Kuchma’s Bijou Back On Track, Plus: OIB Party, Malloy’s Moolah And Mary Joins The Millionaire

Bijou Square
Phil Kuchma's Bijou Square project back in gear

It was a long wait to pick up where he left off and a test of his patience, but Bijou Square developer Phil Kuchma closed on his construction loan Friday afternoon.

If you haven’t seen what Kuchma has done on Fairfield Avenue downtown check it out–building renovations, restaurants such as Épernay and Café Roma–and now this means construction resumes on housing units that stalled when the economy crashed a few years ago, in addition to a liquor store, hair salon and dry cleaning business he projects will occupy the ground-floor retail space.

Thanks to Kuchma, the city has the start of a nice restaurant district downtown, plus new rental units projected for completion this fall to support businesses. Kuchma will have 62 two-bedroom, two-bath units and 22 one-bedroom units. The monthly rental prices range from $912 to $1313 for one-bedroom units to $1369 to $1676 for two bedrooms.

Bridgeport Dems Little People?

Picked this quote from a Ned Lamont guber supporter via our friends at www.newhavenindependent.org. While “Dan’s got the old boy network,” Lamont is getting support from “regular people,” Feen asserted. Oh, you mean like the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee? Weeeeeeeee!

Malloy’s Moolah, news release


Says ‘historic achievement’ will ‘guarantee the resources to compete with anyone’; Again calls on Lamont to ‘agree to spending limits and stop ignoring the will of the people of Connecticut’

May 2, 2010 – Former Stamford Mayor and current Democratic candidate for Governor Dan Malloy today announced that his campaign has raised the sufficient amount of small-dollar contributions to qualify for Connecticut’s Citizens’ Election Fund (CEP). Malloy is the first gubernatorial candidate to ever reach the goal in the program’s short history. As a result, Malloy will have up to $8.5 million to spend in the 23 weeks of the campaign that begin the day after the Democratic Convention, which will be held on May 21 and May 22.

The CEP requires gubernatorial candidates to raise $250,000 in small contributions of $100 or less, in order to demonstrate widespread support and to avoid the influence of wealthy contributors and special interests.

I’m grateful to the more than 4,000 people who helped us reach this historic milestone, and I’m humbled by their support,” said Malloy. “And, I’m grateful to my supporters across the state and everyone who helped with our fundraising efforts. They’ve guaranteed that this campaign will have the resources to compete with anyone and everyone.”

Malloy again called on Ned Lamont to adhere to the spending limits dictated by the new law, but said if Lamont “refuses to abide by a system he once supported, we’ll have more than enough resources to compete.”

“The people of Connecticut overwhelmingly support spending limits in campaigns, and I do too,” said Malloy. “I think Ned should adhere to the spending limits he supported for years. But if he continues to ignore the will of the people, thanks to today’s announcement, we’ll have more than enough money to compete. We’ll have up to $8.5 million to spend in the 23 weeks of the campaign that begin the day after the Convention; $8.875 million if you include the amount my Lieutenant Governor will have to spend. That’s more than twice as much money as any candidate for Governor of any party has ever spent in that time period.”

“This was hard to achieve, and it should have been hard,” continued Malloy. “We’ve demonstrated the organizational strength and the grassroots support we are confident will lead to victory in an August primary and then in a November general election. And when we win, and when we are sworn in next January, the people of this state will know that their government belongs to them – not to someone’s bank account, not to a bunch of special interests. This is exactly what this law was intended to achieve.”

Under the rules of this new system a candidate who qualifies is granted $1.25M for the primary, but if another candidate puts more than that amount of his own money into the race there is a dollar for dollar match for the qualifying candidate, up to $2.5M. In the general election the qualifying candidate is granted $3M, and if that person’s opponent spends more than that amount of his own money, the qualifying candidate gets a dollar for dollar match up to $6M.

“In addition to having the resources to compete, here’s the other thing that’s really significant: I won’t have to spend hours upon hours and days upon days holed up in a little room with a telephone, asking people to give me money,” concluded Malloy. “As someone who’s had to do that in previous campaigns, I cannot overstate how important and liberating that is. I can spend every waking moment talking to voters, making my case for why I think my values and experience make me the right person for the job.”

Malloy has traveled the state in recent months sharing his ideas for moving Connecticut forward. To date, his campaign has been endorsed by 34 Democratic Town Committees, 43 DTC Chairs, scores of elected officials and community leaders, and numerous labor organizations which combined represent tens of thousands of active and retired workers throughout the state. His campaign also has the support of nearly 4,000 individual financial contributors.

Ned’s Response, plus Glassman

Ned Lamont has tapped Simsbury First Selectman Mary Messina Glassman to serve as his running mate. Confused? Well, Mary was Dan Malloy’s guber running mate in 2006, and now is joining Ned who has eschewed public financing while Mary coveted public financing as a guber candidate herself. Confused? Mary said recently it will be a sad day, if guber candidates can’t qualify for public financing, that only millionaires can run for office. Malloy, it appears, will qualify. Well, Mary has joined the millionaire. From Ned:

Lamont and Glassman Form Winning Ticket for Connecticut

Candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor announce new partnership to move our state forward

New Britain, CT – Democrats Ned Lamont and Mary Glassman announced today that they will run for governor and lieutenant governor together on a Democratic ticket.

Lamont, a businessman and the ticket’s gubernatorial candidate, and lieutenant governor candidate Glassman, the First Selectman of Simsbury and a former Democratic staffer in the Connecticut legislature, appeared together at Trinity-on-Main in downtown New Britain and pledged to work together to create jobs, improve education and reform state government.

“I come from the business world, where people are judged by the results they get, not the promises they make. Mary gets results,” said Lamont. “And together Mary and I will work our hearts out to make sure that every child has the same opportunity–a great education and the chance to start a family, start a career, and start a business right here in their home state of Connecticut.”

“I am proud to be here today as Ned Lamont’s running mate because although we come from different parts of our state, with different experiences–we share the same vision,” said Glassman. “We will create a partnership that will bring bold and creative changes to government–with a focus on helping businesses grow and creating jobs, supporting towns and cities in educating the next generation of children and helping everyone achieve their piece of the American dream.”

Lamont and Glassman made their announcement in New Britain, Glassman’s childhood home and the location of Central Connecticut State University, where Lamont serves as a professor.

Over the coming months Lamont and Glassman will make the case for their ticket to the Connecticut voters who will decide the Democratic primary in August and the general election in November.

OIB Party

Kaitlin and Taryn
Hey, we started the OIB party a little early on Sunday celebrating stepdaughter Kaitlin's 21st birthday. Kaitlin's at left holding cake with her sister Taryn. Both of them will be at the party May 11, 5:30 p.m. Bridgeport Holiday Inn Blue Martini bar. Good eats plus first cocktail on OIB. Tell your friends.

Tonight’s City Council Agenda

Mayoral Proclamation: Dr. Bandaru Reddy the Veterinarian for the Bridgeport Animal Shelter for many years of service.

Mayoral Proclamation: Honoring the late Jose Chico Rivera.


Approval of City Council Minutes: April 5, 2010.


67-09 Communication from Labor Relations re Proposed Tentative Agreement with AFSCME, Local 1303-272, City Attorney’s Union, referred to Contract Committee.

72-09 Communication from Human Services re Grant Submission: 2010 Neighborhood Assistance Act, referred to Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee.

73-09 Communication from Mayor re Appointment of Anne Pappas Phillips (D) to the Planning and Zoning Commission, referred to Miscellaneous Matters Committee.

74-09 Communication from Central Grants and Community Development re Section 108 Seaview Plaza Project: Proposed Substantial Amendment to the City’s Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development, referred to Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee.


68-09 Communication from Engineering re Agreement with the State for the Construction, Inspection and Maintenance of Pavement Rehabilitation Improvements on Iranistan Avenue and Capitol Avenue utilizing Federal Funds under The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Public Law 111-5 (hereinafter “Act”): State Project # 15-343; Federal-Aid Project No. 1015(119) FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION.


69-09 Communication from Engineering re Second Supplemental to the Original Agreement with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. for consulting services for the Computerization of Traffic Signals at various locations: State Project No. 15-310, Federal-Aid Project No. STPB-000R(303) FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION.

71-09 Communication from Engineering re Second Supplemental to the Original Agreement with the State for the Development of Contract Plans, Specifications and Estimates for the Traffic Signal Modernization at various locations utilizing Federal Funds under the Urban Component of the Surface Transportation Program: State Project No. 15-310, Federal-Aid Project No. STPB-000R(303) FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION.


70-09 Resolution presented by Council Member Holloway re Proposed amendment to the Municipal Code of Ordinances, Chapter 8.76 Anti-Blight Program, amend Section 8.76.040 Enforcement Subsection A, referred to Ordinance Committee.


*48-09(b) Ordinance Committee Report re Amendment to the Municipal Code of Ordinances amended to add new Chapter 8.77 East Side Neighborhood Revitalization Zone.

*47-09(PHO) Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee Report re Disposition of City Owned Properties (five parcels) to Habitat for Humanity. (Request for Public Hearing)

*48-09(A) Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee Report re East Side Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Plan.

*52-09 Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee Report re Grant Submission: State Department of Public Health and The Connecticut Association of Directors of Health (CADH) for 2009-2010 Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control Contract.

*55-09 Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee Report re Grant Submission: State Department of Health for 2009-2010 Per Capita Grant.

*35-09 Miscellaneous Matters Committee Report re Refund of Excess Payments.


*42-09 Miscellaneous Matters Committee Report re Appointment of Lizette Garay (D) to the Ethics Commission.

*51-09 Miscellaneous Matters Committee Report re State Reimbursement of low and moderate Income Housing Tax.


34-09 Miscellaneous Matters Committee Report re Establishment of a City Council Standing Committee on Steel Point DENIED.

UB Commencement Gossip

Actress Nicole Fiscella, better known as Isabel from the hit television show Gossip Girl, will be the keynote speaker at the University of Bridgeport’s 100th graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 8 at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport.

No stranger to the University, Ms. Fiscella also is a graduate student at the Human Nutrition Institute.

“Nicole is the perfect speaker to address the Class of 2010,” said University President Neil Albert Salonen. “Like many of our students at UB, she is multi-talented, balances a career and college, and already is well on her way to achieving ambitious professional success. We are thrilled to have her.”

More than 1,650 graduates are expected to participate in this year’s Commencement.

Ms. Fiscella joins a long list of well-known graduation speakers at the University of Bridgeport , including civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1961); Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Penn Warren (1965); television host Geraldo Rivera (1975); Life Goes On television star and UB alumnus William Stanley “Bill” Smitrovich ’72 (1992); former Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays (1997), and All-American basketball star Lambert Shell (2009).



  1. Thank God for Phil Kuchma’s dedication to this city … he will continue to transform lower Fairfield Avenue into a truly beautiful part of downtown.

  2. Join Ned’s mobile campaign to be the first to get info on the campaign. Text the word Ned to 83224. I just joined myself and find it to be a neat thing and keeps young people and first-time Obama voters updated with what’s going on. Ned Lamont 2010!!!

  3. One big thing going for Ned is he is very popular in the Black Community and this should help him in Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford where a bulk of the votes are going to be coming from in August.

  4. I had hoped there would have been some commentary here about last week’s appearance in Bpt about the presence of Newark Mayor Corey Booker. He’s taken a broken-down city and started the process to push his hometown down the comeback trail. Not an easy task. His impressions of where Bpt needs to go and how to get there would have been invaluable.

  5. John: I had hoped the same thing. I had hoped there would have been comments here about the potential bomb found in Times Square and how it led to a firm in Stratford and the BPD was also involved. No such luck.
    I had hoped there would have been comments here by some of the bloggers or by someone about how there is a plan to build a new Harding High School that will house 800 kids and not the 1200 who now attend Harding. Powers that be stated they are projecting a drop in the numbers for Harding by the time the school is built. I wonder. Nothing seems to get to the people who read this blog.

