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Six Degrees of Separation: How Melanie Trump Trumped The First Immigrant First Lady


Honoring Our Own: Celebrating 20 Years of Civic Journalism with Ann-Marie Adams

By Rose Mendes, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Melanie Trump might be the first immigrant First Lady. But before the nation gets her into the White House, it’s apt to explore six degrees–or less–of separation with The Hartford Guardian‘s own first at the White House.

In 1990, someone chuckled and said Ann-Marie Rose Mesquita was on the road to the White House as the first immigrant first lady.

But Providence stepped in.

After a career as a model and an actress, she met and married her husband in Brooklyn, New York. She was also an active member of the Harlem fashion community. In 1992, she worked for the Black Fashion Museum and produced a variety of programs at the Minisink Town House. Now Ann-Marie Adams,  she started her career as a staff writer at Brooklyn College’s Excelsior newspaper in 1994.  In January 2004, she founded The Hartford Guardian. And she began the online publication on Oct. 5, 2008. In 2011, she graduated Howard University’s doctoral program with a distinction in United States History and taught U.S. History at Rutger’s University. And she was chosen for the cover of Hartford magazine as black woman of the year in 2012.

After that,  she was on her way to becoming the first Jamaican-American White House Correspondent.

Adams’ path to the White House intersected with Melania’s presumed path to the White House as an immigrant. Both women emigrated and were models in New York during the 1990s. And both met then Kansas Senator Bob Dole during the 1990s.

Ann-Marie Adams as a model in New York City: She “can go from a back-yard barbecue to the White House.”

annmarierosemesquitanycannmarie adams circa New York 1990

In 1996, when Melania emigrated to the U.S., Adams was selected to interview Dole during his presidential stop at Brooklyn College. In 1998, Melania met Donald Trump, who is a friend of Dole.

Dole, a Brooklyn College alum, who has resurfaced is linked to Adams, the award-winning journalist and founder of The Hartford Guardian, now in her third year of covering the White House beat. Only Providence can explain that coincidence, Adams said.

Also the consummate historian, Adams said that if Melania goes into the White House as the first immigrant first lady, it would be because the Republicans show that they are the stronger team.

These connections, Adams, said will only help give insight into the White House beat as the first black president finishes his second-year in office.

That’s not the only connection Adams has to the White House, however. Her friend, who lives in Boston, is a friend of a Washington, D.C. resident: Gary Officer. Officer is also a close ally of Michelle Obama.

Ann-Marie Adams’s career spans from 1996 at Brooklyn College to the White House 2016:

 collageone-annmarieadams

Video with Melanie and Bob Dole:

In 2015 while covering the White House, sources told Ann-Marie Adams that she might have been the first immigrant First Lady at the White House–if she had behaved and wasn’t so fiesty. What unfolded after she got the news is dubbed the crime of the century: Adams has no wedding plans with any of the presidential candidate or Barack Obama.  That’s because she was and perhaps still is married to her career as a journalist and a historian.

Ann-Marie Adams, White House Correspondent 2015:

BeFunky Collagetwo

None of these women, sources said, work harder than Ann-Marie Adams, for what they have accomplished so far. Adams, who emmigrated from Jamaica in 1987, is now the founder of the first nonprofit news publication in Connecticut.  So it’s only apt that we celebrate our journalist and historian in Connecticut.

Six Degrees of Separation

Picture of  Adams and Bob Dole at Brooklyn College 1996 and Gary Officer and Michelle Obama 2011:

sixdegrees-gofficer-mobama

All photos courtesy of Ann-Marie Adams and Gary Officer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Historic Old State House to Close for Renovation


By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — The historic Old State House will close for a year because of deep cuts to the state’s budget.

The Old State House on Main Street is Connecticut’s first town hall and is  famous for Amistad trial.

The brick building will be stripped of its Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington and hundreds of other artifacts, state officials said.

Local historians said the museum might not reopen if its collections are removed and stored in several institutions such as the Connecticut State Library, the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Connecticut Historical Society.

In the meanwhile, workers will continue to empty the contents in the museum. The content is worth about $40 million.  of the building on Sept. 1 — as mandated by the state legislature this year — but says it will not do that until the historic structure is emptied of its contents, worth about $40 million.

In 2008, the state took over the Old State House. And it was managed by the Office of Legislative Management, which maintains and provides security for the Capitol and the Legislative Office Building.

