Closing the Power Gap

“If it’s something you really want to do,” said State Representative Penny Bacchiochi, “you’ll find a way.”

Bacchiochi was among five female members of Connecticut’s General Assembly participating in the Legislator Panel that was part of the Second Annual Women’s Policy Day on Tuesday. The goal of this event was to help participants better understand the political process on the State level.

Wedged between a General Assembly 101 session and a Mock Public Hearing, panelists advised the audience on ways they could get more directly involved in local or state politics. State Representative Linda Gentile urged participants with political aspirations to keep themselves informed. Continue reading “Closing the Power Gap”

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December Events

This monthly calendar is meant to be an alternative to those automated ones you can find online that are loaded up with outdated information. You know, ones that claim events are happening at venues that closed six months ago. There is no attempt to be all-inclusive. Events that are free or inexpensive are favored, but exceptions will be made for performances, lectures, and other activities if they seem unique or high quality.

If events seem pandering (most things aimed at children) or too commercial, they will not be included.

Here are just a few things you might consider filling your calendar with this December:

December 1

  • From 9-5, there is free admission to the museum galleries at the Connecticut Historical Society on Elizabeth Street. Visitors can make holiday poppers/crackers at various times. The free entrance does not include the Research Center.
  • World AIDS Day will be marked by the Getting to Zero program in the Center for Contemporary Culture at the Hartford Public Library. This runs from 9:30a.m. until 1p.m.
  • Today is the first half of the Hartford Prints! Holiday Printshop, a workshop during which participants will learn letterpress printing, make their own personalized holiday cards, and close out the class with a cocktail reception. This is one of those rare not-remotely-cheap ($250) events that makes it onto the calendar because the experience is unique. If all you are interested in is making cards, then this is expensive. If you want to come away with a skill you can use again and again, then the price tag may feel worthwhile to you. The session runs from 10am-5pm today, and resumes from 6pm-9pm on December 6th at 56 Arbor Street, Suite 220. For information about registration, contact Hartford Prints!
  • At the Charter Oak Cultural Center, Bonita Weisman and guests will be performing improvisational dances as part of the free Havdalah service. The Havdalah service is a ritual that marks the end of Shabbat, but one need not be Jewish to participate in this event beginning at 7:30 p.m.

December 2

  • Free jazz at the Hartford Public Library! For an hour, beginning at 3pm, music will be performing in the atrium.
  • Annual Festival of Lessons and Carols: The Trinity College Chapel Singers, Trinity College Concert Choir, and Trinity College Guild of Carillonneurs will be giving two performances today, with Mayor Segarra giving a reading at the 4pm one. You are challenged to go and not be moved by the music, regardless of whichever religion (if any) you are affiliated with. The second performance begins at 7pm. It is suggested that guests arrive at the chapel early, as seating is limited. Continue reading “December Events”
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Police Ignore Ordinance as Activists Show Solidarity with Walmart Employees

After being told that Walmart wanted protestors moved because they were allegedly impeding pedestrian and vehicle traffic, the singing and chanting group moved down to a space on the sidewalk where they were told by the police they needed to remain. Shoppers never lost access to the store, nor did motorists find themselves barricaded in the parking lot where many spaces remained empty.

Despite cooperation, the prisoner transport van appeared and police began to assemble a so-called free speech zone with sawhorses, an effort that seemed confusing and laughable to most, as the activists had long been sticking to walking between two cones placed on the sidewalk for the better part of an hour. Continue reading “Police Ignore Ordinance as Activists Show Solidarity with Walmart Employees”

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Skaters Gonna Skate

With Winterfest slated to begin on the evening of November 23, 2012, workers have been busy making Christmas out of Bushnell Park. Continue reading “Skaters Gonna Skate”

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Golf Network Converting Braza on the Plaza

In March, Back9Network — a media company with headquarters on Lewis Street — announced that it was looking for a larger space. In April, Braza on the Plaza closed its doors. A few months later, the golf network began talking about plans to begin construction in the former-Braza (and before that, Spris) space.

Now, work is underway.

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What Does the Department of Development Services Do Anyway?

It’s often assumed by those in City Hall that everyone understands how to access services funded largely by our tax dollars, but for the average resident, the workings of City Hall can seem mysterious. If it has been decades since one sat in a U.S. Government and Politics class, the chances of remembering exactly who is responsible for what are slim.

Hartford 2000 will be sponsoring a program in which residents learn about the divisions (Economic Development, Planning, Housing & Property Management, Licenses & Inspections, and Marketing, Events & Cultural Affairs) of Development Services and meet the new Director of Development Services, Thomas Deller.

The event in the Center for Contemporary Culture at the Hartford Public Library will explain how the City enforces permitting and zoning, inspects houses and buildings, provides financing for housing construction, rehab, and purchase, and more.  Continue reading “What Does the Department of Development Services Do Anyway?”

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Solidarity Action at Hartford’s Walmart on Black Friday

Who pays for the Black Friday steals?

Nearly every major retailer opens its doors before dawn on the day after Thanksgiving. Last year, a Connecticut Kohl’s employee said he had to cut short his time with family on Thanksgiving so that he could nap in order to take on a a Black Friday shift which actually required he arrive late on Thursday. This year, Walmart employees are being told to come in on Thanksgiving, as stores are slated to open on Thursday at 8pm.

With this dismal economy, workers know that they are more disposable than ever. Not showing up for a shift can mean job loss; as one Walmart employee in central Connecticut explained, had she called out during a snow storm when the governor had warned motorists to stay off the roads, she would have been fired.

To protest the practice of what the Corporate Action Network is calling retaliation against workers “for speaking out for good jobs with decent pay, regular hours, affordable healthcare and respect,” there are strikes and demonstrations planned at Walmart stores nationwide, with many occurring on November 23, 2012.

Here in Hartford, there are plans for a solidarity demonstration at the Walmart on Flatbush Avenue. Festive caroling and leafleting is scheduled to begin around 11 a.m. at the front of the store. The public has been invited to join in. Continue reading “Solidarity Action at Hartford’s Walmart on Black Friday”

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