Newcanaan's HamletHub Mon, 01 Mar 2021 18:13:09 -0500 Spring into Undies Campaign Underway!

The Undies Project is running an online campaign, “Spring into Undies” to raise money to purchase new underwear for those struggling during these challenging times. 

The “Spring into Undies” campaign platform showcases a short video compilation from Little Pub, Sophia’s, Aux Délices, Pinky, Sushi Soba and Shreve, Crump and Low - just a few of the many local businesses that have unfailingly supported The Undies Project over the years.  There is also a mini silent auction running from March 1st – 14th.  The goal of the campaign is to raise $10,000.

The mission of The Undies Project is to provide new underwear to men, women and children in need to improve their lives.

Underwear is the most under-donated, yet most needed, item of clothing. No one should be deprived of the simple, daily necessity of clean underwear that many of us take for granted. 

Hygiene and physical comfort are only a part of this basic human need. New, clean underwear also provides dignity and self-esteem. For many, underwear is a necessity, not a luxury. 

To donate, bid and watch the video go to  “Spring into Undies” runs until March 31st.

The Undies Project is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

For more information email

]]> (Lucy Langley) Charities Mon, 01 Mar 2021 07:23:02 -0500
Rotary Club of New Canaan deadline for Grant Applications is March 31

Rotary Club of New Canaan 2021 Grant Opportunities

The Rotary Club of New Canaan's annual grant application process is underway! Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2021 from registered 501 c (3) organizations in New Canaan and neighboring areas for grants in one of the following two categories only:

1.      Health and Wellness

2.      Education and Literacy

Rotary Club of New Canaan Announces 2021 Grant Opportunities

The Rotary Club of New Canaan has opened its annual grant application process. Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2021 from registered 501 c (3) organizations in New Canaan and neighboring areas for grants in one of the following two categories only:

1.      Health and Wellness

2.      Education and Literacy

These are based on two of Rotary International’s six Areas of Focus that are particularly applicable to our local community. Our club directs part of the funds it raises locally to other Areas of Focus through contributions to regional, national and international Rotary initiatives.

With this notice, we invite qualifying organizations to submit a grant application. The request can be made to fund special projects and capital improvements, as well as operating funds. The maximum dollar request is $1,500. Applicants are requested to provide the following information (no more than two pages please):

·                 Name of the non-profit organization and IRS registration number

·                 Contact name, with email address and phone number

·                 A brief history of the organization, its mission, and major accomplishments

·                 The specific dollar amount requested (maximum request $1,500) and a description of the purpose for which funding is sought  

·                 State whether the funds requested will cover the whole project or a portion of it

·                 A description of how your program participants will benefit

You may also provide information about whether there are service opportunities for Rotarians if you wish. We are a small club but are, first and foremost, a service organization.

The deadline for applications is March 31, 2021.

Please submit your application electronically (no hard copy) to the following email

Any questions about the application process should also be sent to this email address.

Organizations receiving grants will be notified by early May and funds will be distributed at an event in late May.

The Rotary Club of New Canaan was founded in 1959 and has funded hundreds of local civic efforts and provided support for many organizations in New Canaan and neighboring communities. The proceeds from the Club’s annual LobsterFest event, held annually on the grounds of the New Canaan Historical Society in September, fund the grants. The Rotary Club meets on the first four Thursdays of every month at 12:15 p.m. at Waveny House (at nearby Lapham Community Center in the summer) and via ZOOM during the COVID Pandemic.  Rotarians and guests are welcome.  To confirm meeting location on any given week, please email 

]]> (Rotary Club of New Canaan) Charities Mon, 01 Mar 2021 05:39:10 -0500
Chamber Presents Before Hours with New Canaan First Selectman, Kevin Moynihan on March 31

Before Hours: The First Selectman To Address The Chamber

Please join on us Wednesday, March 31st at 8:00 AM for First Selectman Kevin Moynihan’s  annual address to the New Canaan Business Community.

The meeting will be held via Zoom Link is below. The event is sponsored by The Chamber of Commerce and hosted by the New Canaan Library.


]]> (New Canaan Chamber) Events Fri, 26 Feb 2021 09:50:15 -0500
One Author New Canaan Community Read Welcomes Architectural Historian Malka Simon

During the month of March, New Canaan Library celebrates “One Author New Canaan” and the literary works of award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson with programming that supports, and honors, themes found throughout her work. A great deal of Jacqueline Woodson’s novels take place against the backdrop of Brooklyn. Join professor Malka Simon, Ph.D. for an exploration of the architecture of Brooklyn on Wednesday, March 3, at 7 PM EST. Please register at; Zoom link will be provided upon registration.

The borough of Brooklyn is often the setting of Jacqueline Woodson’s stories, but what does that setting look like? Professor Malka Simon, PhD, will offer a fascinating examination of the diverse architecture of Brooklyn, examining a variety of neighborhoods and buildings across the borough and considering the history of and meaning behind Brooklyn’s evolving landscapes. Some of the topics she will raise and discuss include what the built environment can tell us about the people who settled and lived their lives in Brooklyn, and how the structures of the borough reflect social meaning, and the changing nature of Brooklyn over time.

Malka Simon is an architectural historian specializing in modern architecture and urban development in the United States and Europe. She teaches courses at Brooklyn College on the history of architecture and urban design, and on New York City’s architectural development. Her research examines Brooklyn’s industrial landscapes of the early twentieth century and considers the intersections between architectural landscape and social history. She is currently working on a project that frames Brooklyn’s industrial architecture within the broader context of New York City’s outer borough landscapes. Ms. Simon holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

]]> (KatherineBlance) Events Fri, 26 Feb 2021 07:57:35 -0500
A Record-Breaking Fairfield County’s Giving Day Raises $2.25 Million for Nearly 400 Local Nonprofits

14,828 Individuals Generously Contribute to Region’s Biggest Day of Philanthropy, Powered by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

 Fairfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF) today announced record-breaking results for its 8th annual Fairfield County’s Giving Day, which was held yesterday, Thursday, February 25, 2021. 

A total $2,250,154 was raised from 14,828 donors who made 21,187 total gifts — all Fairfield County’s Giving Day records — in support of 394 local nonprofits during the online 24-hour giving marathon.  The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified nonprofit needs and on Fairfield County’s Giving Day this year, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and businesses from across the region came together to give where they live and work.

“Everything about this year has been different -- everything but the generosity of Fairfield County donors and we thank every donor for their meaningful contributions.  We’re so grateful for the extraordinary, record-breaking response from our community for Fairfield County’s Giving Day 2021. While the pandemic made it impossible for nonprofits to raise funds in traditional in-person events, thousands responded to the call on Fairfield County’s Giving Day, contributing critical funds at a critical time for hundreds of local nonprofits.  The Community Foundation is honored to help make this truly momentous day of compassion, kindness, and goodwill possible for the communities we call home and all of our neighbors,” said Juanita James, President & CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

With the backing of Champion Sponsor, Bank of America, for an eighth year in a row, and other generous sponsors, this year’s record results exceeded prior high totals of $1,719,595 (+31% from 2019); 13,161 unique donors (+13% from 2015); and 17,236 total donations made (+23% from 2020). Since its inception by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation in 2014, a total of $11,557,543 has been raised from 118,252 total gifts for 1,945 local nonprofits on Fairfield County’s Giving Day.

“Yesterday’s phenomenal Giving Day results are a reflection of the hardworking nonprofit community that has motivated so many donors to give back in recognition of their dedication and resiliency,” said Bill Tommins, President, Bank of America, Southern Connecticut. “In our eighth year as Champion Sponsor, the impact that yesterday will have on nonprofits within our communities will be substantial and long lasting, and we are proud to rally behind those making a difference.”

The community building-aspect of Giving Day continues to be a critical aspect of the initiative. As the region’s biggest philanthropic event of the year, Giving Day encourages thousands of individuals to come together and make a difference in the lives of their neighbors across all 23 cities and towns of Fairfield County.  Participating nonprofits represent a wide array of causes including the arts, education, animal welfare, human services, housing, and more. In addition to raising funds, Giving Day helps the more than 400 participating nonprofit organizations in increasing awareness about the important work they do across the region, while also providing trainings and workshops to empower virtual fundraising, marketing, and other resources.

Generous sponsors provided a bonus pool of more than $140,000 in prize money for participating nonprofits this year, another record total, surpassing prior highs in prize money by 40%.  Winners of Fairfield County’s Giving Day 2021 bonus prizes included:

  • Nonprofit Grand Prize: Most Unique Donors ($15,000 prize):
  • LifeBridge Community Services
  • Nonprofit Grand Prize: Most Dollars Raised ($10,000 prize)
  • The Greater Fairfield County Foundation, Inc. (not affiliated with FCCF)
  • Rookie of the Year ($1,000 prize to the first-time Giving Day participant with the most unique donors):
  • Lucky Dog Refuge

For a full list of prize winners visit To review the full list of nonprofit fundraisers, inclusive of prize money, view the final leaderboard at

Separately, grant-prize winners of the 2021 Why I Give Video Submission Contest were announced on Giving Day, and included: Grand Prize: Fairfield Center Stage; Runners Up: New Canaan Mounted Troop, Kids Helping Kids, and Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue (ROAR).  To view these winning videos, visit:

To view a recording of the Giving Day Virtual Launch Party that kicked off the day, visit

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation extends its gratitude to sponsors including Champion Sponsor, Bank of America; County Sponsor: Hearst Connecticut Media Group; Neighborhood Sponsor: Barbara Benton Davis Fund at FCCF, Back to You Fund at FCCF, Haddad & Partners, Altice; Power Hour Sponsor: The Jeniam Foundation, Fund for Women & Girls at FCCF, Immigrant Success Fund at FCCF, Herb B. West Award Fund at FCCF, Geller-Conarck Memorial Fund at FCCF, TargetOnstar, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Bridgewater Associates; Town Square Sponsors: Albourne Partners, Webster Private Bank, Greater Norwalk Chamber, Yale New Haven Health Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Band Central; Magazine Partner: Moffly Media; Media Partners: 95.9 The Fox, Star 99.9, WICC 600, WEBE 108.

About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation 

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy as a means to create change in Fairfield County, focusing on innovative and collaborative solutions to critical issues impacting the community. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Community Foundation is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards and has awarded over $337.5 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond since 1992. As a trusted nonprofit partner and thought leader, the organization brings together community organizers, business experts, and philanthropists to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County with a focus on eliminating disparities in education, employment, housing, and health. Our goal is to create a vital and inclusive community, where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.  Listen to the Fairfield County Thrives podcast at


]]> ( Patty McQueen) Charities Fri, 26 Feb 2021 05:52:13 -0500
New Canaan High School Theatre Fundraising Gala Streamed on February 27 Features Talent-packed Cast!

New Canaan High School Theatre's first annual Alumni Fundraising Gala will be streamed on Saturday, February 27th at 7 PM and will feature a talent-packed cast.

Broadway veteran and Hello Girls! Director Judy McLane and talented NCHS Theatre alumni who have performed across the United States and on Broadway will be returning to raise funds for the program.

The alumni include Kate Simone (2005), Christian Libonati (2003), Lucy Horton (2004), Christy Coco (2013), Jenny Daly (2016), Allie Demers (2017), Jacob Freedgood (2016), Will and Ben Dooley (2018 & 2020) and more!

The Fundraising Gala will also feature a special appearance by the NCHS cast of Oklahoma!

Ticket holders will be emailed a streaming link on the day of the performance.

Tickets are available now at our website
The show will stream online on Saturday, February 27 at 7:00pm. On the morning of the performance, you will receive an email with the direct link to view the show.
Learn more here.
]]> (NCHS Theatre) Events Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:34:26 -0500
New Canaan Nature Center Animal Meet and Greet via Zoom Starts on March 3!

Wednesdays, beginning March 3rd at 3pm, New Canaan Nature Center will offer a FREE Zoom animal meet and greet program!

Each week, join an NCNC Naturalist to meet a couple of LIVE animals to learn about what makes them unique: where they live, what they eat, and how they are well-adapted to survive in their habitats.

This series runs from March 3rd - April 28th (excluding April 7th).

Pre-registration is required by 4pm on the Tuesday before each program. Register HERE.

]]> (New Canaan Nature Center) Events Thu, 25 Feb 2021 06:21:31 -0500
Why Small Businesses Matter in New Canaan: T.A.O. Promotional Model Agency

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT T.A.O. Promotional Model Agency!

Four questions with Tracey Ozendo, founder of T.A.O. Promotional Model Agency.

Why did I start my business?

I was in the fashion and modeling business in the past. Starting a promotional model agency in the Fairfield County area is a niche in the market. I'm able to use my expertise and vast experience to help companies and small businesses promote their events. Our company is fantastic for lead generation as well! We match our professional network of talent to the specific needs of our clients.

What is my best-selling product or service?

The pandemic seems to have opened an interesting door for us. I started the business in 2019 with the intention of offering Promotional talent to area trade shows, events, retailers, restaurants, etc.  While this will pick up soon (when we're relatively virus-free), at the moment, we are offering our talent to businesses so they can update their portfolios, providing them exposure within the print and video industry.

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

Presently, T.A.O Promotional Model Agency is working with Fairfield Video Group on their upcoming area coffee shop business promotions. More businesses to follow!

How have we reimagined our business?

As a new business, our goal is to remain a promotional model and brand ambassador business with a new offshoot of models for print and video work.

T.A.O. Promotional Model Agency is located at P.O. Box 1323 in New Canaan. Visit them online here, and make sure to check out their Facebook and Instagram pages as well!

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

]]> (Dan) Places Wed, 24 Feb 2021 08:04:16 -0500
Connecticut Senator Introduces Jennifer's Law in Honor of New Canaan Mother Jennifer Dulos

Connecticut Senator Alex Kasser (D) Greenwich, Stamford and New Canaan, has introduced “Jennifer’s Law,” for the 2021 Legislative session. The bill is named in honor of Jennifer Dulos, the New Canaan mother who was murdered by her husband while she was pleading for her and her children’s safety in family court and whose five children are now orphaned.
The focus of the bill is to update and modernize the definition of Domestic Violence (DV) in Connecticut state law to include Coercive Control - a pattern of abuse which is not necessarily physical that isolates, dominates and intimidates a victim into submission through a pattern of behavior. This can include assault, psychological abuse, financial abuse, revenge porn, stalking and other forms of domination and threat. The bill would also prioritize child safety in custody proceedings by making DV, including child abuse, the first factor assessed by the family court in a case involving custody.
The bill also requires Coercive Control training by professionals with direct experience working with survivors, as well as legal support for victims seeking a protective order from the Court. Kasser’s bill would require judges to recognize victims of DV and child abuse and give them the safety and protection they deserve. 
“When women are the victims of abuse, they seek safety for themselves and their children. Often that means staying with the abuser because the danger of leaving is too great. But when victims do summon the courage to leave, we have a responsibility to believe and protect them. Too many women have lost their lives just trying to get free. And too many children have become collateral damage in this struggle. It’s time for us to shine a light on DV in all its forms and protect those who need protecting.
Women feel shame and fear when they’re with their abuser and when they leave they are re-traumatized by a society that doesn’t believe them. DV is a public health crisis that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic. And oftentimes the signs are invisible. Many victims say that the invisible forms of DV - aka Coercive Control - are more terrifying than physical violence.
It’s time to update our systems and beliefs to reflect this reality. It’s time to remove the stigma, shame and fear. It’s time for real change,” said Senator Alex Kasser, lead sponsor of this legislation. 
“National experts agree that DV includes not only physical and sexual abuse. It includes additional actions used to dominate and control a spouse/partner, making her afraid, powerless and subjugated. These actions are collectively referred to as coercive control. Hawaii passed a coercive control bill in September, 2020. California has one too. Given the national attention on the Jennifer Dulos case, and the fact that DV affects women in every community, Connecticut should be a leader on this issue,” added Kasser.
For two years, Jennifer Farber Dulos and Fotis Dulos were engaged in divorce and child custody litigation in Connecticut Family Court. In court transcripts, she said her husband "expects to exhibit complete control over me and the children.”  The Dulos court transcripts also revealed the rising tension and frustration of the litigants with the escalating time in the courtroom, over 500 pleadings on their case docket, as well as the rising cost of the legal bills to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Police are examining the Dulos divorce as part of their investigation, which was racking up enormous costs including fees paid to at least three attorneys, family therapists, three psychologists and court approved monitors working on the case. 
According to Betsy Keller, the founder of Connecticut Protective Moms, a grassroots advocacy group for protective moms in family court proceedings, “The 10% of family court divorce and separation cases that eventually go before a family court judge are labeled “high conflict” by court professionals, but are very often abuse cases. These court professionals - judges, family lawyers, forensic psychology evaluators and family relations counselors - do not have the needed extensive training in DV and the complicated tactics of how Coercive Control plays out in a court of law.
Seasoned DV experts know that the “high conflict” label is a misnomer and these contentious custody and divorce cases can often be a red flag indicating an abuser’s coercive control tactics, including legal abuse to punish the victim for leaving them.”
In an Op-Ed written by Hon. Family Court Justice Michael Albis published in March, 2020, the Connecticut Judicial Branch publicly supported the key component of Kasser’s proposal - expanding the legal definition of DV to include Coercive Control. Current law only recognizes “continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury” but not other types of threat or injury. The current definition “severely restricts” what the court can do to protect victims, Albis noted.
Judge Albis concluded that “by adopting language as suggested by Sen. Kasser, the legislature will allow judges to elevate all DV to the scrutiny it deserves, particularly in cases involving child custody.” 
According to research, DV only presents itself as verifiable physical violence in 10% of reported cases. However, many DV cases include an abuser’s escalating use of Coercive Control tactics - emotional, verbal, financial, legal abuse, stalking and isolation. “This bill could have better protected Jennifer Dulos and countless other Connecticut mothers and children who have been harmed over the years while seeking safety from an abusive partner in family court,” says Danielle Pollack of CHILD USA, a national think tank for child protection.
“As a way to punish an ex for leaving, abusers who previously had perpetrated violence against their adult partner will often redirect their abuse toward children and/or litigate for control of the children once their adult partner - no longer available to abuse directly - exits the relationship. Unfortunately, family courts often do not recognize this pattern, but Jennifer’s Law aims to improve the courts capacity to do so.”
According to Joan Meier, Law Professor at George Washington University Law School and Director of the National Family Violence Law Center, a leading DV and child custody expert who published a 2019 study of DV and family court harmful practices,
“My family court research is a groundbreaking empirical study of over 4000 cases powerfully affirming the reports from the field, that women who allege abuse – particularly child abuse – by a father are at significant risk (over 1 in 3) of losing custody to the alleged abuser in family court. Protective parents are often forced to share custody with an abuser while enduring years in contentious family court proceedings.”
Evan Stark, PhD, MSW, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University, introduced the concept of coercive control in his book Coercive Control (Oxford U. Press, 2007). In his book, Dr. Stark shows that most abuse in relationships includes a combination of violent and nonviolent tactics (such as threats, stalking and psychological abuse), introduced over time, that often extend to use of the children to control the mother by threatening to harm them if  she leaves or disobeys him or by enlisting the children as allies in the mother's abuse. A number of countries, with England and Scotland as leaders, and several US States (most notably Hawaii and California) have adapted Coercive Control laws to reflect the scope of protection required to meet the needs identified.  
Interpersonal Femicide in Connecticut goes far beyond the Dulos case. Almost fourteen women are murdered each year as are many children whose protective parent tried to keep them safe from an abusive parent. A few examples of coercive control cases escalating to murder from the past few years:
  • In 2020, Christine Holloway was brutally murdered in her Ansonia home and her young daughter is still missing. Her boyfriend is the only suspect named by police.

  • In 2019, Perrie Mason of Meriden, the mother of two boys first went missing, then police discovered her remains at a Waterbury recycling facility where her boyfriend works.

  • In 2015, seven-month old baby Aaden Moreno was thrown from the Middletown Bridge by his father and died when he fell into the icy winter water. Just five days before, a Middletown Family Court Judge denied the mother’s request for a permanent restraining order based on his view that neither she nor her baby were in danger. 

  • In 2007, Magnano was shot and killed by her estranged husband on Aug. 23, 2007 at their Terryville home. He then turned the gun on himself. Four months earlier, Jennifer Magnano fled the home with her children only to learn that no shelter in Connecticut would take them and that it would take two weeks to get money approved for a hotel. In need of immediate help, they headed to a shelter in California. Magnano was killed when she returned to Connecticut for a court-ordered custody hearing. Michelle Cruz, JD, the State Victim Advocate at the time, released a 45-page report calling for drastic changes in the way state agencies help DV victims. The report detailed the numerous steps Jennifer Magnano took to get help in the months before she was murdered. It also details gaps in state services. "The report is lengthy and it describes the colossal systematic failure of the systems that were supposed to protect Jennifer and her family," Michelle Cruz said.

Connecticut Protective Moms (CPM) is a 501 (c) (3) grassroots organization of Connecticut moms who are dedicated to improving the Connecticut Family Court process to validate all forms of Domestic Violence (DV) including physical, coercive control, emotional, verbal, financial and legal abuse.  By raising awareness and educating Connecticut Family Court stakeholders on this broader definition of DV, we will advocate to reform state legislation to protect mothers and their children from continued DV during Connecticut Family Court proceedings and to eliminate bias against a mother's DV allegations during child custody proceedings.
The lack of education and knowledge of DV abuser tactics among family court professionals - judges, lawyers, GALs, forensic evaluators -  during divorce and family court proceedings often put moms and children at further risk of abuse and danger. Our objective is to change the "default" position of laws, court orders, and social attitudes in general to see moms and children protected not only before, but during and after they step into a family court for divorce from an abusive individual. CPM will raise awareness of new and stronger legislative solutions to family court legislation and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of children.  


]]> (Jill Rosenfeld) Politics Tue, 23 Feb 2021 09:53:28 -0500
Creativity Connects New Canaan: Meet Gwen North Reiss, Poet, Glass House Educator, Silvermine Arts Center Consultant

 Creativity Connects New Canaan

What fuels a vibrant, connected and creative community? What makes people feel good about living in New Canaan?

When locals share the creativity that they uncover in the nooks and crannies of their community it brings about connectivity and makes us all feel good. Believe it or not, you discover creativity every day as you walk, shop, work, and play in New Canaan? 

Creativity connects us.

Meet Gwen North Reiss, poet, writer, communications consultant for Silvermine Arts Center, Glass House Educator.

Where do you go for inspiration and creativity?

Landscape and architecture are long-standing interests. Aside from the places mentioned, I would add Waveny Park and its trails. Who wouldn’t love walking paths that give you the feeling of being in an old forest. A number of poems have gotten started on those walks. I’ve participated in poetry events and workshops at the New Canaan Library, Silvermine, and St. Mark’s Church. I am always inspired by the poets and student poets who join in. New Canaan also has roots in the history of modern residential architecture in the U.S. because of the architects who moved here after World War II. Over the years, these innovative houses have kept me writing about modern architecture. I’m looking forward to (and volunteering on) the next Modern House Day for the New Canaan Museum and Historical Society, scheduled for October.

What do you love about your community?

There are many layers to New Canaan. I love the urban quality of its town center with its sidewalks, shops, and cafes, but more important, people here have a deep sense of community and a concern for issues that affect our country. After the killing of George Floyd, the Niang family in New Canaan organized a peaceful protest. When I arrived and got out of my car, I saw enormous numbers of people assembling and felt a wave of hope that my town could take such clear action. More than 2,000 people marched.

Is there an organization in town that makes you feel good?

Over the last five to ten years, I have been lucky enough to work for three organizations in New Canaan: The Glass House, Silvermine Arts Center, and Grace Farms Foundation. All three are good for the soul. In the past year, all three have adapted in new ways to benefit the community during the pandemic.

Creativity Connects New Canaan made possible by LIFEWTR.

If you are interested in being featured in our series, please email

The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HamletHub or LIFEWTR.

]]> (HH) Neighbors Tue, 23 Feb 2021 08:01:19 -0500
New Canaan High School Art Exhibit March 5-20

Through Our Eyes IX New Canaan High School Art Exhibit March 5–20, 2021

For the ninth year, the New Canaan Society for the Arts and New Canaan High School are partnering to present Through Our Eyes, an exhibit of select works by current art students at the Carriage Barn Arts Center.  A new addition this year, the exhibit will also feature a juried selection of work by NCHS Alumni working across all media.  The exhibit opens Friday, March 5 and runs through March 20, 2021.

“This annual exhibit showcases and rewards the work of talented New Canaan High School students working in a variety of mediums,” says Hilary Wittmann, Executive Director of the Carriage Barn Arts Center.  “We’re excited to incorporate the work of alumni as well, to highlight their artistic achievements and provide a link between current students and alumni actively practicing the visual arts.”

Through Our Eyes IX celebrates the skills, creativity, and personal voice of high school art students enrolled in introductory, intermediate and advanced art courses, including photography, digital media, drawing, painting, printmaking, jewelry and filmmaking taught by visual arts faculty Kimanne Core, Jeanne McDonagh and Jennifer Sinski.

Twenty New Canaan High School graduates, from the classes of 1967 - 2019, will also be included in the exhibit along with information about their creative journey and artistic endeavors since graduating.  Kathy Megrue-Smith, class of 1979 says “It’s special to have this opportunity to show my work alongside these talented students because there is much to be learned from every new generation. I love to see how these young artists express themselves, and visually reflect the world they're growing up in.”

The Through Our Eyes IX art exhibition is presented by the New Canaan Society for the Arts and generously sponsored by Anderson Kenny Architecture, Bankwell, Handwright Gallery & Framing, HTG Investment Advisors, William Raveis Real Estate and The Fritz Eager Foundation for Art Education.  

Several pieces are available for sale starting at $75.  The exhibit will also be presented virtually at  Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  The Carriage Barn Arts Center is located in Waveny Park, admission is free and open to the public.

Blades of Grass by Sophie Austin, current NCHS student
Under the Covers by Natalie Frank, current NCHS student
Seaside 1 by Kathy Megrue-Smith, class of 1979
David by Beth Shepherd Peters, class of 1967
Orkney 8M by Annie Fox, class of 2013
]]> (Hilary Wittmann) Events Tue, 23 Feb 2021 06:15:58 -0500
New Canaan COVID Update: Uptick in Cases, Vaccination Appointments Available at this Week's Clinic, Testing, and More

New Canaan case data

This evening, Monday, February 22nd  New Canaan First Selectman Kevin Moynihan provided a community COVID update reporting a slight uptick in the number of reported positive COVID cases for New Canaan residents with 28, up from 22 the prior week. 

"We’ve had 11 new cases reported this week so far. Most cases continue to be due to family transmission and in adolescents aged 10-22 years old.  Our Health Director continues to remind families to try to isolate a positive family member to the extent possible from the rest of the household," said Moynihan.

COVID-19 community testing at Lapham Center continued last week with three days of testing

With all results back from last week’s Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday testing there were no positive cases detected out of 201 residents tested.  For updated information on the weekly cases, by age brackets, visit the red COVID-19 alert box on the town website at


Vaccinations of CT seniors age 65 and over has been continuing and nearing completion in our area. Our New Canaan Health Department clinic at Lapham Center vaccinated another 300 New Canaan residents over the age of 65 with their first Moderna dose last Wednesday and will vaccinate another 300 seniors with their first dose this Wednesday if all slots fill up. These clinics are by appointment only. No walk ins are permitted.

Clinic at Lapham Center has appointments available!

This week’s vaccination clinic at Lapham Center is still not full so the Health Department is inviting any CT resident aged 65 and over to please register for a vaccination appointment at the SignUpGenius Link in the email version of this outcall ( which is also available in the red COVID-19 alert box on our website (

March 1 vaccinations open for next phase - 55-64-year-olds

Today, Governor Lamont announced that effective March 1st the next phase in vaccination eligibility will be individuals aged 55-64, as well as pre-K through grade 12 educators and support staff and licensed childcare professionals living or working in the state.  In preparation for the upcoming 55-64 years old and educators eligibility we invite residents to use the sign up form to request to be vaccinated at Lapham Center. This will put you on a list that will be used to schedule upcoming vaccination clinics. The link for this voluntary vaccination sign up form is in the email version of this outcall ( and in the red Covid-19 alert box of our website ( Our Health Department will contact you when they have an appointment available for you.

New Canaan residents that are eligible may also register for vaccination appointments at other area clinics.  Stamford Hospital has an expanded community vaccination clinic at their Bennett Medical Center Campus.  For more information and to sign up directly with Stamford Hospital please visit COVID-19 Vaccination Information at Stamford Hospital’s website.  If you do not have an email address you may call 203-276-7300. 

As a reminder, you must get your 2nd dose of vaccine at the provider that administered your 1st dose. The vaccine producers automatically ship the 2nd dose allotments to the providers. The CT DPH has instructed providers that they must provide the 2nd dose to the individuals to whom a 1st dose was administered in order to keep the system working effectively and to complete the vaccination records accurately. If you are having trouble getting your 2nd dose appointment at a provider please contact your 1st dose provider directly to rectify the problem. 

COVID Testing

Our Covid-19 community testing with Waveny LifeCare will continue at Lapham Center three days a week. The link for this week's Thursday and Saturday test dates and next Tuesday test date is contained in the email version of this outcall or you can find it in the red COVID-19 alert box on our website ( (The SignUpGenius link for testing this Thursday and Saturday, February 25th  and 27th, and next Tuesday,  March 2nd is: Please note that we cannot accommodate walk-ins at the test site.   


We also remind residents that if you travel to any of the states or countries on the CT Travel Advisory list (except for less than 24 hours), you must quarantine for 10 days upon your return home or fulfill the testing requirements outlined in Executive Order 9S and also complete the travel form found on the state’s coronavirus website ( 

Finally, we again urge you to please do your part in controlling the spread of the virus by wearing a mask anywhere where you cannot social distance, wash hands frequently and avoid any large gatherings where you will be exposed to non-family members. 

]]> (HH) Neighbors Mon, 22 Feb 2021 13:10:38 -0500
Town of New Canaan Public Meeting Regarding Bridge Rehabilitation on March 3

The Department of Transportation will conduct a Virtual Public Information Meeting concerning the proposed Rehabilitation of Bridge No. 05002, Ponus Ridge Road over Collins Pond, in New Canaan, Connecticut on Wednesday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will
be live-streamed via Microsoft Teams Live Event and YouTube Live.
A Question and Answer session will immediately follow the presentation. The presentation will be recorded. Instructions on how to access the meeting and on how to provide comments or ask questions can be found at the project webpage HERE.
The project is identified as State Project No. 0089-0129. The purpose of the project is to rehabilitate Bridge No. 05002, which carries Ponus Ridge Road over Collins Pond in the Town of New Canaan.
The existing Bridge No. 05002, built in 1957, carries Ponus Ridge Road over Rippowam River (Upper Reach) in the town of New Canaan approximately 0.2 miles northwest of Clearview Lane.
The existing bridge is located approximately 45 feet downstream from the concrete masonry dam and spillway of Collins Pond. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) study refers to the watercourse upstream of and through this bridge as the Rippowam River (Upper
Reach). However, the project title will indicate that the bridge carries Ponus Ridge Road over Collins Pond to agree with the Department’s inventory of bridges. This single span structure is 36’-6” long with a span length of approximately 32 feet and carries one lane of traffic in each
direction with a curb-to-curb width of 22’-0”.
The proposed rehabilitation of Bridge No. 05002 involves replacing the existing superstructure with precast concrete deck units topped with a 5-inch minimum thickness-shear slab, a waterproofing membrane and 3 inches of bituminous concrete. The existing abutments will be
modified to accommodate the new superstructure. The curb-to-curb width of the deck will be increased to 24 feet wide to accommodate a 10-foot travel lane and 2-foot shoulder in each direction. 42-inch vertical shaped parapets with stone cladding will be constructed on both sides
of the bridge to give a stone façade for the structure to improve aesthetics at the site.
The proposed rehabilitation will be accomplished during one construction season. The maintenance and protection of traffic involves a full closure of Ponus Ridge Road at the bridge and a detour of traffic. The proposed detour route is approximately 4.5 miles long and uses
Greenley Road, West Road and Dans Highway.
It is anticipated that Rights-of-Way impacts to private property surrounding the bridge will include four permanent takes to keep the existing wingwall ends within the Town’s street Right-of-Way and two temporary construction easements.
Construction is anticipated to begin in Spring 2023 based on the availability of funding, acquisition of rights of way and approval of permits. The estimated construction cost for this project is approximately $1.55 million. The construction of this project is anticipated to be undertaken with
80 percent Federal Funds and 20 percent Municipal funds.
The public informational meeting is being held to provide the public and local community the opportunity to offer comments or ask questions regarding the proposed project. Persons with limited internet access may request that project information be mailed to them by contacting James Barrows by email at or by phone at (860) 594-3192. (Allow one week for processing and delivery.)
Individuals with limited internet access can listen to the meeting by calling (800) 857-4235 and entering the Participant Code when prompted: 4380438. Persons with hearing and/or speech disabilities may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS). The MS Teams Live, event offers closed-captioning for the hearing impaired and non-English translation options. A recording of the formal presentation will be posted to YouTube following the event and closed-captioning (including non-English translation options) will be available at that time. The recording will also be available in the list of DOT virtual public meetings here:
Visit the project webpage for options for Apple product users. During the Q&A session and the 14 day comment period that follows the meeting, individuals may leave a question or comment via email (preferred) at Individuals may also leave a voicemail question or
comment by calling (860) 944-1111. Please reference the project in your voicemail.
Language assistance may be requested by contacting the Department’s Language Assistance Call Line (860) 594-2109. Requests should be made at least 5 business days prior to the meeting. Language assistance is provided at no cost to the public and efforts will be made to respond to timely requests for assistance.
]]> (Town of New Canaan) Politics Mon, 22 Feb 2021 11:42:36 -0500
Connecticut Will Continue Age-Based Approach To COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility; Educators and Childcare Providers To Have Dedicated Clinics in March

In an effort to ensure that Connecticut continues taking the most equitable and efficient approach to quickly administering the COVID-19 vaccine to as many people as possible, Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the state will continue with an age-based approach to expanding eligibility to the vaccine, explaining that other previously considered scenarios proved overly complex and confusing, would potentially exacerbate inequities in vaccine distribution, and slow down the process of providing it to Connecticut residents.

Age is one of the strongest factors contributing to COVID-19 deaths, with 96 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Connecticut occurring in people over the age of 55.

To provide clarity and predictability, the governor today announced a schedule for age-based eligibility for the next several months. By laying out a clear timeline for eligibility for the vaccine, the strategy allows everyone in the state, including essential workers and those with chronic conditions, to know when they will be able to schedule an appointment. The planned schedule is as follows:

  • March 1, 2021: Expands to age group 55 to 64
  • March 22, 2021: Expands to age group 45 to 54
  • April 12, 2021: Expands to age group 35 to 44
  • May 3, 2021: Expands to age group 16 to 34

To further ensure equitable allocation of the vaccine, Governor Lamont also announced that he is directing the Connecticut Department of Public Health to set numerical targets and work with vaccine providers to ensure that vaccines are administered to people living in the highest-risk communities in proportion to their population. These targets and the associated strategies will be announced in the coming days.

In addition to the age-based eligibility, preK-12 school staff and teachers, and professional childcare providers will be eligible to receive the vaccine in March at dedicated clinics that will be set up specifically for those sectors. Educators and childcare professionals will soon receive information from their school administrators and employers on when their dedicated clinics will be provided.

Connecticut has been using a phased approach to its COVID-19 vaccine program because of the very limited supply of the vaccine that it has been receiving from the federal government. The program initially began in December with healthcare providers and medical first responders, and then expanded in January to include all individuals over the age of 75 and certain congregate settings, followed by those over the age of 65 in mid-February. All previously eligible individuals and settings will continue to be eligible after March 1.

“In a perfect world, we would have enough doses of the vaccine to get it to all 3.6 million people in Connecticut right now, however each state is being given a very limited supply, which is why we must take this phased approach,” Governor Lamont said. “Connecticut’s healthcare providers have been doing an amazing job getting the vaccine to people as quickly as they can, and using age as the only qualifying factor is one of the reasons why they’ve had success so far. The last thing we want to do is complicate the process for them and cause delays that slow things down and exacerbate issues regarding equitable access. A vaccination program of this magnitude is unprecedented in recent times, and I appreciate everyone’s understanding of the fluid nature of this situation. My goal is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, and I believe this is the best path to meeting that challenge.”

“We have been in the COVID-19 marathon for approaching a year and now our race becomes a sprint to beat the variants of COVID-19 that are now circulating in the state and elsewhere and to return to a sense of normalcy for ourselves, our families and our communities,” Connecticut Acting Public Health Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford, who also serves as co-chair of the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, said. “The Department of Public Health is committed to an equitable vaccination program. Sticking with an age-based vaccine rollout allows our vaccine providers to get as many shots as possible as quickly and equitably as possible into the arms of Connecticut residents, and vaccinating our education and childcare workforce will get our children back in the classroom this school year.”

“Ensuring communities of color have access to vaccines is one of the most important and impactful ways we will get this pandemic behind us,” Dr. Reginald Eadie, president & CEO of Trinity Health New England and co-chair of the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, said. “Using age as an eligibility criterion makes it clear to all of our residents, especially those who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, that the vaccine is here, it’s available, and provides for an easier registration process to actually receive the vaccine. Education is important when it comes to addressing vaccine hesitancy, but we must also have a simple process to make sure those who need the vaccine receive the vaccine. This new timeline not only informs residents of when they can anticipate they will be eligible to be vaccinated, but it also provides vaccinators direction on when and where to target their own outreach and education efforts.”

“Equitable access to vaccine for our communities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 has always been the priority of the allocation subcommittee,” Nichelle Mullins, president and CEO of Charter Oak Health Center, and Zita Lazzarini, associate professor of public health sciences at UConn Health, both of whom serve as the co-chairs of the allocation subcommittee of the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, said in a joint statement. “We agree with the governor’s approach and, while not ideal, we understand that a continuation of the age-based system simplifies the requirements for vaccination. We also applaud the state’s commitment to set tangible benchmarks for providers to vaccinate residents living in Connecticut’s cities and municipalities with large underserved and high-risk populations. These benchmarks are intended as affirmative steps to increase equity in access to vaccines and to remediate inequities that have accrued so far.”

Connecticut Business and Industry Association president and CEO Chris DiPentima said that while essential employers had spent time and resources preparing for the vaccine rollout based on the initial guidance, he understood the need to pivot. “We cannot rebuild our economy and recover from the pandemic without first addressing the public health crisis,” he said. “This new approach allows for more workers across Connecticut to get vaccinated in a short period of time, and it eliminates potentially complicated rules, making it easier and more equitable for everyone to receive their vaccination. It is critical that we vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”

All eligible individuals in Connecticut are required to make an appointment in advance of receiving the vaccine. Residents aged 55 to 64 should not attempt to make an appointment now – they will not be able to schedule one until the program expands to their age group on March 1.

To locate vaccination clinics, individuals should visit and enter their zip code. From there, users will be shown the nearest available clinics and provided with specific directions on how to make an appointment at each one, including over the internet and over the telephone.

Those who do not have access to the internet can call Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224. The line is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Life Mon, 22 Feb 2021 09:40:41 -0500
New Canaan Library Glass House Presents: On Pandemic Domesticity

Glass House Presents: On Pandemic Domesticity on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00pm

The current pandemic has put enormous pressure on domestic life, with more people spending more time at home than ever before. How might the design, function, and meaning of the home alter in our post-pandemic future? How did the home change in response to previous pandemics? Join us for a conversation with Columbia literature professor Victoria Rosner and architect and Yale professor Joel Sanders, moderated by Glass House curator Cole Akers. 
Register for the webinar HERE.
]]> (New Canaan Library) Events Mon, 22 Feb 2021 08:34:55 -0500