Brookfield's HamletHub Sun, 12 Jul 2020 08:12:30 -0400 Local Mom Seeks Best Orthopedic Doctor to Treat her Son, She Meets Dr. Lunt: OrthoConnecticut Testimony

I cannot tell you how much it set my mind at ease to know we were with the practice that everyone recommended! 

- Local mom

Dr. John G. Lunt, a fellowship-trained hand and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon, has an expertise in pediatric and adult sports injuries, minimally invasive endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery, and management of ailments 

With a reputation that precedes him, Dr. Lunt often gets referrals from patients he has healed and treated. In this most recent testimony, a local mom, Kristen, seeks to find the best of the best to treat her young son, Liam. She finds Dr. Lunt.

So recently I had to take my son Liam to the ER at 3 am. We were advised to find an ortho as soon as possible today. We talked to my dad and my friend Tricia Gogliettino [physical therapist at RVNAhealth] and both recommended Dr. Lunt. 

I cannot tell you how much it set my mind at ease to know we were with the practice that everyone recommended! 

Within the first moments of entering the exam room, Dr. Lunt noticed and pointed at my finger (which I broke last fall and had operated on in December) and asked what happened. This was something I had wanted to ask him about...I didn't need to even be cagey or awkward...this guy knows digits and he noticed mine from across the room. Thank you, Dr. Lunt!

OrthoConnecticut is the area’s leading multispecialty orthopedic practice, caring for more than 30,000 patients and performing over 6,000 surgeries each year. We have 31 orthopedic specialists and subspecialists on staff. Led by doctors who are recognized experts in their fields, our highly trained team of medical professionals are dedicated to helping patients return to healthy, active lives.

With offices in Danbury, New Milford, Ridgefield, Sharon and Southbury, we offer unparalleled experience and cutting edge diagnostic tools and treatments, conveniently located near where you live and work.

Dr. John G. Lunt is a fellowship-trained hand and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Lunt has been in practice in the greater Danbury area for more than 27 years, where he was Medical Co-Director and partner at the Hand Center of Western Connecticut. 

Dr. Lunt’s areas of expertise include pediatric and adult sports injuries, minimally invasive endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery, and management of ailments such as tendonitis and arthritis.  He is the founder of the Danbury Hand Club, an organization for discussing new research and innovations in hand surgery. Dr. Lunt is a member of the prestigious American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the New York and New England Hand Societies. 

To learn more about Dr. Lunt and to make an appointment, click HERE.

]]> (HH) Neighbors Thu, 09 Jul 2020 09:02:48 -0400
Ability Beyond Debuts New Virtual “Caring For The Caregiver” Series

Monthly Family Meetings Support Emotional and Physical Health of Caregivers and Clients

Juggling work, home-schooling and childcare has been a struggle for most families since the state shut down in March due to COVID-19. Parents of adult children with special needs have faced great adversity as they lost vital day and employment programs. To keep the 3,000 adults with disabilities served by Ability Beyond engaged and connected, the nonprofit organization has been providing virtual day programs for the people it serves, and is now launching “Caring for the Caregiver”, a series of virtual family meetings that will support the mental, emotional and physical needs of all family members.

“Many of the families we support rely on our programs 365 days a year,” said Jane Davis, President and CEO of Ability Beyond. “Although we are currently serving 460 people in our residential homes, the suspension of day and employment programs has meant that most of our families have had to figure out how to continue working and managing their days, while also providing the often challenging physical, mental, social and other supports that their adult children need.”

The new monthly series kicks off on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 7:00 P.M. EST with “Yoga for All”. Davis will provide a quick intro to the series followed by a free 45-minute stress-reducing movement class led by Heather Morgado. Morgado is the owner of YogaSpace in Bethel, as well as the Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement at Boehringer Ingelheim in Ridgefield.

The class is adaptable for anyone with mobility constraints and will incorporate healing breathing and relaxation techniques.

“The sessions were designed for family caregivers, the individuals we serve, along with Ability Beyond staff and Board members; however, we are excited to invite all families and individuals not served by Ability Beyond to participate in this valuable program as well,” adds Davis.

Those interested in taking the class can visit: for details and the Zoom link. Space is limited to the first 100 participants.

