Happy Daddy Day, Plus: Dudes, Agree On Something, Zoo For You, And New Eats Downtown

Hey Yahooy, Town Committee, and all other OIB friends who are dads, even cranky Joel Speedy Gonzalez, even step-dads like me, even honorary dads, a happy day to you.

Fire up the grill, get fat and high on protein, sit back watch a little U.S. Open golf action, throw a Frisbie (don’t throw out your back), grab a soda or gin and tonic, or anything else with tonic. This is your day beyond all days. Summer is upon us. Hey, what do we call OIB friend Mojo? Oh, I know…Big Daddy.


Fire up the chariots. Sound the trumpets. Rev up the rhetoric.

Preserving a $500 property tax credit, legislative Dems say they have a spending package that will close a projected two-year $8 billion hole that will raise taxes on the wealthiest of Connecticut residents (they’re not saying yet at what level) while claiming to reverse the deep cuts in Republican Gov. Jodi Rell’s budget that hurts social programs and tourist attractions in the state’s largest city.

Statement from Speaker of the House Chris Donovan:

“We have worked hard to identify fair and responsible cuts that will allow us to protect the property tax credit and prevent the elimination of important sale tax exemptions. As we have seen in recent days, the people of Connecticut – especially small businesses, working families, the disabled and the elderly – are already hit hard by the recession and are not willing to accept cuts that eliminate or reduce the services they desperately need.”

Statement  from Sen. President Pro Tempore Donald Williams:

“We believe additional spending cuts, along with a mix of borrowing and revenue increases, is the fairest and most responsible way to balance the budget. Now is the time for everyone to put partisan differences aside, and sit down at the negotiating table with a spirit of cooperation.”

As an unabashed Bridgeport rooter I’m for anything that helps the state’s largest city. The Dems have done a decent job moving around the state, including Bridgeport Thursday night, bringing attention to Rell’s needle-in-the-eye budget to urban areas.

The Dems are talking about borrowing and taxing (something they do well) to get through tough times while Mother Rell’s on this phony Staycation benefit tour as she proposes to gut the very tourist attractions (like the zoo and Discovery Museum) she pretends to promote.

Hopefully, there’s a middle ground here.

Speaking of the zoo …

I have zoo passes for a family of four for you. Zoo Director Gregg Dancho and the gang  have all kinds of cool stuff going on at the state’s only zoo. Check it out, bring the kids, drag along your favorite political operative. Hey, drag along Jodi Rell too. There’s no truth to the rumor that Monday night’s special meeting of the City Council will take place inside the tiger exhibit. Wouldn’t that be fun. Okay boys, red meat for everyone!

Maybe we could throw a special steel cage match inside the gator exhibit between officials for the Bridgeport Port Authority and Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamship Company. BPA commission chairman Denis O’Malley could bring along his two iron. Former Director of Economic Development Nancy Hadley could serve as special guest referee. Okay, enough of that.

I have a few passes left that are good until the end of the year. Simply write to me at lenniegrimaldi@onlyinbridgeport.com, provide your address and I’ll get them to you.

I’m Hungry

New restaurants and businesses downtown. Check them out. I know I will starting tonight.

Please encourage and support these entrepreneurs who have taken the plunge and believe in future of our downtown.

Feel free to forward to all your friends, colleagues and relatives!

Qwik Pack & Ship
1018 Broad Street
Bridgeport, Ct 06604
Tel: (203) 368-9288
Fax: (203) 368-9296


Across from City Hall Annex, next to the barbershop.

Mr. Fanel Merville, a former teacher, launched this business to provide FedEx, DHL, UPS, U.S. Postal, Notary, Copy Services, and more for Downtown.

Las Vetas Lounge
274 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Tel: (203) 330-1920
Across from 2 Boots – next to Epernay

Andrew Servetas opened this twin to his popular Fairfield coffee house. Offering coffees, teas, breakfast, lunch, and desserts. There is music at night, a great alternative atmosphere for an informal downtown meeting and even an outdoor patio!

Cafe Lulu’s
881 Lafayette Blvd
Tel: (203) 345-6250
Fax: (203) 345-6251
Located in the former medical office bldg, next to Fed Court and across from HCC

Liz Mahoney provides a wide range of delicious sandwiches, salads and coffees with a creative twist in a groovy space. Plus catering for meetings and lunches!

Fraiche Burger
(pronounced Fresh Burger)

997 Main Street

Fairfield restaurateur Marc Lippman has opened up in the newly-renovated Arcade Building, offering “a modern twist on the classic burger.”

Panda Chinese
983 Main Street
Tel: (203) 368-3888 / 4888

Owner Bing An Li dishes up classic eat-in or take-out Chinese food; fast and open late.

