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'»
A possible destination east of the Connecticut River
The purpose of Bike to Work is to encourage people to use bicycles more than automobiles. The intentions are good, but the event feels like a poor fit for those who work something other than first shift, work at home, or work in a direction opposite of the gathering place. It serves a purpose, but it is only one way to get butts on bike seats.
Here’s an alternative: Bike to Shop Day(s). This already exists elsewhere — California, to be exact — as an annual event. Here are ways it could work here.
Bike to Farmers’ Market Tour: Gather in Bushnell Park by carousel (1-6miles): A slow and easy ride for less experienced cyclists who can get tips on site for securing their produce. Tour should feature a farmers’ market that is hosting live music or when a festival or health screening is planned. Distance changes by which market is featured. Continue reading 'Suggestion Box: Bike to Shop'»
Instructions: Skim list. Jot down items of interest on own personal calendar. Enjoy.
- Dave Costa will perform at noon on the terrace of the Downtown Hartford Public Library. Free.
- The Wadsworth Atheneum continues its Movies & Music Under the Stars series with Bombshell, starring Jean Harlow. Music by Criollo Clasico begins at 5:30pm in Gengras Court. Dinner available for purchase. The film begins at 8:15 (dark). Members receive free admission and one free drink. Regular admission prices apply for non-members.
- BECK & CALL: The Servants Tour of the Mark Twain House, directed by Steven Raider-Ginsburg, starts at 7 tonight. Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for youth. Reservations are required.
- HartBeat Ensemble’s Youth Play Institute presents Change In Your Pocket, a play about food justice. The Youth Play Institute is a project that helps young people to brainstorm topics, develop a play, create the set, act it out, and more. Each play is on a different topic, with past ones exploring issues like violence and harsh punishments in schools. You can catch this three times– today at 7:30pm, on August 2nd at 7:30pm, and August 3rd at 2pm. Tickets are $5. Performances will be in the Carriage House Theater at 360 Farmington Avenue. Park for free in the Mark Twain Museum visitor lot (right across the street from the theater) or on street in legal spots.
- There will be a free screening of Karate Kid in Goodwin Park at sundown. Bring a blanket or chairs and snacks.
- Stop into MakeHartford, MakerSpace to make a blinking light bracelet out of LEDs and duct tape. This is an all-ages workshop. $12. This space is located at 30 Arbor Street. 10-11am. Bring your own safety glasses.
- The Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival returns to the Riverfront from 1-10pm. Live music, children’s activities, food, and more. Raindate: August 3.
- The backlash against the monster SUVs, McMansions, and other forms of conspicuous consumption is firmly here. Tiny: A Story About Living Small screens at Real Art Ways at 2pm. This documentary examines the movement to live in houses smaller than the average parking space. $10 general, $5 members. They say they are only showing this film once, so today is the day.
- Watch the film Powered by Dreams, a documentary about the founder of the Dream Support Network and his steps to recovery after a near-death experience with kidney disease. This is hosted by The 224 (224 Farmington Avenue) at 3pm. Suggested donation $5.
- Reception for artist Victor Pacheco at Real Art Ways, 6-8pm.
- The Dirt Salon (50 Bartholomew) presents Deep Blue Rendezvous, a summer party and art show. Expect rooms decorated to match the theme, along with underwater trash art, video projects, and DJs. It’s suggested that attendees dress for the theme: pirates, mermaids, jellyfish, etc. This is an 18+ event. Advance tickets are $10; at door, $15. 9pm-1am. Continue reading 'August 2014 Events'»
The United Ewe Association of Connecticut performing their traditional Agbadza dance
Marla Ludwig has been going to Ghana since 2005. She established Bright Star Vision and has partnered with Youth Creating Change of Ghana to establish a library in the village of Dalive. The organization has also constructed bio-sand water filters and a kindergarten schoolhouse. It has sent school supplies, bicycles, and wheelchairs.
This year, Bright Star Vision focused its fundraising efforts on sponsorships for students so that more young people in this village have the opportunity to receive an education. Sully’s hosted the annual fundraiser on Saturday.
United Ewe Association of CT brings its dancing off the stage at Sully’s
With so much talk of how the City has been spending money and plans to use bonding in relation to the proposed stadium, it’s time to take a look at how Hartford is using Capital Improvement Project funds elsewhere.
The recently re-opened George Day Park is one of those items. With new playground equipment, basketball court, garden area, and water features, this Parkville spot cost $870,000 to renovate.
