Danbury's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury Tue, 19 Mar 2019 05:52:00 -0400 HamletHub.com Six Westside Students Excel at CT Science & Engineering Fair https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/46206-six-westside-students-excel-at-ct-science-engineering-fair46206-six-westside-students-excel-at-ct-science-engineering-fair https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/46206-six-westside-students-excel-at-ct-science-engineering-fair46206-six-westside-students-excel-at-ct-science-engineering-fair

Six students from the Westside Middle School Academy STEM program took home prizes at the CT Science & Engineering Fair held March 11-16 at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

For the past four years, WSMSA, led by science teacher and theme coach Jon Neuhausel, has been one of the top three middle school in the state in terms of winning entries. The WSMSA students were among the 647 students from 120 middle and high schools from Connecticut, Fishers Island and New York competing in the 71st annual fair for more than $200,000 in prizes.

“Westside Middle School Academy is committed to empowering students to achieve at high levels,” said principal Dr. Frank LaBanca. “Our ongoing success at the state Science Fair exemplifies our teachers’ commitment to facilitating student excellence.”

The following eighth-grade students at Westside were selected for excellence:

  • Gabriella Brown, seventh grade, "Design, testing, and optimization of Kombucha scoby-based biofilms:  1st Place- Life Sciences 7th grade; Urban School Challenge Awards Middle School Finalist - Medallion; Peer-to-Peer Awards --- 7th Grade Life Sciences; Broadcom MASTERS National Competition Invitation to Apply 
  • Annabella Jardim, seventh grade, "Good Up High, Bad Near By”: Physical Sciences 7th Grade Medallion; Office of Naval Research- U.S. Navy / U.S. Marine Corps Award
  • Sharva Karthikeyan, eighth grade, "Impact of Microwave-irradiated Plastic on Microbiological Health Indices": Urban School Challenge Awards Middle School Finalist - Medallion
  • Srishti Ramakrishnan, eighth grade, "The Study of Effectiveness of Different Separation Methods in Removing Suspended Microplastics from Water": Finalist - Physical Sciences 8th Grade - CSF Medallion; Petit Family Foundation Women in Science & Engineering Awards --- 1st Place- Middle School; Urban School Challenge Awards- 1st Place Middle School; Environmental Sciences Awards -- 3rd Place; Urban School Challenge 1st Place Middle School; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award; Talcott Mountain Science Center & Academy --- Founder’s Award; Air and Waste Management Association, Connecticut Chapter Award; GENIUS Olympiad Competition (Oswego, NY) for Highest Placing USC 8th grade Project
  • Maria Eduarda Sousa Lopes, seventh grade, "Molecular Health Indices of the Kalmia latifolia": 4th Place- Life Sciences 7th grade; Urban School Challenge Middle School Finalist - Medallion; Biotechnology Awards Finalist; Talcott Mountain Science Center & Academy --- Founder’s Award; Alumni Botany Award; Broadcom MASTERS National Competition Invitation to Apply 
  • Chase Tomaino, seventh grade, "DIY WiFi Booster": 3rd Place- Physical Sciences 7th Grade; Urban School Challenge --- 3rd Place Middle School; U.S. Air Force Award; Broadcom MASTERS National Competition Invitation to Apply 
kerry@ducey.org (Robin Provey) Neighbors Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:33:05 -0400
Five New Directors Join Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/46205-five-new-directors-join-cultural-alliance-of-western-connecticut46205-five-new-directors-join-cultural-alliance-of-western-connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/neighbors/46205-five-new-directors-join-cultural-alliance-of-western-connecticut46205-five-new-directors-join-cultural-alliance-of-western-connecticut

The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut has added five members to its Board of Directors. The new directors bring a range of experience and talents to the arts organization. They are:

Emily Anne Carney, writer; Dennis Daugherty, chairman of the Western Connecticut Chapter of SCORE; Joe Keneally, technical director for the Sherman Chamber Ensemble; Vicki Taylor-Bloch, interior designer; and Paula Woodhouse, commercial lender at Savings Bank of Danbury.

  •          Carney is a professional writer and adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University. She assists the Cultural Alliance with grants, fundraising and community outreach. Carney was also selected as a writer for the inaugural Endworks Project, a collaboration between the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury and the Cultural Alliance.
  •          Daugherty has been chair of the Western Connecticut Chapter of SCORE for the past six years. SCORE provides free and confidential mentoring to people starting or growing a business. Daugherty also sits on the Legislative Council of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce.
  •          In addition to his role with the Sherman Chamber Ensemble, Keneally has also served as a member of Sherman’s Conservation Commission, Democratic Town Committee, Library Board of Trustees and Board of Education.
  •          Taylor-Bloch worked as a menswear designer and executive for Liz Claiborne and Donna Karan before co-founding At Home Design, a residential interior design company. She also co-founded The Design Guild and has served as a board member for Interfaith Aids Ministry, Friends of Ball Pond and the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury.
  •          Woodhouse is a commercial lender at Savings Bank of Danbury. She has over 30 years of experience in small business and commercial lending, providing small businesses with an array of products including working capital lines of credit, term loans for equipment and vehicle purchases, owner-occupied real estate financing and investment real estate financing.

The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut is the heart of the region’s creativity to help communities connect and thrive. We are a 501C-3 and regional service organization serving 10-towns in the Greater Danbury area. Our aspiration is to improve access and growth of arts and culture to improve the quality of life and the economy. The Connecticut Office of the Arts provides major support.

Jeninemichaud@gmail.com (Paul Steinmetz) Neighbors Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:30:27 -0400
Danbury Arena Purchased by Diamond Properties with Big Plans and Professional Hockey in the Making https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/46204-danbury-arena-purchased-by-diamond-properties-with-big-plans-and-professional-hockey-in-the-making46204-danbury-arena-purchased-by-diamond-properties-with-big-plans-and-professional-hockey-in-the-making https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/46204-danbury-arena-purchased-by-diamond-properties-with-big-plans-and-professional-hockey-in-the-making46204-danbury-arena-purchased-by-diamond-properties-with-big-plans-and-professional-hockey-in-the-making

Danbury Arena will  sparkle with Diamonds

Diamond Properties, a private real-estate development company owned by brothers Bill and Jim Diamond have purchased the Danbury Arena from Floyd Hall Enterprises.

Diamond Properties, headquartered in Mount Kisco, NY, has a long history of acquiring commercial properties with potential for substantial improvement through hands-on property management, market repositioning, and capital upgrades. In addition to its core real estate portfolio, Diamond Properties also operates a number of entertainment properties including Grand Prix New York Racing, Spins Hudson, and the Spins Bowl chain of entertainment centers.

“We are excited about the acquisition of the Danbury Ice Arena and we plan to undertake a significant renovation and upgrade to the facility, similar to what we have done to many of the entertainment properties we have purchased in the past,” said Bill Diamond. President of Diamond properties. “We have a terrific team in place and we have some exciting plans that includes bringing back professional hockey that should prove to be very popular to the surrounding Danbury community.”

In addition to acquiring the property, Diamond Properties has partnered with Danbury-based sports executive Herm Sorcher to revitalize the arena’s offering including bringing back professional hockey to the city of Danbury. “I have been very fortunate to have been part of some incredible moments in this building. I can’t say it enough how much I love this arena and walking through those doors. I am beyond honored to have Diamond Properties as partners as we focus our efforts towards bringing a world-class entertainment facility and Minor League hockey team to this deserving community.” Sorcher, who started his professional career in 1989 with the National Hockey League’s Hartford Whalers, was part of the ownership group that led the 2012-13 Danbury Whalers to the Federal Hockey League Championship.
Plans are in the works to expand the entertainment offering as soon as this summer, and professional hockey will be ready for the upcoming season. A name and branding for the team are to be released shortly.

From Eagle Ice Sports, the previous owners of the building - The Hall Family and the Management of the Danbury Arena would like to thank the Danbury skating, hockey and business community for their support over the last 18 years. We have enjoyed being part of Danbury, Fairfield County and the Housatonic Valley as we provided safe, affordable, and family oriented activities and programs for so many people over the years. We took great pride in working with the City of Danbury to help make the Danbury Arena a reality that brought skating and ice hockey to a whole new community of people.

We wish Diamond Properties and their Management Team well in their new endeavor. We are confident that their experience and vision will take the Danbury Arena to new places and that they will continue the tradition of the Danbury Ice Arena as the cornerstone of the city center of Danbury.

