Archive | May, 2016

I.A.C. To Announce 2016 Scholarships

HARTFORD — The Italian American Celebration Honoring Christopher Columbus Committee is set to announce the recipients of the scholarship winners for 2016 at its annual fundraiser at St. James Church Hall.


Organizers said the recipients will be selected by a scholarship committee, headed by Professor Dario Del Puppo of Trinity College, Hartford.


Seven $1,000 scholarships will be announced by Columbus Day Parade Grand Marshall Joe Mioli and the scholarship presenters Frank Bellantoni, Josie Boscarino, Olivia Dignoti, Corrado Santangelo and Angelo Vignone.


The fundraiser, “An Evening at St. James Church Hall, will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9 at St. James Church Hall, 767 Elm St., Rocky Hill. Fine foods, including pasta, porchetta and sausage from local establishments will be served. Tickets cost $30 per person. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Columbus Day weekend activities in October.


For information contact I.A.C. Chairman, Al Marotta at 860-712-1300.

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Hartford Mayor Raps Stadium Developers

HARTFORD — Mayor Luke Bronin on Tuesday officially called the $47millon performance bond on downtown north baseball stadium developer Centerplan Construction Company, asserting that they have defaulted on the Design Build Agreement they have with the City. Click here to read the official letter sent to the surety.


Bronin also made the following on-the-record statement regarding today’s action: “This afternoon, the City formally notified the surety, Arch Insurance Company, that the developer has failed to perform their obligations, and that the surety has a duty to make sure the project is completed at no further cost to the taxpayers of Hartford.


City officials said it became clear that the developers were far behind schedule and millions over budget, we brought all parties to the table to finance the gap. That was the right thing to do to keep things moving.


At this point, however, the developers have repeatedly missed deadlines and, we believe, continue to run over-budget. We have no choice but to bring the surety to the table to manage and finance completion of the ballpark.


The developer has threatened to abandon the job if we call the bond, but to do that would be another breach of contract. They have a clear obligation to keep working, and if they believe that calling the bond wasn’t necessary, they can prove it by finishing the job as soon as possible with the resources they’ve been given,” officials said.

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Why Many Say Thank You to a Cosby Prosecution

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Disgraced actor-comedian Bill Cosby had two words to say to Pennsylvania District Judge Elizabeth McHugh when she ruled that he must stand trial for sexual assault. The words were “thank you.” The two words were more than simply a case of Cosby being polite. For dozens of women the words were a vindication. These are the women who came forth to say that Cosby drugged, fondled, molested, abused, intimidated, and of course, raped them over the course of many years. They suffered mightily for coming forth. They were lambasted from pillar to post as liars, cheats, sluts, publicity seekers, and every critic’s favorite, gold diggers.

earl-hutchinsonThousands of others never bought Cosby’s long, loud and bitter denials that he was the innocent victim of a giant the-hartford-guardian-Opinioncon game, or the serial denier’s favorite, the victim of a sinister plot by take your pick: the “white man,” “white media,” “white establishment” or simply some unnamed, nebulous white conspirators to bring down a fabulously popular, rich, supremely successful black man. They also said “thank you.”

There were also more than a few legal experts who did not buy the virtual article of faith that there were no legal grounds to prosecute him because the statute of limitations had long since run out on most of the claims. There were just too many alleged victims. That meant that there had to be a case somewhere that fit the bill for a legal prosecution.

Meanwhile, Cosby fed into the conspiracy paranoia and the public trashing of the women by filing motion after motion to duck a prosecution, and defamation of character counter suit after countersuit against his various women accusers. His holding action sufficiently muddied the stream to cast doubt while delaying what was almost certain to be the inevitable. That was his painfully long delayed plop into a court docket.

In the much cited unsealed affidavit Cosby swore to in 2005, he confessed to giving drugs to one woman and getting drugs for other women he wanted to have sex with. This was tantamount to a smoking gun confirmation of what many of his alleged victims claimed, and that was that he plied them with drink and drugs before he sexually waylaid them.

