Monday, March 24, 2008

Cover-Ups In New London & Waterbury

Two Cases
Did Not
Want To Solve

Monday, 3-24-08

Hi folks,

this follows material on the Smolinkski case in Waterbury
and essays on how to get information from cops, prosecutors
and others in the criminal world.

in both the Smolinski and Showalter cases,
authorities failed to act.

the discerning digger, aka reporter,
would want to find out why.

as you prepare to question Jan Smolinski, mother of missing person Billy Smolinski,
also take a look at the Showalter case in New London.

Later, Andy

in both cases, authorities eventually were forced to act by reporters...

Note: The following columns ran in 2000 in The Connecticut Law Tribune. They build on work published about 30 years ago in The Norwich Bulletin, The Hartford Courant and by United Press International.

Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice

If Connecticut Chief State's Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here's one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State's Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti's complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls' obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove's Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn't until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

Santaniello would arrange for a coroner's inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

"I did talk to Harvey," Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, "and I said, `You're suspected.' As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect." The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, "Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me."

It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and '70s, was a dirty little city with character.

It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.
The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That's a beginning.

Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter's date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

Harvey was everybody's pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

"I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form," Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner's inquest that never issued a finding.

State police followed up a report that Mallove's best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

Isn't it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

Where is the conscience of the community?

Cold Case On Ice Forever

One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: "After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter." The accident occurred the night before.

Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim's mother, Lucille Showalter.

"I told Harold how important that was to me," Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

The author of the letter was known to be connected with "fences," or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as "closed pending further development." Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had "no idea" why the lead, "which very well could have led to something," resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State's Attorney's Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

Smolinski case, ongoing, Waterbury:

  • Link To Major Development

  • &

  • CBS Without A Trace

  • Friday, Sept. 14, 2007


    We first told you about Billy Smolinski a year ago. He disappeared from his Waterbury, Conn. home in August, 2004 after breaking up with his girlfriend.

    CBS News Correspondent Bianca Solorzano got an update from investigators, and the missing man's family.

    Smolinsksi was 31 when he vanished.

    He had just returned from a trip to Florida with his girlfriend. The next night, he told his sister that his girlfriend was having an affair with a local politician. They argued and broke up.

    Smolinski's sister, Paula Bell recalls that, "I said, 'Well, what are you going to do" And he just said, 'What am I going to do?'"

    Authorities say Smolinski was last seen at his home. His next-door neighbor says he asked him to watch his dog for a few days, because he was headed north to look at a car he wanted to buy. His truck was found in his driveway, his keys and wallet were under his front seat.

    That, says Solorzano, is where Smolinski's trail ends.

    The FBI calls it a difficult case.

    "Essentially," says Special Agent Bill Aldenberg, "the man just disappeared off the face of the Earth."

    He says there's been no sign of Smolinski but, "There are suspects, based on tips and based on interviews and based on investigations that we've conducted."

    The bureau was tipped off and, in the spring, searched in Shelton, about 20 miles from Waterbury. Agensts looked for evidence near several homes, dug up a driveway, and also searched near a river, but found nothing.

    The Smolinskis, Solorzano points out, have never stopped searching.

    They posted thousands of missing person flyers but, in a strange twist, found Smolinski's ex-girlfriend tearing them down.

    At the time, local police say, she was not a suspect.

    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Rave For The Prodigy

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  • How School Is Like Jail

    A Reader Comments:
    The issues are candy in schools and whether students are talking smack on their blogs? What does this say about the management?

    Editor's Note:

    The school system even has a paid mouthpiece to spew tripe and propaganda ...

    Young candy buyer finds penalty unduly bitter

    By Elizabeth Benton
    New Haven Register Staff

    NEW HAVEN — Sheridan Communications and Technology Middle School eighth-grader Michael Sheridan was suspended from school for three days, barred from attending an honors student dinner and stripped of his title of class vice president.

    His offense?

    He bought a bag of Skittles.

    The punishment was meted out because the New Haven school system banned candy sales and fundraisers in 2003 as part of the districtwide school wellness policy.

    "There are no candy sales allowed in schools, period," said school spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo.

    Sullivan-DeCarlo said, while candy sales are strictly prohibited, there could be some that slip through.

    Michael's mother, Shelli Sheridan, is lobbying to reduce her son's punishment, claiming he's a top student with no previous disciplinary problems. According to Shelli Sheridan, the student who sold the candy, whom she did not identify, also was suspended.

    "Why did we go to that extreme?" she said.

    While Michael's suspension was reduced to one day, he has yet to be reinstated as class vice president, she said.

    "It's too much. It's too unfair," Shelli Sheridan said. "He's never even had a detention."

    Michael Sheridan claims he was in a school hallway after lunch Feb. 26 when a classmate asked if he wanted some candy. The student had a lunch box filled with candy and a wad of money, he said.

    While Michael said he was unaware the sale was against school policy, he admitted the student selling it "was being secretive." When a school administrator noticed the transaction, Michael said the student "threw the candy." He said he pocketed the Skittles, still not sure anything was wrong.

    Michael said the administrator asked to see the contents of his pockets. At that moment, Michael said he realized he was in trouble.

    According to Sullivan-DeCarlo, Sheridan School had a problem with candy fundraisers last fall, and Principal Eleanor Turner "made it clear for
    months this was not to happen."

    Turner had repeatedly warned students that she would not allow any candy to be sold in schools, nor did she want money changing hands in school, said Sullivan-DeCarlo. She said it was her understanding that the student was suspended for insubordination, which is what the district considered the candy exchange.

    Aside from the nutrition issue, Sullivan-DeCarlo maintained the money students carry presents a security concern.

    A copy of the district's policy given to the New Haven Register Tuesday says that "no candy or junk food fundraisers will be allowed on school grounds" and that only "healthy snacks will be sold in vending machines selling food products." It also prohibits bake sales and other food sales during school hours. The policy does not address snacks shared between students at school when no money changes hands.

    Turner referred all comment on the case to Sullivan-DeCarlo.

    *Elizabeth Benton can be reached at 789-5714 or*

    CNN Update

  • Text & Video
  • What To Say To The Cops, Besides Lawyer, Name, I Don't Consent To A Search ...

    Via Judy Aron,
    Consent of the Governed

  • Video & Narrative: Several Scenarios

  • Adventure With The West Hartford PD
  • New Thriller By Pam Lewis [of Poets & Writers For Avery]


    "Pam Lewis is the literary equivalent of a forensic scientist. In her compelling second novel, Perfect Family, Lewis pulls the body of a beautiful young woman from a lake, then, layer by suspenseful layer, unpeels and reveals a well-to-do family's secrets, lies, and hidden heartaches. I was riveted."
    --Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of author of She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True

    "Lewis skillfully lures the reader through her narrative maze with plenty of plot twists."
    --Publishers Weekly

    Few authors manage to combine the page-turning suspense and emotional intensity of a riveting thriller with the fine qualities of literary fiction. Acclaimed author Pam Lewis did exactly that with her debut novel, Speak Softly, She Can Hear, which garnered rave reviews, formidable sales, and a substantial following. Readers loved her powerful blend of literary fiction and heart-pounding action; the New York Post called it "gripping…with a freshness that sets it apart from the thriller genre…Once begun, it's a hard book to let go of." Her sophomore effort, PERFECT FAMILY (Simon & Schuster, April 8, 2008, $25.00), the tale of an upper-class New England family besieged by tragedy and deception, will prove to be an equally provocative literary page-turner about a proper New England [West Hartford] family and the dark secrets that undo them.

    The Carterets are an established industrialist family coasting on their declining wealth, but still in possession of a high opinion of themselves. Headed by patriarch Jasper, they are a close-knit clan, used to official family meetings and secret agreements. Though he maintains a strained relationship with Jasper, William, the eldest of the four adult children, is close to sisters Tinker, the family caretaker, and Mira, the moody, thoughtful one. However Pony Carteret-the lovely, headstrong, youngest member of the Carteret family-has always been his favorite. Happy-go-lucky, vibrant and athletic, she's also known as the family's strongest swimmer. So when she is discovered drowned at the family's summer home on Lake Aral, Vermont, her red hair tangled in an anchor chain and her baby abandoned on shore, her family is stunned by disbelief.

    As the police conduct their investigation, Jasper, calls an urgent family meeting to address his doubts about Pony's death. Why had she been swimming away from shore when her infant son Andrew lay unprotected on the beach? How had she managed to drown in a lake she knew so very well? And who was the stranger that their neighbor, a teenage boy, had seen with her on shore? Had any of her siblings known that Pony would be at the house that day? Was she having personal problems, was she depressed? Had she ever revealed the true identity of her baby's father?

    Ultimately, the police rule the drowning an accident. Unsatisfied with the official explanation, William sets out to discover the truth of Pony's death. His investigations quickly lead him to a new and more daunting series of questions, not only about the mysteries in Pony's life but also about the shadowy details of his deceased mother's past and even his own. Before long, he has opened a Pandora's box of family secrets, including one dangerous fact his mother has kept hidden for a generation.

    His two surviving sisters keep their own secrets from the rest of the family. Tinker is called on to look after baby Andrew, but meanwhile her marriage quietly dissolves; Mira, lost in a fugue of sadness, becomes entangled with a disturbing friend of Pony's. Even the revered Jasper proves to hold a mysterious past. William's probing ultimately casts doubt on his own parentage, and the entire edifice of family unity and privilege begins to crumble. Beneath these deceptions lies the secret of Pony's death, a secret which may claim William's life as well. In a frantic, pulse-racing finale, William must confront a demon from a past he never imagined and choose a future that may hold an entirely new existence.

