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Saturday, December 18, 2010


My nephew Andrew last week in Breckenridge, Colorado pictured above

This isn't the type of thing I usually post, but it is Christmas time and I guess it is putting me in a "jolly" mood.

For those that have been regular readers, this was a year of challenges for me on a couple of medical issues. I realize that comes with age for all of us, but my sister, who also played a big role in getting me through my medical issues, sent out an e-mail today that I wanted to share.

The e-mail speaks for itself, and as we try to adjust with medical issues brought on as we grow older, it is about my nephew Andrew who has had medical issues since he was about 6 months old. The surprising or inspirational part though is that sometimes I don't think he realizes that he has any medical issues. Somewhere in his first few months he contracted viral encephalitis, developed a very high fever and was taken to the hospital. He was sent home and luckily my sister persevered and wouldn't accept the explanation given by the "medical experts". I guess she is stubborn like that, I just wanted to go to bed and sleep when I was having a stroke, she forced me to go to the hospital.

Anyway, Andrew's muscle and nerve development was affected in his lower body, primarily his legs and I am not sure how the diagnosis finally came about, but I guess cerebral palsy is the general term for Andrew's development issues. Andrew is someone that has never let a "disability" keep him down. He is an excellent student, pushes himself to keep up with all the other kids and doesn't seem to look for any sympathy when he can't or when he gets tired. He is a member of the band at Enfield's Fermi High School(his freshman year now) and has also become a great skier. It took him his first few years just to be able to walk and I'm sure no one ever imagined his legs would ever be strong enough or developed enough to allow him to ski.

A couple years ago my sister got him involved in a program for disabled skiers at Mount Snow in Vermont. The program, Ability Plus, turned out to be something Andrew loved and he caught on to skiing almost immediately. Both Andrew and his parents and his younger brother Ryan all mentor other skiers now in the program. Andrew has the perfect "can-do" attitude for anyone that might be thinking that a disability will hold them back.

And speaking of his younger brother Ryan, Ryan assumed the role of "big brother" even though he is a year and a half younger. He is always there to boost his brother up when Andrew might need just a little more help to get something done. And don't even think about overlooking Andrew or trying to pretend he's not there if you think he can't accomplish something. Ryan will be the first one to yell out "hey, what about my brother?". This past Memorial Day Andrew wanted to "march" in the Enfield Parade with the rest of his band members. Ryan stepped up and pushed Andrew the entire route in his wheelchair while Andrew played the drum.

I've bragged enough, but the attached e-mail let's you know about my sister's thoughts. I guess bragging about Andrew and Ryan runs in the family. It is amazing how sometimes a 13 or 14 year old kid can bring things into perspective. (He'll be fifteen this week)


I have had several days to reflect on my son Andrew’s recent trip to Breckenridge, CO for The Hartford Ski Spectacular. It was an amazing and unexpected opportunity for Andrew and I was so excited for him to participate. After attending this event with my family and watching Andrew and the other athletes there, I wanted to take this time to thank all the family, friends and tremendous organizations that have gotten him to this point. When Andrew first became ill with encephalitis, we had no idea if or how much he would recover. When he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of six months, we watched him struggle to crawl, stand, walk and finally run in his own special way. I never imagined that he would be playing tennis with Ivan Lendl, waterskiing on Lake Zoar, playing baseball, teaching other kids how to ski at Mount Snow and downhill racing with Paralympic Olympic athletes in Colorado. He is full of surprises and I am sure there are many more to come.
Andrew worked hard in Breckenridge and I was proud of his determination and how seriously he took the training. He may not have won a medal in the race but I saw a side of him that made my heart swell with pride. We were waiting for Andrew to come down the hill to the start of the race course. It was a cold, windy, snowy day with over fourteen inches of fresh powder on the ground which was very difficult to ski through. I saw a sit skier coming down the hill fall over and there was Andrew behind her and he stopped to help her get her ski to an upright position. They struggled together and as I watched I wondered who would help Andrew get up if he fell over helping her. Obviously that didn’t cross his mind and they were able to get her upright and continued to the race course. It made me think of how much he had matured in that week. It turned out the girls name was Sarah and she had been in the same Duplex as Andrew for the week. I would like to offer a special thank you to DSUSA and The Hartford for letting us participate in this incredible event.
To all those who work and volunteer to enrich the lives of disabled individuals, I would like to say thank you! Your hard work does pay off and Andrew is proof of it. Every contact we have made has led to another contact starting with The Springfield Shriners Hospital, NEHSA, STRIDE, CHD, Leaps of Faith, AbilityPLUS at Mount Snow, Hospital for Special Care, Ivan Lendl Wheelchair Sports Camp, DSUSA, Camp Harkness, TOPSoccer, All Out Adventures, Challenger Baseball and the Enfield School System. Our lives have been enriched by these organizations and countless others. The friendships we have made will last a lifetime.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Another high profile tenant in the Wal-mart Plaza on Flatbush Avenue has closed abruptly.

