Coscob's HamletHub Fri, 05 Mar 2021 20:29:41 -0500 Why Small Businesses Matter: Interstate + Lakeland Lumber

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT Interstate + Lakeland Lumber!

Three questions with Ben Kahan, Senior Marketing Manager at Interstate + Lakeland Lumber.

Why did you start your business?

Interstate + Lakeland Lumber was founded in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1922 by Leon Kahan, a chair maker who worked his way up to creating his own building supply business. Since then, Interstate + Lakeland Lumber has expanded across Fairfield and Westchester Counties with lumberyard locations in Stamford, Shrub Oak, Newtown, and Westport, where it is still managed by the Kahan family to this day.

What is your best-selling product/service?

Interstate + Lakeland Lumber is proud to supply the builders and homeowners of Connecticut and New York with the most high-end, top-quality building products on the market. In addition to our selection of normal and engineered lumber, we offer windows from leading brands like Marvin, Andersen, and Sierra Pacific, as well as entryway and interior doors. What we're most proud of though is our line of moldings and custom millwork, all created in-house in our custom mill shop in Bethel, CT. No matter the design, Interstate + Lakeland Lumber's craftsmen can create your dream home.

Have you "reimagined" your small business?

In recent years, the biggest reimagining that Interstate + Lakeland Lumber has gone through is the opening of our luxury Design Center showrooms. These showrooms provide homeowners an unparalleled experience to view windows, doors, and architectural hardware; and discover the perfect style for their home. We opened our first showroom in our flagship Greenwich location, and are now in the process of opening new showrooms in Shrub Oak, New York, and in Westport, Connecticut.

Interstate + Lakeland Lumber is located at 247 Mill Street in Greenwich. Visit them online here, and make sure to check out their Facebook and Instagram pages as well!

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!

]]> (Dan) Places Fri, 05 Mar 2021 05:23:00 -0500
Cos Cob resident named to the University of Rhode Island Fall 2020 Dean's List

The University of Rhode Island is pleased to announce the Fall 2020 Dean's List. The students represent nearly all of Rhode Island's cities and towns, all six New England states, New York and New Jersey, and many other states and countries.

To be included on the Dean's List, full-time students must have completed 12 or more credits for letter grades during a semester and achieved at least a 3.30 quality point average. Part-time students qualify with the accumulation of 12 or more credits for letter grades earning at least a 3.30 quality point average.

Congratulations to Madeleine Macora of Cos Cob, who was named to the Dean's List!


]]> (Lily Newman) Neighbors Wed, 03 Mar 2021 13:51:28 -0500
CT Greenways Council Accepting Nominations for State Greenway Designations

CT Greenways Council Accepting Nominations for State Greenway Designations

Nominations Accepted Until April 30th

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Connecticut Greenways Council today announced that they are now soliciting nominations for official state greenway designations.

Greenways are an integral part of any community, offering recreational opportunities, providing alternative transportation options, helping to preserve the environment, and supporting economic development.  Greenways can make a community a more attractive place to live by connecting living spaces with the environment, and they preserve history and cultivate town pride. 

“Greenways protect our critical resources and often provide opportunities to connect people with those resources,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Our Connecticut Greenways Council encourages municipalities to embrace the designation process to facilitate sustainable development, enhancement, and preservation of these special places.”

An official designation by the Greenways Council recognizes a greenway as an open space that not only meets the definition of a greenway, but also enhances the community and is supported by local government initiatives.  Designated greenways, both for recreation and resource protection, will be listed in a subsequent revision of the State Plan of Conservation and Development and may receive increased consideration for a variety of grants. There are currently 77 designated greenways in Connecticut.

The Greenways Council will evaluate all nominated greenways for consistency with designation criteria.  Those selected for designation will be announced by the Greenways Council in conjunction with their National Trails Day event in June. 

The deadline for submission of nominations is April 30, 2021.

The nomination form is available as a word document or a PDF.  The preferred method for submission of completed nomination forms is by e-mail to, and digital photos and maps are preferred (digital photos of hard copy maps are acceptable).  Nominations may also be submitted on CD or other electronic storage device and can be mailed to Laurie Giannotti, CT DEEP, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127. 

For more information on Connecticut’s Greenways, go here.

*Image East Coast Greenway via Twitter @ECGreenway

]]> (CT Deep) Life Wed, 03 Mar 2021 09:27:31 -0500
Greenwich Hospital cancer care nurse earns “40 Under 40” honor

Kristina Capretti, MSN, RN, of Armonk, NY, has been honored as one of Fairfield County’s “40 Under 40” for her contributions as a leader at Greenwich Hospital. The award honors the county’s most influential young professionals who are making a difference professionally.

Known as a “genuine and empathetic leader” dedicated to her patients and staff, Capretti is the clinical program director for the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in Greenwich and the director of Greenwich Hospital’s Medical Oncology unit. She is also a past recipient of the international DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Capretti said she was honored to receive the award, especially at a time when the nursing profession faces many challenges.

