Darien's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/darien Wed, 04 Aug 2021 06:28:39 -0400 HamletHub.com 6th Grade Ice Cream Social at The Depot https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48392-6th-grade-ice-cream-social-at-the-depot48392-6th-grade-ice-cream-social-at-the-depot https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48392-6th-grade-ice-cream-social-at-the-depot48392-6th-grade-ice-cream-social-at-the-depot

The Darien Depot is hosting an Ice Cream Social for 6th grade students on Thursday, September 2 from 3 to 4:40 pm.

$10 admission for free ice cream, DJ and games! The Concession will be open as well.

Darien Depot is located at 25 Heights Road.

Register HERE.


kerry@ducey.org (The Depot) Events Tue, 03 Aug 2021 10:16:53 -0400
Darien Resident Memunatu Dumashie Named to Spring 2021 Provost's List at Hofstra University https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/48391-danbury-resident-memunatu-dumashie-named-to-spring-2021-provost-s-list-at-hofstra-university48391-danbury-resident-memunatu-dumashie-named-to-spring-2021-provost-s-list-at-hofstra-university https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/48391-danbury-resident-memunatu-dumashie-named-to-spring-2021-provost-s-list-at-hofstra-university48391-danbury-resident-memunatu-dumashie-named-to-spring-2021-provost-s-list-at-hofstra-university

Memunatu Dumashie of Darien, achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA during the Spring 2021 semester, earning a spot on the Provost's List at Hofstra University. Congratulations to Memunatu!

Hofstra University is a nationally ranked and recognized private university in Hempstead, N.Y. that is the only school to ever host three consecutive presidential debates (2008, 2012 and 2016). Our campus is a leafy oasis just a quick train ride away from New York City and all its cultural, recreational and professional opportunities.

ern815@gmail.com (Hofstra University) Neighbors Tue, 03 Aug 2021 10:12:44 -0400
Grassroots Tennis & Education Hosts Annual Kids Tennis Fundraising Tournament https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48390-grassroots-tennis-education-hosts-annual-kids-tennis-fundraising-tournament48390-grassroots-tennis-education-hosts-annual-kids-tennis-fundraising-tournament https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48390-grassroots-tennis-education-hosts-annual-kids-tennis-fundraising-tournament48390-grassroots-tennis-education-hosts-annual-kids-tennis-fundraising-tournament

Grassroots will host a kids’ annual fundraising tournament on Sunday, August 22, 2021, from 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. Titled “Knights for Aces,” the event is sponsored by the Jon DeLuca Youth Tennis Memorial Fund/

The first annual Knights for Aces took place in 2014 at Tokeneke Club. Now entering its eighth year, the kid's tournament welcomes U10, U12, U14 and U17 doubles players, as well as Grassroots students, to Middlesex, Tokeneke, Weeburn, and Woodway Country Clubs in Darien.

Participants are asked to sign up or sponsor a Grassroots student for $55 per person here.

Jon DeLuca Youth Tennis Memorial Fund Founder and father to the late Jon, Al DeLuca said, “On behalf of the Jon DeLuca Youth Tennis Memorial Fund, we are honored to sponsor this wonderful event during Jon’s birth month, around what would have been his 50th birthday. Jon was passionate about his kids, his work, youth development and Grassroots.”

Learn more here.

Photo Credit: Courtgirl Paper, courtgirlpaper.com

kerry@ducey.org (Leslie Osborn) Events Tue, 03 Aug 2021 06:41:14 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in Darien: Mandarine Home https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/48367-why-small-businesses-matter-mandarine-home48367-why-small-businesses-matter-mandarine-home https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/places/48367-why-small-businesses-matter-mandarine-home48367-why-small-businesses-matter-mandarine-home

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 Mandarine home!

Three questions with Courtney Chessen, founder of Mandarine home.

Why did you start your business?

We love the design and it does not feel like work to us! We were working together for an interior designer for several years and we decided to try branching out on our own. Design is a very unique business and every day is different. We enjoy getting to know our clients and are always looking for ways to learn and get inspired.

We love buying for our stores and constantly changing them around, so everything appears fresh and new. We collaborate with wonderful clients, vendors, tradesmen and have had fun building our brand. Our third store will be opening in Winnetka, IL in September.

What is your best-selling product/service?

