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North End Golf Course Receives Award


HARTFORD — Hartford’s Keney Park Golf Course was recently awarded “Renovation of the Year 2016” by Golf Inc. magazine.

The award brings national attention to this historic and newly restored 18-hole course that is already proving to be a destination of choice for golfers throughout Hartford and the Greater Hartford Region, city officials said.

The 18-hole, par 70 golf course occupies 6,014 yards of Hartford’s historic 700-acre Keney Park, located in the city’s North End.

In 2013, the City closed the course after a contractor that had been operating it since 2009 allowed the course to deteriorate, failing to make required capital improvements. The contractor also cut down hundreds of trees without proper permission.

On May 1, 2016, Keney Park Golf Course officially re-opened to the public for the first time in three years. Currently, the course is open from 6:00 am to 6:30 pm, seven days a week.

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Letter: Gov. Malloy and Hartford’s Stadium


 

letterstohartfordguardianDear Governor Malloy:
We are writing to urge you not to use state taxpayer dollars to bail out Hartford’s Dunkin Donuts Stadium.
As a result of construction of the stadium exceeding the agreed upon deadline, we understand that costs are now likely to increase for the project. We are also aware of comments from the Hartford Stadium Authority indicating that they will not go back to the city to seek the needed added capital. That needed capital should not come from the state and our already overburdened taxpayers.
We want to remind you of multiple statements from you and your administration that promised the state would not get involved in this project which taxpayers and the lawmakers who represent them at the Capitol never had a say in authorizing. That commitment will be broken if you sign the state budget passed by Democrats that allows taxpayer dollars through the admissions tax to go towards stadium construction debt service. That commitment will also be broken a second time if any additional aid is given to Hartford for this project’s new costs due to missing its deadline.
We fully understand the predicament Hartford is in and truly empathize with the people of Hartford who have serious concerns about the Yard Goats’ stadium project and the burden it places on the city. But the state is in no position to hand out any additional funds. Democrats just passed a budget that slashes from core social services, cuts state education funds, and hurts some of the most vulnerable populations in this state. Yet at the same time their budget gives up $400,000 annually in taxpayer dollars to go towards the Hartford stadium. It is not right that at a time when support for the poor, sick and elderly is being cut, a project that had zero taxpayer support is profiting.
No state taxpayer dollars should go towards the delayed stadium.
                                                                             Senate Republican Caucus Chair Len Fasano, et al
From:

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Mayor Leclerc to Present Check to Old State House


EAST-HARTFORD-LECLERC

EAST HARTFORD — The Office and Civics Action Lab has been encouraging Old State House visitors of all ages to consider how they can contribute to their own communities. Through this contribution, East Hartford’s spirit for building a strong community that will inspire countless others who visit the space.

From Left to Right: Patrick Sheehan, Chairman of the CT Public Affairs Network; Kid Governor Elena Tipton, Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc, Executive Director Sally Whipple, CT’s Old State House; Asst. Superintendent Cynthia Ritchie, East Hartford Public Schools; Asst. Principal Beatrice Corrado, O’Connell Elementary School; Principal Greg Fox, O’Connell Elementary School.

 



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Yale Voted Best College in Connecticut


NEW HAVEN — Yale is number one in Connecticut.

That’s according to SmartAsset’s second annual Best Value College study.

The college leads after the result of their performance in categories including scholarships provided, starting slary, tuiton, living costs and retention rate.

Yale received an overall education value index of 80.64, according ti SmartAsset, which gave 25 percent weighting to starting  SmartAsset, which weigh things such as starting salary, tuition, and living costs; and 12.5 percent to scholarships and grants and student retention rate.

UConn had a score of 64.67. The remaining top five schools in Connecticut and their scores were: Trinity College, 54.21; Fairfield University, 51:28; Wesleyan University.

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Bronin’s Fast and Furious Approach to Hartford Welcomed


There will be more layoffs of city employees, according to Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

It’s welcomed news. Here’s why.

