Photo by Christopher Brown
“You have used the most powerful word in the English language,” Steve Harris, member of the Hartford Democratic Town Committee said, “and that word is ‘no.’”
“No” is what the parents, families, teachers, staff, and community have been saying to the proposal that the public John C. Clark School be phased out and replaced by Achievement First, a charter school.
Photo by Christopher Brown
After this proposal was sprung on the Clark School last month, parents have stood up to say they are not interested in having their children’s school closed.
Before the Board of Education workshop on Wednesday night, nineteen people lined up to speak against this proposal in the cafeteria of the former Milner School on Vine Street in the city’s North East neighborhood, blocks away from the school in jeopardy.
Imam Muhammad Ansari, the President of the Greater Hartford Chapter of the NAACP, said “this issue is a civil rights issue when the parents’ rights are being taken away.” Continue reading '“N” is for No: Community Speaks Against Closure of Clark School'»
A question routinely asked by Hartford residents is if attending the endless number of public meetings serves any purpose. People feel their voices are not heard. Sometimes nothing comes from these conversations. Some suspect that these feedback sessions are held just so various entities can check “public engagement” off their lists before moving on to the next stage.
Last week’s Downtown North Park meeting did little to improve confidence in such things. Continue reading 'Public Comment Futile on Downtown North Park Design?'»
Green carpets were rolled out this morning for people, boggling the minds of those who had never heard of PARK(ing) Day before. Though anybody can participate in this worldwide event by simply taking over metered parking spaces, Hartford’s first ever PARK(ing) Day was organized.
We were told that the sod, brought in by KNOX, would be re-used in some way during EnvisionFest this weekend. Because of the limited hours we were unable to see everything, but here’s a glimpse at some ways Downtown’s streets and a parking lot transformed earlier on Friday:
Robyn Valente on Pratt Street
Continue reading 'PARK(ed)'»
Parcel on Windsor Street
“It’s very white,” one resident remarked of the theme in Utile‘s “aspirational photos” for the region being described as “Downtown North.”
This was one of the kinder observations made during Tuesday’s presentation and discussion: “Hartford North Park: A Downtown Area Plan.”
Tom Deller, Director of Development Services, said a few words to set the stage, then left for the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s meeting on Flower Street across town. City officials remaining for what Deller called a public hearing included Councilperson Larry Deutsch and Councilperson David MacDonald.
While Deller did say this was only a first discussion of possibilities and that one of the project’s goals is to reconnect the north side of Hartford to Downtown, there was a shared sense of confusion over what the intention was behind this redevelopment plan and meeting. Continue reading 'Aspirations for North Downtown, West Downtown, and a sliver of Clay Arsenal and North Meadows'»
“More events in Goodwin, Colt, and Keney Park”
“Ice skating in more parks”
“Enough with the iQuilt already!”
“The old Taste of Hartford…when all the restaurants had booths on Constitution Plaza”
A full house of residents did not hesitate to say and write down what they thought Hartford’s parks could use. The Capital City Parks Master Plan‘s timeline involves several public forums, stakeholder meetings, and an online survey in the near future. Thursday night’s public meeting at the library was the first; two more meetings are planned for August and September. There will be intermittent stakeholder meetings.
With a steering committee, consultants, and engineers on hand, the first meeting was what Tom Deller, City of Hartford’s Director of Development Services, called an attempt to “understand what we have, what we need . . . and how to improve it.”
“It’s important that we hear your concerns,” he said. Continue reading 'Improving Parks, One Carriage Ride at a Time'»
At the same time as residents are being urged to accept a potential change to Pope Park or Colt Park that nobody seems to want — a Cal Ripken Sr.Foundation Youth Development Park (with artificial turf) — the finishing touches are finally being happening on a different kind of park that has had enough buy-in to warrant the creation of the Hartford Skateboard Task Force.
When something sits unused long enough, people find other uses for it. In this case, the underutilized New Ross, County Wexford Park was unofficially reestablished — at least by those who regularly visited it — as Heaven, a space for skateboarding, parkour, and art. Continue reading 'Heaven’s Final Design'»
Having grown up in Hartford when there was an arcade on Main Street across from what is now the Capital Prep Magnet School, a man explained that areas north of downtown experienced divestment beginning in the late 1960′s. “They called it civil uprising,” he said of the trigger for this loss. “We called it riots.” Continue reading 'Albany-Homestead Corridor: Whatever sticks'»
NINA received funding from CL&P that would assist with the rehabilitation of a building in the Asylum Hill neighborhood. Sheldon Oak Central, a non-profit housing developer, has recently been given money by the same company to fix up the Horace Bushnell Apartments on Vine Street. The money was given under the Housing Tax Credit Contribution Program of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.
The nine three-story brick buildings were created as workforce housing in the 1920′s. Continue reading 'More Money from CL&P to Revitalize Buildings'»