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Thousands from CT Heading to D.C. to Celebrate – and Protest – Inauguration


GAGE SKIDMORE / CREATIVE COMMONS

President-elect Donald J. Trump

WASHINGTON – The inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump and related events may bring a record number of Connecticut residents to Washington, both to support the swearing in of the 45th president and to protest policies they expect him to implement.

Connecticut’s congressional delegation has distributed more than 1,500 tickets to those who want to be up front on the Capitol lawn to see Trump take the oath of office on Friday.

“It’s going to be a tremendous honor to witness the peaceful transfer of power,” said Rep. Anthony D’Amelio, a Republican who represents Waterbury in the General Assembly.

D’Amelio was the first elected state representative to endorse Trump and was honored by the president elect during a rally last April in Waterbury.

“He called me up on the stage, which was pretty cool,” D’Amelio said.

He is attending the inaugural events with his wife Joanne and his son Anthony and also will take the opportunity to spend time with his daughter Krista, who lives here.

J.R. Romano, the head of the Connecticut Republican Party, will also attend the inauguration. He arrived in Washington this week for a Republican National Committee meeting and will stay for the festivities.

“It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind and very exciting,” Romano said.

Many Connecticut residents in Washington this week will attend an inaugural ball.

Washington loves to mix parties with politicking and an inauguration provides fertile ground for that. The practice dates back to the first president. On May 7, 1789, one week after the inauguration of George Washington in New York City, sponsors held a ball in his honor.

But it was not until 1809, when Dolley Madison held the first inaugural ball for James Madison at the Capitol, that the tradition of the official ball began.

Kyle Constable / CTMirror.org

Donald Trump invites Rep. Tony D’Amelio, R-Waterbury, onto the stage during an April rally at Crosby High School in Waterbury. D’Amelio will be attending the inauguration.

On Friday night, Trump and his wife Melania will attend the official balls, called the Liberty and Freedom Ball and the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball.

There are more than a dozen other unofficial balls and parties scheduled to celebrate the inaugural, usually sponsored by special interests.

Most of the unofficial balls are organized by state societies, non-partisan social organizations that provide expatriates of states who live in greater Washington with venues for a wide variety of receptions, dinners, picnics, ceremonies and charitable events.

The Connecticut State Society joined other New England states in organizing a ball eight years ago, but hasn’t held an inaugural ball or party since.

While Republicans are celebrating retaking the White House and control of both chambers of Congress, security for the inauguration will be tighter than ever because a record number of inaugural protesters are expected.

Taking the oath

 Trump will recite the oath of office, administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, at noon.  He will use President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration Bible, as well as the Bible that Trump’s mother gave to him at his Sunday school graduation in 1955. Afterward, Trump will deliver his inaugural address.

Just before Trump takes the oath, Vice President-elect Mike Pence will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Those on the stage with Trump and Pence on the west front of the Capitol will include members of Congress, Supreme Court justices and former presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as Trump’s election opponent Hillary Clinton.

About 60 members of the U.S. House of Representative are boycotting the inaugural ceremony, many of them angered by Trump’s clash with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

But every member of the Connecticut congressional delegation – all Democrats – plan to attend.

U.S. Coast Guard

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard band practice for the inaugural at the academy in New London.

“While I respect different decisions made by others, I will attend the inauguration out of respect for our nation’s peaceful transition of power and as a part of my official duties,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, said he will attend the inauguration to respect history tradition and the transfer of power, even though, “Donald Trump has not shown the temperament, integrity or wisdom necessary to run a small town.”

“Presidents Carter, Bush and Obama, Secretary Clinton, Senator Sanders and I will be there Friday not to celebrate an intemperate and cynical new president, but to witness a peaceful transfer of power nearly unique in human history,” Himes said. “We will also be there as visible evidence that power is shared in our nation, and that President Trump will be checked and balanced by hundreds of people on that inaugural stage.”

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said he also will attend, although his initial inclination was not to come to Washington.

Afterward, in keeping with tradition, Trump and Pence will attend the Congressional Lunch in the Capitol.

Then the new president and vice president will make their way along 1.5 miles of Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, trailed by some 8,000 parade participants.

