Saturday, December 31, 2005

dogs are so cool!

POLICE DOGS RAVEN AND FRIDAY of the East Hartford Police Department’s canine patrol accompany their human partners at a memorial service Friday for Bosco, the Bristol police dog who was killed Dec. 20. At left is Raven, with his human partner, Officer John Zavalick, not shown. Friday, at right, is shown with his partner, Officer Robert Kornfeld. (STEPHEN DUNN) especially service dogs. i like cats of course, but LOVE dogs. i'm sorry for the loss of bosco. i think it's cool they had a service for him though. Saying Goodbye To Bosco Officials, Police, Friends Honor German Shepherd Who Died In Line Of Duty
By DON STACOM Courant Staff Writer December 31 2005
BRISTOL -- Police from as far as Waterford and Easton attended in uniform, the
pastor of St. Anthony's Church read from Scripture and former Mayor Frank
Nicastro sounded taps on his trumpet.They had come to say goodbye to Bosco, the
police dog.A crowd of more than 180 people, along with a dozen police dogs,
gathered for a memorial service Friday morning at Bristol Eastern High School's
auditorium for Bosco, the German shepherd killed outside a Sims Road burglary
scene two weeks ago."Bosco faithfully served the people of the Bristol
community. He was dedicated to protecting and serving," the Rev. Nicholas Melo,
the police department's chaplain, told the audience. "We ask God to heal our
hearts that grieve our loss. May Bosco live forever in your loving arms."Twelve
police dogs from around the state sat at the front of the auditorium with their
handlers throughout the ceremony, and the audience was cautioned against
applauding any speakers so the dogs would not be startled.The city police
force's three-member color guard stood at attention beside the flag, and at
least two TV news cameras recorded the scene. Floral displays were positioned on
the stage, and sympathy cards covered a display board..............

another accident at the soliders and sailors memorial arch in bushnell park

i had not read about this one. but it appears to be the sixth in two years. now, the protectors of the arch want to redesign the area and make it more difficult for people to speed around there as well as making the roadway more park-like. sounds like a damn fine plan to me! it's a hartford landmark and it must be preserved. It's Arch Vs. Autos Funds Sought To Protect Monument
By OSHRAT CARMIELCourant Staff WriterDecember 31 2005It's become a habit that a Hartford civic group would like to break.The city's historic Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch was damaged again this week when a motorist hit the structure. The crash knocked out a sizable section of the brownstone bridge leading up to the arch on its north side.The sixth such accident in two years is frustrating to protectors of the arch. But its timing is fortuitous. It comes just as the Bushnell Park Foundation is poised to approve a major street redesign plan aimed at discouraging speeding and reckless driving around the arch. The plan is called "a defensive design against bad vehicular driving," said board member Linda Osten, and it would cost an estimated $2.2 million. And with this week's crash, board members see a fundraising opportunity.On Friday the group announced plans for a Jan. 18 "summit" of state, local and corporate leaders, among others, to make a strong case for money. "We'll make a steppingstone out of a stumbling block," said Osten, chairwoman of the foundation's archway committee. "This will be an opportunity for us to have the conversation."The board is scheduled to vote on the streetscape redesign plan at its January meeting, Osten said.The plan calls for a major facelift of the area around the arch, which is in the heart of Bushnell Park and just northeast of the state Capitol. The plan would widen the sidewalks that run alongside the arch, and narrow the street underneath it by building obstructions that would force a fast driver to slow down. A 25-foot-wide section of the street underneath the arch would be elevated and built out of cobblestone or another material that would dissuade speed. ................

good news on gift cards for connecticut businesses

(and thank you s & j and of course the REAL gift giver, baby s) your present was WAY TOO GENEROUS and i do mean that) Gift Cards Protected: Legislators
By Chad Lanzo
Attention all holiday gift card receivers - take your time when pondering how to use your gift cards.
The state Legislature passed a law earlier this year preventing businesses from decreasing gift card values over time or eliminating them entirely after a three-year span, which was allowed under previous law passed in 2003.
State Sen. Bob Duff, D-25, and state Rep. Chris Perone, D-137, outlined the details of the new legislation on Dec. 21 outside of Loehmann's Plaza.
According to Duff, any type of gift card - magnetic stripe, paper, electronic, stored-value or certificate, store and others - falls under the new law. With the exception of prepaid calling cards, no businesses may eliminate a card or apply a dormancy fee. "Gift cards are a million-dollar business that is continuously growing. The reason that we passed this law is because we want to protect consumers and to allow them to shop at their own leisure," said Duff.
Following the stressful holiday season, shoppers often like to unwind and relax, not go to busy stores full of customers returning gifts, he said. By allowing consumers more time to use gift cards, they are also allotted the opportunity to take advantage of sales.
"Stores imply that gift cards are as good as money. This law just helps make that closer to a reality than it was previously," said Perone................

Friday, December 30, 2005

oh man oh man oh man, big al anderson is coming to northampton on new year's eve

this from yesterday's cal section of the hartford courant
(thanks beth-y for telling me about it).

oh do i love nrbq something fierce! i crank up their cd's and cruise the hoods of the state. r c cola and a moon pie, drivin' in my car, it was an accident, me and the boys. and who can forget ain't no good to cry by the wildweeds? gotta LOVE it

Big Al Anderson Comes Full Circle From Wildweeds To NRBQ To Nashville and Back
By ERIC R. DANTONCourant Rock Critic
December 29 2005

It was New Year's Eve 1993 when guitarist and songwriter Al Anderson decided to begin the third phase of his career.First, though, he had to end Phase 2: A 22-year stint playing guitar and singing for the eclectic bar band NRBQ, a cult favorite that had attained almost mythical status in Anderson's native Connecticut. The man known as Big Al, though, was ready for a change, and he made his move during a show at a club in New York City."I quit at Tramps, on New Year's," Anderson says over a glass of apple cider during a wide-ranging interview at a Windsor hotel. "I don't remember whether it was before or after - it was either 11 o'clock or 1 o'clock. It was after the first set. I told Joey [Spaminato, the bassist and singer], `I think that's going to be it for me.'"And it was.Anderson sold his house in Windsor and moved to Nashville to build on the success of "Every Little Thing," a No. 3 country hit he had written with Carlene Carter a few years earlier. Soon, Anderson had racked up writing credits on albums by the likes of Hank Williams Jr., George Jones, Alabama, the Mavericks, Charlie Daniels, Jimmy Buffett and Asleep at the Wheel. Although he does studio work as a guitarist, his departure from NRBQ effectively meant the end of Anderson's days as a live performer."I'm really done with the road," he says. "The Red Roof life took a toll. Thirty years of that is enough." Finally, though, in a nice piece of full-circle symbolism, his rare concert appearances include a pair of shows in Northampton, Mass., on New Year's Eve. His band, the Crumbs, includes NRBQ drummer Tom Ardolino, bassist Glenn Worf (who plays with Mark Knopfler), Double Trouble keyboardist Reese Wynans and West Hartford guitarist Jim Chapdelaine. Anderson, 58, says the shows will span his career, including, of course a few songs by NRBQ."I'll do four or five things," he says. "We'll do a little acoustic set, and a Wildweeds song and some new stuff." The Wildweeds was Anderson's first serious band. The group had a regional hit in the summer of 1967 with "No Good to Cry," which was the third song that Anderson, then 20, had written. "It's patterned after `Paint It Black,'" Anderson says. "That's where the idea came from."Chess Records, the Chicago label known mostly for blues, released the song on its Cadet imprint. Subsequent Wildweeds efforts, including a few singles and an album on Vanguard in 1970 (recently re-issued), were less successful.........

i've said it before about richard blumenthal

and i'll say it again...i don't know too much about him but he's done a FEW mighty nice things i've liked and this is one of them. at least he's going to TRY to do something about the rate increase of cl&p

Attorney General Blumenthal to challenge CL&P rate hike
(WTNH Dec. 29, 2005 10:30 AM)_ A 22-percent rate hike for Connecticut Light and Power customers may not be a done deal.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says he will consult with Governor Jodi Rell and others to explore options to challenge the increase. Blumenthal called the rate hike "savage and unprecedented."...................

a wicked cool find!

as a boy, my father found many native american arrowheads and other tools. unfortunately, he never kept them. he grew up in a lovely part of the state. it still has a lot of wooded areas, but it's being slowly developed into hell just like everywhere else. i will always remember my grandparents house and their land and gardens and trees. i'll remember sunday afternoon dinners and my grandmother's cooking (NO ONE even to this day can beat it). she died at 102 just after the year 2000 crept in. she was an AMAZING woman. had 100% of her mind too. i miss you noni!

30.12 / 09:23 13

Ancient "weapons factory" found on Connecticut Ridge

NEW YORK. December 30.

KAZINFORM - 3,000 years ago, a group of hunters perched on a ridge near what is now New Haven Harbor in Connecticut and fashioned quartz into projectile points. The points were likely intended to form the lethal end of an atlatl, or spear-thrower, dart. A skillful stalker could wield the weapon, which predated the bow and arrow, with enough force and accuracy to send a dart into a deer, turkey, or other small prey, Kazinform quotes Abram Katz for National Geographic News.Those ancient hunter-gatherers have since vanished, but the quartz artifacts survive on the ridge, known as West Rock. Michael J. Rogers, associate professor of anthropology at Southern Connecticut State University and his student, Nancy Parsons, have found almost 5,000 stone artifacts at the site, including several unfinished points and at least one unbroken dart point. The discovery reveals the importance of stone ridges to the hunter-gatherers of 3,000 to 4,000 years ago and adds details to the sparse knowledge of the Late Archaic period of North America. The find also hints that dozens or hundreds of similar sites probably lie inaccessible under parking lots and buildings across the Northeast United States. Human Hands Rogers and his students found the site after first consulting Cosimo Sgarlata, now a graduate student at the City University of New York, who had discovered other archaeological sites in the West Rock area. "West Rock was of central importance," Sgarlata said. "By the Late Archaic, people had become more specialized, and the population grew, so they wanted to exploit all resources of the environment." The till topping the ridge is a jumble of clay, sand, silt, rocks, and boulders. While walking a path, Rogers and Parsons spotted a few small pieces of quartz that had been shaped by human hands—and their excavation began. Parsons has now cataloged and recorded the location and type of every stone uncovered at the site. Since last fall, Parsons and assistants have excavated to a depth of about 1.5 feet (46 centimeters) through countless shallow scrapings..........

Thursday, December 29, 2005

i wasn't going to post this article

but i found out yesterday, a person effected by this crime was the son of someone i know. my thoughts and prayers go out to you jimmy james.......

Revenge Cited As Slaying Motive Records: Pizzeria Shooter ConfessedDecember 28, 2005 By MATT BURGARD, Courant Staff Writer

Ricardo Mack had 18 bags of marijuana and two handguns hidden in his pockets when he walked into a popular late-night Hartford pizza joint early on the morning of Christmas Eve and flew into a rage, according to police and court records.Pulling one of the guns from under his jacket, Mack aimed it at 21-year-old Chaz Booth. As customers and restaurant workers looked on in horror, some seeking cover, Mack and Booth got into a heated argument, and Mack opened fire, police said.Under questioning several hours later at police headquarters, Mack confessed to killing Booth because he believed that Booth shot and killed a close friend of Mack's, 20-year-old Marlon Atkinson, in July 2004, records say. Details of the Christmas eve incident, which happened about 2:40 a.m. at Papa's Pizza on Union Street, were revealed during Mack's appearance Tuesday at Superior Court in Hartford, where he was arraigned on charges of murder and possession of narcotics and ordered held on $1 million bail.........

it's about damn time

we joined the national database. there are all sorts of statistics out there regarding sexual assault. one in every five children is assaulted and one in every three women. it is bone chilling MOST of this never even gets reported.

