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What’s New on HartfordInfo.org

October 2010

What’s New on HartfordInfo.org is a periodic update announcing recent additions to HartfordInfo.org.  Please feel free to forward this message to others.  To be added to the distribution list send an email message through our feedback page.

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Adult Learning Program, aka ALP

Preview of the Spring Semester Curriculum and an opportunity to register for the classes that interest you.

Hosted and held at Seabury Retirement Community
200 Seabury Dr., Bloomfield, CT

Tuesday, January 11, 2011, 9:30-12

Visit www.uconnalp.org for more information

Questions: alp@uconn.edu Phone: 860-570-9079

New Community Programs on HartfordInfo.org:

We have reorganized our Community Programs page! You can now search for videos using the title, date or keywords, search by topic, or by year. Check it out at http://www.hartfordinfo.org/video/default.asp

Videos of these programs have recently been added:

New Data on HartfordInfo.org:

  • Mortgage Data — Updated data on home mortgages in Hartford from 2004 to 2008 is now available. It is derived from data released under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org, and click on Mortgage Data in the center panel under Data Sets.
  • American Community Survey (ACS) 2009 – 2009 Data Profiles provide data on demographic, social, and housing topics for Hartford. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "acs 2009" in the Google search box and then click "Search."

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New Reports on HartfordInfo.org:

  • A Tale of Disproportionate Burden — This report suggests that despite tough fiscal times, state government has a moral and economic imperative to provide increased assistance to Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury because they bear a disproportionate burden. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "tale burden" in the Google search box and then click "Search."
  • Neighborhood Standards — Hartford 2000, working with other groups and organizations, has developed the Neighborhood Standards as a tool to help improve quality of life in Hartford. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "neighboorhood standards" in the Google search box and then click "Search."
  • The Segarra Administration FY 10–11: A Strategy of Government Responsibility — This document provides the beliefs of the administration of Mayor Segarra about how Hartford’s Office of the Mayor should function in order to abide by the letter of the law and within the limits of power entrusted to the Mayor. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "segarra administration" in the Google search box and then click "Search."
  • Every Child Should Have A Chance To Be Exceptional. Without Exception — This report recommends specific ways to close the achievement gap between the state's low-income students and non-low-income students. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "without exception" in the Google search box and then click "Search."
  • 2010 Kids Count Data Book: State Profiles of Child Well-being — The data in this 21st edition of Kids Count present a rich but complex picture of American children. After showing improvement in the late 1990s overall, child well-being has stagnated since 2000. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "2010 Kids Count" in the Google search box and then click "Search."
  • Prioritizing Approaches to Economic Development in New England — This report on rebuilding the New England economy suggests that the most effective options for creating jobs are investing in infrastructure and building the skills of the workforce. Tax cuts and business subsidies do little to create jobs and are not the most effective approaches to generating growth. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "prioritizing" in the Google search box and then click "Search."
  • Respect Yourself, Hartford - Litter Survey — Respect Yourself, Hartford, a grassroots anti-litter effort, believes that only a holistic effort led by engaged citizens can solve the problem. The Urban League of Greater Hartford conducted a litter attitude survey for Respect Yourself, Hartford this summer. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "litter survey" in the Google search box and then click "Search."
  • Metro Monitor: Hartford, CT Profile, Second Quarter 2010 — This profile tracks recent economic performance in the Hartford metropolitan area compared to America’s 100 largest metro areas and the nation through the second quarter of 2010. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "monitor hartford, ct profile" in the Google search box and then click "Search."
  • Closing the Achievement Gap: Early Reading Success and Connecticut’s Economic Future — This report provides a close look at what we want children to know and be able to do as young readers and as members of Connecticut’s future workforce. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "early reading" in the Google search box and then click "Search."
  • Pedro E. Segarra: 100 Days as Mayor — In Mayor Segarra's statement about his accomplishments in his first 100 days in office, he states that he has set in motion plans to demolish the infamous "Butt Ugly Building" on Main Street, championed a citywide effort to clean up parks and scaled back on city staff by consolidating several offices. Go to www.hartfordinfo.org and type "100 days" in the Google search box and then click "Search."