Even without the affidavit, it was not true that a sexual abuser could get away with their crime simply by waiting out the calendar. More than two dozen states have no statute of limitation depending on circumstances in the nature and type of sexual assault. If the evidence was compelling, a Cosby could indeed be prosecuted even decades after the assault in those states.

This gross misconception about prosecuting sexual crimes implanted the dangerous public notion that rape or sexual abuse could be minimalized, marginalized or even mocked because the clock had wound down on when the crime could or even should be prosecuted. A Cosby prosecution rightly tosses the ugly glare back on the wrong public perceptions about rape and sexual abuse and how easily the crime can still be blown off. And it is.

The Iowa Law Review, in March, 2014, found that rape is routinely underreported in dozens of cities. The rape claims were dismissed out of hand with little or no investigation. The result was there were no report, no statistical count, and no record of an attack.

The study zeroed in on the prime reason for this, namely disbelief. It’s that disbelief that assures men such as Cosby are reflexively believed when they scream foul at their accuser. They lambaste their character and motives. If things get too hot, they toss out a few dollars in hush money settlements and the screams are even louder that it was all a shakedown operation in the first place and the victim is further demonized.

This wasn’t the only reason it took so long to prosecute Cosby. He wasn’t just another rich, mediagenic celebrity whose wealth, fame and celebrity status routinely shielded him from criminal charges. Cosby and men like him have deep enough pockets to hire a small army of the best PR flacks around to spin, point fingers, and hector the media that their guy’s pristine reputation is being dragged through the mud precisely because of their fame, wealth, talent and, of course, goodwill.

Cosby was a special case even by the standards of the rich and famed celebrity world. For a decade he reigned as America’s father figure, not black father figure, but father figure. He embodied the myths, fantasies, and encrusted beliefs about the role that a caring, loving, engaged dad is supposed to have with his family. This rendered him almost untouchable when it came to casting any dirt on his character. That’s all past now, Cosby is now just Cosby, the accused rapist, and that’s reason enough to say “thank you.”

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His latest book is How “President” Trump will Govern (Amazon Kindle) He is an associate editor of New America Media.

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Carly Fiorina Urges GOP Unity, Yet Won’t Speak Trump’s Name

STAMFORD – Carly Fiorina seemed to endorse Donald J. Trump, if only by inference Tuesday night. She never allowed herself to say his name, yet vowed to do everything “to make sure that Hillary Clinton is not our next president.”

Presumably, “everything” includes entering a polling place to cast a vote for Trump, even if he is, at least for the moment, the Nominee Who Cannot Be Named, right?

Fiorina, 61, who lingered to chat with well-wishers after her speech at the Connecticut Republicans’ annual fundraiser, the Prescott S. Bush Awards Dinner, just smiled when a reporter interrupted with that question.

“I’m sorry, I’m meeting with voters right now,” Fiorina said, keeping her gaze directed at the Republicans who wanted to shake her hand and pose for pictures. “Sorry, you heard the speech. That’s all there is.”

Fiorina stopped only when the question was repeated.

“We’re not doing interviews,” she said. “You heard the speech. That’s what you got.”

It was good enough for her audience. Her vow to do anything to deny Clinton the White House was rewarded with hearty cheers and a standing ovation, as was a call for unity. Republicans shrugged off the refusal by Fiorina, who has said she is “horrified” by Trump, to explicitly endorse him.

“She gave an endorsement to Trump without mentioning him by name,” said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven.

“That’s what I thought,” said Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton.

Carly Fiorina.

Carly Fiorina

Linda McMahon, the two-time U.S. Senate nominee and major GOP donor who will be a Trump delegate in Cleveland, said Fiorina told her before the speech she intends to campaign for down-ballot Republicans. A willingness to campaign for Trump didn’t come up.

“She and I didn’t really talk politics in that way,” McMahon said.

It’s been a tough month for the 61-year-old Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive who lost a U.S. Senate race in California to Barbara Boxer. On May 2, she fell off a stage while introducing Ted Cruz in Indiana. A day later, she fell off political radar screens, her brief time as Cruz’s running mate ended by Trump’s smashing win in Indiana.

