Westport's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/westport Fri, 25 Sep 2020 15:23:29 -0400 HamletHub.com Back-to-School Special Education Law & Advocacy Webinar on September 29 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46932-back-to-school-special-education-law-advocacy-webinar-on-september-29th46932-back-to-school-special-education-law-advocacy-webinar-on-september-29th https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46932-back-to-school-special-education-law-advocacy-webinar-on-september-29th46932-back-to-school-special-education-law-advocacy-webinar-on-september-29th

Please join us on September 29th at 6:30 p.m. EST for the Back-to-School Special Education Law & Advocacy Webinar.

This webinar is free and open to the public. Registration is required to view the webinar. Registration form on Zoom link: https://bit.ly/3cqM1hJ


Attorney Lawrence Berliner, Connecticut Special Education Law (Westport and Guilford, CT)

Jane Faherty, Director of Jumpstart, Stamford JCC and Educational Advocate

Jennifer Weitz and Marla Wayne, Educational Advocates, JW Advocates (Southbury, CT)

Co-hosted with the Stamford JCC (Stamford, CT)

Touchpoints as a Basis for Discussion in the time of the COVID Crisis:

Understanding your child’s special education rights

• Re-entry into school: Coping with the “new normal” school environment

• Scenarios of learning: in-school, vs home, vs. hybrid

• Challenges to learning: academics, wearing of masks, anxiety, school refusal

• Re-evaluating the IEP in the face of COVID/ Preparing for a PPT

• Compensatory Education

• Regression: when the student does not master the curriculum

• Bullying issues arising from COVID

Please email questions to Rachel Berliner rachel@berlinerspecialedlaw.com

rachel@berlinerspecialedlaw.com (Rachel Berliner) Events Fri, 25 Sep 2020 10:55:39 -0400
Young Shoots Photography Contest Winners Announced at an Outdoor Reception at Gilbertie’s https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46931-young-shoots-photography-contest-winners-announced-at-an-outdoor-reception-at-gilbertie-s46931-young-shoots-photography-contest-winners-announced-at-an-outdoor-reception-at-gilbertie-s https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/neighbors/46931-young-shoots-photography-contest-winners-announced-at-an-outdoor-reception-at-gilbertie-s46931-young-shoots-photography-contest-winners-announced-at-an-outdoor-reception-at-gilbertie-s

Gilbertie’s front lawn at sunset on September 21 was the setting for this year’s Young Shoots at Home awards ceremony and reception. Sponsored by Westport Farmers Market (WFM) in collaboration with The Drew Friedman Community Arts Center and Artists Collective of Westport, the photography contest and reception – like all things 2020 – incorporated restrictions due to the pandemic.

Budding photographers from 8 to 18-years old had a choice – to showcase produce, flowers, prepared food, or anything representative of WFM at home or at the market this year. And, just as we have seen from kids generally over the past seven months, these young artists demonstrated characteristic resiliency, creativity, and a can-do attitude.

“Young Shoots is an incredible way for me to show both my creativity and my love for food –the taste of it and its shapes, patterns, and textures you can’t find anywhere except in nature,” said Alexander Sod, who won 1st place and the People’s Choice award in the 11 to 14-year-old category for his photo: Unraveling. Though “elated about winning”, Sod noted changes since he won first place in last year’s contest.

“This year’s ceremony was low key because of social distancing, but I understood,” he said. “It did provide me an opportunity to talk with people about the contest and my artwork, though, which was fun.”

Indeed, families and friends were invited to view the artwork on a long table outside, with timed entry to prevent a crowd, and refreshments served by Sugar & Olives in individual packets to-go. The beautiful evening was symbolic.

“Now in its seventh year, this wonderful community photo exhibit for kids 8 to 18-years old once again shined a light on the boundless creativity and potential of Westport’s youth,” said Miggs Burroughs of The Drew Friedman Community Arts Center. “It was my great pleasure to join the Westport Farmers Market and the Artists Collective of Westport in presenting the winners and entries of Young Shoots at Home. 

