I love it when area officials get together to pound podiums about the state’s tax structure and froth about regional cooperation. That’s what happened Thursday in Stratford at an event sponsored by the Bridgeport Regional Business Council.
Get a load of what Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti said:
“There are an awful lot of successes that exist at the local level, too,” he said. “Look at Shelton–we’re about ready to secede from the state of Connecticut.”
Gee, do ya think Mayor Mark is feeling the federal-investigation heat? Could it be Shelton will secede from Lauretti?
Mayor Bill Finch is at his best at these functions talking about the services Bridgeport delivers with a relatively small payback from the state and neighbors, especially all those tax-exempt properties (in a city of 16 square miles) that serve the region.
Said the mayor: “We can’t run an airport because no one’s big enough to run it. It doesn’t even fit in Bridgeport. My golf course is in Fairfield. I have a park in Trumbull. If that doesn’t show you how ridiculous local control is, when you cut up the state into the smallest-sized cities in the country, well, nothing else will.”
Monroe Selectman Tom Buzi tried to structure a regional sewage compact with Bridgeport and Trumbull. It was his neighbor in Trumbull that blew up the deal.
Said Buzi: “People have to understand that it takes two years for the DEP to review the septic system plan–two years, sewers are important to economic growth.” Translation: Thanks a lot Ray Baldwin.
“We realized that it was not in the best interest for Trumbull to go forward with it,” said Baldwin, Trumbull’s first selectman. “That’s why it broke down.”
Here’s what I propose: let’s get them all together for a free-flowing discussion with shots of Tequila. And maybe by the time they’re done Monroe and Trumbull will become the new North End, Fairfield the new West Side, Stratford the new East Side. And Lauretti gives Shelton’s taxable property to Bridgeport as part of a plea deal with the government. Now that’s regional cooperation.
The Carmen Watch
The OIB rumor chatter on Thursday had retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez running against State Rep. Auden Grogins in an August 2010 primary. Carmen has been a lightning rod of action of late on a number of fronts including filing a Freedom of Information complaint against the city regarding the Civil Service Commission firing of Ralph Jacobs as personnel director.
Carmen’s running for this, she’s running for that, say busy political bees. Well, this question about Lopez running against Grogins, the Blonde Banshee from Black Rock, intrigued me. Why would Carmen run for state representative? You retire from a powerful judgeship to run for state rep? I could see her running perhaps for probate judge. Yes, she wanted to serve on the Board of Education, and was rejected by the Democratic Town Committee. But BOE, a citywide seat, is a place where Carmen could put her child advocacy to use.
Plus, a number of political operatives have told me they’re pushing her for a mayoral run. How serious that is Carmen is not saying. So, I called and asked her. Are you running against Grogins? Simple answer: “No.”
I guess she could change her mind. Politics is a crazy business. But she said no. So, on to the next rumor …
Gag Meeting Gagged
On Wednesday OIB ran a letter from The Committee to Ungag The People that invited members of Planning & Zoning to participate in several small meetings to avoid violating Freedom of Information laws. Michael Voytek, chairman of the community action group, wanted the organization to have the same audience that he says commissioners have with the politically connected and land use attorneys.
The commissioners said no to the request arguing the committee is not practicing what it preaches. And City Attorney Mark Anastasi advised city officials that the committee request was nothing more than a way to circumvent FOI law. Gee, Anastasi on the side of FOI? Did St. Mark have an Epiphany?
News release from Gov. Rell
Governor Rell: State Has Registered Over 1,500 Providers to Give Swine Flu Vaccine
Will Brief Local Emergency Management Officials On Statewide Vaccine Plan During Friday Conference Call
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the state has enlisted more than 1,500 doctors and other health care providers to administer the H1N1 vaccine to Connecticut residents this flu season as part of a statewide vaccination plan. The Governor said the vaccine is expected to be available in the coming weeks and will be provided by the federal government to the state at no cost.
“This has been a tremendous response from our medical community and will help us protect as many of our residents as swiftly as possible, particularly the most vulnerable to this new, emerging virus,” the Governor said. “Our statewide inoculation plan is based on years of pandemic preparation between state and local health officials. The cooperation of hundreds of providers across the state is essential to mount a strong preventive response.”
The Governor said Connecticut is expected to begin receiving vaccine as early as the first week of October. By mid-October, the state is expected to receive more than 500,000 doses, with subsequent shipments of 200,000 per week.
The vaccine will first be made available to those who are at greatest risk due to complications of H1N1 influenza: pregnant women, caregivers of children younger than age of six months, health care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact, children aged six months to four years and children aged 5 to 18 with chronic medical conditions.
