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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Indian Dinner and Gourmet Cooking Class at Temple Emanuel

ORANGE - An "entertaining cooking demonstration and a gourmet buffet are on the menu at Temple Emanuel of Greater New Haven" at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8, according to a release.
Chef Jawahar 'Jack' Dorasiwamy will create and serve a wonderful, three-course, mildly spiced and Kosher Indian dinner for your enjoyment," the release said..
Reservations are required for the event. The deadline is Nov. 2. Tickets are $54 per person. Sign up on the TE website:

Raffle items will also be available, including gift baskets and the opportunity to help Chef Jack in the kitchen, the release said. "All attendees will leave with a complete set of recipes from the evening as well as starter bags of spices."
Temple Emanuel is located at 150 Derby Ave. (Rt. 34) in Orange. For more information about this and other services and events at Temple Emanuel, go to, or call the TE office at 203-397-3000.

Monday, October 27, 2014

'Thanksgiving 'during the 18th Century Dinner' at Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

WETHERSFIELD -  Chef Christopher Prosperi,  will visit the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum on  Nov. 16  to "share his views on the history of what may be the ultimate comfort food—the traditional Thanksgiving feast," according to a release.
"The setting is fittingone would be hard-pressed to find more authentic fare than that served annually at the 18th-Century Thanksgiving Dinner at WDSthe menu was designed by a food historian and is based on centuries-old New England recipes."
Tickets for the 18th-Century Thanksgiving Dinner are $85 per person, and include the reception, 18th-century music and an optional tour of the three historic homes at the museum following the event, the release said. Reservations are required and available by calling (860) 529-0612, ext. 12.
At the event, Prosperi will share "wit and wisdom," and details of some of his own Thanksgiving experiences—"including a reenactment of the first Thanksgiving," the release said.
"Mr. and Mrs. Silas Deane will host the historical event dressed in period clothing. Dinner will be preceded by a wine reception at noon, with light fare and 18th-century music."
"Shortly before 1 p.m., a servant will ring the dinner bell and invite the guests to adjourn to the Webb Barn. The carefully researched menu, prepared by J Restaurant, of Hartford, will include dishes typically served at Thanksgiving in the 1700s: venison pie, roasted goose and turkey, chine of pork, pottage of cabbage, leeks and onions, puddings and several vegetables, pumpkin and apple pie, and selections of wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Prosperi will give his presentation on Thanksgiving during dessert.
Prosperi, shown in photo, is chef owner of Metro Bis restaurant in Simsbury.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Orange Historical Society Tag Sale is Oct. 25

The building is right across from the town Green and there is parking behind the old library.

ORANGE - There will be a tag sale at Historical Society's "The Academy" building  - "most likely the last one until spring" from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 25 at 605 Orange Center Road, organizers said.

"The antique shop will be open as well so do some thrift shopping and holiday shopping at the same time," organizers said in a release. " Don't forget those fall weddings and hostess gifts for the unusual and distinctive collectibles."

 For information call 203 795-3106

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Haven to hold 2-night ‘Halloween Extravaganza’

/NEW HAVEN - Mayor Toni Harp and the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Trees will hold "A Halloween Extravaganza" for children of all ages on Oct. 30-31 at the Armory on Goffe Street.

Festivities from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 will include music with a DJ, Halloween games and arts and crafts, a pumpkin moon bounce, photo booths and more, according to a release. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 31, there will be costume contest, with "prizes awarded for the scariest, most creative, funniest and family-themed," the release said.. The movie "Frankenweenie" will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Participants will be able to take pictures at the photo booth using their own cameras, or buy a professional 4X6 picture for $5, the release said.

"This wonderful community event is a safe and fun alternative to traditional Halloween festivities. It is offered to all ages and is free to attend with the donation of a non-perishable food item or toy" the release said.
(See Halloween in a different way in New Haven in these photos.)

Parking for the event is provided in the Bowen Field Parking Lot. A free shuttle service will bring the public to the Armory for the event and departs every 15 minutes, the release said. For more information on the Halloween Extravaganza or any other Department of Parks, Recreation, and Trees programs, call 203.946.8027 or visit

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Connecticut Black Expo 2014 coming Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in New Haven

NEW HAVEN - The Connecticut Black Expo 2014 will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at The Curtis McKinley Cofield Christian Life Center at Immanuel Baptist Church, 1324 Chapel St., organizers said.

The event will include small businesses, authors, jewelry, clothing designers, seminars, hair and fashion show, guest speakers, performances and more, organizers said in a release. Food will be available for purchase.

Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the event of becoming a sponsor, visit or call 203-558-0066

Per Organizers, Confirmed Vendors Include:

The New Haven Police Department

New Haven Firebird Society - Raising Funds For Their Fallen Colleague In Hartford, CT.

New England Tractor Trailer Training School (NETTTS)

U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force And Marines,

Eden Eegance Floral & Wedding Decor

Stella & Dot - Jewelry, Bags & Engravables

94.3 WYBC Radio

Holla - Back Gospel Awards, Connecticut - "Stop-Bullying" Campaign

EnfinitiGlobal Renewable Energy Distributors

Deborah Agnew & Denver Darden Authors Of "Lessons Learned"

Ken-Char Organics & Novelties

Northeast News Today - Hartford, CT.

Connecticut Black Chamber Of Commerce

Cotton-Candy & Popcorn Vendor

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DEEP soliciting public Input to state wildlife action plan

In a press release, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it will hold "a series of informal meetings throughout the state to obtain public input as it updates the state’s Wildlife Action Plan."

The plan “serves as Connecticut’s blueprint for conservation action.

The agency must complete a comprehensive review and revision every 10 years to make sure the Wildlife Action Plan reflects current needs and priorities for species of greatest conservation need and their habitats,” the release said.

“Wildlife and nature are the foundation of Connecticut’s beauty and cultural heritage. The State Wildlife Action Plan is a strategic plan to conserve these resources for the future,” the release said. “Recovery of species that have reached threatened or endangered status is typically more costly than preventive actions that keep wildlife populations from reaching such declines. Proactive management actions identified in Connecticut’s Wildlife Action Plan are intended to keep species common.”

“This revision includes the identification of new or updated actions to advance wildlife conservation over the next decade,” Rick Jacobson, director of the DEEP Wildlife Division, said, also in the release. “It also involves a reevaluation of Connecticut’s species of greatest conservation need list, taking into account new information on climate change and its impacts to wildlife conservation, as well as an update of resource mapping, the refining of conservation threats, and the incorporation of information gained through the implementation of the first Wildlife Action Plan developed in 2005.”

