Fairfield's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield Sat, 02 Jul 2022 17:16:47 -0400 HamletHub.com CT's Beardsley Zoo Presents Skyhunters Weekend Program This Summer https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51076-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-presents-skyhunters-weekend-program-this-summer51076-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-presents-skyhunters-weekend-program-this-summer https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51076-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-presents-skyhunters-weekend-program-this-summer51076-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-presents-skyhunters-weekend-program-this-summer

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – As part of the ongoing 100th year celebration, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is excited to bring Master Falconer Brian Bradley to the Adventure Amphitheater this summer.  Bradley is among the nation’s premiere wildlife presenters and will be presenting two shows each Saturday and Sunday at 11 am. and 2 p.m. through September 4. 

Guests will be amazed as they watch birds of prey in free flight as Bradley demonstrates their special powers. Get a closer look at owls, hawks, and falcons from around the world, and learn how these beautiful birds play an important role in our environment at the top of the food chain. Discover their amazing adaptations for survival in the wild and hear about the ancient sport of falconry and its training techniques. See these trained winged athletes in action through an exciting, informative program for all ages.

Bradley has presented at the historic Wave Hill Estate in Riverdale New York as well as alongside wildlife conservation legend Jim Fowler of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. 

This very special program is brought to the Zoo by a generous grant from the Werth Family Foundation.

In addition, the Zoo’s Education Department will present their Centennial Live Animal Program every Thursday and Friday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., beginning July 1 and continuing through September 2. 


About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 100thth year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolves, and Mexican gray wolves and red wolves. Other highlights include our Spider Monkey Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization celebrating its Centennial year when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations is more important than ever. 

Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org, including registration for Connecticut residents for the Free Summer program. Masks are still required in indoor animal habitats--the Rainforest Building and the Research Station—as our animals are susceptible to COVID-19.  Everyone over the age of two, except for those with medical conditions that preclude wearing them, should have a mask available. 

bornies@optonline.net (Lisa Clair ) Places Sat, 02 Jul 2022 05:41:46 -0400
CT BBB Scam Alert: Fake Gas Gift Cards https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/publicsafety/51075-ct-bbb-scam-alert-fake-gas-gift-cards51075-ct-bbb-scam-alert-fake-gas-gift-cards https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/publicsafety/51075-ct-bbb-scam-alert-fake-gas-gift-cards51075-ct-bbb-scam-alert-fake-gas-gift-cards


CROMWELL, CT — Even if high gas prices are draining your budget, don’t fall for this scam. Scammers are tempting drivers with phony gas station gift cards. It's really a way to get your credit card details and other personal information.  
How the scam works
You see a post on social media, get an email, or take a survey that says you won a $500 gas station gift card. Currently, the scam claims to be from Shell, but watch out for scammers using different gas station brands, too.
To get the gift card, you only need to pay a small fee. But when scammers get your credit or debit card information, they will likely charge your account for amounts you never approved. One consumer told BBB Scam Tracker: “They said I won a Shell gas card and had to pay $1.95 for shipping. A day later, they took $89.95 out of my account. I called about the charge, and they fixed it, but the next day, another $89.95 was taken out again.”
In addition to your credit card information, the scam may also request other personal details. Some consumers say they were asked to fill out a form and provide their name, phone number, physical address, credit card information, and other details. Sharing these details with scammers can open you up to identity theft.
How to avoid prize scams
  • Never pay to win. No legitimate company will ask you to pay money to receive something you won or to get a free gift. If someone asks you to pay even a small fee to receive a prize, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.
  • Do your research. Impostor scams are common, so if a large company seems to be offering you a free gift, do some research first. Visit the company’s official website (by typing it into your web browser, not by following a link someone sent you) to see if they really are participating in some kind of giveaway.
  • Don’t act on impulse. Scammers are hoping you’ll get so excited about their offer that you won’t stop thinking about any suspicious details. Use your good judgment and question any offer that seems too good to be true. 
For more information
Check out this article for examples of the scam and an official statement from Shell. 
For more helpful tips, see the BBB Tip: Sweepstakes, Lottery, and Prize Scams and read this tip about text message phishing scams.
If you notice a scam circulating on Facebook or elsewhere, report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others recognize the danger.




bornies@optonline.net (CT BBB) Public safety Sat, 02 Jul 2022 05:35:05 -0400
Seaport Assn Awarded CT Summer at the Museum Grant https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51074-seaport-assn-awarded-ct-summer-at-the-museum-grant51074-seaport-assn-awarded-ct-summer-at-the-museum-grant https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51074-seaport-assn-awarded-ct-summer-at-the-museum-grant51074-seaport-assn-awarded-ct-summer-at-the-museum-grant

