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Is P.T. In West End Or Black Rock? Suit Expected In P.T. Deaths, Marconi Telegraphs Ned, And Let Merrick Speak

May 13th, 2010 · 23 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Development and Zoning, State Politics

It’s time to start a fight. Geographically, where is P.T. Barnum Apartments located?

My friends at the Connecticut Post write West Side. I say West End; but, but, but if we’re gonna place our beloved Captain’s Cove Seaport in Black Rock just a spit behind P.T. mustn’t we include P.T. in Black Rock?

That prehistoric noise you just heard came west of Ellsworth Street off Fairfield Avenue, where they vote at Black Rock School and everyone east of the street generally vote at Longfellow adjacent to P.T. Black Rock is the high rent district of Bridgeport where million-dollar homes, yachters, waterfront clubs, Wall Street commuters and displaced monk parakeets infuse a sense of prosperity in the state’s largest city.

Good grief, we can’t believe that housing project is really in our neighborhood Black Rock, can we? Some Black Rockers argue the boundary of the West End and Black Rock is Wordin Avenue/Ocean Terrace which places both P.T. and Captain’s Cove in the West End.

Time to dial up Charlie Brilvitch, architectural and neighborhood historian extraordinaire. I like to think I know where the bodies are buried in the city, but Charles knows if there’s any change left in the pockets.

Yo Charlie, the Post writes P.T. is part of the West Side. I say the West End.

Writes Charlie: “I thought everybody knew that Clinton Ave separates the West Side from the West End.”

So that settles it, right? P.T. sits in the West End?

Nope. Leave it to Charlie to throw a grenade into something. “And come to think of it P.T. was built on the filled-in Burr Creek, which technically puts it in Black Rock.”

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

A fire marshal’s report concluded a young mother’s legal intoxication curtailed her ability to respond to a fire that killed her and three children at P.T. Barnum Apartments last year, but others maintain, including retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez leading a task force investigating the deaths, that safety issues make residents vulnerable at the West End housing complex.

From Dan Tepfer Connecticut Post:

The family of a city woman and her three children, who died in a fire in their West Side apartment last November, filed notices Wednesday they intend to sue the city and the Bridgeport Housing Authority for negligently causing the deaths.

Tiana Black and her three children, Ny-shon Williams, 5, and 4-year-old twins, Nyaisja and Tyaisja Williams, died in a fire in their P.T.Barnum Apartments unit shortly after midnight on Nov. 13.

In legal notices filed Wednesday, their family claims Black and her children’s death were the result of the careless and reckless behavior of city and housing authority employees for failing to provide a safe escape for the family from the flames in their home.

Rudy Radios Lamont

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi, who insisted electronic tolls be part of the state’s revenue stream, added spice to the guber campaign circuit. Money challenged and delegate poor, Rudy dropped out today and endorsed Ned Lamont for governor. That leaves a two-way Dem race for the nomination as Lamont and Dan Malloy head into the convention next weekend. An August primary looms. Hey, are tolls part of the deal?

From Ned Lamont:

Ridgefield’s Rudy Marconi Ends Bid for Governor, Backs Lamont-Glassman

Ridgefield, CT – At a press conference today in his hometown, Ridgefield’s long-serving First Selectman Rudy Marconi announced he is ending his campaign for Governor and endorsing Ned Lamont and Mary Glassman for governor and lieutenant governor.

“I want everyone to know that while my campaign for governor is at its end, I have only just begun to fight for a better future for Connecticut,” said Marconi. “We have some challenging days ahead of us, but I believe that with hard work and the right leadership, they can also be great days. That’s why I support Ned Lamont and Mary Glassman. I’ve spent a lot of time with Ned and Mary on the campaign trail, and both of them have impressed me with their experience, their bright ideas and their grasp of the issues that face our towns and our state. I know that Ned and Mary understand that Connecticut is not just a state, but a great community of cities and towns where people live and work and build their lives.”

“It is an honor to have Rudy on board with our campaign. Towns like Ridgefield are an integral part of Connecticut’s history and a key to our future economic success,” said Lamont. “As governor, I will take a statewide approach to meeting the challenges we face, working with both town leaders like Rudy and the mayors of our big cities to create jobs, reform education, and move Connecticut forward.”

