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Thursday, August 16, 2018

WAS THE TERMINATION OF HARTFORD SCHOOLS DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT A BAG JOB

If people are committing fraud and essentially stealing from the taxpayers of Hartford , they need to be exposed. But in true Hartford fashion, many times we need to peel back the layers of the onion and figure out what the real intent is.

Recently the Hartford Schools terminated their  Director of Financial Management Joanna Laiscell after a prolonged suspension. The allegations against Laiscell, according to a termination letter  sent by Hartford Superintendent of Schools Leslie Torres-Rodriguez The charges included fraudulently maintaining her ex husband on the Hartford Schools Health Insurance plan, you can read that letter below.

One of the more troubling aspects mentioned in the termination is the issue of the "320 dependents" that may be removed from the insurance plan as a result of the Audit.

If there are actually 320 people being insured by the Hartford Schools for health insurance they may not be entitled to, then why is Joanna Laiscell apparently the only target of the investigation. Why aren't the others being pursued or was it just an effort to remove Laiscell, for whatever reason the Superintendent wanted.

The audit report from the Forensic Auditors report seems not to mention anyone else other than Laiscell and the directive from the beginning seemed to only want to  focus on Laiscell. Why? Is the money for the other 320 not important enough to look at?

If Laiscell was wrong, fine, she deserves whatever she gets, but can we really ignore any other potential wrongdoing? In the report below, it is clearly stated that their charge was "specific to Joanna Laiscell" and no one else was even looked at out of the 320 other alleged incidents.

More documents are pending under an FOI request and I am sure more layers of the onion will be peeled back soon


Termination Letter - Joanna Laiscell HPS 7-12-2018 by Kevin Brookman on Scribd

MOVIES UNDER THE STARS TONIGHT AT ELIZABETH PARK

TONIGHT-EAST LAWN-ELIZABETH PARK


Movies UNDER Moonlight (Sponsored by WECA) WECA is sponsoring three (3) free movie nights. ALL on Thursdays East Lawn of ElizabethPark: A League of their Own(1992) Comedy, based on true story August 16th, Thursday The movie fictionalizes accounts of the WWII era All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). The AAGPBL broke ground for women's sports. Come cheer on the Peaches!! " It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great." - Jimmy Dugan, fictional manager of the Peaches. " Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that." - Jimmy Dugan. "There's no crying! THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!" - Jimmy Dugan Starring: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Megan Cavanagh, Janet Jones, Tea Leoni, Rosie O'Donnell, David Strathairn, Justin Scheller, Director: Penny Marshall.

HARTFORD CITY COUNCIL ACTIONS FOR AUGUST 13, 2018

Thank you to the staff and City Clerk John Bazzano for composing this information, now if the City only had  a decent website for people to easily view the information.

Council's Actions Meeting August 13, 2018 by kevinhfd on Scribd

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A CLASS ACT

Say what you want about Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. I know many of you would not or could not get over the idea of voting for a convicted felon. What we should have been thinking about is  who had the leadership qualities to run our State.

Joe Ganim showed those leadership qualities tonight in one of the most gracious concession speeches I have ever seen. Rather than go negative, Ganim seemed to do a great job of urging Democrats to unite behind the parties nominee, even though the nominee refused to commit to supporting Ganim if he had won.

We could use someone like Joe Ganim to unify and lead our City.

AND NOW IT IS MINNIE'S TURN


HPD DISPATCH SCREEN ABOVE

Hartford Police are back at the Mary Hooker School polling place on a complaint that a woman named Millie with her face printed on her shirt is at the School assaulting voters. Sources say that person is believed to be the current state Rep, Minnie Gonzalez As a candidate , Gonzalez should be nowhere near the inside voting area.

HAS EVERYONE LOST THEIR MINDS? LEADERSHIP WE CAN DO WITHOUT


Screenshot of HPD Dispatch screen above

Hartford Police are responding to and investigating a complaint that former Mayor Eddie Perez allegedly assaulted another man by punching him in the chest twice.

