Biden, Dodd, Jimmy Show, Plus: Love In Liberia And P&Z Gaga

5 p.m. update: If you saw a throng hanging out this afternoon at the commuter lot on Jefferson Street, the artery that runs along the Merritt from the GE headquarters in Fairfield to the city line on Park Avenue, that was VP Joe Biden, Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Jim Himes talking about stimulus loot improving the parkway.

Anyone go? When the parkway was constructed in the mid 1930s it serpentined just outside Bridgeport proper. Maybe the feds can make up for this directional indiscretion by building … a new freaking I-95!!!

Power of incumbency is a nice thing sometimes. Dodd, in particular needs these kinds of media hits as he fends off a field of Republican challengers who’ll not be short of money taking shots at him. Dodd will have plenty of financial firepower to fire back as the 2010 election cycle kicks into high gear.

Dodd seems like he’s won back the Dems. Now he has the more difficult job of winning Connecticut-dominant independent voters.

Himes will get a double dose of action out of this, free media hit plus a fundraiser in Greenwich featuring Uncle Joe.

Is There Love In Liberia?

A couple of items today: one involves smooching and making up (I think) and the other a community group’s continued eye-gouging of Planning & Zoning commissioners.

Mayor Bill Finch and Charlie Tisdale, executive director of the city’s anti-poverty agency ABCD, announced today a settlement regarding foreclosure of two historic homes in the “Little Liberia” district. The city’s action has been opposed by neighborhood preservationists.

The Freeman houses were named after sisters who constructed them in the mid-1800s among the earliest homes for free black families in Connecticut. ABCD owns the homes and claims its nonprofit status makes them tax exempt. The city claimed not so and demanded $116,000 in delinquent taxes going back many years.

OIB friend Charlie Brilvitch, an expert on Bridgeport architectural history, filed this report:

Went to this thing this morning and still can’t figure out why it warranted a press conference. Finch gave a speech extolling the concept of day care at length (had me scratching my head), and then began talking about African American freedom and how it was embodied in the Freeman Houses (some of his historical discourse made me wince at its glaring inaccuracy–didn’t anybody so much as look at my book???) It wasn’t until Brad Durrell (Bridgeport News) asked a question at the conclusion of the remarks that we learned why we were all there–an ‘agreement’ had been reached with regards to ABCD’s back taxes.

So that was it–no restoration plans announced, no couple-thousand-dollars put up to stabilize the structures, not even $150 to put a blue plastic tarp over the roof to keep any more water from getting in. Wish I had better news to report back!

Only in Bridgeport.

–Charlie B

Gaga Over Communications

A public hearing on the city’s proposed zoning map which has been in the works for years and subject of heated exchanges between the Committee to Ungag the People and city officials will take place Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. in City Council chambers on Lyon Terrace.

I always find it appropriate that City Hall is located on Lyon Terrace. Someone is always lying, or accused of it, on Lyon Terrace.

The Committee to Ungag the People has been a big pain in the ass to Planning & Zoning Commissioners on a number of fronts. Commission members in return say the community activists are grandstanding demagogues. The latest salvo comes from Ungag which sent a letter the other day to Planning & Zoning Commission members Jose Tiago, Carl Kish, Melville Riley Jr., Reginald Walker, Barbara A. Freddino, Gail Solis, Robert Morton, and alternates Anne Pappas-Phillips and Thomas Fedele. See letter below. View the city’s website page showing current and proposed map changes here:

746 Westfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06606
October 2, 2009

To: Planning and Zoning Commissioners
From: Committee to Ungag the People!
Cc: Mayor Bill Finch
Re: Zoning Crisis

Dear Bridgeport Planning and Zoning Commissioners

Reference is made to the Connecticut Postarticle dated September 25, 2009, in which it is reported that City Attorney Mark Anastasi advised you that our recent invitation to each of you to discuss our zoning concerns would have violated Connecticut’s FOIA laws by constituting an “illegal P & Z Commission meeting”. Attorney Anastasi unequivocally proves the point we have been trying to make. His advice most certainly would have to equally apply to the ex partecommunications that have taken place between certain members of the PZC, on the one hand, and with certain developers and special interests, on the other. Per Anastasi’s advice, ex partecommunications by some of you were and are illegal due to the fact that such communications did not take place as part of a public hearing process as required by the FOIA.

Both from our observations of conduct by some of you and by the Associate City Attorney, Greg Conte, at Planning and Zoning meetings and hearings, as well as from the very record of such meetings and hearings, it is clear that some of you have had ex parte communications with developers and/or special interests about pending zoning matters either directly or through their counsel. We know who you are.

Moreover, while the general public (comprised of taxpayers and concerned citizens and neighbors) has only been given 5 minutes each to speak on vitally important matters at hearings, it is apparent to us that developers and special interests have gotten much more time than that to speak to some of you about matters of concern to them that are or have been before you.

We are therefore respectfully demanding that those of you who have had ex partecommunications with developers and special interests recuse yourselves from voting on the zoning matters before you and that the hearing process begin again with only members or alternates of the P & Z who have not been tainted by the illegal actions of developers and special interests that border on corruption. These developers and special interests have gained persuasive, professional, undue influence over you from an authoritative source (i.e.,P & Z counsel), and this has caused there to be an inequity of access to P & Z voting members that raises the bar for those who play by the rules, puts them at unfair disadvantage in defending and protecting their properties, and violates the State’s FOIA laws. We were simply trying to correct this injustice by calling for a meeting to level the playing field for residents and taxpayers and dull the blade of corruption and lawlessness that now pervades the P & Z process on the matters at hand.

If you do not do the right thing by recusing yourselves to the extent that you have acted illegally, we will be forced to see that our rights and our neighborhoods are protected in other ways and by other means including legal action, law enforcement, and other legal paths for recourse against the aberration of due process and the trouncing of the rights of Bridgeport residents to protect their neighborhoods through the due process of law that shouts out of our constitution for just and fair treatment of all.


Michael T. Voytek, Esq., Chairman
Eugene Allen, Neighborhood Captain
Mark Eigenbrodt, Neighborhood Captain
Cesar Cordero, Neighborhood Captain
Dee Manento, Neighborhood Captain
Gloria Carbone, Neighborhood Captain
Mary Beth Watson, Neighborhood Captain

Auden Grogins event


Majority Leader Denise Merrill (D-Storrs, Mansfield), Representative Auden Grogins (D-Bridgeport), will hold an informational forum in conjunction with Black Rock Families for Excellence on the current and future state of education in Connecticut.

The event will be held at the Black Rock Library at 7:00 p.m., 2705 Fairfield Avenue and will focus on the impact of the state budget on the Bridgeport educational system.

Among the topics that will be discussed are:

— 2009-2010 Legislative initiatives

— Overview of current state education budget

— Overview of the budget process and how to advocate for your schools

— Federal education stimulus dollars

— Charter school application process

— New regional Discovery magnet elementary and high schools

— School construction

WHAT: Informational Forum on the State of Education

WHEN: Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WHERE: Black Rock Library
2705 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605

TIME: 7:00 p.m.



  1. Same shit just a different day. The 3 amigos who hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil will all be in Fairfield today. Then they will be in Greenwich. Take note they won’t be in Bridgeport. Why would they visit the largest city in the state? It’s not election time, next year Himes & Dodd will be in the city kissing our asses for votes and support. I have a message for you two: forget it.
    Widen the Merritt parkway, great while the state’s cities are crumbling.

    1. The Merritt Parkway exists so the elitist contingent from down the Gold Coast way can zip through Bridgeport without running the risk their expensive imported automobiles being contaminated by the detritus of poverty.

  2. If the dynamic trio wanted to find a way to stimulate the local economy of Fairfield county, create jobs and reduce traffic, they would take the opportunity while near GE to announce a plan for an all-electric monorail system built along the Merritt corridor from Sikorsky to Greenwich. Put one stop in each town with parking at the commuter lot. Sikorsky could be retooled to build them, GE could power them, and the “green-ness” of it would make it a better option for environmentalists and residents of the nearby areas.

  3. Who gives a shit about Chris Dodd? I certainly don’t. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have a sincere antipathy toward him, which ain’t the same. Delaware Joe Greenwich Jimmy wouldn’t be up here beating the drums for him If Ted Kennedy were still alive.

  4. I wonder if the three amigos Biden, Dodd & Himes are going to announce the 4-6% raise given to all congressional aides and workers. Isn’t this the height of arrogance? The country is nearing a 10% unemployment rate and congress is giving out raises that generally exceed the raises if any in the private sector.
    A message to Dodd and Himes, before you vote on the Health Care Bill READ IT.
    Neither one of you read the Tarp Bill or the Stimulus Bill or the Cap & Trade Bill before you voted for it. By the way how are those programs working out?

  5. This just in. Will they appeal to a higher authority?

    Court won’t block release of sex abuse papers

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court refused on Monday to block the release of documents generated by lawsuits against priests in Connecticut for alleged sexual abuse.
    The justices turned down a request by the Roman Catholic diocese in Bridgeport, Conn.
    Several newspapers are seeking the release of more than 12,000 pages from 23 lawsuits against six priests.
    The records have been under seal since the diocese settled the cases in 2001. Courts in Connecticut have ruled that the papers should be made public.
    The decision ends a legal battle that dragged on for years and could shed light on how recently retired New York Cardinal Edward Egan handled the allegations when he was Bridgeport bishop.
    It’s unclear when the documents will be released.
    Waterbury Superior Court clerk Philip Groth said he needs to consult a judge to determine whether a hearing is necessary before the records are released. He said Monday morning it was unlikely the documents would be released Monday.
    Telephone messages were left Monday for the diocese and an attorney for the newspapers.
    A Waterbury Superior Court said in 2006 that the documents were subject to a presumption of public access. The Connecticut Supreme Court upheld the lower court decision.
    Barbara Blaine, founder of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, welcomed the decision.
    “This decision sends a clear message to those who would endanger kids: eventually, you’ll have to face the music and reveal your callousness, recklessness and deceit,” Blaine said in a statement. “We hope that this ruling will deter every pedophile’s supervisor and co-workers from protecting a predator.”
    She urged Bridgeport Bishop William E. Lori to disclose how much the diocese spent in church donations on the case.

    1. Thanks Bob,

      Egan, Lori and the Church are finally going to have to Snap, Crackle and Pop on this Cassucks and Surpluses criminal enterprise. Paging Bill Genuario!

      1. The diocese presented an Assinine Defense appealing the CT Supremes. It’s called the No, Ifs, Ands or Butts defense.

        Say Alleluia! Alleluia!!
        Say Amen! Amen!!

  6. Hey, Lennie and OIB fans:

    Sorry I’ve gone MIA on ya’, but went off on a ten-day trip to nowhere in Tuscany … La Toscana as the locals say … enjoyed daily serving of parpadelle alla chingiale … a hot plate full of spaghetti with wild boar sauce … mmm, yummy! Anyway, it’s taking me about two weeks’ time to catch up … but here we are in the middle of National Hispanic/Latino Heritage month with 29 days to the election day … wanted to see who amongst our highly regarded group of Latino/Hispanic community leaders, elected and self-appointed, are willing to chime in on the library referendum issue: Yes, No, I’m sitting on the fence … My visceral feeling says zero reaction, besides a loud “No” vote from Joel Gonzalez and Bob Walsh (to whom I am conferring honorary Filipino-Latino status today for this vote) … let’s hear those busy feet hustling votes for the Latino children of Bridgeport and the East Side library branch. But my lawyerly reaction tells me not to jump to conclusions and to wait and see the evidence first … in the next 29 days … how about it?

  7. It will be the 12th of Never before The Parkway gets widened. There is no way the Gold Coasters will let parts of their backyards be paved over for a highway. They won’t even let a strip of asphalt be laid for a bike path!

    And I-95? Don’t get me started. It’s like a NASCAR event on crack up there in rush hour (when you can move).

    Nope, when it comes to stimulus money, the brain trusts in Bpt have decided to tear something down (the Congress Street Bridge) rather than CONSTRUCT something! Nope, get rid of that bridge. That way it won’t be sitting there reminding people of municipal stupidity year after year.

    Didn’t the Soviets do something like that in the ’50s and ’60s? Didn’t they just rewrite their history so mistakes were forgotten or never learned in the future? There’s a plan!

    Can’t wait to find out what the China team comes back and lays on everyone!

    1. Economic Development initiatives inspired by the China trip:
      – Rice paddy fields on steel point
      – Geisha girls and tea houses throughout the city
      – Rickshaws instead of taxis

      1. *** Sounds like thoughts of future slave-labor agreements in China, for hopeful BRBC future plans for Bpt.? *** Possible cheaper labor cost than what’s paid to illegal aliens in general ? *** Capitalism interest @ its best! ***

    2. The brain trusts in Bridgeport (now there’s an oxymoron for you) can only see how to make money from the Park City; never does it occur to them that it is possible (indeed preferable) to make money while DEVELOPING. Tearing down the bridge at Congress Street equals fast easy cash. The longer it takes to rebuild it the more money flows into the pockets of a select few. Money to study the viability of a new bridge (a couple hundred thousand dollars to surmise that, yes, automobile traffic between the east side and downtown would increase and improve the economic prospects in both areas). An RFP for architectural designs. A few hundred thousand dollars to the winning bid (no discount for kickback). A few hundred thousand dollars more, not counting inevitable cost overruns, to build it.

  8. Governmental improvements inspired by China trip
    – In the future city council can only vote on HOW much they like an administration proposal not if they like it (OK this won’t be much of a change but it will make it official)
    – Graffiti (especially anti-government graffiti) will become a capital offense in the city
    – Mayors selected for life (or at least until there is a bloody coup)

  9. New initiatives inspired by China trip:
    – In spite of cold shoulder given to the windy city, Bridgeport vows to bid on next summer Olympics
    – Port Authority vows to open trade with China seeking to become largest port importing Chinese lanterns
    – Bridgeport plans to open Frisbee manufacturing plant and will become biggest exporter of Frisbees in the free world
    – University of Bridgeport seeks to establish school of Chinese fortune cookies

  10. Wassup with Max-a-lost-6-million Medina on poo-pooing NEASC probation issue and potential loss of any accreditation, saying what difference does it make?

    Hey Max–Kids from Central going to Harvard et al. are the exceptions not the rule. Maybe it is time that you got off the bored of education.

  11. I’d love to get you on a slow boat to China,
    all to myself, alone.
    Get you and keep you in my arms evermore,
    leave all your lovers weeping on the far away shore.
    Out on the briny with a moon big and shiny
    melting your heart of stone.
    I’d love to get you on a slow boat to China,
    all to myself, alone.

    There is no verse to this song
    ’cause I don’t want to wait a moment too long
    to say that

    I’d love to get you on a slow boat to China,
    all to myself, alone.
    Get you and keep you in my arms evermore,
    leave all your lovers weeping on the far away shore.
    Out on the briny with a moon big and shiny
    melting your heart of stone.
    I’d love to get you on a slow boat to China,
    all to myself, alone.

  12. The Gossip of The Rialto!

    This just in from the field from Hark the Herald’s Angels Sing.

    Tomorrow’s Headlines Today!

    Biden Off More Than He Can Chew!
    Biden Plugs Parkway with Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow Appearance!!!

    Only in Bridgeport, kids, Only in Bridgeport.

  13. It’s not surprising that Finch had nothing to say about those 2 historic houses owned by ABCD. It’s not surprising that the snake oil salesmen Tisdale had nothing to say. It’s not surprising that the houses have been and still are neglected and not protected.
    This is a case of a mayor without a clue or a mind to make a decision.
    Tisdale should have been raising money to repair and protect these dwellings if he was serious about saving them. Right now he is trying to figure out how to get out from under the taxes that are owed. Only in Bridgeport.

  14. Regarding the un-press conference, sounds like press aide Elaine didn’t get the memo. Finch wanted to talk about ABCD’s Freeman houses not ABCD’s daycare program. OOOPS! The lesson here is: if you are not too bright, you better surround yourself with people who are. Fabrizi learned this quickly with Caryn Kaufman who was an experienced and smart press aide. Except even Caryn couldn’t spin the sex offender fiasco.

    I heard Big Charlie took Lisa to the Ricoh factory in Beijing so that she could learn how to make copies.

    1. *** Wow, your obsession with whatever Charlie & Lisa does or doesn’t do is far greater than just a regular website public opinion every now & then on OIB! You’re mentally stalking them & probably don’t even realize it. You should seek some professional help ’cause you’re really getting bad to the point that it sounds personal. Check out your prior blogs on OIB & count how many times you’ve typed something concerning them. *** Step out of that darkness & into the light soon C.H.S. ***

  15. CHS, thanks for the belly laugh!

    Also, I heard the Mayor on WICC this morning. One caller was upset his taxes went up 70%. The Mayor went on about all of his accomplishments (???) and talked about how revaluation occurs every 10 years. I thought it was every 4 years? Can someone clarify???

    1. Yeah I heard him too. He was comparing himself to some poor senior citizen whose taxes went up. Only he has a job and she is on a fixed income. Plus he lives by Beardsley Park and she lives by the old GE. His property values should have gone up. Hers should not. What he should have done was refer her to some social services that could help her. No clue.

  16. *** Major study reports were done & passed to the city council on cost, repair, etc. on both Congress St. & Pleasure Beach back in 2002 if memory serves me right. Why bother with spending more time & money to get the same info. repeated; except for lots more on cost & more broken promises? If it were a priority to the city in terms of “$”, it would have been done by now! ***


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