Mayor Pedro Segarra, the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association and Friends of Sigourney Square Park will host a grand re-opening of Sigourney Square Park on Saturday.
The event will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony, face painting and performances from neighborhood children.
Renovations on the park, which include a new playground, basketball court surface and additional benches, began in 2011.
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park (located at the intersection of Sigourney and Sergeant streets).
See the press advisory below:
After reviewing records for several city employee purchasing cards and making recommendations for changes, Hartford’s internal audit commission said late last month that it also would look into purchases made by school, library and parking authority employees.
On Friday, it released the results of the Hartford Parking Authority city credit card review. In a two-page document, Deputy Chief Auditor Craig Trujillo said the commission reviewed 25 purchases (about half of the overall transactions made so far this fiscal year) totaling $8,489. It found no problems with the purchases made, he said.
“We examined evidential matter supporting p-card transactions and compliance to spending policies and procedures,” Trujillo wrote. “We are pleased to report that the results of our examination disclosed no issues that warrant disclosure or management’s attention.”
No word yet on the results of the school or library employees’ p-card reviews.
To read Trujillo’s report, click here: FinalReport1318-HartfordParkingAuthorityPCardAudit
The city’s finance director said in a city memo today that the registrar of voters’ office is over-budget and can’t spend any more money — even for payroll — this fiscal year.
Julio Molleda wrote that the registrars “are no longer authorized to expend or commit to expend city funds for any purpose.” He also noted that: “A violation of this restriction on the spending of the Office of the Registrar could subject [the registrars] to removal from office upon the filing of charges and hearing before the city council.”
In March, the office was running $152,000 over budget, and was seeking additional city money to help offset the overrun.
We’ve reached out to the city for comment, but haven’t heard back.
5 p.m. update: Read our complete story here.
Molleda’s letter to registrars: Julio Molleda letter
Need something to do this Sunday? The downtown Hartford Block Party and Flea Market will be held from noon to 8 p.m. on Pratt Street to raise money for the League of Xtraordinary Youth (LXY) Community Center of Health, Music, Art and Dance.
Admission to the block party and market is free for the community, although there’s a $50 registration fee for vendors. The event will include performers, food, body painting and vendor booths, according to organizers.
Pratt Street will be closed to traffic. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Businesses on Pratt and Trumbull streets downtown may soon have new neighbors, as the city pushes ahead with its iConnect program.
In April, four businesses were chosen to occupy vacant downtown storefronts as part of the initiative, which establishes them for an eight-month trial period in hopes that they will be successful enough to remain open permanently. From more than 40 applicants, the city chose Hartford Prints, a family-run paper goods store and studio currently in the city’s Parkville neighborhood; National Exhibitions and Archives, a pop-up museum and print-on-demand gallery, which will host traveling exhibitions; Farm Shop, an urban farm hub that will sell organic food and supplies, such as plants, seeds and organic soil, as well as host workshops on cooking; and Natural Dogs and Cats, a pet store selling dog and cat food.
On Tuesday, Kristina Newman-Scott, Hartford’s director of marketing, events and cultural affairs, told me that the city has identified locations for the businesses: Hartford Prints will occupy 42 1/2 Pratt St.; Farm Shop will be located at 80 Pratt St.; Naturally Dogs and Cats will occupy 100 Trumbull St.; and National Exhibitions will be between 100 and 200 Trumbull St. The city is still working to finalize those locations, she said.
In addition, WNPR will occupy a remote space on Trumbull Street (which the city hasn’t yet identified), where it will sometimes broadcast “Where We Live” and “The Colin McEnroe Show,” Newman-Scott said. It will share the location with Deft Collective, a co-work space designed to attract entrepreneurs and people from the business community who could benefit from a group setting.
iConnect is partly funded by a $100,000 grant from a state program working to draw more people into cities and towns through arts and cultural activities. The city is contributing $65,000 toward the effort as part of its federal grant matching program.
It was an idea made for Cityline: At Hartford Public High School’s Nursing Academy, six ninth-grade teachers planned to reward students’ good behavior with a ceremony today in which they would eat cicadas.
Yes, these little creatures:
Teachers planned to eat them as a gross-out reward for freshmen who earned 600 points in the school’s new Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program to improve discipline and school climate. (I wrote about Bulkeley High’s PBIS program in March.)
The Nursing Academy’s program was designed for the core 9th grade classes, such as English, Algebra I, physical science and geography, math teacher Adrian Panaitisor explained. Planning began in February.
