Sono's HamletHub Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:29:37 -0400 Shearwater Coffee Bar's Active Summer / Fall Happenings

Off and running, Shearwater Coffee Bar, an oasis for coffee enthusiasts, featuring Shearwater’s all-organic, small batch roasted coffee, is lovin’ their new digs in the Brick Walk retail neighborhood of Fairfield. Since opening its doors in July, Founder Ed Freedman and General Manager Jason Varga have set the stage for an active and social coffee bar that embraces community, coffee, and talent! Upcoming schedule of events:

August 19Saturday, 8 pm

American singer and songwriter Samantha Preis performs.


August 26 and September 2,

Jazz vocalist Amanda Belitto performs with accompanist.  


September 7, Thursday

Tuckahoe Arts, Artist Opening


September 9, Saturday, 3 pm to 7 pm

Flavour Wine Festival at FTC Warehouse. Shearwater conducts coffee tasting at event.


September 9, Saturday, 7pm to 10 pm

Welcoming Party for Fairfield University & Sacred Heart University Students

Free coffee and cold brew coffee, appetizers and desserts.

Live Music, Door Prizes, Brick-walk Vendor Coupons and more!


September 14, Thursday Night Latte Art Throwdown

Head to head competition from local baristas to create the most inspiring latte art.

September 16, Saturday,8 pm

American singer and songwriter Samantha Preis performs.


September 18 - Monday Night Trivia  (repeats every other Monday) 8 pm.

We play 5 seconds of a song and attendees write down what they think the song title is. Winners receive local shopping gift cards


September 23, Saturday, 8 pm

American singer and songwriter Samantha Preis performs.

September 28, Thursday Night "Coffee and Canvas"

Members of Fairfield University and Sacred Heart art clubs compete for best work on canvas.


October 7, Saturday, 7:30 pm

Jazz vocalist Amanda Belitto performs with accompanist. 


October 21, Saturday, 8 pm to 10 pm

"Poetry Slam/Open Mic Night".  Local university performing artists step up to the mic and try to win over the audience

October 28, Saturday Afternoon TBD

Halloween Costume Party - Free coffee those who come in costume.

November 9 - Bingo Thursday 8 pm – 9 pm. Winners get local shopping gift cards. (on-going)


Shearwater Coffee Bar, 1215 Post Road, The Brick Walk Promenade – next to MilkCraft.

203.955.1098 for event details and updates.

]]> (Linda Kavanagh) Events Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:27:01 -0400
Crystal Theatre Fall Class Registration

Act! Sing! Dance! Perform! at Crystal Theatre

Norwalk's Award-Winning Youth Theatre Announces Fall Class Registration!

Musical Theatre Show Classes for Students in Preschool - High School

All classes culminate in a fully staged musical production in our 250 seat auditorium at the Ben Franklin Center - 66 Bayview Ave. Norwalk, CT

Register your shining star today at

or call 203-847-4850

Crystal Theatre Fall 2017 Classes

Monday Classes

Three Piggy Opera
Kindergarten - 1st Grade

The pig families want to build new houses. After visiting town, each family purchases different materials(Straw, Sticks & Bricks) from three musical Sellers. Enter the Big Bag Wolves, who want to nice pork dinner! Will the wolves catch the pigs? Will the Sellers help the pigs? Find out in this fun-filled musical!

Mondays 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m..
Starts: Monday, September 11, 2017
Performance: Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.

The Trial of Alice in Wonderland
2nd - 4th Grade

Poor Alice has been accused of making the Queen of Hearts lose her temper during a game of croquet and the Queen herself is presiding over the case. With the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter and Caterpillar, to name a few, as witnesses, will Alice ever be proven innocent or will it with her head?!

Mondays 5:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
Starts: Monday, September 11, 2017
Performance: Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

Miscast Cabaret
8th - College

A group of teenage actors at an open audition find themselves "typed out" due to their physical characteristics and decide to come together and create a performance with music that not only defies type, but could possibly even defy age, race, and gender. With Broadway hits like Hamilton defying type and pushing the boundaries, we push the envelope even further and study characters that may even be the polar opposite of what you may generally be cast in. The results are a hilarious, unique, and entertaining performance!

