Another Fail in Flower Street Mitigation Efforts

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By , October 8, 2014 10:08 am

Planters remain wrapped in plastic months after being dropped off along a pathway that runs east-west from Flower Street to Broad Street, under the I-84 viaduct. Vegetation, arranged haphazardly, peeking out from beneath the elevated highway.

Originally, Mayor Segarra had supported the fight to keep the city street open to thru-traffic, but later stepped aside when the State pressed. During discussions between the Connecticut Department of Transportation and constituents, the State agency promised a number of measures would be taken to soften the blow of the closure of this north-south street. Residents and business owners were told that a linear park type of space would be created, complete with benches and native plantings. Continue reading 'Another Fail in Flower Street Mitigation Efforts'»

G.E.R.M. in Connecticut Education

Robert Cotto, Jr.

What does it mean when changes to educational policy that begin in urban districts go on to shape the policy for schools statewide?

That was a question asked by Robert Cotto, Jr. in his talk: “Connecticut Catches a Case of the G.E.R.M.” at Trinity College as part of the Center for Urban and Global Studies’ Global Vantage Point Lecture Series.

The G.E.R.M. referred to is the global education reform movement, which he said “pushes a prescribed curriculum” and includes “test-based accountability and control.”

“We think the suburbs is where where the action” is in terms of changes to education policy, Cotto said, but cities are where the theories get tested.

In 2012, Gov. Malloy declared that it was the “Year of Education Reform” and unveiled six principles. Of those, three were already being practiced in Hartford and New Haven; New Haven was already using test-based teacher evaluations, and both cities had limited expansion of preschool programs and limited use of conditional funding.

The Hartford and New Haven models “appeared” to be successful, but Cotto chalked that up to what he calls “addition through subtraction,” or test scores getting an artificial boost when students with disabilities no longer had to take the same standardized test. Continue reading 'G.E.R.M. in Connecticut Education'»

Destroying Neighborhoods, One Brush Stroke At A Time?

By , October 7, 2014 3:27 pm

These houses on Niles Street were the subject of someone’s complaint on SeeClickFix. The two properties appeared drab in the photos found on the assessor’s list, but have been since accented with attention-grabbing colors.

The complaint goes beyond the vibrant color scheme. Continue reading 'Destroying Neighborhoods, One Brush Stroke At A Time?'»

Author of “Everything is Illuminated” Visits Downtown

By , October 6, 2014 3:49 pm

Author Jonathan Safran Foer spoke about writing and religious identity as process on Sunday evening at the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford‘s Celebrate the New Year Together event at the Marriott. He made it seem effortless to keep the attention of the over 300 people in attendance.

Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals explained that the book began as an exploration of his decision to become (and remain) a vegetarian, more than it was any attempt to convert others’ culinary habits. Likewise, when asked about his Jewish identity, he responded in a way that was self-described as “convoluted,” but touched on the complexity of personal versus community identity. Where at one time more people were vegetarian than would admit to it, now the numbers have grown so much as to suggest that there are those who claim to not eat meat, but who actually do. He wondered if this is the same with Judaism, if some of these identities are more aspirational than actual.

Those in attendance considered to be young (under 45) had the opportunity to participate in a quick meet-and-greet with Safran Foer after the formal program ended, proving that one can write a number of solid books (including co-production of the New American Haggadah) and find the time for a trip to Hartford, and speak with those who might still only be aspirational in any number of their identities.

Place this Place

If you know where this is, leave a comment below. The most accurate response (street address or cross streets) wins.

Prize? Satisfaction of knowing you’re right.

First Green Lanes Underway for Hartford

By , October 5, 2014 2:24 pm

More than one year ago, Real Hartford reported that there were plans to paint green bike lanes on the section of Broad Street between Capitol Avenue and Farmington Avenue. Temporary striping for lanes and bike boxes occurred last November. Continue reading 'First Green Lanes Underway for Hartford'»

Jesus-as-Beggar Sculpture in Hartford

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A religious-themed sculpture by Timothy Schmalz can be viewed in front of Christ Church Cathedral for the next few weeks before it moves on. Continue reading 'Jesus-as-Beggar Sculpture in Hartford'»

Scenes from the Sidewalk: Street Smarts

By , October 3, 2014 3:52 pm

Photo by Kerri Provost, RealHartford.org / May not be republished without permission

A skate park might not be the first place you would look for commentary on the state of public education. This graffiti popped up on a structure that faces Capital Prep Magnet School and happens to be painted in that school’s colors.

Diane Ravitch, who we are guessing did not write this at a height requiring a ladder to reach, will be giving a lecture about the privatization of public schools. That free, public event will take place on October 8th at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

Temporary Closure of Broad Street This Weekend

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By , October 1, 2014 5:08 pm

Broad Street between Capitol Avenue and Farmington Avenue will be closed to through traffic from 6 on Saturday morning until 5 on Monday morning for work related to the CTfastrak project. This work is to include the restriping of lanes, including bicycle lanes and boxes.

Pedestrian access will be maintained during this time. The Legislative Office Building and garage will only be accessible from Capitol Avenue during construction.

Hartford Seen: Layers of a City

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By , September 30, 2014 4:22 pm
Pablo Delano, Capitol Avenue, 2013
Photo by Pablo Delano. Capitol Avenue, 2013

“Hartford’s unique history and how it manifests itself in the visual” is part of what provoked Pablo Delano to build his portfolio of street photography, some of which will be on view at the Connecticut Historical Society in the Hartford Seen exhibit. The work portrays scenes from many neighborhoods, from the South End to Blue Hills, Parkville to North East.

Most of the 120 pictures were taken in the last 2-3 years. A benefit of living close to one’s subject matter is being able to return to the scene as many times as it takes to get a satisfying shot. Sometimes the light is not right the first or second time around, or the leaves obscure part of the subject. Continue reading 'Hartford Seen: Layers of a City'»

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