Norwalk's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk Sat, 08 Aug 2020 19:52:32 -0400 HamletHub.com Connecticut Receives Presidential Emergency Declaration in Response to Tropical Storm Isaias https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/politics/46086-connecticut-receives-presidential-emergency-declaration-in-response-to-tropical-storm-isaias46086-connecticut-receives-presidential-emergency-declaration-in-response-to-tropical-storm-isaias https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/politics/46086-connecticut-receives-presidential-emergency-declaration-in-response-to-tropical-storm-isaias46086-connecticut-receives-presidential-emergency-declaration-in-response-to-tropical-storm-isaias

Governor Ned Lamont announced that he was notified this morning by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that the State of Connecticut has received approval of a presidential emergency declaration in response to damage from Tropical Storm Isaias. Late last night, Governor Lamont spoke via telephone with President Donald J. Trump to explain the reasons why the state needs the approval and urged the president to expedite the process. The governor applied for the emergency declaration on Wednesday morning in the immediate aftermath of the storm, which left more than 700,000 customers without electricity, many of whom are still without power days later.

Approval of the emergency declaration allows the state to request direct federal assistance to supplement the ongoing state and local efforts to save lives and protect public health and safety during the crisis, including certain equipment and other resources.

“Approval of this declaration is very much appreciated as hundreds of thousands in our state remain without power days after the storm made landfall in Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “We’re continuing to work with our federal and local counterparts to assess the damage and may seek additional federal support during the response, recovery, and rebuilding process.”

The Lamont administration, through the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, is in the process of conducting the necessary damage assessments to determine whether the state meets the thresholds to seek a major disaster declaration from the federal government, which would enable the state and its municipalities to receive additional federal assistance beyond that authorized by today’s emergency declaration. The administration anticipates having more information on that process within the next several days.

Governor Lamont declared a state of emergency in response to Tropical Storm Isaias on Wednesday morning.

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commandercarey@gmail.com (Office of the Governor. ) Politics Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:21:28 -0400
Eversource updates on restoration of power in Connecticut https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/46085-eversource-updates-on-restoration-of-power-in-ct46085-eversource-updates-on-restoration-of-power-in-ct https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/46085-eversource-updates-on-restoration-of-power-in-ct46085-eversource-updates-on-restoration-of-power-in-ct


Responding to Damage - Restoration Estimates Announced

We continue to work urgently to restore power to our customers. We estimate we will make significant progress by the end of the weekend, and have restoration substantially complete by Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.

Substantially complete means fewer than 1 percent of customers are still without power. Many customers will be back in power sooner.

  • By end of day Thursday, more than 700 crews were working urgently to repair the widespread damage to the electric system.
  • Multiple additional out-of-state mutual aid crews are arriving Friday. We will continue to bring in all available and necessary resources.
  • As of 9 p.m. crews have restored power to more than 435,000 customers since the storm began. Approximately 480,000 Eversource customers in Connecticut remain without power. 

Hundreds of line crews, tree crews, damage assessors, wire-down guards, and community liaisons continue working around-the-clock assisting impacted communities. In addition, crews arrived Thursday from Massachusetts and other states, with more scheduled to arrive from Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Maryland and New York.

We are grateful to our customers for their patience and recognize the tremendous inconvenience that being without electricity presents. We know this is difficult and will work tirelessly with every resource we can muster until the power is back on for every customer. 
 
Report an Outage

All outage reporting systems, which initially experienced intermittent technical issues, are now functional. You can report your outage online or via the Eversource mobile app, available for download in the App Store or Google Play. You can also call us at (800) 286-2000. 

