April,  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 04/03/2017



The next meeting is Monday April 3rd, 6:15 P.M. at The 224 Eco-Space, 224 Farmington Ave .


From The Chair

Teamwork really does make dream work. I recall hearing my Mom say to me "Yvonne! No man/woman is an island", she was right. We need help to solve problems, establish connections to bring about peace in our neighborhood. I believe all we have to do is ask for it.
If we want to sustain the quality of life in our neighborhood, we must ask our neighbors and stakeholders to work together with us to help solve the many problems we see on our streets and in our park. Many of our neighbors need careers with sustainable incomes, pan-handling remains a large problem, our Community, High and Magnet Schools need volunteers to help support our students academically, new arrivals from other countries who now live in our neighborhood need help and support. Save the Comet! People are needed to continue to advocate for the Comet to remain, and be renovated. The I-84 Team is seeking ideas and support concerning the new highway plan, The HPD and HFD are urging our neighbors to help them eliminate crime and fires by saying something if they see something, the City Officials are asking residents to come together at Town Hall Meetings to discuss ways to eliminate the problems in Asylum Hill as well as our city. 

Yvonne Matthews, Chair

HouseFrom the House

Greetings to my friends and neighbors in Asylum Hill!

A Pro-Connecticut Agenda
By Rep. Matt Ritter
We are truly in the heat of the 2017 legislative session. I'm proud to back a legislative agenda that provides a long term vision for moving Connecticut forward - an agenda that looks to give a hand up to seniors, families and local businesses.
These bills will grow our economy and create jobs, make living here more affordable for seniors, and help keep our young people living and working in Connecticut.

Read More

AHThen  Exploring Asylum Hill 
   Exploring Asylum Hill - Kafar Hassan A Success Story

For regular readers of News & Views you'll remember Kafar from several earlier articles. He was recently featured as volunteer of the month for helping to deliver bread to Grace Lutheran Church and their weekly Friday night neighborhood dinner. Earlier his story was told as part of the New Voices of Asylum Hill event held on World Refugee Day 2014, and again there was the article about his ongoing efforts to bring his son here to live with him.
So this article is something of an update then. 


Asylum Hill Then And Now

AH Then & Now 18 Ashley St Then

This home at 18 Ashley Street has had various businesses at the front of the first floor going back more than 50 years?  It was last an Asian store when the home was empty and NINA was able to acquire it. Today it is once again a beautifully maintained single family home.




VolunteerVolunteer of the Month
    John O'Connor

Like many volunteer opportunities, this one started out between acquaintances and just continued. Val-Gene Grippes has been working at the Urban League of Greater Hartford for nearly 20 years, and John O'Conner  has been volunteering more than 10 years She had known John even before that when they worked together downtown. But with out knowing that she was there, he stopped by one day on a whim looking to volunteer and he was eventually connected with Val. He's been doing it ever since, four hours every week.

   Read More


Gift To The City of  Hartford 

By Michelle R. McFarland

The generosity of three Hartford CEO's in the insurance industry is a large step of many to be taken in order for the city to recover financially.
The insurers expressed interest in supporting the Hartford Public Library, law enforcement and recreation centers.
There is a $17.3 million budget shortfall that has been projected to rise in the next fiscal year.
The financial problems faced by the city are largely credited to an inadequate tax base and the loss of jobs.
Mayor Luke Bronin has been tirelessly advocating for support from neighboring towns, other companies and collaborative efforts of both the City and the State to invest in Hartford.
Hopefully, the gift of $50 Million dollars over five years will serve as incentive for investors to validate Hartford as the wonderful capital city that it is.
The work of getting Hartford to "Healthy Status" is well underway. The details of how the money is to be distributed has yet to be decided. Mayor Bronin and the CEO's will work together during the process.
On behalf Of AHNA, we would like to extend our many thanks to all three corporations for their generosity.

         Read More

Georges Needs A Kidney Part 2


In last month's article ( http://tinyurl.com/kh6bodk ) I introduced you to Georges Kingsley, who needs a new kidney, as well as my initial efforts to understand what that entails. I summarized my first phone conversation with Azzy Anane, a Living Donor Transplant Coordinator at Hartford Hospital and how impressed I was with his knowledge and concerns.  
I initially began this series in the hopes that, by spreading the word, it might inspire someone who was a match with Georges to donate a kidney and save his life.
But after talking with Azzy, I realized that I wanted to go through the process myself, and donate my kidney to Georges if I could. Potential donors have a 1 in 10 chance of being qualified, which means there's a 90% chance that I won't ever experience the surgery. However, the more I learn, the more I hope that I am accepted. And I still hope that the story of Georges and I inspires you to consider donation as well.
There are three possible ways that a person in need receives a kidney. The first is where Georges is right now: waiting on the organ recipient list. How this works is complicated, but it's very possible Georges wouldn't live long enough to see a kidney become available this way.


Kafar Hassan: Friday's Advanced Manufacturing Graduation

Capital Workforce Partners working with partners from education and business, are pleased to announce the successful graduation of a number of previously under- and unemployed individuals who will receive certificates in Precision Manufacturing CPM/CAM 4 from the Manchester Community College Program on Friday, March 24th at 10 a.m. at Great Path Academy, Community Commons.  Capital Workforce Partners Advanced Manufacturing program support, made possible from federal-state grant investments, has led to eleven individuals graduating on Friday, and all have been placed in manufacturing jobs.  
This program is meeting one of the greatest challenges facing advanced manufacturing, including a shortage of labor needed to sustain growth. In addition, there is a generation of incumbent workers nearing retirement, leading to critical levels of need for the next generation of advanced manufacturing workers.  At the same time, this provides a great opportunity to support low-income individuals to pursue job-training opportunities as a ladder out of poverty that can have huge impacts on their lives, family and community.  




First/Last Mile - IForum 2017

If you could get a 10% raise starting tomorrow, how would you be able to improve your life? While I'm not in a position to do that for anyone, and the ideas that were discussed won't go into effect tomorrow, it's still something to think about.
This was just one statistic presented at the IForum 2017 presentation on Friday by Partnership For Strong Communities (PSC) titled First/Last Mile: Ensuring Transit Opportunities are Shared by All.  The IForums are a series of programs presented throughout the year by (PSC) focused on solutions to all of the problems facing struggling communities, and the dissemination of ideas leading to solutions.
The 10% referenced above was from a statistic that for a significant portion of the population, transportation involving owning an automobile accounts for 19% of their average income annually, while when public transportation is substituted, the percentage drops to 9%. This isn't always true, but it is when the public transportation is successful in allowing people to avoid owning a car. 


Solarize Hartford

The City of Hartford has been selected to be part of a special State-Town sponsored program called Solarize Connecticut, designed to help more homeowners go solar.  Solarize Hartford will offer residents the opportunity to install solar energy on their home at a substantial discount, using a pre-selected solar installer, C-TEC Solar.


Arts and Music on the Hill

Chanticleer in Concert

April 5, 2017 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Location: Asylum Hill Congregational Church

Founded in San Francisco in 1978, Chanticleer is known around the world as "an orchestra of voices" for the seamless blend of its twelve male voices ranging from countertenor to bass. Plan to be with us as this GRAMMY® award-winning ensemble bring their original interpretations to a program entitled My Secret Heart. 
 Did you know that former AHCC soloist/section leader (and "King Balthazar") Marques Ruff is a member of Chanticleer? Click here to read the transcript of a phone interview with Marques and Jack Pott.
About the program: Songwriters long to penetrate hidden places of the heart that burst with so many emotions-fond, foolish, feverish, and forbidden. "The Song of Songs," medieval madrigals, and the popular and classical airs of our day have given us many and varied insights. Vincenzo Bertolusi, Francisco Guerrero, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Claude Goudimel, Entraigues, Mikhail Glinka, Eric Whitacre, Stephen Foster among others will have their say. A world premiere by Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi will examine the Nordic heart, while Cole Porter and Noel Coward add their insouciant voices. My Secret Heart also sees the return of Augusta Read Thomas' "Love Songs" (from the Grammy Award-winning Colors of Love album) to our repertoire. 
Click to order General Admission Tickets ($25 each, $20 group of 15 or more)
Student tickets ($10) with ID at the door
Doors open 7:30pm 



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 communications@asylumhill.org  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 communications@asylumhill.org 
Paul O'Mara Communications Committee Chair
Contact Us
Send emails directly to AHNA at  info@asyluhill.org

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