Thursday, July 31, 2008

Connecting to youths

Outreach workers, shown at right, look to another year on the job.

Read Bill Kaempffer's full story here:

Did New Haven overpay?

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed suit against the three leading credit rating agencies Wednesday, claiming they intentionally and illegally give lower ratings to municipal bonds, costing taxpayers millions in higher premiums and unnecessary bond insurance.

Read Elizabeth Benton's full story here:

Nonprofit advice

A grant forum this week at the University of New Haven instructed community groups, nonprofit and other types of organizations to navigate the process of applying for federal, state and local funding.

Read Jessica Varron's full story here:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Coupons to help at farmers markets

The state Department of Agriculture has increased the allotment of farmers market coupons for the city, more than doubling the amount available to the elderly.

Read Alexandra Sander's full story here:

Public financing comes to the 94th

Candidates seeking to win the Democratic nomination for the General Assembly's 94th District race have both secured public financing for their campaigns.

Read Maria Garriga's full story here:

Beat the buzz

Mosquitoes that tested positive for the West Nile virus have been found in New Haven, Hamden, East Haven. Officials give advice for avoiding the bight.

Read Elizabeth Benton's full story here:

For more information from the state Department of Health:

“Ours is not a problem of difference. Ours is a problem of similarity"

At right, H.E. Shaykh Dr. Mustafa Ceric, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia gives keynote address during the "A Common Word; Loving God and Neighbor in Word and Deed" conference at the Yale Law School.

Photo by Peter Casolino

Read Ed Stannard's full story here:

“We all knew him"

City agencies had tried to help teen killed in crash.

Read Bill Kaempffer's full story here:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Felled trees raise City Point residents’ ire

By Ed Stannard
Register Metro Editor

NEW HAVEN — City Point residents who are upset and angry about trees felled recently in their neighborhood are looking for ways to alleviate the damage.

The state Department of Transportation recently cut down at least a dozen trees along Interstate 95 on both sides of the Howard Avenue bridge. Between Fifth and Sixth streets is Bayview Park, which was sliced in half by I-95 when the highway was built 50 years ago.

Read the full story at

Register photo by Arnold Gold

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Stand together against violence"

The Rev. Boise Kimber, president of the Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention and a political ally of Mayor John DeStefano Jr., released a statement over the weekend saying he was “shocked and saddened” by the incident in which a driver was beaten when a teen ran a stolen dirt bike into the man's van.

Read Jim Shelton's full story here:

Three's a charm

New leaders at three city schools

Read Elizabeth Benton's full story here:

School to get patch of artificial turf

Turf or grass: City school opts for artificial surface ahead of safety study

Read Elizabeth Benton's full story here:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Champion of the Arts

Neighborhood Music School recently honored State Speaker of the House Jim Amann, D-Milford, as the first recipient of its Champion of the Arts Award. NMS created the Champion of the Arts Award to recognize outstanding leadership in improving access to music and arts education for children and adults throughout Connecticut, the school said in a statement.
Carol Ross, shown at right, immediate past president of the school’s Board of Directors, presented the award to Amann at a special ceremony at the school, which is in New Haven’s Audubon Arts District.
"We are delighted to recognize the many contributions Jim Amann has made during his tenure as House speaker. In many areas of public policy, he has made a difference for the better. The students, faculty and supporters of the Neighborhood Music School join me in thanking him for his steadfast support of cultural programs, including arts and music education for people of all ages," Ross said in the statement.
Established in 1911, Neighborhood Music School is the largest independent non-profit community arts school in Connecticut, and one of the 10 largest in the country, the statement said. Its mission is to provide high quality instruction in music and dance and make it accessible to people of all ethnic and economic circumstances. Major renovations of the school’s facility at 100 Audubon St. were completed in 2006, including expansion of the Recital Hall, façade and entryway, upgrades to the numerous teaching studios, and replacement of mechanical systems. The $5 million project was funded through a $2 million grant through the state Connecticut Bond Commission and an additional $3 million from private foundations and individuals, the statement said.

Topping off is tops

The final three girders of the Smilow Cancer Hospital were hoisted into place Thursday afternoon, completing the skeleton of a 14-story structure that will house research and treatment, and is already one of the biggest get-well cards in the world.
Above left: workers place a girder. At right, Jeffrey Branca holds his son, Nick, 6, who is in treatment at the Children's Hospital for a recurrence of neuroblastoma that first was diagnosed when he was 3. Nick has become a favorite of constructions workers who wrote encouraging messages on the beams facing the Children's Hospital.

Read Abram Katz's story here:

Residents meet to discuss Whalley

Westville residents and “safe streets” allies from across town got together to review traffic calming options and talk strategy Thursday night in advance of a meeting next week with the state Department of Transportation.

Read Mark Zaretsky's full story here:

New provider taking over meals for homebound

The Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut is slowly untangling itself from its contracts with the Community Action Agency of New Haven, with a new provider chosen to deliver hundreds of meals to the homebound.

Read Mary O'Leary's full story here:

Teen on dirt bike dies; driver still in hospital

Mayor says reckless driving on dirt bike and subsequent attack on the motorist are “unacceptable.”
At right, new Police Chief James Lewis speaks to members of the community members at a meeting Thursday night at Wexler-Grant School. The chief said police will begin stopping motorbikes to check driver’s licenses and ownership.

Photo by Brad Horrigan

Read Bill Kaempffer's full story here:

Maria Garriga's related story:

