• Beethoven in the Elm City: An Economic and Legal Perspective on the New Haven Symphony Orchestra

      Peloquin, David (2009-12-17)
      “[A] careful observer must acknowledge the great progress New Haven has made in this art [music] during the last forty years. Particularly is this true in the appreciation of good classical concerts, and in the cultivation of the best music in the home circle in piano and organ-playing. By these means our community can justly be proud of having acquired that refined taste without which classical symphonic concerts could never be enjoyed.” Dr. Gustave Stoeckel, college organist and instructor of music at Yale University, speaking in 1885. The above quote from Professor Stoeckel indicates that by the end of the nineteenth century, at least some of New Haven’s residents began to feel that a symphony orchestra could survive in the city. However, at the publication of Atwater’s History of the City of New Haven, the founding of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) we know today remained seven years in the future, and Dr. Stoeckel’s sentiments represented a hope for the future rather than a description of the current state of music in New Haven. Prior to the founding of the Symphony, New Haven gave rise to several short-lived musical organizations that formed on an ad hoc basis to present one classical masterpiece and lasted for a few seasons prior to disbanding. These attempts included a Musical Association, formed in 1847 to produce classical concerts, which lasted four seasons, and the Mendelssohn Society, founded in 1858 by Dr. Stoeckel himself to perform oratorio concerts of works such as Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Haydn’s The Seasons, which presented seven seasons of concerts. In the last decade of the nineteenth century New Haven did succeed in supporting two choral organizations, the Gounod Society and the New Haven Oratorio Society, although neither of these lasted past the first two decades of the twentieth century. New Haven was not unique among nineteenth century American cities in its inability to maintain a symphony orchestra or choral society providing a regular concert series, as America’s musical undertakings were dominated by the type of one-shot ventures seen in New Haven until the 1890s. At the time the NHSO played its first concert in 1895, only the New York Philharmonic (founded in 1842), the Boston Symphony Orchestra (founded in 1881), and the Chicago Symphony (founded in 1891) gave regular season concerts, making the NHSO the fourth oldest symphony in America. Now in its 116th Season, the NHSO has the distinction of being one of only a handful of American Symphony Orchestras to perform continuously for over a century, and one of the few orchestras outside of the nation’s twenty-five largest cities to consistently feature a roster of leading soloists. This essay deals with the history of the NHSO from 1939 to the present time focusing on the economic and legal issues encountered by the Symphony during this time period and parallels between the development of the Symphony and the development policies of the City of New Haven. The remainder of this paper proceeds topically, analyzing the sources of financial support for the Symphony, exploring the role of the musicians’ union in the NHSO’s history, discussing tax law problems faced by the NHSO during the rise of the modern income and sales tax systems, looking at the NHSO’s attempt to become an orchestra for the region rather than just the City of New Haven, and finally analyzing the composition of the symphony board.
    • Ward of the State: New Haven’s Use of Federal and State Grants in the Financing of Public Bridges

      Gillis, Rory (2010-01-01)
      New Haven railyards, connecting the city’s downtown with its harbor. This time the city government was onboard. With the cooperation of the local congresswoman, the Mayor testified before Congress in pursuit of federal funding. A $19 million earmark was inserted into the transportation appropriations bill. The $32 million bridge opened in 2003, funded almost entirely by federal and state grants. The Grand Avenue and Church Street Bridges illustrate a dramatic change in the financing of New Haven’s bridges. One hundred years ago, all bridges within the city, even those ordered by the federal government or located on state highways, were constructed using city funds raised through bond issues. Today, almost all locally owned bridges within the city, even those that mainly benefit New Haven residents, are primarily funded through federal and state grants. Of the $12.55 million the city will spend on bridge construction and rehabilitation in 2009-2010, only $490,000 will come from municipally raised revenues. The growth in federal and state grants, for all types of goods and services, has occurred across the country. Between 1902 and 2004, federal government grants to state and local governments increased from less than 1% of state and local revenue to more than 20%. Since 1946, state grants to local governments have more than tripled, from 1% of GNP to 3.3%. Federal and state grants now comprise approximately 38% of total local government general revenues. In this paper, I will examine this trend by considering the financing of bridge construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance in New Haven between 1790 and 2010. I will ask two questions. First, what factors explain the change in funding sources? Second, does the resulting system of federal and state grants promote public welfare? In Part II of this paper, I will review three theories that may explain the change in funding sources. In Parts III-VI, I will survey the history of bridge finance in New Haven, moving through eras of private sector finance, municipal finance, and state and federal finance. In Parts VII and VIII, I will consider the causes of these changes and their effects on public welfare.
    • To Bear a Reasonable Part: The Use of Special Assessments in New Haven, 1870 – 1920

