Sono's HamletHub http://news.hamlethub.com/sono Tue, 24 Jan 2017 10:12:03 -0500 HamletHub.com Norwalk Woman Takes 3rd Place in Maritime Aquarium's Festival of Lighthouse Contest http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/neighbors/2204-norwalk-woman-takes-3rd-place-in-maritime-aquarium-s-festival-of-lighthouse-contest2204-norwalk-woman-takes-3rd-place-in-maritime-aquarium-s-festival-of-lighthouse-contest http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/neighbors/2204-norwalk-woman-takes-3rd-place-in-maritime-aquarium-s-festival-of-lighthouse-contest2204-norwalk-woman-takes-3rd-place-in-maritime-aquarium-s-festival-of-lighthouse-contest

A Norwalk woman’s dollhouse-themed lighthouse is the third-place winner in the 15th annual “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

Jo Stecker wins $300 for receiving the third-most votes from Aquarium visitors for her entry, “National Lighthouse.”

Stecker has entered the Aquarium contest – and finished “in the money” – numerous times, always with detailed dollhouse-style lighthouses. Her “National Lighthouse” this year features a furnished lighthouse-keeper’s house. The keeper stands on the porch, overlooking water, greeting two children in a canoe. The adjacent lighthouse, with a red-and-white spiral, is lighted from within and leads up to beacon lights on two levels, with flags from dozens of nations ringing the lowest.

The Aquarium’s holiday lighthouse display ran from Nov. 19 to Jan. 16, and featured 13 large model lighthouses built by local artists, students and hobbyists. The contest’s winners are chosen by Aquarium visitors, who enjoy the lighthouses in the Aquarium galleries and then vote for their favorite. More than 6,700 votes were tallied in this most recent display, which – as always – attracted a collection of widely creative works.

At a Jan. 19 ceremony at The Maritime Aquarium, three other prizes were awarded from the paper-ballot voting:

            • first place ($1,500) – “LEG-lobe” by Nick Parker of Ridgefield.

            • second place ($750) – “Cork Island Lighthouse” by Carolina Fontes of Stratford.

            • and fourth place ($150) – “Minion Point” by Charlie Kestler and Roy Glover of Shelton, with Connor Rieve of Bethel.

An additional $500 prize was awarded to “Minion Point” and Kestler, Glover and Rieve for getting the most votes in a separate “Facebook Favorite” vote conducted online Jan. 1-16.

“We congratulate the winners, and thank all the contestants whose creativity added a fun and festive cheer to The Maritime Aquarium through the holiday season,” said Tina Tison, the Aquarium’s marketing director. “Because of them, our guests were the real winners.”

Photos of all the winners can be seen at www.flickr.com/photos/Maritimeaquarium.

For more information about exhibits, IMAX® movies, programs or other offerings at the popular Connecticut family attraction this winter, go to www.MaritimeAquarium.org or call (203) 852-

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andrewjd331@yahoo.com (Dave Sigworth) Neighbors Mon, 23 Jan 2017 03:31:30 -0500
Small Business Day: Join Mayor Rilling for Coffee & Conversation http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2201-small-business-day-join-mayor-rilling-for-coffee-conversation2201-small-business-day-join-mayor-rilling-for-coffee-conversation http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2201-small-business-day-join-mayor-rilling-for-coffee-conversation2201-small-business-day-join-mayor-rilling-for-coffee-conversation

Join us for “Coffee & Conversation” with City of Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling and Economic Development Director Elizabeth Stocker.  Mayor Rilling and the Director are hosting a special event for Norwalk business owners, innovators, entrepreneurs and others to introduce them to various resources for financing a business expansion, launching a new business, training employees, energy upgrades and more.  The event will be held on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at Norwalk City Hall – Community Room, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT  06856, starting at 8:30 a.m.

The event will focus on connecting business persons with locally available resources that can help to address the challenges small businesses face today. Those joining Mayor Rilling and Ms. Stocker include the US Small Business Administration, Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, CT Next & CT Innovations, the Community Economic Development Fund, CT Dept. of Economic Development & Dept. of Labor, CT Green Bank, SCORE, Norwalk Library, SBDC, WBDC and the Greater Norwalk Hispanic Chamber of Commerce who will be on hand for one-on-one conversations.

