quality of life

Equality March Demands Bridges, Not Walls


We can “not allow the negative rhetoric of the Trump campaign to dictate how we live our lives,” Tiffany Walker told a few hundred people shivering outside of the Connecticut Old State House. Walker organized and led Sunday’s Equality March from the landmark to the Connecticut State Capitol, with activists chanting “bridges not walls” and “Black lives matter” along the way. (more…)

Get Active this Weekend

See on a classroom building on University of Hartford campus

Last week Hartford had a scream circle, various other healing events, and a monthly Showing Up for Racial Justice meeting that saw a surge in attendance.

More is yet to come.

A “Peaceful Pro-Love March” is planned for today, November 18, on the University of Hartford campus. Participants will be wearing black for the event that begins at 3 p.m. at Gengras Student Union. They say: “We want to convey a message that UHart stands up for inequalities across all spectrums. Whether it be concerning minorities, members of the LGBTQ community, women’s rights, Muslims, etc., we want to ensure that everybody at this school feels that they have the right to be loved and accepted.” Participants are asked to use only hand-held signs (no sticks) and to refrain from including profanity on the signs. (more…)

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. (more…)

Suggestion Box: Ask More of the Chain Stores

There are six CVS stores in Hartford. Only one is in a building with any architectural flair, and that downtown location is set to move into another space in the near future. (The one on Washington Street built in place of an historical building that was torn down instead of reused does not count as having character.) Otherwise, the ubiquitous pharmacy with a penchant for dull, box construction — with an easy-to-reverse-your-car-through façade —  presents opportunity for visual improvement. This is equally true of other chain stores found in Hartford, from gas stations to doughnut shops.

A CVS on the corner of Thayer and Cushing Street in Providence shows that another reality is possible. CVS paid RISD students to create the mural. It has not been without some controversy, partly because everything just has to be controversial these days, but regardless: Artists were paid. (more…)

Gun Buyback in Hartford Saturday

Created using Google

Less than one week since the Orlando nightclub shootings — and within 48 hours of another death in Hartford resulting from gun violence — the Hartford Police Department is holding a gun buyback event at the Johnson Stewart Community Center, located half a mile from that most recent fatal shooting and about one block from a double homicide that occurred in March.

From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on June 18, working firearms can be turned in anonymously and in exchange for gift cards. (more…)

Free Naloxone Kits and Training for Public

The Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition is offering to the public training in how to reverse an opioid (OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Heroin, Fentanyl) overdose. Participants will receive free Naloxone (Narcan) kits, which have the potential to prevent overdose deaths.

The GHHRC says Naloxone “does NOT encourage people to increase use of opiates” and that “goals, such as decreasing drug use, can only be accomplished if the user is alive.”

For the foreseeable future, GHHRC is hosting free training sessions every Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. at its office, 1229 Albany Avenue in Hartford. GHHRC requests that those intending to attend get in touch with the date they want to attend on.

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.

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