Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Haven fireworks, concert set for July 4

New Haven announced that a performance by the U.S. Coast Guard Band in celebration of Independence Day will be held on July 4, according to a release
The live concert will be held at 8 p.m. in Wilbur Cross High School Field prior to the city's annual July 4th Fireworks, the release said. The fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 9:15 p.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard Band is the "premier band representing the United States Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security," the release said. "The 55-member ensemble is based at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. In addition to performing concert tours around the nation, the Band has also played in the former Soviet Union, Canada, England, Japan and Taiwan. In 2008, the Coast Guard Band became the first premier American military band to perform a concert tour of Japan. Concerts are free and open to the public and include a broad spectrum of music, from wind ensemble classics to swinging jazz charts."

East Rock Park
Attendees are encouraged to view the fireworks from Wilbur Cross High School Field as no spectators or vehicles will be allowed on the East Rock Park summit for the fireworks display, the release said.
The New Haven's fireworks display can be viewed from any location where the Angel of Peace is visible. Food Vendors will be on site. Parking is available at Wilbur Cross High School. Access to East Rock Summit will be closed to traffic the evening of July 3 through the completion of the fireworks, the release said.


In case of rain, the Coast Guard band will perform in the Wilbur Cross High School Auditorium and the fireworks display will be postponed until July 5, the release said.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Neighborhood Music School "Twilight Tuesdays' coming up

Latanya Farrell
NEW HAVEN - Neighborhood Music School will present "Twilight Tuesdays," an alfresco dinner/concert series of four evenings of music in the Park of the Arts, located behind NMS, according to a release.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Concerts start at 7:30 p.m. Rain or shine. Subscriptions and individual tickets on sale now.

Concert-goers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner. BYOB is welcome and food trucks will be on site for select concerts, the release said: (The Meat Truck on 7/21, 8/4 and 8/11, and Caseus Cheese Truck on 8/11.  Chestnut Fine Foods will provide picnic suppers on 7/28.)

NMS’s neighboring restaurant, Koffee?, will be open all four nights and offering wine and beer for $6 per glass, the release said.

“Now in its 15th year, our Twilight Tuesdays concert series continues to present some of the region’s best artists to our community. We’re especially pleased to highlight the school’s own talent this summer with Jeff Fuller from our faculty and NMS alumnus Wayne Escoffery, and of course to celebrate our friend Red Balaban, who was such a force in the jazz world. These relaxing evenings in a beautiful setting are not to be missed and the quality of the entertainment makes for serious fun for everyone!” said Noah Bloom, Director of Programs & Community Engagement, in the release

Also in the release:.

July 21: Sambeleza with Jeff Fuller (NMS faculty member), Joe Carter and Isabella Mendes. Sambeleza has been lofting the sounds of Brazilian jazz into the air since 2011, when the group formed to promote and perform the warm sounds of Brazilian music with a jazz twist. Enjoy the sounds of bossa nova, samba, baiĆ£o and lovely ballads from some of the greatest Brazilian composers, as well as original tunes in the Brazilian style. Sambaleza recently perfomed at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven.

July 28: "A Night at Eddie Condon's" featuring the Red Balaban Tribute Orchestra.
This special event will honor the late jazz legend, Leonard "Red" Balaban, bassist, tuba player, house band leader at Eddie Condon's and loyal friend and supporter of NMS. The event also celebrates the birthday of Red’s wife, Micki. Featured musicians include Paul Boehmke, saxophone/ clarinet/flute; Jim Fryer, trombone; Charlie Freeman, piano; Gim Burton, guitar/banjo; Jim Tutunjian, bass; Jim Royale, drums; and others who performed with Red throughout his career. “What a wonderful way for the community to honor my husband, Red Balaban!” said Micki Balaban. “We had a very special partnership – every night was a celebration. My family and I are looking forward to sharing this tribute event with Red’s musician friends and jazz community.” (Note: This concert is not included in subscription series. $30 per person for reserved table seat with picnic supper.)

August 4:  Wayne Escoffery Quartet Presents: The Music of Our Tenor Masters
Wayne Escoffery, NMS alumnus, has become one of the jazz world's most talented rising stars. An outstanding tenor saxophonist, Escoffery began his career touring and recording with The Eric Reed Septet and is a member of the Mingus Big Band. He toured with Jazz at Lincoln Center's Music of Masters and was chosen by Wynton Marsalis to perform the music of Dexter Gordon and Miles Davis. Featured musicians include Danny Grissett, piano; Ugonna Okegwo, bass; and Ralph Peterson, drums. This concert also features NMS jazz students and will raise support for Summer Jazz scholarships.
August 11: Latanya Farrell/The Connecticut Harp Circle
This concert opens with the Connecticut Harp Circle, which was founded by NMS faculty member Hayley Hewitt to bring harp players together in a relaxed, informal setting. They have prepared a special program of old music from around the world.
Learn more about Latanya Farrell.
Latanya Farrell, dubbed the "Queen of Summer Concerts," by the Hartford Courant, moves audiences with her passion, energy and a love for music and life. Her award- winning vocal talent and style has influences that include Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey and Jill Scott... just to name a few!

Twilight Tuesdays Concert sponsors are Steve & Sally Glick, and Pinpoint Promotions.
For more information on Twilight Tuesdays, contact Julius Stone, Events & Volunteer Coordinator, at 203-624-5189 x17 or

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival needs volunteers

The Orange Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival will be held July 30 through August 2.
Help is again gratefully accepted and very much needed in the main food tent, organizers said ina release.
Those interested in giving of time for a few hours, it is especially needed on Saturday,
beginning at 11 a.m. for the day shift, or the evening time, beginning at 4 p.m.
Help is also needed on Sunday, beginning at noon. The carnival does not go
into the evening on Sunday.
Assistance also is needed on Thursday and on Friday beginning at 4:30
p.m., the release said
Company employees who would like to volunteer together, as a group, would be
very much appreciated, the release said..
Coldwell Banker-Orange volunteers on Thursday night and Weichert Realtors
Orange comes in on Friday night.
"Remember that aside from having a good time pitching in with your
neighbors and friends to help, the volunteer fire department also helps keep our
town taxes lower," the release said.
Call or email Denise Mirto to add your name. 203-795-1080  or 203-464-9972 or

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Family Fun Run June 27

The Connecticut Irish Festival Feis and Agricultural Fair, sponsored by the Irish American Community Center, partners with the CFMS Fund for a Family Fun Run June 27, according to a release.

Registration is from 10 to 11 a.m. at the North Haven Fair Grounds 300 Washington Ave. (Rte 5) North Haven. The event raises awareness and money for cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis, the release said.

Pre-registration fee is $10 per person or $25 per family, children 12 and younger are free. the registration includes complimentary  cinch sac for first 500 registrants, kids medals, beverages, and free admission into the Festival, the release said. 

Walk/Run begins at 11 a.m. 

Registration at the event is $15 per person and $30 per family.  Register online at

Monday, June 15, 2015

Shark attacks (unprovoked) in the U.S. 1837-2014

Sunday, there were two shark attacks on the North Carolina coast. Both victims survived, but each lost their arm and sustained other injuries. The visuals below show how many shark attacks have happened over time. These visuals show how unlikely shark attacks (and fatalities from shark attacks) are.

Unprovoked Shark Attack Fatalities By State (1837-2014) | FindTheHome

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

'A Passion for Preservation: Urban Mining Explored' in New Haven

NEW HAVEN  - Joe DeRisi of Urban Miners, an architectural salvage store in Hamden, will discuss "the importance of preserving historic buildings, why many are destroyed, and how others can be saved, in a free presentation at the historic Pardee-Morris House" at 2 p.m. June 21, according to a release.
"The first of this year’s 'In-Season Talks' takes place at 325 Lighthouse Road in New Haven’s Morris Cove neighborhood, the release said.
"According to DeRisi, many old materials are irreplaceable, and should be reused."
“The wood used for framing houses many years ago is considered furniture-quality now,” he said, in the release.
"He created Urban Miners in 2007 to salvage building materials and household goods and pass them on to consumers in order to “repurpose” the materials the buildings were made from," ... “No historic structure should be demolished unless the building materials are unrecoverable.”
"Often the difference between deconstructing a historic house (saving more than 80 percent of it), versus demolishing and throwing it away, is only a few thousand dollars. In those cases, DeRisi says, deconstruction should be subsidized.  He will cite specific examples, with numbers to support his argument, and show photos of houses Unban Miners has deconstructed, and others that weren’t."
Also, "DeRisi holds a master’s degree in resource management as well as a certificate in deconstruction, and has worked locally as an environmental analyst, conservationist and former building contractor. He works alongside a staff of talented others who share a vision for a sustainable future and a commitment to customer service."
Also in the release:: The Pardee-Morris House is one of the oldest surviving historic structures in Connecticut, and listed on the national and state registers of historic places.  The original house, built by Amos Morris circa 1750, was burned by the British during their raid on New Haven on July 5, 1779, and later rebuilt and expanded by the Morris family. In 1918, William S. Pardee, a descendant of the Morris family, willed the property to the New Haven Colony Historical Society, today the New Haven Museum.  Sign up for e-blasts at, or call the New Haven Museum at 203-562-4183
Editor's note: All information and the photos in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Congrats to all who earned degrees at Albertus Magnus College's 92nd commencement

Undergraduate and graduate students from throughout Connecticut received degrees at Albertus Magnus College's 92nd Commencement May 17, the college said in a release.
Shared here, unedited, is the list of graduates provided by the college. Congrats to all:

Ansonia: Mark J. Debinski, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; Leonora Gecaj, MBA; and Sarah Anne Lustig, Master of Arts
Berlin:  Debra L. Davis, Associate of Science, with honors; and Alicia Sarina Formica, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude.

Bethany:  Laura Codeanne, Bachelor of Arts; and Laurie D. Coppola, Master of Science, with honors.

Bloomfield:  Naciki O. Reid, MBA; Tyrikah O. Robertson-Williams, Master of Science, with honors; Marie Y. Robinson, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Lee E. Williams Jr., Bachelor of Science; and Elaine Antoinnette Wilson, Bachelor of Science.

Branford:  Nelida Bonilla, Associate of Science; Elizabeth C. Carrillo, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Heather Marie Cassella, Master of Arts; David J. Christofani, Associate of Science; Michelle M. Colaccio, Associate of Arts; Deborah Finger, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Demian Garcia-Scalici, MBA, with honors; Yvonne Marie Gordon, Master of Arts; Sarah Eleanor Hovick, Master of Arts, with honors; Theresa B. Kinney-Torres, Bachelor of Arts; Brian N. Levchuk, Bachelor of Science; Chasity London, Bachelor of Science; Blair L. McKenna, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Jennifer Ann Narcisco, Master of Arts; Robert F. Noel, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Minh Cong Pham, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; and Veronica Rhodes-Rojas, MBA. 

Bridgeport: Tira S. Bittle, Bachelor of Science; Tyrone Craig Bryan, Bachelor of Science; Juanita C. Buchanan, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; Gloria Dolores Carrasquillo, Bachelor of Arts; Carlos Hernandez, Bachelor of Science; Yah'tese Q. Hopson, Bachelor of Arts; Sandra Janeth Miguel, Associate of Science; Kelly Brian Nesmith, Bachelor of Science; Dakota Denzel Newton,, Bachelor of Science; Katrina Nicole Robinson, Bachelor of Science; Minerva Solano, Master of Science; Analise Sutila, Bachelor of Arts; and Alexandria Norma Wilhoite, MBA.

Bristol: Tiffany H. Chisholm, Master of Science, with honors; Angela Tinella Larue, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Kelly Maher, Master of Science, with honors; and Molly Ann McLaughlin, Master of Arts.

Burlington: Christine Skrzypinski, Bachelor of Science.

Cheshire: Brent R. Couture, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Ryan Matthew Fowler, Bachelor of Arts; Carol R. Parducci, Bachelor of Science; Mette L. Smith, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Robert Taaylor Snow, Bachelor of Science; and Dianna Stapleton-St. Germaine, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude.

Cromwell: Meghan R. Misenti, Bachelor of Arts, and Ruth M. Diaz-Wiatrak, Bachelor of Science.

Danbury: Renee N. Bergen, Bachelor of Science, cum laude, and Douglas Ferreira De Sousa,  Bachelor of Science.

Derby: Vernitia L. Burton, Master of Science, with honors; Autumn Caraglio, Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude; John Hanewicz III, MBA,  with honors; and Alicia K. Leona, Bachelor of Science.

Durham: Meghan Elizabeth McDowell, MBA.

East Hampton: Timothly P. Kearney, MBA; and Stephanie Schneider, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude.
East Hartford:  Shaunda Byrd, Associate of Science;  Tracey Lynn Forbes, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Malcolm E. Freeman Jr., Master of Science, with honors;
Yvette Hughes, Bachelor of Science; Christian A. Moore, Master of Science, with honors;
Timothy A. Martinson, Master of Science; Brandan J. Morgan, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Sabinea Stewart, Associate of Science; and Nancy Araujo Teles, Associate of Science.

East Hartland:  Mary M. Burns, MBA, with honors

East Haven: Alissann Affinito, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Carlee Lynn Brigante, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Jenny Lynn Briggs, Bachelor of Science; Kelly Briggs, MBA; Renee Bureau, Bachelor of Arts; Donna Marie Carranzo, Master of Science, with honors; Joseph R. Celone, Bachelor of Science; Susan Theresa Dalmoura, Bachelor of Arts; Kristopher Daur-Schierholz, Bachelor of Science; Danielle N. Durazzo, Bacher of Arts, magna cum laude; Joseph M. Festa, Bachelor of Science; Jill Annette Franco, Master of Science; Dori Maher, Associate of Arts; Carolyn Marinez, Master of Science, with honors; Ashley Marro, Bachelor of Science; Raymond Andrew Marsico III, Bachelor of Arts; Tracy M. Mingione, MBA, with honors; Melissa Reynolds, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Amanda Sullivan, MBA; Amanda Lynn Volpe, Bachelor of Science; Eugene Raymond Williams, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; and Candice J. Wright, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude.

Enfield:  Nicole Lindsey Boland, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Douglas C. Brown, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; and Billy Lee Hutsell, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude.

Fairfield: Nichole Jordan, Bachelor of Science; and Jenny Reed, Master of Arts. 

