Five million dollars in state funding has been awarded to more than 20 organizations that will promote start-up businesses in Connecticut through the state's entrepreneurial ecosystem. CT Next was launched a year ago to try to create a climate that would support entrepreneurs and foster successful startup businesses. But the first year got off to a slow start, and there was disagreement about who should take the lead in developing the ecosystem.
Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:51 pm
Officials in Springfield, Massachusetts are looking to create an entirely digital public library
The director of the Springfield City Library is pursuing funding to use a recently closed branch library as a place where people could sit at computer terminals to access the internet and take out hand-held electronic reading devices on-loan loaded with downloaded books--but visitors would not find any paper copies of books.
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:22 am
For years, Newark, N.J., had the reputation of being a crime-ridden, low-income city. Former Mayor Cory Booker helped change that perception.
Thursday, the Democrat was sworn in as a U.S. senator, and it's unclear what that means for the city's future.
While Booker brought attention — and funding — to Newark, he couldn't completely tackle the violence that has persisted for years. As mayoral candidates begin making their cases, crime is a common theme.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he is "going to ride this storm out."
Of course, he is referring to the scandal that has overtaken his term as mayor of Canada's largest city. As Mark reported, for months now, there have been reports that there is a video out there that allegedly shows Ford smoking crack cocaine.
A lone gunman walked into one of the nation's busiest airports Friday in Los Angeles and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing at least one transportation security officer and wounding another, police and TSA officials say.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 3:57 pm
In the two years since a tornado tore through Springfield, Massachusetts a volunteer effort has spearheaded the planting of thousands of new trees. The work is being done as the U.S. Forest Service conducts a study on the environmental impacts from the loss of the urban tree canopy.
More than 4,400 new trees have been planted in Springfield in the last two years in an effort to restore, largely for later generations, the shade trees that lined streets and filled public parks prior to the June 1, 2011 tornado.
Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:27 pm
Voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly approved legalizing medical marijuana in 2012. But many local communities are putting temporary bans in place as the deadline for final applications for state licensed marijuana treatment centers approaches.
About a third of the state’s 351 cities and towns have put in place moratoriums on medical marijuana treatment centers, according to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. Springfield is the largest city in the state to adopt a moratorium. It was approved by the city council Monday night.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am
It is still as dark as night as Jim Rix steps out of his red brick Chicago bungalow and gets into his car, parked on the street. It's 6 a.m., and the 53-year-old engineer is getting an early start on his 35-mile commute out to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago's southwest suburbs.
"Depending upon weather and time of day, it can take 45 minutes to two hours to get to and from work," Rix says.
A connection between violence and nightclub districts in New Haven has Mayor John DeStefano concerned. He wants to tighten some restrictions on nightclubs after a weekend homicide, and Governor Dannel Malloy is backing him up. Also, The Wheelhouse Digest wants to know from you: do you think we can work our way through local problems in our towns and cities without knowing personally the right person to do the job? Do we sometimes hide behind bureaucracy, or can it be a good shield? That and more below.
State and local lawmakers are calling for changes to how nightclubs operate after this weekend's deadly shooting a club in New Haven. On Saturday, Mayor John DeStefano proposed fees for nightclubs in districts where a heavy police presence is required, police licensing and training of private security, and changes to authorization and review of club and alcohol licenses.
Governor Dannel Malloy made a recent fundraising trip to California on the state Democrats' dime, and now questions are being asked about whether he approached an executive who works for a company that does work for the University of Connecticut. More on that below, and discussion of why Michael Skakel will get a new trial, in The Wheelhouse Digest.
We hit the road and took The Wheelhouse to New Haven. We’re joined by local reporters and news watchers to weigh in on this week's news, including analysis of the latest New Haven mayoral debate, the conviction of two East Haven police officers, sexual assault complaints at UConn, and the question: could New Haven make some of their roads run in both directions?
It's a day for discussing where certain things fall on the range of just-a-bad-idea to downright criminal. The verdict is out in the East Haven trial of two police officers, Dennis Spaulding and David Cari, who were both found guilty of violating the civil rights of Latinos. Residents there appear divided in their response. In other news, seven women have filed a federal discrimination complaint against UConn, and Hartford's City Council wants a formal state investigation into Hybrid Insurance Group. More below in The Wheelhouse Digest.
The new federal health care exchange at healthcare.gov has received criticism for not working smoothly over the first few weeks of its introduction, with one analyst calling the glitches a "fiasco." Here in Connecticut, Access Health CT has received high marks from HealthPocket, an independent firm that examines plans and their performance across the country. That and more in The Wheelhouse Digest.
The Partnership for Strong Communities wants to know if you can find an affordable apartment in expensive Connecticut. Their new video game, Rent Roulette, allows you to role play. "Maybe you'll land a job that allows you to live where you want," they say. "But maybe, you’ll be like so many in our expensive state, and have to settle for something less." The game was designed by Ed Hogan of Manchester Community College, and includes real-time housing and labor data for Connecticut.
Think you can find an affordable apartment in expensive Connecticut? Play our new video game, Rent Roulette, and see. Maybe you'll land a job that allows you to live where you want. But maybe, you'll be like so many in our expensive state, and have to settle for something less.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said his administration has been discussing a reduction in the city's car fleet since last year, before two illegal incidents involving city employees and city-owned cars. During a panel discussion on Where We Live in downtown Hartford, Segarra framed the discussion largely as a fiscal one.
We took our weekly political roundtable, The Wheelhouse on the road! We broadcast from a vacant storefront on Trumbull Street in downtown Hartford as part of the city’s iConnect project. The conversation started off with Mayor Pedro Segarra and reporters from the Hartford Courant and Hartford Business Journal joined in with their own questions for the mayor.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:19 pm
The death of a long-time, part-time professor in Pittsburgh is gathering the attention of instructors nationwide. The trend of relying on part-time faculty has been in the works for decades, and Margaret Mary Vojtko's story is seen by some as a tragic byproduct.
Last spring, months before her death, Vojtko showed up at a meeting between adjunct professors at Duquesne University and the union officials who had been trying to organize them. The professors are trying to organize a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 3:25 pm
On Saturday night, the emergency room staff knows all too well what's coming — people showing up with a broken jaw, a knife wound or a bashed-in face, often after too many hours in a pub. Doctors at the emergency department in Cardiff, Wales, realized that many of the people who were injured in fights never reported it to the police. That realization led to a simple program that has radically reduced the toll of violence.
In the spring, the city of Hartford launched the iConnect program, meant to fill vacant storefronts with new businesses. It's an idea that's been tried - with some success - in cities like New Haven, but Hartford's "Pop-up Storefront" has taken months longer than expected.
Customers who had money in The Community's Bank in Bridgeport should receive their insured deposits back this week after the bank failed and was put into receivership. It's the first bank failure in Connecticut in more than a decade.
These were the words uttered by painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was deeply shaken after he heard the story of a black graffiti artist who was beaten to death by New York City police. Seeing his own life reflected in the death of a fellow artist, Basquiat went on to create Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart),not only to commemorate the young man's death, but also to challenge the state-sanctioned brutality that men of color could face for pursuing their art in public spaces.