Archive for December, 2006

Joy for the Kids and Scot Haney
December 22, 2006

This weekend, you will see the Eyewitness News team as never before — unless of course you’ve been lucky enough to attend a Joy for the Kids Concert.

Since 2004, the annual concert has featured everything from Al Terzi in a chipmunk costume to Scot Haney Irish step dancing in red sequins.

I’m not kidding.

This concert is Scot’s brainchild. He loves Christmas, loves raising money for charity, and loves to sing. So, a public performance was a perfect fit.

“If I wasn’t in television, I’d be a singer,” Scot told me with conviction.

Scot’s penchant for crooning is no secret to Channel 3 viewers, who have heard “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” since he joined the Early Warning Weather team in 1998.

He loves sharing the story of how he met John Denver on a street in Manhattan years ago, and often pays tribute to the late country star by singing one of his Christmas Songs.

The 2006 Joy for the Kids concert was the third Scot has produced. This really is a labor of love for him. He starts planning it early in the year, then by September, his vision is on paper and rehearsals are scheduled with the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, a talented group of musicians.

Scot writes much of the lyrics, secures props, makes phones calls, and basically runs the show from start to finish — a daunting task. We practice at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, working through off-key notes, sore throats, cancellations, and sheet music revisions. Most importantly, all of this is done while we balance covering and broadcasting the news.

We’ve really come a long a way since the inaugural show in 2004. This year, tickets sold out in 12 hours! Next year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see people up and down Church Street camping out in front of the Hartford Stage! How much heat do those giant iconic red letters throw?

Planning is already under way for the 2007 show. Scot has some zany ideas for next year, including a skit with grass skirts and a rendition of “Mele Kalikimaka,” which is Hawaiian for “Merry Christmas To You.” Could it be Al in the grass skirt? We’ll have to wait and find out!

In addition to Al and Scot, this year’s show featured performances by Denise D’Ascenzo, Eric Parker, meteorologists Bruce DePrest, Mark Dixon, and Darren Sweeney, Mike Hydeck, Kevin Hogan, Irene O’Connor, my wife, Kara Sundlun, and me — that’s just the news staff. You’ll also see Governor Rell, Brad Davis and a host of dignitaries and celebrities.

We all had a blast doing this show. It is a night of tremendous fun, and best of all, we raised roughly $40,000 for a charity near and dear to our hearts: The Channel 3 Kids Camp.

Channel 3 will air highlights just in time for the holidays.

Saturday, Dec. 23 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 24 at 12:35 a.m.

Monday, Dec. 25 at 5 a.m., 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The ticket revenues support the Channel 3 Kids Camp, so don’t forget to do your part for the kids!

Enjoy the show, and you can leave a comment about it by clicking here!

Nutmeg Names: Tom Meskill
December 18, 2006

The country was trying to get out of the Vietnam War, the Baltimore Colts were Super Bowl champs and Three Dog Night topped the charts with “Joy to the World.”

The year was 1971 and Tom Meskill was beginning his term as governor of Connecticut.

Some 35 years later, I sat down with the former governor to see what he is doing now at age 78.

He is still working. We talked about his short, yet eventful stint, as leader of our state. Did you know he pushed to have a monorail built at Bradley Airport with express service to and from Hartford? I bet you wish we had that today.

Meskill also had a close relationship with then-President Richard Nixon and said he owes his present job to his late friend.

Meskill served in between Gov. John Dempsey and Gov. Ella Grasso, both Democrats, and often gets lost in conversations about them.

Three decades out of office has given the former governor a new perspective about running our state and he shares his thoughts with on Eyewitness News This
Morning. Feel free to share your memories of our 82nd governor.

Nutmeg Names: Ann Uccello
December 2, 2006

This Saturday, Eyewitness News kicks off a new and, hopefully, somewhat regular feature: Nutmeg Names.

We are going to take a look at some local folks who have made a mark on Connecticut.

First up, former Hartford Mayor Ann Uccello. In 1967, she became the first woman elected mayor of our capital city, and the first woman in America to be elected mayor of a major city.

Uccello was also the last Republican mayor of Hartford. She became one of the popular politicians in our state, and eventually went on to work for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in Washington, D.C.

Mayor Uccello has great stories to tell, too many to fit in the confines of Eyewitness News. She is a fascinating woman.

Learn more about this political pioneer on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 2 on Eyewitness News This Weekend between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

When you see it, be sure share your thoughts right here in my blog. Just click on Comments!

Thanks!

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