Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Through the Looking Glass an alternate view of Wednesday's P/Z Meeting -Part 1

Who are the opponents?
Liberal hypocrisy at it's finest. 170 College St.
Introduction: As most of you know, a boat load of people piled into and around city hall on February 27, 2013 to voice opposition to MX Zoning change proposed by Robert Landino, a local developer who plans to bring a Starbucks, Chipotle and other stores to Middletown if the zone change is granted by the Democrat majority Planning and Zoning board in town. At one point, Wesleyan University, who is selling the land, had their green non-corporate eye on bringing their student bookstore to the parcel of land diagonal from St. Sebastian's Church. Acting as if they were Yankee reliever Mariano Riveria, who is usually brought into a game in the late innings to save the day, Wesleyan pulled their plans for the bookstore from Landino's plans. It appeared that Wesleyan saved the day, by pulling their bookstore interest from project.

Guess what? They are still selling the properties; they are still making a truckload of money off the deal if and when it goes through.

Why no one sees that Wesleyan partially caused this problem?
Imagine the carport at the Starbucks with their idling cars putting toxins in the air. Who would be really responsible? Can it be that a University that prides itself on being pro-environment and ant-establishment has sold out to the man? (Research project: Why did Wesleyan buy a ton of properties in the early 1990s, let them go to pot and now hope to flip them to the highest bidder?) Can you say liberal greed?

Below is part one in a series that  takes a look at rare and unmentioned elements of this ongoing saga.

Where was the Mayor?* (He doesn't care, he knows Democrats won't vote him out!)

Mayor Daniel T. Drew is 100% behind this plan! Plain and simple, although his earlier statement to The Wesleyan Argus waffled on his position when he stated:

"“On the most basic level, for me to support something that would go there it would have to be something that is aesthetically harmonious with the rest of the streetscape and the use would have to fit well into downtown and complement what else is there.”

His position changed drastically nearly a week later, when William Warner, Middletown's Director of Planning and Zoning read a letter that stated that Drew was in full support of the Landino's proposal because of "the trumpeted the opportunities an open door would bring (to the city)".

This statement was read to the audience over the microphone at Wednesday's meeting, but not one member of the pubic showed any verbal disapproval of the mayor's position. (When former Mayor Seb Gulinao spoke about his trust in the P/Z committee and the possibilities this new zoning code could offer the town, right on cue a member of the village district stood up and voiced disapproval) Let's get this straight, nobody voices opinions against Drew's (Democrat) stance, but they are against Guliano's (Republican) stance. Can you say partisan?

In this case Mayor Drew is for your enemy! He is in favor of letting Starbucks, Chipotle, etc. build on Washington Street. Yet, those who spoke after Warner read the Mayor's letter, made a point not to make any snarky remarks towards Drew or his position. Mmm, they took shots at Landino, Guiliano and Wilson? Why not take on Drew, the city chief executive who likes to back the Mayormobile into his stall at city hall? Is it because he's a Democrat? Deep down inside, those Dems who are taking the business approach to the decision may be ignored but not ridiculed. (Jeff Bianco, a local architect, who can potentially make a ton of money off the project, has been given a free pass by his liberal village friends. Why is this?)

Democrat and local artist, Dave Schultz is the exception to this rule when he expressed anger toward Drew and stated that he will not vote for him in the future. Good job Dave!

Where was Quentin Phipps? Phipps, the current town treasurer who sits on two youth agencies and is the head of the city's Downtown Mainstreet District was not present at one of the biggest and vital meetings that took  place in town. Isn't this quite odd for a guy that prides himself on attending almost every sub-committee in the city, and now blows off something that would have a huge impact on the town. Phipps, who takes his marching orders from Daniel T. Drew, most likely avoided the hostile crowds and sat it out due to creative differences, interestingly enough The Middletown Eye, choose not to mention, Phipps convenient no show in their March 5, 2013 article entitled: You Can't Tell the Players without a Program. Surely, it would make sense for Phipps to be at this meeting wouldn't it? Truth: Quentin Phipps is a Democrat, and like the Mayor, they both secretly joke about the fact that no matter what happens, the village district will not vote in a Republican! (Source: The Cantina)

Today on his blog the MiddletownEye Ed McKeon posted a piece calling out those who spoke in favor of the zoning text change as not fully disclosing their full relationships to one another.
Well, in that case here are  facts McKeon failed to mention.

Extra Credit: What members of the village district who openly opposed Bob Landino and his plans have formed an LLC an are actively flipping north end homes? Mmm, isn't that strange! It's not okay for Bob Landino to make money off the north end, but it is okay for us. Liberal hypocrisy at it's finest. Is Landino not advocating urban renewal?

