Annual Harvest Market: Building Community

By , November 22, 2014 12:31 pm

With food vendor trucks parked outside and a greenhouse filled with tables of squash, potatoes, turnips, carrots, and more, it might seem that the fourth annual Harvest Market at KNOX was solely about satisfying one’s immediate hunger and prepping for Thanksgiving. Continue reading 'Annual Harvest Market: Building Community'»

Family Faces Eviction from West End Home, Despite Paying Mortgage on Time

By , November 20, 2014 12:00 pm

Interracial marriage was not permitted in many states during the early 1960′s. In fact, anti-miscegenation laws existed in the majority of the United States through the middle of the last century, allowing for racism to dictate the nature of marital and intimate relationships. The Supreme Court struck down those laws in 1967.

A few years later, the push for same-sex marriage began. Again, hateful legislation defined marriage in a way that includes some, while excluding others. It took a few decades for this movement to take hold, and there has been much backlash along the way, as one can witness through the enactment of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and the incessant verbal diarrhea from pundits. In 2010, one state began to fight against the federal government’s restrictive definition of marriage. Many others followed. Same-sex couples can not be legally married in the entirety of the United States yet, but there is no doubt that opinion has shifted toward that happening eventually.

Sometimes the law is wrong. When it is wrong, we are obligated to recognize that and change it. These are, after all, civil laws, not God’s laws.

Hartford

The West End is currently looking at what appears to be an outmoded law:

The purpose of the R-8 district in the city is to provide for and protect single-family residences sited on a lot having a minimum area of twelve thousand (12,000) square feet. The R-8 district provisions encourage the future development of these very low density residential areas for primarily residential purposes by prohibiting conversions, roomers, most institutional uses and all business uses.

On the surface, this might look sensible. Who wants factories or prisons in her backyard? Zoning can be useful in that way.

All of Scarborough Street is zoned for R-8 use (see above). The language is seemingly vague. What does “primarily residential purposes” mean? On this street, in the same zone, a property is owned by the University of Connecticut. In an article the Courant ran on this, there was no mention of neighborhood opposition to what is used as a place for donor events. The Wadsworth Atheneum owns a property on the street. So does Jumoke Academy. Two properties are owned by trustees, another is a land trust. There are two churches operating on Scarborough Street. This leaves 21 other properties, one of which has been on the market for several years.

The issue at hand is 68 Scarborough Street. Continue reading 'Family Faces Eviction from West End Home, Despite Paying Mortgage on Time'»

Scenes from the Sidewalk: Temp Art

By , November 18, 2014 9:23 am

Paintings are placed on the sidewalk in front of a surface parking lot during Open Studio Weekend each year, then removed. Continue reading 'Scenes from the Sidewalk: Temp Art'»

Study of Jewish College Students Shows Shifts in Identity, Maybe

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By , November 17, 2014 8:38 am

The “Demographic Survey of American Jewish College Students 2014″ conducted by Trinity College’s Professor Ariela Keysar and¬†Professor Barry A. Kosmin reveals the beliefs and habits of Jews attending American universities and four-year colleges. Community college students were not included in this research.

A Wordle illustration shows the top responses named as biggest concerns by young Jews participating in the study

In the end, 1,157 students who self-identified as Jews were contacted during March and April 2014. Students were chosen for this online survey based on “Distinctive Jewish Names,” a list that has been “updated to include 250 distinctively Jewish surnames covering Israeli, Sephardi, Russian and Iranian origin in addition to the usual and obvious Ashkenazi surnames.” That selection process might hit snags when taking into account intermarriage and conversion.

For all of the insights the research provides, it does not indicate if the findings are part of a long-term trend or if this is just how the college students who participated identify and practice now. Continue reading 'Study of Jewish College Students Shows Shifts in Identity, Maybe'»

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Scenes from the Sidewalk: Flora

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By , November 15, 2014 9:00 am

Dandelion, taped to a bench with a banana sticker.

No Typecasting for Sea Tea Improv with Gutenberg!

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By ,

There are no words.

Or, many: grape juice, biscuits, pencil, cat face, rosary helicopter, singing rats, Hamlet, medicine.

Gutenberg! The Musical!  is a high energy, out of control spoof on musicals, with actors wearing numerous hats in rapid fire and at times, nearly simultaneously. Want the number of characters? Ask someone else. I lost count.

This is a scripted and improved, play-within-a-play. It’s historical fiction, with the emphasis on fiction. Don’t show up expecting to learn the truth about Johannes Gutenberg, German inventor of the printing press– beyond those two facts, what you will get is a few hours of hilarious speculation on the man whose inventions gave the Middle Ages a kick in the pants, launching the culture toward the Early Modern Period. Continue reading 'No Typecasting for Sea Tea Improv with Gutenberg!'»

Facelift for Minuteman Park

By , November 14, 2014 8:38 am

If you have not been in the area for awhile, you might have missed the bulldozing of Minuteman Park. The spot near the State Armory and Legislative Office Building has had benches removed and planters leveled. Continue reading 'Facelift for Minuteman Park'»

Identifying Lanes

By , November 13, 2014 12:53 pm

The highly visible green lanes on Broad Street have just gotten more paint, this time to identify how they should be used.

Committee of Inquiry Formed to Investigate Election Day Problems

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By , November 12, 2014 10:14 pm

Day Pitney, LLP and Shipman & Goodwin, LLP have been named as those offering pro-bono legal counsel to the “Committee of Inquiry.” Council President Shawn Wooden, who is employed by Day Pitney, will be sitting on this committee, though a press release issued Wednesday afternoon claims he will be a non-voting member.

Others on this committee to investigate the 2014 Election Day issues: Majority Leader Alex Aponte, Minority Leader Joel Cruz, Jr, Raul de Jesus, Cynthia Jennings, and David MacDonald. All are City Council members. Continue reading 'Committee of Inquiry Formed to Investigate Election Day Problems'»

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