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New Articles on HartfordInfo.org:

Through agreements with the Hartford Courant, the Hartford Business Journal, the Hartford News, the Hartford Advocate, and the Northend Agent's, and with the Capital Region Report, Cityline, Real Hartford, Urban Compass, and 40-Year Plan blogs, HartfordInfo.org continues to offer selected articles as permanent additions to the Web site.  Some recent additions include:

Good News in Hartford

  • The Promise Of A Rose Garden — A group of volunteers recently replanted about two dozen of Elizabeth Park's collection of old roses, all developed before 1867, in the newly redesigned Heritage Rose Garden. Click here for the article.
  • Coltsville Struggles, But Still On Track — In this editorial, the Hartford Courant expresses the opinion that the Coltsville industrial complex in Hartford's South Meadows is showing several positive signs for the restoration and mixed-use development of the complex. Click here for the article.
  • Pedicab Business a Fit For Upbeat Urban Planner — Tonja Nelson first had a glimpse of the pedicab business as a 17-year-old living in the north end of Hartford. It was nearly three decades later that Nelson founded CBD Pedicab, LLC, Hartford’s first and only pedal cab company. Click here for the article.
  • Graduate Of City Schools Shares His History — Sanford Cloud knows a bit about history — he's made some himself. Born and raised in Hartford, a graduate of city schools, Cloud was the first African American lawyer hired at the city firm of Robinson and Cole in 1969. Click here for the article.
  • Biked, Walked, and Discovered in 2010 — The recent Discover Hartford Bicycling and Walking Tour was an “anti-sprawl, pro-fun, pro-sustainable city, anti-pollution, anti-couch potato, pro-bicycle pro-pedestrian event” meant to show off all the great places within the city of Hartford. Click here for the article.
  • Ground Broken for New Albany Branch Library — City leaders and representatives from the Hartford Public Library officially broke ground recently for the library's new Albany Avenue Branch. The new library will be built at the corner of Albany Avenue and Blue Hills Avenue, just west of the existing facility. Click here for the article.
  • Public Safety Complex Begins To Take Shape — City officials say the $77 million public safety complex under construction just north of downtown is on schedule for completion late in 2011 and an early spring opening in 2012. Click here for the article.

Big Ideas

  • How to Revive Hartford, One Building At a Time — In 2009, the first tenants moved into the graceful seven-story building at 410 Asylum Street in downtown Hartford, a major step in what historical preservationists call "a great save." What was going to be a parking garage is instead a home to hundreds of people. Click here for the article.
  • Graduate!CT Helps College Dropouts Get Back To School — Graduate!CT, is a new program launched in April 2010 by the Metro Hartford Alliance and eight area schools that focuses on finding failed college students and getting them back in the classroom to finish their degree. Click here for the article.
  • Really High-Speed Rail Would Slice Through Auto Bottlenecks — A bold proposal was developed this year by a graduate seminar at the University of Pennsylvania. The students created a plan to build a new, separate, high-speed rail system in the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C. Click here for the article.
  • Historic Albany Avenue School Saved — The oldest surviving school building in Hartford is about to become part of the city's newest cultural district. The handsome brick Victorian-era Northwest School building on Albany Avenue has been saved and named to the National Register of Historic Places. It will become the home of the John E. Rogers African American Cultural Center. Click here for the article.
  • Poor Kids Do Better In School With Wealthier Kids — A recently released study concludes that low-income students attending the "most-advantaged" schools - the ones with the fewest poor children - scored better than low-income students who attended the less wealthy, though better funded, schools. Click here for the article.
  • Hartford's Triangle Is Fertile Ground For Great Redevelopment — Construction of the new public safety complex on High Street and the impending demolition of the "Butt Ugly Building" create the opportunity for a major redevelopment project in downtown Hartford. Click here for the article.
  • Whale Plan Yes, Whalers Dream No— Dan Haar expresses the opinion that he is skeptical about Howard Baldwin's plan to bring the Whalers back to Hartford. Click here for the article.
  • For Hartford, Bigger Is Better — A recent Web survey placed Hartford on a list of 10 "dead cities," with Albany, New Orleans, Buffalo and others. How Hartford does on such lists, as Trinity College scholar Andrew Walsh and others have pointed out, is usually a function of whether the object of comparison is a tiny 18-square-mile city or the much larger region. Click here for the article.
  • A Community Land Trust for Hartford? — Blogger Heather Brandon has been considering  potential private sector solution to the problem of blight: community land trusts. The land trust model is often conceived as useful for protecting natural resources. Urban resources can similarly be protected. Click here for the article.
  • Old North End Factory to Be Renovated for Re-use— The historic Swift Factory property on Love Lane in Hartford's Northeast neighborhood was deeded last week to Northeast Neighborhood Partners, Inc., (NNPI) a not for profit established to convert the former gold leaf factory into an affordable workspace for craftspeople, artists and other creative businesses.  The property will feature sustainable design and incorporate an urban agriculture initiative and space for community programs. Click here for the article.

