Repeat After Me … Plus: Follow Me, Follow You, Party Time, And Zoning War

Newly elected City Council, Board of Education members and city sheriffs will be sworn-in to office during ceremonies scheduled for Tuesday 7 p.m. in City Council chambers on Lyon Terrace.

I always marvel that Bridgeport public officials receive the oath of office on “Lyon” Terrace where truth-telling is such a virtue. Everyone is allowed to choose the deliverer of the oath. City Councilman Bob Troll Walsh has selected retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez whose husband Judge Dale Radcliffe is expected to deliver the oath of office to Trumbull First Selectman-elect Tim Herbst Dec. 7 which happens to be the night of our OIB holiday party at Épernay Bistro. Curses, I was looking forward to seeing Judge Lopez and Judge Radcliffe at the party.

Can you believe it’s been two years since Bill Finch was sworn in as the city’s 52nd chief executive? Feel free to share your midterm report card.

Shadow Needs The Light

The president of the P.T. Barnum Residents Association has formed a shadow task force to monitor the one Mayor Bill Finch created to address fire safety following the deaths of a young mother and three children.

Donna Fewell, in a news release, doesn’t hold back in her criticism of city officials, calling a door-to-door canvassing last week to spread fire safety advice a “public relations stunt.”

The shadow committee members include retired city firefighter Ron Mackey and former State Rep. Robert Keeley who was defeated in an August 2008 primary by Auden Grogins. Keeley’s presence creates a tasty political dynamic as he seeks to reposition himself to claim his old seat in 2010. P.T. Barnum residents vote at Longfellow School where Grogins prevailed. This shadow committee provides Keeley a platform to build relationships with voters there.

Fewell writes that she expects a shadow committee presence for the mayor’s committee meeting Monday morning. Fewell’s criticism of the mayor is harsh, and perhaps more should have been done to reach out to residents for committee participation, but a mayor must let residents know what he’s doing to address a tragedy, and sometimes that requires a media shadow. What say you?

See news release below:

A “Shadow Task Force” consisting of members of the PT Barnum Residents’ Association, and community leaders, has been organized, according to Donna Fewell, President of the PT Barnum Residents’ Association. Fewell appointed the Task Force following a November 24, 2009 Residents Association meeting, held in the aftermath of a tragic fire, which claimed the lives of PT Barnum Resident, Tiana Black and her three children.

The “Shadow Task Force” will monitor the Task Force established by Mayor Bill Finch, and will conduct its own investigation where appropriate.

The Task Force was deemed necessary, in that the committee established by Finch on Friday, November 20, 2009, did not include members of the Residents’ Association. The Mayor’s Task Force is composed primarily of elected officials and the leadership of the Bridgeport Fire Department.

In a letter to the Connecticut Post dated November 27, 2009, Fewell stated:

“On Friday, amidst great fanfare, Mayor Bill Finch formed a Task Force to explore the causes of the tragic fire at PT Barnum Apartments. This Task Force included politicians, fire officials, and housing authority representatives anxious for photo ops, but did not include the one group most directly affected, The PT Barnum residents.

“On Tuesday, November 24, the PT Barnum Residents’ Association met at the Gary Crooks Community Center at PT, for the purpose of forming a “Shadow Task Force” composed of residents and community leaders. As President of the Residents’ Association, I attempted to bring together people who did not have any vested interest in protecting the system, but would go where the facts took them.

“Among those agreeing to serve on the “Shadow Task Force” were, Ron Mackey, a retired firefighter and former president of the Firebirds Association, Ron Morales, a former firefighter and president of the International Association of Hispanic Firefighters, as well as the Bridgeport Hispanic Firefighters, Craig Kelly, former President of the NAACP and a retired firefighter, and former State Representative, Bob Keeley. Together with the residents of PT Barnum, this “Shadow Task Force” will attend meetings of the Mayor’s Group, and will investigate the facts leading to this tragedy.

“As our organizational meeting was underway on November 24, we learned that Mayor Finch, and Fire Chief Rooney, with the press in tow, began a door-to-door canvass of the apartments. Their public relations stunt did not make residents any safer nor was the nine page document they handed out helpful. Their efforts did, however, have the effect of generating self-serving publicity, and giving the appearance of caring and concern.

“Indeed, if the Fire Department was truly concerned about the residents’ safety, after discovering so many fire alarms that did not work, and that so many hazardous conditions existed, why did they not work around the clock to protect us, but rather state that they would continue on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

“It is interesting that although the politicians took great effort to notify the press, no resident was informed that the Mayor and his entourage would be stopping by. In addition, only the next day in the CT POST, did we learn that the Mayor had corrected his oversight, and would invite residents to participate in the Task Force. At 3:00 pm on Tuesday, I received a phone call from the Mayor’s Office asking me to attend a meeting in the Mayor’s Office at 11:00 am on Monday, November 30, 2009.

“Our plans are to attend the meeting on Monday and present our concerns.

“We ask the Mayor to remember that as residents, we know the difference between politicians in search of a headline and public servants in search of a solution.”

Fewell pledged that the “Shadow Task Force will keep the residents fully informed and will actively solicit input and suggestions from those most directly affected.

OIB Party

We’re having a party … everyone ready? Monday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m. at Épernay Bistro on Fairfield Avenue just below Broad Street downtown. Come say hello and nibble Chef Peter Wroe’s holiday treats. Bring along some of your favorite rumors.

Zoning Scuffle

Just what City Attorney Mark Anastasi needs, a good legal fight to work off the turkey. Anastasi has a couple of letters to deal with–one, an FOI request–that involve disposition of a nearly 10-acre piece of property on Greenwood Avenue subject to a lot of posturing by the neighborhood group Committee to Ungag the People and Darlene Chapdelaine whose letter appears below the one by lawyer Donal Collimore who represents her.

A few weeks ago Brendan Sharkey, an attorney for the Committee to Ungag, fired off a letter to Anastasi seeking documents to validate his accusation that too many side agreements have taken place between zoning officials and property applicants and/or their representatives. Darlene Chapdelaine, who alleges “coercion and manipulation of the Planning and Zoning Commission,” told OIB that she will litigate the Greenwood Avenue piece to the end.

“Black and White does not lie,” she wrote in an email. “If they (the city) wanted this land they had the funding for it in the late 1980’s, and still do. The only reason to keep it RA and not go to RC is for their own personal “alleged” gain. However they do not even want it a “RA,” the homes that are approved are under appeal. So tell me that a “Judge” in our “Court” of Law would not see the city’s actions for what they truly are “unjust enrichment” “taking” of my land which is un-acceptable and will not be tolerated. I with my team of professionals will utilize the “Judicial” system to support our position with the hopes of a “positive outcome” for which I feel confident we will prevail in the Judicial System. It may take time, but like I said I am young.”

See Collimore letter below:

1150 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

November 25, 2009

Mark T. Anastasi, City Attorney
Office of the City Attorney
999 Broad Street, 2nd Floor
Bridgeport, CT 06604

Mr. Dennis Buckley
Please forward to:
Planning & Zoning Commission
45 Lyon Terrace
Bridgeport, CT 06604

To Whom It May Concern:

In accordance with the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT:

• I would like any and all documents pertaining to the appointment of all sitting planning & zoning commissioners including but of course not limited to any Ethics Committee reports and/or findings.

• Also requested are dates of all zoning map change meetings.

• Records of who attended each meeting

• Records of who and when they reviewed the tapes pertaining to any meetings they missed.

• Correspondence including but not limited to emails to and from anyone including but not limited to Chris Caruso, Jack Hennessy, Michele Lyons, Adam Wood, Stephen Tyliszczak, Dawn Twistol, Andrew Nunn, Ed Schmidt, Anne Phillips, Mel Riley, Dennis Buckley, William Minor, Lynn Haig, Donald Eversley, Greg Conti, Michael Nidoh and Edward Lavernoich regarding the Master Plan and zoning map changes.

