Monday, June 30, 2008

Milford Prepares For July Festivities

The following events are scheduled for the holiday kickoff.

July 2, 2008
4:00 PM

Fireworks will be held at the Post Mall
Milford: Near Westfield Connecticut Post Mall (1201 Boston Post Road).

July 3, 2008
7:00 PM
Paul King Orchestra
Sponsored by The Law Firm of Kapusta & Otzel
Rotary Pavilion at Fowler Field (behind the Library). Listen to WPLR and WICC for rain cancellation notices.
(Note date: This is a Thursday Concert)

July 4, 2008
1:00 PM
Celebrate the Declaration of Independence
Milford Green
Ringing of bells celebrating freedom, honor and bravery. Presented by the City of Milford, Children of the American Revolution and the Milford Volunteer fire fighters.

July 5 & 6, 2008
New England Art & Crafts Festival
Milford Green
22nd Annual juried festival. If interested in participating may download and application

For Full Listing of nearby fireworks activities click HERE.

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Dog Loves Eisenhower Park

Eisenhower park has to be the most pet friendly place in Milford, my dog a Yellow Lab puppy absolutely loves Eisenhower Park. There are plenty of open fields, streams, and trails and no shortage of free parking spots. The park is also set back from the main road enough where there is little concern over pets wandering into the street.

When I had gone online I also found some great websites where people can make pet dates. These are people who have dogs that get along and enjoy each others company, the website allows people to connect so that they can arrange times pets and their owners can meet. The website is:

The park is also full of fun athletic activities including a strip for Radio controlled Airplanes and Cars, paddle ball, golf, tennis courts, exercise courses, public gardens, and an outdoor theater with bleachers. The park also had a public swimming hole now closed, that still bears the memory of a sandy beach and a pavilion.

There is quite a bit to do for anyone who loves the outdoors, or just wants to bring their pet out for some fun social activities. One thing that I must reveal however, is that I have a father and a brother both of which whom are Veterinarians, my brother is not in Connecticut but my father has owned and operated the Westport Animal Hospital for the last 20 years. This experience, I must confess makes me guilty of really loving animals and motivates me to share my interest in fun pet stuff.

My new puppy Bella, like the dog above, was born last August, she loves to play fetch, go hiking, swim in streams and puddles and never misses an opportunity to show her love to anyone that is willing to give her attention.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Minimum Wage Increase Offers Minimal Help

The Connecticut state legislature overrode Rell's minimum wage hike veto. This gave Connecticut's poorest workers an increase from $7.65 P/H to $8.00 P/H or the equivalent of an extra $14.00 for each 40 hr week, assuming taxes do not take any of that.

While this seems like a victory for the poor, reality is that core inflation of food and energy has outpaced their $14.00 dollars. However, none-the-less most lower income people are appreciative of anything they can get these days. Some have been stuck on state assistance for generations and cannot seem to find their way out of poverty. The most tragic situation of poverty is when a child grows up with parents on welfare, has children who end up on welfare, and then see their grand children on welfare.

While the $14.00 each week totals out to $60.00 each month, lets face it that buys one tank of gas. This raise has just helped employers meet the transportation stress their poor workers are experiencing, it is unlikely that working parents will ever see that raise end up on their dinner table. Most of what the poor eat is off the dollar menu at McDonald's and like cheap unhealthy food, food that causes diabetes obesity and undermines public healthcare in the treatment of these conditions.

While I really disagree with Gov. Rell's veto, I also can empathise with this states working poor who do everything they can to survive only to be delivered the injustice and injury of a corporate system who oppresses its workers to compete in a troubled economy.

While our problems in this state are far greater than what the Governor or the legislature can deal with, a strong message should be sent that we value jobs and at the very least treat people with dignity and respect. I believe it is more important to value each other, and demand the basic economic virtues that empower people to succeed.

Jobs are the way our local and state economies work, without living wage jobs to support Connecticut's families the pillars that hold society together begin to unravel at all levels. Reagan once spoke of "trickle down" economics, the way I see it is "trickle up" economics because without the masses shopping and spending economies cannot exist.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Milford Schools Undergo Summer Upgrades

With the school year ended and summer rolling in the Milford school system has taken no time off. As the students rolled out the contractors rolled in, fixing everything from leaky roofs, to floor replacements to computer and computer room upgrades.

