politics/government

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 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…)

Urban Birds Celebrated in Elizabeth Park

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.

Today, Hartford and New Haven are recognized as two of the 26 places in the United States designated as Urban Bird Treaty Cities, meaning they have committed to education and action. (more…)

Bronin Releases Recommended Budget

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…)

Temporary Closure of Bushnell Park Playground

Citing numerous safety concerns, Hartford’s DPW will begin removing the playground in Bushnell Park on Monday, April 18. The map, amphitheater, and “literary picnic grove” will remain.

Bushnell Park Foundation and DPW intend to install an accessible playground, with construction starting in the fall. To pay for this, the Bushnell Park Foundation has set up a donation page.

In the meantime, there is a public playground located in Pulaski Mall, just south of Downtown.

City Council Revisions Need Closer Look

The April 11, 2016 City Council meeting included on its agenda a resolution:

(COUNCIL PRESIDENT CLARKE II) The Court of Common Council highly encourages the Mayor to negotiate with all collective bargaining units and offers the following additional suggestions for achieving savings and generating more revenue, which suggestions are not intended to be an exhaustive list.

(more…)

Suggestion Box: Patching the Budget Hole

How we got here

The City of Hartford’s economic problems did not just happen. They did not spring up when Mayor Bronin was sworn into office. They did not emerge last year or even the year before that. (more…)

April 2016 Events

Live graffiti demo at Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival

This monthly event listing includes arts and entertainment, civic engagement, academic, cultural, wellness, and other types of activities happening in Hartford during April. There is no intent to include all events — it’s curated, with preference given to what the widest range of Hartford residents can afford (free or low cost) and what sounds most interesting to us.

This information is accurate as of publication to the best of our knowledge. Keep in mind that events are sometimes cancelled or postponed, and that incorrect details are at times given to us. Verify with the venue if you are concerned about last minute surprises.

To get an event published for next month, send details to realhartford@gmail.com by April 25th. Nothing is added after the calendar is published.

April 1

  • Perlas de Sabiduría: A Perspective on Latina Leadership in CT – at The 224 (224 Farmington Ave.), 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. This is a free day of talks. Ingrid Alvarez the Connecticut State Director of Hispanic Federation is giving a keynote at 9:30 about “The Diversity Pipeline.” There will be a plenary session at 9:45 called Personalismo: “Latinas: The Great Communicators.”  A second plenary session scheduled for 11 is called Gravitas: “Moving Towards Leadership.” A panel discussion is scheduled for the afternoon. Registration is required to attend the event
  • Starting today, the Connecticut Fair Housing Center will be displaying photo stories from Connecticut residents, along with student posters, in the Northeast Corridor of the Legislative Office Building.
  • Opening reception for Elements of Creation, a solo exhibition by Sarah Paolucci. The artist says: “In this series, these oil paintings tell the story of each artist/musician/craftsperson. I am painting hands, which are creating their own narrative. I am merely giving them a platform to display their knowledge. Hands are how we interact with the world around us, and connect us to the physical and the sensory. Hands that are playing, building, digging, planting, making or creating intrigue me; the creation of one’s own loving art, made with the tools that we all possess. From musicians in the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, to potters, to hair stylists, to chefs, each story is different, and yet each is just as sincere. These paintings portray genuine artists, doing what they love.” The reception is from 6-8 p.m. in the ArtWalk Gallery, located on the third floor of Hartford Public Library. Free.
  • The Mouth: April Fool’s – Stories About Getting Duped. This is a live storytelling event in which the speakers tell true stories and use no notes. This is $5 to attend; free if you are one of the storytellers. Contact HartfordMouth@gmail.com for more information. This begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Mark Twain House & Museum.
  • Fools Fall in Love: A musical cabaret in support of Night Fall 2016. Enjoy live music (Steve Mitchell and his band: Dan Campolieta, piano; Lou Bocciarelli, bass; Charlie Dye, drums with featured vocalists Christen Hernandez, LB Muñoz and more) while supporting this year’s production of Night Fall. It’s $40 to attend just the musical portion of the evening. 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral (45 Church Street).
  • Spring Dance:  They say: “Directed by Lesley Farlow, this show is a celebration of student choreography and dancing. Featuring works by guest choreographers Pam Newell and David Llorca, curated by Lesley Farlow, and performed by Trinity students.” This is in the Austin Arts Center at Trinity College. Free, but tickets are required: (860) 297-2199. Performance at 7:30 p.m.

(more…)

Bronin Shoots Straight in State of the City Address

“We will help build a city that fosters innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship, because that’s what drives real, long-term growth — not expensive buildings or baseball stadiums,” Mayor Luke Bronin said in his first State of the City address on Monday in City Hall.

Even with the predictably depressing remarks, residents walked out of City Hall with respect for the no bullshit, factual assessment of where Hartford is, how we got here, and what we are going to do about it. (more…)

March 2016 Events

March 1

Alejandro Zambra will be at Trinity College on March 1 to give a reading and book signing.

  • Drawings by David Borawski will be on view at EBK Gallery (218 Pearl Street) starting today!
  • Alejandro Zambra,Chilean novelist and poet, is giving a reading at Trinity College at 4:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. A reception and book-signing will follow in Smith House, 123 Vernon Street.
  • The public is invited to attend a workshop meeting of the Hartford Board of Education, 5:30 p.m., at Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts, 65 Van Block Avenue. The discussion topic for board members is “student success.” While the public may attend, there is no comment period during workshop meetings.
  • Real Art Ways is hosting its monthly game night at 6 p.m. in the lounge. Bring your own or play the games provided. Free.
  • The Life & Song of Nina Simone: A Tertulia— 6 p.m. in the Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library. Free. They say: “Join us for conversation and music with artist and performer Margaux Hayes and Trinity Professor of Music Gail H. Woldu. Light refreshments will be served.”
  • The Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 7 p.m. in the plaza level conference room at 260 Constitution Plaza. Agenda items include: adult establishment at 330 Ledyard Street, coverage of a building lot at 929 Park Street, variances for 981 Park Street, and adoption of bylaws.

(more…)

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