The Governor will brief local emergency management officials on the statewide H1N1 inoculation plan during a conference call Friday. Also participating in the call will be officials from the state departments of Public Health, and Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
The state began recruiting doctors and other health care providers in August to administer the vaccine. Providers include private physicians, community health centers, hospitals, long-term care facilities, visiting nurse associations, retail-based outlets and public health providers.
State health officials also encourage Connecticut residents to get their seasonal flu vaccination, as well as the H1N1 vaccination. The H1N1 vaccine is only effective against the H1N1 virus and does not protect against seasonal influenza.
For more information on the H1N1 virus or the seasonal flu in Connecticut visit: www.ct.gov/ctfluwatch
News release from The Witness Project
“Girlfriends’ Brigade Kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month”
Bridgeport, Waterbury, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Danbury, Norwalk and Stamford, CT—- Teams of women, tagged Girlfriends’ Brigade, are knocking on doors every Saturday in October, in cities all over CT for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Their mission: to identify uninsured women who have never had a mammogram, to educate them about the importance of mammograms, and to refer them to a local Connecticut Breast and Cervical Cancer Program provider for FREE mammogram screenings.
Women often delay getting an annual mammogram because they do not have health insurance. The Witness Project of CT has contracted with the State of Department of Public Health to reach and refer uninsured women between the ages of 40 to 64 who have not had an annual mammogram and refer them to a local provider for free screenings. The American Cancer Society recommends women get a mammogram every year beginning at age 40 and breast exams by a doctor or nurse every year and to report any changes to their doctor right away. Early detection and treatment can help save lives.
Marilyn Moore serves as the Executive Director and has implemented a statewide network to educate women about breast and cervical cancer screening. The Girlfriends’ Brigade will focus on eight cities: Bridgeport, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Danbury, Waterbury, New London, and Hartford. This campaign has a goal to educate 3,200 households and refer 1,000 new women to the Free Mammogram program. Women of all races will be impacted by this outreach and referral program. To find out more information about the Girlfriends’ Brigade, volunteer opportunities, or to see if you qualify for the free screenings contact The Witness Project of CT at 1-888-756-0016 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website: www.witnessprojectct.org
Key facts about breast cancer:
Breast cancer is an equal opportunity disease; it does not know age, race or gender
Breast cancer is survivable when diagnosed early
Mammograms can detect the smallest of changes in the breasts
All lumps are not cancerous, but you should be checked by your health care provider
Women should do breast self exam every month
Get a mammogram every year after age 40
Have a doctor or nurse examine your breast every year
The Witness Project of Connecticut is part of a national breast and cervical cancer education project. In Connecticut it is a non profit organization serving the four regional counties: New Haven, Hartford, New London and Fairfield. The goals are to increase breast and cervical cancer knowledge, early detection screening and behaviors among women in medically under served areas of Connecticut in an effort to reduce mortality and morbidity rates from breast cancer which causes many to need later a breast reconstruction surgery, according to this article.
What About One Of My Books!
BRIDGEPORT AND SHELTON ANNOUNCE THE AVAILABILITY OF 1,900 BOOKS AND THE KICK OFF FOR THE 2009 BIG READ
For the third year, the communities of Bridgeport and Shelton are working together to read and celebrate Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon.”
(Bridgeport, CT September 24, 2009) — The Barnum Museum in cooperation with the cities of Bridgeport and Shelton has launched the Big Read program, this year celebrating Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon.” 1,900 free copies of the book are now available for pick up, while supplies last, in Bridgeport and Shelton at the locations listed at the end of this release. More copies are also available for purchase in area bookstores and of course available on loan from libraries in both communities. Avid readers and reluctant readers will be brought together through a variety of activities planned from now through the middle of November–there is truly something for everyone.
On Sunday, October 4 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., The Barnum Museum will host a kick off event with the formal program beginning at 2:00 p.m. In collaboration with the Music and Arts Center for Humanity (MACH) and the University of Bridgeport, the museum is showcasing an extraordinary collection of student art and writing, from these organizations. All the art speaks to the themes of Dashiell Hammett’s 1930 novel, “The Maltese Falcon.” Through visual exploration, the exhibition will challenge the viewer to look beyond the obvious to discover deeper meanings intended by the artists. The presentation will stimulate and inspire creative and strategic thinking while offering the viewer an opportunity to experience new visions.
