Once there were six. Then there were two. Now, there is a last-minute proposal – included in the massive 500-page budget bill – to condense even further into just one, by merging the two surviving agencies into a Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity.Read More
It turns out that with a concerted effort, green can be a more consequential color than black and white, at least in Connecticut. Newly released data indicates that the state is bucking a national trend of disparity when it comes to solar adoption among communities of color, according to the Connecticut Green Bank.Read More
The most popular names for babies born in Connecticut in 2018 were Noah and Olivia. Runners-up were Liam and Emma. They were also the leaders in the baby-naming sweepstakes in Connecticut in 2017.Read More
The population change in the New Haven region’s municipalities (between 2010 and 2016) was negligible - an increase of 0.14%. The largest population losses during the six-year period were in Meriden (-665) and West Haven (-592) while the largest increases were in Milford (+671), New Haven (+626) and Hamden (+516). A draft economic development report, open for public comments through May 26, has the data.Read More
The best place in the nation to be for working mothers is New England, as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Vermont took to top four rankings in a new analysis. Connecticut reached the top 10 in multiple categories.Read More
The Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford metropolitan area is the fourth best region in the nation for female entrepreneurs, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census Data. The percentage of startups that are female-owned: 30.8%Read More
The number of pedestrian deaths in Connecticut in the first half of 2018 jumped by 53 percent compared to the same period the previous year, according to preliminary data released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. There were 29 pedestrian deaths between January and June in Connecticut in 2018, compared with 19 between January and June 2017. Based on population, Connecticut’s fatality rate was 16th among the states.
Nationwide, there was a 3 percent increases, as the number of pedestrian deaths climbed from 2,790 to 2,876 during the six month periods. Five states (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas) accounted for almost half — 46 percent — of all pedestrian deaths during the first six months of 2018.
Overall, pedestrian fatalities during the first half of 2018 declined in 23 states compared with the same period in 2017. Six states (Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma and Wisconsin) reported double-digit declines in both the number and percent change in pedestrian fatalities from the same period in 2017. Three states (Iowa, New Hampshire and Utah) reported two consecutive years of declining numbers of pedestrian fatalities.
During the 10-year period of 2008 to 2017, according to the National Highway traffic Safety Administration, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. increased by 35 percent, from 4,414 deaths in 2008 to 5,977 deaths in 2017. This translates into more than 1,500 additional pedestrian deaths in 2017 compared with 2008. At the same time that pedestrian deaths have been increasing, the number of all other traffic deaths combined decreased by six percent.
In its review of state efforts to promote pedestrian safety, an initiative in Connecticut is highlighted: “Connecticut introduced the “Watch for Me CT” campaign, which is a statewide educational community outreach campaign involving media components and community engagement in partnership with CT Children’s Medical Center.” A statewide signage project was recently completed to ensure pedestrian signage was up to date with current standards, including near schools and bus stops, the report states, indicating that “every state is addressing pedestrian safety using a combination of engineering, education and enforcement.”
In addition, the GHSA report indicates that nationwide “about 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur after dark, and increases in pedestrian fatalities are occurring largely at night. From 2008 to 2017 the number of nighttime pedestrian fatalities increased by 45 percent, compared to a much smaller, 11 percent increase in daytime pedestrian fatalities.”
The change in the prevalence of various vehicle-types on the road is also noted, with the report pointing out that pedestrians struck by a large SUV are twice as likely to die as those struck by car.
Little known by most people - regardless of race - until recently, the Green Book has recently exploded into the public consciousness. Described as "the essential travel guide for a segregated America," within just the past two days a popular movie by that name won the Academy Award for best picture, and a documentary relating the story of real people and places that inspired the popular motion picture debuted on the Smithsonian Channel.
The documentary, "The Green Book: Guide to Freedom," was shown at a special preview at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, in a showing coordinated by the Amistad Center for Art and Culture, Comcast, and the Smithsonian Channel. It marked the third year that Comcast has joined with the Amistad Center and Smithsonian Channel to bring a special presentation to Hartford during Black History month.
Nearly 100 people were on hand for the local premiere of the documentary, which was followed by a panel discussion including Kelli Herod, Vice President of Post Production at Smithsonian Channel, and Stacey Close, Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity at Eastern Connecticut State University, moderated by Kara Sundlun of WFSB. Amistad Center Executive Director & Curator at Large Wm. Frank Mitchell, Brad Palazzo, Comcast Director of Community Impact and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin also spoke briefly, with Bronin saluting the "resiliance, ingenuity and determination" of those who traveled through dangerous times.
The documentary was produced by award-winning filmmaker Yoruba Richen. It premieres this week on Smithsonian Channel, telling the story of the Green Book, launched in the 1930's by Victor Green, a black postal carrier from Harlem who created a volume that was "part travel guide and part survival guide." It helped African-Americans navigate safe passage across a dangerously segregated nation, identifying towns, hotels, restaurants and businesses that would be hospitable to African-Americans, sometimes few and far between.
The challenges were not only in the South. In fact, a page in the 1948 Green Book, lists locations in Connecticut - and the list does not fill the page. The locations were in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Stamford, Waterbury and West Haven. Included are restaurants, hotels, tourist homes, beauty parlors, barber shops, and night clubs. The 1967 edition also includes five Hartford locations, including one - the former Bond Hotel - that is still standing to this day.
"We are proud to tell the true story behind this remarkable guide and to shine new light on this disturbing yet important period in Amerian history," said David Royle, Smithsonian Channel's Chief Programming officer.
The documentary tells the story of the rise of the African American middle class in Detroit, and the iconic A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham, Alabama - a pivotal location in the civil rights movement. It also recalls that during its 1950s heyday, the Idlewild Resort in Michigan was a magnet for black culture and entertainment, with a booming nightlife featuring famous performers like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington. In the Q&A in Hartford following the advance showing, one audience member recalled her family owning property at the Idlewild - a local connection that the panel did not expect, but was clearly pleased to learn.
"At Comcast NBC Universal diversity and inclusion is a fundamental part of our company culture and are crucial components to all of our efforts to create and deliver the best and boldest technology and entertainment for our customers," noted Palazzo. "The Green Book: Guide to Freedom screening is another way for us to bring diverse entertainment and story-telling locally to Hartford-area residents." Comcast, with Connecticut offices in Berlin, has partnered with the Amistad on a number of initiatives over the years and "are proud to play a small role in helping them to tell their cultural story."
The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, located in the Wadsworth Atheneum, celebrates art and culture influenced by people of African descent through education, scholarship and social experiences.
Victor Green looked forward to the day people wouldn't need the Green Book. In the 1949 edition he wrote,
There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please, and without embarrassment. But until that time comes we shall continue to publish this information for your convenience each year.
The year the Civil Rights Act passed, in 1964, was the Green Book’s last. As the panelists in Hartford noted, more than 50 years later, the struggle for equality continues.