• I incorporate and request a copy of anything provided to Attorney J. Brendan Sharkey from the attached FOI.

• Records of any meetings with the mayor and/or any city staff, Chris Caruso, Jack Hennessy, Michele Lyons, Adam Wood, Stephen Tyliszczak, Dawn Twistol, Andrew Nunn, Ed Schmidt, Anne Phillips, Mel Riley, Dennis Buckley, William Minor, Lynn Haig, Donald Eversley, Greg Conti, Michael Nidoh and Edward Lavernoich regarding the Master Plan and zoning map changes.

• Records of any meeting that any planning & zoning committee member had with Mayor Bill Finch or any of his staff / city employees regarding zoning matters.

• Records of the consensus votes on revisions to the map. I am aware of at least 3 on 3 separate dates. I request the records of who voted on each and every item, each and every time there was a consensus vote.

Time frame 1/1/08 to date.

Please advise me of any costs involved in processing this request.


Donal C. Collimore


Darlene Chapdelaine letter


November 25, 2009

Mark T. Anastasi, City Attorney
Office of the City Attorney
999 Broad Street, 2nd Floor
Bridgeport, CT 06604

Mr. Dennis Buckley
Please forward to:
Planning & Zoning Commission
45 Lyon Terrace
Bridgeport, CT 06604

Re: Coercion and manipulation of the Planning and Zoning Commission

Dear Attorney Anastasi,

I am writing to inform you that I have reason and proof to believe that the City’s administration engaged in coercion and manipulation by discussing the pending sale of a property between the City of Bridgeport and it’s owners with the Planning and Zoning Commission before and during the deliberation process for a possible zone change of the same property during the rewrite of the proposed Zoning Map. This was done for the sole purpose of devaluating and manipulating the possible future value of this property.

I will utilize all legal means available in state and federal court including subpoenas and depositions to show that Mayor Bill Finch, members of his administration, Planning & Zoning Office, City Attorneys Office, Planning and Zoning Commissioners, and other elected officials engaged in discussions, both orally and in writing, to influence and convince the Planning and Zoning Commission to change the zoning designation on a specific property so that it’s market value will be affected. These activities have taken place outside the public hearings and away from the knowledge of the general public.

I demand that every Planning and Zoning Commissioner that has engaged in this act disqualify him or herself from participating in any zoning matters as they relate to any proposed changes to the Planning and Zoning regulations and maps.


Darlene Chapdelaine

Discovery Museum News

Planetary Astronomer Dr. Heidi Hammel will Speak at Discovery Museum

Renowned Planetary Astronomer, Dr. Heidi Hammel will conduct a lecture, “Cosmic Collisions” at The Discovery Museum and Planetarium on Thursday, December 10 during its 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Birkmaier Fund Special Event. Dr. Hammel will also assist in the unveiling that evening of the museum’s newest Space Gallery acquisitions: 6’x 3′ and 3’x 4′ astronomical prints that show the turbulent heart of the Milky Way Galaxy as seen by NASA’s Great Observatories. A ten minute planetarium presentation on NASA’s recent LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission will showcase the new sound system in The Henry B. duPont III Planetarium, made possible by the Birkmaier Fund. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $8.50 for adults and $7 for children 5 and over, seniors and students with I.D.’s. Registrations are strongly recommended.

Dr. Hammel who resides with her family in Ridgefield, Connecticut is currently a Senior Research Scientist and Co-Director of Research at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. She is also an Interdisciplinary Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled for launch in 2013.

Dr. Hammel primarily studies the outer planets and their satellites, focusing on observational techniques. She was a member of the Imaging Science Team for the Voyager 2 encounter with the planet Neptune in 1989, and she led the Hubble Space Telescope Team that investigated the effects of the impact of Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter in 1994, and the aftermath of the collision of an unknown object with Jupiter in July 2009. Her latest work is the study of Uranus through use of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Keck 10-m telescope and other Earth based observatories. In her talk at The Discovery Museum, she will recount lessons learned from the events on Jupiter, and what the implications might be for planet Earth.

