Danbury's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury Fri, 29 Sep 2023 22:16:25 -0400 HamletHub.com WCSU names Thomas Miller recipient of 2023 Provost’s Award for Teaching https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/51099-wcsu-names-thomas-miller-recipient-of-2023-provost-s-award-for-teaching51099-wcsu-names-thomas-miller-recipient-of-2023-provost-s-award-for-teaching https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/51099-wcsu-names-thomas-miller-recipient-of-2023-provost-s-award-for-teaching51099-wcsu-names-thomas-miller-recipient-of-2023-provost-s-award-for-teaching

Western Connecticut State University announced that Associate Professor of Justice and Law Administration Thomas A. Miller of Bethel has been awarded the 2023 Provost’s Award for Teaching. The award is presented annually to a WCSU faculty member that inspires both students and fellow educators.

“Thomas Miller has demonstrated a strong commitment to student success, both in the classroom and through his mentorship of the Moot Court Team. His enthusiasm is evident in everything he does, from celebrating the successes of his students, to embracing the talent of his colleagues, to providing strong leadership in faculty governance,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Missy Alexander. “As a graduate of WCSU, his return reflects his endorsement of the quality of education he received and his passion to bring that same quality to the students he is serving,” she added.

Miller has been teaching at WCSU since 2014 and “feels humbled” to receive this award. “There are so many great professors at WCSU that are just as deserving of the award, so it’s an incredible compliment to be chosen,” Miller said. “Credit should especially go to my Moot Court Team students – their exceptional performance in competition last year made me look really good,” he joked.

As for why he chose to attend and then work at the university, Miller said, “WCSU is a great place to go to school and to work because it is a student-centered institution. I am grateful for what it gave me as a student. I will continue to do my best as a faculty member to ensure that WCSU remains the best value in higher education for many years to come.”

In his speech to faculty and staff when accepting the Provost’s Award for Teaching, Miller stated that teaching at a university is a privilege that cannot be taken lightly, especially now. “It’s the job of a university professor to teach students something the world hasn’t done a great job of lately, which is to value reason over rage and to recognize that the lungs are not the seat of knowledge. Our job is to teach students to base their opinions on the best available evidence instead of on personal convenience. I like to joke to myself that professors are generals in the war against ignorance.” He continued, “WCSU’s student body is one that is worth fighting for every day. WCSU is open to everyone regardless of social and economic background. No matter who you were in high school or your professional life beforehand, WCSU has a place for you.”

Miller indicated that what he believes WCSU does best is produce local leaders that serve as the backbone of many communities, especially in Connecticut and Eastern New York. “Our graduates are the embodiment of the American dream. They work hard and keep communities going. Armed with a great education, they are an essential part of the glue that holds the social fabric together,” he concluded.

Miller graduated from WCSU in 2009 with a B.S. in Justice and Law Administration degree with a concentration in Legal Studies. He then earned a Juris Doctor from the Regent University School of Law and clerked for the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate. A former solo law practitioner, Miller teaches a wide range of JLA classes at WCSU and advises the WCSU Moot Court Team. Miller said he chose to start his journey at WCSU “because it has the best pre-law-style program for the price” and believes that “it was a wise choice because I received a personalized education from incredible professors who cared deeply about my success – I was incredibly well-prepared to go to law school.”

For more information, contact WCSU Communications and Marketing at pr@wcsu.edu

kerry@ducey.org (Janine Azzi) Neighbors Fri, 29 Sep 2023 10:50:17 -0400
Belly Dance with Riskallah Riyad at Vitti’s Dance Studio in Danbury https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/51089-belly-dance-with-riskallah-riyad-169592580751089-belly-dance-with-riskallah-riyad-1695925807 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/51089-belly-dance-with-riskallah-riyad-169592580751089-belly-dance-with-riskallah-riyad-1695925807

Renowned dance teacher Riskallah Riyad (Dolores Matzen), has been teaching Middle Eastern dance arts for over 40 years. Dolores is known for her energetic teaching style and the ability to communicate movement to students of any level!

Beginner classes focus on basic movements and isolations used in this dance.  A wonderful workout for your body to help you look and feel great.  For all ages, shapes and sizes!

October session begins Wednesday, 10/4/23 at 4:45 – 5:30 p.m.

60 for 4 weeksor $20 drop-in

Register online at: www.vittisdancestudio.com   (home page, breaking news)

Location: Vitti’s Dance Studio, 10 Precision Rd, Danbury 203.748.2884  

dlinley@hotmail.com (deb linley) Events Fri, 29 Sep 2023 06:52:55 -0400
Taste of Danbury in October Presented by CityCenter https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/51098-taste-of-danbury-in-october-presented-by-citycenter51098-taste-of-danbury-in-october-presented-by-citycenter https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/51098-taste-of-danbury-in-october-presented-by-citycenter51098-taste-of-danbury-in-october-presented-by-citycenter

Back by popular demand, CityCenter Danbury presents another mouthwatering event scheduled for the month of October – “Tastes of Danbury”.

