Stratford's HamletHub Sat, 22 Feb 2020 02:45:38 -0500 U.S. Military Veteran Comedians Performing in Stratford March 6 to Benefit Homeless Veterans

U.S. Military Veteran Comedians Performing to Benefit Homeless Veterans at the 4th Annual Comedy Night Friday, March 6, 2020

Homes for the Brave presents a lively and memorable night out at the 4th Annual “For Veterans By Veterans” Comedy Night, hosted at Vazzano’s Four Seasons on Friday, March 6th.

The “For Veterans By Veterans” Comedy Night features a buffet dinner, door prize, 50/50 raffle, and a hilarious lineup of professional comics, all of whom are U.S. Military Veterans. John Consoli (US Marine Corps), John Romanoff (US Army), Steve Scarfo (US Army), and Jody Sloane (US Coast Guard) are scheduled to perform. Proceeds raised from the event will fund programs and services that assist homeless Veterans f get back on their feet and successfully re-enter the community.

“Having U.S Military Veterans perform is essential to our Comedy Night,” said Phillip Modesti, combat Veteran (US Marine Corps), HFTB Board Member, and Event Chair. "We are Veterans helping our brothers and sisters. The night is one of both entertainment and impact."

Opening its doors in 2002, Homes for the Brave is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides transitional housing for homeless Veterans. It is dedicated to providing safe housing, case management, vocational services, and life skills coaching to homeless individuals, primarily Veterans. Programing is open to both residents and visitors and includes mental health services, job prep workshops, computer classes, therapy dog visits, meetings with federal legislative staffers, and more. To date, the organization has served nearly 1,400 individuals.

Tickets are $75 per person and tables of 10 can be purchased for $750. Sponsorship opportunities are available and begin at $100. Doors open at 6:30 PM, dinner is served at 7:00, and the show starts at 8:30 PM. To purchase your tickets or for more information visit or call (203) 338-0669. Vazzano’s Four Seasons is located at 337 Kenyon Street in Stratford, CT.

Homes for the Brave would like to thank their generous event sponsors: Ciné-Med, Connecticut Community Bank, Deadlocked Escape Rooms, Friend of HFTB, Holiday Inn Bridgeport, Knights of Columbus Park City Council #16, Marriott Trumbull, People’s United Bank, and Wilfredo Perez Jr. Memorial Fund.

]]> ( Elizabeth Gorenbergh) Charities Tue, 18 Feb 2020 11:31:00 -0500
Beardsley Zoo's Leopard Cubs to Mark 1st Birthday Jan. 25

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Two of the rarest of the big cats on earth will celebrate their first birthday at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo on Saturday, January 25. The Zoo’s two Amur leopard cubs, Orion and Kallisto (Panthera pardus orientalis), were born January 25, 2019, adding to the important species survival work being done at the AZA-accredited facility. The male Amur leopard cub, Orion, and the melanistic (an extremely rare black color variant) female, Kallisto, were hand-reared by Zoo staff. 

The Zoo will celebrate with a number of special activities throughout the day:

  • 9:00 a.m.- First 100 guests through the gate receive free Zoo calendar magnet
  • 10:00 a.m.- Education talks begin at the leopard habitat
  • Noon- Birthday enrichment offered to the cubs, designed to encourage exploration and play. Free cake and hot cocoa served to Zoo guests. 
  • 1:00 p.m.- Encore presentation of Fostering Felines Part II Lecture in the Research Station: talk supported with photos and video by Leopard Cub Care Specialists Bethany Thatcher and Chris Barker. 
  • 20% discount at Zoo Gift Shop offered all day

Amur leopards are critically endangered, which means they face an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild, with approximately 80 animals remaining there. There are approximately 200 in human care worldwide, with slightly more than 100 in Russia and Europe, and slightly fewer than 100 in the U.S.  With such a small population, each Amur leopard born is extremely important to the survival of the species. 

“Amur leopards are on the brink of extinction, so there’s every reason to celebrate Orion and Kallisto reaching their first birthdays as healthy young cubs,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “The birth of these cubs brought two more precious Amur leopards to the population, which helps ensure the survival of these majestic animals for future generations.”

The cubs’ mother, Freya, resides in an adjacent habitat to the cubs. 

About Amur leopards

A rare subspecies of leopard that has adapted to life in the temperate forests from Northeast China to the Korean peninsula and the Russian Far East, Amur leopards are often illegally hunted for their beautiful spotted fur. The Amur leopard is agile and fast, running at speeds up to 37 miles per hour. Males reach weights of 110 pounds and females up to 90 pounds. 

