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Friday, May 28, 2010


Hartford 2000, which is the parent organization of Hartford's Neighborhood Revitalization Zones, or NRZ's, provides a great service which they call "e-lerts". The e-lerts provide great information about Council meetings, community meetings, Library sponsored events and a multitude of worthwhile information.

Today I received one listing the locations and times of Farmer's Markets across the city. The information is below. I left Linda Bayer's contact information at the bottom in case you would like to sign up for Hartford 2000's e-lerts.

H2K Elert – A service of Hartford 2000, the coalition of Hartford’s 13 NRZs and the City of Hartford, with support from the Hartford Public Library.

Yearning for fresh produce direct from the farm? On any weekday, you will be able to shop at a farmers market in Hartford. Choose a location, day and time that is convenient for you from the list below. Markets are listed in order of the date they open. The Billings Forge market is already open on Thursdays and other farmers market open in June and early July. Eat fresh!

Billings Forge Farmers Market

Broad Street between Capitol and Russ

Open now!

Thursdays, 11 AM to 2 PM

West End Farmers Market

Corner of Farmington and South Whitney

Opens June 8, 2010

Tuesdays and Fridays, 4 to 7 PM

Old State House Farmers Market

800 Main Street

Opens June 21, 2010

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10 AM to 2 PM

First Presbyterian Church Farmers Market

136 Capitol Avenue

Opens July 5, 2010

Mondays, 10 AM to 1 PM

Northend Farmers Market

Northend Senior Center

80 Coventry Street

Opens July 7, 2010

Wednesdays, 10 AM to 1 PM

Linda A. Bayer
Staff Consultant
Hartford 2000, Inc.
c/o CREC
111 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: 860-547-1663 Ext.21
Fax: 860-547-1831

Thursday, May 27, 2010


The Perez corruption trial finished off another week today. Tomorrow is a furlough day and the court is closed and Judge Dewey gave jurors Tuesday off so trial resumes on Wednesday at 9:30am.

Today's main witness was developer Joseph Citino who was stonewalled in his attempts to demolish and then develop the property that was part of the area surrounding the "Butt Ugly" building. Citino claims to have been in a meeting regarding his plans in which Mayor Perez was present.

I had anticipated a character out of the "Soprano's" to take the witness stand, but instead a professional gentleman was sworn in. Joseph Citino had to repeatedly be asked to speak up as the jury and the defense table could not hear his soft spoken voice.

It was during that meeting apparently when Perez insisted on a $100,000 "payment" to Abe Giles if Citino was going to be able to purchase of land abutting the "Butt Ugly" building, a property that Citino claims was key to the success of his plan.

Citino testified that during that meeting Perez told him if he wanted to move forward that he would have to "take care of Abe". When Citino asked Mayor Perez what the next step was Perez replied "First we have to take care of Abe Giles, or there is no next step".

It seemed that one of the main issues regarding Citino's testimony was his criminal past. With the jury out of the room both sides argued over how much of Citino's criminal history could be disclosed to the jurors. The whole issue seemed to become a minor issue when Prosecutor Gailor began his questioning and quickly went into Citino's past.

Citino seemed to be one of the better witnesses so far as to how he connected with the jury. Citino made it a point to speak directly to the jury making eye contact with them rather than the lawyers. He did have a tendency to answer more than the question that he was asked, but my impression is that the jurors were listening.

Citino's past arrests were from the late 80's and early 90's and involved drug, weapon and counterfeiting charges, for which he served prison time. He testified that he had made mistakes, but since then he told the jurors he had worked steadily to avoid ever going back to prison. Although in and of itself his past seemed damaging, Gailor did a masterful job of diverting attention away from the past and focusing the jurors attention on the hundreds of properties Citino claims to have developed since he started his company.

I think Hubie Santos realized that any hope he had of making Citino out to be a gun toting thug and drug dealer was lost when the jury heard about Citino's million dollar plus construction deals. He only touched briefly on Citino's past during his cross examination and moved past it quickly to focus on the Courant's treatment of Citino.

From day one of jury selection, the courtroom has buzzed over the constant mention of Courant reporter Jeff Cohen. Many people were wondering why Hubie Santos has insisted on mentioning Cohen and why would he be a potential witness?

Apparently, according to Santos, Citino had been called repeatedly by Cohen for a comment on a story regarding the alleged payoff to Giles. Citino remained steadfast and repeatedly told Cohen "no comment". Citino testified that Cohen had probably called him 100 times looking for a comment.

During the time Cohen was working on the story, Citino sent an e-mail to Perez outlining his understanding of where the deal stood. In that e-mail Citino referenced the "$100,000" payment to Giles. Citino testified that on the day the e-mail was sent at 10:54am, Perez began calling him almost immediately and he claimed (verified by phone records) that Perez called him 18 to 20 times trying to reach him.

They had a short conversation, most of which Citino "didn't recall". Several days later Perez called him upset because he had put the $100,000 payoff to Giles in writing. According to Citino, Perez was not happy because the e-mail and the payoff could be "trouble" if it got into the "wrong hands".

Then in the "be careful what you ask for" column, Perez reacted to a Courant story by Cohen. After the issue with "taking care of Abe" was published in the Courant, Perez turned around and sent a letter to States Attorney Kevin Kane requesting a full investigation into the payoff and any corrupt activity. Eddie must have thought that the attention would be focused on the convicted felon Citino and the spotlight would never be on him.

