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Showing posts from July, 2013

Police Blotter 7/30 & 7/31

Here's what police are reporting for notable arrests for the past two days (sorry for the tardiness (all from a Milford PD press release)). 

Name:Gerald Fucci, 45, Milford
Arrest date: July 30, 1:30 p.m.
Pending charge: violation of probation
Police say: Fucci violated his probation. 

Name: Peter Ellis, 53, Milford
Arrest date: July 29, 11:30 a.m.
Pending charge: second-degree criminal mischief
Police say: Got a complaint of a tenant vandalizing property at the Mayflower Motel. They say that Ellis damaged a stairwell railing and "items within a room he was renting." 

Name: James Edwards, 23, uncertain address
Arrest date: July 29, 1 p.m.
Pending charge: second-degree criminal mischief
Police say: Got a complaint of a burglary at a home along Pond Point Avenue, and an investigation found that Edwards entered the home "unlawfully." 

Name: Daniel Pina, 22, Milford
Arrest date: July 29, 10 p.m.
Pending charge: DUI, operating with a suspended license, no insurance, failure to driv…

Drink Beer, Build A Playground

From a Milford schools press release:

"Milford and Stratford firefighters have combined forces to conduct a benefit fundraiser for their joint endeavor – the Sandy Ground Project.  A beer tasting event, sponsored by Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, will present a variety of options for the beer ‘connoisseur.’  Tickets are $25 per person; the event will take place on Sunday, August 4th from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Two Roads Brewing Co.  All proceeds will be directed to the Sandy Ground project, an endeavor to build 26 playgrounds throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings. Several playgrounds have already been completed locally, including the most recent builds in Stratford, (to honor Victoria Soto), and in Ansonia, (to honor Catherine Hubbard).  Milford is ‘on tap’ to receive a playground in the coming year.According to the Sandy Ground Project website, (www.thesandygroundproject.org), the concept has bee…

State $$$ For Milford

Is it still called 'pork' if it benefits preschool children?

This came in from state Rep. Kim Rose (D-Milford) today:
"... [Rose] welcomed news that a couple of important projects are slated to receive state funding when the state Bond Commission meets Friday.
Milford Good Shepherd Day Care Center, Inc., which provides early care and education services on a full-day, full-year basis for infants, toddlers and preschool children from working families for many decadesis expected to receive $26,000 for a new playground and Silver Sands State Park will be awarded $1,507,710 for the reconstruction of the Great Greek tide gate and outlet structure.
“I would like to thank Governor Malloy for supporting these diverse programs and projects in Milford,” Rep. Rose said. “These funds are a testament to our legislative delegation’s hard at work representing our constituencies in Hartford.”

Gas is More Expensive Here Than in Boston

Connecticut Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by GasBuddy.com
Is it me or is it insane that we pay more for gas in the New Haven area than do people in Boston - and basically on par with people in New York City.

I know - in general - there are a lot of reasons gas prices spike: demand, commodities speculation, disruptions in the supply chain, war, etc. But why does it vary so heavily region to region? You would think that, being along a major interstate route, we in the Milford area would get a break on gas prices, but we don't.

No, we pay the most of any state in New England, and so our gas prices are on par with places like Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and the extreme rural Pacific Northwest.

Can anyone out there tell me why gas is so expensive here? Is it simply because we have higher gas taxes? (And if that's the reason, can someone explain why we have such high gas taxes?)

Your 2013 Bic Golf Classic Winners

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From the Milford Chamber of Commerce:

"... On Monday, July 15, 2013, over 100 golfers representing businesses throughout the greater Milford area hit the fairways for a good cause.  The annual BIC Golf Classic, held at Mill River Country Club, is sponsored by BIC Corporation and benefits the Milford Chamber of Commerce Trust Fund. Established in 1981, the Milford Chamber of Commerce Trust Fund houses the scholarship fund for higher education, as well as mini-grants for educational purposes.  The Trust recently provided over $21,000.00 in college scholarships (ranging from $500 to $2,500) to 25 students from the Milford area. This is the only program like this in the state and the BIC Golf Classic provides the trust the funding needed to develop tomorrow’s business leaders.First place winners of this year’s tournament were foursome Bob Kiley of Hacienda Storage along with Jim Ek, Tommy Moran and Kevin Moore.After an enjoyable day of golf, participants convened in the banquet room t…

The Local News Conspiracy to Smear Zimmerman

Check out this comment that was posted on the story I wrote yesterday about retired Milford cop Joe Della Monica Jr. rescuing a driver from a burning car:
"Why is this Newspaper refusing to report on George Zimmerman helping rescue a family of 4 from a overturned SUV, 4 days after his acquittal? Are we back in Nazi Germany?" Yes, here at the Register, just like the Third Reich, we ignore out-of-state news stories about acquitted gun killers who save people from cars in favor of stories about local non-killers who save people from cars. 
There's almost no difference. 
The comparison seems to be that, if we're writing about, you know, actual people who live in and around New Haven who save people from cars, then we should be writing about acquitted killers who do the same. 
This Zimmerman/hero story will be the next alleged liberal media cover up (except that the story was published by every major news outlet yesterday AND minor ones like us) on par with Benghazi and So…

Joe Della Monica Jr. Saves a Life

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On Saturday, I went to the mall and saw that robot sea monster movie in 3D.

This is what Joe Della Monica Jr. did on Saturday. 

Yeah, he ran toward a burning car and punched out the glass windows with his bare fists and pulled out the driver. Even better, the driver had been driving like an idiot before the crash - including passing people in the breakdown lane.

I have definitely fantasized about seeing a bad driver get a good (not deadly) lesson by crashing after they cut me off or whatever.

But Della Monica didn't even consider that the guy could've killed others. He just dove in and pulled the guy out. He won't take the title "hero" because he says he was just "helping someone out."

And I get that. But to me, the definition of a hero is not only putting your life up for ante, but also doing so without prejudice.

So, remember Della Monica's example: all action, no pretense.

Also, he owns a sausage company with a hilarious name. Go buy some of his s…

Police Blotter 7/22

Here's what police are reporting for notable arrests from over the weekend (all from a Milford PD press release). I have categorized the incidents. 

Humor?

Name:Bobbi Griffin, 23, New Haven
Arrest date: July 19, 6:25 p.m.
Pending charge: sixth-degree larceny, second-degree breach of peace
Police say: Griffin took $185 worth of probably logo-laden clothing from the Abercrombie and Fitch at the CT Post Mall, and apparently pushed a security guard during the removal of the garments that probably had a lot of Abercrombie logos on them.

Name:Jennifer Macholl, 30, West Haven
Arrest date: July 20, 2:10 a.m.
Pending charge: interfering with police
Police say: In a good example of them not letting a crime slide, they arrested Macholl for switching seats with the driver after they got into an accident that happened near Old Gate Lane/Woodmont Road. The switching occurred probably because, according to police, the driver had a suspended license. They are seeking a warrant for her arrest. 

Throat relat…

Police Blotter 7/18

Sorry, this is a day late ...

Here's what police are reporting for notable arrests from Wednesday (all from a Milford PD press release).

Name: Israel Alamo, 22, Milford
Arrest date: July 17, 1:25 p.m.
Pending charge: second-degree failure to appear, violation of probation
Police say: Alamo had two outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court on Oct. 10, 2012 for a disorderly conduct charge he earned on Sept 7, 2012 in Stratford. They also accuse Alamo of violating his probation.

Name: Mark Sabatino, 52, Milford
Arrest date: July 17, 2:00 p.m.
Pending charge: second-degree threatening
Police say: Police got a harassment complaint on July 11, and an investigation led to Satino's arrest. They say he threatened to harm his spouse.

Name: Charles Gombrewicz, 45, Milford
Arrest date: July 18, 7:25 a.m.
Pending charge: violation of protective order
Police say: Gombrewicz contacted a former companion and went to her work, which is a violation of a protective order against him.

Daniel Street Apartment Proposal

Do you want a side of apartments with your burger?

You may have heard that the local American fare restaurant chain Eli's (on Whitney, on the Hill, etc.) is opening a new spot in downtown Milford along Daniel Street. It's going in where the former Daniel Street nightclub was.

As the owner of the building, Richard Ciardiello, is applying to the Planning and Zoning Board for approvals to build the restaurant, he's also trying to get approved to build three apartments above the spot.

I've talked to zoning officials and everything appears in compliance - that is, the restaurant and apartments comply with the zoning in that area - but Ciardiello will have to prove that there's parking available for it all.

The thing is: parking in downtown Milford, a problem as old as the green is long.

There's a public hearing tonight at city hall; approval from the PZB won't come until a later meeting.

Outraged? Concerned? Excited?

FREE swimming in Milford!

