left-to-right: Luke Bronin, Joel Cruz, Jr., John Gale, Giselle Jacobs, Robert Killian, Mayor Segarra, Lew Brown
Cognitive dissonance: when a candidate goes to a debate for south neighborhoods — set in one of them — and proceeds to claim that this part of the city gets advantages that the north end does not. (more…)
School Search Tool indicates zones. Click on image to go to interactive tool.
While families in Hartford are waiting to hear about where the lottery system will place their school-age children, research on the public choice system reveals what Mira Debs, a doctoral candidate at Yale, calls a “marketing disconnect.” While choice is pitched as “freedom” and about enabling the best “personal fit,” the reality for families, she says, is quite different. With the division of the city into zones, choice is limited. One Hartford mother she spoke with took issue with how she had to pick a school for her son: “I really liked [the arts school]. I actually thought [my son] had more of a performing arts bent. Not in my zone. Not in my neighborhood…So, you can have a sciency child in zone 3 or you can have an artsy child in zone 4.”
With attempts to remove eleven residents from a 9-bedroom home on Scarborough Street underway, the family gathered today in City Hall to strike back.
The 68 Scarborough attorney, Peter Gosselin, said that his clients instructed him to file a lawsuit in federal district court, alleging that their constitutional rights have been violated. This was filed this morning.
Photo by Christopher Brown
Additionally, they will be filing an injunction to prevent accruing fines until a court ruling is made. If this is not granted, they can be fined $100-250 per day or face ten days of imprisonment.
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. (more…)
Exactly one person spoke favorably about the stadium deal during Monday’s public hearing, yet members of City Council went ahead and approved the three Downtown North land purchases anyway, two of which are directly connected — either in print or geographically — to the proposed stadium.
Raquel, the one voice overtly supporting the stadium, said that “Hartford is a dead city” and that if people are out of work, it is nobody’s fault but their own. It’s not the City’s responsibility to get people to work, she said. That was the message in between her continued support for the stadium. No statistics, no research. The City is here to provide entertainment, she implied, but not jobs.
Ten individuals — eight residents, one former resident, and one individual moving into Hartford soon — spoke against the stadium plan. One woman did not speak directly about the stadium, but said that the “city looks like crap” and that it is a “dead land.” (more…)
Hartford is a small, diverse city. The 2010 census data indicates that 38.7% of its population identifies as black, 43.4% identifies as Hispanic, and 15.8% identify as white, non-Hispanic. The rest falls into categories of white, Asian, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and biracial/multiracial. Of course, we know these numbers do not reflect those who are not reached by data collectors; historically, blacks and Hispanics are undercounted.
Knowing this, questions were raised going into last week’s #youngHartford forum about the blatant lack of racial diversity on the panel.
Carlos Hernández Chávez, a local with a solo exhibit currently on display in the ArtWalk Gallery, posed a similar line of questions while in the audience of the Courant/Fox/HYPE-sponsored event: “I’ve been here [in Hartford] 47 years,” he said. “Hartford right now is over 50% Hispanic. How many of you are Hispanic here?” he asked the audience. A few hands were lifted. “That’s not 50%.”
Hernández Chávez said this was not about creating guilt for anyone, but this subject had to be discussed.
“How many dark faces do you see here?” he continued. “If we want to see Hartford thrive,” he said, “then “you have to look at that issue.”
But not everyone has been wiling to do that. Sidestepping unpleasant controversy is just easier for some, including those who had both an audience and a microphone but chose to use neither for the greater good.
That’s not to say that all of the panelists were complacent. (more…)
Artwork on structure walls at Heaven. It was proposed that these structures be removed or reduced in size. There were objections to the removal of this public art.
“This is about preparing an area for development,” said Thomas Deller, City of Hartford’s Director of Development Services. “Everything that’s here is being proposed as the maximum.”
The Downtown North Park Plan is funded, Deller said, by a sustainable community grant to “determine how we develop” the area “for growth and sustainability.”
As with the previous twopublic meetings, there were questions about who these proposed changes are for, even as the standing room only crowd was told that a steering committee included community members.
That does not seem to have happened in the time since, but park users — including those who skate, do parkour, and use the space as a canvas for their art — caught wind of the plans to change a space without seeking their input. So, they showed up at last night’s final meeting, and they showed up in large numbers.
Regular users of Wexford, New Ross County Park — Heaven — showed up to the meeting where the park was given two minutes of discussion tacked on at the end just before the library closed.
Predictably, information about the skate park was presented last, for mere minutes, and then followed by the rushed Q&A segment. (more…)