Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Craft fair at JCC this weekend

WOODBRIDGE - Crafters and artisans will display their wares at the Seventh Annual Craft Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Jewish Community Center, 360 Amity Road.

The success of the JCC’s Craft Fair draws top crafters each year, organizers said. "Shop for all your holiday gifting, choosing from a remarkable variety of items including Israeli jewelry, glass decoupage, handmade baby quilts, children’s books and toys, packaged baked goods, food and Hanukkah gifts, tie-dyed children’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, pottery, home décor and more," organizers said in a statement.
All are welcome and there is no charge for admission for the Craft Fair.

While the JCC, bring the kids to the Family Chanukah Celebration in the Yeladim Learning Center. From 2 to 3:10 p.m., Chanukah theme stations will keep you and your children engaged in Chanukah fun and learning, the statement said. Then, from 3:15 to 3:30 p.m., it’s story time, with an interactive Chanukah story experience. All are welcome.
The Chanukah Celebration admission is $5 per child 18 months and older, with a $20 family maximum cost.

For more information about the JCC Craft Fair, call Cathy Lombardi at 203 387-2522 ex.225. For more information about the Chanukah Celebration, call Saskia Swenson Moss at 203 387-2522 ex. 317.

Editor's note: The information in this post was contributed wholly by event organizers. Elm City Express is pleased to share it here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

WREKKLESS to play tonight at The Space

The teen rock band WREKKLESS, whose members are from the Amity School system, will have a show at 7 p.m. tonight, Nov. 27, at the Space, in New Haven.
The band are "guitar gunslingers, with a wild stage show," said Jay Jaser.
Their next show, after tonight at The Space, is Dec. 10, at the Amity Teen Center. This show is the Amity Teen Center's Final round of their Battle of The Bands.
Ten bands are competing for first place. They have all placed in prior rounds for the Finals on Dec. 10., Jaser said. There are 10 bands and they will also play at the Amity Teen Center Benefit Show on Feb. 21, 2011 at Toad's Place in New Haven, Jaser said.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday blast from the past

And it all happens just over the border....
Old Sturbridge Village is inviting visitors to "experience the time-honored joys of the holiday season during Christmas by Candlelight."
For nine nights, "the 19th-century village will be illuminated by candlelight, and visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of the season, including sleigh rides, musicians, both Father Christmas and Santa Claus, and strolling carolers in period costume," the organization said in a release.
"Old Sturbridge Village historians will demonstrate and explain the history of many of our most well-known Christmas traditions."
Christmas by Candlelight is scheduled for 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 3-5, 10-12, and 17-19
For more details, visit www.osv.org or call 800-SEE-1830.
"The nostalgic look at the holiday’s roots includes the real stories behind Christmas trees, Yule logs, poinsettias, the practice of exchanging gifts, and more," the release said. "The history of favorite Christmas foods like roasted chestnuts, gingerbread, and fruit cake will be explained and samples will be available for tasting. Visitors can also vote for their favorite entry in OSV’s annual Gingerbread House Contest."
Also, hands-on activities will include "making a Christmas keepsake while learning about the history of Christmas cards, and making a tin ornament while finding out the history of Christmas tree decorations."
Professional musicians, as well as student and community groups, will perform throughout the nine-night event.
Tickets are available for $14 or $12 for Old Sturbridge Village members in advance through www.osv.org or 800-SEE-1830.
Tickets can be applied to any of the nine Christmas by Candlelight dates, and the date of attendance does not need to be specified at the time of purchase. The museum gift shop and Oliver Wight Tavern will be open for holiday shopping and dining. Christmas by Candlelight is sponsored by Fallon Community Health Plan and TD Bank.
Old Sturbridge Village will be closed during the day from Dec. 1-25. The Village will return to a daytime schedule for its popular school vacation week activities Dec. 26 – Jan. 2.

Editor's note: The information and photos in this post were provided wholly by Old Sturbridge Village.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New transit center dedicated in Hamden

HAMDEN - Gov. M. Jodi Rell today dedicated the recently completed CT Transit New Haven Division operations and maintenance center.

The facility at 2061 State St. is a 285,000-square-foot, environmentally friendly one that replaces an obsolete 62-year-old garage, Rell's office said in a statement.

“In the last six years we have made tremendous improvements in our roads, our rails, our ports and our public transportation network – because our economy depends on movement, whether we are talking about people or products,” Rell said, during a celebration at the new facility, the statement said. “Today, we’re focusing on the ‘people side.’”

“CT Transit serves 9 million people every year in Greater New Haven and the New Haven Division contributes at least $14 million a year to the area economy. Now we have a facility that is up to the job of keeping that division on the road – and serving those 9 million annual riders,” she said in the statement.

The New Haven Division operates a fleet of 114 buses on 24 routes, serving 17 towns throughout greater New Haven; it employs 280 people, the statement said.

Rell was joined by state Department of Transportation Commissioner Jeffrey A. Parker.

The Federal Transit Administration provided $79 million of the nearly $86 million in total construction costs.

“Where there was once a vacant steel plant in disrepair, we now have a new building that houses the bus storage, maintenance, and operations for a key part of our public transportation services,” Parker said, also in the statement. “The facility returns the property to a productive use and becomes a better neighbor in this community.”

CT Transit General Manager David Lee thanked the Governor and the DOT, noting that operations had smoothly transitioned to the Hamden property in mid-September with no disruption of customer service.

Rell and DOT officials also unveiled the first of 12 “bendy buses” during the dedication ceremony. The 60-foot, articulated transit buses seat 57 people - compared with 38 seats in a standard 40-foot bus - and replace 14-year-old vehicles. The new buses operate on biodiesel, with fuel economy improved by 6 percent over the older buses, and result in near zero emissions, meeting the EPA’s 2010 standards, the statement said.

The buses will be the first of their kind to operate in Connecticut, the statement said.

Editor's note: The information in this post was provided wholly by the governor's office. It is only lightly edited and is posted here as a public service.

Rockin' at the Peabody

And we're not talking geology

NEW HAVEN - British Indie Pop Band “Stornoway” is scheduled to perform at 1 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Great Hall of Dinosaurs at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

"Stornoway (shown) is a British indie pop quartet that has been hailed as the country’s most exciting nu-folk band," museum officials said in a statement.

The Guardian calls their songs “uniformly beautiful,” with lyrics that have a “disconcerting habit of winding you emotionally,” the statement said.

Venus calls them “effortlessly captivating. Stornoway’s tour of several continents brings them back to the United States where they performed in July at New York’s Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge, the statement said.

Lead singer and guitarist Brian Briggs, a zoology graduate of the University of Oxford with a doctorate in ornithology, "has a knack for writing brilliant acoustic-pop songs enriched with ornithological and other zoological references, such as his romantic lyrics of soaring seabirds," the statement said.

This is "not a surprising interest considering his dad, Yale Peabody Museum Director Derek Briggs, is an invertebrate paleontologist," the statement said.

The band came together when Brian Briggs and fellow Oxford classmate John Ouin, a keys and string man, advertised for other band members. The sole applicant, South African Ollie Steadman, brought a screwdriver to the interview should the future band mates turn out to be thugs, the statement said.

Steadman, who plays bass guitar, was a fit and later convinced the duo to bring in his younger brother Rob on drums. Their debut album 'Beachcombers Windowsill' is a hit.

The performance is free with museum admission of $9 for adults, $8 for seniors 65 and over, $5 for children 3-18 and college students. Children younger than 3, museum members and Yale I.D. holders are admitted free.

Electronics Recycling event for Cheshire residents and businesses

CHESHIRE - The town is partnering with eReclaim LLC to act as host "Go Green," a free community wide electronics recycling event from 9 a.m. to noon on Dec. 4 at the Cheshire Transfer Station, 1286 Waterbury Road.
Residents and businesses of the community can drop off their electronic recyclables (typically anything that plugs in or needs a battery). Other items included are home appliances, old wires, plugs, cords, snow blowers, weed whackers and batteries. No other waste materials will be accepted.
Beginning Dec. 22, residents can drop off their electronic recylables on Saturdays at the Transfer station.
For more information call the Public Works Department at 203-271-6650 or eReclaim LLC at 203-687-4445.

Doctor who specializes in child abuse prevention honored

NEW HAVEN - Dr. John M. Leventhal, medical director of child abuse programs and child abuse prevention programs at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, recently was honored by the National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds and the American Academy of Pediatrics, YNHH said in a statement.

Leventhal received the 2010 Ray E. Helfer, MD Award, presented annually to a distinguished pediatrician who has made demonstrable contributions to the prevention of child abuse, the statment said.

The Ray Helfer MD award is named for the late Dr. Helfer, a pediatrician and educator, who helped research the origins of abuse and neglect and also developed methods of detection, treatment and prevention, the statement said.

Leventhal, a resident of New Haven, is a professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine with a joint appointment at the Yale Child Study Center the statement said. He serves as medical director of the YNHCH's child abuse committee and sexual abuse clinic and is co-chairman of the Greater New Haven United Way Success-by-Six advisory council, which promotes early childhood learning, the statement said. He is a member of the Governor's task force on justice for abused children and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the statement said.

Leventhal received his bachelor's degree from Brown University and medical degree from Tufts School of Medicine. He has served his entire medical career at YNHH, beginning as a pediatric resident, chief resident and a pediatric fellow, before joining the staff as an attending pediatrician in 1979, the statement said.

Editor's note: The information in this post was provided wholly by YNHH.

Christopher Martins Christmas Run for Children

NEW HAVEN — The 5-k Christopher Martins Christmas Run for Children on Dec. 12 is expected to draw 2,000 runners.
Over more than 20 years, the race has donated more than 40,000 toys to needy children in New Haven during the Christmas season. Patrons and spectators donate toys on race day.
Applicants may register before race day to guarantee a spot on the starting line.
Packet pickup and registration is at Trailblazer, 296 Elm St., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 10, 11.

Race day registration (if available) begins at 8:30 a.m. at Christopher Martin’s Restaurant, 860 State St.
The race is at 10:15 a.m. The certified flat course runs along State and Orange streets, passes the Green and returns on State Street.
The course can be seen at http://www.blogger.com/www.jbsports.com.
After the race, free refreshments are served in Christopher Martins. For race information, call 203-481-5933 or visit jbsports.com.

The event is sponsored by Christopher Martins, Trailblazer, SKYY Vodka, AdBook Direct, Slocum & Sons, Complete Dental, 99.1 PLR, Dunkin’ Donuts, Hamden Hall Country Day School, Modern Apizza, New England Brewing Company, Russell Hall Co., Silver Creative Group, SKYY Vodka, Prime Lending – Justin Powell, Dole, Flanagan Associates, Brescome Barton, Coupon Madness, Hartley & Parker, Eder Brothers, Access Audio Visual and attorney Edward L. Walsh.

Are you a savvy shopper? Find out here

"The Savvy Shopper’s Essential Holiday List," provided by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection

The Department of Consumer Protection has a “shopper’s list,” a list of facts you should know before you hit the stores (or catalogs).

1. REFUNDS: The shopping complaint that tops our list each year is one that can be easily avoided. In Connecticut, retailers can impose any refund and exchange policy they wish, but it must be conspicuously posted at the store entrance, where the items are displayed for sale, or at the checkout counter. Look for it before you buy and keep all sales receipts! If there is no posted policy, you have seven (7) days to return almost any new, unused item, with its original packaging and the sales receipt. Exceptions include custom-ordered or custom-made items, plants, clearance, “as-is” or anything otherwise prohibited by law.

2. HOLIDAY RETURN POLICIES: Some stores offer extended holiday return policies. Look for this, and if it’s not printed on your receipt or on a store flyer, get it in writing, preferably from the manager. This is particularly important for big ticket items.

3. DEFECTIVE MERCHANDISE: If an item you buy is defective, you have the right to return the item for a replacement or a refund. If the new hairdryer won’t heat up, or the new toaster won’t toast, you should return the item for a replacement or a refund. You’re protected under the implied warranty of merchantability law, which states that a new consumer product must do what it is supposed to do. According to the law, merchant means seller; so it’s the seller (retailer) – not the manufacturer – that is responsible for making things right. Speak to the manager if you need to.

4. RE-STOCKING FEES: Some stores charge you if you return an item. They are allowed to do it, provided they post a notice of their restocking fees in a conspicuous place in the store.

5. PRICE MATCHING: Stores often promise to match their competitor’s advertised price, and on smaller items like games, toys, and name-brand clothing, these can be a timesaver. But for electronics, entertainment systems and appliances, you could have difficulty finding the exact same model in competing stores, so the price match won’t apply. Or you may find that the terms of sale at one store, such as delivery charges and financing, more than compensate for a slightly higher cost. If you see an ad for the exact same item at a lower price, check all the conditions in the ad before you shop. Call ahead to save time and energy.

6. LAY-A-WAY: This helpful service is making a comeback of sorts, as shoppers try to reduce credit spending. Lay-a-way allows you to shop now while the selection is still good, and delay full payment until it’s time to pick up the merchandise, usually 30 days. Connecticut stores must give you a lay-a-way statement that includes the amount of your deposit, length of time the items will be held, total purchase price, a description of each item, and a notice of cancellation policy. Pay attention to the terms or you could forfeit your deposit.

7. EXTENDED WARRANTIES: These are not warranties at all. A warranty is something you get free with the product. These are service contracts that you pay for. Store salespeople are encouraged to sell these plans; the profit margin is often greater than that for the merchandise. Usually not recommended, since service contracts often overlap the warranty period that comes with the product (when most repair problems occur). Many contracts are full of loopholes, and some are so expensive that they offset the cost of repairing or replacing the item.

8. SHOPPING ONLINE: Online shopping provides lots of anonymity for fraudulent marketers, making it much harder for enforcement authorities to help you should something go wrong. Use only well-known online retailers. Also look for privacy and security seals, which indicate that their security and privacy measures have been verified. Read all the terms, including delivery date, return policy, and warranties.

9. SHOPPING BY MAIL: Only use tried and true retailers for shopping by mail. Otherwise, you may not get what you ordered, may not get it in time, or worse, may not get it at all. Read all the terms, including delivery date, return policy, and warranties.

10. GIFT CARDS: Still a holiday favorite, and with careful purchasing and use, this is a gift that can’t miss. Under State law, gift cards sold in Connecticut do not expire, even if an expiration date is printed on the card, nor can they accrue inactivity fees or penalties if not used by a certain date. Local store and restaurant cards usually cost nothing to buy, have no monthly fees, and often allow the user to carry over a balance if not used all at once. “General purpose” gift cards offered by some malls or financial institutions (like those offered by Visa and American Express) can be purchased nearly anywhere, cost a few dollars to buy, and often have monthly fees attached after the first six months.

Editor's note: The information in this post was prodived wholly by the Department of Consumer Protection. It is reprinted here as a service to Connecticut consumers.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's a classic

NEW HAVEN - The Wednesday Classics film series continues Dec. 1 with "East of Eden" at the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St.

"The 1955 film that started the James Dean legacy," was directed by Elia Kazan and based on the novel by John Steinbeck, library officials said in a statement. It also stars Julie Harris and Raymond Massey.

There is no charge to see the movie, free parking is available, and screentime is 5:45 p.m.

For more information, call 203-946-8835.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Former British Prime Minister to speak at Yale

NEW HAVEN — Former British Prime Minister John Major will speak at Yale University on Nov. 30.
Major’s talk, "Fantasy to Reality: The World that Lies Ahead," is part of the George Herbert Walker Jr. Lecture in International Studies.
It is free and open to the public.
Major, shown, served as prime minister from 1990 to 1997, during the Persian Gulf War and led the United Kingdom during the start of the Northern Ireland peace process.
His successor, Tony Blair, taught a course at Yale on faith and globalization. Major retired from Parliament in 2001. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Major a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, England’s highest award for chivalry.
Major’s lecture will be held at 4 p.m. Nov. 30 in Henry R. Luce Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave.
It is sponsored by the MacMillan Center and the Center for the Study of Globalization.
George Herbert Walker III, known as Bert, is former U.S. ambassador to Hungary and first cousin to former President George H.W. Bush, established the lecture series in 1986 in memory of his father, a member of the Yale class of 1927.
Bert Walker is a member of the class of 1953.
Other lecturers in the series have included George Schultz, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Madeleine Albright, George Mitchell and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Knights of Columbus Museum’s crèche exhibit open

NEW HAVEN — Nativity scenes from 22 Asian countries will be featured in the Knights of Columbus Museum’s sixth annual crèche exhibit, opening Friday.
"Christmas in Asia" includes more than 100 crèches, scenes depicting Jesus’ birth in a manger, as told in the Gospels. The exhibit runs through Feb. 13.
Christians comprise only small numbers in many Asian countries, from Israel to Japan, but the Philippines has one of the world’s largest Roman Catholic populations. The show also includes original Holy Family paintings and prints from Japan, China and South Korea, the K of C said in a press release.
Visitors to the museum also can see "Mother Teresa: Life Spirituality and Message" through April 3.
Future exhibits include the 10th annual Christmas Tree Festival, featuring the decorations by Connecticut schoolchildren, opening Dec. 1, and a bronze casting of Michelangelo’s "Bruges Madonna and Child," on view Dec. 8.

The museum, located at 1 State St., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the Christmas shows. Admission and parking are free. For more information, call 203-865-0400 or go to http://www.kofcmuseum.org/.

Photo: Courtesy Knights of Columbus Museum; The Holy Family, interpreted in traditional Japanese costumes using fabrics and wire, on loan from Maryknoll Missionaries. Artist unknown.

Dinner at John C. Daniels School means...

Keeping a promise

When John C. Daniels School recently held a dinner to share the New Haven Promise program with parents, they had "a great turnout," officials said in a statement.

There were more than 250 parents and guardians in attendance at the program, which also served as report card night, the statement said.

The Promise is a recently launched program that intends to provide up to full tuition at a state college for students who live in New Haven and graduate from a public or charter school here. It is funded by Yale University and the Community Foundation for New Haven.

Shown in top photo, l to r, New Haven parents, Kathryn Pratt, J. McCullough, Michael Palma, Charles Stevens and Jorge Velez speak with Principal Gina Wells and NHPS Assistant Superintendent Garth Harries about the New Haven Promise at John C. Daniels School

Shown in center photo, also l to r, John C. Daniels parents, J. McCullough and Rene Palma speak with Harries, about New Haven Promise.

Shown in lower photo, aslo l to r, John C. Daniels Principal Gina Wells talks about New Haven Promise to parents Michael Palma, Jorge Velez and Charles Stevens along with Harries.

Hanukkah is around the corner

Non-profit shop in Woodbridge has selection of menorahs for year-round and holiday use

WOODBRIDGE- With the revival of handcrafted ritual art, many people of the Jewish faith choose to display the menorah all year long and The Judaica Shop at Congregation B’nai Jacob has a selection of menorahs that bring elegance into any room and are meant to be displayed year-round, officials said in a statement.

"Jews seek out creative and beautiful menorahs because they derive satisfaction from the fulfillment of hiddur mitzvah — the idea of making a mitzvah even more beautiful and special. By taking ritual objects and artistically embellishing them, as Bezalel did in building the Tabernacle in the Bible, we not only fulfill the mitzvah, but also grace the entire act of the mitzvah with beauty," the statement said.
"Because of the quality, creativity, and originality now being incorporated in Jewish ritual objects such as the menorah, Jews are buying them to decorate their homes and teach their children about their heritage."

Michael Aram’s uniquely designed menorah, shown, features two side-by-side branches holding all nine pomegranate-shaped candleholders, the statement said.

"According to Jewish tradition, the pomegranate has 613 seeds, equal to the number of commandments in the Torah and is symbolic of prosperity and fruitfulness," the statement said.

Aram is an internationally renowned metalware designer who lovingly makes Judaica using age-old traditional techniques and imbues them with the soul and energy of the hand of the maker, the statement said.

His work is sold in galleries and specialty stores worldwide.

The Dove Menorah by Lunares, also shown, "exudes a regal elegance. Its luster of gold or silver against the glowing candles is beautiful and inspiring.
The dove rises from the center of the menorah symbolizing a wish for peace," the statement said.

The Oceana Menorah by Quest, also shown, is "reminiscent of a flowing coral reef covered with glistening bubbles. Cast in fine brass, each piece is plated in sterling silver or gold. With care and skill, this exquisite menorah is then hand painted using rich colored enamel, giving an individual depth of color and unmatched luster."

Available in several different colorways (blue, brown, or
purple), the menorah is sure to be cherished for years to come, the statement said.

The Judaica Shop, located at Congregation B’nai Jacob, 75 Rimmon Road, is a non-profit service of the synagogue.

The shop is open to the community either by appointment (call 203-389-2111) or during its regular hours: Sun. 9:30 a.m.-12:30p.m.; Tues. 10a.m.-2p.m.; Wed. 3:30-5 p.m.; Thurs. noon-2 p.m.; Fri. 10 a.m.-noon.

Also, The Judaica Shop offers modern versions of menorahs that are eco-friendly, as shown.

"In lighting the eight-branched menorah used to symbolize the miracle of one day’s worth of oil lasting for eight days in Jerusalem’s Holy Temple, Hanukkah also provides an opportunity to reflect on environmental concerns and energy conservation through one’s choice of menorah," a statement said.

Hanukkah is early this year. First candlelighting is Wednesday night, Dec. 1.

Editor's note: The information in this post was provided.

Farmers Market in Hamden just in time for Thanksgiving

HAMDEN — Spring Glen Church, 1825 Whitney Ave., will present a farmers market Tuesday (Nov. 23) for Thanksgiving.
On sale will be locally grown and prepared baked goods, honey and seasonal produce.
Contributors include Rose’s berry farm, Killam & Bassette Farmstead, Meriano’s Bakery, Scratch Baking, Three Sisters Farm, Creative Organics and Helen’s Teas.
The market will be held in the church parking lot.

It's all wet

Learn all about water

BRANFORD - Free hands-on water-science workshops by the Connecticut Experiential Learning Center and the Southcentral Connecticut Regional Water Authority will be held to give students in fourth to eighth grades a mini-education about water, from how to measure the health of a stream to how many marbles will make a cup overflow or sink a boat.
Workshops take place at the Blackstone Memorial Library and will benefit CELC’s food drive for the Branford Community Dining Room, organizers said in a statement.

Participants will be asked to contribute a specific food item to each session, the statement said.
On Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 1to 2 p.m. What shape does a water drop have? Can water be stretched? What does water’s surface tension mean?
On Tuesday, Jan. 18, from 1 to 2 p.m How many marbles make a cup of water overflow? Estimating predictions about water supply.
There will be a maximum of 15 participants per session. To pre-register and find out about the CDR contribution, contact Melinda or Maria at mandm@CTEXperiential.org or 203-215-2317.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beer Mitzvah to be held at Hamden temple

HAMDEN - Temple Beth Sholom and the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven will hold a Beer Mitzvah from 8 p.m. to midnight Dec. 11 from 8 p.m. to midnight at 1809 Whitney Ave.

"Not only will this 21+ event have food and live music — like a traditional Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration — but it will also feature a beer tasting," organizers said in a statement.
Dance to a wide range of music from the energetic Steamroller Band, enjoy a Kosher hot dog buffet and taste local and regional beers, including Shmaltz; Sierra Nevada, and Blue Point Brewing Co,, the statement said.

Non-alcoholic beverages will be available.

Advance tickets are $40 for beer tasting and dance; $30 for dance only. Tickets at the door are $45/$35 (cash only). Kosher hot dog buffet is included in ticket price.

Reserve advance tickets by emailing your name, mailing address and number of tickets to WaysAndMeans@tbshamden.com. Include “Beer Mitzvah Tickets” in the subject line. An advance tickets order form also is available to download at http://www.tbshamden.com/.

Only those 21 or older may participate in the event. A valid photo ID will be required at the door.
"This major fundraiser will enable Temple Beth Sholom to carry on the local, state and national charitable activities in which the synagogue is currently engaged," the statement said. "The event will also benefit the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Family Service’s new Jewish Community Social Work Outreach Support (SOS) Program. The SOS Program is a partnership of Jewish Family Service and the Jewish Federation that has been created to make a positive impact on the lives of families in our community."

Learn more about the SOS program at www.jewishnewhaven.org.

For more information, please contact Brian Lakin at WaysAndMeans@tbshamden.com.

'Tis the season

New Haven Free Public Library Announces 2010 Holiday Hours

The New Haven Free Public Library system will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 24 and closed Thanksgiving Day.
The regular schedule resumes Nov. 26, the Main (Ives) Branch will be
open 1 – 5 p.m. while the rest of the system is closed.
On Nov. 27, the Main Branch will be open 10 a.m. 5 p.m., while
Stetson and Wilson Branch will be open 1 - 5 p.m.

Additional Holiday closings include Dec. 24 and 25 as well as Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

The system includes the Fair Haven Branch, at 182 Grand Ave.; Mitchell Branch, at 37 Harrison St.; Stetson Branch, at 200 Dixwell Ave.; Wilson Branch, at 303 Washington Ave.; and Main (Ives) Branch, at 133 Elm St.

For more information, call (203)946-8125.

Friday, November 12, 2010

3rd Annual LEAP Event gives awards to big LEAPers

LEAP recently awarded some of its strongest community supporters in a small ceremony at the Roslyn Milstein Meyer LEAP Community Center.

The annual ceremony "is a chance for LEAP to thank those community members who give the most support to the mission of LEAP," the agency said in a statement.

This year’s LEAPers of Distinction recipients were Louise Endel, Gordan & Shelley Geballe, and Che Dawson, shown in photo, the statement said.
Rita Berkson, chairwoman of LEAP’s Board of Directors, began the evening welcoming those in attendance, which included the award recipients, their friends and family, and LEAP staff members, the statement said. Erik Clemons, executive director, then introduced the individuals who presented awards to the recipients, the statement said.
In photo, l to r, Gordon and Shelley Geballe, Louise Endel, Che Dawson, Executive Director Erik Clemons, and Rita Berkson, chairowman of the Board of Directors.

Ann Baker Pepe, LEAP Board member, presented the first award to Louise Endel, and talked about Endel’s "unique ability to be the glue of the community, pulling people together to make a difference in the community," the statement said.

She also talked about Endel’s ability to “understand what a person can contribute well before that individual understands his or her own potential contribution.”

Endel has served for a number of years with Baker Pepe as co-chairwomen of LEAP’s most significant yearly fundraising event, LEAP Year Event. Her contributions to the event have made the event a huge success, last year raising over $100,000 for LEAP’s programs, the statement said.

Endel "is the kind of community member that makes connections that keep the community moving forward and LEAP is grateful for the contribution she makes to the organization," the statement said.
Roslyn Milstein Meyer, LEAP co-founder, presented the award to Gordon and Shelley Geballe. The Geballe’s "have been strong advocates and supporters of LEAP since its founding," and Meyer discussed the importance of their friendship to LEAP, the statement said.

Meyer recognized them for their contributions to support LEAP’s growth, the statement said. Shelley Geballe, co-founded Connecticut Voices for Children in 1995, and through this organization, has passed many laws that benefit LEAP’s children and families, the statement said.

Gordon Geballe "has also contributed to the civic landscape in Connecticut, advocating for sustainability and conservation of the environment, education, arts and ideas, civil rights, volunteerism, and a free and fair press," the statement said.

The couple's sons, Ben and Dan, served as LEAP counselors while students at Yale. Seeing the positive effect LEAP had not only on the children but also the young adults involved in LEAP, the Geballes became strong advocates for the program, the statement said. In her acceptance remarks, Shelley Geballe pointed out her belief that LEAP is not “state-spending, it is an investment” that must continue to receive support from the state, the statement said.

She called for all event attendees to be advocates of the worth of the program and the difference it makes in the lives of children.
Tai Richardson, former LEAP employee, presented the last award to Che Dawson, past executive director and current LEAP advocate. Richardson "discussed the true mentoring relationship he received from Mr. Dawson," the statement said.

Richardson discussed how Dawson pushed him to success and prepared him professionally to take on the world, the statement said. He said he felt that Dawson provided the kind of relationship that a big brother or father provides, and acknowledged that many other young men in the city of New Haven who worked with Dawson also benefited from his guidance and leadership, the statement said.

"Dawson graciously and humbly accepted the award, saying that he felt the award should have been reversed. He discussed how grateful he is for the experience and professional tools that LEAP gave him," the statement said. He expressed his hope that LEAP would continue to inspire young people to reach their potential, as LEAP helped him to do.
The evening also featured dancers form LEAP’s Community Center jazz class, who danced to R. Kelly’s “The World’s Greatest.” The evening was catered by Culinary Concerts. Past recipients of the LEAPers of Distinction award include: Anne Tyler Calabresi, Honorable William R. Dyson, Henry J. Fernandez III, Jean Handley, Matt Klein, Jerome Harris Meyer, Roslyn Milstein Meyer, and Julia Rusenik. Award recipients are featured on a plaque in the Roslyn Milstein Meyer LEAP Community Center on 31 Jefferson St, New Haven, the statement said.

About LEAP:
LEAP is an academic and social enrichment program for children and youth, ages 5 to 23. Our mission is to develop the strengths and talents of young leaders who create and implement year-round, community-based programs designed to achieve positive academic and social outcomes for children living in high poverty urban neighborhoods. LEAP is an AmeriCorps Program. LEAP operates community-based programming in the Church Street South and Farnum Courts neighborhoods, school based programming at Wexler Grant School, and runs community classes at its Roslyn Milstein Meyer LEAP Community Center at 31 Jefferson St.

