The Curse Of Allyn Street: Black Bear Saloon Closes Down


by: Analisa Novak

The popular Allyn Street in Downtown Hartford just got a little quieter as the popular bar Black Bear Saloon reportedly has closed its doors, according to workers.

Sources who work for the bar confirmed that they received a text from the owners stating that they will not be needed this week, and that they will be closing its doors. Multiple nearby restaurants also confirmed that they have seen little to no business or signs of action recently. Black Bear’s doors were also closed on Monday evening, a day that was advertised on their website to be open from 11 a.m to 1:30 a.m.

A facebook post was posted late last monday evening by manager Elizabeth Lombardo that confirmed the closing.

“Just wanted to let everyone know that Black Bear closed the doors today, it sucks but we had a good run.. I’m coming off almost 6 years and my partner in crime is just under me.. life changing to say the least. Just wanted to thank you all for supporting and believing in us ..we had quite the time.”

The closing makes it the fourth bar to shut down in the center downtown Hartford area since 2013, after the first bar Up or On The Rocks was shut down after two fatal shootings.

21-year-old Miguel Delgado, of East Hartford, was shot outside the  establishment in August 2013 . Weeks later, a second incident happened that killed Brian Simpe, 19, of Manchester. At the time, Up or On The Rocks allowed people 18 and over into its premises.

“The start of the downhill spiral was when Up or On The Rocks closed down,” said local Hartford DJ Bill Bass. He said he never saw business in that area recover after that.

Four years later, Allyn Street would suffer another fatality as 18-year-old Central Connecticut State University student Taylor Lavoie fell to her death from the roof of The Angry Bull Bar Saloon. Angry Bull closed its doors after the Hartford Police set security measures that would have the bar paying $584 a night for extra security.

Pyur Nightclub would also close down in late 2015 after a decline in business. The emptied nightclub whose patio and ajar windows used to welcome guest from outside now are covered with plywood.

Black Bear Saloon, which was popular among its students for its “all you can drink Thursdays,” has recently been tied into a copyright infringement suit with  the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). According to the lawsuit, ASCAP was suing BB Allyn Street LLC, the owners of Black Bear Saloon, along with 10 other bars and restaurants, for $90,000 for knowingly allowing the public performance of copyrighted songs without payment. The suit was filed in the Connecticut district court in New Haven earlier this year.

In a statement released about the suit in April, ASCAP stated that “hundreds of thousands of well-run businesses across the nation recognize the importance of paying music creators to use their music, and understand that it is both the lawful and right thing to do,” Executive Vice President of ASCAP Vincent Candilora said. “However, each of the establishments sued today has decided to use music without compensating songwriters. By filing these actions, ASCAP is standing up for songwriters whose creative work brings great value to all businesses that publicly perform their music.”

Black Bear was one of 10 restaurants named in the suit after it was caught playing Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It” and LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and  “Sexy and I Know It” without payments for the songs.

The Recorder reached out to Alyssa Berlandy, who is listed as the liquor permittee license holder, for a confirmation about Black Bear Closing, but by print did not hear back.

Bass, who is regularly booked in Connecticut as a DJ, said it is disappointing to see another local bar go down.

“This is how we earn a living, at this rate there wont be any place left to play,” Bass said.

Title IX Is Not An Issue At CCSU

by Cindy Pena

Becca Longo made history when she became the first female athlete to be rewarded a football scholarship from a Division II school or higher. This grand milestone was not only a personal accomplishment; it was an accomplishment for women in sports and Title IX.

Title IX of the Education Amendment was passed in 1972, 45 years ago. The law allows girls to play sports at all educational institutions, from Pre-K to college, that receive federal funding. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, the three parts to Title IX that apply to athletes are:

1. Accommodate to their interest and abilities in participation.

2. Provide financial assistance to athletes, such as scholarships.

3. Provide adequate resources and services of benefit to athletes. For example, equipment, coaching, locker rooms, etc.

Each of these elements allow female athletes to be treated fairly by providing equal opportunity in sports. According to the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, Title IX has substantial health and social benefits. It decreases the likelihood of drug use, obesity and a range of other diseases like breast cancer and heart disease.

It is, with no doubt, a significant historical milestone and achievement that allows women, like Longo, to pursue their passion in sports.

Although Title IX has helped women across the United States, it has not been implemented or enforced in all institutions. The consequence for an educational institution not abiding to Title IX is withdrawal of federal dollars.

