August 28, 2015

Middlesex Community College Veterans' Club to Open Garden in Fall

MxCC Veteran Club members got together over 4 days in July to build a seating area with pavers, seat wall, and bench to be surrounded by sustainable plants and schrubs to make a place to honor and remember all men and women who served in the armed forces up to and including paying the ultimate Sacrifice. The Granite Slant Monument with the Dedication Plaque was installed July 19th. The Club is waiting for one more stepping stone to represent the Army National Guard and then we will plan a MxCC Veterans Memorial Garden Dedication in early September.The Veterans’ Club gives back to the community with events such as hot dog fundraisers and making care packages for troops. For more information, contact Peter Galgano, veterans outreach coordinator, at (860) 343-5797 or
(photo credits from the Club's facebook page)

August 27, 2015

Your Daily Spin: Lock your doors it's artificial turf!!!

We've been called jejune, mean spirited, sensationalist, satirical by other media all of which is true, liars we ain't. However, today's spin comes from the NIMBY do-as-I-say not-as-I-do Ed4Ed folks over at the Eye ( now picked up by the Mess), considered by many prefferred unbiased (cough cough) upper crust of sophisticated M-town "news" bloggery; you decide.

 On Monday, 25 citizens convinced the Common Council that despite scientific evidence supporting the contrary & a report by an outside engineering consultant explaining cost savings & benefits, artificial turf is dangerous to peoples health. The $37 million bond referendum now reads that no artificial can be used on city fields. Currently, the high school has a synthetic football field. Soccer coaches at the meeting argued a lengthened playing season as an advantage of synthetic over natural grass. Councilwoman Mary Bartolotta (D) lead the charge to strip the synthetic turf language from the ordinance & Mayor Drew cast the tie breaking vote. Absent were councilmembers Sandra Russo- Driska and  Carl Chisem. A medical doctor from the audience testified to synthetic turf being safe.  Jonah Center founder John Hall, Conservation Commisdion members, Superintendent Pat Charles and BOE member Ed McKeon spoke of supposed "known" health hazards of synthetic turf but failed to provide evidence.

The City Council was considering installing synthetic turf at 9 of the city owned playing fields as part of  $37 million referendum package including parks improvements to be voted on this fall by citizens. The bond amount without synthetic turf as an option but s $10 million, however, the council failed to reduced the ordinance before passing it on to the public for a referendum vote. As it stands, the entire amount will be borrowed.

Prior to the meeting, a  letter from a newly formed local activist group  (?) ECoin - made of up what seem to be wannabe scientists branched off from the Jonah Center - Rev. John Hall - I want wife killer David Messenger freed to worship- for Earth Air Art & Green$$ Folkers - which can be read over at the Eye's website outlining the "danger" to children and "potential cancer risk" confirmed not by a scientific study, but MSNBC and a soccer goalie who swears on Al Gore's hair piece that synthetic turf causes cancer in children.

We would like to issue this PSA Disclaimer before reading the letter:
1. We get a lot of sh*t for siging as a collective Middletown Insider and not our God given names- this letter is signed ECoin group; "Treefanatic." Treefanatic is resident arborist Jane Harrris indicated on past posts, just sayin'!  Other "experts" in this ECoin group? Just regular lay people not scientists. Guess it's OK when you're of a particular political persuasion...

2. The article cited is by MSNBC which cites a Yale study & an EPA study which concluded that synthetic turf was found NOT to be harmful as far as causing cancer. The article states that both studies were NOT inconclusive, but they were conslusive. If further study was done, which they both suggested maybe a link might be found. Who knows. The author of the Ecoin letter says almost definitively that the studies were inconclusive. The original article Ecoin's letter improperly cites can be read here:  Read it for yourself and don't rely on anyone's - especially this groups sour regurgitation.

A 2010 study by CT DEP determined no added risks. In fact, the Board of Heath for Mass, NY &; California all came to the same conclusion. The City of Boston just voted down this spring a proposed moratorium on the use of synthetic turf at its city's fields due to lack of evidence of risks. Click below to enlarge concise letter outlining these studies. In  January 2015, the CT Dept. Of Public Health reissued a letter discouraging the circulation of false claims about synthetic fields. Prior in 2008, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal suggested prosecution for those perpetuating claims.

The ECoin article  cites non profit research that just happens to have been performed by lobbyist for organic field companies, which just happen to compete with the synthetic guys, conflict much?

August 26, 2015

"Today" by Jerry Augustine

Guest blog by local Jerry Augustine.

