Yikes. What happens if the Connecticut Legislature doesn’t approve the two-year moratorium Mayor Bill Finch wants regarding the city’s investment share in the pension fund for uniformed services?
I mean how do you make up roughly $20 million over that period? Can you feel the sweat forming on the foreheads of city bean counters?
The city seemed to be on track to win legislative support a few weeks ago when the State Senate approved the city’s proposal handily. The city is hoping that within two years the investment fund that has gone south in recent years will rebound as the market grows.
Then legislators in Bridgeport East (that would be Stratford) threw a grenade into the city’s plans with a stick-up job: we’re gonna tank this unless you guys in Bridgeport support a continued moratorium on airport safety zone improvements. The city-owned airport is located in Stratford and many Stratford pols won’t do anything to disturb the lifestyle of the Lordship neighborhood near the airport.
So now the city must either make peace with Stratford pols in the short term to get the measure passed, or face filling a major hole in the municipal budget year that begins July 1.
The challenge to the city is reviving a proposal during a special session of the legislature to approve a state budget. Believe it or not Hartford pols managed to deal the past five months with the death penalty, gay marriage and banning ownership of apes; but couldn’t agree on a new two-year budget.
If House Speaker Chris Donovan says screw it, this special session is about the budget and only about the budget, the city is toast, even if it manages to strike a deal with Stratford.
And you thought they only played craps at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
What are you hearing about potential candidates for Board of Education? Former State Senator Rob Russo’s on record running on the GOP side. On the Dem side I’m hearing retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez, the first Latina to serve on the state bench in Connecticut, and former City Councilman Tom Mulligan may both run with two Dem slots available.
BOE members Max Medina and John Olson are filling out their final terms. Lopez and Mulligan would both be strong Democratic replacements. Carmen, never afraid to speak her mind, would make it fun. Then again, Max is not afraid to speak his mind either. Mulligan, smart, honest and measured, is one of the most decent people in city politics.
Party endorsements for the BOE, a citywide seat, will take place in July.
Check this out
The Society of Connecticut Sculptors, an association of sculptors whose work is derived from and inspired by the real world, is pleased to present a juried exhibit titled, “From Models to Monuments” through June 29th at the Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT.
The dictionary defines a monument as an outstanding and enduring achievement viewed as a model for later generations. The Society of Connecticut Sculptors has gathered original artists’ models of inspirational monuments in the United States for display.
Smaller scale versions of The FDR Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. by Neil Estern of West Cornwall and the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. and Virginia Civil Rights Memorial on the grounds of the state capitol in Richmond, Virginia by Stanley Bleifeld of Weston as well as the Holocaust Memorial, permanently on exhibit at Temple Israel in Westport by Steffi Friedman will be shown.
“The narrative for “From Models to Monuments” will describe the artist’s creative process from the attainment of a commission to the sculpture model and after many discussions, the installation of the final sculpture,” noted John Molloy III, president of The Society of Connecticut Sculptors.
“The SCS is fortunate to have access to nationally known sculptors generous enough to display their models (or maquettes) at this exhibit,” added Steffi Friedman, show chair and sculptor in the show. Ms. Friedman added, “The gallery at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport is one of the best spaces available in the state to display the large pieces we will be exhibiting.”
A selected group of short descriptions of the sculptors and their work follows:
“For me, doing a public figure represents an exciting challenge, although it can be very daunting also,” said Neil Estern, in Current Biography (November 2008). Mr. Estern is responsible for the sculpture of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the FDR Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Also, on display at the memorial is Estern’s life size statue of Eleanor Roosevelt. Estern, of West Cornwall, Connecticut, served as President of the National Sculpture Society from 1994-1996 and again in 2007-2008. Other Estern statues and busts include: President John F. Kennedy, Fiorello H. La Guardia, Danny Kaye, President Jimmy Carter, Frederick Law Olmsted (architect of Central Park).
A Weston, Connecticut resident for 35 years, Stanley Bleifeld, first burst on the scene with the 1964 World’s Fair Vatican Pavilion’s commission of a five-part bronze relief. A past president of the National Sculpture Society, Bleifeld was born in Brooklyn and attended Temple University. More recently, Bleifeld was selected from hundreds of American sculptors to create a national monument for the U.S. Navy in Washington, D.C. His larger than life sculpture, “Lone Sailor” was awarded the Henry Hering Memorial Medal of the National Sculpture Society. The process of conceptualization, modeling, sculpting, and casting went through five initial images, four different models (one of which will be shown), and well over a year of work before culminating in the unveiling at the formal dedication in 1987. Mr. Bleifeld will also exhibit the model of his most recent commission, “The Civil Rights Memorial” for the State of Virginia, installed on the capitol grounds in Richmond, Virginia.
Steffi Friedman, of Westport, Connecticut, is a sensitive and versatile artist, her focus is on originality, movement and emotion in both figurative and abstract sculpture working in many different media, including stone, bronze and cast glass. Represented in over a hundred public and private collections throughout the United States, important commissions also include “Holocaust Memorial” and a second Memorial “Rescue” for Temple Israel, Westport, CT, “Golda Meir” for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, in New York City and a Bicentennial Medallion for the state of North Dakota for the Danbury Mint. A teacher of sculpture for the past thirty-five years in Vermont and other locations, she has established a sculpture program for inner city, underprivileged, gifted high school students as part of MACH in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In recognition of her efforts, she received the 2008 “Pat Hart Award.” Ms. Friedman is a board member of the Society of Connecticut Sculptors, the National Sculpture Society, the International Sculpture Society and the Westport Arts Center as well as the chairman of the exhibit. “Never Again,” “Telephone World” and “Market Duell” will be exhibited.
Additional sculptors from the over thirty artists displaying their works will include Bruno Lucchesi-Ernie Davis; Wayne O. Southwick, MD-Basketball Players; Harold Wright-Acorns; Jules S. Shapiro, MD-Fibonacci’s Geometry; Norman Lagassie-The Eugene O’Neill Memorial; Ken Bujnowski-Gladiator; Denis Curtiss-Giraffe; Lloyd Glasson-The Caregiver; Eugene Daub-We Proceeded On(the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Memorial at the Montana State Capitol) and Arnold Prince-Eagle.
The Barnum Museum, located at 820 Main Street in Bridgeport, is dedicated to the life and times of P.T. Barnum, has permanent exhibits on General Tom Thumb and Jenny Lind; a miniature circus; an Egyptian mummy; a Victorian palace; the people, places and products that put Bridgeport on the map and shaped the nation. “From Models to Monuments” will be held in the People’s United Community Foundation Gallery.