Emergency lighting at Foran High School is scheduled for and upgrade, making that school compliant as an emergency shelter in the event of a crisis. The lighting is also ecofriendly and is expected to use less energy.

The task is all part of Supt. Polanski's mission to keep Milford schools growing to a first class institution a job that he recently took on and perilously sailed through some difficult tests of budgetary restraints. Polanski's budget was challenged by local Alderman in a melee of hard questioning, and local parents retaliated with over 2000 signatures on a petition to reinstate the money that the Alderman cut. Polanski emerged with as good of a victory as one could expect, no teachers layed off and the city lost one of its three trash pick up days to fund the schools.

Polanski was recently praised by the Board of Education last Monday night when members released a statement calling him a compassionate and decisive leader who brought needed changes to the district.

This fall the construction will be hopefully complete, and when it is, next years students will enjoy the many improvements that I believe are moving Milford in the right direction of building a solid foundation, and a better learning environment to secure their place in the future.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Local Environmentalists Canvass Milford

Last Monday a young lady was walking my neighborhood with a petition in hand. The cause was to protect aquatic life in New England rivers and also to raise some money to support their operations. The petition, was addressed to our public leaders urging them to force New England's nuclear power plants to comply with the Clean Water Act. The closest culprit to us being the Indian River Nuclear Power plant in Westchester county, see photo and reference link below.

The Energy companies are charged (by the environmentalists) with killing thousands of fish each year. They claim that the fish get sucked into the cooling system of the power plants. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has agreed that the energy companies are in violation of the legal mandate under the the Federal Law.

The environmentalists have touted that an upgrade of more modern cooling technology is needed to protect the fish, as it stands an 80+ million dollar a year industry is at stake. The power plants have argued that the upgrades will cost in excess of 400 Million dollars, a cost that under the current conditions is prohibitive.

The case has gone to court, and is still in a litigious and hotly debated battle between the consumers of the electric who wish not to have their rates increased, the environmentalists who demand legal compliance and the energy companies who find it too challenging to meet the financial obligation of the upgrade.

Connecticut has two Nuclear Power Plants One is Connecticut Yankee (Decommissioned), the other is Millstone Nuclear, also being decommissioned.

The following link is to an article that references some historical facts on this issue. Click HERE for article.

Photo Above: Hyperspectral image showing thermal plumes from Indian Point and Lovett (Geophysical & Environmental Research Corp,1988

Monday, June 23, 2008

Some Milford Homes Fall Into Disrepair as Residents Struggle to Pay Bills

Over the last several months I have been walking around the district, the lower end of Milford, and while many of the high end, high value homes located along the waterfront are in great shape and in some cases being built to palatial status others are not so fortunate.

These homes are the inland homes, those located within the city and away from the waterfront. There were scores of homes that I personally visited in disrepair, these included broken steps, peeling paint, moss covered roofs, overgrown grass and trees and in many cases water damage from leaks inside the homes. The underlying cause of this problem stems from the occupants financial abilities and their priorities.

Some residents cited the disrepair issues as a result of the passing of a handy husband, while most others simply could not afford to complete something as basic as a paint job. With the average painter charging between $5,000 and $10,000 many town residents have not had incomes that are able to keep up with the surging cost of property taxes, energy, home maintenance, and food.

One such local man who I met on the trail had the (all to common story), that he just lost his job at a plumbing company citing that hard economic times have now impacted even the once reliable service sector. In my neighborhood alone almost all my neighbors save money by cutting their own grass and do their own landscaping.

Some locals blame this change on the local government and inattentive leaders. Our current representative Jim Amann is one person that I have learned yields either praise or utter contempt, one person in particular "said he lost track of his roots.. I remember when my son leader of the Young Democrats helped him get elected, today he has to call his secretary to make an appointment.". This alludes to the frustration, political disconnect, and confusion about why so many people in town have fallen behind due to their un-manageble economic difficulties.

My own personal opinion is that all the reasons cited by individuals on the trail may be correct, I agree that energy and taxes are among the main culprits, but none have hurt America more than our leaders in in Washington D.C. One item of particular concern has been the Feds abondoning states creating a financial hardship that force cities into the mistake of "locally taxing our way out of our problems." This works in the short term as we have seen this year but over time if the local, state, federal job situation does not improve, and incomes fail to keep up with the cost of living, than the old Chinese proverb that "water seeks its own level" may soon be a bitter reality.

This has been seen time and again and the best example of it is in economically challenged cities like Bridgeport and Waterbury. These homeowners have seen their mill rates rise as their home values plummeted. This happens because when homes are sold what is most important to a homeowner is whether or not they can afford to make that monthly payment. If they cannot they move on to a home that is priced less pushing down the value of the entire real estate market.

When houses sell for less the cities and state collect less taxes. The state collects less conveyance tax, and the city whose tax is based on a mill rate recieves less as it calculates out to a smaller payment. This is the dangerous "cat and mouse" game that municipalities play to keep their services "afloat." The balance and needs of public services Vs. taxpayers and their ability to pay is now with us long into the future. When this becomes imperiled the city will begin to gradually withdraw services from the community fueling increases in protests and political dissent in virtually all areas of government. The time to act is now, continuing to wait on these issues will result in further loss of hope of our towns people who are already very upset and disenfranchised.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Milford Graduates & Steps Up.

One of the most important days in a young persons lives ought to be graduation. This day is indicative of the years of hard work, study and accomplishment of building life's skills. It instills a lasting sense of pride and confidence, but most important knowledge is something that can never be taken away.

One quote I personally remembered I saw on a bumper sticker. The quote said that "if you think education is expensive try ignorance!" Than I remembered all those days when I had made bad choices that cost me dearly. To this day, despite being finished with college I still find plenty of challenges that lead me to frustration. One in particular that I have come to cope with is the cost of education as paid for by our property taxes. Of all the taxes we pay in life, by far this one is the most important. This tax determines the population of our prison system, the fate of our economy, the quality of our health care, the competence of our government leaders and our part in competing with the world. None of this can happen without first good kids from strong moral families, and next our community supporting quality education that instills hope and opportunity for every kids future.

One of the best tools that was given to me by my great many teachers whom I am indebted to for life are those valuable research skills and the learned humility of asking lots of questions when I lack the answers. Socrates, the great Greek philosepher once said "the only thing I know for certain is that I know nothing." This was alluding to to the fact that the more a person delves into knowledge the exponential explosion of unanswered questions ensues as a result of the initial answers to the original basic questions.

Socrates also said that "ignorance is the only terrible evil" as it renders a person a prisoner of their own mind, limiting that person to succeed in the basic mundane tasks only attainable by their limited scope of knowledge. Even this should not deter a person from wanting better, thankfully God gave us Eyes, Ears, and Speech and as such if one could just lay their ego aside asking questions and questioning everything is the first step in opening up to learning new things.

With this said I would personally like to congratulate each and every young person and adult who has had the great honor and privilege of a graduation, especially those youngsters who had a "moving up ceremony" as they will be moving on to High School next year. The future is yours, and as our current leaders wax and wane away what you have now learned through your trials and tribulations amid the annals of our great educational institutions will make you Americas next beacon of light guiding this country, state and town on behalf of your not so fortunate peers.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oklahoma Fed up With Feds Threatens Withdrawal. Is Connecticut Next?

The Oklahoma legislature, needless to say is very upset with the Federal Government. In a historic vote this week the legislature voted 92-3 on a bill that promises to sanction and disobey Federal law. These are laws that Oklahomans' have called regressive and over a long period has resulted in substantial injury to the economic health of its states citizens and economy.

The House Joint Resolution introduced in the legislature passed by a wildly popular majority of 92 in favor and only 3 opposed. The document linked above is a must read as the United States starts to show signs of it's unraveling.

This case,sadly, is only one item in particular, even Mike Bloomberg, the current mayor of New York is fed up with the inequities of taxation and unjust apportionment of his city funds. While Bloomberg did not try to dump the Federal Government, he did take the initial step of trying to dump the state of New York. Bloomberg claims that his city residents lose over 11 billion in taxes to the state. These are taxes that are not apportioned back to the city and consequentially New York's Citizens are forced to pay more taxes for less services. Bloomberg indicated he would like to see New York City become a new state. Click HERE for a reference to this story.

The growing cry for secession is gaining in popularity among the states. Last time such an anomaly happened was during the Civil War. Other fringe movements on the table are (Click on link) Vermont also Hawaii, Alaska, and California are building movements.

Even the Lakota indians have grown tired of the lack of leadership from the federal government. The average Lakota indian only lives to age 44. and according to a statement by Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told a news conference "we have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, and our children,”

The question remains why do states want to withdraw? According to a 2004 Washington Times article "New York and California, Connecticut -- the states that are blue are all the states that are paying for the bulk of everything this government does, from ... Social Security to everything else, and the people in those states don't like what this government is doing."