Today I….
Today I... crawled out of my cloud, (aka king size bed) , which I cling to the edge as if I am about to slide down the side of a mountain. I do not know why I do this as there is about an acre of space on this mattress where I could spread out doing perpetual snow eagles all over it. I also have recurring dreams, or you could easily reclassify them as nightmares, of falling in space. I do hope I never land!

I made my way to the Klekolo coffee shop, still in a cloud, because as I get older it takes about two hours before my head clears to face the wonderments of todays society. We meet daily at approximately 6:30 a.m. to discuss whatever is on someones mind at that time of day. There is an interesting group of characters that show up to have their morning jolt.

There are bicyclists , runners, police officers, retirees, bank officials, war veterans, mechanics, journalists, and those heading to work at their day jobs. Those are the ones that I have met so far. And they are there every day.

The topics discussed have to be competitive with the CNN news channel. I have heard talks on coin collecting, gun collecting, all antiques, car collecting and repair,
building, real estate, medical problems, insurance, veteran benefits,--it just doesn't end.

The different brews that I've witnessed that these customers enjoy could fill a large book. The drinks vary from $1.50 to $6.00 and above.

There are capachinos, lattes, espressos, dark roast, light roast, medium roast,
and everything you could imagine in between, specialty drinks are their forte.
I've seen drinks you wouldn't even try to call coffee. One large clear glass mug my friend has every morning is a five dollar wonder. Yes, I wonder what it is. It consists of three tiers and resembles one of those colored sand sculptures. Tan, pink and brown. The brown must be the coffee. When I first saw this I thought he was drinking sand.

Anyway it's a great way to start the day as I am always off to fulfill my day with adventures.

I either drive for St. Lukes to take elderly or disabled veterans to their appointments,
maintain my yard, work on classic cars, or do the things on my to-do list which never seems to get short!

Jerry Augustine, Middletown

August 25, 2015

Extended Voter Registration Session Sept. 1

The session will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at city hall, 245 deKoven Drive in Room B15 in the lower level. Normally, the registrar's office closes at 4:30 pm daily. 

The purpose is it to provide extra time for citizens in case they wish to register/ check/ change party affiliation to vote in the upcoming Democratic primary. Only registered Democrats can vote in the special primary Sept. 13. Anyone not registered to vote may register at this session regardless if affiliation Sept. 1. 

Anyone with questions is asked to call the registrar's office at 860 638 4960

Video! Middletown GOP & Mayoral Candidate Sandra Russo Driska Open HQ!

Video sent in by Bill Maune:

Time For Change from Bill Maune on Vimeo.

Meet Sandra And Her Team! from Bill Maune on Vimeo.

August 23, 2015

Matt Lesser Says "Yes" to Rabies!

HARTFORD -  Over the past few years many have questioned my voting record. I actively campaigned hard for HB 6595 Authorizing Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants, which people have criticized me doing as pandering for votes. I voted in favor Governor Malloy's  current budget. I co sposored SB 1160 to further restrict 2nd Amendment rights through sales of fire arms and ammunition. I've long advocated for same day voter registration & $20+ an hour minimum wage. I also wrote a bill, despite my advocacy for pro-environmental issues, on the request of Mayor Dan Drew to light the Arrigoni Bridge up like a  turnpike motel as a tourist attraction. 

Last year,  I joined the Latino & Black Caucus of legislators at the capitol. Most recently, in the wake of the Rachel Dolezal's plight, I also came out as transracial.

My recent actions may seem a nonsensical, but I assure my consituents there is an explanation for my haphazard pattern of voting & seemingly illogical behavior.

I am proud to come out as a rabid American. I contracted rabies some years ago 
mouth-feeding underprivileged illiterate feral animals in the bush country of Middletown around Maromas. Today, I feel I no longer should hide my status, and am sponsoring a rabies clinic to raise awareness & advocate for equal voting rights for rabid individuals. My musical group 'Menudo' will perform live! 

Please join us!
Rep. Matt Lesser (D)

Stuck in a Blue State: Lonely & Looking for Conservatives?

Try CT Conservatives a facebook group of over 1,400+ Connecticut conservatives. Group is not run by any particular political party or PAC, just conservative folks. You never know who you may find in your  'hood....

August 22, 2015

Is the Dept. of Eduction Trying to Cover up its Failure?

In this article, "Education Dept. Releases SBAC Test Data Only to Local School Superintendents",
originally published in CT News Junkie and adapted in the Middletown Press, Christine Stewart writes, "Ellen Cohen sent an email to every school superintendent in the state to let them know not to share the results of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exam with anyone."

There is only one reason to withhold the test results: They are embarrassingly low and will spark outrage from the community. They are pouring over the data in an effort to whitewash it, so as to ease their own embarrassment and cover up the failure of Common Core.

