Oh, Friday was just a banner anti-immigration day on local television. The usual cast of characters did their usual spewing of their biased, out-of-touch, closed-minded, uninformed, radical rhetoric down people's throats but last night, they threw out a extra heaping of red meat for their audience.
I could go on forever documenting each homophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, anti-etc. remark from several of these hosts but there's only so much time in a day and there's only so much crap one can watch. That being said, I must say that Lynn Waller's show "In Our Opinion" was of particular delight for the level of "spin" I once thought only Karl Rove could achieve.
I won't bring up most of the outrageous remarks that flowed from her mouth, such as her statements about the number of murders caused by illegal immigrants (based on a statistic she read from the MAJOR misleading right-winged "scare the living crap out of everyone" group Family Research Matters). I'll save those lies remarks for another time (again, there's only so much time in the day). Instead, lets examine for a moment one gem of a "comment" she made about our favorite ANTI-IMMIGRATION group, the U.S. Citizens for Immigration Law Enforcement (formerly known as the Danbury chapter of the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control).
WALLER: I dropped into the group that uses to meet at the Concordia Club...they're meeting now at the American Legion on Triangle Street.
So I went just to see what they’re up to, what was going on, is there a bunch of radicals, or are they nice people you know, what’s happening. To be honest, they were very nice folks. There was no gun tokin' wild folks, which made me feel comfortable.
-In Our Opinion: 03.02.07
Hmm, is she seeing the same thing I'm seeing or is she just seeing what she wants to see? You be the judge.
Roll the video and pay particular attention to the language USED BY THE ANTI-IMMIGRANT MORONS WHO SCREAMED AT THE MARCHERS WHICH INCLUDED CHILDREN. I guess John "Uncle Sam" McGowan's flag ripping moment would make Lynn feel nice and cozy also. • I'd could post more outrageous video and audio clips (laced with profanity), or
• talk about the "very nice folks" from the group who's exterme behavior against two Hispanics/Latinos resulted in them getting banned from Pippa's, or
• talk about the "very nice folks" from the group who harrassed an LEGAL IMMIGRANT at TKs, going as far as to videotape her and the other hispanic/latino employees while they worked.
No...I think you get the point.
Yeah Lynn, they're ALL really nice folks...
(NOTE: Let me state for the 1,000,000,000 time. SOME of the people in the group are pretty cool and I know them pretty well. BUT many of them are closed-minded racist radicals who are simply f*cking nuts).
I'm almost done with the video footage from the Stop the Raids forum. Since there's been a great deal of lies being spread around from the usual cast of characters, I'll work faster and show you what ACTUALLY happened.
Also, this site is almost up to full speed. Although it looks different, it's far from complete. I promised a "special comment" once the site is complete and trust me, I haven't forgotten about that.
I can't wait for this site to be completely upgraded because I'm going to take the gloves off...
For your viewing pleasure, here's a copy of the Planning Department's letter of denial to the Dunkin Donuts proposal and another set back to Eduardo Batista's dream.
SP 06-26 Dunkin Donuts Springside Avenue and Osborne Street
CITY OF DANBURY 155 DEER HILL AVENUE DANBURY, CONNECTICUT 06810
PLANNING & ZONING DEPARTMENT (203) 797-4525 (203) 797-4586 (FAX)
Dainius Virbickas Artel Engineering 304 Federal Road Brookfield, CT 06804
Re: Dunkin' Donuts, Springside Avenue and Osborne Street-SP 06-26 (Assessor's Lot # J12221)
Dear Mr. Virbickas:
The City of Danbury Department of Planning and Zoning received an Application for Site Plan Approval on December 26, 2006 to construct a Dunkin' Donuts facility with a drive-through window to be located at the northeast comer of Osborne Street and Springside Avenue. The lot area is approximately 22,409 sq. ft. and the property is zoned CG-20. Additional site improvements include an exterior order board, drive-through lane and pick-up window, parking lot, landscaping, drainage system, and roadway improvements.
