quality of life

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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Leadership in Transition

Carlos Hernandez Chavez reads his prepared remarks at the Youth Engagement Town Hall on Saturday // Photo courtesy of Allison Holst-Grubbe

Mayor-Elect Luke Bronin recently announced that he would forgo the glitz and expense of an inaugural ball, favoring a reception only, following the swearing-in of all other elected officials in early January. In past administrations, there have been both the light refreshments and meet and greet in City Hall, and the evening wear on display in a much larger facility. The plan is for Bronin to be sworn into office following the midnight First Night fireworks.

This weekend Bronin held a Youth Engagement Town Hall at Wilson-Gray YMCA, where Hartford’s strengths, such as already existing youth services programs, were touted. Here, a resident urged others to get involved with the dozens of municipal boards and commissions, and to support the incoming mayor and provide him with ideas of what we need, saying that if we don’t advocate for ourselves, we can’t get mad at the leader for not knowing what needs attention. The takeaway from this meeting was that many residents felt that City and community resources are disconnected from each other.

A few weeks ago, Bronin created several committees and policy working groups. Essentially, these perform as ways to add oversight and transparency, along with provide more opportunity for comment from members of the public. (more…)

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. (more…)

Hip Hop for the Homeless Tour Returns

Joey Batts. Photo courtesy of 86hour photo

This December the Hip Hop for the Homeless Tour returns for its second year. Over 40 local musicians and DJs will participate in the six shows, with two of those venues being open to all ages.

Joey Batts, a public high school teacher in Hartford, wanted to raise awareness after working with youth who were experiencing homelessness. The teacher-by-day, musician-by-night plans to collect canned goods, personal hygiene products, and clothing at each of the venues on the tour, where the audience can hear live music by Ceschi Ramos, Joey Batts & Them, Chumzilla, Jose Oyola, and others. (more…)

In Your Neighborhood: Parkville

The tendency is to want every depiction to be beautiful, for our dirty laundry to never be noticed on the line. But how does one put something out there and expect invisibility?

Parkville might be faring better than some surrounding neighborhoods when it comes to warding off or dealing with things like graffiti and blight, but it is not immune either. (more…)

‘No Cause for Concern’ Becomes an Ask for Regional Resources

From the sensationalist headlines throwing out theories that neither Hartford residents nor our police are buying, to the ever-present discussion in campaign season, the homicide rate this year is getting attention. That number does not include deaths that have not been classified yet, like the incident from early Saturday morning on Bond Street that involved a person dying after being struck by a vehicle driven by someone who did not care to stick around. (That vehicle is described as a gray or silver, two-door Infiniti sedan with dark tints. No description of the motorist has been provided).

The homicide rate for 2015 is high, but taking the longer view, one can see that these rates fluctuate. The following data, provided by the Hartford Police Department, shows how the rate ebbs and flows.

Part 1 Crime Historical Analysis Spread Sheet

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