Norwalk, CT – The Seaport Association was awarded a grant from CT Humanities for participating in Connecticut Summer at the Museum 2022 initiative. This program invites Connecticut children ages 18 and under plus one accompanying Connecticut resident adult to visit participating museums free of charge from July 1 through September 5, 2022. Funding for the initiative is provided by the CT General Assembly, with the support of Connecticut Humanities, the Department of Economic and Community Development, and the Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the federal ARPA.
“We are very proud to be among the grant recipients,” said Mike Reilly, President of the Seaport Association. “This infusion of funding will help us achieve our mission of education by introducing children from Connecticut, 18 years old and younger to our historic lighthouse and its maritime history that is such an important part of Connecticut’s cultural heritage. We are looking forward to sharing this experience with families from Connecticut this summer.”
A day out on the water and a visit to Sheffield Island Lighthouse, a historic museum provides a special opportunity that can positively impact mental health, demonstrably improve learning outcomes among children and youth, and offer positive activities and outlets in many of the neighborhoods, towns, and cities that we serve. As children and students missed out on more than two years of group and school visits to our institutions as part of hands-on, interactive learning, the CT Summer at the Museum Program gives these children and students a chance to experience our maritime heritage and our historic lighthouse on Sheffield Island in Norwalk.
The program, that the Seaport Association is participating in invites Connecticut children ages 18 and under plus one accompanying Connecticut resident adult to visit participating museums free of charge from July 1 through September 5, 2022. The Seaport Association is offering a three hour cruise to Sheffield Island and Sheffield Island Lighthouse Museum as part of this program Tuesday- Sun @ 11 am and 3 pm from July 1 – September 5. Reservations must be made in advance online only. There is a limited number of tickets allocated for each day. To make reservations for a cruise to Sheffield Island Lighthouse Museum click here.
Tickets are subject to availability. Special events are excluded.
Children will enjoy narrated tour on the way to the island and an hour or so of picnicking on the beach or in the new wooden pavilion, touring the historic lighthouse, looking for shells on the beach, and taking a walk to the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge to view the colorful sea birds sheltered in the marshes and sandy shores of the island. If the day is clear, the New York City skyline can be seen. An added bonus is the telescope installed by the Seaport Association that is free to use and affords fabulous views of the Connecticut coastline.
About the Seaport Association
The Norwalk Seaport Association was founded in 1978 by a group of local citizens who had the vision to revitalize South Norwalk and preserve Norwalk’s maritime heritage. The Seaport Association offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to the Norwalk Islands. The Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Light Keeper’s Cottage provide a unique historical and educational venue that strives to increase awareness, appreciation, and consideration for the environment and how the preservation of historic buildings contributes to our quality of life. The combination of the Lighthouse and the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge offers an unparalleled opportunity to educate children of all ages and adults about the importance of preserving Long Island Sound, our environment, and our maritime heritage.
About Connecticut Humanities
CT Humanities (CTH) is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs. CTH projects, administration, and program development are supported by state and federal matching funds, community foundations, and gifts from private sources. Learn more by visiting cthumanities.org.
About Connecticut Office of the Arts
The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) is the state agency charged with fostering the health of Connecticut’s creative economy. Part of the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, the COA is funded by the State of Connecticut as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.
bornies@optonline.net (Janet Serra ) Places Fri, 01 Jul 2022 04:19:18 -0400
Westport Playhouse Presents Symposium with "Kim's Convenience" Playwright https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/51073-westport-playhouse-presents-symposium-with-kim-s-convenience-playwright51073-westport-playhouse-presents-symposium-with-kim-s-convenience-playwright https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/51073-westport-playhouse-presents-symposium-with-kim-s-convenience-playwright51073-westport-playhouse-presents-symposium-with-kim-s-convenience-playwright

Westport, CT - Westport Country Playhouse will present a Sunday Symposium on July 10, following a 3 p.m. performance of “Kim’s Convenience,” a funny and touching comedy about a Korean family who owns a Toronto convenience store. Symposium guest will be Ins Choi, who wrote “Kim’s Convenience,” the play that inspired the popular, multi-season Netflix comedy series. It also won the 2012 Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best Canadian Play.Choi will discuss the production and its themes with David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director.

The Playhouse Sunday Symposium program is free and open to the public. No performance ticket is necessary to attend the program. Guests are invited to arrive at the Playhouse approximately 80 minutes after curtain time; the Symposium will begin immediately after the performance. All attendees will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and wear a mask while indoors at the Playhouse. For updates on Covid-19 health and safety protocols at the Playhouse, visit https://www.westportplayhouse.org/visit/covid19safety/

Reflecting on his play, “Kim’s Convenience,” Choi said, “In a conversation I had with a friend about how to combat the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes, we concluded that in tandem with condemning such abhorrent behaviors, the proactive part was continuing to write and share stories with heart, humor, and craft so people listen, laugh, and can’t deny how similar we all are.” 

In “Kim’s Convenience,” Mr. Kim, called Appa, and his wife Umma, own and run a convenience store, Kim’s Convenience, in a Toronto neighborhood. Mr. Kim hopes his daughter Janet will take over the store when he retires. However, Janet plans another career path. The Kims’ son Jung ran away from home as a teen. The play follows the fractured but loving family as they follow their dreams. Directed by Nelson T. Eusebio III, the comedy runs from July 5 – 17.

Playwright Ins Choi was born in South Korea and grew up in Scarborough, now part of the city of Toronto.  He is a poet, playwright, and actor who graduated from the acting program at York University in 1998.  His first play, “Kim’s Convenience,” was a huge success at the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival where it won the New Play Contest and Patron’s Pick Award.  Subsequently the play was remounted in an acclaimed version by Soulpepper Theatre Company. “Kim’s Convenience” was adapted into a television series airing on CBC. Choi completed a master of theological studies at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.

David Kennedy is in his 14th season as Playhouse associate artistic director.  He has directed Playhouse productions each season, including “The Invisible Hand,” which received the 2016 Connecticut Critics Circle (CCC) Award for Outstanding Production of a Play, and for which Kennedy won the CCC honor for Outstanding Director of a Play.

