Frey fumes and fires back 25 years ago

The Health Department was bombarded with residents looking for free radon-detection-kits, the Feb. 11, 1988 Press reported.

About 70 people showed up in the first hour that the kits were being distributed. A total of 120 people expressed interest in getting the kits, but only 100 were available as part of a statewide study.

Parking Authority Chairman John Frey fired back at the Press for an editorial it ran about the authority’s proposal to increase the number of parking violations officers from one to four. “Contrary to the impression given by your editorial last week, the Ridgefield Parking Authority does not spend its time (not even a little bit of it) setting up ‘quotas’ for violations to be issued to the unsuspecting public. It is not even slightly interested in building a ‘bureaucratic empire.’ In order to accomplish all that is being asked of the Parking Authority, additional personnel will be necessary. As in any job — even newspapering — there is a limit to what one person can do. The Parking Authority welcomes constructive criticism and advice; however, your editorial just does not fit either category.”

After a month of study into the GOP presidential candidates’ positions, the Teenage Republican Club held a mock presidential primary. The big winner in the poll was Vice President George Bush who received 64% of the vote.  The only two other candidates to win votes were Representative Jack Kemp with 32% and Gen. Alexander Haig with 4% of the vote. In summing up the results, club chairman Howard Hogan said, “By the end of this year, Ronald Reagan will have been president for approximately half of our lifetimes. In 1988 the voters will have a chance to continue the progress of the Reagan Revolution. If we can help in anyway, it will be asking people to vote Republican.”

Bartholomew Salerno, Ridgefield businessman, Realtor and founder of radio station WREF, died at 64. Mr. Salerno moved to Ridgefield in 1954 and taught art at Ridgefield High. A year later he purchased the West Lane carriage house of Metropolitan Opera star Geraldine Farrar. Known to his friends as “Bart” or “Black Bart,” Mr. Salerno left teaching and operated a real estate and insurance business out of a converted freezer building on Danbury Road until he moved the business to the Big Shop on Bailey Avenue. In fact, it was Mr. Salerno who won plaudits for the renovation of the Big Shop, a former carriage factory that had sat at the corner of Main Street and West Lane ( now the site of the Congregational Church) where Lincoln’s Vice President Hannibal Hamlin spoke during the Civil War.  Board of Realtors president Jack Baldaserini said he always enjoyed working with Salerno, “I never left a meeting without the feeling that I had learned something new. He had great creativity.”

The Ridgefield varsity hockey team took to the ice twice during the first week of February and won big. Ranked seventh in the states, the wins over Trumbull, 22 to 1 and Wilton, 9 to 1, guaranteed Ridgefield’s rise in rank. Coach Gregg Hutchings used the Trumbull game to give his younger skaters a lot of ice time. As for the Wilton game, he said, “Playing Wilton was always tough, they used to be the powerhouse, but now we are.”

George and Carol Hanlon of Hopewell Junction, N.Y. bought the Robert Tuccio property off West Mountain, marking Mr. Hanlon’s return to his hometown.

Mrs. Patrick Neligan was honored on her retirement by the Board of Trustees for the Norwalk Hospital. (Dr. and Mrs. Neligan, who moved to Ridgefield in 1956, recently sold their estate on West Mountain Road.)

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