Danbury Live 05.24.08 broadcast
Time: 4:43 PM
Rev Sharpton video update
Time: 11:11 AM
Okay, so if you're not able to catch Rev. Shaprton's speech today at noon, you can watch the re-broadcast of the show NEXT MONDAY AT 9 P.M. on Channel 23.
Community Forum 05.21.08 broadcast
Time: 4:18 PM
Guest: Dr. Richard Beck, chiropractor
Watch Rev. Al Sharpton on Ideas at Work and Beyond TONIGHT
Time: 2:23 PM
In an order to set the record straight regarding the sermon Al Sharpton gave at New Hope Baptist Church earlier this month, tonight HatCityBLOG will be taking over the local access show Ideas at Work and Beyond.
At 9 P.M. on Channel 23, you'll be able to see, in it's entirety, the sermon Rev. Sharpton gave on May 4th. Hopefully, after you watch what happened with your own eyes, the misinformation that was shamelessly reported in the media will finally be put to rest.
UPDATE: There were technical problems at Comcast which resulted in the audio not working properly. The show will be re-broadcasted on Friday at 12:00. I will also rebroadcast the footage once my show premieres later this year.
Coming soon: SPECIAL COMMENT on the MOST ARROGANT MAYOR EVER!
Time: 4:58 PM
For those who missed it, taking a page from yours truly, the News-Times did a UStream video interview with Mayor Boughton where he answered questions about yesterday's bomb threat. Between he numerous "no comments" issued from the mayor, Boughton gave what can only be considered a flippant and dismissive remark about City Hall not utilizing city's television station (Channel 24) to provide information to the public about the BOMB THREAT EMERGENCY throughout the day.
I'll have a special comment on the mayor's remarks at a later time as the response he gave to Eugene Driscoll can not, and shall not, go unanswered (and don't worry Andrew, I haven't forgotten about you).
Bomb threat disorder?
Time: 7:08 PM
I'm going back out and interviewing more people as well as getting in touch with sources from the schools. I'll have more later but the level of concern from parents regarding the phone notification is something we'll be hearing more about as the details of today's event unfolds.
UPDATE: From what I can figure out, most of the complaints stemmed a couple of factors.
• One, the Honeywell message system didn't work for a sizeable amount of parents. This point was acknowledged during the press conference at City Hall.
One message left for parents stated this:
"danbury police and the mayors office"
"regarding Rogers Park danbury police department and the mayor's office"
From several parents I spoke to, the chopped off message left them wondering what the hell was going on, which resulted in them calling either City Hall or the schools looking for information. Now, from what I can gather, this problem was with the automated system from the school system (Honeywell), not the reverse 911 system (City Hall).
Here are a list of complaint that echoed the comments I heard throughout the day:
My daughter was already HOME from DHS by the
time we got our call/email from Honeywell
If my daughter did not have her cell with her, and call me about what was going on,I'd have no way of knowing.
Scarey...caould have been much worse...AND our
much-publicized Alert System....an over paid
anyone who confirms that the alert system is functional must be the only one who got notice or works for the school system... my elementary student child came home to an empty house. when she called me on my cell and said she was home and didnt know why...
The alert i got, my child was with me on are way home......Did not work well at all......Their should be a big concern that this system failed..Is their some one in charge, if their is an emergency? Or some one with a plan? Isnt their a FEMA director in Danbury?
How come they don't do regular tests of the Instant Alert system? I have a kid in HATS and one in Danbury Public school. My son who goes to HATS called us when he was on the bus on his way home, he later told us that in their lunchroom today someone let off a stink bomb. I realize this is not the same as the threat that was called in earlier but still and all. I found out about all the bomb threat from a DHS teacher who was at the store where I work and she was the one who told me that they were evacuating the DHS and they were getting all the kids in the rest of the Danbury schools out early. I was also told that the FBI was involved and they were at the HS. I got the call from the "instant alert" after my son was home from HATS and my daughter was already on her way home...
There is no excuse for honeywell dropping the ball yesterday. My numbers are all updated with them and with the schools. Instant alert did call my cell phone way after the fact (close to 5:00 p.m.) and after my kids were home for a few hours already. This was a serious situation yesterday and Danbury should make everyone aware of what's going on in situations like this. What the hell do we pay taxes for?
