Brown Bag With Bill, Plus: March With Jimmy, And Demagogue Hatchet Man

Hey, want to have lunch with Mayor Bill Finch? You have an open invitation starting June 2. He’s looking for ideas, suggestions, thoughts, brainstorms. Here’s a little secret. If you wanna bring along some food love for hizzoner that will make his tummy roar with joy he loves anchovy and sardines. Heck, he may even eat them straight out of the can, or the brown bag if you’re brave enough to carry anchovy and sardines in a bag.

If you could brown-bag it with Bill what would you recommend? What would you ask? The mayor’s first lunch gig marks his first 30 months in office, a good time to take inventory.

From the mayor:

Public Invited to “Brown-Bag Lunch” with Mayor Finch

Opportunity to Share Ideas, Concerns, Questions About Park City During Weekly Brown-Bag Lunches

BRIDGEPORT, CT (May 27, 2010) – Mayor Bill Finch invites the public to join him in a weekly “brown-bag” lunch to hear their ideas, concerns or questions regarding the City of Bridgeport.

“Everyone is invited to stop by, share an idea or a concern, and talk over lunch,” said Mayor Finch. “Some of the best ideas come from informal discussion over the lunch table, and I’m open to all suggestions.”

‘Bill’s Brown-Bag Lunch’ will be held on Wednesdays from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., in conference room C, City Hall Annex, 999 Broad St., Bridgeport CT, 06604. The meeting is open to the public; attendees should bring their lunch.

WHAT: Bill’s Brown-Bag Lunch

WHERE: Conference Room C, 999 Broad St., Bridgeport CT 06604

WHEN: Wednesday, June 2 at 12:30 p.m., and same time and place on Wednesdays thereafter

Jimmy’s Gonna Be Tired

Himes to March in Memorial Day Parades

Bridgeport, Connecticut – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) will participate in the following Memorial Day Parades to honor those who have served in the military.

WHO: Congressman Jim Himes

WHAT: Memorial Day Parades

Redding Memorial Day Parade

WHEN: Saturday, May 29 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm

START: Redding Elementary School, 33 Lonetown Road, Redding

END: Georgetown Fire House, 6 Portland Avenue, Georgetown

Fairfield Memorial Day Parade

WHEN: Sunday, May 30 from 9:45am to 11:00am

START: South Pine Creek and Post Road, Fairfield

END: Fairfield Town Hall, 725 Old Post Road, Fairfield

Stamford Memorial Day Parade

WHEN: Sunday, May 30 from 11:45am to 1:30pm

START: Bull’s Head, 3001 Summer Street, Stamford

END: Veterans Park, 133 Atlantic Street, Stamford

Norwalk Memorial Day Parade

WHEN: Monday, May 31 from 10:00am to 11:15 am

START: Veterans Park 42, Seaview Avenue, Norwalk

END: Norwalk Town Green

Bridgeport Memorial Day Parade

WHEN: Monday, May 31 from 12:00pm to 1:15pm

START: 877 Park Avenue, Bridgeport

END: Seaside Park, 1 Barnum Dyke, Bridgeport

Trumbull Memorial Day Parade

WHEN: Monday, May 31 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm

START: Marissa’s Restaurant, 6540 Main Street, Trumbull

END: Trumbull Town Hall, 5866 Main Street, Trumbull

Hatchet Man

Orrin Hatch, the peculiar U.S. Senator from Utah, has proposed yet another cretinous piece of legislation, this time aimed at Dick Blumenthal’s (although he doesn’t say specifically) war service gaffe. If you exaggerate your service you get pinched. Hatch should be pinched for exaggerating an exaggeration. Better yet, maybe he should be pinched for masquerading as a U.S. Senator. Get a load (yes it’s a big load) of this, a demagogue in action:


WASHINGTON – People who falsely claim to have served in combat in the U.S. Armed Forces could wind up in jail and pay a stiff fine, under an amendment introduced today by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

If passed by Congress, the Hatch amendment to the Defense Supplemental Bill (H.R. 4899) would make false statements regarding participation in U.S. combat operations a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine.

