Monday, August 31, 2015

Tips on preventing 'distraction' burglaries, courtesy New Haven police

New Haven police on Monday took the time to remind residents here and everywhere that: "Thieves will do whatever they can to take what isn’t theirs and there’s a growing trend that people need to know about. ‘Distraction Burglaries’ have been perpetrated in the past but seem to have become a more popular method these days."
"The crime involves a conspiracy and a trusting victim. Here’s how it works; A man approaches a woman who’s gardening in her front yard. He engages her in conversation. Perhaps he claims to be a contractor who could clean her gutters. The two walk around the house to the back yard. He points to the roof line and keeps the unsuspecting woman involved in the bogus inspection. Meanwhile, the home is being ransacked by the man’s associates who’ve easily made it inside through the open front door. Sound familiar? Such a burglary took place this past Spring. Other more common methods are perpetrated by the phony utility worker, census taker, magazine salesman or any number of characters who are experts at making you drop your guard." 
The NHPD urges residents not to be fooled, "These scoundrels most often pray on the elderly but any trusting person is fair game."
Remember: "Good locks, bright lights, active block watches and some common sense can prevent most property crimes."
The following "tips on how to prevent distraction burglaries and scams" is courtesy NHPD spokesman Officer David Hartman (posted as a public service here and unedited).

  • Utility workers rarely need access inside your home. If they do, it’s likely arranged by appointment.
  • Utility workers are most often in uniform.
  • Utility workers always carry company issued photo identification.
  • Utility workers drive company vehicles bearing their logos
  • Never allow someone you don’t know and trust into your home. Call the utility company and/ or Police if you suspect someone to be misrepresenting themselves.
  • If a suspicious person confronts you at your home, don’t open the door. Take a good look at the suspect and report his or her description to Police. Include any vehicle description and direction of travel as well.
  • Notify your neighbors or block watch group of suspicious people in your neighborhood.
  • An increase in reported utility scams nationwide involves callers claiming to represent utility companies, demanding payment for a past-due balance through a prepaid card, and threatening to shut off service if payment is not received.
  • This is an attempt at fraud. Some of the attempts have included emails and phone calls. Our local utility companies discourage all customers from providing personal, confidential information to any unknown party. Please report suspicious calls or other types of contact to the Police or Federal Trade Commission.
  • Never turn over payment in any form to anyone at your home. Utility company associates do not accept payment outside of their offices.


UIL Utility Contact Numbers:
• UI: 800-722-5584 (800-7-CALL-UI).
• SCG: 800-513-8898
• CNG: 860-524-8361
• Berkshire: 800-292-5012


Here are some tips on how to prevent burglaries:

  • Report suspicious people and vehicles to Police and your neighbors
  • Keep doors & windows secured with good quality locks
  • Add window casement locks or locking pin to keep windows ‘cracked’ a bit
  • Secure window air conditioners to the sash and sill
  • Set your burglar alarm – even when you’re at home
  • Keep porch lights on all night
  • Use motion sensors lights for driveways and back yards
  • Trim back trees & shrubbery
  • Never let strangers into your home
  • Demand and verify identification of utility co. associates, poll takers & sales people.
  • Make your home look occupied. Time lights, radios & televisions
  • Avoid hiding keys outside. Give a spare to a trusted friend
  • Never attach personal information to your key ring
  • Arrange for mail pick up if away for more than a few days
  • Maintain a clearly visible house number so emergency personnel can find you
  • Keep valuables in a hidden secure spot or bank safety deposit box
  • Get to know your neighbors
  • Report nonworking street lights and tree canopies that are below the lights
  • Engrave property with your phone number. Record serial numbers
  • Don’t ignore audible alarms. Call the Police
  • Keep all firearms out of sight and locked up
  • Don’t leave ladders outside your home


  • Set appropriate privacy settings on social media sites and check them often. If you must post vacation pictures, do so after you’ve returned.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Haven Bereavement Care Network to hold increase the peace rally

NEW HAVEN >> Bereavement Care Network, Inc. will hold its 3rd annual "Decrease the Violence Increase the Peace" march and rally beginning at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 26 at the Charles Street Substation at 26 Charles St., organizers said in a release.

The march will proceed to the Dixwell Q-House and carry over to the side of the building at Wexler Grant Field. The rally begins at 2 p.m. The rain date for the event is Oct. 3.

