Sono's HamletHub Tue, 18 Dec 2018 15:07:17 -0500 Holiday Blues (instead of greens)? Volunteer (locally)

Tis’ the season to be JOLLY! Yes, jolly, aka cheerful, happy, joyful. Not feeling it?

Last week, U.S. News and World Report published an article quoting the American Psychological Association who said that 38 percent of people said their stress level increases during the holidays. They also reported that 53 percent of people feel financially stressed by holiday spending, even though more than half of the 1,000 respondents had created spending budgets.

Here at HamletHub, we believe that there is no better way to beat the holiday blues that by serving others. And experts agree, “Volunteering gives you the opportunity to think of something and someone else other than being swallowed up by your own overwhelmingly depressed, negative thoughts,” says PsychologyToday. “When you volunteer your time you have to pull yourself together, get off of the couch and out of the house,” they add.

And, the benefits may stretch beyond your emotional persona. Harvard Medical School says, “A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.”

Bring joy to others this holiday season and it may indeed return to you. Connecticut 211 us a great resource for volunteer opportunities in Connecticut.

Click here for food-related volunteer opportunities (soup kitchens, etc) near Sono.

Click here to help families in need.

]]> (Tara Daily) Charities Tue, 18 Dec 2018 06:33:16 -0500
Norwalk Seaport Association Presents Inaugural Ring in the New Year Event

The Norwalk Seaport Association is proud to present the inaugural “Ring in The New Year”, a unique and sparkling evening featuring the Music on the Hill Handbell Ensemble benefiting the historic Sheffield Lighthouse.

The event takes place on Sat. Jan. 19, 2019 and the Unitarian Church in Westport from 7pm to 10pm. “Not many people have experienced a handbell choir let alone one of the stature of Music on the Hill” said Mike Reilly, association president. “The evening will include delicious hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, a performance by a smaller sextet and will conclude with an impressive 61 bells”.  

Tickets to this event are limited and are $100 each that includes shoreline appetizers, beer, wine and of course, champagne. “We’re looking forward to 2019 and couldn’t think of a better way to ring in the upcoming year than toasting the new year with friends of the seaport” added Reilly. “It will be a magical evening”.

Tickets are now available on line at or by calling the Seaport office at 203-838-9444. “Tickets to this event make a great last minute gift” remarked Reilly.

]]> (Jim Keenan) Events Tue, 18 Dec 2018 05:46:22 -0500
Sono, Visit a Connecticut Christmas Tree Farm for a Joyful Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us! Get into the spirit of the season by visiting one of Connecticut’s picturesque Christmas tree farms. For a complete list of Christmas tree farms closest to Sono, please see below.

Connecticut’s some 500 Christmas tree farms are officially open for business, offering customers fresh Connecticut Grown trees. Not only is searching for the perfect tree a festive and time-honored family tradition, but it supports our state’s economy, the hardworking farmers, and our agriculture.

According to the Connecticut DEEP, nearly 4,000 acres of Connecticut farmland are planted with Christmas trees – the 13th largest acreage in the U.S. “The Christmas tree industry in Connecticut has grown significantly in recent years and now contributes about $10 million in annual economic activity,” they say.

Here is a list of the farms near Sono from Please make sure to call ahead, as HamletHub did not call each farm to verify the information below.

