Watt’s Up With WICC? Plus: BOE Heat, And UConn, UB Partnership

Does anyone listen to WICC any more? I was raised on it. News Director Tim Quinn, talk show genius Tiny Markle, a steady stream of news, information, traffic, weather throughout the day. You learned stuff. And a great history too. Before he went to Hollywood to star in Hogan’s Heroes, Bob Crane was the WICC morning man.

I listen to the genial Tony Reno, a friend for 25 years, in the morning. Sometimes Jim Buchanan in the afternoon. In between it’s a steady dose of syndicated prattle, conservative comic Dennis Miller and consumer warrior Clark Howard. At 10 a.m. following Reno, time to find other background noise. No news department. When was the last time WICC covered an event? Times have changed. Economic downturn. Ad revenue is down. Bodies cost moolah. Syndicated shows cost zero.

Atlanta-based media monster Cumulus wants to know one thing: how’s the bottom line today? Isn’t there a more creative way to engage local listeners with local knowledge during middays? Dennis Miller comes on and it’s like death valley. Howard Clark comes on and it’s like you want to choke on your credit card. And then when Buchanan requires an afternoon fill-in we might get the venerable Tom Scott, former state senator and gubernatorial candidate, who never viewed an arrest that didn’t require the death penalty. Okay he says, time to fire up ol’ sparky. Fry ’em, baby! What’s that, you failed to pay the toll at an Indian reservation? Hook up jumper cables to his nuts!

Still, I’d rather listen to fry ’em up Scotty than Miller time. Scotty at least has a pulse. WICC celebrates 85 years in 2011. Be nice if we could celebrate with midday chatter.

BOE Battle

Things got a little testy at the Board of Education meeting Monday night. Parents, grandparents, school advocates let management have it for recommended closings of Roosevelt and Dunbar schools. The BOE has a flatline budget, union leadership has said no to concessions, more than 100 layoffs are poised. Doesn’t sound like the noise will quiet down any time soon.

Can UB With Us?

UB and the University of Connecticut announced a partnership on Monday to train UB students to qualify for UConn’s School of Pharmacy. Mayor Bill Finch was not there. Chief of Staff Adam Wood was in his place. Despite all the good stuff UB does for the city–jobs, economic impact, brain power, technology, state accreditation; hizzoner continues his blind boycott based on two decades of misplaced information following funding from the Unification Church that saved the institution from closing. A cult, the mayor maintains. You mean like the Catholic Church and Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee?

Gee, does this mean the mayor, a UConn alumnus, will boycott the state’s largest public educational institution because of this partnership? I wonder, if Barack decides to visit any one of UB’s outstanding programs would Bill boycott? C’Mon, Bill. From UB:

UB/UConn Pharmacy agreement
Vice Provost for the University of Bridgeport Division Health Sciences David Brady (left) and UConn School of Pharmacy Dean Robert McCarthy (right) sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday creating a pre-pharmacy program that will train UB students to qualify for the UConn School of Pharmacy. Behind them, standing left to right, are UB President Neil Salonen, UB Provost Michael Spitzer, Tamara Soraluz, consitutent service represenatitve from Rep. Jim Himes’s office, UConn pharmacy student Marian Merced, Adam Wood, Chief of Staff, City of Bridgeport, and Dr. Doug Cooper, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Regional Campuses.

A unique new partnership between the University of Connecticut and the University of Bridgeport launched on Monday will qualify more students from Fairfield County for UConn’s highly competitive School of Pharmacy.

Vice Provost for UB’s Divsision of Health Sciences Dr. David Brady and Dean of UConn’s School of Pharmacy Dr. Robert L. McCarthy signed the Memorandum of Understanding at UB on Monday that creates the innovate program by the two institutions.

“This unique partnership between UConn and UB – a public and a private university – opens the doors for a broad range of students to prepare for one of the finest pharmacy programs in the nation so they can obtain jobs in the expanding field of health care,” said University of Bridgeport President Neil Albert Salonen.

Beginning in the fall of 2010, UB will offer a two-year pre-pharmacy program that complies with the rigid curriculum standards for UConn’s Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Students who complete their pre-pharmacy requirements in Bridgeport, regardless of their permanent residency status, will be eligible to apply to the UConn doctoral program in pharmacy as part of the new partnership agreement.

“We are very excited about this partnership with our colleagues from the University of Bridgeport and having a UConn presence in the city of Bridgeport,” said McCarthy, dean of the UConn School of Pharmacy. “UB attracts a diverse group of students—many of whom are first-generation college students—and we look forward to providing these students with an opportunity to pursue a career in pharmacy.”

The UConn School of Pharmacy, with its Doctor of Pharmacy degree and research-intensive graduate programs in medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics and pharmacology/toxicology, has a reputation as one of the best pharmacy education programs in the nation and attracts some of the best and brightest national and international students.

“This collaboration will expand pre-pharmacy education in the state of Connecticut and allow new opportunities for a wide diversity of well-qualified students to pursue pharmacy as a career,” says David M. Brady, vice provost for the health sciences division at UB. “The UConn School of Pharmacy has been wonderful and enthusiastic in supporting the University of Bridgeport’s desire to include expanded quality pre-pharmacy education as part of its offerings in the health sciences.”

For other University of Bridgeport news please go to www.bridgeport.edu



  1. “UCONN should buy UB”

    There’s a stroke of pure genius!

    I love it!

    Turn this burg into a party town!

    Jim Calhoun can start recruiting players coming up to school from NYC on Metro-North!

    The arena would get more use.