“2020 was declared the year of the nurse long before COVID-19 hit,” said Capretti. “As a profession, we were pushed to new limits, became innovators and found ourselves at the frontlines. We joined forces with fellow healthcare workers, tirelessly working to care for patients. And while we were physically and emotionally exhausted, we did not back down. I am proud to be a nurse and even more proud to be a nurse at Greenwich Hospital.”

“Kristina is a quiet and humble leader who has captured the hearts of all staff and always has our patients’ best interest at heart,” said Anna Cerra, DNP, chief nursing officer, Greenwich Hospital. 

Capretti joined Greenwich Hospital as a bedside nurse on Medical Oncology. She was promoted to charge nurse and earned a palliative care nurse practitioners license. Capretti later earned a master’s degree in nursing and is now pursuing a doctorate in nursing practice. The mother of two girls under age four, Capretti still manages to respond to night staff questions.

Last year, Capretti guided her team through the full assimilation to become a Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center. During the pandemic, she helped to coordinate proper staffing in Medical Oncology and joined the labor pool to ensure appropriate staffing throughout the hospital. She accomplished this while making certain that cancer patients were treated despite the pandemic.

Her many accomplishments include securing $6,000 in grants to give $100 gift cards to breast cancer patients; getting free wigs for cancer patients through Cancer Care; starting a massage therapy program for chemotherapy patients; and instituting scalp cooling treatment to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy. She also lead an initiative to bring cancer patients together quarterly to learn about skin care and receive Healing Touch.

The “40 Under 40” event on Feb. 25 was sponsored by the Fairfield County Business Journal.

Caption: Greenwich Hospital’s Kristina Capretti, MSN, RN, is the recipient of the “40 Under 40” award.

]]> (Magaly Olivero ) Neighbors Mon, 01 Mar 2021 06:22:20 -0500
Cos Cob resident named to Gettysburg College Dean's Honor List

Benjamin Ropiak of Cos Cob has been placed on the Gettysburg College Dean's Honor list for outstanding academic achievement in the Fall 2020 semester.

Students with a quality point average of 3.60 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) for a semester's work are placed on the College's Dean's Honor List.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

]]> (Gettysburg College) Neighbors Mon, 01 Mar 2021 03:14:06 -0500
The Greenwich Art Society presents How to Identify an Art Movement via Zoom on March 15

Art History Lecture Series with Sue Altman via Zoom: How to Identify an Art Movement

This fun and informative “crash course” in Art History will teach you what to look for in a work of art and where it belongs on the great continuum of eras from Medieval all the way up to the diverse movements of the 20th century.
In 60 minutes of colorful slides and lecture you will see how art evolved over the centuries and what makes each period significant and unique.

is an artist, art instructor and art historian who lectures and teaches widely throughout the tristate area. Her subjects include exhibitions currently showing in the NY area, museums in the US and around the world, explorations of important art movements etc. She has a painting studio in Ossining NY and shows her work frequently.
]]> (Mary Newcomb) Events Fri, 26 Feb 2021 08:36:15 -0500
A Record-Breaking Fairfield County’s Giving Day Raises $2.25 Million for Nearly 400 Local Nonprofits

14,828 Individuals Generously Contribute to Region’s Biggest Day of Philanthropy, Powered by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

 Fairfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF) today announced record-breaking results for its 8th annual Fairfield County’s Giving Day, which was held yesterday, Thursday, February 25, 2021. 

A total $2,250,154 was raised from 14,828 donors who made 21,187 total gifts — all Fairfield County’s Giving Day records — in support of 394 local nonprofits during the online 24-hour giving marathon.  The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified nonprofit needs and on Fairfield County’s Giving Day this year, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and businesses from across the region came together to give where they live and work.

“Everything about this year has been different -- everything but the generosity of Fairfield County donors and we thank every donor for their meaningful contributions.  We’re so grateful for the extraordinary, record-breaking response from our community for Fairfield County’s Giving Day 2021. While the pandemic made it impossible for nonprofits to raise funds in traditional in-person events, thousands responded to the call on Fairfield County’s Giving Day, contributing critical funds at a critical time for hundreds of local nonprofits.  The Community Foundation is honored to help make this truly momentous day of compassion, kindness, and goodwill possible for the communities we call home and all of our neighbors,” said Juanita James, President & CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

With the backing of Champion Sponsor, Bank of America, for an eighth year in a row, and other generous sponsors, this year’s record results exceeded prior high totals of $1,719,595 (+31% from 2019); 13,161 unique donors (+13% from 2015); and 17,236 total donations made (+23% from 2020). Since its inception by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation in 2014, a total of $11,557,543 has been raised from 118,252 total gifts for 1,945 local nonprofits on Fairfield County’s Giving Day.

