Stratford News: Air & Space Museum Opens

2021-05-22–#Stratford CT—After many years of planning and restoring the Connecticut Air and Space Center held its ribbon cutting with Mayor Laura R. Hoydick. The museum will be open weekends 8am to 4pm and is located at 225B Main Street in Stratford (next door to the Windsock Restaurant).

The museum features aircraft from the Corsair airplane from World War II which was made just down the street from the museum to helicopters from the Viet Nam War era. Models and memorabilia donated by veterans are also on display.

New Leadership For The Discovery Museum

BRIDGEPORT, CONN. (May 18, 2020) – Today, the Discovery Museum announced the hiring of Terry O’Connor as Interim Executive Director.  “Terry brings to The Museum his leadership skills and expertise in the educational and non-profit worlds in Fairfield County”, said Tom Vos, Chairman of the Board of The Discovery Museum.  “Terry has agreed to come out of retirement to add his experience to The Museum as it faces unprecedented challenges brought on by the coronavirus”, said Vos.

Terry is well known throughout Fairfield County for his work with children in non-profit and educational organizations.  Before his retirement in December 2018, Terry served for 26 years as Executive Director of The Cardinal Shehan Center, and before that he was head coach of the Fairfield University basketball program.  He began his career as a teacher and has an MS in physical education from Syracuse University.

Bill Finch, who will be completing his commitment to The Museum at the end of the fiscal year on June 30th, will remain with The Museum for a transition period.  “When Bill announced to the board in March his intention to leave, the Executive Committee and I began to plan for a smooth transition”, said Vos.  “The turmoil caused by the coronavirus disruption forced us to look for an interim executive director to make sure we would not be left with a gap in our leadership.  We will begin the search shortly for a permanent executive director, but the most pressing issue right now is to plan for re-opening of The Museum and for ways to adapt our educational and hands-on STEM exhibit experience to the new realities we face.”

“I cannot say enough good things about my time with The Museum,” said Bill Finch. “We’ve made some great strides and I look forward to remaining one of The Museum’s strongest advocates. That said, when I signed on as Executive Director, the plan was always to spend two to three years to raise The Museum’s visibility and increase local financial support. I’m proud that has been accomplished, and I look forward to ensuring a smooth transition.”

Asked what his next step will be, Finch stated that it will be announced at a later date.


Access The Digital Library

#Bridgeport CT– While the Bridgeport Public Library remains closed during the COVID-19 emergency, the library’s digital services are still available for residents looking for information, study help, ebooks, audiobooks, children’s ebooks, music and movie streaming and much more.
Library staff is working behind the scenes to help you renew a card, apply online for a new library card, and answer any other questions you may have.
This press release is made possible by:

BMW of Bridgeport Digital Experience
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Bridgeport Chef Competes On Food Network

#Bridgeport CT– Last week, Mayor Joe Ganim proclaimed March 5th as Chef Ro Sanders Day. A viewing party was held at Boca Oyster Bar at 10 East Main Street for Bridgeport native Chef Roshara Sanders, on Vegas Chef Prize Fight on the Food Network. The show highlighted eight chefs as they compete for their own restaurant on the Vegas strip. Chef Ro currently works as a chef for the popular Oceana Restaurant in New York City. Despite all the challenges she faced on the show, she continues on for another week avoiding elimination. Tune tonight to see how she makes out in week two!

Jurassic World Visits Wakeman Boys and Girls Club

Last week, the children at Wakeman Boys and Girls Club were treated to an exhibition put on by Jurassic World and the Webster Bank Arena. The children were able to get a sneak peak in the behind the scene magic that goes to putting on a show like Jurassic World Live Tour and how they bring the animals to life. They also stressed the teamwork aspect of the show, like how they do stunts, motorcycle stunts or aspects of the video wall. This was one presentation that had no trouble getting the children involved, as John, the representative from Jurassic World Live Tour said Jurassic is such a beloved franchise, after all, “what kid doesn’t love dinosaurs”?

