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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


It  seems that it should be criminal to submit a municipal budget based on phony numbers, but apparently Mayor Pedro  Segarra has no problem doing that. Last year Segarra's budget included $3 million dollars in revenue apparently obtained from concessions from Hartford's Municipal  employee Unions.

The fact of the matter is that  at the time that the numbers were built into Hartford's budget, not one penny was given back by any of the Union's to achieve the cost savings. The Segarra Administration didn't even seriously talk to the Unions until late last fall to even discuss concessions.

The result was pretty much predictable. A solid "NO" from the Union's. I can't say I blame them. For years, the reckless spending that goes on at Hartford City Hall has been initiated by Segarra and his predecessors and allowed by the Hartford City Council.

Going back to the Union's every year at budget time to balance the budget on the backs of City employees is wrong. It is especially a tough sell asking some of Hartford's lowest paid employees to give back when the reckless spending by Segarra is so publicly obvious. You knew it would never fly after the caviar incident and then the abuses of credit cards and City vehicles. This administration is just bleeding tax payers dollars without any regard to where those dollars come from.

If the Union's did give back the $3 million dollars, our reckless Mayor would just find a way to spend it all.

Employees in City Hall witness the reckless spending everyday. I still get phone calls about the few hundred thousand spent to move the Office of the Corporation Counsel from the third floor to the second floor. For what? So Pedro could be closer to Sandy to be able to get her excellent advice quicker?

And don't forget the Mayor's "scheduler". Almost $60,00.00 a year to follow Segarra around tracking his e-mails and appointments. If only the Unions had given back the Scheduler could get a larger I-pad and maybe a nice City car also.

Reckless, reckless, reckless, there is no other way to describe Segarra's spending. Any Union President that would take any request for concessions back to their membership ought to be impeached immediately.

I was amazed yesterday when I read in the Hartford Courant that the Mayor has decided to give $1 million dollars to the Bushnell Park Carousel. Here is Steve Goode's story from the Courant.

Now I do believe in the things that draw excitement to Hartford, but I also believe in taking care of first things first. And the first responsibility of the government of the City of Hartford is to provide the basic Municipal services required to run the City.

The article starts off by stating that the Carousel is getting a $1 million dollar gift. Too bad the Union's didn't give back, we could have at least given some of Hartford's hard working Municipal employees credit for the  million dollar gift.

Why not call on the Bushnell Park Foundation to kick in to sponsor the Carousel (they might already, but then again isn't that why the foundation is there?). Why not start the Bushnell Park Carousel Restoration fund and get others to kick in. If the year round opening and restoration of the Carousel is going to generate that much business, it shouldn't be a tough sell to get the City businesses that will benefit, to help out.

What about using the park and getting the Public  to help raise the funds? We have a beautiful bandshell that could be used for a series of Concerts for the Carousel to raise funds. And I tend to think that riders from the suburbs probably spend a lot more time on the gilded horses than Hartford children do, yet we are expected to foot the full bill?

 A quote in the article highlights one of the benefits of the restoration says that it will "enable students to learn about its ( the Carousel's) rich history" how about taking the students another block up the Hill to the Capitol and let them start learning about the rich history of our state and what Civic involvement means.

And the fact that the money comes from the Capital Improvement Budget should not put any one's mind at ease. That is money we will pay the interest on for the next 20 years. And take a look at Hartford's streets. I think that $1 million dollars could be used to repair our City's infrastructure. What good is a renovated Carousel if you ruin your car hitting potholes to get to it.

And I know budget time is coming so if Segarra is in the "gift giving" mood, maybe rather than giving a $1 million gift to the Carousel, he could show some leadership and start a fund raising effort for the Carousel. I think the people of Hartford might also appreciate a "gift" . My suggestion would be a class of police officers to give us a gift we could really use, safer streets and neighborhoods. That might actually draw more people downtown. Probably more than freshly painted horses bouncing in a circle

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Park City , Utah
Some of you may remember me writing about my nephew Andrew. Andrew turned 18 last December and has been training for several years to compete in the Winter Paralympics. Rather than re-type all the details, Andrew was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP) at an early age and he has a very difficult time walking. Surprisingly, or maybe more appropriate Not surprisingly, if you know Andrew, he didn't let that slow him down, and a few years ago he realized he was very capable of skiing.

Through the support of many , including Mount Snow and other sponsors, Andrew has received some of the best ski training available and has become recognized as a Paralympic contender. He has travelled extensively throughout the US and Canada this past winter competing and training. Colorado, British Columbia, this past week Park City Utah, upstate New York and the US Olympic Training Facility have all been regular stops for him this past year. At the same time he is able to keep his grades up as a High School Senior and has been offered a four year $100,000.00 scholarship to Westminster College in Utah ( close to the best ski areas).

His hard work is paying off and this past week he won his first Bronze medal in a National Race. Below is my sister's take on the past week that she just spent with Andrew as a proud mother watching him in Park City Utah. Here is her take below as well as more pictures.

To read Andrews full story as well as more info on fundraisers , go to Information on supporting Andrew's efforts are also available on the website

My sisters posting on Andrew's website:

     After we landed in Salt Lake City, we went straight to Westminster College for their incoming freshman open house.  Andrew is the recipient of their Exemplary Achievement Award totaling $100,000 over the course of four years.  He is very excited about going to school there.
     We spent the first two days  skiing together which was a rare treat.  Usually he is off training and I don't get to see him ski very often.  It is truly a thing of beauty.  
     The first three days of racing, he came in fifth and sixth.  The last day he hit the jackpot.  Yesterday was a fun race to raise money for the National Ability Center.  We met Picabo Street and she was impressed with Andrew's skiing and  wanted to try his outriggers.  It was another great day.

 We would like to thank Ability

PLUS at Mount Snow for supporting Andrew this season and also to the Mount Snow Race Center.  Their coaches worked hard to get Andrew ready for these races.  A quote from the program director when we were trying to figure out training with them was, "we will work with Andrew and help him  be the best athlete he can be."  Very heartwarming!

     Special thanks  also go out to Mau and Eric at Team Summit, CO.  They have been training with Andrew for the last few years and have guided him through this crazy world of adaptive ski racing.  
Coach Doug at Pico, VT
Andrew and Mau after bronze finish in Park City, UT.


Figuring out he was in third.
So the big news is, after two and a half years of competing on a National Level, Andrew has earned his first bronze medal in slalom, and I was there to see it.  I can't begin to tell you how happy I am for him.  It has been a long slow process and he has worked very hard for this.  Hard to believe my child, who I watched struggle to walk for all those years in on a podium with athletes who had just competing in the Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.  
     The other amazing thing about this week was I got to meet some of Andrew's friends and their families.  These athletes have to compete against each other and then they cheer each other on and hang out together after the races are over.  You never hear them complain and the experienced athletes go out of their way to encourage the younger racers.  It is something to witness and this week has been an experience I will never forget.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

For more pictures of this wonderful week, click on the link.     

On the podium with Ralph Green and Ian Jansing.
Team Mau winners.


This has been a life changing experience for our family and this is just the beginning.  We are thankful for all the support on this amazing journey!
We are back to fundraising mode.  We have a new fundraiser at Red Robin coming up in a few weeks.  Hope to see you there.

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