Editor's note: The information in this post was provided wholly by LEAP

Coat collection to help several agencies keep folks warm

Trailblazer is collecting clean, reusable coats and jackets at several locations to assist the One Warm Coat community’s service effort.
Coats of all shapes and sizes are welcome and can be dropped at Trailblazer locations in New Haven, Branford and at the Mohegan Sun casino, the company said in a statement. The company is involved because it is dedicated to distributing reusable coats, free of charge, directly to local children and adults, the statement said.
As a thanks, Trailblazer will offer 10 percent off of any purchase, at any dollar amount, when the shopping is completed at the time of donation.
Clean, reusable coats and jackets can be brought to any Trailblazer location between Nov. 15 and Dec. 28. Coat donations from the New Haven store will go to the Columbus House shelter, from Branford will go to Harbor Health Services Clothing Drive, and from Mohegan Sun will go to Norwich, Human Services, the statement said.
Trailblazer is working with One Warm Coat, a national non-profit organization that supports and encourages coat drives. It helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies that distribute the coats to people in need, the statement said. More than one million coats have been provided to those in need at no cost since its inception in 1992.
Trailblazer is a local, independent retailer founded in 1995 by David Venables with two other stores located in New Haven, Branford, and the Mohegan Sun Casino. Trailblazer is member of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and is active in many local community and environmental organizations, the statement said.

Fresh Cut Christmas Trees Offered by Boy Scouts

The annual Christmas Tree Sale run by the boys of Scout Troop 63 of Woodbridge will begin at 9 a.m. Nov. 27 in the back of the former Woodbridge Fire House at the corner of Center and Newton roads.
Parking for the sale is available in the senior center parking lot, rganizers said in a statement.
The sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and Sundays and 3 to 8 p.m., weeknights.

The Boy Scouts have made arrangements with growers to provide "wonderfully fresh Balsam Christmas trees, all beautifully shaped," the statement said.
Free delivery is available, just ask one of the scouts when you buy your tree, the statement said!
Wreaths, created locally, are also available for $18 each.
Each 16” wreath is individually distinctive, decorated with pinecones and a festive red all-weather ribbon, the statement said. Also, 48 inch plain or decorative wreaths will also be available for $65.

Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Woodbridge, also "has graciously allowed Troop 63 to sell Christmas wreaths at the chapel and rectory starting at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 5, Dec. 12 and 19. All proceeds benefit the Boy Scouts of Troop 63.

Inquiries for volume discounts, special circumstances or size requirements can be made to Charles Whiting, Troop 63’s Committee chairman at (203) 387-5678.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Take a turn on the ice and help the hungry

NEW HAVEN - The Elm City Skating Club will sponsor a “Free Skate Food Drive” at the Ralph Walker Ice Rink from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 21 1080 State St.

The event will benefit families in the New Haven area.

Everyone is invited to come help fill the locker rooms with food for neighbors in need, organizers said in a statement.

Members of the Elm City Skating Club will be on hand to collect donations and give ice skating tips and demonstrations throughout the event, the statement said. Participants are asked to bring non-perishable food items valued at $5, or a monetary donation, and in return they will skate free during a special public session.

Donations will be collected the day of the event and all proceeds will be donated to soup kitchens in the New Haven area.

The Elm City Skating Club is locally known for its Learn-to-Skate, Little Elm Skating Club tots program, CardioSkate and Learn-to-Play-Hockey programs, the statement said.

The rink is owned by the city of New Haven and operated by Rink Management Solutions as one of several sports complexes located throughout the city serving New Haven families.

Space is limited on the ice and rental skates are subject to availability.

For more information, contact the Ralph Walker Ice Rink at 203-946-8007 or Elm City Skating Club at www.elmcityskatingclub.com

A Conversation with Nora Ephron

Read to Grow will hold a “A Conversation with Nora Ephron" the humorist, novelist and writer-director at 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at at Long Wharf Theatre mainstage.
Advance reservations are necessary.
Following wine and cheese reception at 2:30 p.m., Read to Grow founder and board chairwoman Roxanne Coady will interview Ephron, author of a new book, "I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections."
In the book, Ephron "returns with her first book since the astounding success of 'I Feel Bad About My Neck,' taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten," the statement said.
Read about a previous Read to Grow event here
A single seat to the event is $75 and include a book. a premium seat, which includes a personalized copy of "I Remember Nothing" and proximity seating, is $125.
Sponsorships are available.
Call Read to Grow at 203-488-6800 to reserve a seat or for more information, or register online at www.readtogrow.org.

Proceeds benefit the programs of Read to Grow, a Branford-based nonprofit literacy organization that works to build literacy and provide books for Connecticut children beginning at birth.

Read to Grow "builds early literacy for all Connecticut children from birth, when literacy development begins," the statement said." It is the only statewide organization to connect with parents in the hospital when a baby is born and provide the tools they need — children’s books and guidance — to take an active role in their baby’s literacy development and set their child on a path to success in school and in life. This year, Read to Grow reached 50% of all Connecticut newborns and distributed over 100,000 books statewide."

Program to collect for food pantries

NEW HAVEN — The Dixwell/Newhallville Girl’s Mentoring Program will collect canned goods and non-perishable food items outside the Stetson library branch at the Dixwell Plaza beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday
Thelma Ragsdale, one of the program coordinators, said all donations will help support food pantries housed at Varick A.M.E. Zion Church and Macedonia Church of God.
This is the program’s second annual food drive. In addition to collecting donations, organizers will sell shawls, ponchos and other clothing and accessory items donated by Village of Power. A local artist will be donating original artwork that also may be purchased during the event.
A rain date is scheduled for Nov. 20.
For more information, call Ragsdale at 203-397-3533 or 203-676-6578.
— Angela Carter

Help stuff the state police cruiser with toys

The public is invited to help Connecticut State Troopers and Youth & Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth, Inc. to stuff a cruiser with unwrapped toys 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 13 at 91 Little City Road, Higganum or Killingworth Transfer Station, Route 81, Killingworth.
Troopers from Troop F and Youth & Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth, will act as hosts for the "Stuff A Cruiser Event," according to a statement.
The cruisers belong to Haddam Resident State Trooper James Connelly and Killingworth Resident State Trooper Matthew Ward. Organizers said they hope people will drop off new toys and gifts to stuff the cruiser with. The toys will be distributed by Youth and Family Services during the holidays to families in need. Due to the economic times the agency is seeing an increase in families who need help during the holiday season, the statement said.
Toys will benefit Haddam & Killingworth families in need for the Holidays, the statement said.
Remember: Bring an unwrapped toy to either site on Saturday

“For Children that love to sing”

Those are the words of folks at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church because...

Beginning in January, St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church will offer a full after school program running from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., 5 days a week, according to a statement.
The program will emphasize music training and will include after school snacks, homework help, and recreational opportunities with a certified elementary school teacher, the statement said.
Each child will receive individual and group opportunities for voice training, the statement said.
In January 2011, the program will open for children in first through fourth grades; it will expand in September 2011 to include fifth grades.
"This wonderful program is a special opportunity for parents to provide high quality after school care for children, while encouraging a love of music," the statement said.
The open house is scheduled to give an opportunity for both children and parents to meet the teachers, review the program, and evaluate the venue.
St. Thomas’s Church is located at 830 Whitney Ave., across the street from Edgerton Park.
For more information, visit www.stthomasnewhaven.org/choirschool or call David Jernigan, director of the Choir School, at 203-777-7623.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Designs on a logo

HAMDEN — The Hamden Public Library is seeking the aid of town artists/designers to create a new logo for the library.
The library board wants a single design element that can represent the library in print and on the web.
The logo design contest will run through Jan. 30. After that date, a panel of judges will evaluate submissions. The successful designer will be given an honorarium of $200. The winner will be announced by March 15.
For contest rules and entry forms, stop by any of the library’s three locations or go to www.hamdenlibrary.org.
Rules and entry forms will also be distributed through the library newsletter, the Chamber of Commerce newsletter and area schools and colleges.
For more information, call Nancy McNicol at 287-2686, ext. 11.

