Weekend update: This should be fun.
State Rep. Chris Caruso recently asked Governor Jodi Rell to take a tour of the Upper East Side where Mother Rell wants to shoehorn a juvenile detention center for girls, another tax-exempt economic development project for the city. No one’s challenging the governor on the need for such a facility, it is needed. But why Bridgeport? Why not Brookfield where the governor resides, or a rural GOP oasis to address the needs of troubled kids from throughout the state?
Well, because residents there would likely show up to protest clutching hatchets. They don’t like that sort of thing in their backyard. Bridgeport becomes a convenient place to drop one of these facilities because it already serves a region that drops its garbage, sewage, sick and homeless. For crying out loud a detention center for boys was built on waterfront property downtown. What’s the big deal for a center for girls smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood?
The funding for this was on the agenda of the last State Bond Commission meeting chaired by Rell. At the last minute the agenda item was pulled. Lots of pols, led by Caruso, made noise. It may very well be built on Virgina Avenue in the end, but neighborhood and political opposition has created some pause.
Meanwhile, even though Caruso’s gesture to Jodi was declined he’s decided to go ahead with the tour. Our friends at www.doingitlocal.com David Smith and Steve Krauchick will be there to film the impact such a facility would have on the Upper East Side. They are coordinating schedules. As soon as it’s set, OIB will let you know.
From Mayor Bill Finch:
Fire Department confirms identities of 4 who died in early-morning fire
Bridgeport Fire Department Chief Brian Rooney has confirmed the identities of the four people – a mother and her three young children – who died in the early-morning fire at Apt. 205, Building 12 of P.T. Barnum Apartments.
The dead are: Tiana Black, 22; her children, 4-year-old twin girls Nyasija Williams and Tyasjia Williams, and Nyshon Williams, 5.
The Connecticut Citizens Action Group sent this out:
This Sunday at 6:00 PM, come to Stamford High School, 55 Strawberry Hill Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902 to send a message to Joe Lieberman: stop the opposition to the public option and work for real health care reform.
It doesn’t matter if you are religious or not – come and offer your prayers or your good wishes that Joe Lieberman will hear our call and the nation’s call for health care reform.
After a short program in the Stamford High School Auditorium, we will be led by the faith leaders of the Interfaith Alliance for Universal Health Care in a candlelight procession across the street to Lieberman’s residence. Together, we will offer our prayers and good wishes to the Liebermans.
There is plenty of parking behind Stamford High School and you will be directed where to park upon arriving. We are also coordinating shared rides and shuttle rides from the Stamford Metro North station for those riding the Metro North trains from New Haven or New York City. For rides and train shuttle info, log onto ccag.net and click on the “Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Joe Lieberman” under “Upcoming Events” on the right hand side of the page.
Please make every effort to attend, and please forward this e-mail to family, friends, neighbors and your fellow worshipers. Joe Lieberman needs to hear your voice. See you Sunday night in Stamford.
This is nuts, from the Connecticut Post
Cops: Baby severely beaten by angry babysitter
By Daniel Tepfer
A 1-year-old girl is fighting for her life in Yale-New Haven Hospital with severe head injuries that police say were inflicted by her babysitter, who repeatedly banged the baby’s head against the floor because the child interrupted a television program she was watching Wednesday night.
The baby is in intensive care with multiple skull fractures and bleeding on the brain, police said.
The babysitter, 24-year-old Keamira Fatal of Locust Street, has been charged with attempted murder and risk of injury to a minor.
During an arraignment hearing Thursday afternoon in Superior Court, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Marcello urged Judge Kari Dooley to hold Fatal on $500,000 bond because of the serious nature of the allegations.
However, the judge set the bond at $250,000 and continued the case to Nov. 24.
Police received a call from Bridgeport Hospital reporting that a baby had been brought in with head injuries. They later learned the child had been at her babysitter’s home when she was injured.
Police said they confronted Fatal and she admitted injuring the baby.
Fatal allegedly told police that she was watching television in her living room when the baby began crying. She said she became angry because she couldn’t hear the program and picked up the girl and began slamming her head into the wood floor until she stopped crying, police said.
After the program was over Fatal noticed the girl lying motionless on the floor and decided to call an ambulance, police said.
See You In Black Rock
“Bridgeport – How the City Works”
A Discussion of the inner workings of Connecticut’s largest city
With Associate Professor of Politics and Black Rock resident
Author, Journalist and Blogger Extraordinaire
Please join us for a fascinating discussion of just how our municipal government is designed to function in Bridgeport and the often very different way in which it actually functions. Professor Greenberg and Lennie Grimaldi will share their unique perspectives on the Bridgeport political scene – the good, the bad and the ugly.