Connecticut will be represented by the Coast Guard marching band and a 90-member cadet corps.

Four years ago, at President Obama’s second inaugural parade, Connecticut had one float in the parade. It was a 1916 Ford Model T ambulance painted “French infantry blue” that was driven down Pennsylvania Avenue by George King III of North Franklin.

King said he submitted a request to participate in Friday’s parade, but was turned down by the inaugural committee.

Marching against Trump

Like other inaugurations, this one will draw protesters.

Many of them are coming to Washington for the Women’s March on the day after Trump is sworn in. Organizers say about 4,500 marchers will come from Connecticut for an event that is expected to draw about 200,000.

The march started with people responding to a Facebook event page created by retired Hawaiian attorney Teresa Shook on election night.

“It’s just ingrained in every fiber of my being, I could not think of not going to the march,” said Amanda Fischcetti, a 32-year-old mother of three who lives in Union.

Courtesy of Amanda Fischetti

Amanda Fischetti of Union, plans to join the Women’s March in Washington on behalf of her daughters.

She said she was prompted to join the protest because she is concerned about “a lot of scary stuff that’s coming down the pike” in the new Trump administration.

Like many marchers, Fischetti is concerned about a rollback of women’s rights and civil rights. The part-time teacher is driving to Washington with her cousin, aunt and best friend.

But many are taking buses that will take them to Washington, D.C., in the morning and bring them back in the evening, paying from $50 to $70 for a round trip fare –depending on the pickup point in the state.

Women’s March organizers in Connecticut say they have filled 80 buses, and churches and other groups have filled others.

Michele Jacklin, 66, of Glastonbury is coming to Washington because she thinks it’s important “to send a message to President Trump and congressional Republicans that they cannot turn back the clock.”

She joined in the protest at former President Richard Nixon’s inauguration in 1969. This one is expected to be much larger. Sister marches are planned for all 50 states and in 32 countries around the world. The ones in Connecticut will be held in Stamford, Hartford and several other towns.

Jacklin said she doesn’t expect the march to change Trump’s mind much, “but for four years we will fight him tooth and nail.”

Kathy Cross, 59, of Simsbury, is marching to try to safeguard “basic human rights” which she said are “under threat” by the Trump administration.

Sarah Raskin, a professor at Trinity College who helped organize the march in Connecticut, said the protest has three goals.

One is to provide a support group for people “who no longer recognize the country.” The second is to make it clear to the Trump administration and congressional Republicans ‘”that there are a lot of us,” who disagree with their agenda. The third reason for the march, Raskin said, is to begin organizing a movement of opposition.

“So many women have come forward to say, ‘I’ve not been political before but I just can’t stay that way’,” Raskin said. “I think Connecticut is going to be very well represented.”

The marchers will be supported by the members of the Connecticut congressional delegation. Some, including Blumenthal and Reps. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District and Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District.  Sen. Chris Murphy plans to babysit his two young sons so his wife can march.

The five members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut also have organized a reception in the Rayburn House Office Building for the marchers from the state.

First published on ctmirror.org.

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Car Chase Leads to Lane Closings on I-91


HARTFORD — A police chase that began in Massachusetts and injured at least one person caused lane closings on I-91.

State Police said the two lanes of I-91 south near exit 49  are still closed because of a crash at the end of a police chase that began in Springfield early Thursday.

At least one person was seriously injured in the crash, police said

Troopers from the Massachusetts State Police and Springfield officers were involved in the pursuit, police said.

Connecticut state troopers responded to scene.

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Bronin Signs Contract with Dept of Interior


HARTFORD — Mayor Luke Bronin on Wednesday announced that he has signed a General Agreement with the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service regarding security measures at Coltsville Park.

In December 2014, Coltsville became a National Historical Park. The areas within Coltsville that received “National Historical Park” status include the following sites: Colt Armory, Church of the Good Shepard, Caldwell Colt Memorial Parish House, Colt Park, the Potsdam Cottages, Armsmear, and the James Colt House. The Public Law designating Coltsville as a National Historical Park also required that the NPS and the City enter into a written agreement regarding management of the land within the National Historical Park.

