Category: Clay Arsenal

Opposition to Publicly-Funded Stadium Marches Down Main Street

Justin Eichenlaub and Kate Bergren of Hartford

Over fifty residents walked from 1212 Main Street to City Hall on Monday during rush hour to tell representatives that they oppose the use of public money for building the proposed Rock Cats stadium.

Wildaliz Bermudez of Hartford

Various media outlets have misreported Continue reading 'Opposition to Publicly-Funded Stadium Marches Down Main Street'»

City Document Claims Stadium No Impact on Supermarket

Despite the Hartford Community Loan Fund’s announcement that it was not going to continue pursuing the opening of a grocery store in Downtown North because developers and other partners felt the proposed stadium changed the nature of the environment this market would be in, a document issued to City employees this week claims otherwise.

Though other developers stepping in is a possibility, the HCLF has said that the City came to them years ago with the specific Downtown North area in mind. Research was conducted to find community-oriented partners who have experience and competence in working with urban markets.

The HCLF met with the City before the release of this document and let officials know that they could not move forward in that location so long as the stadium would be there.

BallPark June18 REV


This document also includes a hand-picked selection of news articles and opinion pieces that promote the stadium; articles containing serious questions about funding have not been included.

There have been concerns voiced by some in the community that “misinformation” about the stadium has been floating around. Real Hartford could not get questions answered at the press conference, nor were questions answered by later attempts to reach Segarra or Deller.

 

No Shoprite for Downtown North Due to Stadium

A Shoprite projected to employ 30-40 full-time workers and up to 250 part-timers is now off the table for 1212 Main Street.

A message from the Hartford Community Loan Fund says that “the [Downtown North] district in general and the 1212 Main Street address specifically identified for the project by the City were no longer appropriate locations given the City’s recently announced plans to build a minor league baseball stadium on the parcel immediately to the north at 1214 Main Street.

At the request of City officials, the HCLF had been working on what it described as a mixed-use project “to include both affordable and market rate housing units over the supermarket, along with ground-level retail space for other community health-related partners, café/restaurant space, and parking” since September 2011 when the Market at Hartford 21 closed. This project was to be anchored by Shoprite.

Hartford Community Loan Fund, with help from the Community Development Financial Institution Fund, connected with UpLift Solutions, a nonprofit consulting firm that supports increased access to healthy and affordable foods. Rex Fowler of the HCLF says that “Uplift and its founder Jeff Brown have worked closely with HCLF and Torna-Shoprite in assessing the local marketplace,” as well as with “developing a sustainable model for the proposed Hartford store. ”

A 2012 study showed that $40 million is spent by Hartford residents on groceries, each year, outside of the city. While downtown itself could not support a  50,000-60,000 sf grocery store, one could be sustained by shoppers from the combination of downtown and the seven neighborhoods surrounding.

Hartford Food System partnered with this project in 2013. There was interest from La Cocina, a culinary training program operated by the Chrysalis Center. There was to be a small walk-in health clinic within the market, along with an on-site nutritionist. Continue reading 'No Shoprite for Downtown North Due to Stadium'»

Multi-Cultural Poetry Celebration in the Neighborhoods

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By , March 11, 2014 2:54 pm

Tired of schlepping downtown for every last event? Bessy Reyna has curated the Hartford Loves Poetry reading series in April for National Poetry Month. This means that over two weeks, each of the ten Hartford Public Library branches will be hosting a poetry reading and workshop.

The event will kick off on April 7th with Jose B. Gonzalez at the Park Branch (744 Park Street). The Goodwin Branch (460 New Britain Avenue) will host Marianela Medrano on April 8th; Leslie McGrath will appear at the Dwight Branch (7 New Park Avenue). Pit Pinegar will be reading at the Camp Field Branch (30 Campfield Avenue) on April 9th and John Stanizzi will be at the Albany Branch (1250 Albany Ave) on April 12th. Also on April 12th, the Barbour Branch (281 Barbour Street) will host Ernie Blue. Joyce Ashuntantang will read at the Mark Twain Branch (55 Forest Street) on April 14th. The Blue Hills Branch (649 Blue Hills Avenue) will host Antoinette Brim on April 15. Poet Kate Rushin will be reading at the Ropkins Branch (1750 Main Street) on April 16th. Weekday readings are scheduled for 5:30-7:15pm; Saturday readings will go from 3-5pm.

The series closes on April 19th with a Grand Finale at the Downtown Branch, 1-4pm. Reyna said that community presenters will be reading poems in their own languages Continue reading 'Multi-Cultural Poetry Celebration in the Neighborhoods'»

March 2014 Events

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By , February 26, 2014 9:06 am

March 1

  • Free admission to the Connecticut Historical Society galleries today, 9am-5pm.
  • TNMOT-AZTRO: Projector Series II — from 7-8pm, watch a performance that blends dance, fashion, and visual media at The Garden Center for Contemporary Dance, 56 Arbor Street, Suite 411. $5 minimum donation.
  • Night of the Gypsies: The evening features live music by accordionist Markus and violinist Annalise, fortune telling by Madame Johnny Frechette Super Fine Artist, henna hand painting, and dancing to DJ Jon Eastman. There will be art and more for sale by Anne Cubberly, Alexia Lalande, Jen Bonee, Karen Weiser Kelly, and from Blaze and Bloom. This will be at the Dirt Salon, 50 Bartholomew Avenue, from 8pm-midnight. Tickets are $20 at door, $15 in advance. Continue reading 'March 2014 Events'»

Known Knowns and Unknown Unknowns: Hartford BOE Edition

By , February 7, 2014 3:39 pm

Although Tuesday night’s Hartford Board of Education special meeting had only two agenda items for public comment, you would have never known it from the hundreds of people, especially Weaver students, who packed into the Fred D. Wish Elementary School gymnasium. It was a sea of forest green hoodies. Proudly emblazed on the hoodies was the rallying cry of the night: “Weaver Strong.” In addition, Weaver students greeted every attendee with a handout celebrating the school’s achievements. Thundering drum beats in the school’s lobby foretold of a battle. Handheld placards proclaiming “Weaver Forever” were placed on every seat. Ironically, the presumed fight over the future of Weaver High School was the least contentious event of the night.

The massive turnout of Weaver students, parents, alumni, and staff was the dissatisfaction with the Board’s communication with the school’s community. The show of force was to ensure the survival of Weaver, including its traditions, history, and legacy. The issue at hand was the future move of Weaver Culinary Academy to a temporary location at the Lincoln Culinary Institute on Sigourney St. Weaver High School is slated for a $100 million rehabilitation and the entire school must be relocated to Lincoln while construction occurs.

Rumors had been swirling over the future of Weaver, but the real issue, as the school’s principal Tim Goodwin explained, was the glacial pace of the project and the numerous unanswered questions over the school’s future. The leadership of the Blue Hills Civic Association also peppered the board with questions over the developer of the Weaver site and lack of communication with the neighborhood. Continue reading 'Known Knowns and Unknown Unknowns: Hartford BOE Edition'»

When the Media Teams Up with Public Schools

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By , February 4, 2014 5:38 pm

Those not immersed in the field of education might believe the recent attention to Common Core and teacher evaluations came out of nowhere. With the exception of items that are unavoidable, such as the nonrenewal of the superintendent’s contract, local news reporting has trended glossy on education, biased toward the status quo which goes by the name “education reform.”

Last month, the Hartford Courant and Hartford Public Schools announced the plan to partner, specifically with the Journalism Academy. The details on this, along with potential price tag, are still being hashed out.

Already, HPS has contracts with Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc.

With such partnerships, there are a few clear winners. Continue reading 'When the Media Teams Up with Public Schools'»

Superintendent’s Pick for Kinsella Site Opposed

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By , January 28, 2014 7:45 am

For its preschool-through-eighth grade, the Kinsella Magnet School for the Performing Arts has a permanent location on Van Block Avenue, in the Sheldon-Charter Oak neighborhood. It has expanded to create a high school, currently located temporarily on Locust Street, one mile away in the South Meadows, a predominately industrial area of Hartford.

The Hartford Board of Education had planned to vote Monday evening on a permanent site for this high school but the vote on this and approval of a lease agreement for the Weaver Culinary Arts Academy with Lincoln Culinary Institute were tabled until the meeting next week. City Council already approved $33 million for construction of a new Kinsella high school facility.

The Superintendent’s suggestion that the Kinsella Magnet School for the Performing Arts High School be built on City-owned property adjacent to SAND Elementary School (America’s Choice at SAND) on Main Street did not go over well. Continue reading 'Superintendent’s Pick for Kinsella Site Opposed'»

Commissioner’s Network Takes One More

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By , January 27, 2014 8:17 pm

The John C. Clark, Jr. School was accepted into the Commissioner’s Network, a decision that places it alongside the Jumoke Honors Academy at Milner, née Core Knowledge Academy at Milner, née Thirman L. Milner School, née Vine Street School. At Monday’s Board of Education meeting — a rescheduling of what should have taken place last Tuesday — it was also announced that Mille Soto and Lakeisha McFarland, both vocal members of the Clark School’s PTO and SGC, would be on the Conditional Turnaround School Committee.

America’s Choice at SAND School, née SAND Elementary School, was rejected by the Commissioner’s Office. It was said that there would be aggressive application on behalf of SAND for a “School Improvement Grant.” SAND, like Milner, had been previously redesigned. Continue reading 'Commissioner’s Network Takes One More'»

Best of Your Neighborhoods

Now that we have completed our three trips to each neighborhood, we wanted to share our absolute favorite pictures from this series.

(Blue Hills) This one was taken at the Watkinson Community Garden on Bloomfield Avenue, behind the Unitarian meetinghouse. This is more like a farm than a community garden. We have no idea why this wheelbarrow was perched in a tree; on other trips here, all equipment was stored in places one would expect it to be. The weather was changing from “vaguely Autumn” to “there’s frost”.

(Clay Arsenal) A friend tipped us off to some artwork in an area we were about to visit, but did not give an exact location. We do not even know if this was where he found the painting of a peacock. What we found — portraits — were more interesting than the simple scribbles that are common.

Continue reading 'Best of Your Neighborhoods'»


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