Friday, March 29, 2013

New Haven is location of next African American Affairs Commission meeting

NEW HAVEN —The African American Affairs Commission will hold its next meeting on April 3, in the city.
The meeting, begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the community center at Gateway Community College, 20 Church Street. Topics to be discussed include: gun violence, Project Longevity and comprehensive immigration reform.
Guests include: Ron Pinciaro of CT Against Gun Violence, The Rev. William Mathis of Project Longevity and John Lugo of Unidad Latina En Accion.
The public is invited and will have a chance to comment on the issues, as they are of major concerns to Connecticut’s urban centers. The meeting aims to provide a platform for community involvement that encourages and enables real-time feedback, according to organizers.
Special invited guest include: Connecticut Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, Greater New Haven NAACP, West Haven Black Coalition, New Haven Black and Hispanic Caucus, Junta for Progressive Action, National Association of Black Law Enforcement, New Haven Firebirds.
For more information please contact the African American Affairs Commission at 860-240-8555.

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

Thursday, March 28, 2013

George Washington Carver: With Poet Marilyn Nelson at the Kellogg Environmental Center

DERBY - The Kellogg Environmental Center will hold a poetry reading and book signing by Marilyn Nelson at 2 p.m. May 11 "to celebrate the birthday of Frances Osborne Kellogg and her interest in supporting the arts and bringing famous speakers and performers to the Valley," according to a statement.
Nelson will read from her collection of poems, "Carver:  A Life in Poems," a "collection that provides young readers with a compelling account of the life of African-American botanist and inventor George Washington Carver," the statement said.

The program is free.

Also in the statement (unedited here):
George Washington Carver
Born in 1864 and raised by white slave owners, Carver left home in search of an education and eventually earned a master's degree in agriculture.  Rising to head the Agriculture Department at Tuskegee Institute and known for his studies on sweet potatoes, cowpeas and peanuts, Dr. Carver provided many products and agricultural innovations. 
Poet Marilyn Nelson
Poet Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of fifteen books and five chapbooks. Her honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, an A.C.L.S. Contemplative Practices Fellowship, the Department of the Army's Commander's Award for Public Service, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Frost Medal—the Poetry Society of America's most prestigious award, for a "distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry." Nelson is a professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut; was (2004-2010) founder/director and host of Soul Mountain Retreat, a small non-profit writers' colony; and held the office of Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut from 2001-2006. 
The program is free but donations are gratefully accepted and refreshments will be provided.  
The Kellogg Environmental Center, operated by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, at 500 Hawthorne Ave. It is open 9 a.m. yo 4:30 p.m, Tuesday through Saturday.  For more information please call (203) 734-2513.

AT and T poll shows texting while driving remains problem

ATT said in a press release: "A new national poll released today by ATT found that texting and driving continues to be a problem nationwide — and it's not just with teenage drivers. The poll showed that nearly half of all adult commuters admit to texting while driving, even though nearly everyone surveyed knows that such behavior is risky. In fact, drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident."
Read more here or scroll down to watch a video:

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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Connecticut Department of Public Health: tuberculosis cases at lowest level

In a press release, the Connecticut Department of Public Health said: "new cases of tuberculosis (TB) in the state are at their lowest levels, but warned that the disease is still a serious concern and demands vigilance to keep it on the decline."
"Connecticut is among the states with the lowest rates of TB. In 2012, there were 74 cases of TB disease reported in Connecticut, down from 83 cases in 2011," the DPH said in a statement.
Read the full statement:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Haven corner to be named for Dr. Mattie Atkinson Darden

NEW HAVEN — The corner of Goffe and Sperry streets will be renamed for longtime community activist, business woman and spiritual leader Mattie Atkinson Darden at noon Saturday.
Darden, who will turn 87 the next day, established Agape Christian Center in 1983. The center serves the community with a soup kitchen and clothes closet. In 1987, Darden and the Agape family were the first to assist Elsie Cofield and the AIDS/HIV Interfaith Network, by adopting a family that had four members with the virus. Cofield founded the organization.
Once a month Darden oversees a youth night at Agape where activities, food and a safe environment are open to all youth.

Episcopal bishops from Connecticut to march in Washington against violence

Connecticut's three Episcopal bishops, from left, Ian Douglas, James Currie and Laura Ahrens, marched through Hartford on Good Friday last year. This year they will walk in Washington, D.C.

The three bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut are heading to Washington on Monday to challenge our country's "culture of violence," including its gun violence. They're planning a walk of prayer down Pennsylvania Avenue and then a time to hear from church and government leaders.

Last year, also in Holy Week, Diocesan Bishop Ian T. Douglas and Suffragan Bishops James E. Curry and Laura J. Ahrens, led a similar walk through downtown Hartford that ended at the State Capitol. It included prayers for social justice and against the death penalty.

About 120 clergy and laity from Episcopal churches in Connecticut will be with their bishops this year. They will join Episcopalians from the Diocese of Washington and other dioceses, including more than 20 bishops, as well as ecumenical partners, and walk from Lafayette Park near the White House down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. The group will pray the "Way of the Cross," a Christian devotion of 14 stations (stops) recalling Jesus' last hours and death. Each station notes a D.C. landmark and the associated meditation and prayers written or chosen for it will focus on different aspects of violence prompted by reflecting on that landmark.

"We are taking our witness to our nation's capital to say to our political leaders and to our country that we will no longer be silent while violence permeates our world, our society, our churches, our homes and ourselves," wrote the bishops. They sent the initial invitation to go to Washington in the immediate aftermath of the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Afterwards, the group will hear brief remarks from government and church leaders, including Douglas, U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and Bishop Dinis S. Sengulane of Lebombo, Mozambique.

"Our faith calls us to be ministers of reconciliation, to give voice to the voiceless and to strive for justice in the name of our Lord," wrote the Connecticut bishops. "The horrific slaughter of children and adults in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown in our home state, and the day-to-day shootings and deaths of and by our children and young people in cities and towns across our nation, call us to prayer and action and to work for peace."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Forum: 'Black political power in New Haven'

Join the New Haven Register’s Community Engagement Editor Shahid Abdul-Karim for a community panel discussion at 1 p.m. Sunday at Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church, 217 Dixwell Ave., in New Haven. Sunday’s topic will be: “The current and future status of black political power in New Haven.”’
The discussion is sponsored by the Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church and is open to the public.
For more information contact the Rev. Frederick Streets at 203-787-5839.
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'Family Program at the New Haven Museum' and city turns 375

NEW HAVEN - The city has a very big birthday coming up (think 375) on April 24 and in honor of it, the New Haven Museum will present “Dig New Haven!”, a "drop-in family program" from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. April 7, according to a statement.
"Children and families will participate in an 'archaeological dig' at the Museum, searching for items that represent 375 years of New Haven history, such as arrowheads, oyster shells, Sargent keys and more," the statement said. "The Museum will reward children and families who successfully complete scavenger hunt with a small prize."
Admission is free and open to the public, the statement said..
Donations are welcomed. For more information, contact the Museum at (203) 562-4183 ext. 11 or
The program is best for children older than 5, the statement said.. The Museum is also open to the public free of charge from 1 to 4 pm on April 7.
"The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, is located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Avenue. The Museum is currently celebrating 150 years of collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of Greater New Haven. Through its collections, exhibitions, programs and outreach, the Museum brings 375 years of New Haven history to life"

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

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Haven Museum: the Department store and New England

NEW HAVEN - At one time the words "Meet me at the clock”  were "understood by New Haveners as meeting at the corner of Chapel and Temple streets, the main entrance to Malley’s department store and the location of the store’s clock," according to a release by the New Haven Museum.
"Department stores were more than just landmarks, they shaped a way of life in the city," the statement said. "Shartenberg’s, Malley’s and Gamble Desmond once dominated the streetscape along Chapel Street—until redevelopment came to the city, as it did throughout New England, in the middle of the 20th century."

So, as part of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary lecture series, at 5:30 p.m. April 4,  Richard Longstreth, professor of American Studies and director of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at George Washington University, presents “The Department Store Transformed: New England 1950-1970,” the statement said. 

"In his lecture, Longstreth will explore ways in which department stores sought to
reinvent themselves after WWII in order to remain competitive amid the rise of national chain stores and a customer base ever more removed from the traditional city center. In particular, he will focus on Hartford’s G. Fox and New Haven’s Church Street redevelopment area," the statement said.

In photos: Top, Aerial view of Church Street Project, May 1964. Collection of New Haven Museum and Models & rendering of Front Block Complex, 1964. Collection of New Haven Museum.
Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed.

Wild about flowers!

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