Monthly Archives: April 2007

West Hartford-based Colt could lose contract

 From a forum on

“The debate over the Army’s choice to purchase hundreds of thousands of M4 carbines for its new brigade combat teams is facing stiff opposition from a small group of senators who say the rifle may be inferior to others already in the field.
“In an April 12 letter to acting Army Secretary Pete Geren, Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn said purchase of the M4 – a shortened version of the Vietnam-era M16 – was based on requirements from the early 1990s and that better, more reliable weapons exist that could give Army troops a more effective weapon.
“Coburn asked the Army to hold a “free and open competition” before inking sole-source contracts worth about $375 million to M4 manufacturer, West Hartford, Conn.-based Colt Defense – which just received a $50 million Army contract for M4s on April 20.
“I am concerned with the Army’s plans to procure nearly half a million new rifles outside of any competitive process,” Coburn wrote in the mid-April letter obtained by”

Anybody know whether this would have any impact one way or another on our town?



Filed under Army, M4, military, Pete Geren, Tom Coburn, West Hartford economy

Stupid guy from Bristol

Stealing a car with a bad muffler was 25-year-old Samual Ramos’s first mistake, but hardly the biggest.

Ramos, a Bristol resident, stole the 1984 Buick LeSabre in Bristol but came to the attention of West Hartford police when he refused to pull over after officers noticed the loud muffler, according to a weekend story in The Hartford Courant.

He dumped the car near Trout Brook Drive and vanished – until the next morning when he tried to force his way into a Trout Brook home.

That was mistake number two.

The ex-military homeowner managed to fight off Ramos and “had no trouble” subduing the guy until police arrived, the paper reported.

Ramos had spent the night sleeping in a car outside, and apparently wanted to make a phone call to help him escape the area.

Instead, he’ll be sleeping in a cell for a long, long time.

It doesn’t pay to mess with us here in West Hartford, as Ramos learned. We’re not about to let some punk from Bristol get away with anything.

You know Ramos is a loser anyway. I mean, who steals a 23-year-old LeSabre? Jeez….


Filed under Bristol, car theft, crime, News, Public safety, self-defense, West Hartford

New hi-def studio for Channel 30 in West Hartford

Good news from the Hartford Business Journal.

West Hartford’s Conservation Commission is likely to give the nod Monday for the television station “to construct a new, approximately $20 million state-of-the-art television studio,” the weekly reported.

A groundbreaking is scheduled for August.

 Hartford Business Journal story link


Filed under Channel 30, television, West Hartford, West Hartford economy, WVIT

Webster Hill intruder may be ID’d

Channel 30 is reporting that police “have identified a ‘person of interest’ who may have approached a 10-year-old fourth grader in the bathroom of Webster Hill Elementary School on Friday. ”

The school went into lockdown mode Friday afternoon after the student told a teacher what the man said to him.

“It was something inappropriate,”  Lt. Donald Melanson told the television station. “[We] really can’t say the words, but it was nothing. He didn’t touch the child or make any physical contact.”

Police said the man fled the school through a side door and jumped a fence leading into the surrounding neighborhood, according to Channel 30.

I’ve been in our schools enough to know that it’s easy to gain entry and walk around. That’s mostly because we have chosen to make the schools reasonably accessible to the community so that parents can come and go, participating all the time. It is one of West Hartford’s strengths.

But it only takes a single incident like this to call the whole long tradition into question. It’s so easy to see how things could have gone much worse.

Yet it’s important to keep in mind that what did happen is relatively minor. And it’s encouraging that the student wasted no time reporting the incident.

I hope we don’t have to make security our most important aim in school. That would be deeply sad.

I also hope that the police act swiftly.

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Filed under education, police, Public safety, Schools, West Hartford

Corporate polluter: The Hartford Courant

I felt sick this morning to find that the oh-so-sanctimonious Hartford Courant had seen fit to seal a square of plastic across a portion of its front page in order to attach yet another annoying ad, this time for a Berlin “active adult” development. Much as I hate front page ads like this — it sure proves how desperate newspapers are to make money — today’s is a new low. In recent months, they’ve put Post-It note ads, which are at least removeable, though still ridiculous.

But by sealing a piece of plastic onto the front page, they have effectively turned a paper that can be recycled safely and efficiently into one that harms the environment. It is short-sighted and the move of an awful corporate citizen to attach permanently these plastic squares to a newspaper. It’s an environmental travesty, a screw-you to every subscriber who cares about our planet.

I hope that every municipality and green group in Connecticut will speak out against this change before it becomes accepted practice.

Perhaps the Courant’s publisher might want to read its editorials sometimes. Live up to your own ideals, Courant, or the shut the hell up.


Filed under Courant, Environment, Hartford Courant, Newspapers, recycling

West Hartford Holocaust survivor tells his story

Danbury News-Times link

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Filed under Holocaust, Jews, West Hartford

Our “fair share” of ECS funds

In one of the comments to another post, Joe Visconti echoes a claim that’s made by nearly every politician in town: that West Hartford deserves more state education aid.

Much as it hurts my own wallet, I disagree.

If the state has the money to pump more aid to schools, West Hartford should probably get some of it. But, really, the places that need help are not West Hartford and other rich suburban towns.

The schools that truly need more cash are in Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, New Britain and a couple of dozen other struggling communities where students live in impoverished conditions and have a hard time learning, for lots of reasons.

The future of our state — and our country — doesn’t rest on whether West Hartford can buy some more Smartboards. What really matters is that we find a way to educate students who face much bigger problems than the vast majority of kids here can even imagine. That takes expertise and money.

We all know that, however much we gripe about the waste so intrinsic to larger, more crooked communities.

I’d love to see my taxes go down because ECS aid rises. But what I’d love to see even more than that is a generation of kids in our troubled cities graduating with something close to the skills that West Hartford’s students possess. That’s how we’ll bequeath a better world to our children.

The General Assembly and the governor need to keep their focus on improving the worst schools, not fussing about how to give a little more to the state’s best schools.


Filed under budget, ECS, education, General Assembly, Politics, Schools