Madison's HamletHub Thu, 15 Nov 2018 21:06:47 -0500 Enjoy a cold one, Madison!

TGIF and raise your glass because today, Friday, September 28, is National Drink A Beer Day!

A recent report by 247WallStreet indicates that beer drinking among Connecticut residents has dwindled as of late. Come on Connecticut! We’re ranked #49 of #50 for beer drinking, consuming 20.7 gallons of beer annually. That might seem like a lot, but not in comparison to New Hampshire which placed first by consuming 40.6 gallons of beer annually!

In the past decade, local breweries have been popping up all over Connecticut and around Madison. The State of Connecticut coined the phrase  “The Connecticut Beer Trail” to highlight the many beer destinations. According to Connecticut Brewers Guild, promoters of Connecticut breweries, as of September 2018, there are 80 operational breweries (with many more on the horizon).

Here is a list of local breweries near Madison that you can check out:

Name Location Phone Website
30 Mile Brewing Co. 39 Ragged Rock Rd Unit 5, Old Saybrook, CT 06475-1518 (860) 339-5238
Duvig Brewing Co 59 School Ground Rd Ste 10, Branford, CT 06405-2868 (203) 208-2213
Little House Brewing Company Chester, CT 06412-1342 (612) 810-5315
Steady Habit Brewing Company 95 Bridge Rd, Haddam, CT 06438-1354 (860) 777-5041
Stony Creek Brewery 5 Indian Neck Ave, Branford, CT 06405-4615 (203) 433-4545
Thimble Island Brewery 16 Business Park Dr, Branford, CT 06405-2924 (203) 208-2827

(courtesy of Wikipedia)

Enjoy a cold one while taking in the magnificent colors of fall in New England. Of course, safety first - before hitting the trail (beer trail) name a designated driver.

For more information check out Connecticut Breweries here.

]]> (National Drink a Beer Day) Neighbors Fri, 28 Sep 2018 12:52:51 -0400
It’s Autumn in Madison! Time to Get Lost!

Get lost in the beauty of the season! Strolling (or running, skipping, walking) through a corn maze is one of the adventures of fall (and it’s perfect for all ages!) Lucky for us, Connecticut is home to several corn mazes that boast beauty, art, and creativity!

According to Corn Mazes America, the first modern corn maze was created in the early 1990s in the United States. By 1998 there were between 50-100  and a decade later, 2008, it’s estimated that there were over 800 corn mazes in the United States! We did some searching but could not find the exact number of corn mazes that exist in American today, but safe to say, the number exceeds one thousand! 

Below please find the Maze or Mazes within forty miles of Madison.  

Place Town Address Phone
Plasko's Farm Trumbull 670 Daniels Farm Road 203-268-2716
Jones Family Farm's Pumpkinseed Hill Shelton 120 Beardsley Road 203-929-8425
Benedict's Home and Garden Monroe 480 Purdy Hill Road 203-268-2537
Lyman Orchards Middlefield 32 Reeds Gap Road 860-349-1973
Foster Family Farm South Windsor 90 Foster Street 860-648-9366
Nathan Hale Homestead Coventry 2299 South St. 860-742-6917

Most corn mazes are open on weekends, but we recommend calling ahead of time or checking the Farm’s website for exact dates and times of operation. In addition to the joys of getting lost in the cornstalks, many of the farms offer fun fall activities including hayrides and pumpkin picking.


]]> (Laurie Gibbons) Events Thu, 27 Sep 2018 06:57:25 -0400
Madison ranks 45 in school spending amongst CT Towns

The quality of Madison’s school system has a direct correlation to so much of what makes it a great town. Home values, crime, and family all receive a boost from a strong school system.

Every town has different thoughts on what portion of the town’s tax dollars should be spent on education. Much research has been done on the effectiveness of educational spending, and the effectiveness that additional spending has on a better quality education and school system.

Madison currently spend $937,255 on education according to Connecticut State Comptroller, which represents a cost per student of $310.

Madison has 3,027 students enrolled, which ranks 57 amongst the 202 school districts in Connecticut.

The amount that Madison spends on education is $937,255, which ranks Madison number 45 in educational spending of the 151 reporting towns in the state of CT.

]]> (Karen Moore) Life Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:39:23 -0500
Weston Best City in Connecticut for Employment according to New Report

Connecticut is home to some of the best cities in the world and we all know a vibrant employment market is essential to keep it that way. How does Madison rank?
Zippia recently ranked 46 cities in Connecticut based on the potential for employment. Madison ranked number 5. Zippia reported that Recent Job Growth was 1.22% and that Future Job Growth was 37.80%.

Madison has a labor force of 9,060 according to the Department of Labor, and the latest unemployment rate for Madison is 2.50% for the month of November 2016. This rate is not seasonally adjusted.

Overall the State of Connecticut has a labor force of 1,888,100, and an unemployment rate of 3.7%.

Weston was ranked as the best, with Wilton and Fairfield ranked second and third. The score was determined by an average of 4 factors:

Unemployment rate
Recent job growth
Future job growth
Median household income

To see the entire list of 46 Connecticut cities, please go to

]]> (Karen Moore) Politics Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:28:38 -0500
Madison Housing Market Data released by Zillow

The housing market for Madison decreased by -0.20% from the previous month according to the latest Zillow survey.

Zillow released their monthly Home Value Index from November 2016 which shows the median price of a home in Madison at $403,900, which represents a decrease of -0.20% from the previous month. The index for Madison is up 2.98% from last year.
Zillow also reported that the average value per square foot of a home in Madison is $ 193.

The average of the index for each town in Connecticut is $242,800, which is up .20% from the previous month, and up 1.85% from last year. The average of the median values per square foot in CT is $163.

Zillow believes US homes will continue to regain lost value since 2007 and could surpass pre-recession highs by mid-2017.

Zillow also reports that rents are more unaffordable than ever in many markets. On average in the US renters spend 29% of their income on rent.

More information on how Zillow computes their price index can be found here

]]> (Karen Moore) Neighbors Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:50:08 -0500
Better Business Bureau Reports Tax Scams as the Most Popular Connecticut Scam

Madison was scam free in 2016, and did not report any scams to the BBB. 0

Reports to BBB Scam Tracker in 2016 confirmed that tax scams are still the top scam, despite a huge drop in reports after a September police raid in Mumbai, India. The list was compiled based on more than 30,000 scam reports filed by consumers on

Madison did not have any scams reported in 2016 to the BBB . In Connecticut, the top scam was described as “Tax Collection” (28), “Debt Collections” (17), and “Employment” (16).

The top three scams on the 2016 list for the entire US – tax scams, debt collection scams, and sweepstakes/prizes/gifts scams – were the same as in 2015. New to the top ten are online purchase scams (#4) and phishing scams (#10). Online purchase scams were common in 2015 as well, but this scam type was not added as a BBB Scam Tracker category until 2016. Employment scams (#5) are also new to the top ten, but only because work-from-home scams, previously a separate category, were included. Another change was the drop of tech support scams from #4 last year to #7 this year.

BBB encourages consumers to learn how to recognize scams and to avoid them by following these ten simple steps:

If you have any questions, or would like to report a scam, please contact the Connecticut BBB here:
BBB Serving Connecticut
29 Berlin Road
Cromwell, CT 06416
Phone: (860) 740-4500
Fax: (860) 740-4515

]]> (Karen Moore) Politics Tue, 17 Jan 2017 09:54:55 -0500
January is National Skating Month!

Madison residents don’t have to travel far to hit the ice! Edward L. Bennett Rink located in West Haven offers a host of public skating opportunities.

According U.S. Figure Skating, the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States, National Skating Month is an opportunity for local rinks, member clubs and programs to celebrate skating, invite new families to try ice skating by offering free lessons, conduct skating demonstrations and promote skating with your local media outlets.

For budding skaters, U.S. Figure Skating has a host of great skating information about ways to get started, suggestions on what to wear, how to fit and lace skates properly and some easy tips for your first steps on the ice.

The Edward L. Bennett Rink is located at 1 Circle St, West Haven. You can find more information on, or by calling (203) 931-6890.

Experts at Health Fitness Revolution say that ice skating has many health benefits including improving balance, flexibility, endurance and strength, as well as overall mental and physical health.

]]> (Karen Moore) Places Tue, 17 Jan 2017 04:34:32 -0500
Learn About Local Owls on January 22 at Bauer Park in Madison

Sunday, January 22, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Bauer Park, 257 Copse Rd, Madison

Owls are amazing birds of prey.  Indoors, participants will learn about their haunts and habits.  Before swallowing their prey, owls separate out what they can’t digest and toss the pellet out of their roost.  By dissecting these sterilized pellets and assembling the bones found in them we will discover what they eat.  Then, the group will take owl calls outside to see if we can get our local owls to answer back.  Recommended for adults and children 5 years and older.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  $10

Please register at or in the Madison Beach & Recreation office at town campus.  Questions? (203) 245-5623

]]> (Bauer Park) Places Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:37:19 -0500
Five Connecticut Towns Named Safest in United States

NeighborhoodScout, a nationwide neighborhood search engine and provider of location based analytics for real-estate investors, mortgage professionals and homebuyers, has just released its Top 100 Safest Cities list for 2017, five of which are located in the Nutmeg State!

