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Do you want your news in a nutshell? If so, Elm City Express is the source for you. We are a service of the New Haven Register, but we will provide a slightly different daily dose of New Haven happenings, all wrapped up in the same place. We love to hear from the community and will post your news for you, often in your words! Remember: Local news is our story. Contact us at: We would love to hear from you.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Vista Arts Center’s production of 'The Wizard of Oz' coming up

The Vista Arts Center will return to the stage at The Ivoryton Playhouse with performances of the beloved musical adventure, “The Wizard of Oz!” in February, according to a release.

“The Wizard of Oz affords members of the shoreline theatre community the opportunity to join with Vista members to tell the story of Dorothy’s adventure in the Land of Oz. Using simple props and scenic elements, the all-ability cast portrays characters from L. Frank Baum’s story and performs musical numbers from the beloved movie,” the release said

Vista members will perform on stage and provide support backstage and had the chance to be involved with the production, and “support their peers while showcasing their own talents and abilities,” the release said.
“A group of Vista members worked to create promotional videos for the show by interviewing cast and crew members to learn more about what it takes to put on a show of this magnitude. Another group of Vista members greatly contributed to the show by creating the scenic elements for the show which will be projected on stage.
"These efforts and the inclusive nature of this production are sure to set the show apart and provide a memorable version of The Wizard of Oz, like you’ve never seen before.”

In a partnership with Ivoryton Playhouse, The Wizard of Oz opens at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, with additional performances at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 and 2 p.m. Feb. 15, the release said.

The playhouse is at 103 Main St., Ivoryton. Tickets are on sale at For more information, contact Amanda Roberts at or 860-399-8080.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snowstorm images across Greater New Haven and Connecticut

Do snacks taste better in the snow?
A bit of weather hit Connecticut Friday night into Saturday and folks got busy on social media sharing what they were seeing around the region.

Check it out here:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sea Tea Improv presents a Winter Sketch Show Saturday

Live from HARTFORD…it’s Saturday Night!

Sea Tea Improv presents a Winter Sketch Show!

Tickets are $10 and you can buy them here:

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 24 at the Hartbeat Ensemble Theater in Hartford.

"Watch seasoned sketch comedians and talented debut performers alike in this showcase of Hartford's comedy community," organizers said in a release.


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Traditional Irish music on tap in Milford

Find our where and when:

MILFORD -  Jerry O'Sullivan, uilleann pipe player, will take part in the free, traditional Irish music session at 7:45 p.m. Jan. 15 in St. Gabriel Parish hall, 26 Broadway.

The monthly event is sponsored by the P.V. O'Donnell Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and includes other musicians.

There may be visiting storytellers, poets, singers and dancers.  O'Sullivan also plays the tin whistle, the low whistle, the Highland pipes and the Scottish small-pipes.

Bring your own food, beverages. More Infomation: 203-257-8737.

Monday, January 12, 2015

New England First Amendment Coalition seeking nominations for citizenship award

The New England First Amendment Coalition is seeking nominations for the 2015 Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award.

"The award is given to an individual from one of the six New England states who has fought for information crucial to the public’s understanding of its community or what its government is doing – or not doing – on its behalf. The candidate should have shown tenacity or bravery in the face of difficulty while obtaining information that the public has a right to know," according to a web release.

“We are looking for private citizens who have experienced difficulty accessing information important to their communities,” Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director said, also in the release. “We want to recognize those individuals who act as public watchdogs not because they are obligated to, but because they have a personal desire to educate themselves and others, and to hold their elected leaders accountable.”

The award will be presented at NEFAC’s annual First Amendment Luncheon from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Seaport Hotel, 1 Seaport Lane in Boston, Mass., the release said.

Learn more: here

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Hartford Improv Festival is coming in March

The second annual Hartford Improv Festival will be held March 27-29 

Submissions are now open and the deadline to submit as a team is January 16, according to presenter Sea Tea Improv.

Submissions for workshop instructors also are being accepted. Apply to teach a workshop at HIF2015!

Follow  Hartford Improv Festival on Twitter and on Facebook to get the latest news.

See a sample of Sea Tea in video below.

The Hartford Improv Festival is (the website says):

" HIF is a three -day comedy festival designed to attract local and national talent to Hartford and showcase the art of improv comedy. Join us March 27-29 for three days of shows, workshops, jams, meetings and greetings! Short form, long form, musical, weird and experimental–if you’re doing it, we want to see it!"




General Assembly Black and Latino Caucus picks leadership team

HARTFORD - In a release, the Black and Latino Caucus of the Connecticut General Assembly - a group made up of members from the House of Representatives and Senate -   announced its 2014/2015 leadership team.

Rep. Bruce Morris, D-Norwalk, House deputy speaker, will lead the caucus as chairman, and Rep. Hilda Santiago, D-Meriden, House assistant majority leader, will serve as caucus vice-chairwoman, the release said. Rep. Minnie Gonzalez ,D-Hartford, will serve as treasurer, and Rep. Matthew Lesser, D-Middletown, is secretary, the release said.

“The Black and Latino Caucus plays a very important role in shaping major policy initiatives, including education reform, and I am honored that my colleagues have chosen me to chair the caucus,” Morris said, also in the release. “We have a significant number of experienced lawmakers, and our caucus takes its job seriously as we advocate for all people of Connecticut.”

Santiago said, also in the release: “It is a great honor to be selected by my peers for this position. I look forward to supporting our new chairman, as well as the entire caucus, as we build upon our past accomplishments and service to our communities and state.”
Santiago also is vice-chairman of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

"The caucus has many members who also serve in leadership positions in the House and Senate," the release said.

“I want to thank my colleagues for choosing me to be the caucus secretary,” said Lesser, who is House chairman of the Banks Committee, in the release. “I believe that this caucus is critical to addressing issues that affect hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents, particularly residents of our cities.”
“The need to truly represent all people of Connecticut is greater than ever and I am eager to help our caucus use its influence to make our state a better place to live,” said Gonzalez, who is the House chief majority whip, in the release.
Also in the release: 

 House members in leadership positions are:

Patricia Billie Miller (D-Stamford), deputy speaker;

Larry Butler (D-Waterbury), co-chair of Housing Committee;

Ernie Hewett (D-New London), assistant majority leader;

Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven), deputy majority leader;

Douglas McCrory (D-Hartford), deputy majority leader;

Ezequiel Santiago (D-Bridgeport), deputy majority whip;

Robert Sanchez (D-New Britain), assistant majority leader and vice-chairman of the Education Committee;

Charles Stallworth (D-Bridgeport), assistant majority whip and vice-chairman of the Banks Committee;

Toni Walker (D-New Haven), co-chair of the Appropriations Committee;

Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford), deputy majority leader.

Senate members in leadership positions are:

Eric D. Coleman (D-Bloomfield), deputy president pro tempore, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee and vice-chairman of the Public Safety and Security Committee;

Gary Holder-Winfield (D-New Haven), assistant majority leader and co-chairman of the Housing Committee and Labor and Public Employees Committee;

Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport), majority whip and co-chair of Human Services Committee.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Massaro Community Farm to hold event on Rock to Rock ride

Massaro Farm in the Fall
Massaro Community Farm will hold an open house event about the annual Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride at the Woodbridge Town Library from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 28, according to a release.
Thw event will serve as an advance registration for those who wish to join Team Massaro in this year’s ’quest for the gold’ and ride with the team in the 7th annual Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride in New Haven, the release said.

The ride will be held April 25 this year. It runs from West Rock to East Rock.
Atop East Rock
"The farm will also be inviting community members to get involved at the farm this year, and to drop off their CSA subscription forms for the coming season," the release said.
"Last April, on a cold and rainy day, a dozen or so riders braved the elements and rode with Team Massaro, helping them raise more than $10,000 towards the purchase of a much-needed new tractor for the farm," the release said. (The number of riders is an estimate, the release noted)
The view from East Rock
The Angel of Peace atop East Rock
"In only its second year participating in this event, which raises funds for area environmental organizations, Team Massaro eked out first prize in fundraising by a slim margin on the morning of the event. As a result, the team won several prizes, including a cruise for the team aboard the classic schooner, Quinnipiack, which sails from Long Wharf Pier. But most importantly, we achieved our fundraising goal and purchased that new tractor," the release said.
Stop by the Woodbridge Town Library for the event to learn how to register and learn what it would mean to be the "phantom rider."
Information also will be available "about individual and group volunteering at the farm, and accepting CSA subscription forms for the 2015 season."
Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

'19th-Century Racism and 20th-Century Civil Rights' at the New Haven Museum

NEW HAVEN - Former Connecticut Senate President Pro Tempore Donald E. Williams, Jr., will discuss the impact of Prudence Crandall’s life and actions at 6 p.m. Jan. 22, at the New Haven Museum, according to a release.
  Francis Alexander, portrait of Prudence Crandall.
Oil painting, #6953.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections,
Cornell University Library.
The event is free and is co-sponsored by The Amistad Committee Inc., the release said. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture, the release said.
The snow date Jan. 29.
"When Prudence Crandall opened her 'school for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color' in Canterbury, Connecticut in 1833, she endured a violent public and political backlash that included being jailed, and the burning and eventual closing of the school," the release said. "But according to (Williams) the seeds of the 14th U. S. Amendment were sown during the arguments presented in Crandall’s defense, the case reversing the notorious Connecticut 'Black Law'.”
"The storm of controversy that catapulted Crandall to national notoriety in the 1830s also drew the attention of the most significant pro- and anti-slavery activists of the day," the release said. "The Connecticut state legislature passed its infamous Black Law in an attempt to close down her school. But Crandall’s legal legacy had a lasting impact—Crandall v. State was the first full-throated civil rights case in U.S. history. Her attorney’s arguments played a role in two of the most fateful Supreme Court decisions, Dred Scott v. Sandford, and the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education. In 1995, Crandall was designated the official state heroine of Connecticut as a symbol of courage for her stand against prejudice."

 The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, is located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Ave.
According to historian and Association for the Study of Connecticut History board member Peter Hinks, “Williams has authored what will become the authoritative history of Prudence Crandall and her controversial academy. He richly intertwines the life of Crandall with other key protagonists of the struggle for abolition and black equality, and demonstrates how Crandall’s courageous stand in Canterbury helped shape the struggle for black equality into the Civil War and beyond.”

 Find the museum on

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Statement by the President on the Attack in France

The White House Wednesday released the following statement on the killing in Paris (shared unedited here):

"I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time.  France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world.  Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended.  France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers.  We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my Administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice."

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice Festival

NEW HAVEN - The state  Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will co-sponsor the 19th annual two-day family festival, "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice,"  from noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 18  and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19, according to a release.
The festival is free and will be held  at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Ave. It "will focus on environmental and social justice, civil rights, nonviolent advocacy, equality of resources and community enrichment," the release said..
“For almost 20 years, DEEP has co-sponsored this Family Festival that honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recognizes his life-long actions and determination for social justice in the world,” said DEEP Commission Robert Klee, also in the release.  “This celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has become a real tradition and targets families and children, offering a wide variety of educational activities that set the stage for a lifelong commitment of engagement in social and environmental justice practices.” 
"The two days of educational activities for families and people of all ages and backgrounds include performances by members of the New Haven community and from around the world, including music, poetry, children’s storytelling and dance," the release said
Also in the release: "The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice Family Festival has grown during the last 19 years, with attendance increasing from 1,400 visitors the first year to more than 5,500 last year.  Activities are for adults and children of all ages, including teens. For further information contact the Yale Peabody Museum at (203) 432-6646 or visit
More (all per the DEEP release):
Teen Summit
In addition, on Sunday, January 18, 2015, from 12:00 to 3:30 p.m. the Yale Peabody Museum will host their free 6th annual Teen Summit celebrating the legacy of Dr. King, Jr.  In this interactive event, teens from all over Connecticut will come together to showcase their talents to promote social and environmental justice.  Submissions, due by January 15th, will be accepted in the forms of oratory, spoken word, video and essay. All teens are welcome to attend the Teen Summit. Participation in the showcase is encouraged, but not required. FREE pizza with registration, certificates of participation, service hours, and prizes are included.   
To register and for more information visit
Background on Environmental Justice
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. strove to raise awareness about urban environmental issues and public health concerns that disproportionately affect communities of color. While these issues have not disappeared, progress has been made in many places to bring such inequalities to light and to improve living and working conditions.
Environmental justice is based on the principle that all members of a society have the right to clean air, water and soil, as well as a right to live in communities where they can raise their families in healthy and nurturing natural environments. Further, environmental justice includes a guarantee of equal access to relief and the possibility of meaningful community participation in the decisions of government and industry.
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History thanks the following for their generosity Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Yale Office of New Haven and State Affairs, Subway and Stop & Shop.
Schedule at the Yale Peabody Museum:
Sunday, January 18, Noon to 4:00 pm
World Stage Performances (Great Hall of Dinosaurs)
1:00                      Neighborhood Music School Premier Jazz Ensemble
2:00                      Nation Drill Squad Youth Program
3:00                      Kouffin Kanecke Company — Traditional West African dance and drumming performance
Auditorium (3rd Floor)
12:00–3:30          6th Annual Teen Summit
Monday, January 19, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
World Stage Performances (Great Hall of Dinosaurs)
11:00                    Pan Jam and Lime Steel Band
12:00                    Solar Youth Drummers
12:15                    Tarpukay Peruvian Art & Culture
1: 00                     Brian Jarawa Gray and Friends
2:30                      Michael Mills — Drumming performance and drum circle finale
Auditorium (3rd Floor)
11:00–12:00       Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Community Poetry Open Mic
— An opportunity for people of all ages to share their original poetry or rap and speak their minds on issues of justice and injustice. Pre-registration required.
12:30–4:00          Annual Invitational Zannette Lewis Environmental and Social Justice Poetry Slam
Invited Poetry Slam Participants: J-Sun, Influence, So`re Agbaje, Chilo, Anthony Ragler, Roya Marsh, Yadira Delariva, Porscha Olawiyola, Thomas Fucalaro, Mind Evolution, Ms Reign, Nichole Acosta, Michael Chief Patterson, Jashua Sa Ra, Chelsee Johns, Venessa Marco
Directions: In New Haven, Connecticut, take Exit 3 off Interstate 91 (either north or southbound) onto the Trumbull Street connector, and make a right turn at the second intersection onto Whitney Avenue (follow the posted signs to the Yale Peabody Museum). The Museum is located at 170 Whitney Ave., at the corner of Whitney Avenue and Sachem Street, one block north of the intersection of Whitney Avenue and Trumbull Street.
Parking: Weekend parking is free in all Yale University parking lots.
In the photo: Richard Yanowitz of Hamden stops to look at literature in the Great Hall of Dinosaurs at the Yale Peabody Museum during the 18th Annual Dr. King’s Legacy of Environmental & Social Justice family festival Sunday. (Arnold Gold - New Haven Register)

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Haven Oratorio Choir holding auditions

The New Haven Oratorio Choir will hold an open rehearsal on Jan. 7, and auditions on Jan. 10 and by appointment, according to a release.
"This spring we will be singing a variety of works by women composers," organizers said in the release.

Also in the release:

"Auditions for all voice parts will be held on Saturday January 10 in the afternoon, or can be scheduled individually with our membership coordinator. 

Additionally, our first rehearsal of the semester will be open to any singers who are interested in auditioning for the group. The open rehearsal is Wednesday night, January 7, 8-10pm. If you enjoy the rehearsal, you may then schedule an audition (possibly immediately after the rehearsal, if the director is available).
Auditions, rehearsals and performances take place at Church of the Redeemer, Whitney Avenue at Cold Spring Street in New Haven."
Those interested in auditioning and/or attending the open rehearsal should contact membership manager Gretchen Pritchard at 203-624-2520 or, the release said.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Stratford Library to hold a 'Fairy Magic' Party for kids

The Stratford Library will hold a Fairy Magic Party on Saturday, January 17 at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 17 for children ages 4 to 12, according to a release.
Fairy Magic is a popular book series by author Daisy Meadows, the release said. Children are encouraged to dress up as one of the book fairies. To register or for more information, call the Library at 203-385-4165.

