Fairfield's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield Wed, 22 Jan 2020 07:11:14 -0500 HamletHub.com GoTasker Lands in Fairfield https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/48988-gotasker-lands-in-fairfield48988-gotasker-lands-in-fairfield https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/48988-gotasker-lands-in-fairfield48988-gotasker-lands-in-fairfield

Fairfield, Conn. – The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce that its new member, goTasker, held its Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting on January 9, 2020.  The official ribbon cutting ceremony was officiated by First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick.

Founder and owner Frank Festini, also the president of Southport Construction, knows too well the struggles of being a small contractor. He is aware of the overwhelming process of marketing, estimating, scheduling, billing, building client relations, and the effort it takes to remain competitive and, most of all, profitable. 

When he developed goTasker, he was ultimately looking to create an indispensable tool to share among his fellow tradespeople that would help make small contractors more successful.  

After studying architecture and civil engineering in college, he went to work on Wall Street. He transitioned into IT and then worked in software. Wanting to return to building and working with his hands, he began his construction company, Southport Construction, which specializes in custom home building and remodeling. Being an entrepreneur, he simultaneously launched Contractor’s Assistant, which provided contractors with bookkeeping and other office assistance. For more than a decade during that time, he also owned a residential property management company, at which he interacted with many trades.  

When he noticed some major inefficiencies within the construction industry, mainly how subs and contractors maintain communication and line up future work to keep them in business, he put his technology hat on. Along with years of first-hand experience within the industry, he began to create an app that would link those within the construction world and keep them up to date and relevant.  

Frank realized small contractors were not currently served with professional software, like that available in other industries. Rather than trying to make the work of contractors easier and more successful through services (like the bookkeeping company), he decided to build goTasker. The goTasker app is a multipurpose software usable on a smartphone or a desktop computer. Its many features include a scheduler/calendar, automated invoicing and quoting, photo and document uploading, and QuickBooks integration. And, it continues to evolve based on the needs of its users. 

“In addition to the software, I also wanted to create a community of contractors helping one another,” says Frank. So, events with contractors getting together is central to GoTasker’s mission, too. “We all started out loving construction,” he adds, “But then the business gets in the way. Hopefully, with goTasker, we can make the business easier and bring back some of that joy.” 


Business Name:  goTasker

Address:  400 Center Street, Southport, CT   (The office is IN the Southport train station [NY/Westbound] next to the waiting area).

Phone: 203-256-8235

Email: Contact@gotasker.com. 

bornies@optonline.net (Beverly Balaz) Places Tue, 21 Jan 2020 09:45:11 -0500
Beardsley Zoo's Rare Century Plant to Bloom https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/48986-beardsley-zoo-s-rare-century-plant-to-bloom48986-beardsley-zoo-s-rare-century-plant-to-bloom https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/48986-beardsley-zoo-s-rare-century-plant-to-bloom48986-beardsley-zoo-s-rare-century-plant-to-bloom

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Looking like a giant asparagus spear, flower stalks have appeared in the center of two different Agave plants, each colloquially known as a “Century plant” for the decades it requires to reproduce. One of the two has rapidly grown to more than nine feet; the second is more than seven feet. Adding approximately three inches every day, soon the spears will be brushing the high ceilings of the Victorian Greenhouse, where the last Century plant bloomed in 2003. 

The approximately 80-year-old Agave was donated to the Zoo in 1956 by a New Haven pharmacy that was razed for construction of the Connecticut Turnpike. Sixty-four years later, this plant has finally produced a thick flower spike with several side shoots. In its native habitat in the hot, dry American southwest, these spikes can grow to heights up to thirty feet, unfettered by ceilings and roofs. Horticulture Manager Jonathan Dancho says that in the Greenhouse, he will have to tip the base of the taller flower stalk soon to allow it to grow along the rafters, where it will produce hundreds of golden blooms. 

Century plant is a bit of a misnomeras it could take about 30 years for the plant to reach maturity in its native habitat. There are two different types of Century plants ready to bloom in the Greenhouse, according to Dancho. He estimates that the first of the plants will bloom in February or March, followed by the second, larger plant blooming in March or April. The Greenhouse has several more Agaves that are years away from producing a flower.

The Century plant has a wide base of gray-green sword like leaves, which in some cultures, historically have been used as weapons. The leaves are most commonly edged with thorns and end at the tip with a needle-like spike. For years, the plant quietly stores up energy for its final reproductive effort. Once the current pair of plants bloom, probably in two to three months, the base of the plants will die, having fulfilled its purpose.

