Are You VIP Vibe Groovy? Just Ask City Council Members

Vibes aerial from Morgan Kaolian
Vibes aerial from Morgan Kaolian

VIP Update: Who’s attending the Gathering of the Vibes? The annual hippie fest along the Seaside Park waterfront in tribute to the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia kicks off today for four days of music, love (we hope) and peace (perhaps a pipe).

How many city officials will get in for free? And what say you about that? Should City Council members get a free pass? Last year many council members took advantage of that. Is it a worthy accommodation from concert promoters? A violation of city ethics? Ah come on, what’s wrong with a free pass for council members as long as it includes a free toke inside the park.

The Vibes VIP treatment, from the Vibes Website:

VIP Package

We will once again offer a limited number of VIP Passes for Gathering of the Vibes 2010. Join us in VIP style and party down like a rock star! Kick back in the VIP tent on our cushy couches, while you relax with an ice cold beverage or a tasty snack. Each afternoon, you’ll have the chance to duck into the shaded tent from the hot sun to enjoy a delicious lunch (and you never know who might sit down and join you!).

VIP Passes are $420 per adult, $125 for kids 6-12, and free for children 5 and under

City Council members will get the VIP treatment, according to an email sent by City Council President Tom McCarthy to council members forwarded to OIB by Bob “Troll” Walsh who has rejected the VIP offer.

As you are aware, the Vibes concert is happening this weekend. The contract with the vendor calls for the City Council Members to have access to the concert all weekend. Each Council Member will get one VIP ticket for the weekend, plus one for a companion. I will let you all know the details of parking and how to get the tickets when I get those details. Most likely it will work like last year. Our names were on a list last year and you needed to bring ID’s. When you showed your ID you got your ticket. When I get info, I will share it.

Remember the purpose of this access is for Council Members to assess and see first-hand the Vibes to determine whether this is something we want to do on a going forward basis. Thanks. Tom Mc.

Yes, that’s what I love, advance work for future shows! If you’re a Bridgeport resident here’s the deal you get, according to Vibes website:

Bridgeport Resident Tickets

To simplify this year we will only sell Bridgeport Resident Tickets at the gate. All you need to do is go to the Bluefish lots on Lafayette where shuttles will take you to the box office. Present your Bridgeport photo ID and you will be able to purchase the same $75 resident ticket we have offered in the past allowing access to the Vibes on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10am until 1 hour after the main stage music ends. We know that the advance purchase process was a hassle for some of you last year. Hopefully this will make your Vibes experience easier.

Glassman, Take My Blues Away

Mary Glassman

Mary Messina Glassman, Democratic first selectman of Simsbury, is Ned Lamont’s lieutenant governor running mate. Four years ago she was Dan Malloy’s running mate. Malloy lost the guber primary to New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, but Mary won and was thrown together with DeStefano who was croaked by Republican Jodi Rell. LG candidates run on their own line in primaries. Mary is smart, a good public speaker, and she thought public financing was wonderful when she was a candidate for governor. She’s not so crazy about it now as running mate to Ned who’s relying on his personal fortune to become governor. The rhetoric between the Malloy and Lamont camps has gotten more than a little testy. Charges, counter charges, my dog’s better than your dog, yadda, yadda.

Glassman statement:

“Running with Dan four years ago, I watched him tear our party apart with dirty, divisive attacks on good Democrats. He photo-shopped his opponent into a dress, but his negative attacks backfired, costing him the nomination. I had hoped that Dan learned his lesson in 2006 but his latest run of television ads shows otherwise. These attacks on Ned Lamont are blatantly false and should be out of bounds for any Democrat who cares about the future of our party and our state.

“I hope he will come to his senses and take the ads down, and if he doesn’t, I hope his running mate Nancy Wyman will join me in condemning these despicable tactics.”

Well gee Mary, if it bothered you so much four years ago why didn’t you say something?

From Mayor Finch:

Road Closures, Mutual Aid, Information for Visiting Firefighters

Following is information on road closures, mutual aid for Bridgeport Fire Department and information for visiting firefighters for the funeral services for Lt. Steven Velasquez and Firefighter Michel Baik on Friday, July 30.

Road Closures —

Following roads will be closed from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Friday, July 30.

• Washington Avenue from Coleman to James will be closed to all traffic during this time period.

Access to the following streets from 8 a.m. to 12 noon will be for local residents only:

• Washington Avenue from Park Avenue to James Street
• Washington Terrace to Washington Avenue
• West Avenue from Fairfield Avenue to Washington Avenue
• Coleman Street from Vine Street to Washington Avenue
• Calhoun Place from Vine Street to Washington Avenue
• Pequonnock Street from Vine Street to Washington Avenue
• Milne Street from Harral Avenue to Washington Avenue

The following roads will be closed from 1 to 4 p.m.:

• Park Avenue from Eckart Street north to the Merritt Parkway
• Old Town Road from Park Avenue to Madison Avenue
• Jefferson Street from the Merritt Parkway to Park Avenue – the Merritt Parkway entrance and exit will be open at this location
• Park Avenue exit off the Merritt Parkway will be closed in both directions. Traffic will only be able to enter the parkway at this location.

Mutual Aid

All Bridgeport firefighters will be considered off-duty on Friday, July 30 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The following cities and towns will provide mutual aid to cover all Bridgeport stations:

Stamford, Fairfield, Norwalk, West Haven, Milford, Westport, Stratford, Waterbury, New Haven and Danbury. Fairfield will receive mutual aid from Greenwich, Norwalk and Wilton, while they are covering Bridgeport.

Information for visiting firefighters Friday, July 30

• Satellite parking lots on Stratford Avenue and Pembroke Street (known as Steelpointe) will open at 7 a.m. Friday, July 30.
• Shuttle buses will take visitors to St. Augustine’s Cathedral where Lt. Velasquez’ funeral will begin at 10 a.m.
• Shuttle buses also will be available from the Bridgeport train station to St. Augustine’s beginning at 7 a.m.
• Use of Metro-North or Amtrak is encouraged
• The Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry also is available for firefighters coming from Long Island; shuttle buses to the church can be accessed at the train station a block away
• The train station, bus station and ferry terminal are all within one block of each other
• The Cathedral is a short walk away from all transit options
• Uniformed fire department members also will be available at all transit and parking areas to give directions
• At the end of the Velasquez funeral, shuttle buses will take visiting firefighters to the Sacred Heart University parking lot on Park Avenue, where the American Red Cross will provide light lunch and refreshments.
• Firefighter Michel Baik’s funeral will be held at 2 p.m. at St. Nicholas Antiochan Orthodox Church, 5458 Park Avenue (a short walk away from the Sacred Heart University parking lot).
• At the end of the Baik funeral, shuttle buses will take visiting firefighters back to the Arena at Harbor Yard where the collation for firefighters will be held.
• Shuttle buses will be available from the Arena to the train station and Steelpointe during the late afternoon to bring firefighters to their cars or back to the train/ferry.

From Joan Carty, President and CEO, Housing Development Fund:

THE Housing Development Fund PRESENTS

A Foreclosure Intervention & Prevention Opportunity FOR Distressed Homeowners

This is an opportunity to meet with your mortgage lender/servicer and modify your loan if eligible. Walk-ins welcome – no appointments necessary.

Date: Friday, August 6th Time 10 am — 3 pm
Location: City Hall Annex 999 Broad Street Bridgeport, CT 06604

You must bring the following documents:

• copy of mortgage and note
• two months of bank statements
• copy of your latest mortgage statement
• one month of current paystubs for all employment
• past two years of complete tax returns
• W-2 for past two years
• verification of any other source of income
• copies of correspondence from your mortgage company

Lenders/Servicers Attending: Bank of America & Countrywide; One West & IndyMac; Chase& WAMU & EMC; Ocwen; GMAC ResCap; Citi



  1. I like both Wyman and Glassman. But come primary day I will vote for Glassman. Wonder if Mojo will vote Glassman because he always was talking about her and Malloy.

  2. Joel’s comments late last night need to come forward. He finally raised the seemingly no-show status of the two Puerto Rican district leaders.

    If there is a battle of Ayala versus Ayala, I bet two cents on the district leader over the state representative. The reps are too busy in Hartford playing games, video and otherwise.

    Robles likes to walk softly and carry a vote. Usually a sign of a good (well, at least an interesting) district leader.

    And Joel, do you really think Lamont’s mother’s connection to the island means anything?

    1. Callahan it’s almost impossible to get out the Hispanic vote in primaries. The ability to speak English, one or several foreign languages is a plus. Mary Bruce learned that when I defeated her. I even had an advantage as there were enough Hispanics in the Town Committee to get the endorsement. Chris Dodd speaks Spanish fluently and so does Himes. Having lived in another country also helps, especially if there are lots of voters from that country in the state.

      It’s going to be hard to get voters out regardless of their race: If it rains; If it’s hot; If the voter has financial worries; If the voter is the kinds of person who goes straight to work and back home; If the voter is not a “PRIME VOTER,” most likely they won’t come out.

      Even the angry unemployed can be expected to sit out on this primary. Volunteers? Good luck finding them. The candidates with the most money can afford to hire hundreds of workers the last week of the election and prepare them for a massive GOTV operation.

  3. Why shouldn’t council members get free Vibes tickets? I understand they used to get (and may still get) Bluefish tix.

    Ah, “What’s in your wallet?” It’s the new slogan for Bridgeport!!!

    1. Ah, the good old days.
      When the Bluefish first swam into town, council members did get certain tickets and uses. General Admin tickets for a couple of games and the use of the city box for which we had to pay to help defer the cost of wear and tear. Don’t recall the exact amount. May have been $100 a game.
      As administrations came and went the use of these amenities became fewer and fewer.
      I know there were no offers to council members from the Finch administration. If you beg you might get the use of the box but we all know Bridgeport Bluefish are as attractive as Gulf Coast shrimp nowadays.

