Archive for June, 2011

Connecticut Becomes Scarborough Country
June 30, 2011

Here’s one last blog entry about Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough and his visit to Face the State with his co-host and Channel 3 alumna Mika Brzezinski.   I’ve received several e-mails about Scarborough’s move to our state.   Yes, he is now a Connecticut resident.

Here are some of his Connecticut quotes from Face the State:

On Sunday liquor sales:   “That is one of the great surprises that you don’t sell beer on Sundays in Connecticut.  I think they even do that in Alabama.”

On Mika living here:  she grew up in the young  Marxist league of greater Connecticut

On getting his Connecticut driver’s license:  I got my license today, at the great DMV.  It is ruthlessly run, very efficient

On moving here:  We looked around and fell in love and it is a great place to raise a family

Watch Joe and Mika’s appearance on Face the State :

Malloy to Endorse Segarra in Mayor’s Race; Wooden to Drop Out
June 30, 2011

Governor Malloy is stepping into the mayor’s race in Hartford  and will endorse Mayor Pedro Segarra, sources have told Eyewitness News.   The two will appear at a news conference this afternoon at City Hall with fellow Democrat and mayoral candidate Shawn Wooden, who is expected to drop out of the race and throw his support behind Segarra.

That would leave two other Democrats in the race, Edwin Vargas and J. Stan McCauley.   The Republican candidate right now is 2003 nominee Mike McGarry.

More later on Channel 3 Eyewitness News.

Exclusive: First Images of Adam Zachs During Extradition
June 29, 2011

Eyewitness News has obtained exclusive pictures of convicted killer Adam Zachs as he was being extradited from Mexico to Connecticut.     CBS News producer Susana Seijas worked closely with Mexican authorities to get the first images of Zachs as  he was handed over to two federal marshals from Connecticut and a West Hartford police officer.      In this photograph, the handcuffed Zachs is sitting near another prisoner.

A document released by the Mexican Attorney General also revealed an interesting nugget of information; aliases used by Zachs during his time on the run.   In February, Eyewitness News reported Zachs went by the name “Ruben Fridman,”  but court papers shown to us today reveal he also used the names “Mitchell Robertson,” and “Adam Birnbaum.”

In  the new picture, Zachs appears to be a little thinner than he was in February when this shot was taken on the day of his capture.   

Zachs has been in the notorious Reclusorio Norte prison since then.    After being flown from Mexico City to JFK Airport in New York, he was driven to Hartford where he will spend his homecoming in lockup.   He’ll face a judge at Hartford Superior Court in the morning.    Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for complete coverage and more exclusive details.

also read:



Suburban Businesswomen to Rehab Historic Downtown Hartford Building
June 28, 2011

You’ve heard of the Butt Ugly Building and Capitol West, but downtown is blemished by at least a half dozen other eyesores which have great potential.   Eyewitness News can now report one of those vacant buildings is getting a new lease on life.

50 Elm Street is over a 100 years old and has been in gradual decline in recent years.   A few years back it looked like it simply needed a few new shutters and some paint, but lately it is been an awful ambassador for Hartford to passersby.   Situated on the edge of the busy Pulaski Circle with great views of the skyline and Bushnell Park, it sadly featured boarded up windows and broken glass.

The new owners declined our request for an interview, but according to the City of Hartford’s Chief Operating Officer David Panagore, Aneka and Judy Young of Avon have big plans for 50 Elm and the resources to see the project through.    Panagore told me the building will be the new headquarters for the AC Young Company, which operates several McDonald’s in the city and the suburbs.    Panagore also said there are plans for a cafe at 50 Elm and a residential component.   According to a spokesperson for McDonald’s, it will not be home to one of their fast food restaurants. 

The hope is this major investment in this area, a stone’s throw from City Hall and the Capitol,  will spark renewed development in this part of Downtown, known as SoDo.   Neighbors have long complained about the neglected Elm Street buildings and the detriment they were to the neighborhood.   The historic building next to 50 Elm is also in dire need of a makeover, and the owner, local artist Dennis Peabody, told me a while back he was waiting for 50 Elm to sell before he fixes up his building, perhaps making it into a gallery.     We can expect to hear something about his property soon.

There are other downtown buildings ripe for the picking.   111 Pearl Street sits at a major intersection.   There have been suggestions that instead of sinking $5,000,000 into tearing down Capitol West for a vacant lot, that amount of money could do wonders in helping transform 111 Pearl into lofts and retail.

Morning Joe on Face the State & Vintage Mika
June 27, 2011

Here is the video of Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe on WFSB Hartford’s Face the State with Dennis House

part 1:

part 2:

also read:


Scarborough on Malloy & Christie
June 24, 2011

Former Congressman Joe Scarborough, of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC weighed in this week on the comparison between Governor Malloy and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

During a taping of “Face the State,” Scarborough had this to say: 

We’ve had Governor Christie on.   Obviously I’m a small government conservative, that’s my tack.  Governor Malloy has come on and I think he has done a very good job basically saying New Jersey is doing it their way, but Connecticut is not New jersey, and he has gone a completely direction.   Do you know what I like about Governor Malloy and he will hate hearing this.  What he has in common with Chris Christie is they are both fighters.  If you want to do big things, in tough times like these, I’ve always said when I was in politics,  they can’t stop you if you are going 90 miles per hour, and you have to charge ahead and that is what both are doing.

