Friday, May 30, 2014

Operation Fuel to benefit from Wallingford company's home energy assessment work

According to a release, Competitive Resources Inc. of Wallingford will donate $25 to Operation Fuel each time a customer of Connecticut Light and Power Company or The United Illuminating Co. has a home energy assessment done by CRI on behalf of the statewide energy assistance program.
"The energy assessment is part of Energize Connecticut’s Home Energy Solutions℠ (HES) program, which helps to reduce home energy bills," the release said.

"Operation Fuel is a private, nonprofit program that provides emergency energy assistance through its statewide network of fuel banks to lower-income working families, the elderly and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis and not eligible for energy assistance from government-funded programs. This is Connecticut’s only statewide, year-round emergency energy assistance program.

 “Electricity and heat are basic necessities, yet nearly 300,000 Connecticut households can’t afford to pay their energy bills. When a home is without electricity or heat, it is unhealthy and unsafe for the people who live there. Many of the households that we help have either children under the age of 18, an elderly person or someone with a chronic illness or disability,” Operation Fuel Executive Director Patricia Wrice said, also in the release.

"The HES program provides homeowners and renters with services and installed products that will help make homes more energy efficient and lower their energy bills. During the home energy assessment, CRI’s certified technicians will make energy saving improvements that include identifying and sealing air leaks and drafts, installing energy efficient light bulbs and water-saving devices, and analyzing appliances and insulation."

"CRI, a utility-authorized contractor, will donate $25 for every HES energy assessment that it completes on behalf of Operation Fuel. During 2013, CRI donated $1,250 to Operation Fuel."

Also in the release: "The HES energy assessment has a small co-pay. CL&P and UI customers can schedule an appointment by calling 888-403-3500 or by going to CL&P and UI must approve all applications and the offer is subject to the availability of funding. Utility customers should have their account number available and mention Operation Fuel when calling to schedule an energy assessment."

Learn more about Connecticut hero and Yale grad Nathan Hale at his Coventry home

The 259th birthday of Connecticut’s State Hero Nathan Hale: farm boy, school teacher, (Yale University grad!) and soldier/spy will be celebrated from noon to 4 p.m. June 7 at the Nathan Hale Homestead, 2299 South Street in Coventry, according to a release from Connecticut Landmarks.
 "Special activities include herb garden tours, school house talks with the school master, and the
opportunity to meet a Continental soldier," the release said.
Visit the homestead kitchen for birthday cake and lemonade, and browse in the new Museum Store, the release said.
Free admission to the event and house tours.
Don't forget either that New Haven has a Fort Nathan Hale. And Yale has a statue in honor of its graduate too.

You also can join the Connecticut Landmarks celebration in honor of the re-opening and preservation of the Amos Bull House, Hartford’s oldest brick structure and the first Connecticut building to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Connecticut Landmarks properties will offer free admission from  noon to 4 p.m June 7.

"The Amos Bull House & the attached Butler-McCook Carriage House now house CTL's administrative offices, archival research center & state-of-the art Community Education Center. Take part in our state-wide celebration at these historically significant houses near you: the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden in Bethlehem, the Butler-McCook House & Garden and Isham-Terry House in Hartford, the Hempsted Houses in New London, the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry and the Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden in Suffield."


Greater New Haven Association of Black Social Workers Harambee breakfast

On a recent Saturday morning, New Haven Register Community Engagement Editor Shahid Abdul-Karim and I had the distinct pleasure to join the Greater New Haven Association of Black Social Workers at the group's Harambee awards breakfast.

This event at Laurel View Country Club took place on a lovely morning and was filled with inspiring speeches and honors bestowed on community residents who have gone above and beyond in serving others.

“In the spirit of Harambee the ... organization is committed to humanitarian acts for the improvement of the black community, the advocacy of valuing life through activities, and the consciousness of the Sankofa, honoring our past as we move towards the future,” association President Onya Harris said in a story that appeared before the event..

Community Action Agency President and CEO Amos Smith was the keynote speaker and his words touched on his life, his work, and the ongoing struggle for equality for all people. His words were uplifting and forward-thinking, but he made clear that so much is yet to be done to protect and nurture young people, and to help folks move out of economic deprivation and insecurity.

These honorees include New Haven Venom Football founder and coach Booker McJunkin,  Bereavement Care Network founder Nakia Dawson; Mothers Demand Action founder Kim Washington; Nations Drill Team founder Doug Bethea; and retired New Haven Public School teacher Edmond Love.

Friends and family and wonderful young football players attended to share the joy of the honorees.

All photos by New Haven Register Community Engagement Editor Shahid Abdul-Karim.

I also had a chance to give brief remarks at the event and spoke of the media's role in exposing injustice in the community. I touched on the anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, and a recent Yale study on incarceration and studies for health outcomes for African American men.

I believe the media serves an important role in sharing such news.

Military Whist Card Party to be held in North Haven

The Greater New Haven Sons of Italy Lodge #37 will hold a Military Whist Card Party  from  6:30 to 9:30 p.m. June 7, at St. Therese Church in North Haven, according to a release .
There will be a silent auction, finger foods and refreshments will be available. Monetary donations as well as gifts certificates or food baskets will be greatly appreciated. The cost is $8 per person and must be pre-paid. There is limited seating.
When making reservations, list the names of the parties attending. Make checks payable to Sons of Italy Lodge #37 and return to Lee Fermo, 62 Juniper Lane, North Haven, 06473.
 For more information call Marge Quinn at 203-239-9789 or e-maiI

Something fishy: very fishy in fact

Did you know the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issues a regular fishing report?

In part it talks about the types and quantities of fish the agency releases in  state waterways. They add up into the thousands.

The report also gives tips on where anglers are having success lately - Highland Lake, in Winsted for instance.

I find it fascinating.

This week's report, shared below, shows there is something fishy indeed and that includes bass, stripers, and much

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Haven Symphony Orchestra to hold free concert with Dianne Reeves

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra will join the International Festival of Arts & Ideas lineup this summer for a free concert with jazz empress Dianne Reeves at 7 p.m. June 21 on the New Haven Green, according to a release. 

 "Under the baton of Maestro William Boughton, the NHSO, which was recently cited by The New York Times as 'sophisticated and versatile,' will back Dianne Reeves in a program featuring jazzy renditions of American songbook standards," the release said.

"From George Gershwin’s “Embraceable You” and “Fascinating Rhythm,” to selections from Duke Ellington’s The River Suite, Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” and the George Shearing’s “Lullaby of Birdland,” this relaxed summer evening concert will be packed with crowd favorites! "

Reeves "will wow audiences with her breathtaking virtuosity, improvisational prowess, and unique jazz and R&B style," the release said.. "A multiple Grammy-winner, Reeves has recorded and performed extensively with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis, who said of Reeves, “She has one of the most powerful, purposeful and accurate voices of this or any time.” 

Also, the NHSO will hold an Instrument Discovery Zone for kids of all ages to try playing instruments of the orchestra at 5 p.m., the release said..  Music Haven and the NHSO hold a city-wide play-in on the Green at 6 p.m., the release said.

Visit the International Festival of Arts & Ideas website, for more details. "Grab the family and a picnic basket and join us downtown for an unforgettable summer evening."