About Diamond Properties:
Since Diamond Properties was founded in 1993, we have acquired in excess of 70 properties, including office, medical, industrial, retail, entertainment, self storage, residential, lodging, and land, in 7 states, and currently own over 60 of those properties, totaling in excess of 12 million square feet. We continue to pursue a capital improvement and leasing program that, when combined with quality-driven customer service, has enabled us to deliver consistently high tenant satisfaction and lease renewal rates.

kerry@ducey.org (Diamond Properties) Places Mon, 18 Mar 2019 06:55:55 -0400
Danbury Mayor Announces Facade Grant Program for Downtown Revitalization https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/46203-danbury-mayor-announces-facade-grant-program-for-downtown-revitalization46203-danbury-mayor-announces-facade-grant-program-for-downtown-revitalization https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/46203-danbury-mayor-announces-facade-grant-program-for-downtown-revitalization46203-danbury-mayor-announces-facade-grant-program-for-downtown-revitalization


Mayor Boughton and the City of Danbury have launched a Façade Improvement Grant Program in the City of Danbury’s Downtown Revitalization Zone (DRZ) in order to incentivize and bolster the private development already occurring in our city center.

“This initiative is one more plank of our plan for Danbury’s future,” said Mayor Boughton.

The maximum amount of any grant is $10,000.00 (with a maximum of $50,000.00 per property) or 50% of the total façade improvement costs, whichever is less. The reimbursement grants are on a first-come basis. The façade grant budget was previously funded through the Capital Improvement Program.

“Over the last several years, we’ve seen incredible movement in the city center. By enacting this piece of our downtown plan, we hope to provide current/prospective property and business owners the opportunity to improve their storefront, which will have a modeling effect throughout our city,” the Mayor added.

The DRZ includes Main Street from Elmwood Place to Franklin Street, as well as the areas of Ives Street and Lee Hartell Drive. (To see the full overlay, please refer to the Façade Improvement Grant Program Guidelines found at the link below and on the Permit Center homepage). Eligibility requirements for property owners, tenants and prospective purchasers are in the Program Guidelines.

The application and Program Guidelines for the Façade Grant Program is available on the City of Danbury website: https://www.danbury-ct.gov/facadegrantprogram2019.

Applications must be completed and returned to the Permit Center in City Hall.



kerry@ducey.org (City of Danbury) Places Mon, 18 Mar 2019 05:14:58 -0400
Free MLB Baseball Clinic at BAT Complex in Somers on Saturday https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/46202-free-mlb-baseball-clinic-at-bat-complex-in-somers-on-saturday46202-free-mlb-baseball-clinic-at-bat-complex-in-somers-on-saturday https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/46202-free-mlb-baseball-clinic-at-bat-complex-in-somers-on-saturday46202-free-mlb-baseball-clinic-at-bat-complex-in-somers-on-saturday

Free MLB Baseball Clinic at BAT Complex in Somers (245 Route 100) on Saturday, March 23 from 9AM to noon  

Family & Children's Aid, the MLB Alumni Association and BAT Complex, the home of the New York Silverback are hosting a FREE baseball clinic series for kids ages 6-16!

  • Up to 10 former Major League Baseball Players will teach baseball and life skills.
  • Suggested ages are from 6-16
  • Stay after the game to meet the players and to receive a free authentic Rawlings MLB baseball for the MLB to autograph

Participants should bring a bottle of water and a baseball glove (if they have one). All children will be put in groups by age. This clinic is appropriate for boys and girls!

Learn more and register here.

Contact Allison Carballo at 203-205-2633 or via email at allison.carballo@fcaweb.org with any questions.

Advance registration is appreciated, but walk-ins are accepted! 

This is the first of Family & Children's Aid FREE MLB Baseball Clinic Series. For information on the other clinics visit www.fcaweb.org/forms/MLB

kerry@ducey.org (Family & Children's Aid) Events Mon, 18 Mar 2019 05:10:28 -0400
Singing the Blues in Danbury https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/46201-singing-the-blues-in-danbury-155285101346201-singing-the-blues-in-danbury-1552851013 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/46201-singing-the-blues-in-danbury-155285101346201-singing-the-blues-in-danbury-1552851013

Zip a Dee Doo Dah, Zip a Dee Dah.  My oh, my what a wonderful day…Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder. It’s the truth, it’s actual,  everything is satisfactual. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay, wonderful feeling, wonderful day (Song of the South, 1946).

With patches of snow still covering the thawing ground, the Eastern Bluebird appears, waking all living creatures and breaking the cold spell of winter with his melodious songs. The bluebirds are not the only ones singing. This docile little animal has the natural ability to make people happy. In the words of renowned poet Henry David Thoreau, “The bluebird is like a speck of clear blue sky seen near the end of a storm, reminding us of an ethereal region and a haven which we had forgotten.”

