Saturday, December 23, 2006


this is a great christmas present for mr fernandez and his family. the army finally stepped up and did the right thing. let's hope they treat ALL of the 'unfit for duty' cases with care, concern, understanding and compassion

Veteran Excused From Iraq

By LISA CHEDEKEL Courant Staff Writer December 22 2006
An Iraq war veteran from Waterbury who was called back to duty despite a diagnosis of severe post-traumatic stress disorder has been exempted from returning to combat and released from the military.Damian Fernandez, 24, who became suicidal and was hospitalized after receiving orders last month to prepare for another deployment to Iraq, has been excused from reporting to duty Jan. 14 and discharged altogether from the Army's ready reserve, according to a letter Thursday from the Army's Human Resources Command.After Fernandez's case was recently featured in The Courant, U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal asked the Army to grant him an exemption.Fernandez's mother, Mary Jane Fernandez, said she received the letter and a personal call Thursday from Col. Robert T. Marsh, commander of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, notifying her that her son was being released from the military. She said she was relieved that Damian, who has been in a lockdown unit at the Northampton VA Medical Center in Massachusetts since receiving his call-up orders, would no longer have to worry about being sent back to war."Now that he knows he'll never have to go back, maybe he can finally start to get better," Mary Jane Fernandez said of her son, who suffers from paranoia, flashbacks and depression and has been deemed 70 percent disabled with PTSD by the Department of Veterans Affairs.Fernandez is one of about 8,200 inactive soldiers who have been ordered back to duty involuntarily, under a controversial policy that allows the military to recall troops who have been discharged from the service but have time remaining on their enlistment contracts. Some of those being recalled have PTSD and other mental health problems, raising alarm among families and veterans' advocates.Army officials say they have no system for checking the medical status of inactive soldiers with the VA before sending out the call-up letters, because the VA and the military do not share medical records. Instead, the onus is on mentally ill or otherwise disabled soldiers to alert the military to their conditions and seek exemptions.....


look at that face...........

how could ANYONE do that to her? cheers to the town of naugatuck for authorizing gretchen's surgery

Donations sought to care for wounded dog

(Naugatuck-WTNH, Dec. 22, 2006 Updated 10:15 PM) _ A Naugatuck veterinarian and an animal control officer are trying to raise money to pay for surgery for a dog that was beaten and abandoned.
The dog, a young gray pit bull, was found abandoned last week in the City Hill Street area. Authorities say it had a football-sized tumor on its side.
A veterinarian determined that the tumor wasn't cancer, but was a hematoma caused by a beating. The dog also had several broken ribs.
Even though Naugatuck doesn't have the money in its budget, officials authorized the $600 surgery.
Marilyn Weid, the town's assistant animal control officer, is hoping for donations to cover the cost...........

if you can think about adopting her. the article goes on to say if she doesn't find a home she may be put down

Friday, December 22, 2006

i wish i believed this

i don't. da liebs has some nasty-bad ideas (like staying in iraq for one). he's NOT representing ME or MY beliefs.

does da liebs have ulterior motives? yes, i think he does. i don't think he has the well-being of the people of the great state of connecticut in mind

well i DO hope ari melber is right and a rose is a rose is WRONG in this instance

The Irrelevance of Joe Lieberman

[posted online on December 21, 2006]
Here's a New Year's resolution that liberal bloggers and mainstream journalists can agree on: Let's talk less about Joe Lieberman next year. A lot less.
For most of 2006, Connecticut's junior senator was relentlessly lambasted by bloggers, who jump-started Ned Lamont's successful primary campaign, and hailed by Beltway reporters, who celebrated Lieberman's re-election by declaring him the most pivotal member of a closely divided Senate. The unrelenting criticism, glorification and analysis of the political enigma that is Joe Lieberman could certainly benefit from benign neglect in 2007.
Yet just as Augustine prayed, "grant me chastity...but not yet," perhaps one last rehash of the fall and rise of Joe Lieberman is in order. Especially if it's a freewheeling, three-hour knock-down debate with strategists from the three campaigns from Connecticut's Senate race, local and national reporters, an academic pollster (and this writer) at a symposium convened by Lieberman's alma mater, Yale University. That was the scene this month, in two feisty panels that showed Lieberman's supporters and detractors still have plenty to fight about. (C-SPAN posted both panels
here under "Conference on Connecticut Senate Race, Part 1.")
Bill Hillsman, a maverick adman who worked for Paul Wellstone and Ralph Nader before helping Lamont's primary campaign, argued that Democrats would not have won Congress "if it wasn't for Ned Lamont." Across the country, he said, Democrats' antiwar ads and messages were pulled right from Lamont's playbook. "My cat could have run those ads," replied Lieberman strategist Roy Occhiogrosso. He said it was obvious that Democrats should run against the unpopular war. The two camps traded barbs in that vein for about half an hour.
Then the discussion turned to the elephant in the room, but absent from the panel. What exactly did those famous bloggers do? .....

i didn't want to post this

but it is news and it does involve connecticut. my thoughts and prayers are indeed with all of these service people and their families. more importantly my thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones and familes of the iraqi civilians who lost their lives.

(BRING OUR MEN AND WOMEN HOME and we wouldn't have to worry about this type of thing happening)

i wasn't there. i don't know what happened. i'm not judging anyone. i want all of this to stop though. we have NO RIGHT to be in iraq. NONE

CT marine charged with murder of 24 civilians

(WTNH, Dec. 21, 2006 6:40 PM) _ A marine from Meriden is facing murder charges for the deaths of two dozen Iraqi civilians. For a year, investigators have been trying to figure out what exactly happened in Haditha.
by News Channel 8's Alan Cohn
Frank Wuterich isn't just facing charges. According to the Marine Corp, he is the central figure in what's been described as the massacre of Iraqi civilians. Charges include 12 counts of murder, one count of ordering the men under him to kill six other civilians and asking other marines to lie about the incident to investigators.
The incident took place just over a year ago in Haditha. Twenty-four civilians were killed after a roadside bomb exploded killing a U.S. marine. Staff Sergeant Wuterich was the squad leader.
When the allegations first surfaced last June, his parents told News Channel 8 they were confident when the real story came out he wouldn't be charged..........


Family Stands By Conn. Marine Charged In Haditha Murders

MERIDEN, Conn. -- A Marine from Connecticut is at the center of the biggest U.S. criminal case involving civilian deaths in Iraq.
In November 2005, a Marine was killed by a roadside bomb in Haditha. Witnesses claim fellow Marines went on a rampage, killing 24 innocent civilians.
Staff. Sgt. Frank Wuterich of Meriden is the person who military officials allege ordered the attack

He is charged with murdering 12 of the civilians and ordering soldiers under his command to kill six others.
But the Marine's family defended him outside its home Thursday.
"My wife and I and all his friends feel that he is innocent," Dave Wuterich said. "People at home don't know what it's like over there."...........

(mr wuterich IS right, we DON'T know what it's like over there.)

don't drink and drive

or else........

you may get stopped (and that would NOT be a good thing)

Over the limit, under arrest

(Hartford - WTNH, Dec. 21, 2006 9:10 PM) _ Police are trying to prevent holiday tragedies this season. State and local police are working together on a campaign to keep drunk drivers off the road and save lives.
by News Channel 8's Bob Wilson
State police are out in full force this holiday, not only helping stranded motorists, but watching the highways for drunk drivers.
"The holiday season is underway, holiday, office parties, after work parties, we simply are sending a clear message: if you are going to get behind the wheel of a car, do not consume alcohol in any road in the State of Connecticut," said Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police.
Extra troopers have been called in to beef up the patrols. it's called Operation Santa, which stands for Stop Another Needless Tragic Accident. Police are not only targeting drivers, but sending the message to people who throw parties. .........

Thursday, December 21, 2006

AND our senator dodd is doing something about it!!!

unlike OTHER senators (whose names i won't mention DA LIEBS, whom i am PROUD to say i did NOT vote for), this one IS doing something to protect our men and women

oh and a shout out to richard blumenthal as well!

Dodd Seeks Call-Back Exemptions For Unfit Soldiers

By LISA CHEDEKEL Courant Staff Writer December 20 2006
U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd is asking newly appointed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to ensure that soldiers debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses are not sent back into combat."If experienced VA doctors diagnose military personnel with incapacitating disabilities, such as severe PTSD, it would seem counter to our national security interests for the military services to somehow disregard these evaluations for less thorough assessments performed by military officials," Dodd wrote in a letter Tuesday to Gates. "It seems unacceptable and perhaps even reckless to ask our servicemen and women to entrust their lives to soldiers deemed mentally unfit by medical professionals."Dodd, D-Conn., said he was troubled by recent reports that some Connecticut veterans who had left active duty and had been deemed disabled with PTSD were being recalled for repeat deployments to Iraq. The Courant featured several of those soldiers in a recent story.One of the soldiers, Damian Fernandez, 24, of Waterbury, was diagnosed with severe PTSD and rated 70 percent disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs after returning from Iraq in 2005. When he received a letter from the Army last month ordering him to report for duty Jan. 14, he became suicidal and was admitted to a lockdown unit at the Northampton VA Medical Center in Massachusetts, where he remains. The Army is now reviewing his medical records.Dodd asked Gates to exempt Fernandez from being recalled...........

