Blogs > Elm City Express

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, 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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Monday, November 24, 2014

Spiking to Make a Difference: From Amity to Nepal

The Jeremy Saxe Volleyball Extravaganza will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Nov. 28 at the CT Sports Center, 21 South Bradley Road, Woodbridge

Area volleyball players and fans will return for an annual community event that benefits the children of "the beautiful, spiritual, but impoverished nation of Nepal" and also supports an annual Amity scholarship in memory of Jeremy Saxe. according to a release.

"Due to the tremendous turn out in past years, the tournament has returned to the larger facility with multiple courts provided by the CT Sports Center which allows more playing time for teams and a refreshment area offering food, beer and wine for spectators," according to the release

"Come out and play or watch, connect with friends home for the holiday, and learn about the Foundation’s progress in Nepal. Enjoy delicious homemade treats from our community bake sale and shop for unique holiday gifts handcrafted by our friends in Nepal."

The event is organized as a Sixes Coed Tournament, with a competitive and casual bracket, so please sign up as a team of 6 (at least two girls per team) or sign up as a single and get placed on a team.

To Register: Players should submit their names individually (to be added to teams) or their team rosters, bracket preference and T-shirt sizes by email or at the Facebook Event page ("Jeremy Saxe Volleyball Extravaganza" ).

There is a suggested $5 donation for spectators and $15 for players. The first 100 players signed up will receive an event T-shirt.

Also in the release:

All proceeds support Jiwanko Saathiharu: Jeremy Saxe Foundation for Education and Development, Inc., an independent social development organization with 501(c)3 tax exempt status formed by Jeremy’s friends, colleagues and family members. the Jeremy Saxe Volleyball Tournament, established in November 2008 by volleyball teammates, honors Jeremy Saxe who tragically lost his life on September 4, 2008 from an undiagnosed heart condition: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The Foundation funded Clara’s Childcare Center with memorial donations given in honor of Jeremy’s grandmother, Clara Sokoloff (1920-2010). On September 7, 2011, during UNESCO’s International Literacy Day celebration, Clara’s Childcare Center was inaugurated as the first childcare center in Pharping, Nepal!

The childcare center furthers the Foundation’s development objectives by improving outreach for the women’s literacy program and providing quality care school readiness, and early education to the children. Clara’s Childcare Center empowers women of the Village of Pharping by providing care for their young children while they attend the Women’s Community Literacy School.

Clara’s Childcare Center has served as a model that has now been replicated in the surrounding villages, multiplying the impact of donors on the lives of these families, especially the children!

These children will then have a strong start when they attend the Foundation’s signature project school: Jiwanko Saathiharu Sikshyalaya ("Friends of Life/Friends of Jeremy Place of Learning"). Jiwanko Saathiharu Sikshyalaya is planned as a community-based "School for Future Leaders." The school will be open to all castes and ethnic groups providing American style education and emphasizing critical thinking and analysis with rigorous academics. The school will promote good global citizenship while fostering a love of Nepal that encourages students to build a better future for Nepal. To read more the foundation brochure can be accessed by clicking here.

Please view a video thank you from the children of the village of Pharping, Nepal at JiwankoSaathiharu’s Channel - YouTube

The vision of Jiwanko Saathiharu, "Friends of Jeremy/Friends of Life," is to become a strong international team based on enduring friendships built on mutual respect and shared values, working together to inspire global action, connecting people across borders, and transforming hearts and minds through the development of cultural programs that educate, create dialogue, and build community. It is the hope of the Foundation that the lives of its donors and volunteers will be touched as deeply as the lives of its recipients when they witness their investment coming to fruition, making our world a better place.

To sign up, volunteer, or for more information, please e-mail: or Contributions can be mailed to Jeremy Saxe Foundation c/o SDV 1952 Whitney Avenue Hamden, CT 06517. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

The tournament committee thanks this year’s generous sponsors: Racebrook Wine & Liquor World, Jamba Juice, Winkle Bus, Orange Fence & Post, Sponge Brothers Car Wash, Amity Auto Repair (f/k/a Amity Mobil), Webster Bank, Ted’s Cleaners, Anderson Automotive, Rauch Family Dentists and Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.

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

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Knights of Columbus to give away free kids coats

The Knights of Columbus will distribute new winter coats to children in need at seven sites throughout Connecticut on so-called "Black Friday/"

The "K of C Coats for Kids" distributions will be held at sites in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, Brooklyn, Groton and Waterbury, according to a release/

"The statewide initiative builds on a program held in Bridgeport over Thanksgiving weekend in 2012. Last year 2,000 coats were distributed statewide by the Knights on Black Friday," the release said

In the United States and Canada, the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program has given away some 215,000 coats to children since 2009.

"On the first Christmas, Christ was born in a cold stable because there was no room in the inn,"

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in the release. "Today, our members are making sure that children in our state can keep warm at Christmas and throughout the winter season."

Coats will be distributed in Connecticut from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at seven locations, including:

New Haven: St. Rose of Lima Church Hall, 115 Blatchley Ave.

Bridgeport: St. Monica’s Hall at St. Augustine Cathedral, 170 Thompson St.

Brooklyn: Parks & Recreation Center, 69 South Main St.

Groton: Sacred Heart School, 56 Sacred Heart Drive

Hartford: Our Lady of Sorrows, 79 New Park Ave

Stamford: Knights of Columbus Council 41, 507 Shippan Ave.

Waterbury: St. Michael’s Church, 62 St. Michael’s Drive

. Last year, Knights donated more than $170 million and more than 70 million hours to charitable causes, the release said.

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

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Archaeology and Natural Studies Walk

There will be an "Archaeology and Natural Studies Walk" featuring Dr. John Pfieffer as the leader, at 10 a.m. Dec, 6 at Ames Rockshelter, 130 Whippoorwill Road, Old Lyme, according to a release from Potapaug Audubon.


This is a follow up walk to Pfieffer's Nov. 6 lecture on the Native Americans, the Nehantic, the release said. "Experience one of the areas where these people lived."
The walk is about 3 miles long.
Directions: From the Route 1 entrance to Whippoorwill Road,
go 2 miles. Property on the left. From Route 156 it's also 2 miles. Take Mile Creek Road and drive straight (bearing left at fork onto Whippoorwill Rd). After the I-95 overpass #130 is on the right.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Orange Historical Society open for gift buying (and more)

ORANGE - It's that time again, folks at the Orange Historical Society reminds you.

" Holiday shopping for those hard  to 'buy for' friends and family" mean you should head to the Orange Historical Society Antique Shop "to choose the unusual and unique items for just the right person." 

Open  Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Academy, 605 Orange Center Road, (across from the town Green)is easily accessible and parking is next door. 

Stop in, browse and take a tour of the museum. 

"You might just put a dent in that holiday gift list." 
For information call 203-795-6103


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Connecticut Audubon Society to hold Annual Holiday Tea

 The Connecticut Audubon Society will "honor the past and celebrate the future" at this year’s annual Holiday Tea from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 6 at Birdcraft Museum, 314 Unquowa Road in Fairfield.
"To mark the 100th anniversary of the Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary, the public is invited to come enjoy tea sandwiches, cookies and other traditional treats," according to a release.
Joining the celebration "to share interesting tea facts and history" will be Cindi Bigelow, president and CEO of the Bigelow Tea Co. which is providing the tea for the event, the release said.
The tea is open to the public and free of charge but donations are welcome.
Guests also will "have the chance to meet a special visitor from the past," the release said. "Conservation pioneer Mabel Osgood Wright, (shown in photo) the naturalist, author, and photographer who was a founder of the museum and sanctuary in 1914, will time travel to attend this event and show her appreciation for Birdcraft’s continued commitment to environmental education over the last 100 years."
“The Holiday Tea is an opportunity to thank the many volunteers and supporters who are making it possible to fulfill Mabel’s vision,” Nelson North, Connecticut Audubon’s director of Fairfield operations said, also in the release. “Working together—the community, our board, members, staff and visitors—we will achieve our shared goal of educating youth, from all backgrounds, to become responsible stewards of our natural environment.”
Further, the release said: "Birdcraft, a national historic landmark, is undergoing a major renovation that will establish it as an important 21st-century environmental education center and a keystone to Connecticut Audubon Society’s expanding education program. It includes a landscape restoration project and the creation of an outdoor classroom being undertaken with the Southport-based Sasqua Garden Club which is also underwriting the project. Renovations are expected to be completed in early 2016."
 This year’s Tea will feature basket arrangements of exotic holiday greens and an assortment of small gifts and decorative ornaments available for purchase, the release said.  Also, one of the resident hawks or owls in Connecticut Audubon Society’s “Live Birds of Prey” exhibit will visit. 
For more information call 203-259-6305 ext. 109.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Haven Museum Receives 2014 Bruce Fraser Award for Wooster Square Exhibition

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Museum has received the 2014 Fraser Award from the Association for the Study of Connecticut History "for its most popular and acclaimed major exhibition to date, 'Beyond the New Township: Wooster Square,'” according to a release

See the exhibit here in a video:
"The Fraser Award is named in honor of the late Bruce Fraser, scholar, activist, and director of the Connecticut Humanities Council (now Connecticut Humanities) from 1982 to 2010.  The award honors Fraser’s work in supporting and promoting the study, teaching, and preservation of Connecticut history, and sharing that history with residents of the State of Connecticut," the release said.
"Each year the Fraser Award is given in recognition of 'the best work on a significant aspect of Connecticut’s public history published or presented in a given year.,'” the release said.
"In presenting the award to New Haven Museum Executive Director Margaret Anne Tockarshewsky, ASCH Awards Chair Peter Hinks lauded 'Beyond the New Township: Wooster Square,' for being 'energetic, diverse, detailed, and entertaining,' and noted the exhibition’s most distinguishing characteristic was its collaborative style,' the release said.
“The exhibition embodied the collaboration that the best public history is all about: the local institution with its space, preserved materials, and engaged staff summoning the broad community to interact with them integrally to weave a vivid chronicle that recounts and touches that community itself," Hinks  said, also in the release.
We are honored by the acknowledgement by ASCH for the work done by the New Haven Museum,” Tockarshewsky said in the release. “It is especially gratifying to receive the Fraser Award for an exhibition that was so enthusiastically received by the public.” 
For more information visit or or call 203-562-4183.

Editor's note: Photos of New Haven Museum Pardee Morris House by Helen Bennett Harvey All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Writers’ Circle Panel Discussion on Nov. 18 in New Haven

NEW HAVEN - The Writers’ Circle, a free program presented by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, is "designed to support writers by connecting them to experienced experts,' and will hold discussion-style meetingsonce a month at the Arts Council, 70 Audubon St., 2 fl, according to a release.
The first topic of the fall season will be "How to Break Into Freelance" at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18, the release said.
At the event, featured panelist will be Connecticut writers Daisy Abreu, Jocelyn Ruggiero and Lucy Gellman, the release said. "Learn the pros and cons of freelancing from active freelancers in our community. This is a great opportunity for writers searching for publishing tips or even just a place to share work, ask questions and meet other local writers," the release said. "A post discussion social will take place at Koffee on Audubon following the event."
For more information contact Stephen Grant at the Arts Council (203) 772-2788 or via email at
About the panelists (all from release, unedited here):

Jocelyn Ruggiero is a freelance journalist and author of the blog Foodie Fatale. Her writing has appeared in Parade, Saveur, The Boston Globe, Relish Magazine, Yankee Magazine and Connecticut Magazine. She produced and hosted the radio pilot Foodie Fatale, which broadcast on NPR station WPPB (Southampton, NY) in July 2013 with Michael Stern as her guest-- and has appeared regularly on WFSB’s Better Connecticut and 102.9 DRCFM's "Foodie Fridays." Ruggiero also teaches adults with neurological and developmental disorders at Vista Arts Center and works as a private college essay tutor.Lucy Gellman earned her B.A. in Art History & Archaeology at Washington University in Saint Louis in 2011 and her M.A. in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2013. She has held research assistantships at the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV; and Print Quarterly. In the past two years, she has been a contributing writer for Print Quarterly, The London Student, Journal of the Print World, and the British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies.  She is currently the Florence B. Selden Fellow in the Yale University Art Gallery’s Department of Prints and Drawings and an arts writer for the New Haven Independent.
Daisy C. Abreu is a writer living in New Haven, Connecticut. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Hartford, and an MFA in Creative Writing at Fairfield University where she served as co-editor of creative non-fiction for the online literary journal, Mason’s Road. Her work has been published in the online journal Label Me Latina, The Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s Arts Paper, Spry Literary Journal, the It’s Just Brunch blog, and New Haven Magazine. Daisy is currently working on her collection of essays about growing up Cuban- American in northern New Jersey.
This program is organized by David Brensilver (Writer & Editor of The Arts Paper) Stephen Grant (Writer & Communications Manager at the Arts Council), Daisy Abreu (Writer & Arts Council Board Member) and Lucy Gellman (Writer, New Haven Independent).


Statement by President Obama on Net Neutrality

In a release, the White house put out the statement and video below (unedited here and provided as a public service) on President Obama's statement on "Net Neutrality"


Today, in a statement and video message posted online, President Obama announced his plan for a free and open internet. The text of the President’s statement is below, and an online version of his statement and video can both be found here .


An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life.  By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.


“Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted.  We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.  That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.


When I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever.  Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in our economy.  After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network, new online services and content, and everything else that makes up the Internet as we now know it.  Unfortunately, the court ultimately struck down the rules — not because it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach. 


The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone.  I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online.  The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe.  These bright-line rules include:


·         No blocking.  If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it.  That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.

·         No throttling.  Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.

·         Increased transparency.  The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment.  So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.

·         No paid prioritization.  Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee.  That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth.  So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.


If carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network management and for specialized services such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital.  But combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet’s openness.


The rules also have to reflect the way people use the Internet today, which increasingly means on a mobile device.  I believe the FCC should make these rules fully applicable to mobile broadband as well, while recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks. 


To be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past.  For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business.  That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider.  It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information — whether a phone call, or a packet of data.


So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do.  To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services.  This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone — not just one or two companies.


Investment in wired and wireless networks has supported jobs and made America the center of a vibrant ecosystem of digital devices, apps, and platforms that fuel growth and expand opportunity. Importantly, network investment remained strong under the previous net neutrality regime, before it was struck down by the court; in fact, the court agreed that protecting net neutrality helps foster more investment and innovation.  If the FCC appropriately forbears from the Title II regulations that are not needed to implement the principles above — principles that most ISPs have followed for years — it will help ensure new rules are consistent with incentives for further investment in the infrastructure of the Internet.


The Internet has been one of the greatest gifts our economy — and our society — has ever known.  The FCC was chartered to promote competition, innovation, and investment in our networks.  In service of that mission, there is no higher calling than protecting an open, accessible, and free Internet.  I thank the Commissioners for having served this cause with distinction and integrity, and I respectfully ask them to adopt the policies I have outlined here, to preserve this technology’s promise for today, and future generations to come.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Albertus Magnus College Hosts 2014-15 St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture Series

NEW HAVEN - Albertus Magnus College’s 2014-15 St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture Series opens at 5:15 p.m. Nov. 12, with "Toni Harris, O.P., giving the St. Albert the Great lecture, 'Religious Iconography through the Lens of the Dominican Charism,'" according to a release.

"The talk will explore the significance of religious icons through the 'sacred windows to the Divine,' the release said 
 The St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture is made possible through the Marie Louise Bianchi ’31 Fund, the release said. It is free and open to the public.
"Sr. Toni is a former Promoter for Justice and Peace for Dominican Sisters International.  In that role from 2007 to last year, she visited Dominican Sisters in 48 countries, promoting the conviction that working for a more just and peaceful world is integral to the Dominican vocation."

A former president of the Dominican Leadership Conference, she also worked with the Oneida People on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin, the release said. " She was director of the Anawim Center of the Archdiocese of Chicago, which serves the city’s Native American  community.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in art education from Edgewood College and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin."

The Nov. 12 lecture launches the third annual series and will be held at the Hubert Campus Center on the New Haven campus from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m.  For more details and to reserve a place, go to or call 203-773-8502.

Also in the release: Future talks in the series are on January 26, 2015 (snow date January 28), “A Teacher and Two Students: Albert, Thomas Aquinas and Meister Eckhart,” by Dr. Denys Turner, teacher scholar and author of “Thomas Aquinas: A Portrait (2013); and on April 15, 2015, The Vision of Pope Francis: A Church More Merciful. Missionary and Welcoming,” by Theresa Rickard, O.P., President of RENEW International.