Blue House LLC Records (Page 1 or 7) Town Offices

 Do as I say Not as I do. Village residents Scott Kessel, Rani Arbo, Catherine Johnson, Mary Alice Haddad, Lucy McMillian, Edward McKeon, Stephen Smith, and Monica Belyea formed Blue House LLC in 2010 to fix up and flip for potential profit the  multi family house at 170 Washington Street. In 2011,  Blue House LLC supposedly outbid the Connection Inc. The Connection Inc is a non profit, affiliated with group and half way homes through out town. This dormitory style property could have made an ideal group or half way house. While these liberals love to brag about the non profits they support, could it be their actions make it appear that they don't want these types of "things" in their back yard?  By Blue House LLC converting the former dormitory into a two family house, it makes the property less desirable from this happening. Most of the residents listed spoke out against the zoning change. They claimed to have rescued a blighted property from being acquired by a slum lord; is Landino not doing the same? Are those opposed to the text change protecting the the neighborhood or their future projects and profits?

 Other outspoken villagers against future development are no stranger to development themselves. In the 1970's Community Health Center (CHC) founder Mark Masselli and and Wesleyan alum now Colorado governor John Hickenlooper (D) bought up at rock bottom prices historic properties on Main Street and in the north end.  The duo formed various corporations such as Hilda Associates LLC to purchase the properties.Why use an alternative llc? To perhaps not raise attention from those who might have criticized the future development of those properties into non commercial and untaxable uses? Later, when the  CHC acquired these properties and used them to house Community Health Center facilities and doctors' offices. Now there are over 100 CHC locations around the state many of which are housed in public schools. The CHC consolidated into a brand new building demolishing several historic multi family houses  to the north to build its parking lot. Where was the outcry then? What will happen to all the store fronts the CHC used to occupy? If the CHC holds on to them, then the rent will certainly be profitable, correct?

Liberals make money too, just have an issue when others want to make some also.
 The CHC receives  public money and from this Maselli, like many other CEO's of a non profits- despite the wonderful things the charitable org does for those without money - he too draws salary. Are Landino and Masselli that different both being entrepreneurs making personal profit? 
 Masselli's wife is Jennifer Alexander founder of KidCity - the non profit, ( unlike the CHC, KidCity is  not reliant on government grants), children's museum on Washtington Street. Ed McKeon and Jennifer Alexander co founded the Middletown Eye blog. Alexander had a historic convent converted and moved to house half of the museum. Alexander and Masselli were given honorary doctorates from Wesleyan for their work in the community which is praised by many as "urban renewal" of the north end. Alexander spoke out against the recent zoning text change allowing more development in the area. Why does McKeon leave this out of his essay if there is nothing wrong with these facts?

Ed really is for Ed. 
 McKeon critizes political associations he claims are the basis for support, yet fails paint a clear picture.  McKeon spoke out against those who said because Chief McMahon didn't worship or live enough of the week in Middletown he should not be police chief, yet in his own article, McKeon casually mentions City Planner William Warner lives in Middlefield in a blatant attempt to question his professionalism. Also in his essay McKeon rails against Attorney Wilson and his support of Mayor Giuliano, and draws a shaky conclusion that this is why Giuliano spoke in favor of the text change.
 To McKeon it matters as who each player has supported politically for some reason. If this is the case why does McKeon fail to mention Attor.Wilson also contributed to Democrat Susan Bysiewicz's various campaigns? Why does McKeon fail to s that some who spoke out were contributors to defamed Democratic candidate Chris Donovan? Some might think that's not d something to be too proud of.  Why does McKeon fail to mention that Wesleyan Green Party chair  Ross Levin spoke against the development?  Why does McKeon fail to mention that Democratic Town Committee member and WesDem vice president, former Malloy intern & shoe fortune heir Ben Florsheim  who helped to get local Democrats elected in the past 2 election cycles had his friend and fellow WesDem Gabriela DeGolia  read a statement against the development?  Why call out some but not others? None of this matters, but if apparently it does to Ed4Ed, let's get it all the political associates of those at the meeting out in the open.


  1. Amazing points... I knew something wasn't right at the meeting when Mckeon kept putting himself in the limelight, but passing out everybod's papers etc. A lot of those speakers were pissed off and didn't want Ed's 2 cents anywhere near them...

    Although, I still don't want Wesleyan to sell the property, I think Ed and company and their LLC can make out very well.

