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Connecticut Pizza & Brew Fest is returning this summer

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Connecticut Pizza & Brew Fest is returning this summer


The festival, which features live music, pizza-making demonstrations and more, will kick off its 2nd annual celebration at The Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater on Aug. 11.

General admission tickets $3 cheese slices and free beer samples.

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For $65, “pizza enthusiasts” can indulge in free pizza samples from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., according to the event’s website.



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Connecticut

Attorney General Tong Seeks to Ban Predatory Real Estate Listing Agreements Following Investigation

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Attorney General Tong Seeks to Ban Predatory Real Estate Listing Agreements Following Investigation


Press Releases

02/29/2024

Attorney General Tong Seeks to Ban Predatory and Deceptive Real Estate Listing Agreements Following Connecticut Investigation

(Hartford, CT) – Following an investigation that uncovered nearly 400 deceptive real estate agreements in Connecticut through the company MV Realty, Attorney General William Tong today urged legislators to pass legislation banning the multi-year predatory listing deals and nullifying all existing unfair contracts.

MV Realty is a Florida-based company with two licensed realtors in Connecticut. An investigation conducted by the Office of the Attorney General revealed that the company has targeted hundreds of lower-income homeowners in Connecticut, offering residential exclusive listing agreements, which MV calls “Homeowner Benefit Agreements.” Through these agreements, MV provides a small cash payment of a few hundred dollars in exchange for the exclusive right to list their homes for sale for a period of 40 years. If a homeowner chooses to sell their home during that period, MV merely posts the home to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). They do not serve as a real estate agent. If the homeowner seeks to cancel the exclusive listing agreement or lists their home without using MV, they are subject to a draconian penalty of 3 percent of the market price of their home—often worth several thousand dollars. Moreover, the exclusive listing agreements are entered on the land records as a lien.

“MV Realty preyed on hundreds of Connecticut homeowners with scam deals. Their agreements offered small amounts of up-front cash in exchange for decades-long contracts that few people understood or even had the chance to review. Connecticut law should leave no doubt—these contracts must be banned and voided,” said Attorney General Tong.

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There are approximately 400 MV Homeowner Benefit Agreements recorded on residential land records in Connecticut. The Office of the Attorney General sent surveys to all 400 homeowners and has received responses from more than 100 people to date.

Many homeowners reported that they did not understand the terms of the agreement when it was offered, were not given time to review the paperwork presented and reviewed and signed the exclusive listing agreements on cracked iPads without a notary present. Some were not afforded the opportunity to read the agreement at all and had it read to them, while others were not given copies of the agreements after execution. Many homeowners did not learn of the terms of the exclusive listing agreement until they were preparing to close on the sale of their home or refinancing and the lien was discovered following a title search, forcing them to pay exorbitant amounts to have it removed.

After a handful of states sued MV, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sought to enjoin the states’ actions. MV was unsuccessful in preventing the suits from going forward and states including Connecticut continue to pursue all available remedies for removing the exclusive listing agreements from homeowners’ land records and seek restitution for consumers who were forced to pay MV.

Legislation proposed by the Office of the Attorney General would make clear that such unconscionably long exclusive listing agreements are unenforceable and would provide mechanisms for removing existing agreements from land records. The legislation would limit such agreements to one year and prohibit recording such agreements on land records. The proposal would further nullify all existing unfair excusive listing agreements and give homeowners and the Attorney General authority to seek removal of these agreements from land records.

Click here for the full testimony.

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Assistant Attorneys General Addison Keilty and Rebecca Quinn and Deputy Associate Attorney General Michael Wertheimer, Chief of the Consumer Protection section, assisted the Attorney General in this matter.

Twitter: @AGWilliamTong
Facebook: CT Attorney General
Media Contact:

Elizabeth Benton
elizabeth.benton@ct.gov

Consumer Inquiries:

860-808-5318
attorney.general@ct.gov





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Granville native, Denison graduate named a fellow at Connecticut nature conservancy

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Granville native, Denison graduate named a fellow at Connecticut nature conservancy


Yale University student Rowan Sharkey, of Granville, has been named as a fellow on the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut.

Sharkey is a masters of environmental management candidate at the Yale School of the Environment, focusing specifically on ecosystem management and conservation. Having received her Bachelor of Arts in data analytics and environmental studies at Denison University, her interest lies in environmental data analyzation, storytelling and communication.

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Sharkey has also served as a Princeton in Africa fellow, where she worked with regenerative agriculture and nutrition accessibility in Kenya. She holds a deep connection to the land and is curious about best management and restoration practices to further the effort against global climate change.

