Sentences matter today at The Wheelhouse Digest. Tom Foley visited Where We Live to explain some accusatory words he levied against Governor Dannel Malloy in recent days. Hours later, Joshua Nassi, former aide to Chris Donovan, was sentenced to time in prison. If you're more of a list person, or maybe you're into puns and names, we've got you covered there too.
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.
Students and their teacher stand around one of five pallets that comprised the wind turbine/solar panel system that was ready to be shipped out by truck, plane, and helicopter to Saldang, Nepal. L to R: Akeem Brown, Derrick Cardona, Danilo Sena (UConn), Pravesh Mallik (Uconn), Jazzmin Mitchel, Orlando Nugent, Dave Mangus (teacher), Akwayne Wilson, Samuel King (seated).
A school in a remote village in Nepal is getting electricity, thanks to a group of Hartford High School students, the Associated Press reports. Fourteen students in the school's academy of Engineering and Green Technology designed and built a wind-powered turbine for a school in Saldang, which is in Nepal's Dolpa region, surrounded by the Himalayan mountains.
The school in Nepal has no power and is accessible only by yak. During the winter months when the region is covered with snow, it is not accessible at all.
Brazilian Independence Day will be observed with a big celebration this Sunday in downtown Hartford. This is the 9th annual Brazilian Day Connecticut celebration and for Ester Sanchez-Naek, the founder of Brazilian Day Connecticut, the mission is to promote Brazilian culture in the state. "They will have a little bit of Brazil here in Hartford," said Sanchez-Naek. "We are a unique people, and the Festival reflects that."
A Hartford church operates a food pantry for two hours a week, helping to feed the hungry.
But it does so in an expensive part of town, the city's West End, less than a half-mile from the house of Mayor Pedro Segarra and across the street from the beautiful Elizabeth Park. It has caused a bit of controversy, which has been quite well documented elsewhere. (There's this, too.)
On Wednesdays on Where We Live, we try to tackle as much of the news you need to know now as we possibly can. But it's a long, long week, don't ya know. So, the Wheelhouse Digest was created to let you see what we're looking at, talking about and shaking our heads over in the newsroom on those other days.
Let's get to it. It's Friday the 13th, and I'd like to crawl back under my desk and hide.
That's good news, according to report author Sarah Esty, but problems remain, such as schools that arrest kids for minor things, like using a cell phone, or missing class. CT Voices recommends state education officials and the legislature actually define "student arrest" to avoid circumstances that don't warrant hand-cuffing a kid.
After getting heckled at a disastrous performance in Hartford, comedian Dave Chappelle walked off stage, and later joked about “nuking” the city. But he also raised a lot of questions about race and racism in Hartford and Connecticut - a “liberal” state that in many ways considers itself “post-racial.”
We all heard the story. Dave Chappelle had a bad night in Hartford. He got heckled, he walked offstage. He later called the audience “evil”.... “an arena full of suburban torturers” and “young, white alcoholics” as he joked about North Korea dropping a bomb on the Capital City.
We may be a laugh line for Chappelle, but does Hartford deserve the bad press? The label as a place filled with racists?
The Hartford City Council is considering a plan to ban the use of nearly all take-home city vehicles. This comes after a weekend in which a city department supervisor got in an accident after driving drunk in her city-issued car.
The question of who should have a city car has been around for a while. But it got new attention after the former chief of staff to Mayor Pedro Segarra was arrested for using his city car after he resigned from his job.
University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst is defending raises that were recently awarded to two dozen top school administrators. The pay hikes, which range from $10,000 to more than $25,000, have raised eyebrows. They come at a time when the state is struggling to balance its budget.
Herbst said administrators’ salaries need to be competitive in a national labor market. "We have a study of what these different positions--deans, vice presidents--make around the country," she said on WNPR's Where We Live, "and I stay within that range to make sure our salaries are normative. But I will tell you that I will only hire great people."
In August, President Obama signed a bill preventing the doubling of interest rates on federal student loans for those entering college this year. Students borrowing the maximum amount this year will save about $4,600 in extra interest...but it’s a temporary fix.
Hartford's Comcast Theatre seemed like an odd venue for the Oddball Comedy Tour.
Well, the night ended oddly enough when David Chappelle walked off after a few minutes. Unfortunately for him, audiences now obsess with recording everything (see this NSFW Louis CK bit), and there is lots of crummy cell-phone footage circulating from the performance.
Compared to some of the other stories in the world right now, this isn't a big deal. But it got us talking about something other than the VMAs.
It's tough to know how many workers from Dunkin Donuts, Subway, McDonalds and other fast food outlets in Hartford walked off the job Thursday. But organizers of the one-day strike say they're happy the city has joined what's becoming a national movement.
Hartford's Downtown gained another dining option this week, and one that's been a long time coming. For the two institutions behind it, fresh food and good coffee are just the starters. WNPR's J Holt has more.
When the Downtown branch of the Hartford Public Library underwent a major renovation in the early two thousands, a three story tall, glass walled atrium space was built right up front, with the intention of it becoming a cafe.
Piper Kerman brought a suitcase of cash across international borders as the 20-year-old girlfriend of an international drug trafficker.
By the time she was 34, Piper outgrew her need for adventure, but not the crime that landed her in prison more than a decade later, despite that she was living a respectable life with a boyfriend, family, and artisanal soap business in New York City's West Village.
In Hartford, school district officials say test scores held firm and showed some healthy gains. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the way you talk about test scores can be just as important as the scores themselves. It wasn't the press release Matt Poland would have written. "I would have written it with both the good and the not-so-good sharing common billing."
With law school grads facing a tough job market, some entrepreneurial attorneys are trying out hybrid businesses. One Connecticut attorney has opened a shop that combines his passion for the law with his skill as a barber.
Donald Howard says he first got the hybrid-business idea working as a paralegal for a personal injury attorney who doubled as a sports agent. Then he saw the concept again on a reality television show.
"It was a guy in California who did Legal Grind, a coffee house and a law office."
The city of Hartford loses a few hundred trees each year. But now, in a partnership with a local non-profit, the city is poised to plant 1,000 new trees this fall. The goal is to plant 20,000 trees over the next ten years. It's an ambitious program that began last year with the first 1,000 trees planted. Now, the city wants to spend $425,000 to keep things going.
If you've ever gotten stuck in traffic in downtown Hartford, you'll like this story. The city is applying for a grant that will allow it to upgrade traffic signals in the central business district. The plan is to reduce congestion.
Last July, an American Legion Post in Jewett City renovated its building to provide permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless veterans. The project in Jewett City created fifteen apartments solely for veterans. It's rural communities like Jewett City where the VA has had a hard time connecting with veterans nationwide.
You might’ve noticed a slideshow at the Hartford Courant website comparing what used to be on various downtown street corners, and what’s there now. It shows some pretty stark contrasts. Multiple, narrow stone structures were demolished to make way for, in some cases, enormous buildings that take up half a city block... and in others, maybe no buildings at all.
But the hospital has apparently had a change of heart. Last month, St. Francis told the city that it would no longer fund the program. But Raul Pino, the city's health director, says the hospital has let him know it has reversed its course. "They have informed us that they are funding the program on a month-to-month basis." Pino says the hospital will also conduct an analysis of the program to see if it is running efficiently.
Earlier this week, The President and Co-founder of the Families and Work Institute came to Hartford to talk about the work she’s been doing in early childhood development. Hartford Community Schools was chosen as one of a handful of communities nationally to take part in her “Mind in the Making” initiative - meant to share life skills and give hands-on training for parents and educators. Today, we’ll talk with Ellen Galinsky.