Investigation ongoing. No arrests made at this point

WE THE PEOPLE PROGRAM FOR AUGUST 13, 2018



Today we discuss the recent incident of Sgt. Barone and we interview Gannon Long, the challenging candidate for the 3rd Assembly District

HPD OFFICER TARGETED FOR " BEING WHITE"

A Hartford Police Officer , sitting in his cruiser at a traffic post at an Asylum Hill road closure, was attacked last night. The suspect, identified as , Devon Adams-Almstad, 7/24/98, 915 Asylum Ave. Hartford, CT
threw the brick through the drivers side window of the marked cruiser, showering the officer with broken glass. The Hartford Officer sustained minor cuts from the incident. 
After his capture, the suspect stated to Police " he hates cops and was targeting a white cop due to the recent events in the news"

Devon Adams-Almstad, 7/24/98, 915 Asylum Ave. Hartford, CT was charged with  Criminal Mischief 1st, Assault on Police, Reckless Endangerment, Hate Crime, and Breach of Peace 2nd



Sunday, August 12, 2018

POLICE BODYCAM VIDEO: THE REALITY TOUR., CHAPTER 2

Here is more actual Police bodycam video. The video shows how quickly a routine traffic stop can turn bad, very bad.

What would you do under this situation?

These are not actors on a reality show. this is real life video

WARNING: VERY STRONG LANGUAGE AND CONTENT

Saturday, August 11, 2018

POLICE BODYCAM VIDEO: THE REALITY TOUR

Any of my regular readers already know that I fully support Law Enforcement. Some might say to a fault, but I think most people would also agree that I am fair in my support. I have posted both the good and the bad of actions by Hartford Police Officers.

Sergeant Steve Barone was a somewhat difficult call. Although I don't agree 100% with his tactics, mostly the "overtime" comment regarding the paperwork comment if he shot someone. His other comments I find less objectionable and recognize as a tactic to control a potentially dangerous situation.

Did he violate anyone Civil Rights? No. Was he discourteous to anyone in the vehicle? No, and actually he seemed to be quite professional in dealing with individuals in a car that , according to the confidential informant, had guns on them. Combine that with the fact that I am told two individuals fled from the car when Barone pulled up. Does anyone looking at this objectively think that possibly they might have been the subject of the CI's information  and ran taking their guns with them.

It is also aggravating that Mayor Bronin is inserting himself in Police matters much more frequently lately. What was the reason for the hastily called meeting in the Mayor's Office Friiday morning and the press release later in the day. wouldn't it have served a better purpose for the Mayor and Council President to issue a statement that they heave full confidence in Chief Rosado and HPD to fully investigate the matter and wait for the final report. As another interference of Mayoral interference, should Bronin really be ordering HPD officers away from an ICE protest recently at the Federal building because the Police presence "looked bad" being live streamed on Facebook?

In this current climate, if there was no visible police presence and "alternative" protestors or white supremacists or whatever we are calling them these days happened to show up and ICE protestors were injured because there were no HPD presence, I can fully see Chief Rosado and HPD being thrown under the bus by Bronin. I doubt that he would stand in front of the media and take blame for his police meddling.

The attached video is actual Police Bodycam video with real cops facing real life and death daily issues.

Watch how fast these situations can go bad, especially when an officer is by himself or herself. And listen to the officer in the bodycam video when he approaches the suspects in the car that he believes have guns on them. At one point he tells the suspect to keep his hands in sight  or listen at 1:41 as the Officer says "I will blow your f***ing  brains out"   He didn't mention his itchy trigger finger or the overtime for reports if he had to shoot them, but maybe he should have because they eventually pulled a gun on the officer and he returned fire and shot them. And he probably wasn't suspended either, except for the shooting investigation

Police work is not always pretty and requires quick judgments by our Officers to hopefully go home at the end or their shift alive. As Sergeant Barone assessed the situation do you think he was gullible enough to believe the story that the people were in front of the property at 10:00pm for a potential real estate transaction on the abandoned property. Or do you think maybe he was seeing the red flags for people parked in high crime  and high drug traffic area reportedly with guns in their possession
situations.