Jurassic Park Live will visit the Webster Bank Arena March 5th through 7th. For more information, vist Webster Bank Arena’s website at: https://www.websterbankarena.com/events/detail/jurassic-world-live-tour

Fairfield News: 3 Rummaging For Cans, 1 Arrested For Outstanding Warrants

Fairfield Police were dispatched to King Street and Vila Avenue for the report of three individuals, one female wearing a tan coat and two males rummaging through trash cans.
Police located the three subjects matching the above description.

They explained that they were homeless and looking for cans for spare change. A  check of the individuals revealed that Davonte Diaz had three active warrants, two out of New Haven, and one out of Hamden.

Davonte Diaz was handcuffed and transported to FPD headquarters for processing on the warrants.  The other two were warned and sent on their way.


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FAIRFIELD, Conn.—State legislators joined professors at Sacred Heart University recently for a discussion on policy, coinciding with the release of Prof. Gary Rose’s new book, “Connecticut in Crisis: Policy Challenges and the 2018 Contest for Governor.”

The panel discussion, which took place in the Frank and Marisa Martire Center for the Liberal Arts forum, was moderated by Prof. Lesley DeNardis, SHU’s director of the Institute for Public Policy, who also wrote the foreword for Rose’s book. Panelists included Rose, chair of the department of government, and the University’s legislators in residence: state Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28th District), and state Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D 133rd District). The talk focused on Rose’s book, which was available for purchase at the event.

DeNardis described the book as a “phenomenal analysis” of the “long-simmering fiscal problems in Connecticut that captured national attention and put the state in the bottom ranking in many state comparisons.”

The book aligns with the launch of a year-long policy series delving into various areas, with the text as a guideline, and inaugurates the school’s legislators in residence program, bringing legislators in contact with students to inspire them to pursue public service. Though spanning the period from the state’s glorious manufacturing boom of the 1950s to the darker, modern day marked by urban decay and financial difficulties, the book adopts a hopeful look forward.

“I have lived in Connecticut my whole life and felt it was time to write a book that called attention to the problems besieging this state—a clarion call to action. I wanted policy makers, in particular, to read and recognize we have serious problems,” Rose said.

Providing a topline view of the state’s current predicament, Hwang said, “In 2008, we had the crash, and Connecticut hasn’t been able to recover. The safety valve was stripped away. We had neglected the critical decisions that had to be made.”

Vahey offered, “Every day is an inflection point. People made decisions without thought about impact. I think we’re walking out of the woods, but we still have some trekking to do.”

Rose drew a bullseye on taxes as a problem. “If there’s a root cause of our problems, I thought it was the taxation issue. It had a suppression effect on many aspects. You can’t dismiss the fact that taxes are so high. Young people intend to leave when they get their degree,” he said.

In reply to Rose’s view, Vahey said, “Taxation is certainly a piece that we hear about from voters. But we’re not dissimilar from tax structures elsewhere in the tri-state. You have to look at everything.”

Hwang offered another view. “I’ve always maintained that Connecticut doesn’t have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem. Our population has been flat while the cost of government has risen. We’ve had no discipline with spending. Once you start funding a service, it’s hard to say no. We now have fixed costs that virtually surpass our intake. Budgeting is all about prioritizing—you can’t buy champagne when you’re on a beer budget,” he said.

Rose pointed to pension liabilities as problematic. “It seems the ratio of public employees to non-public has really gotten out of hand. And the influence the public employee unions have had is a serious issue,” he said.

Hwang called out another bane. “Last year, the budget took a long time to approve, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as we worked together. Now we’re back to government as usual, done in a room with the governor and Dem leadership. One party rule doesn’t work. It produces bad documents,” he said, adding that the budget is still “quite incomplete.”

