Photo courtesy of the West End Community Orchard project
Instead of limiting food distribution to donations of canned goods and jars of peanut butter, one organization has rounded up fresh produce from Hartford’s backyards.
The Open Hearth, a shelter on Charter Oak Avenue, has received 24 pounds of fruit from trees that are part of the West End Community Orchard.
The community orchard is not a single plot of land, but the collection of trees from yards, medians, and parks. This season the project has helped plant fifteen new fruit trees in one neighborhood.
To ensure good production and healthier trees overall, the Orchard will be hosting a pruning event in March 2015.
Interracial marriage was not permitted in many states during the early 1960′s. In fact, anti-miscegenation laws existed in the majority of the United States through the middle of the last century, allowing for racism to dictate the nature of marital and intimate relationships. The Supreme Court struck down those laws in 1967.
A few years later, the push for same-sex marriage began. Again, hateful legislation defined marriage in a way that includes some, while excluding others. It took a few decades for this movement to take hold, and there has been much backlash along the way, as one can witness through the enactment of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and the incessant verbal diarrhea from pundits. In 2010, one state began to fight against the federal government’s restrictive definition of marriage. Many others followed. Same-sex couples can not be legally married in the entirety of the United States yet, but there is no doubt that opinion has shifted toward that happening eventually.
Sometimes the law is wrong. When it is wrong, we are obligated to recognize that and change it. These are, after all, civil laws, not God’s laws.
The West End is currently looking at what appears to be an outmoded law:
The purpose of the R-8 district in the city is to provide for and protect single-family residences sited on a lot having a minimum area of twelve thousand (12,000) square feet. The R-8 district provisions encourage the future development of these very low density residential areas for primarily residential purposes by prohibiting conversions, roomers, most institutional uses and all business uses.
On the surface, this might look sensible. Who wants factories or prisons in her backyard? Zoning can be useful in that way.
All of Scarborough Street is zoned for R-8 use (see above). The language is seemingly vague. What does “primarily residential purposes” mean? On this street, in the same zone, a property is owned by the University of Connecticut. In an article the Courant ran on this, there was no mention of neighborhood opposition to what is used as a place for donor events. The Wadsworth Atheneum owns a property on the street. So does Jumoke Academy. Two properties are owned by trustees, another is a land trust. There are two churches operating on Scarborough Street. This leaves 21 other properties, one of which has been on the market for several years.
The issue at hand is 68 Scarborough Street. Continue reading 'Family Faces Eviction from West End Home, Despite Paying Mortgage on Time'»
According to the iQuilt website, the “Bushnell Plaza Sculpture Garden” was supposed to be open for six months after its installation in September. It may be time to revisit what open means. Continue reading 'Scenes from the Sidewalk: Pseudo Public Art'»
South Branch of Park River
The water of Gully Brook, along with that of the North and South Branches of the Park River is not potable, not fishable says Mary Rickel Pelletier of Park Watershed, Inc. Continue reading 'Redefining Clean Water'»
In an area of Downtown, beyond the parking garages and towers, is a park that sits atop the I-84 tunnel. Two of its three segments — east of Main Street and west of Trumbull Street — are nothing more than vegetation and rarely used benches. The central piece, known as Heaven, has evolved from hosting underutilized four square and basketball courts, to attracting skateboarders, graffiti artists, and others. It has been featured in skateboarding videos and magazines.
Photo from the 2013 Hartford Marathon
Saturday is the Hartford Marathon — exciting for those who love running, confusing for those who are unprepared for potential road closures. The Hartford Marathon Foundation has provided some estimates for times when streets will be closed; they re-open as runners pass through, and police may allow access if/when there are gaps in the race. The HMF suggests using the Sisson Avenue exit for coming into Hartford.
Your best bet? Walk or use your bicycle on Saturday if you are navigating Hartford in the morning or early afternoon.
Some streets have already shut down:
- Trinity Street between Ford and Elm
- Trinity Street from Elm to Capitol
These streets will be closed to all vehicular traffic beginning at 12:01 a.m. on October 11:
- Capitol Avenue between Oak and Hudson
- Lafayette Street between Capitol and Russ
- Clinton Street
These streets will be closed to vehicular traffic from 7:30-2 on October 11:
Planters remain wrapped in plastic months after being dropped off along a pathway that runs east-west from Flower Street to Broad Street, under the I-84 viaduct. Vegetation, arranged haphazardly, peeking out from beneath the elevated highway.
Originally, Mayor Segarra had supported the fight to keep the city street open to thru-traffic, but later stepped aside when the State pressed. During discussions between the Connecticut Department of Transportation and constituents, the State agency promised a number of measures would be taken to soften the blow of the closure of this north-south street. Residents and business owners were told that a linear park type of space would be created, complete with benches and native plantings. Continue reading 'Another Fail in Flower Street Mitigation Efforts'»
In July we took the City’s temperature on how Capital Improvement Project funds were being used. Two months later, we are taking another look.
Previously, it was said that the Pope Park pond restoration work would begin in September. The latest information is that the plan now is only to dredge it and to go with the lowest bid. Still waiting on official word regarding the status of the restoration of ponds at Goodwin Park and Bushnell Park, but we hear that work on the latter should begin later this month. It’s suspected that the problem with the Bushnell Park pond is related to piping and its lining.
Work seems to have stalled, then resumed, and then slowed at Pope Park North (Baby Pope) over the summer. One City source said that the spray pool and playground construction would be completed by May, and a sign at the site said July. At the beginning of July, some playground equipment, picnic tables, and benches were in place, but the spray pool was never on during the school summer vacation. The border fence remains to be installed. Grass seed was spread, but never appeared to be watered. The only signs of movement on the site have been some work to the sidewalk surrounding. With children back in school, the $570,000 renovations remains unfinished. Continue reading 'Speed of Capital Improvement Projects'»
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'»
Patio decor at Tangiers in Hartford
When it was announced last March that the old strip mall across the city line was going to be razed to make way for a new Walgreens, there was some premature mourning for the loss of Tangiers. Wednesday night, the market featuring Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and other international foods held its grand opening at 550 Farmington Avenue, a space most recently used by Central Supermarket.
Tangiers quietly opened earlier this month. The Latif family has a few decades of experience doing what they do, so it was no surprise to see the constant flow of customers Wednesday night.
Tangiers is selling familiar goods, from falafel and baklava to tea and dried fruit. They are also selling fresh fruits and vegetables, along with breads. Besides the counter and tables indoors, there is an outdoor patio now.
They are open Monday through Saturday, 10am-8pm, and Sunday, 10am-6pm. Continue reading 'Tangiers Opens in West End'»