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It's ARION, not ARYAN

Friday, August 31, 2007
Time: 4:37 PM

There is a difference...
A Danbury-based choir group found that flyers for their appearance at New Milford's Oktoberfest shindig have been disappearing and initially thought it could be due to the fact that its name contains the world's most unfortunate homophone.

The lederhosen-clad Danbury Arion Singing Society is composed of residents of German descent but is named for Arion, a mythical Greek poet whose most notable feat was singing to some dolphins who whisked him away from bloodthirsty pirates. The group was founded in 1911—back when the unrelated term Aryan was just beginning to be kicked around in the fatherland by racial theorists who believed that they descended from the ancient Indo-Iranian people of the same name.

"It could be pranksters; it could be some people who mistake Arion for Aryan," says Gunther Bohnsack, vice president of the group and the chairman of Oktoberfest. He also suspects the Town of Bethel and State of Connecticut because the signs were placed on local roads and state highways. Bohnsack says that half of the signs have been swiped.

"The name has caused some problems in the past. "We've had some nasty phone calls and people usually calm down when we explain it to them," says Bohnsack.

You can see the choir do their thing at New Milford's Oktoberfest.

UPDATE 09.03.07: While I'm at the U.S. Open, you can read up on last weekend's Oktoberfest by clicking here.

CTNewsJunkie gets hitched


Time: 2:11 PM

On an off topic note, since I'm preparing to take off for the weekend, I want to send a big fat congrats to one of the hardest working online journalist in Connecticut.

Christine Stuart a.k.a CTNewsJunkie will be tying the knot this Saturday September 1st and I extend my best wishes to the couple.

If you want to learn about what's happening at the Capitol, give CTNewsJunkie a read.

A different look at the latest poll results


Time: 10:22 AM

On the advise of one of my readers, I wanted to see how my latest poll results stacked up against the total voter registration count in Danbury.

I took a trip down to City Hall and grabbed the latest voter registration summary (as of 8/29/07) and compared the percentage of registered voters against my poll results. Now the results from my poll aren't scientific but I did what I could to place restrictions on the survey (people could only vote once from the same computer).

One thing that strikes out in the comparison is that, although the margin of error in my poll results was quite high, the trend lines between the poll results and the voter registration are basically the same.



I was somewhat surprised that the number of readers on this site who answered the poll question, reflected the registration data from City Hall (based on the ratio, not the actual percentage). What does this all mean? Well, maybe something, maybe nothing. If anything, it's interesting to see that the readership is close to the voter registration data.

As we approach another semester at Western Connecticut State University, I'm planning to work with professors who work in statistics and see if we can come up with a more scientific poll for the public. I'm working on a list of questions now and hopefully, if all goes well, we'll have a report to share with everyone by October.

(thanks to 2nd ward reader for the idea and igpltcd for the graph tip)

Shameless plug: Hat City Entertainment

Thursday, August 30, 2007
Time: 1:19 PM

Since, I'm getting ready to leave for the U.S. Open for the weekend, and blogging will be a bit light over the holiday, I thought it's time for another shameless plug to another one of the many local sites in the area that I read on a regular basis, Hat City Entertainment.

First a small music history lesson in Danbury.

Back in the late 80s-early 90s, Danbury went through an indy musical explosion. While the West Coast area was turning out such idny musical act as Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc, Danbury had it's crop of musical talent that were making a name for themselves.

Acts like Monsterland, Creature Did, Hed, China Pig, the Bunnie Brains, and Gnu Fuz put Danbury on the map and thankfully, I was there to be a part of the madness (and yes, I actually video taped and photographed many of those bands and still have the footage. playing at such venues as TKs (Punk Rock Sundays) The Chicken Coop, Gotham City (now known as Cousin Larry's) these bands attracted a large following, which gave rise to Sonic Youth member Thurston Moore declaring Danbury as the "new Seattle" during a show at Tuxedo Junction.

If one band symbolized the high point and eventual downfall of the punk rock music scene of the 90s, it was Monsterland.

With Thom Monahan on bass, Greg Vegas on guitar, and "Swamp Thing" Chris Mitchell (1989-1991) and Todd Cronin (1991-1994) on drums, Monsterland were by far the best band in Danbury and their shows at TK's are still talked about to this day (as well as the Bunny Brains on Easter Sunday...but that's another twisted and wicked story.