This just in - due to the heat wave, the city is offering free swimming at the Foran high school pool. Details from the Parks/Rec Dept:
In response to the Heat Wave predicted to continue this week the Milford Recreation Department will offer free public swimming at the Foran High School Pool.The pool will be open at no charge to Milford residents from Tuesday, July 16th to Friday, July 19thfrom 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. There will be lifeguards on duty. Non-swimmers must be accompanied by an adult.Participants should use the Natatorium Entrance located to the left of the old Main Entrance.The Recreation Department would also like to remind all residents to follow these safety tips when it comes to the heat:Wear appropriate light colored / loose fitting clothingDrink plenty of fluids – do not wait until you are thirsty to drinkWear a wide brimmed hat and apply sunscreenTake frequent rests and take refuge in shaded areasResidents in need of temporary relief from the heat can also take advantag…

Police Blotter 7/15

Here's what police are reporting for notable arrest(s) from over the weekend (all from Milford PD press release). 

Name: Robert Rogers, 30, Milford
Arrest date: July 12, 8 p.m.
Pending charge: Second-degree failure to appear
Police say: Rogers didn't show up for a June 11 court date for motor vehicle offenses they allege he committed in December. 

Name: Martin Greatorex, 54, Milford
Arrest date: July 13, 1:45 a.m.
Pending charge: DUI, operating an unregistered vehicle, driving w/o insurance
Police say: Greatorex made an improper lane change on Broad Street, so police pulled him over; a breathalyzer test revealed a blood-alcohol content over the legal limit. 

Name: Jake Sabas, 24, Milford; Matthew Makar, 26, Fairfield
Arrest date: July 13, 9:40 p.m
Pending charge: Third-degree assault, second degree breach of peace (Sabas); second-degree breach of peace (Makar)
Police say: responding to a disturbance at Alfa Pizza, police discovered that Makar and Sabas, who are relatives, were fighting. 

N…

Top Milford School Expenditures | June, 2013

This is usually my favorite part of the monthly Board of Education meeting packet, so I thought I'd share it. Every month, the administration reports to the board all the stuff that it spent money on in the previous month. The top expenses are usually health care, bus services, and utilities. Sometimes there are surprises. 
Here are some (not all) of the top expenditures from June, 2013.  1) Durham School Bus Services: $236,708.75 (buses for May, 2013)
2) Durham School Bus Services: $235,974.50 (buses for June, 2013)
3) Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield: $215,269.12 (health insurance for June)
4) Hewlett Packard Co.: $115,461 (computers)
5) Transcanada Power Marketing  LTD: $77,818 (electricity May/April)
6) Durham School Bus Services: $72,353.61 (special ed buses for May)
7) Durham School Bus Services: $71,496.72 (special ed buses for June)
8) Northwest Evaluation Services: $68,175
9) College Board: $62,837 (AP classes programming)
10) Lasse's Livery: $54,489 (special ed buses May/June)
11…

Here are the laws Milford would prosecute KKK under

Police Chief Keith Mello is putting members of the local United Klans of America on notice (pun) that they could face charges under a couple of state and local laws prohibiting the distribution of leaflets/etc. on private property. 

A lot of people have commented that criminal charges for passing out leaflets and other such paraphernalia might be a violation of freedom of speech, and have mentioned that the police don't go after people who pass out unwanted leaflets from 1) churches, 2) candidates for political offices, 3) newspapers (ahem, New Haven Register). But, technically, it all seems illegal, Klan-affiliated or otherwise. 
Here are the laws Mello cited to me:
Connecticut General Statutes 23-65 - Posting or distributing advertisements. Removing, pruning, injuring or defacing certain trees or shrubs. Restoration. Damages. Regulations. Permit for cutting or removal. 
(c) Any person, firm or corporation which deposits or throws any advertisement within the limits of any public way…

The Klan thing and reverse racism

The New Haven Register posted a link on Facebook this morning to a story I wrote about past incidents in Milford involving racism/Klan/neo-Nazigroups. A person named Bobette Giorgi commented underneath the post: 
"As usual, NHR doing what it does best: one-sided reporting, as if blacks are not capable of racism." 
Giorgi's comment deserves exploration. A couple of other people have made similar comments about these stories. 
I think Giorgi raises an interesting point: that when we talk about racism or Klan-like groups, we (the media) forget to mention acts of racism committed by minorities.
This kind of blame-the-media complaining is, I guess, part of a line of thinking called “reverse racism." Many people believe in "reverse racism," which is what happens when a minority discriminates against the majority (white Christians). And that leads to people saying things like "why isn't there a white history month?" or “why is it OK for them to have a …

United Klans of America 'a joke'

In reporting on the story of the United Klans of America group leafleting homes in Milford, I interviewed Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. His summation of the United Klans of America?

