What A Screwing, Plus: Ernie Newton, ‘The Moses Of My People,’ released, And Shays Weighs Big Decision

Weekend Update: Did you catch this from the Hartford Courant:

HARTFORD — Connecticut came away with absolutely nothing in a competition for $1.5 billion in federal transportation grants this week, angering the congressional delegation enough that it has demanded a meeting with federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood next week.

Connecticut is one of just nine states to come up empty.

“I was outraged when I got the news,” U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, said Thursday afternoon. “Chris Dodd was exceedingly angry. John Larson was not happy. We all called the White House. This is just unacceptable,” Himes said.

What happened to Connecticut’s White House juice?

Can you believe it? Joe Ganim and Ernie Newton free men. Soon, very soon completely. Former State Senator Newton is now in a halfway house in Waterbury following his release from a federal prison camp in Pennsylvania. He received a five-year sentence on corruption charges in 2006. Ganim is serving out his time in a halfway house in Hartford.

Newton will be under the supervision of halfway house staff until the completion of his term in August. He’ll be required to perform chores. He’ll also be allowed to work in the community but must turn over 25 percent of his pay. Once he hits the last 10 percent of his sentence, and that will be soon, he’ll be eligible to serve out his final days under home confinement.

Ernie was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alan Nevas following his guilty plea to corruption charges. Before Ernie left town he said he was The Moses of my people. Why do I get the feeling we’ll be hearing from Ernie very soon? Will he run for public office again? I say yes, but before he can do that and restore his voting rights he must satisfy all court-ordered fines and restitution. Under Connecticut law signed by former Governor John Rowland, a felon can vote provided he/she is not incarcerated and has paid all fines and restitution. Ernie must pay nearly $14,000 to the State Elections Enforcement Commission in restitution, but that amount can be lowered based on his ability to pay. Once Ernie finishes his term of incarceration he’ll be turned over to the U.S. Probation Department for three years of supervised release. There is no prohibition, according to the special conditions set forth by Judge Nevas, on Newton seeking public office during his three-year probationary period.

Shays Weighs Decision

It’s decision time for Christopher Shays. Will he? Or won’t he? The former congressman and key supporters have been grappling with the various scenarios of how he changes the race for governor. A major issue for Shays is a lifestyle change. He recently purchased a home in Maryland after living 10 years in Bridgeport and most of his life in Connecticut. He has placed a deposit on a condo in Bridgeport, but has stated he’d likely buy a place in the state irrespective of a run for office.

Whether he jumps in depends on how much fire he has to get back in the game. If he gets in it’s a game changer. He instantly becomes a leading candidate, along with former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley, for the Republican nomination. Shays brings a base of support to the table, Fairfield County Republicans. For sure, however, no one is going to hand this race over to Shays. It will be a fight. Foley, and his money, will make sure of that. If Shays gets in he’ll be the beneficiary of a free media blast that builds his statewide profile and buys him time to kick-start a political operation and raise money leading into the Republican state convention in May.

Shays will be outspent dramatically by Foley who continues to blast his new-guy image across the state. But low turnout primaries are weird birds. They’re not like general elections. You can be outspent and still win provided your message is sharp and you have a ground operation to entice your voters. It’s all about identifying friends and dragging them to the polls.

Lots of lesser-known Republicans are in the race including Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele who has two problems, no money and no name recognition. Say what, no one knows the lieutenant governor? Nope, and that happens often to the person occupying the second spot. For the most part lieutenant governors show up to fill in at chickenshit events. Jodi Rell, John Rowland’s lieutenant governor, had the benefit of serving more than two full years as governor before winning election in 2006. You can have name recognition and get in the game. You can have money and get in the game. When you have neither, it’s tough. Fedele is taking the public financing route which means he’ll not have his taxpayer-financed money until convention time, and will get an additional amount, according to campaign finance rules, depending on how many millions Foley spends. Fedele must rely on political support, he has some, to keep him afloat until his money kicks in. Until then, Fedele’s a second-tier candidate.

Time is of the essence for Shays because of Foley’s money. If Shays jumps in, the Republican dynamics change instantly. If not, it becomes Foley’s to lose.

From Superintendent of Schools John Ramos

Patricia Marini
Patricia Marini
Nearly everyone is familiar with chicken soup – Chicken Soup for the Soul, that is. For the first time in more than a decade, Chicken Soup for the Soul has published a groundbreaking book that includes contributions from all 55 of 2009’s State Teachers of the Year as well as 46 others from teachers and students. And a beautiful and powerful story by Read School teacher, Patricia Marini, is a part of this wonderful collection called Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teacher Tales.

“I Wish Every Teacher a Kevonna,” is Marini’s tribute to Kevonna Edwards, a special student who was considered difficult by others but who blossomed as a student and a volunteer with Marini, decided to become a teacher, and then died in a car accident.

“Her story needs to be told. I think that there are a lot of Kevonnas in Bridgeport,” said Marini. “This is why teachers go into teaching.”

Marini and Kevonna met in a summer school program in 2002 before Kevonna’s eighth-grade year at Read at which time Marini was a resource teacher. Marini decided to make Kevonna a helper in a class for students with special needs. Kevonna blossomed.

Marini felt that she was a natural teacher, and when Kevonna went on to attend high school at Bunnell in Stratford, she even joined Future Teachers of America.

Unfortunately, three years ago, in her senior year of high school, Kevonna died in a single-car accident on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Woodbridge.