Light up your nights

Fantasy of lights begins soon

NEW HAVEN - Fantasy of Lights, presented by Easter Seals Goodwill Industries, a holiday tradition for thousands of families, begins Nov. 19 at Lighthouse Point Park.
Now in its 16th year, the displays will be there through Dec. 31.
"This year, several of the displays have gone green, using new, energy-saving LED bulbs," organizers said in a statement.
Each display is sponsored by an area business, corporation or individual, with PSEG Power Connecticut LLC as the title Sponsor.
The 16th Annual Fantasy of Lights will be open 5 to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Admission for passenger cars/family vans is $10, 15-passenger vans or mini-buses is $25 and buses are $50. All proceeds benefit Easter Seals Goodwill Industries. Additional information is available at www.ctgoodwill.org/fantasyoflights.

Shown in photo: Steve Cifone, left, a recruit from the Southington Police Department, is among the Connecticut Police Academy recruits to help recently with the set up of the 16th annual Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Point Park.
Photo by Brad Horrigan/New Haven Register

Jeremy Saxe 3rd Annual Memorial Volleyball Tournament coming up

This Thanksgiving weekend area volleyball players and fans will return for an annual community event "that benefits the children of the beautiful and spiritual, but impoverished nation of Nepal" and also supports an Amity scholarship in memory of Jeremy Saxe, shown in photo, organizers said.
Everyone is invited to come out and play or just watch at the Jeremy Saxe 3rd Annual Memorial Volleyball Tournament from 3 to 6 p.m. Nov. 26 at Amity High School, organizers said.
The event will give folks a chance to enjoy snacks and catch up with friends, even those who can spare only a few minutes to say hello. The tournament committee would love to see old friends and welcome new friends, organizers said.
The event is organized in a Sixes Coed Tournament style, so participants are asked to sign up as a team of 6 (at least two girls per team) or sign up as a single and get placed on a team. Players should submit their names individually (to be added to teams) or team rosters by email to jsvbtourney@gmail.com or at the Facebook Event page "Jeremy Saxe 3rd Annual Memorial Volleyball Game."
There is a suggested $5 donation for spectators and $10 for players. Refreshments will be available for purchase before and during the game. There will also be a 50-50 raffle.

All proceeds support Jiwanko Saathiharu: Jeremy Saxe Foundation for Education and Development, an independent social development organization with 501 (c)3 tax exempt status formed by Jeremy’s friends, colleagues and family, according to a statement.
The Jeremy Saxe Memorial Volleyball Tournament, established in November 2008 by volleyball teammates, honors Jeremy Saxe who lost his life on Sept. 4, 2008 from an undiagnosed heart condition: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, organizers said in a statement.
Saxe graduated Amity High School in 2005. He was an outstanding student, co-captain of the soccer, ski racing and volleyball teams and voted MVP for all three sports. He attended Lafayette College, where he maintained a 3.84 overall GPA as a philosophy major. In the spring of his junior year he studied abroad in Nepal where he fell in love with the country and its people and committed his future to international development, the statement said
While in Nepal, Saxe was given the Nepali name, Jiwan, which means "life" and Jiwanko Saathiharu translates to "Friends of Jeremy/Friends of Life."
The foundation, which is building a school in Pharping, Nepal, also supports an Amity scholarship in Saxe’s name that is awarded annually to the student that best exemplifies his qualities, including: athletic ability, academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, sportsmanship and a sincere interest in improving the world and benefiting those who are less fortunate.
Over the past year the Foundation has been moving forward with plans for the building of a school in the village where Saxe lived as part of his home stay experience. Last summer, foundation directors spent 15 days in Nepal conducting meetings that were extremely productive and educational, the statement said. The foundation toured many governmental, community based, and private schools in and around Kathmandu. Meetings were held with representatives of the United Nations Development Program, UNICEF, UN Human Rights Commission, Nepal’s Undersecretary of Education, many international NGOs and national NGOs. the statement said.
"The highlight of the Nepal trip was a day-long meeting with A School for Community, a local grassroots NGO serving the community of Pharping. After reading Jeremy’s field study notes, including extensive interviews he had with the principals of ASC, they were delighted to meet with ASC and see how their programs had flourished since Jer had written his development paper on their initiatives in 2008. The exchange of ideas, and the energy level generated, was extremely encouraging. As a result of these meetings, the Pharping community agreed to donate the land to support a brand new 9-12 High School," the statement said.
To volunteer, or for more information, please e-mail jsvbtourney@gmail.com. Contributions can be mailed to Jeremy Saxe Foundation c/o SDV 1952 Whitney Avenue Hamden, CT 06517.
The tournament committee thanks this year’s sponsors: Amity Mobil, Racebrook Wine & Liquor World, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. and Bruegger’s Bagels of Orange.

For more about the foundation,visit here.

Volunteers "Step Up" For Food Pantry

NEW HAVEN - As the economy continues to struggle, Jewish Family Services, which distributes boxed and canned food and offers counseling to needy families, needs help, organizers said in a statement.
Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel has organized a walkathon to raise money for the agency; the event runs from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 21 at BEKI, 85 Harrison St., New Haven, the statement said.

To pre-register as a walker, or for other details, please contact Rabbi Murray Levine at 203-397-2513.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

United Way of Greater New Haven honors two

NEW HAVEN - United Way of Greater New Haven "is proud to honor Andy Eder, a Guilford resident and president of Eder Bros., and Charlie Andriole, a Branford resident and senior and managing partner of the Andriole Group of Merrill Lynch," leaders said in a statement.
A recent celebration in honor of the two distinguished community leaders took place at the Pine Orchard Country Club in Branford, where they received the 2010 Alexis de Tocqueville Society Herbert H. Pearce Award, the statement said.

"The society fosters, promotes and recognizes the vital importance of voluntary community service and personal giving at an exceptional level," the statement said. "The annual award is presented to an individual or couple who embodies the American spirit of giving and volunteerism witnessed by Alexis de Tocqueville as he traveled the United States in the 1800’s."

In 2009, United Way of Greater New Haven renamed the award the Alexis de Tocqueville Society Herbert H. Pearce Award to honor Pearce’s contributions to the community, the statement said.

"United Way is grateful for the contributions Andy Eder and Charlie Andriole have made to our community and for the examples they have given us as philanthropists, community leaders and advocates,” Jack Healy, president and CEO of United Way of Greater New Haven said in a statement. “Just by virtue of who they are, they model what it is to be a caring neighbor and involved citizen.”

Eder "was the visionary behind creating Neighbor-to-Neighbor LifeLine – a joint effort of United Way of Greater New Haven and The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven to meet emergency food and housing needs and provide relief funds for people throughout Greater New Haven, which raised $1.3 million a community effort to help meet emergency needs in Greater New Haven," the statement said.

Eder credits his family, particularly his father and uncle, for showing him “the way” and how to get involved in the community, the statement said.

His children have followed in his footsteps and are involved in the community as well at a young age. “It’s about trying to leave this community a little bit better than we found it for no other reason than for our children’s sake and our grandchildren’s sake,” Eder said, also in the statement. “That’s what it’s really all about. I get back so much more than I’ve ever given - in both my time, effort, energy and money.”

Andriole, is the chairman of the Board of Managers for the Soundview Family YMCA. As chairman of their Capital Campaign, he lead the effort to raise more than $9 million to ensure the opening of the Soundview Family YMCA’s new state of the art 38,000 square foot facility in June of 2010, the statement said.

Andriole credits his mother for teaching him “to do the right thing.”

“We are all products of our life experiences. As a young boy, I observed first hand my mother's unbridled passion and commitment to community service. Whenever a need arose, my mom was there, while raising three children, primarily alone,” said Andriole, in the statement.

Visit http://www.uwgnh.org/ to learn how you can become a leader in your community or contact Kathleen Norwood Crisafi (203) 691-4213 or knorwood@uwgnh.org

In photo, l to r, Barbara Pearce, Andy Eder, Charlie Andriole & Jack Healy.