      Freeland, Rebbeca (2010-04-30)
      In 1865, the New Haven Board of Road Commissioners reported that “the constant increased demand for street pavements and sewers. . .convinces the Board. . .that the time has arrived when the citizens will be willing to bear a reasonable part of such expenses as may be necessarily incurred in the execution of those improvements. . . .” The idea of directly charging citizens for a portion of infrastructure costs was not a new one; special assessments on the adjoining property owners who benefited most directly from such improvements had existed, in one form or another, for centuries. In the decades following the Civil War, however, special assessments became an increasing source of revenue and a much-discussed topic in New Haven and other American cities. In 1874, New Haven appears to have collected nearly $100,000 in sewer assessments and over $50,000 in paving assessments; ten years later, at a time when special assessments were beginning to receive growing scholarly attention, the mayor presented a list of the methods of assessment used by other cities for comparison with New Haven’s approach. By 1895, a prominent economist would write, “No American who treats of public finance as a whole can fail to be struck by the importance of special assessments in actual practice.”In 1865, the New Haven Board of Road Commissioners reported that “the constant increased demand for street pavements and sewers. . .convinces the Board. . .that the time has arrived when the citizens will be willing to bear a reasonable part of such expenses as may be necessarily incurred in the execution of those improvements. . . .” The idea of directly charging citizens for a portion of infrastructure costs was not a new one; special assessments on the adjoining property owners who benefited most directly from such improvements had existed, in one form or another, for centuries. In the decades following the Civil War, however, special assessments became an increasing source of revenue and a much-discussed topic in New Haven and other American cities. In 1874, New Haven appears to have collected nearly $100,000 in sewer assessments and over $50,000 in paving assessments; ten years later, at a time when special assessments were beginning to receive growing scholarly attention, the mayor presented a list of the methods of assessment used by other cities for comparison with New Haven’s approach. By 1895, a prominent economist would write, “No American who treats of public finance as a whole can fail to be struck by the importance of special assessments in actual practice.”
    • The Failure of America’s First City Plan: Why New Haven, the Colonies’ First Planned City, Would Have Been Better Left Unplanned

      Boyle, Molly (2010-05-05)
      Yale University rises out of downtown New Haven, Connecticut, many of its buildings an identifiable symbol of the centuries-old city. The Gothic spires – and thousands of Yale students – occupy over a third of the original downtown dating from the colonial era, known as the “Nine Squares” in honor of the nine large blocks which made up New Haven in the seventeenth century. The Nine Squares have been hailed as a triumph of colonial planning; scholars have praised their “neat precision” as a “rarity” when compared with some of the more irregular New England settlements with winding roads and confusing street patterns, like Boston,Cambridge, or Salem. New Haven was the very first town in the American colonies to be planned according to a strict and square grid system, possibly later emulated by William Penn in his plan for Philadelphia. Where the irregular road patterns of many cities have been criticized, New Haven’s Nine Squares, in contrast, have been revered. New Haveners take great pride in the plan; city historian Elizabeth Mills Brown has stated that the Nine Squares “plan proved a good one . . . . It has long been cherished by its own citizens.” Most recently, the Nine Squares have been designated a National Historic Planning Landmark by the American Institute of Certified Planners. But this praise and admiration is not deserved.
    • Deal or No Deal: An Empirical Analysis of the Settlement Dynamics of Landlord-Tenant Disputes

      Lin, Jeffrey (2010-12-16)
      This paper seeks to combine three different strands of legal scholarship: the literature about the New Haven Housing Court, the alternative dispute resolution literature on the normative and positive dimensions of settlements, and the methodological practice known as docketology, which is the concept of mining court docket sheets for data. The focus of this paper will be on using data from the New Haven Housing Court docket sheets to empirically investigate how different factors influence the probability that a case is resolved via settlement rather than through litigation to final a judgment.
    • Financing Innovation: Infrastructure Development in New Haven, 1750-1850

      Schmidt, Thomas (2010-12-17)
      The nineteenth century was a time of astonishing change in technologies of transportation. When the Constitution was ratified, to travel from New Haven to Hartford would require an arduous and uncertain trip on a rough road that could span more than a day. At the start of the twentieth century, railroads conveyed thousands of people daily along that route in a few hours, and the first automobiles were motoring over roads. The great progress in infrastructure development radically transformed the commercial, physical, and cultural landscape of America. This paper will make this broad question of the relationship law to the economic and technological change more tractable by exploring it in the context of three specific cases: infrastructure improvements in the city of New Haven which range from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. I will attend closely to the techniques of financing and the organizational structures that were employed to carry them out. The first case-study is the extension of the Long Wharf in New Haven harbor; the second is the construction of a network of turnpike roads; the final is the Farmington Canal. Over time innovations in law allowed for projects on a ever grander scale. Through these examples I hope to glimpse the concurrent development of the “abstract” and “physical” infrastructure of America.
    • The Accidental Success of Connecticut’s Largest Housing Development: 360 State Street in New Haven

      Kutner, Jeremy (2010-12-17)
      In the summer of 2006, the City of New Haven decided to fill in what it saw as a gaping hole in its urban fabric. For over 40 years, the site of the once-grand Shartenberg Department Store had sat, flat and unimproved, as a surface parking lot, the unfortunate consequence of the city’s urban renewal efforts of the 1960s and 70s. For city planners, the continued existence of a run-down parking lot where a New Haven iconic structure had once stood was a reminder of the economic decline of the city in the latter half of the twentieth century, and a cautionary tale about the perils of inappropriate city planning. Yet the site also represented a unique opportunity for large-scale development in the heart of the city’s downtown – an accidental asset that presented a chance to do something new, different, and transformative. After years of waiting for something positive to emerge from the site, many city officials wanted an ambitious re-conception of a long-neglected block. “We were looking for the home run project.” What emerged was 360 State Street, a $190 million, 32-story residential apartment complex with 500 units and plans fora high-end grocery store on the street level. It is the largest private residential building in Connecticut. Perhaps most notably for a site long plagued with construction miscalculations, the building was completed on-budget and ahead of schedule, and has enjoyed a relatively positive response from renters and city residents.
    • Determining Character: A New Perspective on Character Evidence

      Anderson, Barrett (2012-01-01)
      “Character” is a difficult concept to define, as Chief Justice Montgomery discovered. It seems intuitive that individuals have characters and that these characters influence the way people behave; that character is a person’s “propensity,” “disposition,” “proclivity,” or “tendency” to act in certain ways in certain situations. Well known examples of character traits include “honesty,” “violence,” “temperance,” and “cruelty,” as well as their opposites (among countless others). Evidence of character traits is heavily regulated in trial because proof of these propensities—that a defendant or witness has general tendencies to behave in either “good” or “bad” ways according to their character traits—can have enormous consequences on trial outcomes. This is especially true in criminal prosecutions, where character can be a life-or-death matter for criminal defendants. Yet even with the high stakes riding on determinations of what is and is not character, there is still “no general agreement about the precise meaning of the term [character].” And there is reason to believe that, because of this lack of an articulated standard, courts have been getting the answers wrong. The law of evidence considers character proof to be especially dangerous but still relevant and has therefore developed special mechanisms to permit and restrict its use. Few would call these mechanisms rational, but they exist to guide courts in mediating the influence of character evidence in trials. Under this current structure, courts must juggle two competing considerations: relevance and prejudice. However, too often courts lose sight of these fundamental pieces as they evaluate whether or not a given trait is, in fact, character. Such a wooden application of meaningless definitions of character could result in juries being exposed to the very character evidence the law was designed to exclude from trial. Courts require a clear, reasoned standard for identifying “character” when it comes before them to ensure a consistent, predictable, and rational application of the law of evidence. They need help determining character.
    • Education Reform That Works: What the United States can Learn from Finland