They prey on sika, roe deer, and hare, but the Amur leopard has to compete with humans for these animals. They live for 10-15 years in the wild, and up to 20 years in human care. In the wild, Amur leopards make their home in the Amur-Heilong, a region that contains one of the most biologically diverse temperate forests in the world, vast steppe grasslands, and the unbroken taiga biome. 

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo:

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut's only zoo, celebrating its 98th anniversary this year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Guests won't want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, Mexican and red wolves, and South American rainforest with free-flight aviary. Other highlights include the new Spider monkey habitat, the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, plus the Pampas Plains featuring maned wolves, Chacoan peccaries and Giant anteaters. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful, indoor carousel. For more information, visit

]]> (Lisa Clair ) Events Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:19:59 -0500
Inner-City Foundation Announces Grant Awards

The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education announces 18 grant awards, awarding $149,500 to local Fairfield County programs and organizations this fall, from September 1, 2019 through December, 2019.

Grant awardees include organizations and programs providing education and/or social services to needy children, families and individuals, including: LVA School, School Volunteer Association of Bridgeport, Stamford Public Education Foundation, Mercy Learning Center, Building One Community, English Learner Support Services of Fairfield County, Shepherds, Kids in Crisis, REACH Youth Program at Bridgeport Hospital, Boys & Girls Village, Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, Open Door Shelter, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Emerge, Center for Family Justice, Good Samaritan Mission, Homes with Hope, Homes for the Brave

LVA School in Danbury receives a grant to secure materials, mentoring and tutoring to help their students with the fundamentals of reading, writing, speaking and understanding the English language to enable them to take the next step in their career or education planning. School Volunteer Association of Bridgeport is awarded funds for operational support of the organization. Stamford Public Education Foundation receives a grant to help fund their nationally-recognized Stamford mentoring program, and Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport receives funds to provide education and empowerment to low-income, undereducated women through their Literacy & Life Skills Tutoring program.

Building One Community in Norwalk receives a grant to support their English Language Learning Program which serves immigrants seeking to improve their English language skills so that they can integrate with the community, find better jobs, and improve their life circumstances. English Learner Support Services of Fairfield County, Inc. receives funds for their ASPIRE program, which supports English language learners who have recently migrated here and are attending Norwalk’s high schools and middle schools. Shepherds in Bridgeport receives funding that will help to close the achievement gap among inner-city high school students by providing access to a quality college preparatory high school education, developing work, study and life skills with a committed adult mentor throughout their high school years.

Kids in Crisis receives a grant that helps to provide free, emergency residential shelter and comprehensive medical, educational and therapeutic support services for Connecticut children of all ages and backgrounds who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, are homeless or are not safe in their homes. The REACH Youth Program at Bridgeport Hospital was awarded a grant to support their intensive outpatient program for children who are experiencing severe behavioral, emotional and/or psychiatric difficulties that impede their daily functioning at home and/or school. Boys & Girls Village receives a grant to support their Work-to-Learn program in Bridgeport; the program provides 16- to 21-year-olds under the care of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) with life skills, job skills and financial literacy necessary to begin a successful adulthood. Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport was awarded a grant to be able to continue and expand their school-based services and retain the professional services of a licensed social worker, and Open Door Shelter will use their Inner-City Foundation funds to move individuals and families from crisis to stability through case management services, homeless outreach, a hot meal and food pantry program and housing support initiatives.

Domestic Violence Crisis Center receives a grant which supports two Safehouses and their Civil Legal Clinics; Emerge receives funding to help provide safe, stable, affordable housing and in-house support services to low-income survivors of domestic violence and their children; Center for Family Justice receives funding to support their Crisis and Housing Services which provide bi-lingual shelter-based services for victims of domestic violence and their children who are seeking emergency shelter and to maintain bi-lingual 24/7/365 domestic violence and sex assault hotlines.

Good Samaritan Mission receives funding to support their Work Therapy program; Homes with Hope is awarded a grant for Project Return, an emergency shelter for homeless youths ages 18-24 years old; and Homes for the Brave receives a grant to fund their Female Soldiers, Forgotten Heroes program, Connecticut’s first and only community-based transitional home for homeless female veterans and their young children.

The Inner-City Foundation has granted more than $30 million to hundreds of organizations over their 28-year history in Fairfield County, including programs that provide education and scholarship, adult education, food, shelter, help for addiction, domestic violence and more. The charity’s mission is to provide not only help but hope to needy and at-risk children, families and individuals of Fairfield County.

]]> (kbschwarz) Charities Thu, 19 Dec 2019 06:56:13 -0500
AETNA Delivers Thousands of Letters to Macy’s Westfarms As Part of Believe Campaign Benefiting Make-A-Wish®

TRUMBULL, CT – On Friday, December 13, Macy’s Westfarms and Make-A-Wish® Connecticut hosted employees from Aetna, a CVS Health company, to drop off letters and to celebrate raising thousands of dollars for Make-A-Wish through the annual Macy’s Believe campaign. On Thursday, December 12, CVS Health and Aetna engaged employees in 40 locations across the country, including remote employees and employees in their international office, in writing thousands of letters to help grant wishes for children battling critical illnesses as part of their IT Ignite Recognition Day. 

Macy’s beloved Believe letter-writing campaign, in partnership with Make-A-Wish®, seeks to capture the joy and generosity of the holiday season by asking the community to come together to help grant wishes for children with critical illnesses. From November 4 through December 24, 2019, Macy’s is asking customers of all ages to write their letters to Santa and drop them off in stores or submit them online at For every letter sent, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish.


Make-A-Wish® Connecticut creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child's wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and volunteers across the state currently grant nearly 250 wishes a year. Since 1986, Make-A-Wish Connecticut has granted more than 3,300 wishes to local children. For more information about Make-A-Wish Connecticut, visit

]]> (Carin Buckman ) Charities Wed, 18 Dec 2019 06:49:30 -0500
Menorah Lightings set for Fairfield, Trumbull, Easton, Stratford and Monroe

Menorah Lightings set for Fairfield County 

The Mishkan Israel Day Camp plans to celebrate the Jewish festival of Chanukah with a series of public lightings of menorahs Dec. 23-29 in five Fairfield County communities—Fairfield, Trumbull, Easton, Stratford and Monroe. 

The ceremonies are all open to the public free of charge and are expected to draw a number of civic representatives such as Mayor Laura Hoydick of Stratford and police department and fire department officers. 

Activities for children, light refreshments and musical entertainment have been arranged at all five locations. 

The list of ceremonies: 

Stratford: Dec. 23 (Monday), 6 p.m., Stratford Town Hall, 2627 Main St., third year of the ceremony in the community. 

Trumbull: Dec. 24 (Tuesday), 6 p.m., Trumbull Town Hall, 5866 Main St., 34rd year of the ceremony in the community. 

Fairfield: Dec. 25 (Wednesday), 6 p.m., Sherman Green, Reef Road, 30th year of the ceremony in the community. 

Easton: Dec. 26 (Thursday) 6 p.m., Easton Town Green, 34th year of the ceremony in the community.    

Monroe: Dec. 29 (Sunday), 6 pm., Monroe Town Hall, 7 Fan Hill Rd., eighth year of the ceremony in the community. 

Mishkan Israel operates a Stamford-based summer day camp, an outreach initiated in Bridgeport in 1945 by Rabbi Israel Stock and his wife as emissaries of Rabbi Yosef Schneersohn.   

    Additional information is available at or by calling 203.268.0740.

]]> (Marven Moss) Events Wed, 04 Dec 2019 09:01:32 -0500
Network of Executive Women Luncheon in Stratford on Dec. 3

The Network of Executive Women’s monthly luncheon meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at Riverview Bistro 946 Ferry Blvd in Stratford at 12:00pm. Enjoy a holiday lunch, networking and bring a $10 wrapped gift to swap. Also bring a non-perishable food item to donate.

Open to women in business. Guest attendance is limited to two Network luncheons or events; thereafter membership is required.

Please register by December 1, 2019 at and pay $24.99 for members and $29.99 for non-members. Late registrants or walk-ins- $5 additional.


]]> (Jocelyn Murray) Events Fri, 22 Nov 2019 13:38:55 -0500
CT's Beardsley Zoo "Fall Into Fun Family Weekend" Nov. 9 & 10

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Fall is a great season for families to spend outdoors, and Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will hold its second “Fall into Fun Family Weekend” as an opportunity to enjoy warm sunny days before the onset of winter weather. Nearly 80 Scarecrows on Parade will still be on display in front of the Victorian Greenhouse. 

Fall into Fun Family Weekends will take advantage of the long Veteran’s Day weekend: November 9, 10, and 11. With a fun maze to navigate, story-times, scavenger hunts, Critter Chats, face painting, crafts, pumpkin pie and apple cider, all in celebration of fall, it’s the weekend families won’t want to miss. Children can also meet Storybook Princesses who will be signing autographs and posing for photos from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 9 and 10. 

The schedule includes:

Storybook Princesses: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Sat/Sun

Story Time in the Greenhouse: 9:30 and 11:30, Sat/Sun/Mon

Critter Chats: 11:00 and 1:00, Sat/Sun/Mon

Face Painting: 10:00-2:00, Sat/Sun/Mon

Kids’ Karaoke with DJ: 10:00-1:00, Sat/Sun/Mon

Harvest Hayrides ($2 each): 11:00-2:00, Sat/Sun/Mon

Painted by the Shore Butterfly Masks/Crafts: 10:00-2:00 Sunday

Crafts in the Research Station: Sat/Sun/Mon

Pumpkin Pie and Apple Cider at the Canteen: 11:00-2:00, Sat/Sun/Mon 

On Monday, November 11, veterans receive free admission, with a 20% discount for their families. 

# # #

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut's only zoo, celebrating its 97th year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Guests won't want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, Mexican and Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarin. Other highlights include our Spider Monkey Habitat, the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, plus the Pampas Plains featuring maned wolves, Chacoan peccaries and Giant anteaters. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful, indoor carousel. For more information, visit

]]> (Lisa Clair) Events Tue, 05 Nov 2019 08:02:01 -0500
Boo at the Zoo at CT's Beardsley Zoo: Oct. 27

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo continues its SPOOK-tacular October with BOO at the Zoo on Sunday, October 27 from noon to 3:00 p.m.  This phantom-tastic afternoon will include goodies, story-time, and activities for your little monsters along with harvest hayrides and seasonal enjoyments for the whole family.  One child under 12 in costume and accompanied by a paying adult gets in to the Zoo for FREE!  Additional children in costume will receive a discounted admission of $6.00.

“Boo at the Zoo is a longstanding Zoo tradition that many families look forward to,” said Gregg Dancho, Zoo director.  “It’s a fun afternoon of crafts, cool critters, and, of course, family memories.”

The schedule includes:

  •       Spooky Stories in the Sensory Garden (in the Victorian Greenhouse if it’s chilly!)
  •       Cool Cars and Trunk or Treat near the Farmyard’s Big Cow with Fly-Meet
  •       Learn to Hula-Hoop with Hellokeighty at the Peacock Pavilion
  •       Spooky Crafts and Candy in the Research Station
  •       Meet Dr. Bugman and his cool critters in the Victorian Greenhouse
  •       The Zoo’s 4-H Club presents yummy treats for sale in the W.O.L.F. Cabin
  •       Fun games for all outside the W.O.L.F. Cabin
  •       Decorate a mini-pumpkin ($3 each, 2 for $5) at Frog Plaza
  •       Harvest Hayrides $2 each. Purchase tickets at the Gift Shop
  •       Vote for your favorite scarecrow in our Parade of Scarecrows

Regular adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $16.00, children (ages 3 -11) is $13.00, senior admission (62 and older) is $12.00, and children under 3 years old are free.  Zoo members are also admitted free.

# # #

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut's only zoo, celebrating its 97th year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Guests won't want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, Mexican and Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarin. Other highlights include our Spider Monkey Habitat, the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, plus the Pampas Plains featuring maned wolves, Chacoan peccaries and Giant anteaters. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful, indoor carousel. For more information, visit

]]> (Lisa Clair) Events Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:31:56 -0400
Women's Business Luncheon and Speaker Nov. 5 in Stratford

The Network of Executive Women’s monthly luncheon meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at Riverview Bistro 946 Ferry Blvd in Stratford at 12:00pm. Speaker and coach Tina Kadish will discuss the power of having a growth mindset for success in life and business. She’ll share her 4-step program to reprogram your mindset.

Open to women in business. Guest attendance is limited to two Network events; thereafter membership is required.

Please register by November 3, 2019 at and pay $24.99 for members and $29.99 for non-members. Late registrants or walk-ins - $5 additional.

]]> (Jocelyn Murray) Events Mon, 21 Oct 2019 05:52:51 -0400
New Exhibit: In a Dark Wood, Wandering at Housatonic Museum of Art

The Housatonic Museum of Art proudly presents a career survey exhibition of sculpture by artist Joseph Saccio entitled, “In a Dark Wood, Wandering.” The show features a selection of two dozen large-scale sculptures, and takes inspiration from mythology, nature and the struggle of living.

An opening reception with this New Haven-based artist will be held on Thursday, November 7 from 5:30 pm to 7 pm in the Burt Chernow Galleries. This free event is open to the public, and will offer light refreshments. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, December 14, 2019.

Using wood, natural materials and found objects, Saccio draws on classical mythology and religious connotations to create profound and fantastical works of art that are frequently dark and pensive. The pieces reflect his feelings about loss and rebirth though the mood is often lightened by flecks of humor.

Largely self-taught, Saccio has made art throughout his life. Upon retirement from his first career as a child psychiatrist, his devotion to sculpting has yielded awards in local, area and national competitions.

“These works were created over a span nearly thirty years, reflecting the personal history of the artist,” said Robbin Zella, Director of the Housatonic Museum of Art. “Through his art, Saccio invites viewers to meditate and reflect on loss, grief, faith and regeneration.”

The Housatonic Museum of Art is located on the Housatonic Community College campus, 900 Lafayette Blvd. in Bridgeport. It is home to one of the premier college art collections in the United States. The museum’s collection offers the opportunity to view works that span the history of art from the ancient to the contemporary, and is on continuous display throughout the 300,000 square foot facility. Visit to learn more.

]]> (Kerry Anne Ducey) Places Thu, 10 Oct 2019 10:40:40 -0400
CT Residents Rate Gov. Lamont In Latest Poll

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—A new poll by Sacred Heart University’s Institute for Public Policy, completed in partnership with the Hartford Courant between September 17 and October 2, examined Connecticut residents’ reactions to local quality-of-life issues, rated Governor Ned Lamont’s performance and solicited responses about taxes, immigration, flavored e-cigarettes and the general cost of goods. The results depict an electorate divided by income and party affiliation, with significant concerns over the costs of living in Connecticut and mixed reviews for the governor’s performance to date.

The majority of Connecticut residents surveyed (59.4 percent) reported their quality of life in the state as either “excellent” (16.4 percent) or “good” (43 percent), which remains consistent with the 60.4 percent who reported the same in May of 2019. However, in contrast, a higher rate of September 2019 respondents expressed belief that the quality of life in Connecticut is “declining” (27.8 percent), compared to the rate of those who expressed belief that the quality of life is “improving” (14.9 percent).

Annual income factored significantly in these quality-of-life opinions, with 78.7 percent of respondents earning $150,000 or more per year reporting their quality of life as either “excellent” (41.6 percent) or “good” (37.1 percent), compared to only 45.4 percent of respondents earning less than $50,000 annually. And 30 percent of residents earning between $100,000 and $150,000 per year reported their quality of life in Connecticut as “declining.” Age also was a factor: 46.9 percent of respondents ages 18-34 reported their quality of life as either “fair” (32.6 percent) or “poor” (14.3 percent) when compared to only 29.5 percent of respondents age 65 or older. 

Expressing longer-term concern, more than half of residents surveyed (58.4 percent) reported it is “very difficult” (19.3 percent) or “somewhat difficult” (39.1 percent) to maintain their standard of living. The top-reported reasons for these challenges included “tax increase - state” (61.1 percent); “price increase – general goods” (50.9 percent); and 50 percent said “increase/high taxes overall.” The perception among a majority of residents that Connecticut is a difficult state to maintain their standard of living is not surprising given the recent sales tax increases that went into effect on October 1 for a host of consumer items. The other items most often cited as expense-related factors include electrical/gas/oil (44 percent), health insurance premiums and co-pays (27.2 percent) and low-paying jobs (27.2 percent).

Regarding Governor Lamont’s performance to date, more than two-fifths of Connecticut residents surveyed (46.9 percent) reported they “disapprove” of the way Lamont is handling his job as governor, which is up nearly seven points since May. The disapproval rating among Republicans is highest at 74.2 percent (with 15.5 percent unsure), followed by 53.1 percent disapproval among unaffiliated residents (29.8 percent unsure) and 26.5 percent disapproval among Democrats (33.4 percent unsure).

When asked about specific areas of positive performance, the highest percentage of respondents reported they “approve” of the way Lamont handles “public primary education” (27.8 percent), while the lowest number reported they “approve” of the way he is handling “taxes” (16 percent). Additionally, 24.8 percent reported they “approve” of the way Lamont is handling “health care,” and 23.1 percent reported they “approve” of the way Lamont is handling “tolls.”

Over two-thirds (72.5 percent) of Connecticut residents surveyed reported to “strongly” (56.4 percent) or “somewhat” (16.1 percent) support the ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Less than one-fifth of respondents (18.7 percent) “somewhat” (9.4 percent) or “strongly” (9.3 percent) opposed the ban, and another 8.8 percent were “unsure.” For younger respondents, 60.5 percent of residents surveyed ages 18-34 “strongly” (40.7 percent) or “somewhat” (19.8 percent) supported the ban on flavored e-cigarettes, and the numbers for residents whether Democrats, Republicans or unaffiliated were all above 70 percent in support of a ban.

In response to a question regarding immigration issues facing the state, a higher rate of residents surveyed said they did not believe illegal immigration is a serious problem in the State of Connecticut (47.6 percent) when compared to those who do believe it is a serious problem (37.3 percent). However, the majority of respondents (61 percent) thought local law enforcement in Connecticut should assist federal authorities with deportation of illegal immigrants who were convicted of crimes.

The responses along party lines showed 65.2 percent of Republicans believe illegal immigration is a serious problem in the State of Connecticut, compared to only 39.3 percent of unaffiliated and 19.4 percent of Democrats. And 56.2 percent of respondents ages 18-34 reported they did not think illegal immigration is a serious problem in Connecticut. 

“Quality-of-life issues continue to play a central role in residents’ responses to our latest Connecticut poll, with concern over the high cost of taxes, general goods, energy and health insurance,” said Lesley DeNardis, executive director of the Institute for Public Policy and director of Sacred Heart University’s master of public administration (MPA) program. 

“The honeymoon for Governor Lamont was short lived, and residents are watching his performance closely. As one might expect, attitudes vary significantly by party affiliation, income and age. Key considerations for residents in gauging the Governor’s performance were kitchen table issues such as the cost of consumer goods and the recent sales tax increases affecting their pocketbooks. Concerns over the availability of jobs, insurance costs and the ongoing impasse over tolls rounded out their list of top issues,” she added.

GreatBlue Research conducted the 34-question Connecticut-specific scientific survey on behalf of the SHU Institute for Public Policy, interviewing 1,000 residents either by phone or electronically. Statistically, this sampling represents a margin for error of +/-3.02 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.     

Sacred Heart’s Institute for Public Policy, which was established in 2017 in the College of Arts and Sciences, is aligned with the University’s MPA program. In addition to hosting state-wide polls, the institute conducts public policy research, hosts public forums and workshops and serves as a public-policy learning incubator for students. 

A PDF file of complete polling results is available at



About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. More than 9,000 students attend the University’s eight colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 384 Colleges–2019 Edition, “Best in the Northeast” and Best 267 Business Schools–2018 Edition. Sacred Heart has a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theater.

]]> (Kim Swartz) Politics Thu, 10 Oct 2019 10:36:54 -0400
CT's Beardsley Zoo Welcomes a White-Naped Crane

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is the new home for a White-naped crane (Antigone vipio). The male crane, named McDuffy, arrived from Turtleback Zoo in New Jersey several weeks ago, and after a quarantine period (required for all new arrivals), has taken up residence in a large grassy habitat located next to the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat.

White-naped cranes are an elegant species native to northern Mongolia, southern Siberia, Korea, Japan and central China.  They have a white nape and vertical gray stripes on their necks, as well as a distinct red patch surrounding their eyes. They are found in in grassy marshes, wet sedge meadows and reedbeds in broad river valleys, lake depressions and boggy upland wetlands. They prefer areas where their nests can be concealed and there is little grazing pressure.

Habitat destruction of wetlands due to agricultural expansion, as well as hunting, pose the most critical threat to their survival. This species is classified as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. Since 1994, AZA institutions have been sending surplus White-naped crane eggs to Russia to be reared and released to the wild. Currently, the International Crane Foundation is also involved in the conservation of White-naped cranes throughout their range in eastern Asia.

“McDuffy is a beautiful new addition and contributes to the Zoo’s demonstration of the rich biodiversity in nature,” said Gregg Dancho, zoo director. “We continually look for new and unusual species to educate and delight our guests, that also meet our mission of wildlife conservation.”

The White-naped crane is a popular symbol of the Korean New Year celebration, and a symbol of peace for the people of the Korean peninsula.

# # #

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut's only zoo, celebrating its 97th year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Guests won't want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, Mexican and Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarin. Other highlights include our Spider Monkey Habitat, the Natt Family Red Panda Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, plus the Pampas Plains featuring maned wolves, Chacoan peccaries and Giant anteaters. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful, indoor carousel. For more information, visit


 Photo credit: Jack Bradley

]]> (Lisa Clair) Places Wed, 09 Oct 2019 09:20:06 -0400
2019 Chowdafest Champions Announced

Westport, Conn – The 12th Annual Chowdafest, presented by Stop & Shop, was another record breaker.  Both Pike Place Chowder from Seattle, Washington and Our House Bistro from Winnooski, VT won for a fifth straight year in the New England clam chowder and creative chowder categories respectively, each tying the record for consecutive wins. Gates of New Canaan won the soup/bisque category as a rookie in the event while Cast Iron Chef Chop House and Oyster Bar, also a first time entrant, won the vegetarian category with a soup aptly named after the restaurant.

Event attendance figures aren’t available yet though the crowd looks to equal the event’s all-time high of 12,000, as people attended from all over Connecticut, New England and all over the country to determine this year’s winners! The top three in each category are listed below:

New England Clam Chowder:

- 1st:  Pike Place Chowder from Seattle Washington

- 2nd:  Our House Bistro from Winooski VT

- 3rd:  Hub & Spoke from Bridgeport CT


Creative Chowder:

- 1st:  Our House Bistro from Winooski VT – Drunkin Pumpkin Chowder

- 2nd: Ribbon Cafe from Saratoga NY – Southwest Shrimp & Corn Chowder

- 3rd:  Tarry Lodge from Westport CT – Montauk Chowder



- 1st:  Gates from New Canaan CT – Crab & Roasted Corn Soup

- 2nd:   Vazzy’s from Stratford CT – Savory Sausage Soup

- 3rdL  Geronimo of Fairfield and New Haven CT – Shrimp Posole


- 1st Cast Iron Chef Chop House & Oyster Bar In New Haven CT – Cast Iron Soup

- 2nd: Saybrook Sandwich & Soup Company in Old Saybrook CT – Roasted Butternut Squash and Seared Pumpkin Bisque

- 3rd: Mystic Market in Westport & Mystic CT – Ginger Carrot Soup

Special thanks to those volunteers who have helped at all 12 events along with the student athletes from Sacred Heart University who pitched in for this annual tradition. Thanks to the National Honor Society students and Service League of Boys from Staples High School plus the park personnel who make Sherwood Island State Park the unofficial home to the New England Chowdafest.  

The big winner when all is said and done will be the charity, Food Rescue US and the fight against hunger. Over 2 million meals have been funded through Chowdafest in the past 4 years alone and the event hopes to add another half million meals to that number. For additional information about Chowdafest, please visit or email event director, Jim Keenan at  

Chowdafest is sponsored by Cabot Creamery Co-operative, Chabaso Bakery, Chica de Gallo, City Carting, CT Bites, Copp's Island Oysters, Eight O’Clock Coffee, Even Hotels,  Foods of the Vine, Hood Cream, Local Food Rocks, Lowe's, Lucy’s, Michele's Pies, Mi Nina Tortilla, MINI of Fairfield County, Natalie’s Juices, New England Dairy Council, People’s United Bank, Polar Beverages, PKF O’Connor Davies, Silly Cows Farm, Tetley Tea, Toast Point of Sale, Wades Dairy, Vazzy’s, WEBE 108 and Westminster Crackers. 

]]> (Jim Keenan ) Events Tue, 08 Oct 2019 09:18:55 -0400
Athletic Brewing To Host First Annual Non-Alcoholic Oktoberfest 5K on Oct. 12

Post-Run Fun Without the Headache on Saturday, October 12 at Athletic Brewing Company in Stratford

For the first time ever, Athletic Brewing Company will host an Oktoberfest 5K starting and ending at their Stratford brewery. A 1-mile walk route will also be available. Attendees will receive a celebratory Oktoberfest Stein, and the event will offer authentic German cuisine, live music, and NA beers courtesy of Athletic.

  • 5K run/1 mile walk at 11am
  • Oktoberfest Celebration begins at 12pm
  • $30 (beer and food); $45 for runners (race entry + t-shirt)
  • Kids are welcome, and eat for free

Tickets available here

Athletic Brewing Company is located at 350 Long Beach Blvd, Stratford, CT 

]]> (Submitted) Events Mon, 07 Oct 2019 08:43:00 -0400
Local Domestic Violence Vigils Set through October

Bridgeport, Ct. – The Center for Family Justice, with the support of community leaders and law enforcement in the six communities it serves, has scheduled series of vigils to mark the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

These seven vigils, which will take place at 6 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at the Bridgeport Police Department, will honor those who have been impacted by intimate partner violence; raise awareness and inspire hope that the cycles of violence can be broken. 

The vigils will also remind local residents that domestic violence homicides—with a total of nine in Connecticut so far this year—are a problem in every demographic and community in the state and region.

Each vigil will include a solemn reading of the names of the people who lost their lives to domestic violence in Connecticut in 2018 and so far in 2019.

The 2018 vigil schedule is as follows: 

  • Tuesday, October 1: Bridgeport Police Headquarters, Bridgeport
  • Thursday, October 3: University of Bridgeport Student Center 
  • Tuesday, October. 8:  Easton Community Center Gazebo
  • Tuesday, October 15:  Stratford Town Hall Green 
  • Wednesday, October 16: Monroe Town Hall Gazebo
  • Thursday, October 17:: Community Room, Trumbull Library
  • Tuesday, October 22: Fairfield’s Sherman Green Gazebo.

Debra A. Greenwood, CFJ’s President and CEO, will join police chiefs and community leaders in each town, to speak to their hope that the statistics on domestic violence can improve with continued dedication to protecting victims and educating the public about prevention. 

“This has been a particularly challenging year for those of us who care about victims of intimate partner violence,” said Greenwood. “Sadly, we have had several domestic violence homicides in recent months-- as well as a high profile missing person’s case in New Canaan-- that have put a spotlight on just how insidious and dangerous intimate partner abuse can be in the lives of victims.” 

Greenwood noted recent cases involving the August murder of Meriden mother Perrie Mason; the murder of Chesire mother Monica Dominguez and the case of missing mother New Canaan mother-of-five Jennifer Dulos, in which police have said violence is suspected and her estranged husband has been implicated on charges related to her disappearance, have highlighted that domestic violence has multiple victims. “We continue to be concerned about the amount of domestic violence taking place in homes where children are present and witness to this horrific acts,” Greenwood said. “Domestic violence causes residual trauma that can impact its primary and secondary victims for generations.” 

Greenwood noted the vigils also serve the purpose of allowing victims to know that at CFJ there is a safe place, close to home, where they can receive free and comprehensive services to help them lead lives free of trauma and abuse. These services include free counseling, emergency shelter, 24/7 crisis hotlines and civil legal services.  “Every year, I hear a story at a vigil from someone in attendance who feels compelled to come forward with their experiences with domestic violence because of the support they feel at our vigils,” Greenwood said. “That tells me how important it us for us to gather together to demonstrate that there is entire community behind them ready of offer its support.”

CFJ’s vigils begin at 6 p.m., are appropriate for all ages, and open to the public. Members of the press are welcome and encouraged to attend. 

Please follow CFJ’s social media channels (Facebook/Twitter) or visit its website for updates on rain locations. 


The Center for Family Justice Inc. (formerly The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County Inc.), brings all domestic, sexual and child abuse services – crisis intervention, police, prosecutors, civil/legal providers, counseling – under one roof, in our headquarters in Bridgeport, CT. Together, we work to break the cycle of violence by helping those in crisis restore their lives. Although our name has changed, we continue with the work we have provided for 12 decades, providing free, confidential, bilingual crisis services in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull. It is the comprehensive services our partners are providing that are streamlining the road to healing and self-sufficiency. 

Within the past year, The Center answered more than 1000 calls on a 24-hour crisis hotline; assisted with the civil and criminal court processes for more than 2,500 survivors of domestic violence; responded to more than 500 survivors of sexual assault and their families; provided a safe home for more than 100 women and children fleeing domestic abuse; coordinated the investigations of more than 170 cases of child sexual and severe physical abuse, developing service plans for the young survivors and their families; and provided psycho-educational support to more than 1,200 survivors of domestic violence, planning for their safety and promoting self-sufficiency.

As part of our mission, The Center educates approximately 4,000 members of the community about the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse to prevent future violence and spread the word that about the services we offer at The Center for Family Justice. Annually, we teach more than 2,000 children and teens about building healthy relationships, bullying prevention and dating violence.

For more information, visit

]]> (Beth Fitzpatrick ) Events Fri, 27 Sep 2019 07:41:20 -0400