Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Letter to the Editor: Mayor should address Columbus statue vandalism

Letter to the Editor by Write in candidate for Mayor Brian E. Clark:

With a tad over 2 weeks to Columbus Day, unfortunately, our great statue of  Christopher Columbus at Harbor Park, was apparently the target of vandals, I discovered today, as went to take my dog for a walk this morning. Typically, this wouldn’t be something I would write about, but rather I would just report to the City, and make sure I would follow up on, to ensure that the vandalism was removed- which I still certainly intend to do. What makes this sad story even more unfortunate, is that when I reported it to our Mayor, Dan Drew, my report was completely ignored.

I’ll be the first one to admit, that Mr. Drew and myself, do not see eye to eye on mostly everything. However, I didn’t think this was a political issue, whatsoever, and hey, there’s an issue, he was the most appropriate individual to get the right people on the job, to get this atrocity corrected, and we can move on to being pissed off at each other again. Well, apparently he didn’t see it like that. I reported it to him directly, and he didn’t even bother looking at it. The end. Again, this wasn’t a political issue, and being close to Columbus Day, and being in a Public Park where children could view this, my major goal was getting ahold of someone who could get the right people on the job to get this cleaned up. So, being blown off by the top dog, I went down the list of Councilmen; both Republican and Democrat, until someone got the job done. Who was that? Hope P. Kasper got on it 5 minutes after I contacted her. I’m glad Hope could see beyond party lines, and see that this is just what it was; an issue that needed to be corrected. The end.  Thanks for being there for the citizens of Middletown, Hope. Mr. Drew, you could learn a thing, or two, in class and how to be a team player, from the person you made sure wouldn’t get a spot on the Democratic ticket.

Brian E. Clark

Free Flu Shots Middletown

Middletown Department of Health & MDA 36 will be hosting four clinics in October and November:
Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Middletown Senior Center, 61 Durant St., Middletown
Oct. 6, 13 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Middletown council chambers
Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Coles Road Fire Station, 105 Coles Road, Cromwell
Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Core Club Gym at 350 Main St., Durham.
Individuals must be at least 4 years old, in good health and have a valid form of identification and insurance card. A copayment is not required. The vaccines will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis and by injection only.
For information, seecityofmiddletown.com/Health or call 860-344-3474.

GO PINK! Charity Event EG Salon

GO PINK! Charity Event EG Salon

Monday, September 28, 2015

Candidate Bio: Lindsay Fralick (R) for Common Council

Lindsay Fralick (R) for Common Council
Lindsay Fralick (R) Candidate for Common Council.

Lindsay Fralick has been a Middletown resident since 1969. She and her family relocated to Middletown so that her father, Bob Fralick, could assist in the design and construction and eventually the management of Wesleyan Hills. Lindsay attended public schools, grades 1-12, graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School. She then attended The Ohio State University, where she studied communications. After moving from Connecticut after college, she relocated back to Middletown in 1996. Immediately upon her return Lindsay took great interest in her hometown. She has been a member of The Main Street Revitalization Board, the Friends of Long Hill, was President of the National 5k Wheelchair race held in Middletown for several years and has been active in The Chamber of Commerce as well as many charitable organizations. Lindsay has been the Manager or Director of Human Resources for almost 25 years. She has held those positions with The Sports Authority, Wild Oats and Home Depot, to name some. She is best known for her work in Labor Relation, Contract Negotiation and EEOC compliance. In 2013, Lindsay decided to leave the corporate world to return her focus home. She currently owns her own business in Middletown, RE:Purpose, LLC, specializing in antiques, decor and estate transitions. She currently lives on Ridge Road with her husband, James Kowalski and their two four legged daughters, Phoebe and Samantha.

Lindsay Fralick's campaign facebook page: Vote Lindsay Fralick in November

More info on Middletown Republican candidates can be found at www.middletownctgop.com 

(Accepting ALL Candidate Bios! See format info here!) 

