Tag Archives: connecticut

Stream: President Obama Addresses Newtown Shooting

As horrifying details continue to emerge, here’s footage of President Obama addressing today’s elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which is just 40 miles or so west of Middletown. Continuing updates on the tragedy appear here.

In the brief remarks, Obama says that he addressed the tragedy not as president, but “as a parent.” “Our hearts are broken today,” the president says, pausing to pull himself together. “The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them.” He appears to choke up at various points in the video.

“We’re going to have to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” the president continues, but he doesn’t address gun control in any specific way. The full text of Obama’s remarks appears here, via The Atlantic Wire.

Newtown is a short drive from Wesleyan, so it’s no surprise that the Middletown community is particularly shaken by the shooting. Like many WesKids, I’ve driven through Newtown countless times on I-84 to get to Wes. I’ve stopped and had lunch at the town’s Blue Colony Diner. I’ve had professors who live in the town. According to Middletown Patch, Middletown Superintendent of Schools Patricia Charles has sent a letter to Middletown parents promising to redouble efforts to keep children safe in Middletown schools:

Pictures of Burrows and of WesKids Bashing Into Each Other During Burrows’ Set

Burrows performed at WestCo Cafe Saturday night. So did Bakshi. So did Curmudgeon and Let’s Party Hats! Hats! Hats! But I didn’t catch them. Which is too bad, but probably okay, because I would like my memories of Bakshi to be tied to their performance last month at Music House, where they opened for Author & Punisher. I caught Burrows. This post is about Burrows.

Burrows is a trio from Wallingford, and they played a vicious set of doom-inspired sludge-punk with low-growled screams and generous double-bass drum. Their Facebook page alternately describes them as “Loud Sounds Coming from Instruments” and “Four Dudes learning about the deaths of neighboring loved ones,” which I suppose are both accurate enough. The band sludged through songs with titles like “The Holy See” and “Slow Fires,” and the crowd was surprisingly large, with a decent population of Wesleyan students moshing into each other (and the floor) with sloppy abandon. More notable to me was the sizable number of local Connecticut punk fans (and at one local alum) at the show, which merged local and student bands on the same bill. This is the second time this week I’ve seen local community members and students united together for the same cause. I guess thick, bass-heavy doom-punk is as good a cause as fighting that bookstore development, when it comes down to it.

Health Justice Town Hall Meeting

From Alexandra Ellerbeck ’13:

Come participate in a statewide discussion on health care in Connecticut. The community health center on Main Street is one of three locations hosting a town hall meeting on health justice. Meet at the steps of Usdan (Wyllys Ave side) at 5:20pm for transportation to the event. Visit the town hall website to register for the event and to find out more about the speakers.

Date: Tomorrow, October 23
Time: 5:20pm
Place: Usdan (van departs from the ‘Dan for the CHC at 675 Main Street)
Cost: Zero

WESeminar: Center for Prison Education

Want to hear about Wesleyan’s involvement in prison education and criminal justice reform? Maddie Neufeld ’12 writes in with some, er, arresting information:

Join us for a panel discussion on Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education, featuring members of the initiative’s advisory board. Come hear from leaders in criminal justice reform about Wesleyan’s pioneering work bringing educational opportunity into Connecticut’s prisons. Board members include Majora Carter ’88, MacArthur Genius and environmental activist, Ted Shaw ’76, former NAACP attorney, Greg Berman ’88, Director of the Center for Court Innovation, Katherine Eyster ’10, former CPE volunteer, Russell Perkins ’09, CPE co-founder and Rhodes Scholar, Randy Ezratty P’13, music producer and engineer, Professor Andy Szegedy-Maszak, Mike Lawlor, CT’s Undersecretary for Criminal Justice, and Max Kenner, Bard Prison Initiative Director.

Date: Saturday, October 20th
Time: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Place: Exley 150
Cost: Free!

There’s a Tornado Watch for Middlesex County

“Through 9 p.m., the Middletown area has been advised that conditions could be right for a tornado to form Saturday,” says Patch.

