I said it before and I'll say it again, the issue of development will be the number one issue in this year's election.
In all my travels around Danbury, the one thing that people are REALLY pissed off about is the outrageous rise in development and the incredible tax breaks to our favorite developer...BRT.
As I stated earlier this year, this site will focus on this critical issue and bring you interviews from residents who are VERY angry with the current situation in Hat City.
Today, the News-Times beat me to the next big battle between Democrats and the mayor. You see, because of the problems I'm facing with blogger, I was unable to post my video footage of Tom Saadi talking about the BRT Crosby project. Unfortunately, the paper came out with a story a wanted to talk about on Tuesday.
College students weren't exactly what city officials had in mind a few years ago when they gave a developer a tax incentive to build market-rate housing downtown.
At the time, city officials were trying to attract developers to build downtown housing that would lure young professionals and empty-nesters with expendable income, who would in turn spend downtown and spur other developers to build restaurants and shops.
But with BRT Realty considering renting its 115-unit apartment building on Crosby Street to college students, some city officials now are questioning whether the city can, or should, void the tax incentive.
Common Council Democrats sent a letter dated Jan. 10 to Council President Joe Cavo, requesting that the city rescind the tax incentive.
"These tax deferrals were granted with the understanding that the developers would use them to build middle-income market-rate housing for families," the letter states. "While we have no objection to additional housing for a growing and successful Western Connecticut State University, we do not believe that a private real estate developer should be able to keep these tax breaks while not keeping its promise to the city."
In simple terms, this project stinks and BRT couldn't find people to rent the apartments so they went with a plan B that doesn't make any sense.
...whoa, I'm getting ahead of myself here. I'll really dig into this issue later. I don't want to show all my cards yet.
It's times like this that makes me want to close up show on blogger and move the site to WordPress.
Here's the deal:
Blogger is going through this upgrade of their service and are trying to get everyone to move over to the new blogger interface. The problem is that large blogs are currently unable to make the move right now so sites like this one are forced to deal with outages and wired things happening to the site.
The major problem I'm dealing with are old posts with embedding code (geek term for video) which is dropping because the re-publishing command is somehow changing the text in my posts (certain characters). In order to save the posts, I have to cut the portion that I can't save and in most cases, it's the embedding code because I have no way to remember where the code originally came from. Certain photos are also dropping because again, somehow, blogger is doing strange stuff with certain characters in my posts.
A good example of this hassle can be found in the Joe Lieberman post from today. If you look at the eighth paragraph, you'll notice several "weird" characters. For some reason, blogger is changing the text of certain characters to this garbage...and that's only the beginning. It's one thing to change the text from a post but when it changes the embedding code, all hell breaks loose. In short, I'm still waiting for blogger to get everything worked out while I work on the re-design offline.
I'm real sorry for the lack of posts but as I stated several times, it's better just to wait than to post stuff only to turn around and fixing it several times a day. I'm still posting on ConnecticutBLOG as well as My Left Nutmeg and I'll start reporting on state politics again for America Online (I'll give you the details later).
Trust me, once the re-design is finished, you're going to love what you see...
Sen. Joe Lieberman, the only Democrat to endorse President Bush's new plan for Iraq, has quietly backed away from his pre-election demands that the White House turn over potentially embarrassing documents relating to its handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans.
Lieberman's reversal underscores the new role that he is seeking to play in the Senate as the leading apostle of bipartisanship, especially on national-security issues. On Wednesday night, Bush conspicuously cited Lieberman's advice as being the inspiration for creating a new "bipartisan working group" on Capitol Hill that he said will "help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror."
But the decision by Lieberman, the new chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to back away from the committee's Katrina probe is already dismaying public-interest groups and others who hoped the Democratic victory in November would lead to more aggressive investigations of one of the White House's most spectacular foul-ups.
Last year, when he was running for re-election in Connecticut, Lieberman was a vocal critic of the administration's handling of Katrina. He was especially dismayed by its failure to turn over key records that could have shed light on internal White House deliberations about the hurricane, including those involving President Bush.
Asserting that there were "too many important questions that cannot be answered," Lieberman and other committee Democrats complained in a statement last year that the panel "did not receive information or documents showing what actually was going on in the White House."
Among the missing material: the record of a videoconference in the White House Situation Room in which former Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown said he warned senior officials about the dire situation in New Orleans, but was greeted with "deafening silence." Also missing: records believed to include messages and conversations involving the president, Vice President Dick Cheney and their top aides during the days in late August and early September 2005 when the Katrina disaster was unfolding and thousands of city residents were flocking to overcrowded shelters and hanging onto rooftops awaiting rescue.
But now that he chairs the homeland panel-and is in a position to subpoena the records-Lieberman has decided not to pursue the material, according to Leslie Phillips, the senatorÂs chief committee spokeswoman. "The senator now intends to focus his attention on the future security of the American people and other matters and does not expect to revisit the White House's role in Katrina," she told NEWSWEEK.
Phillips said that Lieberman may still follow up on some matters related to Katrina contracting. But in listing the Connecticut senatorÂs top priorities for the panel, she cited other areas, such as reform of homeland-security agencies and legislation promoting tighter security at U.S. seaports. Asked whether LiebermanÂs new stand might feed complaints that he has become too close to the White House, Phillips responded: "The senator is an independent Democrat and answers only to the people who elected him to office and to his own conscience."
With a majority of the people in Connecticut AGAINST this war and CRITICAL of the President's handling of Katrina, just who is Lieberman answering to? It's clearly not to the people who re-elected him to office but rahter to the Washington conservatives who backed his campaign.
But in the view of White House critics, the Katrina fallout is far from over. They view the missing White House material, along with contracting foul-ups and abuses, as an important part of the story of the disaster that befell a major American city. "Katrina was perhaps the government's biggest failure ever," said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a liberal watchdog group. "For the Congress not to be willing to stand up to the White House and demand to know who's accountable is a total abdication of their responsibility. How serious about oversight are they if they're not willing to flex their muscle over this one? Wasn't the election about holding the government accountable? Congress has the power for oversight, and the mandate. Does it have the will?"
Will someone please tell me, in light of everythign Lieberman has done this week, why one should feel that he'll caucus with the Democrats?
So, this is the oversight Lieberman promised during his campaign...
Seems like the anti-war rally held at the Danbury Library had a respectable crowd for something put together at the last minute. MoveOn.org has a good presence in the Danbury area and are well known for mobilizing their members quickly.
Felecia Jones knows how family members of American military personnel serving in Iraq feel, because she's one of them.
Her husband, a career Army officer currently assigned to the Reserve Center in Danbury, served a tour there in 2005 and expects to go back. Her two brothers have also been there, and one of them is awaiting redeployment.
That's why Jones was holding a candle at the corner of West and Main streets Thursday night, protesting President Bush's plan to send another 21,500 troops into the war-torn country.
"It's time to bring them back," Jones said. "It's not that I don't support the soldiers, I support them 100 percent. I just don't want to see any more lives lost."
It's as simple as that.
You can read more about anti-war rallies that were held across the country last night by clicking here.
The event is real short notice therefore, I won't be able to cover this as I already made plans to report on the anti-war rally in New Haven tonight. After President Bush's troop surge announcement, it seems like all political hell has broken loose...
Hopefully things with blogger will be stable later so I can get back to work on upgrading this site and get thigns back to 100 percent ASAP.
He launched his bid for the White House this morning on the Don Imus radio show, and then told the Courant he would file the papers today to become a candidate for the White House in 2008. He plans to base his campaign in Connecticut, and intends to have Attorney General Richard Blumenthal acting as state chairman and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3rd District, a former Dodd chief of staff, as a national co-chairmen.
He stressed today the themes he's been testing in key primary and caucus states since he began exploring a bid last year. He talked this morning about "the sense of urgency people feel," not only about the Iraq war, abut about health care, education and jobs.
Dodd also talked about his two young daughters, and how he has a responsibility to shape a better world, and said his experience and temperament make him uniquely qualified to lead the country.
"You have to have the capacity to lead and bring people together," he said, "and I have a lot of experience at that."
During his interview with Imus, Senator Dodd went over the themes of his campaign as well as let his feelings known about President Bush's plan to throw an additional 20,000 into the meat grinder.
Dodd on Bush's troop increase and the Kennedy proposal:
Blogger is STILL going through their upgrade process...it took fortever just to post this message. Since I can't update to the new blogger system, I'm going to have a real hard time posting to the site until blogger works all the bugs out.