Here are some potential safety hazards to be on the look-out for:

  • If all of your neighbors have their power back on, but yours is still out, report your outage again by calling 800-286-2000.
  • If you require emergency shelter, either because of damage to your home, the temperature or other reasons, please contact the American Red Cross online or by dialing 211.
  • If you have to drive, watch out for trees and wires in the roadway. Do not drive across a downed power line. Treat all nonworking traffic lights as stop signs and proceed cautiously at intersections.
  • Stay clear of all fallen tree limbs and electrical wires as well as anything they are touching—such as puddles and metal fences.
  • Notify local fire, police, and electric utility officials about downed power lines.
  • Do not enter damaged buildings with flame lanterns, candles or lighted cigarettes because there may be gas leaks.
  • If you smell gas, leave immediately. Get to a safe place and call 911.
  • Plug in and then turn on your appliances one at a time to avoid a power surge.
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kerry@ducey.org (Eversource) Life Thu, 06 Aug 2020 20:25:32 -0400
AGW SoNo Partners Launches Custom Takeout & Delivery Platform Supporting Local Norwalk Restaurants https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/places/46087-agw-sono-partners-launches-custom-takeout-delivery-platform-supporting-local-norwalk-restaurants46087-agw-sono-partners-launches-custom-takeout-delivery-platform-supporting-local-norwalk-restaurants https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/places/46087-agw-sono-partners-launches-custom-takeout-delivery-platform-supporting-local-norwalk-restaurants46087-agw-sono-partners-launches-custom-takeout-delivery-platform-supporting-local-norwalk-restaurants

Norwalk To-Go, a custom take-out and delivery platform designed to support Norwalk restaurants, began taking orders on Monday.

Norwalk To-Go is another support component developed by local real estate collective AGW SoNo Partners, to assist their restaurant tenants with their newly developed/enhanced take-out and delivery portion of their businesses.

The program is fully funded by AGW whose portfolio includes 25 properties on Washington Street Historic District and was created so their restaurant tenants no longer need to absorb the 30% fee that third party delivery companies gouge them with. Adding to the platform’s appeal, consumer delivery and service fees are practically cut in half and faster delivery is possible due to Norwalk To-Go’s private delivery company.

“Our portfolio in SoNo includes 8 restaurants. Paying 30% commission does not make sense in today’s environment, so we built something much more sustainable,” says Adam Greenbaum, Principal, AGW SoNo Partners, referring to the exorbitant fees charged by Uber Eats, Seamless, Grubhub, and DoorDash.

“Seeing a landlord invest in their tenants to this level is amazing. Communication and a partnership between tenant and landlord are foundational to mutual success,” says Mark Moeller of The Recipe of Success® and the Director of the New England Culinary Group.

The Norwalk To-Go support initiative is one of many marketing tools AGW has integrated into their real estate management practices. In June, the group introduce OnWashington, an internal support arm for AGW tenants, as well as an external marketing platform to promote the Washington Street Historic District as a premier destination to live, work, and play. OnWashington is a valuable resource for locals, visitors, and entrepreneurs looking for a unique space to house their dream businesses or to simply find a great place to dine, shop, or be pampered. Additional OnWashington events and promotions include the on-going Art OnWashington local artists exhibition which features massive art installations displayed in open storefronts, as well as Dine OnWashington and the SoNo Arts Festival OnWashington coming in September.

Norwalk To-Go www.norwalktogo.com

Be social @onwashingtonst. New Website launching this month www.onwashingtonst.com

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kerry@ducey.org (MaxEx PR) Places Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:34:34 -0400
Norwalk Health Department Recognizes World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/46084-norwalk-health-department-recognizes-world-breastfeeding-week-and-national-breastfeeding-month46084-norwalk-health-department-recognizes-world-breastfeeding-week-and-national-breastfeeding-month https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/46084-norwalk-health-department-recognizes-world-breastfeeding-week-and-national-breastfeeding-month46084-norwalk-health-department-recognizes-world-breastfeeding-week-and-national-breastfeeding-month

The Norwalk Health Department recognizes World Breastfeeding Week this week and National Breastfeeding Month during the entire month of August. The Health Department encourages moms to learn more about breastfeeding and urges the community to support families in their breastfeeding goals. The Health Department educates, encourages, and supports mothers in their breastfeeding goals through the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program and other outreach efforts. In addition to providing education and support, the Health Department also offers a private space at the office for clients to breastfeed or pump.

“Breastfeeding isn’t just about milk,” explained Kestine Osbourne, MS, RD, CLC, WIC Nutritionist. “It’s also about a loving bond and a gift that lasts a lifetime.”

This year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week is, “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet.” To celebrate National Breastfeeding Month, the department will spread the message about breastfeeding and its benefits to the masses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research shows that babies who receive only breast milk for the first 6 months of life are less likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, obesity, and respiratory illnesses. Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding with a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers.

However, exclusive breastfeeding can be challenging, and mothers need a team of helpers and healthcare professionals to support them so they can achieve their goals. This breastfeeding team can include family, friends, physicians, nurses, midwives, employers, and childcare providers. Together, the breastfeeding team provides information to boost confidence, protects mothers from criticism, gives reassurance, and lends a hand to help breastfeeding mothers succeed.

Team members with special skills and knowledge about breastfeeding, such as a peer counselor, certified lactation counselor, or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®), can be especially helpful. In addition, employers can support their Media Contact Theresa Argondezzi Health Educator targondezzi@norwalkct.org P: 203-854-7977 employees’ breastfeeding goals in several ways, including providing paid maternity leave, offering private locked space in the office for pumping, and allowing flexible break times.

For more information:

 The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action: www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org

 The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/index.htm

 CT Breastfeeding Coalition: http://www.breastfeedingct.org/

 The Norwalk Health Department WIC Program: http://www.norwalkct.org/768/Women-Infants-Children-WIC

 Breastfeeding USA: https://breastfeedingusa.org/

 La Leche League International: https://www.llli.org/

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kerry@ducey.org (City of Norwalk) Life Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:55:48 -0400
Lamont Activates Connecticut National Guard, Announces Deployment of Teams to Assist in Power Restoration https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/politics/46083-lamont-activates-connecticut-national-guard-announces-deployment-of-teams-to-assist-in-power-restoration46083-lamont-activates-connecticut-national-guard-announces-deployment-of-teams-to-assist-in-power-restoration https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/politics/46083-lamont-activates-connecticut-national-guard-announces-deployment-of-teams-to-assist-in-power-restoration46083-lamont-activates-connecticut-national-guard-announces-deployment-of-teams-to-assist-in-power-restoration

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that as the state continues to recover from the impact of Tropical Storm Isaias, he has activated the Connecticut National Guard and approved the deployment of teams to assist utility companies in the ongoing statewide power restoration efforts.

The initial phase of the deployment will involve four route clearance teams that will support state and local authorities in the removal of large debris blocking roadways. Each team consists of three vehicles, including an excavator, and seven personnel. In the initial stages, two teams will support United Illuminating and two teams will support Eversource. Additional teams may be added in the coming days. Connecticut Army and Air National Guard assets are being utilized to support these route clearance efforts.

“The Connecticut National Guard has been a major component in our efforts to minimize the impact of COVID-19 in our state, and now we’re also calling on their service to help our residents out following another major weather event,” Governor Lamont said. “We continue to work with our municipal counterparts to help ensure they have what they need to restore power and clear our roadways.”

“Connecticut National Guardsmen aren’t just Soldiers and Airmen – the overwhelming majority are Connecticut residents,” Major General Fran Evon, Adjutant General and Commander of the Connecticut National Guard, said. “When called out to support in a time of need, we aren’t just performing a mission, we’re helping our families, our neighbors, our coworkers and our friends. We are proud to train for missions just like this in an effort to remain always ready and always there to support our fellow residents during times of need.”

The soldiers and airmen of the Connecticut National Guard have provided similar support during recent major weather events, including the May 2018 microbursts that severely affected towns in the southwestern portion of the state.

Yesterday, Governor Lamont declared a state of emergency in response to the tropical storm.

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kerry@ducey.org (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:51:49 -0400
Eversource says they will provide majority of customers an estimate on power restoration later today https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/46082-eversource-says-they-will-provide-majority-of-customers-an-estimate-on-power-restoration-later-today46082-eversource-says-they-will-provide-majority-of-customers-an-estimate-on-power-restoration-later-today https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/46082-eversource-says-they-will-provide-majority-of-customers-an-estimate-on-power-restoration-later-today46082-eversource-says-they-will-provide-majority-of-customers-an-estimate-on-power-restoration-later-today

Eversource just announced in a press release that their tree and line crew are "working around-the-clock" to repair the widespread damage to the electric system caused by Tropical Storm Isaias.

"While adhering to strict COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols, utility crews from Canada, Michigan and Massachusetts are assisting in the major restoration effort – with additional outside crews arriving in the state over the next 24 hours," Eversource states.

According to the company, tree and line crew are focused on clearing downed trees and branches in order to open up access to blocked roads. "As of 11:30 a.m., crews have restored power to more than 332,000 customers since the storm began, while approximately 533,000 Eversource customers in Connecticut remain without power," they say.

Eversource reports that "later today", residents will be given an estimate of when it expects to have power restored to a majority of affected customers.

According to the company, issues related to Eversource’s outage-reporting system have been resolved and they encourage customers to report any outage online at www.eversource.com, or by calling 800-286-2000. Customers who signed up for the company’s two-way texting feature can send a text to report an outage and receive outage updates as they happen.

The company reminds customers to always stay clear of downed wires, report them immediately to 9-1-1 and to be cautious while continuing with their own storm clean up – be careful moving or cutting tree limbs and look for any wires that may be entangled in debris. Additionally, customers who are without power and plan to use a generator are reminded to be sure the generator is located well away from their home or business and that the transfer switch is working properly.

*Image courtesy Eversource

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kerry@ducey.org (HH) Life Thu, 06 Aug 2020 09:25:18 -0400
Tornado Watch for Fairfield County https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/15-todays-events/46081-tornado-watch-for-fairfield-county46081-tornado-watch-for-fairfield-county https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/15-todays-events/46081-tornado-watch-for-fairfield-county46081-tornado-watch-for-fairfield-county

Batten down the hatches! The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for our area today, Tuesday, August 4, until 4pm.

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania until 4 PM EDT. This tornado watch covers our entire area and is associated with Tropical Storm Isaias. Isolated wind gusts of up to 60 mph are possible.

Follow NWS Facebook page for updates as well as Ridgefield OEM on Facebook.

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kerry@ducey.org (HH) Todays events Tue, 04 Aug 2020 04:49:04 -0400
Closed Captioning in Spanish and English August 11-13 for Maritime's Live Virtual Programs https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/46080-closed-captioning-in-spanish-and-english-august-11-13-for-maritime-s-live-virtual-programs46080-closed-captioning-in-spanish-and-english-august-11-13-for-maritime-s-live-virtual-programs https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/46080-closed-captioning-in-spanish-and-english-august-11-13-for-maritime-s-live-virtual-programs46080-closed-captioning-in-spanish-and-english-august-11-13-for-maritime-s-live-virtual-programs

Three of the popular live-streaming educational animal programs offered by The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk will be available with closed captioning in Spanish and English Aug. 11, 12 and 13.

Closed captioning will be added to these live programs on Zoom: “All About Sea Turtles” on Tues., Aug. 11 at 2 p.m.; “All About Seals” on Wed., Aug. 12 at 11 a.m.; and “Shark Safari” on Thurs., Aug. 13 at 2 p.m. In addition, during each 45-minute session, a Spanish-speaking Aquarium educator will be on hand to translate comments and questions.

“We’re very pleased to be able to offer this limited-time service,” said Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s director of Education. “The national – and international – reach of our virtual programs has far exceeded our best expectations, so we feel it’s important to be able to meet the needs of many participants whose first language is Spanish or who would benefit from captioning in English.”

The Maritime Aquarium has been offering a weekly stream of streamed presentations about marine animals and the aquatic environment for four months – beginning upon its COVID-19 closure in March and still now since reopening June 20. The programs, which vary week to week but include options for different age groups, have been viewed by more than 5,000 participants in 40 states, Puerto Rico and six foreign countries.

There’s no set charge, just a suggested donation for each. Capacity is limited. Advance registration is required so that participants can be emailed a Zoom link for the specific program.

To engage the closed captioning Aug. 11-13, upon logging in to a program, participants will receive directions from the Aquarium instructor, Naiman said.

Sign up – and learn more about the family attraction’s animals, exhibits, programs, cruises onto Long Island Sound this summer and more – at www.maritimeaquarium.org.

