With the release of the 2014 Year End Crime Data, the Mayor’s Office claims there has been a “steady reduction in crime,” particularly in “Clay Arsenal, North Meadows, North East, Blue Hills and Upper Albany.”
The Hartford Police Department routinely releases crime stats weekly, not just at the end of the year. Before celebrating or getting cynical, it’s worth knowing what the numbers actually mean.
Continue reading '2014 Crime Stats'»
With talk turned to race and the police, we thought it time to look at who is getting arrested in Hartford.
Any time data is used, it is necessary to explain what it does not tell us.
This map is based on arrests of adults from December 9-19, 2014. It includes what is reported in the Hartford Police Department’s arrest log; thus the information is only as accurate as what is listed there. Continue reading 'Who Gets Arrested for What, Where'»
On Friday, Mayor Segarra announced that what he calls an “independent task force” has been created to review the fire department. This task force includes former fire chiefs — Charles Teale, John Stewart, Nelson Carter, and Edward Casares — and current police chief, James Rovella.
Segarra’s spokesperson said the task force exists “to examine the department’s command structure, its resources, firefighter training and recruitment” and will “review state, federal and board inquiries into the death of Firefighter Kevin Bell.” Recommendations that emerge from this will be made to Segarra and Hartford Fire Department’s Chief Huertas.
The creation of this task force follows a number of HFD problems, from the death of Kevin Bell to the accidental discharge of a firearm to lieutenants brawling at a site, and more. Lots, lots more.
The most serious of those — a firefighter’s loss of life while on the job — occurred in October. Continue reading 'Investigations All Around'»
Justin held his sign in front of City Hall during rush hour on Wednesday. He wanted to know why he was the only person taking a stand.
On Saturday, December 6th, others will join voices to say that all lives matter. The solidarity march will gather at Albany and Main at noon, then head up the road, ending at the Woodland Street entrance to Keney Park.
Photo by Christopher Brown
People from Hartford and beyond attended a two hour vigil at Center Church in Hartford on Tuesday night. Community leaders, residents, and visitors spoke at the lectern, sharing their thoughts on race, justice, and other issues in Ferguson, Hartford, and beyond. Attendees filed outside for closing words by candlelight on the church’s front steps. Continue reading 'Hartford Speaks About Justice'»
Interracial marriage was not permitted in many states during the early 1960′s. In fact, anti-miscegenation laws existed in the majority of the United States through the middle of the last century, allowing for racism to dictate the nature of marital and intimate relationships. The Supreme Court struck down those laws in 1967.
A few years later, the push for same-sex marriage began. Again, hateful legislation defined marriage in a way that includes some, while excluding others. It took a few decades for this movement to take hold, and there has been much backlash along the way, as one can witness through the enactment of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and the incessant verbal diarrhea from pundits. In 2010, one state began to fight against the federal government’s restrictive definition of marriage. Many others followed. Same-sex couples can not be legally married in the entirety of the United States yet, but there is no doubt that opinion has shifted toward that happening eventually.
Sometimes the law is wrong. When it is wrong, we are obligated to recognize that and change it. These are, after all, civil laws, not God’s laws.
The West End is currently looking at what appears to be an outmoded law:
The purpose of the R-8 district in the city is to provide for and protect single-family residences sited on a lot having a minimum area of twelve thousand (12,000) square feet. The R-8 district provisions encourage the future development of these very low density residential areas for primarily residential purposes by prohibiting conversions, roomers, most institutional uses and all business uses.
On the surface, this might look sensible. Who wants factories or prisons in her backyard? Zoning can be useful in that way.
All of Scarborough Street is zoned for R-8 use (see above). The language is seemingly vague. What does “primarily residential purposes” mean? On this street, in the same zone, a property is owned by the University of Connecticut. In an article the Courant ran on this, there was no mention of neighborhood opposition to what is used as a place for donor events. The Wadsworth Atheneum owns a property on the street. So does Jumoke Academy. Two properties are owned by trustees, another is a land trust. There are two churches operating on Scarborough Street. This leaves 21 other properties, one of which has been on the market for several years.
The issue at hand is 68 Scarborough Street. Continue reading 'Family Faces Eviction from West End Home, Despite Paying Mortgage on Time'»
Unemployment has not been a new topic of conversation in the city, but on the day of the big vote, there was a lot of talk about what might give Hartford a much-needed economic boost. Too many people struggle to provide for their basic needs, for their families.
Meanwhile, on that same day, ten individuals were arrested for doing their jobs. Continue reading 'Crackdown on Jobs'»