The event is free. Feel free to invite anyone who may be a small business owner or entrepreneur. For questions and RSVP call 203.854.7948. We look forward to seeing you.

Date:           January 26, 2017

Time:           8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Where:        Norwalk City Hall – Community Room

Location:      125 East Avenue

                   Norwalk, CT  06856

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andrewjd331@yahoo.com (Elizabeth Stocker) Events Mon, 23 Jan 2017 03:21:49 -0500
Events at the Rowayton Arts Center http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2203-events-at-the-rowayton-arts-center2203-events-at-the-rowayton-arts-center http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2203-events-at-the-rowayton-arts-center2203-events-at-the-rowayton-arts-center

“Beyond Brushwork” opens at the Rowayton Arts Center on Sunday, January 29. This is the one exhibit where brushes get the brush off. It is an exhibit of everything but traditional paintings: it is digital art, drawings, mixed media, paper cuts, pastels and prints. Exhibiting members think way out of the box –the paint box that is.  

The exhibit chair is Kathleen Weinstock and co-chair is Pat Atkin.  Josephine Robinson, an instructor at the Silvermine Guild Arts Center in New Canaan, is the exhibition judge. Robinson's work has been exhibited in London and the U.S.  The Gale Parsons Memorial Award will be awarded to the winner in Mixed Media.

On Sunday, January 22 join us for a demonstration by art instructor Sam Morrow. Sam offers his tips on painting with oils.

Mark your calendar for these events:

Sunday, January 22:

Art Demonstration with Sam Morrow (Free and open to the public)

 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

 Sunday, January 29:

 Opening Reception for Beyond Brushwork  (Free and open to the public)   

 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

For almost 60 years, the Rowayton Arts Center has been a cultural gem in the community. It is an exceptional gallery where regional artists may exhibit and sell their art as well as a wonderful venue for art workshops and classes. The Art School offers classes to children and adults at all levels. The RAC Gallery and Art School are located on the bank of the scenic Five Mile River in Rowayton, CT at 145 Rowayton Avenue.

For more information: www.rowaytonarts.org    (Drawing by Dan Long)

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andrewjd331@yahoo.com (Jeanne Taylor Hard) Events Sat, 21 Jan 2017 03:28:42 -0500
Fairfield County High School Students to Star in Local Play "Living the American Dream" http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2202-fairfield-county-high-school-students-to-star-in-local-play-living-the-american-dream2202-fairfield-county-high-school-students-to-star-in-local-play-living-the-american-dream http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2202-fairfield-county-high-school-students-to-star-in-local-play-living-the-american-dream2202-fairfield-county-high-school-students-to-star-in-local-play-living-the-american-dream

Living the American Dream
The "Ellis Island" sequel by Cheryl E. Kemeny


Friday, January 27, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.


Crystal Theatre at Ben Franklin Center
66 Bayview Avenue
South Norwalk, CT 06854

Set in New York City, 1907, follow the lives of immigrants Kate & Colleen, Timothy & Daniel, Ludmilla, and Americans Brigitte Anderson, Mrs. Elsworth, Mrs. MacArthur and a host of new characters living in the new century—The Age of Innocence. Success and happiness for some, disillusionment and death for others in this action-packed, award-winning sequel to Cheryl Kemeny’s "Ellis Island".

Director: Samantha Kulish
Musical Director: Cheryl E. Kemeny
Choreographer: Char Fromentin

Performed by a talented cast of Fairfield County high school students.

*Due to violence and adult subject matter, this show is not recommended for children 8 and under.

$12-Adults, $10- Seniors, $7-Students

https://crystaltheatre.ticketleap.com/living-the-american-dream/ Online Tickets Sales stop at 9:00 a.m. on Friday January 27.

All Remaining Tickets will be sold at the door each night a half hour before curtain.

