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Malloy, Foley Face Off in Last Debate


While Connecticut's Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley may have hugged it out before their last debate at the request of radio hosts Chaz and AJ, their battle for the governor's seat remains fierce a day before the election.

The debate started in Milford at 8:30 a.m. and aired live on "Chaz and AJ In The Morning" on rock radio station 99.1 PLR.

Just a day after unaffiliated gubernatorial candidate Joe Visconti announced that he is suspending his campaign, Foley said he welcomed the unaffiliated candidate's support.

"This is about guns," Malloy said in response Visconti's endorsement of Foley, referencing Foley's opposition to new gun control legislation in the state.

Answering the opening question about jobs in Connecticut, Malloy touted his job creation record but admitted the state workforce has been reduced by about 1,000 people since he took office.

Malloy said he has "no plans to eliminate future workers," but added that there is "always the possibility that the use of technology will allow us to do things more effectively."

Foley promised not to cut state workers' jobs and vowed to lower car and property taxes.

"People are feeling the big squeeze," he said. "I'm not happy and most people I'm talking to aren't."

After Foley criticized Malloy for tax hikes and spending increases, the incumbent defended his administration's decisions, saying he and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman have budgeted responsibly. Malloy explained that he didn't cut the budget because it would have led to job losses, hospital closures and police and fire layoffs.

The governor also said he plans to reinstitute tax cuts on prescription drugs if re-elected.

"We've weathered tough storms and human tragedies. I'm asking for your vote," Malloy said.

With a day to go before the polls open, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows Malloy pulling support from 47 percent of likely voters to Foley’s 44 percent. Seven percent remain undecided. The results were released soon after Visconti suspended his campaign and endorsed Foley.

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, independent candidate Joe Visconti’s last minute exit from the governor’s race doesn’t look like it will help Republican Tom Foley,” said Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a statement.  

This is the second time the two candidates are in a battle for the governor's seat. In 2010, Malloy defeated Foley in the general election after a heated race.

Chaz and AJ closed the debate by having Malloy and Foley participate in a more light-hearted battle – Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.

Malloy's blue robot quickly defeated Foley's red one. The radio personalities quipped that when they asked the candidates to play four years ago, the winner of the game ended up also winning the election.

Monday's gubernatorial debate was the last before the polls open Tuesday.

National party leaders are maintaining a presence in the state in the hours leading up to one of the closest governor's races in the country.

President Barack Obama rallied support for Malloy in Bridgeport on Sunday, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will appear in Windsor Locks alongside Foley this evening.

More Decision 2014 coverage is available here.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Waterbury Citizens' Patrol Keep an Eye on Crime


Rolling through Chase Park and the two other parks in the Town Plot neighborhood of Waterbury, in a car marked "Town Plot Citizens' Patrol," Bob Marti looks for anything suspicious. But he's not a cop.

"We have no powers whatsoever," Marti explained. "We're just plain old citizens that wanted to do this. I'm a former officer, but that doesn't make me still an officer."

It does give him experience in observation and discretion. Marti said there have been no major incidents in the city when the Waterbury Citizens' Patrol has had to call police for help.

And although they have no law enforcement authority, patrol members say the extra set of eyes on the city is meant to help deter crime.

"We patrol every street in Town Plot," he said. "Cul-de-sacs, condominiums, it doesn't matter. We patrol everything. If we see something that we feel is a little out of line, a car – a strange car, something like that – in wee hours of the morning we feel doesn't belong there, we take the plate number."

A video camera mounted on his windshield records any issues he and fellow members of the Town Plot Citizens' Patrol might encounter. The patrol vehicle has yellow lights and a CB radio for communications.

Working three or four nights per week, at five to six hours per shift, the patrol, which got its start last summer, is welcoming new members.

"We're not wide-eyed, running up and down the street like crazy bandits," Marti said. "We patrol slowly. We look and observe everything."

The citizens' patrol is linked the three Neighborhood Watch units in Town Plot and has offered to help people across town set up similar citizens' patrols.

The patrol holds fundraisers to stay afloat, and Marti said a resident whom the patrol helped has been generous with gas cards.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

1 Hurt in Gas Fireplace Explosion in Norwalk


A Norwalk resident was taken to the hospital Monday after being struck by broken glass during a gas fireplace explosion, according to police.