Well, as Inspector Sullivan testified, that plan didn't work for Perez and almost immediately after they first interviewed Eddie, he became a suspect.

One of the more peculiar pieces of information was brought out during Santos's cross examination when he tried to paint a picture of Cohen "threatening" Citino to get Citino to comment for his story. Citino seemed to not consider Cohen's actions a "threat", but Santos kept asking about Cohen "threatening" him. Apparently Cohen asked for comment and Citino kept saying "no comment" and Cohen related to him that he probably wouldn't be portrayed in a positive light if he chose not to comment. Cohen apparently advised Citino that his criminal past would be brought out in the article.

For some reason Santos also pressed Citino regarding a phone call from Cohen after the article was published. Santos claimed that Cohen called Citino from New Orleans where Cohen was visiting his parents after Hurricane Katrina. I wanted to stand up and object, "Relevance your honor?". But the Judge seemed upset enough already after spectator Jan Appelloff's cell phone went off followed by Hubie Santos's phone going off for the second time of the day. "Sorry your honor, its my son" was Hubie's response, Appelloff quickly exited the courtroom to silence hers.

A quick admonishment by Judge Dewey for everyone to turn their phones off. An early recess for the long weekend was called and testimony resumes next Wednesday.

And for those in attendance wondering about my being summoned to the "backroom" during the afternoon recess, I will remain silent on that one until the time is right.

Monday, May 24, 2010


In a disturbing story on WFSB tonight, Hartford Bureau Chief Len Besthoff presented a story about what should be one of the most hallowed pieces of land in Hartford.

In a city run by a City Council that is quick to address issues in Arizona, it seems as though they are falling flat when it comes to addressing issues right here in Hartford.

As I said before, Hartford's "Soldiers Field", which was established as the final resting place for many of Hartford's veterans and their spouses, should be revered and maintained as one of the most hallowed parcels of land on the City's inventory.

According to Besthoff's story and the accompanying video proof, the graves are almost totally ignored when it comes to maintenance. Soldier's headstones toppled, graves overgrown and obscured by tall grass and weeds, remains of flower arrangements from funeral's left on graves for months, all deplorable conditions.

You can view the WFSB story by clicking here..

And I think it would be safe to say that there very well may be members on the City Council and on the Council's Parks Committee who don't believe in war. None the less, many of these graves are the final resting place of brave men and women who have died during actual combat and paid the ultimate price for us as a society, as well as those who served in active duty and were fortunate enough to make it back home to Hartford.

We owe them and their families, at the very least, proper maintenance of their final resting places.

In my opinion, that should be a priority for the Council before any other nonsense resolutions against Arizona are passed. As I said before, it is time to get our own house in order before we try to run the entire country, and this is a perfect example.


The Democratic State Party Convention started off with a break from tradition Friday night when it was called to order at the Connecticut Expo Center. From what State Central leaders told me, it was the first time in recent history, that they could recall, that the opening address was not given by the Mayor of the host city.

Apparently that was a conscious decision by the party leaders not to invite Hartford's Mayor Eddie A. Perez to speak. Apparently they felt that it didn't bode well for the party to be addressed by a Mayor on trial and currently under arrest on felony charges related to a corruption investigation.

That didn't stop Perez or his wife from attending the opening night as they wandered around the convention floor. Unlike his popularity from earlier in his term, Perez was not surrounded by many people as he walked through the Expo Center. His fellow Democrats were probably trying to avoid any photo-ops involving the Mayor.

One of the most interesting observations, other than the Saturday morning love fest which I'll go into shortly, was another delegate crossing paths with Perez on the convention floor. I'm sure Eddie's heartbeat sped up when he saw the Prosecutor from his court case also wandering the Expo Center floor.

Yup, Assistant State's Attorney Christopher Alexy was also a delegate from his hometown, where he is the town's Vice-Chair. Poor Eddie, he can't even catch a break in a building full of Democrats. Alexy was also in attendance Saturday when the Hartford Team of Evil was working the floor.

Apparently there have been a few closed door meetings between Perez and Ned Lamont leading up to the convention. That is a stark contrast to the Malloy campaign's approach from what I was told by a Malloy insider. Malloy's campaign made a decision to stay at least arms length from Perez considering the ongoing trial.

Apparently Ned Lamont wasn't concerned about wheeling and dealing with a Mayor on trial for corruption and courted Perez right up until the time the final vote for the Governor-nominee was cast.

In an unusual situation that could be filed in the "politics makes strange bedfellows" category, the love fest that took place among some of the Hartford delegation on Saturday morning was an eye opener to many. I didn't get to the convention until about noon on Saturday, but a little after 10:00AM my phone started ringing and the text messages were flying.

State Representative Minnie Gonzalez and Eddie Perez, who have been bitter adversaries, were hugging on the convention floor and cutting deals. Completing the love fest were the supporting cast of Matt Hennessey, Susan McMullen and Nick Carbone. Yes , you read those names right. I heard that they were all singing "Kumbaya" by the front doors of the Expo Center as they held hands later in the day.

The cast of characters were twisting arms hard in the Hartford Delegation trying to swing votes to the Lamont campaign. If they haven't realized yet, corruption trials have a way of reducing one's political clout, and alas, Dan Malloy carried the Hartford delegations votes. Maybe Perez needs to get a picture of "Air Force 1" like Hennessey uses on his website to make it seem like he still has power.

I am pretty sure that the pesky Prosecutor, who was only one section away from the Hartford delegation and Perez, didn't make anyone in the "Circle of Evil" comfortable.