The Sunday Symposium Series is supported, in part, by the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel Foundation. Production Sponsor is Adam G. Clemens.  Production Partners are Allen and Lorraine Noveck. 2022 Season Media Sponsors are Moffly Media and WSHU Public Radio.

Single tickets for “Kim’s Convenience”” start at $30 during preview performances (July 5 - 8), and beginning July 9 Opening Night, tickets start at $50 and are subject to change based upon availability. Buy early for best prices.  For information on special offers, including discounts for students, senior citizens, educators, military, first responders, Indigenous peoples, professional playwrights, and groups, as well as options for pay-what-you-will and Westport Library pass, visit www.westportplayhouse.org/visit/box-office/.

All play titles, artists, dates, and times are subject to change.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org, or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).

Photo Attached:  Ins Choi, playwright of “Kim’s Convenience,” at Westport Country Playhouse, July 5 -17.


The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater of the highest caliber and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; special performances and programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.  Charity Navigator has recently awarded its top 4-star charity rating to the Playhouse in recognition of its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.

bornies@optonline.net (Pat Blaufuss) Events Fri, 01 Jul 2022 04:16:19 -0400
Sen. Hwang Issues Statement on Resignation of CT Secty of State Merrill https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/politics/51071-sen-hwang-issues-statement-on-resignation-of-ct-secty-of-state-merrill51071-sen-hwang-issues-statement-on-resignation-of-ct-secty-of-state-merrill https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/politics/51071-sen-hwang-issues-statement-on-resignation-of-ct-secty-of-state-merrill51071-sen-hwang-issues-statement-on-resignation-of-ct-secty-of-state-merrill

HARTFORD, CT – Senator Tony Hwang (R-Fairfield) released the following statement regarding Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s announcement that she is resigning June 30 to spend more time with her husband, who is facing serious health problems:

"As a former Ranking member on the Government Administration and Elections Committee, I had many interactions with Secretary of the State Merrill during the legislative process. While we may have respectfully disagreed on certain public policies, I always found her to be professional, knowledgeable, personable and kind. I commend Secretary Merrill on her years of dedicated public service, both as a multi-term state representative and as Connecticut’s top elections officer. I wish Secretary Merrill and her family well during this difficult time.”

bornies@optonline.net (CT Senate Republicans ) Politics Thu, 30 Jun 2022 05:18:26 -0400
SHU's Farrington College of Ed & Human Dev Receives $260K Grant https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51069-shu-s-farrington-college-of-ed-human-dev-receives-260k-grant51069-shu-s-farrington-college-of-ed-human-dev-receives-260k-grant https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51069-shu-s-farrington-college-of-ed-human-dev-receives-260k-grant51069-shu-s-farrington-college-of-ed-human-dev-receives-260k-grant

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University’s Isabelle Farrington College of Education & Human Development (IFCEHD) has received a $260,000 grant from The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck (PCLB) Foundation to support the college’s Bridgeport Teacher Residency program

Currently in its third year, the program is a year-long, immersive, co-teaching preparation model. It pairs a teacher candidate with an experienced mentor and, when the program ends, the successful candidates are promised a teaching position in a Bridgeport school. The candidates also graduate with a master’s degree in teaching

The first round of the grant payment will cover the salary of a full-time program director to continue the work in Bridgeport and expand it to other school districts. In addition, the grant will provide financial support to SHU’s participating students to mitigate the cost-of-living expenses so they can engage fully in teaching and learning during their residency experience. 

“This grant also will support a faculty learning community to deepen our collective learning about equity and justice in the teacher education space and intersections between that and our own identities and teaching practice,” said René Roselle, SHU’s director of teacher preparation. “This will help faculty develop and become more skilled at detecting and disrupting biases and injustice in their own teaching and guide teacher candidates to do the same. This is particularly exciting and timely, considering the University-wide diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives.” 

“We are incredibly fortunate that The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation has funded our efforts to reconceptualize our teacher preparation program, in collaboration with TeachingWorks at the University of Michigan and the National Center for Teaching Residencies,” said Michael Alfano, dean of IFCEHD and vice provost for strategic partnerships. “Our reimagined program is cutting-edge and works in strategic partnership with the Bridgeport public schools.”


About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers nearly 90 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education & Human Development; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 387 Colleges–2022 Edition, “Best Northeastern” and Best Business Schools–2022 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theatre. www.sacredheart.edu

bornies@optonline.net (Kim Swartz) Places Wed, 29 Jun 2022 05:26:04 -0400
Westport Farmers' Market Partners with Food Rescue U.S. for New Grow-A-Row Program https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51068-wfm-partners-w-food-rescue-u-s-for-new-grow-a-row-program51068-wfm-partners-w-food-rescue-u-s-for-new-grow-a-row-program https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51068-wfm-partners-w-food-rescue-u-s-for-new-grow-a-row-program51068-wfm-partners-w-food-rescue-u-s-for-new-grow-a-row-program

Westport, Conn. - Calling all home gardeners! Have lots of lettuce? Tons of tomatoes? Endless zucchini? Westport Farmers’ Market is incorporating Grow-a-Row Westport to encourage gardeners to donate extra produce weekly to Fairfield County people in need. 

Grow-A-Row Westport is a volunteer effort among gardeners and partners to grow and donate fresh, local, seasonal produce to benefit food-insecure populations in Fairfield County. Based at the Westport Community Gardens since 2020, Grow-A-Row has planted, tended, harvested, and collected nutritious donations of fresh produce and herbs—all delivered directly to agencies in need. 

