Archive | May, 2010

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Hartford Adopts Shaved Budget


HARTFORD — The city council on Monday adopted a $544.4 million budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year with no tax  increase.

The concession comes after councilmembers last week mulled over Mayor Eddie Perez’s proposed $554.3 million budget and slashed it by $9.8 million.

Perez  delivered a proposed  budget with a 5 percent tax increase plus the mandated 3.5 percent hike.

Cuts to the budget included $7 million in slaries and benefits, $1.5 million to the education budget,  $100,000 reductions to the police  department and$200, 000 to the  fire departments.


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Police Arrest Man for Oct. Shooting At Uptown Vibz


HARTFORD/WINDSOR —  Police arrested a local man who allegedly shot a Windsor man in the parking lot of Uptown Vibz night club in October.

The man, Quan Morgan, 21, of 486 Edgewood Street, was arrested last Friday and charged with felony murder, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, first degree robbery, first degree conspiracy to commit robbery and criminal possession of a fire arm. He is on $3 million bond.

Police said during a robbery on Oct. 3, 2009, Morgan allegedly shot 41-year-old Windsor resident, Edward Haslam.

When police arrived at the Vibz parking lot at 3155 Main Street, they found Haslam slumped and unresponsive in his car. Haslam was taken to area hospital and died later.

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Boy Dies After Falling From Window


EAST HARTFORD — The three-year old who fell from a third-story windown on Saturday died today, police said.

The  boy reportedly  pushed a screen from a window in an apartment at Woodcliff Estates and fell out of the window.

Police are still investigating.

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London : An Affordable Destination This Summer


By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

LONDON — London, England is unbelievable warm and pleasantly foggy in the wintertime. So in the summer, you should brace yourself for a hot and sticky but quaint experience that’s affordable—if you plan your trip carefully and frugally.

There’s now reason to search out this Old World country. That’s because it has become an affordable European destination for North Americans. Summer is a good time to hop over the Atlantic because fares are cheaper, which  is good news for the busy and budget conscious wanderlust.

Traveling from the southern part of London from Gatwick Airport to Central London by bus is not that exciting unless you want to see lots of fog and prairie.  It’s also not cheaper to fly in there and go by bus, so opt to fly in closer to London. Then after settling in, head out on a doubled decker bus or the underground tube. Both are good ways to get around because taxis are expensive.


About $30 will get you an all week multiple pass called the Oyster. This makes for traveling around London easier and faster, especially by the Tube. Most of London’s historic landmarks are at the Westminster stop on the tube’s green and yellow district lines.

Up from the tube, depending on which exits you take, you can see the London Bridge, the Parliament with Big Ben, West Minister Abbey, the London Eye, the Tate Museum,  Parliament Square and of course, the Thames River—all in one day.

Here’s a suggestion for the budget-conscious and busy traveler who can get away for four-day weekend.  Since the pound is stronger than the dollar, almost two to one, you should opt for places with free admission.

First up is the West Minister Abbeythat sits in the middle of Parliament Square. The Anglo-Saxon church is believed to have been built in the year 960.  All of Great Britain’s kings and queens, bishops and gentlemen of stature are buried there. The tomb of Sir Issac Newton and many familiar names to Americans are also prominently displayed in Abbey.  This gothic building holds the distinction of being the coronation church of all the crowned sovereigns since William I in 1066. The monks of the Westminster followed the Rule of St. Benedict, devoting their lives to regular worship, manual labor and study. But if tombs and architecture is not your thing and you don’t want to pay $30 to take a tour, you can experience the awe of the Abbey by just attending church services. It’s for free. There is so much to see in this ancient and cavernous building, you may be overwhelmed. But a one-hour self-guided tour is available to help you along.

Step outside the Abbey and across the street you can see the House of Parliament building with Big Ben atop the northeastern section of the building. Big Ben is a four-face chiming clock that is synonymous with London, just like the Eiffel Tower is signifies Paris and the Empire Building signifies New York. The Parliament houses heads of government officials who conduct the business of governance in England. You are allowed to sit in the gallery during debates among parliamentarians. You will find the debates similar to ones here in the US, except with a British accent.

Next to the Parliament is London Bridge. With legendary tales that preceded it, you would expect to see a towering and monumental bridge. But no, it’s quite small in comparison to the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge sits above the muddy and powerful Thames River, on which you can experience the Cruise on the Thames. The river runs 215 miles long. But it also serves a functional role: to get you over to the other side if the bridge and put you in Southwark, where you can hop on the London Eye.

