Hartford Region

Traditions
2:06 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

The Mad Dash to the Manchester Road Race

Credit Simon Thalmann/flickr creative commons

It’s a minute before the starting gun sounds, when that familiar P.A. announcer’s voice rings forth: “It’s Thanksgiving Day in Manchester, where else would you rather be?” That’s an easy one. If I had any smarts I’d be home in my sweats and bathrobe, prepping “Mr. Tom Butterball” and watching the pre-race antics on Fox-61. Instead, I’m packed into a wave of restive humanity, a scene right out of Times Square on New Year’s Eve; pressed-up against two girls dressed like Pilgrims and a rather large framed gentleman who’s testing the limits of “span” on his Spandex running suit. I applaud him. At least he’s out here!

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, Hartford's New Superintendent

Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez
Chion Wolf

Superintendent of the Hartford Public Schools has always been a challenging job. So challenging, in fact, that few in recent years held it for very long.

In the last two decades, the district went through various restructurings, flirtations with private education companies and state interventions, and was the subject of a landmark anti-discrimination lawsuit. The last two Superintendents - Stephen Adamowski and Kristina Kishimoto worked together to transform district schools - opening up a “choice” program and reorganizing around themed academies and magnet schools.

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New Britain
10:10 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Polish Stories Project: The Family Tree of Daria Savickas

Daria Savickas with a photo of her late mom, Mary Wesoly Zurek, who served as first lieutenant nurse in the U.S. Army during World War II.
Catie Talarski WNPR

Daria Savickas's great-grandfather came to the United States from Poland in 1875 as part of the largest wave of Polish immigration to this country at the turn of the century. He worked at a hotel in Chicago, and then at a factory in Buffalo, New York. "He was a forest ranger," Savickas said. "He liked being in the forest," so he eventually returned to his homeland.

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On Stage
9:54 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Two Actors Journey Through "Annapurna" at Hartford's Theaterworks

Vasili Bogazianos and Debra Jo Rupp in "Annapurna" at Theaterworks.
Theaterworks

After 20 years apart, a woman tracks down her ex-husband, a poet living in a grungy trailer in the Colorado mountains. Their raw, funny, heartbreaking reunion unfolds in a new play called "Annapurna" by Sharr White, currently running at Theaterworks in Hartford.

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Election 2014
8:35 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg Meet in Second Debate

Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg debated in Waterbury on Tuesday.
File Photo

Democrat Elizabeth Esty and her republican challenger, Mark Greenberg, touched on a wide array of issues during their second debate: the economy, transit, climate, and Social Security. That last topic has been a point of contention among the two candidates following a controversial television ad from the Esty campaign.

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New Britain
1:45 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Polish Stories Project: Meet CCSU Student Krzysztof Pawlikowski

Krzysztof Pawlikowski at CCSU's Polish Studies Program archive room in the school's library.
Catie Talarski WNPR

Krzysztof Pawlikowski lives in Middletown, Connecticut, but was born in Poland in 1989. His parents won the state department visa lottery, so they traveled from their home in Zakopane to the United States in 1995. 

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Spotlight on the Arts
1:36 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Mending a Country, and Taking a Stand, Through Art

Red Wall I.
Credit Christopher Gardner Photography

Packed inside a small travel bag and tucked away on a shelf in her cozy New Haven studio, artist Corina Alvarezdelugo keeps her precious scraps of fabric protected. Beyond valuable, these throwaways come in various textures, colors, and playful patterns, gathered long ago in her homeland of Venezuela. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Live From Watkinson: The Perils of Teaching and Learning

Credit naosuke ii / Flickr Creative Commons

If I had my way, we would do this whole show without the "E" word. That's "education." Somehow, the "E" word has come to symbolize, for me at least, debates about government policy, instead of teaching and learning. I wanted to talk about those other two things: teaching and learning. So I rounded up a public school teacher, a private school principal, a public school superintendent, and one of the nation's most outspoken commentators on teaching and teachers.

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Development
12:45 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Hartford City Council Approves Baseball Stadium Deal

The Hartford city council approved a deal to bring a minor league baseball stadium to Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

A majority of the Hartford city council approved a deal to bring a baseball stadium and related development to downtown Hartford.

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Baseball Development
10:30 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

In Voting to Redevelop a Part of Hartford, Is Three a Majority of Six?

Downtown North in Hartford, an area where city officials are planning to develop a baseball stadium with housing and amenities.
City of Hartford

Who's ready for a quiz?