Last Thursday, June 23, and continuing every Thursday throughout market season, gardeners are encouraged to bring donations of fresh produce from their home gardens, CSAs, or fridges to the Westport Farmers’ Market, 50 Imperial Avenue, between 10am - 2pm. 

Produce will be picked up and delivered by Food Rescue US - Fairfield County volunteers. The Bridgeport FEED Center, Fridgport, Career Resources CT, and Westport Housing Authority will receive the donations.

“We’re very excited to launch Grow-a-Row Westport at WFM,” said Lori Cochran-Dougall, executive director of Westport Farmers’ Market. “Its mission perfectly aligns with ours and we were blown away by the initial response.  Collecting tons of fresh, local produce grown by our community of shoppers for the greater Fairfield County community in need is plain awesome!”

WFM receives philanthropic support from: Abramson & Company LLC; Aitoro Appliance; Alma Mexican Food; Boxcar Cantina; Cohen and Wolf; Compass Realty, Riolo Team; Dharma Massage Therapy; Doc’s Maple; Don Memo; The Drew Friedman Community Arts Center; Gault Family Companies; Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center; LeafGuard; Pause + Purpose; Pure Barre; Sugar & Olives; Terrain; Wave Hill Breads; and Wells Hill Farm. 

For more information about WFM and its programs, visit www.westportfarmersmarket.com and find WFM on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @westportfarmersmarket.

bornies@optonline.net (WFM) Places Tue, 28 Jun 2022 10:58:51 -0400
CT BBB: Fake Events & Phony Tickets Scam Alert https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/publicsafety/51067-ct-bbb-fake-events-phony-tickets-scam-alert51067-ct-bbb-fake-events-phony-tickets-scam-alert https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/publicsafety/51067-ct-bbb-fake-events-phony-tickets-scam-alert51067-ct-bbb-fake-events-phony-tickets-scam-alert

CROMWELL, CT — Many people are looking forward to fun festivals this summer. As usual, scammers are taking advantage of the building excitement. This time, they are cashing in with phony tickets—and even fake events.
How the scam works
You see a fantastic deal on tickets to a summer festival in your area, usually through a link on social media. The event promises live music, all-you-can-eat meals, craft beer or wine, or other fun activities.
When you click the social media link, it takes you to a professional website with fantastic pictures. You enter your credit card information to buy tickets, and you think you are all set. But before you buy, do a little research. Whether the event is non-existent, merely disappointing, or you just bought phony tickets, the result is the same: someone pockets your hard-earned money!
BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous reports from people who purchased fake tickets to real events or bought tickets to events that never materialized. 
One customer reported buying tickets for $82.50 to a "Bubble Run" this month that never happened: "Facebook event page advertised the Bubble run as a free event. I purchased 4 'entries' with glasses and tutus and they charged my debit card. They then cancelled the event refuse to respond to emails. They are still advertising on Facebook like the event is happening."
Another consumer who purchased tickets to a fake beer crawl reported: “Reviews across multiple platforms make it clear that these events are at best extremely misleading or at worst canceled. No refunds are given, even when their inconsistent and mostly-unreachable customer service email address responds to confirm a refund will be provided.”
How to spot a fake festival
  • Research before you buy. Search online for the festival's name and ensure the name advertised matches the website. Scammers often use names that sound similar to those of real festivals.
  • Check for (working) contact information. Be sure the festival website has a real phone number and email address. 
  • Watch out for prices that sound too good to be true. There is no way a festival can offer tickets at extremely low prices without losing money. If the prices are much lower than elsewhere, it's likely a scam. 
What can you do?
  • Pay with a credit card. You can dispute the charges if the business doesn't come through. Be wary of online sellers that don’t accept credit cards. 
  • Look for secure sites. The website should begin with HTTPS (the extra “s” is for secure) and have a little lock symbol on the address bar.
  • Avoid tickets sold on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other free online listings.  Scammers are skilled at providing realistic tickets and fake receipts. Check out third-party ticket sites at BBB.org before making purchases.
bornies@optonline.net (CT BBB) Public safety Mon, 27 Jun 2022 07:26:33 -0400
What makes you crack a smile in Fairfield? Meet Megan Quinn https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/neighbors/51066-what-makes-you-crack-a-smile-in-fairfield-meet-megan-quinn51066-what-makes-you-crack-a-smile-in-fairfield-meet-megan-quinn https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/neighbors/51066-what-makes-you-crack-a-smile-in-fairfield-meet-megan-quinn51066-what-makes-you-crack-a-smile-in-fairfield-meet-megan-quinn

Summer Smiles in Fairfield

Enjoying summer days close to home, at events and venues unique to your hometown, are some of the most memorable experiences in life. (plus, you can get cozy in your own bed at the end of a fun-filled day).

Our series “What makes you crack a smile” puts a spotlight on the local people, places and events that make our community an enjoyable place to live.

Get your flip-flops and summer ON and meet Megan Quinn, Assistant Director of Development at Fairfield Theatre Company

Tell us about your favorite summertime destination in town

Fairfield Theatre Company - a live music venue in downtown Fairfield. We bring together a community of musicians, actors, artists, writers, fans, and supporters. 

What community event do you look forward to attending? 

The Fresh Air Series at Fairfield Theatre Company - free outdoor music concerts downtown on Tuesdays all summer! 

What summer activity in your town makes you crack a smile?