Davis further explains that the series was created to reduce the incredible pressure placed on families by the abrupt loss of services. “Our families have been so supportive and flexible throughout this pandemic. We understand the stresses they have been under and hope our new series helps to ease that a bit.”

Ability Beyond has been supporting families throughout the pandemic with virtual weekly meetings that provide updates on the latest developments at the non-profit organization and its COVID-19 response plan. A Q&A session via the Zoom Chat feature addresses concerns following each presentation.

“We are grateful to Heather and Yoga Space for offering this class and helping us bring our Ability Beyond and regional communities together,” concludes Davis.

Ability Beyond is a 501{c} (3) organization headquartered in Bethel, Conn. and Chappaqua, N.Y. It provides a wide range of services for over 3,000 people with a disability that inhibits their activities of daily living -- including numerous residential alternatives, employment training, career counseling, job placement services, cognitive and life skills instruction, clinical and therapeutic support, and volunteer and recreational activities. Today, its services extend far beyond the Danbury community throughout Connecticut and the Hudson Valley, New York. For more information about Ability Beyond go to

]]> (Alisa Gaudiosi) Events Tue, 07 Jul 2020 05:51:19 -0400
Congratulations to the Brookfield Residents who Graduated from Wooster School

Wooster School held its Commencement Exercises on Monday, July 6, 2020 to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2020. These seniors join more than 3,000 alumni who have graduated since Wooster's founding in 1926.

Congratulations to the Brookfield residents who graduated from Wooster, Class of 2020: Echo Ma, Mehmet Ozcakar, and Jon Voves.

President of the Wooster School Board of Trustees, Leon Weaver offered kind words to Wooster's soon-to-be graduates. “I bring warm greetings and congratulations, and recognition of all your hard work and success. The Class of 2020 is unique in that you are the first class to graduate from Wooster School that were born entirely in the 21st century.”

Class orator Sartaj Singh ‘20 delivered some heartfelt remarks. “I do love this school and I know that each and every person here is going to go on to do something great with their lives, and that is in large part because of the values that Wooster has instilled in us.”

Before the seniors received their diplomas, Head of School Matt Byrnes spoke to the graduating class. “Our goal here at Wooster School has been to do as much as possible to prepare you to make meaning in your lives. To make meaning is to have a set of skills and ways of thinking and communicating which allow you to use what you already think you know to better understand that which you don’t,” Byrnes remarked. He added, “This is what I wish for you. Be a learner always. Learn about the world and learn about yourself. Practice listening to others so that you can be more honest with yourself. But be strong and believe in yourself -- even in times of doubt. Do this and when the storms come -- and they will -- you’ll be ready to act, but also to find that place of refuge which you’ll need to survive and thrive.”

Congratulations to the Great Class of 2020 for all of their accomplishments!

Wooster School Class of 2020

Marguerite Bevier

Luke Borrero

Meghan Bourgeault

Alexandra Bratter

Sean Breen

John Burke

Jack Caiola

Emily Cavenagh

Max Chelso

Colin Costigan

Erron Cushnie

Riley Damiano

Sophie De Leo

Emma Delattre

Benjamin Everett

Oliver Felicione

Isabella Ferrigno

Andrew Fortson

Isabella Friedman

Temidayo Garritano

Andrew Greeley

Andrew Griffin

James Hoban

Braden Langis

Alexandra Lecher

Shiyuan (Zack) Liu

Yike (Echo) Ma

Fiona McBride

Monisha Mohan

Max Morales-Thomason

Alicia Nicoletti

Morgan Nolan

Georgiana O'Connell

Mehmet Ozcakar

Suhui (Summer) Qian

Xuanrun (Chris) Qu

James Rapp

Morgan Reilly

Sartaj Singh

Charles Stuhr

Nicole Van Pelt

Melanie Vazquez

Jonathan Voves

MengYu (Michaela) Yang

Michaela Zahner

About Wooster School

Wooster School is an independent, co-educational college preparatory day school, serving students from Fairfield and Westchester Counties. Located in Danbury, Connecticut, the School serves students from grade 4 through grade 12. A leader in classroom innovation and teaching, Wooster School is a place where thinking and learning are personal, meaningful, and visible; 

and where faculty work closely with students in small classes and cohorts to think and communicate critically and creatively. At Wooster, every student participates, every student contributes, and every student learns and develops the necessary skills to be a life-long learner and leader in college and beyond.