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kerry@ducey.org (Kerry Anne Ducey) Events Mon, 03 Aug 2020 13:54:50 -0400
Lamont Discusses Reopening Schools: Districts Can Apply for Exeception for Fully Remote Approach https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/politics/46079-lamont-discusses-reopening-schools-districts-can-apply-for-exeception-for-fully-remote-approach46079-lamont-discusses-reopening-schools-districts-can-apply-for-exeception-for-fully-remote-approach https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/politics/46079-lamont-discusses-reopening-schools-districts-can-apply-for-exeception-for-fully-remote-approach46079-lamont-discusses-reopening-schools-districts-can-apply-for-exeception-for-fully-remote-approach

During Governor Ned Lamont's 4:00 p.m. news briefing today, Lamont said that right now the metrics indicate that Connecticut can have "in class" as well as a hybrid model. 

Lamont explained that if there are districts that want to do full distance learning, no matter what the metrics indicate, they can request exception approval form State Board of Education.

Ezekiel Emanuel, part of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group and Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, offered his views on the reopening of Connecticut public schools (watch at 53:59). 

Below are the key takeaways:

  • District leaders will determine between full in-person or hybrid model
  • County-based Public Health metrics will provide guide for decision making
  • Metrics will be updated weekly to support decision making
  • If metrics support in-person instruction, districts recommending fully remote approach will require exception approval form State Board of Education

Today, there were an additional 130 positive COVID cases, 6 deaths, and 13 people hospitalizations.

 

For more resources and guidance on coronavirus in Connecticut, visit http://ct.gov/coronavirus.

 

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kerry@ducey.org (HH) Politics Thu, 30 Jul 2020 14:03:38 -0400
Celebrate Summer! The Ridgefield Playhouse Announces Three New Outdoor Concerts! https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/46078-celebrate-summer-the-ridgefield-playhouse-announces-three-new-outdoor-concerts46078-celebrate-summer-the-ridgefield-playhouse-announces-three-new-outdoor-concerts https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/46078-celebrate-summer-the-ridgefield-playhouse-announces-three-new-outdoor-concerts46078-celebrate-summer-the-ridgefield-playhouse-announces-three-new-outdoor-concerts

After opening their doors last month for socially distanced movies, The Ridgefield Playhouse is now bringing 3 new outdoor concerts to celebrate summer and bring LIVE music to the community!  

The August line-up kicks off with Grace Potter on Saturday, August 15 with two special solo acoustic performances at 4pm and 8pm in Ballard Park (485 Main Street, Ridgefield). 

The music continues on August 28 and 29 at the field next to The Playhouse with two stellar nights of music and musicians who also happen to be Connecticut natives! 

American Idol winner and Guilford resident Nick Fradiani and Fairfield County’s own The Alternate Routes perform a double bill on Friday, August 28 at 7pm and , on Saturday, August 29 at 7pm,  Season 1 Winner of NBC’s The Voice, and Stratford native as well as a University of Hartford Hartt School of Music graduate, Javier Colon wraps up the music-filled weekend. 

Opening for Colon is singer/songwriter Dante Palminteri. All three shows are part of the Pepsi Rock Series, powered by Xfinity as well as the Doyle Coffin Architects Singer/Songwriter series. 

 Tickets are currently on sale to members and will be on sale to the public this Friday, July 31 at 10am.  Visit the website at www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org or call the box office at 203.438.5795

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kerry@ducey.org (The Ridgefield Playhouse) Events Wed, 29 Jul 2020 13:54:49 -0400
Ethan Allen Prep at The Golf Performance Center Hosts Open House on August 8 https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/46077-ethan-allen-prep-at-the-golf-performance-center-hosts-open-house-on-august-846077-ethan-allen-prep-at-the-golf-performance-center-hosts-open-house-on-august-8 https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/46077-ethan-allen-prep-at-the-golf-performance-center-hosts-open-house-on-august-846077-ethan-allen-prep-at-the-golf-performance-center-hosts-open-house-on-august-8

Ethan Allen Prep at The Golf Performance Center welcomes student-athletes to their Open House on Saturday, August 8 from 10am to 2pm.

At Ethan Allen Prep, we've reimagined learning in a safe environment designed for individual growth. Join us on August 8 to meet our faculty and tour our classrooms, dormitories and The Golf Performance Center.
 
