Archive | May, 2020

Journalist to Carsey-Werner: Cease and Desist

HARTFORD – The Hartford Guardian’s Editor and Publisher Ann-Marie Adams recently sent a letter to The Carsey-Werner Company executives, telling them to cease and desist in thier attempts to profit off the likeness of her and her family because they inspired “The Cosby Show.” Adams sent a cogent letter to Carsey-Werner executives Jim Kraus and Paul Schreiber, both of whom allegedly responded with covert violence toward her family. Carsey-Werner is a Hollywood production company founded by Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner. The former television executives produced television shows such as “Roseanne”, “A Different World”, and “That ’70s Show.” “The intense xenophobia that led to the cover-up of this information, including defamation, is why this matter needs world-wide attention,” said Adams, who is a Jamaican-American. Adams is an award-winning journalist and historian. She is former journalism professor, who now teaches U.S. history after receiving her doctoral degree in history from Howard University. “Restorative justice is not enough. Reparations now,” Adams said.It’s been almost 35 years of covert treachery to our family.” Although “The Cosby Show” was aired from April 30, 1984 to Sept. 20, 1992, Carsey-Werner sued BBC television, claiming money owed for copyright infringement after clips were incorporated in a documentary titled “Bill Cosby: Fall of an American Icon.” Bill Cosby, the creator of “The Cosby Show,” also sued BBC television. However, they have failed to acknowledge the family that inspired “The Cosby Show.” Consequently, both lawsuits failed. These companies seemingly wanted Adams and her family’s lawsuit against the company to fail, too. They allegedly used unorthodox methods to engineer a series of adverse experiences to discredit Adams’ claim, including theft of services, grand larceny, murder, and most recently, a covert operation to kill all of the family members with staged car accidents, forced intake of sugar, butter and other foods to induce diabetes and heart attacks, according to sources in Hollywood. The veteran journalist had to witness the recent “spy-demon” death of her father, who was a healthy 70 something with a keen wit and memory. The Carsey-Werner studios allegedly had law enforcement agents moonlighting on this covert operation in Connecticut to thwart a potential lawsuit since 2015. For the past seven years while in her Avon townhouse, Adams was exposed to a secret investigation that unearthed news that she and her family was partly the inspiration behind “The Cosby Show.” From research, Adams and others close to the White House learned that “The Cosby Show” was pitched by Bill Cosby. But the casting of the show and several scenes in the show was based on incidents in her life as well as other family members and our interaction with her father and siblings. Another coincidence is that Bill Cosby’s initial pitch included an Afro Latino family that was working class. Adams’s father had Afro Latino heritage and was middle class. In addition, the researchers have combed her family history and albums to put together a collage of pictures that match the cast of “The Cosby Show” family. Adams was a spelling-bee champ in elementary school and a speech and chess finalist in competitions. She was also a girl scout who was watched by U.S. Secret Service over the years, but was covertly sabotaged to earn favors. She believes this was based on discrimination and racism meted out to the family. Someone in Reagan’s administration and Cosby, she said used her family’s likeness and she wants answers to a few more questions. When contacted, Cosby’s spokesperson Andrew Wyatt told The Hartford Guardian that Cosby is not ready to address this matter yet. According to Variety magazine, Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner were former ABC programming execs, who left the corporate world in the early ’80s. Their first series, “Oh Madeline,” didn’t last long, but then came “The Cosby Show.” It’s hard to understate the impact of “Cosby” on the business. The show is often credited for saving the sitcom genre in the early ’80s, and ushered in the era of big-bucks off-network syndication deals. Adams was briefed on why the sitcom did well. She is demanding arrests for theft of identity, invasion of privacy, defamation and attempted murder “for people who think they should appropriate our likeness and then try to hide the fact that there is no show in the history of television casting that has at least 10 members of one family with doppelgangers on shows. With no acknowledgement until now, we must ask why it was kept a secret for so long. “That’s un-adulterated greed,” Adams said.” This is still unbelievable.” Related Articles: The Cosby Show And Me ‘Cosby Show’ Producer Sues BBC For Using Clips BBC Gets Judge to Dismiss Lawsuit

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Primary Elections Will Take Place Under New Guidelines

By Thomas Nocera, Staff Writer

WINDSOR — Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill on Thursday outlined how exactly the state planned on holding primary elections during a pandemic to a virtual audience of a few dozen.

