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Friday, May 13, 2016


The Hartford  Yard Goats Stadium is supposed to be "substantially complete" by Tuesday May 17. 2016. I drove by and checked it out tonight , and I don't see it being done in the next month, never mind by Tuesday. There are many areas that appear incomplete, not the least of which  being the exterior walls, the stairwells , apparently many life safety systems are incomplete, including the fire alarms and emergency lighting, as well as lighting throughout the public areas. More on this  tomorrow as well as some photos and video to prove my point,  as well as my thoughts on the finger pointing  and the blame game


thank you to "Overheard In Downtown" group on Facebook for posting the picture
 I think is a problem we all have at times,  but it seems that one Councilperson is afflicted with it more than others.
The filter that is supposed to control what comes off the lips doesn't always work.
Councilwoman rJo Winch made a comment earlier this week that it was hard finding a Police Officer doing something good. She must have forgotten about this picture. It sure looks like this officer is doing something good.
rJo,  please get the filter fixed, or maybe at least try  to keep the lips closed a little more and take a few seconds to let the brain catch up first.
Thank you

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Andrew is my nephew that many of you have read about here

Weekend fundraiser will help Enfield man get to Paralympic Games

ENFIELD — Andrew Haraghey is used to overcoming obstacles, though for his latest challenge, he’s looking to the community for help.
The 20-year-old — who has become an accomplished alpine ski racer despite having cerebral palsy that affects movement in his lower extremities — is holding a pasta dinner May 14 to raise funds to help him train to make the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team, which will compete in the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Haraghey, a graduate from Enrico Fermi High School who just finished his sophomore year at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been skiing competitively for five years. He has had strong showings in U.S. national skiing events, including a bronze medal finish in the slalom two seasons ago, and another bronze in the “super combined” and “super G” events this past season.
But Haraghey’s path to skiing glory was tougher than most people’s.
He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after coming down with viral encephalitis when he was 6 months old. The disorder affected his gait and made moving around difficult. When he was about 8 years old, however, his mother, Sheryl Haraghey, took him to Ski Sundown in New Hartford and started teaching him how to ski.
Initially, he said, it was very hard for him, and he began by gripping a pole held by his mother. Over time, his balance and leg strength improved to the point where he’s now able to reach speeds of up to 80 miles per hour assisted only by poles modified with “outriggers” that look like small skis.
Haraghey said skiing at a young age likely played a role in his ability to walk unassisted today.
“Skiing definitely made me stronger,” he said. “When I started, I wasn’t strong enough to stand on my own, but as I was skiing, over time I was steadily building strength.”
Haraghey started skiing competitively in the 2011-12 season, skiing in regional events in Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire. It was at the end of that season that he set his goal for the 2018 Paralympics.
“The 2014 games would have been a stretch, but 2018 was a more realistic goal,” he said.
Following Haraghey’s success skiing, his mother wrote and illustrated a children’s book about him, called “Andrew Can Ski.” The book tells of the boy’s perseverance to become a great skier, in hopes of inspiring young people and increasing their “ability awareness.” A disability advocate and motivational speaker, Sheryl Haraghey goes into schools to tell her son’s story, and further promote awareness through her “Awareness Games” program, in which she teaches children to use adaptive sports equipment.
When he’s around, Haraghey participates in the events and tells his story firsthand.
“It’s nice to see the kids at the end of the day understand and leave with a new experience and a new way of seeing things,” he said.
Unfortunately, Haraghey recently had a setback in his quest to make the Paralympic Games. In late February, at the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colorado, he broke his leg during a training run. Though he’s been sidelined since then, Haraghey expects to be back on the slopes in November, and said he didn’t expect the injury to impact his goal significantly.
The pasta supper will be held Saturday, May 14, at Enfield Elks Lodge 2222 located at 138 N. Maple St., from 4 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person, which includes dinner of pasta and meatballs, salad, and dessert. There also will be music and dancing, and a raffle featuring a two-day “stay-and-ski” at Mt. Snow and gift cards from local businesses.
Those interested in donating to Haraghey’s training can do so at
Haraghey said a donation of any amount would help his training, which he said is very expensive.
“It’s definitely not the cheapest sport around,” he said.
To learn more about Haraghey, go to his website
or Sheryl Haraghey’s website


I received this picture yesterday  that apparently is a group of Hartford School's employee's in Miami,Florida to accept a magnet school award.  Hasn't anyone at the Board ever heard of Fed Ex? Or heard that there is a budget deficit and upwards of 250 jobs may be cut to close that gap?We could have had the award shipped here for under $20,.00 instead of sending 20 employees to Miami and paying for airfare and hotels. How many teaching positions could have been saved from elimination?

I have requested the information on the trip through an FOI request, but I am not holding my breath for Jill Cutler Hodgman to spin the combination on her BOE secrecy vault, if the records don't find their way into the shredder to be buried with the Genao documents first.

If you recognize anyone in the picture or wish to provide additional details, pease feel free to become part of my "alternative means" network and e-mail me in confidence or post anonymously here


"A rare officer who helps" those were the words posted by Hartford City Councilperson rJo Winch on her Facebook page this week.

What are you thinking?Leadership and use of social media by a so called "leader requires some discretion . And it also requires some level of factuality and honesty also. Can the Councilwoman really say she is unaware of good deeds being done every day by Hartford Police Officers.

At the very least Winch should be able to praise the efforts of Hartford detectives and officers who brought the homicide of her nephew recently to a prompt closure with an arrest. Not to mention all of the other officers she apparently  doesn't see , or doesn't want to see, in our neighborhoods every day.

Leadership also requires building bridges by our elected officials, not tearing them down with sarcastic comments on social media.  In this day and age of "open season" on our Police Officer's  the Councilwoman should be working to build better relationships rather than throwing fuel on a fire, and a fire that doesn't exist yet in our community. And one we definitely don't need.

Here are a few links below to possibly refresh the good Councilwoman's memory


For a group that is supposedly made up of educators, you would think they would understand the meaning of the word "transparency".

But they don't.

The Hartford School System  apparently think they operate in a bubble., being able to hide behind Federal laws designed to protect student information. They are hiding behind those same laws to protect a predator that was hiding in their midst, possibly for many years and being allowed to hide away by the Administration, being allowed to prey on his victims, unchecked.

The e-mail below is one example of their stonewall tactics when they don't want information to get out. On May 6, 2016 I requested a list of all BOE employees making over $100,000 a year. Anyone that knows public policy and understands public information should know that is information the public has every right to know.

As of this date, a week later, I still have note received the information through the proper channels at the Board of  Education. Luckily , I do have some good sources and when I used my "alternative means", the report was ready for me within 30 minutes.

Now Explain to me why their highly paid spokesperson Pedro Zayas and a highly paid Labor relations/Information Specialist Suhail Aponte couldn't produce the same report I received in less than the half hour it took for me to get it.

What are they hiding? And what else is buried away with their dirty dark little secrets at the BOE.

 From another source , I guess I was the topic of a conversation yesterday in the Superintendent's Office between Jill Cutler Hodgman and Pedro Zayas and they apparently were joking that they didn't have to give me anything and I would eventually go away. I guess we will see about that.


Actually maybe the title should be "Free for some".

And before you start calling me a racist or whatever you want for drawing  attention to common sense, save the time to type your comments because this has nothing to do with race.

Hartford and its residents have a long tradition of playing host to a multitude of special events held in the City every year. Jazz events in Bushnell Park, Winterfest, the Saint Patrick's Day Parade, the 3 Kings day events on Park Street, Riverfest, First Night and on and on and on.

But this year needs to be different. In the words of our own Mayor, Hartford is in a "dire" financial situation. We as a City have already laid off long time employees, and most likely more are coming.

If the situation is so dire, how can the City now allow special events that most likely in just two parades will cost the City upwards of $200,000 . If the track record for these two parades run true to history, none if any at all reimbursement will be paid back to the City budget for that money spent

This is unconscionable.  How can any City official that is part of the decision making process even potentially face one of the employees who lost their jobs, in the grocery store or elsewhere and not be ashamed if this money is allowed to be spent?

This is a time when we need to take politics out of the decision and do what we all know is morally right and responsible for the City's survival, as well as the work force that have committed their adult lives and careers to Hartford.

I am not against a special event every day of the week if we could. I am more than willing to put up with the traffic inconvenience, detours, street closures and whatever else goes along with it, but they have to be self sustaining. I sometimes get buried with the numerous fundraising requests for the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. But the bottom line is that numerous organizations  are constantly running fundraisers to foot the bill and to make sure the check is sent to the City to cover their event as soon as the invoice is received.( as do may other groups that hold events)

And in full disclosure, I am part of the group for the Hartford . St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee and we run our fair share of fundraisers. As much as I hate hitting people up to buy tickets and attend events, I also feel pretty good knowing that no city employee is going to lose their job because a special event I am involved with is a burden on the taxpayers of Hartford.

If you can't afford it, you can't have it, at least not in Hartford. Maybe a City that is not in "dire" financial straits will welcome you and cover your bills, but those days need to be done in Hartford.

How many Animal Control Officers or laid off City Hall or DPW employees could get their jobs back with $200,000.

In closing, let me say I love a parade, just like most people, but I love seeing people living and surviving more and the City functioning more. In the words of Nancy Reagan, "just say no". It may cost you votes but it may also help to save the City of Hartford. That is called leadership.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016



I don't think the pension figures were related to me correctly for yesterday's post about the pending retirements . In order to clarify that, I have obtained the Hartford Fire Union Contract. The pension calculations are complicated by the number of years of service , buy backs, etc,etc. So here is the contract and you can try to make sense of it by reading it for yourselves. (appendix E on page 62)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


A  firestorm of huge proportions is about to engulf the Hartford Fire Department. The firestorm is coming in the form of massive retirements by key people eligible for retirement. As of yesterday, the number given to me by a well placed, knowledgeable source within the Hartford Fire Department could possibly be 85 to 90 retirements, made up mostly of high level Deputy Chiefs, District Chiefs, Captains and Lieutenants

These numbers would decimate the leadership ranks of the Hartford Fire Department as they try to rebuild under recently Chief Reggie Freeman.

The unfortunate part is that many of these firefighters had no intention of leaving until Mayor Bronin's budget was released. Many of the potential retirees have the required 20 years on the job for the 80% pension requirements, but are short of the 25 years for the full 100% retirement payout. They are choosing to go now because of the uncertainty of the City's status financially.

I have spoken to several firefighters that are making the choice to leave and they have all told me that the lack of information  and transparency by both the City and their Union, IAFF Local 760. are forcing them to retire while they  know what they are getting

This is sad because we as a city are losing almost one third of our Fire Department over gossip and rumor and no one seems to be stepping up to quell that misinformation pipeline. The Union should be asking their attorneys to advise them on best and worse case scenarios. What could the City actually do if they were forced into bankruptcy and what would the pension impact be?  Is there a possibility that the City could take away their paid insurance benefit? Let's put the facts out there and make reasonable decisions instead of running scared of the unknown.

It might be also to be reasonable to ask why the Union Presidents hasn't put in his retirement papers yet? If things are as bad as he is telling his membership,  why isn't he retiring to protect his pensions and benefits also.

Someone I spoke with yesterday from City Hall mentioned that the retirements might be a bluff to put the Union in a better  bargaining position during their contract negotiations. Let us not gamble on the fire safety of our City by calling their bluff. I personally don't think it is a  bluff. 5 or 10 retirements might be a bluff, 85 or 90 is a mass exodus , and not a bluff.

I have told Mayor Bronin personally that I can understand and fully appreciate the theory of what he is trying to do. He inherited a mess after years of inefficiency and incompetent management and now in the position of Mayor and the future of Hartford requires that he deals with the mess. What I do have a problem with is the implementation.

Mayor Bronin is an intelligent person, Quite possibly light years  ahead of his predecessor  when it comes to management and intelligence skills. Where he lacks is the communications of his message. I am sure that Mayor Bronin has a pretty good plan in place and he knows why he is doing what he thinks he needs to do. The challenge is conveying that message to his other partners, and that is what they need to be treated as if the solution is going to work, partners. And that goes across the board , whether it is City employees,- Police , Fire, DPW or even residents Lay it all on the table and explain what needs to be done and why. Lay out the facts and the documents for all to see

These are adults, and they can make informed decisions based on the facts, not rumor and gossip. This is not the military where you follow orders blindly. Leadership requires building consensus, not shoving plans down the throats of those affected by those plans

Calmer heads need to prevail based on factual and informed decisions. If not, it may be too late to find out it wasn't a bluff after all.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


On April 28, 2016 at approximately 5:34pm, Hartford Police 
Patrol Officers were dispatched to 200 Bloomfield Avenue 
(the University of Hartford) on a reported attempted 
robbery/Dorm room invasion.  The victim reported
that a masked armedassailant was brandishing a firearm and 
attempted to force entry into his dorm room.The victim fended the assailant
off who then fled from the complex.  The victim sustained a
laceration to the chin and was treated on scene.The victim then
provided a description of the suspect specifically identifying him as 
wearing very distinctive footwear.

University of Hartford Public Safety Investigators immediately
viewed the surveillancevideo which captured a male suspect
matching the description of the assailantwho was wearing the
same very distinctive footwear.  The assailant was not 
masked at the time of the captured video.

The suspect, along with several other individuals observed 
with the him, were immediatelyidentified by U of H Public
 Safety. HPD Major Crimes conducted several  interviews of
those involved and probable cause was developed for the suspect.

On May 6, 2016 an arrest warrant was obtained for James Mayze,
 Date of Birth-03/10/1998 charging him with Criminal Attempt to
 Commit Robbery and Assault Second with a Firearm.   On 
May 6, 2016, he was taken into custody without incident at his 

Several arrest were made in this investigation during the prior week. 
Those involved are allegedly involved in the sale of marijuana. 
Marijuana and cash appear to be the motive and nexus in this
incident. The University of Hartford Public Safety 
Investigators and Cromwell Police Department were instrumental
 in leading this investigation to arrest.


My mother, she loves her flowers also

At 57 years old, I never thought I would be willing to label myself a "momma's boy", but after my past year, I proudly accept the title.

After my stroke in February and and subsequent stroke in July, I can honestly say I would have never made it through, or made the progress I have made without Mom by by side. I know she was probably  doing what most mothers would do, but she is extraordinary.

From the moment I went to St. Francis on Sunday July 5th, she was there every step of the way. She took on the task of not only caring for me, but also my best buddy, my dog Bailey. She cared for Bailey every day, taking him out and feeding him before she would come to check up on me at St. Francis or later when I was going through rehab at Mt. Sinai.

Eventually, she opened her home to me after I was released from the hospital, when it was pretty clear I had a long road ahead of me to eventually be able to care for myself again. Her daily routine included trips to pick up prescriptions, which seemed to change almost daily with dosages and different drugs. Meals for me became regular and much healthier with Mom's home cooking and care. ( she never did give in to my requests for Wendy's Baconator, fries which sounded so good).

I can't even begin to add up all the miles she logged running for prescriptions, driving to  Hartford to care for Bailey daily as well as driving me to all my doctors appointments and rehab appointments,

My mother and father were both strong positive influences throughout my life and they were a tremendous couple. My mothers strength after my fathers death was also a strong influence and she has carried on with strength and dignity and has been an inspiration for many.

I try to let Mom how much I love her everyday. My day begins with a phone call to let her know I opened my eyes and am alive each morning and my day usually ends with a check in with her at 10:00PM . Today I am one of the lucky sons that still has the benefit of being able to sit with my mother at the table with me  today when we have dinner  at Salute.

And just as a sidenote, my sister also learned well from her mother, especially facing the difficulties of raising a child with special needs and doing a great job at it.Sheryl has been a tireless advocate for her son Andrew. She was also there for me during my recovery, on many occasions getting me inspired  to go for a walk when I was exhausted. I will never forget the day she tricked me into a walk through the Brown's Pumpkin patch and along the Farmington River. It was a challenge, but after we got back, I realized I could do it, when at first I thought I couldn't

I value and love you Mom and I appreciate every moment we spend together. I am proud to say that I am my "Momma's boy". You are the reason I am here, both originally and also today.