Norwalk police, firefighters and medics were called to a home on Knobhill Road on Monday evening when the fireplace exploded, police said.

One resident was taken to Norwalk Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Police said the explosion did not cause a fire. No one else was hurt.

Stolen Car "Intentionally Rams" State Police Cruiser


Authorities are investigating after a stolen car “intentionally rammed” a state police cruiser on Sunday.

Police said two troopers tried to pull over the stolen car while investigating a domestic violence incident when the driver smashed into the police cruiser and drove off the wrong way on the Conlin-Whitehead Highway section of Interstate 91 in Hartford.

Troopers found the car abandoned shortly thereafter and are still searching for the driver.

Police said the troopers were not injured.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Driver Spotted Watching Children in Greenwich


Police are urging community members to be on the alert after authorities spotted a New York man watching children from his car in Greenwich on multiple occasions over the past few weeks.

Greenwich police said the New York resident, who drives a red 2013 Volkswagen GTI, has been spotted in the area of Richland Road, Henry Street and along the New York state line watching local kids "on several occasions this month."

Police said he stands 6 feet 4 inches tall and wears a ponytail.

The owner, whose name has not been released, lives across the border in New York. Police said they have not established probable cause to arrest him but that "the known facts merit our increased vigilance."

Anyone who notices suspicious activity is urged to call Greenwich police at 203-622-8001 or report an anonymous tip by calling 203-622-3333 or emailing tips@greenwichct.org.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Visconti to Remain on Ballot


Although unaffiliated candidate for governor Joe Visconti has suspended his campaign and thrown his support behind GOP candidate Tom Foley, Visconti's name will remain on the ballot and the endorsement has no bearing on his official status in the race, according to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

“The machines have already been calibrated,” Merrill explained. “The ballots have been printed and ordered, so he will remain on the ballot and those votes will be tallied.”

Visconti, who petitioned his way onto the ballot by gathering more than 10,000 signatures from registered Connecticut voters, endorsed Foley on Sunday in a surprise announcement in Brookfield and asked his supporters to vote for Foley instead.

"We put the message out that we wanted and hopefully my people will come out, come over, because we have a lot of them,” Visconti said during an exclusive interview with NBC Connecticut’s George Colli on Sunday.

Merrill said her office communicated with Visconti's campaign, and the unaffiliated candidate made it clear that he was not altogether withdrawing. According to the Secretary of the State, the laws are vague when it comes to removing a candidate from the ballot.

Nevertheless, Merrill said "it would have had to happen a long time ago" in order to pull Visconti's name from the ballot on Tuesday.

Foley welcomed the endorsement from Visconti, who has billed himself as a “conservative alternative” on issues like guns and education.

"He doesn't want Gov. Malloy reelected. He wants me elected. He thinks Connecticut needs change. He realized that he could help make that happen by endorsing me, which I am grateful for," Foley said, during a campaign stop in Vernon.

When asked how he expects Visconti's endorsement to factor into the election, Gov. Dan Malloy said matter-of-factly that he didn't think it would make a significant difference with just hours to go until the polls open.

"He's on the ballot; the ballot was printed," Malloy said. "A lot of people will vote for Visconti. There's a reason they weren't voting for Tom Foley to begin with."

A Quinnipiac University Poll released Monday shows Malloy leading Foley with 47-44 percent of support from likely voters. Seven percent remain undecided.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Seymour Remembers Classmate Who Died of Brain Cancer


Nina Poeta was a senior at Seymour High School when she died Saturday from brain cancer, ending a year-long battle that brought community members together in a strong show of support.

"You know, she won," said high school student Morgan Scinto, while visiting a makeshift memorial outside Seymour High after school Monday. "She's in a better place. She won this battle."

Scinto wore a shirt emblazoned with the phrase, "Keep Calm and Nina Strong," the slogan of an effort to raise money and awareness in Poeta's memory.

Pictures plastered over the memorial show 17-year-old Poeta cheerleading on her high school team. Seymour High School was a big part of her life, and Poeta's struggle resonated not just with her own high school but but students in neighboring towns in the Naugatuck Valley.

"I think it's wonderful what they've done," said Maureen Scott, who said she knows Poeta's relatives in Beacon Falls. "All the communities are doing that now for people with problems."

