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Stratford Bard - News - 01/03/2007 - Bard looks back'on 2006Page 1 of 10Superfund Records Center01/03/2007'SITE: HcuffAAfkBard looks back on 2006BREAK: IS-3By: Tristram DeRoma , Bard EditorOTHER: 6 (39/If anything, 2006 has been a year of possibilities and beginnings. Will we finally get the Shakespeare Theater off the ground? How about a new animalshelter? We can only hope.By TRISTRAM DeROMA.Bard Editor'. .-.If anything, 2006 has been a year of possibilities and beginnings. Will we finally get the Shakespeare Theater off the,ground? How about a new animal shelter? We canonly hope.Race also was an issue that also became part of the community conscience and discussion, whether some people !iked it or not. On the one hand, it showed thatStratford is no different from any other community in America in that it has a lot of work to do when it comes to acknowledging inequality and indifference no matterhow you feel about the whole O'Neal-Gugliotti situation. But, we are talking about it, as community-wide discussions, sponsored by Stratford Community Services andthe Stratford Clergy Association show, and that can only be a good thing. Stratford also showed it's no different.from other communities when workers at Sikorsky Aircraft went on a months-long strike over health care, a big concern for people across the state as well as the nation.Another national issue that's probably going to have a direct" impact oh Stratford in 2007 is the cost of energy, as United Illuminating raises its rates by at least 50 ,percent in some' instances. How is that going to affect the budget? How is that going to effect Sikorsky as well as the other big corporations that call Stratford andConnecticut home?',We can only guess.JanuaryNewton sentencedSDMS DocID584391Gone were the flashy suits, the comparisons of himself to Moses and the allegations of racism. Instead, Ernest Newton a former state senator whose district included asmall part of Stratford appeared in a muted brown suit and humbly pleaded for mercy from a federal judge Thursday, calling his accepting bribes in return forgovernment-favors, misspent campaign contributions and income tax evasion a "mistake."But U.S. District Court Judge Alan Hi Nevas laid into the former state senator, accusing him of selling his office and shaking'down Bridgeport non-profits in return forbribes, and he sentenced Newton to five years in prison. He also will serve three years probation and must repay. 13,862 to the state."I served in the General Assembly for six years," said Nevas, who was state representative from 1970 to. 1976. "I loved what I did and I took my responsibilityseriously. It's inconceivable to me that anyone who works in the General Assembly could.make a business out of it, and that's what you did."A string of pastors, family members and the president of the Bridgeport branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People all asked for mercy, calling Newton a dedicated public servant whose good works far outweighed the bribes he accepted while a state senator.Newton himself apologized to the court and to law enforcement officials for comparing himself to Moses and blasting his prosecution as being racially-motivated afterhe pleaded guilty to accepting bribes, mail fraud and income tax evasion in September, but that did not stop his supporters from being outraged at the sentence andcomparing his case with that of former Gov. John Rowland, who is white. "I think the criminal justice system stinks right now; Governor Rowland only got a year and a day," said Carolyn Nah, president of the Bridgeport chapter of theN A A C P , " W e ' r e t a l k i n g a b o u t c l a s s . I fy o u g o t t h e m o n e y y o u d o n ' t g ot oj a i l . ".Newton was replaced in a special election by Democrat Ed Gomes.Wilcoxson students going to Stratford HighAs Stratford residents waited this month on what options the Board of Education will take in regards to what high school Wilcoxson kids will be going to, school andtown officials have been thinking about the issue too, and why there even has to be a choice in the first place.Earlier this week, Board of Education officials have had some rocky meetings with Wilcoxson School parents, as many of them were resistant to the idea of having theirkids attend Stratford High in the future rather than Bunnell. Board members have said that's one of the options it's considering to relieve overcrowding at Bunnell HighSchool.According to Superintendent of Schools Irene Cornish as well as other town officials, some people in the community perceive Stratford High as being.inferior toBunnell in resources and funding.That's not true, she noted.'."I don't know where that comes from. The facts don't support the perception," she said. "Both schools have outstanding courses, advanced placement courses, and good,stable administrations." .Later this year, the Board of Education ruled in favor of sending Wilcoxson students to Stratford High.Police try to rescue windsurferThe last thing Stoil Popow said to his wife of 14 years before embarking on a fatal kite-surfing trip in Stratford this month was, "Don't worry, it's going to be warm rd 1637&deptJd 9180&newsid 176623381/4/2007