The following maps and documents were submitted for review.
1. Maps under the general title "Dunkin' Donuts, Osborne Street, City of Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut", prepared by Artel Engineering Group, LLC: A. Subtitled 'Cover Sheet', dated 11128/06; B. Subtitled 'Site Plan', dated 11/28/06; C. Subtitled 'Grading and Utility Plan', dated 11128/06; D. Subtitled 'Landscape and Lighting Plan', dated 11/28/06; E. Subtitled 'Sediment & Erosion Control Plan', dated 11128/06; F. Subtitled 'Site Details 1', dated 11/28/06; G. Subtitled 'Site Details II', dated 11/28/06; H. Subtitled 'Existing Drainage Shed', dated 10/13/05 and I. Subtitled 'Proposed Drainage Shed', dated 10/13/05.
2. Survey titled "Improvement Location Survey, Showing Property of Bruce J. Daab, property situated at Osborne Street and Springside Avenue", prepared by Surveying Associates, P.c., dated November 18,2005. 3. Site Engineering Report, Prepared for Dunkin' Donuts, Osborne Street and Springs ide A venue, Danbury, Connecticut, Prepared by Artel Engineering Group, LLC, dated November 2006.
The Application states that the total square footage of the proposed building is 896 square feet generating 495 average daily trips per day, plus a 500 square foot freezer which, you maintain, should be considered as storage generating 2.5 trips per day.
However, average daily trips generated by a fast food restaurant is given as 553 trips per day per 1,000 gross square feet (see ~ 10.D.8.b.(2)). The Zoning Regulations define gross floor area as
the sum of the areas of the several floors of a building, as measured from the interior faces of exterior walls, including all areas used for human occupancy, elevator shafts and stairwells at each story, interior balconies, and mezzanines, but excluding open porches or outside balconies, and any floor space intended or designed for the parking of motor vehicles or for heating and ventilating equipment. [see • 2.B.]
Based on said definition, the freezer must be included in the total gross floor area of the proposed use and used for calculating average daily trips at the rate proscribed for fast food restaurants. Storage is not excluded in the definition of "gross floor area" nor can it be calculated at a separate rate.
Consequently, the total trip generation for the proposed Dunkin' Donuts facility is based on a 1,396 square foot building (896 sq. ft. plus 500 sq. ft.). The total trip generation is 772 trips per day. The Zoning Regulations require that all proposed uses generating over 500 trips per day are designated as special exceptions [~3.E.2.] and subject to all requirements thereof, including review and action by the Planning Commission, not the Department alone.
As a result of these findings, the site plan application for said use located at the corner of Springside Avenue and Osborne Street (Assessor's Lot # Jl2221) is denied. It may be submitted to the Planning Commission for special exception/site plan review and action.
Sincerely, JennIfer L. Emminger, AICP Associate Planner
cc: Robin Edwards, Assistant Corporation Counsel Sean Hearty, Zoning Enforcement Officer George Gleason, Permit Center Farid Khouri, Engineering Department Abdul Mohammed, Traffic Engineer Alan Baker, Chief, Danbury Police Dept. Barry Rickert, Fire Marshal Leo Null, Building Department Fran Louie, Highway Department
Now, this fight is not over...they just re-submitted the application without the freezer. WHEN DOES NO MEAN NO!
First, the complaint from a Republican for Lieberman State Senator on the proposed changes to the existing candidate ballot petition.
"This is all about the Democrats being angry that Lieberman managed to get on the ballot - and win the election - even though he lost the primary. It’s their version of a sore loser law, with the Democrat power brokers being the sore losers,"
While I was at the Immigration Forum Sunday, I was told that Online Editor Eugene Driscoll was taking off to a bigger gig at the Hartford Courant.
Eugene is a great asset to the newspaper and will be missed. I met him several times over the last couple of years when we covered the same story the last being the state of the city address. The Courant is gaining a bright and intelligent person to their staff and I wish him all the best (I'm sure our paths will cross again).
