News

Yale Div School Eyes East Rock Home

 Stephen Brown shows neighbors a map and photographs of 320 Canner St., a two-story, single-family home that Yale is interested in purchasing and converting to academic use.

Stephen Brown shows neighbors a map and photographs of 320 Canner St., a two-story, single-family home that Yale is interested in purchasing and converting to academic use.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 

The Yale Divinity School is interested in purchasing a single-family home near its Prospect Hill campus and converting it into an academic building, thereby removing over $18,500 from the city’s annual property tax rolls.

At Monday night’s regular monthly meeting of the East Rock Community Management Team (ERCMT) at the mActivity Gym on Nicoll Street, Karen King from Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs and Stephen Brown from Yale’s Planning Administration informed neighbors that the university is exploring a potential purchase of the two-story, single-family home at 320 Canner St.

The home, built in 1986, is privately owned and occupied and has an assessed value of $481,810 as of 2016. At the current mill rate of 38.68, annual property taxes on the home would be $18,636.

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Garage Eyed As Temporary “Commons”

 Powers presents to neighbors.

Powers presents to neighbors.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 As Yale closes up its “Commons” for a $150 million rebuilding, it’s looking to a York Street garage to serve as a temporary replacement for student dining and big events.

The university is seeking city permission to convert the former dialysis center-turned-parking garage at 150 York St. into a temporary event space that will host both town and gown functions. The university already owns the building, and is waiting on City Plan Commission approval of its updated site and usage plans before beginning construction.

On Tuesday night, two Yale representatives presented the university’s latest plans for 150 York at the monthly meeting of the Downtown-Wooster Square Community Management Team on the second floor of City Hall. The university has already submitted its new plans for the building to the City Plan Commission, which is scheduled to vote on the proposal later this week.

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Shelter Starts Again In Home Search

 Clients waiting for the Grand Ave. shelter to open. (Allan Appel file photo)

Clients waiting for the Grand Ave. shelter to open. (Allan Appel file photo)

Monday, April 3, 2017 - New Haven’s top economic development official has promised to help a Grand Avenue homeless shelter find a new home now that the zoning board has denied its request for permission to move to an empty building on an industrial strip around the corner.

During the March meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), the board denied without prejudice the request from Emergency Shelter Management Services (ESMS) to receive a use variance to operate an emergency shelter in a light industrial zone.

ESMS currently runs the homeless shelter out of a building at 645 Grand Ave. The shelter is 6,400 square feet and serves 50-75 men per night, depending on the season.

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Storm Passed In Warmth, In Spades

Parish: “If someone’s hungry enough to chase their dream, I’m hungry enough to help them.”

March 14, 2017 - D’Mario Parish balanced his cellphone between his shoulder and his ear as he looked at his new hand of cards. Half of his attention was on the phone conversation, the other half on the game of spades before him. The storm outside seemed far away.

“It’s going well,” said Parish, a volunteer cook at the Trinity Baptist Church homeless shelter, as he smiled and winked at his fellow card players seated around the table. “We’re in here for the storm, playing cards, staying warm. You know, they’re all trying to cheat me, but you can’t cheat the best.”

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New Food Cart Rules Advance

 Hot dog man Sweeney: “Don’t put dollar up front!”

Hot dog man Sweeney: “Don’t put dollar up front!”

March 10, 2017 - The city came one step closer to realizing a new regulatory framework for monitoring New Haven’s food trucks, carts, and stands thanks to a vote following a three-hour public session at City Hall.

Before the vote Thursday night, some vendors told lawmakers they remain concerned about the unintended consequences that these regulations might have on the traffic safety of both their employees and their customers.

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More Cops On Foot? Or In Cars?

 Anderson (center) pushes for more motor vehicle enforcement.

Anderson (center) pushes for more motor vehicle enforcement.

February 22, 2017 - Sometimes, Sgt. Sean Maher told Wooster Square and downtown neighbors, they may need to choose between more walking cops and more traffic cops.

Maher made the observation while reoprting good news — and then getting some pushback in response — at Tuesday evening’s monthly Downtown Wooster Square Community Management team meeting at City Hall.

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Shelter Change Draws Local Opposition

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - A plan to change a small Hill homeless shelter into a rent-subsidized residence for young people who have aged out of the foster care system is meeting with opposition from neighbors worried about parking and crime problems.

That opposition surfaced at a Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) public hearing at 200 Orange St. on Tuesday night on New Reach Inc.’s request to convert its Careway Shelter at 223 Portsea St. in the Hill’s Trowbridge Square area into a more conventional affordable housing residence for previously homeless and at-risk young women.

New Reach came up with the new plan two years after losing city funding and embarking on an effort to rethink how to house people who are, have been, or at risk of becoming homeless.

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Alder, East St. Neighbors Oppose Homeless Shelter’s Move

 Lawyer Erskine McIntosh (center), with ESMS’s Arnold Johnson (left) and Curtis McBride (right) at hearing.

Lawyer Erskine McIntosh (center), with ESMS’s Arnold Johnson (left) and Curtis McBride (right) at hearing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - Operators of a Grand Avenue homeless shelter looking to move around the block will have to wait at least another month before the zoning board can vote on its relocating request. The reason for the delay: missing paperwork, and an incomplete application.

Meanwhile, the neighborhood’s alder and some neighbors showed up to oppose the move.

That was the outcome of a hearing at Tuesday night’s Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) meeting at 200 Orange St., where one of the topics under discussion was the proposal by Emergency Shelter Management Services (ESMS) to move its men’s homeless shelter from 645 Grand Ave. to 923-925 East St. The board decided to extend the public hearing on the shelter’s variance use request to give it a little more time to get its application in order. ESMS is asking for a variance to permit an emergency shelter in a light industrial zone.

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Homeless Shelter Seeks New Home

 293-295 East Street

293-295 East Street

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - The neighboring strip club has no objection, but a flood plain may stand in the way of one of New Haven’s homeless shelters moving into a new home.

After two years of searching, operators of the shelter — Emergency Shelter Management Services (ESMS) — have located a new location after learning they need to leave their current location at 645 Grand Ave.The only hurdles left are building regulations, concerned city officials, the skepticism of a few reluctant neighbors, and the costs that come with being adjacent to the flood plain.

Tuesday night the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) will consider the Grand Avenue homeless shelter’s proposal to move into a new home at 293-295 East St.

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Paperwork Snag Could Cost City

 Alders Dolores Colon, Adam Marchand, Evette Hamilton at hearing.

Alders Dolores Colon, Adam Marchand, Evette Hamilton at hearing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - Alder Al Paolillo Jr. ran both of his hands through his hair as he tried to process what city Budget Director Joe Clerkin had just said: $1.6 million from the state might not make it into city coffers because of uncompleted paperwork.

That’s not money designated for future capital and infrastructure investments; that’s money the city has already spent and counted on getting back.

“So we’re not getting the [money] from the state?” Paolillo asked. “And the state just told us this?”

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Rose: Heed Us, Or Pay Your Own Bill

Rose at Monday night’s hearing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - Can the city’s chief legal adviser deny representation to a department head who refuses to heed his advice? Should the city have to foot the bill when a city employee then seeks outside counsel?

These two questions occupied the first half of a nearly three-hour meeting held by the Board of Alders Finance Committee at City Hall Monday night.

A unified front of alders pushed and pulled with city Corporation Counsel John Rose Jr.over just how far the city’s legal department should go to defend municipal employees caught up in legal disputes, especially when those clients disregard the advice offered by the city’s appointed attorneys.

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Murphy: I’ll Vote Yes On Some Trump Picks

 Murphy at Monday night’s town hall at Daniels School.

Murphy at Monday night’s town hall at Daniels School.