Page 2,of 10Stratford Bard - News - 01/03/2007 - Bard looks back on 2006the water will be over 40 degrees."The 48-year-old Peekskill, N.Y.,-software consultant was found floating lifeless in Long Island Sound, about 18 hours after strong winds blew him offhis board and. . into the water. He drowned, accordingito the-state medical examiner's office.The U.S. Coast Guard said that Popow alf immigrant of Bulgaria, was right in the middle of their search pattern but searchers were unable to see him because' he was. . wearing a black wetsuit with no flares' or other signaling equipment. . . ; Popow's wife and the mother of his two children, Ven'eta Popow, described him as "the kindest, the best father to his children," Monday and said that he was practicingto enter a kite-surfing competition:Satiirday.-'She often worried about him pursuing the sport in cold weather, but Popow told'her that he was a strong swimmer and thathe always stayed close enough to shore to swim back if he got into any trouble.Bunnell students get a career boostA respiratory therapist, a doctor, a pharmacist. the sky was the limit for a group of Bunnell High School students on a field trip to Milford Hospital. The students,mostly juniors and seniors from the school's Health Education class, were there to take their first tentative steps into the world of work by seeing what was available inthe medical field., As guests of Milford Hospital's Career Day, they got to hear from seven experts from a variety of different medical professions, including a.pharmacist, a respiratorytherapist and the hospital's human resources director.Students said they were surprised by some of what they learned/especially what type of careers were in demand at the moment."I was surprised to learn that Costco's (wholesale,store) pharmacists can make as much as 125,000," said student Taylor lodice.Paula Goncalves, Milford Hospital's assistant human resources director, told the students to pay close attention and keep an open mind. ."You'd be surprised to find how many people go to college for one thing and end up doing something completely different," she said.Nature reserve gets an extra blanket'. . .'it took about 1*5 years, but Town Council finally got around to passing a resolution that will add an extra layer of protection to the Great Salt Meadows, Stratford's partof the federally protected Stewart P. McKinney Nature Preserve.One of the paragraphs of the resolution urges Council to "act on the moral imperative to preserve this natural resource for the health and welfare of the general public,'to safeguard this meeting place of the land and sea, to protect the National Wildlife Refuge and maintain this restful, peaceful, open space for our future generations ."Local environmental groups lauded the decision. Protect Your Environment member Richard Heiden lauded the resolution, saying the resolution was "absolutelycritical to the well-being of this incomparable natural resource." February "Advisory Committee blasts state.The Raymark Advisory Committee expressed outrage in the wake of the recent death of a Shaw's grocery store employee killed while walking to work at the StratfordCrossing Shopping Center. The RAC wants a bus stop put in place at the center so another death does not happen again. The victim was apparently walking across East Main Street, coming from The Dock Shopping Center, when the victim was run over by a tractor trailer truck.The committee, made up of town and government officials as well as residents whose property has been contaminated with factory waste from the now long goneRaymark Brake Manufacturing Company, have been working together to clean the town of the waste ever since the United States Environmental Protection Agency andthe Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection targeted the former factory site for clean up more than 15 years ago. So far, they've managed to contain and"cap" a large amount of the waste. The shopping center now sits on top of-it. The EPA and DEP replied that the only-way buses can go into the lot is if the shoppingcenter adds more layers of asphalt to the parking lot, something the'shopping center isn't willing to do."I find it very ironic that (the EPA and DEP) can measure and assess health risks out to 45 years because of what's underneath the ground, yet, these employees' liveswere never incorporated into that risk assessment," said RAC member Robert Osborne.' Toxic cleanup operation gets a boost.