The BOE Sedatives, Plus: Zoo Tix For You

Update: Check out the photos Local Eyes posted from Mayor Finch’s Shanghai!

What’s going on around here? No one’s mad? No yelling. No screaming. No finger-pointing. No hissing. No booing.

There were days at Board of Education public hearings before the City Council bets were placed to guess the number of placards in City Hall followed by the number of cops to keep the peace. What happened? Did BOE Finance Chair Pat Crossin slip everyone a sedative? (Pat, I want what you’re dealing!) BOE President Barbara Bellinger addressed the council Thursday night and said all the right things on behalf of the school system and kids. Just a handful of people showed. And this is a flatline budget. No increase.

Doesn’t mean things will not get intense for both the BOE and General Fund budgets. BOE leaders want major concessions from city teachers. Mayor Bill Finch wants more than $4 million in union concessions. And there does not appear to be a resolution on those issues anytime soon. So that means the City Council passes a budget and sets a mil rate within the next five weeks with a multi-million dollar gap.

Zoo It To It

What a weekend. May begins, an OIB party on May 11, 5:30, Bridgeport Holiday Inn, plus I’ve got zoo tickets for a family of four at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. So if you want to take the kids, the grandkids, your babe, whatever, send me an email at and I’ll get you a complimentary guest pass for four while they last. The passes are valid until the end of the year.

Political Respect

An amazing, eclectic turnout at the wake for State Rep. Chris Caruso’s mom Tere on Thursday.

Tough to lose a mother, but Caruso appeared in good spirits greeting folks who comforted his loss. His mom was 85 years young.

As I walked in, developer Sal DiNardo, brother of Dem State Party Chair Nancy DiNardo, was walking out. So too former Republican State Senator Rob Russo who just hours earlier had dropped his bid for Congress. In front of me former Board of Education President Max Medina, behind me State Comptroller Nancy Wyman, Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, former Mayor John Fabrizi. It was nice to catch up with Nancy, first-rate pol with a dynamic personality.

The genial Sly Salcedo, former Library Board member, paid his respects. Hey Sly, how’s life in Woodbridge? It’s not like the East Side, Lennie. With departure there is birth. Sly is enduring sleep deprivation with a newborn son.

When I walked out former Republican Mayor Lenny Paoletta, who served 1981-85, was walking in. Lenny at 75 looks fantastic. Talk about mentally tough and physically tough, Lenny fits both. When Lenny was mayor and Caruso was a young city councilman, they had remarkable verbal battles. In 1994, when gun battles were frustratingly common in the city, a drive-by maniac fired upon the front of Holy Rosary Church School on the East Side on a summer Friday night, in what police said was directed at another group. Lenny had been cooking dinner for a group of church volunteers who were out front having coffee. Among them were Lenny and Caruso. Lenny was hit by a bullet; the main artery to Lenny’s leg was almost completely divided according to the doctor in charge at Bridgeport Hospital. The doctor said he came as close to dying as you could. Even near death Lenny had a sense of humor. I hope you’re a Republican, he stated to the doctor.

Lenny recovered fully, and just about every day he’s at the gym.

Food Bazaar news release

Food Bazaar to Open in Bridgeport, Connecticut

May 6th Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Celebrate New Supermarket

Food Bazaar will celebrate the grand opening of its newest store in Bridgeport, CT on Thursday, May 6th. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will mark the opening of this brand-new, 61,000 square foot store at 10:30 AM. Scheduled to attend are Mayor Bill Finch and several other community leaders.

The new Food Bazaar brings more than 175 jobs to the local community and will offer the area a broad selection of products and services, specializing in ethnic foods at Food Bazaar’s traditional low prices. Located at 500 Sylvan Avenue, the store will be the first in Connecticut and will provide customers with a wide array of groceries and fresh produce, as well as a full-service deli with prepared foods, an in-store bakery providing fresh baked goods daily, a tortilleria for freshly made tortillas, fresh meats with free custom cutting, the largest variety of fresh seafood in the area, an extensive variety of international and specialty foods and products, a broad selection of natural and packaged products, and a department filled with party supplies.

“We are pleased to welcome Food Bazaar to Bridgeport, its first location in Connecticut,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “This new store will be a welcome addition to this part of the North End/Upper East Side. The An family is known for its clean, bright and ethnically diverse supermarkets that bring the freshest food at reasonable prices to city residents. Our planning and economic development office worked very hard to bring this store to Bridgeport, and I know it will be a great success.”

