Meet Burns School Principal Candidates

The community is invited to meet the five candidates seeking to fill the position of Principal at Burns Latino Studies Academy. Candidates will give presentations and take questions for approximately 30 minutes apiece beginning at 5:30pm on Wednesday, May 2, 2012.

Come to the auditorium in the Burns school. The main entrance is the door facing Russ Street.

Rally for Gender Equality in Bushnell Park

Making claims that we live in a post-racial society would get most people laughed at, under the best of circumstances. We recognize that the success of Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Oprah Winfrey does not mean racism has vanished from the United States.

But misogyny? Some are still boggled by the continued presence of that beast.

Sitting on a bench near Corning Fountain, I had several people approach me to ask about the small rally happening on Saturday afternoon. A neutral, factual explanation was met with sneering. Online, I read remarks mocking the event; others seemed genuinely naive about the status of women in 2012.

Auxiliary Bishop Martin D. Holley of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., visited Hartford in February. He told congregants during the Black Catholic Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph that the use of birth control is linked to an increase in out-of-wedlock pregnancies, as well as to the increased transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. (more…)

Drumming Up Creativity

Union Station usually just has trains and buses, but now there is a catamaran in the Great Hall. The “Cat-Fish” was designed by David Murphy and built by eighteen student woodworkers for the 2012 Oil Drum Art “Bang the Drum!” Energy and Environmental Exhibition. The 15-foot prototype will see some water action in May. (more…)

Second Day of Vegetarian Festival Planned for Sunday

On the first day of the first annual Connecticut Vegetarian and Healthy Living Festival we learned two things. There are far more vegetarians and veg-friendly people than we anticipated, and, the vendors will not forbid you from taking more than one (or five) samples of the Jamaican jerk tofu.

Besides the flavorful tofu, there are samples of seitan, chocolate, Italian ice, juice, granola, “Jerquee,” green tea, olive oil, vinegar, salad dressing, spices, and more. If you are then left wondering what to do with the food, various booths provide free pamphlets with recipes; there were several cookbook vendors as well. (more…)

May Events

On a recent episode of Where We Live there was discussion about what “young people” look for in a place where they will live. Remarkably, the myth is still alive that Hartford does not have enough to do.

I rolled my eyes too.

Here is a list of selected events happening in May, so you can figure out now how you might clone yourself in order to make it to all the “nothing to do” that will be going on.

May 1

  • International Workers’ Day will be marked by marching, speaking, drumming, and singing. People will gather at the Charter Oak Cultural Center at 4:30pm and leave around 5 to walk down to the Old State House. There will be a queer contingent marching together and a “Maypole for Justice.”
  • After, head over to La Paloma Sabanera, where the new bike racks will be celebrated with a screening of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. This starts at 7pm; there is a suggested $3 donation, but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. While there, check out the new used Book Nook, where books are sold by the ounce. (more…)

Homecoming for Lead Guitarist in Cirque du Soleil’s MJ Tribute

Picture credit : OSA Images Costume credit : Zaldy Goco ©2011 Cirque-Jackson I.P., LLC

Picture credit : OSA Images Costume credit : Zaldy Goco ©2011 Cirque-Jackson I.P., LLC

The contortionist, mime, tumblers and pole dancing acrobat would be enough on their own. But when Cirque du Soleil rolls into Hartford in May, they will be bringing one of Connecticut’s own with them.

Desiree Bassett — originally from Ashford, a town of 4,317 in Windham County — is the lead guitarist in Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour.

Playing within the blues and rock genres, Ms. Bassett picked up her first guitar at the age of three. She says she was mostly self-taught with help by her father, though she has had the occasional private lesson.

Her experience with Cirque du Soleil brings many firsts for her. She has not toured before, nor has she played pop.

“It was a lot of fun learning,” she said.

Despite the strong background in blues and rock, she’s open-minded enough to find some pop redeemable, saying she enjoys some of Lady Gaga’s music.

As for Michael Jackson’s songs, she named “Man in the Mirror” as her favorite, followed by “Black or White.”

During the shows, she has solos with the chance to improvise. In the show, written and directed by Jamie King, Michael Jackson’s music is rearranged, but on “Thriller,” it remains true to what audiences would expect. (more…)