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency collected a 9.5 million settlement from the bankrupt Raymark Industries, the company that once.owned a brakemanufacturing company based in Stratford, now the site of Stratford Crossing Shopping Center. About 5.4 million of the settlement will go toward continuing thecleanup of the waste the company left behind in Stratford, said officials.Members of the Raymark Advisory Committee were glad to hear the news. The committee, which is made up of residents who own property affected by the waste, havebeen working with the federal and state government to help rid the town of the waste left behind by the company, waste which was spread to at least 46 other propertieswhile Raymark was in operation. Before the settlement, the fund had about 10 million in it, which all agreed was not enough to finish cleaning the remaining, properties.Officials and committee members are still saying the recent addition to the fund is not enough, but it will help.-."It's not enough to complete the job, but it's obviously enough to keep us going longer than we would have without the additional funds," said RAC Chairman PatrickField.MarchArrest sparks debate on racial relations'' An incident involving Police Officer David Gugliotti, Councilman Alvin O'Neal and resident 15-year-old Tita'sheen Mitchell ratcheted up racial tensions in Stratford.'According to some residents, Gugliotti gave Mitchell the rough treatment when she tried to break up a crowd gathering in'front of her mother's store due to an arrest going on next door. Some witnesses said they saw Gugliotti slam the girl's face into his cruiser as he handcuffed her. O'Neal,.who was next door at a tobacco shop, fm?brd 1637&dept id 9180&newsid l 76623381/4/2007

Stratford Bard - News - 01/03/2007 - Bard looks back1'0 2006 ifPage 3 of 10«to stop Gugliotti directly, resulting in O'Neal being arrested and allegedly roughed up by Gugliotti as well. However,.a iater police investigation cleared Gugiiotti of allwrongdoing, mainly because eyewitness statements about what happened varied too widely to get an accurate picture. Regardless-of the outcome, community leaders as .well as the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Connecticut chapter held a rally in Stratford in the spring.Most of the speakers referred to what sparked the rally in the first place, the controversial arrest of Mitchell and O'Neal.O'Neal, who's also African American, was notably absent from the rally. O'Neal is facing charges of breach of the peace and interfering with an officer in relation to theincident. The girl is facing charges of assaulting a police'officer, third-degree assault and breach of the peace.The rally also brought attention to what they said was a culture of brutality that has existed in the Stratford Police Department for far too long."We are gathered here today to address the injustice and unfair treatment," said the Rev. John Gamble of Friendship Baptist Church. "We are here to say that we willnot allow our black boys and black girls to become desensitized to this type of treatment, because it is not OK. Stratford is a beautiful town, but we must stop theignorance and hate and come together as brothers and sisters. Only then will this town become one town."ICTNAACP President Scot X. Esdaile said "We cannot tolerate little girls being hit in the face by a police officer, we cannot tolerate trumped- up charges by policeagainst an elected councilman, and we can no longer tolerate acts of racism and brutality by the Stratford Police."Besides the rally, the incident also sparked a debate on race and racial relations that is still going on. Also, Gugliotti notified town officials through a Milford law firm that he intends-to sue the town for the damage to his career and mental well-being, as well as thetown's successful sabotage of his efforts to adopt a child through the Department of Children and Families. The damage, he alleges, was caused by actions the mayortook shortly after charges were brought against Gugliotti for alleged brutality.In his lawsuit, Gugliotti's lawyer, Clayton Quinn, alleges the town acted improperly when it placed him on administrative leave shortly after the incident, saying thatGugliotti's union contract states a written complaint must be filed before administrative leave can be warranted. Gugliotti alleges no written complaint was given at thetime.The lawsuit notice also said "The Town of Stratford and/or its employees failed to establish and/or have in place any policies, procedures and/or directives regardinggrievances, hearings and/or appeals regarding a police officer's placerhent on 'administrative leave.'".Charges brought by Gugliotti during against the two arrestees, Mitchell and O'Neal are still pending.Teachers protest pension'. .,Teachers from Bridgeport, Stratford, Trumbuil, West Haven and as far away as Stamford showed up at Vazzy's Brick Oven Pizza in Stratford to show support for the4,000 teachers that marched on Connecticut's capital Wednesday to urge legislators to better fund their pension."The state is giving us a rotten apples," said Stamford teacher David Sepulveda, thrusting his "Keep the Promise" picket sign in the air,According to the Connecticut Education Association, which is the teachers' union, the state has failed to fund the pension to the extent it said it would in recent years.According to the CEA, the state owes the pension fund about 5 billion in funds. Each year, the CEA says the state manages to duck its funding obligation.According to CEA rep. Giria Kinsman, the state is legally obligated to fully fund the pension. She said if the state doesn't start doing its part soon, the issue couldbecome a liability, with the penalties coming down directly on the shoulders and into the wallets of taxpayers.Later reports still indicate the pension's still underfunded. Sikorsky strike''Hundreds of Sikorsky Aircraft workers shouting "bring down George" rallied outside United Technologies Corp. headquarters in March in an effort to put morepressure on the helicopter maker's parent company.1' The reference was to UTC President and Chief Executive Officer George David. About 600 members of Teamsters Local 1150 and other unions picketed several hoursat 1 Financial Plaza . ,c "We're just hoping that George David and United Technologies smarten up," said Jeff Baldwin, a mechanic at Sikorsky for J 5 years.The strike is in its sixth week, with 3,600 workers picketing Sikorsky's headquarters at 6900 Main St. in Stratford and its operations in West Haven, Shelton and Bridgeport. The company makes helicopters, including Black Flawks and Seahawks for the Army and Navy, respectively.JThe Navy said it had to take parts from helicopters undergoing maintenance becauseof a shortage of spare parts. "As of right now, the strike is not impacting the Navyoperationally, but spare parts are dwindling," said Navy spokesman Lt. Trey Brown, who added it's not uncommon for the Navy to use parts from helicopters underrepair.The union and the company are at an impasse over health-care benefits in a new three-year contract."We're out here for six weeks for health care and they don't want to negotiate on health care," said union Secretary-treasurer Rocco Calo.The company wants to double premiums and shift 20 percent of the cost of medical care to workers. The union, in a counterproposal rejected by the company, agreed toaccept the 20 percent shift, except for prescriptions.The workers went back-to work in April. The new three-year contract includes the same health care, a 3.5 percent raise each year, a ratification bonus of 3,000 permember and the stipulation that the company will reimburse members for any temporary insurance costs accrued during the strike.The union also warned that unless UTC and Sikorsky join it in trying to find a solution for reducing health-care.costs in the nation, the Teamsters will be at thecompany's doorstep again. vApril '-Police solve grisly 2001.murder.,' rd 1637&dept id 9180&newsi'd l 7662338-1/4/2007

Page 4 .of 10Stratford Bard - News - 01/03/2007 - Bard looks back on 2006Stratford Police said they were always determined to get the killer of 21-year-old Shani Baldwin, but they caught a break this month when technology also caught up tothe suspect as well.Taken at the 2001 murder scene at 92 McPadden Drive was a single palm print, found in a pool of the victim's blood.Only problem was there was no system back then.that made matching palm prints to suspects easier and more effective.But now, thanks to the Automated Fingerprint Identification System a new development in crime fighting technology that's being used by-the Connecticut StateForensic Laboratory, police were able to recently match the print to 27-year-old Michael McClendon, a Bridgeport resident recently arrested for auto theft.i"We always knew we'd solve it'some day," said Stratford Detective Richard Yeomans at a recent press conference. "But we thought we'd be old and gray. It's a goodday today.".'Big Y' grocery store moves in-,,"After some protests by neighbors and local environmentalists, a developer wins approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission to build a shopping center onHawley Lane. Critics said the shopping center would destroy precious wetlands and filed a lawsuit. However, according to the developer's representative, attorney Barry Knott, thedeveloper was able to prove that no irreparable harm would be done to the environment."We were able to prove that the wetland could easily be replaced, even improved upon," said Knott.The shopping center will include a "Big Y" grocery store, a bank and some business offices when completed, and it's estimated the center will contribute about 600,000 in tax revenue.May. ''.Railway Society settles dispute '1., In the wake of a request to conform to new regulations by Councilman Robert Camillo, R-8, members of the Boothe Memorial Railway Society were left wondering afew days ago if their group was going to have a future. BMRS was founded more than five years ago as a way to staff and maintain a model train museum at Boothe Memorial Park. For