    Pam Lewis's PERFECT FAMILY is a masterful, atmospheric tale that delves into ways in which family secrets, no matter how long they're buried, can wield tremendous power. Keenly observed and carefully plotted, this novel is an explosive new entry into the literary thriller genre. Pam Lewis wowed critics and readers alike with her first novel and is sure to win new fans with this extraordinary second book.


    Pam Lewis lives in rural Connecticut with her husband, Rob Funk. Her lifelong fascination with water and with family secrets is at the root of Perfect Family. Since 1991, she has worked as a freelance writer of business and marketing communications. She is the author of the novel, Speak Softly, She Can Hear. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and various literary magazines.


    By Pam Lewis
    Published by Simon & Schuster
    Publication Date: April 8, 2008
    ISBN-10: 0-7432-9145-X; ISBN-13: 978-0-7432-9145-3
    Price: $25.00

  • Author Photo & Jacket link at publisher

  • Simon & Schuster
  • Thursday, March 6, 2008

    The Big Read

  • Hartford Public Library & Sam Spade

  • National Endowment For The Arts

  • -
    The enduring 'Falcon'

    Oline H. Cogdill
    Mystery columnist
    South Florida Sun Sentinel
    March 4, 2008

    It has been called the greatest private detective novel. While that sounds like hyperbole, few mysteries have rivaled Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon since it was published 78 years ago.

    Hammett's novel has spawned three movies, including the classic 1941 version; plays for radio and stage; comics; numerous reference books; several spoofs and thousands of essays. This month, The Maltese Falcon will attract renewed interest in 15 communities across the United States as part of The Big Read, a program launched by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Florida Center for the Book in Broward County will focus on The Maltese Falcon with countywide events, including book and film discussions and cultural programs.

    The Big Read is a fitting honor for The Maltese Falcon, which hasn't been out of print since its publication in 1930. With its flawed hero, interesting (and unusual) villains and intricate plot, The Maltese Falcon set up a template that still endures in the private-detective genre.

    The story encompasses three of the major mystery plot motivations: greed, power and lust. Sam Spade, a tough-as-nails private detective with dubious ethics, is pulled into the hunt for a jewel-encrusted statue of a falcon that dates to the Crusades. Whether the statue exists or is merely a myth adds layers of duplicity and betrayal to the tale.

    The Maltese Falcon remains as modern as ever — a timeless story equally at home in two centuries. It's rooted in the era in which it is set — 1928 — yet also seems a part of the 21st century. The novel's San Francisco locations not only still exist, but several current walking tours will take visitors to the sites mentioned. A strong sense of sexuality — both straight and gay — permeates the tale, which paradoxically also seems downright chaste because there are no graphic sex scenes.

    Coming after World War I, the novel reflects a new fascination with exotic locales, a realization that the world was getting smaller and that travel to Asia and Africa was within anyone's grasp. The falcon's heritage — steeped in the myth of knights, holy wars and icons — is a forerunner of today's thrillers wrapped around historical lore, right up to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

    The Maltese Falcon has some of the genre's most quoted lines. Yet the most famous of them — "the stuff dreams are made of" — doesn't appear in Hammett's novel. The phrase, adapted from Shakespeare's The Tempest, is only uttered by Humphrey Bogart at the end of the 1941 movie, yet it perfectly sums up the story.

    Samuel Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) was called "the dean of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction" in his New York Times obituary. Hammett himself would have made a good character for his novels; the Times obit quotes an unidentified writer who said "Hammett's work was not fiction but 'life magnified.'"

    Hammett spent eight years as a Pinkerton agent. He suffered from a lung ailment — the result of tuberculosis contracted while serving overseas in World War I — yet he was a chain smoker and an alcoholic. During the 1950s, he spent six months in jail for contempt of court stemming from his affiliation with several left-wing causes. His refusal to cooperate during Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee led to 300 of his novels being removed from State Department libraries around the world. The books were returned after President Eisenhower said publicly that they should not have been removed.

    Hammett's clean, lean prose often has been compared to Hemingway's, and vice versa.

    He wrote only five novels, all published within five years, as well as scores of short stories and novellas. His most famous character, Sam Spade, appeared only in Hammett's third novel and, later, a few short stories.

    Pre-Hammett, the genre was filled with upper-class sleuths or little old ladies who dabbled in detection. Hammett moved the genre from the urbane drawing rooms to the gritty urban streets, a trend that continues.

    But stereotypes of women and gays that would take some 40 years to unravel abound in The Maltese Falcon. In Spade's world, women are either pure — and sexually unattainable — or sexually active and therefore suspect.

    The view of homosexuality is even more troubling. In the novel it's quite clear that villain Joel Cairo is gay, and his sexuality is subject to ridicule and pejoratives. Genre experts maintain that the word "gunsel," used to refer to the young gangster Wilber, had two meanings — a gun-toting felon and an inexperienced homosexual.

    Those stereotypes persisted until Joseph Hansen introduced an openly gay detective in 1970's Fadeout,and Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton and Marcia Muller invented strong women private detectives during the early 1980s.

    Hammett didn't invent the hard-boiled style of mysteries, but he did make readers take notice of it. And The Maltese Falcon is still making readers take notice.

    Oline Cogdill can be reached at; blog at

  • Cogdill's blog, Off The Page
  • Sunday, March 2, 2008

    Aldon Hynes To Blog Doninger Free Speech Hearing In NY Tuesday

    A Little Bit About Aldon ...

    Aldon Hynes first started programming computers in the late 60's. In the early 80's as a consultant to Bell Labs he first got on the Internet.

    Most of his career he has been providing information technology to Wall Street firms. During his time on Wall Street, Aldon became interested in the group dynamics of organizations. In particular, he is interested in Group Relations tradition of Wilfred Bion and Tavistock, how this all relates to group psychology and especially how it plays out in online communities.

  • Complete Article

  • Justice Denied: the View From New York

  • Second Circuit Judge Lineup For Doninger Free Speech Hearing Tuesday
  • [guest March 6] Judy Aron short bio & NOTE

    Judy Aron is Research Director for National Home Education Legal Defense


    and is legislative liaison for CT Homeschool Network

    Ms. Aron is a long time homeschooling activist and has been heavily involved in protecting the rights of parents: particularly homeschoolers.

    She has written numerous articles about homeschooling teens and preparing for college as part of "College Corner" in the CT Homeschool Network monthly newsletter, and she has also written extensively for NHELD. Some of her articles have appeared in Home Education Magazine, Journal of College Admissions, RadioFree West Hartford, online blogs and websites, as well as various newspapers.

    Ms. Aron has been a frequent guest on several radio and cable TV shows speaking abouthomeschooling, parental rights, mental health testing, and a host of other issues. She currently authors her own blog : "Consent of the Governed"

    and produces a West Hartford Cable TV show entitled "What You Should Know". Ms. Aron ran for CT State Representative in November 2007, and enjoys being actively engaged in the democratic process.





    who you are

    what you do on the blog

    how you do it

    what kind of feedback you get

    what kind of impact you have

    what's fun


    could be 15 or 20 minutes or more depending on her read of the audience.

    we'll encourage dialogue and questions.

    there is some interest in home schooling and failure of schools to deliver services while going beyond their roles in other areas [intrusion, civil rights violations, etc.]


  • Consent Of The Governed

  • National Home Education Legal Defense

  • Connecticut Homeschool Network
  • Saturday, March 1, 2008

    Letter Re: "The World According to Zell"

    Dear Editors;

    I am a former investigative reporter for The Hartford Courant. I worked there for 39 ½ years before retiring in late 2005 to become a freelance writer. I am happier and more inspired as a writer now, but I am sad for the paper that was once my home base.

    As soon as The Tribune took over Times Mirror and The Courant, all the Tribune’s officers ever did was cut reporters' and editors' jobs and make more money for themselves. At the time of the sale eight years ago, The Courant was a highly successful newspaper. But gradually it became a shadow of what it was with advertising stickers and advertising on page one, a domination of ads over news content inside with half or less of the news pages it once contained.

    When Sam Zell purchased The Tribune, he promised independence for The Courant’s publisher and editors and those in other Tribune newspapers. He pledged he would create Tribune papers with more robust news staffs. Within weeks, his promises went up in smoke. The Tribune began following the same old depressing path. Its officers for the third of fourth time fired the top editor of the Los Angeles Times because he, like his courageous predecessors, failed to go along with staff cuts and news cut backs.

    Here is what I wrote Zell back in January. “I really think you need to take a good hard look at the officers and managers at the Tribune! You have purchased a huge outlet of news in this country. It is an outlet whose journalistic prowess has declined measurably since it purchased Times Mirror eight years ago. I don’t know what happened before then, but I have observed fairly closely what happened since then, first hand as a Courant staff reporter and retired staff reporter. The Tribune needs some really professional journalists at the top of the corporation to make sure it doesn’t continue to cut the heart out of its news operations nationwide.”

    Obviously, he ignored me (no surprise) and he deserves all the negative editorial comment and insulting cartoons that David Horsey can muster.

    Very Sincerely,

    Thomas “Dennie” Williams

    Freelance Writer

    Litchfield, Ct.