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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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Quinnipiac University faculty members win New England Emmy Award for Irish Hunger documentary

 Quinnipiac University faculty members Liam O’Brien and Rebecca Abbott with their New England Emmy Award for the documentary, “Ireland's Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora.”
HAMDEN  – Quinnipiac University faculty members Rebecca Abbott, Liam O’Brien and Christine Kinealy won a New England Emmy Award for the documentary, "Ireland's Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora," according to a release.
“It’s a huge honor to have this sort of recognition for our work,” Abbott, a Hamden resident who co-produced the documentary, said, also in the release. “Since the process of making this documentary took several years, it’s really gratifying and rewarding to know that our efforts are valued in this way.

Abbott also noted: “We’re also especially pleased and encouraged because this award may help us share more widely the complex history of Ireland’s Great Famine.”
“Although Ireland’s Great Hunger took place in the past, it can teach us many important, universal lessons, and give us all greater understanding to help with similar crises happening around the world today.”
"Abbott, who filmed and edited the documentary, and co-producer O'Brien, of Higganum, are both professors in the Department of Film, Television and Media Arts at Quinnipiac." the release said.
“This was a major undertaking, especially in regard to the substantive volume of historical, archival and graphics research required, the need to hear the voices and thoughts of our brilliant group of international researchers led by Christine Kinealy, and the very large number of diverse shooting locations in Ireland, Canada, the United States and Australia undertaken by Rebecca Abbott,” O’Brien said, in the release. “It was a distinct honor to serve as co-producer of this fine film and the stories it tells.”
Watch the video:

Ireland's Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora, narrated by Gabriel Byrne from Rebecca Abbott on Vimeo.

"The 50-minute documentary, narrated by Irish actor Gabriel Byrne, explores not just the potato crop failure that led to mass starvation, death and emigration from 1845 to 1852, but the historical, social and political circumstances that made what is misleadingly called the Great "Famine" almost inevitable."
'The documentary is a powerful testament to the determination of our Irish ancestors to survive, despite the odds,” said Kinealy, a Hamden resident and founding director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute, in the release. “Rebecca's sensitive filming of locations in Ireland, and others in Australia and Canada, interspersed with interviews with descendants of the survivors and commentary from leading historians, provides an accessible, yet poignant insight into the long legacy of the Great Hunger.  I was honored to play a part in its creation.”
"In addition to Kinealy, the documentary features several leading scholars of Irish history, including: Declan Kiberd, University College Dublin and Notre Dame University; Ciaran O'Murchadha, author of "The Great Famine: Ireland's Agony 1845-1852"; Mike Murphy, University College Cork; and Richard Reid, historian, National Museum of Australia."
Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Connecticut pirates at New Haven's Pardee-Morris House

Renwick Griswold. Credit: Jason Ulm
NEW HAVEN - Connecticut has seen its share of pirates and privateers over the years and the New Haven Museum informs us that "according to Renwick Griswold, rumors still circulate of treasure buried by Captain Kidd near the Connecticut River."
Now, Griswold, a "descendant of woman wooed with the aid of a large diamond stolen from one of Captain Kidd’s stashes, and author of 'Connecticut Pirates and Privateers: Treachery and Treasure in the Constitution State,' will bring tales of mariners, 'ooncussers' and mutiny to the Pardee-Morris House" at 2 p.m. July 9, according to a release
The Pardee-Morris House is at 325 Lighthouse road.
"The author of several books relating to the Connecticut River, Griswold is also an associate professor of sociology at the University of Hartford, with a signature class is the sociology of the Connecticut River. He is commodore of the Connecticut River Drifting Society, and has been a short order cook, yacht deliverer, commercial fisherman, truck driver, construction worker, dock pounder, and non-profit executive," the release said.
During his presentation Griswold will discuss historically famous pirates with Connecticut connections—ranging from Blackbeard to Captain Kidd—and explain the role of privateers in United States history. Privateers were essentially government-sanctioned pirates, mariners given license to plunder the fleets of whatever country one’s kingdom was warring with at the moment.
Further, the museum noted its thanks to the Knights of Columbus, Rodrigo Council #44, East Shore Management Team, and Morris Cove neighbors, including the DeCola Family, Frank Pinto and Rosemary Spring, for supporting the 2017 summer season, the release said..
For a list of summer events at the Pardee-Morris House, visit: For New Haven Museum’s event calendar: Sign up for e-blasts at, or call the Museum at 203-562-4183
Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New Haven Symphony Orchestra will present five free performances at libraries

A student trying out a violin at a NHSO Instrument Discovery Zone
NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Symphony Orchestra  will present five free performances of "Creating Musical Readers" at branches of the New Haven Free Public Library from June 26 to  28, according to a release.
"Literacy and music combine when NHSO violist Xinyi Xu brings the musical story of Mole Music to life as she reads to students and her viola becomes part of the story. Children will be enchanted and inspired by the story of Mole, who learns about the magic of music when he plays violin. This program is geared towards children ages four through ten. Each event is free and will also feature a string instrument discovery zone," the release said.
Creating Musical Readers
Monday June 26, 2017
10:30am - New Haven Free Public Library: Ives Main Library (133 Elm Street, New Haven, CT)
Program: Join New Haven Symphony Orchestra musicians for an instrument discovery zone and a performance of Mole Music.
Creating Musical Readers
Monday June 26, 2017 
2:00pm - New Haven Free Public Library: Fair Haven Branch (182 Grand Avenue, New Haven, CT)
Program: Join New Haven Symphony Orchestra musicians for an instrument discovery zone and a performance of Mole Music.
Creating Musical Readers
Tuesday June 27, 2017
3:00pm - New Haven Free Public Library: Mitchell Branch (37 Harrison Street, New Haven, CT)
Program: Join New Haven Symphony Orchestra musicians for an instrument discovery zone and a performance of Mole Music.
Creating Musical Readers
Wednesday June 28, 2017
10:30am - New Haven Free Public Library: Wilson Branch (303 Washington Avenue, New Haven, CT)
Program: Join New Haven Symphony Orchestra musicians for an instrument discovery zone and a performance of Mole Music.
Creating Musical Readers
Wednesday June 28, 2017
3:00pm - New Haven Free Public Library: Stetson Branch (200 Dixwell Avenue, New Haven, CT)
Program: Join New Haven Symphony Orchestra musicians for an instrument discovery zone and a performance of Mole Music.
Tickets: This event is free. No tickets are required.
NHSO Words & Music literacy programs are made possible by a grant from the NewAlliance Foundation.

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

Friday, June 2, 2017

James Monroe (yes that James Monroe) to visit New Haven again

According to the New Haven MuseumJames Monroe "will return to New Haven 200 years after his original visit—not in human or spectral form, but in a special, travelling exhibit: 'In the Spirit of the People: James Monroe's 1817 Tour of the Northern States.'”
Further, "Never one to fall behind in fashion, Monroe will be tweeting about his experience once he arrives in the Elm City. Though he is new to Twitter, his messages are expected to be relatively erudite," according to a release.
The commemorative exhibit will open at the New Haven Museum on June 3, and run through June 24, 2017, the release said.
Monroe’s tweets are available:at
Monroe, fifth president of the U.S. visited New Haven June 20-22, 1817, visiting the large Eli Whitney arms manufacturing facility, the release noted.
“'In the Spirit of the People' is made up of 10 full-color vinyl banners containing images, quotations, and captions to present a history of (Monroe's) northern tour and convey a sense of the exuberance it generated," the release said.  "The first three banners introduce viewers to James Monroe and offer an overall summary of the tour.  The next six banners focus on specific locations that Monroe visited, with one banner dedicated to each.  The final banner offers interactive educational links as well as credits for the exhibit's sponsorship and preparation.
"The exhibit is a joint project of The James Monroe Museum and The Papers of James Monroe, both of which are administered by the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia."
The New Haven Museum is at 114 Whitney Ave. For more information visit or call 203-562-4183.
Editor's note: All information and the photos in this post were contributed by the New haven Museum. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

5 tips for hurricane preparedness in Connecticut

Register file photo
In a news release, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state emergency management officials reminded Connecticut residents that the first day of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is June 1, and it runs through Nov. 20.
Further, the release noted: "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Atlantic hurricane season forecast for 2017 is predicting an above average season with 11 to 17 named storms, 5 to 9  hurricanes, and 1 to 4 major hurricanes.
“One single hurricane or tropical storm can have a lasting impact,” Malloy said in the release.  “We urge all residents to take three simple preparedness steps: get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed.  These three steps will help to ready everyone for any weather emergency you may encounter.”
Connecticut residents can also download the state’s emergency preparedness app for smart phone and tablet devices, the release said.  The app is available free and can be downloaded in the Apple iTunes store and the Google Play store by searching “CT Prepares,” according to the release.
The release provided this list of preparedness tips for Connecticut residents:
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit
  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation; at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both; flashlight and extra batteries; first aid kit; a whistle to signal for help
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation; wrench or pliers to turn off utilities; a manual can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps; cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Medicine or any special need items, including diapers for infants; Food and litter requirements for any pets
Also in the release: 
Family Emergency Plan
  • Identify an out-of- town contact.  It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone.  If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know.  Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
  • Teach family members how to use text messaging.  Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through, and it uses less battery life.  Plan ahead and pre-set a family group text conversation in your phones.
  • Subscribe to alert services.  Go to to register for emergency alerts.
Protecting Your Possessions
  • It is important to review your insurance policies yearly and especially prior to the start of hurricane season.
  • Review your policy with an agent, or contact the Connecticut Insurance Department to understand what is covered and what your coverage limits are to ensure you are receiving adequate protection.
  • Keep your policies and insurance contact information in a safe place.
  • Make an inventory of your possessions should your property be damaged and you have to make a claim.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

'Beauty and the Beetle' at Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven

NEW HAVEN - "Beauty and the Beetle: Coleoptera in Art and Science", opens May 27, at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, according to release.
The exhibition, on view through Aug.t 6, "combines select beetle specimens from the Peabody collections with larger than life beetle-inspired art by New Haven sculptor Gar Waterman and Bethany photographer William Guth, both masters of their craft," according to the release.
Like "Dinosaurs Take Flight," which is also on view at the Peabody, "Beauty and the Beetle" employs "the interpretive nature of art to augment the science presented by engaging audiences and arousing the imagination in ways not available to science alone," the release said.
A larger goal of "Beauty and the Beetle" "is the quest for “the deeper appreciation for the fantastic creatures that call Earth home – including humanity – and encourage us to reflect and respect the environments that support us all," the release said.
Editor's note:
Metal sculpture by Gar Waterman of a scissor-jawed longhorn beetle
Photograph by William Guth of a New Guinea spotted longhorn beetle.

More (also from the release):
Beetles are a group of insects that form the order Coleoptera. Their front pair of wings is hardened into wing-cases, called elytra, distinguishing them from most other insects. They include more species than any other order and constitute nearly a quarter of all known types of animal life. Of the one million species of insects known to scientists today, nearly half – about 400,000 – are beetles. They are found in habitats across the globe, and take on a wide variety of shapes and sizes, the largest being 400 times longer than the smallest.
Actual specimens are small if not miniscule. Waterman and Guth met the challenge of transforming the microscopic into the extraordinary, the mundane into the heroic, by supersizing the scale of these fascinating creatures. Waterman, who calls himself “a nature-obsessed artist whose work explores the architecture of natural design,” pairs larger than life metal sculptures with beetle specimens to reveal by altered scale the remarkable details of beetle anatomy. To inform his work, he met with Munstermann and fellow entomologist Bill Krinsky and, in the Peabody Division of Entomology, observed specimens to learn about their anatomy.
The art form he employs is bricolage, a construction of whatever materials come to hand. His sculptures were initially inspired by metal stampings that were cast-offs from an automobile brake parts manufacturer. They resembled insect legs. “What began as found object art evolved into a science lesson in entomology,” Waterman explains. “The more I studied beetles to inform my art work, the more fascinated I became with their extraordinary biology and biodiversity.”
A video in the exhibition shows Waterman at work in his Westville studio transforming brake parts into adult beetle sculptures. The work requires a lot of cutting and shaping using numerous tools to which this artist is no stranger – industrial laser cutter, angle grinder, TIG welder, and MIG’s electric arc. Hundreds of individual welds are required to complete each section of the sculpture.
The magnificent oversized beetle photographs in the exhibition – high resolution color inkjet prints – are the work of William Guth. Both art and anatomy lesson, they feature amazing colors and exoskeleton topographies that straddle the line between abstract art form and biology. Guth cites three elements of his macro photography that were significant to capturing the fine detail of specimens this size – lighting, camera control, and photo-editing software. Fourteen images of a subject were taken at different focal points, then combined to produce a fully focused image and selectively enhanced detail.
The beetles on display are stunning themselves, representing the amazing beauty and complexity of nature’s art. The largest group of beetles are the weevils, or snout beetles of the Curculionidae family. One of six groups of Coleoptera on display, they comprise about 90,000 species – more than all species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles (including birds), and mammals combined – and range in size from a grain of sand to 1.5 inches long.
Other Coleoptera on view include the stag beetles (Lucanidae family), longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae family), scarab beetles (Scarabaeidae family), and ground beetles (Carabidae family). In each case, specimens show the many extraordinary variations of rostrums, antennae, mandibles, and other features. 

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