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A summer of heat, a rape that wasn't and a Coast Guard museum that might

By David Collins

Publication: The Day

Published September 04. 2013 4:00AM

The Summer of 2013 might be best remembered for its long and sticky heat wave, a stubborn and unlikely combination of humidity, fog, high temperatures and the long absence of a classic summer breeze.

It was so miserable for so long in July that apparently people decided it was too hot to go to the beach. At least that is one conclusion you might draw from the attendance numbers at Rhode Island beaches, which declined more than 20 percent from the summer before.

Mayor Finizio in New London had a very good summer, apparently closing the deal on plans to build a $50 million National Coast Guard Museum on the waterfront in the heart of the downtown.

The New London City Council did not have a very good summer, getting bogged down by joining with the city police union in the dogged campaign, worse than the heat wave, suggesting that crime is out of control and the city is unsafe.

One city police officer who serves on the City Council went ahead and agreed to force the mayor to give the city police more police dogs, breaking a pledge not to vote on police matters.

It was the New London summer that might well be remembered for the shouted reports of a brutal rape downtown which, in the end, wasn't a rape at all.

New London Republicans didn't have a great summer, either. Scraping the barrel for City Council candidates, they ended up endorsing a Democrat.

The Republican-endorsed incumbent, whom the Democrats had jettisoned, Marie Friess-McSparran, a longtime cheerleader for the city police union, not only bought into the scare-people-away-from-the-city campaign, she wrote a letter to the editor this summer saying there is a crime "crisis."

I don't think Gov. Dannel Malloy had a very good summer, either, with the state budget continuing to bleed bad numbers and unemployment stuck on high. As the tough gubernatorial race ahead starts to heat up, though, Malloy might even begin to look fondly back at the more innocent Summer of 2013.

The casino Indians of eastern Connecticut didn't have a very good summer, watching slot revenues continue to fall in Connecticut while they were forced to raise the ante on their respective bids to build new casinos in Massachusetts.

Everyone seems glad to bet on the notion that the people of Massachusetts love to gamble. They may be right.

Pfizer continued its retreat from Connecticut this summer, this time clawing a building down, instead of selling it, so as to not have to pay taxes on it anymore.

It was the summer when the Navy totaled a nuclear submarine, saying the Miami was not worth the estimated $700 million it would take to repair the damage caused in a fire set by a worker.

Historically, when the Navy has lost a good ship, it's been from enemy fire.

This was the summer we learned Taylor Swift likes ice cream. Actually, ever since she bought a mansion in Watch Hill, we've been hearing endless reports and tweets about her forays into town.

The ice cream cone pictures stick in my memory anyway. What's better than watching thin celebrities eat ice cream in the place where you live?

It was the summer in which state Sen. Cathy Osten announced she will seek another term as Sprague's first selectwoman, having already cut the hours of her Republican opponent, who works at Town Hall, and laid off his son. Osten, who receives a state pension for her years working as a prison guard, evidently does not want to give up the two salaries she now receives for working in the General Assembly and Town Hall.

Connecticut College got a new president this summer, a native of Old Lyme. The city's three colleges will all now be run by women. That's a good omen, indeed.

Labor Day has come and gone. It is supposed to get comfortably cool this week.

In New London, some change might be coming.

The election this fall could seem like a welcome summer breeze during a July heat wave.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

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