WFP Shaking it Up

The Working Families Party is not exactly new. Several years ago my SO ran as a WFP candidate. As Democrats–especially on the national level–are becoming increasingly indistinguishable from Republicans, third parties with the willingness to take an unwavering stance on the issues are becoming more relevant, viable alternatives.

Yesterday, three WFP candidates for Hartford City Council entered the race–Luis Cotto of La Paloma Sabanera, pediatrician and PTO member Dr. Larry Deutsch, and community activist Urania Petit.

Connecticut Working Families is most concerned with the issues of affordable housing, access to health care, and fair wages. They are on the record as supporting Senate Bill 601, “which would guarantee working people in the state a modest amount of paid sick time.” Recently, the WFP held a rally at the New Britain Wal-Mart to protest their discriminatory practices against Spanish-speaking workers.

If any of these three candidates get elected, it will challenge the City Council to do more than act as “rubber stamps,” which it has been accused of being in recent months.

Outside

Observances from my front porch, windows, and back yard in this past week:

1. People across the street fixing up the columns on the front of the house. I don’t know much about construction, but I’m questioning their technique. At any rate, it’s nice to hear 90’s Alternative Rock blasting in the neighborhood.

2. There is a cat in the neighborhood that is the doppleganger of our cat. She’s got the same coloring, but is feral and has a bushier tail. Last night I saw her emerge from the dumpster at 3:20a.m.

3. Neighborhood kids screeching about something they found in the grass that was terrifying. Could be a snake, frog, or some large insect. Maybe a worm.

4. Sparrows visiting my birdfeeders.

5. The garden. I am slowly reclaiming the yard from grass, planting anything with substantial roots and color. The garage is now lined with Silver Mound. Yesterday, I added a pink rose bush to the front of the house. Anyone want to bet how long it takes for me to kill it?

6. Another random cat, this one black and white, sunning herself by the tomato plants. I think she was panting. It looked like her tongue was hanging out of her mouth.

7. A pile of weeds decaying in the back. This area is where the compost machine used to be before it was moved into the basement.

Contrast this scene to all these “news stories” I’ve heard of in the past week or so:

1. Elderly man robbed around midnight a few streets over.

2. A recently paroled man shot in the chest and killed, one street away.

3. A woman tied up and robbed in her home, one street over from where the guy was killed. This happened on a Sunday afternoon.

4. An armed robbery in the building next door, a few weeks ago.

5. Several knifepoint robberies down on Franklin Ave., including the robbery of Art Feltman.

So, what is it about this working class, residential area that makes it less deserving of public sympathy?

Everything is Politics

While I don’t agree with what Healy expresses in his post, I’m not finding anything wrong with it either. Speculating on where the legislative session will go is not much different from publicly declaring one’s support for the death penalty in response to the murders in Cheshire. In a kinder world, the family would be given time to mourn– the media wouldn’t print lurid details about the case that the public simply does not need to know. (Gratuitously divulging such information actually creates problems for the justice system, as we’re seeing in the Shefelbine case right now). In a perfect world, the family would not have been given reason to mourn.

But to pretend like politics isn’t remotely involved in crime is to boldly ignore the nature of violence. It’s not something created in a vacuum.

Fortunately, some people are speaking out about this.  Too bad the mainstream media ignores this.

It's a Museum, Stupid!

Others’ Perceptions

Ever since I created a “raving diva post” category, I’ve been opting to use it to vent perhaps more than I should. So what? The luxury of unpaid summer vacation includes allowing myself to get riled up over minutiae. I have this memory from when I was about ten years old, of going with my family to visit some of their friends. These friends had kids about my age, and I remember one sporting a t-shirt that read: “If Assholes Could Fly, This Place would be an Airport.” I’m thinking of making a spin-off of that, replacing “assholes” with something more benign like “idiots” or “fools.”

I bring this up because I think that with some people, the obvious could dance on their face, and they’d still be asking how come they didn’t know about something. Or, they maintain some bizarre stance they took randomly in the 80s, and are afraid to give up on it just yet. In a recent letter to the editor in the Hartford Advocate, the writer suggests of the Wadsworth: “Maybe they’d get more visitors if they just called it the Wadsworth Museum instead! […] They’re the oldest art museum in America? Bully for them! Maybe if people knew that’s what they are they could work on becoming the best art museum in America!” If you pass by the building, you can see the banners advertising current exhibits. If you read art & entertainment listings in the half-billion a&e listing publications in Connecticut, you can find the museum listed right under that art/museum/gallery section with a description that makes it pretty clear of what it is. The naming issue seems silly to me. How many places are named in the most accurate way? Certainly not most. I mean, looking at just the names, could you figure out what these places were if they didn’t have a reputation– The Gap, Banana Republic, Versace, or Anthropologie? (more…)

Down by the River

In doing research on etiquette for an article I’m writing, I found myself growing ever more frustrated by the blatant hypocrisy most people in this society seem to demonstrate when it comes to matters of manners. Mainly, people (women, especially) nearly give themselves ulcers when preparing for weddings–Is it acceptable to wear white if it’s my second wedding? How do I ask guests to not bring children without offending them? How do I seat my guests for dinner?–but such concerns don’t translate to other areas of their lives. I started off in a huff over the excessive cell phone use that borders on boasting of how many friends one has, and this expanded into other areas.

In reading some tried-and-true advice books, I found an author suggesting that one must never say disparaging things about an area to a person. Here it is, in black-and-white, something that’s been pissing me off for some time, and even the manners books thought to include it: It is unforgivably rude to insult a place that another person lives. (more…)

FNB is Back!

After a brief hiatus, Food Not Bombs will once again be serving free vegetarian food on both Saturdays and Sundays in Bushnell Park!

we are pleased to announce that as of this weekend (7/21/07), hartford food not bombs will start sharing saturday meals again. in order to sustain this group we need the assistance of dedicated volunteers like you, so please come out and help! as always, we could also use some helping hands on sundays too.

if you’d like to get involved, come by the charter oak cultural center (21 charter oak ave in hartford) any saturday or sunday @ 1pm or call 860.978.3562.   for more info check out myspace.com/hartfordfnb or www.foodnotbombs.net

Food Not Bombs is not exactly a soup kitchen. There are FNB chapters worldwide, many of which also hand out political pamphlets and books with meals.

Unconventional Politics

Tonight at 6:30 pm (not a good time for Creative Cocktail folks), some of the Democratic mayoral candidates will be holding an “Unconvention” at 331-A Wethersfield Avenue. This is across the street from Bulkeley High, where the Democratic Town Committee is expected to nominate Perez for another term.

The Unconvention will feature the other mayoral candidates who aren’t backing away from the challenge of trying to unseat Perez. The primary will be held on 9/11/07.

Good Morning Sexist Crap

CT News Junkie posts about this lawsuit being filed because of libelous comments on a website for SCSU professors:

The comments alleged one of the plaintiffs received a salary increase because she was having sexual relations with another CSU-AAUP employee.

Oh, and you also thought that we were living in the 21st century, when a woman’s career advancement is not assumed to be due to playing footsie with a boss? <buzzer> Wrong! Not only does one, as a female professor, have to deal with the weird gendered expectations that some students have of you (female =motherly/push-over/nice or bitch), but then from possibly your own colleagues, is the merit of your salary or position questioned. Throw in issues with pay, and we can call it a day.