The Vagina Monologues 2011

Once again we’ve entered the season of The Vagina Monologues. If you just want to watch, there are four Hartford venues where you can catch a performance:

Charter Oak Cultural Center: February 4th and 5th at 7:30pm. Proceeds benefit Interval House, My Sister’s Place, and TransAdvocacy. $15 general admission; $10 for seniors, Charter Oak members, and Let’s Go! members; $5 students.

Trinity College: February 17th at 7pm in the Washington Room.  Proceeds to benefit Interval House and Survivors of Violence in Haiti. $5 for students and low-income; $10 non-student.

University of Hartford: February 25th and 26th in Auerbach Auditorium. Proceeds will benefit Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services. Speaking parts will be available for University of Hartford students, staff, and faculty. More information will be provided as it is made available.

Capital Community College: March 11, 2011. Speaking parts will be available first to students and then to the community. More details on this to come as information is made available.

If you’re someone who likes to join in, don’t worry about having acting skills. There are no strict auditions, as one of the guidelines for performing this play is that anyone who wants to be involved can be in some manner. The time has come and gone for planning meetings for the performance at the Charter Oak Cultural Center, but community members and students alike will be able to participate in the one at Capital Community College (students get first dibs).

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No Seeger

This weekend’s People’s Music Winter Gathering will be happening without Pete Seeger. The event kicks off tonight at Bulkeley High School on Wethersfield Avenue with registration, chorus rehearsal, and a concert. Saturday and Sunday’s events will be at Moylan School on Catherine Street and will include several workshops.

Despite the major cancellation, organizers “encourage everyone to come to the show,” but say that “if you feel that you need a refund and will not attend, then send an email to me at tickets@peoplesmusic.org with the email address
used to purchase the tickets, your name, and your phone number.”

For more information about the event, see the People’s Music Winter Gathering website.

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Mayor Segarra Issues State of Emergency

I watched with glee as the car of a local miscreant was towed away. During previous snowstorms, this person left his car parked on the street in spite of a citywide parking ban. As a result, plows could not effectively remove snow, narrowing the street so much that emergency vehicles could just barely make it through. Last night, police cruisers rolled down the street several times, stopping along the way to tell residents to move their vehicles into the public school lot located just around the corner. Most vehicle owners immediately heeded the order. Two cruisers parked side-by-side in the widest part of the street, waiting. A bit after the parking ban officially went into effect, a tow truck arrived and hauled away the car responsible for repeatedly narrowing the street. It’s the small things like this that bring a little joy into an otherwise monotonous and irritating season.

Today, Mayor Segarra issued a State of Emergency due to the record snowfall:

(January 27, 2011) — Mayor Pedro E. Segarra issued a State of Emergency today because of the record-shattering amount of snow that has fallen this month in Hartford.

“Storm after storm after storm has hit Hartford and we need State assistance in clearing away the snow and ice so that we can accommodate all the people who live, work, and visit Hartford. Urban areas like Hartford are densely populated and have less open space so there are limited options as to where to put these growing mounds of snow. Connecticut’s Capital City is the job center for the region and state and we must be able to keep pace with the demands that come with this responsibility, We are home to major hospitals and corporations so public safety and safe transportation are essential,” said Mayor Segarra.

Mayor Segarra signed the State of Emergency because of rapidly deteriorating conditions after this most recent storm, on top of the snow and ice accumulations from the storms of the past two weeks.

“The conditions of our streets must not put our residents and properties at risk,” said the Mayor.

The parking ban remains in effect until 8:00 p.m. Thursday, January 27th. If your car is ticketed and towed, information on its location may be obtained by calling the HPD Record’s Division at (860) 757-4150 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Please have either the VIN (Vehicular Identification Number) or the license plate number available. You will be given the name of the company that towed your vehicle, their telephone number and your tow number.  In order to avoid or minimize storage fees, please pick up your vehicle as soon as possible.  Storage fees begin to accrue after 24 hours.   The tow charge is $108.00.

The $99.00 snow emergency violation ticket is separate and payable to the Hartford Parking Authority.

