October 14 - 21, 1998

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Hartford News: Oct 14 - 21

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Aetna Seeks Developers for Civic Center
Aetna Inc., owner of the Hartford Civic Center, is once again seeking developers to revitalize the Hartford Civic Center. The insurance giant recently mailed out a request for proposal to over 100 developers across the country. Proposals for the revitalization project are due back November 17. Aetna went through a similar process last year but received only two responses to the more than 60 requests it sent out.

Hartford's City Council recently turned down a proposal by LaSalle Partners, which currently manages the mall, to renovate the ailing Civic Center Mall. The LaSalle plan called for consolidating all Civic Center Mall shops on the first and lower levels and making them more open to the street. When the Civic Center was built in 1975 it was designed to compete with suburban-style shopping malls with all shops opening on a central atrium. Experts now feel such a design is incompatible with an urban setting because it cuts the shops off from pedestrians.

Hartford City Council must approve any plan to renovate the Civic Center since the City owns the land beneath the building.

Exhibit on Sheldon Charter Oak Neighborhood Opens this Sunday
On Sunday, October 18, the official opening of the new exhibition "Who We Are and What We Want - A Self-Portrait of the Sheldon/Charter Oak Neighborhood" will be held at the Charter Oak Cultural Center from 3-6 pm. The exhibit will be on display through January 15, 1999.

Through the photography of Nick Lacey and interviews conducted by Jayne Keedle of the Hartford Advocate, "Who We Are and What We Want" celebrates the residents and stakeholders of Hartford's "oldest, most diverse and most democratic neighborhood."

In addition to 37 portraits by Lacy with wall text from the Keedle interviews, there will be a mosaic of photographs taken by neighborhood residents, a "wish wall," where people can record their hopes for the future, and table models, maps and sketches of the neighborhood by students in the Kinsella and Betances schools showing how they would like to see things change.

The gallery is open Tuesdays - Fridays from noon to 5 pm, Sundays from 2 to 5 pm on November 1 and December 13. Following its run at Charter Oak, the show will be presented through February at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Call 249-1207 for more information

The Hartford Launches Scholarship Program
The Hartford Financial Services Group will be contributing up to $500,000 annually to enable Hartford students to attend Trinity College, the University of Connecticut or Howard University. The announcement will be made today by The Hartford's Chairman and CEO Ramani Ayer.

The Hartford's financial aid will be used to supplement scholarship monies provided by the three colleges to students on the basis of need. In addition to financing, the scholarship program will provide summer employment, mentoring from professionals at The Hartford and business skills training from the company's corporate education center.

Residents to Voice Concerns about Public Safety Issues
On Wednesday, October 21, members of North Hartford's block clubs and Problem Solving Committees will attend a meeting of the Quality of Life, Housing and Public Safety Committee at 5:30 pm in Council Chambers, Hartford City Hall. Lorenzo Jones, a spokesman for the group, said residents will be voicing their concerns about issues such as open-air drug markets, prostitution, and speeding cars in their neighborhoods. The public is invited to attend.

Gas Station Donates $2,000 to Mayor Mike's Companies for Kids
Last Friday, October 9, Cal Gamal. Owner of the Chestnut Mobil on the Run gas station on Washington Street presented Mayor Mike Peters with a $2,000 check for Mayor Mike's Companies for Kids (MMCFK). The station donated one cent for every gallon of gas it sold over the last two months. Established in 1994 by Peters and a group of volunteers, MMCFK is an effort to link businesses, organizations and individuals in a concerted effort to help the children of Hartford. To date the organization has raised over $600,000 and arranged thousands of hours of volunteer time to benefit Hartford youngsters.

North Hartford Seniors to Hold Congress
North Hartford Seniors in Action will hold their 10th annual Congress on Thursday, October 22, at 1 pm at Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church on Main Street. Among the topics up for discussion are police visibility, Dial-A-Ride, a patients' Bill of Rights for those using Medicare HMO's and environmental justice. The group will also celebrate its successes over the past year. Interested North Hartford seniors are invited to attend. For transportation arrangements, contact your steering committee representative or call Effie Barnes at 242-5860.

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