About

George Gombossy is the editor & publisher of CtWatchdog.com and www.CtCondoNews.com – two premier Connecticut consumer websites. He and radio personality Dan Lovallo co-publish www.CtTalking.com, a Connecticut political website where civil discourse is encouraged.41606_140587672654672_3441617_n

Gombossy launched CtWatchdog in August 2009 after he was fired from The Hartford Courant where he was the first investigative consumer columnist in the Courant’s history. He was fired on Aug. 3 after refusing to “be nice” to major advertisers. For three years he served as the advocate for consumers at The Courant, following 12 years as its business editor. Working with thousands of readers who sent him complaints and tips, his Watchdog columns resulted in more pay for homework than a dozen state investigations and forced CL&P and many other companies to spend millions of dollars improving their customer service.

In late 2011 the suit was resolved.

During his 40-year career at the newspaper, Gombossy led teams of reporters that won dozens of awards, including the George Polk Award and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. He helped the paper win its first Pulitzer Prize. Under his direction The Courant won the SABEW Best in Business award for overall quality among midsize newspapers four times and he directed the work of two Gerald Loeb Award finalists and won the SABEW BiB award for his Watchdog column. At least five of his investigative series were nominated by The Courant for the Pulitzer.

Most recently The National Association Of Consumer Advocates gave Gombossy its highest journalistic award- the 2009 Media Award – for his 40 years of working on behalf of consumers and investors as a reporter, editor and columnist. He was a board member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), where he served on the contest and audit committees.

George is also a proud U.S. Army veteran, volunteering to serve during the Vietnam War (he did not serve in Vietnam). Born in Hungary, he came to the U.S. in 1956 and has been ever grateful to this country for what it has given him and his family. Reach George at george@ctwatchdog.com.

CTWATCHDOG.Com is blessed with several outstanding bloggers

Dr. Kathleen Cairns

Kathleen is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified hypnotherapist in private practice in West Hartford, Connecticut and Beverly Hills, California.

She  is the author of “The Psychotherapy Workbook: A Home-Study Guide For Growth & Change” endorsed by New York Times best-selling author and psychiatrist Dr. Harold Bloomfield.

She co-authored “The Bald & The Beautiful: Surviving Breast Cancer.” She wrote and produced the self-hypnosis audio tape “Breathe… As If Your Life Depended On It.” She has also created a line of lithographic greeting cards entitled “Kathleen’s Condolences.” Her website www.kathleencairns.com displays her work, photo, and excerpts from her books and audiotape and greeting cards.

For over twenty-five years, Kathleen’s practice, The Life Goes On Psychotherapy Center, has focused on the teaching and development of communication and intimacy skills in relationships. Her areas of expertise include anxiety and depression, recovery from addiction, couples, eating disorders in adolescents, phobias, stress management, the mind-body connection, and death and dying. Dr. Cairns was a consultant to Project Nightlight, an organization dedicated to helping AIDS patients without families in the final stages of dying.

She  conducts seminars in Los Angeles, Boston, and Hartford and has appeared on national television and radio talk shows.

Her email address is kathleen.cairns@mac.com. She will get back to as many people as she can and will use some of your questions for future columns.

Gina Juliano

Gina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gina Juliano writes two regular columns for CtWatchdog. She writes Frugal Fridays, where she gives tips on how to save money, and she writes a weekly column called Great Ct Grocery Deals where she finds the best grocery deals in Connecticut newspapers. She writes daily about “Everything coupon, free, and cheap” on her blog, Gina’s Kokopelli (www.ginaskokopelli.com). Gina also teaches couponing classes and would love to be invited to your school, library, or organization. Please contact her at ginaskokopelli@yahoo.com.

Denis Horgan, journalist, author and world traveler

Horgan was born during a Thanksgiving snowstorm in a Boston taxicab that didn’t quite make it to the hospital on time. Starting off life that way gives special impetus to being “on the road.” Denis decided early to look on the world through the eyes of a journalist, starting as a copy boy at the Boston Globe and serving in a variety of capacities ” reporter, editor, columnist” for the Bangkok World, the Washington Star and the Hartford Courant, where he was travel editor.

Most recently he is the author of the essays/memoir, “Flotsam: A Life in Debris,” and the novel, “The Dawn of Days.”