Double Your Donation Event Amazing Grace St. Vincent De Paul

Bring Your Loose Change to  
TD Bank's "Bring Change" Event   

This October 2nd and They'll DOUBLE Your Donation to Amazing Grace Food Pantry! 
Want to help us Bring Change? We'll be at TD Bank this Oct 2,2015 911 Washington Street, Middletown raising funds for Amazing Grace Food Pantry. Bring your loose change and cash it in at their whimsical Penny Arcade.  TD Bank will match up to $2,000 in contributions to Amazing Grace Food Pantry 

TD Bank is also collecting non-perishable food items for Amazing Grace Food Pantry in their lobby all this week. Over 1,100 families depend on three days of nutritious groceries they receive each month to help make ends meet. 

We depend on community members like TD Bank and people like you to help to keep those shelves stocked! Please donate your change at TD Bank, and/or make a donation to Amazing Grace Food Pantry, 16 Stack Street, Middletown.

South Fire District Open House

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Former Democrat Councilwoman Kasper Endorses Sandra Russo Driska (R) for Mayor

Sandra Russo Driska
Hope Kasper 
Press Release by Steven LaRosa, Democrats for Sandra 2015:
Democrats for Sandra 2015 spokesman, Steven LaRosa today announced that Democratic Councilwoman Hope Kasper has added her support and endorsement to Republican Mayoral Candidate Sandra Russo-Driska.  Kasper was purged from the Democratic ticket in July and forced an unsuccessful primary bid to remain on the Common Council.  Kasper indicated that she felt her positions taken against current Mayor Dan Drew led to her getting dumped from the ticket.
“I am very much supportive of Sandra Russo-Driska becoming the next Mayor of Middletown.” said Kasper.  “I have known Sandra for years and unlike the current incumbent of the Mayor’s Office, Sandra doesn’t require a loyalty oath from fellow elected officials as the price for continued participation.  She is inclusive versus abusive; she embraces new ideas and concepts regardless of party affiliation; she is collaborative rather than confrontational, and she is seeking a return of fiscal accountability to the day to day governance of our municipality.”  Kasper noted that the disrespect shown by Drew has not only targeted her, but also long time Council Majority Leader and former Democratic Mayor, Thomas J. Serra,   Kasper went on to observe that the current Administration is not watching out for the best interest of the taxpayers.  Specifically she cited:

·             Drew has promoted the elimination of retirement Ordinances that have worked well for City taxpayers and City retirees for the past 60 years that have had no cost to the taxpayer for at least the last 25 years for general government workers.  Drew acted against the advice of the City’s Actuary and used general government pension funds to offset the general operating budget while underfunding the police pension fund.

·             Drew acted irresponsibly in regards to the safety of police officers and city employees who utilize the municipal parking garage. Recommendations made by the engineering report have been ignored.  A female employee was injured by falling concrete, and thousands of dollars have been paid to employees and others for damage to their cars parked in the lower level of the arcade. 

·             Drew failed to follow through on seeking quotes from the State’s insurance program now being offered to municipalities; he has failed to provide any information to the Insurance & Claims Commission regarding the 13 town coalition that includes Middletown, and no audit information been provided.  No questionnaires have gone to employees in an attempt to cut costs by soliciting their input regarding issues with the current mail order drug prescription program. 

·             Drew has done nothing to address citizens’ noise complaints, brought forward to the Public Safety Commission, living in the vicinity of the Higby Police Firing Range.

·             Drew permitted the hiring of an employee without approved funding in place an action brought forward to the Common Council, and also laid off an employee, a practice that has successfully been avoided for many years.  Meanwhile it was recently reported that he wants to create a new municipal position of “Waterfront Czar” at an undisclosed cost to taxpayers.

Kasper concluded, “Middletown cannot afford another four (4) years of a typical politician in the Mayor’s Office who regularly displays his arrogance and disdain for the opinions of others, is fiscally irresponsible and beholden to Dan Malloy and the Hartford political”good old boys” fraternity.   I have worked with Sandra and know her to be a person of good will and open-mindedness who understands the need to put people first, not politics. I am confident that Sandra will devote her considerable energy to making Middletown great  rather than be preoccupied with shameless self-promotion  I ask all of those voters who have graciously supported me through the years to cast their votes for Sandra.  Just this afternoon, a female supporter of mine showed up at my house with a bouquet of flowers.  She said how sorry she was for me and for the City and questioned what she could do.  I told her to support Sandra in November.”

Republican Mayoral Candidate, Sandra Russo-Driska, was honored and excited to have the endorsement of Councilwoman Kasper.  “I have known Hope throughout my career with the City.  We have always worked together in the best interests of Middletown, regardless of political affiliation, as City employees, labor representative, and now as members of the Common Council.  I am both humbled and gratified to receive Hope’s endorsement, as no one works harder or cares more deeply for this City than Hope.  Her knowledge of the municipal budget; insurance and claims and the City’s pension system is considerable, and I expect to call upon her as Mayor to continue to share her expertise. This endorsement embodies what my campaign is all about - embracing good ideas, regardless of party and bringing people together to work for the common good of our community.”

CHC hosts Brew with a view to benefit NEAT

CHC of Middletown is hosting a home brew tasting/judging event on their rooftop to benefit the North End Action team. Saturday Sept. 26 3-5 pm. CHC roof, Main St.
Buy your tickets here.
From the CHC:
Join us for another fun afternoon with
spectacular views of the Middletown area and a delicious array of home brews!
We'll be outside again and enjoying live music, all to benefit the North End Action Team!!
We'll be on the roof of the CHC of Middletown building again, outside among the beautiful gardens with the stellar views of the CT River and downtown Middletown!!
Neighborhood businesses will again be offering discounts to attendees of the event, our panel of judges will once more feature some real cool cats, and the home brewers lined up to enter their wares have seriously stepped up their game this time. Keep an eye on this event page for updates and details on all of the above as we get closer to the event.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Attendees of our past events that bring back their tasting cups will be allowed to enter the event early. Access will not be granted without a valid ID.

Candidate Bio: David Greaves (R) Planning & Zoning Alternate

David Greaves (R) for PZ Alternate
David Greave (R) P& Z Alternate
I currently work for the Town of Manchester CT as the Collector of Revenue.
I have been a resident of Middletown for close to 10 years now and have enjoyed the many groups, programs and opportunities that residents of Middletown have and present on an ongoing basis.

Over the last 9 years I've spent a great deal of time as a member and officer of a local fraternal organization working to help present a positive impact in our community.
During this time I've held a number of positions, including: Vice President, President and Trustee, as well as headed the monthly bulletin, Veteran Committee, and Soccer Shoot, I also served on the National Veterans Service Commission, and as the         Central District - District Deputy. 
I have also chaired and assisted in several events for including:
 Annual children events, Annual Charity events to raise money for the CT Children’s Hospital, Annual Children’s Halloween Party for the Middlesex County Community, and many different motorcycle runs.
One thing that I can say about Middletown is that all their private and fraternal organizations care about their community and I have been proud to be a part of making Middletown a better place to live.

More info on Middletown Republican candidates can be found at www.middletownctgop.com 

(Accepting ALL Candidate Bios! See format info here!) 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Connecticut River Clean Up

 The Source to Sea Cleanup is a one-day, coordinated effort in four states to highlight a cleaner Connecticut River. We’d love your help! Come to your local CT River watershed cleanup for the COGINCHAUG RIVER at: 

hosted by Middletown Regional Agricultural Science and Technology Center 
Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District 
Questions? Contact: Ms. Courtney Johnson, 860.704.4599 ext 4049 
OR Ms. Jane Brawerman, 860.346.3282 
Dress for messy work, e.g. boots, long pants, long-sleeved shirt. 
Cleanup supplies (trash bags and gloves) will be provided.
A program of the Connecticut River Watershed Council -www.ctriver.org

Cattales Org Fall Donation Challege Fundraiser


Monday, September 21, 2015

Letter to the Editor: "A Miscarriage of Justice by Dan Drew" by Brian E. Clark

Disclaimer: Below is a letter to the Editor by write-in mayoral candidate Brian E. Clark and published with explicit written consent from former Middletown police officer Francesca Quaranta. Litigation pertaining to claims made by Officer Quaranta expressed in the letter below are pending in court. As with all letters to the editor, the editors/owners/volunteer Middletown Insider staff publish these letters as a courtesy to our readers, and are not responsible for the validity of the claims or opinions made by the author of the letter. Views and opinions do not necessarily reflect that of the Insider staff. 

Write in Candidate for Mayor
& letter author
Brian E. Clark
"Letter to the Editor: A Miscarriage of Justice by Dan Drew"

Francesca Quaranta
It may surprise some that I have known Francesca Quaranta for over 17 years now. Then, in 1998, she was known by Frank, and she was an exemplary police officer for the Rocky Hill Police Dept., and I was her co-worker as an EMT on the Rocky Hill Ambulance, & for Aetna Ambulance Service. I protected her life then, and 17 years later, it brings me to tears to see that the City of Middletown has destroyed her life and career. This was brought to my attention as I am running for Mayor as a Write In Candidate, but after thoroughly investigating this case, I’m not sure me running for Mayor matters much anymore. When a life is destroyed, whether you had a front row seat to the event, or you catch the 48 Hours version, it makes you mad, and your priorities are reassessed. Francesca Quaranta was a Police Officer for the City of Middletown; laying down her life for us every second of the day she was here, and our Mayor, and our City was allowed to run roughshod over her life, on many occasions, and she was treated no different than a Nazi treated a Jew in a Concentration Camp in World War II.

Many know the story, or at least parts of it. Francesca Quaranta started her career here in Middletown as, Frank Quaranta in 2004, and again led an exemplary career for 10 years. The Mayor even says so! But when she decides to live the life the way she feels most comfortable, as a woman, well, it was obvious the “Old Boys Club” of the Middletown Police Department wasn’t having any of it, and therefore because it is the “Old Boys Club”, Dan Drew wants in on the “fun”. What follows is discrimination in the most clear cut case I have ever seen. Isn’t that illegal, you say? Yes, in fact it is. You see, in 2011, Dan Malloy signed HB 6599, making discrimination against transgender and gender expression, illegal. Say it ain’t so, Big Dan! Sorry Mini- Me (Dan Drew), yup, it’s a crime, and one that you conspired with Police Chief McKenna on down through the ranks, to break. When Chief McKenna says to Officer Quaranta that all the rules have to be changed because of you (Meaning Francesca), oh, we knew it was going to be a bumpy road from there. Francesca though, just wants to live her life, and goes out of her way to accommodate the other members of the Department, by removing herself from both locker rooms, and uses a private bathroom on the second floor. It goes so far, that Francesca is getting ready for work in the back parking lot, alone, in the dead of winter. She gets reprimanded on many occasions for trivial issues like hair and earrings, when other females are doing the same, and are left alone. Comments about what sexual acts she performs on other men are made by supervisors, and other officers, and derogatory statements are made by members of the Fire Department in public, and by a dispatcher. In a job where you have to absolutely trust the guy behind you, it obviously became  impossible to do her job safely.

She makes an official complaint with Faith Jackson, the Human Resources Director, who turns an investigation in to a carnival act, and in the end, not only does the decision say that no discrimination has been made, and the workplace isn’t hostile, but she says Francesca should be disciplined for even making the complaint in the first place! Francesca can’t stay here anymore, and who can blame her! On August 25, 2013 she is put on Administrative Leave with pay. She uses her time off to meet with her therapist, and try to make sense of what has happened, and heal. The Mayor doesn’t like this one bit, and on March 11, 2014, orders Francesca to take a Fitness for Duty Evaluation by Dr. Nancy Randall, a Doctor chosen by the City. Dr. Nancy Randall concludes, “It is essential in this position to feel the support of her fellow officers, which Officer Quaranta does not currently feel. The consequence of this could be disastrous in a critical situation, in which there is a need for immediate reactions and trust in fellow officers.” Obviously, Francesca does not pass the Fitness for Duty Evaluation. Diagnostic words like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Severe Depression, and Anxiety are just a few of the words contained in the report, and what does Dan Drew do? He moves her off Administrative Leave, and forces her to apply for Unemployment Compensation, which he challenges, and forces a hearing, which he loses. Miserably. Don’t worry, when it’s found out that Francesca’s diagnosis is a direct result from her employment with the City of Middletown, all of this becomes illegal. But, don’t worry. It does, and it is.

Dan Drew knows he’s screwed up bad. So he orders Francesca to take a second Fitness for Duty Exam, on Jun 2, 2014. Still being treated for her Mental Illness’s right along, she knows this is a joke, meant to be retaliatory, and humiliating. In a letter from her Attorney Josephine S. Miller, delivered that day to Brig Smith, General Counsel for the City, it says as much, and that now, Francesca will be going for her Disability Retirement Pension, which she certainly is entitled to under City Retirement Ordinance. Her own Therapist of 3 years concludes,  “I recommend she be retired with full disability pension since she will otherwise be placed in an intolerable environment that will not be conducive to performing the essential duties of police officer due to lack of cooperation and support of command staff and fellow officers.” Francesca knows now that she must retire with a disability.  But the shenanigans don’t stop here! No, on the June 27th, 2014, Dan Drew summons Francesca to his office, where he FIRES her! What’s his reasoning? He maintains to this day, that had she passed a Fitness for Duty Evaluation, she would have been allowed back immediately. But he knows from Dr. Randall’s report, that isn’t ever going to happen. Under some delusional, pat yourself on the ass, thinking, he thinks he can do all of this legally! Not so Dapper Dan!

Francesca, having the resolve of a Sherman Tank, moves on, and goes for her Disability Pension and the Retirement Board meets for the first time, on September 3rd, 2014. The Board members are all present, but someone has to tell me how Joe Serra can be on that committee as an impartial citizen member. Talk about conflict of interest! But the meeting goes on, and the decision is made that two independent medical (IME) reviews are to be conducted, and Hope Kasper motions to hold a Special Meeting when the results are obtained. I’m confused as to how Doctor Randall’s evaluation couldn’t be used, because she was indeed chosen by the City, and did come to the conclusion that Francesca could not work do to disabilities. Perhaps Dan Drew was wishing on a star each night in his footie pajamas that time, and more harassment would make her better. Anyway, Francesca agrees, and goes to her first IME on October 8th, 2014, by Dr. Morris D. Bell, of  Yale New Haven.

Dr. Bell concludes, “Francesca Quaranta is totally and permanently disabled as a police officer by her PTSD and depression. Her disability occurred during the performance of job related police duties and directly arose from performance of those duties. She was naive about the impact her transgender decision would have on her work life and had not the psychological resilience to withstand the consequences. Her defensiveness about her own contributions to the problem that followed and her sense of betrayal, physical endangerment, harassment and discrimination led to a catastrophic collapse from which she has not recovered.” He goes on to say that “For her this was a traumatic event. By analogy, a person with a predisposing vulnerability like a bad back might experience a blow that another person could withstand, but for that vulnerable individual it leads to permanent disability; so too with the profound and unexpected change in relationships at work for Francesca Quaranta.”
Click to continue reading

2015 Middletown Candidate Forums

Opportunities to Meet Middletown Candidates 2015!

September 24, 2015
Middletown Federation of Teachers
Mayoral Candidate Forum
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Middletown High School
LaRosa Lane

October 8, 2015
Middletown Federation of Teachers
Council Candidate Forum
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Middletown High School
LaRosa Lane

October 21, 2015
NAACP Mayoral Candidate Forum
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
DeKoven House
DeKoven Drive

Middletown Women in Business Monthly Networking Meeting Today

Join CT business women in building their business and careers at the Connecticut Business Connection Women's Networking Group, hosted by Maureen Jasse. Discuss the topics that affect you and build referrals and relationships.

September 21, 2015
Middletown Women's Networking Group
Tuscany Grill, 120 College Avenue, Middletown
Starting at 6:00 p.m.
Meeting Fee: $10
RSVP toinfo@connecticutbusinessconnection.org or 860.375.0348