You can watch the complete interview with Mika and Joe this Sunday at 11AM only on Channel 3.

Hartford Whalers Fans in Chicago
June 23, 2011

Hartford Whalers gear is a great conversation piece, even hundreds of miles from the Constitution State.    While in Chicago,  I was amazed by how many people approached me to comment on my Whalers shirt.   No fewer than 10 people at Wrigley Field wanted to talk about major league hockey in Connecticut’s capital city, some were visiting from the homeland (the Cubs were playing the Yankees,)  others were fans from other cities who want to see the NHL restore a franchise to Hartford. 

 My buddies Mark Miller and Mike Guerrieri showing the Whalers love  in the shadow of the Hancock Tower on the shores of Lake Michigan and on Michigan Avenue

Whalers gear has been a hot seller in the past year, and has been spotted on the celebrity bodies and heads from Megan Fox to Adam Sandler in his recent movie.    The increased visibility of the beloved logo has helped promote a renewed hope and effort for a return of the Hartford Whalers.

With that in mind, I had a crazy idea in Chicago.   We nearly bumped into Vince Vaughn on the street and I thought: “wouldn’t it be cool if he wore a Whalers hat for a picture?”    He was with some people and was soon lost in a sea of people on Michigan Avenue, but I think he would have done it.   After all, Vaughn is a hockey fan.  Next time.

also read:



Mika Brzezinski at WFSB: The Hartford Years
June 23, 2011

The Mika story has moved here:

“Morning Joe” on Face the State
June 22, 2011

Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough marveling over their Hartford Whalers hats

We are joined this week on Face the State by Channel 3 alumna Mika Brzezinski and her co-host on “Morning Joe,”  former Congressman Joe Scarborough.   The MSNBC duo stopped by our studios on their way to a fundraiser with Governor Malloy at the Hartford Public Library.   We talked politics, vodka, (yes, you read that correctly,) family, Mika’s WFSB career and her new book.    

Mika and Joe had to stop on their way to WFSB to run a quick errand:  get Joe a driver’s license at the  Department of Motor Vehicles because he is now one of us, a Connecticut resident!     When they arrived Mika was by greeted by plenty of old friends including Kara Sundlun,  Denise D’Ascenzo, and Al Terzi.    Our webmaster, Steve Yablonski was also thrilled to see the pair, because he got his start in  TV news as a Morning Joe intern.   The ageless Mika looked fantastic.    It was the first time I’d met Joe, and I’ll tell you…what an awesome guy, very down to earth.     

We have some vintage video and images of Mika during her Channel 3 years. Watch our interview with Joe and Mika right here:

part 1:

part 2:

Mika and Joe preparing for their Face the State taping with WFSB engineer Dave Chmielewski webmaster and former Morning Joe intern Steve Yablonski

Joe Scarborough meeting the dean of Connecticut television news, Al Terzi


Finally, Someone Said It: Vandals are Losers
June 20, 2011

This has been the week for vandalism.     This past weekend, as I rode a train from O’Hare International Airport to downtown Chicago, I was stunned by the amount of graffiti I saw.    Criminals had used spray paint to damage someone else’s property…lots of it.   I was in Providence yesterday and saw more vandalism;  unrecognizable symbols painted on signs, buildings, you name it.   As always, one word instantly came to my mind when I think about the people who commit vandalism, but I’ve been hesitant to use it on the air.   

 Coincidentally, when I returned to Connecticut late yesterday, I was saddened by yet another vandalism story, yet thrilled to read that one of my fellow journalists had used that very word that has been on the tip of my tongue whenever I report on vandalism:  loser. 

Helen Ubinas of the Hartford Courant used the word to describe the vandals who trashed an historic tree in Elizabeth Park.   Here is a brief, yet eloquent excerpt from one of Helen’s reports:

“It’s unclear what city officials and cops are doing about this right now, but may I suggest they take this seriously and go after these losers? “

Losers is the perfect word to label vandals.   Think about it.   We are talking about someone who thinks it is a great idea to go into a store, buy spray paint,  climb a wall in some cases, and then deface property with jibberish.    Other vandals, er, losers,  are much more destructive.

The same night  a group of troublemakers was whittling away at a tree, some other vandals in Ansonia were breaking windshields, slashing tires, even puncturing a backyard swimming pool.   I don’t think anyone would argue those Valley vandals are…losers.    This came days after some other losers slashed 93 tires on school buses in New Milford.   What kind of sick person does this?    A loser. 

I’ve been a victim of vandalism.  My car was keyed by, yes, a loser.

So thank you Helen Ubinas for saying what should been said a long time ago, something many of us have been thinking for a long time.


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