At the forum last night, one of the candidates–Mike McGarry–talked a lot about rehabilitating Hartford’s nature. For anyone who is familiar with McGarry’s writing (or just him), you might guess correctly that I find much of what he says about other issues to be frightening. Especially his ideas on how to deal with crime. But the man can make the case for paying attention to Hartford’s outdoors. (more…)

Passion and Passive Aggression at the City Council Forum

not even half of the candidatesTonight’s forum hosted by the Hartford Public Library was aired live and will be rebroadcast on Hartford Public Access. If you missed the thrill of local politicians politicking, let me explain how the forum was supposed to work. Because of the number of candidates—even with Luis Cotto and Urania Petit not making an appearance—only four candidates were allowed a full two minutes to respond to a given question. After they had their say, other candidates could give their one minute rebuttals. Unlike other events I have attended where this method was attempted and poorly executed, it seemed to work well tonight, moving people along. It helped that all of the candidates were respectful to the time, only finishing their sentence after time was called.

Roster: Pedro Segarra ( D ), Matthew Ritter ( D ), Kevin Carroll ( R ), John Lupo ( R ), Michael Lupo ( R ), Veronica Airey-Wilson ( R ), Thom Page ( D ), Kenneth Kennedy ( D ), James Boucher ( D ), rJo Winch ( D ), Gerald Pleasant ( R ), Michael McGarry ( R ), Calixto Torres ( D ), and Larry Deutsch ( WFP ). Got all that?


On the issue of education and the superintendent’s new plan there weren’t any surprises. Michael Lupo and Page considered school uniforms to be a positive measure, along with the plan to allow school choice throughout the city, in essence turning all public schools into magnet schools. Ritter, to much applause, promoted universal preschool so that students perform better on tests later in their educations. Winch suggested that funding be based on services for the child, not the building; Airey-Wilson seemed to acknowledge the link between a building and student need when she said that there is a need to break “up these massive warehouses” that are Hartford’s high schools. Boucher’s comment that education is underfunded? No-brainer.

Public Safety

The next question posed was how the candidates would improve public safety besides increasing the police force. (more…)

Hartford Artists Omitted from Discussion

Today’s Courant informs readers of how legal details are creating financial problems for ArtSpace Norwich, a mixed use building that includes a built-in artist community. It’s true that if a place receives public funding, they can not discriminate regarding who they rent to. But, as the article notes, most residents are not even full-time artists.

What is not included in this discussion is what is happening to ArtSpace Hartford. (more…)

Mystery Solved

In April, Undercurrents reported that Hartford resident, Greg Fields, billed the City of Hartford because of services denied to him.

Now we know that the City of Hartford paid $10,000 for garbage removal from  G&G Enterprises.

Meanwhile, in South Green, there was quite the stench of garbage this past weekend. I’m not an expert or anything, but the three dumpsters in the parking lot between Dean, Alden, and Morris Streets might need to be emptied. Who is it, again, that I need to befriend to get some action around here?

The Panic Button

The Courant, and just about every other news outlet in CT, has reported that a 4th person from the state has been diagnosed with West Nile virus. What they fail to mention is that this person most likely contracted the virus outside of Connecticut.