Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Community Action Agency of New Haven to hold computer classes for seniors

NEW HAVEN - Community Action Agency of New Haven will hold a free orientation meeting for their upcoming ‘Surfing with Seniors’ class at 10 a.m. May 8 at  419 Whalley Ave., according to a release. 
"This is an opportunity for individuals 55 years of age and older, to learn in a comfortable setting with patient instructors, basic computer skills," the release said.   "Students learn everything from turning the computer on to sending e-mails.  In the advanced class, students learn to upload and download, make folders and documents and set up a Facebook account enabling them to stay connected to family and friends."
The class meets twice a week for two hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 6 weeks, the release said. 
Students choose from a Beginners I or Beginners 2 class, the release said.
Classes are geared to the individuals needs in each session. the release said.
"The orientation is an opportunity to find out more about the classes and other CAANH programs for Seniors," the release said.
The " Surfing with Seniors" class begin May 13.   Classes are held from 10 a.m. to noon for Beginners 1, and from 1 to 3 p.m. for Beginners 2. 
 The fee is $50 with a payment plan available.  
 If you’re interested contact Jennifer at 203-387-7700 Ext 168.

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ambassador Wolf Atka Returns to Peabody Museum in New Haven

NEW HAVEN - The Peabody Museum of Natural History will welcome back Atka, a 90-pound arctic wolf with a thick white coat and bright yellow eyes, in two upcoming presentations, according to a release.
"Atka resides at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, N.Y. Since its founding in 1999, the Center has promoted the conservation of this often misunderstood species by teaching about wolves, their relationship to the environment and our role in their protection," the release said. 
"Atka is an ambassador wolf whose job it is to travel to different places as a representative of his species to help clear up the misunderstandings. He is among the Museum’s most popular guests over the years," the release said. Two presentations are scheduled, for 1 and 2 p.m. May 3  
Early arrival is suggested as space is limited. Parking is free in the Peabody lot and adjacent Yale lots, the entrance of which is on Whitney Avenue at Humphrey Street, one block north of the Museum.
The event will be held in the third floor auditorium, at the Yale Peabody Museum, 170 Whitney Ave.
Free with museum admission of $5-$9, under age 3 free
Atka the Wolf photo, credit Christian Giliberto Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Cupcake War 2014 to benefit BHcare

BRANFORD -  A Shoreline benefit for BHcare featuring Cupcake War 2014 will be held from 5:30-9:30 p.m. May 15 at The Owenego Beach and Tennis Club. 

The evening will feature a full menu, silent auction, music, a beautiful view of  Long Island Sound, and delectable cupcake desserts.

Five local bakeries are participating in the cupcake war. They are: JCakes (North Branford), Marjolaine Pastry Shop (New Haven), Meriano’s Bakery & Cannoli Truck (Madison), Pastry Fusions (North Branford), and Take the Cake (Guilford).
The committee, chaired by Charlotte Mattei, Senior Vice President, Webster Bank, and a BHcare board member, is seeking event sponsors and ad sponsors.  
Event sponsorships range from $250-$1,000 and ad book space is available for as little as $50.

Tickets are currently on sale for $50 each and are selling quickly.  Any persons or businesses interested in sponsorship or tickets are asked to call Debbie Soulsby,  203-736-2601, ext. 1321 or visit

Decreases in state and federal funding coupled with increases in demand for services make fund-raising events such as this benefit critical to sustaining services for those at risk and in need.  

The BHcare Shoreline Benefit is sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank, as well as by Connecticut Mental Health Center, Rose & Kiernan, and VNA Community Healthcare. 
Media partner is Shore Publishing.

BHcare is a regional community provider of behavioral health, addiction prevention, and domestic violence services for the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Greater New Haven and Shoreline communities. 

For more information, visit

This is a press release from BHcare. 

White House Fact Sheet: Protecting students from sexual assault

The following is a fact sheet provided by the White House. It follows news that a White House task force is seeking protections for college rape victims,

Find resources here.

See the PSA here:

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., released the following statement on the report by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault: 

“This plan is an excellent start – a promising blueprint for addressing the scourge of sexual assault on college campuses. Now we must put specifics with this promising framework. Following the President's call to action on this critical issue, I held seven roundtables at colleges and universities across Connecticut to hear directly from students, administrators, rape counselors, medical personnel, law enforcement and parents. In the days ahead, we will release a report on the findings from those meetings, which I hope will advance the White House's efforts. I look forward to working with the Administration's Task Force to end this epidemic of violence.”