In accordance with our COVID-19 policies, we will be giving tours in small groups and staying 6 feet apart. Masks are required in the buildings at all times. Appointments are not required but appreciated.
 
To make an appointment, email admissions@ethanallenprep.com.
 
Ethan Allen Prep at The Golf Performance Center offers:
  • Full-time academic programs for grades 6-12 and Post Grads
  • An individualized blended learning opportunity through our partnership with K12 - choose from over 200 online courses
  • Training by GPC coaches
  • Small group learning and training
  • Flexible scheduling to allow for intensive golf training
  • Boarding and day options
  • Travel to Florida in winter months for golf training and tournament play
  • Merit-based scholarships
 Important Dates
 
Cohort #1 starts classes on August 19 (must enroll by August 12)
Cohort #2 starts classes on September 9th (must enroll by September 2)
 

Ethan Allen Prep at The Golf Performance Center is located at 45 Stonehenge Road, Ridgefield. Visit their website here for additional information.

Welcome to Ethan Allen Prep at The Golf Performanc...

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kerry@ducey.org (GPC ) Events Wed, 29 Jul 2020 08:33:48 -0400
Aspetuck Land Trust Embraces Back Yard Beekeepers Association’s Initiative https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/places/46075-aspetuck-land-trust-embraces-back-yard-beekeepers-association-s-initiative46075-aspetuck-land-trust-embraces-back-yard-beekeepers-association-s-initiative https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/places/46075-aspetuck-land-trust-embraces-back-yard-beekeepers-association-s-initiative46075-aspetuck-land-trust-embraces-back-yard-beekeepers-association-s-initiative

This spring, the Back Yard Beekeepers Association (BYBA) apiarist David Blocher contacted Aspetuck Land Trust’s Land Stewardship Director Lou Bacchiocchi looking for a place to host a honey bee queen rearing project.

Bacchiocchi immediately thought of Aspetuck Land Trust’s Randall’s Farm Preserve as the perfect spot to host bees. This Easton sanctuary is an all-encompassing haven for pollinators; the preserve has 34-acres of early blooming trees, diverse stretches of wildflower-filled meadows, prolific wetlands, and an abundance of surrounding farms whose crops would thrive with the introduction of new neighborhood pollinators.

A major goal of Aspetuck Land Trust’s Green Corridor initiative is supporting pollinators, like Blocher’s honey bees, due to the vital ecosystem services these insects provide. Aspetuck Land Trust is encouraging homeowners, for example, to do three things to support pollinators:

1) Plant native plants

2) Rethink your lawn and

3) Avoid pesticide and herbicide use.

Since Randall’s Farm is located within the Green Corridor and more importantly is directly adjacent to the newly acquired 34-acre Gilbertie’s Organic Farm, these BYBA bees will have an abundance of healthy forage nearby.

Blocher and his class of BYBA members, ranging in skill from novice to experienced, now tend to the 120,000 - 150,000 bees at Randall’s Farm while learning the delicate skill of breeding queens. Many beekeepers across the country buy queens and bees from breeders in southern states, so Blocher is equipping BYBA members with the ability to raise their own queens locally. However, this project doesn’t just aim to support locally-reared bees - its main goal has a more scientific edge. These queens are strategically bred to pass on genetic resistance to a detrimental infestation that, over last year’s winter, killed 43.5% of backyard hives across America, and 41.1% of backyard hives in Connecticut: the Varroa mite.

Varroa mite infestation, or varroosis, is the primary reason for bee colony mortality. The parasitic mites feed on adults and their young, and they can transmit viruses to the bees such as deformed wing virus. Fortunately over many generations, some hives have adapted behaviors to defend themselves and their offspring from varroosis, called “Varroa Sensitive Hygiene” (VSH). Bees expressing this VSH trait understand how to identify pupal cells containing mites, uncap these cells, and remove the mite-infected pupae from the hive. This behavior can be passed down from the queen to each of her offspring, until the entire hive has the VSH trait. Blocher’s mission is to raise hives at Randall’s Farm that are entirely resistant to the mites, and meanwhile, teach local beekeepers how to do the same in their own hives to combat varroosis throughout the beekeeping community.