I can't tell you how annoying this is but it's just another typical day for the blogger service and we'll just have to wait for them to get their act together. With all the updates I'm doing to the design code, it would be a complete waste of time posting to this site until things are cleared up. I had to modify over 40 posts so far due to changing the code and re-publishing problems therefore, I'm not doing anything until blogger is stable again.
Sorry ya'll. In the meantime, please feel free to visit ConnecticutBLOG where I'm still posting. I'm deal with state and national issues over there and since things in the country just went into the toilet with Bush ordering 20,000 into a hell hole, politicians across teh state and nation have plenty to say...
Well, blogger is STILL acting buggy. It seems like they're doing a major upgrade and because my site has a large number of posts, I'm unable to move to the new blogger account.
I'm shocked that I'm even able to post this message.
Until blogger is back to normal, I'm going to concentrate on putting the finishing touches on several new video interviews which I'll post later this week. Sorry for the delay but you can blame blogger...
This whole updating thing is driving me nuts. I wanted to get this post in before the blogger software scheduled outage...
I having the hardest time re-publishing the entire site and now I found more things to clean up in the template code.
I tired to fix as many errors that popped up as possible but some posts are just screwed due to factors that are out of my control (i.e., dead links, publishing errors)...some of the older posts will just have to stay messed up until I can get everything worked out.
You should notice some changes already like more links on the right and a smaller number of posts on the frontpage. I think there are too many postings and I'm not a big fan of scrolling down a page forever so I'm cutting the amount of posts to ten for now and see how that works out. Soon, you'll see new features in the links section that will make things easier to locate such as special reports and any announcements.
Like I said several times already, I'm sorry for the way the site looks right now but you'll just have to be trust me when I say that things will run a lot better once everything is fixed and this sites runs on a clean code.
Now, back to the madness. Don't expect many posts here until I can get this all worked out. It's looking to be a slow week locally anyway which is a good thing seeing that I'm doing all I can to keep this site from completely crashing.
House Judiciary Chairman Mike Lawlor was just on Colin McEnroe's show and indicated that web sites and blogs were being monitored to look for potential threats.
Lawlor Quote: "Apparently state police employees were trolling the internet, blog sites prior to the inauguration seeing if anyone was talking about any type of interference of the Inauguration. And they encountered Ken Krayeske's one post that to me is not at all threatening..."
Blogger announced that they'll be an blog outage starting at 7:45 PST (10:45 EST) tonight. This could have an impact on the design code update I'm dealing with right now. If things look even more wacky later today, don't worry, I should have things somewhat back to normal in a day or so (cross my fingers).
Colin McEnroe just posted this on his blog. Seems like the events surrounding the arrest of Ken Krayeske is going to turn into a full-scale investigation. McEnroe just posted this letter Gov. Rell sent to Department of Public Safety Commissioner Leonard Boyle.
January 8, 2007
Commissioner Leonard Boyle
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road Middletown, Connecticut 06457
Dear Commissioner Boyle:
I am writing with regard to the incident last week involving Kenneth Krayeske which led to his arrest by the Hartford Police Department.
I recognize that security assessments are by necessity comprehensive, and I understand that our State and local law enforcement agencies must work together and share information. Law enforcement agencies also have the difficult job of assessing the information they receive. Nonetheless, I was disturbed to read in media reports allegations regarding the existence of a “list” of individuals.
It is my expectation that all State Police information is maintained in strict compliance with federal law. In this environment of heightened security, the use of information must be balanced with the individual rights of our citizens. In providing security and protection, we cannot permit the rights of individuals to be trampled.
The parade was a public event, and moreover an event at which public participation was invited. People also have a right to protest – and that right is one of the fundamental freedoms of our state and nation.
Most importantly, security procedures must be uniform and consistent in order to safeguard both the people and places of Connecticut as well as our basic freedoms.
Accordingly, I am requesting that you review the circumstances of this incident. Specifically, I would like to know how this individual came to the attention of State Police and the circumstances under which his name and photo were provided to the Hartford Police Department.
In addition, I am requesting that you evaluate existing procedures to ensure that information gathered by the State Police is reliable and reported to other law enforcement agencies in a responsible manner.
I'm still cleaning up the code on this site...wow, I had no idea how bad it was. It seems like the light posting will continue for some time because the code is really messed up (I wasn't that good in keeping a clean code when I started blogging). I've received several comments from people who view this blog using different browsers who are having problems with the site so this needs to be done.
