The Mercurial’s Top Ten Articles of 2012

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What a year it’s been for the news!  There were many great things to report on – new laws encouraging development in downtown Danbury, standout restaurants and art exhibits, remarkable musicians – and many sad things to report on – a raid at a beloved Danbury music venue, another devastating hurricane, and of course, the tragedy at Sandy Hook School.

 

Here are our top 10 most read articles of 2012 – that is, since we made the switch to our new website back in July – so here are are top 10 most read articles since July 28, 2012.  Enjoy, and as always, thank you so much for your continued readership.  Here’s to 2013 and more coverage of all the news you need.

 

 

 

1. Should Immigrants Take Action with Deferred Action?

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On June 15, a Department of Homeland Security memorandum by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced President Obama’s immigration policy directive, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which goes into effect today.

 

Undocumented immigrant advocacy groups, immigration lawyers, and illegal/undocumented immigrants have been feverishly preparing since the announcement. Most of these efforts concentrated on educating the public about Deferred Action, and beginning the process of collecting required documentation.

 

At the time, these stakeholders were preparing for an application they had not yet seen, an unknown application submission deadline, potentially overwhelming numbers of applicants, and other unknown variables that may yet come as a shocking surprise with the actual release of the application.  Continue reading…

 

 

 

2. Astrological Outlook

By Kyle Jeremy Neidig

Mr. Neidig has been writing weekly Astrological Outlooks for The Mercurial since the magazine’s inception in 2009.  Read this week’s one-of-a-kind Outlook, and more, here.

 

 

3. Yoga, Snowflakes, A Night Out: How You Can Help Sandy Hook

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St. Rose of Lima Church vigil in Newtown.  Photo by Jim Dietter.
The great support shown to the Newtown community within the last few days has been nothing short of remarkable.  Numerous funds have been set up, music and art shows are being organized, t-shirts have been designed, and boatloads of stuffed animals have been donated.  Here is a list of many ways to help Sandy Hook.  There are also a few resources for helping yourself in this time of grief and uncertainty.

 

Know of more ways to help?  Send details to editor@themercurial.com and we’ll get the word out.

 

Love is louder than violence

Continue reading… 

 

 

4. Update: Sandy Hook Shooting

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A flag flies at half staff in front of the Reed Intermediate School in Newtown, Connecticut, following a shooting nearby at Sandy Hook Elementary School. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

 

From the editor, Monday, December 17:

 

The Mercurial will not be doing any further reporting on the Sandy Hook shooting and will instead be focusing on getting the word out about how to help the Sandy Hook community.  If you have any information on ways to help, send details to editor@themercurial.com.  Our thoughts and our hearts are with those who were lost, those who lost loved ones, and with our community.

 

4pm update:  

 

Dr. Wayne Carver II, chief medical examiner in the Sandy Hook School shooting, and Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance spoke at Saturday’s final news briefing at about 3:45pm.  Carver confirmed that all of the children, most or all of them first graders, had been examined and the cause of death for all was homicide, death by gunshot.  He also said that a rifle was used as a primary weapon.  The adults killed in the shooting are expected to be examined tonight, and both Nancy and Adam Lanza are to be examined tomorrow morning.  Continue reading…

 

 

 

5. Danbury’s City Ale House Up for Foreclosure Sale

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a title=”Danbury’s City Ale House Up for Foreclosure Sale” href=”http://themercurial.com/hat-city-ale-house-up-for-sale/”>city ale house foreclosure
The City Ale House in downtown Danbury, Connecticut is up for sale by order of the Superior Court and will be sold at public auction on Saturday, November 17 at noon with a minimum required deposit of $20,200.  A sign posted on the three-story building indicates that owner Ibolya Balazs has not been making payments to Apex Mortgage Corporation and the property is being foreclosed.

 

The Ale House, once a popular beer bar and music venue, has been in and out of business for a number of years and is one of the few downtown locations zoned for a liquor license. Balazs, also affectionately known as “Mrs. B”, often invited different promoters into the bar to manage events, and she recently tailored her business to the Hispanic community, promoting dancing and music with Spanish and Portugese signs in the windows.  Continue reading…

 

 

 

6. Newtown High Alumni Create T-Shirts to Help Sandy Hook

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newtown prideAs alumni of Newtown High School, we, like the rest of the world, were stunned at the horrific news from home. Graduates  from Newtown High School’s class of 2001 reached out to each other through Facebook, connecting those who have moved to the other side of the country with those of us who stayed in the area. But whether near or far, the overwhelming sentiments were all the same, we wanted to do something to help and we wanted the world to know how proud we are of Newtown. One classmate posted a picture of a t-shirt she made a few years ago for herself and her friends; it  very simply said “I <3 Newtown” within an outline of the state of Connecticut. Within moments, other classmates and community members responded, saying they would buy a shirt like that to both raise money for Sandy Hook’s victims and to proudly support our town.
With that, a simple idea was born.  Continue reading…

 

 

7. 26 Declared Dead in Newtown School Shooting

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In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Photo: Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks / APA shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut around 9:30am has left 26 children and adults dead.  Reports indicate that 20 students and six adults, including the schools’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung, and the school’s psychologist were killed.  Reports indicate that most of the shooting took place in two classrooms.  The gunman, Adam Lanza, was reported dead by self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene this afternoon.
20-year-old Lanza, who was reported dead at the school around 1:30pm, was from Newtown.  Lanza’s older brother, 24-year-old Ryan Lanza, was erroneously credited as the shooter earlier today; however, Ryan is reportedly being questioned in his hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey.  The gunman’s mother, Nancy Lanza, was confirmed to be dead in her Newtown home around 4pm.  Continue reading…

 

 

8. Chris Thompson on Battle Stag Records and Its Summer Stampede

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This weekend, Danbury’s Heirloom Arts Theatre will host the innaugural Battle Stag Records Summer Stampede, a seven band festival that Chris Thompson, of Battle Stag and on-the-bill band Eastwood, hopes will defibrillate the city’s mercurial heart into action like a controlled blast of hardcore metallic slug reminding an old buck of his pending mortality. Doors for the Stampede open Saturday, August 25 at 6pm.

 

Earlier this month, Thompson talked with me on his back porch over beer and cigarettes at his home in Bethel, Connecticut.

 

Now, to clarify something before we get into the interview, Thompson might deserve the unusual status of co-author for his own interview. Because of a recent bout of insomnia, I was exhausted, and did not do as well with questioning as I had planned. In fact, a two-bit sock puppet stunt double stand-in for Lambchop could have stood in for me and have gotten relatively the same interview. Fortunately, Thompson has well-composed thoughts, and knows how to tell a story:  Continue reading…

 

 

9. Bethel Cop Towed From Wrecked Veteran’s Memorial

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HTC-Radar-4G_001098At approximately 7:15pm on Friday, September 28, a Bethel, Connecticut police car was towed from a small median at the intersection of Taylor Road and Plumtrees Road, a garden managed by the Bethel Garden Club containing a monument to local war veterans.  The “Plumtrees Honor Roll” sign, which was erected in the 1950s by the Plumtrees School Association to commemorate students who had served in war, lay broken on the ground.  Plants were crushed, a wooden post in the garden had been knocked askew, and tire tracks ran through the grass.
Three Bethel police vehicles were present at the time of towing, including the car being towed.  No other vehicles were present at the time of towing.  A press release issued from the Bethel Police Department stated that the accident occurred around 6pm on Friday evening after Corporal Stephen Pugner, traveling east on Plumtrees Road, swerved to avoid a car that had pulled into the intersection from Taylor Road in order to make a left onto Plumtrees.  Corporal Pugner was not injured, and the accident is under investigation.  Continue reading…

 

 

10. How Tall Are Midgets? “Femcee” Jass Bianchi Performs at Club LUSH

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JASS BIANCHI

 

 

Jass Bianchi was born in Danbury, Connecticut in 1984, grew up in Newtown, and then moved to Yonkers, New York in 2003.  She began writing at the age of 11, and the poet turned “femcee” (female emcee), is currently residing in East Boston, Massachusetts, where she is working on her debut album, H.E.R.  Bianchi will be performing in the city she was born in as the headliner for Club LUSH’s “Girl’s Night Out” event on Friday, November 16.

 

The 28-year-old, who holds a degree in communications from Riverdale, New York’s College of Mount Saint Vincent, is a strong advocate for education.

 

“I can’t stress enough about how important education is,” Bianchi said in a phone interview. “It furthers you, education is power.” Bianchi’s knowledge of the hip hop industry comes directly from her experience of working for Manhattan’s Koch Records in 2004, a label that has since been renamed E1 Music and represents a myriad of artists from various genres.

 

Behind-the-scenes false representation is what Bianchi seeks to reverse as an artist. Bianchi’s lifestyle events company, Tall Midget, strives to produce original sound and efficient marketing of their artists and collaborators. The company, founded by Bianchi and graffiti artist Map One, is set to release its latest set of music videos and is currently booking shows while working with a group of young entrepreneurs as they launch a new clothing line.“The aim is to be effective,” Bianchi explained.  Continue reading…

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