who voluntarily stand on sentry (there is no mandatory draft, after all) to protect us from those who continuously intend us harm. Our world is full of challenges and there are people who seek to harm us. Wise diplomacy can do only so much. It must be coupled with a strong defense.  

Think about how precious our liberty is and how many people elsewhere do not have it. We are free and safe to vote in elections. Even when the results are uncertain (the Presidential elections of 1800, 1824, 1876, and 2000, for examples) or protested (2000 and 2016, for examples), they are not settled by tanks in the streets or a military coups d’etat, but, rather, by lawmakers and people following the Constitution and the law even if they disagree with it and argue about it. That is democracy.  

We enjoy the freedoms to express our own individual religious beliefs, to speak our own minds, and to gather with others in places of our own choosing. How often we take for granted the rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. But, as history has shown, and current world events remind us every day, freedom does not exist by itself. If left unguarded, it falls prey to enemies domestic and foreign, and is lost. Relying only upon economic, diplomatic, or moral strength is not enough to safeguard liberty. Our security requires people to defend it at all times. That is why we have a military. Not to commit acts of aggression, but to perform acts of protection. The simple, yet powerful, question to ask ourselves is, “if we do not defend ourselves, then who will?”  

Some people do so by fighting against civil injustice. Some people do so by holding government accountable and responsible. Some people do so through community service. And, other people do so by serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.  

President George Washington cautioned us in his Farewell Address to avoid foreign entanglements, but he also noted that it costs our country less to prepare for danger than to be drawn into these events after they have been sprung upon us. President Teddy Roosevelt advised us to “speak softly, but carry a big stick”.  

Memorial Day is more than just a sole reminder of the high cost liberty and security exact. It is also a reminder that a civil society is neither civil nor a society if there are only some rights and opportunities for some people, some of the time. Every day is a day for us to do something to protect our democracy, our communities, and our families. We all must do our part to keep strong all of our rights, liberties, and security for all citizens, all of the time.  

For those veterans who are passed on – you are remembered. For those veterans who are among us and for those who are serving now – thank you.




Jeff serves on the Planning & Zoning Commission
in Woodstock, CT.  He was elected in 2007
and was re-elected in 2011 and 2015,
each time with strong community support.
For the past 9-1/2 years, Jeff has been the
Commission's Chair, re-elected annually by
                    his fellow Commissioners.                       


Jeff was honored to be the
    178th President of the
    CT State Medical Society.
    It was the first time in over 30 years that
    a doctor from northeast CT was the President.
    During Jeff's time as President, many things
were accomplished: increased membership;
    improved financials; strengthened county
    medical associations; the state's first active
    health information exchange; proactive
    response to the opioid crisis; strong patient
    advocacy; and meaningful support for
     doctors to navigate the challenging times.


Improving our kids' education

Jeff serves on the Board of the Woodstock Education Foundation, a non-profit staffed by community members who volunteer their time to raise money for the K-8 Woodstock public schools.  Each year, a lot of money is raised and a growing list of education programs is supported by education grants.  Teachers and administrators apply for grants.  Jeff is the Foundation's Secretary and is chair of its Governance & Policy Committee.  Jeff also serves on the Grants Review Committee.  The Woodstock Education Foundation does wonderful things.  Thank you to everyone in the community who supports the work that it does.  The Foundation's mission is simple: do what can be done to add to the educational experience of our public schools kids.  



Supporting agriculture

Jeff serves on the Board of the Woodstock Agricultural Society and is the current Treasurer.  

Helping local businesses and economic development

Jeff's work Woodstock's Planning & Zoning Commission involves making zoning regulations make good and reasonable sense for local businesses.  he is a member of the Woodstock Business Association and the Northeasr CT Chamber of Commerce.

Consulting opportunities

Jeff provides independent consulting work on medical-legal cases.  Jeff has more than 18 years of direct, in-hospital and office-based patient care experience. Jeff is Board certified in adult Hematology (blood diseases/disorders) and adult Medical Oncology (cancer). Jeff also has many years of experience in hospital medical staff leadership, quality care, and peer review.  Jeff is a former member of Connecticut's Medical Examining Board.  Jeff's years of experience with non-profit organizations help him to help others regarding bylaws and organizational policies.

Writing articles to keep you informed

Jeff writes articles on various, timely topics.  Thank you to the Villager Newspapers for publishing them.


It is Earth Day

April 22nd, 2018


Woodstock Planning & Zoning Meeting Last Night

April 6th, 2018

A good and productive meeting last night of the Commission's Regulations Review Subcommittee.  We discussed reasonable, common sense uses of set aside land in residential subdivisions.  Things like agriculture, recreation, sustainable timber harvest, and wildlife habitat and land preservation.  if land is to be set aside, then there can be ways to allow it to be used for good purposes.

Rep. Esty Must Resign

April 6th, 2018

Representative Esty should practice what she preaches.  I agree with the Hartford Courant's clear and strong editorial that Rep. Esty should resign.  I do not agree that we should accept only that she will finish her term in office and not run for re-election.  I said so in my letter to the Editor in today's Hartford Courant.  This is not a political issue.  Rep. Esty says that she is a victim of the process.  Shame on her.  The real victim was not protected by her, but the "bad actor" was protected by her.  How can you give someone like that a god job recommendation?  How can you let that person stay on the job for three months?  How can you use tax payer money for a severance payment?  Rep. Esty, you did not do what was right before.  You should do what is right now and step down now.  You do not need a House ethics investigation to know what to do.  It is interesting that many state Democrat politicians are silent on the issue or not doing what is right and asking Rep. Esty to resign.  Some are however.  But, Governor Malloy, Lt. Governor Wyman, Rep. Courtney, Rep. DeLauro, Rep. Larson, rep. Himes, Sen. Murphy, and Sen. Blumenthal are not.  They should do what is right and ask Rep. Esty to resign now.      