In neighboring Frog Hollow, the Pope Park North/Baby Pope playground has been under construction for months. The underutilized tennis courts, broken chain link fencing, and dated playground equipment were ripped out, along with a concrete spray pool. Neighborhood kids have been, in the meantime, playing basketball and football on the first block of Putnam Street, in the roadway. Here, the City has said that the spray pool and playground construction would be completed by May, but a sign at the site says July. There is some playground equipment and picnic tables in place, but work remains to be done for the $570,000 price tag.
The Goodwin Park spray pool construction is scheduled to be completed in August: $190,000.
The carousel in Bushnell Park opened for the season at the end of June, approximately two months later than it normally does. That it has been open for more than only two days this season is an improvement over what was expected — one day in June, one day in September. The necessity of some of these renovations has been debated, but ultimately, the funds were approved. A document produced by the City lists the CIP funds for this at $900,000, yet the City Council approved $1M for it. Construction should complete in late November. Continue reading 'Speed of Capital Improvement Projects'»
Councilperson Deutsch holds a level
Councilperson Larry Deutsch held a Stanley level to demonstrate the need to keep politicians “on the level.” Then, he showed a brass union to call attention to how union jobs are a good fit for the city.
The frequently outspoken elected official said he had been promised five minutes to speak before the crowd of nearly 300, but was later told he would have to sign up and take a one- or three-minute spot like everyone who was not Mayor Segarra or Thom Deller.
Deutsch arrived prepared with hardware props and a list of seven questions:
- what, exactly, will be the full-time union or living-wage jobs for Hartford residents?
- will the mayor’s administration and team owners commit to a signed community benefits agreement regarding a fund for school and park improvements, blight remediation, community centers, and more?
- can there be a binding and secure guarantee for residents and taxpayers for full repayment of all City expenses — from consultants to construction to publicity — if the owners decide to relocate the Rock Cats before the lease is up?
- how will there be compensation for workers and small businesses that depend on the stadium games if the team leaves before the contract is up?
- who exactly will pay for police overtime and Department of Public Works sanitation?
- why haven’t Hartford taxpayers and City Council been asked what they want for downtown and he rest of the city before spending money to plan and put out proposals for a stadium?
- how will workers losing jobs in New Britain be treated?
Neither Segarra nor Deller had answers to his questions.
Few answers were provided for anyone’s questions. Continue reading 'City Officials Blow Opportunity to Inform Public, Answer Questions'»
A message sent out earlier this week by the New Britain Social Club announced that as of September, cricket games will be played at Veteran’s Stadium at Willow Brook Park in New Britain. This is already happening elsewhere in the city, but here’s the twist:
“. . .Waterbury, New Britain, Hartford, Windsor and Bloomfield currently have one or two cricket fields. Our plan is to bring the final games from these locations to New Britain.”
The message says that this is a collaboration between the New Britain Social Club and the City of New Britain’s Parks and Recreation department.
Cricket Press Release
Hartford has a reputation for its interest in cricket, with fields in Keney Park and Riverside Park.
Ray, a veteran who served in Iraq, Guantanamo, and Afghanistan, said the United States is good about sending help overseas, but when people are “in crisis” here, they are told to wait quietly. The marine said he was injured by an IED in Afghanistan. He has ongoing medical needs, he said, and was told to get on a two month wait list for treatment here.
Besides illustrating how the system is broken, he was at Saturday’s Justice for Jane Doe Rally “on behalf” of his cousin, Jenny, who he said was murdered in Brooklyn for no reason other than being who she was, a young trans woman.
Connecticut holding “Jane Doe,” a young Latina in near-solitary confinement, was the uniting issue of the event, even if protestors disagreed about which element of her case has been most outrageous or responsible for her predicament.
Two weeks ago Governor Malloy issued a statement that Jane Doe should be moved from the adult correctional facility to another setting. Several speakers at the rally, which began in front of DCF’s Central Office on Hudson Street, said they wanted to make sure that Malloy would make good on his promises. Continue reading 'Rally for Jane Doe Outside DCF Headquarters and State Capitol'»
City Council’s monthly public hearing did not even reach twenty minutes on Monday.
Nobody signed up to speak.
There were two items up for discussion.
One (an ordinance creating a Commission on the Homeless) received no comments from the public, nor explanation from the five (Alexander Aponte, Joel Cruz, Jr., Raul De Jesùs Jr., Cynthia Jennings, and Larry Deutsch) present members of the Council.
The other — a move to allocate a chunk of change from the Parks and Playground Enhancements account in the Capital Improvement Fund to an account for renovation and expansion of the carousel building in Bushnell Park — garnered a whopping five comments from the public after some awkward attempts on behalf of the Council to get those folks out of their seats and to the microphone.
None of those individuals speaking in favor of this identified themselves as living in Hartford. Continue reading 'Public Support for Funding Carousel Renovation'»