Our main business is interior design with retail stores, which we run out of our Chicago location. We noticed a great building for rent in Darien and thought our brand would do well here. The location on Post Road has always been kind of the design corner of town, with Good Goods and Browne & Co as our neighbors. We also love that we can sell more coastal and beachy decor than in our Chicago stores! We sell furniture, lighting, accessories, and gifts.

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

We support Darien Upholstery, Barvida, Flowers and Flowers, Browne & Co, Good Goods, Post Corner, 1020 Post.

Courtney and her team would like to nominate Barvida to be featured next!

Mandarine home is located at 863 Post Road in Darien. Visit Mandarine home online here, and make sure to check out their Facebook page as well!

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

daliborboldis@gmail.com (Dan) Places Mon, 02 Aug 2021 11:28:13 -0400
Local Charity Announces $6 Million in Grant Awards https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/charities/48389-local-charity-announces-6-million-in-grant-awards48389-local-charity-announces-6-million-in-grant-awards https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/charities/48389-local-charity-announces-6-million-in-grant-awards48389-local-charity-announces-6-million-in-grant-awards

The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education will award $6 million in grants, the charity announced today, providing grants to 43 local Fairfield County programs. The charity announced its plans to dissolve and to distribute its considerable 

“We wish we could have gone back and given funds to everyone we have supported over the years – about 200 grantees over 30 years,” said Executive Director Karen Barry Schwarz, “but that was not feasible. We looked at those grantees that we regularly supported over the last 10 years or so and chose carefully from a large group of proposals. We’re delighted that our donors’ funds will be doing good in Fairfield County for many years to come, and in some cases, in perpetuity.”

 The Fairfield County programs that will each receive a portion of the $6 million in funds from The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education in its dissolution include the following:

All Saints Catholic School
Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders
Bridgeport Neighborhoods Together
Bridgeport Rescue Mission
Building One Community
Cardinal Shehan Center
Caroline House
Carver Foundation of Norwalk
Catholic Academy of Bridgeport
Catholic Academy of Stamford
Catholic Charities of Fairfield County Immigration Services
Catholic Charities of Fairfield County Morning Glory Kitchen
Center for Family Justice
Circle of Care for Families of Children with Cancer
Domestic Violence Crisis Center
Domus Foundation
Family ReEntry
Foundations in Education
Future 5
Homes with Hope
Junior Achievement of Greater Fairfield County
Kids in Crisis
Kolbe Cathedral High School
Malta House
Mercy Learning Center
New Covenant Center
Open Door Shelter
Pacific House
Sacred Heart University
Shelter of the Cross/Renewal House
St. Catherine Center for Special Needs
St. Joseph Parenting Center
Stamford Public Education Foundation
Sterling House Community Center
Thomas Merton Center
Tiny Miracles Foundation
Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers
Women's Center of Greater Danbury

In a closing statement to donors, Executive Director Karen Barry Schwarz added, “For almost three decades, The Inner-City Foundation, with your help, has helped to feed the hungry, house the homeless, and educate those living in poverty in Fairfield County, granting $38 million to 200 local programs over the last 30 years. It has been our distinct honor, and our mission, to help families in need, helping to construct with them a path to a better future.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us, and our friends in need, over all these years. We hope you will continue the good work we began together.”


kerry@ducey.org (KBSchwarz) Charities Mon, 02 Aug 2021 11:17:02 -0400
Darien Human Services Is Seeking Back-to-School Donations https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/48388-darien-human-services-is-seeking-back-to-school-donations48388-darien-human-services-is-seeking-back-to-school-donations https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/48388-darien-human-services-is-seeking-back-to-school-donations48388-darien-human-services-is-seeking-back-to-school-donations

The cost of back-to-school supplies can be a burden on families that are already struggling (particularly those families with multiple school-aged children).  To help these families, Darien Human Services will once again be assisting with back-to-school shopping.  However, this year due to COVID-19 precautions, we will be providing at-risk residents with gift cards to Target instead of actual school supplies.

Last year, the Back-to-School Program served approximately 120 Darien school children and the number is expected to increase this year due to the financial hardships many families have been experiencing during the pandemic.  Please consider reaching out to your neighbors in need with a donation of a Target gift card.  Gift cards may be dropped off at Darien Town Hall Monday through Thursday 8:00am to 5:15pm. You may also mail the gift cards to: Darien Human Services, Town Hall, 2 Renshaw Road.

