crime/justice

In Your Neighborhood: Asylum Hill

This was the rare week and change that brought me into Asylum Hill on multiple days. I was lucky to see the progression of a community mural at the 224 EcoSpace. In a time of seemingly non-stop bad news, this creation was needed. (more…)

Gun Buyback in Hartford Saturday

Created using Google

Less than one week since the Orlando nightclub shootings — and within 48 hours of another death in Hartford resulting from gun violence — the Hartford Police Department is holding a gun buyback event at the Johnson Stewart Community Center, located half a mile from that most recent fatal shooting and about one block from a double homicide that occurred in March.

From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on June 18, working firearms can be turned in anonymously and in exchange for gift cards. (more…)

June 2016 Events in Hartford

Elizabeth Park

This monthly event listing includes arts and entertainment, civic engagement, academic, cultural, wellness, and other types of activities happening in Hartford during June. There is no intent to include all events — it’s curated, with preference given to what the widest range of Hartford residents can afford (free or low cost) and what sounds most interesting to us.

This information is accurate as of publication to the best of our knowledge. Keep in mind that events are sometimes cancelled or postponed, and that incorrect details are at times given to us. Verify with the venue if you are concerned about last minute surprises.

To get an event published for next month, send details to realhartford@gmail.com by June 25th. Nothing is added after the calendar is published.

June 1

  • The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s string quartet will be giving a free lunchtime concert in Liam E. McGee Memorial Park (formerly “HartBeat Park– Garden Street, Frazer Place, and Myrtle Street ) 12-1 p.m. If it rains, this will take place on June 3rd.
  • Community Matters: Wrestling with Public Restroom Use & Other Laws Aimed at Excluding LGBTQsYWCA Hartford Region (135 Broad Street) is hosting a conversation on this topic. Catherine Blinder will moderate. Dan Barrett, Legal Director at ACLU CT, and Cesar Aleman, Community Outreach and Education Coordinator at CT Fair Housing Center, will be participating in the discussion. This free event starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Soromundi Room.
  • Free yoga in Bushnell Park at 5:30 p.m. Bring your own mat and water; wear comfortable clothing. Meet on the lawn between the pond and Pump House.
  • Get HYPEd: gather at Firebox (539 Broad) for this month’s networking event for young professionals and entrepreneurs. Show up whenever, stay as long as you’d like. No cover. Bring business cards and money for your own drinks. 5:30-8:30 p.m.

June 2

  • At 10 a.m. take a free tour of the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden. Meet at the Cottage.
  • Billings Forge Farmers’ Market is from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Broad Street, between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street.
  • Art on the Streets: from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., check out what Justin O’Brien (Asylum and Trumbull) and Tang Sauce (Phoenix Gateway [you probably know this area as Constitution Plaza]) have to offer. Free. (Can we stop with the Hxxxford nonsense now? Patently false! It never left.)
  • Take a free tour of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Bushnell Park. Drop by from 12-1:30 p.m. Call 860-232-6710 to confirm that rain has not cancelled.
  • Free yoga in Elizabeth Park at 5:30. Bring your own yoga mat and water; wear comfortable clothing. Meet on the lawn near the rose garden.
  • hARTford Art Show: artwork on the themes of identity, community, and Hartford, created by Hartford middle and high school students, will be on display at Butler-McCook House & Garden (396 Main), 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free.
  • The POSSM and Now for Ages will play at Peppercorn’s Grill (357 Main) starting at 8:30 p.m. No cover.

June 3

  • Witness the Puerto Rican Flag Raising Ceremony at the Connecticut State Capitol at 12:30 p.m.
  • Opening reception for Headstrong by Marc-Yves Regis at ArtWalk Gallery, located in Hartford Public Library (500 Main Street). 6 p.m. Free.

(more…)

Cops: Don’t Dish if You Can’t Take It

The horses make an appearance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Garden and Ashley on May 11, 2016

It’s been a tough few weeks for the police, perhaps tougher for those who have made questionable moves.

Budget cuts have eliminated the Mounted Police, effective at the beginning of July. A few mounted police made an appearance at the Zunner Building opening ceremony on Wednesday, where the governor, mayor, and other elected City and State politicians were present. Though well attended, the need for crowd control at this event was not apparent.

The Animal Control Unit has been significantly reduced; ACO Sherry DeGenova, who has earned the reputation of being valuable for her non-stop passion and commitment to her work, was among those cut. Responding to this decision, the community — including many people from beyond Hartford’s borders who adopted dogs that would have otherwise been killed — has marched, petitioned, filled City Hall during a Council meeting, and gone very public with its discontent over a budget cut that some are claiming will actually cost the City of Hartford more money in the long run. (more…)

Suggestion Box: Patching the Budget Hole

How we got here

The City of Hartford’s economic problems did not just happen. They did not spring up when Mayor Bronin was sworn into office. They did not emerge last year or even the year before that. (more…)

March 2016 Events

March 1

Alejandro Zambra will be at Trinity College on March 1 to give a reading and book signing.

  • Drawings by David Borawski will be on view at EBK Gallery (218 Pearl Street) starting today!
  • Alejandro Zambra,Chilean novelist and poet, is giving a reading at Trinity College at 4:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. A reception and book-signing will follow in Smith House, 123 Vernon Street.
  • The public is invited to attend a workshop meeting of the Hartford Board of Education, 5:30 p.m., at Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts, 65 Van Block Avenue. The discussion topic for board members is “student success.” While the public may attend, there is no comment period during workshop meetings.
  • Real Art Ways is hosting its monthly game night at 6 p.m. in the lounge. Bring your own or play the games provided. Free.
  • The Life & Song of Nina Simone: A Tertulia— 6 p.m. in the Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library. Free. They say: “Join us for conversation and music with artist and performer Margaux Hayes and Trinity Professor of Music Gail H. Woldu. Light refreshments will be served.”
  • The Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 7 p.m. in the plaza level conference room at 260 Constitution Plaza. Agenda items include: adult establishment at 330 Ledyard Street, coverage of a building lot at 929 Park Street, variances for 981 Park Street, and adoption of bylaws.

(more…)

Cemetery Improvements on Horizon

Photo taken July 19, 2014

Those who regularly visit Zion Hill Cemetery see that gravestones there are routinely toppled and destroyed. Unlike Cedar Hill Cemetery, where visitors are frequent and staff are visible, Zion Hill does not get nearly that level of care and attention throughout the year, despite being a fraction of Cedar Hill’s size and having a police substation opposite one corner. Gates remain open after hours.

What is thought of as one cemetery between Zion, Ward, Affleck, and Allen is actually a patchwork of various cemeteries. The City of Hartford maintains some of this; the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Association of Jewish Cemeteries maintains the

Photo taken July 19, 2014

various other cemeteries found here. (more…)

Leadership in Transition

Carlos Hernandez Chavez reads his prepared remarks at the Youth Engagement Town Hall on Saturday // Photo courtesy of Allison Holst-Grubbe

Mayor-Elect Luke Bronin recently announced that he would forgo the glitz and expense of an inaugural ball, favoring a reception only, following the swearing-in of all other elected officials in early January. In past administrations, there have been both the light refreshments and meet and greet in City Hall, and the evening wear on display in a much larger facility. The plan is for Bronin to be sworn into office following the midnight First Night fireworks.

This weekend Bronin held a Youth Engagement Town Hall at Wilson-Gray YMCA, where Hartford’s strengths, such as already existing youth services programs, were touted. Here, a resident urged others to get involved with the dozens of municipal boards and commissions, and to support the incoming mayor and provide him with ideas of what we need, saying that if we don’t advocate for ourselves, we can’t get mad at the leader for not knowing what needs attention. The takeaway from this meeting was that many residents felt that City and community resources are disconnected from each other.

A few weeks ago, Bronin created several committees and policy working groups. Essentially, these perform as ways to add oversight and transparency, along with provide more opportunity for comment from members of the public. (more…)

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