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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.

Friday, March 20, 2015

'Connecting the Slave Trade to Connecticut Aristocracy'

Author Anne Farrow (Photo by Stephen Taylor)
The New Haven Museum will act as host for Connecticut writer Anne Farrow's talk on her newest book, “The Logbooks: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory,” published by Wesleyan University Press, according to a release
The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 26.
In her research, Farrow uncovered "a direct connection between slavery and a member of one of America’s, and Connecticut’s, most famous early families," the release said.
Farrow’s "thought-provoking presentation will be followed by a signing" of her book, the release said .
The free lecture is sponsored by The Amistad Committee Inc.
"Farrow discovered that the slave-ship logs were written by Dudley Saltonstall, a descendent of aristocrats, from the highest echelons of Connecticut colonial life.  She began a deep journey into the world of the logbooks and the Atlantic slave trade, eventually travelling to Sierra Leone, where the 19th-century captives on the slaving vessel Amistad had travelled from," the release said.
Also in the release:
About The Amistad Committee Inc.
Established in 1988, The Amistad Committee, Inc. is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization. The original Amistad Committee formed to raise funds for the legal defense and return voyage of the subsequently liberated Africans who were involved in the Amistad Incident of 1839. Today, The Amistad Committee, Inc. is dedicated to the preservation and honoring of African and American history in Connecticut. The preservation of this history and its lessons are imperative and shall not be forgotten, diminished, erased or go unrecognized. "The work to be done is not to be completed in a day or a year; it will require a long time to remove the evils which slavery and habit have so deeply engraved upon the very foundation of everything." Reverend Amos G. Beeman, Middletown, Sept. 6, 1862, letter to the editor of The Weekly Anglo-African newspaper.
About the New Haven Museum
The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, is located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Avenue. The Museum is currently celebrating 150 years of collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of Greater New Haven. Through its collections, exhibitions, programs and outreach, the Museum brings 375 years of New Haven history to life. For more information visit or

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

March always comes in like a lion, my mom says

My "winter has never scared me face"
By Joan Bennett

It was March 8  and I will never forget that date as my beautiful daughter, Helen was born in the early evening of that day.

The first week of that month was not pleasant as far as weather was concerned. We thought winter was over but Mother Nature had other plans and we were caught unawares. The day was cold and in the early afternoon it began to snow lightly.
I had appointment with my doctor, which I kept and he announced I was in the beginning stages of labor. No wonder I had been feeling weird. I thought the doctor was mistaken  as Helen wasn't due for another five weeks. So what to do?
Snow was coming down heavily, mixing with rain and sleet by the time my husband drove me home.
I was in a hurry to get to the hospital but first we had to bring our son, Chip, two years old, to my parent's home about ten miles from where we lived. I hated driving through snow and sleet. It was dark out too. Thank goodness the hospital was only five miles from my parent/s home.

We stayed a few minutes at Mom and Dad's then drove slowly to the hospital, as I was worried we would never make it. The hospital staff was waiting for me. What a relief! I forgot about the weather and concentrated on the more important event that was happening.

March has always been a fickle month. It usually comes in like a lion and I am surprised when she fools me.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

“Ghosts in the Landscape: Vietnam Revisited” at Fairfield University

"Eden in the Mekong," Craig Barber
FAIRFIELD -  Fairfield University’s Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery will present “Ghosts in the Landscape: Vietnam Revisited,” on view from March 26  through June 6, according to a release.

The opening reception, free and open to the public, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. March 26, the release said.
 The exhibition is of 46 prints by photographer and ex-combat Marine Craig J. Barber, the release said.
It "was organized by George Eastman House International Museum
of Photography and Film. Barber spent 20 months in Vietnam as a teenager and returned three times to traverse many of his former military routes with an 8 x10 pinhole camera," the release said.
"His return to the land where he once fought resulted in a dreamlike and introspective study of place."

