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Former Gov. Dannel Malloy to Join Historians and Others to Discuss Education in Connecticut


By Josh Leventhal, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will join historians, legal professionals and others to discuss the issue of education reform at Yale University Law School on April 22, 2020.

Malloy was invited by The Hartford Guardian to discuss his role as the education governor, address the challenges of segregation in the education system, and talk about closing the achievement gap. Malloy confirmed his acceptance again on Wednesday, saying he agreed because it was a good debate to have in the state, according to a staffer in his office at the University of Maine.

File Photo: Gov. Dannel P. Malloy/ AP

Many other education experts and professionals have been invited to speak on the subject of school segregation and the overall impact that it has on the achievement gap. Other topics will include why the gap still exists, and what can be done in order to close it.

“The discussion will certainly be an educational, informative, and entertaining debate,” said Ann-Marie Adams, editor and publisher of The Hartford Guardian.

In essence, the discussion will center on Adams theory about school segregation and the supplementary achievement gap that occurs in the state of Connecticut.

Dr. Adams is a leading expert in the field in American history. She is also a U.S. History Professor, an award wining journalist, and the founder of The Hartford Guardian. During the discussion, Dr. Adams will explain her theory in detail. She will also share the research that went into her book about the African American struggle for full citizenship including a quality education in CT, which in essence is the book’s innermost theme. It is also the very first published work that centers on the black Civil Rights Movement and black education in the state of Connecticut.

Dr. Adams graduated with distinction from Howard University after completing her dissertation about the African American experience and their fight for a quality education in Connecticut from the colonial period to the twentieth century. It is the first scholarly publication that covers the entire arc of the black presence in Hartford, Connecticut.

In addition, Dr. Adams has been covering the topic of education for more than 20 years at many prominent publications such as The Hartford Courant, the Norwich Bulletin, and the Times-Herald Record

There will be a short question and answer session after the debate, so participants are asked to bring questions. Please email editor@thehartfordguardian.com for sponsorship details.

The Hartford Guardian is published by the Connecticut Alliance for Better Communities, Inc., a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2004. Early bird tickets are $35 each. After Feb. 15, 2020, tickets will increase to $40/each. Please note that the cost of tickets and other donations are tax deductible.

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Hartford Offers Fee Waiver for Delinquent Taxes


HARTFORD — There’s a fee waiver for Hartford residents who owe taxes.

Beginning Dec. 15, 2019, all the collection fees will be waived. But all the owed taxes on personal property or motor vehicle must be paid to get this special waiver.

It’s a catch 22 situation, however. 

Hartford City Hall

You will have to pay the outstanding taxes and interest in full to get those fees waived.

The program will end Jan. 31, 2020. If residents fail to take advantage of this waiver, the city tax collector will impose a 15 percent collection fee on all bills.

“This Fee Relief Program will make it easier for residents to pay back taxes they owe,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.  “Last year we ran a Fee Relief Program for personal property taxes only, and this year we are expanding it to motor vehicle taxes as well.  We hope as many people take advantage as possible, so they can stay current with their taxes and the city receives the revenue we need to serve all of our residents.”

Residents can make payment online at www.hartford.gov<http://www.hartford.gov  by clicking on the “$” symbol or in the Tax Office at City Hall, 550 Main St., Room 106, Hartford, CT 06103.  

Residents can call (860) 757-9630 if they have questions.

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State Charges Hartford Woman With Fraud


HARTFORD — A Hartford social worker was arrested today and charged with cheating Medicaid out of thousands of dollars by using other social workers’ names to bill for services the government health care program would not pay her to provide.

Kathleen Service, 63, of Farmington Avenue, Hartford, was arrested by Inspectors from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and charged with one count each of firs degree larceny for defrauding a public community, health insurance fraud and first degree identity theft, and two counts of third-degree identity theft.

According to the arrest warrant, Service is a master’s level social worker and principal of Unlimited Family Services, LLC, an independent counseling practice in Hartford.  In December 2017, the Department of Social Services, which administers the state’s medicaid program, notified all master’s level social workers, including Service, that they were no longer eligible to bill the medicaid program for counseling.

In July 2018, Department of Social Services notified the fraud unit that Service apparently had skirted the 2017 termination notice by continuing to bill the medicaid program using the credentials of other eligible enrolled providers who were unaware of such billing, the warrant states.

Subsequent investigation by the medicaid fraud unit Inspectors revealed that Service used the credentials of three other providers to collect more than $151,960 for some 1,722 claims for counseling she could not bill medicaid for in her own name. Medicaid is a federal and state taxpayer-funded program that provides health care to low and no-income individuals.

Service was released on a $100,000 surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Hartford Superior Court on Oct. 17, 2019.  

Service is facing up to 20 years in prison.


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New Movie Going Experience in West Hartford with Cinépolis


WEST HARTFORD — Greater Hartford residents have another option for how to enjoy the movies.

Cinépolis USA, a leading world-class cinema exhibitor
known for its enhanced movie-going concepts, announced this week the grand opening date of August 16 for Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas West Hartford.

This announcement comes after a complete transformation of its previous theater that closed for renovations in March. 

Guests will enjoy a free small-sized popcorn for ticket holders during
opening weekend. Additionally, the first 100 ticketed guests on Friday
will receive a complimentary ticket to return, while supplies last. The
revitalized six-screen, 21,462-square-foot Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas West
Hartford marks the exhibitor’s first dine-in theater in the Northeast.
It highlights the brand’s signature guest experiences and specialty
film-viewing programs, while serving as the cinema anchor of Blue Back
Square shopping, living, dining, and entertainment district.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve the guest experience, and
this upgraded Luxury Cinema with enhanced dining and programming
exemplifies our commitment to offering an elevated and affordable
approach to entertainment,” said Luis Olloqui, CEO of Cinépolis USA. 

Following its multi-million dollar completion, Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas
West Hartford offers guests a movie-going experience with 359
fully-reclining leather seats in six auditoriums, each complete with
cutting-edge sound and high-definition projection technology. An upscale
lounge-style lobby space anchors the entry space complete with gourmet
concessions stand and seating options for guests to relax before or
after a movie.

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas West Hartford offers a full menu and in-theater
waiter service for guests to order dine-in food direct to their seat at
the push of a button. Delivered by stealthy, ninja-like servers to
ensure for minimal movie disruption, the menu features fresh
ingredients, gluten-friendly and vegan friendly options and dishes
created with a chef inspired approach — from hummus plates, edamame and quesadillas to truffle flatbreads, salads and burgers — that are
satisfying but also easy to eat inside a dim auditorium. Pending
approval of a liquor license, Cinepolis will offer a full bar menu that
includes craft beer, specialty cocktails and hand-selected wine program.

On Tuesdays, the theater will participate in the brand’s signature
Cinépolis Handpicked weekly movie-viewing program and offer discounted
$7 tickets to all participants. Cinépolis Handpicked is a carefully
curated alternative programming series that features a wide variety of
digitally remastered specialty content, including favorite cult classic
films, nostalgic oldies, special concert events, documentaries, seasonal
favorites, and more. 

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas West Hartford, located at 42 South Main Street,
West Hartford, will screen movies seven days a week with ticket prices
ranging from $7-12 for adults and $7-9 for children, with special $7
tickets on Tuesdays. Taxes and special format charges may apply. Guests
will be able to reserve seating via www.cinepolisusa.com [1] or the
Cinépolis USA APP upon the theater’s opening. For employment inquiries,
contact jobs@cinepolis.com

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Hartford Holds Public Hearing on Neighborhod Assistance Act


By Kindred Gaynor, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Katie Glass, the executive director of the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center, wants to create a safe environment for artists in an old building that was donated. So she plans to fix it up.

That’s why she applied for $143, 002 from the Connecticut Neighborhood Assistance Act. The organization hopes to do roofing and lighting updates.

“It is a 40-year-old building that requires renovations,” Glass said. “Our roof being fixed is critical because it means that people can keep coming to a safe environment.”

The organization, which enriches lives through hand weaving, is also asking for a new HVAC system because the one that is in place now is original to the building.

Glass was one of the 67 agencies that apply for the program. Only five of them showed up to the public hearing Monday night at city hall.