The key sentence in this article is; "Since it’s the first generation of test scores that align to the Common Core State Standards, education officials don’t expect them to be stellar.".  Really?  No surprises, there.

Common Core is a disastrous big government intrusion into local control of education. Teachers hate it. Students hate it. Parents hate it. It is so convoluted as to be incomprehensible. Parents cannot understand it, thus making it impossible for them to assist their children with home work. Here, in an article from the Huffington Post, is one example of a second grade Common Core math problem that even a man with a BS in electronic engineering cannot comprehend: Can you figure that one out?

The Federal government has no Constitutional authority to be involve in education, period. At the time of its writing, (the Constitution's) education was a local matter, under local control and is, lawfully so, still today.

The Fed gets away with meddling in our schools through threat of withholding money, which it has no authority to give, in the first place! (Middletown receives some 30 million dollars in state and federal aid, making our education expenditures near 90 million dollars. Based on a population of 47,000, this works out to $1,960.00 for every man, woman and child in the city!)

The Fed blackmails state and local authorities into submission and authorities have sold their souls and the souls of our children to satisfy their lust for money and to buy the support of public employees unions.

The rank and file union members, the teachers, are not crazy about this, either, but have little choice but to go along. Any union member who speaks out against such outrageous usurpation of the teacher's responsibility and student's rights, faces retaliation.

The only way to correct this, is for the "asleepatthewheel" citizenry to wake up, get involved to the point where they actually have a clue as to what is going on, and to vote-in fresh members to the school boards, the legislatures, the Congress and at every level of government. Our country, our independence and our liberty are being stolen from under our noses and WE are to blame.

The power in this country once lay in the hands of the people. They have voluntarily surrender it. Can they get it back?  Will they try?

August 21, 2015

Letter to the Editor: Mayor Drew Should Apologize for Comments

As originally posted as a letter to the Editor in the Middletown Press August 21, 2015. Original link: here 
This week Republican Mayoral Candidate Sandra Russo-Driska's campaign manager issued a press release titled "Democrats for Sandra 2015." As the chairperson for that newly formed political action committee, I must set the record straight on the comments within the article, "Democrats for Sandra formed" published on Aug. 14.
Mr. Drew's attack on three lifelong residents of Middletown is the exact reason this PAC was formed. As it was stated in the press release and subsequent story, the Democratic Party "bullied" a long-standing councilwoman into attempting a primary to regain her nomination to the Common Council. Mr. Drew did not address those facts and instead chose to attempt to impugn the reputation of those people who disagree with his politics.
On May 9, 2014, the Middletown Press published a story that announced the nominations of a new fire chief and a new deputy fire chief. In that article, Drew stated, "Both men have had long and distinguished careers within Middletown's fire service and both are scholars in their field and have earned the status of 'executive fire officer,' an elite designation granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that requires intensive preparation and the meeting and maintenance of rigorous federal standards.
"They are visionaries who understand that the demands on the fire service are evolving in the 21st century beyond just the core missions carried out in the 20th."
If what he stated in those comments were true and I was not given the promotion I wanted, then I have to wonder why the mayor nominated me, was vetted, and was unanimously approved by the Common Council by a 12-0 vote. In Ms. O'Hara's case, she has never applied for a city job and she has her picture on just about every billboard in Middletown. She is an upstanding businesswoman in our community.
Ms. Zimmitti made it clear what was done to her and the reasoning behind it. Maybe he meant I had applied for the fire chief's position originally. But I'm fairly certain he does not want to venture down those avenues.
I am stating for the record one more time, as the press release read, and all of my heart believes. I am supporting Sandra Russo-Driska because of my lifelong friendship with her, her ability to govern by reaching across both aisles, and because I am tired of lifelong city residents being bullied and impugned because of their political beliefs.
My career and reputation as a fire officer is impeccable, and although I know it won't happen, it would be proper for Mr. Drew to apologize for his personal attack and innuendos directed at me, the non-candidate.
Steven J. LaRosa

Meet the Middletown Republican Candidate Slate! August 23!

Annual Dingwall Police Memorial Blood Drive August 28

Press Release

Today, William Boylan announced his withdrawal from the Republican ticket as candidate for Planning and Zoning alternate and Board of Education, citing unexpected constraints upon his time.

Boylan said that; "The Republican Party and the citizens of Middletown deserve candidates and elected officials who are able to make the commitment of time necessary to be an effective candidate and representative. I regret that circumstances prevent me from making that kind of commitment, at this time. Therefore, I'm moving aside so that someone else may step up to run in my stead.

