Tom Condon

Tom Condon writes about urban and regional issues for the Mirror, including planning, transportation, land use, development and historic preservation. These were among his areas of interest in a 45-year career as a reporter, columnist and editorial writer for The Hartford Courant. Tom has won dozens of journalism and civic awards, and was elected to the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2016. He is a native of New London, a graduate of The University of Notre Dame and the University of Connecticut School of Law, and is a Vietnam veteran.

Recent Posts

New movie will revive painful lesson in how not to redevelop a city

It was a fiasco, one that gave Connecticut and one of its oldest cities a black eye. Now we get to relive it as a new film tells the story of Susette Kelo, a woman who gained national publicity for her years-long battle to save her beloved pink cottage in New London’s Fort Trumbull neighborhood from a major redevelopment project. Continue Reading →

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A proposal that could empower state’s metros

The Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth Thursday recommended giving regional councils of government or municipal consortiums an optional taxing power that would allow a new level of regional cooperation in the state. Third of three articles. Continue Reading →

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Amid fiscal perils, will the state embrace regionalism?

Facing years of projected state budget deficits, could a move toward metropolitan regions help save money and spur economic development, as advocates claim? What would a major step look like? And could any effort succeed against Connecticut’s long devotion to localism. First of three articles. Continue Reading →

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Bloody murder: Were teens wrongly convicted?

Shawn Henning and Ralph “Ricky” Birch, have been locked up since 1989 for a gruesome 1985 murder in New Milford they steadfastly insist they didn’t commit. The state’s case, never airtight to begin with, has diminished over the years as two prosecution witnesses have recanted, key defense testimony was uncovered, and DNA testing put an unknown person at the scene. Nonetheless, a state judge turned down their petition for a new trial last year, leaving the two with a slim chance of freedom. Continue Reading →

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Housing shift: More apartments, fewer McMansions

The market is changing. Families are smaller. Young people are happy, at least for a time, to rent an apartment in a walkable, interesting city or town center. Many Boomers are looking to downsize. And for a quarter century, state officials have been trying to inject more affordable housing into more communities. Continue Reading →

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Has regionalism’s time finally come?

While autonomous municipal government — home rule — is the norm and likely to remain so, regional cooperation has been inching ahead. Now with the state and several large cities facing severe fiscal challenges, mayors such as Hartford’s Luke Bronin and others, including the state’s major municipal advocacy group, are pushing for more regional sharing. Continue Reading →

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Plan for XL Center to test value of entertainment

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is backing $250 million in bonding to make the aged XL Center in Hartford “look and feel like an entirely new building.” Intended primarily as a venue for UConn sports, chatter about the possibility of the return of major league hockey picked up last week when Malloy and Mayor Luke Bronin issued a long-shot invitation to the NHL’s New York Islanders to play there. Whether the transformation moves ahead is now up to the General Assembly. Continue Reading →

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Little Derby has a big plan

In 2003 the city demolished a row of 19th century brick buildings along Main Street to make way for a major development that never happened, leaving a vacant 19-acre site with little more than a rusting grain elevator. Now city officials hope to create a new neighborhood “that will put Derby on the map.” Continue Reading →

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Movement to complete state’s trails gaining momentum

For more than two decades, most of the new multi-use trails built in the state were almost entirely the work of local volunteers. In the past five years, however, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his transportation commissioner, James Redeker, have turned that narrative on its head. The state is now including non-motorized trails in its planning efforts and making major investments in them. Continue Reading →

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Bottling plant a wake-up call on state water

For decades, Connecticut residents have taken water for granted. But approval of a water bottling plant in Bloomfield, the coming of the state’s worst drought since the 1960s, and several other water controversies in recent years have put the spotlight on both the state’s lack of an overall water plan and questions about the transparency and accountability of the Metropolitan District Commission, the Hartford region’s big water and sewer agency. Continue Reading →

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