To learn more, visit or contact Wooster School Admissions at (203) 830-3916.


]]> (Lori Kriegel) Neighbors Mon, 06 Jul 2020 09:46:51 -0400
Brookfield Concerts in the Park Begin Tomorrow, Beach and Farmers' Market Open and More Town Updates

State reporting of confirmed cases has been moving up and down so we now are reporting 166 confirmed cases in Brookfield. We have one new case in Brookfield this week. Last week we incorrectly reported the number of deaths. We remain at 8 deaths due to the Corona Virus. The last death we had in town was on June 18th, 2020.
To be accurate, we will only report cases confirmed by our Director of Public Health.
Concerts start again starting tomorrow night, Friday, July 3rd, at Town Hall. The band will be 60’s Satisfaction. We ask that everyone who attends wear a mask and socially distance. Please stay in family groups and do not congregate in large groups.
There will be a presidential primary on August 11th. Due to the pandemic, the Secretary of State has sent every registered Republican and Democrat in the State the form to request an absentee ballot from the Town Clerk. The form includes giving the COVID 19 pandemic as the reason for requesting an absentee ballot. Every voter is eligible to check that box and request an absentee ballot. Our polling locations at the High School and Huckleberry School will be open for normal walk in voting for those who prefer to vote in person on the 11th.
The Greenway is open, and many residents are using it. Unfortunately, we are getting numerous reports that many people on the Greenway are not wearing masks, there are also people running without masks on the Greenway and others are using bicycles on the path. We need everyone to protect each other by only walking on the Greenway and wearing a mask at during your entire walk. We want to keep the Greenway open and keep residents safe at the same time and to do both, we all have to follow the rules. Please take care of your neighbor’s safety by following the rules. CT has the best numbers for number of new cases and we have done that by taking care of each other and following the rules. Let’s keep it that way.
IF you are over 65 years of age or you have a compromised system, you should be very careful when going out and limit the number of trips you make to keep yourself safe. Please self-isolate as much as you can.
The beach at Cadigan Park is open starting today. We remind everyone that you must have a pass to enter the beach and passes are only sold at the Parks and Rec office in Old Town Hall. Parks and Rec will be open this weekend to purchase passes from 9 AM to 12PM on both Saturday and Sunday. In order to meet State guidelines, we may have to limit the number of people on the beach at one time. More information can be seen on the town website:
The Farmers Market is open and running at the Town Hall location. It is open on Fridays from 3 to 6 PM.
We will be carefully returning Town Hall to normal operations over the month of June. To bring staff back and keep residents safe, we are reconfiguring our offices and installing sneeze shields in all offices that the public visits. We have started to receive in the new equipment and install it. You must make an appointment with the department you are visiting. We encourage everyone to use our online services if possible to conduct business with the town. When you visit Town Hall, you must wear a mask at all times, have your temperature checked and answer the CDC health questions. If you have any concerns about your health, please do not come to Town Hall. We are planning to open Town Hall to walk-ins in early August.
These are important links to keep up to date on the Coronavirus:
Wishing all a very happy and safe 4th of July!

Newtown Savings Bank Concerts in the Park 2020

Following health guidelines, households in attendance must be seated 15 feet away from any other household. Surrounding fields will be used for seating in addition to the areas in front of the bandstand. The playground will remain closed. Please wear a mask (may be removed when seated with your household), bring your refreshments, blankets and chairs and enjoy this beloved summer tradition just a little farther apart this year. 

Not comfortable attending the concert in person? Watch for a link on our website every Friday and enjoy the concert via livestream from the comfort of your home.  

]]> (Steve Dunn, First Selectman) Events Thu, 02 Jul 2020 15:09:51 -0400
Connecticut Respect PSA Campaign to Reduce Spread of COVID-19

State launches “Connecticut Respect” PSA campaign

The State of Connecticut today launched the “Connecticut Respect” PSA campaign to reinforce practices that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The campaign includes spots filmed by Stew Leonard, Southern Connecticut State University Professor Jonathan Wharton, UConn Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma, and a lifeguard.

View the complete series of PSA videos here.

Connecticut Respect: Stew Leonard

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Public safety Thu, 02 Jul 2020 14:37:48 -0400
Summer Reading Program at Brookfield Library Wooden Spoon Dragon Grab 'N' Go Kits!

Wooden Spoon Dragon Grab 'N' Go Kits

Whether they’re fire-breathing, or just plain silly, these dragons are still cute! Join us in making one of your own on Thursday, July 9 from 3 to 4pm via Zoom.

Registration required. Each child participating must be registered and will get their own kit. Limit 20 kits per program.

Supplies will be ready for contactless curbside pick-up starting Monday, July 6.  Zoom call information will be e-mailed one day prior to the Zoom event.

Register HERE.

]]> (Brookfield Library) Events Tue, 30 Jun 2020 11:21:50 -0400
Happy 2 Year Anniversary to Brookfield's Traveling Chic Boutique!

It's Traveling Chic Boutique's 2 Year Anniversary Sale

It seems like yesterday that we opened our doors! Stop in anytime this week and help us celebrate our 2nd Anniversary. We will be having fun in-store events and specials all week long. The anniversary celebration kicks off with our signature 20% off birthday coupon for everyone, valid 6/30 thru 7/3.

Tuesday, June 30th - Treat Bags to the 1st 15 customers - valued at over $50
Wednesday, July 1st - Earn Double Loyalty Points
Thursday, July 2nd -Shop at The Hunt, our new neighbors at 281 Whisconier Rd. - bring in your receipt for a coupon for a future visit.
Friday, July 3rd - Freaky Friday - Who knows what I have planned, guess you'll have stop in and see!

Thank you for supporting small!

Visiting Traveling Chic Boutique on Facebook HERE.

Traveling Chic Boutique is located at 800 Federal Rd Unit A-4 in Brookfield, Connecticut
]]> (Traveling Chic Boutique) Places Mon, 29 Jun 2020 12:38:11 -0400
Carol A. Degen, Master Dog Groomer at Waggin Train of Brookfield, has Died

Carol A. Degen

Carol A. Degen, 76, a certified master dog groomer at Waggin Train of Brookfield, died on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at Danbury Hospital.
She was the wife of the late John A. Degen.

Mrs. Degen was born in Whitestone, NY, March 10, 1944, a daughter of Albert and Mary (Terlecki) Scherwenik. She first attended NY schools and in 1954 relocated to Danbury with her family. She attended Danbury schools and graduated from Danbury High School with the Class of 1961.

She then became a dog groomer achieving the prestigious title of “National Certified Master Groomer” by displaying exceptional knowledge and skill in both the written and practical skills testing procedure by the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA).
Mrs. Degen was a member of The Baptist Church of Danbury and the National Dog Groomers Association.
She is survived by a son, William J.” Bill “Degen; a daughter, Susan C. Degen; a sister, Lorraine DeAlessio; four nieces, a nephew and grandnieces and grandnephews.

In addition to her husband and parents, Mrs. Degen was predeceased by a brother, Kenneth Scherwenik.
Funeral services will take place on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in The Baptist Church of Danbury, 14 Granville Ave., Danbury. Social Distancing, hand sanitizing and facial masks will be required.

Interment will follow in Bantam Cemetery, Route 202, Litchfield, CT.

Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury is in charge of arrangements.

]]> (Jowdy Kane Funeral Home) Neighbors Mon, 29 Jun 2020 06:07:00 -0400
Athletes Need to Rest and Test After COVID-19 Before Returning to Exercise and Sports

Athletes Need to “Rest and Test” After COVID-19  Before Returning to Exercise and Sports

Athletes and weekend warriors, who have had COVID-19, will need to take special care and be cleared before resuming exercise, intense training and/or competitive sports.

Why? Because COVID-19, a viral infection, can cause heart complications such as arrhythmia or myocarditis. Since many people don’t actually know if they had Covid-19 (many people are non-hospitalized, mildly symptomatic, asymptomatic, or pre-symptomatic), this warrants caution for everyone.

So, what to do? I feel fine… is it okay to exercise again?