An indefatigable traveler, Denis is on the road whenever the occasion allows. He has journeyed to scores of countries around the world, and to hundreds of corners of the United States. “I have never taken a trip anywhere that hasn’t been interesting or fun,” he says. “Never. Travel is always exciting, illuminating and fascinating. And it’s so easy to do.” Denis is also a gifted writer, who  engages your senses with his carefully crafted columns.

E-mail Denis at denis@bluefoot.tv

 

 

 

Alyssa Shapiro

Alyssa

Alyssa Shapiro frequently blogs for CtWatchdog.

Her column reveals what people are buying, why, and whether it is worthwhile.   She writes about our voracious spending habits from her post in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Alyssa’s career began as an advertising executive for 14 years. She worked with The Hartford Courant, Connecticut Magazine, and Lamar Advertising. From there she moved abroad and travelled internationally. After seeing the world outside American suburbs, Alyssa returned to Connecticut with a fresh perspective and found her voice in writing “What It Is.” She published 160 columns for Hersam Acorn in the award-winning weekly newspaper The Wilton Bulletin.

Her website is www.alyssashapiro.com.

Leslie Jacobs

Leslie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie writes a regular column for CtWatchdog called Less Mess. She is a professional organizer.

For more information or to book Leslie Jacobs, please visit: www.lesmess.com  or send her questions at lesliefjacobs@yahoo.com

Watchdog Nation’s Dave Lieber

For 30 years, Dave Lieber, a humorist and storyteller, has used stories to help change our world. Dave works as The Watchdog investigative columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and is one of Texas’ most popular speakers.

He won the Katie Award from the Dallas Press Club as the best columnist in the U.S. Southwest.

He is co-founder of one of North Texas’ largest children’s charities, Summer Santa, which serves thousands of children each year through a volunteer service that has no office or paid staff.

His work for Summer Santa earned him the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, which goes to the U.S. newspaper columnist whose work produces positive effects on the lives of readers.

He is the author of two popular books, “The Dog of My Nightmares: Stories by Texas Columnist Dave Lieber” and “Dave Lieber’s Watchdog Nation: Bite Back When Businesses and Scammers Do You Wrong.”

His author website is www.YankeeCowboy.com and his book site is www.WatchdogNation.com. You can reach Dave at dlieber@ctwatchdog.com.

 

Atty Andrew Kreig


Andrew Kreig, a former Hartford Courant reporter and now a nationally known investigative journalist, writes regular columns on justice and politics.

Andrew is a freelance investigative reporter, lawyer and radio host based in Washington.

His primary focus for the past year has been exploring allegations of corruption and other misconduct in federal agencies, and also advising several nonprofit groups fostering cutting-edge applications within the communications industries.

As president of the Wireless Communications Association International from 1996 to last summer, Andrew led its worldwide advocacy that helped create today’s broadband wireless industry.

Previously, he was an associate at Latham & Watkins, law clerk to a federal judge, author of “Spiked,” a book about the newspaper business, and a longtime reporter for the Courant.

Currently, he is a senior fellow with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and a research fellow with the Information Economy Project at George Mason University School of Law.

Listed in the Marquis Who’s Who in America, he holds law degrees from the University of Chicago School of Law and from Yale Law School. His undergraduate degree is from Cornell University, where he was a Daily Sun editor, a rower and a Golden Gloves regional finalist.

Write to Andrew at Andrew@justice-integrity.org.

Dr. Rebecca Saria

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Saria writes a column on pet health issues.

Kathy Kiley

Kathleen Kiley has been a journalist for 20 years. She began her career writing for Investment Dealers’ Digest, reporting on mergers and acquisitions. She has written for national business magazines and The New York Times.

Kathleen, along with a team of international business journalists, launched a news site for KPMG, one of the big-four accounting and advisory firms in 2000, where she covered consumer markets. Kathleen became interested in reporting on organic farming after writing a story about how a group of women (The Fairfield Organic Teaching Farm) made it their crusade to create an organic teaching farming in Fairfield. She will be writing a column on organic farming every other Thursday.

