Mac Attack, Zoning Nightmare, Plus: Legendary Doc Gunther In Pol Pod

Why is everyone so afraid of U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon? GOP rivals are scared. Dem operatives terrified. Well, $30 million to spend would be enough to fire up frothing flacks. From The Hartford Courant:

Three professional wrestling videos on YouTube were taken down Friday after they were sharply criticized by the state Democratic Party.

The videos featured what appeared to be public sex in a wrestling ring and simulated rape, among other controversial images. Democrats criticized World Wrestling Entertainment entrepreneur Linda McMahon of Greenwich, who is running in a Republican primary for the right to face U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd in the November 2010 election.

WWE’s CEO through September, McMahon is still a director and member of the executive committee, according to the organization’s website.

“As WWE chief operating officer, Linda McMahon presided over programming that showed simulated rape, public sex, and necrophilia, and now she wants to be our U.S. senator?” asked Democratic spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan. “People across this state, not to mention the millions of women who are the victims of sexual violence every year, would be horrified and embarrassed to know that the person who seeks to represent them condones this kind of behavior. That kind of programming has no place in our society, and Linda McMahon has no place in the U.S. Senate.”

Within hours of the criticism, the videos, at WWE’s request, were taken down Friday afternoon.

McMahon’s spokesman, Ed Patru, said Dodd and his supporters should be more interested in improving the economy than worrying about professional wrestling.

“Every American understands the difference between scripted television entertainment and real life betrayal of trust by Washington politicians,” Patru said. “It’s stunning that Chris Dodd’s apologists are more concerned with television programming that isn’t real than the senator’s record of taking every bit of special interest cash he can find, providing taxpayer-funded bonuses to executives he was supposed to regulate, and falling asleep at the switch while the entire country’s banking system crashed.”

Hold That Poop

Ray Rizio, lawyer for developer Bob Scinto who wants to build a new Jewish Home for the Elderly in Trumbull opposed by residents  along Church Hill Road, says wait a minute, we’re going to slow down the approval process because of concerns expressed by First Selectman Ray Baldwin. Translation: It’s two weeks before a freaking election and you guys are killing me!!!

The last thing Baldwin needs, facing a tough reelection challenge from Republican Tim Herbst, is a development migraine. Rizio understands the political sensitivity so he’s deferring to Baldwin, his bud. My question: why propose this so close to the election in the first place? Because developers aren’t always the most politically sensitive folks.

Scinto’s been trying to find a new home for the Jewish Home for the Elderly for a few years. And all that lovely discharge from the development will be treated at Bridgeport’s sewage treatment plant.

Doctor House Call

Ninety-year-old George “Doc” Gunther steps into the Pol Pod.

They don’t make ’em like this guy anymore. I contacted Doc when I heard that the city was dedicating a renovation at the Aquaculture School that sits on the same property as Captain’s Cove Seaport. The school opened in 1993 and serves students from the region providing skills in science, technology instruction and maritime activities and history.

On Friday Mayor Bill Finch and Superintendent of Schools John Ramos led a dedication of a $31.5 million enhancement. According to the mayor’s office the renovation and expansion of the Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science and Technology Education Center includes updated technology, state-of-the-art classrooms and research laboratories, and additional classroom space to accommodate over 100 new students from surrounding towns. The Aquaculture Center will increase in size to 71,518 sq. ft. from its original 38,649 sq. ft.

Gunther, who left the state senate three years ago after 40 years representing Stratford, pushed for funding of the school. Born in 1919, Doc was raised on Pembroke Street on Bridgeport’s East Side. The maverick Republican has a fascinating point of view on just about anything. We started the interview chatting about his involvement in the school and then touched on a variety of subjects growing up in the city, Bridgeport’s Socialist Mayor Jasper McLevy, Pleasure Beach and the 2010 gubernatorial election.

Grab a cup of joe and listen. {running time: 20:29}

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Steel Away

A City Council committee approved the latest version of the Steel Point development agreement Thursday night. It now goes to the full council Monday night when it is expected to pass handily. City Council President Tom McCarthy, who supports the plan by developer Robert Christoph and his team said in so many words … I believe, now you have to make city residents believe. Let’s hope so.

News release from SuBy

Bysiewicz: Mail-in Voter Registration Deadline for Municipal Elections Tuesday October 20th

Municipal Elections November 3, 2009; Secretary of the State Reminding Voters They Can Register In-Person Until 8:00 P.M. Tuesday October 27th

Hartford: Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz today is urging Connecticut voters to register to vote for the upcoming Municipal elections on Tuesday November 3, 2009. There are two voter registration deadlines fast approaching. Voter registration cards sent in the mail must be postmarked by Tuesday October 20th in order to qualify for the November Municipal elections. Eligible voters can also register in person at their Registrar of Voters office until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday October 27th to qualify for the Municipal Elections.