Here are some thoughts on returning to exercise and sports, but you must consult with your physician and your cardiologist to be sure you are cleared to exercise:

  • RECREATIONAL EXERCISER (who had mild to moderate symptoms, were not hospitalized, and had no cardiac symptoms or pre-existing cardiac disease): START SLOWLY and gradually after you have completely recovered, returning to a moderate exercise intensity but watching for any cardiovascular symptoms. Extra precautions are necessary for those with pre-existing cardiac disease and they should be risk assessed and tested before returning to regular exercise levels.
  • COMPETITIVE ATHLETES and HIGHLY ACTIVE PEOPLE (with COVID-19 with or without symptoms): REST during the infection and for 2 weeks after symptom resolution. If you are still symptom-free and have no abnormalities in a resting ECG at the end of 2 weeks, it may be okay to return to sports.
  • IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 INDUCED MYOCARDITIS: NO SPORTS for at least 3 to 6 months and you should be under a cardiologist’s supervision on when to return to sports. Assuming cardiac function returns to normal, it is likely that returning to exercise and training will be possible. Previous studies and registries of acute myocarditis, athletes with a complete recovery have a very good prognosis.

Exercise and physical fitness, especially outdoors now that the weather is good, can be an excellent way to improve health and emotional well-being following the pandemic outbreak and stay-at-home period. If you had Covid-19, be sure you are knowledgeable about any impact on your heart and be sure to have a cardiologist engaged that will monitor your heart health as you build your musculoskeletal strength.

OrthoConnecticut Can Help

Our physicians and physician assistants advise caution beginning exercise after COVID-19 and recommend consultation with a cardiologist about any cardiac conditions. For exercise advice or orthopedic concerns, we’re here to help.

 Contact us today for an appointment and #getmovingCT!

]]> (OrthoConnecticut) Neighbors Mon, 29 Jun 2020 04:16:15 -0400
ACT of Connecticut Proves that Nothing Can Cancel Broadway or Community, Hundreds Attend Star-studded Virtual Gala

Did you miss ACT’s Annual Gala: "Extended Intermission Edition” last night? Well if you did, here is what you missed (and how you can still “get in on the ACT!”)

Last night, more than three hundred Broadway lovers descended upon ACT of Connecticut and were treated to a star-studded experience - all while adhering to social distancing protocols and never stepping foot outside of their cars. A red carpet, paparazzi, and music reminiscent of the Academy Awards, set the stage for what would be an unforgettable and historical event in Ridgefield. 

The masterminds behind this innovative virtual Gala were ACT of Connecticut founders, Katie Diamond, Daniel C. Levine and Bryan Perri who, decked out in gala-wear (complete with jeweled masks) applauded as each guest pulled up to the red carpet (yes, pulled up). ACT choreographed this “moment” beautifully and made every guest feel as though they were starring in a big Broadway show! 

The trio who are credited with making Ridgefield a Broadway destination spent a couple of minutes “schmoozing” and posed for photos while ACT staff placed “Gallo to Go” meals and fabulous gift bags in the trunk of each guest’s car.

COVID can’t cancel Broadway or community.

The living rooms of the hundreds of locals became gala-central. Just pop your authentic Italian dinner in the oven at 400 degrees, reach into your gift bag and grab a few bottles of bubbly, and get ready for 65 minutes of pure entertainment. The performances of Broadway notables including Lauren Patten, Elizabeth Stanley, Kate Baldwin, and ACT’s own Bryan Perri, plus a few hysterical cameos (by people and animals) added an element of SNL to ACT’s first-ever virtual Gala. All this, along with some beautifully poignant moments, reminded us all of the incredible work this theater has done for our community.

After the finale credits rolled, a sweet finale awaited by way of decadent cookies from Ross’ Bread and a special treat from Vine & Co.

The ACT virtual Gala fun continues by way of an incredible auction which is “live’ until Tuesday. Bid for weekend getaways, sporting opportunities, Broadway faves, and more HERE.

And, this JUST IN - while it is too late to experience being a “celebrity” as you pull into the ACT of Connecticut parking lot, it is NOT TOO LATE to view the entertainment portion of the evening! Due to popular demand, ACT is offering people (who may have missed it) the opportunity to purchase the link to the gala performance! 

For $45, you will be sent a link and password to watch the amazing, star-studded, hysterical 65 minute show that was created for this gala and that aired last night. 

Please visit actgal

Thank you to ACT of Connecticut being innovative, entertaining, and awesome - oh, and for donating 10% of ticket sales from this virtual Gala to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Broadway and community matter now more than ever.

Much gratitude to following sponsors of the ACT Annual (and virtual) Gala: "Extended Intermission Edition!"

  • Anita and Nick Donofrio

  • John & Lori Berisford, Jon & Allison Stockel, Steve & Patti Ross

  • Gallo Ristorante

  • Rebecca & Scott Baglio

  • Bareburger - Ridgefield

  • Ann & Steve Carlson

  • Karen & Todd Kipnes

  • Kristin & Darren Beylouni

  • Nissan of Yorktown Heights

  • Vine & Co.

  • Ross Bread & Coffee Shoppe

 ACT of CT is located at 36 Old Quarry Road, in the beautiful village of Ridgefield, CT.  Visit for further information.

]]> (HH) Neighbors Sat, 27 Jun 2020 11:29:57 -0400
CDC Releases Results from Seroprevalence Survey

Today, Governor Ned Lamont reported CDC results from the first six sites of large-scale seroprevalence surveys, including Connecticut.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released the results of the first six sites involved in its large-scale seroprevalence survey, which includes Connecticut. The federal agency partnered with commercial laboratories for the survey that tested de-identified clinical blood specimens for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The survey included people who had blood specimens tested for reasons unrelated to COVID-19, such as for a routine or sick visit blood test by commercial laboratories in participating areas.

In Connecticut, the survey estimates that 4.94 percent of the state’s population was positive for antibodies, after age and sex-standardizing to census data and after accounting for the sensitivity and specificity of the CDC assay used. The samples were collected between April 26 and May 3. Connecticut had the second-highest seroprevalence in the first round of the study. Blood samples from approximately 1,400 people in the state were tested.

More data on the survey can be found on the CDC’s website.

The following is a summary of the day-to-day newly reported data on cases, deaths, and tests in Connecticut. It is important to note that these newly reported updates include data that occurred over the last several days to a week. All data in this report are preliminary, and data for previous dates will be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected.

Overall Summary

Statewide Total
(includes confirmed and probable cases)

Change Since Yesterday

COVID-19 Cases



COVID-19-Associated Deaths



Patients Currently Hospitalized with COVID-19



COVID-19 PCR Tests Reported



County-by-county breakdown:


COVID-19 Cases

COVID-19 Deaths

COVID-19 Hospitalizations





Fairfield County






Hartford County






Litchfield County






Middlesex County






New Haven County






New London County






Tolland County






Windham County






Pending address validation












CHEFA announces $3 million to support Connecticut health care, education, child care, and cultural organizations

The Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) has approved $3 million in grants to assist Connecticut health care, education, child care, and cultural organizations in their response to the COVID-19 crisis. Earlier this spring, CHEFA’s board of directors decided to replace all of its typical FY 2021 grant programs with a COVID-19 grant program to help these organizations meet the needs of these unprecedented times.

CHEFA’s FY 2021 COVID-19 grants are being awarded to the following organizations:

  • 4-CT Fund: $304,200 To Support the 4-CT Card Initiative, an effort administered through community-based organizations and community health centers to provide emergency funds to the Connecticut undocumented population.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Connecticut: $300,000 to support summer/fall youth programming with increased safety protocols, staffing, and support for families.
  • Community Health Center Association of Connecticut: $486,000 to support increased COVID-19 testing at federally qualified health centers throughout Connecticut, acquire additional medical equipment, and provide patient care kits.
  • Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU): $350,000 to support a student relief fund for undocumented students attending Connecticut state colleges and universities.
  • Connecticut After School Network: $220,000 to support after school programs throughout Connecticut with programming, PPE, and health/educational resources.
  • Connecticut Association for Community Action, Inc.: $99,000 to modify existing facilities to implement social distancing protocols and acquire PPE.
  • Connecticut Early Childhood Funder Collaborative: $150,000 to support the public-private partnership with the Office of Early Childhood, focused on family childcare provider resources and technical support during COVID-19 crisis.
  • Connecticut Humanities: $100,000 partnership with the Connecticut Office of the Arts to provide support to arts and cultural organizations affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Gaylord Hospital: $40,800 to acquire UV cleaning machine and glide scope intubation equipment for support of COVID-19 patients.
  • Hartford HealthCare: $400,000 to support ten COVID-19 mobile testing sites in five Connecticut regions with testing supplies, PPE, and staffing.
  • Hospital for Special Care: $75,000 to purchase two ventilators, pulse oximeters, and other medical and technology equipment to care for COVID-19 patients; to enhance community supports, virtual visitation, and create autism video series in response to COVID-19 crisis.
  • Oak Hill (Connecticut Institute for the Blind): $75,000 to support health, education, and physical education programs for individuals with disabilities and a food coordination program for group homes, due to COVID-19 closures and lack of access.
  • Trinity Health of New England: $250,000 to support stage II convalescent plasma therapy clinical trial for COVID-19 patients.
  • United Way, Inc.: $150,000 to support the Connecticut United Ways COVID-19 Response Fund providing emergency support to Connecticut individuals and families.