New chief says city youths can expect tough policing

By Maria Garriga
Register Staff
— New Police Chief James M. Lewis told residents Thursday at Wexler-Grant School that he plans to push an aggressive brand of police work in New Haven, and to crack down hard on organized gangs if indeed they are operating in the city.
"In a 15-day period we had 18 people shot," he said. "That doesn’t mean they’re Bloods (a California-based gang). We don’t know." But the surge in deadly violence among youth requires a forceful response, he said. That means youths who skip school or illegally ride on motor bikes may find themselves getting questioned by officers."
In the week he has been chief, two minors, one 15 and one 14, were discovered to have guns concealed under their shirts while they rode bicycles through the streets.
"I want police officers to be aggressive. They are not social workers," he said.
Lewis drew a picture of what tough policing looks like: Riders on pocket bikes can expect to be stopped to see if they have licenses; suburban drug buyers can expect to have their cars impounded; investigators will hunt for any signs of activity by organized crime groups such as the Bloods; students who leave school without permission may find themselves in a squad car heading for a new "truancy assessment center" at which a counselor will work with them on the root problems pulling them away from school.
But Lewis’ call for "aggressive" police also means that he wants his officers interacting with neighborhood residents and getting to know children on their beat.
Some of these children may find themselves playing basketball with the beat officer, going to a police substation to learn how to use computers, or joining police-led youth groups such as Explorers.
"Let’s give him a chance to turn New Haven around. Let’s give Chief Lewis a chance," said Alderman Greg Morehead, D-22, who convened the meeting.
The 40 to 50 residents who heard him speak at the Wexler-Grant School on Foote Street left with confidence in the new chief.
"We’ve never had a face-to-face meeting with the police chief before. I think the New Haven police are very good," said Harriet Smith, 53, of Butler Street. She felt enraged by the recent mob attack on a driver involved in a fatal bike accident he did not cause, and has had to deal with neighborhood vandals who have gone as far as throw a brick through her bay window.
"Police can’t do everything. We have to get involved," she said.
Ruth Henderson, a community activist from Dickerman Street, echoed that theme. "We have some power as citizens. We have to stick up for each other," she said.
Some residents pointed out to Lewis that the emphasis on aggressive policing could easily have serious consequences in New Haven, as allegations of brutality have been leveled against some officers.
Residents such as Barbara Fair, a community activist who frequently speaks about law enforcement, worried that some police officers may cross from aggressive to abusive.
"How do you define the line? Are they misinterpreting what you mean by aggressive?" asked Fair.
Lewis said that he has faith in the majority of his police force, and that he will insist that all follow the rules.
"Aggressive does not mean excessive. If they violate constitutional rights or use too much force they will have to pay the piper," Lewis said. "I’ve put cops in prison," he said.
He stressed that he has faith that most officers do their jobs well, an"as a group I trust them," and that the surge of guns and violence in New Haven needs an aggressive response.
Maria Garriga can be reached at or 789-5726.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Emergency repairs needed on Q bridge

By Ed Stannard
Register Metro Editor

NEW HAVEN — The Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge has deteriorated to the point that repairs must start soon to keep it from becoming a safety hazard, according to the state Department of Transportation.

While DOT officials said the bridge, popularly known as the Q bridge, is in no danger of failing, its condition was rated “critical” in its most recent inspection.

Read the complete story at

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Asthma Initiative seeks federal grant to help residents

After barely surviving recent budget cuts, the city’s Asthma Initiative has received the green light from the Board of Aldermen to apply for a three-year, $510,000 federal grant that would help remove asthma triggers from the homes of low-income people who suffer serious asthma.

Read Maria Garriga's full story and statewide school asthma stats here:

Getting buggy with it

NEW HAVEN - The 2008 Summer Reading theme is bugs at the New Haven Public Library and a special event at 6 p.m. Aug. 7 will celebrate lepidoptera wings. That’s butterflies for anyone who does not recall grade school science. Dr. Antónia Monteiro, shown at right, explores the question Why Do Butterflies Have "Eyes" on Their Wings? How do wing patterns evolve, and what biological forces impact them? Monteiro is assistant curator of Entomology at Yale’s Peabody Museum and assistant professor in the Deptartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale.
The talk will be held take place at the downtown library, 133 Elm St., and is designed for anyone older than 12. There is no charge, and free parking is available. For more details, call 946-8835.

Monday, July 21, 2008

If at first...

Lew Nescott Jr. became friends with Denali last month.
It was cold. It was windy.
It was lacking in oxygen.
It was awesome, and he's going back.

To read more about why he is going to tackle North America's highest peak again next year, read Mary O'Leary's full story here:

City to open garage doors to cycles

Motorcycle riders are currently barred from New Haven Parking Authority garages, leaving metered street spots the only downtown option for bikers.

Read Elizabeth Benton's full story here:

Program aids low-income pet owners, helps save animals

The state Department of Agriculture is scheduled to launch a new expansion phase of the Animal Population Control Program later this month.

Read Alexandra Sanders' full story here:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Charity for soldiers finds donations lagging

Books for Soldiers needs to raise $70,000

By Ed Stannard, Register Metro Editor

The weakening national economy is hurting more than American consumers and businesses.

Our fighting men and women are starting to suffer too.

Read the full story at

Friday, July 18, 2008

Talented teen put teddy bear on T-shirt

NEW HAVEN - A Norwalk teen has designed the T-shirt that will outift hundreds of walkers and runners during the 2008 Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer Family Day on Sept. 28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center.

Mirza Yanes, 13, right, a student at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk, "put her artistic talent and love of teddy bears on the front of the T-shirt," hospital officials said.

Yanes, a patient at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, was diagnosed with bone cancer in Sept. 2007. She and a fellow patient, Robbie Greenberger of Fairfield , collaborated during their cancer treatment to create this year's shirt design, which shows a sick teddy bear on the road to recovery.
The 15th annual Tommy Fund Family Day will include a 5K road race, a two mile walk, or a .3 mile fun run for children younger than 10. The fun run begins at 10 a.m. and the 5K run and 2-mile walk at 10:30 a.m. Registration, which begins at 8:30 a.m., costs $15; $8 for children younger than 10.
The Tommy Fund helps children receiving cancer treatment at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, and their families. For more information or a registration form, call the Tommy Fund at (203) 688-4081 or (800) 974-5559 or log onto

Preservationists and architects worry about fate of buildings

Crown Street buildings facing wrecking ball. At right, the way they looked in 1966 in photo by Ernest J. Vanacore, courtesy of New Haven Colony Museum and Historical Society.

Read Mary O'Leary's full story here:

Reach great heights

The city and cycling enthusiasts have planned a great party for Saturday, with a Ferris wheel and lots of other fun things to do.

Read Ed Stannard's full story here:

Sunday School program for children

ORANGE - Congregation Or Shalom, a Conservative synagogue, is initiating a new program for children in kindergarten through second grade this fall. Young families may enroll their children in the Sunday School program without the requirement of membership in the synagogue.
Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus, synagogue spiritual leader, noted that bringing young families within the orbit of the community will stimulate them to open the “doors” to various groups and committees within the synagogue.
“Ultimately, we hope they will become part of the Or Shalom Family,” Rabbi Wainhaus said.