In acknowledgment of her many achievements, Discover Magazine recognized Dr. Hammel in 2003 as one of the 50 most important women in science. She was profiled by Newsweek Magazine in 2007 and in the New York Times in 2008. In his 2006 biography, Beyond Jupiter: The Story of Planetary Astronomer Heidi Hammel, author, Dr. Fred Bortz called Dr. Hammel “an out-of-this world explorer. With her feet planted firmly on Earth, she takes trips millions of miles out into space.” Her career is marked by numerous awards and honors. She was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2000. In 1996, she received the Urey Prize from the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences (AAS/DPS) for “outstanding achievement in planetary research by a young scientist.” She has also been lauded for her work in public outreach, including the AAS/DPS’s 2002 Sagan Medal for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public; the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s 1995 Klumpke-Roberts Award for public understanding and appreciation of astronomy; the 1996 “Spirit of American Women” National Award for encouraging young women to follow non-traditional career paths, and the San Francisco Exploratorium’s 1998 Public Understanding of Science Award. Asteroid “1981 EC20” has been renamed 3530 Hammel in her honor.

The two large astronomical images to be unveiled at the Birkmaier Fund Special Event were produced by NASA in commemoration of The International Year of Astronomy and the 400th year anniversary of Galileo’s telescope. They will become permanent exhibits in the museum’s Space Gallery. They reveal never-before-seen views of the turbulent heart of the Milky Way galaxy. NASA unveiled the images on November 10, 2009. The Discovery Museum was one of 152 institutions across the nation to receive copies from NASA.

The 6-foot-by-3-foot print shows the bustling hub of The Milky Way Galaxy by combining a near-infrared view from the Hubble Space Telescope, an infrared view from the Spitzer Space Telescope, and an X-ray view from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, portrayed as one multiwavelength picture. Experts from all three observatories carefully assembled the final image from large mosaic photo surveys taken by each telescope. This composite image provides one of the most detailed views ever of our galaxy’s mysterious core.

The 3′ x 4′ panel displays a matched trio of Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra images. The three images show different wavelength views of the galactic center region by each telescope, illustrating not only the unique science each observatory conducts, but also how far astronomy has come since Galileo.

The Birkmaier Fund was inspired by the vision of Mrs. Henry B. duPont III and Mr. Henry B. duPont IV. It was established to honor Leslie E. Birkmaier, who served for 43 years as director of The Discovery Museum’s Henry B. duPont III Planetarium until his retirement in 2005. The mission of The Birkmaier Fund is twofold: to support the intellectual development of individuals with a deep interest in science with a preference for those whose focus is space science or astronomy and to increase public awareness and understanding of space science and/or astronomy through the support of programs and acquisition of equipment to enhance the duPont Planetarium and its related exhibits and programs.

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 and will be open on Monday, December 28, 2009. For more information call (203) 372-3521 or visit



  1. This whole mess as it relates to the Greenwood property is nothing more than a group of greedy individuals trying to make serious money off of the city.
    This property was originally turned down by the P&Z for condo use. It was later approved for the construction of 1-family homes which does fit into the rest of the neighborhood.
    People were appointed to the zoning board and lo and behold when the master plan comes up one of the new commissioners puts Greenwood in to be changed to RC. This is one of 10 or 11 spot-zoning sites put in by many of the new commissioners.
    On its face it does not look that important but now the city is talking about a land swap involving this property. Changing this to an RC zone increases the value of the land dramatically and that is where the city gets screwed.
    Property zoned for multiple housing units is more valuable than land designated for 1-family dwellings.

  2. *** As “2010” approaches just around the corner, it seems like more & more legal suits & challenges against the city of Bpt are becoming a reality. There’s talk of a possible union’s civil suit against the Finch Admin. just for starters in the making, not to mention individual ones? *** It looks like it’s going to get worse before it gets better overall, with the new budget in 6 months & tax increases to start preparing to pay for all the city “$” contract deals made by the current admin. *** And let’s not forget some of the new incoming City Council & B.O.E. members, that will probably make the last (outgoing) group look like ivy league top politicians! ***

  3. Sue,
    Please refer to him as mayor-elect Bob Curwen. It is all part of his plan to undermine or mastermind the media into giving him great free publicity.
    Of course a lot of the ghosts that he can scare up in the city involved some of his shady dealings in the past.