It was about a year later when Marini learned that the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series was looking for stories from teachers.

“I love the books and I was on their Web site. I thought Kevonna had such an impact on me, I decided to write about her,” said Marini. She wrote the story in one sitting, tweaked it a bit and then submitted it.

Early last December, right around the time of what would have been Kevonna’s birthday, Marini learned her entry was in the top 5 percent and would likely be included in the book.

Marini plans to use the $200 fee she received as seed money for a scholarship in Kevonna’s name, awarded each year to a student most improved at Read School.

“Kevonna is a success story. It’s unfortunate what happened to her, but she would have come back to this district and taught. I know it. On those days when your patience is worn thin, I hope teachers have a student like Kevonna to think about,” said Marini.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teacher’s Tales was released on February 2, 2010 and is available for purchase at your local bookstore.



  1. Like many OIB readers have stated Shays is not a Bpt candidate and he showed that being in congress. I am not too sure how the upstate Republicans will view him. Does anybody know? Do you really think Foley can beat him in a primary? I have no clue about that primary at all.

  2. I was extremely saddened to hear of the passing of my fellow sea service veteran and one-time very worthy political opponent in the 130th State Rep district, Chico Rivera, yesterday. He was a loyal and good friend to all who knew him and a proud and dedicated US Marine. Semper Fi, Chico … OOH-RAAAH! May he rest in peace.

  3. Lennie–How about putting some numbers together regarding the total cost to the taxpayers as a result of the terminations of Jacobs, Riccio, Abate and any others that I may be missing … help me out here town committee. I am curious as to the total dollar amount when one factors in outside attorney fees for the city, attorney fees for the plaintiffs, as well as settlement amounts regarding wages and benefits. Correct me if I am wrong here but these suits have to be approaching the neighborhood of half a million or better.
    Also, does anyone actually know if John Bohannon is employed by the city attorney’s office or is all of his work considered outside attorneys work?

    1. I would be willing to bet the settlement for just Jacobs & Riccio are in the neighborhood of $400K. I tried to research Riccio’s settlement but gave up. Maybe someone knows exactly.

  4. MariAn Gail Brown did an outstanding job with the Evans issue.
    I do not think lumping the Riccio, Abate, Jacobs and Evans’ terminations together is valid. Riccio and Abate really screwed up and the payout released the Port Authority and WPCA from their contracts. Jacobs and Evans were ‘by the book’ and really tried to reform stupid and costly processes that were really outdated and did not serve the public well. They didn’t have City contracts at the time of their terminations.
    There just has to be better ways to attract top-notch professionals to serve Bridgeport well and leave with their heads held high if the new administration wants policy to go in another direction. It doesn’t need a black clouds rising scenario.

  5. Countdown–I agree that each of these cases should be examined independently of each other. I agree that Abate and Riccio did screw up and I also agree that the fatal flaw of both Evans and Jacobs was that they were “by the book” employees who were unwilling to accept the marching orders being dictated to them. The obvious common thread here is the current administration was willing to spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to rid themselves of what they perceived to be problematic employees. They seem to spare no expense in pursuit of their political desires. These actions should be a very clear indication of exactly where the priorities of this Finch administration lie … politics trumps government.
    I cannot think of one positive example of this administration’s accomplishment in regard to policy or efficiency. This administration has threatened layoffs, asked for concessions, asked for furlough time to be taken by employees due to budget problems. They have simultaneously been spending money on political hirings and settlements like it was going out of style … you can’t have it both ways. Don’t claim to be in financial straits and ask/demand for help from your employees without demonstrating to them your commitment to being part of the solution. It’s called leadership … something this administration has no knowledge of or interest in.

  6. PCF,
    Public Employees are inherently risk-averse. None of them want to have their names spilled all over the newspaper for an initiative gone bad. In order for change to take hold the supervisors need to lead the change, the quest for better outcomes for the residents and businesses in the city. When you suddenly extract a strong professional that was brought in to help reform an antiquated set of processes, those that were buying into the change snap back and run for the hills. Those middle managers or other employees that weren’t embracing the change sit back and say ‘see brown-noser, you stuck your head up and now it is going to be cut off.’ Extracting solid professionals without the proper transition does more to hurt reform and improved customer service than any negotiated enhancement to a union contract. It is so sad the efforts that Jacobs and Evans were trying to instill come under the storm clouds of a poor change in appointed official. The ‘every four years we will wait you out’ mantra has gotten a boost from all of this.

  7. The Finch administration chooses largely not to explain what its management objectives are.
    The curious (including us) are generally left to make educated guesses or wild assumptions.
    The mayor chooses to stay silent on his motives. Or is it the motives of his staff? No one is really sure.
    If the end result produces an administration able to function according to the commands of the mayor’s office, perhaps the costs associated with throwing the charter into the harbor are worth it–to the administration.
    We have not seen that.
    You are left to suspect the administration does not really know what it wants.
    The mayor chooses to adopt a “never complain, never explain” policy.
    When the only critic willing to speak out is Troll, the mayor can get away with this.
    For how long, I wonder.

  8. I think the mayor is doing a good job. So is the Board of Ed.

    By the way, here are some notes I took from last night’s meeting of the Bridgeport BOE:

    A motion was made to produce a budget report on overtime expenses for: 1) custodial, 2) trades and 3) security, including when the overtime was worked, who was involved, and how much overtime was earned.

