Common Council member Fred Visconti pulled a sleeping man out of bed while the man's bedroom burned during a fire this afternoon on Mountainville Avenue.
"Talk to Fred Visconti, he's the hero," said J.R. Mitchell, the owner of the house that caught fire at 12:05 p.m. today.
Mitchell was not in the house at the time, but his two sons, Rob, 18 and A.J., 21, were in their bedrooms. A.J. said he was listening to music in his first-floor room when he heard the smoke detector alarm.
He went upstairs to his brother Rob's room, saw smoke, and yelled for his brother to get out of the house.
A,J, ran out of the house to call 911, only to realize his brother was still upstairs.
Meanwhile, Visconti, a retired firefighter who lives about three houses away, spotted the smoke while in his backyard.
He went to the house and made his way upstairs to Rob, who was still asleep as his bedroom burned around him.
"I had to grab him out of bed," said Visconti, his face still smeared with soot. "Once he was up, he realized what was going on and he got out."
Rob Mitchell was taken to Danbury Hospital, where he is being treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns, according to fire officials.
The second floor of the house suffered extensive fire damage.
Deputy Fire Marshal James Johnson is investigating and as of 1:30 p.m. firefighters were still on the scene.
Way to go Fred!
Time: 2:32 PM
Shameless plug for CT Film festival movie
Time: 1:28 PM
Another screening for my movie.
Well, it's not really my movie, but I did contribute some footage of Ned Lamont's triumphant primary night victory celebration to the film. So I'm in the credits. Which technically makes it at least partially my movie.
But being the magnanimous guy I am, I'll happily share credit with the guy who did all the REAL work, Mr. Corey Boutelier.
HONK FOR PEACE follows the anti-war movement starting in New York City, and culminating with the historic 2006 Connecticut Senate race between Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont. Lamont, a political newcomer, ran an anti-war campaign beating 18-year incumbent and former Vice-Presidential nominee Lieberman in the primary, forcing him to run as an Independent and to defend his pro-war ideals. Featuring interviews with Ned Lamont, Joe Lieberman, The Dixie Chicks, Sen. John Kerry, Ed Koch, WTNH Political Correspondent Mark Davis, Ralph Nader, Gen. Wesley Clark, and Sen. Chris Dodd.
The movie will appear on this blockbuster holiday weekend at the Connecticut Film Festival in Danbury.
Tickets and info are available HERE.
6:00 PM Sat, May 24
WCSU Student Theater
181 White St.
Interview by Erik Campano of Corey Boutilier (left) and two other directors (A.D. Calvo, Doug Tanaglia) at WSHU is listenable HERE
Honk For Peace website
Things younger than John McCain
Time: 10:06 AM
Lets look at some facts on the Republican Presidential nominee, John "Angry" McCain that might surprise you.
You get the idea...
The zip code is younger than John McCain.
There are two things I find funny about the fact that John McCain is older than the zip code system:
1. John McCain’s first address was something like:
The Parents of Potentially the Oldest Guy Ever to Become President
123 Main Street
East Nowhere, VA 12
Two digits. The country was so damn small that there were only two digits in the postal code.
2. It was a postal inspector who submitted a proposal for an updated system in 1944.
When I go to the Post Office, I’m lucky if I can find someone who isn’t breathing through a tube - but, apparently, in 1944, postal workers were so motivated by what they were doing that they put in overtime developing new systems for delivering mail. (It should be noted, however, that this system wasn’t implemented until the 1960s and, even then, it wasn’t mandatory… thus restoring my faith in their ineptitude.)[...]
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is younger than John McCain.
I put Kraft Macaroni and Cheese right up there with the wheel and the iphone as one of the world’s great inventions. Created by divine inspiration in 1937, it’s the perfect meal when you have a cold or when you’re too lazy to make, you know, real food. The key, however, lies in my own secret technique… which I will share with you here and now:
The Double Drain™.
You see, the directions call for the chef to drain the water after the macaroni has come to a boil… but that’s insane. Between the milk, the butter, and the excess water that didn’t drain, you’ll still be left with a runny mess that will deprive you of the full “cheese” experience. One must do a second, “cleansing” drain just prior to emptying the contents onto ones plate. And one must also use a wooden spoon.