The agave is not an unusual plant in Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and southern California, where it thrives in hot, dry summers. But it is unusual to grow agaves to this size and it takes years longer to reach the fruition of their reproduction cycle in the cold northeast. 

“We haven’t seen a Century plant bloom at the Zoo in 17 years, and it’s unclear if or when we’ll see one again,” said Dancho. “There are some oddities of nature that are dazzling simply by taking so long to flower. The Century plant is one of them.” He added that it may take longer for plants in a northerly location to bloom, based on the amount of ambient light accessible to them. 

Most likely an Agave americana, the horticultural staff at the Zoo has not been able to discern the precise subspecies in the Greenhouse collection. There are about 22 genera and 720 species of agave plants with spiny leaves. 

One of the Zoo’s missions is to serve as a botanical garden for the community, demonstrating the relationship between plants, animals, and humans. The historical Victorian Greenhouse houses hundreds of beautiful, unusual or even endangered plants, along with a Koi pond. Zoo volunteers help to maintain the plants, adding signage that is a helpful benefit to home gardeners, garden clubs, and houseplant enthusiasts.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo:

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut's only zoo, celebrating its 98th anniversary this year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Guests won't want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, Mexican and red wolves, and South American rainforest with free-flight aviary. Other highlights include the new Spider monkey habitat, the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, plus the Pampas Plains featuring maned wolves, Chacoan peccaries and Giant anteaters. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful, indoor carousel. For more information, visit beardsleyzoo.org.

bornies@optonline.net (Lisa Clair ) Places Tue, 21 Jan 2020 08:21:33 -0500
Great Mac & Chili Challenge: Sunday, January 26 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48985-great-mac-chili-challenge-sun-jan-26-11-348985-great-mac-chili-challenge-sun-jan-26-11-3 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48985-great-mac-chili-challenge-sun-jan-26-11-348985-great-mac-chili-challenge-sun-jan-26-11-3

Norwalk, CT – The chilly weather is here and it’s perfect for unlimited samples of decadent chili and mac ‘n cheese from over 20 restaurants at the 6th Annual Great Mac and Chili Challenge on Jan. 26 from 11 to 3 at the new SoNo Collection in Norwalk.  

The Great Mac & Chili Challenge remains a true people’s choice competition where attendees rate all they sample on a scale from 7 to 10.5 using their cell phone instead of wasting paper in an effort to be more environmentally conscious. The restaurants with the highest average rating in each of the three competition categories are declared champions. The categories include classic beef chili, creative chili and mac ‘n cheese.  

Some of the outstanding restaurants competing this year include both 8 North Broadway of Nyack NY,  273 Kitchen of Harrison NY, as well as Blue Cactus Grill of Norwalk & Fairfield, Burger Bar & Bistro of Norwalk, Cask Republic of Greenwich & New Haven, Bobby Q’s of Norwalk, Dunville’s of Westport, Gates of New Canaan, Geronimo of Fairfield & New Haven, Harbor Harvest of East Norwalk, Hub & Spoke of Black Rock,  Jacob’s Pickles of Norwalk and NYC,  Little Pub of Wilton, Fairfield, Stratford, Greenwich and Old Saybrook, Local Kitchen & Beer Bar of Norwalk and Fairfield, Old Post Tavern of Fairfield, Planet Pizza of Norwalk, Simply Delicious of Norwalk and the Original Vazzy’s in Bridgeport. 

The competition will benefit Food Rescue US in the ongoing fight against hunger.

The Great Mac & Chili Challenge is sponsored by Cabot’s Cooperative, City Carting, Polar Beverages, Mi Nina Tortillas, New Belgium Brewery, Wade’s Dairy and WEBE108. Tickets only available online at www.MacAndChili.com.  

bornies@optonline.net (Jim Keenan ) Events Tue, 21 Jan 2020 06:41:14 -0500
"Judaism's Gifts to the World" Course Offered https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48984-judaism-s-gifts-to-the-world-course-offered48984-judaism-s-gifts-to-the-world-course-offered https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48984-judaism-s-gifts-to-the-world-course-offered48984-judaism-s-gifts-to-the-world-course-offered

Fairfield, CT — This winter, Rabbi Shlame Landa of Chabad of Fairfield will offer Judaism’s Gifts to the World, a new six-session course by the acclaimed Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI), unearthing the Jewish roots of some of the most cherished values of Western civilization.

Beginning Wednesday evening, January 29, 7:30PM at the Berkowitz Chabad House, 452 Brookside Drive in Fairfield, and Thursday January 30, 10:30AM at Jewish Senior Services, 4200 Park Ave in Bridgeport, Landa will show how common ideas of personal responsibility, the inherent sanctity of human life, institutionalized universal education, human equality, the dignity of a day of rest and devotion to family, and a sense of purpose have their origins in ancient Judaism. 