The Back-to-School Program is available free-of-charge to eligible Darien children.  If you need help purchasing supplies and think your family might qualify for services, please call Darien Human Services at 203-656-7328 or email Ali Ramsteck, Director, LCSW, at aramsteck@darienct.gov

kerry@ducey.org (Town of Darien) Neighbors Mon, 02 Aug 2021 10:30:03 -0400
Fairfield County Bank held its 150th Annual Meeting https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/life/48387-fairfield-county-bank-held-its-150th-annual-meeting48387-fairfield-county-bank-held-its-150th-annual-meeting https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/life/48387-fairfield-county-bank-held-its-150th-annual-meeting48387-fairfield-county-bank-held-its-150th-annual-meeting

Fairfield County Bank held its 150th Annual Meeting at the Silver Spring County Club. The attendees included the Board of Directors, The Board of Incorporators, and the Senior Management of the Bank. The Annual Meeting is held to inform the Incorporators on the financial well-being of the Bank, success and growth over the past year and strategic plans of the coming year.

The Annual Meeting was opened with remarks from Ralph L. DePanfilis, Chairman of the Board, welcoming the attendees. David A. Schneider, CEO, and Daniel L. Berta, President, presented on the financials of the Bank, the product and service offering, innovation across the organization, and Community engagement. Presentation highlights included a review of the strong financial position of the Bank through 2020 from Mr. Schneider.

Mr. Berta touched on several topics, including the Bank’s commitment to Fairfield County throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic. Fairfield County Bank processed 100% of the 1,850 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that were requested of the Bank. The $240 million in PPP loans, in turn, supported 20,000 local jobs throughout the pandemic.

President Daniel Berta highlighted key facets of what makes Fairfield County Bank, and how those core values were upheld during 2020.  During his discussion, Mr. Berta also brought one of the Bank’s clients into the spotlight, Astacio Plumbing and Heating, whose owner, Richard Astacio, has been banking with Fairfield County Bank since 2014.

Richard, in his client spotlight video, focused on the ways in which the personal relationship he developed with Lisa Bancroft helped him expand his growing business. Astacio Plumbing and Heating was also one of the local businesses that received a PPP loan through the Bank.

Mr. Berta announced that the Bank donated $10,000 to SPHERE on behalf of the corporators. SPHERE of CT helps adults with developmental disabilities achieve their dreams. SPHERE’s programs improve quality of life by providing rich experiences and a strong community, which the Bank is proud to support. 

kerry@ducey.org (Jillian Fernandez) Life Mon, 02 Aug 2021 10:03:06 -0400
Phillip Phillips returns to The Ridgefield Playhouse with two outdoor shows on August 7! https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48385-phillip-phillips-returns-to-the-ridgefield-playhouse-with-two-outdoor-shows-on-august-748385-phillip-phillips-returns-to-the-ridgefield-playhouse-with-two-outdoor-shows-on-august-7 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48385-phillip-phillips-returns-to-the-ridgefield-playhouse-with-two-outdoor-shows-on-august-748385-phillip-phillips-returns-to-the-ridgefield-playhouse-with-two-outdoor-shows-on-august-7

Phillip Phillips, the winner of the 11th season of American Idol in 2012 and singer of widely-acclaimed songs including “Home”, “Gone, Gone, Gone", and “Magnetic", is performing outdoors under the Tent at  The Ridgefield Playhouse on August 7th at 4:00 and 7:30 PM. Tickets for the 4:00 PM show are on sale by phone [203-438-5797] and reservations for the 7:30 PM concert are purchased by phone and online here.

Playing some of his hit songs, hidden gems, and newest tracks alongside him are guitarist Errol Cooney and cello player Dave Eggar. “We have such a blast playing with one another, it's just really free and easy,” Phillip told me on a Zoom interview last week. “We just have fun. It’s live music!” 

Born on September 20th, 1990 in Albany, Georgia, Phillip Phillips fell in love with writing and playing music early at the age of 14. “I would just constantly play guitar. I took my guitar to school almost every day on the bus and I would play,” he explained. “Musically, Angus Young from AC/DC was my hero,” he said, citing Dave Matthews and Damien Rice as idols as well.

In 2009, it was evident that Phillip’s interest in music was taking a turn into becoming a blooming career when he appeared in local Georgian venues and contests, eventually winning a singing competition called “Albany Star” in 2010. 

As Phillip Phillips walked in front of American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler for his initial audition on the show in 2012, Steven Tyler whispered to Jennifer Lopez, “I got a funny feeling about this.” It turns out that he was right with Phillip wowing the judges with songs “Superstition” and “Thriller,” catapulting him forward in the competition. Many spectacular performances later, Phillip found himself in the Top 3. Singing “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seger, Phillip Phillips sealed himself as the indisputable winner of the show. “It was crazy and it changed my life completely. I didn’t know what to expect, I just loved playing music,” he reminisced. “I am just very blessed and a very lucky person.” 

When I asked him how other people can accomplish their goals like he did, he told me, “You really have to work hard and you can’t get lazy.” He says, “It’s all about learning.” Before finishing his answer, he delighted me by adding, “You have to stay humble as well.”

Two albums and many songs later, Phillip Phillips is still very much enthusiastic about living his dream of being a musician. “What inspires me to write music is just real life, you know, good, bad, sad, and happy,” Phillip voiced to me in our discussion. “These new songs that I have been writing have become some of my favorites. “The song called  Rescue You I really love… I think it’s a step forward in my career.” Now a dad, Phillip laughed and said, “[My son] likes them so I am taking that as a win.” 

If you are near Ridgefield, Connecticut, available, and looking for a great time on Saturday, August 7th, get your tickets to Phillip Phillips’ shows at the Ridgefield Playhouse at 4:00 and 7:30 PM. 

“The show is going to be great, everybody come on down,” Phillip says.

 I will be in attendance that day and I as well hope to see you all there for what will become two fantastic shows.


Phillip Phillips - Magnetic

kerry@ducey.org (Max Porter) Events Sun, 01 Aug 2021 11:55:48 -0400
Strong Savvy Women, invites local ladies to Fresh Start Summer Social in Darien on August 11 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48386-ridgefield-resident-amy-polacko-founder-of-strong-savvy-women-invites-local-ladies-to-fresh-start-summer-social-on-august-1148386-ridgefield-resident-amy-polacko-founder-of-strong-savvy-women-invites-local-ladies-to-fresh-start-summer-social-on-august-11 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48386-ridgefield-resident-amy-polacko-founder-of-strong-savvy-women-invites-local-ladies-to-fresh-start-summer-social-on-august-1148386-ridgefield-resident-amy-polacko-founder-of-strong-savvy-women-invites-local-ladies-to-fresh-start-summer-social-on-august-11

Strong Savvy Women invites all local ladies to its “Fresh Start Summer Social” on Wednesday, August 11 at 7pm at the women-centered coworking space Hayvn in Darien.

“I think we all could use a fresh start right now,” says Amy Polacko, a Ridgefield resident and single mom who founded the group last year. “I started our group to provide a community for single women and this year has been particularly isolating for many of them. But this event is for all ladies - you don’t have to be single!”

The networking group Women Entrepreneurs’ Social, founded by Cheryl Hislop, is co-hosting the event.

Strong Savvy Women is an empowerment group for women who are single, divorced, widowed, or are in transition. Its focus is moving forward – by supporting each other, learning from expert speakers, and having fun. Past event topics have included financial tips, legal advice, co-parenting, self-love, and dating post-Covid. Attorney Rosemarie Ferrante of the Mediation Center of Ridgefield/Danbury, LLC and financial planner Alison Hamilton of Eagle Ridge Investment Management LLC are on the group’s advisory board.

“When I was newly divorced I honestly thought I was the only single mom out there at first,” Polacko says. “Then I met other women and realized we really needed to support each other since we face unique challenges. That was especially true this past year so we continued to have virtual meetings.”

Polacko, a former television reporter and public relations executive, started the support group in her Ridgefield living room years ago. It has now grown to include women from all over Fairfield County - and beyond. The group has a private Facebook group where only members can see who is in it (since some women are just starting to contemplate divorce).

As part of her Freedom Warrior coaching business (www.freedomwarrior.info) Polacko empowers women after a divorce or toxic relationship and helps them create an amazing next chapter. Strong Savvy Women is under this umbrella and is free for all women, no matter what stage they are at in the process. 

“Divorce doesn’t have to be the end,” Polacko says. “It can actually be an exciting new beginning.”

The social will take place at Hayvn at 320 Boston Post Road in Darien. Register through Eventbrite HERE (the ten-dollar fee covers cleaning expenses for the event):

Founded in 2018, HAYVN is a flexible workspace for enterprising women (and men) to connect, create and grow. Along with a vibrant & engaged coworking community of entrepreneurs and business professionals, HAYVN is a business HUB, offering short- and long-term office space leases, meeting rooms rentals, and events to support local businesses. 