Information about the program is available by calling the synagogue at (203) 799-2341. Congregation Or Shalom is at 205 Old Grassy Hill Road.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Plan Commission OKs turbine project

Proposal sent to aldermen

By Maria Garriga
Register Staff
— The City Plan Department has sent details of two proposed wind energy demonstration projects to the Board of Aldermen for consideration.
The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund would install and run two turbines to test which of the models would be most effective at generating electricity in the state, said Keith Frame, the associate director of new technologies at CCEF.
The turbine model deemed most effective will be recommended for a state subsidy program to encourage use of alternative energy sources by municipalities, he said.
The turbines would cost about $30,000 each, while monitoring equipment would bring the total project cost to the fund up to $250,000. When complete, the turbines should each shave $5,000 off the city’s annual electricity bill.
The City Plan Commission Wednesday night approved the demonstration project as long as it comes back to it for site plan approval, at which point it could hold a public hearing, if necessary.
Commission alternate Edward Mattison anticipated opposition, depending on where the turbines are sited. "Wherever you want to put it, someone will think it is in the wrong place," Mattison predicted.
Alderman Roland Lemar, D-9, a member of the City Plan Commission, also wanted details on any future maintenance costs.
In an earlier interview, Alderwoman Erin Sturgis-Pascale, D- 14, chairwoman of the board’s City Services and Environmental Policy Committee, said she would welcome the sight of a turbine at Long Wharf, one of the sites that would be used for the project.
Drivers on the interchange of Interstates 91 and 95 would catch a glimpse of alternative energy generation in person while people visiting the beach strip will be able to see the turbine up close.
"Long Wharf is a great location because it’s so visible. That strip of land has been so damaged by the highway that it renders the waterfront almost useless, except for a few strollers, it’s not really used. This project sends the right message about where we want to go," Sturgis-Pascale said.
She anticipates the resolution will be passed unanimously. The fund has offered to install the turbines at no cost to the city. While the city would pay for maintenance when the one-year project is over, fund officials say maintenance costs will be minimal to the city.
New Haven officials have pushed alternative energy models of various kinds throughout the city. Several schools have been outfitted with solar energy systems to reduce total power costs, and nearly 1,000 residents have signed up for clean energy options from United Illuminating Co., the highest number in the state out of any municipality among UI and Connecticut Light & Power Co. customers.
The city is also home to a working fuel cell generator at Yale University and uses bio-diesel for some city vehicles. Yale also uses some bio-diesel fuel in some of its shuttles.
Maria Garriga can be reached at or 789-5726.

Fire department fights back

The fire chief Wednesday blasted allegations by a downtown property owner that negligence by his department and other city agencies may have somehow contributed to the severity of a massive December fire as “totally outrageous, insulting, incorrect and inaccurate.”

Read Bill Kaempffer's full story and watch the video here:

In photo, from left, city Building Official Andrew Rizzo, Fire Chief Michael Grant and Fire Marshal Joseph Cappucci, backed by city firefighters, hold a press conference Wednesday at Fire Headquarters on Grand Avenue in New Haven.

Photo by Melanie Stengel

Democracy Fund Board eyes change to financing process

By Elizabeth Benton
Register Staff
—The Democracy Fund Board continued its year-long quest to revamp the city’s campaign financing program this week, recommending a change that would allow a candidate unchallenged in a primary to receive a general election grant sooner.
But with restrictions still in place barring candidates from collecting grants until an election is deemed "contested," meaning two candidates have raised more than $5,000, the new scenario would be triggered only in cases where at least two qualified candidates, who are not in the party for which the primary will be held, have begun their general election campaigns early.
Last year, neither Republican Richter Elser nor Green Party candidate Ralph Ferrucci raised enough to qualify for public funding, or to consider the election contested by the Democracy Fund.
Under the current city ordinance, candidates cannot qualify for the $15,000 general election grant until the primary is over. In a city dominated by Democrats, Republican or minor party primaries are rare, allowing Democrats to hold high-profile, publicly-funded primaries while other candidates must wait for grants in the general race.
Candidates are still eligible for separate matching funds as soon as they qualify for the program.
Monday night, the Democracy Fund Board voted to "scrap the timing issue," said board Chairman Caleb Kleppner. "Ultimately, we decided to recommend allowing general election grants to be given before the primary, if there is a candidate who qualifies and another candidate who has raised sufficient funds to make it a contested election," he said.
But, "the case is pretty remote," he said. "It would take two candidates not in a primary raising money for the general," he said.
The board may continue to tweak the rule, including how a general election is deemed contested, said Kleppner.
"If someone wins a Democratic primary, let’s just assume there’s a serious candidate," he said.
"Don’t wait for the next campaign finance report," he said. "It allows the Democrat to game the public financing system. They can hold off on raising and spending money to deprive the Republican of the grant. That’s not an incentive you want to build into a program like this."
Kleppner said he expected the board would wrap up their review of the ordinance next month. Recommendations will then be passed to the Board of Aldermen for action. New Haven is the first city in the state to experiment with publicly financed mayoral elections, and last year was the program’s trial run. While all candidates in the last mayoral election signed on to the program, agreeing not to accept contributions from businesses and political action committees, ultimately few public dollars were spent, and nothing was given during the general election.
Elizabeth Benton can be reached at 789-5714 or

Officials approve recycling operation

By Mary E. O’Leary
Register Topics Editor
— The City Plan Commission Wednesday approved placement of a recycling operation in an existing warehouse in the city’s north port area.
A-One Recycling LLC, currently of Branford, will use 5,000 square feet of a 100,000-square-foot warehouse at 100 Wheeler St., which is already home to 10 other businesses.
The company bales large quantities of paper, cardboard and plastics for transport elsewhere and is not open for residential disposal.
Attorney Michael Brandi said its customers are industries and commercial companies with 5 to 10 deliveries a day by truck.
City Engineer Richard Miller reminded Brandi that it cannot process recyclables from any business in New Haven since the city set up a transfer station authority.
"Anything generated here has to go through the New Haven Transfer Station," Miller said.
The commission approved a special permit for the business for five years.
The commission took no action on a proposal to prohibit the sale of "loosies," after determining the intention of the sponsoring aldermen was a little too loose.
The discussion at the commission centered on what exactly was a "loosie," why should it be regulated, who would collect fines and could it only be prohibited from stores that remain open after 11 p.m.
A "loosie" is a single cigarette that ends up being used as drug paraphernalia, explained Deputy Director of Zoning Tom Talbot, although he admitted that what the sponsoring aldermen wanted was a little unclear.
Commission Chairwoman Patricia King had to explain the drug connection to Miller.
"It’s what you substitute for the tobacco," she said.
"I’m an engineer. What do I know," Miller said.
Commissioner Roy Smith Jr. worried about singling out convenience stores that stay open all night, as opposed to other establishments. "This is a mess," he said.
The commission took no action and recommended the aldermen consult with city attorneys on the ordinance aspect and, after fleshing it out further, come back to city plan staff for help on any zone change.
Aldermen Mordechai Sandman, D-28th, Alexander Rhodeen, D-13th, Roland Lemar, D-9th, and Gregory Morehead, D-22nd had requested the changes, with Sandman taking the lead.
The commission, in one of its shortest meetings, also approved plans for a new bridge at Prospect Street at Trumbull Street and Farmington Greenway and OK’d a site plan for 19 residential units at 776-780 Grand Ave., an existing three-story brick structure.
The plan includes 9 efficiency apartments on the first floor and two upper floors with four one-bedroom apartments and one efficiency each with construction set to begin this summer.
Mary E. O’Leary can be reached at 789-5731 or

New wrinkle in 10-year old case

Yale senior Suzanne Jovin e-mailed a friend less than an hour before she was repeatedly and fatally stabbed in the city’s East Rock neighborhood 10 years ago

Read Bill Kaempffer's full story here:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A book and a baby

Jackie Clegg Dodd, wife of U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd, visited the Hospital of Saint Raphael Wednesday to support literacy and school readiness for Connecticut children, the hospital said.

