Newtown's HamletHub Mon, 19 Feb 2018 08:37:28 -0500 What's In? What's Out? Learn About recycling at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown on March 4

What's In? What's Out? Learn about recycling in Newtown

What does in your bin? What stays out? Why recycle? 

Jennifer Heaton-Jones, the Executive Director of the regional government solid waste management authority, HRRA, will give a one-hour Trash Talk. 

This is a FREE fun family event at Edmond Town Hall on Sunday, March 4 at 1:00 pm. 


]]> (Tara Daly) Events Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:26:19 -0500
Both Sandy Hook and Parkland Teacher Hid Students from Active Shooter: Open Letter

You are so much stronger than you feel right now.

- Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis

Yesterday, a heroic Broward County high school teacher, Melissa Falkowski, saved the lives of her 19 students by hiding them in a closet when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Like that Broward County teacher, former Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher, Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis saved the lives of her 15 first graders by piling them into a tiny bathroom inside of her classroom to protect them from an active shooter. That was five years and three months ago. 

Today, Roig-DeBellis wrote a letter to Ms. Falkowski. She has given HamletHub permission to publish her open letter. The letter was first published in Glamour Magazine.

Dear Ms. Falkowski,

I want to say I understand. I guess mostly because five years and three months ago, no one said that to me. I remember the weight of darkness and the feeling that I was drowning in unfathomable, unreasonable despair: How? Why? The questions kept coming; the answers, unfortunately, did not. And so I’m writing to you in the hopes that I can help to bridge the gap between yesterday and today. Otherwise known as, your After.

I know that you went to school yesterday filled with mental notes, plans, I’m sure some worries: Would you get it all done? Were your students prepared for the upcoming test? Did you provide enough support to your struggling student(s)? I know you did not go to school worrying, Will I be able to keep my students alive? I know that thought never entered your mind. And yet at the end of your day, and that’s exactly what you were tasked with.

I remember returning home that cold December night and feeling such a heavy sense of loss. It was palpable, it was heavy, it was unconscionable. And yet it was. So I want to tell you some things that, only having walked through that, only after five years and three months, only after a lot of reflection, and a lot of support and love, I now know:

You are a hero. I know, it’s not a word you associate with (I still don’t), but perhaps I, as an outside party, can make you believe this. A hero is an ordinary person who rises to the occasion under remarkable circumstance. That was you today. You are a hero—don’t ever forget it.

Use your voice, share your story. It will help someone (probably many). It will enable someone who finds themselves in the midst of their own despair to, if nothing else, know that they are not alone. You will not find answers to all of your whys: Why did this happen? Why our school? Why us? For years I felt like this, but now I realized those questions will never be answered. Know that there are so many questions that can be. Focus on those. Find the answers to those.

The "club" that you have now joined is one that no one wants to be a part of and has unfortunately grown exponentially in the past five years.

You are so much stronger than you feel right now. It’s a funny thing how our bodies carry us through the trauma, but then leave us feeling depleted, withered, and wholly terrified. Remember your strength.

There is no moving on, only moving forward. This day will forever be a part of you. I am sure you are already well aware of that, so don’t allow anyone to make you feel that you "should" be over it. You don’t forget the sounds of people screaming, pleading, all the while thinking you are going to be next. That’s not something you ever just get over. You never will be over it. But you will move forward, each and every day, you will persevere. You already have.

Know that what you have endured—the sights, sounds, memories that reverberate in your mind (over and over)—are just that now, memories. You can make the decision for yourself that what has happened to you does not have to define you. You instead define your life moving forward.

What happened today, in your school, your home, where until today you felt so very safe, has happened where you never thought it would. I know my first thought in 2012 was "Columbine is happening here, in my idyllic school of Sandy Hook." And it has only gotten worse; the "club" that you have now joined is one that no one wants to be a part of and has unfortunately grown exponentially in the past five years. We as witnesses to these atrocities against innocent individuals do have a voice; we do have a choice: We can stand up and say enough is enough. Since Sandy Hook, there have been more senseless atrocities related to gun violence than I can count. When will our country wake up and realize that no civilian needs such powerful, rapid-fire guns? We need change; it is clear that what we have been doing (or not doing) is not working. As Gandhi so eloquently said, "You must be the change that you wish to see in our world." You can be that change.