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andrewjd331@yahoo.com (Crystal Theatre) Events Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:26:52 -0500
Sono ranks 4 in school spending amongst CT Towns http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/life/2199-sono-ranks-4-in-school-spending-amongst-ct-towns2199-sono-ranks-4-in-school-spending-amongst-ct-towns http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/life/2199-sono-ranks-4-in-school-spending-amongst-ct-towns2199-sono-ranks-4-in-school-spending-amongst-ct-towns

The quality of Norwalk’s school system has a direct correlation to so much of what makes it a great town. Home values, crime, and family all receive a boost from a strong school system.

Every town has different thoughts on what portion of the town’s tax dollars should be spent on education. Much research has been done on the effectiveness of educational spending, and the effectiveness that additional spending has on a better quality education and school system.

Norwalk currently spends $4,140,377 on education according to Connecticut State Comptroller, which represents a cost per student of $363.

Norwalk has 11,409 students enrolled, which ranks 6 amongst the 202 school districts in Connecticut.

The amount that Norwalk spends on education is $4,140,377, which ranks Norwalk number 4 in educational spending of the 151 reporting towns in the state of CT.

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auto@hamlethub.com (Karen Moore) Life Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:00:20 -0500
Weston Best City in Connecticut for Employment according to New Report http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/politics/2198-weston-best-city-in-connecticut-for-employment-according-to-new-report2198-weston-best-city-in-connecticut-for-employment-according-to-new-report http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/politics/2198-weston-best-city-in-connecticut-for-employment-according-to-new-report2198-weston-best-city-in-connecticut-for-employment-according-to-new-report

Connecticut is home to some of the best cities in the world and we all know a vibrant employment market is essential to keep it that way. How does Norwalk rank?
Zippia recently ranked 46 cities in Connecticut based on the potential for employment. Norwalk ranked number 8. Zippia reported that Recent Job Growth was 1.74% and that Future Job Growth was 37.70%.

Norwalk has a labor force of 50,206 according to the Department of Labor, and the latest unemployment rate for Norwalk is 3.20% for the month of November 2016. This rate is not seasonally adjusted.

Overall the State of Connecticut has a labor force of 1,888,100, and an unemployment rate of 3.7%.

Weston was ranked as the best, with Wilton and Fairfield ranked second and third. The score was determined by an average of 4 factors:

Unemployment rate
Recent job growth
Future job growth
Median household income

To see the entire list of 46 Connecticut cities, please go to https://www.zippia.com/advice/best-places-in-connecticut-to-get-a-job/.

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auto@hamlethub.com (Karen Moore) Politics Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:45:32 -0500
Norwalk Housing Market Data released by Zillow http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/neighbors/2197-norwalk-housing-market-data-released-by-zillow2197-norwalk-housing-market-data-released-by-zillow http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/neighbors/2197-norwalk-housing-market-data-released-by-zillow2197-norwalk-housing-market-data-released-by-zillow

The housing market for Norwalk increased by 0.03% from the previous month according to the latest Zillow survey.

Zillow released their monthly Home Value Index from November 2016 which shows the median price of a home in Norwalk at $386,700, which represents an increase of 0.03% from the previous month. The index for Norwalk is up 1.60% from last year.
Zillow also reported that the average value per square foot of a home in Norwalk is $ 253.

The average of the index for each town in Connecticut is $242,800, which is up .20% from the previous month, and up 1.85% from last year. The average of the median values per square foot in CT is $163.

Zillow believes US homes will continue to regain lost value since 2007 and could surpass pre-recession highs by mid-2017.

Zillow also reports that rents are more unaffordable than ever in many markets. On average in the US renters spend 29% of their income on rent.

More information on how Zillow computes their price index can be found here http://www.zillow.com/research/zhvi-methodology-6032/

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auto@hamlethub.com (Karen Moore) Neighbors Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:50:58 -0500
Better Business Bureau Reports Tax Scams as the Most Popular Connecticut Scam http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/politics/2193-better-business-bureau-reports-tax-scams-as-the-most-popular-connecticut-scam2193-better-business-bureau-reports-tax-scams-as-the-most-popular-connecticut-scam http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/politics/2193-better-business-bureau-reports-tax-scams-as-the-most-popular-connecticut-scam2193-better-business-bureau-reports-tax-scams-as-the-most-popular-connecticut-scam

Norwalk reported only 3 scams to the BBB in 2016.