“Our research reveals the 100 safest cities in America with 25,000 or more people, based on the total number of property and violent crimes per 1,000 residents,” says NeighboorhoodScout. Crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

Connecticut towns making the list:

  • Ridgefield - #3

  • Greenwich - #17

  • Cheshire - #19

  • Westport- #69

  • Glastonbury #75

According to NeighborhoodScout, data used for this research are 1) the number of total crimes reported to the FBI to have occurred in each city, and 2) the population of each city.

View the complete list of 2017 safest cities in the U.S. here.

Read the FAQ on the safest cities in America are ranked.

]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Life Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:35:53 -0500
Madison, Tell the Winter Blues to Take a Hike!

It’s winter. Daylight is at an all-time low and one of the biggest mental repercussions of this is Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. According to The Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of SAD start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. “Get outside,” they urge. “Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help — especially if you spend some time outside within two hours of getting up in the morning,” they explain.

Hiking is a fantastic outdoor winter activity. In Madison nearby trails and snowshoeing venues include Hammonasset Beach State Park.

Visit for additional trails near you and bid farewell to the winter blues!

]]> (Karen Moore) Life Fri, 13 Jan 2017 06:27:41 -0500
Opportunities for Madison to participate in MLK Day of Service

Martin Luther King Day is a day ON, not a day OFF, as proclaimed by United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative.
There is a service opportunity called Decorate Lunch Bags close to Madison.

Decorate Lunch Bags
Volutneers will be decorating lunch bags for the free lunch program to reduce stigma for children by sharing inspiring messages and artwork
For information, please click here:

According to United We Serve, The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community service that helps empower and strengthen local communities.
United We Serve offers tools and resources for organizations and individuals to become engaged in service activities to honor Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 16, 2017.

Visit the MLK Day of Service website for more information on how you can get involved and make the King Day of Service, "A Day On, Not a Day Off!"

Learn about the MLK Day of Service opportunity near Madison by clicking

]]> (Karen Moore) Life Thu, 12 Jan 2017 09:51:22 -0500
Madison Residents being asked to give help with Red Cross Blood Drive

As freezing temperatures and harsh weather grip much of the nation, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to make an appointment to give blood or platelets to help meet the constant need for blood this winter.

Madison residents are being asked to give blood to help those in need.

Millions of people are expected to take to the roads, rail and air to celebrate the season, which can cause fewer donors to be available and lead to a decline in blood and platelet donations. In addition, severe winter weather and seasonal illnesses can temporarily prevent some from giving. Donors with all blood types are needed now to help patients. As a special thank you for taking the time to donate, those who come out to give through Jan. 8 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

“Many of us celebrate this time of year with loved ones, but patients may spend the holidays and ring in the new year from a hospital room,” said Alyson Barraza of the Red Cross Connecticut Blood Services Region. “Blood and platelet donors can bring joy to patients and their families by giving blood or platelets to help ensure patients receive the lifesaving treatments they need.”

Additional upcoming blood donation opportunities Near Madison:

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit and follow the instructions on the site.
For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

]]> (Karen Moore) Life Tue, 10 Jan 2017 11:53:03 -0500
Gluten-Free Connecticut - Mom Starts State's Largest Gluten-Free Directory



Gluten-Free Connecticut, LLC announces the launch of, the state’s most comprehensive and up-to-date gluten-free resource. Abby Helman Kelly, a Simsbury mom of four who has been gluten free for many years, created the site after noting the lack of a comprehensive and up-to-date resource for gluten-free living in Connecticut.

A third of the American population is currently trying to avoid gluten at some level. As a result, demand for gluten-free products has grown, and the food industry has responded. In Connecticut, restaurants, bakeries, markets and even food trucks now offer gluten-free options. However, sifting through this growing number of dining choices can be daunting. Kelly has created a directory of over 700 gluten-friendly eateries and businesses in the state, with new listings added weekly. Users can easily browse through restaurants, filtering results by location, cuisine, or food item. Business owners and users are encouraged to submit listings for inclusion in the directory, at no cost. The site also offers informative articles on healthy eating and wellness, written by Connecticut-based health and wellness experts, as well as gluten-free news, restaurant visits, recipes, and dining hints from around the state.

Editor's Note: When you plug in Madison to the Gluten Free Connecticut database, Scranton Seahorse Inn (on Boston Post Road) is a highlighted business. Upon contacting the Scranton Seahorse, Chef Michael offered the following recipe as an example of the high quality gluten-free options available at their inn.

Michael says, "When I have guests check in and ask for a gluten-free breakfast this is one that always satisfies. This has become my standard pancake recipe. I don’t even tell my gluten-eating guests they are gluten-free anymore (they are that good).

Makes 12 pancakes

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes

1 1⁄2 cups buckwheat flour
1⁄4 cup flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons sugar (preferably turbinado but granulated works too) 2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 very ripe bananas (about 1 1⁄2 cups mashed until smooth)
2 large eggs
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

In a medium bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients

In another bowl whisk together the eggs, yogurt, milk, and extract. Whisk in the mashed bananas. Stir in the dry ingredients and the melted butter until well combined. Try not to over mix.

Heat your pancake griddle or skillet over a medium-hi heat.

Measure 1⁄4 cup for each pancake and pour onto your heated surface. Space them apart so they cook and so you can flip them. Bubbles will form on the top when they are ready to flip (about 2 minutes). Cook for another 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve sliced bananas and toasted pecans. Top with pure maple syrup. 


For more information about Gluten-Free Connecticut, contact:  Abby Helman Kelly (860)836-5041, 

]]> (HamletHub) Life Sun, 25 Sep 2016 16:43:41 -0400
Free Yoga Week

Madison's Life Full Yoga: Free Yoga for National Yoga Month and Childhood Cancer Month
Life Full Yoga, 20 Wall St Madison CT celebrates Yoga Month and Childhood Cancer Month this September.  Throughout the month of September, people across the country will have access to an entire week of free yoga classes by visiting The offer is part of the National Yoga Month campaign which is designed to educate, inspire and generate awareness of the positive impact of yoga on health. New students can visit and search for free yoga classes with Life Full Yoga in Madison and print a Yoga Month Card to be redeemed for One Week Free Yoga. Life Full Yoga is also offering other free events during the month of September for regular and returning students. 
Life Full Yoga also seeks to inspire people to dedicate their yoga practice to children with cancer as part of Childhood Cancer Kids initiative to raise awareness about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and their mission to provide yoga to children with cancer.  Yoga sessions can be logged at
During National Yoga Month, millions will come together for free events and activities. Festivities will take place across the U.S., with hundreds of studios, teachers, individuals and organizers taking part in their own hometowns. The events are all designed to educate people about the mind and body benefits of yoga practice. “We are all looking for ways to take an active role in managing our health.” said Johannes Fisslinger, co-founder of National Yoga Month. “Preventative wellness can be accessed by simply unrolling a yoga mat!” As part of its mission to provide actionable guidance and tools, National Yoga Month is providing people with an opportunity to try yoga for free. 
About National Yoga Month
In 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services designated September as National Yoga Month, one of a select number of national health observances. That same year, thousands of yoga and health enthusiasts participated in a 10 City Yoga Health Festival Tour featuring yoga classes, lectures, music, entertainment, exhibits. Since then, the initiative has taken root as a global awareness campaign, educating, inspiring and motivating people to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Each September over 2,000 yoga studios will participate in the One Week Free Yoga program and host hundreds yoga classes and events.
The Yoga Month campaign is administered by the Yoga Health Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization registered in the State of California. All funds benefit the national awareness campaign and yoga health education for at-risk kids in schools.
]]> (Life Full Yoga) Life Sun, 11 Sep 2016 08:15:57 -0400
Surf and Turf: Making Environmental Connections between Landscape and along Island Sound

Surf & Turf: Making Environmental Connections between Landscaping and Long Island Sound. September 13, First Congregational Church Hall, Meetinghouse Lane, Madison, CT. 12:45 pm Free and Open to the Public

The Long Island Sound Study is a two state, interagency partnership that works with numerous agencies and groups to restore and protect Long Island Sound. An estuary of national significance, LIS needs everyone's help to preserve the long-term economic, recreational, and natural assets that it provides.

Please join the Garden Club of Madison on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at the First Congregational Church-Madison at 12:45 pm for a program presented by Judy Preston Long Island Sound Study/CT Sea Grant.Judy Preston, Connecticut Outreach Program Coirdinator for Ling Island Sound Study (LISS) and a staff member at CT Sea Grant.

An ecologist and passionate gardener, Judy created Sound Gardening for Water Quality, a multi-tiered program that includes the Advanced Master Gardener Coastal Certificate Program.  LISS is a two/state, interagency partnership that works with numerous agencies and groups to restore and protect Long Island Sound.

]]> (Garden Club of Madison) Events Sat, 10 Sep 2016 13:00:56 -0400