Bethel loves their local government on public access

Saturday, December 09, 2006
Time: 8:04 PM

Remember, Mayor Boughton doesn't like the broadcasts from Bethel because of the quality. Well, it seems like the people in Bethel don't much so that they demanded that the board of education meetings be put back on the air.
Those unable to attend Board of Education meetings can once again watch them on Comcast Cablevision's Educational Access Channel 26.

The announcement was made at Thursday night's Board of Education meeting.

The meetings and other board programs have not been aired since May, when some residents raised questions about using the channel to air programs on potentially controversial topics, such as the Bethel High School renovation.

The residents took their complaint to the Danbury Bethel Ridgefield Cable Advisory Council, which oversees Channel 26, and the show was dropped.

Dianne Eppinger, advisory council chairman, in an Oct. 31 letter to board chairman Stuart Carlsen, said after consulting with Comcast, the Bethel Board of Education meetings may be aired on Channel 26.

The item was not discussed at the school board's Nov. 2 meeting. Members tabled the issue until the December meeting.

At Thursday's meeting, parent Jan Neuner said she was thrilled to hear Channel 26 will again allow the Board of Education to show gavel-to-gavel recordings of its meetings.

Neuner is the president of the Bethel Central Parent Teacher Organization.

"Some parents are not even home from work at 7:30 p.m., especially dads," said Neuner of people who can't attend the meetings but want to stay informed about education topics in the district.

"I didn't understand it at all," she said of people who thought it was controversial to have the meetings aired.

In the past the school board televised many hours of programming on Channel 26, with shows ranging from school sports and "Meet the New Teachers" to Harry Potter book discussions.

During the controversy, none of this programming was shown.

Bethel School Superintendent Gary Chesley was pleased with the outcome.

"I know we have got a lot of positive feedback over the years," said Chesley about having the board of education meetings on Channel 26.

"The feedback from people is they like to see information," said board member Matthew Knickerbocker.
In little Bethel, they have their meetings braodcasted but in Danbury, we get the runaround.

Danbury Live versus Hat City Blog

Time: 7:19 PM

I'm STILL working on my video project (oh, it's good) and I'm tivoing the latest edition of Danbury Live on public access.

For those who don't know, Danbury Live is a show in which volunteers go down to City Hall, record various local government meetings, and broadcast them on Comcast. In other words, they're doing what many in Danbury wants the city to do.

Now one of the laughable excuses we hear from the Republicans who are against broadcasting public meetings is that the quality is poor. Now I'm not going to even get into how politically dishonest that excuse is but this is what I'm going to do for you. I was at this particular meeting and I happened to videotape it with my digital camcorder while the volunteers used a older video camera (probably a VHS) which is of less quality. Now, later when I'm done recording the show, I'm going to post a copy of their show and a copy of my video footage. Trust me, after you watch the two videoclips, you'll clearly see that broadcasting these meetings would be easy and cost next to nothing.

Again, for the record, here's a breakdown of my setup:

Canon ZR550 digital camera (250.00)
Tripod which extends to 8 feet (80.00)
Digital videotape (3 for 15.00)
2002 Macintosh PowerBook G4 with iMovie (valued now at 1,200)

The cost for all my stuff is under 5,000 and I'll put up my video against anything broadcasted on television right now.

Now, unlike my other videoclips which I post on Tivo, I'm going to offer a link where you can download the videoclips as I'm going to allow people to download a high quality file which you can watch on TV (I'll give you directions on burning the video to DVD later).

Now, take into consideration the following.

1. The Common Council chambers audio comes from the speakers in the room. The place is wired up for audio and you can hook up to the system quite easily.

2. The lighting in the room isn't the greatest but with a better videocamera would have no problem under those conditions (a 400 dollar camera would do).


About that elimination of the car tax

Friday, December 08, 2006
Time: 4:17 PM

Well, you can kiss that idea goodbye.
The state could have a budget deficit of at least $500 million in the 2007-08 fiscal year, which Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today could require some cuts in state services.

If spending continues at its current rate, state budget director Robert Genuario projects a deficit of $500 million to $700 million for the next fiscal year to provide the current level of services.

"We're going to have to talk about what we want as priorities, and what we will be able to afford, and it won't be all at one time," Rell told reporters Friday after a meeting of the state Bond Commission. "It may mean the possibility of some cuts in current services."


Next year's projected shortfall could also make it more difficult for Rell to push her favored proposal to eliminate local car taxes. The tax cut would be partly funded by eliminating a property tax credit currently offered against the income tax.

Legislators did not enact it during their session earlier this year, but Rell promised during this year's gubernatorial campaign that she would revive the idea.

"I will pick my battles, but right now, if we have the money, I would still like to do that," Rell said Friday
What battle? This isn't new news...Gov. Rell knew very well that there was no way the elimination of the car tax would see the light of day. Too many cities rely on property taxes and what she was offering was nothing more than a campaign gimmick.

Don't look at me, I voted for DeStefano.

Sex offender media coverage

Time: 1:07 PM

I was planning to posting this video after I had my coverage from the Common Council meeting ready to go. Unfortunately, this latest video project is taking more time than I had planned so I have to post something up on this blog...

The passing of the sex offender ordinance gained a bit of coverage from the media this week. Channel 30 was first on the scene as they came down to Danbury on Common Council night and videotaped portions of the meeting. The left the meeting pretty late so I'm sure they were only able to do a really small piece on the passing of the ordinance that night.

Channel 8's coverage was horrible and is not even worth bringing up. Ditto for Channel 3...unless half the city is on fire, those guys never cover anything in Danbury as they cater to everything east of Waterbury. Channel 61 did a follow-up on the story and did a pretty good job showing all the sides of the issue. Although it would have been better if the media would cover the entire process (from ad-hoc committee to the final vote and while carefully outlining the pros and cons of the proposed law), at least Channel 61 did something.

So, in looking at all the coverage, since I feel Channel 61 is the only guys who stepped up and actually did a half-way decent job in reporting the story, here's the video for your viewing pleasure.

Hopefully, I'll have the video from the meeting posting soon.

December 7 1941

Thursday, December 07, 2006
Time: 10:57 AM

Before 9/11, there was 12/7.

Another reason to skip eating at Taco Bell

Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Time: 3:25 PM

Taco Bell ordered the removal of green onions from its 5,800 restaurants nationwide Wednesday after tests suggested they might be responsible for the E. coli outbreak that sickened at least three dozen people in three states.

The fast-food chain said preliminary testing by an independent lab found three samples of green onions appeared to have a harsh strain of the bacteria.

Taco Bell said that the tests are not conclusive, but that it immediately notified health authorities and its restaurants while it awaits a final analysis.

"In an abundance of caution, we've decided to pull all green onions from our restaurants until we know conclusively whether they are the cause of the E.coli outbreak," said Greg Creed, president of Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell.

A message left with the company on where the green onions came from was not immediately returned Wednesday.
CNN talk the E. coli outbreak at Taco Bell before this recall was announced (click here if the video doesn't appear below).

I don't know about you but you won't catch me eating at Taco Bell regardless of their health inspection score.

Still processing

Time: 3:12 PM

Well, this video production is going to take longer than expected.

Let me explain...

I was working on the video I shot from last night's Common Council meeting earlier today. If you don't know, producing this footage take a bit of time because of the editing, processing, and compressing you have to do before you can upload the file to the internet (it would be SO much easier if I just did a public access show). Well, to make a long story short, in going through my hundreds of hours of public access shows I've tivo'd, I noticed that I haven't done an update on the latest round of excuses surrounding the refusal to broadcast meetings. Next thing I know, I stopped working on last night's video and started putting together an update on what's happening with the broadcasting silliness (trust me, this will knock you off your seat folks).

Since I have two events I'm covering in the area tonight, It looks like I'm not going to be able to get the Common Council video posted from last night. I'm really sorry but I promise to get it posted as soon as possible.

Where do I begin

Time: 8:14 AM

So much to talk about but you'll have to wait a bit...I'm waiting on some more information to come my way first.

Now that I'm free of that research paper I've been working on, thankfully I can get back to reporting on stuff happening around town. Lots of interesting topics were brought up at last night's Common Council meeting. Unfortunately, since I've been off the radar, I have hours of video to process and that takes quite of bit of time to accomplish.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can post something later.

Head xenophobe and Minuteman founder scheduled to speak in Danbury

Monday, December 04, 2006
Time: 8:49 PM

It seems like Connecticut's favorite xenophobe Paul Streitz is back in the booking business...aren't we so lucky.

On December 13th, for 10 bucks a head, you can come down and see Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist spew his hate-speech in Danbury. The man who has close ties to the Neo-Nazi group The National Alliance will come to our area and tell us all the bad things about illegal immigrants and why they should all be thrown out of the country.

Here's a little history into the background of this moron and his ties to Neo-Nazi organizations.
For months, Jim Gilchrist promised that his Minuteman Project would peacefully observe the Arizona border as a protest against illegal immigration. Volunteers - he said there would be 1,300 of them - would be carefully screened, with FBI help, to keep out white supremacists and racists. No one would be allowed to bear guns except those who had permits to carry concealed weapons.

Gilchrist said that critics who called his group "vigilantes" - naysayers who included President Bush - were absolutely wrong about his volunteers.

Indeed, Gilchrist told USA Today, these men and women sought only to bring attention to a major social problem. Most were "white Martin Luther Kings."
Gilchrist makes a link between white Neo-Nazi racists who attended his event and Martin Luther King...

Ahem, lets continue.
Maybe so. But Gilchrist's accuracy has been less than sterling.

As the month-long April project started, some 300 volunteers showed up - a thousand fewer than predicted. An FBI official denied that the agency was screening Gilchrist's or any other private group's members. At least four-fifths of volunteers did carry weapons, and almost none were checked for permits. Racist talk abounded. And at least some neo-Nazis and other racists did join in Gilchrist's project.
Okay, Neo-Nazis are free to walk the streets with gun, no one check their permits, and Gilchrist wants you to assume that what they're doing is "peaceful."

Ahem, lets continue.
On April 2, as the month-long effort got under way, the Minuteman Project held a protest across the street from the U.S. Border Patrol headquarters in Naco, Ariz. Prominent among the demonstrators were two men who confided that they were members of the Phoenix chapter of the National Alliance - the largest neo-Nazi group in America. One of the two, who sat in lawn chairs throughout, held a sign with arrows depicting invading armies of people from Mexico - a sign identical to National Alliance billboards and pamphlets, except without the Alliance logo.
You get the picture folks? The Minutemen and the National Alliance are buddies in their War against immigrants, period. The unfortunate thing here is that Gilchrist and his defenders claim that they're victims of propaganda and reverse racism and their claims are disgusting to say the least.

For you video pleasure, you can view Gilchrist defending the National Alliance on FOX News via Media Matters.

Due to my limited time right now, I don't have the time to go into great detail exposing this hate-monger, you can find plenty of information on him by checking out the Southern Law Poverty Center (a watchdog group that monitors hate-groups).

For your viewing pleasure, I grabbed a couple of video clips of Gilchrist in action (or should I say placing his foot in his mouth).

The first clip is from a appearance Gilchrist did on Fox News Hannity and Colmes where he defended white supremacists groups. (via Media Matters)
Here's a partial transcript:
COLMES: Recently, the white supremacy group Aryan Nation has recruited for the Minuteman Project, promoting the protest as a white pride event. This is who you're participating with here.

GILCHRIST: I have -- Alan, I have no control over someone posting an e-mail. I know what you're talking about. I've been to that Stormfront website. I have put a warning on our website -- you are not welcome here if you're a member of any supremacist group, whether it be of any color, race or creed.

Alan, there are supremacist groups out there of all races, colors and creeds. It's not just white supremacists. Why are you picking on them? There are brown. There are purple. There are red.

Now, I'll offer this video for the cherry on top. Not long ago, Gilchrist made an appearance at Columbia University which caused a huge counter protest by students who stormed the stage and held banners against the Minutemen.

Now, here's where Gilchrist and his defenders tried to lie to the public.

Gilchrist tired to make it seem like HE was being attacked by the students when in fact it was his Minutemen goons who attacked the students with one person being caught on video kicking a student in the head.

Well, Gilchrist came on Democracy NOW and tried to debate the head organizer of the counter student protest at Columbia and he suddenly cut the interview short when challenged about the incident and his ties to the National Alliance.

Watch the video and see the coward in action.

Gilchrist is a hate-monger who works on people's fear for his financial gain. He's a joke who shouldn't be taken seriously and has no business in Connecticut let along in Danbury trying to tell us about the problem with illegal immigration. He's like a Klansman who decided to take off the sheet and try his luck by wearing a tie (David Duke would be proud).

Again, this guy is nothing more than a bigot and a racist and is only looking to make a buck by drafting more members to his cause (I bet he comes with a suitcase of garbage to sell to the audience).

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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

10.03.18 (PDF):
"Approval of Danbury Prospect Charter School"

10.30.20 (HatCityBLOG VID): Charter School discussion during 2020 interview with Julie Kushner

2018 (RADIO): WLAD
"State Board of Ed signs off on Danbury charter school proposal"

08.20 (VID): CT-LEAD
"Stand up for Education Justice" Rally

08.20.20 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Charter schools are not ‘magic bullet’ to improving Danbury schools"

09.13.20 (OP-ED): CHAPMAN
Candidate for state Senate supports charter school for Danbury

01.15.21 (VID): CT-LEAD
Danbury Prospect Charter School press conference

03.19.21 (OP-ED): CT MIRROR
"Danbury leaders do not want a charter school"

04.01.21 (OP-ED): CT-LEAD:
"Why did Sen. Kushner vote against us?"

05.06.21 (VID): Danbury rally to fully fund public schools

10.07.21 (VID): Danbury City-Wide PTO "Meet the Candidates" education forum

10.07.21 NEWSTIMES
Danbury candidates quarrel over charter school, education funding

01.10.22 NEWSTIMES
"New operator named for Danbury charter school: ‘I’m a huge advocate for parent choice’"

01.10.22 NEWSTIMES
"Some Danbury Democrats ‘open minded’ about charter school after new, CT operator named"

01.21.22 (OP-ED): CT MIRROR
"Lessons from Danbury: Ending the dual process for charter school approval"

02.09.22 NEWSTIMES
"Proposed Danbury charter school won’t open in 2022, governor leaves funding out of budget"

02.18.22 NEWSTIMES:
Danbury residents plead for charter school funds in 9-hour state budget hearing: ‘Just exhausted’

03.05.22 (LTE):
Time has come for Danbury charter school

03.12.22 (OP-ED): TAYLOR
"Why I am excited about the Danbury Charter School"

03.16.22 (LTE):
"Why a Danbury Charter School?"

04.02.22 CT EXAMINER:
"Crowding and a Lack of Options for Danbury Students, But No Agreement on Solutions"

04.04.22 (OP-ED): DCS
"Danbury Charter School plans debut"

04.07.22 (PODCAST): (CEA)

04.18.22 (VID): CT-LEAD
Protest press conference

04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU
Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school

06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER:
"Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"

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



11.15.23 Recanvass return
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Election night returns
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Initial returns

Oct 10 2022
Jan 10 2023
Apr 10 2023
Jul 10 2023
Oct 10 2023

Apr 10 2023
Jul 10 2023
Oct 10 2023

Dem/GOP slate/ballot position

VIDEO: DRTC convention
VIDEO: DDTC conveniton


(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