Friday, June 27, 2014

Jonah Center River Paddle-Saturday

Environmental Performance Art On The Connecticut River

Saturday, June 28th, 1p.m.
Launching from the boathouse ramp at Harbor Park
The Jonah Center for Earth and Art invites you to take part in a creative canoe and kayak paddle on the Connecticut River on Saturday, June 28, launching from the boathouse ramp at Harbor Park at 1 p.m. The event will include creation of a living art work: all the boaters will raft up their boats in a rosette near the southern tip of Wilcox Island, just north of the Arrigoni Bridge. The boats will then float slowly in formation under the bridge, where photographers will be posted to capture the art work in still shots and video from above. The group will then paddle upstream around Wilcox Island before re-gathering at the southern tip. From there, the boats will return in close formation to the launch area, this time being photographed from Harbor Park. The still and moving images will promote protection of local waterways and the creative possibilities of Middletown's riverfront.
As in recent years, the paddle will include as many as 16 Macdonough School 4th-graders, most of them experiencing for the first time close-up the spectacular waterway that borders their neighborhood. The Macdonough School PTA, the North End Action Team (NEAT), and financial donors collaborate with the Jonah Center to support the involvement of these children.
Paddlers need to provide their own boats, paddles, drinking water, sunscreen, and life jackets. Participants will be required to register at the launch site and are asked for a $10 donation to the Jonah Center to help cover insurance costs. Advance registration is not necessary. The entire activity should take approximately 2 hours.
For more information, or for a last minute update in case of inclement weather, call John Hall at 860-398-3771 (mobile). For directions to the launch site, point your location device or browser to "76 Harbor Drive Middletown CT."

Photos of the River paddle HERE and HERE

Thursday, June 26, 2014

CT 5th Worst State for Business : Check out 3 Middletown Candidates for Change

They both raised your taxes & took your jobs away. Stop Dannel. 
Stop the protege Dan Jr.
Well, well, Big Dannel really did it to us.  With decades of Democratic majorities in our state legislature, and now with a Democrat in the Governor's Mansion, here is Connecticut's current ranking for business: 45. Its official: We are the 5th WORST state to make a living in in the country!
Come on Middletown! Our Mayor Mini-me Dan Drew hasn't done us much better raising our taxes. Summer campaigns are heating up! Check out the latest GOP candidates who have started campaigning to represent Middletown:
Suzio for state senator for the 13th district
Len Suzio seeks another term as State Senator for the 13th District:
Remember as a freshman state rep Suzio took on the gas tax & the early release of violent criminals in the nutmeg state. He is back with more fire than ever!

Contribution form for Suzio: HERE

Local Middletown Board of Education member, author, and woman on a mission Linda Syznkowicz has ideas about health care, fixing over spending, and government accountability - she is already giving the old guard a run for their money on the BOE imagine what she can do in Hartford! Check out Syznkowicz and her plans to become the State Rep for the 33rd District here:
Syznkowicz for the 33rd District
Contribution form for Syznkowicz: HERE 
Fernandez for the 100th District

Middletown's Deputy Emergency Management Director, combat veteran, and business owner Angel Fernandez  brings fresh ideas and integrity to the scene. It's about family, follow-through, and forward thinking. Learn more about Fernandez's campaign for the State Rep of the 100th District here:

Contribution form for Fernandez: HERE

All of the above Republican candidates are seeking to make the minimum contributions to qualify for public financing. See the links to the donation forms below. You do not have to be in the district to donate. At the bottom of each form on page 2 is the address of where to mail it and the contribution.

Len Suzio Campaign 2014: Malloy Administration is Playing Politics with Victims & their Families

Better late that never! Back to run with more fire than ever! Len Suzio!
Suzio at Middletown's Soup Challenge

Today Suzio had this to say on his campaign page in regards to ANOTHER crime committed by a violent offender released early: "This case raises even more questions for former Connecticut Sen. Len Suzio, who has been pushing to change state laws, so criminals don't get out of jail early. 

