On Tuesday, Hartford Board of Education will be considering a resolution to de-magnetize the Journalism & Media Academy on Tower Avenue.
JMA was originally intended as a neighborhood school, as part of Weaver High, just down the road where Tower and Granby Street intersect. In 2013, the Connecticut State Department of Education wanted JMA to become a magnet school to serve the Sheff mandate.
Three years later, the Sheff mandate has not been met, and as a side effect, there are empty seats in the school. There are Hartford kids waiting to get into the school. They are waiting solely because those empty seats are held for white and Asian students.
When the decision was made to magnetize it, the plan was to have 400 students enrolled by this school year. The actual number of students at JMA is around 200. (more…)
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…)
L-to-R: Yvonne Matthews, Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association; Andrea Perreira, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Luke Bronin, Mayor of Hartford; Lynda Godkin, NINA; Jack Ellovich, Hartford Community Loan Fund; Matt Ritter, State Rep.; Dannel Malloy, Governor
“Government sometimes gets it right,” Malloy told onlookers at the grand opening ceremony for The Zunner Building, a restoration project that has been, according to Lynda Godkin, 15 years in the making.
View of Asylum Hill from inside the Zunner Building, located at the corner of Garden and Ashley Street
In this case, the State of Connecticut was a significant source of the funding for what turned a 90-year old, much dilapidated building, into a refreshed mixed-use building with help from Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (NINA).
Besides the State Housing Tax Credit Contribution Program, State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, and Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, funding for $2.4 million renovation of 207-215 Garden Street came from the City of Hartford Façade Improvement Program, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Eversource Energy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Hartford Community Loan Fund, Travelers, Wells Fargo Bank, Connecticut Natural Gas, and ConnectiCare Insurance Company. (more…)
Audubon Sharon sharin’ “Mandala,” a Red-tailed Hawk
Audubon Connecticut and Park Watershed presented a celebration of migratory birds at Elizabeth Park on Thursday, in part to mark 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Besides a guided bird walk and the chance to check out some birds of prey, the event featured chats from national and local experts.
Scott Johnston, Chief of Bird Population Program, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, explained what sparked the need for the treaty. Unregulated hunting of birds, primarily for use in hats, impacted the populations. These hats included all, pieces of, or just feathers from egrets, herons, terns, owls, and hummingbirds.
The mayor’s 300+ page proposed budget can be reduced to one sentence: The party is over.
For years, certain parades and festivals had been held despite their organizers failing to pay for associated costs in full. This is one of Hartford’s open secrets. Even when the events may not have been well-executed or marketed, the City of Hartford continued to pick up the tab. Cultural events like festivals and parades could draw money into Hartford, but a single glance at the food trucks present for many of these events shows this not to be the case. How, then, can the strain on the HPD traffic division and on the DPW (for funsies, visit Bushnell Park at end of day following one of the major festivals before the crews come out in force to remove litter, empty the trash, and hose everything down) be justified if negligible revenue is created? Should Mayor Bronin’s proposed budget be adopted, we could still have parades for days, if we pay for them without help from the City. (more…)