Field of Screams

23Jun08

You read it in the Post

Mayor James R. Miron said he had not heard about problems at the three fields. He added that if concerned parents want to see these fields get more attention, they should urge town officials to increase funding for the Parks Department and create a division solely responsible for maintenance of local ballfields.

That way he can appoint some crony to administer the division. Too bad there is no money left over from renovating his office.

Advertisements


16 Responses to “Field of Screams”

  1. 1 mikereynolds

    “Phillip Handy, superintendent of the Parks Department, said the department’s resources are stretched thin and spread out among 45 fields in town, “and the weather hasn’t been very cooperative this spring.”

    Mr. Handy is either trying to blow smoke at the reporter or really doesn’t have a clue. The fields in Straftord, except for Short Beach, are terrible and have been that way for years. Don’t blame the weather this year. What are the excuses for the last 5 years?

    My son has been in Stratford Little League for 5 years. Most of the infields are strewn with rocks, ruts, and grass outcroppings. The fields at Wooster and Nichols are probably the worst. Stonybrook isn’t much better.

    Speaking for myself, I’m not asking for infields like at Yankee Stadium. How about screening the fields every couple or years and fill in the holes in the spring? How about making sure a backstop actually stops a ball? How about making sure the player benches and viewing stands are safe?

    Just taking those few steps aren’t too much to ask.

  2. 2 jezebel282

    Mike,

    I have an idea!

    Why don’t you go to one of Miron’s “Open Door” meetings? That’s what they are supposed to be for.

    Let us know how it goes.

  3. 3 sudds

    Question: when I was growing up in New Haven the players/parents had fundraisers every year to support our little league fields… do the parents of Stratford little leaguers not do things like this???

  4. 4 mikereynolds

    Jez,
    Somehow I don’t think your suggestion was very sincere…it sounds more like a challenge than a suggestion. If I’m wrong I apologize.

    Sudds,
    Each parent who signs his child up for Stratford Little League pays $75-$85. Stratford Little League holds can shakes outside Stop&Shop and solicits sponsorship from local businesses. This all goes to pay for insurance, uniforms, umpires, balls, and other equipment. There are no parent organized fund raisers that I’m aware of.

    Other than the two fields at Short Beach no other field has landscaping equipment. Stratford Little League relies on the town to maintain the other fields.

    Also, don’t forget its not just Stratford Little League playing on town fields. You’ve got PAL, Pony, softball leagues, etc.

  5. 5 1george1

    The cost of the Pensions to 572 Defined Benefit Plan retirees, to the average
    Tax Payer of Stratford is about 12 % of their existing Tax Bill.
    The cost of the was as high as 18 %, when the Mils were worth about $ 3.3
    Million in 2004, and now a Mil is $ 4.5 million.

    Just imagine if the PENSION had a CAP, with very generous Pensions, and there
    were not all sorts of outrageous giveaways over the years, and if the UNFUNDED
    MANDATES were paid….

    There would be more money for Schools, Little League, Fire Trucks and equipment,
    Building Maintenance, Economic Development AND the MIL RATE would be in the
    LOW 20s.

    Miron’s first year he claimed he wanted an 8 + % increase when it was really 13 %.
    This year the increase was 1.3 %.

    I contend Stratford’s Taxes are 30 % – 40 % too high, compared to BEST PRACTICES and to comparative GOOD MUNICIPLE GOVERNMENTS.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    The Devils are in the details, which is why I sided with Gavin’s position vs. Jon
    Best, who eventually may be proven correct, in his positions on LBW.

    In the Budget, there is wasteful spending, steered situations, and limited
    transparency.
    The Revenue from NEW Economic Development is NIL.
    Revenue comes from Tax Payers, Grants, and various licenses.
    Reassessment kited the Tax Base.
    Any body see what happened to the Housing Market and the affect on the
    future Re-evaluations?