Problem No. 1: The city /school system cannot rely soley upon automated systems to notify parents of what is going on. I personally never received ANY notification from the City, I found out by accident. Most parents I've talked with said they found out by word of mouth. Many others received official nofification long after the kids were dismissed or already at home. If this were really a serious situation, there would be a lot of panicing parents with little or conflicting information.
Problem No.2: Lack of communication. Friends of ours spent hours trying to track down their son a KS student. They were told he was taken to the firehouse and rushed there, only to be told he was taken to the War Memorial. Since they live near DHS, they had to beg and plead with the Police (who treated them like liars) to get through road blocks. Once at the War Memorial, the only way they found him was by spotting him in a crowd. There was little to no organization there.
Problem 3: For the size of Danbury, why for the Love of God is there no reliable live news outlet, like a radio or TV station? The Newstimes did a pretty good job updating us periodically, but they're not really in the business of live news. WLAD used to at least TRY to keep up with local news. Now we just get Debbie Hanley reading the News-times to us, interspersed with obnoxious syndicated programing. The Danbury TV news station closed up years ago. This city needs a real, live news outlet that can get reliable information to us in a timely fashion.
In the end, I'm happy that everyone's safe, but I think that City officials and the Board of Ed have a LOT of explaining to do.
Well, there is a Danbury television channel and the person in charge of that system dropped the ball but I'll get into that later.
• This student's account of what happened at DHS also mirrors the accounts I heard last night.
I am a junior at DHS and I was at DHS when this happened. The fire alarm went off at around 9:40am. I thought it was just a routine fire drill, so I didn't bring any of my belongings with me...big mistake, because now I don't have/can't get any of them until school's open again. Anyway, so the whole school was evacuated. Those of us out front of the school were moved up onto Clapboard Ridge where police and fire trucks blocked off the road and made cars turn around. We were in front of the school on Clapboard for close to an hour. Then, we were walked down Clapboard Ridge onto East Gate, where we were told that buses would soon arrive to take us home. Those students who were fortunate enough to have brought their car keys outside got to drive themselves, along with anyone they could squeeze into their car, home. Many students(and teachers who did not have their keys) waited and took buses home. A large amount of kids walked home. I walked from East Gate about one and a half miles to my house because I did not want to wait for a bus, I didn't know my bus number, and teachers permitted us to walk home if it was nearby. There were tons of kids walking on the shoulders of Clapboard Ridge. The situation was fairly chaotic, what with all of us students and teachers walking on Clapboard and not really knowing what was going on and then trying to figure out how to get home. But, it all worked out.
I'm out of school, but my younger brother goes to middle school and my father wasn't home, so I picked up the phone and got an automated message stating that it was a call from the city of Danbury and to press 1 stating that I received the call. But there was no message attached to it.
The second call I received was at 12:39 stating that the middle schools were being closed at 12:30.... I think that the call should have been placed earlier.
For the most part, it must be stressed that although everyone is safe, moments like yesterday are great opportunities to look back at what went wrong and how the system can be improved in the future. Knowing parents, the complaints about the system will be heard loud and clear by the school system and will be addressed.
• Another MAJOR COMPLAINT from many residents stemmed from the fact that the Danbury Public Access channel (DanburyTV, channel 24) was not utilized during the incident. It didn't even occur to me that, during the press conference, that the presser wasn't being televised live.
FACTS ABOUT CHANNEL 24 and YESTERDAY:
1. The city of Danbury has access to channel 24 on Tuesday (the day of the incident), Thursday and Saturday.
2. The person in charge of the public access, Community Services Director Ted Cutsumpas, was present during the entire conference (watching the event in the back of the room) YET didn't seem to think about broadcasting the event as he was watching it. If the person in charge of Community Services was able to stand, sit down, and watch the ENTIRE press conference in the middle for an emergency, why didn't he think about broadcasting the event for the public? It's not like anyone needed to operate the camera since all that was needed was a camera focused on the podium where the mayor and city officials were taking questions.
