Friday, September 25, 2015

Address by Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. to Quinnipiac University

 Quinnipiac University conferred an honorary degree in humane letters Thursday to Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

Watch the speech or read it as prepared for delivery below.

Birds of Haiti and Connecticut - Migrators and Locals

The "Birds of Haiti and Connecticut - Migrators and Locals" is the theme of the program from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Essex Town Hall auditorium, West Avenue, according to a release.
the event is sponsored Sister Cities Exxex Haiti. The public is invited and admission is free, the release said.
The speaker, Sister Cities Essex Haiti Board member and Professor  Bob Lamothe, "is an avid photographer and ornithologist," the release said. "His interest in birds began as a youngster.  He was fascinated by their communication skills; different calls for different reasons."

"At a young age Bob realized roosters would give a specific warning signal to the hens to take shelter when a hawk appeared overhead.  That led to deeper observations of all sorts of birds in Haiti.  He continued that interest when he moved to (Connecticut) and focused and honed much of his photographic skills on birds and their activities."
Further, "Bob found that many of the birds he knew in Haiti were here in (Connecticut) as well, either as permanent residents of both areas or as migrating birds.  He has a vast collection of photos of birds that are unique to each area.  Bob’s passion for ornithology and photography combine to make this an outstanding talk."
For more information call 860-767-3181.

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

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Scandinavian Dance party in New Haven

NEW HAVEN - A Scandinavian Dance, with live music from with John Parejko & friends will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Sept. 27 at 1253 Whitney Ave., Hamden, according to a release.

The event will includes dance lessons with Jennifer and  Laine at 3 and 4 p.m., dancing from 4 to 7 p.m. and a potluck supper from 7 to 8 p.m., the release said.

Jen and Laine “have been dancing Scandinavian dances for a long, long time and love to share them,” the release said. “This is a very special opportunity to hear a fine fiddler, John Parejko, and friends, while John is still local.”

General admission is $10, students, seniors, and 1253 members are $5; and there is no charge for those younger than 18, the release said.





Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"Make every day Peace Day"

A Peace Day celebration was held in New Haven and East Haven this week. See photos here. See coverage by WTNH New 8 here.
These are the remarks of participant Wayne Andrighetti, who spokes at the city observance at City Hall:
Thank you, city of New Haven for asking me to fill in today for Clifton Graves, who was called away on city business.  My name is Wayne Andrighetti, and I work with the NGO Peace Teams. On behalf of the Secretary-General and the United Nations, thanks to all of you in attendance. Each of you are here today because the concept of peace means something to you.
This year’s theme for the International Day of Peace is Partnerships for Peace- Dignity for All. There could not be a more important message to convey to the world, especially as we watch videos each day of conflict-fleeing refugees, being beaten, detained and dying, all for the chance to live in peace.
Franklin D Roosevelt summed up the concept of “Dignity for All” in his Four Freedoms speech in 1941. He stated that “we look forward to a world founded upon four essential freedoms. They were:
First, Freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world
Second, freedom to worship God in your own way – everywhere in the world
Third, Freedom from want, economic opportunities for all that allows people to provide for their families - everywhere in the world
And fourth, freedom from fear,  and I quote, “which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor-- anywhere in the world”
Most wars are fought because one party feels that they do not have one or more of those four freedoms.
While we, here today, may not be able to change the world, we do have an opportunity each day to make the changes that have a positive impact to peace in our community. Whether that be helping an unemployed person find work that pays a living wage, so they can provide for their family, or providing forums for people with disparate views to have civil discussions that lead to solutions, or stopping racism or bullying when we see it, or providing support and understanding for undocumented aliens, each and every one of us has opportunity to make our little corner of the world a better place.
In closing, I ask each and every one of you to take a moment and think of something that you can do to help others feel that they are being treated with dignity- and then act on it.  It has to start somewhere.
Make every day Peace Day. The world is counting on you.

Monday, September 21, 2015

What's coming up at Massaro Community Farm in Woodbridge.

There is a lot going on at the Massaro Community Farm.  41 Ford Road, Woodbridge, Connecticut.
The following is shared here unedited a s a public service:
Fall Session of Kids Dig Farms: Get your child unplugged and outdoors through this hands-on farm program. Kids will learn fall farming basics , the role of food preservation, make a harvest pizza, prepare for seasonal transformation, plant garlic and more. Snacks included. $110/Woodbridge residents; $120/non-residents. Runs every Monday from 9/21-11/16, 3:30-5:30pmREGISTER HERE.
Exploring Climate Change Adaptation Strategies through CT Agriculture: This workshop, taking place this Wednesday, September 23 from 5:00-7:00pm, will offer attendees a chance to explore and share strategies to help farms cope with the challenges of climate change associated with drought, heat stress, excessive moisture, longer growing seasons, unpredictable weather, and changes in pest pressure.  Participants will also learn about State and Federal programs that can help them adapt, including conservation programs, risk management tools, and crop insurance products. Current examples and techniques from the Massaro Farm will be discussed. REGISTER HERE.  Bring a potluck dish or snack to share for a social time with beginning and experienced organic farmers.
The Basics of Essential Oils:  Join class leader Kristin Gholson this coming Saturday, September 26 at 10:00am as she leads us through the basics of using essential oils at home. Attendees will receive a basic overview of essential oils and how they can be used for home health care, clearning & gardening. Attendees will also receive a product buying guide and get to assemble & take home a jar of detox bath salts! There will be some essential oils door prizes; bring a friend for an extra chance to win! $10/pp at the door includes class & all materials. REGISTER HERE.
Family Fun Day, Saturday October 3 1:00-5:00pm (rain date October 4): Visit the farm for our annual fall extravaganza! At this family-friendly event you can ride a hay wagon, get your face painted, paint a pumpkin, plant some garlic, play corn hole, play tug of war or try your hand (or leg) at sack races, and much much more! This year we are also very happy to host the Woodbridge Rotary who will be registering kids for Amber Alerts. Parents will greatly appreciate this FREE service of having vital information on hand in case of an emergency. This year's event is part of Woodbridge Day, a town-wide celebration including a road race, car show, and scarecrow celebration. $10/family. Food available for purchase. Those interested in volunteering their time & talents in leading a game or craft should contact Caty Poole at (203) 736-8618 or via email at

Friday, September 11, 2015

Job Search Boot Camp Special Event

An event featuring Mike Fazio of Workforce 180, and titled “Selling Yourself at Job Fairs and Interviews,” will be presented at no charge from 9:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 24 at the Blackstone Library,
758 Main St., Branford by Workforce Alliance / CTWorks, according to a release.
 Fazio is a "nationally known speaker on high level workforce development and employment issues." the release said.

Resume critique and LinkedIn profile reviews and profile photos will be done onsite by trained CTWorks staff.

To register, email or call the Library: (203) 488-1441.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sikorsky’s 10th Annual Motorcycle Ride and Classic Car Show benefits Wounded Warrior Project

STRATFORD ---Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. will hold its 10th annual Motorcycle Ride and Classic Car show to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, United Way and Community Health Charities, Sept. 13, at the company’s campus, 6900 Main St.
The Wounded Warrior Project began more than a decade ago, starting as a program to provide comfort to wounded military service members and growing into a rehabilitative effort to help wounded service members recover and transition back to civilian life, according to a release.
The scenic, two-hour ride will wind through seven area towns, covering more than 60 miles, the release said.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. in the Sikorsky parking lot, and the ride kicks off at 9 a.m.
The cost is $20 per rider and $5 for each passenger. Breakfast is included for both the rider and passengers, the release said.
To display a classic car, truck or motorcycle, registration begins at 9 a.m. The car show runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost to enter a car is $20.
General admission is $5 and children younger than 12 are admitted at no charge.
After the ride, there will be food vendors and live music, the release said. A portion of the proceeds from food sales will also go to the various charities Sikorsky supports.

For more information about the event email

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Grapes, history and jam

The staff at the historic Stone-Otis House, over the years, has made grape jelly from the vine in back of the 1830 homestead, but this year, without any attention from the gardeners, the vine has flourished and found its way here and there, according to a release.

Recently, Jan Clarke and Orange Historical Society President Ginny Reinhard cut the grape clusters, which totaled more than 30 pounds, the greatest yield ever seen produced by the vine, the release said., Normally when making one jelly batch, 6 pints are produced. Each batch produced 10, 8 ounce jars, the release said.

“It is understood that Mr. Dennis Stone, planted the vine where it is located, using a letter to his nephews, Fred and Clark Stone, to send him some shoots as he had moved to Twelve Mile Creek in Kansas in the mid 1800's to help his son, Legrand start a community of New Haven families there,” the release said.

“Since Mrs. (Sarah) Stone had died earlier, we can assume that the grapes, in Kansas, would be for wine but…can imagine that while her children were growing up that she too made jelly, maybe even jam.”

Society members are “sure Mr. Stone would be very happy to know that the Orange Historical Society has kept his precious plant alive and well.  It has not been neglected over the years but this year, it did itself proud, all by itself,” the release said.

The Stone-Otis House will be open Oct. 3 and Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment by calling  203-795-3106.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Workshop aims to improve reading, comprehension skills

A workshop, led by education specialist Rick Bolton, "brings together the latest research and best practices to show everyone from elementary school students to senior citizens how to dramatically improve their reading speed and comprehension," starting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Fairfield Public Library, according to a release.

 "Although reading is a skill that needs to be developed, most people do not materially improve their reading ability after age 12. This program is guaranteed to show how anyone, with just a few hours of training, can learn to increase their reading speed from 50 to 200 (percent) while also improving comprehension," the release said.

This program also will be offered at the Library at 10 a.m. Sept. 19 in the Memorial
Room at the Main Library.

Presenter Rick Bolton has been working in education and training since 1999, most recently as vice
president, North America for Tycoon Systems, "a leader in business simulation and gamification
technologies for executive leadership training," the release said. 

Bolton  is currently completing his doctorate in Educational Leadership at Southern Connecticut State University, the release said.  His dissertation "explores many of the causal factors that determine success on standardized tests, including the dynamics of reading," the release said.

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

Wild about flowers!

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