Saturday, January 30, 2016

Learning and fun for kids with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra

According to a release from the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, there will be a chance to "put on your PJs, grab your favorite stuffed animal," and join the NHSO for this year’s Family Concert Series: “Once Upon A Time...”
"This concert series celebrates the magic of fairy tales and each concert concludes with a beautiful lullaby that families share at home," the release said.
The free series will continue with Ferdinand The Bull at 2 p.m. Feb. 6 at Davis Street School in New Haven and 2 p.m. Feb. 7 at Shelton Intermediate School, the release said.

"Strings are the focus of this concert, which will begin with a short medley taken from Robert Schumann’s Album for the Young. Connecticut soprano Anne Rhodes will narrate the beloved childhood tale Ferdinand the Bull, the story of a bull named Ferdinand who doesn’t like to fight, before singing Aaron Copland’s “Simple Gifts,” “The Little Horses,” and “I Bought Me A Cat.” The concert will end with the familiar, lilting waltz melody from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty."
Starting at 1:30 p.m. before the concert, the NHSO will offer an Instrument Discovery Zone where children can tap, tickle, and toot real orchestral instruments  the release said. Following the concert, families are invited to stay for a healthful snack. New Haven Reads will partner with the NHSO once again to provide free children’s books for everyone who attends the concert, the release said.
In the photo: a child participating in the Instrument Discovery Zone (credit: Joe Crawford).
Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Episcopalians Celebrate King's Legacy in West Haven

WEST HAVEN - The Southern Connecticut Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians invites you to help honor the life, legacy and witness of civil rights icon the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The liturgy will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, 28 Church St., West Haven, according to a release. 

The Rev. Carl Howard, bridge pastor of West Haven's First Congregational Church on the Green, will be the guest preacher.  Yale professor, The Right Rev. Jeffery W. Rowthorn, retired bishop suffragan of Connecticut and the Rev. Richard Meadows, rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, New Haven, will co-celebrate the Mass, the release said..

“The public is invited to come and lift their voices in song and prayer,” the release said.

 Clergy from all denominations are invited to wear the vestments of their customs with white, celebratory or kente cloth stoles.

 For more information, call UBE Chapter President Steven R. Mullins at 203-824-4262.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Barn time in a blizzard: The horses need their hay

By Joan Bennett
The Blizzard of '47

Swirling snow, wind gusts that could flatten a grown man, and howling like a banshee in the wee hours of the morning greeted us as my sisters and I huddled together in the bed meant for one.
The blankets piled high upon us kept us warm but we dared not leave the bed until we could feel some heat rise through the grates in the floor of our bedroom above the first floor kitchen. We could not see anything from our window as it was covered with snow and ice. Our imaginations ran wild.

Dottie, my older sister, spoke with authority, "There must be
three feet of snow on the ground."
Laney, the baby of the family, started to wail, " I won't be able to go out, the snow will cover me."

"Don't fret," I told her, forgetting we would all have to help dad get to the barn to care for the twenty horses we owned.
Helen and Dorothy Scanlon

First our dad had to add coal to the stove in the cellar, which had been banked before we all retired the night before. It took awhile for us to brave removing our pile of quilts and such so we could, like lightning, don our robes and slippers and head for the stairs that led into the kitchen of the old farmhouse in which we lived.

We had been warned via our trusty radio that a strong storm would likely hit us overnight but who would have ever thought a blizzard would be surrounding us as we snuggled in our beds our feet warmed by covered and heated bricks that our mother had placed at the bottom of the bed.
Helen and Walter Scanlon
Our small, outdated kitchen which when we moved into the house only a year before had only a coal stove for cooking and a ice box that looked like a relic from the eighteen hundreds was now equipped with a refrigerator and an electric stove.
Mom had the oven door open to help warm up the  kitchen. A large pot of hot cereal awaited us. Hot tea in mugs would help to
keep us warm when we braved the frigid temperatures outdoors.
Dad was already eating his big bowl of piping hot oatmeal. " Hurry girls, you must eat quickly and get dressed warmly. I'll need your help getting to the barn and taking care of our horses. They are our livelihood. you know."

My sisters and I had never experienced a winter storm as ferocious as on this day so we were amazed when we stepped out the kitchen door and saw the mountains of snow drifts and the covered tree limbs bent with the weight of the snow.

Dad had shoveled a narrow path to the barn which we
trudged along. We were on a mission and had no time for snowball fights or snow angels.

Each of us girls were handed a shovel when we got to the
Walter and Helen Scanlon
barn door. Laney was given a short handled one so that she could push the snow around and feel useful.

The snow had drifted to about six feet up against the barn door. Dad showed each of us how to shovel so we would not strain ourselves. We cleared a large area so that dad could get the barn door open. Dottie helped him as the rungs on the sliding door had frozen stiff.

We quickly entered the stable and closed the door behind us. The
interior was quite warm compared to the freezing cold outside. Each horse had been covered with a blanket the night before and the combined body heat afforded some degree of warmth.
Our first job was to break the ice in each horse's stall so the animals could drink.

The water pipes had frozen so we were unable to top the buckets but in the front of the barn we had a large watering trough with a thin layer of ice which we broke so each horse if still thirsty could leave his stall and drink from the trough.

Dad sailed hay from the loft to the stable floor and with pitch forks we threw it into each stall. The horses stamped their feet as they knew the oats came next but dad wanted to wait until we cleared the piles of snow from the fenced in paddock area.
A few horses at a time would be led out so they could stretch their legs and roll in the piles of snow if they so chose.