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Jim Orlowe was on the Economic Development Commission.
    Didn’t seem to accomplish anything except hold luncheons or dinners and
    gather information.
    Jim told me a few years ago that the first mayor would have an impossible
    job, because of the pending cost of things like the Water Treatment Plant
    and other things.
    It is starting to look like the Mirons will be sacrificial lambs for the wolfpack
    in Milford, Heartlessford, and D. C.
    Strangely a couple of them and their allies seem to embrace the situation?

  6. 6 jezebel282

    Mike,

    “Jez,
    Somehow I don’t think your suggestion was very sincere…it sounds more like a challenge than a suggestion. If I’m wrong I apologize.”

    Insincere? ME?

    Apology accepted. But do let us know how it goes.

    Where I grew up the “fields’ were made out of concrete and asphalt. You had to watch out for your broom or mop too. It would become a baseball bat as soon as you took your eyes off of it.

  7. 7 1george1

    My apologies in advance to those who object to off color humor, but:

    Here are 6 reasons why you should think before you
    speak – the last one is great!
    Have you ever spoken and wished that you could
    immediately take the words back…
    or that you could crawl into a hole?
    Here are the Testimonials of a few people who did….

    FIRST TESTIMONY:

    I walked into a hair salon with my husband and three
    kids in tow and asked loudly, “How much do you charge
    for a shampoo and a blow job?” I turned around and walked
    back out and never went back. My husband didn’t say a word
    …he knew better.

    SECOND TESTIMONY:

    I was at the golf store comparing different kinds of golf balls.
    I was unhappy with the women’s type I had been using.
    After browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one
    of the good-looking gentlemen who works at the store.
    He asked if he could help me.
    Without thinking, I looked at him and said, “I think I like
    playing with men’s balls.”

    THIRD TESTIMONY:

    My sister and I were at the mall and passed by a store
    that sold a variety of candy and nuts. As we were looking at the
    display case, the boy behind the counter asked if we needed
    any help. I replied,
    “No,I’m just looking at your nuts.” My sister started to laugh
    hysterically. The boy grinned, and I turned beet-red and walked
    away. To this day, my sister has never let me forget.

    FOURTH TESTIMONY:

    While in line at the bank one afternoon, my toddler
    decided to release some pent-up energy and ran amok.
    I was finally able to grab hold of her after receiving looks
    of disgust and annoyance from other patrons.
    I told her that if she did not start behaving
    “right now” she would be punished. To my horror, she
    looked me in the eye and said in a voice just as threatening,
    “If you don’t let me go right now, I will tell Grandma that
    I saw you kissing Daddy’s pee-pee last night!”
    The silence was deafening after this enlightening exchange.
    Even the tellers stopped what they were doing.
    I mustered up the last of my dignity and walked out of the
    bank with my daughter in tow.
    The last thing I heard when the door closed behind me,
    were screams of laughter.

    FIFTH TESTIMONY:

    Have you ever asked your child a question too many times?

    My three-year-old son had a lot of problems with potty
    training and was on him constantly. One day we stopped
    at Taco Bell for a quick lunch in between errands.
    It was very busy, with a full dining room. While enjoying my taco,
    I smelled something funny, so of course I checked my
    seven-month-old daughter, and she was clean.
    The realized that Danny had not asked to go potty in a while,
    so I asked him if he needed to go, and he said “No”.
    I kept thinking “Oh Lord, that child has had an accident,
    and I don’t have any clothes with me.”
    Then I said, “Danny, are you SURE you didn’t have an accident?”
    “No,” he replied. I just KNEW that he must have had an accident,
    because the smell was getting worse.
    Soooooo, I asked one more time, “Danny, did you have an accident?”

    This time he jumped up, yanked down his pants,
    bent over and spread his cheeks and yelled
    “SEE MOM, IT’S JUST FARTS!!” While 30 people nearly choked to
    death on their tacos laughing, he calmly pulled
    up his pants and sat down. An old couple made me feel
    better by thanking me for the best laugh they’d ever had!

    LAST TESTIMONY:

    This had most of the state of Michigan laughing for 2 days and a
    very embarrassed female news anchor who will, in the future, likely
    think before she speaks.

    What happens when you predict snow but don’t get any…
    a true story… We had a female news anchor that, the day after
    it was supposed to have snowed and didn’t, turned to the weatherman
    and asked: “So Bob, where’s that 8 inches you promised me last night?”
    Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too they
    were laughing so hard!

    Now, didn’t that feel good? Pass it on to someone you
    know who needs a laugh!

    Mayor James R. Miron said he had not heard about problems at the
    three fields. He added that if concerned parents want to see these
    fields get more attention, they should urge town officials to increase
    funding for the Parks Department and create a division solely
    responsible for maintenance of local ballfields.

  8. 8 jezebel282

    It doesn’t seem to matter what topic comes up in Stratford. Nothing seems to be easy. The lack of faith and trust between the mayor and Clowncil complicates every decision. The good news here is that we might save a couple of million dollars.

    You read it in the Post:

    Blumenthal critical of CPSC on turf
    STAFF REPORTS
    Article Last Updated: 08/20/2008 07:22:13 AM EDT

    Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to immediately remove and revise a report on its Web site that he said might mislead citizens into believing that artificial turf has been proven safe.

    Blumenthal said the CPSC relied on a “grossly inadequate and badly flawed study” in declaring synthetic turf safe to install and play on focusing narrowly and insufficiently on lead, while failing to examine several other possible chemicals and concerns.

    The synthetic turf issue has been a big one for school districts across the nation and the region. In March, a billion-dollar international company Fieldturf Inc. that has installed artificial turf fields for both the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, was selected by the Stratford Town Council to install a new football field at Bunnell High School.

    The council action was made in spite of a last-minute appeal by Stratford Mayor James R. Miron, who was concerned about heath questions regarding artificial turf fields. The council’s vote was unanimous, however.

    In a letter to CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Ann Nord, Blumenthal said the CPSC’s claims based on such a “crudely cursory study” may dangerously deceive municipal and state leaders nationwide about the safety of synthetic turf.

    For the sake of public health and safety, Blumenthal said the CPSC has a moral and possibly legal obligation to immediately remove and revise its synthetic turf report from its Web site.

    “This report and release are as deceptive as some of the advertising and marketing of consumer products prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general,” Blumenthal said.

    “There is a clear and present danger that municipal and state decision makers as well as parents and citizens will rely on this unconscionably deficient report. It is replete with unsound scientific methodology and conclusions, and unreliable findings. It may lead to unsupportable and unwise commitments by towns and cities or their boards of education to build or replace athletic fields.

    Clear?

    Not really. After public hearings and reports, what is a volunteer government supposed to do? There is not a single chemical engineer or biologist on the Council.

    On the other hand, there is, shall we say, a longer history of the use of dirt and grass.

  9. 9 jezebel282

    This can only happen in Stratford.

    You read it in the Post:

    Tough rules counter Bunnell field issues
    RICHARD WEIZEL
    Article Last Updated: 08/28/2008 12:06:48 AM EDT

    “…An ad hoc committee of town and school officials has drawn up a list of 20 rules and regulations for the new field. The prohibitions include any device that has the potential to puncture the turf field base, including corner flags, goal anchors, team banners, tents and shelters; tables and chairs with legs; bikes, scooters, roller blades, skateboards or any devices with wheels; and long spikes or metal cleats; as well as shoes with high heels…”

    And the solution ? Oh, this is good..wait for it….

    “…Henrick said. “This is a state-of-the-art field.” “The rules to protect the field just mean we’re going to have to learn to adjust,” he said. “Whenever there is something new it takes a while for people to get used to it. If people can’t wear dress shoes, or high heels, and if we have to use different kinds of chairs, so what?..”

    “So what?”, Mr. Henrick? I’d like to see you walk from the parking lot to the field in high heels. In fact, forget the field, just walk up or down a flight of stairs in them. If I didn’t see Henrick’s name in the quote I would swear it was something Miron would have said.

    I know! We can put up a sign on the new field:

    “Frauen in hohen absätzen verboten!!”

  10. Jezebel,
    It is fair to also cast blame on the BOE for this as well. After all, the article also stated that the BOE Chief Operating Operator,Ben Branyan, who earns $130M sat on that committee as a member too. For Mrs. Cornish to blame just town officials is not fair. She too is to blame if Mr. Branyan missed it too. I think it is probably being blown way out of proportion by the BOE so that the town takes the hit. However, if it is true, the BOE can’t claim innocence and her comment is ridiculous.

  11. I forgot to add – and it is all at our expense. Nice going committee – really nice going.

  12. 12 jezebel282

    Cyclops,

    You may be right, but as you know the Town is responsible for the physical plant, not the BOE. I suppose somebody had to answer when the Town said, “Hey, would you like a brand new $1.5 Million ballfield?”

    The reason for the posting was Mike Henrick’s incredible response of “So what?”

    Besides, as I said elsewhere, how will anyone see Irene Cornish behind the podium if she can’t wear heels?

  13. 13 1george1

    I was at a Committee Meeting on the Synthetic Ballfield a few months ago.
    Councilman Dempsey and Town Engineer John Casey did their due diligence
    on research and safety. Afterall, if the NY/NJ GIANTS were using the Carpet,
    among others, how could it go wrong?

    As Fredette says: “But, this is Stratford.”
    Blumenthal pulled the RUG out from under the … Ah ..RUG.

    At a Mike Julian FUND RAISER, this summer, a Football Referee went up to
    Henrick and complained about PENDERS FIELD.
    According to sources, Henrick blew up and told the guy that if he didn’t
    like it, he could run for election himself.
    Supposedly it ended.
    Supposedly Henrick thought this guy tried to pick up his date a few years
    back, when the guy was working as a Bartender (Married at the time)
    Supposedly Henrick sucker puched the guy from the back. BIG GUY!
    Supposedly the guy got his hands on Henrick and people who tried to
    pull him off Henrick wound up in the swimming pool.
    Supposedly Henrick tried to get away.
    I do KNOW Henrick had a Black Eye – real Black Eye, not just figurative
    one he gets monthly. I saw it. IT WAS STILL SHINEY 2 WEEKS LATER.
    I do KNOW that Julian and a couple of others kidded Henrick about it
    during Town Council Meetings.

    Had this happened before the Election, Henrich would have lost, due to
    a VERY BIG FAMILY with a LARGE CIRCLE of FRIENDS of the BIG GUY called
    “BOOMER.”

    I was NOT in favor of TURFING – Bunnell Field.
    I know Stratord HS is lower on the Totem Pole.

    In 1999, I told Burturla and Town Council that the smaller Stratford HS
    was paying 60 % – that is SIXTY PERCENT – MORE for HEAT than BUNNEL.

    NOTE: In 1998, I paid between 50 and 60 Cents a GALLON for Heating OIL!

    It only took them 9 years to get around to replacing STRATFORD HS
    BOILERS, and ONLY AFTER Bunnell HS had an ISSUE.

    Oh – I did not go to HS in Straford.
    “I have NO DOG in the HUNT” = Ben Proto saying.

    Moved from Stratford in 1961, when I was 9 – My mom died.
    Moved back to Stratford in 1978, when I was 26 – After my Dad died.

    I agree with Mike Reynold’s Post # 1.
    He and Tax Payers are not asking alot for baseball / football / playing
    fields to be in reasonable shape, and lawns trimmed.
    We have riding Lawn Mowers, and screening euipment, which should
    minimize physical aspects of the work.
    Although I like the Library & Public Works (although there are issues)

  14. The BOE is just as much to blame for this mess.

  15. 15 jezebel282

    Cyclops,

    OK, OK….I give.

    Still I think the teenagers are going to miss playing in the mud.

  16. 16 sudds

    As someone who has played contact sports on “turf” in the past I just want to say that chemicals or not… THAT STUFF SUCKS!!!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: