(L-to-R) Charles R. Venator-Santiago, Olga Delarosa Moya, Victor Quinones, Ana-Maria Garcia, Madelyn Colon, y Evelyn Mantilla
The gymnasium of St. Anne / Immaculate Conception Church on Park Street was the venue for a true community dialogue about the history and current state of the Latino vote in Hartford. The dialogue did not dwell in the past, nor did it center on the panelists’ contributions, as audience members readily joined in.
Evelyn Mantilla, who served as the event’s moderator, explained that of the approximately 54,000 individuals registered to vote in the city, 38% are Latinos. Of the small number who voted in the 2012 primary, only 13% of those voters were Latino.
“Why don’t more Latinos vote in Hartford?” was the question that held this conversation together. Everyone had theories.
Panelist Victor Quinones said, “we are not educated politically.” People will vote all Democrat instead of thinking about the individual candidates.
“There is also the hours,” he said. Very few people stop by the polls between 6-9am, and then people work all day. He said the polls should open and close later. Continue reading '¿Ausente? Indeed.'»
When volunteers spent a few days last year cleaning in and outside of the Burns School in the Frog Hollow neighborhood, some experienced something like culture shock upon seeing that Hartford’s schools do not receive equal maintenance. Despite those efforts, more work is needed.
On April 27th the community is invited to help with various projects at the school from 8am-1pm.
Children have requested that their bathrooms be more kid-friendly, so adding stencils to the walls will be one of these projects. The cafeteria needs painting. One wall of it will be covered in special chalkboard paint. Bulletin boards will also need refreshing. Outside, there is work to do in the garden, along with routine removal of litter and overgrown vegetation.
There’s no need to rsvp — just show up. Burns is on the block between Russ, Putnam, Mortson, and Park Terrace.
If you can’t wait that long to get your hands dirty, there are other community building (and cleaning) events planned. Continue reading 'Hands-on Community Building'»
The hand-wringing over access to fresh food in Hartford need not be. Besides the year-round farmers’ market on Broad Street, there are daily farmers’ markets running for about half the year in various neighborhoods. Another way to secure fresh, healthy food is to become a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share-holder.
CSA has existed in the United States for a few decades now and presents a way for farmers to be paid upfront, allowing them to spend more of their time growing food and less of it worrying about marketing.
It’s not without risk. If crops fail or are stolen, share-holders will not receive refunds, though farmers have ways to alleviate the loss, sometimes by extending the growing season.
Consumers experience advantages like being able to actually speak with the person who grew the food. In an age when labels do not tell the whole story — organic in what way? — there is value in being able to ask direct questions about the growing practices.
Serafina Says Farm
Pre-paying for an entire season’s produce — and in some cases, other goods — means walking away with edibles that a person might not have known existed, like kohlrabi and tatsoi. This opens the door for children, especially, to develop a taste for foods that are more sophisticated than what’s on kiddie menus. Being able to walk around the farm teaches about agriculture in a way that can not be taught in school.
Paying a large sum upfront may seem prohibitive, particularly for those in lower income brackets. The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association even says that “CSA is not about cheap food,” adding that “cheap food” is “usually neither nourishing nor grown with care of the environment in mind.” The organization says, “CSA is about each of us being responsible.”
But how does one be responsible when her pantry is more ramen than caviar? Continue reading 'Hungry? It’s CSA Time'»
There is no Ivy League college in Hartford, but that has not interfered with the resurgence of a writing culture here. Continue reading 'Hartford Writers: Beyond Harriet, Samuel, and Wallace'»
Free Zumba will be available at the Burns Latino Studies Academy on February 20th, starting at 6pm. Those wishing to participate should bring sneakers and water. The organizer asks that you send an email so that she knows how many people to expect.
Burns is located at Putnam and Russ. Enter through the door facing Russ Street.
Mucha Mucha Placer won this trophy for having the most pink in the Art Sled Derby which took place on Saturday in Hartford’s Elizabeth Park.
Continue reading 'Art Sled Derby in Elizabeth Park'»
Frog Hollow residents began shoveling a path the width of a van down the middle of a one-way side street on Sunday morning. What started with a lone shoveler quickly snowballed into a community effort. Continue reading 'When the Plows Don’t Show'»
On an evening when many were hunkered down during a bout of freezing rain, the top floor of 30 Arbor Street was abuzz. The former factory space hosted a pop-up marketplace, with vendors offering everything from vintage clothing at thrift store prices, to designer jeans at $200 a pair, to Valentine’s Day cards declaring that the lovebirds go together like pills and vodka. The music was loud and the vegan cupcakes were copious. This was on a Monday. Continue reading 'Leaders Discuss “What Makes a Strong Community?”'»
If you are afraid of struggle, you don’t get involved in fighting for social justice. But this past year, local activists got far more personal struggle than anyone anticipated.
In May, Marlene Berg, a co-founder of the Institute for Community Research, passed away. Greg Tate, one of the founding members of HartBeat Ensemble, left us in June. Advocate for the homeless, Carol Walter, passed away in last week.
The three activists had a lot in common. Continue reading 'A Harsh Year for Hartford’s Activist Community'»
The conversation is expected to include the mayor of Hartford, the superintendent of the Connecticut Technical High School System, the executive director of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, an American Studies professor, a senator, and the director of a statewide pro-gun organization.
The studio is located at 1049 Asylum Avenue; the public is invited to be part of the live studio audience.