CHEFA is a quasi-governmental agency created to help Connecticut-based nonprofit organizations raise the funds needed to meet their goals of improving the health and education of Connecticut citizens. CHEFA accomplishes this by providing tax-exempt financing and other financial assistance to educational institutions, healthcare providers, childcare providers, and other eligible nonprofit entities. Since its inception in 2002, CHEFA grant programs have provided more than $33 million to Connecticut nonprofit organizations. CHEFA grant programs utilize no State of Connecticut funds.

]]> (State of CT) Life Fri, 26 Jun 2020 12:29:48 -0400
Lamont Announces Plans for the 2020-21 School Year Amid the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona today announced details of the framework to allow all students – in all school districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, as long as public health data continues to support this model.

While Connecticut has determined reopening schools for in-person instruction can be achieved based upon the state’s successful COVID-19 containment efforts, this model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring, containment, and class cancellation plans.

“While we’ve made good strides to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the virus hasn’t gone away and we need to do what we can to keep students and staff safe while also doing our best to provide our young people with access to an education that prepares them for the future,” Governor Lamont said. “Working with public health and medical experts, and with the support of our educators, we are preparing a number of steps that protect the health and safety of everyone who makes contact with our school system.”

In assessing the approach to a required operating model, the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) considered input from school representatives, educators, families, students, educational stakeholders, advocacy organizations, and union representatives. The department conducted a review of nationally and globally published school reopening plans. The importance of access to in-person schooling rose as a priority related to educational opportunities, safety, wellbeing, and social-emotional learning.

“This pandemic represents more than a virus, it represents an historic disruption to our school communities and created barriers to how we best deliver academic and non-academic supports in a way that is accessible, equitable, and meaningful,” Commissioner Cardona said. “Addressing the educational setbacks and the social-emotional toll caused by COVID-19 is best addressed by maximizing in-person instructional time. In developing this plan, we worked in close consultation with public health officials to prioritize the safety of our school communities and, just as intensively, engaged students, parents, and educators for their critical input. We stand with our districts, educators and families as we commit to making 2020-21 a year devoted to creativity, innovation, courage, and reimagining education together.”

In addition to the framework released today, SDE plans to release a more detailed guidance document next week that will provide more comprehensive information for school districts.

**DownloadExecutive summary of Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning
**DownloadPresentation on Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning

Framework for Connecticut Schools During the 2020-21 Academic Year

Guiding Principles

As Connecticut schools plan to reopen, the guidance and considerations outlined in this framework are grounded in six guiding principles:

  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
  2. Allowing all students the opportunity to return into the classrooms full time starting in the fall;
  3. Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially cancelling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread;
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities who are emerging from this historic disruption;
  5. Developing strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff; and
  6. Factoring into decisions about reopening the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school.

These guiding principles require all districts to develop their plans with a certain level of consistency, however they retain wide discretion in implementing approaches to reopening given unique local considerations. School districts must balance their planning with contingency plans to provide robust, blended learning or remote learning for all grades in the event that a school, district, or region has to cancel or limit in-person classes due to health precautions.

Main Operational Considerations


  • Districts should emphasize grouping students by the same class/group of students and teacher (into a cohort) so each team functions independently as much as possible. Consider this methodology by grade levels.
  • Placing students in cohorts is strongly encouraged for grades K-8, and encouraged where feasible for grades 9-12.

