Stratford's HamletHub Wed, 12 Dec 2018 11:59:54 -0500 Gov. Malloy and DEEP Celebrate Renovations at Milford's Silver Sands State Park

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Energy and Environment Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Rob Klee cut a ribbon to celebrate the imminent completion of long-awaited renovations at Silver Sands State Park in Milford.

The project, which will be fully completed by the beginning of the 2019 beach season, includes three new buildings, including a concession building, restrooms, and offices. A new beach boardwalk will connect the previously existing boardwalk to the bathhouse, and a short new boardwalk across the tidal wetlands will connect the existing main boardwalk to the new bathhouse.

“Connecticut’s state parks are integral to the state’s quality of life,” Governor Malloy said. “These renovations will help make Silver Sands more accessible for all. The beauty of our shoreline state parks is that they give people from all backgrounds, regardless of their socioeconomic situation, the opportunity to utilize our world-class beaches. I could not be more proud of the improvements that are being made.”

The main paved parking lot, which previously consisted of 197 spaces, is being expanded to 251 spaces. The overflow gravel parking lot, which had been 500 spaces, is being reconfigured and built with reinforced grass with a total of 420 spaces. A new grassed parking lot will be constructed to the north of the main parking lot that will have 146 spaces. Parking at the bathhouse, which previously consisted of 16 spaces, is being reconfigured to accommodate the new building and will increase to 20 spaces. A ticket booth complex is being constructed along the entry road, and a new maintenance building is being constructed at the north end. This 4,710 square-foot building will include a 1,660 square-foot garage, a 1,537 square-foot workshop and storage area and 1,527 square-feet of staff space.

“The significant investments in the Connecticut State Park system are a hallmark of the Malloy administration,” Commissioner Klee said. “Each year, millions of people visit our state parks. Projects such as the one at Silver Sands will significantly improve the visitor experience for all park goers in the years to come.”

The state park acquisition of Silver Sands, ultimately involving over 300 parcels, began after Hurricane Diane destroyed 75 homes in 1955. Needing help to renovate the battered beach, the City of Milford asked the Park Commission for help with the nearly overwhelming task. When the land transfers were complete in 1960, Silver Sands became the state’s fourth shoreline park.

]]> (Gov. Malloy) Places Mon, 10 Dec 2018 08:36:03 -0500
Kennedy Center Calendar Features Ten New Artists