Maple Row Tree Farm
Choose and cut Christmas Trees, pretagging allowed,  gift shop, Saw are Provided, restrooms, wrapping, hayrides, Gift Shop 
538 North Park Avenue, Easton
Phone: 203-261-9577. Email: Open: daily, 9 am to 4:30 pm from Friday before Thanksgiving - Till Christmas Eve at noon.  Directions: For a map and directions, click here. Hay Rides on  Weekends Only
Audubon Society H. Smith Richardson Tree Farm
Choose and cut Christmas Trees, pretagging allowed,  gift shop 
Sasco Creek Road, Westport
Phone: 203-623-0646.  Alternate phone: 203-259-6305. Email: Open: Saturday after Thanksgiving to Dec. 23, Tuesday to  Friday from 12 pm to 4:00 pm, Saturday and Sundays 10 am to 4:00 PM; Closed Mondays. Directions : Take I-95 to..please see website for details
Everett's Corner Tree Farm
Choose and cut Christmas Trees, saws provided, free baling, tree transport wagons, free twine to secure your tree to your car, restrooms. 
136 Sherwood Road, Easton
Phone: 203-268-2508. Email: Directions: Everett's Corner is located on Route 59 at Sherwood Road, 6.2 miles North of Exit 46 on the Merritt Parkway (Route 15). Open: Friday, Saturday & Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, November..please see website for details
Choose and cut Christmas Trees, pretagging allowed, 
130 Center Rd, Easton
Phone: 203-459-9581. (ADDED: November 28, 2016, JBS)
Gordon's Tree Farm
Choose and cut Christmas Trees, 
488 Sport Hill Road, Easton
Phone: 203-261-Tree.
Silverman's Farm
Hot cider, precut Christmas trees (no choose-and-cut your own), poinsettias, wreaths and gifts are just the start of what you'll find at Silverman's during the holiday season .  
451 Sport Hill Road, Easton
Phone: 203-261-3306. And for a map to our farm, click here. Our products are usually available in July, August, September. Directions: Located in the easy to find in the southern Connecticut town of Easton, about 2 1/2 miles north of the Merrit Parkw..please see website for details
Snow's Farm
Precut Christmas Trees, pretagging is allowed,  gift shop 
550 Sport Hill Road, Easton
Phone: 203-261-2020. Email: Directions: Click here for directions and a map. Open: Monday through Saturday: 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM; Sunday: 9 am to 5:00 PM; Click here for the most current hours. For 25 years, Snow's Farm has been pro..please see website for details

Many Christmas tree farms also offer more joys of the season including hayrides, Santa visits, hot cocoa, and a local market.

The Connecticut Christmas Tree Growers Association Department of Agriculture’s website has a brochure with more information on tree farms.

For a comprehensive list of tree farms in Connecticut, visit here.

]]> (Tara Daily) Places Thu, 13 Dec 2018 09:59:28 -0500
City Provides Snow Removal Information

Winter storms can bring freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds, or a combination of these conditions. To help ensure safe and efficient road clearing and travel this winter season, the City of Norwalk is reminding residents and business owners of its snow removal guidelines and policies.

“I understand the impact that severe weather has on residents, businesses and our school system. We have invested in technology and computer monitoring to help address inclement weather,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. “We coordinate our response across departments to better serve the community. We do our very best to quickly and effectively bring our city back to normalcy following every storm.”

The city pretreats major roads, hills, and bridges before the snow begins to help prevent ice and frost from forming and make snow removal easier. With hundreds of miles of roads, and numerous parking lots and sidewalks, it can take multiple hours following a storm before snow and ice are removed. The type of snow, pavement temperature, air temperature, and wind conditions following a storm can also affect how quickly snow is removed.

Besides the Norwalk Department of Public Works, other departments, outside agencies, and jurisdictions have responsibility for plowing in some areas of the city. Those include the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation, the Norwalk Department of Recreation and Parks, the Norwalk Parking Authority, Norwalk Housing Authority, Norwalk Transit District, several taxing districts, and multiple condominium associations.

The greatest hindrance to efficient snow removal is vehicles parked on the street, which significantly and negatively impact the city’s ability to clear snow and ice. Vehicles that prevent the ability to clear snow may be subject to ticketing and towing. City ordinance requires all residential, multi-family and commercial property owners to clear the public sidewalks adjoining their properties. Cooperation can be very helpful to the efficient and timely removal of snow and ice and the restoration of safe travel in the city.