"Very much a joke."

Now, it's true that Klan-ish groups are nothing to joke about, but Potok's point was that this current iteration of the UKA is viewed by far-right racist groups as ... a joke. That's mainly because the leader of the new UKA* tried to ally his group with a faction of the Crips street gang from Memphis to stop another Klan group - the Loyal Knights of the Ku Klux Klan - from demonstrating in that city.

To recap: *real* racist groups don't take the current UKA iteration seriously, which I guess Milford residents can take some solace in.

*The old UKA formed in the 1950s in response to desegregation in the south was a very, very violent terrorist organization. They were blamed for bombing a black church in Montgomery, Ala., lynchings…

More on White Supremacists in the Milford Area

There are a couple notable incidents of white supremacist activity in the Milford/Stratford area. Here are a couple of highlights: 
In 2011, a Milford man got 10 years for trying to sell weapons to a federal agent posing as a member of the Ku Klux Klan:
"A Milford man accused of being a white supremacist was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for what prosecutors called a dangerous plot to sell grenades and firearms to a government informant posing as a member of a Ku Klux Klan group.
     U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall imposed the prison time on Alexander DeFelice, who was convicted by a jury in December of conspiracy and firearms charges. The same jury acquitted two alleged co-conspirators, while two other men pleaded guilty.
     Prosecutors said DeFelice in 2009 and early 2010 arranged the sale of three homemade grenades, a rifle and two shotguns to the informant, a convicted felon who claimed to be a member of the Imperial Klans of America. The informant t…

United Klans of America in Milford

The first place I went when I read in the Connecticut Post that the United Klans of America had leafleted in Milford was the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is, in my opinion, the best tracker of hate groups. 
And, I was surprised to find that the SPLC does not have an entry in its "intelligence report" for the UKA. But, I did find this, which basically says that the UKA died in the 1980s after the SPLC sued it on behalf of a victim of the group's actions. Here's their summary of Donald vs. United Klans of America:

"Nineteen-year-old Michael Donald was on his way to the store in 1981 when two members of the United Klans of America abducted him, beat him, cut his throat and hung his body from a tree on a residential street in Mobile, Ala.Angry that an interracial jury had failed to convict another black man for killing a white police officer in Birmingham, the Klansmen selected Michael Donald at random and lynched him to intimidate and threaten other blacks…

Milford Police Blotter 7/8

Here's what police are reporting for notable arrest(s) from over the weekend (all from Milford PD press release). 

Name: Richard Gannon, 57, Milford
Arrest date: July 6, 4:29 a.m.
Pending charge: DUI, evading responsibility, failure to drive right, operating w/a suspended license
Police say: They stopped Gannon on Orange Avenue after witnessing him driving erratically; during the stop, they say they detected he was drunk - though he refused a breathalyzer test at the scene. Police say Gannon left the scene of an accident before they stopped him. 

Name: Nelson Miller III, 31, New Haven
Arrest date: July 6, 4:30 p.m.
Pending charge: second-degree stalking, second-degree harassment
Police say: Got a complaint from a Milford resident about Miller harassing that person. Police got an arrest warrant for Miller because, they say, he sent unwanted text messages and left (unwanted) items at that person's home. 

Name: Kevin Lampo, 27, Milford
Arrest date: July 6, 5:20 p.m.
Pending charge: interfer…

Milford's Unsolved Murders

After the June 11 arrest of Luis A. Rodriguez for the 2001 murder of Walnut Beach resident Kelsey Monahon, I got curious about other long-term unsolved homicides in Milford.

So, I began digging through the New Haven Register's archives; I looked at all the murders in Milford that we have on record (dating back to the 1940s) and I came up with a list of 9* unfortunate souls whose murders are unsolved.

