Newmilford's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford Tue, 22 Sep 2020 19:16:52 -0400 HamletHub.com Today is National Voter Registration Day https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/politics/4088-today-is-national-voter-registration-day4088-today-is-national-voter-registration-day https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/politics/4088-today-is-national-voter-registration-day4088-today-is-national-voter-registration-day

National Voter Registration Day on the Fourth Tuesday in September urges citizens to register to vote. Make your vote count!

More than 300,000 Americans registered to vote in the inaugural day the observance in 2012. That number jumped to 800,000 in 2018. The day helps to ensure eligible voters register in their districts each year. The awareness campaign provides valuable information for each state, too. Timed ideally a few months before some of the bigger elections of the year, the day places information in the hands of the voters at the right time.  

There are hundreds of local, state and national organizations driving the day and bringing it to you, too. Partner organizations help also by coordinating thousands of public events to bring awareness about ballot initiatives, local elections, and voter registration.

HOW TO OBSERVE #VoterRegistrationDay

If your right to vote means anything to you, make sure you’re registered. While registration isn’t required in every state, every state has minimum requirements. Knowing what they are and being prepared to vote is an important part of a democracy.

Learn about your voter rights and requirements. Be informed by checking where your polling place is. You can also learn more about mail-in voting. If you have any questions about voter registration, all the answers are conveniently located in one place. Each state has different requirements. So, if you’ve moved recently, be sure to know the requirements where you live. Make your vote count. Visit www.nationalvoterregistrationday.org to learn more.

Register to vote and use #VoterRegistrationDay to post on social media.

NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY HISTORY

The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) established the first National Voter Registration Day on September 25, 2012.  In 2014, the NASS established the Fourth Tuesday of September as the official day for National Voter Registration Day.

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kerry@ducey.org (nationalday.com) Politics Tue, 22 Sep 2020 07:09:59 -0400
RVNAhealth StayWELL Services Wins ‘Provider of Choice’ Award https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/places/4087-rvnahealth-staywell-services-wins-provider-of-choice-award4087-rvnahealth-staywell-services-wins-provider-of-choice-award https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/places/4087-rvnahealth-staywell-services-wins-provider-of-choice-award4087-rvnahealth-staywell-services-wins-provider-of-choice-award

RVNAhealth is pleased to announce that its StayWELL service line has received a 2020 Best of Home Care® - Provider of Choice Award from Home Care Pulse. This award recognizes the top performing non-medical home care agencies in the nation, based upon unfiltered client satisfaction feedback. The recognition is a testament to RVNAhealth’s outstanding service and high-quality caregiving teams, each dedicated to the health and well-being of their clients.

Committed to being the best in our field, RVNAhealth partnered with Home Care Pulse at the beginning of 2020 as part of an ongoing improvement initiative, to better understand the client and caregiver experience. As an independent third-party provider, Home Care Pulse collects candid and direct phone-interview feedback monthly from StayWELL clients and caregivers in areas such as impact on daily life, communication, caregiver ability, and client/caregiver compatibility.

“As one of only 16 home care agencies in Connecticut to receive this award, and with many hundreds of agency options in our state, we are honored to be recognized for our outstanding service. I am extremely proud of our skilled and compassionate caregivers who provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I also extend appreciation to our incredible clients for their feedback and trust in having RVNAhealth care for them or their loved ones,” says Melissa Woodhouse, RRT, MOT, OTR/L, CDP, Director of RVNAhealth StayWELL Services.

To learn more about StayWELL services, please visit rvnahealth.org/services/stay-well/ or call 203-438-5555. To meet some of our exceptional caregivers, please visit our Meet the Caregivers webpage.

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kerry@ducey.org (Nancy Rowe) Places Mon, 21 Sep 2020 07:35:24 -0400
State Orders Discharge All Residents of Three Rivers Nursing Home After COVID Outbreak and Serious Violations https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/politics/4085-state-orders-discharge-all-residents-of-three-rivers-nursing-home-after-covid-outbreak-and-serious-violations4085-state-orders-discharge-all-residents-of-three-rivers-nursing-home-after-covid-outbreak-and-serious-violations https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/politics/4085-state-orders-discharge-all-residents-of-three-rivers-nursing-home-after-covid-outbreak-and-serious-violations4085-state-orders-discharge-all-residents-of-three-rivers-nursing-home-after-covid-outbreak-and-serious-violations

DPH Commissioner Issues Emergency Order to Discharge All Residents of Three Rivers Nursing Home in Norwich to Other Facilities

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today is announcing an emergency order issued by Acting Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford MD, MPH for the immediate discharge and transfer of all residents of the Three Rivers Nursing Home in Norwich. The facility has been experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 since late July that has so far infected 22 residents and six staff at the facility. A number of the impacted residents needed to be hospitalized, and four have died.

An investigation conducted by DPH into that outbreak revealed numerous violations of infection control, staffing, and other practices at Three Rivers that warranted the appointment of a temporary manager to run the facility. That temporary manager, Kathrine Sacks, took over operations at the Three Rivers late last week and has subsequently reported to DPH that the serious, systemic problems still existing at the nursing home were too great to be corrected by the date of September 30, 2020 as required under federal regulations. In addition, these challenges posed a serious ongoing risk to the health and safety of Three Rivers residents.

“Today marks a very sad but necessary step we must take to keep the residents of this nursing home safe and healthy,” said Acting DPH Commissioner Gifford. “Closing a nursing home such as Three Rivers is a complicated process and we are committed to doing it in an orderly way to minimize disruption in the lives of residents. This has been a home for many, and now residents will begin to move out. The Department issued this order because this facility simply could not make the necessary changes in time to meet the federal mandate, because of numerous challenges. This represented a risk to the health and safety of residents and staff and so we were compelled to act, based on the recommendation of the Temporary Manager we appointed. Many nursing homes in Connecticut are getting it right when it comes to managing the COVID-19 pandemic with this very vulnerable population. Three Rivers, unfortunately, was not one of them.” 