    Also, a motion was made for both security and custodial to provide a schedule of what has been paid and what is still outstanding in regards to programs run in our buildings by organizations. These organizations are usually required to reimburse the BOE for custodial and security services. This is important because this revenue can help offset the deficits in the custodial and security area. Some said this schedule does not currently exist.

    1. Bridgeport Now: go to BOE meetings and watch the board members waive fees. The same people blame security and facilities for overtime. The dollars are multiplied by your $500k guess. Interesting …

  9. Joel:
    Maybe we are being a pair of snaggletooths (or it that snaggleteeths?).

    Let’s see what the report will be like from Bridgeport Now next week.

    (Between you and me Joel, I think the kid is from outside the solar system.)

  10. The BOE is doing a good job??? As Joel said, what planet are you from?

    Go to a public board meeting, I have 2 small children in Hooker school, I go to all the board meetings. I am a concerned parent and a taxpayer.

    If the board isn’t at each other’s throats they are trying to figure out who is in charge of the place. They hired Benjamin Barnes and shifted him to finance and left the interim head in charge. Why not hire a CPA to do the budget? Why not leave the guy in charge and not run an end around? Oh wait, a degree was needed, ah, wink wink gotcha.
    What about the board president? Mrs. Bellinger? Does anyone listen to her or does the whole board just want to climb over the poor lady?

    How about the schools and the children? Does anyone even care?

    Does the superintendent even come to Bridgeport?

    Who needs the WWF when you have the BOE board fights, it is an embarrassment to the proud city of Bridgeport, the who you know and the power hungry people in charge looking to trash anyone below them, the comments from the people/parents in the audience at the board meetings, disgusting.

    When my kids graduate will their diplomas mean anything or will I have to get a second job and send them to private school?

    I worked hard to afford to move to a great section of the city and to a great school and then you hear the principal is in all kinds of trouble and I don’t even know if my kids will have a diploma that means a damn thing.

    Stop covering up your mistakes BOE and instead of putting your energy into covering your butts, put your efforts into the children.

    If the buildings guy doesn’t deserve the job then don’t hire someone to cover it up.

    If the board president isn’t handling her duties then I’m sure someone has to be qualified to be the president or leave the lady alone and stop the public fighting please.

    Please care about the kids before my kids have a worthless piece of paper that a college will laugh at.

    Thank You

  11. Countdown; For the most part not always good executives are not considered when the appointments are being made for these jobs. It’s the good old boy network. Let’s look at a few, Andy Nunn claim to fame first selectman from Monroe I am sure Finch befriended him when he was state senator. Now Nunn is in charge of the Harbor he is a mayoral confidant, he was in charge of the WIC program for which Dr. Evans is taking the heat even though she had no say for the past year or two. BTW why wasn’t Nunn fired for all the screwups at WIC? Good Old Boy. Adam Wood (mayor) claim to fame managed 2 losing campaigns for Diane Farrell product of State Central Committee. Experience in Municipal government ZERO. Tyrone McClain Mayoral aide experience knows how to open Democratic headquarters and turn off the lights at night. Dave Dunn good negotiator bad civil service director strictly a company man employees be damned. Winterbottom civil service fired from Bridgeport, hired in Stratford leaves with administration change. You guessed it back to Bridgeport. Dennis Murphy he is now in charge of something and I will be damned if I can remember, another Good old boy who will go along to get along. Feeney something to do with WPCA they keep finding a place to hide this guy. Backed Flush Timpanelli’s idea for making room at the treatment plant for Monroe sewage. Eversley Economic development hired as a favor to mayor Bloomberg of NYC has more time on the train than in the office. The list goes on and on I bet those of you out there can add to this list of management winners. What say You?

  12. Thank you CT Post reporter Marian Gail Brown for finally printing the truth about who was responsible for the failure of the WIC program. The State DPH confirmed that as of May 2, 2007, WIC was transferred to two Social Service administrators, Iris Molina and Veronica Ortiz and that Dr. Evans was “no longer the point of contact.” She was not copied on any of the letters that detailed the 26 deficiencies in the WIC program. 26 deficiencies? 26 deficiencies? One more time. 26 deficiencies?

    Let me put this in perspective. Dr. Evans was fired because WIC failed under her watch. Now the state confirms that WIC was really under the watch of Iris and Veronica. So shouldn’t the same form of discipline apply to them? Aren’t these serious performance issues when you fail to address 26 deficiencies, the City loses a 1/2 million dollar program and lots of people lose their jobs?

    Two issues here. 1) Where is the discipline of Iris and Veronica? 2) Where is the public apology to Dr. Evans? Now Finch is saying it’s a personnel matter? Well he should have considered that before he leaked slanderous information to the CT Post. Here comes another lawsuit.

  13. BTW, if you check out the DPH website, it lists William Quinn as the Acting Health Director with a link to the city website. When you click on the link it reads Dr. Marian Evans, Health Director. I guess we’re waiting to pay the website consultant another 100 grand before we update the web page. City can’t even get that right.

