Friday, October 28, 2011

Book Lover’s Luncheon to feature Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2008 for her novel "Olive Kitteridge," will be the featured guest at the annual Book Lover’s Luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Quinnipiack Club, 221 Church St.
The luncheon benefits the New Haven Public Library. Tickets are $150 per person and include lunch and a signed book.

Strout attended Bates College, graduating with a degree in English in 1977. Two years later, she went to Syracuse University College of Law, where she earned a law degree and a certificate in gerontology.
She worked briefly for Legal Services, before moving to New York City, where she became an adjunct in the English Department of Borough of Manhattan Community College. By this time she was publishing more stories in literary magazines and Redbook and Seventeen. Juggling the needs that came with raising a family and her teaching schedule, she found a few hours each day to work on her writing, the statement said.
In 1998, "Amy and Isabelle" was published to much critical acclaim, the statement said. The novel had taken almost seven years to write, and only her family and close friends knew she was working on it. Six years later she published "Abide With Me," and three years after that, "Olive Kitteridge".
While her life as a writer has increasingly become a more public one, she remains as devoted to the crafting of honest fiction as she was when she was 16, sending out her first stories, the statement said.
"Having lived in New York for almost half her life, she continues to thrill at the crowded sidewalks and the subways and the small corner delis," the statement said.
“It’s simple,” she has said. “For me – there is nothing more interesting than life.”

For more information about the Book Lover’s Luncheon, and to purchase tickets, contact Clare Meade, Library Development Office, 860-978-8155, email at, or visit the library’s website
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.

Look what's cooking in Wallingford

Dee Prior Nesti, of the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, reports that Shawn and Karen Riccio, new owners of Riccio's Redwood Grille and Barbeque, have added a completely new breakfast and lunch menu that includes pulled pork, brisket, sweet potato casserole, turkey legs, homemade macaroni and cheese, no bean chili, among other dishes, according to a statement.
The restaurant is at 180 So. Turnpike Road, Wallingford.
In the photo, also by Nesti, left to right, are: Robin Wilson, president of the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, Shawn Riccio, Karen Riccio, their sons Scott and Tyler Riccio, Mayor William Dickinson and Cindy Semrau, vice president Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed, with thanks to Dee Prior Nesti for submitting it!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fun Run/Walk benefits Youth & Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth, Inc

The 18h Annual Youth & Family Benefit Pumpkin Run/Walk presented by the
Riverhouse Properties is Sunday, Oct. 30.

The event includes a kid's fun run and a 5K run/walk, organizers said.
The day offers fun for the entire family and will include many kid activities such as face painting, cookie decorating and pumpkin painting.
Vendors include: Charles Coaching & Nutrition Services; Juice Plus; Zen Coffee Roasters; Chet's Italian Ice and the Whey Station.
Youth and Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth, Inc., the Hartford Marathon Foundation and Haddam and Killingworth town officials are expected, organizers said.

Details: Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Kids' Fun Run begins at 12:15 a.m. 5K Walk and Run begins at 1:00 p.m.

The race is managed by the Hartford Marathon Foundation. All proceeds benefit Youth & Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth, Inc., organizers said

Runners/Walkers can register on the day of the event and donations still can be made.

For more information visit or

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wessel Prize Awarded; Ceremony to be held Oct. 29 in New Haven

Wessel Prize Awarded to Three Local "Unsung Heroes" for Compassionate Service
NEW HAVEN  - The Morris Wessel Fund, a component fund of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven announces that the 2011 Wessel Prize for creative and compassionate service to New Haven area children and families has been awarded to the following individuals and their organizations: Dexter Singleton and Collective Consciousness Theatre, Rafael Ramos and and Junta @ Big Turtle Village and Joanne Sciulli and Solar Youth.
Each organization will receive $4,000 and will be honored at an awards ceremony on Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Fair Haven School Black Box Theater, 164 Grand Avenue, New Haven.
The community is invited to attend and learn more about these New Haven treasures and their impact in the Greater New Haven region:
Collective Consciousness Theatre is a multicultural theatre company dedicated to social change through the art of live theatre. CCT believes that theatre is a powerful art form that can inspire others, help them to imagine the possibilities and push them to ignite social change. Its productions tour year-round to schools, youth facilities, prisons, communities and theatres across the country. In its short existence, CCT has toured throughout Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Michigan, and Iowa, reaching more than 10,000 students and adults each year.
Junta @ Big Turtle Village is a ten year old initiative of Junta for Progressive Action that brings New Haven youth to camp in the forest of Eastern Connecticut. The program encourages new friendships, builds self-esteem and creates a community environment while allowing the kids to enjoy and learn about the wonders of nature.
Solar Youth is a nonprofit environmental education and youth development organization founded in the fall of 2000 to help youngsters from New Haven's poorest neighborhoods explore their environment and become citizens who work together to solve problems. Its mission is to provide opportunities for young people to develop a positive sense of self, and a connection and commitment to others, through programs that incorporate environmental exploration, leadership and community service. Solar Youth's work is built around three main goals and activities: Kids explore! Kids do! Kids teach!
The Morris Wessel Fund was established in 1993 at The Community Foundation by patients, colleagues, and friends to honor Dr. Morris Wessel's retirement from forty-two years of pediatric care and nurturing of Greater New Haven's children. The Wessel prize is bestowed annually to individuals and their organizations who creatively and compassionately lead efforts to support children and families in need. Past recipients of the Wessel Prize include: Karen DelVecchio, Donna Savia, St. Martin dePorres Academy (Mary Surowiekci), Bikes for Babes (Dan Perrotto), Grandparents on the Move, the Connecticut Health Policy Project, the Mob Squad (Al Shakir), The Natural Guard, the Inner City Bicycle Program (David Clough), The Cesar Jerez Catholic Worker House, and Leg Up (Anne Gallant). Donations may be made to support the work of The Morris Wessel Fund online at or by check to The Morris Wessel Fund, c/o The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, 70 Audubon Street, New Haven, CT 06510. All gifts are tax deductible. For more information about the Fund, please contact Paul Wessel at 203-410-8018 or
Since 1928, donors to The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven have built the community's endowment currently valued at over $300 million. In 2010, The Foundation's Board of Directors distributed more than $19 million in grants from over 800 different named charitable funds supporting a wide range of programs and organizations. For more information, visit or

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

Ellen Barrett offers the New Haven Library Yoga Starting Nov. 2

Library Yoga continues at New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St., on Wednesdays in November and December, 1-2 pm (no class Dec. 28). 
Guest instructor Ellen Barrett ( will guide class through stretches, basic poses, and concluding meditation.
Library Yoga is suitable for all levels. Participants should wear comfortable clothes and bring a mat. $5 (cash, check only) will be collected at each class. Registration is not necessary--drop-ins welcome! (203) 946-8835.
About the instructor:
SELF magazine calls Ellen Barrett  "the country's top fitness instructor,"  because she personifies 21st century fitness, where the mind, body and spirit converge for more intelligent, efficient workouts. As a best-selling DVD creator and book author, she's a go-to-expert specifically regarding women and weight loss, Pilates, Fusion fitness, pre- and post-natal exercise and inspired wellness.
Ellen has taught all over the globe for Club Med in the Carribean, Crunch Gym in Los Angeles and NYC, Corporate America, the Kripalu Center and at her own studio in Connecticut.
Weight Watchers hired Ellen as their fitness walking spokeswoman. Lifetime TV selected Ellen as their resident Fit Pro. Family Circle Magazine elected Ellen to their advisory board. FIT TV cast Ellen as lead instructor on All Star Workouts. Her most recent launch has been THE STUDIO by Ellen Barrett DVD series, and Prevention magazine's FLAT BELLY WORKOUT DVD's. To view Ellen's reel, click here.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed by the library. It is unedited here and shared as it was submitted. 
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Kids' night out with Southern Connecticut State University women’s basketball players

NEW HAVEN — KIDS NIGHT OUT with Southern Connecticut State University women’s basketball present a kids´ night out by ICLIMB on Friday October 28, 2011 from 6:30’8:30pm. Come on out and join us for an evening filled with basketball, soccer, kickball, capture the flag and many other fun activities.
Pizza will be provided for dinner and the SCSU Women’s Basketball players will be in attendance to join in the fun.
All kids in first through sixth grades are welcome. Admission is $20 if you email in advance or $25 at the door.
This event hopes to be the first of many community events ICLIMB will host with SCSU Women’s Basketball.

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

Halloween Safety Tips from the Department of Consumer Protection


Learn how to be safe for this upcoming holiday 


The following is a release from the Conn. Department of Consumer Protection

(It is posted here unedited as a public service)


HARTFORD — With all the excitement of trick-or treating, it's easy to forget certain safety precautions that are important when celebrating the upcoming holiday. Here are some reminders that can help prevent unnecessary problems and ensure that Halloween is happy and safe for everyone.

About Halloween costumes:

·            Costumes, wigs and accessories should be bright and reflective, and be labeled flame resistant. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.

·            Non-toxic makeup and decorative hats are safer than masks, which can limit vision.

·            Reflective tape added to costumes and trick-or-treat bags ensure greater visibility.

·            Include emergency information (name, address, phone number) inside the costume or on a bracelet.

·            Avoid hard plastic knives, pitchforks, guns or swords to prevent injury.

Before trick or treating:

  • Assign a parent or responsible adult to accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Provide flashlights with fresh batteries for children and escorts.

Remind trick-or-treaters to:

  • stay in a group, walk, and tell their chaperone where they are going.
  • visit only well known neighborhoods at homes that have a porch light on.
  • remain on well-lit streets and use the sidewalk; don't cut across yards or use alleys.
  • never enter a stranger's home or car for a treat.
  • not run across a street.
  • be sure that all cars are stopping before crossing the street.
  • never eat unwrapped items or open beverages, and although tampering is rare, every trick-or-treater should bring candy home to be inspected.

Older children without adult supervision should:

  • know where to reach parents and when to be home.
  • plan a route with parents beforehand and stick to it.
  • not bicycle, roller-blade or skateboard.
  • carry coins or a cell phone to make a phone call if necessary.
  • be reminded that 9-1-1 is a free call from any phone.

Remove tripping hazards on your porch and walkway before trick-or-treaters arrive. Check your property for flower pots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous in the dark. Keep pets safe in the house on Halloween, when costumes and noises can cause alarm.  If they must be outside, be sure that your pets are wearing collars and proper identification tags.



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

Thursday, October 20, 2011

2nd Youth Arts Celebration is Saturday in New Haven

NEW HAVEN – The public is invited to come out and celebrate the creative power of young people on Saturday.

The Citywide Youth Coalition is having its second annual Youth Arts Celebration from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Neighborhood Music School, 100 Audubon St.

Performances will include an acoustic guitar solo, drum circle, rock and roll band, Peruvian folk dance, spoken-word poetry, classical music ensemble, jazz dance troupe, elementary school singers and hip hop.

“We are trying to develop in New Haven and the greater region this real clear understanding that there are amazing kids doing great things,” said Citywide Youth Coalition Director Rachel Heerema.

There is also a visual arts display featuring local students’ work at Koffee on Audubon. Those art pieces will be on display until the end of October.

Citywide Youth Coalition is a network of more than 475 organizations and individuals working together to build a community in which all youth can succeed.

Singer-songwriter Ellen Cherry at New Haven Public Library Oct. 27

The New Haven Public Library invites musicians, songwriters and lovers of song to an interactive performance with Emmy-nominated singer-songwriter Ellen Cherry at 6 p.m. Oct. 27. 

Cherry is based in Baltimore and tours all over the country.

Her music has been featured on the Oxygen Network, MTV, and FOX Networks.

Her score for a shadow puppet piece received the prestigious UNIMA Citation of Excellence. Sample her music at


The concert starts at 6 p.m. at the downtown library, 133 Elm St. A $5 donation will be appreciated, and free parking is available.


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

AT MAIN LIBRARY:   Oct. 25, 6-7:30 pm--Writing Workshop with Sandi Shelton (aka Maddie Dawson). $5, bring your own writing materials and prepare to start/make progress on your book! Register online or call 203-946-8835.

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Learn about the brain - from Yale brain experts

NEW HAVEN — Yale University brain experts will discuss successful aging at a free forum Oct. 29.

The program will be held at Yale University Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall, Room 1141, Prospect and Grove streets, according to a statement.

"Attendees will have the chance to ask the experts about the aging brain and how to keep mentally fit. The program will discuss how to navigate the booming aging industry and factors that may predict future cognitive function. The panelists will also address issues specific to the aging brain, such as changes in memory over time and the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease," the statement said.

"A fair for all ages will follow the session, which will include information booths, demonstration tables, and hands-on activities."

The program is presented by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, MetLife Foundation, Yale University School of Medicine, and AARP.

Featured speakers will be Amy F.T. Arnsten, Yale professor of neurobiology; Dr. Christopher H. van Dyck, professor of psychiatry, neurobiology, and neurology, and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Unit at Yale.

Moderator Robert Wickham is from the Yale department of psychiatry, the statement said.

The panel discussion and question and answer period will be 10 a.m. to noon and the Brain Fair is noon to 1:30 p.m.

Refreshments will be served.

To reserve, call 800-65-BRAIN (800-652-7246) or email

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

Genealogy Lessons at New Haven Public Library

The public is invited to a 2-part series, LESSONS IN GENEALOGY, with a focus on researching African-American resources, at New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St.


Part 1: Saturday, Nov. 5, 3-4:30 pm: History of a Northern Black Family. Sisters Adeline Tucker and Alene Smith will describe their research that uncovered information about their ancestors, and resulted in their book, "LIVE, LABOR LOVE: THE HISTORY OF A NORTHERN FAMILY 1700-19OO."

More than a family history, their story gives historical substance  to the role African-Americans played in the development of the life of our country, especially the African-American roots that are buried deep in many small northern towns of Connecticut and New York.


Part 2: Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 am-noon: Genealogy Research Techniques. This workshop will help researchers take the first steps in genealogy research, demonstrating how to locate a variety of genealogy records including marriage, probate, land grant, and military records. Presenter William Fothergill, MA, MSW, CPC, LPC, is a member of the counseling faculty at Central Connecticut State University and has a private practice in Hartford. He has presented at several conferences on the lives of early Colonial New England people of color. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, an honor bestowed upon him after proving his direct lineal ancestry to a Connecticut soldier in the American Revolution. Mr. Fothergill specializes in African-American, Native American New England populations, and Colonial Wars.


There is no charge for these programs. For information and to register, please leave your name and phone number at 203-946-7430.

AT MAIN LIBRARY:   Oct. 25, 6-7:30 pm--Writing Workshop with Sandi Shelton (aka Maddie Dawson). $5, bring your own writing materials and prepare to start/make progress on your book! Register online or call 203-946-8835.
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...