“Planning and preparing can help manage the impact of a storm. I encourage everyone to sign-up for the city’s emergency alert system. This important feature is critical in providing updates especially during inclement weather or an evacuation situation,” Rilling said.

For questions or concerns, please contact the Customer Service Department at (203) 854-3200. More information on the city’s snow removal policies can also be found online at To sign-up for the Code Red emergency alert system, visit

]]> (Josh Morgan) Places Wed, 12 Dec 2018 04:05:21 -0500
Sally Allen Shares Reading’s Health Benefits at Athleta, Dec. 20

Can reading improve your health? According to science, it sure can. Sally Allen, award-winning author of Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers, will be speak on this aspect of wellness at Athleta on Thursday, December 20 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at 107 Main Street, Westport. Allen’s talk, “The Health Benefits of Reading,” will address a variety of ways reading can positively affect your physical and emotional well-being. The discussion will be followed by a Q & A, book signing and door prize drawing. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Shoppers in attendance will also enjoy 20% off one item, plus complimentary refreshments and party favors.

Sally Allen has always loved books, almost to a fault. At the age of eight, she was nearly sent home from a friend’s birthday party for reading during the festivities. Allen is an avid reader, writer, college instructor, book group moderator, and founder and editor of the book news website, Books, Ink at Hamlethub.

Allen’s parents, both reading enthusiasts, encouraged her to embrace books from an early age. She credits her favorite childhood reads, such as E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess, with inspiring her to write.

“Writing about the books I loved, and sometimes writing myself into the stories, became a way to understand and connect with them,” said Allen. “As I studied and wrote about literature in school and then for the public, connection through writing broadened to include connecting with other readers.”

Allen holds a PhD in English Education and a MA in English Literature and has taught expository writing, literature, and communications to undergraduates at New York University, Fairfield University, and Post University. In addition, the author facilitates private book group discussions. Her writing about books has appeared in print and online magazines and news sites. Allen’s experiences as a reader, writer, and teacher collectively led her to the creation and release of Unlocking Worlds.

“I’m excited to appear at Athleta to share ways in which books can enrich lives and improve health. My joy -- whether through writing my book, serving as Editor of Books, Ink, or leading presentations such as this Wellness Talk -- is to generate conversation with and among book lovers,” said Allen.

For more information on Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers or to reserve the author for a book group or venue appearance, visit

]]> (Aline Weiller) Events Tue, 11 Dec 2018 18:02:33 -0500
Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruises Start Dec. 15 at The Maritime Aquarium

Cruise out onto Long Island Sound this winter with The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in hopes of seeing some of the seals and birds that spend the colder months just off Connecticut’s shores.

The Maritime Aquarium’s 2018-19 season of “Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruises” begins Dec. 15 and 16, and offers outings on many weekends through April 14, 2019.

These invigorating 2½-hour cruises seek out some of the harbor seals and gray seals that annually migrate down into Long Island Sound from northern waters – such as off Cape Cod and the Gulf of Maine, which serve as their summer breeding and pupping areas.

“Seals have been coming into the Sound in robust numbers now for more than two decades,” said Dave Sigworth, the Aquarium’s associate director of communications. “But they sort of slip in and out unnoticed because they’re only here during winter when boaters aren’t out there.”

During the Aquarium cruises, seals often can be seen near the Norwalk islands resting on rocks and shoals exposed at low tide. Aquarium educators will point out these federally protected marine mammals and talk about their natural histories.

“There’s only one thing more exciting than getting close to the seals on exhibit in The Maritime Aquarium and that’s seeing some of the seals out in Long Island Sound,” Sigworth said. “These encounters are a powerful, motivating reminder that the Sound is an important, thriving natural resource that is worthy of our protection.”

The cruises also give birders unique “on-the-water” access to see and photograph visiting winter waterfowl, such as buffleheads, mergansers, Brant geese and long-tailed ducks.

