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written for The New York Times

SCIENTISTS who have been studying the sudden decline of the lobster population in Long Island Sound in 1999 are still months away from releasing their findings, but they said they have narrowed down the likely causes.

For the first time, lab tests prove what has long been suspected, that a pesticide used to kill mosquitoes also kills lobsters. Scientists don't know what the concentration of the pesticide actually was in the Sound when the lobsters died and whether it was high enough to be fatal, but under laboratory conditions, lobsters died after the chemical was added to their...

written for The New York Times

AS soon as beach season started, I set out on an odyssey to test the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling that municipal beaches must be open to the public, not just to residents. In the family van, my two daughters and I sought out beaches from Greenwich to Madison. Our plan was just to ask if we could use the beach and see what happened.

What we found was a system that was both restrictive and human. As the Supreme Court ordered last year, towns have indeed made their beaches public, but the prices are so high and the rules about buying passes so awkward that much of the Connecticut...

written for The Hartford Courant

One Monday at 12:55 p.m., I parked my car and walked inside a McDonald's on a busy stretch of Route 1 in Groton. Exactly five minutes later, I returned with a Big Mac and small Coke.

At 1:02 p.m., I began timing a blue Toyota Corolla that had just pulled behind eight cars in the drive-through line. After creeping forward, the driver placed her order at 1:04. Around 1:08, she was third in line when another woman walked in front of the line to retrieve a forgotten drink at the pick-up window. At 1:10, the Corolla driver pulled up to the window, and at 1:11, exactly nine minutes...

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