For the less industrious among us, there’s a product called “Kraft Easy Mac” which can be prepared with just water and a microwave in 3 1/2 minutes… but that’s just sad.
Penicillin is younger than John McCain.
In 1942, when John McCain was presumably an unvaccinated 6 year old, John Bumstead and Orvan Hess became the first physicians in the world to successfully treat a patient using Penicillin. At the time, they could not possibly comprehend what this breakthrough would mean for children, soldiers, and Paris Hilton.
Scrabble is younger than John McCain.
How fortuitous. What might very well be the world’s most boring game is actually younger than might very well be the countries most boring Senator (although there certainly are some quality contenders in that field).
The Area Code is younger than John McCain.
OK, this is a good one - so good, in fact, that it gets its very own category (”Area Codes”).
While the telephone itself was invented a mere 60 years prior to Pa McCain looking at John and saying to Ma McCain “Someday this boy will grow up to not become President!, the area code wasn’t introduced until the 1940’s.
I find this fact very confusing because, according to census.gov, the population of the United States in 1940 was 132,122,446. Does this mean that less than 10% of the people had phone numbers because, without an area code, the highest number could only be 999-9999?
I’d ask John McCain for clarification but I tend to think that he wouldn’t take my call.
The Shopping Cart is younger than John McCain.
This seems like something cavemen should have invented (God, I hate those stupid Geico commercials) - I mean, it’s wheels and a bucket. It couldn’t be simpler. So simple, in fact, that one would think that it not only pre-dates John McCain but that it would pre-date his parents and grandparents as well.
The Grapes of Wrath is younger than John McCain.
I have to admit that I never read the book (1939) and was only turned on to the movie (1940) because of the Springsteen album (The Ghost of Tom Joad) but its message is timeless (I guess that’s part of what makes a classic).
In a nutshell, the economy is down the drain, lenders are foreclosing left and right, there are more applicants than there are jobs, and people are in search of a way to return to dignity.
Hmm, I wonder if they’ll ever make a sequel?
Cheerios are younger than John McCain.
I have 18 month old twins at home and, as any parent will tell you, these little, round treasures of toasted whole grain goodness might as well be called “Crack-ios” or “Crystal Meth-ios”. There’s nothing my kids like more than to take a fistfull of these suckers and get (maybe) one or two right in their mouths.
I look forward to telling them, come this November, that our country had the good sense to elect a President younger than this ubiquitous brand.
And I imagine that they’ll poop in celebration.
The Chocolate Chip Cookie is younger than John McCain.
OK, this is an odd one. Apparently, the chocolate chip cookie has not been around since the dawn of time. It did not evolve from anything, nor was it hanging down from the forbidden tree (or whatever it’s called) in the Garden of Eden. It was, in fact, invented in 1937 by Ruth Graves Wakefield of Whitman, Massachusetts, who ran the Toll House Restaurant.
So this classic staple and friend of milk lovers everywhere is actually younger than John McCain.
The Beav, aka Jerry Mathers, is younger than John McCain.
Film festival report: Act 1
Time: 3:44 PM
Will the 75,000 dollar investment be worth it?
Will there really be over 5,000 people attending the films?
Will the festival bring in the projected revenue for the area as promised?
Since word that the Common Council was prepared to fork over 75,000 to the organizers of the Connecticut Film Festival, I thought it would be important to keep a CLOSE eye on the success of the event.
You see, I have a problem what the media in our area. If you look at the list of organizations sponsoring the festival, you'll notice such media outlets as The News-Times, Fairfield County Weekly, and Tribuna. Now, with that being the case, it's logical to assume that they won't do much in terms of monitoring the success of the festival when it comes to holding the organizers accountable for the promises they gave to the city (i.e., revenue the festival would bring into the city, numbers of people attending the event, etc).
FOR INSTANCE, watch this report on the festival from FOX-61.
