Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jump right in

Welcome 2009 with a day of activities and an icy swim

NEW HAVEN — Elm City Parks Conservancy will hold "First Day New Haven,’’ a winter fund-raising festival featuring the eighth annual Polar Plunge for Parks from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 1 at Lighthouse Park.
First Day New Haven is a fun, exciting and invigorating way to begin the New Year and is a family-oriented event, organizers said.
Admission is free and this year the event will feature horse carriage rides, lighthouse tours, a wintry volleyball tournament, a treasure hunt dig, a sand sculpting contest, live music, children’s games, a hearty brunch, plenty of hot cocoa and more, organizers said.
For more information, call (203) 627-0178. To obtain Polar Plunge for Parks pledge forms, e-mail firstdayplunge@gmail.com

Monday, December 22, 2008

Being Eleanor

NEW HAVEN — The public is invited to enjoy "An Evening with Eleanor Roosevelt" from 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 11 at the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St.
The event features, actress Jean Lane, shown, who created a one-woman show to highlight portions of Roosevelt’s life, especially the early years that shaped her character, organizers said. Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was First Lady of the United States from 1933-45. After the death of her husband, she was a civil rights activist, author and politician, who also was chairwoman of the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The program is free and it is suitable for all ages. Free parking is available. For more information, call the library at 946-8835.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Take a break

NEW HAVEN - Planet B-Boy a feature-length documentary that explores one of the most incredible dance phenomena the world has ever seen will be shown at from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 2 the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St.
Breakdancing, once known as B-boying---until the girls got into the act, originated on the streets of New York City during the seventies and was a huge influence on hip-hop culture in America, event organizers said.
Movies such as Flashdance inspired teens to compete against one another across America, spinning on their backs doing "windmills," training their bodies to "pop and lock," and mastering gravity-defying moves. Then it seemed to fade into history.
Turns out, B-boying was just evolving into a sophisticated and acrobatic dance form. Planet B-Boy explores the back stories of five of the best b-boy competitors from all over the world as they prepare for the Battle of the Year, "World Cup" of b-boying, held annually in Germany. The film is suitable for all ages. For details call the library at 946-8835.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gateway Community College Annual Holiday Celebration brought holiday cheer

More than 400 residents of local New Haven Shelters enjoyed holiday festivities at Gateway Community College’s 8th Annual Holiday Celebration last week, officials said.

Above, Santa and Mrs. Claus and helpers make a grand entrance.

Guests were brought to the Long Wharf campus in busses, then treated to an evening of entertainment, holiday festivities and gourmet food prepared by the college’s culinary arts students, officials said.
More than 200 children received gifts from Santa and Mrs. Claus while adults received gift bags of health products. All of the guests were invited to choose warm winter items from the clothing closet and coat room, officials said.
Under the direction of Gateway’s Culinary Arts professor, Andrew Randi, the annual outreach has become a Gateway Community College tradition that is planned, funded and organized by staff, faculty and students.

“This is the largest event of its kind in the area,” said Randi. “And it takes the time, talent and goodwill of the entire college community to make it successful. Starting in early October they hold fundraisers, coat and toy drives and begin the planning. The contents for over 450 gift bags are donated by college employees and we form work teams to make sure all of the details are covered.”
“I am so proud of our college community for this remarkable effort” said Gateway President, Dorsey Kendrick. “It puts everyone in the holiday spirit and brings out the best in the college community and their guests. It’s heartwarming to see the smiles on everyone’s faces.”

At right, Gateway faculty and staff prepare to serve their guests

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Breakfast of champions

New Haven’s James Hillhouse High School Class of 2010 will hold a breakfast fundraiser from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the Applebee’s restaurant, 2400 Dixwell Ave., Hamden.
Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door but the preference is for tickets to be purchased in advance by calling (203) 946-8475.

Get organized

And change the world

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Public Library will hold a centennial retrospective on legendary community organizer Saul David Alinsky at 6 p.m. Jan. 20. A film, "The Democratic Promise: Saul Alinsky and his Legacy," will be screened at the downtown branch, 133 Elm St., with commentary by Melissa Canham-Clyne, Wilson Branch Library manager and author of a recent article on community organizing.

Actor Alec Baldwin narrates the hour-long documentary.
Saul David Alinsky (1909-1972) was a community organizer and writer, generally considered the founder of modern community organizing in America. He is said to have coined the slogan "Think globally, act locally." He was an early influence on many of current political leaders, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
The event is free and and free parking is available. Call the library at 946-7431 for more information.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pucker up!

This sweet pig gets plenty of smooches

Amity Middle School-Bethany Reading Consultant Eileen Kazdan crouches for a cuddle with Daisy, a pig who travels the country to promote reading. Daisy, also shown with her owner, Paul "Farmer" Minor, rear, and Principal Richard Dellinger, visited Amity because students completed a, 8-week reading challenge in which Kazdan set 1,000 books as the minimum. Students read a total of 1,078 books in six weeks. During Daisy’s visit, the pleasant porcine inspiration received many smooches on her snout, school officials said.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Getting in the spirit

Nate Strabbe, 2, of Woodbury, right, greets Blaze, mascot for the Connecticut Sun Basketball team at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital. Sun Head Coach Mike Thibault also visited children at the hospital Thursday, bringing gifts

Photo by Peter Casolino
A group of people walks along Chapel Street carrying CD players Thursday evening in New Haven, each playing one of four different parts that, combined, created one composition. The event, part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas “Unsilent Night” holiday musical processional, is in its second year. Participants met at the Shubert Theater then took to the streets downtown with the piece playing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Student Art Exhibit at Gateway Community College

Arts on Long Wharf
Photos of Allen Gales
NEW HAVEN – The Gallery at Gateway Community College is holding the Gateway Art Students End of Semester Exhibition.
The exhibition is on view from though Jan. 30 in the Gateway Community College Gallery 60 Sargent Drive.

Gallery Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

JCC open house for children's education programs

WOODBRIDGE — The Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven will hold an open house for its Yeladim Learning Center and Nitzanim Kindergarten programs from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at 360 Amity Road.
Parents will have a chance to meet staff and teachers and tour the facility. Parents also are encouraged to bring children to participate in classroom activities. Families from all religious and cultural backgrounds are welcome.
The Yeladim Learning Center program offers full- and part-time programs for children 3 months to 4 years. It’s spacious facility includes a gym, outdoor playgrounds, pool, dance studios, and more. The Nitzanim Kindergarten offers 4½- to 5½-year-old children individualized instruction in a small group setting. The curriculum includes math, science, social studies, literacy, creative arts, and weekly swim and yoga.
Both programs provide quality instruction in a nurturing and stimulating environment that promotes the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of young children, officials said. The curriculum encourages experimentation, problem solving, logical thinking and cooperative learning, as well as the assimilation of values and the development of social skills and positive self-esteem. Children explore and create in an enriched and challenging learning environment.
Both programs are fully licensed by the state. For more information call Gwenn Cohen or Lynn Bullard at (203) 397-7415.

Got Clutter?

Consider this:

A New Year is on its way once again and that closet still explodes on opening, there's no place to work at your desk, you can never move because you could never pack., Siund familiar?

If so, the New Haven Public Library invites you to get yourself some professional help. Mark your calendar (if you can find it) for 6 to 7 p.m. Jan. 14, to get serious about organizing your personal, family, or business space.
Professional organizer Rosemary Chieppo, shown, makes her living doing what most people hate to do: organizing. She writes for Around the Towns magazine and The New Haven Register, and has been featured on WTNH TV and WFSB TV.

Author of Clutter, Chaos & the Cure (KIWI Publishing, 2008 http://www.kiwipublishing.com/), Chieppo also is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers.

For more information about Chieppo visit http://www.borntoorganize.com/.

The seminar and parking are free. Register online at www.guidezilla.com/nhfpl or call the library at 946-8835.

Be an animal angel

Homeless Pets and Animal Shelters Get Support from Angel Tree Program

Family pets are the latest victim of the economic downturn. As the economy worsens and more families struggle to make ends meet, Connecticut animal shelters are seeing a huge inflow of pets being given up for adoption.

“Shelters and rescue groups are overwhelmed with the large number of dogs and cats released by people who just can’t afford to care for them,” said Jeremy Moran of Best Friends Pet Care, Bethany. “The shelters simply don’t have enough food or supplies for all these newly homeless pets.”

To help address the shortage, Best Friends is collecting donation of food and supplies through its “Angel Tree” program at all four Connecticut locations.

Beneficiaries include Connecticut Humane Society of Newington and Westport, Animal Haven of New Haven, Meriden Humane Society, Pet Protectors of Fairfield, Hotwater Rescue, Double Dog Rescue, Stamford Animal Shelter and PAWS of Norwalk.

Throughout the holiday season, animal lovers can visit any Best Friends to select a card from the Angel Tree and donate the items listed for that homeless dog or cat. Since each shelter has specific needs, donors are asked to shop from the list on the pet’s card.

Donations also can be made by phone. Best Friends is at 60 Harris Road, Avon, (860) 673-0555; at 227 Cheshire Road, Bethany, (203) 393-3126; 528 Main Ave., Norwalk (next to DMV), 203-849-1010; and at 1511 Silas Deane Highway, Rocky Hill, (860) 721-8080.

“The holidays are always a difficult time for shelters,” said Moran. “Donations usual dip during this season, but this year, with all the newly homeless pets, the shortage of food and supplies is becoming a crisis. We are inviting anyone who loves animals to help out by donating to the program.”

For more information, visit http://www.bestfriendspetcare.com/.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The world comes to the New Haven Library

World Films To Screen at New Haven Library Branches in December and January

The New Haven Public Library will hold a special world film series in December and January at several branches around the city. Free library screenings of GLOBAL LENS 2008 are made possible through Yale's Programs in International Educational Resources, or PIER.
The schedule is:

Dec. 13, 2p.m.--LET THE WIND BLOW (Partho Sen-Gupta, India, 2004) at Wilson Branch Library (946-2228)
Dec. 20, 2p.m.--ALL FOR FREE (Antonio Nuic, Croatia, 2006) at Main Library (946-7431)
Jan. 10, 2p.m.--LUXURY CAR (Wang Chao, China, 2006) at Main Library (946-7431)
Jan. 14, 6p.m.--THE CUSTODIAN (Rodrigo Moreno, Argentina, 2006) at Fair Haven Branch Library (946-8115)
Jan. 17, 2p.m.--THE BET COLLECTOR (Jeffrey Jeturian, Philippines, 2006) at Main Library (946-7431).

All films are in the native languages of the countries from which they originate, with English subtitles, and suitable for audiences over 12, officials said in a statement. For trailers and more information about the series, visit http://www.globalfilm.org/. For directions to library branches, call the number indicated.

New Haven Happenings

NEW HAVEN — The Tony Blair Faith Foundation will play host to a Malaria Relief Concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 13 at Yale’s Woolsey Hall.
Performers include members of the Yale Alumni Chorus, St. Luke’s School’s a cappella groups, Take 9 and the Acafellas and Yale’s a cappella groups, Mixed Company and Proof of the Pudding. More than 500 million people contract malaria each year, and the concert aims to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Tickets are $10 per person, and each ticket is enough to protect a family from malaria through providing a bed net in endemic regions, organizers said. All proceeds go to malaria relief.
The concert is sponsored by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate and Yale Engineering. Tickets can be purchased online at www.yale.edu/music, or in person in the box office located in the lobby of Sprague Hall at 470 College St. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by phone at (203) 432-4158.

NEW HAVEN — People interested in learning more about magnet schools will have the chance at a series of open houses sponsored by the New Haven Public Schools. A pre-k through grade 12 Citywide Magnet Fair will be held from 6–8 p.m. Jan. 7 at the New Haven Field House, 480 Sherman Parkway. Representatives from all of the magnet schools will be there to answer questions. A pre-K through grade 12 Interdistrict Magnet Fair will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Jan. 10 at Hill Regional Career High School, 140 Legion Ave. Representatives from all interdistrict magnet schools will be there to provide information about their schools and programs. For more information, call the magnet schools office at 946-7415.

Ninety and still running

Dr. George "Doc" Whitney of Orange, right, shown on his 90th birthday at the William B. Meyer, Inc. Fairfield Holiday Run, is congratulated by Tom Gillon, of Trumbull, president of William B. Meyer, Inc. in Stratford.

More than 100 runners and walkers of all abilities participated in the 7th annual Holiday Run at the Scandinavian Club on Dec. 7. ,

The 5k event benefited the Fairfield Police Toy Drive. It is presented by William B. Meyer Inc., one of the largest transportation and storage providers in the Northeast, and an agent for United Van Lines.

All participants brought new, unwrapped toys as part of their entry fee and more than 500 toys were collected at the run. The toys collected this year will be distributed to the Bridgeport Hospital Pediatric Unit; Bridgeport Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit; Yale-New Haven Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit; Daughter’s of Charity - Sister Theresa in Bridgeport and American Medical Response.
"With the holiday season underway, William B. Meyer, Inc. is pleased to be sponsor the annual Holiday Run to benefit the Fairfield Police Toy Drive. If a child has to be in the hospital during the holidays being thought of by receiving a toy can hopefully put a smile on their face. We hope this run makes a difference for many children in our area. We would like to thank the Fairfield Police Department for allowing us to participate in this event," Tom Gillon, president of William B. Meyer, Inc. said in a statement.

William B. Meyer, Inc. has been the presenting sponsor for the event for four years.

At the run, Whitney, a retired veterinarian, opened up a whole new age category for the race organizers. Whitney has run in the race since its inception, having started running when he was 80. A birthday cake complete with 90 candles was presented to Whitney at the end of the race as the crowd of runners, walkers, family members and well-wishers from near and far sang "Happy Birthday."
Toys are being collected until Dec. 18 at the Fairfield Police Station, 100 Reef Road, Fairfield and at the reception area at William B. Meyer, Inc, 255 Long Beach Blvd., Stratford.

Now that's a tree!

Get some holiday spirit with a visit to the city Green, where this is what awaits after dark.

Photo by Peter Casolino

The right note

The recent Columbus Day Committee 28th Awards Ceremony included presentation of a trophy to the Roberto Clemente School for its excellent performance in the Category of Middle School Band in the Oct. 12 Columbus Day Parade October in North Haven.

Presenting the award is North Haven First Selectwoman Janet M. McCarty, assisted by Committee Member Peter Gambardella. Receiving the trophy is teacher Donna Johnson. Students, l to r, are: Yyrone Wiggins, Marlisa Shaw and Marvin Shaw III.

A tree grows in New Haven

Chapel Haven students pitched in recently to help plant five new trees on their campus at 1040 Whalley Ave. as part of the GreenSkills Program offered by the Urban Resources Initiative, officials said. GreenSkills is an internship program that brings college and high school interns together to plant street trees. Chapel Haven received two lindens, two honey locusts and one small pear tree through the program. Chapel Haven is a private, nonprofit special education and independent living program that teaches young adults with cognitive and social disabilities to live independent and productive lives.

Mayo new president of NEASC

NEW HAVEN - Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo was elected to the position of president-elect of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges at the organization’s 123rd annual meeting at Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel.

Mayo will assume the gavel on Dec. 4, 2009, and preside over the association throughout 2010, the association’s 125th year. NEASC has 1,962 member institutions throughout the six-state region and in 77 countries overseas.

Eleven New Haven schools are accredited members of NEASC. NEASC is headquartered in Bedford, Mass., and employees a staff of 41. The work of peer review is conducted by 6,200 trained volunteers who, in 2008, contributed 164,000 hours of professional service valued at $32,800,000.

Mayo has 36 years of experience in education, the last 16 as superintendent of the New Haven system.

NEASC Executive Director and CEO Jacob Ludes, III, said, "We are honored that Reggie Mayo has agreed to serve the region’s broader education community by leading NEASC. We are especially gratified that his term of office will include our vitally important 125th anniversary year."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

NEW HAVEN — A Community Sing will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight, Dec. 9, at Yale University’s Dwight Hall Chapel, 67 High St. Everyone is invited, from students and faculty to community members, to participate in singing music from many traditions around the world. Free hot apple cider will be served.
The event will immediately follow the Alternative Gift Fair from noon to 6 p.m., also in Dwight Hall Chapel. The fair will offer alternative gift shopping and unique gifts offered by international organizations and local New Haven agencies, organizers said. It will support Sadhna from India, One Mango Tree from Uganda and several other fair trade cooperatives from different parts of the world including Afghanistan, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and more, organizers said.

NEW HAVEN — A public lighting of a menorah will take place at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 21 on the city Green.
The event, timed for the first day of Hanukkah and sponsored by Yeshiva Gedolah Rabbinical Institute of New England, Connecticut, will include a car procession from the Green, beginning at 6:15 p.m., to the Rabbinical Institute, 292 Norton St., where the Grand Chanukah Celebration will be held at 7 p.m. There will be a special presentation dedicated tor all the people who were killed in the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai.

NEW HAVEN — Alderman Sergio Rodriguez, D-26, president Pro Tempore of the Board of Aldermen, will hold a neighborhood community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, at Davis Street School, 26 Davis St. Neighbors are welcome and encouraged to attend to share ideas and concerns and discuss issues of importance to the neighborhood. Coffee will be available. Future neighborhood community meetings are scheduled to take place, also at 6:30 p.m. at Davis Street School, on March 25 and June 17.

Friday, December 5, 2008

'Tis the season

In photo, Gabriel Ciarleglio of Hamden, is one of many students at the Academy Of Kempo Martial Arts learning how help others through a food drive the academy is holding.

The Academy of Kempo Martial Arts in Hamden is holding its annual food drive to help the local food pantry and soup kitchen. The academy is offering its students a free semi-private lesson for any five non-perishable items they donate and offering two weeks of free lessons to non-students (limited to one give away per person and cannot be combined). Academy officials hope the offer will encourage more people to give.

There is no requirement to accept the offer in order to be part of the drive and anyone can give.
Donations can be dropped at the acedemy now through the holiday season, at 1890 Dixwell Ave., Hamden. For more information call (203) 288-9990, or visit http://www.academyofkempo.com/, including to learn the best times to drop off donations and receive the thank you gift.

Nick Bellantoni to share ‘Deeply Human’ archaeology stories

  : Albert Afraid of Hawk, 1899, Heyn Photographer (Courtesy Library of Congress NEW HAVEN — While Nick Bellantoni ,  emeritus   Co...