Redding's HamletHub Sat, 26 Sep 2020 20:29:20 -0400 Congratulations to DAWS Ball Honoree, Byrd's Books Owner Alice Hutchinson

We are pleased to present our 2020 DAWS Ball Honoree, Alice Hutchinson! Alice is well known to the local community as she's the proud owner of Byrd's Books, a staple in downtown Bethel. She has lived in Connecticut since she was young and moved to Bethel in 1979, where she resides with her dog, Chippy, and two children, Stephen and Sarah (pictured above).
Having had a varied, diverse background that includes a bachelor’s in theater, master’s degree in teaching, and stints in theater management, recording studio engineering, and elected office, Alice finally settled on bookstore ownership.
She served on the Bethel Planning and Zoning Commission for 16 years and as first selectman for one term, from 2003 to 2005. In office, she was chair of the Board of Selectmen, the Police Commission, and Public Utilities Commission. After working as a development director at Canterbury School for three years, Alice fulfilled a bucket-list item in 2010 and ran for State Senate in the 24th District, the seat Julie Kushner now occupies.
Alice opened Byrd’s Books in 2011 and has loved every minute of it. The store has held “PAWS to Read” adoption events, which invite children to come read to some adoptable DAWS cats. We hope to resume these events in the near future.
Her son, Stephen, who happens to be the store manager at Byrd's Books, continues as a volunteer cat socializer at DAWS and brings back heartfelt stories and videos of his efforts. Alice's daughter, Sarah, works as program coordinator at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Alice is immensely proud of her children and is passionate about Bethel, her church, literacy, animals, and the arts and we are so excited to honor her at this year's virtual ball! We hope you'll join us!
Learn more and become an event sponsor HERE.
]]> (DAWS) Neighbors Sat, 26 Sep 2020 06:43:38 -0400
Redding Home for Sale: 21 Long Wall Road

For Sale: 21 Long Wall Rd, Redding

Exceptional custom colonial built to the highest standards with impeccable attention to detail. Set back privately at the end of a quiet cul de sac through stone pillared entry on 2.05 manicured acres surrounded by Redding Trust Land Conservancy.
Total 6,138 sf, 4 bedrooms, 3 full/3 half baths, including 1,378 sf in custom finished walk-out lower level featuring bar/tasting room, media, and billiard rooms. Grand two story foyer, great light, flow, 9' ceilings, generous proportions, and designer appointments throughout including moldings, built-ins, transom windows, French doors, and dining room with wet bar.
Total 3 fireplaces including gas log-set in the formal living room, plus wood burning in both the vaulted family room and lower level media room. The heart of this gracious home is the expansive cherry kitchen with bright breakfast area, walk-in pantry, large island with bar seating, and open to the adjoining light-filled sunroom, family room, and back hallway to the private office with half bath. The second story showcases the elegant master bedroom suite with private marble bath, dressing room, and French doors to the spacious sitting room, library, or office.
Park-like setting with rear deck and sprawling lawn with flowering trees and gardens. High efficiency propane heat and central air; 3 car garage; central vac; and negotiable option to purchase all furnishings. Top Redding location in CT's number one small town!  

Take a virtual tour of the property here.
To learn more about this property, or to schedule a visit, contact Laura Freed Ancona HERE.
]]> (Laura Freed Ancona) Places Fri, 25 Sep 2020 09:01:39 -0400
Mark Twain Library Hosts Conversations on Race Virtual Book Discussion on Sept. 30, Two Sessions

Join Mark Twain Library on Wednesday, September 30th for a virtual discussion of Ibram Kendi’s bestseller How To Be An Antiracist.

Register for the morning session (10am to 11am) HERE.

Register for the evening session (7:30 to 8:30pm) HERE.

In this book, Kendi brings together ethics, history, law and science, while intertwining an engaging personal narrative of his own realization of antiracism. How To Be An Antiracist is a timely work that goes beyond an awareness of racism to the next step, with exploration on how to contribute to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.

