I’m tanned, rested and ready

Back from vacation and pleased to see that this little blog is flourishing in an odd sort of way despite my disappearance. I managed to post only twice when I stole a distant neighbor’s wireless signal on my laptop. Alas, it proved it too distant a signal most of the time, so I gave up.

But things rolled along fine anyway, which is wonderful.

So what kind of mischief have I missed while away?



Filed under West Hartford

105 responses to “I’m tanned, rested and ready

  1. The spam catcher was so full of Visconti’s ramblings — mixed in with many ads for penis enlargement, though I don’t think there’s a connection — that I simply deleted all 734 pieces waiting there for my review. I apologize if anyone wrote something great that vanished into spam. I try to catch up with all of them, but this was simply hopeless.
    On the positive side, at least nine Visconti cut-and-pastes vanished when I deleted all the spam.

  2. Joe Visconti


    Your Penis Enlargment connection goes a little too far. Try to have some decency you creep.

  3. WH Parent

    Welcome back, WH Dad. Although Joe was so thoroughly trounced in the prior post that he appears to have lost his sense of humor, there is indeed a connection between him and spam.

    Spammers have no conscience in getting what they want ($$$) and will do anything to get it.

    West Hartford’s tax avoidance zealots will do anything to escape paying taxes ($$$), and are happy to distort history, the facts or anything else that stands in their way to get what they want.

    Am I the only one who sees this connection?

  4. WH Alum

    I have to agree with you WH Parent. Like SPAM, I barely skimmed JV’s copy & paste posts and moved on.

  5. Joe Visconti

    Wh Alum

    You cant read my posts because the Truth is hard to swallow.

    Wh Parent

    Trounced? You may think because you couldnt swallow my “Public Education Cartel” Posts, Are my Post Enlargements to Big for you?

  6. turtle

    Joe, I’ve stopped reading your posts because you don’t bother to edit or format, and you are impervious to argument.

    Please consider linking to sites instead of cutting and pasting so promiscuously.

    Thank you.

  7. WH Alum

    Joe – I can read them – I was educated in WH, and taught to be open minded and learn to do my own research and problem solving. I choose not to read them because, as Turtle says, the editing is horendous and you just keep blabbing on and on and on.

  8. Osemasterofdoom

    I don’t see any connection between Joe’s posts and penis enlargement ads, except when they mention priaprism: both last for more than 4 hours.

  9. EJ

    I’ll give credit when due.
    Good gag!

  10. JTS

    Gag sure is the word that’s on most people’s minds at this point. new thread WHDad, for the love of mike, new thread!

  11. People, and I use the word advisedly, I thought this blog was supposed to be interesting as opposed to disgusting. I am not the least bit entertained by the latest postings. Also, bitterness seems to be one of the ongoing threads. Too many of you take things way too seriously and seem to have a difficult time reading opinions of others. If you want to see others participate I suggest stepping away from being mean and spiteful and off-color. Otherwise, this blog will be no different than any other biased forum in WH.

  12. WH Parent

    Don’t you find it a tad hypocritical, constant (aka holier-than-thou) curmudgeon to start off your comment by saying “People, and I use the word advisedly…” and then go on to suggest that the participants on this blog are “…being mean and spiteful…”

    And as to being off-color, are you telling me that EJ and I were the only ones who found Osemasterofdoom’s clever comparison of Joe Visconti’s rants to priaprism drop-dead funny?

    If so, then I honestly think it is those who are so offended by the P word that are taking “…things way too seriously…” here.

  13. EJ

    And I thought we finally found a string we were all getting along on.
    Silly me, i should have known better.

  14. turtle

    OK, here’s one: why is Kyle Farnsworth in the major leagues?

  15. Gary Reger

    I’ll suggest a topic (sure to be completely uncontroversial). The Union of Concerned Scientists recently released a report on the potential impacts of global warming on the Northeast: http://www.climatechoices.org/ne/resources_ne/nereport.html. There’s a section specifically on Connecticut.

    I’ve been wondering for a while how West Hartford should be thinking about local responses to climate change. An example: our street was planted about 80 years ago in maples. These trees are closing in on the end of their natural lives. If Connecticut warms as predicted, ours will no longer be the best environment for maples. Should we think about encouraging the replacement of these trees with different species better suited to a changed climate?

    Another question might be flooding. If we start seeing more violent downpours, we may see more flooding, like that that brought 3 feet of water into the basements of many of my neighbors a couple summers ago. Should our zoning regulations be revised?

    I put these out as questions to think about — I certainly don’t have the answers, but if we want our Town to remain a vibrant place to live, I do believe we need to start thinking long-term.

  16. Thomas Cooke

    Planting trees. This is something that everyone of all political stripes can work on. Gary is right. The maples are near the end of their lives but serve many great purposes: 1) lower temperatures in their immediate vicinity and thus lowered the need for AC, 2) increase home values by presenting an image of stability, and 3) also decrease traffic speeds by narrowing sight-lines (research has established this fact). So, how about working with the town to establish a tree-planting program? They could use their purchasing power to buy the trees cheaply, homeowners could pay for the trees at the town’s cost, the town can drop-off the trees, and whole neighborhoods can pitch-in for a tree-erection day. This is something that will help everyone both globally and locally.

  17. Gary Reger

    I love Thomas’s ideas! He’s absolutely right about home values. My wife and I first saw our current house in October, and we were sold as we drove down the street over which maples arched, leaves shimmering in gold and vermillion. In the decade that has past we have lost many trees on our block, and the sight that charmed us is no longer to be seen.