    1. This is about zone change not about anyone's right to make money.

  2. According to Tim Roaix in the Eye's comments section Phipps was present.. Where was he, upstairs in 208 watching the tv?

  3. How about the real ring leaders Mark Masseli and Jen Alexander, that duo is behind it all while at the same time they make a fortune of tax payer dollars, tear down historic buildings on Green Street and rob parking from the city behind Kid City...and wow a total of 40 people spoke last I knew there were 48,000 people in Middletown. PZ dont make a decision based on the opinion of less than 1 %.

  4. THey definitely make a fortune, but their gang of friends are either:

    A) Blind
    B) Below them hoping to get a their beaks wet


    C) Fill in the blank_______.

  5. AUthor is correct. The Dems on CC, PZ and Mayor (well, mayor a little) don't give flying hoot what the VILLAGE thinks. Are they really going vote DEM in 2013? Yeah, right!

    Do you think Daley, or Serra care? Pellitier appeared nervous, but come on? They can do the math (4-1 in Dem favor), so Village People District or whatever you call yourselves today, you shot yourself in the foot by being so friggin polarizing.

    Jen and Mark win either way trust me, anybody whose office resembles an RKO serial villain is somebody that loves to spend OPM or Other people's money..

    At the meeting someone said:

    "We are attempting to bring a family to Middletown, but don't want them to deal with the traffic on Washington St. especially if the developer does his thing."

    Why don't you say this: "Mark and I and our friends are flipping houses and don't want the development to hurt our profits."

    At least Osbourne told the truth.

  6. Wow! Ed does leave a lot out.. Good job Insider..

  7. Ed uses the Eye as a bully pulpit to attack anyone who dares to disagree with him or call him out. And he also doesn't disclose he got his house with $60,000 worth of taxpayer subsidies.

  8. Ed is for Ed plain and simple.

    Remember he was going to be different on the BOE and yet feel in line with what was going on and now is just part of the machine he once fought against.

  9. There is retribution towards anything "THEY" are against... Then EYE goes around and say, "Put your name on it" or "I highly doubt..." Well, when you take a 'real' position in town agains the drones of the village the real retribution comes in..

  10. MI: I think Smith,Stephen spoke at end agains the MX Zoning change..

  11. Don't forget the city paid for 100% of the convent renovation for Kid City and the city / state paid for the new addition for Kid City.

  12. Most of the members of BLue House are married and have a lot to gain by their continuance of flipping houses...

    Easy to do, right?

    1) Fool the masses with an environmental issue (ala John Hall)
    2) Get the masses all fired up!. Green/Liberal
    3) Cash out at the end. THe bottom line is to protect BLUEHOUSE

    How much does Jen make as CCO or CEO at KIDCITY?? NONPROFIT. It's taxpayer's money.. She didn't invest her own money into the project, it's like going to FOXWOODS with someboody else's money and then being rewarded for making a profit.

  13. John Hall has no credibility in my book. He wanted to allow psycho killer John Messenger out of CVH to worship at a local church. So honest people trying to make a living and bring business bad but people who kill their pregnant wives with golf clubs ok? Give me a break- why did Ed leave that out of his essay? Phipps & Drew and all attend functions at that popular villager church quite often, they brag about it on facebook. Of course no one spoke against their support!

  14. i want to know more about ed's and kidcity's sucking of taxpayer money

  15. The convent that became KidCity was donated by St. Sebastian's Church to the non profit Connection Fund Inc., which moved the building to its current location and leased the property to KidCity, according to a Nov. 30th 1997 article in the Hartford Courant. The article does not state the City paid for the move.

    KidCity was later purchased from The Connection Inc., according to a 1999 Hartford Courant article which discusses funding and grants in better detail.


  16. Their side considers the INsider, a "bunch of haters" and "smut", but it's starting to make sense.. They have a lot to hide, BLUE HOUSE is true. Makes me so upset.

  17. I guess I won't donate to Kid City anytime soon!

  18. Who can stand to read anything Ed McKeon writes?

  19. This post contains untruths and slanderous statement. Remove it immediately, or you are at risk of suit for defamation of character and slander.

    Ed McKeon

  20. The city moved the convent for the connection and gave federal funds to renovate for kid city

  21. Whaaaaa Whaaaaa Whaaa Ed. Don't like it when the tables are turned on you? Now you are going to bully a blog? Gonna use taxpayer funds to sue them?

  22. What isn't true about the article?? Check the land records, Blue House LLC and those names are on them.. They exist..

    True!.. Wow, battle of the blogs!!

