Random Facts from Open Data: Substance Arrests

By , September 2, 2014 11:41 am

Data can be deceptive. There is a constant parade of listicles published claiming that ten places are the most dangerous, unfriendly, depressing, or whatever adjective the creators believe will get people to click. Information is powerful and when presented without care, can be wielded as a weapon, the kind that can solidify stereotypes.

This map shows arrests in Hartford from January through August 2014, using HartfordData information. All that we can definitely know from looking at this is that these are the places where people have been caught (allegedly) with one or more substances, and that it is much more common to be arrested for possession than possession-with-intent-to-sell or actual sale.

Continue reading 'Random Facts from Open Data: Substance Arrests'»

Missing Youth

Jillian Burgos, 14,  remains missing. She was last seen by her family over one week ago at her home in the Parkville neighborhood.

Anyone with information about where she might be is asked to contact the Hartford police.

Random Facts from Open Data: Itch Zones

By , September 1, 2014 5:01 pm

Bedbugs happen. Just like your son might come home from school once with lice or you might find a mouse in your kitchen or your cat drags fleas into the house, pests are for most, a rare nuisance. From 2011 to present, bedbugs have been reported throughout Hartford, from streets like Kenyon, Fairfield, and Cornwall, to Marshall, Wethersfield, and Farmington. They have been reported in single-family homes, high rises, and churches. But what does it mean when some properties have multiple incidents in one year, or year after year?

Although the information is public, we are not interested in embarrassing property owners who had one unlucky occurrence. Instead, we are going to look at some patterns. These reports are divided into those with two or three violations in one year (these are considered housing code violations) and those with four or more in one year.

In some cases, the repeat offenders involved just one unit of a larger building, but in other cases the problem affected public hallways in buildings with multiple dwelling units. When a property owner with multiple properties had multiple violations, or when there might be public interest in a location that had been affected, we named those owners.

What we found Continue reading 'Random Facts from Open Data: Itch Zones'»

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Temporary Art to Be Revealed Next Week

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By , August 29, 2014 4:41 pm

The 60-foot-high sculpture created from 2,000 pounds of illegal firearms is already in the Bushnell Park field near the stage but is not due to have its tarp removed until 1pm on September 3, 2014. What’s under wraps right now are two hands shaking. Continue reading 'Temporary Art to Be Revealed Next Week'»

Random Facts from Open Data: Police in the Parks

Goodwin Park

The HartfordData site has been up and operational since May– don’t let yesterday’s big announcement fool you. Real Hartford has been using it regularly for months. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of the more interesting finds in the database. Today features a glimpse at police activity in the larger public parks. What should be obvious is that this only reflects what was reported; if you were bitten by a loose dog and never reported it to anyone, it’s not in the database.

Some city parks — you know which ones — have reputations for being hotbeds of criminal activity. As is often the case, examining the data provides a different perspective. The vast majority of incidents in Hartford’s parks fall into three categories: drinking, animal complaints, and a cornucopia of motor vehicle-related issues.

The most common incident in Keney Park reported to the police in 2014: animal complaints. Between January 1-August 17, 2014 there were 17 reports of animals presenting some trouble or another. The next most frequent problem in Keney Park involved motor vehicles. There were three motor vehicle accidents causing damage in which the motorist evaded responsibility, another instance of a vehicular accident causing damage (but driver didn’t dodge consequences this time), one instance of a vehicle operated while the driver’s license was suspended, one accident involving the a motorist following too closely, one case of reckless driving, and one motor vehicle fire. So, where does this idea come from that Keney Park is especially dangerous? For the first eight months of the year, there was exactly one report of assault and one of a street robbery involving a knife. There were two reports of items lost or stolen during the same time. Continue reading 'Random Facts from Open Data: Police in the Parks'»

Tracking and Expanding Hartford’s Orchard

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By , August 28, 2014 7:55 pm

This picture was taken in South Glastonbury. It could have, should have been taken in Hartford.

Imagine if you could pick apples or pears without having to schlep the entire family to South Glastonbury.

For some Hartford residents, this is already possible. Everyone else, you’ll have your chance soon.

The West End Community Orchard, as its name suggests, begins in that neighborhood but does not have to end there said Tiffany Glanville, one of the volunteers behind this project. Erin Sheehan, another West End resident, is the other half of the team.

In its infancy, the West End Community Orchard is asking residents of any neighborhoods who would like to participate to register fruit and nut trees already on their properties. Partnering with KNOX, the trees will be rated for health and then indexed so that the organization has an idea of who is growing what where. Those locations will not be publicized, so nobody needs to worry about premeditated raids on their trees.

Glanville was inspired when she saw just how many apples from her own yard went to waste last year — approximately two-thirds of them. She knew about City Fruit, a non-profit from Seattle and thought it possible to “do a harvest” of excess fruits here. The produce could be given to area food pantries, she said. Continue reading 'Tracking and Expanding Hartford’s Orchard'»

Silence on Saving the Salvation Shelter

Keeping homeless shelters open is not a new struggle in Hartford, but this time, the some $100,000 that was expected for the Salvation Army Marshall House vanished between the recommended budget and the adopted budget. A mere five-minute walk from what will be the CTfastrak Sigourney Street Station, the Marshall House has provided shelter for single women and families since 1974.

The adopted budget for the “Senior and Community Services Program” is $2.13M, down from the $2.2M in the recommended budget. This is where budgeting for the Marshall House, which serves as a no-freeze shelter for families, can be found in the City document. The 2013-2014 budget was $2.36M and reasons for the decrease in funding have been vague; the spending difference is explained only for the Health and Human Services budget as a whole. Continue reading 'Silence on Saving the Salvation Shelter'»

Back to School: A Refresher Lesson for Motorists

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By , August 27, 2014 7:27 pm

With children returning to school this week, the Hartford Police Department kicked up its traffic enforcement on Tuesday. There were three target areas, including New Britain Avenue and Newington Avenue in the city’s South West neighborhood by the Batchelder Elementary School. With police receiving several complaints of motorists passing school buses, an operation was set up in the area of Kenyon Street and Asylum Avenue, a few blocks from Classical Magnet School and Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School. The area of 150 Tower Avenue near the Journalism & Media Academy Magnet School was the third location receiving special attention.

The HPD Traffic Division issued 70 tickets for speeding infractions, two for cell phone use, and one for a motorist passing a stopped school bus. The north operation had an additional 15 motor vehicle and several parking tickets issued, along with one motor vehicle arrest and one criminal arrest.

Community to Speak Against Taser Use

By , August 26, 2014 1:49 pm

art by Ricardo Levins Morales

Last week an 18-year-old male was tased by a member of the Hartford Police Department outside of a mini-mart in the Clay-Arsenal neighborhood.

On Wednesday, August 27th, community activists will gather at Albany Avenue and Main Street to protest, beginning at 6pm.

Cornell Lewis says, “We want to talk about what happened to this young man in Hartford, excessive use of force by the police, and brutality all over the country. What happened in Hartford is a symptom and manifestation of what is happening in New York, in Ferguson, Mo., and other places.”

Luis Anglero Jr., the man who had the stun gun used on him, spent two nights in the hospital, where he was charged with two misdemeanors. Activists are asking for those charges to be dropped and for disciplinary action to be taken against Det. Shawn Ware.

Rabbi Donna Berman, executive director of the Charter Oak Cultural Center, is among those responsible for planning Wednesday’s action. A member of Anglero’s family was present at the planning meeting and grateful to have this kind of support.

 

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