In his remarks entered today in the Congressional Record, Hatch said people who lie about their military service often do so for personal benefit – “to obtain honorariums, employment and elected office,” among other things.

“It is sad that there are those who attempt to inflate their record and make these claims,” Hatch said. “To do that defiles the sacrifice and service of those who have served in combat. Worse yet, it dishonors the sacrifice of the brave men and women in uniform who have given their lives in combat so that the freedoms we enjoy are defended.”

The Stolen Valor Act President Bush signed into law in 2005 made it a federal crime for anyone to falsely wear military decorations and medals authorized by Congress and the Armed Forces. Hatch’s amendment extends this to those who make false claims about serving in combat.

“It is a crime to dishonor the sacrifice of so many by falsely representing combat service for the purposes of self-promotion or benefit,” Hatch concluded. “My amendment would deter those who would falsely prop themselves up in order to appear worthy of the award and title of ‘combat veteran.’ “

From Mayor Finch

Transfer Station to Close on Memorial Day, May 31, 2010; Recycling and sanitation pickups will occur as scheduled on Memorial Day.

WHAT: The City of Bridgeport’s Transfer Station located at 475 Asylum St., will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 2010. The Transfer Station will reopen for normal operating hours – 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – on Tuesday, June 1.

Reminder: The Transfer Station will be open on Saturday, May 29 from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Recycling and sanitation pickups will occur as scheduled on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31.

WHERE: Transfer Station, 475 Asylum St., Bridgeport, CT

WHEN: Closed: Monday, May 31, 2010

Dino At Discovery

Dinosaur Revolution

“Dinosaur Revolution” Exhibit Opens at The Discovery Museum on May 28, 2010

Dinosaurs are taking over the main galleries of The Discovery Museum and Planetarium on Friday, May 28 and will call them home until Tuesday, September 8. They are part of an exciting new exhibit called Dinosaur Revolution. The exhibit includes fossils, informational displays, and interactive activities. Visitors will have the chance to play at being paleontologist and travel back in time to gather evidence and debunk popular myths about dinosaurs. They’ll learn why they are one of the most successful survivors in earth’s history. Created by Minotaur Mazes, “Dinosaur Revolution” blends learning and play, inviting visitors to investigate all things dinosaur … ultimately unearthing a shocking discovery: dinosaurs may not be extinct!

Dinosaur Revolution gives guests the chance to LIVE LARGE in reptilian role-play activities, mimicking dinosaur behavior in three “Mesozoic Missions” that span 150 million years. They can “Climb Through Time” on a wall of mysteries; “Make Tracks in the Triassic” to experience what it is like to crush the earth with gigantic feet; and a Glide through the Jurassic, as they learn to fly! The exhibit also includes thirteen interactive stations to spark the interest of visitors. Driven by questions and answers, Dinosaur Revolution challenges visitor knowledge, presents cutting-edge discoveries, and debunks popular myths.

The Discovery Museum was founded in 1958 and opened to the public in 1962. It is southern Connecticut’s preeminent non-profit educational resource for science and space education. It is located at 4450 Park Avenue , Bridgeport, CT, one mile south of Merritt Parkway Exit 47, directly across from the Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course. Daily admission to the Discovery Museum is $8.50 for adults and $7 for children over 5, seniors and students with I.D.’s. A variety of membership levels are available. Memberships include participation in the Association of Science-Technology Centers’ popular passport program. The ASTC passport program provides free general admission to more than 290 participating museums and science centers in over a dozen countries with the caveat that the passport applies only to centers outside a 90-mile radius of the museum of membership.

Regular museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The museum is open on Mondays throughout July and August. It will be closed on July 4. For more information call (203) 372-3521 or visit

Zoo For You

Wild Wine, Beer, and Food Safari to Benefit Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Animal lovers, wine and food connoisseurs from near and far will gather under the stars for the annual “Wild Wine, Beer and Food Safari,” benefiting Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, on Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 5:30 P.M.

“We invite the public to come out, enjoy the Zoo on a beautiful spring night and sample the best wine, beer and culinary delights the region has to offer,” said Gregg Dancho, Zoo director.