On August 24, 2020 DPH issued several deficiencies against Three Rivers Nursing Home for several federal and state regulatory violations, most of which involved failure to adequately control a recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the facility. DPH imposed upon Three Rivers a Directed Plan of Correction requiring the facility to implement several immediate actions, including the appointment of an Infection Control Nurse Consultant, to mitigate further spread of COVID-19 and bring the facility into compliance with federal and state law. DPH continued to monitor the facility actively and found significant additional and ongoing deficiencies. The facility failed to maintain adequate staffing levels and failed to meet infection control standards. 

Based upon the nature and severity of the ongoing violations, on September 10, 2020, DPH amended the Directed Plan of Correction to require Three Rivers to turn over the operation of the facility to a Temporary Manager and approved Kathryn Sacks, an attorney and licensed Nursing Home Administrator, as Temporary Manager. The appointment of a Temporary Manager is an enforcement action that DPH can take when a facility is not substantially complying with federal and state law and such failure is a persistent and widespread threat to the health and safety of residents. 

Under federal and state regulations, the Temporary Manager possesses the authority to hire, terminate or reassign staff, obligate facility funds, alter facility procedure, and manage the facility to correct the deficiencies identified by DPH. The Temporary Manager is paid by the facility but reports to DPH. The Amended Directed Plan of Correction required the Temporary Manager to conduct an initial assessment of the facility with the goal of bringing the facility into substantial compliance by September 30, 2020. During the initial assessment, the Temporary Manager identified widespread problems in the facility related to:

⦁ the facility’s delivery of care 
⦁ inadequate infection control 
⦁ deterioration of systems of accountability 
⦁ lack of staff education 
⦁ absence of management and policy controls

In addition, Temporary Manager Sacks found other on-going management, staffing, and financial issues that she did not believe could be fixed by September 30th. These issues significantly threatened the health and safety of both the residents and the staff. Consequently, Sacks recommended that DPH order the Facility to discharge all residents to other facilities as soon as possible.

Given the scope of the facility’s serious deficiencies, DPH has concluded that the facility cannot be brought into compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements by the time permitted under federal law and the Department’s Order and that the facility’s continued operation presents a meaningful risk of harm to the Facility’s residents. To protect the health and safety of the facility’s residents and staff, DPH is issuing an emergency order pursuant to Connecticut General Statute §19a-534a requiring the facility discharge all residents to appropriate licensed facilities, in consultation with DPH and under the direction and authority of the Temporary Manager.

Three Rivers residents will start to be discharged in the coming days. Those who are still COVID positive will be transported to the Riverside COVID Recovery Facility in East Hartford to complete their recoveries, and those who test negative will be discharged to the nursing homes of their choice. The Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman is involved and assisting with overseeing the process. 
Documents related to the investigation into Three Rivers Nursing Home including the statement of deficiency related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the violation letter outlining the appointment of a temporary manager, are available online by searching for it by date (between August 25-September 16). A copy of the signed and executed emergency closure order with charges listed is attached to this news release.

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kerry@ducey.org (CT Dept. of Health) Politics Thu, 17 Sep 2020 09:34:38 -0400
Bears Increase Food Intake in Fall, DEEP Be Bear Aware! https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/publicsafety/4086-bears-increase-food-intake-in-fall-deep-be-bear-aware4086-bears-increase-food-intake-in-fall-deep-be-bear-aware https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/publicsafety/4086-bears-increase-food-intake-in-fall-deep-be-bear-aware4086-bears-increase-food-intake-in-fall-deep-be-bear-aware

DEEP Encourages Continued Bear Awareness Heading into Fall - Bears Increase Food Intake in Fall

Heading into the fall season, in which black bears increase their food intake to add fat reserves needed to help them survive winter hibernation, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding residents of several best practices they can incorporate to help reduce the likelihood of an encounter with a bear. 

Interactions between black bears and people continue to increase this year, resulting in unprecedented numbers of complaints and requests for assistance. Some of these interactions have been serious, including bears entering homes and gravely injuring both leashed and unleashed dogs. Already in 2020 (through Sept. 10), DEEP has received more reports of bears entering homes (42) than in any previous year.

As fall begins, black bears increase their food intake to add fat reserves needed to help them survive the winter, when they typically fast and reduce their metabolism. Human-provided foods can be easy to find and access, making them more desirable. Black bears that consume human-associated food (e.g. birdseed, trash, pet food) on a regular basis become habituated (comfortable around people) and food-conditioned (associate humans with food). As the bear population continues to grow and expand its range, and bears become increasingly food conditioned, conflicts with humans will continue to increase, and food-conditioned bears pose a greater risk to public safety and often cause more property damage to houses, cars, pets, and livestock.

“Black bears should never be fed – either intentionally or unintentionally,” said Jenny Dickson, DEEP Wildlife Division Director. “Bears that are attracted to homes by easily-accessible foods lose their fear of humans. It is important to remember to keep your grill clean and garbage secured and indoors until collection day to avoid giving bears a tempting snack. Bears that are rewarded by easy meals spend more time in neighborhoods and near people, increasing risks to public safety, the likelihood of property damage, and the possibility that the bears may be hit and killed by vehicles.”

DEEP has several best practices for residents to incorporate to help reduce the likelihood of an encounter with a bear, available online on DEEP’s “Living with Black Bears” website, https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP-Living-with-Black-Bears. DEEP has also created a new video incorporating many of these best practices, available here.

Here are some of those best practices:

If you encounter a bear while in your yard or hiking, make your presence known by yelling or making other loud noises. Never attempt to get closer to a bear. If a bear does not retreat, slowly leave the area. If in your yard, go into your house, garage, or other structure. If the bear persistently approaches, go on the offensive—shout, wave your arms, and throw sticks or rocks. If your dog is hiking with you, it is imperative that you keep the dog on a SHORT leash and DO NOT let it roam free – this is for the safety of your dog, yourself, and the bear.

Everyone can be a good neighbor and take steps to reduce encounters and potential conflicts with bears. The most important step is to remove food attractants, such as bird seed and unsecured garbage:

  1. NEVER feed bears.
  2. Do not feed birds in the spring (starting in late March), summer, and early fall. Clean up spilled seed from the ground when feeding over winter.
  3. Store garbage in secure, airtight containers inside a garage or storage area. Adding ammonia to cans and bags will reduce odors that attract bears. Periodically clean garbage cans with ammonia to reduce residual odor. Garbage for pickup should be put outside the morning of collection and not the night before.
  4. Do not store leftover bird seed, suet cakes, or recyclables in a porch or screened sunroom as bears can smell these items and will rip screens to get at them.
  5. Keep barbecue grills clean. Store grills inside a garage or shed.
  6. Supervise dogs at all times when outside. Keep dogs on a short leash when walking and hiking. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs. (Dogs are required to be on a leash when visiting State Parks, State Forests, and Wildlife Management Areas. Check dog and leash regulations for town properties, land trusts, and other public properties before heading to those areas.)
  7. Do not leave pet food outdoors or feed pets outside.
  8. Use electric fencing to protect beehives, agricultural crops, berry bushes, chickens, and other livestock.
  9. Avoid placing meat scraps or sweet foods, such as fruit and fruit peels, in compost piles.

In the rare instance when a bear appears to be aggressive toward people, residents should immediately contact DEEP’s 24-hour dispatch line at 860-424-3333.

Bear sightings reported by the public provide valuable information to assist the DEEP in monitoring changes in the black bear population. Anyone who observes a black bear in Connecticut is encouraged to report the sighting on DEEP’s website at https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP-Living-with-Black-Bears or call the Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011. Information on the presence or absence of ear tags, including tag color and numbers, is particularly valuable. A common misconception is that a tagged bear is a problem bear, and a bear with two ear tags was caught on two different occasions because it was causing problems. Actually, every bear receives two ear tags (one in each ear) the first time it is handled by DEEP biologists. Most tagged bears have not been caught as problem bears, but rather as part of a project researching the state’s population.

 

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kerry@ducey.org (CT DEEP) Public safety Thu, 17 Sep 2020 08:57:11 -0400
CIAC Announces Full Contact Football Canceled for 2020-2021 School Year https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/life/4084-ciac-announces-full-contact-football-canceled-for-2020-2021-school-year4084-ciac-announces-full-contact-football-canceled-for-2020-2021-school-year https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/life/4084-ciac-announces-full-contact-football-canceled-for-2020-2021-school-year4084-ciac-announces-full-contact-football-canceled-for-2020-2021-school-year

CIAC Football Board of Control Update

At its September 16, 2020, meeting, the CIAC Board of Control reaffirmed its September 3 decision to cancel full-contact football for the 2020-2021 school year. This decision was made in alignment with the Connecticut Department of Health’s recommendation that football is a high-risk sport and should not be played this fall. The board did, however, agree it would consider allowing competition at a later time for a sport that cannot hold its regularly scheduled season, such as football, provided it does not negatively impact spring sports.

DPH continues to recommend substituting “higher risk” athletic activities with “moderate risk” or “lower risk” options and /or postponing those activities to a later time. In alignment with those recommendations, by the end of this week, through its football committee, the CIAC will recommend low and moderate-risk football activities in which schools may continue to engage their football athletes.

“CIAC made every effort to weigh all factors in this decision, including the passionate voices of students, parents, and school personnel, and ultimately made the determination to align its decision with the recommendations of the Governor’s office and DPH to not hold high-risk sports at this time,” CAS-CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini stated. “In conversation with other state associations across the country, it was clear that a key factor in playing interscholastic football was alignment with the opinion of their state’s governor and state health agency.”

After consulting with DPH and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), it was apparent that CIAC’s football plan, though endorsed by the CSMS Sports Medicine Committee, will not sufficiently mitigate the risk to lower the categorization of the sport from “high risk” to “moderate risk.” DPH encouraged CIAC to seek affirmation from the NFHS that its proposed mitigating strategies would meet the standards required to recategorize football from its classification as high risk. CIAC immediately consulted with the NFHS which responded by stating that, “As each state association has its own SMAC and state department of health/health agency, the NFHS SMAC will not exercise approval or disapproval of individual state guidelines.” Furthermore, in discussions with the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), it was made clear to the CIAC that its members are not public health experts and, as such, on the matter of playing football, CAPSS would defer to the appropriate state and local public health authorities.

The CIAC is concerned that DPH’s recommendation to postpone higher risk sports to a later time is reserved for CIAC sanctioned interscholastic athletics. In fact, as the CIAC is not sanctioning a football season at this time, schools, with approval from their local DPH, may opt to play full contact football as a “club” sport, similar to girls ice hockey, without adherence to CIAC COVID mitigating plans. The CIAC has previously tried to make DPH and the governor’s office aware of the inconsistency that permits our same student population to engage in non-interscholastic high risk sports with less oversight and fewer COVID mitigating strategies. Furthermore, the CIAC has expressed its concern that this inconsistency promotes an inequity in sport opportunities.

In consideration of playing football at a later time, the board seeks to better understand factors such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • How many sports are impacted to the extent where it cannot compete during its regularly scheduled season?

  • What other public health strategies have become available and are supported with better research?

  • How will facility scheduling be impacted?

  • The impact to field maintenance and playability.

  • The viability of synthetic surface fields passing the G-max test during winter months.

  • How has the COVID climate in Connecticut improved to support interscholastic high-risk athletics at a later time?

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kerry@ducey.org (CIAC Sports) Life Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:38:26 -0400
New Milford High School Oktoberfest Fundraiser on Sept. 29 at Housatonic River Brewing https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/charities/4083-new-milford-high-school-oktoberfest-fundraiser-on-sept-29-at-housatonic-river-brewing4083-new-milford-high-school-oktoberfest-fundraiser-on-sept-29-at-housatonic-river-brewing https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/charities/4083-new-milford-high-school-oktoberfest-fundraiser-on-sept-29-at-housatonic-river-brewing4083-new-milford-high-school-oktoberfest-fundraiser-on-sept-29-at-housatonic-river-brewing

New Milford High School invites the public to its "Oktoberfest" Fundraiser supporting the graduating class of New Milford High School, set for Tuesday, Sept. 29, 6-9pm, at Housatonic River Brewing in New Milford, CT.
 
To order tickets, click here.
 
Tickets are $45/each and include 2 drink tickets, a keepsake glass and samplings of some Oktoberfest culinary favorites by Stephen C. Merkel Catering/Steve's Deli that include bratwurst with mustard and sauerkraut, potato pancake with apple chutney and cinnamon, and soft pretzel bites with cheese sauce. The event will also feature live music from The Dirt Road Pickers!

Funds raised by the Oktoberfest will help offset the cost of producing an all-night celebratory, substance-free party at NMHS high school for its graduating seniors.
 
Organizers hope to have your support, while you enjoy some fall Oktoberfest fun. **For everyone's safety, all attendees are respectfully asked to wear masks when arriving and if you move about the event space, and to maintain social distancing.
 
To order tickets, click here.
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kerry@ducey.org (HH) Charities Wed, 16 Sep 2020 09:53:58 -0400
FREE Breakfast and Lunch for ANY New Milford resident 18 years old and younger https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/neighbors/4082-free-breakfast-and-lunch-for-any-new-milford-resident-18-years-old-and-younger4082-free-breakfast-and-lunch-for-any-new-milford-resident-18-years-old-and-younger https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/neighbors/4082-free-breakfast-and-lunch-for-any-new-milford-resident-18-years-old-and-younger4082-free-breakfast-and-lunch-for-any-new-milford-resident-18-years-old-and-younger

Effective September 14, 2020, New Milford Public Schools will be offering FREE Lunch and FREE Breakfast for all students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 AND to ANY New Milford resident 18 years and under, until December 31, 2020 or until otherwise noted.

Please note this applies to ALL New Milford families regardless of current paid, free or reduced lunch status.

● We will continue to serve our scheduled lunch and breakfast menu, both in school and through the “Curbside Meals” pickup program. All menus are subject to change based on the availability of items during the current pandemic. Menus can easily be accessed online at www.newmilfordps.org/foodandnutrition

● Free Lunch and Breakfast will not be available when schools are not in session, such as a holiday or snow day, as meals are not scheduled to be provided.

What type of lunch is included?

● In order for a student to have a Free Lunch or Breakfast, the student must take a complete meal or take what is described as a “Full Lunch or a “Full Breakfast.” A “Full Lunch” includes 3 of 5 meal components including a serving of a fruit or vegetable. A “Full Breakfast” includes 3 of 4 components. A complete meal’s components include: Milk (skim, 1% white, nonfat flavored), Fruit, Vegetable, Grains (whole grains), and Protein.

● If a student does not take a “Full Lunch” or “Full Breakfast” they will be charged the ala carte price for the lunch or breakfast.

● If any student would like a second lunch or breakfast, they will need to purchase that lunch or breakfast at the full price and have money in their account, regardless of paid, free or reduced status. 

What about ala carte items?

● Ala carte items, including water, snacks, and milk, are still available but not included in the Free Lunch and Breakfast program.

● If a student wishes to purchase ala carte items they must have money in their account. Money can be deposited using the online prepayment system

www.MySchoolBucks.com Checks and cash are also accepted at all registers.

Remote Learners:

● “Curbside Meals” will continue to be available for all of our students who are Remote Learners (Cohort A & B, and Five Day Remote Learners).

● Per the Free Lunch and Breakfast program, there will be no charge for “Curbside Meals”.

● Ala carte items and second lunches are not available through “Curbside Meals.”

● As a reminder, pre-registration for curbside meals is required by Monday of each week. Meals may be picked up once a week on Wednesdays at Sarah Noble Intermediate School between 8 AM and 9 AM. Parents/guardians can pick up meals for their students.

Children do not need to be present but must be a New Milford resident.

Register for Curbside meals here: www.newmilfordps.org/curbsidemeals

Children 18 years & under not enrolled in the District:

● “Curbside Meals” will be available.

● Pre-registration for curbside meals is required by Monday of each week. Meals may be picked up once a week on Wednesdays at Sarah Noble Intermediate School between 8 AM and 9 AM. Parents/guardians can pick up meals for their students. Children do not need to be present but must be a New Milford resident.

Other Information:

● There are no refunds available at this time for lunches purchased since the start of the 2020-21 school year.

● Please note when the Free Lunch and Breakfast Program ends, as determined by the USDA, any student who currently receives free/reduced lunch will return to free/reduced lunch status and paid students will be charged for their meals.

● School Lunch ID Cards will continue to be scanned at the cashier checkout for tallies.

● Please contact the Food and Nutrition office with any questions at 860-354-3712.

