Jobs and the Economy

Oct 17, 2011
Chion Wolf

America is looking for ways to create jobs and avoid a prolonged recession. Europe is looking for ways to solve their own economic crisis.

But how do problems there affect your wallet here - and the other way around?  And what are the best ways to deal with our economic troubles?

Flickr Creative Commons, david_shankbone

Are we all entitled to a few blind spots? If so, one of mine is newspapers. I keep thinking somebody is going to find ways to improve them and make them thrive, even as the evidence of my own eyes suggests the opposite.

Today on The Nose, one of our panelists is Susan Campbell from the Hartford Courant. A few weeks ago, she shuttered her blog on the newspaper's web site. And this week, her colleague Helen Ubinas announced that she's leaving.

Christina Kishimoto

Oct 14, 2011
Chion Wolf

Hartford Public Schools have been the subject of books, documentaries and national news stories...and not always cast in the most positive light.

Hartford’s has long had status as one of the poorest cities in the country - and with that has come trouble in its education system: A state takeover, an attempt at privatization, a civil-rights lawsuit, and a series of “reformers” who left the city too quick to make any real changes.

Deb Heinrich

Oct 13, 2011
creative commons

Our recent conversation with Robert Egger, the social enterprise pioneer, got us thinking more about the role of non-profits in the state.  In fact, he thinks Connecticut has a leg up in the way it thinks about the non-profit sector, having appointed Deb Heinrich, a former state lawmaker, to the job as “liason” earlier this year.  We sat down earlier this week with Heinrich to talk about “social enterprise” and the scope of her work for Governor Malloy.

Photo: City of Hartford

In Hartford, city officials have been wrestling with a possible ethical issue for months.  The question was whether the city treasurer should be allowed to supervise his wife.  Now, as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, city officials say an agreement is near.

What the Fribble?!

Oct 12, 2011
Robert Banh

Today’s guest says when it comes to restaurants only three things matter: food, service and ambiance.

He says if restaurants don’t reinvent themselves every ten years or so, they’re doomed.

So goes our beloved Friendly’s, which hasn’t changed it’s decor in.... uh 50 years?! And the service and food were nothing to scream about.

Flickr Creative Commons, gareth1953

The Cricket Hall of Fame inducted six new members last weekend. We talk with the center's director about the organization's mission, cricket in Connecticut and why they chose to set up their home base in Hartford.

Come to think of it, does cricket even have a home base?

Leave your comments below, e-mail or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

Flickr Creative Commons, andylepp

The English jurist William Blackstone said "Better that ten guilty men go free than that one innocent suffer."

In recent years, I've seen Blackstone's ratio, when it's cited, shrink down to four to one, as if there's been some kind of deflation of the presumption of innocence. I also wonder how it would fare as a poll question. It's an older idea than Blackstone's 18th century. It's as old as Genesis, as old as Maimonides, but there seem to be plenty of people eager to convict the guilty and not commensurately worried about the innocent.

Chion Wolf

Ted Carroll is celebrating his 25th year as president of Leadership Greater Hartford, one of the largest community-based leadership organizations in the country. The organization honors him for his service at their annual Polaris Awards September 27.

Because we’re based in Hartford - we care about our community. But we often find ourselves talking about what’s broken...not what’s working. Carroll has been working as a leader and a mentor for decades...and he’s spread his message about mentorship around the world.

Flickr Creative Commons, 104Muttons

What are we watching when we watch (and cheer about) a college game?

Historian Taylor Branch disputes the notion that we are watching a logical, natural outgrowth of the college's academic identity. If you're a student, are those your fellow students playing football? If you're an alumnus, are those people on the basketball court extensions of what you used to be?

Chion Wolf

Economists worry about a “double-dip” recession as the state and federal governments try to create jobs.  

We’re live today at the Connecticut Science Center for one of our quarterly Small Business Breakfasts.  It’s done in conjunction with our Small Business Project, where we look at how entrepreneurs are faring in this economy.

jglazer75, Wikipedia.

The recent MetroHartford Alliance roll-out of new logos and ad campaigns irritated a lot of people, including me, because the whole thing seemed so disconnected from the Hartford I know.

It was the work of a Canadian marketing company which seemed to know about as much about Hartford as I know about Toronto. They said they had talked to a lot of key stakeholders, but they didn't seem to have talked to anybody I think of when I think about the bees who make Hartford buzz.

