Norwalk's HamletHub Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:42:48 -0400 South Pacific Comes to Weston High School

Weston High School’s Company is taking the town by storm with their spring musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Set during World War Two, the 1949 musical chronicles two love stories and follows the lives of “seabees”, sailors, and nurses serving in the South Pacific. Challenging the racial norms of the early 20th century, South Pacific redefined what it means to love someone.  

The show’s progressive message against racism did not initially sit well with all audiences, but Rodgers, a former resident of Fairfield, and Hammerstein stood by the themes of their musical––themes which are still relevant to society today. This prejudice is confronted head-on through the classic archetype of two star-crossed lovers: Ensign Nellie Forbush and Emile de Becque, played by Izzy Angeli and Thomas Valenti. As the naive yet spunky nurse and distinguished Frenchman fall in love, their relationship is jeopardized by Nellie’s deep-rooted prejudice against his biracial children. Rounding out the cast are Sophie Lang as Bloody Mary, David Katz as Lieutenant Joseph Cable, Nima Lewis as Mary’s daughter and Cable’s love interest Liat, and Matthew Figliola as Seabee Luther Billis. The parallel love story of Lt. Cable and the young Tonkinese Liat serves as a powerful reminder of how devastating the deep-rooted racism which possessed many Americans could be.

“I have always been drawn to the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein but South Pacific holds a special place in my heart. My students have embraced the score and have committed fully to its message,” said South Pacific Director and Company Advisor, Liz Morris.  “We are proud to present this work to the community and hope that the audience will connect with this story and its magnificent score as much as we have.”

Rodgers and Hammerstein received immense box-office success when South Pacific became the second-longest running Broadway musical of its time. The music is rich with famously catchy tunes that Hammerstein spent years creating, including Nothing Like a Dame, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair and Happy Talk which are sure to have audience members dancing in their seats.

The soaring melodies in Bali Ha’i, Some Enchanted Evening and Younger Than Springtime are complemented by our 24 member pit orchestra, 20 of whom are Weston High School students. Showcased in this production are the many talents of Company members ranging from the building and painting skills of the set team to dancing skills in the “Follies” musical number to the technical skills of the large crew of students behind the production. The production is sure to be visually stunning with a number of rousing, crowd-pleasing musical numbers and outstanding solos for young and old hearts to enjoy.

South Pacific will run March 22, 23, 24, and 25. Tickets for the show are already for sale at and are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. Veterans are invited to attend opening night on Thursday for free with the code VET18.
]]> ( by Ellen Relac and Izzy Angeli) Events Mon, 19 Mar 2018 11:39:18 -0400
Imminent Closure of Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us Raises Many Questions and Concerns for Customers

Connecticut BBB recommends Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us customers move quickly to redeem store gift cards and reward points, and to make alternative arrangements for baby registry accounts.

The company says it will honor store gift cards for 30 days, so it’s best to move quickly to use or redeem store gift cards for cash before they are rendered useless.

A company spokesman is quoted as saying the Babies “R” Us baby registry and rewards programs continue to operate, however, there is no telling how long that will last.

“A number of very large, well-known companies have gone out of business in recent years,” according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau spokesman Howard Schwartz. “Bankruptcies may be related to poor end-of-year holiday sales, competitive pricing at big box stores and consumers’ changing purchasing preferences in stores and online. From the retailers’ perspective, an online presence is a fraction of the cost of operating hundreds of stores.”

Fortunately for customers, the company gave advanced notice it was shutting down. In other situations when a company is going through bankruptcy proceedings, it may cease all operations without any advance notice.  

It is not all bad news for consumers. Liquidation sales are expected over the next several weeks as the company moves to clear its inventory. The caveat is that items bought during a liquidation will likely not be eligible for return or exchange.

BBB offers tips for existing customers and consumers who are looking for bankruptcy bargains:

Check for the latest information – Visit the company’s websites and social media profiles for updated information, and look for the site’s page that is dedicated to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Don’t wait – This is a message that is worth repeating. If you have gift cards, store credits, reward program points or a baby registry, move as quickly as possible. Conditions may force unexpected changes, so experts remind us to “use it or lose it.”

