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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.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Orange artist's work to be displayed at Case Memorial Library

By Violet Nastri
The oil paintings of local artist Violet Nastri will be on display during December at the Case Memorial Library in Orange as part of the library's "Art in the Library" series, according to a release.
All are invited to join Nastri at an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8.

Nastri, an Orange artist, specializes in paintings that "capture the natural beauty of the outdoors," the release noted. "An avid drawer and painter since childhood," Nastri "has always had a keen eye for color and light. With a love for traditional oil painting, she today works to evoke emotion through landscapes set in some of her favorite places along the East Coast."

Nastri's current show "is an expression of the artist's love of New England with landscapes inspired by local farms, woodlands, ponds and streams. Her seascapes capture the many changing faces of the ocean. Whether the scene is of the crashing of a wave, or the calm of a marsh at sunrise, the viewer is transported to the moment, imparting feelings of calm and tranquility while staying true to the places represented. This show contains paintings using both plein-air and studio techniques to create scenes from Connecticut, Cape Cod and Maine."

Also: Nastri is a graduate of Fairfield University, where she studied art and interior design. After a 25-year career in interior design, she decided to focus exclusively on her lifelong love of painting. "She has continued to expand her artistic skills through studies with various Connecticut artists, and has achieved elected artist member status in the Madison Art Society, where her paintings have been shown in juried shows," the release said.

Nastri is a member of the American Society of InteriorDesigners and holds national interior design accreditation. Local interests include membership in the Garden Club of Orange and the Orangewood Woman's Club, the release said..

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

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Race Brook School students and families give to those in need

By Valerie Anton
The students of the Race Brook School Student Council under the leadership of teachers, JoAnne Escandon and Pam Galatioto, organized their annual food drive this fall to benefit Fish of Greater New Haven, Inc. and the Orange Community Center, a non-profit food pantry that serves New Haven and Orange residents in food crisis.
Founded in 1968, FISH continues to help those who are homebound, elderly, disabled, unemployed or under employed (

The Student Council’s message for the food drive was, “As you count your own blessings, please support our community food drive!” The entire student body, with the help of their parents, whole-heartedly participated in donating over 600 pounds of non-perishable food items, including supermarket gift cards. The council members proudly presented the donations to FISH on behalf of the school. “ Working on the food drive is fun and hard work. I learned to always try your best to help others,” says fifth graders Sarah G.

The photo (above) shows enthusiastic student members who willingly dedicated their time and energy to collect the donated food items. Top row left to right the members are: Grace Mahon, Adana Blair, Katie Sim, Frankie Cavallaro; bottom row: Julie Chen, Julianna Barrett, Charlotte Pellegrino, Kayleigh Fitzpatrick, and Sarah Ginsberg.
The children from the town of Orange prove once again that they put their hearts into giving to those in need.
“Helping people in need made me feel great! My father always tells me it’s not the money that you give, it’s the time that you donate. I am very proud of the whole school for bringing in so much food to really help others,” emphatically states fifth grader Kaleigh F.
Editor's note: Valerie Anton is public relations coordinator for the Race Brook School Student Council. This is a guest post.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History bestows it highest honors

Sir David Attenborough, May Berenbaum, Naomi Pierce, Neil Shubin and Geerat Vermeij
received the Yale Peabody Museum’s prestigious Verrill Medal in a ceremony at Yale University
NEW HAVEN - Sir David Frederick Attenborough, the "renowned British naturalist, broadcaster and documentary filmmaker,"  was among five "giants in the fields of natural history and natural science to receive the Addison Emery Verrill Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the curators of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History", at a ceremony at the Yale Law School, according to a release.
"With the knowledge Attenborough could not attend the November ceremony, Peabody Director David Skelly traveled to London and presented the award to Attenborough on the occasion of his 90th birthday in May. The private ceremony was taped and kept under wraps until Friday when it was shared with the Law School audience."
Also in the release and presented unedited here:
Attenborough has devoted his life to celebrating and preserving wildlife and bringing it into countless homes worldwide via his nature documentaries. His celebrated Life series, beginning with Life on Earth in 1976 in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, collectively form a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on the planet. His practice of filming wildlife on location and at a respectful distance set the standard for the modern nature documentary. During his lifetime of achievement, he has received a myriad of honors. He was knighted in 1985, received the Order of Merit from Queen Elizabeth in 2002 and holds at least 31 honorary degrees from British universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.
Accepting medals in person were four eminent U.S. scientists: May Berenbaum ('75), Swanlund Chair and head of Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Naomi Pierce ('76), Hessel Professor of Biology and curator of Lepidoptera, Harvard University; Neil Shubin, the Robert R. Bensley Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago; and Geerat Vermeij (PhD '71), Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California at Davis.
Created in 1959 to honor “signal practitioners in the arts of natural history and natural sciences,” the Verrill Medal is the highest honor bestowed by the curators of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. It is named for Addison Emery Verrill, Yale’s first professor of zoology and one of the Peabody’s first curators, who described more than 1,000 species across virtually every major taxonomic group during a long and illustrious career. Through his efforts, the Peabody’s zoological collections became one of the most renowned in the United States.
Since the award’s inception, there have been just 18 recipients. They include Ernst Mayr, George Gaylord Simpson, G. Ledyard Stebbins, G. Evelyn Hutchinson, John H. Ostrom, Peter Raven, E.O. Wilson and Alison Richard.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Learn how you can help a dedicated NY Jazz ensemble

A new crowdfunding campaign has just been launched to raise money for Binghamton University’s Harpur Jazz Ensemble, according to a release.
"More than just a musical education, Binghamton University has been providing students with community, friendships, and connections that last a lifetime," the release said. "The Harpur Jazz Ensemble is a group of talented and passionate students who study and perform big-band repertoire for the community and student body."
However, despite "an enormous impact on the local community the group has seen an alarming drop in budget over the past year," the release said.  Therefore, "the launch of their crowdfunding campaign is to raise funds for new instruments, upgraded technology, and better rooms and furniture so they can continue to spark the love for music and its many intellectual benefits in others." 

"Our ensemble doesn't just give these kids an education in music theory, technique, and history. It's an education in community," alumni and crowdfunding organizer Ben Wood said, also in the release. “The friendships and connections we create are for life.” 

"The intent of the campaign is to raise funds for new instruments, upgraded technology, and better rooms and furniture so they can continue to spark the love for music and its many intellectual benefits in others."

"It [music] influences our emotions, makes us think in different ways, and teaches us how to work together,” Wood also said. “I would hate to see something so all-encompassing and vital be unavailable to all the students who share this passion for music."

Donations can be made through the Binghamton crowdfunding page:

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 27, 2016

'The Give Back' event coming up in New Haven Nov. 19

You can help meet the needs of New Haven charities this holiday season.

NEW HAVEN - Resident Donna Thompson is hosting a food and clothing drive for Barbara's House Ministries and other non-profit organizations in the city from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov 19 at the Stetson Library, 200 Dixwell Ave.
Donations of non-perishable food items and clothing will be accepted for the neighborhood children in need prior to and during the event.
Please consider donating!
For more information, contact Donna at the or by calling 203-600-3028.
Thank you in advance for participating.

You can find more information on Barbara's House Ministries on Facebook.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac's new exhibition, ‘Visualizing Irish Independence’

HAMDEN -  Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University will present the exhibition, “Visualizing Irish Independence,” beginning  Oct. 27, in the Arnold Bernhard Library on Quinnipiac’s Mount Carmel Campus, 275 Mount Carmel Ave., according to a release.
The exhibition is curated by professor Christine Kinealy, director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, and Robert Young, the university’s Irish special collections librarian, the release said .
“'Visualizing Irish Independence,' is based on a cartoon collection from the late 19th century gifted to the institute by Gerald Moran, a research fellow at Galway University in Ireland,." the release said. "The color cartoons illustrate the Irish nationalist movement and depict historical figures of the day, including Irish political leader Charles Stewart Parnell and British Prime Minister William Gladstone."
“Some of the cartoons support Irish independence, which at the time was called, ‘Home Rule,’ and some of them oppose it,” Kinealy said, also in the release. “It is very clear, when you look at the images, that different newspapers had different political perspectives.”
The exhibition, free and open to the public, will feature 15 cartoons and rare books on Parnell and the politics of the day, the release said. It will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

At the museum/ Helen Bennett

Also of note, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University will reopen to the public on Nov. 2. The museum has been closed since July for renovations 

The reopening includes a temporary display on Connecticut humanitarian Elihu Burritt, with a portrait of Burritt on loan from the Elihu Burritt Library at Central Connecticut State University, according to a release.

More about Quinnipiac University

You also can connect with Quinnipiac on Facebook:  and follow Quinnipiac on Twitter @QuinnipiacU.
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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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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