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Saturday, March 25, 2017


If anyone is still confused  as to why Donald Trump is our President, open your eyes and pay attention. People are fed up with politics and Donald Trump was the beneficiary of that backlash. Anyone involved in politics that doesn't heed that warning, will most likely also feel the political blowback. It just so happens that Republicans received the benefit this go round.  Democrats and Republicans need to take advantage of  the opportunity to start listening to the American people and start benefiting the American people, not their own agendas.

This week in Washington was another perfect example that they are not listening . Politicians can have all the Town Hall meetings they want, but what we really need now are some politicians that can put aside their politics and begin to actually show some leadership.

Healthcare is not a "Republican" or "Democrat" issue. It is a basic human rights issue and we need to realize that. The Affordable Care  Act is not a perfect solution, but it was a start.  As a small business owner I used to provide healthcare for myself and my employees. One day out of the blue, we received a letter from the Healthcare provider telling us that in a short time they would no longer be writing health insurance in Connecticut. We shopped around, but as a small business, the prices were astronomical and prohibitive.

I had no health insurance at that point and I was, from what I thought at the time, relatively healthy. I would pay for any medical costs out of pocket and at that time it was a relatively small annual cost for me.

Fast forward several years and like I said, I figured I was relatively healthy so insurance was not a major concern. Eventually my health and genetics began catching up with me. I was diagnosed as a type 2 Diabetic, but between generic prescription meds and diet, I was able to keep it under control, or so I thought. Because I wasn't properly managing my healthcare, it caught up with  me.

I was still uninsured when I eventually had my first stroke. Most likely caused between my high risk factors of my diabetes and my blood pressure, which I didn't even know was a problem for me until I had the first stroke. If I had healthcare insurance, I probably would have acted a lot differently and managed my health differently and more aggressively and eliminated many of my problems before they actually became problems.

I had a great Primary care physician at the time, and he worked with me as much as he could, even providing me with medication samples monthly. But there was still follow up things like regular blood work and tests that I had to pay for out of pocket, so I would let those slip until they were absolutely necessary.

I was thrilled when the Affordable Care Act  became reality, and I could finally get affordable health insurance without the rejection letters for pre-existing conditions. The first year I didn't really shop, I just jumped at the first plan I saw and knew I could afford. Even with its roughly $6,000.00 annual deductible, it was still extremely reassuring knowing it was there if I needed it.

I won't go into all of the medical issues, more strokes, a heart attack, internal bleeding. but I am convinced if healthcare was easily obtainable, myself and probably many others would have managed their healthcare much differently. I know I am paying the price now.

It seems popular to parade people in front of the media to state that without the Affordable Care Act they wouldn't be alive today. I don't know if I can say I would be dead by now, but I think I can say with confidence I wouldn't have my eyesight today and probably wouldn't be able to walk without my stints in rehab at Mt. Sinai after my 3rd stroke and being taught how to function again. The vision, laser surgery and treatments and the rehab were only treated because I had health insurance in place.

I am getting off track here, but this past week in Washington was a disgusting display of politics at its worst , by both Democrats and Republicans. I don't think either party can claim the moral highground on this one. The venom and the sniping is what the people have made clear that they are tired of , and if politicians don't see Donald Trumps Presidency as a warning of how fed up we are, get ready for more of a bumpy ride next election.

I think confidence will be restored by which ever party can really roll up their sleeves and put the rhetoric aside and make a difference for the people they represent. Right now Congress has the Rolls Royce of healthcare plans along with the clinic they have right in the Capitol for their health needs.

 I wish there was a way to tell every member of Congress that their medical insurance was being cancelled and they were on their own to find their coverage. I bet the health insurance problem would be cured in a matter of weeks, not years if Congress people were harmed the same way millions of Americans will be harmed if their insurance is taken away. Someone needs to get the policy makers in a room and say"we aren't leaving until this is fixed". Take the parts that work and replace the parts that don't. I think they call that consensus building, maybe we should try it.