Gales Ferry: Kea M. Hicks, MBA.

Glastonbury:  Jaclyn Felicia Binns, MBA, with honors.

Guilford: Beata Brouard, Bachelor Arts; Kimberly Dawn Hall, MBA; Carolyn Ann Matthes, Bachelor of Science; Kelly Proctor, Associate of Science;  and Kelsey Bentley Proctor, Bachelor of Arts.

Haddam:  Howard Brigham Field IV, MBA, with honors.

Hamden:  Aaron L. Askew, Bachelor of Science; Charles Roland Beasley, Bachelor of Science; Erica Schylon Bright, Bachelor of Arts; Sarah Rose Cantafio, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Dwight D. Clemmons, Associate of Science; Peter Dorio, Bachelor of Science; Tracy R. Edwards, Associate of Arts; Nicole Marie Evans, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Nesha C. Fountain, Master of Science, with honors; Derek A. Gaieski, MBA, with honors; Shelly M. Garcia, Associate of Arts; Alanda Garner, Associate of Arts; Gwendolyn M. Harrison, Bachelor of Science; Emily Ann Reim Ifrach, Master of Arts;
Pamela Priest Irving, Bachelor of Arts; Telisha S. Jackson, Bachelor of Science; Shannon Knox, Bachelor of Arts; Monique Lathrop, Bachelor of Arts; Donte A. Lloyd, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Darryl Joe Lyons Jr., Bachelor of Arts; Aura Mererci Martinez, Bachelor of Arts; Kaitlyn Lauren Mathews, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Charmaine M. McDaniels, Bachelor of Science; Christopher Miller, Bachelor of Science; Nelsie N. Mills, Associate of Arts; Aimee Elizabeth Mirto, Bachelor of Arts; Tracie Mitchell, MBA; Sara Elissa Mowery, Bachelor of Arts; Alicia Marie Panayotakis, Associate of Science; Michael N. Pellino, Bachelor of Arts; Vincent J. Purgatore, Bachelor of Science; Daniel Torres, Bachelor of Arts; Tanya Levesque Vitali, Bachelor of Science; Nicholas Amory Walters, MBA; Scott R. Warzecha, Bachelor of Science; and Shontel Tavia Winston, Bachelor of Science.

Hampton: Angela Marie Tracy, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude. 

Hartford: Mary Alexander, Associate of Science; Marlowe Barnes, Master of Science, with honors; Tychel Yevette Blatche, Associate of Science; Celeste Cheatem, Associate of Science; Brenda Colon, Master of Science, with honors; Kea K. Fleming, Bachelor of Science; Jane A. Gentles, Associate of Science; Ramon Gonzalez Jr., Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Julia Monique Johnson, MBA;  Marcus A. Jones, Bachelor of Science; Dane C. McLaren, MBA; Veronica Nieves, Associate of Science;  Diane M. Oten, Associate of Science; Noreen Janet Pe'rez, Master of Science; Jose A. Rendon, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Patricia Roman, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Marquea Danielle Smith, Master of Science; and Rashima V. Tyson, Associate of Science.

Ledyard: Stanley Freeman Harris III, Bachelor of Science.

Madison: Ashley Suzanne Burzenski, Bachelor of Science; and Clare Dube, Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude.

Manchester: Stephanie K. Harvey, Bachelor of Arts; Virginia Shu-Yan Huie Li, Master of Science, with honors; Glyn Liburd, Associate of Science; Kelly Nicole Lierzer, MBA, with honors; Pamela A. McNamara, Bachelor of Science; Yolanda Ortiz, Master of Science;  Alyssa M. Raucci, MBA; and Jill M. Sanford, Master of Science, with honors.

Meriden: Stephanie Allen, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Michael Robert Barillaro, Bachelor of Arts; Robin Ann Butler, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Isabel Cruz, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; William R. Farm, MBA, with honors; Amber Lynn Gratta, Bachelor of Arts; Leroy Harris, Bachelor of Science; Robert Anthony Kuszpa, MBA; Dennis Labonte, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Donna Lynn Langlois, Bachelor of Science; Chanelle L. Moye, Bachelor of Science; Sindey Y. Parker, Bachelor of Arts; Zachary Sokolis, Bachelor of Arts; Kyle R. Soules, Bachelor of Science; Ramiro Torrico,  Master of Arts, with honors; and Lynn Mary Tylec, Bachelor of Arts.

Middletown:  Christie Alison Arnold, Associate of Science, with honors; Latoris L. Askew-Taylor, Associate of Science; Ashlee Marie Astwood, Associate of Science; Susan Z. Devany, Master of Science; Amy Elizabeth King, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude;
Jerome W. Lorde, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Ryan Pierson, Master of Science, with honors; Nathaniel K. Simmons, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; and Wakine Kimyatta West, Master of Science, with honors.

Milford: Craig P. Barry, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Jeanette M. Call, Master of Science, with honors; Jason J. Domena, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Peter H. Eschweiler, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Erica Lynn Hatrick, Master of Arts;
Joseph D. Ineson, Bachelor of Science; Taylor Jagoe, Bachelor of Science; Ariella L. Jimenez, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; Alyssia Jimenez, Bachelor of Arts; Dawn Renee David-Langston, Master of Science; Arlene C. Lawrence, Master of Science, with honors; Erin McNemar, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Jody E. Mihalek, MBA, with honors; Maria Negron-Tosado, Bachelor of Arts; Paris O'Banner, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; Shaneka L. Ratchford, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; John F. Robinson, Master of Science; Jaime Eugenio Sanz, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Melvin L. Saunders III, MBA; Stefanie Stevens Seslar, Master of Arts, with honors; Stephanie Strosahl, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Michael T. Sweeney, Bachelor of Arts; Raymond Thomas Testo Jr., Master of Science; Marney Tyrrell, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; and Meghan Williams, Bachelor of Arts.

Monroe:  Alexis Lynn Cornut, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Katie E. Provencher, MBA. with honors; Carlos Alberto Reinoso Jr., Master of Science; and Annmarie Simmons, Associate of Science.

Naugatuck: Patricia Fontes Hernandez, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Allison Langella, MBA; Arber Mehmedi, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Riker John Mitchell, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Richard Arthur Mitchell, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Jillian Powell-Rothbauer, Bachelor of Arts; and Reynold Ali, Master of Arts, with honors.

New Britain:  Kim M. Black, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Richard Downey, Master of Arts; Jonathan Medina, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Celestine Adele Schwenneker, Master of Science; Susan K, Sirotnak, Master of Science; and Damaris Ortiz, Bachelor of Science, cum laude.

New Hartford: Gary R. Marconi, MBA with honors.

New Haven: Gricel Aguilar, Bachelor of Science; Tamika Alexander, Bachelor of Arts; Earl   Ali-Randall, Bachelor of Arts; Holly Ammons, Bachelor of Arts; Maria Alanna Arnold, Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude; Crystal Marie Ayala, Bachelor of Arts; Omuni M. Barnes, Associate of Arts; Courtney L. Barr, Bachelor of Arts; Pamela C. Bess, Bachelor of Science; Tasha Blow, Bachelor of Arts; Demetra E. Boyd-Barr, Associate of Science; Selime Bozan, Associate of Science; Toshema Denise Brooks, Bachelor of Science; Gretta Isabelle Buick, Master of Science, with honors; Lamar Brown-Poole, Associate of Arts; Brian Davis Callaghan, Bachelor of Arts; Me'Shea Carmichael-Marks, MBA, with honors; Cody R. Ceotto, Bachelor of Science; Ricardo Charles, Bachelor of Arts; Tamarra Clark, Bachelor of Science; Russell Chidinma Claver-Obinna, Bachelor of Arts; Renee B. Clemons, Bachelor of Science; Jewell P. Cody, Master of Science; Ronald Coker, Bachelor of Arts; James Edward Cousins, Master of Science; M. Alexander Cuevas, MBA; Patricia A. Dawson, Master of Science; Angela Marlene Daye, Associate of Arts; Shaila L. Diaz, Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude; Michelle Downer Archer, Associate of Science; Ruth Celeste Drullard, Bachelor of Arts; Delana Katrece Dukes, Bachelor of Science; Jacqueline Ebron, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Lalla Khadija     El-Hazimy, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Tiant S. Ellison, Bachelor of Arts; Regina Felder, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Sheila Latoya Garcia, Bachelor of Science; Mary E. Gates, Bachelor of Science; Teresa A. Gregory, Master of Science; Karissa Nicole Hammond, Master of Science; Tara Heard, Bachelor of Arts; Ashley Dorothy Richardson, Master of Science; Samantha Lynn Holman, Master of Fine Arts; Shainetta D. Jackson, Bachelor of Arts; Brandon W. James, Bachelor of Arts; Sonja Johnson-Byers, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Danyelle Monique Jones, MBA; Shayna Kendall, Bachelor of Arts; David Kennedy, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Evelyn Denise Massey, Associate of Arts; Kamaria Kesi Mateen, Bachelor of Science; Melissa Lynn Mathews, Associate of Science; Janet McCarter, Associate of Science; Sheilah Michelle McCray-Fields, Bachelor of Science; Marilyn Faye McCreary, Bachelor of Science; Lisa McDowell-Kellman, MBA; Niyobe Jill McMillian, Bachelor of Science; Zenobia Miller, Master of Science; Parris R.oore, Bachelor of Arts; Obadiah J. Muhammad, Bachelor of Arts; Jessica Lynn Murphy, Bachelor of Science; Shagunna Renee Muse, MBA; Leiyanie Osorio, Bachelor of Arts; Olivia R. Palmer, MBA; Yusimil Perez, Bachelor of Arts; Christopher Michael Pfeffer, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Keith Porter, Associate of Science; Violet Raines, Bachelor of Science; Anthony Reyes, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Deborah Reynes-Quinones, Bachelor of Arts; Cheryl Ruppel, Master of Arts; Glenn Scheneman, MBA, with honors; Minecia T. Scott, Master of Science; Stacey Michelle Sheffield-Jenkins, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Nathan Lorenzo Smith, Bachelor of Arts; Gina Suggs, Associate of Arts; Toccarra Thomas, Associate of Science; Carmen C. Valencia-White, Bachelor of Science; Marylin Vega, Bachelor of Science; Katherine Viera, MBA; Nicole E. Wade, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Rebecca Weinberger, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; John Williams, MBA; and William Franklyn Wynn Jr., Bachelor of Science.

