A Little Spring Cleaning

Throw open the windows, pull out your drawers, air out that closet. Spring is here so I’m wondering (this can be dangerous) how would you clean house?

Take a powerwash to Chris Dodd and call it even? Make public financing of local elections voluntary? Or maybe mandatory? Rip up all downtown streets and finally begin separation of sewer lines? Fix the Congress Street Bridge? Bulldoze every abandoned, burned-out eyesore from the northern portion of downtown to the connector? Fire everyone and start over? Vote out everyone and start over? Maybe start with Congress?

Fire away!

Good show at the Klein Thursday night starring Uncle Artie Garfunkel who replaced Joe D’s name with John Mayer (a little shout out to the Bridgeport native) in Mrs. Robinson. The folks that book and promote acts at the Klein these days Miles Marek and Eileen O’Reilly are bringing in top talent. Jewel last month, a number of first-rate jazz, R&B and classic rock acts upcoming, including Loggins & Messina during the summer. We started with dinner at Épernay on Fairfield Avenue downtown just a minute’s drive from the Klein. If you haven’t been to Épernay, check it out. That whole Bijou Square district is humming on weekends. If this economy turns around sooner rather than later, weekdays won’t be far behind.

The city’s Economic Development Director Donald Eversley knows about restaurant districts having spent a few years during Providence’s growth. That strip on Fairfield Avenue with Épernay, Roma, Two Boots and Joseph’s Steakhouse is a mighty nice launching pad for a restaurant district.

It’s spring, let’s support city businesses; buy local, baby. Good stuff in the city. Speaking of good stuff, SportsFest next week. See news release below:


The 4th annual Park City SportsFest presented by People’s United Bank returns to Bridgeport as part of 2009 NCAA Men’s East Regional hockey tournament festivities. The SportsFest takes place Saturday, March 28 from 1-6 pm at the People’s Bank Plaza on Main Street in downtown Bridgeport.

One of the highlights of SportsFest is an appearance by The Zamboni’s, the world’s only all hockey rock band (www.thezambonis.com). The popular rockers’ performance, sponsored by Bud Light, takes place from 4:30-6 pm. Earlier in the day, WWE Superstar and ECW TV announcer Matt Striker will sign autographs from 2-4 pm. Former NHL player and official Paul Stewart also is set to appear at a time to be determined. Other former pro hockey players slated to attend will be announced soon.

SportsFest leads up to the NCAA regional championship game scheduled for the 28th at 6:30 pm at the Arena at Harbor Yard. Fairfield University and Yale are hosting the regional event.

Park City SportsFest is a free, multi-venue event designed for family fun. The fan festival includes interactive and educational activities from an assortment of sports and fitness related organizations. Food vendors will also be on site.

Participating groups providing activities include: The First Tee, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hartford Wolfpack, Wonderland of Ice, Jazzercise, Fairfield University and the CT Bearcats.

Other sponsors of the event include: AT&T, Spinnaker/Forstone Capital, Cox Radio-WSTC1400/WNLK1350, 96.7 The Coast, 95.5 The Fox, News 12 CT and The First Tee.

For more information go to www.infobridgeport.com or call
203-251-8481 or via email at tomc@fairfieldcountysports.com.

And check this out at City Lights on Markle Court inside State Street downtown:

March 26 to May 16, 2009

City Lights presents:

This and That,

the art of collage, assemblage and

found objects.

Complimentary wine tasting by Épernay Bistro

at opening reception March 26, 5:30-8.

As you rummage through the art world of 2009, with the mind set of our grandparents who would make something out of nothing so as not to be wasteful, stretch a dollar or squeeze the tube for the last bit of paint or toothpaste, you will come across an ever growing abundance of creativity. What else would you expect from artists in a time like this? Remembering that art could be found everywhere… here you will see that art can be made out of everything and anything. CITY LIGHTS presents “This and That,” the art of collage, assemblage and found objects.

View the art of over 15 artists working with such materials as paper, glass, wood, metal, toilet and plumbing parts, fabric, photography and more. These artists truly make recycling an art form. Participating artists: Lynne Arrovas, Will Brady, Lisa Furman, Silas Finch, Steve Gerber, Ted Gutswa, Anna Kronick, Barb Saracena, Ralph LaVesque, Regina Levin, Philip Lique, Molly McAuley, Rachel Moore, Michael Raleigh, Keith Rodgerson, Michael Quirk, Colleen Reilly-Rees, Gay Schemp, Tina Sommers, Susan Tabachnick, FranCesca Winfield, Mary Witkowski



  1. Here’s my spring-cleaning wish list:

    • Fix the Congress Street Bridge. Enough already! It’s an ugly-looking thing, but there’s more than aesthetics involved here. The economic impact would be beneficial to businesses downtown and the east end. If the residents of both places could move back and forth between both sections of town a little more easily (instead of the “overland” route that must be used) consumer dollars would be spread around town. That could translate into more jobs. Gee, what a concept!
    • Upgrade the waste treatment facility so that rain water doesn’t overload the system whenever there is substantial precipitation. “When it rains it pours … shit into Long Island Sound.”
    • Get Steel Point on track and fire up the locomotive. The weed-choked fields and cracked pavement of that area is what many commuters see of our city; the folks driving on I-95 between New York and New Haven. They also see that God-forsaken house that was once home to an obscure outfielder for the New York Yankees or the Charlestown Chiefs or whoever he played for.

    I was in Hartford on Wednesday. Our capital city is smaller than Bridgeport, population-wise, but it possesses a better skyline. Sure, there are more than a few “for sale or lease” signs in the windows of vacant storefronts, but Hartford is much more vibrant than I remember it. Bridgeport has the potential to be vibrant. If the fifty-cent dictators and the power-mad control freaks suffering from obese-fish-in-a-rain-puddle mentality could see fit to haul their fat useless asses out of the way; well maybe, just MAYBE, things could move forward in Bridgeport in a meaningful way.

    The power center of the Democratic Party in Bridgeport is shifting away from the current holders of the reins.

  2. Wondering, I know you are out there wanting to comment and not be the first one, so I will comment first. Sports Fest is a great event, it wasn’t mentioned in the release but the Fairfield County Sports Commission (I am a former board member) has really helped this annual event be as good as it is today and I am sending them a big thank you.

  3. I like the idea of aiming a powerwasher at Chris Dodd right now as I look at my 401(k) statement shrunk down like a head on a shaman’s stick, pondering the fellas across the line in Wilton eating cake for breakfast today. Alas, corruption and greed in politics has been around longer than me and that’s a mighty long time. What really has my grandma panties in a bunch is the crisis in the newspaper industry. Without these nosy little scribes rooting around in the politician’s garbage cans how many of these scandals and goings-on would we know about?

    In our system of checks and balances the paid press has been our watchdog for as long as newspapers and newssheets have been printed. The idea that reporters paid by the larger organization have the time to get into the cracks and crevices one needs to get to these stories is the reason so many are rocks are overturned. With the respect due to fabulous bloggers with years of experience like we are lucky to have in Mr. Grimaldi; how many have the ability to put the time and effort into this type of work? The need to feed one’s family will get in the way of a true corp. of investigative journalists.

    The days of the invigorating smell of lead-based ink dropped at the doorstep by a fresh-faced ten-year-old are long gone. Today my papers are tossed in the nearest puddle to the end of the driveway by a driver whose muffler clearly has not been serviced since the 1st Bush administration. I hope that progress as it is, and will be, regardless of irascible gals like me will find a place for this most necessary part of our society. Oh, and I take a strong cuppa tea with my Connecticut Post in the Morning.

  4. Major kudos to Lennie for promoting the Bridgeport art scene on OIB. While politics and economics may be the lifeblood of this town, her soul resides in the hearts and hands of the many artists who call Bridgeport home. Like the rest of our country in 2009, Bridgeport’s soul stands on shaky ground. Support the ground beneath our artist’s feet. City Lights, The Gallery at Black Rock, and the other Bridgeport art venues deserve to remain on solid ground.

    The City Lights This and That show should be a great one. From my sneak peek at some of the works to be exhibited, there should be a sense of fun, seriousness and imagination to the show. There’s always a unique feel to an art exhibit that includes a lot of found objects and nontraditional elements to the work. In a way, it’s often that recycled and used elements create a deeper and unique feeling to the art. Every picture tells a story–sometimes many stories.

    My favorite Bridgeport artist is one of those included in the This and That show. And word has it that he’s including his “My Life As Louis Armstrong: 1964-1967” in the show. Of course, he’s not likely to give me a commission on sales, so I’m not going to name him. Cheap bastard.

    So attend the This and That show opening, visit City Lights often, and if you’ve got anything left in your wallet, buy some art and save Bridgeport’s soul.


  5. “Black Rockin // Mar 20, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Friday and it’s payday.
    PAUL TIMPANELLI picks up his $ 2,400.00 weekly check from the taxpayers of Bridgeport.

    Ask Wondering. He’s knows everything about everything.

  6. Yahooy, not “wind mills;” rather “wind wings,” similar concept to airfoils. Just so you don’t worry about how I spend my time, we have been busy and doing quite well in Hartford and with private investors, and offers to site our prototypes come in every day. 🙂

    1. I’m only hocking(??) you in a friendly way because I genuinely think that your business is exciting and exactly what should be happening at this time. Alternative energy resources are a fundamental necessity if we are to experience long-term economic recovery. I am truly delighted that such a company exists in Connecticut and that you work for them. A good formula for success. Work, Work, Work!!!

  7. O.K. Yahooy

    Tell me what does Paul Timpanelli do to collect $ 2,400.00 a week from Bridgeport taxpayers? And are AIG execs. standing in line for his 21-year job?

  8. Yahooy: Paul Timpanelli does what he is told to do. I would guess it’s what Scinto, DiNardo and a few others tell him to do.
    I know one important piece of work he did was compute the amount of water that is flushed by city-owned toilets. He then figured (complex math) that we could save 2 gallons of water by changing all city-owned toilets to water-saving toilets.
    After completing a detailed analysis he found that if the city did that then there would be room at the westside
    sewage treatment plant for Monroe’s waste.
    Other than that the only thing I can think of is he gives Finch his marching orders as it pertains to development.

  9. The old Cost Accountant in me makes me think that Timpanelli’s cost-benefit analysis of replacing all city-owned commodes to save water so Monroe could dump their stuff in our pond was a shitty exercise in futility. I hope he wasn’t serious and nobody paid attention to him. Can you imagine … ?

    Bruce. That’s one reason why I am displeased, as you say, with the current City leadership; elected or otherwise. If Finch permits this deal to go through, the only cost benefit that would occur would be to Birdman’s stash of “political capital”.

  10. Yahooy and Wondering,

    Re: Sewage Treatment Proposal.

    The rationale (analysis) I’ve seen suggests it was done by people who understand the “cost” of everything … but the VALUE of nothing.

  11. Bruce, Yahooy and Wondering; please elucidate because I disagree. There are current laws requiring low-flush toilets. I realize that the schools are grandfathered in code-wise, but is that really a good excuse not to replace them? At minimum you conserve water and reduce the flow into the system, no matter who is or is not using it, especially when you are helping the environment and furthering the legislative intent of the federal and state government.

    Additionally, while I realize that every time you take aim at Monroe you don’t intentionally mean to hit me, however you do and it is getting old. I and many others work continuously to create regional harmony and this divisive, derisive banter does not help. Just because a good idea comes from someone you dislike doesn’t mean the idea is a bad or ill-thought-out one. I posted in the past the benefits of a regional WPCA and I will repeat what I said:

    Capacity is a red herring, it is not the issue, the separation of storm water and sewage is this issue. This takes money and may eventually be court mandated, that would be an unfunded mandate.

    The Regional WPCA (RWPCA) and the City will be separate entities.

    Bridgeport sells its sewers and plants, assets and liabilities to the RWPCA.

    As Lennie stated, New Haven received more than $30million for one treatment plant.