Okay, with that in mind and remembering that the city was told that this event would people in aprox. 5,000 over the course of the entire event, which would result in people eating, drinking, and partying downtown (a.k.a. spend money in downtown businesses), take a look at MY footage from opening night. Make sure to check the footage of all the restaurants on Ives, White, and Main Street.
NOTE: The footage of downtown businesses was shot at various times from 8 pm until 11:30 pm.
Get the point (and to note: a good portion of people who were at the Palace that night were affiliated with City Hall, or the event in some capacity). It's almost like the two videos were shot in different cities. Mind you, this was opening night...a night that would probably attract the largest number of people to a screening.
Again, was the 75,000 dollars the city put into this festival a good investment? We'll soon find out as I'm just getting started.
My interview with Congressman Joe Courtney
Time: 11:03 AM
In light of his endorsement of Barack Obama for President, earlier today I conducted a interview with Congressman Joe Courtney where we talked about his decision to back Obama over Hillary Clinton. We also touched on other subjects such as his support for the new G.I. Bill (which the President has threatened to veto) and his thoughts on being a first term congressman for the second congressional district.
You can hear the full interview right now over at My Left Nutmeg.
Fear and loathing in prime time: immigration myths and cable news
Time: 7:09 PM
Since highlighting the xenophobia in Danbury and such idiotic notables as Tom "Big T" Bennett, John McGowan, Joel Urice, and Pauline Basso, many organizations around the country have taken interest in the misinformation that being peddled by those who HATE immigrants in our area.
Media Matters for America is one of those groups and today, they launched a new site dedicated to the misinformation on immigration that's spread on cable news shows.
Too bad they don't cover the nonsense that spread on the local access shows in our area as it mirrors the crap on these national shows.
The Elmer's Diner Disaster: One year later
Time: 6:44 PM
In honor of this moment, I'll be doing a series of posts on the history of this development, including the laughable excuses and lack of concern from the mayor, boneheaded comments from owner Elmer Palma, and the number of issues with this place that, after ONE YEAR of complaints, has not been addressed by the city.
Lets start things by going back in time and reading my first report on this idiotic diner back on May 24th 2007.
While I was working on a full background post on Elmer's Diner scandal, since the News-Times did such a poor job with their story on the Diner nightmare, I felt compelled to start rolling on my footage.
Given this fact, one has to wonder why is it that the traffic conditions at the diner's highly congested location were not addressed?
Think about it.
Elmer's Diner consist of 22 parking spaces for a place that seats 88 people.
Again...the diner ONLY has 22 parking spaces for 88 people.
Now, based on that fact alone, you know you're going to run into some problems. Oh, lets not leave out the fact that there is no stop light present, no crosswalk, and it's only a two lane street.
Since the parking is limited and the parking area is extremely tight, customers are opting to do either one of two dangerous things: park on the shoulder of Padanaram Road, (people opening their car doors while not parking properly off the shoulder and are too far into the road, customers leaving the diner AND MAKING AN ILLEGAL U-TURN IN TRAFFIC, customers leaving the parking lot are limited in the amount of traffic they can due to the cars parked an the road). WHAT'S EVEN MORE DANGEROUSLY are the customers who have no regard for the traffic laws (or didn't notice that there isn't a crosswalk in the street) and are parking across the street at the strip mall, taking their lives into their hands, and darting across the busy street.
Note the irresponsible parent rushing across the street to the diner WITH HER KIDS IN HER HANDS.
Now, again, with the limited parking, the major traffic congestion on this stretch of road, and the parking on the other side of the street, EVERYONE in Danbury knew the exact problems we now face were going to happen.
What will it take for Mayor Boughton adn those who are in charge in keeping our roads safe will show some noticeable amount of leadership and get this situation taken care of before someone gets hurt?
• Will a MAJOR accident do the trick?
• Will someone getting hit by a car to get City Hall to deal with the situation?
Unfortunately, the city HAS done nothing about the TRAFFIC DISASTER that everyone knew was coming. According to the News-Times, Mayor Boughton hasn't gotten around to addressing the EASIEST traffic problem that should have been addressed months ago...sending a formal request to the state to post NO PARKING SIGNS IN FRONT OF THE DINER.