“At a moment in which we are witnessing a rise in antisemitism, it is important to explore what has been the true impact of Jews and Judaism on civilization,” Rabbi Shlame Landa of Chabad of Fairfield explained. “Understanding Judaism’s historical contribution gives us a deeper appreciation for its continuing relevance and a better understanding of how the moral and ethical institutions we take for granted came into being.”

Judaism’s Gifts to the World explores tensions between social and individual responsibility, the implications of monotheism, the sacredness of human life, the meaning of social equality, how Sabbath observance laid the groundwork for the modern weekend, and the underpinnings of our morality.

“It is widely known that Judaism gifted monotheism to the world, but for many, that’s where the Jewish contribution ends, explained Rabbi Landa. “Even this contribution is often viewed rather narrowly, as a religions contribution, which is only meaningful to those interested in religion. But as this course demonstrates, the universal change affected by the Torah is much broader.”

Dr. Darrin M. McMahon, the Mary Brinsmead Wheelock Professor of History at Dartmouth College, has praised Judaism’s Gifts to the World as timely and important. “There can be no doubt that the Jewish contribution to the civilizations of the West and the world is immense. At a time when noxious critics would doubt that contribution, or deny it altogether, the Jewish Learning Institute has offered a timely reminder of the many gifts the Jewish tradition has bestowed. Judaism’s Gifts to the World is a gift of its own, providing a scintillating course in the history of ideas and culture by leading experts from around the globe.” 

As with all JLI programs, Judaism’s Gifts to the World is designed to appeal to people at all levels of knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship.

Interested students may call 203.373.7551 or visit www.ChabadFF.com for registration and for other course-related information.

JLI, the adult education branch of Chabad, offers programs at more than 800 international locations in the U.S., Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Panama, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela. More than 400,000 students have attended JLI classes since JLI was founded in 1998. 

bornies@optonline.net (Rabbi Shlame Landa ) Events Tue, 21 Jan 2020 06:27:38 -0500
Geary Gallery Features Vicki French Smith in February https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/48983-geary-gallery-features-vicki-french-smith-in-february48983-geary-gallery-features-vicki-french-smith-in-february https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/48983-geary-gallery-features-vicki-french-smith-in-february48983-geary-gallery-features-vicki-french-smith-in-february

Darien, CT - This February, the Geary Gallery of Darien presents, “Reflections of Sea & Sky,” featuring the unique and meditative mixed media of Darien artist, Vicki French Smith. Her exhibit runs February 1 – 29 at the Geary Gallery, located at 576 Boston Post Road in Darien. All are welcome and admission is free. 

February featured artist: Vicki French Smith

Darien artist Vicki French Smith is an award-winning artist and teacher. Motivated by nature’s wonders, her art focuses on the magical movement of sea and sky with their varied rhythms and self-replicating tempos.

“There is tension and excitement as reflections and patterns of composition come to life,” Smith says. For the last few years she has been painting seascapes and skies on metal and canvas to create textures and interactions with the variable moods of nature. The methods of strokes vary as she twists and turns her brush, squeegee, hands and fingers to make the surface dance. Colors of blues are successfully blended with complements as she applies the pigment, wiping it away or layering colors. This can be seen in her works of watercolor, acrylic, and oil.

A graduate of Miami University, Smith has studied at the Yard School of Art, duCret School of the Arts, Center of Visual Arts, and Silvermine School of Art. Painting for more than 30 years, and having taught students and adults, has inspired and motivated her journey. Smith has been active in her local community; teaching at the Darien Arts Center, serving on the board on the Silvermine Guild Arts Center, and as co-president of Fairfield County Plein Air. 

She is currently a member of Connecticut Women Artists, Rowayton Arts Center, Florida-based Naples Art Association and the Arts of Bonita Springs, and Silvermine Arts Guild.

Smith’s paintings and prints have been featured in boutiques along the New Jersey shore, libraries, private collections, and various galleries.

She has appeared in the PBS series, Landscapes Through Time, and at any given time her work can been seen at her gallery at Wilson Avenue Loft Artists, Harbor Gallery in Rowayton or by appointment in her studio in Darien, Connecticut.

To view some of her work, visit Geary Gallery online. https://www.gearygallery.com/?artists=vicki-french-smith

Smith’s exhibit runs February 1 - 29 and her paintings are available for acquisition.