The "Seymour Pink" initiative shows support for women with breast cancer, but pink is now the color for Poeta too.

Wearing a pink jacket, classmate Alex Rimkus said she remembered Poeta when she was very young.

"It's really sad. I'm really sad for her family," she said, "and I hope she'll live on forever in everyone's hearts."

Funeral arrangements have not yet been determined.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Farmington Students Boycott "Unsanitary" Lunches


Farmington High School students organized a boycott of the school lunch program Monday to push back against Chartwells, the company that serves food students say is consistently unacceptable.

Students announced plans for the boycott last week, citing moldy food and uncooked lunches, along with high prices and small portions.

"We are going to boycott the Chartwells company serving food in FHS," organizers wrote on the "Chartwells Boycott" Facebook page last week. "One day (a week, if possible) we won't buy from them until they stop serving us food that tastes bad and is obviously unhealthy and unsanitary."

Chartwells has been serving food at Farmington High School for three years and students said they hoped to send a message to the company and administrators alike.

"I think the first day was a success because I think most people were avoiding buying lunch," said Farmington High School sophomore Jake Lafrance.

Lafrance stopped buying the school lunches a while ago but said that option doesn't exist for some other students.

"I feel like if they can't bring there lunch, then they should be provided with quality food," Lafrance explained.

Boycott organizers said administrators confiscated the extra food they brought to share with supporters, calling it a "health problem," according to the Facebook page.

Meanwhile, parents seem to support of the boycott, which may be a timely lesson for everyone.

"Right now everyone's voting. You can make a difference. You have a voice," said Lafrance's mother, Janis.

The organizers of the boycott met with administrators and Chartwells representatives last week but said the promises and policy changes made to date have not been significant.

They, along with hundreds of peers who signed up to join the boycott, plan to continue boycotting through the end of the week.

"We need to stop them before it's too late, because it's not like there's any other choice for us anyways," the boycott organizers wrote on Facebook.

Farmington High School Principal Bill Silva said Monday's boycott was respectful and not disruptive. He said he plans to meet with students again "to get a broad-based understanding of their concerns."

"Along with the high school administration, Chartwells is committed to addressing these concerns and has been very responsive to student input and questions," Silva said.

Farmington Supt. Kathleen Greider said last week that she and other school officials "deeply respect our students' opinions and honor the dignity of every student that attends the Farmington Schools."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Gas Prices on Berlin Turnpike Lowest in Four Years


Cars lined up on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington on Monday as gas fell to the lowest prices drivers have seen in four years.

Employees of the Citgo station said the pumps didn't stop all day.

At $2.91 per gallon, gas was the cheapest in four years, according to AAA spokesperson Aaron Kupec.

Business owner Mike Simkewicz said the lower fuel prices are good for his bottom line.

“I got in here real quick and I saw the price. I don’t even need gas,” Simkewicz said. “Every little bit helps because I’ve got enough bills as it is.”

Employees of the gas station says the pumps didn’t stop all day. At one point, drivers panicked, thinking they ran out of gas.

At one point, drivers panicked, worrying the station had run out out gas. But sure enough, fuel started flowing again. A fuel truck arrived just in time to make another gas delivery.

Mid-grade fuel went for $3.19 per gallon, while the price of premium gas was set at $3.27. Diesel fuel clocked in at $3.48.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Family Says Human Skulls Found at Dump Were Stolen


Days after two human skulls turned up at a Stamford dump along with books on Satan and witchcraft, a family from Stratford has come forward to say they think the skulls belong to them.

Stamford and Stratford police have been in contact as the case unfolded, according to Stamford police Sgt. Paul Guzda, who said two skulls were reported missing from a Stratford mauseoleum a decade ago.

Stratford residents with family ties to the mauseoleum told News 12 Connecticut they believe the skulls found in Stamford are the ones that were stolen 10 years ago.

"It looked to me like a car had crashed into a mausoleum, but as I got closer, I could tell someone must have broke [sic] the shutter on the mausoleum and slid the casket down," said Bill Forth, of Stratford Monument Works, who discovered that the skulls were missing and called police.

Forth, who has worked in the monument business for 40 years, said someone must have pried open the caskets and taken the skulls from inside.

"It's a horrible thing to happen. You always think of the family," Forth said. "You can't explain it. It's just a crazy world we live in and who knows what's going to happen next."

Guzda said the skulls are still being examined as part of the investigation. Police will conduct DNA tests to determine whether they match the skulls stolen from Stratford.

Police said the skulls found in Stamford on Thursday belonged to a Fairfield man in his 50s who collected occult paraphernalia and had recently died.

The man's father, 89-year-old Robert DiVitto, found the skulls when he was cleaning out his son's room. DiVitto said on Friday that he didn't know the skulls were real and that his son bought them "as a joke," according to the Associated Press.

Crews from Junkluggers, a New York-based junk removal company, thought the skulls were plastic decorations when they took them to the dump while doing a junk removal job.

Police said a transfer station employee found the skulls while sifting through garbage at 1 Pumping Station Road on Oct. 30.

For his part, Forth said he hopes the DNA matches up so the family can have some closure and put their skulls back into the caskets where they belong.

Photo Credit: Stamford Police

Governor's Race Remains Tight on Eve of Election


With one day to go before Tuesday's midterm election and in light of unaffiliated candidate for governor Joe Visconti's decision to suspend his campaign, a new Quinnipiac University Poll shows Democratic incumbent Gov. Dannel Malloy pulling support from 47 percent of likely voters to Republican challenger Tom Foley’s 44 percent.

Seven percent of voters remain undecided, according the poll released Monday morning.

Although the margin remains slim, the latest poll shows the gap widening. The previous Quinnipiac Poll had Malloy and Foley deadlocked at 43 percent, with 7 percent of voters supporting Visconti.

"I think I don't pay attention to polls. Polls are good for trends. They're not good for telling you what's actually going to happen," Malloy said on Monday. "I'd rather be trending well but this is about who gets their votes to the polls.

The poll released Oct. 29 found Foley would lead Malloy 46-45 percent if Visconti were not a factor.

In a surprise announcement in Brookfield on Sunday, the unaffiliated suspended his campaign and asked his supporters to vote for Foley instead. Visconti's name will remain on the ballot.

It's not clear, however, if that last-minute move will be enough to push Foley ahead.

"What we're finding, which is somewhat surprising, is that [Visconti supporters are] breaking somewhat for Malloy. Now I think the interpretation has to be that Visconti voters are protest voters that aren't happy with either candidate," said Quinnipiac University Poll director Doug Schwartz.

Both candidates have favorability ratings in the red. Foley is viewed as 44 percent unfavorable, with only 42 percent of voters viewing him in a positive light. Forty-nine percent of likely voters give Malloy an unfavorable rating, compared with 43 percent who see him favorably, according to the poll.

With one day to go, 89 percent of Connecticut likely voters who named a candidate said their minds are made up, while 11 percent say they might reconsider. Malloy and Foley are statistically tied among independent voters, with Foley holding a slight edge, according to the poll.

Foley said he's more inclined to believe his own pollsters.

"Midweek last week, we were three-and-a-half points up, and I think we're gaining going into Election Day," Foley said.

Visconti's name will remain on the ballot despite his endorsement of Foley.

The two frontrunners participated in the last debate before the election Monday morning,

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Stabs Brother While Visiting Dad at Medical Facility: Cops


A 42-year-old Meriden man is facing charges after he stabbed his estranged brother in the parking lot of a physical rehabilitation facility in North Haven where their father is receiving treatment, according to police.

Police said Richard Jeannette was fighting with his brother Sunday evening outside a rehab center on Quinnipiac Avenue when the confrontation turned physical and Jeannette stabbed his brother in the chest.

The victim went home to Hamden and called police. Hamden Fire Rescue officials provided medical aid, then took the victim to a local hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening stab wound, police said.

Jeannette was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and disorderly  conduct. He was held on $100,000 bond and appeared in court Monday.

Antoinette Advances, Offor Goes Home on NBC's "The Voice"


Two contestants with Connecticut ties rallied support around the state with impressive performances on NBC’s “The Voice,” but only one will advance to the next round of live competition.

Anita Antoinette, who spent her early years in Jamaica before heading to the U.S. and settling with her family in Boston and later, New Britain, has worked alongside coach Gwen Stefani to grow her talent.

Antoinette’s powerful rendition of “Rude” by Magic won the judges over in the knockout round on Monday night’s episode, despite fierce competition from her rival. Ultimately, Stefani chose Antoinette as the winner of the battle, sending the soulful singer with reggae roots through to the next round.

“Wow! I was not expecting that,” Antoinette gushed after Stefani announced her as the victor. “I am so happy. I’m going to the live playoffs, baby! Yes!”

Antoinette, whose knees buckled in surprise and relief when her name was called, did a victory dance with Pharrell, another coach, after giving Stefani a big hug.

“Anita, you just kept jabbing people with these unexpected, super confident notes,” Pharrell said after Antoinette took the stage.

Stefani, meanwhile, said she wasn’t surprised by Antoinette’s winning performance.

“I knew she was going to kill it because she just has so much personality and so much stage presence,” Stefani explained.

Blessing Offor, another performer who spent time in Connecticut, did not have as much luck this time around.

The Hamden High School graduate, first a member of Pharrell’s team, got a second lease on life last week when he lost that challenge and was scooped up by fellow coach Adam Levine.

Offor, who draws his strength from R&B, took a slightly different route tonight with John Mayer’s “Your Body is a Wonderland.”

“There’s just something special about you,” said coach Blake Shelton. “You did a great job up there.”

He not only turned out a solid performance vocally and accompanied himself on keyboard in his signature style, he seemed to have fun on stage and got the audience going.

“One person had to prevail. Blessing didn’t mess up,” Levine said, of what he referred to on Twitter as his “super tough decision.”

Offor took the setback in stride.

“I have learned a lot from Adam and Pharrell,” Offor said. “And I think I’ve grown a ton as a musician.”

Photo Credit: NBC's "The Voice"

Tape Measure Falls 50 Stories, Kills Man in NJ: Cops


A worker in his 50s died after being hit in the head by a tape measure that fell 50 stories from a construction site in Jersey City Monday, authorities say.

The man, identified in a police report as Gary Anderson, of Summerdale, delivered Sheetrock to a 50-story apartment building under construction on Christopher Columbus Drive near Marin Boulevard shortly before 9 a.m. He parked his truck near the Christopher Columbus Drive entrance, got out and stopped to speak to someone on his way to the building.

Anderson stuck his head inside a vehicle to talk to the person and as he pulled his head out, a 1-pound tape measure fell off the belt of a contractor working on the 50th floor, bounced off a piece of metal construction equipment about 10 feet off the ground and hit him in the head, police said.

Anderson was knocked out and later died at the hospital. Police said he went into cardiac arrest as doctors were treating him.

He was not wearing a hard hat, though he did have one in his car, according to police. The Jersey City Department of Public Safety said anyone working at a construction site must wear a helmet at all times.

It wasn't clear what company Anderson worked for, but Living Right, LLC was written on the side of the truck he drove to the site. A person who answered the phone at the company said it was a difficult time.  

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Mom Upset That Disabled Son Must Walk to School


A New Britain mother is fighting for her disabled son.

Kechia Giraud said her 5-year-old son Xavier was born with Larsen Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects bone development from which she also suffers.

Giraud said it’s painful for her and Xavier to walk to and from Smith School every day. Since they live less than a mile from the school, bus transportation is not provided.

“With our condition, we get tired quickly of walking. I have the condition; I can’t walk more than a block,” said Giraud.

Giraud said she’s been going back and forth with the school district, but her request to have Xavier picked up and dropped off has been denied, even after she said she handed in a doctor’s note.

“I’ve been fighting this for two months and they keep denying me,” said Giraud.

School officials, however, said it was the medical providers who made the decision that Xavier doesn't need to be picked up and dropped off.

“There have been many conversations with the parent between the parent and the school, and also between our medical professional and the parent and her medical doctors,” said Dr. E. Ann Carabillo, with the Consolidated School District of New Britain.

“This particular child does not have a disability that would warrant him or her having curb-to-curb transportation,” Carabillo added.

Giraud said she’ll keep fighting.

“To me, it’s discrimination. He’s disabled,” said Giraud.

The school district has offered to work with Giraud to introduce her to neighbors who will be walking with Xavier to school. School officials said they also offered to meet Xavier in the lower parking lot and walk up the hill with him, so that his mother doesn’t have to make that trip.

Giraud said she doesn’t feel comfortable having her son walk with the neighbors. He’s already missed two days of school because his mother’s car broke down, and now she has no way to drive him.

Photo Credit: Kechia Giraud

Person Fatally Struck by Car While Mowing Lawn


A person mowing the lawn in Mansfield has died after being struck by a car on Crane Hill Road in Mansfield.

Emergency dispatchers said the victim was mowing the lawn in the area of 173 Crane Hill Road in Mansfield around 3:30 p.m. Monday. According to police, a car driving the same direction as the lawnmower was moving struck the victim on the grassy shoulder.

LifeStar was called to the scene but canceled, according to the helicopter service. State police said the victim died at Windham Hospital.

State police and Mansfield fire officials responded to the scene Monday afternoon. Crane Hill Road was blocked off between the intersections of Mansfield City Road and Browns Road for hours after the crash.

Authorities have not released any identifying information about the victim.

The crash is still under investigation. No charges have been filed. Anyone with information is urged to call State Police Trooper Davison at 860-896-3200.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Polls Open Across Connecticut for Election 2014


The polls open statewide at 6 a.m. and people will head to the polls to vote in several races including who will be the next governor.

Gov. Dan Malloy (D) is seeking re-election, but Republican Tom Foley (R) is looking to unseat him. Unaffiliated candidate Joe Visconti suspended his campaign, but will remain on the ballot. The latest Quinnipiac Poll has Malloy and Foley points apart.

"I think I don't pay attention to polls. Polls are good for trends. They're not good for telling you what's actually going to happen. I'd rather be trending well but this is about who gets their votes to the polls,"

Malloy is scheduled to cast his vote in the morning.

Meanwhile, several viewers have contacted NBC Connecticut to complain that polling places weren't ready for them to vote at 6 a.m. at about three different locations in Hartford. When asked about the complaints, Secretary of State Denise Merrill said at the Hartford Seminary, another polling location, that she was not aware of these issues but that she would look into them when she returns to her office.Merrill said that her office fields as many as 5,000 calls on Election Day.

You can visit the Connecticut Secretary of State website for more information on where you'll be voting and other election details.

Polling places will remain open until 8 p.m.

Enfield House Fire Deemed "Suspicious"


Fire officials are investigating a "suspicious" house fire on Martin Terrace in Enfield that happened early Tuesday morning, fire officials said.

A neighbor reported a fire at 5 Martin Terrace in Enfield at about 3:15 a.m. on Tuesday that appears to have started toward the back of the home, according to fire officials. The Hazardville Fire Department responded to the scene.

Firefighters said that the house fire was the "third suspicious fire in this area."

The cause remains under investigation.

Fire officials are asking anyone with information to call the state arson tip line at 1-800-842-7766 (1-800-84A-RSON).

Photo Credit: Submitted

Eastbound Trains Resume in West Haven


Metro-North trains headed eastbound Tuesday have resumed stops in West Haven after track work in that area in the morning.

Commuters were still able to take westbound trains from New Haven to get there throughout the morning.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Davis / The Feast

Homeless Protest Camp "Crisis"


Residents of the nation's largest homeless camp are protesting tight port-a-potty time limits at the San Jose camp, saying the crackdowns have caused a "sanitation crisis" and demanding city leaders prioritize homelessness.

"I feel like they're punishing us,” said Grace, who lives at the encampment. “I feel that in my heart that's what they're doing to us."

Some of the roughly 350 people who live in “the Jungle,” across the street from Happy Hollow Zoo, accused the city of "inhumane treatment" at their pre-election protest and news conference Monday. 

Residents and homeless advocates said they’ve been left in a very unsanitary limbo: They want the city to drop its time restrictions on portable toilets installed on the premises. Right now, they can only be used from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As a result of the toilets’ early-closing time, “we have a real sanitation crisis,” Pastor Scott Wagers said.

Residents on Monday also called for an end to police sweeps.

"We want the city to stop their sweeps of encampments until sanctuaries are identified on city, county or church properties,” resident Robert Aguirre said.

San Jose officials point out its program has already found housing for about 125 former Jungle residents and will continue to do more.

"Encampments represent an unsafe, unsanitary and dangerous place for people to be,” said Ray Bramson, San Jose’s project manager in charge of the encampment issue. “We want to make sure that this type of concentration and this type of trouble people are facing there on those sites doesn't continue to occur."

The city plans to close the Jungle in mid-December.

Photo Credit: Robert Handa
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