Mondays 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Starts: Monday, September 18, 2017

Show: Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday Classes

Three Piggy Opera
Kindergarten -1st Grade

The pig families want to build new houses. After visiting town, each family purchases different materials(Straw, Sticks & Bricks) from three musical Sellers. Enter the Big Bag Wolves, who want to nice pork dinner! Will the wolves catch the pigs? Will the Sellers help the pigs? Find out in this fun-filled musical!

Tuesdays 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Starts: Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Performance: Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

The Trial of Alice in Wonderland
2nd - 4th Grade

Poor Alice has been accused of making the Queen of Hearts lose her temper during a game of croquet and the Queen herself is presiding over the case. With the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter and Caterpillar, to name a few, as witnesses, will Alice ever be proven innocent or will it with her head?!

Tuesdays 5:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
Starts: Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Performance: Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Musicianship Skills
7th - 12th Grade

Are you tired of being lost in music classes because you can’t read music very well or at all? Do you find yourself taking a longer time to learn songs than your friends who play an instrument? Is it hard for you to sing harmonies? Do you need to get better at sight-reading?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, this class is for you!Learn intervals, rhythms, conducting patterns, pitch identification, and solfège to up your game.

Tuesdays 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Starts: Tuesday, September 26, 2017

There is no performance with this class.

Wednesday Class

Elf Jr.- The Musical
5th - 9th Grade

Elf The Musical JR. is a great ensemble show that follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to meet his father and discover his true identity. When he discovers his father is on the naughty list and his stepbrother doesn't believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesdays 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Starts: Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Performances: Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
                    Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

Thursday Class

Cosmic Nightingale
5th - 8th Grade

Diane Parks is the singer they hear and years later her grand-daughter Jennifer Parks is an aspiring singer-songwriter. But that's not all - things get even crazier when the aliens announce that they've come for a human singer! Will the aliens succeed? How will the nations of the world respond? Join Crystal Theatre for a terrific musical comedy theatre experience and find out.

Thursdays 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Starts: Thursday, September 7, 2017
Performances: Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.
                     Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.

Friday Class

Preschool Storybook Theatre
Ages 3 1/2 - 5 Years

This class is a wonderful introduction to drama and movement. During each class students will step into their favorite storybooks and bring them to life!

Fridays 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Starts Friday, September 8, 2017
Performance: Friday, November 10, 2017

Saturday Classes

Holiday Cabaret
3rd - 5th Grade

For those who love to sing and dance, a musical extravaganza that will give you plenty of opportunity to perform and strut your stuff!  This 2-Act show will include solos for all as well as holiday tunes and a great medley from Fiddler on the Roof.

Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Starts: Saturday, September 9, 2017
Performance: Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

The third installment in Cheryl E. Kemeny's "Ellis Island Trilogy"

9th - 12th Grade

For advanced students, this big musical is set in South Norwalk, 1907.  Irish immigrant, Kate O'Reilly, and her friend Zsuzsi have witnessed the murder of Kate's husband, Timothy. They must now hide out from his murderer, Doyle Callaghan. They travel with another friend, Dinah, to South Norwalk where Zsuzsi's Hungarian family lives. They set up a hat shop and Kate becomes embroiled in the intrigues of competing local choruses who use her as bait in order to secure the services of local Italian super-tenor Aldo Salvatore. Romance, comedy, secrets and murder combine in this tale that details the lives of Whistleville's (the Bouton St-Lexington Ave area of South Norwalk) immigrant inhabitants as well as those of the uptown Norwalk establishment.

Saturdays 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Starts: Saturday, September 9, 2017
Performances: Friday, November 3, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
                      Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
                      Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 3:00p.m.