more on 'unfit for duty'

the OUTSTANDING (they, lisa and matthew, had better win some sort of journalism award) series of articles in the hartford courant

if you go to the link below for the current story, there is a link to the whole series. it's well worth it. we MUST take care of our men and women. they VOLUNTEERED to serve and protect their country.

Army Cites Therapy Progress

By LISA CHEDEKEL And MATTHEW KAUFFMAN Courant Staff Writers December 20 2006WASHINGTON -- Top Army medical officials touted progress Tuesday in breaking the stigma associated with mental health care, even as they released a new report showing the suicide rate among soldiers in Iraq reached a record high last year and reports of acute stress and depression also climbed.The long-awaited report by a team of military mental health experts found that soldiers serving in Iraq were less fearful that seeking psychiatric care would hurt their standing in the military - a finding that Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, the Army surgeon general, attributed to better training of soldiers and increased understanding among commanders.But the report, based on surveys of soldiers in late 2005, also found a significant increase in levels of stress, anxiety and depression - especially among troops who had served more than one deployment. About 14 percent of soldiers serving in Iraq last year reported acute stress symptoms, up from 11 percent a year earlier. Among soldiers on a repeat deployment, more than 18 percent reported acute stress, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.In other findings, the report found a drop last year in soldiers' confidence in their ability to get mental health care for their troubled comrades. And fewer than half of mental health providers treating troops in Iraq said they had adequate resources, while a third reported experiencing a high "burnout level."In a media roundtable at the Pentagon, Kiley said the Army would "keep plugging away" to improve mental health care for troops during and after deployment."Are we concerned that soldiers on second or maybe third deployments could be at increased risk of increasing stress which may lead to PTSD? Sure," Kiley said. "Are we encouraged because stigma is dropping, and soldiers who've got plenty of access to mental health care are starting to tap into that? Yes. We're not rocking back on our heels, but that's encouraging."The Courant reported in May that the military was increasingly sending mentally troubled troops into combat and keeping them there, in some cases resulting in suicides. Army officials confirmed Tuesday that 22 soldiers had killed themselves in Iraq in 2005, a rate of 19.9 per 100,000 - the highest since the war began, and nearly double the 2004 rate. Of the 22, five were serving repeat tours.....

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

my friend paulie sent this to me

the penguin show

talking is ALWAYS a good start

whether you agree with syria's politics or NOT. how the hell can we have peace if we don't open dialogs? the answer is NOT invading EVERY COUNTRY who doesn't agree with us. we have NO RIGHT to do that (king george).

KUDOS to senator dodd and senator kerry (and the others in the party)

Kerry, Dodd In Syria Sens. Kerry and Dodd arrive in Damascus for talks on Iraq

By ALBERT AJI The Associated Press December 19 2006, 2:00 PM EST DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- U.S. Sens. John Kerry and Christopher Dodd arrived in Syria today to discuss how Damascus could help bring about stability and security to neighboring Iraq.The two Democratic lawmakers declined to speak to reporters after landing at Damascus airport on a U.S. military plane.Their visit came a few days after a similar one by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, who met with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Kerry, a Massachusetts lawmaker and a critic of U.S. President George W. Bush's administration policies in Iraq, flew in here after visits to Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. Dodd, a Connecticut senator who is considering to run for U.S. president in 2008, also was in Iraq -- his third trip there since the war began.The U.S. lawmakers are expected to hold talks with Assad, who is currently on a two-day visit to Moscow and is due back home on Wednesday.The diplomatic push from Congress comes on the heels of a recommendation by a bipartisan panel that the U.S. engage Iran and Syria on the war in Iraq. Bush has expressed reluctance to seek help from Damascus on Iraq until the Syrians curb their support to radical Palestinian groups and to the Lebanese Hezbollah.Syria has influence with Iraqi Sunnis, and some leaders of the Sunni-led insurgency are believed to be living there. Kerry has criticized the Bush administration for refusing to engage with Syria and Iran, as was recommended by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group................

if you are going to a mall to shop

be very careful. a helpful hint from me is: if you're of the female persuasion, DO NOT bring your purse. wear pants with pockets. put your plastic (or a couple of checks or your cash) in those pockets (oh, and don't forget your license). not only will your purse not be stolen, you will have one less thing to carry.

if you are of the male persuasion, i have no helpful hints for you at this time.

i went to westfarms last wednesday. it was a DISASTER. i found NOTHING. i usually buy a few ornaments at filene's (now macy's i know i know) and lord and taylor. i couldn't find ANY ornaments. i sure don't know where they hid them or even if they are still carrying ornaments. i got the nieces and nephews stuff from limited too and discovery store. other than that, NADA, ZIP.

Westfarms Mall beefs up security for holiday season

on thursday i went to avon. i SHOULD have done that all along. there are a TON of stores and i struck gold. oh and i also got a few gifts (and stuff for ME too) at japanalia on one on whitney street in hartford (such kick ass clothing)

Westfarms Mall beefs up security for holiday season

a shout out to my boss and my department

we had our holiday luncheon in avon yesterday (my old stomping ground). it was LOVELY. with great insight, the restaurant put us in a separate room. we weren't rowdy but we WERE loud. lovely buffet and wonderful desserts. we grabbed some trivial pursuit cards from the bar and proceeded to play among our tables (MY table kicked ass by the way).

i mentioned a few posts ago, i'm knitting hats for my whole department. well i'm going to fall short so everyone will have to wait until the week AFTER christmas. i have about 9 more to do (totaling about 30). they don't read this blog so i can say that............

(one of the hats i finished)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

monk parakeets

i was LIVID when ui started killing them off. yes, i know there nests were built in dangerous places BUT there HAD to be a better way to solve the problem

UI, monk parakeets get along uneasily

The Connecticut Post
by Ken Dixon
Connecticut’s monk parakeets have recovered from last year’s eradication program and have settled into a tense, if nonviolent, relationship with The United Illuminating Co.
The green birds that are native to South America and have colonized Connecticut’s coast since the early 1970s are showing at least partial interest in man-made nesting platforms erected over the last year.
And while it seems unlikely that a law to protect the birds — proposed in the General Assembly, where it failed last May — will be revived, the Darien-based Friends of Animals has a lawsuit pending against UI to permanently stop the tactics that slaughtered 179 birds last year.
Two months ago, UI crews tore down 76 nests in utility poles in West Haven, Milford and Stratford.
Unlike last year, there were no U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel working with UI to kill birds on the spot. The parrots immediately went back to building nests in about a third of the utility poles. Most of the parrots, however, built nests in trees, not poles.
There are about 1,500 monk parakeets in the state, officials said.
“They’re doing fine,” said Julie Cook, of Ocean Avenue in West Haven, who was the first to allow the erection of a nesting platform for parrots left homeless by last year’s capture-and-kill program..........

there's a permanent link to a list on my blog

but it's worth listing the names of all of the men and women with connecticut ties who perished in iraq and afghanistan

we the people of the good state of connecticut thank you for serving. our thoughts and prayers go out to your families and friends.