Eventually, the group signed with a major label and released their first major album, and had their video (that featured Danbury's former historical landmarks such as the "Like" sign and the "Gas Ball") broadcasted on MTV (you can view the video by clicking here).

Unfortunately, the success was short-lived as the band broke up in 1994 and marked the slow and painful descent ofthe puck rock music scene in the area. The decline in popularity of punk/grunge music was accelerated with the death of such talented artists as Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon combined with the fact that people were just getting older and moving on with their lives.

For a while, the music scene moved from punk, to jazz and funk with such bands as Blue! and Fro backing in crowds at The Hat City Ale House, which brings me to my shameless plug for Hat City Entertainment.

The entertainment magazine is the brainchild of Blue! guitarist Pete Walrath and is the site to read for your music fix in Danbury. I remember Walrath playing on Wednesday Jazz night and it was evident early on that he would be the person who would do what he could to put Danbury back on the map. His magazine is moving beyond it's training wheel stage and into a amazing source for entertainment in this area.

Don't let anyone tell you that their is nothing to do in Danbury, just pick up a copy of the magazine, or view it online, and you'll see that theirs plenty of arts and entertainment in the area. Through Hat City Entertainment, I learned about open mic night and sub rosa at Cousin Larry's and was introduced to a whole new generation of raw talent that's staking their claim in the same place where I saw many of my favorite bands over ten years ago.

The magazine is working with City Center Danbury, which by the leadership of manager Andrea Gartner, doing what they can in making Danbury into a great music center. Give the site a read...you'll won't be disappointed.

As a side note: Gartner and Walrath were recently on the public access show Ideas at Work and Beyond discussing future musical plans for Danbury. If you missed the episode, you can view it online at the show's website.

Lieberman takes a pass on AG spot


Time: 10:51 AM

The thought was nice while it lasted.

TParty over at MLN has the details.

Katrina: A failure of leadership

Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Time: 4:37 PM


(On this week two years ago, I suspended blogging on this site in order to cover Hurricane Katrina and direct my readers to relief services where they can give donations.

As a person who was born in the South, I'll never the images of desperation on the faces of the victims of this tragedy, and the failure of leadership from the Bush administration. To mark this anniversary, here's a cross post I did today for ConnecticutBLOG)


Today marks the second anniversary of one of the darkest moments in America history, the hurricane Katrina and its deadly aftermath.

The failure of the Bush administration to grasp any sense of reality will always be cemented in the minds of those who were forced to endure the tragedy in the Gulf region. As a reminder of the horrible response from our government, here's a video highlight that outlines the missteps of President Bush and his staff.

Timeline (via Think Progress):

Friday, August 26

GOV. KATHLEEN BLANCO DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA [Office of the Governor]

GULF COAST STATES REQUEST TROOP ASSISTANCE FROM PENTAGON: At a 9/1 press conference, Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, commander, Joint Task Force Katrina, said that the Gulf States began the process of requesting additional forces on Friday, 8/26. [DOD]

Saturday, August 27

GOV. HALEY BARBOUR DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN MISSISSIPPI [Office of the Governor]

5AM CDT — KATRINA UPGRADED TO CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE [CNN]

GOV. BLANCO ASKS BUSH TO DECLARE FEDERAL STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA: “I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments, and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.” [Office of the Governor]

FEDERAL EMERGENCY DECLARED, DHS AND FEMA GIVEN FULL AUTHORITY TO RESPOND TO KATRINA: “Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.” [White House]


Sunday, August 28

2AM CDT — KATRINA UPGRADED TO CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE [CNN]

7AM CDT — KATRINA UPGRADED TO CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE [CNN]

MORNING — LOUISIANA NEWSPAPER SIGNALS LEVEES MAY GIVE: “Forecasters Fear Levees Won’t Hold Katrina”: “Forecasters feared Sunday afternoon that storm driven waters will lap over the New Orleans levees when monster Hurricane Katrina pushes past the Crescent City tomorrow.” [Lafayette Daily Advertiser]

nagin.jpg 9:30 AM CDT — MAYOR NAGIN ISSUES FIRST EVER MANDATORY EVACUATION OF NEW ORLEANS: “We’re facing the storm most of us have feared,” said Nagin. “This is going to be an unprecedented event.” [Times-Picayune]