the past five years, the all-volunteergroup has maintained the exhibits and tried to maintain a level of access to the general public through membership drives and keeping the building open.", "They are a great group of guys, a very dedicated group of model railroaders," said Camillo. "But they've never provided an inventory on what belongs to. Stratford andwhat belongs to them. 1 also had an issue with their membership not being there on the weekends to open.the museum for the public."According to Mayor James Miron,"there's no real need for the Society to worry."It's not something I'm thinking of doing. there is an issue on how scheduling should work, but there's no need to shut it down," he.said.Miron also said while Councilman Camillo should be commended for his efforts to straighten out problems at Boothe Memorial Park, he also said "he needs to slowdown a little and work through the proper channels.".The Railway Society did their inventory and so far, the Railway Museum remains open.-.Helen Chagares resigns over typo flap i- Things got a little calamitous at Boothe Memorial Park Commission meeting; as Chairwoman Helen Chagares resigned her position after 24 years to the day ot beinghead.of the commission. In fact, the commission was only recently informed by the mayor's office that all of the commission's members, except for two, are no longerserving legally, since their term went beyond the legal limits.According to a typo in their reappointment documents, they were only to serve three years. The typo, of which about seyen documents were made from, said five years.The reappointment documents were made in 2000.,"I think it's terrible and disgusting that no one ever told us about this," said Chagares.-'Adding that the discovery was the final straw in her decision. "Here I've been coming to the meetings,-doing all this work, we (The.Boothe Park Commission) have been left out of everything."Even though Ray Barker, D-5 and Robert Camillo, R-8 implored her to stay on, she said she's had*enough and wanted to leave.When asked what she was most proud of, she said "I never missed a meeting."-1JuneBudget approved-. After much wrangling and debate with Town Council, Mayor James Miron finally puts his stamp of approval on the budget this month, sort of.\. "I seriously considered my veto authority with this budget," said Miron in his opening remarks at a press conference held at Town Hall. "The Council's budget goes beyond aggressive and fails to provide the financial resources to move the town forward."The approved budget comes in at about 163 million, with a tax of about 28 on every 1,000 of property."xThe mayor's budget would have been 167,268,300 with a 30.12 tax on every 1,000 of property. With his version of the budget, Miron said it would have been possible to start a what he says is a badly needed-maintenance and repair program to-fix the town's apparently crumbling infrastructure. In previous articles, Mironaccused past Town Councils of balancing the budget at the sacrifice of the state of town and school buildings.But Republican Town Council Chair James Feehan had his own version of y.cfm?brd 1637&dept id 9180&newsid-l 7662338'J1/4/2007

Stratford Bard - News - 01/03/2007 - Bard looks back on 2006 He found fault with the mayor's halfhearted approval of Council's version of the budget-Page 5 of 10« "I don't blame people," said Feehan. "The mayor can blame Council and everybody else for his tax and spend,habits but I'm sure when things go right he'll take all thecredit. The town's budget is no different than your family's budget. You have to work with the budget provided. If you can't go out to the movies and have popcorn, thenmaybe it's time to rent movies and watch them at home.",BEST turns 18.' Stratford's Best Education Support Team, Stratford's school business partnership, celebrated 18 years of what it does best, supporting Stratford's public schools byproviding funding and other resources for special.projects carried out by students and teachers alike.For this school year, the businesses in the BEST partnership raised more than 13,000 for the school system, money that went mostly toward the funding of BEST minigrants. .". "It's a real morale booster for the staff to know they have the support of the business community, that they care about the school system and the quality of education thatthey are getting," said Superintendent of Schools Irene Cornish. 'Class of 2006 moves on, .Both of the town's high schools' top students gave inspirational messages to their fellow classmates, emphasizing keeping an open mind, goal setting and hard work toachieve their future dreams.'."Work hard, never give up.don't be afraid to try hew things," said Bunnell High President Kevin Palumberi."3'"Bunnell High's valedictorian, Andrew Stephen Hutton extolled the class of'06 to be "true to yourselves" and "put the greatest effort into everything you do, don't settlefor mediocrity." .