First Annual Harvest Market

The first annual Harvest Market was a success!

Customers did not have to deal with harried crowds and screaming children; instead, the crowd was a happy one. It felt less like grocery shopping and more like a cocktail party with the option of buying kale and potatoes (minus the hooch).

Besides being able to comparison shop for fruits, vegetables, and herbs, there were vendors selling coffee, jewelry, jams, soup mixes, beans, bicycles, bread, bags, kettle corn, tacos, cider, cheese, and more. Visitors to the Knox Parks greenhouse on Laurel Street were able to sample foods while listening to live music. A table was set up for kids’ arts and crafts.

Several people were overheard saying that this kind of market should happen every week.

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On Constitution Plaza, some of the decorative lights have already been turned on, and in less than a week, more will be added in downtown, including at the carousel.

Winterfest” — formerly called “Festival of Lights” 2011-2012  — begins on Friday, November 25th. The carousel will be operating from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on weekends through December 31st. Children will be able to visit with Santa from 12-3 p.m. on weekends in December at the carousel.

The major draw to Bushnell Park, however, will be the skating rink.

Last year there were at least two marriage proposals on the rink, which had been set up temporarily in the middle of the lawn.

This year, it seems more thought was put into aesthetics. So far, no generators — creating noise and air pollution — have been brought into the park. The rink will be nestled between the swing sets and the Pump House Gallery, which is also where there is a power supply in the park, creating less need to run lines in every direction.

Workers have been especially busy this past week, stringing lights and putting together the rink. All lights appear to be of the small, traditional, and non-garish variety. Continue reading “Winterfest”

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Ramping Up Demonstrations

If the police issue several traffic advisories letting the public know that they will likely be unable to use a street during part of the day, and then they barricade that street so that no vehicular traffic can use it, can activists who — after the road has been made impassable already — are physically blocking an entrance ramp on that block be arrested for impeding traffic?


A dozen people, including some with SEIU, CCAG, and the machinists’ union, were peacefully arrested after blocking the Broad Street on-ramp to I-84 East. Peter Goselin, with the National Lawyers Guild, said that the arrests were carried out smoothly.

Continue reading “Ramping Up Demonstrations”

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Occupy Hartford: 99 Theses

Occupy Hartford, like many other Connecticut residents right now, is directing its ire at CL&P. Besides a rally they have planned for this coming Saturday, the group has released a play on Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses.

In its entirety:

Disputation on the (Lack of) Power and (Absence of) Efficacy of (Executive) Indulgences Commonly Known as The 99 Theses.

By Occupy Hartford CT.

Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, we present the following reasons that CL&P must be held responsible for providing the services they promise and for which we pay them. We request that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.

1. Our Governor, Dannel Malloy stood at the podium and called for CL&P to “Repent,” which roughly translates to, “Do the job consumers pay you for”

2. The word “Repent” cannot properly be understood as referring to penance by the consumer in terms of increased rates.

3. Repentance means not only in the Executive’s heart; for such repentance is null unless it produces outward signs in various mortifications of the flesh. We mean increased staffing.

4. As long as hatred of the profit loss abides, the penalty of sin abides, viz., until we enter the kingdom of heaven, or refuse to pay our bills.

5. Jeffrey Butler and Co. have neither the will nor the power to demand any rate increases beyond those imposed by law.

6. Mr. Butler himself cannot remit guilt, but only declare and confirm that it has been remitted by CL&P. Clear case, the guilt remains untouched. Continue reading “Occupy Hartford: 99 Theses”

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Take it to the Bridge

The viaduct — that eyesore that divides neighborhoods and requires repairs or removal — will be one site where local activists gather on Thursday for the “National Day of Action for the 99%” (also being called March and Occupy the Bridge for the Jobless).

Nationwide, people will be marching across bridges and in other public spaces to demand that Congress create jobs. Organizers say that “America’s crumbling infrastructure” needs to be addressed. Of I-84, they say “this interstate needs work and so do we. We could create millions of jobs repairing bridges and roads like I-84 in downtown Hartford, as well as schools and parks — fixing up our country will help us meet America’s education, transportation, and clean energy needs.”

Steve Thornton, who is with SEIU 1199 and will be taking part in Thursday’s action, noted that “public safety is not a priority” when it comes to government spending, “but tax breaks” have been in recent years. This action, he said, is designed to shine a light on “upside down priorities.” Continue reading “Take it to the Bridge”

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Bursting with Art

The Dirt Salon
The Dirt Salon

A watercolor artist tells me it’s a shame Hartford is not recognized for having such an abundance of artists. Across town, a photographer reminisces about the thriving artists’ community in the Colt Building; years ago, the artists were pushed out as the building went through a “revitalization” resulting in more expensive and fewer units. Even with apparent setbacks like loss of studio space, this past weekend should have removed any doubt that Hartford is an arts city.

Among Friday evening’s fare: the grand opening of The Dirt Salon. This space at 50 Bartholomew Avenue houses several studios and a stage. The first floor offered standard art opening food; the second floor featured sangria and paella. Classes will be offered at this space.

Anne Cubberly, Dave Borawski, Nina Salazar, and Carlos Hernandez Chavez are some of the artists with work on display at Dirt Salon. Continue reading “Bursting with Art”

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Want to Learn How to Speak for the Trees?

On November 19th, there will be a free regional training session for those wishing to work for environmental justice. Lunch, child care, and Spanish language translation will be available for participants.

This training will take place at Central Baptist Church (457 Main) from 10-3.

You can register for the New England Environmental Justice Forum’s Hartford Regional Training here.

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Unofficial Results: No Republicans for City Council

Early, unofficial results show the six endorsed Democrats (Anderson, Aponte, DeJesus, Kennedy, MacDonald, and Wooden) and three of the four running on the Working Families slate (Cotto, Deutsch, and Jennings) winning seats on Hartford’s City Council.

At the Red Rock Tavern, the Working Families Party celebrated their win. Followed by booming applause, Jennings said that the only Republican elected was Segarra. The Mayor ran as a Democrat, but had accepted the endorsement by the Republicans and was on the ballot for both parties.

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