Wesleyan Hosts Middletown Day to Honor Veterans

Candidate Bio: Phil Pessina (R) for Common Council

Phil Pessina (R) Common Council
Phil Pessina (R) Candidate for Common Council 

It is my distinct pleasure to have the opportunity to seek a Common Council position for our City of Middletown, for my fourth term.  Having been previously elected to 3 terms on the council, I served on several vital council commissions, serving as a past Minority Leader and currently, serving in leadership roles for the Eckersley Hall Senior Community Center and Mattabassett Regionalization Committees. 
                I am excited that my mantra to put ‘Middletown First’ is on the cusp of really occurring, as I look forward to serving with the election of our Mayoral Candidate Sandra Russo-Driska as Mayor and our other Republican Team members.  It is coincidentally where Sandra & I were born, raised, educated and provided our decades of service to our community as city employees; with my 33 ½ years as a member of our Middletown Police Department, retiring as Deputy Chief of Police.  
                After my retirement in 2006, I immediately entered into the political service to my city, for I was very fortunate to have had my pulse on our community residents, businesses  and its industrial economic growth concerns; due in part to my 30 years of volunteer service within the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.   It was in recognition of my service to the chamber that I was very humbled to have been selected the recipient of the 2014 Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Chief Michael L. Green Award.  
                It is important to note that prior to becoming involved in Middletown Politics, my first lesson of the importance of government and the people we serve, was my exposure to the 'Town Meeting' form of government within the community of Haddam, Connecticut.  It was during my service to the town, where I served as Vice-Chairman of the Regional District #17 Board of Education and 2nd Selectman, that taught me the importance of listening, evaluating and advocating for town governmental decisions responsive to the residents I served. 
                Therefore, if elected, I will bring to the council, my strong personal feeling and governmental philosophy, that when considering fiscal, economic, infrastructure, safety and service decisions effecting Middletown, which will ultimately affect our city residents, we in government need to put ourselves in a position of those who will be affected by our decisions; essentially putting Middletown first in all that we do and will accomplish!
                My greatest attribute is my credibility in dealing with people and city issues, centered on my critical thinking skills, commitment to our community members, regardless of political affiliation and stature which life may bring to them.   We as Common Council members need to keep in mind what is best and cost effective for our community!       
                My philosophy is very much in line with Sandra, our Mayoral candidate’s service, actions and vision for our city of Middletown to:
        Create real fiscal planning through a bipartisan Council effort, with input from our community members and stakeholders, providing for a Capital Plan that benefits our city taxpayers by controlling city expenditures and establishing cost effective city programming. 
        Addressing Public Safety Issues with real listening with a genuine concern for the neighborhoods and residents; to improve upon a continued growth of quality of life.
        Recognizing and advocating for our City Employees and Department Heads to continue to provide for a higher ‘cost effective’ quality of service to our community residents and taxpayers.
        Addressing our city’s Infrastructure within our Capital Plan by ensuring economic growth within our Industrial and business communities;
        Ensuring that our Republican administration will aggressively move forward, with community input, to move the River Front Revitalization Project in a timely, efficient and effective manner so our residents will enjoy the many recreational and wellness opportunities;
        Ensuring with the support of our city residents that our City Parks and Fields are completed in a timely manner and done so for our children, youth and adults to utilize, in conjunction with our recreational programing. 
        Advocating for our Senior Citizens a hidden population which can provide fantastic repositories of ideas, values and offer their experiences as an important stakeholder in our city's growth.  They have been underutilized and through my advocacy I will ensure the our administration will create a communicative relationship with our Seniors, particularly to the retired segment of their population. 
                It is becoming perfectly clear from discussions with my constituents and with the recent formation of the (PAC) 'Democrats for Sandra', that our city voters (Democrats, Republican and Unaffiliated) feel like we all feel and believe, that voters are tired of a one party majority and are looking for a change.  A real change, where everyone's opinions, ideas and suggestions are taken openly, seriously and evaluated on how it will qffect our city residents and taxpayers, not their Political Party!
                Here is my idea to consider, let’s follow our Mayoral Candidate's Responses in which she advocates, that it is time that we Recapture Middletown Pride and Celebrate our City of Middletown for its’ Beauty, Diversity and Natural Resources with its’ open spaces and River front to recapture!
                I am proud to call Middletown my home, for a community that provided me with the  opportunities both in public and governmental service over these 42 years and proud to say:
                "It's Where My Story Begins"!

More info on Middletown Republican candidates can be found at www.middletownctgop.com 

(Accepting ALL Candidate Bios! See format info here!) 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

John Ricci, Lical Fire Battalion Chief retires after 28 years

Via Local 1073 Facebook : "After 28 years, Battalion Chief John Ricci is working his last shift tonight. BC Ricci has given so much to the Middletown Fire Department and will be greatly missed. During his career, he was the head of the Technical Rescue Team, a member of the Dive Team as a tender, chairman of numerous committee’s and spearheaded many projects that were done around the firehouse. He has without a shadow of a doubt been a driving force within this organization and his knowledge and expertise will be sorely missed. We wish BC Ricci the best of luck in the future and know we will still see him at fires."