Bridgeport, CT - Everyone’s perspective on life is different and this year’s Kennedy Center Calendar, “A Unique Perspective,” showcases the artistic talent of 18 artists with disabilities. This year’s beautiful calendar includes the amazing work of ten new local artists.
A greatly anticipated annual holiday tradition for more than 30 years, the calendar was initially supported by People’s United Bank. People’s United Community Foundation now continues the tradition. A total of 25,000 calendars are printed annually.
As one parent of an artist commented, “The calendar reception represents an annual celebration that brings families and friends together.  The burst of colors on the walls of Bridgeport City Hall and the enthusiasm of all the artists brings joy to all of us.” 
A crowd of 250 enthusiastic supporters recently gathered at the calendar kickoff party that was hosted by Gallery@999 on the second floor of the Margaret E. Morton Government Center in Bridgeport. Each artist was recognized, cheered and provided with a keepsake framed rendition of their artwork.  The opening coincided with the kick-off of the Bridgeport Arts Trail. 
Gallery@999 at the Margaret E. Morton Government Center has been transformed into a massive art gallery representing over 40 Kennedy Center artists and more than 50 paintings. The artwork will be on display for public viewing until the end of January.
“For over three decades, we have supported and funded the much-anticipated Kennedy Center Calendar, as it uniquely demonstrates the remarkable abilities of the Kennedy Center artists,” said Armando Goncalves, Southern Connecticut Market President, People’s United Bank. “This popular calendar is widely circulated throughout the bank’s branches in Connecticut and Westchester County, New York.”
Richard E. Sebastian, President and CEO of The Kennedy Center said, “We extend our sincere thanks to People's United Bank and People’s United Community Foundation, who annually underwrite The Kennedy Center Calendar. This vibrant calendar motivates us to be touched, moved and inspired (my acronym for TMI) by the many abilities of our artists with disabilities."  
As The Kennedy Center's Expressive Arts program has grown and expanded over the years, the works of visual artists have evolved beyond the mediums of paint, pen and ink, and collage typically found in past calendars. This year a piece of transformational art was selected for the 2019 “A Unique Perspective” Calendar cover. An old bicycle discovered at the local recycling center has been deconstructed and reconstructed into a work of art using the various parts such as chains, reflectors, pedals, nuts and bolts, hubs and spokes. 
Six artists at The Kennedy Center’s Project Twenty, a community experience program, were collectively inspired by the abandoned “trash” they had found.  Originating without a preconceived plan, the artwork unfolded organically as the artists sorted through a big pile of bike pieces. Through the exploration of new mediums and tools, they collaborated to rearrange the bicycle in a completely different configuration. Several artists cut wires, while others bent, twisted, and molded existing structures.  One artist enjoyed stringing the washers together like beads and tying them onto the spokes. The possibilities were endless. As the bike, aptly named “Big Mike,” began to transform, it emerged as something beyond what they could’ve imagined. It became a “symphony” of parts moving and working together as one. 
These artists challenge the public’s perception of art. By continually reaching out to broaden our audience, more and more people experience the “unique perspective” of an artist with a disability. “Big Mike” on the cover gives a glimpse into the transformative power of creative expression and the positive effect that it can have not only on the artists, but on the viewer as well. 
The calendar was designed by Meghan Gerety, a freelance artist in Brooklyn and former Connecticut resident, and was printed by GHP Media in West Haven.
About The Kennedy Center
The Kennedy Center, founded in 1951, is an internationally accredited, non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently serves over 2,000 individuals annually. The agency actively responds to the needs of the community by offering innovative, comprehensive service opportunities to persons with disabilities and special needs, from birth to senior years. The Kennedy Center operates 31 community experience programs, 17 group homes, an industries program composed of six businesses, supported and competitive employment and job placement services, a family support and respite service, travel training, and a variety of children’s programs. Visit for more information.
About People’s United Community Foundation
Established in 2007, People’s United Community Foundation was formed to help support programs and activities that enhance the quality of life for citizens in the communities that People’s United Bank serves. Founded in 1842, People's United Bank, N.A. is a subsidiary of People's United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: PBCT), a diversified financial services company with approximately $47 billion in assets. People’s United Bank is a premier, community-based, regional bank in the Northeast offering commercial and retail banking, as well as wealth management services through a network of more than 400 retail locations in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
*Denotes new artist
2019 “Unique Perspective” Calendar Artists
Front cover artists for “Big Mike”:
 *Alexander Supernois, Stratford
*Zachariah Noble, Ansonia 
*William Rios, Bridgeport
*Marisela Valentin, Bridgeport 
*Aisha Joyner, Bridgeport
*Jessica Foss, Milford 
January – *Christian Delgado, Stratford 
Title: “You Can’t See Me”
February – Alice Dubois, Stratford 
Title: “Lighthouse Pier
March – Cloresa Francoeur, Bridgeport 
Title: “Pretty”
April – Charles Best, Bridgeport 
Title: “Blossom
May – *Maria Santiago, Bridgeport 
Title: “Flowers
June – Rebecca Inwood, Fairfield 
Title: “Rainbow”
July – Christina Bevans, Stratford 
Title: “Disney Celebration”
August – John Mitchell, Milford 
Title: “Paradise”
September – *Barbara Cobb, Bridgeport 
Title: “Rainbow Circles”
October – *Mary Wood, Shelton 
Title: “Untitled”
November – Krysten Tong, Hamden 
Title: “Uruguayan Fruit Market”
December – Molly Hauser, Shelton 
Title: “Nightlight Glow Sparkle Stars"
]]> (Cara Mocarski) Life Sun, 09 Dec 2018 12:02:36 -0500
Boys & Girls Village Receives Grant from DCF to Build Stronger Families

Boys & Girls Village received a $435,000 annualized grant from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) to support delivery of an intensive home-based services program entitled Multisystemic Therapy - Building Stronger Families (MST-BSF).

The program will treat families that are active cases within DCF where there is physical abuse and/or neglect of a child in the family plus substance misuse by at least one caregiver. A two-year pilot study of the program showed significant success, and a large-scale clinical trial of MST-BSF was completed earlier this year in upstate Connecticut.

“We are grateful to have the Department of Children and Families’ support as we bring this important new program to Fairfield County,” said Dr. Steven Kant, CEO of Boys & Girls Village. “The interventions provided by our experienced clinical team will comprehensively address the factors that contribute to child maltreatment as well as substance use, creating stronger, healthier families in our area.”

At Boys & Girls Village, the grant will support a team consisting of three full-time master’s level Clinicians, one full-time Case Manager, one full-time MST-BSF Clinical Supervisor and one part-time APRN. The team is expected to serve 21 families annually, each receiving intensive treatment services several times each week for an average of six to nine months.

In 2003, Connecticut DCF began work to increase services for families engaging in abuse or neglect of a child in the family plus parental substance misuse. DCF brought together faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina and Johns Hopkins University to develop the MST-BSF model.

Results from the two-year pilot study showed substantial improvements. Among families that received MST-BSF, parents showed significant decreases in substance use, depression, and psychological aggression towards the child, while youth showed significant decreases in anxiety. Twenty-four months post-referral, MST-BSF parents were three times less likely to have a substantiated new incident of abuse or neglect, and half as many youth required placement out of the home.

For more information about the MST-BSF program, please contact Christina Trani at

]]> (Laura Roberts) Charities Fri, 07 Dec 2018 08:24:39 -0500
Why Small Businesses Matter in Stratford: Hawley Lane Dental

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT Hawley Lane Dental!

Three questions with Dr. Kristy Gretzula, owner of Hawley Lane Dental.

Why did you start your business?

I (owner and dentist Kristy Gretzula) started Hawley Lane Dental in 2008 because I wanted to change people’s perception of dentistry.  I felt by creating a small, friendly environment, we could show our patients that their oral health was not only important but also something that didn’t have to be neglected out of fear.  Now that we’ve been in practice for over 10 years, my next goal is to expand my “giving back”.  More donations and fundraising, as well as charity work, will help us give back to the community and those in need.

Finish this sentence in regard to your business: “I wish I could…”

…tell our patients how much we really care about them!  We love teeth of course but getting to know our patients and their families is what really drives us.  Sharing in weddings, pregnancies, job promotions, new homes and other life events helps us stay connected to the people we treat. My favorite part of our practice is watching our young patients grown through childhood into young adulthood!

I always say we’re like the “Cheers” of dentistry…when you come in, everyone knows you!

Best-selling product/service?

We have a lot of requests for teeth whitening. Everyone wants a dazzling smile of course and a bright smile can really change how you feel about yourself. We’ve been using an amazing whitening system in our practice. Each batch is made fresh and we get great results with almost zero sensitivity! There’s something for everyone’s needs and budget!

Hawley Lane Dental is located at 475 Hawley Lane, Suite 9 in Stratford. Visit them online here.

Hawley Lane Dental tags Cutspring Deli!

HamletHub thanks The Hartford for their commitment to small businesses and for making this series possible! Learn more about how The Hartford can help you and your business HERE.

]]> (HH) Places Wed, 28 Nov 2018 07:54:52 -0500
Stratford 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 Stratford 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 Stratford are:

town date time location address
Bridgeport 12/19/2018 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Bridgeport Hospital 267 Grant Street
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
Monroe 11/30/2018 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Beacon Hill Evangelical Free Church 371 Old Zoar Road
Monroe 12/4/2018 7:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Masuk High School 1014 Monroe Turnpike
Norwalk 12/12/2018 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Avalon - East Norwalk 8 Norden Place
Shelton 11/27/2018 7 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Dianon Systems 1 Forest Parkway
Shelton 11/30/2018 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Shelton Community Center 41 Church Street
Shelton 12/5/2018 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. Shelton Community Center 41 Church Street
Shelton 12/5/2018 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Avalon 185 Canal Street W
Shelton 12/10/2018 8 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. R.D. Scinto Towers 2 Corporate Drive
Shelton 12/17/2018 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Perkin Elmer Corporation 710 Bridgeport Avenue
Shelton 12/18/2018 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Precision Resource 25 Forest Parkway
Trumbull 12/15/2018 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Nichols United Methodist Church 35 Shelton Road
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
Why Small Businesses Matter in Stratford: The Clog Doctor

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT The Clog Doctor Plumbing and Drain Services

Three questions with Willy Antoine, owner of The Clog Doctor.

Why did you start your business?

As a child, I’ve always love to work with my hands and fix things in and around the house which landed me in the plumbing industry in 2003. While working Roto-Rooter the largest sewer and drain cleaning Companies in North America, I decided to open The Clog Dr. in 2013. I have worked in all phases of plumbing repair, sewer & drain cleaning service, which gives me expertise in the plumbing and drain cleaning field. My mission is dedicated to solving the client problem and leave them 100% satisfied, which has been my motto "If I can fix it, no one else can. Nothing brings a bigger smile on my face is after the job is completed the client says “I can now use my sink, tub, toilet again”.

Best selling product or service?

My best selling services have been both plumbing repair and drain services.

Do you use any local businesses to operate your business?

I wouldn’t be here first, without God and the help and support from local businesses including Signs and Wonders who designed my logo and did my truck lettering, Staples who designed invoices, my friend Terrence Jennings from Klear Klogs who designed my first website, and finally Cintas who made my uniforms.

I would finish it like this by tagging Roto-Rooter. They gave me a great start in this plumbing and drain industry and taught me the knowledge and skills I needed to start The Clog Doctor, it would only be right if I return it back their way. 

The Clog Doctor is located at 717 Light St Stratford, Connecticut. Visit The Clog Doctor online here.  For service call: 203-893-0454 or 860-598-0838.

HamletHub thanks The Hartford for their commitment to small businesses and for making this series possible! Learn more about how The Hartford can help you and your business HERE.



]]> ( HH) Places Sat, 24 Nov 2018 13:09:36 -0500
Housatonic Community College’s 2nd Annual STEAMFest Draws Crowds

Hundreds gathered at Housatonic Community College’s 2nd annual STEAMFest, a two-day event to celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics on Wednesday, November 7 and Thursday, November 8. Held on the HCC campus, the event nurtured academic passions and provided extraordinary opportunities for engagement and exchange between STEAM professionals, students, educators and the community.

HCC students displayed their exciting research findings, and attendees considered possibilities for their future while enjoying impactful interactions with real-world STEAM professionals and interactive demonstrations. In addition to the over 60 associate degree and certificate options in STEAM disciplines at HCC on display, a wide array of colleges and universities also exhibited their own programs at a STEAM College Fair.

Keynote speaker Dr. Marie Robert, an internationally renowned surgical pathologist and professor of pathology and medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, drew a standing-room-only crowd. Robert discussed pathology within the intestinal track, but also life lessons, such as the importance of persevering in the face of challenges and work-life balance, setting a tone for the event.

“The keynote speaker is so driven and made sacrifices to be in a predominately male field,” said Jocelyn Rivera a 2nd year HCC student majoring in Radiology. “She is successful and balances home life with work life; I always believed that I could do both, a notion that gets little support at home. Dr. Robert proved to me that it can be done.”

A ‘STEM on Wheels’ bus, created through a partnership with the University of Bridgeport and the Discovery Museum, offered attendees a mobile lab featuring medical simulations 3-D printing, a mobility device for the visually impaired and Dash robots.

Catherine Sneed, head of employee communications and community relations for corporate sponsor Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, discussed the importance of STEAM and employment opportunities available in the field. Earlier this year, the firm contributed $25,000 to launch a STEAM Center of Excellence at HCC and to support the College’s ongoing STEAM initiatives.

“These students are our future, and our future is in very good hands,” said Dr. Paul Broadie, President of Housatonic Community College. “Our annual STEAMFest event is the ideal place to demonstrate the intelligence coming out of this community college and the many opportunities available in STEAM careers.”

“STEAMFest was a heartfelt event where students felt welcomed, valued and empowered to not only join a STEAM profession for themselves, but to realize that simple yet powerful fact: it takes grit to accomplish collegiate and career goals. This type of hard work is something that excludes nobody,” said Rachel Cain, STEAM Initiatives Coordinator for HCC.

STEAMFest 2018 was generously supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Other STEAM initiatives and programs at HCC are funded by donor advised funds at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation; Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company; Pitney Bowes Foundation; Gene Haas Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

To learn more about STEAMFest or STEAM programming at HCC, please contact Rachel Cain,  or by phone 203-332-5984.  Visit the HCC website at

]]> (Laura Roberts) Life Tue, 20 Nov 2018 05:42:40 -0500
Congratulations to Books, Ink's Heather Frimmer and Diane Lowman on the release of their new books!

