Monday, April 04, 2016

Comings and Goings

UPDATE:  In response to two comments condemning a whistle blower and the Insider for having the nerve to comprehend the written word; the screen shots below are pretty clear.  The way it is presented, it gives the distinct impression the Buttonwood Tree endorses a particular candidate and is sponsoring an event for the benefit of that candidate.

The Insider accepts at face value the explanation given by the Buttonwood Tree and their promise to be more careful in the future "to make sure that any political event we (they) hold has a statement to our position posted with it".

And let's face it; should a local 510c3 organization have given the appearance of supporting a particular Republican candidate, that organization would have been called on the carpet by the Left.

Everyone must play by the same rules.




·          Inclement Weather 
·          TSC Still Under Construction 
·          Coming Soon, a Power Outage 
·          Tattered and Torn 
·          Speaking of Foot-Dragging 
·          The Insider and the Arts 
·          Ramblings
.          March: In like a lamb, out like . . .

 Inclement Weather Expected thru Apr 9

It never fails; as everyone knows, it always rains when Coleman's come to town!

Coleman Bros. Carnival, celebrating its 100th anniversary, launched its 2016 season this week in Middletown and will run thru April 9th.  (weather permitting.)  It is open at it's traditional location on Bernie O'Rourke Dr., just off Washington St. and adjacent to Palmer Field, which has been under water from the flooded Coginchaug River during at least one Spring launch, circa 1983/4.

100 years ago, Dick Coleman bought a steam powered carousel for $250.   Set up under the Arigoni Bridge, rides were offered for a small fee to passers by.  From there, he started booking rides around the area, in addition to promoting sporting events of all sorts.
Over time, he and his brothers, Tom and Tim, (as far as we can tell, he had no bother, Harry), acquired more rides, and concessions became a part of the offering.  In addition to games and concessions, there are today some 30 rides and the carnival employs around 50 people, in season.

Coleman’s oldest ride is a Tilt-a-Whirl.  Dating back to the old days, it is one of their original rides.

Note to Coleman's:  Your web site needs updated and the creepy music has to go. :(

Every kid's first carnival ride.

Rules?
Yum!




Kids win every time.


The barkers and their colored balloons.




Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain . . .
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Not soon enough! Move over, Agway . . .

TSC Still Under Construction

As reported in January, a Tractor Service Center is under construction on Newfield St.  The opening was expected in late spring or early summer, but it looks like they need to get a move on to make that deadline.
TSC site in January.


TSC site, today.
TSC site, today.

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 Coming Soon, a Power Outage Near You

Russell St. and Ridge Rd.
While crews are busy about town trimming trees, this disaster-waiting-to-happen is still a disaster waiting to happen.  (This was brought to EverSource's attention in January.)  Given the slope, saturated ground and high winds this past weekend . . .  Just sayin'.

I have to wonder; who establishes the trimming schedule and if there is any consideration or priority given based on the severity of the tangles growing through the wires? Just sayin' . . .
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Tattered and Torn

It seems that Wild Bill's could use a new flag.  Happily, the flags at City Hall are flying strong.  Maybe Wild Bill will spring for a new flag, this Spring.

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Speaking of Foot-Dragging

January
Today
In the two months since it was mentioned here, what is rumored to be a Cumberland Farms being built on S. Main St. at Hunting Hill, has changed little.  Evidently the harsh winter has taken its toll on local construction projects.  Though, the backhoe has been moved from one side of the lot to the other.
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The Insider and the Arts

We at The Middletown Insider are terribly fond of the arts.  We hope that it is evident from the posts here, that we support such local venues as The Goodspeed Opera House, Art-Farm, etc.; along with the various programs hosted at The Russell Library.  Less known, is that the Editor-in-chief has been a member and subscriber at the Goodspeed since the last century (minus one or two years).  (And I even have a velvet Elvis on the living room wall!)  Because of that fondness and connection, it pains me deeply to write this, but not to do so would be near negligence and dereliction of duty, as a reporter.

Who isn't cheered up when they hear, "Hello, it's Ann Marie, from The Buttonwood Tree!".  But, it
has come to our attention that The Buttonwood Tree is hosting and sponsoring an event to promote and benefit Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.  On their web page, they refer to Sanders as "our candidate".  That would be fine and dandy, except for one small detail; The Buttonwood Tree receives public funding and is a 501c3, tax exempt corporation.

Also brought to our attention, is the fact that Art-Farm has a "Feel the Bern" bumper sticker on it's vehicle.  Normally, that too, would be fine and dandy; you know, "free speech" and all.  But, like The Buttonwood Tree, Art-Farm is also a tax exempt organization.

For such organizations, the rules are different.  IRS regulations clearly state that a 501(c)(3) may not "participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates".

Nolo.com reports;  "In order to maintain tax-exempt status, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations cannot engage in political campaigning. Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status should be ever vigilant about this prohibition -- a violation could result in severe consequences.

"A 501(c)(3) organization is absolutely forbidden to directly or indirectly participate in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Violation of this prohibition could lead the IRS to completely revoke your organization's tax-exempt status."

Non-Profit Expert says; "Political campaign activity is directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective public office. This includes making contributions to political campaign funds or making public statements in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

"For a 501(c)(3), violating the political campaign prohibition may result in revocation of tax-exempt status, and imposition of certain excise taxes."

Personally, I'm willing to give Art-Farm and Buttonwood Tree the benefit of the doubt; that they do not realize that what they are doing may be in violation of federal law and could cost them their tax exempt status.  My heart-felt advice to them is to seek legal council.

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Ramblings . . .

Tommy's Restaurant gets a new name and a face lift.




Another vanishing icon.
Another restaurant on Coe Ave.
closed its door. Rich seems to
have no luck with this property.


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March: in Like a Lamb, Out Like a . . .

In this SNL skit from their first season, weatherman John Belushi explains how March comes in and goes out in various countries.  Did you know that there is one country where March goes out like an ant; a teeny tiny little ant.  The episode aired on March 13, 1976.  How many remember seeing this?







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