Dates and departure times of the cruises vary by low tide. Initial cruises are on Sat., Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. and Sun., Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. For the full schedule, go to

“Seal-Spotting and Birding Cruises” take place aboard The Maritime Aquarium’s R/V Spirit of the Sound, the country’s first research vessel with quiet hybrid-electric propulsion. R/V Spirit of the Sound has a climate-controlled cabin but, because the best viewing is outside on the deck, participants should dress for the weather. Binoculars will be provided, along with hot chocolate and coffee.

Also during each cruise, participants can help Aquarium educators with plankton samplings. Data collected during the cruises is added to the Long Island Sound Biodiversity Project, which is an ongoing census of the Sound’s animal species. This online database, sponsored by the Aquarium, makes data on the physical and biological contents of Long Island Sound available to students, educators and researchers.

The Maritime Aquarium’s cruises offer memorable family fun but please note that all passengers must be at least 42 inches tall.

Tickets for a “Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruise” are $29.95, or $24.95 for Aquarium members.

Capacity is limited so advance reservations are strongly recommended. Walk-up tickets will be sold, space permitting. Reserve your spot by calling (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, or by going online to

]]> (Dave Sigworth) Events Wed, 05 Dec 2018 15:39:06 -0500
Norwalk Bike/Walk Commission Partner with Norwalk Community College to Make Richards Avenue Safer

The City of Norwalk, Norwalk Bike/Walk Commission, and Norwalk Community College (NCC) worked together to address pedestrian safety issues on Richards Avenue. The result was a cost-effective project that increased public safety by reducing vehicular speeds in the area.

As a street nearly 40-feet wide, Richards Avenue offered few cues to reduce speed. Motorists often approached NCC along Richards Avenue at speeds that were greater than posted and higher than recommended for pedestrian areas. Vehicles approaching NCC pass through low-traffic areas, such as cemeteries and single-family neighborhoods, before entering a section of Richards Avenue that bisects the campus where students regularly cross. The project created more than 30 new on-street parking spots and included the installation of speed monitoring signs.

“The ingenuity of the Bike/Walk Commission lead to a creative solution to a long-standing problem on Richards Avenue,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. “This was a great partnership that will benefit many in our community. I am grateful for the expertise of our Commissioners and staff who took this project from start to finish.”

The Bike/Walk Commission first developed the initial proposal in mid-2017. The Commission, Department of Public Works, and staff from NCC met to discuss the plan and agreed to move forward with the project. After local agencies, such as the Traffic Authority, approved the plan, the markings were installed in 2018. The new on-street parking is a major contributing factor to slower vehicle speeds as it visually reduces the road width and cues motorists to pay more attention. Slower vehicle speeds typically result in less severe injuries to pedestrians and can significantly reduce the severity and chances of a collision. Bike/Walk Commissioner Colin Grotheer helped spearhead the proposal.

“I believe we were able to take a multi-million dollar project and achieve a similar result for a few thousand dollars,” Grotheer said. “We were able to have a maximum impact for minimal effort and cost on all fronts.”

]]> (Josh Morgan) Places Tue, 04 Dec 2018 04:15:49 -0500
City of Norwalk to Commemorate National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Dec. 7


On Friday, December 7, 2018, the City of Norwalk will commemorate National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day with a special ceremony at Norwalk City Hall. Mayor Harry Rilling invites the community to attend the event to honor those who died and were injured during the attacks on Pearl Harbor 77 years ago.



Friday, December 7, 2018

8:30 a.m.