Register today at or call 203-847-4850

]]> (Crystal Theatre) Neighbors Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:23:57 -0400
Norwalk Health Department Offers School Physical Exams in August

Norwalk public school students will return to classes soon, and students entering kindergarten, sixth, or ninth grades must get a physical exam before school starts. If you have insurance and a regular health care provider, contact your child’s doctor now to schedule an appointment for a school physical. If you have trouble finding an affordable, timely option elsewhere, the Norwalk Health Department is offering affordable school physicals on August 28 and 29, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Examinations include all necessary screening tests, laboratory tests, and vaccines.

Call the Health Department for more information or to make an appointment at (203) 854-7776. Appointments are limited, and priority is given to Norwalk residents. Please note that appointments are reserved for physicals required for school entry, not sports physicals.

In addition to school physicals, childhood immunizations are available upon request for children of all ages.

]]> (Theresa Argondezzi) Neighbors Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:44:36 -0400
Connecticut Tax Free Week is August 20-26

Clothing and Footwear Less than $100 Is Sales Tax-Free August 20-26

August means back-to-school shopping, and once again, many items of clothing and footwear can be purchased without paying Connecticut sales tax during “tax-tree week.” The event, now in its 17th year, runs during the third week in August, beginning Sunday, August 20 through Saturday, August 26.

During the “sales tax holiday” week, most individual items of clothing and footwear priced under $100 are exempt from Connecticut Sales and Use Tax. For items costing $100 or more, sales tax is calculated on the full purchase price.

Said Department of Revenue Services (DRS) Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan, “In Connecticut and other states, the sales tax holiday generally falls around back-to-school season and getting a sales tax break certainly helps.  Just as important, retailers will add promotional inducements such as discounts, so there’s a price savings plus a tax savings and the ability of consumers to upscale their purchases. While the price of an item may start above the $100 taxable threshold, after discounts are applied, it could drop to less than $100 and is not subject to sales tax that week.”

“Retail sales are an important part of any state economy, including the jobs involved.  While the research is mixed on whether there is actually more business done over time due to sales tax holidays, it’s a helpful way to promote retail shopping -- all of which employ people that support the sales,” said Commissioner Sullivan.  “The economic boost more than makes up for the Sales Tax Holiday.    

This year, the state expects about $4.1 million in Sales and Use Tax exemptions during the August sales tax holiday week.

On the DRS website visitors can find more details in Information Publication 2015(22), Annual One-Week Sales and Use Tax Exclusion on Clothing and Footwear Costing Less than $100. The publication outlines what is and is not exempt during the week, as well as rules about the use of coupons, exchanges, and layaway.

]]> (James Carson) Events Mon, 14 Aug 2017 06:00:31 -0400
Norwalk Health Department Promotes Vaccines During National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This month, the Health Department joins the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health officials to celebrate the benefits of vaccines and highlight their importance for people of all ages.

NIAM highlights the various groups of people who benefit of vaccines:

  • school-aged children, who need back-to-school vaccines;
  • babies and young children, because a healthy start begins with on-time vaccination;
  • pregnant women, who can protect themselves and pass protection on to their babies;
  • adults, because vaccines are not just for kids; and
  • preteens and teens, who can ensure a healthy future with vaccines.

During NIAM and throughout the year, the Health Department’s Immunization Action Plan (IAP) Program works with families, health care providers, and the community to ensure that area children and adults receive age-appropriate vaccines. This year, the IAP Program continues to run its highly recognized Win/Win/Win campaign to promote the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) to young people in the Norwalk area.

As part of the campaign, IAP staff is encouraging health care providers to discuss and administer this anti-cancer vaccine to their pre-teen and teenage patients in Norwalk, Westport, or Wilton. Patients who talk to their doctor about the HPV vaccine and/or receive the vaccine at their pediatrician’s office can enter a drawing to win an iPad, and the offices that enter the most postcards win a free lunch for their staff. The campaign is a Win/Win/Win: Win immunity for children and the community, win an iPad, and win lunch for health staff. The winner of the iPad will be drawn September 27, 2017.

