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Notes from a very full week
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I wanted to thank the talented people of WNPR News for providing excellent coverage of the start of the 2009 legislative session.  We produced two, full-hour Where We Live programs on-site at the Capitol, and several in-depth news stories for All Things Considered and Morning Edition.  The first show, at 9am, featured interviews with Senate and House leaders.  It led to this story by Ted Mann of the New London Day, another of our guests.  He references the broadcast, and the news it generated.   For a special 7pm broadcast, we featured Governor Rell's speech in it's entirety, along with interviews with agency heads, and Democratic reaction. 

Everything went smoothly, even in crazy, icy, and unfamiliar conditions.  Producers Catie Talarski and Libby Conn pulled off two shows in one day, each with multiple guests, while working shorthanded.  These remotes usually take at least three producer/directors - a luxury we don't have after the recent departure of our remote broadcast guru, George Goodrich.  I can't say enough about the work these women do.  Ray Hardman, a veteran of legislative coverage, was our "floor reporter" for the evening show, and provided seamless and in-depth interviews with commissioners and lawmakers.  

Meanwhile, Capitol Region Reporter Anna Sale provided newscast coverage of the days' events, and analysis for our morning show. (By the way, listen to her profile piece on new House Speaker - and rock 'n roller - Chris Donovan)  Assignment Editor Lucy Nalpathanchil, John Nowacki, Harriet Jones and Eugene Amatruda helped to pull everything else together to make our broadcasts a success.


Great comment from Angie in Hamden about our story on corruption: "I think we also have to be looking back at ourselves on this issue.  There couldn't have been a Rowland scandal without a Tomasso to give him kickbacks.   It's easy to get all high and mighty over the big corruption stories.... but if we we want to see them go away, we should stop taking advantage of the small "corruptions" as well.... the relative appointed to the town commission where he has no experience, the friend who offers to give your child an "in" at that magnet school."  

Plus, this is on our main show page, but I really wanted to recommend Lennie Grimaldi's essay in Connecticut Magazine in 2006, "Hellbound Train" - about the wild ride he and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim took to prison.  It is just about the most honest account of how corruption really works that I've ever read.  He took some heat on the show from at least one caller - but I'll say this about Grimaldi, he never shies away from blaming the man responsible for his failures...himself.

Goodbye Mayor Mike

Ray Hardman, Lucy Nalpathanchil and Chion Wolf reported on the funeral for Hartford's former Mayor, Mike Peters in sound and pictures.  All I can say about Mike is...when I came to Hartford in 1994, I was living in the West End.  I hooked up my cable TV, and the very first thing I saw was the Mayor's face, in one of his famous cable access spots, touting great things about the city. Now, I hadn't heard very much good about Hartford before I got here.  It was all,  "Drugs, and crime, and nothing to do." So seeing this guy - clearly so proud of his town - I thought "It's gonna be okay." I also thought..."Now there's a Mayor."