My personal opinion is that with our country racking up debt to the tune of one million dollars a minute, our Congress and the President with the lowest approval ratings in history, it is just a matter of time before the entire economic and financial system collapses. When this will happen is hard to tell, but history makes it clear than when monetary systems are abused the system of exchange fails due to hyper-inflation.

As of now, the United States is still very strong, and even though an alarming rate of momentum for separation is happening, America is not expected to break apart any time in the near future. America is being tested in these final moments. A tandem crisis exists of poor leadership and economic policy. Should these problem remain unsolved in the next decade, than it will become entirely feasable that conditions fostering the break up of America will develop. The Federal Government needs to stop continuing its loss of credibility, it must responsibly fund the countries obligations. Failure to do so will result in the states seperating to have greater responsibility over their affairs.

Our Fiat monetary system of printing money and issuing credit not only indebts every American but it is rapidly bringing America to bankruptcy. This year will be the year that America racks up 10 trillion dollars in debt! To put this into perspective, that is enough money to purchase all the property in 10 states at market value. It is no wonder the states are looking to bail out before the "roof caves in." When and if that happens you will soon see a large problem become your personal problem, it is time for everyone to "wake up."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Krazy City Makes Its Debut at the Milford Post Mall

Walking through the Post Mall some months ago I was one of the many curious onlookers into the row of spaces next to Sears that were under construction by some megalith. My Middle School aged stepdaughter, who was even more curious than I, later filled me in with the details.

The local kids at school were all talking about Krazy City the new Kids only spot aimed at entertaining our town youth within the confines of the mall. My feeling was one of excitement, as I now had a place to affordably leave my kids while I engaged in my typical hunter gatherer endeavors at the adult stores in the mall that she often decries as boring.

Last week I attended the new Krazy City with my youngest nephew who soon became as entranced with the Deal or No Deal game, as well as the adults who were with us. The place is absolutely enormous, with a roller coaster in the window, bumper cars to the rear an indoor Ultraviolet Golf Course and scores of games of all types and varieties.

Kids have the opportunity to win tickets that are redeemable for prizes, and when it comes time to take a break food is served in the adjacent cafeteria that bears a larger than life photographic mural of historic Baltimore.

There is one person expected to be disappointed with the new kids establishment and that is the longtime owners of Smiles on the Post Road in Milford whom after 20 plus years now have a formidable competitor of which to entertain the town kids who according to the new census are in decline in the coming years.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

July 6, 1999 Devon's Revitalization Committe Has Its First Meeting

This was the first recorded meeting that I could locate regarding the Devon Revitalization Committee. During that meeting the committee interviewed three firms; TPA, Westcott & Mapes, and Stephen Wing.

Nearly Nine years later Devon is still struggling to change its overall appearance, secure developers, face off to local opposition, and plead with the state for continued funding.

When one visits Devon, they are greeted with a very large and official sign from the state of CT. The sign is located at the corner of Bridgeport Ave. and Naugatuck Ave. Locals have been calling for changes to the look and feel of the facade's on the Bridgeport Ave. Corridor through Devon into Milford.

Robert Russ, a blogger for the Village of Devon Blog has indicated that in addition to these challenges there have been some successes as well but all of it not as great as one would hope. Robert Russ a Devon Resident said in 7/07 "Why if we are doing so much work to Devon does it look so half incomplete. It was a nice start at the bridge. Liberty Rock is a nice addition. Please not another useless expensive clock. All the power lines should have been put underground the streets just don't look right. "

Another un-named resident said: "I think my main concern at this point is the traffic. There are a few traffic lights that could/should be rethought. On Naugatuck Ave, the delayed light by the tile store should have an arrow. All of us who live in the area know the light timing, but what about those that are all moving into the area now? Also, at the light at Naugatuck and Spring Street, that light should NOT turn green at the same time as the light next to Al Dente. They are not even facing each other. I was almost hit by a bus the other day because we both had a green light and we unaware the other had one. VERY dangerous! "

While I have personally visited the Devon area my opinion is that the corridor needs to be redeveloped, and planning and zoning needs to implement new zoning rules for signage, and new construction improvements in those areas. Grants from the state should be given to the business owners of those buildings who agree to have the facades of their stores rebuilt to a standard that preserves the character and charm of Milford. These should include the formation of a business redevelopment group and involve participation and support from local business owners who desire to improve the pedestrian traffic and parking within the vicinity of their businesses. Hopefully this can still be accomplished in light of the state of Connecticuts new financial problems.