Bereavement Care Network is working bring communities together, to form a network of individuals/groups to work toward solutions to stop violence in the city, while assisting families as they manage the grief of losing a loved one, founder Nakia N. Dawson said in the release.

There will be speakers, performances, and vendors, Dawson said. “This will be a time for our young people to come (in) fellowship together in peace.”

Organizations seeking to have an information booth or become a vendor should R.S.V.P. no later than Sept. 5, with group/organization’s name and number of participants. Confirm via email at, or call  203-589-5538.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mystic Aquarium: Snapping turtle conservation efforts highlighted with crittercam deployment

OLD LYME - "A group of scientists, researchers, dignitaries and students converged on the Tributary Mill Conservancy" Thursday "to highlight conservation efforts of Connecticut’s snapping  turtle population," according to a release.

"The day’s activities commenced with a discussion by representatives of a conservation partnership on the current status of Connecticut’s snapping turtle population and the conservation efforts currently underway," the release said

The partners include Mystic Aquarium, Tributary Mill Conservancy, National Geographic, Department of Energy and Environmental  Protection and Arcadia University, the release said.

Among dignitaries at the event was state Rep. Matthew Lesser, D– Middletown, who "has spearheaded legislation for the protection of snapping turtles. The recent protections set aside by state government for snapping turtles have provided a strong foundation; however, additional protection is the key to the conservation of the species," the release said.

“[We are] moving forward on more and bolder steps to protect Connecticut’s remaining snapping turtles but we need to have the data to let science speak to inform our policy makers about what we need to do to protect this important part of our ecosystem,” Lesser said, also in the release.

The following parts of the release re shared unedited here:

A first-hand account of the project and partnerships was provided by Dr. Tracy Romano, Chief Scientist & Vice President of Research-Mystic Aquarium; Greg Marshall, National Geographic Fellow/Research; Tobias Landberg, assistant professor at Arcadia University; and Dr. Allison Tuttle, Vice President of Biological Programs - Mystic Aquarium.

A health assessment was demonstrated by the Aquarium’s animal care team followed by a crittercam deployment which highlighted an informative morning of conservation and science. Greg Marshall, National Geographic Fellow/Research Associate, developed Crittercam-a video acquisition system aimed at providing insight to animal behavior.

This small camera is carefully mounted on an animal to provide scientists with valuable information about the creature and its environment. The goal is to learn as much as possible about the turtles in hopes of protecting them for generations to come.

Video footage from Thursday’s deployment will be collected and studied by the collective panel as it becomes available.

All of the partners involved are working together to help protect CT’s snapping turtles and to engage and recruit students of all ages to help with protecting the turtles and their environment.

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

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Free Day at Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History Aug. 29

Contributed photo
Summer’s Last Roar in New Haven
NEW HAVEN -  The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History will hold its sixth annual end-of-summer free admission day, “Summer’s Last Roar,” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 29,  at the museum at 170 Whitney Ave., according to a release.
"A fun day is planned that includes puppet shows, interpretive science and door prizes. All galleries will be open to the public," the release said.
"Interpretive guides will be stationed throughout the day in the featured exhibition, 'Samurai and the Culture of Japan’s Great Peace,'" the release said. 
"Local high school students in the Peabody’s Sci.CORPS Museum Interpreter Program, a division of the Museum’s after-school EVOLUTIONS program, will demonstrate objects from the collections in several exhibition halls, encouraging visitors to touch real fossils and artifacts. An instant winner game will give everyone a chance to win a prize. "
Puppeteer Betty Baisden will do two performances of "Roxi and the Samurai," created for the event, the release said. "Roxi Fox explores Japanese history as he travels back in time to Tokagawa, Japan where he gets a visit from an 18th century Japanese" warrior.  "Roxi encounters a desperate crab family, an angry shogun ruler, and a perplexed puppeteer as he tries to solve everyone’s problems." Show times are 11 a.m. and noon.
There is free parking in the Peabody lot and adjacent Yale lots. The entrance is one block north of the museum at the intersection of Whitney and Humphrey Streets.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

DEEP announces (private property) deer bow hunting on Sundays

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said in a release that as of Oct. 1 "bow hunting on Sundays during the private land archery deer season will be permitted in most deer management zones in the state – except for those in north central Connecticut."