    The city would be forced (ahem, embarrassed) into putting some extra funds into the library.

    Some of the bigger South End homes could be renovated into student housing.

    I think it’s a great idea!

    Let’s get this bandwagon a-rollin’ now!

    Of course, it’d take a little guts by legislators who would want to spend several years testing the political winds on the idea. Very few of them would qualify for a new chapter in a re-write of Profiles in Courage.

    Well, there goes one idea onto the shelf for a millennium or two … (and it would have been really great to start the day off with a winning idea.)

  2. I’d like to know who messed that up. That along with the property taxes for the steel pointe area and who knows. We may have been the only city in Fairfield cty. in the black.

  3. The Black Rock Branch Library’s appearance in last Sunday’s Black Rock Day Parade was a great success.

    A big thank you to Hector A. Diaz of Mimi Dragone Inc. (as well as OIB fame) and his uncle the legendary Tony Diaz for stepping up and providing us with first-class transportation and a great driver.

    John Soltis
    Black Rock Branch Library

  4. “Bridgeport Now” Tuesday June 15
    8PM News, then at 8:30pm

    GE BUILDING DEMOLITION coming soon unless locals are able to extend delay.

    www .ctpost.com/local/article/Plan-to-take-down-GE-building-opposed-499390.php

    Nils Wiesenmuller from BridgeportDesign.com will discuss what was the biggest factory in the United States at one time, formerly Remington Arms.

    In Germany it’s against the law to take down historic buildings. Mary Witkowski also recently wrote an article in the CT Post on this topic.

    Nils runs various workshops with students in Europe who use our city as an example for urban planning. Listening to him reminds me of some of the people in Eric D. Lehman’s book, “Tales from Park City,” who had a lot of ideas and a vision for change.

    As for WICC radio, they used to have Citizen Smith who shook things up a bit.

  5. At last night’s BOE hearing on the closing of Roosevelt and Dunbar schools Senator Ed Gomes stated it almost sounds like institutional racism.
    I would like him to explain that one to me. What the hell does that mean?
    The school system is overwhelmingly made up of minority children, where is the racism? This school as well as Dunbar is failing as it relates to educating our kids. Dunbar is at less than 50% occupancy with small classes and the kids are still failing.
    I digress. Hey Ed what the hell is institutional racism?

  6. I wouldn’t dare speak for Ed Gomes but why are we talking about closing Roosevelt school with its 500+ students and sending them here there and everywhere and keeping Black Rock open with its 200 students instead of closing that and shifting all of them to Longfellow?
    Close the school with the high minority populations keep open the one with the lowest.
    Spend $5-$6 million to fix Black Rock School so you can add two grades since it is only school that goes up to 6th grade.
    What would you call that TC, good planning? Good financial decision making?

  7. Grin: I hear you loud & clear. Could it be that Roosevelt is a failing school and Black Rock is not a failing school?
    We are busting the BOE to tighten their budget up plus we are about to lay off teachers so tough decisions must be made. Any decisions will anger a section of the population that will be affected but it has to be done.

    1. Or do we simply use the excuse of a failing school as cover for the real reason for closing Roosevelt over Black Rock. Does it actually make sense in someone’s mind if you take the student from a failing school and throw them in with the student in a failing school that the end result will be two negatives make a positive and all of a sudden you have a passing school???

  8. This is the same logic that suggests we have principals, assistants and administrators from a failing school district who retire and then get rehired at the same or higher rate because they know the system.
    But what do they really know but a failing system?

  9. Bridgeport does have a high number of drug dealers. Why not provide them with an opportunity to become legal dealers? Wanna sell drugs? Go to UB first!

  10. Lennie, in response to yesterday’s posting, I’m glad the Finch administration thinks OIB is a pain in the ass. It shows someone in the mayor’s office reads this blog and is somewhat bothered by the postings. I have to believe they are bothered because what many of us say here is true. If not for OIB, this information would not get out. God knows the Post doesn’t cover it.

    So that’s all the more reason for us to continue posting and for you, Lennie, to FOI the information that we cannot. For example, how much is the city spending on outside consultants and legal counsel when they are asking the unions to take 15 and 20 unpaid days? Exactly what is the mayor and his staff prepared to give back? I’ve heard rumors some of them are not taking their 4.5% increases. Big deal when they are already making in excess of $100,000. What is the list of new hires who came in during this so-called “hiring freeze?” These are things the public should know. And these are the things OIB should find out and print.

    1. CHS
      It’s interesting to me you think of Lennie as your personal, uh, cabana boy. (I’m sure he had enough of that what he was in the joint.)

      Lennie’s hardly a full-time reporter, and even full-time reporters write what they get from their sources. There are damned few full- or even part-time investigative reporters on anyone’s payroll these days.

      As to FOI, a reporter has no special juice in filing an FOI request, just the ability to publicize the fact. If you’re a city resident, you’d have more juice than someone from out of town.

      So CHS, go ahead and do your own footwork. Write a story and I’m sure Lennie will be happy to print it for you, under your own name or your handle, whichever you prefer. If you file an FOI and get the run-around, I’m sure Lennie will publicize the situation for you.

      Or if you really want your own private investigative reporter, let us know what you’re paying and I’m sure you’ll have someone apply for the job. There are plenty of reporters out there looking for work.

      As you’ve noted, Lennie provides a great forum for us, but there’s only so many places he can be at one time. OIB isn’t just Lennie, OIB is us.

  11. Then they can call it Steal Point. How many officers are out on comp or sick time? Did the Chief get his Bachelor’s Degree yet? That’s why they haven’t gone out for a search in all this time.


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