The Pollo Tropical Restaurant which opened about a year ago, has closed its doors, another casualty of the current economy


I obtained the attached police report and arrest warrant application after someone had questioned why no arrest was made. According to several police sources, the answer is pretty simple. Apparently the Hartford County States Attorney's Office refused to sign the warrant. Why is any one's guess since it seems pretty clear that Hartford Police investigators did a good job of establishing probable cause.

Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts would not comment on the matter, but other police sources did. Apparently there is an increasing level of frustration with warrant applications not being approved. Even from a lay-persons point of view, I encourage you to read the application attached and decide if there is any question in your mind that a crime was committed.

Apparently this case is only one of several recent cases that the Hartford Police investigated and took to the Hartford Court and the States Attorney for prosecution. Among them are another four cases that seem crystal clear.

In one case it involved an investigation of a recent burglary in Hartford. Forensic evidence was gathered at the scene of the burglary, including blood from broken glass in a window at the point of entry. The blood was apparently sent for DNA tracking and a positive "hit" came back identifying a suspect. Apparently HPD applied for an arrest warrant for the suspect based on the rock solid DNA evidence.

Lo and behold....the States Attorney refused to sign the warrant for Burglary but rather said maybe they would go with a criminal mischief charge.

Another case involved allegations of sexual assault lodged against a Hartford politician by at least two young men outlining their allegations in sworn written statements. Hartford Police aggressively investigated the allegations and prepared arrest warrant applications for the suspect. The Hartford County States Attorney's Office refused to sign the warrants. Although I can't get anything in writing showing the reason, one police source stated to me that the explanation they received was unbelievable. They told me that in the opinion of the Hartford States Attorney the victims "weren't forced hard enough" into the sexual acts,and that is a direct quote.

Another high profile incident is the Hector Robles investigation. That sat in the Hartford County States Attorneys Office for action and went nowhere. Finally another copy was hand delivered to the office of Chief States Attorney Kevin Kane, in Rocky Hill. An investigation was immediately opened and is ongoing at this time and may potentially result in Robles arrest.

Another case that resulted in frustration on the part of HPD brass and IAD investigators involved the "non-arrest" of one of their own. The case involved the assault of a civilian in a Hartford bar by an off-duty police officer. Apparently investigators obtained a copy of security camera footage that recorded the entire incident. According to one high ranking police official who had viewed the recording, the off-duty officer "delivered a severe beating" to the civilian and it was clear in the footage.

Hartford Police Internal Affairs investigators applied for an arrest warrant for the off-duty officer's arrest, and yes you guessed it, even with clear video evidence the warrant was denied. I have not seen the video, but several police officials who have told me that it is clear and convincing that the officer was the aggressor and if the roles were reversed, the civilian would have been arrested immediately.

Like I asked earlier, read the report below and see if you think a crime was committed.

DPW Tool Theft


The following Press Release was posted on the blog yesterday, and at I first I thought it had to be a joke. But surprisingly, it is not. I verified its authenticity with the Legislature's Press Office this afternoon.

For IMMEDIATE Release Contact: Alberto Negron

December 16, 2010 (860) 240-8518


Representative Kelvin Roldán (D-Hartford) - In response to recent scandals in communities like Hartford and Shelton, State Representative Kelvin Roldán announced today that he will introduce legislation this session to prevent municipal contractors from giving expensive gifts to town officials and prevent politicians from padding their pensions while in office.

The first piece of legislation will prevent town and board of education officials from receiving anything of value exceeding $100 in a calendar year from a municipal contractor, prospective contractor or individual with matters before a planning and zoning commission. Towns with a functioning ethics commission may set a lower gift threshold. The second piece of legislation will prevent local town councils from using taxpayer funds to enhance the pensions of elected officials during their terms in office, as has been the practice of the General Assembly.

The pension padding ban is in response to pension enhancement offered this year by the administration of Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra which will allow two elected city officials, including a city councilwoman arrested in a corruption investigation, to retire during their terms in office with pension enhancements that will cost city taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

“It is stunning that in these difficult financial times that a city administration would make it a priority to pad the pensions of elected politicians with tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars while residents are faced with the potential for drastic cuts in city services and increased taxes. Elected officials must put the needs of the people they serve before the financial well being of their fellow politicians.” Roldán stated.

The gift ban legislation is in response to scandals in Hartford, Shelton and other communities where developers and municipal contractors have provided expensive gifts to municipal officials.

“There is no uniform rule across the state on how to deal with gifts from contractors to municipal officials that control hundreds of millions of dollars in local contracts. The fact is that expensive gifts from contractors to municipal officials can create the appearance of undue influence in awarding bids or rendering decisions. After years of debating this issue, the State of Connecticut needs to set unambiguous bright line that will provide clear guidance to local officials and the public about the acceptable standards for behavior in this area,” Rep. Roldán said.

Does anyone else see the irony in this?

Roldan owes both his political career and his professional career to corruption,courtesy of Hartford's former Mayor, now convicted felon, Eddie Perez.

Roldan would have never been elected to the State Legislature without Perez and definitely would not have had a $120,000 a year plus position created for him in the Hartford Schools without Perez.

And for those not familiar with Roldan, I don't believe he has ever once made a statement regarding his personal puppet master, Eddie A. Perez, or his corrupt administration, his arrests, his trial or even his conviction. Yet Roldan is able to now come out swinging against corrupt officials, singling out Perez's successor Mayor Pedro Segarra.

I don't disagree with Roldan that public money should not be used to pad the pensions of elected officials "including a city councilwoman arrested in a corruption investigation". But isn't it interesting that someone who never spoke out the entire time of Perez's reign now is able to take shots at Mayor Segarra. I guess it is safe to assume Roldan is not working on the Segarra campaign.

It's also interesting to me that Roldan must be well aware that he is not on solid ground when it comes to the stability of his seat in the General Assembly. Roldan came within a handful of votes of losing his last election. Not a good sign of strength for someone running against a convicted felon.

Roldan's actions would seem more legitimate if there was some consistency to his moves. To now take a stand against corruption, the same corruption he has benefited from, seems to just be another example of Hartford's spineless "leaders" who never miss an opportunity to grandstand.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I guess it should come as no surprise to any of us that have weathered Hartford's ups and downs, what our City elected officials say and do are two completely different things.

Everywhere I go I keep hearing them say "Hartford needs jobs for its residents" yet surprisingly, or should I say not surprisingly, that doesn't seem to be the case. It seems like the people that have hung in here and weathered the storm and actually believe in Hartford are shown the back seat when it comes to jobs.

A perfect example is Mayor Segarra's office, sadly. I had questioned the Mayor when his first appointment of a Chief of Staff was not even someone that lived in Hartford. I was told that was short term and he was going to move into Hartford, apparently that never happened. Now a new Chief of Staff who hails from Woodstock, Connecticut has been appointed. I doubt that many Hartford residents could even tell you where Woodstock is on a map, never mind associate the problems Hartford faces with any similar issues in Woodstock.

And just for FYI, Woodstock is in the Northeast corner of the state, near I-395 and the Rhode Island border, population 7,909. Their claim to fame is that Woodstock is a rural, historic community with an agricultural background. Maybe if we decide to start exporting Hartford's dairy products or trees from Hartford's Christmas tree farms, we can emulate Woodstock.

Segarra's new Chief of Staff apparently has extensive management experience that qualifies him to move Hartford's urban agenda forward. Apparently he was a para-legal and office manager at Seligman and Katz for a period of time. Seligman and Katz is the same firm that represented Hartford's corrupt Councilwoman Veronica Airey-Wilson in her criminal matters. That experience could possibly prove helpful in identifying additional criminal behavior remaining at City Hall.