The Food Bazaar of Bridgeport is owned by the An Family, who has been in the supermarket business since 1988. The 22-year-old chain, whose 16 stores are located in NY, NJ and now in CT, specializes in running inner-city supermarkets that cater to a variety of ethnic tastes, from Caribbean to West Indian to African to Asian. “We pride ourselves on going to great lengths in order to provide each of the communities that we serve with the flavors that they love and recall from ‘back home’ as well as providing a culinary adventure for those seeking something new and exciting,” said company spokesperson Suzanne Kuczun.

Francis An, owner of Food Bazaar, said the store will specialize in fresh produce, fish, meat and dairy for a variety of ethnic backgrounds. “We are very proud to come into this community,” he said. “Our family-owned Food Bazaars have long-served the people of New York and New Jersey, and we are now happy to extend our supermarkets into Connecticut.”

The store is conveniently located at 500 Sylvan Avenue, Bridgeport, CT, (203) 683-3740. Store hours are: Monday through Sunday, 7 AM to 10:30 PM.



  1. Could it be Ramos just did not bother to send a notice out for all teachers to attend the budget hearings? He has done this in the past. Could it be the general apathy that has been shown by the Bridgeport voter in general?
    Where the hell are the bought and paid for union leaders? Oh yeah that was a rhetorical question. We know where they are. They are in the mayor’s pocket. For this I have to give the mayor his due.
    Here we have a potential budget calling for massive union givebacks again. We also have a potential budget where you see a 4.5% raise for all of the administration stooges. Yet not one cross word from the unions.
    It’s amazing to me this administration has the balls to give themselves raises while sucking the lifeblood from the worker making $30-35K. Has the council issued one statement about this. No!!! Why not? Because most of them will also be receiving raises. Shame on the people of Bridgeport.

    1. *** Seems I recall comments made on this blog a few days back concerning the 4% admin. raises & talk on some of the budget process in general! “Shame on you” for not seeing them. (wink) *** The budget is what it is so why holler “Wolf,” it’s not going to change anything. The same game this year, only you may see more layoffs & early retirements ’cause workers are not going to want to give back anything after the spending frenzy & waste during this current fiscal budget year. The time to holler is during election time, starting @ the local district DTC level & up. You’re a member, you know the deals & people making them and the choices the members have! ***

      1. Mojo you are right about the deals with a large percentage of the council on the city payroll, what was I thinking. Trying to get new people involved in this party is hard and when you do they have to deal with the old guard who don’t trust them. I know the budget is a done deal and we the taxpayers are going to get screwed. I just marvel at the lack of anger on the part of the voter and the non-city employees on the DTC.

  2. Bridgeport News: <–

    PHOTOS taken by Mayor Finch during his current China trip: <– <– <–

    Look at the bottom of the photo to see a brief description.

    Mayor Finch isn’t running away from Bridgeport, he’s chasing success in China. Those who disagree are encouraged to build their own skyline. Local Eyes will plant a few trees to honor it!

    1. *** Nice pictures L/E, however “whatever happens in China should stay in China!” (wink) Especially political P/R-related pictures that don’t change the current conditions & overall morale in Bpt. However, I’ll take it as a possible step forward in future developments with China Business & forthcoming “Tai-Chi” lessons again @ Beardsley Park? ***

      1. Mojo, those pics are posted by ME and are not endorsed by anyone. They do not represent PR-related stunts initiated by The Mayor. In addition …

        Mojo remains a force to be reckoned with in all corners of Bridgeport especially here where his posts are known for their brutal honesty.

  3. Bummer of an article today in the Post about the harbor. Why not have stimulus money put towards dredging the harbor, which would actually create jobs here, instead of things like widening the Merritt?

  4. I would think if there are no givebacks there will be layoffs and a tax increase. The unions are like cattle, they will go to slaughter without a whimper.
    What is amazing on this blog is even when raises are posted for Finch and company there is no outcry from those on this blog and by the unions themselves.
    It appears everyone has thrown up their hands and said screw it. The people of this city get what they deserve. They get to keep giving pay raises to one of the most incompetent administrations this city has ever seen.
    I’m surprised there’s not one comment on Bridgeport about to lose its status as a deep-water port. Not one damn word. No hue and cry to get the port authority off its ass and to get it moving.
    Not much of a comment on the change in the Arizona immigration law. Not one comment about the illegals who line up on Madison Ave for day jobs with local contractors. Not one comment how this is taking jobs away from Bridgeporters.

