Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Haven polling places for Nov. 5 election

As released by the city office of the registrar of voters, these are the New Haven polling places for the municipal election on Nov. 5

Sen. Blumenthal honors Connecticut Marine from Waterford

In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Wednesday "honored the heroism of U.S. Marine Justin Eldridge of Waterford, Conn.," according to a release.
The the text of the release from Blunenthal's office, unedited her, is belowe the video:

“No one in this body – other than I – have the privilege to know Justin Eldridge of Waterford, Conn. Justin was a true American hero, a patriot, a United States Marine who served our country in Afghanistan and who scarcely more than 48 hours ago took his own life at his home.


“I first came to know Justin when he formed a chapter of the Marine Corps League in Southeastern, Conn. He believed deeply in the Marine Corps, in service to his country, his family, and in the values and traditions and ethos of all of our great United States Marines, and men and women who wear the uniform. I will never forget my conversations with him at that Marine Corps League and then afterward by e-mail and phone.


“Even after he returned home from Afghanistan, Justin had a long fight ahead of him. He returned home with the signature wounds of [the Afghanistan] war, both traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. And he worked for years to get the specialized treatment that he needed.


“He tried hard to be there for his family. According to his wife Joanna, his four children loved having him around. Joanna … was there for Justin by his side throughout his treatment and she never gave up, never relented, never surrendered. She was his full-time caregiver and Justin himself continued to give back. Joanna is a strong advocate for all veterans, as we should be, all of us.


“I cannot express in words how deeply sorry I am that that treatment evidently proved unsuccessful – perhaps not the result of the V.A. or its doctors or its hospital, [but] because we are only beginning to learn as a country and society how to confront post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury with the specialized diagnosis and care that these diseases demand.


“I want to take this occasion to encourage anyone who is suffering from post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury or any of the other wounds of war to reach out for help. The veterans crisis line is there to help you, anyone who needs that help can call 1-800-273-TALK.


“My thoughts and prayers are with Justin's wife Joanna and their four children, and all of Justin's family and friends, fellow Marines who grieve his loss at this difficult time.”

Friday, October 25, 2013

Senator Richard Blumenthal to hold hearing on Metro-North Railroad power failure

BRIDGEPORT - U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, (D-Conn. will act as chairman for a field hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security on the recent Metro-North power outage at 10 a.m. Oct. 28 at Bridgeport’s City Council Chambers, 45 Lyon Terrace, according to a release.

"The hearing will examine the causes of the outage, how to prevent such failures from reoccurring, and the economic impact of such a major service disruption," according to a release.

The hearing will be streamed live online at, the release said.

"Among those testifying at the hearing include ConEdison President Craig Ivey, MTA Metro-North Railroad President Howard Permut, Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Jim Redeker, John Hartwell of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council, Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman, and Otto Lynch from the American Society of Civil Engineers and Joseph McGee of the Business Council of Fairfield County."
 U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and U.S. Reps. Jim Himes, D-4 and Elizabeth Esty, D-5 also are to testify, the release said.

"Blumenthal has called the disruption unacceptable and inexcusable, and has demanded that New York-based utility ConEdison be held accountable for the lack of adequate contingency plans for such a power failure. He has joined Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) in calling on the federal Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and the New York Public Service Commission to conduct an investigation into the cable failure. Blumenthal has also advocated for increased investment in rail and transportation infrastructure."

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

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection offers open space grants