This round for the month of October includes tasty new venues that foodies, friends, and families will enjoy.   Step out on the town and take a bite out of the local highlighted culinary delights. For only $25 per pass, sample four different establishments that we promise you’ll love if you don’t already. 

Yes, $25 scores you FOUR different meals, FOUR visits, FOUR restaurants. And that’s FOUR varieties of cultural cuisine. If you’re craving Italian, there’s Franco’s Pizza, which claims to be the “best pizza in town”.  At La Mitad Del Mundo, your tastebuds will insist you are in the middle of Ecuador. Fino Sabor delivers on its promise of fine taste, with flavorful, or “saborosa” Brazilian food. And finally, Xay’s Kitchen is a Laos/Thai party for the palate.

Make sure to wear a pair of eating pants - trust us, you'll need 'em! With so many stellar restaurants to celebrate in Hat City, you get to try them all…all Fall.  And if you don’t love every bite, we’ll “eat our hats”.  Order up next month too-new restaurants will be announced for November.  

To purchase tickets and for more details, please go to the link below!


kerry@ducey.org (Lazaro Chavez) Events Fri, 29 Sep 2023 06:51:24 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in Danbury: The Tooth Studio - Dr. Shweta Gujaran https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/50998-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-the-tooth-studio-dr-shweta-gujaran50998-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-the-tooth-studio-dr-shweta-gujaran https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/50998-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-the-tooth-studio-dr-shweta-gujaran50998-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-the-tooth-studio-dr-shweta-gujaran

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 The Tooth Studio - Dr. Shweta Gujaran!

Meet Dr. Shweta Gujaran, founder of The Tooth Studio.

Dr. Shweta Gujaran specializes in general dentistry and aesthetic treatments, including veneers, dental implants, and professional-grade teeth whitening. 

Why did you start your business?

I was practicing at a private dental office that got bought out by a big company and it was never the same. Even patients noticed the difference, and that’s what motivated me to start my practice so I could make a difference in the community.

What is your best-selling product/service?

I am a dentist and the most popular service we provide is cleanings, teeth whitening, and Invisalign.

The Tooth Studio is located at 100 Mill Plain Rd, Suite 1A in Danbury. Visit The Tooth Studio  online here, and make sure to check out their Instagram pages as well!

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

daliborboldis@gmail.com (Dan) Places Fri, 29 Sep 2023 06:29:52 -0400
Bachata Classes at Vitti's Dance Studio in Danbury https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/51088-bachata-169592556851088-bachata-1695925568 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/51088-bachata-169592556851088-bachata-1695925568

October sessions begin 10/5/23 with Beginner Bachata and 10/6 with Advanced-Beginner Bachata. Bachata is a Latin dance that originated in the Dominican Republic & is now danced all over the world! Whether you are brand new to Bachata or have some steps in your dance repertoire, choose the class that works best for you to get you moving on the dance floor! 

Learn more https://www.vittisdancestudio.com/vittidance/

dlinley@hotmail.com (deb linley) Places Thu, 28 Sep 2023 13:05:02 -0400
Last Chance to View Traditions of Excellence Continues at Brookfield Craft Center https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/51097-last-chance-to-view-traditions-of-excellence-continues-at-brookfield-craft-center51097-last-chance-to-view-traditions-of-excellence-continues-at-brookfield-craft-center https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/51097-last-chance-to-view-traditions-of-excellence-continues-at-brookfield-craft-center51097-last-chance-to-view-traditions-of-excellence-continues-at-brookfield-craft-center

Brookfield Craft Center is proud to present the annual faculty exhibit as a showcase of the amazing work of our talented artists/instructors.

Each piece represents technique and creativity honed by many hours of work and practice in the artisan’s specific field of fine art and craft. Viewers of the show will have the opportunity to connect with both form and function as they peruse the show filled with innovative items crafted in wood, metal, jewelry, glass, ceramics, fiber, and more.

From our founding to the present, we have been fortunate to engage highly professional artists and fine craft workers as faculty members. They demonstrate skill, creativity, and a passion for passing the torch to the next generation of artists. We are proud to present work from all of our teaching studios in what is truly a “Tradition of Excellence”.

Artists in this series are Roberta Ahuja, Christian Collins, Matin Malikzada, Katie Strano, Rachel Gerowe, Chris Doherty, Ian McCarthy, Andrew Chapman, Linda Banks, Ellen Morell, Lori Meehan, Colin Harrison, Kanika Khurana, Karin Mansberg, Anna Sidorow, ShawnaLee Kwashnak, Jim Degan, Don Metz, David Heim, and Terence Tougas.


Roberta Ahuja

Roberta was born in Brazil. She married in 1995 and focused on family. After that, Roberta learned techniques for painting on pottery. In 2003, the Ahuja family moved to CT where Roberta discovered a studio and progressed in her work beyond painting on ceramic. Now she makes each piece using different methods. Roberta has participated in several art shows and is an active member of the Connecticut Clay Artists and Gallery 25.

Christian Collins

Christian is a potter living in Kent, CT. Since graduating with a BFA from Hartford Art School, he has worked with several studios and a handful of makers, artists and creators. Feeling a connection to the material experimentation of ceramics, Christian uses a range of clays and glazes in different kilns to create his surfaces. He has been exploring new forms and surfaces in an experimental kiln built from the old BCC salt kiln bricks.

Matin Malikzada

Matin is a seventh-generation Afghan master of traditional pottery, internationally recognized for his technical skill and elegant designs. A native of Istalif, Afghanistan, once a vibrant center of ceramic art and commerce, Matin was forced to flee Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. Along with his family, he is now resettled in Northwest Connecticut where he continues his journey as an artist. 


Katie Strano

I weave items that are made to be used, loved, and worn in with time. The character of cloth changes as it ages and I find that it is almost always for the better; bringing moments of simple pleasure to the everyday. I design, weave, and make all of my work in my home studio in Southbury, CT.

Rachel Gerowe

I have always loved creating all types of art, but after I picked up a felting needle in 2006, I haven’t been able to put it down! Needle felting is a forgiving craft that enables you to shape wool fiber with a barbed needle to form anything imaginable. I’ve been designing original kits and creations and teaching in New England since 2009. In 2020 I opened an Etsy shop Red Barn Originals where a sampling of my kits can be found.


Chris Doherty

Chris took his first class in black-smithing way back in the twentieth century and has been losing ground ever since. His work attempts to accommodate the practical demands of functional objects while refining form and incorporating those time consuming touches that modern industrial production has no place for. Other objects are more cerebral and reflect his fascination with the material of steel and how it moves and a certain preoccupation with the boundaries of Craft, Art and the semiotics thereof.

Ian McCarthy

Ian has been learning traditional metalwork for the past several years. His work focuses on cookware and cooking utensils that combine simple forged to shape items with functional design and purpose.

Andrew Chapman

Andrew combines fire, metal and vision to create works of artistry. Using traditional hammer and anvil, he manipulates steel and copper to his creative vision. Large or small, each piece shows the 20 years of experience. He was introduced to metal while earning his BFA in sculpture at the University of Cincinnati and has worked in custom metal shops across the country. He also teaches, sharing his craftsmanship during group and individual classes.


Linda Banks

As a child I was sucked into fused glass during a school demonstration of the craft. I have grown and developed in glass over many years. I love to reflect the joy of life in teaching the process of fusing glass and in the many forms of my fused glass pieces.

Ellen Morrell

Having taught art and science in public school for most of my life, I appreciate the quiet time I can share with glass and light. I love the way light makes each glass piece breathe.


Lori Meehan

Lori, metalsmith and designer behind LMM Design, creates handcrafted jewelry using modern and ancient techniques. After growing up in Western NY and attending college in Rochester, NY and London, England, she moved to CT in 2008 and found BCC where her love for working with metal started. Finding inspiration in nature and geo-metry, she works in 24k gold, fine silver, silver, copper and gem-stones, using various techniques including Keum-boo, forging and cold connections.

Special Interest

Colin Harrison

Colin grew up on the North Sea coast of England. Photography entered his life at age seven in the form of a Kodak Brownie and has been a continuing passion. After studying engineering and physics, he worked as an engineer in Europe and the United States. He is now “retired” in Brookfield, CT which offers the chance to concentrate on his passion and deeper interests in minimalism and photographing abstract patterns in nature.

Kanika Khurana

I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.” These words by William Blake drive my art practice. I am a seeker first and foremost. During my journey within I have found that following my creative calling is the easiest way to soul cleansing. My mixed-media paintings are inspired by my Indian heritage and 16th – 18th-century Indian Miniature Paintings. I hope through my art; I will be able to give people a sense of enchantment.

Karin Mansberg

I am a printmaker working on fabric and paper. I enjoy design and most of my print work is technically about controlled/designed image-making. However, in my drawings and collages, I prefer to be looser and spontaneous. I have been teach-ing multidisciplinary classes and printmaking to many age groups, including undergraduates, adults, and children. Since 2014 my main focus has been on block-printing on fabric, and I like sharing my own experience with my students.

Anna Sidorow

Garden dweller and self-taught artist, I create pressed botanicals and eco printed pieces. I work mostly with plant material, though I am constantly experimenting with new techniques and mediums. Much of my creative inspiration comes from the natural world. I find myself drawn to the forms, colors and textures found in nature. The creation of each piece is for me a Joy.

ShawnaLee Kwashnak

More than just a Portrait caught in time, I have always loved and been intrigued by how some portraits capture so much more than “just the looks” of a subject – but the personal character within – a hidden beauty that is found within our moments. This challenge to find and portray the inner spirit is the driving force behind my portraiture. It is a treat to share this joy with you!I love working in Charcoal, Watercolors, and Oils.


Jim Degen

Wood is a fascinating medium used to create a wide variety of turned objects, from functional to purely decorative. Every piece has its unique features of color, texture, grain pattern and sometimes hidden defects (opportunities). I let the wood speak to me so I can maximize what it has to offer. I sometimes enhance the features of the wood with piercing, carving, texturing, or color, but never mask or cover what the wood offers. The wood speaks for itself.

Don Metz

My mission is to reveal the inner beauty of reclaimed wood. I’m inspired by the natural grain, patterns, cracks and crevices of each piece. Different woods are selected for unusual characteristics and turned to rough shape and allowed to dry for 12 months or more. Then they are turned again to final shape. Woods are often complimented by in-laying objects in the surfaces. Cracks and defects are filled with colored epoxy, finished to a high gloss using lacquer and non-toxic oils.

David Heim

My turnings are mainly explorations of form—fair curves and eye-pleasing proportions, with an affinity for the strong, simple shapes from Danish modern designers.

Terrence Tougas

I have long held the view that creativity is equally important to the scientist and the artist. My creative outlets outside the scientific realm include photography and woodworking. I enjoy seeing common objects from a different perspective. We love to travel and trying to capture the essence of a new place or event in still images is a strong motivation in my photography.

The in-person exhibition is proudly sponsored by Nutmeg Woodturners League, and will be open till October 1, 2023, in the Lynn Tendler Bignell Gallery. Please contact  gallery@brookfieldcraft.org or call 203-775-4526 to purchase a piece.

Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday noon -5:00pm, Saturday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday noon – 4:00 pm, and by appointment (203) 775-4526.

brookfieldcraftcenter@protonmail.com (CeCe) Neighbors Thu, 28 Sep 2023 13:02:17 -0400
Mayor Dean Esposito and Danbury Police Chief Highlight Danbury Police Department in This Week in the City Video https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/51087-mayor-dean-esposito-and-danbury-police-chief-highlight-danbury-police-department-in-this-week-in-the-city-video51087-mayor-dean-esposito-and-danbury-police-chief-highlight-danbury-police-department-in-this-week-in-the-city-video https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/51087-mayor-dean-esposito-and-danbury-police-chief-highlight-danbury-police-department-in-this-week-in-the-city-video51087-mayor-dean-esposito-and-danbury-police-chief-highlight-danbury-police-department-in-this-week-in-the-city-video

Today, Mayor Dean Esposito released the City of Danbury’s weekly “This Week in the City” video highlighting the Danbury Police Department.
Since Mayor Esposito took office, the Danbury Police Department has hired 46 new police officers who reflect the community they serve. We now have 30 Latino officers, over 10 African-American officers, and 19 female officers – many who have come to Danbury from all across the country.

The Danbury Police Department speaks over 10 different languages and reflects the city’s incredible diversity. “Between their sincere efforts to build and strengthen the Police Department's relationship with the community and an increased law enforcement presence throughout the city, we are moving forward and keeping Danbury’s residents safe. I want to thank Chief Ridenhour and the entire Danbury Police Department for all they do to make Danbury the envy of the rest of Connecticut,” said Mayor Esposito. Crime in Danbury is down nearly 12% overall from last year, including a decrease of 10% in violent crimes and a 20% decrease in drug/narcotics violations.

"We have been very fortunate to hire over 40 officers recently. Some have filled vacancies created by  retirements of veteran officers who have served the city for decades and some will support our ongoing efforts to increase our staffing to meet the needs of our growing city. We have also been fortunate to hire a diverse group of officers, both entry-level and certified, which has made our agency more reflective of our diverse community,” said Chief Ridenhour.

Residents can view the weekly “This Week in the City” videos by visiting the City of Danbury’s Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or Twitter pages.

Episode 74: This Week in the City, The Danbury Pol...

kerry@ducey.org ( Lindsay Jacobs Seti) Life Thu, 28 Sep 2023 06:53:11 -0400
Governor Lamont Announces Bond Commission Set To Approve $25 Million for New Voting Machines https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/51086-governor-lamont-announces-bond-commission-set-to-approve-25-million-for-new-voting-machines51086-governor-lamont-announces-bond-commission-set-to-approve-25-million-for-new-voting-machines https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/51086-governor-lamont-announces-bond-commission-set-to-approve-25-million-for-new-voting-machines51086-governor-lamont-announces-bond-commission-set-to-approve-25-million-for-new-voting-machines

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut State Bond Commission will vote at its upcoming meeting to approve an allocation of $25 million that will be used to purchase new ballot-counting tabulators for use in elections and primaries statewide. The equipment will replace Connecticut’s existing voting machines, which are used at every polling place in the state to tabulate the choices that voters make on their paper ballots.

The governor, who serves as chair of the commission and sets its meeting agendas, said that he is recommending the members to approve the funding because the existing machines, which were first put into use in 2006, are beginning to show signs of aging and should be replaced for the continued functioning of accurate and timely election results. The allocation is being placed on the agenda for approval at the commission’s October 6, 2023, meeting.

“The machines we use to record votes are the backbone of our election system, and it is essential that we provide election officials with the equipment they need to tabulate results with accuracy and timeliness,” Governor Lamont said. “Although our existing machines continue to function, they are more than 17 years old and election officials tell us that they are starting to show their age. Implementing a statewide replacement of all these machines now will ensure that election workers continue to have the tools they need to conduct an Election Day that runs smooth and free of any glitches that could potentially be caused by outdated technology.”

Following the commission’s approval of the funding, it is anticipated that the Office of the Secretary of the State will solicit proposals from manufacturers to supply the state with the equipment. Once purchased, the state will provide the equipment to every municipality and the existing equipment will be retired. The state is funding the entirety of the cost to purchase the equipment. It is estimated that the allocation will enable the state to purchase several thousand traditional tabulators and dozens of high-speed tabulators used to tally absentee ballots.

This will be the first time the state is implementing a statewide replacement of all its voting machines since it eliminated the use of lever machines 17 years ago and made a switch to machines that read paper ballots as part of a nationwide requirement enacted by Congress in 2002 for states to have voting systems that keep a paper record of every vote cast in case an election is audited or recounted. Because lever voting machines cannot produce a paper ballot, they were retired from use.

The October 6, 2023, meeting of the State Bond Commission will be held at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Additionally, video of the meeting will stream live online at ct-n.com.

kerry@ducey.org (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Wed, 27 Sep 2023 10:51:04 -0400
Housatonic Habitat for Humanity'sBlueprints & Blue Jeans Fall Fundraiser - One Week to Go! https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/51085-housatonic-habitat-for-humanity-to-hold-fall-fundraiser-at-the-ridgefield-playhouse-october-451085-housatonic-habitat-for-humanity-to-hold-fall-fundraiser-at-the-ridgefield-playhouse-october-4 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/51085-housatonic-habitat-for-humanity-to-hold-fall-fundraiser-at-the-ridgefield-playhouse-october-451085-housatonic-habitat-for-humanity-to-hold-fall-fundraiser-at-the-ridgefield-playhouse-october-4

Housatonic Habitat for Humanity is excited to announce it is holding its signature Blueprints & Blue Jeans Fall Fundraiser October 4 at the Ridgefield Playhouse.

The fundraiser will celebrate 31 years of building homes, communities and hope in the Western Connecticut area. The event will be hosted by award-winning stand-up comedian Christine O’Leary with guest auctioneer and North Salem resident Max Tucci and live music by local musician Jim Endee. Designer Christian Siriano –a former Danbury resident – will be recognized with the non-profit’s inaugural “Spirit of Home” award for his work in designing a living space for a deserving local Habitat homeowner.

The event will feature food from Hayfields Market, a bourbon tasting with Litchfield Distillery, wine pull, and live and silent auctions.

Some of the current auction items include a VIP Experience for 10 at Uncle Cheef’s live music venue in Brewster, dinner and drinks for a party of 10 in the beautiful private greenhouse at Hayfields Market, an Outfit for Every Season and cocktail party at Audrey Road in Ridgefield, and several carefully curated high-end and one-of-a-kind pieces from Habitat’s Danbury ReStore.

The attire for the event is “casual country Connecticut” – yes, blue jeans are welcome! Tickets are $125 each, groups of 10 are $1000. Visit HousatonicHabitat.org or HHFH31.givesmart.com to purchase tickets. 

kerry@ducey.org (Diana Arfine) Charities Wed, 27 Sep 2023 07:46:00 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in Danbury: JLB Digital Consulting https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/50996-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-jlb-digital-consulting50996-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-jlb-digital-consulting https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/50996-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-jlb-digital-consulting50996-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-jlb-digital-consulting

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 JLB Digital Consulting!

Four questions with Jacques Bouchard, Owner of JLB Digital Consulting.

Why did you start your business?

I started my business in June 2018, after giving a one-month notice to my previous job at a digital marketing agency. I left my job with no real plan about what to do next, or with any job lined up. But when people found out I was available for freelance work, opportunities suddenly started coming in, and I found I was able to make enough money to be comfortable. Within a few months, I stopped applying for jobs and started focusing on building a business. About two years later, in April 2020, I officially registered my business as JLB Digital Consulting, LLC in the state of Connecticut, and have been proudly running it since - and am more successful and happy with my clients than ever!

What is your best-selling product/service?

I'm best known for my skills as an SEO (Search Engine Optimization). That's a fancy way of saying that I help people build their websites and other presences online to get as much visibility and traffic as possible from Google and other search engines. I also do a lot with helping business owners and marketers track their website's success and performance, maximize the business they get from their visitors, and make the website easy to use and accessible for people of any ability and on any device.

How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?

There are not a lot of local businesses that do what I do or have products that would help me do my thing. I use Staples when I need a scanner and mine is on the fritz, and I do trust ZL Computers in Waterbury, CT when I hit a computer issue that I can't solve myself. More directly professionally, I'm a fan of Beacon Digital in Beacon, NY, and I've had good experiences with Townsquare Media Danbury, on our side of Brookfield, CT.

Have you 'reimagined' your small business?

CONSTANTLY. My industry is changing constantly, with new products, best practices, and skills to learn, and I have to keep training myself and staying on my feet in an ever-shifting landscape. Most recently, I've been adapting my business to the new challenges and opportunities of the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, which professionals in my area are using to automate many things that were once hours or even days of additional work. On a different note, after a recent health issue that put me partially out of commission for a few months, I also had to adjust my willingness to bring on a little help from time to time and remember that I can't always do all the work myself. Giving up control of your work and what represents your company can be very challenging!

Jacques Bouchard would like to nominate Mothership on Main in Danbury, and Carmine's Plumbing and Heating in Danbury to be featured next - "Mothership on Maine is my favorite cafe' in the area, and my go-to for when I've spent too much time working from home and need to get out around people. They have good wifi, lots of space with comfortable seating choices, and great food and beverages. Really friendly service too. Don't be fooled by the parking situation - people think the only spaces are in the front, but there's plentiful parking in the rear, and a rear entrance too, so you don't have to walk around the building.

Carmine's Plumbing and Heating is one of the most reputable and trustworthy companies in the area and has been taking good care of my needs as a homeowner for more than ten years. They have a highly professional, amicable, and communicative process, and their work has held solid for me!"

JLB Digital Consulting is located in Danbury and you can find them on Yelp here and learn about Jacques via Linkedin here.

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

daliborboldis@gmail.com (Dan) Places Sun, 24 Sep 2023 08:02:00 -0400
Danbury Irish Festival Is Postponed until October 7th-8th Due to expected inclement weather https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/51084-danbury-irish-festival-is-postponed-until-october-7th-8th-due-to-expected-inclement-weather51084-danbury-irish-festival-is-postponed-until-october-7th-8th-due-to-expected-inclement-weather https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/51084-danbury-irish-festival-is-postponed-until-october-7th-8th-due-to-expected-inclement-weather51084-danbury-irish-festival-is-postponed-until-october-7th-8th-due-to-expected-inclement-weather

CityCenter Danbury, in partnership with The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, is lucky to present the Greater Danbury Irish Festival. Celebrating its 27th year running, Danbury’s CityCenter Green at 1 Ives Street is the honored host for the very first time. You won’t need to wait until March to be Irish for the day! This two-day event is now rescheduled for October 7th & 8th due to expected inclement weather this weekend.

Many cultural delights are ongoing all weekend long, including live music along with Irish dancers, a shopping village, face painting for kids, and cultural activities for the whole family. Try your luck at the raffle, bid on treasures of a silent auction, indulge in delicious food and play games. 

Live bands on stage include Mighty Ploughboys, Tipperary Knights, Celtic Cross Pipe and Drum to name a few. Vendors will sell authentic Irish imports including clothing, jewelry, woodwork, and Gaelic calligraphy. Beer and other beverages will be served along with Irish coffees and delicious baked goods.  Traditional Celtic goods will also be on view. And the day would not be complete without corned beef sandwiches! 

A pot of gold awaits at CityCenter Green - admission is FREE and there is plenty of parking! Come see what a real Irish cóisir (or festival) is all about, enjoy celebrating Irish heritage, and maybe even find a four-leaf clover, right in the heart of Danbury! For more details, visit www.danburyirishfestival.org.

Greater Danbury Irish Festival

CityCenter Danbury Green, 1 Ives Street

Saturday, October 7th: 12p.m. - 10:00p.m.

Sunday, October 8th: 12p.m. - 6:00p.m.

Free admission!

For more information on events, visit www.citycenterdanbury.com or contact CityCenter Danbury at lazaro@citycenterdanbury.com or call (203) 792-1711.

kerry@ducey.org (CityCenter Danbury) Events Thu, 21 Sep 2023 13:22:44 -0400
This Week in the City, The Richter House Renovations https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/51083-this-week-in-the-city-the-richter-house-renovations51083-this-week-in-the-city-the-richter-house-renovations https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/51083-this-week-in-the-city-the-richter-house-renovations51083-this-week-in-the-city-the-richter-house-renovations

This Week in the City, Mayor Dean Esposito is joined by Peter Siecienski, Chairman of the Richter Park Authority, to discuss the Richter House renovations.

The Richter House is over 100 years old and was given to the City of Danbury by the Richter Family in 1968. The Richter House is home to the Richter Arts Association which hosts lawn arts festivals, lectures, ethnic performances, classical and popular musical presentations, and art shows throughout the year. Musicals at Richter, the longest running outdoor musical theater program in the state of Connecticut, also uses the Richter House for their summer performances.

The Richter House renovations include structurally preserving the house, creating a more accessible venue for all, and building a new concession stand with ADA accessible bathrooms on the outside of the building.

The historic Richter House has long been a pillar of our community, and with these improvements, it will be able to be utilized for our arts community for generations to come.

Episode 73: This Week in the City, The Richter Hou...

kerry@ducey.org (City of Danbury) Life Thu, 21 Sep 2023 11:16:33 -0400
Danbury Animal Welfare Society Making A Difference Gala on October 21 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/51082-danbury-animal-welfare-society-making-a-difference-gala-on-october-2151082-danbury-animal-welfare-society-making-a-difference-gala-on-october-21 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/51082-danbury-animal-welfare-society-making-a-difference-gala-on-october-2151082-danbury-animal-welfare-society-making-a-difference-gala-on-october-21

The Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS) will be holding our biggest fundraising event of the year, Making a Difference Gala, starting at 6pm on October 21st at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury, CT.

To celebrate our 49th year, please join us as we aim to raise $185,000 for the thousands of animals we care for each year and celebrate our newly renovated shelter, opening soon! The renovation would not have been possible without our Gala honoree, Tary Tarlton of Kenosia Development. This is guaranteed to be a great night with our host, Rich Minor of 98Q, a live and silent auction, music by The Bill’s Toupee Band, dancing, and fun that will not want to be missed.

Individual tickets are available for $195 and $1,750 per litter of 10. Sponsorship opportunities are available as well.

Danbury Animal Welfare Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of animals in our community and beyond since 1974. We promote responsible pet guardianship and the humane treatment of animals, and work toward ending animal overpopulation through education and a variety of programs. We take pride in the work we do – working to keep homeless pets safe, happy, and sheltered.

Learn more and get tickets at dawsgala.givesmart.com or reach out to Angela at development@daws.org with any questions.

kerry@ducey.org (Angela Siegele) Charities Wed, 20 Sep 2023 16:59:35 -0400
Pandemic Impact: 40% of Danbury Area Households Financially Insecure https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/51081-pandemic-impact-40-of-danbury-area-households-financially-insecure51081-pandemic-impact-40-of-danbury-area-households-financially-insecure https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/51081-pandemic-impact-40-of-danbury-area-households-financially-insecure51081-pandemic-impact-40-of-danbury-area-households-financially-insecure

DANBURY, CT (September 19, 2023) – The number of area households unable to afford the basics grew during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. By 2021, a total of 131,446 households or 40% of households in the 27 towns of the coastal and western Connecticut region were struggling to make ends meet, according to a new report from Connecticut United Ways and its research partner United For ALICE.

These families, defined as ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), earn above the Federal Poverty Level but less than what’s needed to survive in the current economy. ALICE families have been overlooked and undercounted by traditional poverty measures. ALICE is the nation’s child care workers, home health aides and cashiers heralded during the pandemic — those working low-wage jobs, with little or no savings and one emergency away from poverty.

ALICE in the Crosscurrents: COVID and Financial Hardship in Connecticut shows that the total number of financially insecure households in Connecticut rose by 11% between 2019 and 2021 — almost triple the 4% increase in the state’s overall population. 

In fact, Connecticut ranked 19th in financial hardship among all 50 states, with one of the nation’s highest percentages of households struggling to make ends meet in 2021. 

According to the report, for a family of four with an infant and a preschooler, the annual ALICE Household Survival Budget, which is the basic cost needed to live and work in coastal and western Connecticut was $117,396 in 2021.  

Even with the variety of temporary pandemic supports available, in 2021, a family of four with two full-time workers earning salaries as a retail salesperson and a cashier — two of the most common occupations in Connecticut — fell short of affording the family budget by $27,682.  

Add inflation and the narrative shifts entirely. Inflation in Connecticut has long contributed to a structural economic problem: wages for jobs essential to the running of the economy are not high enough for workers to afford the household basics they need to support their families. For example, the cost of six household essentials in Connecticut has risen at a faster clip than inflation, leaving low-wage workers priced out of affording the basics. 

Using the ALICE Essential’s Index, which tracks the rising cost of essentials, including housing, child care, food, health care, transportation, and a smartphone plan, and adjusting it for two years, from 2021 to today, yields a projected 18.2% rate of inflation in Connecticut. This translates into a projected annual state household survival budget of $126,018 and a projected hourly wage of $63/hour. In coastal and western Connecticut, this translates to an annual household survival budget of $138,739 and a projected wage of over $69 per hour.

“The ALICE Essentials Index shows that no matter how hard ALICE families work, they are priced out of financial stability,” said Isabel Almeida, President and CEO of United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut. “We need to do better for our essential workers and factor these insights into delivering stronger supports for vulnerable families.”

As the costs of basics have climbed, wages for ALICE workers have failed to keep up. The result? Workers have lost buying power over the past 15 years. Workers in retail sales, (a common occupation in Connecticut), saw an average $42,500 loss of buying power  — more than a full year’s earnings, according to findings within the ALICE Essentials Index.

“ALICE doesn’t buy power boats or hire landscapers — ALICE is doing the landscaping,” said Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D., national director for United For ALICE, a U.S. research organization driving solutions to financial hardship. “ALICE is simply trying to afford safe housing and dinner on the table.” 

To read the ALICE report and access online, interactive dashboards that provide data on financial hardship at the state, county, and local levels, visit United4ALICE.org/ALICECrosscurrents.

To learn more about the ALICE Essentials Index, and to explore the online dashboards, visit UnitedForALICE.org/Essentials-Index.

kerry@ducey.org (United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut ) Neighbors Tue, 19 Sep 2023 14:11:29 -0400
Danbury Concert Association Continues ‘23-‘24 Season https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/51079-danbury-concert-association-continues-23-24-season51079-danbury-concert-association-continues-23-24-season https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/51079-danbury-concert-association-continues-23-24-season51079-danbury-concert-association-continues-23-24-season

Danbury Concert Association Continues ‘23-‘24 Season With DCA Debut of Guitar Trio, The Great Necks Joined by Mandolin Player, Jacob Reuven
The Danbury Concert Association is well known for bringing exceptional programming to the area, and its 2023-2024 series continues that tradition. On Sunday, October 15 at 3 p.m., the second concert of the current DCA season will feature The Great Necks guitar trio and mandolin soloist Jacob Reuven in a program featuring two world premieres: a new adaptation of Beethoven’s iconoclastic violin concerto in D major, for solo mandolin and guitar trio, and a new work, “A Thousand Lives,” by Mathias Duplessy. 
The concert will take place in the 350-seat Veronica Hagman Concert Hall at the Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC) on the Western Connecticut State University campus, 43 Lake Avenue Extension. A meet-the-artist reception will follow the performance.
The Great Necks guitar trio — Matthew Rohde, Adam Levine, and Scott Borg — has enchanted audiences across the U.S. with whimsical and daring performances of some of the most riveting orchestral works of the last five centuries. Through its original arrangements, the trio stretches the conventions — and at times, the physical limits — of the guitar. (“These guys aren't afraid to shake things up and take chances,” Classical Guitar Magazine wrote.) 
Jacob Reuven, one of today’s foremost mandolin virtuosos, is known for his precision and technical mastery. After conservatory studies in Israel, he has appeared with major orchestras there, at various international festivals, and under the batons of leading conductors on the world’s biggest stages.

Single tickets for the October 15 concert are $25 and may be purchased on Eventbrite a few weeks prior to the performance. Admission is free for ages 18 and under when reserved on Eventbrite, courtesy of the Danbury Cultural Commission. Go to wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com or, for questions, contact the WCSU box office at 203.837.8732.

The Danbury Concert Association’s 2023-2024 series will continue in the spring with The Essex Octet appearing on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at 3 p.m. and the Neave Trio, on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at 3 p.m.

 To learn more about the DCA or order a subscription to the series, see www.danburyconcert.org


kerry@ducey.org (Ted Killmer) Events Tue, 19 Sep 2023 06:12:52 -0400