AFTERNOON — BUSH, BROWN, CHERTOFF WARNED OF LEVEE FAILURE BY NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER DIRECTOR: Dr. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center: “‘We were briefing them way before landfall. … It’s not like this was a surprise. We had in the advisories that the levee could be topped.’” [Times-Picayune; St. Petersburg Times]

4PM CDT — NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES SPECIAL HURRICANE WARNING: In the event of a category 4 or 5 hit, “Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer. … At least one-half of well-constructed homes will have roof and wall failure. All gabled roofs will fail, leaving those homes severely damaged or destroyed. … Power outages will last for weeks. … Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards.” [National Weather Service]

LATE PM — REPORTS OF WATER TOPPLING OVER LEVEE: “Waves crashed atop the exercise path on the Lake Pontchartrain levee in Kenner early Monday as Katrina churned closer.” [Times-Picayune]

APPROXIMATELY 30,000 EVACUEES GATHER AT SUPERDOME WITH ROUGHLY 36 HOURS WORTH OF FOOD [Times-Picayune]

LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD REQUESTS 700 BUSES FROM FEMA FOR EVACUATIONS: FEMA sends only 100 buses. [Boston Globe]

Monday, August 29

7AM CDT — KATRINA MAKES LANDFALL AS A CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE [CNN]

7:30 AM CDT — BUSH ADMINISTRATION NOTIFIED OF THE LEVEE BREACH: The administration finds out that a levee in New Orleans was breached. On this day, 28 “government agencies, from local Louisiana parishes to the White House, [reported that] that New Orleans levees” were breached. [AP]

8AM CDT — MAYOR NAGIN REPORTS THAT WATER IS FLOWING OVER LEVEE: “I’ve gotten reports this morning that there is already water coming over some of the levee systems. In the lower ninth ward, we’ve had one of our pumping stations to stop operating, so we will have significant flooding, it is just a matter of how much.” [NBC’s “Today Show”]

11:13 AM CDT - WHITE HOUSE CIRCULATES INTERNAL MEMO ABOUT LEVEE BREACH: “Flooding is significant throughout the region and a levee in New Orleans has reportedly been breached sending 6-8 feet of water throughout the 9th ward area of the city.” [AP]

MORNING — BROWN WARNS BUSH ABOUT THE POTENTIAL DEVASTATION OF KATRINA: In a briefing, Brown warned Bush, “This is, to put it mildly, the big one, I think.” He also voiced concerns that the government may not have the capacity to “respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe” and that the Superdome was ill-equipped to be a refuge of last resort. [AP]

MORNING — MAYFIELD WARNS BUSH ABOUT THE TOPPING OF THE LEVEES: In the same briefing, Max Mayfield, National Hurricane Center Director, warns, “This is a category 5 hurricane, very similar to Hurricane Andrew in the maximum intensity, but there’s a big big difference. This hurricane is much larger than Andrew ever was. I also want to make absolutely clear to everyone that the greatest potential for large loss of lives is still in the coastal areas from the storm surge. … I don’t think anyone can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped or not, but there’s obviously a very very grave concern.” [AP]

MORNING — BUSH CALLS SECRETARY CHERTOFF TO DISCUSS IMMIGRATION: “I spoke to Mike Chertoff today — he’s the head of the Department of Homeland Security. I knew people would want me to discuss this issue [immigration], so we got us an airplane on — a telephone on Air Force One, so I called him. I said, are you working with the governor? He said, you bet we are.” [White House]

mccainbirthday.jpg MORNING — BUSH SHARES BIRTHDAY CAKE PHOTO-OP WITH SEN. JOHN MCCAIN [White House]

11AM CDT — MICHAEL BROWN FINALLY REQUESTS THAT DHS DISPATCH 1,000 EMPLOYEES TO REGION, GIVES THEM TWO DAYS TO ARRIVE: “Brown’s memo to Chertoff described Katrina as ‘this near catastrophic event’ but otherwise lacked any urgent language. The memo politely ended, ‘Thank you for your consideration in helping us to meet our responsibilities.’” [AP]

LATE MORNING — LEVEE BREACHED: “A large section of the vital 17th Street Canal levee, where it connects to the brand new ‘hurricane proof’ Old Hammond Highway bridge, gave way late Monday morning in Bucktown after Katrina’s fiercest winds were well north.” [Times-Picayune]

11AM CDT — BUSH VISITS ARIZONA RESORT TO PROMOTE MEDICARE DRUG BENEFIT: “This new bill I signed says, if you’re a senior and you like the way things are today, you’re in good shape, don’t change. But, by the way, there’s a lot of different options for you. And we’re here to talk about what that means to our seniors.” [White House]