Sex-Offender Database Goes National Connecticut Joins 47 Other States In Linking RegistryDecember 29, 2005 By TRACY GORDON FOX, Courant Staff Writer

Leaving Connecticut will no longer provide anonymity for sexual predators registered on its sex offender's registry now that the state has joined 47 others on the National Sex Offender Database. All of the 4,136 registered sex offenders living, working or attending school in Connecticut will be included on the national website, Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Wednesday.
Connecting to this national registry gives us another tool to safeguard our most vulnerable residents and prevent future tragedies," Rell said in a written statement. "We must - and will - do everything we can to make our streets and neighborhoods as safe as we can."The site, national sex offender database, is easy to use, and requires only plugging in an offender's name, state, county, city or town or ZIP code in 48 states. .................


natural gas went up, car petrol went up, oil went up now it's our electricity. 22% is a DAMN HIGH increase. they pass a rate increase now (late december) and it goes into effect for JANUARY 1ST? wtf? does anything else get done so quickly? NO the answer is NO

Power Company Gets 22.4 Percent Rate Increase
HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Department of Public Utility Control gave final approval Wednesday to a 22.4 percent rate increase for Connecticut Light & Power customers.

The electric company's 1 million customers will see their rates increase 17.5 percent on Jan. 1 and another 4.9 percent in April.
Bills for the average residential customer using 700 kilowatt hours per month will climb by $23.40 once the entire increase takes effect.

The company will use about $40 million it has saved to offset the rate increase for the first three months.
Commissioners said they regretted approving the increase, but their hands were tied.
"It never is easy to vote for an increase of rates on Connecticut citizens," said vice chairman Jack Goldberg, adding that the increase is necessary to ensure that there is enough power and avoid rolling blackouts.
The company sought the higher rate to cover increased prices for electricity due to global spikes in fossil fuel prices and other factors.........

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


(bad pictures of MY chair! yes, the plaque has MY name on it)

Thank you hardly seems like enough.

I knew from the first time I entered the door (yes, THE half door) this was a place I felt at home. I cannot say that about very many places, including the private homes of friends. You all made me feel not only welcome but special. I’ve seen many changes over the years. Some people have come and gone. Furniture modifications now and again, a new kitchen, floors get refinished, a new non-smoking law (bah-humbug!!!) and new menus ( the food just keeps getting better and better I must add) but the spirit remains the same. You offer a haven, a place to come and be with friends. To talk, to laugh, to cry to listen to some GOOD music (Irish or otherwise). To relax or build up a frenzy talking politics. A damn fine mix of people too. Everyone from the local neighborhood ‘eccentrics’ (yeah, I grouse but you know it wouldn’t be the same if they weren’t there) to business people in their suits to ladies and gents in their finery to the local dignitaries of the area to the college kids to the regional police and firefighters who come in for lunch or for a beverage after work AND of course ME. I keep coming on back. There’s a reason I do.
THANK YOU ALL FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. Nothing means more to me than knowing you CARE.

With ALL of my love,

uh oh

States Taking Lead in Online Sales Tax Collection
By Devin Comiskey
December 27, 2005
Since the dawn of the e-commerce era, consumers have enjoyed virtually tax-free shopping online. If you live in Arizona and purchase an item from Ohio, you usually pay no tax. However, the lack of any form of sales tax for Internet shoppers has led some states to cry foul, as tens of billions in tax revenue dollars has disappeared. Now, states are taking matters into their own hands as progress on a federally mandated Internet tax bill appears to be stalled. .........

...............Connecticut Joins the Fray
On November 15, 2005, several thousand Connecticut residents reportedly received a surprise in their mailboxes. The state's Department of Revenue Services began sending out letters to those suspected of purchasing goods over the Internet without paying the proper state use tax.
In part, the letter says, "Dear Taxpayer, A review of our records indicates that you have not reported any purchases subject to Connecticut use tax. This may have been an oversight, or you may not have been aware of the...use tax. Connecticut General Statutes, Section 12-411, imposes a use tax on any person who purchases taxable items for use in Connecticut where the seller has not charged the appropriate sales tax...Connecticut residents are ....................

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

i've seen a bear TWICE

but have never seen a moose in connecticut. i shall keep my eyes peeled!

State's Moose Population Rising Biologists Estimate The Huge Animals Number More Than 100
Courant Staff WriterDecember 27 2005
In what amounts to another eye-popping wildlife milestone, the moose population in Connecticut has topped 100 animals.State Department of Environmental Protection biologists, who have been closely monitoring sightings of moose for more than a decade now, estimate the latest population at "just over 100 moose."Moose were extirpated from the state for more than two centuries, and only began to show up in Connecticut in tiny numbers within the past 20 years. But like deer and bear, both of which rebounded rapidly, moose are multiplying, especially in the northwest and northeast corners of the state. "If this range expansion continues, we're probably going to have more moose than in pre-Colonial times," said Dale May, director of the DEP's Wildlife Division.There are no good records of what the moose population was in Connecticut at the time of European settlement, but biologists have long suspected it was small, because the animal is at the southern limit of its range in Southern New England. George G. Goodwin, in his authoritative 1935 survey "The Mammals of Connecticut," noted that there was no formal documentation that moose ever roamed the state, though he, too, suspected they did in small numbers.Because moose have no real predators today - centuries ago wolves preyed upon them in Connecticut - it is possible the population is larger now - or will be shortly - than it was early in the 17th century."Native Americans I'm sure had an influence on how many deer and moose there were. I'm sure they had some role in regulating the numbers," May said...........

amazing grace

a good ending to a horrible story. you do have to wonder how a HUMAN can slit the throat of puppies.

Amazing Grace Spends First Christmas At New Home
POSTED: 10:25 am EST December 26, 2005
UPDATED: 10:28 am EST December 26, 2005
SEYMOUR, Conn. -- A puppy that survived a brutal knife attack nearly a year ago spent her first Christmas at her new home.
Amazing Grace, a 1 year-old Labrador-retriever mix, was adopted by Seymour dog warden Joe LaRovera. His wife, Dianne, said that she's the perfect puppy and is wonderful with kids. She also likes trying to sneak Christmas cookies.
In January, police charged 20-year-old Seymour resident Brannon Chandler with animal cruelty.
They said he slit the throats of his roommate's six puppies and left them in a wire basket in the woods behind his home. Amazing Grace was the only survivor.
Chandler was sentenced in October to two years in prison, to be followed by three years' probation on six counts of cruelty to animals.
Amazing Grace has bonded with the LaRovera's other dog, a two-year-old beagle named Lacie, and the two like to play together.

Monday, December 26, 2005

a brilliant idea

from king phillip middle school in west hartford. i have always felt it important to stress to children they MUST help others who may not be as fortunate as themselves. even if one isn't wealthy, someone else is always a bit worse off. you don't even have to spend money to help. you can volunteer your time or your services to help out. sit with the elderly at a nursing home (adopt a grandparent type of thing). help out at a local animal shelter. make cards for deployed service people (i asked several people at work to do this and most of them involved their children). when a child gets this instilled in them at an early age, well, how can they go wrong at a later age? (don't answer that, but chances are they WON'T)

Educators View Charitable Ventures As Part Of Each Student's Education

Principal Guides Children In Organization Of Drives, Fundraisers

Courant Staff Writer

December 26 2005

WEST HARTFORD -- After learning in her sixth-grade science class how homeless dogs are sometimes euthanized, Rachel Cudo, 11, wanted to start a campaign to raise money for the unfortunate canines.

Her friend, Myra Daoud, 11, had a different idea. With the holiday season approaching, why not hold a toy drive to provide presents for children whose families would not otherwise be able to afford them, Myra suggested.

Thus another community service project was born at King Philip Middle School, the kind with which parents of school-age children are familiar.

But the projects aren't just about helping others. The collection drives and fundraisers are viewed by school officials as part of each child's education that can be tailor-made to fit their specific needs. Some of the stories behind the projects are deeply personal.

Earlier this year, Charli Brooks, an eighth-grader at King Philip, felt powerless as she watched her younger brother Cameron, a third-grader at Aiken elementary school, battle an inoperable brain tumor.

With help from her friends and support from King Philip, Charli sold magnetic ribbons and bracelets and raised $200 for the Cameron Brooks Foundation. A note on the family's website posted Dec. 22 asks readers to pray. "You can see the changes happening, and there is really nothing we can do," wrote mother Carla Brooks........

Saturday, December 24, 2005

earlier this morning

i was reading some connecticut web logs and an entry in geoff fox's blog caught my eye. he like i is a GIANT fan of darlene love's annual letterman performance. when i read his blog, i hadn't yet seen this year's show. i just now watched it. WOW! to date, it has been THE BEST i've seen her. she certainly kicked ass and sang her little heart out on christmas, baby please come home. oh, and she looked MORE beautiful than ever

traitor who broke my heart

New-look Damon arrives in New York
By Ronald Blum, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — His hair trimmed and his beard shorn, Johnny Damon put on the pinstripes for the first time Friday after finalizing his $52 million, four-year contract with the New York Yankees.
After spending four seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Damon switched sides in baseball's hottest rivalry.

He passed his physical Thursday, then went to Salon Ishi on Manhattan's East Side for a new look. With Damon's wife, Michelle, looking on along with a Yankees' photographer, a stylist identified as "Chantal" rid Damon of his facial hair and long locks, putting him in compliance with the code of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

"First of all, what do you guys think?" Damon said, looking at the cameras and stroking his chin. "Obviously, keep on snapping away."

The Boss seemed pleased..........

a man has to do what a man has to do BUT hell 40 million WOULD have been enough to send your daughters to college with. i hope you enjoy your relationship with 'the boss' johnny. it ain't gonna be no picnic

more on blue back

one of my LEAST favorite subjects. a thorn in my paw. i don't want MORE people coming into my town center to shop. i don't like the ones that are there now. driving their suv, in summer with their $3,000 dog on display at one of the sidewalk cafes and designer clothing, noses in the air. i don't want my taxes to continue to go up and UP THEY HAVE BEEN GOING (our town gave over MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars to blue back. RIDICULOUS). the traffic coming off of the park road exit is horrid right now. i cannot imagine what it WILL be like in the future. so the roads will need to be worked on, more police will be needed as well. there go our taxes again. the rents for the stores will be exorbitant. like the other stores currently in the center, many will be unable to afford them. stores will come and go like crazy. but my absolute favorite is the quote i am listing below from the hartford courant. if you can't read between the lines, let me translate for you, we (NOT ME MIND YOU) want a NON URBAN (ie WHITE AND/OR RICH) west hartford center. oh, the townsfolk will deny it to your face. they will say all are welcome. they will say how liberal and accepting they are. let me tell you that is NOT what they are really thinking. all are not welcome. the looks i get on the rare occasions i shop there are far from welcoming. i did go into the yarn shop yesterday (i never knew there was one there and i must admit i was delighted to find out about it) sit 'n knit and was treated quite well. knitters ARE a special breed though.

West Hartford Center's distinctive feel, a sort of "Urban Lite" that offers city charm without the grit.

Blue Back Condo Buyers Like 'Small City' Life

Courant Staff Writer

December 24 2005

WEST HARTFORD -- Barbara and Arthur Spivak enjoyed their years in "the country." Now the kids are grown and they want something new. Now Avon Mountain looks more like a barrier than a buffer.

So they plan to leave West Simsbury, give up the 13-room house and 2 acres of privacy, and start anew in a condominium that sells for about $700,000 in West Hartford Center.

"We'd like a complete change now," said Barbara Spivak, 63, a fitness instructor. "I always wanted to move to New York or Boston, a big city, but I know that will never happen. West Hartford to me is the next best thing, a small city in a safe area.

"I think the center is one of the prettiest shopping centers in our travel that I have seen. I love the restaurants and I love the shops. And I'm excited about the [coming] theater because we do go to movies all the time."

Since October, prospective buyers have placed deposits on 27 of the 62 units available in the two buildings of "The Heritage" at Blue Back Square. One-bedroom condos start at about $350,000. Three, fifth-floor, three-bedroom units have been reserved at about $900,000, according to BBS Development, the partnership developing Blue Back Square with the town.