  5. There is no constituency for a deep-water commercial port.
    U.I., I’m guessing, is the biggest and most important user of the port. There are other users, I can’t think of one that brings in vessels that need a draft of 36 feet (U.I. is what, 25?, maybe?)
    Yeah, you’d like to see the Seaview Avenue docks used, but no one really has made a first-class fuss. Working ports are also “dirty” with all the trucks and all. Heaven forfend!
    At this point you might want to shoot for an LPG terminal on Pleasure Beach. We must save the beach on the Sound, however, for the piping plovers.

    1. *** Natural & chemical ocean bottom erosion may do some of the sea drafting needed for 36ft. but mother nature would need some help if working docks are to be a possibility, to bring a variety of imports to our fair city. I can see the open fresh-market places now, selling many products! On “the waterfront” maybe I could be a Union Steward “Contender?” *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  6. O.I.B. Rumor Mill:

    Natural undersea currents and inaction have made Bridgeport a true deep-water port by default. It’s made dredging unnecessary, too. The value remains unutilized. However, that won’t be enough to jumpstart the ailing economy.

    bonus: All Along The WatchTower with Mayor Finch: <–

  7. Lennie Zoo tickets should automatically by given to the dozen regular bloggers or OIB’s 12 disciples first. They should not have to send you an e-mail.

    1. Joel, I hope you’re not suggesting some form of zoo-sponsored socialism where “automatic” replaces individual initiative.

      Even caged animals know better …

  8. Lennie, the Connecticut Post hasn’t broken out with the story of former Bridgeport Health Department director Marian Evans suing the city of Bridgeport claiming defamation of her character by the city. As of the last 2 weeks, Labor Relations has been gathering statements and evidence from parties involved in preparation to respond to the suit. The city is looking into whether grant money was used for the Christmas party–or a training seminar–at the Holiday Inn.

    1. F**k Larry Osborne, he does everything by the book, he had work done at his house inside & out and never pulled a permit. He drives a city vehicle and parks it outside on Lyon Terrace, taking up a parking space for the general public when he and all other city employees have designated parking lots. Is he afraid of walking in the parking lot?

  9. How about when he goes around City Hall on City time asking people in his district to sign the petition for town committee. Larry should remember what goes around comes around.

    1. Osborne is the worst labor director the city ever had. He is a joke. That’s why the city has to bring in Dave Ryan and Boston because Larry is not qualified to do his job. He is costing the city big bucks in outside counsel. Also the cases he _ucks up in arbitration and then the city has to pay out again.

      1. He’s using his new salary to renovate his house. Where do you think he’s bringing the construction materials? Take a guess.

        The employees for the past two years have given up and are struggling to pay their bills. Osborne is making $119K and living the good life. Not bad for a guy from the Boys Club.

  10. *** Lennie, please keep reminding us about the “OIB” shindig @ the H/Inn; I’m looking forward to making a pit stop for fuel. (NASPR) *** You should take a ride down to Seaside Park & see some of the work being done in general, it’s going to take a while but hopefully it will make one of Bpt’s jewels shine brighter & help more visitors find “enlightment!” ***

  11. The city of Shame; That’s my city, that’s the city I love. I have spent 66 years here. I was educated here and with that education I was able to earn a good living and retire comfortably. I have coached inner-city kids in baseball for over 30 years. These were some of the greatest people I ever met. I know these kids are doing well as I still hear from some of them.
    The shame part comes when I see politicians screwing over the people and their families. Take a look around. Our city has returned to a filthy garbage-strewn city. The roads are equivalent to those in a third-world country. No one in power including the council seems to give a damn. Look at the latest budget. There is a built-in deficit we are told can only be fixed by employee givebacks yet that same budget provides for a 4.5% raise for the people who are still screwing up our city. We have 1 of 3 deep-water ports in all of Connecticut and we are losing that designation yet who is in charge of the port authority someone with no idea about the harbor and its functions. They don’t have a coastline in Monroe.
    We have a city where employees spend their days wondering if they are on the latest hit list to get fired on trumped-up charges. We have less than 2 years until the next municipal election comes up.
    SOMEBODY please step up and say I will lead this city. I will treat the employees with fairness and dignity, I will treat the taxpayers with respect, I will work to keep our kids in school. Is there such a person out there? To date we have Finch, Gomes and Caruso. Are any of them the answer?

  12. In the GOOD news department … construction has resumed on Phil Kuchma’s mixed-use building at the corner of Fairfield Ave and Lafayette. Occupancy in the fall. Spinnacker and Forstone have begun the asbestos removal from the old Mechanics and Farmers building. The sign out front says “loft development.” Bob Carlson has started work on 333 State to convert it into a mixed-use building. Steelpointe Harbor will have their zoning petition in front of PZC May 13, 18, 19 and 20th if needed. All good for Bridgeport. All good.

  13. *** Ah, nice to have hope there Nancy but in Bpt seeing is believing for many residents. However it’s nice to hear Phil’s development is up & working again. Wish the city had more developers like him, he’s good for Bpt. *** T/C, of the 3 names blogged so far as candidates for Mayor, if I had to vote today it would be for Caruso. The city needs “big” sweeping, clean-house types of changes in general for a fresh start. If Caruso is actually a doer & not just a political talker, in the long run it would be worth giving him the opportunity, maybe? *** The Dr. Evans debacle, regardless of whether she was not getting it done was handled “BAD,” very “BAD!” If the present admin. wanted change, they should have waited ’til her contract was expired & then conduct a nationwide search for someone else to fill the position. What was the big rush for but to hurry up & wait anyway? Only to get dragged back into court on a lawsuit the city may end up losing! Save a nickel, spend a buck; good job once again there by the city hall government “big spenders.” ***

  14. How do you in good conscience pass a budget with a built-in deficit? I know those on the council will find a way. There have been no givebacks from the unions at this point and that seems like it would take time.
    How do you pass a budget with pay raises for the very people who got us to the point we are at now? That was a lame-ass excuse in the paper that they were due these raises. Bullshit!!!
    You talk about being in the administration’s pocket. I don’t know about that but I know they will be in the taxpayers’ pocket before this is over. Great job by the budget committee more Bullshit.

  15. OIB Rumor Mill:

    He’s already established residency here. He’s currently plotting, planning and prudently picking his “peeps.”

    Who am I talking about?

    Chris Shays

    Don’t be surprised if he runs for his old seat against Jim Himes.

    Consequently, don’t be surprised if President Obama visits Bridgeport this year!


    1. LE, I thought you were talking about Joe Ganim. I heard he was moving back to Black Rock. There are many “peeps” who would support his run for mayor again.

      Obama may visit Bpt this fall to support Himes who has a difficult election.

  16. SUV loaded with accelerants and hooked up to explode was found abandoned in Times Square last night. The interesting part was the license plates came back to an unnamed junkyard in Bridgeport. The kooks are closer than you think.

  17. We in BPT are waiting for the white knight or Black Knight to come riding into town to save us from the crews that run our city. All these people have no idea how to lead, they just want to have swagger. Finch is not a leader he is too busy still calling U.B. a cult because it isn’t the biggest cult in the world The Catholic Church, Feeney finance dir, no finance degree, Nunn had to get out of Monroe couldn’t handle the budget ref., Charlie couldn’t handle being a electrician with the board of ed. (John Fab even demoted him Charlie got mad John gave him a raise helps with pension later) now has two jobs, three if you count watching his girlfriend and he can’t handle any of those jobs either, that brings us to Larry Osborne what can we say about him well not much no substance. So BPT people get up off your asses don’t be lead like lambs to slaughter, because the butchers are running the show and you are the Knights.

  18. *** Trust this Times Square incident with the attempted car bombing is going to be investigated inch by inch & will lead to an arrest soon! All big cities today should have street cameras to record daily activities in all people crowded areas for added crime security. Same with the assholes who threaten the South Park cartoon writers. Find them, gather the evidence needed, arrest them & convict if guilty with life in prison without parole in a special segregated prison so they can spend the rest of their lives in a lonely cell. Or if innocent blood was shed in an act of terror or cold-blooded murder then capital punishment is the one-way ticket! *** An eye for an eye when it comes to fighting evil disguised as holy or good. ***


Leave a Reply