Preview of 2016

A preview is perilous so I will be brief in looking into 2016. My preview is based on things that are now visible. The real fun will come with the unexpected.

I believe 2016 will be the year that Paramedics are based in Darien. It has become painfully obvious that our current EMS system is convoluted and woefully inadequate. A new consultant has been hired to study Darien’s EMS system including Post 53. The wise thing would have been to have this consultant recommend how to implement Darien based Paramedics into our current system. That would have been a wise use of our tax dollars. The reality is that this consultant, any competent consultant, will have to recommend Darien based Paramedics. If they don’t, it will be easy to take the report and its conclusion apart. If the Posties were smart and they are not, they would have gotten out in front of this issue and already have recommended Darien based Paramedics.

The three major development projects will get close scrutiny in 2016. The three projects Palmers, Golden and especially Corbin will change the face of Darien for decades. If done poorly, these projects, especially Corbin, will pose an existential threat to the Darien most of us would want.

There has been a development which puts the risks inherent in real estate development into sharp focus. A recent front page article in the Stamford Advocate featured a Darien resident who was the head of a major Stamford based real estate developer until he was forced to resign. His partners accuse him of not accurately portraying the finances of the company he was running. The company has entered bankruptcy. Forensic accountants have been hired. It is never a good thing when forensic accountants are hired. There is a story making the rounds that the subject of the story has “fled” to Florida. If true, this may be because, I believe, Florida has a law which prevents the seizure of a primary residence in such circumstances. There is another potential element to this story. Supposedly, this developer is a member of Darien’s most prestigious country club and well over 100 fellow members joined in investing in his now bankrupt real estate development company. An interesting question is whether any of the developers in the three major Darien projects are among these investors. All of this points out the risks inherent in real estate development.

Speaking of facilities, I hope 2016 will bring an understanding of what exactly has gone on at 35 Leroy. Specifically, I think residents deserve to know how this building could have gotten a signed CO. This building has had enough problems to make one wonder if there are also safety issues. I think these and other questions will be raised in 2016.

Continuing with the facilities theme, it looks like we will have plans for expanding and upgrading school facilities. Given Darien’s abysmal record dealing with school facilities, I think we will have some interesting debates.

Finally, the revitalization of the education, not facilities, portion of the our school system will gather steam. Special education will come under particular scrutiny but the rest of the program will also require attention. I hope Darien’s heroin problem will receive even greater attention. It is very disheartening to read about this problem. Our new Superintendent will come into sharper focus as he gains experience. He will need time to put his plans in place and begin their implementation.

Thank you for your continued readership. Visits have exploded over the past few weeks. Going into the New Year, I have more topics to cover than I have time. Happy New Year. See you next year.

Walter Casey

2015 In Review

My biggest disappointment in 2015 was Joe Miceli not being able to run for First Selectman. I believe he had a real chance of winning. Instead, we had an election and no one bothered to vote. Turnout was embarrassingly low. Incumbent Republican First Selectman Jayme “Gone Girl” Stevenson essentially ran unopposed and won easily. Her vote total was down substantially from two years earlier when she also ran unopposed and won easily. I believe “Gone Girl’s” act is getting old not to mention her incompetence.

“Gone Girl” picked a woman to run for Selectman on her ticket but this candidate had to withdraw when I reported her financial affairs to be not fitting for a Darien Selectman. What surprised me most was how many knowledgeable people told me this woman’s predicament was not unique. There is much apparent, not real, wealth in Darien I was told.

The turnout of candidates for the RTM was again disappointing. I reported on a concerning trend to try and control this legislative body. We will have to monitor developments in the RTM this coming year.

I still do not understand what has gone on at 35 Leroy. I do know that the interests of Darien’s taxpayers have not been protected.

The audit, non-audit review of the overcharging of the state for excess special education costs was a joke. It was overseen by the BOC(Board of Corruption aka BOF) and raised more questions than it answered. On a positive note, Darien hired a new Superintendent. He will need time to get things headed in the right direction.

Three major development projects Corbin, Palmers and Golden were proposed. These projects have the potential to change Darien for decades. Much more to come on this topic.

The Darien Times continued to deteriorate. I was amazed at how many people told me that they would not subscribe to the Times when the paper started charging. I believe it is generally accepted that the Times is controlled by “Gone Girl” and does not serve the public interest.

Speaking of “Gone Girl,” it was amazing to attend the summer night concerts at Grove Street and hear the latest gossip about her personal life. On more substantive “Gone Girl” issues, Darien didn’t get an affordable housing moratorium and she had trouble keeping staff with Karl Kilduff being a notable loss.

Finally, heroin use is a topic that I have not written about mainly because I just don’t know enough about it. However, it is deeply disturbing and speaks to something seriously wrong beneath the surface in Darien. Once again, the apparent is not real.

