November 30, 2010

Town To Help Trust With Talcotville Gorge Purchase

Town To Help Trust With Talcotville Gorge Purchase

November 28, 2010

Vernon CT Condominium Owners Equal Treatment Article | ReminderNews

Article ReminderNews: "Condo hydrant use again an issue
Whether condominium owners are treated like other property owners and residents when it comes to town utilities would seem to be the philosophical question at the center of the discussion at last Tuesday’s Vernon Town Council meeting ." The motion passed. Republicans Council Members voted yes to support the condo owners equal treatment: Campbell, Etre, Anderson, O'Shea, Hanny Thomas and Motola all republican voting “yes” with one democract Winkler voting yes. Herbst (D) opposing, Krupienski (D) opposing and Pauline Schaefer (D) opposing and abstaining.

Vernon Firefighters seek donations for Toys for Tikes

Journal Inquirer Towns Vernon Firefighters seek donations for Toys for Tikes

VERNON — The Volunteer Firefighters Association is seeking new toys and financial donations for the annual Toys for Tikes charity drive.

New unwrapped toys can be dropped off at one of a dozen locations, including Ron-A-Roll, Town Hall, the Police Department, the public safety and ambulance complex, Rockville Bank on Hyde Avenue, Rein’s Deli, Court House Plus, Crystal Blueprint, and Fancy Feet Pet Grooming.

Toys will be collected through Saturday, Dec. 18. Firefighters will distribute the toys to community families by Monday, Dec. 20.

Financial donations can be sent to:

Vernon Volunteer Firefighters Association

P.O. Box 951, Vernon, CT 06066

November 13, 2010

Fall foliage at Webster Preserve & Valley Falls, Vernon CT - Hartford hiking |

Fall foliage at Webster Preserve & Valley Falls, Vernon CT - Hartford hiking "Fall foliage at Webster Preserve & Valley Falls, Vernon CT"

""Nothing more exciting than a hike up a mountain with a view as your goal. This is a real good challenge and heart healthy workout! You can find the mile long hike pretty spectacular right now for fall foliage! With excellent weather on any fall day, you can make this an outstanding hike. The bad part is it may be over real soon.

The leaves are dissapearing fast as winter approaches. For an exhilarating hik, an elevated heart rate and great views of the valley below. Hike up the Webster Preserve trail; that can be found with a quick trip off I-84 exit 66, to Valley Falls road in Vernon CT.

Valley Falls is nice for family hikers or day walkers, but Webster Preserve is for the hearty hiker. A one mile walk up hill along a fire road designated by four different trail markers. Blue Red, Blue, White, and Blue Yellow. All this and an outstanding valley view you as you ascend this hill. The trees change color fast as you start your walk at the base of the mountain. There is a dedicated off road parking (rough spot) for two or three cars, head up through the evergreens and along the ridges here. Noticeable to the left is the ever expanding Valley below.

Catch your breath at the benches just above Valley Falls (great view), then go up and cross the Rail Trail then head up the fire road. Mountain laurel is abundant among the craggy rock formations and rock outcroppings. The longer you walk the more you will notice the noise free silence. You can spot turkey buzzards up here, hawks and other birds of prey here.

Follow the white path to your left as it crosses onto the blue trail. If your unsure stay on the mountain road and head to the top. You can always try going down hill via the white trail, blue trail etc. on way back. You won't get lost if you stick to the trails or the fire road. Bring a flashlight if you head up here at dusk, as the mounatin above and behind this place cast a very long shadow and when it's moonless it is very dark up here.""

November 11, 2010

The Fix - Republicans attempt to recruit alternative to Michael Steele- Washington POST

The Fix - Republicans attempt to recruit alternative to Michael Steele: "Republicans attempt to recruit alternative to Michael Steele"

Steele allies argue that the bus tour coupled with the party's gains at the ballot box have strengthened his hand and the fact that no serious alternative has yet emerged is also working to his advantage.

There are any number of other names mentioned as possible candidates.

Among them: Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy, California committeeman Ron Nehring and former Nevada governor Robert List.

Michael Steele May Have Challengers for GOP Chairmanship - TIME Connecticut GOP Chairman Chris Healy

Michael Steele May Have Challengers for GOP Chairmanship - TIME: "Steele May Have Challengers for GOP Chair"

Another candidate, Connecticut GOP Chairman Chris Healy, is talking about a run but hasn't made a decision. Even so, he is highlighting his work as a fundraiser, a traditional role for the national committee chief.

"I've shown I can grind money out of a stone and actually get a lot for it," Healy said.

After losing a bruising presidential race against Obama in 2008 and facing minority status in the House and Senate, RNC members elected Steele their chairman and chief spokesman. But his bombastic style irritated some party members and heavy spending under his watch drew fiery criticism.

Read more:,8599,2030695,00.html#ixzz14xWB7g4V

Connecticut's Chris Healy As The Next Republican National Chairman? Mentioned Despite Big Losses In Nutmeg State - Capitol Watch

Connecticut's Chris Healy As The Next Republican National Chairman? Mentioned Despite Big Losses In Nutmeg State - Capitol Watch

Healy is now being mentioned in the national media for a major promotion - to be chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Healy's name has been floated widely in The Associated Press, Roll Call, and The Washington Post's influential political blog, among others.

In a 24-hour whirlwind, Healy's candidacy has grown from a behind-the-scenes, back-room whispering campaign to a full-blown public race. As a nearly four-year member of the national committee because of his state chairmanship, Healy already knows many of the 168 national members - and he needs 85 votes to oust embattled, outspoken chairman Michael Steele.

"A number of people on the committee, which is where it counts, urged me to think about running,'' Healy said in an interview. "We need to create a real national Republican army. The record does not indicate that the Steele team can do it. At some point, you have to come out and say the emperor has no clothes.''

Healy, 53, said he has no idea who mentioned his name to The Washington Post, adding that he has "full confidence of passing a polygraph'' on the leak. He is being mentioned along with former Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, former Nevada Gov. Robert List, former New Jersey chairman David Norcross, and current Wisconsin chairman Reince Priebus, among others.

November 10, 2010

Call Him The "Official" Gov-Elect | New Haven Independent

Call Him The "Official" Gov-Elect New Haven Independent

(Updated) Nearly three days after polls closed, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz announced Friday evening that Democrat Dan Malloy beat Republican Tom Foley to the governor’s seat by 5,637 votes. Foley’s campaign, however, said he still wasn’t satisfied with the accuracy of the “ever-changing” count.

Bysiewicz did not appear in person for the 6 p.m. press conference at the Capitol where the announcement was made. Through a spokesman, she released a statement with new numbers showing Malloy beat Foley by 566,498 to 560,861 votes. Her spokesman, Av Harris, said no recount is planned. A recount is triggered only when the vote margin is 2,000 or smaller.

“This is good news. We’ve always been confident that Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman won this election,” responded Malloy spokesman Brian Durand. Previously Friday, Foley refused to concede the race until he was confident in the accuracy of the results.

Foley’s spokeswoman Liz Osborn said the new numbers do not address Foley’s concerns, including those about “ever-changing vote totals.” She said she would comment further “once the campaign has been able to gain additional information requested of a number of municipalities and the Secretary of State.”

Bysiewicz’s announcement came hours after the town of Bridgeport finished a long, convoluted vote-counting process. Bysiewicz proclaimed Malloy the “unofficial” victor on Wednesday, based on unofficial vote tallies. On Friday, her spokesman said the total is “official,” but has yet to be certified. That certification will take place by Nov. 25, he said.

The announcement was the latest in a fast-paced day in an election that would not die.

Cops Hand-Deliver Bungled Tally
Cops drove from Bridgeport to Hartford Friday afternoon to deliver hard-copy results from a vote count that kept getting revised up until the last minute—and that purports to give Malloy the margin of victory to become Connecticut’s first Democratic governor elected since 1986.

The Bridgeport police were transporting documents containing the really truly we-mean-it (we-think) official vote count from the city of Bridgeport in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election. Those numbers kept changing for days after the election—even on Friday morning after Bridgeport’s mayor summoned the press to release putatively official figures.

The documents arrived at the office of Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz around 2:20 p.m. (They were also faxed there.)

Now Bysiewicz is expected to emerge in public again—a personally perilous proposition for her these days—at some point late Friday to declare Dan Malloy the winner, and perhaps answer a swirl of questions about how she has conducted this election.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party has made Freedom of Information requests to all 169 Connecticut cities and towns in anticipation of a possible statewide recount.

However you slice and dice the Bridgeport numbers, they do roughly show Dan Malloy capturing approximately a 13,000-vote victory in the city. That gives him approximately a 5,000 statewide victory, if the numbers hold up. (Click here for the secretary of the state’s latest honestly truly official statewide vote breakdown.)

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced results of his holdout city’s recount at a 6 a.m. press conference at the City Hall Annex on Broad Street. He said Malloy had beaten Republican Tom Foley 17,800 to 4,075 in Bridgeport. That’s enough to put him over the top of the otherwise official statewide vote count, the result of a process disputed over three days. Click here and here to read reports from overnight, including a dispute over a previously undisclosed sealed bag of uncounted 335 ballots.

Finch’s numbers did differ from the final tally prepared by his two city registrars after one final marathon vote-counting session. It lasted from 4:30 p.m. Thursday until 7:30 a.m. Friday. Their numbers, announced at 7:30 a.m: 17,042 to 4,099. Registrars posted those numbers on the wall at 7:30 a.m. The final numbers driven to Bysiewicz’s office differed very slightly again, by 4 votes.

But then there was another mess-up: The numbers came off the wall. Registrars said in their haste to put numbers up, they forgot to put some in.

At 8:47 a.m. registrars then called out the super-final, ultra-official numbers they will fax in to the state: 17,923 for Malloy (on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines) and 4,092 for Foley. Those vote totals did not to include ballots cast after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, of which there were 50 for Malloy an seven for Foley.

The final numbers driven to Bysiewicz’s office differed very slightly again, by 4 votes.

Never-Ending Election
Friday afternoon’s events followed yet another whirlwind day of post-election positioning, recalculation, and uncertainty.

Republican candidate Foley refused to accept the botched and still-evolving recount of votes in Bridgeport Friday morning, urging the state to wait a few days to nail down an accurate result of this week’s gubernatorial election.

At a 10:35 a.m. press conference in the lobby of Hartford’s Goodwin Hotel, Foley stopped short of vowing to challenge the results. Instead, he called for Secretary of the State to wait before announcing an official victor in the race. He said the state should take more days to study the numbers again, since in 20 communities the reported numbers kept changing for days after Tuesday’s election, including a 2,000-vote swing in his favor in Torrington in the secretary of the state’s count.

Click to watch highlights.

“We are being laughed at around this country,” Foley said. “I don’t want to create a situation where a result is declared here and then it’s changed ... Let’s just take our time.”

Will Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz announce “official” results Friday?

As of noon, she wasn’t taking questions. Here’s what her communications director, Av Harris, wrote to reporters:

“As of 11:30 a.m. we still have not received the return from Bridgeport. Once the return is received by our office, the data will be entered to our computerized database. Then the result will be tabulated. Then the figures will be double and triple checked to make sure any errors are eliminated. When we are confident that we have a complete and accurate election result, then we will release it to you. Secretary Bysiewicz will not have anything to say until then. I appreciate your patience.

“Once again, I cannot tell you right now when this information will be available, but we are hopeful it will be today.

At his Friday morning press conference, Foley said he doesn’t “think anybody should be confident in these results based on what happened the past couple of days.”

“Until the numbers stabilize we don’t know what the actual count is going to be,” Foley said. “The people of Connecticut will benefit if I can say I believe in” the numbers.

“I spent seven months in Iraq,” he remarked. “I ‘m used to this. I don’t get on much of a roller coaster.”

Foley’s mood remained calm, reasonable as he took questions from reporters.

Unlike in previous days, Foley was no longer claiming that his internal numbers showed him in the lead. He said he’s not as “comfortable” about his showing as he was before. Instead, he emphasized the need to have numbers that everyone can believe in. He said a recount may be appropriate even if the margin is greater than the 2,000-threshold that automatically triggers one.

“When it’s reported that a bag of ballots showed up mysteriously, I think the citizens deserve to know more about that story. Where did they come from? Are they legitimate ballots? Should they be counted?”

Among those accompanying Foley Friday: His lawyer on this election’s developments, former U.S. Attorney Kevin O’Connor; and Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy.

Christine Stuart Photo
Kevin O’Connor confers with Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy,
who have been watching the matter closely on Foley’s behalf.

Call Him The "Official" Gov-Elect | New Haven Independent

Call Him The "Official" Gov-Elect New Haven Independent: "Call Him The “Official” Gov-Elect"

Bridgeport voting debacle shows poor training - The Daily Campus - Commentary

Bridgeport voting debacle shows poor training - The Daily Campus - Commentary

"Though the chaotic governor's race is over, and Democrat Dan Malloy has legitimately won, Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and Bridgeport officials should be held accountable for the voting fiasco. Bridgeport registrars failed to secure enough ballots and neglected to satisfactorily explain the voting irregularities that occurred. As a result, a clear victory for Malloy dragged out for days, allowing unsubstantiated concerns about fraud to undermine voter confidence. Bysiewicz failed to prevent the ballot shortage and worsened the situation by making a premature announcement on Wednesday that was based on unofficial election results.

Such incompetence needs to be investigated, identified and corrected so that this preventable scenario does not happen again.

Bridgeport drastically underestimated the number of ballots that it required. For 69,000 registered voters, the city only requested 21,000, even though it had ordered 28,000 for the low-profile 2009 municipal elections. Furthermore, the number of ballots was meant to cover 30 percent of registered voters, even though the smallest turnout recorded in the last 14 years was 39 percent. The Hartford Courant reports that Bridgeport's Republican Registrar of Voters, Joseph Borges, took cost into consideration when ordering the ballots. Though Democratic Registrar Sandi Ayala did not address the shortage issue, Borges apologized on his behalf, saying "we are taking responsibility; it's our fault."

Borges and Ayala are right in accepting responsibility for their negligence. As registrars, they should have reported any cost concern to the Secretary of the State's office, instead of shrugging their shoulders and hoping for the best. Because of their laziness, citizens were turned away from the polls. Those who remained had to wait in long lines while officials quickly printed out more ballots.The mistake created discrepancies in the total voting tally for the gubernatorial race, which caused the dilemma to drag on for days.

But Borges and Ayala are not the only one's responsible for the shortage; the Secretary of the State's Office should have caught the problem. Bysiewicz defended herself, saying that in "2008, when a high turnout was predicted, my office advised registrars to order enough ballots to cover 110 percent of the voter rolls," suggesting that she had provided guidelines to prevent just this situation, and any failure is on the part of city officials. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, also a Democrat, sees things differently. "I will also say, the Secretary of the State's office should have caught this mistake." Bysiewicz failed to enforce her own recommendations. This oversight did not occur in a small town, which would have minimized the issue. It occurred in Connecticut's largest city. There is no excuse for missing a 48,000 ballot shortage.

In addition to the ballot shortage in Bridgeport, Bysiewicz is also responsible for post-election mistakes. On Wednesday, she announced to the media that Dan Malloy was the winner-apparent, even though Bridgeport had not yet released its official vote count. The public announcement should not have been made based on unofficial results. Bysiewicz's decision was premature and unprofessional, especially since the numbers released to the public at the time showed Foley as the winner. Additionally, the Associated Press had not finalized the total with Bysiewicz's own office, and would go so far as to withdraw Malloy as the official winner before the final count showed him the victor. Bysiewicz's actions suggested political favoritism at worst, lack of tact at best. Her mistakes have undermined her personal credibility and the state's ability to regulate the basic electoral process.

Further responsibility lies with individual errors of election workers. Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy, a Republican poll watcher, witnessed several irregularities, such as voters who were checked off without showing an ID and exposed ballots, which should have been secured in the regular steel cages. To make matters worse, a bag full of 300 uncounted ballots was found two days after the election. Ayala brushed aside concerns about tampering, arguing that the bags had been sealed since Tuesday. Nevertheless, officials did not notify vote counters of the bag, and the ballots remained untouched and unprotected until their discovery.

Even though these irregularities are not illegal and do not suggest fraud, they reveal an inadequate training process for poll workers. Conducting a safe, legal election is not easy, but it is essential to the democratic process. Therefore, the individuals who staff the polling places need to clearly understand protocol and be able to respond to any situation, within reason, that may develop.

The mistakes and miscounts do not change the outcome of the governor's race, but they severely undermine the credibility of the state's electoral system. They damage the reputation of Secretary of the State Bysiewicz and the two Bridgeport registrars, while pointing to the communication breakdown that should not have happened between overstressed election officials and poll workers.

An investigation into the secretary of the state and registrars' handling of the affair is necessary to explain exactly what happened and to call to task the people who failed to perform their duty."

Review & Outlook: Yankee Pankey -

Review & Outlook: Yankee Pankey - "REVIEW & OUTLOOKNOVEMBER 6, 2010Yankee Pankey
Connecticut voters should demand an independent review before a Governor is declared."
NOVEMBER 6, 2010.
Yankee Pankey
Connecticut voters should demand an independent review before a Governor is declared..Article Comments (80) more in Opinion ».

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley tells us he isn't planning to concede Tuesday's Connecticut election until he's "certain that the will of the voters was honored." Good for him. Mr. Foley and the rest of the state's voters have plenty of reasons to question a reported tally that now shows Democrat Dannel Malloy ahead by fewer than 6,000 votes out of more than 1.1 million cast.

Specifically, Connecticut voters deserve a more thorough accounting of the votes in Bridgeport, and of the bizarre behavior of Susan Bysiewicz, the secretary of state. In Bridgeport, where the Hartford Courant has noted a disturbing recent history of voting irregularities, the registrar's office had not printed enough ballots before voting began, so workers were dispatched to city offices on Election Day to photocopy blank ballots, raising questions about the custody of ballots created on the fly.

On Wednesday, Bridgeport missed its statutory deadline to report results, and then on Thursday officials there produced a bag containing hundreds of ballots that had not previously been counted. Over Republican objections, the new ballots were added to the tally. The current count in that city shows Mr. Foley receiving fewer than half as many votes as the GOP candidate received in 2006, while Democratic votes increased by almost 60%. Mr. Foley was leading by 8,409 votes before the Bridgeport votes were counted.

Jason McCoy, the Republican mayor of Vernon, Connecticut, told WFSB-TV in Hartford that he served as a poll-watcher in Bridgeport on Election Day and observed people voting without identification, voters receiving more than one ballot, and ballots left unsecured at the polling place.

Adding to the spectacle was Ms. Bysiewicz, whose job is to certify an official election result on November 25. Yet on Wednesday she offered the prediction that fellow Democrat Mr. Malloy would be declared the winner, even as towns across the state were still checking their vote totals. Something looks rotten in Connecticut, and the state's voters should demand an independent review before a victor is declared.

November 7, 2010

Shows Problems At Bridgeport Polls

Local Video: "ONLY ON 3: Video Shows Problems At Bridgeport Polls
BRIDGEPORT -- A video shot from inside the Lincoln Avenue School in Bridgeport shows a poll watcher telling a poll worker not to mix unofficial ballots with official ones before the workers says, 'I quit.'"

Click to Watch Special Report:

November 6, 2010

More Allegations of Impropriety in Bridgeport Polls « Channel 3's Dennis House Blogs

More Allegations of Impropriety in Bridgeport Polls « Channel 3's Dennis House Blogs: "More Allegations of Impropriety in Bridgeport Polls"

There are shocking allegations of improper activities at polls in Bridgeport. Mayor Jason McCoy was one of several Republican poll watchers dispatched to the Park City to monitor the election there. In an exclusive interview with Channel 3, McCoy told us they were sent there because they suspected something could go wrong. Why did they think that? McCoy said they received word that an application for absentee ballots to be sent to Bridgeport contained the address of a vacant lot.

McCoy told me he witnessed people who got more than one ballot, didn’t check in to get a ballot, and other improper activities.

There is also some video of inside a polling station (Central High School) that shows a chaotic scene between a poll watcher and a poll worker.

Here is our report:

Bridgeport Ballot Count?

Bysiewicz Sec. of State Rulings

Bysiewicz Press Conference 11/4 -- "Bysiewicz Press Conference 11/4"

Questionable Conduct By Official - Courant

Vernon Mayor: Video Shows Questionable Conduct By Official - "Vernon's McCoy Says Video Shows Bridgeport Election Official Refusing To Follow Law"

Vernon Mayor: Video Shows Questionable Conduct By Official -

Vernon Mayor: Video Shows Questionable Conduct By Official - "Vernon's McCoy Says Video Shows Bridgeport Election Official Refusing To Follow Law"

November 1, 2010

Journal Inquirer Towns Vernon Etre: Janowski vote allows RGH to shed maternity ward

Journal Inquirer Towns Vernon Etre: Janowski vote allows RGH to shed maternity ward

Vernon CT- State Reps' Claire Janowski and Joan Lewis Vote Allows Rockville General Hopsital to End Service

Journal Inquirer Letters To The Editor Oct. 29

Journal Inquirer Letters To The Editor Oct. 29

McCoy’s picks

I ask that you join me to support Tom Foley for governor, Jeff Wright for treasurer, Jerry Farrell for secretary of the state, Tony Guglielmo for state Senate, and Mark Etre and Tim Ackert for state representative.

The state has been operating the government through borrowing, there is not enough revenue to pay operations from taxation, our bond rating has been lowered, there is too much spending to meet our obligations. We need more private sector jobs and businesses and no more taxes. Our state legislature has chosen to operate its day to day governmental operation by borrowing or securitizing future revenues. In fact, nearly 20 percent of your town’s budget is funded by state revenue. The wasteful spending and irresponsible borrowing at the state level, if not stopped, will either force towns to raise taxes, reduce services, or both.

There needs to be real change.

Foley as governor is Connecticut’s key to more jobs and less taxes. Foley has saved jobs in his career by bringing back distressed businesses. He has reorganized businesses to the point where those companies and their employees have survived. Don’t believe his opponent’s paid TV ads.

The time is right for Foley to fix the mess the state is in. We need a governor who has a universal view of how to operate our government.

Jeff Wright, a certified financial planner and mayor of Newington, is the choice for state treasurer. The treasurer has the power to refuse to issue borrowing or bonds for operation. The treasurer has the duty as a fiduciary to make sound investments of state taxpayer monies. Our sitting treasurer has never exercised that power. The sitting treasurer has invested in risky investments, losing millions of taxpayers’ dollars.

Our teachers and state employee pension funds are at risk under the sitting treasurer. To avoid another taxpayer bailout we need to elect Wright. To ensure Connecticut will be a place to start a business and for more jobs support Wright.

Guglielmo, our state senator, has a history of voting against waste, borrowing, and anti-job killing regulations. Etre and Ackert are the key to a balanced budget and the end of wasteful borrowing. We need all three in the legislature.

Jason L. McCoy

The writer is mayor of Vernon.