3. Cutsumpas knows how to operate the camera and system on his own.
4. Throughout the day, DanburyTV text did not update with critical information on yesterday's event.
Yesterday's event exposed some serious problems with a system that we pay for with our tax dollars. Cutsumpas inaction in terms of broadcasting the press conference on Channel 24 (again, Ted sat and watch the ENTIRE press conference) is inexcusable especially when the channel is used to promote things on the mayor's agenda. On a day where channel 24 could be a source of information, the person in charge of the system simply dropped the ball (and could probably care less that he dropped the ball).
Obviously, the Honeywell system needs to be looked at and the complaints from parents need to be addressed.
Got a gripe about yesterday? Leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bomb threat/bank robbery media round-up
Time: 6:55 PM
BEFORE City Hall press conference:
Noon WTNH report:
AFTER City Hall press conference:
5 P.M. WTNH report:
6 P.M. WFSB report (prank/skip day angle):
6 P.M. WTNH report (failure of phone system angle):
Don't have anything from WLAD. I'll update this post if FOX61 does a report.
UPDATE: Here's the report from Fox61:
HatCityBLOG EXCLUSIVE RAW VIDEO: Bomb threat/bank robbery press conference
Time: 3:52 PM
City Hall 05.27.08, Photo by CTBlogger
Video footage from today's press conference on the bank robbery on Newtown Road and the bomb threats which closed King Street and Danbury High School will be posted shortly.
UPDATE 5:30PM: The following is RAW unedited footage of today's press conference.
Mostly, the presser with informational with the mayor and those in his administration describing the chain of events from today. The only interesting point came when WTNH's Crystal Haynes brought up a concern from parents who were upset that they were not notified of the situation via the phone system.
According to the answers to Haynes question, it was admitted that the system failed and there were different phone notification services used during the incident. One from the school system (which apparently failed) and the other from the reverse 911 system. According to the representative from the school, most parents were not notified because their cell phone were not the primary contact number to call.
Looking for clarification, I asked a follow-up question to the mayor regarding who was notified on the reverse 911 system in which he stated people who lived in the area of the incident. Finally, I asked the fire chief a follow-up about the notification system as he was discussing the topic with another reporter.
Another sidebar angle to the story is whether or not the whole thing was a prank (a.k.a., senior skip day). WFSB's Aleesha Chaney interviewed several kids who thought the whole thing was just a joke and asked the mayor about it. I'm sure this will be included in her report.
It looked that the question of the phone system was going to be an sidebar story at some point but as of now, most news outlets are still focused on the bomb threat itself. Total runtime, aprox. 18 min.
NOTE: This video is RAW and unedited. There is some shaking from me fixing the camera on the tripod.
For the life of me, I can't understand how someone wearing a straw hat and a camouflage outfit, can rob a bank and get away on a bicycle. I mean, this happened at the Bank of America over at Newtown Road and it isn't like there's a whole lot of places where this person can hide.
Here's a map of the location where the robbery took place (the bank is highlighted in red). Now, looking at the map, that area is basically a light industrial area with hills in each direction on Newtown Road. Now, if this person took off on a bike, in what direction did he go where he couldn't be found by the police? I mean, we're talking about a guy WEARING A STRAW HAT folks riding a bike on that section of Newtown Road.
UPDATE 6:00 P.M.: Crystal Haynes went with the phone notification problem in her 6 o'clock report and interview several upset parents while WFSB went with the "prank" angle. I have everything tivo'd and I'll upload the clips later. Seems like the phone problem angle has legs since the city admitted that it failed.
I'll post all the television reports in a post later tonight.
Time: 9:08 AM
Seems like residents in Danbury can't help themselves from expressing their true feelings about immigrants...even on Memorial Day.
Danbury's Carol Bundergaard has watched the parade wind its way through the city for more than 50 years.
"It's a lot more multicultural than its been in the past," she said. "But I like that veterans are still the main theme."
With Germans, Italians, Polish and Irish immigrants having roots in the area going back many generations, it's safe to assume that she wasn't referring to the various European "multicultural" organizations (such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians) that have participated in the parade in the last five decades.
Memorial Day 2008 roundup
Time: 1:08 PM
Video from today's parade will be posted later...
Live blogging from Wesleyan University
Time: 9:59 AM
You can follow his reporting over at the student-operated Wesleying blog. You can watch the speech live via WEScast as well as WTNH Online
Having Obama step in for Ted Kennedy and speak at Wesleyan University has become a MAJOR media event and to have a blogger there covering all the activity is pretty amazing.
UPDATE: Here's the video and text of Obama's speech.
Thank you, President Roth, for that generous introduction, and congratulations on your first year at the helm of Wesleyan.
Congratulations also to the class of 2008, and thank you for allowing
me to be a part of your graduation.
I have the distinct honor today of pinch-hitting for one of my
personal heroes and a hero to this country, Senator Edward Kennedy.
Teddy wanted to be here very much, but as you know, he’s had a very
long week and is taking some much-needed rest. He called me up a few
days ago and I said that I’d be happy to be his stand-in, even if
there was no way I could fill his shoes.
I did, however, get the chance to glance at the speech he planned on
delivering today, and I’d like to start by passing along a message
from him: “To all those praying for my return to good health, I offer
my heartfelt thanks. And to any who’d rather have a different result,
I say, don’t get your hopes up just yet!”
So we know that Ted Kennedy’s legendary sense of humor is as strong as
ever, and I have no doubt that his equally legendary fighting spirit
will carry him through this latest challenge. He is our friend, he is
our champion, and we hope and pray for his return to good health.
The topic of his speech today was common for a commencement, but one
that nobody could discuss with more authority or inspiration than Ted
Kennedy. And that is the topic of service to one’s country – a cause
that is synonymous with his family’s name and their legacy.
I was born the year that his brother John called a generation of
Americans to ask their country what they could do. And I came of age
at a time when they did it. They were the Peace Corps volunteers who
won a generation of goodwill toward America at a time when America ’s
ideals were challenged. They were the teenagers and college students,
not much older than you, who watched the Civil Rights Movement unfold
on their television sets; who saw the dogs and the fire hoses and the
footage of marchers beaten within an inch or their lives; who knew it
was probably smarter and safer to stay at home, but still decided to
take those Freedom Rides down south – who still decided to march. And
because they did, they changed the world.
I bring this up because today, you are about to enter a world that
makes it easy to get caught up in the notion that there are actually
two different stories at work in our lives.
The first is the story of our everyday cares and concerns – the
responsibilities we have to our jobs and our families – the bustle and
busyness of what happens in our own life. And the second is the story
of what happens in the life of our country – of what happens in the
wider world. It’s the story you see when you catch a glimpse of the
day’s headlines or turn on the news at night – a story of big
challenges like war and recession; hunger and climate change;
injustice and inequality. It’s a story that can sometimes seem
distant and separate from our own – a destiny to be shaped by forces
beyond our control.
And yet, the history of this nation tells us this isn’t so. It tells
us that we are a people whose destiny has never been written for us,
but by us – by generations of men and women, young and old, who have
always believed that their story and the American story are not
separate, but shared. And for more than two centuries, they have
served this country in ways that have forever enriched both.
I say this to you as someone who couldn’t be standing here today if
not for the service of others, and wouldn’t be standing here today if
not for the purpose that service gave my own life.
You see, I spent much of my childhood adrift. My father left my
mother and I when I was two. When my mother remarried, I lived in
Indonesia for a time, but was mostly raised in Hawaii by her and my
grandparents from Kansas . My teenage years were filled with more
than the usual dose of adolescent rebellion, and I’ll admit that I
didn’t always take myself or my studies very seriously. I realize
that none of you can probably relate to this, but there were many
times when I wasn’t sure where I was going, or what I would do.
But during my first two years of college, perhaps because the values
my mother had taught me –hard work, honesty, empathy – had resurfaced
after a long hibernation; or perhaps because of the example of
wonderful teachers and lasting friends, I began to notice a world
beyond myself. I became active in the movement to oppose the
apartheid regime of South Africa . I began following the debates in
this country about poverty and health care. So that by the time I
graduated from college, I was possessed with a crazy idea – that I
would work at a grassroots level to bring about change.
