Friday, November 30, 2012

When Village People Fight: $Bianco$ vs. The Village

A large majority of the folks who are against the new Washington Street Wesleyan bookstore/Starbuck proposal are part of a local sub-society collectively known as The Village District (People). These Village People are quite affluent around Middletown and have their thumbs in most political pies.  They aren’t poor either people! In fact some of them use federal, state and local tax monies to fund their pet projects while giving themselves a six-figure salary.   While you and everyone else you know hustles at work, these folks are taking advantage of the government grants and suspension of taxes to make their money.  There’s a lot of money to made in liberalism folks.   Here’s where it gets interesting:  A huge supporter of the Village District is a man named Jeff Bianco, a local architect and veteran chairman of Middletown’s Historic Preservation and Design Review Committee whose job is to mainly preserve cool and ancient stuff in town.  (I.e. Nice old building, let’s protest so the town won’t knock it down).

 Guess what? While his friends are publicly serving as activists and blogging against the proposed new bookstore-Mr. Bianco stands to gain if the project goes forward. Why? He is the architect on the project and stands to make good money if one day you are able to pull up and buy a coffee-mocha.chocolate-creamladunno-jejune from the Seattle owned franchise. Then it’s official Mr. Blanco’s pockets have been lined with the Benjamins and has scoffed at his Village friends and Historic Committee.
The Chairman of Middletown Design
Review & Historic Preservation,
architect Jeff Bianco defended
the  Pearl Street
development & tear down
of historic property
 by saying "We don't live in Venice." *
Hypocrisy 1: Mr. Bianco serves on the Historic Preservation and Design Review Committee in Middletown, but I guess it’s okay to build and destroy on Washington Street as long as you get your beak wet.
Hypocrisy 2:  As of this writing, Mr. Bianco’s name has yet to be mentioned by any of the other blogs or papers in Middletown except for where he is featured presenting the project.  This is very strange, these blogs have taken strong stances against the development on Washington Street, but none are critical of Mr. Bianco and/or Mr. Drew.  Why is that? Simple, they don’t want to put their necks out there too much and burn bridges within their own party and network.  I wonder if Mr. Bianco and Mr. Drew were Republicans, would they be vilified in the blogs?  You bet your ass on it.

Prediction: The other blogs will get upset that we mentioned Mr. Drew and Mr. Bianco..

Mayor Drew Thinks Bookstore is a Good Idea

Originally published at:

"Despite all the brouhaha over the potential Wesleyan bookstore relocation—including dissenting voices from Middletown resident Jen Alexander ’88 and Red & Black owner Ed Thorndike ’89—Mayor Dan Drew remains committed to supporting the development on economic grounds. In a press conference on Wednesday, Drew praised developer Bob Landino’s proposal as a potential job-creator in Middletown. As Middletown Patch reports:
“This will bring a $6 million influx of funds into the Middletown economy,” said Mayor Dan Drew. “It will create 30 full-time jobs in the development complex.”
Joining Drew at a press conference in council chamber of city hall were Robert A. Landino, president and CEO of Centerplan Construction; Gerry Daley, longtime chair of the Economic Development Commission; and Larry McHugh, president of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.
Drew also compared the model to William and Mary College (though this slab of Washington Street is at least a few blocks from Middletown’s “historic downtown”) and praised Landino’s connections to the Middletown community (read: he’s not from “New York or Boston or Chicago”):
“It’s a model extremely similar to what’s been done at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.,” Drew said — a university bookstore in the heart of an historic downtown. [ . . . ]
“If this were a developer swooping in from New York or Boston or Chicago that we didn’t know, it would create a tremendous amount of concern,” but, Drew said, Landino is a “known quantity” working with local Realtors, local architects and engineering firms.
Many of the reader comments, interestingly, are in favor of the move—and less in favor of Wesleyan’s involvement with it. As one “Jane” voices:
cant say I trust Wesleyan much with it’s promises to our town- those jobs will probably go to their students not what they call “townies”- people have a short term memory with promises to open the athletic center to our community- its not as accessible as they had us believe-"
For more on the controversies surrounding the bookstore proposal, click here or here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Satire or Reality: From our Mailboxes to you.

Dear Employees:

As the CEO of this organization, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barrack Obama is our President and that our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way. To compensate for these increases, our prices would have to increase by about 10%. But, since we cannot increase our prices right now due to the dismal state of the economy, we will have to lay off sixty of our employees instead.
This has really been bothering me since I believe we are family here and I didn't know how to choose who would have to go. So, this is what I did. I walked through our parking lots and found sixty 'Obama' bumper stickers on our employees' cars and have decided these folks will be the ones to let go.
I can't think of a more fair way to approach this problem. They voted for change... I gave it to them.I will see the rest of you at the annual company picnic.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Taxpayers & Pensioners Time to Open Your Wallets

