Open memo to Kip Bergstrom, Oz Griebel, Pedro Segarra, et al.

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There’s this thing called the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

Lured here by Vince Valvo, who has since relocated, and maybe Larry Cohen, who has since died, they are having their annual conference in Hartford this June.

I was involved with this group more than 20 years ago but not anymore. But every week or so, I get an email from them about some unmet need or somebody giving them a hard time about something.

Let me explain this as clearly as I can.  These are newspaper columnists.  From all over the U.S.  Many of them will have to file while they are here.  They could be writing columns about what an amazing place Hartford is.  Or what a nightmare. Somebody needs to take this over and make sure they have a very entertaining and fulfilling visit. That is pretty obviously not happening right now. (Although the Twain House, rocking out under its current leadership, has stepped up on an individual basis.)

Email me at, and I will turn my contact info over to you.

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8 thoughts on “Open memo to Kip Bergstrom, Oz Griebel, Pedro Segarra, et al.

  1. William Hosley

    I happen to be one of a couple people – perhaps not more – capable of presenting this place in a way that sticks and inspires. Defaulting to Mark Twain isn’t telling anyone something they don’t already know. Some years ago, Yankee Mag and I had a conversation about Hartford where I argued that it was impossible to experience all the nationally significant treasures in greater Hartford in 4 days – that simply wouldn’t be enough time. They said “you’re kidding me” I said, “to sweeten the deal, take everything you know about greater Hartford off the table and 4 days are still not enough.” It became the basis for an article about the supporting cast of treasures. Its not rocket science, but it apparently requires an element we don’t usually seem to have

    1. Richard

      As you know journalists on vacation like easy to file stories (plenty of free source, cut-and-paste content).

  2. peter brush

    capable of presenting this place in a way that sticks and inspires
    It’s not bragging if you can do it,and Hosley does. Knowledge of and affection for Nutmeg Capital is inspiring. He talks the talk while walking the walk.

    However, treasures don’t a vital city make. Detroit is full of treasures, but the population is down more than a million since 1950. The question is not how to boost the city, but how to make it a place people want to live. I suggest that the best thing we could do is to eliminate school districts. But, at this point entropic forces have done their work, and all the King’s horses and men may not be able to get the toothpaste back in the barn.

  3. peter brush

    Never heard of Kip Bergstrom. “He is a nationally prominent advocate of place-centric economic development. He has participated in the successful repositioning the City of Stamford, the State of Rhode Island and Connecticut’s largest bank.” So, I gather he’s concerned with, among other things, branding, with the proper use of words to promote tourism; e.g., “Still Revolutionary.” As Governor Malloy says, “It tests well, people are responding to it.”
    But, this sort of thing is likely to do nothing for the State, and certainly is useless in promoting our eviscerated capital city. What should the Mayor do to impress a bunch of columnists? Make sure they are aware that Hartford is “New England’s Rising Star.”

    The great Willmoore Kendall reviewed Nathaniel Weyl’s 1960 book “The Negro in American Civilization”:
    “The American educational system must be rescued from those who would treat it as an adjunct of the Negro problem… We must reverse the trend that is making the American city an all-Negro city, in which the rule of life is, quite simply, have more children because more children mean bigger relief checks.”

  4. 1st Billy Goat Gruff

    So Hosley saw this.

    Colin, what else are you doing besides posting on this blog? It is a great public service but only if it reaches the right people.

    “It’s only a great pass if someone catches it.” Red on Roundball

  5. Donna Swarr

    Most conferences have someone that is responsible for ‘entertainment’. I, too, would recommend Mr. Hosley. Is the convention at the Convention Center? if so, someone there would know who to contact.

  6. Suzette Standring

    Hi, All! I’m a past president of the NSNC and will be in Hartford this June. I lived in CT for two years and have nothing but great things to say about your state. We’re looking forward to being in Hartford in June. I want to report to you that the welcome and the help I’ve personally received from the Mark Twain Museum, Salute Restaurant, Daatco Transportation and Billings Forge has been amazing and they’ve put the heart in Hartford. The NSNC comes with an open heart and mind as well, and I’m sure our time in Hartford will be amazing.
    Suzette Martinez Standring, past president, NSNC

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