For updates and more information visit

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

Access Health CT enrollment centers announce summer hours

"Day-to-day support available via call center representatives"
According to a release: When the  2014 open enrollment cycle is completed, Access Health CT  enrollment centers in New Britain and New Haven "will be closed for day-to-day business; going forward, they will serve as venues for educational sessions about Healthcare Reform."
"The centers, which helped thousands of residents enroll in quality, affordable health care coverage, will re-open for day-to-day business this fall," the release said.
“From the beginning, we envisioned these two centers serving a variety of purposes,” Kevin Counihan, Access Health CT CEO said, also in the release. “During open enrollment, our main priority was providing a place where people could come ask questions about health care coverage and obtain assistance enrolling in a plan. Now that open enrollment has ended, we’re planning to use the centers to host educational sessions through the summer, and expect to fully re-open this fall to support the next open enrollment cycle.”
 "Connecticut was the first state to open health care enrollment centers. Modeled after the Apple® stores, the enrollment centers offered in-person assistance to guide consumers through the process of enrolling for health care coverage. The centers were designed to be family friendly with an area for children to play while their parents or guardians met with AHCT staff members at individualized computer work stations."
Further, the release said, "During the 2014 open enrollment period, there were 19,500 visitors to the AHCT enrollment centers. Many came to ask questions and learn more about Healthcare Reform, and 9,917 enrolled at the center."
Consumers who have questions about Healthcare Reform, their health care coverage, or AHCT, may call 855-805-4325 to speak with a representative. Information regarding the educational sessions this summer will be posted online at
"Until open enrollment begins for 2015, residents will only be able to shop for coverage through Access Health CT under special circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption or loss of insurance coverage from an employer." 
For more information about special enrollment, visit

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mayor Harp's tribute to poet Maya Angelou

The office of New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp sent a release today in which Harp described Maya Angelou "as a model and an inspiration, particularly among African-American women."

Here is the rest of the release unedited):

“Maya Angelou was the source of experience, hope, endurance, and
faith, and she was a profound influence on several generations of
Americans,” Mayor Harp said. “Maya Angelou wrote and spoke from her
heart and her core, which seemed inextricably linked with a greater
presence and louder-than-human voice.”

Mayor Harp said she still remembers the poem Angelou wrote and shared
with the nation as part of President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in
1993, which coincided with then-Senator Harp’s first term in the
Connecticut General Assembly.

“The final few lines of Maya Angelou’s poem that day filled me with
hope for the new administration in Washington, and for any contribution
I might make in the new chapter of my career just underway,” Mayor
Harp said.

Mayor Harp said she hopes New Haven residents will be similarly
inspired by those words today:

“Here, on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, and into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope --
Good morning.”

-       Maya Angelou - ‘On the Pulse of Morning’

UIL Holdings Offers Hurricane Season Preparation Tips

In a release, UIL Holdings noted: June 1 "marks the start of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and there is no better time to prepare your home and family for whatever Mother Nature may send our way."
The following also is from the release, shared here unedited and as a public service for those interested in the tips and information:

Storm preparedness is among our top priorities at UIL Holdings Corporation (NYSE: UIL) and our gas and electric utilities: The United Illuminating Company (UI), The Southern Connecticut Gas Company (SCG), Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (CNG) and The Berkshire Gas Company.
“We plan year-round for storms. Our crews and equipment are always at a high state of readiness, and we continually maintain and improve our gas and electric infrastructure to be resilient against severe weather,” said John J. Prete, Chief Operating Officer for UI Electric Operations and Vice President of Technical Services.
Customers, too, can take prudent steps to reduce the impact of potential severe weather. One way they can do this is by staying informed.
New this hurricane season, UI customers now have access to information about severe weather and power outages by subscribing to Storm & Outage Alerts. Customers can sign up at and choose to receive alerts by text, e-mail or voice message for important communications from UI related to severe weather events, as well as power outages affecting their homes or businesses. The service is free, although standard message and data rates may apply to text messaging.
  • Storm Alerts:  Receive important communications from UI before or during a large storm or emergency situation.
  • Outage Alerts: Receive specific outage information related to your accounts, including acknowledgement that we are aware of your power outage, estimated restoration time (when available) and notice when service is restored.
The alerts are among a series of measures that UI, like the other UIL companies, has implemented to improve its posture in the face of severe weather threats, drawing on lessons learned during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. UI has also participated in statewide readiness drills in 2012 and 2013, spent $11 million to harden its coastal substations against the threat of flooding, and set in motion a series of longer-term measures intended to harden its physical infrastructure, upgrade its systems and improve the recovery process.
“Our goal is to minimize service disruptions, and restore service as quickly as possible when they occur,” said Joseph D. Thomas, UI’s Vice President for Electric System Operations.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. This month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center issued a forecast saying this season will likely bring eight to 13 named storms (sustained winds of 39 mph or higher), of which three to six could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including one to two major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher).
The information below may help customers prepare for severe storms.
Home Generators: Any generator that plugs into a home’s wiring should be connected via a transfer switch by a licensed electrician. This ensures that when the generator is in use, house wiring is isolated from utility lines. Improper installation can damage the generator, or create hazards for utility employees working on poles, or even the general public. UI now leases and installs an affordable automatic transfer switch that safely connects your portable generator to your electric meter to allow you to run your home’s equipment directly from your circuit breaker panel. Call 877-447-8743 or visit for information.
If adding a natural gas-fired generator, consult your gas utility to ensure there is adequate pressure. Generators should be placed outdoors and away from doors and windows to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide.
Medical equipment: If someone in your home uses electronic life-support or medical-monitoring equipment, develop a backup plan in case an extended power outage occurs. UI has a program to register life-support customers. Call 800-722-5584 for information.
Perform a Storm Inventory: The possibility of an extended outage exists whenever severe weather strikes. Take an inventory of your home and stock up on supplies.
  • Make sure you have flashlights, candles, matches, a first-aid kit, a battery-operated radio or TV, a manual can-opener and a battery-operated clock. Stock up on fresh batteries, too.
  • Fill containers with drinking water and keep a supply of canned or dried food, as well as any medications you need. Be sure to check expiration dates.
  • Charge your mobile phone so you can report outages or emergencies. Store key contacts in your phone’s memory, and keep a paper copy for backup.
Report Problems: Always assume downed power lines are live and dangerous, and be mindful of natural gas odors. If you see a downed power line or trees touching power lines, or if you need to report an electrical power outage, or smell natural gas, call your utility toll-free with the location and any specifics. Keep these numbers handy and programmed into your mobile phone.
Visit UI’s Storm Center:
Visit the Storm Center at to find the Outage Map and Town Outage List — updated every 15 minutes with outage totals across UI’s territory. You can also find additional storm-related information, including Restoration Priorities, Storm Tips and Storm Safety information.
Follow Us on Social Media:
During fair weather, you can find the latest news, events and promotions related to your UIL utility on our social media sites. During storms, we’ll also post restoration updates, news, safety notices and important information. Find us and follow us at:
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

President Obama statement on death of Maya Angelou

The White House today released this statement on the death of poet and author Maya Angelou (unedited here):
Statement by the President on the Passing of Maya Angelou
When her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Maya Angelou wrote that “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn.” 
Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.  Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things – an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer.  But above all, she was a storyteller – and her greatest stories were true.  A childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking – but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves.  In fact, she inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya. 
Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya.  With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer.  And while Maya’s day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, “flung up to heaven” – and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring.

Community Action Agency of New Haven enroling youths in 'Manage Your Future' program

NEW HAVEN >> Community Action Agency of New Haven is enrolling youths ages 14 to 18 for the summer session of the Manage Your Future program.

The program provides financial-literacy, life-skills, and job-readiness training to youth, the agency said in a release. Eligible youth also will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. Participants’ households must be TANF/TFA eligible.

Applications are being accepted through June 6 for the summer session.

CAANH, at 419 Whalley Ave., offers pathways to prosperity to those in poverty in the Greater New Haven area through service, collaboration, advocacy, and knowledge generation, the release said.

