Hartford, CT

Town sued for racial discrimination

December 04, 2003
A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against East Lyme by a company that wants to build nearly 900 housing units in town.
     Lyme Landmark Development Group LLC, the company that wants to build nearly 900 housing units in the Oswegatchie Hills, has filed the lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against blacks and Hispanics.
     Landmark claims that by denying its application to build 894 housing units, of which 280 or 30 percent would be classified as "affordable," the town is intentionally trying to block minorities from moving into East Lyme.

Latinos flex mounting home buyer financial muscle

May 11, 2003
Wanda Cuadrado was tired of living in a small apartment in Hartford, and yearned for a home for herself and her 2-year-old son. But the single mother, 27, worried that she'd never be able to afford one.
     But with favorable interest rates, a good credit history and down payment assistance, Cuadrado was able to trade in her apartment one month ago for a $190,000, two-family home in Hartford's South End. In doing so, she became part of a growing number of Latino residents who are becoming homeowners.
     A lot of Hispanics want to buy their own homes," Cuadrado said. "We want something to call our own."

Civil rights advocate worried about 'code red'

March 22, 2003
Civil rights advocates are concerned about the implications of a "code red" security designation, which could force ordinary citizens into lockdown.
     The Journal-Inquirer of Manchester reported that state police have said that the highest security threat designation could lead to orders for citizens to stay indoors, or face arrest.
     "Civil liberties cannot be suspended just because we're in time of war," said Teresa Younger, executive director of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union. "We need to remain vigilant for our rights and have to assume that people will do what's best for themselves."

Hartford still segregated after increase in minorities

December 29, 2002
After a decade in which the minority population of Hartford's suburbs doubled, the region remains one of the most segregated in the nation for Latinos, according to the Census Bureau's most extensive study ever of residential segregation.
     Blacks in metropolitan Hartford are slightly more segregated by neighborhood than Latinos, the census study found. But because blacks tend to be more segregated in U.S. cities and suburbs, metro Hartford's segregation ranking for blacks was significantly better - 24th of 43 - in 2000.
     Among Latinos, the Northeast has emerged as the region where Latinos remain the most highly segregated, and in most cases, that segregation is getting worse. 

Conn. pregnant worker loses appeal

June 26, 2002
The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that small companies can fire pregnant employees without violating the state's ban on gender discrimination.
      The court ruled in a 3-2 vote that a 1967 law exempts businesses that have fewer than three workers.
      "This state's public policy against sex discrimination by private employers is not absolute," Justice Richard Palmer wrote for the majority. "The legislature has carved out an exception to that policy for small employers."
      The case involved Nicole Thibodeau, who was fired in 1998 by her employer, Design Group One, a tiny architectural firm in Chester. Her attorneys argued the firm violated her rights under the state Constitution, which prohibits discrimination based on gender.

Messenger adds sting to offensive message for tenants

March 04, 2002
"Is it still racism if it comes from the same ethnic group?" the voice on the other end of the phone asks.
     It isn't a rhetorical question. Seems that Carmen Aponte, a site manager at M. D. Fox Manor, a housing complex for older people on Washington Street, and the author of the building's monthly newsletter, offended many of the building's Hispanic tenants with a section in the newsletter about the misuse of garbage disposals.
     In English, the passage is harmless enough: "We are getting too many burned garbage disposals due to the negligence and carelessness from the tenants. Please stop throwing rice in the garbage disposals. As of this month, if your garbage disposal breaks due to the above, you will be charged for it." 

TV Anchor Wins Bias Suit

January 30, 2002
A television anchorwoman who had filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, age and sex discrimination won an $8.3 million jury verdict Thursday in U.S. District Court in Hartford, Conn.
      The anchorwoman, Janet Peckinpaugh, now 48, had alleged she unfairly lost her job in 1994 at WFSB, Channel 3, the CBS affiliate in Hartford, which at the time was owned by Post-Newsweek Stations Inc., a division of The Washington Post Co.

Parents sue over baseball tryout

June 13, 2001
A boy who made one at-bat before being cut from the school junior varsity baseball team was denied a fair tryout because he is mentally retarded, his parents claim.
     The school district violated the rights of the 17-year-old student under the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a lawsuit filed June 6 in U.S. District Court. The parents seek unspecified damages and a fair tryout for their son next year. The boy is called John Doe in the lawsuit.
      The teen-ager was in the starting lineup in six of 16 baseball games last year for Fairfield High School's freshman team. According to court documents, the district hired a special coach to clarify instructions. 

Disabled-citizenship bill welcomed

October 23, 2000
Maryse and Pierre Wickerhad no trouble getting American citizenship when they arrived from France in 1984. Theirautistic son, however, was turned down. 
      Mathieu, 24, was denied citizenship because he could notunderstand the oath of allegiance. The Wickers, who live in Mystic, feared for their son. 
     "When we passed away we didn't know what would happen," saidMaryse Wicker. "He could be deported to France."
     Those fears were eased when the Senate gave final congressionalapproval Thursday to legislation allowing disabled immigrants to become citizens without taking the oath of allegiance. President Clinton supportsthe bill, which would offer citizenship to about 1,000 immigrants a year whose disabilities prevent them from reciting the oath. 

INS will now accommodate man with 5 fingers

August 11, 1998
The Immigration and Naturalization Service will expedite the citizenship application of a disabled man that was delayed for 15 months because he could not give a full set of fingerprints, officials said yesterday.
      Tal Klement, 26, who was born with shortened arms, has three fingers on his right hand and two on his left. His citizenship application was delayed because of an administrative error, INS spokesman Greg Gagne said.
      "We're trying to accommodate his schedule and finish this by the end of the month," Gagne said.

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