Amici Miei (My Friends) Italian Café & Wine Bar
(pronounced Ameechi Mee-yay)

957 Main Street
(203) 540-5360
Massimo Tabacco, formerly of Café Roma, just opened this unique spot you don’t want to miss. Fabulous, affordable fare, that opens out into the CityTrust atrium. Web site is updated daily with specials and catering options. Open for lunch and dinner, too!

Thanks to Gail Solis of the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce for pulling this information together!



  1. Chris Donovan
    Did you not just offer a $160,000.000 per year consulting job to Amann of Milford–that’s $3076.92 per week. Who also did you offer such consulting pay to???
    Chris that is a lot of taxpayer money and I want to say you failed the acid test … or you are forgiven if you are suffering an acid flashback, in which case please enter rehab for a dose of sanity and reality, someone will explain to you the financial crisis we are in and you will become better, for yourself and understand taxes and the financial realities a family faces every week; if not, I hope you can send me $160,000.00 for a few years–I could use it.

  2. I have gone off subject but I thought what Mojo brought up yesterday was important so I am repeating my post from yesterday.
    Mojo I agree with both your posts. Ann & I have no illusion about changing the world. We are concerned with our district and the quality of life issues that have been ignored up here.
    We are also concerned with the direction the city is going in and are not happy with what we see. Can we change the world? NO. But can we help Bridgeport? YES. I have been around politics for a long time and know how the game is played so I have no illusions.
    I try to stay informed on all city issues large and small. I do tap into the city employees that I know and listen to their suggestions and their gripes.
    I believe that the city employees are a wealth of information and a wealth of great ideas. It’s just that no one asks them. The management system in Bridgeport won’t allow for the kind of interaction that should take place between management and workers.
    I believe that if this city tapped into the employee pool there would be a lot of ideas that would improve productivity and improve morale.
    If something were started like an employee council where these ideas could be brought out and ideas exchanged, how could the city lose? It would be a win-win situation.
    Bridgeport has to get away from the management style of I am the boss you are the worker I am smart you are a dumb ass and get on the right management path. I would bet you that few if any managers have taken management courses.
    Do Ann and I have things that we need to learn? You bet we do. We are willing to put in the time to learn and we are willing to listen.

    1. “Bridgeport has to get away from the management style of I am the boss you are the worker I am smart you are a dumb ass and get on the right management path.”

      Hey, didn’t you call this City Employee “dumb ass”?

    1. A lot of hits? I noticed that every time I visited a different page on the web site, the system would count it as another hit. I visited once and it counted every page visited as a hit.

  3. “town committee,” you are right on target when you stated, “I believe that the city employees are a wealth of information and a wealth of great ideas. It’s just that no one asks them. The management system in Bridgeport won’t allow for the kind of interaction that should take place between management and workers.
    I believe that if this city tapped into the employee pool there would be a lot of ideas that would improve productivity and improve morale.”

    Well Andy, there is a big trust problem that the employees have with management and it is dealing in “good faith.” That problem starts with David Dunn, he is someone who the employees have no faith in and that feeling goes up to whoever the mayor is.

    Andy, you have it right when you said, “Bridgeport has to get away from the management style of I am the boss you are the worker I am smart you are a dumb ass and get on the right management path.” Unfortunately that mindset and system will not change any time soon. This system allows the mayor not to be concerned with the workers.

  4. I don’t believe that all is lost I think these questions of management can be asked by the council. I believe that if the employees designate a worker or 2 from each department to be on this council and they meet with someone like Gomes these ideas can go forward.
    I realize that some managers will look at this as an intrusion into their kingdoms but so be it. The managers that are unwilling to change can be replaced or moved to other areas. Appointees can be fired.
    In either case it is an area that can be looked into. I did it with the people that worked for me in private industry and it worked out well. We had a very productive unit that was tops in the country. The workers were happy and I ended up looking great because I listened. I left and my replacement went back to the I am the BOSS and you are the worker BS and the unit has faltered badly. Nothing is impossible if one is persistent. Ann & I are persistent.

    1. While we are all going off topic–I wanted to reiterate what was said on yesterdays topic:

      Mojo–Please do not be biased against employees just because they do not live in a Bridgeport Zip Code. There are many “out of towners” that seem to have more pride and understanding of their job and their place in the scheme of things than many employees that reside in the City.

      There is a reason people from “outside” WANT to work in Bridgeport. There are also many times that influences from inside Bridgeport make it harder and harder every day to want to work here. I have seen it first hand.

      Do not assume that ALL “out of towners” are here to take a paycheck and screw the City and taxpayer. You should also not assume that ALL “in towners” are a true asset to the City and we should all kiss their asses for working here because they do such a good job and have the market cornered on empathy.

      There are good employees and bad employees, motivated ones and lazy ones–you need to look no further than your management tactics, hiring practices, and as Mr. Mackey stated, your Labor Relations (or lack thereof) to understand this problem.

