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Thursday, May 26, 2016

WHAT DID THEY SAY?

The raw, unedited video below is of the Hartford Stadium Authority's meeting earlier today. During that meeting the members voted unanimously to "call the bond" on the Dunkin Donuts Park stadium

Many of you have called me to ask me what happened, so here it is.

MORE POSITIVE NEWS FOR HFD

It seems like just a few short weeks ago the Hartford Fire Department was headed for a major meltdown.At least 85 to 90 high ranking and experienced firefighters were expected to be heading for retirement.

Many of those were expected to leave over  uncertainty and misinformation or bad information that was  swirling about over their futures and their pensions due to budget problems.

Now it seems that eventually accurate information was put out and those pension fears have been calmed.

According to a HFD source, at least 34 or more of those retirees have rescinded their planned retirements. Those that have already officially retired area ble to come back under a grace  period.

Of the 8 Deputy Chiefs who were expected to retire, now only 2 are actually taking retirement, and reportedly only one Captain is leaving.

Overall , great news for HFD   and Hartford's residents.

Communicating makes a huge difference

ISN'T THIS CONVENIENT ?

Geez, I wonder how these things happen? Coincidence?  I think not. The following statement was issued today by Hartford's Superintendent of Schools. I wonder if she just completed a BASIC management course and suddenly decided how to identify waste. Did she suddenly get a revelation from that little devil on her shoulder, whispering in her ear.

Since I am not a  considered a legitimate journalist according to Kelvin Roldan and Pedro Zayas from the Hartford Schools, I doubt it had anything to do with my FOI requests that exposed the almost $70,000-.00 junket  during a dire budget crisis, that involved  sending over 30 employees to Miami to pick up an award.

Quite possibly it occurred because a "legitimate" journalist from NBC Connecticut's Troubleshooters,my mentor, Len Besthoff, was made aware of the trip and reckless spending by "We the People" and is featuring the story on the Nightly news tonight on Channel 30..

Whatever the reason, however change takes place, it is a good thing,. and this is definitely not the end of it yet. The lid is about to come off the operations at the Hartford Schools, and this is only happening with your help and information. Once again a heartfelt thank you for doing the right thing.

The statement from the Superintendent is below


Dear Employees of the Hartford Public Schools,

Our decentralized professional development approach that is inherent in the operation of a Portfolio District has recently raised concerns. More to the point, what was an opportunity for celebration in receiving the Magnet Schools of America Donna Grady-Creer District Award for Magnet Sustainability, has instead revealed a flaw in our travel approval process. We are honored to receive this award and, clearly, the Hartford Public Schools needed presence at the event.

In addition to receiving this prestigious distinction, 11 of our schools also received awards, while our staff successfully submitted four presentations. This is important because it positions the district for revenue opportunities as a recognized leader in educational innovation. However, it is also clear that there was no need for such a large presence. Over the last few months I have consistently been clear about our need to face the reality of our budget and the city’s fiscal crisis.

As such, effective immediately, I am ordering a moratorium on all out-of-state travel that is non-essential and that would require payment, in whole or in part, by the Hartford Public Schools budget. This moratorium shall apply to all travel expenses not already incurred as of today, May 26, 2016. Essential travel is limited to the following: travel that is necessary to maintain academic accreditation; required professional development in support of the core academic program of our schools and the district; or required travel by a granting institution necessary to maintain funding. In all cases, travel will be reviewed and approved by the Chief School Improvement Officer and the Chief of Staff. All pre-approved travel is immediately placed under review.

In addition, I have ordered that all policies and procedures related to participation in conferences and other activities that require out-of-state travel to be immediately reviewed and that new processes be put in place.

Once again, I am asking for your diligent attention and compliance with this directive.

Sincerely,

Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, Ed.D.
Superintendent

CAN HARTFORD'S STADIUM DEAL GET ANY WORSE?

Thank you Pedro, you left one hell of a legacy
 
 
The answer is definitely yes. In fact, it is anticipated to get much worse after 1:00PM today

According to several sources familiar with the project, the votes are in place on the Hartford Stadium authority to "call the bond" at their meeting today. The bond is essentially an insurance policy that was required by the City to guard against default by the developers on the project. Performance bonds are a standard process in the construction industry.

If the  bond is called by the Stadium Authority ,sources say, it is anticipated that all work will cease on the project within the next 48 hours. The bond process would require a type of investigative procedure as to determine the cause and who is at fault for the delay.

There is where the plot thickens. Sources are also telling me that the Bond holder, the insurance company , will most likely refuse to pay. Apparently there is enough blame to go around and the insurance company is apparently claiming that the City of Hartford shares a large part of the responsibility for the delays.

It should be an interesting meeting. Let the litigation begin. In the meantime, the New Britain Bees are just a short drive away if you want to enjoy some baseball.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

PLEASE PAYUP CENTERPLAN AND DONO

Pedro Segarra guiding Hartford into the Donut hole
 
Does that sign look centered?
 
According to a City Hall source, no penalty fines have been paid by Robert Landino or Centerplan, the developer for Dunkin Donuts Park,  who is was on the hook for a $50,000 penalty for missing the "substantial completion" deadline last Tuesday and an additional $15,000 a day for every day they are late.

According to the Hartford Stadium Authority Chairman I. Charles Matthews at a special meeting last Friday, Matthews said that an account number had been given to Centerplan to begin wiring the money to the City's account. Apparently that has not happened at all.

According to my source " None of the late fines have been paid".

Centerplan... "SHOW US THE MONEY"

VENTURING OUTSIDE OF HARTFORD ISSUES

Eddy Conklin
 
I don't venture outside of Hartford issues too often, but this is just one that makes me question the bounds of human decency and makes me ask "why not?"

Eddy Conklin was killed in a car accident on February 28, 2016. He was a senior at Shelton High School and was on track to graduate this June. His parents have been working with the Superintendent, Board of Ed and Head Master since March 18th for Eddy to receive an honorary diploma in his name, handed to a family member, AT GRADUATION  along with the rest of his 2016 classmates, just as many other families in the state of CT have.

  The family has been told that this would not happen. They have been given the run around on this issue since March. They have supplied the BOE with other towns and facts to support their wishes for the honorary diploma and his name called with his fellow classmates during graduation.

The Conklin's just want to see this injustice to their son corrected. The BOE has offered to award it to the family at a different much smaller event. Sometimes we need to put politics and policy aside and do what is right. Setting a precedent to honor someone's child will never be the wrong thing to do.

 One song in particular comes to mind "Nothing More" which is on the Newtown Kindness video says it all - "We are how we treat each other when the day is done. We are peace, ... We are how we treat each other and nothing more." The right thing to do starts here. Be the person that changes things for the better.

Why would the Shelton Schools compound the loss to this family by their heartless actions? What would the harm be in recognizing this young man along with his fellow classmates, It might just bring a little closure to a few people.  You can sign an online petition to the Shelton School Board by clicking here