“Crucial budget and educational issues are facing many towns in Connecticut as voters go to the polls to choose municipal leaders this year, so it is imperative to register to vote!” said Secretary Bysiewicz. “Anyone who wants a say in the future direction of their community in these tough times should make sure they either mail in their registration card by next Tuesday October 20th or go to town hall and fill out the registration card in person by 8:00 p.m. on October 27th.”

Polls will open statewide from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday November 3, 2009, when the majority of Connecticut’s municipalities will hold a General Election for municipal candidates. Tuesday October 20th is also the last day write-in candidates wishing to run in the Municipal elections can register with the Secretary of the State’s office.

More spooky stuff

Have a Supernatural Evening in Bridgeport

Hear tales of Bridgeport’s Palace and Majestic Theaters by James Myers

James Myers of the Paranormal Police will present “Tales of the Supernatural in Bridgeport’s Palace and Majestic Theaters and other locations” on Monday October 26, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Barnum Museum. This presentation is a fund raiser for the Bridgeport Community Historical Society (BCHS). Admission is $12 for non-members and $7 for members of BCHS.

Officer Myers will talk about the Palace and Majestic theaters together with many other locations in Bridgeport that are believed to have a presence of the supernatural. It is a fascinating presentation using some of his photography and giving new meaning to Halloween this year.

Bridgeport Police officer James Myers is a Psychic Photographer and Investigator of the paranormal who looks at the unknown through the eyes of a cop. He grew up in Hamden CT and it was during his teen years that he became interested in taking photos of urban decay and abandoned buildings. Soon after, he noticed that some of the images showing up on his film were of the paranormal realm.

In 1998 Myers joined the Bridgeport Police Department. While working the streets of Bridgeport, he became attracted to the many historical and abandoned buildings and while making sure these buildings were secure, he photographed them. Most of his thousands of photos were taken in sites not generally accessible to the public.

Officer Myers, known as 826 Paranormal, was set out on the path of the paranormal realm by the New England Society for Psychic Research, an organization founded Ed and Lorraine Warren, one of the original Bridgeport families in the ghost hunting business. The society is dedicated to the exploration and investigation into all areas of the supernatural and paranormal realm. Over the years the Warrens helped thousands of desperate families in need of relief from the trauma and tragedy inflicted by evil and otherworldly forces.

Myers attended Paier College of Art and also studied at Chamberlin School of Design at Mt. Ida College, Newton Centre, MA. Myers Graduated from Charter Oak State College, and then continued at Columbia State University where he earned a Masters of Science Degree.

What: Tales of the Supernatural in Bridgeport’s Palace and Majestic Theaters

A presentation by James Myers of the “Paranormal Police”

When: Monday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: The Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT

Cost: $12 for non-members and $7 for members of BCHS

For questions and more information, please call Barbara Hall at 203-333-4070

Plant a tree

Tree Planting Workshop at Glenwood Park Kicks Off City’s Urban Forestry Efforts

WHAT: Mayor Bill Finch and Bridgeport Parks and Recreation Department staff will teach Beardsley School students about proper tree planting and urban ecology during a tree workshop on Monday, Oct. 19.

WHERE: Glenwood Park, 147 Glenwood Avenue, Bridgeport (Across from Duchess Restaurant at the intersection of Boston Avenue)

WHEN: Monday, October 19 at 10:45 a.m.

ABOUT:

Mayor Bill Finch and Bridgeport Parks and Recreation will welcome Beardsley School students to Glenwood Park on Monday for a Tree Planting Workshop. The City will showcase its green thumb by instructing two Beardsley School sixth-grade classes on the steps to properly plant a tree, and will include a walking tour of the 17 trees being planted near the Pequonnock River. Watershed ecology, erosion control and the protection of wildlife habitat will also be discussed.

This urban forestry tree planting program is part of the City’s B-Green 2020 initiative and is made possible by a grant from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, and funding provided by the U.S. Forest Service. The City was named a Tree City USA last spring, and this program is an opportunity to celebrate the designation. The Parks and Recreation Department aims to plant more than 100 trees in Bridgeport neighborhoods this season.

News release from Mayor Finch

Tribute to the Americas Dedicated to Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Parade of Flags To Highlight City Council Meeting

Each year during the Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from mid-September thru mid-October, the U.S. Hispanic community celebrates its roots, history and collective heritage. For this purpose, the Bridgeport Hispanic Heritage Committee pays tribute to the Americas with a flag ceremony on Monday, October 19, at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Council chambers, at 45 Lyon Terrace.

There will be a parade of flags of all Latin American countries carried by children from the Bridgeport school system wearing the uniforms of their respective schools. Rev. Lourdes Quiñones, Pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Renacer will open the Council session with prayer. The Bridgeport Police Department honor guard will display colors during the opening ceremony. Mayor Bill Finch and City Council members will present a proclamation about a community that has made significant contributions to every phase and aspect of the American history and culture.

The Honorable Eddie Rodriguez, Jr., Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut will be the guest speaker. He will pay tribute to the newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. His pronouncement will highlight the importance of inclusiveness. Although this appointment is one of the highest achievements, the Hispanic presence and contributions are part of the founding of this nation.

In carrying out this work many people from throughout the Greater Bridgeport area have supported this effort. This year, the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee has chosen the following as honorary chairs of the event: Mayor Bill Finch, Honorable Eddie Rodriguez, Jr., Mr. Pablo Dejesús Colón, Hijo, Mr. Jack Hickey-Williams and Ms. Gladys Batalla.

Lara Hariskavich will sing the National Anthem. The Tarpukuy–Sembrando Arte y Cultura Peruana /Planting Peruvian Art & Culture ensemble will perform folk dances.

Join this event and celebrate the past and present of the Hispanic community that is changing the face of this country and forging a new future for all.

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32 comments

  1. Doc is a great person, we need more like him.

    Speaking of the BOE, how is the audit going; or does Timpanelli only come to Bpt. to pick up his paycheck? And what is this strange job he has: driving a taxi in Miami or slinging crap onto Bpt. from Trumbull?

    1. Speaking of things we are waiting for, where the hell are the minutes of the Civil Service meeting that detail the firing of Ralph Jacobs? Anyone? Anyone?

  2. Weeny, wimpy Wankee wans, wary of wet weekend …

    The Boston Globe:

    The Yankees are in the ALCS for the first time since–ahem–2004. But Yankee Stadium may not be sold out tonight for Game 1 against the Angels. That would be embarrassing for the business side of the organization.
    Whether it’s the economy or the outrageous ticket prices, there were still 6,000 seats available as of last night through the team. Just a few minutes ago, to see what was out there, I pulled up four tickets on Yankees.com for section 221. OK, so they were $431 each. But they were there.
    The Yankees trumpeted their postseason ticket prices a few weeks ago, proudly saying they had held the line on prices. But apparently they didn’t go far enough.
    The secondary market is awash with tickets as well, but that is likely due to the cold and wet weather in New York.
    So if you’re a Yankees or Angels fan and in the vicinity of the Bronx tonight, seats are there to be had. Dress warm.

  3. 24-hour Sitrep (situation report) on unfolding Central Grants mini-series:
    I showed up at the City Hall Annex Central Grants Office at 9am sharp yesterday and was ushered in by point of contact: Eliot Stone who proved to be an affable, very well-informed staffer on the issues of Affordable Housing and Construction for Bpt … so far, so good. I’m impressed. … But the proof is in the pudding if and when we, at William St. Condo Assn, get our releases from the Home loans as programed over 5 years ago … more sitreps to come …

  4. I am posting this letter to the Monroe Courier editor, mostly because I would find it hysterical if it weren’t so sad. These types of paranoid, isolationist, rambling typify the obstructions to a healthy region. Further Sullivan fails to mention Republicans with ties to Bridgeport like Rep Hovey’s husband, Bridgeport Firemen, and Town Council members who either work by the grace of a Bridgeport contract or who have applied to work in the big bad city. I hope Mr. Sullivan never needs to go to the hospitals in Bridgeport, send grandchildren to the Universities, go to baseball or hockey games or needs a non-profit organization. Plus he quotes Lennie.

    Sullivan stresses alleged Bridgeport connection
    To the Editor:

    One feels as if wrestling with pigs when trying to alert fellow citizens what is at stake in the looming election. Control of the Town Council and also P&Z are in danger of being influenced by candidates with political-type job connections to the Bridgeport machine.

    On Aug. 8, 2006, Bridgeport Personnel Director Ralph Jacobs wrote the following in attempting to begin correcting a situation that has caused the city to be out of compliance with the city charter for several decades:

    “This problem arises from the creation of a separate personnel system outside the civil service that was created in violation of the charter. That system, often referred to as the ‘Grants Payroll,’ has grown over the years to the point that it now contains several hundred positions.”

    Connecticut Post’s Lennie Grimaldi wrote on his blog “Only in Bridgeport”:

    “The Mayor’s Gravy Train, Plus: Bucci Says Jacobs’ Terminators Should Resign — Connecticut Post, Aug. 24, 2009.

    “Ding, ding, ding … That sound you just heard was Mayor Bill Finch ringing the dinner bell for Democratic operatives … The Friday afternoon firing of Ralph Jacobs, former non-political personnel director for Bridgeport Civil Service, by the CC commission gives Finch the opportunity to place his own person in there. That means larding Democratic operatives and Democratic Town Committee members with jobs.”

    The above is for your consideration, in hopes of persuading you of the Bridgeport Connection–given that Mount, White, Nunn, Pontillo, and Ulatowski have or had such Bridgeport “larded positions.”

    Joe Sullivan

  5. Pure and simple, SCREW Joe Sullivan and those from Monroe that think like him. What he does not understand is he needs Bridgeport a lot more than Bridgeport needs him and his kind.

  6. Remember they are only a small vocal ignorant few. Most of us live in the 21st century, are enlightened and don’t agree with Mr. Sullivan. A healthy region benefits us all.

    1. Sullivan talks of a Democratic machine in Bridgeport; isn’t there a Republican machine in Monroe? It’s people like Sullivan that keep regionalization from ever happening. I have to wonder if Mr. Sullivan is in the minority as the Republicans in town keep electing the same people.

  7. No one in Bridgeport gives a damn about Monroe and no one in Monroe cares about Bridgeport unless they are trying to rip us off with a crappy screwage deal.
    Monroe ain’t nothing but a poor white trash version of Trumbull. They deserve each other.
    We have Steal Pointeee.

    1. Thanks for reading that letter to the editor. I believe in Bridgeport and will continue to market the city until someone wakes up and realizes that this city is in desperate need of marketing and promotions. Even the projects that are still just a vision need more promotion to push them into reality. Bob Scinto has done good work in the city and has worked magic in Shelton. If he doesn’t become part of the Steelpointe development then he should be part of the 450 acres of The Remington Woods Project, the huge site that borders NOB HILL Condominiums–you know where the state and city imagine they are building a juvenile detention center. The State’s idea of economic development. We need to take Bridgeport’s assets on the road. You cannot have people with the personality of lint promoting Bridgeport.

  8. Rumor has it there is a search on for a Monroe location for a new “Testo’s” somewhere across from the new Stop and Shop.
    Timpanelli and the boys won’t have to drive so far to Bridgeport and it will have a “natural foods” theme thanks to “Farmer DiNardo”
    Good Luck Monroe!

    1. Sal DiNardo was in Testo’s Wednesday night hiding in the kitchen.
      I don’t think it’s the travel time but more the having to eat in the kitchen that bothers him.

  9. After living here for 66 years I truly believe that Bridgeport will never rise from the ashes. Until recently I had hope but after reading about the steel point deal and taking a hard look at the city I am ready to give up hope.
    Steel point may be a good deal I really don’t know but waiting until 2021 or beyond to see it come to fruition is just too damn long.
    Riding around this city and looking at all the trash at the curbs and seeing no effort to clean it up I just can’t take it anymore. No one gives a shit, no one is cleaning it up. Where is public facilities management on this? God knows we have enough supervisors.
    We have one-family neighborhoods overrun with college students who are ruining the quality of life in the North End. Is anyone doing anything about that? Nope. Our leaders wring their hands and call cabs for all the underage drunks. Screw the residents who have worked so hard to buy and maintain their homes.
    In my lifetime 4 high-rise buildings have been built. 303 State St which is now vacant. Peoples Bank, The Holiday Inn and 10 Middle St. Take a look, does anyone see any construction cranes in the air? Nope.
    We have a zoning meeting and cops have to be called. We have special interests at this meeting who are ultimately looking to screw the city. The one group fighting for all of us gets shouted down by paid hecklers. Yes they are paid with pasta and beer. We have a city-run senior center loading the seniors into buses for pasta and beer and entertainment at the P&Z meeting. Who is doing anything about this bullshit? No one.
    Is it any wonder that any intelligent developer stays clear of Bridgeport? Yeah I know Steel Point I hope it works but to date it’s all paper and vacant property.
    To the politicians and the zoning parasite lawyers I hope you are proud of what you have done to my city. To all of you I say Screw You enjoy the ghost town you are creating. Think about that as you drive to your fat-cat houses in the ‘burbs.

    1. The police were summoned to the PZC meeting because Darlene Chapdelaine, a woman that leads a group purportedly representing Bridgeport’s taxpaying citizens, was attempting to take the low road in order to change how her 9.9 acres of property on Greenwood Street are zoned. The eighty or so “members” of her organization met up at Angelo’s Restaurant on Madison Avenue for grog and victuals before heading to City Hall to “protest.”

