The HartfordData site has been up and operational since May– don’t let yesterday’s big announcement fool you. Real Hartford has been using it regularly for months. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of the more interesting finds in the database. Today features a glimpse at police activity in the larger public parks. What should be obvious is that this only reflects what was reported; if you were bitten by a loose dog and never reported it to anyone, it’s not in the database.
Some city parks — you know which ones — have reputations for being hotbeds of criminal activity. As is often the case, examining the data provides a different perspective. The vast majority of incidents in Hartford’s parks fall into three categories: drinking, animal complaints, and a cornucopia of motor vehicle-related issues.
The most common incident in Keney Park reported to the police in 2014: animal complaints. Between January 1-August 17, 2014 there were 17 reports of animals presenting some trouble or another. The next most frequent problem in Keney Park involved motor vehicles. There were three motor vehicle accidents causing damage in which the motorist evaded responsibility, another instance of a vehicular accident causing damage (but driver didn’t dodge consequences this time), one instance of a vehicle operated while the driver’s license was suspended, one accident involving the a motorist following too closely, one case of reckless driving, and one motor vehicle fire. So, where does this idea come from that Keney Park is especially dangerous? For the first eight months of the year, there was exactly one report of assault and one of a street robbery involving a knife. There were two reports of items lost or stolen during the same time. Continue reading 'Random Facts from Open Data: Police in the Parks'»
This picture was taken in South Glastonbury. It could have, should have been taken in Hartford.
Imagine if you could pick apples or pears without having to schlep the entire family to South Glastonbury.
For some Hartford residents, this is already possible. Everyone else, you’ll have your chance soon.
The West End Community Orchard, as its name suggests, begins in that neighborhood but does not have to end there said Tiffany Glanville, one of the volunteers behind this project. Erin Sheehan, another West End resident, is the other half of the team.
In its infancy, the West End Community Orchard is asking residents of any neighborhoods who would like to participate to register fruit and nut trees already on their properties. Partnering with KNOX, the trees will be rated for health and then indexed so that the organization has an idea of who is growing what where. Those locations will not be publicized, so nobody needs to worry about premeditated raids on their trees.
Glanville was inspired when she saw just how many apples from her own yard went to waste last year — approximately two-thirds of them. She knew about City Fruit, a non-profit from Seattle and thought it possible to “do a harvest” of excess fruits here. The produce could be given to area food pantries, she said. Continue reading 'Tracking and Expanding Hartford’s Orchard'»
Keeping homeless shelters open is not a new struggle in Hartford, but this time, the some $100,000 that was expected for the Salvation Army Marshall House vanished between the recommended budget and the adopted budget. A mere five-minute walk from what will be the CTfastrak Sigourney Street Station, the Marshall House has provided shelter for single women and families since 1974.
The adopted budget for the “Senior and Community Services Program” is $2.13M, down from the $2.2M in the recommended budget. This is where budgeting for the Marshall House, which serves as a no-freeze shelter for families, can be found in the City document. The 2013-2014 budget was $2.36M and reasons for the decrease in funding have been vague; the spending difference is explained only for the Health and Human Services budget as a whole. Continue reading 'Silence on Saving the Salvation Shelter'»
With children returning to school this week, the Hartford Police Department kicked up its traffic enforcement on Tuesday. There were three target areas, including New Britain Avenue and Newington Avenue in the city’s South West neighborhood by the Batchelder Elementary School. With police receiving several complaints of motorists passing school buses, an operation was set up in the area of Kenyon Street and Asylum Avenue, a few blocks from Classical Magnet School and Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School. The area of 150 Tower Avenue near the Journalism & Media Academy Magnet School was the third location receiving special attention.
The HPD Traffic Division issued 70 tickets for speeding infractions, two for cell phone use, and one for a motorist passing a stopped school bus. The north operation had an additional 15 motor vehicle and several parking tickets issued, along with one motor vehicle arrest and one criminal arrest.
art by Ricardo Levins Morales
Last week an 18-year-old male was tased by a member of the Hartford Police Department outside of a mini-mart in the Clay-Arsenal neighborhood.
On Wednesday, August 27th, community activists will gather at Albany Avenue and Main Street to protest, beginning at 6pm.
Cornell Lewis says, “We want to talk about what happened to this young man in Hartford, excessive use of force by the police, and brutality all over the country. What happened in Hartford is a symptom and manifestation of what is happening in New York, in Ferguson, Mo., and other places.”
Luis Anglero Jr., the man who had the stun gun used on him, spent two nights in the hospital, where he was charged with two misdemeanors. Activists are asking for those charges to be dropped and for disciplinary action to be taken against Det. Shawn Ware.
Rabbi Donna Berman, executive director of the Charter Oak Cultural Center, is among those responsible for planning Wednesday’s action. A member of Anglero’s family was present at the planning meeting and grateful to have this kind of support.
Alexander Williams interned at Built It Green! NYC while at Fordham, working on both the abstract, office end of its compost program, along with the physical collection and maintenance of food scraps. From there, he spent a few months as the compost coordinator for GrowNYC. Both non-profits taught Williams about the logistics of turning waste into a usefulness substance.
Experience alone does not pay the bills, so Williams headed out of the big city and back to his hometown of West Hartford. With his degree in Environmental Studies, Economics, and Urban Planning, he was looking for work aligned with this background. He found Blue Earth Compost. Susannah Castle, its founder, wanted to move on. Right place, right time, right background. Williams stepped in as the new owner this past spring.
Blue Earth Compost is small, with three residential clients in Hartford and 35 in West Hartford. There are a few businesses that participate, including the Kitchen at Billings Forge and reSET. Continue reading 'Scrappy Small Business Spotlights Sustainable, Local Economy'»
Patio decor at Tangiers in Hartford
When it was announced last March that the old strip mall across the city line was going to be razed to make way for a new Walgreens, there was some premature mourning for the loss of Tangiers. Wednesday night, the market featuring Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and other international foods held its grand opening at 550 Farmington Avenue, a space most recently used by Central Supermarket.
Tangiers quietly opened earlier this month. The Latif family has a few decades of experience doing what they do, so it was no surprise to see the constant flow of customers Wednesday night.
Tangiers is selling familiar goods, from falafel and baklava to tea and dried fruit. They are also selling fresh fruits and vegetables, along with breads. Besides the counter and tables indoors, there is an outdoor patio now.
They are open Monday through Saturday, 10am-8pm, and Sunday, 10am-6pm. Continue reading 'Tangiers Opens in West End'»
Thursday’s No More Fear!
forum is designed to unite the community against violence and seek solutions. Panelists are expected to discuss the causes and effects of violence, from non-fatal shootings to homicides. Various organizations will be on hand to connect residents with resources in the community.
Lew Brown and Anthony Griffin with be co-moderating the event. Speakers will include Henrietta Beckman from Mothers United Against Violence; Stephen Palmer of Good Soil Entertainment Ministry; Kevin Outar, who does community outreach for Father Works with the Village for Families and Children; Damaris Reyes-Goodman from Project Longevity; and Sergeant Steve Austin of the Hartford Police Department. Each will speak for a few minutes, then the public will have the opportunity to ask questions.
Continue reading 'Thursday: Community Forum on Violence Prevention'»
Audience watches as Alicia Chiang, Owusu Darko, Raykwon Kerr, and Sean McCarthy unveil the app they created for TheaterWorks
The Mobile Apps for Hartford Program, Professor Ralph Morelli said, was about “getting students to see their power when they learn to code.”
Those twenty students from across Connecticut also earned stipends this summer.
Five teams created six apps (a fancy term for program) during a six-week session at Trinity College. At the end of the program, students learned that they would be able to keep the tablets that were on loan to them during July and August.
One team created a mobile version of the TheaterWorks website, consulting with the client to figure out which information needed to be included. This app provides details on the current schedule, information on how to reserve seats, driving directions, and even recommended restaurants within six blocks of the Pearl Street venue. Freddie McInerney, the Communications Director for TheaterWorks, said she was “awesomely impressed” by the students and the process.
A team working with the Old State House developed a Hartford Area Tour app designed to help visitors learn about and find forty sites they have designated as “iconic.” The students explained that they learned a little about copyright law in the process, finding that they actually are not able to just take photographs that they find on Google. This forced them to go out to each site and take photographs so that they would have images to use. Continue reading 'Students Create Apps for City of Hartford and Cultural Institutions'»