Here are all the ones I could find in chronological order:

-Peter Spinelli (1996) -Unidentified male remains (1994) -Unidentified male remains (1992) -Anna E. Hiltz (1983)** -Constance Roberts (1982)  -Blasé Miserendino (1978) -Gary Steadman (1977) -Kenneth Matteson (1975) -Charles McCoy (1968)
Sometimes, homicides take a long, long time to solve. And sometimes, after a while, people come out of the woodwork with some scrap of evidence or memory that helps close a decades-old crime. I'm still working on the story, but I wanted to reach out to the Milford community and see if anyo…

Ring your bell, Milford

This on Milford July 4 bell-ringing ceremony from the office of Mayor Ben Blake: "The Milford Volunteer Fire Department and Troop 721 of the Boy Scouts of America in Milford in conjunction with the City of Milford and with the support of the Milford Girl Scouts will conduct the 2013 “Let Freedom Ring” National Bell ringing Ceremony to celebrate the birth of our country as a free and independent nation.  The event will take place on the Milford Green on Thursday, July 4, 2013 beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the site of the retired alarm bell of the Milford Volunteer Fire Department."

Police blotter 7/3

Here's what police are reporting for notable arrest(s) from Tuesday (all from Milford PD press release). 

Name: Robert and Alexander Stevens, 25 and 21, respectively, and of Milford and Hamden, respectively
Arrest date: July 1, 11:45 a.m.
Pending charge: disorderly conduct
Police say: On May 24, police went to a home on Baxter Lane on a report of a disturbance between two siblings. They got an arrest warrant for the brothers on the premise that they got into a "physical altercation." 

Is your neighbor a city official?

Just about every month, the Board of Aldermen appoints (or reappoints) citizens (usually nominated by the mayor) to serve on a city board or commission. Here's who in Milford got appointed at last night's aldermanic meeting:
-Reappointment of Lori Romick (R), of Valery Court, to a 2-year term on the Housatonic River Estuary Commission -Appointment of Brendan Magnan (D), of Rogers Avenue, to a 3-year term on the Inland Wetlands Agency -Appointment of David DeFlumeri (D), of Hillcrest Avenue, as an alternate on the Inland Wetlands Agency

Police Blotter 7/2

Here's what police are reporting for notable arrests from Monday (all from Milford PD press release). 

Name: Michael Brainard, 31, Milford
Arrest date: July 1, 11:45 a.m.
Pending charge: violation of probation
Police say: they arrested Brainard for violating his probation. 

Name: Cain Parsell, 19, Bridgeport, and Brandi Moore, 20, Waterbury
Arrest date: July 1, 2 p.m.
Pending charge: violation of protective order
Police say: investigating an incident at a Southern Parkway home, police found out that there's a court-order barring Parsell and Moore from living in the same place. So, they were arrested. 

Name: Diante Scales, 28, Bridgeport, and Barbara Williams, 30, Milford
Arrest date: July 1, 4:50 p.m.
Pending charge: disorderly conduct
Police say: responding to a complaint at a home on Baldwin Street, police discovered that Williams and Scales had a physical fight.  

Name: Natasha Hunter, 18, Midland, North Carolina
Arrest date: July 2, 7:20 a.m.
Pending charge: second-degree failure to appe…

Police Blotter 7/1

Here's what police are reporting for notable arrests from over the weekend (all from Milford PD press release). 

Name: Frank Hooks, 45, Hamden
Arrest date: July 1, 1:40 a.m.
Pending charge: possession of narcotics, operating an unregistered vehicle
Police say: they observed an unregistered car driving down Bridgeport Avenue. When they stopped the car, they found the driver with 1/2 a gram of crack cocaine.  

Name: Charles Curcio, 30, Milford
Arrest date: June 29, 7:30 p.m.
Pending charge: sixth-degree larceny, possession of drug paraphernalia
Police say: responding to a complaint of shoplifting at Macy's, they allege Curcio tried to take $314.99 worth of goods, and that he was in possession of drug paraphernalia.

What are your thoughts on a domestic violence shelter in Milford?

I wrote a story for the Register that appears in today's paper about some Milford residents who are concerned - and opposed to - about a domestic violence shelter moving into their neighborhood. 
Some of them fear that the shelter will cause their property values to plummet, or that it might put them at risk of violence if a perpetrator of domestic violence found the shelter (as is standard with shelters, we keep the location confidential so that it cannot be found).
This was a really tough story for me to write and, frankly, I'm a little surprised at some of the reaction it's getting. Some people seem to think it's some kind of liberal-fascist plot to beef up social welfare and ruin a neighborhood. 
It's definitely not. It's a safe-house for abused women and children. It has nothing to do with politics, or conservatives versus liberals, or revenge, or anything nefarious. And, as a person who reads the police blotter every day, I can tell you that domestic viol…