For a complete list of minutes regarding the progress of the Devon Revitalization Committee click on the link at the bottom of this page.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stop And Shop Offers Relief at The Gas Pump

Stop and Shop has stepped up to the plate and brought back the value added gas coupon its shoppers seem to love so much. As of last Friday Stop & Shop has launched a new program where its shoppers can save as much as 40 Cents a gallon when you purchase $300.00 or more of groceries.

This program is a tremendous opportunity to working families here in town, and the offer is only available at the two locations here in Milford. Those stores are the ones located on and near the Post Road next to the Milford Mall and Silver Sands State Park.

The offer as has been explained to me by a store manager is incremental, shoppers who spend less than $300 will still receive a discount, but it drops a nickel with every $50 under the $300. so if you purchase $200 in groceries your gas discount will be reduced to .30 Cents a gallon. This is still a pretty good savings for all those folks out there with SUV's this could mean another $10.00 in your pocket.

My most sincere thanks to any and all people out there at Stop & Shop who brought this innovative idea to the residents and consumers here in Milford.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Gas Prices Force Milford Boaters to Reinvent The Sport

The price of gasoline purchased at the dock is somewhat of a monopoly, and the price is usually 10%-20% higher than what you and I pay at the gas station. A modest size 25 foot power boat can hold up to 100 gallons of gasoline and at $5.00 a gallon a day trip out on the sound can get very expensive real fast.

Milford's die hard boaters have reinvented the sport and now practice sound conservation of gas consumption. Some just enjoy their boat at the dock take shorter trips and anchor longer at popular spots. Many people who enjoy fishing are now finding their friends asking for gas money to share in the daily cost of getting far out to the good fishing spots. Many are just putting their gas guzzlers for sale and are willing to accept lower prices for their boats.

This Fourth of July, however is expected to be the biggest boater day of the year as countless boat owners will take to the dawn sky in the hope of a spectacular view of the many fireworks shows peppered along the Long Island Sound.

For some boaters out there who just can't get enough of the sound and its associated fun it has been suggested to me by friends of mine who are boaters, to try and take up eco-friendly sailing. However not all people like sailing despite its gas saving appeal, some friends of mine who are die hard boaters have just downsized to smaller boats they can afford.

The good news is that boaters have sent their message loud and clear to the boating manufacturers and they have heard the "cry" as their sales plummeted. The boating industry has responded with a new breed of hybrid boats, one model by Craigcat boast a whopping 8rs. of entertainment on a gallon of gas, however the boat is very small and you probably will not be pulling a water skier.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

UI Promises a $3.00 Savings In Exchange For Public Hazards

After nearly a decade of our local power plant being shut down, a multi billion dollar improvement to the electrical grid and the re-opening of the Devon power plant UI promises an insulting savings of $3.00 to us the consumers.

This $3.00 savings will cost us reduced air quality, 900 Million dollars worth of construction traffic, mostly out of state jobs, and the transportation of dangerous and highly explosive gas through our district, and Milford.

Quite surprisingly Jim Richetelli is excited that this plant is opening, I am personally not certain why but I have heard him on occasion as touting this project as something of an achievement. I have yet to concur, especially in lieu of the fact that it will not save us much on electric and bring hazards to our district.

This paltry savings is not something that I conjure up out of "thin air" but is rather documented in this week Connecticut Post just click HERE. The article also cites a murky deal between Blumenthal and UI and CL&P mandating a 4 Million Dollar Refund. This Refund however will not find its way back to you because John Larkin, a spokesman for Milford Power, said he doesn't "expect there will be any decrease to consumers' bills, because the system is so complex and $4 million, when divided among the state's residents and consumers, is not a lot of money."

The time has come to continue challenging the "voodoo economics" of these energy giants and hold them to honest business. If they have One Million customers than of course the opposite works dramatically in their favor and with electric up nearly 100% in the last seven years they should have money bursting out of their vaults.

UI has instead "slapped its consumers in the face" by yet asking for another increase under a decoupling bill. They are upset that consumers cutting back on their electric usage, and their uncollected receivables has lowered their profit disappointing their investors on Wall Street.