Nearly 25,000 motorists drive on Padanaram Road between Hayestown Avenue and Golden Hill Road each weekday, according to city traffic statistics.
Capt. Robert Myles said even though police haven't handed out tickets for parking on Padanaram Road, vehicles could be towed if they jut out into the road.
"There is a wide shoulder, but you can see where it could be a hazard," he said.
Myles said the police are talking with the state Department of Transportation about putting up three "No Parking" signs along the state road.
Judd Everhart, a DOT spokesman, said a formal request for signs from the city had not been filed as of Tuesday.
Once it's filed, a state worker will check out the scene. Everhart could not set a timetable for the process, but said it would be "weeks compared to days."
To give you a real idea of just how bad things are over on Padanaram right now, I present to you this following video footage of the location. While your watching the trainwreck, take note of the following situations:
• AN ELDERLY WOMAN CROSSING THE STREET WITH THE USE OF A WALKER.
• A customer leaving the diner in a SUV, after parking on the shoulder of Padanaram Road, and MAKING A U-TURN.
• A woman making a ill-advised left hand turn out of the parking lot which could have resulted in an accident.
• Customers having problems turning in and out of the diner parking lot due to cars on the street, which are blocking the view of the road.
• The sound of brakes locking up on a truck that is driving too fast, which during the winter would certainly hit the set of cars pulling out of the parking lot.
After almost being a victim of an accident while videotaping on the sidewalk, and watching a senior citizen crossing Padanaram Road (using a walker) to a parking spot that was not designated for the diner, and incident after incident of diner customers causing traffic violations, it's my sincere opinion that the current administration has once again failed the residents of Danbury by not taking the necessary steps to keep one of the most heavily trafficked road in the area safe.
In other words, this whole traffic situation should not have happened in the first place because the city should have addressed the issue (at the very least). Seeing that the city hasn't requested that the DOT place NO PARKING signs in front of the diner (which would at least solve the problem with cars parking in the shoulder and being in the way of emergency vehicles) speaks volumes about the foresight of this administration.
Again the problems stemming from the opening of the diner is NOTHING new to anyone who has been keeping an eye on the construction of the site. This very blog has commented several times on the traffic conditions in that area of Danbury/New Fairfield going as far as posting a videos of the traffic near the stie of the diner late last year. When the mayor addressed the diner in the media, he felt it better to use the overused political card of placing the blame on the past administration for the conditions in which Elmer's Diner came into existence instead of maybe addressing the matters the diner is creating under his own watch.
Again, this portion of the News-Times article speaks volumes about the foresight of this administration.
Judd Everhart, a DOT spokesman, said a formal request for [NO PARKING] signs [in front of the diner] from the city had not been filed as of Tuesday.I guess the mayor was too busy playing the role of the immigration czar (here, here, and here), to address real issues in Danbury that people are up in arms about. I guess Mayor Mark didn't get the memo that his immigration well is just about all dried out.
Well keep an eye on things and let you know when the first person is hit by a car, someone pulls a stupid traffic move that causes a major accident, when parks on the side of the road, opens a car door and it gets ripped off by a passing car, or any other host of traffic problems that even Stevie Wonder could see happening months ago.
If anyone gets hurt, you know which way to point the finger...
Bartlett is the Democrats choice in the 2nd district
Time: 5:43 PM
for the 2nd district for a second term.
2nd Dist. State Rep. convention, May 20 2008. Photo by CTBlogger.
Yesterday, delegates from Bethel, Danbury and Redding that make up the 2nd State Representative District voiced their approval of Jason Bartlett by unanimously nominating him for re-election. Bartlett will now face Republican Melanie O'Brien in the general election.
Held at the historic Tarrywile Mansion, the convention was for the most part uneventful as Bartlett nomination was not challenged by anyone but in my attempt to cover all the Democratic nominees in the Danbury area, I decided to videotape the convention and file this report.
Time: 6:09 PM
Will the 75,000 dollar investment be worth it?
Will there really be over 5,000 people attending the films?
Will the festival bring in the projected revenue for the area as promised?
Well, we're going to find out as the Connecticut Film Festival starts in Danbury.