4:30PM CDT — BUSH TRAVELS TO CALIFORNIA SENIOR CENTER TO DISCUSS MEDICARE DRUG BENEFIT: “We’ve got some folks up here who are concerned about their Social Security or Medicare. Joan Geist is with us. … I could tell — she was looking at me when I first walked in the room to meet her, she was wondering whether or not old George W. is going to take away her Social Security check.” [White House]

8PM CDT — RUMSFELD ATTENDS SAN DIEGO PADRES BASEBALL GAME: Rumsfeld “joined Padres President John Moores in the owner’s box…at Petco Park.” [Editor & Publisher]

8PM CDT — GOV. BLANCO AGAIN REQUESTS ASSISTANCE FROM BUSH: “Mr. President, we need your help. We need everything you’ve got.” [Newsweek]

LATE PM — BUSH GOES TO BED WITHOUT ACTING ON BLANCO’S REQUESTS [Newsweek]

Tuesday, August 30>

11AM CDT — BUSH SPEAKS ON IRAQ AT NAVAL BASE CORONADO [White House]

MIDDAY — CHERTOFF CLAIMS HE FINALLY BECOMES AWARE THAT LEVEE HAS FAILED: “It was on Tuesday that the levee–may have been overnight Monday to Tuesday–that the levee started to break. And it was midday Tuesday that I became aware of the fact that there was no possibility of plugging the gap and that essentially the lake was going to start to drain into the city.” But later reports note that the Bush administration learned of the levee breach on Aug. 29. [Meet the Press, 9/4/05; AP]

PENTAGON CLAIMS THERE ARE ENOUGH NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS IN REGION: “Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said the states have adequate National Guard units to handle the hurricane needs.” [WWL-TV]

MASS LOOTING REPORTED, SECURITY SHORTAGE CITED: “The looting is out of control. The French Quarter has been attacked,” Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson said. “We’re using exhausted, scarce police to control looting when they should be used for search and rescue while we still have people on rooftops.” [AP]

U.S.S. BATAAN SITS OFF SHORE, VIRTUALLY UNUSED: “The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore. The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents. But now the Bataan’s hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty.” [Chicago Tribune]

bushguitar.jpg2PM CDT — PRESIDENT BUSH PLAYS GUITAR WITH COUNTRY SINGER MARK WILLIS [AP]

BUSH RETURNS TO CRAWFORD FOR FINAL NIGHT OF VACATION [AP]

Wednesday, August 31

1:45AM CDT — FEMA REQUESTS AMBULANCES THAT DO NOT EXIST: “Almost 18 hours later, [FEMA] canceled the request for the ambulances because it turned out, as one FEMA employee put it, ‘the DOT doesn’t do ambulances.’” [Wall Street Journal]

11:20 AM CDT — FEMA STAFF WARNED BROWN THAT PEOPLE WERE DYING AT THE SUPERDOME: Three hours later, Brown’s press secretary wrote to colleagues complaining that Brown needed more time scheduled to eat at a restaurant: “He needs much more that (sic) 20 or 30 minutes. We now have traffic to encounter to go to and from a location of his choise (sic), followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc. Thank you.” [AP]

NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS ARRIVE IN LOUSIANA, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, AND FLORIDA: Troops arrive two days after they are requested. [Boston Globe]

superdome2.jpg TENS OF THOUSANDS TRAPPED IN SUPERDOME; CONDITIONS DETERIORATE: “A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered a restroom. Blood stained the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers. ‘We pee on the floor. We are like animals,’ said Taffany Smith, 25, as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. … By Wednesday, it had degenerated into horror. … At least two people, including a child, have been raped. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for. There is no sanitation. The stench is overwhelming.”" [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/05]

PRESIDENT BUSH FINALLY ORGANIZES TASK FORCE TO COORDINATE FEDERAL RESPONSE: Bush says on Tuesday he will “fly to Washington to begin work…with a task force that will coordinate the work of 14 federal agencies involved in the relief effort.” [New York Times, 8/31/05]

JEFFERSON PARISH EMERGENCY DIRECTOR SAYS FOOD AND WATER SUPPLY GONE: “Director Walter Maestri: FEMA and national agencies not delivering the help nearly as fast as it is needed.” [WWL-TV]

waterisrising22.jpg 80,000 BELIEVED STRANDED IN NEW ORLEANS: Former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy “estimated 80,000 were trapped in the flooded city and urged President Bush to send more troops.” [Reuters]

3,000 STRANDED AT CONVENTION CENTER WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER: “With 3,000 or more evacuees stranded at the convention center — and with no apparent contingency plan or authority to deal with them — collecting a body was no one’s priority. … Some had been at the convention center since Tuesday morning but had received no food, water or instructions.” [Times-Picayune]

PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY DECLARED FOR ENTIRE GULF COAST: “After a natural disaster, short and long-term medical problems can occur. Diseases like cholera, typhoid, hepatitis and mosquito-borne illnesses tend to break out under these conditions.” [WCBS-TV]

bushplane.jpg BUSH SURVEYS DAMAGE FROM AIR FORCE ONE: President Bush flew over New Orleans on Air Force One. “During the 35-minute tour, Bush clearly saw from his vantage point the damage to the football stadium in New Orleans as well as the flooded neighborhoods, wiped out bridges and slabs of foundations where houses used to stand.” [Fox News]

CHERTOFF “EXTREMELY PLEASED WITH THE RESPONSE” OF THE GOVERNMENT: “We are extremely pleased with the response that every element of the federal government, all of our federal partners, have made to this terrible tragedy.” [Department of Homeland Security]

EARLY AM — BLANCO AGAIN TRIES TO REQUEST HELP FROM BUSH: “She was transferred around the White House for a while until she ended up on the phone with Fran Townsend, the president’s Homeland Security adviser, who tried to reassure her but did not have many specifics. Hours later, Blanco called back and insisted on speaking to the president. When he came on the line, the governor recalled, “I just asked him for help, ‘whatever you have’.” She asked for 40,000 troops.” [Newsweek]

4PM CDT — BUSH GIVES FIRST MAJOR ADDRESS ON KATRINA: “Nothing about the president’s demeanor… — which seemed casual to the point of carelessness — suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis.” [New York Times]

7PM CDT — CONDOLEEZZA RICE TAKES IN A BROADWAY SHOW: “On Wednesday night, Secretary Rice was booed by some audience members at ‘Spamalot!, the Monty Python musical at the Shubert, when the lights went up after the performance.” [New York Post, 9/2/05]

8PM CDT — FEMA DIRECTOR BROWN CLAIMS SURPRISE OVER SIZE OF STORM: “I must say, this storm is much much bigger than anyone expected.” [CNN]

Thursday, September 1

7AM CDT — BUSH CLAIMS NO ONE EXPECTED LEVEES TO BREAK: “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” However, as former FEMA Director Michael Brown told CNN, “the president knew from our earlier conversations that that was one of my concerns, that the levees could actually breach.” [Situation Room, 3/2/06]

CONDOLEEZZA RICE VISITS U.S. OPEN: “Rice, [in New York] on three days’ vacation to shop and see the U.S. Open, hitting some balls with retired champ Monica Seles at the Indoor Tennis Club at Grand Central.” [New York Post]

STILL NO COMMAND AND CONTROL ESTABLISHED: Terry Ebbert, New Orleans Homeland Security Director: “This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can’t bail out the city of New Orleans.” [Fox News]

2PM CDT — MAYOR NAGIN ISSUES “DESPERATE SOS” TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: “This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the convention centre and don’t anticipate enough buses. We need buses. Currently the convention centre is unsanitary and unsafe and we’re running out of supplies.” [Guardian, 9/2/05]

2PM CDT — MICHAEL BROWN CLAIMS NOT TO HAVE HEARD OF REPORTS OF VIOLENCE: “I’ve had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they’re banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I’ve had no reports of that.” [CNN]

katrina7.jpgNEW ORLEANS “DESCEND[S] INTO ANARCHY”: “Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday. ‘This is a desperate SOS,’ the mayor said.” [AP]

CONDOLEEZZA RICE GOES SHOE SHOPPING: “Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we’ve confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo’s Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice’s timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, ‘How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!’” [Gawker]

MICHAEL BROWN FINALLY LEARNS OF EVACUEES IN CONVENTION CENTER: “We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need.” [CNN]

Friday, September 2

ROVE-LED CAMPAIGN TO BLAME LOCAL OFFICIALS BEGINS: “Under the command of President Bush’s two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan…to contain the political damage from the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.” President Bush’s comments from the Rose Garden Friday morning formed “the start of this campaign.” [New York Times, 9/5/05]

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES DEMAND THAT DHS TO PAY ATTENTION TO WORKER-SAFETY: “By Friday, experts and officials from NIH, the Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency began to make frantic calls to the Department of Homeland Security and members of Congress, demanding that the worker-safety portion of the national response plan be activated.” [Wall Street Journal]

EARLY AM — BUSH WATCHES DVD OF THE WEEK’S NEWSCASTS CREATED BY STAFF WHO THOUGHT BUSH “NEEDED TO SEE THE HORRIFIC REPORTS”: “The reality, say several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might displease the president, did not really sink in until Thursday night. Some White House staffers were watching the evening news and thought the president needed to see the horrific reports coming out of New Orleans. Counselor Bartlett made up a DVD of the newscasts so Bush could see them in their entirety as he flew down to the Gulf Coast the next morning on Air Force One.” [Newsweek]

10 AM CDT — PRESIDENT BUSH STAGES PHOTO-OP “BRIEFING”: Coast Guard helicopters and crew diverted to act as backdrop for President Bush’s photo-op.

10:35AM CDT — BUSH PRAISES MICHAEL BROWN: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” [White House, 9/2/05]

BUSH VISIT GROUNDS FOOD AID: “Three tons of food ready for delivery by air to refugees in St. Bernard Parish and on Algiers Point sat on the Crescent City Connection bridge Friday afternoon as air traffic was halted because of President Bush’s visit to New Orleans, officials said.” [Times-Picayune]

LEVEE REPAIR WORK ORCHESTRATED FOR PRESIDENT’S VISIT: Sen. Mary Landrieu, 9/3: “Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment.” [Sen. Mary Landrieu]

firefighters2.jpgBUSH USES 50 FIREFIGHTERS AS PROPS IN DISASTER AREA PHOTO-OP: A group of 1,000 firefighters convened in Atlanta to volunteer with the Katrina relief efforts. Of those, “a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew’s first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas.” [Salt Lake Tribune; Reuters]

12PM CDT — BUSH “SATISFIED WITH THE RESPONSE”: “I am satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with all the results.” [AP]

PM — FEMA’S NO. 2 OFFICIAL “IMPRESSED” WITH GOVERNMENT RESPONSE: “I am actually very impressed with the mobilization of man and machine to help our friends in this unfortunate area….I think it’s one of the most impressive search-and-rescue operations this country has ever conducted domestically.” [Time]

BUSH COMMENTS ON SEN. TRENT LOTT’S HOUSE: “Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott’s house — he’s lost his entire house — there’s going to be a fantastic house. And I’m looking forward to sitting on the porch.” Time called the remarks “astonishingly tone-deaf to the homeless black citizens still trapped in the postapocalyptic water world of New Orleans.” [White House; Time]

CONGRESS APPROVES INITIAL FUNDING: Congress quickly approves $10.5 billion in initial aid for rescue and relief efforts. [AP, 9/4/05]

Saturday, September 3

SENIOR BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL LIES TO WASHINGTON POST, CLAIMS GOV. BLANCO NEVER DECLARED STATE OF EMERGENCY: The Post reported in their Sunday edition “As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.” They were forced to issue a correction hours later. [Washington Post, 9/4/05]

9AM CDT — BUSH BLAMES STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS: “[T]he magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area that is larger than the size of Great Britain has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities. The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need.” [White House, 9/3/05]

8:05PM CDT — FEMA FINALIZES BUS REQUEST: “FEMA ended up modifying the number of buses it thought it needed to get the job done, until it settled on a final request of 1,335 buses at 8:05 p.m. on Sept. 3. The buses, though, trickled into New Orleans, with only a dozen or so arriving the first day.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/13/05]

kanye.jpg KANYE WEST TELLS AUDIENCE, “GEORGE BUSH DOESN’T CARE ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE.” [BBC, 9/3/05]

CHERTOFF CLAIMS THAT NO ONE COULD HAVE PREDICTED KATRINA: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argues that “government planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur.” However, scientists and others had warned of the possibility for years. [CNN, 9/5/05]


Wake me up when he's done talking...


Time: 10:56 AM

Later today, I'll explain who the man in the picture is and why he earned my "wake me up when he's done talking" award for the most long-winded speech in the history of public hearings at City Hall.

UPDATE: Scratch today, last night's public hearing lasted over two hours and I'm having a hell of a time compiling the footage. Let's shoot for tomorrow...

Upgrades

Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Time: 7:02 PM

Found a couple of problems with the site so I have to dig back into the god-awful CSS code and find out what's happening. For some reason, sometimes the comments link disappears when the site loads and it has something to do with me being a member of the old blogger network.

I've been thinking about tinkering with the code anyway since it's been a while since I've debugged this site. If you see things move all over the place, it's just me working things out so don't freak out and think you have a virus.

Thanks to you know who for finding the bug. Building a blog from scratch can be a real pain in the ass.

Lieberman for Attorney General?


Time: 2:10 PM

(Sorry folks, I'm off the local beat for the day. There seems to be some buzzing about George Bush's favorite Democrat senator that's music to my ears. This is a crosspost from ConnecticutBLOG).

I wouldn't put it pass him to accept the offer, we finally be rid of Lieberman forever.
That's what Marjorie Cohn is saying on The Thom Hartmann Show. The talk started a few hours ago, from what they're saying. (not that it didn't occur to any of us earlier, but it's going around now) Per Cohn:

• It would stop the Senate investigations dead in their tracks.

• It would guarantee a Senate confirmation.

• It would change the balance of power in the Senate, in favor of the Republicans.

• And it smells of Karl Rove.

Oh, if Karl Rove has anything to do with this, Lieberman jumping ship is very realistic.

Let me add to Cohn's list of reason's Lieberman would consider the offer

• It would be the ultimate revenge to the Democrats who didn't stick by him after the primary.

• Joe's STILL a VERY bitter person after what happened during last year's campaign and will probably never recover from the embarrassment of losing the primary.

• He probably wouldn't mind going out with Bush in 2008 and bringing an end to his political career.

• He's radioactive and once the Democrats have more of a majority of the senate in 2008, he's also be irrelevant.

Can someone verify this for me:

If Joementum gives up his seat, Rell could appoint a Republican in his place (what's the difference) BUT there would have to be a special election in 2008, which means we could finally have a true Democrat representing Connecticut (because there isn't a chance in hell any Republican could win a senate seat in this state).

I think it's time to place a call into the Sec of State's office...

As a sidenote, if you're not doing anything today, join MoveON.org and welcoming Senator Lieberman to his new neighborhood in Stamford today at 4 PM.

UPDATE: I found my answer from the Sec. of State's website and I'm correct, there would have to be a special election in 2008.

JUMP JOE, JUMP!!!

Poll results


Time: 9:23 AM

Thanks to all who participated in the latest survey.

Based on the results, here a pie chart outlining which ward HatCityBLOG readers reside.


UPDATE: Thanks to a faithful reader who goes by the username "2nd ward reader", we're going to try and use this data for something interesting. Now I feel bad that I stopped the poll today (why couldn't you have emailed me yesterday :-).

Random photo and brief notes

Monday, August 27, 2007
Time: 4:28 PM

Kennedy Park, Aug. 12 2007

Sorry for the delay folks but the whole Alberto Gonzalez resignation is pretty big news and I'm coordinating videos for other blogs right now.

On some brief notes...
• As we approach the start of a new semester at Western Connecticut State University, the BRT student dormitory development on Crosby Street and the SEVEN YEAR TAX DEFFERAL is back on the minds of many in town.

• I had a chance to meet some of the Young Democrats who will be making their presence known at Danbury High and Western Connecticut State University. You'll see and hear more about the Young Dems in Danbury as the local campaigns go forward.

• Someone who's running for Mayor didn't attend the VFW family picnic yesterday at Bennett Park and it wasn't Helena Abrantes. Let's just say that it didn't go unnoticed.

• Seems like someone was pissed that we went down and videotaped the bridge on Padanaram Rd, which makes it that much more important that I post the extensive video follow-up from that neighborhood.

• I know, I know, I know. I'm behind in my festival reports. Look, I'm so sorry, I'm trying my best to get everything edited and uploaded so please be patient (enough emails already).

• Oh Elmer...say it ain't so. Wait till I show you what the owner of this diner is up to now and how what he's doing should be STOPPED A.S.A.P. before someone gets killed.

• With children going back to school, I'm going to re-examine the sex offender ordinance and carefully explain why this piece of legislation should be an embarrassment as well as an insult to everyone's intelligence.