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gutenberg the Musical," presented by Sea Tea Improv in Hartford

HARTFORD - The musical spoof, “Gutenberg the Musical," presented by Sea Tea Improv, has a “pair of aspiring playwrights perform a backers’ audition for their new project - a big, splashy musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg,” according to a release.

 “With an unending supply of enthusiasm, Bud (Dan Russell) and Doug (Greg Ludovici) sing all the songs and play all the parts in their crass historical epic, with the hope that one of the producers in attendance will give them a Broadway contract - fulfilling their ill-advised dreams.”

Accompanist is Kevin Scott as Charles and producer is Julia Pistell, director is Casey Grambo, the release said.

 Performances are: Nov. 14 at 8p.m.; Nov. 15 at 8p.m. and  Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.

 Tickets are $15.

 Parking will be available at the Mark Twain House and Museum lot, a very short walk from the theater.

 Here is the link for purchasing tickets:

Also in the release (shared here unedited):

 “Original Music Direction and Arrangements by T.O. Sterrett. "Gutenberg! The Musical!" was produced Off-Broadway in 2007 by Trevor Brown, Ron Kastner, Terry Allen Kramer, and Joseph Smith in association with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. American Premiere presented at The 2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Originally produced by Trevor Brown at Jermyn Street Theatre, London, January 2006.  Originally developed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

 GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! was the first Off-Broadway transfer for the acclaimed Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. After the developmental run at UCBT, the show enjoyed its critically acclaimed world premiere at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London in January 2006. These performances featured authors Scott Brown and Anthony King in the starring roles of "Bud" and "Doug."

In September 2006, the U.S. premiere of GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! was presented as part of the third annual New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it received three NYMF Awards, including Excellence in Musical Theatre Writing (Book) for Scott Brown and Anthony King. A limited Off-Broadway engagement followed at the 59E59 Theater in December 2006, followed by a transfer to The Actors' Playhouse in Greenwich Village in January of 2007. The Off-Broadway production closed on May 6, 2007.
The show is licensed and published by Samuel French Inc.


Scott Brown is a writer, critic and performer. His work has appeared in Wired (for which he is a monthly columnist), Entertainment Weekly, GQ, New York, and Time, among other outlets. He's appeared at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater on several occasions. Also with Anthony King, he's developed pilots for CBS and A&E. Also with Anthony King, he was raised in Durham, NC. Scott's "funny" "songs" sometimes appear suddenly and without warning on the internet, and disappear almost as fast. He's cool with that.

 Anthony King is a writer, director, and performer currently living in Los Angeles where he performs regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. His TV writing credits include Save Me (NBC), Best Friends Forever (NBC), A Night of Too Many Stars (Comedy Central) (for which he received an Emmy nomination) and more. Anthony's regional and NYC theatre directing credits include: 1940s Radio Hour, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mister (starring Anthony Rapp), A Chorus Line and many others. Other notable directing credits: The Patriots (HBO Aspen Comedy Festival), Aziz Ansari Punched A Wall, Who's your Daddy? (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), God's Pottery (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, "Best Newcomers"), Listen Kid (NY Music Theatre Festival), and others. He was also the Assistant Director of the Off-Broadway shows Summer of '42 and The Wild Party (Lippa). And he was the Artistic Director of the UCB Theatre in NYC from 2005-2011.  Anthony has written for GQ, Details, and Entertainment Weekly magazines and he's a regular contibuter to the work of Improv Everywhere. You can find him online at 

In addition to GUTENBERG!, Scott and Anthony have written other music together, including the titular song in the TheatreworksUSA touring production of If You Give A Pig A Pancake & Other Story Books, the songs "Can I Get A Napkin Please," "I Love Lunch," "Let's Squish Our Fruits Together" and "You're Never Too Old To Sit On Santa" for Improv Everywhere's Spontaneous Musicals (seen by more than 9 million people on YouTube!), and a series of songs based on real Craigslist posts for Details Magazine. They are currently at work on the most amazing new musical ever.?
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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