Reports to BBB Scam Tracker in 2016 confirmed that tax scams are still the top scam, despite a huge drop in reports after a September police raid in Mumbai, India. The list was compiled based on more than 30,000 scam reports filed by consumers on bbb.org/scamtracker.

Norwalk had the most popular scam type listed as Lottery Prizes. In Connecticut, the top scam was described as “Tax Collection” (28), “Debt Collections” (17), and “Employment” (16).

The top three scams on the 2016 list for the entire US – tax scams, debt collection scams, and sweepstakes/prizes/gifts scams – were the same as in 2015. New to the top ten are online purchase scams (#4) and phishing scams (#10). Online purchase scams were common in 2015 as well, but this scam type was not added as a BBB Scam Tracker category until 2016. Employment scams (#5) are also new to the top ten, but only because work-from-home scams, previously a separate category, were included. Another change was the drop of tech support scams from #4 last year to #7 this year.

BBB encourages consumers to learn how to recognize scams and to avoid them by following these ten simple steps: bbb.org/avoidscams

If you have any questions, or would like to report a scam, please contact the Connecticut BBB here:
BBB Serving Connecticut
29 Berlin Road
Cromwell, CT 06416
Phone: (860) 740-4500
Fax: (860) 740-4515
Email: info@ct.bbb.org

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auto@hamlethub.com (Karen Moore) Politics Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:05:30 -0500
19th Century “Wet Plate” Photography Demo & Lecture at Norwalk Historical Society http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2191-19th-century-wet-plate-photography-demo-lecture-at-norwalk-historical-society2191-19th-century-wet-plate-photography-demo-lecture-at-norwalk-historical-society http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2191-19th-century-wet-plate-photography-demo-lecture-at-norwalk-historical-society2191-19th-century-wet-plate-photography-demo-lecture-at-norwalk-historical-society

Fine photographic artist, N.W. Gibbons, will present a lecture and rare demo of the 19th century “wet plate” photography process, Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 1:00pm at the Norwalk Historical Society Museum. He has been producing wet plate photographs, for over 15 years. Learn how these photographs are created, as Mr. Gibbons walks through the steps of his precise wet plate process to create a tintype photograph. Admission is $10. Tickets can be purchased online at norwalkhistoricalsociety.org. Seating is limited.  If the event is cancelled by the Norwalk Historical Society due to inclement weather, it will be rescheduled for Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. The Norwalk Historical Society Museum is located at 141 East Avenue. The front entrance is accessible from the Norwalk City Hall parking area at 125 East Avenue. The Museum is in the red brick house with blue double front doors, next to the Norwalk Health Department.

Photographers during the mid to late 19th century used the “wet plate” process to develop tintypes and ambrotypes. Tintypes and ambrotypes are direct positive images on metal or glass respectively. Each image is a unique "edition of one" as there is no negative from which to make duplicate prints. Wet plate images are noted for their extremely fine grain images with a long tonal scale.

Attendees will be able to view original 19th century tintypes and ambrotypes in the Norwalk Historical Society's new exhibit, Self and the World: Experiencing Photography in 19th Century Norwalk. The exhibit is curated by Elizabeth Avery and graphic designs by Scott Kuykendall.  On display are never before seen daguerreotypes, family portraits, cartes de visite photographs, plate glass negatives, stereoscopes and an original early Kodak camera, that helps tell the story of the early age of photography and its influence on the people of Norwalk.

N.W. Gibbons is a fine photographic artist from Westport, CT and has worked in large format non-digital photographic media since the mid-1970’s, and since 1999 has produced work using a number of different 19th century photo processes. Mr. Gibbons creates very large tintypes and ambrotypes and favors cityscapes and landscapes in lower Fairfield County and New York State. Past bodies of work include the bridges of the Merritt Parkway and the former industrial mills of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Mr. Gibbons’ work is in numerous private and public collections, including the Yale Art Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Library of Congress, and the Museum of Modern Art.  When not making wet plate images, Mr. Gibbons is a full-time Fire Inspector for the Westport Fire Department. He is also an Associate Fellow of Branford College at Yale University. Mr. Gibbons' website is: www.nwgibbons.com