“Memory runs deep in my veins as I wind my way along narrow dirt paths and bamboo groves, past straw houses and barking dogs,” Barber has written of the experience, according to the release. “More than once, as I wander the small hamlets, I have felt on patrol, the weight of my pack reminiscent of those days and the tripod feeling like a weapon. But now I am searching for images instead of ‘Charlie.’”

Barber lives in the Hudson Valley and teaches photograph workshops throughout the United States and Europe, the release said..

"Accompanying the exhibition is a 60-page catalog of the same title, with an essay by Nordström (Umbrage Editions, 2006).
A talk by the artist, which is free and open to all, will take place in the Walsh Art Gallery on March 26, 2015, at 5 p.m., just prior to the exhibition opening reception."

The Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and one hour before, and during intermission of Quick Center for the Arts performances. Admission is always free., the release said.

For more information, call the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery at (203) 254-4062, or visit

The gallery is in the Quick Center for the Arts on the campus of Fairfield University, 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Conn.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Celtic Celebration at Old Sturbridge Village

www.osv.orgOld Sturbridge Village will on  March 14 and 15, celebrate St. Patrick's Day weekend with daytime "Celtic Celebration" events, "complete with Irish music, food, step dancing, stories, and Scottish bagpipe music," according to a release.
"Irish musicians will demonstrate the difference between jigs and reels and tell the story of the Irish experience through song."
Also, the release said, a "Village historian portraying 19th-century Irish immigrant Mary Culligan will explain why so many Irish immigrants came to America, and what life was like for Irish families once they arrived.  She will also answer questions about popular Irish myths, like whether or not corn beef and cabbage was originally the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal."
Also in the release: Irish band Full Gael will perform a full concert of Celtic music at 7 p.m.  March 14 ($12 per person; $10 for Old Sturbridge Village members). Doors open at 6 p.m. and favorite Irish foods and beverages will be available for purchase, including Bangers & Mash, corned beef sandwiches, Guiness Stew, beer and wine.
 Lodging packages are available at the Village’s own Old Sturbridge Inn and Reeder Family Lodges, located adjacent to the museum. For all times and details: 800-SEE-1830;         
"Most of the 30,000 Irish who came to Massachusetts between 1820 and 1830 were skilled workers, not destitute peasants. After building factories, canals, and railroads in England, many came to do the same work here. When those projects were finished, some swelled New England’s rapidly growing urban populations, while others sought farm work in the countryside. Many more Irish immigrants came to New England to escape the potato famines of the 1840s. "

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dunkin' Donuts fundraiser helps boy who needs a heart transplant

WEST HAVEN -  The community turned out in droves at two local Dunkin’ Donuts shops over Valentine’s Day weekend to help teenage resident Rajay Linton who is slated to undergo heart transplant surgery, organizers said in a release.

"Collectively, the community purchased 2,519 donuts from two D’Andrea Network Dunkin’ Donuts franchises at 305 Captain Thomas Blvd. and 985 Orange Ave. For every donut purchased, the family-owned business donated $1 to Linton’s Go Fund Me campaign," the release said.
The company has 13 Dunkin’ Donuts stores, located in Killingworth, Clinton, Guilford, West Haven, Orange and Milford.

"Blossom Linton-King, Linton’s aunt who has recently become his legal guardian, said many of her friends and those who know the teen from Bailey Middle School in West Haven came out on Friday, Feb. 13 and Sat. Feb. 14 to purchase donuts to support the teen," the release said.

Nicole Ball, franchisee of D’Andrea Network, said, also in the release, that her stores sold more than 100 percent more doughnuts this year over one of the traditionally busiest sale days of the year.

This was a "direct reflection of the community’s support for Linton," she said in the release.

"Maria Rivera, manager of the store on Captain Thomas Boulevard said customers were purchasing donuts by the dozen for Linton and leaving them on the tables in the dining area for other guests to eat for free," and one woman "pre-ordered 25 dozen the night before the promotion," the release said.

