LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Spotlight On 07.20.10 broadcast

Saturday, July 24, 2010
Time: 4:01 PM

LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Progressive Soup 07.21.10 broadcast

Time: 2:02 PM

LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Community Forum 07.21.10 broadcast

Friday, July 23, 2010
Time: 11:46 PM

Is City Councilman Mike Halas violating the city regulations AGAIN?

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Time: 2:54 PM

For those who have followed the history of city violations from now 2nd ward city councilman Mike Halas, this latest controversy is no surprise.

Here's a picture of a piece of property on Route 37 (31 Pembroke Rd) owned by 2nd ward councilman Mike Halas, owner of Halas Farm.


Would you consider this the selling mulch on this property?

For those not familiar with the history of Halas, a little background is in order.

In August 2007, the zoning enforcement department issued Halas a cease and desist order for using his property on Pembroke Rd, which was zoned as a single family parcel, for commercial use. This was a violation of sections 10.B.1.a(4) & 4.A.5.f(8) of the zoning regulations on the property on Pembroke Rd.

From April 2008, here's an interview I did with activist Ken Gucker on Halas' violation.

Halas approached the zoning commission and asked for a request to use the property, which was zoned as residential property, for commercial use. Here's a brief recap of the commission's decision (note the section in bold).

News-Times May 14 2008:
The city's Zoning Commission Tuesday passed a zoning amendment that gives Halas Farm on Route 37 permission to use land across the street from the store, provided owner Michael Halas does not allow retail sales to take place on the property.


While Halas' original intent was to simply store mulch and farm equipment on the land across the street, Halas did acknowledge in April that some customers would be able to purchase mulch and the newly-acquired property.

That triggered safety concerns from members of the zoning commission, which is why they inserted language saying it could be used for storage and storage only.

Here's video footage of the Zoning Commission's amendment to Halas' property as well as an explanation on why the amendment was necessary:

Here's the exact wording of the amendment (via the Zoning Commission minutes: May 13 2008):

Mr. Elpern then suggested they consider adding the phrase “but not sold or picked up by customers” after the words temporarily stored. The language would then read as follows: Products intended for retail sale, as permitted in subsection (8) above, and farm machinery used for the operation of the farm, may be temporarily stored, but not sold or picked up by customers, on a lot zoned RA-40 or RA-80 which lies adjacent to but separated from the lot containing the farm and/or retail sales operation by a public right-of-way, provided the lot is under the same ownership as the owner of the existing farm and/or retail sales operation and is no less than 40,000 square feet in area. All new structures primarily used for housing said products and farm machinery shall meet the general use regulations specified for the zoning district in which they are located; all existing nonconforming structures may be used to house said products and farm machinery. No outdoor storage of said products and machinery may be closer than (1) 40 feet from a front lot line, 15 feet from a side lot line and 5 feet from a rear lot line and (2) 50 feet from the boundary of a lot containing a dwelling(s) in existence on the date of this amendment.

With all of the above in mind, here's what Halas is doing with the property right now.

Would you call this a violation of the ruling from the zoning commission?

...more to come.

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Time: 5:50 PM

Bumped to the top by popular demand.

MEDIA: I'm having trouble keeping up with replying to people who contact me about his case through my other email address. Please send any inquires regarding the Danbury 11 case to hatcityblog@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance.

Yesterday, the New Haven Register (NHR) published a massive 1660 word article on Mark Boughton's deposition in the Danbury 11 civil lawsuit that provides startling new details regarding the mayor's testimony in the case.

Over three times longer than News-Times Dirk Perrefort's July 9th article, New Haven Register reporter Mary O'Leary provided several important details in the testimony of Boughton and officers for the Danbury police department that was noticeably absent in the News-Times write-up.

The first paragraph of O'Leary's article outlines the mayor appearing to admit that using a traffic violation as a pretext for checking a person's immigration status is wrong. According to the NHR report, the problem with the mayor's statement is that Danbury police officers testified that they used this pretext in picking up the day laborers.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, testifying under oath in a recent deposition for a civil rights lawsuit, agreed that using a traffic violation as a pretext to inquire about someone’s legal status is wrong, even though his police department rounded up a group of immigrants in 2006 on a crime they were never charged with.

That issue goes to the heart of the suit filed by a Yale Law School clinic against Danbury officials and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, charging that they had racially profiled 11 men in violation of their due process and unreasonable search protections when they were arrested in a sting operation in September 2006.