Friday, September 18, 2015

Townwide Tagsale Middletown Sept. 19th

The 4th Annual town-wide tag sale sponsored by the Church of the Holy Trinity will be held Saturday, September 19th throughout the city from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There are two optional locations for the tag sale. 
Maps for the location of the tag sales can be picked up the week of the sale at The Church of the Holy Trinity. For more information, please contact Sharon Sheedy at 860-346-7937, contact The Church of the Holy Trinity at office.holytrinityct@gmail.com, go to the church website at holytrinityct.org, or call 860-347-2591

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Local Middletown resident hosts Intercranial Hypertension Awareness & Fundraising Fair Sept. 26

Click to enlarge
Letter to the Editor: 
My name is Johanna Tessman, I am a 43 year old resident of Middletown, CT and I suffer with INTRACRANIAL HYPERTENSION, a rare brain disease that affects only 1 in every 100,000 people. There are limited treatment options available and there is no cure, I was diagnosed in 2013 and since then I have had 2 brain surgeries, my latest was just completed on July 19, sadly I know already that I am facing a 3rd major surgery in October. When I woke up from my most recent surgery, I chose a personal mission to raise funds and awareness for this illness.

To that end, I am hosting a fundraiser on Sept. 26, 2015 to benefit the Intracranial Hypertension Research Foundation (www.ihrfoundation.org). IHRF is the only 501(c)3 in the world designated to the study of this disease and the development of treatments and the hope for and eventual cure.

This fair will have games, food, crafts, face painting, education, vendors and a large silent auction.

Johanna Tessman

Intercranial Hypertension Awareness and Fundraising FairFundraiser Event is Sept. 26, at Third Church at 94 Miner St, Middletown

Read Johanna Tessman's story below:
My name is Johanna Tessman, I have Intracranial Hypertension and this is my story.
August 2012 found me having and emergency hysterectomy, within a month of that surgery I
began having severe headaches and mood changes, I noticed a weakened immune system
resulting in infection after infection and I struggled with major fatigue. After a year of this medical
chaos and explaining everything away as hormonal changes, Memorial Day weekend I had
developed another infection, this time in my perotted gland so my primary doctor sent me to the
ER for an MRI. She was very concerned with what had been occurring and now wanted to rule
out blood clots. The MRI showed no clots thank goodness, but the resident came back and told
me they found 'incidental' swelling on my brain. My first thought, ok my second really, was how
is any swelling on the brain incidental, but she was the doctor, right?

After months of tests and visits to a neurologist I was told that I had INTRACRANIAL
HYPERTENSION (IH) and I felt a mixture of fear wondering what was going to happen to me and
relief that I wasn't crazy and I knew now what was wrong with me. I was going to do whatever
the neurologist told me if it would cure me.

Little did I know, this disease was rare, only 1 in 100,000 people have it and there is no cure.
I began this next phase with another problem as well, I had a major case of the googles. I looked
up this disease and discovered that it is a disorder of elevated spinal fluid causing pressure in the
brain which explained my headaches, new balance problems, caused a near constant whooshing
and ringing in my ears, as well as the mood changes.

I began immediately taking medications that I was told would help my body with draining this
elevated or excess fluid, and I began so violently ill I was hospitalized multiple times with what
turned out to be spontaneous medication induced hepatitis. We tried a second one but got the
same reaction, and a third just wasn't working, in fact now I was developing a new, scarier
symptom. I saw a white haze over everything, I had visual hallucinations and even developed a
case of episcleritis in one eye. I was having a hard time with the day to day now, my energy level
was decreasing and I was feeling less like myself and I was watching my family suffer the loss of
the wife and mother the loved right before us.
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Guest Blog: " Main Street Manifesto" by Fred Carroll

"Dr. Fred" busy at work on
 his Middletown
observation cartoons
Main Street Manifesto by Fred Carroll 

What's in a name? High St. is fairly high, Broad St. is fairly wide, Court Street most certainly does have a courthouse on it, Liberty Street surely has been liberated from the rule of law...but is Main Street in Middletown actually the main street in town? Yes, in a word, the only possible competition for that title coming from Washington Street, which does double duty as an Interstate Highway or Rural Route or some such. So, why are we [not just my Tapeworm and myself!] talking about it, is there a problem? 