The NAA Tax Credit Program is designed to provide funding for municipal and tax exempt organizations by providing a corporation business tax credit for businesses that make cash contributions to these entities.

The Hartford City Council must take action on 67 eligible 2019 Neighborhood Assistance Act proposals no later then June 10.

The organizations will benefit from the Neighborhood Assistance Act because unlike loans, grants don’t have to be repaid. These grants are designed to help these organizations grow. The types of community programs that qualify for the NAA tax credit program include energy conservation, employment and training, child care services, neighborhood assistance, substance abuse, open space acquisition, crime prevention programs, and affordable housing development.

This year the caps on individuals are the same. There is a $150,000 cap for non-profit organizations for the amount that they can raise from donors that is covered by tax credit. There is also an $150,000 cap for each dollar on the amount they can donate in any one tax year.

 In previous years, the total amount of credits that were permitted state wide was $10 million dollars. Two years ago they cut that maximum in half to $5 million dollars state wide.

Joan Gurksi, director of grants, explained the process of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. “What the Connecticut DRS does after they receive all of the applications is they not only determine whether or not they agree with the programs but they also assign a limit of the amount that can be raised with tax credit.

There is a formula that is applied in order for DRS to generate the amount that each organization/agency is supposed to receive. There is some discretion during this process.”

Connecticut DRS lets the public know how much tax credit is allotted to each donor from each non-profit. The lists that Central Grants gets from Connecticut DRS will be posted on the Central Grant web page.

Adria Giordano, director of development for Chrysalis Center, explained why her company is requesting a $150,000 grant from the state. “We provide homes for homeless individuals, people who are on the brink of homelessness and those who suffer from mental health issues,” said Giordano.

The Chrysalis Center has a total of five sites in the state of Connecticut, one of those sites being for veterans. The organization recently received a grant to purchase the home for 21 homeless veterans. Giorando said, “The home that was purchased is a turn of a century building that would benefit immensely from renovations. It needs a lot of work to be energy efficient.” The organization wants to get the renovations done as soon as possible to improve the overall safety of the building.

Jennifer DeJong represented the Village for Families and Children. The organization is requesting a $150,000 grant for numerous upgrades to their facility. It has been brought to their attention that they are experiencing high levels of carbon monoxide.

They have been advised to replace the boilers that they currently have with high energy efficient stainless steel boilers. This organization works in collaboration with the Department of Children and Families and needs to refurbish their facility without any further delay.

Council President, Glendowlyn Thames, concluded the public hearing by telling each of the representatives that she doesn’t see any issues with their grant requests and they should expect to know if their grants were approved by Labor Day.

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Hartford Approves 2020 Budget with Slight Increase


By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Hartford residents will see a slight increase of city spending after the City Council on Tuesday approved Mayor Luke Bronin’s proposed $573.2 million budget for 2020.

City spending will increase by $3.2 million, or less than one percent over the current year. The budget is effective July 1.

Under the new budget, the size of the city’s workforce remains smaller than previous years. For example, there are 54 fewer workers than in 2015. However, spending for the Hartford Police Department increased by 0.3 percent to $46.6 million so that the city can hire 60 additional police officers. The department is expected to add 26 officers. In all, there will be 436 police officers by July 2020.

Spending is also flat with the education budget. That budget maintains the educational spending of previous years, $284 million. It will be supplemented by an additional $3.2 million from the state’s budget. Part of that amount will be used on reducing chronic absenteeism.

There is an increase on public safety. The Hartford Fire Department’s budget increased by $1 million or about 3 percent over the current year to $34.3 million.

Capital improvements also got a boost with $24.5 million paid through grants and the city’s general fund. The budget will cover ongoing renovations such as Weaver High School, roads and sidewalks.

The Municipal Accountability Review Board, which will oversee the state’s agreement to pay off the $550 million in Hartford’s debt, will review the budget.

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Know Good Market Returns for Fourth Season in Parkville


HARTFORD — Hartford residents will have a chance to sample a variety of cuisines on Thursday at this year’s Know Good out-door market in Parkville.

The Know Good Market will be held on May 9 at 30 Bartholomew Ave. — between 1429 Park St. and the Tradehouse on Bartholomew Ave — in Hartford from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The market, now in its fourth season, is on the second Thursday of every month from May through November with a holiday bazaar on Dec. 7. The Company — Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner — sponsors the family-friendly event.

