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November 2012

Hartford Votes ~ Hartford Vota Coalition held a State Representative Candidates Forum on October 15, 2012. Seated from left: Douglas McCrory (District 7, incumbent), Rico Dence (District 4, challenger), Paul Panos (District 5, challenger), Brandon McGee (partially blocked, District 5, challenger), Angel Arce (District 4, challenger), Matthew Ritter (District 1, incumbent). standing, from left: Edwin Vargas (District 6, challenger), Michael Lupo (District 6, challenger), Tom Condon, (moderator).
New Reports!

Check out a new report on helping youth finish high school.

New Articles!

Read about the new Capital Region Development Authority.

New Videos!
Watch a video of the forum on Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Schools.

This newsletter provides periodic updates about 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.

HartfordInfo.org, a program of the Hartford Public Library, is a gateway to information and data on issues important to those who live and work in Hartford and the region.
New Data, Maps, and Video
  • Updated Neighborhood Profile Pages — All the general profile pages of Hartford Neighborhoods have been updated to include Census 2010 and American Community Survey data. The neighborhood general profile pages can be reached by clicking on the map of Hartford in the top center of www.HartfordInfo.org.
  • Updated Vital Statistics Data by Neighborhood — Data on births to mothers and births to teen mothers by neighborhood has been added to the website. Click here.
  • Connecticut Mirror Education Forum on the Achievement Gap A video of the forum held on October 22, 2012 is now available. Click here.
  • Hartford State Senators and Representative Candidate Forum Video — A video of the Candidate Forum held on October 15, 2012 is now available. Click here.
  • Hartford State Representatives Primary Candidate Forum Video A video of the Hartford State Representatives Primary Candidate Forum held on July 31, 2012 is available. Click here.
  • Hartford Registrars of Voters Primary Candidate Forum A video of the Hartford Registrars of Voters Primary Candidate Forum held on July 18, 2012 is available. Click here.
New Reports
  • Health Insurance In Connecticut - Summary Of 2011 U.S. Census Current Population Survey Data — The uninsured rate in Connecticut has held relatively steady over recent years, despite high unemployment and a struggling economy.  Census data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) reveal that an estimated 8.6% of all Connecticut residents in 2011 were without health insurance for the entire previous year. Click here for the report.
  • We Did Not Know How Bad It Was: Connecticut’s Great Recession: A Steeper Hill To Climb — Connecticut's Great Recession was more severe than we previously thought—and Connecticut was still contracting when the rest of the nation was beginning to recover. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revisions reveal that Connecticut has an even steeper hill to climb that we had thought. Click here for the report.
  • Hartford Community Court New and Updates - Summer 2012 — The Spring Newsletter from the Hartford Community Court includes a description of Community Service at the Circus Fire memorial, a Department of Labor Work Orientation program and more. Click here for the report.
  • Dental Services For Adults In The HUSKY Program: Utilizations Before And After Major Program Changes In 2008 — In 2008, Connecticut made significant changes in the HUSKY Program that were designed to improve access to dental care for children. Increased provider reimbursement, provider network expansion and enhanced customer services adopted for children also affected dental care for adults. Click here for the report.
  • The Credit Impacts On Low-Income Americans From Reporting Moderately Late Utility Payments — This report demonstrates that fully reporting utility payment data to nationwide credit bureaus presents few risks to low-income consumers because far more low-income consumers witness credit score increases than decreases with full utility credit reporting.  Click here for the report.
  • The State Of Working Connecticut 2012:   Employment, Jobs And Wages In The Wake Of The Great Recession — This report examines the economic consequences of the recession in Connecticut. Click here for the report.
  • Protecting Kids, Preventing Crime: Creating A Fair And Effective Juvenile Justice System — Connecticut has made great improvements in recent years in its treatment of young people who have committed crimes. Going forward, Connecticut needs to continue to invest in research-based, developmentally appropriate services that keep children and communities safe. Click here for the report.
  • Helping Over-Age, Under-Credited Youth Succeed — This report highlights the issues facing over-age, under-credited youth, as well as the policy measures that can improve outcomes for these young people. In Connecticut, it is estimated that between 30,000 and 40,000 young people fall into this particular category. Click here for the report.
  • Hartford Public Schools CMT and CAPT Performance Overview, District-Level Analysis, 2012 — This report is an overview of the district-level performance for students in the Hartford Public Schools on the CMT (Connecticut Mastery Test) and CAPT (Connecticut Academic Performance Test) in 2012. Click here for the report.
New Articles

Big Ideas

  • Hartford's Colt Complex At Crucial Turning Point — Travelers have sped through Hartford past the vacant windows of the decaying Colt firearms armory with little to distract them for nearly 20 years, but now there are signs of life. Click here for the article.
  • Knowing History Makes People Feel At Home Here — Despite a surge of initiatives from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the state's economy continues to suffer. So here’s another economic development idea — how about if we require the teaching of Connecticut history in our schools? Click here for the article.
  • iQuilt Relies On Private Funding, Initiative — Hartford's grand plan to transform itself into a walkable, destination city relies heavily on the participation of downtown property owners and their ability to come up with their own funding. Click here for the article.
  • CRDA Moving Quickly On Housing Mission — The newly minted Capital Region Development Authority has met just a few times, but is already off to a fast start in making some key decisions about the future of economic development for Greater Hartford. Click here for the article.

Good News

  • Exploring The Common Good Where City And Suburb Meet — If business owners and local residents can feel more comfortable along this busy artery between Hartford and West Hartford, more people will come to both parts of town. Suburban residents might start to realize that it's worth crossing Prospect Avenue and venturing into the city. Click here for the article.
  • At Charter School, It's Achievement First And Foremost — At the new Achievement First Hartford High School, the bar is high for the 62 ninth-graders who make up the inaugural group of students that entered the public charter high school in late August. One graduation requirement, with few exceptions, is acceptance into a four-year college or university. Click here for the article.

Downtown Development

  • It's OK For Hartford Not To Be San Antonio — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar didn't go to San Antonio to designate a river as America's first National Blueway, a new conservation and recreation program. He came to Hartford. The powerful Connecticut River, which drains over 11,250 square miles of New England's forests and mountains, has a personality that's very different from the laid-back San Antonio River. Click here for the article.
  • Coming Soon: Hartford's Front Street Movie Theater Headed To Early November Opening — It's nearly show time at the 4-screen movie theater now under construction at downtown Hartford's Front Street entertainment district. Spotlight Theaters, Inc. of Atlanta, which is planning an opening by early November, is making a $4 million bet that the combination of movies, restaurant and bar will provide all the ingredients for a complete evening out. Click here for the article.
  • Infinity Music Hall To Open Venue At Hartford’s Front Street — Norfolk-based Infinity Music Hall and Bistro is expected to open a 600-seat live music and restaurant venue at downtown Hartford’s Front Street in the fall of 2013, with the help of state funding. Click here for the article.

Arts and Culture

  • Life After Campo — What happens to a theater when it loses its founding director — especially when that person is such a singular and high-profile force for decades in the community? Hartford's TheaterWorks faced a series of quick and dramatic hurdles following the announcement in January 2012 that longtime artistic and executive director Steve Campo, 59, would be taking a medical leave. In June 2012, Campo resigned from the theater he created 27 years ago. Click here for the article.
  • Seen The New Charter Oak On Pearl Street? — There's a new mural in downtown Hartford, on the side of a building on Pearl Street. The old brick surface of the synagogue is faded, but, just wait until you see it wet. Adam Niklewicz's installation is a water-activated mural of Hartford's historic Charter Oak. The brick around the tree is weather-treated. The area of the tree drawing is not. When the wall gets wet, the bricks in the tree-drawing area become soaked and dark and the treated bricks do not, causing the image to appear sharply on the wall. Click here for the article.

Economic Development

  • Under The Radar Success — Nearly 30 years ago, the new owners of Severance Foods Inc. mixed corn flower and water, cooked it into a dough, fried it in vegetable oil and manufactured one of the first tortillas in Connecticut's capital city. Click here for the article.
  • New Capital Region Development Authority Chief: 'A Trench Guy' Who Will Need Broad Vision — Suzanne Hopgood, head of the new Capital Region Development Authority explains why Michael Freimuth was picked recently from 350 applicants to run the Authority. The authority's board needed a person ready to roll quickly, not just with broad experience in project management but with connections and the hands-on style to make it happen. Click here for the article.
  • CTfastrak Presents Development Opportunities — With buses soon rolling by every three minutes, New Britain is developing plans for its police station on Columbus Boulevard beyond law and order. After the police move into new digs downtown by Dec. 1, the city officials want a developer to create commercial, office or housing space in the former station, taking advantage of anticipated increased foot traffic. Click here for the article.

Notable Transistions

  • New Council Member Joel Cruz Is Veteran, Hartford Native — Joel Cruz, a veteran, was recently be sworn in as a Hartford City Council member. A member of the union-backed Working Families Party, Cruz was appointed to replace council member Luis Cotto. Cruz's top priority is making Hartford a good place to raise children. Click here for the article.
  • Syd Barnett: West Indian Activist, Neighborhood Champion — Syd Barnett was a mechanic, a musician and a businessman, but most of all he was a community activist who worked hard to improve his neighborhood. Barnett died on June 19, 2012 at age 96. He was living in Bloomfield. Click here for the article.

Other Major Developments

  • Twenty-five Million Dollar Plan To Add New Housing At Trinity — Trinity College and a New York-based development firm are planning a multi-million-dollar student housing project that would reshape the Hartford neighborhood surrounding the liberal arts college and provide the school a major boost in its efforts to attract students. Click here for the article.
  • Thousands Of Undocumented Immigrants In Connecticut Get A Chance To Gain Papers — The more than 9,300 other Connecticut "Dreamers" who are undocumented immigrants may be eligible for a new federal program that would protect them from deportation. Click here for the article.
  • On The Market: Hartford Building Was Part Of 1860s Streetscape — Downtown Hartford's skyline today is dominated by skyscrapers, including the state's tallest tower, CityPlace I. But it still is possible to get a sense of what the city looked like in the mid-19th century when buildings rarely rose above five stories. One such building is the brownstone faced and trimmed Italianate-style structure at 6 Central Row, now listed for sale. Click here for the article.

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, CT Mirror, Real Hartford, Urban Compass, and 40-Year Plan blogs, HartfordInfo.org offers selected articles as permanent additions to the website.
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Please contact Richard Frieder at 860-695-6365 or by email at rfrieder@hplct.org.