I wrote letters to every organization in the country I could think
of. And one day, a small group of churches on the South Side of
Chicago offered me a job to come work as a community organizer in
neighborhoods that had been devastated by steel plant closings. My
mother and grandparents wanted me to go to law school. My friends
were applying to jobs on Wall Street. Meanwhile, this organization
offered me $12,000 a year plus $2,000 for an old, beat-up car.
And I said yes.
Now, I didn’t know a soul in Chicago , and I wasn’t sure what this
community organizing business was all about. I had always been
inspired by stories of the Civil Rights Movement and JFK’s call to
service, but when I got to the South Side, there were no marches, and
no soaring speeches. In the shadow of an empty steel plant, there
were just a lot of folks who were struggling. And we didn’t get very
far at first.
I still remember one of the very first meetings we put together to
discuss gang violence with a group of community leaders. We waited
and waited for people to show up, and finally, a group of older people
walked into the hall. And they sat down. And a little old lady
raised her hand and asked, “Is this where the bingo game is?”
It wasn’t easy, but eventually, we made progress. Day by day, block
by block, we brought the community together, and registered new
voters, and set up after school programs, and fought for new jobs, and
helped people live lives with some measure of dignity.
But I also began to realize that I wasn’t just helping other people.
Through service, I found a community that embraced me; citizenship
that was meaningful; the direction I’d been seeking. Through service,
I discovered how my own improbable story fit into the larger story of
Each of you will have the chance to make your own discovery in the
years to come. And I say “chance” because you won’t have to take it.
There’s no community service requirement in the real world; no one
forcing you to care. You can take your diploma, walk off this stage,
and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and all the
other things that our money culture says you should by. You can
choose to narrow your concerns and live your life in a way that tries
to keep your story separate from America ’s.
But I hope you don’t. Not because you have an obligation to those who
are less fortunate, though you do have that obligation. Not because
you have a debt to all those who helped you get here, though you do
have that debt.
It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our
individual salvation depends on collective salvation. Because
thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your immediate wants and
needs, betrays a poverty of ambition. Because it’s only when you
hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize
your true potential and discover the role you’ll play in writing the
next great chapter in America ’s story
There are so many ways to serve and so much need at this defining
moment in our history. You don’t have to be a community organizer or
do something crazy like run for President. Right here at Wesleyan,
many of you have already volunteered at local schools, contributed to
United Way , and even started a program that brings fresh produce to
needy families in the area. One hundred and sixty-four graduates of
this school have joined the Peace Corps since 2001, and I’m especially
proud that two of you are about to leave for my father’s homeland of
Kenya to bring alternative sources of energy to impoverished areas.
I ask you to seek these opportunities when you leave here, because the
future of this country – your future – depends on it. At a time when
our security and moral standing depend on winning hearts and minds in
the forgotten corners of this world, we need more of you to serve
abroad. As President, I intend to grow the Foreign Service, double
the Peace Corps over the next few years, and engage the young people
of other nations in similar programs, so that we work side by side to
take on the common challenges that confront all humanity.
At a time when our ice caps are melting and our oceans are rising, we
need you to help lead a green revolution. We still have time to avoid
the catastrophic consequences of climate change if we get serious
about investing in renewable sources of energy, and if we get a
generation of volunteers to work on renewable energy projects, and
teach folks about conservation, and help clean up polluted areas; if
we send talented engineers and scientists abroad to help developing
countries promote clean energy.
At a time when a child in Boston must compete with children in Beijing
and Bangalore , we need an army of you to become teachers and
principals in schools that this nation cannot afford to give up on. I
will pay our educators what they deserve, and give them more support,
but I will also ask more of them to be mentors to other teachers, and
serve in high-need schools and high-need subject areas like math and
At a time when there are children in the city of New Orleans who still
spend each night in a lonely trailer, we need more of you to take a
weekend or a week off from work, and head down South, and help
rebuild. If you can’t get the time, volunteer at the local homeless
shelter or soup kitchen in your own community. Find an organization
that’s fighting poverty, or a candidate who promotes policies you
believe in, and find a way to help them.
At a time of war, we need you to work for peace. At a time of
inequality, we need you to work for opportunity. At a time of so much
cynicism and so much doubt, we need you to make us believe again.