A radiant color blue with a warm reddish breast, the male bluebird is as beautiful as he is charming. According to Tom Meyer, a trained bluebird rehabilitator referred to as “Mr. Bluebird” in his hometown of Bedford, NY the male arrives in the northeast in late February, ahead of his mate, and searches for a home worthy to present to her. Once he finds it, he beckons her with joyful chirps to come and approve one of the nest boxes he has selected to raise their family. “He will sit on top of the house fluttering and may show her 3 or 4 spots, just like a real estate agent,” chuckles Meyer. The female, who has lighter blue wings and tail, a brownish throat and breast and grey crown, gets busy creating a nest and promptly lays 4-5 eggs. She diligently incubates her eggs for two weeks. Once hatched, mom and dad share the responsibility of feeding the brood insects. “They kind of alternate, you’ll see the female go in and then the male and as the babies grow, the insects get bigger and bigger,” explains Meyer. It’s the glory and awe of nature at work-  a beautiful story of cohabitation, parenting and shared responsibility.

Believe it or not, if not for the effort and intervention of Eastern Bluebird loving humans, today, spring would arrive without the beauty and promise of the bluebird. There were several decades spanning the years from 1900-1970 when it was not easy for the kind spirited bluebird to find a natural nesting cavity.  Melodee Benoit, administrative assistant to the grounds department and bluebird monitor at the private GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford, is dedicated to the preservation of the Eastern Bluebird. She explains that urbanization caused the Eastern Bluebird to compete with other cavity nesters for a place to raise their young. The submissive bluebird lost out to more aggressive birds such as The House Sparrow and the European Starling.  

”Back in the 70’s, a huge part of increasing the bluebird population was making people aware of the bluebird and their plight and how they weren’t thriving. ‘Backyard blue birders’ started putting up bluebird boxes,” explains Benoit. “I’ve put up more than 2,000 bluebird boxes,” Meyer humbly adds.  On his list: Bedford friend and neighbor, actress Glen Close. “About 20 years ago, Glen called me to put up some boxes. I remember taking her daughter, Annie on my shoulders so she could see the bluebirds, she said, “Oh, they look like pencil erasers,” chuckles Mayer. In addition, after Christopher Reeve’s horseback riding accident which left him paralyzed from the neck down, Meyer received a call from Reeve’s wife. “Dana asked me to put up a box on their back lawn,” says Meyer.

Benoit credits Meyer for making it possible for GlenArbor Golf Club to launch a successful bluebird program. Working in tandem with Benoit, Meyer put up 22 boxes at GlenArbor. “We have an environmental program at the club and the bluebird program is part of that,” explains Benoit.  Once a week, Benoit and Meyer travel the course in a golf-cart checking on each bluebird box. The club recently won an award from the North American Bluebird society for environmental stewardship. “They claim that there are more bluebirds coming out of nest boxes that people put up than natural cavities,” says Meyer.

As a bluebird rehabilitator, Meyer is often called upon when a bluebird is in danger. Benoit recalls a time when bluebird babies were left alone in a nest. “Usually once a year we have to orphan a bluebird.  I can remember calling Tom for help. I put the baby birds in my hands and blew warm air on them. Tom got a heating pad and we put them into a box.” Benoit cared for them until she could add them to a nest box with other bluebirds about the same age. A fascinating trait of the Eastern Bluebird is their willingness to care for another bluebird’s young. “Those parents will then take over as adoptive parents,” explains Benoit.

While having a backyard nest-box is a fantastic way to assure the population of bluebirds continues to increase, Benoit says, ”It’s a commitment, if someone wants to have a bluebird box, they’ve got to monitor it, that’s part of the success. You need to know what’s going on inside the box. You need to check on the babies,” explains Benoit. The Eastern Bluebird can nest up to three times a season. “When they’re done nesting, you need to clean it out right away because they need to get back in there and do their thing again.”

The preservation and recovery of the Eastern Bluebird continues in backyards, parks and golf courses throughout the northeast. “It’s hard not to love this little bird,” says Benoit. “If I could use one word to describe the bluebird, I’d say magical,” adds Meyer. What’s more, the bluebird is the state bird of New York. That’s one more thing to sing about.