For more information about the Health Department’s services for those seeking vaccines, visit our website at

]]> (Theresa Argondezzi) Public safety Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:18:43 -0400
Trumbull Bow Tie Cinemas Announces Renovation Plans

On the heels of launching two new luxury theaters in Norwalk, Bow Tie Cinemas is expanding its commitment to deliver the best possible customer experience to yet another location in Connecticut.

Bow Tie Cinemas has announced that renovations will begin after Labor Day to upgrade the Marquis 16 & BTX in Trumbull, CT into a Bow Tie Ultimate theater. Ultimate renovations at the Marquis will include reserved luxury recliner seating in all auditoriums, as well as the installation of Dolby Atmos premium audio presentation in their already established Bow Tie Xtreme (BTX) large format experience. In addition to the comfort and cinematic upgrades, there will be an elevated concession program which includes expanded food and bar menu offerings.

“Upon completion of the Bow Tie Ultimate Marquis in Trumbull, our valued guests can reserve a luxury recliner seat in advance, arrive at the theater at a convenient time without rushing, and enjoy great food and an adult beverage during the movie,” says Ben Moss, CEO of Bow Tie Cinemas. “Bow Tie Ultimate takes the movie-going experience to a whole new level, and we’re thrilled to continue to grow the Ultimate brand in Fairfield County.”

In addition to traditional movie theater snacks, the new Bow Tie Ultimate menu will feature such favorites as fresh baked Artisanal Pizza, gourmet Mac & Cheese, Chicken & Waffles and more.  The menu was designed to be easily enjoyed from the comfort of your in-seat table. Jack & Harry’s gourmet popcorn will continue to be popped fresh and offered in caramel, cheddar and other seasonal varieties.

Adding to the allure of this innovative style of movie watching is the reserved seating component. Audiences can select their seating in advance when they purchase tickets online through and the Bow Tie Cinemas App, in person from an in-theater kiosk, or at the Bow Tie Cinemas box office.

Founded by B.S. Moss in 1900, four generations of family ownership have guided Bow Tie Cinemas from its origins in Vaudeville to its current standing as the oldest theater circuit in North America and is currently one of America’s fifteen largest exhibitors. Bow Tie Cinemas operates 267 screens at 42 locations in six states.

Bow Tie Cinemas Marquis 16 & BTX
100 Quarry Road, Trumbull, CT 06611

]]> (Andrea Viscuso) Places Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:13:08 -0400
What do you get when you combine the Ridgefield Half and the Sono Half? #RUN203 Challenge!

Two Half Marathons Join Forces for the Ultimate Challenge

The Ridgefield Half Marathon and the Sono Half Marathon are coming up, and the two partnered to offer a new and exciting task... run BOTH marathons to complete the #RUN203 CHALLENGE!

What do you get for running both? $5 off and the glory of course! By registering for both runs online and using the promo code RUN203, you will get $5 off as well as a very cool finishers medal!

Register for the Sono Half Marathon here, and the Ridgefield Half Marathon here.

Get running!

]]> (Tara Daly) Events Wed, 09 Aug 2017 10:35:17 -0400
Highland Fling Scotch Tasting at Mill Hill

Slàinte! Experience the Scottish Highlands at the Norwalk Historical Society's Scotch Tasting Fundraiser at Mill Hill Historic Park on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. Gregg Glaser, a spirits and beer connoisseur and publisher/editor of Modern Distillery Age, will lead the tasting. Learn how Scotland’s national drink is made, what the different styles are and the history behind this celebrated beverage. A curated variety of six to seven styles of Scotch whiskey will be sampled. Hearty appetizers will be provided by O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant, Winfield Street Italian Deli and other local eateries. Tickets are $45.00 per person before September 11, 2017; $50.00 per person after that date and at the door. Purchase tickets at Must be 21 or over, IDs checked at the door. Mill Hill Historic Park is located at 2 East Wall Street in Norwalk, CT. Follow signs for parking. Net proceeds will benefit the Norwalk Historical Society's education programs and exhibitions.

Gregg Glaser is the Publisher/Editor of Modern Distillery Age, Editor in Chief of Yankee Brew News, contributor to Modern Brewery Age, and conducts monthly tasting panels for these publications. For 14 years he was the News Editor for All About Beer Magazine. Since 1996, he’s been the Competition Director for the Great International Beer & Cider Competition, the largest professional beer and cider competition on the East Coast. In New York City, he conducts spirits and food tastings, working with Food Karma Projects. He also conducts spirits, beer and saké talks and tastings around the world and has consulted for breweries, importers, wholesalers and restaurants. Gregg has a degree in Communications with concentrations in Cinema, Television and Radio from Ithaca College. He studied comparative media in Britain at the BBC, IBA and Pinewood Film Studios and in Italy at RAI and Cinecittà. Gregg was the presenter for the Norwalk Historical Society's Beer Tasting in 2012, Whiskey/Bourbon Tasting in 2014 and Tequila Tasting this past spring.

Sponsored by: O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant and Winfield Street Italian Deli

For more information: visit, e-mail, or call 203-846-0525. The Norwalk Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

]]> (Norwalk Historical Society) Events Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:30:50 -0400
Connecticut BBB Offers Tips to Keep Back to School Expenses Under Control

Some retailers offer back to school deals throughout the summer, however, Connecticut Better Business Bureau says great prices will be even sweeter during the upcoming annual Connecticut's week-long "tax holiday."

The sales tax exclusion period is only weeks away, and will run from Sunday, August 20 through Saturday, August 26.
The temporary tax exemptions apply to footwear and a wide assortment of clothing costing less than $100 per item. Best of all, it covers more than school clothing.
The tax exemptions apply to sleepwear (nightgowns, pajamas), tennis clothing, formal wear gowns, and the typical school apparel such as well as overcoats, summer and winter clothing for the whole family.
"We tend to think of tax-free week in terms of back to school purchases," according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau spokesman Howard Schwartz. "The list of eligible apparel is both impressive and somewhat out of the ordinary. In essence, there is something for everybody."
As summer turns to fall, the National Retail Federation says the average family with elementary and high school-aged children will spend an average of almost $690. That can include electronic devices such as computers and other school-related gadgets.
The tax holiday does not cover other supplies, but there are ways to buy what your children need for school without breaking the bank.
Before you start shopping, Connecticut BBB offers these tips to help keep costs under control:
Check your home's inventory - You may already have some supplies left over from last year. Create a "must buy" list of typical back to school purchases and try to stick to it. Try to avoid impulse buys.
Create a budget - Once you know what you have to buy, look for specials on notebooks, pens and folders at discount stores.
Sign up for alerts - Your favorite retailers can send you sales alerts or post coupons on their websites or social media pages. As good as they look, it is always worth it to compare prices with their competitors.
Look for stores that offer student discounts - Retailers are anxious to clear the shelves to make room for their new fall fashion inventory, and that means more choices for consumers at lower prices.
Shop at home - You can save money with free shipping for online purchases. Before submitting your order, check terms, conditions, limitations and exchange policies.
You will find details about Connecticut's tax-free week from the Department of Revenue Services, as well as a list of eligible clothing and footwear that will be tax exempt.
]]> (Connecticut Better Business Bureau) Life Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:34:03 -0400
CT Department of Revenue Services, IRS Warn of New Scam to Steal Tax Preparer Passwords

Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) Commissioner Kevin Sullivan joined the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in warning tax preparers of last-minute phishing email scams, especially those requesting tax preparers to perform tax software updates that steal passwords.

Said DRS Commissioner Kevin Sullivan, "Tax preparer-related scams happen throughout the year, not just during tax season. Cybercriminals are ever evolving and make use of sophisticated scams to try and trick tax professionals to get at personal information and passwords."

“Tax professionals should instill strong security measures to protect their clients and protect their business. This is the time of year when many software providers issue software upgrades,” said Sullivan.

This new email scam comes with a subject line of “Software Support Update” and highlights an “Important Software System Upgrade.” It thanks recipients for continuing to trust the software provider to serve their tax preparation needs and mimics the software providers’ email templates.

