Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut on December 3, 1998 · Page 4
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut · Page 4

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Thursday, December 3, 1998
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A4 THE HARTFORD COURANT Thursday, December 3, 1998 Connecticut Mayor Claims Cannon Belongs To City Ripened Garbage Top Of Heap At Jingle Bell Jam By ROGER CATLIN Courant Rock Critic cc appy Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy H Easter," Shirley over the years. In 1931, the cannon was mounted on a pedestal as part of Wesleyan's centennial celebration. A bronze plaque mounted to the pedestal, now missing, read: ABorn in obscurity. Reared in strife. Tempered by travel. Never discouraged. Home at last" The tradition of stealing the cannon resumed in earnest in 1957. It was presented to the Russian mission to the United Nations as a peace offering in 1959, turned up in the offices of Life magazine in 1966, was offered to President Nixon as a Vietnam War protest in 1969 (Nixon declined the gift); turned up in a cake marking' Wesleyan's sesqui-centennial in 1981; and last showed up in a box found outside Wesleyan's campus center in 1997. If Prue has his way, and the city gets the weapon, the Douglas Cannon would be mounted on a block of local brownstone in a city park somewhere. A tablet fastened to the block would read only: "Home again." But Bill Wilson, a Wesleyan senior from Nashville, said the Douglas Cannon is made to wander. "The tradition is for it to travel the world," insisted Wilson, one of the students who nabbed the cannon in 1997. "I don't think there is anyone outside of Wesleyan who would care enough to send it to India or to Canada. It's up to the students who have the ingenuity to take it" Continued from Page A3 Still, the threat, humorous or not, rankled Bernard Prue, the city historian, who believes the cannon belongs in city hands. Prue claims the cannon was used in the mid-19th century by the Douglas Fire Company to alert firefighters when there was a blaze to be fought After the Civil War, when better fire notification methods had been established, Prue said, the cannon was "loaned" to Wesleyan University's freshman and sophomore classes to be a trophy in their annual "scrap." "The students of Wesleyan have proven to be unworthy of their custodial role and it is time to return the cannon to the legal owners, the city of Middletown," Prue wrote in a letter to Thornton. "The loan to Wesleyan did not convey a deed of gift. Ownership thus remains with the city. Therefore it should be returned." Bennet said Wesleyan has no record of the city owning the cannon. Dione Longley, executive director of the Middlesex County Historical Society and a Wesleyan alum, said this is the first time she's heard Prue's story. She said histories of the university offer a different story of the cannon's origins. These books say the cannon came to Wesleyan through the Douglas Battery, a Civil War-era militia group. COURTESY OF WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY'S DOUGLAS CANNON has been constantly stolen as a prank since 1957. This photo was taken during one of the cannon's recent, and brief, reappearances on campus. bage has amassed an impressive amount of radio hits by now, and healing them back to back to end the show was exhilarating. It was nice, too, to hear the band's cover of Big Star's "Thirteen," if only because it was the only song without the prerecorded backing. Love and Rockets, earlier in the evening, had much the same approach as the headliners, although the reconstituted British trio seemed out of place with its big beat, electronic sounds often led by synthesizers. In between those two, the lovable Squirrel Nut Zippers performed its renditions of hot '20s jazz, 70 years late. It was the only act on the bill with a new Christmas album out, yet the band played its set like it was July, eschewing holiday material for a sampling of its other songs, culminating with the one song modern rock radio embraced, "Hell" (which for some may actually reflect their feelings of the season, at least at malls). Like the holidays, Jingle Bell Jam started too early and went on forever. But no other concert sponsored by WMRQ-FM has been so consistent, top to bottom. The six-hour show began at 6 p.m. with Athenaeum, a North Carolina band that seemed like this year's version of Superdrag in their youthful electric pop, culminating in a credible cover of the Beatles' "We Can Work it Out." At the heart of the show were sets by Soul Coughing and Cake, two outfits who used