Madison's HamletHub Tue, 19 Mar 2019 07:04:07 -0400 Singing the Blues in Madison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*This story appeared in Ridgefield Magazine

]]> (Kerry Ducey) Life Mon, 18 Mar 2019 04:00:00 -0400
Two Connecticut Cities in Top 3 Safest Cities in US According to SafeWise. Madison Ranked Number 2 Among Connecticut Towns

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

The report utilizes the FBI’s 2017 Uniform Crime Report (UCR). Madison reported violent crimes which ranks it number 2 of all the cities in Connecticut that report statistics according to the UCR. Madison also reported 86 property crimes, including 15 burglaries, 61 larcenies, 10 motor vehicle thefts, and incidents of arson.

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

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

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

FBI had encouraging news about crime in the US overall:

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

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

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

]]> (Tara Daly) Public safety Fri, 15 Mar 2019 06:58:08 -0400
Quinnipiac Student Follows Historic Journey of The Legendary Leatherman for Charity

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for Evan’s research on The Leatherman.

View the GoFundMe Page and make a donation here.

]]> (Tara Daly) Charities Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:00:35 -0400
The Best High Schools for Math Near Madison in Celebration of Pi Day

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

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

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

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

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

School Score GraduationRate PostSecondary
Daniel Hand High School 93.35% 100.00% 100.00
Guilford High School 91.05% 100.00% 100.00
Old Saybrook Senior High School 87.48% 100.00% 100.00
Westbrook High School 83.48% 99.10% 100.00
Valley Regional High School 78.75% 100.00% 100.00
The Morgan School 73.60% 99.98% 95.24

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

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

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

March 14 was officially designated as Pi day In 2009, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed “H.Res.224 - Supporting the designation of Pi Day, and for other purposes.

“Whereas Pi can be approximated as 3.14, and thus March 14, 2009, is an appropriate day for ’National Pi Day’: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) supports the designation of a ’Pi Day’ and its celebration around the world;

(2) recognizes the continuing importance of National Science Foundation’s math and science education programs; and

(3) encourages schools and educators to observe the day with appropriate activities that teach students about Pi and engage them about the study of mathematics.”

According to, Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. The date—which also happens to be Einstein's birthday—inspires a variety of events every year

Pi day is important because it helps us to bring awareness to the important role of math and science to Connecticut, the US, and the world!

In Madison, there are 1036 people employed who are 16 years of age and older according to the American Community Survey.  Of that total, 73 are employed in “Computer, engineering, and science occupations”, or 7.05% of the employed population. Of those occupied in this industry, 44 are males and 29 are Females.

The average Connecticut town had 6% of their workforce occupied by the Computer, Engineering and Science industry. The average town had 73% of them as male, and 27% as female.

Gales Ferry, Connecticut has the highest percentage of their workforce in Computer, Engineering and Science, Coventry, CT has the highest percentage of Female workers of any town over 1,000 workers in CT.  Coventry’s percent of male workers in Computer, Engineering and Science is 24.4%, and females have 75.6%.

Here are some fun ways to celebrate Pi day:

Celebrate Pi Day with NASA  

EDUTOPIA, 5-Minute Film Festival: Celebrate Pi Day!  

Exploratorium, Pi Day March 14, 2019  

NIST Taking Measure Blog, A Slice of Math Functions for Pi Day  

Smithsonian Magazine, A history of notable moments in the irrational number’s past  

]]> (Tara Daly) Neighbors Thu, 14 Mar 2019 04:00:00 -0400
2019 Triennial Review of the Connecticut Water Quality Standards by DEEP, Kickoff Meeting Tonight

DEEP Kicks-Off a Comprehensive Review of Connecticut’s Water Quality Standards

CTDEEP is seeking comments identifying any aspects of the CT Water Quality Standards which should be considered for revision. Please submit your comments in writing to on or before April 5, 2019.

The public meeting is in Hartford, on March 13, 2019, between 1:30 PM and 3:00 PM, at CTDEEP Office, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT (Gina McCarthy Auditorium).

