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Sound Bites: Building a mini-community

Mark Colville stands in the warming center by the sign that declares it a "human rights zone."
Melinda Tuhus
Mark Colville stands in the warming center by the sign that declares it a "human rights zone."

Good morning. A volunteer crew helped set up six tiny homes in the back of a house of hospitality in New Haven — creating a mini-community.

The homes were built in the backyard of the Amistad Catholic Worker house in the Hill section of New Haven. Volunteers carried in the pre-fab panels and put them together, adding the roof. They have heat, air conditioning and electricity, but no plumbing. For that, residents will access the first floor of the Amistad House of hospitality, where Mark Colville and his wife Luz have lived for more than 25 years.

After starting the project without building permits, Colville said they are now working through the permit process with the city.

They are trying to set up a model of what a supported encampment could look like.

“These homes are real game changers for people, when you can go from living in a tent to be able to go through a door and lock it behind you,” Colville said.  “The goal is to change city policy, so that they could actually support these encampments.”

Here’s a bite-sized look at what else we’re hearing: 

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has vetoed a bill that would allow offshore wind power to come ashore in Long Beach. The bill included a provision that Equinor could lay cables underneath the beachfront in Long Beach and deliver power to a substation in Island Park. Hochul said companies like Equinor need to develop strong ties with their host communities during the planning phase of large projects. Environmentalists worry the veto and recent subsidy rejections from regulators could have a chilling effect on reaching the state’s renewable energy goals.

Two Connecticut museums were closed on Saturday after receiving bomb threats. The Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic and the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme each received threats that turned out to be false. Connecticut State Police are investigating.

Bribery charges against a developer were dropped in the case of illegal dumping in Fairfield, which goes to trial next month. Jason Julian still faces a handful of other charges and environmental violations. Former town official Scott Bartlett pleaded guilty in August to his involvement in the dumping of contaminated soil on town property. Clean up is expected to cost taxpayers $25 million.

All of Suffolk County’s cyber domains were at risk, according to an assessment prepared for six months before the county suffered a crippling ransomware attack. The report was made public on Friday by the legislative committee investigating the attack. The committee called it a “smoking gun.” A Bellone administration spokesperson said the committee was “playing politics” by mischaracterizing the report.

The Connecticut Hospital Association has adopted a new policy aimed at reducing violence against healthcare workers. The policy defines actions that are not tolerated, like aggressive behavior, discriminatory language and sexual harassment. The industry group is urging legislators to give teeth to these new rules. A study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 73% of nonfatal workplace accidents were in hospitals nationwide.

Purdue Pharma will remain based in Stamford for at least the next three years. The manufacturer of OxyContin has renewed its lease at 201 Tresser Boulevard. Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and continues to be the target of multiple lawsuits for its role in the opioid crisis.

Jake’s 58 Casino is warning regular customers to monitor their credit card and bank accounts after a cyberattack closed the Islandia casino for three days last week. Experts don’t believe customers’ banking information was compromised, but can’t be 100% sure.

New York saw a nearly 9% increase in reported domestic violence victims since 2019, according to a report released by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. DiNapoli said one in four women and one in 10 men experience sexual and physical violence, or stalking, in their lifetime. He said across the state, nearly 80% of victims were female and 41% of domestic homicide victims were people of color — a consistent number over the past decade.

Desiree D’Iorio, Sabrina Garone and Madi Steddick contributed reporting.

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Terry Sheridan is an award-winning audio journalist. As part of his duties as Senior Director of News and Education, he developed a unique and award-winning internship program with the Stony Brook University School of Communications and Journalism, where he is also a lecturer and adjunct professor. He also mentors graduate fellows from the Sacred Heart University Graduate School of Communication, Media, and the Arts.