(May 6, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra released the name of the local business owners competing against international astronauts, television celebrities and dozens of other teams from across the country in “Fireball Run: Space Race,” a trivia-themed race from Hartford to Florida’s Space Coast that will be recorded in real time and streamed online. Four teams of international astronauts will compete against teams of television celebrities, business owners, senior level executives, industry celebrities and elected officials. Contestants will race in vehicles of their choice, which can be anything from exotic sports cars to everyday sedans. Bear’s Smokehouse owner, Jamie McDonald, will represent the City of Hartford and will drive an ex-military M925 5 Ton transport truck along with Winfield Latif, owner of Tangiers International Market.
Hartford was chosen as the starting point for the series, which is in its ninth season and is viewed by 1.7 million people worldwide. Crews have been in Hartford since November recording notable locations in preparation for the show. Live recording begins September 26, 2015 at Bushnell Park where nearly $30 million worth in automobiles, including some of those competing in the race, will be on display. The race kicks off September 27, 2015 and ends October 3, 2015 at Cocoa Beach, Florida during a parade with over 30,000 spectators.
“Over 1 million people around the world will have the opportunity to see just how special Hartford is and learn more about our rich cultural history," said Mayor Segarra. “I want to thank Jamie and Winfield for taking on this challenge, thank all the staff for their hard work and thank Fireball Run for selecting Hartford. This is a great opportunity for residents to show their pride for our great city.”
Among the astronauts who are participating are Captain Jon McBride, a retired NASA astronaut; Lt. Col. Marcos Pontes, Brazil’s first astronaut; Cmdr. Rakesh Sharma, India’s first astronaut; and Gen. Jean-Loup Chretien, a former French astronaut. Television celebrities include Jacqueline Siegel, from the documentary, “The Queen of Versailles”; Adrianne Curry, a reality television personality; Grant Imahara, an electronics expert known for his work on the television show, “Myth Busters”; and Ray McCelland, co-host of the television series, “Car Warriors.”
While competing against one another, show participants will also raise awareness for America’s missing children. The series has aided in the recovery of 44 missing children for the Child Rescue Network, a Florida-based nonprofit. The event was created in 2007 by Brock Yates a former editor at Car & Driver magazine.
“Fireball Run: Space Race” premieres June 2016. The series is available on GooglePlay, Roku, AmazonfireTV, SmartTV, NEO-TV, and Chromecast. Past seasons and episodes are available online at www.fireballrun.com. Several private events will also take place during the live production dates.
Anyone with questions or anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities can contact Lauren Varjabedian at (860) 707-3258.
Earlier today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra met with 16-year-old Jovany Roman, a junior at Weaver High School’s Culinary Arts Academy, to commend him for the bravery he displayed Thursday when he administered CPR to a man who was found not breathing inside a vehicle at a fast food restaurant in Hartford. Although not certified, Roman administered CPR while waiting for the paramedics to arrive.
“Jovany sprang into action without giving it a second thought and because of that a man’s life was saved," said Mayor Segarra. "He made a quick decision that took courage and it says a lot about this young man’s character. We are extremely proud and grateful for his bravery."
(April 29, 2015) The City of Hartford’s Department of Public Works (DPW) has launched a weeklong effort to repair all potholes on City streets. Patching efforts have been ongoing since the winter with crews repairing potholes using temporary cold patches that can pop out after it rains. In the now warmer temperatures, the department has switched to a permanent hot material designed to bond with the existing pavement and designed to last longer. Seven DPW crews have been out this week from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. prioritizing potholes that have been reported to 311 by residents and motorists.
“Public Works employees will be looking at the entire street as they drive it and if they see a pothole, they’re to stop and fix it,” said Interim DPW Director Keith Chapman. “They go street by street until every street in the city has been driven and all the potholes in the street are repaired. It’s a major undertaking when you have this much mileage, but it’s the only way you get it done in a reasonable amount of time.”
In some instances, testing needs to be done to determine the cause of a pothole and, depending on the cause, the street might need to be milled and repaved. Some damaged streets are on the City’s paving list for this coming year and will be addressed with milling and resurfacing. Until then, DPW will repair potholes on those streets with hot material. There are 217 miles of road in Hartford, and DPW resurfaces 15 miles of it each year.
Potholes are caused by a variety of issues, including the ‘freeze-thaw’ effect during the winter when water underground freezes, expands and pushes the pavement up. Antiquated infrastructure, extreme weather temperatures and heavy traffic are also contributing factors. The goal is to fill all potholes by the end of the week, but efforts will continue until all are repaired. Residents can report existing potholes by calling 311.
(April 28, 2015) Hartford, CT was named a 2014 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.
Hartford achieved Tree City USA recognition by meetinf the program's four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an arbor Day observance and proclamation.
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
"Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers, and committed citizens in communities like HArtford make smart investments in urban forests," said Matt Harris, chied executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Trees bring shade to out homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits."
Cleaner air, improved storm water management, energy savings, increased property values and commercial activity are among the benefits enjoyed by Tree City USA communities.
More information on the program is available at arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mision to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information is avalable at arborday.org.