Walter Casey

Paramedics in 2015

I hope readers had a wonderful Christmas. I certainly did.

In looking back at 2015, I believe we saw the beginning of the end of Darien’s convoluted and inadequate EMS system.

The Darien Times of all sources published an on line poll that showed overwhelming support for Darien based Paramedics. The consultant hired to study Darien’s EMS system withdrew from the assignment. This was only the second time this consultant withdrew from an an assignment in 27 years and was beyond suspicious. I took his resignation letter apart sentence by sentence and showed that this consultant raised serious questions about Darien’s system.

I also published response time data that showed Paramedic response time data into Darien are totally unacceptable. I raised questions about response time data related to the death of famed financier Jimmy Lee. This whole issue hit home when an elderly family member was seriously stricken in our home and the folly of the two response system of first Post 53 and then Paramedics became apparent. This system delays the response of those who can really help, Paramedics, and delays taking the patient to the hospital. I did not understand this issue of delaying leaving for the hospital until I saw it first hand.

The fight for Darien based Paramedics was also helped by an article in the Darien Times which profiled DHS Postie Carson Stewart. The article clearly pointed out that Post is not a community service organization. Rather, it is a self serving organization. My hope is that Mr. Stewart and other DHS Posties will lead a “children’s crusade” and demand Paramedics based in Darien thus putting patients ahead of themselves and Post. By the way, my blog comment about the Carson Stewart profile, AP Self Absorption, has enjoyed a huge readership.

Finally, the year ended with an election in which several candidates came out in favor of Darien based Paramedics. In fact, Rob Richards is now a Selectman and is openly supportive of Darien based Paramedics. Richards has brought new energy to the fight for Paramedics.

Walter Casey

Christmas Presents

Before taking a break for Christmas, I thought I would offer some ideas for Christmas presents.

For First Selectman Jayme “Gone Girl” Stevenson: a lifetime subscription to E Harmony.com.

For Selectman Susan “The Troll” Marks: nothing for this IT GIRL who has everything, everything being “Gone Girl.”

For Eunuch Selectmen Kris Koons and Marc Thorne: adult coloring books to help pass the time at BOS meetings.

For Selectman Rob Richards: continued fortitude.

For the Darien Times: freedom from Susan “Horror Show” Shultz so the Times can enjoy freedom of the press.

For Danny “The Duke of Darien” Dolcetti two presents: a groupon for Feline Lo Mein at Steam and a reserved parking spot at the Swap Shop combined with a dedicated PC linked solely to EBAY.

For John “The Bully” Boulton: a groupon for a top criminal attorney in case he does the irretrievable.

For Jon Zagrodzky: a book on ethics, any book on ethics.

For Sarah Seelye RTM Moderator: barb wire to protect HER PODIUM.

For the denizens of 35 Leroy: a Warm not a White Christmas.

For DHS Posties: a conscience.

For Post 53 Director Ron Hammer: too late for a conscience. Rather, a peaceful retirement in a town that has Paramedics.

For the Developers of the Corbin, Palmers and the Golden projects: copies of Ibsen’s The Master Builder.

I will be taking a break until after Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Walter Casey

Picking on the Kids, You Bet

Picking on the kids, you bet I am. After my last comment concerning a DHS Postie featured in a Darien Times front page article, some have said I should lay off the DHS Posties. Hell no. In fact, my last comment was just the beginning.

We are told that the DHS Posties are true first responders who face life and death crises everyday. But if I bring them into the debate about Darien based Paramedics, the DHS Posties are too fragile to handle this critical issue. The DHS Posties get their pictures in the paper as local heroes but they should not be allowed to justify an EMS system that prioritizes their college applications over the well being of the patients they are supposedly trying to help.

Do these kids believe that Paramedics should be kept out of Darien so they can play a bigger part in the EMS system in Darien? I believe these kids should be required publicly to endorse Darien’s system which keeps better trained Paramedics at a distance. The positive effect that Post supposedly has on these teenagers is used as a reason to justify endangering patients. Let these supposedly well meaning kids publicly support risking patients’ lives for their own benefit.

I make no apology. There is more coming.

Walter Casey

AP Self Absorption

In the December 10, 2015 issue of the Darien Times we were introduced to Carson Stewart of Darien High School. The introduction was written by Times propagandist Natalie Axton.

We learn that Carson is a star in Theatre 308, school government, the National Honor Society, the Tudor Singers and, of course, Post 53. Thank God for Post. Post taught Carson to be organized. Before Post, Carson’s back pack was a mess but now, thanks to Post, Carson’s back pack is the model of organization. You see that is what Post is all about. One of Post’s major objectives is to provide teenagers with a meaningful life experience that will help them get their act together. Patients are not in the picture.

