Friday, May 31, 2013

Truckin' with the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter and Standard Oil of Connecticut

In partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, Standard Oil of Connecticut will debut a custom-painted purple truck in support of the Alzheimer’s Association at 8 a.m. Saturday at Southport Racquet Club at 226 Old Post Road in Southport, according to a release. 
"The enormous purple truck is part of a campaign to build awareness and encourage community involvement in the fight against Alzheimer’s. In addition, Standard Oil will be 'delivering'... a $1,500 donation to the Southport Racquet Club’s Alzheimer’s event," the release said.
"This initiative will directly benefit the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, the primary source of information and support to the 70,000 Connecticut residents dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia."
“Awareness is a key priority for our organization, and Standard Oil's campaign will help make more people in our state aware of what we do," said Eleonora Tornatore-Mikesh, executive director for the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, also in the release.

"In October 2011, Standard Oil launched a similar campaign in the fight against breast cancer. ThePinkTruck campaign was seen by more than 1 million people and raised nearly $30,000 for the Connecticut Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure," the release said. 
“Based on the success of our previous campaign, we felt similar exposure would help the Alzheimer’s Association and the fantastic work they do for families coping with this disease," said Roy Friedman, president of Standard Oil, also in the release.
The truck will also be at the Milford Touch-a-Truck event on Sunday, June 2 beginning at 10 a.m..
For more information about Standard Oil’s purple Alzheimer’s truck, fundraising efforts and a schedule of events, please

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.  In the contributed photo: Tom Barone, Sales & Marketing mgr Standard Oil, Kristen Cusato, Southwest Regional director, Connecticut Alzheimer's Association & Roy Friedman,  Owner Standard Oil.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection water quality report: State parks

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection water quality report for May 31, 2013. Learn more about DEEP.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Learn about 'Walden’s Plants and Animals: From Thoreau to Today' at Highstead

REDDING .—A scientist who uses the observations in
Henry David Thoreau’s journals as the basis for his groundbreaking studies on climate change will discuss “Walden’s Plants and Animals: From Thoreau to Today” at 1 p.m. June 1 at Highstead.

"Richard Primack, professor of biology at Boston University, has used Thoreau’s journal to compare flowering times, the flight times of butterflies and the arrival of migratory birds from 150 years ago to today. By studying 32 spring-flowering native plants from a variety of habitats, Primack has discovered that they are now flowering much earlier. Migratory birds are also arriving earlier, but are changing less than plants," the release said.

“We are using Concord as a living laboratory to determine the effects of climate change on species, and land use changes on the population dynamics of native and non-native species,” said Primack, also in the release.

Prior to the talk, Ecologist Ed Faison and Operations Manager Geordie Elkins will give a guided tour of the Highstead property from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the release said. 
"The public is welcome to join the walk and hear about the organization’s expanding observational studies and ecological monitoring that help document the natural world and changes over time."
An RSVP is required for both the guided walk and the lecture as space is limited: 203-938-8809.

 Highstead trails will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for self-guided tours and visits to the laurel collection in bloom.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed, courtesy of David DeFusco, communications director for Highstead. The photo is for illustration only. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

New Haven Health Department, Yale, to teach about lead poisoning at upcoming event

NEW HAVEN — The New Haven Health Department’s Bureau of Environmental Health and Yale Lead and Healthy Homes Program will hold the 13th Annual Lead Awareness Picnic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 9 in the Lighthouse Point Park Carousel Building.
“This interactive community event aims to educate local families about childhood lead poisoning prevention through discussion, educational giveaways and entertainment,” according to a release.
City Environmental Health Director Paul Kowalski, representatives of the Health Department, the Yale Lead and Healthy Homes Program, other service agencies and local entertainers will provide lead poisoning prevention information designed to teach parents and children how to reduce the risks of this serious and preventable illness, the release said.
Health Department staff will be on site to answer questions and educational materials, giveaway items and refreshments will be available, the release said.
The release also noted that an estimated 890,000 children between the ages of 1 and 5 live with elevated blood lead levels in the United States. Local health care providers reported that 154 children tested positive for elevated blood lead levels in New Haven in 2012, 50 of whom had moderate to high levels (greater than or equal to 15 micrograms per deciliter of blood), the release said. “Elevated levels of lead in developing children can lead to an impaired ability to learn, increased hyperactivity, a lack of concentration, neuropsychological deficits and major organ failure,” the release said.

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.  Photo by Peter Casolino shows children playing at the park.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How does Connecticut rank in protection of ocean waters?