In the age of surgical masks and social distancing, officials have long been preparing for an unprecedented election season, she explained to the Windsor Democratic Town Committee over Zoom.

“We do not want people to choose between endangering their health and voting,” she told attendees.

In its current state, the plan focuses on modifying physical polling places while still giving voters the option to mail in their ballots. Morrill believes an injection of $5 million of federal aid into the state’s existing election budget will give cities and towns across Connecticut enough resources to carry out the two-tiered plan.

The physical modifications to polling places will vary by location but, according to her, may include moving venues to larger spaces and hiring extra staff, specifically citing the need for younger volunteers. In addition, every town in the state is required to submit a ‘safe polling plan’ that outlines any unique safety issues and addresses funding requests.

The other leg of the official strategy – voting by mail via absentee ballot – has already been universally authorized in a number of other states. However, Connecticut’s constitution is notoriously restrictive in this area. Historically, voting by mail would only be approved in extreme circumstances –  military deployment or grave illness for example.  

But Gov. Lamont sliced through convention earlier this week when he issued an executive order allowing all citizens to cast their primary votes via mail if no vaccine was widely available by the rescheduled Aug. 11 vote. Submission forms for absentee ballots will be mailed to every single household in the state well before that date, Merrill claims.

The governor’s executive order does not cover the November general election however, leaving officials unsure of what that day might look like.

“That’s another big, open question,” according to Merrill.  

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2020 Political Round Up

By Thomas Nocera, Staff Writer

All five of Connecticut’s U.S. House of Representative seats are up for grabs in this year’s election. A field full of Republican hopefuls are intent on staging their own small upset against the five Democratic incumbents. While they might not agree on much, candidates from both parties claim this election could well shape the face of politics for years to come. The Republican primary will be Aug. 11. The general election will be Nov. 3.

With virtual conventions wrapped up, here’s a list of the heavyweight contenders, who have gotten nods from their respective parties.

First District: Central, includes Bristol, Torrington, and Hartford

Republican: Mary Fay

Mary Fay is currently West Hartford’s town councilor. A self-professed fiscal conservative, Fay intends on bringing that ideology with her to Washington if elected. She has a long history of campaign experience, winning two-terms as an elected member of the West Hartford Town Council where she served on the budget and finance committee. In her professional life, she was an executive director for the Connecticut Retirement Service Authority, and worked in finance for General Electric and ING. Fay will be running against incumbent John Larson – her former high school history teacher.

Democratic: John Larson

John Larson has served as the first District House Representative since 1999. Before that, he was a multi-term state senator. During his time in D.C., he has championed a number of causes: in 2007 he sponsored the Energy Independence and Security Act, which sought to increase the development and use of renewable energies. He also introduced the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 to Congress, which sought to provide loans and support to small businesses nationwide. Most recently, he was allegedly involved in a social experiment with food stamps, Medicaid, and social security issues to help shape policies in congress.

Second District: Eastern, includes New London, Enfield, Norwich

Republican: Tom Gilmer

An Ohio native, Gilmer moved to Connecticut in 2014 where he founded and operated a large a construction management company that has worked throughout the state. He also served as a trade market manager for energy giant BP. Gilmer believes the private sector thrives when the government is kept on the periphery. He favors the looser regulations in the private sector, and has struck a heavy economic note on campaign trail thus far.

Democrat: Joe Courtney

Courtney was a lawyer and Connecticut House of Representatives member before being elected to Congress in 2006. There, he serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. Courtney was a vocal opponent to the Trump corporate tax cuts and Muslim travel ban. He is well known for his support of District 2’s large defense jobs industry.

Third District : Central, includes New Haven and Middleton

Republican: Margaret Streiker

Streiker hopes her background managing large real estate investments and operations will give her an edge in the uphill battle to replace District 3’s long serving incumbent, Rosa DeLauro. Her flagship company, Newcastle Reality, managed and invested millions in residential and commercial properties in New York City. However, it was not without controversy. Before closing in 2019, Newcastle Reality was accused of cost inflation on projects, receiving illegal kickbacks from construction contractors, and illegal buyouts of rent-stabilized apartments. Streiker herself was never singled out – but other employees, and the company as a whole, were.  She has made it a point to highlight that, though she is a republican, she would be willing to oppose the president and work across the aisle when necessary.

Democrat: Rosa DeLauro

DeLauro began serving as District 3’s representative in 1991. Since, has a history of championing progressive causes in D.C. DeLauro’s taken vocal and progressive stances on healthcare, gun control, and campaign finance reform. She is one of the original members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and currently sits on a subcommittee dedicated to the organization of federal funds for coronavirus relief efforts.

Fourth District : Southwestern, includes Stamford, Bridgeport, and Norwalk

Republican: Johnathan Riddles

Riddles is a New York native and self-professed “green” republican who has worked extensively in the financial services industry as a private wealth manager. He is currently vice president of The Private Bank, a division of Bank of America catering to clients with substantial assets. With little previous entanglements in party politics, he is hoping voters will see his appeal as a political outsider.

Democrat: Jim Himes

Himes has served as District 4’s representative since 2009 and currently sits on the Committee on Finical Services, and the House Intelligence Committee. He has been a consistent advocate of financial industry reform and a supporter of green energy initiatives. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare reformation will be one of his campaigns central initiatives.

Fifth District : Northwestern, includes Waterbury and Danbury

Republican: David X. Sullivan

Sullivan has been an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump and his economic policies. He’s running on a platform centered on lowering taxes and the deregulating the private sector. Sullivan has voiced strong opposition to the ‘Green New Deal’ and ‘Medicare For All’ initiatives in Congress – efforts supported by District 5’s incumbent, Representative Jahana Hayes. Prior to being nominated, Sullivan worked as a prosecutor for the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General. 

Democrat: Jahana Hayes

Waterbury resident Jahana Hayes is the first African American woman to represent Connecticut in Congress. Before politics, the one-term incumbent was a career teacher. The first term representative won the 2018 election with nearly 56 percent of the vote and has since focused heavily on education and healthcare reform. In her first term, her key vote was to impeach President Donald Trump. During the coronavirus pandemic, Hayes has been vocal in highlighting disparities and difficulties in distance learning regiments, and has been critical of the safety of economic re-openings. But Hayes is unaware of a pending lawsuit against her for political obstruction by her former campaign staffers, who helped sabotage a stronger candidate than Hayes to run for congress against former House Representative Elizabeth Esty. Hayes waited out Esty’s scandal and jumped in the race after she resigned amid a scandal about sexual harassment in her office. Some say Hayes had news of Esty’s impending resignation and her cronies worked for three years to stage adverse experiences for the other black woman, who was deemed the most eligible to be the first African-American congresswoman from Connecticut. The plan to put Hayes in congress began when she enrolled in graduate school while the other black woman was a professor at a top 20 university.

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Federal Funding Will Help Schools Cope with New Reality

By Thomas Nocera, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Hartford will receive about $11 million in funding to help cope with the coronavirus pandemic that forced school closures.

On Thursday, a week after cancelling all kindergarten to 12th grade in-person classes for the remainder of the school year, Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the state would be receiving $111 million in educational aid from the federal government.

The aid comes as part of the congressional coronavirus relief package and will be used to help schools reshape themselves to meet educational needs in a world defined by social distancing measures and facility closures.

“This global pandemic is causing unprecedented consequences that we have never experienced in our lifetimes,” the governor said, “and our school systems have been forced to respond in creative ways.” 

The funds will be distributed to individual school districts in proportion to the amount of Title 1 funding they’ve received in the past. Title 1 is a federal program that gives aid to schools based on how many low-income families with children live in their districts.

Across the country, educational institutions have had to make a sudden pivot to distance learning as the pandemic set in.

In Connecticut, individual districts have been given a great deal of latitude by the state to develop new curriculums that meet their students’ needs. According to a Board of Education spokesperson for Hartford, the transition to distance learning wasn’t always a smooth one.

“[This] is a new way of learning for many of our students, and teachers have reached out to students and families via email, phone, and Google Classroom to help them adjust,” she said. “Not being able to provide direct face-to-face instruction and student engagement in the classroom is a significant challenge.”

One glaring problem the funding will help address is an uneven access to technology. Without face-to-face interactions, computers and the internet are new educational necessities – but many families lack access to either or both. 

The money will help bolster an already existing effort by the Board of Education to mail out laptops and printed curriculums to students.As well as providing for those immediate needs, aid will also go towards cushioning budgets, fine-tuning curriculums for students with disabilities, and developing strategies for the days ahead.

Donald Williams, executive director for the Connecticut Education Association, a non-profit organization that represents teachers, students, and their families across the state believes officials are beginning to look towards the more distant future when making decisions now.

