Friday, December 30, 2011

Montanari Brothers Gold’ Super Gym New Haven wraps up its 2011 Toy Drive

The gym and its loyal customers once again gave back to their community with the toy donations.
Richard Montanari, Jerry Montanari, Dino Montanari and Darren Montanari along with long time employees, Tony C., and Kenny “Boot Camp” Wallach work each year to serve women and children’s shelters in the area, organizers said.
This year, donations went to Crossroads, Inc., in New Haven. Tony C. said, “Crossroads, Inc. for years has proven to be an asset to the non profit sector providing services to men, women and mothers with children (and) located on East Ramsdell in New Haven. The donation is well deserved as the agency goes above and beyond to provide for their (clientele).”
Gold’s Super Gym New Haven is hoping to see more donations to agencies serving women and children.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Photo shows last year's drive.

Looking for something to do New Year's Day?

A hike at Sleeping Giant State Park might be just the ticket.
"Start the new year off right by joining other outdoor enthusiasts at Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden" at 1:30 p.m.  New Year’s Day "for a hike through one of Connecticut’s most scenic state parks," the state
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection said in a statement.
"The hike is being hosted by the Sleeping Giant Park Association (SGPA) and is free and open to the public," the statement said.  
The event also "is part of the nationwide initiative, “First Day Hikes” launched by the National Association of State Park Directors," the statement said. 
Before you go, check out this new book by a Guilford author that recounts "the legend behind the Sleeping Giant himself."
“America’s State Parks First Day Hikes” are occurring in over 400 state parks nationwide Jan. 1, the statement said. 
The hike at Sleeping Giant is the only one in Connecticut this New Year’s Day.  Directions to the park can be found here: 
“I can think of no better way to begin the new year than by going for a brisk hike with friends and family,”   DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette said, also in the statement. “DEEP is delighted that the Sleeping Giant Park Association is hosting this hike and encourages everyone to take the opportunity to enjoy the day walking in the woods.”
The hike will begin at the bulletin board by the kiosk near the park entrance at 1:30 p.m. It will include two groups and will last about 1½ to 3 hours depending on which group participants choose, the statement said.
"The hike will involve traveling over uneven, rocky terrain, possibly with a degree of rock scrambling.  Hikers should be in good physical condition.  Dress warmly and wear comfortable, supportive shoes, with good traction," the statement said.
Participants are welcome to bring snacks and water.  Advanced registration is not necessary; however, minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult and have signed permission of a parent or legal guardian, the statement said. Please leave pets at home. 
"The 'sleeping giant' is a popular feature of the south central Connecticut skyline with two miles of mountaintop resembling a large man lying in repose.  A 1½-mile scenic trail leads to the stone observation tower on the peak of Mt. Carmel which provides an excellent view of Long Island Sound and the New Haven area," the statement said. 
(Also contained in the statement: The SGPA was formed in 1924 to acquire land on and around the series of ridges in Mount Carmel, Connecticut known as the Sleeping Giant for use as a state park.  SGPA is an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to protect and enlarge Sleeping Giant State Park. The NASPD is devoted to helping state park systems effectively manage and administer their state park system.  The mission of the Association is to promote and advance the state park systems of America for their own significance, as well as for their important contributions to the nation's environment, heritage, health and economy.)
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Photo contributed by: Sleeping Giant Park Association

Thursday, December 29, 2011

DeStefano to be sworn Jan. 1 as New Haven mayor for 10th time

NEW HAVEN – Mayor John DeStefano Jr. will be sworn into an historic 10th term of office at the city’s inauguration ceremony on Sunday .

Along with DeStefano, City Clerk Ronald Brown and the Board of Aldermen with 18 new members also will be sworn in. The ceremony will take place a noon at Hill Regional Career High School, 140 Legion Ave.

The Rev. Todd Foster will deliver the invocation prayer at the ceremony, followed by remarks by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

State Supreme Court Justice Lubbie Harper Jr., a native of New Haven, will administer the oath of office to DeStefano. Judge Robin Wilson will give the oath to the Board of Aldermen. And the Rev. Boise Kimber and Vin Baker will administer the oath of office to Brown for city clerk.

The ceremony will conclude with a benediction by the Rev. Abraham Hernandez.

A reception will follow in the cafeteria of the school.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

'Sweet Honey in the Rock concert highlights Yale’s King holiday celebrations'

NEW HAVEN - "One Yale, One Community, One Dream" will be the theme of the campus-wide celebration for the national Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in January 2012.
This year's events will include a concert by the internationally renowned a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock on Jan. 15, at 3 p.m. in Woolsey Hall, corner of College and Grove streets.
The concert is free and open to the public. No tickets or reserved seating is required and doors to the hall will open at 2:30 p.m. Woolsey Hall is accessible to persons with disabilities and the show will be sign language interpreted.
Founded by Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1973 (with Mie, Carol Maillard, and Louise Robinson) at the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company, Sweet Honey in the Rock is rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music out of the rich textures of African-American legacy and traditions.
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History also will again play a major part in the campus celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with its annual event "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice."
The museum will have free admission and offer an array of performances and educational activities for visitors of all ages, also on Jan. 15, from noon to 4:30 p.m., and again Jan. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Yale's celebration of the work of Martin Luther King Jr. has a long tradition, dating back to 1964 when the University presented him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. The citation read: "As your eloquence has kindled the nation's sense of outrage, so your steadfast refusal to countenance violence in resistance to injustice has heightened our sense of national shame. When outrage and shame together shall one day have vindicated the promise of legal, social, and economic opportunity for all citizens, the gratitude of peoples everywhere and of generations of Americans yet unborn will echo our admiration."
Information about all the campus and related events and activities for the "One Yale, One Community, One Dream" celebrations on and around the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday will be available online at
Links: Sweet Honey in the Rock: and Peabody Museum
Editor's Note: This is a press release. We took the liberty of editing a couple of words here and there, but generally really like what is says so we decided to let the folks at Yale speak for themselves, in their own words. (Shout out to Mike Morand, maybe?) So instead of a bunch of quotes we are sharing it relatively au naturale here. Have community news you want to share? Send it along! (P.S. The buttons below allow you to tweet this, Facebook it and otherwise show the social media love!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Non-profit animal shelter seeking volunteers

NORTH HAVEN — The Animal Haven is seeking adults to be volunteer directors from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays once a month.
The Animal Haven is a no-kill animal shelter that takes in adoptable homeless cats and dogs, and takes pride in matching them with loving, permanent homes.
Call 203-239-2641 or visit
You also can find the shelter on Facebook.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lend a hand at Fantasy of Lights in New Haven

NEW HAVEN — Still not feeling that holiday glow quite yet?
There’s no better way to get into the spirit than doing something for others.
The folks at Easter Seals Goodwill Industries are still looking for groups of volunteers (neighbors, the office gang or community service organizations) to help staff a number of nights for Fantasy of Lights at Lighthouse Point Park.
Open dates include Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Dec. 28, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Jan. 2,3 and 4. Duties include welcoming visitors to the annual light display, collecting admission fees, etc.
Read more about the Fantasy of Lights.
To volunteer, call Fiona Paterson, administrative assistant, Easter Seals Goodwill Industries, at 203-777-2000, ext. 263, or email

Photo: The Knights of Columbus Nativity display.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Amity students reach out to help others. Can you help?

Who should be the Register's Person of the Year?

It's that exciting time again when the Register names a Person of the Year. Please help us select someone who has made a difference in the community. Send us the person's name, city or town they live in and a description of why you think the person should be chosen. Email us at (please put Person of Year in subject line), or call 203-789-5752.

Here's a look at past honorees:

2010: Dr. William Petit Jr

2009: Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University

2008: Ann DeMatteo, New Haven Register reporter and cancer survivor

2007: Joanne Goldblum, founder of the New Haven Diaper Bank

2006: Jennifer McTiernan H., executive director of CitySeed Inc.

2005: Kica Matos, director of JUNTA for Progressive Action in New Haven

2004: Dacia Toll, Amistad Academy

See a film Sunday: "Ghost Bird" sponsored by Audubon

On Dec. 18, the Menunkatuck Audubon Society, a local chapter and Audubon Connecticut, the state office of the National Audubon Society, will host a free public film screening of Ghost Bird at the Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
 The screening is free and open to the public. RSVPs not required.
 'Ghost Bird' the movie explores the mystery surrounding the rediscovery and shows how one phantom woodpecker has changed a sleepy Southern town forever. In 2005, scientists announced that the Ivory-billed woodpecker, a species thought to be extinct for 60 years, had been found in the swamps of Eastern Arkansas. Set in a murky swamp overrun with birders, scientists, and reporters, Ghost Bird explores the limits of certainty, the seductive power of hope, and how one phantom woodpecker changed a sleepy Southern town forever. Millions of dollars poured in from the government while ornithologists and birders flooded the swamps to find the rare bird. Down the road, the town of Brinkley, Arkansas - itself on the brink of extinction – was transformed by the hope, commerce, and controversy surrounding their feathered friend. Now six years later, the woodpecker remains as elusive as ever.
 Ghost Bird brings the Ivory-bill's blurry rediscovery into focus revealing our uneasy relationship with nature and the increasing uncertainty of our place within it. With over one hundred bird species having already been driven to extinction, what are the chances of one coming back, and if one did, how would we respond? Answers arrived in April of 2005 when scientists from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology held a press conference at the U.S. Department of the Interior announcing that the world's third largest woodpecker, believed extinct for over half a century, had been rediscovered. At a time when extinctions are disturbingly commonplace, the miraculous reappearance of the Ivory-billed woodpecker was welcome news celebrated by nature lovers and conservationists across the planet. This film is a reminder of how local conservation plays a vital role in preserving the planet's precious biodiversity.
 To see a trailer and learn more, visit:
 No RSVP required.  Questions about local Audubon activities can be directed to Audubon Connecticut State Board Member, Dennis Riordan at: 203-387-2167. Donations to support future Audubon chapter events and conservation projects are welcome at the door.  
 The Blackstone Memorial Library is at 58 Main Street, (203) 488-1441,
 The Menunkatuck Audubon Society's January 2012 newsletter is available here

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. It is largely unedited here (that means they wrote it) and posted as a community service. (And for folks who love birds. Actually, doesn't everyone love birds? Maybe not Alfred Hitchcock)

Festival of Lights with a Chanukah Dinner to be held in Hamden

HAMDEN — Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Road, will celebrate the Festival of Lights with a Chanukah Dinner and Service Dec. 16.
This fun family celebration is open to the community and will begin at 5:45 p.m. with a Shabbat dinner that features traditional Friday night foods, as well as latkes and other favorite Chanukah treats.
The evening will conclude with a Shabbat and Chanukah Family service at 7 p.m. There is a fee for dinner.
To RSVP and for more information, call the synagogue office at 203-288-3877.

Photo: Taken by Melanie Stengel in New Haven in 2007, not at Congregation Mishkan Israel.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. 


It's Frosty time. (And no, we don't mean beer or the snowman)

GUILFORD — The Rotary Club is holding its 27th annual Frosty 5K New Year’s Day road race and 2K health walk.
Sound Runner is race headquarters. Participants can register at the store’s Branford, Madison or Old Saybrook locations, or online with a credit card at
Pre-registered entrants receive long-sleeve running shirts and gloves and can pick up their race packets from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 30 and 31 at Sound Runner in Branford, 1088 Main St.
Race-day registration and packet pickup is from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Jan. 1 at at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 309 S. Union St. The race begins at 11 rain, sleet or snow. The course is flat and scenic and follows town streets from the start/finish line on South Union Street to the harbor and back.
Proceeds benefit the Rotary’s Memorial Educational Fund to help people seeking job training or advanced education through scholarships and no-interest loans.   
A brunch will be served at the K of C Hall after the race, where awards are made and results posted. Runners also can check results online at
For more race information visit the Rotary website, or follow us on Facebook (Rotary Frosty 5K).

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Benefit for Hole in the Wall Gang Camp to be held in New Haven

By Register Staff
NEW HAVEN — Elm City attorney Ed McManus has been on Santa’s “nice” list for a number of years.
Thursday (Dec. 15) from 5 to 8 p.m., he’s at it again when he co-hosts his seventh annual holiday fundraiser to benefit The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp at O’Tooles Irish Pub and Restaurant, 157 Orange St.
A minimum $20 donation gets the party started with something to nibble on and a drink. The McManus law firm and McGladrey tax firm are the hosts this year.
Raffle prizes include a 43-inch Samsung TV, an Apple iPad 2 and a Kyros tablet.
Founded in 1988 by the late Paul Newman, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is a community dedicated
to providing a different kind of healing to seriously ill children. Through camp programs,
year-round outreach to hospitals and clinics and ongoing services for children, families and
caregivers, the camp serves more than 17,500 annually. All services are free of charge.
For more information, call McManus at 203-776-1200 or email Those who can’t make it, but would like to donate can 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...