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Saturday, June 21, 2014


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                Contact: Marta Collazo

June 20, 2014                                                               






State Representative Angel Arce (D-Hartford) is alerting business owners about a potentially deceitful sales practice that various local merchants brought to his attention today.

According to various Hispanic-owned Park Street and Franklin Avenue small businesses, sales representatives visited their stores selling them labor laws posters, depicting state and federal laws and regulations that should be posted inside their establishment.

“I received a few calls from local business owners asking me if the state was running a campaign to have these posters in every store,” Rep. Arce said. “After further investigation, I found that a company is selling them posters that these businesses can get free of charge from the state.”

Arce noted, “The ‘business representatives’, go door to door telling small business owners that they have to buy the poster in order to be state compliant, otherwise, they could be fined thousands of dollars for not having them posted. In turn, out of fear, they bought into it.”

The Connecticut Department of Labor has several posters, guides and information FREE of charge to employers and businesses. For more information, please visit: . To get copies of Connecticut state posters with information on wages, hours of work, or working conditions, not posted on their website, please call (860) 263-6790.

Rep. Arce said, “I am talking to state agencies about getting more information about this business to verify the legitimacy of the company and find out more about what they are doing. In the meantime, I urge merchants to stay alert and not invest their money on posters that they can get free of charge.”


Friday, June 20, 2014


Just when you think you have heard all of the incompetence, a new story comes along. This one is shocking in so many ways though and probably explains why Hartford's Education process is such a mess.

The Courant posted a story today about Dr. Michael Sharpe, CEO of the Jumoke Charter School. Problem is Sharpe never received his Doctorate and is not a Doctor at all but used  fraudulent credentials to apparently further his career. But lets not stop there. He is apparently also a convicted felon who has done prison time.And none of this was known to the Hartford School System. Board Persident Richard Wareing tells the Courant he was "shocked" and "disappointed" to learn Friday afternoon that Sharpe may have misrepresented himself.

Misrepresented himself?  He perpetrated a fraud on the taxpayers of Hartford and anyone that allowed that to happen needs to resign and Sharpe should be prosecuted for his deeds

Here is the Courant's story

Apparently his explanation to the Courant was that he may not have been as aggressive as he should have been correcting people  when they called him "Doctor". Why would he when it would probably have exposed him immediately as the fraud he appears to be.
Apparently he used the title "Doctor" on his website and even signed letters and correspondence as 'DR". It sounds like he needed to correct himself before he had to worry about others.

This should not provide comfort to any Hartford Parent and they need to question the security process. Who is doing the background checks on the people that come in contact with their children on a daily basis. It appears that the answer is no one

If they didn't know that Sharpe was a fraud, how can they promise that they haven't hired other criminals or even sex offenders in Hartford's Schools.

Maybe if Mayor Segarra is too busy to do his duties as a member of the Board of Education, he  and others should resign to allow someone else on the Board that knows how to use GOOGLE to check  on new hires. Who approved the multi-million dollar contracts to Sharpe without checking his credentials and fulfilling their  responsibility to the City of Hartford and its children

We should be demanding a refund ,and filing legal papers to make sure it happens.. His contracts with Hartford and other municipalities should be terminated immediately.


On 6/5/14 at 1:35pm, Peoples United Bank , 290 Franklin Avenue, Htfd. CT. reported a bank robbery where a large white male suspect, wearing a pink wig, sunglasses, blue plaid shirt and white gloves, walked into the main lobby of this bank and displayed a hand written note which read (something close to) ‘THIS IS A ROBBERY’. This suspect then ordered the bank manager, Pina Lo Curzio, to get him cash from the sole male bank teller. Curzio complied and then handed the suspect $790.00 U.S. currency (all in ten dollar bills) at which time the suspect exited the bank. Witnesses reported that the suspect left the area in a blue Nissan Maxima with Mass plates.

MCD Robbery Detectives investigated the incident and distributed Wanted flyers and emails to fellow Hartford Police Officers,  CTIC , D.O.C. and surrounding Law Enforcement Agencies.

On 6/12/14 , Detectives were contacted by New Britain Detectives who were investigating a New Britain Robbery which had a similar suspect and vehicle description. Both agencies exchanged photos and information regarding their robbery investigations.

On 6/19/14 Hartford Police South Conditions Officers initiated a proactive stop on a suspicious vehicle (bearing Mass plates) in the south end which lead to the arrest of Festim Shyqeriu (8/16/93) documented under HPD case # 14-20049. This arrest produced several items in the suspect’s vehicle consisting of one black bb gun, one pink wig, and a hand written note which read “hand me all the money now.”

Detectives post-Miranda interviewed Shyqeriu in a MCD interview room at which time he confessed to the above described bank robbery and provided a sworn written statement which contained his full confession.

HPD and NBPD Detectives then interviewed Shyqeriu on the New Britain robbery which he also admitted to conducting . Shyqueriu then provided NB with a full written sworn written confession. 

Shyqeriu was then escorted to the Hartford police Booking Facility on separate charges.

HPD Robbery Detectives then obtained an arrest warrant for Festim Shyqueriu for the Peoples United Bank robbery under HPD case # 14-18172 with the charge of ROBBERY in the THIRD DEGREE (53a-136).

On 6/20/14 this arrest warrant was “walked thru” and signed by a judge at Hartford Superior Court, 101 Lafayette street, Hartford, CT.


Hartford's new BFF  crew

As if to say "Leave us out of this"

As always feel free to leave your comments and observations.


The picture above was used by Courant columnist Kevin Rennie to describe Hartford Politician's and their efoorts to include a skybox for themselves in the Rock Cats deal

I didn't go back through my archives, but I think I used the same picture in the past 
UPDATE: I did go back to my archives and I used the picture in July of 2013.Here is more on Hartford's "pigs at the trough". I got it off the internet and I don't claim any ownership to the pic, so if the pigs fit, use them

Kevin's blog addresses much of the same political sluggery ( is that a word, actions committed by political slugs) that aggravate me also, except more on a statewide level.

The link in the right column will take you to Kevin's blog on a daily basis if you want to check out his  DAILY RUCTION'S


My nephew Andrew (R) and his younger brother Ryan(L) on our trip last year to Fenway

Regular readers are probably used to the occasional updates regarding my nephew Andrew.Andrew had viral encephalitis  at a couple months old that affected his muscle development and was eventually diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Andrew lives with CP, but doesn't let it get him down.

He realized several years ago that he enjoyed skiing and despite muscle issues caused by his CP he excelled at skiing. Rather than rehash everything the link below to a Courant article done this week on Andrew explains an awful lot. You can read that article here

Or for more information about his quest for the Paralympics go to his website Andrew will be leaving next week to begin training with the US Paralympic Ski Team at Mount Hood Oregon. If you would like to help him with his efforts, donations can be made on the website or you can keep track of upcoming fundraisers there.

Andrew graduates tonight from Fermi High School  and is heading to Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah in the fall

Andrew was also recently recognized by Governor  Malloy as part of the Governor's Coalition for Youth with Disabilities program with a scholarship

Congratulation's Andrew and Ryan also for being such a good brother, it makes a difference.


I changed the batteries in my crystal ball this afternoon and it is all becoming clearer now.

Between the Rock Cats deal and other financial messes, it makes you question the people that are forming the fiscal policy on the Government level for us little people. Now I know Mayor Segarra and some of his "Cabinet" have had their share of appearances in Federal Court for their bankruptcy appearances .That kind of makes me question their suitability to oversee a half a billion dollar a year budget. But I guess we already know how that is working out.

Now it appears that Zach Jankowski at the Yankee Institute (link to his site is in the right hand column) has developed some information that might explain why the finances for the State of Connecticut are always in trouble. It seems that Hartford Senator John Fonfara might need to get some remedial training in the Finance area.

