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Former candidate for treasurer launches immigration blog

Saturday, November 28, 2009
Time: 8:28 PM

With health care reform closer to becoming reality, in 2010, Congress will finally be in a position to tackle immigration reform.

Focusing on informing the public about the immigration law as well as issues that are driving the immigration debate, immigration attorney and 2007 Democratic candidate for Treasurer Brian Cotter jumped into the world of blogging.

I'm a big fan of Cotter's site and I encourage you to take a look at his blog...as well as bookmark it!

IRRESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT: News-Times picks up on Jeffery Court fiasco

Friday, November 27, 2009
Time: 11:25 AM


The News-Times picks up on the BRT/Jeffery Court development case on Hospital Ave and sheds more light on the situation.
When the Kaidy brothers first subdivided a peach farm off Hospital Avenue in the early 1900s into small lots, their hope was to create a neighborhood of family housing.

"It was supposed to be a nice family community for people with moderate incomes," said Charlotte Barrows, whose uncle and father, George and Kahan Kaidy, subdivided the 58-acre property in the early 1900s.

Barrows said her uncle and father put the deed restrictions in place to protect the area's character. The restrictions allow only single family homes to be built on the properties.


BRT, a development firm in Danbury, is in the process of building three townhouses each on four separate lots on Hospital Avenue.

John Noone, who lives across the street from the new development that's been dubbed Jeffrey Court, said that while he believes the deed restriction is binding and enforceable, the city refused to recognize it.

"The restriction was placed there by the original owners so the area wouldn't get overcrowded," he said. "A lot of the neighbors would like to fight this, but we don't have money to hire a lawyer."

So lets recap:

  • The section of Hospital Ave where the infamous BRT is building there irresponsible complex is well-known for its traffic concerns

  • There are DEED RESTRICTIONS on the property that clearly state that multi-family complexes were not to be allowed

  • Property owners have fought BRT from developing a larger complex on that property when the developer came in front of the planning commission

  • The Planning Commission denied BRT's previous proposal for that location

  • BRT took the City of Danbury to court over the Planning Commission ruling and LOST the case (as well as the appeal to the case)

Simply put, the city dropped the ball in this case. Clearly, the land should NEVER be developed and instead of using the open space bond for silly things such as saving a so-called "farm" that looks more like a junk yard or land that will only benefit the Charles Ives Authority, with his "connections" with BRT, Mayor Boughton should had made a deal with one of his biggest campaign contributor Dan Bertram and purchased the land.

This brings back memories of the Cotswald case...except in this case, the neighbors are losing the battle (for now).

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26, 2009
Time: 10:08 AM


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Seriously, he was a candidate for mayor

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Time: 9:47 PM

As the court case against John McGowan gains more national attention, I've received several emails from people across the country who don't believe that the co-founder of Elise Marciano's anti-immigrant hate group was a candidate for mayor.

Because of the inquiries, I dug into my archive and put together a little video about McGowan that should end all discussion on the matter.


NOTE: McGowan's next court appearance in Litchfield will be on December 15 at 2PM.

LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Spotlight On 11.24.09 broadcast

Time: 7:09 PM

Ignoring anti-immigrant xenophobia: The last honest man edition

Time: 5:09 PM

Due to demand, this post is bumped to the top

Hear no racism, see no racism, refuse to acknowledge racism

Over the last couple months, people who desire that the topic of immigration would go away are trying to claim that Danbury doesn't have a racial intolerance problem or that the problem has "toned down".

As indicated by the most recent “reported” hate-crime that made front page news last week, nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, the “reported” crime only vindicates those in the community who have long stated that racial hatred directed at the immigrant community is, for the most part, being ignored by elected-officials who refuse to acknowledge that the problem exist.

And when it comes to ignoring anti-immigrant xenophobia in the city, no one does it better than Danbury's last honest man who occupies the corner office on the third floor of city hall.

As someone who has followed the assault on the immigrant community from its beginnings, Mayor Mark Boughton's refusal to properly address the ever rising level of racism in the city (under his watch) has been well documented over the years.

One of the mayor's most "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" moments happened at a forum on immigration that was held at the library back in February 2006.


In the following video clip, Boughton is confronted by a parent who was alarmed with the racial hatred and xenophobia she and her child experienced in their short time in the city. Boughton's initial response to the mother’s concern spoke volumes that night and has served as a template for the way the mayor has addressed the topic of racism in his city ever since.

As a side note, look at the flippant reaction from anti-immigrant / hate-group leader Elise Marciano and her ilk (a.k.a., the people most responsible for xenophobia in the area that the parent is talking about). They're marked in blue in the photo above...

PARENT: I'm a newcomer to the community and I moved here because of its diversity. I don't want to raise my son in a racist community, and I'm deeply concerned at how this immigration debate has this racist overtones. I have worked for 10 years in many different diverse communities; all of them had similar demographics to Danbury. This is the first time I've ever encountered such racist remarks towards me and I think you can't ignore this issue in your community. I think there needs to be some kind of procedure in place to address the racism that's associated with this debate.

BOUGHTON: Let me thank you for the courage to make those comments, but there is a procedure, if someone makes hateful comments to you, we have hate-crime laws on the books that are clear, you can file a complaint with the police department, we certainly don't condone that type of activity, but what you're suggesting I disagree with in the sense of this. You're suggesting that we can't have this discussion because it just becomes racist.

PARENT: No I'm not sugg...

BOUGHTON: Okay, so if we start with that premise and say this discussion is not about racism, it's not about ethnicity, it's not about the way somebody looks, but it's about a failed policy that does not work, then we should be able to, a progressive community, a rationale community, and a compassionate community, should be able to have this discussion.

PARENT: That's what I'm concerned about. Of course you should be able to have a discussion on immigration, what I am concerned about is that the discussion on immigration has led to racist overtones in the community.

Instead of addressing the parent's concern regarding the racial acts of intimidation she and her child experienced in their brief stay in Danbury, Boughton opts to ignore the point the parent raised as if the problem doesn't exist.

As you saw in that video clip, the issue the parent raised had nothing to do with illegal immigration (which, the last time I checked, was FEDERAL problem) but rather the increased instances of racism members of the immigrant population are experiencing.

The mayor's response to the parent's concern speaks for itself and is just one example of people who would rather turn a blind eye and ignore the real problem of racial hatred towards the immigrant population in Danbury...or even worse, claim that the problem doesn't exist.

From the most recent hate-crime committed in the city, and the lack of leadership in the days after the racist email scandal, to the quickly forgotten suggestion that a committee be established, which would examine racial tensions in the community (similar to what was done after the race riots in the 1970s), the problem, which Boughton and his political party routinely fail to acknowledge, is the rise in xenophobia among a segment of the population who are openly hostile towards the immigrant community.

...more to come.


Hate-crime filed in assault case

Planning Commissioner Joel Urice stands behind racist emails, refuses to apologize, criticize those who made his emails public

Where's the leadership?

NAACP keynote speaker comments on racist emails

Mark Boughton for governor?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Time: 6:00 PM

Well, I guess when Gary Goncalves asked Mark Boughton whether or not he would serve his entire term as mayor and not run for Congress, he forgot to ask the last honest man in Danbury if he would consider running for governor (if Rell didn't seek re-election) also.

The big story of the week centers around the speculation that Mayor Boughton is seriously considering setting up an exploratory committee for governor. Seeing that he's not even sworn in for his next term, I'd be hard press to believe that Boughton would make such an announcement so soon but I wouldn't be surprised if he made his intentions known sometime after the state of the city address next month.

Stay tuned...

UPDATE: The News-Times just did a write-up on the matter.

BETHEL: Transfer Station expansion sparks controversy

Time: 5:08 PM

The final meeting of the board of selectmen in Bethel was amassed in controversy surrounding First Selectman Bob Burke's effort to expand the town's transfer station.
First Selectman Robert Burke has a mission he wants to complete in the few weeks he has left in office, but he'll face obstacles if critics persist.

Burke said he'll do what it takes to pass a proposal so the town's transfer station can accept 450 tons of construction and demolition debris and change its deficit operation into an income producer.

"I fully intend to move forward with this. I have three weeks of service left," Burke said during a Board of Selectmen's meeting last Tuesday night. "It's very important that we consider this and send it to the people who have the ultimate authority.''


The plan would be for a company to lease the station, expand it and collect construction debris. Even if it collected 200 of the 450 tons permitted under the proposed agreement, the town could make about $104,000 a year.

Critics said Burke held the plans too close to the vest all summer and there wouldn't be enough time to make such a big decision, especially without knowing facts about issues like increased truck traffic.

Critics of First Selectman Burke are upset over the timing of his proposal and let their feelings known to the media.
Selectmen Kevin Cleary and Paul Szatkowski had received no information on the plan.

"It's the responsibility for all of us to understand what it is," Cleary said last Tuesday night. "There is a lot here to rush it in three weeks."

Burke said he would call a special meeting and have the town attorney explain the proposals if needed.

Szatkowski said he thinks it is essential the town reverse its deficit at the transfer station, but he was upset Burke did not share the proposals with selectmen before sending them to attorney Lee Hoffman of the law firm Pullman and Comley for review.

Szatkowski has a lot of questions and wouldn't rush a decision so close to a change in the administration.

"The concept is right, but disregarding the future administration is wrong,'' he said. "I'm not opposed to it, but you can't accomplish something like this in three weeks."

Incoming First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said he was concerned that the proposals were received in May, the attorney sent back a review of them in June, but it's only now, after the election, that Burke is unveiling a plan.

