(May 11, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra, Donna Thompson-Daniel, chairwoman of the Blue Hills Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ), and City Architect Antonio Matta broke ground for the Roberta L. Jones Playscape, an approximately 15-year-old playground in the Blue Hills neighborhood that will be rebuilt to current safety standards. An existing swing set will be refurbished with new paint and new swings. The remaining play structure will be replaced in its entirety with new slides, platforms and play features and will include the new City standard rubber tile safety surface. The removed play structure will be donated to the “Kids Around the World” organization that will refurbish and reinstall the playground in a developing nation. In addition, the playscape will feature a piece of playground equipment designed to look like a fire engine as a testament to Roberta L. Jones’ dedication to the Women’s Auxiliary of the Phoenix Society where she served as president and to the generations of her relatives who served in the Hartford Fire Department. Jones was a lifelong Hartford resident, the first African American state marshal and an executive assistant to Mayor Thirman L. Milner, as well as an active member of several boards and commissions. The new playground should be completed within six weeks.
“I’m proud to have this playground here in honor of someone who was a devoted member of the community and who worked tirelessly for those around her,” said Mayor Segarra. “I’m also happy to provide children in the neighborhood with a new and safer place to play.”
“Roberta L. Jones was a staple in the Blue Hills neighborhood and she worked hard for the Hartford community as a whole. She deserves recognition and this wonderful park will ensure that her legacy remains here forever,” said Thompson-Daniel.
The Roberta L. Jones Playscape, located in a largely residential neighborhood at the corner of Cornwall and Chatham Streets, will be installed by GameTime MRC.
(May 8, 2015) The City of Hartford’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is offering certified organic compost, made of leaves collected in the fall, to Hartford residents at no charge. Residents can take up to 32 gallons of compost from the Bulky Waste and Recycling Center, located at 180 Leibert Rd., Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.. Residents are required to bring photo identification, their own containers, shovels and gloves. The program starts today and will continue while supply lasts, which is typically through May. The program, which is in its fifth year of operation, is also made available to local community gardens.
(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."