*This story appeared in Ridgefield Magazine

cronmpuser@hamlethub.com (Kerry Ducey) Life Mon, 18 Mar 2019 04:00:00 -0400
UPS Honors John Hermanowski of Danbury for 25 Years of Safe Driving with induction into the Circle of Honor https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/46164-ups-honors-john-hermanowski-of-danbury-for-25-years-of-safe-driving-with-induction-into-the-circle-of-honor-155231460846164-ups-honors-john-hermanowski-of-danbury-for-25-years-of-safe-driving-with-induction-into-the-circle-of-honor-1552314608 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/46164-ups-honors-john-hermanowski-of-danbury-for-25-years-of-safe-driving-with-induction-into-the-circle-of-honor-155231460846164-ups-honors-john-hermanowski-of-danbury-for-25-years-of-safe-driving-with-induction-into-the-circle-of-honor-1552314608

UPS has announced that 23 elite drivers from Connecticut are among 1,436 newly inducted worldwide into the Circle of Honor, an honorary organization for UPS drivers who have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving.

Among the awardees is Danbury resident John Hermanowski.

Connecticut boasts 147 Circle of Honor drivers with a combined 4,251 years of accident-free driving. Walter Beasley of Woodbridge is the state’s senior-most safe driver, with 46 years of accident-free driving under his belt. There are 1,229 total full-time UPS drivers in Connecticut.

“My thanks goes out to my entire team for their dedication and focus. They have saved so many lives,” said Ivy Brown, president, UPS Northeast District. “Their attention to detail has kept them safe and has helped improve public safety.”

Globally, the most seasoned UPS Circle of Honor driver is Thomas Camp of Livonia, Mich., with 56 years of driving without an accident. Ronald McKnight of Bronx, N.Y., is next in line with 50 years of safe driving. One hundred twenty six others have logged at least 40 years without an accident.

UPS’s 125,000 small package drivers worldwide are among the safest on the roads, logging close to 4 billion miles a year and delivering 5.2 billion packages annually.

Collectively, these drivers have achieved more than 298,957 years of safe driving throughout their careers. That’s enough time behind the wheel to drive non-stop from Miami to San Diego – 68 million times. And they’ve done it while helping to deliver 3 percent of the world’s GDP – 20 million packages a day.

Founded in 1907, UPS has a rich history of safety and training. The company issued its first driver handbook in 1917 and began recognizing safe drivers in 1923.  In 1928, UPS recognized its first five-year safe driver, Ray McCue, with UPS founder Jim Casey presenting him a gold and platinum watch. UPS formally established its safe driving honor program in 1928.

cronmpuser@hamlethub.com (UPS) Events Sun, 17 Mar 2019 22:00:00 -0400
Planning for Social Security presentation at Danbury Library on March 28 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/46200-planning-for-social-security-presentation-at-danbury-library-on-march-2846200-planning-for-social-security-presentation-at-danbury-library-on-march-28 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/46200-planning-for-social-security-presentation-at-danbury-library-on-march-2846200-planning-for-social-security-presentation-at-danbury-library-on-march-28

For those wanting to know more about Social Security, the Danbury Library will host a talk "Social Security: Planning for the Future" on Thursday, March 28 from 5:30-6:45 p.m.  The workshop will be conducted by Joseph Knudsen of the HIQS Group located in Bethel, CT.  The program is sponsored by AAA.  

Among the topics to be covered include the implications of taking Social Security early, at the full retirement age or waiting; 3 ways to increase benefits and reduce taxes on benefits; and how to receive benefits from a former or deceased spouse's benefits. 

The presentation is free of charge to all participants who want to better understand how to maximize, project, and protect their Social Security income.  The program is free of charge.  Registration is required online at danburylibrary.org or call 203-797-4505, option 3. 

The Danbury Library is located at 170 Main Street.  For information contact the Community Relations office at 203-797-4505, x 7730.

kerry@ducey.org (Danbury Library) Events Sat, 16 Mar 2019 12:31:28 -0400
Danbury Symphony Orchestra, Mahler's Symphony No. 5 Tomorrow in Danbury https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/46198-danbury-music-centre46198-danbury-music-centre https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/46198-danbury-music-centre46198-danbury-music-centre

The Danbury Music Centre invites you to a free concert of the Danbury Symphony Orchestra!

The Danbury Music Centre presents the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Ariel Rudiakov, performing Gustav Mahler’s mighty Symphony No. 5. This work with its broad emotional sweep, from tragedy to triumph, and distant horn calls, contains the famous Adagietto, Mahler’s beautiful love-letter to his wife, written in music.

