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East Hartford Educator is ‘Teacher of the Year’

EAST HARTFORD — Cara Quinn, a sixth-grade teacher, who draws inspiration for teaching from her students, is Connecticut’s 2015 Teacher of the Year.

State and local officials joined Mrs. Quinn to deliver the good news to her students and colleagues last Wednesday at the Sunset Ridge School in East Hartford.

Throughout Quinn’s 11 years as a Connecticut educator, she has distinguished herself as a teacher who challenges her students to “shatter their individual glass ceilings” and to make a difference in the world, state officials said.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to our world each day through the work that I so dearly love, ” Quinn said.

Besides the academic excellence, Quinn cultivates in her classrooms, she is equally focused on her students’ character development.  She also spearheaded initiatives to broaden student horizons regarding college and careers.  Working with the University of Connecticut, she created a college immersion experience for students. She also organizes an annual Career Day where students have the opportunity to interact with 30 professionals from the community

Quinn was chosen from among four finalists, 15 semifinalists, and over 100 district-level Teachers of the Year. A statewide council of former Teachers of the Year and representatives from educational organizations, businesses, and the community conducted the rigorous selection process, which includes on-site visits, candidate applications, interviews, and observations of teaching.

“The Teacher of the Year Program does not attempt to select the ‘best’ teacher in Connecticut. Rather, it seeks to identify, from among many outstanding educators, one teacher to serve as a visible and vocal representative of what is best in the profession,” said Susan Pelchat, selection committee chairperson for the Connecticut Teacher of the Year (TOY) Council.


“Connecticut’s teachers of the year provide an important voice on educational issues in our state,” said Commissioner Pryor. “They participate in an advisory council at the State Department of Education and, in so doing, they offer an invaluable perspective on statewide education policy and its implementation. We are deeply grateful for their contributions.”

Quinn began her career teaching a fourth-grade classroom in Bolton and has taught the last nine years in East Hartford where she focuses on bringing equity to education and closing the achievement gap. East Hartford Public School leaders praised Mrs. Quinn for her work.

“Cara inspires all of us regarding the true meaning of what it means to be a teacher—expect more, love kids and work hard to make a difference.  We are so proud to have Cara represent the great teachers of East Hartford and the entire state of Connecticut,” East Hartford Superintendent Nathan Quesnel said. “Cara will be strong ambassador of the TOY program as she is an example for all of us.”


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Hartford Guardian to Celebrate 10th Year Anniversary

HARTFORD —  The Hartford Guardian will kick off its 10th Year Anniversary celebration on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 at Aetna Insurance Building on Farmington Ave. in Hartford, CT.

The Luncheon under the theme, Building to Empower and Engage, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to mark this significant milestone in the new media organization, which began in 2004 as a print publication.

Over the past decade, The Guardian has served individuals and families throughout the Greater Hartford area and beyond—disseminating untold stories, news and information that effect change on a local and national level.

The Guardian has won several notable recognitions and awards for its reporting, including the International Center for Journalists, Patch/AOL, Knight Center for Journalism New Media institute and the Hartford Magazine.

The Guardian was founded by Dr. Ann-Marie Adams, an award-winning journalist and historian. She has worked as a reporter and writer for The Hartford Courant, The Norwich Bulletin, Times Herald Record, People magazine, The Washington Post and other local and national publications. She teaches journalism and history, most recently at Quinnipiac University, Howard University and Rutgers University.

The Hartford Guardian was founded in 2004 to build communities through civic journalism. It is one of three programs by the Connecticut Alliance for Better Communities, Inc. CABC, Inc is a nonprofit organization established to encourage and increase civic engagement in Greater Hartford by (i) educating  residents about various social issues and services in Hartford, (ii) educating them about how government and media work, and (iii) offering opportunities to explore and engage in civic journalism.

For more information on how to become a sponsor or purchase tickets, email RSVP is required for seating and validated parking information.

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Simsbury Land Trust to Hold Family Hike

SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Land Trust is holding family-hike to the Indian Council Caves and Beaver Pond on the Tunxis Trail in Barkhamsted on Saturday, Oct. 18.

Hikers are asked to meet at Legeyt Road Trailhead at 10 a.m. The hike is about two miles around trip on fairy easy terrain.

Participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes, bring a vater bottle and a snack and plan for the hike to take about three hours.

The hike is free, but registration is required. Call 860-658-6530.

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MARG and SouthWest NRZs to Meet

HARTFORD –The Maple Avenue Revitalization Group will meet on Oct. 9 in the lower level of Saint Augustine’s Church.

The church is at 10 Campfield Avenue in Hartford.

Daniel Loos from the City of Hartford’s Department of Licenses and Inspections and Sara Bronin from Planning and Zoning Commission are scheduled to speak and answer questions from the audience.

MARG respresentatives will also give reports on public safetly and other neighborhood concerns.

For more information, call MARG president Hyacinth Yennie at 860-296-5543. The meeting is open to all city residents.

