Thursday, December 30, 2010

Free Play Day at the JCC

Full day of workshops, programs, lectures and activities for people of all ages and backgrounds will be held on Jan. 9 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven,  360 Amity Road, Woodbridge.
Sessions include Zumba, fitness demos, Pilates and Yoga, playscape, family swim, racquet and court sports, crafts and cooking for the kids, a lecture on Jewish mobsters and a "snowperson" contest, according to a statement.
Childcare is available.
It's all free, orgnaizers said. Visit for full list of offerings and times or call 203-387-2522.

Korean Spirit & Culture at the New Haven Library

NEW HAVEN - The Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Project will present "Treasures of Korean Art and Culture" from 1-2:30 p.m. March 19 at New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St.
"The whole family is invited to learn more about the country that was once known as the Land of the Morning Calm," organizers said in a statement 

The presentation will include: two short documentaries about Korea, illustrating the artistic and cultural achievements of Korea's past, and industrial achievements since the Korean War; a traditional Korean meal; a re-enactment of a traditional Korean wedding ceremony; a raffle for a copy of "Taste of Korea: Korean Cuisine Full of Wisdom and Nature," the statement said. 

There is no charge, but advance registration is required at or call the library at 203-946-8835.

Air quality issues to usher in 2011 in Connecticut

Connecticut’s air quality for Dec.31, and Jan. 1, is "expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups throughout Connecticut due to elevated levels of particle pollution," the state Department of Environmental Protection said in a statement.
"A high pressure weather system is building over the Northeast resulting in stagnant winds and stable atmospheric conditions in the lowest levels of the atmosphere. This means that locally emitted air pollution will linger near the surface and produce elevated levels of particle pollution," the statement said.
Weather conditions are expected to help improve our air quality by Jan. 2,"as a cold front will swing through the region with rain showers and increasing winds that will dissipate the lingering particle pollution," the statement said.

Members of sensitive groups such as the elderly and people with asthma may experience health effects, such as aggravation of heart and lung disease, the statement said. The general public is not likely to be affected.

The statement also said: "Particle pollution is produced by a wide variety of natural and manmade sources, including factories, power plants, trash incinerators, motor vehicles, diesel engines, construction activity, fires, and natural windblown dust. In the winter, wood smoke also contributes to the formation of particle pollution."

The main sources of the high particle levels include emissions from internal combustion engines and heating systems, the statement said. "The most important thing the public can do at this time is minimize the non-essential use of wood burning appliances such as wood stoves and fireplaces. Vehicle idling should be reduced, and only properly maintained vehicles and engines should be operated in order to reduce emissions. Well-insulated energy efficient homes and home heating systems that are properly maintained also reduce heating demand, save money and help reduce air pollution."

For more information on air quality in Connecticut, visit
For information on wood burning in Connecticut, go to and follow the link to Wood Burning.
Editor's note: The information in this post was provided wholly by the Department of Environmental Protection. It is posted here as a public service.

Program for nonprofit staffers to be held at library

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Public Library has invited staff and board members of regional nonprofits are to a Subway Supper Seminar on Jan. 20 at the Library, 133 Elm St.
"Sue Hartt of Writing Matters! offers the January Seminar, focusing on the unique requirements of successful grantwriting, from researching the best potential funders, to organizing the necessary information, to writing a persuasive proposal," the library said in a statement.

"Hartt (shown in photo) has an extensive background in writing and nonprofit work, with a career that includes managing her own marketing and PR firm; appointment as the first ED of Market New Haven; development work for area nonprofits; Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit Council Executive Committee membership; and founding her own consulting firm, Writing Matters!," the statement said.
The library offers the Subway Supper Seminars on the third Thursday of the month to provide staff and board members of regional nonprofits and small businesses the opportunity to network and improve their professional skills.
Seminars are free thanks to the generosity of the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation and Subway Restaurants, and free parking is available, the statement said.
Advance registration is required at http://www.june20subway.eventbrite.comor/ by calling the library at 203-946-7431.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Haven Public Library film series continues Jan. 5

The New Haven Public Library Wednesday Classic Film Series continues Jan. 5 with "A Patch of Blue" starring Sidney Poitier, Elizabeth Hartman and Shelly Winters.
"Based on a novel by Elizabeth Kata, with a memorable score by Jerry Goldsmith, this film was Hartman’s debut and she is unforgettable as the blind Selina D'Arcy," according to a library statement. "Poitier is an insightful Gordon, and Shelley Winters won a Best Supporting Oscar for her blistering portrayal as Selina's abusive, bigoted mother."
 The film screens at 5:45 p.m. at 133 Elm St. For more information call the library at 203-946-8835.

'Connecticut Grown' label expands its reach

Gov. M. Jodi Rell has announced that goods such as furniture, flooring, lumber and fencing made from wood harvested in Connecticut forests will now bear the popular “Connecticut Grown” marketing label, shown at right, according to a statement.

“Expanding the ‘Connecticut Grown’ label to forestry products makes absolute sense and will give these products a stronger presence in the marketplace,” Rell said, also in the statement. “This initiative will appeal to the growing number of consumers who choose to buy locally grown materials and be a boost for our forest products industry and the jobs it creates.”

“We can all take great pride in our homegrown products and the responsible management of the land. Caring correctly for our renewable, natural resources ultimately allow us to reduce our carbon footprint,” Rell said in the statement.

"The Connecticut Grown Program was developed in 1986, when the green and blue logo was created to identify agricultural products grown in the state. Over the past two decades, a strong marketing and outreach effort has established Connecticut Grown as a well-known and popular program," the statement said.

Department of Agriculture Commissioner F. Philip Prelli praised the expansion of the program, which has helped widely promote and grow the state’s farming economy.

“The wood industry is not only an important component to our working woodlands, it is a valuable resource that our citizens utilize on a daily basis and the sustainability of this resource is what our CT Grown program is all about,” Prelli said in the statement. “The proper maintenance of our forests provides a continuing agricultural product in our wood.”