Gallery Location & Hours

Geary Gallery is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and is located at 576 Boston Post Road, Darien, CT 06820. For more information, call (203) 655-6633 or visit www.gearygallery.com. All are welcome and admission is free. Consider Geary Gallery for unique gifts!

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About Geary Gallery
Geary Gallery and Accent Picture Framing were founded in 1984, and today are Fairfield County’s preeminent art gallery and frame shop, featuring an extensive collection of original artwork, and custom framing services. With four elaborate display rooms, Geary Gallery maintains an ambitious exhibition schedule to showcase both Connecticut-based artists with national reputations as well as well-known artists from along the Eastern seaboard. The public can enjoy a new show virtually every five weeks. The Gallery also offers a Custom Original Portrait Service, which matches their favorite artists with customers wishing to commission an original portrait of their family, an individual, pet or home. With an extensive inventory of over 2,000 corner samples, Accent Picture Framing and Restoration is a service that is highly regarded for its master framing techniques as well as precision art restoration services for leading museums, auction houses, and historical societies. For more information about Geary Gallery and Accent Picture Framing, call (203) 655-6633 or visit www.gearygallery.com.

bornies@optonline.net (Geary Gallery ) Places Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:06:22 -0500
Linda Colletta Solo Art Show at Southport Galleries, Opens Feb. 13 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48982-linda-colletta-solo-art-show-at-southport-galleries-opens-feb-1348982-linda-colletta-solo-art-show-at-southport-galleries-opens-feb-13 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48982-linda-colletta-solo-art-show-at-southport-galleries-opens-feb-1348982-linda-colletta-solo-art-show-at-southport-galleries-opens-feb-13

Southport, Conn. -- ​Southport Galleries is honored to present The Sound of Color, ​a solo exhibition featuring the latest body of work by abstract artist, Linda Colletta.

Presented in partnership with Sissy Biggers and Dr. Philip Eliasoph of Southport Galleries, ​The Sound of Color ​is curated by Danielle Ogden, Museum Specialist, Adult Learning at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT and Art History Faculty at Fairfield University, and sponsored by TUSK Home + Design of Westport. The exhibit will showcase paintings and works on paper from Colletta’s dynamic breadth of practice. Drawing upon her fifteen-year background as a professional ​scenic artist in the music television industry​ in New York City, Linda is skilled in the craft of creating environments and cultivating an authentic experience for the viewer.

Colletta constructs a distinctive style of painting that emerges from a vocabulary of color. Her work calls upon an urban nostalgia, incorporating a cacophonous array of electric gestures, and a pop aesthetic. With no two works ever the same, her marks, layers, and compositions create a sense of controlled chaos that simultaneously captivates and unchains our attention.

The Sound of Color w​ill begin with an​ ​opening reception on Thursday, February 13th from 6-9pm and will be on view until Thursday, April 2nd.

bornies@optonline.net (Southport Galleries ) Events Sat, 18 Jan 2020 11:57:21 -0500
Fairfield Legislators to Discuss Priorities for 2020 Legislative Session https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48981-fairfield-legislators-to-discuss-priorities-for-2020-legislative-session48981-fairfield-legislators-to-discuss-priorities-for-2020-legislative-session https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48981-fairfield-legislators-to-discuss-priorities-for-2020-legislative-session48981-fairfield-legislators-to-discuss-priorities-for-2020-legislative-session

Fairfield, CT - Fairfield’s Representatives and Senator in Hartford will discuss priorities facing the upcoming state legislative session at the League of Women Voters Legislative Forum, Saturday, January 25, beginning at 10:00 AM. This year’s Forum will be at a new location: Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business Event Hall.

At the annual event, Representatives Laura Devlin, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, and newly elected Brian Farnen, along with Senator Tony Hwang will speak to major issues facing Connecticut, their own priorities and goals for the legislative committees on which they serve, and what impact these will have for Fairfield. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions of all members of this panel. While every issue has budget implications, other topics that may arise include infrastructure, job growth, and tolls. 

League Co-President Margaret Mary Fitzgerald noted the event’s importance: “This is an opportunity not only for Fairfield citizens to learn about their legislators’ priorities, but for Fairfield's legislators’ to learn about their constituents' priorities and concerns.”

The Connecticut Legislature—a “short session” this year—convenes February 5. 

The Legislative Forum is open to the public without charge. Refreshments will be available at 9:30 AM, with the Forum scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM. LWV Co-President Bryce Perry will serve as Moderator. 

This is the first of many Fairfield League of Women Voters 2020 events. If you have any questions about the Fairfield League, please e-mail the League at http://lwvfairfield.org. 

PHOTOS: Laura Devlin, Brian Farnen, Tony Hwang, Cristin McCarthy Vahey

bornies@optonline.net (Holly Lanese ) Events Fri, 17 Jan 2020 09:39:42 -0500
Westport Woman's Club Thrift Shop Valentine's Sale, Feb. 10-15 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48980-wwc-s-thrift-shop-valentine-s-sale-feb-10-1548980-wwc-s-thrift-shop-valentine-s-sale-feb-10-15 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48980-wwc-s-thrift-shop-valentine-s-sale-feb-10-1548980-wwc-s-thrift-shop-valentine-s-sale-feb-10-15

Westport, CT - The Curio Cottage Thrift Shop, operated by The Westport Woman’s Club, will be offering a 50% off storewide sale from February 10-15, 2020.  Do you need a fresh idea for your favorite Valentine?  Why not buy a pitcher with character and fill it with fresh roses?  Or a unique bowl to fill with chocolates?  Or wine glasses, then add champagne?  Heartfelt possibilities for the thrifty abound at the Curio Cottage Thrift Shop’s half-price, storewide "Sweetheart of a Sale."   

The Curio Cottage Thrift Shop offers an ever-changing array of donated glassware, tableware, vases, platters, frames, jewelry, kitchen items, collectibles and so much more.  Weekly hours of operation are Monday from 1-4pm, Wednesday/Thursday/Friday from 10am-3pm, and Saturday from 11am-2pm (closed Tuesday and Sunday).   This thrift shop is located adjacent to the Westport Woman’s Club, 44 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT.

The Curio Cottage, opened in 1999, operates year-round and has contributed over $500,000 in support of the philanthropic mission of the Westport Woman’s Club, which includes direct grants and services to non-profit organizations and charities throughout Fairfield County.  All of the shop merchandise is donated, and tax receipts are available for your welcomed donations. 

The Westport Woman’s Club, organized in 1907, is a non-profit philanthropic organization dedicated to volunteerism and the raising of funds in support of the educational, charitable, cultural and public health services in Westport and surrounding towns.  You do not have to be a Westport resident to join the Westport Woman’s Club.  To become a member, please call the office at 203-227-4240.

bornies@optonline.net (Westport Woman's Club ) Events Fri, 17 Jan 2020 09:29:31 -0500
Take Your Mermaid to the Library Day: Feb. 1 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48979-take-your-mermaid-to-the-library-day-feb-148979-take-your-mermaid-to-the-library-day-feb-1 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48979-take-your-mermaid-to-the-library-day-feb-148979-take-your-mermaid-to-the-library-day-feb-1

Fairfield, Conn. - Fairfield Public Library's Take Your Mermaid to the Library Day features a visit by author/illustrator Jessica Love who will share her award-winning book, Julián is a Mermaid, on Saturday, February 1 at 11:00 am. Love will read her book and then teach attendees how to draw a beautiful mermaid tail. The group will then make its own fabric mermaid tails and parade around the Library with the author. To continue the fun, visitors can stop by the Children’s Room for more mermaid-inspired games, crafts and activities. 1080 Old Post Road, Fairfield.

Julián is a Mermaid is Love’s debut book, published by Candlewick Press. She studied printmaking and illustration at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and then went on to study acting at Juilliard. Julián is a Mermaid received the Stonewall Book Award in 2019.  

This event is part of the Library's Stonewall 50 program series celebrating Pride in our community. All ages are invited to attend. 

February 1 is traditionaly Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCLD), an international initiative that encourages families to take their children to their local library. Launched in 2011 here in Connecticut, TYCLD raises community awareness about the importance of the library in the life of a child and promotes library services and programs for children and families.

All programs at the Fairfield Public Library are free. To register or for more information on these and other programs, visit us online at:  fairfieldpubliclibrary.org, or call 203-256-3160. Follow the Fairfield Public Library on Twitter @fairfieldpublib and Facebook @fairfieldlibrary.

bornies@optonline.net (Barbara Slack ) Events Thu, 16 Jan 2020 11:46:22 -0500
STEM After School Programs for K-8 in Westport Schools https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/48978-why-stem-after-school-programs-for-k-8-in-westport-public-schools48978-why-stem-after-school-programs-for-k-8-in-westport-public-schools https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/48978-why-stem-after-school-programs-for-k-8-in-westport-public-schools48978-why-stem-after-school-programs-for-k-8-in-westport-public-schools

Westport, CT - STEM education is growing throughout the nation and Westport Continuing Education’s (WCE) STEM programs are meeting this need. Why STEM? According to the U.S. Department of Education, “In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it's more important than ever that our nation's youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions.” WCE, a division of Westport Public Schools, works with experienced teachers and diverse education organizations to provide a wide and varied array of after school STEM programs as well as Chess, Rocketry and Role Playing Games. Most programs begin the week of January 27. Online registration is now open on the WCE website at www.westportcontinuinged.com

Do you have a child that likes to take things apart and figure them out? Bricks 4 Kidz®: Factory Fun is the perfect spot for them to engage them in engineering challenges and machine design. Bricks 4 Kidz® brings Life Science to the schools where kids build Lego® models and learn more about the science of living things, from caterpillars to dinosaurs. Put on your safety goggles and join everyone’s favorite, Mad Science, to dig deep into science! In Lab Masters, kids invent, build and zap, create science experiments and more. Later in the spring, Science Wonders presented by Mad Science brings the wonder of electricity, optical illusions and more to curious kids. 

Citizen Invention is another WCE partner that brings cool STEM projects to kids. The first session, Creative Robotics, allows kids to work with popular education robots (including Cozmo and EZ-Robot series). They’ll program these robots to present creative performance and complete challenging tasks! Citizen Invention brings Video Game Design to the spring session. Bring a love of technology and STEM to your remote-control loving kids, who learn how to create a playable, tablet-friendly video game. Along the way, kids learn basic programming concepts and discover how ideas go from paper to screen. For kids fascinated with flight and technology, Hobby Quest presents Airplane Captains. Kids learn important STEM concepts to build all new aircraft models like the Batman helicopter, the long-flying Airshow and more. 

Kids also learn problem-solving and critical thinking skills with Chess Club after school, led by professional instructors from The Chess Club of Fairfield County. New players learn the basic rules, movements and goals of the game and all students study strategies, decision-making and common “endgame” techniques. 

For middle school students Rocketry offers students a chance to construct and launch rockets. For kids who like games “off-line,” join the Role Playing Games Club to learn and develop strategies for playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and more. Knowledge, memory and creativity are reinforced as kids use games to change the world or to discover lost treasures and ancient secrets. Join the RPG! 

For more information and to register for programs, please visit the WCE website at www.westportcontinuinged.com, call 203-341-1209 or email conted@westportps.org. The WCE main office is located at Staples High School, 70 North Avenue, Room 1040, Westport, CT 06880. WCE can also be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/westportcontinuinged.

About Westport Continuing Education:

Westport Continuing Education (WCE), a division of Westport Public Schools, provides high quality educational and enrichment programs to the residents of Westport and Fairfield County, annually serving 6,000 adults and kids with over 700 programs. Classes, workshops, and camps are offered throughout the year after school, in the evenings, and on weekends for adults and children. WCE’s mission is to empower and inspire students to reach their full potential as lifelong learners. 


cjewell@westportps.org (Westport Continuing Education) Life Thu, 16 Jan 2020 11:23:15 -0500
Make Westport Farmers' Market Part of Your New Year https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/48977-make-westport-farmers-market-part-of-your-new-year48977-make-westport-farmers-market-part-of-your-new-year https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/48977-make-westport-farmers-market-part-of-your-new-year48977-make-westport-farmers-market-part-of-your-new-year

Westport, Ct — It is estimated that over half of all New Year’s Resolutions will be broken by the end of January. Not so for Westport Farmers’ Market shoppers. The winter market, held every Saturday at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center boasts 1000 committed health-conscious shoppers a week. Whether you are, or have committed to be, paleo, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, a conscious carnivore, or pescatarian – or whether your resolution is to take better care of yourself with a cleanse or your four-legged companion with fresh food – WFM has a vendor for you. 

“WFM is a year-round resolution resource but takes on special importance at this time of year,” said Lori Cochran-Dougall, executive director of WFM. “We are here to help people get and stay healthy with a diverse group of vendors—all of whom are committed to raising, growing, and making the cleanest products in the state, if not the nation.” 

Fort Hill Farm, Riverbank Farm, EHSTO, Nutty Bunny Vegan Ice Cream, Herbal Deva, Herbaceous Catering & this just names a few..

“As you can see, we have you covered,” said Cochran-Dougall. “Come see us this week to keep those resolutions!”

Westport Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday from 10 to 2 pm at Gilbertie’ Herbs and Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Avenue, Westport. For more information, contact director@westportfarmersmarket, visit westportfarmersmarket.com, and follow Westport Farmers’ Market on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About the Westport Farmers’ Market

The Westport Farmers’ Market is committed to providing fresh, local, healthy and seasonal food, serving, on average, 3000 customers per week from spring through fall, and 1000 per week during the winter market. We aspire to create a fun, safe and healthy community environment for education and socialization. Our mission is to increase awareness, knowledge and support for local producers focused on sustainable and healthy growing practices.  