  4. Did ya get a good look at these buildings???
    These are owned by the great urban developer Sal DiNardo.
    Bob Curwen is in charge of building security.
    Is this evidence of incompetency, a no-show job or an inside angle to avoid blight fees being piled up against Uncle Sal???

  5. Where were Charlie Coviello and Barry Piesner when this photo was taken?
    They have a knack for appearing out of nowhere when a camera suddenly whirls into action.

  6. And speaking of Charlie Coviello, has anyone noticed how he has latched onto Darlene C and Gus C like a young hottie latches onto a sugar daddy?
    Charlie must be hoping that Gus will finance his next run for mayor.
    Rumor has it that the independent champion for the taxpayers is now on the alleged mob’s payroll.
    Only in Bridgeport and maybe Newark, New Jersey.

  7. From above letter from Donal Collimore, “time frame 1/1/08 to date.”
    Hmmm, is this to avoid any correspondence in the city’s files related to the rumored deal between the Fabulous One, the Pizza Maker of Madison Avenue and alleged mobster Gus Curcio?
    Or maybe to avoid any correspondence related to the appointment of Gus’s brother-in-law to the P & Z Board. Be careful where you tread Donal because there are always political landmines in the city we all love.

  8. One rumor I had heard involved the city taking the property on Greenwood and swapping it out for some valuable property the city/airport owns in Lordship. But the appraised values were so different that the city then agreed to change the zoning to increase the value.
    Now add another player who claims she overpaid for the land and therefore the appraised value has to go up even more and some people may walk away from this mess with a profit after all is said and done. OIB.

    1. Battling land-use attorneys!!! This has got to be more exciting and possibly more violent than the NFL Triple Header on Thanksgiving Day! When are Chuck or Ray going to get involved in this scrum?
      Do we think Collimore is going to go after Ann Poppa-Philips??? California dreaming with the MOMA’s and the Pappas; great song.

  9. This stuff has me grinning rear to rear. On Monday night, when the P & Z votes on Greenwood, one of the two ex parte parties are going to be grim weepers.

    Interesting reading the FOI request by Collimore or less. It did not read like a blanket indictment.

  10. TC,
    I completely agree. The Master Plan has been consistent all along calling for that Greenwood property to be single-family residential (R-A). It’s in the Ox Brook Flood Zone. The Master Plan map designated that property single-family residential when it was initially approved in 2007 and it stayed the same designation through the circus this year to have the Master Plan reapproved. To have the new zoning map designate that property as the highest multi-family residential zone (R-C) is totally inconsistent with the Master Plan. If they want to change that designation Ms. Chapdelaine will need to make a separate petition in the future and make her case.

    If that property were to be zoned Monday night as R-C you are also right, the value would increase and therefore the money in the school construction budget would pay them more for the land rather than help the kids have a great regional interdistrict magnet high school on Fairchild Wheeler park. That is the sideshow however. The land swap for the high school is not the issue before PZC. Even though the CT Post reported that the swap was in motion by DEP, the state statute governing zoning is clear. The Greenwood property must remain R-A Monday night. The PZC must approve a zoning map that is consistent with the Master Plan. They can’t zone something more intense than what is called for in the Master Plan. Period. Finally, we are in the final act of this three-ring circus.

  11. The proposal to make that Greenwood property came from Gail Solis who works for the Chamber of Commerce and basically Timpanelli also. She should have to recuse herself from any vote that comes up on this property as I am sure some of the shadow figures behind Ms. C are members. Karl Kish should also have to recuse himself from any vote to change the zone on this property.
    You are too kind in calling this zoning flap along with the other 10 properties that some commissioners tried to add to the master plan a 3-ring circus. In my humble opinion these additions were for special-interest people that the administration was trying to please at the expense of the residents of Bridgeport.This was influence peddling at its highest level.