Starting in mid-April, students who followed simple guidelines — “Be respectful” and “Be productive” — earned PBIS points from teachers Christian Arsenault and Lindsey Thompson, who initiated the program, and Christine Holley, Mark Favale, Leonardo Watson, Leanne Drapeau, and Elizabeth Slot, Panaitisor said. The expectations included getting students to say “please” and “thank you.”
Teachers tracked the points through May 31.
“We had 13 students earn the 600 points (and an additional 14 students with 500 points),” Panaitisor wrote in an email today. Students could essentially cash in their points in exchange for school supplies.
Or they could save them up for the highest reward: Watching the cicada-eating ceremony.
Sadly, for the spectators — but happily, for the cicadas — that plan fell through. A teacher was unable to round up the critters, Panaitisor said.
Those well-behaved students can now choose among a range of school supplies as their prize. And the cicadas get to live another day.
It’s that time of year in Hartford when more than a dozen city high schools will be holding their graduations in a two-week span. Good thing our Courant summer interns have arrived!
Opportunity High School graduated 45 students last night. The adult education ceremony also was held Thursday, and tonight, it will be Capital Prep sending off its seniors in the school gymnasium.
Twelve graduations are scheduled for next week.
In addition, the Hartford Parent University we wrote about last fall gave certificates and $200 stipends Wednesday to 25 parents who completed the required 10 classes on how to advocate for their children. The parent-led program, founded by Executive Director Milly Arciniegas, began last November.
Wednesday’s ceremony was held at Capital Community College and featured guests such as state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, Hartford Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, Achieve Hartford’s Paul Holzer and CT Parent Power’s Marilyn Calderon. (Here’s a video clip of Holzer’s remarks. Achieve Hartford also wrote about the event in this newsletter.)
Congratulations to the parent leaders and all of Hartford’s graduates.
Under the agreement, the state would pay the city $23 million for the underused garage. The extra parking space is needed for state workers who will eventually move into the nearby Connecticut River Plaza, the state’s budget director has said.
Some council members on Friday expressed concern over forfeiting long-term revenue to get a quick payoff now, but the panel ultimately approved the proposal.
The deal requires the state to pay the city $3.2 million over four years to obtain a 99-year lease for the land under the garage and rights to future development above the eight-level structure. The $23 million would pay off the debt on the property tied to initial construction and subsequent improvements.
The state would honor existing monthly parking agreements and keep the garage available to the public as much as possible, state officials said.
The 2,290-space garage was opened in 2002 and had a 90-percent, monthly occupancy when UnitedHealthcare was the anchor tenant at Connecticut River Plaza. When the health insurer moved to CityPlace in 2010, the monthly occupancy was cut nearly in half.
The garage now has a monthly occupancy of 53 percent, up from 47 percent a year ago. It has brought in the least revenue of the Hartford Parking Authority’s three facilities, which include the Church Street and MAT garages.
This year, the Morgan Street garage was expected to bring in $979,900 and cost $617,560 in upkeep and other expenses, leaving a profit of $362,340, according to a review of city documents. By contrast, the MAT garage is expected to bring in about $2.1 million and cost close to $900,000, leaving a profit of $1.2 million.
Movies After Dark, a series of films screened for free at Hartford’s eight parks during the summer, will start June 14.
Each Friday night through Sept. 6 a different movie will be shown in one of Hartford’s parks, including Bushnell, Riverside, Pope, Keney, Goodwin, Elizabeth, Colt and the Old State House lawn. The films begin at sundown (times vary per date).
The event will open with “Back To The Future” on June 14 at Bushnell Park. Sunset is expected to be at 8:27 p.m.
Family-friendly activities will be available prior to showtime (beginning at 7 p.m.). Some of the parks have food vendors, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnic dinners.
Rain dates for June 14, 21, July 26 and Sept. 6 will be the following nights (Saturdays).
For a complete list of movie times and locations, visit http://www.hartford.gov/events/864-hartford-parks-free-movies-after-dark-2013 or see below.
From the city’s website:
The Courant’s Mike Anthony is reporting that the Greater Hartford Pro-Am Summer Basketball League, which has brought NBA players and college stars with area ties to dazzle spectators in city high school gyms, is leaving for Waterbury.
More from Anthony:
Pro-Am co-founder and CEO Peter Higgins said Tuesday the annual six-week basketball league will be held this year at Crosby High School in Waterbury.
Rising costs and complications at running the event in Hartford are the main reason, Higgins said. With former NBA player and Waterbury native Ryan Gomes, and longtime AAU coach Wayne Simone, helping facilitate discussions with the city and Crosby, Higgins said he would save about $20,000 in the cost of facilities.
“The bottom line is there are better facilities outside of Hartford,” Higgins said.
These Pro-Am games have been packed with people, so it’ll be a tough loss for Hartford. Read the full story here.
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