The suit concerns the events of Sept. 19, 2006 at Kennedy Park, when a Danbury police officer, posing as a contractor, picked up the 11 day laborers and drove them to another parking lot, where immigration officials were waiting. They were processed in Danbury by its police. Subsequently, ICE sent them to immigration facilities around the country, several as far away as Texas.

In their own depositions, Danbury police officers testified that the men were picked up for an alleged traffic violation, such as “illegal use of the highway by a pedestrian,” as they approached stopped vehicles seeking workers, but the men were never charged with any such infraction, according to the booking records.

The only charge was illegal entry into the U.S., which is a federal violation.

To the best of my knowledge, this critical piece of testimony from Boughton and the Danbury Police Department never appeared in any of the News-Times articles on the case.

Even more troubling is this portion of Boughton's testimony.
Boughton said he did not know about the arrests or any planning leading up to them, and was not aware that the men had been booked by Danbury police until about a year ago, something he became aware of “through this case,” referring to the civil rights suit.

He said that’s when he learned about “courtesy booking and understood that we provide courtesy booking for the FBI, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), as well as ICE or anybody else that asks for it.”

The problem with this portion of the mayor's testimony is that the revelation that the Danbury Police Department booked the day laborers came out back in 2007 in the Danbury 11 deportation case, which is different than the civil case. In fact, I reported on this in an AUDIO interview I did with Yale Law Student Simon Moshenberg back on Sept 18 2007.

Back when the civil case was announced, I also specifically asked the law students about when they learned about DanburyPD's role in the case. Also, during Boughton's press conference on the day the civil suit was filed, the mayor was questioned by the media about the disclosure in the deportation proceedings that the city played a larger role in the raid.

If O'Leary's reporting of the mayor's testimony is accurate, it appears that Boughton is not telling the truth about when he learned about the day laborers being booked by Danbury PD…something that did not appear in Perrefort's article although he had a copy of Boughton's deposition.

NHR O'Leary asked several attorney's, including the attorney who defended former Danbury Mayor Jim Dyer against income tax fraud charges in the 1980s for their take on the Boughton's "courtesy booking" terminology.
“There is no such thing,” said Hugh Keefe, a well-known criminal defense lawyer, of the term “courtesy booking.” He said he’s heard of FBI officers using a police facility to fill out their own paperwork, but not local police booking federal suspects.


“Danbury has a lot of real crime. It seems to me they have their hands full already. This is clearly a pretext arrest. When was the last time you heard of a police department arresting someone for being an unsafe pedestrian?” Keefe asked.

Also absent in all of the News-Times articles on the case are the quotes from an ICE agent and DanburyPD found in previous court documents that appear to contradict Boughton's comments.
In numerous news accounts at the time of the Sept. 19, 2006 arrests, Boughton said the operation was not ordered by the city, but was rather a federal operation that Danbury assisted with, based on information he received at the time from Police Chief Alan Baker.

ICE agent James Brown, according to court documents, rejected that description. “He (Boughton) said the city did not order the operation, that ICE was already on the way. That is not correct, not for this activity that we are talking about on Sept. 19,” Brown testified.

Danbury police Lt. James Fisher, in a separate deposition, testified that Danbury police initiated the action by seeking ICE assistance, which ICE approved after the third or fourth request. ICE agent Richard McCaffrey in his deposition, said Boughton was pressuring the police chief, who pressured the department’s Special Investigations Division “to do something about” the day laborers at Kennedy Park.

I highly recommend that you go to the New Haven Register and read the entire article and re-read Perrefort's News-Times piece. Afterwards, ask yourself which article is more informative and why are key portions of Boughton's testimony absent in Perrefort’s write-up.

NOTE:The New Haven Register revised the headline of the article online but several websites copied the original headline before it was altered.


Five years

Monday, July 19, 2010
Time: 1:48 PM

Today marks the 5TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY of HatCityBLOG!

I like to take a small moment and thank YOU the reader for viewership as without your support, this site would not exist.

Here's to another five years...

BREAKING NEWS: Shocking new details of Boughton's Danbury 11 deposition exposed by New Haven Register; News-Times reporting questioned

Time: 10:46 AM



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The Mercurial (RIP)
Danbury News Times
Danbury Patch
Danbury Hamlet Hub
Danbury Daily Voice
Tribuna Newspaper
CT News Junkie
CT Capitol Report

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