Expansion of the Connecticut Grown program to include products from Connecticut forests is the result of an agreement between DEP and DOA, the statement said. "To be given permission to attach the Connecticut Grown labeling to their products, companies must first participate in a rigorous certification process to ensure that the Connecticut Grown label is only used on forestry products made from Connecticut lumber, similar to what exists for agricultural products," it said.

Editor's note: The information in this post was provided wholly by the state of Connecticut. It is shared here as a public service only and not as advocacy.

For poets who know it

And those who are still thinking about it
NEW HAVEN -  The New Haven Free Public Library has put out a call for entries to its 3rd Anual 2011 Poetry Contest.
The theme this year is "New Haven + promises" and poems will be judged on original and creative use of theme, the statement said.
"Winning poems will be selected by two separate panels of judges. The Patrons of the Library will offer $100 cash prizes for winners in each age category, and $25 for the People's Choice winner," the statement said.

2011 Contest guidelines

· Individuals who live, work or attend school in New Haven are eligible· Limit one poem per person · Poems may not exceed 25 lines
 · Poems must be submitted in 12 point type, double spaced, one column
· Entry must include separate page with poet’s name, address, age category (youth [ages 10-17], adult [ages 18-49]), elder [ages 50+]), phone number and/or email
· Failure to follow guidelines will result in disqualification of entry

Contest opens Feb. 1 and all submissions must be received by Mar. 1, 2011. Poems may be dropped off at any New Haven Free Public Library branch (locations are here or emailed to Poems will not be returned, so keep copies, the statement said.

Finalists in each age category will be invited to read their poems and winners will be announced at a Poetry Contest Winners Reception at the Main (Ives) Library on April 16.
The People's Choice winner will be selected at the reception.

For more information visit or call 203-946-8835

In photo: Fred Wallace was the adult winner and Paula Panzarella was the People’s Choice winner in the 2010 New Haven Free Public Library’s annual Poetry Contest last year. (Melanie Stengel/Register)

Metro-North to operate special New Year's Eve and day trains

Metro-North will operate special service on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with additional trains for holiday revelers, according to a statement.

On New Year’s Eve, Friday, there will be a special Saturday schedule with additional trains to be operated during the morning inbound, 6 to 9 a.m. and outbound, 4 to 6 p.m.

"For revelers, there will be plenty of additional inbound trains in the afternoon and evening. When it’s finally time to go home, there will be additional outbound (and inbound) service into the wee hours of the morning," the statement said.

Metro-North noted: "You must have your ticket before boarding the train at New Haven on New Year’s Eve Day" between noon and approximately 8 p.m., and "after the festivities at Grand Central" between midnight and 4:45 a.m. on New Year’s Day. "And as in prior years, open containers of alcoholic beverages will not be allowed on trains, stations or platforms from noon on New Year’s Eve through noon on New Year’s Day. MTA Police will enforce this restriction."

On Jan. 1, New Year’s Day, a Sunday schedule will be in effect.

On Jan. 2, Metro-North will operate on a regular Sunday schedule.

Metro-North’s regular weekday schedule will resume on Jan. 3. Also, December monthly passes will be accepted for one courtesy ride through 10 a.m. Jan. 4, 2011, the statement said.

Editor's Note: Information in this post was provided wholly by Metro-North. It is posted here as a public service.

Ski with Chabad and a kosher BBQ too

A "Ski With Chabad" event will be held Jan. 9 at Catamount Ski Resort, organizers said in a statement.
The festivities begin at 7 a.m. with a hot kosher breakfast at Chabad, 7 Village Green Drive, Litchefield, the statement said.
Participants will then  board a coach bus to the Catamount Ski Resort.
"Revelers of all ages will enjoy snow sports including skiing, snowboarding," the statement said.
Also featured will be a great slope side all-you-can-eat kosher BBQ, the statement said.
Bus is scheduled to be be back in Litchfield at 4 p.m.
Reserve a space at: or by calling 800-297-6864
"We try to come up with creative ways to connect people to their Jewishness, be it on the Slopes or the Synagogue," Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach, director of Chabad of Northwest CT, said in the statement.
An avid skier and past ski instructor in the Austrian Alps, Eisenbach "looks forward to the event with an excitement that is contagious. People should expect to have a wonderful time and to bring along the whole family as there is an activity for every age group" and "enjoy the Kosher Moguls," the statement said.
This event is one of the many programs sponsored by Chabad Lubavitch of Northwest CT. For more information regarding this or any of Chabad's activities logon to or call the Chabad Lubavitch of NW CT Headquarters at 800.297.6864.

Editor's Note: The information in this blog was provided. The photo is an illustration and does not depict Catamount.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gold's Gives Back

Montanari Brother’s Gold’s Super Gym New Haven collected toys again this year during their annual toy drive, according to a statement

On Dec. 24,, the toys were delivered by Gold’s Gym and Santa Claus to a women and children’s shelter in New Haven, run by New Haven Home Recovery, gym officials said in a statement.

More than enough presents were brought for more than 20 children, the statement said. Each year, the drive receives get more toys than the year before, the statement said.
The Montanari Brother’s gym offers special thanks to donors and Jimmy DeNegris, a family member of the owner of Gold’s and Kenny Wallach, a Gold’s trainer.

Shown in photo: Gerald Montanari, Tony C., long time staff and coordinator of toy drive, Richard Montanari, and on the floor is Darren Montanari with dog Romeo. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Haven imposes parking ban

NEW HAVEN - Due to expected blizzard conditions, the city has imposed a parking ban from 6 p.m. Sunday to to 6 a.m. Monday.
The city late Sunday also announced all city senior centers and libraries will be closed all day Monday.

Parking is prohibited on all streets within the downtown area bounded by Howe Street, Tower Parkway, Grove Street, State Street and North Frontage Road, the city said in a release.

Residents are encouraged to park in their driveway during snow emergencies.

Off-street parking garages downtown are still open during snow emergencies. Residents are encouraged to use these facilities as an alternative to parking on the street.

There is no parking within 25 feet of any intersection citywide and no parking within 20 feet of any fire hydrant citywide.

There also is no Parking in front of any bus stop citywide.

There is no plowing allowed of any snow into city streets.

Residents are urged to access the city website at
the city snowline at 203-946-SNOW(7669), and monitor local news and media outlets for updates.
Residents are further encouraged to opt in to the city’s Emergency Notification System by visiting the city’s website and clicking on Emergency Information on the top of the page. Participants will then click the Emergency Notification System link and follow the instructions.

Vehicles parking in violation of the parking Ban may be ticketed and/or towed.

This information was provided by the city.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Haitian nationals face deadline to register for protected status

A press release from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (also in French below):

USCIS Reminds Haitians to Register for Temporary Protected Status

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds Haitian nationals that the registration deadline for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is Jan. 18, 2011.

Haitian nationals who have continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 12, 2010, and who meet other TPS eligibility requirements, must file their applications for TPS no later than Jan. 18, 2011. The TPS designation for Haiti will remain in effect through July 22, 2011.

USCIS advises Haitian nationals to review their TPS application packages carefully. Details and procedures for applying for TPS are provided on the USCIS website and in the Federal Register notice announcing TPS for Haiti.

TPS forms are available on the USCIS website or by calling toll-free 1-800-870-3676. For additional information, applicants may also contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

For guidance and information on USCIS’s response to the earthquake in Haiti, please visit Applicants requesting a fee waiver must comply with the requirements described on USCIS’s Fee Waiver Guidance Web page.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, visit

USCIS veut rapeller a tous les citoyens d’Haiti que la date limite d’inscriptions pour le Statut de Protection Temporaire

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) veut rapeller a tous les citoyens d’Haiti que la date limite d’inscriptions pour le Statut de Protection Temporaire (TPS) c’est le 18 janvier 2011.

Citoyens haïtiens qui était sans interruption aux Etats-Unis depuis le 12 janvier 2010 et ces qui se qualifient pour TPS avec les conditions de admissibilité, doivent déposer leur demandes de TPS avant le 18 janvier 2011.

USCIS exhorte aux citoyens haïtiens de revoir leurs dossiers de demande de TPS attentivement. Détails et filières pour demande TPS sont fournis sur le site et dans le Federal Register.

Pour trouver information supplémentaire sur la réponse de USCIS au tremblement en Haïti, visitez Les candidats en demandant d’une dispense des charges doivent être conformes aux exigences indiquées sur l’USCIS exemption des charges de page web d’orientation.

Pour information additionnel, visitez

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Community Foundation for Greater New Haven taking grant applications

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is accepting grant applications through its Neighborhood Leadership Grant Program, formerly known as The Neighborhood Small Grants Program, according to a statement.
The program "has been re-named to emphasize the purpose of helping New Haveners build their leadership and organizing skills and to inspire leadership among new individuals and groups in New Haven’s neighborhoods," the statement said.
The Neighborhood Leadership Grant Program provides grants of $100 to $3,000, and training to individuals and civic groups to help them to carry out their agendas, the statement said.
It also supports projects that "improve life for residents and visitors to New Haven’s neighborhoods," the statement said.
The grant application, eligibility criteria and guidelines are available online at
Applications are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 11.

The Community Foundation this year "will prioritize grant proposals involving activities and events that support student achievement efforts by enriching the educational experience of children, youth, and/or families," the statement said.
"Priority will also be given to activities taking place in the vicinity of, or that benefit children, youth and families in the vicinity of the four K-8 pilot Boost! schools" - Barnard, Clinton Avenue, Troup and Wexler Grant - identified by the New Haven Public School System, as part of its school change reform efforts, the statement said.
"Although activities and events in other areas will be considered as funds allow, those activities that contribute to the educational experiences of children in the identified schools and surrounding neighborhoods will be given higher priority for support in 2011."

Bringing cheer to the Jewish Home for the Aged

Marjorie James, 87, resident of the Jewish Home for the Aged, recently shared a special moment with students of the New Haven Mauro Sheriday Interdistrict Magnet School, following a wonderful Holiday Concert at the Home, according to a statement.  Pictured, l-r, James, Umarr Lahan, member of the chorus and Miguel Caride, member of the band.  Several children who participated are family members of the staff of the Jewish Home and their  annual performance is one of the highlights of the season, the statement said.

Bringing cheer to veterans

WEST HAVEN - Students from the Hamden St. Stephen School's band, student council and the Gianellian Youth Group, shown in photo, recently showed their appreciation to the veterans at the VA Medical Center in West Haven.
The band played some favorite carols, then the Student Council and the Gianellian Youth Group sang to bring cheer to the veterans, a teacher said.
While singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," the students passed out gifts to all the veterans who attended the show, teacher Claire Mitchell said.
During an intermission, World War II veteran Berton Francoeur, thanked the students for coming and for their donation last year toward the amputee van, Mitchell said.
His words of thanks brought the students to tears, she said.
So both tears and cheers were shared by all, Mitchell said.

Latest treatment for acid reflux to be discussed at St. Rae's

NEW HAVEN - Two surgeons from the Hospital of Saint Raphael will discuss the latest in treatments for acid reflux at a free event in the hospital’s Cronin Auditorium from 10 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 8.
Particpants can register by calling 203-776-4677 or sign up online at
A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation, organizers said in a statement.
Light refreshments and validated parking will be provided.

Drs. Mario W. Katigbak, director of Thoracic Oncology, and Dr. Murali N. Naidu, chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery at St. Raphael’s, will present information on cutting-edge surgical options for acid reflux, a condition that affects more than 15 million Americans, according to a statement.
Chronic reflux, called gastroesophageal reflux disease, can cause changes in cells in the esophagus that can lead to an aggressive form of cancer if untreated, the statement said.

Katigbak and Naidu will discuss the symptoms and causes of gastroesophageal reflux disease, current remedies and the latest surgical treatments, the statement.

The Hospital of Saint Raphael was the first Connecticut hospital to offer minimally invasive esophagectomies, the statement said. It recently became "the first area hospital offering next-generation Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication surgery, an advanced procedure that treats acid reflux without incisions," the statement said.

Checks sent to soldiers from Derby fund

DERBY — The city and St. Michael’s Catholic War Veterans Post 1562 are helping to make the holiday brighter for active-duty military personnel from Derby.

Donations to the annual Derby Servicemen’s Christmas Fund mean checks will be sent to: Spec. Scott E. Wabno; Michael Kryvonis; Peter Najda; Sgt. Shawn Kapusta; Lt. Cmdr. Michael Rak; and SSG Terry Byron.

“This gift shows our appreciation for their dedication with the protection of our freedom, and our way of life,” said Mayor Anthony Staffieri. “I wish them a safe and speedy return to the arms of their loved ones.”

No closed highway lanes over holiday weekends

In order to allow drivers to get where they’re going for Christmas and New Year's as easily as possible, the state Department of Transportation announced that there will be no scheduled lane closures on Interstate 95, Interstate 91 or Route 34 over the upcoming holiday weekends: Friday to Sunday and Dec. 31 to Jan. 2.
Only emergency roadwork will be considered to result in road closures.
The work on the three roads is part of the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program, which includes the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, the new Route 34 flyover bridge, and reconstruction of the I-95/I-91/Route 34 interchange.
For more information, go to or call the automated toll-free program hotline, (866) 277-9595. If you have questions, call (203) 752-1996 or e-mail
To register for free notification of highway and rail incidents from the DOT’s E-Alert System, go to and click on “Sign Up For E-Traffic Alerts.”

Photo: Interstates 91 and 95 northbound, as seen from the flyover bridge at Long Wharf. (Photo by Brad Horrigan/New Haven Register)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yale-New Haven Hospital receives $500,000 gift to support nursing training

An anonymous donor has given a $500,000 gift to provide financial assistance to nurses who wish to expand their training and expertise, Yale-New Haven Hospital said in a statement.
The gift will establish two scholarship funds: The Marna P. Borgstrom Yale-New Haven Hospital Nursing Advanced Education Scholarship Fund and The Peter N. Herbert, MD Yale-New Haven Hospital Nursing Advanced Education Scholarship Fund, the statement said.
Both are shown in photos.
Beginning in January, the scholarships will provide tuition assistance of up to $10,000 annually to qualified registered nurses working toward advanced education leading to certification as a nurse practitioner, advanced practice registered nurse (inclusive of midwifery), or doctor of nursing practice, the statement said.
“This generous gift ensures that our most talented nurses, no matter their economic circumstances, will have the opportunity to advance their careers and assume roles as leaders in nursing,” said Sue Fitzsimons, senior vice president of patient services at YNHH, also in the statement. “Our donor believes that even the most motivated nurse can be discouraged by the tuition costs to pursue advanced degrees, and wanted to provide financial support to help them move their careers forward.”
“This gift helps the donor the Hospital as well as individual nurses,” said Marna P.
Borgstrom, YNHH president and CEO, said the gift helps the hospital and individual nurses.
“By enhancing the education and training level of our nurses, our donor is also enabling Yale-New Haven to continue to provide a higher level of care to all of our patients. We can’t thank the donor enough,” she said in the statement.
YNHH nurses who work full-time or part-time (at least 24 hours a week), are employed by YNHH and have worked at YNHH for at least two years are eligible to apply for the scholarship. Financial assistance could be up to $10,000 per year for a 2-year program and up to $8,000 per year for a 3-year or longer program, the statement said. Nurses who are interested in eligibility and application information should contact Kevin Myatt, senior vice president, Human Resources, or Sue Fitzsimons, senior vice president, patient services.

New Haven sets 'eves' trash schedule

The New Haven Department of Public Works will work its normal refuse collection pick-up schedules on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31, though city offices will be closed for holiday observance, according to a statement.

Residents who are affected by these routes are asked to place their trash and recyclables out on Thursday night for normal Friday collection for both days, the statement said.
The hours of operation for commercial haulers will be from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., the statement said

Kwanzaa celebration at Hill library Dec. 29

Kwanzaa Graphics
Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Courtland S. Wilson Branch Library on Dec. 29.
The event, called “Rekindling Kwanzaa Principles,” will feature “Nzinga’s Daughters,” a group of women who perform story and song; guest speakers Josephine Banks, Lyda Dixson and Clifton Graves; Sisters with a New Attitude and a showing of the film, “The Black Candle,” narrated by Maya Angelou. Drummers are welcome.
The celebration will take place from 3 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29 at the Wilson library, 303 Washington Ave. For more information or to volunteer, call Deborah Elmore, 203-891-7055 or Elaine Peters, 203-901-4765.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hopkins School gives to Connecticut Food Bank

Hopkins School held a holiday assembly Friday and Student Council President Sam Greco '11 announced the totals for this year's Canned Food Drive to benefit the Connecticut Food Bank, according to a release.
Nancy Carrington, executive director of the Food Bank, shown, attended and received a check for $75,471.24, the release said.
Carrington thanked the students and faculty for their dedicated and generous support, and announced that over Hopkins' 20-year history of raising money for the Food Bank, the school has raised more than $479,000, the release said.
"With the addition of this year's total raised, Hopkins School has raised over half a million dollars for the Food Bank over the last 20 years," it said.
"This is an incredible achievement that generations of Hopkins can be proud of."
This years' class rankings are:
5th Place: 11th grade, with $8,683.95
4th Place: 9th grade, with $10,649.87
3rd Place: 12th grade, with $15,793.67
2nd Place: Junior School, with $19,342.15
1st Place: 10th grade, with $21,001.60

Editor's note: The information and photo in this post was provided by Hopkins School

Connecticut DMV announces holiday hours

All Department of Motor Vehicles offices will close to the public at 3 p.m.  Dec. 23,  and will not re-open until 8 a.m. Dec. 28, according to a statement.
"The closing combines both the holiday observance of Christmas, the unpaid furlough time required of all state employees and the regular weekend shutdown of DMV offices," the statement said.