Not one but two Books, Ink contributors celebrated book birthdays this fall, and we couldn't be happier to see their stories out in the world, just in time for holiday gifting (hint, hint).

Heather Frimmer's Bedside Manners was released on October 16 and Diane Lowman's Nothing But Blue on November 13.

Bedside Manners follows a mother and daughter, Joyce and Marnie Novak, as they navigate the medical field from two perspectives: patient and physician. Joyce is newly diagnosed with breast cancer while Marnie has recently graduated medical school. Through their interlocked journeys, both Joyce and Marnie’s futures change in ways they never would have expected. You can purchase a copy here.

Nothing But Blue is a lyrical coming-of-age memoir of the author's 19th summer, which she spent working on a German container ship. Her 10- week journey transforms her from a malleable girl into an independent, resilient young woman who learns to stand on her own two feet even in the roughest of waters. You can purchase a copy here.

Congratulations, Heather and Diane!

]]> (Books, Ink editors) Neighbors Sat, 17 Nov 2018 05:34:00 -0500
Great ThanksGiving Project begins with support from coroporate partners


Bridgeport Rescue Mission is in the midst of their annual Great ThanksGiving Project to provide winter coats, turkeys and bags of Thanksgiving fixings to low-income and working-poor families in coastal Fairfield County.

According to Mission Executive Director Terry Wilcox, scores of individuals, companies, civic groups, churches and synagogues have organized winter clothing, turkey and food drives to make this tremendous outreach possible. Hundreds of volunteers will donate their time during the holiday week to help hand out turkeys, food bags and coats at the Great ThanksGiving Project distribution. Wilcox extends the Mission’s sincere appreciation to all participants and volunteers, including the following Corporate Partners that are providing support: BizMarkR.D. Scinto, Inc.,  Affinion GroupAudi FairfieldMercedes-Benz of FairfieldPorsche FairfieldBarrow Street AdvisorsPrime LinePepsiCoReed Exhibitions and Enterprise Car Rental.

 “Our Great ThanksGiving Project is an opportunity for our community to come together and demonstrate what Thanksgiving is all about—showing our gratitude for our many blessings by serving others in need,” Wilcox said.  “Thanks to the support of generous volunteers, donors and corporate sponsors who have come together to bless others with their compassion and generosity, we can ensure no one will go without a Thanksgiving dinner and the ability to ward off the winter chill.”

For more information on the Great ThanksGiving Project, partnership opportunities or the Mission’s programs and services for homeless and hurting men, women and children, visit

]]> (Michelle Chabla) Charities Thu, 15 Nov 2018 13:40:50 -0500
Hey Stratford, It's America Recycles Day!

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds everyone to take part in America Recycles Day, celebrated annually on November 15th. While recycling happens every day of the year, November 15 is set aside to recognize and celebrate the positive impacts of reducing, reusing, recycling, composting, and closing the recycling loop in our communities, schools, businesses and state agencies.

“Recycling is one of the easiest things everyone can do to help our environment,” said DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee. “Recycling begins at home, and is a fun way to engage children in the benefits of helping to protect our planet. I encourage everyone to do their part each day by reducing, reusing and recycling.”

To assist in ensuring a clean recycling stream, RecycleCT in partnership with the DEEP and Connecticut Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), the organizations that process our residential mixed recyclables, last year developed the ‘What’s IN, What’s OUT’ list of acceptable materials for our mixed recycling bins.

The ‘What’s IN, What’s OUT’ campaign has been recognized with regional and national awards for encouraging recycling. With an easy to use widget that provides quick answers to questions about what can and cannot be recycled, short videos highlighting recycling issues, and materials related to recycling that Connecticut cities and towns can share with the residents, has become the go to site on the web for all questions regarding recycling in Connecticut.

Since the launch of the ‘What’s IN, What’s OUT’ campaign in 2017, the website has experienced more than 7.4 million impressions, 70,000 web site visits, 104,000 sorting RecycleCT wizard searches and 1.9 million video views.