Before Cruz dropped out, the Connecticut GOP faced the unnerving prospect of a keynote speech by a woman intent on telling them they erred by voting for Trump by a landslide in the April 26 primary.

Fiorina offered wan praise for Trump at the outset of her 30-minute speech.

“Our nominee has raised Twitter to an art form. Let’s face it,” she said.

Fiorina said she never mastered how to pack a punch into its 140-character form, but she read that potential Hilliary slogans were trending. She offered a few.

“ ‘It’s my turn, dammit.’ ‘Four out of 10 people find me tolerable.’ And my personal favorite: ‘Experience you cannot trust,’ ” she said.

Fiorina quickly dropped the jokes and delivered a scathing appraisal of the candidate who would be the first female president, a fact that does not seem to be exciting the Democratic base, male or female.

“So, now they are beginning to continuously remind people abot the historic nature of her candidacy, that she is a woman and therefore women must vote for her,” Fiorina said. “So, Mrs. Clinton, I have news for you. I am a woman, and I am not voting for you.”

The crowd whooped and applauded.

Fiorina said Clinton’s gender was no basis for other women to support her for president.

“Feminism is what each and every woman has an opportunity for to live the life she chooses and to use all of her God-given gifts,” she said. “That is feminism, and as a feminist I will do everything in my power between now and November to make sure that Hillary Clinton is not our next president.”

The crowd stood and cheered louder. Their speaker would not say the name of their nominee. She would not promise to vote for him. She would not urge others to vote for him. Maybe she would one day before November.

For now, it was enough that they knew what she meant.

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North End Keney Golf Course Receives Award

HARTFORD — Hartford’s Keney Park Golf Course was recently awarded “Renovation of the Year 2016” by Golf Inc. magazine.

The award brings national attention to this historic and newly restored 18-hole course that is already proving to be a destination of choice for golfers throughout Hartford and the Greater Hartford Region, city officials said.

The 18-hole, par 70 golf course occupies 6,014 yards of Hartford’s historic 700-acre Keney Park, located in the city’s North End.

In 2013, the City closed the course after a contractor that had been operating it since 2009 allowed the course to deteriorate, failing to make required capital improvements. The contractor also cut down hundreds of trees without proper permission.

On May 1, 2016, Keney Park Golf Course officially re-opened to the public for the first time in three years. Currently, the course is open from 6:00 am to 6:30 pm, seven days a week.

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Letter: Gov. Malloy and Hartford’s Stadium


letterstohartfordguardianDear Governor Malloy:
We are writing to urge you not to use state taxpayer dollars to bail out Hartford’s Dunkin Donuts Stadium.
As a result of construction of the stadium exceeding the agreed upon deadline, we understand that costs are now likely to increase for the project. We are also aware of comments from the Hartford Stadium Authority indicating that they will not go back to the city to seek the needed added capital. That needed capital should not come from the state and our already overburdened taxpayers.
We want to remind you of multiple statements from you and your administration that promised the state would not get involved in this project which taxpayers and the lawmakers who represent them at the Capitol never had a say in authorizing. That commitment will be broken if you sign the state budget passed by Democrats that allows taxpayer dollars through the admissions tax to go towards stadium construction debt service. That commitment will also be broken a second time if any additional aid is given to Hartford for this project’s new costs due to missing its deadline.
We fully understand the predicament Hartford is in and truly empathize with the people of Hartford who have serious concerns about the Yard Goats’ stadium project and the burden it places on the city. But the state is in no position to hand out any additional funds. Democrats just passed a budget that slashes from core social services, cuts state education funds, and hurts some of the most vulnerable populations in this state. Yet at the same time their budget gives up $400,000 annually in taxpayer dollars to go towards the Hartford stadium. It is not right that at a time when support for the poor, sick and elderly is being cut, a project that had zero taxpayer support is profiting.
No state taxpayer dollars should go towards the delayed stadium.
                                                                             Senate Republican Caucus Chair Len Fasano, et al

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Mayor Leclerc to Present Check to Old State House


EAST HARTFORD — The Office and Civics Action Lab has been encouraging Old State House visitors of all ages to consider how they can contribute to their own communities. Through this contribution, East Hartford’s spirit for building a strong community that will inspire countless others who visit the space.