Further, U.S. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, also released a statement on the report:

"I am pleased to see the Administration recognize the continuing crisis of sexual assault on college campuses. But now the onus is on schools and law enforcement to see them through and end this outrage, which happens on campuses all over America. It was not all that long ago, before the Violence Against Women Act, that rape and domestic violence were shuffled under the rug. In the 1970s, ordinary women first took up the reins of activism for those who suffered in violence. Just like thirty years ago, the energy and the change will come from women on college campuses standing up and saying they will tolerate this no longer. I will continue to work with my colleagues and Connecticut's colleges and universities to ensure this conversation is one day a relic of history."
This is the White House release, unedited here and provided as public information:

One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college.  Most often, it happens her freshman or sophomore year.  In the great majority of cases, it’s by someone she knows – and also most often, she does not report what happened.  And though fewer, men, too, are victimized.
The Administration is committed to putting an end to this violence. That’s why the President established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault on January 22, 2014, with a mandate to strengthen federal enforcement efforts and provide schools with additional tools to combat sexual assault on their campuses. 
Today, the Task Force is announcing a series of actions to: (1)  identify the scope of the problem on college campuses, (2) help prevent campus sexual assault, (3) help schools respond effectively when a student is assaulted, and (4) improve, and make more transparent, the federal government’s enforcement efforts.  We will continue to pursue additional executive or legislative actions in the future.
These steps build on the Administration’s previous work to combat sexual assault.  The Task Force formulated its recommendations after a 90-day review period during which it heard from thousands of people from across the country -- via 27 online and in-person listening sessions and written comments from a wide variety of stakeholders.
Helping Schools Identify the Problem: Climate Surveys
As we know, campus sexual assault is chronically underreported – so victim reports don’t provide a fair measure of the problem.  A campus climate survey, however, can.  So, today:
·         We are providing schools with a toolkit for developing and conducting a climate survey.  This survey has evidence-based sample questions that schools can use to gauge the prevalence of sexual assault on campus, test students’ attitudes and awareness about the issue, and craft solutions.  We call on schools to voluntarily conduct the climate survey next year and, based on what we learn, we will further refine the survey methodology.  This process will culminate in a survey for all schools to use.
·         We will explore legislative or administrative options to require colleges and universities to conduct an evidence-based survey in 2016.  A mandate for schools to periodically conduct a climate survey will change the national dynamic: with a better picture of what’s really happening on campus, schools will be able to more effectively tackle the problem and measure the success of their efforts.   
Preventing Sexual Assault – and Bringing in the Bystander
The college years are formative for many students.  If we implement effective prevention programs, today’s students will leave college knowing that sexual assault is simply unacceptable.  And that, in itself, can create a sea change.
·         The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a systematic review of primary prevention strategies for reducing sexual violence, and is releasing an advance summary of its findings.  This review summarizes some of the best available research in the area, and highlights evidence-based prevention strategies that work, some that are promising, and those that don’t work.  The report points to steps colleges can take now to prevent sexual assault on their campuses.
·         The CDC and the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women will pilot and evaluate prevention strategies on college campuses.  This work will build on the CDC’s systematic review, and will identify and fill gaps in the research on sexual violence prevention.
·         Getting Bystanders to Step In and Help Is a Promising Practice.  Bystander intervention programs work to change social norms, and teach everyone to speak out and intervene if someone is at risk of being assaulted.  These programs are among those the CDC found most promising. 
Helping Schools Respond Effectively When A Student is Sexually Assaulted: Confidentiality, Training, Better Investigations, and Community Partnerships
By law, schools that receive federal funds are obliged to protect students from sexual assault.  It is the Task Force’s mission to help schools meet not only the letter, but the spirit, of that obligation.  And that can mean a number of things – from giving a victim a confidential place to turn for advice and support, to providing specialized training for school officials, to effectively investigating and finding out what happened, to sanctioning the perpetrator, to doing everything we can to help a survivor recover. 