      1. *** Check 38/comments–(Full city council votes set for Monday, June 19th. 3:15pm) *** For 1st reply for T/C & H.W.G. on employee bias, etc.??? *** Read slowly! ***

  5. I guess this means that Here We Go is a city worker who lives in the ‘burbs and doesn’t want to be found out as a slacker on the taxpayer’s dime! Either that or a politically connected relative is.

    1. Wow Grin–ya got me.

      Damn. And all along I took you for a dope.

      It is the narrow-minded statements of your last post that continue to keep this City spinning its wheels to nowhere as the rest of the world moves on.

      Not everyone or everything here fits conveniently into a cynical pigeonhole. It may be easier for some to accept that, and if it gets you through your day, then go ahead, revel in your ignorance.

  6. *** My blogs should be read twice, slowly to be able to “understand” the grammer, spelling & the actual message behind the madness! Then maybe, “some” of the OIB replys will make better sense concerning the “words of wisdom” being absorbed by mankind! *** Or just “forget about it”! ***

  7. Ok Lennie, you Bleeding Heart Liberal. You have gone too far now in pushing the blame for the cuts in the state budget on Rell. Here you are with an advertisement for the Zoo and giving away free tickets–provided free by the Zoo to you–and crying poor. Did you know that the Zoo has an account with $2 Million? Why don’t you tell us how much it cost to place that advertisement on the upper left corner of the screen? Go ahead Lennie and take a “short walk” to your file cabinet and give us the figure. You know damn well that the Zoo is not going to close and was never in any danger of closing.

  8. I hope that I am mistaken, or at least TC is mistaken. Did I read in a TC post that the BPD fields only 21 police officers on any given shift?

    I called my friend Dino Bachetti, a NYPD Detective Lieutenant. Dino hopes that the 21 per shift is an error. “If there are nearly 400 sworn officers”, says Bachetti, “that would indicate a ratio of 6 support staff for every 1 field officer”. Bachetti concedes that support officers are essential but 6 to 1 is hardly an effective utilization of funds. In the NYPD the ratio is 1 support sworn officer for every 35 field officers.

    Dino suggests …”The BPD Union is giving the people of the City of Bridgeport a screwing of monumental proportions”.

  9. Stone: Those were the numbers related to me by Chief Gaudett. I checked with a cop friend of mine and he stated that those numbers were correct.
    Let’s see if we can get there from here:
    105 Officers – 21 per shift, there are 5 shifts.
    100+ supervisors from Sgt on up.
    65 Detectives this is an old number so it could be up or down
    Throw in horse patrol, internal affairs, community policing, 911 center, record room and you are probably close to the table of organization. I know that based on the coverage we get on the upper east side I would think the patrol numbers are true.

  10. TC

    My numbers were hastily prepared assuming 3 shifts. Nonetheless, the support to patrol ratio is greatly skewed. A phenomenal support cost does not ensure adequate patrol resources. Since my original post, I was advised that the response time by the BPD is so long that criminals actually factor that in when planning a crime.

    1. Stone: there are three working shifts and 2 off shifts per day. I was told by the chief that the patrol guys handle an average of 400 calls per day or 140,800 calls per year. That’s a lot of calls when you consider 21 guys per shift.

      1. TC

        Please do not think that I am challenging the veracity of your numbers regarding 21 patrol officers per shift.

        I simply do not think that a city the size of Bridgeport is adequately protected on any shift. I am dismayed because these woefully inadequate numbers seem to be union driven. It is time that the police union think about the populace they are paid to protect and stop conniving deals that benefit them at the cost of public safety. I really would like to hear rebuttal from the union as to why they think 21 officers per shift is all that is necessary in a crime-ridden town like ours.

  11. *** Time for a new topic, OIB is getting a bit sloppy right before the weekends! *** I believe the problem on actual call time & response “sometimes” is too many unneeded backups for simple traffic or citation stops by P/D! I’ve seen 3 or 4 cars show up & hang around at simple traffic stops, even after no signs of possible threat had been established just to B/S more or less. Why? And now that warmer weather is here, I don’t see the foot patrols, especially in the evenings, towards the weekends! Let’s see what July 1st, beginning of the new budget brings for Summer of 2009? ***

  12. Happy father’s day from my car somewhere in Missouri. Lennie the rock and roll hall of fame was a must-see for any musician. It had Louvre-like glass pyramid architecture. I paid my respects to Lennon for you Lennie. We are headed through St Louis then to Kansas City for tonight. I am trying to avoid news. It feels great! Road tip of the day: Don’t order Chicken Oscar at a place called Beef and Barrel in Ohio. Over and out OIB buddies.

  13. How’s Bob Dylan doing? Also don’t order Fish & Chips at a place called Beef and Barrel, because you will be hugging the big white porcelain steering wheel.


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