According to the Women Sports Foundation, 80 to 90 percent of these institutions are not complying with Title IX athletic requirements, yet withdrawal of federal funds has not occurred.

Furthermore, Title IX requires educational institutions to provide financial assistance, like scholarships, to be distributed in proportion to participation rates.

For example, if there is a participation ratio of 50/50 of girls to boys, half of the scholarship funding must go to females and the other half goes to males. If there is an imbalance, the school must explain the reason for the disproportion.

At Central Connecticut State University, the athletic program has provided equal opportunity for females to participate in sports.

According to College Factual, CCSU has 444 student athletes: 245 men and 199 women. On average, $7,415 of athlete-related aid is given to men and $7,497 of athlete-related aid is given to females.

Therefore, there is no gender disparity, as female athletes get 101.1 percent of the student aid in proportion to male athletes.

Ultimately, a lack of enforcement of Title IX will have a negative impact on equal opportunities for female athletes. It is an important law and must be treated as such. If not, female athletes will not be able to reap the many benefits of Title IX.

Volleyball Wins Two At Hartford Invitational

by Tyler Roaix

 The Central Connecticut State University volleyball team participated in its third and final tournament this weekend when they played in the Hartford Invitational. After a loss Friday night, Central won both of their matches on Saturday to finish with a 2-1 record for the event.

Central opened up the weekend with a tough 3-1 loss Friday night to Niagara University. The Blue Devils dug themselves into a hole throughout the match with 30 errors in total, 10 more than Niagara. Head coach Linda Sagnelli shared after the match how none of their hitters performed well.

“We were our own worst enemy today,” Sagnelli said. “We struggled from start to finish, but we have to let it go and get ready for tomorrow.”

The CCSU Women’s Volleyball Team

Niagara would add two more wins over the weekend to finish a perfect 3-0 and were awarded as winners of the Hartford Invitational.

Sagnelli’s main message to her team was to fight back on Saturday, and they did just that. Despite 26 errors, Central battled their way to a 3-1 victory. Junior Raquel Quirarte bounced back in a big way with a team-leading 14 kills. Sophomore Madelyn Kaprelyan added 13 kills as well to help fuel the offense.

But the Blue Devils’ strongest match of the weekend came Saturday evening against the host of the event, University of Hartford. Central swept the Hawks in straight sets to pick up their fifth win in their last six matches.

Central was dominant at every facet of the game. They outnumbered Hartford 44-30 in kills, and also had eight fewer errors. They controlled the battle around the net with 11 blocks in the match.

Senior Maddie Smith was a star all weekend for CCSU. With an average kill percentage of .508, Smith led the Central offense throughout the invitational. Freshman Samantha McCreath won both NEC Player and Rookie of the Week awards last week, despite having struggled during the first two matches against Niagara and New Jersey Institute of Technology. Sagnelli took her out early against NJIT after committing 18 errors, but McCreath had a strong match in the win over Hartford, racking up nine kills and a .350 kill percentage.

Smith, along with fellow senior Lindsey Massicotte were both given spots on the All-Tournament team for their efforts this weekend.

During the preseason, Sagnelli highlighted the depth of her team. That was on full display this weekend. Central played 11 of its 15 available players, including five freshmen. The spotlight may be on McCreath with her strong start to the season, but every player on the roster has contributed in one form or another.

With the weekend performance, Central improves their record to 6-3 overall, best in the Northeastern Conference. The Blue Devils are back in action Wednesday, Sept. 13 on the road against Iona. They then wrap up non-conference play Tuesday, Sept. 19 when they travel to Brown University.

Student Suicide Victims Are Remembered At CCSU

by Shaina Blakesley

1,100 candles adorned the Student Center Circle in memory of the 1,100 college student lives lost to suicide each year. The National Day of Prayer for Faith, Hope and Life was hosted on Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. The vigil featured speakers who promoted creating an environment of inclusion, and encouraged CCSU students to have those difficult conversations with their peers.

CCSU students Braye Malley and Jessica Nelson were surprised by the annual suicide rate among college students.

“We are all part of the Central family in our own way, and as families do, we should take strides to help each other and all make sure that this campus is a safe and nurturing environment where we all feel welcome,” said Damar Britto, SGA Student Life Committee Chairperson.

Students attend the vigil.

The candles, aligned in rows radiating around the circle, flickered as each speaker reflected on their personal experiences, and gave thoughts on what to do when they see someone having a hard time dealing with the stresses of student life.