• I'm working on several interviews as well as lining up several guest posts that should be of interest.

• It's my favorite time of the year as the U.S. Open is underway in Flushing Meadows New York. As I do every year, I'll be at the U.S.T.A. center this weekend so blogging will probably be kind of light (Donald Young is the future).

FINALLY, if you haven't already, PLEASE take a moment and participate in my latest poll.

Now, I need to get back to this endless amount of video editing...be back soon.

UPDATE: As promised, here's a photo of Democratic nominee for Treasurer Brian Cotter's secret weapon.


Brian Cotter's secret weapon, DTC Clambake: Aug. 26, 2007

Take the poll


Time: 8:40 AM

(08.27.07: Please take a moment and participate in the poll. Post bumped to the top).

As you can tell, I've started a new poll with a little twist.

With the campaign season underway, I thought it would be interesting to get a better understanding where people lived.

Do you know what ward you live in? Do you know where to vote? Well, if you don't, then this poll is for you.

First, click on the Danbury Ward/District locater link above the poll and find out which ward you live in. Once you're done, come back and take the poll and let us know where you're from.

It's simple and painless.

DTC Clambake primer

Sunday, August 26, 2007
Time: 11:18 PM

Helena Abrantes addresses attendees at the annual Democratic Town Committee Clambake: Aug. 26, 2007


I ended by busy weekend by taking a trip to this year's Democratic Town Committee's clambake and I'll file my report on the event later this week.

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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MAYOR BOUGHTON'S DEPOSITION

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MIKE McLACHLAN (then MAYOR CHIEF OF STAFF) DEPOSITION

Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint


Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

City Clerk Jean Natale standing next to skinhead sparks outrage

(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

Word of raid spread across the country

(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park


Politics_Over_People
View Boughton's campaign finance statements from 2001-present (COMING SOON)

When questioned, Boughton fails to address the issue of anti-immigrant racism in Danbury

City admits mistakes in firefighter lawsuit, taxpayers forced to pay 450K settlement, and Boughton offers no comment, no details of accountability

READ allegations of wrongdoing by Boughton filed by the plaintiffs

Boughton misleads public about World Cup games "spontaneous" celebrations for FOUR years

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MARK BOUGHTON'S TICKING TIME BOMB

DOWNLOAD AND ANALYZE MARK BOUGHTON'S ELECTION AND PAC FINANCE REPORTS

Why won't Boughton give back Galante money?

Boughton contributor goes to jail

Fairfield Weekly questions Boughton's honesty

Hatrford Courant's Stan Smith not believing Boughton

Connecting the dots

Boughton-Galante connection established


APPEAL HEARING: 10/21/14 @ 09:30 AM

Directions to Litchfield Court House

Decision Day: GUILTY!

Day Ten: Moving forward

Day Nine: DNA

Day Eight: The seven trillion dollar man

Day Seven: Jury Trial

Day Six: Motions denied

Day Five: Endless subpoenas and bizarre motions to dismiss

Day Three/Four: He's competent!

Day Two: Excuses, excuses

Day One: Strange behavior, disturbing arrest warrant affidavit

McGowan arrested, charged with first-degree sexual assault


Read the full report on
the gross incompetence of
City Clerk Jean Natale

Watch Jean Natale's misleading, questionable, and outrageous testimony in front of the charter revision commission

Natale moonlighting during City Hall business hours

Republcian Common Council member claim City Clerk of being "racially motivated" in the Hispanic Center ad-hoc committee case

Danbury News-Times editorial criticizes City Clerk "racially motivated" involvement in Hispanic Center ad-hoc committee case

Photo of City Clerk standing next to skinhead holding anti-immigrant death threat sign

Public complains that the City Clerk is never available in her office / spends most of her time in the Registrar of Voters office

City Clerk confronts and yells at her critics at City Hall

Transcript of Minority Leader Tom Saadi criticizing Jean Natale's performance.

Freedom of Informaiton ruling on a complaint filed against Jean Natale.


Elise_Deer Highlighting the disturbing mind of a hate group leader and her xenophobic followers...

Exposing lies from Marciano regarding death threat made against yours truly

VIDEO: Marcaino shows her anti-Muslim side

I'm an AMERICAN!!!!!

MORE TO COME!!!

TOM "Big(o)T BENNETT HAS ONLY HIMSELF
TO BLAME



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