Find out what will happen with a store-issued credit card – The good news is that in some cases, just because a store opts to close its doors doesn’t automatically mean that its branded credit cards will be useless. 

In this case, the company’s retail website is still up and running at the moment, so you may be able to use the card online. If you want more information contact the store’s credit card division.

]]> (Howard Schwartz) Public safety Mon, 19 Mar 2018 07:33:51 -0400
Norwalk Resident Stars in Musical Production

Ninth grade student Deyante McKinstry of Norwalk took a star turn in the lead role of New Canaan Country School’s performance of the musical, Singin’ In the Rain, Feb. 26 & 27.

]]> (k. Finley) Life Sat, 17 Mar 2018 08:13:22 -0400
Stepping Stones is Turning GREEN for Spring!

Go Green Parade Kicks Off Lucky Month At Stepping Stones

- Daily Pop-Up Activities, $3 Off Admission, and Secret Spring Surprises! -

Everyone has the luck of the Irish at Stepping Stones Museum for Children as we turn green for spring starting on St. Patrick’s Day. The whole family can be transported to our mythical, magical wonderland full of shamrock surprises, scavenger hunts and savings from now until March 31st.

Green dragons, leprechauns and fairies will be popping up in our daily green activities. Fresh green specials are sprouting in the café, and eggs can be decorated at our annual Egg-straordinary Egg-stravaganza.

But first get your green on & grab a noisemaker to start the celebration with BooZoo as he hosts the first ever GO GREEN parade on March 17th at 4:15. All weekend long explore the mystical properties of science and chemical reactions and make a dragon come to life! Use your scientific magic to hide a pot of gold and concoct ooey-gooey green slime to catch a unicorn.

Visitors can storm the Irish Castle in our Mega Making exhibit as we collaborate to make the most magnificent structure in all the land. Build forts, construct catapults ... we must protect the castle!

The enchantment continues March 24-25th when children design a unicorn puppet or invent a legendary creature to star in its very own story. From March 27-29th make a pixie dust pendant using two parts imagination, one part determination and a pinch of courage. Create your own pixie dust and witness the magical feats you can perform!

Families can save some green all month long by entering the code "LUCKY18" at checkout and receive $3 off each admission. Better yet, purchase a family membership and be showered with surprises during Member Appreciation Week Sunday, March 25 through Saturday, March 31st. More details to come, but let's just say our members are very lucky, like enjoying a NEW members-only egg hunt at 9:00 am during the Egg-straordinary Egg-stravaganza event on March 31st.

Visit our website calendar for a full list of all the fun we have planned and remember to get social with us! Did you snap any great photos of your kids at Stepping Stones? Tag us when you share your own photos and use the hashtag #SteppingStonesMuseum.



Stepping Stones Museum for Children is an award-winning, private, non-profit 501 (c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. For more information about Stepping Stones, to book a field trip or schedule a class, workshop or facility rental call 203-899-0606 or visit

Stepping Stones Museum for Children is located at 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT, exit 14 North and 15 South off I-95. Museum hours are: Labor Day through Memorial Day, Tuesday-Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; and Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday-Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Admission is $15 for adults and children and $10 for seniors. Children under 1 are free. Get social with Stepping Stones on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

]]> (Alisa Gaudiosi) Todays events Sat, 17 Mar 2018 06:11:00 -0400
NPS Hosts First Annual Transition Fair for Post-Secondary Students

The Norwalk Public Schools Specialized Learning and Student Services Department will host its first annual Transition Fair Wednesday, March 21 at City Hall in the Community Room. Parents and students are invited to learn more about available programs, supports and services for students who will transition to post-secondary working, living and learning. Additional resources and information will be available to attendees during the event regarding social, personal, vocational or academic training or assistance.

Eye to Eye Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer David Flink will be the keynote speaker.  Diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD at a young age, Flink founded the only national mentoring movement run for and by people with LD/ADHD. Flink’s company supports students as they make the transition to the workplace and beyond.

Three breakout sessions will be offered from Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, Norwalk Probate Court and The Kennedy Center. Additional event participants include College Steps, Financial Advisor, Vista Life Innovations, STAR and Department of Developmental Services.

The event is free of charge.  Food and refreshments will be served. Student-only raffles include Maritime Aquarium tickets, Connecticut Science Center tickets, Norwalk High School and Brien McMahon High School football gear and more.

For any special accommodations, please contact Elizabeth Merced-Surapine at

]]> (Gina Zammit) Life Sat, 17 Mar 2018 06:05:25 -0400
Westport Country Playhouse to Host Free Community Conversation with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota

In recognition of Women’s History Month, Female Power Unleashed:  Politics and Positive Change” will address the seismic shifts of 2018

Westport Country Playhouse will host “Female Power Unleashed:  Politics and Positive Change,” a Community Conversation with Alisyn Camerota, anchor of CNN’s “New Day,” and Patricia Russo, executive director of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, on Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m. The hour-long conversation, including a 10-minute Q&A, will acknowledge Women’s History Month.  Michael Barker, Westport Country Playhouse managing director, will moderate.  Admission is free by reservation.

Following the discussion, Camerota will sign copies of her new novel “Amanda Wakes Up,” about an idealistic young journalist who finds herself with a plum spot at a cable news channel during a crazy presidential race.  In addition to several giveaway copies, books will be available for purchase.

Describing the event, Russo said, “I find so many Americans hungry for this kind of dialogue, yet bogged down in the paralysis of partisanship.  We’re having trouble talking these days. Our Community Conversation will openly discuss the rise of women entering politics and how this influx can change the face of government.”

Russo added, “We’ll tie in Alisyn’s work and observations as a journalist as well as a novelist.  There are many similarities to the character in her new book and women running for office.”

Alisyn Camerota is a journalist and anchor of CNN's morning show "New Day.”  In her three decades in journalism, Camerota has covered stories nationally and internationally, earning two Emmy Award nominations for her breaking news reporting.  Camerota has been at the forefront of today’s most pressing news events, including the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, the Paris and Brussels terror attacks, and the Parkland, Florida school shooting.  As a leading voice of the #MeToo movement, she has helped to provide the #SilenceBreakers with a platform to tell their stories.  Outside of her role anchoring “New Day,” Camerota has anchored a number of primetime specials, including “Tipping Point: Sexual Harassment in America” and "The Hunting Ground: Sexual Assault on Campus."  A national advisory council member of The News Literacy Project and an advisory member of Press Forward, Camerota is an outspoken proponent of First Amendment rights.

Prior to joining CNN, Camerota worked for many years at the Fox News Channel, most notably as part of the “Fox & Friends” franchise and as co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend.” Her first novel “Amanda Wakes Up” was published by Viking in 2017.  It was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of the year, and by Oprah Magazine as “a must read.”  The paperback edition will be published in June. Camerota lives with her husband and three children in Westport, Connecticut.

Patricia Russo is a nationally recognized leader focused on improving the quality of life for women in Connecticut and the U.S.  For over 25 years she has held numerous leadership positions in public, private, and not-for-profit organizations centered on women’s rights.  She has also held leadership positions on federal, state, and local political campaigns.  Currently, Russo serves as executive director of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, a non-partisan, issue-neutral, political campaign training program for women interested in running for public office, and for women interested in campaign management as well as in appointed positions. Based at Yale Law School, it is a leading program attracting women from the U.S. and internationally. 

Russo is a member of the national leadership team of Political Parity, a bi-partisan initiative dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected office. She is the founder of the Connecticut Women’s Agenda, a state-wide advocacy coalition comprised of women leaders, and was named “Woman of the Year” by the Connecticut Chapters of both the American Association of University Women and Business and Professional Women.  Russo was director of Southern Fairfield County’s Centers for Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, and executive director of the Middlesex County Sexual Assault Crisis Center.  She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the George Washington University.  While an undergraduate, she served as an intern to U.S. Congresswoman Bella S. Abzug (D-NY), who, Russo says, inspires her to this day. 

Tickets are free-of-charge by reservation by calling the Playhouse’s box office at 203-227-4177, emailing, or in person at 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Online reservations are unavailable for this event. Seating is general admission; limit of four free tickets per household. 

About Westport Country Playhouse 

The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering: Live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training and performance opportunities through Broadway Method Academy, WCP’s resident conservatory; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.


]]> (Gina Zammit) Events Thu, 15 Mar 2018 09:08:46 -0400
Daily Parking Soon Available at East Norwalk Railroad Station

The Norwalk Parking Authority has announced that it has entered into a temporary arrangement with the state on the eastbound side of the East Norwalk Train Station, allowing it to offer additional daily parking. The 117 newly available spaces are located alongside the tracks and the building. These spaces are temporary and for daily parkers only, not permit parkers. The Parking Authority will be monitoring daily activity and capacity and may offer to monthly parkers as well at a later date. 

The cost of daily parking in these spots will be $8 per day and will be available as of April 1, 2018. Daily customers will need to use the pay-by-cell app Parkmobile for payment.  The zone number to use in Parkmobile will be 2034.

These spaces will be available up until the State of Connecticut needs them during the East Avenue Bridge Improvement Project. The State has not set a definite date when the bridge project will begin, but the Parking Authority expects that it will be sometime in 2020-2021. The Parking Authority is also working with the owner of the building and surrounding area to offer additional parking in the near and long-term.

The Norwalk Parking Authority, comprised of five local citizens appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Common Council, is a financially self-sustaining organization responsible for the operation and maintenance of the municipal parking system in Norwalk. Its annual budget is not financed by taxpayer dollars. In addition to the oversight, operations, security and maintenance of the city’s parking system and facilities, the Parking Authority works to promote and support economic development in Norwalk and provide opportunities to the community through new programs, new technologies, including smart parking, and collaboration with community organizations and businesses. The Norwalk Parking Authority can be reached at (203) 831-9063 or at the website,

]]> (Gina Zammit) Life Wed, 14 Mar 2018 07:20:25 -0400
World's Largest Annual Music Event Coming to Connecticut