Kathleen LaBella will write her CtEatWell column on alternating Thursday. You can reach Kathy at kathleenjkiley@gmail.com and check out her new web site (a work in progress like everyones) atwww.organicfarmingct.com

Former Racedriver and Teacher Bobby Carville

 

 

Kathleen S. Cowan LaBella

Kathy

Kathleen S. Cowan LaBella, RD, CD-N is a registered dietitian, and a certified advanced health and fitness specialist with American Council on Exercise.

Her weekly column is called CtEatWell.

Kathleen has a private practice located in Essex, Connecticut where she specializes in lifestyle behavior change for sports nutrition, weight management, and wellness. Kathleen has worked on both the collegiate level as well as developing individual exercise and nutrition programs for a variety of clientele including professional athletes. Kathleen has consulted in fitness centers, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers throughout New England to develop specific nutrition programs for adults, children, and the elderly. She has written and provided lectures on topics of Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, Cardiac Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Sports Nutrition, and Wellness Programs. She has produced, wrote and hosted a local health and fitness television series for Comcast Cable, and has been featured on Public Broadcasting System health programs, and has been consulted as a source for several newspaper articles on topics of health and nutrition. She has developed recipes, as well as provided nutrition labeling to international corporations.

Kathleen encourages a diet with food by means of local sustainable agriculture for a healthy environment and economy as well. Her other interests include cooking, gardening, hiking, kayaking, weight training, and outdoor living.  Kathleen believes that lifestyle changes not only include diet and exercise, but it includes the environment that surrounds us both inside and outside the home.  She not only advises clients, but lives the lifestyle she teaches and writes about.

Her website is www.peakperformancerd.com and she can be reached at kathy@peakperformancerd.com

 

Carol Mueller, marketing/sponsorship director

Carol is an experienced marketing and advertising saleswoman. For many years she sold advertising for The Courant, before joining the  Connecticut Dental Association where her main job was to produce huge conferences. She can be reached at carol@ctwatchdog.com.

And this website would only be a dream if it weren’t for Jeanne Leblanc and Tom Twitchell, who worked round the clock to design it.

We are constantly working to improve our site and will have a board of advisers to help guide it and nurture it – with your help – to become an institution that will serve the public for a long time.

Disclosure

Don’t believe a  journalist who tells you he or she is objective. We are not machines. What is important is fairness and transparency. Everyone has conflicts. I (George) certainly do. And as you read my blogs you need to know what they are: I and my wife own stock in many companies, including UTC, GE, eBay, Apple, Microsoft, Deere, gold and silver, Verizon, AT&T, Ford, as well as coal and oil companies. I own rental property in West Hartford and we sometimes rent our Key Largo condo.

My major conflict involves Hoffman Auto Group. My son works there as the Porsche service representative, the company at times is an advertiser on CtWatchdog and i helped it launch DrivenCt.com,a consumer auto guide. The columns that I publish from DrivenCt.com are edited by me and sometimes I suggest topics. Obviously I have such a huge conflict of interest that I cannot publish any positive or negative comments from readers about Hoffman Auto Group. As I have in the past, any complaints that I receive about the dealership I turn over to owner Brad Hoffman. Katie Bushey  is Hoffman’s public relations director. You can contact her at Katie.Bushey@hoffmanauto.com.


10 Comments on "About"

  1. On January 3 I read with dismay the article in ctwatchdog.com. Unfortunately the individual who provided the information did not provide a complete set of facts.

    I’m certain that as a professional newsperson it is your intent to report a fair, unbiased, and accurate story, so I ask that you contact me and give me an opportunity to respond.

    As reported, the article misrepresents what happened, presents a one-sided perspective, and is an unfair attack on my integrity and character. I have been a managing agent for 24 years and I am prepared to defend my reputation as a fair, trusted and ethical businessman. I can be reached at 203-248-3444 or by email at steve@margolismanagement.com.

  2. Good Morning CTWatchdog,
    This is my first time being on your website although as long time CT resident have heard of your organization. Never the less, I’ve found the spectrum of topics very diverse & after putting into your search field numerous times to no avail, could come up with
    “1” article or comment about the Racial profiling in E. Haven as well as throughout the State in numerous municipalities. Foremost, I’m dismayed 7 appalled a the same time. To call yourselves CTWatchdog and ‘NOT have one article, reference speaks loudly to your position on this matter.
    As a neutral informative media source for the constituents of CT it’s obvious by your lack of coverage, interest, mention of the incessant but real issues that must be deal with here in CT as well through the States. However to say that your’re a CTWatchdog is a JOKE ! Really. More like a sleeping
    or dying 17 yr old pooch. I’d say very concisely this quote fits your CTWAtchdog explicitly!

