Congressman Murphy announces 260,000 in federal funding for Danbury school system

Friday, March 27, 2009
Time: 5:59 PM

Congressman Chris Murphy strikes up a conversation with the fifth grade class of Stadley Rough school during today's press conference.

Stadley Rough Elementary School. 03.27.09

It seems like the dream of a literacy center in Danbury took a major step towards becoming reality today.

This morning Congressman Chris Murphy paid to visit to the Stadley Rough School to inform school officials (and a fifth grade class) that he secured over 260,000 dollars to be used towards the creation of the Family Literacy and Resource Center.

Via Congressman Murphy's press release:
"Learning to read unlocks so much for our kids, stimulating their imaginations and opening doors to knowledge. The Family Literacy Center will provide the tools Danbury needs to ensure that their kids are ready to learn and parents can keep them on the path to success," said Murphy.

The Center will provide support and resources to families in Danbury to foster child and family education success. This funding provides the seed money to establish the Center and purchase materials and services, and will position the Danbury Public Schools to seek additional grants to sustain the Center.


"The Danbury Board of Education has placed a major emphasis on parent involvement, and with this grant we will be able to support parents and students in ways our regular budget could not afford to," said Dr. Pascarella.

In recent weeks, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 1105, the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill, sending it out of Congress and to President Obama's desk for his signature. This legislation, which includes the $262,000 for Danbury's Family Literacy Center proj ect, wraps up work on the Fiscal Year 2009 appropriations bills, and works in tandem with the economic recovery package, making investments that address the country's immediate needs while investing in our long-term economic strength.

With Danbury and the state facing a budget crisis, there is no question that this money is well received by local officials.

From today, here's video footage of Congressman Murphy's presser.


AS A BONUS, after the presser, I had a chance to talk to the congressman and get his thoughts regarding the whole AIG fiasco. Here's what he had to say...


Case dismissed

Time: 12:25 PM

When it comes to an area with an anti-immigrant sentiment, it seems like East Haven picked up a thing or two from Danbury...the difference is that East Haven officials (including the police department) really screwed themselves this time.
Father James Manship, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church, was in State Superior in New Haven Thursday morning, answering charges of disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer. After a two-hour wait, the charges against the priest were dismissed in less than a minute. State prosecutor David Strollo said the state did not have sufficient evidence to go forward with the case.

Manship was arrested by East Haven police on Feb. 19 while videotaping what he described as systematic police harassment of Latinos in East Haven. East Haven business owners say local police have targeted them and their customers for intimidation and traffic stops without reason.

Father Manship’s video footage of his arrest, which he released two weeks ago, contradicted the police arrest report and undermined the prosecution’s case. Thursday was his second court appearance, following a plea of not guilty three weeks ago.

With their priest exonerated, Manship’s parishioners are now going on offense. Angel Fernandez, a parish leader at St. Rose of Lima, announced that Yale attorneys filed a complaint with the Department of Justice on Thursday morning seeking a federal investigation into allegations of race-based harassment by East Haven Police. East Haven Latinos and their advocates said they hope that a federal investigation will result in oversight and reform of East Haven’s police department.


“Can you imagine being arrested for no reason?” Father Manship asked rhetorically at a press conference on the New Haven green following his court appearance. He said that he had been fortunate to be a white man and a priest, represented by a team of attorneys. Others facing false charges are not so lucky, he said.

“I’m happy that this case is over. It’s been a distraction,” the priest continued. “Now we can get to the business at hand.”

The business at hand, announced St. Rose parish leader Angel Fernandez (pictured), is a federal investigation of racially motivated police harassment in East Haven. This abuse, Fernandez said, includes Latino drivers being pulled over without reason, Latinos being beaten while in police custody, and the systematic harassment of Latino businesses in East Haven.

Student attorneys from Yale’s Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, a clinic at the law school, have collected over 20 personal stories of alleged police harassment and compiled them into a formal complaint, which they sent to the U.S. Department of Justice. The 14-page complaint requests an investigation of East Haven’s police department.

The document alleges a “pattern and practice of race-based violence and racial profiling against Latinos in East Haven.” It outlines four main areas of concern: racially motivated violence against Latinos, harassment and intimidation directed at Latino motorists and business owners, the “tacit approval” of the police department, and police retaliation against Latinos that have spoken out. Fernandez said that police abuse has escalated in East Haven in recent weeks, since Latinos have gone public with their experiences.

This whole entire situation was a joke from the start...and the fact that AS I TYPE THIS POST, the mayor of East Haven still refuses to address situation regarding the tactics used by her police department speaks VOLUMES about her character.

And oh, it looks like those Yale law students scored a victory...something people in Danbury should think about.


Time: 8:56 AM

Man, what a week.

Sorry for the lack of's not like I don't have any news to report on BUT it's been a rather busy week in Connecticut.

Over at MyLeftNutmeg, I did two live blogs which took up the entire day (and one went into the night).

Both live blogs centered on events happening at the State Capitol. The first live-blog focused on Tuesday's Judiciary Committee public hearing where several important items were addressed such as proposal to relax marijuana laws, a proposal concerning prison population, modification to parole hearings, increase protection for correction officers, etc. Pretty intense stuff and that hearing didn't end until well after 10PM.

The second live-blog on Thursday wasn't as bad time wise but just as important...the banking committee's investigative hearing into AIG. Lets just say that this hearing was a MEDIA EVENT as just about every outlet packed the room with cameras, photographers, and reporters...

Now I don't do a normal live blog where I just type about what's happening and offer my take on things. No...that would be too easy. Instead, I kick things up a notch and post video clips of the proceedings as close to real time as possible. Since CT-N covered both meetings, it was rather easy to monitor the events and post the video clips as it happened. Kick in the whole tweetering stuff I did on top of that and you start to understand why Danbury took a back burner this week.

All in all I had a great time live-blogging as it keeps you on your toes and makes you push blogging to it's limits. Now that I have a new server and computer in the house, hopefully I'll be able to push the envelope even further in the near future.

...and with that being said, I'm back to covering the whacky world of Danbury politics. Let the silly season begin!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Time: 6:04 PM

I'm currently designing a couple of new blogs right now and of those I'm working on, the one I'm most excited about is the new blog for the local access show "Danbury Live!"

For the last two years, I've been archiving episodes of the local access show on YouTube and posting them here on this site but that will change very soon. Although it's not completed yet, if you wanna see the site take shape in real time, click here and you'll be able to see what I've done so far. Trust me, once I'm finished, it's gonna be amazing!

UPDATE: Man, things are SO much easier when you design a site from the bottom up as opposed to tweaking this pain-in-the-ass blog. The "Danbury Live!" site is about ready to officially launch...'re welcomed John.

Murphy challenger to make it official Thursday

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Time: 9:33 PM

Genghis has the scoop on the latest Republican to throw his hat into the 2010 5th CD race against Congressman Chris Murphy.
Justin Bernier, the former head of the Office of Military Affairs, is set to announce his candidacy for Congress this Thursday at 9:45 am at Farmington’s Community and Senior Center. Bernier, who currently lives in Plainville, is a Farmington native. He’s also a veteran of Afghanistan, and was appointed by Jodi Rell to be the head of the Office of Military Affairs in 2008. In 2005, he was a member of Rob Simmons’ staff, and played a role in keeping the Groton Sub Base open.

I'll go on a stretch and call this race for fact, this race won't even be close (with or without the "Cappiello" lawn sign strategy).

...lets move along.

State Reps address state budget shortfall at forum

Monday, March 23, 2009
Time: 10:55 AM

State Rep Bob Godfrey offers his opening remarks on the state budget at last week's forum.
State budget forum, W.C.S.U. 03.18.09

Last Wednesday, about a hundred people a community forum on the state budget at Western Connecticut State University.

Addressing the problem the state will be facing in the near future, House Speaker Chris Donovan and area State Reps Bob Godfrey (110th), Jason Bartlett (2nd), Joe Taborsak (109th), and Chris Liddy (106th), addressed the 2.8 billion deficit hole left by Gov Rell's budget proposal and the difficult choices which need to be made in the years ahead.

Seeing that the state is facing a 100 million dollar shortfall in the current budget, Gov Rell's budget proposal already takes into consideration assistance from President Obama's stimulus plan, the Representatives highlighted several scenarios which would save the state money including spending cuts, eliminating inefficient programs, and that dreaded increases.

Following the discussion, a Q&A session was held afterward and outside the local anti-immigrant lunatic who makes a spectacle at most of these events, the forum overall was somewhat informative because it but a light on a very serious situation that will have a direct impact on Danbury as well as all municipalities.

Also during the forum, the members of the panel shared with those in attendance a handout which lays out the situation the state in terms of the deficit over the next few years.

(You can also download a pdf of the document by clicking here.)

Due to the length of the forum, I broke up the video into smaller parts based on each speaker.

CLIP 1: Opening remarks from State Rep. Bob Godfrey:


CLIP 2: State Rep. Jason Bartlett:


CLIP 3: Speaker Chris Donovan:


CLIP 4: Q&A session:


Mr Google is in town

Sunday, March 22, 2009
Time: 10:23 AM

Wanna have some fun. The Google van is in town mapping Danbury...have a look!

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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:
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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
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11.07.23: Initial returns

Oct 10 2022
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Alves Apr 10th SEEC filing

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Newstimes Dean Esposito profile (10.25.05)

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