That was quick.
Statement from the shadow committee monitoring Mayor Bill Finch’s task force reviewing safety procedures at P.T. Barnum Apartments.
We are members of the PT Barnum “Shadow Task Force” established by Donna Fewell.
We attended the Mayor’s Task Force Committee meeting held on November 30, 2009 in the Mayor’s Conference Room. Several of our members were unable to attend.
We wish to thank the Mayor for allowing us to join him and his task force ‘at the table’ considering that we were not originally invited to be members of this committee.
We were quite surprised to learn, however, that according to the Mayor, this committee is an “Invitation Only Task Force” that does not record its discussions, nor does it allow the press or public to enter during the meeting. One camera man was allowed to enter the room for a few minutes to photograph the people in attendance.
The administration’s take on what transpired during the meeting was provided to the press at a press conference following the meeting.
The undersigned members of the task force respectfully wish to inform the Mayor, and the residents of the City of Bridgeport, that in our view, a municipal government should not create a task force to examine an issue of such great concern and restrict the public’s access to the information discussed in the meeting. Although two of our members took minutes of the meeting, these are not official and therefore not appropriate nor sufficient to meet the standards set in Connecticut law.
Accordingly, until the meetings are open to the public and the press, we will not participate in any future meetings of the Mayor’s Task Force.
Carmen L. Lopez, Ron Mackey, Craig Kelly, Donna Fewel, John Hernandez, Tawanda White, Esther Lindsay
Statement From Tom Foley
Thank you for coming, particularly those of you who have taken off time from work or traveled a long way to be here for this announcement.
A little over a year ago, I sat down with my then 17-year-old son to talk about his future. I had an easy time with the part of the speech about working hard, being financially responsible, and not underestimating the importance of good luck in everyone’s success – principles that worked well for me and my generation. But when I got to the part about preparing yourself for opportunity when it comes, I had a harder time. We were in the midst of last year’s financial meltdown and it wasn’t clear what the opportunities would look like in its aftermath – particularly for young people.
That conversation brought home to me how frustrated and concerned I had become about where our government – both in Washington and here in Hartford – has taken us. So I began speaking to people I know well and whose judgment I trust about how I could apply my skills, my experience, and my good fortune to make a difference in Connecticut. They said if I really wanted to make a difference, I should get on the playing field and run for public office.
They suggested that the Governorship was the office where my experience and interest in serving Connecticut would have the most impact. At the time, though, Governor Rell, whom I respect very much, was preparing to run for re-election. I talked with my friends and my family and decided to enter the Senate race against Chris Dodd, an office for which I believe I also have the required experience and could serve Connecticut well.
Since June, I have traveled all over this great state visiting more than half of our 169 towns. I have now heard the concerns, in many cases fears, of thousands of our citizens. Their message is clear. They are afraid of what will happen to them and their families in the current economic crisis. They wonder – and with good reason – why our government isn’t doing more to help keep and create jobs, to shore-up our economy, and to cut-back the reckless spending. They feel we have drifted away from the responsible policies and principles that made this state and our country so great. They are skeptical of career politicians. They long for leaders who are in tune with their concerns and who they can trust to fix their problems. And they want someone who can show them a way forward to prosperity.
Three weeks ago, to the surprise of many of us, Governor Rell announced she would not seek re-election. Her decision throws even more uncertainty into Connecticut’s ability to navigate a way out of our current crisis.
Since her announcement, I have reconsidered whether I should run for Governor. Many of the same people who a year ago said the Governorship is where I could best serve Connecticut, have called to re-iterate that to me.
In the last week, I have received hundreds of e-mails and have spoken to more than one hundred people – including many who are currently serving in our state government. They, too, have overwhelmingly encouraged me to run for Governor.
They believe that Connecticut’s next Governor must be an experienced executive ready to take immediate action to solve the state’s problems and improve our quality of life. They believe that my 25 years as a business owner and executive meeting payrolls, turning-around businesses, and creating jobs is an ideal background for our next Governor. They believe our next Governor should be someone who can lead our legislators to better policies and more responsible handling of our state’s resources and our citizens’ futures. They believe our next Governor should be someone who is new to Hartford; someone who will bring new ideas, new energy, and a new approach to managing our state; and, someone who will come with no strings attached – accountable only to the voters.
I can be that Governor and I want to be that Governor.
So I am announcing today that I am a candidate for Governor of this great state. In the weeks ahead I will be assembling a policy team including employers, workers, and interested citizens to evaluate options and make recommendations for solving the problems we face. We will prepare ‘A Plan Forward for Connecticut’ which I will share with you when it is complete.