    “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.

  3. Hello, George Gombossy. So ….. Jon Lender was given your job. Perhaps if you were still on the Courant you would do an investigative report about how elder persons are abused, neglected, & screwed by the nursing home industry and overlooked by our “oversight” agencies. I’m interested in writing a column: advice to dissatisfied “consumers” of nursing home care on how to deal with them. I am about to publish a book and Website on nursing home abuse & corruption in America. My attorney is preparing a multi-million dollar lawsuit againt a “prestigious” nursing home.

  4. george, i am also being charged a fee of $105.00 per month and we have shut off our gas, no usage, they sayt its a delivery charge, sounds like a scam to me, thanks for your help, ron

  5. i read your atricle in sunday feb.17, about the family that was scammed by the free puppies. i just had the same experience this week, in regards to two free maltese puppies. the woman said she was from terrell, texas, and said she worked full time, and couldnt care for the pups. she also told me that i would only have to pay to have them shipped here, so she told me to send the money by money gram, so i did, and it had to be sent to afoni paul wirngo in cameroon quonde, i had no idea where that was, so i just sent the money by money gram. i was never told it was non-refundable. on the day the puppies were to be shipped from terrell texas, on texas aitlines to tweed new haven , and delivered to my house the woman named susan parpada toldme the agency needed 1200.00 more to ship the puppies. she said it was for insurance purposes. i told her i would take my chances that nothing would happen to the pups. she kept hounding me for the money,but my 14 yr. old grandaughter picked up on the fact that it was a scam. this woman hounded me for two days, until i blocked her from contacting me via facebook. i called my attorney the next day, and he said the minute i mentioned cameroon, he knew it was africa and that most scams originate from africa. susana also said i would be reimbursed the 1200.00 when the pups were delivered to my house. i have saved my receipts from the moneygram, for the shipping, but i know i will never get it back…what a lesson well learned. but i do have the supposed owners name and where she is from, and i’m sure if i contact the authories in terrell, tx. maybe they can help unless you think you can. we need to get the message out there about this supposed agency in cameroon africa…[town of quonde]. the pups names werechester and lincoln which were also some sortof code when refering to the pups. again i alsohave the name of the scamer in africa. so, mr gombossy, i feel for the other family in ct. who went through the same ordeal. i wish there is something we can do to stop this. thank you for letting me vent sincerely, lynda mcmillen

  6. Martine Joseph | August 19, 2013 at 11:24 am | Reply

    George, I just want to remind everyone not to make the mistake I did. I signed a 2-year contract with Big Sky Gym. They charge for the entire term of the contract even when you no longer use the membership. To cancel their “automatic renewal”, they require very specific information and steps. I had to recite a contract number; had to give them my email address when I opened the account; had to use specific wording, along with the contract number and reason I was cancelling, in a certified letter to them. In other words, they make it VERY difficult to cancel. I heard it is possible to use their services and NOT sign any contract. That’s the way to go.

  7. What recourse does one have in dealing with Amazon.com? I bought an electric toothbrush from them. After about a year, couldn’t get the clock, (included with the brush) to work. Sent an e-mail message to Amazon, about a month ago, and still have not had a reply from them about the warranty on the product.

  8. Hi George… is anyone else tired of the way Comcast treats their 30+ year loayal customers besides me. I now have about 3 possibley 4 hours of phone time invested over an issue of outage. Seemed like every day for more than two week back in feb 2015, my services, cable, internet and phone went out for an hour and a half. In March, they were suppose to give me a $80+ credit. I never got it. Called back today and found out that a supervisor dissalowed the credit… that there was no justification for it. The customer service rep again confirmed the outage… but later recanted that their system was showing that we were viewing ondemand services during the outage. Is it even possible to have an outage of all three services yet be able to view ondemand servies… or is there system just wrong. Don’t know what to do. They owe me… but are waring me down. thanks dave

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