HAYVN is proud to be a Certified B Corporation™ and a CTNext partner. Its founder, Felicia Rubinstein, believes in using the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy and has met the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. HAYVN’s workshops and signature programs encourage women of all colors and ages and acts as an incubator for developing skills and pursuing funding. 

For more information about the event or Strong Savvy Women, contact Amy Polacko at amy@freedomwarrior.info.

kerry@ducey.org (Strong Savvy Women) Events Sat, 31 Jul 2021 17:46:26 -0400
Darien resident Caitlin Chan named to dean's list at Bates College https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/48383-darien-resident-caitlin-chan-named-to-dean-s-list-at-bates-college48383-darien-resident-caitlin-chan-named-to-dean-s-list-at-bates-college https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/neighbors/48383-darien-resident-caitlin-chan-named-to-dean-s-list-at-bates-college48383-darien-resident-caitlin-chan-named-to-dean-s-list-at-bates-college

Caitlin Chan of Darien was named to the dean's list at Bates College for the winter semester ending in May 2021. This is a distinction earned by students whose grade point average is 3.88 or higher.

Chan, the daughter of Paul Chan and Jessica Yep-Chan, is a 2020 graduate of Darien High School.

kerry@ducey.org (Bates College) Neighbors Fri, 30 Jul 2021 14:23:23 -0400
FCBuzz Weekend: Bridgeport PRIDE, Romeo and Juliet, The Honky Tonk Angels, JOY Music Festival, and MORE! https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48384-fcbuzz-weekend-bridgeport-pride-romeo-and-juliet-the-honky-tonk-angels-joy-music-festival-and-more48384-fcbuzz-weekend-bridgeport-pride-romeo-and-juliet-the-honky-tonk-angels-joy-music-festival-and-more https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48384-fcbuzz-weekend-bridgeport-pride-romeo-and-juliet-the-honky-tonk-angels-joy-music-festival-and-more48384-fcbuzz-weekend-bridgeport-pride-romeo-and-juliet-the-honky-tonk-angels-joy-music-festival-and-more

HamletHub is proud to partner with the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and FCBuzz to elevate arts and culture in Fairfield County! Each Friday, check out the many weekend events and activities!

The Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of the arts and culture across the 15 towns in our region of coastal Fairfield County and each Wednesday issues our free E-Buzz newsletter with a selection of the hundreds of events posted to our website by our members. 

Friday night, catch the finale of Pride month with Bridgeport PRIDE that includes an exhibition of the work of 30 artists in OUTWorks at City Lights Gallery, with a reception 6-8:30pm, a PRIDE March from City Lights Gallery around to The Bijou Theatre, and then a PRIDE Variety Show at The Bijou - with music, dance and drag, and featuring Ballet Eloelle debuting a newly choreographed piece, produced by Ricky Mestre, and hosted by Dolores Degage.

Also opening with a reception Friday night, 5:30-7pm at the Fairfield Museum and History Center is an exhibition exploring the impact of Columbia Records, that had a major manufacturing plant and research center in Bridgeport.  Topping the Charts: The Rise of Bridgeports Columbia Records, curated by Daryn Reyman-Lock, explores how local engineers and scientists, working at Columbia’s Bridgeport factory literally transformed recorded sound, first by introducing gramophones into the American household and later, the lateral-cut record, LPs, and stereophonic sound.

Two great outdoor theatrical experiences wrap up this weekend so be sure to check out Curtain Call’s Romeo and Juliet - its 18th Shakespeare on the Green -  playing in its own outdoors Globe Theatre, at Sterling Farms on Newfield Avenue, in Stamford, and The Summer Theatre of New Canaan with its riotous musical The Honky Tonk Angels, telling the story of three gals who follow their dreams to Nashville, with a live all-star, all-women country band on stage.

There’s a great range of music this weekend: new classical, rock, jazz, country, folk and traditional. Where to start?  In Fairfield, Saturday at 5pm the Audubon Center’s summer series of concerts by the farm pond continues with three award-winning young classical guitarists, all coached and encouraged by Music for Youth.

In Ridgefield on Saturday at 5pm, outside, among the giant Frank Stella sculptures at the Aldrich Museum, the Western CT Youth Orchestra kicks off its multi-week Charles Ives Music Festival with “Joy,” a concert reveling in joyous short pieces by contemporary composers, ending with Ravel’s famous "Introduction and Allegro.”