Jenny Dickson, DEEP supervising biologist and plan coordinator, said. “Participation by conservation partners, academic institutions, municipalities, and the public is a key to making the revised Wildlife Action Plan an effective tool for conserving Connecticut's diversity of wildlife resources for future generations.”


Opportunities for Public Input (per release)

To provide input to the Wildlife Action Plan:


-          Submit comments on the revised list of species of greatest conservation need, an updated description of key habitats found in Connecticut, and revisions to chapters of the original 2005 plan (called the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy or CWCS).

All of the revised documents can be found on the Department’s website at:, and the public is encouraged to check the website often as more updates and revisions become available for review.

-          The Department also will be holding a series of informal meetings throughout the state and the public is encouraged to attend and provide input. Comments can also be submitted to the DEEP Wildlife Division via e-mail ( or by regular mail to: Connecticut Wildlife Division, Sessions Woods W.M.A., P.O. Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013.

- Public informational presentations about the Wildlife Action Plan are scheduled for the following dates:

·         October 21 (Tuesday), 6:00 PM at the Wildlife Division’s Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center, 341 Milford St (Rt. 69), Burlington (please pre-register for this presentation by calling the Sessions Woods office at 860-675-8130).

·         October 29 (Wednesday), 7:00 PM at the Glastonbury Audubon Center, Connecticut Audubon Society, 1361 Main Street, Glastonbury

·         November 13 (Thursday), 6:30 PM at Milford Point Audubon Center, Connecticut Audubon Society, 1 Milford Point Road, Milford

The public is encouraged to attend any of the following facilitated workshops to provide input on the Wildlife Action Plan:

·         November 5 (Wednesday), 1:00-3:00 PM AND 6:30-8:30 PM, at Greenwich Audubon Center, Audubon Connecticut, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich

·         November 6 (Thursday), 1:00-3:00 PM AND 6:30-8:30 PM, at Connecticut Forest and Park Association, 16 Meriden Road, Rockfall (near Middlefield)

·         November 7 (Friday), 1:30-3:30 PM, at Windsor Public Library, 323 Broad Street, Windsor

·         November 7 (Friday), 6:30-8:30 PM, at Sharon Audubon Center, Audubon Connecticut, 325 Cornwall Bridge Road, Sharon

·         November 8 (Saturday), 10:00 AM-12:00 noon, at Stonington Free Library, 20 High Street, Stonington

·         November 8 (Saturday), 2:00-4:00PM, at Pomfret Audubon Center, Connecticut Audubon Society, 218 Day Road, Pomfret Center

·         November 9 (Sunday), 10:00 AM-12:00 noon, at DEEP Marine Headquarters, 333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme

·         November 9 (Sunday), 2:00-4:00 PM at the Wildlife Division’s Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center, 341 Milford Street (RT 69), Burlington

A schedule of informational meetings and facilitated workshops also can be viewed on the DEEP website at .

Since its approval in 2006 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and with funding provided through the State Wildlife Grants Program for project implementation, Connecticut’s Wildlife Action Plan has been a foundational document for guiding research and management of fish and wildlife in our state.


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Where to vote in New Haven

The following is a list of the New Haven polling places that will be open for voting in the Nov. 4, 2014 election. The list can be downloaded and also can be printed. 
Below the list of polling places you will see a posting of the list of candidates running for office across Connecticut. (including Congress)

For more information about elections in Connecticut, click here.

For more information about the city of New Haven, click here.

Register online to vote here (but only through Oct. 21) Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says "Since online voter registration in Connecticut launched in February of 2014, more than 23,000 voters have used the system to either become new voters or change their voter registration." 

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Art show will benefit adult education in New Haven

NEW HAVEN - The Raggs clothing store on Chapel Street will host a showing of limited-edition prints by friend and neighbor Barry Svigals, founding partner of architecture-plus-art firm Svigals + Partners, from 5 to 7p.m. Oct. 10, organizers said in a release.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from sales of Svigals' prints will benefit the adult education non-profit Connecticut Center for Arts & Technology (ConnCAT) the facility for which Svigals + Partners designed, the release said.

Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rosa DeLauro and others on Ebola, need for hearing

The following is a release sent from the office of U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3. It is shared unedited here as a public service

WASHINGTON, DC--The Democratic members of the House of Representatives Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education Appropriations Subcommittee today called for a subcommittee hearing on the public health threats posed by the recent outbreaks of Ebola and Enterovirus D68. The Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee is responsible for funding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

Their letter to subcommittee Chairman Jack Kingston can be read in its entirety here.

"Since Congress left Washington last month-the earliest we have recessed in over 50 years-the Ebola virus has found its way onto American soil and Enterovirus D68 has reached almost every state and is linked to the deaths of multiple children" wrote Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro, Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey and subcommittee members Lucille Roybal-Allard, Barbara Lee and Mike Honda. "We have a responsibility to ensure that CDC, NIH and the other public health agencies under our jurisdiction have sufficient resources to protect the public health and are taking the appropriate actions today to address it.  When Congress returns from the November elections, we will have to determine the funding necessary for these agencies to respond to these public health crises before the Continuing Resolution expires. Therefore, we urge you to convene a Subcommittee hearing this month to gather the information we need to make informed decisions for the remainder of the fiscal year."

NIH funding has been cut by $1.2 billion over the last four years, before adjusting for inflation. Once accounting for inflation, NIH has lost more than ten percent of its purchasing power since 2010. The CDC program that supports state and local public health professionals working on the front lines has been cut by 16 percent over the last four years. The federal Hospital Preparedness program has been cut by an astounding 44 percent over the last four years.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mental health awareness/suicide prevention forum slated

A local mom who lost her son to suicide and started the organization D.A.N. , or Don't Accept No, has organized a free forum on Mental Health Awareness/Reform and Suicide Prevention that will begin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at East Haven High School, 35 Wheelbarrow Lane, East Haven.  

There will be four professionals on the panel, with question and answer period afterward. D.A.N. founder Judy Kelson Murray said.  

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Haven event at Yale bowl will help fight hunger

NEW HAVEN >> The "Food For All 2014 | A Day of Food and Football To End Hunger in New Haven" fundraiser will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Hospitality Village at Yale Bowl, organizers said in a release.
The event, to be held prior to the Yale/Colgate football game, will benefit the non-profit organization Community Plates - New Haven, which works to end food insecurity as volunteers "rescue" food not used by restaurants and catering companies bring it to local soup kitchens

The event will include catered foods, a tended bar and live music to raise money and awareness "of the significant impact food rescue programs have on ending food insecurity among our neighbors," the release said.

Tickets are $55 for adults and $25 for children, organizers said. The ticket includes, food, bar and general admission to game. Parking in Lot D is $5 per car and is not included in event-ticket price, the release said. Learn more about Community Plates - New Haven on the group’s website.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Connecticut Audubon Society to host 'Halloween at the Enchanted Forest'

The Connecticut Audubon Society invites you to "Bring your ghosts and goblins for a hoot of a Halloween at the Enchanted Forest" on Oct. 24, according to a release.
"An excellent nature-themed alternative or addition to the traditional Halloween celebration, the Enchanted Forest introduces fascinating, entertaining (and educational!) information about nocturnal animals in their natural habitat," the release said.
"Participants will have a fun – but not scary – experience when they are escorted around the luminary trail by volunteers who light the way with flashlights." the release said. "The night also features fall-themed craft making, Halloween snacks and a chance to meet some of the Center’s creepy and crawly critters. Children are encouraged to wear costumes.  The Enchanted Forest is held rain or moonshine."
Guided walks leave approximately every 15 minutes beginning at 5:30p.m. and the last walk leaves at 7:30 p.m., the release said.  Pre-registration and pre-payment required at time of registration. Call 203-259-6305 ext. 109 to reserve your walk time. Program fee: CAS members $10/child, $2/adult; Non-members: $15/children, $2/adult.  "Call early or you don’t stand a ghost of a chance. "
All proceeds support Connecticut Audubon Society environmental education programs. Visit for additional programs.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Arts Council of Greater New Haven is seeking proposals for community art projects

NEW HAVEN - The Arts Council of Greater New Haven is inviting artists, artist collectives and organizations to submit "project proposals for engaging the community through art," according to a release.
The council will select four to five creative projects to fund with small stipends of $1,000 to $2,000, the release said. Read the full RFP at
The council is "pleased to provide support for community projects that allow the general public to help with the creative process," the release said.
The "goal is to select ideas that will enrich the quality of community life, enhance the lives of individuals, and build connections between people through art. Last year, we funded 4 outstanding projects that allowed artists to make art with the community," the release said.

The d
eadline is Oct. 27, 2014, at 5p.m., the release said.

For more information, rules and requirements send an email to or call the Arts Council of Greater New Haven at (203) 772 – 2788.

In the photo: Jack Lardis' 2013 Oil Drum Art Project with Hyde High School students. Photo by Judy Rosenthal. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Haven Symphony Orchestra and the #B5Challenge

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Symphony Orchestra will open its 2014-15 Season with Beethoven & The Don on Oct. 2 at Woolsey Hall, according to a release.
"Led by Music Director William Boughton, the program will include Beethoven’s 'Symphony No. 5,' as well as Strauss’ 'Don Juan' and Prokofiev’s" Violin Concerto No. 1" featuring guest Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik. "

"Inspired by this opening night program, music director William Boughton has issued the “Beethoven Five Challenge” on Facebook to raise awareness for music education in this community," the release said. "After singing the opening notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Boughton challenged prominent community members to record their own performance and challenge their friends to do so as well. Participation is growing and has included video posts by the new NSHO principal pops conductor, board members, and members of the media. Visit to view the videos and to learn more about issuing a #B5Challenge."

 Also in the release:
"The Russian-American artist Yevgeny Kutik is hailed for his dazzling command of the violin and its repertoire, as well as a communicative immediacy that harkens back to the legendary Romantic masters. Yevgeny Kutik’s current season is highlighted by engagements as guest soloist with New York City’s Park Avenue Chamber Symphony and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston. Kutik made his debut with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops in 2003 as the 1st Prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition and was awarded a 2006 Salon de Virtuosi Grant as well as the 2006 Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize. Of special note, Yevgeny Kutik continues his close association with the United Jewish Federations of North America Speakers Bureau, annually performing throughout the United States to raise awareness and promote the assistance of refugees from around the world."

Tickets:  Single Tickets are $15- 74. Student tickets are $10 and KidTix (children ages 7-17) are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Blue Star tickets for active military personnel and their immediate families are free. To purchase tickets or for more information, contact the NHSO Box Office at 203.865.0831 x10 or visit

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the NHSO Box Office at 203.865.0831 x10 . For single tickets to NHSO performances at the Shubert Theater, call 203.562.5666
In photo  Yevgeny Kutik, guest violinist. Photo credit: Kevin Sprague.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

O'Tooles Undies Run 2014 is Saturday

In a release, O'Tooles announced its "Undies Run 2014" to take place Saturday Sept. 20, 157 Orange St.,  New Haven

"As many of you know on August 25th, 2014 Delaney's Taproom & Restaurant was lost to a devastating fire. Delaney's and their staff, were and are a vital part of our New Haven community. To help our neighbors and friends in their time of need all proceeds from the 2014 undies run will be donated directly to help subsidise their loss of income," the release said.

See photos from last year's run here.

This year,  "Fun Run will take place Heat, Rain, or Shine! This is a gentle fun run, not a long marathon! Joggers & Walkers are also welcomed!"

 Schedule of Events:
11:30am Regisration Pre-Party & T-Shirt Pick Up at O'Tooles Irish Pub
2:00pm: Undie Fun Run Start
2.30pm: Cool Down Party - Music, Food, Drinks, Raffle

$25 Pre-Registration -Day of $30

Participants:  Anyone 21+ with a good sense of humor!

Attire:  Underwear obviously! No thongs PLEASE! Other accessories encouraged (superhero costumes, etc) Clothed “prudes” are also welcome!

What you Get:  Official Undies Run T-Shirt, Huge Post-Party Cool Down Party, and the chance to run around New Haven through Jocelyn Splash park in your undies all for a great cause! Prizes to best "un-dressed" male and female and teams, the release said. O'Tooles can be reached at 203 562 7468

Photo by Peter Casolino.


Read the AARP Voter Guide Here

In a release, AARP announce it created "voter guides featuring positions from Congressional, Gubernatorial and state legislative candidates – in their own words – on critical issues including Social Security, Medicare, financial security, caregiving and affordable utilities."
 See the voter guides at
“AARP wants to make sure our members and all voters know what the candidates are saying – and not saying – about key issues that matter to them and their families,” AARP State Director, Nora Duncan said in the release. “Our nonpartisan voter guides help voters cut through the political clutter and pressure candidates to share their views on issues critical to older adults and their families before Election Day."
Editor's note: This release is courtesy ofJennifer L. Millea, Associate State Director, Communications AARP Connecticut  

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Friday, September 12, 2014

'Participatory concert' at the New Haven Museum

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Museum and the Friends of Grove Street Cemetery invite the public to take part in a special participatory concert of the compositions of Daniel Read, "with the audience seated in the manner of a late 18th-century singing school, in four sections around an open square—tenor, treble, alto, and bass—facing the singing master," at 4 p.m. Sept. 21 according to a release.
The free event will be held at the museum, and will be followed by a reception, the release said. The New Haven Museum at 114 Whitney Ave.
"According to records, though Daniel Read earned a living as a comb-maker and the proprietor of 'Read’s Cheap Store' back in late 1700s New Haven, his true claim to fame was his prolific career in  musical composition and choral instruction. In fact, Read was one of the best known, most widely published American choral composers of his day," the release said.
 "The participatory 'singing school' will be accompanied by members of the Yale-New Haven Regular Singing and conducted by Yale University Professor of Music Ian Quinn, with assistance by John Gambell, Yale University printer and participant in the Yale-New Haven Regular Singing," the release said.  
"Quinn will give a brief overview of the practice of group a cappella singing in Read’s time, and conduct a demonstration lesson in the fundamentals of shape-note singing using several of Read’s most important compositions. Copies will be provided for the audience. The lyrics for most of the tunes to be performed were drawn from the work of the English poet and non-conformist hymn writer Isaac Watts (1674-1748). While the lyrics are paraphrased from Bible verses, and reflect Watts’s Christian spirituality, the songs were essentially the popular music of their day, sung in the singing schools and local “singings” in addition to their use in Protestant churches."

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hamden Police Benevolent Association Scholarship Golf Tournament is Sept. 15

HAMDEN - The 22nd annual Hamden Police Benevolent Association Scholarship Golf Tournament will be held beginning at 9 a.m. Sept. 15 at the Laurel View Country Club, at 310 West Shepard Ave., according to release.

 Contact Betty Montijo at 203-695-1581 or for more information or to register.
"Each year the Hamden Police Benevolent Association Scholarship Golf Tournament raises money for a scholarship fund benefiting the children of the Hamden Police Officers, as well as Hamden High School students who are continuing their education in Criminal Justice," the release said. "Money raised from this tournament will also be donated to local charities and events."

"Golfers who want to spend the whole day at the tournament will enjoy breakfast at 8" a.m. gift package with a voucher for 1 free golf club, lunch on the course, 18 holes of golf with a cart, hole-in-one prize (3 year Cruze lease, sponsored by Lee Partyka Chevrolet), dinner, driving range, sports memorabilia auction by Mike Riccio of “Legends of the Game,” and a raffle that includes a $10,000 Hole-in-One, the release said. 
The registration fee is $160 per person.  Supporters who do not golf, but want to come for dinner only are welcome.  Registration fee for dinner only is $50.   

Opportunities to sponsor the event:

Title Sponsor (includes one foursome) - $1,500
Dinner Sponsor - $1,000
Front 9 Sponsor - $750
Back 9 Sponsor - $750
Lunch Sponsor - $500
Breakfast Sponsor - $250
Longest Drive Sponsor - $250
Green Flag Sponsor - $200
Tee Flag Sponsor - $150
Individual Tee Sponsor (individual cardboard sign on tee box) - $100







Read: Obama's remarks at 9/11 memorial ceremony

This is an unedited release from the White House of President Obama's remarks at a 9/11 ceremony:
PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Good morning.  Scripture tells us, “We count as blessed those who have persevered.”


     Secretary Hagel, General Dempsey, members of our Armed Forces, and, most of all, the survivors of that September day and the families of those we lost –- Michelle and I are humbled to be with you once again. 


     It has now been 13 years.  Thirteen years since the peace of an American morning was broken.  Thirteen years since nearly 3,000 beautiful lives were taken from us, including 125 men and women serving here at the Pentagon.  Thirteen years of moments they would have shared with us.  Thirteen years of memories they would have made. 


     Here, once more, we pray for the souls of those we remember, for you, their families, who love them forever, and for a nation that has been inspired by your example -- your determination to carry on, your resolve to live lives worthy of their memories. 


As Americans, we draw strength from you.  For your love is the ultimate rebuke to the hatred of those who attacked us that bright, blue morning.  They sought to do more than bring down buildings or murder our people.  They sought to break our spirit and to prove to the world that their power to destroy was greater than our power to persevere and to build.  But you, and America, proved them wrong. 


America endures in the strength of your families who, through your anguish, kept living.  You have kept alive a love that no act of terror can ever extinguish.  You, their sons and daughters, are growing into extraordinary young men and women they knew you could be.  By your shining example, your families have turned this day into something that those who attacked us could never abide, and that is a tribute of hope over fear, and love over hate.


America endures in the tenacity of our survivors.  After grievous wounds, you learned to walk again and stand again.  After terrible burns, you smiled once more.  For you, for our nation, these have been difficult years.  But by your presence here today, in the lives of service that you have led, you embody the truth that no matter what comes our way, America will always come out stronger.  


America endures in the dedication of those who keep us safe.  The firefighter, the officer, the EMT who carries the memory of a fallen partner as they report to work each and every day, prepared to make the same sacrifice for us all.  Because of these men and women, Americans now work in a gleaming Freedom Tower.  We visit our great cities, we fill our stadiums and cheer for our teams.  We carry on, because, as Americans, we do not give in to fear -- ever. 


America endures in the courage of the men and women who serve under our flag.  Over more than a decade of war, this 9/11 Generation has answered our country’s call, and three months from now, our combat mission in Afghanistan will come to an end.  Today, we honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice these 13 years, more than 6,800 American patriots.  And we give thanks to those who serve in harm’s way to keep our country safe and meet the threats of our time.


America endures in that perennial optimism that defines us as a people.  Beginning tomorrow, there will be teenagers –- young adults –- who were born after 9/11.  It’s remarkable.  And while these young Americans did not know the horrors of that day, their lives have been shaped by all the days since -- a time that has brought us pain, but also taught us endurance and strength; a time of rebuilding, of resilience, and of renewal.  What gives us hope –- what gives me hope -– is that it is these young Americans who will shape all the days to come. 


Thirteen years after small and hateful minds conspired to break us, America stands tall and America stands proud.  And guided by the values that sustain us, we will only grow stronger.  Generations from now, Americans will still fill our parks, our stadiums, our cities.  Generations from now, Americans will still build towers that reach toward the heavens; still serve in embassies that stand for freedom around the world; still wear the uniform and give meaning to those words written two centuries ago:  Land of the free.  Home of the Brave.  Generations from now, no matter the trial, no matter the challenge, America will always be America.    


“We count as blessed those who have persevered.” 


May God bless your families, who continue to inspire us all.  May God bless our Armed Forces and all who serve to keep us safe.  And may God continue to bless the United States of America.


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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Archbishop’s Columbus Day Breakfast is in New Haven

NEW HAVEN - The Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools will hold its annual Archbishop’s Columbus Day Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 10 at Anthony’s Ocean View, Lighthouse Road, according to a release.

Proceeds from the event will provide scholarship grants to Catholic students in the Greater New Haven Catholic elementary schools, the release said.

FACS awards approximately $300,000 annually in tuition assistance to hundreds of students of all faiths, who attend Catholic elementary and high schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford," the release said.

Archbishop Leonard Blair will be joined by guest speaker Kerry Robinson, the release said. Robinson, executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, has written on the subjects of: philanthropy, development and faith, the release said. Robinson also is the founding editor of the "Catholic Funding Guide: A directory of Resources for Catholic Activities," now in its 8th edition, the release said.

Robinson’s "mission is to strengthen the affairs of the Church by harnessing the expertise and resources of Catholic senior level executives from all sectors in service" to the church, the release said.

Emcee for the breakfast will be Chuck Mascola, president of the Mascola Group advertising agency.

Sponsorship packages are available. Other opportunities include the purchase of advertisements in the event’s program book, the release said.

Individual tickets for the event are $75 per person. For a reservation call 860-761-7499 or visit for more information.

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

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Reading partners sought for students in Greater New Haven

The Jewish Coalition for Literacy is seeking volunteers to become reading partners to students in area public schools.
The JCL is a nondenominational program that "recruits, trains, places and supports volunteer reading partners in local public schools to read one-to-one with children," according to a release. "Reading partners share the pleasures of reading and the thrill of helping a student enjoy learning."
No prior experience is required, according to the release.
An orientation and information session for new and returning literacy volunteers will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday Sept. 17 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge.
Fay E. Brown, associate research scientist, Yale Child Study Center; Krista Bergin, literacy intervention facilitator, New Haven Board of Education and Cheryl C. Durwin, professor of psychology assistant chairwoman, Psychology Department, Southern Connecticut State University, are panelists who will present "best practices of reading with a child and highlight the importance of reading partners offering children a nurturing opportunity to help them succeed," the release said.
"In just one hour per week, reading partners make a significant positive impact on their students as they enjoy reading and conversation, sharing the pleasures of reading, enabling children to become confident readers and stronger students while improving their English language skills."
Further, volunteers choose the day of the week, time of the day, specific school and grade level of the student with whom they would like to work, the release said. Children who would most benefit from the individualized attention and support are selected by teachers and reading specialists.
For more information and to register for orientation program, email or call 203-387-2424 ex. 308.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Belief in Vampires in Connecticut? You bet

Yes, "When Suspicion Meets Science: Examining....." this issue will be addressed at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum "will add to October’s chill with a timely discussion of a real 'skull-and-crossbones' scenario and an historical belief in vampires, right here in Connecticut," according to a release.

State archaeologist Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni will present “The New England Vampire Folk Belief: The Archeological Evidence” at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Webb Barn at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, 211 Main St., Wethersfield, the release said.

The free presentation will be preceded by a wine reception (by donation) at 6 p.m., the release said. 

"Bellantoni will discuss some new cases of suspected vampirism in the 1800s, and give updates on familiar examples, including the Jewett City Vampires (Connecticut), the Mercy Brown case (Rhode Island), and “Burial Number 4,” in Griswold, Connecticut," the release said.

 Consider this: "In 1990, two Griswold boys playing in a freshly dug gravel pit unearthed two human skulls, leading to a police investigation and a call to the Connecticut Office of State Archaeology. Bellantoni conducted rescue excavations and noted that all the skeletal remains were in proper anatomical position in their graves except for one adult male, who had been beheaded and whose bones were arranged in a 'skull and crossbones' manner," the release said.
"Results of the forensic and historical evidence suggested that the individual was believed to be 'undead' and capable of leaving the grave and 'feeding' on living family members. Vampire feeding was considered by some to be the cause of the tuberculosis, the leading cause of mortality in the Northeast in the 1800s. The re-arrangement of bones, and sometimes the burning of the heart, was considered necessary in order to put the 'vampire' to final rest." 

 The 2014 Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum "Witches and Tombstones Tours," will be held October. 18, 19, 25 and 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details visit:

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Prayer march to end youth violence in New Haven

NEW HAVEN - The Southern Connecticut Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians will hold
a prayer march to end youth violence in the black community at 10 a.m. August 30 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Shelton Avenue in the Newhallville section of the city, according to a release.

“Youth violence is a leading cause of death for young black men between the ages of 10-25. It is time for religious organizations within the community to come together and pray for an end to the senseless acts of crime,”  local UBE President Steven R. Mullins said in the release.
 UBE is working with New Life Kingdom Outreach Ministries Church to organize the prayer march, Mullins said in the release.
The UBE also is reaching out to other pastors and lay leaders in the Newhallville area and the wider New Haven community to participate in the prayer march, the release said.
"This march is neither a protest, nor a political demonstration. It is a time for religious unity. It is a time for us to put what separates us to the side and show these young men that we care about them,” Mullins said, also in the release.

For more information, call Mullins at 203-824-4262

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Read: Department of Defense Press Briefing by Chuck Hagel on James Foley

The following was contained in a Department of Defense release to the media.  Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke of the death of journalist James Foley, who was murdered in Syria.

This release is unedited here:

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHUCK HAGEL: Good afternoon, everybody.

As the U.S. Central Command continues to provide regular updates about our military support to Iraq and Kurdish forces, this afternoon, I want to say a few words about what this assistance has accomplished over the last two weeks and what, based on the president's guidance, we can expect going forward.

Chairman Dempsey will give you a brief summary, including some numbers, on the U.S. military actions to date.

But first, let me offer my deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of Jim Foley, the American journalist who, as you all know, was savagely murdered by the ISIL.

As the Department of Defense confirmed yesterday, earlier this summer, the United States attempted a rescue of a number of American hostages held in Syria, including Jim Foley. We all regret that the mission did not succeed. But I'm very proud -- very proud -- of the U.S. forces that participated in it. And the United States will not relent our efforts to bring our citizens home and their captors to justice.

Jim Foley's murder was another tragic demonstration of the ruthless, barbaric ideology of ISIL. ISIL militants continue to massacre and enslave innocent people and persecute Iraq's Sunni, Shia and Kurdish and minority populations.

Given the nature of this threat, at President Obama's direction and the request of the Iraqi government, the U.S. military has provided assistance to Iraqi security forces in order to protect U.S. personnel and facilities and support Iraq's efforts to counter ISIL in addition to providing humanitarian assistance.

American air strikes and American arms and assistance helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces blunt ISIL's advance around Irbil, where American diplomats and troops are working, and help the Iraqis retake and hold-Mosul Dam. A breach of the dam would have threatened the lives of thousands of Iraqis as well as Americans at our facilities in Baghdad and prevented the Iraqi government from providing critical services to its citizens.

The United States led an international effort to address the humanitarian crisis that unfolded at Mount Sinjar. As there continues to be an acute humanitarian need elsewhere in Iraq, the U.S. appreciates the partnership of the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy and Australia and the United Nations in helping provide relief. I expect more nations to step forward with more assistance in the weeks ahead.

Overall, these operations have stalled ISIL's momentum and enabled Iraqi and Kurdish forces to regain their footing and take the initiative. As Iraqi and Kurdish forces continue to take the initiative, the United States will continue to support them.

But addressing the threat posed by ISIL to the future of Iraq requires political reform in Iraq. The country's peaceful transition of power last week was important, and the United States will continue urging Iraq's new prime minister to establish an inclusive government that is responsive to the needs of all Iraq's citizens. A united Iraq will be a more secure and prosperous Iraq.

Political reform will make it harder for ISIL to exploit sectarian divisions. The United States and the international community will increase support for Iraq in tandem with political progress.

The president, the chairman and I are all very clear eyed about the challenges ahead. We are pursuing a long-term strategy against ISIL because ISIL clearly poses a long-term threat. We should expect ISIL to regroup and stage new offenses.

And the U.S. military's involvement is not over. President Obama has been very clear on this point. Our objectives remain clear and limited -- to protect American citizens and facilities, to provide assistance to Iraqi forces as they confront ISIL, and to join with international partners to address the humanitarian crisis.

With that, I'll ask Chairman Dempsey for his comments and then we will take questions. Thank you.

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

As most of you know, I just returned on Sunday from a trip to Vietnam. And, today, I have my counterpart from Singapore visiting. On Vietnam, it was quite remarkable to be in Vietnam 40 years after our departure from Vietnam to discuss opportunities for a new relationship, building on our historical investment and the incredible sacrifices of those who served there. My engagements in the region reinforced that we have our shoulder behind the rebalance to the Asia Pacific, even as our military confronts challenges in other parts of the world. In fact, on Sunday, I'll depart for Afghanistan.

Which brings me to Iraq. Under the command of General Lloyd Austin at U.S. Central Command, our efforts in Iraq have included to date seven humanitarian airdrop missions delivering 636 bundles of food, water and medical supplies, more than 60 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties daily, each day, and to date, 89 targeted airstrikes conducted by United States Air Force and United States Navy aircraft. These airstrikes have protected U.S. persons and facilities and helped prevent humanitarian crisis.

As Iraq's political future takes shape, I'd emphasize that enduring stability will depend on achieving a credible partner in the Iraqi government that must commit to being much more inclusive with all of its population than it has been thus far.

And with that, I'd be happy to take your questions.


Q: Mr. Secretary, in your comments, you mentioned that ISIL's momentum has been stalled recently, and you said that nonetheless you expect them to regroup. My question is, why not go after ISIL where they started, which is in Syria? I know that you've described a strategy of enabling the Iraqis both politically and militarily to roll back their gains in Iraq, but they do have a sanctuary in eastern Syria. What is the strategy, if it's not to go root them out from, you know, inside Syria? Why not -- why not go that route?

SEC. HAGEL: Well, first, going back to your point about my statement on what our objectives are, which I just restated in my statement, I would also say, in addition to that, that -- and I think the president has been very clear on this -- that we continue to explore all options regarding ISIL and how best we can assist our partners in that area, the Middle East, and particularly in Iraq, against ISIL.

You all know that in the president's request in OCO for a $5 billion antiterrorism fund, it was $500 million in there to assist the moderate opposition. So that's what we're looking at; that's what we're doing. And we will continue to stay focused, as I said, on what we're doing now and exploring all options as we go forward.

Q: (OFF-MIKE) options that you refer to include airstrikes across the border into Syria?

SEC. HAGEL: Like I said, we're looking at all options.


Q: I wanted to ask both of you specifically on the hostage rescue mission. You both have talked extensively over the years about protecting classified information. Even if you (inaudible) were told that the news media was going to publish an article, which is what the State Department says, you revealed it because you thought the media was going to publish something. Why specifically did both of you -- please, both of you answer -- why did you think it was a good idea to officially acknowledge in detail classified information -- a classified mission about a hostage rescue when there are still American hostages there? Are you worried that this has risked other hostages' lives? We now have a leak investigation. And was this an intelligence failure, this mission? But why did you both think it was a good idea to do this? No one's ever seen either of you do this before.

SEC. HAGEL: Why did we think it was a good idea to...

Q: Publicly acknowledge a classified mission for a hostage rescue.

SEC. HAGEL: Well...

Q: The statement came out of this building about it last night.

SEC. HAGEL: Well, to start with, there were a number of news outlets that were aware of the action, of the raid. And it was a decision made by the administration, which we concurred with, to address the mission. Recognizing everything that you said, there's always risk, there continues to be risk in every action or inaction we take.

Also, the administration had informed the families of the hostages of -- of this effort. So it was the decision and it was unanimous that we should, in fact, acknowledge this effort without going into any of the specifics of it, which we, as you know, will not.

As to your question on was this was a failure of intelligence, no. The fact is, as you all know, intelligence doesn't come wrapped in a package with a bow; it is a mosaic of many pictures, of many factors.

The enemy always has a say in everything. The fact is that you have to always work that reality into any decision you make.

But the underlying -- underlining objective was to do everything we could, as the president has said, to rescue these hostages, knowing their lives were in danger, clearly in danger.

It's the responsibility of our government and our leaders to do all we can to take action when we believe there might be a good possibility, a good chance to -- to make a rescue effort successful.

This operation, by the way, was a flawless operation. But the hostages were not there.

So we will do everything that we need to do, that the American people would expect from their leaders, to continue to do everything we can to get our hostages back.

Q: (OFF-MIKE) do you think that -- do you have concerns that hostage lives are at risk? Was it -- was it a good enough reason that the news media was going to write an article about this and do you believe it was an intelligence failure?

GEN. DEMPSEY: The -- I provide military advice. The military advice that was rendered in response to your question was as long as sources and methods are not revealed, that it would be a policy decision on whether to release the information of the raid.

As to whether it was an intelligence failure, I -- I agree completely with -- with the secretary of defense. The mission was executed flawlessly after a significant period of preparation and planning and rehearsal. And the -- it turned out that the hostages were no longer at that location.

Q: You believe they were there at one point?


Q: What were the -- you both addressed this. Talk a little bit more about the long-term strategy against ISIS?

Secretary of State John Kerry said they will be crushed. The president calls them a cancer.

If that's the case, why are U.S. airstrikes so narrowly focused and so limited and why have you delayed providing heavy weapons to the Kurds? It seems the rhetoric doesn't match U.S. efforts to date.

SEC. HAGEL: First of all, we are providing a tremendous amount of military assistance to the Peshmerga through the Iraqi security forces.

It is one country and there's no question that we have been accelerated -- as a matter of fact, all year long, we have been accelerated -- all the requests made by the Iraqi government for lethal assistance and equipment and we continue to do that.

As to the comments made by Secretary Kerry and the president -- and we all share the same evaluation of ISIL -- as the president has said, I've said, the chairman said, Secretary Kerry has said, the -- the defeat of ISIL is not only going to come at the hands of airstrikes.

One of the things that I noted in my -- my comments here at the beginning of this press conference was an inclusive government in Iraq is essential as to how Iraq and the United States and all of our international partners are going to also have to deal with ISIL. Military kinetic actions, airstrikes are -- are part of that.

But it's -- it's bigger than just a military operation and our efforts, as we have executed the president's strategy on this, are specifically targeted, just as the president has said for the reasons he said.

But we are working with international partners, we're working closely with Peshmerga and the ISF. We are doing everything we can within the confines of our influence to assist and recognize, as we've said, to deal with ISIL there in the Middle East and also recognizing that it is a threat, just as we've all said. But it isn't going to just come as a result of airstrikes. Strategically, there are limits to how much you can accomplish with airstrikes. Tactically, you can accomplish a significant amount; I think we've seen that, I've mentioned in my comments here. So it's the broad scope of activity and actions that we take...


Q: ... I mean, the Peshmerga still say they haven't received the heavy weapons that they've requested. And you're creating a task force, I understand, on that?

GEN. DEMPSEY: A task force for the equipping effort with the Kurds? Yes, the secretary has a task force that oversees that. And they have begun to receive supplies, not just, by the way, from us or regional partners, but also from the government of Iraq, which incidentally is not to be discounted as a significant moment, with the possibility that there will be a single state of Iraq in the future. And we are providing, you know, the -- those that were conducting assessments in those joint operations centers have continued to evolve. So this isn't just about airstrikes.

SEC. HAGEL: Margaret?

Q: General, do you believe that ISIS can be defeated or destroyed without addressing the cross-border threat from Syria? And is it possible to contain them?

GEN. DEMPSEY: Let me start from where you ended and end up where you started. It is possible contain -- to contain them. And I think we've seen that their momentum was disrupted. And that's not to be discounted, by the way, because the -- it was the momentum itself that had allowed them to be -- to find a way to encourage the Sunni population of western Iraq and Nineveh province to accept their brutal tactics and -- and their presence among them.

So you ask -- yes, the answer is they can be contained, not in perpetuity. This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated. To your question, can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no. That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border.

And that will come when we have a coalition in the region that takes on the task of defeating ISIS over time. ISIS will only truly be defeated when it's rejected by the 20 million disenfranchised Sunni that happen to reside between Damascus and Baghdad.

Q: And that requires airstrikes (OFF-MIKE)

GEN. DEMPSEY: It requires a variety of instruments, only one small part of which is airstrikes. I'm not predicting those will occur in Syria, at least not by the United States of America. But it requires the application of all of the tools of national power -- diplomatic, economic, information, military.

SEC. HAGEL: Karen?

Q: Talking about ISIL in Syria, my question is for -- both of you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Secretary -- do you -- do you have any information that there is a link, a relation between the Assad regime and ISIL? As you may know, the Assad regime has been striking ISIL for the last few months. Do you see yourself on the same page with the -- with the Assad regime? And do you still believe that Assad is part of the problem or he might become part of the broader solution in the region?

SEC. HAGEL: Well, Assad is very much a central part of the problem. And I think it's well documented as to why. When you have the brutal dictatorship of Assad and what he has done to his own country, which perpetuated much of what is happening or has been happening in Syria, so he's part of the problem, and as much a part of it as probably the central core of it.

As to your question regarding ISIL and Assad, yes, they are fighting each other, as well as other terrorist groups, very sophisticated terrorist groups in -- in Syria.

GEN. DEMPSEY: He is absolutely part of the problem.

SEC. HAGEL: Kevin?

Q: Mr. Secretary, can you address the charges of mission creep with Iraq, going beyond helping humanitarian, beyond protecting Americans to directly going after ISIL, whether through the Iraqis or not? Does the Pentagon believe it has the authority? Have you talked to the general counsel for what you're doing now? Or do you need any kind of additional or different type of authority going forward for what you would like to be able to do?

SEC. HAGEL: Well, to start with, the president has been very clear on mission creep. And he's made it very clear that he will not allow that. This is why he's been very clear on what our mission is. We comply with the War Powers Act and informed Congress on how many people we have.

Of course, we consult with our counsel all the time on do we have the domestic authority, do we have the international authority on all actions, as we do on everything we do. But, again, I refer you back to the president's comments on mission creep. This is -- this is not about mission creep.


Q: I want to ask you to prepare -- talk directly to the American public. Is the -- should the American public be steeled for another long, hard slog against ISIS? Mr. Secretary, in July, you painted them as an imminent threat. Not even George Bush when he was hyping the road to war in Iraq called Saddam Hussein an imminent threat. He called him "grave and gathering."

General Dempsey, you talked about defeating ISIL over time. Should the public start getting prepared for another long, hard slog, like Secretary Rumsfeld talked about, fighting Al Qaida, in the fight to eliminate ISIL?

SEC. HAGEL: Well, as to the comment about an imminent threat, I think the evidence is pretty clear. When we look at what they did to Mr. Foley, what they threatened to do to all Americans and Europeans, what they are doing now, the -- I don't know any other way to describe it other than barbaric. They have no standard of decency, of responsible human behavior, and I think the record's pretty clear on that. So, yes, they are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else.

GEN. DEMPSEY: You've heard me speak, I think, about the fact that we've gone from a narrow focus on Al Qaida to the recognition that, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and these disenfranchise populations that I've described a lack of governance and sanctuary, failed states, declining nationalism -- you've heard me talk about all that -- that we actually have groups that now kind of are loosely connected, in some cases affiliated, that run from Afghanistan across the Arabian peninsula into Yemen to the Horn of Africa and into North and West Africa.

So, in general, the conflict against those groups, most of which are local, some of which are regional, and some of which are global in nature, that's going to be a very long contest. It's ideological. It's not political. It's religious, in many cases. So, yes, it's going to be a very long contest.

But when you ask me if the American people should steel themselves for this long conflict, there will -- there will be required participation in the -- of the United States of America, and particularly in a leadership role, to build coalitions, to provide the unique capabilities that we provide, but not necessarily all the capabilities, to work through this thing using three different military tools.

One is direct action. There will be cases where we are personally threatened, U.S. persons and facilities are threatened, that we will use direct action. If told to use direct action for other purposes, we'll be prepared to do so. Haven't been asked.

The second one is building partner capacity. And that's -- that's really where this has to reside. We've got to have them take ownership of this, because, frankly, if we own it, they're not going to be that interested in it.

And then the last one, of course, is enabling, which is to say enabling our partners, which is what you see us doing somewhat now in Iraq with both the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga, and I think you'll see that enabling function used, as well.

Q: Can I follow up on Tony's please?


Q: You know you were talking about this threat and a war-weary America. And I think most Americans are asking, well, what is the ISIL threat to us here at home? Could either of you describe the terrorist threat that ISIL represents to Americans? And -- and should Americans -- again, to follow up on Tony -- should they be prepared for a perpetual war on terror?

SEC. HAGEL: Well, I'll take the first run at it, and Marty can respond as well.

Jim, what happened in this country on 9/11, 2001, when you ask the question about should Americans see this as any kind of a threat, imminent threat, or what's the -- what's the issue, this is in Iraq, I doubt if there were many people that would have thought there was much of a threat the day before 9/11.

Now, that happened a few years ago. This -- this country is far better prepared today, in every way for this.

But terrorism is not new to the world. The sophistication of terrorism and ideology that the general was talking about, married now, with resources now, presents a whole new dynamic and a new paradigm of threats to this country. The sophistication, technology, money, resources, all that is different.

And we can't ask the question of ourselves as leaders who have the responsibility of the security of this country, saying, well, is it that big a deal? I mean, they're far away.

We don't have that luxury.

Every day the intelligence community of this country and the leaders, regardless of who the administration is, or who the secretary of defense is, or who the chairman is, deals with this every day, that we don't want to face that again, ever, 9/11 or any part of it.

So we -- so we have to look at this, Jim, from the reality of what's out there, but also what could be out there and what could be coming.

And is this a long-term -- sure, it's a long-term threat.

Q: Is it the calculation, though, that ISIL presents a 9/11 level threat to the United States?

SEC. HAGEL: Jim, ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They're beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded.

Oh, this is beyond anything that we've seen. So we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is that you take a cold, steely, hard look at it and-- and -- and get ready.

GEN. DEMPSEY: Well, the immediacy -- the immediacy is in the number of Europeans and other nationalities who have come to the region to become part of that ideology. And those -- those folks can go home at some point.

It's why I have conversations with my European colleagues about their southern flank of NATO, which I think is actually more threatened in the near term than we are. Nevertheless, because of open borders and immigration issues, it's an -- it's an immediate threat. That is to say, the fighters who may leave the current fight and migrate home.

Longer term, it's about ISIL's vision, which includes -- I actually call ISIL, here we go, right, ISIS, I-S-I-S, because it's easier for me to remember that their long-term vision is the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. And al-Sham includes Lebanon, the current state of Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Kuwait.

If they were to achieve that vision, it would fundamentally alter the face of the Middle East and create a security environment that would certainly threaten us in many ways.


Q: I know the president and you all talk about right now, it's Iraq's responsibility to take control of their own country, but isn't the U.S. already at war with ISIS?

GEN. DEMPSEY: Are you looking at me?


SEC. HAGEL: You're the general.

GEN. DEMPSEY: Do I -- do I look like a guy that would answer that question in front of the -- the declaration of war is a policy decision, not a military decision.


Q: Is there any estimate on how much these operations in Iraq have cost so far? And considering you said ISIS poses a long-term threat, and we're gonna -- (inaudible) -- a long-term strategy, might you need to reshape your 2015 budget to accommodate for that?

SEC. HAGEL: Maybe. Well, depending -- first of all, go back to the OCO reference that I mentioned, that we've already asked the Congress in a separate fund, a counterterrorism fund for $5 billion, half a billion of that specifically for the moderate Syrian opposition.

So, yes, you're constantly shaping a budget to assure that resources match the mission and the mission and the resources match the threat.

And it isn't -- it isn't a process that is void of the dynamics of a changing, shifting world and requiring resources, as you plug those resources into your strategy, to assure that you can carry out that -- that strategy.

SEC. HAGEL: So, yes, you're shifting all the time on what you think is going to be required. I mean, we've had to move assets over the last couple of months, obviously, to accomplish what we accomplished in Iraq. That costs money, that takes certain monies out of certain funds. So it's -- it's a constant, fluid process as you -- as you plan for these.

General, you want to say anything?

GEN. DEMPSEY: Yeah, I mean, you know, this -- the adaptations we've made to our global posture and in particular, our regional posture in response to the tasks we've been given has been really remarkable.

It reminds me that -- never to miss the opportunity to thank those who serve in uniform for their incredible agility and courage in dealing with whatever issues confront them. And as you know, there's a lot of -- there's a lot of issues confronting us globally right now and we're answering a call and will continue to do so.

But we -- there may be a point where -- I think we're fine for Fiscal Year '14 and we'll have to continue to gather the data and see what it does to us in '15.

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