The first annual Make Music Connecticut, a wild and wonderful mix of over 250 free outdoor musical events, will make its debut on Thursday, June 21.
Make Music Connecticut is part of Make Music Day, a global music celebration that takes place on the summer solstice each year and brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music. This year, more than 70 U.S. cities and the entire state of Connecticut will host thousands of Make Music performances across the country as part of the world’s largest annual music event.
Any musician, amateur or professional, young or old, is invited to take part by signing up at Registration closes on May 21, 2018. Connecticut businesses, buildings, schools, churches, and other institutions can visit the website to offer their outdoor spaces as concert locations.
“Investing in a day that celebrates the diversity of our music and musicians across the State reaffirms the role that music plays to connect us across languages, borders, and backgrounds,” says Kristina Newman Scott, Director of Culture for the State of Connecticut, “This day truly honors the musician within us all.” 
Highlights of Make Music Connecticut will include:
  • Community Jam Session in State House Square, The Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Art on the Streets House Band welcomes downtown residents and workers to join them for a jam session in State House Square between 11:30am – 1:30pm on June 21st. Bring your instrument and sit in with the band on your lunch break or just stop by to enjoy music made by the community.
  • Northwest Connecticut Art’s Council Presents Thomasina Levy,former CT State Troubadour as well as internationally recognized mountain dulcimer player, singer, and song writer, will weave together the best of traditional and contemporary folk music.
  • The Arts Council of Greater New Haven introduces us to Trap Yoga with Thema Graves - Vinyasa style yoga coupled with a live DJ pumpin' Trap Music beats at several outdoor locations. Bring your mat to align your mind, body, and spirit, while getting it in and having fun!
  • Join Middletown Commission on The Arts in Clara’s Journey: Why our Piano goes to the Woods. Learn how the piano at The Russell Library, named after Clara Schumann, has a summer adventure in the woods. Come enjoy her music and story with Mara Bennett, Noyes dancer, and Carolyn Halstead. 
  • Artreach, Inc. is working with the Town of Sprague, First Selectman Catherine Osten and the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition to host a day of performances at Sprague River Park with alternating concerts and audience participation events, including a drumming circle and songwriter showcases.
  • The Bridgeport Art Trail is bringing an eclectic mix of free-opportunities to make and enjoy music, including lunch-time music in public spaces like the Broad St steps, an open-mic evening at McLevy Green and live performances and interviews broadcast from WPKN radio, 89.5 FM.
  • Fairfield Theatre Company will host a day-long battle of the bands-style music festival in The Warehouse and the FTC parking lot. Live music all day including food trucks and local vendors! 
  • Musicians of every kind will fill the parks and sidewalk cafés throughout Stamford Downtown for a day of music celebration.
  • Join Windham Arts in their music and community celebration, happening in Downtown Willimantic. The Third Thursday Street Fests started in 2002 and they have grown into a major regional event from May to September every year.
  • Waterbury is planning a fun-filled day with musicians showcasing their creative talents on street corners, sidewalks and plazas throughout its historic downtown.
A full schedule of events will be posted at on June 1, 2018.
Make Music Day Connecticut is being administered in partnership with the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the following organizations: Greater Hartford Arts CouncilSoutheastern Connecticut Cultural CoalitionThe Arts Council of Greater New HavenWindham ArtsStamford DowntownMiddletown Commission on the ArtsNorthwest Connecticut Arts CouncilFairfield Theatre CompanyWaterbury Symphony Orchestra, the City of Waterbury and City Lights Gallery in Bridgeport.  
About Make Music Day
Held annually on June 21, Make Music Day is part of the international Fête de la Musique, taking place in 800 cities across 120 countries. The daylong, musical free-for-all celebrates music in all its forms, encouraging people to band together and play in free public concerts. This year, 70+ U.S. cities are organizing Make Music celebrations, encompassing thousands of music making opportunities nationwide. Make Music Day is presented by the NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance. For more information, please visit
]]> (Gina Zammit) Events Wed, 14 Mar 2018 06:15:56 -0400
BBB Study Reveals the Riskiest Types of Scams in 2017

Online Purchasing Tops the List

Online purchase scams are now the riskiest form of consumer fraud, according to a new Better Business Bureau analysis called the BBB Scam Risk Index.

The BBB Scam Risk Index is based on 47,000 scams reported by consumers to the BBB Scam Tracker program at The information helped determine the riskiest schemes based on exposure, susceptibility, and monetary loss.  “Exposure” represents the likelihood of being targeted by a scam, “susceptibility” represents the odds of being targeted by swindlers, and “monetary loss” takes into account financial losses as a result of fraud.

The 2017 Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report reveals some significant changes when compared with statistics from 2016:

  •       Tax collection scams decreased 60% in volume of reports, likely due to the arrest in India in 2016 of the ringleader of a network of call centers primarily responsible for the IRS scam.
  •       Online purchase scams jumped from the 4th riskiest scam to the top spot, likely due to an increase in exposure.
  •       Home improvement scams dropped from 1st to 6th riskiest, despite a number of natural disasters that traditionally bring out “stormchasers.”

Young people continue to be at highest risk for scams, and susceptibility decreases with age, although dollar losses increase with older victims.

The report offers some positive developments. Although the total number of scam reports was up, the overall susceptibility was down. The percentage of consumers who actually lost money to a scam fell from 18.8 percent in 2016 to 15.8 percent in 2017. The report also notes a 17% decrease in the median monetary loss, down to $228 from the previous year.

The most common online purchase scams in 2017 were related to pets, clothing, cosmetics, electronics, and automobiles. The offer of free trials was a common tactic for these online purchases: 67% of scams involving cosmetics and 60% involving nutrition products mentioned a free trial opportunity.

Another significant increase was in the category of investment scams, which tend to target older age groups and result in higher monetary losses. This scam type jumped from the 6th riskiest in 2016 to the 2nd riskiest in 2017.

The top ten riskiest scams in 2017 were:

1.       Online purchase scam (up from #4 in 2016)
2.       Investment scam (up from #6 in 2016)
3.       Employment scam (no change)
4.       Advance fee loan scam (up from #5 in 2016)
5.       Fake check scam (down from #2 in 2016)
6.       Home improvement scam (down from #1 in 2016)
7.       Tech support scam (up from #8 in 2016)
8.       Travel/vacation scam (new to top 10, #12 in 2016)
9.       Family/friend emergency scam (no change)
10.     Government grant scam (new to top 10, #11 in 2016)

Travel and vacation scams joined the list, and identifies top destinations reported by consumers: Orlando/Florida, Disney, Mexico/Cancun, and the Bahamas.  A new addition to the top ten is the government grant scam. Even though two scams are no longer considered to be risky enough to make the top 10 list, consumers should still be wary of romance scams and sweepstakes/lottery/prize scams.

One of the most common tactics used by con artists is impersonation, where the scammer pretends to be a legitimate business that is well known and trusted by the consumer. The top organizations whose names were used by scammers in 2017 were the U.S. Internal Revenue Service; U.S. Government Grant/Treasury/Reserve/Medicare); Better Business Bureau; Publishers Clearing House; and Microsoft.

The perpetrators attract victims with the promise of getting a “great deal,” pressure to respond immediately to offers that are supposedly time-sensitive and prices that are unrealistically low.  Another common method is intimidation (for example, “You are under federal investigation”; “You will be arrested within one hour unless you call this number”).

The report concludes nobody is immune to these tactics, and provides a potent reminder to never let your guard down.  For more information on specific scams and tips on how to avoid them, go to To report a scam, go to

]]> (Howard Schwartz) Public safety Tue, 13 Mar 2018 11:54:55 -0400
Open House at Westport Arts Center

Tickets for the day include a Welcome brunch at the Westport Arts Center, and access to 13 artists' studios. Each studio is as unique as the artist and the work, and questions are encouraged.

$25 regular admission

$15 for designers and students
 16 and under- FREE

Sales benefit The Artists’ Collective and The Westport Arts Center’s Community Partner and Outreach Programs. 

Get tickets here - or contact us at

]]> (Gina Zammit) Events Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:03:43 -0400
Nominate a Local Arts Hero!

The Arts Hero Awards honor Connecticut residents who are doing extraordinary things in, for or through the arts. The 2018 Connecticut Arts Hero Awards theme is RESILIENCY!
Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows people to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change and to keep going in the face of adversity. 
Do you know a special someone - a HERO - who is resilient and is doing extraordinary things in, for or through the arts in their community? If yes, please nominate them for a 2018 Arts Hero Award! You can do so by completing the nomination form. The deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, March 23, 2018.
The 2018 Arts Hero Awards will be presented on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 as part of Connecticut Arts Day 2018!
]]> (Gina Zammit) Life Tue, 13 Mar 2018 06:17:43 -0400
Fairfield County Bank Promotes Westport Resident Renuka Kumar to Senior Vice President

Fairfield County Bank is pleased to announce the recent promotion of Renuka Kumar to Senior Vice President, Credit Administration. Ms. Kumar has been with the Bank since 2005 and has held key roles in the Credit Administration Department. Before joining the Bank, Renuka was a Division Finance Director of Readers Digest Corporation.

As the Senior Vice President, Renuka will be responsible for the management and coordination of the day to day activities in the Credit Administration team. Ms. Kumar will take the lead when it comes to closings, reporting, appraisal management, audits, and reviews of the department.

“Renuka has been a strong contributor to the Credit Administration Department for the past 13 years. We are very excited about her new role as her experience and local knowledge will benefit our Customers and support the strategic goals of Fairfield County Bank,” said Chuck Balocca, Executive Vice President of Fairfield County Bank.

Renuka received a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Texas Christian University. She currently resides in Westport, Connecticut. 

]]> (Ryan Arconti) Neighbors Mon, 12 Mar 2018 10:03:35 -0400
Connecticut Arts Day Set for April 25th

The third annual Connecticut Arts Day 2018 will take place on April 25, 2018!