State lawmakers said the Old State House will have new management on Sept. 1, a mandate by the state legislature. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is to managed the renovation because it is best suited under an agency that manages parks.

The legislature also cut the Old State House’s budget from $100,000 to $400,000.

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Hartford Police Investigate Bomb Threat


By Rose Mendes, Staff Writer

HARTFORD  — Hartford police is still investigating a bomb threat to several public buildings on Wednesday.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley said that detectives are still working at the scenes and, there was no evidence of any bombs.

According to reports, threat was consistent with other bomb threats in the past toward the Hartford Police Department and the Hartford Fire Department headquarters.

There was no need to interrupt or evacuate the buildings, police said.

Police said that the threats are connected to another investigation of a bank robbery in Bristol.

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Hartford Opens Cooling Centers for Summer Heat Wave


HARTFORD —  For residents who want relief from extreme summer heat this week, they can look to the Hartford’s cooling centers located

From July 25 to July 29, Hartford Fire Department Chief Reggie Freeman stated that the HFD Special Services Unit is giving out cold water to people at bus stops citywide while at peak times today.

HFD Chief Freeman also warned residents that opening fire hydrants without spray caps is wasteful and dangerous.

Illegally opened fire hydrants can put children at serious risk, because the powerful force of an open hydrant without a spray cap can push them into oncoming traffic.

List of Cooling Centers:
* North End Senior Center, 80 Coventry Street, Time: 8:30am-5:00pm
* South End Wellness Center, 830 Maple Avenue, Time: 8:30am-5:00pm
* Parkville Senior Center, 11 New Park Avenue, Time: 8:30am-3:30pm

Public Pools will be open to families at the following locations:
* Colt Park Pool, 106 Wethersfield Avenue, Time: 12:00pm-6:00pm
* Goodwin Pool, 1130 Maple Avenue, Time: 12:00pm-6:00pm
* Keney Park Pool, Woodland Street entrance, Time: 12:00pm-6:00pm

The Hartford Public Library is available for residents and visitors. Below are hours of operation:
* Hartford Downtown Public Library, 500 Main Street, Time: Wed-Thurs 10:00am-8:00pm, Fri 10:00am-5:00pm
* Albany Library Branch, 1250 Albany Avenue, Time: Wed-Thurs 11:00am-6:00pm, Fri 12:30pm-5:00pm
* Barbour Branch, 281 Barbour Street, Time: Wed-Thurs 11:00am-6:00pm, Fri 12:00pm-5:00pm
* Camp Field Branch, 30 Campfield Avenue, Time: Wed-Thurs 11:00am-6:00pm, Fri 12:00pm-5:00pm
* Dwight Branch, 7 New Park Avenue, Time: Wed-Thurs 11:00am-6:00pm, Fri 12:00pm-5:00pm
* Mark Twain Branch, 55 Forest Street, Time: Wed-Fri 1:00pm-5:00pm
* Park Branch, 744 Park Street, Time: Wed-Thurs 11:00am-6:00pm, Fri 12:00pm-5:00pm
* SANDS/Ropkins, 1750 Main Street, Time: Wed-Thurs 11:00am-6:00pm, Fri 12:30pm-5:00pm
* Goodwin, 460 New Britain Avenue, Time: Wed-Thurs 11:00am-6:00pm, Fri 12:00pm-5:00pm
* Blue Hills Branch, 649 Blue Hills Avenue, Time: Wed-Thurs 11:00am-6:00pm, Fri 12:00pm-5:00pm

Helpful tips to beat the heat include:
* Drink water regularly and often, avoid large amounts of caffeine and alcohol as it causes dehydration.
* Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
* Stay indoors as much as possible. Avoid the sun and use an SPF of 30 or more if you have to be outdoors.
* Go somewhere to get relief from the heat such as libraries, malls, movie theaters, or places with air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day.
* Never leave children or pets inside a closed vehicle. Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time.
* Cover windows that get direct sunlight.
* Take time to check on neighbors and friends who may be homebound.

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Blumenthal, Bronin Meet with Hartford Officials to Discuss Ways to Quiet Tensions, Police Brutality


SUBMITTED: Author wants Mayor Luke Bronin to Resign for 
Ignoring Media Suppression and Hate Crime in Hartford.