“Yesterday’s phenomenal Giving Day results are a reflection of the hardworking nonprofit community that has motivated so many donors to give back in recognition of their dedication and resiliency,” said Bill Tommins, President, Bank of America, Southern Connecticut. “In our eighth year as Champion Sponsor, the impact that yesterday will have on nonprofits within our communities will be substantial and long lasting, and we are proud to rally behind those making a difference.”

The community building-aspect of Giving Day continues to be a critical aspect of the initiative. As the region’s biggest philanthropic event of the year, Giving Day encourages thousands of individuals to come together and make a difference in the lives of their neighbors across all 23 cities and towns of Fairfield County.  Participating nonprofits represent a wide array of causes including the arts, education, animal welfare, human services, housing, and more. In addition to raising funds, Giving Day helps the more than 400 participating nonprofit organizations in increasing awareness about the important work they do across the region, while also providing trainings and workshops to empower virtual fundraising, marketing, and other resources.

Generous sponsors provided a bonus pool of more than $140,000 in prize money for participating nonprofits this year, another record total, surpassing prior highs in prize money by 40%.  Winners of Fairfield County’s Giving Day 2021 bonus prizes included:

  • Nonprofit Grand Prize: Most Unique Donors ($15,000 prize):
  • LifeBridge Community Services
  • Nonprofit Grand Prize: Most Dollars Raised ($10,000 prize)
  • The Greater Fairfield County Foundation, Inc. (not affiliated with FCCF)
  • Rookie of the Year ($1,000 prize to the first-time Giving Day participant with the most unique donors):
  • Lucky Dog Refuge

For a full list of prize winners visit To review the full list of nonprofit fundraisers, inclusive of prize money, view the final leaderboard at

Separately, grant-prize winners of the 2021 Why I Give Video Submission Contest were announced on Giving Day, and included: Grand Prize: Fairfield Center Stage; Runners Up: New Canaan Mounted Troop, Kids Helping Kids, and Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue (ROAR).  To view these winning videos, visit:

To view a recording of the Giving Day Virtual Launch Party that kicked off the day, visit

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation extends its gratitude to sponsors including Champion Sponsor, Bank of America; County Sponsor: Hearst Connecticut Media Group; Neighborhood Sponsor: Barbara Benton Davis Fund at FCCF, Back to You Fund at FCCF, Haddad & Partners, Altice; Power Hour Sponsor: The Jeniam Foundation, Fund for Women & Girls at FCCF, Immigrant Success Fund at FCCF, Herb B. West Award Fund at FCCF, Geller-Conarck Memorial Fund at FCCF, TargetOnstar, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Bridgewater Associates; Town Square Sponsors: Albourne Partners, Webster Private Bank, Greater Norwalk Chamber, Yale New Haven Health Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Band Central; Magazine Partner: Moffly Media; Media Partners: 95.9 The Fox, Star 99.9, WICC 600, WEBE 108.

About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation 

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards and has awarded over $337.5 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond since 1992. As a trusted nonprofit partner and thought leader, the organization brings together community organizers, business experts, and philanthropists to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County with a focus on eliminating disparities in education, employment, housing, and health. Our goal is to create a vital and inclusive community, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.  Listen to the Fairfield County Thrives podcast at


]]> ( Patty McQueen) Charities Fri, 26 Feb 2021 05:52:13 -0500
Greenwich Sail & Power Squadron Offer Virtual Boating Course on March 13

A virtual boating course, which will qualify one for a CT Boating Certificate + PWC/Jet Ski, will be held on Saturday, March 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For information, please email or call Susan Ryan at 203-998-1864.

You may pre-register here.

]]> (HH) Events Fri, 26 Feb 2021 05:03:13 -0500
Abilis Offers Sibshops Workshops for Teens, Ages 10-14

Back by Popular Demand: Abilis Sibshops Provides Fun Workshop for Siblings of Those with Special Needs

Winter/Spring Workshops: Feb 24, Mar 24, April 21 and May 19

Abilis’ popular Sibshops’ workshops are back for 2021 and are offering a chance for Fairfield County teens, ages 10-to-14, who have siblings with a disability or special need, to meet virtually for a fun and informative workshop. Workshops are scheduled for February 24, March 24, April 21, and May 19, from 5:00 until 6:30 p.m. and are held via Zoom. Workshops are $40 and registration must be made in advance. To register, visit or contact workshop co-facilitator Maddy Schulte at


Sibshops are high-spirited, fun workshops that combine recreation, discussion and information for siblings of those with a disability. Sibshops provides a safe space for siblings to share their thoughts and feelings while also meeting others in similar circumstances and provides a place to enjoy themselves through different recreation activities and through playing games while also learning about the services their brother(s) or sister(s) receive. 

Sibshops is an international program created by the Sibling Support Project. The Sibshop curriculum is used throughout the United States and Canada and in Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, Iceland, Ireland, England, Italy, and Turkey. 