In September 2016,  Bronin submitted a resolution to the Common Council authorizing the City to enter into a General Agreement with the U.S. Department of Interior, NPS for the Coltsville National Historical Park, which fulfills the management of the land within the National Park requirement.

The Common Council approved the resolution on Oct. 24, 2016.

 

The five-year agreement signed by Bronin stipulates that both parties work together for the preservation and redevelopment of the National Historical Park and the neighborhood, develop a pattern of collaboration and communication, develop projects of mutual benefit leading to the conservation of historic resources, and creatively research funding opportunities for projects.

The NPS will be responsible for providing interpretation and education and managing special events to be held on the NPS-owned property.

In addition, the NPS and the City will cooperate in protecting and preserving the historical and cultural resources in Coltsville National Historical Park.

 

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Asian Host First Culture Night


HARTFORD — The Asian American Student Association at Trinity College hosted the first Intercollegiate Asian American Culture Night in the Admissions Grand Room.

In addition to the Trinity students who hosted the event in November, the conference welcomed Asian culture clubs from the University of Connecticut, Eastern Connecticut State University, Connecticut College, and Wesleyan University.

Members of the Trinity College Asian American Student Association executive board with Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney

Members of the Trinity College Asian American Student Association executive board with Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney

Each club brought food to share with the group, and offered introductions and presentations as the students got to know one another. “The energy was very high, and the enthusiasm for future events such as this was very apparent,” said Ethan Yang, the first-year representative for Trinity’s AASA and one of the conference organizers. “During the open microphone session, many people passionately discussed issues relating to the Asian American identity, including conflicts with tradition, acceptance, fitting in, and being criticized for not looking Asian.”

The event organizers believe that this was the first step toward forming a coalition to unite Asian American culture clubs from colleges across Connecticut. The organization aims to encourage further collaboration and communication amongst its member clubs.

“My co-host Hamna Tariq and I had the privilege of hosting one of the most successful and productive AASA events ever,” Yang said. “Overall, this event was an unprecedented and historic step that has created momentum that will surely change the state of Connecticut for the collegiate Asian American, and hopefully all cultures.”

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Connecticut State Troopers Investigate KKK Video


EAST WINDSOR — The Ku Klux Klan has emerged waving flags, lighting bon fires, and disrupting residents in East Windsor, police said early Monday.

According to State Police investigating the incident, a video recently  surfaced on Facebook showing someone dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit at a bonfire with Trump signs.

News reports say the video may have stemmed from a bonfire in Stafford Springs.

This is not the first time Connecticut has seen symbols of hate. In 1986,  the Ku Klux Klan held a national convention and burned a cross on an isolated farm in East Windsor.

It was also happening around the country. Most recently, the KKK rallied in Nevada in support of Donald Trump.

The video, posted on social media, shows an individual wearing a robe and a hood waving a Trump flag.

Stafford’s first selectman, Anthony Frassinelli, said he met with law enforcement Monday morning as the video was circulating online. He said they won’t let the actions of “a few ignorant people embarrass our town and its residents.”

Police said these individuals could face trespassing charges because they were rallying on someone else’s property.

East Windsor First Selectman Bob Maynard tells News 8 he believes the video was filmed in gravel pits in the southern part of town.  News 8 also reports that this is an area accessible only by off road vehicles.

Also on Monday, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton posted on Facebook that recently spray painted swastikas in the city.

“Rest assured that the city of Danbury will not tolerate acts of hate. When the person or persons are apprehended they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Boughton wrote.

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East Hartford Police Seek Missing Elderly in Hartford


EAST HARTFORD —  Police is seeking the whereabouts of an elderly man whose last known address was in East Hartford.

Alexander Aleo, 94, was last seen on video and by a teller at Off Track Betting in Hartford. Police said he is a regular customer.

He has not contacted family and travels to very few other locations and always returns home before dark. Family last spoke to him by phone after 8PM on Saturday.

He has no major health issues, police said. He should be operating CT 685TML, a grey 2005 Hyundai Sonata 4 door sedan. Hospitals and other locations checked were negative.

Please give this announcement your widest broadcast.

Please contact East Hartford Police with any information.