The city is bloated with employees who forgot that they are employed to serve the public. They have duplicated services, established departments for family and cronies, and they have caused anger from people who work, play and live in the city. The money saved by firing these deadbeats in city hall and its quasi-public agencies can be used to support necessary social services to Hartford residents.

editorialbannerthumbThe money could also be used to improve quality of life and better services for its residents and workers.

Bronin sat down with The Hartford Guardian to briefly discuss those and other plans to tackle the $48 million deficit, aggreived citizens and other stakeholders, who are expectant of the Rhodes Scholar and lawyer–a possible antidote for the anti-intellectualism in Hartford.

Hartford, founded in 1637, is the state’s capitol and the seat of government. Yet Bronin is already facing mild resentment from long-time gadflies for his “to heavy and too fast” approach to the 2016-2017 budget. He has been having at least one town hall meeting per month to hear his constituents. His aim is to present himself as a “true and honest” leader ready to implement necessary changes to help the city rise.

Yet, at a recent public hearing some residents were already calling for him to go. This is quite odd.

Whatever the grievance, Bronin has to be given at least a year and six months to show what he can do to get rid of the malaise left by previous administrations.

Until all the facts are in from the peanut gallery, we will reserve judgment.

 

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State Senate Endorsements Tonight At Testo’s


By Lennie Grimaldi
BRIDGEPORT —  More than 100 combined Democratic delegates will gather at Testo’s Restaurant tonight to endorse candidates in two State Senate districts.

 

Sources said City Council President Tom McCarthy is poised for the endorsement against freshman incumbent Marilyn Moore who needs 15 percent of delegate support to qualify for an Aug. 9 primary. If she fails to secure 15 percent she can petition onto the ballot. Connecticut’s 22nd District includes the north and western portions of Bridgeport, all of Trumbull and a piece of Monroe.

The closer endorsement battle is the contest between incumbent Ed Gomes and school board chair Dennis Bradley in the 23rd Senate District that covers two thirds of Bridgeport and a slice of western Stratford.

After tonight the candidates will focus on cementing $15,000 in small donations to receive a larger pot of money under Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races. Moore, Gomes and Bradley have a head start in that area. McCarthy has his first big fundraiser Tuesday night at Vazzy’s 19th Hole at the Fairchild Wheeler municipal golf course.

Contribution by Only in Bridgeport

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CT Lawmakers, Advocates Open to New Puerto Rico bill


WASHINGTON —  A rare compromise between the White House and House Republicans on how to help Puerto Rico has received cautious acceptance from Connecticut lawmakers and advocates who had rejected previous congressional efforts to help an island mired in a severe financial crisis.

“This is not a perfect bill, and I have reservations about the inclusion of extraneous provisions like delaying overtime protections for Puerto Rico’s workers,” said Rep. John Larson, D-1st District. “At the same time, we cannot allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good. This is a tough but necessary compromise at a time when Puerto Rico truly needs our help.”

The Puerto Rico bill, however, caused a new clash between the Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she has “serious concerns” about parts of the plan, but she believes Congress should pass it quickly.

“Otherwise, without any means of addressing this crisis, too many Puerto Ricans will continue to suffer,” she said,

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, came out Friday in strong opposition to the proposal, saying it would give the U.S. government too much authority over Puerto Rico’s affairs.

“We must stop treating Puerto Rico like a colony and start treating the American citizens of Puerto Rico with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” Sanders said.

The compromise bill would allow the island to write down its debt in a process similar to a bankruptcy, while forcing Puerto Rico’s government to submit financial statements and budget blueprints to a federal oversight board.

That oversight board had been a flashpoint in earlier House GOP attempts to draft Puerto Rico legislation.

Under the new bill, the board would have seven members, appointed by the president from recommendations by members of the U.S. House and Senate. The panel would have the authority to enforce balanced budgets and reforms if Puerto Rico’s government fails to do so. At least one of the seven members would be a resident of Puerto Rico.

In previous drafts of the bill, the majority of those on the oversight board would have been Republican nominees, but changing that and other tweaks to the bill opened the door to Democratic backing – and support on the island.