RecycleCT.Com Top Ten Items Searched:

IN – Acceptable in mixed recycling bin

Pizza Boxes (no food, removed liner)
Plastic take-out containers (rinsed, no food)
Aluminum foil
Milk, juice cartons
Plastic “clam shell” container (not Styrofoam)
OUT – Not acceptable in mixed recycling bin

Plastic Bags
Shredded Paper
Battery (non-rechargeable)
Prescription Bottles
]]> (CT DEEP) Life Thu, 15 Nov 2018 07:58:40 -0500
The three beers you need to make Thanksgiving a beer dinner

It’s cold when you leave for work in the morning and dark when you get home. You need to clear your yard of leaves. And now there’s all that shopping to do for Thanksgiving dinner, which is coming up fast. The vast majority of Americans have the shopping list somewhat on autopilot—turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, apple and pumpkin pies—so aside from tinkering with some of the side dishes, something you might want to try differently is treating the holiday meal as a beer dinner.

Beer dinners are fun and educational. It’s interesting to note what you’re tasting in the food and the beer, and how those flavors interact with each other. Does the bitterness of an IPA cut through the fat in a charcuterie plate? The chocolatey maltiness of a brown ale contrast with the tanginess of cranberries? The sweetness in a barleywine complement a brown-sugar-and-molasses-heavy pecan pie? Yes, you bet they do.

The problem is that there are so many beer styles and you have other stuff to do besides research what they are and what foods they go with. Add to that the number of different foods available during the main meal—usually about eight—and there’s no way you’re going to find a perfect beer to go with every food. Instead, aim for beers that are best going to match the main components of each course.

Here, I’ll make it easy for you by telling you what three styles of beer best pair with each of the three phases that my family’s Thanksgiving meal typically runs through. (We’ve never really strayed from the traditional—no turduckens or tofurkeys in our household.) As a brewery owner and operator, I’ve been behind the bar long enough to know that everyone’s palate is different and some of you are not fans of these styles. So, I’ll note an alternative or two as well, and hopefully this short guide will be able to suit everyone’s taste.

Pour a pale ale with your apps. Since I was a kid, as the family gathered there were always generously large plates of cheese, crackers, nuts, cured meats, olives, and some crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots. Nowadays, we call it charcuterie and it all seems so fancy. Hoppy, often citrusy (but piney can work too), bitterness is a great complement to sharp cheeses like cheddar, and the light malts of a pale ale work well with nuts and crackers. If there are a lot of fatty meats on your plate, the beer’s combination of acidity and carbonation will cut through the fat.

Alternatives: A light, refreshing Pilsner with more earthy hops can ease you gently into a full day of food and drink. Or, if you want to go big right out of the gate (and hand over your car keys to a designated driver), a sweet barleywine is delicious with heavier cheeses like a creamy brie or crumbly blue.

Take tripel with your turkey. Okay, you made it through the apps, and now you’re being told it’s time to sit down for the big meal. Maybe you worked some of the earlier gorging off tossing around a football. Or you’ve just emerged from a short food coma that has left you groggy yet ravenous. Whether you’re inhaling or forcing down each bite, you’re going to be working with a lot of flavors and textures—the crisp, caramelized skin of the turkey (even crispier if you deep fried it in your driveway) and the mild saltiness of its meat; the deep umami goodness of the gravy; the bready herbiness of the stuffing; the bittersweet cranberry sauce (I still love the gelatinous type from a can); the buttery creaminess of mashed potatoes; the mild, sweet earthiness of sweet potatoes; and the garlic and almond nuttiness mixed in with your green beans or the bacon and shallots with your Brussels sprouts.

If you were to pick a perfect beer pairing for each of these dishes, they’d be different, and you’d be consuming more alcohol than you should. You need a real workhorse that’s going to provide complement and contrast to everything on your plate, and have enough carbonation to clear the last bite’s flavors off your tongue so that you’re ready to fully experience all the flavors in the next bite. That’s where Belgian-style strong ales come in. I’m recommending a tripel, which is a light-colored, higher alcohol (7.5% to 9.5% alcohol by volume) beer with a complex mix of spicy and fruity flavors with a delicate malt base. The experience of drinking a tripel rivals that of a good wine, with the pleasant and previously noted palate-cleansing effects of high carbonation. The food will pop, and you may find yourself relaxing to the point where you can tune out the political debate that’s erupting at the table.