“As a teen with a sibling with special needs, I experienced first-hand the challenges siblings face when a sibling has a disability,” noted Mary Kate (MK) Blum, a co-facilitator of the workshops. 

Mary Kate, known as MK, is a 16-years-old and attends Greenwich Academy. She is passionate about musical theater and the GA Varsity Dance Team. Outside of school, MK is a Girl Scout Senior and a volunteer at Abilis where she serves as the secretary on the Abilis Youth Board. MK is also close with her family, especially her sister Brinkley, who along with many talents and unique qualities, is challenged with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. MK couldn’t be more excited to bring Sibshops to Abilis where she can help siblings have fun, relax, learn and connect with other peers who just get it.

Maddy Schulte, the other co-facilitator of Sibshops, is a case manager, healthy relationships and self-advocacy instructor at Abilis. She is graduating in May from Fordham University with her master’s degree in social work and started at Abilis as an intern in September of 2019 and fell in love with the work they do. She received her Sibshop facilitator certification in July 2020 and loves running the Sibshops workshops at Abilis.

The Abilis Sibshops program is limited to a group size of 10-to-12. Registration is limited and spaces will fill up fast, so it is recommended to register online at (click on the corresponding date to go to the Sibshops registration page). 

Abilis is celebrating its 70th year in 2021 of being a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports more than 800 individuals with special needs and their families from birth throughout their lives. Abilis is a leader serving the special needs community in Fairfield County, Connecticut, in towns including Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford, Westport, Weston and Wilton, and has a long-standing reputation for individualized, high quality care.

For more information, visit, or,, or

]]> (Abilis Inc.) Events Wed, 24 Feb 2021 12:34:07 -0500
Bruce Museum: The Artists of Instagram Webinar, March 4

GREENWICH, CT — Once upon a time, visual artists had to forge their way toward success using such primitive forms of marketing as opening their studios, cultivating buyers, charming the pants off of gallerists, and creatively spreading word of mouth. Today there's Instagram, a platform where artists can show off the gift that produces their work, but, even more than that, can inspire literally tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people to follow them and to engage in a rich, spirited, ongoing dialogue about their work.

The Artists of Instagram: Everything You Always Wanted to Know and Aren't Afraid to Ask, a Bruce Presents webinar on Thursday, March 4, 2021, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, showcases four extraordinary artists who have not only built substantial followings on Instagram, but also represent a revolution in terms of how we define what makes someone a successful contemporary artist.

From Daisy Collingridge (@daisy_collingridge), whose draped and tufted sculptures serve as evocative representations of the body and soul; to Lauren Ko (@lokokitchen), a baker whose visually exquisite edibles challenge traditional definitions of art itself; from actor-filmmaker Sarah Ramos (@saraheramos), whose teenage pursuit of celebrities grew into a provocative visual meta-commentary; to artist-musician Láolú Senbanjo (@laulunyc), whose breathtaking take on Afromysterics caught Beyoncé's eye – these artists are singular in their approach and collectively representative of a generation for whom Instagram is a key element of their practice.

The Artists of Instagram: Everything You Always Wanted to Know and Aren't Afraid to Ask will be moderated by Bruce Presents co-producer Leonard Jacobs; a Q&A session will follow the conversation among the IG artists. Admission to the webinar is free for Museum members and $20 for non-members; students receive a 20% discount. To register, visit or call 203-869-0376, ext. 311. Support for Bruce Presents programs is generously provided by Berkley One, a Berkley Company, Connecticut Office of the Arts, and Northern Trust.

More about our Bruce Presents panelists and Instagram artists:

Daisy Collingridge studied Fashion Design at the renowned Central St. Martins in London, receiving her BA in 2014. Since graduating, her work has morphed into a multi-disciplinary art practice. Her work sits in an awkward space between sculpture, theatre, and art. The “Flesh Suits” or “Squishes” explore fabric, form, and flesh. At the core of her work are traditional craft techniques like free machine quilting, applique, and pattern cutting. Daisy has won the international award at the World of Wearable Arts, exhibited at Alexandra Palace in London, and has been featured in numerous art publications, including the magazines Hi FructoseTrebuchetDesignBoomDezeenDazed DigitalArte Tracks, and Observer

Lauren Ko is an artist, self-taught home baker, and author of the best-selling cookbook, “Pieometry.” Her colorful geometric style made all hell bake loose on the frontier of contemporary pie art, and her iconic signature spoke design has been dubbed the “modern lattice.” Her work has been widely featured in publications such as Vogue, O Magazine, Buzzfeed's Tasty, and on-screen in Martha Bakes and CBS’ Sunday Morning. Lauren has roots in sunny San Diego, but is currently based in Seattle, with her partner, Ben, and their bear dog, Santi.

Sarah Ramos is a filmmaker, writer, and actor. She starred as Haddie Braverman on the NBC drama series Parenthood from 2010 until 2015. Most recently, she emerged on Instagram feeds with her DIY re-enactments of cult-favorite movie/TV scenes and pop culture moments (“Quarantscenes”). She has written and directed short films (The Arm and Fluffy) as well as the 2017 web series City Girl, which she also starred in at age 25 after writing the script at 12. Her latest projects include creating the Autograph Hound zine in collaboration with THNK1994 Museum, directing an episode of Marvel 616, and creating and co-hosting The Renner Files podcast.

Láolú Senbanjo is a Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based visual artist, singer, songwriter, musician, and human rights lawyer. Láolú has always had a desire to help others and reveal their truth. He does this through a way that comes most naturally to him: Art. After practicing law for three years, he quit his job, moved to New York City and has been creating ever since. Láolú is guided by the idea that all surfaces are his canvas. His unique technique, which he coined as the Sacred art of the Orí, is based on the Yoruba religious practice of becoming one with yourself or awakening the God in you (Orí).

Láolú has collaborated with Beyoncé Knowles on her Grammy award-winning visual album “Lemonade,” Taraji P. Henson, Lupita Nyongo, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beats, and Danielle Brooks. His brand collaborations include Kenneth Cole, Nike, Equinox Fitness, Starbucks, Belvedere, Bvlgari, TED, Apple, Facebook, and more. Láolú’s work has also been featured in the Brooklyn Museum and the Whitney Museum.

To participate in The Artists of Instagram virtual program on Thursday, March 4, starting at 7:00 pm, visit or call 203-869-0376, ext. 311. The Bruce Museum’s virtual series of conversations among thought leaders in art and science continues on Thursday, April 8, with Women in Contemporary Science: How to STEM the Leaky Pipeline.

]]> (Scott Smith ) Events Wed, 24 Feb 2021 05:43:00 -0500
Greenwich Art Society presents Klimt and the Lady in Gold on Mondays Adult and Teens

Art History Lecture Series with Sue Altman via Zoom on March 1st 5:30-6:30 PM

Klimt and the Lady in Gold

The story of Klimt's masterpiece and the convoluted history of its creation, confiscation and eventual return

Registration on our website at
Zoom link will be emailed day of class

Suzanne Altman is an artist, art instructor and art historian who lectures and teaches widely throughout the tristate area. Her subjects include exhibitions currently showing in the NY area, museums in the US and around the world, explorations of important art movements etc. She has a painting studio in Ossining NY and shows her work frequently.

]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Events Tue, 23 Feb 2021 12:11:46 -0500
Connecticut Senator Introduces Jennifer's Law in Honor of New Canaan Mother Jennifer Dulos

Connecticut Senator Alex Kasser (D) Greenwich, Stamford and New Canaan, has introduced “Jennifer’s Law,” for the 2021 Legislative session. The bill is named in honor of Jennifer Dulos, the New Canaan mother who was murdered by her husband while she was pleading for her and her children’s safety in family court and whose five children are now orphaned.
The focus of the bill is to update and modernize the definition of Domestic Violence (DV) in Connecticut state law to include Coercive Control - a pattern of abuse which is not necessarily physical that isolates, dominates and intimidates a victim into submission through a pattern of behavior. This can include assault, psychological abuse, financial abuse, revenge porn, stalking and other forms of domination and threat. The bill would also prioritize child safety in custody proceedings by making DV, including child abuse, the first factor assessed by the family court in a case involving custody.
The bill also requires Coercive Control training by professionals with direct experience working with survivors, as well as legal support for victims seeking a protective order from the Court. Kasser’s bill would require judges to recognize victims of DV and child abuse and give them the safety and protection they deserve. 
“When women are the victims of abuse, they seek safety for themselves and their children. Often that means staying with the abuser because the danger of leaving is too great. But when victims do summon the courage to leave, we have a responsibility to believe and protect them. Too many women have lost their lives just trying to get free. And too many children have become collateral damage in this struggle. It’s time for us to shine a light on DV in all its forms and protect those who need protecting.
Women feel shame and fear when they’re with their abuser and when they leave they are re-traumatized by a society that doesn’t believe them. DV is a public health crisis that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic. And oftentimes the signs are invisible. Many victims say that the invisible forms of DV - aka Coercive Control - are more terrifying than physical violence.
It’s time to update our systems and beliefs to reflect this reality. It’s time to remove the stigma, shame and fear. It’s time for real change,” said Senator Alex Kasser, lead sponsor of this legislation. 
“National experts agree that DV includes not only physical and sexual abuse. It includes additional actions used to dominate and control a spouse/partner, making her afraid, powerless and subjugated. These actions are collectively referred to as coercive control. Hawaii passed a coercive control bill in September, 2020. California has one too. Given the national attention on the Jennifer Dulos case, and the fact that DV affects women in every community, Connecticut should be a leader on this issue,” added Kasser.
For two years, Jennifer Farber Dulos and Fotis Dulos were engaged in divorce and child custody litigation in Connecticut Family Court. In court transcripts, she said her husband "expects to exhibit complete control over me and the children.”  The Dulos court transcripts also revealed the rising tension and frustration of the litigants with the escalating time in the courtroom, over 500 pleadings on their case docket, as well as the rising cost of the legal bills to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Police are examining the Dulos divorce as part of their investigation, which was racking up enormous costs including fees paid to at least three attorneys, family therapists, three psychologists and court approved monitors working on the case. 
According to Betsy Keller, the founder of Connecticut Protective Moms, a grassroots advocacy group for protective moms in family court proceedings, “The 10% of family court divorce and separation cases that eventually go before a family court judge are labeled “high conflict” by court professionals, but are very often abuse cases. These court professionals - judges, family lawyers, forensic psychology evaluators and family relations counselors - do not have the needed extensive training in DV and the complicated tactics of how Coercive Control plays out in a court of law.
Seasoned DV experts know that the “high conflict” label is a misnomer and these contentious custody and divorce cases can often be a red flag indicating an abuser’s coercive control tactics, including legal abuse to punish the victim for leaving them.”
In an Op-Ed written by Hon. Family Court Justice Michael Albis published in March, 2020, the Connecticut Judicial Branch publicly supported the key component of Kasser’s proposal - expanding the legal definition of DV to include Coercive Control. Current law only recognizes “continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury” but not other types of threat or injury. The current definition “severely restricts” what the court can do to protect victims, Albis noted.
Judge Albis concluded that “by adopting language as suggested by Sen. Kasser, the legislature will allow judges to elevate all DV to the scrutiny it deserves, particularly in cases involving child custody.” 
According to research, DV only presents itself as verifiable physical violence in 10% of reported cases. However, many DV cases include an abuser’s escalating use of Coercive Control tactics - emotional, verbal, financial, legal abuse, stalking and isolation. “This bill could have better protected Jennifer Dulos and countless other Connecticut mothers and children who have been harmed over the years while seeking safety from an abusive partner in family court,” says Danielle Pollack of CHILD USA, a national think tank for child protection.
“As a way to punish an ex for leaving, abusers who previously had perpetrated violence against their adult partner will often redirect their abuse toward children and/or litigate for control of the children once their adult partner - no longer available to abuse directly - exits the relationship. Unfortunately, family courts often do not recognize this pattern, but Jennifer’s Law aims to improve the courts capacity to do so.”
According to Joan Meier, Law Professor at George Washington University Law School and Director of the National Family Violence Law Center, a leading DV and child custody expert who published a 2019 study of DV and family court harmful practices,
“My family court research is a groundbreaking empirical study of over 4000 cases powerfully affirming the reports from the field, that women who allege abuse – particularly child abuse – by a father are at significant risk (over 1 in 3) of losing custody to the alleged abuser in family court. Protective parents are often forced to share custody with an abuser while enduring years in contentious family court proceedings.”
Evan Stark, PhD, MSW, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University, introduced the concept of coercive control in his book Coercive Control (Oxford U. Press, 2007). In his book, Dr. Stark shows that most abuse in relationships includes a combination of violent and nonviolent tactics (such as threats, stalking and psychological abuse), introduced over time, that often extend to use of the children to control the mother by threatening to harm them if  she leaves or disobeys him or by enlisting the children as allies in the mother's abuse. A number of countries, with England and Scotland as leaders, and several US States (most notably Hawaii and California) have adapted Coercive Control laws to reflect the scope of protection required to meet the needs identified.  
Interpersonal Femicide in Connecticut goes far beyond the Dulos case. Almost fourteen women are murdered each year as are many children whose protective parent tried to keep them safe from an abusive parent. A few examples of coercive control cases escalating to murder from the past few years:
  • In 2020, Christine Holloway was brutally murdered in her Ansonia home and her young daughter is still missing. Her boyfriend is the only suspect named by police.

  • In 2019, Perrie Mason of Meriden, the mother of two boys first went missing, then police discovered her remains at a Waterbury recycling facility where her boyfriend works.

  • In 2015, seven-month old baby Aaden Moreno was thrown from the Middletown Bridge by his father and died when he fell into the icy winter water. Just five days before, a Middletown Family Court Judge denied the mother’s request for a permanent restraining order based on his view that neither she nor her baby were in danger. 

  • In 2007, Magnano was shot and killed by her estranged husband on Aug. 23, 2007 at their Terryville home. He then turned the gun on himself. Four months earlier, Jennifer Magnano fled the home with her children only to learn that no shelter in Connecticut would take them and that it would take two weeks to get money approved for a hotel. In need of immediate help, they headed to a shelter in California. Magnano was killed when she returned to Connecticut for a court-ordered custody hearing. Michelle Cruz, JD, the State Victim Advocate at the time, released a 45-page report calling for drastic changes in the way state agencies help DV victims. The report detailed the numerous steps Jennifer Magnano took to get help in the months before she was murdered. It also details gaps in state services. "The report is lengthy and it describes the colossal systematic failure of the systems that were supposed to protect Jennifer and her family," Michelle Cruz said.

Connecticut Protective Moms (CPM) is a 501 (c) (3) grassroots organization of Connecticut moms who are dedicated to improving the Connecticut Family Court process to validate all forms of Domestic Violence (DV) including physical, coercive control, emotional, verbal, financial and legal abuse.  By raising awareness and educating Connecticut Family Court stakeholders on this broader definition of DV, we will advocate to reform state legislation to protect mothers and their children from continued DV during Connecticut Family Court proceedings and to eliminate bias against a mother's DV allegations during child custody proceedings.
The lack of education and knowledge of DV abuser tactics among family court professionals - judges, lawyers, GALs, forensic evaluators -  during divorce and family court proceedings often put moms and children at further risk of abuse and danger. Our objective is to change the "default" position of laws, court orders, and social attitudes in general to see moms and children protected not only before, but during and after they step into a family court for divorce from an abusive individual. CPM will raise awareness of new and stronger legislative solutions to family court legislation and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of children.  


]]> (Jill Rosenfeld) Politics Tue, 23 Feb 2021 09:53:27 -0500
Greenwich United Way Announces 2020 Needs Assessment Results with Housing, Education and Mental Health & Wellness as Principal Areas of Concern

The study conducted in conjunction with Fairfield University’s Center for Social Impact provides a blueprint for the Greenwich United Way in identifying and directing resources to the most pressing community needs.
The Greenwich United Way in partnership with Fairfield University has released its 2020 Needs Assessment. The quinquennial survey has been conducted since 1981 with the goal of producing results that can be used to develop impactful solutions based on data to ensure quality outcomes. The 2020 Needs Assessment was conducted in conjunction with the Center for Social Impact at Fairfield University for the first time and was the most comprehensive with the most respondents participating to date, yielding data and input from all areas of Greenwich.
“By collaborating on this Needs Assessment with Fairfield University, we are able to drill down into the results and focus on data specific to individual neighborhoods in Greenwich rather than being limited to working with overly general, town-wide metrics,” said David Rabin, CEO of GUW. “This functionality is especially important in a town like ours where, for example, the neighborhood with the highest average income level is bordered by the neighborhood with the lowest average income level in town.”
Conducted in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Needs Assessment focused on Greenwich residents’ perceptions of five broadly defined areas of service needs:
  • Basic Human Needs: Equality, housing, nutrition, and financial needs
  • Community Resources: Planning and development, environment, service coordination, and immigration support
  • Crisis and Disaster Services: Disaster preparedness, domestic abuse, violence, and crime
  • Families, Children and Seniors: Childcare, education, employment, and recreation
  • Physical and Mental Health: Counseling, healthcare, and substance misuse services
The results of the 2020 Needs Assessment indicate that some of the most pressing areas of concern in the community include affordable housing, education, and mental health and wellness. While the assessment was conducted in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has significantly altered the challenges facing Greenwich, the challenges reflected in the assessment are, according to the Assessment of Human Services & State of Greenwich Statistical Report Executive Summary, “in the context of a community with fiscal resources and social capital that can be brought to bear, including the Greenwich United Way.”
“The 2020 Needs Assessment tells the story of a community that is rich in socioeconomic diversity, and the issues that go hand-in-hand with that diversity. Together, we can use this data and our collective expertise to sustain this diversity as one of our greatest assets,” said Rabin.
More than 40 Fairfield University students and four Center for Social Impact student research fellows worked with faculty on the assessment, collecting, analyzing, and visualizing data for the executive report and dashboard.
"The Needs Assessment project was a great opportunity for students and faculty to work intensively on research that would have immediate and meaningful impact for the community,” said Melissa Quan, director of the Center for Social Impact. “The Center for Social Impact is committed to working with community partners to generate and share research that can inform programs and systems that lead to positive change for communities while also building the capacity of our students to be lifelong contributors to the common good.”
Complete survey results can be accessed in the Assessment of Human Services & State of Greenwich Statistical Report dashboard:
About Greenwich United Way
The Greenwich United Way (GUW) shares a name with approximately 1,200 other similar organizations across the nation, although, since 1933, the Greenwich, Connecticut division is a privately incorporated, locally governed, nonprofit agency. As a volunteer-driven organization, the Greenwich United Way exists to help identify and address the health, educational and self-sufficiency needs specific to its local community and to create and affect meaningful, lasting solutions. Through various fundraising efforts and on-going research, the organization is able to directly grant the funds necessary to accomplish this goal. The Greenwich United Way also invests in and conducts collaborative efforts to address broad-based community needs with partnering nonprofit agencies. For more information, visit
About Fairfield University
Fairfield University is a modern Jesuit Catholic university rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City. 
]]> (KH) Charities Tue, 23 Feb 2021 06:23:06 -0500
Connecticut Housing Partners is planning to expand its affordable housing presence into Monroe, CT

Trumbull, CT - Connecticut Housing Partners has proposed to construct 49-units of affordable housing for Seniors on Main Street in Monroe. The plan was well-received during a Planning and Zoning Commission at the end of January. the plan is to build a three-story New England style building for residents age 62 and older on Main Street in Monroe as an attractive and well-designed project on a site naturally buffered from neighborhood impacts. 

Connecticut Housing Partner's attorney said, "This project would benefit Monroe especially its Senior Citizens!  It's something that everybody could be proud of."  One of the Commissioners in attendance said, "I think this is a beautiful plan that fills a great need in our town for our aging population and our ability to keep them here." 

The housing would be built on just over two acres at 195, 201, and 211 Main Street, close to where Skate Time Roller Rink used to be. Among Connecticut Housing Partners' Senior Housing is Huntington Place, 1235 Huntington Turnpike in Trumbull, Wilton Commons, 21 Station Road in Wilton and Greenfield Commons, 580 Villa Avenue in Fairfield. David Goslin, an architect from Crosskey Architects in Hartford, showed a rendering of the 50,000 square foot facility. "It is a very traditional looking building in keeping with the architecture of Monroe," he said. The independent living facility's front facade has bay windows and gables, according to the design. The facility will include a community room that would serve as a gathering place for tenants to have social events. 

Stay tuned as Connecticut Housing Partners continues with the process of bringing this much-needed development to life!

Connecticut Housing Partners is a 501 (c) 3 organization and its mission is to create and sustain innovative housing, revitalize neighborhoods, and enhance the quality of low and moderate income residents of Connecticut. We are also fighting to end homelessness.

To learn more about Connecticut Housing Partners, please visit 



]]> (Robin Jerrild) Life Mon, 22 Feb 2021 08:51:50 -0500
Summer Training Programs at The Golf Performance Center Now Open for Registration

Room and Board Available for Sessions June 28 – July 23 and July 26 – August 20

The Golf Performance Center (GPC) – a leader in junior golf innovations, integrating player development, premium technology and facilities with industry thought leaders – has opened registration to its 2021 Summer Program, designed for golfers who aspire to play college golf. The GPC offers two sessions, held June 28 – July 23 and July 26 – August 20, with room and board available at the academy’s main campus in Ridgefield, CT.

Four- or eight-week programs are offered to golfers ages 10 or older. To apply or learn more information, contact Tom Bopp at or 203-439-6758. Applications are due March 1 for Session 1 and March 15 for Session 2.

Each attendee will receive The GPC’s 5 Element of Success Evaluation. Following the Evaluation, an individualized holistic plan to achieve peak performance is created for each student-athlete. The team will then guide golfers through their personalized program of overall performance improvement, developing skills that enable them to compete at progressively higher levels.

The 2021 Summer Program also includes:

  • Daily physical performance coaching
  • Extended practice time
  • Playing privileges at Salem Golf Club
  • Tournament planning and guidance
  • Premium Membership
  • Custom club fitting
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
  • Field trips

“The GPC Summer Program is truly unique because it provides our student athletes with the tools to grow athletically, culturally and as lifelong learners,” says The GPC’s Founder, Roger Knick. “The core of our summer program is golf, but the curriculum also includes courses with Learning Coaches from Ethan Allen Prep and exploration of New England and the New York City region. Our program combines the best practices for development, golf and physical coaching, tournament preparation, tournament play and high-level academic experience.”

For more than 20 years, The GPC has successfully guided nearly 100 competitors as they prepare for golf at the highest levels. Alumni include multiple NCAA All-Americans, current and former student-athletes at 80 different colleges and universities and professionals who have won on the Korn Ferry Tour, Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada and European Tour.

To learn more about The Golf Performance Center, visit

The Golf Performance Center integrates state of the art training facilities and expert coaching to help athletes reach their goals. Beginning with the unique “5 Elements of Success” evaluation, The GPC delivers customized golf coaching designed to provide aspiring athletes with improvement strategies built for long-term success. The GPC’s goal is to provide valued instruction, guidance and the necessary facilities to develop junior athletes, both physically and mentally, to successfully navigate challenges on the journey to competitive golf. Junior Golf Hub is an online community that was founded to help players and parents navigate the journey to college golf while helping coaches find top talent. Ethan Allen Prep at The Golf Performance Center is committed to an individualized, passion driven learning environment in which student-athletes in grades 6-12 are challenged to maximize their learning through exhibiting proficiency in academic skills, high moral character, and a deep understanding of the academic content and topics in which they engage.

]]> (Golf Performance Center) Places Mon, 22 Feb 2021 07:53:00 -0500