Some Democrats, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn,, are hoping to make further changes to the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability (PROMESA) Act as the legislation makes its way through Congress.

“I am encouraged that this legislation puts us one step closer to providing Puerto Rico with a fair and workable path out of its current situation — an ongoing catastrophe that Congress cannot tolerate in any part of the United States,” Blumenthal said. “I am especially heartened that it walks back some of the poison-pill proposals that have been discussed in the past.”

The bill would not cost the U.S. govenrment any money, but it may face opposition in the House from conservatives Republicans, and its fate in the Senate is unknown.

The PROMESA Act aims to reduce a debt burden that currently eats up about a third of Puerto Rico’s revenues and to avoid courtroom battles among creditors and the island’s government that could hurt future investment in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico has defaulted on a $422 million debt payment this month. It faces payments totaling $2 billion on July 1 that island officials say can’t be paid.

Blumenthal sponsored a bill that would allow Puerto Rico to declare federal bankruptcy, a protection current law doesn’t allow.

Puerto Rico is also disadvantaged in that it can’t seek aid from international lenders because it it not an independent country.

Blumenthal said he has made clear “from the beginning of this process that a solution must provide Puerto Rico with a mechanism for debt restructuring.”

“I have also been clear that any solution must respect the Puerto Rican government’s accountability to its people. In the coming days I will be speaking with experts on and off Puerto Rico to ensure that this legislation fits those criteria,” he said.

The National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino advocacy group, said it is “cautiously encouraged by developments in the House of Representatives to provide relief to Puerto Rico’s financial and humanitarian crisis.”

“Having been in San Juan…and seeing what is needed, and possible, it would have been unconscionable for our elected leaders to continue to stand by while 3.5 million American families and children suffer the consequences of a debt crisis that was not of their own making,” said NCLR President Janet Murguía.

Puerto Rico’s financial crisis has resulted in an outmigration of island residents to the U.S. mainland. Florida has been the most popular destination, but many have also relocated to Connecticut, where more than 7 percent of the population is of Puerto Rican descent, the highest concentration of islanders per capita in the nation.

The Hispanic Federation, an advocacy groups with offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, called the bill “far from perfect.” But the federation said some of the “most egregious” provisions in earlier drafts of the bill had been changed, including the one concerning the oversight board.

The federation said the legislation allows Puerto Rico to restructure its debt and includes a moratorium on litigation by bond holders against the island, which it called “an important reform that will empower the commonwealth during negotiations.”

Still, the federation said it is concerned the bill would have the power to block laws, regulation and contracts approved by Puerto Rico’s legislature. It also said it is “troubled” by provisions that would allow the lowering of the minimum wage for some Puerto Rican workers and overtime pay reductions.

The PROMESA Act gives Puerto Rico’s governor the authority to designate a time period in which employers could pay newly employed workers below the federal minimum wage – currently $7.25 an hour – if those workers are under 25 years old.

“But the fact remains that this version of PROMESA is the best chance we have now to get federal relief for the people of Puerto Rico,” the federation said.

Courtesy of CTMirror

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Hartford Neighborhood Receives Funds


By Maria Fernandez | Staff Writer

HARTFORD — The State Bond Commission is expected to approve the funding for streetscape improvements along Farmington Avenue at its meeting Friday.

The news comes after many Asylum Hill residents have been working for several years on the  $15 million streetscape project that will allow the end point of the project to be extended from the corner of Farmington Avenue and Sherman Street to the corner of Farmington Avenue and Prospect Avenue at the Hartford-West Hartford border.

“This is a great investment in the City of Hartford, and I know it’s something that’s important to the people in my district especially. Extending this project through the rest of Farmington Avenue up to the Hartford-West Hartford border has been a priority of mine since its inception,” Rep. Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said. “Farmington Avenue is both a community hub and an engine for economic development in Hartford, and these improvements will highlight all that it has to offer.”

“I want to thank Representative Ritter for his hard work in securing these funds for Farmington Avenue,” Mayor Luke Bronin said. “Investing in our commercial corridors is an important way to support our small businesses, promote economic development and improve quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

City Officials said the streetscape project aims to make Farmington Avenue more pedestrian friendly, provide better street lighting, and create more on-street parking in order to better serve both residents of the neighborhood and those who work in or visit attractions in the area.

