Archive | July, 2012

Hartford Police Identify Cabot Street Victim

HARTFORD — Hartford Police have identified the July 22 fatal shooting victim on Cabot Street.

The vicitim, Eric Perez, 36, of  Hartford, was found after police responded to a report of gun shots heard in the area of 65 Cabot St.

Upon arrival, officers found Perez suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.  He was announced dead by Emergency Medical Service at 2:42 p.m., police said.

The Hartford Police Department’s Crime Scene and Major Crimes Divisions are investigating, and ask anyone with information about the incident to contact Major Crimes Division Supervisor Sergeant Brandon O’Brien at 860-757-4089.

Confidential, anonymous tips may be submitted on-line at Hartford Crime Stoppers or by phone at 860-722-TIPS (8477).

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Hartford Police Crack 2007 Cold Case

HARTFORD — Hartford Police cracked a cold case that happened on Wethersfield Avenue in 2007.

Police Chief James C. Rovella on Monday announced the arrest of  Shanoah Walcott, 31, of Deer Meadow Lane in Bloomfield for the murder of Jepther White.

On Aug. 28, 2007, police found White in his vehicle behind 356 Wethersfield Avenue suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Walcott on July 19 and took her into custody without incident at 121 Huntington St., Hartford on July 20. Walcott is in custody on a $1 million  bond.

She is scheduled for arraignment on July 30 in Hartford Superior Court.

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Victim of Woodland and Albany Car Accident Dies

HARTFORD — The man whose car collided with a police cruiser at the corner of Albany Avenue and Woodland Street died Friday at about 12:30 p.m. at St. Francis Hospital.

Family members of Anthony Mansfield, 50,  of Hartford are “very distraught,” a source close to the family told The Hartford Guardian on Sunday.

Another relative of Mansfiled is Hartford State Rep. Doug McCrory, who late Thursday said the family talked to the police but learned little about the incident.

That’s because the incident involved a police officer, which makes it a personnel matter under investigation, said McCrory. Now, he said, the family “has lawyered up.”

Hartford Police released a statement, saying that at about 12:45 a.m. on July 13, Hartford Police Officer Taikwon Dudley, operating a marked Ford Crown Victoria Hartford Police Cruiser collided with Mansfield’s 1996 Chevy Cavalier.

A few witnesses on the scene that early morning refused to talk to police. But one witness, who arrived later on the scene, said that if the police wanted to know what happened, they should look at the camera on the police dashboard.

At about 6: 15 a.m., the police cruiser, with its mangled hood, was still on the lawn of North United Methodist Church.

Read More here

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Connecticut Lowers Flag To Honor Colorado Shooting Victims

HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, in response to a proclamation from President Barack Obama, has directed all U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to fly at half-staff until sunset on July 25, honoring the victims of the tragic shooting in Colorado.

“What happened in Colorado is a traumatic and terrible event—the victims and their families are in our prayers today, and our thoughts are with the people of Colorado.  We join them in their anguish and their outrage at this senseless act of violence, and offer our support during this very difficult time.”

President Obama’s proclamation and remarks are available at

Below: US President Barack Obama makes his way off the stage after speaking on the shootings in Aurora, Colorado at what was scheduled originally as a campaign event at Harborside Event Center July 20, 2012 in Fort Myers, Florida.  “Such violence, such evil, is senseless. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the live of another, we do know what makes life worth living,” he told a somber crowd in Florida.   (Photo credit:MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

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‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Is Sure To Be A Classic Action Film–On It’s Own Merit

By Jonathan Smalls, Film Critic

An action movie is usually a very simple affair: a protagonist identifies an antagonist, and the two parties act out their conflict with any amount of fire power, crashes, explosions, and hand to hand combat. The conflict is right out on the surface, and never goes any deeper than pure machismo. Take Die Hard, and the James Bond series as good examples. The action film is momentarily enjoyable, but it is also very quickly forgotten.

The heroic epic is a different category altogether. It may share some of the production value of an action film, but the conflict also runs much deeper than simply attacking each other physically. The protagonist may question why he does what he does. The antagonist may have some redeeming qualities, and the interaction significantly changes both characters beyond leaving one, or both of them dead. Remember the Godfather series, and Star Wars. The heroic epic stays with a culture for decades, if not longer.

So where is the Dark Knight Rises in all of this? Is it an action flick, or an epic? Is it as high quality a feature as the others, and is it worth all of the hype? In short it is worth every second of the hype it receives.