Since Hartford is where I was raised, I'll dedicate this post for Eugene and update it throughout the day with a list of cool places to see/visit in the Capitol city.
When I was a kid growing up in Hartford, the one place my mother would go to during her shopping sprees was the old G.Fox/Sage Allen building. It was by far the biggest store downtown and (if memory serves me right) was a duplication of the Macy's store in New York City.
To make a long story short, G.FOX/Sage Allen was bought out by Filenes and eventually portions of the old G.FOX/Sage Allen building either closed or was sold off and a mini-mall named the Richardson was born. As downtown slowly became a ghost town, the Richardson eventually closed up shop and what remained of Filenes was also sold (a VERY sad day for Hartford).
Thanks to business investing in downtown Main Street, the Filenes building got a second chance and one of the businesses in the old building is the City Stream Brewery, one of the best micro beer pubs I've been to in Connecticut. It's exactly what the Colorado Brewery should have been, a great restaurant, live entertainment, games, cool people, and fresh homemade beer. Whenever I'm covering something at the Capitol, I make it a point to stop by the place and have a pint. If you get a chance, try the I.P.A beer, it's my favorite. If your covering the anti-war rally at the Old State House on the 17th, look out for me (I'm not hard to find), drinks are on my tab.
One of the best places to see a play or concert is at the Bushnell (sorry Hartford Stage Company). I can recall seeing the R&B group Heatwave (Always and Forever) there and unlike at a concert at the Hartford Courant, every seat at teh Bushnell was great. Make sure to check out the play schedule and give the Bushnell a try...you won't be disappointed.
The case of Tereza Perreira, who was recently arrested by ICE agents, highlights how complicated the immigration issue has become.
She has lived in Danbury for years and has children who are American citizens. She supports herself and owns a home. She is an illegal immigrant but she has not been hiding; she has spent years trying to obtain a legal status.
After a few weeks of detention, Perreira was released by ICE. So why was she arrested?
Immigration laws should be enforced in Danbury as well as on the nation's borders. But recent ICE raids in Danbury seem to be about something else -- about putting on a show.
Most of the people who have been arrested have been released. In September, for example, ICE agents dressed like contractors to lure day workers in Kennedy Park into their vans. The workers were arrested and whisked away. But within weeks, most of them were released and returned to Danbury. So why were they arrested?
ICE has been given a tough assignment by Congress and President Bush, and insufficient resources to do the job. No matter what ICE does, it will get criticism from one side or the other.
ICE officials would help themselves if they concentrated less on showmanship and more on law enforcement.
In addition, ICE's practice of arresting people and refusing to tell their families what has happened to them is wrong and counterproductive. ICE should want to be seen as a law enforcement agency, not the secret police.
Well, I'm still tweaking the design code and adding more content to this site.
If you noticed, I've increased the aize of the videos as well as the lead photographs. Since I'm now able to upload larger files, I'm offering hi-resolution versions of my videos which you can replay on your computer or burn to DVD and watch on your television.
Now, providing the hi-res files is a bit tricky and I can only offer it to the first 100 people who download the clip. After 100 people download the file, the video comes down until someone places a request to re-post the hi-res file in the comments. I know it sounds strange but it's the only way I can provide the large files for free.
I'm currently working on the new video section of the site as I want to share all the videos I collected in all my years of videotaping events in Danbury. This is going to take some time and probably won't be ready for the public until the late spring but if your pleased with the new layout, you're going to love the new video department.
The city's Planning Department rejected plans for a Dunkin' Donuts shop that drew criticism from dozens of residents and some city officials over the past six months.
First, ALL credit goes to the people in the third ward who played a important role in fighting this proposal. If it wasn't for your persistence in hard work in fighting Batista and attorney Neil Marcus, this idiotic Dunkin Donuts proposal would be a reality.
Next, thanks to all read my posts in this story and took the time to either email and/or send letters to the Planning Department or write letters to the News-Times and getting this story the attention it deserved. One of the goals of this site is to bring to your attention examples of nonsense that happens under the radar in Danbury EVERYDAY that pisses people off. This proposal is a classic example of a project, which under normal circumstances would go unnoticed by the mainstream media and by the general public until it’s too late. Thankfully, people are fighting back against OVERdevelopment and land use cases and fighting back HARD.
Think I'm kidding when I say the people in the third ward were outraged? Go take a look at the Planning Commission resolution of denial. Read for yourself how the public stood up to the developers and take special note to the concerns regarding public safety and traffic that the neighborhood brought to the commission's attention.
Denial of Special Exception/Site Plan Application for SE 644 Dunkin Donuts Osborne Street
CITY OF DANBURY 155 DEER HILL AVENUE DANBURY, CONNECTICUT 06810
PLANNING & ZONING DEPARTMENT (203) 797-4525 (203) 797-4586 (FAX)
Resolution: Dated September 15, 2006 Revised and Adopted on September 20, 2006
To: Planning Commission
From: Jennifer L. Emminger, Associate Planner
Re: SE 644 Dunkin Donuts Osborne Street and Springside Avenue Assessor's Lot # 112221
RESOLUTION OF DENIAL
Whereas the City of Danbury Planning Commission received an application on March 15, 2006 from Artel Engineering, agent for Eduardo Batista, for approval of a Special Exception/Site Plan for Dunkin Donuts, a 2,160 sq. ft. fast food restaurant with a drive-thru located at the comer of Osborne Street and Springside Avenue, and
Whereas pursuant to • 3.E.2 of the Zoning Regulations, the use is allowed as a special exception in the CG-20 Zoning District upon approval by the Planning Commission affirming that standards and conditions pertaining thereto have been met, and
Whereas the site plan, as modified by the applicant, includes a 2,160 square foot Dunkin' Donuts facility with a drive-thru, and associated driveway access, parking, landscaping and drainage improvements, and
Whereas in accordance with 9 8.7d of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Planning Commission conducted a duly advertised Public Hearing that opened on May 17,2006, continued on June 21,2006 and July 26, 2006 and closed on August 19, 2006, and
Whereas the following maps and plans have been received and reviewed by the Planning Commission and City , staff:
1.Maps under the general title "Dunkin' Donuts, Osborne Street, City of Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut', prepared by Artel Engineering Group, LLC:
A. Subtitled 'Cover Sheet', dated 10/13/05; B. Subtitled 'Site Plan', dated 10/13/05-revised through 7/19/06; C. Subtitled 'Grading and Utility Plan', dated 10/13/05-revised 6/27/06; D. Subtitled 'Landscape and Lighting Plan', dated 1 0/13/05-revised through 7/19/06; E. Subtitled 'Sediment & Erosion Control Plan', dated 10/13/05-revised 6/27/06; F. Subtitled 'Site Details 1', dated 10/13/05; G. Subtitled 'Site Details n', dated 10/13/05; H. Subtitled 'Truck Turning Plan', dated 6/27/06 I. Subtitled 'Existing Drainage Shed', dated 10/13/05 and J. Subtitled 'Proposed Drainage Shed', dated 10/13/05.
2. Plans under the general title "Dunkin Donuts", Prepared by James D. Smith Architects, dated 6/13/06:
A. Sheet AI0 - Subtitled 'Proposed Exterior Elevations' and B. Sheet AII-8ubtitled 'Proposed Exterior Elevations.
3. Survey titled "Improvement Location Survey, Showing Property of Bruce J. Daab, property situated at Osborne Street and Springside Avenue", prepared by Surveying Associates, P.C., dated November 18, 2005.
4. Site Engineering Report, Prepared for Dunkin' Donuts, Osborne Street and Springside Avenue, Danbury, Connecticut, Prepared by Artel Engineering Group, LLC, dated March 2006.
5. Traffic Study, Dunkin' Donuts, Osborne Street & Springside Avenue, Danbury, Connecticut, Prepared for Artel Engineering, Prepared by Barkan & Mess Associates, dated March 14,2006.
6. Report titled "Planned Development Osborne Street, Danbury, CT, Environmental Acoustics Study", Prepared by David Taylor, dated June 2006.
7. The following documents were submitted during the Public Hearing held on May 17, 2006:
A. A petition titled "We say No to Application for Special Exception to allow Dunkin Donuts Generating 500 Cars Daily JI221 SE 644 Osborne Street" and B. Exhibit A - Correspondence trom Beverly McCarthy, 9 Springside Avenue.
8. Photos of truck deliveries at other Dunkin Donuts facilities were submitted during the Public Hearing held on July 19,2006.
9. Correspondence received by the Planning and Zoning Department on June 6, 2006 from Patricia Tallman.
10. Correspondence received by the Planning and Zoning Department on June 6, 2006 from Valerie Bose.
Whereas, during the public hearing, the Planning Commission discussed the application, raising specific concerns regarding the proposed entrance on Springside Avenue, on site traffic circulation, off site traffic circulation, pedestrian safety, steepness of Springside Avenue at the intersection, weather conditions affecting intersection safety, compatibility with the residential neighborhood, sound, customer parking along Springside Avenue, truck deliveries, screening, landscaping and the aesthetics of the building, and
Whereas, pursuant to ~ 10.CA of the City of Danbury Zoning Regulations, no petition for a Special Exception shall be granted by the Planning Commission unless such petition is in compliance with all provisions of the Zoning Regulations.
Now therefore be it resolved that the Planning Commission of the City of Danbury does hereby deny the application by Artel Engineering for a Dunkin Donuts, SE 644, to be located at the comer of Osborne Street and Springside Avenue (Assessor's Lot # JI2221) having found that the application as submitted does not meet the additional requirements for the granting of a Special Exception per as Section 1O.C.4 of the Zoning Regulations based on the following reasons:
1. The proposal is not designed in a manner, which is compatible with the character of the neighborhood:
A. Based on evidence in the record and on individual experiences of the Planning Commission with the operation of similar facilities as proposed, the intensity of the use is not compatible with the existing neighborhood from which primary access to the site is proposed. B. There are no reasonable requirements that could be imposed that would render the proposed use compatible with the residential neighborhood.
2. The proposal will create conditions adversely affecting traffic safety and will cause undue traffic congestion:
A. Pursuant to • 10.D.8.a. of the City of Danbury Zoning Regulations, 'all proposed uses for which a site plan is required shall provide for ingress and egress to the site which does not adversely impact the normal flow of traffic or the normal safe conditions of the roadways'. The Planning Commission has determined, based on evidence in the record and the personal experiences of the Planning Commission, that the proposed roadway improvements to Osborne Street and Springside Avenue may not adequately accommodate the increase in the volume of traffic without a significant decline in traffic safety. B. Pursuant to • 10.D.8.b. of the City of Danbury Zoning Regulations, '....may require such reasonable improvements as may be necessary to accommodate traffic increases caused by the proposed development to maintain existing levels of service and traffic safety. Volumes will increase sufficiently to change the character of the neighborhood and the new turning movements cannot, in the Planning Commission's judgment, be accommodated into the existing traffic flows so as not to cause conditions that are unsafe.
i. According.. to the Traffic Study submitted by the applicant's traffic engineer, the proposed use expects approximately 400 vehicle trips during morning peak, of which 240 vehicles trips already exist on Osborne Street and 160 trips will be new to the area. The Traffic dictates a substantial increase in the traffic movements of the Springside Avenue westbound left and right turn lanes. According to Figures 3 and 6 of the Traffic Study, during the morning peak hour, an increase from 10 vehicular trips to 90 trips for the left turn lane is expected and an increase from 10 vehicular trips to 110 trips for the right turn lane is expected. Furthermore, the Traffic Study indicates a significant increase in the traffic movements of both of the Osborne Street northbound and southbound turn movements onto Springside Avenue. According to Figures 3 and 6 of the Traffic Study, during morning peak hour, an increase from 15 to 110 trips for the northbound right turn and an increase from 5 to 90 trips for southbound left turn is expected.