The e-mail informs the recipients that due to a recent software upgrade, the preparer must revalidate their login credentials on a fictitious website that mirrors the software provider’s actual login page. The cybercriminals then use the stolen credentials to access the preparers’ accounts and steal the client’s tax information.

These types of phishing scams are why the Connecticut DRS, the IRS and the tax industry, acting as the Security Summit, launched the 10-week Don’t Take the Bait campaign currently underway. This awareness effort highlights the many tactics of cybercriminals as well as the steps tax professionals can take to protect their clients and themselves.

More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on or by contacting DRS by calling (860) 297-5962 or outside the Hartford calling areas at (800) 382-9463.

]]> (Jim Carson) Public safety Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:30:41 -0400
Norwalk Fire Department Offers Safety Tips for College-Bound Students

The fall college semester begins soon, so it is time to start gathering school supplies and enrolling in classes. It is also important to know how to stay fire safe in your college housing, whether on or off campus. This is an exciting time for students, especially those leaving home for the first time. Taking some extra time to talk about fire safety can offer reassurance for everyone.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 85 fatal fires in dorms, fraternities, sororities, and off-campus housing from 2000-2015. There are several specific causes for fires in college housing including cooking, candles, smoking, and overloaded power strips. Follow these tips to start being fire safe:

· Have a fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room. If living off-campus, establish a meeting place with roommates. 

· Use surge protectors or power strips with internal overload protection.

· Never leave a candle unattended.

· Use flameless candles, which are both safe and attractive.

· Keep your cooking area clean and free of anything that can burn.

· If a fire starts in your microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.

· Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. Do not toss hot cigarettes into the trash.

· If the fire alarm is activated, don’t ignore it. Evacuate and follow instructions from first responders.

Do not let a campus fire ruin your semester. Take action now, and know how to prevent fires by visiting

]]> (Michele DeLuca) Public safety Fri, 04 Aug 2017 10:45:53 -0400
Norwalk Teens Plunge Into Marine World in Free Weeklong Camps at The Maritime Aquarium

Twenty-five Norwalk teens are spending this week building hydraulic arms, making toys for an octopus, examining plankton with microscopes, collecting data on fish and crabs brought up out of Long Island Sound, and more during a free experience at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

The students – rising 8th- and 9th-graders in the Norwalk Public Schools – were selected for the Mayor’s Student Engineering & Science Program, now in its third year as part of The Maritime Aquarium’s summer youth programming.

Another 25 Norwalk students participated in an identical free camp June 26-30.

The program was created to use the unique hometown resources of The Maritime Aquarium in the hopes of improving the students’ understanding of – and enthusiasm for – science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) when they return to school in the fall.

The 2017 summer-camp programs are funded by generous contributions from Bankwell and First County Bank, as well as moneys raised from the annual Mayor’s Ball. Initial funding for the Mayor’s program came in 2015 from money raised through energy-efficiency evaluations available to Norwalk homeowners, in a program begun by the Mayor’s Energy & Environment Task Force (MEETF).

Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling said the camp involves the teens at a critical time when students often begin to tune out the sciences.

“We are so pleased to be partnering with The Maritime Aquarium in providing a summer camp experience for Norwalk’s teens,” he said. “This is an amazing opportunity for young people to learn about Long Island Sound and its inhabitants. It also will give them a much greater appreciation of this wonderful natural resource and how it contributes to our economy and tourism.”

Students applied for the summer programs this spring though their middle-school science teachers. Fifty were chosen based on need, good academic standing, their interest in engineering and/or marine sciences, and other criteria.

Each day of the 2017 camp has a different focus: animal care, ecosystems, conservation, marine technology and marine exploration. Activities include: building hydraulic arms and simple submarines; encountering live fish, crabs and other animals during a beach exploration and out on Long Island Sound aboard the Aquarium’s research vessel; designing “enrichments” for the Aquarium’s octopus; examining plankton under microscopes; going “behind-the-scenes” to see how the Aquarium operates; and more.