“Ned has the ideas and the experience to be a fierce advocate for towns like Simsbury and Ridgefield,” said Glassman. “Rudy and I know how incredibly difficult it can be to run a town without a partner in Hartford. As Lieutenant Governor, I’ll work with Ned and our municipal leaders like Rudy to get results for the people of Connecticut and all of our cities and towns.”

Lamont has recently accepted endorsements from the Connecticut Laborers’ District Council, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Former U.S. Rep. Sam Gejdenson, the Bridgeport DTC, UFCW Local 371, Iron Workers Local 424, the and Sheet Metal Workers Local 40.

Let Merrick Speak

Merrick Alpert is the other Democrat running for Chris Dodd’s U.S. Senate seat. Before Attorney General Dick Blumenthal jumped in, only because Dodd danced out, Merrick was the guy taking Dodd to task, challenging the war rationale, Washington spending and a bunch of other stuff that drives voters nuts. Merrick performed well in his one debate against AG Dick: we have 20 years of lawsuits and 20 years of press conferences. But just about everywhere Merrick wants to speak there’s an establishment pol stuffing a rag in his mouth whether at town committee meetings or next weekend’s party convention where Dick will be endorsed likely by acclamation. News release from Merrick:

DTCs WITH WHICH MERRICK ALPERT HAS BEEN UNABLE TO MEET

New London, Connecticut – What follows is a list of towns whose Democratic town committee chairpersons have refused to afford Merrick the opportunity to speak to their respective committees:

Avon
Barkhamsted
Branford
Bridgeport
Bridgewater
Canton
Chaplin
Chester
Clinton
Colebrook
Cornwall
Cromwell
Darien
Deep River
Derby
Durham
East Granby
East Haddam
East Hartland
East Haven
Essex
Guilford
Haddam
Hampton
Hartford
Killingly
Ledyard
Lisbon
Litchfield
Madison
Manchester
Mansfield
Middlebury
Middletown
Monroe
Montville
Naugatuck
New Britain
New Fairfield
New Hartford
New London
New Milford
Newtown
North Branford
North Canaan
North Franklin
Norwalk
Oxford
Plainfield
Plainville
Plymouth
Portland
Putnam
Redding
Ridgefield
Rocky Hill
Scotland
Seymour
Sharon
Simsbury
Somers
South Windsor
Southington
Sprague
Stafford
Sterling
Stonington
Suffield
Thomaston
Tolland
Trumbull
Union
Voluntown
Warren
Watertown
West Haven
Westbrook
Westport
Willington
Wolcott
Woodbridge
Woodbury
Woodstock

From Jim Himes

Himes Secures Approval for Three Critical Army Corps Studies in Fairfield County

Flood mitigation improves local economy, environment

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Representative Jim Himes (D-CT-4) announced today he has secured three significant authorizations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study flooding, flood control, and environmental restoration throughout Fairfield County.

“The effects of flooding are felt throughout Fairfield County by local businesses, home owners, and municipalities alike,” said Himes. “We have waited far too long to see real, local flooding protections put in place, but these approvals are the first step toward securing the assistance we need.”

The first study authorizes the Army Corps to holistically evaluate all of Fairfield and New Haven Counties’ rivers and streams to identify flood hazards, provide a list of locations with a high potential for flooding, and analyze possible solutions. The second and third resolutions target two specific watersheds identified by the Army Corps of Engineers as particularly problematic – the Five Mile River and the Housatonic River.

Flooding over the past decade and as recently as this past winter has caused major damage throughout Fairfield County. These reconnaissance studies would help to identify high-risk flooding areas and implement solutions to mitigate flooding.

“These front-end investments will save taxpayer dollars and improve economic development opportunities in Fairfield County,” said Himes. “Without action, more flooding is inevitable. Taking action now will prevent damage in the short-term and help us build up our communities without fear of destruction in the long-term.”

Authorization studies are the necessary first step for any potential Army Corps projects. The Study Resolutions have now passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Resolution does not require approval by the full House for authorization.