Considering the number of guns Sergeant Barone and other HPD Officers take off our streets everyday, I for one am not opposed to a little subterfuge or whatever you want to call it to maintain
control of a situation

Or does our Mayor and Council  President (and some media reporters) expect our officers to have to wait to see the muzzle flash and the red hot lead hitting their bullet proof vests before they act.

Would that be the more polite thing to do?

I will hopefully be posting real bodycam video regularly so people can actually see what goes on during these high stress situations and gain a better understanding of what goes on out in our streets

As a note, HPD bodycams should be in use by October.

Friday, August 10, 2018

TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY

They say there are always two sides to every story. The other side may not change the outcome, but it might be important to a better understanding of a situation..

Today, a video is quickly making the rounds of a Hartford Police Sergeant and comments he made captured on a recording.  Lets start from the beginning of the story and see if this makes any more sense.

Hartford Police Sergeant Stephen Barone received information from a Hartford Police Detective. The detective related to Barone that he had a confidential informant who provided information that there was a group of people hanging out at an abandoned building  in the area of Hazel Street and Capitol Avenue in Hartford. At least one of the people in the group , according to the CI had a gun on them.

Sergeant Barone responded to the area and located a vehicle in front of the abandoned property. Barone, who was by himself until his backup arrived, approached the vehicle and as he did, two men apparently took off running. Barone apparently attempted to control the situation by containing the remaining individuals in the car.

The red flags for Barone as a Police Officer approaching a potential gun situation , alone, on a dark side street must have been flying high.

Barone, probably trying to act like a tough police officer  trying to show that he was in charge of the situation, used language that can't be considered as acceptable in this day and age..Barone is quoted as saying "Anybody who wants to fight or run, I’m a little trigger happy guys, I’m not gonna lie. You know I could [get] a ton of money on overtime if I have to shoot somebody"

Assistant Chief Rafael Medina sent the following e-mail out to HPD's Community partners soon after the incident was revealed:

To our community partners:

 

I wanted to reach out to you as soon as possible to discuss a very troubling interaction one of our officers had in the community that came to our attention this morning.  During a field interview of a group of people, our officer was evidently recorded telling the group that they would be checked for drugs and weapons, and that if they tried to flee or fight, he was “a little trigger happy, I’m not going to lie,” and he didn’t want to have to shoot somebody if they did flee or fight, so they shouldn’t “do anything stupid.”  We are still investigating the circumstances of the field interview.

 

Regardless of the context or the intent, those statements are entirely unacceptable and represent a fundamental disregard for the conduct we expect and the standards we hold ourselves to.  We look at it from the perspective of the person on the other end of the field interview, and to hear those words isn’t just scary, it projects an image of law enforcement officers who take use of force lightly.  As I hope you know, we do not take any use of force lightly as a Department. 

 

We have placed the officer on administrative leave effective immediately, and internal affairs has already begun an investigation.

 

The Hartford Police Department has worked closely with many of you to build a stronger relationship with the community based on respect and trust.  The ties we have built are our most valuable asset in serving the community, and incidents like this do not represent the department we strive to be, the relationship of trust we’ve worked to build, or the work we do in our community on a daily basis.  We are committed to true community policing and true community partnership, and in this case that means being fully transparent and direct about this incident.

 

Please feel free to reach out to me to discuss this or anything else.  I will be available today and over the weekend.  My cell number is              .

 

Thank you. 

 

Rafael Medina 

Assistant Chief of Police


Now I will be the first to admit Sergeant's Barone's comments were inappropriate but without seeing the full context of the interaction is it appropriat5e because a TV reporter wants to sensationalize the incident for "exclusive" ratings

Rushing to judgement on incidents like these are unfair to both our community as well as to the Officer involved. I think we all have enough confidence in our Police Department to know that matters such as this will be handled and dealt with appropriately once all of the facts are in A rush to judgement because of a quickly called meeting in the Mayor's Office will most likely do more harm than good.