Once again, Mayor Segarra urges property owners to shovel their walkways, sidewalks, driveways and curb-cuts and clear-away snow from fire hydrants. Continue reading “Mayor Segarra Issues State of Emergency”

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Bluegrass and Spraypaint

Bluegrass might not be the first thing that you’d equate with the culture of skateboarding, but maybe it ought to be. This Thursday, there will be a Bluegrass concert and pasta dinner at the Charter Oak Cultural Center to benefit the future skatepark in downtown. They are requesting a $15 donation, but state that nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. This BYOB event will kickoff at 6pm.

Another item of interest is an ongoing Graffiti Art class at the Hartford Public Library. It is free and began last Friday, but will meet five more times. This runs from 3-5pm on Fridays: 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, and 2/25. This is organized through True Colors. The class is held in the Program Room on the library’s third floor. Although their Facebook page does not indicate this, the class is intended for teens only, as I found out after showing up thinking it was for everyone. Regardless of the age restriction, it is great that our public library allows for potentially controversial events, even while nearby towns’  libraries fear allowing their patrons to think for themselves.

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Protest Against FBI Raids

In September 2010, the homes of 23 peace activists were raided by the FBI. More recently, nine anti-war activists had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury today. Although these raids occurred in Chicago and Minneapolis, local activists will be standing in solidarity from 5-7 this evening at the Federal Building in Hartford.

The purpose of the rally is to “demand an immediate end to the repression against anti-war and international solidarity activists, the return of all confiscated materials: computers, cell phones, papers, documents, etc., and an end to the Grand Jury proceedings and FBI raids against all anti-war activists.”

The rally — sponsored by CT United for Peace Organizing Committee; CT Council on American-Islamic Relations; West Hartford Citizens for Peace and Justice; Manchester Peace Coalition; Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, CT; People of Faith CT; Socialist Party of CT; Middle East Crisis Committee; CT Socialist Action, and the Greater New Haven Peace Council — is one of fifty protests being held around the United States.

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Casa Linda: January 25, 2011

This week’s featured residence is located on a main street in the South Green neighborhood. This house is located in spitting distance of both Frog Hollow and Downtown.

The South Green neighborhood has only about 9.45% of its housing units occupied by their owners; one of the ways to fight blight is to increase owner occupancy. This building, at least from the front and the outside, looks to be in good shape.  There are eight rental units in this building.

On the top floor you can see a person looking out the window. When I took this picture, the Three Kings Day Parade was happening directly in front of the building. This is a busy street in general, as it hosts many small businesses: auto repair and hardware stores, jewelers, cafés, furniture shops, a half dozen clothing stores, a dozen markets, over a dozen beauty salons and barber shops and about fifteen restaurants.

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Zula Bar & Restaurant, on the corner of Main and Pratt, has recently opened. Their menu includes pasta, steak, and “stone pies.” They also have the sense to be open in the early afternoon on a Saturday when people were heading to the Civic Center to watch a basketball game.

For a few years, this space has been under construction. You may remember seeing some kind of structure being built on top of this, and then, seeing it unceremoniously removed.

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Headline Fail

Here’s one unfortunate side effect of the Courant and Fox-61 merger: more inaccurate headlines. A story published in the Courant today, reprinted from FOX CT, is titled “Hartford Man Arrested on Drug Charges in Suburban Parking Lot: Could Be Connected to Several Homicides.”

The headline only reflects half the story. Later in it, we learn that two men were arrested at the same time in Glastonbury. One of them is from Hartford, the other, East Hartford.

It may seem as if the other man arrested was incidental to all this, as there is no reference to his role in this in the headline: man=singular, men=plural; reference to one location in title makes it sound as if criminals only originate from one source. Reading on, we learn that the man not alluded to in the headline was actually who the police had received a tip about: “Task force members received a tip that a cocaine dealer named “Kevin” was dealing drugs in the area, Palombizio [Glastonbury Sgt.] said.”

The East Hartford man “was charged with possession of less than 4oz of marijuana, possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drugs 1500′ of school and operating a motor vehicle under suspension.”

There are any number of ways the headline could have been more accurate. Here’s a start– Two Men Arrested on Drug Charges in Suburban Parking Lot: One Was Wanted by the FBI; One of Two Men Arrested on Drug Charges was Wanted by the FBI; Police Nab Two for Narcotics in Glastonbury.

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