Columns & Stories]
Thoughts While Shaving
By ANDY THIBAULT, Columnist
Law Tribune Newspapers
March 15, 2004
This week I
pay my annual homage to former Boston Globe sports columnist Ernie
Roberts, the progenitor of Thoughts While Shaving. While Roberts actually
shaved and thought, I am doing less of both and enjoying it more.
Groton Shows Greenwich
Greenwich has been slow now and then to admit it is part of the state of
Connecticut, especially in terms of access to public information. The town
kept a lot of lawyers in business trying to deny access to its emergency
service records. Then came the case that opened all of Connecticut's
beaches to the masses. Now, Greenwich is trying to block public access to
the town's computerized records.
Groton, meanwhile, is justifiably touting the launch of its geographic
information system (GIS) online. See www.town.groton.ct.us
Many municipalities and agencies are using GIS systems as a means to
deliver better service to the public. It's also cheaper, saving staff
time. Items in such sites include aerial snapshots of neighborhoods,
boundaries and watercourses.
Greenwich officials admit the information already is available on paper.
But they cite security concerns. Somehow Groton, home of the U.S. Naval
Submarine Base, overcame that security hurdle while still serving the
Good Luck, Iyaba
Iyaba Mandingo, the Stamford poet and artist facing deportation, gets his
day in court on March 19. His wife and five children were expected to
attend the hearing with him at U.S. District Court in Hartford.
As he prepared for court, Mandingo worked a 750-foot mural commissioned by
the New Haven public schools.
Jailed on false charges last year, Mandingo spent seven weeks in the
Hartford jail with a pedophile and a heroin addict. The government later
admitted it had never delivered a hearing notice Mandingo was accused of
ignoring. He had been arrested a few days after he gave a controversial
poetry reading in Stamford.
Mandingo is seeking permanent residency, something he helped other members
of his family from Antigua attain. His wife and children were born in the
While at college in Iowa he was wrongly accused of a crime. His lawyer did
not want him to go before a local jury, so he accepted a plea bargain.
That item on his record has plagued his quest to gain permanent residency.
"The idea of America is beautiful," Mandingo said, "but no
one in power has allowed it to grow."
The court could pay some restitution to Mandingo and make things right by
Garber Pulls Out All Stops
Hiring Ross Garber as legal counsel has to be one of the decisions Gov.
John Rowland is not second-guessing himself about. Garber has persuaded
many who would like to burn Johnny at the stake that impeachment is a
sticky process with significant hurdles.
My favorite part of Garber's submission to the Select Committee of Inquiry
is probably irrelevant; nonetheless, it is entertaining. He said more than
half the gubernatorial impeachments in American history were
politically-motivated, notably the Tammany Hall political machine's
orchestration of the removal of a New York governor. This makes me want to
watch the film Gangs of New York again, and maybe even read the book by
Herbert Asbury. It could be a primer for impeachment, Connecticut style.