Category Archives: Public safety

What’s up with West Hartford’s closets?

I’m sort of afraid to peer too deeply into that funny old closet beside my dryer that I can’t open because the machine’s in the way.

After all, police found a kidnapped girl living in a closet under the stairs in a house in Elmwood not long ago. And now we find out that a doctor who lived on Griswold Drive left a cache of child porn slides and films featuring his young patients, paperboys and anyone else he could photograph.

Imagine buying your dream house — a typical old place in town that requires way too much renovation and upkeep — and when you start ripping down some ugly old thing in the basement, a flood of perversion falls all over your floor. Fun times, eh?

Anyway, I’m officially proclaiming a moratorium on opening old closets in West Hartford. They’re like Pandora’s Box. You just don’t know what you’ll find.

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Filed under closets, News, Public safety, West Hartford

911 call transcript from grandmother who killed herself yesterday

Marcia Maglisco, 62, was caring for her 2-year-old grandson in West Hartford when the boy drowned last week.

Here’s the Transcript of her 911 Call To West Hartford Police On Oct. 5, 2007

Williams: West Hartford Police Fire Dispatcher Williams

Maglisco: Um, yes, um I’m at 14 Foxridge Road. I need the police to come and arrest me, I drowned my grandson.

Williams: You did what now?

Maglisco: I drowned my grandson. I need to.

Williams: [Unintelligible] Ok, Ok, how old is this child? and Ok, are you home alone?

Maglisco: Yes, I’m in their home.

Williams: 14 Foxridge?

Maglisco : Yes

Williams: Is is he …Oh, ok your saying he’s deceased?

Maglisco: Yes

Williams: Are you, [unintelligible] when did you do this, just now?

Maglisco: Yes

Williams: Ok, well is there a way you can um do something to try to bring him back?

Maglisco: No

Williams: Are you sure you do not want to attempt to bring him back?

Maglisco: I can’t. I’m just a grandmother .. I have mental problems. I’m a very bad [unintelligible]

Williams: How old of a child is it?

Maglisco: Two

Williams: It’s two years old?

Williams: I want you to stay on this line.

Maglisco: I’m gonna go put his clothes on, I called the mother to come home. I want the police to shoot me, if they could.

Williams: Is he still in the water?

Maglisco: No.

Williams: You’ve taken him out of the water?

Maglisco: Yes I have.

Maglisco: He’s just deceased. They don’t need an ambulance. The mother’s coming, please help.

[Williams cuts in:]

Williams: You are the grandmother?

Maglisco: Yes I am.

Williams: What is your name?

Maglisco: Marcia Maglisco

Williams: Magusto?

Maglisco: Maglisco, yes.

Williams: And you will not do anything to try to attempt to bring the child back?

Maglisco: I tried, I can’t.

Maglisco: I’m psychotic, pause …he was in the tub, he slipped, he banged his head and I just left him.

Williams: How long ago was this … how long ago?

Maglisco: About ten minutes.

Williams: Ten minutes?

Maglisco: Mmhmm .. I have to go and wait for the mother.

Maglisco: I need you to help the mother, please help the mother.

Williams: Well, where’s the mother at?

Maglisco: She’s I called her to come from work, I told her her son’s dead, she’s coming. I’ll be right I’ll have the door open so you’ll [unintelligible] can take me, Thank you, bye.

Williams: I want you to stay on this line hello?

Maglisco: I have to go up and get him ready so she won’t see him undressed okay?

Williams: No, don’t touch that baby, unless you’re going to do something to try and bring him back.

Maglisco: All right, I will, bye.

Williams: Hello?

[Phone line disconnects.]

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Filed under 911 calls, crime, Public safety

Gridlock near I-84

I don’t understand why the congestion that surrounds the I-84 entrance and exit on Park Street has gotten so much worse than it was before the reconstruction. But it absolutely has.

It’s ridiculous at many times of the day.

What’s happened is that there are more cars lined up for the left turn onto Trout Brook Drive, causing them to back up and block the entrance ramp for people trying to turn left onto the ramp from Park.

Because these folks can’t turn left, traffic is also backing up to the east and sometimes blocking Trout Brook Drive as well.

The lights seem to be the problem. They’re ill-timed, out of sync, almost random when a finely tuned machine is crucial.

It’s too hard to go east on Park, too hard to turn onto Park from Trout Brook, too hard to turn onto the highway entrance ramp if you’re heading west on Park and on and on and on.

