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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, October 11, 2016

A literary win for Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum

Photo by Helen Bennett
Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University’s second series of Famine Folios received first place in the American Alliance of Museums’ 2016 museum publication competition, according to a release.
"The AAM represents more than 30,000 museum professionals, institutions and corporate partners serving the museum field and is the lead organization for museums in the United States," the release noted.
“We are honored to receive this award from the AAM and delighted that the quality and scholarship of the Folios are being recognized by our peer institutions,” said Grace Brady, executive director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, also in the release.
"The museum’s Famine Folio series are a unique resource for students, scholars, researchers and general readers. The essays are interdisciplinary in nature, and make available new research in Famine studies by internationally established scholars in history, art history, cultural theory, media history, political economy, literature and music. They are richly illustrated with works from the museum and related collections."
Photo by Helen Bennett
Also in the release: these award-winning authors and titles were published in fall 2015 and are available for purchase at L. Perry Curtis Jr., “Notice to Quit: The Great Irish Famine Evictions”; Michael Foley, “Death in Every Paragraph: Journalism & the Great Irish Famine”; Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, “I mBéal an Bháis: The Great Famine & the Language Shift in Nineteenth-century Ireland”; and Robert Smart, “Black Roads: The Famine in Irish Literature.”
Further, "the third series of Famine Folios will be released in October, 2016. The authors and titles are: Angela Bourke, “Voices Underfoot: Memory, Forgetting, and Oral Verbal Art”; Tadhg Foley, “Death by Discourse? Political Economy and the Great Irish Famine”; Paschal Mahoney, “Grim Bastilles of Despair: The Poor Law Union Workhouses in Ireland”; Mick Moloney, “Across the Western Ocean: Songs of Leaving and Arriving” (including CD); and Vincent Woods, “Leaves of Hungry Grass: Poetry and Ireland’s Great Hunger.”
Ireland's Great Hunger Museum reopens to the public on Nov. 2. The museum’s hours are: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

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

Monday, October 10, 2016

Learn pumpkin carving at the Stratford Library

Joe Pedoto
The Stratford Library will offer “Pumpkin Carving Techniques” led by Stratford graphic artist Joe Pedoto at 7 p.m. Oct. 24, according to a release.
"The program, one of several special events being offered through November 13 in conjunction with the Library’s 'One Book, One Stratford' series, is free and open to the public," the release said.
          Pedoto’s favorite holiday is Halloween, the release said. "He’s been a graphic artist and designer for over 35 years and his work ranges from limited edition silk screen printmaking with the artists Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Alex Katz, Will Barnet and LeRoy Neiman to digital print, web and photography projects (including 3D photography). He and his wife, Aimee were volunteers for 11 years with the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. For the Library program, Pedoto will have several pumpkins along with the stencils and images he uses to transfer designs. He will explain the tools he uses and each stage of the process for creating unique and beautiful Halloween pumpkins."
The event will be held in the Stratford Library’s Lovell Room.
 For more information, call the Library’s Programs and Public Relation Office at 203-385-4162 and for a complete list of “One Book” events visit:
  In the photo: Stratford graphic artist Joe Pedoto (right) with one of his pumpkin creations will be the special guest speaker for “Pumpkin Carving Techniques” at the Stratford Library on Oct. 24.
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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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Connecticut Motorists: Watch for Deer and Moose this Fall

Deer a little later in the season
 The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is reminding motorists to watch out for deer and moose along roadways, especially during early morning and evening hours, according to a release.
"September through October is the peak of the breeding season for Connecticut's small but expanding moose population in the northern part of the state. The breeding season (also known as "the rut") for white-tailed deer closely follows the moose breeding season, running from late October through late December," the release said.
Further, DEEP’s Wildlife Division "says motorists should be aware and heed 'Deer Crossing' signs along state highways. Motorists are advised to slow down and drive defensively should a deer or moose be spotted on or by the road," the release noted. "Because moose are darker in color and stand much higher than deer, observing reflective eye-shine from headlights is infrequent and, when struck, moose often end up impacting the windshield of vehicles."

Moose and deer vehicle collisions should be reported to local, state, or DEEP Environmental Conservation police at 860-424-3333.

“During 2015, approximately 4,500 deer were killed in the state due to collisions with vehicles,” Rick Jacobson, director of the DEEP Wildlife Division, said, also in the release. “A total of 40 moose-vehicle accidents have been reported in Connecticut between 1995 and 2016, with an average of two per year since 2002.  Moose-vehicle accidents are expected to increase as the moose population expands.”