Norwalk City Hall

Community Room

125 East Avenue

Norwalk, CT. 06851


Scheduled Program:

Opening Remarks - Mayor Harry W. Rilling

Posting of the Colors - Cadets from Brien McMahon’s Navy Reserve Training Corp


Star Spangled Banner - Norwalk High School Men’s A Cappella Group

Pledge of Allegiance - Town Clerk Rick McQuaid


Norwalk Remembers - Reading of the names of the 17 Connecticut service members lost at Pearl Harbor in 1941

Ringing of the Bell - Norwalk Fire Department

Closing Remarks - Mayor Harry W. Rilling

]]> (Josh Morgan) Events Mon, 03 Dec 2018 04:19:34 -0500
City Hall Christmas Tree Lighting, Nov. 30

This year we will be lighting the Norwalk City Hall Christmas tree right here at City Hall, 125 East Avenue on November 30 at 6 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held inside the Concert Hall.

There will be singing, dancing and merriment so please come and enjoy the music and the magic of the season...including our favorite jolly gentleman in the rosy, red suit!

We are hoping that the spirit of the season will stay with us all year long!

]]> (Donna I. King) Events Thu, 29 Nov 2018 09:17:34 -0500
City Residents Get Free Admission to The Maritime Aquarium On Salute Norwalk Day, Dec. 1

Norwalk residents can get close to seals, sharks, sea turtles and even “Shark-Diving Santa” for free on Sat., Dec. 1 in a special admission offer from their grateful hometown jewel, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

On The Maritime Aquarium’s annual “Salute Norwalk Days,” the popular family attraction thanks the residents of Norwalk for their support by offering free admission to city residents. (Proof of residency is required.)

Admission – which includes a spectacular 40-minute IMAX® movie – regularly is $24.95 for adults, $22.95 for seniors (65+), and $17.95 for children (3-12). Thus, for a family of four, “Salute Norwalk Day” is a value of $85.80.

In addition, Norwalk residents receive 10 percent discounts in the Aquarium Gift Shop on “Salute Norwalk Day.”

Visiting The Maritime Aquarium offers the thrill of getting close to more than 3,000 marine animals, including sand tiger sharks, harbor seals, river otters, sea turtles and pulsing jellyfish – all native to Long Island Sound, its watershed and the oceans beyond.

Besides welcoming Norwalk residents for free on Dec. 1, the Aquarium also will be hosting “Shark-Diving Santa” at 12:15 and 2:15 p.m. Santa Claus will squeeze into his scuba gear and join the Aquarium’s volunteer dive team in the “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit to dispel myths about sharks, including the featured 7-foot sand tiger and lemon sharks. Santa will swim up to the exhibit window so bring your camera for a unique “photo with Santa.” (“Shark-Diving Santa” is offered most Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in December.)

Also special in December is the Aquarium’s “Flurry Zone,” a brief fun indoor snow squall that happens on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Plus, the citizenry can take pride in their hometown IMAX movie theater, whose six-story screen is the largest in Connecticut. On Dec. 1, choose between “Oceans: Our Blue Planet” at 11 a.m. and 2 & 4 p.m.; “Backyard Wilderness” at noon; and “Pandas” at 1 & 3 p.m. (The holiday IMAX movie “The Polar Express” plays at 5 p.m. and, as a feature-length film, is specially priced and not included as part of “Salute Norwalk Day.”)

“Salute Norwalk Day” is just one of many contributions The Maritime Aquarium makes to Norwalk and its citizens. The Aquarium offers dozens of educational programs and other marine science opportunities that supplement the education of Norwalk's students, sometimes at no cost to the schools. And the Aquarium and its 500,000 visitors inject more than $20 million annually into Norwalk's economy.

For more information about Maritime Aquarium offerings in December, to reserve tickets or to purchase an Aquarium membership as a holiday gift, go online to

]]> (Dave Sigworth) Places Thu, 29 Nov 2018 09:14:06 -0500
Holiday Open House at the Norwalk Historical Society Museum

Enjoy some holiday cheer as you help the Norwalk Historical Society celebrate the holiday season!  Visit the Norwalk Historical Society Museum on Saturday, December 8, 2018 between 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. for Holiday shopping and discounts in the Gift Shop and to view the new exhibition: "Form, Function & Family: Silver from the Norwalk Historical Society & the City of Norwalk." Spread holiday kindness to those in need by donating non-perishable food items to benefit the non-profit, Person-To-Person. Please visit for a list of suggested items. The event is free and open to the public.