• Date: Tuesday, November 17th
• Time: 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
• For more information please call: (203) 337-9676
News release from DPUC
Beginning November 14, 2009, all phone users in Connecticut must use area codes when placing all local calls in Connecticut. If they do not use area codes, their call will not be completed and a recording will instruct them to hang up and dial again.
To complete local calls, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial area code + telephone number. This means that all local calls in Connecticut that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using area code + telephone number.
What will Connecticut phone users need to do? In addition to changing their dialing procedure, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed with a 7-digit telephone number will need to be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedure. Some examples are life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions. Connecticut phone users must be certain to check their business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks, and personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included.
What Will Remain the Same?
Their telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
They can still dial just three digits to reach 911.
If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 are currently available in your community you will still dial them with just three digits
To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers in the state of Connecticut, the Department of Public Utility Control ordered two Area Code Overlays in Connecticut. Beginning December 12, 2009, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers with the 475 area code. The new 959 area code telephone numbers will be assigned at a future date. No date has been announced at this time.
What is an Area Code Overlay? An overlay is the addition of another area code such as (475) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (203). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code or phone number.
The new 475 area code will serve customers in the same geographic region as the current 203 area code and the new 959 area code, when implemented, will serve customers in the same geographic region as the current 860 area code.
Who may customers contact with questions?
If customers have any questions regarding information provided in this advisory, they should contact their local service company or wireless service provider or the Department’s Consumer Assistance and Information Unit at 860.827.1553 or 800.382.4586.
From Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition:
Lost Class Time
The State of Suspensions in Bridgeport Schools
Thousands of school days lost to school suspension
Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (BCAC) has released its latest reportthat documents school suspensions in Bridgeport public schools. The report also looks at promising practices the district has implemented and makes recommendations for addressing this serious issue.
BCAC’s reportLost Class Time: The State of Suspensions in Bridgeport Schools asks whether suspensions have a positive impact on students’ behavior.
“Out-of-school suspensions are meant to remove disruptive or potentially dangerous students from school for serious disciplinary offenses,” said Barbara Edinberg, Acting Director. “However, for students who don’t want to be in school, suspensions can be just the excuse they need not to come to school. Out-of-school suspensions can lead students to become disengaged with school. Worse, students left unsupervised while out of school can get into even more trouble.”
The report found that in 2006-07, Bridgeport had the highest number and percent of students suspended out-of-school in the state. Since then, the district has been closely monitoring each school’s disciplinary data and has successfully reduced out-of-school suspensions by nearly 46% in the last two years. However, in-school suspensions have increased by 36%.
Dr. John J. Ramos, Sr., Superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools, said at the press conference, “School suspension is a complex challenge impacted by issues of learning and teaching, adult beliefs, student behaviors, school climate and resources. As such, we welcome support and true collaborations from community partners such as the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition.”
Also speaking at the press conference was Hernan Illingworth, Co-chair of BCAC’s Education and Early Care Task Force. “We applaud the district’s hard work to reduce out-of-school suspensions,” remarked Hernan. “The district has made tremendous strides in reducing the number of students who are given out-of-school suspensions. However, there is still much work to do.”
The report found:
• Two out of three students are being given suspensions for violations of school policy, including skipping class, insubordination and failure to attend detention.
• There are certain groups of students who are disciplined (90% of disciplined students are suspended) in numbers disproportionate to their share of school enrollment:
o Boys were twice as likely as girls to be disciplined in 2007-08
o African American students are more than one and a half times more likely to be suspended than other students
o In 2007-08, Bridgeport students with disabilities were twice as likely to be disciplined as students without disabilities.
• In 2007-08, students in schools with grades kindergarten – 8th grade, had a much higher rate of out-of-school and in-school suspensions (23%) than students in schools that only went up to grade 6 (8%). The suspension rate at the high schools was 29%.
• There was a wide variation in suspension rates among schools, from a low of 4% to a high of 39%.
• More than half of Bridgeport students received more than one suspension; 33% of students received 2-3 suspensions and 39% received four or more suspensions in 2007-08.
• There is a high rate of suspensions in 8th grade and 9th grade. In 2007-08, the number of suspensions among 8th graders exceeded the total student enrollment for the grade because of multiple suspensions of the same students.
• Suspensions are being given to students in younger grades, kindergarten through 3rd grade. Suspensions per 100 students in grades K-3 at one school (136 suspensions per 100 students) was higher than the rate per 100 9th grade students at one of the high schools (118 suspensions per 100 students).
The report also highlights promising practices the district is undertaking to reduce suspensions. These practices include:
• Establishing a goal of reducing both the number of students suspended and the number of out-of-school suspensions by 15% by the end of the 2010-11 school year.