standup bass, hipster bespectacled frontmen and unusual instrumentation (samples, trumpet) for their catchy songs. In fact, some may still think that Cake frontman John McCrea is really Soul Coughing's M. Doughty with a fishing hat. Bennet. "Everyone at Wesleyan would feel that way," he said. "I'm sure the citizens of Middletown haven't been longing for a missing cannon." Wesleyan histories chart a colorful past for the cannon, which was cast in 1867 to replace an earlier weapon that had apparently been destroyed or damaged in its firing (evidently a common hazard at the time). The cannon was stolen, fought over, hidden and even dumped in the Connecticut River Middletown has no claim to the cannon if these books are correct, because the Douglas Battery would have been a state-sponsored organization, Longley said. "The cannon has been an important part of the Wesleyan tradition for decades and decades," she said. "I think Wesleyan's traditions would lose a lot if they lost the cannon, certainly." That Wesleyan wouldn't be Wesleyan without the Douglas Cannon - absent or not - was affirmed by Manson called out at Radio 104's Jingle Bell Jam Wednesday at the Oak'dale Theatre in Wallingford. MUSIC REVIEW "Maybe the lead singer of Garbage was making a commentary on the blur of holidays - or maybe the proliferation of station-sponsored concerts each holiday, where bands participate to ensure radio play. Garbage played Radio 104's first Jingle Bell Jam four years ago and it seemed an oversight then that the band didn't headline. Manson's command as lead singer, combined with producerdrummer Butch Vig's sense of a contemporary rock sound, ensured them fame. And Wednesday's swaggering show proved what a great band Garbage has become, largely because of the captivating presence of the Scottish singer in front of the Wisconsin band. The band itself takes a little getting used to, since so much of its sound is heavily treated, sampled or pre-recorded that it seems as synthetic as a fake Christmas tree. At times in the set, it seemed like Vig was hitting one of every four beats we heard, and the two bald guitarists had their hands in the air when big riffs were going clown. As long as Manson was prowling the stage, though, it was easy to overlook. She's a witty performer, adding a line from the Spice Girls' "Wannabe" to end her "Stupid Girl" just as her athletic performance style was looking a little familiar. Gar Fight Promoter Cleared To Work With Casino ports by investigative crime commissions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that contained allegations of links to the Scarfo crime family, which controlled rackets in the Atlantic City-Philadelphia area. Pelullo denied the allegations and said that the crime commissions were not fair in their methods or their reports. John B. Meskill, the executive director of the Mashantucket commission, agreed in his written decision on Pelullo's appeal of his ban. "The substance of the findings of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania commissions seem questionable, especially in light of the manner in which the commissions apparently operated," Meskill wrote. "At the hearing Mr. Pelullo was candid that he was born and raised in an area where members of organized crime were part of the neighborhood He also acknowledges that his brother Leonard has been in a great deal of trouble with law enforcement during his lifetime. These are matters which Mr. Pelullo had no control over and should not be held against him." Meskill, Connecticut's former top state gambling regulator, noted that Pelullo had recently been approved to do business with casinos in Mississippi after an in-depth investigation by that state's gaming commission. Pelullo was barred during a turbulent time at Foxwoods. Just a few months earlier, in the fall of 1995, Mashantucket officials had forced the resignation of the entertainment director at Foxwoods, Bobby Young, a former Atlantic City band leader who was also known as Robert S. DePasquale. Young, who handled bookings for boxing matches, was forced out because casino executives suspected him of taking kickbacks. A state police background investigation had also found that Young at one time had a relationship with an associate of the Scarfo crime family. In addition, in late 1995 and early 1996, relations between the Mashantuckets and the Connecticut state police were in turmoil because of allegations that state troopers had broken into tribal offices. The troopers were later cleared of wrongdoing. By LYN BIXBY Courant Staff Writer The Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Commission has rescinded an order barring New Jersey fight promoter Arthur Pelullo from doing business with the tribe's Foxwoods Resort Casino because of suspected links to organized crime. The action by Mashantucket officials was taken May 8 and was disclosed in a written decision issued Wednesday by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, which licensed a different boxing promoter, Russell Peltz, and which investigated Peltz's associations with Pelullo. "Arthur was really exonerated," his lawyer, Jay F. Malcynsky of New Britain, said Wednesday. He said that Pelullo has applied for a Connecticut casino license and is once again doing business with Foxwoods while state police conduct a background investigation. A copy of the Mashantucket reversal, obtained Wednesday through the state Division of Special Revenue, said that the January 1996 decision to bar Pelullo was based primarily on re lilt Marty Petty Publisher and Chief Executive Officer Business Executives News Executives Brian Toolan Editor and Vice President Clifford LTeutsdi Managing Editor G. Claude Albert Deputy Managing Editor Barbara T. Roeoner Deputy Managing Editor Pequot Leader Honored By National Museum Raymond B. Koupal Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard J. Medeiros Jr. General Advertising Manager Robert R. Bounce Controller Sytvia Chavez Sftten Director of Marketing and Strategic Planning Nancy Stimac Classified Advertising Manager John R. Suchedd Vice President and Chief Information Officer Mark E. Aidant Vice President Sales, Marketing and Operations Thomas XAnischik Vice President. New Ventures and Production Kathleen Coddmgton Director of Advertising Richard S. Feeney Circulation Director Louis J. Golden Deputy Publisher and Vice President, External Affairs Btssa Papimo Associate Editor Reader Representative John 1 Zakarian Editorial Page Editor and Vice President Warner Inc. since it merged with his Turner Broadcasting company. They received their awards at a dinner and art million for the museum's George Gustav Heye Center in New York. The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution. Under Hayward's leadership, the Mashantuckets achieved federal recognition, created Foxwoods Resort Casino on their reservation in eastern Connecticut and this summer opened their own museum and research, center - a $200 million facility that has been national Outgoing Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Richard A. "Skip" Hayward was one of three dignitaries honored Wednesday night in New York City by the National Museum of the American Indian. In recognition of support for the museum, elaborate quilts made by a Crow Indian were presented to Hay-ward and the others, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii and Ted Turner, vice chairman of Time ly acclaimed. More than 100,000 people visited the Mashantucket museum in its first three months of operation, including more than 20,000 schoolchildren. Hayward, who has led the tribe for 23 years, lost the chairmanship to Vice Chairman Kenneth M. Reels in an election last month. Hayward will become vice chairman when Reels assumes the top post in January. Published daily and Sunday by Die Hartford Courant Company (ISSN 1047-4153): Periodicals postage paid at Hartford CT Postmaster send address changes to: The Hartford Courant, 28S 8road SI. Hartford, 006115. Weekly Home Delivery Subscnpbon Rates: Dairy and Sunday (7 days) delivery M .10. Dairy Only (Monday-Saturday) delivery $2.70; Saturday and Sunday including bonus days on 1235 delivery 2 00, Sunday and Monday including bonus days on 1225 delivery 12 00. The Hartford Courant reserves the ngfit to revise or reject any advertisemem. Only publication of the advertisement shall constitute acceptance of the advertisement. Ihe Hartford Courant shall not be responsible tat the omission, in whole or m part, ol any advertisement or for any typographical or other error. The Hartford Courant's liability shall be limned to the amount paid by the advertise! tor the first msec Hon only In no event shall the Hartford Courant be liable for consequential damages of any kind. auction at the HAYWARD Pierre Hotel, an event that was expected to raise more than $1 Wl A Tunes Mirror U Newspaper Telephone (060) 241-6200 or (800) 524-4242 (Outside Hartford area) kmmt ism jwm- BIGGEST MlMlW HuiHuHuf. SAVE $200 P""""! ill! VI 350 Home Gym Holiday Sale Ever!! Always better quality for less 2vw life Fitness 4500 Treadmill Diamond Diamonds Diamond Tennis Bracelets gs JJjj Stud Earrings Carat Gem's Min.Mo. .35 a s $ 295 $25 Carat Gem's Min.Mo. 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