The Westport Farmers’ Market receives philanthropic support from: Aitoro, Boxcar Cantina; Cohen and Wolf; Club Pilates Westport; CTBites; Doc’s Maple; Earth Animal; Eileen Fisher; Farah’s Farm; Fleishers; Fresh Direct; Gault; Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center; Jesup Hall; Neat Capital; Newman’s Own Foundation; Saugatuck Rowing Club; Sugar & Olives; Westport Sunrise Rotary; Terrain; Wave Hill Breads; and Wells Hill Farm.

bornies@optonline.net (Lori Cochran-Dougall) Places Thu, 16 Jan 2020 09:54:50 -0500
SHU Grad Creates App for Autistic to Make Friends https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/48976-shu-grad-creates-app-for-autistic-to-make-friends48976-shu-grad-creates-app-for-autistic-to-make-friends https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/life/48976-shu-grad-creates-app-for-autistic-to-make-friends48976-shu-grad-creates-app-for-autistic-to-make-friends

Fairfield, CT - A recent graduate of Sacred Heart University, Juliana Fetherman, 23, has developed an interactive web application called Making Authentic Friendships. The app's acronym, MAF, is also her 21-year-old brother Michael's initials. Michael has autism and ADHD. Because of his challenges, it has been difficult for him to make friends, according to Fetherman. "He has always been very lonely," she says. "I wanted to change this for him and the millions like him."

User friendly and safe, the app is free and accessible on any device through: http://www.makingauthenticfriendships.com/  It enables children (ages 13+) and adults with special needs to make friends. The app currently serves individuals in 30 states, 12 countries and five continents, with user numbers growing daily.

Fetherman hopes exposure through platforms like Fairfield HamletHub will help the user community grow. "Please help me change the world!" she adds. 

bornies@optonline.net (MAF) Life Thu, 16 Jan 2020 09:40:45 -0500
Fairfield Mag's Taste of Fairfield WinterFest: Jan. 26 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48975-fairfield-mag-s-taste-of-fairfield-winterfest-jan-2648975-fairfield-mag-s-taste-of-fairfield-winterfest-jan-26 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48975-fairfield-mag-s-taste-of-fairfield-winterfest-jan-2648975-fairfield-mag-s-taste-of-fairfield-winterfest-jan-26

Fairfield, CT -Fairfield is filled with foodies, and is a hot destination for terrific restaurants, talented chefs, and great food and drink. Fairfield Magazine is counting down the days until the return of Taste of Fairfield WinterFest — an event to celebrate food, friends, and the ideal escape from the winter blahs. On Sunday, January 26 from 1 PM to 4 PM, the magazine is hosting its third annual WinterFest – with over two dozen restaurants and businesses at the lavish three-floor Brooklawn Country Club serving tastes and sips. The event highlights the local efforts of charity partner Operation Hope of Fairfield. 

A special VIP ticket can be purchased to have early access to the event and to the Lenox Jewelers VIP lounge from noon to 1 PM. VIP ticket holders may enter the $500 Lenox Jewelers prize giveaway.

In addition to fine and comfort cuisine, craft cocktails, wine, craft beer, and sweets, there will be fun for the whole family in the four-lane bowling alley and with the comedians from Fairfield Comedy Club who will perform at 1:30 PM. AR Workshop sponsors an interactive kids’ craft area with a terrific take-home craft. “We really enjoy bringing people together in the community to celebrate our great local food, drink, and businesses,” says TownVibe publisher Geoffrey Morris.

A complete list of restaurants, businesses, and sponsors participating is available at townvibe.com. Tickets do sell out, so purchasing online is the best bet, at www.tasteoffairfield.com. General Admission tickets cost $50: including food, drink, and all entertainment. VIP Admission—with special early access to the event at noon and to the Lenox Jewelers VIP lounge with unlimited food and drink costs $100. Guests under 21 years old are $20 and children under 10 are free. For more information contact TownVibe at 203-431-1708 or Robin Phillips at rphillips@townvibe.com.

bornies@optonline.net (Fairfield Magazine ) Events Thu, 16 Jan 2020 07:45:20 -0500
SHU Graduates First Cohort in SAS Joint Certificate Program in Digital Media https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/48974-shu-graduates-first-cohort-in-sas-joint-certificate-program-in-digital-media48974-shu-graduates-first-cohort-in-sas-joint-certificate-program-in-digital-media https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/places/48974-shu-graduates-first-cohort-in-sas-joint-certificate-program-in-digital-media48974-shu-graduates-first-cohort-in-sas-joint-certificate-program-in-digital-media

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University has announced the first cohort of students to complete the SAS® joint certificate program in digital marketing. To earn their certificates, students took on additional specialized courses and a capstone project as an extension of the University’s master’s in digital marketing program at the Welch College of Business & Technology. 

