MJM

Meet Your City: Worse Than Panhandling

As a native New Englander, I understand why anyone ever trying to talk to another person is alarming. Leave me alone, let me do my own thing, definitely do not make eye contact, and you might hear from me if I need help getting my tractor out of a ditch.

But seriously, it can be annoying to be approached by random strangers, whether they are trying to scrape together money for whatever or they are handing out booklets promising hellfire to those who don’t repent. The latter, for some reason, do not inspire so much anger from the peanut gallery. The calls to “do something about panhandlers,” almost never means addressing the root causes of poverty or addiction. These are attempts to get police involved in nuisance crimes when their talents could be better used elsewhere, such as enforcing traffic laws which when broken, are likely to cause personal injury. Continue reading “Meet Your City: Worse Than Panhandling”

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MJM

2016 Holiday Giving Guide

Photo from November 2014

Right after the 9/11 attacks, the then President, George W. Bush, urged Americans to go shopping. These things do not come without a price. The reckless, mindless spending empties wallets and creates a fine distraction for us. While we work harder to have more money to spend on more things, policies are enacted with little resistance.

Distraction and complacency go a long way toward complicity.

When we have covered local protests of any kind, regular folks — not simply those being directly challenged — typically critique those carrying signs or blocking traffic. The protestors are seen as making too much fuss, seen as an other for daring to speak up. It’s never quiet enough, respectful enough, pretty enough. There’s too much inconvenience created. The strategies are always questioned, not only when the tactics are questionable, such as when people from out-of-town join in a march through a poor neighborhood chanting “WHOSE STREETS? OUR STREETS!“. Basically, if the opposition takes the form of anything more wild than wearing a rose or a designated color on the same day, it’s looked down on. The people are told to sit down, shut up, smile nicely, and go with the flow.

We did not just wake up to President-Elect Trump, as if his rise to power occurred magically. Continue reading “2016 Holiday Giving Guide”

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MJM

In Your Neighborhood: West End

Sometimes, only the thorns can be seen. Continue reading “In Your Neighborhood: West End”

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First Round of Updated Zoning Regulations Pass Unanimously

By the petitions circulating earlier this week it would seem that the only items covered in upwards of 250 pages of zoning regulations involve the West End, how the Village for Families and Children site should be used, and how many unrelated people may live together in one small area of the city. Claims by the dozen have been made about the public information and notice process and about what zoning changes might mean. Since the revision process began in 2013, we have been closely following along the way.

Continue reading “First Round of Updated Zoning Regulations Pass Unanimously”

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MJM

Hundreds Extend Welcome to Syrian Refugees

 

More than 200 people rallied in the rain outside of the Connecticut State Capitol Saturday morning in support of Syrian refugees. Their messages included the ability and willingness for the United States to care for both new refugees and our existing homeless population, dismissing the either/or rhetoric that has been presented as fact in recent weeks. Speakers also dismissed the idea the refugees would be given a free ride once here, or that the State has any control over who the United States does or does not accept. Continue reading “Hundreds Extend Welcome to Syrian Refugees”

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More Arrests in the Black Lives Matter Movement

Twelve people were arrested in an announced Black Lives Matter rally late Monday afternoon when they blocked Albany Avenue at Bloomfield Avenue, one of the major roads used for commuters leaving Hartford for West Hartford and beyond during rush hour.

There were two non-violent action trainings provided for participants before this latest rally, trainings that were also announced and should have clued in anyone paying any attention that a detour might have been in the stars for Monday afternoon. Continue reading “More Arrests in the Black Lives Matter Movement”

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Conversations with the Candidates: Impressions

“Why isn’t the mayor here?”

That was the first question asked by an audience member, before the official time for questions began — before anything really began — at the Business for Downtown Hartford’s “Candid Conversations” event. Continue reading “Conversations with the Candidates: Impressions”

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Hartford’s Plan to Make City Attractive for Young People

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 anĀ 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”

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MJM

Most Best Awesome Superlatives of 2014

There are people who hate year-end lists because it sounds like the creator is putting out some clickbait while spending his days going to Christmas parties.

We’re using this opportunity to review the operation of the city and the City– what helped to build up Hartford and who needs to have a time out to think about what he has done. Continue reading “Most Best Awesome Superlatives of 2014”

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MJM

Standing Up

Justin held his sign in front of City Hall during rush hour on Wednesday. He wanted to know why he was the only person taking a stand.

On Saturday, December 6th, others will join voices to say that all lives matter. The solidarity march will gather at Albany and Main at noon, then head up the road, ending at the Woodland Street entrance to Keney Park.

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