Now understand this - believing that change is possible is not the
same as being naïve. Go into service with your eyes wide open, for
change will not come easily. On the big issues that our nation faces,
difficult choices await. We’ll have to face some hard truths, and
some sacrifice will be required – not only from you individually, but
from the nation as a whole.
There is no magic bullet to our energy problems, for example; no
perfect energy source - so all of us will have to use the energy
sources we have more wisely. Deep-rooted poverty will not be reversed
overnight, and will require both money and reform at a time when our
federal and state budgets are strapped and Washington is skeptical
that reform is possible. Transforming our education system will
require not only bold government action, but a change in attitudes
among parents and students. Bringing an end to the slaughter in
Darfur will involve navigating extremely difficult realities on the
ground, even for those with the best of intentions.
And so, should you take the path of service, should you choose to take
up one of these causes as your own, know that you’ll experience
frustrations and failures. Even your successes will be marked by
imperfections and unintended consequences. I guarantee you, there
will certainly be times when friends or family urge you to pursue more
sensible endeavors with more tangible rewards. And there will be
times when you are tempted to take their advice.
But I hope you’ll remember, during those times of doubt and
frustration, that there is nothing naïve about your impulse to change
this world. Because all it takes is one act of service – one blow
against injustice – to send forth that tiny ripple of hope that Robert
Kennedy spoke of.
You know, Ted Kennedy often tells a story about the fifth anniversary
celebration of the Peace Corps. He was there, and he asked one of the
young Americans why he had chosen to volunteer. And the man replied,
“Because it was the first time someone asked me to do something for my
I don’t know how many of you have been asked that question, but after
today, you have no excuses. I am asking you, and if I should have the
honor of serving this nation as President, I will be asking again in
the coming years. We may disagree on certain issues and positions,
but I believe we can be unified in service to a greater good. I
intend to make it a cause of my presidency, and I believe with all my
heart that this generation is ready, and eager, and up to the
We will face our share of cynics and doubters. But we always have. I
can still remember a conversation I had with an older man all those
years ago just before I left for Chicago . He said, “Barack, I’ll
give you a bit of advice. Forget this community organizing business
and do something that’s gonna make you some money. You can’t change
the world, and people won’t appreciate you trying. But you’ve got a
nice voice, so you should think about going into television
broadcasting. I’m telling you, you’ve got a future.”
Now, he may have been right about the TV thing, but he was wrong about
everything else. For that old man has not seen what I have seen. He
has not seen the faces of ordinary people the first time they clear a
vacant lot or build a new playground or force an unresponsive leader
to provide services to their community. He has not seen the face of a
child brighten because of an inspiring teacher or mentor. He has not
seen scores of young people educate their parents on issues like
Darfur , or mobilize the conscience of a nation around the challenge
of climate change. He has not seen lines of men and women that wrap
around schools and churches, that stretch block after block just so
they could make their voices heard, many for the very first time.
And that old man who didn’t believe the world could change – who
didn’t think one person could make a difference – well he certainly
didn’t know much about the life of Joseph Kennedy’s youngest son.
It is rare in this country of ours that a person exists who has
touched the lives of nearly every single American without many of us
even realizing it. And yet, because of Ted Kennedy, millions of
children can see a doctor when they get sick. Mothers and fathers can
leave work to spend time with their newborns. Working Americans are
paid higher wages, and compensated for overtime, and can keep their
health insurance when they change jobs. They are protected from
discrimination in the workplace, and those who are born with
disabilities can still get an education, and health care, and fair
treatment on the job. Our schools are stronger and our colleges are
filled with more Americans who can afford it. And I have a feeling
that Ted Kennedy is not done just yet.
But surely, if one man can achieve so much and make such a difference
in the lives of so many, then each of us can do our part. Surely, if
his service and his story can forever shape America ’s story, then our
collective service can shape the destiny of this generation. At the
very least, his living example calls each of us to try. That is all I
ask of you on this joyous day of new beginnings; that is what Senator
Kennedy asks of you as well, and that is how we will keep so much
needed work going, and the cause of justice everlasting, and the dream
alive for generations to come. Thank you so much to the class of
2008, and congratulations on your graduation.
Time: 9:53 AM
Thanks to Robert Greenwald and Brave News Films for the laughs.
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