The Museum is located at 141 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT,  next to the Norwalk Health Department, in the red brick house with blue double front doors. Parking is available at Norwalk City Hall, 125 East Avenue. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, December 15, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Celebrate the opening of "Form, Function & Family: Silver from the Norwalk Historical Society & the City of Norwalk" curated by Elizabeth Pratt Fox. From a Colonial tankard to a Federal-period tea set to an Edwardian trophy, the exhibit offers a range of silver used for drinking and eating, as well as pieces purchased for presentation gifts or awards. The 85 unique pieces of silver represent 250 years of history. The visitor will have the opportunity to open six discovery drawers that house pieces made by local silversmiths, as well as souvenir spoons made to market Norwalk. The exhibit features items that were owned or made in Norwalk and reflect the city’s cultural heritage. Pieces from the Manice DeForest Lockwood Collection are featured including an engraved tankard from 1740 and a Tiffany & Co. cake basket.

For more information visit, e-mail, or call 203-846-0525.

The Norwalk Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  


Photo Credit: Norwalk Historical Society

]]> (Norwalk Historical Society) Events Wed, 28 Nov 2018 04:10:45 -0500
Update On Trash Compactor Fire at Walmart

The Norwalk Fire Department responded to a trash compactor fire, at the Main Avenue Walmart, this morning at 7:59 a.m. The compactor/dumpster was located at the rear of the store and attached through the wall to the warehouse section, of the building. When firefighters arrived, smoke from the fire had filled the warehouse and had created a light haze within the retail area.

While firefighters were working to extinguish the fire, additional fire crews worked to limit the smoke infiltration into the retail areas. Firefighters had to call the dumpster contractor to the scene, to remove the unit from the building and dump the contents in the parking lot, for extinguishment.  

The store was ventilated and monitored before firefighters left the scene, at 10:45 a.m. Fire Inspector Bryan Scully is investigating the cause of the fire and Health Department Inspectors were heading to the scene.

]]> (Edward Prescott) Public safety Mon, 26 Nov 2018 16:05:44 -0500
Norwalk Health Department Provides Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

Whether you’re cooking a lavish Thanksgiving dinner or a quick breakfast on a weekday morning, it’s important to follow safe food handling practices all year round. The Norwalk Health Department would like to remind the public of important food safety tips this holiday season to ensure your guests’ meals are both delicious and safe to eat.

“Thanksgiving dinners are often the largest meals home cooks prepare each year,” said Tom Closter, the Norwalk Health Department’s Director of Environmental Services. “By not following basic safe food handling practices, you’re putting your guests at risk for foodborne illness.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million Americans become ill and 3,000 die each year from foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella or norovirus. Following the CDC’s food safety guidelines listed below can prevent foodborne illness from making its way onto your dinner plate this holiday season.

Wash your hands. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after preparing food, after touching raw meat, raw eggs, or unwashed fruit or vegetables, and before eating or drinking. Scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing, and dry with a clean towel.

Cook food thoroughly. Many common foods can carry germs that cause foodborne illness. Use a food thermometer to ensure foods have been cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. Food, including your Thanksgiving turkey, should be cooked until its internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Stuffing should be cooked outside of the turkey; if cooked inside the bird, it may not reach a safe minimum internal temperature, putting your guests at risk for foodborne illness. Always reheat food to 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving to ensure foodborne illness causing germs are killed.

Keep food out of the “danger zone”. Foodborne illness causing bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature. Once thoroughly cooked, keep hot food hot if planning to serve immediately. Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within two hours of cooking. Set your refrigerator’s temperature at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Foods that will be served cold should be kept cold once thoroughly cooked.

