Commentaries

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Ways to Connect

Dear Hartford: Climb Right In.

Feb 9, 2017
The Colt Armory in Hartford, Conn.
Aaron Knox / Creative Commons

Commentator Julia Pistell moved to Hartford years ago on a compromise. Her not-yet-husband had a job in insurance in Hartford, so Pistell packed up her books and sublet her South Bronx apartment. She’s been here ever since, and is happy about what the city has asked of her. She wants others in the region to recognize it’s asking things of them too.

We didn’t have a car. I didn’t have a job. I had about $200 from walking pit bulls.

Author Grace Lin.
Courtesy of Grace Lin

This Saturday marks the Lunar New Year, formerly known as the Chinese New Year. For commentator Grace Lin, it’s a holiday that comes with baggage.

As a child, I resented Chinese New Year. My Taiwanese parents celebrated with great enthusiasm. Other holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, were treated as obligatory duties as well as with much puzzlement.

What Photographs Can Teach Us About Our Leaders

Jan 24, 2017
Barack Obama before going out to take the oath in 2009
Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

The day before President Trump was inaugurated, commentator and art historian Paul Staiti was passing though an airport in Los Angeles when he noticed Barack Obama’s photograph greeting every arriving passenger.  Staiti found himself contemplating the image, and its imminent disappearance.

Sports Parents Loving Their Kids Too Loudly

Jan 11, 2017
Youth hockey players
File photo / MassLive

For many parents, weekends mean spending time watching their children play sports. Commentator John Galvin faithfully attends his kids’ games. And he loves watching the kids play. But watching – and listening – to certain people on the sidelines is another story altogether.

If there’s one thing that makes me lament this coming weekend, it will be having to listen to loud-mouthed, micro-managing sports parents. Dads and moms.

Homelessness Is Not A Crime

Jan 5, 2017
Ryan Caron King / NENC

One cold night late in November, Hartford police officers Joe Walsh and K9 officer Alfredo Pizarro called in a 10-27, a community service call, from Bushnell Park.

Their K9 dog, Hundo, had sniffed out an 8-year old boy who was spending his second night sleeping outside with his mother, Haley Robbins, and her husband, Jonathan Nunez.

One ‘Dreamer’ Worries What Trump Will Do

Dec 13, 2016
Angelica Merino Monge Helps a Migrant Farm Worker With  Spanish Literacy
Holyoke Community College

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on the promise, among others, to get rid of President Obama’s program that offered a temporary reprieve to so-called dreamers — immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children. But in a recent interview with Time magazine, Trump said he wants to “work something out” to help dreamers.

Items Left At Emily Dickinson's Grave

Dec 9, 2016
A note found near Emily Dickinson's tombstone.
Martha Ackmann

Emily Dickinson, the great American poet, was born December 10, 1830. Commentator and author Martha Ackmann lives a few miles up the road from Dickinson’s Amherst home, and often takes walks around town, planning her route to include a stop at Dickinson’s grave in West Cemetery -- behind the Mobil station. What draws her attention is the tombstone, and also what's been left on and around it.

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