Friday, September 26, 2014

South Fire Open House October 4th!

South Fire Open House & Fire Safety Fair 2014

Congratulations to New American Legion Officers Middletown Post 75 & Veteran News

Jerry Augstine/credit Augustine
 Milardo Wilcox American Legion Post 75 of Middletown has installed new officers for the upcoming year.

Congratulations for the new offices which include: Larry Riley, commander; Michael Rogalski, adjutant; Ken McClellan, senior vice commander; Cheryl McClellan, finance officer; Jerry Augustine, chaplain; Ron Organek, historian; and Calvin Hilton, service officer.
Cheryl McClellan is a Middletown board of education member, & Jerry Augustine has been a very popular guest blogger for the Insider. Augustine's last contribution ( and we certainly hope for more Jerry!) can be read here:

Local Veteran events for the fall:
Veterans of the Vietnam War of Middletown will be meeting on Oct. 7, the first Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive, Middletown.
VFW Post 583 meetingOct. 1, at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive.
American Legion Post 75 Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive.

VFW Post 1840  meetingOct. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive.
D.A.V. Chapter 7  meeting on Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive. All veterans are welcome.

 Greater Middletown Military Museum will meet Oct. 21, the third Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m., at the American Legion Hall, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive.

The Catholic War Veterans Post 1166 meeting Oct. 15, at 7 p.m., at St. Mary’s Church Rectory, 79 South Main St., Middletown

American Legion Post 206 will be meeting on Oct. 16, the third Thursday, at 6 p.m. at Page Hall on the Connecticut Valley Hospital campus in Middletown.

The Middletown Council of Veterans are to gather on Oct. 28, the fourth Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 58 Bernie O’Rourke Drive.

In addition The Trees of Honor Inc. is hosting a fundraiser in November:
Bill Maune has posted an article on Patch with video & tribute song from a combat veteran's widow here:
November 1st, Ct. Trees Of Honor Dinner-Dance & Auction 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: Laurel View Country Club, Hamden, CT.
Description: Salute to veterans dinner/dance and auction to benefit the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial building fund.
General Admission is $60. Dress code is Black Tie or Cowboy Boots and everything in between.
Fun Silent Auction to include bidding on a dance with a Veteran or V.I.P. General and dancing throughout the night to live music by 42nd Street Band.

Auctioneer, WDRC Radio Personality, Brad Davis. Tickets sales will open soon and will be available on our website :

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DOT to address Route 17 & Route 9 Tonight Public Hearing

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) will conduct a Public Informational Meeting for the Reconfiguration of Route 17 On-Ramp onto Route 9 North (Project No.82-309).
When: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Where:                 Middletown City Hall, in the Council Chambers (1st floor),
245 Dekoven Drive,
Middletown, Connecticut
What:                   An open forum with Department staff will begin at 6:30 p.m.
with a formal presentation at 7:00 p.m. 
Details of the proposed concept: This project is designed to develop a plan that will enhance the safety of vehicles at the on-ramp of Route 17 onto Route 9 North, which has a high frequency of accidents. The proposal includes the widening of the existing bridge immediately north of the stop-controlled on-ramp to accommodate a full length acceleration lane and remove the stop-control condition. The widening of the Route 9 Bridge would be facilitated by the relocation of the intersection of Union Street, Harbor Drive and River Road currently located under the bridge. This intersection would be moved further east across Sumner Brook, which would require the construction of two new bridges, and the realignment of the three intersecting roadways.

This concept also proposes to close the existing on-ramp onto Route 9 North located at the north end of Harbor Drive and transform Harbor Drive into a local access road with on-street parking, and various pedestrian amenities.

This project will be concluded at the end of the public comment period for the public informational meeting. At that time, the DOT will consider the initiation of another project to move forward with the design and construction of this concept.

More detailed information is available at the DOT’s Office of Engineering, 2800 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, Connecticut, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays.  Plans are also available for review at the Middletown City Hall – Town Clerk’s Office, 245 Dekoven Drive, Middletown, Connecticut. Anyone wishing to discuss the project may contact Mr. William W. Britnell. 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Police Accountability Using Readily Available Tehcnology

Ferguson Police Force Chose Not to Be Accountable

By Lee Bellinger at Independent Living News

The heat of the conflict in Ferguson has cooled, but my blood is still sizzling.
I learned this last week that the Ferguson police force had the means to prevent everything that transpired there.
They could have avoided the looting and the riots.
Shooting peaceful protesters with rubber bullets? It never would have happened.
Launching tear-gas into crowds? Wouldn’t have come to that.
If the Ferguson police department had just deployed technology they already have, they could have given definitive answers to all the questions raised by the shooting of Michael Brown. And they could have done it fast enough to render their ham-fisted handling of the aftermath completely unnecessary.
What amazing bit of technology could do all that?...(Read on)

After you have read through the post consider asking Middletown Police if they have this technology. This is much better than MRP assault trucks and other government gifted military equipment. This makes "Protect and Serve" a reality.
"'America gets upset when they see local police with militaristic-type gear and weapons,' said Brookfield Police Chief Robin Montgomery, a former special agent with the FBI who earned two Purple Hearts as a Marine in Vietnam. 'If the threat does not rise to the militaristic level, you need to be as low-key as possible.'
Being low-key becomes difficult when military equipment is deployed on Main Street, said David McGuire, staff attorney for the ACLU in Hartford.
'We have found there is an overreliance on this equipment where departments have used SWAT teams and armored vehicles to deliver warrants,' McGuire said. "That is inappropriate.'
The ACLU is lobbying the state legislature for a law requiring a local public hearing before a police department could apply for military equipment. The law would also require police to log each instance where the military equipment was used so that its use could be monitored..."
Also search by Connecticut town to see what's been supplied by Uncle Sam (CT Post) 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Letter to the Editor: Keating Wheel Company should be honored as part of Middletown's History

The following letter was left in the form of a comment on our Motorcycle Mania 2014 post. Below resident Gary Keating comments on the history of the Keating Wheel Company now referred to as Remington Rand. Keating discusses why the city owned factory building should revert back to its original moniker. A history of the factory derived from the upcoming book by R.K. Keating can be read at : . There is a short film by Brian Keating available free on the web which also offers historic insight. 

 From what we can tell, one of the few remaining Keating bicycles was last on display locally at The Middlesex Historic Society in June of 1998 in an exhibit entitled "Rum, Rubber, & Rattraps" which showcases locally made turn of the century items. The last surviving original 1902 Keating motorcycle it is claimed is housed at the Keating Wheel Company collection in New Hampshire.  The company was reformed in 1982, and according to their website above, specializes in restoration & preservation of vintage motorcycles. Tell us in the comments what you think!

 Last month at the council meeting Councilman David Bauer proposed  revisiting a list of names historically significant to Middletown for future  to be drawn upon for future street names; as of yet there is no Keating Street in the city, but perhaps with Keating's book being published, a new light will be shed on this significant piece of history in our own backyard.Thanks for the history lesson Mr. Keating! If you have an insight into a forgotten piece of M-town history send us a letter.

Its hard to beleive that the city of Middletown leaders can support this great event but continually ignore Middletown's history in the development of the motorcycle as a means of daily transportation. 

The building currently described as the " Remington Rand " building was designed and built in 1896 by Robert M. Keating, for the sole purpose of making world-class bicycles, the most popular mode of transportation at the time. The "Keating Wheel Company" was one of the first factories run by electricity in the USA. The factory made bicycles, then progressed on to develop horseless carriages, cars, trucks, and eventually motorcycles. Robert M.Keating’s patent for a motorcycle in 1901 predates "Indian" by a year!!!!! Keating’s patents in this area allowed motorcycle greats such as Indian and Harley Davidson to develop their own cycles. In fact, Keating sued both companies for patent infringement and won both cases. There needs to be a more concentrated effort by the media, and Middletown officials, to have the buildings original builder and designer acknowledged for his patents, and innovations, and historical significant in Middletown history. The building should be recognized as the "Keating Wheel Company". Robert M.Keating holds a much more romantic, innovative, and historically important role in Middletown's history then Remington Rand!!!!!!! Just because Remington Rand was the last occupier of the building should not limit the buildings true history and its importance in U.S.A. and Middletown history of transportation development.

The point is, Middletown's history and the history of that remarkable historical asset on Johnson street is not about typewriters. It's about 19th century industrial innovation in America. Specifically, it's all about the pioneering efforts that forever changed the nation's transportation history. No exaggeration. Middletown owns that distinction and should celebrate it. With some creative thinking and planning (what Keating would have called "Yankee Ingenuity"), that distinction might also be branded to attract interests (and dollars) towards historic preservation, tourism and economic development.

My two brothers Rob and Brian Keating and I have done extensive research on “Keating”, his building, and his contributions to the history of transportation in the USA. A biography of Robert M. Keating by my brother Rob is currently at the publishers. We would like to see the “Keating Wheel Company” building and “Robert M. Keating” be recognized 
and their place in Middletown and America’s transportation history honored. 

We would like to see the building officially recognized as “The Keating Wheel Company” with a sign or plaque stating the buildings original use and its historical importance. We need your help in this venture, and are asking for your support.

Thank you,

Gary Keating

Middletown Charter Revisions: Public Hearing to Night & What You Should Know!

The Common Council will vote tonight on revisions to Middletown's Charter. The public is encouraged to speak at the public hearing tonight at 7 pm at City Hall. The Charter Revision Commission, after a series of public meetings, narrowed down 29 possible changes, to 14 changes to the existing Charter. The draft report can be read here: The final report can be read here:
Bottom line folks, its your money, its your right to know & to decide how its spent! NOW is the time to speak up!

In the final report items to be voted on this evening are:

 1.Mayor’s Term to 4 years

 2.Council’s Term to 4 years

 3.Removing Sheriffs from City Officials

 4..Changing the name of City Attorney to General Counsel

 5 .Changing the name of Mayor’s Administrative Assistant to Chief of Staff

6. Permanent Vacancy in the Office of the Mayor to account for a four-year term

 7.Four year terms for the elected officials of Board of Assessment Appeals and Registrars
of Voters.

 8.Maintaining staggered terms of Board of Education and Planning and Zoning
 Amending Biennial Election where appropriate

 9.Amending the Board of Tax Review name to Board of Assessment Appeals

 10 .Adding language for the odd-year elections to reduce Municipal Polling places as stated

The Council asked the Charter Revision Commission to reconsider the following items:

1. Leave the Treasurer as an elected position with no changes to Chapter II, Section 2 and
Chapter IV, Section 4.

 2.Mayor’s Compensation to start at $100,000 and remove all language regarding CPI and
tax shelter annuity of $15,000 with language that the Council will have the responsibility
to budget salary increases annually, Chapter VI, Section 1.

 3.Council’s stipend to start at $8,400 and remove all language regarding CPI with
language that the Council will have the responsibility to budget salary increases
annually, Chapter III, Section 1 and Chapter III, Section 4.

 4.Leave Chapter III, Section 7B, the way it is except top change the title City Attorney to
General Counsel.

 5.Authority of the Common Council to set salaries and stipends for elected officials to
remain the same, with wording to effect the changes of 3 and 5.

 6.Reconsider Chapter VIII, Section 1 Planning and Zoning to reduce the affirmative votes
needed to reflect the State Statute of requiring a simple majority of affirmative votes.

The Council choose to place the first two items as referendum items for the public to decide.
Tonight, the wording of referendum items is up for a vote:

“Shall the Charter be amended to provide for a term of four years for the following elected officials of the City of Middletown: the Mayor, Common Council, Treasurer, Board of Assessment Appeals and Registrars of Voters?

“Shall the Charter be amended to raise the bond limit for which the Common Council can approve spending without going to referendum to $1,000,000?

“Shall all other amendments to the Charter as stated in the Final Report of the Charter Revision Commission and adopted by the Council at its September 2, 2014 meeting be approved?

Local Animal Rescue Group Cattales Fall Fundraiser!

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