Bacchiocchi is especially proud that Aspetuck Land Trust supports this BYBA research project. Randall’s Farm isn’t the first Aspetuck Land Trust preserve to host research projects; the Caryl and Edna Haskins Preserve in Westport hosted a study on southern pine beetles and the Haskins property is currently home to a 3-year study about how pollinators respond to native plants being planted; the Trout Brook Valley preserve was home to a study on emerald ash borers and parasitic wasps. Aspetuck Land Trust is always open to collaborating with groups and researchers to host studies on its properties. “We’re using our properties not just for preservation and recreation,” Bacchiocchi said, “but also for scientific research.”

Randall’s Farm is a fascinating ecosystem for any naturalist, entomologist, or curious hiker. Come admire the towering meadows of wildflowers, search for frogs in the wetlands, and keep an eye out for busy honey bees hard at work pollinating every blossom in sight. Next time you need a nature fix, stop by Randall’s Farm and wave to the bees!

Photo credit: Abbie Winter

Photo shows (left to right): George Luft, Wayne Zabel, Julia Jaynes, David Blocher

 

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kerry@ducey.org (Abbie Winter, Aspetuck Land Trust Intern) Places Tue, 28 Jul 2020 08:32:14 -0400
Connecticut Ranks #2 in WalletHub's Best School System in America https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/46076-connecticut-ranks-2-best-school-system-in-america46076-connecticut-ranks-2-best-school-system-in-america https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/46076-connecticut-ranks-2-best-school-system-in-america46076-connecticut-ranks-2-best-school-system-in-america

WalletHub, a website that offers free credit schools and reports, just released its 2020 ranking of America's school systems and places Connecticut in the #2 spot with a total score of 66.25. Massachusetts is on top with a total score of 71.73. 

What's more, Connecticut is #1 for Highest Median ACT Scores and #3 for Highest Reading Test Scores.

 

Here's the method behind the results:

WalletHub says, "We evaluated those dimensions using 33 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest quality of public K–12 education. Finally, we determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample."

WalletHub says they account for performance, funding, safety, class size, and instructor credentials when deciding on a school system's rank. To determine the top-performing school systems in America, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 33 key metrics. Click here to learn about their findings, expert insight from a panel of researchers, and a full description of their methodology.

1 Massachusetts 71.73 1 1
2 Connecticut 66.25 2 19
3 New Jersey 65.64 3 15
4 Virginia 63.75 4 3
5 Vermont 61.64 8 4
6 New Hampshire 61.27 7 6
7 Minnesota 59.89 6 22
8 Wisconsin 59.66 5 24
9 Delaware 59.65 15 2
10 Maryland 58.51 11 9

 

Meet WalletHub's team of experts here.

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kerry@ducey.org (HH) Life Tue, 28 Jul 2020 08:10:40 -0400
Norwalk Symphony wins Moffly Media's Best of the Gold Coast award! https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/46074-norwalk-symphony-wins-moffly-media-s-best-of-the-gold-coast-award46074-norwalk-symphony-wins-moffly-media-s-best-of-the-gold-coast-award https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/life/46074-norwalk-symphony-wins-moffly-media-s-best-of-the-gold-coast-award46074-norwalk-symphony-wins-moffly-media-s-best-of-the-gold-coast-award

The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce that it has been named Fairfield County’s BEST PERFORMING ARTS GROUP in Moffly Media’s annual “Best of the Gold Coast” awards.

From an initial nomination contest in early 2020, the Norwalk Symphony was named one of four finalists (along with Stamford Symphony, Norwalk Metropolitan Youth Ballet, and Connecticut Dance School) for the category. We are grateful to all who participated in this contest for their support in this designation.

The symphony is a significant cultural organization showcasing professional musicians from our communities and has enhanced the quality of life in Southwestern Connecticut for the past 81 years. Audiences have praised our artistic standards and musical excellence as “New York quality, local proximity.”