    Maybe the Town could provide tax relief to people who plant trees on their property?

  18. Joe Visconti

    Os and turtle

    It’s Priapism not Priaprism, sheeessh the Education Cartel Shills are catching my disease of Gramatica Degeneratia (Visconti Latin). Sorry for not posting sooner, “I’ve been up all Night”!!!!!

    I like tree’s too an I join in? can I????

  19. turtle

    Excellent idea. What’s the best way to petition the town?

  20. EJ

    If you subscribe to the global warming theory why not flood the riverfront and put in a beach. Hell, it’s under water every spring anyway.
    Replant the streets with palms.
    cut the estate and income taxes and bring all the alter-cockers back from Miami.

  21. turtle

    If you subscribe to the global warming theory…

    Oh boy, here we go.

  22. EJ

    No, no,no.
    don’t take it there!

  23. John Hardy

    Oh no, no more trees. We need less trees. Trees make leaves, leaves drop to the ground in autumn and then the Town has to vacuum them or pick up leaf bags. More Town leaf clean-up means more taxes. That’s not fair to those of us who support home-based clear-cutting.

    And it will only make members of the tree-hugger cartel move to Town, which will make matters worse yet.

  24. EJ

    Palms don’t shed their leaves, another plus

  25. Rick Liftig

    Trees and water may be the factors that kill the Southwest boom and re-invigorate the industrial North and Northeast.

    Dana Hallenbeck wants to get a tree-re-planting program going in town and has also been trying for years to get someone (or a group) to start a tree inventory program (a census if you will), but funds are lacking and his department is leaner than ever before.

    It would be very easy to start a citizen’s group if anyone would like to step up to the plate. There are some websites that I have mentioned in a prior post that can give you some guidance.

    My plate is full. Would anyone here like to step up and improve their community?

  26. turtle

    EJ for Tree Czar!

  27. Joe Visconti

    “A Tree Grows in West Hartford”

    Everyone buy a sappling and plant it in your yard, when it matures donate it to Dana. First ask Dana what type of sappling we should buy. Maybe we can go to the CT forests and digg em up with the State’s permission. Need some stakes/burlap and rope. There can even be a contest to vote on the best tree’s, will have to get Call before you dig on board first and maybe we can borrow WH1 and WH2 pickup trucks from public works, you know those nice yellow pickups we own with flashing lights. This can bring a new meaning to ” Home Grown”!

    Plant it and they will come, thats what Richard heapes is hoping for!!!!!!!

  28. Osemasterofdoom

    I would rather see a maple tree on the mound at Yankee Stadium than Kyle Farnsworth.

  29. Tom Cooke

    A few of my neighbors talked about such a program in the spring and we spoke with Dana about this. He identified the best type of trees to plant curbside and suggested that the town could help. By then, however, it was too late to plant in the spring and he was busy getting the athletic fields ready for the summer. In any event, trees are good even if you do not subscribe to global warming. So, let’s not make this a stupid discussion (but the initial entries in this topic were hilarious). I am willing to meet with Dana to get this started again. It might be good to get another person to help me (volunteers?) and if there is a council member out there that wants to make it their issue . . .

  30. In order to live up to my name, I must remind those of you who weren’t here 20+ years ago of the Osage Orange Tree debacle. They were beautiful trees on Mountain Road. Of course, being trees, they dropped their fruit. Our former and illustrious town manager, BF, who notoriously hated trees, had these trees chopped down because an orange hit a car. (Most likely a Jaguar) Oh heavens!!! My suggestion is start small. Grow only little trees that bear no fruit or better yet when interviewing for future town managers find out how they feel about trees.

    Has anyone heard of the trees being cut down lately on the Merritt Parkway? Trees kill people.

  31. Edith Folta

    Autumn is actually recommended as an even better time to plant trees than spring — September or October, after the worst heat is over.

    I would be happy to participate in such a group.

  32. Sean McCann

    I’d volunteer to join a tree planting campaign, Tom.

    A maple tree would definitely have a better pick-off move than Farnsworth, Ose.

  33. TWC

    Count me in too, Tom. I live in one of the most heavily wooded neighborhoods, but it always distresses me to see one of the old trees fall or get taken down.

    But at the risk of raising a question that might provoke some controversy (or bias), what are the rules relating to the curb-side planting of trees?

    Do the owners have to get permission to plant a tree between the sidewalk and the street, or can the owners take this action on their own?

    Conversely, can the Town plant trees in this space without the permission of the owners, or do the owners control this decision?

  34. Tom Cooke

    We need a permit from the town to plant along the curb. I have an e-mail somewhere which explains it better. But this is why I think it would be easiest to work with the town on this. BTW, I am also concerned that people replace 7o foot trees with 5 foot bushes. What will this town look like if we only plant bushes or ornamental trees?

  35. Rick Liftig

    TWC –

    You hit on very good points. Site selection (and species selection) is paramount! The root ball needs room to expand (it will pretty much be a mirror image of the crown!). Any planting of a tree that will grow to significant size requires a good deal of cooperation and understanding between both parties.

    The town is constantly at odds with the State DOT who has pretty much banned any significant trees in their right-of-way. However, with DOT experiencing a big image problem at this point, they could probably be ‘persuaded’.

    Sidewalks are a tough call, because the roots will eventually destroy the sidewalk.