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23 Comments so far ↓

  • city hall smoker

    Off topic but here’s a thought: Finch is taking away all the City cars except for 3. So how many are there and what is he doing with them? Can they be sold at auction?

    Another thought: if all the BOE is moving into Bodine, what is the City going to do with all the vacant City Hall offices? Why don’t they close the Annex and move everybody back to City Hall? Isn’t the Annex property worth a small fortune?

  • Mojo

    *** Natural & man-made boundary lines like the water’s edge or the Railroad Ave. stone wall have always worked for me in dividing the South End, West Side & West End. Just like Ellsworth St. & Fairfield Ave. towards the town of Fairfield has always been the start of Black Rock. Only reason Capt. Cove is claimed to be in Black Rock is for Real Estate money purposes that’s all! It’s really in the West End in my opinion. As a matter of fact, the West End is lucky to have 1 member on the 130th D.T.C.; most are from Black Rock. *** Glad the Army Corps of Engineers will have another study done on the flooding problems in Bpt. Keep up the good work Himes! *** Merrick should quit while he can ’cause he’s not going to beat R.B. in the senate race. ***

  • donj

    PT is in Black Rock duhhh!!! Once you cross the train bridge you are in Black Rock!!! They vote at Longfellow and that is considered a Black Rock precinct. I personally think once you cross Fairfield Ave that part of Black Rock thinks they’re only Black Rockers and they exclude the other side of Black Rock. Last time I checked Alfred St, Princeton St and King St residents all vote at Black Rock School so why are they excluded from being called real Black Rockers??? We all know after you pass Alfred St and cross Fairfield Ave you are now into the real Black Rock aka the rich part aka the 50% Dem and 50% Republican side. We all know the less rich part of Black Rock is where Democrats are and they vote at Black Rock school in huge numbers.

  • donj

    Black Rock school Democrat base comes from Davis Ave, Hansen Ave, Crowther Ave, King, Princeton, Alfred, down Brewster side stretching over to Fox Street. Now that’s the Democratic base at Black Rock school and I think candidates forget to campaign in that area!!! Guess what, we still vote at Black Rock school. People have always asked me is Black Rock School voting district a white precinct and I say heck no it is a mixed precinct many Blacks vote at Black Rock school. In 2008 at the opening of the polls the line was about 35% Black before me and same behind me. Black Rock is a changing district don’t you agree with that Lennie?

    • Mojo

      *** Why exactly is some knowledge & experience wasted on the “old” and ignorance & youth wasted on the “young?” Ah, time in a bottle would be nice. *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  • donj

    My theory on why Black Rock is becoming more appealing for blacks is education and a better place to raise your kids. They want to send there kids to Black Rock. Now Republicans can’t even compete at Black Rock like at one time.

  • donj

    Anybody done their research on Harlem NY of late? Harlem use to be a strictly Black neighborhood but in the last 4 years that is not the case rents have gone so high residents are forced to leave and now many whites are moving into Harlem. My neighbor once told me in Bridgeport years ago this use to be a Irish/Euro city and it was hard to find a black person. I do not know how true that is but those type of things always catch my interest and it is amazing how a town or city can shift in a number of years.

    • marlys

      Don, I just saw this article a few days ago that speaks to the trend you’re observing:

      www .wfsb.com/news/23498279/detail.html

      I think there’s a tendency to describe cities that are experiencing this kind of gentrification as “successful,” but I think it’s important to make a distinction between revitalization and pricing the minorities out.