 

What type of lunch is included? ● In order for a student to have a Free Lunch or Breakfast, the student must take a complete meal or take what is described as a “Full Lunch or a “Full Breakfast.” A “Full Lunch” includes 3 of 5 meal components including a serving of a fruit or vegetable. A “Full Breakfast” includes 3 of 4 components. A complete meal’s components include: Milk (skim, 1% white, nonfat flavored), Fruit, Vegetable, Grains (whole grains), and Protein. ● If a student does not take a “Full Lunch” or “Full Breakfast” they will be charged the ala carte price for the lunch or breakfast. ● If any student would like a second lunch or breakfast, they will need to purchase that lunch or breakfast at the full price and have money in their account, regardless of paid, free or reduced status. What about ala carte items? ● Ala carte items, including water, snacks, and milk, are still available but not included in the Free Lunch and Breakfast program. ● If a student wishes to purchase ala carte items they must have money in their account. Money can be deposited using the online prepayment system www.MySchoolBucks.com Checks and cash are also accepted at all registers. Remote Learners: ● “Curbside Meals” will continue to be available for all of our students who are Remote Learners (Cohort A & B, and Five Day Remote Learners). ● Per the Free Lunch and Breakfast program, there will be no charge for “Curbside Meals”. ● Ala carte items and second lunches are not available through “Curbside Meals.” ● As a reminder, pre-registration for curbside meals is required by Monday of each week. Meals may be picked up once a week on Wednesdays at Sarah Noble Intermediate School between 8 AM and 9 AM. Parents/guardians can pick up meals for their students. Children do not need to be present but must be a New Milford resident. Register for Curbside meals here: www.newmilfordps.org/curbsidemeals Children 18 years & under not enrolled in the District: ● “Curbside Meals” will be available. ● Pre-registration for curbside meals is required by Monday of each week. Meals may be picked up once a week on Wednesdays at Sarah Noble Intermediate School between 8 AM and 9 AM. Parents/guardians can pick up meals for their students. Children do not need to be present but must be a New Milford resident. Other Information: ● There are no refunds available at this time for lunches purchased since the start of the 2020-21 school year. ● Please note when the Free Lunch and Breakfast Program ends, as determined by the USDA, any student who currently receives free/reduced lunch will return to free/reduced lunch status and paid students will be charged for their meals. ● School Lunch ID Cards will continue to be scanned at the cashier checkout for tallies. ● Please contact the Food and Nutrition office with any questions at 860-354-3712.

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kerry@ducey.org (Sandra Sullivan Food and Nutrition Services Director) Neighbors Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:54:36 -0400
A Night of Hope in New Milford on Sept. 26 https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/events/4081-a-night-of-hope-in-new-milford-on-sept-264081-a-night-of-hope-in-new-milford-on-sept-26 https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/events/4081-a-night-of-hope-in-new-milford-on-sept-264081-a-night-of-hope-in-new-milford-on-sept-26

A “NIGHT OF HOPE” on the Green! Sharing HOPE Where Help Is Needed...

The town of New Milford in collaboration with Mayor Pete Bass and faith leaders throughout the community will host a special “NIGHT OF HOPE” downtown on the New Milford Green on Saturday, September 26, 2020 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. This refreshing and exciting evening will include encouraging words and prayers from faith leaders as well as uplifting music from an amazing live band of local musicians and singers highlighting the message Hope where help is needed. In the midst of the pandemic and recent Tropical Storm Isaias that rocked our area comes the opportunity for “New Milford Proud & Strong” to become even stronger as we join together to encourage one another and demonstrate the heart of this great community where HOPE wins!

The Green’s band stand will serve as the central location of this event and invite you to come prepared with chairs and/or blankets to gather around while adhering to the current state and local CDC guidelines of social distancing, sanitized areas and mask wearing to ensure and safe and enjoyable evening on The New Milford Green. The event is FREE and encourages everyone to please demonstrate the kindness and respect for one another that highlights the outstanding character and conduct that our amazing town stands for.

“I believe that our community is hungry for a positive message and a time where we can join to reflect and praise the beautiful community we reside in.”

 - Mayor Pete Bass

Come experience a refreshing time to reflect on words of encouragement and songs that will fill your heart with Hope no matter the season or setback as we rally TOGETHER for even greater days for our community and country. Hungry for Hope? Help is on the way!  Join us on The Green for a night you don’t want to miss!

On behalf of the Mayor’s office and faith community leaders, we look forward to your arrival as we join together for this grand event of HOPE! For further information, please visit the town of New Milford website at: newmilford.org or contact Pat Hembrook at: 860.355.6010.

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kerry@ducey.org (Town of New Milford) Events Tue, 15 Sep 2020 12:48:54 -0400
How to vote by absentee ballot in Connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/politics/4080-how-to-vote-by-absentee-ballot-in-connecticut4080-how-to-vote-by-absentee-ballot-in-connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/politics/4080-how-to-vote-by-absentee-ballot-in-connecticut4080-how-to-vote-by-absentee-ballot-in-connecticut

If you want to vote by absentee ballot in Connecticut, this is what you need to do:

  1. Obtain an absentee ballot application: The Secretary of the State has mailed absentee ballot applications to every active, registered voter in the state. If you haven't received one yet, it should arrive in the mail within the next several days. You can also download the application online here. It is important to note that this is not a ballot – it is just an application that you need to fill out to request a ballot.
  2. Fill out the application: When you fill out the application, state law requires you to check a box indicating the reason why you need to vote using an absentee ballot. This year, all voters have the option of selecting "COVID-19" as a reason, in addition to the six existing reasons.
  3. Send the application to your Town Clerk: Once filled out, you must send the application to the Town Clerk where you are registered to vote. You can drop it in one of the secure ballot boxes that have been installed outside of every Town Hall, send it in the mail, or hand deliver it at your Town Clerk's office.
  4. Once the application is processed, an absentee ballot will be mailed to the voter starting on October 2: Absentee ballots will be mailed to voters who requested one beginning October 2, 2020. By law, absentee ballots cannot be mailed prior to October 2.
  5. Complete your absentee ballot: When filling out your absentee ballot, make sure to follow all of the instructions as required, otherwise your vote may not be processed. Remember to sign the inner envelope, seal only your ballot inside of the inner envelope (one ballot per envelope), and seal the inner envelope inside of the outer envelope.
  6. Send your completed absentee ballot to your Town Clerk: Similar to how you returned your application, you must send your completed ballot to the Town Clerk where you are registered to vote. You can drop it in one of the secure ballot boxes that have been installed outside of every Town Hall, send it in the mail, or hand deliver it at your Town Clerk's office.
  7. All ballots must be received by the close of polls at 8:00 P.M. on November 3: To ensure that the Town Clerk receives your absentee ballot in time and it doesn't get held up due to delays in mail delivery, it is strongly recommended that you return your ballot by using the secure drop boxes that have been installed outside of your local Town Hall.

Additional Resources

For Connecticut's voter information center, visit myvote.ct.gov.

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kerry@ducey.org (Ned Lamont) Politics Tue, 15 Sep 2020 08:34:13 -0400
The Ridgefield Playhouse Celebrates 20 Years! https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/events/4078-the-ridgefield-playhouse-16001085664078-the-ridgefield-playhouse-1600108566 https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/events/4078-the-ridgefield-playhouse-16001085664078-the-ridgefield-playhouse-1600108566

Although they had to close their doors to inside shows on March 13th, move/cancel more than 120 shows so far (equaling a loss of more than $3 million in ticket income), and cancel their Summer Gala, the other big fundraiser that they depend on, The Ridgefield Playhouse, a nonprofit theater in Ridgefield CT,  is not going to let the hard times of COVID-19 get in the way of celebrating a giant milestone. 

For 20 years, The Ridgefield Playhouse has been the heart and soul of the community, culture and economy in Ridgefield, CT. “We were hoping to have a BIG Gala celebration for our 20th Anniversary Season,” says Executive Director Allison Stockel. “But I think we have turned lemons into lemonade and have come up with a great way to have a really fun 20th Anniversary Gala!” 

On Saturday, October 3rd, the Playhouse will indeed mark its 20th Anniversary season by having performers from the past 20 years make special virtual guest appearances- everyone from Graham Nash, Stephen Schwartz, Todd Rundgren and more- as well as a full LIVE performance on the stage inside the Playhouse with Bruce Hornsby

“We are really excited to have someone perform on our stage again!” Says Stockel.  The Playhouse is offering a variety of ways to participate depending on your comfort level.  There will be a limited number of Sponsor tickets inside the theater, as well as outdoor tented seating for Gala ticket holders (both include open bar and a sit-down dinner with food from Bernard’s and Gallo), and virtual streaming tickets for those who want to stay at home.   

“We want everyone to be able to be able to celebrate with us,” says Stockel.  “For those who feel comfortable coming out, the evening kicks off at 6:30pm - with a red-carpet arrival hosted by Christine O’Leary in the tent on the field next to The Playhouse.  There will be restaurant-style seating, where you only sit with your party and will get served dinner with food from Bernard’s and Gallo at your table.  Gala ticket holders will watch the performance in the tent via a live feed from the Playhouse stage, and Sponsor ticket holders will have a socially distanced seat inside the theater.”

 The Playhouse is also selling streaming tickets for those who want to watch from the comfort of their own home. If you buy a Gala ticket or Sponsor ticket and would like to pick up your dinner and watch via streaming from home- that is also an option.

“I think when the Playhouse opened its doors 20 years ago no one ever thought that we would have gotten to the point where we would be presenting more than 200 shows annually,” says Stockel. “And in addition to that, doing 33 Arts in Education performances, giving away more than $90,000 in free tickets to Title 1 schools and people from low-income areas, and have some of the most iconic performers from all genres like Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Blondie, Stephen Sondheim, Jay Leno and so many more.”  

Those numbers are of course pre-Covid.  There is no doubt that The Ridgefield Playhouse has grown in size and scope over the past 20 years.  Just ask any restaurant owner and they will tell you that when the Playhouse has a show, their restaurant is full. “In addition to being such an important part of this town’s culture, The Playhouse has been a huge economic generator for the town,” says First Selectman Rudy Marconi, “We know times are tough right now and look forward to getting The Playhouse and the Town of Ridgefield back to where it was.”

And times have been tough indeed.  “The entire Arts and Culture sector is hurting right now,” says Stockel. “So, we really need to do this Gala. We do not yet know what we will be able to do inside the Theater this winter, we are hoping to know soon. Right now, we can do a few outdoor shows, which is good, but not what we would normally do.” In fact, The Ridgefield Playhouse did only four outdoor shows in the month of August, when they originally had 18 shows booked.

  This September they were planning to do 20 live performances and will only be able to do five outdoor shows.  “At least it’s something,” Stockel says, “but it’s not enough to keep us going if we aren’t able to, at some point, start doing regular indoor shows again soon.” Even so, Stockel and her team are proud of what they have accomplished and feel positive about where the Playhouse is going.  “We have wonderful and loyal sponsors, members and donors. 

This Gala is as much for them as it is for us,” says Stockel. “And even though we’re doing it a little differently during these unprecedented times, we’re here and we’re not going anywhere.  We have been through a lot over the past 20 years, and we’ve stood the test of time.  I know we will be okay and come out on the other end, it’ll just be a bit of a journey to get there.” 

The Ridgefield Playhouse Gala is sponsored by  PLATINUM SPONSORS: Berisford, Rabinowitz, Ross & Stockel Families, Missy & Andy Williams; GOLD SPONSORS: Eric Diefenbach & JK Brown; SILVER SPONSORS:  Deb and Howard Bubb; BRONZE SPONSORS: Caroline & Rommin Adl, Amy & Eric Freidenrich, Kathleen & Dave Lyons, Jill & Larry Mango, Dr. Margaret A. Reed & Patricia Fernandes, The Sawtelle Family, Linsey Tully & Joe Racioppo, Mercedes-Benz of Danbury.

For more information about The Playhouse Gala go online to www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org or, you can visit or call the box office (203) 438-5795.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is a non-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT and is committed to keeping the arts alive and available to all.

 

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kerry@ducey.org (The Ridgefield Playhouse) Events Mon, 14 Sep 2020 11:00:58 -0400
Connecticut Charm Alert: Office of Tourism Boasts Towns to Visit to Fall in Love with Fall https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/places/4079-charm-alert-for-ridgefield-office-of-tourism-boasts-area-attractions-restaurants-perfect-for-autumn-day-trip-or-overnight4079-charm-alert-for-ridgefield-office-of-tourism-boasts-area-attractions-restaurants-perfect-for-autumn-day-trip-or-overnight https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/places/4079-charm-alert-for-ridgefield-office-of-tourism-boasts-area-attractions-restaurants-perfect-for-autumn-day-trip-or-overnight4079-charm-alert-for-ridgefield-office-of-tourism-boasts-area-attractions-restaurants-perfect-for-autumn-day-trip-or-overnight

The Connecticut Office of Tourism recently rated Connecticut towns for their charm-appeal saying, "Connecticut still does “charming” very well, especially in the autumn."

The Office of Tourism highlights eight towns that exude charm due to their local shops, restaurants, galleries, and inns. 

The eight towns bursting with charm include:

Chester

Stonington Borough

New Preston

Southport

Guilford

Litchfield

Pomfret

Ridgefield

Read the article in its entirety and find out what towns win the category of "charm" here.

*Before venturing out, make sure to check the hours, they may have changed due to COVID-19.

*Image courtesy CT Visit Facebook Page.

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kerry@ducey.org (HH) Places Mon, 14 Sep 2020 10:26:00 -0400
New Milford Public Schools Reopen After Last Week's Report of Positive COVID-19 Case https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/neighbors/4077-new-milford-public-schools-reopen-after-positive-covid-19-case4077-new-milford-public-schools-reopen-after-positive-covid-19-case https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/neighbors/4077-new-milford-public-schools-reopen-after-positive-covid-19-case4077-new-milford-public-schools-reopen-after-positive-covid-19-case

 Dr. Paul Smotas New Milford's Interim Superintendent of Schools provided an update to the school community after a school visitor tested positive for COVID-19 resulting in two-day school closure. All New Milford public schools reopened today, Monday, September 14 with Cohort A. Please read the important message below.

We have completed all of the CDC, Department of Public Health (DPH) and CT State Department of Education protocols related to our school closure. If you were not contacted by DPH, it is extremely likely that you were not exposed to COVID-19 from our community member (within six feet for 15 minutes or longer). 

It is important to remember that we/you must stay vigilant regarding your personal health protocols:

1. If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and get tested.

2. Continue to wear your mask at all times.

3. Maintain social distancing greater than six (6) feet.

4. Remain home if you test positive and notify your school.

5. Self-quarantine for 14 days if you have close contact to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or who shows symptoms.

Remember, we are all members of the same New Milford community. We must continue to support, care for and cooperate as one large extended family.

The past three days were extremely stressful for parents, students and staff.

Unkind comments and accusations did nothing to help the situation; they only added to the stress. Please help me keep schools open for the future.

Stay vigilant, stay safe, stay healthy and most of all, show kindness and understanding.

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kerry@ducey.org (HH) Neighbors Mon, 14 Sep 2020 08:36:26 -0400
Fall Sports in Full Swing: OrthoConnecticut Doc Talks Preventing and Treating Injuries in Young Athletes https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/neighbors/4076-fall-sports-in-full-swing-orthoconnecticut-doc-talks-preventing-and-treating-injuries-in-young-athletes4076-fall-sports-in-full-swing-orthoconnecticut-doc-talks-preventing-and-treating-injuries-in-young-athletes https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/neighbors/4076-fall-sports-in-full-swing-orthoconnecticut-doc-talks-preventing-and-treating-injuries-in-young-athletes4076-fall-sports-in-full-swing-orthoconnecticut-doc-talks-preventing-and-treating-injuries-in-young-athletes

It’s “Back to School” season, and in Hearst Connecticut Media’s recent feature, writer Andrea Valluzzo put a spotlight on fall sports and an orthopedic practice that is at the heart of diagnosing and treating injuries - OrthoConnecticut.

 “Whether or not students return to school this fall, odds are many of them will be participating in some type of athletic activity. When kids are involved in sports — no matter what the scenario — athletic-related injuries are always a possibility,” says Valluzzo. 

 OrthoConnecticut’s very own sports medicine specialist, Dr. Emund Ganal, mentions he can relate to the situation both personally and professionally, “Unfortunately, most kids, mine included, play sports all year round. Overspecialization, I think, is a problem when kids do one specific sport 12 months a year. They develop certain habits that stress only certain parts of the body and when those get overworked too much, they start developing chronic problems like tendon degeneration and a lot of overuse injuries,” he says. 

 Dr. Ganal, a resident of Ridgefield, sees many cases of overuse injuries in the office and also warns that now is the time to take things slow, " After months of being fairly sedentary, athletes need to be smart about their training. While the forced rest over the past few months can be a good thing, we also want to be sure athletes properly get back into shape to avoid injuries." It's important to listen to your body, your coaches and your doctor. 

OrthoConnecticut is a multispecialty practice staffed by leaders in orthopedic care with offices in Danbury, Litchfield, New Milford, Ridgefield, Sharon and Southbury. The practice’s urgent care service, OrthoCare Express, is open 7 days a week for emergencies and is available in the Danbury office.  

 

 
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kerry@ducey.org (HH) Neighbors Mon, 14 Sep 2020 08:24:24 -0400
Kent Falls State Park Reopens Tomorrow! https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/places/4075-kent-falls-state-park-to-re-open-tomorrow4075-kent-falls-state-park-to-re-open-tomorrow https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/places/4075-kent-falls-state-park-to-re-open-tomorrow4075-kent-falls-state-park-to-re-open-tomorrow

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced today that Kent Falls State Park will re-open to the public on Saturday, September 12, at 8 a.m. 

The park was closed in early April of this year due to COVID-19 prevention concerns associated with the natural layout of the park, which includes a narrow trail and stairway that did not lend itself to adequate social distancing.  Since then, restrictions on park features have lessened and the main trail that runs along the falls can be safely re-opened, as long as visitors continue to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.

Due to the Passport to the Parks legislation, visitors with Connecticut registered vehicles do not have to pay a parking fee.  Visitors with out-of-state registered vehicles will be required to pay a $15 parking fee on weekends and $10 on weekdays.  If the park is closed for capacity, walk-in visitors will not be permitted.

Visitors are reminded to plan ahead before visiting a state park. Check https://portal.ct.gov/whatsopenoutdoors, or the State Parks Twitter Feed, @CTStateParks, for real-time closure information, and have a back-up plan in mind in case the park is closed upon your arrival.

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kerry@ducey.org (CT Deep) Places Fri, 11 Sep 2020 10:30:23 -0400
Frank Stella's Stars, A Survey Opens at The Aldrich on September 21 https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/life/4074-frank-stella-s-stars-a-survey-opens-at-the-aldrich-on-september-214074-frank-stella-s-stars-a-survey-opens-at-the-aldrich-on-september-21 https://news.hamlethub.com/newmilford/life/4074-frank-stella-s-stars-a-survey-opens-at-the-aldrich-on-september-214074-frank-stella-s-stars-a-survey-opens-at-the-aldrich-on-september-21

Frank Stella's Stars, A Survey opens at The Aldrich on September 21 and runs through May 9, 2021

Frank Stella’s Stars, A Survey, the artist’s first solo exhibition at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, will be on view in the Museum’s galleries and Sculpture Garden from September 21, 2020 to May 9, 2021.

Spanning more than sixty years, Frank Stella’s studio practice has pushed abstraction to the limits, investigating every category from painting and printmaking to sculpture and public art. Among the myriad of forms found in Stella’s work, one element continuously reappears, a motif that is simultaneously abstract and figurative: the star. Immediately identifiable, the star stands out amidst the tangle of abstract, invented forms the artist has explored over his long career. Under the spotlight for the first time, this exhibition surveys Stella’s use of the star, ranging from two-dimensional works of the 1960s to its most recent incarnation in sculptures, wall reliefs, and painted objects from the 2010s. 

Stella’s use of the star form emerged during his first decade in New York as he was exhibiting his groundbreaking striped and shaped paintings. It then vanished and resurfaced many decades later at a moment when he committed himself to three-dimensional abstraction. Today, the star is the lead in scores of works from small objects to towering sculptures. Scaled to the table or the open air, Stella’s star works transport us—we imagine how disparate elements shift, how parts are assembled, how paint is applied. The works parade an outsized material resourcefulness that collapses analogue and twenty-first century fabrication techniques: RPT (rapid prototype technology) plastics, teak, aluminum, stainless steel, birch plywood, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and more. With their automotive neon hues, shimmering and natural finishes, the stars, big and small, flex and project a spatial dynamism that intimates a potential maneuverability—as if they were built to perform.

At The Aldrich, Stella’s star works will be on view outdoors throughout the Museum’s grounds and inside the galleries. Outside, large-scale sculptures will be sited from Ridgefield’s historic Main Street, the Museum’s semi-enclosed interior courtyard, and two-acre Sculpture Garden. Inside, the exhibition will occupy the entire ground floor including the Museum’s Project Space where the largest sculpture in the exhibition, Fat 12 Point Carbon Fiber Star (2016), challenges the room’s perimeter with its twelve puffed up rays stretching twenty-one feet in all directions. The star is characterized in this survey as a breakthrough element. From a simple, planar shape to an ornamented spatial object, its manifestation reveals stylistic continuity amidst decisive variation.

The Museum’s founder Larry Aldrich showed early interest in Stella’s work and exhibited Tetuan (1963) one year after he founded The Aldrich. Additionally, the Larry Aldrich Foundation Fund, established in 1959, supported the Museum of Modern Art in purchasing Stella’s painting The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II—the first work by the artist to enter their collection. Since the Museum’s founding in 1964, Stella’s work has been included in fifteen group exhibitions.

Frank Stella (b. 1936, Malden, MA) has created an exceptional body of work over his six-decade career. Spanning painting, sculpture, and printmaking, his work is held in more than fifty public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Stella currently lives and works in New York.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color 150-page hardbound catalogue, featuring essays by the exhibition’s curators Richard Klein and Amy Smith-Stewart.

Curated by Richard Klein, Exhibitions Director, and Amy Smith-Stewart, Senior Curator at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

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kerry@ducey.org (The Aldrich) Life Thu, 10 Sep 2020 18:05:26 -0400