"Most of Connecticut is not considered ideal habitat for moose because the state’s landscape is fragmented, roadways have high traffic volume, and moose have large home ranges (approximately 10-15 square miles). Moose venturing into southern Connecticut, with high population density, road networks, and traffic volumes, pose an increased potential for human fatalities from accidents as compared to deer-vehicle accidents. Residents throughout the state are encouraged to report moose sightings on the DEEP website at"

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Fiesta Latina at the Peabody in New Haven Oct. 8


The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, with Junta for Progressive Action, Inc., will hold the 14th  “Fiesta Latina,” an annual celebration of Latin American cultures, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Oct. 8, according to a release.

The event is free and open to the public, the release said.
"The Great Hall of Dinosaurs is the stage for music and dance performances throughout the day," and at 11 a.m. students of Mariachi Academy of Connecticut will perform traditional Mariachi song and dance, the release said.
Further, at noon X Dance Group will entertain with merengue, salsa and bachata music; at 12:40 p.m. Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale will perform traditional folk dances from several regions of Mexico; at 1 p.m. African Arawak Connection will present Taino and Caribbean music; at 1:45 p.m. Baila Peru; and at 2:30 p.m. Ray Gonzalez and his Latin Jazz Quintet will perform, the release said..
"Specimens and artifacts from Latin America and around the world will be on display with an opportunity to meet an archaeologist.  Live creatures found in Latin America will greet visitors too," the release said. 
Fur, Feathers & Beyond will have live birds from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Curious Creatures live animals from noon to 3 p.m.
Also, Latin American games and craft activities will be offered for children as well as face painting and a mineral dig, coloring a maraca with the Yale Latino Networking Group and decorating a Latin American bird with the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.  Numerous organizations will hold additional activities and awareness booths throughout the day.
Fiesta Latina is sponsored UNIVISION, UNIMAS Hartford, and Yale Latino Networking Group, the release said.
Other information:

The Peabody is at 170 Whitney Ave., New Haven, is open 10-5 Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 on Sunday. The Museum is closed Monday EXCEPT on Columbus Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents Day.  The Museum is closed January 1, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving and Dec. 24 & 25. Admission is $13 adults, $9 seniors, $6 children 3-18 and college students with I.D.  Children under 3 are free as are all visitors on Thursdays from 2 to 5 pm from September through June. Visit for additional program and exhibition information. 

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pequot Museum unveils collection of 17th Century battlefield artifacts

English woodcut of the Battle of Mistick Fort (“Mistick Massacre”), 1638.
Mashantucket, Conn. - The Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center will unveil the largest collection of 17th Century battlefield artifacts on display in New England in its new Pequot War Exhibit, opening on Oct. 1 in the museum’s Pequot War Gallery, according to a release.
"Showcasing more than 50 recently-recovered objects from the Battle of Mistick Fort (May 26, 1637), the exhibit is the culmination of an innovative, seven-year battlefield archaeology and preservation project led by the museum, and was also made possible through extensive public, private and tribal support," the release said.
Further, visitors will be "introduced to the exhibit through a Pequot narrative of the events surrounding the battle, one of the most controversial and significant events in the Colonial and Native history of America," the release said. 
"On display are never-before-seen military and personal items carried by Native warriors and Colonial soldiers on the day of battle. Visitors will explore artifacts including Native amulets, knives, ornaments, hair pieces, and jewelry, as well as European hand-hammered gun parts and musical instruments recovered from the battlefield. A large sample of lead musket balls as well as brass arrow points fired during battle – and bent upon impact with armor – are also on display."
“Our exhibit reveals exciting and significant new insights into the military tactics, arms and equipment employed by Native and English forces alike,” said Jason Mancini, director of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, also in the release. “It also showcases the science, technology and methods used in surveying the Mistick Fort Battlefield, which are among the most advanced in the field. The exhibit is bound to captivate visitors, whether they’re interested in archaeology or military, tribal, or early American history.”
"Part of the museum’s Battlefields of the Pequot War project, Mistick Fort Battlefield is the earliest surveyed battlefield in New England. With grants from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, and by partnering with the Office of the Connecticut State Archaeologist, the Connecticut State Historian, and local historical societies and museums, the Pequot Museum continues its archaeological survey to better understand all aspects of the Pequot War."
The new Pequot War Exhibit will serve as a foundation for future expansions in the Pequot War Gallery, the release said. More information on the "Battlefields of the Pequot War" project can be found at
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Monday, September 19, 2016

'Irish Studies Program at Fairfield University Presents Film Series'

FAIRFIELD  —“The Irish in Film,” a free movie series sponsored by the Irish Studies Program at Fairfield University, begins Sept. 28, with the first of its five films, according to a release.
"The series, now in it ninth year, is part of Fairfield University’s 'Arts & Minds' season of cultural and intellectual programs and is open to the public," the release said.
The films will be shown in the Multimedia Room of the University’s DiMenna-Nyselius Library, on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.
All five films will be introduced by a member of the Irish Studies faculty, who will field questions from the audience after the screenings.
Sept. 28: The award-winning “Pilgrim Hill” (2012) "directed by Gerard Barrett who wrote and directed the documentary-style film. The story focuses on Jimmy Walsh (Joe Mullins), a bachelor farmer living in the west of Ireland and caring for his sickly father. The film explores the themes of loneliness, isolation and caregiving. The film premiered at the Galway Film Festival, where it won the 2012 award for best new Irish talent. Barrett also won the Best New Talent award at the NY Irish Film Festival (2012). The screening has been made available by the Irish Film Institute. Adjunct Professor John E. Feeney, who teaches the course in the Irish language, will introduce the film."
Oct. 5, director Neil Jordan’s “Michael Collins” (1996) will be presented. "The film stars Liam Neeson in the title role as the charismatic leader of the Irish Volunteers, whose guerilla warfare against the British proved so effective. Irish actor Stephen Rea plays Ned Broy, an Ulster Protestant and government employee, who sympathizes with the Republican cause. An interesting aspect of the film is Jordan’s implication of Eamon de Valerna’s role in the 1922 assassination of Michael Collins. Dr. Kevin Cassidy, Associate Professor of Politic
s, will introduce the film."
Oct. 12: The film is “August Rush (2013) directed by Kirsten Sheridan, and described as a “modern musical fairytale.”
"The film is about a teenage musical prodigy (Freddie Highmore), who has been separated from his musician parents, (Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Keri Russell), who in turn have been separated from each other. Like Mozart, the boy hears music in his head and believing in its magical powers, sets out on a quest to find his parents in New York City.  Dr. Robert Epstein, Associate Professor of English, will introduce the film."
Oct. 19, the fast-paced British thriller set in Northern Ireland, “71” (2014) will be presented. The film was written by Gregory Burke, directed by Yann Demange, and stars Jack O’Connell, as Gary, a British soldier from Derbyshire who is caught behind enemy lines during an ugly riot on the Falls Road in west Belfast. The plot involves a fifth column (“the enemy within”) with Republican operatives working for British intelligence.  Dr. William Abbott, associate professor of History and Co-Director of Irish Studies, will introduce the film.
Oct. 26 “Brooklyn” (2015), based on Colm Toibin’s best-selling novel, directed by Jack Crowley with screenwriter Nick Hornby. "The film features Saoirse Roan as Eilis Lacey, the young, intelligent immigrant who makes a new life for herself in 1950s Brooklyn with the help of an Irish-American priest from home, Father Flood (Jim Broadbent). Eilis, whose name suggests Ellis Island, meets Tony, an Italian-American plumber, and everything seems settled until Eilis returns to Ireland for her sister’s funeral. There she quickly becomes absorbed into her own culture, but as a more accomplished and glamorous version of her old self. The film addresses the issue of women’s emigration in post-World War II America—both the gains and the losses.  Dr. Nels Pearson, Professor of English, will introduce the film."

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Congregation Mishkan Israel to hold Unity Concert

HAMDEN -  Congregation Mishkan Israel will act as host for a Unity Concert at 6 p.m. on Sept.  21  785 Ridge Road, according to a release.
"Join us for an evening of diverse melody, harmony, and rhythm – celebrating our community coming together in sound and song," the release said.
The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, the release said.

The Unity Concert will feature Spanish Guitar, Afro-Semitic, Classical, Rap, Arabic and African Drumming, Queer 5 Dancers, Buddhist Bells, Russian Violinist, Inner-city Children Orchestra, and other artists, according to the release.

"The community is invited to join us for this peaceful night."  Congregation Mishkan Israel is a reform synagogue, the 14th oldest congregation in the United States, and the oldest continuously operating one in New England. 
For more information, call the synagogue office at (203) 288-3877.

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


Monday, September 12, 2016

Greater Danbury Irish Festival coming up

This post is submitted by Wendy Ann Mitchell
DANBURY — The Greater Danbury Irish Festival is bigger and better than ever this year with live Irish music, Irish dance, cultural activities in the cultural tent, Irish food and beer and a children's area with games, music and tons of fun. It takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16, 17 and 18, 2016 and is presented by the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, the Men's and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, committee members and volunteers.

The brainchild of Gerry Curran, former President of the Danbury Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish Festival began in 1995 at Rogers Park in Danbury with the help of Sharon Higgins. Twenty-one years ago, Curran had the dream to bring an Irish music and culture festival to Danbury. Now held at the Charles Ives Concert Park, the festival offers Irish food, fellowship and fun for people of all ages.
John Feeney, an Irish Gaelic language instructor, heads up the cultural tent which showcases a broad range of Irish heritage and gives festival-goers an up close experience of Irish traditional music, Gaelic language, history, dance, genealogy, film, theater and literature through live performances, displays, lectures and workshops in the tent. Anyone with an interest in Irish culture can sign up for classes and activities at the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center.
Kathy Hannigan has organized a number of activities for children at the youth area tent including face painting, crafts, genealogy coloring page, sand art, jewelry making and story telling. A Halloween parade is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. on Saturday. Children can bring their own costume or wear one from the youth area. Prizes will be awarded for most creative costumes.
New this year for kids and teens will be a "Selfie Scavenger Hunt" beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday and2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Participants should be at the youth area 15 minutes before the scheduled start time for clues and instructions. Prizes will be awarded. The youth area hours are Saturday from 12 – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 – 5:30 p.m.
All weekend long there will be displays on Women of the Easter Rising, Book of Kells, Irish crochet, Irish language and classes, Irish family histories, genealogy, Irish blessings, Irish literature, history of the potato famine, Irish traditional music history and classes and much more.
The Greater Danbury Irish Festival will be held at the Ives Concert Park, 48 Lake Avenue, Danbury on Friday, September 16, Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, 2016.

Entertainment on the Main Stage:
Friday, Sept. 16, 2016:
  • Traveling Danburys – 6:45 – 8:00 p.m.
  • The Go Set (Australia) – 8:15 – 10 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016:
  • Steve O’Tree and Friends 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Ringrose & Freeman w/ Special Guest Mary Gardner – 1:00-2:00 p.m.
  • Ashurst Irish Dance – 2:00 – 2:40 p.m.
  • Tipperary Knights – 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Celtic Cross Pipe & Drums – 4:00 – 4:40 p.m.
  • Ashurst Irish Dance – 4:45 – 5:15 p.m.
  • Celtic Cross Pipe & Drums – 6:00 – 6:40 p.m.
  • Mighty Ploughboy Nation 4 – 6:45  8:00 p.m.
  • The Peelers (Canada) – 8:15 – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016
  • Poor Richard (Rhode Island) – 12:00 – 1:15 p.m
  • Petri School Of Dance – 1:45 – 2:15 p.m.
  • Highland Rovers – 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
  • Petri School Of Dance – 3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Cunningham Brothers – 4:45 – 6:00 p.m.
Cultural Tent Entertainment Schedule:
Friday, Sept. 16, 2016:
  • Dance performance and workshop - Thorne Academy of Irish Dance – 7 – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016:
  • Traditional Irish Music – Liz & Gordon – 1 – 2 p.m.
  • Traditional Irish Music – Fiddleuisce – 2 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Presentation on the Women of the Easter Rising – Marilyn Madigan LAOH Historian – 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Step Dance Workshop – Ashurst Irish Dance – 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Traditional Irish Music – Ringrose & Freeman w/special guest Mary Gardner (Bodhrán) – 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Saturday Night Ceili – Green Gate Céilí Band – 7-10 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016:
  • Uilleann Piper- Matt Connolly – 1 – 2 p.m.
  • Traditional Irish Music – Shamrogues – 2 – 3 p.m.
  • Traditional Irish Music – Fiddleuisce – 3 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Presentation on the Women of the Easter Rising – Marilyn Madigan LAOH Historian – 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Thorne Academy of Irish Dance – performance and workshop – 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Admission Prices:
Friday (Hours- 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.):
  • $5 Friday night only
  • $2 with a student ID
  • Children 12 and under are free
  • Cash, Visa, and Master Card is accepted
Saturday (Hours 11 a.m.– 10 p.m.):
  • $12 per day or $25 for a weekend pass
  • Enter before 1 p.m. for 1/2 price admission
  • "Halfway to St. Patrick's Day" $2 discount for wearing green
  • Children 12 and under are free
  • Cash, Visa, and Master Card is accepted
Sunday (Hours 11 a.m.– 6 p.m.):
  • $12 per day or $25 for a weekend pass
  • Children 12 and under are free
  • Cash, Visa, and Master Card is accepted
Raffle Tickets:
  • Tickets are $5 each
  • First Prize is $2,000
  • Second Prize is $1,000
  • Third Prize $500
  • Call Sharon O’Rourke at 203-470-7570 for tickets
For more information, click here, email or call the club at 203-739-0010.
Photo by Wendy Ann Mitchell
Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.