No blogging today

Saturday, March 07, 2009
Time: 2:12 PM

It's too damn nice outside to do any blogging. Be back tomorrow...

State Rep Jason Bartlett GUEST POST on MLN now

Friday, March 06, 2009
Time: 2:28 PM

I invited State Rep. Jason Bartlett (2nd Dist) to do a guest post on My Left Nutmeg (MLN) about his proposal to require teens to stay in high school until the age 18.

My cross post on Danbury High School Principal Karen Rezendes' reaction to Bartlett's proposal has generated a bit of a buzz within the MLN community so be sure to take a read at his guest post as it's pretty damn good.

North Street accident

Time: 1:40 PM

Today around 12:00, there was an accident that happened directly across from 50 North Street which closed both sides of the road from Deep's Market to Madison Avenue.

Between the two vehicles involved in the accident, the first vehicle, a Ford 150 (or 250), drove off with slight damage to the front-drivers side while the Buick sustained significant damage to the entire driver's side.

The firefighters on the scene had to use the "jaws of life" to get the driver of the Buick out of the car. Since I arrived on the scene, I don't know the driver's condition but I think it's safe to say that he's at the Danbury Hospital.

Here's a brief videoclip of the scene at aprox 12:30 PM.


UPDATE: Eugene has an update.

The city has an obligation to save the house

Time: 10:14 AM

As a complement to a post on the latest on Richter House a did on 2/28, The Danbury News-Times' columnist Brian Koonz nails it in his write-up today.
The Richter Park Authority hasn't received city funding since 1985, but that doesn't absolve the group from largely ignoring Richter House all these years.

I fully understand Richter House doesn't generate revenue like the Richter Park golf course. But it's an inseparable part of the Richter legacy, one that deserves to be treated so much better.

Richter House overlooked the vistas on the city's west side long before any golfer swung a driver there. The farmhouse was donated to the city in 1968 by the late Irene Richter in memory of her husband, Stanley.

Richter House was supposed to be taken care of by the authority, not ignored until it deteriorated into a $500,000 repair bill.

Consider: Chapter 13A of the city's code of ordinances relates to parks and recreation, including the Stanley Lasker Richter Memorial Park Authority. Article II of the chapter deals with the creation and powers of the Richter Park Authority.

Among other points, Sec. 13A-11 reads, "Such authority shall have the following powers: To administer, operate and maintain said Stanley Lasker Richter Memorial Park and any adjacent land owned by the city which is made part of the park."

The key word here is "maintain," even if repairs are done a little bit at a time.

Shame on the Richter Park Authority and the city of Danbury for neglecting the Richter house and allowing it to deteriorate after all these years. Honor the promise made to the Richter family and

Upcoming goodies

Thursday, March 05, 2009
Time: 10:25 PM

Wow, I placed a lot of content on the site today and I'm still behind schedule.

Here's a peek at what's coming up:

  • Yes, there was no need to adjust your TV sets, Mayor Boughton was a guest on Ideas at Work and Beyond. Yes, I was not a part of the round table and YES, as you can guess, there is a story behind that. Basically, I took one for the team (you owe me an order of quail Marty)...don't worry, I'll explain things later.

  • Tomorrow, State Rep. Jason Bartlett will be a offering a guest post on HatCityBLOG's big sister site My Left Nutmeg to talk about his proposal to require kids to proposal to require teens to stay in high school until they are 18.

  • From time to time, people ask me about social network tools on the internet. I don't really talk about using Twitter or Facebook because as member of the media, my use of the those tools are a bit different than the average user (trust me, I use twitter A LOT). I'll dig into the different uses of those social apps on the net and explain why I feel that the future of the internet will go in that direction.

  • There was an interesting article in this week's News-Times by Brian Koonz that addressed the President's stimulus package that I want to expand on.

  • I'm putting the finishing touches on a new tool here at HatCityBLOG. Because of the success of posting the cable access show Community Forum and Danbury Live, two more shows are going to jump on the bandwagon which I think you're going to like.

  • ...speaking of shows, the long awaited arrival of my local access show is about to become a reality in the next couple of months. And yeah, it's going to be REAL good and different than most of the programming happening at Comcast. I'll talk about that later.

That's it for fact, I think that's enough for now. Till tomorrow...

Did she just say that?

Time: 7:00 PM

7:00 PM: Due to the attention this post is receiving, this entry has been bumped to the top.

Did Danbury High School Principal Karen Rezendes just say this about State Rep. Jason Bartlett's proposal to require teens to stay in high school until they are 18 (now, they can leave at 16 w/ a parent's consent).

"I understand his good intentions, but I don't think it does the learning community any good, and when students turn off I think they will be non-attendees,'' Rezendes said. "The law is not going to change a student's mind on their performance."

Rezendes said she's had some excellent students who left school, got a job and returned to graduate. "They were some of the best graduating seniors,'' because they saw the value of getting their diploma.

Although, when it comes to people to return for their GED's the principal has a somewhat valid point, the rationale that a person who drops out of school and comes back to get their GED a good thing because they good students as opposed to let's say the school system addressing why kids are dropping out of school in the first place, is borderline absurd.

Lets get something straight. I grew up in the North-end section area of Hartford during the early 80s and were friends with people who attended Hartford Public High, Bloomfield High, and Weaver High so lets just say that I know a thing or two about BAD school and drop-outs. Based totally on my REAL-LIFE experience, if you drop out of school, YOU'RE SCREWED...period.

It doesn't matter how good of a student you are once you decide to come back for your GED, the fact that you dropped out of school means that the odds are stacked against you...and I mean REALLY stacked against you. Furthermore, every person who drops out will eventually put further strain on city resources as opposed to a child staying in school (or transferring a troubled student to the Alternative school).

Kids who drop out of school will probably face such social hardships as drugs (using or selling), unemployment (no education means no job), crime (no job means robbing and stealing folks), young pregnancies, and so on and so on. These problems will result in municipalities shelling out MUCH MORE money in the form of city services (police, W.I.C., welfare, public housing, drug treatment, work placement, etc) as opposed to the amount of money it takes to keep a person in school and address the problem(s) the student is dealing with.

Now, don't get me wrong, I understand the difficulties teachers face in the classroom but for the life of me, I can't see how dropping out of school and taking the chance that the person will eventually come back to earn his GED is worth the risk...especially, in this current economic climate. For every person who comes back for their GED, I'm certain there are ten kids who find up living on the streets, committing crimes, in jail, or even worse...dead.

I found this study on student drop-outs from the Childs Trend Databank that echoes my points:
Young people who drop out of high school are unlikely to have the minimum skills and credentials necessary to function in today's increasingly complex society and technological workplace. The completion of high school is required for accessing post-secondary education and is a minimum requirement for most jobs.1 High school dropouts are more likely than high school completers to be unemployed.2 Additionally, a high school diploma leads to higher income and occupational status.3 Interestingly, however, many youth who drop out of high school eventually earn a diploma or a GED. 4 One study found that 63 percent of students who dropped out had earned a diploma or GED within eight years of the year they should have originally graduated.5

Studies have found that young adults with low education and skill levels are more likely to live in poverty and to receive government assistance.6 High school dropouts are likely to stay on public assistance longer than those with at least a high school degree. Further, high school dropouts are more likely to become involved in crime.7

As I stated, living in the North-end area of Hartford was no joke. Cities such as Hartford were hit hard by the wave of massive layoffs during economic recession in the late 70s-early 80s...and the introduction of drugs such as crack in the African-American community didn't help things. To this day, there are still several friends still living on the streets and/or addicted to drugs due in part because they dropped out of school and were forced to deal, at a young age and with limited skills, the everyday struggles of life out on the streets.

Now I'm not saying that there weren't other factors that led to friends to be where they are today but, when it comes to education, I would think for a principal (or any teacher), it's more important to address why a student wants to drop out of school and do all you can to make sure do stop it.

Most cities don't have the luxury of an alternative school like the one in Danbury which makes the DHS principal's comment and resistance to State Rep. Bartlett's proposal all the more puzzling. In short, dropping out of school is a one way ticket to hardship and getting a GED eight years after your the age of 18 only means eight years of hardship, struggling, and being in a situation that can lead to disastrous results. Is that want anyone want for kids.

Research References from the Childs Trend Databank link

1 Laird, L., Lew, S., Debell, M., and Chapman, C.D. (2001). Dropout Rates in the United States: 2002,2003. NCES 2006-062. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

2 Goldschmidt, P., and Wang, J. (1999) "When Can Schools Affect Dropout Behavior? A Longitudinal Multilevel Analysis." American Research Journal, 36 (4), 715-738. Caspi, A., Wright, B.E., Moffit, T.E., & Silva, P.A., 1998. "Childhood Predictors of Unemployment in Early Adulthood," American Sociological Review, 63 (3), 424-451.

3Chen, Z., Kaplan, H. (2003). School Failure in Early Adolescence and Status Attainment in Middle Adulthood: A Longitudinal Study." Sociology of Education, 76 (2), 110-127. Miller, P., Mulvey, C. and Martin, N., 1995. "What Do Twins Studies Reveal about the Economic Returns to Education? A Comparison of Australian and U.S. Findings," The American Economic Review, 85(3), 586-599; Sewell, W., Hauser, R., & Wolf, W., 1980. "Sex, Schooling, and Occupational Status," American Journal of Sociology, 86(3), 551 - 583.

4Murnane, R., Willett, J., and Tyler, J. 2000. "Who Benefits from Obtaining a GED? Evidence from High School and Beyond." The Review of Economics and Statistics, 82 (1), 22-37.

5U.S. Department of Education, national Center for Education Statistics. (2004). Issue Brief: Educational Attainment of High School Drop Outs Eight Years Later, NCES 2005-026.

6Laird, L., Lew, S., Debell, M., and Chapman, C.D. (2001). Dropout Rates in the United States: 2002,2003. NCES 2006-062. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Boisjoly, J., Harris, K., and Duncan, G., 1998. "Initial Welfare Spells: Trends, Events, and Duration," Social Service Review, 72 (4), 466 - 492; Moore, K., Glei, D., Driscoll, A., Zaslow, M., and Redd, Z. (in press). "Poverty and Welfare Patterns: Implications for Children," Journal of Social Policy.

7 Lochner, L., and Moretti, E. (2004). "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Immates, Arrests, and Self Reports." The American Economic Review, 94 (1), 155-189. Freeman, R. (1996). "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do About It?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 10(1), 25 - 42.

Doing the right thing

Time: 5:09 PM

In this current economic climate, my favorite bank just did a great thing.
In their latest effort to support the health and well-being of their community, Union Savings Bank employees raised $54,995.54 for the United Way of Western Connecticut during its 2008-2009 Live United™ campaign. Employee contributions were matched by the Bank dollar for dollar for a total contribution of $109,911.08.

“Union Savings Bank has a long history of support for the United Way,” stated Michael Johnston, CEO, United Way of Western Connecticut. “From the spirit of volunteerism evident among their employees, to their commitment to advocate for change through the Live United campaign to the generous philanthropic giving of both employees and the company, the Bank represents everything that one could hope for from a caring, community oriented business. Given the difficult times, we are inspired by the bank’s spirit of optimism in our community and commitment to ‘do good while doing well’”.

Despite the deepening recession, the Bank's fundraising efforts for United Way saw an 11 percent increase in employee donations compared with last year. An unprecedented 94 percent of the bank's employees participated in the campaign. Along with the bank's matching gift, their contributions will directly benefit the United Way of Western Connecticut, a non-profit organization that promotes financial stability, education and health and wellness to help children, youth and families reach their potential.

“Our commitment to the United Way and other charitable organizations has been a hallmark of our bank for many years,” said John Kline, president and CEO of Union Savings Bank. “We employ remarkable individuals that truly care about their community and are reaching out to help their neighbors especially during these troubled times. Their achievement is something to be proud of and is consistent with our mutual bank mission of supporting our communities.”


Budget woes

Time: 4:53 PM

As you should know, right now Danbury is in budget mode as the Mayor is scheduled to present his budget to the public during April's Common Council meeting.