    What would he sue for in court? He would have to prove that your opinions and facts (I checked) are true.. He is also a public figure... Malice? I don't see it.. Keep writing guys or girls or whomever you are.. the truth will come out. Don't let them scare you..

  23. A blog is under no legal obligation to fact check and the bar for defamation is pretty high. Obviously Ed confuses free speech with slander but only when it is about him.

    Noiceably absent is eds correcting of what he claims to be wrong facts. Just saying it without correcring the record doesn't make it so Ed.

    Looks like he's been exposed and he would prefer
    To hide the truth.

  24. Crazy... I don't get it.. There is a Blue House on the books at the city's offices, with all the names the author listed... Where is the lie?

    I guess it's the old Liberal adage: Do what I say not what I do! or It's okay for me to make $$ off the neighborhood but not you.

    Ed and Landino are very similiar except Landino is upfront like Osbourne

  25. I am disapponted in certain people.

    HOw about a story on Ed's appointment to the budget committee on the BOE? Where do you think he tries to muscle all his the town's monies toward? McDonough School, yep the same one where h is kids go... In this case Ed is like Ted Raczka.

  26. Wow! I thought Insider would and let Ed control your content and thoughts... I am very surprised that this true information came to light.. Double WOW!

  27. Agree with anonymous at 10:41 - Ed is a public official and now it is become obvious that he spends more time on this issue and flipping houses for a profit instead of what he was elected to do.

    Transparency is a joke.

    He's on the budget committee, but there is not even a budget on the district's web site.

    He's steering extra staff to where his kids go to school. Of course he will deny all involvement in that and have "reasons" to justify the staffing level.

    He is also part of a movement to bring back the Norwalk school IT Director who got caught charging personal things for his airplane on the district credit card.

  28. Whoa! All you protesters were up in arms over Landino's Money making this and that.. NIce!

  29. These guys are protesting on the street today - too much time on their hands!

  30. Here is the Poop Scoop on ole Eddie:

    He wrote a nasty letter to one public official who sits on a very important committee in this matter: threats about this and that if this public official doesn't retract her/his statments which were published ANON by you guys/girls. Ed can do what he wants, it's ED4ED or ED$ED per Blue HOUSE LLC.

    After having his threatening letter ignored, EM goes to her/his home on a SUNDAY morning with a camera in hand and is yelling and screaming until cops are called on him. The residents of the home "were shocked and scared about said incident."(FOI It! Naysayers!)

  31. Wow. I am a member of the Blue House Group, and I would like to clarify a few points. First of all, the "Blue House" is not 170 Washington Street; the house is on College Street and not in the proposed MX Zone, nor is it in the North End. Secondly, we are unlikely to make money on the sale, if we can indeed sell it at all, which we have not succeeded in doing (we finished it more than a year ago). Thirdly, and you may find this hard to believe, but we did not buy it to make money. We bought it because we wanted to fix it up and make it available to someone who would take care of it, enjoy living downtown, be part of our community and send their kids to school here. The house is within a half block of most of us, so it is literally our neighbor. Please do get in touch if you're interested!! But please don't slander us when you don't have the facts right. Lastly: the people opposing this zone change -- those who were at the P & Z meeting and who were demonstrating on Monday -- are from ALL OVER Middletown. This is not a Village District liberal conspiracy. I understand that tempers are high on both sides, and that cherry-picking facts is part of politics as we know it today. But if you're going to cherry pick them, please get them right.

  32. Thank you Rani. It gets real tiresome seeing comments by one or however many Anonymice we have here in Middletown. When you're a mouse hiding in your hole you feel free to say anything you want, whether you have any facts to back it up or not. Might as well be working for Fox News.

  33. True, but sometimes whistle blowers need to hide their identity. Think about it, Ed went to someone's home and he was mistaken.

  34. I would support developing the area if it was something besides Starbucks/Chipotle that could destroy the small businesses on/near Main St. Fine business idea putting something on Washington St., but poor choice of what to put there.

  35. Hi! I just did a search on my new family homestead, 170 College St., and found this thread. I'm not familiar with the local politics, but want to share my profound gratitude to the Blue House Group folks - Scott Kessel, Rani Arbo, Catherine Johnson, Mary Alice Haddad, Lucy McMillian, Edward McKeon, Stephen Smith, and Monica Belyea - for doing such a lovely job on the renovations and for being such great neighbors. I grew up in Middletown and actually lived at 170 College St. while an undergrad at Wesleyan (it was then known as Womanist House). So this is really a homecoming for me. My family and I are loving our new home!


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