A follow-up piece on Nick Carbone, the man who was mugged on his way to breakfast a few weeks ago, is the headline story of the Courant today. The most interesting parts, of course, got buried toward the end of the story, so I’m going to highlight them here:
On the morning of his attack, Carbone said, he was thinking through how state lawmakers could assist people losing their homes because of predatory lending practices and subprime lending. The subject was one of the many issues Carbone has taken on in recent years. He has also been a significant player in the federal court dispute between city officials and citizens who have complained about police brutality.
His attack has not left him bemoaning his fate, but instead thinking about the root causes [bold in quoted material is mine, for emphasis] of urban pathology.
For about two hours Monday, Carbone focused his conversation with a reporter on factors that he thinks have fueled urban violence: predatory lenders; teenage pregnancy; incarceration; the release of inmates into the city by the state Department of Correction; failing schools and judicial systems. Continue reading '“There’s too many cracks in the structure”'»
As usual, I’ve put the more interesting (to me) items in bold.
MEETING OF THE COURT OF COMMON COUNCIL
JUNE 23, 2008
1. MAYOR PEREZ, with accompanying resolution de Authorization to adopt in collaboration
with the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) the 2008 Capitol Region Pre-
Disaster Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan approved by the Federal Emergency Management
Agency/Department of Homeland Security.
2. MAYOR PEREZ, with accompanying resolution de Authorization to amend current
contractual agreement for Access to Food Program 2008-2009 with New Testament Church
of God, Community Renewal Team, Inc., the Village for Families and Children, Inc. and
Bethel Mission AME Church.
Continue reading 'Hartford City Council Minutes: June 23rd'»
Amy, who clearly has to answer this question often, explains how a person might figure out if an area is safe or not. The top three things she advises future homebuyers to do:
1. Call the local police department to ask about crime statistics in the area.
2. Walk around at various times of day and talk to the neighbors. Feel free to knock on doors. People will be happy to tell you about their neighborhood, both good and bad.
3. Visit the area at night. What’s it like? The noise level, traffic level, pedestrian level, street lighting.
I’d like to add a few things to this. For those who have internet access, crime statistics are sometimes posted on police department websites. The Hartford Police Department posts their arrest log almost daily (they slack off on the weekends, but are usually consistent during the week) and updates the crime statistics-by-neighborhood weekly. There’s no reason to get caught up in the politically- and ego-driven infighting between mayor, chief-of-police, corporate media, etc. when we can access statistics for ourselves. Continue reading 'Danger is in the Eye of the Beholder'»
Last Saturday (June 14th) there was some massive flooding happening in my area, no thanks to poor drainage. It took me twenty minutes to travel what should have taken me five because every street I attempted to drive down was impassable. People were up to their knees pushing stalled cars out of the ponds that covered many areas, like the intersection of Boulevard and Prospect. Can we work on cleaning out the storm sewers better?
Julie, over at Live in Hartford, writes that there will be a public hearing this Tuesday evening from 6-7:30 at City Hall about the issue of keeping youth in Hartford. Apparently, while we’re good at retaining water, Hartford (like all of New England), is not faring so well with keeping its youth. I find this hard to believe, maybe because I work with many young people who live in Hartford. At any rate, this hearing is geared towards young professionals.
This weekend I wandered away from the noise (it was happy noise, but still, too early for me to cope with on a Saturday morning) created by the neighbor’s rented jumping house/slide to see what was at the West End Neighborhood Tag Sale. I was under the impression that a few people on a block would be putting out items to sell. I had not prepared for the level of garage sale-ness that I would encounter. The West End Civic Association prepared maps listing the 16 sites that would be hosting tag sales on Oxford, North Beacon, Beacon, Cone, Tremont, Kenyon, and Warrenton Streets, and on Farmington Avenue. I ran into four people that I know, and finally got to meet Amy, and I limited my browsing to only two of the streets. I spoke with the organizer of the West End Farmers’ Market who says that they got a great turn-out on Friday, despite the impending rain storm.
On Saturday, June 28th from 9-1, you can bring your electronic waste to be recycled. This includes televisions, radios, cell phones, computers, and fax machines. If there’s an item you’re not sure about, you can call 757-9311 to ask if it can be recycled.
The drop-off location is at the Hartford Municipal Parking Lot at 141 Sheldon Street. This is for Hartford residents and those in surrounding towns.
Saturday June 28th from 9:30-1 at The Artists Collective (1200 Albany Ave): The City of Hartford along with the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority will be sponsoring a seminar to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. They will be providing information about refinancing and CHFA’s CT FAMILIES program; attendees will also be able to meet with loan counselors and CT FAMILIES lenders.
This Friday (4-7pm), the Strawberry Shortcake Festival at the United Methodist Church (corner of Farmington and South Whitney) marks the beginning of this season’s West End Farmers’ Market. There will be free live music and free strawberry shortcake! The farmers’ market will run on Tuesdays and Fridays until October 10th from 4-7pm.
If you have ever felt frustration about parking your bike safely in Hartford because of the lack of racks, now is your chance to tell the City of Hartford where you think racks are most needed. A quick survey allows you to name up to ten specific places throughout Hartford. Not that I’d try to sway anyone’s opinion on this, but there’s a real absence of racks in the State House Square area and on Pratt Street.
For the past four years, the City of Hartford has been polling citizens about quality of life issues. Although the demographics of the survey seem a little skewed (disproportionate number of elderly, caucasians, and downtown residents are represented), it is difficult to get people to respond at all to phone surveys, so at a certain point, I think you have to take what you can get. Some of the answers are not terribly surprising to me (especially regarding computer [40.8% do not have working computers in their homes] and home ownership[67.8% polled rent. The actual demographic of renters is even higher.]), and I would venture to guess that if the surveys more carefully reflected the city’s demographics, these categories would shed even more light on certain disparities. So, why would some groups be more represented in the survey? My guess would be time. The elderly have more time. People in higher income brackets with no/smaller families (downtown) are likely to have more time than those who are working class and/or have larger families.
There were 600 people polled for the survey. Of these 51.7% said they thought that Hartford was going in the right direction. The remaining people seemed to be nearly evenly split between uncertainty, and thinking it was heading in the wrong direction. The biggest problems in Hartford? Unaffordable housing, lack of homeownership, and speeding. Continue reading 'What Residents Want versus What Residents Get'»