A Good Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting

February 15th, 2018

A good meeting tonight of Woodstock's Planning & Zoning Commission.  Good progress made improving our town's sign regulations.  Another review of the Land Use Fee Ordinance showed it is not overcharging people for permits and not undercharging for the legitimate work town government does reviewing permit applications.  Also, moving forward on making the Land Use Fee Ordinance work better for people.

Economic Development

February 5th, 2018

I spent last night meeting with Woodstock's Economic Development Commission (EDC).  We discussed ways the Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC) and the EDC can work together.  Good talk about ways to encourage appropriate economic development and tax base diversity for our community.  The PZC has been doing a lot for economic development and agriculture support, while maintaining the rural character of Woodstock.  More work to do.  Good to see the EDC is up and running.  Thank you to the EDC members for volunteering to serve our community.

6 more weeks of winter?!

February 2nd, 2018

Groundhog Day.  Phil in Punxsutawney (PA) and Scramble the Duck in Eastford (CT) both predicted 6 more weeks of winter.  Looked like Scramble was having more fun this morning than Phil.  At least Chuckles IX in Manchester (CT) predicted an early spring.  Let's hope that Chuckles is correct/

Jeff elected as Treasurer of the Woodstock Agricultural Society

January 23rd, 2018

I enjoyed attending the Agricultural Society's annual meeting.  The reading of the annual meeting minutes from 100 years ago was quite interesting.  Amazing how long the Agricultural Society has been in existence and all of the Woodstock fairs that have been held over the years.  Thank you to my fellow Board Directors for electing me as the new Treasurer of the Society.       

MLK Jr Day

January 15th, 2018

On this day that we celebrate the work of MLK Jr. and of many others, we are all reminded of the work left to do.  Reading the "I have a dream" speech is one thing.  Hearing it is another thing.  Seeing people live it and striving to do better because of it is a special thing.

Jeff re-elected Chair of Woodstock's Planning & Zoning Commission

December 21st, 2017

The Commission at its December 21st, 2017, meeting, re-elected Jeff as the Commission Chair and also as the Chair of its Regulations Review Subcommittee.  Jeff has been honored to serve as the Commission's Chair for the past 9 years.  "I enjoy the work, not just as a Commissioner, but also as the Commission Chair, facilitating the Commission's work, working with my fellow Commissioners, and doing the work that needs to be done for people in the community."  Congratulations to Dotti Durst (Secretary) and Fred Rich (Vice-Chair), who were re-elected by the Commission.

Planning & Zoning Commission continues work on updating sign regulations for Woodstock

December 21st, 2017

The Commission held tonight another public meeting on how best to update Woodstock's sign regulations.  This ongoing work is in 3 parts.  First, bring the sign regulations into compliance with U.S. Supreme Court ruling about content-neutral municipal sign regulations.  Second, decide if to allow internally lit, exterior, businesses signs.  Third, decide how to allow a reasonable number and size of business signs.  An additional item is how to allow window business signs.  A lot of meaningful work has been accomplished and more work is to be done.

Jeff continues as Chair of CTHealthLink, the state's first health information exchange.

September 28th, 2017

During Jeff's time as Connecticut State Medical Society President, the CTHealthLink was started.  This is the state's first health information exchange.  It is a meaningful effort to bridge the gaps that exist among various hospitals and medical offices, here in CT and elsewhere in the U.S.  Now, more than ever, a seamless way for doctors and other medical providers to access patient care records in real time, in the hospital or in the office, is needed.  CTHealthLink does not use any taxpayer money, unlike the State of Connecticut's effort to duplicate the work already being done by CTHealthLink (and CT spending millions of $ of money it does not have). CTHealthLink also will allow hospitals and medical offices to meet the growing requiements of quality care and outcomes data reporting, as well as provide proactive cybersecurity  CTHealthLink is an exciting program - find out more about it. 

Jeff finishes term as Connecticut State Medical Society President

September 28th, 2017

Jeff ended his term as the 178th President.  It was an action-packed and challenging year, on the state and national level.  "I am proud of the work that I did, leading a team of many people, to do what was needed to advocate strongly for patient care and for the medical profession."  At the end of Jeff's time as President, it was noted that the state medical society had more members, was in an improved financial position, and had a stronger bond with its affiliated county medical societies and other medical professional organizations.  Additionally, efforts were strengthened to help small medical practices that are facing many challenges to keep their doors open to help their patients.  Overall, it was another legislative successful year for the state medical society.

CT Mirror interview about the Affordable Care Act

August 20th, 2017

Jeff talked about fixing, not repealing without replacing, the Affordable Care Act.  During his time as CT State Medical Society President, this topic was much discussed.  Read the interview to find out more.


August 15th, 2017

Thank you to Olivia Richman at the Villager Newspapers for a wonderful article about Woodstock's Planning and Zoning Commission's Community Conversation about the town's Subdivision Open Space goals.

August 3rd, 2017   

Woodstock’s Planning & Zoning Commission held a Community Conversation about residential subdivision open space.  This is a BIG issue in town.  A lot of people attended the Conversation.  I gave a presentation about the topic, and then listened to what people had to say.  After the meeting ended, I had a lot of helpful information and ideas to ponder.


A lot is going on around the country with protests and counter-protests.

Here is an article on civility that I wrote:

Where Is American Democracy Going To?