"More than 40,000 hardened criminals have been released or discharged early under this law from Connecticut prisons in the last two and half years," Suzio said. "Thousands are returning to their lives of crime, committing murder and mayhem in our towns and villages. This law has got to be changed." "
Find out more about Suzio's campaign for the 13th District which encompasses parts of Middletown here:

Date: June 3, 2014
For immediate release:
Contact: Len Suzio 

Former State Senator Len Suzio, Connecticut's leading critic of the Early Release program, cited the organizational meeting of the new Victims' Rights Enforcement Advisory Commission as proof that the Malloy Administration is playing politics with victims and their families.

"Murder, rape, robberies, assaults and other violent crimes are being committed by unreformed criminals let loose under Mike Lawlor's Early Release Law. We know nearly 42,000 criminals have been let loose early under Connecticut's version of the "Get Out of Jail Free Card" and we know that nearly 2 of every 3 of those convicts will return to criminal behavior within 3 years of their release from prison. The release of many of them is terrifying to their victims" said Suzio.

"The Early Release law denies victims and their families justice and it denies them security from their criminal tormentors. If there is an area of lax enforcement of Victims' rights it is the notorious Early Release Law. But the Commission Chairperson, Garvin Ambrose, did not indicate that the fatally flawed law will even be considered by the Commission. How can a Commission charged with enforcing victims' rights overlook Connecticut's most controversial law affecting victims and their families?" questioned Suzio

"The Malloy Administration knows that the public overwhelming rejects the Early Release Law. The new Victims' Rights Enforcement Commission is 'window dressing' intended to take the heat off the Administration for its abandonment of victims. But no Administration that supports the release of tens of thousands of violent criminals of whom 2 of every 3 will return to crime can claim to care about victims or justice", Suzio continued.

District Picks New Middletown High Athletic Director

As seen on the Middletown Press website:
District picks new Middletown High athletic director
By Alex Gecan, The Middletown Press
POSTED: 06/25/14, 5:34 PM EDT |

MIDDLETOWN >> The school board has made its pick for a new high school athletic director.

The Board of Education voted five to four to select Elisha DeJesus to head up the athletic department, beginning with the next school year, Chairman Eugene Nocera said Wednesday.’
DeJesus will take over for Michael Pitruzzello, who will be retiring at the end of this year after nearly four decades working in Middlesex County
“The board is very pleased with Coach Pitruzzello and his programs and what he’s accomplished in his tenure in Middletown,” said Nocera. He said the board anticipated that DeJesus would prove a worthy successor.
DeJesus would come to Middletown from America’s Choice at SAND School in Hartford, where she has worked as dean of students since January.
She was athletic director for Morristown Central School in New York for three years. Her résumé comprises over a decade of teaching, coaching and administration.
DeJesus has masters degrees in physical education and educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
“It was a long discussion,” said Nocera. “It was one of those situations where it took a while to come to an agreement for which candidate.”
“We interviewed seven or eight or nine,” said the chairman. “We narrowed it down to three, unfortunately one of the candidates who was a finalist took a position as athletic director in another district last week.”
DeJesus was not available Wednesday evening to confirm whether she would accept the position.
“The board congratulates her and we look forward to her starting in the school district,” said Nocera.

Story originally appeared in yesterday's Middletown Press but was removed off the front page.

Jason Serra Not Picked for Athletic Director

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Middletown Rescue Group Catales Fil A Truck Event

