Revolving BOE Seats

Classic OIB dynamic brewing over two open Board of Education seats.

Retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez of Black Rock wants in. Mayor Bill Finch isn’t crazy about the idea, nor South End District Leader Mitch Robles. Why? They cannot control her.

Carmen has a history of traveling to the beat of her own drum, whether as a judge or in politics. Translation: she’s not beholden to party regulars. Nor is outgoing BOE president Max Medina. John Olson is also finishing out his final term on the BOE.

Mitch, who has built a nice power base, is offering City Council member Leticia Colon as his candidate.

Democratic Party Vice Chair Dottie Guman would like to see Carmen Lopez on the BOE. They go back decades in city politics to the days Dottie’s late husband John was party chair. Dottie is the mayor’s political godmother, but the mayor and the Mother Goose of the party aren’t nearly as close as they used to be, and they are on opposite sides on this one.

As for Mitch, in city politics it’s not enough that Carmen is Latina. She’s not Mitch’s kind of Latina.

Still in play for one of the BOE spots is Joe Giaquinto who waged a strong 2007 primary against incumbents from the 138th City Council District Bob Curwen and Rich Paoletto. Curwen has been pushing Giaquinto for the seat. Keep your friends close and enemies closer.

Former City Councilman Keith Rodgerson wants to be on the BOE. Former City Clerk and City Councilman Tom Mulligan has given it some thought but isn’t lobbying hard for a spot.

Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa is expected to schedule a BOE candidates night before the DTC endorsement session July 22. Meanwhile, the phone lines will be burning up.

Maybe OIB friend Ralph Mojica who served with Colon on the City Council can provide some intelligence. Big Mojo knows the political dynamics in the 131st District controlled by Robles. Perhaps we end up with both Lopez and Colon on the BOE?

Party With The Good Folk

Don’t forget, July 23, 5:30 p.m. Taco Loco, Fairfield Avenue in Black Rock for the next OIB party. We’ll kick off the Gathering of the Vibes hippie weekend with a whole bunch of stuff, plus the best gossip in town. Maybe Joel Speedy Gonzalez will show up with his ultimate hippie band, The Capitol Finger. Hopefully Cougar Rodgerson will show with his 10-finger band, featuring Anna as his lead singer.

From OIB Friend Caryn Kaufman

Check out the

Downtown Bridgeport Farmer’s Market

Now thru October
Hello friends …

Folks complain all the time that nothing’s happening in Bridgeport. Truth is–there’s plenty happening but they need your support to continue. So here’s the latest scoop …

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture working with the City of Bridgeport Office of Planning and Economic Development and the Downtown Community Council (DCC) announces the opening of the State’s newest farmers’ market:

The Downtown Bridgeport Farmers’ Market at Baldwin Plaza, behind the Fairfield County court house, will take place every Tuesday from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. It opened July 7 and will run through October.

Three farms have initially signed up for the market. If folks like you support this, more are likely to follow:

Country Farm from Northford, a 60-acre mixed fruit and vegetable farm specializing in tomatoes, melons, and bedding plants.

Killiam & Bassette Farmstead from South Glastonbury, an 85-acre farm, specializing in corn, tomatoes and peppers.

Smith Acres from Niantic, a 27-acre farm, specializing in bedding plants, potatoes, and summer squash.

All three farms will have a mixed variety of Connecticut grown fruits and vegetables throughout the summer and early fall.

This market is WIC certified.

Stop by – spread the word – and support this latest program bringing fresh food and vitality to downtown Bridgeport.



  1. Honestly Idk what to say about Carmen Lopez look at this article I just found about her: www so I really guess she will not take orders. Well what I have to say about this is that’s good to me because the BOE is horrible and I really want to see somebody passionate about it and this lady is. I look forward to voting for her at Black Rock school. Max Medina would never get a vote from me he needs to go.

  2. Gossip of The Rialto!

    Lennie is 51 today.

    Harry’s been noticing a familiar by-line in the Connecticut Post lately. Denis J. O’Malley III, son of Denis and Maura, is now a local scribe for the Post. No Page Six for this guy. Maybe he could do some investigative reporting on Port Authority Gate. First thing he could do is FOI Tyrone’s cell-phone records to see of the call activity between the Three Wood and the Birdman during the you “dirty rat” amendment activity. He could also bug the hell out of his father.

    Master O’Malley III has a nice style and cut his teeth in the Scranton area.

  3. *** Anyone Finch or Robles is for is bad for the B.O.E.! “Control” is the key factor in picking a person for them; believe me I know. Tommy Mulligan’s got too much on his work plate so @ this point he’s “not” interested. Judge Lopez though not a great judge by legal associates comparison, seems the best from the names given in the subject intro for OIB. Myself, I would probably be anti-Ramos on many things & against breaking or bending many good rules just because of a little people pressure! The B.O.E. needs more of a conservative type of member to help move in a better direction for Bpt. Russo would also be good for the B.O.E. as well. And believe it or not, I believe Cougar would not be bad either, he uncovered quite a few things while on the Council concerning the B.O.E. Admin. & they’re foolish spending ways during Budget times! “Don’t judge a book by its cover”! He would be better than another 131st district town committee member that works for the city or family member of the district leader! *** In the end, it’s still shoveling unwanted debris on the shore against the incoming tide! *** Forget about it! ***

  4. Mojo

    I agree with you on that. How many people can you pick for the BOE on primary day? All I know is I never liked a Black Rock Candidate besides the great Ganim but Carmen Lopez will get my vote so will Russo and Keith. I never Voted in the BOE race in my entire life but I will this time. Ramos needs to go!!!!!!!!!

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LENNIE! I will be at Taco Loco to drink a toast to your next half century. I think the BOE and council need independent strong voices; if Dottie is backing Judge Lopez that’s good enough for me.

    “Do it downtown,” is a great idea and I know the concept has been around for awhile. I think it should be marketed in the local suburban papers. The people you need downtown are the out-of-towners. Tap – Trumbull, Monroe, Newtown, Shelton, Fairfield, Easton etc. … get suburban dollars into restaurants, theaters, and ball parks. Get together with businesses and do a combo evening like a one price for a theater and a restaurant or ballgame and restaurant. Museum, gallery and restaurant, etc. … Try to get cooperation between businesses; if one benefits they all benefit.

    As to the master plan, it is a beautiful wonderful plan, but in these economic times we need to go one step at a time. There’s an old riddle, “how do you eat an elephant? Answer: one bite at a time.” We need to go one bite at time in my opinion. We need to build a successful strong tourist attraction within a plan but focus on one thing at a time. I am sure this idea is nothing new, but it seems to me that everyone knows when you try to concentrate on 20 things at once nothing gets done.

    1. “… everyone knows when you try to concentrate on 20 things at once nothing gets done.” That is an accurate description of multitasking, non?

  6. Happy Birthday to the ol’ Lenniemeister, purveyor of the finest political gossip and free cocktails.

    The BOE in Bridgeport is a disaster. My roommate’s niece was registered but never attended Bassick High School. Guess what? They sent her a report card and she actually achieved a B in English! Of course, she was failed in all her other classes due to lack of attendance. I asked her how she managed a passing grade in English–I majored in Smoking Area 101 back in high school and never managed to receive a grade higher than “incomplete due to lack of attendance.” Maybe Judge Lopez will make a difference.

  7. In response to a comment posted a few days ago by Local Eyes:

    “In the folk magic of many cultures, the crossroads is a location “between the worlds” and as such, a site where supernatural spirits can be contacted and paranormal events can take place. Symbolically, it can mean a locality where two realms touch and therefore represents liminality, a place literally “neither here nor there”, “betwixt and between”.