 The Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has announced that funds are available to help muncipalities and land conservation organizations with purchase and preservation of open space through the state Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program.
The following is the text of the (unedited) release that DEEP sent on this effort:
“We are pleased to announce a new competitive grant round for projects that protect open space in Connecticut,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty.  “Open space acquisitions funded under this grant program play a real part in enriching our lives by providing enjoyable place to be outdoors, protecting natural habitats for wildlife and bird species,  as well as preserving our local agricultural heritage.  These grants already have helped preserve thousands of beautiful and environmentally significant acres across the state and through the continued commitment of the Governor and the legislature, we continue to move toward our goal of preserving 21% of land as open space by the year 2023.”
Funding for this grant round will be made available from Community Investment Act (CIA) funds held by DEEP, and may be augmented by state bond funds.   
Background on Open Space and Open Space Grants
The Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition grant program has played a key part in helping the state move forward toward achieving its open space protection goal.
Connecticut’s open space includes recreation and conservation land owned or protected by the state and land owned or protected by municipalities and others, often with state financial assistance.  These purchases are helping Connecticut meet its open space goal of protecting 21 percent of Connecticut’s land – or 673,210 acres – by the year 2023.  DEEP and its partners have protected nearly 500,000 acres already, putting us almost 74% toward the state’s goal.  Since the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program began in 1998, DEEP has provided more than $109 million in grants to assist with the purchase of approximately 27,440 acres of open space across the state in 128 of Connecticut’s cities and towns. 
Background on the Community Investment Act
Under the CIA, Public Act 05-228, a fee was established for the recording of all documents into municipal land records.  Funds from this fee are shared by local governments and four state agencies:  the Department of Agriculture, the DEEP, the Department of Economic and Community Development – Offices of Culture and Tourism, and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.  
The CIA was designed to protect and preserve the beauty and unique character of Connecticut for future generations by providing a new source of funding for
  • Open space
  • Protection of farmland
  • Preservation of historic sites
  • Creation of additional affordable housing programs
  • Important municipal capital improvement projects.
Details on Applying for an Open Space Grant
  • DeadlineJanuary 31, 2014.
  • Application:  Current version is available on DEEP website:
  • Grant awards are expected to be awarded in the fall of 2014.
  • For more information contact:  Dave Stygar at (860) 424-3081 or Allyson Clarke at (860) 424-3774.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

New Haven ballot: Nov. 5 municipal election and more!

Check out the sample New Haven muncipal ballot here: (scroll down further to see a list of write-in candidates statewide and more)

See a list of the candiates here:
Further, per a release from the office of Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, the following is a complete list of registered write-in candidates for political office in Connecticut in 2013:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Senior Fair at Atwater Senior Center in New Haven Thursday

NEW HAVEN - Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven,  will act ashost for a senior fair New Haven residents at the Atwater Senior Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct.  24, according to a release.
The free event will be held in Community Room 101; senior citizens and their family members are invited to attend and participate, the release said.
"Nearly two dozen service providers, agencies and vendors will participate with displays and exhibits to showcase programs and services intended for senior citizens," the release said.. The center is at 26 Atwater St.
"Some planned highlights for this year’s event include free health screenings,information on medical, dental, behavioral health and social service programs, counseling about federal and state veterans’ benefits and senior housing."


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Orange Historical Society tag sale Saturday

The Orange Historical Society will hold its last tag sale of the season from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at
the Academy Museum at 605 Orange Center Road.
"Combining it with the antique sale, the staff has priced a number of historical society items purchased for the Bryan-Andrew house which are no longer needed," organizers said in a statement.
Ironware, crocks and other items will be available as well as the items in the shop. For information call 203-795-3106.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Atria Larson Place Salutes Veterans at upcoming breakfast

HAMDEN - Veterans are invited to join Atria Larson Place for a breakfast with musical entertainment by Brian Gillie, as a thank them for their service. at 8 a.m. Nov. 11 at 1450 Whitney Ave.
The event is free and open to all veterans. Attendees are asked to RSVP at 203-248-8880.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Haven church invites all to First Family Conference 2013

NEW HAVEN >> Agape Christian Center will hold the First Family Conference 2013 from Wednesday  through Sunday at 90- 100 Goffe St.

The spiritual conference is open to all families in the local community as well as the entire state, organizers said. The guest ministers will be Apostle Eric McDaniels, the Rev. Dr. Jackie McCullough and Mark Hanby, organizers said. There also will be workshops from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The guest for the workshops will be Pastors Curtis and Tina Norton.

The conference concludes at 10 a.m. Sunday with Pastor Willa Darden Moody. For more information, call 818-613-0667 or 203-624-7850,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Do you love Joe Manganiello? (Otherwise known as Alcide?)

