crime/justice

10,000 Strong

This child is just one of the estimated 10,000 individuals who peacefully rallied outside of the Connecticut State Capitol on Saturday in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. That’s double the crowd organizers had expected. The signs alone communicate the rally’s message. (more…)

January 2017 Events in Hartford

This monthly event listing includes arts and entertainment, civic engagement, academic, cultural, wellness, and other types of activities happening in Hartford during January. 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. If we think an event sounds convoluted, disorganized, or offensive, we are not going to list it.

January 1

  • The Half Door (270 Sisson Ave.) is serving brunch from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. today.
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

January 2

  • BiCi Co. Winter Gear Share: Drop off donations to BiCi Co. (95 Park Street) from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. They say: “We have some riders (and community members) [who] may not have all the winter gear they need. Bring clean, lightly used or new gear, and we’ll find a home with another winter rider or Center for Latino Progress program participant. Gloves, hats, jackets, scarves, baselayers, cold weather jerseys, and outerwear.”
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Hartford Jazz Orchestra performs at Arch Street Tavern at 8 p.m. Free.

January 3

  • BiCi Co. Winter Gear Share: Drop off donations to BiCi Co. (95 Park Street) from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. They say: “We have some riders (and community members) [who] may not have all the winter gear they need. Bring clean, lightly used or new gear, and we’ll find a home with another winter rider or Center for Latino Progress program participant. Gloves, hats, jackets, scarves, baselayers, cold weather jerseys, and outerwear.”
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Natural Hair Networking Meetup: This event is at M Lounge (942 Main St.) from 6-8 p.m. They say: “Come mix, mingle and learn with the Brown Skin Women (BSW) Network full of beautiful natural living women and professional service & product providers, while having a wonderful time! At this event we feature our signature express networking that allows you to connect with ALL guest before the night is up. If you own a business or offer a product or service, don’t forget to bring your business cards. If you are attending solely to enjoy the amazing energy and natural hair & beauty inspiration this event offers, you too are in for a treat. We will offer raffles from our sponsors and partners with our partners. Warning: Our events are known to build lasting friendships, unity and love.” This is free for BSW members and $5 for non-members.
  • Game Night: Real Art Ways (56 Arbor St.) is hosting a free community game night, 6-10 p.m. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase.

January 4

  • BiCi Co. Winter Gear Share: Drop off donations to BiCi Co. (95 Park Street) from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. They say: “We have some riders (and community members) [who] may not have all the winter gear they need. Bring clean, lightly used or new gear, and we’ll find a home with another winter rider or Center for Latino Progress program participant. Gloves, hats, jackets, scarves, baselayers, cold weather jerseys, and outerwear.”
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals in Bushnell Park, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Get HYPEd: free and casual networking event for young entrepreneurs and professionals. Bring your business cards. This month’s event is at Ted’s Montana Grill (35 Front Street), 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • MakeHartford Open House with Show & Tell: check out MakeHartford (30 Arbor St. #B7), speak to makers, show what you’re doing, 6:30-9 p.m. Free.
  • Loving: Cinestudio screens this film at 7:30 p.m. They say: “Like many landmark choices that opened a door to freedom, the Supreme Court decision to legalize interracial marriages in every state began with ordinary people who wanted the protection of the Constitution to apply to them, too. In 1967, those people were Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia couple who were arrested for the crime of ‘miscegenation.’ Without much education, connections or money, they started a case that would change their lives, and so many more. A subtle film that allows for complexity while holding out hope for humanity.” General admission: $10.

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Best Most Awesome Superlatives 2016

Winner of the Weirdest Award

Winner of the Weirdest Award

This has been, in countless ways, a crap year.

In terms of Hartford-specific issues, it hasn’t been so bad, but that has gotten drowned out by the presidential election, all of our crushes from the 80’s dying, and a billion other things like plane crashes, environmental racism, Muhammad AliAleppo, Orlando, and Princess Leia.

Still, our ridiculous awards must go on. If it helps, imagine us shoving a fiery dumpster down the red carpet. Because there is nothing more appropriate to round out this year. (more…)

Get Active this Weekend

See on a classroom building on University of Hartford campus

Last week Hartford had a scream circle, various other healing events, and a monthly Showing Up for Racial Justice meeting that saw a surge in attendance.

More is yet to come.

A “Peaceful Pro-Love March” is planned for today, November 18, on the University of Hartford campus. Participants will be wearing black for the event that begins at 3 p.m. at Gengras Student Union. They say: “We want to convey a message that UHart stands up for inequalities across all spectrums. Whether it be concerning minorities, members of the LGBTQ community, women’s rights, Muslims, etc., we want to ensure that everybody at this school feels that they have the right to be loved and accepted.” Participants are asked to use only hand-held signs (no sticks) and to refrain from including profanity on the signs. (more…)

2016 Holiday Giving Guide

Photo from November 2014

Right after the 9/11 attacks, the then President, George W. Bush, urged Americans to go shopping. These things do not come without a price. The reckless, mindless spending empties wallets and creates a fine distraction for us. While we work harder to have more money to spend on more things, policies are enacted with little resistance.