·         Many survivors need someone to talk to in confidence.  While many survivors of sexual assault are ready to press forward with a formal complaint right away, others aren’t so sure.  For some, having a confidential place to go can mean the difference between getting help and staying silent.  Today, the Department of Education is releasing new guidance clarifying that on-campus counselors and advocates can talk to a survivor in confidence.  This support can help victims come forward, get help, and make a formal report if they choose to.
·         We are providing a sample confidentiality and reporting policy.  Even victims who make a formal report may still request that the information be held in confidence, and that the school not investigate or take action against the perpetrator.   Schools, however, also have an obligation to keep the larger community safe.  To help them strike this balance, we are providing schools with a sample reporting and confidentiality policy, which recommends factors a school should consider in making this decision.
·         We are providing specialized training for school officials.  School officials and first responders need to understand how sexual assault occurs, the tactics used by perpetrators, and the common reactions of victims.   The Justice Department will help by developing new training programs for campus officials involved in investigating and adjudicating sexual assault cases and by launching a technical assistance project for campus officials. The Department of Education will develop training materials for campus health center staff to improve services to victims.
·         We will give schools guidance on how to improve their investigative and adjudicative protocols.  We need to know more about what investigative and adjudicative systems work best on campus.  The Justice Department will undertake this work, and will begin evaluating different models this year with the goal of identifying the most promising practices.  The Department of Education’s new guidance also urges some important improvements to the disciplinary process.
·         We are helping schools forge partnerships with community resources.  Community partnerships are critical to getting survivors the help they need:  while some schools can provide comprehensive services on campus, others may need to partner with community-based organizations.  Rape crisis centers in particular can help schools better serve their students.  We are releasing a sample agreement between schools and rape crisis centers, so survivors have a full network of services in place. 
Improving and Making More Transparent Federal Enforcement Efforts
To better address sexual assault at our nation’s schools, the federal government needs to both strengthen our enforcement efforts and increase coordination among responsible agencies.  Importantly, we also need to improve communication with survivors, parents, school administrators, faculty, and the public, by making our efforts more transparent.
·         On Tuesday, we are launching a dedicated website – – to make enforcement data public and to make other resources accessible to students and schools.  On the website, students can learn about their rights, search enforcement data, and read about how to file a complaint.  The website will also help schools and advocates:  it will make available federal guidance on legal obligations, best available evidence and research, and relevant legislation.  Finally, the website will have trustworthy resources from outside the federal government, such as hotline numbers and mental health services locatable by simply typing in a zip code.
·         The Department of Education is providing more clarity on schools’ legal obligations.  The Department of Education is releasing answers to frequently asked questions about schools’ legal obligations to prevent and respond to sexual assault.  Among many other topics, the new guidance makes clear that federal law protects all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, immigration status, or whether they have a disability.  It also makes clear questions about a survivor’s sexual history with anyone other than the alleged perpetrator shouldn’t be permitted during a judicial hearing, and also that a previous sexual relationship doesn’t imply consent or preclude a finding of sexual violence.  And that schools should take steps to protect and assist a survivor pending an investigation.
·         The Departments of Justice and Education have entered into an agreement clarifying each agency’s role.  Both agencies have a critical role to play in enforcing the laws that require schools to prevent and respond to sexual assault on their campuses.  The agencies have entered into a formal agreement to increase coordination and strengthen enforcement.
Next Steps
The action steps highlighted in this report are the initial phase of an ongoing plan and commitment to putting an end to this violence on campuses.  We will continue to work toward solutions, clarity, and better coordination. We will review the legal frameworks surrounding sexual assault for possible regulatory or statutory improvements, and seek new resources to enhance enforcement.  Campus law enforcement agencies have special expertise- and they, too, should be tapped to play a more central role.  And we will also consider how our recommendations apply to public elementary and secondary schools – and what more we can do to help there.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation honors volunteers