I look forward to campaigning with the help of my growing group of supporters to convince voters that I am the right person to lead Connecticut into the future. And if I am successful convincing those voters, I look forward, with the help and support of all of Connecticut’s citizens, to taking-on the challenge of fixing our state’s problems at a critical time in it’s history.
Trolling For Decision
I hear City Attorney Mark Anastasi has finally issued an opinion (with Mark even the patience of Job could be tested) regarding City Councilman Bob Troll Walsh’s apoplectic phone call to his council partner Evette Brantley after they differed on the value of the city moving forward with Robert Christoph as the Steel Point developer.
Troll maintained Christoph’s proposal was a bad deal. Evette, joining the majority of her council peers following Mayor Bill Finch’s recommendation, said endorsing the Steel Point proposal was the best chance the city had to revitalize 52 languishing acres.
Walsh, never afraid to leverage rhetoric to make a point, maintained in a phone message to his African American partner on the council that she had been submissive to the “massa” developer. Evette was not happy. She presented the audio to City Council President Tom McCarthy who turned it over to Anastasi for an opinion on how to handle disciplinary action.
If my council partner had done this to me I might have opted to punch him in the nose versus making it public. These things can take on a life of their own. Walsh is not a racist. Yes, a flamethrowing big pain in the ass, but not a bigot.
The city needs to be careful how it handles this, otherwise every single word uttered by a public official could be scrutinized insufferably. In the rock and roll world of city politics an awful lot of phlegm is puked up. Let’s hope we don’t get too much on ourselves, eh?
But hey, we can settle all of this at the OIB holiday party Monday, 5:30 p.m. at Épernay Bistro, Fairfield Avenue downtown. Come on down, first cocktail on OIB, plus tasty stuff from Chef Wroe. Ya never know, maybe a few surprise guests.
From the staff of The Hartford Courant
Even as a young seminary student, Raymond Pcolka’s psychiatric problems caused doctors to question whether he should be a priest.
Early in his studies, seminary officials sent Pcolka home for a year to “recover control of his nerves.” But after returning to school, a Bridgeport psychiatrist deemed Pcolka to be suffering an “obsessive compulsive type neurosis.” Another doctor diagnosed a neurotic reaction and “adjustment problems of late adolescence.” Still another recommended further psychiatric examination for the “uncommunicative” Pcolka.
“If there is any question of this man’s stability or ability,” one doctor wrote, “I would recommend psychological testing before final vows.”
Despite his odd behavior, Pcolka was ordained in 1965 by then-Bridgeport Bishop Walter Curtis and assigned to St. Benedict’s Parish in Stamford. Within months, he allegedly fondled an altar boy at the church.
By the time then-Bishop Edward Egan relented and removed him from the priesthood 28 years later, Pcolka had left behind a trail of victims, both male and female, who claim they were molested in churches, in his private quarters at church rectories and at a home he owned in New Hampshire.
One of those victims, George Rosado, eventually sued the diocese in 1993, triggering a deluge of lawsuits against the diocese that led to secret settlements costing millions of dollars and a seven-year court battle to keep those files secret.
From Michael Mayko, Connecticut Post:
Law, attitudes toward sex-abuse claims have changed
Revelations from long-sealed records chronicling the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport clergy sex-abuse scandal unleashed a new round of nightmares for Barbara Oleynick when they were released by court order Tuesday.
Not only was the Housatonic Community College adjunct professor sexually abused by a priest at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Bridgeport when she was 5 years old, but decades later she learned that her son had also been abused by a popular Fairfield priest.
Nearly a decade ago, Oleynick found herself driving to Holy Family Church in Fairfield, where she confronted the Rev. William Donovan and listened to him confess that his sin was, not sexual abuse, but alcoholism.
Although Donovan, who also had been a teacher at Fairfield College Preparatory School and chaplain of the Fairfield Police Department, went to prison for five months in 2002, the crime was not assaulting Oleynick’s son. It was his admission to three drunken-driving arrests.
Donovan “resigned, but he still collects a pension,” said Oleynick, an author, nurse and English teacher. “That’s the greatest tragedy.”
None of the 23 priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport accused of sexual misconduct in civil lawsuits was ever criminally charged or prosecuted for their offenses, mostly against children.
That wouldn’t be the case today, according to legislators, police and former prosecutors.
“A lot has changed since then,” said state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, a former state prosecutor and co-chairman of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee. “The respect people get because of their position in life, be they clergy, politicians, professional athletes even police, is not automatic anymore.”
In the 1960s, ’70s and even early ’80s, said Lawlor, who also teaches criminal justice at the University of New Haven, it would be difficult to believe that someone supposedly close to God would commit an offense as egregious as sexually molesting a child. And, he added, even more difficult to convince law enforcement or a prosecutor to take on such a case.
“Even if parents believed their child, they might have second thoughts about going to law enforcement,” Lawlor said. “Police and prosecutors would be reluctant to take on such a case.”
Santa Time, From Mayor Finch
Holiday Tree Lighting Set for Sat. Dec. 5
Mayor Finch and family to light tree;
Yale’s Whiffenpoofs and Park City Pride to Entertain
The annual Downtown Holiday Tree Lighting is set for Sat. Dec. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. on McLevy Green
Entertainment begins at 4 p.m. with the Yale Whiffenpoofs, an all-male a cappella group serenading attendees with carols of the season. The Park City Pride Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps also will perform and provide the fanfare for the arrival of Mayor Finch and his family, and Santa Claus. Mayor Finch and Santa will flip the switch to light the tree at 6 p.m.
Other activities include:
· From 1 to 3 p.m., the Barnum Museum celebrates the holiday season with crafts, caroling, hot cocoa and cookies. Children and their parents can create Victorian ornaments, holiday cards and snowflakes. Free with museum admission.
· Special performances of “The Knight Before Christmas” at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre and “White Christmas” at Playhouse on the Green.
· The Read’s Artspace Gallery will be open from 4 to 6 p.m. for holiday shopping.
· Mrs. Claus will host refreshments at City Lights Gallery.
The event is sponsored by the City of Bridgeport and the Downtown Special Services District.
More From The Mayor:
Gathering of the Vibes Funding Kids’ Water Park in Bridgeport
Festival Donating $75,000 for Additions to Park Adjacent to Muñoz Marin School
WHAT: On Friday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. in the park adjacent to Luis Muñoz Marin School, Gathering of the Vibes Music and Arts Festival owner Ken Hays will present Mayor Bill Finch, Public Facilities Director Charles Carroll, and Board of Parks Commissioners President Mark Marko with a check for $75,000 to be used toward the construction of a splash pad and water park in the City’s East End.
WHO: Mayor Bill Finch; Gathering of the Vibes Owner Ken Hays; Public Facilities Director Charles Carroll; Board of Parks Commissioners President Mark Marko; Board of Parks Commissioners
WHERE: Park adjacent to Luis Muñoz Marin School on the Boston Avenue side of the school.
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m.
Gathering of the Vibes Music and Arts Festival is donating $75,000 to the City of Bridgeport Department of Parks and Recreation to help pay for a splash pad and water park to be installed at the park adjacent to Luis Muñoz Marin School. Hayes recently announced that the Gathering of the Vibes recently announced that the four-day festival will return to Seaside Park July 29 – August 1, 2010.
You should see the stuff that’s sent to me like this from the National Republican Campaign Committee:
They say the only two things in life that are certain are Death and Taxes — well you can add to that Democrats’ attempts to tax the dead.
Tomorrow, Nancy Pelosi and her puppets will bring to the floor a bill to raise the Death Tax on hard working Americans. This double dip tax penalizes small business owners and American farmers for succeeding – even during the Pelosi Recession.
Stop the Death Tax and retire Nancy Pelosi.
It should come as no surprise that Pelosi and her puppets would attempt to raise taxes. How else will they pay for their out-of-control spending on failed government programs and attempts to take away your healthcare?
In the past eleven months, Pelosi and her puppets have PROPOSED HUNDREDS OF TAX INCREASES on hard working Americans. Some examples include:
· Allowing the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts to expire
· War Tax
· Tobacco Tax
· National Energy Tax
· Stock Tax
· Securities Tax
· Health Savings Account Tax
· Health Insurance Tax
· Business Healthcare Tax
· Personal Healthcare Tax
· Eliminating middle-class Making Work Pay tax credit
· International Business Tax
· Small Business Tax
· Gas Tax
· Mileage Tax
· Payroll Tax
· Reducing Personal Income Deductions
Together, we can stop Nancy Pelosi and her puppets’ tax-and-spend agenda which is quickly bankrupting our country. You and I both know we cannot tax our way to prosperity; unfortunately, Pelosi and puppets have not learned this lesson.
NRCC Executive Director