The Heritage is proving a hit among older folks, the so-called empty nesters, many from the Hartford region, who are willing to pay a premium to live above sidewalk shops in the region's strongest commercial district. The buyers cite West Hartford Center's distinctive feel, a sort of "Urban Lite" that offers city charm without the grit.

"It's all the advantages of city living without the disadvantages, the crime, the traffic," said Joyce Tarantino of McWilliams/Ballard, the Virginia-based sales and marketing firm retained by BBS Development. "It's a more convenient lifestyle. It's a healthy lifestyle; the temptation is not to get in the car all the time."

BBS broke ground this summer on the 20-acre Blue Back site just east of the center. The $159 million shopping, housing and entertainment complex will nearly double the size of the center, adding 30,000 square feet for retail use and 75,000 square feet for offices when it opens in about two years...............

Friday, December 23, 2005

the UNTOLD story of the statue of noah webster in west hartford center

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE: THE courant published a story on noah's finger MARCH 10, 2008!!!! here is the link to my posting

and the courant story link as well

first, here is the story on the west hartford library site (accurate although not the FULL story, as i have heard it)

Noah Webster and the Sculptor
The Artist's Model of Noah Webster Statue is on Display at the Main Library
The West Hartford Public Library is now showcasing a fascinating piece of local history, a statute of our town’s most famous citizen, Noah Webster. But it is not just any statute. This statute is the original model for the 13-1/2 foot statute of Noah Webster which rests on the corner of Memorial Road and South Main Street. The statue, and the man who carved it, Korczak Ziolkowski, are an intriguing part of West Hartford lore.
The library’s statue, affectionately known as “Little Noah,” is 2-1/2 feet tall and stands across from the reference desk on the main floor. Ziolkowski originally donated the statue to the library in May 1943, but because it could not be properly protected, it has been kept in storage until its formal unveiling on May 15. Former Mayor Nan Glass calls the statue, “a little treasure for the town, a valuable and unique item.”
Noah Webster’s sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, was a man of great spirit, strong convictions, and certain persistence. About 65 years ago, Ziolkowski came from the Boston area to West Hartford as a young man and bought a house on Sedgwick Road. He made the basement of his house into a gallery, and his garage into a studio workshop.
Soon after he arrived in town, Ziolkowski began reading the history of Noah Webster, who was born in our town in 1758, and who wrote “An American Dictionary of the English Language,” published in 1828. Ziolkowski said, “I was standing before the fireplace in my West Hartford home, when it dawned on my that the Town where Webster was born had no memorial to him. As I studied his history, I became fascinated with what he had accomplished and I determined to do a statue memorializing a great American.”...........

the next portion of this story was told to me years ago by a friend. it seems his mother was part of a women's group in town who was none too pleased with the final rendition of the statue. if you drove around from memorial drive taking a right onto main street, you would see noah's hand down by his side with his index finger extended. however, it didn't LOOK like his index finger, it looked like good old noah had a giant woody (again, the way i heard it was mr ziolkowski was pissed at the fine citizenry of the charming town of west hartford [as i am MOST of the time. hey, what are the percentage of people in west hartford that own an suv? i am guessing it's in the 85% range. do they NEED an suv? ] and to get them back for all of their complaining and whining, he redesigned the arm and finger of the statue just a bit). the fine citizenry of the charming burg of west hartford (well a group of babes at any rate) decided to do something about it. by the cover of night, they snuck into the center (no radio shack and no max's or grants back then) and armed with only their wits, stealth and a ball peen hammer, they whacked (so to speak) off mr webster'appendaged appendege, never, may i add, to be replaced!

if you don't believe this is true all you have to do is get in your car and drive from memorial to main (of course you can't do that now because they are working on blue back [another story for another day] and see for yourself.

bronzes by korczak

meredith broadcasting owns wfsb channel 3

in hartford. see what meredith broadcasting is repsonsible for by going to this posting at jesus general (a REALLY great site i might add) (and YES the general is being VERY sarcastic in his letter to mr karpowicz). i initially found the referral on raw story.

(this is the jesus general posting)
Fox Carolina: News that Right and White

Paul Karpowicz President, Meredith Broadcasting GroupDear Mr. Karpowicz, I want to be the first to congratulate you for what I assume was your decision to embrace white supremacy as an editorial perspective. Your first effort, a WHNS "Fox Carolina" piece (Commenter Dayv made a screencap before Fox Carolina removed the story) on, was fantastic. It certainly convinced me that Stormfront is as mainstream as Young Americans for Freedom, the College Republicans, or GOPUSA.I don't think Stormfront has ever had more positive coverage. Fox Carolina was right to forgo any discussion of Jamie Kelso's close ties to David Duke. The "Charles Lindbergh fan" angle works much better. The same is true for how they profiled Bob Whitaker. Certainly, his brief career in the Reagan Administration is more important to viewers than the many years he's worked to end the sin of race mixing................

(this is the raw story posting)
Fox News South Carolina affiliate quietly promotes white supremacist website; Site says Fox is a member

Filed by John Byrne

A South Carolina Fox affiliate ran a story appearing to cheer a white supremacist website -- and the leader of the group says that Fox news staff are members of his white supremacy forum, RAW STORY can reveal.