The Wine Emporium, of Shelton, Conn., returns this year to coordinate the evening’s featured wine selections. This expedition of taste will feature fabulous food from local restaurants and caterers and wine and beer from around the world and close to home. The evening includes live entertainment and a fabulous silent auction.

Tickets for Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Wild Wine, Beer and Food Safari fundraiser are $45 per person, with groups of four or more at $40 each. If purchased at the door, tickets are $50 per person. Enjoy a VIP experience that includes a behind-the-scenes tour with Gregg Dancho, the Zoo director, at 4:00 P.M. for $100 per person. VIP tickets must be purchased in advanced. For tickets, sponsorship opportunities or to donate an auction item, contact Whitney Fairbrother at Tickets may be purchased online at The Wild Wine, Beer, and Food Safari takes place at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, Conn. and will be held rain or shine.



  1. Here’s an oldie but goodie … when Ed Koch was running around NYC as mayor asking people “How am I doin'” he’d have lunch/dinner in a variety of little restaurants all over the city.

    Sure, the powerbrokers who patronized the 4-5 star elite hangouts always got to speak to him. But having lunch in a noodle shop in Chinatown, a quick dinner over pasta in some red wine joint in Little Italy, Cuban sandwich shops in midtown, diners in the Bronx and pizza joints in Brooklyn and Queens put him into the lives of everyday people and supported (even if only symbolically) their businesses and the businesses of the city.

    America wants their leaders out from behind the big desk looking at the problems first hand. Isn’t that what the people along the Gulf Coast are screaming about to the Prez?

    Just a thought. I can’t make his lunch offer. I’m a working stiff.

  2. While having lunch with the mayor is a good PR move who the hell has time to do that? Who can take off from their day job to have lunch with the mayor? What does it accomplish?
    My suggestion to the mayor and his blinder-wearing advisers is the following:
    1. Take the time spent having lunch at the big table in the office and ride around the city.
    2. Look how this city has turned into a trash dump.
    3. Look at the empty houses that are for sale and whose lawns are 3 ft high.
    4. Look at the properties with abandoned cars parked on the street and in the overgrown lots.
    5. Take a ride around and look at all the trash at the curbs.
    6. Look at the gateways into the city and the first thing you see is the garbage.
    7. Look at the broken, pothole-filled streets that are becoming a large part of the infrastructure.
    I can’t remember when this city was this dirty and garbage-strewn.
    Get the public facilities director, the inspectors from different departments, put them on a bus and do this tour. Take these people to task for letting this happen. Kick some ass and demand results. No results NO JOB. Mayor the no-job part is easy, you put these people where they are and you can take them out just as easy. We all know you have fired people for a lot less reason than not doing their jobs.
    I for one am sick and tired of excuses and hand-wringing. Having lunch with the mayor is a waste of time and effort and will not accomplish a damned thing.

      1. Sorry Lennie but watching something I Love (Bridgeport) regress into the dump it used to be gets my blood boiling. This is a simple group of problems with really easy solutions. BTW Lennie if we did have a food fight who would clean it up?

    1. I think DPW and public facilities do a good job trying to keep up keeping streets clean. The trash flow onto the streets on the East Side is relentless. The question is why do people so easily throw trash out the windows of their car or dump truckloads of debris on quiet streets when no one is looking? You have to question the mentality of the people who do this stuff. Everyone is doing it and no one is saying anything.

  3. OK, forget the food fight, it’s Memorial Day weekend … what is everyone’s favorite Bpt food?

    I have two, one now only in history …

    1 – a good wet roast beef sandwich … the old Pajura’s in downtown raised it to new culinary heights, but working guys always got a good one in the West End bars … Nicky’s or Nagy’s.

    2 – Fish with Special Sauce …. mmm good … best from Sagre’s, the former Portuguese Restaurant on Knowlton Street, the place that had a fierce German shepherd chained on the roof.

    Hey, Tom Kelly!!! Wake up and chime in! You’re a man who appreciates a good Bpt meal.

    Lennie, none of this hoi-poli stuff you go for … it has to be something consumable with a beer … BTW – that’s what the city needs, a good micro-brewery…

    Too bad Bridgeport Beer – yes, it exists – is made in OREGON!)

    Happy Memorial Day

    1. Chili dog with slow-cooked slab bacon from Johnson’s at Main & Henry. Chicken parmigiana calzone from Pizza Time. Burger with LT from Conte’s. Fish & chips with pistachio pudding cake from the Blue Tea Pot.

    2. Chicken paprikash at the Kossuth club (always good with a Rheingold draft).

      Ham and eggs (sunny side up) at White’s diner (always good after you have too many beers).

      Tuna sandwich at the YM restaurant … always good with a strawberry milkshake (and I bet no one remembers that place).

      Glazed doughnuts from Ann’s bakery … jelly also (I know they don’t go with beer but I loved them anyway).

  4. Mike McGinn, the mayor of Seattle, asked the people of Seattle for ideas or suggestions of what the City needs. The number-three request was for a Nude Beach. The number-one request was to expand the rail system with the legalization of marijuana as the second most-requested or suggestion.
    I sent McGinn an e-mail and suggested he expand the rail system all the way to the nude beach where people can smoke pot in the nude.

  5. tc, I work second shift, maybe I’ll have a nosh with Bill. I agree with you, this city is an absolute trash pit. I have to clean debris left by customers of the “Originated in Bridgeport” sandwich shop nearby. The lazy-ass owner of said same shop never polices the immediate area around his shop and lets the trash tumble down to my property. Johnson’s dogs were the best. Anyone attend the planning session at Golden Hill Church yesterday? Would be curious about the participants.

  6. Brown-bag lunch with the city’s CEO … Has a familiar ring to it. Let’s see now, who could it be … Dianne Farrel. Adam Wood is digging deep into his bag of tricks to pull this one out. But here is a lesson to be learned. What worked in Westport doesn’t work in Bridgeport.

  7. 19th. Look, everything was cheap or should I say inexpensive and Lucky Strikes came in a Green Pack with the Red Circle. Lennie you are right I am freaking Old.

  8. Loose cigarettes were 2 cents. Milk came in a glass bottle with a 5-cent deposit. Your parents sent you down to the neighborhood bar with a container for beer. Butter came in big tubs and would be scooped by the butcher in the amount you wanted. My grandmother made beer in the bathtub. I had a 4-party line for a telephone.
    The rag man came around with a horse and buggy as did the knife sharpener.
    We had the first TV a 10-inch set. My dad bought a color wheel for the TV so we had color TV; of course the grass was blue or red and the sky was green. We also had a magnifier that hooked to the TV to make the screen bigger and there were only 3 programs to watch. You know what the old days sucked but we did not know it then.

  9. A cheeseburger (mayo, ketchup) and a chocolate malt from Valley Farms on Boston Ave. From the sixties to now same taste and service, both good.

    1. TC I enjoy your comments; you are so right about this city it’s a dump. People no longer take pride in this city. It’s a shame how we (the residents of this city) have allowed this to happen. Maybe you should run for mayor.
      And as for the lunch with the Mayor, he will do what he wants, he doesn’t care what the people have to say. In one ear out the other.

  10. Sometimes this blog is dominated by DoomFreaks who badmouth and complain about Bridgeport. To whom I say: have a nice weekend unless you’ve made other plans.

    I didn’t move here because I thought the prospects were poor and I’m glad to report my hunch was correct.

    Bridgeport has a truckload of problems none of which will be solved by bloggers who simply reminisce about past holiday foods.

    What those writers do is remind me of the enormous upside staring me in the face. What I see is what you’re missing!

      1. tc, you are in stark violation of OIB’s new user policy–which has been published but unexplained–but don’t worry, my skin’s too thick to be hurt by your weak insults.

        IS IT TRUE tc is a closet propellerhead?

        see for yourself –> <–

        Local Eyes never stops. Holidays are no exception. www <– just what Bridgeport needs. When you clean up the brownfields you start a positive chain of events that results in increased development.

  11. Cappy’s on Middle Street. The Garden Grill for a wet one. Paul’s for a pie. Sam and Vera’s for a tunaburger. Gold’s and Gerstl’s for some deli. Downtown could use a good greasy spoon. Pat, was YM across from the Y? Maloney’s after a Sunday at Seaside, for an Open Roast Beef dinner, and the Blue Tea Pot for Friday Fish and Chips.

