how to

IDEAS FOR 50 MILLION CARROT STICKS

This is a reader-submitted piece by Miguel Jose Matos, Hartford resident of twenty years. This fits in with our Suggestion Box series and addresses the recent pledge of $50 million over five years to the City of Hartford by Aetna, The Hartford, and Travelers.

by Miguel Jose Matos

by Miguel Jose Matos

 

Three of our local corporations have stepped up as committed partners to back Hartford to the tune of $50 million dollars over five years, if the City can get its financial house under control and come up with a workable plan for a viable future.

Funding the money hinges on the City putting forth a comprehensive and sustainable set of solutions for Hartford. The key piece of language in the corporate announcement was to be “part of” a plan, this was the clue. But based on media reports, the “when and how” have not been clearly spelled out, so it’s a great carrot but as yet no one is sure how long the stick is, and what will it take for our community to come together. A little over three million a year from each company is a great start.

“Push the corporate folk to drop their dime, while the City hammers out some fixes, use their dimes now to fund fixes; that without money remain unfixable”.

$10 million over 5 years is a good first step when having to climb out of a sinkhole fifty million dollars deep. But to get grounded we must back into the numbers, because the City is crippled with debt and limping with weak cash flow. It will be difficult to concoct a financial plan strong enough because of the City’s weak cash position, only making it harder to satisfy the conditional $50M Corporate Offer.

Corporate leaders are good community folks doing their part, protecting their investment and their workforce, but they understand risk and do not want to throw good money after bad. This narrative puts the City in a tricky position.

This point in time is a good opportunity to show the local corporations that the City has a plan that can be funded bit by bit with the corporate funds that are being offered. A project-by-project funding process based on a pay for performance system may mitigate some the upfront risk that has tied these moneys with a tough condition.

This tactic has relevance because it is not meant to only address the corporate funding offer, but to serve as the foundation for an annual Business Challenge Fund. Let’s get back to the corporations and be as corporate in approach as they are. Corner their attention by putting forth a recovery plan that is based on a return on their money and their participation. The approach is in many ways how corporations look at investing themselves. (more…)

Suggestion Box: More Comprehensive Drivers’ Education

If you spend any amount of time commuting in Greater Hartford by way of anything other than single-occupancy vehicle, you know there is a stigma to it. More than the stigma, there are countless safety issues — motorists turning right on red without stopping to look in all directions first; drivers who use no judgement about whether or not they can completely move through an intersection, who end up blocking crosswalks; bus stops that are not shoveled, forcing people to board by standing in snowbanks or the streets; motorists who choose to not remove copious amounts of snow from their vehicles before getting on the highway. (more…)

Snow Parking Ban: March 13-15, 2017

Pic taken on March 13, 2017. Someone might want to update that

Pic taken on March 13, 2017. Someone might want to update that “remove by” date

No parking is permitted on Hartford streets from 8 p.m. on Monday, March 13 through 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

Vehicles remaining on roadways during this time are subject to ticketing and towing. A towing experience will cost you around $200, for the towing and the ticketing. Those whose vehicles get towed should call the HPD at (860) 757-4000 to learn where to retrieve their vehicles.

Residents in need of off-street parking have a number of options and should move vehicles to those lots before the ban begins. You can use any of the Hartford district school lots and park lots (Colt, Elizabeth, Pope, Keney, Goodwin, Foster Heights, Hyland, and Rocky Ridge), along with the following: (more…)

Suggestion Box: Big Community Baking Events

Young children, elderly, and all ages in between participated in the Mega Challah Bake at the Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford last weekend. Imagine: 250 girls and women, in one giant room, making bread together — many for the first time. Participants were provided with all ingredients, tools, aprons, and even bags for taking home their bread.

The event opened with a few words and an open buffet. Directions were provided in print, on an overhead projector, and over the sound system. While everyone mixed and kneaded ingredients, lively music played. More experienced bakers helped out the newbies at their tables. The challah buffet re-opened and a guest speaker took to the stage while everyone waited for their dough to rise. Challah was braided, covered in egg, and given a few extras — rainbow sprinkles were a popular topping with the younger participants. (more…)

Snow Emergency Parking Ban: Feb 12-13, 2017

No parking is permitted on Hartford streets from 11 a.m. on Sunday, February 12 through 8 a.m. on Monday, February 13, 2017.

Vehicles remaining on roadways during this time are subject to ticketing and towing. A towing experience will cost you around $200, for the towing and the ticketing. Those whose vehicles get towed should call the HPD at (860) 757-4000 to learn where to retrieve their vehicles.

Residents in need of off-street parking have a number of options and should move vehicles to those lots before the ban begins. You can use any of the Hartford district school lots and park lots (Colt, Elizabeth, Pope, Keney, Goodwin, Foster Heights, Hyland, and Rocky Ridge), along with the following: (more…)

2017 Hartford Art Sled Derby

Started in 2013, Saturday’s event marked five years of people coming to Elizabeth Park to slide their creations down the hill, knowing often that their hard work would unravel mid-slope. Competitors of all ages strapped on helmets (sometimes) and tried their luck (more…)

Snow Emergency Parking Ban: February 8-10, 2017

No parking is permitted on Hartford streets from 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8 through 8 a.m. on Friday, February 10, 2017.

Vehicles remaining on roadways during this time are subject to ticketing and towing. Besides the general irritation of it, a towing experience will cost you around $200. Those whose vehicles get towed should call the HPD at (860) 757-4000 and check a data set to learn where the car has been towed to.

Residents in need of off-street parking have a number of options and should move vehicles to those lots before the ban begins. (more…)

10,000 Strong

This child is just one of the estimated 10,000 individuals who peacefully rallied outside of the Connecticut State Capitol on Saturday in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. That’s double the crowd organizers had expected. The signs alone communicate the rally’s message. (more…)

Creating Light in Darkness

People gathering outside of Sea Tea Comedy Theater on Asylum Street

People gathering outside of Sea Tea Comedy Theater on Asylum Street

Hartford’s theaters joined The Ghostlight Project on Thursday evening, with gatherings at The Bushnell, Hartford Stage, HartBeat Ensemble’s Carriage House Theater, Sea Tea Comedy Theater, TheaterWorks, and Wadsworth Atheneum.

These actions — taking place across the country on the eve of the Presidential Inauguration — intended for “artists and communities [to] make or renew a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone–regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability,  age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

In Hartford, this looked like people sipping free hot cocoa outside of the Wadsworth Atheneum while listening to a performance by Nzinga’s Daughters. Flashlights were passed around and participants walked as a group to Sea Tea Comedy Theater a few blocks away. They sang “This Land Is My Land” as they waited to be joined by a group walking over from TheaterWorks. (more…)