For more information on the 19th Century Wet Plate Photography Demo & Lecture visit www.norwalkhistoricalsociety.org, e-mail info@norwalkhistoricalsociety.org, or call 203-846-0525. The Norwalk Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

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andrewjd331@yahoo.com (Norwalk Historical Society) Events Wed, 18 Jan 2017 03:17:34 -0500
Darien Police Arrest Norwalk Man for Assaulting Residents from Darien & Southbury http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/publicsafety/2194-darien-police-arrest-norwalk-man-for-assaulting-residents-from-darien-southbury2194-darien-police-arrest-norwalk-man-for-assaulting-residents-from-darien-southbury http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/publicsafety/2194-darien-police-arrest-norwalk-man-for-assaulting-residents-from-darien-southbury2194-darien-police-arrest-norwalk-man-for-assaulting-residents-from-darien-southbury

On December 18, 2016 at approximately 1:00 am, Darien officers responded to Chez Ernie’s Café, 25 Tokeneke Rd, on the report of a fight in progress. Officers arrived on scene and located one victim, a 51 year old Darien man, with severe facial injuries, and a second victim, a 51 year old Southbury man, with a minor injury. Witnesses reported that the suspect had struck the first victim with a glass and then in an ensuing skirmish, struck the second victim with his fist. The suspect had been escorted from the establishment by employees and had left the scene prior to the arrival of officers. Both victims were taken to Stamford Hospital for treatment of their injuries. Due to the extent of one of the victim’s injuries, the Detective Division responded to process the scene and interview those involved. 

On December 19, 2016 the suspect was identified as Christopher Aikler DOB 02/14/1973 of 42 Bayne St. Norwalk, CT. On December 22, 2016 Aikler met with and gave full cooperation to Detectives. On January 11, 2017 Aikler turned himself in to Detectives after learning there was a warrant for his arrest. Aikler was charged as follows:

  • Assault 2nd Degree  1 count
  • Assault 3rd Degree  1 count
  • Breach of Peace  1 count

Aikler then posted a $15,000.00 court set bond and is scheduled to appear at Stamford Superior Court on January 23, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. The victim who sustained serious injuries continues to receive medical treatment

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andrewjd331@yahoo.com (Darien Police) Public safety Tue, 17 Jan 2017 08:54:24 -0500
Tickets Available for Norwalk’s 2017 Mayor’s Ball http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2190-tickets-available-for-norwalk-s-2017-mayor-s-ball2190-tickets-available-for-norwalk-s-2017-mayor-s-ball http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2190-tickets-available-for-norwalk-s-2017-mayor-s-ball2190-tickets-available-for-norwalk-s-2017-mayor-s-ball

The Mayor’s 24rd Annual Community Ball, to be held on Friday, January 27, 2017, 6:30 p.m. at the Italian Center in Stamford, is garnering a strong group of corporate sponsors, and tickets are going fast.  Mayor Harry Rilling stated, “Each year we work hard to strengthen the community impact of the Mayor’s Ball, which is a charitable endeavor.  I am very happy to report that key business leaders, including Seligson Properties, FD Rich Company, Spinaker Real Estate Partners LLC, General Growth Properties, and Belpointe Capital LLC, have stepped up to help maximize our donations to the Ball’s non-profit beneficiaries.  I deeply appreciate their community spirit and responsiveness.” Additional sponsors are welcome, and can contact Donna King in the Mayor’s Office, at (203) 854-7703.

Featuring an open bar, appetizers, dinner and dancing, the Ball also offers a raffle with prizes such as gourmet dinners, sports memorabilia, and vacations. Since the Continental Manor closed at the end of January, the Ball will be held at the Italian Center in Stamford.

Tickets are available at $120.00 per person. Tables of ten can still be reserved. Join us for an evening of good food, fun and dancing.  Please call Maritza Alvarado at 203-854-7950 as soon as possible to make reservations, which are on a first-come first-served basis.

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andrewjd331@yahoo.com (Donna I. King) Events Mon, 16 Jan 2017 15:15:14 -0500
Connecticut Press Club Announces 2017 Communications Contest http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/neighbors/2189-connecticut-press-club-announces-2017-communications-contest2189-connecticut-press-club-announces-2017-communications-contest http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/neighbors/2189-connecticut-press-club-announces-2017-communications-contest2189-connecticut-press-club-announces-2017-communications-contest

Annual competition has 64 writing and editing categories and is open to all Connecticut-based writers and editors.    

Did you publish a book in 2016? Start a blog? Write an article or essay you're particularly proud of?

The recently relaunched and reinvigorated Connecticut Press Club is now accepting entries for its popular Communications Contest, which rewards excellence in communications in a wide range of categories. Entries in 64 categories will be judged by out-of-state professionals with corresponding expertise.

Categories include:

  • online and print news articles and columns
  • social media campaigns
  • nonfiction, fiction, poetry, YA and children's books
  • specialty articles in the arts, food, business, education, travel and more...
  • page design, editing, photography and graphics
  • radio and TV
  • podcasts and blogs
  • advertising and PR

Click here to download instructions on how to enter your work in the contest. If you have questions, email contest director Lynn Prowitt. If she can't help, we'll put you in touch with someone at NFPW who can.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Contest Fees: If you are a member of the CT Press Club, the fee is $25 for the first entry and $15 for each additional entry. Non-members pay $30 for the first entry and $20 for each additional entry.
  • Eligibility: Anyone who is a member of the CT Press Club or either lives or works in Connecticut is eligible to enter (you can join the CT Press Club when you enter the contest; dues are $35/year). Work published between January 1st and December 31st, 2016 is eligible.
  • Deadlines: The Connecticut early bird deadline is January 17th and the regular deadline is February 6th. (After January 17th, a one-time late fee of $25 will be added, whether you have one entry or many).
  • We will celebrate the winners with a cocktail party and awards ceremony in May.
  • Anyone who receives a first place award in the Connecticut contest will be eligible to enter the National Federation of Press Women National Communications Contest, providing 2017 NFPW membership dues have been paid. (Membership dues can be paid when you register for the contest.)

The Connecticut Press Club is an affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW), which administers the state affiliate contests. You do not have to join the NFPW to enter our statewide contest, and if you'd like to join the CT Press Club, you can pay the fee online or send a check made out to Connecticut Press Club to: P.O. Box 45, Cos Cob, CT 06807.

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andrewjd331@yahoo.com (Aline Weiller) Neighbors Sun, 15 Jan 2017 15:15:35 -0500
The Chocolate Expo Returns to The Maritime Aquarium On Jan. 29 http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2188-the-chocolate-expo-returns-to-the-maritime-aquarium-on-jan-292188-the-chocolate-expo-returns-to-the-maritime-aquarium-on-jan-29 http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/events/2188-the-chocolate-expo-returns-to-the-maritime-aquarium-on-jan-292188-the-chocolate-expo-returns-to-the-maritime-aquarium-on-jan-29

One of Connecticut’s top attractions gets even sweeter on Sun., Jan. 29 when The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk offers sea turtles and chocolate turtles – plus a great admission deal – with the return of The Chocolate Expo.

About 40 local and regional vendors – including top area chocolatiers – will fill the Aquarium galleries, offering samples and sales of their gourmet chocolates, baked goods and specialty foods. In addition, guests can meet “Willy Wonka’s” original Mike TeeVee and sit in on free presentations by celebrity chefs Barret Beyer, Tony Albanese and Larry Rosenberg, as well as famed mentalist The Amazing Kreskin.

To pack it all in, the Aquarium will stay open two hours longer than normal – until 7 p.m.

The sweetest part of the day, however, is that admission on Jan. 29 costs less than a regular Aquarium ticket. For one day only, guests can enjoy jellyfish and gelato, tree frogs and truffles, crabs and caramels – all at discounted prices, especially with advance online purchase.

Buy your tickets online – even on the day of The Chocolate Expo – for the deliciously discounted prices of $15 for adults and $10 for children 3-12. (Under 3, free.) Tickets purchased at the door will be $20 for adults and $15 for children. Paid admission on Jan. 29 is required of Maritime Aquarium members: $13 for adults and $8 for children.

(Regular admission to The Maritime Aquarium is $22.95 for adults and $15.95 for children.)

“It’s a recipe you can’t beat: take all of the animals and exhibits of The Maritime Aquarium – at a substantial discount – blended with decadent chocolates and specialty foods, and topped with celebrity chefs and other free bonus guests and activities,” said Dave Sigworth, the Aquarium’s publicist. “You might find some other chocolate show somewhere, but it won’t also offer sharks, seals, sea turtles and other marine life. As we say every year, you’d have to be dipped in nuts not to enjoy this special day and this great deal.”

This year, for the first time, an off-peak ticket for admission between 5 & 7 p.m. is available for $10 per person; an even greater discount.

News 12 Connecticut is media sponsor of the 2017 Chocolate Expo at The Maritime Aquarium.

Expo producer Marvin Baum said The Chocolate Expo is for people who are serious about chocolate and who love unique specialty foods.

“Vendors at the Expo typically offer small tasting-sized portions of their products,” Baum said. “Think of the chocolate tastings in the way you might think of a wine tasting at a winery: you get a small sample to try and you often get to talk with the person who made the product. If you like what you’ve tasted, you can purchase that product for yourself or to give as gifts.”

Expo/Aquarium visitors will find not only traditional and gourmet chocolates, but also specialty offerings like chocolate-covered bacon, chocolate tarts, candy apples, fudge, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate vinaigrettes, and even chocolate-infused Brussels sprouts and chocolate-scented candles.

For ready-to-eat treats, Aurora Gourmet will have their chocolate fountains flowing, while Crazy Crepe Café will be making delicious crepes and Pika’s Farm Table will serve authentic Belgian-style waffles dipped in a choice of white, dark or milk chocolate. Screme Gelato will scoop a variety of unique flavors.

Non-chocolate goodies to be sampled and sold include gourmet tomato sauces, hot sauces, empanadas, nut butters, jams, syrups, sodas, pickles, coffees, horseradish, honey, popcorn, cannolis, cakes, pies, tarts and more. You can even bring home specialty treats for your dog!

There will be no IMAX® movie presentations on Jan. 29, so the theater can be used for special presentations, including free 30-minute demonstrations by three celebrity chefs:

– Tony Albanese, pastry designer and former assistant to Buddy Valastro of TV’s “Cake Boss,” at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

– Barret Beyer of Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” at 2 and 4 p.m.

– and Larry Rosenberg, recipe-book author, owner of Bacon Bites and soon-to-be-seen on Food Network, at 1 & 5 p.m.

Plus, at noon, be astounded by The Amazing Kreskin. With a showman’s flair, a comedian’s wit and the capacities of a bona fide mentalist or thought-reader, The Amazing Kreskin dramatizes the unique facets of the human mind. For six decades, he has been wow-ing audiences and talk-show hosts – including Carson, Letterman, Stern and Fallon – with his unknowable insights and answers.

Seating of 310 for the chef demonstrations and The Amazing Kreskin will be on a first-come, first-seated basis. The chefs will be available throughout the day for pictures and autographs.

This year’s Chocolate Expo also celebrates cinematic chocolate history by welcoming Paris Themmen, who played Mike TeeVee – the boy in the cowboy outfit – opposite Gene Wilder in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” Themmen will sign autographs and pose for photographs throughout the day.

Kids can take part in art activities at 11 a.m., noon and 1 & 2 p.m., and also be transformed by a face-painter between 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. These are free with admission.

Enjoy all the decadent treats and special guests while exploring The Maritime Aquarium, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to educate visitors about – and to create stewards for – Long Island Sound. The Aquarium accomplishes this by allowing visitors to get close to more than 300 species native to the Sound and its watershed, including sharks, seals, sea turtles, river otters, jellyfish and other animals. Except for “Jiggle A Jelly,” all exhibits will be open during The Chocolate Expo.

“Valentine’s Day will be here soon, so The Chocolate Expo is the perfect opportunity to buy some sweets for your sweetie,” Sigworth said. “Plus, there are no NFL playoff games on the 29th, so there’s no reason for anyone to stay home. In fact, with no football to watch, The Chocolate Expo gives football fans something to do!”

