Memories of Sept 11 2001

Friday, September 11, 2009
Time: 9:36 AM

On this day when we reflect on the tragic events of September 11th 2001, I wanted to share my thoughts on that tragic day which I originally published back in 2007. This write-up has been modified from year to year as I add more of my thoughts and thoughts of that day to the post.

9/11 Memorial, June 2006.
Photo by ctblogger

September 11 2001 is a day I'm sure many residents of Danbury (as well as the nation) will never forget.

I remember that morning like it was yesterday. I woke up, made my usual cup of coffee, walked outside to my porch at my lake house in Sandy Hook and witnessed what must have been the most vivid and bluest sky I had ever seen. As usual, I was running behind schedule and scrambling to get ready to work (thankfully I lived rather close to my job at the time).

While ironing my clothes, I was trying to catch up with the news flipping back and forth between ABC and NBC while chuckling at the thought of my colleagues at work laughing at me when I walked into the office late again since I told them I would be on time today.

I can distinctly recall reaching for the remote control and placing my finger of the power button when it was announced that "something" hit one of the World Trade Center towers. I didn't think much of it at the time since who in their right mind would think that someone would deliberately fly an airliner into one of the tallest buildings in the country.

While driving to work, while I usually listen to The Howard Stern Show in the morning, on that morning I listened to 1010 WINS in order to find out more information regarding the accident at WTC...that's when I first learned that something serious happened as the reporter announced witnessing a second plane hit the tower. By the time I made it to my job, the reality of the situation had already hit me...the country was under attack.

Work came to a complete standstill.

I walked into the office (at the time, I worked for a book publishing company) and everywhere I looked, I saw complete chaos. The internet completely shut down (the WTC was a major internet hub for communications), people were on their cell phones trying to get in touch with friends and loved ones who worked in the city. There was no way to get any information except for the radio (we had no TVs in the building) so people resorted to running outside and getting their news reports from car radios.

I remember the moment hearing that there was a major explosion at the first tower and my heart dropped as I realized that a friend of mine worked at the towers from time to time and none of my friends knew whether or not he was at the WTC on that day...he had a young son and a daughter on the way.

I remember the horrible feeling of emptiness, a dark feeling you get when someone close to you passes away. Throughout the office, fellow colleagues walked around in a state of disbelief as many of my co-workers (if not all) knew someone who worked in that section of Manhattan.

As the day progressed, I we were bombarded with so many false reports and rumors that I recall thinking “the hell with this crap”, packing up my things, and leaving work. There was no need to be at the job since most of the publishing industry is located in the lower section of New York City...a section of the city that's now a cloud of dust.

I couldn't get any work one could get anything done on that day. My thoughts were on my friend as I still didn't know if he was alive, lost, or dead. Driving around town, you could see that everyone had the same look of shock and disbelief on their faces. It was like, how could such a beautiful day turn into a nightmare?

I pulled over to the first bar I could find (a bar had two things I needed: a television and beer), and it was there for the first time that I witness with my eyes what I only heard on the radio and it made the situation even worse. The only bright spot of that day was the phone call I received telling me that my friend didn't have to work in the city on that day but he lost a lot of friends who never made it out of the building.

That was a brief look at what I remember the most from that day and to be honest, I don't even know why I'm writing this for.

Maybe it's because the memory of that day is fresh in my mind as I watch the memorial service.

Maybe it's because that moment was a turning point in my life when I decided to get more politically active.

Maybe I just wanted to share my feelings with someone who going through the same emotions right now as we remember those who lost their lives years ago.

Whatever the case, I know in my heart that I'll always recall that experience on that terrible day on every September 11 for the rest of my life.

My heart will ALWAYS go out to all those who lost a loved on that horrible day in our country's history. I pray that none of us will never forget and pass on our experience to the next generation who will never know what the beautiful New York skyline looked prior to September 11, 2001.

Where's the plan Jodi?

Thursday, September 10, 2009
Time: 6:03 PM

I guess when it comes to economic development, it looks like Gov Rowland-Rell is asleep at the wheel again...and this time, she's being called out on it.
Within the last few weeks, lawmakers, municipal officials, and advocates have all asked Gov. M. Jodi Rell to publicly release a strategic economic development plan for the state, but as of Thursday her office is still claiming she doesn’t have it.