Newington:  Michael E. Costa, MBA, with honors; Nathaniel C. Fish, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; James Gaglione, Master of Science, with honors; Darmar Andre Jenkins, MBA; Glenn Francis Johnson II, Bachelor of Science; Colette Ann Kingsbury-Rich, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Bryan K. Soucy, Associate of Science; and Brittney Urciuoli, Bachelor of Arts.

Niantic:  Susan J. Hahn, Bachelor of Science.

North Branford:  Jason M. Carolla, Bachelor of Science;  Michael Clark, Bachelor of Science; Michelle Catherine Cox, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Katherine M. Murdock, MBA;  Kelsey Ninteau, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; and Anthony Sidera Jr., magna cum laude.

North Haven:  Jessica L. Beauton, Bachelor of Arts; Daniel J. Boney, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Angela Catalano, Bachelor of Science; Deborah A. DelVecchio, Master of Arts; Jannette Domingo-Leighton, Bachelor of Science; Thomas Andrew Drennen, Bachelor of Arts;  Robyn J. Fisher, Associate of Arts; Lindsey Laudano, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; Alicia Marie Palmer, Bachelor of Arts; Lucia Panico, MBA; Francisco J. Ponce, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; and Cristie A. Rafter-Amato, Bachelor of Science, cum laude. 

Northford:  Amelia Luisa Giordano, Master of Arts; Kevin J. Glenn, Master of Arts, with honors; Gabriele Antonio Scala Jr., Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Erica Stone, Bachelor of Arts; and Christina M. Umlauf, MBA.

Norwalk:  Dexter Howard Eccleston, Master of Science, with honors; Davida L.Lara, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; and Jessica Jane Lynch, Master of Arts.

Oakville:  Christopher Nicholas Saunders, Bachelor of Arts.

Old Saybrook:  Leigh William Gesick, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude.

Orange:  John James Pritchard, Bachelor of Science.

Plainville:  Christie L. Egan, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude;  and Rebecca Lynn Slivinsky, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude.

Portland:  Susan Erica Dunkerley-Squier, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude.

Rocky Hill:  Kristen Nicole DeCarli, MBA, with honors; and Chelsea Lee Mott, MBA.

Seymour:  Kevin Lawrence Caplik, Master of Science; Cynthia J. Carlson, Master of Science, with honors; and Marlene Guzman, Master of Science.

Shelton:  John F. Amatuzzi, Bachelor of Science; Lindsley Barrett, Bachelor of Arts; Cody P.
Dalling, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Christopher Garrity, Bachelor of Science; Carlos Rene Lara, Bachelor of Science; Joan E. Mauri, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude;  Elizabeth A. Taska, Associate of Science; and Stephanie Tristine, Bachelor of Science.

Simsbury:  Daniel J. Blair, Associate of Science, with honors.

South Windsor:  Lauren E. Bousquet, Bachelor of Science; Talisa L. Palmer, Associate of Science; and Allison Elizabeth Tardif, Master of Arts.

Southbury:  Matthew Patrick Reyher, Master of Science.

Southington: Katherine Mary Kopcha, Master of Arts.

Sterling:  Courtney Meek, Master of Arts, with honors.

Storrs:  Caroline Corinne Evans Abbott, Bachelor of Arts.

Stratford:  Robert E. Day Jr., Bachelor of Science; Tammy Lee Hanna, Master of Science, with honors; Jennifer Ann Hudson, Master of Fine Arts, with honors; Vanessa Raquel Medina, Bachelor of Science; Anthony George Mongillo, MBA; Shannon Murphy, MBA; Haleigh Pallock, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Christine Elizabeth Simon,  summa cum laude;Jamie Nichole Vesciglio, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; and Richard Victor Wlodarski, Master of Science, with honors.

Terryville: Anyssa Michelle Green, Associate of Science; Scott A. Pare, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; and Meaghan Skidmore, MBA, with honors.

Tolland: Benjamin T. Christensen, Master of Fine Arts, with honors.

Torrington:  Joseph J. Colasurdo, MBA; and Gissella Jasuirkowski, Bachelor of Science.