The Mission of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra is to share the beauty and power of orchestral music with audiences of all ages through live performances and music education programs. Our educational reach through the (Not) Just for Kids program, our Young Artists Festival and Concerto Competition, and a Master Class program with middle and high school students are all part of our commitment to musical outreach and education with the youth in our area. As we revisit our 2020/2021 concert season plans, it is hoped that live performances will be able to resume with a three-concert season in early 2021. In the meantime, we are developing new strategies to stay connected with our audiences and actively creating virtual contentwith our symphony musicians, conductor, and community partners.

Please visit our website www.norwalksymphony.org to see some of the videos that have been created over the last few months.   We have made some exciting changes and invite you to be part of this change with us. We look forward to the time when it is once again safe for us to come together to share live musical performances.

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kerry@ducey.org (Norwalk Symphony) Life Tue, 28 Jul 2020 07:43:30 -0400
The Mansion's Virtual Starlit Gala https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/46065-the-mansion-s-virtual-starlit-gala-159586891646065-the-mansion-s-virtual-starlit-gala-1595868916 https://news.hamlethub.com/norwalk/events/46065-the-mansion-s-virtual-starlit-gala-159586891646065-the-mansion-s-virtual-starlit-gala-1595868916

On October 17, 2020 at 8 p.m., the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will hold a virtual Starlit Gala co-chaired by Trustees Trudy Dujardin and Mickey Koleszar. The Mansion will honor David Westmoreland,a longstanding and key supporter of LMMM and its preservation. The event will include a catered dinner, a silent auction, and a special presentation by award-winning expert on bioethics, Glenn E. McGee, PhD.

Ms. Dujardin and Mr. Koleszar said, “The Lockwood Mathews Mansion is a treasure of the City of Norwalk and the State of Connecticut. During these uncertain times, this educational and cultural icon needs support from all of our communities, and the Gala is a major opportunity to step up to the plate.”

Revolutionary advances in biomedical science promise longer life, and its pursuit has become a $1 trillion-dollar industry, while the pursuit of immortality is consuming the fortunes of a wide array of Silicon Valley billionaires and at the heart of institutes at MIT and Harvard. But do you really want to live forever?

Dr. McGee will look at a few examples of such technology, and the ethical, legal, and social questions they pose. Dr. Glenn E. McGee is the author of three books, The Perfect Baby: A Pragmatic Approach to GeneticsBeyond Genetics; and Bioethics for Beginners, and more than one hundred articles. He is the founder and served for eleven years as editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Bioethics, the leading publication in its field. He has served on the board of directors of the American Society for Bioethics and on more than one dozen federal and state advisory panels. He has received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Cellular and Molecular Devices Advisory Panel Outstanding Service Award. Dr. McGee currently serves as Deputy Provost for the University of New Haven and received a B.A. from Baylor University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.

Born in Houston, Texas, David Westmoreland graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and worked for twenty-three years in the field of Information Technology at major corporations, such as American Airlines and Arrow Electronics. He completed his Master of Landscape Architecture at Cornell University in 2006 and is a registered landscape architect and co-owner, with Mike Mushak, of Tuliptree Site Design, Inc. in Norwalk, CT. David currently serves the community in Norwalk in a number of roles, including: Chairman of the Second Taxing District Commission (SNEW), Redevelopment Agency Commissioner, and on the Norwalk Historical Society Board of Directors, among others.

David has served as chairman of the City of Norwalk’s Historical Commission overseeing the relocation and development of the new Historical Society Museum, the renovations of the buildings and park at Mill Hill, and three city-owned cemeteries, along with the historic buildings at Mathews Park, including the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum.

For more information on the Gala please visit: www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com. Tickets for the event are $50 or $100 with dinner. The Museum’s 2020 virtual Starlit Gala will be generously sponsored in part by Fairfield County Bank and David Scott Parker Architects. 2020 Gala Graphic Design Sponsor: Miggs B Design. LMMM’s cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: 

The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown; LMMM’s Leadership Patrons: The Sealark 

Foundation; LMMM’s 2020 Season Distinguished Benefactors: The City of Norwalk and The Maurice Goodman Foundation; LMMM’s 2020 Distinguished Benefactors for Education: The Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Foundation, Inc.  For more information please visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com.

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info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com (The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum) Events Mon, 27 Jul 2020 08:55:16 -0400