Eleven year old Lauren Messert sat in the front row of the Police Commission meeting last night, petition in hand, awaiting her turn to speak up for the cause she has fought for during the last month. Beside her sat her friend Maya and her father Robert Messert. Lauren collected 685 signatures which she presented during the public comments portion of the evening.
Police Commissioner Nick Ellis said that Chief Jeffery Finch "has the right to change, eliminate or do whatever with the program but he felt it was important to get the pulse from the Superintendent, the First Selectman, and principals of the schools" before the DARE program ended. Ellis added that the Chief "went above and beyond" what he had to do.
Finch read a letter he had written that stated other wealthy communities were cutting the out-dated program and that proved this decision wasn't based on money. Finch said he discussed the decision with the Police Captain, the Police Commission, Superintendent Dr. Gary Chesley and First Selectman Matthew Knickerbockers who all agreed that the program was outdated and it was time to move on to something new.
DeLuca presented the Police Commission with two e-mails from two principals, which were not read to the public, that stated administrators supported the program.
Concern was raised that perhaps the Commission was not presented with all the information before making the decision which led member Bill Ochs to make a motion to table the decision until they had more time to read through and discuss the materials. The motion was seconded by McCollam, however the three other Commission members voted no.
Finch said that the First Selectman discussed with him research that showed the program was not effective.
Ellis said he was excited about helping kids on the middle school level and to stat some fresh, new programs which the principal embraces.
Chief Finch closed his letter by saying, "Let's try something new. Let's return to some traditional values of being a youth officer rather than simply lecturing about bad behavior and bad choices."
There seemed to be a debate regarding the effectiveness/usefulness of the program that requires research...more later.
The city reopened the Backus Avenue bridge near Danbury Fair mall, which connects western Danbury with downtown and the downtown to the main post office, Friday. The bridge re-opened after seven months of repair work.
Since April, drivers have had to either drive around Danbury Airport or use Mill Plain Road as an alternative to connect western Danbury with the center or even with the Danbury Fair mall.
The cost of the repair is tagged at 1.25 million.
The Patch will have a full write-up on the opening of the bridge tomorrow...
Welcome to Danbury.patch.com, a website devoted to news and events in the city of Danbury.
This exclusive Danbury website is interactive, so if you want to announce a meeting, click on announcements. You have an event people should attend? Click on events and add it to the site. New baby? Excellent. Announce it and add photographs in the announcement area. Too busy to put it up? Send it to me. I'll take care of it.
Look over the categories across the top of the page. Are we covering enough sports? Let me know. If business tops your agenda, tell me. Do we have it covered? If neighborhoods are your thing, give me the down low on your neighborhood. I heard this week that Connecticut Avenue in Danbury is a hidden gem that nobody knows about. Perhaps the people who live there are up to speed on it. I'll check.
If you don't see it on the site, and it has to do with Danbury, please tell me. I want it on the site.
I've lived in Danbury since 1995, and my daughter went to Stadley Rough and Broadview Middle School. She entered Danbury High School in September and we're pretty excited about that. We've had a great experience with Danbury schools and we've loved living in the city.
On my drive downtown, I ride by Augie's Numero Uno, an Italian restaurant with a great $29 two-person dinner special. The sauce is fresh and the joint is slamming. Next comes WestConn, where I earned my master's degree. Up above is Danbury Hospital, and the combination of those two establishments will have a huge impact for growth in Danbury and for traffic in that part of town. Finally I reach Main Street, where I like finding neon signs advertising merchandise in Spanish or Portuguese. I like Main Street and its wide range of offerings, because my hometown had no traffic light when I was growing up and only one store.
Danbury.patch.com is a 24-7 news operation, so let me know if something happened, or better yet, when something is coming. I'll try to get there myself or I'll find someone to send.
Look for me around town. That's where you'll find me.
LIVE VIDEO STREAM: 2010 Political Forum and Meet The Candidates Night
Time: 6:15 PM
I'll be live streaming the 2010 Political Forum and Meet The Candidates Night from the Portuguese Cultural Center starting at 7:00 PM.
Here's a breakdown of the event:
We have invited the following Political Candidates:
From District 2: Republican Dan Carter & Democrat Jason Bartlett
From District 107: Republican David A. Scribner
From District 108: Republican Richard A. Smith & Democrat Kenneth Neal Jr.
From District 109: Republican Jack Knapp & Democrat Joseph Taborsak
From District 110: Republican Terrance Tierney & Democrat Bob Godfrey
From District 138: Republican Janice Giegler
From District 24: Republican Michael McLachlan & Democrat Alice Hutchinson
The candidates have responded favorably to the date and the type of forum that we have suggested. During our "forum session" we will ask each of the candidates a few questions which we will provide to them in advance. We will give each of them the opportunity to answer these questions and then they may respond to the answers given by their opponent. At the conclusion, each candidate will be given a brief opportunity to indicate to the group why they deserve to be elected to serve in our state legislature.
The stream starts at 7:00 PM.
UPDATE: The event is over but you can still watch the recorded video stream...
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Linda McMahon left, and Republican candidate for Lt. Gov. Mark Boughton, right, shake hands with seniors at a candidate forum in Manchester, Conn. , Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010. Former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO McMahon is battling Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Attorney General, for the senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Chris Dodd.
CT STATE SEN 26: Hartwell goes on offense against Boucher in new ad
Time: 2:58 PM
In two new TV ads to air this weekend, Democratic State Senate candidate John Hartwell rips into Toni Boucher for being hypocritical when it comes to state spending as well as her alignment with far-right radical groups.
This has turned into a bummer of an autumn for Connecticut’s traditional newspapers.
Last week, the owners of The New Haven Register announced they would be laying off 30 to 40 members of the newspaper’s business-side staff and transferring those operations to the Journal Register Company’s Michigan business office.
That came down just after The New York Times came out with a massive front-page exposé on “the deal from hell,” as Sam Zell characterized his takeover of the Tribune Company. The Tribune owns the Hartford Courant, this weekly newspaper, and Fox 61 here in Connecticut.
Meanwhile, you have AOL’s new Patch system of hyperlocal news websites hiring away good young reporters from The Meriden Record-Journal and The Waterbury Republican-American.
The Meriden Record-Journal lost its Wallingford town hall reporter, Dave Moran, and its Southington reporter, Leslie Hutchinson. The Waterbury Republican-American saw Paul Singley, who had been covering Naugatuck, jump to become a local reporter for Patch.
One reporter who attended Singley’s going-away party last week, said Singley was saying he will be getting thousands of dollars more a year to work for Patch than he was making at the Waterbury paper.
“He is a good young reporter,” one Rep-Am staffer says of Singley, “a go-getter.”
Exactly the kind of journalist Connecticut newspapers need to hang on to as they struggle to make the transition from print-only to multi-media operations in this Internet age.
As the Patch news service gets established in the Greater Danbury Area, in order to survive, print media such as the News-Times and Ridgefield Press will be pressured to examine how best to deliver their product. In the age where most people can obtain their news on their smartphone and mobile devices, with the ability to hire journalists, the Patch service has the ability to deliver news faster than traditional media. Also given the fact that critics of the News-Times complain that the newspaper fails to provide local news, since the Patch focuses on news pertaining to a particular city/town, it can provide local content at a faster pace than what the public is receiving now.
Will Patch succeed in Greater Danbury? It's too soon to say but the Patch is an extremely popular service whose readership is increasing every day and it can only be a good thing in area such as Bethel and Danbury where local reporting barely exist.
Congressman Jim Himes responds to anonymous funded attack ad on behalf of Dan Debicella. Norwalk City Hall 10.19.10. Photo by ctblogger.
As in the case in the 5th district, anonymously financed ultra-right "shadow" groups have targeted Congressman Jim Himes in his race against Dan Debicella.