  14. Lennie, do you have any OIB Party photos of José “Chico” Rivera. Wasn’t there one you called “the three amigos?”

    chico1 // May 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Lennie, thank you for the warm reception last nite at your party, I shall try to make all your parties no matter where, it was a pleasure meeting your wife and daughter, nice family, next time I’ll bring my wife and 2 boys, handsome as their father is; we should get together to discuss issues, u, me, and hector; I was hoping hector would be helping me, you think hector, oh by the way I have a new house for sale on Helen & Arctic St. corner house; single fam., 3brms, 2-1/2 bths, central air/heating, call me 203-414-6012, sorry Lennie, make business here, good thing, anyone want to set and discuss things, I’m always available; Armed Forces day celebration at Bluefish Stadium on Saturday 5/17/08 at 1730 (5:30 PM for u civilians) I’ll be there part of Vets. Council, we need parades and parties. Don’t forget Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony. Thanks Joel for the conversation, very enlighting, you are right about Mitch and what he said to Mojica, you know I don’t lie; I’ll be walking on Saturday, please join me also. Hopefully, Charlie, Barry and I will make a winning team, and go on to glory in November, You and me Joel, again thank u for the warmth last nite, Will it be the same the next time??

  15. Okay Bridgeport stand by for a Royal screwing. I see where Trumbull our favorite suburb just hired John Marsilio as its Public Works director. Jesus does it ever stop this game of rotating executives?
    Marsilio did a fairly good job as PFD in Bridgeport. His major failing was the leasing of the Golf Course to National Fairways. The city took a giant screwing on that one. I must mention Dennis Murphy was also a major player in that fiasco.
    Here is where Bridgeport will get screwed and we will get screwed because Marsilio is smarter than anyone in this administration. The Trumbull sewer contract is coming due and it is time to negotiate a new deal. You watch and see how badly we will get screwed.
    Yeah I know any contract worked out between Trumbull and Bridgeport needs common council approval. When is the last time this group of lemmings voted no on a contract?
    Any talk of Trumbull building their own treatment plant is just that talk. Where in this land of soup and honey will they build it if they wanted to? Trumbull has just about used up their borders with Bridgeport filling it with all kinds of commercial developments. So where would it go?
    Marsilio has got to be licking his chops waiting to renegotiate the sewer contract.

  16. Mr T/C

    Is this the same Marsilio that was brought up at the BOE board meetings to be the operations director?

    If he is that good why wasn’t he hired here and allowed to go to Trumbull?
    Isn’t it true a custodian is now in charge with the job this Marsilio wanted?
    I know they hired a Benjamin Barnes but I saw his picture on a milk carton at Price Rite.

    By what you are saying this Mr. Marsilio would have been a coup for Bridgeport and the BOE, or am I reading this wrong?

    1. You are reading this wrong. I said Marsilio did a fairly good job as Public facilities director then I pointed out where he screwed up.
      While I believe he will outmatch the people in the administration when they renegotiate the sewer contract with Trumbull, I think his time in Bridgeport was up.

  17. Yeah Law. That’s the same guy but Ramos got a plan to privatize and got his people in place to do it. Bucky wouldn’t be a lemming like the guys in place now. These guys gonna destroy the city workers to line their pockets. If the public voted for Ramos and Henry none would be reelected. Finch needs to step in and stop Ramos and his boys from their plan.

      1. Personal is like Juan bringing in service first to clean the schools that was privatizing too the bums stole and slept while working in our schools side by side with civil service tested people There’s the ax to grind Bill or John or George or whoever.

  18. “Ramos got a plan to privatize and got his people in place to do it Bucky wouldn’t be a lemming like the guys in place now”
    Bucky cost the city of Bridgeport over $1,000,000 with his lame deal to privatize the golf course. The three people who benefited most for this deal were Mark Bergschneider, the person who slipped off the hook for a million dollars and Bucky and Murphy who had all of their fees waived while playing golf several times a week on the taxpayer’s dime as part of overseeing the privatization.
    Bucky was also the point person in pushing through privatizing the operations of the WPCA. This was the lynchpin in the Ganim corruption enterprise. And he nearly had a revolt in PFD with playing games in doling out OT to a certain group of employees.
    And then Bucky got a consulting gig with Aquarion as part of their taking over the operations of the WPCA and could not land a job elsewhere until now.
    Oh, except for his short stay with some school system out in Arizona that Sonja Salcedo got for him and he was sent packing as soon as they got rid of Sonja.
    So please let’s not turn Bucky into a hero here just to try to make Ramos look bad.
    As I say, stay the Buck out of Bridgeport.
    Leonard, please feel free to fill in any blanks that I am missing here.

    1. The blanks missing are the convenient blanks in your head because you have a hard-on for Marsilio. I played golf with Marsilio several times at The Wheel and he always paid his way. Marsilio had nothing to do with the shit that was going on at the shit center. Nothing. You’re unfairly soiling a man’s reputation. I think I have a pretty good handle on the good guys and bad guys in that case. I certainly made a lot of idiotic decisions. Grin, you failed to mention the millions in additional revenue the city is receiving as a result of Marsilio’s idea to fully tax the garbage to energy plant. Millions more each year in additional revenue. You have facts about Marsilio, come out in the open and have the guts to attach your name to it.

      1. I agree with Lennie. Had Joe Ganim not been tipped off about an ongoing federal probe, I’m sure there would have been a lot more arrests made. However I doubt very much Marsilio would have been one of them. I was shocked to hear that Lennie got caught up in it.

  19. OK Grin I believe you so Bucky woulda been right in there with the privatizing guys then. Ramos got his ducks in a row now. That’s why they went through all the troubles to fake hiring someone they got the crew in now.

  20. Oh and I forgot, a few years back the Buck-meister wanted the city to take the RESCO plant by eminent domain, incur hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and hopefully operate it at break-even so that he could become The Garbage King.
    Talk about a whole lot of garbage.
    Bucky is always looking out for Bucky and would never turn his back on a buck no matter whose orders he was following.

  21. GRIN You are right on the money with the golf course. I was on the park board when that fiasco went through. The story behind that leasing deal would curl your hair. It was so bad the Feds were told but did nothing about it. I guess they only wanted Ganim.

  22. The federal transportation grants were under the program called TIGER–Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery. The goal was to address multi-modal or national economic benefit. The criteria were clear and the competition was stiff. Something went wrong with the evaluation because some of the projects that were submitted clearly met those goals like Redding’s transit garage for their new train station at their Georgetown Development ($28 million request at the former Gilbert & Bennett factory site); Stamford’s Transit way ($32 million request to finish that $60+million South End/Transportation Center link). Those two projects clearly met the Fed’s goals. But then let’s look at what Bridgeport submitted: the reconstruction of the Congress Street Bridge! CDOT requested funding for the Moses Wheeler Bridge on I-95. Absolutely not projects that met the criteria the feds are looking for under TIGER. Connecticut did get screwed but Bridgeport requested the absolutely wrong project. Watch for the reevaluation to fund the Redding and Stamford transit-oriented projects. Bridgeport should redo its priorities and focus on growing the tax base through multi-modal enhancements. We have so much to do to upgrade and connect the Intermodal Transportation center to the rest of downtown and harbor yards. Economic Development should be the priority. The reconstruction of the Congress Street bridge, although an emotional issue for the city should be a FHWA project not TIGER. Sooo sad.

    1. WHY is Nancy Hadley making so much sense about economic development in Bridgeport while posting on OIB and our real Economic Development Director resides in NYC?

      Only in Bridgeport, kiddies …

      1. LOCALIZE … your latest entry about Nancy Hadley making sense is something to recognize!
        You see Nancy Hadley, former OPED chief, usually presents information, the facts, and if necessary some assumptions for the benefit of the uninformed. She then proceeds to connect the dots. Since they generally aim towards where the public is served, rather than one or more fat cats or people in power, we tend to agree with her.
        Take a look at MariAn Gail Brown, saluted several times today for her article yesterday. She presents the facts, gives detail and background otherwise unavailable, and directs the piece towards larger public issues, health services for the public and fairness to professional public servants.
        At a time when Tiger Woods is able to slow down trading volume on a stock exchange for 13 minutes because of his confession and contrition for ongoing personal betrayals and misbehavior, it is understandable we are often sidelined by looking for the inside story of those suddenly in the public light. However, it is good to see we still can appreciate an honest and straightforward presentation of the facts, alongside background information to help understanding and then a logical proceeding to a conclusion that may provide a lesson for us or an opinion for our reflection.
        Congratulations to these two ladies!!! Hope there is a take-away from this observation, Local Eyes.

  23. For the people who did not know about the deal, the operator was required to put up an irrevocable letter of credit worth a million dollars to guarantee performance. This was part of a compromise cooked up with the operator, Murphy, Bucky and Stafstrom.
    So the operator fails to make timely payments; the city drags its collective feet and when finally they get around to calling the letter, it had expired and the city did not require the operator to renew it. The taxpayers were out what was supposed to be a guaranteed million dollars.

  24. The other thing about the letter of credit was nobody knew nothing when questions were asked. Nobody knew where the letter was, nobody knew who was responsible for making sure it was renewed, nobody knew what the CPA firm did not ensure that documents like this were not properly tracked, etc. But more importantly, nobody seemed to know that the bank was supposed to send out a certified letter warning the city that this was about to lapse and nobody knew who signed for that notice. Everything disappeared including people’s memories.
    The great whodunit became the great Houdini!!!

    1. Grin I can tell you someone’s memory did not fade and that is mine. The leasing company National Fairways had no money (I had a mole in OPM who fed me information) and were going to get their financing through CRX a company that dealt with railroad cars on a large scale. The leasing company National Fairways needed to put the golf course up as collateral. I got one of the councilmen I can’t remember who to put a motion before the council to not allow the golf course to be used as collateral. There was a lot of give and take on that motion and it ultimately ended up as a 10-10 tie which was then broken by Ganim and the motion was defeated.
      The original company they wanted was Arnold Palmer as I was against leasing altogether they meaning a mayoral aide came to me and offered me free golf and a cart to vote for Palmer (not Marsilio or Murphy). Somewhere within a month things changed. All the commissioners whose terms had expired were replaced except me and Rosa who still had time left on our appointments. National Fairways was then awarded the contract. The rest is history, a sad chapter.

  25. I forgot 1 thing there were 10 heroes on the council that night. The administration pulled out all the stops to defeat this motion because they knew without using the course for collateral this deal was dead.

  26. Local Eyes what the hell are you looking at? You are misleading the OIB bloggers. I read the entire damned list and you are wrong here are a few examples.
    Hartford 71 Grants $875 Million
    New Haven 273 Grants $140 Million
    Danbury 11 Grants $26 Million
    Rocky Hill 6 Grants $33 Million
    Fairfield 9 grants $37 Million

  27. You did not get dissed you got corrected. What’s the matter the truth hurts? People run around with shit-eating grins on their face saying everything is getting better when in fact it’s not. Speaking the truth is not doom and gloom. It’s fine if you think $28 million is a great gift. Just look at your own posting of the stimulus monies and tell me I am doom and gloom. BTW your town did better than Bridgeport. One more thing if you don’t want the truth don’t read what I post.
    The difference between you and me is that I actually care about the people here in Bridgeport. btw try talking in sentences not riddles.