  12. BEACON2 posted an earlier message regarding the PZC petition to convert a beautiful single-family historic building in the West End/West Side Stratfield Historic District into a transitional residence for 17 unrelated female Vets and their small children. The PZC meeting was packed with Veterans from all over the state pleading with the PZC to approve the petition. It was truly an emotional experience. The neighborhood revitalization zone members stuck it out while over 50 speakers spoke in favor so the female vets have a place to transition. The NRZ members spoke about the future of their historic neighborhood and the potential threat if this petition was approved. The goal of serving female Vets as they transition back from fighting for our Country is more than noble, it is critical. However there is a huge zoning precedence at stake with this petition.

    The new zoning regulations, as well as the building and housing code regulations do not permit 17 unrelated individuals to reside in a single-family home. The petition is asking the PZC to grant the use under the adaptive reuse section of the new zoning regs. That section does not and should not apply to single-family R-A zones. That reg applies to the hulky industrial buildings that are historic but totally inappropriate for the industrial uses of this new century. These big buildings need to be adapted to the marketplace. Bridgeport has several historic residential districts. If this petition is approved it will set a precedence that is not in accordance with the goals of the Master Plan … to protect the character of Bridgeport’s residential neighborhoods.

    Although it breaks my heart that this petition has gotten this far and has pitted female Veterans against historic single-family neighborhoods; the emotional good of the petitioner does not outweigh the rule of law. The PZC needs to abide by the zoning, housing code and building regulations. The potential negative precedence is huge. It has taken Bridgeport five years to fix Bridgeport’s land-use system. Now, the human element, Bridgeport’s voluntary land-use board members, must be strong and stay the course.

  13. I agree with Nancy Hadley. While a place for female veterans may be needed it needs to go somewhere else. Bridgeport has 47% of its grand list rated as non-profit and whatever designation that allows groups not to pay taxes. We homeowners are getting buried having to support all of these non-profits.
    Fairfield just closed a military housing area why not go there? The reason is simple: Fairfield won’t allow it.
    It’s time for the suburbs to step up and assume their responsibility for social problems.

  14. With the BOE having to find new quarters one has to wonder how a Mr. Henry from the BOE administration decided it would be a great idea to move the BOE central office to the old Bodine building on Mountain Grove St. The thing here and I do believe the Feds should look into this as there was no RFP put out for a new headquarters for the BOE. Why is that? Who owns the Bodine building and why was a top aide to the mayor very upset with the elected BOE members when Crossin brought this up and the elected members refused to okay this lease or purchase?
    I would be willing to bet Mr. Henry lives out of town and could give a shit about staying downtown in the central part of the city.
    There is a ton of qualified office space downtown, why move as close to Fairfield as possible? What were Mr. Henry’s motives?
    There is something rotten here time for someone to look into it.

  15. TC … a lot stinks in the BOE lately … dirty deals and job changes and TOTALLY unqualified people in high positions. The Mayor should be embarrassed this is going on in his city. Henry is getting bad advice or just doesn’t care. I also have heard there is a major furniture deal in place to furnish the Bodine building while pink slips went out last week and new supervisors are being hired …

    Sad … I remember when Mike Bisciglia ran the BOE and it was run RIGHT.

  16. Bpts Finest: You can bet if there were a major furniture deal in the works there was no RFP. If they did not put out an RFP for the building then there is none for the furniture. Time for an investigation; these creeps are out of control.

  17. TC,
    I was at the BOE meeting last Monday night. The BOE is putting an RFP on the street for their office and vehicle/maintenance needs. They did not approve the staff recommendation to go to the former Bodine building … yet. The property owners in the downtown are on notice that an RFP is going to be issued very soon and they are working through various scenarios. Yes there is lots of vacant office space downtown. Yes the downtown property owners need to respond. Yes the lease of public office space, City, BOE, State and Federal can be the financial strength for the banks to lend money to complete the tenant improvements.