Photo: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This year’s market will feature returning favorites like Samba Cuisine, Mercado, Craftbird, Taco Tequila and a rotating cast of greater Hartford’s best street food vendors. Hog River Brewing Co. will be open next door as well as local artisan and craft vendors purveyors.  A host of local DJ’s will be back on the loading docks stage as well.

Organizers said the market is designed to create space for a shared cultural experience in Hartford and offer an experience of raw community celebration.

The “community focused environment”, they said,  welcomes about one thousand patrons every month and seeks to engage the community’s heart and stomach.

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Agency to Host Session on Business Access to Capital


HARTFORD — This summer, small business owners will have access to training that will help them grow.

Thanks to a partnership with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Boston-based organization, Inner City Capital Connections.

ICCC will host an information session on Wednesday, April 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Trinity College. The goal of the event is to inform and encourage business owners in Hartford to take advantage of the free program.

The ICCC will bring its 40-hour executive leadership program to Hartford for the first time this summer.

The program aims to help position small and medium sized businesses in economically distressed areas for long-term growth through capacity-building education, one on one coaching and access to capital.

The program will kick off with an all-day training seminar on May 29, followed by a series of online webinars where participants learn strategy, entrepreneurial finance, marketing, and capital options.

The program also offers one-on-one coaching with local and virtual mentors ranging from small business bankers to top consulting firms. The program culminates with a national conference in Boston this November where participants will connect with different capital providers.

Organizers said the program was designed for urban entrepreneurs. Businesses must have been in operation for at least two years to participate.

For those interested in attending the information session, register here.

Those who want to apply should apply here.

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Hartford Public Library Offers Security Officer Training Program


HARTFORD — Do you want another way to make money?

If so, the Hartford Public Library will be offering training for those who want to make money as a security guard.

The library will offer its popular eight-hour security officer training program on a monthly basis. The next training is on April 17 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 500 Main Street.

This is a required training to become a Certified Security Officer. The successful completion of this program will qualify candidates to apply for a Security Officer Identification Card.

The average pay for a Security Officer is $36,174 per year.

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Hartford Police Chief David Rosado to Retire, Jumps to Private Sector


By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — After about one year on the job, Hartford Police Chief David Rosado will retire in April to take a leadership position in the private sector.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin on Thursday announced that Rosado will take a job with Pratt & Whitney. Rosado’s last day will be April 12.

Rosado was one of two picks by Bronin after a national search for a replacement of former Chief James Rovella, who retired February 15, 2018. Rosado, a former lieutenant colonel with the state troopers, was born and raised in Hartford. He actively lobbied for the job by meeting with community leaders and the city council before he was selected and confirmed in January 2018.

Rosado touted his accomplishments during his 14 months on the job, namely increasing accountability, rolling out body cameras, and recruiting diverse classes of new officers. However, he said, he will leave because of his family.

“This opportunity to take a leadership role at Pratt & Whitney is one that I could not turn down for my family,” Rosado said. “I made this decision with mixed emotions, but as anyone who knows me understands, my family is central to everything I do, and they have supported my career in public service for more than two decades. It’s difficult to leave the men and women of the Hartford Police Department, who do incredible work each and every day.”

Bronin thanked Rosado for his service and said there will be “significant community involvement in that process” in the city’s national search to replace Rosado.

“I’m grateful to Chief Rosado for his service to Hartford,” Bronin said. “Chief Rosado has had a long and distinguished career in law enforcement, and over the last year he and his team have done important work to strengthen the department. I respect his decision based on what’s best for him and his family, and I wish him and his family the very best as he gins the next chapter.”

During the national search, Assistant Chief Jason Thody will serve as interim chief.

Thody, who has been working with the Hartford Police Department for 23 years, said he’s looking forward to serving the city.

“It’s an honor to be asked to serve as Interim Chief of the Hartford Police Department,” Thody said. “I am looking forward to continuing to work with Mayor Bronin, the City Council, the men and women of the department and the community in this new role.”

Posted in Business, Hartford, NeighborhoodComments (0)

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