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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Honoring Wakefield Taxpayers & Civic League 100Th Anniversary December 23, 2013
Eliot Engel, D-NY
"The League involves itself in improving their community by, for example, getting the outer walls of P.SW. 1 repaired; getting the retaining wall abutting a playground on Carpenter Avenue, in danger of falling, fixed; advocated successfully for the closing of `topless’ bars in a residential neighborhood; initiated a study to change zoning regulations that allowed motels to be built in residential areas; and fought illegal construction and illegal rentals in two- and three-family homes."
Honoring William Mitchell March 8, 2012
John Larson, D-CT
"In the words of that great S.W. Rotarian and philosopher Robert J. Ignagni, “This is the main event!” Thank you all for coming and being a part of this great evening to honor my baby brother Billy. For everything and everyone there is a beginning, and this is the way it unfolds … Billy, was the 5th child of 6, born to Joseph and Katie Mitchell. We had 3 older sisters and my father was ready to jump off the Buckley bridge. He always wanted a son and then he got his wish, 3 more children, all 3 boys. Now, years ago, think about it, our mom gave birth to six children—all in the house wherever we lived at the time. Two girls born in Pennsylvania, 1 in New Britain, Billy and myself in Manchester and Joey in East Hartford. There really wasn’t a need for hospitals during this period in our Nation’s health care system, but somehow it worked. Now, if you have ever been poor, it is quite likely, you will remember it. Believe me, you will remember it! Growing up in East Hartford on Tolland Street during World War II was an experience for six siblings. Coal was the method that most people used to heat their homes, and our father delivered coal. At our yard there were piles of coal, sometimes as tall as this beautiful restaurant. And for many, many of our young growing years, we would climb those piles of coal and slide and tumble down those huge piles. The neighbors often thought mom had 3 white daughters and 3 black sons, we were the only minorities at the time on Tolland St. Ice skating was great fun in the winter time, the wooded area across the railroad tracks would contain little locked up areas of frozen ponds that were great for skating all over. Often as our feet grew and the skates didn’t we would cut off the front of the skates to accommodate the growth of our feet. Everyone was poor but nobody knew it. Many of you in this room won’t remember, except for Kenny Jackson, this is the World War II era, everything is in short supply, gas, soap powder, butter. You name it, it probably was tough to get. Often our family would sit together on the front porch during the air raids at night because Pratt and Whitney was considered a prime target. Wardens would be running up and down the street making sure all lights were out. There were national guard bunkers with guardsmen living in them on the Long Hill Golf Course and on Goodwin Street almost in our back yard, frightening times for kids. And guess what, the Germans do arrive in a sub in Hancock Point, Maine, right where Della lived at the time, and a number of them go walking up Main Street in suits, they were going to infiltrate the area. They are promptly apprehended because they just didn’t fit into the local area. Nobody in that part of Maine owned a suit! Talk about not doing your homework! But we survived it all, and by 1952 the family moved to S.W. where the base of Billy’s operations for business is today. Back then it was called North Foster Rd., it was a gravel road and we quickly fit in to our new surroundings by working in the tobacco fields and man were they all over town. After Billy graduated Ellsworth High School, he worked for the family business known as Mitchell Fuel and Trucking and after the coal business died, Billy and Joey started Mitchell Trucking and Mitchell Excavators. Billy became active in town joining the SW Volunteer Fire Dept. and was recently recognized for his service of 50 years and he still to this day, is chairman of the board of fire commissioners. During this period I will never forget 3 incredible fires in town. The Industronic’s building on Sullivan Ave., the Pyrofax Propane fire on Rt. #5, and the Fishman Building on Chapel Rd. As the Pyrofax fire was raging, I was standing out in the middle of Rt #5 as huge propane tanks were burning out of control and I saw Billy jump into a piece of heavy equipment and cut a path so the fire trucks could get closer with their suppressants and as the fires burned out of control, one large piece of metal debris landed a short distance from me, I thought how incredibly brave he was, or was he just plain dumb. Needless to say, he survived and this act of bravery did help diminish that huge and dangerous fire more quickly. Years ago, the trucking business was thriving and Billy actually used to drive a ten-wheeler, Billy calls me around 6:30 a.m., “Johnny could you get a couple of shovels and meet me at the intersection of Crane Road and Wapping Wood Road in Ellington, I said sure, I’ll be right there as soon as I can.” Now picture this in your mind, Billy’s big 10 wheeler is laying over on it’s side, gravel all over and I arrive with two small shovels. If ever there was to be a defining moment in our lives, this was it, I knew it, I absolutely knew that I would forever be mom’s favorite. The trucking business was tough enough, but when something like that happens, it did hurt. You’d hire the trucks out for $45 an hour and it would cost $47 to run them. But, I attribute his love of the trucking business was due to the fact that he never had any toys to play with. Now I’m going to fast forward to 20 years ago, because I know the attention span of the average S.W. Rotarian is less that 10 minutes. And there is already a fair amount of money that has been bet on the over and under, 10 minutes. Billy started Environmental Services, they now employ over 55 people and have approximately 100 different pieces of specialized equipment. The office often is in a constant state of confusion and activity, Billy’s computer screen clearly shows where he has left off on the game of solitaire. A quick look around reveals all the latest types of health foods imaginable (and boy if that isn’t an understatement). Visitors coming and going, and so when I go there and bring him a coffee, it’s so easy to understand why I forgot what I went there for in the first place. But, I’ll tell you this, Billy loves oil companies, just loves us passionately. You see we deliver oil products for $3 $4 per gallon and God help you if you spill it, he will clean it up for $100 per gallon! Throughout his many years, Billy has had a unique way of handling pressure, and I really admired this talent. Picture this, “courtroom scene” billy is the co-defendant in a suit brought against him. He is represented by the Big East Hartford law firm, Leone, Throwe, Teller and Nagle. In the midst of the proceedings, Judge George Ripley smacks his gavel down and says Attorney Throwe approach the bench, so Jim approaches the bench and Judge Ripley says if you don’t wake your client up I’ll hold you both in contempt. Can’t you see we have students present observing these proceedings. That’s about as relaxed as you can get! Not long ago Billy was honored by the S.W. Volunteer Fire Department for his many years of service and recently he was selected to be the Town Marshall representing the Town of S.W. for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This is despite the fact that I think he is actually polish. Oh well!!! Additionally his recent awards and citations include one from Governor Dan Malloy, Secretary of State, Denise Merrill, the General Assembly, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, Mayor John Pelkey and the S.W. Town Council, Atty. General George Jepson and State Comptroller Kevin Lembo. (I think he’s trying to snag his signature stamp). After all this prominence, I decided to stop by the office and ask him if he was dying. Billy says “No, why how do I look?” I said well maybe you might want to lose a pound or two and don’t roll up your tee- shirt so high—but we are who we are. Over the many, many years, Billy has always supported Rotary’s fund raising efforts by either donating items for the auction or the purchasing of countless car raffle tickets, which was started by Andy Charboneau, and Rotary’s many other worthy causes. Billy’s never been a Rotarian although he’s been asked many, many times. He never held a public office, he never excelled in sports and when we played baseball in the lot next to our home in East Hartford and things didn’t go well for our youngest sister, the game was over because it was her bat and her ball. Billy exhibits the kind of quality that you would like to see in everyone, a compassion for his fellow man and a willingness to help whenever and however he possibly can. He exhibits to the highest degree, the first rule of Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self”. Billy’s life style reflects the work ethic of a seemingly distant era, except for maybe his favor nephew Davids. Billy is asleep by 8 p.m., awake by 4 a.m. and on his way to the 7 11 on Ellington Rd., where he may be asleep in the parking lot, stocking shelves or making coffee for the attendant. It was on one such early Sunday morning on his way there that he noticed a raging garage fire starting to lick the side of a home. A mother with her 3 children lie asleep inside and he pounded on the door and was able wake them and call the Fire Department to respond. It is quite likely that he saved their lives. When that final book is written, I believe it will not be the measure of one’s achievements or wealth but what that person has done with his or her life to help make this a better and caring world. Fellow Rotarian’s and guests, I submit to you the nominee for Rotary’s highest award, the Paul Harris Award to Billy F. Mitchell."
Master Sergeant Daniel L. Fedder Post Office December 12, 2011
Darrell Issa, R-CA
"Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 3220) to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 170 Evergreen Square SW in Pine City, Minnesota, as the “Master Sergeant Daniel L. Fedder Post Office”."
Master Sergeant Daniel L. Fedder Post Office December 12, 2011
Grace Napolitano, D-CA
"Mr. Speaker, on Monday, December 12, 2011, I was absent during rollcall vote No. 913. Had I been present, I would have voted “yea” on agreeing to H.R. 3220—To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 170 Evergreen Square SW in Pine City, Minnesota, as the “Master Sergeant Daniel L. Fedder Post Office.”"
Statements On Introduced Bills And Joint Resolutions March 30, 2011
Susan Collins, R-ME
"It is important to note that taxpayers will not shoulder the funding of this project. The proposed legislation calls for no new federal program and no new claims on the budget. The bill would simply direct the General Services Administration to negotiate and enter into an occupancy agreement with the National Women’s History Museum, Inc. to establish a museum on a tract of land near the Smithsonian Museums located at 12th Street, SW., and Independence Avenue, SW."

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