Trumbull:  Glenys Leight Teixeira, Bachelor of Science; and Julian J. Sanders, Bachelor of Arts.

Unionville:  Jodi Lee Jenkins, MBA; Jennifer Rea McCarthy, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; and Yender O. Salazar, Bachelor of Science, cum laude.

Vernon:  Paula Beth Krutt, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Joseph A. Lastrina, Associate of Science; and Rance Tykari Nelson, Bachelor of Science.

Wallingford:  Ana Raquel Aleman, Bachelor of Science; Amanda Alexandria Barney, Master of Science; Christine M. Donahe, Bachelor of Science; Jason David England, MBA;
Stephen James Frank, Bachelor of Science; Jean Iannuzzi, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Kevin R. Jorgensen, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; Ashley R. McArthur, MBA; Kyle Michael Mischke, MBA, with honors; Taylor Murray, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Cynthia E. Pomerleau, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Alexis Viola Thomasi, Bachelor of Arts; Danielle Marie Thuerling, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; and Danielle Wollschlager, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude.

Waterbury:  Ricky L. Curtis Jr., Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Alexander De La Peza, MBA; Raina Elyse Hall, Bachelor of Arts; Jason Hesbach, Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude; Lemar Larsen Jr., Bachelor of Science; Andreina Manzueta, MBA, with honors;
Peter John Stevens, Master of Science, with honors; and Leanna Velez, Bachelor of Arts.

West Hartford: Ordette Belnavis, Master of Science; Constance Yvonne Dunlap, Master of Science; Michael Scott Lacouture, Bachelor of Science; Adrienne R. Maker, Associate of Science, with honors; Miguel Marrero III, Associate of Science;  and Nnamdi A. Nwachuku, Master of Science.

West Haven:  Betsy Allen-Jean, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Natalie Boyd, MBA;  Tina Burton, Bachelor of Science;  Tameka L. Caesar, Associate of Arts; Lauralee Candelario, Bachelor of Arts; Alicia M. Ciolino, Bachelor of Science;  Braxton D. Darden, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; Laurence S. Dortenzio, MBA, with honors; D'Nai S. Dubose, Master of Fine Arts; Kenneth P. Eccleston III, Bachelor of Science; Elizabeth Estrada, Bachelor of Arts; Amelia Fekieta, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; Whitney E. Finnegan, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Gary Gamarra, Bachelor of Arts; Elizabeth Cresta Gilliam, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Barbara D. Greene, Bachelor of Science; Rosiland C. Hennah, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Kelli Hurley, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; Anna B. Correia Kirby, Bachelor of Science; Kent Luong, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; Elaina Marie Maio, Bachelor of Arts; Daniel R. Martins, Bachelor of Science; Tameika Le'Shawn Morrison, Bachelor of Science; Kimone I. Nicholson, Bachelor of Science; Jessica Marie Przybylowski,, Bachelor of Arts; Wanda Razor-Edwards, Bachelor of Science; Anthony L. Reeves, Master of Science; Nicholas P. Riccio,
Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Andre J. Robinson, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Marquis Rodgers, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Sharnez Samuel, Bachelor of Arts; Vanessa Smith, Master of Science; April D. Snell, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude; William M. Speight III, Bachelor of Science; Thomas L. Taylor Jr., Bachelor of Science; Timothy J. Tilley II, MBA; Douglas J. Turcotte III, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude;  Juliana Marie Vaccaro, Master of Science; Breanna Marie Wajnowski, Master of Science, with honors; and Christopher Omar Whynes, Associate of Science.

Westbrook:  Patricia Ward, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude.

Wethersfield:  Jason Erick Allen, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Matthew Martin Evans, Bachelor of Science; Kimberly Heil, Master of Arts; Elsa Hernandez, MBA; Micah Nathaniel Kerr, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; and Damaris Rivera, Bachelor of Science.

Windsor: Sharon Berger, Bachelor of Science; Geoffrey Grace, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Jacqueline Pagan John, Bachelor of Science, cum laude; Aaron Thomas Jubrey, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Paul Michael Lepak, Master of Science; Brian McDonnell Nelson, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude; Leonie Wahi Soumahoro, MBA; and Tanya Darcell Williams, Master of Science.

Windsor Locks:  Jessica D.Suarez, Associate of Science; and Barry A. Albert, Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude.

 Wolcott:  Deborah Mary Christoff, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude; Benjamin Taylor Conroy, Bachelor of Arts; Michael J. Kelly, MBA, with honors; and Matthew John Sheehan, Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude.

Woodbridge: Melissa Amy Greenberg, Master of Arts, with honors; Meaghan Lee Hudson, Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude; and Patrick Thomas Kenefick, Bachelor of Arts.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

'Walking tour of Gay New Haven for June Gay Pride Month'

All great
adventures begin with a first step
NEW HAVEN---The Elm City "has a rich gay history that is unknown to most area residents," according to a release and "The New Haven Pride Center is featuring a 90 minute walking tour that takes walkers to key locations around the nine squares to reveal that queer people have been making history here for more than 350 years." 

