crime/justice

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.

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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…)

More Arrests in the Black Lives Matter Movement

Twelve people were arrested in an announced Black Lives Matter rally late Monday afternoon when they blocked Albany Avenue at Bloomfield Avenue, one of the major roads used for commuters leaving Hartford for West Hartford and beyond during rush hour.

There were two non-violent action trainings provided for participants before this latest rally, trainings that were also announced and should have clued in anyone paying any attention that a detour might have been in the stars for Monday afternoon. (more…)

Green Door Gallery Hosts The Road Not Taken

Inmates at the Cheshire Correctional Institution have provided photographs of their childhood memories. Each photo is accompanied by text explaining something about the inmate’s background, whether that is a cherished memory or what that individual’s aspirations had been. Some share what they would like to be doing with their lives if and when they are released.

None of the materials indicate what the inmates did to be handed such long sentences, though some allude to what their lives had been like as teens and younger adults.

The Road Not Taken exhibit, co-produced by Thea Montañez and Eriberto DeLeon, will be on display at the Green Door Gallery (255 Homestead Avenue) for at least the next few weeks.

‘No Cause for Concern’ Becomes an Ask for Regional Resources

From the sensationalist headlines throwing out theories that neither Hartford residents nor our police are buying, to the ever-present discussion in campaign season, the homicide rate this year is getting attention. That number does not include deaths that have not been classified yet, like the incident from early Saturday morning on Bond Street that involved a person dying after being struck by a vehicle driven by someone who did not care to stick around. (That vehicle is described as a gray or silver, two-door Infiniti sedan with dark tints. No description of the motorist has been provided).

The homicide rate for 2015 is high, but taking the longer view, one can see that these rates fluctuate. The following data, provided by the Hartford Police Department, shows how the rate ebbs and flows.

Part 1 Crime Historical Analysis Spread Sheet

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George Takei Talks in Hartford

Photo by Christopher Brown

45 minutes. That’s all the time George Takei had on stage at ConnectiCon on Sunday. The long line of fans waiting to ask questions was disassembled after only a few had the opportunity to take the mic.

That’s what happens when the special guest isn’t giving flat, boilerplate responses. (more…)

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