    One idea that Dana has proposed is creating ‘vaults’ (essentially planters) where significant trees could be planted, allowed to mature, and then given up for adoption… Fidelco trees if you will! We are going to try to see if this is feasible on New Britain Avenue. It’s a great idea, you decrease the problem of the tree’s overgrowth and you keep generating a healthy, adolescent stock to transplant.


    I was thinking about how these goals can be accomplished and would like to suggest this. Maybe we need a ‘block captain’ on each street to inventory the present trees (their species, size, age, health) and coordinate with the town as to what would work best at filling in the missing spots.

    A block captain who knows the street and the neighbors could be a lot more effective than a town-wide tree czar.

    The town could provide information, advice and equipment/personnel assistance and the property owner would promise to raise the tree to maturity.

    No jokes please about poor parenting and the spectre of a Department of Conifers and Foliage inspection…. My bad joke is enough.

  36. Joe Visconti

    Tree’s, Now thats Real Smart Growth, and they stand erect all the time even with a disease!

  37. Osemasterofdoom

    Before we signed Farnsworth, we should have cut off his arm and counted the rings to see how many games he would blow.

    Sorry to keep up the sports theme. Frankly, I’m just not a tree person. Kudos to you all, though if you can get this rolling.

  38. How about a money tree? When the Dems raise taxes, you can just go out and pick a few c-notes to supplement their ever growing needs.

    Oh yeah!

  39. Sean McCann

    I like the block captain idea, Rick. I’d be glad to help out in my nabe.

  40. Rick Liftig

    All we need to do from here is arrange a meeting with Dana and kick it around. Then let’s see if we can make it fly! And since this is an election year, maybe one or more of the candidates will make it a pet project.

    It’s so much more fun (and productive) than debating the origins of public education and dissing our town’s management.

  41. Rick Liftig

    Tom, Sean and any others, please send me an e-mail and I will try to get us together. Mine is srick(delete this part)@snet.net.

  42. Tom Cooke

    OK Rick. My e-mail is cooke.thomas@gmail.com. If you want to contact Dana to set up a meeting my schedule is very flexible except when I am out of town which is from July 23 to August 2 and August 28 to September 14 . We should keep the number down to 3 or 4 at first. We don’t want to overwhelm him. And again, if some councilor wants to join in or help us . . .

  43. Tom Cooke

    FYI. Here is what Dana said via e-mail about planting trees: “We have just received a response from our Corporation Counsel regarding allowing residents to plant trees in the Town’s right of way. All that needs to be done is to complete permit and
    pay the fee (we would be willing to work out a one for all fee). With regards to species and location relative to utilities I will let you talk with Richard DiBella who is the supervisor of the Grounds
    Division. He will be able to guide you in these matters.”

    And this is what Richard DiBella said: “I would suggest using any of the following tree species: Zelkova Elm, London Planetree , or Little Leaf Linden, with the Zelkova being the first choice . . . I could possibly help with the purchase and pick up to save you some money if time permits. I need to know how many you want, and I’ll get a price on them. ”

    I have to say, this is the type of positive, helpful response that I have come to appreciate from our town administration.

  44. Rick Liftig

    Tom –

    I couldn’t agree more about what a pleasure it is to work with Town Employees like Dana and Rick. They are supportive and innovative. And the same goes with so many others who work for the town. Great people who are our friends and neighbors and really value everything the town has to offer.

    Lets shoot for August, then. We will be having our next re-elm meeting in mid-August. There’s plenty of agreement on what needs to be done. Moderate funding for these projects is all that is necessary. The big hold-up has been lack of people-power – but that’s where we can help.

    I can just see the mapping project now… every tree /species/trunk diameter/ health status on a map of WH – What is that course Tom, Geography 499?

  45. Edith Folta

    Would it be possible to include some tree information with block party permits, and recruit a block captain that way?

    We also need to educate folks about where to plant trees for optimum benefit for shade on the south and west sides of houses, and as windbreaks to the northwest. And NOT to plant them under power lines or where they will eventually grow into power or telephone or cable lines — a lot of the endless trimming could be avoided with correct placement to begin with. That is why I do not think that along the curb is the correct placement, in many cases. Usually the optimum spot is midway between the sidewalk and the house.

    A good place to check is the depressions where old trees were taken out — folks back in the 20’s didn’t have air conditioning, and knew about siting trees for optimum shade benefit. In our own case, we took the old tree site, but then backed up 4 or 5 feet, to keep it from growing too close to the phone lines. Not enough to spoil the tree line on the street, but still a better placement.

    Again, let me make a plug for the Arbor Day website, which has information on all kinds of trees that you may not have considered, and also good information about the change in hardiness zones, and urban forestry programs. We will want to consider trees that have not been so familiar in New England before now. http://www.arborday.org/index.cfm
    Variety of species is a good thing!

  46. Joe Visconti


    Good Work, we got the tree Huggers out of the way. Now lets work on Burning Rome!!!!!

  47. Wait, wait. Don’t get me into trouble, Joe. I don’t want to burn Rome or West Hartford, or anarchy, I simply want to make living in WH more affordable for all. (I can see the frowns by the usual suspects that post on this blog).

    As for the “Tree Huggers” comment, I will chime in with a few thoughts that might surprise you. First, its good to see some of these folks spending their time productively. Hurray, volunteer to plant trees and make sure its privately funded. Great idea.

    Second, in the catagory of “Tree Hugger” you might find me on the fringes because of my pro-preservation, and wildlife/wildlife habitat protection positions. I have to tell you that while I’m not an environmentalist to the extreme, I do think that some of these companies that are found dumping in the CT River or LI Sound should be shutdown and their management fined and given jail time.