For more information and criteria eligibility, please Jerry Poole at 203-387-7700 ext. 148 or Jackie Lovegren at 203-387-7700 ext. 245.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Events coming up at the Massaro Community Farm in Woodbridge

Here are the events coming up at Massaro Community Farm in June, with details and wonderful photos provided by the farm:

Down the Garden Path Garden Series*
June 4th, 11th and 18th from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
A garden series for adults sponsored by the Institute for Learning in Retirement by Albertus Magnus college.
Educational Trail Walk
June 8th from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Casual trail walk in conjunction with CFPA's CT Trails Day Weekend. Open to all ages! No registration necessary. Just meet in the farm parking lot.
Open Farm Days – Hands on in the Learning Garden
June 3rd and 20th from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
These are fun, hands-on drop in sessions for toddlers-young adults to plant, pick & water, and also do a creative activity. Activities will take place at 3:30 and 4:30 on each day. No reservation necessary.
Cooking Demos
June 10th and 27th from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Featuring the weekly farm harvest, with recipes to share. Come by for a taste! 

Beekeeping Workshops – Summer Hive Management*
June 21st at 9:00 a.m. and again at 11:00 a.m.
Instructional sessions led by the CT Beekeeper's Association. Space is limited so registration is required. All levels of interest are encourage to attend. Suggested donation $10/pp
Nurturing a Bird Friendly Habitat*
June 21st from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon
This workshop, led by Katherine Blake of Audubon CT,  will include an overview of how Audubon CT is helping landowners, schools and communities throughout Connecticut connect with nature while contributing real conservation impact. Includes a walk of the farm. $20/pp.
Items with an asterisk require advance registration. Please visit our website, for more details, a full calendar, and registration.

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

New Haven Celebrates Louis' Lunch on National Hamburger Day

As May 28 "marks National Hamburger Day in the U.S., once again drawing attention to an American icon, Louis' Lunch," the city will celebrate the eatery, according to a release from Visit New Haven. 
"In 1900 Louis Lassen created the first hamburger sandwich for a customer who needed an item to go, long before the drive-thru window. Hand grinding some beef and placing it between two slices of toast, a legend was born," the release said..
"Documented by the Library of Congress as the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich, the original process remains unchanged. The burgers are made fresh daily by hand-rolling a proprietary blend of five meat varieties. The burgers continue to be grilled in the original vertical cast-iron grills dating back to 1898."
"The first question out of many visitors' mouths is 'Where is Louis Lunch'?'" said Visit New Haven Executive Director Ginny Kozlowski, also in the release . "With national and international media coverage and world-wide acclaim, Louis' is truly a national treasure.".
Also noted in the release:  Louis' Lunch is open, Monday and Tuesday 11 a.m.-3: 45 p.m., and Thursday-Saturday noon-2 a.m. Bring cash, as credit and debit cards are not accepted. Visit New Haven is a department within REX Development, the release said.


WalkBikeTransit to set up 'Social Metamorphosis' exhibit

WalkBikeTransit will set up "a swarm of recycled art butterflies, a large per capita greenhouse gas graph and car art as part of a street art exhibit titled 'Social Metamorphosis'" at the corner of Chapel and York streets Wednesday, according to a release.

The exhibit will call on New Haven residents "to learn more about the serious impacts of climate change and to imagine alternatives to current dependence on cars which generate large amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.. The exhibit will be up all day," the release said.

"The art will make the link between car use and its impacts on natural systems, and encourage people to use healthier alternatives."

Also in the release:

WalkBikeTransit, a project of the New Haven/Leon Sister City Project, was created to educate New Haven residents about the local and global effects ofclimate change. It seeks to affect local grassroots change and build local support for sustainable transportation and more transportation options (walking, trains, buses, biking).


Sunday, May 25, 2014

New Haven Vietnam Memorial: Solemn ceremony of remembrance

About 40 people gathered at the New Haven Vietnam Memorial on Long Wharf Sunday to honor the memory of those who gave their all to this nation. With respect and solemnity, there were remarks, songs and the laying of wreaths.