BLOOMFIELD, – The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation " capped off National Volunteer Month by celebrating its more than 350 volunteers who actively support the nonprofit’s life-changing mission of providing the highest quality guide dogs to men and women who are blind, according to a release

"Fidelco honored its volunteers during an annual Volunteer Recognition Day event on Saturday, which featured powerful and emotional testimonials from some of the organization’s volunteers who help to raise future guide dog puppies in their homes and socialize them in the community as the all-important first steps to becoming highly skilled Fidelco Guide Dogs," the statement said.

"Adding an extra dose of inspiration to the spirited event was Fidelco client and renowned NYC-based musician Frank Senior. Blind from birth, Senior has been a client of Fidelco since 1992, and is currently partnered with his third Fidelco Guide Dog, “Que.” The talented singer crooned for the crowd after delivering an uplifting message of gratitude and hope, describing how his Fidelco Guide Dogs have given him the freedom and independence to pursue his music performance passion and provide for his family."

“It is so important to honor our volunteers, because simply put, Fidelco would not exist without them,” Eliot D. Russman, Fidelco’s CEO and executive director, the release said. “Whether it’s raising a puppy, hosting a fundraiser or helping out behind the scenes in our kennel and administrative office, volunteers are the heartbeat of Fidelco. Their contributions are priceless – and the lives of our clients and their families are forever changed because of our volunteers.”

"Fidelco breeds and trains its elite German Shepherd Guide Dogs for people who are blind across North America. It takes two years, 15,000 hands-on hours and $45,000 to produce each Fidelco Guide Dog, and they are given to clients at no cost.  Fidelco offers many volunteer opportunities for people and groups of all ages and it encourages people to bring their passions to Fidelco. For more information visit"

In the photo l to r: Fidelco client Frank Senior with Fidelco Guide Dog “Que”; Fidelco CEO & Executive Director Eliot D. Russman; Fidelco Volunteer Puppy Raiser Chelsea Cracco with Fidelco puppy “Ella”


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In New Haven, April 30 is 'Scrabble Day" thanks to Literacy Volunteers

NEW HAVEN - The LiteracyVolunteers annual Scrabble Challenge fundraiser is scheduled to run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. April 30  at the Wilbur Cross High School Cafeteria, 181 Mitchell Drive, organizers said in a release.

In past events, "hundreds of players have competed for bragging rights while raising money to support the efforts of Literacy Volunteer tutors in the community," the release said. 

Morning anchor Chris Velardi, of WTNH News 8 will act as host for the event.

Go to to register your team. Four people play together as a team at each table. The cost is just $50/person or $200/table, the release said. The cost includes dinner, a raffle and two rounds of Team Scrabble, one with an opponent and one without, the release said. The Grand Prize goes to the team that collects the most pledge dollars.

Several Literacy Volunteers students will speak about their experiences learning to read and speak English, the release said.


Monday Matinees” Series Continues Through June at the Stratford Library

 The Stratford Library’s “Monday Matinees” series continues with a screening of “Enough Said” on May 12, according to a release.
The series presents recent, popular films on monthly Monday afternoons at noon from September-June. The film showings are free and open to the public, the release said.
“Enough Said” is an adult romantic comedy about a divorced woman, played by actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who decides to pursue the man she's interested in and then learns he's her new friend's hated ex-husband, played byJames Gandolfini, in his final film role, co-stars in the comedy, the release said.
The film is rated PG-13 and runs 93 minutes.
Movies in the upcoming “Monday Matinees” series are shown uncut on widescreen in the Stratford Library’s Lovell Room beginning at noon on April 14.  The winter/spring series will conclude on June 9 with a showing of "Man of Steel."
For more information, call the library at 203- 385- 4162 or visit:

PRESS RELEASE                                                  CONTACTS:
April 28, 2014                                                           Doss Venema, Executive Director
                                                                                    Literacy Volunteers.  4 Science Park, New Haven
                                                                                    203-776-5899, Ext. 103
                                                                                    Veronica Douglas-Givan
APRIL 30 is SCRABBLE DAY in New Haven
People of all ages love to play Scrabble. It’s good, literate fun, it’s social and it’s surprisingly competitive. We know, because Literacy Volunteers has hosted an annual Scrabble Challenge fundraiser in New Haven for the past 15 years. Hundreds of players have competed for bragging rights while raising money to support the efforts of Literacy Volunteer tutors in the community. This year we are proud to announce that morning anchor Chris Velardi, of WTNH News 8 is hosting the event.
Join the fun on Wednesday, April 30 at the Wilbur Cross High School Cafeteria, 181 Mitchell Drive, New Haven from 5:30 to 8:00 pm.  Go to to register your team. Four people play together as a team at each table. The cost is just $50/person or $200/table. That includes dinner, a raffle and two rounds of Team Scrabble, one with an opponent and one without. Everyone is a winner and the Grand Prize goes to the Team that collects the most Pledge dollars.
Several Literacy Volunteers students will speak about their experiences learning to read and speak English. Join us and take the opportunity to become part of the solution to the adult literacy crisis. You’ll love it!
30% of adults in New Haven read at the lowest level of literacy. They can’t read well
enough to fill out job applications or help their children with homework. Literacy
Volunteers is the non-profit agency that provides FREE tutoring for adults who need
help learning to read and speak English. Together we can solve the adult literacy crisis.

Mishkan Israel to hold Comedy Deli night


HAMDEN - Congregation Mishkan Israel’s Brotherhood of Men & Women will present its 9th annual Deli Night at 6 p.m., May 10, according to a release.
The event  includes an all-you-can-eat buffet of great deli food, wonderful music by The David Chevan Quartet, and a hilarious performance by comedian Rich Ceisler, the release said.