Shown at right, Clegg Dodd, visits with Brooke Stegner of Hamden and newborn daughter, Paige, Wednesday at the hospital. The visit was coordinated by Saint Raphael’s and Branford-based Read To Grow, a statewide nonprofit organization that works to improve early literacy for Connecticut children, officials said.
Read To Grow meets families at Saint Raphael’s after a baby is born, linking health to the importance of early literacy, language and attachment. The Stegners, Brooke and her husband, Tom, have had all four of their children delivered at Saint Raphael’s and told Dodd they made use of Read To Grow books and information in the past, officials said.
Over the past decade, Read To Grow distributed more than 450,000 new and gently used books to children throughout Connecticut , to include hundreds through Saint Raphael’s. Each child who comes to Saint Raphael’s for a well-child visit also receives a book.

Son of a native son

Frank L. Palmieri III has completed his graduate work at the University of Texas in Austin and recently was awarded a doctor of philosophy degree in chemical engineering. He the son of Frank L. and Jean C. Palmieri of Virginia Beach, and grandson of the late Frank L. and Theresa A. Palmieri of Hamden, and Henry A. and Catherine C. Krebser of Litchfield. The elder Palmieri was born in New Haven and reared in Hamden.
Frank III, shown cycling at right, studied, researched, and contributed to the field of nanotechnology in semiconductor imprint lithography for microchips. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's of science degree in chemical engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002 and accepted a full doctoral fellowship to University of Texas in Austin, where he resided the past five years. Frank III has presented research papers at international conferences in Boston and San Jose, California, and has published work in professional journals.
As a member of the University of Texas Cycling Team, Frank III raced in the state, regional, and national competitions (Kansas-2007, Colorado-2008). He has continued his enjoyment of cycling in competitions and events during his two month (mid-May – July) tour of Italy and in Germany, where he has accepted a chemical engineering position for Fall 2008 at Photonik Zentrum Hessen, in Wetzlar.

Don't shoot!

A black bear who might look something like this has been making the rounds in Woodbridge (that's just over the New Haven line) and he, or an ursine relative, also has been spotted in the Valley.

Across the state, from July 18, 2007 to today, there have been 1,704 bear sightings, the state Department of Environmental Protection says. None in New Haven, but while those are not likely all different animals, but bears sure seem to like the Nutmeg State.

Read the full story here:

The Connecticut DEP also offers these tips on bears:

DO make bird feeders and bird food inaccessible by discontinuing the feeding of birds from late March through November or by hanging feeders at least ten feet above the ground and six feet away from tree trunks. DO eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed. Add ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable.DO clean and store grills away after use.DON'T intentionally feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to finding food near your home may become "problem" bears.DON'T leave pet food outside overnight.DON'T add meat or sweets to a compost pile.

For more from the DEP, visit:

Connecticut Academic Performance Test scores out

Read Elizabeth Benton's full story here:

Play time

Retired Milford educator who devoted her life to children is still giving. Katherine “Kay” Barrett was assistant superintendent of schools for many years.

Read Pamela McLoughlin's full story at:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Marshal use under fire

Continuing the fallout from the April controversy involving state marshals and the city’s towing and collection program, aldermen considered an ordinance Monday night that would establish a local marshal licensing and rotation system.

Read Elizabeth Benton's full story here:

There is a new chief in the city

James Lewis takes the oath of office Monday as the new city’s police chief.

Read Bill Kaempffer's full story and watch video here:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Beach on Mr. Leeney

Robert J. Leeney was a living link to the legacy of New Haven
This old Elm City won’t be quite the same without Robert J. Leeney living amongst us and writing about it all, reminding us of our storied past.
When I saw the headline Monday morning announcing his death, at age 92, I know I shared with many others in this community a stabbing sensation, a temporary loss of breath.
And I had a personal pang of regret, because for the past six months, I had tried to take my old editor out for lunch in his famous stomping ground, downtown New Haven.
When I met Bob Leeney in 1977, I was a cub reporter and he was the New Haven Register’s editor. I quickly realized he was fair, ethical and a calming presence in a business that has far too few such people.
He helped me learn, as a newcomer to this city, what a special place it is and has been through the past centuries.
In more recent times, after the Register moved from Orange Street to Sargent Drive and Leeney became editor emeritus, it was comforting to see him come in once a week to file his Saturday column. He was an important link to this newspaper’s history and to the community’s history.
His column focused on this. As a member of the New Haven Museum and Historical Society and the Friends of the Grove Street Cemetery, he treasured the city’s legacy and taught us to value it, too.
In his farewell column of April 21, 2007, Leeney characterized the museum and society as "an institution I consider a key to a vital, progressive and self-improving city, a place for preserving mutual memories, which are based on affection and which may help guide a community from the past to a productive future."
In that column, he noted he had become a Register reporter in 1940, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president and John W. Murphy was mayor.
"Everybody shopped downtown for everything," he wrote, "and a wide web of trolley car tracks interlocked at the Green."
But 67 years later, he was penning his final regular Saturday column because, he told us in his lead, it’s important to listen to your doctor’s advice.
Four years before that, he had written a beautifully evocative column about his heart attack.
Because it was a mild attack, he was able to describe the experience minute by minute, from the first symptoms he felt in the kitchen of his Bethany home to the ambulance ride and the procedures at the hospital.
This is how he recounted being put on the hospital table: "I found myself like a wounded knight upon his narrow shield, arms and elbows propped outside as the cardiac crew moved in."
He concluded what he called "this adventure of the heart" by recalling his return home:
"I went to bed early. A full moon, moving west above our trees, thrust its long silver rays through the window and onto the pillow where for so many years my dear wife, Anne, had slumbered.
"I touched the pillow where the moonlight and the memory fused and whispered, ‘Much ado about nothing, old girl’ — and went to sleep."
Is it humanly possible to read those lines with dry eyes?
Occasionally I called his house to quote him for a news story or ask about a contact. After Katharine Hepburn died in June 2003, I knew he was the man to call because he had covered the Shubert Theater for decades and met its stars. Sure enough, he had a ready recollection of interviewing her.
"She talked to you directly, with the forthrightness one would expect," he said. "But she was easy to talk to."
Last February, when I again called upon him for input on a news story, I asked him how he was doing. Since he was forever an optimist, I was struck by his tone: "I’m housebound; I can’t drive anymore. I can’t say I’ll meet you downtown tomorrow at 2."
He was speaking hypothetically; we hadn’t been discussing a get-together. But after I hung up the phone, I decided I should follow-up and offer to drive him downtown for lunch. I realized we had never eaten a meal together. I also wanted to buy a copy of his book, "Habitations," a collection of his columns.
I made three attempts to see him. The first time he said he had to see his doctor; the second and third times he said he didn’t feel well enough to go out.
He concluded that final conversation by laughing at himself, saying, "I’m a sick old geezer!"
We agreed we would keep trying. But I wondered if I would ever see him again.
During an interview shortly before he announced he was ending his Saturday column, he modestly said of his career, "I just had an amazing run of luck."
And we were very lucky to have him here.
Randall Beach can be reached at or 789-5766.