Again, until we start hiring robots as Police Officers we still have Police Officers protecting us who are human beings, subject to the same frailties and faults as the rest of us/ And because we are human beings, sometimes that filter between our brains and our lips just don't engage quick enough and stupid things are said, This isn't the first time and surely won't be the last, but how we deal with it could mean a lot to Police /community relations.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH IN STATE TREASURER'S RACE ?

The heat is being turned up on the Connecticut State Treasurer's race and it has nothing to do with our current heatwave.

Shawn Wooden, the endorsed Democratic candidate, recently released a television add claiming his indignation over investments in the gun industry apparently made  by our current Treasurer, Denise Nappier. Wooden claimed further indignation by claims that he lost a family member to gun violence. Now let me say that any life lost to gun violence is tragic, but I think Wooden needs to be a little more transparent regarding the death of his family member.

Every action we take everyday has potential consequences, and any involvement with the drug trade increases the odds of being a victim of those consequences. Intruding on another drug dealers "turf" is not usually taken lightly and many times ends up with fatal consequences.


Last night I received an e-mail from someone affiliated with the campaign of Wooden's opponent , Dita Bhargrava, who seemed to show that Wooden\s history of indignation  with investments in the gun industry is only a recent development. The e-mail claims that Wooden has invested funds he handled through his current employer for the New Jersey State Public Pension Fund with  Black Rock Credit Investors. Black Rock apparently invested heavily with gun manufacturers, despite Wooden's indignation.

Here is the body of Dita Bhargrava\s e-mail:

I’m sending this email because I want to make sure you have all the facts. My opponent Shawn Wooden does not have the right experience to be Connecticut’s next State Treasurer.


During his tenure as Hartford’s City Council President, Shawn showed poor judgment and disregard for the people of his own city.

Shawn let Hartford slide toward financial bankruptcy, which is costing Connecticut taxpayers over half a billion dollars to bail out .

He pushed through the over-budget, disastrous Dunkin Donuts Stadium deal, and he even allowed a loophole in the living wage law preventing Connecticut residents from earning a living wage.

What’s worse even, is that Shawn touts his skill representing the NJ State Public Pension Fund with a $400 million investment in BlackRock Credit Investors. But what he doesn’t mention is that he engineered an additional investment into BlackRock — $144 million — to bail it out. The NJ Pension fund sustained $800 million in losses as a result of his risky investment. Nearly a billion dollars lost by Shawn Wooden. But Shawn’s firm collected millions of dollars in fees.

What’s equally disturbing about Shawn’s investment, is that BlackRock is among the biggest shareholders of gun manufacturers.



It’s completely misleading when you push an investment of half a billion dollars in gun manufacturing one year, then turn around and tell us you’re going to divest in guns now that you’re running

for office. It’s this kind of hypocrisy that people have come to expect from career politicians and what they’re voting against this year.
If Shawn is willing to mislead people in his campaign ads, how could we possible trust him with $32.5 billion in Connecticut’s funds?
- Dita



I know who I would trust to be telling the truth, and it most likely wouldn't be Shawn Wooden

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

HARTFORD CITY COUNCIL AGENDA PACKAGE FOR AUGUST 13, 2018 MEETING

STOP PLAYING WITH FIRE, LUKE



It boggled my mind when Luke Bronin tapped Hartford's Fire Chief Reginald Freeman to also fill in as Hartford's DPW Director to fill a vacancy almost two years ago.

Freeman came in to restore order to a troubled Hartford Fire Department that had been rocked by scandals, bad behavior and negative publicity. By most accounts I think he has held up his end of the bargain.

It made no sense to me that Mayor Bronin would then dilute Freeman's efforts by asking him to run a Department that probably had more than enough of its own problems at DPW. And even though Freeman was doing double the work to bail out his boss, Reggie\s paycheck apparently didn't  reflect his  double duty.