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  • Program Encourages Professionals To Become Teachers — Rick Green writes that there's one school initiative that stands out as a model. For the past 22 years, the state's Alternative Route to Certification program has taken mid-career professionals and turned them into teachers who work in areas of critical shortage. More than 4,000 teachers have come out of the innovative program. Click here for the article.
  • Why Education Reforms Are Failing Kids — The kids are back in school. So, Washington and Hartford have once again seized the moment for weighty pronouncements about school reform. State school officials have once again discovered the growing achievement gap in Connecticut schools. For most students and teachers, this just means more wrong answers based on wrong questions about the wrong problems. Click here for the article.
  • Hartford School Reform Measures Are Working — There has been a remarkable level of energy and excitement surrounding the recent unveiling of Hartford Schools’ 2010 test results. A third year of improvement has confirmed a trend that all who care about Hartford — and its future — should feel good about. Click here for the article.
  • Are Teachers' Unions Interfering With America's Education? — Steve Perry’s high-performing school, Capital Preparatory Magnet School, has a new building, but old issues remain. Perry is also still talking about another subject on which he has been very outspoken — his belief that teachers’ unions are holding back the progress of American education by putting job security ahead of student results. Click here for the article.
  • First-Generation College Students Face Unique Challenges On Campus And Off — Nationally, about 35 percent of all college undergraduates are first-generation students, whose parents never attended college. Evidence suggests the percentage has risen due to the economic downturn and a lack of jobs. First-generation students are more likely to earn lower grade-point averages than their peers, more likely to struggle with balancing college and the need to work, and less likely to earn a bachelor's degree. Click here for the article.
  • Connecticut Schools: Student Population Smaller, Poorer And More Diverse — A report on the state of education in Connecticut shows that enrollment in public schools has dropped over the past five years, while the number of Latino and poor students has risen. Click here for the article.
  • Hartford Opens State’s First Gold LEED School — What better place to learn about the environment than a school building dedicated to energy savings, ecological study and green initiatives? Hartford Public Schools built the first LEED gold certified school in Connecticut for the innovative Mary M. Hooker Environmental Studies Magnet School that opened August 30, 2010. Click here for the article.

Downtown Development

  • A Ruinous Road In New Orleans — In the 1960s, a vibrant, compact city built an elevated highway right through downtown, against the wishes of those in an adjacent African American neighborhood. Time has exposed the disastrous flaws of this idea. Instead of bringing affluence, it brought blight. Now the expressway is nearing the end of its useful life, and a group of residents want to tear it down. This could be a summary of the citizen-led effort to remove the I-84 Aetna Viaduct in Hartford, but it is actually a similar story taking place in New Orleans. Click here for the article.
  • Segarra: Development A Top Priority — It wasn’t a coincidence that in his first few days in office Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced that the city had reached a tentative agreement to acquire and then demolish the five-story H.B. Davis Building on Main Street, commonly known as the "Butt Ugly Building." The move is part of a larger economic development plan that Segarra and his top lieutenants are now constructing. Click here for the article.
  • Developing Connective Tissue in Downtown — Hartford’s Chief Operating Officer, David Panagore, participated recently in a HYPE (Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs) sponsored discussion regarding the direction of development in downtown. Click here for the article.
  • Eyesores & Opportunities — With the “Butt Ugly” building at 1161 Main headed for demolition, Hartford’s commercial real estate market soon will be rid of its most visible eyesore. But the market is awash in other distressed properties in need of a major renovation or, perhaps, their own dates with the wrecking ball. Click here for the article.