By L. Giles, Contributor

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Mayor Luke A. Bronin, Chief James C. Rovella and Hartford’s State Attorney Gail P. Hardy met at City Hall on Tuesday to discuss ways to serve the Hartford community while ensuring that police officers have adequate resources to protect and serve  residents and business owners.

Blumenthal called on President Barack Obama’s office for additional resources to fight crime after Bronin said there’s a need to have good communication with city residents and business owners to avoid similar shootings and mass protest that gripped the nation when a gunman named Micah Johnson killed five police officers during a protest in Dallas, Texas.

Johnson’s and other retaliatory acts to police brutality since then is to be avoided, state officials said, hence another round of meetings that involved a trip to Barbershop on Main and Park streets.

All four public officials realized that the city is “still wrestling with the legacy of deeply flawed criminal justice policies.” That and the lack of public trust could trigger an eruption in Hartford, never seen since 1967.

The trust needed in the community was broken for one reporter after 15 police officers were dispatched to 167 Sisson Ave. on Friday, April 4, 2014. A Hartford Guardian reporter was awoken from her sleep and taken to John Dempsey Hospital, where they kept her, so that she could not cover the President of the United States. And she could not attend a Friday church service in East Hartford and a history conference on Saturday.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionSince then, law enforcement officials in the state have been monitoring The Hartford Guardian’s website and disrupting her writing. The systematic dismantling of a competitive publication that has won several awards and is the blue print for other publications in the Greater Hartford area is akin to the kind of racism found in the 1920s. And to date, law enforcement officials have used covert techniques to silence all the witnesses by using electronic nodes and other fancy crime fighting tools to control law abiding citizens of color.

For example, these new devices were used to control a reporter’s thinking, reading and writing, according to a black law enforcement officers who want to remain anonymous. This, he said, is “slavery by another name.” And that is why everyone in the city should be concerned about Chief Rovella asking for more money for his department. Rovella must address the lawsuit against the city for detainment, invasion of privacy, attempted murder and failure to protect a citizen under the 14th amendment before others are forced to go the the United Nations to discuss why Connecticut want to enslaved black and Latino people “in secret.”

City cameras, electronic nodes other policing tools used 24 hours a day on one reporter is why the Hartford police–and other law enforcement agencies in this state, should instead shed those police officers who have violated a public trust.

If they had that much time to have a chit-chat session with a single black woman on April 4, 2014 and almost every day since then, they do not need any extra resources.

Tuesday’s meeting came after another police office was killed in Orlando without discussion about the April 4 incident. Martin Luther King, Jr died on April 4. So many city activists say it was a symbolic move to silence them because city officials were sending a message–not just to the reporter–to anyone who wanted to start a civil rights movement in the city. There will be no civil rights movement in Hartford, they said. The mystery should be unveiled by all the officials at the meeting.

In the meanwhile, some residents are asking for Luke Bronin’s resignation because he has yet to address the police brutality directed at the only black reporter who writes for a daily publication. This clearly impacts the minority community in the telling of our stories.

L. Giles lives in New Britain.

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

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Latino Center Receives Bikes for BiCi Co


HARTFORD — The University of Connecticut recently donated 30 bikes to the Center for Latino Progress  for its BiCi Co. program.

UConn officials said the bikes had previously been abandoned by students at the Storrs campus during the Spring semester and will now be refurbished in classes and workshops, and ultimately given to Hartford teens through various programs to include, Summer Youth Employment activities, Earn-a-Bike, Bikes for Jobs Access, BIKE LIFE – Hartford!, and DIY projects for BiCi Co. members.

All of these programs put more bicycles into our community, encouraging healthy and sustainable transportation and increased mobility, officials said.

This is UConn’s second time donating bicycles to The Center and supporting Hartford’s youth.

BiCi Co. includes bicycle safety classes, teaches marketable skills, reinforces it through repetition, and provides members of the community with a cheap and reliable form of transportation.

To learn more about this impactful youth development program, to volunteer, or to donate, please visit www.ctprf.org or call (860) 247-3227.

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Letter : CT State Police Busted


Dear  Editor:

On Friday, September 11th, 2015, I was peacefully and legally protesting a Connecticut State Police checkpoint and openly carrying in West Hartford, CT, when four troopers, Master Sergeant Patrick Torneo, Sergeant John Jacobi, Trooper First Class John Barone, and Trooper Jeff Jalbert, illegally detained and searched me, seized my pistol, pistol permit and camera, claiming it was illegal to record them, threatened to arrest me twice, conspired to fabricate evidence against me, and falsely charged me with “creating a public disturbance” and “negligent pedestrian.”