In Greenwich at 5pm on Saturday, BackCountry Jazz offers another free jazz concert in a fabulous private garden in Greenwich. Bennie Wallace leads his band in a garden to be revealed when you reserve your free tickets.

On Sunday 2pm-6pm, Westport’s Beechwood Arts & Innovation, an arts center offering salons throughout the year in its 1806 renovated farmhouse and under its 400-year-old copper beech, celebrates its 10th Anniversary with its “Beechwood Open,” performances and artworks by local artists, but also including several world-renowned, as well as up-and-coming, pianists playing and leaving their legacy on Beechwood’s new Yamaha Disklavier Grand Piano that records the exact movements of the pianist, enabling the piano to play it back real-time.

And on Sunday at 7pm, one of the many free concerts being offered at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion is The American Patchwork Quartet drawing on a repertoire of centuries-old American folk songs that highlight America’s immigrant roots. Old songs are made new through creative arrangements that highlight the exceptional and well-honed skills of each remarkable band member

See these and discover hundreds more events on our FC Buzz-Events page at here.

kerry@ducey.org (David Green) Events Fri, 30 Jul 2021 14:09:26 -0400
Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew Sends Crew to Fight Wildfires https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/life/48382-connecticut-interstate-fire-crew-sends-crew-to-fight-wildfires48382-connecticut-interstate-fire-crew-sends-crew-to-fight-wildfires https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/life/48382-connecticut-interstate-fire-crew-sends-crew-to-fight-wildfires48382-connecticut-interstate-fire-crew-sends-crew-to-fight-wildfires

Thirteen members of the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew, acting as part of a larger 20-person interagency initial attack hand crew from the northeast region, mobilized Wednesday morning from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)’s Eastern District Headquarters in Marlborough to fight wildfires in Minnesota. 

The crew represents the latest personnel/resources sent from Connecticut out west this wildfire season. So far this year, Connecticut has mobilized a total of 33 people to fight wildfires in Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, and Oregon. 

According to the National Interagency Coordination Center, as of today there are 66 uncontained large fires in several western states being managed under a full suppression strategy. Additionally, there are 32 fires being managed under a strategy other than full suppression. The fires encompass more than 1.7 million acres cumulatively, with 21,544 personnel deployed to combat them. Connecticut residents in recent days have experienced poor air quality as a result of smoke from some of these fires, with elevated levels of fine particles remaining in the lower atmosphere.

During the 16-18 day deployment, the crew that mobilized Wednesday from Connecticut will assist with initial attack, relief of other crews, and pre-positioning to get ahead of potential fires in Minnesota. They will be primarily working in the Superior National Forest. Connecticut has also sent a fire engine to the same area, and over 8 weeks provided four rotations of engine crews to lend assistance, as Minnesota continues to experience unprecedented drought, multiple wind events, and numerous fire starts. Ongoing wildfires in Canada are now within one mile of the Minnesota border.  Previously deployed crews in Minnesota have dealt with hot, dry conditions while providing initial attack capabilities, patrolling high fire risk areas, doing storm clean up, and conducting fuel reduction work in the National Forest.Other national deployments saw a DEEP staff member work for two weeks as a helicopter crew member battling fires in 120-degree heat in Arizona, and another coordinating aviation operations on fires in Montana. Connecticut crew members have also assisted in financial roles as well as providing operational leadership on incidents.

DEEP’s Forestry Division coordinates the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew (CIFC), for which it maintains a roster of agency staff members and private individuals, many associated with local fire departments, who have been certified to fight forest or wildfires.  Crew members must complete a rigorous training program and participate in an annual physical work capacity test and refresher training.  

Connecticut maintains this firefighting capability to participate in a reciprocal aid program operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Under this program, trained personnel from other parts of the nation are available to assist Connecticut in the event of a fire emergency or other natural disaster in return for the support of Connecticut personnel when needed. All state agency expenses directly associated with these deployments are 100% reimbursed to the State by the U.S. Forest Service. 

For more information about the CIFC, go here

kerry@ducey.org (CT DEEP) Life Fri, 30 Jul 2021 11:52:29 -0400
Connecticut DPH Announce New CDC COVID-19 Guidance https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/publicsafety/48380-connecticut-dph-announce-new-cdc-covid-19-guidance48380-connecticut-dph-announce-new-cdc-covid-19-guidance https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/publicsafety/48380-connecticut-dph-announce-new-cdc-covid-19-guidance48380-connecticut-dph-announce-new-cdc-covid-19-guidance

According to new guidance released by CDC this week, all individuals over the age of 2 years—whether vaccinated or unvaccinated—in counties with substantial transmission of COVID-19 should wear masks in public indoor spaces. 

As of today, Hartford, New Haven and New London counties have moved into the category of “substantial transmission” per the CDC classification system.  The Connecticut Department of Public Health strongly recommends that individuals who live in, work in, or are visiting towns located in Hartford, New Haven or New London County follow this recommendation.

In addition, residents across our entire state who have underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for complications of COVID, or residents who live with high risk or unvaccinated individuals should also consider wearing masks in indoor public spaces. This includes vaccinated family members who live with young children who are not yet eligible for vaccination. 

Governor Ned Lamont’s Executive Order 12 remains in effect which requires all individuals who have not been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when indoors and unable to maintain adequate distance from others.

Emerging science indicates that with the Delta variant in circulation, in some cases vaccinated individuals may become infected with and subsequently transmit COVID infection to others. The risk of contracting and transmitting COVID infection is far greater for the unvaccinated, and vaccination remains the safest and most effective way to protect yourself and your community from COVID. The vaccines are readily available at hundreds of locations across Connecticut and everyone who is eligible should consider receiving the vaccine if they have not done so, already.

kerry@ducey.org (CT DPH) Public safety Fri, 30 Jul 2021 09:11:50 -0400
José Feliciano Headlines Concert Celebrating Connecticut's New, Tougher Human Trafficking Law at Ridgefield Playhouse on Aug. 14 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/charities/48379-jose-feliciano-headlines-concert-celebrating-connecticut-s-new-tougher-human-trafficking-law-at-ridgefield-playhouse-on-aug-1448379-jose-feliciano-headlines-concert-celebrating-connecticut-s-new-tougher-human-trafficking-law-at-ridgefield-playhouse-on-aug-14 https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/charities/48379-jose-feliciano-headlines-concert-celebrating-connecticut-s-new-tougher-human-trafficking-law-at-ridgefield-playhouse-on-aug-1448379-jose-feliciano-headlines-concert-celebrating-connecticut-s-new-tougher-human-trafficking-law-at-ridgefield-playhouse-on-aug-14

Celebratory Concert Headlining José Feliciano on August 14 at The Ridgefield Playhouse

To mark the passage of the new state law that better protects victims of human trafficking in Connecticut, as well as highlight continued efforts by organizations around the state to focus greater attention to this pervasive problem, Traffick Jam Live, a Connecticut-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is hosting a special concert featuring Grammy Award-winning singer/guitarist José Feliciano of Weston and special guest Vaneese Thomas at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Saturday, Aug. 14.

The concert will work to raise money -- and awareness -- about human trafficking, which affects communities large and small, including many here in Connecticut. Since 2008, more than 1,000 children have been referred to the Department of Children and Families in Connecticut as possible victims of child trafficking.

Between the two performances several Connecticut based anti-human trafficking nonprofits (PEHT, LOVE 146 and TJL) will share some vital information about human sex trafficking right here in our own communities. The presentation takeaways include: tips on “Red Flags” to look for to spot early indications of “grooming” techniques of traffickers; a protective look at how social media can provide traffickers access to our young daughters.

State Sen. Will Haskell will join them on stage and comment about the importance of the recently signed anti-human trafficking law.

Traffick Jam Live is a Connecticut-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit aimed at collaboratively disrupting human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking of girls under the age of 18, in the United States. It was launched by Ridgefield resident Bo Beatty in 2016.

Traffick Jam Live shines a spotlight on the shadows of human trafficking through concert and event productions that inform audiences on vital human trafficking awareness information.  For starters, if you see something, say something by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733. Traffick Jam Live is also collaboratively developing a tactical hand signal for girls to alert “trained eyes” when they are with their trafficker on an airplane, a hotel lobby or any public facility with monitored security cameras. 

"Sadly, most Americans have no idea how prevalent sex trafficking is right here in our own communities," states Beatty.

The new law, which passed earlier this summer, has been hailed by advocates working to end human trafficking. Traffickers charged in Connecticut will find it harder to avoid prosecution and victims of trafficking will now have an easier time getting their convictions vacated if the crimes they committed were done while being trafficked.