Before this Batman series no one ever lined up for midnight showings of Christopher Nolan movies, or filled theatres for whatever film Christian Bale starred in. Now the world knows that Nolan is a meticulous artist, who not only crafts every detail of his films for the maximum effect, but casts incredibly dedicated talent to bring such attention to detail to every element of his films. From the actors through the  features rebuilding-batman costume designer every is one is passionate about bringing to fans the greatest cinematic experience there is. It not only alludes to previous films in the franchise, but relies heavily on them for plot devices. Any one remember the shock when audiences first heard “Luke, I am your father”? Yes, it is like that.

Are there any stand outs in this film? No, there are not. Every one on screen is in top form at all times. The actors are amazingly strong all around, because their performances are built on top of an already excellent script. The characters all interact directly with each other in a completely believable way, and all of the relationships build to an emotionally satisfying conclusion for audiences.

Yes, you can walk into theatres, and enjoy the Dark Knight Rises as an action film. There are fights. There is espionage. There are explosions, and other forms of spectacle. You can also take the time to identify with the characters on screen, and feel much more of the deeper motivations, their inner conflicts, and difficult choices, and that makes the difference between riding a roller coaster, or the tea cups.

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Hartford Students Selected For Student Leaders Program

HARTFORD — Recognized for their commitment to community engagement and volunteerism, five Hartford students have been selected as part of Bank of America’s national Student Leaders program.

This year’s students are: Marco Aurelien, Eboni Hylton, Damien Gunn, Raissa Lana and Martha Olang.

Each student was awarded a paid, eight-week internship at The Boys and Girls Club of Hartford. The internships provided students with work experience while also supporting the nonprofits with extra help this summer.

In addition to the internships, the students traveled to Washington, D.C. on July 16, to take part in a national, week-long Student Leadership Summit. There, the students developed their leadership skills, networked with other students from around the country and participated in a service project.

Pictured Left – Right:

Martha Olang, Damien Gunn, Eboni Hylton, Marco Aurelien, Raissa Lana

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BOE: Hartford Test Scores Improve Again

HARTFORD — Hartford’s 2012 Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test increased for the fifth consecutive year, according to test results released by the State Department of Education.

Officials said 29 schools raised their Overall School Index (or OSI) above  the prior year’s score. Moreover, 18 of those 29 schools raised their OSI by more than four points, the benchmark, set by the district, that determines whether a school has made truly significant progress, officials said.

The district’s OSI has increased 15.5 points, from 46.7 to 62.2.

“That’s three times the state performance growth rate, solid evidence that the Hartford Public Schools can and will close the achievement gap,” said School Superintendent Christina Kishimoto.

In other development, three more schools – Betances Early Reading Laboratory School, the Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary L. Hooker and the Pathways Academy of Technology and Design – moved up into the Goal Range of schools with an OSI of 70 points or more. There are now 14 schools in the Goal Range, the largest number since Hartford school reform began in the 2006-2007 school year, officials said.

Test results also showed major increases in reading in fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth grade. Eighth grade math, science and writing also increased significantly, as did seventh grade writing and fifth grade science. Tenth grade writing continued to display steady gains, as it has throughout the reform.


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Connecticut Ethics Committee To Audit Lobbyists

By Francine Martin, Staff Writer

HARTFORD —  More than $30 million was spent by lobbyists this year to lobby the Connecticut General Assembly, according to state officials on the Citizen’s Ethnics Advisory Board.

So the Ethics Advisory Board on Thursday plans to “randomly select 10 lobbyists to be audited” by the Chairman of the Office of State Ethics, David Gay.

The selections rom a pool of all registered client lobbyists. will be made during the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board meeting, beginning at 1:00 p.m. at 18-20 Trinity Street, 5 th Floor in Hartford.

A client lobbyist is the party paying for lobbying services on its behalf.  In other words, the client lobbyist is expending or agreeing to expend the registration threshold amount of $2,000 in a calendar year for lobbying.

In the course of auditing the selected clients, the Office of State Ethics will also audit all associated communicator lobbyists – those receiving payment from the clients for conducting lobbying activities.

Executive Director of the Office of State Ethics Carol Carson said that laws are in place to decipher such things as who spends money to lobby legislatures and just how much they spend on certain issues.

A list of lobbyists selected to be audited will be available on the Office of State Ethics web site,, after the drawing.  The audits are expected to be completed this year.


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Chris Murphy Stops By Hartford Small Businesses on Park Street

HARTFORD — Chris Murphy on Tuesday visited small businesses on Park Street in downtown Hartford with State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez and State Rep. candidate Angel Arce.

Campaigners said Murphy spoke with business owners to get their ideas and perspective on job growth and the future of Connecticut’s economy. Murphy kick-off the business walk at SAMA’s office in Hartford. Also in the photo is  Ramon  Arroyo, (center) Democratically endorsed candidate for city registrar.

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Can the GOP Pry Some Blacks Away From President Obama?

 By Earl Ofari Hutchinson, New America Media Contributor

A black Republican advocacy group wasted no time in hitting the airwaves moments after GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP convention. The group touted Romney’s alleged triumph in getting more than a few of the hostile crowd to cheer him at times. Their national radio ad taunted President Obama in part like this:

Narrator: Obama brought high black unemployment.

Narrator: Democrats have run black communities for fifty years.

Narrator: Plantation politics.

Narrator: That’s what Obama said Democrats do to poor blacks.

The ad hit hard at Obama on the point that Romney, GOP strategists, and their black GOP point persons are convinced is the issue that can touch a sensitive nerve among blacks: jobs and poverty. The GOP sniffs a potentially perfect political storm with it: a stagnant economy, the chronically double-digit black joblessness, and the Obama administration’s non-explicit emphasis on the crisis.

That was capped by Romney’s appearance at the NAACP convention, and Obama’s non-appearance there. Despite the hit ad and Romney’s crowing to an interviewer that there were many – unnamed, of course — blacks that
supposedly told him after his convention speech privately that they agreed with him, neither Romney, GOP strategists and black Republicans in their wildest fantasy believe that they will make even a modest dent in Obama’s black support.

But they do cannily crunch the numbers and bank that even a small drop in the percentage and number of black votes in the traditional must-win states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia that Obama won in 2008, could spell potential disaster for him this time around. A cursory look at the numbers indeed signals potential danger. Obama got over 65 million votes in 2008. GOP presidential rival John McCain got over 57 million. Of the roughly 15 million eligible black voters, nearly 8 million voted for Obama. That was a surge of 2 million more black votes than in 2004. The surge was attributed exclusively to the fire and passion blacks had to elect the first black president. Obama, overall, got nearly 95 percent of the black vote. These nearly 8 million votes provided nearly the full total of Obama’s winning margin over McCain in the popular vote column.

Now fast forward to 2012. A reduction in even one to five percentage points in the total black vote would still put the president’s percentage total at the off chart number of 90 percent of the black vote, but it would hurt him. This would put his raw number total loss at potentially several hundred thousand votes. This is not as inconsequential as it first seems, particularly given that the African-American votes are not scattered geographically in all states but heavily concentrated in the urban areas in the crucial Midwest and Southern swing states. In several of the states, Obama’s winning margin over McCain was in the low single digits. While Latino and young voters will again overwhelmingly back Obama, percentage-wise, there’s no certainty that the passion they showed for his campaign in 2008 is still there in 2012. Polls show that Obama decisively won the battle for centrist independents in 2008. But this year their votes are badly fractured, with even less guarantee that they will again give him major support. This could mean a significant fall-off in their numbers as well. That makes a massive and impassioned turnout by black voters even more imperative for him. The GOP will do everything it can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Romney will take every opportunity to shove the notion down the throats of black voters that Obama’s alleged failures on the economy have directly resulted in mounting economic misery in poor black communities. The appeal will be to them not to necessarily embrace Romney, but simply for them to pause and consider their misery. The shrewd gambit is to create enough doubt and dismay among blacks, and then hope that that’s enough to stem some of the black voter floodtide to Obama.

Obama walks a narrow tight rope. He must do everything possible to keep the significant number of wavering and even bigoted white Democrats who are indifferent or outright hostile toward him from jumping ship and not voting or, worse, crossing over. This means moving gingerly on the issue of race. But at the same time he must stoke the enthusiasm level of black voters by sending constant signals that he is not taking their vote for granted, and remind them that his policies on health care, job stimulus and small business have benefited blacks. And that if elected he’ll do even more to battle chronic high unemployment, failing public schools, high incarceration rates, home foreclosures and the poverty facing black communities.

It’s a tall order, but one that he must fill to insure that the GOP fails miserably in its ploy to pry some blacks away from him.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent political commentator on MSNBC and a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate
editor of New America Media and the host of the weekly Hutchinson
Report on KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network.

Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter:

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