May 23, 2016
March 14, 2016
Neely Bruce, left, and Steve Collins
BRISTOL – Wesleyan composer Neely Bruce will lead a performance of his "The Bill of Rights: Ten Amendments in Eight Motets" in Bristol as a benefit concert for longtime journalist Steve Collins.
The April 17 concert at Prospect United Methodist Church will feature a choir of local and regional singers backed by an instrumental ensemble. Organizers are seeking singers, sponsors and program advertisers.
Bruce said he wrote the piece “in the style of William Billings, America's first great composer and a contemporary of the Founders.”
“The music I have written is tuneful and memorable. I already know that if you sing it you will become more and more aware of the Bill of Rights, and the condition is ongoing, perhaps permanent,” he said.
“If you sing a text, especially when you are young, you will remember it for life,” Bruce said.
Bruce said he wanted to do the free-will offering concert in Bristol because of the First Amendment tie-in to Collins’ resignation from The Bristol Press to protest unethical conduct by the paper’s editor and publisher.
Collins quit in December after 22 years covering government and politics for the local daily. He is now freelancing for CT News Junkie, an online news site, and recently wrote an e-book on what a Donald Trump presidency might be like.
Bruce said he decided to set the First Amendment to music after reading a 2004 Knight Foundation study that found half the nation’s youth had no problem with the government censoring news.
“The magnificent rhythms of the text were so captivating, and so much fun to set to music, that I decided to set the entire Bill of Rights” to music, he said.
His goal, he said, “is to have every singer in the United States sing this piece. I've got a long way to go, but the performance in Bristol will be Number 24. One step at a time.”
The concert at the 99 Summer St. church on Federal Hill will be Sunday, April 17 at 4 p.m., with a reception to follow.
Those interested in singing with the chorus, advertising in the program book, becoming a sponsor or otherwise helping with the event should contact Jackie Majerus-Collins at (860) 523-9632 or email BillOfRightsBristol@gmail.com.
January 28, 2016
July 14, 2015
April 2, 2015
November 4, 2014
October 29, 2014
And in black and white:
October 28, 2014
October 16, 2014
DEMOCRATS RESPOND TO REPUBLICAN LEADERS
There they go again – the Republican Town Committee leaders are on the blog with negative attacks on our Democratic elected officials and candidates. What would be more beneficial to the readers and to the voters are actual ideas and plans. Answers that include: what would you do, and how would you accomplish your goals.
Voters on all levels, local, state and federal are tired of partisan politics. Stop the bickering and the negative campaigning and put a plan into action.
If the Republican leaders are not able to put forth their plans for the City, then, at the very least, they have an obligation to write with some semblance of a factual basis.
First, as to Rob Michalik – let’s look at the facts:
From 1999 to 2009, Plainville had the 11th lowest annualized effective tax increase in the state (out of 169 towns). Rob was on the council for six of those years. Also, while on the town council, Rob spearheaded various efforts to save the town money. For instance, Rob pushed the town to purchase its streetlights from CL&P, thereby saving the town approximately $50,000 per year in maintenance costs. He advocated that an Ebay-like auction procedure be implemented for the sale of bonds, which saved thousands of dollars in interest costs. In addition, Rob championed an aggressive delinquent tax program, which has led to hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes being collected and reduced the tax burden on those who pay their taxes on time. At DEDC, Rob worked primarily on efforts to help small businesses. He worked on the Small Business Express program, which assisted more than 1,000 small businesses in Connecticut (including several in Bristol) and created or retained thousands of jobs across the state. Rob proudly worked extensively in helping to establish a new Manufacturing Innovation Fund in the state, which will assist small manufacturers in making the investments in equipment, technology and job training to remain competitive, win new businesses and grow jobs.
Rather than focus on the upcoming election of our state candidates, the Republican leaders attack our three Democratic Council members who all have taken a stand on some very difficult issues; slinging mud and calling them hypocrites. In particular, they politicize the downtown/
Ellen Zoppo-Sassu has offered a compromise agreement that does not involve handing over city money to a private entity, but still gives the City a stakeholder position in the development. Council member Zoppo-Sassu has moved a substantial amount of business forward for the City in her eleven months back on the City Council.
They twist Mary Fortier’s statement about Renaissance being the preferred developer and point out that there is now new proposals at Ten Main Street and other sites. These proposals are not on the seventeen acres and Renaissance is not the preferred developer of those new projects, yet it proves Council member Fortier’s point that private development may stimulate what is being proposed on the seventeen acres.
Lastly they criticize Calvin Brown for describing this as an emotional issue for the City and characterize his stance as absurd. Calvin is 22 years old. He was the highest vote getter in Council District 1 and city-wide. Voters identified with his idealism. It is Calvin’s generation that we need to retain and attract in order to maintain our middle class with young families choosing to live here, buy homes here, and put their children in our schools.
The Republican leaders conclude by stating that we cannot afford more of this “leadership.” That is the key word – leadership. Our elected officials and candidates take a stand on the issues. They make their positions known. We welcome and encourage public participation and input. We are willing to engage in meaningful debate. There is too much at stake for negative politics and sitting idle. It’s time to put words into action!