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Hartford Residents Should be Skeptical About New Rock Cat’s Stadium


By State Rep. Douglas McCrory

Mayor Pedro Segarra announced Minor League Baseball is coming to Hartford after the Rock Cat’s have decided to make Hartford their new home.

But is this the best option for the Capitol City?

Are we dedicating too much of our time and resources to a playground for future millionaire baseball players and billionaire owners? It’s a strong possibility we are. We should use the $60 million to create, allure and maintain year-round businesses that will not only bring in additional tax dollars to the City but will provide jobs and services to the residents who actually live here and need it the most considering we have an unemployment rate approaching 20 percent.

I don’t agree that this is the right time to spend over $60 million on a new stadium in Hartford. But I would propose, Mayor Segarra and city council representatives, that if you are going to create between 500 and 1,000 jobs, those jobs should go to Hartford residents. That should go into the contract if it is not already there. These people need work, so why not allow them to work on this new playground in their backyard? I am leery that this project will create that many jobs, but any available job should go to Hartford residents looking for work considering the jobs will be temporary and mostly part-time. Thank God we’re raising the minimum wage.

Hartford contractors, and more specifically, minority contractors should be given priority to bid on this project. We have heard too many times recently that minority contractors will be used for projects in Hartford, but that just hasn’t been the case. If this is going to be a Hartford project, truly make it a Hartford project by getting the city residents involved and employed, after all, our taxes are funding the project. Consider what happened with the MLB Washington Nationals. The people in their community were given first priority for employment. Viewing this as a benefit, the community ultimately supported the project which was a win-win for all parties involved.

Doug_McCroryAlso, does it not raise concern that $60 million was seemingly found overnight for baseball? We have had the community voicing their concerns for years that we need a new Martin Luther King Jr. school, among many other needed improvements. If you walk around that school, it’s like a building from the pre- Brown vs Board of Education era. What a shame because it’s named for one of the greatest Americans of all time.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionWe need to be smart about how we are spending the money we have and be very careful in how we invest in the future of the Capitol City. Our tax base needs to be expanded and our citizens need to be employed with livable wages. This can be done by improving the quality of our education efficiently and tackle improvements on the infrastructure of the city. I believe, this is how we can uplift our city and make it a true rising star where people will want to live and raise their families.

The thought behind this project is correct: something needs to change in Hartford. As Connecticut’s Capitol City, providing entertainment is great but we should also ensure Hartford’s community and economic development are a priority. Our focus should be on the best way to get people back to work and have students thriving in school. Then we can talk about a playground for future millionaires.

 

 

 

 

 

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Stop the Mass School Killings, Change How We Raise Our Children


By Glenn Mollette

I sold Grit newspapers when I nine years old. It was always a great day when I had sold my last Grit for the week. The profit was five cents per paper. Some weeks I made as much as two dollars!  I lived in a very rural area so bicycling up and down the road and knocking on doors took time and was a workout. However, it was always a good feeling of accomplishment to sell all my Grits. I had other responsibilities as a kid, such as mowing a huge yard with a push mower or cutting the hillside with a manual mowing side blade. The list is longer but enough of that.

Too many of today’s kids are missing that feeling of accomplishing something from work.  Too much is handed to them. Many come in from school, lock themselves up in their rooms and station themselves in front of their hi-speed internet computers while texting, posting on Facebook or doing it all on their expensive cell phones. They come and go from the house in cars provided by mom and dad stopping to converse with them only when they need gas or spending money. Some of these same kids never show their report cards, often lie about their whereabouts and are verbally abusive with their parents when they are questioned about anything.

glen mollettWhen asked to do dishes, make their beds, pick up trash or help mow the yard the moaning begins. Whose fault is all of this? It’s our fault. We can only blame ourselves.

Parents have tried too hard to give their kids what they did not have. We have tried to make life easier the-hartford-guardian-Opinionfor our kids than it was for us. We have tried to save our children from pain and comfort them with extra cash, gadgets and little to no responsibility. The result has been a generational disaster.  Today we have kids who have enough time on their hands to sit and hate their classmates while plotting out how they might destroy them. All of this because their classmates didn’t treat them like King Tut, or how mom and Dad treat them at home.

The recent twenty-two year old California kid is a sad example. He was driving around in a BMW with a car full of expensive guns, cash and time to create hate movies and write insane diatribes about killing people. The tragedy is that he followed through. People were killed and a community is now devastated for the ages.

The kid from California needed his butt kicked by his parents, his cash, BMW, and all the gadgets stripped away. We can’t lavish the abundance of life on people who are acting like monsters.  As parents we make them monsters by continuing to underwrite their smart-mouthed, rebellious and even evil behavior.

I understand he had severe mental issues. We live in a society of mental illness and it’s growing. Why is it growing? That’s another column. However, we don’t like the stigma of mental illness but families must reach out for help. Importantly, we must be very active about implementing strong measures before disaster strikes. Dealing with such an illness requires more than a fifty minute counseling session once a week.

There are a lot of great hard working kids in America. In most cases the kids in America who grow up a little hungry end up on top. Not always, but in most cases. These are the Kids who have responsibility at home. They have to work some in the family unit. They are expected to earn some of their cash. They are expected to do well in school and know that someday they must leave the house and be on their own without the financial backing of mom and dad.

We don’t want another Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech or Santa Barbara massacre and one of the ways to stop it is to change how we are raising our children.

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author. Contact him at GMollette@aol.com.   Like his facebook page atwww.facebook.com/glennmollette.

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Hartford Puerto Rican Set for June 1


HARTFORD — Get ready for the 2014 Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade.

The annual event will begin at noon on June 1, starting on Warwarme Avenue in Hartford and continues with a festival that is scheduled to end at 8 p.m. at the Bushnell Pavilion.

Festival attendees will have  a wide variety of food, music and entertainment, including performers such as Frankie Negron. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is expected to attend.

For more information, please call 860-978-7412 andwww.hartfordprparade.com.

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Larson Joins Nation in Mourning Death of Maya Angelou


HARTFORD — The nation has lost one of its prized possession: Maya Angelou.

Congressman John B. Larson released the following statement Wednesday on the passing of author, poet, actress and teacher Maya Angelou:

“Today, the nation lost a literary giant whose impact reached the hearts of millions around the world. Dr. Maya Angelou overcame great adversity before going on to receive wide praise in the arts, becoming a voice for justice and an inspiration for the American people. What she meant to this country cannot be understated as we look back at her work and honor a lifetime of achievement.”

The White House also released a statement, saying that this brilliant writer and fierce friend was truly a phenomenal woman.

“Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things–an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer. But above all, she was a storyteller–an her greatest stories were true.”

Maya Angelou, author of the classic book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing” died Wednesday in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86.

Her book, Caged Bird, catapulted her to fame. It chronicled her childhood traumas in the Jim Crow South and was among the first autobiographies by a 20th-century black woman to reach a wide general readership.

Hartford Mayor Pedro  Segarra also released the following statementregarding the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou:

“Maya Angelou will be remembered as one of the most prominent literary figures of the Twentieth Century, and through her craft, she bore lyrical witness to sweeping changes in how the United States approached issues of race and cultural identity. Through her activism, she furthered the causes she chronicled in her work. She will be missed, and we should honor her by continuing to pursue her goals of justice and unity.”

 

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Adams: Connecticut Should “Get Your House in Order”


Updated May 28, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.

By Ann-Marie Adams, Ph.D.

There’s this saying when it comes to getting a job or resources for your business or home: It’s who you know.

Here’s why this saying is problematic, especially if you live in a segregated state such as Connecticut, where all-white suburban residents terrorize the few blacks who move into towns that don’t have local buses traveling from the urban core to the outer-ringed suburbs.

Dr_AnnMarie_AdamsIf you go to an almost all-white school, attend an all-white church, shop in a supermarket where blacks and other people of color are menial workers, you as a white person won’t know too many people of color—except those in menial positions.

So guess what? The all-time saying of “It’s who you know, not what you know”—doesn’t fit the bill here when it comes to doling out city, state and federal funds, especially services to small businesses, home owners and all other human beings.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionOn Wednesday morning at the Mark Twain House on Farmington Avenue, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy chaired a roundtable discussion about small businesses that are doing well under his small business express loan programs and other state incentives designed to help foster a good climate where small businesses can start and grow.

All the success stories came from white men.

In fact, the room did not have any black women business owners at press time. So I guess black women and other minority business people are out of the loop—because they don’t know anyone in that room.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy chairs roundtable of successful start-up companies under small business programs.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy chairs roundtable of successful start-up companies under small business programs.

Perhaps we should retire that saying when it comes to city, state and federal programs–as well as for services rendered by organizations that get federal funding–such as Hartford Hospital and its affiliates, the Hartford Medical Group, St. Francis Hospital, John Dempsey Hospital and its affiliates, Manchester Memorial Hospital and all its affiliates in the ECHN network.

That also goes for the Community Health Center in Hartford and New Britain. Agencies such as CT Transit, LogistiCare and all relevant subcontractors should also be audited for their blatant discriminatory tactics I’ve witnessed in the last six months and will report on in the coming months.

