Archive for April, 2010

Say “cheese”
April 30, 2010

Every so often we television types must have our pictures taken…professionally, that is.   The one in “the Hartfordite” masthead was taken in late 2006, so I was due for new ones. 

 I recently had a shoot with the always awesome Brian Ambrose (seen below,) who is the official “say cheese” guy for Channel 3.    His work is also seen in Hartford Magazine, in fact Brian photographed my daughter and me back in 2007.  Here is a link to that.

http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2007/06/21/cover-girl/

Anyway, here are a few of the 100 or so shots taken.  The bosses will pick the ones they like and they’ll be wrapped up with a stick of gum and sold as anchor trading cards.    A 1986 Denise D’Ascenzo card is worth big bucks now, but not as much as  rare 1993 Al Terzi cards from both WFSB and WTNH.   Seriously, the images will be used in promotions and cards that we give to viewers, some of whom collect them from different stations.     I guess somewhere I’m hanging under a magnet on a refrigerator with Lisa Carberg, Joe Furey and  Sonia Baghdady. 

Here is Brian’s website http://www.brianambrosephoto.com/

Hartford Whalers Mugs Hit the Market
April 29, 2010

Hartford Whalers fever continues with coffee mugs now for sale.   Bob Chamberlain of Simsbury told me he was inspired by seeing former team owner Howard Baldwin on  “Face the State,”  and our discussion about the revival of Whalers merchandise.   Chamberlain decided to manufacture these mugs.

If you want a mug they are sold at the Old State House gift shop in downtown Hartford. 

Dr. Petit talks about his life, lawmakers and the legal system
April 29, 2010

As I prepared to interview Dr. William Petit on “Face the State” my primary concern was how we could make this man feel at ease.    He’s been through a hell many of us don’t even want to think about, and to say every day for him is tough, would be a huge understatement. 

Before he arrived at the station, I started to get a little nervous, hoping I would say the right thing.    Right away, Dr. Petit put ME at ease!  He asked me to call him “Bill,” and we spent a good amount of time talking  before the taping.

In the interview we talked about how he is doing, his foundation, and his quest to get justice for victims.  He thinks about three victims named Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela every day, all day. 

Dr. Petit also talked about candidates who support abolishing the death penalty,  and how he hopes they are not successful.  He also has a message for statemakers.  Speaking of politics, I asked him whether he would run for office. 

Tune in this morning at 11AM 

Here is a link to the Petit Family Foundation

http://www.petitfamilyfoundation.org/

Here is a link to the Prudence Crandall Center

http://www.prudencecrandall.org/

Blumenthal & Alpert to Appear Together for Charity
April 29, 2010

The two Democratic rivals in the race to succeed Senator Chris Dodd will appear together on Monday in the name of charity.

Richard Blumenthal and Merrick Alpert will be models in the annual “Capital Catwalk,” a fashion show to benefit Dress for Success Hartford.  The organization helps prepare women to enter the working world.    

The two will appear in a part of the show featuring the candidates for the Senate.  All the candidates were invited to appear.  Republican Peter Schiff and independent candidate John Mertens will also show off fashions from local stores including Stackpole, Moore and Tryon and Mariella Creations.    

Several local celebrities and personalities will also be models.

The Capital Catwalk takes place this Monday night at the Hartford Stage.

More Casinos in Connecticut?
April 27, 2010

How would this look at the corner of Main and Trumbull? 

That’s been a topic touched on by two of the Democrats running for Governor.  You can read all it about in CT Confidential, the masterfully written blog of our  good friend at the Courant, Rick Green.

http://blogs.courant.com/rick_green/2010/04/lamont-and-malloy-talking-casi.html

Something tells me the next governor might have to deal with the real possibility of debating whether to expand casino gambling in our state.   Why?   2010 could be the year Massachusetts legalizes casinos.  Bay Staters spend about a billion dollars a year at  Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick wants to keep that money in his state.  

According to reports, more people from Massachusetts go to Foxwoods than from Connecticut.    If casinos open in Massachusetts, every city town in Connecticut will suffer.    Right now, the state gets 25% of revenues from slot machines.   If Bay Staters stop coming here, the amount of the check the casinos cut to the state of Connecticut will shrink dramatically.   Losing all that slot revenue to Massachusetts might force our state to consider expanding gambling here. 

