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........