The story was picked up by Jesus' General Dec. 18. Fox apparently aired a video news segment which was also pulled; RAW STORY has not seen the video. The station is owned by Meredith Corporation.
The story, which profiled white supremacist website, ran on Fox Carolina's WHNS website in late November. It is still available in Google's cache...........

i had a link to wfsb in my sidebar, but until i see a response from mr karpowicz, it has been taken away.

a copy of the broadcast can be found at think progress

do we really want to support a station whose owner(s) meredith broadcasting appear to support a racist organization? i know my answer

Thursday, December 22, 2005

i have driven over avon mountain over half of my life

i have seen horrid accidents. i have almost been in horrid accidents. now, this morning another fatality. the family is in my thoughts and prayers.

people drive like asses you know (i'm NOT saying the accident victims did, i'm saying LOTS of people on that mountain and all over connecticut do). especially those in suvs and the like (don't even get me started on hummers. just because your car is bigger than mine doesn't mean it's going to stop or steer any better on ice than mine does. i am not a violent person, but i swear i would love to take a sledge hammer to the vehicles of those ass wipes.

i know a man who was in the 18 car accident on the mountain in the summer. i work with him (and have for years). he was lifestarred out and doesn't remember the accident at all. upon his return to work, we had a very long and intense chat. it was personal, so i am not going to mention any details here other than these two; i wept during our talk and he has an incredible attitude. through circumstances, i also know a cousin of one of the people who were killed in this accident. these two people, my friend from work and the person who was killed were innocent. accidents do happen, but this accident was due to negligence.

let's all think of the others on the road when we buckle up. if you don't care about your own life, how about thinking of mine?

your efforts ARE appreciated mr dodd!!!

i do thank you for getting back to washington and voting (under the circumstances).

Recuperating Dodd Rushes Back For Key Senate Votes
Associated Press December 21 2005, 1:26 PM ESTWASHINGTON --
Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd was easy to spot as he arrived at the Capitol Wednesday morning for showdown votes.The usually animated Democrat was alternately using a walker and wheelchair as he gingerly made his way inside."I can't wait to get a picture of this," bellowed Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., as he noticed his longtime friend.Dodd, who was home in Connecticut nearly all month recuperating from knee replacement surgery, had rushed back to Washington hoping his last-minute vote could help Democrats defeat a budget-cutting bill and strip language allowing Arctic oil drilling from a major defense spending package.As it turned out, Vice President Dick Cheney, who had hurried back from an overseas trip Tuesday, cast the tie-breaking vote on the budget bill to help Republicans prevail, 51-50, during a morning session. Dodd joined other Democrats to block the defense bill.Dodd, 61, had the operation Dec. 3 at a New York City hospital and has spent most of the month at home rehabilitating his knee.The senator, who also has a home on Capitol Hill, has missed every vote since having the surgery.Dodd said he had no idea the Senate would still be in session this Christmas week when he decided on knee replacement surgery nearly three weeks ago...........

i just got my natural gas bill

and it knocked me on my ass (for real)! i can't wait to get my future electric bills

Electric Bills Face A Surge Agency Proposes Letting CL&P Raise Rates 22%
By PAUL MARKS Courant Staff Writer
December 22 2005
Electric rates would rise by more than 22 percent starting Jan. 1, adding more than $23 to the average monthly residential bill, under a draft decision issued Wednesday by the state Department of Public Utility Control.The regulatory agency, in a proposed decision that must be made final by year's end, granted most of a rate increase sought by Connecticut Light & Power Co., which serves about 1 million customers in Connecticut. That is about 80 percent of the state's electricity users.The sharp increase is necessary, the DPUC said, because global spikes in fossil fuel prices have almost doubled the cost of power generation.It said the average electric customer should expect to pay $23.40 more a month on a bill that is now about $104. DPUC Chairman Donald Downes said power generation costs, which account for about two-thirds of the typical electric bill, are rising by more than 40 percent. Under the 2003 law deregulating the electric power industry, costs in that category are harder to restrain, Downes said.In contrast, he said, the portion of rates based on the cost of transmission "are directly regulated" by the DPUC."The increase in generation charges is vastly different from the traditional rate-setting proceedings in which the department has much more authority over the level of cost that can be recovered from ratepayers," the draft decision states................

whip it good

Of Human Bondage
Why did the police confiscate the computers of an Enfield Dom? (i'm sure the advocate MEANT to say domme NOT dom)
by Adam Bulger, Nathan Conz and Meir Rinde - December 22, 2005

There's still no word on exactly why police in Enfield raided the home of bondage mistress Michelle Silva last month and seized computers she used to operate her website,
In an account posted on her site, Silva said dozens of officers entered her home on Nov. 16, refused to show her a warrant, disparaged her lifestyle and wouldn't let her call a lawyer while they spent hours rifling through her belongings. They took away $20,000 worth of computers, BDSM furniture and other equipment, she said, but have not charged her with any crime.
Silva's attorney, Daniel Silver, said the seizure appears to violate her First Amendment rights to distribute bondage movies that she makes. He's trying to get a court date scheduled so he can argue the equipment should be released, since it does not include drugs or other true contraband. The computers are being examined at a state forensics lab and it could be months until she gets them back, Silver said.
The search warrant remains sealed and Silver said he doesn't know what charges his client could face. Enfield police told the Journal-Inquirer the investigation followed complaints from neighbors who reported seeing car traffic at Silva's home, including vehicles from out of state.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

my world has come to a SCREECHING halt

my lil' johnny damon did NOT give me what i wanted for christmas (or, in my case, solstice). he DEFECTED

Source: Johnny Damon Reaches Deal With Yankees
BoSox Star Jumps To N.Y.
POSTED: 10:57 pm EST December 20, 2005
NEW YORK -- He'll have to get a haircut.
The New York Yankees, owned by a man who prohibits beards and long hair, have reportedly found a new leadoff man by coming to terms on a four-year, $52 million contract with former Boston centerfielder Johnny Damon.
Newsday reported the agreement, which only enhances baseball's fiercest rivalry.
The 32-year-old Damon, regarded as probably the best free agent centerfielder and leadoff man on the market, hit .316 with 10 homers, 75 RBI, 117 runs and 18 stolen bases last season, his fourth with the Red Sox after playing six years with the Kansas City Royals (1995-2000) and one with Oakland (2001). He was offered salary arbitration by the Red Sox, but declined Monday night.............

still #1

(however it's my personal opinion the wealth of this state is NOT spread around, it's held by a very few)

State Still Richest In U.S. In Income Growth, Though, It's 37th
Courant Staff Writer December 21 2005