Because of the US Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, 501( c ) groups such as ANN are not legally required to disclose their donors, thus giving corporations the ability to donate unlimited amounts of money anonymously.
Recently ANN targeted Congressman Himes (along with Congressman Chris Murphy) with a 800,000 TV attack ad that accuses the congressmen of approving the distribution of Viagra to sex offenders and voting in favor of health care to undocumented immigrants.
At a rally at Norwalk City Hall, Congressman Himes responded to ad and called on Dan Debicella to demand AAN to cease advertising in the state.
Congressman Jim Himes held a rally with 4th District residents to call on Dan Debicella to demand that the American Action Network and 60 Plus, outside interest groups funded by secret money, cease the false and misleading advertising they are sending on his behalf. Due to a loophole in campaign finance law, organizations are able to deliberately hide the donors funding campaign ads, leaving voters and the news media no ability to question the agenda, motives, or objectives of these anonymous funders.
“Dan Debicella has run a campaign of utter deception, and these ads are just the most recent demonstration of his casual relationship with the truth,” said Himes. “He should demand these ads be removed so we can have a real discussion about how to improve the economy and create jobs. Debicella is simply trying to district voters from his reckless, radical record.”
The ad AAN is attempting to run is so false that local cable companies felt the need to seek legal advice on whether or not the ad could run. Thus far, the ad has not appeared.
Over the course of the campaign, Debicella has blatantly lied on several occasions. He grossly overstated the unemployment rate on numerous occasions, makes false promises about tax cuts paid for with money that doesn’t exists, and attacked Jim for votes taken before he was even a member of Congress. And Debicella's economic programs don’t add up; he’s called for cutting the federal budget by 25% but has yet to name any specific cuts.
Debicella’s unwillingness to call for the ad’s removal highlights once again his reckless, radical positions. While Debicella campaigns with Chris Shays and tries to lay claim to his moderate support, Debicella’s unwillingness to call for this ad’s removal highlights another difference between the two officials. Shays was a leader on campaign finance reform, having written the law that is now being abused by Debicella and his supporters.
After the rally, I had a chance to talk with Congressman Himes about the ad...
News-Times John Pirro has the latest regarding the Ana Barros murder investigation...and it's not good.
An arrest warrant has been issued in Danbury Superior Court for 40-year-old Daniel Costa, charging him with the stabbing death of his aunt, Ana Barros, earlier this year.
Authorities believe that Costa is in Portugal, where he went in May, three days before another relative reported Barros missing and two weeks before her body was found buried beneath a newly poured concrete floor in the basement of the Housman Street apartment house where they both lived.
Costa has been a suspect almost from the outset of the investigation. Besides Barros, he was the only other occupant of the house, which he co-owned with his parents. They went back to Portugal years ago.
Another source familiar with the case said Costa tried unsuccessfully to withdraw money from his aunt's bank account before leaving the country.
Court and city records indicate that Costa obtained a $100,000 mortgage on the property in September 2007, and another $345,000 loan on it two months later. The house is valued at $435,000, according to the city assessor.
Before leaving the country, Costa applied for a state program designed to avoid foreclosure, but failed to show up for the mediation session at Danbury Superior Court.
"If I wrote them down for you, maybe it would be easier for you to understand"
Monday, October 18, 2010 Time: 8:59 PM
To say that last Saturday's debate between Congressman Chris Murphy and Sam Caligiuri was "interesting" would be an understatement.
As a preview of longer post I'm working on regarding Caligiuri's god-awful performance, watch this remarkable exchange as Chris Murphy is asked to highlight areas of government spending he would like to see cut.
Like I said, to say this debate was "interesting" would be an understatement. More to come...
Congressman Chris Murphy expressed his anger regarding new attack ad from conservative think tank. Press Conference New Britain 10.15.10
"I don't' believe I ever recall seeing you quite so wound up?"
-Comment from WTNH Mark Davis to Congressman Chris Murphy at Friday's presser.