    If you look at how the construction of the World Trade Center was financed it is a perfect example. The state office leases provided the comfort for the banks to lend to build the buildings. Then ten years later, the state workers were moved out as the market improved and private companies leased space in the first tower, and then the second tower. When the towers fell, they were over 90% occupied by private companies. I know personally because when I worked for Governor Cuomo, I was stationed half-time on the 60th floor of WTC I and the other half in the Corning Tower in Albany. About 6 years in, we were ordered to move our offices up to Fordham Road next to the high school with the highest crime rate, across from Fordham University. The state workers were the ‘urban pioneers’ who ate in the restaurants and bought stuff in the shops on Fordham Road until the market caught up. Now that building is entirely occupied with private companies. The City should be consolidating all of the city and BOE office workers downtown in private buildings for a lease period of 10 years or so until the private market catches up. That is how we get more foot traffic downtown and grow the tax base.

    Maybe in the end the former Bodine building deal will pencil out as the cheapest alternative. However, there is more at stake in this transaction. I am glad the BOE put the lease on the street. Let’s see what happens. Personally, I believe this is an economic development issue that must consider the tight budgetary constraints of the BOE and City.

  18. You’re showing your age. I hope everyone has a Red, White and Blue Memorial Day weekend. Please don’t forget why we celebrate this holiday.

  19. Nancy: I did a little checking and found the present owner Mountain Grove LLC purchased the old Bodine Bldg for 1.5 Million.
    This building covers 101,884 SQFT. At the present time 100 administrators and staff use 36,500 SQFT so they are looking to triple their square footage at a time when school enrollment is down and there should be less administrative staff.
    It is estimated a lease would cost the BOE $673,000 per year for 10 years for a total of $6.730,000.
    Right now the BOE pays $431,000 per year thus an increase of $242,000 per year or $2,420,000 over 10 years.
    The second floor would house the offices and then they say the first floor would be used to house other BOE entities.
    One thing not settled was who would do the remodeling and updating of this facility. That’s an easy one my money is on the BOE paying for it as they could not negotiate their way out of a paper bag.
    This is amazing, we taxpayers are being killed by taxes and these people are spending like crazy of course it’s not their money and most of them don’t pay taxes here.

  20. Town:

    You should direct your questions to A Jorge Garcia of the maintenance department.
    I have been told he negotiated the Bodine lease and this is the same gentleman who ordered the Air Cond at my building to be turned off in order to save $2000 a day in electricity, but when the complaints poured in due to the intense classroom heat he said they were waiting for parts.

  21. Watch carefully boys and girls. The reason the BOE facility is going out to bid is because certain forces want to steer the project to … UNCLE SAL DINARDO!!!
    Remember you saw it first here. When all of a sudden the property in the South End Uncle Sal owns comes into play you will understand why all of a sudden it has to go out to bid. Sal is still mad this didn’t happen sooner so the fix is in. Or so he thinks.

  22. Maybe I would ask Mayor Bill what is sup with this?

    BRIDGEPORT — The Norwalk-based real estate investment firm renovating the former Mechanics & Farmers Savings Bank building on Main Street is threatened with foreclosure on a residential property it owns on Wells Street.

    JP Morgan Chase issued a lis pendens, or notice of foreclosure, to Forstone Capital in late April because of its failure to stay current with payments on the $1.6 million mortgage for the Patrick Wells Condominiums at 335 Wells St. Forstone purchased the property for $2.3 million in October 2007.

    And his economic development head says Donald Eversley that he is not concerned about Forstone’s ability to follow through on its plans for the downtown buildings.

    “Based on the facts I know I’m not concerned,” he said. “It should not affect the future of M&F or Lafayette Square. We have confidence they are a well-managed group and we are expecting great things.”

    Seems to me where there is smoke there is fire.

  23. The mayor should have Forstone in his office reading them the riot act. This should be viewed as either an embarrassment or a potential disaster.
    The city should be going over the M & F deal to make sure there are not any misstatements or falsehoods in any of their responses. The city should be reviewing the tax situation of any properties in which Forstone has an interest.
    If a few years down the road we are reading about problems with the M & F Building we have no one to blame but the city.


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