Are there many women who could answer "no" to that question I posed in the headline?
Of course not.
That out of the way, I must be honest when talking of True Blood. And to be honest, I must admit that Bill Compton is my first love.
But it was not Bill who swept into New Haven and starred in Yale Rep's amazing production of  "A Streetcar Named Desire."
That was Joe and along with his amazing interpretation of Stanley Kowlaski (sorry Marlon) he also swept many a heart off into the never-never land that is being next - and this case getting his arm around you - a star.
But in Joe Manganiello's case, he might as well have been the very nice boy next door.
Joe, and yes, I heard him call himself that, apparently met a crowd outside after each and every performance he gave. I saw him on the play's last day treat each member of quite a crowd of mostly women with incredible grace and charm - and some very good sources told me he did that for weeks.
One source, who has worked at Yale Rep for quite some time told me that he had never seen anything like it at the Rep. I asked if Jason Robards had drawn a crowd of ladies and the answer was "no" with a wry smile.

Why, you might ask, was this man Joe so special?
The answer: he had just given quite an outstanding performance, was on his way to dinner with his family (sources told me) and had to perform again in about two hours.
But there he was, kind and patient, helping people with cameras, bending to fit in photos and kidding and quipping with the crowd. His arm went around everyone and he patiently smiled for at least 100 photos. We are in lust with you because we met you as Alcide.
We love you because you are Joe.
Eat your heart out Sookie.

Friday, October 11, 2013

New Haven artists' public project highlights violence in city

NEW HAVEN -  Local artists Nick Pfaff and Hannah Plotke are five days away from the close of their kickstarter campaign, which aims to fund a public art project in New Haven that will shed light on the plight of gun violence in New Haven.

Nick says the point of the project is not art for art’s sake. It’s a chance to bring a community together, to collaborate on what would be an interactive sculpture dedicated to the memory of the victim’s of New Haven’s gun violence. The installation will be a memorial where people can reflect and express themselves creatively at the same time.

Working with Artspace, the plan is construct 12 trees out of cedar trunks and mountain laurel branches. These not-so-artificial trees would then be painted silver and the branches adorned by sculptural ornamentation -- artificial leaves, in a sense -- produced by students of the New Haven Public School system and participants in youth programs. Once the installation is in place, the public is invited to draw, write and paint on the tree sculptures.

The location chosen is a neglected pocket park on Chapel Street, tucked behind a bus stop. Downtown New Haven is a neutral space that serves as a confluence for all walks of life, and this installation stand in a place where every New Havener who chooses can put unique fingerprints on the sculptures, creating an ongoing dialogue and non-traditional memorial through art.


The project will come this December, the end of the year -- a time to look back at the things that have happened, and to have hope . It’s not about fixing anything -- there will always be hardship-- but this project is about being brave in the face of it, and bringing positivity into the world, healing through the common ritual of art.

 But art isn’t free. There are only five days left before the kickstarter fundraiser ends. Nick says they’ve already raised about $1,000, short of their $2,000 goal. If you would like to see these sculptures erected in New Haven -- if you would like take part in an interactive art memorial, or help make it happen -- then donate. Thank you for your gifts.

Editor's note: This post was contributed.




Friday, October 4, 2013

'MTA Outlines Procedures for New Haven Line Customer Credit Program'

A Metro-North representative Friday released the following information on obtaining for loss of service on the New Haven line after a Con-Ed power failure.

 The release is shared here (unedited):


MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) Metro-North Railroad has established procedures for New Haven Line customers weekly and monthly ticket holders who were inconvenienced by the September 25 power failure to obtain credits for their future ticket purchases.


The MTA Board authorized these credits at a special meeting October 1, to compensate for the significant disruption caused by a Con Edison power outage to an eight-mile stretch in the heart of the line. The magnitude and duration of the impact of this non-weather related event make this disruption unique in the history of the MTA and Metro-North. 


Full service to the New Haven Line will be restored Monday morning, assuming the new substation which received Con Edison power today is found reliable during testing over the weekend. The credit will be a prorated amount, based on the ultimate duration of the service interruption.  Exact credit amounts will be provided shortly and will be based on ticket type and purchase price for each fare zone.


Customers holding weekly tickets valid during this time period can begin applying for this credit October 9.  Customers with monthly tickets for September and October can begin applying for this credit October 20 when November monthly tickets go on sale.


Monthly customers who hold both a September and October ticket are urged to apply for this credit for both tickets at the same time. Therefore, for customer convenience, Metro-North will honor New Haven Line November monthly tickets for travel beginning October 20.


Customers holding a monthly ticket with a MetroCard, may wish to submit their credit request at a later time if there is still value on the MetroCard. Metro-North ticket windows cannot transfer MetroCard value. The MetroCard value can only be transferred to another card at subway station booths.


Mail&Ride customers will have this credit automatically applied to their December ticket.  WebTicket customers should visit a ticket window in order to receive this credit.


Any customer with a monthly or weekly ticket for transportation during this period must surrender their ticket in order to receive this credit. 


Customers can apply for this credit until March 31, 2014.


There will be no processing fee charged for these credit transactions.


Metro-North will open more ticket windows with extended hours at select outlying New Haven Line stations and in Grand Central Terminal.


Credit Processing for Weekly Tickets Begins October 9

• Weekly tickets will be accepted for credit from October 9 to March 31, 2014 at all New Haven Line and Grand Central ticket windows. 


• Tickets valid for the weeks of September 21 to 27 and September 28 to October 4 can be submitted for credit toward the purchase of a future ticket. (This will be adjusted to reflect the actual date of full restoration of service.)


• Customers will be required to surrender their ticket at a ticket office to apply the credit.


Credit Processing for Monthly Tickets Begins October 20

• Monthly tickets will be accepted for credit from October 20 to March 31, 2014 at all New Haven Line & Grand Central ticket windows.

• Monthly tickets for September and October will be prorated for the cost of the rail service portion ONLY for the period of time affected by the Con Ed power outage.


• September and October monthly tickets can be submitted individually or combined for a credit toward the purchase of one monthly ticket.


• All monthly ticket customers are urged to purchase their November ticket early. If customers submit both their October and September monthly tickets for credit toward their November ticket, in this case only, the New Haven Line November ticket will be valid starting October 20th.


• Customers will be required to surrender their September and October monthly tickets at a ticket office to apply the credit.


•  Mail&Ride Customers: the appropriate credit will be automatically applied to the purchase of your December monthly ticket. Customers who opt out of the Mail&Ride program for the December monthly should contact Mail&Ride at 511 (outside of NYS, 877-690-5114).

• WebTicket Customers: Ticket holders will have to go to a ticket window for a credit toward the purchase of a future ticket.





To help customers obtain their credits quickly and conveniently and to minimize long lines and for customers—Metro-North will have more ticket windows in operation with extended window hours at select New Haven Line stations and in Grand Central Terminal beginning October 21.


• Additional windows will be open from 6 10 p.m. at New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, Greenwich, New Rochelle, and Harlem-125th Street from October 21-25.


• Additional windows will be open from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. at South Norwalk and Fordham from October 21-25


• At Stamford Station on Thursday, October 24, two additional, dedicated windows will be open from 6 a.m.-8 PM where customers can apply for credits.


• In Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall from October 28 to November 1, eight temporary tables will be staffed from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Metro-North regrets any inconvenience you may have experienced during this service disruption.

For any questions about the credit process, please contact Customer Service at 511 (From Connecticut, 877-690-5114).


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Take a walk through history in New Haven

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Museum and The New Haven Preservation Trust will hold a special walking tour entitled "Grand & Wallace: A Neighborhood Lost" at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 5, according to a release.

"On this walking tour of a neighborhood lost to redevelopment, relive the hustle and bustle of this area through oral histories featuring former residents who vividly recall St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Hamilton Street School, Volpe’s Pharmacy, The New Haven Clock Company, Marzullo’s Pastry Shop, Lilian’s Paradise," and more, the release said.

The tour will be led by exhibition guest co-curator Elizabeth Pratt Fox and John Ragozzino, chairman of the St. Patrick’s Neighborhood Reunion Committee and a former Wallace Street resident, the release said.

Meet the tour at the intersection of Wallace Street and Grand Avenue. Admission is free; donations are welcomed. For more information, contact Michelle Cheng at (203) 562-4183 ext. 11 or

This story has been modified from its original version. See the original at

Wild about flowers!

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