Afternoon Update: This should be some week.
The State Bond Commission–or shall we call it Bong Commission? … depends on what they’re smoking, eh?–will take up Governor Jodi Rell’s preposterous proposal to shoehorn a juvenile detention center for girls in a residential area of the Upper East Side. Will they give Bridgeport a pipe job? State Rep. Chris Caruso will do all he can this week–leading up the Bond Commission vote–to derail loot approval for Jodi’s jam session. It’s a long shot. What Jodi wants, as it pertains to state bonding, Jodi gets. She controls the meetings. But if all five Dems on the committee that includes Attorney General Dick Blumenthal and Comptroller Nancy Wyman say no well it’s sayonara. Problem is looks like State Senator Eileen Daily, also a Dem member of the commission, will vote with Jodi. It’s easy to stick a prison in Bridgeport when you represent those sweet shoreline towns in eastern Connecticut.
Jodi’s an expert at spewing happy horseshit about why the facility is needed. No argument here. But if it’s so needed, why not stick it in a rural or suburban town? Because it’s easy to jam another tax-exempt property down Bridgeport’s throat. She proposes this thing in Brookfield, where she lives, they’ll come after her with hatchets.
Caruso, who can be a big pain in the ass, will do his part to give Daily agida leading up to the vote later this week, including a news conference scheduled for Tuesday morning in Hartford. I had a long conversation with the Big Wave, as I like to call Caruso, the other day. He’s cranked up about this issue, and why not. “Lennie, what would you say if they put this in Redding” (where I live)? Fine by me, I said, plenty of room up here, but I still prefer Jodi’s hometown Brookfield.
The state likes to create the impression this facility is for city kids. Baloney. The girls do require help and the facility is certainly needed, but residents come from all over the state.
Mayor Bill Finch served many years in the State Senate with Daily. Whether he can persuade her that this is an awful location I do not know. Daily certainly can turn the mayor into a hero by simply announcing that she will support another location in the city. This issue is a tough balancing act for hizzoner who is against the governor’s location. He has proposed alternate city sites more fitting of this type of facility. But the mayor cannot go publicly ballistic on the governor. He must endure one more budget cycle with her in a difficult budget year. But privately I’d be telling Rell and her Chief of Staff Lisa Moody, the lady with the most juice with Rell, that you guys are killing me with this thing!
See, this isn’t just about the Upper East Side near the Beardsley Park area. Rell’s stubbornness is an assault on all residential neighborhoods (because if they can put something like this there where will they stop?) and Bridgeport, despite what decision-makers in Hartford think about the state’s largest city, is a city of mighty fine neighborhoods. But if Finch has some stuff teed up with the governor in relation to other projects that need funding he has to keep his public rhetoric in check, and he has. Here’s hoping that Rell’s legacy in Bridgeport isn’t just another prison for Bridgeport.
Meanwhile, let’s try to do our part. Eileen Daily’s number is 1-800-842-1420. E-mail Daily@senatedems.ct.gov. Daily represents the following Connecticut towns: Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook, in case you’re wondering.
From The Derail The Jail Committee:
Jan. 8, the Governor and State Bond Commission will decide whether or not you will have a $16 million jail in your neighborhood. ACT NOW. Candlelight Vigil Wednesday January 6, 6:30 p.m. at 115 Virginia Avenue. Bring A Candle. Bring A Friend And a Neighbor. Free Bus Trip to the CT State Capitol To De-Rail The Jail. Friday January 8, Bus Leaving @ 7:30 a.m. from 115 Virginia Avenue. RSVP to Sue Pantalone 203-345-9354. email@example.com
What’s this he reports? Big Mojo Ralph Mojica, former City Councilman, is weighing an independent candidacy for mayor? Latinos are now the largest ethnic residential bloc in the city. We have Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans and a growing group from Central American countries. Collectively, they still do not vote in large numbers. If that ever happens, look out! Some party regulars will say yes he/she may be Latino but not our Latino. So it goes. Max Medina, former president of the Board of Education, is the lone Latino to wage a respectable run for mayor back in 2003. Max, a bright lawyer who’s not afraid to speak his mind, encouraged voters to the polls in the 2003 Dem primary won by John Fabrizi, with Caruso a close second, that probably would not have voted.
Retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez, although she has not told me so definitively, is acting like someone looking at the city’s top job for 2011. If Carmen can raise money she’d be a factor. No Latina has ever run for mayor. I don’t know if Carmen would be a good mayor. She would be, however, a good candidate. Caruso and Johnny Fabs are just a few of the others taking a look. City Council members Carlos Silva, another Latino, and Bob Curwen as well. Will a black candidate emerge? Finch can win reelection, but he has some work to do and things need to break right for him such as this budget cycle and the economy.
EXCITING NEW EVENTS FOR THE NEW YEAR @ THE BLACK ROCK BRANCH LIBRARY
2705 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
A Gathering Place for the Entire Community
Friday January 8th 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Congressman Jim Himes: What Financial Reform Means to you
Q&A with Congressman Jim Himes
At this event, Congressman Himes will give an overview of the prospective duties of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) and answer questions from constituents about how this new regulator will help protect consumers and arm them with the tools and information to make smart financial decisions.
Wednesday January 13th 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Ellsworth Field Discussion: Parking and Public Security
Please join State Representative, Auden Grogins, Police Chief Joseph Gaudett and Council Members Susan Brannelly and Martin McCarthy for a public meeting to discuss: Parking and Public Security at Ellsworth Field.
Tuesday January 19th 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Cosmic Discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope
Join us for a discussion and viewing of some of the awe inspiring discoveries of the Hubble Telescope with David Mestre, Discovery Museum Manager of Space Science Education.
Tuesday January 26th 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Traditional Chinese Culture Seminar
This seminar introduces the important aspects of traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, classical Chinese dance and martial arts. and other important topics. There will be a multimedia presentation and “class” discussion. Presented by: Tracey Zhu, Vice President of Connecticut Chinese Culture Association and William Cheung, President of Connecticut Chinese Culture Association.
Thursday January 28th 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Community Forum – Wines of the World
Please join us for a fascinating discussion and even more fascinating tasting of Wines of the World with renowned wine connoisseur and Black Rock resident Mark Tillinger. Sponsored by the Arts and Entertainment Committee of the Black Rock NRZ.
Himes Will Hold 4 Town Hall Meetings to Discuss Afghanistan
Following fact-finding trip to Afghanistan, Congressman will meet with constituents to share impressions, gather input
WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) will hold four town hall meetings next week to discuss America’s policy on Afghanistan with constituents. The Congressman recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan and will share his impressions of the situation on the ground and gather input from his constituents on American involvement and policy.
WHO: Congressman Jim Himes
Constituents of the 4th Congressional District
WHAT: Town hall meetings to discuss Afghanistan
WHERE & WHEN:
January 5 at 7:00pm
UConn Stamford Auditorium
1 University Place, Stamford
January 6 at 7:00pm
720 Pequot Avenue, Southport
January 9 at 11:30am
Ridgefield Town Hall
400 Main Street, Ridgefield
January 9 at 2:00pm
33 Quality Street, Trumbull
Mr. Barnum Calling
P.T. Barnum’s 200th Birthday Year
P.T. Barnum’s impact reaches deep into our American heritage and the story of his vast contributions are preserved in his museum. Conceived and constructed by P.T. Barnum, The Barnum Museum has proudly served an international audience since 1893 and is one of our country’s greatest national treasures.
We invite you to join us as we celebrate a year of wonderful and engaging programs, exhibitions and activities, all surrounding the 200th birthday of this fascinating figure in our history.
Wednesday, January 13
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
P.T. Barnum, The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Presented at Connecticut’s Old State House, Hartford
Visit Connecticut’s Old State House for its lunchtime lecture series, “And Justice for Some: Race and Controversy at Connecticut’s Old State House.” These free lectures focus on some of the most important stories in Connecticut’s quest for civil rights.
Kathleen Maher, Executive Director/Curator of The Barnum Museum, will explore the many sides of P.T. Barnum. The name alone conjures thoughts of imagination and extravagance. Known to most of the world as the “Great American Showman,” Barnum did more than create shows of curiosity and oddities. P.T. Barnum embraced the dream of a truly democratic nation and in doing so, inspired a new American society to reach beyond the limits of ordinary expectations and see the world as a place of opportunity and wonder.
Box lunches are available for $10 or bring your own. For more information call the Old State House at 1-860-522-6766 x 11. Lunch orders must be made by 4:00 p.m. on January 12, 2010. The program will be featured on CPTV.