Also, according to Ball, Linton-King reports she and her family are now traveling to New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children Hospital’s about once a week in preparation for the 14-year-

old’s heart transplant, which can happen any day.

"Linton-King said the family has to be ready to bring him to the hospital within three hours of receiving a call that a heart has arrived for transplant," the release said.

Linton-King, an employee of Yale-New Haven Hospital, has health insurance for Linton but the funds raised by the D’Andrea Network stores and the Go Fund Me campaign will help offset the medical bills, her travel to New York and the expected three-to-four-month recovery period following surgery, the release said.

"Words can not express" her gratitude for the donations for Rajay, Linton King said in the release..

Linton, who was born with congenital heart disease in Jamaica, was raised by his father and grandparents after his mother left him in the hospital as a toddler, the release said. He came to live in West Haven in 2012 after tragically losing all three of his caregivers in Jamaica – Linton-King’s mother, father and brother all passed away in span of three years.
In photo by DíAndrea Network: l to r, top: Aiesha Padilla, Nicole Ball, Chesmaries Rodriguez, Jennifer , Juan Patino, Blossom Linton-King, Maria River and Ernie Cruz.
L to r, bottom: Rajay Linton, Ken Ellis and Cyril King, as Rajay Linton says thanks to the Andrea Network Dunkin' Donuts for their recent donation of $2,519 to support his upcoming heart transplant surgery.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Remarks by the president at signing of the Clay Hunt SAV act

The White House released this transcript of the remarks President Obama made at  the signing of the Clay Hunt SAV act (presented here unedited)

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  On behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House.  And thank you, Jake, for a moving tribute to your friend and your brother in arms.  I think it’s clear that Clay Hunt lives on in you -- in your devotion to his memory and your commitment to our country.  So, Jake, on behalf of all of us -- but especially, I think, on behalf of Clay’s family and all his friends and fellow veterans who loved him, too -- thanks for your extraordinary service. 


Today, we honor a young man who isn't here, but should be here.  Clay Hunt was a proud Texan.  As a boy, I understand, he collected turtles -- which was ironic for a kid who, by all accounts, never sat still.  (Laughter.)  He loved the outdoors, he knew every inch of his grandparents’ ranch, where he fished and hunted all year long.  A decorated Marine, he served with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He suffered physical injuries that healed, and he suffered invisible wounds that stayed with him.  And, by all accounts, he was selfless and he was brave.  And when he died in 2011, it was a heartbreaking loss for his family, his fellow Marines, and our nation.  Because Clay had already done a great deal of good in the world -- and the truth is, he was just getting started. 


So we’re here today to pick up where Clay left off.  The best way to honor this young man who should be here is to make sure that more veterans like him are here for all the years to come and able to make extraordinary contributions, building on what they’ve already done for our safety and our security.


Clay was a passionate advocate for veterans.  And now, more than ever, that’s something we’re all called to be.  After 13 years, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over, and a new generation of veterans is coming home.  And like Clay, they are talented and they are ready to roll up their sleeves and begin the next chapter of their lives -- starting companies, going back to school, reentering the workforce, raising families, becoming leaders in every field.  And whether they found a new path or are just starting out on their new civilian life, one thing is certain:  Every single veteran in America has something extraordinary to give to this country -- every single one. 


And at the same time, too many of our troops and veterans are still struggling.  They’re recovering from injuries.  They’re mourning fallen comrades.  They’re trying to reconnect with family and friends who can never fully understand what they went through in war theater.  For many of them, the war goes on -- in the flashbacks that come rushing forward, in the nightmares that don’t go away. 


And that tension between then and now -- that struggle to make the transition from war to home -- is one that Clay Hunt knew all too well.  In Iraq and Afghanistan, he lost good friends.  After one buddy died, Clay slept in his empty bunk for a while, to stay close just a little longer.  A few weeks later, another friend was fatally shot right in front of him.  There was nothing Clay could do to save him, but he was still wracked with grief and guilt.  And when he got home, he found it hard to sleep and hard to go football games, or anywhere that was loud or crowded. 