Connecticut Arts Day celebrates Connecticut’s investment in and support of the arts and reaffirms the significant role the arts play in our state.  The day will include performances, panel discussions, presentations, workshops, networking opportunities and the presentation of the Connecticut Arts Hero Awards. The theme for 2018 is Resiliency! 
Connecticut Arts Day 2018 will be held at Hartford StageUpward Hartford and Hartford Hilton. Stay tuned for more details!
]]> (Gina Zammit) Events Mon, 12 Mar 2018 07:19:52 -0400
Add Your Name to New Donor Wall at the Maritime Aquarium

Secure your place on a new donor wall consisting of shimmering fish in The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk and be part of the school of supporters helping to sustain the popular family attraction through the years ahead.

The large donor wall will feature fish of different sizes and shapes, with contributors’ names etched on each creature. Titled “Our Sound Future,” the installation will be revealed near the large shark exhibit this summer as part of the Aquarium’s 30th-anniversary celebrations.

Because donors decide what is written on their fish, the installation offers the chance to declare individual or family support for the Aquarium, or to perhaps honor a relative or friend in memoriam, said Alicia Wettenstein, the Aquarium’s director of development.

“The donor wall is a great, lasting way to declare your support for The Maritime Aquarium and our efforts for marine education and environmental stewardship,” Wettenstein said. “Celebrate what the Aquarium has meant to you and your children, or even to the City of Norwalk and the region over the past 30 years, in a fun way that will be seen by all of our guests in the years ahead.”

Fish are available at three levels: large fish for $3,000; medium for $300; and small fish for $50.

Because The Maritime Aquarium is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) institution, all purchases for the “Our Sound Future” donor wall are entirely tax-deductible.

“Catch” and inscribe your fish at

Opened in July 1988, The Maritime Aquarium is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to educate visitors about – and to create stewards for – Long Island Sound. It accomplishes this by allowing visitors to get close to more than 300 species native to the Sound and its watershed, including sharks, seals, sea turtles, river otters, jellyfish and other animals. One of the top places for family fun in Connecticut, the Aquarium also features hands-on educational programs and displays, public study cruises out onto the Sound, and Connecticut's largest IMAX® movie theater, with a screen that's six stories high. reviewers rate The Maritime Aquarium as one of the Top 25 aquariums in the U.S. and No. 1 in New England. Learn more about exhibits, programs, IMAX movies and cruises at

]]> (Gina Zammit) Life Mon, 12 Mar 2018 05:17:27 -0400
The Orenda Tribe

Think all t-shirts are created equally? Think again.

The Orenda Tribe's line of t-shirts are not only stylish but also give back in a very big way. 

Founded by Zaid Souqi in 2015, these adorable tees are adorned with artwork drawn by children living in what they refer to as partner communities and include refugee camps, orphanages, or less fortunate communities. 

The tees are made of super soft 100% organic cotton and are available in both child and adult sizes (perfect for an adorable Mommy and me look), and every t-shirt you buy serves the much greater purpose of giving back.

The Orenda Tribe prides itself of being a purpose-driven company and through their efforts of organizing art workshops in their partner communities, that both inspire and teach children value skills, they bring the gift of art to children who rarely have the opportunity to cultivate their talents.

Most of us are aware of the healing properties of creative expression, and by wearing one of the adorable designs, it is a reminder how cathartic creativity can be. What I really love about this company is the transparency of their operations. They have a page dedicated to explaining what they give and how sales of their products drive the core mission of the brand. 

My favorite tee in the collection is the minimalist Mama Bee T-shirt that features an adorable buzzing honeybee darting across the chest. Even more adorable is the matching kids Buzzy Bee tee, which has a larger bumblebee with a baby bee in tow. I have been wearing mine nonstop, and only wish that The Orenda Tribe made a cat t-shirt to match. 

As the weather continues to warm for spring, you will no doubt reach for a classic jeans and t-shirt combo, but I urge you to put down your plain white tee and check out The Orenda Tribe instead. And, this socially responsible brand also makes a cool gift, perfect for stuffing in Easter baskets.


]]> (Gina Zammit) Life Mon, 12 Mar 2018 04:08:00 -0400