Now, given the state of affairs in Connecticut with the governor presenting a dishonest budget package that's two billions dollars out of whack, this editorial from today's Hartford Courant should serve as a wake up call to this city as well as the 168 cities and towns in this state.
Municipal budget planners must feel like they are writing with invisible ink. Or is it just red? There's no good way to predict how much of the usual state aid will be coming from Hartford when the new fiscal year begins July 1.

Uncertainty over how federal stimulus money will be funneled to the cities and towns adds to the woes of trying to keep schools running, roads plowed and senior centers operating without clobbering property owners.

Local budget deadlines begin arriving in March and generally pass well before the state budget is settled, even in a good year. Towns must send layoff notices to teachers and make other adjustments for spending in a kind of black-box budgeting.

In this particularly difficult year, state leaders should move more quickly to end their political posturing and give municipalities a good idea of how much money will be sent from the Capitol.

Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell is trying to achieve fiscal solvency with budget cuts, re-allocation of funds and elimination of some tax credits. Her proposed budget keeps the state money flowing to local schools at the same level as last year.

But she would reduce payments to towns and cities in lieu of taxes for state property, colleges and hospitals. Also dropping are funds for town and road aid, and distributions from the state's casino revenue.

But even this level of certainty is thrown into question because the leaders of the Democratic-controlled General Assembly have, so far, failed to clearly articulate their budget goals. They say the deficit numbers used by the governor are too low, which reflects their apparent desire to raise taxes to cover the shortfall.

Dispassionate observers generally agree that the state budget for the next two years will ultimately have to be balanced with a combination of budget cuts, tax increases, federal aid and a dose of smoke and mirrors.

Until the governor and legislators finally get serious about compromise, which feels like it's months away, they do a disservice to the state's municipalities by failing to provide guidance on how much money cities and towns can expect.

BINGO! This is EXACTLY why EVERYONE should be very concerned about what's happening at the state level as state aid will play a big role in terms of the city's budget.

...more later.

Stop outsourcing your content

Time: 2:33 PM

As you know, I've been highly critical of the Danbury News-Times/Topix comment service. With new attention being placed upon the Topix service from such people as Colin McEnroe, I wanted to share with you this piece from Howard Ownens on why newspapers such as our local paper should not out-source their community forums.

Local news is a vertical.

To succeed going forward, local newspapers need to treat local news as a vertical product.

Newspapers, traditionally, are horizontal, serving many interests and needs with a single product.

Web sites need to be more singularly focused.

Look at the way now owns the fashion vertical, or how American Idol has create a vertical for own product that now covers multiplatforms (TV, the Web, CDs, books, concert tours, mobile phones, etc.).

Local newspapers should aim for the same ownership of local news and information across multiplatforms, and especially dive deep on the Web -- breaking news, video, community participation, databases, classifieds, IYP, and every thing else a publisher, editor or content producer can think of to ensure complete ownership of local. That's what hyperlocal really means.

The last thing you should do is outsource community participation. You need to own your relationships with your best customers -- your readers and your contributors, the people in the local community that make it what it is -- a community. Letting another company own that relationship is a strategic mistake of monumental proportions.

That's why Media News signing a deal to turn over commenting functions to Topix is just dumb beyond belief.

Food for thought.

You can read more on Howard Ownen's take on Topix by clicking here.

UPDATE: For clarification, The News-Times was once managed by MediaNews for Hearst and during this period, Topix was incorporated into the online newspaper. Hearst took over control on August of 2008. Wikipedia has a decent write-up on the musical chairs...

Community Forum 03.04.09 broadcast

Time: 2:23 PM

Host: Susan Shaner
Guest: Jeff Zimmerman, Doctor of oriental medicine

March Common Council meeting wrap-up

Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Time: 11:50 PM


I'm going to try a new feature here called "Common Council wrap-up."'

Basically, the title tells the story. I'm going to break up the video footage of the meeting into clips based on the items on the agenda. Also, on the title of the videoclip in order to download the documentation related on that particular item on the agenda.

NOTE: This is a work-in-progress post. Video clips are still being uploaded and the entire post should be completed by tomorrow afternoon.

Public speaking/consent calendar:


ITEM 1: Collective Bargaining Agreements (DMEA, Police, Fire, Teamsters/Public Works, Teamsters/Public Utilities, Teamsters/Public Buildings)


ITEM 2: Promotion Police Department


ITEM 6: Donation to the Health, Housing and Welfare - Homeless Shelter


ITEM 8: Change of Ordinances, Section 8-33 and 8-34
ITEM 9: Request for Sewer and Water, 12 Clapboard Ridge


ITEM 18: Property Tax Abatement


ITEM 19: Appointment of Economic Development Director
ITEM 20: Grant Agency Review


Setting the record straight

Time: 4:28 PM

It seems like Minority Leader Tom Saadi wasn't pleased about comments he made regarding the appointment of Mike McLachlan which were mysteriously omitted in the city's record by the city clerk's office. This partisan screw-up mistake from our lovely city clerk was reported on this site yesterday.

From last night's common council meeting, here's Saadi setting the record straight.


...remember who pointed this latest bit of nonsense from the City Clerk's office out first.

Police gone wild

Time: 12:12 PM

Think immigrants are being targeted in Danbury...check out what's happening in East Haven.

What's that about ICE ACCESS being so effective?

Time: 11:04 AM

It seems like those who were critical of ICE ACCESS had good reasons not to trust the program afterall.
A government report questions the effectiveness of a federal program, long criticized by immigrant advocacy groups, that deputizes police officers as immigration agents.

The report, to be released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, says the government has failed to determine how many of the thousands of people deported under the program were the kind of violent felons it was devised to root out.

Some law enforcement agencies had used the program to deport immigrants “who have committed minor crimes, such as carrying an open container of alcohol,”
the report said, and at least four agencies referred minor traffic offenders for deportation.


Known as 287(g), a reference to the section of a 1996 law authorizing it, the program has been promoted by immigration officials as an important tool in deporting serious criminals. It has also enjoyed the strong support of some local law enforcement agencies, including here in Maricopa County, where the sheriff operates the largest program, with 160 trained deputies.

But the report said immigration bureau officials had not closely supervised how their agreements with the local agencies had been carried out, had inconsistently described the program’s goals and had failed to spell out what data should be tracked, collected and reported.


The report analyzed 29 of the 67 local law enforcement agencies in the program. It found that they arrested 43,000 illegal immigrants last year, including 34,000 taken into custody by the immigration bureau.

Of the 34,000, the report said, about 41 percent were put in removal proceedings, 44 percent waived their right to a hearing and were immediately deported, and 15 percent were released for reasons including humanitarian grounds, the “minor nature of their crime” and their having been sentenced to prison.

Citing lapses in data collection, the G.A.O. was unable to determine how many of the arrested immigrants were suspected of committing serious crimes.


Representative Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, which will hold the hearing on Wednesday, said in a statement that “the record is incomplete, at best, as to whether this program is a success.”

“Without objective data, we cannot evaluate the effectiveness of this program, nor can we determine whether better results could be achieved by other means, such as increasing the number of ICE agents,” he said.


The G.A.O.’s criticism largely mirrored the findings of recent analyses by independent groups, including a report last week by Justice Strategies, a nonpartisan research foundation in Brooklyn. It found, among other problems, that the program might actually strain local resources because people who have not committed a serious crime are being held on immigration charges.

With a Democratic president who grabbed a large section of the Latino vote, ICE ACCESS becoming a reality is not happening...the problems with the program that are coming to the surface should give those who voted for the program pause. Seeing that the city is already involved in a VERY embarrassing immigration lawsuit, this flawed program is the LAST thing this city needs.

On tap for tonight...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Time: 6:39 PM


Here's the agenda for tonight's Common Council meeting....


____________________________________________1 – COMMUNICATION - Collective Bargaining Agreements

B. Police
C. Fire
D. Teamsters/Public Works
E. Teamsters/Public Utilities
F. Teamsters/Public Buildings

____________________________________________2 – COMMUNICATION - Promotion Police Department
____________________________________________3 – COMMUNICATION - Appointment to the Library Board
____________________________________________4 – COMMUNICATION - Donations to the Department of Elderly Services
5 – COMMUNICATION - Donations to the Fire Department
____________________________________________6 – COMMUNICATION - Donation to the Health, Housing and Welfare - Homeless Shelter
____________________________________________7 – COMMUNICATION - Donation to the Danbury Library
____________________________________________8 – COMMUNICATION - Change of Ordinances, Section 8-33 and 8-34
____________________________________________9 – COMMUNICATION - Request for Sewer and Water, 12 Clapboard Ridge
____________________________________________10 – RESOLUTION - Acquisition of Property, Hawthorn Terrace Water System
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­____________________________________________11 – RESOLUTION - Beaver Street Apartment Cooperative Inc - State of Connecticut Real Estate Tax Abatement
____________________________________________12 - RESOLUTION - Before & After School Program
____________________________________________13 - RESOLUTION - United Way/FEMA Grant Shelter
____________________________________________14 - RESOLUTION - Lead Prevention Grant
____________________________________________15 – RESOLUTION - Region 5 Resolution
16 - REPORT & ORDINANCE - Governmental Entities
____________________________________________17 – AD HOC REPORT - Sewer Extension – Short, Lombardi and Concord Streets
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­____________________________________________18 - AD HOC REPORT - Property Tax Abatement
____________________________________________19 - AD HOC REPORT - Appointment of Economic Development Director
____________________________________________20 - AD HOC REPORT - Grant Agency Review
21 – DEPARTMENT REPORTS – Police, Fire, Health-Housing & Welfare, Public Works, Dream Homes, Permit Center, UNIT, Elderly Services, Library, Economic Development

Parting shot

Time: 5:17 PM

In my haste to follow-up on stories I've left on the shelf, I forgot to follow-up on State Senator Mike McLachlan's decision to not accept the position of Director of Economic Development.

Senator McLachlan's bitter letter to Boughton dated Feb 20th contained this goodie:
Given the politically driven opposition to my appointment, I feel it is in the best interest of the city to allow you to go in a different direction

Although it's laughable to read McLachlan's excuse over declining the job offer because, as the News-Times noted in THREE editorials, our new State Senator and Boughton still refuse to admit that they went back on their word, something important was overlooked that makes Mike's rant even al the more silly.

You see, just ten days prior to McLachlan declining Boughton's offer, a BI-PARTISAN ad-hoc committee that looked into McLachlan's appointment unanimously approved the State Senator working in the capacity of Director of Economic Development.

I'll let the video tell the story.

Instead of doing the right thing, keeping his word to his constituents who voted for him, and stepping down with grace, McLachlan goes out with his trademark hot-tempered attitude and bitterness which was completely unnecessary.

The whole matter with McLachlan had nothing to do with partisan politics, it had to do with an individual who went back on his word when he stated during the campaign that he would avoid conflicts on interests. It's simple, you went back on your work and you were held more, no less.

You made your bed, now you have to sleep in it. Now hopefully, McLachlan can do what he's suppose to do and work on dealing with the state budget.

Scrubbing the record?

Time: 12:52 PM

More nonsense from the person who's quite arguably the WORST City Clerk in the history of Danbury.

From time to time, I read the minutes of meetings which I videotaped and since I attended the ad-hoc committee meeting on the appointment of Mike McLachlan for Director of economic Development, I wanted to see if our lovely City Clerk got the minutes right.

From the OFFICIAL minutes, here's what written about Minority Leader Tom Saadi's remarks (located at the end of the report):
Mr. Saadi stated the Council vote is a stamp of approval and not binding on the Mayor. He feels it's the Mayor's prerogative to structure his office the way he wishes. Mr Saadi agrees with the benefit of the cost savings, the accountability and the structure up to 15 hours. He further hopes adjustments will be made for a fill time director in the future.

Now, here's what Saadi ACTUALLY said:


Here's a REALLY rough transcript of what Saadi ACTUALLY said...which was left out of the official record on file at City Hall. all candor, is it ultimately the mayor's decision how he structures his staff...ultimately, on the standpoint of the council voting on it, it's a's not binding. My opinion is that it's the mayor's prerogative on how he structures his office.


Where I have concerns, and I think Mr. Rotello began those initially, ah, is the issue of potential...this was discussed and I don't want to beat a dead horse...the potential competing economic interest between municipalities that the State Senator represents with his Danbury hat on as a state senator.

It's not that being a municipal employee is a is more the issue of a conflict in regards to the job description that a Economic Director has...that raises the very concerns I still have...
I certainly hope there will be adjustments made going forward. I do think that...not to spend more money but a full time Economic Director...

Notice how all the critical remarks Saadi made about McLachlan's appointment didn't make it's say to the official record...THE RECORD THAT'S APPROVED BY CITY CLERK JEAN NATALE!

It's one thing to be just plain incompetent, it's another thing to be incompetent and play partisan politics and anyone with a clue can see that's exactly what's going on when it comes to scrubbing remarks that were critical to McLachlan! What other reason could there be for someone to TOTALLY ignore a significant section of an elected official's remarks?

Now do you understand why it's important that ALL Common Council meetings at City Hall should be videotaped/televised? Now you understand why the position of City Clerk SHOULD BE ELIMINATED.

To read more on the incompetence of our City Clerk, just click here.

Danbury Live 02.28.09 broadcast

Time: 11:57 AM

TOPIC: Charter revision meeting

THE HALAS FILES CHAPTER ONE: Prelude to the meltdown

Monday, March 02, 2009
Time: 5:51 PM didn't think we were done exploring the outrageous appointment of Mike Halas yet did you?

There are series of concerns regarding Mike Halas' appointment to the Common Council. In order to get a better understanding behind criticisms of the man who's disgusting behavior at last year's zoning commission meeting resulted in an embarrassing public tongue lashing, a little background is on order.

Halas has a history with the city...both good and bad. While his supporters on the Common Council like to point to the charitable work Halas has done for the community, they do so while overlooking the multiple times in which Halas has violated the zoning regulations in the city.

This post will focus on one violation in particular, which resulted in the now infamous April 2008 zoning commission meeting where Halas and his supporters exhibited an extreme lack of maturity and took personal attacks to a whole new level.

Since it's better to let the video tell the story, from April of 2008, here's an interview I conducted with activist Ken Gucker who detailed Halas' zoning violations his lot on 31 Pembroke Road as well as well as other concerns he has with the proposed future use of the property.


Documents related to video:

Letter from Zoning Enforcement officer Sean Hearty to Mike Halas regarding zoning violations on 31 Pembroke Road.
(Click here to download).

Cease and Desist order, 31 Pembroke Road. Aug 17 2007:
(Click here to download document)

The next post on Halas will focus on what happened during the April 2008 zoning commission meeting in which Halas petitioned the city for an amendment to the zoning regulations for the property in question...and you'll see how Halas and his supportes took the term "personal attack" to an extreme.

Team player

Sunday, March 01, 2009
Time: 8:38 PM

Picture 5
NOTE: Jack Knapp Jr is the guy in the left and NOT the person the guy in the picture doing the insane belly-flop into the freezing water
photo via News-Times

The craziest Patriots fan in Danbury works the crowd for a good cause.
For a guy fairly new to elected office, Jack Knapp, Jr. sure knows how to work a crowd.

The first thing he did after jumping into Lake Kenosia Saturday?

Shake hands, naturally, while standing waist deep in freezing water.

Knapp was one of about 34 people who took the plunge during the annual Danbury Dip, a charity fundraising event by Danbury Moose Lodge #1373. The dip is named in honor of Knapp's late father.

The jumpers made their way into the water in small groups.

Knapp, a member of the Danbury Common Council, jumped in with his son, John.

Knapp worked the crowd like a pro wrestler while literally standing on thin ice.

"Are we ready?" he shouted, waving his arms in the air.

"Whoooo, whooooo," was the response from the more than 200 shivering onlookers.

The annual dip raises about $20,000 a year for a variety of local charities.

It is the biggest event for the Moose Lodge, located at 75 The Boulevard off Kenosia Avenue.

Although this was a worthy cause, jumping in the freezing water is crazy...and the Patriots still suck (...a little inside baseball humor).

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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