As the Hartford City Council geared up to vote on the plan to build a baseball stadium and other development, the city's redevelopment agency was meeting across the hall. A few weeks back, this same agency -- under pressure from Mayor Pedro Segarra -- voted to give the city land it needs to build its $350 million project.

There are six members on the board and one vacancy. Only five votes were made. Of them, three voted in favor. So here's the question: What's a majority of the Hartford Redevelopment Agency? Depending on the answer, the agency may have to vote again.

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Hartford
5:46 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Unions Will Build Hartford Baseball Stadium, and Could Increase Its Cost

Mayor Pedro Segarra (r) and Rock Cats owner Josh Solomon (center) at a recent public hearing.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Hartford's city council will likely approve a deal to build a new minor league baseball stadium on Tuesday, and there’s one new change to the deal: union laborers will do the work. The developer has said that tweak could easily add ten percent to the stadium's cost. 

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Bloomfield
6:50 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Funeral Today For Connecticut Firefighter

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 8:39 am

The funeral for a Connecticut firefighter who died in the line of duty is expected to draw scores of firefighters from across the region.

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Soccer
5:59 am
Sat October 11, 2014

Landon Donovan Makes An Emotional, If Slightly Awkward Farewell

Donovan celebrates with fans after the match. He and teammates led a cheer of "I believe that we can win!"
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Sat October 11, 2014 9:14 am

He didn't want to play Friday, but in the end, U.S. soccer legend Landon Donovan was glad he did.

The setting was a farewell game to honor the retiring 32-year-old forward, a friendly game between the U.S. team and Ecuador. Donovan played only 40 minutes and didn't score — although he came close, when he bounced the ball off the goal post in the 25th minute — and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

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former hartford mayor
6:41 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Eddie Perez Case Continues at State Supreme Court

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez.
Chion Wolf WNPR

State prosecutors have filed a brief to the Connecticut's highest court, asking it to affirm a trial court's convictions of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. 

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Soccer
8:08 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Landon Donovan's Career With U.S. Men's National Team Ends in Connecticut

Landon Donovan speaks to reporters before his final match with the U.S. Men's National Team.
Tucker Ives WNPR

Update at 8:10pm.

As Landon Donovan admitted during a halftime interview, he did everything but score tonight. He had several chances but couldn't find the back of the net. He was taken out in the 41st minute, which was 11 minutes longer than he planned to play.

As expected, Donovan received a rowdy ovation from the mostly packed crowd. The second-half is now underway but there are still fans trickling through the gates.

The USA still leads 1-0 and now that the Landon era is over, they can start the march to the 2018 World Cup in earnest.

Update at 7:12pm.

A lot of fans missed the first goal of the match. Cars are still streaming into the Rentschler Field parking lot and Mix Diskerud already scored. 1-0, U.S. leads.

Update at 6:45pm.

Landon Donovan is one of two starting forwards in his last match with the U.S. Men's National Team. He only plans to play in the first 30 minutes to be rested enough to play with his professional team, the L.A. Galaxy on Sunday.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:03pm and is broadcast live on ESPN. Officials said fans can expect numerous tributes to Donovan before, during and after the match.

Original post below:

After being cut from the United States World Cup roster this summer, soccer star Landon Donovan will play one last match with the national team Friday night in East Hartford, Connecticut. He played for Team U.S.A. in three World Cups and is the program's all-time leading scorer with 57 goals and 58 assists in his career.

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Politics of Parking
4:40 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

State Cautions Hartford About Parking Operation for Stadium Development

iStock Thinkstock

The city of Hartford says it won't "control" the parking in its new $350 million baseball stadium development, but it wants to have "input" and make "recommendations" as to who will operate that parking. And that's gotten the attention of a state development official who has cautioned otherwise. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:44 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Deliberating Political Debates

Tonight's debate moderator, Colin McEnroe!
Chion Wolf WNPR

The notion of a political debate embedded in a campaign for office is a younger idea than you might think. It became codified as a result of a 1960 debate between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. Prior to that, debates were rare. Okay, now you're thinking about the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Those were really unusual for their day, and it's worth noting that in 1858, senators were elected by state legislators. So those debates - conducted before huge crowds - weren't really held for the same reasons that they're done today. The history of debates is really the history of television.

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Homelessness
8:41 am
Thu October 9, 2014

New Britain Seeks Emergency Shelter This Winter

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.
Credit stewartfornb.com

New Britain's mayor is looking for space to serve as an emergency homeless shelter this winter. 

The Herald of New Britain reports that Mayor Erin Stewart is asking that a local property owner step forward and donate a building. 