Use pasteurized eggs. Salmonella and other germs can live on the inside and outside of eggs, and many holiday favorites, such as eggnog and tiramisu, contain raw eggs. Always use pasteurized eggs when making these and other foods made with raw eggs.

Don’t lick the bowl! Do not taste or eat unpasteurized dough or batter of any kind, including those for cookies, cakes, pies, etc. Dough and batter made with flour or eggs can contain harmful germs, such as E. coli or Salmonella.

Keep foods separated. Always keep meat, seafood, poultry, and eggs separate from other foods while shopping and when stored in your refrigerator. Keep these foods in containers or sealed plastic bags to prevent juices from dripping or leaking into other foods. Always sanitize or use new kitchen equipment, such as cutting boards or knives, between handling raw and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination.

Safely thaw meat. Thaw turkey or other meats in the refrigerator, in a sink full of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Never thaw foods at room temperature or on the counter. If frying your Thanksgiving turkey, ensure your turkey is completely thawed before placing it into hot oil to avoid an explosion and/or fire.

Pay attention to recalls and national foodborne illness outbreaks. Foodborne illness can be lurking in your kitchen without you even knowing it! Currently, romaine lettuce is believed to be the cause of a major E. coli outbreak in the United States. Consumers are recommended to not eat, serve, or sell any romaine lettuce while the outbreak investigation continues. This includes whole heads of lettuce, hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, organic romaine, and salad mixes with romaine.

For more information on safe food handling practices and up-to-date information about national foodborne illness outbreaks, please visit The Norwalk Health Department wishes you a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful start to the holiday season!

]]> (Kaitlin Latham) Public safety Mon, 26 Nov 2018 10:33:00 -0500
Sono Blood Donors Will Receive $5 Amazon Gift Card

 Urgent need for blood and platelet donations

Donate by Dec. 19 and receive a $5 Gift Card

The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors from Sono to give now to ensure blood is available for medical treatments and emergencies during the holiday season.

Blood and platelet donations often decline during the holidays. Regular donors are busy with holiday activities, and travel and severe winter weather may cause blood drive cancellations. Yet donations remain critical for patients like 4-year-old Wyatt Monacelli who is in the midst of intense chemotherapy treatments for leukemia. He has received a number of transfusions since his diagnosis in June and will likely need more. Locations in and around Sono are:

town date time location address
Bridgeport 12/19/2018 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Bridgeport Hospital 267 Grant Street
Darien 12/14/2018 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. First Congregational Church of Darien 14 Brookside Road
Easton 12/6/2018 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Easton Community Center 364 Sport Hill Road
Fairfield 12/5/2018 1:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Gaelic American Club 74 Beach Road
Fairfield 12/13/2018 1 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Grace United Methodist Church 1089 Fairfield Woods Road
Fairfield 12/19/2018 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Congregation Beth El 1200 Fairfield Woods Road
Greenwich 12/1/2018 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. First Presbyterian Church 1 West Putnam Ave
Greenwich 12/8/2018 8 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. Greenwich Public Safety Complex/New Greenwich Police Department 11 Bruce Place
Greenwich 12/12/2018 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Greenwich Town Hall 101 Field Point Road
New Canaan 12/5/2018 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. New Canaan Library 151 Main Street
Norwalk 11/27/2018 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Norwalk City Hall East Avenue
Norwalk 11/30/2018 7:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Merritt Seven/Venture,L.L.C Building 301 449 Main Ave
Norwalk 12/12/2018 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Avalon - East Norwalk 8 Norden Place
Norwalk 12/14/2018 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Norwalk Hospital 34 Maple Street
Ridgefield 12/15/2018 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Ridgefield Supply 29 Prospect Street
Stamford 11/30/2018 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Bobby Valentine's Sports Academy 4 Largo Drive S
Stamford 12/8/2018 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tully Health Center 32 Strawberry Hill Court
Stamford 12/15/2018 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. St Cecilia Catholic Church 1184 Newfield Ave.
Weston 12/5/2018 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Norfield Church Norfield Road

“We are fortunate to have had so many donors give the gift of life to our child so far throughout the course of his treatment, and even more so, we are lucky to have had a supply of blood available for him when he needed it,” said Julianna Monacelli, Wyatt’s mother.