Listening to live music with my community!

Want to share your bubly days of summer with HamletHub? Email us at  localmatters@hamlethub.com

This series (packed with fun) is made possible by bubly. 

kerry@ducey.org (HH) Neighbors Mon, 27 Jun 2022 06:00:03 -0400
Local Organizations Unite to Help Afghan Refugees Learn English https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/51064-local-organizations-unite-to-help-afghan-refugees-learn-english51064-local-organizations-unite-to-help-afghan-refugees-learn-english https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/51064-local-organizations-unite-to-help-afghan-refugees-learn-english51064-local-organizations-unite-to-help-afghan-refugees-learn-english

Bridgeport, CT - Each year refugees seek safety in our country, often arriving with nothing more than a suitcase, and struggling with our language. That’s why the Interfaith Refugee Resettlement Committee (IRRC), Fairfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF), Housatonic Community College (HCC) and its Foundation banded together to help develop the English communication skills of an Afghan family fleeing the Taliban.

This summer, three members of this family are taking English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at Housatonic Community College to improve their English and progress towards their longer-term professional goals. Six family members also completed ESL classes this past Spring at HCC. Funding for their tuition was provided by the Immigrant Success Fund at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, as well as via student summer scholarships provided by the Housatonic Community College Foundation.

For refugees of non-English speaking countries, language is a crucial means of assimilating into their new culture here in America.  However, learning a new language is not an easy task.

“We are honored to play a role in helping this newly arrived refugee family successfully integrate into our community. Some of our HCC scholars come to campus needing ESL support, and our passionate educators are dedicated to academic instruction to improve their English communication skills,” said Dr. Dwayne Smith, CEO of Housatonic Community College.

Many of the adults in the Afghan family here, which consists of a father, mother, five adult daughters (ages 18-28), a son in-law, and three children (ages 8, 5 and 2) held professional positions. The father held a senior position with a women's rights organization, and the young adults were human resources and communications professionals, teachers, doctors in training, and college students. Their efforts contributed to strengthening Afghanistan’s democracy, and attracted the wrath of the Taliban.

The IRRC is run under the auspices of IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services), New Haven.  IRIS pioneered a new model called ‘community co-sponsorship’ as a private sector response to refugee support. The IRRC, consisting of volunteers from three churches, two synagogues and two mosques across Norwalk, Westport and Fairfield, is working to provide services such as housing, social services, medical services and employment for the family.

“Our team of volunteers has provided guidance as family members became acclimated, found employment in their fields, and studied English.  We have continually been inspired by their determination, keen intelligence, kindness, hospitality, graciousness and optimism.  While the family has coped with immense change over a very short period of time, we have been the beneficiaries, sharing cups of tea and learning about Afghan culture and traditions from our Afghan friends,” said Ann Marshman, IRRC volunteer and team leader.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, which seeks to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County, addresses the structural and cultural issues that contribute to disparities, particularly for Fairfield County’s immigrant population. Its Immigrant Success Fund concentrates on improving wellbeing, building capacity and positioning immigrants to achieve success.

“Strong communities make it possible for their newest members to succeed and thrive,” said Fairfield County’s Community Foundation President and CEO Juanita James. “That’s why we’re committed to supporting Fairfield County’s refugees and why we’re proud to partner with the Interfaith Refugee Resettlement Committee and Housatonic Community College on this important and timely effort,” said Juanita James, FCCF President and CEO.

By working together, these organizations are helping this refugee family to build lives here, and at the same time, strengthening our own community. 

LauraRobertsMarketing@gmail.com (Laura Roberts ) Life Fri, 24 Jun 2022 11:10:17 -0400
Sen. Hwang Calls for Financial Relief for CT Residents https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/politics/51065-sen-hwang-calls-for-financial-relief-for-ct-residents51065-sen-hwang-calls-for-financial-relief-for-ct-residents https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/politics/51065-sen-hwang-calls-for-financial-relief-for-ct-residents51065-sen-hwang-calls-for-financial-relief-for-ct-residents

Newtown, CT - Inflation and increased cost of living were on people’s minds and conversations, as the crowd gathered on Saturday at the Blue Colony Diner in Newtown waving signs and calling out for solutions -- asking for a more affordable Connecticut. They were greeted by overwhelming support by car and truck horns and people stopping to share their concerns.

Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) served as the “team captain” that morning and offered the following call to the executive branch and his fellow legislators for fiscal relief in a special session for Connecticut residents and families:

“We have one week left of June 2022 and the state government is quickly running out of time to take action. The Governor or legislative Democrat leaders should call for a Special Legislative session to consider short-term and sustainable solutions to ease the burden of increased cost caused by inflation, supply chain and CT one party rule policies.

“Living in Connecticut is unaffordable and growing more unaffordable and unattainable by the day. The cost of living continues to increase; the cost of oil, the cost of groceries. The economic burden of just trying to balance our family budgets and choosing between basic necessities are becoming more and more difficult.

“That's why my Senate Republican colleagues and I are calling for a special session to adopt nearly $750 million in relief for Connecticut residents, including tax cuts and energy assistance to make our state more affordable for working- and middle-class families and address missed opportunities in the latest Democrat state budget. 

“If you would like to support our efforts and learn more about how we can together create a more affordable Connecticut, visit www.AffordableConnecticut.com

bornies@optonline.net (Sarah Clark) Politics Fri, 24 Jun 2022 11:08:04 -0400
Dowling vs. Carpenter In 120th Connecticut Amateur Final https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/15-todays-events/51063-dowling-vs-carpenter-in-120th-connecticut-amateur-final51063-dowling-vs-carpenter-in-120th-connecticut-amateur-final https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/15-todays-events/51063-dowling-vs-carpenter-in-120th-connecticut-amateur-final51063-dowling-vs-carpenter-in-120th-connecticut-amateur-final

The 120th Connecticut Amateur at Ridgewood Country Club will come down to a 36-hole championship match between two-time winner Rick Dowling and Ben Carpenter.

Carpenter (CC of Darien) was the first to earn his spot in the finals with a 5&4 win over Ben Conroy (New Haven CC). The rising sophomore at Yale took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 second hole and never relinquished the advantage. “I am super excited for the championship match,” said Carpenter. “I just want to go have fun and play my game.”

Conroy, the 2018 champion, hung tough but a two hole stretch late on the front nine proved to be too much to overcome.

Leading 2 up Carpenter pulled his tee shot left on the 202 yard par-3 eighth and faced what appeared to be an impossible up and down. Unable to play towards the pin Carpenter’s second shot landed 20 feet to the left of the hole and trickled down to 15 feet below the cup. Moments later Carpenter rolled in the unlikely par. When Conroy failed to convert a sand save from the right greenside bunker the advantage was 3 up.

“My up and down on No. 8 might have been one of the best up and downs that I have ever had and I think that really turned the momentum my way,” said Carpenter who won the last two holes of his quarterfinal match against Jantzen Vargas (Quinnatisset CC) to win 1 up.

Photo Gallery I Results

On the ensuing hole, Conroy playing aggressively drove the green on the downhill 309 yard par-4 ninth. His eagle putt from 40 feet was lagged beautifully to 2 feet earning him a conceded birdie. Meanwhile, Carpenter was scrambling. His drive went right into the rough and his approach shot came to rest 15 feet beyond the hole. With Conroy, a winner 1 up winner over Chris Ayers (Goodwin Park GC) in the quarterfinals, already in for birdie Carpenter put on a committed stroke and watched as his birdie putt slammed into the bottom of the cup. A back-breaking tie that kept the lead at 3 up heading to the second nine.

“In the semifinals credit to my short game, it was A+,” Carpenter said. “I had some huge up and downs that I think caught Ben [Conroy] off guard.”

On the back nine, Carpenter didn’t let up sealing the match with consecutive wins on Nos. 13 and 14.

In the finals, Carpenter will meet 2017 and 2019 Connecticut Amateur winner Rick Dowling (Golf Performance Center). Following a 6&4 win over Dan Murphy (H. Smith Richardson GC) in the quarterfinals Dowling needed to win the last two holes of his semifinal match against Jackson Roman (Shuttle Meadow CC) to advance.

Roman, a rising sophomore at Loyola University Maryland, led early in the match but Dowling slowly chipped away winning Nos. 9 and 11 with birdies to tie the match. The match remained tied until Roman regained the lead with a birdie on the par-5 15th setting the stage for a duel down the stretch.

Roman, the 32-seed, once again found himself in a familiar spot – leading a tight match late – while Dowling was playing past the 15th hole for the first time since Tuesday’s final round of stroke play. Each of Roman’s previous three matches reached at least the 18th hole with the dramatic quarterfinal match against Dan Gallo (Mill River CC) going 20 holes.

On the 225 yard par-3 17th Roman cracked the door open when he missed the green left while Dowling found the putting surface. Facing a difficult chip Roman left himself with an 8 footer for par while Dowling lagged his putt from 35 feet to within a foot for a conceded par. Roman still had a chance to tie the hole but when his par putt slid by the match was tied.

Seeing his chance Dowling split the fairway with his drive on the 555 yard par-5 closing hole. Playing next Roman missed the fairway right.

Blocked out by a tree Roman’s second shot ended up under a tree and his third shot found the right greenside bunker. Dowling played it safe laying up to 70 yards and then knocked his wedge to 7 feet.

“I’ve been working on nice abbreviated wedges with my coach at the Golf Performance Center and I hit it exactly how I wanted to,” Dowling said.

Roman played a nifty bunker shot to 5 feet but he never got a chance to hit the putt as Dowling rolled in his birdie putt to win the match 1 up.

“I just wanted to stick with it down the stretch. I was losing energy but anything can happen. The pins were tough and the holes were hard coming in so I just tried to hit good golf shots. I’m just happy to move on,” Dowling said.

Beginning at 7:30 a.m. the 120th Connecticut Amateur will conclude on Friday with the playing of the 36-hole championship match. Spectators are welcome.

kerry@ducey.org (CSGA) Todays events Fri, 24 Jun 2022 04:13:24 -0400
Post Road Circle Study Final Report Completed https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/publicsafety/51062-post-road-circle-study-final-report-completed51062-post-road-circle-study-final-report-completed https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/publicsafety/51062-post-road-circle-study-final-report-completed51062-post-road-circle-study-final-report-completed

Fairfield, CT– The Town of Fairfield, the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments, FHI Studio and Tighe and Bond are pleased to announce that the final report of the Post Road Circle Study has been completed and is publicly available. The final report, the existing conditions and alternatives reports, as well as several interactive webpages are available here.

The final recommendations were presented at a virtual public meeting on December 15th, 2021. The meeting recording and presentation were posted to the project website. Comments on the presentation and recommendations were accepted until January 19th, 2022.