  4. “Just because a cat has kittens in the oven it don’t make them biscuits.” YOU are not where you’re born, but the blood you are born in.

    1. In order to get a full understanding of Ned’s lineage we would have to know his mother’s nationality, she may have been born in P.R. to German (example) parents thus making him of German descent.

  5. Thanks to Bob Walsh for clarifying the Bluefish ticket opportunities available to elected officials.

    It’s always good to know our leadership is at the ready to test out (for free, not for a fee) city-funded facilities.

    I mean, they have to protect us from those errant foul balls!

    I can hear the umps now … “What’s in your wallet?”

  6. Well John,
    Former Mayor Joe Ganim oversaw writing the contract that included the city box. After we saw what happened to Joe, that should have been enough for people to question the practice.
    After accepting the privilege the first year or two, my subsequent council partner, Elaine Pivirotto, and I would simply turn over the box to Bridgeport based Not-For-Profits to be used either for fund raising or to reward their staffs or clients.
    What’s in my wallet? I can tell you there isn’t $9,000 in council stipend money for sure.

  7. Free tickets for the VIBES for council members (and others?) is just another example of the sense of entitlement many of our elected officials and others in positions of power have for themselves. (Friend of Angelo?) I have no problem with folks getting something for the time and effort they put into unpaid positions, but to too many it has become an expected right.

  8. Bob –

    Your credentials in this area don’t come under question by me.

    However, you will agree there are those in the municipal employ who have perfect pitch when it comes to singing the “What’s in your wallet?” theme.

    Sadly, there are too many cases in town when someone does a doe-ray-me tune up of “Take me out to the ballgame,” they ain’t singing a baseball tune.

  9. To me it is a very clear conflict of interest for city council to get these tix (and a companion to boot). Can the city council members take gifts from vendors? The Vibes is nothing more than a giant, pot smoking, Hula hooping vendor. I’ve worked in health care for many years and nurses can’t take so much as a fruit basket from vendors. How is it OK here? If they want to see the event they should pack into a van and take a tour through the park or buy a ticket and party down like the rest of the taxpayers in Bridgeport.
    I don’t see how the free VIP tickets could not influence decision-making on the part of the city council.

    1. Sorry to respond to this so late in the discussion!
      Do the math … 20 Council members and 20 guests x $420 VIP passes = $16,800. Now do the legal … A City Attorney reviewed contract calls for Council persons (who are supposed to act like public servants) to receive a financial benefit of this size on something they have to vote upon.
      Ethics review in order! Although our standard for ethical or conflict of interest free behavior is very low in this City relative to other communities, it has got to be higher than this.
      By the way if the Council needs to review the Vibe scene, why isn’t it done the way everything else is, by Committee. What Committee would get the nod do you think? What keeps Tom McCarthy grinning about stuff like this?

  10. Oops. My bad on the district leader name, Hector.

    The power politics point remains: where are the Puerto Rican Democratic leaders and their committee members lining up in this primary? There are two districts controlled (a relative term, I know) by this ethnic group. There are members elsewhere. Does the political leadership group have a bloc opinion, or are they split?

    OIB has trolled around town for line-ups but the East Side (murky as usual) and the South End are noticeably absent. Are they players or sitting out?

    I’m curious about just what Puerto Rican “heritage” is claimed by Lamont. Much along the lines as the question posed by Hector. Nicely put.

  11. I had a VIP pass last year to the Vibes and it was nice to have to take a break from crowds. I think it’s okay for City Council to have this. Need to choose your battles. What about requiring stipend to be spent in downtown Bridgeport to set an example?

  12. The council getting free VIP passes is wrong pure & simple. According to the resident free loader oops I mean council president they want to view the vibes and see if they want to do this again next year??? If I am not mistaken isn’t this up to the park department?
    It’s good to know the council is looking at this drug fest and making sure we get it again. Good Job.

    1. Do all the council members even live in BPT? Someone should look into that … You know WHO YOU ARE!!! Stop taking freebies!!! Kudos to Bob Walsh!!!

  13. Hell no, Council members shouldn’t be getting free tickets. If they were state officials gifts like that would be illegal. They should also be illegal in Bridgeport.

  14. *** Maybe just certain areas but I’ve noticed many Lamont signs on city property; yet the Malloy signs continue to be pulled from same? What’s up with that, Doc? *** It’s going to get ugly, quick! ***

  15. According to Tom McCarthy the council is taking the free tickets so they can check the Vibes out and make sure it’s a proper venue for the city. Well let me ask this question. Let’s assume the city is hiring an outside paving contractor to pave several city streets. Would it be all right for several council people to have their driveways paved for free so they can see the quality of work performed by this contractor? I think not!!!

  16. Jim Callahan, you asked, “The power politics point remains: where are the Puerto Rican Democratic leaders and their committee members lining up in this primary? There are two districts controlled (a relative term, I know) by this ethnic group. There are members elsewhere. Does the political leadership group have a bloc opinion, or are they split?” Well, while you are on the subject what about the two black district leaders, Warren Blunt and Ralph Ford?


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