Alderwoman digs in to help ward blossom

By Maria Garriga
Register Staff
NEW HAVEN — Alderwoman Migdalia Castro, D-16, doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty to fulfill her campaign promises.
Castro, 43, is committed to planting trees and flowers in the front yards and public spaces of every street in her Fair Haven ward.
Twice a week, she and volunteers tackle a yard, rip out weeds, dig up the soil and plant flowers that will flourish in conditions of the plot and mulch the beds.
"This is more than just planting flowers, it’s environmental restoration or rehabilitation. We’re talking about carbon sequestration, water quality and screening," said Chris Ozyck, green space manager for Urban Resources Initiative, a nonprofit agency that provides supplies and training for the work to neighborhood activists who undertake environmental rehabilitation.
Community Foundation for Greater New Haven provides funding for the agency, while Yale University supplies office space and interns.
Every plot the URI volunteers work on gets tested for contaminants such as lead. Volunteers plant hardy bushes, which can withstand more lead contamination, next to the homes, and they plant delicate flowers farther from the lead source and closer to where they will be visible from the street.
URI currently supports volunteers undertaking 50 environmental restoration projects throughout the city. Many aldermen participate from time to time. Castro may be the only one who puts such a heavy investment of time into the project.
"Migdalia has a strong vision for the neighborhood. It’s so different from 10 years ago. She is really good at pulling people out of their houses to get them involved," Ozyck said.
For Castro too, hours spent watering and weeding add up to more than the blossoms clustered in front yards and gardens planted in vacant lots. She is using the gardening project as a way of training community leaders while beautifying her neighborhood. Throughout each step of the work, she trains volunteers in community organizing, how to set goals, recruit workers and find financial resources.
"That’s my dream. I want them to replace me when I move on," she said. Walking along Poplar and Exchange streets, she points to plentiful butterfly bushes and other flowers intended to turn the streets into a large-scale butterfly garden.
But before she leaves public office to achieve her next ambition, a law degree, she also plans to make sure her ward has a community plaza on the grounds of the Columbus Family Academy.
"I just have to raise $250,000," Castro said, flashing a sunny smile.
Castro has practice in such endeavors, she said she began fundraising for a drill team she started when she was barely 10 years old.
In addition to her hands-on community service, Castro works two jobs, as a parking garage attendant and a home health aide, and is a busy alderwoman. This year she serves as vice chairwoman of the Education Committee. The nomination surprised Castro. She had run an unsuccessful campaign to help Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy beat Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. become the Democratic nominee for governor. In true party spirit, once Malloy lost the nomination, Castro worked to get DeStefano elected governor.
She said she hopes to impart that same kind of leadership to the neighborhood residents she hopes will replace her, so they can challenge authority or collaborate with others to advance their vision for the neighborhood.
Maria Garriga can be reached at or 789-5726.

Historic house needs loving owner, much work

By Randall Beach
Register Staff
— Wanted: local preservationist willing to buy historic "fixer-upper" in picturesque neighborhood.
The former Winchester Observatory Caretaker’s House now sits at 477 Prospect St., about 75 feet south of its original location, awaiting word on a new owner while gradually decaying.
The three-story house, its red-and-beige paint peeling, is surrounded by a black chain-link fence. The front steps have been removed. Piled-up furniture is visible through the windows.
City officials are frustrated about the situation, as are preservationists.
In 2002, Yale University representatives decided they no longer needed the structure to house graduate students and donated it to the city. At that time, it seemed like a good match for the Board of Education because its construction program leaders thought the house could be used as an annex for the soon-to-be-reconstructed Celentano School.
School officials asked the Board of Aldermen for authorization to acquire the house and the board approved, with the condition it be preserved, according to Susan Weisselberg, coordinator of construction for the school system.
But the house stood in the way of an expanded driveway on the Division Street side of the new school. So, in March 2004, at a cost of $198,000, it was moved toward the nearby Yale Divinity School.
The new school opened in time for the 2005 fall school year, but the house remained empty.
"We looked at it for the Early Childhood Assessment Team program, a good fit for Celentano," Weisselberg said. "We put it out to bid twice" for renovation. "But both times, the bids came in over budget. It wouldn’t have been fiscally prudent to proceed."
She said the bids were for more than $2 million.
Now, Weisselberg said, it’s up to other city officials to try to sell the house. Late last year, the Board of Education declared it surplus property and turned it back to the city.
"It’s a wonderful house," Weisselberg said. "It’d be great if it went to a family or nonprofit. But it needs work."
City Plan Director Karyn Gilvarg said before the house is sold, she would like to see it used to demonstrate how to apply "green standards" (environmentally-friendly) to an historic building. But she said a grant might need to be obtained for this.
John Herzan, an officer for the New Haven Preservation Trust, said an historic resources inventory form reveals the Queen Anne-style house was built for observatory officer Robert Wilson in 1882. Herzan said the observatory was affiliated with Yale.
According to Herzan, the house is on the National Register of Historic Places and a contributing structure to the Prospect Hill Historic District.
Noting the house’s historic significance and disrepair, Herzan said, "It’s a preservation concern. Anyone who values New Haven’s architectural heritage is worried about the future of this building. It’s not good to have a house empty indefinitely."
When the Preservation Trust featured the house in its newsletter last fall, it was called "important to the Prospect Street streetscape."
"One would hope a committed preservationist would step up to that purchase and restore the house," the newsletter writer added.
Noting such a commitment is not assured, the Trust’s writer added, "That’s why the establishment of a Local Historic District could make a difference."
Without an LHD, the writer noted, a property owner could remove a chimney or the front porch without review or approval or add an incongruous addition such as a garage.Property owners of the St. Ronan-Edgehill neighborhood, which includes Prospect Street, are expected to vote this summer or fall on whether to establish a historic district.
Randall Beach can be reached at or 789-5766.

Don't forget us

Tucked away in a corner of the city: Abraham Ribicoff Cottages.

At left, New Haven police officer Jodi Novella, left, and Lt. Bernie Somers, right, talk to residents of the complex during a block watch meeting.

Photo by Peter Hvizdak

“I love it out here. I was loving it out here for all these years, but the change is very depressing. All the buildings boarded up. All these fences being put up around here. We’re a community out here. We’re like family and friends,” said resident Cynthia Howie.

Read Bill Kaempffer's full story and watch the video at:

United Way and Facebook

United Way and other charities find new ways to raise money and recruit volunteers to get involved in their communities.

Read Ed Stannard's full story here:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Off to college

Natalie Gwynn-Gabriel Alexander, daughter of Nancy Alexander and Phillip Bernstein of New Haven, graduated from Emma Willard School on June 1, school officials said. It was the school’s 194th commencement ceremony. She is shown here with Director of Vocal Music Debra Spiro-Allen.

Jack Easterling, who retired this month after 40 years at the school, delivered the Commencement speech.

Natalie was head of the Twelve Tones, a senior a cappella group, was a member of the choir, inner choir, and Semiquavers, and played in the orchestra. She also played varsity soccer and was a member of Model Congress. Natalie will attend Northwestern University. Founded in 1814, Emma Willard School is one of the oldest college preparatory boarding and day schools for girls in the country, serving more than 300 students in ninth through twelfth grades and the post-graduate year.

DMV: new laws alone won't save teen drivers

Parents, police and driver training schools must work together to ensure change occurs, officials say.

Read Luther Turmelle's full story here:

Activists to Joe: Go

A group of liberal online activists brought a petition with 43,000 virtual signatures to Capitol Hill Wednesday, demanding that Senate Democrats yank U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman’s committee chairmanship in the next Congress.

Read Ed Stannard's full story here:

Elm City Resident Card holder identities protected by FOI. Maybe

The Freedom of Information Commission Wednesday upheld a preliminary decision allowing New Haven to withhold the identities of participants in the Elm City Resident Card program. But the debate does not end with the vote.

Read Register Topics Editor Mary O'Leary's ful story here:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yale Music Library Honors Leroy Anderson Centennial with Exhibition

Yale University’s Irving S. Gilmore Music Library is honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Leroy Anderson with an exhibition entitled “Of Typewriters and Sleigh Bells: A Celebration of Leroy Anderson.” It features seven musical manuscripts in Anderson’s hand, including the immortal “Sleigh Ride,” as well as unusual artifacts such as Anderson’s baton, the typewriter that was used as a musical instrument in The Typewriter, and Gov. Jodi Rell’s official proclamation declaring June 29, 2008 Leroy Anderson Day.

Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) was America’s foremost composer of light orchestral music, organizers said. He produced numerous popular classics, including “Sleigh Ride,” “The Typewriter,” “The Syncopated Clock,” and “Blue Tango.” From 1949 until his death, Anderson lived in Woodbury.

Anderson’s widow, Eleanor Anderson, donated the Leroy Anderson Papers to Yale in a series of gifts beginning in 1987. For this exhibition, the Anderson family has generously agreed to lend a wide variety of additional materials.

The exhibition is on display from June 27 to August 29. The Gilmore Music Library is inside Sterling Memorial Library, at 120 High St. During the summer, it is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public.


Ben Ross of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven holds a memorial stone for the month of June placed on the Iraq War Memorial Cairn in the park at the intersecton of Broadway, Elm and Park Street in New Haven. Each of the stones in the pile represent one month that has passed since the beginning of the War in Iraq on March 19, 2003. On each stone is the record of the U.S. military deaths reported during the month. The peace group Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice sponsors the vigil marking the cost of the war in Iraq.


City pleased with options for Coliseum site

One project was an example of opportunity, the other was of a frustrating bureaucracy officials hoped to crack.
The Development Commission was told Tuesday a review committee has narrowed consideration of developers for the former Veterans Memorial Coliseum to three teams and all the options were good.

Read Mary O'Leary's full story at:

Developer buys infamous housing site

NEW HAVEN — Almost a decade ago, the plan was to move out the low-income residents of the Church Street South project to less isolated quarters with access to neighborhood amenities.
It never came to pass.

But with the purchase this month of the 300 units by the Northland Investment Corp. of Newton, Mass., city officials are hopeful the prime property will eventually accommodate a mix of housing, both market rate and low-income, retail, commercial development and maybe even a hotel.

Read the full story at:

West River worried

Bullets are flying and West River neighborhood wants answers. At right, resident Hugh Edwards spoke Tuesday night at a forum held at the
Berger Apartments Community Room.

Read Bill Kaempffer's full story at:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Keeping the faith

Book discussion group ponders many topics

NEW HAVEN - Center Church on the Green, a congregation of the United Church of Christ, will sponsor a new session of Faith Forum, a weekly book discussion group starting at 10 a.m. July 15 in the Parish House library at 311 Temple St. Faith Forum is free and open to the public will include discussion of timely books and topics, said Center Church pastor, the Rev. Sandra Olsen.
The July Faith Forum will examine the book, "Christianity for the Rest of Us" by Diana Butler Ross.
Copies of the book are available in the church office. "Though we have all heard about the rapid rise of evangelical congregations, there are main line Protestant churches which are also vital and growing," Olsen said in a prepared statement. "Main line churches are often portrayed in the media as dying, because they are too theologically liberal, or hang on to a past tradition that seems outdated. But in this book the author shows that main line Protestantism is alive and well, growing and vital."
The book group recently finished "Terror in the Mind of God," a book about the rise of religious violence. Faith Forum also recently tackled C.S. Lewis’ "The Problem of Pain," a book about Lewis’ struggle with the age-old question of pain, as well as Huston Smith’s "The Religions of Man," Harold Kushner’s "Living a Life that Matters," and "What Went Wrong," by Bernard Lewis" about the fragmenting of the relationship between Islam and the West. Center Church on the Green has been on the New Haven Green for the past 370 years and is a registered New Haven Connecticut Landmark. The church is well known for its crypt, which is built over a small portion of the town’s burial ground and includes 137 famous gravestones of New Haven ‘s founders and earliest citizens dating back to 1687. The Church is actively involved in its community, offering space and assistance to the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, as well as being involved in Columbus House, Hill Health Center’s The Baby’s Closet, and Christian Community Action & AIDS Interfaith Network. For more information about the church or services, visit or call (203)787-0121.

Beach on nuts (and bolts)

Hardware store owner calling it quits after 33 years in Elm City

AFTER 33 YEARS SPENT selling paint, nuts and bolts and mouse traps, as well as making thousands of keys, Len Mullally finally has had enough.
He’d been thinking about closing down his Bunnell Paint & Hardware for many months, but it was the heat, his age (74) and a conversation about a week ago that convinced him it was time.
"One of my customers told me he was looking for a rent, to open a cafe maybe," Mullally said. "He’s not really committed, but …"
Mullally and I agreed coffee shops do well in New Haven, far better than hardware stores.
After thinking about that exchange with his customer, Mullally contacted his landlord, Joseph Reagan, then posted a big sign in the front window of the store at Pearl and Orange streets: "Going out of business sale."
When I saw the sign last week, I felt sadness but not surprise. Everybody knows independent hardware stores are in trouble in this country, along with many other small businesses.
I read the other signs: "For sale: wood chipper, new cash register" and "Buy two, get one free, 20 percent off, except keys" and "Shoplifters: you are on camera!"
Mullally wasn’t overjoyed at the prospect of being interviewed and declined to pose for a photograph. But he gradually warmed up as I asked him about the history of the place and his own history.
The radio in his store was playing that old chestnut by Tommy James and the Shondells, "I Think We’re Alone Now," but it wasn’t true; there was one customer on the premises, buying duct tape, drop cloths, paint and sandpaper.
His name was Matt Higbee and he was upset about that sign in the window. "It’s very convenient for me. I’m fixing up an old house on Edwards Street. I’ll miss having a place around the corner."
He looked around. "I like old hardware stores, the sound of the door. I’ve always been able to find everything I needed here."
Mullally assured him he would be staying open at least through the summer as he weeds out his inventory. "Anybody want to buy 500 boxes of nuts and bolts?" Mullally asked us.
Higbee and I were silent. Mullally said, "You know what it is? Nobody’s got any money."
Mullally lit a cigarette as Higbee departed. We went back to sit in his small office, a space with a portable fan and dozens of wall photos of his kids, grandkids, Mullally bowling and a team shot of the Little League team he used to coach in Hamden. There was also this sign: "I’m the boss."
He told me the store got started on State Street, circa 1951. About a year later, George Bunnell and his wife moved to Orange Street. They brought with them their two full-time workers. One of them was Frankie Mongillo.
When Mullally bought the business in 1975, he kept Mongillo. He couldn’t afford to keep them both. Last year he realized he could no longer afford to keep Mongillo either.
"He was ready to go," Mullally said. "I don’t think he was offended. He’s 87 or 88."
And now it’s time for Mullally to follow Mongillo into retirement, although he admits his wife, Jean, might not like him being underfoot at their home in Hamden.
"For the last five years I’ve just been working for spending money, just to keep busy," he said. "It just got to be too much of a grind — and it’s hot."
Although Mullally had several other fans in use around the store as well as two air conditioners, he noted, "They don’t work like they used to. They’re telling me: ‘Get out!’"
Sure, he blames the ever-bigger suburban hardware stores for luring away customers, but he added, "I used to have a lot of industrial accounts and Yale. As they turn over, you lose contacts, you lose the business."
He has two sons and a daughter, but they’re not hankering to run a hardware store.
He lit another cigarette. Nobody had walked into the store during the 40 minutes we’d been talking. "I’ve been kidding myself for a while," he said. "If I felt good and strong, I’d keep working for peanuts. It’s not worth it anymore."
He regrets he won’t be able to bowl during his retirement. He had to give it up a couple of years ago when gout began to affect his hands.
When I asked him about his feelings for the store, he said, "I’ll miss it, yeah. Good people. One thing I’m really proud of: I turned this from a paint and wallpaper store to a paint and hardware store. The first week I turned away 50-100 people who wanted keys made."
We tried to think of any hardware stores left in New Haven. Hull’s Hardware survives, as does Whalley Hardware.
"It’s the same old story," Mullally said. "People don’t miss you till you’re not there."
Randall Beach can be reached at or 789-5766.

Packing up the studio

Artist who went to Yale grad school at 18 gets booted. Annabel Osberg is shown at right in a photo by Register photographer Melanie Stengel.

Read Mary O'Leary's full story at:

Register's former editor dies at 92

Known simply as Mr. Leeney in the newsroom, the Register had to say goodbye to a man like no other.

Read the full story here:

The Board of Education's Administration and Finance Committee approved artist Sam Wiener's work for Bishop Woods School, after deciding a revised sculpture would fit in. His original design is at right.

Read Elizabeth Benton's full story at:

Monday, July 7, 2008

A night with the stars

And Saturn and Jupiter and the moon

The Astronomical Society of New Haven will hold a free family public viewing night at 8 p.m. Friday, July 11, at the Bethany Observatory, 111 Hilldale Road, Bethany. ASNH members will point their telescopes at the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and the stars. Members will also point out the summer constellations and any other passing satellites.Parking and admission are free. Families are welcome. Rain or heavy clouds will cancel. Donations are always appreciated. For more information and directions, goto

First Annual Prince Hall Friends & Family Day

NEW HAVEN — The First Annual Prince Hall Friends & Family Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 23 at Goffe Street Park.
The event, sponsored by Widow’s Son Lodge #1, Oriental Lodge #6, King Solomon, Lodge #23, OES-Eureka, Chapter No. 2, will include free food, games, gifts, raffles, and fun for everyone, organizers said. There also will be live entertainment, basketball, a softball tournament, a voter registration drive, drill teams and step competition. All vendors are welcome.
For more information, call Dexter Jones, Sr. at (203) 410-9454 or Michael James at (203) 530-6246.

Faith Forum books talk continues July 15

NEW HAVEN - Center Church on the Green, a congregation of the United Church of Christ, will sponsor a new session of Faith Forum, a weekly book discussion group starting at 10 a.m. July 15 in the Parish House library at 311 Temple St.
Faith Forum is free and open to the public will include discussion of timely books and topics, said to Center Church pastor, the Rev. Sandra Olsen. The July Faith Forum will examine the book, "Christianity for the Rest of Us" by Diana Butler Ross. Copies of the book are available in the church office.
"Though we have all heard about the rapid rise of evangelical congregations, there are main line Protestant churches which are also vital and growing," Olsen said in a prepared statement. "Main line churches are often portrayed in the media as dying, because they are too theologically liberal, or hang on to a past tradition that seems outdated. But in this book the author shows that main line Protestantism is alive and well, growing and vital."
The book group recently finished "Terror in the Mind of God," a book about the rise of religious violence. Faith Forum also recently tackled C.S. Lewis’ "The Problem of Pain," a book about Lewis’ struggle with the age-old question of pain, as well as Huston Smith’s "The Religions of Man," Harold Kushner’s "Living a Life that Matters," and "What Went Wrong," by Bernard Lewis" about the fragmenting of the relationship between Islam and the West.
Center Church on the Green has been on the New Haven Green for the past 370 years and is a registered New Haven Connecticut Landmark. The church is well known for its crypt, which is built over a small portion of the town’s burial ground and includes 137 famous gravestones of New Haven ‘s founders and earliest citizens dating back to 1687. The Church is actively involved in its community, offering space and assistance to the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, as well as being involved in Columbus House, Hill Health Center’s The Baby’s Closet, and Christian Community Action & AIDS Interfaith Network. For more information about the church or services, visit or call (203)787-0121.

Intergenerational Concert at the JCC

The Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven will hold an intergenerational concert at 11:45 a.m. July 9, made possible by a Women of Vision Society Grant from the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven. Senior citizens from two communities will be brought to the JCC by buses, joining campers who attend the JCC summer day camp.
Entertaining will be singer Danna Banana, dubbed "best party entertainer" by New York Magazine .
Seventy JCC campers ages 5-7 will be attend the concert.
Elderly residents are invited from Tower One/Tower East, a New Haven assisted living community, which is home to more than 375 older adults. Also invited are senior citizens living at the Jewish Home for the Aged in New Haven .
The concert is sponsored by a Women of Vision Society Grant. The Women of Vision Society was created in 1996 to ensure that a permanent, restricted endowment fund would forever be available to enhance the quality of life for Jewish women and their families in Greater New Haven. Annual grants have been made since 1998.

The JCC is at 360 Am ity Road (Route 63) in Woodbridge .

Man charged in sculpture theft wants victim to have his art

An artist's offer of forgiveness to the man charged with stealing her sculptures has come full circle.

Read Mary O'Leary's full story at:

Angels return to city

Read the full story at:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

UNH hires vice president for University Advancement

Richard J. Tuchman, of Middletown, has been selected as the vice president for University Advancement at the University of New Haven. Tuchman is a prominent Connecticut fundraising professional who currently serves as the executive director of development at the University of Hartford, UNH officials said in a statement.
Tuchman will begin his position at UNH, which he notes is “a university on the rise,” on July 28, the statement said.
During his 22 years as an advancement officer, Tuchman has been an executive in the development and advancement offices at Yale University, Saint Joseph College, Quinnipiac University and at the American Heart Association, and began his career with the Boy Scouts of America. A member of the team completing the University of Hartford’s $175 million capital campaign, Tuchman also led a successful $30 million campaign at Saint Joseph and directed the Quinnipiac University Development Office for four years.
Tuchman was born in New York and reared in New Bedford, Mass. He is a certified fund-raising executive and graduate of Cornell University with a master’s in journalism from Quinnipiac University.
A private university founded in 1920, UNH has an enrollment of more than 5,000 students.

A muddy mess

Rain, a pile of dirt and hilly topography led to a mini-mudslide in a woman’s home on Huntington Avenue, and an application for an arrest warrant for a nearby property owner.

Read Mary O'Leary's full story at:


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Gunfire at Dixwell Avenue and West Division Street

Another shooting in the city today. Watch this video to learn more and check out the New Haven Register Thursday for full details.

Everyone was a true winner in Largest Loser

The results are in : The Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven’s Largest Loser Contest took 500 pounds off contestants after two months of workout sessions five times per week, personal training, nutrition counseling, team competitions and weekly weigh-ins.

Crystal Dunbar of Woodbridge. shown top photo, center, was crowned the Largest Loser on June 29, having lost 38.8 pounds and 18.7% of total body weight. She was awarded a Lifetime Membership to the JCC. Shown with Dunbar are
personal trainer Mark Modine and JCC Personal trainer Erika Shea

Following the basic concept of TV’s “Biggest Loser,” the JCC’s Largest Loser was a healthy, competitive challenge that encouraged participants to lose weight through exercise and healthy eating, guided by on-staff JCC experts such as personal trainers and a registered dietitian, JCC officials said.

Alongside the two competing main teams was the Fitness Director’s Shadow Team, recruited so that anyone who wanted to do so could have the opportunity to get both healthier and more fit.

The Blue Team lost a total of 222.8 pounds; the Red Team is 151.8 pounds lighter, and the Shadow Team dropped 118.2 pounds. All Blue team members received makeovers from Progressions Salon, 214 Amity Road, Woodbridge.

Paul Proto of Wallingford said “this was much more than a competition. It was a life-changing experience. I have new habits, new routines, new friends.”

Nancy Sodhoff of Bethany is “a stronger, more confident person…this was the most uplifting experience. Everyone at the JCC and the team especially was so supportive.” And finally, in the words of Mike Morris of Bethany, “being able to have a team of well-spirited people that care for each other, work together with two great coaches creates the excitement and personal energy to make a difference.”

The contest was made possible through support of contest sponsors Subway, Levey Miller Maretz Commercial Realtors, Freeman Group Northwest Mutual Financial Network, and Cherry Hill Construction Co., Inc. Contestants were treated to a celebratory final party at The Fan Restaurant and Sportsbar in Woodbridge .
The program was so successful that the JCC will roll out Largest Loser II in January 2009. Pre-applications are already being accepted. Interested applicants can call Susan Donovan, JCC Director of Group Fitness and Development, at (203) 387-2522, ex. 265, or download an application online at The JCC is at 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge .

Something Fishy

Don't ever say Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration doesn't know how to serve up a banquet

Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration held a special Penguin Party Wednesday, celebrating the determination that its two new chicks are both boys, the facility said.
In case anyone thinks the cake looks enticing, the institute reports that it is a three mold jello variety, "with a delicious squid topping and several layers containing yummy capelin fish." The base of the cake had traditional vanilla frosting, the institute said.

The news, however, is not all good: the penguins were less than enthusiastic about the cake, the institute reports. It also noted "the seagulls however were more than willing to try it but then again, seagulls will eat anything."

Photo courtesy: Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration

Police want to talk to man seen in area of Jovin slaying

Do you recognize this man? If so, police want to talk to you. The four-person team trying to revive the investigation of the 1998 killing of a Yale co-ed Suzanne Jovin have put the face on a new flier.

Read Bill Kaempffer's full story at:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The New Haven Library will honor ADA Anniversary

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Public Library will honor the 18th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act with a free screening of a 2007 feature film, Music Within, at 6 p.m. July 10. This film chronicles the true story of Richard Pimentel, who was largely responsible for the passage of the historic act in 1990, library officials said. About Music Within , film critic Roger Ebert said "Pimentel's own experiences and what he sees happening to his friends inspire him to become a disability rights activist…The movie works, it's effective, and audiences will respond to it…Just remember that its hero stands for countless others," library officials said in a statement.

Music Within will be introduced by Michelle Duprey, director of New Haven's Department of Services for Persons with Disabilities. There is no charge for the event, which will take place at the downtown library, 133 Elm St. Free parking is available. The library is wheelchair-accessible. Details: 946-8835.

Wild about flowers!

According to a release from Shaun Roche, visitor services manager at the  Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, "Each spr...