ii. Vehic1es exiting Dunkin Donuts traveling westbound to Osborne Street must exit at an un-signalized T -intersection. Due to existing and proposed traffic volumes on Osborne Street, left turn movements exiting the site into southbound traffic will prove to be difficult for motorists. Additionally, vehicles attempting a left turn onto Osborne Street will be confronted with three opposing traffic patterns at this intersection; (1) vehicles traveling northbound on Osborne Street (2) vehicles traveling southbound on Osborne Street turning left on to Springside Avenue and (3) vehicles traveling southbound on Osborne Street utilizing the proposed bypass lane.
C. The Planning Commission, based on testimony given by the neighbors and the Commission's personal knowledge of the traffic volumes and movements on Osborne Street and the immediate area, finds that with the substantial increase in new traffic movements at this intersection, the proposed roadway improvements along Osborne Street and Springside Avenue will not result in safe traffic movements for the reasons outlined in #2 above.
3. The use will jeopardize public health and safety.
A. Based on the experience of the Planning Commission with similar facilities and existing pedestrian flows in the neighborhood that is supported by testimony in the record, pedestrian traffic in the area is likely to increase and coupled with the increase in volume and conflicting traffic movements may create unsafe pedestrian conditions that may jeopardize public health and safety.
4. Given the conditions and constraints existing on Osborne Street and Springside Avenue peculiar to this site and the proposed use, the Planning Commission can find no reasonable improvements that will ensure full compliance with the provisions of Section lO.C.4.a.
cc: Sean Hearty, Zoning Enforcement Officer George Gleason, Permit Center Farid Khouri, Engineering Department Abdul Mohammed, Traffic Engineer Chief Alan Baker, City of Danbury Police Department Barry Rickert, Fire Marshal Fran Lollie, Highway Department Leo Null, Building Department Robin Edwards, Corporation Counsel
NOW, take a look at where Batista wanted to build this idiotic business in the following photographs and video. The proposed Dunkin Donuts site is boxed in red in the second image.
Before you look, take into consideration:
• The odd location of the site (off Osborne and onto Springside).
• The slope of Springside Ave.
• The firehouse that's one house away from this location.
• The fact that kids go up and down this portion of Osborne on their way to Broadview School
• The fact that this Dunkin Donuts would have been hop and a skip away from the hospital.
Finally, I'd like to know why the elected officials who represent the third ward on the Common Council didn't speak out against this proposal when it was manipulated by Marcus and Batista and re-submitted in such a way that it by-passed the planning commission? As elected officials, Joe Cavo and Michael Calandrino's comments on this matter would have carried weight or, at the very least, their involvement would have given the impression to neighbors in the community they're listening to the people they represent.
Recently, I talked to State Rep. Joe Taborsak (whose district includes the third ward) and several Democrats who were planning to take action and I was preparing to post my interviews but it seems like the News-Times beat me to the punch.
And because of Batista's proposal for a shop on Osborne Street and Springside Avenue and protests from residents living there, Common Council Democrats now want to impose tighter regulations on developments that generate more traffic.
"While there are many traffic-related regulations in place, they are clearly deficient given the current traffic conditions throughout our city," Democratic Common Caucus leader Tom Saadi said Tuesday.
Next week, the Democrats will ask the Common Council to create a committee to study ways in which the city can better regulate traffic and prevent further congestion.
If you’re wondering why this is an important matter to address, look at the loopholes Marcus and Batista tried to use…
Batista filed plans in December to build a smaller shop at Osborne Street and Springside Avenue after his original plans for a larger store were rejected in September by the city's Planning Commission.
The new proposal outlined a doughnut shop that would generate 495 vehicles per day -- avoiding the city's 500-vehicle threshold for commission approval and a public hearing, and giving the Planning Department final say.