The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it was a start. I think what we need are some of our so called "leaders" to begin to lead. We need the Nancy Pelosi's, the Paul Ryans, the Chuck Schumers and the Chris Murphys in Washington to put the political egos aside. If they all put as much effort into fixing the problem as they do into hunting out the TV cameras for their sound bites to attack each side, this problem would be fixed quickly.

I have  plenty of good things to say about the Affordable Care  Act, as well as some horror stories also. I think if calmer heads prevail and really make an honest effort, a solution is within reach

When do you think Donald Trump or Barack Obama worried about how they would pay for a procedure or if they can cover the cost of their medications this month? Many people I am sure are stressing right now over what Congress will do, but it should be the other way around. Congress should be stressing over what the people are going to do if they don't begin governing and doing the jobs we elected them to do.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


You would think that in a cash strapped City like Hartford, which is teetering on the brink of Bankruptcy, every salary dollar would be evaluated to make sure we are getting our money's worth.

I have to ask then, why do we have a Deputy Director of Public Works who apparently can't be called upon to fill the top position of Director when it became vacant?

Instead we take our Fire Chief to fill in as Interim Acting Director ?

Now let me make this clear right from the start. Hartford's Fire Chief has worked wonders in his short one year tenure. He is more than capable, an excellent manager, an inspirational leader, simply a man of vision who knows how to work with people.

Chief Freeman has turned the Hartford Fire Department around from an organization that was becoming a laughing stock due to numerous arrests, gun fights, drug dealing and essentially just bad behavior to an organization with pride and rising morale.

Would I like to see that same trend continue at DPW, quite honestly yes. But not at the detriment of diluting the leadership at HFD.  I have no doubt Chief Freeman earns every penny of his salary as Fire Chief and I think he could probably be called upon  to run most City Departments and do it very well (Well, maybe with the exception of Corporation Counsel, that would take a law degree. But I have every confidence Chief Freeman could even do that by surrounding himself with the right people)

If the Deputy Director of Public Works David Tanner is not capable, or unwilling, to step into the top leadership role at DPW, that is a six figure salary we as a nearly broke City can not afford.

I would hope that the Assistant Chief's in the Fire Department and the Deputy Chief's in the Police Department would be able to assume the lead role when called upon and the Deputy at DPW should be competent enough to fill in temporarily when needed as well. If Mayor Bronin does not have the confidence that Deputy Director Tanner  can do that, then we should stop wasting the salary for a figurehead and find someone who can .Stop gambling with the leadership of HFD, especially since HFD seems to be running smoothly now, for the first time in many years.


When I first heard that Jill Cutler-Hodgman was leaving the Hartford Schools, a song immediately came to my mind along with the images above "Ding-dong the Wicked Witch..." I'll save you the rest of the song , but you get my point

Jill Cutler- Hodgman is an obstructionist performing her dirty deeds in the Office of Hartford's Superintendent of Schools. You would think that being in the Superintendent's Office, Cutler -Hodgman would have been an advocate for the children, but my experiences with her were the total opposite.

Cutler- Hodgman, along with her former henchman, Melinda Kaufmann from the Corporation Counsel's Office, were the Chief document shredders(since they are both attorney's let me insert the obligatory "allegedly" here for legal reasons)  at 960 Main Street, responsible for running the cover-ups to withhold documents from the public for anything that would prove an embarrassment to the Hartford School system.

Their latest attempt, at least that we know of, was the coverup for a School predator , Eduardo Genao. When I became aware of the Genao incident, I immediately made a written request under Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act for documents and investigations related to Genao's employment.

Not surprisingly, I was told that no documents pertinent to my request existed.  Other sources in the Superintendent's office told me that documents existed and Jill Cutler -Hodgman allegedly had gathered all of Genao's files and they were in her office. The source also claimed that allegedly Cutler Hodgman and her staff had shredded documents that would implicate the Superintendent's Office in covering up Genao's activity.