However, in order to expand gambling in the state, the next governor would have to sit down and  talk to the Mohegans and Pequots about ending their casino monopoly.     If Bridgeport wants a casino, then Hartford most assuredly will, too.    Casino gambling would help both those cities.  Three casinos in Detroit have created 8 thousand permanent jobs and pump a billion dollars into the local economy. 

Keep an eye on what happens in Massachusetts this year.  It could have a huge impact on Connecticut.

Questions Taxpayers Should Be Asking
April 27, 2010

 

The City of Hartford is beginning budget hearings to talk about Mayor Perez’ proposed tax hike.     Citizens aren’t happy about paying more taxes and there are some questions taxpayers should be asking city officials.

1.    Why has the city lost so many taxpayers since 2005?   ING, Mass Mutual, Met Life, WFSB, the Goodwin Hotel, T.J. Maxx, and the list goes on, and on.  

2.    Rather than raise taxes on an already burdened citizenry,  why not attract new business to the city? 

3.      Why have dozens of companies opened stores and restaurants in the surrounding towns, but avoided Hartford?

4.       What is the city doing to recruit new business to the city?  

5.       Why are there so many empty storefronts downtown?  

6.       What additional services will we get in exchange for paying higher taxes?

7.       Does the administration feel responsible for the loss of thousands of jobs in the city, and the loss of millions in tax revenue?

November Senate Preview?
April 27, 2010

This November there will be likely be three candidates on the ballot for the U.S. Senate seat held by Senator Chris Dodd.  Could this be the lineup of the Republican, Democrat and independent we will be choosing from this fall?      Maybe…but this trio will be representing the Senate race this Monday at the Hartford Stage.

Peter Schiff could emerge as the Republican nominee if Rob Simmons and Linda McMahon continue to damage each other so badly, that the GOP decides to turn to someone who still has all limbs intact.  Richard Blumenthal is the front runner for the Democrats, and John Mertens is running as an independent.

All three will meet voters this Monday in a ……fashion show.  Yes, the annual Capital Catwalk benefits Dress for Success Hartford, an organization that helps women prepare to enter the working world.   The show also features local celebrities and personalities modeling the latest fashions from local stores and boutiques.  There is also great food from local restaurants. 

Politicians like it because it gives them a chance to show a different side to voters, and it benefits a great cause.  Another perk is free media coverage!

All of the Senate candidates were invited to be models this year and we are happy to have the above trio helping us raise money for charity.   If you would like tickets e-mail Dress for Success at hartford@dressforsuccess.org

Kara and I are emceeing the event.  We’ll see you there.

Future Politician?
April 27, 2010

I had to share this photo I took of my son on the lawn of the State Capitol.  He instantly moved his arm as if to wave to a crowd.    Someday if he chooses politics as a career this picture could be in a campaign ad…who knows?

The City Blog Reading List
April 26, 2010

In addition to wfsb.com, the Hartford Courant and other newspapers, websites and magazines I also read a good amount of blogs.   There are so many blogs out there I enjoy monitoring and of those that focus on the happenings in the City of Hartford, here are my recommendations:  

http://urbanamericanortheast-hartford.blogspot.com/

<a href="http://sadcityhartford.blogspot.com/

http://www.amybergquist.com/blog/

http://www.realhartford.org/

http://hartfordsigns.blogspot.com/

http://blogs.courant.com/cityline/

www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?/forum/63-greater-hartford/

http://wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com/

http://urbancompass.net/

Any Photographers Available to Take New Picture of Hartford?
April 26, 2010

Here we go again.  Another commercial showing a dated photograph of your capital city.

An astute viewer brought this to my attention.     It is a clip from a Ned Lamont commercial showing an aerial shot of Hartford.   The casual viewer will instantly recognize the landmarks like CityPlace (Connecticut’s tallest skyscraper,) and the iconic Travelers Tower and the Civic Center Mall.  The mall?  Huh? 

I don’t know for sure how old this picture is, but my guess it was taken in 2004.    The mall was demolished in 2005.     Look closely and you will see there is no Hartford 21, no Science Center, and no Marriott.  The Connecticut Convention Center appears to be under construction.  Groundbreaking for that was held in 2003.   

This is the second time in the past few months a commercial has aired showing an old picture of the Hartford skyline.    The other commercial was even worse, showing a picture that dated back to 2001. 

Here at Eyewitness News, we, too have video and pictures of Hartford from 2001 and 2004.    They are in our archives.   Guess what we do if we need an image of the city for something current, like for right now in 2010 ?  

We go out a and shoot some new video or take a new picture.     Maybe more people need to do that.

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