Alternatives: A brown ale or Oktoberfest lager can be a good, lower-alcohol alternative. Both styles rely primarily on malts for their flavor, with the brown being a bit more roasty and chocolatey, and the Oktoberfest being more toasty and biscuity. Both are great with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. The brown might better complement the gravy and cut through the creaminess of the mashed potatoes. If browns aren’t your thing, the mild flavor of an Oktoberfest works with almost anything. Choosing the beer you want with a meal all depends on your favorite of the flavors on your plate—focus on that and pick the beer that best matches it.

Go dark with dessert. It’s been an hour or three since the main table was cleared. What have you been doing? Watching football? Getting suckered into a political shouting match? Doing your best tryptophan-induced impression of Rip Van Winkle? Changing into any elastic-waisted pant you can find? Well, I hope you’re ready to wrap up with some pie. Whether it’s apple, pumpkin, sweet potato, pecan, berry, coconut, or banana, the one beer style that is a 100% win with dessert is imperial stout. Whether you get one that’s just a straight-up stout or one flavored with coffee, vanilla, banana, chili peppers, or bourbon barrels, it’s gonna work. The chocolate malt flavors, the roasted barley, the caramel malts. They all combine to create flavors that rival the best coffee or espresso with any dessert.

Alternatives: Another dark option that goes well with dessert is a barleywine. Despite its name, this is a beer. There are no grapes or other fruit products. It’s made primarily from barley, just like any beer. It’s called a barleywine because of its high alcohol content. In the old days, before IPAs could approach 10 or 11 percent alcohol, barleywines—which can go as high as 12 percent alcohol by volume—were some of the biggest beers around. Since the alcohol content got as high as some wines, the beer was known as barleywine. These beers are dark, but not as dark as porters or stouts (a porter can be a suitable alternative for dessert, too.) They tend to be sweeter than a stout, sometimes with flavors of stone fruits, like plums. Great with pie, or if you’re too full, skip dessert and have the beer as an aperitif.


Just please remember to drink responsibly during the holiday. If you have one beer during each of the three courses above, probably spread out over four or five hours, you should be okay. But everyone has his or her own tolerances. Don’t get behind the wheel of a car even if you’re feeling a little buzz. Thanksgiving traffic is horrendous, and it’s all too easy to get into an accident. Have a good time but stay safe. Enjoy the holiday, everyone!

Mike Borruso is a writer and editor by day, and spends his free time as one of the owners/operators of Fairfield Craft Ales, a music-inspired, small-batch brewery in Stratford, Connecticut.

]]> (Mike Borruso) Life Thu, 15 Nov 2018 07:55:01 -0500
Oar & Oak Ribbon Cutting Tomorrow in Stratford!

Please join the Stratford Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Laura R. Hoydick on Thursday, November 8th at 5:00 p.m. for the ribbon-cutting of the new Oar & Oak Restaurant in the Oronoque Shopping Plaza, 7365 Main Street in Stratford.

Oar & Oak is the realization of a dream shared by two life-long friends and restaurateurs, Peter Massey and Dan Kardos. They always wanted to open something up together and this space provided the perfect opportunity. With a little help from family members and friends, Oar & Oak came into being.

The restaurant will provide guests with a sampling of their casual and fun food menu at Thursday’s ribbon-cutting.

]]> (Stratford Chamber of Commerce) Places Wed, 07 Nov 2018 13:34:19 -0500
CT BBB Offers Tips For Avoiding Holiday Job Scams


CROMWELL, CT — Are you among the many people who look for seasonal work over the holidays? The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that retailers could add as many as 650,000 new temporary positions over the 2018 winter holiday season. Many consumers are scrambling to apply but some of those postings may not even be real.
During the holiday season, scammers look to take advantage of those seeking temporary work. In 2017, over 2,400 employment scams were reported to BBB Scam Tracker. According to the BBB Risk Index, the employment scam is the third riskiest scam for all consumers. It is also the riskiest scam for students and those between the ages of 25 and 34.
Be aware of these red flags in order to avoid employment scams that try to steal your personal information, money or hard work.
Don't fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask him/her to wire the money elsewhere. You should also be wary if someone wants you to make an advanced payment or buy materials to start working from home. You should not have to pay money to start a job. Scam artists will often ask you to wire payments (especially to destinations in other countries) because they know it's harder to get your money back.
Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work-from-home offers, secret shopper positions or jobs with generic titles such as caregiver or customer service representative. These positions often don't require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants.
Watch out for on-the-spot job offers or job offers from strangers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made on the spot or after a brief online chat. If someone offers you a job without getting an application from you, meeting you, or doing an interview, it’s probably a scam. 
Big bucks for simple tasks. Be wary of positions that promise a large salary for minimal effort, skill or perks well above similar positions. If similar jobs offer to pay $10/hour and this position pays $20/hour, chances are that there's a catch.
Nowhere is scam-free. You may think that sites like LinkedIn and other well-established, reputable job sites are free of scammers but they aren't. Employment scams are everywhere. Whenever you receive unsolicited contact from a recruiter or employer, whether it be on a website, email, or by phone, be careful.
Businesses are often impersonated. Scammers will often pretend to be from a real company, create look-alike websites and send emails from addresses that appear legitimate. Look up the company independently through a search engine, and go to the company's website to verify the position is posted. If not, get in contact with someone from the business to make sure the job exists and it isn’t a scam.
Do your research. Look up the business online. Start at to see their BBB Rating and if there are red flags in their complaint history or past reviews. Look at other review websites as well, and see if there are negative reviews about the business or if it has been impersonated in the past. 
There is no contact information. Be cautious if a company is trying to get you to accept a job, but does not have a physical location or address available. A cell phone number and website address are not enough to prove the business exists.
Refusal to give you full details in writing. Ask for complete information in writing. Look carefully at any documentation they might provide to make sure it answers all of your questions. If they won’t give details or don’t respond to questions, don’t do business with them.
If you encounter an employment scam, make sure to report it to BBB Scam Tracker.





]]> (Luke Frey - CT BBB) Public safety Wed, 07 Nov 2018 00:56:30 -0500
Stratford Voters Can Register on Election Day

Stratford voters can register on Election Day at Town Hall, Council Chambers, 2725 Main St. 

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill reminded eligible but unregistered voters that they can register and vote on Election Day, at the Election Day Registration location in their town.

A full list of The Election Day Registration locations can be found at

Click here to find out if you are registered to vote.

“It is not too late to register to vote if you haven’t yet registered,” said Merrill. “Connecticut has Election Day Registration, so you are able to register and vote on Election Day at the EDR location in your town. My office and the dedicated local election officials throughout the state won’t rest until every eligible voter registers and every registered voter votes.”

Please note that Election Day Registration voters must be registered to vote by 8:00pm in order to vote (not in line to register by 8:00pm), so voters should go to the Election Day Registration location in their towns as early as possible. Any voter who has not registered by 8:00pm will not be able to vote.

More information on Election Day Registration can be found at

In order to register on Election Day, a potential voter must provide their birth certificate, driver's license, passport, or Social Security card, or in the case of college and university students a current photo identification issued by their higher education institution. If the potential voter’s identification does not also include proof of their residential address, he or she must also submit another form of identification showing their residential address in the municipality. The additional identification may include, but is not limited to, a motor vehicle learner's permit, a utility bill due no later than 30 days after the election, for a college or university student a current college or university registration or fee statement, a lease, a library card with residential address, a paycheck, a property tax bill, naturalization documents, or other satisfactory proof of residence.
Eligibility requirements can be found here.

]]> (CT Secretary of State) Politics Mon, 05 Nov 2018 09:55:38 -0500
Stratford Sample Ballot Available Online

Every Vote Counts, Stratford.

Election Day 2018 is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6th.   Polls in Connecticut are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m, but please check with your local polling place to confirm.

Stratford residents can view a Sample Ballot HERE.

Not sure where to vote? Find your poll on CT Secretary of State website HERE.
Are you a voter with a disability? View your rights HERE.

Not sure if you’re registered to vote? Click HERE to find out.

If you’re NOT registered to vote, Connecticut offers Election Day Registration. To register in person, you will need to supply proof of identity and residence. Contact your local registrars of voters for information about location, hours of operation, and acceptable forms of identification.


]]> (Tara Daily) Events Mon, 05 Nov 2018 06:42:55 -0500