Search This Blog

Saturday, September 17, 2011


The old saying that the wheels of justice turns slowly seem to be definitely true in this case.

In a State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC)complaint that began in 2006 against Hartford's 3rd District State Representative Minnie Gonzalez, it is now one step closer to potential criminal charges.

The case and the complaint itself are pretty well spelled out in the decision below, but the bottom line is that Gonzalez appealed the SEEC findings and the process used to reach those findings. Superior Court Judge Schuman decided against her and denied her appeal on June 23, 2011. Although he did deny the appeal and referred it back to the SEEC for further action, he did reduce the number of potential charges from 4 counts to 2.

Gonzalez has now appealed the decision in the appeal, but I am told that is a matter of procedure to potentially delay any criminal charges. Apparently the process would have been, most likely, that once the appeal was denied and sent back to the SEEC, the SEEC would then potentially refer the matter to the Office of the State's Attorney Kevin Kane for investigation and action on criminal charges.

Another one to follow, but I think we have come to expect this in Hartford. Gonzalez is no stranger to the halls of the SEEC.

Minnie Gonzalez Appeal Denial

Friday, September 16, 2011


The story that I never really thought was going to be a story has really become a story, and it just won't go away. This Sunday at 11:00am I will be on WFSB's "Face the State" with Dennis House.

Here is what Dennis posted on his blog "We are joined this Sunday by Channel 3′s Len Besthoff, our chief reporter on the Nappier case; Kevin Brookman, the city blogger who first broke the story, and Kevin Rennie, the Hartford Courant columnist, and former state senator, who provides a political perspective to the story."

And if you don't get your fill there, I will be a guest on WNPR radio with Colin McEnroe Monday at 1:00PM.

Imagine what will happen when I break a real story.


Forgive me for sounding skeptical, but it is easy to say you are transparent, but that old saying "actions speak louder than words" seems to ring true. Here is one such incident, and unfortunately just one of many that Mayor Segarra continues to allow to happen in his "transparent" administration.

The latest is the story of Lt. Ed Dailey and the investigation into his actions the morning of February 24, 2011 related to an incident at 16 Rockville Street in Hartford. LT. Dailey was the Lieutenant in charge of the midnight shift on February 24, 2011when officers were dispatched to the are of 16 Rockville Street on the report of an "apparent assault".

As of this date it has not been determined if there was ever an assault or was it just an individual extremely high on drugs who slipped and fell down his front porch. The so called "victim" refused to cooperate with police and no witnesses or evidence of an assault was ever found.

Sometime in early April, I had received a call that charges were being brought against Lt Dailey for a department policy violation of "Failure to supervise". I know everyone has an agenda, but the caller advised that I needed to get a copy of the investigation conducted into Dailey's actions by Captain James Bernier. They further went on to say that the report was obviously a witchhunt to try to demote Dailey and it would be clear when I read the report.

SO, I decided to submit an FOI request to the Hartford Police Department for the Dailey investigation report as well as "any and all related documents". Once again, HPD is too predictable. My FOI request was promptly met with a denial. The City claimed that it was "part of an ongoing investigation" and therefore exempt from disclosure. They forgot to read the next few words in the exemption that states "ongoing investigations" in which the "records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of a crime".

After the HPD denial, apparently orchestrated by Detective Ursula Wiebusch and Corporation Counsel attorney Nathalie Feola- Guerreiri, I asked Chief Daryl Roberts if there was any potential of criminal charges against Lt Dailey. He stated "absolutely not" it was "purely administrative charges". That seemed to be in direct contradiction to the denial, so on April 28, 2011 I filed an FOI complaint with the State of Connecticut.

And yes, you read that correct, the complaint was filed on April 28, 2011 and finally on September 15, 2001, it came to a hearing before FOI. That is one of the big problems with FOI complaints. As an agency that has a large caseload, combined with cuts to a staff that was already too small to handle its caseload and now being combined with two other agencies, Hartford has learned how to play the game.

The City of Hartford knows that even if the law is in my favor, or that of anyone requesting documents, a denial is no big deal. They can just deny the release of anything they don't want the public to see or that they may feel will be embarrassing. The consequences are almost non-existent. Deny the release, go to a hearing that may take 6 or 8 months to be scheduled, then wait for a hearing officers report which could be another three or four months, and then finally the hearing officers report would go before the full FOI Commission for adoption and they could be another two or three months before it gets on the FOI Commission agenda.

So all in all, the documents could take up to a year to obtain, at which point the City knows they will most likely be useless and worse case scenario, the FOI Commission might assess a fine, typically under $200.00, which in the end the City will pay anyway and there is no accountability or penalty to the individual making the unlawful decision.

The largest fine I ever obtained at FOI was the maximum fine of $1,000.00 against former Corporation Counsel John Rose, and the full FOI Commission eventually reduced that to $200.00, which the City of Hartford paid for Rose.

So anyway, back to the Dailey report. An FOI hearing was scheduled and held on Thursday September 15, 2011. The City tried a few different ploys to defend their actions, the first was by apparently forgetting to tell Chief Roberts that there was a hearing he needed to attend, or at least they felt he didn't need to be there to answer any questions.

Although the City's defense before FOI seems to hinge entirely on the Bernier investigation report , it was clear that in my FOI request, I stated "any and all documents" related to the incident and the City did not provide one page of documentation related to the request, no memo's, no incident reports, no dispatch logs...NOTHING, not one sheet of paper.

The first tactic the City's lawyers used to defend their actions was that the report was not yet finished. That seemed odd since the Corporation Counsel's Office was already involved and had scheduled disciplinary hearings against Dailey. I'm not sure how you hold a hearing for discipline without having all the facts, but I guess that is how it goes when a real estate attorney like Feola-Guerrieri decides to practice municipal or employment law.

But, interestingly enough, I had already obtained most of the documents through "alternative means" after the City refused to provide them in accordance with the FOI laws. After the claim by corporation Counsel attorney Alexandra Deeb to the hearing officer that the report was not yet complete, I think she was caught off guard when I began producing copies of the City's own documents that I had obtained through "alternative means". ( I love that term ).

The claim that the investigation was not yet complete was met with my document, below as "claimant's exhibit C". (That's me claimant). It is the Command Review form that accompanies the investigation as it is forwarded up the ladder for discipline. As you can see in the document below, Deputy Chief Scott Sansom signed off on March 4, 2011 "INVESTIGATION COMPLETE, I CONCUR WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS AND INFRACTION".

INVESTIGATION COMPLETE, it would seem pretty hard to then claim the report was not released because it was "incomplete" or ongoing. That Command review sheet was also signed off on the same day by Assistant Chief Brian Heavren and Chief Daryl K. Roberts.
Dailey Command Review Form

When I introduced the Command Review form, it seemed to create a problem for the City's claim that the report was not complete, Deputy Chief Sansom's words seemed to pretty clear, and also very legible "Investigation complete".The City's attorney regrouped quickly though and tried a new approach.

It was the City's contention that in their view the investigation was not complete until the disciplinary process had completely run its course and Dailey was either found liable or cleared. Their point is that it wouldn't be fair to Dailey for information to get out about the charges before he was disciplined. If you read the report, and Dailey's rebuttal, it should become pretty clear to you that the last thing Captain Bernier or the City cared about was fairness for Lt. Dailey.

It also seemed less than genuine on the part of the City's attorney to grasp at that small thread, if the hearing officer bought their claim that the report was "technically" not complete, they would also have to meet those couple little words for the exemption to apply..."records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of a crime". They then stated on the record that criminal charges against Dailey were a possibility, though that seems to surprise everyone involved that I have spoke with.

But to point out the ridiculousness of that argument, I said that we go against that everyday in the Courts. If we went by the City's standard , no arrest report or arrest warrant would be made public until after a persons arrest was completely adjudicated through the courts with either a conviction or a dismissal, and we know that is not the case.

The City introduced a copy of a department policy, but I'm no lawyer, but I seem to recall that State Statute takes priority over any City Policy and because HPD may or may not have "a policy" that does not release them from complying with lawful state statutes.

Attorney Deeb from the Corporation Counsels office also did not seem thrilled that I had the full report and the documents I had and she tried to insinuate that Lt. Dailey had provided them to me. That was not the case, and I'm not sure what bearing that had on anything, other than the fact that it proved that the City was being less than truthful in their actions.

The FOI hearing officer also seemed to question why Chief Roberts was not there to defend his actions and those of his department. Eventually she ended the hearing, continuing it to another date and explained to the Corporation Counsel Attorney's that she expected Chief Roberts to appear or the FOI Commission would issue a subpoena to Roberts compelling him to appear. She stated that she would prefer to have Chief Robert's appear voluntarily rather than have to issue the subpoena.

The FOI Hearing Officer, Attorney Tracie Brown, explained that she would prefer the voluntay route rather than the subpoena because it might appear that the Commission was coming down on Hartford "like a hammer". Maybe it is about time that they do though, coming down on Hartford "like a hammer" might just send the message that the game playing with public documents is not going to be tolerated by FOI.

Below is the investigation report submitted by Captain Bernier, dated February 24, 2011, almost two months before I requested it through FOI, even though the City claims through its convoluted claims, that the report is incomplete.

And I know that sometimes these HPD postings may tend to become a means for bashing some through the comments, but I would ask for those reading, compare the Bernier report with Dailey's response and let me know if you think Bernier's report was fair or if Daileys response has validity. Is it proper in an investigation to leave out documents that show all of the facts or is it acceptable to only present the facts that would lead to a finding that Dailey was wrong?

A lot more to come on this, but enough typing and scanning documents for one night.

The charges against Dailey, please note there is no mention of any "criminal charges" as the City's attorneys claim there "may" be as an outcome for the investigation:
Dailey Disciplne Review Form

The Department Advocates letter to Dailey detailing depertmental charges, again no mention of potential criminal charges
Dailey Advocate Memo of Charges

And this is one of the reports omitted from Captain Berniers report, an interview conducted by Detective Fowler
Dailey Fowler Supplement Report

And Lieutenant Dailey's response to the allegations:

Dailey Respone Memo

And finally the Bernier "report",note the date on the cover page, even though the City contends the report is not complete:
Dailey Bernier Report


The "Special Investigative Report" (SIR) into the actions of Hartford Police Officer Jill Kidik and her traffic stop of State Treasurer Denise Nappier has been completed. Although I had requested the "SIR" through an FOI request to the Hartford Police Department, they have not complied. Voice messages left for HPD spokesperson Nancy Mulroy were not returned today. Surprise Surprise. So much for that "transparency" we keep hearing about from the Segarra Administration.

But as anyone who reads this blog knows, I have a tendency to obtain documents through "alternative means", when will the City ever learn that there are good people who want to do the right thing and are able to understand the FOI statutes.

Not much new information is revealed in the report. Although I still stand by what I said earlier, Officer Kidik seemed to exercise poor common sense the way she proceeded, especially when she realized that she was dealing with the State Treasurer.

It appears that Kidik is still being made out to be the scapegoat in the matter, but the admission by a DMV spokesperson seems to show who was really at fault. Apparently the DMV didn't enter the correct motor vehicle registration into the statewide computer system until September 2, 2011, the day AFTER the incident. If DMV had properly done their job, this incident would most likely never have occurred.

Another interesting point in the report is that when the investigator, LT. Emory Hightower, interviewed Nappier she apparently never mention ed any racial aspect or made any claims that she felt the incident was racially motivated as she originally did to the media.

The finding of the report recommends retraining for Officer Kidik, but it seems like several others should be spending time in a classroom, starting with DAS and DMV personnel who are the ones who seem to be the most responsible for this mess.

And now, for your weekend reading pleasure, here is the Nappier S.I.R:

Nappier Kidik SIR

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Many of you, myself included, have been awaiting the release of the outside investigation of the Hartford Police Department which has become known as the "Rudewicz Report". The lead investigator is retired HPD officer Frank Rudewicz, now an attorney with Marcum Associates.

From what sources are telling me, a draft of the report was submitted to the City of Hartford Corporation Counsel this week and the city requested a few clarifications/changes to be made in the final report. The changes were supposed to be completed quickly and from one source I am told the report is expected to be submitted most likely by Monday at the latest.

It is interesting how the timing worked out for its release after the primary. Hmmmm.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


This quote just seems so appropriate after yesterday's primary and as we head toward the November election


The Hartford Courant is reporting that the Market at Hartford 21 is having problems and once again cutting back their hours. Here is a link to their story

I don't think anyone will argue with the need for a downtown market if we are going to provide basic conveniences to attract downtown residents. The problem arises though in how it is operated.

I don't think it made sense for the city to throw $300,000 at a couple that was familiar with the restaurant business, but not the grocery business. The key to that operation is to attract the people through the door and then have them buy something, not walk away because the prices are too high.

I recall the first time I went in the Market, I was surprised by their extremely high prices. I usually shop at Stew Leonard's in Newington so I am used to paying a little more for quality. At least at Stew Leonard's though when you pay a little more, the freshness and quality is there.

