Are we growing gills yet? The week has been dreary and rainy, but we’ve been promised that things will clear up for the weekend. Time to survey the garden, check on the blooming bulbs, and plant some pansies. Concerts abound, including our favorite jazz concert at the Yale Law School this Sunday. And there are many good causes to support. College bound? There’s a discussion on getting a leg up on the competitive admission process.
Saturday, April 8
College Admissions: Building a Successful Application – For Teens and their Families
They came for the food and stayed for the message.
The small dining hall at the Shore Beach Union Church was full of those eager to try food from Somalia, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen at the International Dinner last week.
More importantly, the dinner was a benefit for IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services), a New Haven-based refugee agency that serves Connecticut. The organization has been grappling with the fallout from the Trump administration’s executive orders banning travel from various Muslim countries.
An ATM employee who had just reloaded funds at an ATM inside Allegra’s restaurant and was heading back to his van was pistol whipped by a group of men who forced him into his van where he was ordered to open up a safe and turn over thousands of dollars.
The robbery, which occurred in broad daylight at Lakeview Plaza, left the employee dazed and bleeding from his forehead as he sought help near his Mercedes van, which was in the parking lot, about 15 feet from Allegra’s. A woman came to his aid, giving him tissue wipes to absorb the blood on his face. An ambulance was called and he was taken to a local hospital.
There’s no doubt that the Trump administration’s immigration policies – both the executive order signed after he took office and the most recent iteration – have sent shock waves through local Connecticut communities and those who work with them.
But when Donald Trump talks about the need for extreme vetting, he should talk to John Semahoro.
There’s good news for walkers and bicyclists in Branford — the new segment of the Shoreline Greenway Trail on the Tabor property should be complete by Fall, and a new committee is organizing called Branford in Motion.
The committee, being organized by Frank Gasparro, will emphasize safe biking and walking, and will explore ways to increase biking opportunities in Branford. There is also interest in the project by New Haven’s City Engineer Giovanni Zinn, who has come up with creative solutions for bike travel in the city.
Earlier this week visitors lined up at the top of the James Blackstone Memorial Library steps, waiting for the library doors to open. Some were headed for a computer. Some came to sign out a book. (Yes, books made of paper remain popular). It was just before 9 a.m.
Among those waiting in line were Eunice Lasala and Kathleen Fox, members of the board of the Branford Community Foundation who came to mark a special occasion – the donation of a $100,000 matching grant, the foundation’s largest grant ever. It will go toward the library’s $4.8 million renovation and will be distributed over four years. The idea is that the foundation will match all gifts up to $1,000 to support the library’s fund-raising campaign.
The snow has melted, and the crocuses are emerging. Spring is in the air, and so is music with several cool concerts coming up (think jazz). If you haven’t had a chance to explore the Blackstone Library – a town treasure without a doubt – take a tour on Saturday. Plus there are opportunities to get reacquainted with local flora and fauna with garden tips and must-know information about our seacoast. Got a Cool Event? Email firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday at noon.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have been showing up at the nation’s courthouses seeking immigrants about to appear for court dates. Dan Barrett, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, calls this development “very worrisome.”
“They are becoming aware of when people have court dates,” Barrett stated during an appearance on WNHH radio’s “Legal Eagle” program. In Connecticut, he has not yet heard of ICE going into a courthouse or into a courtroom. Rather, he said, ICE officials typically corral someone outside the building.
The possibility of demolishing the former Atlantic Wire factory on Church Street could become a reality if a demolition permit is approved.
That could spur development of the property as an upscale apartment and commercial complex, if another legal appeal regarding the housing complex does not materialize. The developer has renamed the property Atlantic Wharf.
The state Senate environmental committee has approved a bi-partisan bill that would ban the Connecticut. Department of Transportation (DOT) from spraying toxic herbicides on state highways and roads. The bill, approved by a vote of 24-6, will soon head to the Senate floor.
As the committee’s business drew to an end, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., (D-Branford), co-chair of the committee, led the passage of the bill, which is designed to stop the practice.