      Is this necessary? There are other, more dignified means of changing a zoning designation.

  10. Bridgeport can and will change. All we have to do is elect you and people like you who will force the calamarians out. Then and only then will real progress be realized. You can start now by showing that obstructionist prick Walsh how to be an effective councilman. Imagine having all that talent and absolutely no ability to put it to good use.

  11. Interesting letter to the editor by Steve Auerbach of Bridgeport. Steve was a marketing guy for the city under Mary Moran. He suggested that Scinto take over part of Steal Pointe and develop JHE on part of the site.

    Paging Bob Scinto! TC–You forgot to mention 1000 Lafayette Blvd. in your synopsis.

    I think it’s better we should do a synopsis contest of all the projects that have never come to fruition. Talk about history repeating itself.

    Where did all those Caruso bashers go from a couple of years ago?

    1. Paging Bob Scinto! This just in from the Connecticut Post:

      TRUMBULL — Neighbors opposing plans to build a new Jewish Home for the Elderly off Church Hill Road won’t have to turn out Wednesday to fight the application at a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The project’s lawyer has withdrawn the proposal for an informal review while the developer seeks “other options that may be available in town.”

      The letter represents a switch from the position expressed earlier in the week by developer Robert D. Scinto, who said he wanted the pre-application process to proceed even though the proposal had generated intense opposition from residents on Church Hill Road and side streets near the 25-acre Hardy Lane hillside site. Roughly 100 residents turned out on short notice to meet with First Selectman Raymond G. Baldwin Jr. last week, and since then have been organizing their battle plan.

  12. You are right I did forget that one and the Federal Building also. I still maintain it’s still BS. We will never move forward with the people we keep putting into office and the sad part is that there is no one on the horizon with any vision or any balls to move this city forward.
    A city that cannot keep its streets clean and safe is a city that is going to languish and die.
    I will cite one example. We have been hearing about developing downtown Bridgeport for years and years. There has been some movement and some improvement BUT take a ride down Main St. After you’re through your car will need to be realigned. What other city do you know that is trying to develop its downtown and has as its main road a washboard street? Only Bridgeport. Where the hell are our leaders on this? I will tell you. They are hiding in their offices trying to figure out who they can screw next or how will they raise more campaign funds to be reelected. Hey McCarthy get off your ass and speak up.

  13. *** A P/R construction ceremony @ Aquaculture School today for the new school addition, with some of the city & state politicians @ hand. I don’t quite remember any info. or media & news coverage on any clean-up done @ the site, costing about 1.5 million “before” preparing for the new construction? Especially after the city paid Captain’s Cove a cool million for about 1 acre of city property that @ the time was leased to the Cove. Property that after it was purchased, was then soil tested and came up “glowing” with contaminates since the old P/T’s incinerators were located @ that site! News that put the project on hold by the city’s school building committee about 3+ yrs. ago, if it’s actually the same site, that is? Could the city of Bpt. just sweep the soil findings of the contaminated site under the rug after 3+yrs. to build the new addition @ the Aquaculture School? Or is the 1-acre site bought from Captain’s Cove, which is between the school & new P/T (end of parking lot area) not the actual site of the new school construction being done? Inquiring minds would like to know! ***

  14. *** When I finally come “face to face” with you & see you piss in your pants like the spineless insect you are, and also see your inflated head release hot steam out from your ears as well, then it’ll be one down with 2 to go before I make my exit. ***

  15. I never voted Republican in my life and will never vote for one on the national level meaning president, congress and senate. But on a local level I will and the best choice for Bridgeport right now is John Slater and John Weldon for city council.

  16. Yahooy,
    Even the CT Post knows an obstructionist when it sees one:

    A lesson for Finch & Co. on how FOI works
    October 16, 2009 at 9:37 am by John Schwing

    Mayor Bill Finch and his obstructionist legal team please take note: The spirit of the state Freedom of Information law is alive and well — outside the confines of the Park City, anyway.

    As we have noted previously, the mayor and his squadron of city attorneys have refused, despite repeated requests, to disclose the bids for the former Black Rock Bank & Trust Co. building on Fairfield Avenue — even though they were formally “opened” nearly three weeks ago. This appears to have become the rule, rather than the exception, of the Finch administration: Delay and deny, delay some more and seek every possible excuse to deny the release of public information about public bids for public property that should have been available the day it was supposed to be made public on Oct. 1. City officials followed the same delay-and-deny tactics when we wrangled with them earlier this year over the sale of the former M&F building.

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