When: Sunday 3/17, 3:00 pm
Where: WCSU, School of Visual & Performance Arts, 43 Lake Avenue Ext. Danbury, CT
Donations are gratefully accepted at the door.
The Danbury Music Centre is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization located on Danbury’s Main Street that provides classical community music experiences through ensembles and events.


calendars@danburymusiccentre.org (Danbury Music Centre) Events Sat, 16 Mar 2019 08:43:55 -0400
Hip Hop Dance at Vitti's Dance Studio in Danbury on March 21 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/46197-hip-hop46197-hip-hop https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/events/46197-hip-hop46197-hip-hop

Hip Hop – One Night Only – with guest instructor Alicia McDonald, Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Vitti's Dance Studio in Danbury.

Two sessions, Beginner from 7-8 pm and Advanced Beginner from 8-9 pm. Hip Hop into Spring! Learn basic moves to get you looking good and feeling great!

All ages welcome! $15 per session – STEP IT UP and take both classes for $25, save $5.

For info/reservations call 203.748.2884. Vitti’s Dance Studio, 10 Precision Road, Danbury CT 06810

dlinley@hotmail.com (deb linley) Events Fri, 15 Mar 2019 11:45:22 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in Danbury: North Star Canines https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/46191-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-north-star-canines46191-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-north-star-canines https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/46191-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-north-star-canines46191-why-small-businesses-matter-in-danbury-north-star-canines


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 North Star Canines!

Three questions with Virginia Dare owner North Star Canines / Take a Bow Wow

Why did you start your business?

I’ve always loved dogs, and over the last 28 years, I’ve studied extensively to learn about dog behavior and body language, and the scientific principles of learning and behavior modification.  One of the joys of my line of work is that there are always new things to learn, along with stellar educational venues to learn them in.  Helping people with their dogs is very fulfilling for me. I love providing services that help people create better relationships and happier lives with their chosen pets, using gentle, reward-based teaching techniques. 

 Finish this sentence in regard to your business. “I wish I could…”

I wish I could speak with more folks BEFORE they select their new pet.  So much frustration and heartache can be avoided if a person understands how to select the most compatible companion for their individual lifestyle.  Of course, I understand the urge to follow your heart because there are certain looks or breeds that really attract you.  But there’s plenty of wiggle room available to increase the chances of a compatible match, which increases the chances of a life-long and happy relationship. 

It breaks my heart to see people struggling with a dog that’s a poor match for them. For instance, imagine an elderly person getting a super high-energy dog that can knock them over or pull them around dangerously on the leash.  Or a person who can’t resist the adorable terrier, but then is shocked when that dog wants to eat the family’s pet hamster or ferret.  Or the dismayed parent who didn’t realize the cattle dog would want to constantly herd and nip at the children playing in the backyard.

Dogs naturally need guidance and training to learn how to navigate life in the human world, but choosing the right dog for your lifestyle minimizes frustration and heartbreak.

 What is your best-selling service?

A “get-starter” package of four lessons is always popular, whether for a newly acquired pup, or when an adopted dog joins the home.  There are so many helpful training tips, enrichment ideas, and management strategies I can provide to help reduce frustration and problem behaviors.  It’s only fair to actively teach the dog what you DO want him to do.  And with positive reinforcement techniques, the dog is a very happy participant in the process!

Visit North Star Canines online here.

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


kerry@ducey.org (HH) Places Fri, 15 Mar 2019 09:05:00 -0400
New Music Production Lab Coming to Immaculate High School Thanks to Grant https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/46194-new-music-production-lab-coming-to-immaculate-high-school-thanks-to-grant46194-new-music-production-lab-coming-to-immaculate-high-school-thanks-to-grant https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/places/46194-new-music-production-lab-coming-to-immaculate-high-school-thanks-to-grant46194-new-music-production-lab-coming-to-immaculate-high-school-thanks-to-grant

Immaculate High School was recently awarded $6,909 in grant money to create a music technology laboratory, which will enhance its popular music education programs. Immaculate received the monies from a grant from Foundations in Education, a non-profit initiative that assists the Diocese of Bridgeport’s ongoing mission to support Catholic education in Fairfield County.

Niall Reynolds, Immaculate’s band director and music teacher, applied for and received the grant, which will allow the school to build a state-of-the-art Music Production Lab for the development of modern, cutting-edge music curriculum and coursework. The lab will consist of student workstations and new equipment such as iMac computers and professional software, keyboard controllers, microphones, headphones, mixers and speaker systems.