“This is an important program that can give these students the tools and the inspiration they need for high school and beyond,” said John Kydes, a Norwalk Common Council member and the chairman of the Mayor’s Energy & Environment Task Force. “We hope to continue this great program for years to come with the support of our donors.”

Dr. Brian Davis, president of The Maritime Aquarium, called the program one of the Aquarium’s most important annual collaborations.

“We thank the mayor, John Kydes and the Common Council for this amazing opportunity,” he said.

Davis added that he hopes the Mayor’s camp is just the first of many connections between the Aquarium and the students.

“They’re having a great week, but we want them for more than one week,” Davis said.

“There are special opportunities for older teens here; opportunities that teens in most cities do not have. We want to see them back here in high school for our free TeMPEST after-school program, which will support their academics and prepare them for life after high school. We want them back in our Volunteer program, where they’ll learn, have fun and gain poise at speaking in public while logging community-service hours for their college applications.”

The Mayor’s Student Engineering & Science Program is just one of many camps offered this summer at The Maritime Aquarium. To learn more about all of the Aquarium’s summer programs for ages 6-14, call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, or go to

]]> (Dave Sigworth) Neighbors Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:29:10 -0400
Mayor Rilling Announces Next Phase of Walk Bridge Underway

The City learned this week that after months of meetings with City Officials and community members, CT DOT has passed its first hurdle in the Walk Bridge Project and has secured permission from the Federal Transit Administration to move forward to the next phase of the project. 

“This determination is only the first phase of the Walk Bridge replacement project,” explained Mayor Rilling. “While the FTA uses the term “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI) to describe the end of the first phase, the finding does not mean that Norwalk will not be impacted by the project – it is a term that means that working together there are things that can be done to mitigate the short and long term effects of the project. In fact, there are many more phases to follow including numerous permits from state and federal agencies.

While the CT DOT has been working closely with the City of Norwalk and interested stakeholders to advance this project, there remains much work ahead to work out the fine details of the project including environmental mitigation, bridge design, construction sequencing, traffic and parking mitigation as well as support for economic impact mitigation for area businesses. “

“My team has facilitated 28 meetings over the past 8 months between CT DOT and various stakeholder groups,” Mayor Rilling stated.  “We will continue to work diligently to ensure that the project will cause the least amount of disruption to the environment, residents and businesses in the areas surrounding the Walk Bridge.  It is our top priority. To this end, we will continue to monitor all activities, undertake necessary planning and work with the CT DOT to ensure that the City of Norwalk, its residents, businesses and visitors are protected from known impacts.

We have much more planning ahead of us to ensure that the interests of our community are properly addressed before the project gets under way in 2019. I ask for the community and stakeholders to continue to take an interest, provide feedback and to prepare and plan for the upcoming project.”

]]> (Elizabeth Stocker) Places Mon, 31 Jul 2017 04:15:26 -0400
The Maritime Aquarium Offers Public Cruises in August

Examine fish, crabs and other creatures that come up in the net, get rare close looks at historic lighthouses or just enjoy a lovely evening out on Long Island Sound during public cruises offered in August by The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

“There’s still plenty of summer left, and plenty of opportunities to come out on the Sound with us,” said Dave Sigworth, the Aquarium’s spokesman. “We have cruises that are great for kids and adults, where we bring up some of the animals that make the Sound a vibrant marine environment. We have cruises for lighthouse buffs that get you close to lighthouses that you can barely see from shore … if at all. And we have cruises on weekend evenings that are just a relaxing chance to unwind out on the water with friends.”

The following cruises are available in August aboard The Maritime Aquarium’s R/V Spirit of the Sound, a 64-foot catamaran that is the country’s first research vessel with quiet “green” hybrid-electric propulsion:

• “Marine Life Encounter Cruises” – Examine a variety of fish, crabs, mollusks and other creatures brought up right out of the Sound right before your eyes during these memorable 2.5-hour outings – the Aquarium’s signature cruises. Participants also help find crabs, worms and other animals hidden in the muddy bottom, and view plankton using a videomicroscope linked to the boat’s giant-screen monitor. “Marine Life Encounter Cruises” occur at 1 p.m. nearly daily through Labor Day. Tickets are $29.95 ($24.95 for Aquarium members).

