History rarely bothers with prisons. Famous crimes get plenty of coverage, but not their aftermath. If a notorious defendant is sent off to the pokey, he, like his fellow inmates, is soon out of sight and mind. And yet, the treatment of crime and criminals is a vastly important and complex issue, at the core of societal values and beliefs, a test Winston Churchill said, of a country’s civilization. It also represents massive expense. Gordon S. Bates has done Connecticut a big favor by holding a mirror up to the state’s criminal justice history.
For more than two decades, most of the new multi-use trails built in the state were almost entirely the work of local volunteers. In the past five years, however, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his transportation commissioner, James Redeker, have turned that narrative on its head. The state is now including non-motorized trails in its planning efforts and making major investments in them.
For decades, Connecticut residents have taken water for granted. But approval of a water bottling plant in Bloomfield, the coming of the state’s worst drought since the 1960s, and several other water controversies in recent years have put the spotlight on both the state’s lack of an overall water plan and questions about the transparency and accountability of the Metropolitan District Commission, the Hartford region’s big water and sewer agency.
Congressman John Larson’s proposal to build massive highway tunnels under Hartford is breathtaking in scope. It has stirred the blood of some public officials and business leaders. But the concept is so vast, complex and potentially expensive that many doubt it can be realized.
In towns all over Connecticut there is such interest in revitalizing historic industrial properties that the movement could be stalled by its own success. All of the fiscal 2017 tax credits under the state historic rehabilitation tax credit program, a key part of the financing of many mill projects, were claimed in the first quarter of the fiscal year.
The graceful and handsome “meetinghouses,” many with soaring white steeples, may be the state’s most enduring image, both for their beauty and their significance. But though these quietly majestic edifices and the communities they represent seem timeless, alas they are not, and keeping them going in the 21st century is becoming a challenge.
With Connecticut’s largest cities sliding slowly toward bankruptcy, will legislators move to correct Connecticut’s heavy reliance on an age-old property tax system?
Conceived in the 1980s and completed in the mid-1990s, there were no more daring or comprehensive preservation projects in Connecticut than Ninth Square in New Haven. Now, two decades after its completion, Ninth Square is a vibrant urban neighborhood, a place for art, food, tech start-ups and street fun.
Seaside in Waterford is one of the last great buildings designed by renowned architect Cass Gilbert, famous for the Woolworth Building, the U.S. Supreme Court and New Haven’s Union Station. Built by the sea as a tuberculosis sanitarium and later used as a facility for the intellectually disabled, the grand building is a deteriorating derelict after years of state indecision. Now the state is down to its last chance to save it.
Would regional government save money for Connecticut taxpayers? How should the state attempt to close the educational achievement gap? When faced with major questions such as these, policymakers in some other states turn to their independent, nonpartisan public policy research center to study the issues.
The controversial delays and added costs at Hartford’s new minor league baseball stadium not only put the 2016 Hartford Yard Goats baseball season on life support, it threatens what could be the city’s boldest renewal effort since the Front Street project began in the 1990s.
Among other lessons, the move provides further evidence that large, isolated, one-tenant suburban office parks, such as the sleek but aging campus that GE has occupied since 1974 on 68 arboreal acres in Fairfield, have seen their day.
If modern mapping can help the church manage its vast lands in environmentally sustainable ways, she thinks the planet and its inhabitants will benefit from a cleaner, healthier and more just global environment.
The Great Recession slowed sprawl — low-density, auto-centric, poorly planned development — to a crawl. But now the downturn has grudgingly turned around, and development is ramping up. Does this mean the state’s remaining undeveloped areas will be hit with another wave of sprawl?
State transportation officials want to widen I-95 and introduce congestion or time-of-day tolling on it, to both reduce congestion and raise revenue for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s massive 30-year transportation plan. But there’s plenty of opposition to the widening, and if it can’t be resolved, the increasingly daunting challenge of funding the program could become that much more difficult.