Vahey fell in line with Rose, noting, “It’s easy to mask things when things are going well. Now we’ve got this silver tsunami coming—a lot of state government employees retiring. End-of-life costs impact our decisions.”

So, just what is the government doing about these issues? Vahey said Gov. Ned Lamont has enlisted a business leader to look at modernizing and streamlining government. He has also brought in leaders to work with businesses to provide loans instead of grants.”

Hwang put his finger on other issues. “For 10 years, I have tried to address the dual delivery system for nonprofits. This year, nonprofits got cuts while state employees got more benefits. When we talk about savings, privatizing nonprofits is key. And raising the minimum wage, which raises the ceiling on all employees, is bad policy and bad business,” he said.

Vahey defended Lamont, saying he is “new to all this and still figuring out how to work with legislators. I want our state to thrive; the 300,000-plus people who benefit from the minimum wage increase may provide stimulus.”

The state’s new paid family leave is another problem, as Hwang sees it. “We’ve created a new bureaucracy to administer the plan. It will continue to grow and put tax burdens on the state. The numbers don’t add up,” he said.

And how are the state government and local municipalities getting along? “Municipal aid is about 20% of the budget. Interplay between town and state is critical. We have a large range in mill rates across towns—that’s a tough issue, but then you’re talking about major structural reform,” Vahey said.

Hwang agreed about mill rates, calling them “absolutely uneven and unfair.” With frustration, he asked, “Where are we having spending reform? I don’t think anything has changed in the future prospects of Connecticut.”


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Habitat CFC’s 5K Run/Walk

Our annual 5K Run for Home and Workboot Challenge on Saturday, October 12th is going to be lots of fun! The 5K run is the perfect opportunity for serious runners to set personal records and all abilities to enjoy the scenic course. The Workboot Challenge is a one-mile event prior to the 5K and offers participants the challenge of wearing workboots (or ANY boots) on the shorter course!
Screamin Eagle Band will be playing our post-run celebration! Their modern southern rock sound with a twist will keep everyone entertained along with free food and drinks for participants.
All participants will get a RAFFLE TICKET for a chance to receive great items including… Rio Bravo Tacos & Tequila $150 gift card; Birdman Juke Joint $50 gift card; 3 separate Trattoria ‘A Vucchella $40 gift cards; Two Roads Brewery certificate for a tour for 10; Brewport Brewing Co. $25 gift card; 2 separate Centro To-Go gift cards, Little Goose $25 gift card; 3 separate Stress Factory Comedy Club vouchers for up to 10 guests each and more (check here for full list).
There is still time to register!
$27 – register online through October 9 – all events are the same price
$20 – register online (for ages 13 and under) through October 9
$35 – register at the race (and at the packet pickup location SoundRunner in Fairfield the day before the race).

Boy Scout Troop 82 Open House on October 10 th

Boys between the ages of 11 and 18 who have any interest in camping, hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities are encouraged to attend. The event will take place during Troop 82’s normal weekly Thursday meeting hours, from 7:30 pm to 9, at Scout Hall in First Church Congregational in Fairfield across from Town Hall. The open house will include a tour of Scout Hall, meeting other Scouts and the adult leaders, a campfire cooking demonstration and tasting, rope making, and other activities and games. No prior experience in scouting is required. Troop 82 has been an active Boy Scout Troop since the 1920's at The First Church Congregational in Fairfield across from Town Hall, where it meets every Thursday evening. Troop 82 believes in learning while having fun. Scouts learn to be better American citizens, to develop the mental and physical skills needed for growth, and to follow a set of Scouting principles which build character and nurture personal values. We’re an active troop and camp out once a month. There are a multitude of fun opportunities for rank advancement and earning merit badges. To date, over 130 boys have earned the Eagle Scout rank. It’s Fun, With a Purpose! Contact Scoutmaster Bryan LeClerc at scoutmastertroop82@gmail.com or call 203- 376-2982.


This press release was made possible by: