Wednesday, June 29, 2011

X-Ray Vision to open at Peabody Museum

NEW HAVEN —Fish are vertebrates—animals with backbones—and have bodies supported by a bony skeleton. Variations in the skeleton, such as the number of vertebrae or the position of fins, are documented with X-rays. The Smithsonian's National Collection of these Fish X-rays represent more than 70 percent of the world's fish specimens and is the largest and most diverse collection of its kind in the world. Although the X-rays featured in the national collection were made for research purposes, the strikingly elegant images demonstrate the natural union of science and art and are a visual retelling of the evolution of fish.
            X-ray Vision: Fish Inside Out, premiering a the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven on Saturday, July 2, is an exhibition that showcases these dramatic prints exposing the inner workings of the fish. Created by the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), it will remain on view through January 8, 2012.
           The exhibition features 40 black-and-white digital prints of several different specimens of fish. Arranged in evolutionary sequence, these X-rays give a tour through the long stream of fish evolution. The X-rays have allowed Smithsonian and other scientists to study the skeleton of a fish without altering the sampling making it easier for scientists to build a comprehensive picture of fish diversity.
Enhancing the exhibition are specimens from the Peabody's own renowned ichthyology collections. In sections on the History of Ichthyology and Modern Ichthyology at Yale Peabody Museum, prepared by Gregory Watkins-Colwell, collection manager in vertebrate zoology, these specimens illustrate the distinguished history of ichthyology at Yale, dating from the founding of the Museum in 1866 through to current research being carried out by Dr. Thomas J. Near, ichthyologist and assistant curator of vertebrate zoology. Two of the Peabody's founding curators—Professor of Paleontology Othniel C. Marsh and Professor of Zoology Addison Emery Verrill—established the ichthyology collection, and it was Verrill who created the "wet" collection of specimens preserved in fluid now in the Museum's Division of Vertebrate Zoology. 
The timing of this exhibition is appropriate, as the fish collection at the Yale Peabody Museum has grown by more than 50% over the last five years.  This activity in the collection is a result of a growing number of research projects involving Yale faculty, undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers. Most of the collections are from the biodiversity rich areas of the southeastern United States and the Southern Ocean. "The Peabody Museum and Yale University offer an ideal setting to study the evolutionary history of fishes" said Dr. Near.  Adding, "This new exhibition highlights the amazing diversity that fish exhibit in their body plans, which is often reflected in the habitats they occupy and the types of food they eat."
Collected from around the world, some on historic expeditions, the Peabody specimens also illustrate the wonderful diversity of fish. One of the specimens on view is a Pagetopsis macropterus, collected in 2006 by Dr. Near from waters off the Antarctic Peninsula. This species lacks hemoglobin in its blood cells so its blood is white and not red. Dr. Near's research shows that this trait evolved before the ancestors of this species colonized waters around Antarctica, as a result of a deletion in its genetic code.
Curators of the exhibition, Lynne Parenti and Sandra Raredon, have worked in the Division of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History collecting thousands of X-rays of fish specimens to help ichthyologists understand and document the diversity of fishes. Rare or unique specimens make particularly interesting and informative images. X-rays may also reveal other details of natural history: undigested food or prey in the gut might reveal to an ichthyologist what a fish had for its last meal. To make comparisons easier, radiographers X-ray one fish per frame—with each one facing left—but they will prepare shots of several fish if a scientist wants to compare a group.

Photo credits and captions

            Viper Moray, radiograph and fish photograph by Sandra J. Raredon,
Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
            Moray eels are legendary predators on coral reefs.  Note the second set of jaws in the "throat"; these are the gill arches, which are present in all fish. Gill arches support the gills, the major respiratory organ of fish.
            Dhiho's Seahorse, radiograph and fish photograph by Sandra J. Raredon, Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
            Just over one inch long, this elegant fish is readily identified as a seahorse by its characteristic head. The body ends in a tail that can curl around and hold on to algae or coral. This species is found only in the waters around Japan.
            Torrent Loach, radiograph and fish photograph by Sandra J. Raredon, Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
            The crescent-shaped paired fins on the underside of torrent loaches work like suction cups to help them hold their position on a rock or streambed in fast-flowing waters. These specimens belong to a newly discovered species that has not yet received a scientific name.
            Lookdown, radiograph and fish photograph by Sandra J. Raredon, Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
            Because of its sloped head and the enlarged crest on its skull, the lookdown appears to "look down" as it swims. These fish often swim in small schools.

Crisscross Prickleback, radiograph and fish photograph by Sandra J. Raredon, Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
            The radiograph reveals the fine details of this skeleton—especially the long, spiny dorsal fin that forms the prickles on the fish's back. The quality of detail is remarkable, considering that this specimen from California was preserved a century ago, in 1910.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. It is unedited here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

JDRF Walks to Cure Diabetes 2011

The Greater New Haven chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has two upcoming walks as part of Walk to Cure Diabetes 2011, the largest fundraiser of the year.
JDRF will be walking on Sept. 25 at the Quinnipiac University North Haven campus and on Oct. 2, at McCook Point Park in Niantic.
These events promise family fun for all, complete with breakfast and lunch, as well as activities and crafts for kids of all ages, organizers said.
Most importantly, these walks will help raise funds for research that aims to find a cure for type 1 diabetes, a disease most often diagnosed in childhood that strikes suddenly, renders its sufferers insulin dependent for life, and can lead to deadly complications. People can join this walk as part of corporate or family teams, or as individual walkers.  
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.

Stay safe in the water: Summer snapshot of drownings, near-drownings released

From a press release by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign is releasing its 2011 summer snapshot of the number of drowning and near-drowning incidents across America.

Since Memorial Day, there have been 48 drownings and 75 near-drowning incidents in 35 states and territories reported by the media. With such a high number of child drownings and near-drownings, CPSC and campaign partners are calling for added vigilance at pools and spas this Fourth of July weekend and beyond. As part of this call to action, aquatic facilities across America are celebrating Pool Safely Day by making drowning prevention a priority and distributing campaign educational materials to their guests.

"Far too many families have been tragically impacted by child drownings this summer. We are calling on the public to Pool Safely this holiday weekend and in the months to come,” said Kathleen Reilly, Pool Safely Campaign Leader at CPSC. “We want to encourage everyone to remember that simple steps save lives. You never know which safety step will save a life…until it does.”

“Many households will be participating in water-related activities this summer where adults will be responsible for supervising children,” said Connie Harvey, Manager of Aquatics Programs for the American Red Cross. “Our recent water safety survey found that 21 percent of these adults have weak or non-existent swimming skills. People need to make water safety a priority, learn how to swim well and know what to do in an emergency.”

The American Red Cross national survey of more than 1,000 adults, taken earlier this spring, also found that:

  • 45 percent intend to swim in their own pool or someone else’s home pool;
  • One-third of the survey respondents (32 percent) mistakenly believe that having a child wear water wings or floaties is safer than providing arm’s reach supervision; and
  • 38 percent recalled an experience in which someone in deep water needed help.

“Working at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, I see firsthand how families are affected by water-related tragedies,” said Tiffaney Isaacson, president-elect of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and the water safety coordinator at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Injury Prevention Center. “As children in Phoenix have easy access to pools and spas, we must come together as a community and be extra vigilant to keep our children safe. Whether it’s swimming lessons, installing a pool alarm or just keeping a close eye on them while in the water – all of these steps will help prevent an incident.”

In the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July holiday weekend, CPSC issued a nationwide call-to-action to campaign partners and aquatic facilities to demonstrate their support for Pool Safely Day by making drowning prevention a priority and distributing campaign educational materials to their guests.

CPSC introduced the Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign in Spring 2010 to support the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, federal legislation signed into law in 2007 mandating new requirements for pool and spa safety. It includes a requirement for a national public education campaign designed to raise public awareness, support industry compliance, and improve safety at pools and spas.

Are You Alarmed or Dismissive? Yale finds Americans' Latest Views on Climate Change Fall Into One of 'Six Americas'

NEW HAVEN —In a new report, researchers have found that Americans have a wide range of attitudes and beliefs when it comes to climate change, yet also show some surprising similarities.
The report, which is the latest in a series from the Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication, demonstrates how Americans fall into one of six categories called the "Global Warming's Six Americas," each reflecting different attitudes and behaviors when it comes to climate change.

"Americans don't speak with a single voice on climate change," said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. "We have identified six distinct 'Americas' within the United States that each respond differently, ranging from the 'Alarmed' to the 'Dismissive.' Each group has their own constellation of beliefs, attitudes, and values, and these in turn shape their behavior and support for climate and energy policies."

Nearly 40 percent of American adults fall into the two groups most concerned about climate change – the 'Alarmed' and the 'Concerned.' By contrast, 25 percent are in the two groups on the other end of the spectrum – the 'Dismissive' and the 'Doubtful.'

The researchers found that more than 75 percent of those in the "Alarmed" and "Concerned" groups say that global warming is caused mostly by human activities. By contrast, over half of those in the "Doubtful" and "Dismissive" categories say it's a natural phenomenon, while an additional 43 percent of the "Dismissive" group say it's not happening at all.

However, there were some surprising similarities between the groups, Leiserowitz said.

Despite the fact that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and is caused primarily by human activities, only 44 percent of those in the "Alarmed" group (those most concerned about climate change) were aware of this high level of scientific agreement. The other groups understood it even less.

According to the report, many Americans remain uncertain about the issue and say they could easily change their minds about global warming, with the "Disengaged" and "Cautious" being the most uncertain of the six groups. Many want more information before making up their minds.

"Interestingly, we also find that all six Americas support funding more research into renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power," Leiserowitz said. "So although Americans may not yet agree about climate change, they almost all support one of the main solutions."

The full report can be downloaded at


Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. It is unedited here and posted as a public service to all those interested in the information.

Netta Hadari Discusses Movie Music Aug. 9 at New Haven Public Library

The Hadari Music Series concludes with an exploration of "Music in Movies" at 6 p.m. August 9 at the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St.

Violinist Netta Hadari will discuss the role of the soundtrack in scene development and emotional delivery,  using examples from "King Kong," "Sunset Boulevard," "Bugs Bunny" and "Psycho."


Hadari holds degrees in music from Southern Methodist University and Yale. An adjunct professor at Fairfield University, he has performed in many countries, and currently collaborates with Generation Klez; the Secret Ink; and weird shows with Daniel Smith and the Live Music Project.  Hadari is conductor of the Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra and development director of Music Haven. 


There is no charge for this program, which is suitable for ages 10 and up, and free parking is available. For more information visit or call the library at 203-946-8835.

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

Motor vehicle fees go up Friday; several laws changing

A press release from the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles:

WETHERSFIELD – A number of Department of Motor Vehicles fees will increase and various laws will change beginning Friday as part of legislative action during the recent session of the General Assembly.

Changes in fees and laws cover a wide variety of services and responsibilities that DMV provides to the public.

“These fee increases are modest and are part of the shared sacrifice needed to help resolve the state’s budget issues,” said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey. She added that the changes in laws are part of the continuing effort to streamline DMV services and make them more efficient.

“We are addressing a number of issues beginning July 1 and we want to keep the public aware of those changes,” she said.

In addition, those with late or current registration renewals beginning July 1 will be unable to renew at a branch office. DMV will enforce an existing policy requiring all renewals to be mailed. Although some exceptions were made in the past, the change is related to streamlining service. Customers bringing a registration renewal will be given a pre-addressed envelope for mailing the registration to DMV’s processing unit.

While increased fees are spread among a number of areas, the following changes affect some of the more frequently used services:
  • Obtaining a drivers’ license: from $66 to $72 for the customary six-year license.
  • A new late fee for failing to renew the driver’s license or commercial driver’s license, $25.
  • Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (must already have Connecticut driver’s license): increase in surcharge from $15 to 17.50 per year.
  • Two-year registration of a passenger vehicle, including those with vanity plates, from $75 to $80.
  • The fee for obtaining a vanity plate, from $65 to $69.
  • Two-year registration of a motorcycle, from $40 to $42.
  • Temporary registration of a non-commercial motor vehicle: $20 to $21 for a 10-day period.
  • Transfer of registration from $20 to $21.
The full list of DMV’s new fees as well as information about the hours of the DMV photo license centers and other facilities can be found at Customers can also call the DMV telephone center at 860-263-5700 in the Greater Hartford area and 800-842-8222 for the remainder of the state.

Some of the law changes July 1 include:
  • Shifting responsibility for the state’s six weigh stations solely to the DMV. At present DMV’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Division is responsible only for the station in Union.
  • Amending state law to add that any person under the age of 21 who is convicted for possession of less than 0.5 ounce of cannabis will have a license suspension for 60 days. Persons under 21 who are not licensed and who are convicted of possession will be unable to obtain a license for 150 days.
  • Increasing the fine to $1,000 for a resident who operates a vehicle with marker plates issued by another state.
  • Changing the name of the handicapped driver training program to “driver training program for persons with disabilities,” and transferring the responsibility for the program to the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services.
  • Authorizing towns to issue temporary registrations when persons pay property tax or parking tickets in full. Fees for the temporary registration would go to the town. At present DMV is exploring a pilot program to test this approach.
  • Adding email addresses to the privacy protection under Section 14-10 by defining them as “personal information.”
  • Permitting video-monitoring equipment installed on a school bus by a municipality or its vendor and that captures an image of a vehicle passing a school bus with flashing red signals to be used to write a violation. For a first violation, which brings a $450 fine, the fine is divided into: $54 for the state transportation fund, $36 for the state general fund and $360 for municipality.
  • Expanding authority of AAA to renew licenses and IDs and issue duplicates.
  • Allowing regular license renewals, commercial driver license renewals, vehicle registration renewals, vessel registration renewals and automobile dealer license renewals to be sent other than by mail.
  • Allowing the DMV to stop mailing to an address at which mail is undeliverable.
  • Adding texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle to the definition of “serious traffic violation" for enforcement of commercial driver license penalties.
  • Requiring knowledge testing for motorcycle endorsement when a training permit has not been issued.
  • Allowing dealers to register commercial motor vehicles, trailers service and school buses electronically.
  • Creating misdemeanor (“B” ) for operating a driving school without a license and creating misdemeanor (“B” ) for acting as a driving school instructor without a license.
  • Changing the requirement from 10 days to 48 hours after reviewing a report containing the names of suspended/revoked operators that a school bus carrier has to remove such an employee from driving duties.

Yoga returns to the New Haven Public Library

Library Yoga resumes on July 6, at New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St.
Alan Bitker will offer classes on Wednesdays running through Aug. 10 (no class Aug. 3), from 1-2 pm. Classes are suitable for all levels, with stretches, basic poses, and concluding meditation. Participants should wear comfortable clothes and bring a mat. Drop-ins are welcome! $5 (cash, check only) will be collected at each class.

For information, visit or call the library at 203-946-8835.

Photo by Arnold Gold.

Corvette car shows to help Connecticut Food Bank

GUILFORD — Club Corvette of Connecticut will hold its 19th annual car show July 10 at Moroso Performance Products, Exit 59 off Interstate 95.

Rain date is July 17.

More than 200 Corvettes from the region will be on display and competing for trophies and awards.

The show is a fundraiser for the Connecticut Food Bank.

Gates open to participating Corvettes at 8 a.m. and to the viewing public at 10. Judging begins at noon. There will be food, music, vendors, raffles, tours of the Moroso facility and Corvettes for sale. General admission is $5, children under 12 free.

For more information, call Mike at 203-865-3456 or Ed at 203-271-3060.

Club Corvette is sponsored by The McDermott Auto Group, East Haven; Whelen Engineering, Chester,; and Moroso Performance Products.

Hamden Youth Services Bureau offering babysitting courses

HAMDEN — The Youth Services Bureau is offering two Red Cross-certified two-day instructional baby-sitting courses this summer, for ages 11 to 15.

Classes are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. July 20, 21 and Aug. 24, 25 1 at the Hamden Youth Center, 60 Putnam Ave.

Classes will be taught by Youth Services outreach counselor Beth Chiarillo, a certified American Red Cross baby-sitting instructor.

The courses offered will provide students with basic information required to responsibly care for children, including feeding and diapering as well as emergency techniques necessary to ensure a safe environment.

Registration fee for each two-day training is $60 for town residents, $10 for paid Hamden Youth Center members and $70 for nonresidents (includes the handbook and the certificate).

Registration forms are available 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at the bureau, Keefe Community Center, 11 Pine St., or at under events.

For more details, contact Chiarillo at 203-777-2610 or

False negative tests in breast cancer may lead to wrong drug choice

Adapted from a press release issued by the Yale University Office of Public Affairs:

A team of Yale Cancer Center researchers has confirmed that 10 percent to 20 percent of breast cancers classified as Estrogen Receptor negative are really positive.

Understanding when and why breast cancers may be misclassified has important implications for treatment and outcomes for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Its findings are published online in the June 28 Journal of Clinical Oncology.

A woman diagnosed with breast cancer can be tested by immunohistochemistry, a process that detects the presence of specific proteins in cancer tissue. Those who test positive for ER are prescribed an endocrine therapy, like Tamoxifen, Letrazol or a similar drug. The 10 percent to 20 percent of cancer patients who are incorrectly classified as ER negative may be treated with less effective therapies.

Led by Dr. David Rimm (pictured), professor of pathology at Yale School of Medicine, the research team highlighted the limitations of IHC in the assessment of Estrogen Receptor in breast cancer and defined a new method for standardizing ER measurement.

It used a novel method to detect the estrogen receptor that uses fluorescent detection in conjunction with a series of standard controls. The team reported that this more sensitive and reproducible method finds cases initially called “negative” that behave as “positive.”

“Our research shows that the conventional methods of measurement of Estrogen Receptor may result in a 10-20 percent false-negative rate,” said Rimm. “This may be leading to undertreatment of breast cancer patients and we may be missing the opportunity to use one of our best drugs (Tamoxifen) due to inadequate testing.”

The assay has been licensed to HistoRx Inc. of Branford. The test will soon be available to patients in Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified labs. The first lab to release the test will be Genoptix Inc. based in Carlsbad, California.

Other authors on the study include Allison Welsh, Sudha Kumar, Peter Gershkovich and Malini Harigopal.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Connecticut Food Bank receives $123,538 from Stop & Shop’s Food for Friends

From a press release by Connecticut Food Bank:

EAST HAVEN – Stop & Shop customers in
Connecticut who added $1, $3 or even $5 to their grocery bill at the checkout aisle last holiday season helped build a $123,538 donation to Connecticut Food Bank this month.

The annual Food for Friends campaign reached a record, with more than $2 million raised in nearly 400 stores to support regional and local food banks in Stop & Shop’s operating area. The Madison store raised the third highest among all stores, with $14,730 collected from customers.

“We are proud of our associates and customers who are dedicated to hunger-relief efforts in Connecticut,” said Arlene Putterman, Stop & Shop’s manager of public and community relations. “The level of participation from customers in the recent Food for Friends campaign was overwhelming.”

“Connecticut Food Bank is extremely grateful to Stop & Shop customers who continue to help their neighbors who are struggling to feed their families every day,” said Connecticut Food Bank’s president and CEO, Nancy L. Carrington. “Their generous support enables us to continue our work to alleviate hunger for the thousands of families in Connecticut who are affected by hunger.”

Carrington was presented with the proceeds from the Food for Friends campaign by New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and New Haven Stop & Shop Manager Anne Demchak.

For every dollar donated to Connecticut Food Bank, the organization can distribute $5 worth of food at wholesale value.

Connecticut Food Bank serves approximately 600 local emergency food assistance programs in six of Connecticut’s eight counties: Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham. Connecticut Food Bank distributes 31 tons of food every business day.

Photo: Connecticut Food Bank President Nancy L. Carrington, center, receives a $123,538 Food for Friends donation from New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and New Haven Stop & Shop Manager Anne Demchak.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sacred Heart U.'s first student Fulbright winner to work in Albanian schools

From a press release issued by Sacred Heart University:

FAIRFIELD – Kelly Leather, a member of the class of 2011, has been named Sacred Heart University's first-ever student Fulbright Scholarship winner. She will be spending nine months in Albania beginning in October.

“Now that I’m past graduation, it’s finally starting to hit me, and I’m so excited,” said Leather, who is from Matawan, N.J. “I’ve never been abroad before, and I’m a little nervous about going for nine months, but I’m also thrilled.

Leather will be continuing the work of Dr. Bob McCloud, whose research on technology in the Albanian public school system was funded by a World Bank grant. He originally visited greater Albania as a two-time Fulbright Scholar in Kosovo.

Upon his return to Sacred Heart, he decided to start a program to encourage students to apply for Fulbright Scholarships. He also worked with the Ministry of Education & Science in Albania to apply for a World Bank Grant that is being used to implement technology in grades K-12 in schools there. “It’s a five-year plan, and Kelly will continue that work while she is there,” he said.

McCloud could not be happier that Kelly has won the scholarship. “She is the ideal candidate. A Fulbright winner is supposed to be a citizen ambassador, and Kelly will fulfill that role extremely well,” he said. “She has all the right skills to be successful. She is the perfect person to pave the way for future winners from Sacred Heart.”

Leather said she would not be as confident heading into this experience without McCloud’s guidance and experience. “He has told me that his experiences as an American in Albania have all been positive. It makes me feel much more comfortable knowing they will be welcoming.”

Leather will attend an orientation in Washington, D.C., in July. Once she gets to Albania, she will work for the Ministry of Education & Science with McCloud’s colleague, Ardiana Sula, who McCloud describes as “an excellent mentor for Kelly.”

Among the things she hopes to accomplish include developing English content for the country’s national digital library, overseeing an experiment using e-book readers (such as the Kindle or Nook) as textbooks and evaluating the effectiveness of using games to teach math to seventh- and eighth-grade students.

“Dr. McCloud has shared so much with me about his experiences in Albania. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with him,” Leather said. “I’m blessed to have people like him who are just as excited about this opportunity as I am.”

Leather, who graduated from Sacred Heart in May with dual majors in political science and religious studies, expects her experience in Albania to be just the beginning of a lifetime working with children. She credits Sacred Heart and its faculty and staff with preparing her for her year abroad.

“It’s amazing how you change and grow in college. After four years there, you are so much more willing to take chances and try new things,” she said. “I can’t speak more highly of Sacred Heart. I wouldn’t be where I am without my experiences there. It’s so hard to move on, because I love it so much. Everyone there is so supportive of any dream you might have. The professors were always willing to help – whether you were applying for an internship or finishing a paper. It’s amazing to have an entire group of people who only want the best for you.”

She said she is also grateful for the many opportunities for community service she found at college. “Those experiences opened up new worlds and opportunities to me, and it’s something I plan to continue throughout my life.

“I feel very fortunate and blessed. I know this is an amazing opportunity, and I am honored to receive this scholarship,” Leather concluded. “I’m excited to see what doors will open for me when I get back, but for now I’m focused on enjoying the experience in Albania, working hard there and making a difference.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. With this goal as a starting point, the Fulbright Program has provided hundreds of thousands of participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

Photo: Sacred Heart University graduate Kelly Leather, class of 2011, with SHU President John J. Petillo. Photo by Tracy Deer-Mirek

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut announces new executive director

After a state-wide search, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut's board of directors has announced the hire of Christian Miron, as NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut's new executive director.

Miron replaces Jillian Gilchrest, who served as executive director since 2008.

"We are thrilled to welcome Christian to NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut. We are so impressed with his expertise and his commitment to the mission and work of NARAL and are confident that his abilities will take our organization to the next level," said Leslie Blatteau, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut board president.

"Christian's energy and fresh perspective will help us continue to build our grassroots networks, engage in effective political lobbying, and educate the citizens of Connecticut about their reproductive rights," said Blatteau.

A Connecticut native, Miron's recent work experience combines non-profit development with high-level political organization and management. Miron holds a B.A. in Political Science, and has spent the past six years working in the non-profit development sector and in electoral politics managing the campaigns of pro-choice candidates.

"I look forward to working with NARAL's board and their passionate member activists at this critical time for women's reproductive rights," said Miron. "I am honored to take on this role, to advocate for increased access to the full range of reproductive choices and to continue the fight to keep abortion safe, legal, and accessible in our state."

"NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut has been a leading advocate against anti-choice, anti-women laws in our state for over 30 years," added Miron. "Connecticut is at the forefront of the pro-choice movement and has a strong history of promoting and protecting a woman's right to choose. I will dedicate myself to ensure we continue to follow in that proud tradition."

NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut is a grassroots pro-choice advocacy organization.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. It is largely unedited here.

Celebrate World Refugee Day with theater piece based on real-life stories

World Refugee Day, which is celebrated Wednesday, is an international day of awareness, designated by the United Nations, to honor refugees, persecuted people from around the world.

This year, the centerpiece of Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Service's celebration will be "Stories of a New America," an original work of theater created and performed by Collective Consciousness Theatre with refugees resettling in New Haven, based on real-life resettlement experiences of refugees who came from Iraq, Afghanistan, the Congo, Chad, and other countries and now live in Greater New Haven.

Read a New Haven Register story about "Stories of a New America" here.

In addition to the premier performance of "Stories," World Refugee Day offers African drumming and dance, live music, visual art and photography and an incredible spread of international food.

The event is presented with generous support from Programs in International Educational Resources of the MacMillan Center at Yale University.

Performances will be held from 5 to 9 p.m., with performances of "Stories" at 6 and 8 p.m., at Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven. Suggested donation is $20.Visit or www.socialchangetheatre.or­g for more information.

Neighborhood Music School’s Twilight Tuesdays Concert Series

Neighborhood Music School kicks off the summer with the return of its Twilight Tuesdays Concert Series beginning on July 12. This dynamic weekly series blends alfresco dining with live musical performances - an incomparable summertime combination.

Each Twilight Tuesdays evening kicks off with a wine reception at 6 p.m. inside the school, followed by dinner, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Park of the Arts, located behind NMS at 100 Audubon St.
The featured concert follows at 7:15 p.m. (rain or shine) and attendees can bring a picnic or reserve a sumptuous boxed dinner provided by Jordan Caterers and Event Planners. Single concert-only tickets are $20 for adults, and $40 including dinner; Concert-only tickets for children 12 and under are $5 each, or $25 including dinner.  
Tables will be reserved for those who order dinner. Dinner orders must be made no later than one week prior to each concert.
For more information on the 2011 Twilight Tuesdays concerts, or to purchase or reserve tickets and dinners, call Neighborhood Music School at 203-624-5189 ext. 19 or visit www.NeighborhoodMusic<http://www.neighborhoodmusic/>

The first concert in the 2011 series is on July 12, featuring Caravan of Thieves. The band's fun and animated music has been described as being "…rooted in gypsy jazz and acoustic swing, but also includes traces of rock, punk and jazz. There are also Beatles-esque harmonies, pounding rhythms and a heavy dose of theatrics, and you have one of the freshest and funniest bands around.  It's theatrical and humorous.  It's musical and intense.  It entertains dazzles and defies classification."  Caravan of Thieves includes NMS faculty member, Ben Dean on violin, along with Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni (guitar & voice) and Brian Anderson on Bass.

In honor of the upcoming centennial anniversary of the school, on July 19th  the NMS Faculty Ragtime Ensemble presents a fun retrospective featuring "A Century of Ragtime"  led by Art Hovey. Fans of all ages will love the sounds of familiar favorites by Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb & James Scott, among others. The evening features NMS Faculty members, Art Hovey (tuba), Mary Larew (violin), YunYang Lin (cello), Reesa Gringorten (clarinet), Chris Radawiec (flute), Larry Zukof (recorder) and Margaret Ann Martin (piano).

Twilight Tuesdays then switches direction on July 26 with "Jeff Fuller and Bossa Brasil - featuring the vocal talents of Isabella Mendes." This enticing program will feature a variety of Brazilian songs – both old and new – with a jazz twist.  Vocalist Isabella Mendes, born in Sao Paulo, is a rising talent known for her sensitive interpretations of standard bossa novas as well as the pop-tinged music of younger Brazilian singers. Musicians include NMS Faculty member Jeff Fuller (Bass), Paul Liberman (Saxophone and flute), Joe Carter (guitar) and Adriano Santos (drums).

NMS's Twilight Tuesdays Series is sponsored by Soundview Capital Management Corporation, Bank of America, Koffee?, Nicholson Associates and the New Haven Advocate.

Neighborhood Music School (NMS) is a nonprofit community arts school offering music, dance and drama instruction and programming at sites in New Haven, Guilford, Hamden and Woodbridge.

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

Annual Italian Festival in honor of St. Andrew is this week in New Haven

St. Andrew Apostle Society, Inc., in celebrating members' Amalfi heritage and traditions, will hold ther Annual Italian Festival in honor of St. Andrew beginning on the evening of June 23 through June 26 at the club grounds in Wooster Square, 515 Chapel St.

"New Haven is such a wonderful place to live with all of its history and culture. However, not many people know of the hard work and dedication that the Italian-American citizens of New Haven do in keeping their history alive," organizers said in a statement.
"The St. Andrew the Apostle Society was formed on November 1, 1900 by the Italian immigrants from the Town of Amalfi who settled in New Haven. The Society was named after their patron Saint of Amalfi. As some of you may know it is a common practice for Italian-Americans to commemorate the patron saints of their various villages and towns with liturgical feasts and festivals."
The St. Andrew Festival includes "great Italian food, free live musical entertainment nightly, and games and rides for children of all ages," the statement said. "Over the years the St. Andrew's Feast has grown to attract hundreds of people of various ethnic backgrounds. It is a great time to reunite and visit with old friends many of them from the historic Wooster Square area. It also provides an opportunity for people of all heritages to learn and enjoy the Amalfitani Italian culture."
for more. visit
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Holds Golf Tournament

The Greater New Haven Chapter of JDRF held its 16th Annual Golf Open "Tee Up To Cure Diabetes" on June 14 at the Course at Yale in New Haven.

Despite the overcast skies, 136 golfers took to the course in an effort to raise money for Type 1 Diabetes research, according to a statement.

The golf tournament proceeds are donated to research that aims to find a cure for the 3 million people affected by this disease, including children, adolescents, and adults; this year, the tournament raised about $40,000, the statement said.

Though the day began with a light drizzle, the rain held off until the conclusion of the event. In fact, the sun even appeared towards the end of the day, the statement said. The event began at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast, followed by a 9 a.m. shotgun start, the statement said.

The day finished with a luncheon and awards ceremony, at which JDRF announced the winners of the scramble tournament: foursome Jeff Zgorski, John Curran, Marc Zgorski, and Reggie Linda. The Zgorski brothers really proved to be the pros of the day, also winning two of the four "closest to the pin" contests. In addition to the announcement of the winners, the luncheon included a raffle and silent auction. The festivities lasted until about 4 p.m., the statement said. 

The success of the event is owed largely to Jason Driscoll, of the Board of Directors and chairman of the Golf Committee, who has been serving at the Golf Open for 5 years, the statement said.  "He is dedicated to helping JDRF raise money for a cure in honor of his daughter, Lauren, who was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes seven years ago," the statement said.

Reflecting on the golf tournament, Driscoll said, also in the statement: "This being my second year as golf chairman, I must say that people never cease to amaze me. In these tough economic times, for a second year we were sold out. People love to come to The Course at Yale and play golf for a fantastic cause. We had more sponsors this year than ever before…The Yale staff, our golf committee and our volunteers played a huge part in helping to make sure that everyone had what they needed during the day."

The money raised at this event helps continue the work of JDRF that began back in 1970, when the organization was founded by the parents of children with Type 1 diabetes—a disease that strikes suddenly, makes its sufferers insulin dependent for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications.  "Since inception, JDRF has provided more than $1 billion to diabetes research worldwide.  JDRF's mission is constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research," the statement said.

For more information on JDRF, including how to get involved in this and other fundraising events, please visit their website at or call their office at (203) 248-1880.

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

Yale School of Architecture Exhibition Salutes Architect Stanley Tigerman

NEW HAVEN — A retrospective exhibition celebrating the creative life, work and spirit of the eminent architect and educator Stanley Tigerman will usher in a new term at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery, 180 York Street, on August 22.
Titled, " 'Ceci n'est pas une reverie' [This isn't a dream]: The Architecture of Stanley Tigerman"  the exhibition, curated by Yale School of Architecture Associate Professor Emmanuel Petit, will be at the Gallery in the historic Paul Rudolph Hall until November 4.
Tigerman will formally open the show with a public lecture, titled "Displacement," on August 25. Petit will share his insights as the exhibition curator in a lecture titled "Scaffolds of Heaven: On Tigerman," on September 1. Both lectures are free and open to the public and take place in the auditorium of Paul Rudolph Hall at 6:30 p.m.

The exhibition takes a thematic approach, grouping Tigerman's projects according to motifs that resonate throughout his body of work—including "utopia," "allegory," "death," "humor," and "division." "Ceci n'est pas une reverie" draws on original artwork—including paintings, sketches and cartoons—Tigerman-designed household objects and models of projects exemplifying his evolving eclectic style, as well as videotaped interviews and lectures and archived material dating to his student days at Yale to provide a deeper look at a celebrated professional life that has spanned more than 50 years.
A Chicago native and Yale alumnus, Tigerman ('60 B.Arch, '61 M.Arch) is a principal of the Chicago-based firm Tigerman McCurry Architects. He has designed numerous buildings and installations throughout North America, Western Europe and Asia, and has delivered many hundreds of lectures around the world.  He has been a visiting professor and served on advisory committees at several prestigious schools of architecture, including Yale and Harvard, and he was Director of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago for eight years.  In 1994 he co-founded with Eva Maddox  ARCHEWORKS, a school and  "socially oriented design laboratory," in Chicago.
Tigerman's work has earned him critical acclaim and countless awards, especially in Chicago, where he was born and where his practice has flourished for more than a half-century.  The work of his firm has been exhibited more than 300 times in major galleries and art museums around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the  Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2007, Tigerman and his partner Margaret McCurry were named by Architectural Digest to its list of the top 100 architects and designers in the world.
Among the diverse objects, documents and projects to be featured in the exhibition are Tigerman's Bachelor's and Master's theses under Paul Rudolph at Yale and models and sketches of early and mid-career projects, such as the Five Polytechnic Institutes in Bangladesh (1966–75); the Urban Matrix proposal on Lake Michigan (1967-68), the Daisy House (1975–78) and Dante's Bathroom Addition (1980). More recent projects represented in the show include the Commonwealth Edison Energy Museum in Zion, IL (1987–90), the Park Lane Hotel in Kyoto (1990); the Berlin Wall project (1988) and the recently inaugurated Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois (2000–2009). Also on display will be such diverse objects as tableware Tigerman designed for Swid Powell and his designs for Cannon Fieldcrest and Alessi.  It will include oil paintings from the "I Pledge Allegiance" series in the mid-1960s, "Architoons," and travel sketches from the 1970s onwards. The exhibition will be accompanied by both historical video material of Tigerman's lectures and interviews and a new video interview with Tigerman and others, produced by Karen Carter Lynch.  

In January 2012, the exhibition will be displayed at the Graham Foundation 's Madlener House in Chicago.  

The exhibition will mark the transfer of Tigerman's complete drawing archive to Yale University's Manuscripts & Archives depository in 2012.

The opening of "Ceci n'est pas une reverie" in New Haven will coincide with the book launch of Tigerman's collected writings 1964-2011, "Schlepping Through Ambivalence: Essays on an American Architectural Condition" published by Yale University Press. It will also coincide with the release of Tigerman's autobiography, titled "Designing Bridges to Burn: Architectural Memoirs by Stanley Tigerman" published by ORO Editions.

"Gwathmey Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation" the second exhibition at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery this term, will open on November 14, 2011 and be on display through January 28, 2012. More information about this exhibition will be sent in a separate press release.

Exhibitions at the Yale School of Architecture are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. The Gallery is closed on Sunday.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. It is unedited here.

Astronomers Discover That Galaxies Are Either Asleep or Awake

NEW HAVEN — Astronomers have probed into the distant universe and discovered that galaxies display one of two distinct behaviors: they are either awake or asleep, actively forming stars or are not forming any new stars at all.
Scientists have known for several years that galaxies in the nearby universe seem to fall into one of these two states. But a new survey of the distant universe shows that even very young galaxies as far away as 12 billion light years are either awake or asleep as well, meaning galaxies have behaved this way for more than 85 percent of the history of the universe. (Looking at galaxies farther away is like looking back in time when they were much younger, because of how long it takes the light they emit to reach us here on Earth.)
"The fact that we see such young galaxies in the distant universe that have already shut off is remarkable," said Kate Whitaker, a Yale University graduate student and lead author of the paper, which is published in the June 20 online edition of the Astrophysical Journal.
In order to determine whether the galaxies were asleep or awake, Whitaker and her colleagues fabricated a new set of filters, each one sensitive to different wavelengths of light, which they used on a 4-meter Kitt Peak telescope in Arizona. They spent 75 nights peering into the distant universe and collecting light from 40,000 galaxies ranging in distance from the nearby universe out to 12 billion light years away. The resulting survey is the deepest and most complete ever made at those distances and wavelengths of light.
The team deciphered the galaxies' dual behavior based on the color of the light they emit. Because of the physics of star formation, active, wakeful galaxies appear bluer, while the light emitted by passive, sleepy galaxies tends toward the redder end of the spectrum.
The researchers found that there are many more active galaxies than passive ones, which agrees with the current thinking that galaxies start out actively forming stars before eventually shutting down.
"We don't see many galaxies in the in-between state," said Pieter van Dokkum, a Yale astronomer and another author of the paper. "This discovery shows how quickly galaxies go from one state to the other, from actively forming stars to shutting off."
Whether the sleeping galaxies have completely shut down remains an open question, Whitaker said. However, the new study suggests the active galaxies are forming stars at rates about 50 times greater than their sleepy counterparts.
"Next, we hope to determine whether galaxies go back and forth between waking and sleeping or whether they fall asleep and never wake up again," van Dokkum said. "We're also interested in how long it takes galaxies to fall asleep, and whether we can catch one in the act of dozing off."
Other authors of the study include Ivo Labbé (Leiden University and Carnegie Observatories); Gabriel Brammer (Yale University and European Southern Observatory); Mariska Kriek (Princeton University and Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics); Danilo Marchesini (Tufts University); Ryan Quadri and Marijn Franx (Leiden University); Adam Muzzin, Rachel Bezanson, Kyoung-Soo Lee, Britt Lundgren, Erica Nelson, Tomer Tal and David Wake (Yale University); Rik Williams (Carnegie Observatories); Garth Illingworth (UCO/Lick Observatory); and Gregory Rudnick (University of Kansas).
Citation: arXiv:1105.4609v1


Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. It is unedited here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Green clothing exchange to be held in West Haven

WEST HAVEN- The United Seniors for America will host their first annual green clothing exchange Saturday, June 25, at Physicians Physical Therapy at 544 Campbell Avenue.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., people are encouraged to bring clothes, shoes and accessories in good condition to trade. The group will also be collecting damaged clothing, towels, sheets and curtains for textile recycling.

Anything not traded by the end of the day will be donated to a church, shelter, Goodwill or a fabric recycling program. Contact 203-810-9433 with questions.

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

“Healthy Ideas" at the New Haven Public Library

NEW HAVEN — The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. has launched “Healthy Ideas,” a nutrition summer program, at New Haven’s Free Public Library and four branches: Wilson, Stetson, Mitchell and Fair Haven.

The workshops, conducted by Kate Walton, community relations coordinator for Stop & Shop, will focus on healthful dinners and snacks and tips on how to eat healthfully on a budget. These workshops are geared toward helping people understand and implement simple, sound nutrition practices.

Workshops run June 23-Aug. 31. Visit for a schedule.

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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Yale Honors Retiring Chairman Emeritus and Glaucoma Expert M. Bruce Shields

NEW HAVEN - Renowned glaucoma specialist Dr. M. Bruce Shields, the Marvin Sears Professor and Chair Emeritus of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at Yale School of Medicine, will be honored June 17 with an international ophthalmology symposium as he retires after 15 years.

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science's Symposium/Alumni Day honoring Shields will feature internationally recognized ophthalmologists presenting their current work on glaucoma. The event takes place at Yale University West Campus, 141 Frontage Rd. in Orange, Conn. Dr. James Tsai, the Robert R. Young Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at Yale, notes "Dr. Bruce Shields has forged a tradition of excellence in clinical care, research, and education that will have a lasting and sustained impact on patients throughout the world. At Yale he has also served as the ideal physician role model for our medical students, residents, and fellows."

During his career, Shields centered his clinical practice, research and teaching on glaucoma. He directed Duke University's Glaucoma Service and developed glaucoma treatments involving the application of laser technology. Using this technology, he concentrates on treating the most advanced types of glaucoma. He obtained a patent in 2006 for a glaucoma device called the Aquashunt.

Shields comes form a long line of physicians; his brother and two uncles are also ophthalmologists and his father and grandfather were dentists. He received a B.S. in 1962 from Phillips University in Enid, Okla., and a M.D. in 1966 from Oklahoma University School of Medicine. He took a one-year rotating internship at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Philadelphia and served three years in the U.S. Navy, being discharged in 1970 as a lieutenant commander. He also took a fellowship in glaucoma at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston.

Before coming to Yale, Shields served 22 years as a faculty member in the department of ophthalmology at Duke University, staff surgeon at the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and a consultant at the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Asheville. He held these positions since 1974, when he had completed three years of residency training in ophthalmology at Duke.

A prolific author, Shields has written more 200 scientific journal articles and book chapters. However, his best-known work is the "Textbook of Glaucoma," which is now in its sixth U.S. edition. It also has been translated into German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. It is unedited here and provided as a community service.

JCC Holds Screening of 'Family in Captivity'

The event will be held June 27


The Jewish Community Center in Woodbridge will hold a screening of Family in Captivity to commemorate the five year anniversary of Gilad Shalit being held in Gaza as a prisoner of Hamas. 

This new documentary provides rare images and interviews with the Shalit family as they fight for the release of their beloved son, brother and grandson – and cope with the ordeal of their anguished separation from him. The film, which was produced in 2011, is in Hebrew with English subtitles and is 59 minutes long. 


"Family in Captivity" is being shown in Jewish communities across North America.  The New Haven premiere will be held on June 27 at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge.  Tickets are $10/adults, $5/students.  For more information, call Ruth Gross 203-387-2522 x310 or 


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

“Tweed Airfest 2011” slated for October in New Haven

NEW HAVEN — Tweed New Haven Regional Airport announces “Tweed Airfest 2011,” a family-centered air show and fair on Oct. 1 and 2 with all proceeds donated to Angel Flight NE (

Airfest 2011 will feature a variety of aircraft on display, including World War II planes. Visitors can see the planes up close and learn about them from pilots who fly them and specialists who maintain them. The Iron Eagles will perform an acrobatics show, and many local food vendors will be on site. In addition, the Airfest will offer the chance to climb aboard a (tethered) hot air balloon, sign up for helicopter rides and visit sponsor displays.

Angel Flight NE is nonprofit volunteer network of private pilots who donate their time, planes, fuel and resources to provide free air transportation, including transporting children in need of transplants. Tickets for the show go on sale May 15 at

For more information, visit or call 203-466-8833, ext. 100.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. The photo is an illustration only.

KEEN and Trailblazer team up

Trailblazer and KEEN Raise Funds for Disaster Relief from the Devastating Spring Storms
KEEN will donate $5 to the American Red Cross for every pair of its shoes sold from June 17 to July 3 at Trailblazer’s three locations, according to a statement.

"In response to the devastating spring storms in the South and Midwest, Trailblazer and KEEN have joined forces to raise money to support Spring Storm disaster relief efforts. KEEN will donate $5 for every pair of its shoes sold from June 17 to July 3 at Trailblazer," the statement said.

"Across the Midwest and South, residents are dealing with a trail of disasters caused by tornadoes; flooding and other severe weather that has left thousands of homes destroyed, and have wreaked havoc in communities large and small," the statement said.

The money raised and donated through the partnership between KEEN and Trailblazer will help the Red Cross assist with relief and recovery efforts, including: serving meals and snacks, operating shelters, providing health and mental health assistance, providing mobile feeding via Emergency Response Vehicles, and distributing bulk items like clean up kits and comfort kits, the statement said.

Participating Trailblazer retail locations include: 296 Elm St., New Haven (203-865-6244); 1004 Main St., Branford (203-488-0802) and Shops at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville (860-862-2267)

Since 2004, KEEN has distributed more than $5.5 million to non-profit organizations and dedicated hundreds of hours to community service through its corporate giving program, Hybrid.Care.

Trailblazer is an independent local outdoor store based in Connecticut with locations in New Haven, Branford, and the Mohegan Sun Casino, the statement said.
KEEN Inc., manufacturer of hybrid footwear, socks and bags, is an outdoor brand that delivers innovative hybrid products, enabling outdoor enthusiasts to live an active lifestyle, the statement said.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.

Reminder to Keep Turtles in the Wild

2011 Is the Year of the Turtle
Turtles are a common sight now that the nesting season is in full swing. They are crossing roads in search of nest sites, coming into yards to dig their nests and lay eggs, and basking in the warm sun. If you come across a turtle, especially one in your yard or crossing a road, you may be tempted to take it as a pet. Don't. The Department of Environmental Protection cautions that turtles should be left in the wild both for your own good and the good of the turtle.
"Removing individual turtles from the wild, including hatchlings, can have a huge impact on the local population," said Julie Victoria, a Wildlife Biologist with the DEP Wildlife Division. "Turtle populations require high levels of adult survivorship -- every individual is important to the population's stability." A turtle must live for many years and reproduce numerous times in order to replace itself in the population. Losing adult turtles, particularly adult females, is a serious problem that can lead to the eventual local extinction of a population.
Keep in mind that caring for a pet turtle is not as easy as you may think. They require specific temperatures, diets, and lighting for digestion and shell health. Cages must be kept clean as turtles can carry salmonella. And, turtles live a long time – 50 to 100 years for a box turtle.
Once the novelty of having a turtle as a pet wears off, the owner is faced with a decision of what to do with it. "Captive turtles, whether they were collected from the wild or bought at a pet store, should never be released to the wild," stressed Victoria. "Released turtles rarely survive, frequently introduce undetectable respiratory diseases to wild populations, and in the case of non-native species, may harm native turtle populations." The best way to enjoy turtles is to watch them in their native habitat. Help keep wild turtles wild and leave them where you find them.
For more information about turtles and turtle conservation in Connecticut, visit the DEP's "Year of the Turtle" Web page at, as well as subscribe to the DEP's Connecticut Wildlife magazine ( You also can visit the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation's (PARC) Web site at

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

Wild about flowers!

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