Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Purim Party

GUILFORD - A Children’s Purim Party will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. March 3 at the Jewish Federation’s Shoreline location at the Women and Family Life Center, Carrriage House, 96 Fair St.
Children ages 2-6 and their parents are invited to hear the story of Queen Esther and her Uncle Mordechai. Songs, a grogger (noisemaker) workshop, crowns and traditional Hamentashen cookies will make it an afternoon to remember, organizers said.
The party is sponsored by Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven Shoreline Outreach, and the Department of Jewish Education/The PJ Library. To RSVP, call Risa Walter at (203) 387-2424 ex. 385, or e-mail

It's a mystery

NEW HAVEN - The Connecticut Sisters in Crime mystery series book discussions will star Karen Olson, author of "Sacred Cows," from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 25 at the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St.
Olson will participate in a discussion of her New-Haven based mystery.
CT Sisters in Crime is a monthly discussion series of popular mysteries written by Connecticut women authors. Discussions are led by author Carole Shmurak, Professor Emerita at Central Connecticut State University and the author of the Susan Lombardi mysteries.

The discussions are free, free parking is available, and coffee is provided. Registration is requested at or call the library at (203) 946-8835.

Something fishy

The Housatonic Fly Fishermen's Association will hold its annual banquet and raffle beginning with cocktails at 5 p.m. March 21 at Il Monticello's at 577 South Broad St., Meriden.
The event will include a presentation by Bob Jacklin, of West Yellowstone, Mont.

Jacklin is president of the Rocky Mountain Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers, is "one of the first certified master casters, and one of the finest people and fishermen you could ever meet," the Web site For Jacklin's Fly Shop says. Here Bob sits at his fly tying room at home where he still ties his patterns for his shop. On October 23, 2004 Bob Jacklin was inducted into the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame, the site says.
Tickets to the banquet can be purchased by sending a check, payable to HFFA, Dan Kenny, 6 Clough Road, Waterbury, Conn., 06708. For more information call Dan at (203) 206-6848 or e-mail

Watch Jacklin fish here:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Year of the Ox

WOODBRIDGE - More than 100 people attended The Chinese Festival Art Exhibition on Valentine’s Day at the Woodbridge Library.

Presented by the Southern Connecticut Chinese School, the exhibit celebrated the Year of the Ox and featured paintings, drawings, calligraphy and more from the students, members and staff, library staff said.

The school is a non-profit organization with a mission to teach the Chinese language, traditional arts, and to raise awareness of Chinese culture.

The ert exhibit "was a huge success, and a perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day," library officials said in a statement.

Getting fundraising right

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Public Library will hold a seminar to help boards and staff of nonprofit organizations update their understanding of government regulations relating to fundraising from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mar. 12, at the library at 133 Elm St.
Attorney Priya Morganstern, director of the Hartford Program of the Pro Bono Partnership, and Thomas M. Fiorentino, assistant Attorney General of Connecticut, will discuss:

  • Is your organization properly registered to conduct fundraising?

  • Are you appropriately reporting the donations you receive to the IRS?

  • Do your solicitations contain required disclosures?

  • Are the proper acknowledgements being provided to your donors?

  • If you are generating income from a business venture, do you owe taxes on this income?

    There is no charge for the seminar, and free parking is available. Registration is required at or call the library at (203) 946-8835.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What a trip!

By Ronald Huggins

While waking up over a school break at 4:30 a.m. would be a challenge for most students, it wasn’t for the 25 youths who had to be at New Haven Police Department at 5 a.m. to get on the bus to the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum in Baltimore, Md.
At 5:30 a.m., the people on the bus enjoyed a breakfast at McDonald’s that was paid for by the New Haven Police Department P.A.L. program, under officers Marcus Tavares and Nancy Jordan. PAL also sponsored the trip.
The trip included students and a host of other people, such as truancy officers, correction officers, school teachers and police officers.
During the 4 1/2 hour trip, issues pertaining to inner city community violence were discussed. I am 16 and a junior at James Hillhouse High School, and I asked the personnel, what some of the benefits of going on this trip were. Officer Tavares responded that from learning our history we learn what our ancestors went through and hopefully that will help to prevent young people from killing each other over nonsense.
Once at the museum the students were in awe over being able to see history "virtually." Yvonne White, 18, also a student at Hillhouse, said that the experience was very exciting, and being able to see all the different wax sculptures made her better understand black history and how we as a race progressed from being slaves and slave-minded to being free as humans and free in our minds.

Justin Pittman, 13, who attends Sheridan Academy, said after seeing the lynching exhibit he believes that they were real brutal but also worries that lynching is still going on in our society. Chantel Morrison that literal lynching is not going on today, but that we as a people are lynching ourselves with drugs, alcohol and guns.
Officer Dewlyne Ponteau a school resource officer at Hillhouse, said that the trip was very educational and it showed some of the struggles that are ancestors went through. Sheila Little, chief clerk at Hillhouse, said while viewing the exhibits the harsh reality of what our ancestors endured really hit home and that our struggles still continue to this day.
The sad truth is knowing that homicide is the leading cause of death among black males ages 15 to 24. Between 1976 and 2008 94 percent of black murder victims were killed by black offenders. The exhibits were really educational and I hope to share with my peers what I learned and trying to find away to stop youth from lynching themselves from drugs, alcohol, guns and irresponsible activities like unprotected sex.
Editor's note: Ronald Huggins is a student at James Hillhouse High School in New Haven. For information about the National Great Blacks In Wax Museum,

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Your Place

NEW HAVEN — Local businesses, professionals, Yale students, and New Haven teens have come together to create an alternative to gangs at Your Place: Youth Center, a new after-school program for teens affected by street violence. The community will come together to help kick off the Spring Session of Your Place: Youth Center at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 23.
More than 35 Yale students and New Haven professionals will begin tutoring, mentoring, and leading the Career Group, Singing Group, Women’s and Men’s Group, and PeaceJam Group. Michele Porchia of Inner Dimensions will provide career skills training. Subway will provide several dinners, and employees from Diversified Employment have taken time out of their day to make dinner for kick-off day. The Shubert, Yale Repertory Theater, and Alisa’s House of Salsa, are some of the businesses coming together to provide cultural activities on Friday nights for teens.
The mission at Your Place is to end violence by creating an alternative to gangs. Your Place seeks to empower and build leadership among New Haven teens so they can become positive leaders in the community. Teens attend weekly groups, work with mentors and tutors, as well as attend conferences, seminars, and fun cultural activities on Friday nights.
In every activity, Your Place teaches teens about peaceful alternatives to street violence. Your Place launched on July 7, 2008 and could not have been run without the dedication and commitment of the New Haven community.
For more information or to volunteer, call Jane Jeuland, program director and co-founder at (203) 507-4155.

Tax help - it's free

NEW HAVEN — New Life Corporation and the Coalition for Working Families offer free tax preparation to low-moderate income individuals/families through the Volunteer Individual Tax Assistance Program. Working individual and family households that earn less than $42,000 a year will receive free assistance in accessing federal income credits while filing their income tax return.
The two agencies already have served more than 1,000 working residents and have returned more than $2.5 million back to filers in Federal and Earned Income Tax Credits this tax season, officials said.
New Life Corporation Executive Director Ariel Martinez said in a statement that there has been "a significant increase" in the number of people using the program this year. "I attribute this to the recession in our economy where individuals and families are looking to any financial support they may access in order to help them make ends meet," he said in the statement.
New Life Corporation runs five VITA sites: Columbus House, 592 Ella T. Grasso Blvd.; Centro San Jose, 290 Grand Ave.; ‘r kids Family Center, 45 Dixwell Ave.; United Shoreline Federal Credit Union, 107 Whitney Ave., all in New Haven and the West Haven Community House, 227 Elm St., West Haven.
For more information, including days and times, (203) 777-1319.

A new rank

Students, including children and adults, from the Academy of Kempo Martial Arts in Hamden received their new ranks. Being promoted to a new rank at the academy takes an understanding of the movements learned for each rank and the ability to perform those movements proficiently, the center said in a statement.
For the children it is equally important for them to show an improved understanding of how to use respect, self-control and self-discipline.

The Academy of Kempo Martial Arts congratulates the following students for their achievements: adult ranks (adult and teens): Orange Belt - Antonio Rodriguez, Purple Belt - Cazimir Bzdyra, and Blue Belt - Ben Hawkins. Junior Ranks (4-10 years old): Junior Yellow Belt – Khiry Oliver, Junior Orange - Timothy Wieland and Alexander Antoine, and Junior Green Stripe Belts - Mitchell Stevenson Jr. For more information on the Academy, call 288-9990 or visit
In photo: back row: l to r: Grandmaster Brian Hanson, Antonio Rodriguez, Cazimir Bzdyra, Ben Hawkins and Shihan Frank Ciarleglio. Front row Khiry Oliver, Timothy Wieland, Alexander Antoine and Mitchell Stevenson Jr.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Police nab murder suspect

NEW HAVEN - Darryl Staton, 38, of County Street, was arrested in connection with the shooting of Linda Lawrence and the death of her son, Enrique, 27. Police had not yet released further details this morning.
The shooting occurred in the overnight hours of Feb. 11 at Lawrence’s Munson Street home. Both victims were shot in the head and and Enrique died a day later.
Despite her wound, Linda Lawrence managed to identify Staton, a man she knew, as the gunman. Police have not disclosed a motive.
Staton faces charges of murder, kidnapping, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny and gun counts. His bond was set at $3 million.

PTSD subject of upcoming talk

WEST HAVEN - Milford Author Elliott Storm will speak on the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on veterans at a book signing event at 6:30 p.m. March 18 at the West Shore Lodge #2832, Order of the Sons & Daughters of Italy in Amerca, 37 Orlando St. West Haven.
Joining Storm will be: John Labarca, Jack Mordente, Timothy Kelly, the State Judge Advocate, Denise McDonald, former Miss Connecticut Heidi Voight, and others.

Dinner tickets are $15 for members of the Lodge; $20 for non-members. Cash bar. Reserve tickets now with checks payable to: West Shore Lodge #2832 OSDIA, c/o Phyllis Siclari, President, 75 E. Brown St., W. Haven, CT 06516. For more info, call (203) 605-6482.

Storm has travelled across the country to share his story.
The book will be available for sale after dinner for $24.95 (MasterCard and
Visa accepted). A portion of the proceeds will benefit the order's Scholarship Fund.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mardi gras celebration to benefit public library

NEW HAVEN — The New Haven Public Library will hold its annual Mardi Gras fundraiser beginning at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the New Haven Lawn Club, 193 Whitney Ave.

For the past 10 years, the library’s fundraiser has helped to lift "the local celebratory spirit of Fat Tuesday" while raising money to support library book collections and enhanced programs in the library system, organizers said. The fundraiser includes a silent auction, New Orleans Jazz band, dancing, French cuisine and awards for local community and literacy builders who have collaborated with the library, organizers said.

"We rely on Mardi Gras to raise funds for purchasing new books, adding and enhancing our system wide program offerings, and heightening public awareness and appreciation of the library’s mission," City Librarian James Welbourne said in a statement. "Though the community remembers our annual Mardi Gras celebration as festive and fun, we and the Patrons and Library Boards consider it an important lifeline to the on-going vitality of New Haven Free Public Library."
Tickets to Mardi Gras begin at $75.00 and offer participants ane opportunity to bid early on a variety of silent auction items, which include Elizabeth Alexander’s signed chap book of poetry featuring her 2009 inaugural poem, two tickets for a tour of the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, a personally guided tour of a New Haven neighborhood by author Colin Caplan for 5 guests, and two tickets to a Lincoln Center performance. The awards ceremony recognitions this year include: International Festival of Arts & Ideas, LEAP and Connecticut Humanities Council.
The Mardi Gras fundraiser offers giving opportunities to support the library, organizers said. Anyone who wants to donate an item and/or service to the silent auction, to purchase an ad in the program book, to support at a sponsorship level, or make a gift in honor of the public library, can find information and giving opportunities at

Police still searching for alleged killer

NEW HAVEN — Police are continuing to search for a 38-year-old man wanted for allegedly killing a 27-year-old man and wounding his mother in their home last week.
Police have had several reported sightings of Darryl Staton, of County Street, but so far none has panned out.
Staton is wanted for the Feb. 11 fatal shooting of Enrique Lawrence, 27 in a Munson Street home. The victim’s mother, Linda Lawrence, 52, a teacher’s aid, also was wounded.
Both were shot in the head.
Police say they have reason to believe Staton is still in the area and ask anyone with information about his whereabouts to call police at 946-6304 or at 687-0545. He is considered armed and dangerous.
He is charged with murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny and gun charges.
He is described as a black male, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 180 lbs.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Getting to know your neighbors

In this solar system, it's far but so near...

NEW HAVEN - What's 500 million miles from the sun, but named after the Roman god of war?

If you guessed (or knew it is) Mars, you were right, and can learn more about the fascinating Red Planet, by joining Steve Squyres, Goldwin Professor of Astronomy, Cornell University, and principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 at the Yale Peabody Museum on Whitney Avenue.

The event, free and open to the public will be held in the museum's auditorium on the third floor.

Squyres will provide an up-to-date summary of robotic missions that in Jan. 2004, landed twin robotic explorers, Spirit and Opportunity, on Mars.
Expected to last for 90 days, the two rovers have been exploring the Martian surface for five years. Their objective is to search for evidence of past water and determine whether Mars ever had conditions that would have been suitable for life.

Squyres will speak about everything from initial conception of the project through current operations on the surface of Mars.
The program is part of the Hall of Minerals, Earth and Space lecture series.

The top photo shows an artist’s impression of one of NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers exploring the surface of the Red Planet. Photos and details provide by the Yale Peabody Museum.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The woods are lovely, dark and deep

And you might see a coyote or an owl before you sleep

NORTH HAVEN — The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association will hold a hike into the Quinnipiac River State Park for paticipants to learn about wildlife in the winter woods from 1 to 3 p.m Sunday, Feb. 15.
The guide is Peter Picone, an association board member and state Department of Environmental Protection biologist. Hikers have found owls and coyote signs during this annual event.
Hikers should meet at the trail head on Banton Street, off State Street behind the Route 15 Mobil Station.
Participants should dress warmly, wear boots and bring binoculars, if available. For more information, contact the association at 203-237-2237 or

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pancakes for a great cause

ORANGE — The Fuel Assistance Fundraising Team of the Orange Senior Leadership Class of 2009 will hold a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11:30 a.m. March 21 at High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3.50 for children $3.50 and $15 for a family. There is a $1 discount on each ticket purchased in advance. The event will include a raffle of items donated by local businesses, and face painting and balloon sculpturing for children.
Tickets are available through the Community Services Office at the community center. For those unable to attend, donations can be made through checks, made out to treasurer, town of Orange and marked for the Emergency Fuel Fund, sent to OCS, 525 Orange Center Road, Orange, 06477.

HSC opens its doors

Come on over for a visit

NEW HAVEN — High School in the Community will hold a Magnet School Open House from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the inter-district magnet school at 175 Water St. All interested high school students are invited to attend the open house, meet with teachers, and tour the building. For more information call 946-7022.


Computer class

NEW HAVEN — Gateway Community College will offer a free eight-week course this spring designed for the computer illiterate.
Classes, which will begin shortly and meet once a week for two hours, will be held at the Long Wharf campus, 60 Sargent Drive. Senior citizens are welcome. Enrollment is limited.
Registration forms are available in the reception area at the Long Wharf campus. Register no later than 4 p.m. Feb. 14.

Yale-New Haven Hospital taking scholarship applications

NEW HAVEN - Applications are nowavailable for Yale-New Haven Hospital's 2009 minority nursing and allied health scholarships.

The hospital this spring will award seven scholarships to greater New Haven area graduating seniors who are planning to enroll in a full-time course of study towards a degree in nursing or the allied health field.