Now, part of what made him remarkable was he was able to name the problem; he understood it.  Like many of our troops and veterans, Clay had post-traumatic stress.  And as a country, we’ve been doing more to help our troops and veterans deal with injuries like post-traumatic stress.  We’re been doing more awareness and more outreach, and more counselors have been put in place to improve access to care.  We’ve been doing more research into prevention and treatment.  And we’ve been saying loud and clear to anyone out there who’s hurting -- it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help, it’s a sign of strength.


And Clay Hunt was strong that way.  He asked for help.  In fact, he did everything that we urge people with post-traumatic stress to do.  He reached out to his family, they embraced him with love.  He opened up to other veterans, and they were there for him, too.  He sought treatment -- not once, but repeatedly.  And he channeled his stress into service.  As part of Team Rubicon, as Jake described, he went to Haiti after the earthquake to help families rebuild.  He refurbished bikes for injured veterans so they could join wounded warrior rides.  He even appeared in a public service announcement, encouraging veterans having a tough time to reach out for help -- because he knew that even though you can’t see it, post-traumatic stress is an injury just like any other, and the stigma has to end.


And Clay received care through the VA, but he struggled to get the right medication and the right disability rating.  And by the time the severity of his condition was recognized, it was too late, and Clay had taken his life just weeks before.  And he was 28 years old.  


Amid unimaginable grief, Clay’s family, Jake and his fellow veterans made it their mission to spare any more families the pain they endured.  So they shared Clay’s story far and wide.  And they reached out to members of Congress, and they lobbied and they testified, and made personal appeals.


And thanks to their tireless efforts -- and we are particularly grateful to Clay’s family being able to transform grief into action -- today I will sign the Clay Hunt SAV Act into law.  And SAV stands for Suicide Prevention for American Veterans.  It helps fill critical gaps in serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and other illnesses.  It increases peer support and outreach to servicemembers transitioning to civilian life.  It recruits talented psychiatry students to work at the VA after graduation.  It makes it easier for veterans to find the care they need when they need it.  And it includes strict accountability measures so we can track and continually improve these efforts as we learn more.


Now, this law is not a complete solution.  We’ve still got a lot more work to do.  Our Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Bob McDonald, is here and is doing a terrific job pushing reforms to get our veterans the care that they deserve.  But one of the messages I want to make sure to deliver today -- and I know that the First Lady and Jill Biden and others have been delivering this continually through their Joining Forces effort -- this is not just a job for government.  Every community, every American, can reach out and do more with and for our veterans.  This has to be a national mission.  As a nation, we should not be satisfied -- will not be satisfied -- until every man and woman in uniform, every veteran, gets the help that they need to stay strong and healthy.


And this law will not bring Clay back, as much as we wish it would.  But the reforms that it puts in place would have helped.  And they’ll help others who are going through the same challenging process that he went through.  So this is a good day, and we pay tribute to everyone who helped to make it possible. 


We want to thank Clay’s family, especially his mom and stepfather, Susan and Richard Selke; his father and stepmother, Stacy and Dianne Hunt.  You guys never stopped fighting for Clay -- and for all the families who have lost sons and daughters, as well.  And as a Commander-in-Chief and as a father, I can’t think of a more beautiful and special way to honor your son.  So we thank you so much.  (Applause.)  


We want to thank Jake and all those who served with Clay, who protected him and loved him like a brother, and all the veterans service organizations that fought for this law and who advocated so passionately for those who have served.  We thank all the military families who have lost a loved one, families here today who channeled their grief into helping others.  They believe, as we all do, that we have to end this tragedy of suicide among our troops and veterans.


I want to thank the members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, who worked to get this done.  I want to give a special acknowledgement to somebody who knows a little bit about service, Senator John McCain.  (Applause.)  Dick Blumenthal, we’re grateful for your efforts.  Representative Jeff Miller.  My home girl from the Chicago area -- (laughter) -- Tammy Duckworth.  Couldn’t be prouder of her.  (Applause.)  And, Tim Walz, thank you so much for the great work.  (Applause.)


And just to be clear about the bipartisanship here, this is one of those areas where we can’t have an argument.  Clay’s parents are Texas Republicans.  (Laughter.)  I mean, that’s not just run-of-the-mill Republican.  (Laughter.)  And they worked with this entire spectrum -- conservatives, liberals.  And that’s just a reminder of what we can accomplish when we take a break from the partisan bickering that so often dominates this town, and focus on what really matters to the American people.   


I wish I had gotten a chance to know Clay.  But, in a way, I feel that I do, because there are a lot of incredible men and women all across this country who, like Clay, just love their country and want to serve.  Michelle and I have had a chance to meet so many of them, and it’s such an incredible privilege. 


I think of the soldiers I sat down with at Fort Bliss a few years ago, and they told me they were proud to serve but struggled with challenges like post-traumatic stress.  They told me about the challenges they had in getting support and treatment, and managing their medications, staying strong for their families and their fellow soldiers -- and, most of all, the challenge of asking for help, which is hard to do for folks who are used to helping others.  


I think of Staff Sergeant Ty Carter, whom I awarded the Medal of Honor.  He survived an unimaginable battle in Afghanistan and carried a badly wounded comrade to safety.  As tough as they come.  But he, too, acknowledged before the ceremony, and talked about it publicly, his struggles with post-traumatic stress.  At first, he resisted even seeking help, but eventually he reached out for the care that he needed.  Today, he’s transitioning to civilian life.  He started his own business, and he travels across the country as an advocate, helping veterans and other Americans turn their struggles into a source of strength. 


I think of the college student who recently wrote me a letter on Christmas Day.  This is as tough a letter as I’ve received since I’ve been President.  She talked about her father, who’s a retired Marine, and told me about how her dad used to love to hunt and fish, and spend time with her and her little brother.  But gripped with post-traumatic stress, he became less and less like himself, and withdrew from the family.  And yet, despite these struggles, she wrote, “I knew that my dad was still in there somewhere…He is still my father.  And I am still his little girl.”  And she was writing, she said, to ask for help -- help her father find his way back -- “not for my family, Mr. President,” she said.  “I’m asking you to help the others” -- other families like hers.  And she said, “Don’t forget about them.” 


And that’s really what today is about:  Don’t forget.  So today we say again -- to every person in uniform, to every veteran who has ever served -- we thank you for your service.  We honor your sacrifice.  But sometimes talk is cheap.  And sometimes, particularly at a time when we’ve got an all-volunteer force and so often we can celebrate them at a ball game, but too many are insulated from the impacts, we got to also act.  We can’t just talk. 


So we’re ready to help you begin the next chapter of your lives.  And if you are hurting, know this:  You are not forgotten.  You are not alone.  You are never alone.  We are here for you.  America is here for you -- all of us.  And we will not stop doing everything in our power to get you the care and support you need to stay strong and keep serving this country we love.  We need you.  We need you.  You make our country better.


So I thank all of you.  God bless our troops, our veterans, our military families.  God bless the United States of America.


And with that, I want Michelle and Clay’s family and our other guests to join us on stage so I can sign the Clay Hunt SAV Act into law.  (Applause.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

'Benedict Arnold Examined at New Haven Museum'

"Benedict Arnold's Shop Sign,
New Haven, c. 1760.,
New Haven Museum. 
 Benedict Arnold sold a variety of goods from his shop on George Street in New Haven.
"Sibi Totique" on this original shop sign, loosely translated, means "something for everyone"

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Museum reports that on Sept. 6, 1781, Connecticut native Benedict Arnold "and a force of 1,600 British soldiers and loyalists took Fort Griswold and burnt New London to the ground."

"The brutality of the invasion galvanized the new nation," the release said.

 Now, at 6 p.m., Feb. 19,  author Eric D. Lehman will shed light on events leading up to the attack, the release said, "and highlight Arnold’s transformationthe point where he went from betraying his comrades to massacring his neighbors."

