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Saturday, February 28, 2015


It was only $2.5 million dollars  but apparently the City of Hartford didn't see it important to be reimbursed for storm damage costs  and allowed it to slip through their fingers by not properly submitting the paperwork. Despite warnings from the State of Connecticut and FEMA  that they had done the paperwork wrong. The e-mails and documents later this week.

Shouldn't a City of Hartford employee that volunteers to represent their country through Military service be able to think that they will be treated fairly if they qualify for a promotion while they are fighting in another Country. Only to find out when they return that they are being passed over again for the same position they qualified for? Add insult to injury when the Department head making the decision is also a military veteran and should know better under Federal Law.


I don't often write about issues outside of Hartford, but I think this one needs to be said. I often think the treatment of criminals has lost sight of our victims, The number of convicted felons arrested with guns after shooting or killing another victim is a problem. I think our courts have become far too liberal  and are more concerned for the criminal, even when they are convicted felons and have no problem carrying an illegal weapon and using it to kill or injure their next victim.

But one case has just forced me to speak out.

When felon Gary Castonguay shot and killed his last victim I was still a senior in High School in 1977.  I don't remember that case, but from accounts I have read.Castonguay  shot and killed 33 year old Plainville Police Officer Robert Holcomb as he attempted to flee from a Burglary he had just committed. From accounts, Castonguay shot Holcomb at least three times in the chest at close range, ending his life.

Castonguay has now applied for Parole and for reasons that boggle my mind, the Board initially honored Castonguay's request and granted him a Parole Date for later this year. It appeared there were several bureaucratic screw-ups and now that request is under review and being reconsidered. Two of the major mistakes were that due to the age of the case, some of Officer Holcomb's  who normally showed up at the hearings to oppose parole have passed away and no family members were notified of the upcoming hearing. Apparently the State's Attorney's Office also wasn't notified to oppose the request..

Aside from the mistakes though, I have to wonder what would  run through the mind of any Parole Board member that could have a killer sitting before them knowing that the man had fired several bullets into the chest of a police Officer entrusted to protect or communities, cold blooded killing him and taking him and his life away from his family/. And then making the decision that cold blooded killer sitting before you should get a taste of freedom again. I could care less if he was 80 years old and on a respirator, any convicted cop killer does not deserve to get a taste of freedom again, no matter what.

I know there are issues with the way some communities think of law enforcement, but Police Officers are the basic foundation of order in our communities, and anyone that clearly takes the life of a police officer  deserves life behind bars with no opportunity for parole.  I would further say that Death would be a suitable option for anyone that kills a Police Officer in the commission of a crime, but we all know what our Legislature did with that.

In the meantime, Castonguay needs to be guaranteed that his last breath will be taken from the stale air inside a maximum security prison. His actions demand that  and no panel of  liberal reformists should be able to change that. I am not sure if the DOC keeps a list, but I for one would be willing to volunteer as a pall bearer to carry Castonguay and his casket out of the prison when he takes his last breath. I think that's all we owe to his memory and definitely not one day of freedom.

You can read more on this from Kevin Rennie's column in the Courant

**I Intend to be very tight on comments submitted on this post so please keep it respectful to Officer Holcombs memory

UPDATE- on Sunday a reader posted the following comment, I support sending your thoughts and comments to the Parole Board as well as the Governors Office, and calling also.
"The new hearing is set for March 25. Flood the Parole Board with letters opposing the parole decision:
Governor Malloy's Office- 860-566-4840 "


The Hartford City Council is preparing to head down a dangerous and costly path for the the people they were elected to protect and represent. Over the last several weeks, the Council has explored and started moving toward removing Hartford's 3 Registrars of Voters based on charges of incompetence.. These charges resulted from the handling of the November election where polling places were unprepared to allow voters to cast their ballots when the polls opened at 6 :00am.

I think there are many charges of incompetence to go around, including against Mayor Segarra, and every member of the Hartford City Council, including Council President Shawn Wooden who appears to have been one of the most vocal and indignant critics of the Registrars, especially  when the red light of a TV camera turns on in front of him.

I think some of the blame can also be spread out to Connecticut's Secretary of State Denise Merrill who has also not become a vocal critic of Hartford's Registrars in an attempt to scrap the entire system.

If Segarra and Wooden were doing their jobs, can they honestly say they were blindsided by the actions of the Registrars leading up to and on election Day?  Had they never heard about the fights in the Registrars Office, the cops being called to mediate the battles? The staplers and office supplies being thrown between offices? Are they really that out of touch with what goes on in their own, or should I say our building?

I don't understand the rush to correct this problem immediately with what promises to be a very costly and long protracted court battle at any attempt by the City of Hartford to get rid of the Registrars There still is no clear cut determination whether Segarra and Wooden have the authority to try to get rid of rightfully elected officials.

The Council has apparently reached out to their hand picked attorney that they decided to hire when they lost Confidence in the Choice made by Segarra authorized under the City's Charter, Corporation Council Saundra Kee-Borges. Apparently the Council lost faith in Kee-Borges efforts as an attorney representing them and saw the need for their own representation.

They chose the author of Hartford's revised 2002 City Charter, which switched to a strong Mayor form of government, Allan Taylor. Taylor was  Chair of the Charter Revision Commission and considered by most to be the key author of many of the changes.

 That brings me to my next issue. I am not a lawyer , but I think I get the concept of  "conflict of interest".  The Council has reached out to Taylor for an opinion on whether the Council has the authority to bring charges and remove the Registrars.  I am not sure how someone who was instrumental in authoring a document can now draw an unbiased opinion, that has any validity, as to the propriety of that same document. Could we ask a judge to determine the legality of an opinion they issued from the bench as to whether the decision was proper. Of course they would say yes. Do we think Taylor would issue an opinion that his thoughts on the Charter revisions were improper or contrary to law? Of course not...

Below is an opinion from  Attorney Thomas Murphy, a former Federal Prosecutor, who has been hired by Working Families Party Registar Urania Petit to represent her in any removal hearings.The people of Hartford also are bound to pay both sides of this Court Battle bill. The City has hired attorneys to act as "prosecutors" of their side of the case and the Registrars have hired attorneys to defend them in their  cases and the taxpayers are also legally bound to pay that part of the bill. That will most likely include the original prosecution of the charges as well as any prolonged court battles and appeals, as well as any damages that could potentially be awarded down the road.

 If this restructuring of the Registrar's Office system was so critical and urgent for the people of Hartford, why was nothing done to implement change after the voters of Hartford authorized it over a year and a half ago. The smoothest way to accomplish change would have been to begin talks with the Legislature to change State Law and implement the changes legally, without all the additional expense and Court action.

Now that should bring some charges of incompetence, that our elected officials chose to ignore the will of those same voters that they now seem to be rushing to protect at any cost.

If the Mayor and Council could get their act together, the Legislative fix could possibly be complete by the next election date for Registrars which could mean the issue would be a "non-issue " and cleaned up without the need for any expensive court battles, just eliminate the problem
Taylor 022415

Thursday, February 26, 2015


I want to try to be respectful to deceased Hartford Firefighter Kevin Bell, but something stinks. I am sure I am asking the question that many others are asking this morning. Why did it take almost six months for the Medical Examiner  to determine the cause  of Bell's death?

Why were we originally told that the cause of death could not be determined pending toxicology results? Now apparently those toxicology tests have no bearing on the cause of death and asphyxiation has been determined the cause. Wasn't the lack of air obvious during the original autopsy? Aren't there other signs indicative of asphyxiation visible during an autopsy? Damage to the lungs? Wouldn't there have been the presence of smoke in Bell's lungs  if he was in fact breathing in smoky air from a fire? Wouldn't there have been damage to blood vessels in Bell's eyes , I am told that is a good indicator of lack of air caused by asphyxiation.

And since when does the ME wait on someone else's testing to issue their cause of death? Does a police report need to be completed before they call a death a homicide? Of course not, they make their own determination based on their own findings, not what some one else/s report says

The OCME owes it to every Hartford Firefighter to issue a complete and unadulterated report and cause of death to ensure that this type of death never happens again.

Until then something stinks with this report and the time it took for its completion.