Other speakers at the kick off event include Harold Levine, Chairman Emeritus of MACH, Neal Salonen, President of the University of Bridgeport , Ralph Buzzard, Director of Visual Art for the Bridgeport Board of Education, Mayor Mark Lauretti of Shelton and a representative from the office of Bridgeport’s Mayor Bill Finch. Mark Albertson will be the keynote speaker. Albertson is a lifelong buff of old movies including Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, Twelve Angry Men, Inherit the Wind, A Walk in the Sun to name a few. The Maltese Falcon is one of his favorite movies, so Albertson will talk about how all these movies represent an era when acting and dialogue were the prerequisites to superior filmmaking and explain why this was truly the Golden Age of Film.
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents the Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.
Contributing sponsors allow the programs to be offered mostly free of charge and include the following organizations: Bank of America, Barnum Financial Group, The Barnum Museum, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Center Stage of Shelton, Dr. DeJesus & Associates, City of Bridgeport, City of Shelton, Connecticut Post, Duchess Restaurants, Food World, Greater Bridgeport Transit, HealthNet, People’s United Community Foundation, SportsCenter of Connecticut, Stockbridge’s Gourmet Cheesecakes, The Edge Fitness Club, The Watermark at 3030 Park, Tremont & Sheldon, University of Bridgeport, Valley Community Foundation, Star 99.9 and WPKN-FM.
The following local organizations are also partnering with The Barnum Museum for The Big Read: Bridgeport Board of Education, Bridgeport Health Department, Bridgeport Public Library, Burroughs Community Center, City Lights Gallery, Connecticut Free Shakespeare, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, The Discovery Museum, Downtown Cabaret Theater, Fairfield Historical Society, Playhouse on the Green, Ralphola Taylor Center, Shelton Library System and Written Words Bookstore.
In addition to the book and reader’s guides, everyone receiving a Big Read welcome packet will receive a complimentary one-year membership to The Barnum Museum.
The Barnum Museum Big Read initiative is just one of 269 nonprofits–including arts, culture, and science organizations; libraries; and municipalities–to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2009 and June 2010. The latest Big Read grantees represent 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since the 2006 pilot program with ten participating organizations, the NEA has given more than 800 grants to support local Big Read projects. This year, Bridgeport and Shelton received $20,000 from the NEA.
From now through November the community will celebrate Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon” with a full calendar of events. All events are free unless otherwise noted. To see a complete list of events, please visit www.neabigread.org/events.php or www.barnum-museum.org. A Reader’s Guide and a Teacher’s Guide to the novel are available electronically from www/neabigread.org. A limited number of printed versions of these guides are available at The Barnum Museum.
What: The Big Read Kick Off Event In Celebration of Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon”
When: Sunday, October 4 – 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Formal Program begins at 2:00 p.m.
Where: The Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604
Cost: The program is free to anyone interested in participating
Bridgeport area “The Big Read” Book Distribution SitesBook Distribution Sites Hours of Operation for Distribution Bridgeport Public Library Burroughs and Saden Branch 925 Broad Street Bridgeport, CT 06604 Tues 12pm - 8pm Wed, Thurs 10am - 6pm Fri, Sat 9am - 5pm Sun and Mon Fall/Winter CLOSED Bridgeport Public Library Newfield Branch 1230 Stratford Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06607 Mon, Wed 10am – 6pm Tues, Thurs, Sat 9am - 5pm Fri, Sun CLOSED Bridgeport Public Library North Branch 3455 Madison Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06606 Mon, Wed 1pm - 9pm Tues, Thurs 10am – 6pm Sat 9am - 5pm Fri, Sun CLOSED Bridgeport Public Library Old Mill Green Branch 1677-81 East Main Street Bridgeport, CT 06608 Mon 12pm - 8pm Tues, Thurs, Sat 9am - 5pm Wed 10am – 6pm Fri, Sun CLOSED Bridgeport Public Library Black Rock Branch 2705 Fairfield Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06605 Mon, Wed 10am - 5pm Tues, Thurs 12pm – 8pm Sat, Sun CLOSED Barnum Museum 820 Main Street Bridgeport, CT 06604 Tues through Sat 10am - 4:30pm Sun 12pm - 4:30pm Burroughs Community Center 2470 Fairfield Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06605 Mon through Fri 9am - 6pm Ralphola Taylor Community Center YMCA 790 Central Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06607 Mon through Fri 9am - 5pm Discovery Museum 4450 Park Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06604 203-372-3521 Tues – Sat 10am – 5pm Mon CLOSED Bridgeport Health Department 752 East Main Street, Room 320 Bridgeport, CT 06608 203-576-7680 Mon through Fri 9am - 5pm