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As if the political week in Connecticut could get any more dramatic?

1X00105_7[1]_opt.jpgFormer media sweetheart-turned-Congressional-candidate Janet Peckinpaugh (on the left of the picture at the left) takes a hit in this piece in the New London Day.


1X00083_7[1]_opt.jpgHartford city councilman Matt Ritter (son of former Speaker of the House, Tom) and his bride-to-be are putting the finishing touches on their August wedding which will apparently take place at the historic Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. Coincidently, it's the perfect place for the politically-consumed Ritter family. For years, the nationally-known and very elegant Balsams has been the first place voters cast their ballots in the presidential election at one minute after midnight in the resort's museum- like Ballot Room. 




Speaking of love,  there is the story of the amicable divorce. Real Art Ways director Will K. Wilkins and his former wife, the always charming Catherine Blinder, split a while ago, But when Blinder went looking for auction items for the Connecticut Fair Housing Center's 2nd annual awards dinner recently, Wilkins generously and fondly donated a private movie screening for 50 people at the very popular Hartford arts institution. 


IMGP0173_opt.jpgAnniversary congrats to WRCH-FM 100.5 personality Allison Demers Campagna and hubbie Frank who are celebrating their 17th anniversary Saturday.   

Love is in the Hartford air these days. There are next week's nuptials, fun ones for assistant state comptroller, Democrat Mark Ojakian and his betrothed, Jason Veretto. The two will be tying the knot at the Hartford Golf Club next Saturday at an outdoor  "dress to impress," emotion-infused soiree of about 160 people. And given wedding details, and the pending Democratic convention circus this weekend, suffice it to say Ojakian is a bit overwhelmed.


"We just chose the flowers for the arrangements and the honeymoon is off until after the election in November," said Ojakian. The poor nearly-newlywed barely had time to explain the important things like choosing the wedding's deep purple and cream color scheme and writing marriage vows, all being done while juggling support for his gal pal and boss, state comptroller Nancy Wyman. Wyman, the personable politician who can handle spike heels better than anyone I know, is taking a big and unexpected political step by running for lieutenant governor with gubernatorial hopeful Dan Malloy.


P.S. For those of you who don't believe in "dating games," Mark met Jason after being featured as one of  Hartford's "most eligible" singles in Hartford Magazine's annual matchmaking edition two years ago. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Congrats to WFSB Channel 3 anchor Al Terzi.

On June 1 he will be picking up the "Jim Calhoun Community Service Award" at the 25th anniversary of the Franciscan Sports Banquet at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville.

1X00029_7[1]_opt.jpgThe Emmy Award winning broadcaster will be sharing the spotlight with former Cincinnati Reds and ESPN SportsCenter sportscaster George Grande. Grande will receive the "St. Francis Award" at the festivities that will benefit The Franciscan Life Center & Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care in Meriden.



Tomatoes With Java

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Heirloom_tomato_still_life_opt.jpgI know this has nothing to do with coffee or celebrities  but wanted to pass it on, especially if you are looking for an idea for a family outing with purpose, given the great tomato planting weather predicted for the next week.

Head to Old Sturbridge Village  Saturday where you will not only take a peek at the past but receive a free heirloom tomato plant as well.


As long as supplies last, OSV is handing out popular plants of the 1830s period like Brandywine, Yellow Pear, and Large Red heirloom tomatoes.  Village historians will also offer tomato-related programs throughout the day.


And if you need more inspiration than this when it comes to getting out there in the dirt, take a look at .

Do you not love it when your day starts with a celebrity surprise? Mine did. A ride in the company elevator with Jon Bauman, better known as "Bowzer " of  Sha Na Na rock n' roll fame.   

Picture_166_opt.jpgThe 62-year-old Juilliard-schooled musician   (and Columbia honors grad) was doing the media rounds Thursday in advance of his "Bowzer's Rock 'n' Doo-Wop Party!"  Saturday at the Bushnell. The show will benefit the Phillps Women's Heart Program at St. Francis Hospital, the philanthropic pet project of West Hartford business couple, Shari and Matthew Phillips.


Bowzer likes classical music best but is a fan of Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake. Shown at left with Shari Phillips, he proved he still had it when it came to showing off his signature bicep-pumping moves. 

His exercise secret for keeping it cut? Keep moving!

 Tickets are $35 to $65  for the show which will also features Lou Christie, The Crystals, Little Peggy March and Charlie Thomas and a slew of others. VIP tickets, which include a post-show reception with the stars, are $250 each. Go to for information or call 860-714-7044.   



It's that time of year again, everyone heads to the links to raise money for their pet project. The South Hartford Business Alliance is one of the first out of the chute, announcing its 20th Annual Golf Tournament on June 18 at Goodwin Park Golf Course.


golftournament_opt.jpgBut this year, they are doing more than raising money for the continued beautification and improvement of the South Hartford area. They are remembering the late Hartford city clerk, Dan Carey, who died last year.


"We miss him," said MDC commissioner Al Marotta, who is on the tournament planning committee that includes former Hartford city councilman John Bazzano (who replaced Carey in the city post)  and  Hartford politico Marilyn Rossetti (all pictured at left while at the Musumeci "Price is Right" party earlier this week.) "He was always part of the organizing committee for this golf tournament and was always there to lend a hand to any organization in need. So we are dedicating it to him this year."

The usual food, prizes, greens fees, cart, raffle and fun are included. Call Marotta at 860-296-0755 or Pina Lo Curzio at 860-296-6530 for information.  

It was a "be careful what you wish for" moment Tuesday for my always camera-ready buddy, Dick Blumenthal...a  whole lot more (very bad) publicity than this quintessential media junkie ever banked on.
Dick is everywhere, non-profit events, church suppers, golf tournaments, annual galas, ribbon-cuttings, talent shows (see picture at left) and awards ceremonies. And so am I. So it is no exageration when I say I have probably taken his picture more than two dozen times in the past couple of years. He loves it all... the glare of the tv lights, the flash from the shutter, the microphone in his face.  

When I slipped into the West Hartford VFW on Tuesday for the press conference regarding his misstatements about any Viet Nam military tour, it definitely wasn't the "always ready for his close-up Dick" I was used to, and it was uncomfortable to watch. 

There has been a flood of national press all featuring the proverbially photogenic AG ranging from CNN to "Inside Edition,"  exposure that in the old days he would have relished. This week, not so much.

I wasn't always a party girl. Well, actually I was.... read more

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