This event was all caught on video.

This past Friday, July 15th, after 10 months of dragging out a nothing case, the state dropped all charges, failing to comply with discovery ordered by a magistrate and admitting that they never had a case. Almost a year after the incident, the troopers are still being investigated. I would like to share my story with Connecticut residents.

You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/Aizm05nCVkE
Michael Picard
West Hartford

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Gov. Dan Malloy Talks Gun Safety in Iowa


By

Gov. Dannel Malloy is one of eight Democratic governors in Iowa for the next National Governors Association.

Malloy led a discussion in Des Moines this morning — organized by Hillary Clinton’s campaign — to discuss gun safety. He called assault-style guns like the one used to shoot Dallas police last week “weapons of mass destruction.”

“That’s what they are. They killed 49 people in a very short period of time and injured 53 others in Orlando. They killed 20 children in Newtown at Sandy Hook School,” Malloy said. “They’ve done it time and time and time again.”

Connecticut lawmakers passed new state gun laws after that December 2012 mass shooting at the school. Only 10 rounds of ammunition are allowed in a magazine, armor-piercing bullets are banned and more than 100 guns were added to Connecticut’s list of banned assault-style weapons.

“Not solely because we did those things, but in part because we did those things, our violent crime rate is dropping at a rate 2.5 times the national average,” Malloy said. “…This year alone assaults and homicides with the use of a gun are down about 40 percent.”

Malloy said those stats are “proof common sense legislation does make us safer.” And Malloy argued there’s no issue that shows a clearer distinction between Clinton and Donald Trump than how each would deal with gun safety legislation as president.

Lindsay Jancek, the Republican National Committee’s Iowa communications director, says Republicans have proposed “common sense solutions” that protect Second Amendment rights.

“It’s ironic that Gov. Malloy would come to Iowa to advocate for policies when residents in his home state oppose his own efforts,” she says. “In 2014, nearly 40 percent of Connecticut residents did not support the state’s tighter gun control laws and last year, state media found resident’s owned nearly 52,000 assault rifles.”

Connecticut residents who legally owned assault-style weapons before the ban went into effect two decades ago were allowed to get permits for those guns.

Additionaly reporting by  radioiowa.com.

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CT Pastor Arrested for Raping a Minor


By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

NEW HAVEN — A 59-year-old pastor was arrested on Monday for allegedly raping a minor.

New Haven police arrested  Walter Williams of 118 Skylark Dr. in Northford was charged with five counts of second-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and other related crimes, according the the New Haven Register.

According to reports, the New Haven Police interrogated Williams on July 7 and said he agreed to “five or six” sexual encounters with the victim between July 2015 and April 2016. The victim, reports said, was a member of the church’s choir.

Police say the victim’s mother contacted them after discovering text messages between her daughter and Williams on her daughter’s phone. The victim told police at least two of the assaults took place at Walk of Faith Church of Christ on Fairmount Ave. in New Haven, where Williams is the pastor.

According to police report, Williams assaulted the victim at her  relative’s birthday party at Williams’ home. Another incident occurred  a month later, when Williams summoned her to his office at the church. At least two of the incidents took place at the church, police said.

Williams is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.  He was held in lieu of $250,000 bail until his arraignment Tuesday morning.

Williams was unavailable at press time.

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Downtown to Have New Grocery Store


HARTFORD — Downtown Hartford will have a new upscale grocery store this Wednesday: Greeway Market.

This is the second attempt in the last five years to have a grocery store in downtown Hartford. The previous grocery store, Market at Hartford 21, opened  a block from the Greenway location, opened to much fanfare but closed after just six months.

After conducting a Facebook survey as part of his market research for the store and found that those who responded on the Dwelling in Downtown, residents said they wanted a store that was more affordable.

Five years ago,  the previous store owners  receive a luke-warm reception for its upscale offerings.

The store will sell organic and natural foods alongside traditional, everyday brands.
Ankit Harpaldas, owners of the new market, said the store will feature locally-made products, such as bread from the Hartford Baking Co. and coffee for its “coffee station” from Giv Coffee, a coffee roastery and cafe, in Canton.

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