The discussion will be moderated by Tom Kilbourn, ordained Episcopal priest and retired Joel Barlow English teacher, along with Sharon Young, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work at WCSU.

This antiracism discussion group was created in partnership by the Mark Twain Library and the Redding League of Women Voters in an effort to offer our community an opportunity to continue the conversation on race.

The group is intended to be a forum where community members can safely exchange ideas, hear differing perspectives, and talk about race.

]]> (HH) Events Fri, 25 Sep 2020 07:51:15 -0400
Phase 3 of Connecticut's Reopen Plan Set to Begin October 8

The changes will increase capacities for certain businesses, including restaurants, personal services, libraries and performing arts venues, while ensuring safety protocols are still in effect.

Phase 3 Business Changes:

Increase from 50% to 75% capacity indoors subject to COVID-19 safety requirements

  • Restaurants
  • Personal Services
  • Libraries

Outdoor event venues increase from 25% to 50% capacity

Indoor performing arts venues can open at 50% capacity

Bars and nightclubs remain closed

]]> (HH) Politics Thu, 24 Sep 2020 13:22:23 -0400
Redding's Bluebird Estate Sales Warehouse OPEN and EVERYTHING Discounted Thursday thru Sunday!

Redding's Bluebird Estate Sales Warehouse OPEN and EVERYTHING discounted Thursday, Sept. 24 through Saturday, September 26 from 10am to 3pm. The Warehouse is located at 18 Old Mill Road in Redding.

This is a giant OUTDOOR Tag Sale! The showroom is packed with furniture, decorative accessories, art, rugs, collectibles, household items and so much more from luxury homes all over Fairfield and Westchester Counties. 

Stop in and find your perfect home decor or unique gift for that special someone!
View photos HERE.
]]> (HH) Life Wed, 23 Sep 2020 09:11:32 -0400
RVNAhealth Community Flu Clinic at Georgetown Firehouse in Redding on Sept. 28

RVNAhealth offers flu and pneumonia shots at the Center for Exceptional Care in Ridgefield, as well as at local community clinics.

RVNAhealth flu nurses are highly skilled, experienced and kind. Vaccines are available for the whole family, from infants (six months old+) to seniors.

Learn more and make an appointment today.

RVNAhealth offers two types of flu vaccine so you can choose the one that is right for you:

  • Quadrivalent for ages 6 months and older.
  • High dose for ages 65 and older.

All vaccines are preservative-free.

Prevnar13 and Pneumovax23 pneumonia vaccines are also available for individuals age 65+.

RVNAhealth Office Drive-Through Clinics:

Saturday, September 26, 9:30am-12:30pm

Saturday, October 10, 9:30am-12:30pm

Saturday, October 24, 9:30am-12:30pm

  • No appointments are needed,  patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • To help with traffic flow, we encourage you to complete the Consent Form online before you arrive. 
  • Drive-through clinics will be held in the RVNAhealth parking lot.  Please enter from the Governor Street entrance and our staff/volunteers will direct you.

Community Clinics:

Georgetown Firehouse (6 Portland Ave, Redding)  – Monday September 28, 11:00am – 1:00pm

New Fairfield Senior Center (33 CT-37, New Fairfield) – Tuesday October 20, 1:00pm – 5:00pm.  Please call New Fairfield Senior Center to schedule an Appointment: 203-312-5665

More clinics to come as plans are finalized. 

For additional questions,  please call RVNAhealth at (203) 438-5555 or contact us ››

Learn more and make an appointment today.

Flu Shot Rewards!

At RVNAhealth, we offer congratulations, cute band aids, stickers, plus a coupon for an ice cream compliments of Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe to all flu vaccine recipients 18 and under.  

]]> (RVNAhealth) Neighbors Tue, 22 Sep 2020 12:12:24 -0400
WILWALK and REDDING Sections of Norwalk River Valley Trail a GO!


The Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) Trifecta happened yesterday (9/21) when all legal documents to build the sections of the trail were signed and sealed.

The overdue Wilton contract was also completed!

This was not an overnight success as many years of hard work and determination went into the process.

Construction news coming soon!

Congratulations to all who made this day happen!

Learn more about NRVT and show your support for this awesome initiative HERE.

NRVT Mission:

The Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) is building 30 miles of multi-purpose trail connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, Connecticut, and Rogers Park in Danbury, passing through Wilton, Ridgefield, and Redding on the way. In addition to creating recreational opportunities for walkers, hikers, cyclists, kids,  & pets, the NRVT  will offer a green and healthy transportation alternative to reach rail stations, schools, offices, and businesses.



]]> (NRVT) Places Tue, 22 Sep 2020 11:07:36 -0400
Newtown resident, IHS grad Tess Michaelsen is 21 years old and fighting for her life

Newtown Resident Tess Michaelsen is 21 years old and fighting for her life. 

If you have ever dined at Bartolo in Ridgefield, you might recognize Tess as the happy hostess who welcomed you to the restaurant owned by her parent’s Art and Julia. She worked there during the heat of the pandemic - as an essential worker. Tess is a 2017 graduate of Immaculate High School in Danbury and currently resides in Newtown with her family.

It was a nagging pain in her elbow that prompted Tess to seek medical attention this summer. Never did this young, energetic college student, bound for her senior year at Xavier University, think she would hear the doctor utter the words cancer. Exterior-Axial Chordoma is an extremely rare form of cancer that, in Tess’s case, has spread to her lungs and lymph nodes. 

Tess is a true cancer warrior. She won her first fight at the tender age of five after being diagnosed with Leukemia. This illness inspired her passion to work at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a nonprofit that provides summer camps and programs free of charge to children with serious illnesses. Tess attended the camp when she was a child.

Tess is currently being treated at Sloan Kettering and hope lies in a clinical trial. It is this experimental treatment that doctors believe can shrink her tumor so that Tess can have surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. 

Here’s where you can help. A good part of Tess’s treatment is not covered by insurance, including the clinical trial. 

Two of Tess’s close friends at Xavier, Grace Rieger and Kayla O'Keefe started a GoFundMe for Tess and are hoping to raise $20,000 (or more) to support her treatment. 

They write:

Tess is a fighter, and a strong one at that! She is no stranger to cancer, as she was diagnosed with Leukemia as a child, which she won her battle with many years ago! She’s an amazing friend and person, never seen without her bubbly personality or bright smile, she truly lights up a room when she is around. She is a strong young woman who is ready to kick cancer’s butt once more.

This courageous young lady is battling hard and determined to complete her senior year at Xavier University! So, in the midst of treatment, and dealing with insurmountable pain due to a tumor in her shoulder, she is taking 18 credits and working on her capstone project so she can graduate in May with a degree in psychology! 

Let’s help Tess!

Please consider supporting Tess and the Michaelsen family by clicking HERE. All contributions will go directly to Tess and her family to help cover the costs of her treatment and hospital visits, allowing them the opportunity to fully focus on Tess’s treatment and recovery. No amount is too small!

Visit the GoFundMe page HERE.

]]> (HH) Neighbors Tue, 22 Sep 2020 07:40:00 -0400
Today is National Voter Registration Day

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

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

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

HOW TO OBSERVE #VoterRegistrationDay

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

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

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


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

]]> ( Politics Tue, 22 Sep 2020 07:09:59 -0400
Wilton's Rising Starr Rescues Horses From Slaughter & Abuse

Wilton, CT - Fairfield HamletHub's attention has been steered to Rising Starr Horse Rescue, a remarkable non-profit organization that works to rescue America’s horses from slaughter and abuse.

The group moved to Wilton from Redding in December 2019. Due to the pandemic, all of its big fundraising events were canceled. Not to be discouraged, the group took things in a virtual direction, teaming up with Savannah Giammarco (former Miss CT Teen) and Sweeney Photography in CT to create a video of “Who we are @ Rising Starr”. The video will be launched on Rising Starr's social media platforms and website on September 23 after its premiere party that same evening.

Learn more about this compassionate group at, which offers riding lessons, trail rides, special programs for Veterans and education on responsible horse ownership. 


]]> (Kat Palmer ) Places Mon, 21 Sep 2020 12:09:28 -0400
Don't Let Your Child Miss Key Academic Milestones this Year! RA Holds Virtual Admission Event Tomorrow!

Don't Let Your Child Miss Key Academic Milestones this Year! 

Are you concerned that your child will fall behind academically this year due to remote or hybrid learning? At Ridgefield Academy, rest assured, they WILL learn! Register now for Ridgefield Academy's September 22 virtual admission event to learn how your child will benefit from teachers and curriculum that are positioned to deliver in any learning scenario.

This is the first of 3 virtual events to help parents learn about the unique offerings of Ridgefield Academy (September 22, October 6, and October 20).

Basil Kolani, Director of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, will answer your questions about the school’s innovative Parallel Remote Learning platform, and the opportunity it can offer your child. Parallel Remote Learning provides parents the flexibility to choose remote learning and the confidence that their children will not miss important educational milestones. Kolani worked with faculty members over the summer to create lessons that engage in-person and remote learners.

As a prospective parent, you will have an opportunity to chat with our Admissions Director, Dave Suter, and enjoy an informal online visit where you can learn more about our program, community, and culture in an innovative and engaging way.

Ridgefield Academy is a Preschool-Grade 8 program by design. The school offers challenging academics that foster joyful learning within a supportive and vibrant learning community. Each RA student benefits from small class sizes, individual attention, and a culture that encourages them to take risks and find their voice. An intellectually inspiring curriculum ensures that students engage in learning that is both comprehensive and meaningful to their lives.

At RA, your child will benefit from teachers and curriculum that are positioned to deliver in any learning scenario. For more information, call David Suter, Associate Head and Director of Enrollment at 203-894-1800 x112 or visit


]]> (RA) Places Mon, 21 Sep 2020 08:19:00 -0400
Connecticut has new online state tax filing system

Governor Ned Lamont today announced the launch of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) multi-year IT modernization initiative that will improve the customer’s experience and deliver additional, user-friendly features such as mobile device-friendly design, secure web messaging, and advanced tax filing reminders.

The launch is highlighted by the new, online tax filing and payment portal called DRS myconneCT. Certain taxes filed by businesses are included in the initial phase, and the program will include all state tax filings made with DRS in future phases.

Information about the portal will be included in, the one-stop-shop for businesses launched in July, and is part of the broader efforts of the Lamont administration to streamline and modernize government services.

“This new portal is just one piece of our larger efforts to make sure that businesses spend less time talking to us at the state – and more time growing their business,” Governor Lamont said. “This work has continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic because we are committed to ensuring that businesses have what they need to be successful in Connecticut in all climates. We know that our commitment to continuing this work no matter what will help us come out of the pandemic even stronger – and I am excited to see this program grow.”

“The DRS modernization aligns with the administration’s vision of state government services that are available online, secure, and customer-focused,” Acting Revenue Services Commissioner John Biello said. “Following months of preparation, the professionals here at DRS are well-positioned to continue to deliver world-class customer service using our new and improved tax administration system. This exciting initiative will elevate how DRS conducts business, and how taxpayers interact with the agency.”

“Everyone deserves the same modern, convenient online experience they get when shopping or banking when they are dealing with state government,” Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe said. “Our goal with, including these capabilities from DRS, is to ensure businesses, consumers, and residents spend less time talking to us and trying to figure out what they need to do, and more time with their families, building their business, and enjoying our state.”

Beginning today, taxpayers can create their myconneCT username and can use myconneCT to file state returns, make payments, and view their filing histories, among other self-service options, for the following business state tax types administered by DRS:

  • Sales and Use/Business Use
  • Withholding
  • Room Occupancy (B&B Occupancy)
  • Prepaid Wireless E 9-1-1 Fee
  • Admissions and Dues
  • Tourism Surcharge
  • Rental Surcharge
  • Dry Cleaning Surcharge

Other state tax types, such as individual income tax, will be included in future additions to myconneCT. More information about myconneCT can be found on the DRS website.

]]> (Gov. Ned Lamont) Politics Mon, 21 Sep 2020 07:55:26 -0400
RVNAhealth StayWELL Services Wins ‘Provider of Choice’ Award

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

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

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

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

]]> (Nancy Rowe) Places Mon, 21 Sep 2020 07:35:24 -0400
Redding's Welcome Lady, Dee Strilowich, 80, Died Unexpectedly on Wednesday

Redding and Ridgefield's beloved "Welcome Lady" Dee (Delores) Strilowich, 80, passed away on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. She was the loving wife of the late Joseph A. Strilowich Jr.

The owner of Personal Touch Welcome, Dee knocked on 10,642 doors in Ridgefield and Redding bringing good tidings to newbies and before deciding to retire and hand the reins over to Christine Santori and her fiancé David Saunders in December of 2019.

Personal Touch Welcome, the brainchild of Dee Strilowich and her husband Joe, was born after the Welcome Wagon discontinued in-home visits in 1998. "My husband, Joe, and I decided the service was so important to have new families be introduced to our wonderful community and it’s small businesses that we decided to start our own greeting service, naming it Personal Touch Welcome," Dee told HamletHub a few years back.

Upon retiring after Joe's passing and handing the business over to David and Christine, Dee said to me, "Joe is smiling down from heaven today." Now, you are both smiling together. 

Thank you, Dee, for your love, generosity and contagious smile.

Graveside funeral services will take place at 10:00 AM on Friday, September 25, 2020 at St. Mary's Cemetery; 110 North Street, Ridgefield; facial coverings and social distancing are required. There will be no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, Ridgefield Founders Hall, or the Ridgefield Library.
Kane Funeral Home, Ridgefield is in care of funeral arrangements.
To read the complete obituary, click here.
]]> (HH) Neighbors Sun, 20 Sep 2020 08:02:00 -0400
Colonial Farmhouse Retreat for Sale in Redding


For Sale: 14 Guardhouse Drive, Redding


Exceptional colonial farmhouse retreat on 2.00 private level acres with in-ground gunite pool in sought after cul de sac neighborhood located off of prestigious Umpawaug Road in convenient West Redding location. Most picturesque park-like property with three barn style garages, split rail fencing, stone terraces, rolling lawn, and flowering gardens. Total 4,020 sf on three finished levels with 4 bedrooms, 2 full and 2 half baths plus walk-up to private vaulted bonus room with abundant natural light for an ideal artist's studio.
The main level offers great light and flow including the expansive cook's kitchen featuring granite counters/peninsula and stainless steel appliances, open to both the charming three-season sunroom and inviting family room with exposed beams, ship-lap wainscot, plus brick fireplace with custom mantle and surround. The first floor also features the private office/library with floor to ceiling cherry paneling and built-ins, plus the elegant formal dining room and living room with second fireplace.
The second floor showcases the luxurious master bedroom suite with a spa-like private bath featuring stone-topped double vanity and custom walk-in closet, plus three more generous bedrooms with newly remodeled designer hall bath. This lifestyle home is built for relaxing and entertaining poolside with an expansive stone terrace and backyard big enough to host a wedding!
Top West Redding location, convenient to shopping, restaurants, train, and just 60 miles to mid-town Manhattan.  
Take a virtual tour of the property here.
To learn more about this property, or to schedule a showing, contact Laura Freed Ancona here.


]]> (Laura Freed Ancona) Places Fri, 18 Sep 2020 07:46:48 -0400