Most just ran back into their stalls to eagerly await the oats, which would surely come next.
Instead Dad had us muck out the stalls so the manure would not freeze and be more difficult to remove if it was just left . Into the wheel barrows it went and out to a new steaming manure pile as we couldn't find the old one in all that snow.

When we finally fed the last horse his measure of oats dad rewarded us will gigantic bear hugs and praise for jobs well done. As we dragged ourselves home we noticed that the light snow had stopped and sunlight was filling the sky.

Dottie the optimist remarked as she threw snowballs at Laney and I "I bet this is the only blizzard we'll have this winter so have  some fun."

Editor's note: This story is about the Blizzard of 1947.

Monogold's New Haven show coming to Cafe Nine

NEW HAVEN -  Brooklyn’s indie-psych trio Monogold has a show February 5 at Cafe Nine with the Peach Kings, according to release.
"The New Haven show is one of three stops on a short run of tour dates that has the band on the road in support of their recent album, "Good Heavens" (SoundCloud)," the release said
Last month's "hilarious, pop culture-infused video for 'Pink Lemonade'” (YouTube), the first of three new videos from the album that being rolled out around these dates, according to the release.

On "Good Heavens"Monogold left the signature synths and samples from their previous work behind, in favor of foundational-layers of lush, dreamy textures, along with the tireless manipulation of the organic sounds of guitars, vocals, percussion, and vintage organs and pianos," the release said. 
Find Monogold on Facebook and Twitter
Editor's note: All information and the photo in this post were contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

The 'What’s Cooking Series,' in Fairfield

FAIRFIELD - The What’s Cooking Series at the Fairfield Public Library is scheduled to feature one of "the area’s premier sources for artisanal cheese," Fairfield Cheese Co., at 7 p.m.
Feb. 8, according to a release. 

Laura Downey, co-owner of the store, share her story in the Rotary Room of the Main Library, 1080 Old Post Road, the release said.
"Laura will guide us through a scrumptious tasting of fresh and bloomy cheeses, washed
rind and aged cheese, plus a variety of cow, sheep and goat chest," the release said.  "We will learn about cheese-making, storage and serving."

Fairfield Cheese Co. was the recipient of Connecticut Magazine’s 2011 and 2012 Best Cheese Selection, the release said. 

The "What’s Cooking is a series featuring local cuisines," the release said. "Guest chefs and foodies share the back stories behind their culinary lives."

Advanced registration is required due to the limited space.  All programs at the Fairfield Public Library are free of charge.  For more information and to register for this event call 203-256-3160, or visit

You can follow the Fairfield Public Library on Twitter: and Facebook:

The library also encourages folks to "Dream…Discover…Innovate…Create… @ the Fairfield Public Library."

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

Monday, January 25, 2016

Coast Guard Sector Long Island honors the late Robert Connors

In case you missed this news about a very respectful event:
NEW HAVEN - Members of Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound gathered this week to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the collision of Coast Guard Cutter Eastwind with the motor tanker Gulfstream, according to a release.
"In the early morning hours of January 19, 1949, 13 Coast Guardsmen died after the icebreaker East­wind collided with the tanker in the frigid waters of New Jersey," the release said. "Among the deceased was New Haven native, Engineman 3rd Class Robert Emmett Connors. Connors, who was 19 years old, died while valiantly trying to save a friend."

Records of the incident indicate that Connors himself was safe at one point but went back into the billowing smoke and twisted steel of the cutter’s midsection, the release said. Testimony reports that his body was recovered 15 feet from his friend, the release said.

Connors, a 1947 graduate of East Haven High School, "received no medal or citation" until the dedication of the Connors Maintenance Building at Sector Long Island Sound on Sept. 15, 1972, the release said. "The building today serves as the maintenance center for Coast Guard Station New Haven and Aids to Navigation Team Long Island Sound where a plaque is posted in his honor."

Capt. Ed Cubanski, sector commander, and Chief Petty Officer Kevin Wyman, officer in charge of Station New Haven, gathered at the plaque to celebrate Connors’ life and contribution.

Angela McKeon, Connors’ "high school sweetheart, was also present and commemorates his death annually," the release said. She presented a bouquet of flowers to Wyman, whose boat crews then "set them adrift along Connors’ home shores of New Haven in memory of his life and death."

"The sacrifice and gallantry of our forebears is forward in the public’s mind right now, with the release of the movie ‘The Finest Hours,’" Cubanski said, also in the release. "There are so many brave men and women in Coast Guard history who deserve equal remembrance. We are honored to celebrate the bravery of Bob Connors and to work daily in a building" that bears the name "of a Coast Guard hero. ... His legacy of self-sacrifice for the lives of others will always be remembered."

Connors attended the Coast Guard’s Engineman School in Groton, then was assigned to the Eastwind, the release said..

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Red Cross Has Safety Reminders Ahead of Winter Weather

Connecticut is bracing for the possibility of first storm of the winter season this weekend and the American Red Cross wants folks to be prepared
.“We want to remind people of some important information that will help them weather this storm and safely clean up after it departs,” said American Red Cross spokeswoman Stefanie Arcangelo, in a release 

Keep track of weather updates here.