     Story time kids! Word on the street is that Mayor Drew is trying to rid the City of two of his least favorite department directors, and to do so, he is planning to offer a golden handshake (read more details here) of gold shower caliber. Again this political punt is not only at the expense of  hard working individuals who had in the past spoken their minds against the Drew regime, but it is at the expense of tax payers. One of the directors being offered this buy-out is the Personnel Director, former aid to past Mayor Dominique Thornton (D). The Personnel Director’s past actions dealing with the Water & Sewer Department's mismanagement were unfavorable in the eyes of certain key Democratic Council members who presumably felt sold out that the Personnel Director actually worked in a non partisan professional way with the then Republican Mayor and did not entirely do the bidding of the Democratic party who felt that she be indebted to them.
    (We will explain the  connection between the Council, Personnel Dept. & Water & Sewer below.)   If half of the eligible employees take this early retirement package, resulting in about a dozen upper management employees cashing out,  it will cost at least half a million dollars in bonuses. The pension fund is self funded; however, these bonuses will come from the general fund - tax payer money. That is not counting the retirement up to 85% of their pay for life which will put all current, and future retirees at risk of the fund running dry and not being able to sustain everyone it was set up to and had been able to.  Dan Drew and the Democrats on Council raised your taxes once already and are about to do it again. Should the Mayor be tethering Middletown to inevitable tax increases for his second year in office with these uncertain economic times over his petty differences with a couple of people in management he wants out??

     You seen your water bill?!?? If you noticed a huge increase double or even triple your last bill you are not alone.  The Insider has received numerous reports of bills going out with huge increases, some without even a unit cost per unit shown on the bill! We have a few instances where businesses have be grouped in with other businesses and double billed. If this has happened to you speak up! 
In a brief synopsis here is why this is happening:

      In 2009, then candidate Dan Drew stated on record in an interview with the Wesleyan Argus that:"Not to mention, our city's sewer department is in dire straits financially. If it were privately owned, it would declare bankruptcy. We don't know where we're going right now."
Why does the Insider bring up this quote? Fact is Drew acknowledges on the record that the W&S is f***** in 2009, but in 2011 contradicts his own statement by advocating for an investigation to prove that actions taken to remedy a situation he acknowledges existed should not haven happened.  Huh? Yeah no kidding. After much resistance on the part of the Democratically controlled Common Council to remedy the situation, Mayor Giuliano, as any good teacher would with a wayward student- moved the pupil closer to the teacher's desk so to speak in order to keep a closer eye on the issues with the indebted and problematic department. Mayor Giuliano moved the managerial portion of the Water & Sewer Department from their location across town to City Hall. He then followed procedure with a indebted department and had the Finance Department monitoring funds to find out why the department was hemorrhaging money. Also at question was why changes that W&S was supposed to have made as of 2008 after the department had to be taken over by then Finance Director James Reynolds due to lost of funds, had still not been implemented.

 In 2008 $100,000 had been spent to overhaul the department including a reorganization plan that according to Mayor Giuliano, was never enacted by W&S Director Guy Russo as ordered. In addition to the extreme departmental debt and numerous warnings to basically fix things before they hit the fan, an  unprecedented number of grievances by employees were filed at this time and on the job accidents spiked leading to the logical conclusion that at the very least management needed to  be scrutinized.

Flash forward to October 2011. In an attempt to legitimize Dan Drew as having some government experience (other than student government)  5 months before he is manufactured into their next Manchurian candidate, the Democrats pony him up to take the spot of Councilman James Loffreddo following his resignation. After this the Common Council,  voted to spend $10,000 to do an independent investigation of not just of the Water & Sewer Department, but the Mayor's Office & Personnel Department to see why they had suggested the moving of the  W&S Department, despite the fact that is was clear as day the department was mismanaging many areas. Dan Drew then is quoted extensively by the Press in no coincidence – as Viktoria Sundquivst is still editor of the Mess and lap dog of the MDTC. Drew went as to far as to accuse Mayor Giuliano of "grandstanding" by ordering the W&S to be looked into. 

In March 2012 it was reported to the Common Council that the report was complete and that the Water & Sewer Department would be moving back to its building. Nothing more was said. No copies were made available to Council members, the conclusions were actually summarized to give the appearance of transparency but not full & lawful disclosure. The audit found that the department was in fact far in the red, taxpayers were still finding inaccurate billing incidences in large numbers, but other wise business as usual! The other recommendations by the independent auditors were never put in place, it would be nice to know what they were, but unfortunately this report has never seen the light of day - even though taxpayers paid $10K to find out why the W&S Department is bleeding money. What is there to hide?? How many chances does this director get?
     Why is W&S allowed to be mismanaged as a dysfunctional and resource draining department? No one can be certain, but the fact that Majority Leader Councilman Tom Serra (D), a pivotal person & political puppeteer in the Drew regime, is the untouchable first cousin of W & S Department Director Guy Russo could be some cause for concern. Oh what a tangled web.  Now in 2012 nothing has changed and taxpayers are getting screwed with outrages bills & W&S is still in shambles. What say you now Mayor Drew?