Under a bill passed and signed into law in 2007, the Department of Economic and Community Development was supposed to submit a plan to the governor articulating a vision for Connecticut over the next five, 10, 15, and 20 years. The plan was expected to be submitted July 1 and the governor was supposed to approve or reject it by Sept. 1.

State Sen. Gary LeBeau, D-East Hartford, wrote Rell and DECD Commissioner Joan McDonald back on Aug. 21 inquiring about the status of the plan. As of today he has not received a response and said he is sending another letter because he believes Rell does have the plan.

“I was lead to believe it was completed,” LeBeau said Thursday. “I don’t know what the hold up is.”


Concerned that the plan has yet to be made public and may already exist, [Heidi] Green [executive director of 1,000 Friends of Connecticut] said she sent this Freedom of Information request to both Rell and McDonald last Friday. Under Freedom of Information laws she should receive a response by the end of this week or at the latest Monday of next week depending on when the mailed letter was actually received.

Regardless of whether the plan exists or not, Green said it was supposed to be “a comprehensive plan on how we move the economy from where we are to where we want to be as a state.”

She said it would be “disconcerting” if the plan was going into effect without first being made public. In addition to promoting smart growth and determining where the state should be focusing its economic development efforts, Green said the completed plan could help the state obtain funds for high-speed rail and other targeted transit investments being discussed at the federal level.

LeBeau, who is also exploring a run for governor against Rell in 2010 and is chairman of the legislature’s Commerce Committee, said in a press release last Friday that, “We are in the midst of probably the worst economic crisis that Connecticut has seen in modern times, and it is imperative that any plan that will help position the state to emerge and thrive be vetted and implemented as soon as possible.”

The legislature directed that the plan must include a review and evaluation of Connecticut’s economy, including an analysis of its housing and labor markets and demographics; review factors that impede economic development; identify economic clusters that are growing or declining in the state; articulate a vision for Connecticut; establish clear and measurable goals for the state; and recommend how to achieve them.

On Tuesday Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy, another of Rell’s possible challengers in 2010, also questioned the status of the plan.

“The Governor refused to take a position on the state budget, and now has apparently refused to take a position on an economic development and smart growth plan that could potentially help put Connecticut’s economy back on track,” Malloy said in a press release.

“This is a two-year plan that is supposed to guide our economic development and smart growth strategies; it’s a plan for which the state paid $500,000; and it’s a plan that technically, by default, is supposed to now be in place,” Malloy added. “Yet, in the face of all that, our Governor has no opinion on it.”

You would think that in the midst of our economic situation here in Danbury and across the state, that the governor would get a move on and let the pubic see her strategic economic development plan for the state?

Well Jodi...we're waiting!

Danbury residents rally for health care reform

Time: 1:42 PM

Last Wednesday, residents from around the area came together at the Danbury Public Library to express their support for President Obama's health care reform proposal.

With the crowd sharing their own health care experiences, as well as those from across the country, the "We Can't Afford to Wait" vigil placed an emphasis on those who are suffering under the current health care system.

The event was organized locally by Georgiana Rescigno and after the vigil, she shared with me her thoughts on the need for health care reform.

Here are some highlights from last week's event.

LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Bethel Today 09.08.09 broadcast

Time: 11:16 AM

GUEST: Lisa Bergh (D), Bethel Town Clerk

Coming soon...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Time: 10:29 PM


...wait till you see what I have in store for everyone!

LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Danbury Live 09.05.09 broadcast

Time: 3:40 PM

Is accelerated rehabilitation the right option for Burke?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Time: 6:33 PM

First Selectman Bob Burke and Attorney Thomas Beecher exit Danbury Superior Court
Danbury Superior Court, 09.08.09

I caught this quote from First Selectman Bob Burke's attorney in Dirk Perrefort's updated story today...
Thomas Beecher, an attorney with the Collins Hannafin Garamella law firm who represented Burke Tuesday, declined to comment on what might lay ahead in the case.


Beecher declined to comment on whether Burke would apply for one of the diversionary programs provided by the court system. One of those programs is Accelerated Rehabilitation, a special form of probation that's available only to first time offenders.

Typically defendants who are admitted into this program received a probationary period with several conditions. The charge is removed from their record if those conditions are met.