Looks like our post on Tropical Thunderstorm was more prescient than intended. According to the Weather Channel, a strong cold front is headed our way this afternoon, “igniting a line of severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and, perhaps a few tornadoes.” You can check out the map above, but suffice it to say Middlesex County has been placed under Tornado Watch. Middletown Patch has more detail:

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of the state including Middlesex County through 9 p.m., according to the Storm Prediction Center. [ . . . ]

The National Weather Service is predicting for Middletown:

  • Isolated showers between 1 and 3 p.m., then scattered showers and thunderstorms after 3 p.m. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. South wind 13 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.
  • Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms before midnight, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm between midnight and 3 a.m., then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3 a.m. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. Low around 63. South wind 6 to 11 mph becoming light and variable after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

CoE Lecture: “The True Worth of Water”

Ally “Wa-Wa” Wang ’12 writes in, pointing us towards the latest effort by College of the Environment and Prof. William Pinch (along with his leather jacket, I suppose) to save the world:

Interested in learning about water issues? Come to Earth House for an informal panel to hear professors and students talk about hidden costs and politics surrounding water.

This Wednesday night, 3 of the fellows at the College of Environment’s Think Tank are speaking at Earth House about the “True Worth of Water.” We tend to think that water issues don’t apply here in Connecticut, but the water around us is not free, and politics of use surround it. The water bottle interns will also be there to talk about getting rid of water bottles at Wesleyan.

There will be a discussion afterwards.

Date: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
Cost: nada
Place: Earth House, 159 High Street
Time: 6:30 pm – 8.00pm

Get Rooks Or Die Trying: Campus Funk Act Plots Mini-Tour

The Rooks, everyone’s favorite on-campus intergalactic funk sensation, are going on tour! Sort of. The post-Mad Wow outfit is embarking on a mini-tour of sorts through the northeast this week (they might snag more exclusive concert footage at these shows), and frontman Garth Taylor ’12 has the details. (As always, The Rooks include Garth Taylor ’12, Nate Mondschein ’12, Spencer Hattendorf ’12, Graham Richman ’11, Louis Russo ’11, and Gabe Gordon ’11.)


  • Date: Thursday, January 12, 2012
  • Place: Sullivan Hall, New York, NY.
  • Time: 8 PM
  • Tickets? Tickets $10 at the door or can be reserved online.
  • Facebook link: !!!!!


Like this, except less leopard.

In case you haven’t had the opportunity to go outside this evening, it’s snowing. And we’re not talking some half-assed flurries… the ground’s developing a nice cover. Unfortunately, it’s a day late for us to have a “White Diwali,” but it’s still a good two weeks before Connecticut’s usual first snowfall.

[Ed. note: for all my East Coast friends, please abide the excitement of us West Coast-ers for now. I’m sure we’ll get tired of it eventually.]

[Edit: And some scenes from the High Rise parking lot. Oooooh.] [nggallery id=88]


Pointless Tuesday distraction: some anonymous tipster sent in this nuts time-lapse video of a mega-ginormous pumpkin currently growing in Broad Brook, Connecticut, just a little ways north of our own Middletown. The pumpkin’s owner, Ken Desrosiers, captured its two-and-a-half months of growth via time-lapse photography.

The 1,487-pound monster is officially the biggest pumpkin in Connecticut history. WHOAH. The video kind of looks like some mutant round baby creature emerging from the earth in a low budget 1960s Japanese horror movie.

Side note: if you want to learn all about the thriving underground community of giant pumpkin- and squash-growers, check out this “interactive web site to the giant pumpkin growing community.” I have gathered that the adjective “giant” here modifies the noun “pumpkin.” Not “community.”


CT Decriminalizes MJ

Wes Students on 4/20We can pretend that this is irrelevant to Wesleyan, but over the past week and a half we’ve talked about ~100 Wes students per year getting disciplined for drug abuse and the seizure of 29 pounds of weed in Middletown mail.

While the decriminalization of marijuana doesn’t actually legalize it, it does change the way Connecticut law treats offenses.  Connecticut will be the fourteenth state to have this attitude towards Wesleyan’s favorite herb, in line with Massachusetts and New York.  The Hartford Courant has a pretty good description of what the rules might look like next month:

The decriminalization bill would make the possession of a half-ounce of marijuana or less–about 30 joints — akin to receiving a speeding ticket rather than a criminal offense. First-time offenders would face a $150 fine; second and subsequent offenses would draw a penalty of at least $200 but no more than $500.

Under current laws, people in possession of up to four ounces can be jailed for a year in addition to a $1,000 fine.  That’s a pretty significant shift.  Before you celebrate with a joint of your own though, know that it won’t be quite as simple for many Wes students: