Archive for October, 2009

Trinity College Campus Lockdown… in Tweets

Posted on Friday, October 23 2009 by Heather Brandon

behindtherocksYesterday at about 5:30 pm, according to a report in the Courant, police in Hartford responded to a report of a robbery at a McDonald’s restaurant at 507 Flatbush Avenue. The 21-year-old armed and dangerous suspect was reported to be barefoot, wearing tan shorts and a grey t-shirt over a grey long-sleeved shirt. He evidently fled the scene in a truck and witnesses were able to provide a description. The truck was spotted shortly thereafter, at about 6:10 pm, on Bonner Street not far from the Trinity College campus, where I happened to be headed for a 6:30 pm class. When I arrived at 6:20, there were police all over the steep, wooded hill between Summit and Zion Streets.

By 7:00 pm, the college campus was put under a lockdown—the first time anyone I’ve spoken to can remember such a thing happening. Below is a chronicle of the events as they unfolded on Twitter. As one of the people stuck on campus and witnessing the event first-hand, it was a great relief to be able to interact via tweets with people not on the scene using this often rather frivolous social media tool.

People in my classroom were not terribly flustered, even though our building was right along Summit Street and we could later overhear police trying to negotiate with the suspect using a megaphone, and we observed police with large guns posted up and down Summit. SWAT officers were brought in as well as a search helicopter after the suspect fired shots shortly before 8:00 pm. The scene outside was grim.


Something to Say Hartford is No. 1

Posted on Wednesday, October 14 2009 by Heather Brandon

A massive vision for renewal for the Hartford riverfront. Hartford Courant, May 5, 1998.

A massive vision of renewal for the Hartford riverfront. Hartford Courant, 5/5/98

What tells you that your own city is the pick of the litter? Is it the number of miles of interstate highway you can boast within your boundaries? Hugest swaths of public park land? Size of your development parcels? Number of Dunkin Donut franchises? Largest quantity of taxable properties? Biggest block parties?

In early 1998, such a victory could be claimed for Hartford, or so the thinking went at the time for a key advisory panel, if the downtown riverfront area were developed with 1,000 housing units, a convention center, retail stores, movie theaters, and park land—crowned with a massive sports stadium.

A stadium would say Hartford is number one. Hartford Courant, 3/22/98

A stadium would say Hartford is number one. Hartford Courant, 3/22/98

The stadium was envisioned for concerts and large sports events, among other things. Governor Jodi Rell, then lieutenant governor, chaired the panel that proposed the plan, fueled by a combination of public and private dollars. A state authority was created to oversee and coordinate the numerous efforts, many of which have come to fruition in one way or another over the ensuing decade—except for the sports stadium, which was in some respects a real driving force behind the entire plan, as originally conceived.

A March 22, 1998 article in the Hartford Courant (pictured above, right) quoted one of the panel members, Anthony Autorino, saying of the stadium, “We needed something that was really going to say, ‘Hartford is No. 1.’ It needed something bold.”

The sports stadium simply never came to be. How can we now know if Hartford is number one?