For all the concern over the high-paying jobs lost in the past few years, new data released Tuesday show that Connecticut is still far and away the richest state in the nation in average income per person.The numbers aren't even close. For the July-through-September quarter, the gap between Connecticut and No. 2 Massachusetts - nearly $4,000 - was greater than the differences between any other two states, except in the case of Louisiana, which was knocked to the bottom of the list, a distant 50th place, because of Hurricane Katrina.But Connecticut residents shouldn't be smug, economists warn.Yes, the income numbers are a sign of a stronger economy than the state is generally given credit for. And yes, the $47,978 earned, on average, by the state's residents reflects prosperity beyond just a few scandalously high-paid hedge fund managers.The funny thing about numbers is that they can tell more than one tale. And in the case of how fast personal income has grown during the past year, Connecticut ranks closer to the bottom than the top.State residents' $168 billion in total personal income - which includes wages, investment earnings and rental income earned by all residents - grew 5.3 percent during the past year, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.That's half the rate of growth in Nevada, where total personal income rose by 10.6 percent during the past 12 months, the fastest in the country. Overall, Connecticut ranks 37th in the nation in total income growth - the measure of wealth overall, not necessarily for typical families...........

happy solstice

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

i used to write a little column (YEARS AGO) in our work newspaper

i was going through some of my word documents just now and i found this one. it applies NOW as it did then:

Today I have a change of pace from my normal jovial and witty, yet poignant columns.

It’s getting to be that time of the year. We’re pulling out our winter wardrobes and turning up our thermostats. We all have the gift of free will, but I’ll not hesitate to take this opportunity to put a little thought in your heads.
No matter how badly you feel or think your problems are, there are others whose tribulations far outweigh yours. Right in our own state some cannot afford to pay their heating bills, to buy their families or themselves proper winter coats, to purchase food fit for human consumption, to get proper medical care and more (or is that less?).
There are several things you can do, some of which cost no money whatsoever, but are
priceless in the long run. You can offer your time and services by volunteering for a
local organization. You can help serve meals to the house-bound, elderly or homeless.
You can help build a house (no skills necessary) with Habitat for Humanity or
you can teach someone how to read (working with Literacy Volunteers). You can tack as
little as $1.00 a month extra onto your utility bill which will be used to help heat homes
for those in need. You can donate your old coat or clothes so someone can be warm or
look better when they’re applying for a job (come on now, we all have things in our
closets that are in wonderful condition, but we just haven’t worn them in a long time).
You can pay a visit to the residents of a local nursing home or donate toys to a children’s
hospital. You can drop your old and no longer stylish eyeglasses off at Lenscrafters (they
have a wonderful program for distribution of old glasses). You can be a foster family for
a Fidelco Guide Dog for a few months. The list truly could be endless.
The Hartford Courant regularly publishes a listing of volunteer organizations.
(By the way, Gifts of Love an organization helping residents of the Farmington Valley is in Avon Park North).
Always be thankful for what you have

i don't care HOW respected she is

if this story is true, SHE is JUST as guilty as he is and should be tried for NOT reporting what waraksa told her he did

Affidavit: Trooper Failed To Report Talk Of Sexual Assault
POSTED: 3:18 pm EST December 19, 2005
UPDATED: 4:34 pm EST December 19, 2005
ENFIELD, Conn. -- The assistant director of East Windsor's Emergency Management Department confessed to state Trooper Mary Buckley that he had sexually assaulted a child, and she responded by telling him to "stay away from kids," according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Monday.

Her decision not to turn in Peter Waraksa gave him the opportunity to sexually abuse three more children, prosecutors allege in the court filing.
Buckley, 59, was presented in court Monday on charges including failure to report child abuse, risk of injury to children, and hindering prosecution. She and her attorney declined to comment following the brief court appearance.
Waraska faces first degree sexual assault, kidnapping and related charges. He was due in court Monday afternoon.
One of the longest-serving female state troopers, Buckley also served as director of the town Emergency Management Department and was Waraksa's neighbor.
According to the arrest affidavit, Waraksa had told Buckley of his sexual feelings toward children. He later told her about "fooling around" with boys in a swimming pool, and eventually that he had sexually assaulted a child, according to the affidavit.
"Mary Buckley informed Peter Warasksa 'not to talk to anyone and to stay away from kids,"' the affidavit alleges...........

winter in hartford

the cathedral of st joseph, hartford

Monday, December 19, 2005

the annual visit to the shrine of tacky lights

‘s’ and i finally made it to le spigot (pronounced spee-jo to those of us in the know) on friday. we have an annual pilgrimage there at this time of year. he and i missed last year, and i didn’t want that to happen again. we go because of two things, the great juke box (although the one at the half door is better AND free – except for the overabundance of the HIGHLY OVERRATED u2) AND the wonderfully tacky christmas lights hung from the ceiling. they didn’t have as many lights up this year as in the past. it was a bit of a disappointment although we still had fun. the bad part is the yankee memorabilia is STILL all over the place. difficult for a bosox fan to sit amongst unless she is drinking stoli and tapping her foot to james brown or dean martin singing christmas carols.

how can you be going to trinity college

and NEVER set foot on park street? it's unbelievable. it's WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE too.

Trinity Explores Park St. Students Encouraged To Learn From Area
Courant Staff Writer
December 19 2005
It was not until this year that Trinity College senior Bridget Reilly, a Hispanic studies major, set foot on Park Street, the lively thoroughfare of Hispanic food markets, restaurants and shops a short walk from campus.Reilly spent her junior year in Spain, but knew little about the mostly Puerto Rican neighborhoods surrounding the private college in Hartford.All of that changed when she took a new course requiring students to immerse themselves in the city's Hispanic culture by exploring neighborhoods, meeting business owners and talking with residents."I had been to the Bushnell, the Atheneum, the typical things in Hartford, but I never made it to Park Street," said Reilly, 21, of Fair Haven, N.J., who is completing a photography project about life along the street.The "Hispanic Hartford" course, a requirement for students majoring in Hispanic studies, is another part of the effort by Trinity to build an identity as an urban liberal arts college by establishing closer ties with the surrounding community. The course, taught in Spanish, was offered for the first time last spring.For homework, modern languages Professor Anne Lambright assigned weekly essays about the community, asking students to walk down Park Street, interview a Latino employee at Trinity, eat in a Latino restaurant, talk to the owner of a Hispanic business and work in a class at the largely Hispanic Moylan Elementary School.With Hispanics making up 40 percent of its population, "Hartford is the most Hispanic city east of the Mississippi and north of Florida," Lambright said. It is also the nation's only state capital headed by a Hispanic mayor, Eddie A. Perez.The idea for the class arose two years ago, Lambright said, after two colleagues took some graduating seniors to lunch at a neighborhood restaurant............

our capital is crumbling

State Capitol in need of repairs
HARTFORD (AP) -- There are leaks at the state Capitol. But not the kind that find their way into the media.
Despite a 39-(M)-million-dollar renovation done nearly 16 years ago, a report says the historic building is leaking and crumbling.
An arhitechural firm recently completed a study on the 127-year-old Capitol and pointed to number of structural problems, the Connecticut Post is reporting in today's editions.
Those problems include flaking of plaster ceilings under three of the four Capitol entrances, oak doors in need of refinishing to prevent decay, rust on beams and columns on the first floor and the need for a major cleaning project.
The report did not include a cost estimate for the repairs.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

wow, this is ONE LUCKY DUDE

unbelievable - a train hit his car and he survived. i am ALL for retesting the elderly on their driving abilities. my dad is up there and he's doing fine so far (goes WAY too slowly though) but i do monitor him.

Car's Driver Survives Crash With Train
Courant Staff WriterDecember 18 2005

An elderly Hartford man escaped serious injury Saturday when his car crashed through the barrier at a railroad crossing in the city and was struck by a fast-moving passenger train, police said.Curtis Anderson of Wilson Street was trapped in his demolished Honda Civic for 20 minutes while emergency personnel worked to free him. But police and witnesses said he never lost consciousness and was alert and talking the entire time. He was in stable condition later Saturday at Hartford Hospital.Investigators have not determined why Anderson failed to stop at the crossing, said Hartford police Sgt. Dan Albert. Anderson's exact age was unclear Saturday. Motor vehicle records indicate he is 80, the age police gave for him Saturday. But voting and other records show his age as 77.The impact tore apart the front of Anderson's car, scattering pieces 150 yards down the tracks and leaving his engine in a twisted heap. Anderson was alone in the vehicle when the train struck the passenger side. Police said anyone in the passenger seat would probably have been killed."He's lucky," said Martin Hernandez, who lives in a house adjacent to the train crossing. Hernandez said he heard the train's whistle as it approached and then the thunderous boom of the collision. He said he rushed out of the house, fearing the worst."But when I got there, he was alive," Hernandez said. "He was just asking, `What happened? What happened?' I said, `Don't worry. The police are coming.'"...........

yet ANOTHER child tragedy

i don't blame most of the case and social workers. they are overburdened and overworked.

Leeana's Last Day How Incompetence And Neglect Led To A Toddler's Death At A State-Funded Group Home
December 18 2005

Leeana Calendario might have died of any of the complex and chronic illnesses she developed as an infant. Instead, 13 days short of her third birthday, Leeana died of something quite ordinary - respiratory failure as a result of a clogged breathing tube.That's the medical explanation.Just as accurate is that the Bridgeport toddler's death is the result of incompetence and neglect at a state-funded group home for medically fragile children.A confidential, 40-page report by the Special Investigations Unit of the Department of Children and Families says Leeana died at Trumbull House, a privately operated facility licensed and largely funded by DCF. The agency placed Leeana there despite her family's apprehensions about the quality of care there. Leeana suffered from a multitude of problems, including a brain injury common to premature babies, chronic lung disease and tracheomalacia, a weakness in the walls of her airway that required a tracheostomy and a breathing tube in her throat.Many Trumbull House staff members themselves worried, too, that they would be unable to care for such a severely disabled child. Because of the group home's tense working climate, however, and earlier acts of retribution against staff who protested certain policies and practices, most employees were reluctant to challenge the appropriateness of the child's placement. One nurse who did complain to the program director was told to quit if she could not work under the supervisor who'd approved Leeana's placement at the home, an affiliate of St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport.On her final day, Leeana's care was assigned to a licensed practical nurse who had worked at Trumbull House for six weeks and whose only previous experience as an LPN was a six-month stint at a long-term care facility for the elderly. In the child's final moments of most acute need, nurses in the home panicked as she struggled to breathe through a clogged tube in her airway. One grabbed an oxygen mask and placed it over her face, a useless gesture to aid someone who breathes not through her nose or mouth but through a tube in her throat. Perhaps the only thing that makes this story more outrageous is its familiarity. Yet again, DCF, which gets $800 million a year in taxpayer money, has failed in its most basic mission: to keep children safe.Yet again it has failed to provide the standards of care it insists parents meet.And yet again, it is hiding behind its worn shield of confidentiality (read, secrecy), asserting that is in the best interests of the child.We know more now than we often do when catastrophe strikes and DCF mans the barricades. The confidential report tells the story............

gov rell has a set

she didn't back down, she signed this bill. it appears to be a GOOD thing. only time will tell if it's too late or not

State Joins Pollution Compact
Courant Staff Writer
December 16 2005

Gov. M. Jodi Rell agreed Thursday to enroll Connecticut in a regional plan to reduce greenhouse gases.Connecticut is expected to be one of seven Northeastern states signing on to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which sets goals for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants beginning in 2009."The agreement creates incentives that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and help free our economy from the price volatility of world oil and gas markets," Rell said. After years of negotiation, Thursday was the deadline for committing to the regional compact. Some environmentalists had feared that Rell might join fellow Republican governors in Massachusetts and Rhode Island by backing away from a tentative deal intended to encourage utilities to shift to cleaner-burning plants. Gov. Don Carcieri of Rhode Island and Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts each raised concerns that the plan could drive up electricity rates. Romney had sought a cap on what power plants would have to pay if they exceeded emissions limits.................