God bless, and know that, above all else, you are not alone.

With gratitude,

Kaitlin M. Roig-DeBellis


Roig-DeBellis is the author of Choosing Hope: Moving Forward from Life's Darkest Hours and founder of nonprofit Classes 4 Classes.

Photo credit: Norman Jean Roy

]]> (Tara Daly) Life Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:12:41 -0500
Attention Connecticut Authors: The Connecticut Book Awards Accepting Submissions

Connecticut Center for the Book at Connecticut Humanities is now accepting submissions for the Connecticut Book Awards.

These awards recognize the best books of 2017 by authors and illustrators who reside in Connecticut.  Categories include: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Young Readers. Entry fees begin at $40 for a 2,000 copy or fewer print run. Award winners will receive exposure in Connecticut media outlets and personal appearances in Connecticut locations. 

For guidelines and to submit, please visit


]]> (Contributed) Life Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:13:00 -0500
Connecticut Flags at Half Staff in Honor of Victims of Mass Shooting in Parkland, Florida

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that – in accordance with a presidential proclamation directing flags to be lowered to honor the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – U.S. and state flags in Connecticut will fly at half-staff beginning immediately until sunset on Monday, February 19, 2018.

Accordingly, since no flag should fly higher than the U.S. flag, all other flags – including state, municipal, corporate, or otherwise – should also be lowered during this same duration of time.

]]> (Governor Malloy) Politics Thu, 15 Feb 2018 04:39:21 -0500
Winter Bration Celebration on Friday at Dickinson Park

Newtown Parks and Rec invite you to a Winter Bration, a fun night for the whole family, this Friday, February 16 from 6-8:30 pm at Dickinson Park Pavilion. 

There will be games, a bonfire, and lots of fun for the entire family! 

Learn more and register by visiting Newtown Parks and Rec online here.

]]> (Newtown Parks & Rec) Events Wed, 14 Feb 2018 05:34:15 -0500
Save the Date and Run 4 Hunger at Fairfield Hills in Newtown on May 5

Be part of the 1st Annual Run4Hunger-Newtown on Saturday morning, May 5th in beautiful Fairfield Hills in Newtown, CT and help to raise awareness and support the F.A.I.T.H Food Pantry that provides food assistance to local residents. This event is hosted by Newtown Knights of Columbus.

The scenic area of Fairfield Hills with only 1 gradual incline will provide a challenging morning run or walk. The results for the race will be posted after the race by age group. For safety, no bikes, skateboards, or rollerblades will be allowed on the course. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed. Strollers or wheelchairs are welcome, but please depart after the runners.


All registered participants will receive a shirt with a bib/chip for the timed event. All finishers will receive a medal commemorating the event.

----- Race Day Schedule ------
Race Day Registration: 6:3am to 8:15am
Opening Ceremonies: 8:15am
5K Run/Walk start: 8:30am

----- Registration Cost -----
Adult Run/Walkers: $30.00 + 3 Canned Goods
Students (17 and under): $20.00 + 3 Canned Goods
Virtual Runners: $25.00 Donation

For Online Registration, please click HERE.

]]> (Run4Hunger) Charities Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:29:05 -0500
Gov. Malloy Urges DHS Secretary to Stay Deportation of Farmington Family


Governor Dannel P. Malloy today released a letter sent to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen requesting that her agency stay the planned deportation of Zhe Long ‘Tony’ Huang and Xiang ‘Kris’ Li to China. The couple currently resides in Farmington, Connecticut with their two children, who are both American citizens.

“Tony and Kris emigrated from China in search of freedom and a better life for their children,” Governor Malloy stated in the letter. “These two children, five and fifteen years old, know no other home than the United States, and have a loving mother and father to provide for them. Deporting them would send these two youths into foster care, and tear their family apart.”