Personally, I've long thought that, unless Burke is determined to fight the charges, Accelerated Rehabilitation would be the best option in this matter as it closes the case and all parties involved can move on with their lives. 2 cents.

For more information on Accelerated Rehabilitation, click here.


What do you think? Should First Selectman Burke enter an accelerated rehabilitation? Take a moment and answer the poll question at the top second column of the site.

HatCityBLOG EXCLUSIVE: Video footage of First Selectman Burke's day in court

Time: 1:39 PM

First Selectman Bob Burke exits the courtroom after his hearing today.
Danbury Superior Court 09.08.09.

Here's the complete audio and video of Bethel First Selectman Bob Burke's court appearance today.

NOTE: Portions of the video/audio has been edited in order to protect the identity of the victim(s).



(h/t to WTNH for sharing the footage from the hearing with the local media as only one video camera was allowed in the courtroom).

LIVE BLOG: Bethel First Selectman Robert Burke court appearance

Time: 8:39 AM

I'm at the Danbury Superior Courthouse awaiting the court hearing for Bethel First Selectman Robert Burke.

Burke was arrested and charged with 2nd degree harassment stemming from telephone calls he made to an individual in which he had a "personal" relationship with.

The hearing is scheduled to start at 10:00 AM and I will update this post with information as it happens here at the courthouse.

NOTE: THIS IS A LIVE BLOG: Most recent entries will be posted at the top.

12:20: Here's WTNH's 12:00 report on Burke's court appearance.

12:10: WTNH just aired their piece for their 12:00 broadcast. I'll have it posted shortly.

11:45: Almost done with the video. I'll have it posted around 12:30 or so...

11:30: Here's footage of First Selectman being greeted by the media as he and his attorney exit the courthouse.

10:35: With News-Times reporter Dirk Perrefort and the camera operator for WTNH. Since the judge allowed only one photographer and video operator in the courthouse, I felt it was better to allow the mainstream to do their thing and I'll grab their raw footage. Recording the entire video footage now. I'll have to edit portions of the footage (to protect the identity of the victim) so it will take about an hour or so until I post the video/audio.

10:20: Everything is over. Several photographers / camera operators are outside the courthouse taking photos and video of Burke and his attorney.

Walking behind Burke and his attorney attorney Thomas Beecher are Dan Gaita (Burke's treasurer) Bob Crnic (member of Burke's team), and Bill Slifkin (candidate for Selectman who's running along side Burke).

(from lower left to right) Burke campaign treasurer Dan Gaita, campaign member Bob Crnic, and Selectman candidate Bill Slifkin

10:14: Judge Agati schedules the case for Sept 30th.

10:13: Judge Agati grants the order and informs First Selectman Burke that if he violates the protective order, that he could face up to 5 years in jail and a 5,000 fine. Burke informs that he understands the condition of the court order.

10:12: State Attorney Steve Sedensky states that due to the nature of the case, that a protective order be granted for the victim and daughter.

10:10: (inside) Burke's name is called and he approaches the judge with his attorney Thomas Beecher. I think the judge hearing the case is Salvatore Agati. Prosecutor is State Attorney Steve Sedensky

10:00: Court started. Since all cell phones are to be turned off, I'm not able to love blog during the arraingment. I will write down what happens and update the site after everything is over. NOTE: posts with the label (inside) are entires I wrote down while the cell phone was off.

9:57: Court is almost in session. People are cling into the chambers.

9:45: Inside the chambers now...sitting next to cameraman for WTNH.

9:30: Asked Burke if he would be making a statement to the press after the hearing. Reaffirmed that he'd be pleading innocent

9:20: Outside the chambers. Burke, his treasurer Dan Gaita, and Selectman candidate Bill Slifkin are here. Checking to see if channel 8 got permission to videotape in the chambers.

9:00 Here's a view of the courthouse...note that WTNH is here.

8:50: Here's a copy of the arrest warrant:

8:45: From my post on August 24th, here's how the arrest of the First Selectman played out on television:

Labor Day weekend

Monday, September 07, 2009
Time: 9:38 AM

Hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day weekend.

Posting will resume here on Tuesday as I'm taking in the fun at the U.S. Open this weekend.

Be back soon...

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The Mercurial (RIP)
Danbury News Times
Danbury Patch
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Tribuna Newspaper
CT News Junkie
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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