Since I'm editing the code on the site, things are almost certain to change. Whenever you mess around with the code, wierd things happen such as puncuation marks dropping and becoming messed up or just whole sections of posts dropping or becomming garbage (this happens when the republishing of the site spits out errors). One of the reasons I hate tweaking the code is because my posts get all messed up and it takes me forever to fix the problems because blogger does an awful job when it comes to republishing everything. In non-geek terms, when you make an edit to a post, you have to republish the post in order for it to upadate on the site. Since the CSS design code effects every post, the entire site has to be republished and with large sites, that becomes a HUGE problem since blogger's software has a history of republishing problems.
There will probably be pictures or videos dropping which happens to me all the time whenever I update the code. Again, this happens because with blogger, you have to republish everything when you change stuff and that doesn't always work right. Sometimes I'm good in catching problems but sometimes there isn't much I can do depending on how long ago the post was written and I find up ripping up and/or deleteing a post in order for the whole site to work and display properly. I had to do this to several posts during the last update because at that time, I had problems embedding video as well as my photos and I'm only aware of the problem when someone alerts me to an old post.
Since this will be a major update, I'm positive there are going to be massive problems but updating the site is long overdue...it's better to bite the bullet now than later when the site gets bigger.
In short, I'm sorry if anything gets messed up when the update happens. I'll try my best to catch problems because a site with a bad code could crash you browser (and that would be really bad). Take note that there are a lot of posts on this site and since I won't be able to catch everything, there will probably be posts with dropped text, photos, and/or videos. Don't ask me why this happens...it's a blogger software problem and I've been on this site for too long to move to another server. I just think the template I used on this site was bad from the get go and I should had addressed the problem correctly when all the problems started.
In the end, this update will be good as more people will be able to view the site with no design problems. As for the forseen problems in old posts, I can only do so much for dropped elements in a really old post (up to mid 2006). I didn't post that much on this site till late 2005-early 2006 therefore, it's next to impossible to replace any images or video that drops out. Since most people read blogs for current content, this usually isn't a big deal so I'll catch what I can when I see it but going through every post is RELLY time comsuming as well as very difficult. Again, I'll do what I can but at this point, we can only move forward.
Thanks for your patience everyone. Hopefully this will clear up any concerns when you notice problems on the site.
UPDATE: Case in point, I just updated one small part of the code and bang, the republish output came up with errors. It's probably due because older postings with photos or videos with wrap-around text became messed up because the code in the post was shaky. Blogger is a different beast now than when I first used it and unlike now when posting stuff is easy, I had to manually place photos and video code into my post a long ago and blogger is probably rejecting them now.
I noticed a whole section of posts from early to mid 2006 littered with problems and now I'll have to find out what happened. Most likely, I'll have to edit posts because the photos or video has changed and/or was dropped from it's original location (which is quite common because web pages are now archived therefore the original location changes. Again, all I can say is I'm sorry but if muiltimedia from a old file is dropped, I usually have no idea what was there originally so I'll do what I can to fix the post so the re-publishing will complete itself (sorry, more geeky talk).
Grr, this is the part of blogging that I don't like...
Trust me, the issue of development WILL BE AN HUGE ISSUE in the mayoral race this year. A clear majority of emails have centered around this subject with many readers upset with the current state of affairs in Danbury.
From the open space issue, to the loopholes which people use to create diners in god-awful locations, over the next year, HatCityBLOG will increase it's staff and exposure and bring you the reports from ground zero where normal citizens are fighting developers every day.
I'm going to signing off for a while so I can get back to updating the design code for this site. CSS can be a real pain to tweak as you have to run several beta tests each time you change the code...
Okay, sorry for the geek talk. In short, I'm changing the look of the site and that takes time to do. Get outside and enjoy the day. Global warming Saturday gave us temps in the upper 60s which is freaking the environment out. When you start to see flowers attempting to grow in January, you know you have problems but that shouldn't stop anyone from going outside and getting some yard work done.
Between taking down my X-MAS tree (FYI: You can now place your trees on the curb and the city will pick it up), rooting for the NY Jets, tweaking the CSS code, and hanging out with the cutest daughter in the world, my plate is full.
Now, turn off the computer, step back from the desk, and go outside and enjoy our global warming day.
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.