“President Trump has stated that your Department prioritizes deporting ‘the worst of the worst,’ gang members, drug dealers, and violent criminals,” Governor Malloy continued. “This does not describe or characterize Tony and Kris. Surely we can agree that this family should not be torn asunder and that Tony and Kris deserve a stay of deportation and a chance at continuing to contribute to our great nation. They have the support of their neighbors, their community, their local, state and congressional elected officials, and now—they need your support. Especially with the U.S. Congress poised to consider immigration legislation, I urge you to use your discretion to ensure that this family remain in the place they call their home.”

]]> (Office of Gov. Malloy) Politics Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:29:26 -0500
Freedom of Information Workshop Tuesday, February 13 in Newtown

Come and learn about the Freedom of Information Act on Tuesday, February 13 beginning at 7:00 pm at Newtown Municipal Center Council Chambers.

The FOI Commission conducts workshops around the state helping citizens and officials understand their rights and their obligations under the FOI Act.

Speaker:  Mr. Thomas A. Hennick, Public Information Officer from the Freedom of Information Commission.

  • Hear an overview of Freedom of Information Act requirements including:
  • Types of meetings.
  • What “groups” fall under FOI regulations?
  • Meeting notice requirements.
  • Filing of meeting minutes.
  • When to enter executive session; who can be included; what can be discussed; what action can be taken? How to identify executive session on the Agenda? What is the motion to go into Executive session?
  • Requests for public records.
  • Questions and Answers.

All Department Heads, Board and Commission Members and the Public are encouraged to attend this free workshop.

Learn more here.

]]> (Town of Newtown) Politics Mon, 12 Feb 2018 07:53:03 -0500
Wooster’s Very Own Tiny House

Tiny Houses are quite a phenomenon among reality tv watchers and millennials. Between “Tiny House Builders,” “Tiny House Hunters,” and “Tiny House Nation,” we just can’t get enough of seeing these 100 to 400 square foot homes, and wondering if we could ever live that small.
If you have been on Wooster’s campus lately, you would see that there is now a framed-in tiny house that’s a few months into the building process, making Wooster one of the first high schools in the country to add it to the curriculum.
Wooster’s Makerspace and Theater teacher Kim Gerardi, the driving force behind the project, saw the tiny house concept for more than just the entertainment value. She saw it as a perfect opportunity for Wooster students.
“I wanted the students to explore something they see on reality television and to look at the different sides of the tiny house movement,” says Gerardi. “The layers of the learning involved -- from the building process, determining and adding the utilities, and then the interior objects. I thought it could be a rich curriculum that we could really sink our teeth into.”
There’s a Tiny House letter-period class, with two sections running this trimester. In the first trimester, it was also an art collaboration. Wooster currently offers “Art Intensive” as an afternoon activity in the Upper School, which generally covers a different art topic each day. This fall, all of Art Intensive focused on different aspects of the Tiny House project, with different teachers. The five days broke down into: “Building a Tiny House;” “3D Design” which focused on living in small spaces and having structural elements serving more than one purpose; “Architectural Studies” to draft the tiny house in CAD and SketchUp, where they created digital renderings and built models; a documentary class on the process; and “Architectural Design in Small and Shared Spaces.”
A few months into the project, they are finishing up the construction for framing. Gerardi says that the roof, doors, and windows will be done by end of trimester in a few weeks. The students are also looking into whether it will run on electricity, solar power; whether water will come from the well system, rain, etc. Gerardi says that in the spring they will know what the utilities will be, so they’ll focus on that while also working through the interior.
As for what happens to the tiny house... that’s all part of the process. Students have been doing research on whether it should be mobile or stay on campus.
Gerardi says that some of the ideas that have been kicked around include: “a new student center [she says with a laugh]; visiting or new faculty live there for a month and write about it; an Senior Independent Study experience - either living in it on the road or in place; a spirit truck to sell Wooster Wear and concessions; a marketing ‘Wooster on Wheels’ vehicle; a food truck; or a research center on top of Tiedemann Field.”
One thing is for sure. It’s an ongoing project that will continue on after this school year, and will look at sustainable living and what it means. Gerardi sees all of this as “more than just a passing fad, but rather a movement.”
But first, Gerardi is entering Wooster in the Maker Faire Westport 2018 in April, which will be “a nice culminating event for our students who have participated in our Tiny House project.”
To learn more about Wooster School, visit or contact Wooster School Admissions at (203) 830-3916.
]]> (Brooke Thaler, Publications Teacher) Places Mon, 12 Feb 2018 04:29:19 -0500
Sandy Hook Holistic Health Center Expands Roster

