Danbury's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury Thu, 30 Mar 2023 03:40:27 -0400 HamletHub.com Danbury resident Thomas J. Saadi among jurists nominated by Governor to serve as Judge of the Connecticut Superior Court https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/50567-ridgefield-resident-jennifer-tunnard-among-jurists-nominated-by-governor-to-serve-as-judge-of-the-connecticut-superior-court50567-ridgefield-resident-jennifer-tunnard-among-jurists-nominated-by-governor-to-serve-as-judge-of-the-connecticut-superior-court https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/50567-ridgefield-resident-jennifer-tunnard-among-jurists-nominated-by-governor-to-serve-as-judge-of-the-connecticut-superior-court50567-ridgefield-resident-jennifer-tunnard-among-jurists-nominated-by-governor-to-serve-as-judge-of-the-connecticut-superior-court

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is nominating 20 jurists to serve as judges of the Connecticut Superior Court. Among the nominees is 57-year-old Danbury resident Thomas J. Saadi.

The court currently has 40 judicial vacancies. Additionally, Governor Lamont is nominating two jurists to become family support magistrates.

“Selecting nominees to become judges is one of the most important duties that I have as governor because these individuals will become responsible for ensuring that justice is administered fairly and without prejudice, and that everyone who comes before the court is treated equally and with respect,” Governor Lamont said. “Our court system works best when it reflects the diversity, experience, and understanding of the people it serves. These individuals I am nominating have the qualifications that meet the high standards the residents of Connecticut deserve on the bench. Justice delayed is justice denied, and these new judges will help ensure the judicial branch is able to decide cases promptly and efficiently.”

In addition to Saadi the Superior Court nominees include:

  • The Superior Court nominees include:

    • Mark Altermatt, 62, of Bolton: Altermatt graduated from Washington and Lee University and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University College School of Law. He currently serves as a partner at David G. Hill and Associates. Prior to this, he was partner at Halloran Sage, LLP, where he spent most of his legal carrier litigating civil matters, including the conduct of trials, mediations, and arbitrations. He has been practicing law for 34 years.
    • Moira Buckley, 53, of Glastonbury: Buckley graduated from St. Anselm College and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the Quinnipiac University School of Law. She is currently an Assistant Federal Defender in the Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Connecticut. For more than 25 years, she has practiced criminal defense work in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels. She has also practiced in the private and public sectors.
    • Patrick Caruso, 55, of Madison: Caruso graduated from the University of Connecticut and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the Quinnipiac College School of Law. He is currently serving as an Assistant United States Attorney. For nearly 20 years, he has supervised investigations and prosecutions of drug trafficking organizations. He also currently serves as the office’s opioid coordinator and, in this capacity, leads drug awareness presentations at high schools, middle schools, and professional organizations throughout Connecticut.
    • Vikki Cooper, 52, of Fairfield: Cooper graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the Quinnipiac University School of Law. She is currently Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Stamford. Prior to this, she was Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of New Haven and directed all litigation brought against the city. She also worked as a litigation associate at Carmody and Torrance, LLP and other private firms, and practiced in various areas, such as asbestos litigation, employment law, and commercial litigation.
    • Gregory C. Davis, 60, of Bloomfield: Davis graduated from Tufts University and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He currently works at The Travelers Companies, Inc. since 1997, where he serves as Senior Counsel in the Strategic Resolution Group and his responsibilities include, but are not limited to, managing and resolving complex cumulative injury litigation related to asbestos, hazardous waste, and other toxic torts. Prior to this, he worked at the law firm of Murtha Cullina and the legal department of Northeast Utilities (currently known as Eversource). He currently also serves as Deputy Mayor for the Town of Bloomfield.
    • Lynn Alvey Dawson, 64, of Cheshire: Dawson graduated from Boston University and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University School. She currently is a solo practitioner at the Law Office of Lynn Alvey Dawson, where she represents a diverse clientele that includes children and adults in family, juvenile, criminal, and probate matters. She has practiced law for 34 years.
    • Karen L. DeMeola, 53, of Tolland: DeMeola graduated from the University of Connecticut and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law.  She is currently Assistant Dean for Diversity, Belonging, and Community Engagement at UConn Law. Prior to her current role, she began her legal career as a civil litigator. She also held several administrative positions at UConn Law, and currently serve as an adjunct professor. She was the president of the Connecticut Bar Association during the 2017-2018 bar year.
    • Paul R. Doyle, 59, of Wethersfield: Doyle graduated from Colby College and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He is currently a member and partner of Kennedy Doyle LLC, a general practice law firm. He also simultaneously served in public office for 27 years, including three years as a member of the Wethersfield Town Council, 12 years as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, and 12 years as a member of the Connecticut State Senate.
    • Daniel J. Fox, 46, of Stamford: Fox graduated from Loyola University and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from New England Law School. He is currently a partner at Curtis, Brinckerhoff and Barrett, P.C., where he focuses on municipal law, civil litigation, estates and trusts, corporate law, and real estate. For 12 years he served as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives for the 148th Assembly District.
    • Matthew Larock, 47, of Weatogue: Larock graduated from Dickinson College and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law. He currently works in the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, where he is a Deputy Associate Attorney General and Chief of the Employment, Labor, and Workers’ Compensation Section. From 2004 through 2013, he served as an attorney with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. He began his legal career in private practice where he represented parents and children in child protection proceedings and served as a special public defender in juvenile matters.
    • Ann F. Lawlor, 55, of North Haven: Lawlor graduated from Providence College and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from New England Law School. She is currently a Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney, Fairfield JD at geographical area #2 in Bridgeport. She worked in private practice for a few years before joining the Division of Criminal Justice in 1999. Since then, she has worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney, the last nine years of which have been in Bridgeport, serving for seven years in Part A and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney at GA #2 since 2021.
    • Walter A. Menjivar, 35, of West Hartford: Menjivar graduated from Vanderbilt University and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He is currently an Assistant Attorney General in the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office. He serves in the special litigation section and previously worked in the health and education section, representing state agencies in state and federal courts. He was formerly the Associate General Counsel in the Office of the Governor, where he provided legal counsel to the Governor and executive state agencies. Prior to his public service, he was a litigation associate at Day Pitney LLP.
    • Yamini Menon, 46, of Westport: Menon graduated from John Hopkins University and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from American University Washington College of Law. She currently works as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Civil Litigation Bureau of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. Prior to this, she was with the Division of Criminal Justice for 18 years. She has handled criminal trials, habeas corpus trials, habeas corpus appeals, and juvenile delinquency matters on behalf of the Division of Criminal Justice. Additionally, she served as a legal aid attorney with Connecticut Legal Services representing clients in housing court.
    • Thomas J. O'Neill, 57, of Fairfield: O’Neill graduated from Stonehill College and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School. He is currently a partner at Day Pitney LLP and a member of the firm’s Finance Probate and Commercial Litigation Business Unit and Pro Bono Committee. His practice focuses on a wide range of commercial and civil litigation matters in both state and federal courts, including landlord tenant disputes, foreclosures, lender liability, corporate ownership disputes, tort claims, and alleged unfair trade practices. Prior to this, he was a Victim Compensation Commissioner presiding over appeals from denials of applications for victim compensation.
    • Richard J. Rubino, 54, of West Hartford: Rubino graduated from Southern Connecticut State University and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Ohio Northern University College of Law. He is currently a Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney in the Hartford Judicial District and has served as a prosecutor with that office since 2000. During his tenure with the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice, he has been predominantly focused on the prosecution of serious felony matters.
    • Thomas J. Saadi, 53, of Danbury: Saadi graduated from Western Connecticut State University and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Quinnipiac University. He is currently the Commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Veterans Affairs and a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Prior to becoming Commissioner for the department, he served for almost six years as its Chief of Staff and two years as its General Counsel. He also spent 15 years as a Connecticut Assistant Attorney General and Special Prosecutor. He has 18 years of continuous service in the Army Reserve as a Judge Advocate providing legal support from the company to division levels.
    • Sharon A. Skyers, 54, of New Haven: Skyers graduated from Duke University and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law. She is currently a managing partner at Skyers, Skyers and Harrell, LLC, which she co-founded. Her practice has a primary concentration on personal injury cases and commercial and residential real estate transactions. She also focusses on business matters, serving as outside counsel to corporations and small businesses. She has been practicing law for 30 years.
    • Jennifer J. Tunnard, 57, of Ridgefield: Tunnard graduated from Fordham University and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. She is currently a sole practitioner at the Law Office of Jennifer DeCastro Tunnard, where she primarily works as a litigator/trial attorney handling a vast array of matters from criminal law, personal injury, family, and real estate law as a plaintiff and defense attorney. Prior to entering private practice, Tunnard was a former Assistant District Attorney for the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for six years where she worked in the Appeals Unit and Domestic/Sex Crimes Unit. She has been practicing law for 30 years.
    • Emily Wagner, 47, of West Hartford: Wagner graduated from Skidmore College and obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She currently serves as an Appellate Public Defender at the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services, where she has spent the past twelve years. She began her legal career clerking for the Honorable Christine S. Vertefeuille, former Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. She then spent four years as an associate at Shipman and Goodwin LLP.  She also teaches the Appellate Defense Clinic at Quinnipiac University School of Law.
    • Jason Welch, 50, of Bristol: Welch graduated from Hamilton College and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law. He currently works for the Connecticut General Assembly as the Chief Legal Counsel to the Senate Republican Office. Previously, his practice focused on professional liability, insurance coverage, and construction and business disputes working for the firms of Cummings and Lockwood, LLC and McCarter and English, LLP, as well as the insurance company Beazley Group. He has served in the Connecticut Army National Guard and the United States Coast Guard Reserves. He also served two terms as a member of the Connecticut State Senate for the 31st Senatorial District.

    The family support magistrate nominees include:

    • Jacquelyn B. Kercelius, 35, of Hamden: Kercelius graduated from Fordham College Lincoln Center and earned her Juris Doctor from Quinnipiac University School of Law. She is currently employed by the Connecticut Judicial Branch as an Assistant Clerk in Family Matters for the Judicial District of New Haven at Meriden. Prior to this, Kercelius worked in civil litigation, engaging in both plaintiff and defense work and representing government entities, such as the New Haven Housing Authority and New Haven Board of Education. Thereafter, she served as a director for a nonprofit specializing in individuals with chronic and persistent mental illness. She also served as a member of the board of directors for the Junior League of Greater New Haven community service organization and as a mediator for the Connecticut Bar Association’s Resolution of Legal Fee Disputes Program.
    • Charlene W. Spencer, 58, of Vernon: Spencer graduated from the University of Connecticut and earned her Juris Doctor from the Western New England University School of Law. She is currently an Assistant Attorney General in the Employment Rights Section, where she defends the State of Connecticut in employment discrimination matters filed in federal court and state court, as well as administrative matters brought before the Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities. She has been with the Office of the Attorney General for the last 32 years in different roles, including the Child Support Division.

    The Office of the Governor is forwarding the names of these nominees to the General Assembly for its advice and consent.

kerry@ducey.org (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Wed, 29 Mar 2023 11:14:18 -0400
The Palace Danbury will present The One Hit Wonderers on Saturday, May 6 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/50548-the-palace-danbury-will-present-the-one-hit-wonderers-on-saturday-may-650548-the-palace-danbury-will-present-the-one-hit-wonderers-on-saturday-may-6 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/50548-the-palace-danbury-will-present-the-one-hit-wonderers-on-saturday-may-650548-the-palace-danbury-will-present-the-one-hit-wonderers-on-saturday-may-6

On Saturday, May 6, 2023, The Palace Danbury will present The One Hit Wonderers. 

Audiences will be taken on a nostalgic journey through over three decades of Top Ten popular hits endearingly referred to as "one hit wonders." This multi-media, interactive show is part ROCK CONCERT, part BROADWAY SHOW, part SINGALONG... AND 100 PERCENT FUN!  
A “one hit wonder” is a band who made it BIG with one song but never hit gold again. Although the term is often perceived as something negative, we think it’s better to have had one hit than none at all! These artists left us with a memorable catalog of great songs that are now integral to the New American Songbook and are proudly kept alive by the The One Hit Wonderers.
The One Hit Wonderers are like a human jukebox on shuffle mode,
bringing your favorite hits of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s to life!
ABOUT THE BAND When an accomplished group of musicians gets together with a singular vision it is always something special. The members of “The One Hit Wonderers” have played with a Who’s Who of Rock Royalty from Chuck Berry to The Who’s Roger Daltry; from Loggins and Messina to the First Lady of Soul, Aretha Franklin; from jazz legends Wynton Marsalis, Larry Coryell and Victor Wooten, as well as classical virtuoso Leonard Bernstein among others.
These very same musicians who have shared the stage with legends, now perform the legendary music of a lifetime! The band consists of founder and manager Gary Oleyar (Guitar, Violin, Vocals), Kevin Brennan (Lead Vocals), Andy Huenerberg (Bass), John Colaiacovo (Keyboards), and Lou Petto (Drums).
The Palace Danbury is a 400-seat Performing Arts Center located at 165 Main Street in Danbury, CT. Designed by architect Philip Sunderland, this historic theatre opened on September 6, 1928 as a vaudeville house.Today the theatre presents live music, comedy, theatre, and independent film. For more information about all upcoming shows and events visit www.thepalacedanbury.com

I Love That Song! [The One Hit Wonderers] 2023

kerry@ducey.org (Palace Danbury) Events Wed, 29 Mar 2023 10:54:00 -0400
Music is in the air this spring at WCSU https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/50538-music-is-in-the-air-this-spring-at-wcsu50538-music-is-in-the-air-this-spring-at-wcsu https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/50538-music-is-in-the-air-this-spring-at-wcsu50538-music-is-in-the-air-this-spring-at-wcsu

Springtime at Western Connecticut State University means warm breezes, green grounds and music in the air, especially with several events planned to showcase the talents of WCSU musicians and performers.

Sponsored by the WCSU Department of Music, all events are open to the public (tickets can be purchased at wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com) and held in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall, located in WCSU’s Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC), 43 Lake Ave. Extension, Danbury:

Piano Studio Recital, 3 – 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 2. Tickets are $7 plus fees online, $10 at the door.

Opera Scenes, 2 – 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 15. Tickets are $10 plus fees online, $15 at the door. This event features the WCSU Opera Ensemble in favorite opera scenes and excerpts.

Percussion Ensemble, 3 – 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 16. Tickets are $7 plus fees online, $10 at the door.

Chamber Singers and University Choir, 3 – 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 23. Tickets are $7 plus fees online, $10 at the door.

Orchestra and Concert Chorale, 3 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 6. Tickets are $7 plus fees online, $10 at the door.

Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, 3 – 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. Tickets are $7 plus fees online, $10 at the door.