The London Eye is a 30 minute rotational tour of the city of London.  It’s the alternative to seeing London on foot or by bus. No wonder, it’s the most visited attraction in London. This year there’s a special price—(£10 for a rotation or flight). That’d be about $20.

Quite frankly, if it’s a foggy day, all you will see is fog. It the sky is clear, you will see miles and miles of ancient buildings, very little greenery or mountains. So it’s something to splurge on if you haven’t paid for the West Minister Abbey. Or you want to experience their new 4D Theater.

A stroll along the river or two bus stops up the road from the Abbey is the Tate Modern Museum, known for cutting edge modern art shows. And diagonally across from the Museum, is the Lamberth’s Palace walled in and situated in the middle of London’s bustling center. Entry is free, except for major exhibitions.

London is so rich with its well-preserved heritage on every cobbled street, gothic building, and prominently placed pubs.  It’s a city that has impacted every part of the world. You owe it to yourself to visit this old country that changed the course of lives for many in the Americas.

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Avon Attorney Wins GOP Nod for Attorney General


HARTFORD – Attorney Martha Dean of Avon easily won the nomination for attorney general at the Republican convention Saturday night, but she will be taken to a primary by Ross Garber, whose sister-in-law was just barred from running for the same job.

Garber, a well known Hartford-area attorney, only got into the race last Thursday and still managed to win 34 percent of the vote.

The scramble for the attorney general nomination happened after the state Supreme Court last week ruled that Democratic Sec. of the State Susan Bysiewicz did not have the necessary 10 years of the active practice of law in Connecticut to pursue the office.

Garber had stayed out of the race while Bysiewicz was still running.

After 18 years in public office, Bysiewicz is out of a state job as of the end of the year

 Read More

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Hartford Votes Overwhelmingly for Dan Malloy


HARTFORD –City delegates went two to one for Dan Malloy today at the Connecticut Democratic Party convention at the CT Expo Center in North Meadows.

Hartford delivered 45 votes to Malloy and 20 to Ned Lamont Saturday morning.

“We want a Democrat and we want a seat at the table,” said City Councilwoman rJo Winch, who enthusiastically supported Malloy, a former mayor of Stamford.

Seen by many as politically aligned with Mayor Eddie Perez,  Winch split with him on the delegate votes. Perez, who supported Malloy in 2006, supported Lamont today.

“We don’t always agree on issues,” Perez said of his decision. “I’ll talk to her and if she agrees, she’ll be on board.”

Winch was on board with Malloy, she said, because he’s been building relationship with the city of Hartford for the last four years.

A mayor of Stamford for 14 years, Malloy won the Connecticut Democratic Party endorsement by more than a two to one margin, or 68 percent of the votes, compared to Lamont’s 32 percent. Lamont garnered twice the required vote to force a primary this fall.

He touts his accomplishment of revitalizing an urban area by boosting job growth, lowering crime rate, and increasing number of affordable housing in Stamford.

Winch said she voted for Malloy because he’s “been in the trenches and knows about urban problems.” More importantly, she said, Malloy has “developed a deep relationship with Hartford over the last four years.” Besides “running a business is not like running a municipality.”

Edwin Vargas also voted for Malloy because he came as a proxy for a delegate who promised that vote. But as a candidate for state senator, Vargas will be on Row B with Lamont, he said.

Hartford delegates also voted overwhelmingly for Jonathan Harris as the next Secretary of State.  But Denise Merrill won the party’s endorsement.

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Denise Nappier Endorsed for State Treasurer


HARTFORD – Democrats today unanimously selected incumbent Denise Nappier for state treasurer.

Nappier, a Hartford resident, has been treasurer since 1998.

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Simsbury Public Library Hosts Women’s Seminar


SIMSBURY —  The Simsbury Public Library will host a free workshop, “A New Day… A New Way,” a seminar for women who find themselves in transition” on  June 8.

The program is scheduled to begin at 6: 30 p.m. and will feature a panel of speakers including: Attorney, Laura Klein, Financial Advisor, Sharon Alleman and Certified Interior Decorator, Ilona House.

This seminar, geared towards women in personal transition will discuss how to maintain change and improve their legal, financial and home life. The panelist will discuss how women can protect themselves legally, expand their financial horizons and rejuvenate your home with color.

This program is co-sponsored by the Simsbury Senior Center. The program is free of charge, open to the public and will be held in the Program Room of the Simsbury Public Library at 725 Hopmeadow Street (Rte. 10).

To register or for more information, visit the Library’s web site at www.simsburylibrary.info or contact Jennifer Keohane, Business, Outreach Librarian at (860) 658-7663 x 2107.

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Hartford Casts Decisive Vote For Richard Blumenthal


HARTFORD — At the statewide Democratic Party convention on Friday,  Hartford delegates cast a decisive vote for a senatorial candidate who “won’t back down.”

There in  Hartford’s CT Expo Center, delegates voted 44 to 17  for Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator. Former Councilman Louis Watkins voiced the vote at about 8 p.m.

Shortly afterward, there was a stunner: Blumenthal’s challenger Merrick Alpert  withdrew from the race to cast his vote for Blumenthal.

“I’d like to formally withdraw my name from the nomination,” Alpert said with his wife at his side. “And I will cast my vote for Richard Blumenthal.”

Hartford Guardian photo: Blumenthal greets supporter at Democrat Party Convention at Expo Center in Hartford.

Blumenthal, who has been under scandal the previous week for misspeaking about his service in the military, won the vote by acclamation. Democrat Party  Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo said he was still enroute to the convention when the nomination was confirmed by voice vote at 8: 12 p.m. Blumenthal was scheduled to be on at 9 p.m., she said.

“It happened so quickly,” DiNardo said after delegates emptied the center. She said Alpert came up to her in the wings and asked to go on stage to withdraw. He remained on stage until Blumenthal made his way to the wings.

Then Tom Petty’s song, “I Won’t Back Down,” blared from the speakers  and he walked on stage. In his acceptance speech for the Democratic Party nomination, Blumenthal made reference to his debacle , sparked by the New York Times article earlier this week. The article referenced a  2008 speech  in which he said he served in the Vietnam War instead of during the war. Blumenthal countered by saying he misspoke and he won’t  allow his opponents to use ” misplaced words”  to deter him.

“This week, as you all know, I had a little bit of a tough time myself,” he said with a smile. “ You all have been hearing what my wife Cynthia, has been telling me for almost 30 years. That I am not perfect. That I make mistakes.”

Blumenthal then vowed to fight for the people of Connecticut.

“People look at Washington—and can’t find anyone standing up for them, “ he said. “Let me go to Washington as your United States Senator, and I will fight for you.”

Hartford delegate Donald Brown said he was confident Blumenthal will fight in Washington.

“He’s a fighter. He stands up for the little guy and the big guy. He will fight,” Brown said.

The convention ended abruptly at about 8: 30 p.m. and a packed expo center thinned out in 15 minutes. Its second day will begin at 8: 30 a.m. on Saturday with nominations for attorney general, comptroller, governor, secretary of state and lieutenant governor.



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Rent Rebate Request Increases


HARTFORD — The city’s rent rebate applications for elderly, disabled and low-income renters last year hit a record high of 5,300, and this year’s number of applicants is expected to surpass that number, officials said.

The Department of Health and  Human Services processes rent rebate applications and provides a reimbursement for Connecticut renters who are elderly or totally disabled, and whose income does not exceed certain limits (single: $32,300 or married: $39,500).  Persons renting an apartment or room, or living in cooperative housing or a mobile home may be eligible for this program.  Renters’ rebate can be up to $900 for married couples and up to $700 for single persons.

The program began  May 17 and will run thru Sept. 15.   

The department has a deliberate and ambitious plan to bring the program to the eligible residents in the city, according to a press release.  To that aim, assigned city staff and a select group of community partners will be completing applications at various senior centers and senior housing complexes throughout the city.

This year the program will operate from May 17  to June 4  at Pope Park Recreation Center and from June 7 to Sept. 15 at various sites throughout the city.

In addition, residents that maybe homebound are encouraged to find a family member or friend who can act as their agent and have the application processed at one of the scheduled sites. Due to limited staff the city will not be making home visits during the Rent Rebate application period this year. 

“It is our priority to make this rebate available to every qualified Hartford resident.  Seniors and people with disabilities with lower incomes can really benefit by this extra help,” said Director of the City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services, Carlos Rivera.

For more information, please contact Carmen Sanchez at (860) 757- 4730. 

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