Social Distancing and Facilities

  • Review building space and reconfigure available classroom space, such as gymnasiums and auditoriums, to maximize social distancing, consistent with public health guidelines in place at that time.


  • Districts should plan for buses to operate close to capacity with heightened health and safety protocols, including requiring all students and operators wear face coverings.
  • Transportation operators will need to activate increased social distancing protocols based upon community spread.

Face Coverings

  • All staff and students will be expected to wear a protective face covering or face mask that completely covers the nose and mouth when inside the school building, except for certain exceptions including when teachers are providing instruction.

Ensuring Equity and Access

  • Equitable access to education is a top priority that supports a full-time in-school model by mitigating any barriers to education or opportunity gaps that increased during the pandemic. Efforts to support equity, close the opportunity gap, and provide a wide range of support for students in the state is best achieved with in-person schooling opportunities for all ages.
  • Districts should identify gaps and develop action plans for reopening that specifically address inclusion, equity, and access for all learners with strategies and clearly defined action steps.

Monitoring, Containment, and Class Cancellations Plan

  • Develop robust monitoring and containment protocols, and class cancellation plans, in the event there are public health indicators that may require temporary closure of the building, such as evidence of community transmission in the school.
  • If public health data requires partial reopening, or if schools containment efforts require partial closure, LEAS must prioritize the return of vulnerable learner groups, with specific protocols to increase the in-school population over time until full in person instruction is achieved.
]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Thu, 25 Jun 2020 12:41:43 -0400
The Brookfield Library Invites You to Take the Yellow Brick Road Challenge!

Take the Yellow Brick Road Challenge!

 "Lions, Tigers and Bears... OH MY!" Those famous words were spoken by the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and Dorothy in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which is The Brookfield Library's 2020 One Town, One Read selection.
In honor of this classic story written by L. Frank Baum, we are encouraging Brookfield residents to draw a Yellow Brick Road and their favorite Wizard of Oz characters on their driveway, sidewalk or patio and share your photos here!
Free packages of chalk are available at The Brookfield Library front entrance!
]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Events Wed, 24 Jun 2020 10:49:02 -0400
Newtown Savings Banks Sponsoring Drive & Drop Food Collection

On June 26th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and June 27th from 9 a.m. to noon, Newtown Savings Bank will be collecting non-perishable food donations at all 14 locations to benefit local food pantries. 

You can find needed donation items here 

Locations of local Newtown Savings Bank branches can be found here .

]]> (Hannah Latorre) Events Wed, 24 Jun 2020 10:34:22 -0400
OrthoConnecticut is Back in Action!

OrthoConnecticut Welcomes You Back!

In a short video released on June 23rd, Dr. Ross Henshaw, a Sports Medicine specialist at OrthoConnecticut, shared the practice’s new safety precautions for in-person care. “Nothing can replace human interaction,” said Dr. Henshaw.
During the past few months, the practice has been open for emergency care and utilized telemedicine to treat patients remotely. But, as Dr. Henshaw notes, physician-patient relationships are truly valued at the practice and the physicians are delighted to return to a full schedule of in-person, in-office appointments.
Some changes you will see at all OrthoConnecticut offices include the required use of facemasks on all personnel, the upholding of the six-feet-apart guideline, and new plexiglass dividers around check-in and check-out desks. Moreover, sanitation protocols have been expanded to occur regularly throughout the day. The practice’s safety precautions are outlined here.
OrthoConnecticut is the region’s premier, multi-specialty orthopedic practice, helping patients regain mobility, lead active lives, and attain optimal well-being. It is the combined practice of Danbury Orthopedics, New Milford Orthopedics, Coastal Orthopedics and CT Pain Care. 27 fellowship-trained, board-certified physicians offer patient care at 9 offices in Danbury, Darien, Litchfield, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Sharon, Southbury and Westport. 
The practice’s urgent care service, OrthoCare Express, is open 7 days a week for emergencies and is currently available in Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk. 
To arrange an appointment with Dr. Henshaw or any of the OrthoConnecticut physicians, contact the office at 203-797-1500 or go to
Learn more about OrthoConnecticut HERE.

Welcome Back to OrthoConnecticut

]]> (HH) Places Wed, 24 Jun 2020 03:45:12 -0400