Last Friday, Congressman Chris Murphy held a press conference to respond to the latest attack ad from the newly formed conservative group called "The American Action Network"
For those now familiar with this ultra-right wing shadow group…read slowly:
American Action Network (AAN) is a "501(c)4" Washington, D.C.-based "action tank" created in February 2010 after the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision permitted corporations to spend unlimited money influencing elections. AAN is expected to spend $25 million during the 2010 midterm elections on advertisements attacking Democratic candidates, but as a 501(c)(4), the American Action Network does not have to disclose its donors. The organization was formed by center right political operatives and supported by former Minnesota senator Norm Coleman and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former senior policy adviser to Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign.
Organizers have described the group as a center-right version of the Center for American Progress, but rather than working on policy analysis, it has just been running ads attacking Democrats.
American Action Network is linked to Karl Rove's American Crossroads PAC; in fact, they share office space.
In its efforts to "create, encourage and promote center-right policies based on the principles of freedom, limited government, American exceptionalism, and strong national security," AAN is expected to spend $25 million dollars influencing the 2010 Congressional mid-term elections, particularly on opposing Democrats in Senate races in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Washington, and Florida.
However, as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, AAN is not required to disclose its donors, and can legally operate under a veil of secrecy.
Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's January 2010 Citizens United decision, groups like American Action Network can legally advocate for or against political candidates without restrictions on the amount of money they can raise from individuals and corporations. And thanks to the Court's 2007 FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life decision, "independent" groups organized under 501(c) of the tax code can run "issue-oriented" political ads without disclosing their the individuals and corporations who fund their efforts.
Despite the donors' anonymity, the AAN's board membership may provide some insight into the group's motivations, and provide voters some insight into who is trying to influence them (see the "Leadership" section, below).
Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21, a nonpartisan campaign-finance-reform group, tells TIME Magazine that "shadow Republican groups formed by longtime party officials and party operatives are raising and spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this election...most of which is going to come in the form of secret undisclosed contributions."
Obviously, transparency is not a part of this group's business model.
Karl Rove's AAN plans to spend 800,000 in the state with an ridiculous attack ad on Murphy complete with accusations of the congressman voting in favor of health care for undocumented immigrants and Viagra for sex offenders.
Needless to say that congressman wasn't too pleased and in a rare show of emotion, Murphy expressed his anger this afternoon...
…and to the surprise of the media, the congressman kicked his anger up a notch during the Q&A.
You can read Congressman Murphy'statement regarding AAN's attack ad below...
New Britain, CT – Today, Congressman Chris Murphy (CT-5) and more than 100 supporters from the Fifth District gathered in New Britain to denounce a television attack ad funded by the American Action Network, a group funded and run by Wall Street millionaires and linked to national Republican heavy hitters. The organization is spending $800,000 on these attacks, and their agenda puts Wall Street ahead of Connecticut: more tax breaks for the wealthy, more unfair trade deals, and no accountability for Wall Street’s riskiest practices.
“This special interest group, which won’t disclose who is funding their assault on me, is trying to steal this election. They want to steal it so they can try to outsource your job, turn back the clock on consumer protection reforms, and send us back to the George Bush economic policies that got us into this mess. People here don’t buy these types of smear campaigns, and we are fighting back,” said Murphy.
Murphy was joined by supporters, including Kathy Platt of Alderman Motors in Meriden, whom Murphy helped stay in business and keep people employed, and Jan Smolinski, a Cheshire resident whose son went missing in Waterbury years ago. Murphy and Smolinski have worked on federal legislation to update missing persons laws so that families across the nation won’t have to go through what the Smolinski family has gone through in their search for their loved one.
Murphy was also joined by Marian Melcher Hanson, a Burlington resident and registered Republican who supports him because of his responsiveness in helping her business grow.
“Sam Caligiuri should pick up the phone and call the board members of the American Action Network himself to get this ad off the Connecticut airwaves. People in Connecticut support me because I stand up for them. If Sam Caligiuri remains silent, we will know once and for all that he stands with DC special interests and their smear tactics,” said Murphy.
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.