Southwest Behind the Rocks 

Southwest Behind the Rocks NRZ will meet on Oct. 14 at Broadview Community Church.

The church is at 45 Oliver Street.

For more information, call Capucine at 860-978-0379.

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Clay Hill Association Seeks SARS Recruits

HARTFORD — The Clay Hill Association is seeking new recruits interested in working during the upcoming election.

Hartford residents with no criminal record can apply for a training course to become Special Assistant Registrar, or SARs.

The training will be held at the Democratic and Republican offices in Hartford. Additional training is schedule for Oct. 25 at City Hall in the Function Room from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

City Hall is at 550 Main St. in downtown Hartford.

Those interested should inquiry at or call Charles Barrow at 860-224-7750.



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Moody’s Downgrades Hartford’s Credit Rating

HARTFORD — Citing the city’s declining fund balance,  stagnant property values and scant revenue sources, Moody’s downgraded Hartford’s bond rating on Monday.

This move could impact future capital projects in the city, including a proposed stadium and school renovations.

Since 2010, the City of Hartford has held an A1 Bond Rating. City officials said that one notch down to the A2 rating is still a strong investment grade rate that will allow the city to continue to raise capital at lower interest rates.

“It is tough to hear but we have to keep everything in perspective,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “In the last four years tax revenues declined, our Rainy Day Fund increased, our pension was fully funded all the while our expenditures grew significantly due to contractual obligations…. As far as cities go, we are doing better than most.”

Segarra is calling for expedited economic development an dmore public/private partnerships to increase the bond rating.

City Council President Shawn Wooden agreed.

“It’s very challenging and yet we have seen tremendous growth in our City over the last few years. The bottom line is that we need new revenue sources to put Hartford on a path of fiscal stability and new development that will increase property values and not place any further burden on our taxpayers.”

officials said that Moody’s rationale for the downgrade was also influenced by unemployment, lack of financial flexibility due to contractual obligations and limited revenue sources.

Several strengths were cited including strong pension fund practices, and the city’s status as a regional economic center.

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CT Voter Registration Deadline Nears

HARTFORD — Connecticut voters have one month to register to vote so they can cast ballots in the Nov. 4 general election.

Voters can register onlineor by mail. The deadline to register is Oct. 21. For in person registration, the deadline is Oct. 28.

So far in 2014, 53,940 new voters have registered, including 15, 924 Democrats and 10, 303 Republicans and 26,276 unaffliated voters, according to state officials.

Overall, there are 1, 931, 880 voters in Connecticut. The total number of registered Democrats in the state is 706, 211. The number of registered Republicans is 402, 840. The number of unaffiliated voters is 803,564.

Polls will be open on Nov. 4 from 6: 00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. To find out if you are registered, check

Connecticut voters with a valid driver’s license can register to vote at htpps://

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FoodShare’s President to Resign

BLOOMFIELD –Gloria McAdam, Foodshare’s President and CEO, has accepted a position heading an organization that fights hunger in Northern New York.

McAdam will remain at Foodshare until Dec. 31, 2014 when she will assume the role of Executive Director of GardenShare in Canton, NY, near where she grew up.  During the search for a permanent replacement, COO Christine O’Rourke will serve as interim CEO.

The organization has already activated its succession plan, which includes launching a nationwide search for a new President/CEO.

“We are indebted to Gloria for building a robust and dynamic organization with a strong mission and a deep bench of talented employees,” said Leslie Soler, Chair of Foodshare’s Board.  “Her determination and passion for the twin issues of fighting hunger and ending its causes has been an inspiration for the last 30 years.  We will miss her terribly, but her drive to build this organization into a fiscally sound force against hunger leaves it strong and resilient.”




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CRT Offers Help with Foreclosures

HARTFORD — Help is available for Greater Hartford area homeowners facing foreclosure.

The Community Renewal Team has housing counselors who can work with homeowners to put a plan in place to save the home from foreclosure.

There are no income restrictions to participate in CRT’s foreclosure prevention and homeowners don’t need to have a foreclosure notice before taking part.

CRT’s expanded foreclosure prevention program is due in part to increased federal funding to programs that help homeowners.

For more information on CRT’s Housing Counselling Department and how we can help homeowners at all income levels, call (860) 761-7937 or email

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Historic Pond House Celebrates Latest Addition

The Pond House Café has recently completed a major addition of a brand new patio and walkway around the historic Pond House. The project also included adding a custom built gazebo and numerous gardens surrounding the building. Recently, they held a ceremony to formally donate this patio and walkway to The City of Hartford, The Elizabeth Park Conservancy and The Community.

In attendance were Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, Elizabeth Park Conservancy Executive Director Christine Doty, several Elizabeth Park Conservancy Board Members, MetroHartford Alliance Director of Investor Relations Richard Brown, Pond House Owner Louis Lista, Pond House General Manager Kim Yarum, and Tom Linden of Linden Landscape Architects.

Pictured cutting the ribbon are Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, Elizabeth Park Conservancy Executive Director Christine Doty and Pond House Café General Manager Kim Yarum.

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