Western Connecticut State University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. WCSU’s Department of Music is part of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, and offers a range of the highest quality academic, artistic, pre-professional and professional programming within a liberal arts environment. Additionally, it supports and fosters an environment conducive to the professional and artistic growth of faculty and students, and ensures students’ success by meeting their needs in advising, mentoring and professional development. The university offers several bachelor and master degree’s in music, performance and education, go to www.wcsu.edu/music/degrees for more information.

The program is housed in the Visual and Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the art, all-in-one facility that hosts a multitude of dynamic spaces to accommodate the needs of artists across all disciplines. The versatile facilities include the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall, MainStage Theatre, the art Gallery, Recording Studio, Music Technology Lab, Electronic Music Workshop, Studio Theatre, Scene Shop, Dressing Rooms, and Sculpture, Photography, Graphic Design and Art Studios including the M.F.A. Studios. 

For more information on the spring performances, contact the Box Office at wcsuvpac@gmail.com or at (203) 837-8732, or WCSU Public Relations at pr@wcsu.edu.

kerry@ducey.org (Janine Azzi) Events Wed, 29 Mar 2023 06:00:00 -0400
This Week in the City, Task Force on Office of Federal, State and Local Grant Opportunities in Danbury https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/50566-this-week-in-the-city-task-force-on-office-of-federal-state-and-local-grant-opportunities-in-danbury50566-this-week-in-the-city-task-force-on-office-of-federal-state-and-local-grant-opportunities-in-danbury https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/50566-this-week-in-the-city-task-force-on-office-of-federal-state-and-local-grant-opportunities-in-danbury50566-this-week-in-the-city-task-force-on-office-of-federal-state-and-local-grant-opportunities-in-danbury

Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito announced a Task Force for the creation of the Office of Federal, State and Local Grant Opportunities.
The members of the task force have decades of experience dealing with federal, state, and local grants, and will determine the structure and design of this new office to pursue opportunities for the City of Danbury and our non-profit and business community.
“I’m excited that these outstanding individuals will serve on the Task Force for the creation of the Office of Federal, State and Local Grant Opportunities. Since my first day in office, I have been focused on finding grant opportunities at all levels of government for our departments, city government, school system, as well as our non-profit and business communities. I want to find any penny we can for the City of Danbury. Danbury deserves our fair share, and I look forward to these individuals developing and implementing a plan that will serve our city well.”
The Office of Federal, State and Local Grant Opportunities will have two main goals. The first is to serve as the center point for the city to explore all grant opportunities. It will partner with all city departments, as well as the Danbury Board of Education. Secondly, the state-of-the-art office will also serve as a hub for non-profits and businesses to pursue grants at not only the local level, but also state and federal levels.
The individuals on this bipartisan task force include former Congressman Jim Maloney, former State Senator David Cappiello, Former Torrington Mayor Ryan Bingham, Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board President and CEO Catherine Awwad, Danbury Finance Director Dan Garrick, and Danbury Communications and Government Affairs Advisor John Kleinhans.

Episode 47: TWIC, Task Force on Office of Federal,...

kerry@ducey.org (City of Danbury) Politics Tue, 28 Mar 2023 10:59:29 -0400
Clean City Danbury Day is Saturday, May 6! https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/50565-clean-city-danbury-day-is-saturday-may-650565-clean-city-danbury-day-is-saturday-may-6 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/50565-clean-city-danbury-day-is-saturday-may-650565-clean-city-danbury-day-is-saturday-may-6

Today, Mayor Dean Esposito encouraged residents to participate in Clean City Danbury Day on Saturday, May 6th from 8AM to 12 noon.

Clean your home or property of debris and unwanted items! Dispose of them free of charge, at any of our five dumpster sites. Bulk garbage dumping is limited to Danbury residents and residential property owners ONLY (proof is required).

Construction debris, grass clippings, yard debris, hazardous wastes, and electronics are NOT allowed. Also note that scrap metal, tires, and white appliances containing freon are allowed, but must be kept separate from other garbage. No commercial vehicles or box trucks will be allowed.

If electronics are what you need to get rid of, then you can drop them off at the Oak Ridge’s Mom & Pop Center at 307 White Street during Clean City Danbury Day.  This program is open to all residents of Danbury.  This event is made possible through the generosity of Oak Ridge Waste and Recycling, and the many volunteers who participate.

There are five locations throughout the city:

- Danbury City Hall (155 Deer Hill Avenue)

- Public Works Facility (53 Newtown Road)

- Danbury P.A.L. (35 Hayestown Road)

- Rogers Park (By the Tennis Courts)

- WCSU Westside Campus (43 Lake Avenue Extension)

For a list of accepted items, or if you would like to volunteer at a dump site or adopt-a-street please visit Danbury-ct.gov/CleanCity.

kerry@ducey.org (City of Danbury) Neighbors Tue, 28 Mar 2023 10:56:00 -0400
City of Danbury is accepting applications for funding under its 2023 Community Development Block https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/50564-city-of-danbury-is-accepting-applications-for-funding-under-its-2023-community-development-block50564-city-of-danbury-is-accepting-applications-for-funding-under-its-2023-community-development-block https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/50564-city-of-danbury-is-accepting-applications-for-funding-under-its-2023-community-development-block50564-city-of-danbury-is-accepting-applications-for-funding-under-its-2023-community-development-block

The City of Danbury is accepting applications for funding under its 2023 Community Development Block Grant Program for projects which assist low/moderate-income families and individuals, eliminate slum and blight conditions or meet urgent needs which affect public health and safety within the City.