“The lab will emphasize the importance of creativity as an essential part of educating the whole student and help develop student confidence in their music abilities as well as creative potential. Student interest in music theory and writing and recording music has increased substantially, and this technologically modern lab will be a valuable tool for our young musicians,” said Mr. Reynolds.

Mr. Reynolds will also work with students to create portfolios in the lab for use in future career endeavors. “I want to change the prevailing attitude that music is mysterious, inaccessible and obscure -- the Music Production Lab can remove the barriers of fear and anxiety that sometimes accompanies music education,” Mr. Reynolds noted.

Immaculate High School, ranked by Niche as a top ten best private college-prep high school in Fairfield County, has the highest student SAT scores of the Diocese of Bridgeport schools.  

In addition to a college-preparatory academic program that offers over 33 Advanced Placement classes and a STEAM curriculum featuring advanced technology, a CISCO certification program, renovated science labs and engineering classes, Immaculate High School has an award-winning Fine Arts program, a student career internship program, athletic teams that have won SWC and State Championships, 44 clubs and a Campus Ministry program that instills faith, compassion and reverence for others. Community service is also stressed; in 2018 students performed 27,794 hours of community service.  In the 2019-20 school year, Immaculate will be offering additional business courses as well as a Certified Nursing Associate program.

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, personal commitments and service to others.  Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s parochial school system.

In the photo:  Bishop Frank Caggiano and IHS music teacher Niall Reynolds

jazzi@immaculatehs.org (Immaculate High School) Places Fri, 15 Mar 2019 07:52:03 -0400
Two Connecticut Cities in Top 3 Safest Cities in US According to SafeWise. Danbury Ranked Number 77 Among Connecticut Towns https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/publicsafety/46195-two-connecticut-cities-in-top-3-safest-cities-in-us-according-to-safewise-danbury-ranked-number-77-among-connecticut-towns-155266626446195-two-connecticut-cities-in-top-3-safest-cities-in-us-according-to-safewise-danbury-ranked-number-77-among-connecticut-towns-1552666264 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/publicsafety/46195-two-connecticut-cities-in-top-3-safest-cities-in-us-according-to-safewise-danbury-ranked-number-77-among-connecticut-towns-155266626446195-two-connecticut-cities-in-top-3-safest-cities-in-us-according-to-safewise-danbury-ranked-number-77-among-connecticut-towns-1552666264

Connecticut has a lot to boast about when it comes to safety - we are the second safest state in the country with 14 our cities among the top 100. What’s more, two of those cities, Ridgefield and Madison are in the top 3! Read all about it in the SafeWise Report here.

The report utilizes the FBI’s 2017 Uniform Crime Report (UCR). Danbury reported 163 violent crimes which ranks it number 77 of all the cities in Connecticut that report statistics according to the UCR. Danbury also reported 1105 property crimes, including 90 burglaries, 942 larcenies, 73 motor vehicle thefts, and 1 incidents of arson.

Five Connecticut Cities reported no incidents of violent crime, Ridgefield, Madison, Granby Easton, and Groton Long Point.

In addition to Ridgefield and Madison, the SafeWise list included New Canaan (#14), Cheshire (#16), Avon (#18), and Darien (#25) in the top 25.  Additional Connecticut communities earned a place among the top 100: Simsbury (#30), Brookfield (#35), Westport (#36), Wilton (#48), Guilford (#53), Rocky Hill (#64), and Wolcott (#91).

View the 2019 Top 20 Safest Cities in Connecticut here. View the 2019 Safest Cities in America here.

FBI had encouraging news about crime in the US overall:

  • In 2017, an estimated 1,247,321 violent crimes occurred nationwide, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the 2016 estimate.
  • There were an estimated 382.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017, a rate that fell 0.9 percent when compared with the 2016 estimated violent crime rate and dropped 16.5 percent from the 2008 estimate. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)

SafeWise gives high marks to Connecticut’s overall safety. “There were only two murders reported among all 20 cities that made the list. Overall, the Constitution State is well below national averages for both violent and property crime. Proving the point, 95% of the cities on our list saw fewer than one violent crime per 1,000 people, according to FBI data,” SafeWise said.

Learn how SafeWise identified the safest cities by visiting their methodology page.

cronmpuser@hamlethub.com (Tara Daly) Public safety Fri, 15 Mar 2019 06:58:09 -0400
Quinnipiac Student Follows Historic Journey of The Legendary Leatherman for Charity https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/46193-quinnipiac-student-follows-historic-journey-of-the-legendary-leatherman-for-charity-155260384046193-quinnipiac-student-follows-historic-journey-of-the-legendary-leatherman-for-charity-1552603840 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/charities/46193-quinnipiac-student-follows-historic-journey-of-the-legendary-leatherman-for-charity-155260384046193-quinnipiac-student-follows-historic-journey-of-the-legendary-leatherman-for-charity-1552603840

AQuinnipiac grad student who hails from England and now lives in New Haven, Lee-Stuart Evans, is presently embarking on a historical journey by retracing the tracks of The Leatherman.

Known as a vagabond who donned a leather suit, The Leatherman walked a 365-mile loop between the Connecticut and Hudson rivers in just 34 days, sleeping in cave shelters. According to historical accounts, The Leatherman died after suffering from lip cancer.

Evans is running a 365 mile loop through Connecticut and New York in under 7 days. According to a GoFundMe Page established by Shona Cooper in support of the journey, Evans is staying on the trail throughout the run and living homeless for a week. “The loop follows the route taken by the Old Leatherman of Connecticut and will follow his footsteps as closely as possible and aims to finish after 7 days at the site of his grave in Ossining, NY on the 130th Anniversary of his death - 20th March 1889,” she says.

Given The Leatherman's lifestyle and struggle with cancer, Evans is not running in vain but for local charitable causes.  

You can follow Evans on his trek via a live tracker here.

Click here for Evan’s research on The Leatherman.

View the GoFundMe Page and make a donation here.

cronmpuser@hamlethub.com (Tara Daly) Charities Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:00:35 -0400
The Best High Schools for Math Near Danbury in Celebration of Pi Day https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/46192-the-best-high-schools-for-math-near-danbury-in-celebration-of-pi-day-155260022246192-the-best-high-schools-for-math-near-danbury-in-celebration-of-pi-day-1552600222 https://news.hamlethub.com/danbury/life/46192-the-best-high-schools-for-math-near-danbury-in-celebration-of-pi-day-155260022246192-the-best-high-schools-for-math-near-danbury-in-celebration-of-pi-day-1552600222

We celebrate Pi day to bring awareness to the importance of a STEM Education. The National Science Board report shows the need to bring attention to STEM:

 - Average mathematics scores for fourth, eighth, and twelfth graders declined slightly for the first time in 2015.

 - The average NAEP mathematics score in 2015 declined for fourth, eighth and twelfth grades.

 - NAEP science assessment results show that average scores increased slightly in 2015 for fourth and eighth graders but stayed similar for twelfth graders.

The Connecticut State Department of Education measures Math Performance of all the schools in CT.  The average performance for the high schools in the state 83.6%. The scores of the high schools closest to Danbury are:

School Score GraduationRate PostSecondary
Ridgefield High School 96.14% 100.00% 100.00
Joel Barlow High School 91.81% 100.00% 100.00
Newtown High School 86.91% 100.00% 100.00
Brookfield High School 84.48% 100.00% 100.00
New Fairfield High School 83.87% 100.00% 100.00
Bethel High School 78.39% 100.00% 96.41
New Milford High School 77.97% 88.13% 100.00
Danbury High School 65.60% 86.55% 87.47
Henry Abbott Technical High School 62.78% 100.00% 64.20

The top five high schools for Connecticut are Staples High School, Darien High School, New Canaan High School, Weston High School, and Avon High School.

Some other interesting facts about STEM education in the United States:

  • Approximately one-quarter of students stopped with algebra 2 as their highest mathematics course, another quarter stopped with trigonometry or other advanced mathematics, 22% advanced to pre-calculus, and 19% finished with calculus or higher.
  • In addition to taking biology, 76% of ninth graders who began high school in 2009 took chemistry and 42% took physics by the time they completed high school in 2013.
  • Calculus AB is the most common mathematics AP exam. The number of students who took an AP exam in calculus AB increased from 197,000 in 2006 to more than 308,000 in 2016.
  • Biology is the most common science AP exam. The number of students who took an AP exam in biology increased from nearly 132,000 in 2006 to 238,000 in 2016.
  • Computer science A is the fastest-growing AP exam, with the number of students taking the exam growing nearly four-fold from just under 15,000 in 2006 to nearly 58,000 in 2016.
  • Passing rates for the mathematics and science AP exams in 2016 ranged from lows of 40% for physics 1 and 46% for environmental science to highs of 77% for physics C: mechanics and 81% for Calculus BC.
cronmpuser@hamlethub.com (Scott Schmidt) Life Thu, 14 Mar 2019 12:33:45 -0400