Tapinto.net ran a story on Monday (5/23/22) to warn the public of a possible scam.

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The report was all about an individual who has been seen in Mahopac "playing" a violin in public places, and asking for money. The panhandler usually has a sob story about feeding their family or being in need, but witnesses told the paper it's a fake and they've seen the man counting large sums of cash.

To add insult to injury, the music is not real according to the report. The music is pre-recorded and the violin player is really someone pretending to play the violin. I reached out to Putnam County Sheriff Kevin McConville to ask him about the issue, this is what he told me:

"We've had no complaints on them as of yet. If we receive a complaint it would be investigated thoroughly. As long as they don't block pedestrian or vehicle traffic, and no one from the stores or property owner complains - it makes it difficult. If someone has been scammed, we'd look into it. We have been keeping an eye out."

We brought this up on the Ethan and Lou Show this morning (5/24/22) and it generated a lot of buzz.

After we aired the above segment, the mail started to come in and it became evident, that this panhandler covers a lot of ground and he's not subtle. These are some of the messages we received through the I-95 Rock Mobile App:

BigBootyJudi - New Milford 

"Yuuuup! They’ve been posted up at Walmart in new Milford. It’s terribly noticeable if you know anything about musical instruments. It’s a well known scam. The insult to injury is the fake music."

Erik - Brookfield

"Hey Lou, they’ve been doing this in Danbury and Bethel for almost a year, I own the Athlete’s Source in the Big Y shopping center and I have called the police on them a couple times. I have had a confrontation with them every time they were in the shopping center. Being a musician I knew it was fake the first time I saw it and I called him out on it. I scare them away every time. Well when he said I had to feed my children, I said I have three children and I have a job, why don’t you try that."

Ron - Stamford

"The violin guy was in Norwalk also last week."

Chris - New Milford 

"Saw the violin guy at big y in new Milford and asked him to play Devil Went Down to Georgia and he looked like a deer in headlights. Long story short, he didn’t receive any money."

Dill Pickle - New Milford 

"I've seen the violin guy in the BK and Aldi parking lot in New Milford." 

Alex Plus - New Milford 

"Morning fellas! I'm looking at the picture of this violin guy on TapInto; guy's got a Calvin Klein shirt on, Puma pants, some nice sneakers, some kind of designer glasses... There was a guy who came up to me at a gas station once; asked me for a few bucks to get something to eat... WHILE HE'S EATING A SANDWICH! No joke. The audacity! Love you guys; have a great day!" 

Mahopac Mike - Mahopac 

"I saw him at ShopRite in Glenville."

Deb - Oakville 

"I read an article that said panhandlers can make 40-60K a year….that's more than I make at my 40hr/week J.O.B." 

This one is not making people happy, and I can understand. This needles at a sensitive spot for anyone who has ever been in need, or who has wanted to help another person. You shouldn't have to wonder if someone is trying to take advantage of you, when you hand them a dollar.

This Candlewood Lake Hype Video Will Remind You Why You Live Here

As we head into March, a long, icy winter is coming to a close and it can’t end soon enough. All of us have been uncomfortable and inconvenienced by the weather the way we are every year. You work to clear snow; you anticipate and prepare for weather and we all endure it.

We need a break, and it’ coming soon. I often make fun of people whose solution to the seasons is to move to Florida. I say they can’t hack it; they are not big enough to ride this ride or we don’t want them. If I am being fair, by this time every year, I am reconsidering my position on this.

Living here can be brutal but the horizon is coated in sunlight. For many of us, Candlewood Lake is why we live here. It is center stage for our personal entertainment and relaxation. Right about now, we need a reminder of why we live here and what is to come for our spring and summer.

To that end, I was daydreaming today, cruising videos of Candlewood Lake in the summer and I found a Youtube video from 2020. It was posted by Olini Media and, in less than two years it has almost 5,000 views

Danbury’s Historic Little Red Chapel is Deliciously Out of Place for 2022

Given Danbury’s location, and its vitality during the American Revolution, there are historic structures, places and markings wherever you go. Sometimes these places can get overlooked, part of a landscape we pass on the way to the store, or to work. The Little Red Chapel is one of those places that locals are lucky enough to see, as often as they’d like. But It’s become a place, we now take for granted. In its day, it’s size may have been the only thing that made it standout but in 2022, it’s deliciously out-of-place. 

Under the Bridge – Danbury’s Hidden Art Project

Danbury, CT has a lot of murals which have been sanctioned by the city and then there is the illegal graffiti. The Hat City has its fair share of illegal graffiti but most of it, is off the beaten-path. It’s near the train tracks, and under bridges, it’s in places most residents will never go. I intentionally seek these places out. I like to go to places most people would find scary, grimy or even dangerous. I’m willing to climb over downed trees, step on broken glass and dodge rusting metal to find my way to a place I was never meant to see.

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