As dirt was piled on top of frozen ground, destined to be “broken” for a project that had been declared done before any consultation with the public, and as distraction-upon-distraction was thrown at residents on an evening utterly overloaded with City meetings, a group of young(ish) professionals were told they do not belong here.
Without an inspection being conducted, residents of 68 Scarborough Street received a cease-and-desist order last year because their definition of family does not mesh with that of those living around them. Continue reading 'Hartford’s Plan to Make City Attractive for Young People'»
For the third year in a row, the Art Sled Derby brought hundreds of people to Elizabeth Park. Saturday’s free event attracted children, college students, and people who should be old enough to know better than to ride items down a hill that could potentially impale them.
Dave Mourad gets a push from Heather MacFarlane. He proposed to her just moments before.
Continue reading 'Art Sled Derby 2015'»
To start the day, stop by City Hall at 10 a.m. to catch a last minute meeting. This is a “special meeting” dealing with the Hartford Stadium Authority. The item for Saturday:
Stadium Authority. Ordinance authorizing the City to lease the land, on which the stadium will be built, to the Stadium Authority and to lease the stadium back from the Authority after it is constructed. (Segarra).
There is no word if Mayor Segarra or City Council will be holding any special meetings to address the snow removal efforts that have left city streets headache-inducing for the last few weeks.
After you have had your fill of that spectator sport, head over the Elizabeth Park — with roads being what they are, you might need to carve out two hours for that schlep — for the Art Sled Derby. There is no fee to watch or participate. This is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.
Art Sled Derby 2014
Each month we collect and search for events happening in Hartford, but there comes a time when a relationship feels like the give and take is not balanced. So, we decided for February to only publish events that were sent in. If this list looks sparse, that is why. It shows how much is sought out, rather than submitted.
If you want your organization’s events posted in the future, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 25th of each month. For instance, if you have an event in March, get that info to us by February 25.
- The Other Son screens at the Wadsworth Atheneum today at 2. This film, presented with Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding, Inc., is about two men — one Israeli, one Palestinian — who were accidentally switched at birth. $9 general admission.
- The Hartford Jazz Society, WWUH 91.3FM, and Hartford Public Library present another afternoon of music. The Baby Grand Jazz series is sponsored by the Charles H. Kaman Charitable Foundation. What this means? You can show up at the Hartford Public Library at 3 today and enjoy an hour of music by Jolie Rocke Brown without any admission fee. Show up early to claim your seat.
- Our Balls Are Inflated at the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective. Doors open at 6p.m. This is a community viewing of the Super Bowl. They say, “Not a football fan? Come anyway. Watch Idina Menzel perform the National Anthem, John Legend will sing and Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz do the half time show, and of course, all those commercials that people will be talking about for days afterwards.” There will be some snacks and soda provided. Visitors are welcome to bring own food/drink, but no alcoholic beverages. The HGLHC is located at 1841 Broad Street. Continue reading 'February 2015 Events'»
While the Committee of Inquiry — filled with City Council members — is presumably inquiring on matters related to the Hartford Registrars of Voters, others have taken action about alleged problems during the last election, and the one before that.
What Would Constitute a Denial of Voting Rights?
In November 2013, former Hartford resident Julie Beman schlepped all over the city to ensure she voted. She filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission against Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Iris Vasquez and other election officials.
Over one year later, the SEEC completed its investigation Continue reading 'The Voting Situation'»
Photo courtesy of the West End Community Orchard project
Instead of limiting food distribution to donations of canned goods and jars of peanut butter, one organization has rounded up fresh produce from Hartford’s backyards.
The Open Hearth, a shelter on Charter Oak Avenue, has received 24 pounds of fruit from trees that are part of the West End Community Orchard.
The community orchard is not a single plot of land, but the collection of trees from yards, medians, and parks. This season the project has helped plant fifteen new fruit trees in one neighborhood.
To ensure good production and healthier trees overall, the Orchard will be hosting a pruning event in March 2015.
Not wholly unexpected, the West End Civic Association officially backed out of any involvement in the attempt by some to evict a family from its 68 Scarborough Street home. The organization’s official message:
The WECA Board feels unable to take a position, given the legal complexities and ambiguities in the zoning regulations, around the issues on 68 Scarborough Street.
WECA has the ability to recommend policy to city officials, boards, and commissions, but is not the entity that directly determines policy. In its message, it said the group has neither the expertise nor the authority to handle this matter.
What happens next? Put the City of Hartford’s Planning and Zoning Commission meetings on your calendar. With or without neighborhood group recommendations, they are the ones with the expertise and authority to, as they say, address the legal complexities and ambiguities in zoning regulations.
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.
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'»