Unless this power plant can provide a greater savings to the consumer, it should be opposed or annexed by the city of Milford for operation on behalf of its residents.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Monarch's And CEO'S Meet In Chantilly VA

This is something that was puzzling to me especially since our news media said nothing of the event. This event is very exciting and yet significant because when our nations top executives and monarchs get together for a couple of days, I suppose it is kind of like all the bullies in the schoolyard associating with baseball bat manufactures.

The event did not go completely unnoticed as Jack Schaffer at Slate Magazine wrote an article in defiance of the privacy mandate our world leaders demanded.

The partial list of attendees at this meeting were as follows: Paul Wolfowitz, Ben Bernake, Condoleza Rice, David Rockefeller, Several heads of world banks Google and Yahoo's CEO etc. etc.
Click HERE for the full list.

What makes this meeting significant to every single person in America is that it violates the Logan Act, an act that specifically bars our U.S. Leaders from engaging in global policy decisions outside of Washington D.C. and without the expressed legal consent of a vote in Congress. The Logan act is very specific, and these types of meetings are highly illegal.

This would make absolute sense as to why the corporate media has been so "hush" on these events. They are most likely not covering them because they are being conducted in a manner that precludes them from obtaining press releases. If their intentions are rooted in Corporate Feudalism as Ralph Nader states is becoming the case in America, than any news on the subject of this meeting would be wildly unpopular.

However, being caught red handed this year and several protesters with bull horns dragging them out in the open thanks to the Internet. The globalist assembly released this press release, admitting to their meeting and defending why it is they needed to assemble in a sneaky manner at a hotel in Chantilly Virginia.

This press release appears to be a blatant admission that violations of the Logan Act took place, and yet we as the pawns of their elitist agenda we have all but been "declawed" of any way to hold them accountable. As a matter fact the Elite Oligarchs who run our country have tried on numerous occasions to to repeal the Logan Act but to no success. What they did manage to achieve for themselves was the suspension of its ever being enforced and no one has been convicted of it in nearly 50+ years.

Even though these meetings are called "private" the Department of Justice as confirmed by a source at Apple Computer via E-Mail, indicated that the American Taxpayers had purchased every member of this group an Expensive Ipod with an engraving on it "Bilderberg 2008." If these meeting are in fact not "Official" than perhaps they should purchase their own Ipods, plus who knows what else the taxpayers funded of this "private" meeting.

In conclusion the purpose of this article is to expose the fact that these meetings go on, and what they are up to only leaves ones imagination going. Their official press release should reassure even the most pessimistic person that this event did in-fact take place, this alone should be enough to warrant each and every one of us to start asking questions as to the scope and purpose of their intentions.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Heat Wave Bakes Milford

Today and yesterday were bad days to try and discredit global warming. The temperature here in town soared to a record 98 Degrees and our towns kids were dripping in sweat as they sat in classrooms without air conditioning.

Our staff contacted the school superintendent and expressed concern over the extreme heat, especially after several schools either let their students out early or just took the day off all together.

Milford's Superintendent, Polanski said he spent a good part of his day walking around asking teachers and students how they were coping with the extreme heat. He gave an encouraging report, indicating that the kids and teachers were doing well.

This, however was not what some of the local kids said to me at the bus stop this morning. The consensus was that only two classrooms they were aware of had air conditioning, and they said that during their final exams they found the heat a to be a major distraction to their testing.

When I mentioned that I called their Superintendent to express their concern, one student sarcastically replied, "easy for him to say that, his office is one of the few that has air conditioning."

Parents expressed concern over the fact that the schools were even open at all during this excessively hot day, some did not understand why the school could not afford air conditioning in such extreme weather; at the very least it should be turned on in the event of an emergency.

The high cost of energy, combined with crippling property tax increases, declining ED funding and forced cutbacks to save our teachers jobs, in my opinion is what has led to this bad situation. Some time ago I wrote a blog stating that just this would happen if the city and state did not initiate a conservation program, and begin to install solar panels and budget friendly technologies in our city buildings.

A energy conservation expert at TriCity said that if the city abandoned its current technology in favor of geothermal heat pumps alone, this would cut the cities energy consumption by nearly 1/3 shortly after it get turned on. The problem is not recognizing the merit of this technology, it is getting the city to come up with money to begin installing it. If they do not do it now, then over the next decade they will have paid for it just through the current inefficient system.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Frank and Independent Party Welcome Ralph Nader To Connecticut

America's renowned consumer advocate and presidential candidate Ralph Nader greeted a crowd of people in a Middlebury church last night. Ralph gave a speech lasting over an hour and a half on what he thought were our great nations troubles.

His speech was inspiring, and at times moving, Nader has been using his celebrity status to inform the next generation of voters as to the true nature of what he called corporate feudalism and its death grip on Washington D.C.

Nader has been critical of the Corporation who has no voting rights or in many cases no allegiance to our nation gaining complete control over our leadership in D.C. The new trend has become policy for profit, and the corporate giants employ candidates of their choosing to achieve their global financial objectives.

Nader has called the electoral system a sham, where the news covers simple soundbites that often leave out much vital news facts. He also cited the media as the machine that raises their "sweetheart" candidates to stardom building the required credibility that they need to succeed. Nader also mentioned that he had been previously sued by numerous political factions in many states to have his name removed from the ballot. He called such a practice an unethical form of legal political harassment.

Nader who is now about 70 years old will not run again in any future political office, but many of us today should be thankful for his life work of challenging automakers in the 60's-70's to make our cars safer. Nader's auto safety standards resulted in the implementation of crumple zones and safer steering columns saving the lives of innumerable young drivers and adults. The very cars we drive today are safer because of his selfless commitment and relentless efforts.

It was an honor and a privilege to hear Nader speak in Middlebury, and a greater honor to have had the time to personally meet with him after the event and discuss some of my own agenda items. Let this post stand as my sincere appreciation and testament to his hard work that has so benefited the safety of my family, not only in cars but in countless other consumer issues, including his current efforts in challenging Chinese companies for their criminal policy of placing lead and toxins in our imported toys and other unrelated products.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Gov. May Suspend The Increase In The Gas Tax

The tax in Connecticut is known as the Gross Receipts tax, and Governor Rell has called its timing "not good." The increase in this tax was proposed some time ago before the current energy crisis and seemed like a good idea. The money was supposed to be used to make improvements to the public transportation system that is now reaching full capacity during peak hours.

The tax was expected to go up from 7% to 7.5%. This would have marked an increase of yet another 3 or 4 cents per gallon. Governor Rell who told the legislature that she cannot control the price of oil or what goes on in the world market, has merely relayed our concerns to federal leaders in Washington.

The problem now becomes what will the state do to address “the Office of Policy and Management who advised Governor Rell that the next fiscal year - which begins July 1 - was projected to face a shortfall of about $150 million." The increase on the gas tax was expected to regain 25 Million of that loss.

There were few critics of the Governors plan, except for one person. According to Christine Stuart a reporter at the state capitol "Jonathan Pelto, a former state legislator turned public relations specialist, said in an email that already the gross receipts tax is bringing millions more into the state than initially anticipated in 2007 when the current state budget was passed.

He said when the legislature passed the budget it expected to bring in $287 million in 2008 and $311 million in 2009 on the gross receipts tax. Because the tax is a percentage of the wholesale price of gasoline, the budget estimates were based on the wholesale price of gas at $2.41. He said today the wholesale price of gas is $3.40, which means it will bring in at least $53 million more than expected this year.

“Even if gas prices don’t increase at all from this point forward—the most basic simplistic assessment reveals that in FY 09, the General Fund will not receive the $311 million (that was projected last June) but will actually receive well over $410 million,” Pelto said in an emailed statement titled, “Reality Check on Gas Tax Issue.”

The people of our state are already burdened with the highest gas prices in America, Connecticut is losing business and trucking companies are going under. The entire recreational boating industry has also been impacted negatively and there appears to be no relief in sight.

The federal government appears to be imposing new energy and greenhouse gas regulations that are only going to impede the price of gas further. The quagmire we are now in is so desperate that analysts at "Goldman Sachs" are expecting oil to reach as high as $150-$200 a barrel.

Congress thus far has threatened a lawsuit against OPEC, ostracized the top executives at the big oil companies, is attempting to bar speculative investors in oil, and in a chilling cliche imposed strict environmental standards that prevent the exploration of oil in our own country. Clearly our country appears to be paralyzed by its own internal strife between consumers and environmentalists.

The question here remains is whether or not our state truly did receive all that extra cash, or did Connecticut just break even due to people driving less? I have no knowledge of Peto's assessment relative to consumer driving habits in this high price environment. If consumers are like the typical people I know, then they have indeed cut back on driving, as many local gas station operators have also suggested has happened. The immutable laws of supply and demand also apply to the state and Connecticut should be aware that raising gas prices will push consumers into energy conservation that will result in even less sales revenue and higher future taxes.