“My sense is that they needed to pivot from thinking about coming back for the last two, three weeks of school,” he said, “to planning for summer school or possible reopening in the fall. Everyone understands there are a lot of moving parts involved in bringing students and staff back into school before there is a vaccine.”

What actually happens going forward will depend on a number of important measurements. Future rates of infection, testing and contact tracing capabilities, and transportation options for students and staff will all be weighed in the coming weeks and months by health and education officials.

Though Lamont initially hoped that students might be able to attend at least some in-person classes at the end of the year, the changing reality on the ground made a return to traditional teaching an impossibility he announced last week.

“I was holding out hope, particularly for high school seniors, that we’d at least be able to complete the final few weeks,” Lamont said in a press conference last week. “But given the current circumstances – and to protect everyone’s safety – it has become clear that it’s just not possible.”

Many issues – like childcare options for parents that will be returning to work as state reopens – remain unsolved however. A spokesperson for the Board of Education says a task force composed of community based organizations and education officials will be key in addressing this issue and others in the evolving educational landscape that lies ahead.

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Gov. Ned Lamont: Some Businesses to Reopen

By Thomas Nocera, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Three months after the global pandemic of the coronavirus, Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday scheduled several type of businesses to reopen.

According to Lamont’s office, barbershops, beauty salons and several kinds of retail stories will be opened in phase one of the plan, but they will follow specific rules as described to stave off the spread of COVID-19.

The first phase – which includes restaurants; offices; hair salons and barbershops; retail stores; and outdoor museums and zoos – is currently planned to take effect beginning May 20.

The governor stressed that the decision to reopen during this phase rests with each individual business owner – they are not required to open if they do not choose.

The protocols were developed by Lamont, members of his office, and the Department of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with legislators and recommendations made by the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, which consists of several of the state’s leading medical experts and representatives of several business and industry groups.

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CABC, Inc Hires Andrea Mesquita As New Program Director

By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — West End Resident Andrea Mesquita was recently promoted to the position of Program Director for the Connecticut Alliance for Better Communities, Inc.—effective July 20, 2020.

In her new executive role, Mesquita will coordinate effective community conversations in the Greater Hartford communities and CABC Inc.’s Summer Journalism Workshop programs that began in 2004. Her role in the community-based organization will encompass marketing and other crucial administrative duties to help provide residents with basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

West End Resident Andrea Mesquita is the new Program Director at CABC, Inc.

“CABC, Inc. is happy to promote Andrea Mesquita to this crucial role in our organization,” said CABC, Inc. Board Chairman David Williams. “She has deep knowledge of the city and state; and that is an asset to our organization.”

Mesquita was recently a program director at the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Hartford, where her role included organizing a popular community feature in the Asylum Hill neighborhood: “Dinner and a Movie.” She has also worked in various roles at Trinity College and the Hartford Public Library.

Mesquita, a longtime Hartford resident, graduated from Capital Community College with honors and two scholarships to attend Smith College in Northhampton, MA and Trinity College in Hartford.  Her route to become an English professor at Smith College was derailed by political operatives, who worked on the 2004 presidential campaign, however. More importantly, Mesquita was previously a generous volunteer for The Hartford Guardian.

The longtime writer, wife and mother of three was known to insiders in Hollywood as Vanessa on The Cosby Show, the popular NBC sitcom that aired between 1984 and 1992.

The youngest of six children by her middle-class mother and father, Mesquita wanted to be empowered by a college degree after she moved to Hartford in 1989.

“My mother always encouraged me to put the books before the boys,” Mesquita said in a 2000 Hartford Courant article that featured the former president of Capital Community College Alumni Association.

Mesquita brings with her a wealth of experiences to CABC, Inc., which publishes The Hartford Guardian, the first nonprofit, hyperlocal news publication in Connecticut.

“I look forward to employing my wealth of experience as a community organizer, executive and volunteer for almost 20 years in Hartford, so I can diligently work for the greater good,” Mesquita said.

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Most Americans Want to Reopen–Not

By Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr.

Anyone who says that most Americans want to lift restrictions and reopen the economy is simply not following the data; much like the President is ignoring scientific and medical data on COVID-19. If you think the states should reopen and everybody you know agrees, well, think about this. An overwhelming majority of Americans disagree with you and with everybody you know.

