Category: commentary/editorial

In Your Neighborhood: Parkville

By , August 1, 2015 11:25 am

The tendency is to want every depiction to be beautiful, for our dirty laundry to never be noticed on the line. But how does one put something out there and expect invisibility?

Parkville might be faring better than some surrounding neighborhoods when it comes to warding off or dealing with things like graffiti and blight, but it is not immune either. Continue reading 'In Your Neighborhood: Parkville'»

Another Disorganized Convention Results in Endorsements Over Two Days

By , July 28, 2015 11:45 am

The parking lot at Bulkeley High has seen better days. Grass grows up in a handicapped spot. An empty bottle of booze sits where someone left it. The building is imposing, with few windows and no signs of joy. It looks and feels like a place one attends by force, not because it’s a center for intellectual growth that one may opt into.

With the Democratic Town Committee‘s convention slated to begin at 6 p.m., politicians, committee members, and families began to gather hours in advance on Bulkeley’s steps, some to rally for their candidates, others to avoid sitting down.

It’s not hard to stand and chat, delaying entrance to what will no doubt feel like a cage for the rest of the evening. Knowing how these go, we knew it would be inexpedient and frustrating. Snacks would need to be eaten surreptitiously, lest we get asked to leave and end up missing something. They want to preserve the auditorium’s new carpet, and who can begrudge them of that? It appears to be the only update to the room that is otherwise stuck in the mid-1970s. There’s no Wi-Fi. Outlets are hard to find. If they have any technology developed in the past 40 years, they weren’t using it, with the vote tally later being kept on a large white board that could barely be read. Continue reading 'Another Disorganized Convention Results in Endorsements Over Two Days'»

Suggestion Box: Films in the Filth

By , June 24, 2015 1:00 am

45 Evergreen Avenue. City-owned lot

Forget the free movies in the parks.

Here’s an idea. Feel free to run with it. Continue reading 'Suggestion Box: Films in the Filth'»

Election Season: Debate in the South

By , June 12, 2015 10:36 am

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. Continue reading 'Election Season: Debate in the South'»

Conversations with the Candidates: Impressions

By , May 14, 2015 9:39 am

“Why isn’t the mayor here?”

That was the first question asked by an audience member, before the official time for questions began — before anything really began — at the Business for Downtown Hartford’s “Candid Conversations” event. Continue reading 'Conversations with the Candidates: Impressions'»

CTFastrak: A Seat-of-the-Pants Review

By , March 30, 2015 8:43 pm

Part One: Frog Hollow to Firefly Hollow

Photo by Christopher Brown

A friend had suggested a Sunday morning meet-up at the downtown New Britain CTFastrak terminal for a leisurely bike ride to Bristol’s Firefly Hollow Brewing Company. I rode my bike to the Sigourney Street Fastrak station in Asylum Hill to catch a free ride to Hard Hittin’ New Britain. A woman in a bright vest offered a decal and advice about the best entrance to use when loading a bike on the bus. (Tip: there’s a bike pictogram by the rearmost door—go in that way) Continue reading 'CTFastrak: A Seat-of-the-Pants Review'»

Hartford’s Plan to Make City Attractive for Young People

By , February 18, 2015 7:04 am

As dirt was piled on top of frozen ground, destined to be “broken” for a project that had been declared done before any consultation with the public, and as distraction-upon-distraction was thrown at residents on an evening utterly overloaded with City meetings, a group of young(ish) professionals were told they do not belong here.

Without an inspection being conducted, residents of 68 Scarborough Street received a cease-and-desist order last year because their definition of family does not mesh with that of those living around them. Continue reading 'Hartford’s Plan to Make City Attractive for Young People'»

Neo-Puritans and Political Sex Scandals

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By , February 9, 2015 7:48 am

Note: This was written in October 2011 in anticipation of a mayoral candidate’s decades’ old personal history being released as a way to fling mud. It has sat dormant as a draft until now, since that “news” was just published elsewhere. I will be providing no links to that material and will let this piece speak for itself. Continue reading 'Neo-Puritans and Political Sex Scandals'»

Suggestion Box: More Festive Winterfest

By , January 2, 2015 7:56 am
Winterfest is no longer a brand new thing. There has been time enough to iron out the kinks, yet, kinks remain. Since June, residents have been essentially ordered by the mayor to dream big, so here are some modest-sized dreams for improving upon what already exists.

Gimme Shelter

The rink has already been closed several days this season when it has been cold enough for ice to exist, but the skating surface got wrecked by a little drizzle. Extreme cold, extreme heat, and monsoons should close down Winterfest for a day now and then, but a little rain shower should not. A temporary canopy over the ice rink would provide shelter for skaters during light rain and would extend ice time. When severe storms are predicted, that canopy could be taken down and stored. We know that access to one of these exists — it has made appearances at Envisionfest.

At the very least, the Winterfest powers-that-be could redirect those wanting some public skating time to use the year-round indoor rink inside of the Koeppel Community Center on New Britain Avenue on days when the outdoor rink is closed. Continue reading 'Suggestion Box: More Festive Winterfest'»

Most Best Awesome Superlatives of 2014

By , December 22, 2014 10:07 am

There are people who hate year-end lists because it sounds like the creator is putting out some clickbait while spending his days going to Christmas parties.

We’re using this opportunity to review the operation of the city and the City– what helped to build up Hartford and who needs to have a time out to think about what he has done. Continue reading 'Most Best Awesome Superlatives of 2014'»

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