"Guests will see where Cole Porter got a kick from Champagne, where the Doors’ front man Jim Morrison was bloodied and arrested, where Bette Davis had a bumpy night, where Judy and Liza played both sides of College Street, where frisky freshmen went subterranean for their meet and greets, and where Connecticut’s first public gay execution occurred in 1646," the release said.


The tour will be led by John D. Allen, founder and current co-president of New Haven Pride Center, the release said. "Dr. Allen has been chronicling Connecticut’s gay history for more than 20 years and invites guests to take a peek into New Haven’s closet."  

The walking tour, which is one of several events to commemorate June Gay Pride Month, takes place 11 a.m.12:30 p.m., June 20, rain or shine. The tour is free and open to all. Guests should plan to meet at the New Haven Pride Center, 84 Orange St., according to the release.
Questions? Email or visit

Friday, June 5, 2015

Diaper Drive by Executive Group in Wallingford

John Orsini from the Executive Auto Group in Wallingford continues to support the local community and the business again donated diapers and baby wipes to Elm City Women and Children's Program owned by Connection, Inc., according to a release.
"Elm City Women and Children houses women and children and provides the necessary services to assist in a better future for moms and their children," the release said.
Tony Croce, who has coordinated toy drives and diaper drives in the past, said, also in the release "John Orsini owner of Executive (Auto) Group Wallingford has been a consistent donor to the less fortunate. John Orsini always steps to the plate and does it with passion."
Croce's daughter Amanda Croce coordinated the drop off, the release said.
"I am hoping my daughter will continue to be of service to her community," said Tony Croce.

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Orange Historical Society shop open Saturdays

Photo by Helen Bennett
ORANGE - June is here and it's time to think about the brides in your life and that
most important gift for the occasion, according to the Orange Historical Society

Also, don't forget the bridesmaids and junior bridesmaid, as "the Orange Historical Society Academy Museum Antique Shop has a wonderful selection of gifts for this unforgettable day," the release said..

"The shop has  a selection  for all occasions" and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday at the Academy Museum Shop  at 605 Orange Center Road. (Across from the town Green)

For more information, call: 203 795-3106

“The Beauty Around Us” on Display Through June

 A collection of original photography called, "The Beauty Around Us" by Stratford artist Kathleen Barron, is the current art exhibit through June 2015 at the Stratford Library, according to a release
The showing is free and open to the public and one of many art exhibits offered annually at the Library, according o the release.
"Originally from Long Beach, California, Kathleen Barron moved to the Lordship section of Stratford shortly after her graduation. This is her first exhibit at the Library," the release said.
Viewing hours for “The Beauty Around Us” are Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday & Saturday:  10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the release said. 
The art exhibit will continue through June 30 and is in the Main Lobby of the Stratford Library, 2203 Main St. in Stratford, Connecticut.
For more information call the library’s Public Relations & Programming Office at 203.385.4162 or visit:
Photo Caption:  Original photography by Stratford artist Kathleen Barron will be on display at the Stratford Library through June.

Monday, June 1, 2015

West Haven Twilight League to hold 'Mario Peruzzi Special Olympics Day'

From the WHTL calendar
The West Haven Twilight League will hold its 2nd annual Mario Peruzzi Special Olympics Day beginning with an opening ceremony at 12:30 p.m. June 13 at Quigley Stadium in West Haven, according to a release.
“At 12:30 (p.m.)we would like the members of the Special Olympics to join our players on the field for warm-up time and a special tribute to Mario and the Olympians” said Lisa Antonecchia, Marketing Director West Haven Twilight League, in the release, “we will then all sing the National Anthem in his honor, and then play ball.”
 The West Haven Twilight League then will face off at 1 p.m.

"Mario John Peruzzi, a longtime friend of the West Haven Twilight League and the Special Olympics passed away unexpectedly May 6, 2014," the release said.  "Mario was a coach for the Special Olympics for many years and was active with the   West Haven Twilight League at all of the regular season games and special events, his outstanding support of two amazing CT sports institutions is the catalyst for this event."
 “Our 1st event last year was a fantastic success we hope that event more people will come out to support this wonderful event and help to raise money for the West Haven Special Olympics Team.” said Vin DiLauro president, West Haven Twilight League, also in the release.

WHTL accepts donations at their games, there is no ticket price, but for this special event the league is asking Special Olympians to Donate $1 in Mario’s name and other fans to donate $5 in Mario’s name, the release said.
The concession stand will also be open for people to purchase food.
Proceeds from the event will go to the West Haven Special Olympics and to Mario’s Family. 
For more information contact Director of Marketing Lisa Antonecchia at, donations can be mailed directly to the West Haven Twilight League at PO Box 7564, New Haven, CT 06519

Read the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling

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