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is conducting its triennial review of Connecticut’s Water Quality Standards to determine if revisions are necessary. Connecticut Water Quality Standards effect every town, including Madison.  A very informative description can be found here.

DEEP is requesting the public’s input regarding the current standards, and recommendations on what to focus on, as part of the 2019 review. The agency will use public feedback to help identify future changes to the standards.

"The Connecticut Water Quality Standards form the foundation of Connecticut's water management programs," said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. "It is critical that we update the standards to remain consistent with state and federal law in order to reflect the best available science."

The topics under consideration for change within the WQS are identified below. Additional topics may be identified during this Triennial Review process and included in subsequent proposed changes to the WQS. The regulatory process to revise the WQS also includes a formal public review and comment process.

Topics under Consideration for Revision within the WQS Regulations

Updates to Numeric Water Quality Criteria

Since the WQS were last revised, EPA has updated recommendations for water quality criteria. The Department is currently reviewing the water quality recommendations from EPA and will either propose adoption of the federally recommended criteria or provide a reason for not doing so in accordance with section 304(a) of the federal Clean Water Act. These include updates to federal water quality criteria recommendations for toxics, bacteria and ammonia. Information about the current federal recommendations for water quality criteria can be found on the EPA web site at:

Revise the Low Flow Statistic Applicable to Fresh Waters

The 7Q10 flow is currently identified as the low flow condition in freshwater rivers and streams. The Department intends to recommend changing the low flow statistic for fresh waters from the 7Q10 flow to the Q99 flow. The Q99 flow represents the daily low flow rate that is expected to occur approximately 1% of the time. For daily stream flows, the Q99 flow is roughly equivalent to the 7Q10. The benefit of using the Q99 flow is that information on Q99 flows for waterbodies in Connecticut is easily accessible through the USGS StreamStats web site for all locations, not just those served by gaging stations. The USGS StreamStats web site for Connecticut is available at:

Extended Disinfection Period

The current Water Quality Standards contain requirements for disinfection of treated sewage discharge to surface waters at section 22a-426-4(a)(9)(E) of the regulations. This section requires continuous disinfection for all sewage treatment plants located south of Interstate Highway I-95. Disinfection is currently required for all sewage treatment plants north of Interstate Highway I-95 from May 1 to October 1, unless an alternative schedule, including continuous disinfection, is approved to protect those using the waterbody. Based on public comments which identified contact recreational activities within Connecticut that occur outside the current disinfection period, the Department intends to propose an extension of the disinfection period for all sewage treatment plants located north of Highway I-95 to include the period from April 1 through November 1, unless an alternative schedule, including continuous disinfection, is approved to protect those using the waterbody.

Define Highest Attainable Use

Recent revisions to federal regulations pertaining to Water Quality Standards (40 CFR 131.3(m) and 131.10(g)) have included a new term, Highest Attainable Use. The Highest Attainable Use is evaluated during a study of how a waterbody is used and pertains to identifying the highest use level for a waterbody should environmental conditions permanently preclude certain uses of that resource. The Department is reviewing the recently revised federal regulations and anticipates proposing language to ensure consistency with these federal requirements.

Downstream Protection

Water quality in a particular section of a waterbody may be affected by activities in the upstream watershed which contribute pollutants to the waterbody that are then transported downstream, affecting water quality in that downstream portion of the waterbody. The Clean Water Act requires consideration of these impacts on downstream waters when addressing water quality concerns. The Department believes that this concept is currently included within the WQS but is reviewing federal recommendations and may propose changes to the regulations for clarification, as needed.

Water Quality Classification Maps

The Department is evaluating the need to make changes in order to reconcile the water quality classification designation with shellfishing classification for specific water quality segments, as needed. Additionally, the Department expects to update ground water classification designations for consistency with Aquifer Protection Areas.

For more information visit: Water Quality Standards and Classifications and 2019 Water Quality Standards Triennial Review

]]> (CT DEEP) Places Wed, 13 Mar 2019 04:00:00 -0400
Celebrate National Agriculture Week in Madison!

The week of March 10th, 2019 is National Agriculture Week to recognize the role of American agriculture in our daily lives and the efforts of those who shape the American food system. The average American farmer feeds approximately 144 people worldwide, and with agriculture being our number one export, agriculture is critically important to sustaining the U.S. economy.

In Madison there are no residents with the occupation of Ag Worker. Connecticut has 1,804 residents that are occupied by the Ag industry.

“Although USDA’s Economic Research Service reported the lowest figures on record for food insecurity among children in 2015, nearly 16 million U.S. households — which is more than the total number of households in either California or Texas — were food insecure at some point during that year.”

The top ten towns in Connecticut listed by the number of Ag workers are:









New Haven












West Haven




East Hartford




















*all numbers represent residents over 16 years old currently occupied as a  non-management working in the Farming, Fishing, or Forestry industry according to the American Community Survey.

]]> (Tara Daly) Neighbors Tue, 12 Mar 2019 04:00:00 -0400
Sen. Blumenthal Pushes for Bill to Prevent Animal Cruelty

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal recently visited West Hartford Animal Control in Connecticut to push for Prevent Animal Torture and Cruelty, or PACT, Act, a bill to prevent animal cruelty.

According to the Harford Courant, Blumenthal said he and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, of Pennsylvania, want to outlaw a form of animal abuse known as “crushing,” where people maim and torture animals.
"Crushing defenseless animals is barbaric, disgusting, and wrong. There is no place for it in our society," said Senator Toomey. "I call on my colleagues to join me in ending this horrific practice once and for all. Let's get it passed in both chambers and send it to the president for his signature."

For Madison, there is no dedicated Animal Control Partner, please use the following link for the CT Humane Society list in order to find the closest center:

Click here for a full list of animal control partners.

Connecticut has a number of animal cruelty laws based around five crimes: cruelty to animals, malicious or intentional cruelty to animals, animals engaged in exhibition of fighting, and intentionally injuring or killing police animals or dogs in volunteer canine service and rescue teams, a good summary can be found here.

The Humane Society of the United States, National Sheriffs’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys support the bill, according to Blumenthal’s office. The PACT Act is endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States, National Sheriffs' Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

This will ensure that pets in jeopardy receive prompt and often lifesaving care.

Not sure if what you’ve observed is animal cruelty or neglect? Learn the signs.

]]> (Scott Schmidt) Politics Mon, 11 Mar 2019 18:00:00 -0400
It's Time to Spring Ahead in Madison

Tomorrow night, Saturday, March 9, most responsible Americans set their clocks ahead and kiss goodbye (or goodnight) to the hour we won't see again until November.

Daylight Saving Time 2019 (note: it is Saving is singular) begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, and ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 3.

What does this mean?  At 2 a.m. on Sunday, you will lose an hour or spring forward an hour and the correct time will be 3 a.m.  This hour is not lost forever. On November 3, 2019, the clocks will be readjusted backward and you will gain an hour.

For many of us, the adjustment of clocks will be minimal since smartphones, tablets, computers and more adjust automatically.  However, the adjustment of our body clocks might take a bit longer, so prepare yourself for a "tired Monday!"

The idea of daylight saving was the brainchild of Benjamin Franklin, aka, the 'early to be, early to rise' guy, back in 1784.

Learn more about daylight savings time, its history, and more - here.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

]]> (Scott Schmidt) Events Fri, 08 Mar 2019 13:14:48 -0500
First Pediatric Death of the Flu Season Reported in February, Madison Residents Can Still Get Vaccine

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) announced the death of a child earlier this week from influenza.  This is the first pediatric death involving a Connecticut child during this flu season.

“Our hearts go out to the family of this child.  For confidentiality reasons, I can’t provide you with any additional details about this child’s illness”, said Commissioner Pino.  “I can, however, emphasize the importance of vaccinating children against influenza. In Connecticut, there have been reported 12 flu-associated pediatric deaths from the 2005-06 flu season through 2017-18 season.  Only two of these cases (17%) had evidence of current flu vaccination”.

The CDC recommends that Madison residents who have not yet been vaccinated, do so now! It’s not too late and the vaccine is effective as long as influenza viruses are circulating.

Below is a list of Health Centers. We have not verified that each of these centers is still administering flu vaccines so it is very important that you call first.

Name Location Phone Website
Bhcare 14 Sycamore Way, Branford 203-777-7411
Community Health Center Of Clinton 114 E Main St, Clinton 860-664-0787
Community Health Center Of Old Saybrook 263 Main St, Old Saybrook 860-388-4433

Influenza associated deaths of individuals 18 years of age or younger have been reportable in Connecticut since January 2005. Children younger than 5 years of age –especially those younger than 2 years old or those with long-term medical conditions – are at risk of serious flu-related complications, including pneumonia, or worsening of long-term medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and diseases of the heart and nervous system. Rarely, flu complications can lead to death.

It is especially important that all children be vaccinated for influenza, starting at 6 months of age, since even apparently healthy children can become very ill and die from the flu.  Approximately 80% of children who die from influenza nationally and in Connecticut were not vaccinated for flu. Vaccination is particularly important for young children and those with long-term health conditions.

Getting your annual flu shot is also essential for people who are in contact with young or high risk children.  Infants younger than six months of age are too young to be vaccinated themselves and are high risk for becoming infected from unvaccinated people.

Commissioner Pino continues to “urge residents to get a flu shot to ensure protection through the remainder of the season. It is not too late to protect your health.” Also adding, “Everyone can help prevent the spread of flu by doing simple preventative practices such a covering your cough and sneeze and washing hands frequently. Teaching and reminding children of this important health practice is also very important”.

Parents are encouraged to call their health care professional if their child develops flu symptoms, such as sudden fever, aching muscles, sore throat, coughing, and headache. They might prescribe antiviral medications which can lessen the duration and severity of the illness. Antiviral medications are most effective when they are started as soon as possible after the illness starts. Serious flu-related illness can develop very quickly in children so parents and child-care providers should closely monitor children for signs of severe illness.

Commissioner Pino emphasized “Let’s all do our part to protect the children of Connecticut from influenza.”

For more CT Influenza statistics.

]]> (CT Dept. of Health) Public safety Wed, 06 Mar 2019 09:54:51 -0500
Four CT Towns Make Bloomberg’s Top 50 Wealthiest List, Madison Ranked 35 for CT Towns in ACS Report.

Bloomberg released its list of wealthiest towns in the US based on household income.  Connecticut made a strong showing, along with New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and California.

For Madison the mean adjusted income per household was $113,856 according to the 2017 American Community Survey, which has it ranked 35 out of the 120 towns.  The number of households in Madison as per the survey is 1,204.

The Bloomberg Richest Places List includes has four CT communities: Darien, Old Greenwich, Westport, and Riverside. Darien Connecticut is the only town in the top ten with an average household income of $341,090.

According to Bloomberg, the Silicon Valley town that billionaires Eric Schmidt of Google and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg have called home is America’s richest community for the third year in a row.  The town Atherton, California, whose household income averaged $450,696 in 2017, topped the Bloomberg Richest Places annual index.

More than half the top 100 richest places in America were either in the New York City area or California. A handful of Midwest and Southwest areas made the top 20.

For the 2019 Bloomberg Richest Places full data set, click here.

Wealth is concentrated in six counties: Westchester in New York, Bergen in New Jersey, Fairfield in Connecticut, Cook County of Chicago, Los Angeles County, and Montgomery County, Maryland.


Bloomberg evaluated inflation-adjusted household data for all U.S. places, as defined by the Census, with a minimum of 2,000 households and ranked them based on average household income. Nearly 6,250 met the criteria.

Average household income excluded households without any type of income.

]]> (Scott Schmidt) Places Mon, 04 Mar 2019 04:15:28 -0500
Nominate Connecticut’s Environmental Champions

Aquarion Water wants you to help them find and recognize Connecticut's top environmental volunteers.

“Think of a person, non-profit, or company who has made a real difference to our environment. It could be through a volunteer effort to protect our water sources. improve air quality. safeguard land, or improve wildlife habitat,” says Aquarion. Self-nominations are welcome!

Aquarion will announce the winners on June 1, 2019 at a celebratory event at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo.”U.S Senator Richard Blumenthal and other dignitaries will be on hand to honor the winners,” says Aquarion.

Click here for the Online Award Nomination Form or here to download the Award Nomination Form PDF.

More about the contest from Aquarion Water

New award category for outstanding environmental communications (traditional or digital media)

If you know of an individual or organization who has used traditional or digital media to help protect, report or create awareness about our natural resources by informing the public through their communication efforts, please nominate them today.

  • Communications (Category open to individuals and organizations): $2500 grant to the environmental non-profit of the winner's choice
  • Adult, small and large business, and non-profit: $2500 grant to the environmental non-profit of each winner’s choice
  • Student (Grade 9-12): $1000 award

Award Criteria

Awards will be given to volunteer projects that excel at:

  • Significantly contributing to the improvement of environmental quality through the protection, conservation, restoration, communication and/or stewardship of natural resources:
    • Air
    • Water
    • Soils
    • Plant and wildlife communities
  • Demonstrating a high achievement level
  • Creating sustainable or reproducible results  

Any nominated program must have been in place for at least one year prior to submission, with the exception of a student nomination, which may have been proposed as a school project within the previous 90 days.

All nominations must be received via Aquarion’s website or through the mail by May 1, 2019.

Click here for the Online Award Nomination Form or here to download theAward Nomination Form PDF.

*Image courtesy Aquarion Water

]]> (Steven Wallace) Neighbors Sat, 02 Mar 2019 11:39:55 -0500
Connecticut Experienced a 53% Increase in Pedestrian Deaths for the First Half of 2018 as Compared to 2017

Pedestrian Deaths predicted to be highest since 1990 in United States

There were 29 Pedestrian Deaths in Connecticut during the first half of 2018 according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Accidents closest to Madison are listed below.

In recent years, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States has grown sharply. During the 10-year period from 2008 to 2017, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 35 percent (from 4,414 deaths in 2008 to 5,977 deaths in 2017); meanwhile, the combined number of all other traffic deaths declined by six percent. Along with the increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities, pedestrian deaths as a percentage of total motor vehicle crash deaths increased from 12 percent in 2008 to 16 percent in 2017.

Crashes that involved a pedestrian fatality near Madison are:

Roadway Town Date Time Weather Age Actions prior Action at time of
BURRITT ST New Britain 1/26/2018 21:03:00 Clear 62 Crossing Roadway Dart/Dash
FARMINGTON AV New Britain 3/10/2018 20:45:00 Clear 56 Crossing Roadway Unknown
119 Scrub Oak Road North Haven 5/10/2018 19:22:00 Unknown 65 Unknown Unknown
PARK AV Bridgeport 2/24/2018 20:42:00 Rain 38 Crossing Roadway In Roadway Improperly (Standing, Lying, Working, Playing)
CHAPEL ST New Haven 2/2/2018 11:06:00 Clear 59 In Roadway - Other Dart/Dash
80-E New Haven 6/2/2018 1:15:00 Clear 59 Crossing Roadway Unknown
127-N Bridgeport 5/7/2018 4:57:00 Clear 36 Crossing Roadway Unknown
ALLEN ST New Britain 5/19/2018 15:59:00 Rain 65 Crossing Roadway Inattentive (Talking, Eating, etc.)
Wyllys Street Hartford 4/19/2018 6:04:00 Rain 52 Crossing Roadway Not Visible (Dark Clothing, No Lighting, etc.)
95 Vine Street Hartford 1/16/2018 21:53:00 Clear 24 Crossing Roadway No Improper Action
COLUMBUS BLVD Hartford 6/15/2018 13:48:00 Rain 40 Crossing Roadway Failure to Yield Right-Of-Way
EDGEWOOD ST NO 1 Hartford 1/16/2018 12:04:00 Clear 61 Walking/Cycling on Sidewalk No Improper Action
EDGEWOOD ST NO 1 Hartford 1/16/2018 12:04:00 Clear Walking/Cycling on Sidewalk No Improper Action
WYLLYS ST Hartford 4/19/2018 6:04:00 Rain 52 Crossing Roadway Failure to Obey Traffic Signs, Signals, or Officer
VINE ST Hartford 1/16/2018 21:53:00 Clear 23 None Failure to Yield Right-Of-Way
15-S Hamden 5/18/2018 23:31:00 Clear 50 Walking/Cycling along Roadway Along Traffic (In or Adjacent to Travel Lane) In Roadway Improperly (Standing, Lying, Working, Playing)

Many factors outside the control of state and local traffic safety officials contribute to annual changes in the number of pedestrian fatalities, including economic conditions, population growth, demographic changes, weather conditions, fuel prices, vehicle miles traveled and the amount of time people spend walking.

The increasing shift in U.S. vehicle sales away from passenger cars to light trucks (with light trucks generally causing more severe pedestrian impacts than cars) is also a factor. Although passenger cars are the largest category of vehicles involved in fatal pedestrian crashes, the number of pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs increased at a faster rate — 50 percent – from 2013 to 2017 compared to passenger cars, which increased by 30 percent.
Increases in pedestrian fatalities are occurring largely at night. From 2008 to 2017 the number of nighttime pedestrian fatalities increased by 45 percent, compared to a much smaller 11 percent increase in daytime pedestrian fatalities.

Another possible factor contributing to the recent rise in the overall number of pedestrian fatalities could be the large growth in smartphone use over the past decade, which can be a significant source of distraction for all road users.

According to GHSA, More than one-third of pedestrian fatalities occur on local streets.

Pedestrian fatalities during the first half of 2018 declined in 23 states compared with the same period in 2017.ase in daytime pedestrian fatalities.

With a rate of .82 Pedestrian Fatalities per 100K population, Connecticut ranks 16th amongst all the states.

Connecticut's public information campaign, “Watch for Me CT”, was highlighted as a way to prevent pedestrian fatalities.  The “Watch for Me CT” campaign is a statewide educational community outreach campaign involving media components and community engagement in partnership with CT Children’s Medical Center.

A full copy of the report can be found here:

]]> (Governors Highway Safety Association) Public safety Fri, 01 Mar 2019 11:18:10 -0500
Madison Opportunities to Donate Blood - Red Cross Warns of Severe Shortage

Severe shortage of type O blood

HBO, Red Cross partner to offer sweepstakes, T-shirts to donors and Game of Thrones fans

The American Red Cross has a severe shortage of type O blood and urges type O donors – as well as eligible blood and platelet donors of all blood types – to give now to ensure lifesaving patient care isn’t impacted this winter.

Having a readily available blood supply is critical for patients like Luna Giles, who at the age of 1 1/2 has already underwent two heart surgeries and required over a dozen transfusions.

“Each time, the nurse would bring in a bag of blood for her transfusion, I noticed a small label on each one that said ‘Donation Type: Volunteer,’” said Luna’s mom, Jessie Giles. “It made me think about each individual who donated blood for my daughter. I would never know who those individuals were, and they would never see the effect their donation had. But each of those individuals, strangers to us, absolutely saved my daughter's life. They may never know it, but to me, they are heroes.”

Locations in and around Madison for blood donation opportunities between February 25-March 31 are:

Town Date Place
Clinton 2/25/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Andrews Memorial Town Hall*, 54 East Main Street
Clinton 3/20/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Andrews Memorial Town Hall*, 54 East Main Street
Deep River 3/20/2019: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Road
Guilford 3/13/2019: 12:45 p.m. - 6 p.m. EAST CREEK LANDING, 390 South Union Street
Madison 2/27/2019: 12:45 p.m. - 6 p.m. St. Margaret's Church Hall, 24 Academy Street
Madison 3/14/2019: 12:45 p.m. - 6 p.m. Lutheran Church of Madison, 9 Britton lane
Westbrook 3/18/2019: 12:45 p.m. - 6 p.m. Westbrook Elks Lodge, 142 Seaside Avenue

Type O blood is the most in-demand blood type, helping patients facing life-threatening conditions and emergencies every day. Type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what emergency room personnel reach for when there’s no time to determine a patient’s blood type. Type O positive blood is also especially needed because it is the most transfused blood type and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types, and blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Recent snowstorms and severe weather in many parts of the country have forced hundreds of blood drive cancellations, causing more than 20,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected.

Individuals of all blood types – especially type O – are asked to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

HBO and Red Cross invite Game of Thrones fans to Bleed #ForTheThrone

To celebrate the final season of Game of Thrones, HBO and the Red Cross have partnered to ask fans and blood donors to Bleed #ForTheThrone this March. This is the largest blood donation promotional effort by an entertainment company in Red Cross history – with six days of coordinated giving March 7-12 from fans and blood donors at blood drives in 43 states across the U.S., including an immersive blood drive experience at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

As part of the partnership, fans who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross now through March 17 will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five trips to the season 8 world premiere of Game of Thrones. The trip includes travel for two, up to two nights hotel accommodations and a $250 gift card for expenses. Terms and conditions apply and are available at*

Additionally, those who come to donate March 7-12 will also receive exclusive Game of Thrones swag including a T-shirt, stickers to unlock a unique Snapchat filter and other items, while supplies last.

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 and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

*Terms and conditions apply. Sweepstakes is open only to individuals who are legal residents of the United States, physically located in one (1) of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia, and at least the age of majority or older (which is 18 in most states but is 19 in Alabama and Nebraska and 21 in Mississippi) at the time of entry. Valid email address is required. There is a limit of four (4) total Entries permitted per entrant, regardless of method of entry, during the Sweepstakes Period. Winners will be selected and notified by email on or around March 20, 2019. Each potential Prize winner will have 24 hours from the time of the email to respond to notification of winning and accept the Prize; failure to respond within 24

]]> (CT Red Cross) Public safety Wed, 27 Feb 2019 05:46:55 -0500
How Did Madison Area Public Schools Perform on Connecticut’s Accountability Report?

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) released the 2017-18 results from the Next Generation Accountability System.  The study is done to measure academic growth of the same students over time, and include indicators beyond test scores. You can find the full results of the study, and more information about the study on the CSDE’s data portal EdSight at

This system takes a comprehensive look at both school and district performance based on a set of 12 indicators including academic achievement and growth, absenteeism, grade-level readiness, graduation, physical fitness and the arts. 

The chart below shows selected results of the high schools within 10 miles of Madison:

School Index-Score ELA Performance - All Students Math Performance - All Students Physical Fitness Arts Access
Daniel Hand High School 92.60% 96.17% 93.35% 45.10% 100.00%
Guilford High School 90.34% 95.05% 91.05% 83.51% 100.00%
Old Saybrook Senior High School 86.45% 92.04% 87.48% 43.07% 100.00%
Westbrook High School 84.97% 87.44% 83.48% 84.71% 90.67%
Valley Regional High School 82.98% 87.68% 78.75% 80.56% 86.87%
The Morgan School 79.47% 80.97% 73.60% 67.54% 62.13%

The Top 5 CT Schools Ending at 2nd Grade:



Low Grade

High Grade


Bakerville Consolidated School

New Hartford




Highland School





Miller-Driscoll School





Oliver Ellsworth School





Hill And Plain School

New Milford




The top 5 CT Schools Ending at 8th Grade:



Low Grade

High Grade


House of Arts Letters and Science (HALS) Academy

New Britain




Amity Middle School: Bethany





Union Elementary School





Western Middle School





Hillcrest Middle School





The top 5 non-State Agency Schools Ending at 12th grade:



Low Grade

High Grade


Marine Science Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut





Connecticut IB Academy

East Hartford




New Canaan High School

New Canaan




Weston High School





Daniel Hand High School






According to CSDE, the indicators help tell the story of how well a school is preparing its students for success in college, careers, and life. The system even moves beyond test scores and graduation rates and instead, provides a holistic multifactor perspective of the district and school performance while tracing a student’s growth over time.

To learn more about Next Generation Accountability System, visit Connecticut’s interactive data portal Edsight here.

]]> (Scott Schmidt) Life Mon, 25 Feb 2019 08:22:15 -0500