“This new opportunity for hunters will support DEEP efforts to maintain healthy deer populations and ecosystems,” Rick Jacobson, DEEP Wildlife Division director, said in the release.  “When the density of the deer population in a given area is too high – as it is in much of the state – it is not healthy for deer, other species, or forest lands.”

The General Assembly this year approved Public Act 15-204, "An Act Authorizing Bow and Arrow Hunting on Certain Private Property on Sundays," the release said. 
"This new law authorizes DEEP to establish a season for Sunday bow hunting on private properties during the fall archery season in areas of the state with an overpopulation of deer.  The law also requires that all such hunting must take place at least 40 yards away from blazed hiking trails. As with all deer or turkey hunting on private lands, hunters must have written permission from the land owner."

The fall archery deer season runs from Sept. 15 through Dec. 31 in most zones, and through the end of January 2016 in Deer Management Zones 11 and 12, which include communities along Long Island Sound, the release said.

"DEEP determined that Sunday archery deer hunting on private lands will be permitted in all but three of the state’s Deer Management Zones (DMZs) based on its assessment of the deer population in each of the zones.  The three zones where Sunday hunting will NOT be permitted – DMZs 2, 3, and 4A – are in north central Connecticut, including portions of Hartford, Litchfield, and Tolland Counties.  The DMZs where Sunday hunting on private land will be permitted include 1, 4b, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12." (see attached map)

"The Deer Program administered by DEEP’s Wildlife Division has focused on stabilizing or reducing deer population growth for the best long-term interest of the deer resource, native plant and animal communities, and the public," the release said.

“Regulated deer hunting has proven to be an ecologically sound, socially beneficial, and fiscally responsible method of managing deer populations” Jacobson said, also in the release..

“Our efforts have focused on increasing harvest of antlerless deer, coordinating controlled hunts for overabundant deer herds, and assisting communities and large landowners with deer management issues,” Andrew LaBonte, a Wildlife Division biologist with Connecticut’s Deer Program said, in the release. “Permitting hunting on Sundays is just one more tool to aid in those management efforts.”

"Allowing deer hunting on Sundays also provides more opportunity for hunters to go out in the field during multiple days on the weekend, instead of just on Saturdays."

“Sunday hunting is expected to increase – by a small percentage – the current annual harvest of about 10,000-13,000 deer for all hunting seasons,” Jacobson said in the release.

All deer harvested must be reported through DEEP’s online harvest ( or telephone reporting system (1-877-337-4868).

Information on hunting seasons is available at

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Walk-in registration at Gateway Community College Aug. 22

Gateway Community College issued the following release (unedited here):
Gateway Community College (GCC) will participate in a state-wide  “Super Saturday Registration Blitz”  from 10am to 3pmSaturday, August 22 to accomodate students who still need to apply and register for the fall semester. 

Gateway Community College is one of 12 community colleges in the Connecticut State College and Universities (CSCU) system participating in “Super Saturday Registration.”  

"Our previous Saturday Walk-in, One-stop registration day was very busy," explains GCC President, Dorsey L. Kendrick. "It was very clear that Saturdays are a great day for our students to take care of college business. It was so popular that people came early to apply and register, and we expect they'll do so again on August 22." 

With fall classes starting on August 31, the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education are encouraging students to take advantage of Super Saturday Blitz. Students attending will receive personal assistance through the registration process, including class scheduling, course selection, placement assessment, financial aid and payment plans. All in attendance on Aug. 22 will also be invited to enter to win one of fifty $50 bookstore gift certificates. 

“At the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, we are making it easy and quick for students to enroll in fall classes,” said CSCU President Gregory Gray. “On Aug. 22, we are making community college staff available to prospective students to help get them started on the path to a college degree at the state’s community colleges — Connecticut’s best value in higher education."

For those unable to attend Super Saturday Registration Blitz on August 22, but still want to attend Gateway Community College in the fall, service offices will remain open on Wednesdays until 7:00pm through September 9

Information about Gateway Community College's course offerings, admissions and registration can be found at Inquiries can also be made via the college website, through the GCC Facebook page at Facebook/Go2GCC, by email to and by phone to (203) 285-2000.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Author David Orr to talk Robert Frost in Stratford Sept. 13

David Orr (contributed photo)
The event is from 3 to 5 p.m. the brewery is at 1700 Stratford Ave, Stratford
According to the publisher, the book comes on the centennial of the publication of Robert Frost’s beloved poem. " The book is an engaging, lively exploration of the enormous skill and complexity that went into the creation of the poem, and how and, perhaps more crucially, why we’ve been misinterpreting it for a century," according to a release.

Further, "the popular assumption is that Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” celebrates the victorious self-assertion of an individual choosing to live outside conformity. However, Orr lucidly argues that the poem’s own lines more persuasively suggest that it’s actually a dramatization of the extent to which we mislead ourselves about the control we exercise over our own lives," the release said.
"The poem reveals a person who chooses between identical roads and yet later romanticizes the decision as life altering; and holds two seemingly contradictory meanings in tension, giving us a portrait of choice without making a decision itself. It is a picture of personal choice and the human self that is distinctly American in its exultation of individualism and exceptionalism."

Orr, a resident of New York State, is the poetry editor for the New York Times Book Review.  He is a graduate of Yale Law School.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Gateway Community College to hold Aug. 8 and Aug. 22 walk-in registration

NEW HAVEN - Students wishing to register for classes at Gateway Community College this fall are invited to come to campus for a walk in one-stop registration days on Aug.  8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Aug. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to a release.

According to a release, "GCC’s Student Success Center and service offices will be open to assist new and continuing students on a first-come, first-served basis" with: 
admissions counseling
financial aid
payments/payment plans
academic advising
placement testing
identification badges

?Students who are new to Gateway may prepare in advance by visiting Students should bring: photo ID, unofficial transcripts (from high school or college), proof of high school graduation, immunization records (if not previously provided by student)."
Gateway Community College is located at 20 Church St. Parking is validated for the Temple Street garage and doors will open at 9:45 am at the George Street north and Crown Street entrances. The fall semester begins on Aug, 31.

For information call the college admissions office at (203) 285-2010 or email

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dora the Explorer to visit Peabody Museum, meet 'dinosaurs'

Dora (contributed)
NEW HAVEN - The popular Nickelodeon cartoon character Dora the Explorer, backpack in tow, is headed to the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History on  Aug. 15, for "her newest adventure: coming face to face with 150-million-year-old dinosaur skeletons," according to a release. 
Dora is scheduled to greet visitors from 10 a.m. to noon in the Great Hall of Dinosaurs under the watchful glance of Brontosaurus and Stegosaurus, the release said.  Visitors may take photos with Dora using their own cameras, the release said.
The visit with Dora is free with museum membership, Yale I.D. or admission of $6-$13 ($13 adult, $10 senior 65+, $6 children age 3-18 and students with I.D.).  There is no admission cost for children younger than  3. 

The Yale Peabody Museum is a member of the Connecticut Dinosaur Trail (, which made Dora’s visit possible, the release said..
The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.  The Museum is closed Mondays except for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Columbus Day and Presidents Day.  Admission prices are:  Adults $13, seniors 65 and over $9, children 3-18 $6. Admission is free for Museum members, Yale I.D. holders, and children under age 3. No admission is charged Thursdays from 2 to 5 pm from September through June.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

East Haven Animal Shelter to hold 'mega' tag sale

Illustration only

The East Haven Animal Shelter will act as host for a mega tag sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 22, at the shelter, 183 Commerce St., according to a release.
The event is just "in time to shop for dorm, back to school or whatever you need," the release said.

Rain date is Aug. 23.  
All vendors, crafters, and anyone with items to sell are welcome. Each space is a $25 donation, the release said.

Vendors are asked bring their own tables and chairs. "Set your own prices, keep all your proceeds," and to reserve your space, payment (cash or check only) must be received by Aug. 15, the release said. ( No exceptions.)

Call the shelter at 203 468-3249, Teri at 203- 859-4446, or Jean at 203 641-4388 for  payment arrangements or further information.

"Admission and parking are free, so plan to stop by, shop, and maybe meet your new best friend," the release said.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Orange Historical Society Academy Museum acquires postcard collection

At the Academy
The Orange Historical Society Academy Museum, open every Saturday has received a collection of old postcards, according to a release. 

In addition to the antiques and collectibles, the museum offers tours of the 1878 Academy building that once housed town meetings and the secondary school, the release said. 

"Come take a tour and browse  through the shop. You might find just the right gift for your summer events," the release said.

Admission is free.  The building is across from the town Green. (with beautiful horses nearby!)

For information call 203 795-3106.

Wild about flowers!

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