Hartford Democratic Sen. John Fonfara, is chairman of the legislature’s finance, revenue and bonding committee which handles state tax policy. The IRS has a $50,406.93 tax lien against the Hartford home of Democratic Sen. John Fonfara  Uh-oh. And he is guiding the course of the State's financial policy?It might just be time for his colleagues in the Senate to ask him to step aside and let someone competent chair such an important committee.

Fonfara previously chaired the Energy and Utility committee in the Senate, which might explain why we pay some of the highest Utility rates in the United States here in Connecticut

It is unclear why the IRS hasn't moved to attach Fonfara's $42,000 annual salary as a Senator.


The fiction just keeps flowing from Hartford's Mayor Pedro Segarra, as more of the lies are exposed .It also is exposing the incompetence of Segarra and his  Economic Development  Director Thomas Deller.

This plan was so poorly thought out and I still do believe it was done to try to Make it look like Segarra has done something, anything. The only thing it is proving is that Segarra is willing  to bankrupt the City of Hartford and its taxpayers to try to boost his ego. The ego also played in ,I am sure, in the need for secrecy. Pedro has a proven track record of listening to poor advice. Anyone that he may have asked for advice that would have pointed out the pitfalls  of his plan could not be tolerated.

Is there a reason that the Council  was kept in the dark and not one Councilperson could be trusted enough to be brought in to seek their opinion on plunging Hartford into $60 million in debt? I know some on the Council  love the TV camera  and can't wait to get in front of them, but someone should have been trusted.

If the Hartford Parking Authority was going to play such a key role in the revenue to pay down the debt, why were they not included? Why was Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud not consulted in the beginning? No bonds can be issued for any project without the approval of the Treasurer. None of the planning, negotiations dinners at Max or Salute mean anything if the Treasurer isn't on Board.

 The numbers just don't make sense. It has been said previously  that the the City could sustain approximately $50-60 million in bonding for Capital Improvements annually. This year alone the number far exceeds that.  $60 million for a baseball stadium, $100 million for Weaver High School and approximately $10 million for Dillon Stadium.

 In an interview yesterday with the Courant, Segarra , Deller and the "consultants " were asked questions about the development. You can read the article and their answers here. If you read the entire article , it most likely will not instill a lot of confidence in their plan. Instead of solid answers most are "we think" or "we believe" type replies.

One of the replies that tells me Segarra just doesn't get it is his reply to add a vehicle parking tax or assessment on parking in Hartford. One of the major drawbacks to people coming into Hartford, I am always told by others, is the high cost of parking in Hartford. Rates usually skyrocket on event nights and adding another $2.00 per parking space in the City is crazy. People will go to West Hartford Center for dinner and be able to park for free or for the cost of the change in their pocket. Unlike Hartford where $10.00 a space in surface lots is the going rate.

The other part I am being told is the projected interest rate for any bonds sold. Apparently the bonds can not be sold as tax exempt government bonds because a potion of the debt is being paid back by private enterprise, the lease payments from the Rock Cats. Recently Stamford sold bonds for a TIF project. TIF is tax incremental funding. A municipality can essentially set up a special district for development where once the boundaries are established it becomes a special financing district . The taxes collected in the district go to stimulate development .

50% of the taxes collected go to pay the tax obligations for the property, 50% goes to paying down the debt service for the bonds. The recent bonds in Stamford apparently sold for between 7 and 9%.  That would probably be a hard sell in Hartford  since the buyers would be assuming the risk on a project that is financially shaky at best

One of Deller's comments that jumped out at me from the article is below.