It is also confusing as to why we pay high priced salaries for "Deputy Directors" if those Deputies can't be called upon to run the Department short term when needed. Or are the Deputy slots just a way of hiding away friends  you want to reward with a City paycheck and great benefits?

There is no way a position such as the Director of Public Works should be left open for two years.

There is also no reason that the Hartford Fire Chief should be expected to fill in for both slots for two years or longer.

Reggie Freeman has shown that he is more than capable  to manage multiple, demanding tasks, and he has been a shining star  for the people of Hartford. Maybe shining a little too bright for an Administration that seems to have been  having trouble getting any light out from under its own self imposed bushel basket.

Reggie Freeman needs to return to his FULL TIME role as Hartford's Fire Chief and continue to do what he is best at and Luke Bronin  needs to concentrate on an finally building Administration that is not constantly  losing people. Our current Mayor seems to be unable to find and keep qualified people.

Bronin's turnover at Hartford City Hall would probably rival that of the Trump White House.

SHORT MEMORIES IN HARTFORD

It would be nice to have Hartford people representing us in Constitutional Offices at the State level.

But we can't just elect people because of where they live or who they know. Shawn Wooden's run for Treasurer is the perfect example.

Wooden may be able to pull off a con job with slick television ads, but all any voter has to do is look back on the "fine" job he did of nearly bankrupting the City of Hartford during his tenure as Council President. Will Shawn  Wooden use the same "due diligence" that he used when approving the Dillon Stadium deal and the Dunkin Donuts Park financing deal? If he does, get the Grand Jury room ready because it will be a revolving door.

Wooden couldn't even recognize a phony Barclay's letter of credit from a poorly drafted fax and now voters are expected to give him control of the State of Connecticut's finances? City resident's did a better job of digging into and exposing the con job than Wooden did.

Se what people are saying in the ad below from his challenger.

Friday, August 3, 2018

HARTFORD POLICE OFFICER ARRESTED AFTER DOMESTIC INCIDENT

53a-182 DISORDERLY CONDUCT CMisdemeanor 1 8/1/2018



Hartford Police Officer James Guzie was arrested Wednesday by East Windsor Police and charged with Disorderly Conduct after a Domestic disagreement in East Windsor..

Guzie was processed and released from Police Custody on a $1500.00 Non Surety Bond according to Judicial records.

Officer Guzie's next court date is Scheduled for August 22, 2018. Guzie is being represented by Hartford  Attorney Patrick   Tomasiewicz.

Guzie has been suspended as a Hartford Police Officer pending the disposition of this case.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT FOR HARTFORD SCHOOLS TERMINATED AMID FRAUD ALLEGATIONS

Former Hartford Schools Executive  Director of Financial Management Joanna Laiscell ,left, and Hartford Superintendent of Schools Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, right.


The Hartford Schools  Executive Director of Financial Management, Joanna Laiscell  was suspended for "unspecified" reasons on  March 21, 2018. Now, according to a termination letter obtained through an FOI request by "We the People", Laiscell has been terminated amid allegations of financial and insurance fraud.

The allegations of fraud are detailed in the letter below from Hartford Superintendent of Schools Leslie Torres-Rodriguez sent to Laiscell on July 12th informing Laiscell of her termination.

The letter also claims that Laiscell altered an e-mail regarding an audit of the Board's Health care plan that detailed that "an estimated 320 dependents may be removed from the plan as a result of the audit". According to the Superintendent's letter, Laiscell removed that sentence before forwarding the e-mail on to the Superintendent.

It is unclear why Laiscell would have removed that sentence from the e-mail. It is also unclear if those "320 dependents" were on the insurance plan as a result of poor record keeping and lack of over sight or as a result of fraud. Either way, it is a substantial amount of money to potentially cover 320 people for Health Insurance they were not entitled to.

Laiscell did not return calls for comment.

 It is also unclear at this time if this matter is being investigated by the Hartford Police for any criminal prosecution  It also unclear what efforts the Hartford Schools intend to make to recover the dollar amount of the alleged fraud.

 fraud.Termination Letter - Joanna Laiscell HPS 7-12-2018 by Kevin Brookman on Scribd

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

BRIDGEPORT MAYOR JOE GANIM, AND CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, ON "WE THE PEOPLE"

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim was our guest on "We the People" Monday for an hour long discussion about his primary run for Governor of Connecticut. Nothing was off limits and Mayor Ganim talked candidly about being a convicted felon, his experiences as Mayor of Bridgeport, his ideas for Connecticut as well as his thoughts on Tolls, the Income tax and the opioid crisis. It was an interesting hour.

Friday, July 27, 2018

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING, EXCEPT FOR POLITICIANS



A regular reader that called me last night told me I wasn't posting enough. So maybe I  am trying to make up for lost time, but I am finding a new found love for my computer keyboard today. It is not that the City of Hartford and its politics don't give me enough content, but it takes time.

Speaking of those politics, I am always aggravated by people that will blindly support political candidates for unknown reasons. Most of those reasons have nothing to do with how they will serve if they eventually do get elected or even their qualifications for the job. I think it all too often has to do with the candidates hair style or some other bizarre qualifier .

I am amused by the political advertisements that we are bombarded with as well. I like the Ned Lamont ads with Ned as the common man sitting at the counter in the neighborhood Diner. I have never met Ned Lamont, but something tells me he is probably not the type to be sitting on a diner stool, sipping his coffee with the commoners in the morning.  I find the "Ned Drive" in his economy car even more interesting.

Great marketing by who ever came up with the idea, but is it really believable. Ned's comment that he won't take a State vehicle makes me think Lamont doesn't understand the nature of the Governor's job. I don't think any of our Governor's in recent history have taken the job to save on gas money I don't purport to be an expert on the Governor or his duties. I don't even think the size of the State Police Security detail is a necessity.

I do know though that much of the Governor's time is spent on the road, crisscrossing the State at all hours of the day and night, and a large amount of the Governor's time is spent conducting business and returning calls from the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by a State Trooper. Is Lamont saying he won't travel in the course of running the State or is he going to be able to focus on the states business without being a "distracted driver" operating his own economy car?

Little things, and maybe I pay too much attention to details, but we need to pay attention to what they promise us.

Besides, I was flattered one night when a member of the Governor's staff informed me that the Governor and Mrs. Malloy had been reading "We the People" blog in the back seat of the Governor's SUV on the way back to Hartford from an event at the Aqua Turf in Southington.

Another campaign ad that is aggravating me is from Nancy Glassman. Now I know President Trump  is fair game and every Democrat is going to make President Trump a campaign issue, but please be factual.  Glassman states in one of her ads, and I am paraphrasing, that her mother raised her while living on Social Security. and Glassman states that she will never allow President Trump to cut Social Security.

News flash Ms. Glassman, you are or would be only one member of Congress, and a very junior member at that, with very little clout. You can do nothing on your own and to promise that you will is less than truthful. Maybe it would be a little more truthful to have said "if I were lucky enough to get your vote and get elected to Congress, I would do everything I can to protect Seniors and their Social Security benefits"

And this next one is almost a "ditto" of the previous.  William Tong, a candidate for Connecticut Attorney General is also a shark that can smell Trump blood in the sea of Democrats we call Connecticut. Tong is already promising to tie up our Court systems with the lawsuits he is prepared to file challenging every Trump activity he can mention in a sixty second commercial to strike fear into voters.

I would have more respect for Attorney Tong if maybe he would have mentioned that he would file suits to force decent or appropriate health coverage and benefits for Veteran's who have served our Country. Or to force proper healthcare and housing for Seniors who have been lived here all their lives and are now being left by the roadside, many of them unable to even obtain necessary medications to live. But I guess it might be difficult to weave that and the name Trump into a sixty second sound bite.

As we fall for these political ads, keep in mind "Caveat emptor". let the buyer beware.

