May 17, 2007
Hamden's Finest Named
May 7, 2007
Bear At Large
“It's not a cub. This bear looks like it weighs a few hundred pounds,” said police Capt. Ron Smith, of the black bear (pictured above) spotted today around 12:40 p.m. on West Todd Street. Those living in the area need to use caution, he said. Small children should not play outside unattended. Trash or any type of food should not be left outside, Smith said. Police have notified area schools and residents about the big, black bear, which was also seen later in the day around Eramo Terrace at 2:45 p.m. The captain said he's never heard of another bear sighting in Hamden. -- Sharon Bass
January 9, 2007
Top school and bottom town salaries
By Sharon Bass
Last week, the HDN listed the 50 biggest municipal paychecks in 2006. It seemed only fitting, therefore, to publish the education department’s top 50. Also included are the 50 bottom fulltime town salaries. Which leaves the lowest 50 on the school side. TBA.
Some town employees in the bottom 50 list -- who got wind of what the HDN was up to -- asked not to have their names printed. So to play it safe, only salaries and departments are mentioned in that rundown.
Top school salaries for the 2006 calendar year:
Lowest municipal salaries for the 2006 calendar year:
November 3, 2006
September 28, 2006
What’s in a Name?
Thu candidate on thu 1965 Harley Davidson Servi-Car he plans to ride to victory this November. Photo/Andrew Colvin
Windham gubernatorial candidate takes state to court over printing his name and political affiliation on November ballot
By Andrew Colvin
(Editor’s note: In the spirit of the election season, I present this story, which just ran in the community weekly I founded in Windham, Maine -- the Windham Independent. While Councilman John Flanagan is fond of saying Hamden has no runway but they all land here anyway, he evidently has never lived in Maine. Enjoy.)
WINDHAM, Maine -- Windham resident Phillip Morris NaPier said names are a large part to his campaign for governor this fall. In 2002, he went to the Probate Court to change his legal name to Phillip Morris NaPier - Thu PeoPles Hero to give his moniker more zing on the ballot. He also picked a name for his own political party, “Pissed Off Patriots,” that would grab people in the voting booth, he said.
After collecting slightly over 5,000 petition signatures last spring, the name of Phillip Morris NaPier earned a place on the governor’s ballot in the upcoming election. But in July the Maine Secretary of State’s Office informed the candidate that the words “Thu PeoPles Hero” and “Pissed Off Patriots” would not be making such an appearance. NaPier has not been consistent in using “Thu PeoPles Hero” as his last name and the party name is profane, the state said.
Over the last week, NaPier has twice taken the state to court to get the names back on the ballot, but federal and state judges have ruled against him. The Windham candidate’s name will now appear on the ballot as “NaPier, Phillip Morris,” with a political affiliation of “Tax Equality Rebellion.”
NaPier, who lives in a hunting camp on Highland Lake, says it is a case of discrimination since the secretary of state works under one of his opponents in the race, Gov. John Baldacci. “We’re all being cheated by this,” he said.
NaPier disagrees with the state that he has abandoned “Thu PeoPles Hero” (“Thu” because that is how “the” is pronounced, he says). Over the last year he’s signed his name consistently as “Phillip Morris NaPier - Thu PeoPles Hero,” he claims, including on the candidate papers he submitted to the secretary of state. “I never tried to hide it,” he said.
As for “Pissed Off Patriots,” NaPier said, “It’s not a bad word. It’s a higher degree of anger.”
Phyllis Gardiner, the assistant attorney general who represented the state in court, said NaPier has not been consistent in using the addition to his given name, noting it is not on his voter registration card, vehicle registrations or driver’s license. “They (state officials) looked at all of that and couldn’t conclude it was his last name,” she said, adding that it seems more like a tagline or catchphrase. The state based its decision to censor the words on that, not on their content, she said.
Under statute, the state also has the power to take words off the ballot that it finds obscene, profane or prejudicial, Gardiner said. In communications with NaPier, she said the state offered him alternatives for his political affiliation, such as “Thu PeoPles Hero,” a nicer way to say “pissed” or whatever three-word phrase he wanted within the guidelines.
Citing a distrust of state government, NaPier first took his case before Judge D. Brock Hornby of the U.S. District Court in Portland last Wednesday. The names on the suit were John Baldacci, Attorney General Steve Rowe, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap and Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn. NaPier asked the court not only to put the words in question back on the ballot, but to charge a penalty against state officials for using “their positions in government and their official authority to affect the result of the election,” as quoted in Hornby’s written decision.
Essentially the federal court decided it did not have jurisdiction to rule on the state matter, expressing no opinion on the state’s authority.
NaPier then filed with the state court, having a hearing on Monday afternoon. Judge Thomas Delahanty of the Cumberland County Superior Court ruled in the state’s favor. Records indicate that “Thu PeoPles Hero” has not been used consistently as NaPier’s last name, and the status the Probate Court gave the name was unclear, Delahanty said. Citing a dictionary, he also argued that “pissed” is an inappropriate word for the state ballot. NaPier chose “Tax Equality Rebellion” as his new party name.
Gardiner said the dispute has slowed down the ballot process a bit, so it was important to clear things up quickly. For printing and verification the ballots need to be at the printers 45 days before the election -- meaning next week. “There was some considerable urgency there,” she said.
The matter has also held up NaPier’s campaign, he said. It was his plan to drive around the state this summer to barnstorm with his loudspeaker-equipped motorcycle, but he has had to delay that until now. The court cases also cost him over $500, a big cut in his privately funded campaign, he said.Despite it all, NaPier is still confident he will win the election. “I think it’s a fine name,” he said of Phillip Morris NaPier, with or without Thu PeoPles Hero.
August 2, 2006
At 7 a.m. today, about 85 kids are expected to walk, crawl or be carried through the doors of the Alice Peck school. They're a month and a day late. But it's not their fault.
The Hamden/North Haven YMCA signed a three-year lease with the Board of Education in April, to use the Hillfield Road school for its daycare program while it builds a new facility on its main campus at 1605 Sherman Ave. The kids were supposed to start at Alice on July 1. Then lead paint was discovered and the brakes were applied.
Y executive director Sean Doherty said he learned in mid-June there was lead paint on classroom windowsills, over tack boards, on the entrance canopy and the support posts.
"We followed protocol," said Doherty about the paint-removal method. He said he hired a company to scrape off the lead and apply two coats of new paint. Also, the tack boards were "flipped and contained," he said.
On July 28, the Quinnipiack Valley Health District inspected and approved Alice for daycare use, said Leslie Balch, the director. "The work was done properly and is safe for the children to be there," she said.
Three days later, Doherty said, the state Department of Public Health gave it a clean bill of health. He said he got his new daycare license yesterday.
The Y is putting up a 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot daycare center. Doherty said it will cost $2 million to $3 million, and be completed by 2009. Meanwhile, the Y is leasing eight classrooms plus an office at Alice, and has shared use of the gym and playground for $8,750 a month, payable to the BOE. - Sharon Bass
Talk To Us
Letters to the Editor
Copyright© 2005 Hamden Daily News
Site designed by Joanne Kittredge