Leaf Collection

The City of Hartford (AKA your tax dollars) continues to provide leaf collection services at no extra cost.

This should require minimal explanation, but in its materials the Department of Public Works has had to clarify that leaves be placed loose curbside or in biodegradable paper bags; residents have put them in plastic bags in previous years.

Curbside leaf collection is not year-round, but a service provided from October-December. If you are willing to go the extra step by putting the leaves in bags, those will be picked up on your normal trash and recycle collection day during the seven-week period that begins October 31. (more…)


Jade Hoyer's

Jade Hoyer’s “A Collective Apology”


In a time when a self-proclaimed equity warrior abandons her post only halfway through her four-year contract and few bat an eye because those in front of the classroom are rotating out just as fast, Jade Hoyer‘s work ‘study’ manages to comment on public education simply and with few buzzwords. (more…)

De-Magnetization: It’s a Thing

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…)

Pay to Play

It used to be highly controversial to ask families to pay for their children to participate in public school sports, but the visceral anger has more or less dwindled as practicality has won out. In the same way, some of the “freebies” in Hartford that have become traditions — parades, summer movie nights, ice skating — have been revealed as costing more than is fair to pass along to the taxpayer in a time when important services have been slashed.

The reactions have varied. Some did little more than create a hashtag. Others have taken more vocal and fruitful actions.

In April, Real Hartford suggested that events like Envisionfest and Winterfest charge a modest admission fee for out-of-town users. No word on if anyone will take up that suggestion, but it stands. Meanwhile, those hoping to hang on to Winterfest activities, like ice skating in Bushnell Park, have started a crowdfunding campaign. As of publication, it has collected $200 toward its $200,000 goal.

Cops: Don’t Dish if You Can’t Take It

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…)

Zunner Building Opens in Asylum Hill

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 Fa├žade 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…)