Jokingly, he added, (in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice), "But don't worry; "I'll be back".

August 19, 2015

Poet & Don't Know it? Middletown Commission on the Arts Poet Laureate Contest

Mayor Daniel T. Drew and the Middletown Commission on the Arts present a
Call for Nominations for Middletown's First Poet Laureate

Submission deadline is Friday at 4:30 p.m. on September 18, 2015.
Download or print the Poet Laureate Nomination Form and review the Description and Selection Process.

Suggested to the Mayor in a letter by two Macdonough School students of teacher John Ferrero - Sasha Zipf and Todd Archer in September of 2014 and acted upon by the Mayor and the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the City is seeking it's first Poet Laureate.


• Nominees must be at least 18 years of age at the time of appointment
• The poet Laureate must have a strong desire to be actively engaged in the community by performing his or her own work and/or sharing his or her own work and talent with the public.
• Poets may self-nominate or be nominated by a Middletown resident.
• Nominees may not be MCA Commissioners or Staff.
• Nominees must be full time Middletown residents for at least one year prior to the nomination date.
• Nominees must be experienced in the field of poetry and able to fulfill the required duties of the position.

August 18, 2015

An Open Letter from Timothy to Peter by Tim Lenox

An Open Letter from Timothy to Peter
From guest blogger Tim Lenox.

Dearest Brother,
Hoping this letter finds you well, I am looking forward to your return from your international travels.
Unfortunately, our country is not the same as when you left.  Many changes have taken place in such a rapid pace that many of us have been overwhelmed, over-stressed and burnt out dealing with them.  In an effort to spare you the shock of finding these things out the hard way, allow me to give you a briefing so that you may be better prepared.  
I’ve tried to keep it to a single sheet and even that takes both sides of the page.  I recommend a glass of dark bourbon or a single malt scotch with a heavy smoky presence while reading this as the taste of smoke can be a good palate-cleanser and you may need a stiff drink.
At the end of June 2015, the Supreme Court made 3 rulings which have changed the Rule of Law and the relationship of the government & the governed.  The real damage done was in the statements by the Judges which set legal precedents of unprecedented proportions.
The 1st was not talked about (except by Mark Levin) but turns out to be the most onerous.  It was the Texas Ruling which validated the use of Disparate Impact to imply Unconscious Racism and give the Federal Government the power to correct perceived inequities in Planning & Zoning at the local level of government.
The 2nd was the Obamacare Ruling and it did far worse than keep the ACA in place.  The way the judges reached the decision completely nullified Statutory Law.  According to this ruling, the Letter of the Law matters less than the perceived Intent of the Law.  This sets the precedent for ANY Amendment in the Bill of Rights to be reinterpreted according to what those in Power believe it to be.
The 3rd ruling concerning Gay Marriage nullified Common Law and Tradition, but the rulings imply that any Law can be changed and every person held accountable for it retroactively.  They allowed for religious institutions to maintain religious beliefs but did not protect them from prosecution for discriminatory practices, setting precedent for what is to follow.
George Takei (Sulu from Star Trek, who is now a Gay Activist) immediately declared on national TV that Religious Liberty is the next target, claiming, “… you may have a right to your religious beliefs but that does not give you the right to force those beliefs on me.”  It seems he now plans to force his beliefs on everyone else as his Civil Rights are more important than the Civil Rights of others.
Back in 2008, as a State Senate Candidate, I explained my belief that marriage should not be the purview of the government because Marriage is a Sacrament and the Government should not be involved in defining it.  The 1st Amendment clearly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …”  
Back then, I warned there would be gay activist couples going into churches, demanding their marriage be performed and suing any church not willing to do so for violating their Civil Rights.  Nobody believed me and several actually laughed at the idea.

Up to now, activists have been practicing this very tactic against small business owners.  Many GoFundMe campaigns have been used to save some of these businesses from bankruptcy, desperately trying to thwart obvious efforts at religious suppression, which include boycotts & court rulings with outrageous fines & gag orders.  With the Supreme Court on their side, these activists are now gearing up to do exactly as I had predicted.  Various online articles discuss plans to attack the Catholic Church in order to remove its non-profit charity status, as a start.
Internationally, the Gay Lobbies have been targeting different nations to redefine marriage & we’ve been made aware that the nation of Italy is next.  Unfortunately, it seems the Cardinals decided to inoculate the Church by electing a Pope from a socialist country who is embracing Communism and attacking Individualism.  I’ve heard sermons from pastors doing the same & have to find a new church to attend.  He is promoting the Manmade Climate Change Hoax, speaking out against perceived evils of Capitalism, condemning “over-developed countries” and instructing Catholics to give to charity even until it hurts by making necessities unaffordable.  It has been revealed that two of the Pope’s closest advisors are a Pantheistic Atheist (Earth is a Living Being & we are a Virus) and a Founder of the US Occupy Movement.
Back in the USA, the Obama Administration has wasted no time taking advantage of the 1st major ruling of the Supreme Court.  
AFFH (Affirmatively Forwarding Fair Housing) is rapidly becoming the most powerful government agency in US history.  It uses demographics to assume racism using Disparate Impact as proof to target neighborhoods which do not have enough diversity and force them to have Low-Income Housing in order to combat any perceived discrimination.  Minor laws resulting in too many minority arrests are being stricken.
Oddly enough, I also warned in 2008 of plans I had heard about for State Government to seize all authority over land use & education from local government, but again, nobody believed me.  Now the Connecticut State Legislature is creating County-Level authority to do just that.  
The worst part of this is AFFH collecting data on everyone living in the United States to build a data base that does everything the NSA is accused of but not allowed to do.  ALL data on EVERY resident, legal citizen or not, is being collected so that the Federal Government can determine which neighborhoods may be guilty of Unconscious Racism.
Data being collected includes Race, Sex, Ethnicity, Age, ALL Financial History, Credit History, Student Loans, Banking Information, Mortgage information, Home Dimensions, Property Size, Property Values, Energy Use, Employment History, Military History, Medical History, Insurance Claims History, Marital History, Criminal Records, Driving Records, School Records, Voting Records, Donation Records, et cetera.
This is the kind of data collection which eliminates any resemblance of the Privacy Rights or Government Restraint mentioned in the US Constitution.  This database in the hands of ideologues can be used for attacks on political enemies worse than the past & current misuse of the IRS.  Republicans should be concerned about this, but right now are even more concerned about how their own party has sold them out.
When the voters gave the majority of both Houses of Congress to the Republicans, it was with the understanding that they would stop the blatant destruction of their rights, the country, the economy and national security. What they got was Republican Leadership in both the Senate and House of Representatives working with Democrats to give President Obama everything he wants.  President Obama has issued only 4 Vetoes (only 1 since Republicans took control of Congress) because the Republican Leadership doesn’t send him Bills he won’t sign.  
Often, they won’t even hold a vote, saying that it wouldn’t matter.  So the people who elected them do not even see them trying to do anything except get along with Democrats & congratulate themselves on their Bi-Partisanship.  They’ve formed a New Majority of Democrats & Establishment Republicans, making Conservatives a smaller Minority than any Party has ever been throughout history.
It started in 2010 when the Republicans were given control of the House of Representatives & whined for 4 years that they could do nothing without the Senate.  Then they got control of the Senate in 2014 and immediately passed President Obama’s massive budget BEFORE the newly elected Senators could be sworn in to vote against it.  The Federal Budget was thus locked in for 2 years.  Then they voted to fund both the ACA (the Obamacare they promised to defund) & the President’s Illegal Amnesty which IGNORES the Law while importing the most massive invasion of illegal aliens in US history.  Remember when I mentioned the AFFH?  That program is being used to place Illegal Immigrants in key battleground areas so their illegal votes can overwhelm those of legal citizens to guarantee Democrat victories.  
Recent votes in the Senate have demonstrated how Mitch McConnell has become Stalinist as Senate Majority Leader.  He tells Republicans that they either vote with Democrats to give the President what he wants or face Primary challenges in their re-election races with the NRSC (National Republican Senate Committee) helping their Democrat opponents if they win those Primaries.  This has resulted in bills being passed which have surrendered our National Sovereignty in ways only conspiracy theorists could have imagined.  For example, the Trans-Pacific Partnership gives a coalition of nations touching the Pacific Ocean the power to write our immigration laws.  Let me repeat that to be certain it is understood.  Other nations (such as Mexico) are going to WRITE our Immigration Laws!
The most egregious offense, however, was the May 7th vote on the Bill championed by Senator Bob Corker, which ignores the Treaty Provision in the US Constitution and reverses the way a treaty is ratified.  According to the Constitution, the President has the power to make a treaty with another nation but it has to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.  According to the Corker Bill, the President can make an Agreement with all the powers of a treaty but it needs two-thirds of the Senate AND the House of Representatives to oppose it.  They have only 30 days with which to review it and assemble the votes needed to oppose it or else it is automatically considered ratified.
Read that last part over again very carefully until you realize just how much this violates the Constitution, then you will know how disappointed we are that Senator Tom Cotton was the ONLY Senator to vote against it.  It passed the Senate 98 to 1 (Barbara Boxer didn’t vote).  This means that ALL Senators currently running for the Presidential Nomination, including those who claim to defend the Constitution, voted to ignore the Constitution and surrender their Treaty Responsibilities assigned to them by the Constitution.  As if this wasn’t bad enough, President Obama had his “Executive Agreement” ratified by the UN Security Council before Congress could even review it, let alone vote on it.  Now we learn there are side agreements which the members of Congress are not allowed to read or even be told about before they vote.  If they don’t have a veto-proof majority in both Houses in 30 days, the Agreement becomes Law.
The groundwork for World War III has now been laid, Iran gets a Nuclear Weapon in a decade or less, they are developing ICBMs right now, the US will be required to defend Iran’s Nuclear Weapon Facilities from attack (a side agreement), US Sovereignty has been surrendered to the UN, Pacific Nations (Mexico) will be writing our Immigration Laws, the Supreme Court has nullified Statutory Law & Common Law, the President is building a massive database to be used in Federalizing Planning & Zoning Laws (& the police) and the Pope has declared war on Individualism.  