"It was done behind closed doors, without the other selectmen,'' Knickerbocker said. "We need to slow this down until the new administration takes office and look at all the options. There could be other alternatives. We owe it to the voters to explore them before we privatize the place."

With Burke's tenure as First Selectman coming to an end in a couple of weeks, and facing opposition, it remains to be seen if he has the time to make transfer station proposal to become a reality.

Last night's edition of Bethel Watch centered on the Selectmen meeting where the topic of the transfer station came up. You can watch the meeting below:


Time: 4:33 PM

In it's listing of things they're thankful for, The Fairfield Weekly gives a nod to HatCityBLOG's coverage of the John McGowan rape trial.
We are thankful Danbury area anti-immigration whack job John McGowan is making his downfall so entertaining. McGowan is known for his stone-faced support for the mass shooting of illegal immigrants on Comcast public access and was recently arrested for allegedly putting his girlfriend in a headlock and raping her up the behind. Neither of those are funny. What's hilarious is McGowan's repeated insistence to a Litchfield Superior Court judge that the court has no jurisdiction over him as a "natural man." Apparently, McGowan is the one who isn't a U.S. citizen now that he's looking at 20 years. Read a few courtroom dispatches at HatCityBLOG (which is something else we're thankful for).

I'll be thankful once this xenophobic piece of shit is found guilty and finally placed behind bars...

Local Non-Profit Organizations Receive $156,000 in Grants From Union Savings Bank Foundation

Time: 3:05 PM

PHOTO CAPTION: Union Savings Bank President and CEO John Kline (far left) and Board of Trustees President Thomas Frizzell (far right) are the 2009-2010 USB Foundation grant recipients during the Foundation’s November 4th grant breakfast held at the Galleria atrium, 225 Main Street, Danbury

As we approach the holiday season, it's great to see my favorite bank stepping up and assisting non-profit agencies.

From the Union Savings Bank Press Release:
To help address some of the Greater Danbury community’s most pressing human service needs, the Union Savings Bank Foundation has distributed $156,000 to 21 local organizations which provide essential programs and services to benefit children, families and the elderly.

The Union Savings Bank Foundation Grants Committee placed special emphasis on funding services such as emergency shelter and food assistance this year, as many members of our communities have been adversely affected by the troubled economy. Youth education, job skills training, and low-cost health care programs were also given priority.

The foundation's 2009-2010 grants represent a 7% increase in dollars allocated (from $145,500 in 2008). Since the USB Foundation was created in 1999, it has provided 175 grants totaling $1,135,530 to more than 100 not-for-profit organizations.

At The Amos House in Danbury, a USB Foundation grant will help fund a transitional living program for homeless families and individuals. “For the past 20 years, The Amos House has helped families and individuals work toward and meet the goals to help them achieve self-sufficiency,” said Executive Director Gladys McFarland. “The Foundation’s grant will help us continue to offer these essential services in 2010.”

In Newtown, a grant will provide support to the free medical clinic at Kevin’s Community Center. At Kent Village Housing for the Elderly, three kitchens will be replaced at the Templeton Farm Apartments facility.

“The USB Foundation’s goal this year is to support those who have been most affected by our difficult economy,” said Union Savings Bank President and CEO John C. Kline. “The agencies and services that have received grants are helping re-train those who have lost their jobs, provide free or low cost health care, safe housing and shelter and support to parents and children. The Foundation’s distribution of $156,000 this year to 21 worthy organizations is in addition to the approximately $800,000 donated by the bank from earnings in 2009.”

Organizations interested in submitting proposals to the Union Savings Bank Foundation for consideration in the 2010-2011 grant process may download an application form at Union Savings.com , or obtain a form by contacting Maureen Powers at 203.830.4202. Applications for the USB Foundation’s next grant process will be accepted between June 1st and August 31st, 2010.

CT-05: Caligiuri withdraws senate bid, jumps into Congressional race against Murphy

Time: 2:02 PM

GOP chairman Chris Healy's game of musical chairs continues as Sam Caligiuri drops out of the senate race in order to campaign for the 5th Congressional District Republican nomination.

CTNewsJunkie has the details:
As expected, state Senator Sam Caligiuri officially switched campaigns Tuesday afternoon and decided to drop his bid for the U.S. Senate and instead run against U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy in Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District.

“I have been deeply humbled by the outpouring of people who have urged me to run for Congress in the Fifth District and for the many citizens throughout Connecticut who have encouraged me to run for Governor,” Caligiuri said in a statement.

No comment from the other Republicans in race as of yet...

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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.



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

trans_button Santos Family Story
VIDEO: Tereza Pereira's ordeal with ICE agents

VIDEO: Danbury Peace Coalition Immigration Forum (April 2006)
featuring Mayor Boughton and Immigration attorney Philip Berns

VIDEO: 2007 Stop the Raids immigration forum at WCSU

2007: Community protest anti-immigration forum

A tribute to Hispanic Center Director and immigrant activist Maria Cinta Lowe

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