The Smell Of Ink, Plus: New Trees For Saints

I’ll be checking out the gubernatorial forum this morning at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn. Stay tuned for a report.

A new community print newspaper, yes a publication with ink on paper (as opposed to knuckleheads like me with a web handle) debuts this week. Look for The Independent in your local stores, shops and bars. It’s published by East Side Bridgeporter Barry “Spanky” Piesner and edited by veteran news editor Marty Autuori who fixed my copy (I needed it) when I was a young scribe at the Bridgeport Post-Telegram, predecessor of the Connecticut Post.

At a time print pubs are trying to stay alive, Barry says there’s a market in the city for a community pub that pays attention to government, politics, neighborhood news and all things Bridgeport. Readers, he says, still want to hold paper in hand. It will be in English and Spanish. So check it out.

I ran a community weekly publication for a few years called The Bridgeport Light with an amazing staff that included OIB friends Jim Callahan and Bob Fredericks. In 1988 I had a crazy idea to start a new weekly publication and stitched together a staff that included seasoned scribes from the Post-Telegram. I had baggage because I had served as administrative assistant to Mayor Tom Bucci. How do you go from mayoral assistant to a newspaper publisher who covers the administration you worked for? Well, you find a scribe who has the most sour disposition towards pols on the planet. That person was Fredericks. Bob was an amazing copy machine, he did not pull punches. He still tells me exactly how he feels. In Callahan I had a superb political analyst who knew where all the cigars were buried with a strong nose for political BS. We had fun, we broke stories, we sold ads and then when we hit 1990 the New England economy came crashing down. My biggest advertisers bailed out.

In this modern era of publishing you can create a product solely through the use of freelancers working out of their homes and eliminate the overhead of office space. Good luck to Barry and Marty. Hey, maybe I’ll write a piece for them every now and then.

Himes says no to pay hike, news release

Himes Votes to Block 2011 Congressional Pay Raise, Gives Back $90K in Operational Expenses to Taxpayers

Himes continues work to restore fiscal discipline and accountability in Washington

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) today helped pass legislation that will block a previously-set 2011 pay raise for Members of Congress. The legislation is expected to save the taxpayers $1 million, and an identical bill passed the Senate last week. Himes has championed fiscal responsibility and personal accountability for lawmakers throughout his tenure in Congress. In addition to helping block pay raises for lawmakers, Himes returned to the taxpayers $90,000 in 2009 operating expenses for his Washington and Connecticut offices.

“At a time when Connecticut families and businesses are still struggling, I can’t permit a pay raise for Members of Congress,” said Himes. “If this means one more road or school is built or 100 more workers get the unemployment assistance they need, we’ll have made a far better contribution to the economy than putting this money in our own pockets.”

Himes is committed to trimming his own operations in the same way the tough economy is forcing businesses to cut back. Himes returned over $90,000 in operating expenses allotted to staff and support his Congressional offices in 2009. In addition to helping block a Congressional pay raise for next year, Himes supported similar legislation last year that blocked an increase for 2010. Having not been a Member of Congress when the 2009 compensation was determined, Himes donated the cost-of-living increase he received for 2009 to charities in the 4th District.

In addition to tightening spending in his office operations, Himes has fought for measures to restore fiscal and personal accountability throughout Congress. Himes has voluntarily instituted a policy in his office that forbids campaign contributions from entities for which he secures an earmark, and he has frequently crossed party lines to oppose Democratic spending increases or join Republicans in supporting targeted cuts. Himes was among the first lawmakers to return campaign funds from former Ways & Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (NY-15). Additionally, he has regularly voted against Democratic Leadership in calling for investigations by the House Ethics Committee.

Himes began his effort to eliminate even the appearance of conflicts of interest during his first month in Congress. The week he was appointed to the Financial Services Committee in 2009, Himes voluntarily completely divested himself of all of his holdings in the financial services industry.

From Caryn Kaufman, marketing consultant extraordinaire

BlackRock Rocks Presents … NEW ROOTS!

A two day fundraiser to replace 15 trees that were victims of the St. Mary’s-by-the-Sea Chainsaw Massacre.