That’s because these programs have specific guidelines to prohibit the kind of blatant discrimination I’ve experienced while seeking service and scrutinizing these programs. The Connecticut Department of Social Services is unbelievable conduit for employees who are clueless about these federal guidelines. A quick glance of the various types of discrimination prohibited by the laws and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can be found here for their benefit.

The city of Hartford and the state of Connecticut should also have its employees take a refresher course in these guidelines. Otherwise, they should be prepared for a tsunami of lawsuits from educated consumers. And the buck stops with whomever is heading these agencies. And that includes Hartford’s mayor Pedro Segarra and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

So here’s a popular saying they should heed to as well: get your house in order.

And just in case you’re thinking I’m out of my place–meaning I’m acting like I’m a citizen with rights or any of those fancy things protected by the United States Constitution–you should explain to me why others have rights and I don’t.

Perhaps we could battle this out in court–if need be. But I’m thinking the state of Connecticut has a high percentage of educated and decent people who can argue this case very well.

After all, Connecticut is the home of the 19th-Century abolitionist movement. And their descendants–in spirit and in truth–are  already poised to make their presence known and felt again.

Photo Credit:http://www.elsolnews.com. Gov. Dannel Malloy announces the first round of small business grants in 2013.

 

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Dean Baquet Named 1st African-American Executive Editor at the New York Times


By Stephen A. Crockett, Jr., The Root

Dean Baquet will become the first African-American executive editor at the New York Times, replacing Jill Abramson, who leaves the top position unexpectedly. The news apparently stunned New York Times staffers, who did not see this move coming.

On Wednesday Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of the New York Times and chairman of the New York Times Co., first told senior staff of the changng of the guard and then informed the full newsroom around 2:30 p.m., the New York Times reports.

While the reason for the change was not immediately made clear, Baquet—a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and a former editor of the Los Angeles Times—seems a fitting choice to lead the newspaper.

“It is an honor to be asked to lead the only newsroom in the country that is actually better than it was a generation ago, one that approaches the world with wonder and ambition every day,” said Baquet, who at the time of his appointment to helm the New York Times was the newspaper’s managing editor.

Baquet, 57, was born in New Orleans and has worked in the newspaper industry for more than 25 years, beginning in 1980 with his hometown paper, the States-Item, before it merged with the Times-Picayune, Businessweek.com reports.

In 1984 he joined the Chicago Tribune, where four years later he led a three-member team that would win a Pulitzer Prize for in-depth investigative reporting on corruption among the Chicago City Council.

According to Businessweek.com, Baquet left the Tribune in 1990 to join the New York Times, and over the next decade he served in several positions: first as a metropolitan reporter, then as special projects editor and as a deputy metropolitan editor. He would leave a national editor position at the paper in 2000 to join the Los Angeles Times. There, Baquet served as editor and executive vice president of Los Angeles Times Communications until November 2006, when he rejoined the New York Times as chief executive of the paper’s Washington bureau.

“There is no journalist in our newsroom or elsewhere better qualified to take on the responsibilities of executive editor at this time than Dean Baquet,” Sulzberger said in announcing Baquet’s appointment.

“He is an exceptional reporter and editor with impeccable news judgment who enjoys the confidence and support of his colleagues around the world and across the organization.”

Abramson, who was appointed to the position of executive editor in 2011, was the first woman to serve at the helm of the New York Times. The reason for her abrupt departure was not made clear, with Sulzberger attributing it only to “an issue with management in the newsroom.”

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Speech is not so Free in America


By Glenn Mollette

Have we lost free speech in America?

Our First Amendment right for all Americans is free speech.

glen mollettProtesters, journalists Civil-rights advocates, street preachers and all Americans have enjoyed the right of free speech.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionFree speech gets on our nerves if the language doesn’t fit our philosophy, religious teachings, traditions or political views.

Free speech can inspire, encourage, help, teach and motivate but it can also tear down, torch, blaspheme and incite people to anger. Words can bless

and words can burn. It only takes a spark to get a fire going. The tongue is a powerful weapon and should be used with caution. While we are guaranteed

Free speech we understand that our speech will likely generate or provoke responses that will either be kind, hostile or apathetic.

I don’t think we have as much free speech as we like to say we do. Yes, we are free to say something but then in turn we may have the wrath of the media or a large portion of the nation ready to ship us off the planet. On more than one occasion an editor or publisher has disagreed with something I have written in this column. The response is often not to publish the column or occasionally I am deleted from ever publishing with the media source again. Therefore I am penalized because I didn’t say it in quite the right way.

If a television personality, political figure or financial giant writes or says something that is distasteful, they are likely to lose a job, an election, contracts, endorsements and much more. Therefore while they had the freedom to utter a sentence the cost could be career breaking. Therefore, speech is not so free.

I get tired of hearing political ads and TV people rant and tear good people down. How do they get by with that?  Maybe they are the ones who are guaranteed free speech. There are a lot of motivational speakers making the circuit today including sales people, preachers, vitamin and cosmetic pushers. Many of these people use the first amendment to lie to people. I guess the first amendment works well for them.

I once asked a young mother if she would take her crying baby to the nursery at church. I had the freedom to say it but it irritated some people that I said that. Others agreed with me.

I don’t think people should say things that are nasty, hateful or racist.  However, in America we have the right to express ourselves. However, people have the freedom to react to what is said. Reactions may be positive or brutal.

We are not a robot country that runs on daily-programmed autopilot. We are people with all kinds of backgrounds, traditions and religious or non-religious beliefs. We are free thinking people filled with failures and shortcomings.

We must do everything to maintain free and open speech in this country regardless of whether or not we like the speech. I don’t want to hear filth on the radio or TV. We don’t want our children listening to or watching it. I would be in favor of eliminating a lot of programs that I do not find appropriate.

However, I know America is not all about me. I can still say what I do or do not like. I can say things others may not like.  I can work hard, write, talk, politic, vote, campaign, verbalize prayers, make phone calls and pontificate my opinions just like the next American. And, people have the freedom to disagree and rebut.

Please let’s keep it that way, and keep it civil, for all of us.

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author.  Contact him at GMollette@aol.com.   Like his facebook page atwww.facebook.com/glennmollette.

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Early Quinnipiac Poll Shows Malloy and Foley in Tight 2014 Race for Governor


By Eugene Joh, Staff Writer

HARTFORD —  A slight majority of voters approve of the way Gov. Dan Malloy (D) is currently handling his job, but do not think he deserves reelection, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. The study, conducted between May 1 and 6, surveyed 1,668 registered voters in the state.

tomfoley concedesThe poll shows that 48 percent of respondents said that they approve of Malloy’s performance, against 46 percent who said they disapproved. When asked about whether or not Malloy deserved a second term, however, only 44 percent were in favor of his reelection. And 48 percent were against putting him back in office.

The news comes at a troubling time for Malloy, who looks to gain ground against familiar foe Tom Foley (R) in the 2014 gubernatorial race in November. Last week’s poll numbers also indicated that Malloy and Foley are deadlocked at 43 percent each heading into the most intense months of the campaign trail.

Four years ago, Malloy narrowly defeated Foley in the gubernatorial race by a margin of less than 1 percent, edging the race with about 6,500 more votes than his opponent. Early indications are that this year may provide a similarly close contest.

“It’s déjà vu all over again,” Douglas Schwartz, the director of the poll, said in a statement. “…Malloy and Foley remain locked in a dead heat,” he said.

Opinions of Malloy as an individual were almost even among those surveyed, with 46 percent saying their opinion is favorable and 45 percent saying it is unfavorable. Foley holds a better ratio with 36 percent favorable to 23 percent unfavorable, but the largest majority, 39 percent, said they haven’t heard enough about him, something that will likely change in the coming months.

The poll indicates a 35-53 majority disapprove of Malloy’s handling of the state budget, to go along with a 32-61 mark for taxes and a 38-55 mark for jobs and the economy. 45 percent of respondents who disapproved of Malloy in the poll said their main reason for disapproval was the budget, taxes, or jobs/economy. Conversely, just 14 percent of respondents who approved of Malloy said the main reason for their approval had to do with those three issues.

“Economic issues are dragging Gov. Malloy down,” Schwartz said. “A bright spot for Malloy is that voters think he has strong leadership qualities and is honest and trustworthy.”

The only decisive section of the poll for Malloy was when respondents were asked about his character. A 59-36 majority in the poll said that Malloy has strong leadership skills, while a 57-33 majority said they believe he is honest and trustworthy.

The poll indicates that Foley is the clear frontrunner in the Republican Party, holding a 39-9 advantage over his next closest competitor Mark Boughton. Leading up to primaries, Foley and Malloy seem poised for a sequel to their dramatic 2010 race for governor, with public opinion looking to be as indecisive as ever.

Tom Foley conceding his defeat in the 2008 gubernatorial election. Quinnipiac Poll shows it’s déjà vu.

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What Americans Can Learn From Gabriel García Márquez About Immigration


 Raymond L. Williams, New America Media News Analysis

With Congress stalled on immigration reform and the Obama administration reconsidering its priorities, Americans might be surprised to learn that recently deceased global citizen Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014) offers some well-informed insights into immigration issues.

