Felons, Fallujah, and Fat Slob?

December 13, 2013 - Leave a Response

Ron Galella

This Sunday on Face the State on WFSB at 11 we are discussing the appellate court ruling in the corruption case of former Hartford mayor Eddie Perez. We are joined by former Chief State’s Attorney Chris Morano, and Hartford defense attorney Walter Hussey.

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Also on the program, Kennard Ray, a convicted felon who was up for a top job at Hartford City Hall.

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Rounding out our guest list is Carl Higbie, a former Navy seal who served in Fallujah, Iraq now running for congress in CT-4.

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Our flashback is a story from 1993 when Governor Lowell Weicker called Donald Trump a bigot and Trump then called him a fat slob and that wasn’t the end of it. See you Sunday.


Thank You Miss Eagan and Thanks to All Teachers

December 13, 2013 - 3 Responses


Of the 26 people who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year, five were educators, and two were first grade teachers. Those women all died while trying to protect their students. Gilles Rousseau told me his daughter Lauren was killed trying to shield the children in her care from the bullets. Victoria Soto hid some of her students in a closet and jumped in front of Adam Lanza as he fired at her other students. One first grade teacher survived after hiding her students in a bathroom. Kaitlin Roig Debellis told my wife Kara Sundlun she really thought she and her students were going to die, and spent what she thought would be her final moments telling the children that they were loved.

The shooting had a big effect on teachers everywhere. On the day of the shooting, teachers at my children’s school were fighting back tears as they tried not to imagine the horror that claimed their colleagues in one of the most noble of professions.

For me, the shooting brought back memories of my first grade teacher at the Callahan School in Norwood, Massachusetts: Miss Rosemary Eagan. After four decades of not having any interaction with a woman who obviously played a huge role in my early years, I looked up her up. I couldn’t find an e-mail address, so I wrote a letter to the woman who taught me how to write, read and so much more.

A first grade teacher is so important in a child’s development. For many children, like me, the first grade is the first time you go to school for the entire day. I still have vivid memories of Miss Eagan and some of the things we learned, and field trips we took. She was caring, nurturing and quite frankly, Miss Eagan was pretty hot. Really. I was recently discussing this with my best friend at the time Kevin Sullivan, who also has memories of being hot for teacher, before we six year olds even knew what hot for teacher meant.

In the letter, I shared with Miss Eagan, now Mrs. Heffernan, my thoughts about Newtown and thanked her for taking care of me and for the guidance and protection that I was oblivious to as a little boy. It was the dawn of the 1970s and no one worried about guns in school, and the potential dangers then were nothing more than running with scissors, clunking heads on the slide at recess or eating too much ice cream on our walking field trip to the Neponset Valley Farm.

Miss Eagan promptly responded in perfect cursive penmanship identical to her signature on my now yellowed report cards. She told me she received the letter on Christmas Eve and it made her holiday extra special.

As we remember the 26 souls lost in Sandy Hook, let’s also remember the teachers who protect our children every day, and may we never see a repeat of December 14, 2012.

Miss Eagan is the teacher on the left in the first row. I’m on the far right in the second row, obviously not looking at the camera. My buddy Kevin Sullivan is to my right.

Breaking News from 1967: Jim Morrison Arrested in New Haven

December 9, 2013 - 3 Responses


Had there been Twitter 46 years ago, the above headline would have been tweeted around the world. Every so often I’ve been asked if our popular Face the State flashback segment could feature Channel 3 coverage of some breaking news that happened in New Haven on December 9th, 1967. That night, the iconic lead singer of the Doors, Jim Morrison, was arrested while on stage at the New Haven Arena, which was demolished about 40 years ago.

I have thoroughly checked the WFSB archives and have come up empty-handed. Sadly, some of our old tapes and films were thrown out years ago and some valuable history has been lost.

As the story goes and you can google the details for more information, but Morrison was maced by a New Haven police officer while doing something with a young woman in a stall before the concert. Later on stage, Morrison told the crowd about it and poked fun at police and was led off stage by officers, who later charged him with lewdness. Although our news coverage of the event is missing, I did find this video on YouTube shot by a fan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htW4MCagbSg


Here is clip from Oliver Stone’s movie “The Doors” depicting the incident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LetNvwmv8XY

Morrison later referred to the New Haven arrest in the song “Peace Frog.”

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention I am a big Doors fan, even I didn’t know anything about the Doors until long after Morrison was dead and the Doors were defunct. I think my parents had a Doors album.


Newtown & New Haven on Face the State

December 6, 2013 - 2 Responses


This Sunday on Face the State we are talking about Newtown and how the media has been doing covering the release of the 9-1-1 tapes and the impending one year mark of the Sandy Hook School shooting.

We are joined by a panel of experts: Duby McDowell, media consultant with McDowell Jewett Communications and former Face the State moderator, also two journalism professors, Ben Bogardus of Quinnipiac University and Marie Shanahan of the University of Connecticut.