My first trip into the Market at Hartford 21 I looked at the produce and was turned off by the moldy strawberries in the produce case and although the cuts of meat probably were great when they were fresh, they were beginning to get a tint to them that wasn't calling out for a steak on the grill.

Like I said, the secret to an operation like that is volume. If you don't have customers coming through the door, the inventory isn't moving as quickly as it should, and the proprietor's don't make any money on products they throw out when they pass their shelf life.

The other problem is quantity purchases. One of the first things I noticed was the "RAO's Pasta Sauce" at the Market. Like I said, I'm used to paying more at Stew Leonard's and I'm willing to pay the $4.99 a jar they charge. The same item at the Market was $9.99 a jar. Stew Leonard's probably buys pallets, if not a truckload of the sauce, where as the Market may buy a case or two.

The market at Hartford 21, as a single location store, charges what they have to charge to make a profit, and probably a very small profit per unit at that.

I wish that the Market can make it, but empty shelves and constant cut backs of hours doesn't paint an optimistic picture. Maybe a store like Stew Leonard's might be interested in a location in downtown Hartford for a "Stew Leonard's Express". Although the sandwiches and baked goods at the Market were good, Stew Leonard's has a reputation that is part good food and groceries and part entertainment.

Although nothing is 100%, I would think Stew Leonard's could create a snowball effect in economic development for downtown. I think the message that Stew Leonard's is willing to take a chance on Hartford would draw others in as well. And before you think I'm crazy that Stew Leonard's would want anything in Hartford, I have been told by the Redevelopment Commission Chairperson Sean Arena that the discussions, although informal, had taken place previously before the Market was given the lease and the City's loan of $300,000 to start up.

Maybe this time, if the Market doesn't make it, Stew Leonard's should be approached with the goal on the part of the City of making it happen.


Or at least that is what we are told. At least two of Hartford's politicians might have a different take on that today though.

Apparently, according to police sources, State Senator John Fonfara and former Councilwoman Veronica Airey-Wilson both had their homes burglarized yesterday.

Burglars stole several items from Fonfara's southend home including a laptop computer and a bottle of vodka. Hopefully the Senator's laptop was password protected, who knows what might be on there if the burglars are able to access it.

No listing of the items taken from Airey-Wilson's home were available, but one police source did confirm that the granite counter tops installed for her in her Ridgefield Street home as part of the Perez corruption scandal were not touched and were safe.

DNA and fingerprint evidence were collected and awaiting analysis by the Hartford Police.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


On Labor Day weekend, I had a couple of stories given to me by sources. One, I thought, was going to be a huge story, it involved arrest warrants that were filed for the arrests of four men who were apparently neighbors of a woman found dead in her Goodrich Street home. The arrest were going to be for burglary charges that the men cleaned out the dead woman's home as she lay dead and decomposing in her house.

I was wrong.

The big story has turned out to be a crazy incident between a Hartford Police Officer and Connecticut's State Treasurer Denise Nappier. It should also be a textbook case of how not to respond to a public relations issue on the part of those involved.

There is more than enough blame and finger pointing to go around, and it is time for all involved to provide some honest answers.

Let's start with HPD. I think if anyone looked at the officer's actions strictly from a clinical, sterile, textbook view, Officer Kidik was operating within the bounds of the state motor vehicle laws. The plates did not come back registered, the paperwork was not in order, the insurance card was either expired or non existent. The big question I have to ask is where was the supervision? This will eventually all play out as the "SIR", special investigation, is completed.

No Sergeant, no Lieutenant and not even a dispatch supervisor perked up when they might have heard the name Denise Nappier or the issue with a State of Connecticut plate? Officer Kidik was well aware of whose vehicle she was towing, I know that for a fact. At what point should common sense have kicked in and just for her own sake, why didn't she notify her supervisor of what was happening? They notify their bosses of far less at times.

And even above the level of her Sergeant, no one noticed this at Jennings Road? Did it really take Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy storming into the Chief's Complex to make HPD aware of what had happened. And it makes you wonder how I knew about the incident within minutes after it happened, yet none of the top heavy Command staff had a clue?

And what about Gail Hardy's involvement? When was the last time Ms. Hardy was involved in dismissing a minor traffic stop? Was it just another jab by Hardy at Chief Roberts in their contentious relationship?