• Increasing monthly monitoring of suspensions and expulsions at each school.
• Revising the Code of Conduct to include a continuum of disciplinary consequences that do not exclude students from class and can be used as alternatives to in-school and out-of-school suspensions.
• Expanding Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS), a proven program for preventing and responding to discipline problems, to most schools in the district.
• Providing professional development to teachers, and training programs for school resource officers, to help schools deal with crisis prevention and develop strategies for de-escalating disciplinary challenges.
Funding for this report came from the Anne S. Richardson Fund.
This report follows another education report, Five Bridgeport Schools Rise to the Challenge, issued one year ago. That report honored five schools which overcame tremendous hurdles to achieve significant progress in academic achievement.
The Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition is a coalition of organizations, parents, and concerned individuals committed to improving the well-being of Bridgeport’s children through research, advocacy, community education and mobilization. The Education and Early Care Task Force has worked for years to publicize and address inequities in state funding for education distributed to Connecticut’s cities and towns.
Big Read Stuff
THE BIG READ WRAPS UP IN BRIDGEPORT AND SHELTON
Experience an old-fashioned LIVE Radio Show Adaptation of
The Maltese Falcon on November 19
(Bridgeport, CT – November 11, 2009) — The Barnum Museum and its community partners (see the list at the end of this release) have been hosting many educational and fun events since early October for The Big Read celebrating Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon.” This popular reading program is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.
Bridgeport and Shelton’s Big Read for the fall of 2009 will conclude on Thursday, November 19 with a fabulous Live Radio Show Adaptation of “The Maltese Falcon” at 7:30 p.m. in the downstairs theater at The Watermark, 3030 Park Avenue in Bridgeport. The program will be presented by Dandelion Productions/Connecticut Free Shakespeare and the show will be broadcast live on WPKN-FM 89.5 radio. The audience, both at the theater and those listening on the University of Bridgeport’s WPKN station will hear a story that employs Hammett’s knack for engaging dialogue and his understanding of the depths of the human soul. The radio performance directed by Connecticut Free Shakespeare’s Ellen Lieberman, replete with period music and real sound effects, will bring back old-time radio for a half hour. The talented cast includes actors from New York and Connecticut. Whether you attend the live broadcast at The Watermark in Bridgeport or tune in to WPKN at home, as the falcon circles in your imaginations, you might well wonder why radio drama is no longer as popular as it once was. The experience will truly be “a theater of the mind” one!
A closing reception, with light refreshments courtesy of The Watermark, will be held immediately following the program in order to thank all the community partners and participants. To see a complete list of remaining events, scroll down, visit www.neabigread.org/events.php or www.barnum-museum.org or call 203-333-1104 ext. 100. Reader’s Guides and a Teacher’s Guide to the novel are available electronically from www/neabigread.org.
In addition, there will be a preview performance for the press and residents at The Watermark at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday November 19.
Saturday, November 14
Mystery In Our Life, Memoir Writing Class
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
This is the second memoir class during this year’s Big Read. Participants share and write about their personal and family memories of how the stock market crash of 1929 impacted their lives and how they made it through the years of the Great Depression. Examine how the crash of 1929 has influenced us today as Americans live through another challenging economic time
WHERE: Bridgeport Public Library Historical Collections, 925 Broad Street, Bridgeport
Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14
The Rocky Horror Show
Each day: 8:00 – 10:30 p.m. & 12:00- 2:30 a.m.
It’s alive following last fall’s smash hit production, The Rocky Horror Show returns to the Playhouse. Experience this tradition for the first time or do the time warp again! This cult classic by Richard O’Brien is a mysterious, campy, sci-fi rock musical and features the local band Greasewheazer and hilarious audience interaction. Recommended for mature audiences.
WHERE: Playhouse on the Green, 177 State Street, Bridgeport
Cost: Adults $26 to $29
Tuesday, November 17
Big Read for Little Tykes
11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
The mystery story will be “The 13th Clue” by Ann Jonas and the children will create their own clues. Beginning with a diary entry of a child the book leads the protagonist (and readers) on a merry chase from the attic to the backyard, across the pond, through the woods and up a hill where a surprise birthday party awaits the child. Children will be captivated by the clever clues. “A guaranteed-to-please selection that deserves a spot in any collection,” states the School Library Journal. This program is designed for toddlers three and under (little tykes) and is free with general admission to the museum.
WHERE: The Barnum Museum , 820 Main Street , Bridgeport
Cost: Free with General Admission
Wednesday, November 18
Read the Book/See the Movie: The Maltese Falcon
Book Discussion 4:00 p.m. and Movie showing: 5:30 p.m.
