Every Sunday for the past eight years, Hartford Food Not Bombs has received donations of produce from the Whole Foods in West Hartford Center. This is food that is suitable for human consumption, but often not aesthetically appealing enough to get top dollar from consumers. Instead of dumping it, the company has been generously gifting it to this grassroots organization, which has been serving it as part of the free, vegetarian meals distributed near the carousel in Bushnell Park on Sunday afternoons.
This month, that arrangement came to a halt.
On March 2, when volunteers arrived for the weekly pickup, they were told that Whole Foods would be changing how it donates food that would otherwise land in the dumpster. The organization tried to set up a meeting with the manager, but to date, the only discussion between these parties has been through email.
The grocery store is now working with Food Donation Connection to coordinate how and where it gives. Before, groups like Food Not Bombs were able to work directly with the corporation known for its high quality food. That relationship appears to have dissolved overnight, with the community organization having to work with a third party that says Food Not Bombs in its current state does not qualify as a charitable organization and is now unable to receive the food donations as it had been for almost a decade. Continue reading 'Hartford Food Distribution Group Loses Fresh Produce Source'»
Photo courtesy of Tufts University
Dr. Joanne Berger-Sweeney, currently serving as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts College and previously as Associate Dean at Wellesley College, has been announced as the next president for Trinity College. Her scholarly work is in neurobiology.
If we are to judge Berger-Sweeney by her past achievements in helping other colleges enter a new era in terms of diversity, Trinity College’s future with her looks promising.
Jimmy Jones, who has served as Trinity’s president since 2004, will be stepping down at the end of June.
The State Elections Enforcement Commission finally ruled on a complaint regarding the 2012 election in which several Hartford residents claimed that votes had failed to be recorded and registered, specifically, votes for third party presidential candidates Jill Stein and Stephen Durham.
During the investigation, the citywide recount resulted in an amendment of returns in districts 5 (United Methodist Church on Farmington Avenue) and 11 (United Way on Laurel Street). Continue reading 'Registrars of Voters Told to Be More Careful'»
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Calling all MST3K fans!
Sea Tea Improv will be improvising dialogue, narration, inner thoughts, and sound effects for what appears on the screen this Thursday at Spotlight Theaters. That’s right — this will not be just adding in snarky comments; they are going to recreate all the audio.
What will the movie be? Julia Pistell of Sea Tea Improv says she has no idea. The improvers are not the ones picking the film. Local filmmaker and legend, Helder Mira, will be selecting a B-movie for them, and if you know anything about Mira’s selections for Christmas films that had been shown at La Paloma Sabanera, then you know something of what to expect.
Pistell says that Sea Tea Improv guarantees “this one will be weird and really a lot of fun.”
The event is scheduled for Thursday, March 27th at 8pm. Tickets are $9 in advance, $10 at the door. Spotlight Theaters are located at the corner of Front Street and Columbus Boulevard.
Back in the day you might have seen an Ancient Egypt exhibit on a class field trip and been left with a sense of wonder, despite not being allowed to touch anything, despite being immersed in the past so deeply that it felt more like fiction than history. Warped audio may have been piped in to explain why you were looking at a creepy scene created from human models, but otherwise, the display felt dated, even then.
If that was your experience in elementary school, you should not wait to have kids to try to amend that.
I was most struck by the photographs of contemporary Egyptians after walking through the Lost Egypt exhibit currently on display at the Connecticut Science Center. This simple, low cost addition reminds visitors that today people live in the area that is the focus of this exhibit. For the many visitors who have not been to Egypt, the pictures — which include children — tell the (mostly) young museum-goers that this is a place that actually exists, a detail that can be confused when one only sees tomb art, amulets, and mummified remains. Continue reading 'Amulets, Bones, and a Camel at the Science Center'»
According to listings on Craigslist and Century 21, the 393 Capitol Avenue building is up for sale.
The Craigslist ad, updated two days ago, says this property has “5 residential and 4 store fronts all completely rented.” The “Froghollow Coffee Shop” has been closed since at least January; a “for rent” sign was in the former coffee house window last week, but has since been removed. Continue reading 'Property for Sale in Frog Hollow'»
In recent months, the entire Weaver High School community has been mobilized by the Hartford Board of Education’s poor communication about the school’s temporary move to the Lincoln Institute and the plan to eventually rehabilitate and rebuild the north end school. Tuesday night’s Board meeting once again found students, teachers, and Weaver families demanding action and answers from the Board. There were few to be found, but much talk of “due diligence.” The uncertainty and anxiety among the Weaver community was palpable, as too was the growing mistrust of the Board and its hollow words. Speakers, including Principal Tim Goodwin, admonished Mayor Segarra, who was not in attendance, for suggesting that Weaver’s low enrollment could affect the school’s reconstruction. Goodwin demanded that enrollment issues be taken off the table and not be a part of the discussion. He cited the school’s continued improvement according to multiple metrics, including decreased disciplinary referrals. Through the years, Weaver High has been especially hampered by the breaking up of Hartford’s traditional high schools and the “school choice” reform scheme. Lastly, it was clear Tuesday night that Michele Rhee’s privatization front group StudentsFirst had attempted to glom onto Weaver’s struggle, going so far as to blindly hand out as many of their unrelated t-shirts as possible to students.
Since the Board’s failed attempt to hand the Clark School to the Achievement 1st charter school corporation two months ago, Clark was entered in to the Commissioner’s Network of schools in need of “turnaround.” A “turnaround committee” of parents, teachers, and the State Department of Education has been meeting to develop a plan for Clark. Parallel to this, HART was contracted by the Board to garner support among the community for another charter takeover of the school. This time a charter school corporation called Friendship Charter School of Maryland has been identified as the favorite by the Commissioner of Education. As has been reported in Real Hartford, the Clark community is unwilling to be bullied, bought off, or threatened into this deal. During Tuesday’s meeting, Superintendent Kishimoto blamed outside interests for the problems with the committee. In her report on Clark, she warned of parents being “lobbied heavily by organizations placing pressures on parents on matters beyond the immediate and urgent needs of Clark School students.” She chided these mysterious groups and mentioned that parents were complaining to her personally about the “pressure.” Continue reading 'Hartford Promises'»
Photo is courtesy of Andy Hart
The Clark Turnaround Committee was informed Tuesday that more site visits would be possible, and that the Friendship School model (use of the word “model” has been debated) is not the one that must be picked. As of Friday, parents, teachers, and community members were fighting for the ability to do just that, as a press conference was held to shine light on the need for more time, better communication with the State Department of Education and Hartford Board of Education staffers, and self-determination.
Tentative meeting dates, including those for school site visits, were discussed at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon at the Clark School. According to the agenda, school site visits in New Haven and New York City are possibilities at the end of March and early April.
After SDE representative Andrew Ferguson reprimanded the parents, teachers, and community members on the committee, saying “there has to be urgency from everyone at this table,” teacher Kimberly Daly responded, “to be honest [...] we were not given the models to look at.” Daly, referring to her notes, said that at the February 19th meeting, she asked that an appointment be made for the Turnaround Committee to visit an Expeditionary Learning model school — Hartford schools Moylan and McDonough already use this model, and the Sánchez school will be fully using it in 2014-2015 — yet, she said, no appointment has been scheduled. Continue reading 'Clark Told “Friendship is on Hold”, Okay to See Others'»