The 1982 Nobel Laureate in Literature lived most of his adult life as an immigrant, and was once an undocumented worker — in Venezuela, from late 1957 to early 1959. His first immigration experience was in France, where he lived in the mid-1950s with full documentation, working as a journalist for the liberal Colombian newspaper, El Espectador. Soon after arriving, however, he was left unemployed when Colombian dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla ordered the closing of all liberal media. During the remainder of his stay in France, García Márquez dedicated his time to writing the foundational Macondo stories that would eventually lead him to the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, and literary fame. The remainder of his time in Paris, however, involved basic survival—sometimes even collecting bottles on the streets to earn money for food, and negotiating his residency at a small Parisian hotel, on credit, with promises to pay later.

The next stage of his life took him to Venezuela, where he was employed as a journalist writing articles, mostly on political topics. In the 1950s, Colombia’s relationship with Venezuela was in some ways comparable to the relationship today between Mexico and the United States: many Colombians were fleeing to Venezuela to escape violence and seek employment in a nation enjoying a petroleum boom. The Venezuelan government was systematically inviting gallegos(Spaniards from Galicia) and Italian guest workers in order to avoid the potential unionization of workers from Venezuela and Colombia.  In a magazine article published in 1959 under the title,Adiós, Venezuela, García Márquez questioned the government’s manipulation of the workforce. He argued, among other things, for better wages—the equivalent of a “living wage”—for the visiting workers from Galicia and Italy.

In France, García Márquez lived the experience of the impoverished immigrant, and in Venezuela he lived the life of the undocumented worker whom he attempted to defend with his writing. The presence of gallegos in the latter contributed to his identification with the workers, for some of his own relatives had originally come from Galicia. In Venezuela, then, García Márquez was acutely aware that the story of immigrant workers was indeed his own story. No doubt drawing on his own experience, he proclaimed Latina America to be “a land of second generations” in his 1959 article, later republished in 1971 as a book titled, Cuando era feliz e indocumentado (When I was happy and undocumented).

After Venezuela, García Márquez became a global citizen, spending most of his adult life in Mexico as well as being a frequent visitor to his own personal residences in Spain and France.

As the immigration debate becomes increasingly intense and perhaps excessively polarized in the United States, the lessons we can learn from the most widely read public intellectual in Latin America are twofold: On the one hand, he reminds us that human movement across borders has historically been a regular and healthy occurrence in the Americas, for those nations that have embraced and not rejected their immigrants. In this sense, the current situation in the U.S. might not be as exceptional (or complex) as it may seem. On the other hand, the supposed dichotomy between documented citizens and undocumented residents is not as black-and-white as some political sectors attempt to portray it — the undocumented not only provide a labor force, but they are also the parents of future graduate students, future scientists and future Nobel Laureates in literature, as was the case for that grandchild of gallegos, the once undocumented writer, Gabriel García Márquez.

Raymond L. Williams teaches Latin American literature at the University of California, Riverside. He is the author of several books, including two on García Márquez, and holds the titled of Distinguished Professor.

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La Opinion: Immigrants in State of ‘Hoplessness and Desperation’


La Opinión, First Person

On May 1, Latino communities celebrate Immigrant Workers’ Day. As years went by, that day became a time to call for immigration reform and respect for undocumented workers—all this taking into account that the U.S. celebrates its Labor Day in September.

We still remember demonstrations by millions of people in May 2006. At that point, H.R. 4437, a dismal bill sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, threatened to criminalize remaining in the country without documentation and giving any help to the undocumented, like for example a car ride.

immigration_GOP-shutdownThat bill was defeated. Marches back then showed Americans the real face of immigrants. Entire families, some pushing their children in strollers, were completely different from the image of the dangerous criminal being depicted in the House of Representatives.

May 1, 2014 finds the immigrant community in a state of hopelessness and desperation. The only realities behind the rhetoric are that the Democratic administration—from which it expected a fair reform—has deported the largest number of people who posed no danger. Meanwhile, many Republicans abhor the idea of legalization for undocumented workers.

The desperation of an unsustainable situation has led to many forceful measures, from hunger strikes to outright defiance against border authorities by youths and parents trying to re-enter the country to be with their loved ones.

The feeling on this May 1 is one of frustration, being so close to reform—after the Senate approved it—and yet so far away from it because of the stubbornness that has rejected reform in the House of Representatives.

The road traveled has been long. However, we cannot give up, because the cause of comprehensive immigration reform is fair for workers and necessary for the economy.

Read in Spanish

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