  28. WHAT do Local Eyes & Tiger Woods have in common?

    Answer: NOT MUCH except Tiger apologized to a closed audience a day before I did. His story is national news, mine is not. However …

    I’m sorry, I apologize, I was wrong.


    I’m a medal contender.

  29. TOTAL DEPRESSION is caused when getting grammar suggestions from town committee.

    Sanity: where did I desert you?

    BTW, what makes you think I don’t belong in Bridgeport?

  30. I dunno Local, you seem to be doing a pretty good job of showing why you belong in Bridgeport when you goof up the stats.
    Is da mare looking for a new budget director?


    This gun’s for hire. Local Eyes is a paid blogger. Lennie PAYS ME THE BIG BUCKS to write caustic, cryptic, controversial and sometimes angry POSTS to stir interest.

    I live in San Diego.

  32. L E
    Do you have any notion that when you get a compliment or attaboy, you can either quietly accept it or graciously say “Thank you” as good form? Earlier this afternoon, your response to my comment questioned whether I wondered about your “brightness.” Since I was supporting what you were reporting, this was not a comment about your smarts!
    However, your next comment was to inform me and others by way of a question that the column was not about you, but rather about Bridgeport. Well that question sure made your entry in the column about YOU!!
    Take a look at your comments with TC. It’s not about Bridgeport, it’s about you … but hey, that’s OK … most people don’t question your comments.
    No apology necessary as far as I am concerned. Conclusion: It’s fortunate that Bridgeport has some caring and communicating females like Nancy Hadley and MariAn Gail Brown to offer good information, facts and constructive criticism to assist the rest of us when our view is limited.

  33. Let’s make a weekend out of it … this is as close as I’ve ever come to hijacking a blog! “My people” are thrilled. I moved to Bridgeport for a reason. OIB has been an unexpected outlet for secret transmission–are you with me so far? Uh-oh, where was I?

    Here’s why I’m blogging:

    LOCALIZE is a verb
    LOCALEYES is a noun

  34. BEACON2: read between the lines …

    L E
    Do you have any notion that when you get a compliment or attaboy, you can either quietly accept it or graciously say “Thank you” as good form? *** Sure, it happens more than you think. *** Earlier this afternoon, your response to my comment questioned whether I wondered about your “brightness.” *** “uninformed” was the word you used *** Since I was supporting what you were reporting, *** you didn’t say that *** this was not a comment about your smarts! *** maybe the reason I didn’t hear your attaboy was because you didn’t mention one! ***
    However, your next comment was to inform me and others by way of a question *** local eyes makes statements not questions *** that the column was not about you, but rather about Bridgeport. Well that question sure made your entry in the column about YOU!! *** that was my whole point ***
    Take a look at your comments with TC. It’s not about Bridgeport, it’s about you … but hey, that’s OK … most people don’t question your comments.
    No apology necessary as far as I am concerned. Conclusion: It’s fortunate that Bridgeport has some caring and communicating females like Nancy Hadley and MariAn Gail Brown to offer good information, facts and constructive criticism to assist the rest of us when our view is limited. *** see, at least we can agree about something ***

  35. Hartford’s treatment of the Biggest City with the 3rd highest poverty rate is disgusting. Finch and Wood made enemies all over Hartford and the legislative delegation can’t agree on what to have for lunch let alone a cohesive agenda. (Not to mention that a few of them have the IQ of toast.) Isn’t it odd that of the ones who aren’t freshman, only Caruso has a leadership role (nominal at best)? Rell’s jail is going right where she wants it. Finch knew about it for a long time, he never objected until the public outcry. Wood wanted the PILOT payment he’s so smart. Nancy’s a great gal and has her pulse on everything Bridgeport. Finch and Wood the deathly duo have been trying to get rid of Evans since he started damn glad they were taken out to the woodshed by the Post. Iris and Veronica have been in cahoots with Shurley, Finch’s assistant, left over from Fabrizi for years. They had to keep her since she was supposedly feeding info on Fabrizi and staff to Wood. Too bad she never gave him accurate info. Marsilio is extremely smart, too bad his friend Finch couldn’t do anything for his friend Marsilio who helped him raise a lot of dough. Seems like Finch turned out a lot of people who were there in the campaign for him. Except the people who make his office “less homogenized.” It is all about appearances, well they aren’t fooling anyone. His inexperienced, arrogant staff have helped Finch get where he is today–screwed.

  36. John great blog. Do you think it’s possible Finch helped get Marsilio the job in Trumbull?
    Inexperienced staff!!! How true. How is it the cities listed below got so much money from the Feds and we got so little? Could it be because our leader has an inexperienced and arrogant staff?
    Hartford 71 Grants $875 Million
    New Haven 273 Grants $140 Million
    Danbury 11 Grants $26 Million
    Rocky Hill 6 Grants $33 Million
    Fairfield 9 grants $37 Million
    Could this arrogance have also led to the WIC program being in trouble? Could it be this arrogance and inexperience have led to payoffs of illegally fired employees before the city got its ass kicked in court? Could it be arrogance from the council when a member (Curwen) states the money was in the budget anyway and we just used discretionary funds to hire consultants like Dunn and Winterbottom? You are right on the money John.

  37. TC,
    The first issue is writing the grant application so that it is competitive. The political clout can’t do anything without a solid competitive application. Who is in charge of the grants office anyhow? Has there been much turnover in that department? For Bridgeport to have such a low stimulus grant award total, something has to be wrong. It’s one thing to complain the Stimulus money isn’t helping with the job crisis but what good is it if the grant applications are not competitive?