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  • Cinema City Comes to Parkville — CinemaCity, long a favorite of fans of less commercial, foreign and ‘art’ films has moved from the South Meadows neighborhood in Hartford to a new home. CinemaCity filmgoers might be pleasantly surprised visiting the theater’s new home inside the under-appreciated and under-patronized Palace cinema complex on New Park Avenue. Click here for the article.
  • Lemonade Sale To Benefit 74-Year-Old Robbery Victim — Pastor Sam Saylor stood alongside Blue Hills Avenue recently, shouting at passing motorists to stop and buy some lemonade. He and a member of his church youth group found a sweet way to help out the victim of a recent robbery: selling lemonade to raise enough money to replace what was stolen from her. Click here for the article.
  • Listen to Storytellers, Learn About the West End of the Past, Present & Future — The West End has many residents who have lived there for decades.  As part of Jane's Walk, a walking conversation concerning urban neighborhoods around the world, storytellers and historians were available recently at community locations to offer stories about the neighborhood. Click here for the article.

Economic Development

  • During Sewer Project, Businesses In Peril — A redesigned and renovated Albany Avenue, including a much-discussed new sewer system, will be a boost to the small merchants that line the street, with improved sidewalks, curbs, lighting and other improvements. That is, if they can survive to enjoy the benefits. Click here for the article.
  • Region’s Business Sponsors Embrace Gymnastics Event — In the 47-year history of the nation’s gymnastics championships, no host city has shown the level of community business support that Hartford companies have bestowed on the Visa Championships, an event held at downtown's premier facilities. Click here for the article.
  • Connecticut's Cash Crunch: Will Towns And Cities Take The Hit? — When Jim Finley reviews Connecticut's fiscal projections for the next two years, his conclusion is brief but not reassuring: "This is a public-policy time bomb." Finley, executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, worries about huge state deficits projected for the next two years. Click here for the article.
  • Empty-Store Space In Hartford Area Equals Four Huge Malls — In just 26 towns and cities in Greater Hartford, there is enough empty store and restaurant space to fill more than four malls the size of Buckland Hills in Manchester. Click here for the article.

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Arts and Culture

  • Kickstarter Helps Local Arts Promoters Get Their Projects off the Ground — Kickstarter.com. is one of the biggest (virtual) social networks devoted to arts fundraising. Kickstarter allows artists an outlet to promote themselves and solicit donations in tasteful, unobtrusive ways. Click here for the article.
  • Hartford Arts Hurt By Loss Of Curators — Like canaries in a coal mine, three of the Hartford region's four curators of contemporary art have suddenly disappeared. This should alarm both artists and civic leaders. Click here for the article.
  • Artists Open Their Homes, Will Display Their art at Jane's Walk in Hartford, Saturday, October 9 — As part of Jane's Walk, a walking conversation concerning urban neighborhoods around the world, a variety of artists and writers in the West End of Hartford recently held open houses for the public. Click here for the article.
  • Artists Collaborate On Interfaith Project At Hartford Cultural Center — A giant plywood cube sits among the flowers and shrubs in front of the Charter Oak Cultural Center. A group of artists have transformed the box into a symbol of interfaith love and a catalyst for discussion. Click here for the article.