Applications are due no later than Monday, April 17, 2023 by 3:00 PM at: City of Danbury Finance Dept., 2nd Floor City Hall, 155 Deer Hill Avenue, Danbury, CT.  Applications will also be accepted via email at cdbg@danbury-ct.gov  Emailed applications must include all the requested attachments.

Application packets are available online on the City’s website: 2023 CDBG Application

Applicants may request a paper copy of the application packet by contacting Daniel Garrick, Director of Finance at 203-797-4652.

kerry@ducey.org (City of Danbury) Life Tue, 28 Mar 2023 10:50:06 -0400
Celebrity Bartending at Gallo Family Restaurant Tomorrow Supports Ann's Place https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/50563-celebrity-bartending-at-gallo-family-restaurant-tomorrow-supports-ann-s-place50563-celebrity-bartending-at-gallo-family-restaurant-tomorrow-supports-ann-s-place https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/50563-celebrity-bartending-at-gallo-family-restaurant-tomorrow-supports-ann-s-place50563-celebrity-bartending-at-gallo-family-restaurant-tomorrow-supports-ann-s-place

Help kick off Ann's Place Fashion Show fundraiser by joining us at Gallo Family Restaurant in Danbury, where local celebrity bartenders, Amie Bennett and Dawn Grabover, will be serving up drinks and smiles!
Enjoy great food and drinks while partaking in the raffle and fun supporting the April 25th Fashion Show at Ridgefield Playhouse! Bring family and friends to dine that evening and 10% of your bill will be donated to Ann’s Place. Be sure to mention the Ann’s Place fundraiser to your server.
PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE FASHION SHOW https://ridgefieldplayhouse.org/event/fashion-show-2023/
Learn more about the event here.
kerry@ducey.org (Ann's Place) Charities Tue, 28 Mar 2023 09:23:42 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter: Paella Party CT https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/50428-why-small-businesses-matter-paella-party-ct50428-why-small-businesses-matter-paella-party-ct https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/50428-why-small-businesses-matter-paella-party-ct50428-why-small-businesses-matter-paella-party-ct

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 Paella Party CT!

Three questions with Alberto Salas, founder of Paella Party CT.

Why did you start your business?

After having spent more than a decade working in the kitchens of many top Manhattan restaurants, I moved with my family to Redding during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and decided shortly thereafter to start a catering business specializing in paella. I love to bring together people through food, and for me, la paella is the best representation of this experience. Everyone loves paella, and my goal is to make it more available to our residents.

What is your best-selling product/service?

Our top-selling paellas are the Land & Sea Paella (paella's version of a surf and turf) and the Original Paella Valenciana. I believe in staying true to the traditional styles of paella from Spain, but I love to experiment with different ingredients and combinations for my customers.

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

We're at Caraluzzi's in Georgetown so often we probably deserve our parking spot. We source all our ingredients from the local stores, and during the summer months like to frequent Sport Hill Farm or Sherwood Farm in Easton for the local and freshest produce.

Alberto would like to nominate Bloom Breads on Main St. in Redding to be featured next!

Visit Paella Party CT 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!

daliborboldis@gmail.com (Dan) Places Tue, 28 Mar 2023 05:57:00 -0400
Connecticut’s First-Ever Healthcare Cost Growth Benchmark Report Confirms the Need for Reforms To Make Healthcare More Affordable https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/50561-connecticut-s-first-ever-healthcare-cost-growth-benchmark-report-confirms-the-need-for-reforms-to-make-healthcare-more-affordable50561-connecticut-s-first-ever-healthcare-cost-growth-benchmark-report-confirms-the-need-for-reforms-to-make-healthcare-more-affordable https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/politics/50561-connecticut-s-first-ever-healthcare-cost-growth-benchmark-report-confirms-the-need-for-reforms-to-make-healthcare-more-affordable50561-connecticut-s-first-ever-healthcare-cost-growth-benchmark-report-confirms-the-need-for-reforms-to-make-healthcare-more-affordable

Governor Ned Lamont today said that the findings of Connecticut’s first-ever healthcare cost growth benchmark report underscore the need to enact legislative reforms that will make healthcare more affordable for Connecticut residents and employers.

The Connecticut Healthcare Cost Growth Benchmark Report for 2021, which will be released by the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy later this week, finds that healthcare spending in the state increased by 6% between 2020 and 2021, surpassing the state’s benchmark target of 3.4%.

The benchmark initiative was established by an executive order Governor Lamont signed in 2020, which was later codified into state law in Public Act 22-118. It serves as a way to keep the healthcare system accountable for providing affordable healthcare to the residents of Connecticut. The initiative monitors healthcare spending at four levels: the state overall; health insurance market (i.e., Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial); individual insurance carrier; and advanced network (i.e., provider entities). Connecticut is one of nine states in the nation to establish a healthcare cost growth benchmark.

“The findings of this report reinforce the need for more sweeping action to ensure equitable access to affordable healthcare to all residents of Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “This report shines a light on healthcare costs that will enable us to hold accountable those parties responsible for excessive increases. Additionally, it will inform the development of solutions to address the problem. This session, I’ve proposed comprehensive legislation that tackles this complex problem from multiple angles, and I am urging the General Assembly to take action on this critical issue.”

According to the report, Connecticut spent $34 billion on healthcare and insurance costs in 2021, up from $31.9 billion in 2019 and $30.9 billion in 2020. Cost growth in 2021 was driven by an 18.8% increase in commercial health insurance spending while increases in Medicare and Medicaid were more modest. Connecticut’s increase in commercial growth was larger than that in other states with benchmarks such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Oregon. The rebound from decreased spending in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the year over year increases in 2021.

The benchmark report will also show that Connecticut overall met its target to spend 5% of total healthcare costs on primary care in 2021, but that commercial payers did not meet the 5% benchmark. Since higher primary care spending is associated with better health outcomes and lower overall costs, the benchmark initiative has also set a goal of reaching 10% of spending on primary care by 2025.

The Office of Health Strategy is charged with working with the Healthcare Benchmark Initiative Steering Committee and other key stakeholders to create cost growth mitigation strategies and solutions in response to the report. The agency plans to hold a hearing this spring to review the report’s finding and hear from stakeholders as it begins to chart a path toward more affordable healthcare.

Governor Lamont urges legislative action to reduce healthcare costs

This legislative session, Governor Lamont submitted comprehensive proposals to the General Assembly that focus on reducing healthcare costs for residents, with a particular emphasis on enhancing competition, eliminating unnecessary charges, reducing rising prices, and increasing affordability for residents and employers.

The legislation:

  • Eliminates hospital facility fees charged at free-standing offices and clinics.
  • Implements stronger regulatory enforcement tools at the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy to assure compliance with certificate of need requirements and related conditions of approval, such as cost controls, patient access, and detailed reporting. This will curb health care costs by preventing duplicative services in specific areas, while ensuring availability and access to critical services in all parts of the state.
  • Commits Connecticut to joining a multistate bulk purchasing consortium to negotiate prescription drug discounts that all of the state’s residents will be able to access through a discount card at their pharmacy.
  • Requires the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy to annually publish a list of prescription drugs that are experiencing major price spikes to inform consumers and prescribers about which drug prices are going up and by how much.
  • Reins in aggressive marketing practices by pharmaceutical representatives to ensure prescribers get clear and accurate information about the drugs they prescribe and generic alternatives. Pharmaceutical representatives will be required to complete a training, register with the state, and disclose relevant information about drug costs and efficacy across different races and ethnicity, if known.
  • Strengthens protections to ensure that discounted prescription drugs purchased through the federal 340B program benefit the low-income consumers and communities the program was designed to help.
  • Prevents price gouging when patients get care from a provider who is not in their network. Specifically, the governor is proposing to limit out-of-network costs for inpatient and outpatient hospital services to 100% of the Medicare rate for the same service in the same geographic area.
  • Outlaws the use of anti-competitive contracting practices that have been used by health systems to impede competition and increase prices. This will provide health insurers with additional bargaining power to make it easier to negotiate affordable prices for consumers. These include:
  • Anti-tiering clauses: Requiring a health plan to extend a preferred value tier status to all facilities or provider in a health system, even if certain providers do not meet cost or quality standards for that tier.
  • Anti-steering clauses: Prohibiting insurers from using incentives to steer patients to higher value providers.
  • All-or-nothing clauses: Requiring health plans to accept all providers in a healthcare system or none of them.
  • Gag clauses: Preventing parties from disclosing relevant information, including price or terms of an agreement to a third party.

These reforms are included in House Bill 6669, which was recently approved by the Public Health Committee, and Senate Bill 983, which was recently approved by the Insurance and Real Estate Committee.


kerry@ducey.org (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Mon, 27 Mar 2023 11:32:44 -0400
Danbury Arena Launches the Area’s Premier Youth Hockey Training Program https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/50506-danbury-arena-launches-the-area-s-premier-youth-hockey-training-program50506-danbury-arena-launches-the-area-s-premier-youth-hockey-training-program https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/50506-danbury-arena-launches-the-area-s-premier-youth-hockey-training-program50506-danbury-arena-launches-the-area-s-premier-youth-hockey-training-program

The elite youth hockey experience includes boys and girls travel teams and clinics, staffed by highly experienced, professional coaches.

Building on the successes of its existing youth hockey offerings, Danbury Arena is excited to announce the launch of its elite-level youth Travel Hockey teams for both boys and girls.

Entering the upcoming 2023-24 season, the Hat Tricks Hockey will be fielding full and split-season teams at the 8U, 10U,12U,16U, and 18U levels. All teams will compete and play out of Danbury Ice Arena.

As part of Hat Tricks Hockey, members and their families joining will join the greater Danbury Hockey family with the best in instruction and skill development. 

“We are thrilled to add this premier travel team to our roster of programming for young hockey players in the region,” said Danbury Arena Travel Hockey Director Lou Pedatella. “Our world-class training facility, coaches, and staff give us the ability to offer an unmatched experience for player development and competitive exposure.”

Pedatella, a long-time hockey coach, was recently hired to oversee the Danbury Youth Hat Tricks program and has vast experience including acting as the NY Rangers Youth Hockey lead instructor since 2016. Throughout his career, he has helped orchestrate five national champion bids and three state championships, placing more than 30 players in the NCAA and in prep-school programs.

The Youth Hat Tricks have also enlisted Mark Cardillo as Program Director and Matyas Kasek as Head Skills Coach and Head Coach of the 10U and 12U teams. Cardillo boasts 20 years of hockey experience and has built a top-tier youth hockey program that produced multiple DVHL and National Championship teams. He’s also a former ice-rink owner who understands the importance of customer service and player development at all ages and levels. Kasek, a 2019-2020 team member and first-round pick for the 2020-2021 FPHL Hat Tricks team, is known for his exceptional skills in mentoring the next generation of players. He also helped develop Danbury Arena’s LTS, camps, and clinics.

“Our players will thrive under the expert knowledge and experience that Mark and Matyas bring as coaches and hockey directors. We’re excited to begin building a fun and competitive program that will elevate the level of hockey available to area players, fans, and families,” said Pedatella.

Visit danburyice.com tryout dates and registration beginning in March.

kerry@ducey.org (Danbury Arena) Life Mon, 27 Mar 2023 10:24:00 -0400
Wooster grad McCormick's legacy honored with scholarship, dedication concert https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/50560-ridgefield-resident-s-legacy-honored-with-scholarship-dedication-concert-christopher-r-mccormick-15-memorial-endowment-for-musical-achievement-and-potential50560-ridgefield-resident-s-legacy-honored-with-scholarship-dedication-concert-christopher-r-mccormick-15-memorial-endowment-for-musical-achievement-and-potential https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/50560-ridgefield-resident-s-legacy-honored-with-scholarship-dedication-concert-christopher-r-mccormick-15-memorial-endowment-for-musical-achievement-and-potential50560-ridgefield-resident-s-legacy-honored-with-scholarship-dedication-concert-christopher-r-mccormick-15-memorial-endowment-for-musical-achievement-and-potential

Ridgefield resident Christopher “Kris” McCormick, who passed away in 2020, is being honored with a scholarship endowment in his name, The Christopher R. McCormick ‘15 Memorial Endowment for Musical Achievement and Potential, at Susquehanna University (SU), from which he earned a Bachelor of Music Composition with an emphasis in Vocal Performance in 2016.

The dedication concert, where five recipients will receive their scholarships, will take place on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 7:30 p.m., in Stretansky Concert Hall in the Cunningham Center for Music and Art on campus. Two dozen musicians will perform Kris’s music as well as pieces he loved. The endowment will honor Kris’s memory by rewarding scholarships to Susquehanna University’s most accomplished and promising music students. To mark the first endowment awards, Kris McCormick’s name will be inscribed on a plaque to hang permanently in the lobby of Stretansky Concert Hall.

In a life shortened abruptly by a sudden illness, Kris McCormick contributed much to the music field. As a composer, music producer, singer, instrumentalist and actor with commissioned works, collaborations and performances including singing at Carnegie Hall, Kris’s talents spanned classical voice to improvisational jazz and chamber orchestras. After graduating from Wooster School, Danbury, Connecticut in 2011, Kris became a vibrant member of Susquehanna University’s Department of Music and established himself as an innovative, enthusiastic participant and leader. He went on to earn a Master of Music Composition from The Johns Hopkins University Peabody Conservatory of Music in 2017. Highlights of Kris’s achievements include his one-act opera, In A Grove (book by Joseph Maltese ‘15), which he composed, produced and directed. He also sang the title role in an SU production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and contributed his talents to the University Choir, Chamber Singers, and his Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity. 

The “Achievement” segment of the awards, to be given in perpetuity through this endowment, is inspired by Kris’s success at composing, producing and directing his one-act opera, In a Grove (book by Joseph Maltese ’15) while at SU.

Kris gained inspiration, experience and connections through programs in Japan, Italy, Maine (Bowdoin College), New York and Connecticut; thus the “Potential” half of the award is designated for a student to travel to a summer music festival.

At the time of his death, Kris was employed by Sharps & Flats Music Conservatory in Ridgefield, Connecticut as a teacher of piano, composition and voice and by Assumption/Our Lady of Fatima Church in Scarsdale, New York. Kris was also an independent music producer.

Kris’s work lives on in several podcast and film scores, some still in production. His string piece Coast will be performed this summer at the Charles Ives Music Festival in Danbury, Connecticut, in conjunction with work from Kevin Puts, Kris’s teacher at Peabody.

To attend the tribute concert via live stream on Saturday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m., click the link below:


kerry@ducey.org (Susan Dumont Bengston) Neighbors Mon, 27 Mar 2023 07:09:26 -0400
Ann's Place Fashion Show Model Spotlight: Lori, Lane and Liza Berisford https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/50562-ann-s-place-fashion-show-model-spotlight-lori-lane-and-liza-berisford50562-ann-s-place-fashion-show-model-spotlight-lori-lane-and-liza-berisford https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/50562-ann-s-place-fashion-show-model-spotlight-lori-lane-and-liza-berisford50562-ann-s-place-fashion-show-model-spotlight-lori-lane-and-liza-berisford

Ann’s Place is thrilled to once again host its spring fashion show, On the Runway - Celebrating Role Models on April 25th at The Ridgefield Playhouse. The event is hosted by the hilarious Christine O'Leary. 

Now in its 7th year, the 2023 models will be wearing spring and summer fashions expertly curated by Audrey Road, located on Bailey Ave in Ridgefield. Tickets to the show are $30. Purchase tickets HERE.

Today, we spotlight a family who is walking the runway together on April 25th, Lori, Lane and Liza Berisford! With so many important causes we are honored they have chosen to support our families facing cancer.
Lori is President and Chairman of the Board of SPHERE, a nonprofit that provides adults with developmental disabilities programs that improve their quality of life and create strong community bonds.  Lori also serves on the boards of The Center for Education and Empowerment, Founder's Hall and the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra.  Lane is an HR Analyst at Synchrony Financial in Stamford and Liza teaches in the New Canaan School District, but both find time to give back to their community by supporting a host of philanthropic causes in their free time.

The Show would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors including Fairfield County Bank and The Donna Dennis Foundation. 

*With your donation, you are supporting the mission of Ann's Place- to provide comfort, support and resources to people living with cancer and to their loved ones- all free of charge. For more information on the fashion show and Ann's Place please visit their website: www.annsplacefashion.org.


kerry@ducey.org (Ann's Place) Neighbors Mon, 27 Mar 2023 04:49:00 -0400
Bachata Classes at Vitti's Dance Studio in Danbury https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/50550-bachata-167968819150550-bachata-1679688191 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/50550-bachata-167968819150550-bachata-1679688191

Bachata Classes April session starts 4/7/23.

Bachata is a Latin dance that originated in the Dominican Republic and is now danced all over the world! Come learn some easy-to-do steps that will get you moving on the dance floor!

dlinley@hotmail.com (deb linley) Places Fri, 24 Mar 2023 14:10:56 -0400
Congratulations to Brookfield Craft Center's Student Art Show Awardees! https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/50558-congratulations-to-brookfield-craft-center-s-student-art-show-awardees50558-congratulations-to-brookfield-craft-center-s-student-art-show-awardees https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/50558-congratulations-to-brookfield-craft-center-s-student-art-show-awardees50558-congratulations-to-brookfield-craft-center-s-student-art-show-awardees

Over 140 students from surrounding High Schools submitted works for display in the Lynn Tendler Bignell Gallery in our Mill Building. The show is now also available to view online, but please do not miss it in person.

The works are so exceptional our judges had a hard time determining the award recipients in each of the 12 categories and the Best in Show. Yet we gave out 37 awards, 3 in each category and the Best in Show.

Best in Show went to Melanie Boria from Nonnewaug For her drawing “Sweet Tooth”.

Congratulations to all who participated! View image #2 to see a list of awardees (several from Danbury) or click here.

The show closes this Sunday, March 26th.


kerry@ducey.org (Brookfield Craft Center) Neighbors Fri, 24 Mar 2023 13:51:00 -0400
Ann's Place Fashion Show Model Spotlight: Stacey Sussman, owner of Stacey’s Totally Baked https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/50557-ann-s-place-fashion-show-model-spotlight-stacey-sussman-owner-of-stacey-s-totally-baked50557-ann-s-place-fashion-show-model-spotlight-stacey-sussman-owner-of-stacey-s-totally-baked https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/50557-ann-s-place-fashion-show-model-spotlight-stacey-sussman-owner-of-stacey-s-totally-baked50557-ann-s-place-fashion-show-model-spotlight-stacey-sussman-owner-of-stacey-s-totally-baked

Ann’s Place is thrilled to once again host its spring fashion show, On the Runway - Celebrating Role Models on April 25th at The Ridgefield Playhouse. The event is hosted by the hilarious Christine O'Leary. 

Now in its 7th year, the 2023 models will be wearing spring and summer fashions expertly curated by Audrey Road, located on Bailey Ave in Ridgefield. Tickets to the show are $30. Purchase tickets HERE.

Today, we are excited to introduce you to local Ridgefield small business owner, Stacey Sussman of Stacey’s Totally Baked. Read about the multiple ways she has been impacted by cancer and why she is walking for Ann’s Place. We are grateful for her making the time in her busy life to help families facing cancer!  

*With your donation, you are supporting the mission of Ann's Place- to provide comfort, support and resources to people living with cancer and to their loved ones- all free of charge. For more information on the fashion show and Ann's Place please visit their website: www.annsplacefashion.org.

kerry@ducey.org (Ann's Place) Neighbors Fri, 24 Mar 2023 12:15:15 -0400