Here are tips, shared unedited here as a public service, the Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for winter storms:

(For more information on winter storm preparedness in Spanish visit

  • Assemble an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Pack a winter-specific supply kit that includes a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots, along with extra blankets and extra warm clothing for each family member. Sand or non-clumping cat litter is good to have on hand to help make walkways or steps less slippery. Additionally, make sure you have a first aid kit and a supply of essential medications, canned food and can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries in your home in the event of a power outage.
  • Use Technology to Prepare and Stay Safe: Download Red Cross preparedness apps for your smartphone. Our free apps have tips and real-time information to help you prepare, as well as tools to help you keep in touch during and after a major storm. In particular, the First Aid App has a special section devoted to severe winter weather with preparedness tips and information about coping during and after the storm. Get the apps for iPhones or Android phones at
  • Heed Storm Warnings: A Winter Storm WARNING means that life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. Individuals in a warning area should take precautions immediately. Stay tuned to local media to keep up with forecasts and additional warnings. A Blizzard Warning is issued for winter storms with sustained or frequent winds of 35 mph or higher with considerable falling and/or blowing snow that frequently reduces visibility to 1/4 of a mile or less. These conditions are expected to prevail for a minimum of 3 hours. 
  • Use Caution Clearing Snow: Shoveling snow is strenuous work; take the task slow and easy to guard against over-exertion or back injury. Take regular breaks. If using a snow thrower, keep hands and feet clear of moving parts. Always turn off your snow thrower and use a stick or other implement to clear blockages, never use your hands. If there is a fire hydrant on your property, clear snow around the hydrant so it is accessible in the event of a fire. 
  • Tips for Home and Car:  Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full, which will help to keep the fuel line from freezing. When the storm has passed, completely clear snow from all surfaces of your vehicle. It’s safer for you and other drivers and it’s the law in Connecticut. Be sure to keep furnace and gas dryer vents outside your home clear of snow to avoid the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. If you lose power and heat, running water at a trickle from a faucet helps to prevent pipes from freezing.  
  • Use Generators Safely: Never operate a generator inside homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, sheds or other partially enclosed spaces, even if using a fan or opening doors and windows. Carbon Monoxide (CO) can quickly build up in these spaces and linger for hours after a generator is shut down. Place your generator outside, well away from windows, doors and vents. Shut down the generator before refueling it. If you begin to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a portable generator, shut it off and get to fresh air immediately. You could have CO poisoning.
  • Use Care When Outdoors in the Cold: Dress in light layers so you can adapt to temperatures. Wear a hat; most of your body heat is lost through your head. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Wear insulated, waterproof footwear. Recognize the symptoms of hypothermia that can be a serious medical condition: confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms. Recognize frostbite warning signs: gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, waxy feeling skin. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms.

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

Smile: Mystic Aquarium reminds us of National Penguin Awareness Day

Mystic Aquarium is reminding everyone of National Penguin Awareness Day "in honor of its colony of African penguins and the endangered populations in South Africa," according to a release.

"This day is especially meaningful in bringing awareness to the plight of endangered African penguins and the organized efforts of organizations like Mystic Aquarium, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB)," the release said.

This film, produced by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Gayle Sirpenski, "provides a look at the current threats facing African penguins and why it is important these endangered birds be saved from extinction," the release said.

"In celebration of Penguin Awareness Day, Mystic Aquarium is proud to announce the addition of 'Penguins Up Close' a new encounter program designed to provide further insight into the care and conservation of the endangered African penguin.  Among the most popular exhibits at Mystic Aquarium, guests are invited to go behind the scenes of the Roger Tory Peterson Penguin Pavilion and get up close to the African penguins," the release said.

Learn more here.

"Mystic Aquarium is a leader in a collaborative, nationwide effort to assist researchers in South Africa and sends staff to SANCCOB, a leader in seabird rescue and rehabilitation. Staff from the aquarium’s animal care, education and research departments examine all factors possibly affecting the penguins and develop plans for the aquarium to lead and assist with education, research and the conservation efforts of this species. Just last month, Tracy Camp, Senior Trainer at Mystic Aquarium, traveled to South Africa to assist with the efforts at SANCCOB. Her blog can be found at," the release said.

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

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Gateway Community College Foundation: Chef Bun Lai event coming up

 Chef Bun Lai
The  Gateway Community College Foundation announced that Chef Bun Lai, owner of Miya’s Sushi, will be the featured chef in the next Chefs Of Our Kitchen (COOK) series on Jan. 27, according to a release.

"Hailed by the Huffington Post as a 'sustainable sushi guru,' the renowned Chef Bun brings 'crisscrosses the globe' in search of harmful invasive species in our oceans and repurposes them into the next new delicacy," the release noted. " praises Chef Bun Lai who 'has taken the next step in his quest for sustainability: He’s tackling the party crashers of the sea by crafting inventive dishes from what’s available and abundant locally — and that includes plenty of invasive species.'”
"Miya's was the first sushi restaurant in Connecticut to specialize in Kyushi-style recipes.  In 1995, Miya's began to create an original and non-traditional plant-based sushi menu starting with the sweet potato roll in. By 2006, 80% of the sushi menu at Miya's was plant-based and traditional sweetened white rice was replaced with whole grain brown rice-based blend. Miya's introduced its first invasive species menu in 2006 with locally caught invasive species such as Asian shore crabs and European green crabs," the release said.
Lai "will work his magic at the next COOK series in Gateway’s Café Vincenzo, GCC’s intimate and elegant demonstration kitchen and dining room."
Tickets are $65 and include a pre-event reception and meet-and-greet with Chef Bun, cooking demonstration and three-course meal prepared by GCC Culinary Arts students under Lai’s direction and a take-away gift to commemorate the evening.
Parking for this event is validated for the Temple Street Garage.  Tickets are available at the GCC Foundation website or by calling (203) 285-2617.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Watch: Dublin Rising 1916-2016

 Cliffs of Moher
 In New Haven there has been a Mass for peace and a flag raising ceremony on the Green to commemorate the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland

After the annual Mass organizers have held a ceremony to honor the men and woman who fought for Irish independence . “This annual public ceremony in New Haven ... in its 24th year, serves as a reminder to all ethnic groups that freedom and liberty carry a high price,” organizers have previously said in  release. “Local honorees are remembered in a roll call and the original ‘Proclamation of Freedom’ will be read.”

An image from Ireland
This year, in the 100th anniversary of the Rising, Google has created a visual and narrated "walk" through the sites in Dublin where important events took place. It is narrated by Colin Farrell.

Watch the video here.

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

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Gustave Whitehead debate continues at the Stratford Library

Author Susan Brinchman
STRATFORD - The Stratford Library will continue its  Sunday Afternoon Talks”, a monthly series of "informative and entertaining talks featuring prominent local guest speakers," at 2 p.m. Feb, 7 with author Susan Brinchman and Educator Andy Kosch, according to a release..'
The February topic is: “Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight”, based on Brinchman’s latest book about the aviator, the release said. The program  is free and open to the public.
See photos of Whitehead and his aircraft in 1901 here.
"The ongoing controversy over who flew first in America, the Wright brothers or Gustave Whitehead, continues to this day," the release said.  "The public is invited to meet Brinchman, via Skype, as she makes her case of Whitehead’s notable accomplishments which predate those of the Wright Brothers. Brinchman's discussion will cover Fairfield, Connecticut’s connection to the first man who accomplished the "first in powered flight" and the inventor of the airplane."
The release noted that the author "is uniquely suited to present documentation for the achievements of the controversial aviation pioneer. Brinchman is an expert on Gustave Whitehead and is an experienced educator and early aviation researcher with a love of history. A highly successful educator for 36 years, she holds four California teaching credentials including social sciences, with a master's degree in educational technology. She resides in California."
Her new book, "Gustave Whitehead; First in Flight," "utilizes her key research for the past five decades, where she was present for key events such as interviews with witnesses and familiar with the places Whitehead lived and flew."
Educator Andy Kosch also will be a live guest speaker at the Library bringing a replica of the Whitehead #21 model. "Kosch has been involved in the Gustave Whitehead plane project for the past 30 years, having flown a replica of the Whitehead plane at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in December 1986, or some 85 years after Whitehead successfully flew his heavier-than-air plane in Fairfield," the release said.
Autographed copies of Brinchman’s  "Gustave Whitehead; First in Flight" will be available for purchase after the Library talk.
For more information call the library’s Public Relations & Programming Office at 203.385.4162 or visit its website at:

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

Friday, January 15, 2016

Read President Obama's resolution on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Read President Barack Obama's resolution on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

'Gift to UConn To Provide Scholarships'

George Soros (contributed photo)
STORRS —Philanthropist George Soros and UConn alumnus Gary Gladstein ’66 with his wife, Dr. Phyllis Gladstein, will give a $4 million gift to the UConn Human Rights Institute, according to a release.
This marks the largest ever donation to the program, the release said.
"The gift, which requires the UConn Foundation to raise an additional $2 million in matching funds, would give the Institute a $6 million endowment and provide scholarships to undergraduates majoring in human rights," the release said.
“The vision and generosity of our donors continues to make an incredible impact on this program and is helping to make UConn a global leader in human rights education and scholarship,” UConn President Susan Herbst said, also in the release. “We could not be more grateful to both Gary Gladstein and George Soros for their support and commitment to our university and the field of human rights.”
Gary Gladstein (contributed photo)
"The Institute, with its interdisciplinary focus, is one of the top human rights programs in higher education worldwide. Faculty members are drawn from most schools and colleges across the university, including anthropology, political science, business, and law. The program has a strong focus on collaborative research and scholarship. The Institute has a rapidly growing student population and its graduates have landed key humanitarian jobs," the release said.
“I was a child in Hungary when the Nazis invaded. I then lived under Soviet rule, so I know what it is like to live under brutal regimes that deprive people of their basic human rights,” Soros said. “I am pleased to support UConn’s critical work in researching and promoting human rights. I am glad to partner with Gary to help build UConn’s program.”
Gladstein, who has been the Institute’s primary benefactor, is giving the Institute a gift of $2 million. Soros, a businessman, philanthropist, and political activist, has pledged to give a $2 million challenge grant. Soros’s grant is through the Open Society Foundations, his grant-making network dedicated to building democracies with accountable and open governments.
Also in the release:
Soros’s grant requires the UConn Foundation to raise an additional $2 million in matching funds from donors. Once completed, the $6 million endowment will provide scholarships, fellowships, internships, and program support for signature programs, such as the Scholars-at-Risk Initiative.
Gladstein said he was pleased to partner with Soros, a friend and colleague who first raised his awareness of the vital importance of human rights.
“All civilizations must learn to share and respect the human rights of others,” Gladstein said. “The true differences around the world are not between different religions or races, but more about those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it. We can all do much better when we work together.”
Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed. Click one of the buttons below to share it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Community Foundation for Greater New Haven taking grant applications

NEW HAVEN - The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven has announced several grant opportunities with various application deadlines in the coming weeks, according to a release.
For complete details, visit

The Quinnipiac River Fund, a component fund at The Community Foundation, is accepting applications through Jan. 15, and the fund "makes grants for projects designed to benefit the environmental quality of the Quinnipiac River, the New Haven Harbor, and surrounding watersheds. Approximately $100,000 in grants is awarded each spring from the Fund," the release said. Learn more here

The Neighborhood Leadership Program at The Community Foundation will accept applications through noon Jan. 19. " The Neighborhood Leadership Program is an eight month training and grant program that supports community leaders in imagining, developing, testing and realizing projects which build community and provide positive outcomes in New Haven neighborhoods and contiguous towns," the release said. Learn more here.

 The Community Fund for Women & Girls is accepting applications for the 2016 grants cycle. Grants are awarded to gender-specific initiatives that are intentional, equitable and well-informed.  An orientation session for interested applicants will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 22, the release said. Learn more here.

The Community Foundation is also accepting grant applications from eligible nonprofit organizations through March 31 for its "Responsive Grants process, which is done in conjunction with its partner in philanthropy serving the Valley, the Valley Community Foundation. Responsive Grants are generally awarded to address operating, programmatic or capacity building needs. Amounts vary from $7,500 and up; eligibility restrictions apply, including adherence to The Community Foundation’s anti-discrimination policy."
"Applicants who are unfamiliar with the grant process are encouraged to register for an informational webinar to be held in mid- February," the release said. Learn more here.

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s 20-town service area includes: Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, Wallingford, West Haven, Woodbridge. For more information about The Community Foundation, visit, on Facebook at or on Twitter at

Monday, January 11, 2016

West Haven Twilight Baseball League 'Hot Stove Lunch' is Jan. 23

The West Haven Twilight Baseball League will kick off the 2016 Baseball Season with its Annual Hot Stove Lunch, from noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 23, at West River Hall, 37 Orlando St., according to a release.
The event will honor North Haven Baseball Legend, Bob DeMayo, North Haven High School Baseball Coach, for his many year's of dedication and support of amateur baseball, the release said.

Featured speakers for the event are sportswriter, Leigh Montville, and Major League pitching coach, Dave Wallace. Former Major League broadcaster, George Grande, will again serve as the master of ceremonies, the release said..

"Montville, formerly of Sports Illustrated and the Boston Globe, is the author of numerous books, including biographies of Ted Williams and Babe Ruth. He was born in New Haven graduated from Notre Dame High School and UConn, starting his sports writing career with the Journal Courier and New Haven Register.

"Dave Wallace is the pitching coach for the Baltimore Orioles and served in the same position in other Major League organizations, including the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox. He played for the Phillies and Blue Jays after completing his University of New Haven career where he pitched to a 24-7 record with a 2.18 ERA and 311 strikeouts," the release said.

"As always, legendary UNH coach, Frank "Porky" Vieira, with over 1,000 wins in his college coaching career, will be on hand to offer his entertaining stories and takes on the game we love."

“This year’s event will feature some amazing baseball greats, with time for Q & A,” League President Vin DiLauro said, also in the release.  “Having time to hear from Leigh Montville and Dave Wallace I am sure will be an incredible experience, and we are also excited to honor local baseball great North Haven High School Coach Bob Demayo and as always we welcome back Coach Frank “Porky” Vieira and Master of Ceremonies George Grande. We are looking forward to a great afternoon!  

Tickerts are $30 each. Send payment to W.H.Twilight League, P.O.Box 7564, New Haven, 06519 or call Roland Depew (203-932-0134) or Nick Dematties (203-671-9546).

For information visit


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

St. Mary Parish in Branford to hold sessions for Catholics seeking to return to faith

The St. Mary Parish in Branford has issued an invitation for people who "have been away from the Catholic Church for a while--for whatever reason--to come back and take another look," according to a release.
The free six-week series is a "process of education, healing and reconciliation for those wishing to return to the practice of their faith," the release said.. The event is a "safe landing for Catholics, an invitation to 'come home," the release said.
 It will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, February 11 - March 17 at the St. Mary Parish Center Conference Room, 731 Main St.
For more information, call/email Sr. Carolyn at 203-488-1607,

Saturday, January 9, 2016

CitySeed’s Winter Farmers’ Market coming up in New Haven

NEW HAVEN - CitySeed’s third annual Winter Farmers’ Market will open for the season on Jan. 16 at Metropolitan Business Academy, 115 Water St. , according to a release.
The winter market will again be held indoors at Metropolitan from to 1 p.m.   and will continue through the end of March, the release said. 
CitySeed’s weekend markets return outdoors in April, a month earlier than usual, the release said

"This year’s Winter Market will feature a variety of 'Saturday brunch' menu items including hot drinks from The Coffee Pedaler, sweet and savory baked goods from four renowned local bakeries – SONO, Whole G, Sixpence Pie Company and Elm City Sweets – and prepared offerings from a weekly rotation of food trucks including Farm Belly, Caseus and Chief Brody’s Banh Mi.  Farm fresh food items will include root vegetables, greens, apples, cider, chicken, beef, pork, seafood, eggs, mushrooms, dairy products, cheeses, jams and more.  Knife and tool sharpening services will also be featured," the release said.

"Family-friendly indoor activities will again include Family Yoga by Full of Joy Yoga and live performances by a series of local musicians.  Each week the market will feature an activity for kids ages three and older.  New events this year include cooking demonstrations and tastings with Small Kitchen Big Taste and bi-weekly food workshops, including a cheese-making workshop led by Beltane Farm’s Paul Trubey, and cookbook and gardening tool swaps. "

"All CitySeed Farmers’ Markets offer Food Stamp Double Value Coupon Program, a nutrition incentive program that enables SNAP recipients to double their money dollar for dollar at CitySeed Farmers’ Markets – up to $10 buys $20 of CT-grown fruit, vegetables, seedlings, or canned fruits and vegetables at each market each week," the release said.

 Read about a benefit that was held for Cityseed here.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

American Red Cross to hold volunteer orientation in New Haven

NEW HAVEN – The American Red Cross will hold a new volunteer orientation  from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 20, 2016 at its office at 703 Whitney Ave., according to a release

"Every single day, the American Red Cross helps people in emergencies. Whether it’s one displaced family, thousands of disaster victims, or providing care and comfort to an ill or injured service member or veteran or support to a military family member, our vital work is made possible by people like you. It is through the time and care of ordinary people that we can do extraordinary things," the release said.

The 1 hour orientation "is designed to introduce new volunteers to the history of the Red Cross and to learn about all of the local volunteer opportunities available. In addition to disaster action team volunteers, there are a variety of leadership and other volunteer opportunities available that utilize a variety of skillsets and availability."

Anyone interested in attending the session and becoming a volunteer must register in advance online at, the release said. Call 860-678-2788 for more information.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Haven Museum to hold storytelling for Peabody Museum’s 20th MLK Celebration

NEW HAVEN - The New Haven Museum will act as host for the storytelling portion of the Yale Peabody Museum’s 20th Annual “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Legacy of Environmental and Social Justice,” on Monday, January 18, 2016, from noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 18, according to a release.

"Held in honor of Dr. King and his efforts to ensure environmental and social justice among all people, other activities planned by the Peabody Museum include world-class performances and educational activities for visitors of all ages. All events held in conjunction with the two-day celebration are free of charge," the release said.

The storytelling sessions include "engaging tales by three professional storytellers" and the schedule is:

- 12:30 p.m.: Joy W. Donaldson -“Martin Luther King: In Word and Song”

- 1:30 p.m.: Waltrina Kirkland Mullins - "We've Come A Long Way! - Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. King"

- 2:30 p.m.: Karen Johnson - “Giving Thanks for the Harvest”

For more information on the weekend’s events visit:

The New Haven Museum at 114 Whitney Ave, is steps away from its Yale neighbor, the Peabody Museum, at 170 Whitney Ave.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Read: White House releases gun violence fact sheet

Read, per a release directly from the White House, the fact sheet on: New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence and Make Our Communities Safer

(This document is posted here unedited)

Gun violence has taken a heartbreaking toll on too many communities across the country.  Over the past decade in America, more than 100,000 people have been killed as a result of gun violence—and millions more have been the victim of assaults, robberies, and other crimes involving a gun.  Many of these crimes were committed by people who never should have been able to purchase a gun in the first place.  Over the same period, hundreds of thousands of other people in our communities committed suicide with a gun and nearly half a million people suffered other gun injuries.  Hundreds of law enforcement officers have been shot to death protecting their communities.  And too many children are killed or injured by firearms every year, often by accident.  The vast majority of Americans—including the vast majority of gun owners—believe we must take sensible steps to address these horrible tragedies.


The President and Vice President are committed to using every tool at the Administration’s disposal to reduce gun violence.  Some of the gaps in our country’s gun laws can only be fixed through legislation, which is why the President continues to call on Congress to pass the kind of commonsense gun safety reforms supported by a majority of the American people.  And while Congress has repeatedly failed to take action and pass laws that would expand background checks and reduce gun violence, today, building on the significant steps that have already been taken over the past several years, the Administration is announcing a series of commonsense executive actions designed to:


1.      Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.


·         The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is making clear that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet:  If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks.


·         ATF is finalizing a rule to require background checks for people trying to buy some of the most dangerous weapons and other items through a trust, corporation, or other legal entity.


·         Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch has sent a letter to States highlighting the importance of receiving complete criminal history records and criminal dispositions, information on persons disqualified because of a mental illness, and qualifying crimes of domestic violence.


·         The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is overhauling the background check system to make it more effective and efficient.  The envisioned improvements include processing background checks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and improving notification of local authorities when certain prohibited persons unlawfully attempt to buy a gun.  The FBI will hire more than 230 additional examiners and other staff to help process these background checks.


2.      Make our communities safer from gun violence.


·         The Attorney General convened a call with U.S. Attorneys around the country to direct federal prosecutors to continue to focus on smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws.


·         The President’s FY2017 budget will include funding for 200 new ATF agents and investigators to help enforce our gun laws.


·         ATF has established an Internet Investigation Center to track illegal online firearms trafficking and is dedicating $4 million and additional personnel to enhance the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network.


·         ATF is finalizing a rule to ensure that dealers who ship firearms notify law enforcement if their guns are lost or stolen in transit.


·         The Attorney General issued a memo encouraging every U.S. Attorney’s Office to renew domestic violence outreach efforts.


3.      Increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system.


·         The Administration is proposing a new $500 million investment to increase access to mental health care.


·         The Social Security Administration has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to include information in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from possessing a firearm for mental health reasons.


·         The Department of Health and Human Services is finalizing a rule to remove unnecessary legal barriers preventing States from reporting relevant information about people prohibited from possessing a gun for specific mental health reasons.


4.      Shape the future of gun safety technology.


·         The President has directed the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology.


·         The President has also directed the departments to review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis, and to explore potential ways to further its use and development to more broadly improve gun safety.


Congress should support the President’s request for resources for 200 new ATF agents and investigators to help enforce our gun laws, as well as a new $500 million investment to address mental health issues.


Because we all must do our part to keep our communities safe, the Administration is also calling on States and local governments to do all they can to keep guns out of the wrong hands and reduce gun violence.  It is also calling on private-sector leaders to follow the lead of other businesses that have taken voluntary steps to make it harder for dangerous individuals to get their hands on a gun.  In the coming weeks, the Administration will engage with manufacturers, retailers, and other private-sector leaders to explore what more they can do.


New Actions by the Federal Government


Keeping Guns Out of the Wrong Hands Through Background Checks


The most important thing we can do to prevent gun violence is to make sure those who would commit violent acts cannot get a firearm in the first place.  The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which was created by Congress to prevent guns from being sold to prohibited individuals, is a critical tool in achieving that goal.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the background check system has prevented more than 2 million guns from getting into the wrong hands.  We know that making the system more efficient, and ensuring that it has all appropriate records about prohibited purchasers, will help enhance public safety.  Today, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions to ensure that all gun dealers are licensed and run background checks, and to strengthen the background check system itself:


·         Clarify that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet:  If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks.  Background checks have been shown to keep guns out of the wrong hands, but too many gun sales—particularly online and at gun shows—occur without basic background checks.  Today, the Administration took action to ensure that anyone who is “engaged in the business” of selling firearms is licensed and conducts background checks on their customers.  Consistent with court rulings on this issue, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has clarified the following principles:


o   A person can be engaged in the business of dealing in firearms regardless of the location in which firearm transactions are conducted.  For example, a person can be engaged in the business of dealing in firearms even if the person only conducts firearm transactions at gun shows or through the Internet.  Those engaged in the business of dealing in firearms who utilize the Internet or other technologies must obtain a license, just as a dealer whose business is run out of a traditional brick-and-mortar store.


o   Quantity and frequency of sales are relevant indicators.  There is no specific threshold number of firearms purchased or sold that triggers the licensure requirement.  But it is important to note that even a few transactions, when combined with other evidence, can be sufficient to establish that a person is “engaged in the business.”  For example, courts have upheld convictions for dealing without a license when as few as two firearms were sold or when only one or two transactions took place, when other factors also were present.


o   There are criminal penalties for failing to comply with these requirements.  A person who willfully engages in the business of dealing in firearms without the required license is subject to criminal prosecution and can be sentenced up to five years in prison and fined up to $250,000.  Dealers are also subject to penalties for failing to conduct background checks before completing a sale.


·         Require background checks for people trying to buy some of the most dangerous weapons and other items through a trust or corporation.  The National Firearms Act imposes restrictions on sales of some of the most dangerous weapons, such as machine guns and sawed-off shotguns.  But because of outdated regulations, individuals have been able to avoid the background check requirement by applying to acquire these firearms and other items through trusts, corporations, and other legal entities.  In fact, the number of these applications has increased significantly over the years—from fewer than 900 applications in the year 2000 to more than 90,000 applications in 2014.  ATF is finalizing a rule that makes clear that people will no longer be able to avoid background checks by buying NFA guns and other items through a trust or corporation.


·         Ensure States are providing records to the background check system, and work cooperatively with jurisdictions to improve reporting.  Congress has prohibited specific categories of people from buying guns—from convicted felons to users of illegal drugs to individuals convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence.  In the wake of the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, Congress also created incentives for States to make as many relevant records as possible accessible to NICS.  Over the past three years, States have increased the number of records they make accessible by nearly 70 percent.  To further encourage this reporting, the Attorney General has written a letter to States highlighting the importance of receiving complete criminal history records and criminal dispositions, information on persons disqualified for mental health reasons, and qualifying crimes of domestic violence.  The Administration will begin a new dialogue with States to ensure the background check system is as robust as possible, which is a public safety imperative.


·         Make the background check system more efficient and effective.  In 2015, NICS received more than 22.2 million background check requests, an average of more than 63,000 per day.  By law, a gun dealer can complete a sale to a customer if the background check comes back clean or has taken more than three days to complete.  But features of the current system, which was built in the 1990s, are outdated.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will take the following steps to ensure NICS operates more efficiently and effectively to keep guns out of the wrong hands: 


o   FBI will hire more than 230 additional NICS examiners and other staff members to assist with processing mandatory background checks.  This new hiring will begin immediately and increase the existing workforce by 50 percent.  This will reduce the strain on the NICS system and improve its ability to identify dangerous people who are prohibited from buying a gun before the transfer of a firearm is completed.


o   FBI has partnered with the U.S. Digital Service (USDS) to modernize NICS.   Although NICS has been routinely upgraded since its launch in 1998, the FBI is committed to making the system more efficient and effective, so that as many background checks as possible are fully processed within the three-day period before a dealer can legally sell a gun even if a background check is not complete.  The improvements envisioned by FBI and USDS include processing background checks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to improve overall response time and improving notification of local authorities when certain prohibited persons unlawfully attempt to purchase a firearm.


Making Our Communities Safer from Gun Violence


In order to improve public safety, we need to do more to ensure smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws and make sure that criminals and other prohibited persons cannot get their hands on lost or stolen weapons.  The Administration is therefore taking the following actions:


·         Ensure smart and effective enforcement of our gun laws.  In a call earlier today, the Attorney General discussed the importance of today’s announcements and directed the Nation’s 93 U.S. Attorneys across the country to continue to focus their resources—as they have for the past several years under the Department’s Smart on Crime initiative—on the most impactful cases, including those targeting violent offenders, illegal firearms traffickers, and dangerous individuals who bypass the background check system to acquire weapons illegally.  During the call, the Attorney General also emphasized ongoing initiatives to assist communities in combating violent crime, including ATF’s efforts to target the “worst of the worst” gun crimes.  These efforts will also complement the following actions announced today:


o   The President’s budget for FY2017 will include funding for 200 new ATF agents and investigators who can help enforce our gun laws, including the measures announced today.  Strategic and impactful enforcement will help take violent criminals off the street, deter other unlawful activity, and prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands.


o   ATF is dedicating $4 million and additional personnel to enhance the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN).  The NIBIN database includes ballistic evidence that can be used by analysts and investigators to link violent crimes across jurisdictions and to track down shooters who prey on our communities.  In February 2016, ATF is standing up the National NIBIN Correlation and Training Center—which will ultimately provide NIBIN matching services at one national location, rather than requiring local police departments to do that work themselves.  The Center will provide consistent and capable correlation services, making connections between ballistic crime scene evidence and crime guns locally, regionally, and nationally.  These enhancements will support ATF’s crime gun intelligence and enforcement efforts, particularly in communities most affected by violent crime.


o   ATF has established an Internet Investigations Center (IIC) staffed with federal agents, legal counsel, and investigators to track illegal online firearms trafficking and to provide actionable intelligence to agents in the field.  The IIC has already identified a number of significant traffickers operating over the Internet.  This work has led to prosecutions against individuals or groups using the “dark net” to traffic guns to criminals or attempting to buy firearms illegally online.


·         Ensure that dealers notify law enforcement about the theft or loss of their guns.  Under current law, federal firearms dealers and other licensees must report when a gun from their inventory has been lost or stolen.  The regulations are ambiguous, however, about who has this responsibility when a gun is lost or stolen in transit.  Many lost and stolen guns end up being used in crimes.  Over the past five years, an average of 1,333 guns recovered in criminal investigations each year were traced back to a licensee that claimed it never received the gun even though it was never reported lost or stolen either.  Today, ATF issued a final rule clarifying that the licensee shipping a gun is responsible for notifying law enforcement upon discovery that it was lost or stolen in transit.


·         Issue a memo directing every U.S. Attorney’s Office to renew domestic violence outreach efforts.  In the event of an emergency, victims of domestic violence should call 911 or otherwise contact state or local law enforcement officials, who have a broader range of options for responding to these crimes.  To provide an additional resource for state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community groups focused on domestic violence, the Attorney General is issuing a memo directing U.S. Attorney’s Offices around the country to engage in renewed efforts to coordinate with these groups to help combat domestic violence and to prevent prohibited persons from obtaining firearms.


Increase Mental Health Treatment and Reporting to the Background Check System


The Administration is committed to improving care for Americans experiencing mental health issues.  In the last seven years, our country has made extraordinary progress in expanding mental health coverage for millions of Americans.  This includes the Affordable Care Act’s end to insurance company discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, required coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services in the individual and small group markets, and an expansion of mental health and substance use disorder parity policies, all of which are estimated to help more than 60 million Americans.  About 13.5 million more Americans have gained Medicaid coverage since October 2013, significantly improving access to mental health care.  And thanks to more than $100 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act, community health centers have expanded behavioral health services for nearly 900,000 people nationwide over the past two years.  We must continue to remove the stigma around mental illness and its treatment—and make sure that these individuals and their families know they are not alone.  While individuals with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators, incidents of violence continue to highlight a crisis in America’s mental health system.  In addition to helping people get the treatment they need, we must make sure we keep guns out of the hands of those who are prohibited by law from having them.  Today, the Administration is announcing the following steps to help achieve these goals:


·         Dedicate significant new resources to increase access to mental health care.  Despite our recent significant gains, less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need.  To address this, the Administration is proposing a new $500 million investment to help engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, improve access to care by increasing service capacity and the behavioral health workforce, and ensure that behavioral health care systems work for everyone.  This effort would increase access to mental health services to protect the health of children and communities, prevent suicide, and promote mental health as a top priority. 


·         Include information from the Social Security Administration in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from possessing a firearm.  Current law prohibits individuals from buying a gun if, because of a mental health issue, they are either a danger to themselves or others or are unable to manage their own affairs.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it will begin the rulemaking process to ensure that appropriate information in its records is reported to NICS.  The reporting that SSA, in consultation with the Department of Justice, is expected to require will cover appropriate records of the approximately 75,000 people each year who have a documented mental health issue, receive disability benefits, and are unable to manage those benefits because of their mental impairment, or who have been found by a state or federal court to be legally incompetent.  The rulemaking will also provide a mechanism for people to seek relief from the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm for reasons related to mental health.


·         Remove unnecessary legal barriers preventing States from reporting relevant information to the background check system.  Although States generally report criminal history information to NICS, many continue to report little information about individuals who are prohibited by Federal law from possessing or receiving a gun for specific mental health reasons.  Some State officials raised concerns about whether such reporting would be precluded by the Privacy Rule issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).  Today, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule expressly permitting certain HIPAA covered entities to provide to the NICS limited demographic and other necessary information about these individuals.


Shaping the Future of Gun Safety Technology


Tens of thousands of people are injured or killed by firearms every year—in many cases by guns that were sold legally but then stolen, misused, or discharged accidentally.  Developing and promoting technology that would help prevent these tragedies is an urgent priority.  America has done this in many other areas—from making cars safer to improving the tablets and phones we use every day.  We know that researchers and engineers are already exploring ideas for improving gun safety and the tracing of lost or stolen guns.  Millions of dollars have already been invested to support research into concepts that range from fingerprint scanners to radio-frequency identification to microstamping technology.


As the single largest purchaser of firearms in the country, the Federal Government has a unique opportunity to advance this research and ensure that smart gun technology becomes a reality—and it is possible to do so in a way that makes the public safer and is consistent with the Second Amendment.  Today, the President is taking action to further this work in the following way:


·         Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security to take two important steps to promote smart gun technology.


o   Increase research and development efforts.  The Presidential Memorandum directs the departments to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology that would reduce the frequency of accidental discharge or unauthorized use of firearms, and improve the tracing of lost or stolen guns.  Within 90 days, these agencies must prepare a report outlining a research-and-development strategy designed to expedite the real-world deployment of such technology for use in practice.


o   Promote the use and acquisition of new technology.  The Presidential Memorandum also directs the departments to review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis, and to explore potential ways to further its use and development to more broadly improve gun safety.  In connection with these efforts, the departments will consult with other agencies that acquire firearms and take appropriate steps to consider whether including such technology in specifications for acquisition of firearms would be consistent with operational needs.


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