Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut on October 24, 1993 · Page 38
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut · Page 38

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Hartford, Connecticut
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Sunday, October 24, 1993
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Page 38
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fl A SECTION D SUNDAY OCTOBER 24, 1993 DC OBITUARIES D8 WEATHER lift White ribbons keep a slain daughter's memory alive By ROBIN STANSBURY Courant Staff Writer Dee Ziegert drives to work down Route 75 into Suffield every weekday, past the exact spot where her daughter was found dead more than a year ago. : Attached to Dee Ziegert's clothing is a tattered white ribbon. - - Michelle Leahey and Sandra Campanelli work with Ziegert at a Suffield insurance company. They too wear the white ribbons in memory of Lisa. , Lisa Ziegert was a 24-year-old teaching ; assistant living in Agawam, Mass., in April 1992 when she disappeared from a card shop in that town, and was later found raped and Catholic Church turns to deacons ; They do many of priests' jobs GERALD RENNER Courant Staff Writer They are insurance agents, dentists, salesmen, firemen and factory workers, but one thing the deacons of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford have in common is, they are preachers. . And preaching by deacons may be more and more the wave of the future in the Catholic Church as the number of priests continues to decline. About 40 deacons, some accompanied by their wives, gathered Saturday at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield to get some pointers on how to keep the people in the pews awake when they take to the pulpits "at Masses, weddings, funerals and baptisms. The speaker was Monsignor Francis P. Friedl, a retired pastor from Dubuque, Iowa, who has teamed up with a deacon and Hall of Fame basketball great, "Easy Ed" Macauley of Boston Celtics fame, to write a book on effective preaching. The book, "Homilies Alive: Creating homilies that hit home," has just been published by Twenty-Third Publications in Mystic. Homilies, rather than sermons, are the preferred term for preaching centered on holy scripture at Catholic Masses. In Dubuque, Friedl said, parishes have been closed and merged for the lack of priests, but "the deacons - are helping to ease the crisis." The urban East, where historically there have been many priests, has . not yet felt the crisis the way it has ; hit the Midwest and West, but it will not be long before Catholic New ; England feels the crunch. . Many pastors realize how de-' pendent the church will be on dea- cons. "Deacons are absolutely the fu-. ture of the church and, short of ! ordaining women, we would be in ; trouble without them," said the Rev. Timothy Meehan, pastor of St. The-4 rese Church in North Haven. I , Deacons are already filling in for '. ', Please tee Catholic, Page D3 State celebrates last I of the golden weekends By MIKE McINTIRE Courant Staff Writer L eaves make people do funny things. Tonl Seal ise felt com- I pelled to travel from Wester- ; ly, R.I., Saturday to trie Fow-' der Ridce Ski Resort, where '. she was hoisted high above Middlefield in a chairhft to view autumn's treasures. New York investment banker Sven Borgmann, wanting to shoot pictures of the foliage, drove his red Alfa Romeo convertible 100 miles to the town green In Litchfield where the car promptly broke down. In Bristol, a wedding party abruptly halted its caravan of limousines on Memorial Boulevard to be photographed amid swirling eddies of leaves in a sun-dappled park. On the last big foliage weekend of the year, people were drawn outdoors like rr; hs to l:r.r.t. tanning across slain. No one has been arrested for the crime. Until someone is, about a half-dozen of Ziegert's co-workers will continue wearing the white ribbons. And a few of those coworkers said the end will never come, that the ribbons have become an irreplaceable part of their lives they are a sign of support, of remembrance, and of a life lost to incomprehensible violence. "I feel like I'm empty without it; the ribbon is part of my life," said Leahey, of Windsor Locks. "And I wear it so that people will know that this could have happened to anyone and it still could." Lisa Ziegert was working at her part-time job at an Agawam card and gift store off Route 147 when she was abducted April IS, ; 5 Vs J! ) s ' j v Mir b ill MM l mhm: te t A , M I ! ? -fm ' tf'fftfrw - t,. ( A 1.. .'. - . -.r - I i 11 1111 "l the golden countryside on foot, in cars and on bikes to soak up fall's finale. By all accounts, it's been a rewarding season for leaf-lovers. "It's the best I've seen in years and years," said Sca-Iise, one of scores of people who made the trek to Powder Ridge Saturday. "This is definitely the last weekend, though. You can tell it's almost over." For the last several weekends, the ski resort has made available one of its lifts for foliage fans to take a sort of scenic cruise over the hilltops. A few people who went up said they could see Long Island Sound. While many walkers enjoy crunching through the thick yellow and green carpets, not everyone is enamored with the Bnnual tree-sheddings. Leaves were the focal point of a homeowner rebellion last riease see rail, Pee D3 1992. Her body was found four days later, on Easter Sunday, behind an industrial park off Route 75 near the Connecticut border. She died of a stab wound to the throat. Agawam police are still actively investigating Lisa's death. Robert Campbell, captain of the detective bureau, said detectives interview two or three people a week in connection with the crime, but no arrests have been made. The story of Lisa's slaying is scheduled to air on the television program "Unsolved Mysteries" Wednesday. The program airs locally on NBC at 8 p.m. In the program, the white ribbon on Ziegert's shirt is clearly recognizable. Many churches in Agawam began passing Rally for children held at Capitol Prompted by custody cases, group seeks constitutional rights By MINDY A. ANTONIO Courant Staff Writer Moved by highly publicized child custody battles in several states, about 50 adults and children rallied at the Capitol Saturday for the creation of state constitutional rights for children. The Hartford gathering was among the rallies held simultaneously by state chapters of the De-Boer Committee for Children's Rights. Supporters held signs saying At 48, U.N. By RICK GREEN . Courant Staff Writer Abdi Musa has a lot of reasons to celebrate the birth of the United Nations. After all, it's like his own birthday. "I am a product of the United Nations. I grew up in a Save the Children camp. I know what it means to help a person," said Musa. a native of Somalia. "In my case, I know how a little thing can make a difference." So Musa turned out in the center "Give Children a Voice"and "Never Another Jessi," referring to the infant at the center of a two-year court battle in Michigan. The custody case ended Aug. 2, when Jessica was taken from the home of Roberta and Jan DeBoer of Ann Arbor, Mich., who had raised her almost since birth, and was returned to her biological parents. Charles Gilbert of Manchester said, "I have a deep belief that the quality of America is sinkingand we have to support the children in every constructive way we can. And has reasons to court of the Hartford Civic Center Saturday afternoon with a few dozen others from around the globe and the state to honor the birth of the United Nations. The "little thing" Musa speaks of gave him a home and an education. Eventually, he came to Connecticut, where he is an accountant with the state Division of Special Revenue. "You never know when one of those poor starving children will be in your neighborh(K)d," he said. As civic center shoppers strolled by, celebrants danced, listened to out the ribbons following Lisa's disappearance. They were worn as a sign of hope that she would be found alive. Now the ribbons must stand for something else. "Lisa was a wonderful person who loved people and believed there was a better way to solve your problems than with violence," said Dee Ziegert, of Agawam. "To many people, including the children she taught for, that is what the ribbons mean. "To me, it is her spirit," she said. "And I carry a little bit of her with me every day." The 25 employees at Ahrens, Fuller, St. John & Vincent in Suffield are a close-knit Please see A memory, Page D5 Students use teamwork on challenge 4 Members of the "Patriot Team" celebrate successfully overcoming an obstacle at Stone's Ranch Military Reservation In the Niantic section of East Lyme Saturday during the Young Leaders Program sponsored by the Connecticut Army National Guard. Celebrating are, from left, Hartford's Bulkeley High School Juniors Michael Mimnaugh, Gladys Vasquez and Chris Mazzetti, and Bethel High School Junior Aurora Daley. At right is Staff Sgt. John Odell. Jaime Lackner, a Junior at Bulkeley High School, plots her next move as she tries to make her way over an elevated log Saturday as Bob Bartholomew, a Junior at Bethel High School in Bethel, walks with a stretcher behind her at Stone's Ranch Military Reservation In Niantic. Albert Dickson Th Hartford Courant we don't. Our greatest asset's gone." Sparked by the Baby B case in Connecticut involving a similar situation, a state task force is presently discussing a constitutional amendment that provides specifically for children's rights, said Nancy Orsi, president