The winners of this year’s contest were:

8 to 10-year old category

First place: Kayla Stanley for Rinsing Strawberries

Second place: Nakul Sethi for The Sunset Focacia

11 to 14-year-old category

First place: Alexander Sod for Unraveling

Second place: Rose Porosoff for Veins

15 to 18-year-old category

First place: Morgan Freydl for Seacoast Mushrooms

Second place: Anooshka Sethi for Sunshine Toast

Overall People’s Choice

Alexander Sod in the 11 to 14-year-old category 

This year’s first place winners will enjoy $100 each plus WFM merchandise; second place winners receive $50 each plus WFM merchandise.  

For Lori Cochran-Dougall, executive director of WFM and founder of the program, Young Shoots is more than a food photography contest. “Clearly it encourages creativity in young people which itself is critical, but it also reminds adults that kids see things with a lightness and simplicity that we might miss. To see the world of food through their eyes is refreshing. It was such a positive and lovely evening.”

To view the entries and winners from this year’s contest, visit: https://youngshootsathome.artcall.org/pages/web-gallery?preview=true    

kerry@ducey.org (Lori Cochran-Dougall) Neighbors Fri, 25 Sep 2020 02:19:00 -0400
Phase 3 of Connecticut's Reopen Plan Set to Begin October 8 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/politics/46933-phase-3-of-connecticut-s-reopen-plan-set-to-begin-october-846933-phase-3-of-connecticut-s-reopen-plan-set-to-begin-october-8 https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/politics/46933-phase-3-of-connecticut-s-reopen-plan-set-to-begin-october-846933-phase-3-of-connecticut-s-reopen-plan-set-to-begin-october-8

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

Phase 3 Business Changes:

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

  • Restaurants
  • Personal Services
  • Libraries

Outdoor event venues increase from 25% to 50% capacity

Indoor performing arts venues can open at 50% capacity

Bars and nightclubs remain closed

kerry@ducey.org (HH) Politics Thu, 24 Sep 2020 13:22:23 -0400
Westport Continuing Ed Invites You To Create an All-Star LinkedIn Profile! https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46930-create-an-all-star-linkedin-profile46930-create-an-all-star-linkedin-profile https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46930-create-an-all-star-linkedin-profile46930-create-an-all-star-linkedin-profile

Westport Continuing Education's business courses include this valuable series of three online workshops to optimize (or create) a LinkedIn profile! The course starts Tuesday, September 29 from 6:00 - 7:00 pm and costs just $45! 

Register online here >>

LinkedIn is hands down the best platform to promote yourself as a professional and manage your network, whether you are job hunting or not. In this class, you will learn how to create a new LinkedIn profile, or improve your current profile, by elevating it to an All-Star rating. You will also learn the best ways to use LinkedIn for job searches, sales, networking, and more. Instructor Rebecca Tudor has been a professional graphic designer for the past 10 years. 

cjewell@westportps.org (Westport Continuing Education) Events Thu, 24 Sep 2020 12:42:00 -0400
Why Small Businesses Matter in Westport (Reimagined): Whip Salon https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46929-why-small-businesses-matter-in-ridgefield-reimagined-whip-salon46929-why-small-businesses-matter-in-ridgefield-reimagined-whip-salon https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46929-why-small-businesses-matter-in-ridgefield-reimagined-whip-salon46929-why-small-businesses-matter-in-ridgefield-reimagined-whip-salon

Why Small Businesses Matter Reimagined

Small businesses matter - now more than ever. They are answering the call with innovation and determination like never before.

We hope you join us in supporting them by sharing their story far and wide and shopping local! We are thankful to Fairfield County Bank for their continued support and making this series possible.

Step inside Whip Salon and meet owner, Amy Pal.

What do you want the community to know? Are there ways for the community to help you and other local businesses to prosper?

Running a hair salon amidst a pandemic certainly is challenging but we are doing our best and making it work at Whip Salon. We were allowed by the state of CT to reopen on June 1st. There is a long list of rules and regulations set forth by the government and beauty industry that we studied and applied before reopening. However, we went the extra mile to put in place protocols beyond what is required to run our salon in a way that ensures both staff and clients are comfortable and safe at all times.    
The best thing the community can do during this time (for all local businesses) is to continue to patronize them. We are only allowed to be at 50% capacity by state law, so if we can at least strive for 100% capacity of that 50% that will help us keep afloat. Also, in general, cut small businesses some slack. Understand we are grappling with not only new regulations but ongoing uncertainty, it isn't easy and we are doing our best. In fact, when you tell us we're doing a good job, that means everything. Maybe even take a minute to write that 5 star Google review and show your support. 
Are you offering any new products or ways for customers to purchase your products or services that are popular during this crisis?
When we were forced to be closed we offered root spray and powder to our clients by mail order. This helped keep them looking good on those Zoom calls while waiting for the salon to reopen. It was a good tie over that didn't harm their hair and we still offer these products which help elongate the number of time clients can go between root touch up services. In Westport, we are also trying out offering outdoor haircuts for those that are not quite comfortable coming indoors. 
Are there certain individuals or organizations that supported you and your business through this trying time?
We are so grateful to our clients who stuck with us! Truly it has been so amazing to be reunited with our clients whenever they are ready to return. For our stylists, it's just an incredible feeling to see them back and so happy with their hair. In Ridgefield, our landlord has done everything possible to help us keep our doors open and we are super grateful for the empathy and support. 
Please share the ways your business is adapting to keep your customers and employees safe in addition to the standard guidelines.
At Whip Salon we are clean freaks. In the beauty industry, it is ingrained in you to keep your work area and entire salon sanitized even during "normal" times. To that end, we have a rigorous hourly sanitization chart. We also take temperatures of both staff and clients on a daily basis even though it is not an official requirement. Because clients are one on one with their stylist, we make sure that both parties are completely healthy and safe before the service even starts.
We regularly update our COVID procedures on our website too: https://www.whipsalon.com/covid19
Whip Salon has three locations. Visit them at 23 Governor Street in Ridgefield, 14 Elm Street, Suite 205, in Westport, and 102 Church Hill Road in Sandy Hook.
Visit Whip Salon online HERE to book your appointment or learn more about the Salon.
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!
kerry@ducey.org (HH) Places Thu, 24 Sep 2020 08:40:00 -0400
New Initiative Provides Emergency Food Resources for Connecticut’s Food Pantries https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/charities/46934-new-initiative-provides-emergency-food-resources-for-connecticut-s-food-pantries46934-new-initiative-provides-emergency-food-resources-for-connecticut-s-food-pantries https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/charities/46934-new-initiative-provides-emergency-food-resources-for-connecticut-s-food-pantries46934-new-initiative-provides-emergency-food-resources-for-connecticut-s-food-pantries

Governor Ned Lamont, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, and Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt today announced the launch of a new initiative to provide emergency food resources to Connecticut’s food pantries as the state continues to respond to the ongoing impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Under the initiative, food pantries in need of assistance can visit CTPantryResources.com, where they can connect to resources on food procurement and distribution, volunteer assistance, shipping and storage supports, and more.

“Our food pantries and nonprofit partners continue to be valuable resources, and we want to support them and the services they provide as much as possible,” Governor Lamont said, noting that September is National Hunger Action Month. “I encourage these organizations to visit this website and input their information so that we can connect and supply these food boxes to those in need.”

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is now utilizing the website to facilitate statewide distribution of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers-to-Families Food Boxes starting Monday, September 28 through Saturday, October 31. Interested food pantries or other parties must fill out an online form on the website to express their interest in receiving food boxes and confirm the ability to meet the following requirements:

  • Able to accept at least 9 pallets containing 576 food boxes and 3 pallets of milk containing 576 gallons;
  • Ability to unload the trailer using a pallet jack and/or forklift and/or loading dock;
  • Provide on-site point of contact to receive and/or manage distribution of boxes; and
  • Provide immediate distribution or have access to refrigerated storage.

Organizations that are unable to meet the criteria should contact their local emergency management director, who will connect them to regional coordinated efforts. [To locate regional emergency management directors, click here.]

Connecticut has been designated a high-priority area by the USDA for distribution of Famers-to-Families Food Boxes. As such, more than 30 trailer loads will be delivered per week. Each trailer will contain 1,152 food boxes with five pounds of meat, five pounds of dairy, 12 pounds of produce, and one gallon of milk.

Earlier this year, Governor Lamont tasked Commissioner Hurlburt to identify weaknesses in emergency feeding and long-term response of the food supply chain in Connecticut during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Commissioner Hurlburt’s direction, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture collaborated with the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the five regional coordinators, and End Hunger Connecticut to develop a strategic approach to distribution of the USDA’s food boxes.

“As our team started to work with partners to better understand the challenges food pantries face, it became apparent that many were overwhelmed by the increased numbers of people they were serving as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Commissioner Hurlburt said. “We can now utilize the website to coordinate the vast amount of information in a system way that makes it easier to deliver the food and for our pantries to distribute food.”

In addition to providing the ability to sign up for food box distribution, CTPantryResources.com includes mapping tools to identify high-need areas with lack of resources. These maps can help pantries assess the potential demand they could face as unemployment benefits change and demand for food supports increase.

“Over the past few months as I’ve joined Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare in distributing food to those in need, the number of residents lining up to receive basic pantry staples reminds me of the stories my grandparents used to share about the bread lines during the Great Depression,” Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said. “As we continue to fight food insecurity in our state, our food pantries and nonprofit partners have been our boots on the ground. That’s why it’s so critical to ensure they have access to the resources needed for food procurement and distribution, volunteers, and storage, so they can continue to be a lifeline for so many families across our state.”

As Connecticut prepares to response to a potential resurgence of the virus, equipping food pantries with tools and resources to help them plan and prepare are a vital component to Connecticut’s response. However, the existing feeding programs cannot be ignored. While the website is geared toward food pantries, it also provides information for those experiencing food insecurity.

By directing those in need to 2-1-1 for immediate attention and providing links on eligibility for programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP); Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and mobile food bank schedules, residents can increase access to nutritious food.

kerry@ducey.org (Gov. Ned Lamont) Charities Thu, 24 Sep 2020 05:13:12 -0400
Hawk Walk with Larry Fischer on Friday! https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46928-hawk-walk-with-larry-fischer-on-friday46928-hawk-walk-with-larry-fischer-on-friday https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46928-hawk-walk-with-larry-fischer-on-friday46928-hawk-walk-with-larry-fischer-on-friday

Hawk Walk with Larry Fischer on September 25 from 11AM - 1PM

You are invited to join Larry Fischer, expert bird bander, on a Hawk Walk at Trout Brook Valley Preserve, Freeborn Road in Easton.

RSVP's are required. 

You will learn about the changes he has seen recording local hawk migration patterns. He almost always catches a hawk or two for these walks, and you can see him band the birds. He will share with you the data he records each year during this fantastic time of hawk migration and how vital Trout Brook Valley's open areas are. 

This is an exciting learning opportunity for any distance learners in your family... masks and RSVP's are required by all present. There will be no more than 15 people at this event, so act now if you would like to join.  

He will meet you at the Blueberry Patch, where there will be plenty of space  to spread out. A walk up to the Apple Orchard will follow. A short hike (.5 miles) to the blueberry patch will be required from Freeborn Road, and the hike up to the Orchard will be about a 1-mile round trip. Bring your sturdy hiking shoes, binoculars, and a camera. Bathroom facilities are NOT available. 

Click here to learn more and RSVP!

kerry@ducey.org (Aspetuck Land Trust) Events Wed, 23 Sep 2020 14:12:21 -0400
CT's Beardsley Zoo Tagging Monarch Butterflies https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46927-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-tagging-monarch-butterflies46927-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-tagging-monarch-butterflies https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46927-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-tagging-monarch-butterflies46927-ct-s-beardsley-zoo-tagging-monarch-butterflies

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – In its first collaboration with the Citizen Science program Monarch Watch, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo trained volunteers to tag Monarch butterflies to learn more about the migration of the threatened butterfly. The Monarch Watch Tagging Program, based at the University of Kansas since 1992, is a large-scale citizen science project focusing on the dynamics of the monarch’s spectacular fall migration. 

Zoo Educator Jen Farrell taught three online Zoom classes in Monarch tagging, then invited volunteers who wanted hands-on assistance to join her in the Zoo’s Pollinator Gardens. Twenty-five people attended the online classes, and tagged butterflies in their own backyards, or local parks and open spaces. 

“Tagging answers questions about the monarchs that reach Mexico,” said Farrell. “Similar to the classes we offer in FrogWatch each year, Monarch Watch encourages individuals to engage with nature, while it provides critical information to the monarch database and is used for further research. This program demonstrates how we can all play a part in protecting wildlife.”

At least ten monarchs have been tagged so far. Farrell explained that weather fluctuations have shortened the migration window this year. Monarchs prefer to migrate when temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.

Each fall Monarch Watch distributes more than a quarter of a million tags to volunteers across North America who tag monarchs as they migrate through their area. Lightweight, circular tags were designed specifically for tagging monarchs, and when applied as directed, do not interfere with flight or otherwise harm the butterflies. A geographic mark on the tag tells researchers where the monarch was captured and tagged, along with the tag date and butterfly gender. 

In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned to protect Monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act, based on its dwindling numbers. A listing decision is due in December 2020. 

Why Monarchs? Monarch butterflies contribute to the health of their eco-systems by providing an important pollination role for wildflowers in the area. They are also an important food source for birds, small animals, and other insects. Their survival is threatened by the loss of milkweed plants, where they lay their eggs. In addition, their winter habitat in Mexico and California is shrinking due to deforestation, harsh weather, climate change, and development. Because monarchs gather in only a few locations, the entire population is at risk. Learn more at monarchwatch.org.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Pollinator Gardens

The Zoo has seven butterfly/pollinator gardens, and several other planting areas that use native plants to attract butterflies. Native plantings are also used in and around animal habitats to provide colorful flowers for guests and nectar sources for pollinators. Plants that help pollinators in more than one way are extremely helpful, such as Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed). Butterfly Weed is a native plant used throughout the life cycle of monarchs, from chrysalis through adulthood. It is also a nectar source for a wide range of other butterflies and beneficial pollinators. 


About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 98th year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolf family, and Mexican grey and Red wolves. Other highlights include our new Spider Monkey Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization approaching its 100th year at a time when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations and eco-systems is more important than ever. 

The Zoo reopened on June 1 at 50% capacity. Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org. Face masks are required for everyone over the age of two, with the exception of those with medical conditions that preclude wearing them. 

kerry@ducey.org (Lisa Clair ) Places Wed, 23 Sep 2020 12:12:10 -0400
Paving Begins Tomorrow on Several Roads in Westport https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46926-several-westport-roads-being-paved-beginning-tomorrow46926-several-westport-roads-being-paved-beginning-tomorrow https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46926-several-westport-roads-being-paved-beginning-tomorrow46926-several-westport-roads-being-paved-beginning-tomorrow

Westport Department of Public Works Announces Paving Program Begins Thursday, September 24

Public Works Director Peter Ratkiewich announced today that the Fall paving program will commence on September 24, 2020, weather permitting.

The roads that will be re-paved are as follows:

Ellery Lane

Ambler Road

Main Street

Myrtle Avenue

Reichert Circle

Dover Road

Janson Drive

Janson Court

Harborview Road

Meeker Road

Crestwood Road

Coleytown Road

Old Hill Farms Road

Winding Lane

If inclement the weather prevents work, the paving will commence as soon as the weather allows.

Questions may be directed to the Department of Public Works at 203-341-1120.                 

kerry@ducey.org (Town of Westport) Places Wed, 23 Sep 2020 11:52:41 -0400
Eloise Cupcakes at The Cake Box Tomorrow! Don't Miss this Opportunity to Join the Fight Against Childhood Cancer! https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/charities/46923-eloise-cupcakes-at-the-cake-box-for-two-more-wednesdays-don-t-miss-this-opportunity-to-join-the-fight-against-childhood-cancer46923-eloise-cupcakes-at-the-cake-box-for-two-more-wednesdays-don-t-miss-this-opportunity-to-join-the-fight-against-childhood-cancer https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/charities/46923-eloise-cupcakes-at-the-cake-box-for-two-more-wednesdays-don-t-miss-this-opportunity-to-join-the-fight-against-childhood-cancer46923-eloise-cupcakes-at-the-cake-box-for-two-more-wednesdays-don-t-miss-this-opportunity-to-join-the-fight-against-childhood-cancer

Only two more Wednesdays in September to get your Eloise Cupcakes at The Cake Box in Ridgefield and Westport and join the fight against childhood cancer!

Eloise cupcakes are available at The Cake Box in Ridgefield and Westport for two more Wednesdays - September 22 and September 29 in honor of Eloise and to support CureSearch during this, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Last week, the cupcakes were sold out by 2pm in Ridgefield! So, hurry! You can place your Eloise Cupcake orders for by phone for easy pickup (203) 403-2558 (Ridgefield location) and (203) 557-0264 (Westport location).

The cupcakes are named in honor Beth Butler's niece, Eloise, who passed away from Rhabdomyosarcoma in 2010. The purple flower is inspired by Eloise’s artwork and her love of flowers. Read more about Eloise and honor her legacy by making a donation HERE.

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer uses 95% of every dollar received to support children’s cancer research and educational resources for parents and families. For more information, visit www.curesearch.org.

The Cake Box is located at 1 Big Shop Lane in Ridgefield and 10 Bay Street in Westport.

You can make a donation to CureSearch in honor of Eloise HERE. 

Please note: The Cake Box is not allowing walk-in customers at this time but someone will greet you at the door and take your order. In addition, to order your Eloise Cupcakes for easy curbside pickup, call The Cake Box in Ridgefield (203) 403-2558 and Westport (203) 557-0264

kerry@ducey.org (HH) Charities Wed, 23 Sep 2020 11:22:00 -0400
Governor Lamont and Mystic Aquarium Leadership Unveil Long-Term Restructure Plan https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/politics/46925-governor-lamont-and-mystic-aquarium-leadership-unveil-long-term-restructure-plan46925-governor-lamont-and-mystic-aquarium-leadership-unveil-long-term-restructure-plan https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/politics/46925-governor-lamont-and-mystic-aquarium-leadership-unveil-long-term-restructure-plan46925-governor-lamont-and-mystic-aquarium-leadership-unveil-long-term-restructure-plan

Governor Ned Lamont has announced the completion of a $31.5 million public-private restructure and investment in Mystic Aquarium that will assist the popular southeastern Connecticut tourist destination to continue operations following the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Under the restructure, Mystic Aquarium has raised more than $10 million from private donors and eliminated $14.5 million in long-term debt. The State of Connecticut will make available a $7 million line of credit for working capital, and the plan calls for Mystic Aquarium to replace the state funding with private capital following recovery from COVID-19.

“This is a great deal for Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “This is an investment in one of our treasured assets, and which the state leveraged its support to get significant investment from the private sector, including debt forgiveness and incredible support from the philanthropic community. Like the hundreds of thousands who visit Mystic Aquarium each year, I am in awe every time I walk through the gates. It is not only a destination – it is an education and conservation center. This plan assures that Mystic Aquarium will prosper and continue to provide social and economic benefit to the citizens of Connecticut.”

Mystic Aquarium, one of the largest tourist attractions in Connecticut and a centerpiece of the state’s $18 billion annual tourism economy, had a yearly attendance of 800,000 people pre-COVID, and serves 100,000 students in the state with distance learning and other education programs. It is home to 5,000 animals, including endangered and threatened marine mammals. The facility closed to the public on March 17 and reopened on July 1.

“Mystic Aquarium worked diligently to raise an impressive amount of private donations from its board and other donors and to work with its banks on a global solution in which the state was one of many partners,” Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman said. “This is a model for economic development in COVID-19 and beyond with shared public-private investment.”

“We are appreciative of Governor Lamont and Commissioner Lehman, state and federal leaders, board donors, and new donors for an incredibly collaborative approach to positioning Mystic Aquarium for the future,” Dr. Stephen M. Coan, president and CEO of Mystic Aquarium, said.

Congressman Joe Courtney, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Senator Chris Murphy assisted Aquarium officials in reaching agreement with key partners.

“Mystic Aquarium’s future is absolutely key to the vitality of Southeastern Connecticut and the State,” Congressman Courtney said.

“Marking this profoundly important achievement, I salute the state’s lifeline financial assistance to the Mystic Aquarium – one of the nation’s premier research and education institutions,” Senator Blumenthal said. “This aid helps sustain a cultural treasure – a vital destination that drives jobs and economic vitality in the region and entire state. Having assisted in this team effort, I will continue to advocate more federal funding for our recreational and tourist attractions that have suffered financial distress because of the pandemic. I thank Governor Lamont and his team for their leadership, and Steve Coan and all the Mystic Aquarium staff, volunteers, and supporters.”

commandercarey@gmail.com (Office of the Governor. ) Politics Wed, 23 Sep 2020 07:40:16 -0400
Westport Country Playhouse Celebrates 90 Years with Night at the Drive-in! https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46922-westport-country-playhouse-celebrates-90-years-with-night-at-the-drive-in46922-westport-country-playhouse-celebrates-90-years-with-night-at-the-drive-in https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/events/46922-westport-country-playhouse-celebrates-90-years-with-night-at-the-drive-in46922-westport-country-playhouse-celebrates-90-years-with-night-at-the-drive-in

Join Westport Country Playhouse for a night at the drive-in on Saturday, October 17 at 5pm!

We're screening a world premiere film celebrating 90 years of Westport Country Playhouse at the Remarkable Theater Drive-In in Westport — and online from your couch — to raise funds to save the Playhouse!
Virtual tickets start at $25. Purchase HERE.
Bring a car and snag a parking space at the theater starting at $500. Learn more and get your tickets today » bit.ly/WCPDriveIn
kerry@ducey.org (Westport Country Playhouse) Events Mon, 21 Sep 2020 14:35:12 -0400
OUTDOOR Haircuts Offered at Whip Salon Westport! https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46921-outdoor-haircuts-offered-at-whip-salon-westport46921-outdoor-haircuts-offered-at-whip-salon-westport https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/places/46921-outdoor-haircuts-offered-at-whip-salon-westport46921-outdoor-haircuts-offered-at-whip-salon-westport

OUTDOOR Haircuts for Ladies, Gents and Kids Offered This Week at Whip Salon Westport (Thurs Sept 24th - Sat Sept 26th)
Reservations by PHONE or EMAIL only. Call 203.433.7334 or email westport@whipsalon.com to reserve your spot.
Our clients and their safety and comfort are our top priority at Whip Salon Westport when it comes to following Covid-19 protocols and procedures. We have made our salon environment extra safe going above and beyond with our procedures and cleanliness. We know that some clients are concerned about being indoors which is why we are going offering an OUTDOORS haircutting blitz for three days to coincide with some beautiful upcoming weather predicted for the end of the week. 
Simply call to book your OUTDOOR appointment for this Thursday, September 24th - Saturday, September 26th from 9am to 5pm. We are setting up shop in the open air on Church Lane just outside of Nic+Zoe in Bedford Square. Men's, Ladies and Kids cuts too! (Please note we will not be able to shampoo you however, we will include a blowout for the ladies and girls. Payment will be taken by card over the phone at the end of your service.)
Call 203.433.7334 or email westport@whipsalon.com to reserve your spot!
kerry@ducey.org (Whip Salon) Places Mon, 21 Sep 2020 12:33:02 -0400
Westport Police Department Cautions Against Removal of Temporary Signage https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/publicsafety/46919-westport-police-department-cautions-against-removal-of-temporary-signage46919-westport-police-department-cautions-against-removal-of-temporary-signage https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/publicsafety/46919-westport-police-department-cautions-against-removal-of-temporary-signage46919-westport-police-department-cautions-against-removal-of-temporary-signage

With the approaching November elections has also come the traditional posting of political signage expressing support for various candidates.  Unfortunately, as has been the case in the past, once again the Westport Police Department has begun to receive complaints related to the disappearance, removal and/or theft of these types of signs.

Residents and visitors are advised against taking it upon themselves to remove signs that do not belong to them, from either public or private property.  The enforcement of the town’s rules is the responsibility of the town of Westport, not that of private citizens.  The removal of signs from public or private property by someone not authorized to do so by the town, or by the owner of the sign, may constitute theft.  Entering onto private property to remove signs may also constitute trespassing.  Both of these acts can ultimately result in arrest.

The following policy has been established by Westport Town Officials in order to provide coordination for the placement of temporary signs by Westport non-profit organizations wishing to advertise one-time-only charitable events.  Signs placed on public property advertising a private business or company will be removed. 

General Guidelines for ALL Temporary Signs

• Town property includes traffic islands and road rights of way.
• The Town may not approve, nor is it responsible for, any signs erected on State of Connecticut property.  It is not advisable to place signs on State of Connecticut property (including rights of way and islands along Routes 1, 136, 57, 33, and the Sherwood Island Connector, nor on the exit or entrance ramps of I-95 or the Merritt Parkway) as the State may remove them.
• No sign may be placed on any school property without the prior permission of the Superintendent’s Office.
• No sign may be placed within the interior of Compo Beach or Longshore Club Park.
• No sign may be placed on Town Hall property.
• No sign may be placed on trees or utility poles.
• No sign may interfere with traffic visibility. 
• Signs on private property require property owner approval. Signs on private property shall not extend beyond the property line or into the Town right-of-way and is suggested they be removed within 2 days after the publicized event or election.

Temporary Signs for Advertising Charitable Events

The placement and locations of temporary signs on Town property for the purpose of advertising a charitable event requires review and approval by the Westport Police Chief, Director of Planning and Zoning, and Director of Parks & Recreation, or their designated representatives. Qualifying organizations (i.e. local non-profits) may send a copy of the attached request, including proposed locations, for the placement of temporary signs to: Selectman's Office, Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06880 or selectman@westportct.gov.

The following conditions will apply to charitable events:

• A maximum of 15 signs are allowed for each such event. This includes directional signs.
• The signs may be erected not more than 2 weeks before the event and must be removed within 2 days after the publicized event. 
• The size of the sign cannot exceed 2 feet by 3 feet.
• Non-compliance may result in the removal of signs.

Temporary Signs for Political Purposes

Political signs are considered an expression of free speech and are allowed on public property. The General Guidelines noted above apply to temporary signs for political purposes. 

Please note that this Press Release pertains to Town of Westport roads, and not State Roads, like Route 1, Route 33, Route 57 and Route 136.

kerry@ducey.org (Westport Police) Public safety Mon, 21 Sep 2020 11:24:23 -0400
Partnership Helps Students Build Money Management Skills https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/life/46914-partnership-helps-students-build-money-management-skills46914-partnership-helps-students-build-money-management-skills https://news.hamlethub.com/westport/life/46914-partnership-helps-students-build-money-management-skills46914-partnership-helps-students-build-money-management-skills

For college students on tight budgets, money management is a priority. That’s why Patriot Bank, N.A. has extended its partnership with Housatonic Community College (HCC) and its Foundation to help students become as smart about their money as they are about their studies, through the creation of a new financial literacy website, workshops and educational panels.

The innovative financial literacy website-Housatonic.edu/finlit- offers tools to help students gain control of their financial lives. Through articles and videos students can get educated on budgeting, paying down debt, savings, credit and investing, so they can improve their relationship with money, and align their fiscal behaviors with their financial goals. There is even a section for students to ask questions about personal finance or financial resources offered by the college itself.

“We are thrilled to partner with Patriot Bank in creating this incredible new resource that will provide students, and our community, guidance on their financial life journey,” said Mary Ann Vlahac, HCC’s Assistant Professor of Business Administration, and Chairperson of HCC’s Business Department.

In addition to the new website, a series of financial literacy workshops and educational panels will also be held. A Facebook Live event will take place on September 29th at 10 a.m. on HCC’s Facebook page (@HCCBridgeport) to officially launch the website and introduce the initiative.

“Patriot Bank’s commitment to providing financial literacy tools is about empowering individuals to make better personal and business decisions,” said Judith Corprew, Patriot Bank’s Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer. “This collaborative effort with Housatonic Community College allows us to tailor our message to the student audience they serve, with the goal of helping them develop healthy money habits.”

These financial literacy offerings are just the latest initiative in Patriot Bank’s long partnership with Housatonic. Patriot Bank Scholarships are generously awarded to high-achieving, low-income HCC students who demonstrate a dedication to community service and student leadership. The scholarship grant was recently increased for the 2020-21 academic year, providing even more students with educational opportunities they had considered beyond their reach. The financial institution also offers a convenient Automatic Teller Machine on the HCC campus.

“Patriot Bank has a proven commitment to giving our economically challenged students a leg up, and is dedicated to helping them understand that financial decisions they make today can affect their lives for decades to come. This new resource will serve Housatonic students, and in turn, the broader Fairfield County community,” said Kristy Jelenik, Executive Director of Housatonic Community College Foundation.

LauraRobertsMarketing@gmail.com (Laura Roberts) Life Mon, 21 Sep 2020 08:33:33 -0400