In addition to nursing, eligible undergraduate degree programs include pharmacy, respiratory therapy, medical technology, X-ray technology, physical or occupational therapy or nuclear medicine technology.
Each scholarship is renewable at $2,000 per year, for a total of $8,000. Eligible students must be a member of a minority group defined as Alaskan native, American Indian, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black or Hispanic and graduate in June 2009 from a Connecticut high school. Applicants must be a resident of New Haven or one of the 13 towns surrounding the city, including Bethany, Branford, Clinton, East Haven, Hamden, Guilford, Madison, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford, West Haven or Woodbridge.
Interested students must submit an application and transcript by March 15.

Applications can be obtained at the hospital's website at or by calling the hospital's recruitment and staffing office at 688-5083.

Growing up Red

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Public Library will act as host for state resident Anatole Konstantin discussing his recent memoir, "A Red Boyhood: Growing Up Under Stalin," in Writers Live! from 6 to 7 p.m. Mar. 5.

Konstantin's book begins in a little town in the Ukraine on the night of April 17, 1938, when his father was taken away by Soviet secret police and never seen again, library organizers said. His recollections "shimmer with small personal details against the global and political upheavals that roiled his childhood," the organizers said and he recreates the daily trials of people trapped under the repressive Stalinist regime, as well as the struggles of post-War refugees.

After the War, Konstantin graduated from the Technical University of Munich and emigrated to the United States, where he studied engineering at Columbia University, later founding PDC International Corp.

There free will be held at the Downtown Library, 133 Elm St. Atticus Bookstore Café will provide coffee and books for sale and signing, and free parking is available. Please register at
Oror call the library at 946-8835.

A judge before the judges

The New Haven Register today is covering a hearing during which Superior Court Judge E. Curtissa Cofield is before the Judicial Review Council as a result of what allegedly occurred during her arrest on a drunken driving charge.

Read the full story in Tuesday's edition of the New Haven Register and at

See the booking video here:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A good habit (at)

NEW HAVEN — Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven will hold an applicant information meeting for the Habitat Homebuyers Program from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 21, in the lower level Community Room at the Wilson Branch Library, 303 Washington Ave.
Free parking is available behind the library, off Daggett Street. No pre-registration is required.
The meeting will include details of how Habitat’s homeownership program works and its eligibility requirements. Pre-application materials will be available for families who are interested in applying. The Habitat Homebuyers Program is for first-time home buyers only. Applicants must earn 30 to 60 percent of the area median income to be eligible, and have good credit. Families selected for home ownership are required to put in 400 hours of "sweat equity" on the home and the home of another Habitat family.
Habitat plans to build eight homes in 2009. Since its founding in 1986, Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven has built or rehabbed 62 homes in New Haven, Hamden and Wallingford.
Founded in 1986, Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a non-profit organization dedicated to elimination of poverty housing through creation of home ownership opportunities for low-income, working families. Habitat builds and rehabilitates homes in New Haven County with the goal of creating safe, affordable homes that add to revitalization of city neighborhoods. Habitat accomplishes this by partnering with individuals, religious and civic organizations, local businesses and corporations. Habitat sells homes to partner families at no-profit, though 25-year, no 0%interest mortgages. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven, visit

Let the sun shine in

NEW HAVEN - The public is invited to find out more about solar energy in a presentation by Sunlight Solar Energy Inc. from 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 1 at the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St.

The informational session will be specifically tailored to regional property owners, organizer said.

In addition to an overview of solar technology and site requirements, presenters will outline elements of the Connecticut solar lease program and current state and Federal rebates available to homeowners.

Attendees will have an opportunity to ask specific questions.

Property owners are encouraged to bring their electric bills to receive a usage evaluation.
The event is free, and free parking is available. Call 946-8835 to register. For more information about Sunlight Solar Energy Inc., visit
Photo provided by the New Haven Public Library

Monday, February 2, 2009

Yale-New Haven Hospital will offer free colorectal cancer screening

Event will be held March 7

NEW HAVEN - In observance of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Yale-New Haven Hospital, in conjunction with the section of digestive diseases from Yale School of Medicine, will offer adults free colorectal cancer screenings from 8 a.m. to 3 pm March 7 at Temple Medical Center, 40 Temple St., Suite 1A. Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is preferred.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, according to the hospital. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they have a chance to turn into cancer.
For more information, or to register for a colorectal cancer screening, call (203) 785-4138.

Wild about flowers!

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