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First Day Hikes in Connecticut parks

In a release, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it would offer the following guided First Day Hikes:
("Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection  joins America's State Parks and all 50 state park systems for free, guided First Day Hike Programs on New Year’s Day 2015," the release said)
Hammonasset Beach State Park, 1288 Boston Post Rd., Madison, 1 PM, easy, one hour hike, meet at Meigs Point Nature Center. Sponsored by Friends of the Office of State Archaeology and Friends of Hammonasset.  Contact:  Don Rankin, (203) 245-9192
James L. Goodwin Conservation Center, 23 Potter Rd., Hampton, 12 PM, moderate, two hour hike, 3-4 miles, meet at the Center. Sponsored by Friends of Goodwin Forest. Contact:
Southford Falls State Park, 175 Quaker Farms Rd (Rt. 188) Southbury, 1 PM, moderate, 1.6 mile, one hour, meet by the parking lot. Sponsored by CT DEEP State Parks. Contact: 
Mansfield Hollow State Park, Bassett’s Bridge Rd., Mansfield, CT, 11 AM (arrive by 10:45 AM), moderate, 2 hikes - 4.5 mile & 2.2 mile, meet in the Mansfield Hollow Recreation Area parking lot. Sponsored by Friends of Mansfield Hollow.  Contact:
Scantic River State Park, Melrose Road, East Windsor, 1 PM, moderate, 2.5 mile hike, 2 hours, meet in parking lot at end of Melrose Road off Broad Brook Road. Sponsored by East Windsor American Heritage River Commission.  Contact:
Sleeping Giant State Park, 200 Mt. Carmel Ave., Hamden, 1:30 PM (arrive by 1:15 PM), strenuous, 1 ½ hr. & 2 ½ hr. hikes, meet at the bulletin board by the kiosk. Sponsored by Sleeping Giant Park Association.  Contact:
State park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the state park.  Tips regarding proper clothing and details on hikes in all 50 states can be found on the America’s State Parks website,
“With seasonably cold and dry weather predicted for New Year’s Day --- taking a hike with your family and friends is a great way to begin the New Year,” said Robert Klee, DEEP Commissioner.  “Whether you join DEEP for a guided hike or venture out on your own, you will not be disappointed in the variety of hiking trails that Connecticut has to offer.  Our state has hundreds of miles of trails ready for you as you celebrate the first day of 2015.”
“Studies have proven that getting outdoors is one good way to relax and recharge the body, mind and spirit.” Lewis Ledford, NASPD’s executive director, said, also in the release.   “We hope that hiking along a trail in a state park will become part of an individual’s or family’s regular exercise routine.”
Also in the release:
America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1, 2015 at a state park.  First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.
 “Last year, we hosted 28,000 people who hiked 66,811 miles in our state parks across the country when we launched America’s State Parks First Day Hikes,” said Priscilla Geigis, president of the National Association of State Park Directors. “Think of it as the start of a new and healthy lifestyle, for the whole family. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling, join us at one of America’s State Parks on New Year’s Day.”

First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts.  The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year round recreation at state parks.  Last year marked the first time all 50 state park systems have joined together to sponsor First Day Hikes.
CT DEEP joins America's State Parks in their commitment to promoting outdoor recreation in state parks as a way to address obesity, especially among children.  Getting kids outside and unplugged from video games and other electronic media creates a unique connection with nature that promotes physical and mental well-being and encourages creativity and stewardship of our shared resources.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Orange Historical Society holding sale of Christmas items

ORANGE >> The Orange Historical Society will hold a sale of Christmas items with a 10 percent discount from Saturday to Jan. 31, according to a release.

Organizers encourage shoppers to take advantage of "the already reasonable prices" to plan for next year’s holiday occasions, the release said.

The antique shop is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and this winter’s feature is 19th century oil lamps and furniture. The society also encourages the curious to "come see the unusual carved chair fit for a ‘king.’" For more information call 203 795-3106.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Audubon: Snowy Owl back in Connecticut

Audubon Connecticut says in a release that its "Winter Bird Forecast suggests that once again, the Snowy Owl is returning to Connecticut and several states along the Atlantic Flyway."
The Snowy Owl is "one of the most spectacular and charismatic birds of the northern hemisphere," and "are seen most often in wide open spaces such as fields, farmland and coastal areas. In some years, after summer nesting in the Arctic, they come south in winter to find more abundant food sources," the release said. 

"Last winter, dozens of Snowy Owls were sighted in Connecticut. The numbers this year are slightly behind last winter but they are still higher than a typical year." 

“If you see a Snowy Owl, consider yourself fortunate,” Patrick Comins, director of bird conservation for Audubon Connecticut said, also in the release. Take a long look, but give it space. They are used to living in the Arctic region and they generally have little contact with humans. Identifying them is pretty straightforward. Adult males are almost entirely white. Immature and female Snowy Owls can have dark bars alternating with white on their breast and back with a face that is entirely white. They can weigh four to six pounds and have a wing span of up to six feet.”
Photographs and short video files of the Snowy Owl can be found at the Audubon Connecticut web site:, the release said.
Also in the release:
"The return of the Snowy Owl coincides with Audubon Connecticut’s winter bird count http:// - known since 1900 as the Christmas Bird Count - which runs through January 5th. The count began 115 years ago as an alternative to Christmas Day bird hunts that were threatening bird populations. Other popular bird species seen in Connecticut at this time of year include: Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Shrike, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, Snow Bunting, Bufflehead, Long-tailed Ducks and additional species of waterfowl." 

Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

'ZDough—Made in New Haven and Now Sold There, Too'

NEW HAVEN - ZDough—"made in the Elm City" is "now sold there too—in the gift shop at the New Haven Museum,114 Whitney Ave.," according to a release
The sale is "in conjunction with the current exhibition, 'From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven.," the release said.
"According to New Haven resident and ZDough creator Kira Rama—who originally developed the dough for her own daughter, Zadie—the silky play dough provides tactile fun for all ages. Scented with essential oils, it also happens to smell wonderful," the release said.
The New Haven Museum gift shop is open during regular museum hours: Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 12 to 5 p.m., and the first Sunday of each month, 1 to 4 p.m
ZDough made its New Haven Museum debut in October, during “Friends and Family Day,” at the Pardee-Morris House, the release said.
"Rama notes that, predictably, young children flocked to the ZDough sampling table she had set up for the day," the release said.
“But I was amazed to see 10- to 12-year-olds as engaged as the toddlers, making complex objects for a half-hour at a time,” she said.
"But what charmed her most was a man in his 80s, who noted the ZDough he’d just purchased was for the hand exercises ordered by his doctor, as therapy for arthritis."
Also in the release:
"As an elementary and special-education teacher—on hiatus while launching her product and spending time with her family—Rama likes the idea of the colorful material being used as a tool for young children to play, build fine motor skills, and explore their creativity, and also as an option for teachers, occupational therapists, and art therapists. She notes that adults are drawn to it too, and its texture and scents (including lavender) make it a natural stress reliever.
At the New Haven Museum Gift Shop, ZDough is available in colorful 2.5-ounce tins and Fun Packs of six, in scents such as peppermint, rose, eucalyptus, strawberry, lemon, caramel apple, and more.  Specially colored and scented tins for Christmas and Hanukah are also in stock. "
For more information visit  or or call 203-562-4183.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Haven Black and Hispanic Caucus's Annual Kwanzaa Celebration set

The Alder's Black and Hispanic Caucus's 10th Annual  Kwanzaa Celebration is set for 5 p.m. Dec. 26 at City Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

See more:

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Read the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA here

The Senate Intelligence Committee issued an (executive summary) report on the CIA

You can read the report here, including downloading it or printing it. (It is a little more than 500 pages long)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SOHU of New Haven donates 'Stockings for Soldiers' to VA hospital

NEW HAVEN  - The SOHU, or  South of Humphrey Street Association in the East Rock neighborhood, delivered 204 stockings this week to the West Haven Veterans Affairs medical center, said Lisa Siedlarz  block captain.

The effort is in its seventh year. The 204 stockings "is the most we every had," Siedlarz  said.

"A huge thank you to all who contributed!"Siedlarz  said, noting help from several area groups and individuals.

Donations for the  2014 Stockings for Soldiers Drive were collected through Dec. 8.

Siedlarz started sending stockings to those in the military six years ago. 

Items organizers collected included: white socks, knit caps, scarves, candy (sugar-free or diabetic approved), deodorant, baby powder, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, hand lotion, lip balm, hot cocoa mix, small boxes of tea, pens, puzzle books, CDs, snack-size crackers, cookies and pretzels, soaps, body wash, razors, shaving cream, decks of cards, paperback books, magazines and books on CD for the visually impaired.