I filed a complaint with the FOI commission and amazingly a large amount of documents, including several that I obtained on my own from various sources, painted a clear picture of a coverup of activities by Genao dating back almost a decade and which the Hartford School ignored his behavior.

 That was an interesting moment at the FOI hearing when I produced documents they claimed didn't exist and they had to back pedal quickly to cover their lies.

Below is just an example of over 80 pages that Jill Cutler- Hodgman claimed never existed, and there are more that they have not released yet, in violation of the FOI Commission order.

Jill Cutler- Hodgman was paid over $180,000 per year in salary, apparently  to support the education of children. Far from it. If Cutler -Hodgman was evaluated by her dirty deeds and the damage she did by supporting predatory behavior and cover-ups , she clearly earned very penny of her salary.

Hopefully there will be a thorough house cleaning by the next incoming Superintendent. There goes that song in my head again "Ding- dong the wicked witch". Good riddance Jill, hopefully your next job will not involve caring for the safety and welfare of children.

Docket_FIC2016-0382; Kevin Brookman v. Superintendant of Schools on Scribd

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


It has been a while since I have linked to Jeff Cohen from WNPR, but here is a  story Jeff uncovered. I think it shows the disrespect for the will of the menial subordinates in the Kingdom of Luke.

 With actions like this by Mayor Bronin,after many hours given by a volunteer  search committee ,is it any wonder the Hartford Schools have made such flawed choices in Superintendent searches for many years ?

You can read Jeff's story by clicking the link below:


The chairman of the Hartford Stadium Authority, I. Charles Matthews, must realize that his  run is about to end once the Stadium opens it doors.

Word is that I. Charles Matthews  is now ready to undertake a new endeavor to keep his name out in the political favor arena. Several Hartford political insiders have apparently received invitations from I. Charles to a political fundraiser he has been organizing for a Governor's Office candidate hopeful Daniel Drew, Middletown's Mayor. ( my invitation must still be somewhere in the mail)

It is interesting though to many insiders that I. Charles has taken this step so early, especially since Governor Malloy has not announced his intentions for re-election yet. It is also interesting that Matthews , who remained chairman of the Stadium Authority under the Bronin Administration would make this move without the blessing of Bronin or Hartford's Democratic leadership.

Unless something has changed, Bronin has had very close ties to the Malloy Administration and this move seems odd to many observers, especially if Governor Malloy should try for a third term. But, as the saying goes, politics makes strange bedfellows.

Hopefully I Charles has been able to line up Pedro Segarra to throw out the first pitch for the Yardgoats home opener in April as we were promised. Maybe he can plan a fundraiser for Dan Drew if the City of Hartford's luxury sky box at the Stadium, I'm sure Ken Kennedy and Shawn Wooden will donate.


Anyone that doesn't realize that Hartford has a violence problem must really be out of touch. The unfortunate part is that everyone grows a backbone too late. In Hartford it is usually after the body is already on the way to the morgue and the TV cameras are still recording at the street corner vigils.

This posting is in no way intended to belittle the work of people like the Reverend Henry Brown. Henry serves a purpose and brings attention to the street violence in Hartford, but unfortunately when Henry's attention and prayers are focused on you, you have already met your maker (hopefully). Without Mothers United Against Violence and Rev. Browns people, there would probably be very little attention paid to homicides and violent crime on our streets

Well let me correct that last statement. Very little attention until an election is coming. Everyone wants to talk about homicides and gun violence when votes are on the line. Pedro Segarra and Luke Bronin both made a big deal out of visiting with shooting victims and homicide  victims families during their last rush for votes, but that seemed to stop after election day.

There are so many reasons for homicides in any City, including Hartford.  Despite the fact that Police get the large amount of blame for crime and shootings, it is only their problem after the fact to clean up the mess. I think under Chief Rovella, HPD has done their share, above and beyond, including the PAL program and other diversionary programs they have instituted

Does it seem a shame to anyone else besides me, that the initial identification of our latest homicide victim, Keon Huff was by Police officers at the scene, who according to sources familiar with the incident identified Keon from his photograph on a "wanted" flyer distributed for Keon's TIC from the Juvenile Court. A TIC or Take Into Custody Order is similar to an adult arrest warrant, but it orders Police to take the juvenile into custody  and normally they are taken to Juvenile Detention at 920 Broad Street until they go before  Juvenile Court Judge.

