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Ravi Shankar Arrested Again. Prison Poet Nabbed Month After Arrest for Fleeing Accident Scene.

Central Connecticut State University poetry professor Ravi Shankar was arrested on January 15th for operating a motor vehicle while his license was under suspension. The alleged incident occurred on December 19th, according to online court records.

Shankar was arrested in December for fleeing the scene of an accident, several months after he was promoted to a full professorship at CCSU while serving time in prison on other charges.

Shankar was in court in New Britain today on the most recent charge. Others are pending in New Britain.

 

February 19, 2015   3:39 pm   No Comments

John Pavia to Launch Bid to Lead State Republicans.

John Pavia confirms to Daily Ructions that he will seek the state Republican party chairmanship. The Easton Republican will send a letter to party committee members that the chairman “needs to be politically astute, well organized, skilled at fund raising, and adept at managing a diverse group of constituents with very strong personalities.”

Pavia served as the head of the state party’s finance committee for four years. As chairman, Pavia will tell party activists that “we need to refine the brand.”

Pavia is married to Robin Pavia, who serves as a judge on the Superior Court. Her impending reappointment will be in the hands of Democratic Governor Dannel P. Malloy.

Daily Ructions recalls Pavia, who vigorously promoted himself as a legal commentator in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as a John Rowland apologist after the felonious former governor was revealed in 2003-2004 to have betrayed his public trust.

Pavia is a lawyer who has “spent the last 16 years in the business world, turning around distressed companies.”

Other candidates are expected to join the contest to try to replace battered, travel-loving incumbent Jerry Labriola.

February 19, 2015   10:13 am   No Comments

Linda McMahon Co-Sponsors Christie PAC Event.

CT Christie PAC Event

Connecticut Republican favorite Linda McMahon is with Chris Christie. She’s a co-sponsor of a $5,000 a ducat Friday the 13th event for the bumptious New Jersey Republican governor preparing a 2016 bid for president. Mrs. McMahon knows how to move tickets, so the event ought to be a success, despite Christie’s awful week in London and New Jersey.

Christie supporters will gather at the Greenwich home of Tom Foley to show their support for Christie’s Leadership for America Matters. Christie tried to heave the hopeless Foley over the finish line first in his 2014 rematch with Democratic Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Voters decided that Foley (writer, director, micromanager and star of his own campaign) was not the lesser of the two evils facing them on the November ballot. Foley, a Mitt Romney supporter in 2008 and 2012, joins wife Leslie Foley as a co-sponsor of the event.

The 2016 Republican presidential contest will bring fierce competition for generous supporters to leafy Greenwich. Jeb Bush, whose family has roots in the affluent community, met with supporters there last month.

February 8, 2015   9:09 am   Comments Off

Glastonbury Republicans Vote No Confidence in Labriola.

The Glastonbury Republican Town Committee has had enough of their state party’s blunders and defeats. Tonight the active committee met and voted unanimously that they have no confidence in state party chairman Jerry Labriola, Daily Ructions can report.

Glastonbury Republicans have a strong record of winning elections, so they can spot deficiencies in party leadership when they see it stumble again and again. Their action tonight will influence the many area party activists who see Glastonbury as a party organization to emulate.

One more bad night for hapless Jerry Labriola, and not a good one for his most recent puppet master.

February 4, 2015   7:50 pm   Comments Off

Judge Killian Moves Closer to Race for Hartford Mayor.

Hartford’s veteran probate judge, Democrat Robert Killian, has been taking some soundings on running for mayor this year. An email sent to some he’s spoken to suggests he’ll be in the race before winter ends.

Here’s an email update Judge Killian sent to some of the people who have encouraged him to enter the contest:

               Thanks to the almost 400 people who have shared their ideas
and time with me these past few weeks. You have helped me refine my ideas
about what Hartford needs and what we all should be looking for in a city
government.

As I told you when we met, I believe the city is headed for
a disaster. Most amazingly, I don’t see much evidence that the current city
leadership is aware of our downward trajectory. We’re broke but continue to
spend millions on pretty but useless projects that are unrelated to the real
needs of the people who live here.

Why should a union leader, charged with assuring a fair
shake for his members, believe that we have to discuss pension changes for
new hires or other necessary considerations if we can spend $68 million
dollar plus on a ball field?  Why should a homeowner troubled by blight or
traffic in the neighborhood believe the city lacks the resources to do
anything about it when it can spend millions on IQuilt or a professional
soccer stadium for a moribund league?

I’ve made no secret that I’m thinking about running a
primary for mayor. I promised a period of due diligence followed by a
decision in March-and the necessary resignation from the probate court.

As I continue my investigation of whether I’m whistling
Dixie or preaching a message that strikes a responsive chord, I thought I’d
share with you a 4 week summary of my thinking.

It does not sound like he’s whistling Dixie. There would be some immediate consequences to jumping into the contest. Judge Killian would have to resign his judgeship in order to run for mayor. A special election would be called, perhaps giving incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra a graceful way to exit his re-election campaign and give the Killian campaign an unexpected pool of supporters.

February 4, 2015   11:56 am   Comments Off

Bad News From the Back9. Company Cuts More Than 40% Its Workforce.

The storm begins early at Hartford’s Back9Network with news that the louche golf video operation has cut more than 40% of its 85 employees. The Hartford Business Journal has the story.

Back9 has been making the wrong sort of news lately. It was unable to pay employees in a timely manner early this month. Last week, news broke of an ugly lawsuit between the company and its founder and former chief executive Jamie Bosworth.

State taxpayers have more than a $5 million stake in the stumbling start-up that was announced with fanfare and hit hopes by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in 2012.

January 26, 2015   11:29 am   Comments Off

NY Times Uncovers More Shocking Practices at Dora Schriro’s Rikers Island. “Disarray” in Hiring.

New York Times reporters Michael Schwiritz and Michael Winerip have more on Connecticut State Police leader Dora Schriro’s sordid tenure leading Rikers Island. This time the reporters focus on lax hiring practices near the conclusion of Schriro’s reign of abuse at the vast facility.

Here’s the heart of the story:

In a review of 153 applications of people the Correction Department recently hired, city investigators found that more than one-third had problems that either should have disqualified them or needed further scrutiny. Ten had been arrested more than once, and 12 had previously been rejected by the New York Police Department, six of them for “psychological reasons”, among other issues. Additionally, 79 had relatives or friends who were current or former inmates, a potential security threat, officials said.

The investigation found hiring practices to be in disarray: There was no screening for gang affiliation; most of the application process was not computerized; and employment screeners did not monitor phone calls between inmates and applicants.

Not even the deputy commissioner who oversaw hiring could explain how the evaluation system worked.

The findings underscore the profound dysfunction at Rikers Island and help explain how a culture of violence and corruption has come to flourish in the city jails.

Schriro has been nominated by Democratic Governor Dannel P. Malloy to continue to lead the state’s leading law enforcement agency. The Times revealed last year that Schriro presided over a culture of “Medieval violence” at Rikers.

January 15, 2015   3:11 pm   Comments Off

It Begins: Waterbury Hospital Announces Layoff Plan.

The state government-induced collapse of the Tenet Healthcare proposal to buy Waterbury Hospital is beginning to have consequences for the troubled hospital’s employees. The head of the hospital, Darlene Stromstad, announced Thursday the implantation of a four-part plan to cope with deteriorating finances at the 126 year old institution.

Here’s the plan:

  • Reducing the workforce through eliminating open positions, eliminating some full- and part-time positions, and reducing hours. One-third of these jobs come from managerial staff, one-third come from union employees and one-third are non-union employees. It is estimated that about100 people will be impacted from both clinical and non-clinical departments; the total impact will not be known until the labor union “bumping process” is completed.
  • Eliminating and postponing all non-patient care initiatives.
  • Closing services such as community blood draw stations, consolidating some services and physician practices, and making cutbacks in the location and hours of service.
  • Changing the way the hospital operates, including potential outsourcing and collaborative opportunities.

Here’s the reason for the plan:

About 70% of Waterbury Hospital’s payer mix comes from government programs (Medicare and Medicaid), which do not cover the full cost of care for patients. This, along with continued cutbacks in government reimbursement and other financial implications of reform, has led to significant financial pressure for Waterbury Hospital. In FY2015, the hospital will be reimbursed $9.77 million less for delivering essentially the same services as it did the year before.

This may be a glimpse of the unhappy future of healthcare in Connecticut.

January 15, 2015   3:04 pm   Comments Off

How the Game’s Rigged in One Photo.

Themis Karides at Inaugural Ball

The new House Republican Minority Leader, Themis Klarides, must not have been able to find anyone from her own party to escort her on the red carpet for her introduction at last week’s inaugural ball. She chose two insider Democrats to accompany her, as this Hartford Courant photo memorializes. The chief of staff for the Senate Democrats, Vincent Mauro, is on the Seymour Republican’s right.  Mark Ojakian, Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s chief of staff, takes Klarides’ left flank.

The choice of escorts reveals where Klarides will lead the House Republicans–into the arms of the Democrats. “Sellout” is the word making its way around Republican circles. Moderate Democrats, who are trying to assess their strength for the coming deluge of tax and spending increases, will be wary of trusting Klarides and her loose lips.

For a party leader a voracious appetite for favors from those with the power to grant them comes with frequent betrayals of colleagues and the public.

Margaret Thatcher provided a credo for successful leadership on the day she was chosen to head her dispirited party 40 years ago: “You can’t exist as a party unless you have a clear philosophy and clear message.”

January 12, 2015   10:11 am   Comments Off

Colin Is Right. Cathy Lambert Malloy Inflicted Low Moment on Inauguration.

Colin McEnroe wrote about the extraordinary crass display of resentment by Cathy Lambert Malloy at Wednesday’s inauguration. He is right. That is one nasty piece of work.

American public life reserves a special place of ridicule for the sore winner. Lambert Malloy, who is said to have something to do with the arts, has complained of her life as a second-class citizen because the public does not provide her with a car that she thinks suits her. Second-class no more, her crass swing at vanquished Republican Tom Foley renders her simply classless.

Connecticut has found its state embarrassment. Lambert Malloy is a charm-free zone.

January 11, 2015   6:14 pm   Comments Off