Acoustic Cafe
2926 Fairfield Ave
Bridgeport, CT

Keepin’ It Local

Saturday, May 1, 2010
Doors Open 7:30 PM
John Torres – Solo, 8:30 – 9:15 pm
Nardy Boy, 9:45 – 10:45 pm
St. Bernadette, 11:00 – 12:00 am
Watusi Kings, 12:30 – 1:30 am
BlackRock Gets Funky

Sunday, May 2, 2010
Karma Fox with Rene Ragan & Renard Boissiere, 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Primate Fiasco, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Admission $7 for each show, $12 for both. ALL proceeds will go to the replacement of the trees, the planting and preliminary care.

Who Wants Pie?

Domino’s Pizza, Bridgeport Fire Department Team Up to Deliver Pizzas and Fire Safety Message

WHAT: Bridgeport firefighters will be delivering pizzas from Domino’s on Friday evening, April 30, to promote the City’s Safe Asleep free smoke detector program. Four City firefighters, all of whom are volunteering their time, will deliver pizzas, and check to see if all the smoke detectors at the home are working. If they are, then the pizza is free. If the smoke detector is not working, the firefighters will replace the batteries and leave the home with a fully functioning detector.

WHO: Bridgeport firefighters; Jim Mumma, Domino’s Pizza franchise owner; Mayor’s office representatives.

WHERE: Domino’s Pizza, 2308 Main St., Bridgeport CT

WHEN: Friday, April 30, 6 to 10 p.m.



  1. Just came on and read the last entry by Lennie and I could never be happier at this moment. Moore Beat Musto in Bpt by a large number and it will even be bigger come August with a lot more voters. I already know who I am voting for and that is Moore!!! Let’s go Moore let’s get the vote out in Bpt let’s run up the numbers in every precinct in Bpt!!! We’re going to win big from Black Rock to Winthrop and from Central to Longfellow this is Moore territory!!! This is the race that has me pumped up right now the establishment vs the progressive Dem!!! I’m going for the progressive see ya later Musto!!! Moore will win!

  2. FYI, independent soul has no affiliation with the new community publication the independent. With that said, congratulations and kudos to any and all who can maintain a posture of independence and see the bigger picture for the greater good.

  3. The Bridgeport Light was a great paper. There was a young female reporter (Joanna?) who dug up the dirt in city hall. She and others at the Light weren’t afraid to expose and print the truth on the goings on in city hall–unlike the Post.

    Finch should take the lead from Himes who said: “At a time when CT businesses and families are struggling, I can’t permit a payraise for members of congress.” Himes also trimmed his office operational expenses by $90,000. In sharp contrast to Finch who put in raises for all his people, including himself, and increased his office and CitiStat staff. No rumor–check the mayor’s proposed 2010 -2011 budget. It’s right there in black and white.

  4. Check out the management staff in Labor Relations. Are these folks deserving of increases when outside attorneys are hired every time an issue arises with the unions?

    DEPUTY DIR. OF LABOR RELATIONS 91,520 to 95,197
    DIRECTOR LABOR RELATIONS 114,820 to 119,932
    LABOR RELATIONS OFFICER 58,183 to 62,651
    SR LABOR RELATIONS OFFICER 58,870 to 68,870

    Again, I ask … where are the outside legal consultants in this budget? I can’t find them. Where are they hiding the money? Or is the city using the union concessions to pay the outside attorneys?

    1. And they have the nerve to ask the unions for givebacks, and raise our taxes. The people of Bridgeport should stand up against this budget, but most of them just gave up.
      We the people of Bridgeport should send them packing. We have out-of-towners running this City.

      Tax Collector-Trumbull
      Andy Nunn- Monroe
      Mike Feeney- Stratford
      Most of the City attorneys reside outside of Bridgeport. Where does f***face Dunn live? Or all the other As*****s? I hope the residents of Bridgeport will wake up and smell the coffee, they are ripen us blind. Next election remove all of them from office. GOMES 2011.

  5. *** Once again Himes has stepped up to the plate & gotten a “hit” with his district voters by simply doing the right thing @ the right time! Keep up the good work there Himes, you’ll be hard to beat in the fall elections. *** Wonder how the B.O.E. meeting went last night? As usual, I’m sure they did not provide all the spending info. to the B&A committee! *** Great spirit in Black Rock to try & raise money to replace the slaughtered trees @ St. Mary’s. Wish more districts cared a bit more about their neighborhoods, etc. in Bpt. *** “Panhandlers” political breakfast today, free food & tall tales for all to hear! (wink) ***


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