    And as someone who’s been fishing in the Sound for years, I’ve seen the results of “draggers” and those idiots polluting our waters through the diminishing of the fish population, etc.

    I don’t think planting trees or protecting the environment makes you a “Tree Hugger”. I think Teddy Roosevelt had the right balance.

    And as for Global Warming… not sure yet. And neither are the scientists. There is a shift in climate change – whether its a result in natural or man-made phenomena is an interesting question and for anyone to try and say the evidence (like Al Gore) is clear – is full of poop. I do think that we could all do a lot more to be “greener”. We are “green” in this house, buy “greener” vehicles, etc. But I’m also against signing a treaty that puts China and other Nation-States at an advantage over us. If we ALL sign the treaty, than its worth signing. Oh, and enforcement needs to be in place too (and not just here).

  48. Edith Folta

    Tree restoration is important but also just something pleasant and doable to focus on, with the possibility of some quick, tangible, and permanent results. My other project is to work with other parents and with the WHPS staff to see what can be salvaged from the eviscerated middle school Quest program, a much sadder prospect. Glad you find the whole thing so entertaining, Joe. It’s a regular laugh riot.

  49. Sean McCann

    Rick and Tom, I’d be happy to help out if I can. I’ll contact you by e-mail.

    King, there’s no serious scientific disagrement about whether global warming exists or about whether it’s caused by human activity. The only uncertainty is about how fast the planet is heating up and how much damage will be done. The only people working to confuse the issue are shills who are paid to muddy the waters by the oil industry–i.e., those who TR would likely call “malefactors of great wealth.”

  50. Joe Visconti


    It was a Joke, jeez everyone gets so touchy when you wanna Burn Rome.

    Actually you all can count me in on the Tree thing, I am in Construction and have access to all sorts of Digging machines and tools. Leaf collection does go hand in hand with Tree’s and it would be nice to secure funding outside our budget for 2 gauranteed leaf vacumn pickups as part of fundraising for Tree’s.My email is Viscontimg@aol.com. Can someone ask Mr Patrissi if he can get deals on tree’s, we could even hold a Tree Raffle, seriously, and lets get the Audbon(sp?) Society in the loop, cause tree’s are home to Birds. Get this man something constructive to do will ya????

  51. Sean:

    There actually is serious discussion between scientists on the topic of global warming and the causes (and effects). Don’t get lost in the shrill by the left regarding this topic – particularly politicians and hollywood bumbles who do more to poison the air with their personal 747s and well-above average electric and utility use.

    Funny, no one ever seems to criticize these people for their antics – but that’s probably because people don’t criticize folks in their own camp.

    Off topic. By chance, aren’t you a teacher?

  52. Sean McCann

    Effects, yes; causes, no, King. You think otherwise, give an example of a serious scientist who does not believe that the planet is warming as a result of human activity. “The shrill” here is from denialists who attempt to foster the impression of uncertainty and debate where there is none. Don’t get lost in the bogus.

    And, as it happens, there’s lots of anti-intellectual topic switching from cultural warriors who want to distract from the big issue (massive change to the planetary ecosystem) by focusing on the trivial (how many jets Al Gore takes). It’s a specialty, for example, of the National Review. Nothing to be proud of, in my view.

    And yes, I’m a member of the education cartel. Not by chance, though. I planned it.

  53. Osemasterofdoom

    I have to admit to being a sceptic on global warming, but the more that I read, the more I am persuaded that there is something to the theory. What I’m waiting for is how the left will react when presented with the safest and cleanest alternative to burning fossil fuels for energy. Let’s go NUCLEAR!!!

  54. Sean McCann

    No need to wait, Ose. On “the left,” there are in fact a number of people who are already talking about the possibility of expanding nuclear power–though there are, of course, lots of other ways people are talking about trying to get global warming under control.

  55. Osemasterofdoom:

    Great idea. A close friend of mine works for US-based French company that plans and constructs Nuclear power plants. Cleanest, safest, most-eco friendly power source in the world.

    We just have to get the 60-minded hippies re-educated on the facts about Nuclear power plants and Nuclear power. I think the Ukranian incident in the 80s set us back from a PR standpoint, and the Russians methods (and I’m not an expert – my friend is) of handling rods, and plant construction is faulty and problematic.

    He also says that its easier to built a nuclear power plant overseas then it is here do to misconceptions and political struggles.

    Sean, I’ll get you some scientific sources. I just hope your open minded enough to accept that there is a lot of bunk out there. Believe me, I worked for an environmental firm for a short time, and they were full of crap, much of the same crap that is circulated about effects of this or that. And even they – off the record – admit that there are a lot of conclusions drawn on gap-riddle analysis. Hey this is a HUGE money maker. No different than any other scam – which is to be looked at with scrutiny.

    And thanks for confirming you are a teacher. Cartel is Joe’s word. It’s not the teachers that I’m against, I have many friends who are teachers in first and secondary education. I just distain your union. Sorry. But, we would all be better off treating you as individuals instead of as a “Borg collective”. Those of you that deserve it would get raises, and some of those who don’t would be given the boot or nothing, or less than those who shine. I”m all about merit, not socialism.

    And NR is a great magazine and online forum. And unlike the Nation, and other left-learning publications – counterpoints are actually published.

  56. Here are few links. I expect you’ll have counter-arguments for each and every point. I’ll just point out that these are written by PhDs, scientistics, physicists, etc, and not pundants, or hollywood stars (who you should have at least in your last post stepped up to agree are great wasters for all their rhetoric instead of taking a cheap shot at NR).

    The better arguments and discussions that I’ve read can’t be posted because they are in scientific journals. Let me point out – so there is no misconception – on your part and no twisting of words (which many on this blog specialize in – you know, “cut, paste, and take out of context”) that I am OPEN to the possibility that Global Warming could be, in part, man-made – HOWEVER, if the scientific community which is made up of fact-gathers (not politicos) is very divided, then its pretty hard for someone with intellectual capability to be as staunch on one side or the other as to the REAL causes.



    And this blog will get you to scientific sources in between the BS: http://caosblog.com/4654

    I bet you can drum up 1000 other links to support your THEORY that global warming is real. But as long as Scientific Journals cast doubt, its nothing more than a theory.

    I would urge you to find anything bogus about the scientists who are providing facts for the debate. These guys are scientists for a living, their reputations lie in strength of their theories, and evidence proported. Just because you might have already bought into the global warming theory, hook, line and sinker – doesn’t mean that these guys are wrong. It just means, you’ve somehow managed to find a corner to sit in.

    Politically speaking, if scientists can agree that global warming is caused by us, then and only then, should we turn our world upside down to make drastic steps to shut down certain factories and emissions.

  57. Sean McCann

    King, this is ridiculous bluster.

    First of all, people who oppose the expansion of nuclear power are not just yucky hippies. They’re intelligent people who have good reasons: e.g, expense, hidden environmental costs, safety, security, and the historical demonstration by industry and by the current presidential administration that they are not likely to take such issues seriously unless in some way they can be compelled. It may be that, on balance, those problems (a) can be dealt with and (b) are outweighed by the need to reign in carbon emissions–something that is, in fact, already being debated among people who are concerned about global warming. But dismisssing the issues with standard culture-war nonsense (it’s the sixties, man) is absurdly and typically unseriousness. It’s true, as your friend says, that it’s very hard to build new nuclear plants in the U.S., and this may be a problem, but the major reason for that is the past political arrogance of the industry.

    Then, there’s the classic assumption that anyone who differs with you must be operating a scam. How exactly is the scam supposed to work, though? What interest do climate scientists, geologists, oceanographers, biologists, etc., have in risking their scientific reputations to generate a false issue? The coal and oil industries (genuine cartels, that have succeeded in regulatory capture, by the way) clearly do have very good incentives to find ways to make global warming seem debatable. But how, say, does your average scientist make illegitimate money by pursuing their research and/or warning the public about what (with now overwhelming evidence that, as far as I understand, relies little if at all on Gap analysis) they believe to be a growing environmental and economic crisis? The fact that you are immediately willing to attribute bad faith, where there’s neither evidence nor obvious reason to assume it, says more about you than about the unnamed people you criticize.

    Then, there’s the ridiculous assumption that unions = socialism. Truly hilarious. I imagine Walter Reuther and George Meany would be very amused. But, look, this attitude reflects your characteristic unseriousness about the issues you just toss into the air. The reason there are unions is to give workers who would otherwise lack it bargaining power. The idea that employers will typically give raises based on what people “deserve” rather than paying what the market will bear reflects a serious ignorance of econ 101. The assumption, too, that without unions you would be “treating us as individuals” shows the paternalism that fits nicely with your pseudonym and explains just why teachers want unions. No one, absolutely no one, would prefer to just let their employer “treat” them as it suits the employer.

    As it happens, too, some teachers unions are actually interested in talking about merit pay (in Minnesota, for example). The reason why the unions are typically and rightly suspicions of the idea, though, is, first, it’s not obvious how merit can be measured, and, second, the liklihood that the idea will be used as a cover by the likes of Joe Visconti and yourself simply to batter down teacher pay. If you’re all about merit, you’ll show that you’ve given some thought to these problems. Otherwise, all this talk is just wind.

    Finally, as I’ve mentioned I’m not in a union. I wish I was. Must be because I’m secretely a Borg.

  58. turtle

    As usual I’ve been enjoying Sean’s brilliant demolition of the noise machine on this blog, but whdad? Since my last post got spam-caught (again)–what about the stories in the Courant yesterday and today about citizens who spoke in favor of the budget at Town Hall being bullied with anti-Semitic and racist mail?

    Now there’s a reason why people might prefer to post anonymously. Maybe it’s because they prefer not to risk being tracked down by rightwing creeps.

  59. Whdad:

    My other response was caught in the spam trap.


    I guess you disagree. Sorry to see that you are not hearing me. But there is so much miscontrued in your response that it would take me too long to correct you. From my read of your posts – you take a person’s comment and then extrapolate a position that they never intended to make. Did I actually say ALL were hippy types? Or did you say I said that? Please slow down and take the time to make your reply relevent to the comments posted.

    You also seem to divide the world into two camps – with all your scientists, chemists and superheroes and anyone who carries water for your viewpoint as good guys, and everyone else in the other camp as wrong, false, blustery or whatever.

    And as for your union. Here’s a tissue. You don’t want to be treated individually. Why? What are you afraid of? Your own personal merit isn’t adequate? Or the standard that you may be judged by – too high? Welcome to the real world.

    Seems as long as you have lapdogs like Turtle, applauding at every word you write, you are self-assured of your own correctness.

    At least I’m willing to challenge the status quo. You just sit there and drink the cool aid.

  60. Sean's Lapdog

    You don’t want to be treated individually. Why? What are you afraid of? Your own personal merit isn’t adequate? Or the standard that you may be judged by – too high? Welcome to the real world.

    Hilarious! Well, “King”, if you’re feeling nervous you can always crow about your blue-blooded ancestors!

  61. Harry Captain

    THANK YOU for breaking the silence. The blog silence was deafening regarding this racist, anti-Semitic act.

    Taken alone, the comic is repulsive.

    Add to it that someone would anonymously intimidate, harass, and yes threaten people with the courage to publicly speak to issues of our community… what a disgusting, cowardly act.

    I applaud the recipients who brought these letters to the authorities. I hope the perpetrators are found out and prosecuted.

    I too have witnessed an unfortunate increase in a “mob-like” mentality that has overtaken some public meetings. Heckling. A lack of civility. A lack of respect for neighbor that is not just limited to the elected body in the chamber, but leeches further to any speaker with an opinion differing from “the mob”. I’ve seen it get as low as adults heckling children. What has happened to adult behavior setting examples for children?

    This “mob-like” behavior fosters an environment where intolerance, fear, and hate nurture opportunity for the cowards that commit anonymous acts of hate to feel comfortable. Comfortable enough to draw them out and act.

    We, as a people, need to return to civil debate. Where differing opinions can be presented respectfully and debated on the merits. Where these cowards feel Uncomfortable.

    WH is better than their acts.

  62. Sean McCann

    Thank you, Harry and Turtle. I hope we can all agree about this at least. Sending people anonymous, intimidating, racist messages is reprehensible and no good for the civic life of our town.

  63. Sean McCann

    King (12:13): Did I actually say ALL were hippy types?

    King (5:46): We just have to get the 60-minded hippies re-educated on the facts about Nuclear power plants and Nuclear power

    As far as my desire to be in a union goes, I’m motived not by concern about my personal merit, but about my bargaining power. There is a difference.

  64. Joe Visconti

    Mob- like behaviour Harry? You didnt read my post from Newarks Teachers Union Bosses I guess.
    The Parliament in England has plenty of hecklers, don’t insinuate free speech leads to Racism bud, the Mayor has a gavel and uses it when appropriate.

    As far as the Racist Letters, I find the authors of those cartoons dispicable and told the Police this morning (after they left me and others who spoke that night, voicemails at our homes) that never have I seen that sort of disrespect in any of the Community Activism I have seen or led in Town. If I deliver a Message or Flyer you can bet it will include my name and will be in 4 color. I own my words and deeds. I hope they catch the coward (s).

    Remember, cowardly acts begin by not owning your opinions and views in a public forum.

  65. Harry Captain

    Let’s not legitimize a “mob-like” mentality by spinning it as an assault on free speech.

    A call for civility encourages free speech. Free from “mob-like” behavior that limits the free speech of dissenting opinion through intimidation.

  66. Joe Visconti

    Bullspit Harry, no one is intimidated by the public who speak freely. There has not been acts of violence or threats of a person’s being as long as I can remember here in West Hartford so stop trying to play victim, you aren’t that good at it!

  67. Sean's Lapdog

    Remember, cowardly acts begin by not owning your opinions and views in a public forum.

    Come on out of the closet, pseudonymous posters! You, too, can receive barbaric missives from neo-Nazis right here in West Hartford, where City Style Meets Village Charm!

    I don’t know what the mayor said on TV, but from what I heard the crowd at that June 26 meeting was pretty rude.

  68. Sean's Lapdog

    Joe, why do you say that by appealing for civility at Town Hall Harry is “playing the victim”? It doesn’t make any sense.

    Why do you assume that people won’t be dissuaded from expressing their views at Town Hall for fear they will be targeted by thugs? Did Fox conduct a poll?

  69. EJ

    The noise at the June 26 meeting was not for the Mayor. 2 pro-budget/pro-tax individuals were spewing forth patently false information . The was what raised the hackles of the hecklers at the meeting. Since the Mayor did nothing to stop the false information the hecklers let their feelings be known.

  70. The Menagerie is Appalled

    EJ, I meant I don’t know what the mayor said on TV about that meeting.

    But anyway, what was the patently false information?

  71. Harry Captain

    The June 26 Council meeting was just the most recent event. This behavior has been escalating with each meeting throughout the budget process.

    At one BOE meeting, a recess was required to restore order as tensions mounted following a security breach at Webster Hill School.

    You can’t spin boorish behavior, wrap it in free speech, tie it up with an insult and win this debate. The meetings are on tape. The people of WH have witnessed the behavior, are disgusted and embarrassed by it, and are too smart to be fooled by it. Game, set, match.

  72. Joe Visconti

    Your playing tennis by yourself Harry, EJ is correct about the false data that was being expressed by certain individuals.

    As far as being targeted for violence for speaking their mind, I hope Lapdog doesn’t believe there are thugs out there which will beat him/her up. If the Binding Arbitration Game for Unions was a tad concerned about how difficult it is for many in Town with Taxes maybe over 7000 voters would not have shown up.
    7000 citizens with many Activists leading them shot down the budget and that’s called an electorate not a mob!
    Union Jackals can keep Posting cause it won’t change the outcome of the referendum.

  73. The Menagerie is Appalled

    Joe? Mailing a vicious cartoon like this one is an act of thuggery under any circumstances but particularly in a case where the recipients were targeted because of their position on a political issue. I doubt anyone will get “beat up”, but that’s beside the point.

    Oh, and what was that “false data” again?