    The purchase price goes into the fund balance, thereby increasing the bond rating and reducing interest.

    Any bonding with the Regional WPCA does NOT go as a debt to the municipalities; it is RWPCA debt, NOT Bridgeport.

    Anyone using the sewers must continually, forever pay to use the sewers and therefore constant flow (no pun intended) to the RWPCA.

    The up-front money is based on what the value of the money would be over a term of many years. I won’t comment other than to say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    Because the City is selling its assets (AND its liabilities) to the regional authority the health of the system is everybody’s problem, not just Bridgeport’s.

    So basically, Bridgeport receives money for the suburbs’ privilege of participating in a regional group; the WPCA gets money, forever, from its users based on use, and the liability of the plant is spread over three municipalities.

    Added pluses–DEP gives money to sewage treatment plants. New Haven has had favored status because it is a regional system; Bridgeport (RWPCA) now goes to the front of the line because there is strength in numbers. DEP funding will address upgrading the system and separating storm water from sewage. Further, we are doing what the Governor and Legislature are asking the state, by regionalizing. Further, there is money in the State budget for further incentives for regionalizing. With the proper Legislative guidance Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe will be first in line to get that new incentive money as well.

    Argue with facts instead of personal dislikes and platitudes please.

  12. “Wondering // Mar 20, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Bpt Consigliere: Here I am just to set you straight–the election for town committee seat was last year not a few years ago. BTW not one Ayala candidate for town committee seats was elected. Here you are just like Caruso crying about corruption. Where is the corruption? What kind of corruption? That’s what beat Caruso, crying corruption without being able to cite any. If you know there is corruption go to the Feds.”

    Mr. Wondering, you have made my point when you say not one of Ayala’s people won in the DTC election. No Shit Sherlock, that’s what I’ve been saying, I’ll say it slower in case your hearing-aid battery is low. Ayala’s people won 8 out of 9 machines; slower, ok; eight out of nine machines, and then the dead people cast their absentees and Luis Marin closed a half hour early and Santa played bad elf and lo and behold all of Ayala’s people lost. Whew, ok, what I am WONDERING is why you sound like you back the corruptness and are not trying to see it for what it is; you do seem like an intelligent gentleman.

  13. MCAT:

    You missed, or misinterpreted, my point. But I accept your apology.

    You’ve outlined the logic of the case for regionalization (RWPCA) and I totally agree.

    My concern with the proposal has nothing to do with personalities, or my feelings about Monroe and Trumbull (some of my best friends live there). My concern is that I’ve yet to see a set of numbers that “elucidate” why this is a terrific deal for Bridgeport taxpayers.

    Now maybe the financials have changed since the first proposals, but if they have, no one has EFFECTIVELY presented them to the public.

    Bridgeport holds the key asset to this transaction and its value needs to be fairly and fully recognized.

    So let’s hope all involved in the project will lay out some compelling and convincing numbers (facts) … and leave the platitudes, politics and personalities aside.

  14. MCAT; My post was a tongue-in-cheek post about what Mr. Timpanelli does to earn his $2,000 a week salary. It was not intended to slam Monroe or Trumbull or anything else. It was an attempt at some humor.
    You took it the wrong way. You and I have already discussed in person the regionalization of the sewer treatment plant and I agree with regionalization as long as the infrastructure is part of the deal which it would be with the regionalization idea.
    MCAT please don’t take every post with the word Monroe in it as a slam.

  15. Bpt Consigliere: I – – – – – – am – – – – – – glad – – – – – – you – – – – – – went – – – – – – slower – – – – – – I changed batteries – – – – – -. There was a lot of BS on both sides – – – – – -. If dead people voted they voted on both sides. If memory serves Vicki Diaz’s slate won on the machines at the Kossuth St school whose name escapes me.
    In either case I have no axe to grind with Mr. Ayala and depending on who the other candidates are i can see him winning a mayoral election.

    1. I’m glad we can agree to disagree Mr. Wondering, and I’m glad you have no axe to grind against the only legitimate candidate to run our city.


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