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What Immigrant Communities Can Do to Prepare for Trump


SAN FRANCISCO — Two days after Donald Trump’s victory, immigration experts told reporters to keep a close eye on the president-elect’s transition team and his appointments to key government positions, for clues as to what to expect from his administration once he is sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017.

“We’re hearing a lot of questions and, honestly, a little bit of panic,” said Sally Kinoshita, deputy director of Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

But, she said, it’s important to put the election in context.

“When you look at the popular vote [which Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won], “the majority of Americans did not vote for Trump and his anti-immigrant rhetoric,” Kinoshita said on a national press call organized by New America Media and Ready California, a coalition of nonprofits that serve immigrant communities.

“This election,” she cautioned, “is not a reflection of Americans in general and their views of immigrants.”

What the polls got wrong

The election of Donald Trump came as a surprise to pollsters, who had estimated Clinton’s chances of winning at 70 percent and up.

“From a historical standpoint, the polling was wrong for the following reasons: Turnout in urban centers [that traditionally vote Democratic] was slightly lighter than expected; and turnout in rural areas was higher than expected,” explained Anthony Williams, special project director of the Miami-based public opinion research firm Bendixen & Amandi International.

This had the effect of “flipping three states that nobody thought were in play: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, and, to a certain extent, Florida,” he said.

But a look at the total numbers shows that Trump prevailed in the Electoral College, not because of a swell of enthusiasm for the Republican candidate, but because of a lack of enthusiasm for Clinton.

Trump’s vote total was roughly equal to GOP candidate John McCain’s total in 2008, and he got fewer votes than GOP candidate Mitt Romney got in 2012.

Clinton, meanwhile, got about 60 million votes – six million fewer than Barack Obama got in 2012, and 10 million fewer than Obama got in 2008.

While there was “very little evidence” of an insidious effort at voter suppression in this election, said Williams, there were “other forms of voter suppression, not the least of which was the overwhelming sense that it was over.

“You could make the argument,” he said, “that the perception of [Clinton’s] victory suppressed turnout [in urban areas that would have voted for Clinton].”

An increase in Hispanic, Asian voters and Senators

“The notion that there was a Hispanic wave was real,” noted Williams. “In Nevada, the increase in Hispanic turnout was the difference in the election.”

But Williams said that in other states, such as Florida, there were not enough Latino voters to overcome the increase in the rural, white voter turnout.

Christine Chen, executive director APIAVote, also saw an increased level of voter participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), over two-thirds of whom are first-generation immigrants.

Based on early voter turnout, she said, the AAPI vote doubled in Florida, Arizona, Virginia and North Carolina, and tripled in Georgia.

Two Asian American women were elected to the U.S. Senate, joining Mazie Hirono of Hawaii: Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who is Thai Chinese, and Kamala Harris of California, who is African American and Indian.

In Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto became the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate.

A challenging time ahead

The election of Trump, a candidate who made fear and xenophobia a central part of his campaign, has spurred advocates to pledge to fight for the dignity of all families.

“There’s no doubt we are entering a challenging period. The election was divisive and damaging. We saw hate crimes, hateful rhetoric,” said Kamal Essaheb, national director of policy and advocacy for National Immigration Law Center.

“President-Elect Trump has called for unity in his election night speech, but obviously his actions are going to have to speak louder,” Essaheb said.

The most important thing to do now, he said, is to make sure immigrants are prepared and know their rights.

One thing to keep in mind, he said, are the limits of presidential power.

“The Constitution protects everyone,” Essaheb said. “Law enforcement has to show you [a warrant to enter your house]. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to call an attorney.”

“There are things he can do that will be harmful,” said Essaheb. But, he said, “Trump cannot take away the Constitution. He cannot take away the people’s rights.”

Another thing he can’t take away are state and local laws, such as California’s AB 60, which allows undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license. “State and city-level policies did not change on Tuesday night,” Essaheb said. “The same opportunities are there; the imperative to act is higher.”

Trump has said that he would repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the executive action taken by President Obama in 2012 that gives certain undocumented immigrants who came here as children access to a work permit.

He has said that he would eliminate federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities” whose policies limit cooperation between local police and federal immigration authorities.

He has talked about stepping up deportations, with “zero tolerance for criminal aliens.”

He has also talked about building a wall, something that experts say is neither practical nor feasible.