Parking is available in the Maritime Garage (across from the Aquarium’s main entrance) and a short walk away in the city’s Webster Lot. Find an open parking space by using a smart-phone app called Parker that displays “real-time” parking availabilities in South Norwalk.

For more information about The Chocolate Expo, go to www.thechocolateexpo.com or www.maritimeaquarium.org.

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andrewjd331@yahoo.com (Dave Sigworth) Events Fri, 13 Jan 2017 04:18:09 -0500
Norwalk Historical Society Receives Grant from AT&T http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/charities/2187-norwalk-historical-society-receives-grant-from-at-t2187-norwalk-historical-society-receives-grant-from-at-t http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/charities/2187-norwalk-historical-society-receives-grant-from-at-t2187-norwalk-historical-society-receives-grant-from-at-t

The Norwalk Historical Society received a $5,000 grant to support the Little Red Schoolhouse Program.  Harry Carey, External Affairs Director for AT&T, presented the Norwalk Historical Society with the grant, which will help fund enhancements to the program. State Senator Bob Duff has been a great supporter. “The program is designed for 3rd graders to learn about our rich early local history,” said Duff.  It’s offered to all 3rd grade classes in Norwalk. “Students walk out of our program with a greater appreciation for Norwalk’s early history through an interactive history lesson,” said Samantha Kulish-Fargione, Program Coordinator for the Norwalk Historical Society.

The grant will assist with the updating and creation of new teaching materials. The colonial herb garden, which was added to Mill Hill Historic Park in the last two years, will be fully integrated into the program. “This is the only place in Norwalk where students can receive a hands-on 18th and early 19th century experience,” said Diane Jellerette, Executive Director of the Norwalk Historical Society. “With this grant we will continue to offer a quality experience for our students.”  On-site tours for the Little Red Schoolhouse program are held at Mill Hill Historic Park, 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT.  

About the Norwalk Historical Society
The Norwalk Historical Society was incorporated in 1899 with the focus on “the research, preservation, and promotion of interest in the history of Norwalk.” Through educational exhibits, programs and lectures, Norwalk’s rich history and diversity in the region is highlighted. The Norwalk Historical Society manages and operates two locations in Norwalk, CT. The Norwalk Historical Society Museum located at 141 East Avenue and Mill Hill Historic Park located at 2 East Wall Street.  The Norwalk Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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andrewjd331@yahoo.com (Norwalk Historical Society) Charities Fri, 13 Jan 2017 03:13:49 -0500
Sono Residents being asked to give help with Red Cross Blood Drive http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/life/2184-sono-residents-being-asked-to-give-help-with-red-cross-blood-drive2184-sono-residents-being-asked-to-give-help-with-red-cross-blood-drive http://news.hamlethub.com/sono/life/2184-sono-residents-being-asked-to-give-help-with-red-cross-blood-drive2184-sono-residents-being-asked-to-give-help-with-red-cross-blood-drive

As freezing temperatures and harsh weather grip much of the nation, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to make an appointment to give blood or platelets to help meet the constant need for blood this winter.

Sono residents are being asked to give blood to help those in need.

Millions of people are expected to take to the roads, rail and air to celebrate the season, which can cause fewer donors to be available and lead to a decline in blood and platelet donations. In addition, severe winter weather and seasonal illnesses can temporarily prevent some from giving. Donors with all blood types are needed now to help patients. As a special thank you for taking the time to donate, those who come out to give through Jan. 8 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

“Many of us celebrate this time of year with loved ones, but patients may spend the holidays and ring in the new year from a hospital room,” said Alyson Barraza of the Red Cross Connecticut Blood Services Region. “Blood and platelet donors can bring joy to patients and their families by giving blood or platelets to help ensure patients receive the lifesaving treatments they need.”

Additional upcoming blood donation opportunities Near Sono:

1/11/2017: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., East Norwalk Library, 51 Van Zant Street

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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auto@hamlethub.com (Karen Moore) Life Wed, 11 Jan 2017 15:42:39 -0500