SAS, a multinational software developer based in Cary, NC, develops and markets analytic software that helps users access, manage, analyze and report on data to aid decision-making. The company has collaborated with colleges and universities around the world to launch more than 300 joint programs. With more than 83,000 SAS customer sites worldwide, people with SAS skills are in high demand.

Sacred Heart’s master’s in digital marketing prepares students for successful careers, with courses that cover digital marketing, social media marketing, digital advertising, marketing analytics and big data marketing, said Jose Mendoza, program director and assistant professor.

“This is a natural outgrowth of SHU’s focus on science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM),” said Mendoza. “We’re combining advanced topics such as artificial intelligence marketing and big data marketing with cutting-edge tools such as those offered by SAS. The SAS joint certificate in digital marketing reinforces the strength, quality and relevance of our master’s program in digital marketing and sets graduates on a path to successful and financially rewarding careers.”

According to Mendoza, digital marketing remains an essential skillset for those wanting to become professional marketers. Today’s marketing managers who earn higher-than-average pay use analytics to clarify and amplify digital marketing efforts, helping them properly interpret consumer behavior and other data. Industry projections anticipate that growth in this field will top 19 percent through 2024, he said.

The students’ capstone projects addressed marketing challenges using real data and digital software tools included in the SAS suite. For student Ayman Abedelmawla, that project plus the extra courses were well worth his efforts.

“Studying advanced analytics helped me better understand strategic marketing strategies and tactics,” Abedelmawla said. “I already had a B.S. in general management, IS and strategic marketing, and an MBA, but I was drawn to this program for its real-world applications and opportunity for hands-on, practical experience. Specifically, it strengthened my ability to locate and use data far more effectively.”

For his capstone project, he created a predictive model for gauging sentimentality of customer reviews on Yelp. He used SAS® Enterprise Miner™ for research and practice.

Lauren Delgadillo, who serves as a graduate assistant in SHU’s international admissions office, completed her capstone project using predictive analytics with data from the 2019 World Series to forecast winners. She echoed Abedelmawla’s sentiments about the program’s value. 

“Many companies are requiring a knowledge of SAS as part of their hiring criteria,” observed Delgadillo. “SAS has been a truly defining skillset for me, and I get contacted by recruiters on a weekly basis from many different companies. I am very grateful SHU enabled me to develop SAS skills and pleased to receive the SAS joint certificate, which adds these valuable qualifications to my resume for future job opportunities.”

“SAS partners with universities to equip students with relevant credentials that send a strong signal to employers,” said Dan Mitchell, director of the SAS global retail and consumer packaged goods practice. “Retailers and marketers are investing heavily in analytics, hoping to gain an advantage in highly competitive environments. Sacred Heart students earning this joint certificate get a leg up in pursuit of rewarding careers in analytics.”



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 more than 80 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 eight colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis & 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 385 Colleges–2020 Edition, “Best in the Northeast” and Best 252 Business Schools–2019 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 theater. www.sacredheart.edu

bornies@optonline.net (Kim Swartz) Places Wed, 15 Jan 2020 07:51:18 -0500
Meet Author Lauren Acampora at Pequot Library, Jan. 21 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48973-pequot-library-157910571648973-pequot-library-1579105716 https://news.hamlethub.com/fairfield/events/48973-pequot-library-157910571648973-pequot-library-1579105716

Southport, CT - Pequot Library invites the public to meet Author Lauren Acampora on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Her debut novel, "The Paper Wasp", is a riveting knife-edge story of two women’s dark friendship of twisted ambition set against the backdrop of contemporary Hollywood.

It was named a Best Summer Read by "The New York Times Book Review," "USA Today," "Oprah Magazine," "ELLE," "Town & Country," "BBC.com," "Daily Mail" (UK), "Tatler," "Thrillist," and "Publishers Weekly." Acampora’s debut collection of linked stories, "The Wonder Garden," was named a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and an Indie Next selection, and was chosen as one of the best books of the year by Amazon and NPR.

For more information go to:


heitmann@pequotlibrary.org (Pequot Library) Events Wed, 15 Jan 2020 07:46:30 -0500