All it takes is for one to look out their own window and see the surge in 30+ MPG cars, and the decline of the SUV now worth less than ever before. Ford has even indicated that their gas guzzlers, like bad mortgages are "upside down" time to pay attention to the big picture, and not "band aid" holes in the budget.

The problem is difficult, but solvable through innovative means in these troubling times, including a serious effort to eliminate government waste and questionable jobs and departments.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Miller's Hardware May Get Re-Developed

Miller's Hardware, located next to Dunkin Donuts on the town green has been eyed by Smithcraft, a developer who has "eyed" the property for commercial re-development. The property according to Smithcraft has several challenges, and although they hold the option to buy the property that option has now expired. One of Smithcrafts concerns is the lack of parking at that site, they have made an effort to purchase the adjoining parking lot but were not successful in their bid.

The economy also has posed some challenges, and is another reason they let the option expire, but more so than that without sufficient parking the building can only be redeveloped in its own footprint. Having personally visited this site I can say that the property is very odd, and it will be difficult to design a functional building.

Miller's Hardware was severely damaged by a fire several years ago, the store was closed after the fire sprinklers soaked the premises for several hours. Smith, like most hardware stores was also challenged when rival Home Depot opened in Orange, and today with the newly built Lowe's it is highly unlikely a local hardware store will ever be able to effectively compete in downtown Milford.

As of now the Miller family is still negotiating with Robert Smith, and his partner Philip Craft.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Remembering Lee Atwater

Lee Atwater is the person photographed with Frank on his campaign card. Many people in the 118Th already have the card, but for those who have not yet received one it is available at as item 7 on the scrolling slide show just click the photo for a printable card.

Today's post is to help many of those new voters, or those who do not remember who Lee Atwater was. The video up above tells his entire story, from his rise and fall and his dynamic and enthusiastic support of Republican politics. Personally I knew Lee in the later years of his life, and was one of his favorite Young Republicans during the Bush one campaign era.

Lee as the video above depicts marks his aggressive and often direct campaign style and later in his terminal stages an epiphany on life. This epiphany is what ultimately dejected me from the Republican party and became my impetus to rethink the job and responsibility of our elected leaders who all to often become all too insensitive to the needs of the common person.

Lee was not only an accomplished musician and a a great entertainer, but also one of this countries greatest heroes whose last words compelled all of us to work toward unity, a common country and ourselves become a voice of freedom and change.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Seniors Fume Over Crumbling Wall

Some residents at Baldwin Station in Milford are very upset over the retaining wall built behind five homes. After personally visiting the site, and talking with those affected, a very upsetting story emerged.

Residents indicated that the city was given plans to construct the wall according to building code as approved by the building department. During and upon completion of the project the city of Milford sent out inspectors who approved the work of the contractor. A few short years later the earth induced tremors by the passing locomotives, whose tracks rest above the retaining wall, caused several landslides. One such landslide cracked the foundation of a home, while another crushed a drainage pipe creating water and flooding issues.

Jim Amann was supposed to have a meeting with AG Blumenthal and the Baldwin Station Association, now cancelled, to assist the residents receive a resolution to what is now a potentially litigious problem. One such resident said "that until this problem is fixed I will never be able to sell this house ever, believe me I know I have been a realtor for 20 years and can tell you no one will want to deal with this serious of a problem."

The problem still remains unresolved and is a hotly debated issue, because the builder, in the opinion of the residents, is culpable as the wall was built wrong. However, others feel the city is culpable because they approved the builders work. In either case neither the city nor the contractor wish to pay the needed one million dollars to rectify this problem and two million remains in an escrow account.

Complicating matters further the seniors at Baldwin Station already strapped for cash and concerned about the cost of living, are not prepared to shell out any more money on attorneys to get a resolution.

While this is clearly not the fault of the five homeowners who live on the edge of a falling rock zone, they continue to suffer at the hands of a sad bureaucratic system that knows no accountability, has no plan, and continues to evade any responsibility to the safety and well being of the elderly persons who live in fear of falling rocks.

Our city and state leaders need to step up to the plate and assist these homeowners in having this problem fixed before its continued erosion impedes the trains ability to travel over the wall safely. Hopefully action will be taken sooner than later.