RIP Whitney

Saturday, February 18, 2012
Time: 6:09 PM

LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Danbury Live 02.13.12 broadcast

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Time: 1:36 PM

OP-ED: What Does Our Community Want?

Time: 12:05 PM

Mary Consoli, president of Danbury Nurses' Union, Unit 47, recently wrote an op-ed piece for the News-Times regarding Danbury Hospital's decision to "divest its dialysis services to a national for-profit chain -- DaVita Inc."

With permission, here's Consoli's original, unedited op-ed.

What Does Our Community Want?

Very soon Danbury Hospital will decide what kind of care the 125 patients with End Stage Renal Disease will receive at the Nelson F. Gelfman Dialysis Unit. The Hospital wants to divest its dialysis services to a national for- profit chain - DaVita Inc. Patients in the Danbury area have been getting high quality hemodialysis for the past 30 years from the physicians and staff at Danbury Hospital. There is no guarantee that the current dialysis staff will be part of the new “dialysis family”. We need to know what this choice could mean for our community, dialysis patients and their families.

The New England Journal of Medicine reports that, in the United States, the care of patients with kidney failure is a $15.6 billion dollar industry. More than 200,000 dialysis patients each year receive care in hospital based or free standing centers.

While Medicare pays for almost all dialysis, it now pays only a “fixed” or “bundled” amount. That amount has not been increased since 1973. However dialysis centers were allowed to bill Medicare for three drugs routinely administered to dialysis patients: Venofer, an iron supplement, Zemplar, a vitamin D analog and Epogen, a glycoprotein hormone. Billing for these medications made dialysis very lucrative for large national chains for more than a decade but the goal of profits took a toll on the quality of care patients received according to many studies.

• JAMA reports in 2007 that Epogen for dialysis-related anemia is the single largest Medicare drug expenditure and U.S. taxpayers foot the bill.
• Patients in large for-profit dialysis chains were consistently administered the highest doses of Epogen regardless of anemia status according to a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2007.
• The 2006 Renal Data System figures showed that 60 percent of DaVita patients had red blood cell levels that the Food and Drug Administration considered risky.
• According to a 2007 American Medical Association study, for-profit clinics used $1700 more of Epogen on each patient each year than not-for –profit centers did.
• A 1999 study by the New England Journal of Medicine of 3569 patients treated in both non-profit and for-profit centers showed that for-profit centers had a 20 percent higher mortality rate and a 26 percent lower rate of referral for renal transplants.
• Most importantly, study after study shows that for-profit centers provide better care when there is competition for patients with nearby not-for-profit facilities and hospital based centers. Danbury Hospital needs to continue to provide that competition.

Under the new Medicare “fixed” reimbursement system for dialysis both hospital based and for-profit centers would receive the same payment per treatment. We believe that under this scenario the for-profit facilities may use less labor and equipment per treatment as cost saving measures. Karen Kitzky, a 58 year old DaVita patient in Colorado Springs, on dialysis for 16 years, switched to another provider because she felt the DaVita was understaffed. “I didn’t feel safe enough to go to sleep”, she said.

In addition, DaVita, Inc. is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice in New York, Missouri, Colorado and Texas for a variety of allegations including the overuse of Epogen; its financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies and physicians; submission of fraudulent Medicare claims; and improper billing.

Dialysis in Danbury doesn’t belong in the medical marketplace. It should not be outsourced like the laundry and dietary departments. We believe our community hospital needs the right balance between patient care and profits, because we aspire to offer “A Higher Level of Care”. We believe that standard of care should be our “true north”.

We are disappointed that the President and CEO of Danbury Hospital, Dr. John Murphy, would not postpone the proposed changes to the dialysis unit and would not meet with us to discuss alternatives. We know our community expects a higher level of care, lower mortality rates and higher referrals for renal transplants.

Our community values high quality care above high dialysis profits. We hope the Nelson F. Gelfman Dialysis Unit will continue to provide Danbury area residents with life-saving hemodialysis. Finally, we hope readers of the News Times agree with us and will contact Dr. John Murphy and ask him to continue our long-standing, Community Hospital not-for-profit dialysis unit.

LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: The Marty Heiser Show 02.08.12

Sunday, February 12, 2012
Time: 12:44 PM

A letter to the self-described "bigpoppa"

Time: 12:55 AM

Recently I have been disgusted with the Twitter and Facebook posting of someone that is supposed to be looked up to as a leader in our community. These public forums should be, if anything, an outlet for someone such as our mayor to convey important facts and relevant information to his public.

As a man in office his priorities should be school budgets, fixing the housing issues, unemployment and so much more. Instead we read about "Jersey Shore," lingerie football, getting his wife more "swag" and endlessly referring to himself as "Bigpoppa."

As a mother of two children I'm ashamed to have him setting the example of local politics to my children. Danbury has always been a great community to raise children in. I have grown up here and now raise my own children here. But to have a mayor use the internet to voice himself in such a way is not setting a good example to our youth.

My 15-year-old feels the same way as I do and refuses to even read his posts.

I understand we all have the option to read what's put out on the web or not, but as a mayor, these forums could be used to do so much good.

Inform the community about town meetings, let us know what is being done to improve our town. We all have a TV guide and we all hear the teenagers talk in the way he does. Set the example and improve the things around you before it's too late!

Shame on you!

Gail Spencer-Velez


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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