May 28, 2008 * MAY IS NATIONAL BICYCLE MONTH*
By Ken Krayeske • 9:45 PM EST
Sometimes, the universe blesses us with access into foreign worlds we normally can't see.
For example, when you google "Mayor Eddie Perez" - my website - the40yearplan.com - is one of the top ten hits. And it seems that people mistake my content critical of Perez for that of the Mayor’s own site.
At first, I though some jokester, trying to have a good laugh, sent me various e-mails from the “Contact Us” page of my site, pulling my leg about my page being the Mayor’s.
I mean, after Jon Lender this month broke the hidden story from a few years back about lawyer Maureen Duggan’s “anonimus” whistleblower parking attendant letter to state ethics chair attorney Rosemary Guiliano about Alan Plofsky at the Ethics Commission, I don’t put anything by anyone.
The real feedback items are easy to tell, like a May 14 press release regarding the Pentagon propaganda ring.
“Today Media Matters released comprehensive research on the number of media appearances by the military analysts named in New York Times exposé revealing the ties these analysts had with both the Pentagon and defense industries,” the e-mail said.
Or I can verify a communication’s validity because I know my correspondent, like the one from Pedro Bermudez, who tells me he liked the story about candidate for State Senate, Ed Vargas.
"I'm doing some work with his campaign," Bermudez said. "He is a good man and a free thinker."
Pedro also clued me in that his sister, Wildaliz, a Hartford native, Trinity grad, former Echoes from the Streets staffer, and plaintiff in Sheff v. O'Neill has just finished her masters' degree up in Puerto Rico (where tuition is so much cheaper), and will return to Hartford soon. Who says young people are leaving in droves?
But eventually, I realized that other correspondence – the stuff I took as jokes - addressed to the Mayor, was real. A woman wrote an impassioned plea for educational assistance for her daughters.
"The kids of today are the future of America, and that is my goal, a good Christian, well educated life, with a loving separated/single mother, and they can see that I fought for the best and that is what I'm teaching my kids - not to settle," she wrote.
"There are good things in this world but education, a career is first. I am begging you to please help me be a good mom, with my heart in this email, and tears in my eyes literally please help. I might not be the perfect mom but I don't know who else to turn to," the woman scribed.
It ended with a phone number and work e-mail address, and I contacted her. She didn't realize I wasn't Eddie, and thanked me for letting her know how to contact Andrea Comer and Ed Vargas (again).
So, I returned all the e-mails to the other inquirers, telling them I was not Eddie, and I directed my e-pals to Sarah Barr or some other authority within the city to deal with their issues.
Since no one has responded, I want to print the mail bag. To be fair, I have changed the names and cleaned them up some for readability. But I am leaving it as close to original so our loyal viewing audience can share the surprising experience.
My favorite comes from May 16, 2008, demonstrating exactly how effective our chairman of the board of education has been:
"DEAR MAYOR PEREZ: My name is Taniqua Smith from Martin Luther King Jr. School. I was very disappointed when you said you would show up to our school. I was excited to meet you but you never came.
"So I was wondering, why you did not attend to our class? My class mates and I where happy that we where going to meet the mayor of these United States. We had so.... many questions to ask but you where not there to answer them.
"So my questions are What happen? Are you ok? Did you forget us? Did you have alot of things to do? But I don’t think you should make appointments that you can not attend! But I hope you can make it agian! SINCERLY: TANIQUA SMITH"
I also received an interview request for the Mayor, from a student needing to complete an English project.
Apparently, people think I'm I. Charles Mathews, too. From May 25, 2008, this is a same-idea, different guy gem.
"A note to Mr. I Charles Matthews. Mr. Matthews you have been on my mind for the past few days. I hope you get this mail. I have an idea and I would like to get some help with it. I will not sound too curious, my idea is to get some help to develop a Math and Science club in Hartford to help our children overcome the fear of these two subjects and be able to improve in these two areas.
"I would appreciate hearing from you and together work to bring about a project for our children. I would also like to see you making your self more visible to the residents of the City of Hartford. Thank you and hope to hear from you. Sincerely, Ginny Edwards."
I'm not sure what anyone in power could do to help the immediate needs of this sad tale from May 2:
"Dear Mr. Eddie Perez:
"I a writing to you because I have an urgent situation. I am a 49yr. old woman with Cerebral Palsy and I use an electric wheelchair. Mr. Perez, I had a cell phone that I used for emergencies for my self and my son.
"My son is 15 yrs. old and at this age you know they can become very rebellious and because of this he did not listen to the rules and he brung up the bill $1000, but this phone I need it for when my wheel chair breaks down, or I have an emergency.
"I am looking for your help to see if you can help me to get my service back on an pay the bill little by little, my only income is SSI… MOST APPRECIATED. SARAH MASADA."
In the future, I will harsh on Mayor Perez even more, to make casual visitors to the40yearplan.com confident that I am not the Mayor (thankfully!), but a faithful critic.