In a release, the Marine Conservation Institute and Mission Blue, issued what they said is the the first-ever "quantitative, scientifically rigorous national ranking of states’ protection of their ocean waters.  SeaStates: How Well Does Your State Protect Your Coastal Waters? shows that most states and territories are failing to safeguard our nation’s marine life, seafood and coasts."

Find out how Connecticut fared:
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

President Obama tells Asbury Park he loves New Jersey

In a release, the White House sent out a copy of the president's remarks made at Asbury Park in New Jersey. The remarks are unedited here:

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                            May 28, 2013


Asbury Park Convention Hall
Asbury Park, New Jersey

1:26 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, New Jersey!  (Applause.)  It is good to be back in Jersey.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back!  (Applause.) 

Let me, first of all, say thank you to Governor Christie for that introduction and the great work he’s done here.  (Applause.) Your Mayor, Ed Johnson, is here as well and has been working tirelessly on your behalf.  (Applause.)  We’ve got three great representatives in Congress from New Jersey -- Rush Holt, Frank Pallone, Donald Payne, Jr.  (Applause.)

Now, last week, my
advisors asked me -- they said, Mr. President, do you want to spend next Tuesday in Washington, or would you rather spend it at the Jersey Shore?  (Applause.)  And I’ve got to say I’ve got to make some tough decisions as President, but this wasn’t one of them.  (Laughter.) 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  I appreciate that.  (Applause.)  

Governor Christie and I just spent some time on the Point Pleasant boardwalk.  I got a chance to see the world’s tallest sandcastle being built.  We played some Touchdown Fever -- I got to say, Christie got it in the tire the first try -- (laughter)  -- although I did pay for his throws.  (Laughter.)  I played a little Frog Bog, and Governor Christie’s kids taught me the right technique for hitting the hammer to get those frogs in the buckets the way I was supposed to.  (Laughter.)  And, of course, I met with folks who are still rebuilding after Sandy. 

Now, we all understand there’s still a lot of work to be done.  There are homes to rebuild.  There are businesses to reopen.  There are landmarks and beaches and boardwalks that aren’t all the way back yet.  But thanks to the hard work of an awful lot of people, we’ve got wonderful shops and restaurants and arcades that are opening their doors.  And I saw what thousands of Americans saw over Memorial Day Weekend:  You are stronger than the storm.  (Applause.)  After all you’ve dealt with, after all you’ve been through, the Jersey Shore is back and it is open for business, and they want all Americans to know that they’re ready to welcome you here.  (Applause.)

And I’ve got to say, if they ever let me have any fun, I’d have some fun here.  (Laughter and applause.)  I was telling my staff on the ride over, I could see being a little younger -- (laughter) -- and having some fun on the Jersey Shore.  (Applause.)  I can’t do that anymore.  (Laughter.)  Maybe after I leave office.  (Laughter and applause.)

I think a friend of mine from here once put it pretty well:  “Down the shore, everything’s all right.”  (Applause.)  He’s the only guy a President still has to call “The Boss.”  (Laughter.)  Other than the First Lady.  (Laughter.)   

But for generations, that’s what this place has been about. Life isn’t always easy.  We’re a people who have to work hard and do what it takes to provide for our families -- but when you come here, everything’s all right.  And whether you spend a lifetime here, or a weekend, or a summer, the Shore holds a special place in your heart and a special place in America’s mythology, America’s memory.

When I was here seven months ago, Hurricane Sandy had just hammered communities all across the East Coast, and lives were lost, and homes and businesses were destroyed, and folks were hurting.  And I remember something Chris said back then.  He said, “We cannot permit that sorrow to replace the resilience that I know all New Jerseyans have.”


THE PRESIDENT:  And it didn’t.  You didn’t let it.  You kept going.  Because these towns have a special character -- not just in the summer but all year round.  From the moment the hurricane hit, first responders worked around the clock to save lives and property.  And neighbors opened their homes and their hearts to one another.  And you came together as citizens to rebuild. 

And we’re not done yet, and I want to make sure everybody understands that, because for somebody who hasn’t seen their home rebuilt yet or is still trying to get their business up and running again, after all those losses, we don't want them to think that somehow we’ve checked a box and we’ve moved on.  That's part of the reason I came back, to let people know we’re going to keep on going until we finish.  (Applause.) 

But if anybody wondered whether the Shore could ever be all right again, you got your answer this weekend.  (Applause.)  From Sea Bright to Bay Head, from Belmar to Seaside Heights, folks were hanging out on balconies and beaches.  Shows were sold out at the Stone Pony.  (Applause.)  Kids were eating ice cream and going on rides, going and eating some more ice cream.  (Laughter.)  Guys were trying to win those big stuffed animals to impress a special girl.  So like I said, the Jersey Shore is back in business. 