From Left to Right: Patrick Sheehan, Chairman of the CT Public Affairs Network; Kid Governor Elena Tipton, Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc, Executive Director Sally Whipple, CT’s Old State House; Asst. Superintendent Cynthia Ritchie, East Hartford Public Schools; Asst. Principal Beatrice Corrado, O’Connell Elementary School; Principal Greg Fox, O’Connell Elementary School.


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Yale Voted Best College in Connecticut

NEW HAVEN — Yale is number one in Connecticut.

That’s according to SmartAsset’s second annual Best Value College study.

The college leads after the result of their performance in categories including scholarships provided, starting slary, tuiton, living costs and retention rate.

Yale received an overall education value index of 80.64, according ti SmartAsset, which gave 25 percent weighting to starting  SmartAsset, which weigh things such as starting salary, tuition, and living costs; and 12.5 percent to scholarships and grants and student retention rate.

UConn had a score of 64.67. The remaining top five schools in Connecticut and their scores were: Trinity College, 54.21; Fairfield University, 51:28; Wesleyan University.

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Mayor Luke Bronin’s Fast and Furious Approach to Hartford Welcomed

By Ann-Marie Adams, Ph.D. | @annmarieadams

There will be more layoffs of city employees, according to Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin earlier this week.

It’s welcomed news. Here’s why.

The city is bloated with employees who forgot that they are employed to serve the public. They have duplicated services, established departments for family and cronies, and they have caused anger from people who work, play and live in the city. The money saved by firing these deadbeats in city hall and its quasi-public agencies could be used to support necessary social services to Hartford residents.

The money could also be used to improve quality of life and better services for its residents and workers.

Bronin sat down with The Hartford Guardian to discuss those and other plans to tackle the $48 million deficit with aggrieved citizens and other stakeholders, who are expectant of the Rhodes Scholar and lawyer–a possible antidote for the anti-intellectualism in Hartford.

Hartford, founded in 1637, is the state’s capitol and the seat of government. Yet Bronin is already facing mild resentment from long-time gadflies for his “to heavy and too fast” approach to the 2016-2017 budget. He has been having at least one town hall meeting per month to hear his constituents. His aim is to present himself as a “true and honest” leader ready to implement necessary changes to help the city rise.

Yet, at a recent public hearing some residents were already calling for him to go. This is quite odd.

Whatever the grievance, Bronin has to be given at least a year and six months to show what he can do to get rid of the malaise left by previous administrations.

Until all the facts are in from the peanut gallery, we will reserve judgment.

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State Senate Endorsements Tonight At Testo’s

By Lennie Grimaldi
BRIDGEPORT —  More than 100 combined Democratic delegates will gather at Testo’s Restaurant tonight to endorse candidates in two State Senate districts.


Sources said City Council President Tom McCarthy is poised for the endorsement against freshman incumbent Marilyn Moore who needs 15 percent of delegate support to qualify for an Aug. 9 primary. If she fails to secure 15 percent she can petition onto the ballot. Connecticut’s 22nd District includes the north and western portions of Bridgeport, all of Trumbull and a piece of Monroe.

The closer endorsement battle is the contest between incumbent Ed Gomes and school board chair Dennis Bradley in the 23rd Senate District that covers two thirds of Bridgeport and a slice of western Stratford.

After tonight the candidates will focus on cementing $15,000 in small donations to receive a larger pot of money under Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races. Moore, Gomes and Bradley have a head start in that area. McCarthy has his first big fundraiser Tuesday night at Vazzy’s 19th Hole at the Fairchild Wheeler municipal golf course.

Contribution by Only in Bridgeport

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