Advocates say these measures, and others included in the law, reflect a greater understanding and awareness of the problem, as well as the long-term consequences trafficking has on its victims. On a recent online zoom presentation hosted by Greenwich-based Partnership to End Human Trafficking (PEHT), the group praised the new law and the significant efforts of advocates over several years to get it passed and signed. 

“This new Connecticut State law is a major accomplishment,” said Erin Williamson, vice president of Global Programs and Strategy at New Haven-based LOVE146.

One of Williamson's and LOVE146's concerns are the predatory traffickers' enhanced social media access to vulnerable young girls anywhere in Connecticut.

The average age of entry into human sex trafficking is 12 to 14 years old, according to many anti-trafficking agencies. And the U.S. Department of State, in its "2021 Trafficking In Persons Report,” indicates that 28 percent of sex trafficking victims in the United States (more than 1 in 4) are girls under the age of 18.

Concert organizers are hoping the community comes out to enjoy some great music and do their part in disrupting human trafficking. The concert opens at 7 p.m. with a performance by Thomas and her ensemble.

"I'm honored to be a part of it. It's such an important issue," said Thomas, who has sung with Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Celine Dion, to name a few.  "I don't think people really know ... they know the large picture, the big picture of what human trafficking is about. But they don't see it in a personal sense. That it could be right next door to them. That it could be right in their neighborhood. I'd like to draw attention to that aspect and have people be aware of what is going on around them."

She will be followed by the presentation and then the headliner -- Jose Feliciano -- will take the stage. Feliciano, a longtime Weston resident, headlined the Grand Opening of the Ridgefield Playhouse in 2000 and is returning once again to lend his talents to a worthy cause. 

In a joint statement, both José and wife Susan Feliciano stated, “Unless we, as a people, are really aware of this perversion —  a thing as diabolical as Human Trafficking — it will continue to permeate the underbelly of our society. I must admit, not until I was invited to perform this concert in support of Traffick Jam Live,  did we, Susan and I, grasp the scope of the dilemma. We need to become more fully aware and dedicated to do whatever we can, whatever it takes, to rid this scourge in order to protect the most vulnerable among us. Together, let’s work towards eradicating Human Trafficking in all its forms.”  The venues Gold Circle tickets also include post event VIP “meet and greet” with Feliciano after the concert.

To help provide complimentary concert tickets to Connecticut human trafficking survivors and employees and volunteers of CT’s anti-trafficking nonprofits, visit traffickjamlive.org “donate” page, make a donation, and enter “Comp Tix” in the comments field.  Join in and let’s JAM human trafficking together.

Tickets are available at RidgefieldPlayhouse.org and here

-- For more information about Traffick Jam Live, please visit https://traffickjamlive.org/

Vaneese Thomas opens the Traffick Jam Live Aug 14 ...

kerry@ducey.org (Bo Beatty) Charities Fri, 30 Jul 2021 07:07:30 -0400
Made in Connecticut Expo features over 300 local businesses and entrepreneurs August 15 & 16 in Naugatuck https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48381-made-in-connecticut-expo-features-over-300-local-businesses-and-entrepreneurs-august-15-16-in-naugatuck48381-made-in-connecticut-expo-features-over-300-local-businesses-and-entrepreneurs-august-15-16-in-naugatuck https://news.hamlethub.com/darien/events/48381-made-in-connecticut-expo-features-over-300-local-businesses-and-entrepreneurs-august-15-16-in-naugatuck48381-made-in-connecticut-expo-features-over-300-local-businesses-and-entrepreneurs-august-15-16-in-naugatuck

6th Annual Made in Connecticut Expo August 15 & 16 in Naugatuck

We're bringing over 300 amazing booths all from right here in Connecticut in every category imaginable. Food companies, drink companies, handcrafted products, manufacturers, apparel and fashion designers, artists and artisans, farm producers, local authors doing book signings, health and beauty product companies, pet companies, top local gourmet food trucks, furniture makers, upcyclers and so much more!!!

Please come and support local businesses and new entrepreneurs large and small producing goods, creating jobs and supporting the local economy right here at home. 

Beer and wine selections will be available from local Connecticut breweries and wineries.

Become a vendor and learn more here.

6 Rubber Drive, Naugatuck, CT


kerry@ducey.org (HH) Events Fri, 30 Jul 2021 04:57:29 -0400