And who made the decision not to release the incident report. A report that FOI stated was clearly a public document and the decision not to release it just stinks of a cover up. Eventually when an FOI complaint goes to a hearing the truth may come out. Was it just a ploy on the part of HPD to stall, knowing that FOI is a cumbersome process that doesn't move quickly and when it does, the report would be a dead issue in a year or so?

Who made that call, one of the members of the DKR brain trust sitting on the second floor ? Another one of his loyal Deputy or Assistant Chief's who work daily to undermine him, hoping to be next in line for the third star on their collar? Was it Nancy Mulroy, who should know better, but keeps with the program to keep her job?

And now enter Connecticut's State Treasurer, the honorable Denise Nappier. We are ready for the truth Madame Treasurer, and you might find that people will be supportive if you come clean with the facts. Enough said, but the nonsense being put forth at this point only is raising more suspicion. To blame your treatment on race is an insult to everyone. Put the blame where it really belongs. Like I said before, there is enough finger pointing to go around.

Put some blame on those State agencies that let you down, DMV and DAS seemed to play large roles in this getting to the level it did. If DMV had done their job, it most likely would have ended when Officer Kidik ran your plate and it came back to that vehicle. And what about DAS? If you were able to hand her a valid registration, at the very least, I'm not sure the insurance would have even been an issue.

The other part of your explanation which is very lame, was the reason for the passenger plate. You are given a vehicle as State Treasurer with the "4" plate because you are the State Treasurer. If you want to drive around and not be identified as our State Treasurer, buy a car and drive wherever you want.

I do have to say though, the most disheartening part of your explanation was your claim as to why you used the passenger plate. Because you parked in a handicap spot and got caught, you didn't want people to recognize your vehicle in the future? How about abiding by the same laws the rest of us have to when we park, whether people can identify your car or not?

How about holding a joint press conference and everyone owning up to their part of this mess, put the facts out there, and put this thing to bed once and for all. And to put al of the blame on the police officer is wrong, there were plenty of people well above her pay grade that should be held accountable first.


Hartford City Council President rJo Winch posted the following comment on her face book page last week:"For the fbers who also read the WE THE PEOPLE Blog be ware of false statements. The latest is that I fired a Fireman. No, his boss fired him. My involvement was the mistreatment and maltreament of a female recruit. I fought for her to remain in the training program. I will take what ever fall out comes my way and given the same situation I will do it again."

I'm not sure where she gets her information or if she even checks the facts before she opens her mouth, but if her past history is any indication, we know she doesn't. In the post she is referring to, no where do I mention her. What was in the post were transcripts of sworn testimony by former Hartford Fire Chief Charles Teale. In the transcripts, Teale refers to Winch's involvement trying to prevent a female recruit from being terminated. In the transcripts below, on page 60 Assistant Chief Michael Parker testifies to the fact that he believed Nolan was correct in terminating recruit Felicia Graves because they felt she was incompetent and unfit to be a Hartford firefighter.

Here is the posting Winch refers to, I will give a $50.00 gift certificate to the Hook & Ladder Restaurant to the first person that can find anywhere in the posting where I even mentioned her or claimed she fired anyone. In a comment, someone asked if she was involved in the Nolan matter, and if you read Teales testimony, he stated under oath that she was.

More tedious reading, but the facts are there to make your decision as to whether Nolan's termination was politically motivated. After political pressure, Graves was returned to the next academy class after Nolan was fired and the way was cleared, even after Parker and others claimed she was unfit for the job


Last December I posted about my nephew Andrew who is afflicted with Cerebral Palsy. I was going to say he "suffers" from it, but I don't think he knows the meaning of the word suffer as he strives to l;ive and enjoy his life.

It has been a tough summer for him as he recovers from surgery at the Shriner's Hospital in Springfield, MA. He had surgery to essentially break and reshape bones in his foot to try an realign his foot to be more functional. He has spent mmuch of the summer in a cast and a wheelchair. It has kept him out of the swimming pool, but other than that he moves on.

He attended the Ivan Lendl Tennis Camp this summer hosted at Saint Joseph College and won the award for best overall tennis player. It was a weeklong camp for young people in wheelchairs and waqs well attended.

Over the last couple of years, as I posted in December, Andrew has developed a real talent for skiing. He has difficulty walking, but he sure can fly down a ski slope. He's beginning to amass a collection of awards and medals as a testament to his ability on his ski's.

Andrew and his younger brother Ryan have both become "mentor's" to other children with physical disabilities with the Ability Plus program at Mount Snow in Vermont.