As a small child, Carson was inspired by seeing Post marching in the Memorial Day Parade. Advertising and propaganda really do work.

There is a long paragraph on all the benefits, beyond the backpack, that Post has provided him. There is no mention what benefits, if any, an immature and undertrained Post EMT like him might be providing patients.

Then comes the inevitable section on self pity. How does Carson deal with patients his own age? With sympathy and empathy we learn. The Times propagandist Natalie Axton never thought to ask Carson if he thought a Paramedic might be better able to help a teenage patient. No intrusion of reality into this self absorption stream of consciousness.

Then we get to the real objective of a DHS Postie: getting into a great college. We learn from Carson that Posties love coffee and he wrote his College Common App about his growth to coffee sophistication during his years at Post. What a great indirect and self effacing way to let the admissions officer know that you are a “first responder.”

In my opinion, Carson is taking an extra credit Advanced Placement Course in Self Absorption. This article is like other Post 53 propaganda in that it focuses on how great Post and Posties are and not how should patient care be provided. I wonder if the Times propagandist ever considered asking Carson if he would support Darien based Paramedics?

Walter Casey

One Year, Thank You

I started this blog on December 15, 2014. I want to thank all of you who have been visiting. There have been more than 35,000 visits in the first year. I am very confident that the involved citizens of Darien read this blog.

The three major individual stories of this first year, not in any order, were: the woman who withdrew from running for Selectman because she didn’t pay her bills,the police report filed against John Boulton because of his conduct at an RTC meeting and the entrance and then withdrawal of Joe Miceli from the race for First Selectman.

My primary focus has been and will continue to be having Paramedics based in Darien. Your very strong interest in this important topic is duly noted. We have turned the tide in public opinion in favor of Paramedics based in Darien.

I will also continue to highlight other areas of ineptness and corruption like special education, conflicts of interest and 35 Leroy. You deserve the truth.

Readership has been helped by the demise of the Darien Times which has ceased to be a force in Darien. Too bad, for many years the Times protected the people of Darien by allowing all voices to be heard. Those days are gone.

Once again, Thank You and Happy New Blog Year.

Walter Casey

What If There Are Two?

I want to dispatch another idiocy put forward by opponents of Darien based Paramedics. They make the argument that we shouldn’t have Darien based Paramedics because we might have two or more calls requiring Paramedics at the same time. Therefore, the Paramedic based in Darien would be overwhelmed.

First. Having two or more calls requiring Paramedics at the same time would occur infrequently. For all of the other times, the vast majority, the patient would get the benefit of a fast Paramedic response.

Second. For those times when more than one patient requires a Paramedic at the same time, the first patient would get the benefit of a Paramedic and the other patient(s) would be as bad off as they are today. Namely, CMED would have to search for an available Paramedic outside Darien.

The fact that this objection to Darien based Paramedics is even raised and has to be refuted shows how dumb the opponents of Darien based Paramedics really are.

Walter Casey

BLS before ALS, Not

Some have argued that Darien’s current EMS system is great because it allows Basic Life Support (BLS) or Post 53 to arrive before Advanced Life Support ((ALS) or Paramedics from out of town. They argue that BLS prepares the way for ALS and does the preliminary work. This is nonsense.

If BLS and ALS arrive together, they operate as a team and there is no delay in providing the highest level of care possible as soon as possible. Also, there is no delay in leaving for the hospital because all the players are present at the same time. I did not appreciate this delay in leaving for the hospital until an elderly family member had a stroke and heart attack at our home. It isn’t just the delay of out of town Paramedics reaching patients in Darien that is a serious problem. Just as important, our fragmented system causes a delay in leaving for the hospital.

We need Paramedics based in Darien.

Walter Casey

Show Me The Body

Occasionally, someone says to me that they would support having Paramedics based in Darien if I could prove that not having them based in Darien has caused or will cause a human life.

I cannot prove that not having Paramedics based in Darien has caused or will cause a death. I wouldn’t even try.

Barring a case where a patient has been decapitated, the objective of both Post 53 and out of town Paramedics should be to save the patient. The objective is not to declare a victim dead but rather to get the patient to the hospital and save him or her. Post 53 Director Ron Hammer famously told us at a BOS meeting that patients were alive when Post got them to the hospital. Death should take place in the emergency room not on the way. There is also the subtle issue on whose scorecard does the death get recorded. Finally, people need to understand that privacy laws make it almost impossible to investigate cases.

I want to add another consideration. The risk from slow Paramedic response is not only death. A patient can survive but recovery will be greatly diminished because of slow Paramedic response.

What is disturbing about someone asking these questions is that they have made no effort to think through the answer. In addition, they fail to recognize that almost all other towns have come up with the answer.

Walter Casey