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The targeting of campaign lawn signs must end

Wednesday, October 05, 2022
Time: 11:02 AM

This is what targeted vandalism looks like

It's one thing when signs are vandalized (it's an unfortunate part of campaigning), it's another entire matter when one candidate's sign appears to be targeted and damaged throughout the city.

I've reported on my fair share of Danbury's state office campaigns. Still, I've never seen this level of vandalism and abuse towards a single candidate than what State Senate candidate Michele Coelho (and to a smaller extent Judge of Probate candidate Dom Chieffalo) have endured in the last couple of weeks.

And to BE CLEAR, when you see one candidate's sign repeatedly damaged while other signs (sometimes in the SAME AREA) are untouched, it's fair to say that vandalism rises above random incidents. Spare me the B.S about other candidates' damaged signs as I've been monitoring this situation for at least three weeks, and the vandalism to Coehlo and Chieffalo signage is next level).

Over the weekend, I reached out to the chairmen of the Danbury Democratic and Republican town committees to get their take on the recent string of vandalaism and provide them an oppurtunity to call for an end to the nonsense.

Danbury Republican Town Committee chairman Mike Safranek

The CTblogger channel · Danbury RTC chairman Mike Safranek on rise in campaign vandalism
Danbury Democratic Town Committee chairman Roberto Alves

The CTblogger channel · Danbury DTC Chairman Roberto Alves on lawn sign vandalism
The political vitriol and toxicity in the city needs to end and end now.

It's time.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022
Time: 1:40 PM

It's that time in the year when I invite candidates to sit down with yours truly and talk about their campaign.

I have aseries of interviews lined up with candidates for state office in Greater Danbury as well as across the state.

Candidates should reach out to me at hatcityblog@yahoo.com or HatCityBLOG at Facebook...and if you're a candidate for minor party (Green, Independent) then I REALLY WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.

My reporting on the campaign season begins...NOW.

Great Plains Elementary School earn Blue Ribbon award

Sunday, September 18, 2022
Time: 9:14 AM

Great Plains Elementary School ws one of our four school in the state to be awared the 2022 Blue Ribbon Award for academic performance.

Hartford Courant:

More than 50% of the school’s 280 students are economically-disadvantaged and 33% are English learners, according to the release. Great Plain was a School of Distinction for three years in a row. The school builds strong community partnerships with parents and local foundations to tackle challenges and support students.

“In 2018-19, the school demonstrated not only overall high performance in English language arts, but they were also recognized for the strong academic growth of students with high needs in mathematics and ELA,” the release reads. “In an effort to extend learning time, the school has offered a program for students to arrive at school early four days each week using district-provided transportation so that they may participate in additional math and reading instruction and enrichment based on student need.”

State Senate candidate Coelho receives Independent Party endorsement

Monday, September 12, 2022
Time: 9:55 AM

The race for the State Senate seat in the 24th district is turning out to be the most-watched race in the state.

Over the weekend, Republican State Senate candidate Michelle Coelho announced that she received the endorsement of the Independent Party; the endorsement allows Coelho's name to appear on the ballot two times.

Michelle Coelho Receives CT Independent Party’s Endorsement for 24th Senate District Seat

“The voters of Danbury, New Fairfield and Ridgefield deserve an independent voice in Hartford.”

Danbury - Michelle Coelho, Republican candidate for the 24th Senate District seat, has been endorsed by the Connecticut Independent Party.

“I am honored and energized by the support of independent voters,” Coelho said. “The voters of Danbury, New Fairfield and Ridgefield deserve an independent voice in Hartford. As your new state senator, I will be that voice. I will fight to make Connecticut safer and more affordable. I will also support our law enforcement officers while protecting and defending local control of education and zoning.”

Coelho, a Danbury resident, serves on the city’s Board of Education.

“I cherish our constitutional freedoms and liberties,” Coelho said. “I am passionate about safeguarding our children’s education and empowering parents. I believe parents deserve a voice and a choice when it comes to the education of their children.

“That’s why I am asking Independents, Unaffiliateds, Democrats and Republicans to elect me to replace Julie Kushner as your senator this November. My positive, pro-growth, pro-family message is already resonating with people from all political parties, and I will be spreading that message every day until the polls close. Voters have a very clear choice in this race.”

A first-generation Cuban American, Coelho’s parents came to America to escape from the oppressive Communist government in Cuba. A businesswoman, Coelho is a full-time project manager and developer with 30 years of experience in oversight and construction planning.

“I love this country, and I love Connecticut,” Coelho said. “As your state senator, I will be a listener, I will be independent-minded, and I will be your voice.”

Coelho’s candidacy was also recently endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police for her support of law enforcement in greater Danbury.

Election Day is Nov. 8. For more information on how to volunteer, visit www.CoelhoForSenate.com. Coelho can be reached at CoelhoForSenate@gmail.com.

Democraitc incumbent State Senator Julie Kushner's name will also appear two times on the ballot as she was endorsed by the Working Families Party.

One on one with Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker

Thursday, August 18, 2022
Time: 10:08 AM

Yesterday, residents of Bethel were surprised to learn that six-term First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker decided to step down as the town's top elected official.

Knickerbocker announced that he would resign as First Selectman effective September 6th and take on his new role of Town Administrator in the Town of Wilton the next day.


Dear Friends and Neighbors:

I am writing to let our community know that this morning I submitted my resignation from the office of First Selectman. This will become effective at midnight on Tuesday, September 6th, and on Wednesday, September 7th, Selectman Rich Straiton will assume the duties of First Selectman on a full-time basis. The vacancy in the First Selectman's office will require a special election in the near future, as well as an appointment by the Board of Selectmen to fill the third seat. The special election will most likely be held in early 2023. You will be receiving more information about that over the next few weeks.

I'm sure this news comes as a surprise to many of our residents, and I wanted to take a moment to let you know how this came about.

I had been contemplating making a career change at the end of my current term of office for some time. I was always planning to continue in the field of public service but wished to be in a more secure position and one that was not subject to the two-year election cycle. I was looking for an opportunity to keep working in a public service capacity without the burden of politics and the seemingly never-ending need to campaign for office. Over the past two years, I have actually had other opportunities that I felt I had to let go of, as I felt it was not right to leave this position in the middle of a global pandemic and its effects on our community.

In a perfect world, I would have preferred to finish my current term and then transition to a new role. Great opportunities seldom time themselves with such convenience, however, and the opportunity I have is one that I cannot afford to pass up. On September 7th, I will assume the position of Town Administrator in the Town of Wilton and will be responsible for managing most of the town's municipal operations.

I send my most sincere thanks to all of the members of our community who have supported me in this position. And thanks also go to the other hard-working members and volunteers in our town government, as well as the other elected and appointed boards and commissions. By setting politics aside and working together for the betterment of our town, we have accomplished a great deal of good work over the past thirteen years.

From building infrastructure and road deficiencies to tackling responsible development concerns, to say that Bethel was once a town with a laundry list of issues and concerns and WELL-known for its nasty and personal political climate would be an understatement.

Bethel was one of the first communities outside of Danbury that I covered local politics; I'd had the pleasure of following Knickerbocker's rise in local government, starting as a member of the Board of Education to his run for First Selectman against then incumbent Bob Burke.

As Bethel transformed itself from the hotbed of partisan and divisive politics with its share of municipal deficiencies to the redeveloped community of today, I always made sure to take the time to talk to Knickerbocker over the years and get updates on changes in the town under his watch. As someone who bared witness to Bethel's transformation under Knickerboker's helm as First Selectman, it's with a bit of sadness that this is my last interview with Matt, but I wish him the best in his future endeavors. The town of Wilton was lucky when former long-term and popular Danbury Town Clerk Lori Kaback decided to bring her talents to their town. Now that same community is just as fortunate to have Bethel's top elected official as their Town Administrator.

The CTblogger channel · One on one with Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker

Show some respect for the grieving

Friday, July 29, 2022
Time: 7:24 AM

There is a father grieving over the loss of his ENTRE family. The last thing he needs is for his neighbors and residents jumping to conclusions about the motives behind the tragedy because of the media is grasping at anything to report on since the city only released a brief statement as opposed to holding a press conference.

As someone who was ON THE SCENE yesterday and was in CONSTANT contact with the police department while awaiting a statement, there is NO evidence that his matter had ANYTHING to do with the tragedy...none.

Out of respect for the grieving family members, the media should do the right thing and inform readers that THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THE DAY CARE OPERATION IS CONNECTED TO THE INCIDENT.

Do Better.

Sonic (finally) comes to Danbury

Monday, July 25, 2022
Time: 11:54 AM

Last Thursday, I attended the long-awaited opening of Sonic Drive-In restaurant located across the street from the Western Connecticut State University's midtown campus on White Street.

It's been at least twelve years since rumors first circulated about the fast food operation's desire to open an establishment in Danbury.

In 2012, the city approved a plan to build a Sonic location at the property on Newtown Road that currently occupies The EDGE fitness center. The tenant at the property at the time (XPect Discounts) filed and won a lawsuit blocking the restaurant's construction, arguing that the placement of the franchise on the property would violate their lease agreement.

Fast forward to today, and the White Street property that once housed food establishments such as Wendy's and Arthur's Treacher's, now has Sonic as their new tenant.

Here's my video recap of Sonic's ribbon-cutting ceremony, as well as my interview with Mayor Dean Esposito where we discussed what the opening means for the economic development efforts on the city's east side.

Coelho campaign announced threshold reached for public finance grant

Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Time: 1:06 PM

Today, Republican 24th State Senate district candidate Michelle Coelho announced that her campaign has reached the threshold required to qualify for the state's public campaign finance program.


Citing “Significant Support from Fed Up Taxpayers Who Want New Leadership in Hartford,” Michelle Coelho qualifies for CT Financing Grant

Michelle Coelho, who is running to be the next Connecticut Senator from the 24th District, has qualified for Connecticut’s public campaign financing grant, through the Citizens’ Election Program.

“I want to thank the over 400 individual campaign donors, who helped us reach our goal. Our campaign has momentum, our positive message is resonating with voters, and I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response we have received from people across the district,” Michelle Coelho said.

“The support for my campaign has been from all party affiliations: Republican, Independent, Unaffiliated, and Democrat voters. All who simply are fed up with the direction our state is heading. People of all ages and backgrounds are hurting financially. They want someone representing them in Hartford, who will fight for lower taxes and safer communities, while keeping local control.” Coelho added, “I also support state funding for a public Charter School in Danbury. My number one job is to listen to the residents of our district, something which has been lacking for far too long. As their state senator, that’s exactly what I will do. I will listen to the people of our district and I will bring their voice to our State Capitol.”

In order to qualify for public financing, candidates for state Senate must raise $17,300, with at least 300 (Coelho far surpassed that) contributions from individuals residing in their district. The 24th Senate District includes Danbury, New Fairfield and Ridgefield.

Michelle Coelho has applauded the Republican plan to send more money back to residents through immediate tax relief for struggling families. (The plan and its petition can be viewed at AffordableConnecticut.com) “As your state Senator, I will vote ‘yes’ on immediately cutting the income tax, sales tax, diesel tax, and the highway truck tax. I will vote ‘yes’ to lessen the burden on middle-class households. We need action now, and we need to elect state lawmakers who will fight to protect people’s wallets. I am asking the voters from all political parties for support - and their vote - on November 8th.

Thank you so much for your encouragement and support. It has energized me to campaign tirelessly from now, until Election Day.”

Coelho is running against two-term State Senate Julie Kushner who qualififed for public financing in February .

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The Mercurial (RIP)
Danbury News Times
Danbury Patch
Danbury Hamlet Hub
Danbury Daily Voice
Tribuna Newspaper
CT News Junkie
CT Capitol Report




(VID) DDTC nomination convention
(PDF) DDTC campaign slate flyer

(VID) DRTC nomination convention
(PDF) DRTC campaign slate flyer

(VID) 2021 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum

First quarter
Alves Apr 10th SEEC filing

Second quarter
Alves Jul 10th SEEC filing
Esposito Jul 10th SEEC filing

Third quarter
Alves Oct 12th SEEC report
Esposito Oct 12th SEEC report

Alves "Jan 6th" attack mailer 10.21.21
Esposito "you can't trust Alves" attack mailer 10.20.21
Alves mailer 10.20.21
Alves mailer 09.30.21
Esposito mailer 09.28.21
Alves mailer 09.27.21
Esposito mailer 09.27.21


Danbury 2005 election results
Newstimes Dean Esposito profile (10.25.05)

Danbury 2007 election results
(VID) Helana Abrantes TV ad
(VID) BRT tax deferral presser
(VID) Helena Abrantes "Community Forum" interview

Danbury 2009 election results
(VID) 2009 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) 2009 Danbury Chamber of Commerce mayoral debate
(VID) 2009 DDTC nomination convention

Danbury 2011 election results
(VID) Saadi/Nero campaign kickoff

Danbury 2013 election results
(VID) 2013 DDTC nominaiton convention

Danbury 2015 election results

Danbury 2017 election results
(VID) Al Almeida concession speech
(VID) 2017 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) Al Almeida nomination acceptance speech

Danbury 2019 election results
(VID) 2019 NewsTimes Editorial Board interview with Mark Boughton and Chris Setaro
(VID) 2019 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) 2019 Danbury Chamber of Commerce mayoral debate
(VID) 2019 convention endorsement speeches from Mark Boughton and Chris Setaro

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