The News-Times is stepping into the UStream world and are doing a live stream from the opening ceremonies. Here's their stream.
Highlights from the 5th CD Democratic convention
Time: 12:23 PM
In my effort to cover as many races in the Danbury area as possible, here's highlights of the 5th Congressional District Democratic convention.
1. First nomination for Congressman Chris Murphy by 109th State Rep. Joe Taborsak.
2. Acceptance speech by Chris Murphy.
24th State Seante Democratic convention round-up
Time: 9:04 AM
24th State Senate convention. Photo by CTBlogger, May 19 2008.
Since the server went down half way through the convention, here's my brief report on what happened.
In what should be considered one of the more interesting state senate conventions, although Terry Tierney was just one vote short from forcing a primary, Duane Perkins won the nomination and now faces Republican nominee (and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton's chief of staff) Mike McLaughlin for the senate seat. Also throwing his hat into the race was publisher of the Immigrant Newspaper, and owner of owner of One Stop Variety, Manuel Bataguas who picked up one vote.
Both Perkins and Tierney picked great individuals to present their political resume to the delegates with Perkins being nominated by former Congressman James Maloney and Tierney being nominated by former mayoral candidate Helena Abrantes. And what was a surprising move, after the nominations, a member of the delegation proposed that each of the candidates give a five minute presentation and sell themselves to the delegates before the vote.
Asked about his next move, and whether he would try and collect the necessary signatures to trigger a primary, Tierney said he would consider it but what's most important is party unity and taking back the senate seat from the Republicans.
From last night, here's footage of the convention (including a brief interview I did with Perkins after the convention was concluded).
NOTE: On their website, The News-Times has the following picture of Duane Perkins. Now, I don't have to explain the silliness of this screw-up...right?
UPDATE: Attaboy! The News-Times updated the site and corrected the error.
HatCityBLOG Live Stream: 24th State Senate Democratic Convention
Time: 6:55 PM
From the Maron Hotel, here's the live video feed from the 24th State Senate Democratic Convention.
NOTE: Things should get underway around 7:30.
UPDATE: Sorry for the technical problems but the stream server crashed. I'm still recording the convention and I'll post the footage later.
COMING TONIGHT: 24th District State Senate Democratic convention LIVE VIDEO BLOG
Time: 4:10 PM
In a HatCityBLOG exclusive, tonight at 7:00 I will be providing a live video stream from the 24th District State Senate Democratic convention. As of now, three Democrats have their eye on the nomination: Common Councilman Duane Perkins, life-long Democrat Terry Tierney, and former Common Council candidate and publisher of the Immigrant Newspaper, Manuel Bataguas.
Now, with all things, doing anything live on the internet has it's glitches but if everything goes as planned, you should be able to see everything that happens at tonight convention which starts tonight at 7 P.M.
The live stream testing will start around 6:30.
HatCityBLOG VIDEO ARCHIVE: Charter Revision Ad-Hoc Committee
Time: 9:30 AM
Now, for those who are not aware, one of the most important commission in Danbury is meeting RIGHT NOW and are making changes that could have an impact on the way things are done in our city.
The charter review commission was established last year to make changes to the city charter (for those who don't know, the city charter is the equivalent to the U.S. Constitution...but on a local level). In time, I'll have an entire section devoted to covering the changes that are currently under consideration but until then, let's go back and look at the ad-hoc committee meeting that established the review commission.
From June 2007 (and shown for the first time), here's video footage of the charter review board ad-hoc committee meeting.
Sicker than I thought
Time: 5:37 PM
This couldn't have happen at a worse time as I really want to tackle how the mayor screwed up the budget, as well as report on the recent events by the immigrant rights supporters (yes, more happened this weekend besides the church joining the new sanctuary movement). And OF COURSE, lets not forget Andrew Wetmore and everything that happened at the Zoning Commission...oh, I can't wait to get into that situation.
Unfortunately, it's very difficult for me to post anything as my head is really killing me and I've spent the majority of this weekend in bed drinking water and popping pills. Even my wife is concerned because she's never seen me like this before so trust me, whatever is going on with me, it's serious so I'm taking a break from the blogging thing until I get better.
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