I’m also sick of people taking right turns on red from the middle lane of the I-84 exit ramp as if there wasn’t another lane to their right where cars can legally turn right on red.

What’s most annoying of all is that I never see cops handing out tickets for all the stupid, illegal things drivers do there now. And I have yet to see any evidence that traffic engineers are watching how screwed up everything is.

Blue Back Square is opening soon. It’s long past time to fix this monstrously poor reconstruction or we’re going to have gridlock in every direction.

Speaking of that, let’s get upgrade the lights along Fern Street and Asylum Avenue, because more of us than ever are going to be trying to avoid going near the mess in the Center.

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Filed under Public safety, traffic, Transportation

A total waste of money and a travesty

I learned today — thanks to a sharp-eared parent at a school’s opening day event — that the Board of Education is paying to have full-time security greeters at every elementary school this year. The logic, apparently, is that having someone there to be “security” will keep our kids safer.

Well, phooey.

I’ve been in the schools enough to know that almost every adult who walks in is known to the secretaries. They sign in at the office and either proceed to wherever they’re going or the necessary calls are made. There’s nothing a security person can do that isn’t already being done.

This just infuriates me because this year we didn’t have money for Middle School Quest. We almost slashed away expanded languages for elementary schools. We pared needed positions at Smith and Charter Oak. We had a big fight over every dollar.

And now it turns out that hundreds of thousands of dollars are being squandered on security personnel who are doing nothing of any value to protect children from threats that don’t exist.

I find it almost sickening that we’re sending a message to our kids and ourselves that we no longer trust the community to look after schoolchildren, that we need security in schools to keep an eye on all of us. We’re bringing distrust into a place that depends on trust.

I want to know how this happened and why it’s being allowed. There are so many educational needs that are not being met that I can scarcely believe money existed for this mind-boggling move.

Fire the security guards and fund some more teachers. Let’s put our dollars where our priorities are.

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Filed under budget, education, Public safety, Schools

Why no speed bumps for residential streets?

The other day I happened to drive along the road in front of the governor’s mansion and was stunned to find that two plastic-like speed bumps had been more or less nailed into the street nearby to slow drivers down. Presumably, that’s to keep some nut from running down Gov. Rell.

Down the street only a little further is one of those speed readers that are normally on a trailer that the cops have put somewhere to let drivers know how fast they’re flying by — only this one is permanently attached to a road sign.

I’ve never seen anything like it. But, of course, Gov. Rell has a little more political pull than the rest of us.

Even so, the setup got me thinking. If this is good enough for the governor, how come it’s not good enough for my kids? or your kids? or, God forbid, even you? or me?

I’ve always heard that speed bumps are too costly, mostly because they supposedly interfere with snow plows. Yet somehow they’re coping with that problem to lend the governor a hand. So can’t they do it anywhere else?

I’m all for installing speed bumps on residential streets all over town. Slowing these crazy drivers down is best done by creating a risk that they’ll rip their cars and trucks to pieces if they fail to obey the speed limits. Speed bumps work.

Now I know that putting in thousands of speed bumps all over town would cost a ton of money so I’m not saying we should do this all at once. But let’s get cracking. Surely we can do a couple of dozen blocks a year at a minimum. Call it a test if that makes it easier. Let’s see how it goes. They can start with my street.

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Filed under Gov. Rell, Public safety, speed bumps, speeding

Long-time professor killed on Cape Cod

According to the Cape Cod Times, a 37-year veteran professor at UConn’s School of Social Work in West Hartford, Albert Alissi, was struck and killed by a car while taking a walk in West Dennis. Alissi retired five years ago from the school.

Associate Dean Catherine Havens told the paper that Alissi was a specialist in social groupwork and remained active in the school’s doctoral program and as a scholar in his field.

“He would do anything to help a student learn,” Havens told the paper. “He was one of those very special faculty members that people come back to see. He was very active and very energetic, and still working and contributing, so it’s just tragic.”

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Filed under Alissi, Public safety, UConn School of Social Work

Webster Hill kid was lying

The story seemed shaky all along, and the schools’ reaction overblown in any case, but now we know that that the intruder story was a lie from the start, according to a story in today’s Courant.

What bothers me most is the police clearly suspected from the start that the incident never happened. They should have expressed skepticism from the start, if only to alleviate the fear this sort of thing creates.

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Filed under police, Public safety, Schools, Webster Hill