The two recommended concepts, a modern roundabout and a signalized intersection were modeled and analyzed to determine how traffic operations would be impacted. Safety, property access, pedestrian/transit access and bicyclist accommodations were also evaluated. Public feedback and community preferences have been incorporated into this evaluation and will continue to inform future decisions for the Post Road Circle. Since both Route 1 and Route 130 are state roads, a significant amount of coordination with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) will be required as any improvements are implemented.

First Selectwoman Brenda L. Kupchick said “I want to thank the members of our community who have assisted in this process by participating in public meetings and responding to surveys. This project is critical to improving safety for pedestrians and drivers.” Further, the Town appreciates the patience and flexibility of members of the Community and Technical Advisory Committees, as well as all members of the community as public involvement shifted to a virtual format in 2020.

Throughout the study, a variety of opportunities were provided for stakeholders to provide feedback on the most feasible and impactful alternatives. Lead by consulting firm Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc., this inclusive public engagement ensured that the public’s concerns, as well as their aspirations for the future of the Post Road Circle area were integrated in the final report. In addition, an innovative data collection and analysis methodology, including aerial video drone footage (collected in February 2020), helped to better understand the complex traffic operations in the circle area. This approach ensured that the Study Team was focused on feasible and impactful solutions consistent with the needs and desires of the community.

Fairfield residents have been concerned about the Post Road Circle for years, as it is extremely difficult for drivers to navigate. Limited crossings and sidewalks, minimum handicap accessibility, and inadequate transit amenities leave pedestrians underserved on a four-lane roadway with over 20,000 vehicles per day. The study was conducted along Post Road from South Benson Road (west side) to Shoreham Terrace (east side) and was focused on the Post Road “Circle” where US 1 and CT 130 intersect with Old Post Road and Kings Highway East.

bornies@optonline.net (Mary Alice Limperopulos) Public safety Thu, 23 Jun 2022 10:45:04 -0400
SHU Adds Two New Trustees to its Board https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51061-shu-adds-two-new-trustees-to-its-board51061-shu-adds-two-new-trustees-to-its-board https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51061-shu-adds-two-new-trustees-to-its-board51061-shu-adds-two-new-trustees-to-its-board

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University has two new members on its board of trustees: Julie Bonacio of Saratoga Springs, NY, and Randy Salvatore of New Canaan. 

Bonacio is the mother of two Sacred Heart students, Gianna ’22 and Luca ’25. She is vice president of Bonacio Construction and has been in real estate for more than 20 years as an agent, developer and builder of commercial and residential properties. In 2015, Bonacio founded her own real estate brokerage, Julie & Co. Realty, specializing in residential resale, new construction and commercial and residential leasing. Her real estate career has culminated in more than $370 million in sales.

She has received numerous business award, including the title of 2021’s Top Real Estate Executive of the Year from the International Association of Top Professionals. She was one of Saratoga Business Journal’s Top Ten Women in Business, one of Saratoga Today’s Women of Influence and recipient of Albany Business Review’s 40 Under 40 Award.

Additionally, Bonacio serves on the Saratoga Care Foundation board and the Flower and Fruit Mission through Saratoga Hospital. She has played a vital fundraising role for many charities, including Saratoga Hospital Foundation, Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar, Saratoga Bridges, the National Museum of Dance, Universal Preservation Hall, Electric City Couture and Equine Advocates. 

Both Bonacio and her husband, Alfio “Sonny” Bonacio, serve as chairs of the SHU Parent Council. In 2020, they established the Bonacio Family Scholarship at Sacred Heart. 

Salvatore is the founder and chief executive officer of RMS Companies, a building, development and hospitality company with a diverse portfolio of residential, commercial and hotel properties. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, he began his company as a commercial sales and leasing broker and evolved into a builder specializing in retrofitting and renovating properties for the business sector. Today, he is an innovative and award-winning developer of single-family homes, townhome communities, luxury apartment buildings and boutique hotels. 

Salvatore is the immediate past chair of New Canaan Country School’s Board of Trustees, a past chair of Stamford’s Downtown Special Services District, a corporator of First County Bank and a supporter of numerous charitable and civic organizations throughout Connecticut. 


About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers nearly 90 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education & Human Development; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 387 Colleges–2022 Edition, “Best Northeastern” and Best Business Schools–2022 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theatre. www.sacredheart.edu

bornies@optonline.net (Kim Swartz) Places Thu, 23 Jun 2022 10:40:02 -0400
Westport Country Playhouse Announces Its 2022 Woodward Internship Class https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51060-westport-country-playhouse-announces-its-2022-woodward-internship-class51060-westport-country-playhouse-announces-its-2022-woodward-internship-class https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/51060-westport-country-playhouse-announces-its-2022-woodward-internship-class51060-westport-country-playhouse-announces-its-2022-woodward-internship-class

Westport, CT - Westport Country Playhouse announces its 2022 Joanne Woodward Internship class of seven theater career aspirants who will enhance their professional skills and gain on-the-job experience working directly with Playhouse senior staff from June through mid-August. The seven interns were selected from nearly 250 applicants.

Named in honor of actress, director, and the Playhouse’s former artistic director, the Joanne Woodward Internship program is one of the nation’s preeminent theater training opportunities for emerging professionals. Internships have formed a vital part of the Playhouse’s mission since 1946. Among the alumni of the Playhouse’s program is composer Stephen Sondheim.

“We are thrilled to welcome our new interns to the Westport Country Playhouse,” said Jenny Nelson, who is the Roz and Bud Siegel director of education and community engagement at the Playhouse. “It is our hope that these talented, young people will gain authentic knowledge about their craft as well as offer guidance to our staff about ways we can amplify young people in our community through the art of theater.”

Westport Country Playhouse’s 2022 Woodward Internship class:

Corinne Brager, company management intern from Richmond, VA, is a senior at Elon University, pursuing a double major in arts administration with a management concentration and drama theater studies with a dance minor. She has worked in administration, advisory, and audition management. Her experience in both performance and administration fuels her passion for new works and creating inclusive theater communities. 

Christopher Conte, marketing intern from Darien, CT, is a rising junior at Sacred Heart University with a double major in strategic communications, PR & advertising, and musical theater. He is actively involved with his university’s theater arts program, currently serving as the co-recruitment chair. He has worked in many different areas of theater including acting, directing, costume design, and stage management. 

Kathryn Duffner, wardrobe intern from Middletown, CT, recently graduated with a BA in theater from Southern Connecticut State University where she was awarded the Theatre Scholar Award and summa cum laude Latin honors. During her time at SCSU, she held the positions of president and costume crew head for her campus’s drama club, The Crescent Players.

Alix Livermore, development intern from Marblehead, MA, is currently a sophomore at Wesleyan University studying theater and biology. This past year, she acted in student productions playing a grandma, a young boy, and a judge. In her free time, she enjoys running, baking, and trying to find really old books.

Nick Nuñez, education intern from Stratford, CT, is a sophomore theater performance major at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY. He has been a part of the performing arts community for years. His most recent credits include “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” and “The Other Shore & Dance Project 2021” with Wagner College Theatre. He has worked with students of all ages since he was a freshman in high school at various camps and schools. During the winter of 2021, he organized and facilitated a 4th-8th grade student online theater workshop with the Stratford Recreation Department and throughout the year works in their arts department. 

Nick Schons, props intern from Fargo, ND, recently graduated from Concordia College in Moorehead, MN, with a bachelor of arts in theater. He works as a freelance scenic designer and scenic artist in the upper Midwest and recently returned from being a scenic artist at the Utah Shakespeare Festival for their 60th Anniversary season. www.nickschons.weebly.com

Abigail Wilson, stage management intern from South Salem, NY, is a rising senior at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, majoring in math and theater, with a focus in stage management. Her recent credits include “House of Desires” on the Pomona College Mainstage, and an outdoor dual student thesis production of “Twelfth Night.” She has been working in technical theater since middle school,

In addition to immersive work in their respective departments, interns attend weekly seminars featuring a variety of guest speakers, including Playhouse staff members, visiting designers and artists, commercial producers, and more. Interns receive a living wage stipend and housing in Fairfield, CT.

The 2022 interns were hired through the Playhouse’s recently restructured recruiting process to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. Hiring panels, comprised of the department’s manager, other department members, and a staff member from a different department, carefully reviewed all applications and asked identical questions of all candidates, creating an equitable environment.  

In addition to the Woodward Internships, the Playhouse supports the Staples High School and Fairfield Ludlowe High School Senior Experience programs, in Westport and Fairfield, CT, respectively, designed for seniors to gain a comprehensive overview of an organization and real-world experience prior to graduation. This year’s Playhouse participants are Leah Chapman from Staples, and Sophia DelGuadio from Fairfield Ludlowe.  

Woodward Internship Program sponsors include Anna Czekaj-Farber. Support for the 2022 Education and Community Engagement Program comes from the Eunice and David Bigelow Foundation; Stephen Corman; Anna Czekaj-Farber; The David and Geri Epstein Foundation; George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation; Judy and Scott Phares; Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, Inc.; and Roz and Bud Siegel. 2022 Season Media Sponsors are Moffly Media and WSHU Public Radio.  

Westport Country Playhouse’s 2022 season includes the Tony Award® and Pulitzer Prize-winning pop/rock musical, “Next to Normal,” about a family’s loss and their endurance with music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, and directed and choreographed by Marcos Santana, April 5 through April 24; “Straight White Men,” about a father’s relationship with his three adult sons, written by Young Jean Lee and directed by Mark Lamos, May 24 through June 5; “Kim’s Convenience,” a comedy that inspired a Netflix series about a Korean family who own a Toronto convenience store, written by Ins Choi and directed by Nelson T. Eusebio III, July 5  through July 17; Obie Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist “4000 Miles,” about two unlikely roommates, written by Amy Herzog and directed by David Kennedy, August 23 through September 4; and Los Angeles Drama-Logue winner and Pulitzer Prize nominee “From the Mississippi Delta,” an inspiring coming-of-age journey, written by Dr. Endesha Ida Mae Holland and directed by Goldie E. Patrick,October 18 through October 30. The complete schedule is available at www.westportplayhouse.org. All play titles, artists, dates, and formats are subject to change.

All audience members are required to show proof of vaccination and to wear masks while inside the Playhouse to ensure the actors stay safe and healthy to avoid performance cancellations. For updates on Covid-19 health and safety protocols at the Playhouse, visit https://www.westportplayhouse.org/visit/covid19safety/

For more information on Westport Country Playhouse or to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org, or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).


bornies@optonline.net (Pat Blaufuss) Places Wed, 22 Jun 2022 13:04:36 -0400