Guestblog: Escalating War in Iraq caused by Obama's Incoherent Foreign Policy

     The situation in Iraq is declining quickly and this lays at the doorstep of Pres. Obama. Whether one agrees or disagrees with going into Iraq in the first place, the reality is that it was stable when Pres. Obama came into office. He signaled a draw-down which the insurgents simply waited for. Democrats are very good at turning victories into defeats. They did the same thing in Vietnam which was effectively stable after Pres. Nixon left office and would have simply been divided like Korea. Instead, the Democrats in Congress cut any funding that would have assisted the South if the North invaded and the communists just walked into Hanoi. Anyone who tells you Vietnam was a US loss is not telling the whole story. Pres. Nixon negotiated a peace after he bombed the hell out of the North. It was that treaty that brought POW's like Jon McCain home. Pres. Nixon promised the South that the US would send military assistance if the North violated the peace treaty. When Democrats in Congress made funding for Vietnam illegal, the communists simply took the South knowing the US would do nothing. The communists then took over South Vietnam and murdered about 1 million people, including those who worked with the Americans, and many were sent to barren areas of the country to starve to death. The anti-war crowd didn't talk much about the slaughter that occurred there after we left Vietnam to its fate.

      I don't mind going to war, but if one goes to war, it requires a commitment to see the cause through. The Democrats are simply naive about the world and Pres. Obama's incoherent foreign policy reflects that. So, American troops appear to have sacrificed in Iraq to basically hand it over to Iran or fundamentalist Muslims. The Democrats today are not of the same ilk as Roosevelt or Truman in terms of foreign policy. Today's Democrats would have happily handed the world over to the Nazis or the communists. They have no commitment to defending freedom or even America's own interests. When America draws back from the world, it becomes a more dangerous place because every dictator and ill-intended leader in the world becomes emboldened and decides they can do as they please. In that sense, Pres. Obama's legacy will be leaving the world a more dangerous place. Pres. Obama's jetting around to golf courses this weekend while the situation blows up in Iraq is deplorable. There is far more decisive leadership in a bankrupted Kiev than in this White House.

Wyatt Kopp, Connecticut

Friday, June 20, 2014

Conservative Round up from Palin Smith

Greetings Patriots:
We've been distracted and extremely busy helping several campaigns the past two months. We were forced to suspend the newsletter.
We could not keep up with the fast-paced changes in the political landscape in CT. This notice is about a single event.
Congressman John Larson is hosting a town hall meeting Sunday evening from 5 PM to 7 PM. The subject is IRAQ. The meeting is in the West Hartford Town Hall.
Larson's public meetings are always highly emotional and contentious. We will be there to record the event.
This is your opportunity to tell a US Congressman what you feel about President Obama. The impeachment of the traitor-in-chief is imminent only if enough pressure is brought to bear on the House of Representatives.
Any American must be incensed with Obama's foreign policy debacles. The Invasion Obama has been promoting on the southern border is allowing child abuse and disease to flood into America. Tell Larson what you think and I will make sure the country hears you.
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato
Palin Smith
PS. I regretfully inform you that the Dump Dodd-mobile kicked the bucket on Wednesday. My new vehicle is a 4-door very comfortable sedan. I now have room for three passengers. If you wish to travel to West Hartford in the new "Anti-Common Core-mobile( new name under consideration), please respond. First come basis.
Along the route from Woodbury on I-84.

Middletown is 'Mentaltown' in June

 Such a story isn't an appealing way to make national news, but none the less, one town's weirdness is another's well whatever...

Today Middletown made headlines on the  popular offbeat news website which syndicates  weird news headlines from around the country. isn't a webblog. According to its "about page",, the Web site, is a "news aggregator"and an edited social networking news site. Fark states it  receives 2,000 news submissions from its readers, from which the editors' choose the funny and weird notable news -- and not-news -- of the day.
Fark writers then preface the headline with a satirical antidote, in this case: "Men Steal more than 7,000 pennies to buy heroin, making more cents than brains"

The Insider highlighted the last time Middletown made Fark - back in June of 2013 when someone left a mystery device  outside of a synagogue. S.W.A.T. later discovered it was a sewing machine.  Before that, our fair kingdom made Fark news when a nude man was seen cavorting outside of the new Price Chopper (and anyone who knows anyone who was there that day also know he took a..)..ironically also in the month of JUNE! What the heck is it about June that makes townsfolk go a little mental round here?

A MIA mayor, state institution escapees, kinfolk penny jar lootin'... seems like the month of June is heating up!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Middletown Veteran & Candidate Angel Fernandez Receives Award for Rescue Efforts

Angel Fernandez
Local veteran & Deputy Chief of Middletown's Emergency management Angel Fernandez reminisces as he marks the decade anniversary of his receiving a special award for going above the call of duty to serve the public. Fernandez, who is also the Deputy Director of the  National 65th Regiment Historical Society and former Amvet Warrior Transition Coordinator (a national position with a 1 year term), was honored for heroic actions which helped to save lives. Fernandez received this honor in 2004, and 10 years later, still recounts the day as one that made him want to better serve his community by running for public office.

Currently, Fernandez, a conservative Republican, is running for State Legislator in the 100th District, much of which is comprised of Middletown. Fernandez studied Public Safety Administration and Criminal Justice at Central Connecticut State University. Fernandez is a veteran, having served in combat during wartime.  Fernandez was enlisted in the U.S. Navy from  1989 to 2007. Upon retirement from the Navy in 2007, he received the J. Edgar Hoover award. Fernandez has young children in the Middletown public school system, and is the father of a soldier currently serving overseas.  

When asked for this article what he learned in his military career that will make him suitable as a state representative, Fernandez said:

Conceptualized over 4 years ago, 
The Five Conflict Memorial 

 Middletown was dedicated this past 

Memorial Day . Fernandez played a key role in 

working with local, state, & national

 Veterans' organizations to bring the project to fruition. 
Having himself served in combat, this project was
 particularly important for Fernandez.
“What I learned in the military is that you listen to your people and take care of them. Be honest during good and bad moments. Honesty will take you a long way. Lying will do nothing but diminish your character as a leader. That's my game plan as a legislator; to use my leadership skills to help people understand that I am living and sacrificing on a daily basis. I know what it is to struggle in our state's current economy. I can relate to any resident because that’s what I did whenever I went to foreign country; I trained to understand people of different cultures and diversities.”

Fernandez, founder/president of  Eleven Charlie LLC, a security training company,  previously captured the spirit of altruism & giving back to the community when he donated specialized disaster training to Middletown Emergency crews and police.

Read about this training project in our previous article here:

More information about Fernandez & his campaign for the 100th District can be found here:

The full article, published at Dolphin News, serving New London's Naval community, explaining Fernandez's heroism award is below:
By:JO3 Steven Feller
West Hartford, Conn. - The last thing Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Angel Fernandez (PJ) expected to deal with as he drove down Interstate 84 on March 12 was a multi-vehicle accident, but that was exactly the hand life dealt him. Six weeks later, Fernandez was recognized by the West Hartford Police Department (WHPD) for his role in responding to the accident and rendering first aid to the victims.

In a ceremony at City Hall last Friday, Fernandez and seven other citizens, were awarded the WHPD Recognition Award, which is given to citizens and officers who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist the WHPD and the general public.

Fernandez said he had just left work and was on his way to a medical appointment when fate steered him in another direction."I was driving west on I-84 when an eastbound driver crossed the median and hit a vehicle," said Fernandez. "Nobody was stopping; so I turned around, turned my lights on, deployed flares and secured the scene."
After a passing motorist called 911, Fernandez was working solo for five minutes before two officers from the WHPD arrived on scene.

"When we (WHPD Officers James Mahon and Brian Wallace) arrived, we saw that Fernandez had shut down a traffic lane by himself...and that's not easy. We have trouble doing that with our cruisers," said Wallace.

While other emergency personnel were en route to the scene, Fernandez began first aid. One victim was lying in the middle of the road and the others were trapped in their vehicles.

"There were a lot of broken legs and head and chest injuries," said Fernandez. "As emergency personnel extracted the victims from their vehicles, I relayed information to the emergency personnel. I also talked with the victims, maintained their vital signs and helped get them stabilized."

Assistant Police Chief Robert McCue said it is difficult to measure the amount of lives saved by Fernandez' actions.

