Tree Slasher Hits Saints, Plus: Road Bucks And Park City Exclusives

Update: What the hell is this? Did Leatherface show up at St. Mary’s over the weekend with his chainsaw?

This image of Saints comes from the good folks at They also have video loaded of the tree massacre.


From our friends at

I’ve spoken to several OIB friends from Black Rock the past day about the tree massacre at St. Mary’s, the waterfront hamlet along Black Rock Harbor. What gives? That’s what everyone wants to know. Check out additional video of this at Access to Saints was blocked off by police due to storm conditions. I hope the cretins that did the tree damage are Alfred Hitchcocked by mad monk parakeets. Police are investigating the vandalism.

A couple of updates follow, the first from Maxine Greenberg regarding reward donations, the second from City Councilwoman Sue Brannelly.

Thanks for your support!! We need to let the police know we are collecting donations. We have so far collected $500. Donations for Reward on information re: who killed the Sycamore trees at St. Mary’s can be mailed or dropped off at Happy Tails, 3008 Fairfield Ave Bpt 06605. Checks should be made out to the Black Rock Garden Club. They are tax deductible as Club is a 501(c)3. Folks may drop off during business hours or mail them in.

Gen Barthe will keep a spreadsheet of donors, amounts, dates, etc. and they will be held by Garden Club Treasurer, Meredith Vanden Handel until there is a resolution or some time passes and then returned to donors if no reward is handed in some months.

Maxine Greenberg

Subject: Update on the trees at St. Mary’s

I’d like to give an update on the status of the trees at St. Mary’s. If you haven’t yet heard, 15 trees at St. Mary’s were vandalized Saturday night about 11:30pm. Someone with a chainsaw cut a full ring cut to the trunks of all but two of the trees from the beach to the flagpole.

I just met down at St. Mary’s with Charlie Carroll, the Director of Public Facilities, Andy Valeri, Manager or Parks, Roadways, Steve Hladun, Dept of Parks & Rec Project Coordinator, Chris Donnelly, the Urban Forestry Coordinator, CT DEP Forestry and a representative from the Mayor’s office.

Chris Donnelly assessed the trees and suggested the small ones be taken down now. Those 6 or so trees are being taken down now. The remaining 9 are much larger and are, according to Mr. Donnelly, worth waiting to see what happens with them. It may take a year or two for them to weaken enough to need to be taken down so we could replace the 6 trees that have to be removed now and give them a chance to grow before we have to take down the big ones.

There is also a possibility the bigger trees survive and only time will tell that story. The park remains closed at this moment because the smaller trees are at risk of snapping. The park will be reopened hopefully this afternoon after the smaller trees are taken down by the city. If not, it will be tomorrow.

Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions. Also, please forward to your neighborhood groups/organizations.



Susan T. Brannelly

Bridgeport City Council

News release from Mayor Finch:

City of Bridgeport Update on Weekend Storm Damage and Clean-up

Public works and parks department have been at work throughout the storm clearing downed trees and blocked roadways. At this point, all Bridgeport roads have been cleared. Public works crews remain focused on removal of roadside debris. Both Seaside Park and St. Mary’s by the Sea are closed due to extensive storm damage. Damage assessment is underway citywide. United Illuminating crews continue to restore power and repair downed power lines for Bridgeport residents. This afternoon, the Mayor, Public Facilities Director and Director of Homeland Security will be joining State Homeland Security Commissioner Peter Boyton and Bob Kenny, Region 1 Coordinator, to tour the damage and visit with local emergency management teams. The public information number for the Bridgeport Emergency Operations Center is 203-579-3829. Residents are encouraged to call this number with any information regarding storm-related damage.

There was also a major incident of vandalism at St. Mary’s by the Sea Park – discovered on Sunday, March 14th. Fifteen trees were seriously damaged by chainsaw. Anyone with any information on this act of vandalism should immediately contact the Bridgeport Police Department at (203-581-5201).

Mayor Bill Finch issued the following statement, “I encourage all residents to report any storm-related damage to the city’s public information line (203-579-3829) so that we can address public safety concerns as quickly and efficiently as possible. This storm has brought extensive damage to our city, our parks and most of Fairfield County. All residents should continue to use caution as they commute throughout the city. Keep clear of any downed power lines. I would like to thank those dedicated city employees and residents who have been working around the clock to clear debris and ensure public safety. I also want to state unequivocally that anyone involved in this incredibly unacceptable act of vandalism at St. Mary’s by the Sea will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I have directed the police department to conduct a full and thorough investigation. Anyone with any information on this unconscionable act of vandalism should immediately contact the Police Department at (203-581-5201).”

News release from State House legislative delegation:


The Bridgeport delegation announced the State Bond Commission is expected to release millions in state aid that will fund paving projects and road repairs across the state including Rocky Hill, Wethersfield and Newington.

Town Aid Road (TAR) funds are typically released in January but were held back by the governor.

Bridgeport is expected to receive $665,532.27 TAR grant.

The $30 million in TAR grants is expected to be approved by the State Bond Commission Tuesday, March 16, and the funds are expected to be delivered to towns within 30 days.

Members of the Bridgeport delegation include:

Reps. Andres Ayala (D-128th), Chris Caruso (126th), Don Clemons (D-124th), Auden Grogins (D-129), Jack Hennessy (D-127th), Ezequiel Santiago (D-130th)

You Know You’re From Bridgeport If …

You lather peanut butter and jelly on a Portuguese roll! OIB friend Timothy “Ace” Holleran launched an email list of things peculiarly Bridgeport, and it’s been making the rounds for folks to add and pass on. A sample from the top 20. Feel free to add here.

Surefire Ways To Tell If You Are From Bridgeport

1. “Iranistan” has only three syllables, and none of them contain an “i.”

2. No matter what store they put on the corner of North and Park, it will always be called King Cole.

3. The Duchess at the nexus of North and Boston will forever be Maraczi’s. Tomlinson is also The Greek’s.

4. The mall in Trumbull is better known as Korvette’s.

5. You’re used to hearing people pronounce “Shelton” without a semblance of a “t.”

6. Anywhere north of Trumbull is called “up the line.”

7. You had a bike from Rocky Voccola’s.

8. You actually shopped downtown, especially at Christmas.

9. You’re used to asking people what parish they are from.

10. You have no problem going to urban places like Yankee Stadium.

11. You couldn’t tell the Candelite from the Pix.

12. You attended cartoon-laden matinees at the Hi-Way, Merritt or Beverly.

13. You are fully aware of, and don’t have a problem with Greek pizza.

14. On the same topic, terms like “ahbeets,” “mani-goat” and “scamotes” need no translation.

15. When you mention Central High School, there is no need to throw in the city’s name as a qualifier.

16. The paper is still the Bridgeport Post.

17. Notre Dame H. S. and SHU are still in Bridgeport.

18. You know NOT to tell the guy at the Canteen “what’s on that dog” until he has it in the cradle.

19. You ate Pizza from Mario the Bakers if you were in the North End and Jennys on the West side

20. Seaside Park is still the only beach in the area with no homes built on it and a dump behind it – never stopped any of us from going there – day or night.



  1. What a dam shame about these jerks!!! St. Mary and Seaside Park are places where I can relax and have a nice walk. I will be even more pissed if this was some non residents of Bpt who did that because many times people from surrounding towns come to our beaches.

  2. It’s too bad that this moron who cut all these trees did not put his efforts into something positive. If this jerk wanted to play with his chainsaw there were plenty of trees knocked down by the storm he could have worked on. What a jerk. Maybe the city should offer a reward for information that leads to the arrest of this creep. He could not keep this deed to himself so there is someone out there who knows who did this.

  3. Hey Lennie, did you catch this one?
    BRIDGEPORT — The city is making another pitch to sell the Main Street building that houses most of the school system’s administrators, arguing that it would save energy as well as build a more cooperative relationship with the Board of Education.

    Mayor Bill Finch, in a letter to Superintendent of Schools John Ramos, said if school officials move out of the building at 948 Main St., which formerly housed the City Savings Bank headquarters, and into empty space at City Hall Annex at 999 Broad St., there would be an energy use savings of $153,000.

    Do you remember when Lisa and I proposed moving the BOE out of Lyon Terrace and down to 999 Broad? Get all of the BOE under one roof and keep the mayor and city offices back in the real City Hall??? Move the city Credit Union and IT (departments that the public do not interact with) down to Broad St.

    Stick with me long enough Lennie and you will see how often I am right.

    1. Awful about the trees. Maybe someone’s security camera caught a license plate.

      Regarding the Annex, Finch is not at all serious about consolidating space and saving energy costs. Don’t let him fool you. The hotshots at the annex think they are corporate. Take a peak at Tom Sherwood’s office. The designer paint, carpeting and furnishings. Next stop is Charlie’s new digs conveniently located next to his girlfriend. Also newly renovated space. Make sure you check out Lisa’s private kitchen. Like to see the invoices for that. When Feeney was appointed Finance King, he had his office completely gutted and renovated. An office fit for a king. On the taxpayers’ dime. Pretty irresponsible for the CFO.

      Now they want to move 948 Main into the Annex and force everyone into small cubicles with no meeting or storage space and no parking. One stupid move after another.

      Why don’t they consolidate Sherwood, Nunn and Charlie in the same space? Consolidate their clerical staff while they’re at it. Now there’s a savings I can appreciate.

    2. The Troll is of course referring to his former council partner Lisa Honey Parziale. Hi Honey! Hey Troll, what about your prediction that Bob Keeley would smoke Auden Grogins, the Blonde Banshee from Black Rock? By the way, any word from Robert? Will he challenge the banshee?

      1. Wasn’t Bill Finch on the Council when the city bought the BOE builiding from Al Lenoci for 450k after United Properties bought the City Savings building for a song and a dance?

  4. Finch is politically dead in the African-Am community and without them he cannot win an election. For generations mayors have used the black churches as their political stomping grounds. They paraded around from church to church every Sunday morning, sometimes covering 4 – 5 churches per weekend. These same ministers who showed the most gracious hospitality, the leaders of IMA, have finally seen the light. They will not be disrespected by Finch, Wood and Felipe any longer. The party is over. Finch might as well pack up his office now.

  5. *** Those you know they’re from Bpt jokes are terrible, come on! *** The tree massacre @ the park should get a lot of media play & newspaper coverage to see if someone calls in a tip. Then have the persons do community service in the parks all summer with a dunce hat on, or 90 days L/U & a fine. *** The entire black & latino community needs to get together in a unified effort to keep pressure on this admin & eventually back another qualified candidate for Mayor come election time. Of course many that work for the city, etc. & have something to lose will try to stay neutral, however their numbers are low in comparison to the voting minority masses. But who will set the tone to get this political party started right & have all the talk turn into action? That has always been a problem in this city that’s plagued the minority community as a whole; Talking the talk but not walking that talk into “action”! Its like a bad selfish reality show called, “what’s in it for me this time?” *** Time for the BOE to go solo with the city’s blessing, with their own separate state/fed. budget under the watchful control of the State of CT Dept. of Education. The city can continue to contribute some city services of course like cutting their grass, snow & garbage removal, fire & police, etc. for being in Bpt. But basically the BOE would be independent & free of financial political dependence from a strapped poor urban city! *** On the city side, civil services, personnel dept. & labor relations, etc. would all combine as one big human relations dept. And continuing down the line by grouping & streamlining each & every dept. by the services they perform. *** BOE should have completely separate buildings & do their own types of dept. streamlining for efficient “$” savings & space. *** It’s time for a strong “local” voters political party in Bpt where Dems. or Republicans & Independent party members can come together and research the candidates running. Make a majority decision on which candidate best fits the political criteria & qualities to do the best job & back them regardless of what political party the candidate might be with. As time goes on the party might even run its own candidate of choice if possible but it’s basically to get voters more in tune with the local current & political events that directly affect them more & help them move towards understanding that voting for individuals who understand & reflect their views is much better than just voting for someone “just” because they’re endorsed by a particular major political party. On the local city level this is much more achievable; a group that’s able to screen individual running candidates & get current info. out to voters that will help them hopefully make better decisions come election time regardless of political party affiliation. ***

  6. Can someone please tell me why Charlie Carrolls office is at the city hall annex and not at the multi million dollar public facility building on Housatonic Ave. Dont all the PF employees report to the Housatonic Ave Facility? Time for him to move there thats where he belongs.

  7. TC, the self-proclaimed “elite” in the Finch administration do whatever they please regardless of what it costs and if it makes sense. Charlie wanted to be at the annex next to his girlfriend and he got his wish. Part of PF is at the annex, part at the parks complex in Trumbull and part at Housatonic Ave. Stupid? You betcha!

  8. The Black Rock folks are trying to raise money for a reward for finding the jerk that damaged those trees. Some are huge and have a three inch gash all around the trunk. Some have deep slash marks from the chain saw. Some of the smaller trees were cut down. It was during the height of the storm so when the neighbors heard the chain saw noise they thought it was UI cutting down the trees to release the fallen wires. If you are so inclined, help them raise the reward money. The jerk has to be identified and prosecuted for destroying those huge beautiful trees. Contact:

    Gail Robinson
    Black Rock Community Blog
    phone: 203-335-6690

  9. “Update: What the hell is this? Did Leatherface show up at St. Mary’s over the weekend with his chainsaw?”

    Leonard, Leonard! I’m impressed! But, with reservations.

    No one picked up on your “Leatherface” reference.

    That’s probably because the moniker you intended to refer to was “Leatherman!”

    Either way, it was a great historical tidbit. You should offer some fava beans to anyone who can detail the legend on the blog!

    (Note to entrants – Leatherman never used a chainsaw!)

  10. ‘Bridgeport Now’Tue March 16
    News, then at 8:30 or so Bridgeport history with Charles Brilvitch. We will be looking at houses in the East Main Street area, some filmed years ago, before renovation, showing original details. This is Barnum’s old neighborhood and will be better connected to downtown once the Congress Street bridge is rebuild.

    “Tree massacre Bridgeport”, can search for those words on Google to see horrific thing vandals did at St. Mary’s by see in Bridgeport. We propose cameras there to monitor activity. Also, apparently people in area did hear chain saws and did not call authorities, thinking it was just people working there. At St. Mary’s by the Sea?

    Also, if have time, will show downtown buildings on MIDDLE STREET corner Gold Street. These city owned blighted buildings are just sitting there, some with open windows. They face towards the Congress Street Bridge. What’s up with these buildings? If you stand close to one, you can just feel all the dampness inside.

    1. From what I hear that bridge is gonna be torn down, not reopened. You might wanna verify. Lennie maybe you can find out what the deal is with all the new traffic lights. Is there a bidding process for them? The cost to taxpayers should be public knowledge. Many of them seem unnecessary.

  11. I’m glad to see that the city will be getting some federal funds to pave Bpt streets. Now all we need to do is revise the method of street selection for paving. I’ve been trying for the last 6 years to get a street paved to no avail. The PF passes it on to the local council person who says they can’t get PF to move off the dime.

    You know you’re from Bridgeport if you played a round of miniature golf after having a hot dog at JUNIOR’S. YUMMM!

  12. Who can forget the fun we had at “Crystal Palace,” swimming at the “Sheeeen center” or Orcutt boys club. A big shout-out to all former students of St. Mary’s school.

    1. *** I would like to forget the bad times @ the Crystal Palace and the Rivoli, Palace & Majestic Theaters but can’t. Sunday matinees were a ritual for us in the West End/West Side, however being from P.T. or State St. for some reason seem to be a direct calling from the “wild” from other neighborhood cliques. “TnT Boys,” P.T. Angels, “State St. Boys,” Penbrook St. Boys, Horsemen, Mr. Pittiful’s, Frogs, The Ave., B/Ts, etc.! At times as you walked or ran home, or to the bus stops it seemed like you had to go through a physical confidence course. “No guns,” sign of a coward, however knives, sticks, bottles, brass knuckles, hands&feet & a favorite of ours if out numbered, car radio antennas! We used to go to the “Y” on State St. to swim, play pool & ping-pong, etc. It was great to be young & living in Bpt then. ***

  13. Happy to hear the roads will be paved it is about time. The potholes around the city are crazy, so many of them. You ever drive down Fairfield Ave, it was so bad. For a main road like that to be so bad should not be acceptable.


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