    1. Countdown, your questions are a bit rhetorical but I’ll bite anyway. You know as well as I do what’s going on in the grants office. The Grants office and the CDBG office are both under the leadership of Alanna Kabel. Finch foolishly merged the two offices when Rina Bakalar left. Rina was a successful grantswriter with great communications, motivational and organizational skills. Alanna has none of that. Since she took over, the staff turnover has been 10 or 12, I lost track. She forced out good seasoned employees because she was threatened by their intelligence. Employees have been replaced by come-and-go consultants and temps. Consultants frequently spend valuable time and money working on projects that have already been completed by employees but no one bothered to ask. Alanna knows nothing about writing grants and I would venture to say that she has never written one. She overburdens her staff and often has them working on 3 or 4 projects at the same time. It’s no surprise they aren’t competitive. She shows no leadership and no direction. It’s not the fault of her staff, they are holding on for dear life. She is not qualified yet Finch hands over more and more power to her. We are all counting down to the next election.

  38. The reconstruction of the Congress Street bridge did not meet the grant criteria. Who made that decision? How can we be upset we didn’t get a piece of yesterday’s announcement if we didn’t submit the right project? This is just nuts.

  39. Smart move on Trumbull’s part. John Marsilio can run circles around the Bridgeport crew. He is smart (too smart for some of the insecure Bridgeport crew), a great negotiator and honest. He has done a lot of good for Bridgeport he never got credit for. He will be a great asset for Trumbull. I applaud Herbst for his confidence and willingness to put talent and experience around him. He is doing a great job so far for Trumbull.

    1. I must agree with RW&B on the Bucky job. Marsilio is a smart guy who got burned and betrayed by Ganim. Time for everyone to be allowed to move on. Good Luck in Trumbull.

  40. Countdown: That has been the object of my posting on this site. I have been trying to point out the lack of professionalism in this entire administration. Sometimes I feel like I am whistling in the dark.
    These are serious dollars that we are missing out on. Why are we missing out on these dollars? Simple! Incompetence in the entire administration, you talk about the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.
    Let’s look at who we have put in office to govern us. Let’s start with the council. With few exceptions most of the council works for the city or has a relative working for the city thus they will not challenge the administration for fear of reprisal. They voted in unison for the Jacobs settlement and a typical response stated by Curwen was the salary was in the budget already and all we did was take a few bucks out of the discretionary fund for the consultants. Not a peep about how this dismissal was 100% wrong.
    State delegation from them we get a few breadcrumbs in state aide. They don’t rock the boat and evidently can’t form working relationships in Hartford that will benefit the city.
    Finch Administration. The latest round of stimulus money points out the total failure of this administration. Hartford gets $840million-plus more than we get and New Haven gets $100million-plus more than we do.
    The shame of it is all of these people will get the nod from the DTC for their next election. I will probably one of the few voting against this crowd of incompetents.

  41. Why does this blog seem to not care much about the BOE?
    Is city politics the only game in town?
    Does the BOE corruption, lies, fights and cover-ups not rate high enough on the meter to generate enough cyber-time?
    If you go to the board meetings as I do the comments from the crowd which lately seems to include workers are troubling, they know they are taking the blame for the management screw-ups and a few I talked to after the meetings know they are on a fast boat to the land of the crap flows downhill.
    The old board seemed more empathetic to the fact the workers were short-staffed and needed extra time to cover for the people out or retired, now it seems the workers are having fingers pointed at them by management to cover up their mistakes.
    To put it in a sports term I am a huge Mets fan and the Wilpons and Omar Minaya needed a scapegoat for their mistakes and they blamed Willie Randolph, so Randolph was gone but the mistakes by the Wilpons get worse and the Board in this instance is the Wilpons, and Randolph is the workers.
    I have stated before I don’t want my kids’ diplomas to be a empty piece of paper, I want them to have every advantage that a suburban child has.
    Again I say Please stop the bickering and the finger-pointing and give a darn about the kids and the environment they learn in, people on here should take a greater interest in the BOE whether they have kids in the schools or not.

  42. Here are 3 of my favorite awards involving stimulus money in Connecticut:

    Sexual Conflict, Social Behavior and the Evolution of Waterfowl Genitalia $384K
    Genetic Analysis of the Zebrafish Somitogenesis Oscillator $464K
    Multimodal flavor integration and retronasal olfaction in the rat $360K

    I want to express my thanks to our congressional delegation in CT for a great job. Way to spend our money putting people back to work. For those of you who think our elected officials in Washington are doing a good job. The stimulus package is full of this kind of crap.

    1. *** T/C did you ever stop to wonder just maybe stimulus awards for things like genetic analysis, etc. are ways that science finds treasure troves of cancer drugs in deep sea creatures like peptides that can kill cancer cells? Also, zebra somitogenesis provides info. on slow & fast muscle developments in the cells that may ID the timing of evolution, not to mention ID negative cells that may develop into diseases that may attack the system like M/S? It’s always a flip of the coin when it comes to whether these types of experiments will pan out unanswered questions after “$” has been spent that could be used elsewhere. Just like oscillators, the movement of energy between two forms, like a clock’s pendulum that creates both potential & kinetic energy. As the world looks for different means of using new forms of energy, to replace our dependency on oil, coal, gas, etc. money for science is not “crap!” *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  43. TC,
    Were those three grants you cited from New Haven aka Yale research or from Farmington aka UCONN Medical Center? There were lots of research grants in that listing. Lots of the stimulus money awards are still to be announced. It’s all about putting in solid grant applications and having the political clout behind the paperwork. Those health researchers sure know how to file grant applications, what they mean to the greater good is beyond me.