Kids helping others

The children at the Academy of Kempo Martial Arts are learning at a young age some very important life lessons: How to help others and to be part of a community, the studio said in a statement.
The Academy of Kempo Martial Arts therefore is accepting donations for Saint Ann's Soup Kitchen and Keefe Center’s Food Pantry.
To show its support, the Academy is offering its students a free semi-private lesson for any five or more non-perishable items they donate and offering two weeks of free lessons to non-students.
"These two organizations help many families throughout the Hamden area who have a limited amount of resources available to them due to the current economic conditions," the statement said. "The goal of the Academy is to help these organizations to help these families enjoy their holidays by holding this food drive, and the Academy hopes that during this season of giving that they can encourage others to help also."
Shihan Frank Ciarleglio, the instructor at the Academy, said: “At the Academy we teach our students the importance of helping others. Donating food, clothing, toys, other material items or a monetary donation can do this, but that is not the only way of helping someone.
"Other ways to help is volunteering with different organizations, making things for someone (for example making a holiday card for someone in the military, a get well soon card for someone who is ill, drawing a picture etc.) or helping a family member, friend, neighbor or even a stranger,” he said, also in the statement.“These are very important life lessons for the younger people, this helps them to be part of a community and understand that everyone can give whether it’s something you buy or something you do for someone.”
The free lesson offer is limited to one give away per person and cannot be combined.
“I am offering these free Martial Arts lessons as a way of giving back to those who give, and I am also hoping that it will encourage others to give when they would not have normally done so. This is a great opportunity for students to get some one-on-one training and for non-students to try the Martial Arts. These are rough times that we live in and some self-defense knowledge should be a necessity not a luxury,” said Ciarleglio, in the statement.
Academy of Kempo is accepting donations now through the end of the holiday season, at 1890 Dixwell Ave., Hamden.
Contact the Academy by phone at (203) 288-9990, or visit them at www.academyofkempo.com to find best times to drop off your donations and receive the gift.
Shown, back row, l to r, Emily Maranets, Teddy Maranets and Noahaila Lamhader. Middle row, Imran Lamhader, Ricardo Jimenez and Gabriel Ciarleglio. Front row, Areli Jimenez and Hailey Ciarleglio.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

St. Rae’s Cancer Center launches head, neck cancer support group

NEW HAVEN - The Father Michael J. McGivney Center for Cancer Care at the Hospital of Saint Raphael this fall started a new support group for people suffering from head and neck cancers.
The group has partnered with the national Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer to become the organization’s New Haven chapter, the only one in the New Haven/Fairfield County area, according to a statement.

Head and neck cancers, like the throat cancer afflicting actor Michael Douglas, are the sixth most common kind of cancer in the United States, the statement said..

"These cancers affect upper body structures including the thyroid, nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, throat, lips, mouth and salivary glands and can be deadly as well as disfiguring," the statement said. “Like most cancers, early detection and diagnosis are critical to treatment success rates,” Vanna Dest, organizer of the new Saint Raphael’s support group. said in the statement. “But once the treatment is over, people need the emotional support and a forum to talk about their experience to help them through the healing process. That is the primary purpose for offering this support group.”

The group began in October but welcomes new members, it meets every second Tuesday of the month from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the main conference room at the Father Michael J. McGivney Cancer Center, 659 George St.

Free parking is available in the adjacent cancer center lot.

The formation of the support group follows the success of the Hospital of Saint Raphael’s first-ever head and neck cancer screening event in April, which drew more than 130 people, the statement said. A second screening is planned for May 2011.

For more information on the head and neck cancer support group and other Saint Raphael’s cancer support groups, call Vanna Dest at (203) 789-3131.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Benefit to raise money for therapeutic riding program

Food and wine pairings, horses and art will be the center of a fundraiser for Little Britches Therapeutic Riding beginning with cocktail hour at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Woodward House in Bethlehem.
The cost for the five course wine dinner is $150 per person with $50 from each ticket donated to Little Britches, organizers said in a statement.
Local photographer Heather Norris will hold her gallery opening that evening with the inaugural showing of many of her most eclectic pieces and portraiture, the statement said.
The menu for the evening includes a five course dinner of fois gras, sea scallops, duck and halibut each course complete with wine pairings to complement, the statement said.
For more information or to make reservations, call the Woodward House at (203) 266-6902.

Heather Norris Photography will be opening an eclectic display of her work at the Woodward House including dog portraits, children’s portraits, aerial photography, abstract prints and prints on metal, the statement said.
Norris also will display "a line of unusual shots which are her unique take on life’s quirky elements she refers to as Lifestyle With Attitude. Each piece of work will be for sale and a portion of the sale will go to Little Britches Therapeutic Riding," the statement said.
Little Britches is an equine assisted riding program that allows children who are physically, emotionally or developmentally challenged to interact with horses. Its mission is to expand the physical and emotional boundaries of children with special needs through sensory integration, self-esteem and physical strength building and mental well-being, the statement said.

Photo by Heather Norris Photography

Benefit held to help Tommy Fund

Academy of Kempo reaches out

NORTH HAVEN - A recent benefit held at Lanphier Day Spa raised more than $2,500 for the Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer, organizers said in a statement.
The event, dubbed an “Evening At The Spa” was a fundraiser to held through the Academy of Kempo’s "Help a Child Initiative," the statement said.
"People came from all over the state to experience Lanphier Day Spa’s exceptional services and pamper themselves while helping children with life threatening diseases," the statement said.
"The Lanphier Day Spa’s staff of caring professionals made the evening enjoyable and memorable for all who came to support this great event and raised over $2500 dollars for the Tommy Fund based out of Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital."
The spa also collected 117 arts and craft kits and toys for the children undergoing their cancer treatments, the statement said.
There was a representative from the Academy of Kempo and some of their students there helping to spread the word about the ‘Help a Child Initiative’ and they put on a little demonstration during the event, the statement said.
There were representatives from the Tommy Fund at the event to help answer any questions about the organization.
"Part of the success of the evening was due to the people and businesses that supported the event. Thank you to the Youth Activity Center at Healthtrax for the babysitting," the statement said.
Food and beverages were donated by Eli’s on Whitney, Whitney Donuts, DiSorbo’s Bakery, Hindingers Farm, Mount Carmel Wine and Liquor, and Maria Santos.
The Lanphier Day Spa, Academy of Kempo, Mark Puglise Jewelers, Chico’s, White House Black Market, J.P. Dempsey’s, Flirt Boutique, Eli’s Brick Oven Pizza, Marjolaine Fine Pastries, DiMatteo’s Pizza, Taste Restaurant and Lounge, and J. Roo’s donated raffle prizes.
A full list of sponsors is available at www.academyofkempo.com.

For more information on the Academy of Kempo’s "Help a Child Initiative" contact the Academy of Kempo at (203) 288-9990, or visit www.academyofkempo.com.

Shown in the photo: Dee Stefanou, assistant manager at the Lanphier Day Spa handing a check to Frank Ciarleglio of Academy of Kempo Martial Arts, from the “Help a Child Initiative” to be donated to the Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer.

Promising Scholars tourney a winner

The 8th Annual Promising Scholars Fund Charity Golf Classic was held recently at Laurel View Country Club in Hamden.
The event successfully raised more than $50,000 for college scholarships to minority students in the local community, organizers said in a statement. For more click here.
At the fundraiser, John A. Edmonds received the Legacy Award for his ongoing support of Promising Scholars, his dedication to the community and young people throughout his life, and his love of golf and understanding of how it helps shape the ethical values of young people, the statement said.
For more information about the event and the Promising Scholars Fund at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, visit http://www.cfgnh.org/.

In the photo, contributed by the Community Foundation, John Edmonds with his daughter, Nancy Hill and fellow archon, Carlton Highsmith in back middle.

Bushwhack to headline Darfur benefit show

Here's how you can help

NEW HAVEN - Bushwhack, dubbed as "New Haven’s own 'prog rockers,'" will headline a benefit show for STAND, the student-led division of the Genocide Prevention Network, devoted to stopping the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, organizers said in a statement.
The all-ages show is scheduled for 4 p.m. Nov. 14 at BAR, 254 Crown St., the statement said.
“We are honored to be a part of this event and hope that our fans will join us in raising both money and awareness for this important organization,” Jamie vanDyck, the band’s guitarist, said, also in the statement.
The New Haven-based quartet has received "significant international acclaim for its two recordings: The eponymous titled CD that arrived in 2007 and this year’s EP, Canvas," the statement said.
"The debut recording was all-instrumental and was widely recognized as a breath of fresh air in the progressive music scene."
The band, comprised of vanDyck, Shanbrom, keyboardist Frank Sacramone, and bassist Sean McCuster, have been together since 2005 and while three of four members are still in college, they continue to write and perform new music that manages to be complex, heavy, and melodic at the same time, the statement said.
This performance marks the return of the band to a New Haven venue.
See more on Facebook here.

Donation: $10.00 (all proceeds go to STAND)
Editor's note: Organizers said the Amity Regional High School, Trumbull High School and Yale University chapters of STAND are all part of organizing this event.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Woodward to receive Cronkite Award Nov. 18 in New Haven

NEW HAVEN — Investigative reporter and author Bob Woodward of the Washington Post will be presented with the Walter Cronkite Award to mark the 35th anniversary of Connecticut’s pioneering Freedom of Information Act.
The honor will be presented Nov. 18 at an FOI anniversary dinner at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale. The event is open to the public. For reservations, contact info@ctfog.org.
Woodward will speak at the dinner, according to a statement.
"Bob Woodward perfectly personifies the spirit and mission of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act," Daniel Klau, a Hartford attorney and president of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government, which is organizing the anniversary event, said in a statement.

"The preeminent journalist’s dedication to the fullest exposure of the information the citizenry needs to make its critical decisions is legendary," Klau said, also in the statement.
"From exposing the assault on American constitutional values in the Watergate scandals through a long series of other journalistic efforts to more than 15 best-selling and incredibly informative non-fiction books, Bob Woodward has been an unrivaled leader in sustaining the people’s right to know about what its government and leaders are up to. He exemplifies the highest standards that define the Walter Cronkite Award," Klau said.
The award is presented every five years. Previous honorees include Cronkite, for whom the award was later named; PBS’ Jim Lehrer; and investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersch.

Bishop Peter. A. Rosazza to be honored

NEW HAVEN - Hunger Relief and Development will honor Bishop Peter. A. Rosazza at a function from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday at Loricco Towers, at 216 Crown St.
All funds raised for the event will be donated to the children of earthquake victims in Haiti.
The cost of the ticket is $50, and there will be wine tasting and appetizers.
For more information or tickets, visit the website hungerreliefanddevelopment.org, RSVP via email, or mail donations to: Hunger Relief and Development, Inc.; PO Box 398, North Branford, 06471.
Donations also will be accepted at the door.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Taste of Celiac fair is this weekend

NEW HAVEN — The Greater New Haven Celiac Group is holding its annual Taste of Celiac vendor fair this weekend.
The fair runs from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Annex YMA Club, 554 Woodward Ave.
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in which consuming gluten triggers an immune system response that damages the small intestine. Unchecked, the disease can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications.
The fair will offer a variety of gluten-free foods for sampling and for purchase.
There is no cost for members of the GNHCG and the cost for non-members is $5. Kids younger than 18 are admitted free.
For more information, contact Lisa Turcotte at 860-984-4742 or send an e-mail to kayariley@yahoo.com.

Veterans Day events in Greater New Haven

Here are some upcoming events during which you can show respect for veterans

In Milford: Several events are scheduled for Nov. 7.
—The Milford Senior Center will hold a tribute at 12:15 p.m.
—The city’s annual Veterans Day parade starts at 2 p.m. at the Parsons Government Center and goes to the Green.
— A free musical program will be held at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 110 River St.
City Hall doors will open at 3 p.m.
"A Musical Salute to Our Veterans" will be presented by the Milford Concert Band in conjunction with Disabled American Veterans Chapter 15. For details on the concert, call 203-260-6625.

In Woodbridge: The Painted Pomegranate at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven, 360 Amity Road, presents a "tea and play day" 10 a.m.–noon Nov. 11. There will be a brunch and activities for all ages. The event is free for veterans and their children ages 2-14, and $8 for nonveteran families. Call Daniela Balzano at 203-387-2522, ext. 227.

In Hamden: A free breakfast to honor local veterans will be held 8 a.m. Nov. 11 at Atria Larson Place, 1450 Whitney Ave. RSVP by Nov. 8 to 203-248-8880.
Also in Hamden: Elks Lodge 2224 will present a roast beef luncheon Sunday at the lodge, 175 School St. A flag retirement ceremony will be at 12:30 p.m. All veterans will be recognized at the event. Cash bar is available. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the lodge after 4 p.m., by calling 203-248-2224 or by leaving name and phone number with Don Tozzo at 203-288-0455; some tickets will be sold at the door. Proceeds will support the Elks veterans programs.
Also in Hamden: A dinner will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Charles W. Wood, VFW Post 10321, 403 Morse St. Donations are accepted. For details, call the VFW at 203-773-3967 or Walter and Lenora Turner at 203-562-6638.

In West Haven: The city and the Veterans Council invite veterans of all wars and conflicts to participate in a tribute at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11 on the Veterans Walk of Honor in Bradley Point Park.
Mayor John M. Picard and council President Lori Grenfell will speak at the event, which will include a wreath-laying ceremony.
Held rain or shine, the public service will begin with a presentation of colors by the West Haven Police Color Guard and a flag-raising by the West Haven Fire Department Honor Guard, followed by a rendition of the national anthem by Jaclyn Chiarelli and a prayer by council Chaplain Francis Blanchette.
The ceremony will include a patriotic musical selection by Chiarelli, taps by former West Shore Fire Department Lt. Kevin McKeon and a moment of silence at 11 a.m.

Families can pay tribute to military members by donating $1 to enroll the name of a veteran or service member on a special "Honor Roll of Heroes" at the Rocky Hill memorial.
The goal is to raise $600,000 for the Connecticut State Veterans Memorial.

In Old Saybrook: Old Saybrook Public Schools celebrate Veterans Day with school assemblies, ceremonies and activities honoring local veterans and those currently serving in the Armed Forces. The day will feature a breakfast at 7:15 a.m. at Old Saybrook High School followed by a school wide assembly with student speakers; at 9:30 a.m. veterans proceed to Old Saybrook Middle School for coffee, and a 10 a.m. patriotic musical concert with 5th graders; 11 a.m. American Legion ceremony on the town Green; and ends with a 2:15 p.m. program for veterans at Goodwin Elementary School.
Nov. 13 is the day for family members to drop off $1 donations at five state armories statewide and fill out a short form with the name of the veteran to be honored.
Forms will be available at the armories as well as any Rockville Bank or Collinsville Savings Society.
For more information, including "Honor Roll of Heroes" forms go to www.cthonorsvets.org.
Donations can be sent to: Connecticut State Veterans Memorial, c/o Rockville Bank, P.O. Box 660 Rockville 06066.
For more information, visit here.

Wild about flowers!

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