  6. Mayors like Booker are few and far between, and you know that John. We’ve talked about this topic in the past with each other, and I concur with you that really smart individuals like Corey Booker, with good people skills, can really turn a situation around if people are ready for leadership.
    Newark has been desperate for it for a long time.
    Booker has “lucked into” a terrible situation. An OK guy would be looked upon favorably. Here you have what appears to be an extraordinary guy willing to make a personal sacrifice to get something done right, without the martyr complex that usually accompanies liberal do-gooders.
    The problem in Bridgeport, it seems to me, is issues stagger between bad and manageable. The political representatives elected are just that: bad and manageable.
    I don’t mind pitching the first ball or two at the pallino, but this topic recalls a very nice conversation we had some time ago about the leadership skills–or lack thereof–of many Bridgeport politicians, and the inability or unwillingness of the community to come up with better.

  7. Cheer up, tc. When I saw the “Bridgeport” connection to the Times Square incident, I inwardly groaned. Then I saw it was actually Stratford.
    Two words came to mind: “F@*&$%g Valley!” Then I thought, yeah, Ansonia. But that would be retard-profiling.
    I should be ashamed of myself. Really.
    So I’m going with Derby.

  8. John,
    I attended the event and I thought the speech was terrific. What he has been able to accomplish by thinking outside the box and searching the country for the best methods is amazing.

    A few interesting things I noted. He never mentioned political parties (His main rival was another Democrat).

    Interestingly, he has financed most of his special projects through the philanthropic community, not the state. I think we could look at that as something to emulate. We need to direct more philanthropists in Fairfield County towards Bridgeport. Obviously, there is a great potential there. I believe the way he was able to attract these philanthropists was by making the Newark government more dynamic. He searched every state and every school system to find the best methods to achieve drastic results. If the method didn’t fit in with the city’s status quo, he didn’t care. His administration was going to pursue and support the best methods, no matter what. I think when people willing to invest in the city saw that, they lined up behind him. We need that kind of dynamic system and spirit in our city government to be able to turn the corner.

  9. *** Mayor Booker could have laid down the “main” components of his mission to revive the city of Newark NJ and no one who can make a difference would be listening here in Bpt. Besides, action speaks louder than words! *** When you have voters who quickly jump on running candidate’s bandwagons simply because of their political party endorsment, their good looks or silver-spoon campaign money spent on empty-promise ads and everything remains the same, then it really doesn’t matter who comes to share good advice! Until the hopeless Republican or Independent Parties, etc. become much stronger with voter support to even the local political scale; nothing of major positive impact will change here in Bpt. *** Example, Glassman a good candidate, not for Gov. but for Lt. Gov. decides to go with Lamont, “why?” She’s been on the same similar campaign trail on ideas & changes with Malloy since last time together but decides to go with “money-man” Lamont! Also, I don’t see where Lamont has been given the favorite’s nod by Blacks or minorities in Conn. yet! *** Besides what’s the hurry, I was in favor of McCain for President after Hillary lost the Dem. nomination, ’til McCain decided to co-sign & pick “air head” Palin! Who I thought was nothing more than a political cheerleader for the Republican Party so I ended up voting for “Obama” because I liked his VP pick of Joe Biden instead and glad I did! *** Moral of this blog, “don’t, don’t, don’t believe the hype!” ***

  10. I am proud to support Malloy and his commitment to public finance; you aren’t going to be beholden to anyone for $100 dollars. I supported Lamont against Lieberman because of his views on national policies. However for Governor, when you compare the experience of Lamont and Malloy side by side, Malloy has it hands down. Malloy can hit the ground running in Hartford, based on his experience as Mayor and has an understanding of how Connecticut government works. Lamont is a smart man, but he has no experience in running a government entity. Many of us abhor political gridlock; however you have to understand it to get through it. That’s why I am a bit surprised by Mario’s support of Lamont. Mario is a savvy political guy and knows if you don’t have the knowledge or grit to run with the big dogs you shouldn’t get off the porch. When you’re a CEO you’re accustomed to giving an order, implementing a policy and it is done, you just can’t do that as Governor. You have to have the political smarts, tenacity and understanding of the system. You make your first move, know the consequences and make your second move. It is more like games of chess and poker.
    I also know Malloy has had a history of successful economic development and job creation. Just because Stamford was in a good location, it wasn’t a given that Malloy would succeed. Many have all the geographic advantages and still manage to screw things up. I am tired of hearing about past issues of the casino that have no relevance to who is the best leader for Connecticut. If and when a casino in Bridgeport ever comes up again, then it is relevant. Right now education, jobs, the economy and health care are the pressing issues of the day.
    It is interesting Lamont is courting former Lieberman supporters who probably wouldn’t support him if he ran for Senate again. I would support Lamont for Senate; a learning curve is acceptable for a Senator. In most ways it is more about policy and issues as a legislator. As far as the Governor’s seat one inexperienced decision and that could be disastrous. Further, to win the general you need someone with a strong contrast to the Republican nominee. I think Lamont and front-runner Foley’s background have been molded by the same cookie cutter. Malloy’s experience and background will provide a clearer alternative to Foley. The majority of the population can relate more with Malloy’s upbringing than to Lamont’s or Foley’s background. Malloy may have lived in Stamford but he grew up in very modest conditions, with a large family and mother who worked as a nurse to help support them. He understands the needs of the average citizen, working-class families and those who are struggling to survive. He also understands, which is critical to me, a wide spectrum of people with a special needs, he overcame learning disabilities like dyslexia and physical disabilities as a child to go on to be very successful academically and in his career. There is something about a person who overcomes adversities and becomes a champion for the public good that can never be paralleled. It is their inner strength of character and an unwillingness to accept defeat. It is like being a parent no matter how empathic a person you are, unless you are a parent you truly don’t get it. It is not a prerequisite for a leader, but it sure is a fantastic asset. As a delegate I will be behind Dan Malloy 100%.

  11. MCAT; I disagree with you on one point. True today a casino in Bridgeport is not relevant and will never happen but going back when it was a hot ticket item Malloy led the charge to defeat a casino in Bridgeport. He came up with a lot of lame excuses about traffic and such. I know that is now water under the bridge but to me it shows a person who was unwilling to help Bridgeport just so he could keep the cheap labor in Stamford. I personally do not like any of the candidates either Republican or Democrat. I lost my candidate when Susan B decided she did not want to run for that office.

  12. TC, Dan was very firm and vocal on not locating the detention center in the East Side neighborhood location. He also understands the plight of the cities. Hartford often looks at cities as always whining about nothing. Dan will not fall into that mantra. Also, it is one thing when you are competitors and another when it’s one of your responsibilities. Just a thought.

  13. Big City of Dreams–I wish I had the opportunity to have heard Cory Booker.

    If Booker’s success is due to his “thinking outside the box and searching the country for the best methods,” then I say let’s get out of the box! It’s clear to me “thinking inside the box” isn’t working for Bpt.

    Gearing up the “philanthropic community” for the sake Bpt would be a tall order. Those people in lower Ffld county don’t want to even admit the city exists (hence plans for a THIRD Metro-North station in Fairfield, heaven forbid they drive the extra ½ mile to the Bpt station!). Somehow, send cash to the city seems doubtful.

    All I can say is what I said a while ago. When the pols come knocking at your door for your vote, ask them “what’s in it for me!” Demand they represent your interests.

  14. Even Bridgeporters don’t want to use the Bridgeport train station. And there is not enough parking. So you can’t blame people for wanting a station at the Fairfield line.
    The only downside is turning the New Haven Railroad into a trolley so people won’t use it because it takes too long to get to New York.

  15. John, I read an article in the Times about a lot of hedge fund managers and Wall Street guys making charter schools and progressive education methods their new philanthropic venture (I know, but I don’t have any problem taking their money to help our city). Obviously, lots of them were from Stamford, but we’re involved in the Bronx and Brooklyn, which are more receptive to charter schools.

    We need to turn those guys around and face our way. Unfortunately, we’re nowhere near as receptive. And I’m not saying charter schools are the only answer. One thing Mayor Booker stressed is some charter schools are good, others aren’t working. We have to be open to the right methods anywhere, charter or public.

    But again it comes down to how do we make the government dynamic. One thing I really believe will help us is minority representation on our boards, commissions, and City Council. We need voices of opposition to foster debate on the direction of this city.