"DMV is advising customers early so that they can plan any necessary visits around this closing time. With DMV having staggered operating times, these holiday closings and state-required unpaid furlough create a string of consecutive days that the agency does not operate," the statement said.

While the offices will not be open for transactions, the web site and the automated phone system will be available to obtain information, the statement said.

Information about regular hours of specific DMV offices can be found on the agency website: or through the DMV telephone center at 860-263-5700 in the Greater Hartford area, and 800-842-8222 for the remainder of the state the statement said.

Editor's note: Information in this post was provided wholly by the Connecticut DMV. It is shared here as a public service.

Are you ready to take the plunge?

NEW HAVEN – The Elm City Parks Conservancy and the New Haven Land Trust will hold the First Day New Haven Winter Festival - featuring the 11th annual Polar Plunge - from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 1 at Lighthouse Park in New Haven.
"First Day New Haven is a fun, exciting and invigorating way to begin the New Year with your family and friends," organizers said in a statement.

Elm City Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit parks advocacy organization. ECPC partners with groups and other community based organizations to work towards preserving and restoring New Haven’s spectacular parks, the statement said.
The Land Trust runs the City’s Community Gardening Program with almost 50 community gardens, owns seven nature preserves, and is also committed to environmental education, it said.
"Polar Plungers are brave souls who jump into the icy waters of Long Island Sound to raise money for New Haven’s neighborhood parks, community gardens, and environmental groups," the statement said.
Registered plungers get exclusive use of on-site 80 degree hot tubs and free brunch, the statement said. Registration for plungers is $20. Polar Plunge pledge forms and registration forms are available at

First Day New Haven Winter Festival also features tours of the lighthouse, horse carriage rides, live music from the Shellye Valauskas Experience, a hearty brunch, hot cocoa, contests, games and prizes. Admission and all you can eat brunch is $10. For more information call 203-499-7194.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mitchell comes to life at Mitchell Library in New Haven

The Donald G. Mitchell Library Centennial Celebration (1910-2010) will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the library at 37 Harrison St.
The library has "invited friends & neighbors, planned a centennial cake, engaged a group of jugglers, involved a historian neighbor to share his discoveries about the life of the man for whom the library was named and created a new and exciting exhibit space," according to a statement.

"The Donald Grant Mitchell Memorial Library first established through a subscription base in the “Beecher Home” of 1910 later became a branch of the New Haven Free Public Library system.

Today, Donald G. Mitchell Library sits atop the very same hill overlooking Westville Center with Beecher Park encompassing the backyard and West Rock framing the newly renovated windows," the statement said.

Funding for the centennial event was provided by The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. “The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (EHTF) is a family foundation established in 1986 by Emily Hall Tremaine. Based in Connecticut, the Foundation seeks to promote innovative solutions to basic and enduring problems in the United States through grantmaking programs related to art, environment, and learning disabilities,” the statement said

Information can be found under Highlights on library’s homepage:

Editor's note: Information in this post was contributed wholly by library officials.

At the celebration, Harold Houston, shown in top photo, a neighborhood 'historian' will take a look at Donald G. Mitchell’s life and his impact on the neighborhood, the statement said. 
City Librarian Christopher Korenowsky will welcome the party goers and a piece of 'Centennial Cake' will be enjoyed by all, the statement said. 
For kids and adults alike, Airborne Jugglers will perform and a new exhibit space will be inaugurated with the opening of an exhibition entitled:  “New Haven: A Century in Photographs and 100 Years of Books in New Haven: A Journey across Time, Culture, Languages and Genres”  Created by students from the Yale Public Humanities Program, the photography exhibit emphasizes “how people who have lived here made and continue to make New Haven a special place,” the statement said.

A dean's list

Yale dean a classic

NEW HAVEN - Yale School of Architecture Dean Robert A. M. Stern has been named the 2011 recipient of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture, the university said in a statement.
Stern will receive $200,000 and a model of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates during a March 26 ceremony in Chicago and will donate the cash award to Yale, the statement said.
"As founder and senior partner of Robert A. M. Stern Architects, and as dean of the Yale School of Architecture, Stern has built a reputation as a modern traditionalist architect," the statement said. "In his work as an architect, as a scholar and as a teacher, he has been dedicated to reconnecting the present and future with the past, building upon what went before to extend the trajectory of architecture."
Further, the statement said, "Stern's work as an architect is rooted in the principles, values, and ideals of classicism and traditional architecture."
"His noted works include Comcast Center, a prismatic glass office tower in Philadelphia, which carries forward the proportions of the classical obelisk; the acclaimed residential tower 15 Central Park West, which recaptures the spirit of New York’s great pre-war apartment houses; and the influential plan for Celebration, (Fla.) which is grounded on a decades-long study of traditional town planning, the statement said.
His current projects include the design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and two new undergraduate residential colleges in the Gothic mode at Yale.
“More than any other practicing architect today, Bob Stern has brought classicism into the public realm and the mainstream of the profession, reinvigorating it for generations to come. We are honored to have him among the Driehaus Prize laureates,” said Michael Lykoudis, Driehaus Prize Jury chair and the Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, also in the statement.

For more on Stern, visit:

Conn. DEP to offer season park passes all winter

Here's how to get yours

The state Department of Environmental Protection will sell sell state park season passes in the main offices of four shoreline state parks beginning Dec. 17.
Passes will be available for sale in these park offices until spring 2011 when ticket booths reopen for the season and park passes are available there, the DEP said in statement.

Season passes are now available for purchase, the statement said, at the following shoreline State Parks main offices:
· Harkness Memorial, Waterford (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.)

· Hammonasset Beach, Madison (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.)

· Rocky Neck, East Lyme (10:00-3:00 p.m.)

· Sherwood Island, Westport (9:00-3:00 p.m.)

The cost for season passes is: Resident Season Pass: $67; Non-resident Season Pass: $112

To be valid, the pass must be affixed on the inside of the driver’s side of the windshield of the car and the passes cannot be transferred from one vehicle to another, the statement said.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rodriguez elected president of HELO

New Haven Alderman Sergio Rodriguez, shown in photo was elected the 2011 president of the Hispanic Elected Local Officials constituency group during the group’s annual business meeting last week during the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Congress of Cities & Exposition in Denver, Colo., according to a statement

Other officers elected during the HELO meeting, also according to a statement include: 1st Vice President: Karen Avilla, City Treasurer, Carson, Calif.; 2nd Vice President: Adrienne Foster, Mayor, Roeland Park, Kan.; Treasurer: T. Oscar Trevino, Mayor, North Richland Hills, Texas; Secretary: Julie Ruiz Raber, Councilmember, Carson, Calif., and Immediate Past President: Carlos Silva, Council President Pro Tempore, Bridgeport, Conn.

“Established in 1976 as a forum for communication and information exchange among Hispanic local government elected officials and NLC colleagues, HELO provides training and information services to its members, the statement said. HELO addresses issues affecting the Hispanic community such as education of Hispanic youth, immigration reform, the North American Free Trade Agreement, bilingual education, voting rights and minority business enterprise programs,” the statement said.

“The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans,” the statement said.

Solar Youth to hold public forum Thursday

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NEW HAVEN — Members of Solar Youth will present a public forum at 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at Barnard Nature Center, 200 Derby Ave.
Through songs, skits, speeches and displays, the youths, ages 4 to 18, will demonstrate what they learned and accomplished in the fall, organizers said.
They planned and led a community fun day/cleanup in Westville Manor; an anti-pollution campaign and trash cleanup at Barnard School; a food and clothing drive and anti-litter campaign at John S. Martinez School, and a park maintenance fundraiser at Truman School.
To RSVP, call the Solar Youth office at 203-387-4189, or e-mail

Book review founder to speak at New Haven Library

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NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Public Library will act as host as Brian Francis Slattery, founding editor of New Haven Review Books, invites the public to meet the authors of the nonprofit press’ first three publications.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 26, at the library 133 Elm St.

"How to Win Her Love" by Rudolph Delson is a hilarious guide to seducing women; Charles Douthat’s "Blue for Ocean"s is a moving - and accessible -book of poetry; and noted sci-fi author Gregory Feeley’s "Kentauros" is a hybrid combining essay and fiction, organizers said in a statement.

Books will be available for sale and signing, and free parking is available, the statement said. For more information visit or call the library at 203-946-8835

Blue Christmas service offered for the grieving and lonely

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It’s the time of year for gifts, parties, Christmas carols and, for many, sadness.
If you’ve experienced loss or feel alone during the holidays and just can’t feel the good feelings that seem to be everywhere, the Blue Christmas service is for you. It is a service that offers hope.
The service, which will include live jazz, will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St James, 57 Olive St. at the corner of Chapel Street in New Haven.
All are welcome, no matter where you are in your grief or your faith journey.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Whiffs' to sing Saturday in AIDS benefit

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The Yale and Whiffenpoof Alumni Associations have announced the a cappella all-star line up for the first annual “Ivy Light: Sing Out, Raise Hope, Eliminate Pediatric AIDS,” a benefit concert for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, to be held at 8 p.m. Dec. 18, at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, in New York City.

"The oldest collegiate a cappella group in the world, the Yale Whiffenpoofs — contestants this season on NBC’s a cappella show “The Sing-Off” — will share the stage with fellow a cappella luminaries The Nassoons, from Princeton, and The Krokodiloes, from Harvard. Two-time Grammy nominee and R&B, pop, and dance-chart legend Deborah Cox will also perform fan favorites and jazz classics from her repertoire," Yale said in a statement.
"Students from The Nightingale-Bamford School Chorus and The Spence School Glee Club will help open and close the performance. Event director Ethan Heard promises an evening of holiday favorites, jazz classics, and popular group hits."
Produced by Sam Hafer, “Ivy Light: Sing Out, Raise Hope, Eliminate Pediatric AIDS” marks the beginning of an annual benefit concert produced in conjunction with the Association of Yale Alumni and the Whiffenpoof Alumni Association to raise awareness and funds for women and children suffering from the plight of HIV/AIDS, the statement said.

Ticket are $25 (student discount), $50, $75 and $100. VIP seats, featuring prime seating, backstage passes and a photo opportunity with Deborah Cox after the show sell for $200. For ticket information, contact the box office at CenterCharge 212.721.6500 or visit

The event is sponsored by The Donald R. Mullen Family Foundation, The Pierre New York - A Taj Hotel, The Whiffenpoof, Nassoon, and Krokodiloe Alumni Associations, The Association of Yale Alumni, Yale GALA, The Fund for Reunion/Princeton BTGALA, Harvard GLC, Yale Black Alumni Association, YAAMNY, Yale Club of New York City, The Nightingale-Bamford School Chorus, The Spence School, and Chris Ryan, the statement said.

Editor's note: The information in this post was provided wholly by Yale University. The photo also was contributed.

New Haven announces new deputy economic development administrator

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NEW HAVEN – The city has announced that Transportation Department head Michael Piscitelli will be leaving his post to take over as deputy economic development administrator.
He takes over the position vacated earlier this year by Christine Bonanno.
“Michael Piscitelli brings a depth of experience in transportation, city planning and economic development to his new position as deputy EDA and this promotion is well deserved,” Economic Development Administrator Kelly Murphy said in a statement.
Before taking over the city’s Transportation Department, Piscitelli worked in the City Plan Department for six years. He also has worked for Metro-North Railroad and the city of Springfield, Mass.
In his new role, Piscitelli will assume responsibilities across multiple departments: City Plan; Livable City Initiative; Building Department; Cultural Affairs; Economic Development, Transportation, Traffic and Parking; and the Commission on Equal Opportunities.
Jim Travers will move from deputy director at the city’s Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking to its acting director. Travers has two years in the Transportation Department. The search for a permanent director of transportation will begin soon.

Bagged leaf collection in New Haven Saturday

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NEW HAVEN - The Department of Public Works will hold a citywide bagged leaf collection on Dec. 18 "to cap off another successful leaf season," officials said in a statement.
Residents are advised to place leaves in paper bags curbside no later than 5 a.m. that day.
No plastic bags or piles of leaves are allowed in the streets or sidewalks, the statement said.
Also, no other trash or yard waste is to be collected during the leaf pick up.
"Residents are urged to keep their storm drains and catch basins free of leaves and debris, particularly in advance of wet or wintry weather," the statement said.

Old Saybrook police donate bikes to toy drive

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The Old Saybrook Police Union, in cooperation with Wal-Mart Manager Ray Mercado, donated 10 bicycles and bicycle helmets to the annual toy drive, according to a statement.
The Old Saybrook Police Department also delivered a full Go-Mini storage container filled with toys, the statement said.
The Police Department, along with youth and family services, has been collecting the toys for local families in need, the statement said.

“This is another example of how our personel go above and beyond their duties and shows their commitment to the Old Saybrook community,” police Chief Michael A. Spera said, also in the statement.

Members of the Old Saybrook Police Department thank everyone who donated to the toy drive this year and wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season, the statement said.

Deadline looms for disaster assistance for Connecticut

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The office of Gov. M. Jodi Rell today in a statement reminded Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven county residents affected by the June 24 tornado that struck the Bridgeport area that the deadline to apply for Small Business Administration disaster assistance is Dec. 17.

The aid is also available for residents in three adjacent counties in New York, the statement said.
The deadline applies to homeowners, renters and business owners seeking low-interest loans to recover from physical damage to homes, personal property or businesses, the statement said.
A separate deadline of July 18 applies to loans for economic injuries from the storm, the statement said.
“These loans can be a tremendous help to anyone who has suffered a property loss as a result of the storm,” Rell said, also in the statement. “The strength and speed of the storm were breathtaking and far exceeded the usual force of nature in our state. Particularly because the storm struck an area where the economic recession had already taken a terrible toll, we want everyone who needs this aid to take advantage of it before the deadline.
“As we did our damage assessments we noted that the areas of Bridgeport and Stratford that were most affected were also areas where relatively few people had insurance,” she said. “Because the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied our application for assistance – and our appeal of that decision – these SBA loans are all the more important for people trying to recover from the blow.”
Residents of Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties in New York who were affected by the storms are also eligible for assistance under the declaration, the statement said.
Rell also sought disaster relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but FEMA denied both the state’s original request and an appeal filed by the Governor on Sept. 17.

The SBA is offering loans to homeowners to repair or replace damaged real estate or personal property; renters can get loans to replace damaged personal property. In both cases, the loans can be used to replace storm-damaged automobiles, the statement said.
Businesses and non-profit organizations can get loans to repair or replace damaged real estate, supplies, inventories, machinery and equipment, as well as loans of working capital to assist in business operations through the recovery period. Interest rates for the loans vary, depending on whether the borrower has access to credit elsewhere, the statement said.

For more information, contact the SBA at (800) 659-2955, by e-mail at or online at

Editor's note: The information in this post was provided wholly by the governor's office. It is posted nearly in its entirety here as a public service.

New Haven Healthy Start names quality services manager

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NEW HAVEN – New Haven Healthy Start, a program of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven that helps pregnant women and mothers deliver healthy babies, has announced that Dr. Martin Tolentino is the new quality services manager for the program.
Tolentino, shown in photo, "will oversee care coordination services provided through subcontracted medical sites as well as support program evaluation and data management activities," the foundation said in a statement.
“Dr. Tolentino brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas of quantitative and qualitative research, a strong background in clinical pathogenesis, diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment and prevention,” Kenn Harris, program director of New Haven Healthy Start, said, also in the statement. “His skills and talents will be instrumental in supporting and advancing New Haven Healthy Start’s new direction that focuses on alignment, leadership and vision to improve birth outcomes.”

Tolentino "is passionate about community health and preventive medicine and brings a wealth of clinical and public health knowledge in the field of Maternal and Child Health," the statement said.
He earned his medical degree from University of the East Medical Center in the Philippines and his master's in public healthat Southern Connecticut State University with a focus on Behavioral Health and Community Health Education, the statement said.
Tolentino has worked with numerous programs that deal with cardiovascular disease prevention, chronic disease self management, immunizations, childhood obesity prevention, social determinants of health and health inequity, the statement said.
“I’m excited about joining the New Haven Health Start program,” Tolentino said, also in the statement. “It represents an ideal integration of clinical medicine, public health practice and community involvement all in line to address disparate birth outcomes in the city of New Haven.”

New Haven Healthy Start was an outgrowth of the work of the Commission on Child and Infant Health, which was convened by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven in 1985, the agency said.

For more information about New Haven Healthy Start, visit or call 203-777-2386.

For more information about The Community Foundation visit
Editor's Note: The information in this post was provided by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

Monday, December 13, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Winners Announced

When the first-ever national McDonald’s® McCafé® Scavenger Hunt took place recnetly in New Haven and in eight other cities in the United States, two residents of Greater New Haven were winners, according to a statement.
Winners included New Haven resident Michelle Bragg and Monroe resident Jocelyne Hudson-Brown, who each won a $1,000 Arch Card from McDonald’s, the statement said.

"Players were given clues by listening to radio-partner WYBC and through McDonald’s Facebook page to several locations throughout the city where oversized, McCafé cups were hidden," the statement said.
The McCafé Scavenger Hunt coincided with the launch of the newest addition to the McCafé beverage line – Caramel Mocha.

In top photo, New Haven resident Michelle Bragg holds the oversized McCafé Caramel Mocha cup hidden at Long Wharf Park.
In the lower photo, Jocelyne Hudson-Brown of Monroe stands in front of WYBC radio where the oversized McCafé cup was hidden.

Wine tasting event to benefit greyhound rescue group

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By Bridget Albert
NEW HAVEN — Anyone who is an animal or wine lover - or both -won’t want to miss the Dec. 17 wine tasting at Amity Wine and Spirits.
The tasting profiles a new boutique wine, “Sassy Bitch Wines” distributed by WINAM Wines. The tasting offers wine connoisseurs the opportunity to sample the four varieties and at the same time benefit REGAPCT, a greyhound rescue organization based in Bethany.
Lori Lawlor with WINMAN Wines knows first-hand the hard work of REGAPCT founder Eileen McCaughern, shown in photo.
She has four adopted greyhounds from McCaughern.
McCaughern said she was thrilled with the ongoing fundraiser.
“REGAPCT is so appreciative of this awesome new idea - not only as a fundraiser to benefit the greyhounds in a percentage of the sales - but to remind the public about greyhounds as companions. Tying the two together is a win-win affair,” McCaughern said.
Lawlor said WINMAN and Sassy Bitch wines were happy to give back.
Sassy Bitch Wines are imported from Chile and come in four varieties, chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon. They retail for $13.99 each.
REGAPCT is a non-profit organization “devoted to educating the public about the joys of greyhounds as companion animals and finding responsible, caring homes for as many retired racing greyhounds as possible. REGAPCT has been helping retired greyhounds find loving homes for more than 30 years.”
McCaughern, Animal Planet’s 2008 Hero of the Year, will be there with some of her greyhounds already placed in homes, so people can meet the dogs, and so she can talk about greyhound adoption. Since 1973, McCaughern has rescued more than 5,000, one at a time.
Lawlor said her business was happy to be able to give back to such a far-reaching organization.
“WINAM Wines is proud to support the fine work that REGAPCT does and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle of Sassy Bitch Wine between now and August of 2011 will be donated to REGAPCT. So, please join us at Amity Wine and Spirits on Dec. 17, 4 to 7 p.m. You’ll even have the chance to meet rescued Greyhounds.”
Amity Wine and Spirits is located at 95 Amity Road. For more information, their website is at www.amitywines or call 203-397-9463.
McCaughern said she has seven dogs looking for homes right now. For more information on REGAPCT visit or call 203-393-1673.
Visit the WINAM Wine website at or the Sassy Bitch website at

African-American Legacy Luncheon slated for Jan. 12

ORANGE — The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Delta Phi Chapter, will hold its African-American Legacy Luncheon from noon to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 12 at Grassy Hill Country Club, 441 Clark Lane.

The luncheon will recognize people from Greater New Haven for their contributions to education, children and the community.

Tickets are $50 for adults, and $25 children under 12. For tickets, call 203-435-7766.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Camtabile Vocal Quartet celebrates Christmas

Brighten up a rainy Sunday by taking in a fabulous Christmas concert by the Cantabile Vocal Quartet, featuring Roy Mazzacane, Leila Mustakos, Jack Sellati and Robin Sellati, accompanied by Phyllis Silver on piano. They will be joined by West Haven High School’s Bel Canto and Camerata Choirs at 3 p.m. Sunday at the First Congregational Church on the West Haven Green. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, free for children under 12. Buy tickets at the door or call 203-933-6291.

Friday, December 10, 2010

St. Raphael’s Emergency Department wins national improvement award

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NEW HAVEN - The Hospital of St. Raphael’s Emergency Department has received a 2010 Top Improver Award from national patient-satisfaction survey firm Press Ganey Associates, Inc., according to a statement
Saint Raphael’s is one of nine emergency departments and 24 total Press Ganey participating facilities nationwide to receive this honor in 2010, the statement said.
"The award recognizes continuous improvement in quarterly patient-satisfaction scores over a two-year period. Under initiatives put in place by hospital leaders, the percentage of patients likely to recommend the Saint Raphael’s Emergency Department rose by more than 20 points in two years. Saint Raphael’s Emergency Department includes a trauma center as well as a Fast Track area for minor injuries and illnesses," the statement said.
“Our Emergency Department team has focused intently on improving the patient experience and making Saint Raphael’s a facility of choice in times of need,” St. Raphael’s President and CEO Chris O’Connor said, also in the statement. “Through diligent work by Emergency Department patient-satisfaction teams and an ongoing commitment by our entire staff, we continually strive to improve the care we provide and how we provide it.”

Areas of focus to improve the patient experience in St. Raphael’s Emergency Department have included around-the-clock staffing of a dedicated radiology area within the department, improved turnaround times for lab-test results to expedite care, a shortening of patient wait times, attention to amenities such as patient meal options, and the availability of a designated liaison to work with patients, families and staff. Other hospital departments involved in the effort included Psychiatry, Radiology, Pharmacy, Food Services and Admitting, the statement said.

In the photo, St. Raphael Emergency Department staff with the Press Ganey 2010 Top Improver Award. From left, Jeanette Bronsord, director of patient services; Andrea Lowe, administrative physician assistant; Hazel Prestin, patient care manager; Dr. David Harriman,associate chairman; Dr. Russ Braun, chairman of Emergency Medicine, and Michael DeVito, Emergency Medicine director of administrative services.

Editor's note: The information in this post was contributed wholly by The Hospital of St. Raphael

Nick Bellantoni to share ‘Deeply Human’ archaeology stories

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