Ceisler is “the world's only Stand Up Chameleon,” the release said
"Described as a roughened observer who has been around the block enough times to see through society's scams, he prides himself on straight monology using no gimmicks," the release said. 
"Ceisler has appeared in many top comedy clubs in the US and abroad including: Comedy Connection and Nick’s Comedy Stop in Boston, and the Comedy Store, Ice House, and Improv in Los Angeles."
The community is invited to attend. Congregation Mishkan Israel is at 785 Ridge RoadFor more information, call the synagogue office at (203) 288-3877.

Kellogg Environmental Center Presents: Archaeology of Native American Settlements

The Naugatuck Valley Audubon Society, in cooperation with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, will hold a program on the “Archaeology of Native American Settlements in the Lower Naugatuck Valley Area,” by State Archeologist Nicholas Bellantoni  at 7 p.m. May 20 at the Kellogg Environmental Center, Derby, according to a release.
 Bellantoni has been the State Archaeologist for 27 years, the release said.
"His presentation will cover 11,000 years of Native American settlement and adaptation in Connecticut and will feature the Naugatuck Valley in terms of specific camp and village sites," the release said.
"Bellantoni’s talks are always captivating and give a closer look into the unique archaeological heritage of Connecticut."
(An interesting site in Connecticut is 6LF21 )
The presentation is open to the public and a $5.00 is requested to cover the cost of NVAS projects, conservation efforts, and future programs including bird walks. Children under 12 are free. Light refreshments will be served after the program.
The Kellogg Environmental Center is located at 500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby.   For more information, directions, or to register, call the center at (203) 734-2513 or contact Dennis Kocyla at(203) 734-9325 or     

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

Blue Mass to be held at the Cathedral of St. Joseph May 4

HARTFORD - Archbishop Leonard P. Blair "will celebrate a Blue Mass to pray for the men and women who protect citizens every day from the perils of our society, and aid communities in their time of need," according to a release. T
The sixth annual Archdiocesan Blue Mass will begin at 11 a/.m. May 4h at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

"According to the Archbishop, the Mass is an opportunity to come together as the People of God and  recognize the sacrifice of police, firefighters, Department of Correction personnel and other safety employees, and to give reverence to those who have given their lives in service to their neighborhoods," the release said.

Thee Mass is open to the public, and people of all faiths are welcome to attend.

“It takes a special person to put the well-being of others ahead of him or herself,” he said, also in the release.

 "This year a memorial candle will be given to the family of Donavan Alden, a paramedic who was killed in a car accident in March on his way to work. The candle will be engraved with his name and feature the scripture passage, 'No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13).'"

Lt. Mark Sticca of the Connecticut State Police Department, a member of the committee responsible for organizing the Mass, said, also in the release, that "families appreciate the prayers dedicated to their loved ones."

 “The Archdiocesan Blue Mass has become a tradition in the Archdiocese of Hartford. It brings family and friends together to pay their respects,” Sticca said. “We hope that friends and families will be part of this special prayer service.”

A procession featuring Honor Guards from the: Connecticut State Police, Hartford Police Department, Department of Correction, Statewide Fire Department, along with Connecticut State Police Bagpipers will begin at approximately 10:45 a.m. on Flower St. (a block away from the Cathedral) before the Mass. 


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Friday, April 25, 2014

'Albertus Magnus to Open Student Veterans Center'

NEW HAVEN  - Albertus Magnus College will open its new Center for Student Veterans on April 29, with a ceremony and reception at 5 p.m. at the Hubert Campus Center on the main campus in New Haven, according to a release. 
Student and alumni veterans, and members of the Greater New Haven veterans’ community are welcome to attend, the release said.
"The Center for Student Veterans will be a place for service members, veterans and members of military families to learn about the resources and services at the college, to network and to provide peer support," the release said. " It will be the home of the new Albertus Student Veterans Association, an approved chapter of Student Veterans of America."
Mayor Toni Harp, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, President Julia M. McNamara and other dignitaries are scheduled to speak, the release said. 
The Albertus Magnus Choir, under the direction of Arthur Bellucci, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”
Ivan Gutierrez of Shelton, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, is the chapter leader of the Albertus Student Veterans Association, the release said.  Gutierrez earned his associate and bachelor’s degrees from Albertus, where he is currently pursuing his M.B.A.
Also in the release: Albertus Magnus College, an independent college, was founded in 1925.  A Catholic College in the Dominican Tradition, Albertus has 1,600 students enrolled in its traditional undergraduate program, accelerated undergraduate programs for adults and graduate degree programs, including the only Master of Arts in Art Therapy degree in the state of Connecticut.  For information, go to or call 203-773-8505.
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Mass in New Haven to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland

NEW HAVEN - There will be a Mass for peace and a flag raising ceremony to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland at 9 a.m. Sunday on the city Green

Following the Mass, a ceremony to honor the men and woman who fought for Irish independence will take place, organizers said in a release.

"This annual public ceremony in New its 24th year, serves as a reminder to all ethnic groups that freedom and liberty carry a high price," organizers said in the release. "Local honorees are remembered in a roll call and the original ‘Proclamation of Freedom’ will be read."

The 1916 Easter Uprising occurred when about 1,000 men and women captured the General Post Office building in Dublin, Ireland in another effort to break the bonds of British rule and gain independence for their country, the release said. "This became a key turning point on the road to Irish independence. This is the 98th anniversary of the event."

"This year is also the 33rd anniversary of the Hunger Strike at Long Kesh Prison. In 1981, Irish republican volunteers in a British jail on Irish soil undertook a fast to death to retain their status as political prisoners."

Police and Fire Emerald Societies and state and local political officials are encouraged to attend, organizers said. Please call for arrangements. For information about the mass/ceremony, contact Joe Lynch at 203-483-4574 or or Margaret Prendergast at
Following the Flag Raising ceremony, there will be an Irish Breakfast fundraiser at 10:30 a.m. at The Playwright Irish Pub, 1232 Whitney Ave., Hamden. This is a benefit for the New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For information and reservations contact Joanne Connor, 203-668-0942 or Tickets in advance are $15 at the door. Visit for more information.

The flag raising event will take place rain or shine. If the need to move indoors arises, it will be held at The Playwright. Tune in to FoxCT or WPLR-99.1 FM on Sunday morning for information.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Connecticut Department of Agriculture receives grant for large animal facility

The state Department of Agriculture has received a grant of slightly more than $50,000 from The John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation to make improvements to its Niantic facility where horses and other large animals seized in neglect cases are rehabilitated for public adoption, according to a release..
"The $51,600 grant will be used to build new paddock and pasture fences and purchase equipment such as stall mats, horse blankets, a hot water heater and veterinary items used in the Second Chance program," the release said.. 
"Located at York Correctional Facility in Niantic, the Second Chance program is a collaboration"  between the departments of  Agriculture and Correction, the release said. " Inmates from York volunteer to work with the animals in partnership with agency personnel." 
“For 11 years this program has proven to be beneficial for both the animals and the inmates,” said  Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky, also in the statement.  “The support of the Wiederhold Foundation is very much appreciated and will help us continue to give the animals the care they deserve.”
"The Wiederhold Foundation was created in 2012 to protect and improve the welfare of animals of all kinds; the promotion of veterinary programs and the protection of wildlife, including endangered animals and plants. The grant was received through the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut."
Those interested in adopting an animal through the Second Chance program should contact Animal Control Officer Linda Wenner at 860-713-2567 or Potential adopters are screened and are required to sign a contract that the animal will be cared for properly.
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.  In the photo: DoAg Animal Control Officer Nancy Jarvis leads Santana as Isis closely follows.  Both horses are available for public adoption though the Second Chance program.
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Fairfield Public Library to talk household chemical at upcoming talk

"Safer Home, Safer Family" A Wellness Series Talk at the Fairfield Public Library

FAIRFIELD  - Environmental nurse-specialist Linda Russell-Getz will review 10 ways to reduce your exposure to "consumer products we use every day contain toxic chemicals" and show you how you can make your own products in an event at 7 p.m. May 5  in the Rotary Room at the Main Library, 1080 Old Post Road,  according to a release . 
"You will leave with some of her favorite recipes using common ingredients you may already have on hand," according to the release.  
Registration is requested.

Presenter Linda Russell-Getz, RN, BSN, MS, CCAP is an integrative nurse and owner of InTandem Wellness for Women in Westport, the release said.

All programs at the Fairfield Public Library are free. 
To register, or for more information on this and other programs, visit us online at: or call 203-256-3160. Follow the Fairfield Public Library on Twitter: and Facebook: 


Read the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling

Read the U.S. Supreme Court case: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission . Masterpiece Cakeshop Court Decision by H...