Andrew is now trying to qualify for the 2014 Paralympics being held in Russia. His mother, and I'm proud to say my sister,has risen to the challenge of raising the funds necessary for him to train and travel.

The first event was held in Somers last month with a miniature golf night and that was very successful. This weekend she has organized a motorcycle ride event called a "Poker Run" and it promises to be a good size event. The rided kicks off from TSI Harley-Davidson in Ellington and ends at Riverside 159 Restaurant at 1530 Palisado Avenue in Windsor.

Food, raffles and entertainment will take place at Riverside 159. If you have a chance, sign up for the ride, or stop by Riverside 159 from 2:00PM on and help support Andrew in his attempt to participate in the 2014 Paralympics.

And on Saturday, Andrew will also be the patient ambassador for the Shriner's Hospital fundraiser walkathon starting at 9:00am.

To read more about Andrew, please go to his website "andrew".


I first posted here on July 29, 2011 about the City of Hartford's questionable medical benefit that allowed City of Hartford employees to travel to Puerto Rico for Medical care. You can read that original posting here

Then on August 14, 2011, the Courant's Kevin Rennie picked up on the story and wrote about it in his column in the Courant. You can read his column here

Now the Courant is reporting that the City has cancelled its contract with Satori Medical due to concerns over a previous fraud conviction involving the companies owner. The Courant story can be found here

Do the words "due diligence" mean anything to those working at Hartford City Hall? A simple Google search before signing any contracts with Satori Medical would have turned up all the information they would need.

Monday, September 12, 2011


After the posting regarding the "new" HPD advocate, many comments were posted, actually a record number of comments for the blog. Several had questioned the credentials of Christine Mertes as an attorney.

Just to be fair, I did check with the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) and they confirmed that Christine Mertes is an attorney "in good standing" in the State of Massachusetts.

The original post can be found here


Last week I had requested the incident report for the Nappier traffic stop. Several other media outlets including WFSB and the Courant had also asked for it and were refused. The explanation was that it was part of an ongoing investigation and exempt from release.

At least one person I spoke with at FOI disagreed with that , but none the less, the report was not released. Luckily, I was able to obtain the report from an "alternative" source and posted it here. Now, apparently HPD has seen the light and decided to abide by the FOI laws. Or did they just figure out that resistance was futile since I had already posted it?

Whatever the reason, the letter below was e-mailed to me this afternoon advising me that the report was available"for immediate release" and it would cost $1.00 for copies. Thanks HPD, but I'm all set. And by the way Channel 3 is all set also, they have it on their website too.

And another question, why are we wasting a sworn police officer, a detective at that, to handle FOI requests? Wouldn't she be better off actually solving crimes instead of violating FOI laws?

Here is the response letter:

Sunday, September 11, 2011


My parents with the World Trade Center in the background, shortly before the attacks

"Do you remember where you were when the attacks occurred?", that seems to be the question today as we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11,.

I think just about everyone can recall watching the first tower burn and depending when you were able to get in front of a television, many of us witnessed in real time as the second aircraft slammed into the next tower and the eventual collapse.

More importantly though is the question if you remember the days following the attacks. Do you remember the sense of civility that seemed to sweep our country? Walking down the street complete strangers would acknowledge each other with a smile and a hello rather than ignoring each other.

Do you remember driving, and drivers were actually polite and courteous, the sound of blowing horns was almost nonexistent, drivers would motion for you to go ahead rather than blow their horns and cut you off.

I think we were actually shocked into realizing what was important, but only for a short time. Maybe it is time we try to think about that sense of civility and where we would be going as a country if it once again became an everyday thing.

And while we are at it, remember the heroes that gave their lives that day in 2001. Police, Fire and EMS personnel and even everyday civilians that stepped up and did what they needed to do without regard for their own well being or safety. Many of them that survived are now showing the consequences as various illnesses and forms of cancer are taking their toll on those that were fortunate enough to survive.

And also remember those heroes that were not there at Ground Zero but are playing the continuing role now as they defend our Country. Remember the members of our military as well as civilians that are playing a supporting role to keep our country safe.

And while you are at it, say "thank you" to a first responder you may encounter. Whether it is a police officer, a firefighter or an EMS worker or a military member. In this society we live in, we never know when the next "9/11" may occur and it is reassuring to know that we have people that will readily head into harms way to protect and rescue us as everyone else is headed the other way, away from danger.