  12. Maybe my people have their doomfreak ON.

    All weekend long I’ve been hearing about how we’re steamrollin’ towards a predictable doomsday because of high deficits, peak oil or moral decline.

    These people can’t seem to understand that change is hard to predict and is beyond the grasp of everyone. The happiest people are the ones who accept that.

    There, I said it.

  13. *** Ghost Busters are in Bpt. & have plans of (maybe?) opening another office in Bpt. to cover the tri-state area and New England. Councilman Curwen apparently brought up the subject after the Remington tour & it’s an idea the show & Co. had talked about in the past, however Bpt. was not in the conversations @ that particular time. Right now it sounds like just friendly conversation but you never know? Downtown Bpt. would be great for them since it looks like a ghost town! *** Time will tell. ***

  14. On that show they made Bridgeport out to be a war zone with a ghost town off Boston Ave, they said many times how bad Bridgeport is.

    About time someone in the media got it right!!!

    Bring Back Fabrizi, he woulda been in that show and never would have let them portray Bridgeport in a bad way. Maybe he would have led a ghost cleansing and sold the property to the ghostbusters for their new east coast office!

    1. If Fabrizi were mayor he would have taken the property off of Uncle Sal’s hands, forgiven all of the back taxes, given Sal a couple of hundred dollars, talked about how he was going to turn the property into a study center for spiritual sciences, promised to open up a magnet school, magnet high school and a charter school, brought in the developers of Steal Pointe who would have gushed over the idea and promised to try to fit this into their grandiose plan with no promises, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and then Fabrizi would have had a crying fit when the public came to the realization that it was just another bailout of Uncle Sal. And the most unfortunate part of it all was that Fabrizi would have eventually convinced himself that this was actually going to happen.
      John Fabrizi may have loved Bridgeport but he left the city in a financial disaster and with no real economic development to his credit. PLEASE NO MORE JOHNNY FABS!

  15. Fabrizi lived and breathed Bridgeport. No argument there. He’d still be mayor today if his wife hadn’t nagged him into testifying for that pedophile. Didn’t show a whole lotta smarts on his part. Maybe SHE needs an exorcism.

    1. Don’t forget, he breathed in more than Bridgeport. He inhaled coke that was purchase through a large drug-trafficking ring. Please let the Ghosts of Bridgeport Past sleep restfully this holiday season.

    2. *** I didn’t know that a 17-year-old boy that knocks up a 15-year-old girl & stays together for 2 years after, then breaks up & the girl’s mother decides to press charges is legally labeled a pedophile? Wow, you’re a walking log book of Bpt information! *** “Notice” I didn’t call you a name or anything nasty! ***

  16. I have no problem with the mayor and the Fire Chief along with the firefighters showing up at PT after the tragedy happened. The mayor and the fire chief were screwed either way. If they did not show up they would be seen as non caring. They show up and get hell anyway. There is a certain responsibility that the tenants must assume like checking their smoke detectors yearly. Hazards found within the apartments are the tenants’ responsibility.
    Being critical of on-the-spot fire training or imparting fire knowledge to tenants and their kids is not a waste of time. Handing out a 9-page brochure if it contained fire tips and safety tips is not a waste of time. Just read it.
    Let’s hope cooler heads prevail and a truly safe plan can be implemented for these units.
    It would seem to me that a central station (Monitored) fire alarm system in every unit would be the way to go. I do believe that a sprinkler system would be something that would be difficult if not near-impossible to install in these buildings because of their construction and because of the disruption installing this type of system causes.
    In either case the finger-pointing should stop. These units all meet the present day fire code which by the way I think should be made stricter.