  • Roundabouts: Stuck At Red Light In Hartford — For about a decade, there has been a small but vocal constituency in Hartford advocating the replacement of signalized intersections with modern roundabouts — or at least to try a pilot project at one intersection. Click here for the article.
  • Busway Key Transit, Economic Link — Some of the region's largest corporate, educational and hospital employers are investing millions of dollars to improve and expand their operations in Hartford and New Britain. We must take advantage of these major investments by moving forward with two long-standing transit projects, the Hartford-New Britain busway and the Springfield-Hartford-New Haven rail initiative. Click here for the article.
  • City Considering Parking Incentives — Hoping to bring in more revenue for the city and increase traffic for downtown businesses, the Hartford Parking Authority has floated three ideas designed to give its customers a break and attract new patrons. Click here for the article.

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Hartford History

  • The Back Story Tour Of Bushnell Park's Statues —Approved by the city in 1854, Hartford's Bushnell Park became the nation's first publicly funded park. No doubt you've used the park often, especially the area that holds the carousel and the Pump House Gallery. Perhaps you've wondered about the story behind some of the Bushnell's monuments. Click here for the article.
  • Women Behaving Radically: Recalling Historic Battle For Rights — August 26 is Women's Equality Day, the anniversary of the passage in 1920 of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. As we mark the 90th anniversary of women's suffrage, it is useful to look backward to acknowledge the pioneers of suffrage and forward to see how far we have come. Click here for the article.
  • Grand Vision For Hartford's Northwest School — The old Northwest School on Albany Avenue, the vacant, crumbling building in the city's North End has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A small group of organizers hope to raise $3 million to restore and transform the building into the John E. Rogers African American Cultural Center, a showcase for what they say is one of the largest privately owned collections of African American historical artifacts. Click here for the article.

Notable Transitions

  • Real Art Ways Marks 35 Years and Counting — When it began in a second-floor walkup in 1975, Real Art Ways was an alternative artists' space, a loft for work and exhibitions and just as often experimental music. Scores of similar artists' collectives may have opened that year across the country in the era of homegrown art and counterculture creativity. But 35 years later Real Art Ways remains a vibrant part of Greater Hartford's cultural offerings. Click here for the article.
  • Kee Borges Returns To City Government —Saundra Kee Borges wasn't looking to return to city government. The former city manager bowed out of the municipal workforce in early 2002 during a tumultuous time in the city's history. The city manager's post would soon be eliminated and Kee Borges found herself heading for the door. Click here for the article.
  • Hartford Conservatory's End: A Sad Note — After 120 years, The Hartford Conservatory is bringing down the curtain. The closing was probably inevitable, despite heroic and imaginative efforts to stay in business. Yet, it is sad. Click here for the article.

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Other Major Developments

  • Who Gives Two Cents? — There are many ways to look at economic disparities. One way is to examine how Hartford compares to other areas of Connecticut. Click here for the article.
  • Keep Hartford's Skateboard Heaven Real — For years, New Ross County Wexford Park over I-84, also known as "Heaven" by skateboarders, has been arguably the best known and most popular skateboard spot in Hartford. City leaders now plan to make it an official skateboard park. They have to do it right. Click here for the article.
  • St. Francis Reinventing Itself — St. Francis Hospital is aiming to completely transform itself, with an emphasis on expanded emergency services, a suburban strategy that embraces preventative medicine and a medical home model, cost containment and more comprehensive care for the patient. Click here for the article.
  • Connecticut's Drug War is a Bust — Politicians, academics and former police press for a more candid discussion about the costs of criminalizing drugs. The cost associated with the enforcement of current drug laws may not justify the resources expended. Click here for the article.
  • Food Stamps Need Skyrockets In Connecticut — Data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that the Great Recession has pushed tens of thousands of Connecticut families and individuals to rely on food stamp assistance. By 2009, 107,127 Connecticut households used food stamps — a 44 percent increase from just two years earlier. Click here for the article.
  • Feeding Many People On A Shoestring — Home cooks, especially if they are cooking for a family, often follow a game plan for mealtime. If only the planning could be as easy in shelter kitchens, where every penny and every morsel of food is precious. Bound by strict budget and dependent on donations, both monetary and actual food, shelter chefs often can't plan meals too far ahead. Click here for the article.

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