It has been reported that he was also a clerk for a Legislative Committee. He also has been involved in several campaigns and reportedly was the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Lamont Campaign. I would feel better if he was associated with the Malloy campaign, Hartford could use a winner, but oh well. Luckily for us he does work cheap though if the candidates filings are accurate. After Matt Hennessy and his Harvard trip and six figure salary,ESI bonus and lobbying contracts, hopefully the 27 year old Chief will be starting at the low end of the budget ladder. This is Hartford though, so that is doubtful.

To view reported payments to Segarra's new Chief of Staff Jared Kupiec, click here. Under recipient name, enter Kupiec and hit search.
I know Kupiec is young, but he also seems to work cheap, which will be a good thing at budget time. He apparently was paid a little over $5,000 by the Lamont Campaign for his reported role of Deputy Campaign Manager. Those numbers pale in comparison to Hartford's other "political consultants" like the Feltman's, Mantilla's, Arroyo's and McDonald's who have learned to work the system for every political penny available. But like I said before, he is young and I'm sure if he hangs around City Hall enough, he'll learn.

Kupiec also shows payments from Fonfara campaigns, but even those were small.

Hopefully Mr. Kupiec will be relocating to Hartford soon. It only seems right that someone who is going to be responsible for Hartford's urban agenda should be living that urban agenda like the rest of us have been, for better or worse.

I think if we had required that more department heads live in Hartford, as required, we would be seeing much different results. I called our Public Works Director Kevin Burnham almost two weeks ago and still haven't had the courtesy of a return call yet. Unfortunately it isn't an isolated incident, I have yet to receive a return call from Burnham anytime I have left a message for him. Maybe the new Chief of Staff can remind Burnham what customer service is and who he actually works for.

I also find it interesting that when it comes to the issue of jobs for Hartford residents, we continue to turn a blind eye to the leadership of the MDC. The MDC could be pumping billions of dollars into Hartford's economy and eventually into Hartford households. Yet, Hartford's leaders seem to have given a free pass to the leadership at the MDC when it comes to demanding jobs for Hartford's residents.

That free pass in combination with the MDC Chairman's "get out of jail free" card continues to overlook the people who actually live in Hartford. If the Mayor was serious about reform, he would have called for MDC Chairman William DiBella's resignation. When it comes to jobs for Hartford's residents on the MDC's Clean Waters project, we need an advocate that actually lives in Hartford and truly serves the people of Hartford. I doubt that the Mayor or anyone on the Council can honestly look at a Hartford resident and say that they believe William DiBella is a Hartford resident and even lives in the MDC's service area as required by law.

Hartford's Mayor appoints the MDC Chair and the City Council ratifies it.

The requirement of residency is a conversation I have had personally with the Mayor. when he appointed Burnham as the Public Works Director I questioned it. When Hartford Police Sergeant Andrew Jaffe retired from HPD and was then appointed as the Emergency Communications Director, I questioned it. Mayor Segarra assured me that a condition of Jaffe's appointment was that he would take up residency in Hartford within 30 days. Does anyone want to bet on whether that has happened?

As Hartford's unemployment climbs toward 20%, if it hasn't already exceeded that, we need to focus on real jobs for Hartford's residents. No more lip service, no more political rhetoric. It's all about the JOBS Mayor and about rewarding those residents that truly believe in Hartford and are willing to fight the good fight to change things. Too many people see Hartford as a paycheck and a means to a great retirement, and the higher up the ladder, the richer the gravy train is.

And Mayor, when you told me last week I would be excited about the changes you were going to make.....I'm still waiting.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Yesterday I had posted that a fund was being established to help cover some of the costs being incurred by the unexpected death of Hartford Firefighter Matt Dirrane.

Dan Nolan has asked me to post the information above. Please remember Matt and his family as they proceed through this difficult time.


Sunday, December 12, 2010


Matt Dirrane, a 16 year veteran of the Hartford Fire Department, was killed in Costa Rica after being hit by a car. Some may also remember Matt as a partner in the sports bar "Westwings" which used to be on Prospect Avenue (now Damon's)

An emergency fund is expected to be established tomorrow at the Hartford Firefighter's Credit Union. Before Matt can be turned over to his family to return to the United States, all hospital fees and associated services required must be paid. Estimated costs for the hospital fees, embalming and other costs are estimated to be between $10,000 and $20,000.

Once the information is available as to the account set up and how to donate, I will post it here