Organizers had said that they hoped area residents who consider giving will keep in mind that veterans “gave up a part of their lives to serve this country and defend our freedom.”


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Haven's State Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney announces committee assignments

State Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, in a release announced the Senate Democrats’ legislative committee assignments for the 2015-16 legislative session that begins Jan. 7.
“Our Senate Democratic committee chairs will play a critical role in formulating an agenda that is focused on supporting working families, fighting for seniors, promoting small businesses and continuing to improve our education system to maintain Connecticut’s competitive position in a demanding economy,” Looney said in a release.  “The skills, knowledge, experience and fresh ideas of each chair and vice-chair are tremendous assets as Connecticut pursues creative approaches to future challenges.”

Read them here:

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Haven Symphony Orchestra to present 4 performances of Handel’s 'Messiah'

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Symphony Orchestra will present four performances of Handel’s "Messiah" in a statewide tour Dec. 18-21, according to a release.
Starting in Woolsey Hall in New Haven on Dec.18, the tour will continue Dec. 19 at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Dec. 20 at First Congregational Church of Madison, and Dec. 21 at the Performing Arts Center at Middletown High School, the release said..

"One of the best known choral works of all time, 'Messiah' is a collection of biblical texts compiled into the story of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection; it is traditionally performed for both Christmas and Easter celebrations," the release said.
"'Messiah' features such well known songs for solo vocalists with the orchestra as 'Every Valley Shall Be Exalted' and 'He Shall Feed His Flock,'' as well as monumental choruses like 'For Unto Us a Child is Born' and, of course, the 'Hallelujah Chorus,'" the release said.

The NHSO will donate proceeds from the Dec. 18 performance at Woolsey Hall to the Community Soup Kitchen. "The NHSO has supported the Community Soup Kitchen for several seasons and was the recipient of the soup kitchen’s “Silver Ladel” award in 2013. For more information about the Community Soup Kitchen, visit"


For these performances, the NHSO will be joined by four solo vocalists: soprano Nicole Percifield, countertenor Daniel Moody, tenor Jorge Prego and baritone Brian Vu. The first three performances will feature the Christ Church Oratorio Society of New Haven and the final performance will feature the Greater Middletown Chorale, the release said..



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School Vacation Week Programs at Dinosaur State Park

Photo for illustration only!
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced in a release that the Friends of Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill will sponsor “The Wild Inside,” a series of indoor programs for families during December’s school vacation week.
The series includes (according to the release):

Daily from December 26-28  and 30-31  and January 2-4:
Naturalist programs 11 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Park staff will present a “Track Talk” or an Animal Demonstration
Crafts 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Visitors will be able to make a craft to take home (free with admission)
Films  10, 10:30, noon, 1:30, 2, 3 and 3:30 (film schedule will be adjusted on the 30th to accommodate special live animal program).

Friday, December 26
Free poster Friday – the first 100 visitors will receive a FREE dinosaur poster with admission.
Tuesday, December 30
Live Bird Show presented by “A Place Called Hope.”  Join us to meet the living descendants of the mighty dinosaurs. The show will feature a number of live hawks and owls.  Space is limited to 100 visitors.  Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis at 9 a.m. on the day of the show. This 45-minute show is recommended for ages 5 and older.
These special programs are made possible through the sponsorship of the Friends of Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum. 
Also in the release:
Background on Dinosaur State Park
Dinosaur State Park is open all year, has over 500 early Jurassic dinosaur footprints on display along with a series of related exhibits, a 100-seat theater, a Discovery room, a bookstore that features many unique titles, toys and jewelry and 2 ½ miles of hiking trails. 
The Discovery Room underwent a complete renovation last March and now includes a Connecticut Rock and Mineral display, an interactive geologic map, dozens of pull & learn drawers with hundreds of fossil, rock and mineral specimens, a skull display, a bird sound station and more.
The park is located 1 mile east of I-91, off Exit 23.  The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00 a.m. -- 4:30 p.m. The 2 ½ mile trail system and bookstore close at 4:00 p.m.  The museum is closed Mondays and the park will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day.  There is a $6 admission fee for ages 13 and up, $2 for youth 6-12 and children 5 and under are free. 
For more information call Meg Enkler at (860) 529-5816.

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