    I think the high-speed rail announcement for the New Haven to Springfield line makes sense and will produce a lot of jobs but it would have also made sense if there were lots of new parking garages/lots along the New Haven line awarded so more people ride those new rail cars that are coming soon.

  44. Coundown: it almost appears that if you filed any type of application it was granted. I just pointed out 3 of the more ridiculous ones I glanced at. I wonder how many applications Bridgeport filed?

  45. CHS and Town Committee,
    Grant applications are more of an art form than substance. If you write it well, it will rank well … I am just pointing out that on the one hand we have unemployment in this state that is so high it is unprecedented yet the grant applications for the stimulus money don’t seem to be hitting the mark to help the private sector create jobs. That isn’t an Obama issue–that is a failure on the part of the grant applicant. Obama and Congress put the money out there. Finch’s wish list for stimulus money exceeded one billion dollars. Some of the things on that list were to help the private sector create permanent jobs. The disconnect it seems to me is how the wish list became grant applications. I am all for more cops on the street. Every city needs more boots on the ground. I really don’t care right now what will happen three years from now when that funding runs out if we also focus on ways to get the private sector to create jobs. If more people get off unemployment, the revenue to the state and city will go up and we will have an opportunity within the city budget to do some things for the Board of Ed’s budget as well as the rest of the city’s budget. If the tax base grows there will be more money to the city to help with the schools as well as the city services. Based on that list of stimulus awards, Bridgeport has a lot more work to do on the art of grant applications to help get permanent jobs in the City. That is why I can’t understand how the Congress Street bridge reconstruction made the top of Bridgeport’s list. The other cities and ‘burbs are beating us in the grant application game as it relates to creating permanent jobs. It isn’t the Board of Ed’s responsibility to grow the tax base and get more tax revenue into Bridgeport, it is the City Administration’s.

  46. Countdown: While I agree with much of what you say I must disagree with your statement concerning the 20 new cops we will get from government money.
    We do need to worry about 3 years down the road. We need to be ready to take on the salaries of the 20 police officers we will be hiring with the government money.
    This administration is running on the same philosophy of I will worry about what I am doing now I am not worried about a few years down the road. This is evident when contract concessions from the union were made as it relates to wages. Well that chicken is coming home to roost very shortly and the taxpayers will get it in tax increases to pay those wage concessions.
    Countdown I am surprised by your statement. You always have to worry about the future as it relates to government programs you can get stuck with when the fed money runs out.

  47. TC,
    “I really don’t care right now what will happen three years from now when that funding runs out if we also focus on ways to get the private sector to create jobs.”

    The second part of my sentence is just as important as the first. I am glad they applied and were awarded the money for the new cops. But I am also concerned that at the same time they focus on ways to get the stimulus money to help the private sector create jobs. I think both things have to happen in parallel. It is the last part of the sentence that I find lacking. A bridge connecting the downtown and the East Side is an emotional issue. It will not do anything to add jobs where something like separating the storm and sewer systems in the downtown will go a long way in terms of getting financing for the new and rehab buildings. It is really stupid that when it rains hard the buildings downtown get flooded basements and the manhole covers bob up and down. Would you invest in the downtown when the basic infrastructure sucks? Do you realize that some of the basements are several feet below the water level? It’s one thing to deal with the tidal issues but compounding that with a backed-up combined sewer and storm water system is just plain wrong. The stimulus money needs to help fix that problem among others which will add private investment, add jobs, grow the tax base and get more tax revenue into Bridgeport to help the schools and city services.

  48. As I recall, Finch’s wish list for stimulus money had everything in it but the kitchen sink. It looked like they took the CDBG requests from the last few years and threw everything in whether it qualified or not, whether it created jobs or not. Weren’t there projects in there like a new gym for Bpt PAL? Nothing against PAL and they may need a gym, but do we want to spend valuable stimulus money on this? I think not. There are very few people in the Finch administration who have a vision for the City. There are some damn smart employees but no one hears them. The countdown is on …

  49. CHS,
    That ‘kitchen sink’ listing was on the State’s website but I couldn’t find it just now. Yes, there were lots and lots of wishes on that list but I really thought the direction was given to the grant application writers to prioritize what wishes would really make an impact on temporary AND permanent jobs and will result in ways to increase the tax base. Those should have been the wishes that turned into grant applications. Naive on my part, I reluctantly admit. YUK.

  50. The use of the federal stimulus money is totally dependent on what the grant applicants submit. So let’s not beat up the President because the stimulus money isn’t creating jobs. I think we all need to look in the mirror.

    1. Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the worst mayor of them all? Countdown, if you were mayor or Economic Development director (wink), what would you have done when the stimulus money came down?

  51. Countdown: Please. This stimulus contract as it was constructed was never going to create a lot of jobs. They created a lot of BS jobs and while they won’t admit it they know it’s failed. They keep pointing to jobs it saved even though they have no way to quantify their numbers.
    I did a lot of reading on the stimulus plan in CT and I don’t see a lot of jobs in that award. I see a lot of groups and organizations getting money for nothing.
    Did you ever hear the buck stops here? We have had a year of diddling by congress and the senate and very little leadership from the administration. BTW countdown I know downtown is your sacred cow but there are other areas in this city. Maybe it’s time for a different approach?


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