  74. Joe Visconti

    The Glass Menagerie

    It was a cowards act for that person(s) to send that vile crap. Everyone agree’s with the fact that whoever did this is the lowest of lows.

    Remember that things get very hot when people are threatend to lose their homes due to Out of Touch Leadership.
    As far as what was false at the hearings, look it up yourself on the Tapes at Channel 5, it’s there, guess you weren’t tuned in.

  75. EJ

    Menagerie – at this point in time I don’t recall the exact data. You can contact W.Hartford TV for the tapes.

    The Mayor was allowing these individuals to continue unchecked and some members of the audience apparently voiced their objections.

  76. Rick Liftig

    This thread is deteriorating into name-calling and bickering. I would appreciate it if everyone here would take a deep breath and return to the issues. Otherwise, you will kill the blog.

  77. The Menagerie is Appalled

    This thread is deteriorating into name-calling and bickering.

    Every thread deteriorates into name-calling and bickering! Yet the blog soldiers on.

  78. Art Halloran

    Two-thirds of the comments on this blog are interesting and enlightening, the other one-third are posted by Joe Visconti.

    Joe, your comments regarding free speech are just plain idiotic. Anyone can understand that hate mail will have a dampening impact on free speech. The fact that people apparently weren’t threatened with violence doesn’t mean those people don’t feel threatened and intimidated.

  79. Joe Visconti


    We have an excellent Police Force in Town and those who feel intimidated can, as they have call on them. There are laws against such behaviour as those mailings.

    Everyone has seen the crazy fan or spectator run out during a game, naked or carrying a sign to disrupt and grab attention for a cause. Crazy’s will be with us always.
    Go online at the Hartford Courant and read some of the Blog comments Posted, even when the Courant ( Fishwrap) ask’s Posters to be nice. Pseudonyms fly and some very scary stuff is out there, as well as other blogs. Blog’s are like Boxing Rings without a Ref for Intellectual Pugilism.

    I have Posted with my own name and have been called many lousy things, none of which are true so it doesn’t bother me, for everyone else who is afraid to own their words there’s Pseudonyms!!!

  80. Joe gets teamed up on a lot here. I tend to disagree with him as much as agree with him, yet we for some reason don’t exchange machine gun fire on the blog? Why is that? He doesn’t make personal attacks… he argues his point, I argue mine and we leave it at that.

    One of the reason that the blog deteriorating is plainly due to how folks like McCann respond to an opinion or thought. Instead of counterarguing with their point with facts, he makes his case by attacking the writer or characterisizing the comments in a nasty way.

    What do you expect, Art? To allow people like McCAnn to rip the writers and not respond?

    For the most part, liberals and unionists outnumber the writers on here by a good margin. There is bound to be disagreement. McCann can believe in both Global Warming and the tooth fairy, and I could care less. But people like him go at length without any qualification to back their point by attacking the source. Pathetic is what it is.

    So there you have it. I’m sure some like Turtle never want to see the conservative viewpoint. But that’s why he’s not moderating this blog and whdad is.

    I will continue to keep it as clean as long as the debate stays clean. Get the folks on the other side of the debates to do that same, and — you’ll have a wonderful blog. It’s really that simple.

    As for the cartoon mailed to people… yeah. Plain dumb. But who’s to say that it wasn’t one of the lefties who sent them out to their own to try and make hay out of it. By the way, this happened a few years ago where a jewish guy painted swatikas on his own house to bring attention to anti-semitism. Yeah that was stupid too. Since we don’t know WHO sent the dumb cartoons, let’s NOT accuse Republicans and Conservatives of doing it. OK? Get the facts first.

  81. Gary Reger

    Brief comments on two of the issues that have spun out here:

    Global climate change. It does not matter really anymore what the naysayers say, except to the extent they hold political power. The science is over. Read the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at http://www.ipcc.ch/. This international group has reviewed all the science with a very conservative eye, and concluded that the change is real and the likely cause is human-generated.

    Heckling at the June Town Council Meeting. Was the crowd response merely vigorous democracy and free speech in action, or was it fundamental intimidationist? I was there, and my sense from the back of the room was that members of the crowd heckled not to voice their views but to prevent others from voicing dissenting views. EJ writes, “The Mayor was allowing these individuals to continue unchecked and some members of the audience apparently voiced their objections.” It seems to me that it is not the Mayor’s job in a public forum to determine whether some people should be permitted to speak unchecked. But I hope we can all agree that heckling to shut up someone you disagree with is not vigorous democracy, but rather the opposite.

  82. Gary Reger

    King —

    You’re on this thread now and not the one in which Mrs. B’s plight arose, so you may have missed my posting of a few days ago, which I repeat here now:

    Did you ever have a chance to show Mrs. B. the comments about her plight that were posted here? If so, what was her response?

  83. EJ

    Gary – my point was the Mayor allowed false information to be disseminated. These were numbers as Mayor he was or should have been aware of. The Mayor who was running the meeting had the right to call the point to order, if not the duty, instead he chose to allow the speaker to go forward without correction

    The irritation arose with the hecklers because they had been accused of disseminating false information themselves shortly prior to the meeting, and were roundly lambasted in the press and here on the blog as well.

    As stated above, if both side are wrong both sides deserve to be corrected and criticized.

  84. Joe Visconti

    I love the debate, and I admire all of you for speaking your minds and being involved with our community. For the most part we all know none of us are nuts, or thugs, just plain old Blog Activists exercizing our rights. Keep it all coming( except the racism cartoons), it’s what makes us all great.