You can read the interview here

Courant: Do you have an estimate yet of how much revenue you expect the city to get annually from parking during ball games?
Deller: No. But if you figure 2,700 vehicles — if they park in the MAT garage [on Chapel Street] … the parking authority has been saying they would probably charge $5. So 2,700 times 5, times 71 games — that's the high-end number

From the Hartford Parking Authority website:
The MAT Garage is a five-level garage with 907 spaces, bounded by Trumbull, Church, Chapel and Main Streets. In addition to serving monthly parkers in the central business district and being the on-site parking facility for the Hartford Stage Company, the MAT Garage is an ideal option for downtown shoppers, diners and those attending games and shows at the XL center.

I know , a small detail, but when you add it all up, it comes out to over a $5 million dollar a year hit for the people of Hartford
How do you count revenue for 2,700 cars in a garage that can only hold 907. This just shows the research that went into this project and the lack of truthfulness
I know , a small detail, but when you add it all up, it comes out to over a $5 million dollar a year hit for the people of Hartford

It is time for Segarra to pull out his book of Mark Twain quotes once again. "If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember the lies


Back in January I posted a cryptic blog post regarding the numerous e-mails and phone calls I had received about a Hartford Firefighter that was endangering the lives of his fellow firefighters as well as Hartford resident' s and the general public by his alleged on-duty substance abuse.

Here is the January posting

Here is the Courant's latest story about Caldwell's Suspension

It took a while but the HFD Administration finally realized that they needed to do something since it was now out in the open an no longer a dirty little internal secret that could be contained inside a Firehouse. Firefighter Douglas Caldwell, after a stint in rehab that was apparently unsuccessful, has now been suspended without pay and given one last chance to clean up his act.


Thursday, June 19, 2014


.City Hall tries give the appearance that they are business friendly. They must be, they are willing to give $60 million dollars to a group that has no ties to Hartford.

There are plenty of other Hartford businesses though that have horror stories of their dealings with the city of Hartford and Economic Development. Hear about the roadblocks and lack of attention to an event that brought thousands of visitors to Hartford last summer  and supports dozens of permanent jobs.

There are many more stories of business owners trying to make it in Hartford, but getting to the point of calling it quits and taking their jobs elsewhere. Most of them say they have never been contacted by the City of Hartford or Economic Development to see what help they could use.

If you have a story you would like to tell, feel free to  contact me.


Where does racism begin. Read the story about comments made by  a Hartford Police Deputy Chief when one of his officer's requested a day off for ethnic issues, Something to think about, Racism is definitely a two way street. Apparently complaints have already been filed on this matter. Much more to come on this.


Keep reading , the picture will eventually make sense.
Although it is probably not working out as planned at Hartford City Hall, the Rock Cats deal is exposing the real leaders in Hartford. Those elected officials who actually have the best interests of  Hartford and its residents in mind. Those officials who actually have some vision and realize Hartford's problems .

I Think the timing of the Rock Cats announcement was for a couple of politicians to say to the public "look we really are doing something" The results don't matter ,the elections would be long over before  the damage to the City would be realized by gullible voters. They just never planned on the Hartford apathy taking a break and people actually being organized and vocal in their opposition. Hartford residents very rarely turn out to vote, why would they turn out to oppose a $60 million dollar boon doggle.

This deal has exposed our leaders who are willing to sell out Hartford's taxpayers for the sake of headlines and photo ops in an election year. I honestly think that Council President Shawn Wooden and others have been standing on the front steps of City Hall since the press conference almost two weeks ago with their index fingers in the air to gauge which way the political winds are blowing.

Apparently the wind sampling is done, and Wooden and his colleagues have realized that it is not a good deal and the back pedaling has begun. From "done deal" to "we need more study". Wooden clearly got an earful. at last weeks Council Meeting. And if he is any judge of character he had to realize that he was aggravating some of the most vocal residents Hartford has to offer. Not a good thing in an election year when you are trying to unseat a very popular incumbent.

Leadership requires strong values and a conviction to the people you are elected to represent. This deal is bad in so many ways, not the least of which is the potential tax burden being placed on Hartford. A City that already places the highest tax burden in the State of Connecticut on its taxpayers who are some of the most impoverished Citizens in the entire United States. Wooden clearly doesn't fall into the latter category and I'm not sure that poverty or means often figure into his thinking if you review the actions of the Hartford City Council.

Self serving is probably more appropriate. Today's revelations by Courant columnist Kevin Rennie are nothing short of disgusting when it comes to the Stadium deal. You can read Rennie's column here. Rennie points out that in the proposed lease in addition to the Rock cats ownership having to provide a skybox suite for City Hall's use they also must provide"tickets to any Ballpark Events, except if Team is required to pay a promoter for any such tickets." The same politicians "shall be entitled to the number of tickets to any event in the Ballpark equal to the sum of the number of fixed seats and bar seats in the City Suite."

Can't you just envision it now, Hartford's political fat cats  hanging out the window of the "City Suite" as they dine on caviar and the finest wines and beverages stocked in the Wooden Suite. Segarra would have probably  already dined at Max before the game so he will probably just be waving over the railing to his loyal subjects below.

Now I can understand how Wooden changed his mind on the stadium. His dedication to long term commitment is not something he is known for. Remember the Mayoral run of 2011 that ended abruptly when he suddenly had a change of heart , some say as the result of a dirty deal that was supposed to control the balance of power in Hartford until one of the key players in the deal reneged on his promise. ( That is a story for another day). Then there is the very curious turn around in the relationship between Wooden and Segarra in the days before the Stadium announcement. The pre-election lovefest is now in full swing and the two have suddenly become best buddies. I guess the old saying is true, politics makes strange bedfellows.

Like I said before, this deal stinks in so many ways and I am sure much more is going to come out. Wishy washy politicians are only going to make it look worse. Even though the deal makes Hartford look bad , the way it makes City Hall and our supposed "leaders" look is even worse. Even Governor Malloy who seems to live and breathe economic development for our State was very vocal that there would be no state support from day one.

Anyone who looks at the numbers had to realize it didn't add up. If we paid the consultants more couldn't we get them to say there would be 1200 new jobs and why not 50,000 hotel nights per year. Those are numbers that would have to grab peoples attention.

Apparently even our Mayor is back pedaling now, His Director of Misinformation Maribel LaLuz apparently issued a statement this afternoon"Since the announcement, We have always said that we will explore all options when it comes to funding the project." . Really , what happened to the "DONE DEAL" comments. Maribel must have been reminded about a George Bush photo-op when he was on the flight deck of a US Aircraft Carrier under the huge "Mission Acomplished" banner during the Iraq military operations

And just as a side note to "DONE DEAL" ,... not so quick Pedro. It is not a done deal until we say so. The voters of Hartford can petition to force a referendum . This would only take roughly 1300 signatures according to the powers granted to residents of Hartford in the Hartford City Charter. It ain't over til the fat blogger  sings.

And if this is such a great deal, then I urge Hartford resident's to support it. Let the Rock Cat owners know we will support their venture, we will buy their tickets. The only stipulation is that they go to the bank like almost every other Hartford business and put their name on the dotted line of the loan application for the funds required to build the stadium. It will probably be completed for a lot less than $60 million dollars if they are on the hook for the money. And if you believe the consultants report, it will be a goldmine.

And you could probably charge the political fat cats for the Wooden Suite instead of giving it away.

And finally, I mentioned conviction and standing by what you believe. I don't expect anyone to go by my comments, but I just want to be clear, I support Eric Coleman for re-election  to the Connecticut Senate. It is leaders like Senator Eric Coleman, Representative Doug McCrory and  Repesentative Angel Arce, as well as Governor Malloy, who are willing to take a stand and say what they mean  and then have the guts to stand by what they say. We have enough "followers" in Hartford to sell us out, we don't need anymore wind gauges at the Capitol.
Photo above from the Internet, credited to