    1. Yo,
      BCOD, quit using old tired excuses. Wake up and look around yourself.
      Have you ever gone to a Bridgeport City Council meeting? There are 12 members who are either African American or Latino. So you have a majority minority on the council. So I don’t know who you are or where you come from but you apparently don’t know squat about Bridgeport.

  16. Jim you are correct!!! 100 percent correct. I love Bridgeport but I never use the Bpt train station. I travel back and forth from NY to CT every other week as I am a college student and I personally prefer the Fairfield train station and that’s where I take the train but there is no need to put another station in Fairfield!!! They have 2 already the other called Southport. All these train stations are not needed I wish they had a train that only makes stops in Bridgeport, Fairfield, South Norwalk and Stamford then off to grand central or you could choose local service going into Westchester then grand central. It’s so annoying when you have to stop a million times at these small stations in small rich towns such as Noroton Heights or Greens Farms where I swear I hardly see people get on or off there!!!

  17. Donj: I know where you are coming from. In fairness to all the rich people (I can’t believe I’m saying this), most, if not all, of those little train stops predate Connecticut becoming a serious commuting suburb of New York. The small stops do alleviate (a little) the parking jam at the big stops, but as you said, they are annoying.
    That stated, there would not be a train at all if it weren’t for the wealthy. Attempts were made to get rid of the train because it lost money. Concern for the environment didn’t save the train, the pain of commuting into Manhattan did.

  18. James, James, James–Those “small stops” you so lovingly refer to do zip, zero, nada to reduce congestion anywhere, except at the bars along the Post Road. All they do is help Southporters get home to a Martini faster! You know as well as I if a Fairfield state representative suggested a parking garage at the main station he’d be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a Metro-North rail. Go count the number of parking spots for the Southport station and we’ll talk about how much congestion that stop relieves. I say let ’em crank up the Audi and park it in Bridgeport. They can then stop off at Lennie’s restaurant advertisers for their evening cocktail!

  19. John and Jim,
    If you both spent a little less time reading what you individually wrote and a little more time reading what the other wrote you might find common ground is a lot closer than you realize.
    Currently Metro North is set up to run locals from Bridgeport to Stamford and then express service to 125th St. or express from Bridgeport to Stamford and locals into Grand Central. The more express service they run from Bridgeport to Stamford to Grand Central the more they would meet the needs of a specific customer and encourage parking and use in Bridgeport.
    Secondly, if the state were to say to the local municipalities it is their responsibility to supply parking for their customers and the state will supply it for distressed municipalities or where there is a positive benefit to the environment then the state could remove itself completely from the local battles.
    Finally, if Metro North set ticket prices higher for the ‘burbs to finance their parking needs and lower in the cities then the state could remove itself from the financing equation.
    Let supply and demand be the engine that drives this train but let a wise conductor decide where and when passengers get on.

  20. Mr. Gilmore is hopeless so we won’t go there.

    Mr. Walsh: Define “wise conductor.” Around here that could be the guy who wrecked the express at Black Rock back in the day.

    Mr. Garabaldi: I thought you learned years ago to stay out of arguments with the Irishers lest we come after a certain Sicilian fellow.

  21. This time Jim I disagree with you!!! Other than 6 to 8 in the morning and 5 to 8 at night when working people travel all other times on the trains are always packed too so it’s not just the people going into Manhattan or working there who ride the trains the most!!! Go on the train at 9 pm leaving Fairfield on Monday night you would think going in that direction would not be busy but that’s not the case!!! That train is packed with people going to South Norwalk and going to Stamford and many people continue their journey and transfer at Stamford to go to the Bronx on local service from Stamford to NY. I was on the 9 pm train and it was so packed they did not check my ticket until the train pulled out of Stamford and half of the train got off there for local service. So if you’re stating it’s mainly used by workers going into Manhattan all I have to say is what Mojo says and that is Forget about it!!!

  22. Trains going express from Stamford to Bpt??? Only express I have heard of is an express going from Stamford to Fairfield and I was amazed it did not stop at South Norwalk, many Norwalk people had no clue on this and took the wrong train. 6:48 train from Stamford. I think about 1/4 of Fairfield’s population works in Manhattan there are so many of them on the train it’s just amazing how many people get off at Fairfield.


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