The Barefoot Nobel Laureate

"I trust you won't care if I take off my shoes," began Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 alongside the International Campaign t...more

Growing Peace in Hartford

"You can't get people to change the fundamental things in their life if they don't trust you," Bill Drayton, founder and CEO of Ashoka, told several hundred youth Friday morning in the opening address of the World Youth Peace Summit. ...more

Crude Oil Dependence and Consequences

The Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice held their sixth annual conference at the UConn School of Business on Saturday, October 16th. There were two keynote speakers -- Wilma Subra and Lisa Garcia -- and eight panels within two workshop sessions: Climate Change and Global Injustice; Oil: Hazardous to Your Health at Every Stage; History of Energy and Oil; Back to the Future of Transportation; Oil and Water Just Don't Mix; Taking a Peek at Peak Oil; Petroleum and Food Production; and Ending Dependency: Exploring Options. Due to time constraints, I was only able to stay for invocation, one keynote speaker and one workshop session. [caWilma Subra of the Subra Company dedicated her speech to discussing the recent BP disaster which began on April 20, 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Subra shared with the audience a timeline of events during the oil spill, including a number that received no mainstream news coverage to speak of in this part of the country. She described the groups most affected by this disaster as Vietnamese, Laotian, Native American, and African-American populations who were living and working along the coast, many of whom are experiencing headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, and other symptoms due to their exposure to oil in aerosol form. Subra said that people living as far as one hundred miles inland are still being affected. What began in April was not just an oil spill, but a natural gas leak and consequent dispersant contamination....more

Developing Connective Tissue in Downtown

Nobody argued when David Panagore announced that "We are the epitome of the Eisenhower Interstate system." Those with an interest in downtowns would be hard-pressed to justify any continuation of advocacy for the poor designs that have dissected cities, sucking the life force out of them. Today, we are given the task of recreating a vibrant downtown, which means addressing issues like walkability. Hartford's Chief Operating Officer, David Panagore, participated on Monday evening in a HYPE (Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs) sponsored discussion regarding the direction of development in downtown. The MetroHartford Alliance Conference Room on Pratt Street was filled, allowing for a fairly intimate conversation between about two dozen individuals who had some interest -- they live, work, or recreate -- in downtown. Panagore explained how the "Six Pillars" were a fine goal to have at one point, but now, to complete the economic development, these pieces (Connecticut Convention Center, Capital Community College moving into former G.Fox building, etc.) must be connected. Two ways of creating connections is through sustainable communities and the iQuilt project, which he said is a great concept, but bears a bad name. ...more