The Tapping Practice has joined CT Wellness in Sandy Hook, CTThe Tapping Practice has joined CT Wellness in Sandy Hook, CTThe Tapping Practice has joined CT Wellness in Sandy Hook, CTThe Tapping Practice is now part of the larger holistic health group CT Wellness, also located at 107 Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook.

Local Holistic Health Center Expands Roster: The Tapping Practice Joins Forces with CT Wellness

The Tapping Practice, formerly Tapping for Peace, a private, AAMET-certified* EFT Tapping holistic health group in Sandy Hook, CT, has joined CT Wellness (formerly CT Counselors), also in Sandy Hook, adding to the group’s already expansive holistic health and wellness offerings. 

“We are thrilled to be joining CT Wellness,” says Suzanne Rossini, one of The Tapping Practice’s founding partners. “The mission at CT Wellness has always been to provide a safe, supportive, non-judgmental environment in which people can openly explore life’s challenges and learn to maximize strengths, realize potential and engage in goal-oriented conversations that will lead to change -- just like what we have always believed in and strived for at The Tapping Practice,” says Rossini. “Our collaboration with CT Wellness will allow us to reach more people with the amazing benefits of EFT Tapping, and will also allow us to offer, through our partners here, a helpful range of wellness services to our clients that will benefit and enhance total wellbeing: our ultimate goal.”

Born from their work with The Tapping Solution in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, The Tapping Practice is a private group practice with three certified Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping practitioners, including Victoria Cryder, Kay Flynn and Suzanne Rossini. All three practitioners will be joining the team at CT Wellness, and all are AAMET (Association for the Advancement of Meridian Energy Techniques) International Certified Practitioners. 

It’s an easy move for The Tapping Practice: CT Wellness is right downstairs, at 107 Church Hill Road (Suite 1A).  For more information about The Tapping Practice, visit them online at, or call 203-313-1560. For more information about CT Wellness, visit

*The Association for the Advancement of Meridian Energy Techniques (AAMET) is the largest professional EFT association worldwide, founded in 1999 to promote and uphold standards of training for EFT.

]]> (KBSchwarz) Places Fri, 09 Feb 2018 11:45:11 -0500
WCSU to present Bruce Norris drama Clybourne Park Feb. 23 through March 4


Western Connecticut State University will present the award-winning drama, “Clybourne Park,” in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

The Department of Theatre Arts production, directed by Professor of Theatre Arts Sal Trapani, will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23; Saturday, Feb. 24, Friday, March 2; and Saturday, March 3; with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday, Feb. 24; Sunday, Feb. 25; Saturday, March 3, and Sunday, March 4.

“Clybourne Park,” written by Bruce Norris, is a spin-off from Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” It portrays fictional events set before and after the Hansberry play, and is loosely based on historical events that took place in Chicago. It premiered in February 2010 at Playwrights Horizons in New York and opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre in April 2012. In 2011, it won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 2012, it won the Theatre World Award and a Tony Award for Best Play.

The first act opens in 1959 filled with tension as grieving parents Bev and Russ are planning to sell their house in the white middle-class neighborhood of Clybourne Park to a black family, the Youngers, who are protagonists of “A Raisin in the Sun.” In act two, with the same actors playing different roles, it is 2009 and Clybourne Park has become predominantly black, but a white couple wants to help gentrify the community. True colors are shown again as the characters fight, turn on themselves and each other.