And again, YES, in a word, there IS a problem on Main Street...and the word is PARKING. Parking for the business owner, for the shopper, for the employee, for the vendor, for the tourist.....for everyone BUT the Mayor, who can park on your front lawn if he wants! Is that it, parking? Are there any other problems on Main Street besides where the hell to park the car which I can barely afford to drive? Well, yes, there are a few other problems as well. 

For example, between the front door of your business, which is a restaurant of course, and The Parking Meter, there are any number of other people who are just as determined as you, the "legitimate" business owner to "make a go of it" in their chosen enterprise, which , rather than selling the deliciously prepared flesh of a dead Cow, Chicken, or Pig might entail selling the flesh of a "LIVE GIRL" [there used to be neon signs in Manhattan advertising as much...I don't know if they still sell LIVE GIRLS in New York City or not...perhaps after "9-11" they cut that kind of thing out...] right there on the sidewalk. And of course, the live girl is homeless or addicted to some stupid [formerly legal] drug or other. And then there's the rest of the "panoply" of Street People from Bums to Pimps to malevolent Mendicants and some folks who, at least as the story goes, have no idea what planet they're on, never mind what street... And through all this "battlefield" some poor bastard who just wants to feed people and earn a living in the process is struggling mightily to make the monthly nut and keep the whole thing going. Yeah, I'd call that a problem. So, what's my answer to all of this? Well, what's the question?

 Nothing can be done about any of it! Learn to live with it, is all. For, apparently, someone who sells the flesh of dead animals lacks the moral authority to chase away someone who sells the flesh of live girls and the concomitant narcotics....for "So long as there are slaughterhouses...there will be battlefields" [ Leo Tolstoy ], and, what, after all is Main Street a.k.a."Middletowns Food Court" but the "spit out" point for the slaughterhouse?

Candidate Bio: Christopher Petter (R) Board of Education

Christopher Petter (R) Board of Education
I was born and raised in Vernon, NJ, and adopted Middletown as my home six years ago. My wife, Kelly, and I loved living in Middletown so much that we decided to commit our future to the town and bought a home 2 years ago. We currently live with our two dogs, Ecco (a Husky) and Rascal (a Cavalier King Charles that lives up to his name). I graduated from Marywood University in 2006 with a degree in History/Political Science. I then attended law school at Quinnipiac University and graduated, with honors, from the criminal law and advocacy concentration. I joined the firm of McHugh, Chapman and Vargas located in Middletown, and mostly practice in the local Court. I also currently sit on the Board of Directors of two local non-profit organizations.

 I am running for the Middletown Board of Education, because I am dedicated to making our school system the best that it can be. To do that, I plan on focusing on the following areas if I am elected: Budget Transparency: As tax payers, we deserve to know where our money is going and why it is going there. Fiscal Responsibility: Both Keigwin and Woodrow Wilson are aging and either need renovations or need to be razed. 

We need to make sure this decision is made in a way that creates a better learning environment for the students as well as not becoming a financial drain on the town. Protect our Students: Bullying is a problem located in every school across the nation, and I have had to help clients bullied in the Middletown school system. We need to make sure that our students are going to school in a safe environment on a daily basis.

Visit the candidate's facebook campaign page to learn more: 
Christopher Petter for Middletown Board of Education

More info on Middletown Republican candidates can be found at www.middletownctgop.com 

(Accepting ALL Candidate Bios! See format info here!) 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Candidate Bio: Troy Meeker (R) for Board of Education

Troy Meeker (R) for Board of Education
Troy Meeker (R) for Board of Education    
  Born and raised in the Middletown and educated in the Middletown public school system.
-          Bachelors in Communications and Political Science from Central Connecticut State University.
-          CCSU class of 2015, MHS class of 2010.
-          Currently serve as Communications Director for the Connecticut Federation of College Republicans.
-          Only candidate for Board of Education who was in the public school system within the past five years.
-          Top goals: cultivate environment of acceptance in our schools, and make sure to focus on vocational studies as much as college preparation for our students.

More info on Middletown Republican candidates can be found at www.middletownctgop.com 
(Accepting ALL Candidate Bios! See format info here!) -    

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