Distraction and complacency go a long way toward complicity.

When we have covered local protests of any kind, regular folks — not simply those being directly challenged — typically critique those carrying signs or blocking traffic. The protestors are seen as making too much fuss, seen as an other for daring to speak up. It’s never quiet enough, respectful enough, pretty enough. There’s too much inconvenience created. The strategies are always questioned, not only when the tactics are questionable, such as when people from out-of-town join in a march through a poor neighborhood chanting “WHOSE STREETS? OUR STREETS!“. Basically, if the opposition takes the form of anything more wild than wearing a rose or a designated color on the same day, it’s looked down on. The people are told to sit down, shut up, smile nicely, and go with the flow.

We did not just wake up to President-Elect Trump, as if his rise to power occurred magically. (more…)

November 2016 Events

November 1

  • Clean Safe Water in Connecticut: Challenges and Realities in a Complex World –this free event at Connecticut Historical Society (1 Elizabeth St.) from 12:30-2 p.m. They say: “Daniel C. Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy will share his insight into the challenges and opportunities Connecticut faces in maintaining access to clean, safe water for all of its citizens.” Reserve your seat: rsvp@chs.org or (860) 236-5621 x238.
  • This is one of those rare times that we include something from the suburbs, but it’s a good cause. The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence is forming a Men’s Advisory Council for a statewide sexual violence prevention campaign. They say: “Our goal is to continue to engage men as allies in our work to prevent sexual violence and to cultivate prevention leaders in our state.” This will be facilitated by Andrew Stewart. This meeting takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. at The Alliance (96 Pitkin Street, East Hartford). RSVP requested.
  • God, Faith, and Politics: Election Year Community Forums — the conversation begins at 7 p.m. at Wood-n-Tap (Capitol and Sisson Ave.)  but show up early to order dinner. Tonight’s conversation focuses on freedom of religion. They say: “Revs. Don Hamer from Trinity Episcopal Church, Rick Kremer of Grace Lutheran Church, Matt Laney of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Kari Nicewander of Immanuel Congregational Church, Imam Sami Aziz of the Bloomfield Islamic Center and Rabbi Michael Pincus of Congregation Beth Israel  will lead a discussion of religious issues as they have been raised in this year’s election.” Free to attend.

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October 2016 Events

October 1

Night Fall: this year, October 8th.

  • Clean Up: volunteer to clean up Columbus Park (between Franklin Avenue, Wethersfield Avenue, Bolton Street, and Victoria Road) for a couple hours starting at 10 a.m. Bring your own cleaning supplies (gloves, bags, etc.) if possible.    The Place 2 Be will provide breakfast for volunteers at 9, but meet at the restaurant (615 Franklin Ave) for that.
  • Civil War POW Walk: Meet at Cedar Hill Cemetery for a tour beginning at 10 a.m. They say: “Evelyn Bollert will lead visitors on a tour of the final resting places of prisoners of the Civil War and tell their stories of bravery, resilience and heartbreak.” General admission is $5. Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation and Let’s Go Arts members get in free.
  • Tree Tour: learn about trees in Elizabeth Park. This free tour begins at 10 a.m. Meet at the Cottage.
  • Tainted Inc Cleanout Sale: clothes, birdcages, trunks, and more for sale at 56 Arbor Street. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Community Health & Wellness Fair: free health screenings, along with information about financial planning, homeownership, and injury prevention. This is from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Simpson-Waverly School (55 Waverly Street).
  • Hartford Preservation Alliance Kitchen Tour: view the kitchens of five historic homes in the West End. $25. This is a self-guided tour from 10 a.m. — 3 p.m.
  • hARTsem DAYS: Today is the second in a two-day celebration of arts and spirituality at the Hartford Seminary. The day begins at 10 a.m. and lineup of events includes spoken word, violin performance workshops and lectures, food trucks, labyrinth tours, art displays, and more. Most of this is free, but the Hassan El Jai performance has a fee. Events occur in various locations in the Sherman and Lorraine Street area.
  • Yoga in the Park: Yoga taught in English and Spanish in Pope Park near the pond, 11 a.m. Bring your own mat/towel. Free.
  • Active Hope: a workshop at Toivo (399 Franklin Avenue) from 12-5 p.m. They say: “Do you feel overwhelmed by what is happening in the world? Are you troubled by the presidential race, the climate crisis, racial injustice, the opioid epidemic, discrimination against people who are in recovery, and other problems we are facing today? Do you feel sad, angry, afraid, and even hopeless at times? Instead of giving up or numbing out, you have another choice: Active Hope. Active Hope is a practice that supports us as active participants in the healing of our world. It does not require optimism, so we can apply it even in areas where we feel hopeless.” Space is limited, so reserve your spot by contacting Laura: lle@advocacyunlimited.org or calling her at (860) 296-2338 ext. 104. Suggested donation: $5.
  • Family Yoga Workshop: This free family yoga and meditation class can help you learn how to de-stress and get healthy as a family. The workshop begins at 2 pm in the Youth Program Room on the third floor of the Hartford Public Library. Please call 860-695-6330 to register.

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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…)