August,  2017 

Your copy of the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association 'News & Views' has arrived!   You will find that you can easily go to any subject in the table of contents by just clicking on it or just browse through the articles as you wish. Please have a look. 


Next Meeting 08/07/2017



The next meeting is Monday August 7th, 6:15 P.M. at The 224 Eco-Space, 224 Farmington Ave .  


From The Chair

Thoughts from the Chair

The Hartford Police Department continues to keep residents of Asylum Hill safe.
This year our neighborhood has survived horrific tragedies, deadly car accidents, and one of the states largest drug busts.  It's the HPD who continues to do their best to ensure that crime is eliminated and that our streets are safe and at peace.
How can we help the HPD maintain peace in our neighborhood? Maybe by first diminishing conflict within ourselves that arguments won't occur and physical altercations won't manifest,  another way to maintain peace is to say something to HPD if you see something. Officer Sid is our Community Service Officer. He and his team are doing all that they can to help maintain safety and peace in our neighborhood.  Let's work with him by doing our part to maintain the peace in our homes, on our streets and in our parks.
Please join us at the next AHNA meeting on August 7, 2017 at 224 Farmington Avenue at 6:15pm. There we will hear the neighborhood's police report and the plan for our neighborhood's library.
Happy Birthday to all those who were born in August!
Stay cool and hydrated. If you can, take a trip to the beach, it is wonderful there and don't forget to check on your neighbor.
Yvonne Matthews, Chair

HouseFrom the House

Greetings to my friends and neighbors in Asylum Hill!

A Pro-Connecticut Agenda
By Rep. Matt Ritter
Connecticut remains a hub of manufacturing
The state's economy is set to benefit from legislation moving in the U.S. Congress that will give military contractors in Connecticut billions of dollars in funding. The measure passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is awaiting action in the U.S. Senate.
For Connecticut manufacturers, the budget includes:
$13.2 billion to purchase 87 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, equipped with engines made by Pratt & Whitney
$8 billion for the design and construction of submarines by Electric Boat
Nearly $1.8 billion for the manufacture of helicopters by Sikorsky
As the demand for defense manufacturing increases, so too does our need for a skilled workforce.
This year, we passed legislation that will help give the next generation of manufacturers the tools they need to launch a career in the field.
Through a new law, the technical high school system will become an independent agency.  As a standalone agency, the Connecticut Technical High School System will have its own budget line-item and will have the authority to accept gifts (such as equipment donations used for training purposes) that advance the system's educational mission.

Read More

Asylum Hill Then And Now

AH Then & Now I-84

This top photo, from the Hartford History Project of the Hartford Public Library, taken July 21st 1964, shows the I-84 viaduct being completed. The construction trailer at the bottom of the photo identifies the Gilbane Building Co. as at least one of the contractor working on the project.
By this time Gilbane was already a very old, family owned business, having been founded in Providence R. I. nearly a century before. They still do construction work in the area, most notably the Public Safety Building on High St a few years ago.
The bottom photo shows the same small section of I-84 and Sigourney St today, which is in the planning stages of being replaced. A lot of effort is going into the planning of the replacement of I-84 with community meetings and regular updates from CT DOT.

While the concrete and steel in both of these photos is the same, the progress in engineering at all levels from one to the other makes them very different.




Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer of the Month - Maura Hallisey

Maura came to Asylum Hill as an interpreter for the Harriett Beecher Stowe House because she was interested in museums and their capacity to educate. The social justice part was also a big plus.
She had just graduated from Connecticut College and was back home in Wethersfield when the position became available. She applied and was accepted. In these past three + years she has been promoted several time to her current position as program coordinator. It has been this work at the Stowe Center that brought her into contact first with AHNA and then with South Marshall Interfaith Coalition. She joined both organizations and has become a regular at their meetings, helping to strengthen the connection of the Stowe Center to the rest of the neighborhood.
However we just learned that Maura will be leaving soon for the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. "It's something that I've wanted to do for a while, I love museums and that they can serve as a platform for discussion and conversation and public education." But it was the social justice aspect of the Stowe Center that got her thinking about Law School, and Bryan Stevenson's visit didn't hurt either.
 " I think I'd like to pursue a type of public interest law, in particular exploring being a public defender." Maura said.

Georges Needs A Kidney Part 6


The progress since last month has mostly been procedural. All of the information about my tests and results, were collected and the team of physicians responsible met and reviewed them. They concluded that I can indeed be a kidney donor. Georges' paperwork was added to that and we have officially become a "pair" in the National Kidney Foundation Paired Exchange Program as well as the United Network for Organ Sharing.
As I understand it, about 5 seconds after we are entered, the computer makes all of the potential matches, which is to say other donors whose blood type and antigen profile match Georges' and other potential recipients who match mine.
This could be as simple as one to one or as complex as a dozen or more donors and recipients in a "chain". This is the beginning of the process.


Hartford Climate Stewardship Initiative

On Wednesday July 26 th , Mayor Bronin held his July Town Hall meeting at the nearly full Lyceum in Frog Hollow. The Topic was "A Greener, Cleaner, Healthier Hartford", and it was intended to introduce the Hartford Climate Stewardship Initiative, the new Office of Sustainability, and the Climate Stewardship Council. Clearly people are interested.   All of this is an effort to coordinate and enhance the various efforts from the past as well as to add to them.   As the Mayor said," there are three values that underlie this effort, one is public health, another is economic development, and the third is social equity."  So whether the issue is asthma rates among school children in the North End, positioning Hartford for 21 st Century business opportunities, or changing the long standing inequities for Connecticut's cities, all are connected to these values and can be improved by this initiative.
Not surprisingly, the Office of Sustainability is exclusively externally funded by grants, currently from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Partners for Places, and UConn's Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation.  It's staffed by Shubhada Kambli, the recently hired Sustainability Coordinator, and Robin Kreisberg the new Green Infrastructure Specialist. 

The Mayor goes on to explain "to meet those values are six action areas; energy, landscape, food, transportation waste and water."  

Saint Joseph Cathedral


Gardening Grant Applied For

AHNA recently received an invitation to apply for a grant from the Connecticut Valley Garden Club. For the past six years they have been working on the new Heritage Rose Garden in Elizabeth Park which visitors there will note is practically completed.
Since they have been so successful with that project they began reaching out for other worthy projects.   Their criteria are "new or restoration garden or landscape projects that benefit beloved area institutions, parks and neighborhoods and add tangible value to our community."   There were several other guidelines about what they were looking for, and what would not be considered.
All in all, it looked like a great opportunity to build on the work that was done a few years ago with the Pocket Gardens on Ashley St. These made a great difference to the appearance of the street, and are being well maintained.




Blessing of the Animals at ICC

A perfect weather day, July 30 th , began for many at the Immanuel Congregational Church on the corner of Farmington Avenue and Woodland Street.  ICC held an outdoor Blessing of the Animals service for people with pets.  It was the first Blessing of the Animals service by ICC in living memory, and the first outdoor service.  They couldn't have chosen a more perfect day on which to honor nature's magnificence, and the unity of all created beings as spiritual family. 
     Several church members and visitors had pets in tow, mostly dogs.  Many brought their favorite stuffed animal!  Tracy Gormley spoke to the children about the ways in which a dog can teach us about God.  A dog is loyal, generous, and forgiving.  We can find these qualities in our understanding of God, if we are so inclined.  Tracy also mentioned that there are more pets than children in the US - what a surprise!  



The Money Conference for Women

YWCA's Money Conference for Women will be held on Saturday October 28th at the Connecticut Convention Center from 7:30 AM - 2:30 PM. This FREE conference focuses on money management, investment strategies and retirement planning for women of all ages, economic backgrounds, and levels of financial knowledge. The Money Conference is designed to address the financial challenges women face in their work and personal lives. It will feature honorary chair Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier along with financial expert and author Michelle Singletary as the keynote speaker. A financial expert and author, Michelle's topic will be: Wonder Woman: How to Become a Wealth Warrior. Discover within you your power to be rich. You can be a fierce money manager by tapping into your strength. Michelle will focus on the 5 strongholds that keep women from being wealthy.
Conference attendees are also able to attend two financial focused workshops on a variety of topics such as managing debt and credit, retirement planning, home ownership and investment, entrepreneurship and gaining general financial independence for younger women. Participants are encouraged to explore the different financial resources available at the Financial Expo. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to empower yourself with financial literacy! You can register online as of August 14, 2017 at and save the date in your calendar today!

Arts and Music on the Hill

Matsiko World Orphan Choir Comes to Asylum Hill

The Matsiko World Orphan Choir is coming for a free performance in Hartford on Sunday August 20 at 10:30am at Riverfront Family Church, located at 224 Farmington Avenue, in the  224 EcoSpace building.  Eighteen children from Peru, Liberia and India are currently touring the US as a part of the Matsiko World Orphan Choir. The Matsiko choir has performed across the country in schools, retirement homes, multicultural events, festivals, churches, and more, sharing a message of hope for the world's 600 million orphaned at-risk children. Matsiko performs energetic and dynamic cultural dances in full vibrant costumes and sings primarily original songs. 




Hartford News AHNA Supplement

As part of our communications efforts we publish our newsletter 'AHNA News and Views' as a supplement in the Hartford News monthly.  To cover the printing costs we need to secure ads generating $500.00 dollars each month.  This provides us with four pages with color.  If you, an organization you work for or belong to would like to help support this effort please see the order form below.  Please contact the editor at  if you know of anyone or business you think we might reach out to for support.  Thank you.


Ad Order Form

Events Calendar


Please click on the following link to go to our online Events Calendar.

From The Editor
If you have any comments, suggestions or submissions please contact me via email at 
Paul O'Mara Communications Committee Chair
Contact Us
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