of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Task Force for Children's Constitutional Rights. Orsi, a guest speaker, had been Please see Rally, Page D3 celebrate music and made speeches. They ate cake and drank cider and spoke earnestly of the United Nations. "The 24th of October is the 48th birthday of the United Nations. We are here to celebrate that and express our support," said Trevor H. Davis Jr., president of the local chapter of the United Nations Association. They talked of what they said was the vital importance of the United Nations in places like Cambodia Please we People, Page Dt r Live-in cops could improve Hartford life tTom Condon 4 ' Tom Gibbs, a friend of mine, is a lawyer in Chicago. We were ! talking last week about how j the Windy City, despite the prob- ; lems all big cities face, keeps many stable residential neighborhoods. Here's one wav. he said. Police off icers and firefighters have to live , in the city. So do other city womers. It's saved more than a few neigh- ! borhoods," he said. Boy, is there a lesson here. A month ago. 1,866 people took the examination to become a Hart ford police officer. They were vying for 55 openings in the new police acaaemy ciass. since ine examination list stays active for a year after the processing is completed, at least 100 new officers will be nirea rrom it, city personnel director Patricia Washington estimated. First. I'm not sure the current sys tem ensures that the city will get the best 100 candidates, me city now gives 10 extra points to any city resident who passes the test. It's thus possible for a nonresident who scores a 75 to be passed by a resident with a 70, because the extra 10 points gives the resident an 80. I'm not against the residential preference, and I realize the department must reflect the city's ethnic makeup. I still think the better system would be to simply take the top 100 applicants and require that they live in the city. Look what you'd get: An influx of middle-class working families into Hartford, something the city desperately needs. At least a stabilization, and probably an increase, of real estate values in the neighborhoods where the officers settled. . A reduction in crime in those neighborhoods. With less crime, a reason for the middle-class people thinking of moving out to stay. .An increased commitment to the neighborhood and the city from the officers. The one tiny flaw in this plan is that it is currently against the law. But it shouldn't be. Some urban legislators with guts should change the law. The cities should be able to require new employees (it would be unfair to make present employees move) live in the city. Cities used to require employees to be residents. The Bridgeport police challenged the policy a decade ago, and the State Supreme Court upheld it. The increasingly powerful municipal unions went to the legislature, where the solons obliged them by outlawing residency as a condition of city employment for any union employee. Residency can't even be the subject of bargaining. "The thinking of anti-residency people was that the mayor and elected officials, and top appointed officials, should live in the city, but what difference does it make for the workers," said Thomas Jackson, the former Bridgeport assistant city attorney who successfully defended residency before the State Supreme Court. The difference it makes for workers is enormous. I know this as well as I know anything, because I lived it. When I moved to Willard Street on Asylum Hill in the late 1970s, six ?alice officers lived on the street, hey were excellent young cops Jose and Becky Lopez, Larry Reynolds and others. There was so little crime on the street that I sometimes left my door open. But eventually they moved, and there was trouble. I had a break-in. One of the cops who came 40 minutes after I called looked at the broken door and asked, "Why do you live in Hartford?" He was out of line. An officer who lived in Hartford would never have responded that way. Many police officers who live outside Hartford genuinely care for the city, and bust their butts to help it But human nature suggests people care more about a place if they live there. It's the ultimate form of community policing. The city has about 2,300 non-education employees, and about as many school board employees What a different place it would be if they all lived here. It works in Chicago. "We have residency and we'll never lose it. The residents want It It helps stabilize the tax base, and keeps a continuity in a lot of neHj borhoods," said Officer Patntk Camden, a Chicago Police Depart, ment spokesman. 1 It could do the same thin in ljlirt ford. Start with those loo new Ci and it could save Hartford '

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