I don't know what Keon did to be the subject of a TIC order, and at this point it doesn't really matter but clearly the Juvenile Court system had already been involved and the system didn't work. DCF had been involved and clearly DCF dropped the ball. The Hartford Schools also dropped the ball and failed Keon, but it seems as though one thing that kept Keon's interest, at least temporarily was basketball and sports.

I think by all accounts, Keon had a pretty tough life. News articles seem to make no mention of a mother and father, an integral part to a child being raised properly and being able to survive, and avoid, the deadly challenges of urban streets. Luckily he had grandparents and an Aunt who eventually adopted him and tried to raise him. But even then, no one seemed to be able to answer where he was going to school, or if he was going to school.

Between the Juvenile Courts, DCF and other State agencies and the Hartford Schools, was no one paying attention? Or are there just too many Keon's out there to focus on? It is not the governments responsibility to raise children, but how do we break that cycle of children having children? It is kind of difficult for parents, and I use that term very loosely, to raise children and bestow on them the value of a good education, a good family and a good job when many of these child "teenage parents" have not experienced those same lessons in their own lives.

That is where the problem starts. Too many of these potential homicide victims are brought into the world by sperm donors. I can't call them fathers , because they aren't. A father takes responsibility for his actions and is there all the way from conception to adulthood. There to raise the life they helped start. A real father doesn't run off after the fun is over to impregnate his next egg incubator.

Unfortunately there are hundreds of children like Keon that are almost definitely born with the odds stacked against them from the start. Poverty , joblessness. poor education and failing schools, urban violence, drugs, gangs , all add up to a real problem with children born lacking the proper support structure to raise them.

And again I will ask, as I have done many times here before, Mayor Bronin, what is your plan? Standing at a vigil after a 15 year old is executed with a bullet to the head is too little too late and telling us society has failed is not a solution. Again, Mayor, what is your plan?

We need to take teenage pregnancy seriously. That is where the problem begins. We need to take drugs, gangs and gun violence seriously. It has claimed far too many victims already, many of them right here in Hartford's neighborhoods. When was the last time you have heard the Hartford Health Department of the Connecticut Department of Health addressing teenage pregnancy. What is done in our schools for education or is it just that dirty little secret we choose not to confront?

During the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton made a campaign stop in Hartford and talked about gun violence and was surrounded by our Mayor as well as Congress people and a Senator or two. If they are going to talk about the scourge of guns on our streets, then lets now hold them accountable. Hillary didn't make it, but we should hold the politicians who were in her entourage accountable and demand they put  the words they use to get votes into real action.

Hillary's campaign rally took place a few hundred feet from where Keon was executed.

Although the Federal  government has shown an increased commitment to fighting crime in Hartford, it is time to ask President Trump to come through on his tough talk on combating crime and we could use the help. But then again, maybe our City's "leaders" would be too proud to accept help from a Trump Administration, but right now we can use all the help we can get as we are starting to look like the Chicago of the East as we keep racking up the homicide numbers this year so far.

It is a complex problem , and I am pretty sure I aggravated many people with this posting, but it is time to have the tough conversations and start confronting the problem head on before another Keon is executed. I think the saying goes the first step in solving a problem is to admit you have a problem. The problem will still be there after the TV cameras leave the street corner vigils unless we start doing a hell of a lot more than we are doing now.

So let's hear how as a society we are going to break this cycle and address the problem of future Keon's before it is too late for the next victim of senseless violence. Mayor Bronin and all those people that like to seek out the cameras at the vigils, give us a plan.

I think we all are waiting and listening.

 Please keep your comments respectful and pertinent to the topic or I will not post them. Thanks