Published November 27. 2013 4:00AM
We didn't really need the Connecticut Audubon Society to tell us last week that we are rich in wild turkeys around here, the region around New London being one of the top 10 turkey towns in the state, based on bird counts.
Anyone who follows New London politics knows it's a good place for turkeys.
Still, it's that unique time of year when it's good to love your turkeys, even some of the political ones, and, of course, to give thanks.
And this year, it seems we have a lot to be thankful for, other than the obvious: an improving but still struggling economy with better jobs numbers and a real estate market that seems to have shaken off the worst of the recession doldrums.
In fact, it's hard to keep track of all the good news around here lately.
In no particular order, some of the things that come to mind include a fall without hurricanes and a "new" New London City Council, one maybe with even more lovable turkeys.
We can give thanks for the recent successful relaunching of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan, a national landmark that is now almost as sound, maybe more so, than when it was first built in New Bedford. The Morgan also has its first new captain in decades and when it gets under way next year, for a New England voyage, the first stop will be New London, once a capital of New England whaling.
An even more exciting commemoration of the region's seagoing heritage is coming, and the entire state can be thankful for the successful launching of a campaign to bring a National Coast Guard Museum to New London's downtown waterfront.
The region's casino tribes have taken a beating in Massachusetts, where voters have a dimmer view of having casinos in their towns than many people expected. The good news, though, is that there is a recall effort under way to put a question on the ballot for repealing the Massachusetts casino gambling law, so that no casinos would be built there after all.
Shutting off that new casino competition from the north would be good economic news that people around here could be thankful for.
In New London, everyone can be thankful for a new center for the homeless. We should all be grateful to those who have made it happen, for enriching the lives of the people who will use it and improving the community where they live.
The people of New London, as always, can be thankful for the professional and hardworking men and women in uniform who patrol and help keep their city safe. Everyone can also be thankful for the newest crime statistics that show the city is growing even safer.
I guess we can all be thankful the Google barge is gone. There was something vaguely creepy about a secret barge built by a company that is busy keeping track of everything we do.
MGM Grand is almost gone, too, with the licensing agreement with the Mashantucket Pequots ending. That could also go on a list of things to be thankful for, if you prefer your gambling, or other commerce for that matter, branded locally.
I would rather see a Foxwoods on the Vegas strip than MGM on Route 2.
We can all be thankful that Connecticut has its own affordable health care website, with complete access to a new range of health care options for state residents.
We can be very thankful, too, that the federal government shutdown is over. Maybe voters across the country are offended enough by the politics of brinkmanship to vote for change.
Not everyone will agree, but some of us are also thankful this Thanksgiving that the U.S. Senate has changed its rules and is prepared to jump start some important stalled business, that more reform might be coming and the country could start moving again, with more up or down votes, majority rules.
This is the opinion of David Collins