Saturday, April 25, 2009

Detours announced: South Frontage

NEW HAVEN — South Frontage Road between Park and York streets will be closed overnight for about three weeks so glass can be installed on a new pedestrian bridge, city spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said.
The bridge will connect the new Smilow Cancer Hospital with a medical building at 55 Park St., which in turn will connect to the Air Rights Garage, Mayorga said.The road will be closed 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting April 27 and continuing each night except Fridays and Saturdays. Detours will be posted.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Live Green with United Way and TwigTek

United Way of Greater New Haven has partnered with Yale student entrepreneurial group, TwigTek to create a fast, free way to dispose of used cell phones, chargers and Mp3 players while raising funds for United Way Success By 6, officials said.

Success By 6 is a "critical investment in early childhood education to ensure that every child in our region is ready to succeed and learn by school age," the agencies said in a statement.

To donate a cellular phones, Mp3 players and chargers, visit for a free shipping label or collection locations.

Shown. l to r, Kenny Castaneda, Charity Relations for TwigTek; Jonathan Faccento, Cara Pavelko and Randy Whitcomb, all United Way of Greater New Haven; Charles Bush, Yale University ’09; Laura Wellman, Yale ’12; and C.J May, recycling coordinator at Yale Recycles)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

From how to make a bed to how to help with homework

This guy tells you just how to survive.

You know you loved him on that radio station in Milford* and now you can still get all kinds of great advice from Greater New Haven's own Bruce Barber - and it's free! At least it's free for now, while Bruce does his "Real Life Survival Guide" with Tips for Living. We here at Elm City Express never lead you wrong and we guarantee you are going to both learn something useful and get a good laugh about it at the same time. Whether it's how to get baked on cheese off...or how to get pesky little ants out of your kitchen, Bruce adds his own spin to things. He practical, he's environmentally aware and he's downright cute.

You can check out his full site here.

In case you've only heard his voice, this is him:

*Yes, it's true Elm City Express won't name that Milford station since it laid off certain great personalities.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hold on to your hat: Carlos is in Coney Island

If you liked "Ankle Soup," the book illustrated by Woodbridge native Alison Josephs, (and we are willing to bet that you did) you also are likely to love her new release, "Custard and Mustard, Carlos in Coney Island."

While "Ankle Soup" recounted the adventures of a little French bulldog named Carlos as he makes his way through Grand Central Station, the new book places le petite chien at Coney Island.

Written by Maureen Sullivan and illustrated by Josephs, “Custard and Mustard" is "a rollicking read, much like a ride on the famed Cyclone rollercoaster, it captures the unique character and thrill of the nation’s first amusement park—and America’s favorite playground—Coney Island, a place of buskers and hucksters, old salts and Carni-freaks, still just a subway ride away for New Yorkers, and now, available to readers everywhere by virtue of this wonderful book," said Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President, in a review.

In one passage, Sullivan wrote:

"This delicate pretzel, all lacy and white? Don’t let it fool you, you’d better hold tight. Your fast beating heart could end up in your mouth, when the car inching northward decides to plunge south."

Josephs, a painter and graphic designer working in New York City, grew up in Woodbridge, graduating from Amity High School in 1983. She went on to earn a BFA from Cornell University and studied in Florence and Assisi.
Her work focuses on New York themes such as Yankee Stadium and Coney Island. Shown below, Josephs now lives in Hoboken, NJ with her ankle-high Norwich Terrier, Ruby.

Josephs will be at the The Yale Bookstore on June 27, for an event. For more on her books, click here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Animal Awareness Day at SCSU

The Southern Connecticut State University Humane Education Committee will holds its First Annual Animal Awareness Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, in the Academic Quad Area Near Earl Hall.
The event is intended to help participants learn about the dependency people have on the animal kingdom,exchange knowledge on the plight of animals in the food, and cosmetic/fashion industry, criminal behavior and animal abuse, the contributions of companion animals such as therapy and guiding eyes dogs and police dogs.
There also will be a chance to exchange knowledge about the animals in partcipants' personal lives. For more information, call Jane Ciarlone at (203) 392-6820

This only is the witchcraft I have used

A Woodbridge high school student was the winner of the recent Shakespeare Competition by The English-Speaking Union’s New Haven Branch.
Sivan Battat, a sophomore at Amity Regional High School, recited the Monologue from Othello, IV, iii - Sonnet # 64 for the competition, for which the English Department of the University of New Haven acted as host. Professor Donald M. Smith was the master of ceremonies.

Each competitor recited a monologue of not more than 20 lines, followed by a sonnet. Judges look for clear understanding of the pieces, clarity and naturalness of delivery, and a dramatic arc. Battat, 15, shown, also attends Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven.
The English Speaking Union is an international organization dedicated to promoting global understanding through English. One of its national activities is the Annual Shakespeare Competition. Area high schools hold competitions and send winners to the branch competition. The branch winners compete in the national competition in New York City in April.
Competition judges were: James Andreassi, artistic director of Elm Shakespeare Company; Jonathan Hartmann, a UNH professor now teaching Shakespeare; and Iris McQuillan-Grace, a former winner of the New Haven competition.
Other competitors were: runner up, Jared Silverstone, Educational Center for the Arts; honorable mention, Rachel Litvin, Hamden Hall Country Day School; Jules Lefevre, Cromwell High School; Rachel Leibiger, Mercy High School, Middletown; Nina Leff, Chase Collegiate High School, Waterbury; Greg Scheiber, North Branford High School; Justin LaCoursiere, Shelton High School; Ebony Rivera, University High School of Science & Engineering, Hartford; Brechin Knapp, The Morgan School, Clinton; and Samantha Jay, Daniel Hand High School, Madison.

Something to smile about

When the Connecticut Mission of Mercy provided free dental work to more than 2,000 people who turned out at the New Haven Athletic Center, it left many people with something to smile about.
Photo by Melanie Stengel

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kick the habit

NEW HAVEN — The Hospital of Saint Raphael will hold a free educational stop-smoking seminar as part of an effort to make hospital facilities completely smoke-free later this year.
The event will take place from :30 to 6: 30 p.m. April 30 in Saint Raphael’s Cronin Auditorium, 1450 Chapel St. Pre-registration is recommended.
The seminar, co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society, will address health risks of smoking both to smokers and those around them. An ex-smoker and American Cancer Society volunteer will offer tips on how to stop and explain the financial benefits of quitting. Representatives from Saint Raphael’s will discuss the hospital’s Freedom From Smoking cessation program and alternative methods to fight nicotine addiction, such as acupuncture and hypnosis.
To register: Call (203) 789-3989 or sign up online at

Alder candidates to announce

NEW HAVEN — Two Democrats, in Westville’s 24th and 26th wards, respectively, are expected to launch aldermanic campaigns Saturday, April 18.
Marcus Paca will launch his campaign for alderman in the 24th ward at 2 p.m. Saturday, at Mama Mary’s Soulfood Restaurant on Whalley Avenue.
Paca will face Democratic incumbent Elizabeth McCormack.
LaShell Rountree is expected to announce her campaign noon Saturday outside her home at 124 Englewood Drive.
Rountree will face Democratic incumbent Sergio Rodriguez.
For more information about Paca’s campaign, call 887-5825, or email Rountree can be reached at 974–2188 or

Monday, April 13, 2009

Something wicked this way comes

Something wicked good that is:

The Woodbridge Town Library is taking registrations for its Spring Book Discussion Series. The three-part series is dubbed “Books You Thought You Knew,” and will include "Macbeth," (with a nod to a witch for our headline) "Gulliver's Travels," and "Frankenstein." Mark Schenker, shown, associate dean of Yale College, will again lead the series.

All sessions begin at 7 p.m. and the schedule is:

April 23rd – Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
May 14th – Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift
June 11th – Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

The program is freeand all are welcome to join, library officials said. Registration is required. Copies of all works will be provided to registered participants. To register, or for more information, call 389-3433 or email

Thursday, April 9, 2009

To help earthquake victims in Italy

People who want to help relief funds aiding the Abruzzo Region of Italy struck by a deadly earthquake can donate to the American Red Cross’s International Response Fund. The Web site is Go to donate now, check the box for International Response Fund and write L’Aquila Earthquake so your donation will be dedicated to those specific relief efforts.
The Italian Red Cross also is accepting donations for its recovery efforts. The Web site is The Web site is entirely in Italian.
Catholic Relief Services also is prepared to take donations at, or call 1-877-HELP-CRS and tell them it’s for the L’Aquila earthquake.
This information was provided by Lieutenant Gov. Michael Fedele, who has family in Italy’s Abruzzo Region.

Dough goes to Yale-New Haven

NEW HAVEN — Panera Bread has donated $34,437.78 to Yale-New Haven Hospital through its Operation Dough-Nation program at area bakery-cafes in 2008.
Operation Dough-Nation accepts cash donations from customers throughout the year at collection boxes in all bakery-cafes. Customer donations then receive a percentage match from Panera Bread, the hostpial said in a statment. This is the first year that Yale-New Haven Hospital has partnered with Panera for Operation Dough-Nation, the statement said.

Panera also donated another $2,000 through in-kind donations to YNHH in 2008, as well as $1,518 to the Yale-New Haven Breast Health Center from sales of the Pink Ribbon BagelT last October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the statement said.
"We are pleased to have Yale-New Haven Hospital for our Operation Dough-Nation partner," Tom Kelleher, Panera Bread Joint Venture Partner for the Western CT area said in the statement. "We pride ourselves on being a true neighborhood bakery-café - one that partners with the communities we serve. Through relationships such as this, we are able to truly make a difference."
The Western, CT Panera bakery-cafes are in: Meriden, North Haven, Hamden, Milford, Shelton, Waterbury, Newtown, Brookfield, Darien, Norwalk and Torrington.

In the photo, l-r, are: Sheryl McGoldrick, Panera Bakery manager; Kelleher; Marna P. Borgstrom, YNHH president and CEO; and Tina Lemelin, Panera Bread marketing manager for Western, CT.

All Our Kin to launch child care micro credit program

NEW HAVEN — A local agency that supports child care endeavors will launch its family child care micro credit program at a reception at 6:15 p.m. April 16 at 134 Grand Ave., second floor.
The program by All Our Kin, which offers no interest micro loans and matching grants to family child care providers, attracted funding from numerous local philanthropists and won second place in the Harvard Business School Club of Connecticut’s Turbo Award program, the agency said in a statement.
"This project is exciting because it gives family child care providers a way to succeed as business people while also raising the quality of care that children in our community receive," All Our Kin Executive Director Jessica Sager said in the statement. "It’s a wonderful way to invest in children while also investing in community-based businesses. And, because it’s a loan program, these funds will be used over and over again."
United Way of Greater New Haven is funding the matching grants portion of the program. Contributors to the loan fund include: the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Community Fund for Women and Girls, the Harvard Business School Club of Connecticut, the Lewis G. Schaeneman, Jr. Foundation, Inc., United Illuminating Co., and the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund. The Bank of Southern Connecticut and its employees donate their time to advise All Our Kin and to manage the fund.

So much to do...

NEW HAVEN — The Eli Whitney Museum, 915 Whitney Ave., offers "Green Choices" vacation program from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 13-17.
Before and after care, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., is available at $6 per hour. The museum offers classes for ages 6-8 and 8-12.
Programs for ages 6-8: Monday: Save the Eelephants; Tuesday: penguins and polar bears; Wednesday: tidal mills; Thursday 4/16: terrarium; Friday 4/17: birdhouses.
Fees are $58 for nonmembers, $54 for members per day; and $245 for nonmembers and $220 members.
Programs for ages 8-12 are: Monday: Save the Ganges; Tuesday: Robert Peary and the North Pole; Wednesday: windmills; Thursday: worm farm; Friday: green marble tree.
Fees are $58 for nonmembers and $54 members for each day; and $245 for nonmembers and $220 for members for the week.

WALLINGFORD — The Wallingford Family YMCA, 81 Elm St., is partnering with Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness Program to offer older adults a way to increase their levels of physical activity while motivating them to remain active.
Classes will be held 1:30-2:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 9:15-10:15 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, starting April 13. For more information, visit, call (888) 423-4632 or call the Y at 269-4497.
‰The Y is offering a Junior Lifeguard Program; a lifeguard training course; a basic water rescue course; and "Be Water Safe! and Be Water Safe with Huggies!" Call the Y at 269-4497.
‰Volunteers are sought for the April vacation Be Water Safe program. Volunteers are needed for April 20-24 either 8:45 a.m.-noon or 6:15-7:45 p.m. Volunteers must be 13 years old, comfortable in the water and have completed a volunteer application. Call Pam VanderWeele at 269-4497, ext. 20 for details.

WEST HAVEN — The West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP driver safety program from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. April 14 and 15 at the Robert A. Johnson Noble Community Center, 201 Noble St.
Participants will receive a certification for insurance purposes.
Fee is $12 for AARP members and $14 for nonmembers.
To register, call the senior center at 937-3507.

ORANGE — Chabad of Greater New Haven, 261 Derby Ave., will hold a four-week "Mommy and Me with a Jewish Twist" noon-1:15 p.m. Fridays, May 1, 8, 15, 22.
Musical entertainer Bobby Doowah will get toddlers and infants moving with his interactive hands-on music. For details, go to The fee is $15 per week or $55 for the entire session. A kiddie lunch is included. To register, call 795-5261 or e-mail

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Storm to lecture

NORTH HAVEN - The American Legion Murray Reynolds Post will sponsor a lecture and book signing with Milford author Elliott Storm at 6 p.m. April 16 at its headquarters, 20 Church St.

Storm will present a power point on the topic of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Storm wrote the novel “These Scars Are Sacred” to help the public understand causes and effects of PTSD and to help in the healing process for returning veterans.
The book is a top seller and 5-star Novel on Amazon, and has become a “must read” for health care professionals and others charged with helping a new generation of soldiers and civilians, organizers said.
Storm has lectured across the country, speaking to many orginizations, from veteran groups in California to the University of Michigan and the Naval War College. He also has spoken at Yale University.
Storm has put together a group of individuals who will talk on the subject.
Storm has served as the Judge Advocate for the American Legion District Two, and has welcomed various groups for support of his novel. For more information about thebook and lectures, visit or

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Top spot for doc

NEW HAVEN - The chairman of the Hospital of Saint Raphael's Department of Surgery has been named president of a national group of surgeons specializing in disorders of the liver, pancreas and bile duct.
Dr. W. Scott Helton was elected by members of the American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, the hospital said.
Helton is slated to preside over the next AHPBA annual meeting in Argentina in April 2010.

“I am proud to say that the Americas group is the strongest and most influential of all the world’s regional chapters,” Helton said in a statement.

The AHPBA includes nearly 700 surgeons, hepatologists, gastroenterologists and members of other related disciplines from North, South and Central America.
Helton, a resident of Madison, joined the Hospital of Saint Raphael as chairman of the Department of Surgery in fall 2006, bringing with him years of experience in research, education and clinical expertise in the treatment of liver, pancreatic and hepatobiliary disorders, the statement said.
Helton previously was a professor and chief of general surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated from the University of California, Irvine, Medical School. Helton also completed surgical training at the University of Washington and fellowship training at Harvard University and the University of Toronto.
Helton has helped expand Saint Raphael’s hepatobiliary program to include a full spectrum of diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients with primary or metastatic liver tumors and tumors of the gallbladder and bile duct. Treatment at the hospital currently includes advanced technologies such as minimally invasive surgical resection, CyberKnife radiosurgery, radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation and angiographic delivery of chemotherapy particles.
In May 2008, Helton was the first in the country to perform microwave tissue ablation using the Acculis high-powered microwave system to treat a non-resectable liver tumor, the statement said. Saint Raphael’s was one of the first six hospitals in the United States to use the ground-breaking technology.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Group to honor Dr. King and help "Q" House

NEW HAVEN — Concerned Citizens for the Greater New Haven Dixwell Community "Q" House will hold a fund-raiser at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in conjunction with an event honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Bankruptcy court has given the group four months to come up with funds to show it can take care of artifacts rescued from Q House when it was shut down. Concerned Citizens hopes to eventually raise enough funds to reopen the center or build a replacement.
Contact Jacqueline Bracey at 281-1986 for details of the fund-raiser.
The event honoring King’s memory on the anniversary of his assassination will be held at the Dixwell United Congregational Church, 217 Dixwell Ave.

Wild about flowers!

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