Suicide is a difficult subject for many. The event aimed to help people identify if a loved one or friend is on the brink of suicide or depression. Some of the signs are more obvious, like self harm, isolation, talking about suicide or having the mindset that they are a burden.

Other signs are not so clear-cut, which means people must not be afraid to talk about suicide.

“Suicide is a topic we often avoid, as if by saying the word, we will be offering encouragement and making the possibility a reality for those who are suffering. By not speaking about it openly, we risk doing the most damage to others,” said Dr. Peter Troiano, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs.

If a friend or family member is increasingly engaging in risky behavior, in a depressed mood, has a hard time concentrating, sleeping or eating, talk to them and remind them they have someone there for them.

CCSU President, Dr. Zulma Toro, embraces that students are dealing with a lot of stress and “are carrying a great burden of expectations,” so it is quintessential that those around notice, and if they cannot help, direct them to a resource on or off campus.

Many gathered to honor th 1,100 college suicide victims.

The event strove to increase a communal awareness of suicide, and how it can be prevented.

“It’s nice to see the campus community come together to raise awareness,” Nelson said.

Malley stressed that there is always someone around to help you through your trial and tribulations.

“A friend, a professor, the wellness center, your RA [are there for you], but never feel like you have no choice but suicide,” Malley said.

Director of Residence Life Jean Alicandro reminded students that the Resident Assistants are there to provide guidance 24/7. Even if you are not a resident on campus, Residence Life is happy to help you through tough times.

One in 10 students contemplate suicide, Toro said, which means that “there are nine [students] who can reach out to support.”

Both Newman Club President Mollie Carey and Dr. Jonathan Pohl, Coordinator of Wellness Education, encourage the importance of finding hope. Believe there is a better path than the one you are on, just keep fighting and keep reaching out to those around you.

The NFL’s Ezekiel Elliott Ruling Toes The Line Between Legal and Moral Justice

by Dillon Meehan

No issue has been as prevalent in the zeitgeist of NFL fans for the past few years, quite as much as domestic violence has. For years it was often ignored while some of the sports biggest stars got away with often horrifying crimes. Luckily, that is no longer the case.

However, the past five years have also shown that the new collective bargaining agreement, which gave Commissioner Robert Goodell power to act as judge, jury and executioner for all league punishments, has been an absolute failure.

This is one of the main reasons the Ezekiel Elliott investigation is so polarizing. The alleged evidence against Elliot is damning. The photos that show his now ex-girlfriend’s neck and arm covered in bruises from the alleged July 2016 incident are horrifying. The video of Elliot groping another woman at a bar shows repeated behavior.

On the other side, there are multiple investigations that show complete incompetence. There was the original SpyGate investigation which saw the NFL destroy all of the evidence at Gillette stadium. There was the Ray Rice investigation which essentially spawned today’s domestic violence coverage after the attempted coverup. And then there was the debacle that was DeflateGate, which saw the NFL actively try to tarnish arguably it’s most famous player ever, despite no evidence.

It is safe to say that Goodell and the NFL’s credibility is at an all time low.

When the suspension was handed down on August 11th, a six-week suspension made sense, that is the standard given out for domestic violence incidents. There is a high chance that Elliot is guilty, when factoring in the alleged evidence. But the alarming fact is that his guilt or innocence is technically irrelevant to the NFL. Goodell doesn’t need indisputable evidence, there is no “innocent until proven guilty,” the NFL is not a court of law.

And a lawsuit can’t change that, Elliot didn’t receive a temporary restraining order because he may be innocent, it was simply because Judge Amos Mazzant III believed that Elliot did not have a fair hearing.

The fact of the matter is that NFL has been investigating the issue for over a year, and during the entire painstakingly slow process, not one person on their legal team thought how to prevent this exact type of thing from happening.

The NFL has now appealed Mazzant’s ruling, however, Elliot can still play this season until a higher court rules on the appealed decision. And many legal experts suspect that it won’t be ruled on until late 2017, or even 2018. If that holds true, that NFL will have yet another  lawsuit involving of it’s star players, on arguably the most popular team in the league, for the second time in three years.

The NFL’s continued lack of self awareness and consistent inability to offer fair trials can lead to many fans having sympathy for Elliot, who despite his alleged disgusting behavior, is being considered a victim in some circles. A commissioner who has been publicly lambasted for not caring about domestic violence, is now so bad at it being criticized for doing the exact thing he has been asked to do by fans for years.