She first connected with TNC as a mesic water restoration researcher for a project in Montana. During her time at Yale, she’s worked with TNC on a preserve to understand the ecological, social and geographical components of access. As a fellow, she will connect with experts across the world to learn more about varying approaches to environmental issues.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, TNC creates innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, TNC uses a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. The Connecticut chapter has protected more than 53,000 acres of land and is engaging with communities throughout the state to help build and conserve a more resilient, livable world.

Information submitted by The Nature Conservancy.



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Iconic Banksy ‘Ghetto 4 Life’ mural removed from the Bronx, headed to Connecticut: ‘Took a piece of my heart’

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Iconic Banksy ‘Ghetto 4 Life’ mural removed from the Bronx, headed to Connecticut: ‘Took a piece of my heart’


An iconic Banksy graffiti installation in the Bronx that initially drew the ire of some but grew to be considered “the pride of the neighborhood” was shipped off to Connecticut this week.

South Bronx residents were left feeling betrayed as the exterior wall that displayed the “Ghetto 4 Life” graffiti was removed from 651 Elton Avenue due to the building’s demolition.

“Everybody was crying around here. This is art,” Steve Jacob told The Post of the mural, which has been in the neighborhood since October 2013.

“The gentleman made it for us, the community. I’ve lived all my life in the Bronx and this was made for the Bronx people,” said Jacob, who owns a store across the street from the Banksy piece. “And now someone’s taken it away from us.”

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The graffiti first appeared on the wall when the elusive British artist tagged a variety of New York locales during his “Better Out Than In” series.

Despite being blasted by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg as “defacement” and panned by some who found the white artist’s use of the word “ghetto” offensive in the historically blighted area, the work survived far longer than most Banksys in the city, many of which were painted over by rival artists or lost to real estate development.

The work depicted a boy painting the slogan “Ghetto 4 Life” in bubble letters as a butler serves him spray cans on a tray.

It had been protected by plexiglass under a roll-up gate hidden by makeshift curtains, according to Welcome2TheBronx, which reported on the building’s demolition last year.

The iconic Elton Ave mural in 2013, after it was protected by plexiglass. Robert Kalfus

On Monday, Jacob watched as workers from an outfit called Fine Art Shippers clamped an iron frame around the mural and sawed it off. They then packed it in wood and loaded it upright on a flatbed truck and drove away. 

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“How are you going to leave the community like this? It’s poor, there’s a lot of crime – but we had this piece of art, and you took it away,” Jacob said.

“Whatever [Banksy] did in the picture, he did for the community, and now that the building is gone, the owner of the building took the art and left and moved it to Connecticut, not even the Bronx or New York. The community here is very upset and we can’t do anything about it.”

The loss of the art also hit home for Quentin Soto, 34, a local store manager.

Here today, gone tomorrow. The same location on Wednesday, after the building was demolished and the famous section of the wall was removed and sent to Connecticut Dennis A. Clark

“They really took a piece of my heart. This mural was the pride of the neighborhood, and as you can’t see, we don’t have a lot of pride to spare,” Soto said.

“The Bronx ain’t Florence, if you know what I mean. But we had this mural, and it brought people here from all over the world who appreciate fine art. I liked to brag to people, ‘You know that Banksy mural Ghetto 4 Life? I live right there.’ Sort of like how you’d brag if you lived next door to the Empire State Building or something. I really loved it,” he continued.

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“Banksy is all about the people living in the locations he stencils. Something about the picture always felt to me to be a dead-on representation of what we’re all about.

“And now it’s in Connecticut, of all places. Not the Bronx Museum of Art, not the Metropolitan Museum of Art, not the Guggenheim. Connecticut.” 

David Damaghi is the owner of the former tourist attraction, which is reportedly being demolished to make way for a charter school. Robert Kalfus

Another local resident, electrician Carlo Cintron, 44, called the development a “big loss for the community.

“This was something really unique, really special. I’d walk by it all the time and always stop to admire it, to appreciate it, because in a way I always felt like it was too good for this neighborhood, know what I mean? But here it was. We thought it was permanent, but I guess nothing’s permanent in New York real estate.”

It was unclear how much the section of the wall was sold for. An intentionally shredded Banksy has fetched some $25 million at auction.

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David Damaghi, who owns 651 Elton Avenue, did not immediately return a call to The Post, nor did Fine Art Shippers.

The owner of 800 Union Avenue in Bridgeport, where the piece was set to be displayed in a courtyard, according to the New York Daily News, could not immediately be reached.

The Post also reached out to a representative of Banksy for comment.





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