August 19 - 26, 1998

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Kid'rific Cancelled For Second Year
For the second year in a row the Downtown Council has announced that the Kid'rific festival will not be held this year. Anthony Caruso, Executive Director of the Downtown Council, said there were not enough corporate sponsorships to fund the event.

The festival had been held for 11 years on Main Street in downtown Hartford, usually on the weekend after Labor Day.

City Residency Rule Challenged in Court
Bruce Bolieau of Stafford has filed a lawsuit claiming Hartford's residency requirement for new city employees is unconstitutional. Bolieau, an experienced volunteer firefighter with certifications in scuba diving and handling of hazardous materials, applied for a job with the Hartford Fire Department last August. The job posting stated that the applicant must be "a bona fide resident of Hartford at the time of application." On his application, Bolieau clearly stated that he lived in Stafford and, two months later, was told that he would not be considered for a job because he wasn't a city resident.

Gray Drops out of 2nd District Race
Citing negative campaigning tactics, Anthony Gray has withdrawn from the race for State Representative from the 2nd District. That leaves Gray's fellow Democrats John Gale, Barnaby Horton and Cynthia Jennings and Republican Peter Brush still in the race for the 2nd district seat, currently held by John Ritter.

Kirkley-Bey to Hold Meeting on HUSKY Plan
State Representative Marie Kirkley-Bey (D-5th) will hold an informal meeting with her constituents next Monday, August 24, at 6 pm in the gym of the Salvation Army Center at the corner of Nelson and Barbour Streets to discuss the state's new HUSKY plan. HUSKY is a health insurance plan aimed at providing health care to uninsured children and teenagers under the age of 19. Officials from the State Department of Social Services will be on hand at the meeting to explain eligibility requirements and will have applications and information about the plan available.

Kirkley-Bey said she is holding the meeting because a disproportionate number of children from lower-income families do not have adequate health insurance coverage. "All uninsured children in my district are entitled to quality health care, no matter what their parents' income," she said.

Jennings Receives Federal Appointment
Cynthia Jennings, candidate for 2nd District State Representative and a long-time environmental activist has accepted an appointment to the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The appointment was made by Carol Browner, a member of President Clinton's cabinet to serve on that agency.

As a member of the 25-member council, Jennings will participate in formulating policy and directives on all issues concerning environmental health and justice. This appointment, effective immediately, is a two-year term ending December 31, 2000.

Language Association Conference Coming to Hartford
The Modern Language Association of America (MLAA) recently selected Hartford to host its Annual Northeast Regional Conference slated for April 2001. Over 1,200 delegates are expected to attend. It's anticipated that the conference will generate nearly $1 million in direct spending for the greater Hartford region.

The decision to meet in Hartford followed a site visit to the city in May by Michael Manson, Executive Director of the MLAA. Scott K. Dresser, Vice President of Sales at the Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) led Mr. Manson on a tour of the city and the downtown hotels.

The MLAA plans to use the Sheraton Hartford as the headquarter hotel. The Holiday Inn Downtown and the Goodwin hotels will be used as overflow to house the attendees.

"The Bureau is extremely pleased to welcome the MLAA to Hartford," said GHCVB President, H. Scott Phelps. "It goes to show that Hartford continues to be a popular meeting choice for educator forums."

The Modern Language Association is made up of modern language teachers from secondary and prep schools, colleges and universities throughout the United States. The MLAA joins a number of other educator groups including the National Council of the Social Studies, Reading Recovery, American Accounting Association, National Music Educators Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics which have chosen to meet in Hartford in recent years.

St. Francis and Cape Verde Announce Medical Exchange Program
Carlos Alberto Wahnon Veiga, Prime Minister of the Republic of Cape Verde, recently announced the creation of a medical exchange program between his country and Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

Under the program, four physicians from the Agostinho Neto Hospital, in the Cape Verdean capital city of Praia, will spend six weeks at Saint Francis this fall, observing medical procedures and attending lectures and other educational programs in cardiology, infectious diseases, radiology and emergency medicine.

Specialists from Saint Francis, in turn, will later spend four weeks in Cape Verde, reviewing procedures performed at Agostinho Nero Hospital and training local physicians. Arrangements also have been made through Saint Francis' membership in Premier, Inc., an alliance of not-for-profit hospitals, for Agostinho Nero Hospital to purchase medical equipment and supplies at better rates.

Other potential projects identified for the partnership include making Saint Francis' medical library available to Cape Verdean physicians through the Internet and the production of a public health education video.

A former possession of Portugal, Cape Verde gained its independence in 1975. The nation is composed of a group of islands located in the North Atlantic, 375 miles off the west coast of Africa.

"Obviously this is an agreement of extraordinary importance for us, since it will address areas in which Cape Verde is in need of assistance, like training and medical equipment, and also because it opens the possibility of evacuation [to Hartford], in the future, of patients who cannot be treated in Cape Verde," said Prime Minister Veiga.

Currently, many Cape Verdeans travel to Portugal for specialized surgery that is not available in their country. As the relationship between Saint Francis and Agostinho Neto Hospital grows, officials hope it will lead to patients from Cape Verde coming to Saint Francis for surgery.

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