This is where we are today. We have approximately 1,250,000 COVID-19 cases today and roughly 75,000 have died. Three months ago, we had 15 cases and one death. Still want to reopen?

A very recent Washington Post/University of Maryland poll found that 67 percent of Americans said they would feel uncomfortable shopping at a retail clothing store, and 78 percent would be uncomfortable at a sit-down restaurant. These were just two of eight places a big majority of Americans said restrictions should not be lifted. The other six were gun stores (70 percent), nail salons (74 percent), barbershops and hair salons (69 percent), gyms (78 percent), golf courses (59 percent), and movie theaters (82 percent). Grocery stores, whether well stocked or not, have remained open throughout the pandemic.

Governors in 30 states have begun to reopen at some level, possibly ignoring the fact that the U.S. has already surpassed 1.2 million cases, more than Spain, Italy, France, England, and Germany combined. The following are three highly reliable models of what Americans could expect, which hopefully will make those states reconsider.

In an article in USA Today, Jorge Ortiz reported that the U.S. has had an increase of at least 20,000 COVID-19 cases each day since mid-March. According to the New York Times, a CDC (Center for Disease Control) model projects the number could rise to 200,000 cases with 3,000 deaths per day.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projected 134, 475 deaths in the U.S. by Aug. 4.

A new model from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania projected that 117,000 Americans would be dead by June 30 and if states fully reopened, the number of Americans dead would hit 466,000 by the same date.

The obvious is that many more people will die. The question is how many and whether you will be one of them. I hope not.

Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. is president of United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, Inc.

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CT Officials Plan For Surge Hospitalizations

By Thomas Nocera, Staff Writer

To date, Hartford county has confirmed more than 9,000 cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations. The state collectively has reported 29, 973 confirmed cases and 2,556 deaths.


Those numbers are only expected to grow over the next month, with a peak in cases and deaths projected for late April and early May, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.

While those numbers indicate that infection and deaths have increased steadily, a continued drop in daily hospitalizations provided an encouraging sign that lockdown measures had been effective. Mayor Luke Bronin was cautiously optimistic in highlighting this at a tele-town hall meeting on Thursday, making sure to stress that the city was still not clear of danger.

“It’s something that should be encouraging to some extent,” he said of the drop in hospitalizations. “But if you think back to a month ago, the number of people getting this and being hospitalized [now] would have been really scary to us. We’re going to have to continue to do everything we can to make sure that that trend continues down rather than reverse.”

While Bronin stressed caution, Gov. Ned Lamont held a press conference the same day to outline his phased reopening strategy for Connecticut. The four-stage plan of cascading re-openings and lifting of lockdown measures follows on the heels of similar efforts in states across the country in recent days.

The plan, designed to be slow and methodical, will rely on a constant and close analysis of infection rates county by county. According to Lamont, it will begin on May 20 if the state has recorded a 14-day drop in hospitalizations by that time.


Those first unease steps forward will include the reopening of ‘personal service’ businesses, like hair and nail salons, outdoor museums and zoos, and outdoor recreational areas.

However, the momentum of reopening will be informed from start to finish by a long list of considerations. This includes the amount personal protective equipment available at any given time, the status of high-risk populations, and – perhaps most importantly – widespread access to testing.

Throughout the press conference, the governor was keen to highlight the necessity of high-volume testing in ensuring consumer safety and confidence.

“This is not something for me to take lightly,” the governor said. “This is not something for the business community to take lightly. It is absolutely vital.”

Looking to the successes and failures of governments across the world, Lamont stressed that testing is key to preventing a resurgence of cases. As infection numbers are likely to re-increase as more people emerge from their homes, testing gives officials the ability to identify and isolate potential hotspots before they flare up.

“Testing is on track,” he said of the state’s efforts. “We’re expanding that, and that’s a real priority for me and a real priority for our team.”

Additional testing facilities have opened across towns and counties statewide. In Hartford, a number of mobile test facilities, meant to fill gaps in the city’s current capabilities, have begun operating. Vans managed by Hartford HealthCare in coordination with the government have been ferrying doctors and testing equipment to neighborhoods that have little or no access to existing medical infrastructure.

As Connecticut cautiously moves forward in its plans to reopen, it does so in conjunction with a coalition of states including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Delaware.

Officials believe that by coordinating reopening phases, they can avoid flare ups and cross-border infections surges across the Northeast.

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