The free lecture will be held at the New Haven Museum, and followed by a reception and signing of Lehman’s newest work: “Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London," the release said.'

Arnold lived in New Haven at one point in history.

The snow date is February 20.

"Lehman will examine how the New London incident forever marked Arnold as a symbol of evil, turning an antiheroic story about weakness of character and missed opportunity into one about the nature of treachery itself. Lehman draws upon a variety of perspectives, from the traitor himself to former comrades like Jonathan Trumbull and Silas Deane, to the murdered Colonel Ledyard. Rethinking Benedict Arnold through the lens of this terrible episode, Lehman sheds light on the ethics of the dawning nation, and the way colonial America responded to betrayal and terror," the release said.

Also in the release: "Lehman is a professor of creative writing at the University of Bridgeport. His fiction, travel stories, essays, and nonfiction have appeared in dozens of online and print journals and magazines. He is the author of several books, including 'The Insider’s Guide to Connecticut” and “Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P.T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity.'"


About the New Haven Museum

The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, is located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Avenue. The Museum is currently celebrating 150 years of collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of Greater New Haven. Through its collections, exhibitions, programs and outreach, the Museum brings 375 years of New Haven history to life. For more information visit or


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'Statement by the President on the Death of Kayla Jean Mueller'

The White House sent this release today. It us shared unedited here:

I"t is with profound sadness that we have learned of the death of Kayla Jean Mueller.  On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I convey our deepest condolences to Kayla’s family – her parents, Marsha and Carl, and her brother Eric and his family – and all of those who loved Kayla dearly.  At this time of unimaginable suffering, the country shares in their grief.

Kayla dedicated her life to helping others in need at home and around the world.  In Prescott, Arizona, she volunteered at a women’s shelter and worked at an HIV/AIDS clinic.  She worked with humanitarian organizations in India, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, compelled by her desire to serve others.  Eventually, her path took her to Turkey, where she helped provide comfort and support to Syrian refugees forced to flee their homes during the war.  Kayla’s compassion and dedication to assisting those in need shows us that even amongst unconscionable evil, the essential decency of humanity can live on.

Kayla represents what is best about America, and expressed her deep pride in the freedoms that we Americans enjoy, and that so many others strive for around the world.  She said:  “Here we are.  Free to speak out without fear of being killed, blessed to be protected by the same law we are subjected to, free to see our families as we please, free to cross borders and free to disagree.  We have many people to thank for these freedoms and I see it as an injustice not to use them to their fullest.”

Kayla Mueller used these freedoms she so cherished to improve the lives of others.  In how she lived her life, she epitomized all that is good in our world.  She has been taken from us, but her legacy endures, inspiring all those who fight, each in their own way, for what is just and what is decent.  No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla’s captivity and death.

ISIL is a hateful and abhorrent terrorist group whose actions stand in stark contrast to the spirit of people like Kayla.  On this day, we take comfort in the fact that the future belongs not to those who destroy, but rather to the irrepressible force of human goodness that Kayla Mueller shall forever represent."


Monday, February 9, 2015

Coffee House at Temple Emanuel


Temple Emanuel of Greater New Haven invites you to "Come in from the cold, chase away the winter blues and enjoy an eclectic mix of live music, art and food at the Coffee House from 7:30 to 10"30 p.m. Fe. 21,  at 150 Derby Ave., according to a release.

" Local musicians will perform in solo acts and bands; jewelry and crafts will be available for sale, all from local artisans," the release said..


"Some snacks and beverages are included in the ticket price.  A more extensive menu of desserts will be available for sale. BYOB and BYOM (bring your own mug) for a greener event," the release said.


Tickets are $15 per person and can be ordered in advance on the TE website or purchased at the door.


Temple Emanuel is located at 150 Derby Ave. (Rt. 34) in Orange. For more information about this and other events and services at Temple Emanuel, go to, or call the TE office at 203-397-3000.

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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