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Jazz Legend Lifts The Green

by Kathryn Cross | Jul 22, 2014 10:11 am

Paul Bass File photo When he was 13, back in 1940, Donn Trenner started his own jazz orchestra, the Donn Trenner Orchestra, at the old downtown Hillhouse High School in New Haven. The orchestra included 16 of his local classmates who played jazz arrangements that Trenner wrote for them.

“Now, there are jazz orchestras in a lot of schools and it’s become a definite art form and it’s very special,” Trenner said. “In my high school, that wasn’t the case.  Mine was the only band,” he told the Eagle in an interview after a recent concert on the Branford Green.

Jazz took over his life, as it has been known to do. He managed to graduate from high school and then took off for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to sign up with a swing band.

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Hillary Loves “Hillary for Pres!” T-Shirt

by marcia chambers | Jul 21, 2014 6:03 am

Marcia Chambers Photo Lynn Wrzosek of Douglas, Mass. (at left in photo), and her niece Lisa Mayer of New Haven’s Morris Cove were beaming. They were standing in line near R.J. Julia’s Booksellers in Madison to meet Hillary Rodham Clinton—“the first woman president of the United States,” they predicted.

What those on line were buying was Clinton’s new book, Hard Choices, her inside account of her four years as secretary of state.  They were also buying what many said was an historic moment, a chance to shake her hand as she considers embarking on another campaign to become the country’s first female president.

Wrzosek came down from Douglas that morning. Many came from across Connecticut as well.

Wrzosek and Mayer arrived at 11:20 a.m., snapping up spots three and four for a book-signing event featuring Clinton, the former secretary of state, former U.S. senator from New York, and former first lady. “I am devoted to her,” Wrzosek said. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if in my lifetime we elected a black man and then a woman president?” She called Clinton “the best qualified candidate, and I adore that she’s going to be a grandmother. That’s going to change her life. Her qualifications are absolutely amazing.”

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Town Wins Transfer Of Islamic School Tax Case to New Britain

by marcia chambers | Jul 18, 2014 3:53 pm

File photo A New Haven Superior Court judge has agreed to transfer a complex Branford school tax case involving Tariq and Kamran Farid, owners of Edible Arrangements International, to a special tax court in New Britain.

Judge John Joseph Nazzaro agreed earlier this week with the town’s attorney that the Islamic school tax case was sufficiently complex to require transfer to the specialized court. 

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A Brewery, A Blessing & A Boom For Branford

by Diana Stricker | Jul 18, 2014 11:05 am | Comments (2)

Diana Stricker Photos Thursday afternoon was a time for beer, blessings and talk of renewed economic development in Branford.

Ed Crowley Sr. and his family and friends, along with political figures like Governor Dan Malloy and State Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) lifted shovels of dirt at a ground-breaking for the new Stony Creek Brewery along the Branford River. The Rev. Christopher Ford, pastor of St. Mary Church in Branford, offered a blessing of the land where the 30,000 square-foot brewery and beer-tasting facility will be built.

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Cool Events In Branford This Weekend

by Emma Zehner | Jul 17, 2014 1:01 pm

The arts are at your fingertips this weekend. Dance, Painting, Music, Crafts – take your pick. 

Thursday, July 17

Jazz on the Green Series

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At HOME, “Taste As You Go”

by Emma Zehner | Jul 17, 2014 11:11 am | Comments (1)

Mike DiVincenzo sprinkled green onions, sautéed mushrooms, and roasted piquillo peppers into the waiting saucepan. The added ingredients joined the already sizzling corn stock. 

Divincenzo, the executive chef at HOME restaurant in Branford, stepped back from the stovetop. “One thing you’ve got to do, especially at restaurants, is just taste as you go … make sure everything has enough salt and pepper.”

So far, it passed his test.

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Arts Commission Moves Forward; Green Commission Stalls

by Diana Stricker | Jul 16, 2014 3:19 pm

Diana Stricker Photo The Rules and Ordinances Committee (R&O) on Tuesday night approved the creation of an Arts and Culture Commission, and discovered a long-lost ordinance that provides property tax relief for disabled veterans in Branford.

Also a decision was made to keep the question of the Green Committee becoming a commission on the R&O agenda while the first selectman attempts to negotiate a solution among the parties.

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Yale Pulls Yacht Club Expansion Plan

by Emma Zehner & Marcia Chambers | Jul 15, 2014 1:47 pm | Comments (6)

Emma Zehner Photo After Short Beach residents and their attorneys described a long and difficult relationship with the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club (YCYC), Yale’s attorneys shifted course in their expansion plans, withdrawing their application to build a massive boat storage building in the heart of a small seaside residential community.

Joseph L. Hammer, one of Yale’s attorneys, told a crowded, standing-room-only audience Monday at the Branford Fire Headquarters that Yale has “heard your concerns. We still think the property does present an opportunity to improve the yacht club without expanding the programs and without expanding the number of boats.” He said Yale will improve the plan. “It will be resubmitted.” 

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History Comes Alive At Stony Creek Quarry

by Emma Zehner | Jul 14, 2014 8:37 am

Chris Randall Photo When the workers swing at the granite walls, they send out echoes from the past. The sounds remind us of 150 years of lives lived and rock removed.

Only now, they are not alone. The modern men work with lights, dancers, directors, and an audience.

Chris Randall Photo They are actors and the Stony Creek Quarry is their stage.

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A Love Story From Camp Rising Sun

by Kathryn Cross | Jul 11, 2014 3:56 pm | Comments (1)

With Permission They met at Camp Rising Sun when he was a kid who had cancer and she was the camp doctor’s daughter. They grew up together, and they fell in love. He also survived his cancer, and last month, on June 21, they married.

Next month they will return to Camp Rising Sun with the groom, Freddy Samoskevich, as an assistant director, and the bride, Joanna McNamara, as a camp nurse.

“The biggest part of Camp Rising Sun was the social aspect of it because when you’re young, you’re going through all kinds of things like hospitals and medication and it’s really hard to make social connections,” Samoskevich said in an interview.  “At camp, you could talk about catheters and chemotherapy and everyone would understand and was friends with you.”

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