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

Despite naysayers, Larson won’t bury the tunnel idea

Aerial photograph of Hartford from the 2016 National Agriculture Imagery Program.

Two years ago, U.S. Rep. John B. Larson stunned many in Connecticut with an idea to build a system of highway tunnels under Hartford and East Hartford longer than Boston’s “Big Dig.”
Reactions to his plan ran from “brilliant and necessary” to “the mother of all pipe dreams,” but Larson plowed ahead and asked state Department of Transportation officials to study the tunnel idea. They did. In an analysis released in September, DOT traffic engineers said, in effect, that they don’t think it will work. Undeterred, Larson convened two forums on tunnels in the past two months, one featuring business and civic leaders from Seattle, which is replacing an aging highway viaduct with a tunnel, and another with a national tunneling expert. So, does Connecticut cue Big Bertha and start drilling, or not? Continue Reading →

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The electric car comes of age, right when we need it

Imagine you’re mired in heavy traffic on I-95 on a steamy summer day, with plenty of time to study the car ahead of you. Something puzzles you about it, but you’re not sure what. After staring for a long minute, you realize — aha — that it has no tailpipe. It is an electric car. You are tailing a Tesla. If you’ve not yet had this experience, you soon will. Continue Reading →

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Eat my dust, Maserati

Disabuse yourself of the notion, if your entertain it, that electric cars are elaborate golf carts that can barely get out of their own way. That is not the case, by a long shot. I took a short spin in a Tesla Model 3, driving through the streets of West Hartford and on I-84. I now see why people like Teslas. Continue Reading →

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The electric car comes of age, right when we need it

Imagine you’re mired in heavy traffic on I-95 on a steamy summer day, with plenty of time to study the car ahead of you. Something puzzles you about it, but you’re not sure what. After staring for a long minute, you realize — aha — that it has no tailpipe. You are tailing a Tesla — an electric car. If you’ve not yet had this experience, you soon will. Continue Reading →

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Hayes wins ground-breaking victory for 5th District nomination

Jahana Hayes, the political novice whose compelling life story drew national attention, soundly defeated former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman Tuesday for the Democratic nomination to represent Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District. Continue Reading →

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How to stop squeezing nonprofits and their clients

The task for caring for society’s most vulnerable citizens was first taken on by churches, then by towns, and now primarily by the state. So how can the state maintain its commitment to those with developmental disabilities, mental health or addiction issues and other conditions in difficult budgetary times? There are ideas out there… Continue Reading →

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After years of cuts, nonprofits struggle to survive

The term “nonprofit organization” may well be misleading. Some might think nonprofits aren’t really businesses. Ah, but they are; indeed, some are large, intricate and highly regulated businesses. Like for-profit businesses, they need revenue to execute their missions. When that revenue falls off, they must make creative and/or hard-nosed business decisions. Continue Reading →

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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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