There is a special WPCA (Water Pollution Control Authority) Commission meeting this Thursday  at 5:30 pm Water & Sewer Dept. located on Berlin Street where citizens can bring water bills they believe to be miscalculated.  
Why 5:30 pm when Council orders are to hold all public meetings at 7:00 pm to allow the working class public to attend? Well, some Commissioners just care more about themselves and would rather the public NOT attend.Word on the street is also that the  secret audit ( which by law the tax payers have a right to see since they paid for it!) will be the topic of discussion and with any luck there will be answers to what has been going so wrong in Water & Sewer.
Articles for background information referenced above:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Suzio to Host Middletown Toy Drive

Wizards vs. City Hall Employees! December 4, 2012

MIDDLETOWN – Stars and Wizards will align on the basketball court at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at Woodrow Wilson Middle School to raise funds for a much-needed program.          
The stars are Team Middletown United, including Mayor Dan ‘the Man’ Drew, Derek ‘Officer’ Puorro and Principal Jon Romeo.
The wizards are the Harlem Wizards, who perform “trick-hoops & alley-oops.”
The program is Unified Sports, which allows students with special needs to participate in organized athletic competition by pairing them with “ partners” who assist in their training and performance. Funds raised will help provide transportation, uniforms, officiating, and  coaching.
“Our Unified Sports program has allowed our special needs students to compete and experience the joy of sport participation,” said Deb Petruzzello, Wilson's Athletic Faculty Manager. “The ‘partners’ from the regular education population learn about understanding differences, teaching and sharing. The program is three years old and needs funds to continue. It was amazing to see the members of the Unified team dress in ties and button-down shirts on game day and walk through the halls proudly – like the other Wilson team  does for their games.”
The program at Wilson is currently limited to basketball, and special education teacher Kate Kalisz said she wants to expand it to include soccer and track and field.
The basketball program has already seen success as Wilson became the first middle school in the state to win the Sportsmanship Award from the state’s athletic directors. The team included Tony Petruzzello, a special needs student and participant in Unified Sports who went on to play for the Rams and score points with assists from his teammates.   
Tickets for the game may be purchased at Wilson, 1 Wilderman’s Way or at Farm Hill School, 390 Ridge Road. They are $7 for students and seniors in advance, $9 at the door; $8 for adults in advance and $11 at the door.
This information came from a press release.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Chaotic Years With Two Thanksgiving Days

The celebration of a national Day of Thanksgiving has, over the years, been mostly a matter of Presidential Proclamations (Washington 1789 and Lincoln l863), which were normally followed by similar proclamations by the governors of the several states. It takes a liberal to really muck things up however.

In 1939 FDR was pressured by powerful retail interests to push back Thanksgiving Day to one week earlier. That year Thanksgiving Day fell on November 30 and retailers believed that the official date provided too few shopping days until Christmas. These were the final days of The Great Depression and FDR was anxious, as were business interests, to bolster consumer spending in the crucial shopping days of the Christmas season. Accordingly Roosevelt, on October 31, 1939, proclaimed Thanksgiving Day to be Thursday Nov 23, 1939.

There was an immediate uproar; suddenly calendars were wrong, school vacations and test dates were affected, family celebrations were disrupted with various members having different days off. The mayor of Atlantic City (NJ) derisively called the holiday "Franksgiving".

As mentioned above the state governors ordinarily issued their own proclamations following the direction of the president but in this case state's rights came to the fore. 23 state governors followed the new dictum and 23 others failed to follow along. Two states, Colorado and Texas celebrated both days!

The folly continued into 1940. Franklin Roosevelt once again proclaimed Thanksgiving to be the third Thursday in November. This time 31 states fell in line and the confusion continued until, finally on December 26, 1941, Congress passed a law that Thanksgiving Day shall be the fourth Thursday in November. (Unaccountably this does not explain what happened in November 1941 but all authorities seem to agree that the issue was settled by Congress as indicated)

Further Reading:
How FDR changed Thanksgiving
Pictorial History of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
America's Hometown: The Annual Thanksgiving parade in Plymouth MA

A Silver Lining for Conservatives, Perhaps?

Reprinted below in full is the text of a message received today from Keith Koffler at White House Dossier.

The Silver Lining for Conservatives

There is no minimizing the catastrophe for conservatives that occurred on Election Day. The United States voted for four more years of the most leftist occupant ever of the Oval Office.

And yet, President Obama's triumph offers conservatives opportunities that a victory by Gov. Mitt Romney would have denied them.

What conservative would have been excited about four, and probably eight years of Mitt Romney? While conservatives warmed to him as the campaign progressed, they all knew he wasn't one of them.

How committed, after all, would the man who originally authored Obamacare as governor of Massachusetts been to overseeing its dismantling? I never bought into any of Romney's arguments that his health care scheme was substantially different from Obama's because it was state-based. Some of the same people even worked on creating both plans.

America, if it is to save itself, needs sweeping changes: drastic reforms to entitlements, huge cuts in spending, and a commitment to holding the line against raising taxes. It takes an ideologue - yes, I used a dirty word, I know - to actually promote and enact such changes.

Romney didn't even really campaign on low tax rates; he wanted "tax reform." He didn't talk much about Obamacare, entitlements, out-of-wedlock births, or any of the major issues facing the nation. He chose Paul Ryan, a true conservative, but never aggressively embraced Ryan's ideas.

How much worse for conservatives will four more years of a lame-duck Obama be than eight years of Romney?

Conservatives now will have a chance to address immediately the demographic issue that is threatening the Republican Party, an issue that would have been masked by a Romney victory. Conservatives need to figure out how to sell their ideas to minorities and women, while promoting candidates who are capable of doing this.

And now, the incredibly talented conservative GOP bench will be activated in four years, not eight. Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Wiconsin Gov. Scott Wilsion, Virginia Gov. Rob McDonnell, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, among others - the quality of the 2016 GOP Primary field will surpass that of the 2012 group immeasurably.

Conservatives believe the nation would have been better off if Romney had won. But there's a silver lining for them in his defeat, and it's not insignificant.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Keith Koffler
Editor, White House Dossier

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Minutes: C.C. Special Meeting 10/23/2012

OCTOBER 23, 2012

Special Meeting                      A special meeting of the Common Council of the City of Middletown was held in the Council Chamber on Tuesday October 23, 2012 immediately following the 7 p.m. Community Meeting

Present                                   Mayor Daniel T. Drew, Council Members Thomas J. Serra, Ronald P. Klattenberg, Mary A. Bartolotta, Gerald E. Daley, Robert Santangelo, Hope P. Kasper,  Grady L. Faulkner, Jr.,  Philip J. Pessina, Joseph E. Bibisi, Linda Salafia, and Deborah Kleckowski; Corporation Counsel Daniel B. Ryan and Common Council Clerk Marie O. Norwood.

Absent                                     Council Members Todd G. Berch.

Also Present                           Superintendent of Schools Patricia Charles and Deputy City Attorney Timothy Lynch.

Meeting Called to Order         The Mayor calls the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. and asks the Superintendent of Schools to lead the public in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Call of Meeting Read              The Call of Meeting was read and accepted.  Mayor Drew declares the Call a Legal Call and the Meeting a Legal meeting.

The Chair welcomes Councilman Bibisi; he states we are glad to have you back,

Public Comment Opens          The Chair opens the public hearing on agenda items at 7:05 p.m.    He recognizes Councilwoman Salafia who would like to make a statement.  The Cahir asks what kind of statement.   Councilwoman Salafia responds she would like to recuse herself.  The Chair states the time to do that is when it is time to vote.

Superintendent of Schools Patricia Charles comes forward to thank the Mayor  for the opportunity to work so closely with the City to resolve Local 466 issues and the myriad of grievances and litigation that is outstanding and to move the Board of Education forward with a clean slate and we can focus on the business of educating our children.  She knows it was in the works and it has been three years of problems; she finds it amazing it could be done.  To have the opportunity for a clean state, she can’t tell you how much she appreciates it.

Deputy City Attorney Tim Lynch echoes these comments and commends the Mayor for working it out and the Mayor’s quick understanding of the issues and it is a good deal for the City.  He states he will respond to questions if the Council has any. 

Councilman Serra is recognized and states on the Settlement Agreement.  The Chair states before questions, he would like to close the public hearing. 
Public Comment Closes         The Chair, seeing no further comments, closes public comment at 7:07 p.m.

Councilman Serra states it will be down to $100,000, but for next year’s budget, will you have to budget for the $259,000.  Dr. Charles states they will have to budget for the increases, yes.    Councilman Serra states the City found the money for this.  Dr. Charles responds it is less than what they thought it would be.   Councilman Serra states next year you will have to budget more.  Dr. Charles states yes they will have to budget it next year.

Councilwoman Kleckowski states her questions are for Attorney Lynch. She has two questions and asks if he has the contract in front of him.  She states on item 10, there is no cost in reference to cafeteria rates where it says 182 hours at a cost of and there is no specific cost.  Attorney Lynch responds that may be a prior draft and that cost may have been put in.  There were some employees that only wanted time restored and costs were removed.   Councilwoman Kleckowski asks if nurses were paid by the Board of Education or the City.   Attorney Lynch responds it depends on the line item; if they are Local 466.  The Chair states they are Board of Education employees; they fall under their auspices and are paid by the Board of Education.  Councilwoman Kleckowski thanks the Chair.

Councilwoman Kasper asks Dr. Charles, the original calculation, I think part of the employee benefit package includes the pension and because the pension has done so well, there won’t be a cost associated with the Board of Education for retirement.  Dr. Charles states that is why the cost was reduced from what we originally thought it was going to be.

Point of Information                Councilwoman Salafia states in regards to the nurses, they were paid through the Board of Education through the expenditure item and now they will be paid through payroll.

Councilman Faulkner states his question on the number that we spent $800,000 in attorney fees.  The Chair states that is in my letter to you; that is what we spent on the City side only and that is all the cases and the dollars spent in three years.  A good portion is from this.  Councilman Faulkner states how do we get authorized to spend that kind of money when it doesn’t come through the Council.  The Chair responds the money was budgeted for outside counsel and the money came from the Insurance Fund for defensible claims and did not fall under that and there were no monetary damages but redress, who had the power to do what under Charter and Statute and because it wasn’t monetary, the Insurance Company refused to pay for it.   Councilman Faulkner states we have to review procedures and he doesn’t know who authorized these payments and we need to look at that process.  There should always be a case number assigned, if we are making payments.  That was the biggest issue he had and he had some questions on nurses, but will leave it.  He asks about the floaters for the cafeteria workers.  The Chair responds there were a number of floaters and Councilwoman Salafia  can add her comments; what had happened is, the previously cafeteria floaters were used to augment the need to hire full time cafeteria workers as in the Union.  The Superintendent, myself, and Board Chair and Vice Chair agreed it wasn’t a proper practice.   The Chair continues there were a number of people coming in, in lieu of hiring a full time person.  Councilwoman Salafia states the Board of Education, in several cases would hire, but not through the normal process, and they would do Union duties,  outside the Union contract and that is most of the complaints.  It was supplementing Union duties with non-Union workers.  It is how they arrived on the job.  Councilman Faulkner asks how do we stay out of these situations in the future; what has to be done.  The Chair replies in this agreement, we have done it.  I would say in the Prior City and Board of Education administration, there is plenty of blame and now we are fixing it and agreed to cooperate on these issues.  We are committed to working together and as we do that, as problems come up, we will deal with them.  We have worked on other issues and can work on these as well.

The Chair asks if there are  further questions.  Seeing none he closes the Questions to Directors.

The Chair asks the Clerk to read the Appropriation Request and Certificate of the Director of Finance:  

Dance Off! Come on, give it a try!

1/14/2013 - Dance It Off
Come try the first class for free!
Monday,  January 14th , 2013 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Wesley School Gym ~Wesleyan Hills Road
1 hour of:  Slides, Shuffles, Line Dances, and more…...  You WILL sweat!!!!!  Bring water!!!!
Come five minutes early and stretch!

Any questions, call Karen Nocera –
Park & Rec @ 860-343-6620 ext.102 or

20  classes (Mon & Wed nights) = $40
10  classes (Mon or Wed night) = $20

Spiderman at Keigwin Middle School on November 30, 2012

Friday, Nov. 30 Family Movie Fee: FREE Keigwin Middle School Auditorium Time: 6:00pm

Family Movie Night
Nov. 30: The Amazing Spider Man:
Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father's for- mer partner.

Note: Students must be accompanied by an adult to gain admittance into show.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Local Republicans Collect Toys for Middletown Children

Local Republicans give back to area children
Middletown Republican Town Committe is holding its Holiday Party at First and Last Tavern on November 29th. Everyone who wishes to attend it asked to bring a new unwrapped toy which will be donated to the 60th Annual Bernie O'Rourke/Detroit Hunter Memorial Christmas toy drive organized by Middletown Park & Recreation Department.

The idea for the collection at the party was the idea of MRTC vice chair William Wilson.
"It's really important that we give back. I hope MRTC can make this a tradition we do every year. It was important to me that what we give stays local. We have many families in Middletown who are struggling and if we can help even a little to allow them to have a good holiday we should," remarked Wilson, "This is the time of year we all need to come together and help out those less fortunate."

Anyone wishing to donate may give a toy to any Republican elected official, MRTC member, or directly to the park & Recreation office.

MRTC members are also collecting items to donate to the Kiwanis Thanksgiving basket drive which is part of the Middletown Thanksgiving Project. Over local 15 service organizations and churches have partnered together to distribute over 300 baskets of food to families facing financial hardship in Middletown.

Wilson, a parishioner at Fellowship Baptist is also a volunteer for the project. Fellowship Baptist is ground zero for the sorting and assembly of food baskets prior to their distribution by Amazing Grace Food Pantry and Salvation Army.

"When the Red Cross was no longer to under take this local churches like Fellowship Baptist stepped in. Its all about community,"said Wilson.

Kiwanis Annual Warm the Children Drive

Warm the Children is a partnership between the Middletown Kiwanis Club and The Middletown Press to help clothe and provide footwear for children from Middletown, Cromwell, Portland, East Hampton and Middlefield.

Needy families are identified by public elementary and middle school staff in local towns. Staff at Middletown’s CRT HeadStart, Even Start, Middlesex Hospital’s Early Head Start and Family Advocacy Program, Haddam Public Health, and The Salvation Army also provide contact information on needy families.The nonprofit organization provides each child from ages 2 to 15 with $80 for winter clothing, purchased by a team of 150 volunteer shoppers. Children under 2 each get $40 in clothing.

This year, the organization hopes to raise $60,000 in total. The goal is to use the $47,000 collected at the end of last season to shop for 600 children before it gets cold this winter, then save some of the money collected this season to get an early start next year again.

Liberty Bank accepts all donations, deposits the checks and records information about each tax-deductible donation. Send donations to: Warm The Children, c/o Cindi Whitehouse, Liberty Bank, 315 Main St., Middletown.

Letter to the Editor: Deborah Kleckowski

To the Editor,

Congratulations to Representative Matt Lesser on his third win last Tuesday. We wish him well
in his representation of the city of Middletown.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who voted for me, who helped on my campaign and who worked hard to get out the message of NO new taxes and public safety-
Suspending the Prisoner Early Release program. Though I may not have won, our voice can still be heard and must be heard. I pledge to you as a member of the Common Council and an active member in our community that I will continue to bring your voices forward. It is imperative that we work together to provide solutions for the challenges which lay ahead. I
therefore extend an olive branch to Representative Matt Lesser, Mayor Drew and the majority
party of the Common Council to work as a team not isolated by political affiliation. I encourage
the voters to hold the newly elected officials to their word on reinvigorating the sluggish
economy and to stop the massive tax hikes and perpetual spending.

Again, thank you to everyone who supported me in my effort and I look forward to working
with you to make Middletown and even better place to live and to work. God Bless America!

Deborah Kleckowski

100 District State Representative Candidate (2012)

Member of the Middletown Common Council

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Humorous Look at l'affaire Petraeus

Cindy Adams has a hilarious column in the New York Post (Nov 15) titled; "In General, They Tend to Stray" which skewers the sexual foibles and faux pas of top brass over the years. Some examples:

   George Washington - "Seems to go with the rank. Gen. George Washington was a swinger. Also our only chief of state not to blame the previous administration for his troubles. George was famous for using those wooden teeth — and not just on Martha’s tea biscuits. Asked about powerful interests that control him, he snapped: “Leave my wife out of this.”
Dwight Eisenhower - " When he had it with Mamie’s bangs he steered his wartime driver."
George S. Patton - " Biographies state Gen. George S. Patton was a busy boy. 
Douglas MacArthur - "Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s lover was a millionaire socialite named Louise Cromwell."
David Petraeus - "So back to Gen. Petraeus, whose own home is now what can be called the mess hall...His ladyfriend hints he’a so hot she’d give him a fifth star...(and best of all)..."Welcome to retirement, Dave. It’s that part of life where you have half as much glory and twice as much marriage.

NY Post Nov 15, 2012

Also, G. Murphy Donovan writing at American Thinker:

"General David Petraeus illuminates two grand military issues at just the right moment: officer corps character and flag officer performance Petraeus could be the poster child for a clueless Gilbert and Sullivan character too -- "The very model of a modern major-general."* Major-general was the highest rank to which an officer might aspire to in the last century. Grade inflation has created the contemporary glut of four stars, including Petraeus."
"David Petraeus gloried in wearing every token of service on his chest, including presumably the good conduct ribbon. Or maybe not! The good conduct medal only goes to grunts, not officers.  Clearly, the good conduct award should hereafter be a badge of misplaced military expectations.

*Modern Major General

Gilbert and Sullivan's raucous operatic tale, "The Pirates of Penzance",  is captured in all its fun and glory in this production, recorded live at Central Park's Delacorte Theater. Featured is the amazing "patter" song; "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General"

More Cartoons here and here

Small Business Saturday on November 24, 2012

Shop Locally in Middletown on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24

Start your holiday shopping at locally owned stores during Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is on Nov. 24 this year, two days after Thanksgiving. It is a day for everyone to support the small businesses upon which their community thrives.
American Express created the day in 2010 to help small businesses get exposure during the holiday season, when they might be otherwise overlooked. With retailers buzzing around the holidays, it is important to support local small businesses that rely on their neighbors in order to continue prospering and building the local economy in Middletown.
Last year, 100 million people nationwide participated in Small Business Saturday by shopping at locally owned stores to help boost the economy and their communities.
You can also “like” Small Business Saturday on Facebook by visiting
There are so many great places to shop in Middletown - you can check out our Directory to find stores of all shapes and sizes offering a wide range of retail items.
Whether you need clothes, accessories, or something for the home or garden, Middletown has something for everyone.
Everyone has locally owned businesses in their community, and shopping on Small Business Saturday is the perfect way to give back to the businesses you know and love in your community.
TELL US: What small businesses do you patronize in Middletown and what makes them great? Share in the comments below.
Related Topics: Small Business Saturday 2012
Where do you shop locally? Tell us in the comments.
Originally published on The Middletown Patch 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Trans/Gender Awareness Week

Editorial: all opinions expressed are of the author and not necessarily that of the Middletown Insider Editorial Staff.

Oh dear, I seem not to have noticed Trans/Gender Awareness Week (Nov 2-16)* until the declaration of such a period was brought to my attention by members of my family.   

My elder daughter and her mother have been ragging on me that I should "take notice" of "Transgender Awareness Week" which, by that time however, the period so designated had already passed. In a  post in another forum my daughter took offense at my describing TransGender folk as "Trannys" (or should that be "Trannies"?). She said that a term such as I used is frowned upon and should only be used by TransGender people themselves, just as people of pallor are not to use the "N" word about people of color. My pictorial take on the entire affair:


*(Trans/gender Awareness Week at Yale (fondly referred to as "Trans Week") is an annual series of events held on the Yale campus each fall semester, usually in November.  Founded in 2004 to create a space on campus for exploring issues related to gender identity, it has expanded into a two-week long exploration and celebration of trans and gender non-conforming identities, experiences, and communities.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reprint: Suzio Requests a Recount in 13rh Senate District

By Amanda Falcone On November 13, 2012 ·....

One week after Republican Leonard Suzio lost his state Senate seat to Democrat Dante Bartolomeo, he is asking for a recount. In a letter to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Suzio said he wants a recount because substantial errors have already been identified, and there is the potential for more errors.
Suzio lost the race by 238 votes.
Suzio says errors occurred and more may be identified because the two candidates ran on five party lines. He said this created confusion and resulted in people voting in the “unknown” category.
Suzio also said that the head moderator in Meriden was the campaign treasurer for Bartolomeo, and he said that moderator refused to request a recount before sending the final vote tallies to Merrill.
“I do not allege any improprieties on his account,” Suzio wrote in his letter. “But I do point out the Head Moderator’s obvious conflict of interest which undermines the need to give the public assurance that the vote count was administered in an impartial manner.”

Note: Originally Published at

You Know You're a (Middletown) Liberal if.....

1) You lead the fight with the local Board of Education and the Mayor's office to ensure that all Middletown schools are racially balanced. Once the list is released, you notice that your own child has to be bused to a school in the north end which infuriates you so you complain about this error at the next BOE meeting. "I didn't mean my kid."

2) You bitterly complain about a State Senator's bid to call for a recount over the 228 vote margin during the last election. If this were Murphy vs. McMahan and she won by 228 votes, you would be driving around the state and screaming voter fraud. In fact you would have a megaphone and offer to count votes yourself. Give me a break! Voter fraud only occurs if it favors the left.

3) You write in your blog about the alleged nastiness of other writers on different blogs, but it's okay for you to drop F-bombs about Linda McMahan on Facebook twice a day. "Let's count to three and take a breather."

4) You fight for the local diner that burned down due to the owner's lack of responsibility of not having fire insurance. Sorry guys, you want to help out the community let's earn some money for schools and not waste time and energy for a person that wasn't responsible. Instead it's: Lets's' make sure the natural food store gets free money from the town to make up revenue due to the bridge traffic. (Did they lose money? The place is always packed. What's the kickback?) When the Wesleyan bookstore and Starbucks want to move in your territory, it's, they don't have the right or we don't want chains in this town or the classic, it's bad for Middletown. Give me a break. You don't own the North End! (Real reason: We don't want anything to rock the little non-profit boat we are running down here! What's your salary now?)

5) You campaigned for the BOE on a platform of transparency and honesty. Reality: It's impossible to get a word from you about BOE business or the missing million dollars. Where is the budget? Why are they underfunded? Typical answer: "I refuse to answer to anonymous people."

6) You claim you didn't vote for Wayne Winsley because Rosa DeLaura is more qualified. What the…..? Mmmmm, it's probably the same reason people like you spend $51,000 a year to keep your children away from the public school population. "We want YOU to do it this way, but I get to do what I want." I would ask you what Rosa has done for the people, but I would get the same old liberal dribble. Qualified? I thought American politics were developed to get the common man into the thick of things? Right? I get it, not qualified?

7) You endlessly campaign against Linda McMahan on Facebook, but sell an advertisement on your blog to her campaign. What happened not enough money in the non-profit sector for you?

8) You verbally claim you love a certain politician, but tell folks: "I can't put up their sign because people might get angry with me."

9) You truly believe you are better than everybody or entitled to things that don't belong to you.

10) You love to point fingers at corporate types, but when that person is a personal friend of yours all your personal feelings are put aside. "Well, it's 'ok' if the Democrat is doing it, but if it's a GOP member I should stomp and scream like a child who doesn't get his way."

11) You are a member of MADD, but stood up and clapped when Dominique Thornton arrived at the Democratic Town Committee Meeting after her arrest for drunk driving.

12) You put up a lawn sign that tells folks to "Vote for Jim O'Rourke," but privately tell your family members to decline any ride offers from the state rep.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bartolomeo Plays Dirty, Suzio Asks for Recount

In a letter addressed to the Secretary of State Senator Suzio requests a recount of votes from the last election because he alleges that several errors and improper procedures occurred including his opponent Dante Bartolomeo's campaign Treasurer being a poll worker. The initial count showed that Bartolomeo won by 238 votes.

Suzio's letter:

Page 1 of 2
State Senator Len Suzio
35 Lydale Place
Meriden, CT 06450
Denise Merrill, Secretary of State 30 Trinity Street Hartford, CT 06106
Re: Recanvass of State Senate District 13 election November 12, 2012
Dear Madam Secretary,
As time is of the essence I write to you as the custodian of vote integrity and election accuracy in our State of Connecticut and ask that you act on the following request immediately. The election for State Senate District 13 was an historically close election with an apparent difference of only 238 votes out of nearly 40,000 ballots separating my opponent and I. I am aware that the current count difference exceeds the threshold for an automatic recount of 198 by a mere 40 votes. However, I respectfully ask that you order a recount for the following reasons:
  • The potential for human error with respect to vote-counting in this contest is far greater than normal because although there were only 2 candidates, those candidates ran on 5 different Party lines. This compounds and complicates the vote compilation process and appears to have contributed to some significant errors.
  • One of the complications in the District 13 race was the fact that a significant number of “unknown” votes were cast (reflecting the fact that the 2 candidates ran on 5 different Party lines) and your office had devised a new system for assigning those votes to each Party. I have heard both Democratic and Republican Registrars comment about the confusion and complications created by the introduction of this new system, the novelty of which contributed to real and potential errors.
  • An example of the foregoing potential problem was identified in Precinct 6 in Cheshire which double counted candidate Bartolomeo’s Working Families and unknown votes when it reported on election night. It appears as though the Moderator discovered the difference but “corrected” the error by adding (rather than deducting) more votes to Ms. Bartolomeo’s totals that night thereby doubling the error and making it overstated by 58 votes. In effect an error was compounded in the confusion.
  • Significant vote counting errors already have been detected following the election. For example, in Cheshire an undercount of 196 votes with respect to Republican votes was identified in the 4th Precinct (and corrected). At the same time, it was discovered that 29 votes were double
Page 2 of 2 counted for my Democratic opponent in the 6th Precinct. At the last minute, only hours before the reporting deadline a large error was discovered in Meriden. That error was not discovered by the people charged with counting votes. It was discovered by some of my campaign staff who were quickly examining the vote documents and reported the error to the moderators.
  • At least one vote machine was disabled during election day in Meriden. That vote machine has been implicated in a significant error detected in Meriden results.
  • The Head Moderator in Meriden was the treasurer of the Democratic contestant. I do not allege any improprieties on his account. But I do point out the Head Moderator’s obvious conflict of interest which undermines the need to give the public assurance that the vote count was administered in an impartial manner. The Head Moderator in Meriden refused to grant the Republican Registrar of Voters request for a recount of Meriden results on November 9, prior to sending in the final vote tallies to your office. The Republican Registrar made the request once the aforesaid error identified by my campaign staff was reported. She was concerned that other undiscovered errors may exist.
  • We have examined the Middletown vote totals reported on your site and the totals in the documents provided to us by Middletown officials and late on Friday we identified a discrepancy of dozens of votes in the final tally provided to your office
Again Madam Secretary, you are the public official charged to maintain the integrity of the voting process. It is your sacred responsibility to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the process as well. Given the facts as stated above including the complications of a 5-Party vote, numerous errors already discovered, the Middletown errors not yet officially recognized and the conflict of interest of a Head Moderator who denied the Republican Registrar’s request for a recount in Meriden I strongly urge you to order a recanvass of the vote in Senate District 13 so that there can be no reasonable doubt about the final outcome. I am prepared to support any effort to assure the accuracy and integrity of the final election results including providing witnesses to attest to the foregoing facts.
Len Suzio State Senator District 13

Middletown Families on National TV Discuss 'Scream Rooms'

  Isolation rooms are used by Connecticut schools, but became the center of debate when Apryl Dudley PTA President at Farm Hill  brought the mis-use of these rooms to the public's attention leading Middletown Board of Education to investigate as well as state agencies. The media dubbed these room 'scream -rooms' after people came forward after hearing screams of children and the alledged locking of students in these rooms. Union 466 Vice President Jeff Daniels stated his staff had cleaned urine and blood from the room at Farm Hill. This former janitor's closet which had an unlocked electrical cabinet inside, and had been used as an isolation room. Superintendent at the time was Michael Frechette who's contraint has not been renewed as a result of this controversy and many others the Insider previsously covered.

  The segments feature parent Jane Flanders Majewski who has a child with Autism, and her family's plight in dealing with local Special Education Services, Board of Education Administration, and the State Dept. of Education trying to get an appropriate plan of individualized education in place for her son and proper training for aides who are often unprepared regarding safety techniques. It was discovered by state investigation that a Middletown aide had used an unlawful restraint technique with Majewski's son. The Insider would like to commend Majewski, Dudley and other families for being brave enough to come forward and advocate for special needs students.
“Good Morning America”is broad cast at 7 a.m., “World News” at 6:30 p.m., “Nightline” is at 11:35 p.m. and the segments will be featured during each.

Letter to the Editor: Time for Water Dept. Investigation

Dear Middletown Insider:

 Why are there problems with the new water bills using the new software that was presented to the council where Mary Bartolotta asked the question to Bill Oliver and Guy Russo :" Were they sure we are not going to have a repeat of the other failed implementation of yet more software to run the water department?" 

Another $100,000.00 plus wasted with no accountability.  Time for another investigation of the water dept.

M.E from Middletown

Letter to the Editor: Remember Fallen Police Officer Dingwall

To the Editor:
Middletown Police Sgt. George R. Dingwall always be remembered in our spirits. Last January, the police department gathered in remembrance of Sgt. Dingwall.  
I want to say how very sorry I am for the loss of a beloved officer. He knew the true meaning of wearing a badge. I urge all of the people to say a prayer for Dingwall's family as well as his fellow officers.  
In my opinion, Sgt. Digwall was a highly respected officer and I wish his family the very best of luck, as well as the men and women of the Middletown Police Department.
I give my sincere condolences to the officer's family as well as to the police officers. I also wanted to say how life goes on and it will take time to get over the death of a fellow officer.  
I want to say thank you to all of the officers for what you do every day. I'm sure that if Sgt. Dingwall was around today, he would be so proud of you guys.
I  wanted to  write this  article to offer my condolences to the people who knew and worked with Dingwall.  

Thank you.
Billy Prevatte, Middletown

* Officer Dingwall was killed in the line of duty in January 2000.

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