But according to the Planning Department, which released its decision Tuesday, the new plans miscalculate the structure size by neglecting to include a freezer as part of the total square footage. Subsequently, the number of vehicles the shop would generate was miscalculated because the city uses square footage to calculate the amount of traffic a business would generate.
In a letter to Batista's engineering firm for the project, the city's associate planner, Jennifer Emminger, said the store would generate 772 trips per day -- and therefore, if Batista wants to build the shop, he must now resubmit his plans to the Planning Commission, which rejected his first proposal.
Neil Marcus did his best to cook the books in order to have his client’s dream to have a Dunkin Donuts in every ward a reality. I guess Marcus and Batista are writing Emminger off their Christmas card list.
Although this case is probably not over, it's great to know that the denial process started when the residents in the third ward took a stand and fought back.
Anti-war supporters organize in Bethel to rally against the war
Monday, February 26, 2007 Time: 11:28 AM
On Saturday afternoon, supporters of Connecticut Opposes the War (CTCOW) from the Danbury area came together and held a meet-up at Bethel's Molten Java. The meeting was one of many meet-ups that were held across the state and part of CTCOW's effort to organize and strategize for the upcoming anti-war rally in Hartford on March 17 th.
While it’s usually hard to get people to come together for anything, I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout who seemed ready to get to work. Impressing was the wide range of people who came out to show their support. From local officials, to student activists, union representatives, and people who just out of Iraq, everyone was able to express their views and with CTCOW spokesperson Josh Nessi was able as assign people several key responsibilities. Not bad for first time meet-up.
Now, the event did not go without a few glitches as the telephone conference did not go as planned but in the end, people abandoned the new technology and opted to work the old fashion way, by signing people up, collecting money for the march, and getting people active and fired up about the march and moving forward.
While Nessi led the discussion outlining the effectiveness of speaking out against the war, State Rep. Jason Bartlett stopped in and reassured people that speaking out and communicating with your elected officials is an effective tool in activism.
In the end, I think organizers of the event were able to get across the message that it's important that we apply more pressure on our political leaders to do the right thing and work on passing a binding resolutions.
Well, I attended the immigration forum at Western Connecticut State University yesterday and lets just say that I have one hell of a report to file. Now that the event is over, I'm free to talk about everything...the forum exposed quite a bit about the supporters as well as those who support the actions of ICE and Boughton.
The forum went on for quite a long time (about 3 hours) so processing the video might take the entire day. What I plan to do in the meantime is bring you portions of the forum (which won't take as much time to upload as posting the entire event). Once I have everything posted, I'll file my complete report and give you the details on what happened...lets just say that when it came to putting up and placing the facts on the table or putting on a show, one group came to the plate while the other group blinked.
The Danbury Planning Commission, a group of volunteers appointed by the mayor, met three times to review the petition for a special exception to build a Dunkin' Donuts on Springside Avenue.
When it was all over, the commission determined that ". . . the facility . . . is not compatible with the existing neighborhood" and ". . . the proposed roadway improvements will not accommodate the increase of traffic without significant decline in traffic safety."
Their decision was based on the character of the neighborhood, their own knowledge of both the neighborhood and the problems "at the operation of similar facilities," and the testimony of residents and former residents of the neighborhood.
The Planning Commission made the right decision when it denied this Dunkin' Donuts for safety and quality-of-life reasons.
I, my neighbors and several concerned Danbury residents attended those meetings. If changing the number of car trips per day from 500 to 498 was all it took to negate all that, why did we all waste our time?
The facts today are the same as they were at the start of the original proposal.
If this is allowed to stand, what's the point? Is the commission really there to keep Danbury's best interest in mind and make sure developers are not destroying our city? Or are they just a group of people holding meetings so we believe the process is working?
The Resolution of Denial is available from City Hall. The hearing minutes are available online. I encourage everyone to read them.
We need to take a stand on issues or our city will be changed forever -- and not for the better.
I've currently doing a great deal of video work so I don't have time to do a good video retrospective post on the immigration debate. Between the Dunkin Donuts project and all the video work in front of me, I simply have too much on my plate right now and time is of the essence.
As a sidenote, thanks to everyone who pointed out bugs on this site. Most are fixed now and I'm trying solve the problem with page when you view the site via a RSS reader.
Finally, you soon see more links and added content on this site. I'm trying to work everything out so the site doesn't look too busy...hoping to add the new stuff added soon.
Hope your enjoying the latest posts. I great deal of work goes into each video so take the time and check them out, they don't bite. In time, there will be a video section where you can easily access all the videos on this site...once I master pull down menus and adding sub sections to the CSS code.
Abrantes gives a peek into her vision for city during her mayoral announcement speech
Time: 7:06 AM
On Thursday night, former Common Council member and City Clerk Helena Abrantes started her quest to become the Democratic nominee for mayor.
In a filled room at the Catholic War Veterans Building, highlighting what she views as a lack of vision, smart growth, and respect for community, Abrantes offered a detailed and at times stinging critique of Mayor Boughton and the current administration while offering a preview into her vision for Danbury.
Brief highlights from speech:
• Pledges to earn the support of Democrats in order to obtain the Democratic nomination.
• Vision for Danbury will center on public safety, financial security, education, respect for the makeup of the city, and respect for one another.
• Traffic and public safety are priorities that has been ignored due to what Abrantes views as uncontrolled growth that serves as further evidence that "there is a lack of vision, lack of plan and a lack of concern for the impact on our future..."
• Stated that one can not invite development, then point the finger to others once someone complains.
• Pledges to add more police officers in the first two years in office.
• Over bonding threatens the stable property tax base that was established by the previous administration.
• The City Center has been abandoned and hundreds of housing units is not the solution to downtown improvement.
• Open space must be preserved.
• If elected mayor, tax breaks to housing developers will come to an end and fairness to all housing owners will prevail.
• Emphasis will be placed in education.
Seeing its only Feburary, there's great deal of time until the Democratic Town Committee formally announce their nominees. The last mayoral election cycle gave us multiple Democrats seeking the nomination so I wouldn't be too surprised if other Democrats throw their hats into the race.
Abrantes has the name recognition having served as a Common Council member under two administrations as well as a City Clerk. Another asset for Abrantes is her active role within the Portuguese community which could help her cause in terms of votes.
In order to have any chance against Boughton, it's important for any challenger to carefully articulate their reasons for running as well as offer a set of goals that resonate with the public. The longer a person stays in office, the more one's political record becomes a factor in a re-election campaign. By seeking his forth term in office, the mayor record and approval will be play a large role in whether or not he'll get re-elected. Basically, it might come down to "do you like the way things are now" or "are you ready for a change" so the approval/disapproval could play a factor since people who disapprove ususally vote. If people are upset with his leadership, and Abrantes take advantage of that disapproval, this election WILL be competitive. If people are happy with the way things are, Abrantes has her work cut out for her.
As readers of this site recall, I commented several times in 2005 about the division within the Democratic Party and a Democratic mayoral candidate who simply didn't campaign hard enough for the top spot to threaten Boughton yet, the Democrats were able to pick up seats in the Common Council. If you look at the results from 2005, you'll notice that several Democrats lost their races by VERY small margins. If the party is unified, able to offer a realistic platform to the public, and campaigns extremely hard, they have a realistic chance in causing headaches for the Republican majority and give the Democrats more political leverage.
Now, if you said in Feburary 2006 that Chris Murphy would beat Nancy Johnson ON EVERY VOTING MACHINE IN DANBURY, or that a no name candiadte named Ned Lamont would beat Joe Lieberman in the primary, people would call you crazy and be concerned for your mental health. In other words, in my experience watching these elections, it's safe to say that anything can ANYTHING...remember, it's only Feburary.
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.