    “This is particularly pronounced in conjure, rootwork, and hoodoo, a form of African American magical spirituality. In conjure practice, it is said that in order to acquire facility at various manual and body skills, such as playing a musical instrument, throwing dice, or dancing, one may attend upon a crossroads a certain number of times, either at midnight or just before dawn, and one will meet a “black man,” whom some call the Devil, who will bestow upon one the desired skills. Evidence of this practice can be found in 20th century blues songs, such as ‘Sold It to the Devil’ by Black Spider Dumpling (John D. Twitty). Although many modern listeners believe that the premiere song about soul-selling at a crossroads is ‘Crossroads Blues’ by Robert Johnson, the song may be a description of standing at a cross roads and trying to “flag a ride” or hitch-hike; the sense of foreboding coming from the singer’s apprehension of finding himself, a young black man in the 1920s deep south, alone after dark and at the mercy of passing motorists. Others believe Robert Johnson sang this song in regards to the deal that was made with Legba in which Johnson exchanged his soul for his extraordinary guitar skills that seemed to appear suddenly. It should be noted, however that the idea of selling your soul for instrumental skills pre-dates the American South as several virtuoso classical musicians such as violinist Nicolo Paganini had stories told about selling their soul for music prowess (and that story may reference back to medieval troubadour doing something similar). The selling of your soul for guitar power story has become a staple in both rock and metal guitarists.

    “The idea of selling your soul for instrumental mastery/fame has occurred several times within music usually in guitar dominated genres and more specifically in pre-World War II rural Blues. Bluesmans’ crossroads, located in Tchula Junction, Mississippi, is said to be the universal meeting grounds for such exchange. It was said that in your twenty-seventh year the devil would come to collect his property.”

  8. By the way Lennie Happy Bday Len. I appreciate the work you do day in and day out. This is the best place to get real Bridgeport Political news. I remember almost 2 years ago I wanted to get to know more about who Caruso and Finch were and I typed it in on Google and the Fairfield county Only in Bridgeport popped and I enjoyed what I saw and from that day in September of 2007 I was hooked to your blog and I became politically active and never missed any election since. So just want to thank you for a job well done keep up the good work I still can’t believe it’s been almost 2 years for me with Only in Bridgeport it feels like almost yesterday when I was posting saying Caruso was going to win and that he was going to win big at Black Rock and none of that happened. Surprise of that night was Finch 318 and Caruso 317 at Black Rock.

  9. Grin Reaper
    Mayor is going little too far did you read that article about her it seems horrible. But for the BOE I think she would be great I really think she is passionate about the kids of the city she gets my vote at Black Rock.

  10. *** Crossroads Cemetaries were built there not only for the extra land that usually comes with corner properties but in spiritual terms it’s the place where dead wandering souls (good or bad) can come in contact with the still living. Also, to confuse spirits from getting back home to a place they knew instead of going to the light or waiting for you know who! That’s why in New Orleans funeral processions never go a direct route going or coming from the cemetary & play music to disorient the newly dead spirit. At the crossroads, certain time of the month, 12-midnight with a full luna, after a busy day @ the cemetary with plenty of wandering souls, the devil comes forth to claim his due; it has been said that a “Young person” can make a deal with the devil @ that time if they know the right words of offering? ***

  11. Leticia Colon is perfect for the BOE. She doesn’t know a goddamned thing about anything. Carmen Lopez doesn’t even show respect for the office of the mayor; what makes you think that she will respect the children of the city of Bridgeport? Rob Russo will bring change. Tom Mulligan will bring change. Keith Rodgerson would need to change his undies because he is usually drunk out of his ass downtown.

    Don’t be fooled; Carmen Lopez would be controlled by Mario and Leticia is controlled by Itch Robles.

    We need people like Rob Russo and Tom Mulligan. Great friends of mine who will bring the change that is needed to the BOE. Send Ramos packing and the rest of his Hartford flunkies.

  12. Russo and Mulligan both good choices. A poem by a friend:

    Ode to a Finch

    Once you shined and glittered and took the breath away;
    Today you steal the wind with trusts that you betray.

    Readily ye waxed poetic and preached nobility;
    Pander is the watchword now, disregarding loyalty.

    Oh, how ye have fallen and wallow in the mire;
    Heed your course, or lie atop Karma’s funeral pyre.


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