*He also said that true success is not about how much you earn or having the biggest house on the block."To really succeed means winning the respect of intelligent people."; . 'Over at Stratford High, valedictorian Kenneth Knowles remarked about how fast his high school years went."1 remember people telling me to enjoy my time here because it would go by fast. "Hearing this as a freshman I remember thinking to myself, 'vyhat are they talkingabout, I still have four years here, that's not going to go fast.' Well, I was wrong because it definitely does not feel like we have been here for four years," he said.Town hit with 'virus' The halls of Bunnell High School took on a surreal look this month when the school became the focus of a townwide exercise in emergency "preparedness.Instead ofstudents and teachers walking the halls, the scene instead was of surgical masked paramedics and other officials giving aid to the "sick."According to then Health Director Elaine O'Keefe, the evenfs'overriding goal was to see if Stratford as well as the region was prepared enough to contain a sudden,large scale outbreak of a deadly flu virus.,. Measures of effectiveness included how fast the town could set up a "point of distribution" where patients can be vaccinated, how well the Health Department couldmove the patients through the vaccination process how well the actual setup of the facility went, which would include how well medically qualified volunteers thatshowed up at the POD were managed and trained to deal with the immediate situation.The two-day exercise included the re-enactment of state-supplied vaccine being dropped off in Stratford and escorted to the school by police, setup of a triage area forthose already infected as well as the actual vaccination process itself. Though there wasn't really any vaccine and there wasn't a needle anywhere in sight, O'Keefe saidthings went pretty well./' ."Despite a major rainstorm about 98 percent of our volunteers showed up, ready to assume their roles," said 0'K.eefe.July'Flealth department goes through changes'''''' .Alarmed that the Council and the mayor have madesome huge cuts to the town's Health Department budget, dozens of people turned out at public hearing to demandthey both reconsider. They demanded the mayor.reinstate Health Director Elaine 0'K.eefe, and that Council put back a health inspector position they cut back in May as part of their finalapproval of the budget. (Mayor James Miron recently announced that O'Keefe will be leaving in October, as part of what he said was one of the steps he's taking to reshape his administration tothe way he wants it.1 "My request to you is that as Town Council, it's your duty to reinstate Elaine O'Keefe and this cut (health inspector), and you do it now," said resident Sandra Fisher.Others questioned Miron's decision to fire O'Keefe, a health director who has launched many successful health programs in Stratford through the years as well asrepresented the town by serving on many national boards and in many organizations that promote health and disease prevention."They said they wanted to find someone modeled after. Elaine O'Keefe," said resident Jim.Mihaley. "Why would you want to model somebody after her when youalready have her here?"' .,O'Keefe left her post in October, and was replaced by Lisa LoBiancoAugust . Animal Shelter gets off the m?brd 1637&dept id 9180&newsid l 76623381/4/2007

Stratford Bard - News - 01/03/2007 - Bard looks back on 2006Page 6*of 10The year 2006 was the year that plans for Stratford's new animal shelter finally got off the ground, after many years of debate and protests from Stratford's leadinganimal welfare organizations urging the replacement of the.old shelter on Frog Pond Lane.'—.' Along the way, many options were considered, which included other sites across town as well as sharing a regional shelter with Bridgeport and Trumbull. While theregional idea seemed viable, the same animal welfare organizations as well as volunteers that work at the old shelter protested, saying the distance to Bridgeport was toofar to travel. Architectural plans are being drawn up for the new facility, which will be located on Frog Pond Lane.Stratford gets a new senatorShelton resident Dan Debicella recently got a boost to his credibility and to his campaign war chest as Governor M. Jodi Rell stopped by to see him at a lawn partyfundraiser in Stratford.'Debicella, who hope to take state Sen. George Gunther's seat R-21 this November when he retires said he hopes to accomplish a lot for the district as well as Stratford.The only way to do that, he said, is to support the governor's plans, something he's been campaigning on ever since he announced he was running earlier this year."The first thing we have to do is lower tax

Newton was replaced in a special election by Democrat Ed Gomes. Wilcoxson students going to Stratford High As Stratford residents waited this month on what options the Board of Education will take in regards to wha