Read more about WFSB’s Newtown decision right here: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/wfsb-to-honor-newtowns-request-to-stay-away-on-december-14th/


Also this Sunday, 20 years of change in New Haven is entering a new phase. After two decades as mayor, John DeStefano is stepping down. He joins us along with his development director, Kelly Murphy.

Tune in this Sunday at 11AM for Face the State only on WFSB Channel 3.

Here is a preview of our flashback: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/weicker-remembers-fight-for-mandela/

Weicker Remembers Fight for Mandela

December 6, 2013 - Leave a Response


The death of Nelson Mandela was met with a unique sadness by former Senator and former Governor Lowell Weicker. Weicker was arrested for protesting apartheid in South Africa. Years later, Weicker was one of a handful of Americans personally invited by Mandela to his inauguration.

Governor Weicker spoke exclusively to WFSB about Mandela’s death. Here is that interview: http://www.wfsb.com/video?clipId=9606309&autostart=true

We will also have more from Weicker, this Sunday on Face the State.

A Family Political Dynasty in the Making?

December 3, 2013 - 6 Responses


Thanksgiving in the Klarides family was a special one this year, as three members are now elected officials. The most well known of the Klarides clan is Themis, a state representative and now co-chair of the state Republican party. Her sister Nicole Klarides-Ditria was just re-elected as deputy first selectman in Seymour and the matriarch was elected to the Seymour board of education. Theodora Klarides was sworn in by her daughter, one of the highest ranking women at the state capitol.

I’m not sure if any other Connecticut families have this many relatives elected to office, but if you hear of any, let me know.

My Wheels in “Big Wheels”

December 2, 2013 - 2 Responses

This article by Michael Dooling of the Waterbury Republican American for his “Big Wheels” column.


Michael didn’t ask about my worst car. Read about that here: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/my-saab-story/

Some other car adventures here: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/end-of-the-road-for-the-master-of-the-road/

The Face of the HPD

November 27, 2013 - One Response


They are called spokespeople, but sometimes referred to jokingly as a flack, or mouthpiece. This Sunday on Face the State, we are joined by the spokesman who has become the face of the Hartford Police Department.

Lt. Brian Foley is the one who takes the call from the media in the middle of the night, on a Sunday, or during quiet time with his family. It’s his job. When news breaks, Foley is the one who gives the information to reporters, who chop his words down to soundbites. Foley is the Jay Carney of HPD. Carney, of course, is the person who delivers daily press briefings to the media on behalf of his boss, President Obama.


Many times the news Foley releases ends up on the evening news, with the potential to end up everywhere. Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police found himself talking to reporters all over the world after Newtown.


in 1963, deputy White House press secretary Malcolm Kilduff was covering for his boss when President Kennedy was assassinated. Kilduff was the one who announced the president’s death.


During our taping for Face the State, Lt. Foley talked about the trouble makers who carry out gun violence in the city, and there are fascinating facts about these crimes and about the guns. He also told us about a gun buy back program coming up in the city, and the results HPD gets from it.


You can watch our interview that aired on Face the State with Lt. Foley right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9583827

WFSB to Honor Newtown’s Media Request to Stay Away on December 14th

November 27, 2013 - 67 Responses

Photo: Eric Thayer/Reuters

Some families impacted by the Sandy Hook school shooting have moved out of town, some will take a vacation and go far from Newtown on December 14th, and others will be home on the one year mark of one of the darkest chapters in Connecticut history.

December 14, 2013 will be a somber day in Newtown, and town leaders are hoping people there can reflect, pray, and cry in private. Sunday on Face the State on WFSB, First selectman Pat Llodra asked all members of the media to stay away on that day.

“We are on a grief journey and we are healing and the media can be an impediment to that healing because it creates some barriers that are difficult for our community.”

WFSB management has announced the Eyewitness News team will not be in Newtown on December 14th. Instead, each day leading up to the 14th, we have been profiling those who died in the shooting. Here is the official word from the station: http://www.wfsb.com/story/24122521/no-wfsb-crews-will-be-in-newtown-on-dec-14


Llodra expressed gratitude to the media for spreading the message of what her town has been through in the past year, and how her constituents are healing. She also told me how the town has changed and what she expects in the future. Llodra shared with me her most difficult moment in the past year. The link to the interview is right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9583810

Photo: Stamford Advocate


I asked Llodra about the official report from the State’s Attorney into the shooting and for analysis on the report we are joined by Ryan McGuigan, a former assistant state’s attorney. McGuigan helped Face the State viewers understand some of the details of the report, and gave us a behind the scenes understanding of what it takes to put a report like this together.


You can watch Ryan McGuigan right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9583817

Follow me on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@dennishousewfsb

Whalers Fans Snatching Up 7 Digit Plates

November 26, 2013 - Leave a Response


A friend of mine just picked up his new vanity plate at the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. The state’s new policy allowing 7 digit license plates is opening up a whole new world for people who want to put a message on their bumpers.

My buddy told me WHALERS was taken so he went for HFD WLRS. Makes the license plate game for road trips with the kids much more interesting.

Now he just needs one of these to go with it.



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