Chion Wolf

Yesterday, I asked the outside world to submit questions for Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Facebook and via email. The response reminded me of why I wouldn't want his job.
A lot of people are really mad at him for raising taxes.
A lot of other people are really mad at him for cutting spending.
A lot of other people are really mad at him for extracting concessions from state workers.
A lot of other people are mad at him because the concessions are nowhere near meaty enough to address the state's deficit problems.

Flickr Creative Commons, Rhys Asplundh

So. Bought your generator yet? During the long power outage, everybody, it seemed, became a preparedness expert, if not an out and out survivalist. But it's a mentality you might find hard to hold on to. You have to buy food you're NOT going to eat right away.

Chion Wolf

Principal Steve Perry has been hailed for his “tough love and high expectations” at Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford.

He’s had success in keeping kids in school in a city that’s struggled with dropout rates for decades. He preaches strict discipline and no excuses. He greets kids every morning at a school right downtown - in a famous former department store. The students wear uniforms - and he says all of them go to college.

Mike Licht, Flickr Creative Commons

One pitfall a leader must avoid involves becoming a Charlie Brown or David Copperfield character. A person to whom things happen as opposed to a person who makes things befall others. 

Flickr Creative Commons, Bert Kaufmann

There are two Connecticuts right now. One has power and one doesn't. Actually, there might be even more Connecticuts than that, because within the group that has no power there are factions believing that other people are more likely to get their power back first because of socioeconomic status.

Flickr Creative Commons, elbragon

In Petersberg KY, there's a Creation Museum where the exhibits at the museum teach that the Earth is 6,000 years old and was created in six 24-hour days. The founders say more than a million people have visited — 80 percent of which are from out of state. It's such a good economic development tool that the governor of Kentucky is supporting financial aid to a companion museum about Noah's Ark, with an ark built to biblical scale, to show people that the whole concept really could have worked. 

After Irene

Aug 29, 2011
Chion Wolf

Depending on where you live, this storm was either all hype - or a major disaster.

If you had power yesterday, and no trees came down in your backyard, you might have thought - “what’s all the fuss?”  

Flickr Creative Commons, NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Last night, I saw "Wicked" at the Bushnell and was reminded of all the little subversive political jabs in a musical that has otherwise succeeded in cornering the attention of 12 year old girls.

The Independent Voter

Aug 22, 2011
Chion Wolf

A Pew survey from earlier this year shows that a growing number of Americans are choosing not to identify with either party.

These so-called “independent” voters are thought to be key to the President’s re-election, and control of congress.  

But in another Pew poll conducted in late July, only about a third of independent voters said they wanted President Obama to be reelected. And for the first time, a majority of independents disapproved of the job he’s doing.

Flickr Creative Commons, BotheredByBees

If I told you last week that in response to political protest, a government shut down cell phone service, you would have thought I meant maybe Syria. 

Rebranding The "Rising Star"

Aug 17, 2011

For a decade now, Hartford has been “New England’s Rising Star.” It never really caught on, did it?

That “branding” campaign was pretty widely ridiculed from the moment it was first unveiled. Why? Because people who know the city...who know its story...don’t really believe in what that slogan says.

It IS however, a city with an amazing history...linked with innovation and risk...and its a place just struggling enough that someone with imagination, creativity and daring might make it big.


This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, and the state of Connecticut is paying tribute.

Earlier this year, we talked a bit about Connecticut’s civil war history - and got a big response.  Including from our friend, author and historian Bill Hosley.  

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Income tax increases are being felt in some paychecks while tax breaks are going out to some big companies.

Those tax increases are being felt mostly by Connecticut’s wealthiest residents...and are showing up in paychecks now.  It’s an issue of “fairness” according to some - but another look at the numbers shows the state’s revenue stream is more “volatile” because of a dependence on the rich.

Flickr Creative Commons, phogel

No matter what you think of trucks and truckers, trying going a day without anything that made at least part of its way to you on a truck. It would be a quiet day, I think. 

Photo by Mark Walz (Flickr)

The Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival gets underway in East Hartford and runs through the weekend. Some of the best Bluegrass acts in the country will perform this weekend. What started 16 years ago as a small get together of local bluegrass musicians and fans has become one of the biggest Bluegrass festivals in the US.

Joining us by phone is C. Roger Moss, director of East Hartford's department of parks and recreation which organizes the event

West End, Park-Like Setting, Needs Work

Aug 1, 2011
State of Connecticut

As tempers flare over the contentious vote and revote on a labor concession deal, one of the questions that occasionally pops up on comment boards is this: Is the Malloy Administration really spending money to redecorate the governor's mansion as it is demanding labor givebacks?

Courtesy Cundari Group

Today on the Nose, we talked about the controversial $200,000 marketing report released earlier this week.