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Development
4:49 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Union Issues Complicate Hartford Stadium Negotiations

People gather at Hartford City Hall for a public hearing on a proposed minor league stadium.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Negotiations are continuing to close the deal that would bring a $350 million development -- and a minor league baseball stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats -- to Hartford. One sticking point is whether union labor will build the project. 

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Hartford Firefighters
10:02 am
Wed October 8, 2014

One Firefighter Dies, Three Injured in Hartford Blaze

Kevin Bell.
Credit Hartford Fire Department

A Connecticut firefighter has died and three others have been injured in a house fire in Hartford. 

The firefighter killed was Kevin Bell, 48. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Baseball
11:02 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

For Hartford's Proposed Stadium, Both Sides Say Future Is in the Balance

Residents, supporters, and opponents come to speak about the proposed baseball stadium development in Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Whether or not Hartford's city council decides to move ahead with a $350 million development project just north of its downtown is about a lot of things.  It's about entertainment and amenities and opportunity and jobs. It's also about the future, and everybody sees the future differently.

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Urban Development
10:22 am
Sat October 4, 2014

A Developer Talks About Bringing More Than Baseball to Hartford

Yves Joseph, left, and Bob Landino of Centerplan Development stand along what they want to turn into minor league baseball stadium's third base line. Behind them is downtown Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

People who have something to say about the baseball stadium proposal in Hartford have another chance to say it. There's another public hearing Monday night. WNPR recently toured the site with developers from Centerplan to talk about their $350 million vision for Hartford.

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Art Treasure
10:38 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Bearden Murals, Rescued From XL Center, Delivered to Hartford Public Library

Romare Bearden's mural, Untitled, is carefully delivered to Hartford Public Library on Friday morning.
Hartford Public Library

Two valuable Romare Bearden murals were delivered Friday to the Hartford Public Library after being salvaged from the nearby XL Center, which is undergoing a renovation.

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Bioscience Expansion
10:04 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Jackson Lab Readies for Farmington Debut

Construction workers putting finishing touches to Jackson Lab's Farmington premises
Harriet Jones WNPR

Jackson Laboratory is putting the finishing touches to its new facility in Farmington. The $100 million building opens for business next week, and the non-profit says there are already plans for further expansion. 

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East Windsor
1:10 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Ed Thrall and the Story of His Most Contentious Dance Hall

Chion Wolf

You might say that the two great loves of Edwin Thrall’s life were his wife, Flicka, and his daughter, Janett -- his only child, who he wanted to protect --  so he built his third great love, a square dance hall, a place where his wife could dance, and his daughter could be safe.

In a 1997 documentary, Ed Thrall said that he wanted a place to call square dancing. "I wanted a place for Janett to have her friends, and give them recreation that we thought was civilized, and moral, and helpful, and would last them as long as they lived."   

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Hartford City Hall
12:02 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Top Malloy Aide Considering a Run for Hartford Mayor

Luke Bronin testifying in 2011 on U.S. policy toward Syria.
C-SPAN

The next election for Hartford's mayor is over a year away, but competition for Mayor Pedro Segarra is already beginning to emerge -- and a top adviser to Governor Dannel Malloy is considering a run. 

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Disease
2:16 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

12 Cases of Enterovirus Confirmed in Connecticut

Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford.
C-HIT

The Connecticut Department of Health announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 12 cases of enterovirus D68 in the state. The most recent confirmation came from cases at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford. The virus causes breathing problems but nationally, there are some cases that have other troubling symptoms, as well.

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Zoning the Morning Star
5:38 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Developer Withdraws Request to Rezone "Satan's Kingdom"

A plan to turn a 60 acre plot in "Satan's Kingdom" into an industrial park hit a snag on Thursday, when the developer pulled the plug.
Wikimedia Commons

Allan Borghesi wanted to rezone about 60 acres in New Hartford and Canton from "residential" to "industrial" and, earlier this summer, it looked like the deal was a sure bet. New Hartford signed off on the proposal in June, but opposition in Canton grew in the interim -- organizing itself on Facebook and through petitions. Now, Borghesi has withdrawn his request.

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Moneyball
2:59 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Report: Hartford Stadium Project Could Give City "Considerable" Benefits

Urban Design Associates

A consultant for Hartford's city council says the baseball stadium development "has the potential to create a new neighborhood" with "considerable" benefits for the city.

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Metcalf on Music
8:58 am
Thu September 25, 2014

The New Season: Itzhak, Andris, and Others

Itzhak Perlman.
Akira Kinoshita

The new arts season is just now starting to unfold. I thought it might be useful if I looked out over the next couple of months and tried to point out some of the more notable musical events I see on the horizon. 

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