• “TGIF Cruises” on Fridays and “Sunset Cruises” on Saturdays – Enjoy a fun, relaxing tour out toward the Norwalk islands as twilight paints the western sky, dazzlingly reflected on the water. Both cruises depart at 6:30 p.m. in August. Aquarium educators will point out sights and wildlife, but these 90-minute cruises mainly stress de-stressing. Tickets for each are $29.95 ($19.95 for members). Food and drink are not available for purchase on the boat. You may bring food and beverages in a small bag or soft-sided cooler. Glass bottles are prohibited.

• “Western Long Island Sound Lighthouse Cruise” on Sat., Aug. 5 – This cruise makes close passes by Greens Ledge and Sheffield Island lighthouses in Norwalk, Harbor Ledge in Stamford, Great Captain Island of Greenwich, Execution Rocks off New Rochelle, and Long Island’s Stepping Stones, Sands Point and Eatons Neck lights. Aquarium staff will share histories and anecdotes about all the beacons. The 7-hour cruise departs at 9 a.m. Tickets are $75 ($65 for members). Food and drink are not available for purchase on the boat. You may bring food and beverages in a small bag or soft-sided cooler. Glass bottles are prohibited.

• “Central Long Island Sound Lighthouse Cruise” on Sat., Aug. 19 – This cruise makes passes by five historic beacons: Peck Ledge, Greens Ledge and Sheffield Island lighthouses in Norwalk, and also Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield and Stratford Shoal (Middle Ground) Light. Aquarium staff will share histories and anecdotes about all the beacons. The 5-hour cruise departs at 10 a.m. Tickets are $70 ($60 for members). Food and drink are not available for purchase on the boat. You may bring food and beverages in a small bag or soft-sided cooler. Glass bottles are prohibited.

For the two “Lighthouse Cruises,” The Maritime Aquarium now participates in the U.S. Lighthouse Society's Lighthouse Passport program, a fun way to officially log your lighthouse adventures. Bring along your Passport, or buy one aboard R/V Spirit of the Sound. Aquarium staff will stamp your Passport for every lighthouse seen. Also, members of the U.S. Lighthouse Society receive 10 percent discounts on the Aquarium's “Lighthouse Cruises.”

For all cruises, participants must be at least 42 inches tall to board. Those under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

R/V Spirit of the Sound has a climate-controlled cabin but participants should dress for time outside on deck, where the best viewing occurs.                                  

Capacity is limited so advance reservations are strongly suggested for all Aquarium cruises. Reserve your tickets online – and see the full schedule for R/V Spirit of the Sound – at Or call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206.

]]> (Dave Sigworth) Events Fri, 28 Jul 2017 16:12:48 -0400
Emmanuel Church Accepting Donations for 111th Family Fair

Mark your calendars for Emmanuel's time-honored 111th Family Fair on Saturday, September 16 from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. Emmanuel is currently accepting donations and welcomes your gently used treasures for the event's various tents. Collections have begun and donations can be dropped off at the parish hall as follows: Wednesday from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. and Sundays between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon. Additional collection dates on Saturdays between 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. will begin August 20. Items in good condition are being accepted for the following booths: Toys, Art, Collectibles, Jewelry and Furniture. The church is unable to accept books, VHS or cassette tapes, bedding, clothing, cribs, stuffed animals, playpens, car seats, or electronics. Bicycles and scooters can also be donated. A complete list of items that can and cannot be accepted can be found at Drop-offs should be delivered to the parish hall on the Emmanuel Church grounds at 285 Lyons Plain Road (signs will direct you to the right door). All donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible.

Questions may be directed to the church office at (203) 227-8565.

]]> (Aline Weiller) Charities Thu, 27 Jul 2017 04:46:42 -0400