December 20, 2016 - Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy lifted two fingers to count out the tests he’ll be using when Congress is asked to vote on each of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees.

“Number one, you can’t be a radical,” he said. “Number two, you should have some level of experience in the field in which you’re going to be leading.”

Then Murphy gave a New Haven audience a head’s up: “I know that I’m going to vote for some of his nominees who I disagree with, because I think the president has the right to put people around him who are going to carry out government according to his wishes. But there is a line, and already many of these nominees have crossed that line.”

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Substation Xanadu Revealed On Whalley

December 19, 2016 - Standing alongside a dozen framed black-and-white photographs from the New Haven police department’s past and present, Sgt. John Wolcheski paused with a smile as he recalled the story behind each picture.

“This is from 2012, when a flash flood raised the water level of the West River by four or five feet,” he explained, pointing to a picture of himself dressed in department-issued scuba diving gear, bobbing just above the surface of a swollen river. “And here’s a picture from when JFK visited the Yale Law School, and a New Haven police officer blocked an excited student from rushing the motorcade.

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Hillary Road Trip Hits A Battleground

 New Haven’s Oliphant and Colter at Dresher Clinton HQ. (Thomas Breen photo)

New Haven’s Oliphant and Colter at Dresher Clinton HQ. (Thomas Breen photo)

October 10, 2016 - Willow Grove, Penn. — Standing outside of an ACME supermarket on a cloudy Sunday afternoon, Carter Colter asked a question that he had been repeating to incoming and outgoing shoppers for the past three hours.

“Excuse me, are you registered to vote?”

Colter, 70, a retired advertising salesman who had joined a group of volunteers who traveled from New Haven down to the Philadelphia suburbs for the weekend to volunteer for the local Democratic Party, was wearing a yellow windbreaker emboldened by a deep blue Hillary Clinton sticker.

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Westville Tops Dixwell For “Ballers” Crown

 Tyrone Wells takes a jump shot for the the Beaver Hills. (Thomas Breen photo)

Tyrone Wells takes a jump shot for the the Beaver Hills. (Thomas Breen photo)

October 6, 2016 - As Gregory Daniels leaned forward to sink yet another long-distance jump shot, an incredulous bystander shouted towards the police officers on the sidelines:  “All these cops on the court, and they still can’t stop this man from shooting!”

Frequent shots fired and moves so quick they seemed illegal erupted on the hoop courts at Edgewood Park late Wednesday afternoon — and the cops not only didn’t try to stop the action, but took part.

The shots had nothing to do with criminal activity, and everything to do with basketball. Specifically, with basketball played between police officers and members of the community.

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Trump Bombs In The Cask Republic

 Clinton supporters watching debate at Cask Republic. (Thomas Breen photo)

Clinton supporters watching debate at Cask Republic. (Thomas Breen photo)

September 27, 2016 - “Shut up,” someone at the front of the room shouted with exasperation as Donald Trump defended his self-proclaimed (and thoroughly fictional) early opposition to the Iraq War.

“No, keep talking,” the person sitting next to him responded with a smile. “This is good for us to hear!”

Such was the prevailing attitude on Monday night in a crowded side room at Cask Republic on Crown Street, where dozens of New Haveners gathered to laugh and cheer and grimace as they watched the first presidential debate between candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

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Cops, East Rockers Connect Over Koffee

 Sgt. Shafiq Abdussabur and Zora Kim (Thomas Breen photo)

Sgt. Shafiq Abdussabur and Zora Kim (Thomas Breen photo)

September 18, 2016 - Christine Kim rounded the corner of Humphrey and Orange Streets to find seven cops standing outside of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

She didn’t know it, but they’d come to talk with her — and other East Rock neighbors.

“Is there an emergency?” Kim asked the first uniformed officer she approached.

“Yes there is,” Sgt. Shafiq Abdussabur replied with a smile. “The emergency is that you have to attend this party right now.”

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