FOLLOW UP TO MY OPIOID CRISIS POSTING

I wasn't planning on posting my follow up to my earlier posting today about the opioid crisis this soon. That is until the following comment was posted anonymously on the Blog;
 "Let’s be honest here Kevin they’re all junkies, famous or not. They made the choice risking their life by injecting some street level poison into their system. No different than playing Russian roulette. The majority of people really just do not care. "

I think that is probably the common train of thought, "they did it to themselves"

That is very true, and I have been lucky and never faced an addiction (except to maybe McDonald's and their fries, and that probably doesn't count) Over the last couple years, especially after my health issues, I think many of my thoughts have softened, maybe the correct term is "matured" over time. Through volunteer work with others, I have been faced with addiction issues, many times it was difficult for me to comprehend how or why, but they are definitely out there.

Why would that stroke survivor I would speak to refuse to consider giving up smoking, knowing that it could lead to increased chances for another stroke? That's the nature of addiction, common sense just doesn't make sense.

Many times I would walk away shaking my head and just trying to think "but for the grace of God, that could be me or someone I love or care about"

I was thrown into the problem recently head first. I am not going into great detail here because privacy is important  and no one would be served by being embarrassed..My mother had called me asking for advice with a situation involving a friend of hers whose son was going through addiction issues, both drugs and alcohol. Numerous attempts at Rehab weren't working and the costs were not cheap. I was with my mother recently and unexpectedly met the person having the issues and I was impressed with him. He was talking about his new job and how much he enjoyed it and how hard he was working to get back a normal life

He carried on a conversation, appeared very lucid and  appeared to me to be the last person facing addiction struggles. Less than a week later, Mom sadly called me to inform me he was relapsing and his family was trying to figure out where to turn. Now it is no surprise to anyone these days , that a heroin addiction can prove fatal at any time, and time is of the essence.

Sometimes there is a thing called Karma or fate or whatever you want to call it, but things happen for a reason.

A couple weeks earlier I was talking to a good friend of mine and he was talking about his kids and what they were up to now. During the conversation he mentioned that one of his kids was involved in opioid addiction rehab programs and was becoming well recognized as a lecturer, and I'll use the word "expert" in the Rehab and recovery field.

Again, the fate thing. I called my friend and asked if I could try to get some advice from his daughter. I explained what the problem was and he replied that I was lucky since it was her birthday and she was in town for the weekend. Within minutes, I had an addiction "expert" texting me articles and giving us expert advice into uncharted territory for most of us that have never had to face these modern day problems.

And let me say it again, yes, as the anonymous commenter said, they know the poison they are putting into their systems. Unless you have faced an addiction, I don't think any of us can understand the decision making process to stick that needle in your vein, knowing it can be deadly. I can try to present my limited view, and I still don't understand it, but here goes.

Recently I was undergoing a medical procedure. I was on the table, hooked up to an IV. Something was injected into my IV and I'm not sure what  term to use , other than euphoric. I asked the Doctor what they just gave me and he replied Fentanyl. Always the wise ass, even drugged, I asked him "Isn't that what is killing people on the streets?" The Doctor replied "yes, but we tend to administer it a little differently here"

I think under the influence of the Fentanyl, they could have told me they were ripping my heart out and I probably would have smiled and said "OK".

I am just saying that to hopefully help explain the thought process that goes with using powerful drugs such as Fentanyl or heroin or morphine.. I can only imagine the thought process that goes through the mind of a heroin or opioid addict looking for that better or more intense high to get by. Combine that with, in many cases, psychiatric issues such as manic depressive or bi polar and the normal thought processes get even more blurred

So unless you have never faced  addiction issues, it is probably very hard to understand why an addict would do what they do, but is a very real issue that is costing the lives of family members and loved ones everyday in our neighborhoods, and no one is exempt. No one plans on becoming an addict, but it might be as simple as a car accident,a sports injury or a chronic pain issue that starts one down that path with an opioid addiction and it grows from there.


MOVIES IN THE PARK























Free carousel rides and a fun night in the City

WHAT OPIOID CRISIS?

I have to wonder if we really have an opioid  crisis in Hartford. I am serious, if it  really is at crisis stage, wouldn't we be paying real attention to the problem and not just catch phrases at press conferences with talking points for the media?

For those unaware, here in Hartford we have dozens of opioid drug users overdosing every week  on our streets, in abandoned buildings and yes, even in fine homes. Those incidents often don't amount to much  more than a dispatch number on an EMS screen as Police , Fire and EMS are sent out to administer another dose of Narcan.

Sometimes the Narcan works, other times it is too late and the ME responds to recover the deceased body, only to await toxicology results to be added to  the list of the ever increasing number of statewide opioid deaths.

Not surprisingly, many of these victims are quickly forgotten and soon become a statistic in the Medical Examiners files.

Compare that to a Hollywood celebrity who overdoes and is found in time, and it suddenly becomes national news and well wishes and concerns and prayers flood in from around the world. Is Demi Lovato any more of a victim to the opioid crisis because of her celebrity, than say the guy left to die alone after injecting his "hot shot" in an abandoned building on Grand Street.

Life isn't fair I guess.

I probably shouldn't be surprised though. HIV treatment never really seemed to be a huge priority when it just affected Gay men. Once people realized it was quickly crossing over into "straight" society, things changed. Now HIV is very rarely a death sentence and drugs such as Truvada, also known as PREP ( pre-exposure prophylaxis) are readily available as another weapon in a health war.

Maybe Demi Lovato's opioid overdose is a good thing, and I say  that in all seriousness. Maybe the powers to be might realize that no one is safe, and it is not just that dead drug user found cold and lifeless with a needle in his arm in the abandoned building on Grand Street, but it could also be that loved one in your home that sleeps in the bedroom next to them.

More on this soon, and the struggle to find assistance when needed.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

PROBATIONARY HARTFORD FIREFIGHTER ARRESTED IN ROAD RAGE INCIDENT

A probationary Hartford Firefighter was arrested yesterday after waving a gun during an alleged road rage incident in Wethersfield.

Kyle Cataldo,21, of Newington, a recent graduate of the Hartford Fire Academy was charged by Connecticut State Police in connection with the incident. A synopsis of the incident and related charges are below.

No comment from HFD on any pending or anticipated discipline in relation to the incident.

Since taking over as Chief of Department , Chief Freeman has set a strong tone of accountability for all members of the Department in both their personal and professional behavior.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

JOIN YOUR NEIGHBORS FOR "MOVIES UNDER THE STARS"

WECA is sponsoring three (3) free movie nights. ALL on Thursdays East Lawn of ElizabethPark:

 


Sound of Music  (1965)

Musical Drama, based on true story

July 19th, Thursday

              

Join us for the Broadway and film classic.

"You brought music back into the house." - Captain von Trapp.

The plot is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. "Somewhere out there is a lady who I think will never be a nun. Auf Wiedersehen, darling." - The Baroness.

So long, farewell, au revoir, auf Wiedersehen! I'd like to stay. Good night.

 

Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer as the Captain, Richard Haydn as Uncle Max, Charmian Carr as Liesl, Eleanor Parker as The Baroness Elsa Shrader, Nicholas Hammond as Friedrich, Kym Karath as Gretl.

Directed by: Robert Wise

Music by: Richard Rogers

Lyrics by: Oscar Hammerstein II

 

 

A League of their Own(1992)

Comedy, based on true story

August 16th, Thursday

 

The movie fictionalizes accounts of the WWII era All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). The AAGPBL broke ground for women's sports. Come cheer on the Peaches!!

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great." - Jimmy Dugan, fictional manager of the Peaches.

"Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that." - Jimmy Dugan.

"There's no crying! THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!" - Jimmy Dugan

 

Starring: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Megan Cavanagh, Janet Jones, Tea Leoni, Rosie O'Donnell, David Strathairn, Justin Scheller,

Director: Penny Marshall.