He has even hinted at a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, Essaheb noted, saying that once we enforce our laws, we can start to have a conversation about the people who are already here.

What families can do now

Although it is hard to know exactly what to expect under a Trump administration, there are some steps families can take now to stay safe and plan for their future.

Sally Kinoshita of Immigrant Legal Resource Center noted that Trump is not president until Jan. 20, 2016. Until then, the DACA program remains in effect.

It takes several months for DACA applications to be processed, Kinoshita said, so if people have not applied for DACA, it might be too late.

Trump has said he would get rid of the program; the earliest this would happen is his first day in office.

Renewals, which take eight weeks to be processed, would be much less of a risk, said Kinoshita. Some people are renewing their DACA now while Obama is in office, in order to get a two-year work permit.

Anyone planning to renew DACA now should know that the price for DACA increases to $495 on Dec. 23, 2016. Loans are available through the Mission Asset Fund, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, the Mexican Consulate or local service providers.

Because there is expected to be an increase in enforcement, prioritizing those with criminal records, she said, people should avoid brushes with the law.

“Something like a DUI or a drug conviction can have permanent immigration consequences,” Kinoshita said.

Those who live in California can get certain felonies reduced to misdemeanors under Prop 47.

Kinoshita encouraged all immigrants to go to a qualified legal services provider to be screened for other forms of immigration relief.

To find free or low-cost nonprofit legal services providers near you, go to the Immigration Advocates Network’s national directory.

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Hartford Parents Offered Money Workshops


HARTFORD —  Hartford parents can now learn steps they can take early on to save for college, use online financial tools, and how to find and apply for scholarships.

The city of Hartford in partership with other stakeholders will offer the following courses:
· Citizenship Status and Attaining Access to Education- Families will learn how citizen status is not a barrier to educational attainment on any level, elementary school to college. Presented by Stefan Keller, College Access Program Coordinator, Connecticut Students for a Dream.
· Careers in Computer Science – Families will learn how the field of computer science is growing and ways that students can fill the shortage in our labor market. Presented by James Veseskis, Project Coordinator Exploring Computer Science CT.
· College Fair – High school students will have the opportunity to talk with admissions representatives from colleges in the Hartford community, such as Central Connecticut State University and Tunxis Community College
· High School Planning- Middle school students will learn how to apply for the public, magnet, technical, and regional schools.
· Food and refreshments will be provided to those who register
· Childcare available for children 2-years-old and older
· Exciting games and prizes for students!
· Registration is currently open on Eventbrite (deadline for registration is October 21):
English: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hartford-public-schools-college-and-career-readiness-family-event-tickets-28199343997
Spanish: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/evento-para-la-familia-acerca-de-la-preparacion-universitaria-y-profesional-de-las-escuelas-tickets-28394797604

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Larson to Host Korean Ambassador Ahn Ho-Young


HARTFORD — Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) and Ambassador Ahn Ho-Young of the Republic of Korea will hold a special medal ceremony for veterans of the Korean War on Oct. 21.

Larson and Ambassador Ahn worked together to secure the Medal of Gratitude for nearly 100 local Korean War veterans.

Rep. Larson and Ambassador Ahn last met prior to the Congressman’s visit to Korea in August. While in Korea, Larson discussed the impact of the Korean War, his own efforts to ensure Korean War veterans receive the care and recognition they earned, and his visit with our troops who are stationed at the DMZ.

 

 

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Northeast NRZ and others to Meet Tonight


HARTFORD — The Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Zone will hold its monthy meeting tonight at the Parker Memorial Kelvin Anderson Center in Hartford.

The meeting will include a special presentation by the   city of Hartford’s Housing Code Enforcement Team.

Representatives will learn more about thier rights and what they can do for occupants living in rental dwellings.

There will also be updates on Promise Zone and Community solutions.

CT Pardon Team Meeting

Is a criminal record following you? If so, you may be eligible for a pardon. To find out more at upcoming meetings of Connecticut Pardon Team in Hartford. The first meeting will be held on Oct. 17 a Hartford Public Library 500 Main St. in Hartford. Call to register at 860-823-1571.

The second meeting will be held on Nov. 7 at hartford Public Library, Ground Floor. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

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