Wednesday, July 31, 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 drive right
Police say: Someone called police to complain about a car accident on New Haven Avenue. They found that Pina had been driving a car that crashed into a concrete structure; they administered a Breathalyzer test, which revealed an elevated blood-alcohol content. 

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 been “inspired by senseless violence in Newtown, Connecticut and in an effort to restore the storm ravaged east coast after Hurricane Sandy. We hope to create 26 living memorials to all children who have been victims of violence while creating safe, fun places for children to be children.” It is expected the 26 playgrounds will cost about $2 million, total.  Most of the funding thus far has been collected in the form of donations and/or fundraising events.  For more information about the Beer Tasting event on Sunday, please contact the Milford Fire Department at (203) 874-6321 or the Stratford Fire Department at (203) 385-4070."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

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 decades is 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.”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

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

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 to enjoy a full dinner, a live and silent auction, and a raffle."
FYI: The Bic tournament raises money for the Milford Chamber of Commerce Trust, which annually doles out scholarships to local high school grads.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

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 Solyndra. Can't wait for more insane Fox News people commenting about their local newspaper's complicity in this cover-up. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Joe Della Monica Jr. Saves a Life

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.
What the SUV looked like seconds after Della Monica rescued the driver

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 sausage.


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 related:

Name: Eric Marriner, 27, West Haven
Arrest date: July 20, 10 a.m.
Pending charge: third-degree strangulation, third-degree assault, second-degree breach of peace
Police say: Marriner choked a "companion" during an argument in a parking lot at 125 Old Gate Lane. 

Name:Collin Webster, 60, Milford
Arrest date: July 22, 3 a.m.
Pending charge: third-degree strangulation, disorderly conduct
Police say: Responding to a disturbance at a home on White Oaks Terrace, an investigation revealed that Webster grabbed his victim by the neck and hit them. 

Friends/family fighting

Name: Richard Uberti, 60, Milford; Nicholas Uberti, 31, Milford
Arrest date: July 19, 11:10 p.m.
Pending charge: disorderly conduct
Police say: On a complaint of a disturbance at a home on Lincoln Avenue, a police investigation revealed that Richard and Nicholas got into a fight with each other. 

Name: Derek Almeraris, 25, Milford
Arrest date: July 22, 1:30 a.m.
Pending charge: second-degree breach of peace, interfering with police
Police say: Responding to a disturbance between "companions" at a parking lot at 341 Naugatuck Ave., police arrested Almeraris, who they say "was uncooperative and combative with police." 

It wouldn't be a weekend without ...

Name: Stephanie Trotto, 20, Milford
Arrest date: July 21, 10:36 a.m.
Pending charge: DUI
Police say: Got a complaint that Trotto's car almost hit another car making a left onto Ford Street from Peck Street. They later found the vehicle with Trotto in it and allege that she was under the influence of alcohol. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

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.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

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?

Monday, July 15, 2013

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 areas Residents in need of temporary relief from the heat can also take advantage of “cooling centers located at:
  • Milford Senior Center9 Jepson Drive which is open Monday & Wednesday from 9a-8p; TuesdayThursday & Friday9a-4:30p; and Sunday 12p-4p.
  • Milford Public Library, 57 New Haven Avenue which is open MondayTuesday, & Wednesday10a-8:30p; Thursday 10a-5p; Friday 1p-5p; and Saturday 10a-5p.
  • Westfield Ct Post Mall, 1201 Boston Post Road which is open Monday-Saturday 10a-9p; andSunday 11a-6p.
 For more information regarding the public swim, please contact the Milford Recreation Department at(203) 783-3280.

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. 

Name: Gabrielle Hammond, 24, Saugerties, N.Y.
Arrest date: July 14, 7:34 p.m.
Pending charge: DUI, driving the wrong way on a one-way 
Police say: they saw Hammond driving the wrong way along River Street, and when they pulled him over a breathalyzer revealed an elevated blood-alcohol content. 

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) Yale University School of Medicine: $54,400 (special ed for May/June)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

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 or grounds, or upon private premises or property, unless the same is left at the door of the residence or place of business of the occupant of such premises or property, or deposits or throws any refuse paper, camp or picnic refuse, junk or other material within the limits of any public way or grounds, except at a place designated for that purpose by the authority having supervision and control of such public way or grounds, or upon private premises or property without permission of the owner thereof, or affixes to or maintains upon any tree, rock or other natural object within the limits of a public way or grounds any paper or advertisement other than notices posted in accordance with the provisions of the statutes, or affixes to or maintains, upon the property of another without his consent, any word, letter, character or device intended to advertise the sale of any article, shall be fined not more than fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both for each offense.

Milford Code of Ordinance, Sec. 9-11

(e) Manner of distributing commercial and noncommercial handbills at inhabited private residences. 
(1) No person shall throw, deposit, or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private residence, which is inhabited, except by handing or transmitting any such handbill directly to the owner, occupant or other person then present in or upon such private residence; provided, however, that in case of any inhabited private residence which is not posted, as provided in this chapter, such person, unless requested by anyone upon such residence not to do so, may place or deposit any such handbill in or upon such inhabited private residence, if such handbill is so placed or deposited as to secure or prevent such handbill from being blown or drifted about such residence or sidewalks, streets or other public places, and except that mailboxes may not be so used when so prohibited by federal postal law or regulations. 
There you have it. Under the Milford ordinance, the punishment follows that of the state statute.  


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

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 group?" (the NAACP)**

The thing is, reverse racism is a myth. If you, a White Person, find yourself feeling discriminated against, that's actually just the feeling of fear. The fear is rooted in insecurity over one's race; that a minority is challenging the inherent power you were born into as a White Person.

The term "reverse racism" is in itself an admission that true racism is only perpetuated against minorities, and that you have to reverse it to affect the majority. 

It's not that blacks or other minorities are incapable of racism. But when a black person hates a white person for the color of their skin, it's different in a major way. It’s definitely not the reverse of the racism that we the majority afflicts on minorities.

Why? Because, it’s White Persons who invented things like racial slurs, slavery as a means of economic gain, the outlawing of interracial marriage, and forcing different races to use separate water fountains and schools. (Also, uh, the KKK.)  

Comparing black vs. white racism is unequal. Racism is never OK, but when a white person does it, they’re adding to that long history. 

There is no long history of majority on minority racism. 

But who cares about my opinion, right? People like Giorgi will believe what they want. So, in the spirit of things, I’d like to issue a Reverse Racism Challenge – if you sincerely believe that racism vs. whites is just as pernicious as it is against blacks and other minorities, tell me about it. I’m not looking for vitriol here, but well-reasoned, moderate, and sincere thoughts. Email me at nmcnamara@nhregister.com and I’ll post it on this blog.

*To be very clear, what happened on Monday in Milford wasn't necessarily a racist event; the leaflets advertised a neighborhood watch program, but stated nothing discriminatory. It's just that the leaflets were distributed by a group that named itself after the Ku Klux Klan, the most notorious and racist domestic terror group in American history. 

** Actually, the guy from the Milford Klan incident on Monday made this exact complaint to me - that no one ever says anything about the NAACP having an all-black membership, but that when it comes to the Klan, it's a problem. (!!!)



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

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, and just generally very bad things.

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 testified that he handed the firearms and explosives over to federal agents.
  "It's something I regret doing," said DeFelice, who wore a prison-issued brown T-shirt, green pants and white sneakers. "It's something I thank God every day there were no victims of it."
     Three family members sat behind DeFelice, and only four other people were in the audience section.
     Federal prosecutors said in court documents that DeFelice created a serious threat to public safety by selling to the Klan group weapons he knew could kill or maim people. They had asked Hall to give DeFelice a prison sentence of more than 15 years, near the top of the federal sentencing guidelines. But DeFelice's lawyer, Michael Hillis, disputed the government's calculation of the guidelines and said his client deserved no more than 3 1/2 years behind bars.
     Hillis said that after the informant got DeFelice to sell the first firearm, authorities should have arrested him and not pressured him to make more gun sales and build the grenades.
     "They created this," Hillis said, referring to federal authorities. "If it wasn't for the coercion, we wouldn't have any of this. We wouldn't have had grenades."
     Hillis also said the informant, Joseph Anastasio, was a "rogue" operator who approached federal officials in 2008 about cooperating in an investigation of DeFelice and others, only because he wanted to help his son, who was facing drug charges. Hillis said Anastasio's son was facing up to 12 years in prison under a plea bargain but only received four years.
     Prosecutors said they didn't entrap DeFelice, whom they allege was a member of the Battalion 14 white supremacist group, formerly known as the Connecticut White Wolves.
     The jury acquitted Kenneth Zrallack of Ansonia, the alleged leader of Battalion 14, and David Sutton of Milford, a black acquaintance of DeFelice who isn't a member of any supremacist group.
In 2006, the White Wolves leafleted in Stratford and threatened to rally:
Police said Wednesday that they will increase their presence at an anti-racism rally planned for Saturday as three alleged white supremacist groups have made their presence known in town by dropping leaflets on residents' driveways and pledging to appear at the event. The groups are openly advertising for area white supremacists to attend the rally, which is being held in conjunction by Councilman Alvin O'Neal, D-2, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
     O'Neal has advertised the rally as an informative, community-healing event that will draw attention to issues between town police and residents. Mayor James Miron and Connecticut NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile are both scheduled to speak at the rally. Neither Esdaile nor O'Neal could be reached Thursday for comment. Miron declined comment, citing what he said would be a "big announcement" regarding the rally today. He declined to say what would be announced or whether the rally would be cancelled.
     Police Capt. Harvey Maxwell said that police presence at the rally would be stepped up. However, Maxwell noted that he does not expect a large contingent of white supremacists to attend the rally.
     "It's bad enough to have two groups protesting. ... But two groups with different opinions makes it even more difficult," said Maxwell. "We're going to have additional manpower."
     Maxwell confirmed that white supremacy groups, who identified themselves only as the White Wolves, the Connecticut State Skinheads and North East White Pride, littered residents' driveways on Wednesday with fliers. One resident, who lives at Cutspring Road complained to police, but Maxwell said that the handing out of the fliers in such a manner is simply littering.
     "It's like when you put fliers under car windshield wipers," said Maxwell. "It's the same category."
     An alleged white supremacist Internet radio show, called the "Captain Piddles Show," which is linked from the North East White Pride Web site, implores area white supremacists to come to Stratford Saturday.
     The host, called Captain Piddles, plays hate-inspired heavy metal and in between speaks in a thick New England accent about goings-on in the white supremacy community. Piddles talks specifically about the rally in Stratford, and urges white supremacists who plan to attend to "bring baseball bats."
     