Farmington Avenue is known for large businesses such as Aetna, museums such as the Mark Twain House, historic churches, a theater company, and numerous restaurants.

The extended project will include a stretch of Farmington Avenue that is home to many popular locally-owned restaurants and businesses.

 

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Gonzalez Praises Law to Protect the Abused


Dear Editor:

The House of Representatives last week passed a bill that would protect victims of domestic violence by prohibiting the possession of firearms for anyone who becomes subject to temporary restraining order.

Studies show that the days following the issuance of a temporary restraining order are the most dangerous for a victim of domestic violence.

In fact, women in abusive relations are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a firearm. This legislation aims to protect women during this time period. At least twenty other stats I have passed similar legislation and it’s time for Connecticut to do the same. As legislators, we have a duty to do everything we can to keep people safe.

I am proud to have supported this important, common sense legislation that will protect those in abusive relationships.

The bill will now be sent to the Senate for a vote. Please feel free to contact me at the Capitol at 1-800-842-8267.

Si necesita esta communicacion en espanol, por favor envieme el pedido por correor electronico. Gracias.

Sincerely,

Minnie Gonzalez,

House Representative, District Third District

 

 

 

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Study: Blacks and Latinos Are Most Affected by Gun Violence


Four in 10 African Americans have been personally impacted by gun-related violence and believe “there is a perception that the rest of the country doesn’t care about it.”

That’s what was written in a new study on gun violence being released Thursday.

A comprehensive study, “Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map for Safer Communities,” will be released by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Urban Institute and the Joyce Foundation.

The comprehensive joint effort is an attempt to bring together communities, policymakers, scholars and other stakeholders to focus on strategies and solutions to confront gun violence. The debate around the issue is at times misdirected toward more sensational gun crimes rather than on efforts to listen to the people in communities disproportionately affected by the problem.

The Benenson Strategy Group conducted a total of 1,200 interviews by phone, dividing them between 600 African Americans and 600 Hispanics across the U.S., from Feb. 22-28, 2016. It’s particularly noteworthy that all respondents were registered voters likely to cast a ballot in the 2016 presidential election Nov. 8.

The focus of the effort around the study was to give those who are affected by gun violence an opportunity to connect with policymakers and to give continued attention to day-in-and-day-out gun violence that has a far-reaching impact. Media attention often focuses on mass shootings when statistics show that day-to-day violence has much more impact.

The report focuses on African Americans, who account for over 50 percent of the victims of gun homicide. It also points out that gun violence is the second-leading cause of death for Latino males between ages 15 and 34.

Not surprisingly, given what has been uncovered regarding stop-and-frisk data in large metropolitan cities, the polling data revealed that “more than half of African Americans and 1 in 3 Hispanics have had a negative interaction with law enforcement.”

The poll also revealed concerns related to interactions with police.

From the study: “There is a particularly strong concern around interactions between the police and young men of color; 82 percent of African Americans and 65 percent of Hispanics agree that they ‘frequently worry about interactions between the police and young men of color.’ ”

The report also found “that 8 in 10 African Americans and 2 in 3 Hispanics frequently worry about interactions between police and young men of color, even though most believe police make their communities safer.”

The Joint Center, led by George Washington University Law Professor Spencer Overton, convened more than 100 members in communities on the issue of gun violence that involved clergy, police, the formally incarcerated and elected officials. Those sessions included stops in Richmond, Va., Milwaukee and Stockton, Calif.

Overton, Joel Benenson of the Benenson Strategy Group, pollster Ron Lester of Lester and Associates, Sarah Rosen Wartell of the Urban Institute and Ellen Alberding of the Joyce Foundation will announce the study at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Lauren Victoria Burke is a Washington, D.C.-based political reporter who writes the Crew of 42 blog. She appears regularly on NewsOne Now with Roland Martin on TV One. Follow her on Twitter.

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