Trapani, a composer, director and writer whose work has been seen at many New York, regional and international venues, will direct the play to highlight issues from 1959 — and before — that are still present today.

“I am honored to be directing this important play with so many talented and committed student actors,” Trapani said. “The play uses the groundbreaking ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ as its inspiration. It is a searing and wicked comedy/drama that has a powerful and intense message about the racism and prejudice in each of us. It is an important play for our campus community. I hope we can inspire students to come out and participate in this exciting event.”

 The cast features Sasha Brown, of Middletown, in the roles of Francine/Lena; Jillian Caillouette, of Meriden, as Bev/Kathy; Joey Calbrese, of Harwinton, as Russ/Dan; John Mudgett, of Danbury, as Karl/Steve; Kristen Muller, of Norwalk, as Betsey/Lindsey; Thomas Ovitt, of New Milford, as Jim/Tom; Brandon Richardi, of Hanson, Massachusetts, as Kenneth; Sydney Varick, of Waterbury, as Francine/Lena and Kezia Waters, of Waterbury, as Albert/Kevin.

Understudies for the cast are Saige Bryan, of Norwalk, as Francine/Lena; Sam Everett, of Kent, as Russ/Dan; Kenneth Galm, of West Hartford, as Kenneth; Henry Gough, of Ridgefield, as Karl/Steve; Stefan Izydorczak, of Unionville, as Jim/Tom; Jamie Leo, of Southbury, as Betsey/Lindsey; Kelsey Lepesko, of Stratford, as Bev/Kathy and Ramsay Patrick, of Sandy Hook, as Albert/Kevin.

The crew includes Trapani, Pam McDaniel as the producer, Noah Todd as assistant director, Frank Herbert as production manager, Hayley Moretti as stage manager, Tom Swetz as technical director, Philip Baldwin as set designer, Sharon Sobel as costume designer, Scott Cally as lighting designer and Cali Holt as sound designer.

Tickets are available online or in person with cash only at the Visual and Performing Arts Center box office from Wednesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

]]> (Sherri Hill) Events Fri, 09 Feb 2018 11:16:20 -0500
DOT to conduct Public Meeting regarding Rochambeau Bridge on February 20 in Southbury

The Department of Transportation will conduct a Public Information Meeting concerning the rehabilitation of Bridge Nos. 01218 and 04180 which carry I-84 over the Housatonic River in Newtown and Southbury. The meeting will be held at 7 pm on February 20, 2018 at the Southbury Public Library. 

Project No. 96-201 involves the rehabilitation of Bridge Nos. 01218 and 04180 which are 4-span continuous plate girder structures supported by reinforced concrete abutments and piers that are founded on piles. Bridge No. 01218 carries I-84 Eastbound over the Housatonic River and is known as the Rochambeau Bridge. This structure was originally built in 1953 and reconstructed in 1979. Bridge No. 04180 carries I-84 Westbound over the Housatonic River and was built circa 1979. Both structures have an overall length of 792 feet and a curb-to-curb width of 60 feet.

Details of the project can be found at the CT Department of Transportation page here

]]> (Town of Southbury) Neighbors Thu, 08 Feb 2018 10:57:15 -0500
Praxair Named to 2017 Newsweek Green Rankings

DANBURY, Conn., January 31, 2018 – Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), a leading industrial gas company and recognized global leader in sustainable development, has again earned a place in the Newsweek Green Rankings. For 2017, Praxair ranked first among all industrial gas companies and ranked 26th on the U.S. 500. The company ranked 4th out of 35 companies in the Materials sector.

The U.S. 500 is an assessment of the sustainability performance of the 500 largest publicly-traded companies in the U.S. by revenue. Newsweek’s rankings are based on research from Corporate Knights and HIP Investor, which measured and assessed companies’ sustainability performance across eight specific indicators, including Energy, GHG and Water Productivity, Green Revenue, and Sustainability Governance. For more information about the 2017 Newsweek Green Rankings, visit

“We are proud to again be recognized by Newsweek for our sustainable development efforts,” said Dr. Riva Krut, chief sustainability officer for Praxair. “Environmental and social responsibility are core values at Praxair that our employees live every day, not only supporting our company’s efforts to minimize its environmental footprint, but also helping our customers to do the same. This is a recognition of all of our employees for their commitment to sustainable development around the world.”

Praxair has a strong record of sustainable development, including:

  • Being named to the Dow Jones® World Sustainability Index for 15 consecutive years.
  • Being listed as one of the 2017 Forbes JUST 100, a list of “America’s Most Just Companies.”
  • Being included in the FTSE4Good Index Series by FTSE Russell for the second consecutive year.

More information about Praxair’s sustainable development practices can be found at

About Praxair

Praxair, Inc. is a leading industrial gas company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. With market capitalization of approximately $40 billion and 2017 sales of $11 billion, the company employs over 26,000 people globally and has been named to the Dow Jones® World Sustainability Index for 15 consecutive years. Praxair produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Our products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospacechemicalsfood and beverageelectronicsenergyhealthcare, manufacturing, primary metals and many others. For more information about the company, please visit our website at

]]> (Jason Stewart) Neighbors Tue, 06 Feb 2018 10:40:00 -0500
Graduate of Nursing Program Pays it Forward for Nursing Students

NVCC Alumna Donation Supports Single Mothers Pursuing Nursing Degrees

Mari-jean Morelli, a 2006 graduate of the College’s Nursing Program and former Saint Mary’s Hospital Emergency Room Nurse, donated $10,000 to create an endowment to support scholarships for single mothers in NVCC’s Nursing program.

Morelli is the first alumna of the nursing program to create a permanent endowment at the NVCC Foundation to ensure support of the College’s current and future students.  Committed to education and the community, her motivation in establishing the scholarship is to help single mothers in the nursing program who have overcome adversity, have excelled academically, and demonstrate financial need.

“I want to give back to the community that helped me during my struggle and offer support to other single mothers. The message I want to send is that all of us can be successful and when you meet that success, it's your turn to give back and help to empower others and offer hope to the community. I want to see others follow my lead and give back. You don't have to be rich or a celebrity to make a difference. Be the change that you want to see," Morelli said.

“I am very grateful to and so very proud of Mari-jean Morelli’s success and her willingness to give back to NVCC to support the success of other students,” said NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. “What a generous and meaningful gift!”

The Naugatuck Valley Community College Foundation supports NVCC students with scholarships, grants and program support through generous donations from community organizations, and supporters of the College.  To learn more about donating to the NVCC Foundation, contact Angela Chapman, Associate Dean of Development or visit

]]> (Claudia Ward-de Leon) Neighbors Tue, 06 Feb 2018 06:45:58 -0500
Snow and Ice Expected in Newtown on Wednesday

The National Weather Service is predicting snow mixed with ice to begin tomorrow, Wednesday, February 7

✓ Snow will likely accumulate across the watch area through the morning and early afternoon. Expect travel delays for both the Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening commute.

✓ Precipitation will transition to a wintry mix then to freezing rain Wednesday morning into the afternoon.

✓ A slight change in the track of the storm will impact precipitation types, and snowfall and ice accumulation amounts.

Snow, freezing rain, and sleet before 1pm, then rain, snow, and sleet between 1pm and 2pm, then rain after 2pm. High near 37. Wind chill values between 10 and 20. East wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Little or no ice accumulation expected. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Wednesday Night
Rain and sleet likely before 9pm, then a chance of snow and freezing rain between 9pm and midnight. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 23. Wind chill values between 15 and 20. Southwest wind 7 to 10 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Little or no ice accumulation expected. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
For additional weather details, visit NWS here.


]]> (National Weather Service) Life Tue, 06 Feb 2018 04:18:16 -0500