Category: politics/government

Family Faces Eviction from West End Home, Despite Paying Mortgage on Time

By , November 20, 2014 12:00 pm

Interracial marriage was not permitted in many states during the early 1960′s. In fact, anti-miscegenation laws existed in the majority of the United States through the middle of the last century, allowing for racism to dictate the nature of marital and intimate relationships. The Supreme Court struck down those laws in 1967.

A few years later, the push for same-sex marriage began. Again, hateful legislation defined marriage in a way that includes some, while excluding others. It took a few decades for this movement to take hold, and there has been much backlash along the way, as one can witness through the enactment of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and the incessant verbal diarrhea from pundits. In 2010, one state began to fight against the federal government’s restrictive definition of marriage. Many others followed. Same-sex couples can not be legally married in the entirety of the United States yet, but there is no doubt that opinion has shifted toward that happening eventually.

Sometimes the law is wrong. When it is wrong, we are obligated to recognize that and change it. These are, after all, civil laws, not God’s laws.

Hartford

The West End is currently looking at what appears to be an outmoded law:

The purpose of the R-8 district in the city is to provide for and protect single-family residences sited on a lot having a minimum area of twelve thousand (12,000) square feet. The R-8 district provisions encourage the future development of these very low density residential areas for primarily residential purposes by prohibiting conversions, roomers, most institutional uses and all business uses.

On the surface, this might look sensible. Who wants factories or prisons in her backyard? Zoning can be useful in that way.

All of Scarborough Street is zoned for R-8 use (see above). The language is seemingly vague. What does “primarily residential purposes” mean? On this street, in the same zone, a property is owned by the University of Connecticut. In an article the Courant ran on this, there was no mention of neighborhood opposition to what is used as a place for donor events. The Wadsworth Atheneum owns a property on the street. So does Jumoke Academy. Two properties are owned by trustees, another is a land trust. There are two churches operating on Scarborough Street. This leaves 21 other properties, one of which has been on the market for several years.

The issue at hand is 68 Scarborough Street. Continue reading 'Family Faces Eviction from West End Home, Despite Paying Mortgage on Time'»

Speed of Capital Improvement Projects: November 2014 Update

By , November 5, 2014 6:26 pm

We began looking at the speed of various projects in Hartford as we noticed a serious slow down of work at the same time that we were hearing rumors out of City Hall that money was being creatively redistributed. Others can look into the latter, but as we took a peek at various projects, it was undeniable that movement stalled in the season when the weather is actually cooperative for much of the work. Now, we look again to see what has changed since early September.

iQuilt and the Intermodal Triangle

When the iQuilt was developing and the public was invited to various meetings, the impression given was that this was meant to invigorate the environment, making a more pedestrian-friendly connection from the area of Bushnell Park and The Bushnell, to the Connecticut River. Wayfinding signs have been installed and Envisionfest has finally begun attracting a respectable number of visitors, but what else?

The Intermodal Triangle Project is responsible for the sidewalk along the north side of Bushnell Park getting ripped out. Those who use the park as part of their commute have found themselves re-routed. Continue reading 'Speed of Capital Improvement Projects: November 2014 Update'»

Concern About Registrars, Years After Previous Complaints

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Though Mayor Segarra did not return comment about why the Registrars’ of Voters errors during past elections had not caused deep concern within City Hall, his public relations contact issued a statement today on behalf of both the mayor and Councilperson Wooden, announcing that the duo have “co-sponsored one resolution that will launch an investigation into yesterday’s voting issues and a second that will restructure the office of the Hartford Registrars of Voters.”

Last year voters had the opportunity to weigh in on the Registrars, but as we reported, there was little effort to translate the ballot questions into language accessible to the average resident.

The call for an investigation seems to replicate what is already expected to occur as a complaint is being filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

DoNo How to Behave

By , November 3, 2014 7:57 am

There’s no need to opine over the name of a candidate’s watercraft or the illicit affairs that an elected official may or may not be having. Those may all be indicative of someone’s character, but one truly need look only at how a person is performing in the public space to reach the same conclusions.

Regardless of what the Rock Cats’ stadium may or may not do for Hartford’s economic state, this process has shined a harsh light on the character of those who are supposed to be serving the residents of Hartford. Continue reading 'DoNo How to Behave'»

Constant Change of Plans for City Council and Committee

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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

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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'»

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