Governor Malloy issued a letter to the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council on Tuesday urging more “flexibility” and a delay regarding the planned changes to teacher evaluations. There was no mention of delaying or canceling the standardized testing in March; those tests are central to this issue.
This relieves stress for many of those directly affected by the policy that was pushed through in 2012, but some in the media are playing this off as politicians merely being responsive to constituents. Although the current standardized testing does not encourage this, let’s apply some critical thinking and see what evidence leads us to believe. Continue reading 'Policy Delay a Sign of Responsiveness?'»
Connecticut Pirate Party rally logo // enjoy the translation of that
The captain is elected. The crew, Michael Fryar tells me, covers a wide range of folks. There are female pirates. You know, because equality.
If The Pirate Party seems outlandish, remember that there are individuals who believe it is legitimate to run public schools like businesses. With that perspective, this rising party seems downright logical.
Already, the party has a candidate — to be announced later — it plans to endorse in the next campaign for Connecticut State Senate, 1st District seat. The Pirate Party will have a full slate in Hartford for 2016. This includes three City Councilpersons, a Justice of the Peace, and other candidates. Those candidates will be announced in a year, but none have run for political office previously. Fryar, who has announced his run for mayor, says this is also about having fun. The Republicans and Democrats are not fun, he says. Continue reading 'Gangway! New Political Party On Board'»
Unlike the mullet, glittens really are the best of both worlds
It’s not uncommon to see kids trying to skate with their hands tucked into pants’ pockets. Others are not even wearing coats on blustery days.
To mitigate some of this, Winterfest is collecting hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves, in addition to ice skates in all sizes.
If you have outerwear or skates to donate, you can drop off at the skating rink in Bushnell Park, or at any of these locations:
Chances are your December is already half-filled with obligatory office parties, family engagements, and such, but just in case you have downtime, here are ideas for things you can do in Hartford (mostly) on the cheap (mostly) every day.
- The Global Lens Film Series continues this month on Sundays at 2pm. Today’s film: The Parade. In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles. This will be shown at the Wadsworth Atheneum. It is free, co-sponsored by the Hartford Public Library and Out Film CT.
- Take a free Intro to Water Color class at StudioN111. First come, first serve — so contact Nina to reserve your space for the 2-3pm class. The studio is located on Pratt Street. Continue reading 'December 2013 Events'»
Whenever the conversation turns to co-working spaces, it’s the same things that come up again and again: shared copy machines, fax machines, conference rooms, etc. This may appeal to a certain class of individuals, but is not useful for those who are inclined toward skilled manual labor — blacksmithing, welding, ceramics, and jewelery — the type of things that could fall under “industrial arts.” We can all find a photocopier at Kinkos without much trouble, but access to a metal forge? Good luck with that.
Photos by Christopher Brown
The Steel Yard in Providence offers studio space and access to tools, classes, and more at its three acre location in a neighborhood filled with old mills, factories, and foundries. This neighborhood has had its share of tensions and violence, but neither seems to be a deterrent. Last month, The Steel Yard hosted its eighth annual “Halloween Iron Pour,” an event that attracted hundreds of visitors despite the cold, $10 entrance fee, and absence of on-site parking. This collaboration with The Iron Guild is a kind of performance art complete with music by the Empty House Cooperative; props in the form of tiki huts, gods, and a volcano; ceramics and shirts for sale; and food trucks parked far from the fire.
Continue reading 'Suggestion Box: What is Our Steel Yard?'»
Morgan Wienberg was unfazed by the cheers coming from the bar on the other side of Wood-n-Tap each time the Red Sox moved one base closer to the championship; without so much as a pause, she continued telling the Torah on Tap group about the work she has done in Haiti to reunite children with their parents.
Wienberg, originally from Whitehorse, moved to Haiti almost immediately after graduating from high school; while spending five months living in a for-profit orphanage, she began to notice the children there were being exploited and abused. When people would donate shoes, she said, there would be a big show about it, but after the donors left, the children would again be in their bare feet and the shoes would be sold for the personal gain of the orphanage’s owner. Continue reading 'Championing Human Rights'»
It only smells if you are doing it wrong.
Scratch that excuse off the list.
Composting organic materials is not difficult and would make practical use of what becomes basically unusable when mixed with other refuse. Smell, effort, education, and cost are just distractions for why Hartford could not evolve, so why not deal with those openly? Continue reading 'Suggestion Box: Curbside Organics Collection'»
What if you find a lump but have no health insurance and earn perhaps too much to qualify for Medicaid? We may have improved access to health care on January 1st, but that does not help those who develop potential health concerns before then.
There is something scarier than thinking you may have breast cancer– it’s that possibility combined with the inability to cover the cost of screening, let alone treatment. Worries about mortality and quality of life are then compounded with worries about financial ruin and all that comes with it.
The barrage of pinkwashing and messaging to get checked can seem annoying and alienating to those who feel the need to delay or even avoid screening. The mammogram is held up as that thing to go out and get, but a mammogram alone does not necessarily rule out cancer, especially for those with dense breast tissue.
A manual exam, mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy to diagnose can add up into the thousands of dollars. For some, that means the savings account they may have will be drained, and that’s just to get a diagnosis.
Women earning on the lower end of the scale may be eligible for free screening through the Connecticut Breast and Cervical Early Detection Program. There are restrictions on income and age, but the screenings include clinical breast exams, diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds and biopsies, and surgical consultations. Once in the system, women can be guided through other programs and payment options if the diagnosis is cancer. Those who fall in the gap between having affordable health care and being able to qualify for Medicaid may qualify for these programs.
For those who have the funds, there are ways to give meaningful contributions, like donating directly for another person’s mammogram. Continue reading 'We Have the Awareness. Now What?'»