    1. TC,
      I’ve got no problem if this was a sincere effort to deal with the problem. But when the fire department shows up after dark (Lennie will tell you that flashing lights look better on TV in the dark than in broad daylight) to make a few inspections then announce that they will be back sometime next week to continue it is obvious that it’s all for show and not directed at ensuring the tenants’ safety.
      Why wouldn’t they continue inspections on Friday morning? Or Friday evening? Why not all weekend long?
      Either there is a serious problem that needs serious solutions or there is a serious problem but all that the Finch administration can come up with is a political solution.
      In your own words “I do believe that a sprinkler system would be something that would be difficult if not near-impossible to install in these buildings because of their construction and because of the disruption installing this type of system causes” and yet Finch announced today that this is the solution that they are proposing as long as HUD will pay for all of it.
      It’s all politics.

      1. I see that three of the people on the “PT Task Force Watch” committee have years of fire experience, and one as a Fire Code Inspector. I think the Mayor’s “TV Task Force” is in for a strong tongue-lashing at the meeting this morning. Maybe some good will come of it. It really was foolish for the Mayor and others to exploit the situation as a “photo-op.” Those that went along should have known better. Is everyone afraid to do the right thing? So … any news from the meeting?

        1. I’m still waiting for Finch’s 42-person transition team report from 2 years ago. Everyone from City Hall and Rooney were hear, see and speak no evil when 7-11’s was shut down and those poor people died. Silence is Golden when you’re negligent like in the 7-11 case.

  17. Grin: there is a lot of truth in what you say and maybe I was assigning too much credit to the mayor and the fire chief. I can see going there at night because you want to find most of the tenants at home.
    I can’t make an excuse on why they did not go back the next day or the next night. They did shoot themselves in the foot with that one.
    Finch may have offered up a sprinkler system for the complex in the hopes that HUD will pay for it. I don’t see that happening when the price tag comes in. What Finch has to realize is that HUD manages or operates thousands of public housing projects and if they approve this installation it opens the door for the other complexes.
    Sprinklers will hold and in some cases extinguish the fire in the area of origin. It will not provide early notification to tenants of the involved apartment.The maintenance of these systems is expensive and they are not the ultimate panacea.
    Most people die from smoke inhalation and do not die from direct flame contact. A central station fire alarm system makes more sense and would have a better chance of getting financing from HUD.

  18. The other thing to keep in mind TC is that you didn’t see a Press Release from the mayor about his big show down at PT. Maybe Lennie could explain that one.
    My take is that there was a tenants’ meeting going on at the same time and he was trying to take attention away from that. Channel 8 probably called for some on-camera comments and they turned it into a circus.
    Why no press advisory? They were rushed to pull this off. That’s why.

  19. Look they can’t seem to do anything right. They called a meeting of all commissioners and board members for tonight. Kind of a feel-good get-together. They forgot that the Planning & Zoning meets tonight. They did not know that the city clerk Fleeta Hudson has a meeting tonight at city hall. This is the gang that could not shoot straight. I don’t think that Finch was trying to take away from the tenants’ meeting I think he really did not know about it. This is just one more example of this administration’s lack of knowing what is going on. This I blame on his staff. They are a group without a clue.
    Time to go to the P&Z meeting talk to you later.

    1. TC, the leaders in this administration are running around chasing their tails. There is not one of them who has a clue how to run the City. I’ve said this before and I will keep saying it: there are MANY smart employees who have a lot to offer but this administration doesn’t trust or listen to any of them.

      Finch’s aides lead him into one bad situation/decision after another. There is no way he can salvage this administration, it is too far gone. Now it’s just a matter of time …

  20. “Grin Reaper,” Your last posting to “TC” is 100% correct. The PT Barnum “Shadow Task Force” was having their meeting at the Gary Crooks Center when while the residents were having their meeting here comes Mayor Finch with Fire Chief Rooney and two fire trucks and they park right alongside of the Gary Crooks Center and start passing out a 9-page generic document about fire safety.

    “The Shadow Task Force” was formed by the PT Barnum residents because Mayor Finch did not ask any of the residents to be on the mayor’s task force.

    There is a very serious crisis with the children who have traumatic issues with the tragic death of 3 babies and the young mother. They are scared every time they hear a smoke alarm go off or they hear sirens, plus they are having trouble sleeping. They ask their parents how are they going to get out if there is a fire in their apartment. The mayor and the fire chief still have no answer for that question.


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