North End Farmers' Market Opens Friday

Friday: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
June 19 to  end of October
Corner of Liberty St. and Main St.
575 Main Street, Middletown

NEAT's North End Farmer's Market is open to the public and runs Fridays thru the end of October. WIC, EBT, and SNAP will accepted starting June 27th. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Middletown Safety Day & Kiwanis Bike Safety Rodeo in Photos

Kiwanis tents & safety course at Bike Safety Rodeo
As part of the City's Kid's Health & Safety Day, the Kiwanis of Middletown held their annual  Kids Bicycle Safety & Rodeo event on Saturday. In the past, the event has been held in the parking area of the Police Station, but there year the event took place at AME Zion Church on West Street.  Volunteers inspected childrens' bikes for safety and bicycle helmets were given out to participating children. Kiwanis volunteers helped children with bike safety rules as they navigated the bike rodeo course. Earlier in the day, children had the opportunity to participate in a 4 mile guided bike ride leading to downtown. This years events were organized by Kiwanian Chris Holden and Kiwanian & Fire Chief Robert Kronenberger. South, Westfield, and Middletown fire supplied vehicles for showing. Middletown's Tower 1 Ladder Truck displayed its long reach ladder fully extended.Police, Fire, EMT, and other public safety personal gave vehicle tours and were on hand doing demonstrations. Middletown's canine officer Hunter made a special appearance. Across town, Cattales held its annual Walk for Sanctuary at Middlesex Community College.
Current BOE Member & Candidate for State Rep the 33rd Linda Szynkowiz along side Middletown resident & church member Keisha Johnson enjoy the festivities.
Children were fitted with free bike helmets courtesy of Kiwanis of Middletown
Bounce houses and sand art stations lined AME Zion Church's lawn.
Councilmembers Carl Chisem & Robert Santangelo
check out the day's activities.
In the background, a trailer used to simulate a smoke filled room. Middletown police Capt. Sean Moriaty greets people with a remote controlled miniature car (see below photo) while
also providing the voice for the mini cruiser, CouncilwomanDeborah Kleckowski, who sits on the Public Safety Commission looks on.
Mini cruiser.
A variety of police, fire, & rescue vehicles were available for a closer look by citizens in attendance. 

BOE Member Writes Superintendent, Voices Concerns Over Missing Funds

On April 7th, Board of Education member Linda Szynkowicz (R) sent the following letter to fellow board members voicing her concerns over the education budget citing concerns on the lack of information given to members to review prior to the vote. On April 29th, she also sent the below certified letter to Superintendent Dr. Patricia Charles with a list of questions regarding the accounting of various funds, information about which has not been disclosed to board members who are responsible for appropriating funds between line items in the budget. 

On Monday, Szynkowicz, who is also currently running for state representative in the 33rd District, appeared on Comcast's cable access show "The Variety Hour" hosted by Middletown Republican Candidate William Wilson. Szynkowicz stated for the record that she regrets having voted to approve the budget; Szynkowicz discussed what she feels is information that has been systematically with held from the board members & lack of transparency & accountability on the part of the school administration overseeing taxpayer supplied education funds. Szynkowicz reiterated her dedication to education and emphasized she wishes more funds went to students and teachers, instead of being wasted. She stated to date, the questions to the superintendent & board below have not been addressed.  
As Board of Education members, the budget is ultimately our responsibility. We take ownership of the budget and essentially tell the taxpayers that we believe in the budget we present. It is taken for granted that we are aware of where and how the taxpayer’s money will be spent. In the past five months since I was elected by the tax payers to this office, I find the way the budget and how the monies are being spent – a mystery.

The information we receive on a monthly basis consists of transfers and an overall expenditure of funds. It does not include income from grants and other income received by the schools or any information on leased rooms, buildings, pools, etc. A real budget has income and expenditures. I personally have never even seen a school’s individual budget, yet every month I am asked to transfer money from one line item to the next.

In these difficult times, we need to make the tax payer’s money stretch as far as possible. How can we do this if the actual budget’s (Income and expenses) are unknowns? Do we as board members know how many students and teachers are in each school and what part of the budget each one makes up as part of the overall budget? For safety concerns, in the event of an emergency at any particular school, do we have any idea how many students, teachers, staff, paraprofessionals and or visitors are in each school? Do we know the actual needs of each school?

I know that we were told back in January 2014, that Woodrow Wilson Middle School is in desperate need of a new security system which will cost approximately $16,000. I personally toured the school this past Thursday and saw their security system. I walked with the principal up and down hallways, seeing staff and the principal with walkie talkies and personally viewed the antiquated security monitors.  This should be a priority, not only for the safety of the students, but staff, as well. We talked about the other needs of the school and he made mention of what he’s had to do with his budget. Sadly I had to tell him, when he was making reference to certain line items, that I have never seen his actual budget. That I have no idea how much money is spent at each school or where the money goes. This is embarrassing as a board member who is supposed to know where the money goes within the school system. This has to change.

How can we know where we can stretch the dollars to get more “bang for our buck” if we have no idea about the answers to some very basic questions? How would we know if we had a problem in any one of the schools with their electrical if we cannot compare the costs for electricity for each school?

We, as BOE members, should be given a copy of each school’s budget on a monthly basis which would include expenditures and income. It should include the salaries of the teachers, paras, staff, etc of each individual school. We should treat each school as an individual “business” and have all accurate accountings of all the major assets, including computers, how many and how old.

The overall budget should include the breakdown of each school’s entire budget (again this is income and expenses).

We need to see the list of vendors, what we buy from them, for how long and whether or not the contract went out to bid. Along these same lines, we need to review the bid process conducted by the BOE. Do we have guide lines similar to the City of Middletown where anything over $2500 up to $15,000 needs a minimum of three (3) hard quotes (written on official letterhead by the prospective vendors) and anything over $15,000 has to go out to a formal bid? For all of the BOE members that believe the current vendors have given us the “best deal”, through a real bid process, we will actually be able to see what a “good deal” we have been getting or if we could be getting a better deal utilizing other vendors.

We receive millions of dollars in grant money, yet we do not know where the money goes from each one, let alone the name and purpose of each grant. Do we know if we have gotten all the grant money from all the grants that are available to us? This is a daunting task and the efforts put forth by those involved in the grant processes should be acknowledged and appreciated for the monies we receive, but what are the grants and where does the money go from each one? No one can be 100% aware of the available grants, so how can the public help to give information about previously unknown sources of funding, if we, the public and the BOE members don’t know who gives us what money?

I propose a listing of all the grants received by Middletown school system to not only be provided to the BOE members, but be posted on the website for the general public to see and have the opportunity to add to the list of grant providers.

At the January meeting regarding the budget and needs of the BOE, it was brought to our attention that Dattco gave us back $100,000. Where did that money go to?

The Sodeco contract needs to be looked at. We had to transfer $16,000 last month to pay for the hazardous waste removal at the schools which should have been included in the original contract.

We, as a board, need to have all these issues addressed. Again, we, as board members, have a responsibility to the taxpayers to have the money for Middletown’s students be used for their needs for learning. We are competing with magnet schools and are paying out thousands of dollars for the students in Middletown that have decided to gain their education elsewhere.

We should no longer rely on the statements, “This is the way it’s always been done.” We need to be proactive and create a comprehensive accounting of all the dollars received and spent within the Middletown School system. The first step to change, is finding out where all the money is going and what monies are coming in. We need to make sure that the venders are giving us the best deals and this is done through a bid process and hard quotes for items under $15,000.

I am asking that we call for a special meeting later this month to have all these issues and more addressed. Ultimately, if we can find a savings of even 5%, we can have all the wish list items that have been presented to the board.

I welcome any thoughts and ideas presented by the members of the Board of Education, as well as those of the general public. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Linda J. Szynkowicz

Board of Education, Member
April 29, 2014
Dr. Alfred B. Tychsen Administrative Building
Middletown Board of Education
311 Huntington Ave.
Middletown, CT 06457
Attn: Dr. Pat Charles

Dear Dr. Pat Charles:

Three weeks ago I sent a letter to all the Board of Education members spelling out what I believed to be the responsibility and need for us, as Board of Education members, to know the budget – both income and expenses, in order to make sure that we are doing everything we can to not only have a balanced budget, but to find cost savings in order to be able to pay for all the wants and needs of the district. I have included the original letter with this letter.

I find it necessary to spell out what I would like from the Superintendent’s financial office, instead of the special meeting I had requested, since one has not been set to date.

1.      Detailed accounting of all income and expenses for each school on a yearly and monthly basis. This should include the breakdown of all salaried personnel within each school and all expenses and income within each school.

2.      A complete listing of all grants received, their dollar amounts and where they are applied in the budget. When they are received is also important.

3.      A comprehensive listing of all vendors utilized within the district, what their services are, their total cost, when they went out to bid and when their contract(s) expire. I would also like to see copies of all contracts that went out to bid and were awarded to the vendors.

4.      A separate listing of vendors we utilize that did not go out to bid and what services they provide and the cost of their products/services we purchase.

5.      A listing of what products and services are purchased collectively as a district and what products and services are purchased separately by each school and the Superintendent’s office.

6.      A detailed accounting of how much Sodexco has saved the district. It is my understanding that they have a one year contract and should have a comprehensive review in order to be renewed.

7.      I would like to review the bid process for the Board of Education. Is it the same as the City’s?

8.      Where did the $100,000 given back by Dattco last year go? I have also been told it was more like $500,000. A detailed accounting would be appreciated, with an accurate accounting of exactly how much was “given back”.

9.      A detailed report on Dattco’s billing practices, as mentioned in the April Budget Committee meeting, being “messed up.”

10.  Are jobs being subplanted in the Alliance grant application for 2014-2015 and which positions are they?

11.  What is the dollar amount being proposed to be pushed into the next fiscal year as allowed by the State? (1%) and what is the money going to be put towards? and why?

12.  As of a month ago, there was $934,000 still not received by the State of CT from the Alliance grant. What has been received and where is it going to?

These are a few of the questions, I would like addressed, as soon as possible. As Board of Education members, we need to know where all the money is being spent, since we are ultimately responsible for the budget.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Linda J. Szynkowicz
Board of Education Member

Sexual Violence in CT

Recently, The Middletown Press published an article about a Wesleyan student who has been accused of sexual violence by another student.  Below are some Connecticut statistics on the issue:

Statistics on Sexual Violence

The following statistics are based on national average.

Statistics on Females
  • Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.(U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey)
  • 1 out of 6 women have been victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. (National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.)
  • 38% of women who have been raped were ages 14-17. (PSU)
  • 60% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • 73% of sexual assaults were committed by a non-stranger. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • 38% of rapists are a friend of acquaintance to the victim. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • 92% of homeless women have experienced severe physical and or/sexual violence in their lifetime. (PCAR)
  • Up to 38% of women identify sexual abuse as a reason for leaving their home. (PCAR)
Statistics on Males
  • An estimated 92,700 men are forcibly raped each year in the United States. (Tjadn & Thoemmes, 1998)
  • 3% of American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. (National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.)
  • In 2003, 1 in every 10 rape victims was male. (U.S. Department of Justice)
Statistics on Children
  • 1 out of 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they are 18 years old. (Darkness to Light)
  • 15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12 and 44% are under age 18. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker. (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics)
  • Girls ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. (RAINN)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rumblings: Where's Dan Dan?

 1. Yo Joe Smo'lis where is the Mayor?? Mayor Dannel Drew missed Middletown's Memorial Day parade & Veteran dedication ceremonies at the Westfield parade and at the State Veteran's Memorial. Councilman Bob "Zippy" Santangelo took his place, and when pressed told various individuals the mayor was "out of town."
No offense, but as the elected chief of chiefs of sorts of our fair City, wouldn't this be one of THE most important ANNUAL events you as mayor should attend? I mean, won't the Jersey shore or whatever beach your vaca'ing on be there any other weekend?? Or is it fundraising with Big D down in Stamford that's got you worn for wear?  Besides, Lil' Dan you make $90K+ a year &set your own schedule- basically you can take a 3 day weekend any time you want. As we wait for the spin of where the Prince of Middletown was- which you can bet will be an Oscar winning performance - family illness, funeral, secret debriefing at the White House, Jolie-Pitt-esque international adoption, or better still a second trip abroad to say China on our behalves, Less(er) we forget who we are dealing with - even the Middletown Republican's got it together this year actually have more than just a dirty dozen to march in the parade for pete's sake Dan Dan!

2. Lesser than the Status Quo Matt Lesser gets his first job! Well, not really. Its as CEO of a liberal "wink wink" non partisan non profit, which means schmoozing, shaking hands, & twitter with no real work. Right up Matt's alley.

3.  The Artful Dodger: ML is on the board of Oddfellow's Playhouse. And word on the street is that with so many viable non profits vying for Middletown grant money there isn't enough to go around to the usual suspects anymore. Certain regular (liberal & entitled) players  are up in arms that they have to now actually apply & make a good case to the Middletown Art's Commission and compete with new non profits on the block for what used to be a rubber stamped deal. Ironically, it has been Democratic Mayor Drew who has cut the Art's budget two cycles now, unlike a former Republican Mayor who actually increased it...Rumor has it that the playhouse is on the skids & no one who hasn't already jumped ship is getting paid. We think that's enough to get Dic Wheeler's (juggling) balls in a twist. 

4. Past, Present, &Yet to Come: A total of three Middletown Police Officers have been "coincidentally" let go since the investigation into whether or not allegations of  Chief McKenna  poppin' pills got underway. What did these three officers have in common?  Don't forget Mayor Most Drewivious came out in full support of the chief's innocence. No coincidence the media has made no mention of this ongoing investigation since January! Why didn't the chief take a drug test right then and there? Well, we predict things could get hairy before this issue comes to a close.

5. Fire & Ice: Robert Kronenberger was appointed by the mayor and made Fire Chief of the Middletown Fire Department last week in a 10-2 vote. Who were the hold outs? Councilmembers Serra and Russo-Driska. And which voted against Kronenberger because he allegedly looked at said councilperson's relative the wrong way? Now that's cold.

6. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ... and now times are just HOPEless. This councilmember asked for a property tax break after the recent reevaluation because of his or her home is haunted. Not allegedly haunted, but according to him or her, certifiably haunted. So did the Assessment Board of Appeals grant this break? You betcha freakin-looney tuney!

7. Make the Connection. Which non profit was unhappy with its re-val price and its loss in tax exempt status? Go ask your buds in the Blue House for help.

8. Charter Chatter: If you were playing along at home, name the former Councilman on the Charter Revision Committee who asked for a copy of the Charter at the committee's first meeting? Clue: he then made the comment at the meeting after discovering in his stack of documents at how short it was like he had never seen it before. 

9. Accountability. Transparency, its for the children, & all that feel good stuff. BOE stalls budget workshop and implementation of joint accounting software with the City. Drew says an ALLIANCE should GRANT the City and the BOE a better financial infrastructure. Something tells us some folks just don't want everyone to know where the money is...

10. An Average Joe: Rumor: Joe Samolis, the Mayor's Chief of Staff aka the Mayoral Babysitter to Middletown's Sire is to become the next Senior Services Director, Park & Rec Director, Athletic Director for the BOE or all three. This guy has taken so many for the team how can this go on much  longer? Before Drew leaves office, you can bet he will be making it so for his number one.

11. Oliver Twisted: What the Dickens?? What is going on with the City's IT Dept.? Erased hard drives ,secret monitoring programs, and supposedly the MPD is confiscating computers?  Even Alfred Jingle couldn't get the Pickwickians in a debacle as shifty as what the Drew Crew has been up to.Shhhh! Is Big Brother (Joe) listening with the help of the boys in blue? Please sir can we have some more? About this rumor that is. Inquiring minds need to know!

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