This is the second memoir class during this year’s Big Read. Participants share and write about their personal and family memories of how the stock market crash of 1929 impacted their lives and how they made it through the years of the Great Depression. Examine how the crash of 1929 has influenced us today as American’s live through another challenging economic time
WHERE: Newfield Branch Bridgeport Public Library, 1230 Stratford Avenue, 203-576-7413
Continues through November 21
Big Read Mystery Lab
Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am – 5:00 p.m.
The Big Read Lab will bring out your inner detective, whether you’re a puzzle-ponderer by nature or not. Visitors can gather clues and examine evidence to solve totally fictional, historically hokey “Crimes of Science.”
WHERE: The Discovery Museum, 4450 Park Avenue, Bridgeport CT 06604
Cost: Free with General Admission
Continues through November 22
Art of Deception, Special Exhibition
Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
A special exhibition presented in the historic Blue Parlor period room at The Barnum Museum. Art of Deception will present the extraordinary moment in time just at the edge of America’s Black Tuesday; the day the Stock Market crashed on October 24, 1929. Examining the carefree days of the pre-depression epoch, the exhibition will focus on the unbridled, frivolous attitude that captured much of society’s imagination. Breaking free of strict ‘Victorian’ styles, the emergence of urban living, votes for women, automobiles, and radio, the exhibit will take you on a journey of society’s self exploration and self indulgence. From Jazz to prohibition, flappers to gangsters, the age of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ set the stage for a modern America.
WHERE: The Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street, Bridgeport
Cost: Free with General Admission: Adults $7, seniors and students $5, children 4-17 $4, children under 4 free.
The NEA presents the Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.
Contributing sponsors allow the programs to be offered mostly free of charge and include the following organizations: Bank of America, Barnum Financial Group, The Barnum Museum, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Center Stage of Shelton, Dr. DeJesus & Associates, City of Bridgeport, City of Shelton, Connecticut Post, Duchess Restaurants, Food World, Greater Bridgeport Transit, HealthNet, People’s United Community Foundation, SportsCenter of Connecticut, Stockbridge’s Gourmet Cheesecakes, The Edge Fitness Club, The Watermark at 3030 Park, Tremont & Sheldon, University of Bridgeport, Valley Community Foundation, Star 99.9 and WPKN-FM.
The following local organizations are also partnering with The Barnum Museum for The Big Read: Bridgeport Board of Education, Bridgeport Health Department, Bridgeport Public Library, Burroughs Community Center, City Lights Gallery, Connecticut Free Shakespeare, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, The Discovery Museum, Downtown Cabaret Theater, Fairfield Historical Society, MACH, Playhouse on the Green, Ralphola Taylor Center, Shelton Library System and Written Words Bookstore.
The Barnum Museum Big Read initiative is just one of 269 nonprofits–including arts, culture, and science organizations; libraries; and municipalities–to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2009 and June 2010. The latest Big Read grantees represent 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since the 2006 pilot program with ten participating organizations, the NEA has given more than 800 grants to support local Big Read projects. This year, Bridgeport and Shelton received $20,000 from the NEA.
November 19-January 8, 2009
City Lights presents:
Opening Reception Thursday 11/19, 5:30-8
City Lights will be bursting with art, jewelry and artful gifts, including Seaside Jewels made specifically for City Lights with authentic Bridgeport sand … a beautiful Bridgeport souvenir!
Two Openings Downtown
Come to the opening on Thursday 11/19 from 5:30-8. While you are downtown, you can enjoy a second opening by visiting the Read’s Art Space. View works created by the artists that live and work in the one time Read’s Department Store building, located 2 blocks from City Lights. For more info: www.citylightsgallery.org, (203) 334-7748, City Lights & Co. 37 Markle Ct. Bridgeport, CT 06604 Gallery Hours: Weds- Fri 11:30- 5, Sat 12-4, Thursdays Open ’til 7 in December
AV/XPERIMENT, Nu Media Showcase Friday 11/13, 7p.m.
Suggested donation: $5.00
Explore the Holiday Artful Gift Trail!
Friday – Sunday 12/4-12/6
Bridgeport Artists throughout the City are joining forces to establish the Bridgeport Art Trail with the innaugural event on December 12/4-12/6. We invite you to visit galleries and studios and explore the Bridgeport Holiday Artful Gift Trail as an alternative to mall shopping.
Friday 12/4 City Lights Holiday Party, featuring UNPLUGGED Acoustic Rock ‘n’ Roll by the official band of the Playhouse on the Green Rocky Horror Show:
$10 admission fee can go towards a City Lights Annual Membership, food and drink included
Buy tix in advance, space is limited!
Info for this and other events soon to be posted on our website: www.citylightsgallery.org