      Hines, Christopher (2012-01-01)
      Education reform is currently a hot topic for politicians and policy makers in the United States. Recent international assessments have shown that the United States ranks in the middle among more than 60 countries in reading, mathematics, and science education. A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that if the United States could close this gap between its educational achievement and that of countries that consistently score highest on such assessments, it could add $1.3 ‐ $2.3 trillion to its GDP. This represents 9% ‐ 16% of current GDP. There are many education reform efforts currently being discussed by politicians, special interest groups, and others interested in reforming the American education system. The most controversial of these include abolishing teachers’ unions and implementing merit pay for teachers. Less controversial ideas involve increased spending or increased instructional time. Rather than arguing for or against any of these particular policies in the isolated context of the United States, this paper looks to Finland – a country that consistently scores at the top of international assessments. In Part I, I describe the education results in Finland and compare those to results in the United States. In Part II, I give a brief history of the Finnish education system and describe its current structure. Part III examines seven current education reform initiatives in the United States and examines if and to what extent any of them are in place in Finland. Part IV looks at the unique aspects of the Finnish education system and identifies four key elements that are largely responsible for its success. Finally, Part V discusses the paper’s findings and suggests implications for policy makers in the United States.
    • Addressing the Disease, Not the Symptoms: Lessons for Police Accountability from New Haven

      Hilke, Wally (2016-10-01)
      On March 15, 2015, New Haven Police Officer Josh Smereczynsky slammed a handcuffed, black, 15-year-old girl to the ground at the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. According to the girl’s grandmother, the arrested girl had been attacked in a nearby restaurant by an 18-year-old girl who had been threatening her for several months.
    • One Hundred Years of Zoning in New York City: Procedural Justice Issues in the New Century

      Hsu, Laura (2017-01-01)
      By 2020, Manhattan’s skyline may look very different. Although nineteenth-century developers originally bypassed New York City in favor of other cities with less stringent building codes to build skyscrapers, New York City is undoubtedly the preeminent American city associated with skyscrapers today.1 Indeed, various Manhattan buildings have held the records for tallest building in the United States and the world throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. As construction and engineering techniques continue to progress, developers are again drawn to New York City—particularly Manhattan—to build a new class of "supertall" buildings.
    • Regulating New Haven’s Electric Utility

      Brint, Juliana (2017-04-01)
      This paper explores how the United Illuminating Company (UI), the electric utility that serves a number of communities in southwestern Connecticut, including New Haven, has been regulated over the course of its history. By studying laws and regulations from the local, state, and federal government that affect various aspects of UI’s operations—including its corporate structure, its decisions regarding infrastructure, its retail and wholesale rates, the service it provides to its customers, and the level of competition it faces—one consistent theme emerges: the level of regulation that UI is subject to has increased dramatically over the course of its history.
    • GANGS OF NEW HAVEN: COMBATING GROUP VIOLENCE IN A SMALL CITY

      Henley, Taylor (2017-04-01)
      In July 2015, I took a trip with my work supervisor to Lynn, Massachusetts, to visit one of her former juvenile group violence-involved clients. Now in his late twenties and working at a faith-based youth gang intervention nonprofit, he has attempted college but spoke to us about his struggles to stay focused on his work. Like many of his peers, he felt the toll of childhood trauma and violence years later, impeding his best efforts to turn his life around. Worse, financial difficulties typical of formerly incarcerated people compounded his emotional struggles; even if he had sought adequate mental health treatment to work through his trauma, he likely would not have been able to afford to continue it.
    • The Promise of the Nonprofit Housing Sector: A View from New Haven

      Tuggle, Anderson (2017-04-01)
      Using New Haven as its context, this paper makes an argument both local and global. Namely, that the nonprofit sector not only plays (and has played) an important and underappreciated role in housing America’s urban poor, in New Haven and elsewhere, but that the sector offers unique benefits that cannot be easily replicated by public housing or vouchers, much less the free market. Compared to these other housing development models, moreover, nonprofits have the most to lose in the current political and academic environment. Accordingly, federal, state, and local policymakers should tread carefully before winnowing away subsidies (or other benefits) that these organizations depend upon to do their work.
    • Demanding Better, An Oral History

      Leslie, Taonga (2019-01-01)
      During the summer and fall of 2018, student protests at Yale Law School were the topic of significant critical press coverage in the local and national media. As the United States Senate debated whether to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the students, faculty and staff of Yale Law School were engaged in equally public debates about the proper role of the law school in the judicial nomination process, the school’s duties to protect students seeking judicial clerkships, handling of sexual misconduct allegations on campus, racial and gender inequalities in access to opportunities and faculty accountability to students generally.