The work is not over, though.  Seven months ago, I promised you that your country would have your back.  I told you we would not quit until the job was done, and I meant it.  I meant it.  (Applause.) 

Craig Fugate, the head of FEMA, he couldn’t be here today, but I want to thank him and his team for their ongoing work.  FEMA was here before Sandy made landfall; they’re still here today.  They’re working with the Governor’s team and with the task force I set up to support families and communities who still need help.  Since the storm hit, we’ve provided billions of dollars to families and state and local governments across the region, and more is on the way. 

And even as my team is helping communities recover from the last hurricane season, they’re already starting to prepare for the next hurricane season, which starts this Saturday -- because if there’s one thing that we learned last year, it’s that when a storm hits, we’ve got to be ready.  Education, preparation -- that's what makes a difference.  That's what saves lives.  And anyone who wants to make sure they’re ready -- for a hurricane or any other disaster -- I want them to visit something -- a website called  Make a plan.  It’s never too early.

So, Jersey, you’ve still got a long road ahead, but when you look out on this beach -- this beautiful beach here, even in the rain, it looks good.  You look out over the horizon, you can count on the fact that you won’t be alone.  Your fellow citizens will be there for you -- just like we’ll be there for folks in Breezy Point and Staten Island -- (applause) -- and obviously, we’re going to be there for the folks in Monroe [sic], Oklahoma, after the devastation of last week.  (Applause.)

Part of the reason I wanted to come back here was not just to send a message to New Jersey, but send a message to folks in Oklahoma:  When we make a commitment that we’ve got your back, we mean it -- (applause) -- and we’re not going to finish until the work is done.  Because that’s who we are.  We help each other as Americans through the bad times, and we sure make the most of the good times.  (Applause.)

So let’s have some good times on the New Jersey Shore this summer.  (Applause.)  And next summer and the summer after that, and all year long, America, bring your family and friends.  Spend a little money on the Jersey Shore.  (Applause.)  You’ll find some of the friendliest folks on Earth, some of the best beaches on Earth.  And you’ll see that even after a tough couple of months, this place is as special as ever, and down the Shore, everything is still all right.  (Applause.) 

Thank you, everybody.  God bless you.  (Applause.)  God bless America.  (Applause.) 

END            1:35 P.M. EDT

Friday, May 24, 2013

Foreclosure intervention: Urban League of Southern Connecticut receives grant for program

The Urban League of Southern Connecticut and its partner, Community Renewal Team, have been awarded a $2 million grant for foreclosure intervention efforts, according to a release.
The grant is part of $190 million Connecticut received in the national settlement with mortgage providers, the release said.
“The Urban League’s  program is designed to assist delinquent homeowners and those facing foreclosure through mediation, default counseling and loss mitigation,” the release said. “ULSC’s HUD certified counselors work with homeowners and lenders to modify mortgages and reach an outcome that keeps families in their homes  and communities thriving at no cost.”
The Urban League will operate the program in New Haven and Fairfield counties and the Community Renewal Team will handle Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New London, Tolland, and Windham Counties.
To learn more about the program visit or contact Urban League of Southern Connecticut President and CEO Valarie Shultz-Wilson at 203-327-5810.

 Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Haven Museum to participate in Connecticut Open House Day

NEW HAVEN – The New Haven Museum will participate in the 9th Annual Connecticut Open House Day on  June 8, "to encourage visitors to discover – and rediscover – the cultural resources of where we live, work, and play," officials said in a release.
On that day there will be free admission from noon to 5 pm at the New Haven Museum, at 114 Whitney Ave, and from 1 to 4 pm at the Pardee-Morris House, at 325 Lighthouse Road, the release said.
"In addition, there will be free arts & crafts for families at both locations from 1 to 4 pm. At the Pardee-Morris House, kids can learn about colonial gardens and plant their own seedling pots. At the New Haven Museum, children will make tissue paper flowers inspired by the Museum’s 'In Season' talks to be held at the Pardee-Morris House throughout the summer." 

ConnecticutOpen House Day is a statewide event, coordinated by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. It is designed to showcase Connecticut’s diverse world of history, art and tourism to Connecticut residents. Approximately 250 organizations and attractions throughout the state will open their doors to visitors on this one-day event, helping to engage local residents as “Tourism Ambassadors” to spread the word about the Museum as a destination and to take pride in all that makes Connecticut unique.  
More information:
The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society, is located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Ave. The Museum is celebrating 150 years of collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of Greater New Haven, the release said. :Through its collections, exhibitions, programs and outreach, the Museum brings 375 years of New Haven history to life." 
For more information, contact Michelle Cheng, Director of Education, at (203) 562-4183 ext. 11 or

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Wild about flowers!

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