Meanwhile, Iraq & Syria are not what they once were because the Islamic State holds a third of each and we are told that all the atrocities they are committing is considered the fault of President Bush because he left too many people in the Middle East unemployed with nothing to do.  

So how was your year?                                                                                                                                                             --- Your Brother, Tim   7/31/15

August 16, 2015

Middletown GOP & Mayoral Candidate Sandra Russo Driska Headquarters Opening! August 20

Come down and visit the whole Middletown CT GOP slate of candidates for 2015! Light fare and refreshments will be served.

August 20, 5:30 to 8:00 PM
390 Main Street, Middletown.
Another opportunity to meet the slate is a fundraiser at Cypress Grill August 23.  1 pm
see for details.

And Justice for All: Can you hear me???!!! by John Milardo

To put you completely in the proper mindset for the following opinion piece, I would like you all to watch (control/click) the following very short (30 second) “YouTube” video of comedian and political satirist Lewis Black.  When you read this Newsletter, please put his tone and passion in my words to get its true feeling.
(Warning:  This video contains adult mature language, and may be offensive to some individuals.  Lewis Black and censorship just don’t work as well!)
Back to local politics!  I try to stay abreast of issues involving my hometown, Middletown.  I was born, raised, schooled, worked, and lived in this town for my entire life.  I’ve been around local politics most of my life - worked for several mayoral and Common Council candidates and their campaigns over the last 45 years.  So I know the nature of the beast.  Most of the politicians who have been elected Mayors of Middletown had the best interest of our town at heart.  Only one (1) Mayor has put himself ahead of this town and the people who live here, and that is current Mayor Daniel Drew.

Graphic by Middletown Insider, from our files back when 
Mayor Drew took $800,000 from the pension fund &
 Councilmembers including Hope Kasper objected.
We thought it fitting for this blog piece.
Middletown’s demographics have changed over the years.  An influx of people into Middletown and the migration of adults to southern states over the past two or so decades has changed local election races.  No one, but no one, has been more methodical than Daniel T. Drew in selecting which town he would move to so he could begin his political morphing.  What is the reason he didn’t stay in his shoreline hometown area and decided to rent a house here?  He selected Middletown with its 4 to 1 Democratic voter ratio.  A sure bet that if he got his foot in the door, he would get elected to an office.  Seriously, he came out of nowhere!  He just starting showing up at events meetings and rubbing elbows.

How Drew publically portrays himself is not the same as “behind closed door Dan”.  The real Dan Drew wants to be a career politician.  He is mean spirited, vindictive, and arrogant!  I have seen it myself when I worked for the City as a manager and a Union representative.  He is so vindictive, that town employees and some local politicians in his own Party are scared to have their own opinion (not Hope Kasper).  If they don’t march to his drum, they will be privately attacked, threatened and worse!  Ask Hope Kasper!

Little Dan Dan & Big Dannel.
Don't blame Mr. Milardo for these tasteless graphics.
All Middletown Insider stock photos!
Middletown was his selected town to begin the political journey he wants to ride forever.  Being a public servant is not an advocacy for Dan, it is a career, a job.  Middletown is a stepping stone for him.  He is one of Governor Dannel Malloy’s closest political allies.  Dan Drew bends over backwards for Malloy and the big campaign money and power he brings in for him.  Dan Drew emulates Malloy’s every move – right up to his tax increases!  The local Democrats know they created a monster in Drew, who is now so power hungry that he doesn’t listen to any one in town.  It’s his way or the highway!

(My voice is getting louder now)  Mayor Drew announces to anyone who will listen that he has made Middletown better!  (Yelling now!)  He hasn’t done squat other than raise taxes, screw up City departments, go to school to further his own education on the taxpayers’ dime, and start a new State wide group called “CT Conference of Democratic Mayors”, which of course he is the chairman of (again taxpayer’s dime?).
Dan Drew can proclaim all that he has done for Middletown, but the financial ledger doesn’t lie!  There is no increase of productivity, efficiency or savings to the taxpayers!  Why are employees who work in City departments posting comments that facilities in town have never looked so bad!?  Yet, he will state on local television they look better than ever!  Where is the information from the Finance Department to prove there was a savings when City departments where consolidated?  Where is the financial report from the Finance Department which proves the wonderful street light purchase saves the taxpayer the money he said it would?  It’s a scam Dan perpetuates so he can brainwash the public to believe if it were not for him, Middletown would be another Detroit!
(no disrespect to Detroit)
Look!  A guy (Dan Drew) with a “stone face” can try to make sense of a program called
“I Did Your Mother”, (taxpayer funded) on national television, will attempt to try and sell you anything!  You don’t believe me?  Watch this video from the “Bill O’Reilly Show” featuring Dan Drew’s commentary.

Next subject!  Why are there still managerial vacancies in the Recreation Department, Public Works Department, and the Information & Technology (IT) Department? 
For the past three (3) years, the Recreation Department has a long tenured female as the “acting director”.  Mayor Drew refuses to appoint her permanently!  Why?  Don’t completely know why, but it could be that she has no connection to Hartford.  Or, maybe he just doesn’t like her?  Oh, by the way – she is qualified.  I’m not the one saying she is qualified, the City’s Human Resource Department declared her qualified.
The Deputy Director of Public Works retired several months ago, but the vacancy still exists.  The Mayor doesn’t feel it is even necessary to appoint an “acting” person to fill the void.  Why?  You’ll have to ask Dan.  There is a qualified employee within the City who has applied for the position.  Why no appointment yet?  This is an important position for this department as it requires an engineering degree, which is not a requirement for the Director of the department.  Someone must be able to recognize if road work, drainage work, parks and facility work is being performed by contractors per engineering and/or architectural design specifications.

Then there is the IT Department.  Dan places an internal department employee in the “acting” capacity as Director for over a year now, without appointing him and backfilling his position.  Everyone knows in today’s work environment, you cannot do without a properly staffed and operating IT Department.  Why no appointment?  Once again – ask Dan! 

Mayor Dan has supported and acknowledged these personnel are qualified for the position as he appoints them into these “acting” positions.  You would not place a person in the “acting” position if he/she is not qualified to do so, per Personnel Rules.  You can read the United Public Service Employees Union (UPSEU) contract language below, (previously The Teamsters Union).

Furthermore, if someone in UPSEU (all three (3) of these jobs) is qualified for the vacant position, once the positions are posted for testing, the clock starts ticking.  Mayor Dan Drew must appoint said person to the vacancy in a permanent capacity.
The UPSEU/Teamster contract language is as follows:


Before filling any vacancy or newly created position in the bargaining unit, the City shall conduct a combined departmental/Citywide posting of the said position for a period often (10) working days and shall send a copy of such posting to the Union. Qualification examinations for internal bargaining unit applicants for the position shall be administered within fifteen (15) days after the closing date of the posting unless unusual circumstances, including but not limited to acts of God, budget or financial circumstances or sickness prevent otherwise. The said position will be filled within fifteen (15) days thereafter provided the applicant(s) has(ve) met all of the necessary qualifications for the said position. If there are no qualified members
of the bargaining unit for the said position, the City shall post the position as open-competitive.

The shaded area means “qualified members” are hired before anyone else.  This language was agreed upon during the last labor contract negotiations which Mayor Daniel T. Drew was involved in, as was I as a Union Representative.  In the past, Mayor Drew has adhered to this language.  I’m not sure what has changed?
My theory for Drew not making appointments is so he can claim he has reduced the workforce, when in reality it is to keep positions vacant to show an insignificant financial reduction. This is a detriment to the operation of these departments, but also for the taxpayer because of the trickle down affect regarding the City’s response and actions to citizen issues.


The last thought comes from the final show that Jon Stewart hosted on the “Comedy Centrals Dailey Show” last week.
Stewart offered a soliloquy on what was his central job as host — finding doubletalk in the public arena and exposing it for the world to see, although he used a stronger term for it. He urged viewers to be vigilant in watching for it themselves.
If you smell something, say something,” he said.
Middletown voters need to “say something” on Election Day and say goodbye to Dan Drew! 
Stay strong.  Stay involved.  Stay together.  Seek the truth.

DISCLAIMER:  The opinions and views expressed in this newsletter reflect the opinion and view of the author, and should not be construed as fact or advice.  The author is a life long Middletown resident and taxpayer, and is sharing his opinions as such.  The opinions and commentary do not reflect the views of any political party, organization, or citizen group.  This newsletter reflects opinions and commentary which the author wishes to share with his friends.  

August 13, 2015

Middletown Elks Lodge BPOE 771 Lobster Bake August 15

Call the lodge and make reservations all this week!!!

(860) 346-9771

Planning & Zoning Comm. Rossitter: Remove "Inconvenient to shovel" Sidewalks from Wesleyan Hills

Editor's Note: This letter was sent to elected & city officials including department directors, and the mayor, and therefore is subject to FOI. We have amended the post to say it was not a "Letter to the Editor" to "Letter" after receiving an email complaint from Comm. Rossitter that her letter was made public.   The letter &  petition referenced is on file with the public works dept. & town clerk . We asked Rossitter, upon her complaint, why she wished her letter not be made public and if she wished to respond via a published commentary, but she declined.

A link to the letter sent by Comm. Rossitter with her letter below, from Mr. Richetelle asking the sidewalks be removed and replaced with grass addressed to Public Works Director William Russo is here: 

In the 1980s when the last streets in Wesleyan Hills were being developed, P&Z began to require sidewalks—at least on one side of the road to be constructed by developers.  Asphalt sidewalks were placed along the roadway (with no grassy area between the road and the sidewalk) on one side of the cup-de-sacs of Blue Meadow, Blue Hill, and Blue Acres.  Also along the busy main road of a small area of Blue Road between Blue Meadow and Long Hill Road, a small area along Long Hill Road, and along Laurel Grove Road from the intersection of Daniel Street to the entrance to the Wadsworth Park and Randolph Road intersection.

This past snowy winter,  the handful of homeowners along the Blue Road sidewalk complained that shoveling the sidewalk in front of their homes was impossible because as soon it was shoveled, plows filled it in as the sidewalk abuts the street with no curb or grassy area.  Walking children to the school bus or walking with strollers was very hazardous.  (The incredibly large snow piles last winter quickly left roadways all over town very narrow last winter, an unusual event for Middletown.)  The city never asked them to keep the sidewalk clear.  The Wesleyan Hills Association would’t clear them as it does with the development’s pathways (which are behind houses) for a variety of important reasons.

This spring, Glenn Richetelle, a recent resident of Blue Meadow Rd., was upset with the rough appearance of the sidewalk in front of his house and made inquiries of the homeowner’s association (Wesleyan Hills Association) about the ownership of it because if it was his, he was planning on removing it. He was told it belonged to the city.  He was told by William Russo that the sidewalk could be removed by the city and replaced with grass if he could get the signatures of the six other homeowners on his street to agree to have it removed.  His neighbors agreed as they said no one used the sidewalk and it was a liability with the requirement that it had to be shoveled.

He also approached the homeowners along the other three streets with the asphalt sidewalks and they also signed on.

(A few years ago, Middletown’s Public Works Department removed the asphalt sidewalk along Laurel Grove Road and replaced it with grass because the sidewalk no longer met current sidewalk standards and doing so would encroach on the already small front yards of the homeowners too much. That sidewalk was never shoveled anyway by anyone inconveniencing a few  walkers but not anyone needing it for school buses.  However, this now forces all to walk in this relatively busy roadway which is particularly scary near Redbud Road where the roadway narrows considerably meaning you are walking within inches of whizzing autos—some leaving nearby Mercy High School.)

Director of Middletown Public Works William Russo is now making inquiries as to whether P&Z or the Wesleyan Hills Association has any problems with removing the sidewalks.

As the president of the Wesleyan Hills Association I will be putting it on the agenda of the Board of Directors meeting scheduled for August 10.  Personally, I doubt anyone cares about the sidewalks on the cup-de-sacs, but I wonder about the small Blue Road area involved.  Blue Road is a busy road with some drivers using it as a short cut from Route 17 to Jarvis and other Middlefield business locations.  The road is narrow and has curves somewhat limiting visibility.   Long Hill Road is an even busier roadway.

What are the rules about sidewalks and how should old sidewalks that do not conform to present day requirements (such as a grassy area between the street and the sidewalk where snow can be placed) be treated?  Removing the sidewalks is probably the best option, but the Association would like some guidance. The petition is below.

Joyce Rossitter
Wesleyan Hills Board of Director