Category: politics/government

Constant Change of Plans for City Council and Committee

By , October 27, 2014 8:33 am

A flurry of emails have been sent in recent days for City Council and committee meetings tonight:

Agenda Council Meeting October 27, 2014

Continue reading 'Constant Change of Plans for City Council and Committee'»

November 2014 Events

By , October 26, 2014 7:09 pm

November 1

  • Free admission to the Connecticut Historical Society today, 9-5. If you have not checked out Pablo Delano’s Hartford Seen exhibit, there’s no time like now. Hartford Prints! will be running a family arts & crafts program from 10-1. CHS is located at One Elizabeth Street.
  • That squealing off in the distance? That’s another person finding out about the The Cats-in-Residence-Program, which opens today at Real Art Ways. Art. Cats. Cats you can adopt and take home with you. The reception is from 5-7 p.m.
  • Dia de los Muertos fiesta at The Dirt Salon: Day of the Dead costume contest, burlesque by Beat City Beauties, live music from Carlos Hernandez Chavez, and more. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. You must be 18+ to enter, 21+ to drink. Starts at 9p.m., goes into the wee hours of morn. The Dirt Salon is at 50 Bartholomew Avenue.

November 2

  • Connecticut Veterans Parade starts at 12:30, at the corner of Buckingham and Washington Streets.  This year’s grand marshals include Retired Master Sergeant Frank Alvarado of East Haven, Major Linda Cunha of Newington, Retired Staff Sergeant Chandler J. Howard of Farmington, Retired Sergeant Samuel Jacobellis of Danbury, and Retired Brigadier General (CT) Daniel J. McHale of Avon. The parade route includes Trinity Street through the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, Ford Street, Pearl Street, Main Street, Capitol Avenue, and ending on Hudson Street. Before the parade, there is a wreath-laying ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, beginning at 11:30.
  • The Hartt Trombone Ensemble presents its first concert of the 2014-2015 Season, “Hartt Trombone Philharmonic: Symphonic Works for Trombones.” This begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Millard Auditorium at the University of Hartford.

November 3

  • CSS/CON (Coalition to Strengthen the Sheldon/Charter Oak Neighborhood) meets at CREC, 111 Charter Oak Avenue at 5:30 p.m.
  • The Upper Albany Revitalization Zone Organization meets in the Albany Branch Library at 6 p.m.
  • Do you live or work in Asylum Hill, or just care about it? Come to an Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association meeting today, 6:15 p.m. The group meets at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Avenue.
  • Learn to Solder class is offered by MakeHartford. Participants will learn to solder electronic components to a printed circuit board while assembling and testing a small electronic project kit. The finished project is useful for the further study of electronics and is the participant’s to keep. Instruction will include workbench safety. All tools and materials will be provided. Eye protection is required; if you do not have safety glasses, they may be purchased for an additional $4.00. $35 per class. MakeHartford is located at 30 Arbor Street, #B7. Ages: Teen/Adult.
  • Sea Tea Improv’s 2-Prov Performance class students will perform two-person improv comedy based on audience suggestions. Tickets are $5 for this event which starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Carriage House Theater, 360 Farmington Avenue.
  • Hartford Jazz Orchestra plays every Monday at the Arch Street Tavern, starting at 8 p.m. No cover.
  • Spend Mondays enjoying live jazz at Black-eyed Sally’s from 8-11 p.m. $5 cover. 350 Asylum Street Continue reading 'November 2014 Events'»

Bring Out Your Dead (Leaves)

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By , October 23, 2014 1:10 pm

Curbside leaf collection begins on November 2 in the city of Hartford, but not all neighborhoods start on the same day. Leaves raked to the curb — not into the street — will be picked up twice, with the last day being December 12. If you want to know the exact dates so that your leaves are not a nuisance to others, go to the Department of Public Works’ interactive map. Continue reading 'Bring Out Your Dead (Leaves)'»

Superintendent’s Transition Report Released

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By , October 21, 2014 8:53 am

Much of the school superintendent’s transition report is predictable, as its framework had been provided to the public in June. Since coming to Hartford, the new superintendent gathered input from meetings, focus groups involving 700 participants, and surveys completed by 1000 community stakeholders.

What is surprising about the report is not the content in itself but that what has been common knowledge — problems that have persisted for years — is acknowledged in writing by the new superintendent:

  • “Portfolio Strategy” used for most of the last decade has serious flaws, including that “schools were created with agreed-upon design specifications, but in several instances, core specifications have not been realized. Sometimes this appears to be due to limited resources, and on other occasions, this seems to be the result of ambiguity around what a redesigned school can expect from the district” (11).
  • Schools deemed to be high-performing are said to contribute to inconsistencies in curriculum: “Curriculum across schools lacks consistency and significantly more curriculum work is needed at all levels. Decision-making autonomy for high-performing schools has also led to more curriculum inconsistencies across schools” (8). Continue reading 'Superintendent’s Transition Report Released'»

Redefining Clean Water

By , October 16, 2014 9:48 am

South Branch of Park River

The water of Gully Brook, along with that of the North and South Branches of the Park River is not potable, not fishable says Mary Rickel Pelletier of Park Watershed, Inc. Continue reading 'Redefining Clean Water'»

Dispatching with Safety

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Nothing on the City Council agenda hinted at there being a shortage of emergency telephone operators, yet person-after-person in Council Chambers spoke about the need for more dispatchers.

The public learned that for approximately the last three months, some dispatchers have had mandatory double shifts almost every day. 16-hour shifts. Some members work over 100 hours each week. Continue reading 'Dispatching with Safety'»

The Little Park That Could

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By , October 15, 2014 6:12 pm
In an area of Downtown, beyond the parking garages and towers, is a park that sits atop the I-84 tunnel. Two of its three segments — east of Main Street and west of Trumbull Street — are nothing more than vegetation and rarely used benches. The central piece, known as Heaven, has evolved from hosting underutilized four square and basketball courts, to attracting skateboarders, graffiti artists, and others. It has been featured in skateboarding videos and magazines.

Downtown North Plan Approved

As expected, the deal was voted through, with no nay votes but three abstentions: Larry Deutsch (Working Families), David MacDonald (Democrat), and Raúl De Jesús, Jr. (Democrat).

Before casting his vote, De Jesús said the serenity prayer in Spanish, then English. Continue reading 'Downtown North Plan Approved'»

Reader Questions About Downtown North Development

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By , October 13, 2014 5:30 pm

As the controversial Downtown North proposal goes to vote on Tuesday, there are still dozens of questions remaining unanswered, not to mention an outstanding FOIA request placed initially to Thomas Deller and Wayne Benjamin, and now to Maribel La Luz. Two camps seem to have emerged on this issue, and it’s not pro-stadium/anti-stadium. It’s those who find it reasonable to ask questions and expect thorough, detailed answers, and those who find critical thinking cringe-worthy.

We have been compiling reader questions since June. Here is what people still want to know about this project. Some reader questions were edited to add clarity:

  • What details exist on the retail space and potential tenants?
  • The City would be contributing land for the the construction of a brewery. Is it acceptable to use public funds to facilitate the production, distribution, and consumption of alcohol?
  • What would the rent be for the housing? Would this fulfill the demand for the type of housing that exists in Hartford?
  • How exactly would a stadium drive development? Give details. How has this occurred in cities that are comparable to Hartford in terms of population and wealth?
  • Why isn’t there a proposal without a stadium?

DPW Audit

By , October 10, 2014 5:03 pm

The City of Hartford’s Department of Public Works was recently audited. The resulting report includes details such as the cost of a part entered incorrectly (“$5,180 instead of $5.18″) and how 30% of the parts inventory is either overstocked or obsolete.

Works Equipment Services Division Accounts and Operations Audit

Management has been given until the end of 2014 to take action.

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