  • park city fan

    In response to a couple of earlier postings from BEACON2. First off let me say I both enjoy and appreciate your postings and it is evident you have a clear understanding of the financial issues in the city. As a city resident and taxpayer I make it a point each year to look over the proposed budget and try to decipher it to the best of my ability. While I certainly do not claim to be an expert on these matters, some budget items just jump right off the page and leave me scratching my head.
    At every opportunity the Mayor will claim public safety and education are his main priorities. All one has to do is read the budget to figure out where the priorities of this administration really are. He has stated he does not plan on taking a raise this year … well the budget that was passed includes a raise for him and many other unaffiliated department heads. Even if they all decide to forego that generous wage increase will they be asked to take a pay cut in light of the financial difficulties the city is faced with? While simply deferring or refusing an overly generous and undeserved wage increase is a good start, it hardly seems like enough of an example to set for the thousand or so union workers who are being scapegoated by the city.
    It is very easy to sit here and pick away at all the administration has done wrong … actually it’s almost unfair because they have made it WAY too easy. It is another thing altogether to put forward some good ideas on how the city can change for the better. I have, in the past, put some of my ideas out there and encouraged others to do the same and each time I was amazed at how little people seemed to care. In my opinion the biggest roadblock standing in the city’s way is voter apathy. We have asked for so very little and that is exactly what we have gotten.

    • BEACON2

      Park City Fan, thanks for reviewing previous budget comments. Specifics are what score points and you made a great point. Why did Mayor Finch raise administrative/supervisory employees’ pay (and benefits?), people who were not subject to negotiation as members of a group, and then draw his line in the sand in terms of group givebacks, furloughs, or other administrative alternatives to lower payroll in the coming year? Wouldn’t genuine leadership suggest if municipal compensation is out of step you would demonstrate that by budgeting no increase? Doesn’t pain have to be shared across the board? You see, if only the Mayor gives back his increase, or part of it, it does not show his fellow leaders agree with the future direction of compensation to come. When will they get it? When will we see that they get it? A zero increase in budgeted compensation across the board would be a start!!! When an employee forgoes a salary increase, what does that do to a pension or other retiree benefit, if anything? I don’t know but I’ll bet an OIB reader does. If compensation freezes are going to be required, why doesn’t the City Council review all of those salary increases contained in the 2010-11 budget at this time and roll them back? That would be a serious statement underlining we are all in this together, something that is not the current sentiment for those in City employment, I am told.
      Regarding P.T. Barnum, reported other than in Black Rock by the CT Post this morning, the most recent physical description of “Black Rock” as a geographic area is contained in the Black Rock Neighborhood Revitalization Zone plan, presented to and adopted by the City Council two years ago. It describes most of the western area of Bridgeport bounded on the north by I-95 and RR tracks, and Ash Creek, Long Island Sound, then Black Rock Harbor, Burr Creek and Cedar Creek. The other eastern demarcation is Bostwick Avenue to the east of which are only industrial properties, claimed as part of the West End NRZ. So PT Barnum residents have been included, as well as invited to participate in planning and implementation activities.
      Now some OIB readers refer to “Black Rock” as a state of mind, from a variety of ‘attitudes,’ or as a whipping boy for BR attempts to be pro-active in maintaining or improving the quality of life for residents. The fact the real estate market continues to attract value-conscious buyers, willing to pay Bridgeport’s property taxes as a part of the package, and participate in a diverse community is a real bonus for the overall City. Think about it: if real estate values decreased 25% across the board in Black Rock and remained there, then within 3-4 years a new City revaluation would pick up that data and taxes would rise across the City to make up for the loss of tax revenues (assuming City budgets continue to increase, a safe bet).
      Finally: what is the budget for the coming year? Almost $500 million? Only $469 million? What is the story about the $25 million of pension funding?

      • Up On Bridgeport

        How bout the Heinz Ketchup Anticipation Accounting principles of including sales of Board Of Ed. and McLevy Hall for the amount they THINK they will get? I guess they forgot about the 5 million anticipated dollars on Steal Point last year they didn’t receive. How’s the Black Rock Bank & Trust thing working out that they couldn’t get $750k?

  • Stone Barrington

    You make it sound like the Harlem revitalization is nothing more than the white man moving in and chasing the black man out. Harlem has been undergoing a Renaissance for more than 20 years. The desperate ghetto of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s has given way to urban development at its finest. Poverty has been conquered with the rapier of education. The populace of Harlem has emerged to prosperity thanks in no small part to the great successes the NYC school system has achieved. Today much of Harlem is enjoyed by minority entrepreneurs who are giving back to the community that enabled their individual success. Harlem and NYC is a perfect example of what dedicated urban development can achieve especially when those who run the educational system are capable, competent and caring. Education, my friends from Bridgeport, conquers poverty. Imagine Bridgeport enjoying the same prosperity as does Harlem.