Donors are urged to give now to ensure that families like Wyatt’s don’t have to worry about the availability of blood this winter. In thanks for helping meet the urgent need around the holidays, all those who come to donate blood or platelets now through Dec. 19, 2018, will receive a $5 Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see More information and details are available at

Make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Another way to help keep the blood supply strong is to host a Red Cross blood drive this winter. To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up, visit

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

]]> (Red Cross) Events Mon, 26 Nov 2018 09:47:25 -0500
Harlan Group Restaurants Launch Winter Menus & Restaurant Week

Harlan Restaurant Group Introduces New Fall/Winter Menu and

Harlan Group Restaurant Week

November 28 through December 2, 2018

$25 Prix Fixe and Drink Specials

Harlan Social in Stamford, Harlan Publick in Norwalk, and Haus in Bridgeport, three original restaurant concepts operated by Harlan Restaurant Group, recently introduced their fall/winter menus, a comforting and hearty selection of dishes inspired by the season and created by Harlan’s dynamic culinary team.

Harlan Social, which opened in 2012 in the up and coming neighborhood of Stamford’s Harbor Point, as well as Harlan Publick, which joined the SoNo restaurant scene in 2014, continue to play upon their signature layering of flavors and bold approach, capturing the essence of the seasons and incorporating locally sourced ingredients into their dishes. New menu highlights from Harlan Social include; sweet potato tacos with black bean and cabbage slaw, cotija, and habanero aioli; crispy gulf shrimp tempura with a shallot-soy vinaigrette; butternut squash ravioli with kale, cipollini, and baby tomatoes in a sage butter sauce; and a 12oz smoked blue cheese and walnut crusted NY strip steak served with rainbow chard and baby sweet potato. Harlan Publick warms things up with; posole soup with pork and crispy tortillas; local burrrata with balsamic glazed apples and shaved brussel sprouts; ; buccatini pasta with roasted root vegetables, wild mushrooms, and tarragon lemon butter; and duck and bok choy stir fry with rice noodles in a ginger soy reduction.

Taking things to a whole new level is Haus, the Group’s stunning beer hall and restaurant which opened in downtown Bridgeport in 2018 in the historic People’s Bank building. Haus was introduced out of the gate as a “Bier & Wurst Hall”, channeling the German inspired beer gardens found throughout Europe. While it is still indeed Oktoberfest all year long, and bratwurst, spätzle, pierogis, and mammoth Bavarian pretzels remain a customer favorite, the Haus menu continues to evolve, incorporating more global pub fare, including; the Park City Pit’wich of sliced beef, aged cheddar, and horseradish sauce on a pretzel roll; creamy mac-n-cheese with chorizo; roasted baby beet salad with apples, walnuts, and feta; Weiss-Bier steamed mussels with smoked sausage and white beans; and a cheddar-ale sauce burger with bacon onion jam.

Experience all three restaurants during Harlan Group Restaurant Week, November 28 through December 2. Enjoy $25 prix fixe menus and drink specials. Visit all three locations during the week for a chance to win dinner for 2 and 2 tickets to see a show at the Palace Theater in Stamford, Wall Street Theater in Norwalk, or the Stress Factory in Bridgeport. Simply grab a Harlan Restaurant Week dining card and be sure to have it stamped upon each location’s visit.

Harlan Social - 121 Towne St., Stamford | Harlan Publick - 127 Washington St., Norwalk | Haus - 155 State St., Bridgeport

]]> (Andrea Viscuso) Places Mon, 26 Nov 2018 05:00:22 -0500