Each person who attended was given a red rose and was later invited to place the rose onto the memorial V that contains the names of New Haven residents.

A bell was rung as those names were read.

Here are some of the images from the ceremony.

Remarks by the President to the Troops at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

Connecticut Chapter of MUFON presents "men in black"

The Connecticut Chapter of MUFON in invites you to explore "the Greatest Mystery of Our Time!"
The group will present: "The Men in Black" at 11 a.m. June 14, at the Farmington Barney Library
Route 10, Farmington, according to a release.
"No aspect of the UFO phenomena is more mystifying and terrifying than the Men in Black. They have been an aspect of UFO lore for over 70 years. They have intimidated and terrified numerous witnesses of the UFO phenomena...," the release said.
"It is an ongoing enigma with reports continuing to this very day. Nick Redford has researched the mystery extensively. A noted UFO researcher, he has appeared on the History Channel, the Science Channel and numerous speaking engagements at colleges and universities throughout America," the release said 
"Materials and information will be made available to anyone interested in joining MUFON or simply learning more about the UFO phenomena. Recent activity in Connecticut will be updated. MUFON's mission is the analytical and scientific investigation of the UFO phenomenon for the benefit of humanity."
Admission is free,
Coffee und light refreshments will be available. For more information call: (860) 470-3296

Friday, May 23, 2014

How to help a Connecticut turtle cross the road

How did the turtle cross the road?
With a little help from its friends. 
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, in a news release, reminded state residents "to be on the lookout for turtles crossing roads."
"The months of May and June are the nesting season for many turtles and during this season egg-bearing aquatic turtles often cross roads in search of terrestrial nesting sites," the release said.
“Connecticut’s landscape is highly fragmented by busy roads, and many turtles are forced to travel great distances – and across roadways – to find suitable nesting habitat,” Rick Jacobson, Director of the DEEP Wildlife Division, said, also in the release.
“Helping a turtle move across the road can be the difference between life and death for the animal, and for future generations, but your safety comes first. Be sure to assist a turtle in the road only when it is safe to do so and do not attempt to stop traffic.”
“Research has shown that aquatic turtle populations across the United States have uncommonly high proportions of males because so many female turtles are being killed on roadways,” Jacobson said, also in the release.
The following is information released by DEEP, unedited here (except for links) and posted a public service:
Guidance on Assisting Turtles
Always keep the turtle pointed in the direction it is going. If you turn it around in the other direction, the turtle will only make another attempt to cross the road. Also, DO NOT move the turtle to a “better spot,” and DO NOT put terrestrial box turtles in a lake, pond, or other water body. Turtles have a home range and females often return to the same general area to lay their eggs. Snapping turtles can be large, heavy, and feisty, so if you are unable to “shoo” them across the road, pick them up by the back of their shells, NOT by their tail, to avoid a bite. Some people use a shovel or a stick to push or skid snapping turtles across the road.
Turtles have a long lifespan, take a long time to reach sexual maturity, and have low survivorship when newly hatched. Because of these attributes, turtle populations cannot compensate for losses due to adult mortality without experiencing long-term consequences. With turtle populations requiring high levels of adult survivorship, every individual is important to a population’s stability. This concern is even greater in recent years because many U.S. turtle populations are becoming fragmented, isolated, and progressively smaller.
In your travels, if you encounter a turtle in the road, just remember this motto: “If it is safe, help turtles cross the road.”
DEEP is also encouraging residents to take photographs of any turtles they observe as they enjoy the outdoors and share them on the CT Fish and Wildlife Facebook page at or on a Twitter account set up by students from UCONN’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
Those interested in learning about Connecticut’s turtles can visit the DEEP’s turtle webpage at
Photo credit Paul J. Fusco/DEEP Wildlife Division

Wild about flowers!

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