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. On the same evening, other Klan members burned a cross on the Mobile County courthouse lawn. 
The two Klansmen who carried out the ritualistic killing were eventually arrested and convicted. Convinced that the Klan itself should be held responsible for the lynching, Center attorneys filed a civil suit on behalf of Donald's mother, Beulah Mae Donald vs. United Klans. In 1987, the Center won an historic $7 million verdict against the men involved in the lynching. 
The verdict marked the end of the United Klans, the same group that had beaten the Freedom Riders in 1961, murdered civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo in 1965, and bombed Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963. 
The group was forced to turn over its headquarters to Beulah Mae Donald, and two additional Klansmen were convicted of criminal charges."

Obviously, anyone can up and call themselves anything. But one of the questions I'll be seeking to answer today is what this group is and how it relates to the former United Klans of America. Check the New Haven Register's website for more on this story.

This isn't the first time Milford has been linked to a white supremacist group. In 2010, a local member of the White Wolves was indicted on federal weapons charges.

Monday, July 8, 2013

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: interfering with police
Police say: They got a warrant for Lampo's arrest after police observed him speeding on Edgemont Road and then fail to obey a stop sign. Police tried to talk to him about this after Lampo pulled into a home in Rivercliff Drive, but Lampo refused to cooperate. Police got a warrant for interfering with police, and they also issued him a few traffic tickets. 

Name: Randy Depino, 40, New Haven
Arrest date: July 6, 10:45 p.m.
Pending charge: possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia
Police say: The tactical unit saw what they called "suspicious activity" going on in a car parked at the Connecticut Post Mall. While investigating, they say they found Depino in possession of crack (cocaine) and paraphernalia. Police also discovered that Depino had two arrest warrants for failing to appear in court over arrests in North Branford and Middletown. 

Name: Gregory Sroka, 41, Greenwich
Arrest date: July 7, 7:34 p.m.
Pending charge: reckless endangerment, risk of injury, reckless driving, evading responsibility, driving without insurance
Police say: I'll let the all-caps police report tell this one: "POLICE RECEIVED A COMPLAINT REGARDING A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT INVOLVING A PEDESTRIAN IN A PARKING LOT ON WOODMONT ROAD. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT SROKA WAS OPERATING A VEHICLE AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED IN THE LOT AND STRUCK A PERSON WALKING IN THE LOT. THERE WERE OTHER ADULTS AND CHILDREN IN THE PARKING LOT WHO HAD TO MOVE OUT OF THE WAY OF THE VEHICLE OPERATED BY SROKA."



Friday, July 5, 2013

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 anyone out there knows anything about any of these murders or has a personal memory that they'd like to share. I want to talk to you if you remember or know any of the people on that list above. 

Contact me at (203) 789-5696, or email nmcnamara@nhregister.com. 

*5-year-old Constance Roberts was found raped and beaten in a swamp behind a school in Milford in 1982. Police believed a man named Daniel Stuart did it. He was tried and convicted, but due to new evidence, Stuart was retried and found innocent in 1987. Stuart moved away from Milford to Florida, and died there in a car crash in 1989 - no one else has ever been arrested in Roberts' killing. I put Roberts on this list because, unless police tell me otherwise, the case still appears open. 

** The only mention of Hiltz I found was in a Dec. 30, 1983 describing that the 75-year-old was found in a driveway at 100 Viscount drive with "multiple wounds to her body." I could not locate another story about Hiltz, which leads me to believe that it ended up not being a homicide - but I'm checking with Milford police to be sure. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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." 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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 appear
Police say: Hunter failed to appear in court on Nov. 27, 2012 on a larceny charge from Sept. 29, 2012. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

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 violence happens in Milford, it happens in Orange, it happens in Woodbridge; it happens in West Haven, Derby, Greenwich, Waterbury, Darien, New London and every other town, city, village, and borough between here and San Francisco.

But, I want to know what you think - is there a case against a shelter? If so, where should it go? Are shelters only perceived as places for poor people? Does that matter? Would you accept a domestic violence shelter in your neighborhood?
I'd love to hear from you, so leave your thoughts in the comments section.