Servicemen and civilians with Connecticut ties who have died since March 2002 in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Chapman, 36, March 4, 2002, Afghanistan
Marine Staff Sgt. Phillip Jordan, 42, March 23, 2003, Iraq
Marine Cpl. Kemaphoom Chanawongse, 22, March 23, 2003, Iraq
Army Pfc. Wilfredo Perez Jr., 24, July 26, 2003, Iraq
Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr., 37, Aug. 12, 2003, Iraq
Army Sgt. David Travis Friedrich, 26, Sept. 20, 2003, Iraq
Army Pfc. Anthony D'Agostino, 20, Nov. 2, 2003, Iraq
Army Sgt. Maj. Philip Albert, 41, Nov. 23, 2003, Afghanistan
Army Pfc. Jeffrey Braun, 19, Dec. 12, 2003, Iraq
Army Capt. Eric Paliwoda, 28, Jan. 2, 2004, Iraq
Army Sgt. Benjamin Gilman, 28, Jan. 29, 2004, Afghanistan
Army Spc. Tyanna Avery-Felder, 22, April 7, 2004, Iraq
Army (National Guard) Sgt. Felix Del Greco, 22, April 9, 2004, Iraq
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan B. Bruckenthal, 24, April 24, 2004, Iraq
Army Spc. Jacob David Martir, 21, Aug. 18, 2004, Iraq
Eric Miner, 44, employee of U.S. security firm DynCorp, Oct. 14, 2004, Iraq
Army Chief Warrant Officer William Brennan, Oct. 15, 2004, Iraq
Marine Cpl. Kevin Dempsey, 23, Nov. 13, 2004, Iraq
Army Sgt. Joseph Michael Nolan, 27, Nov. 18, 2004, Iraq
Army Lt. Col. Michael J. McMahon, 41, Nov. 27, 2004, Afghanistan
Army (National Guard) Staff Sgt. Henry E. Irizarry, 38, Dec. 3, 2004, Iraq
Army (National Guard) Spc. Robert Hoyt, 21, Dec. 11, 2004, Iraq
Army Staff Sgt. Thomas E. Vitagliano, 33, Jan. 17, 2005, Iraq
Barbara Heald, 60, civilian employee of the Army, Jan. 29, 2005, Iraq
Marine Lance Cpl. Lawrence Philippon, 22, May 8, 2005, Iraq
Lance Cpl. John T. Schmidt III, 21, May 11, 2005, Iraq
Army Spec. Christopher Hoskins, 21, June 21, 2005, Iraq
Army Maj. Steve Reich, 34, June 28, 2005, Afghanistan
Marine Sgt. David Coullard, 32, Aug. 1, 2005, Iraq
Marine Capt. Brian S. Letendre, 27, May 3, 2006, Iraq
Marine Cpl. Stephen Bixler, 20, May 4, 2006, Iraq
Marine Cpl. Jordan C. Pierson, 21, Aug. 25, 2006, Iraq
Marine Lance Cpl. Philip Johnson, 19, Sept. 3, 2006, Iraq
Army Pfc. Nicholas A. Madaras, 19, Sept. 3, 2006, Iraq
Army Capt. Jason Hamill, 31, Nov. 26, 2006, Iraq
Army Staff Sgt. Joseph E Phaneuf Jr., 38, Dec. 15, 2006, Afghanistan

you can get anything you want.........

at alice's restaurant. walk right in it's around the back, just a half a mile from the railroad tracks.........

it's just NOT the start of the holidays, thanksgiving, without hearing this song. it's special to me (and lots of others). i love love love it

PLUS i love the berkshires. wonderful area.

Arlo's Stockbridge

By ANDREA SACHS Washington Post December 17 2006 Imagine if you had heard Frank Sinatra sing "New York, New York" in a smoky Manhattan club, or caught John Denver performing "Country Roads, Take Me Home" atop a West Virginia mountain. Gives you chills.When Arlo Guthrie performed "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" at the Guthrie Center in Stockbridge, Mass., in October, the legendary folk singer summoned the ghosts of the 1960s, calling forth Alice and Ray, the garbage dump and the draft - all characters and scenes intimately familiar to anyone who grew up singing along to the protest song-cum-Thanksgiving staple. Nearly everyone in the high-ceilinged church, aglitter with candles set on the 100 (sold-out) tables, knew the lyrics by heart. And during the sing-along refrain, the effect was more religious revival than concert."I grew up with Arlo," said Dennis Dilmaghani, a middle-aged New Yorker who was taping the show from the second-floor balcony. "This is the most genuine place to see Arlo and the most fitting place to hear" the fabled 18-minute story-song.Thanks to "Alice's Restaurant" and its perennial radio play, Stockbridge and Guthrie will forever be linked. "It's become a little part of the history of the town," Guthrie said during a pre-show chat on the back porch of the Guthrie Center. "That's what makes an area feel like home - you have a history with it."But times do change. Forty years later, there's no Alice's Restaurant, but you pretty much can get anything you want in Stockbridge.Arlo Guthrie would never dump on Stockbridge.In 1965, however, it was a different story. Back then, the young hippie and a friend tossed a VW van-load of trash off a cliff in the western Massachusetts town, creating a stir - and a song."Garbage has been very good to me," said Guthrie, 59, now a father of four whose hair has grayed and waist size has doubled since his youth, but whose vigor has hardly waned. "The great thing was, when the record came out, most people thought it was a nice piece of fiction."........

THE LOCKED-UP entrance of what used to be Alice’s Restaurant in downtown Stockbridge. (JOHN LONG)

volunteer knitting

i've written about it before, but it needs mentioning again

Knitters Eager To Help Infants Caps Help Keep Newborns Warm

By STEPHANIE SUMMERS Courant Staff Writer December 18 2006 MANSFIELD -- Who says you can't change the world by knitting in front of the fire?Don't try to tell that to Kay McNabb of Mansfield Center, whose dining room table is covered in colorful knit caps that soon will warm the noggins of underweight newborns in Bangladesh and Malawi.And don't try to tell it to the women in her Manchester tennis club, Coventry gardening club, UConn walking and knitting groups, or the auxiliary that runs a high-end, second-hand shop for charity in Simsbury. They made more than 600 of the baby beanies.In fact, don't try to tell any of the nation's knitters of 68,000 caps overflowing the mail and conference rooms at Save the Children headquarters in Westport.Theirs is a close-knit world."The knitters are a very generous bunch - generous and engaged," Save the Children spokeswoman Kate Conradt said Friday from her Washington, D.C., office.Knitters first contacted Save the Children after seeing a May 2006 "State of the World's Mothers" report that focused on newborn health. It said that of 4 million newborns who die each year, 2 million die in their first 24 hours. In that vulnerable time, something as simple as a knit cap could save a baby, experts say................

Monday, December 18, 2006

my little christmas trees

i mentioned the other day. the one on the left is the one i made for my department and the one on the right, for my boss' new son. they really came out a bit better than the pictures portray (if i DO say so myself). and yes, these were the cause of my glue gun injuries

only NOW support is waning? c'mon. who in their RIGHT mind can support king george?

the decider mis-decided long long long ago

Enthusiasm for president waning among Greenwich Republicans

(Greenwich-AP, Dec. 17, 2006 5:25 PM) _ Greenwich is the birthplace of the Bush political dynasty, but even Republicans in this wealthy New York suburb are questioning the president's handling of the Iraq war and other important issues.
The Bush family has ties to Greenwich dating back to the 1920s. President Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, served as moderator of the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting before winning election to the U-S Senate. Former President Bush grew up in Greenwich, and several Bush relatives still live in town.
Town Republicans tell the Greenwich Time newspaper that they still strongly support the president. But they acknowledge they have reservations about his handling of the war, government spending, immigration and his choice of advisers. .............

my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Joseph Phaneuf II

i am so very sorry for your loss

Eastford soldier killed in Afghanistan

(Eastford-WTNH, Dec. 17, 2006 6:30 PM) _ Eastford is remembering a hometown hero as another Connecticut soldier is killed while serving on the front lines.
This latest casualty of war is Staff Sergeant Joseph Phaneuf II. He leaves behind a wife and three children.
The family tells News Channel 8 that Phaneuf was killed by a roadside bomb on Friday while driving a truck in Afghanistan.
Phaneuf was a member of the National Guard 1-102nd out of New Haven. In 2004 he was serving in Iraq, returned home and then was deployed to Afghanistan.
His wife says that he was a hero.......

Sunday, December 17, 2006

connecticut oddity of the day

new england vampires

Bioarcheological and Biocultural Evidence for the New England Vampire Folk Belief

............HISTORICAL EVIDENCE The final piece of evidence is this historic newspaper account (Wright, 1973): "In the May 20, 1854 issue of the Norwich (Connecticut) Courier, there is an account of an incident that occurred at Jewett [City], a city in that vicinity. About eight years previously, Horace Ray of Griswold had died of consumption. Afterwards, two of his children--grown-up sons--died of the same disease, the last one dying about 1852. Not long before the date of the newspaper the same fatal disease had seized another son, whereupon it was determined to exhume the bodies of the two brothers and burn them, because the dead were supposed to feed upon the living; and so long as the dead body in the grave remained undecomposed, either wholly or in part, the surviving members of the family must continue to furnish substance on which the dead body could feed. Acting under the influence of this strange superstition, the family and friends of the deceased proceeded to the burial ground on June 8, 1854, dug up the bodies of the deceased brothers, and burned them on the spot."
This account places the vampire belief in the Jewett City/Griswold area just after the time span of the Griswold cemetery. The excellent preservation of the vampire skeleton indicates that it was probably buried toward the latter time period for the cemetery (ca. 1800-1840), thus placing the internment of this individual close to the time of the above account. The town of Griswold was settled just after 1812, in part by emigrants from Western Rhode Island, who were, according to local tradition, uneducated and "vicious" (Phillips, 1929). Note in Table 1 that several vampire accounts are also located in Western Rhode Island. The Rhode Island belief was examined by Stetson (1898), who relates that the Rhode Islanders he interviewed did not consider their practice to be vampirism but rather believed it was a way to protect living relatives from potential vampiristic actions of a deceased consumptive. ..........

the jewett city vampires