  85. Gary Reger

    I guess I don’t quite follow. What was the “false information”?

  86. Gary: Thanks for the follow up. I need to go over and see Mr. & Mrs. B. I’ve been working rediculous hours over the last several weeks, so aside from seeing her out in her yard hanging her laundry out to dry through the window, I haven’t had contact with her … I will make an effort to get over there to ask, and post what she plans to do.

  87. Gary Reger

    King —

    Thanks. I’ll be interested to hear.

  88. EJ

    Gary – as I said to Menagerie yesterday, I don’t recall the exact data. You can request the tapes from West Hartford TV and see/hear for yourself.

    But the problem occurred during the speaking time of 2 individuals who were using numbers that were nowhere near reality.

  89. The Menagerie is Appalled

    King: So there you have it. I’m sure some like Turtle never want to see the conservative viewpoint. But that’s why he’s not moderating this blog and whdad is.

    Yeah, the conservative viewpoint is so elusive in George Bush’s USA. Shorter viewpoint: drown the government in a bathtub, expand the imperial presidency, wage war.

    Instead of counterarguing with their point with facts, he makes his case by attacking the writer or characterisizing the comments in a nasty way.

    Since the evidence contradicts your pitiful attempt to discredit McCann, I suggest you stop embarrassing yourself and give it up.

    As for the cartoon mailed to people… yeah. Plain dumb.

    Plain dumb? Your moral compass is spinning wildly, but that was obvious long ago.

    I will continue to keep it as clean as long as the debate stays clean.

    Great. I guess we can count on yet more smug, ungrammatical, dishonest BS from the “King”.

  90. Thanks for proving my point, Menagerie.

    I guess you just have so much to look forward to in the coming years. Someone send him a box of tissues. As for my moral compass, that’s my business, not yours.

    Visconti, where are your clips on youtube?

  91. Gary Reger

    EJ —

    I’m wondering whether it really would be a good idea to empower a government official, even our own mayor, with the power to silence or “correct” citizens speaking in a public forum when he believes they have expressed opinions not based on fact. The potential for abuse, even censorship, seems to me greatly to outweigh any possible advantages.

    What about the heckling? What is the right way to deal in a public forum with inaccurate facts? Seems to me the better response is to speak in turn with corrections, not to try to shout a speaker down during his turn because one thinks he is wrong — or even dishonest. One of the great things about democracy is that we all have the right to express our views, even when they are flat out, demonstratably wrong.

  92. Joe Visconti


    I Didn’t Tape the hearing for You tube because Channel 5 agreed to cover them.

    Folks, remember Putterman was correcting inaccuracies after speakers time expired ( like a marathon they time the speakers ) at the Board of Ed meeting when he stood in Jack.

  93. EJ

    Gary I don’t disagree with you.

    The 2 gentleman had their time, and I will not defend the heckling.

    1- The Mayor could have interrupted, made a statement that there was a problem and then let the speakers continue, and then correct the record when the speakers were finished.


    2-Had he so desired when the speakers were done, the Mayor could have put forth the correct numbers, he did not.

  94. Gary Reger

    I’ve just returned from a few days away and caught up, sort of, on the matter of the cartoon sent anonymously to some people who spoke at the public forum at the Town Council meeting last night.

    This got me wondering — suppose the invetsigation of the West Hartford police into this incident leads them to ask WHDad to provide the names and email addresses of participants on this blog. If that happens, what should WHDad do?

  95. The Menagerie is Appalled

    King: As for my moral compass, that’s my business, not yours.

    It’s the peanut gallery’s business now!

    Gary Reger: If that happens, what should WHDad do?

    Refuse. Also, as outrageous as some of the posts on this blog may be there’s nothing compelling enough here to warrant a subpoena, it seems to me. But I’m no lawyer.

  96. Joe Visconti

    Wow, now we’ve taken it all to the ridiculous with subpoena’s. I do like the idea of discovering some of the shills for the Educational Cartel though. The Cops probably wouldn’t let us see the data/evidence unless there was an Arrest made.

  97. The Menagerie is Appalled

    Joe, I read in the Courant about your plans to run in the R primary for Town Council. What’s your platform? Heh.

    And Theresa McGrath is running for Town Clerk. So she’s managed to pay her taxes after all.

  98. Osemasterofdoom

    I agree with Gary on the issue of the Mayor correcting speakers. The time is there for the public to speak, not the officials. Plus, I wonder if any of us would be quick to criticize him for interjecting himself into the public hearing if in fact he did respond. I’m no fan of the Mayor’s, but he handled himself correctly.

    As for Menage’s attack on The King (“more smug, ungrammatical, dishonest BS from the King”), I think those of us who post here anonymously bear a special responsibility not to engage in attacks on another poster. Then again there are those of us who believe that identifying onesself is a license call anyone whatever they d@mn well please, but that’s another story.

  99. Joe Visconti


    where’d everybody go??????

  100. Gary Reger

    We’re all reading Harry Potter. Now hush!

  101. EJ

    If anyone knows WHDAD is he OK?
    It’s been awfully quiet for 2 weeks now.

  102. Joe Visconti

    I had my thugs take care of him, he’ll be alright eventually! (Joke)

  103. Amy

    Hey – whats up. Thanks a bunch for the info. I’ve been digging around for info, but there is so much out there. Yahoo lead me here – good for you i suppose! Keep up the good work. I will be popping back over in a few days to see if there is any more info.

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