  • Chris Russo

    As a Republican I just have to say Jan Brewer is an embarrassment. Unfortunately no prominent Republicans are stepping up and saying the same. It was revealed today she has banned the teaching of ethnic classes in Arizona because she says it was instilling a sense of oppression in minorities through teaching of their history. She did this without any public comment. It’s shameful. A professor I knew in school had a great criticism of this move on CNN. This country’s history has a central theme of overcoming oppression. From the British, religious oppression, economic oppression and racial oppression. It’s what the country is built on. Ethnic studies classes are for all races to learn the different histories of peoples to have a better overall understanding. The Arizona state superintendent seems to think only people from that particular race are in those classes. In all my ethnic studies classes, it was mostly white kids. Gov. Brewer is out of line and it’s sad no one in my party will stand up to her.

  • Local Eyes

    WHILE THE park city fan/BEACON2 friendship seems set in stone (finding a kindred spirit is a trait of good blogs), Local Eyes thinks he’s found the quote of the day–it comes from Stone Barrington and it goes like this: Poverty has been conquered with the rapier of education. Get this: a rapier is a double-edged sword designed to conquer all in its path.

    This world is full of cool people and some of them read OIB.

  • Up On Bridgeport

    P.T. lived in the South End at Iranistan. Black Rock nabobs think PT is in the West End. Black Rock Village was the original site of Evergreen apartments. Now known as Super Stop & Shop. P.T. must be located in South West Black Rock. My tax bill says Bridgeport!

    • BEACON2

      Black Rock Turnpike runs primarily through Fairfield with an 06824 Zip, and Black Rock Avenue is a couple blocks from Park Ave. (but is that West End because it is outside the “teardrop?”) with an 06604 Zip, P T Barnum Apartments and “nabob land” west are Zip 06605. Does it make a difference? Only to those who care about such things, like Office of Planning and Economic Development, etc. Up On Bridgeport is right, the tax bill, fire, police and sanitation have the word Bridgeport preceding their official names. So it is in the interest of all to consider the City as an entity and not get played off by politicians who understand “divide and conquer” only too well, and play to self-interest that creates conflicts in representing all of the citizenry. Any more budget line items, services or departments for OIB readers to report on? Challenge?

  • Frustrated Bridgeport Democrat

    Regarding the Bridgeport and State of Connecticut budgets, I would urge everybody to go to The Hill and read this article about NJ Gov. Christie:
    thehill.com/opinion/columnists/ab-stoddard/97603-nj-gov-sets-tone-for-us

    Although a Democrat I am so absolutely disgusted at the lack of leadership here in Bpt and Hartford.

    Gov. Rell was worthless. Mayor Finch while a nice guy does not know how to lead from the front. He should have had all his administrators take a pay cut and then shoved it down all the unions’ throats.

    With all the pandering that goes on with elected officials, it’s nice to read about a Man … And that man is NJ Gov. Christie.

    Raising taxes is easy. Saying you are going to cut taxes is a nice line. The real test is cutting spending and we do not have one CT official of any stripe or party who has the balls to do so.

    A pox on them all!

    • Mojo

      *** Gov. Christie has the right, though unpopular, idea for putting the horse before the cart. “If only” as T/C commented, things here in Bpt. were a bit different & voters paid more attention to the actual individual candidates instead of Red & Blue color politics as usual! What’s happening in Jersey is a sign of the times & “everybody,” rich or poor has to tighten their budget belts & spending with hopes of better times ahead. How to start is easy, lead by example without attached strings & the rest in time will follow! *** “What’s in your wallet?” ***

  • town committee

    FBD: Great article. Thanks for the site. If Only???

  • Mr BPT

    GOMES 2011

    bye-bye Machine

  • witkowski

    Thanks for having such an eclectic group. I like the Blue Martini. Charlie and I then ate dinner at the Metric Cafe! Great Bridgeport evening. The next party should be at the Metric, it is really a nice place … Have you been there?

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