Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 20, 2018 9:23 am

A bit of a history lesson. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 as a national day to focus on the environment. According to, Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin founded the event in response to a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969. People were driving gas guzzlers and there was an increasing awareness of the problems associated with air and water pollution. Twenty million Americans took to the streets on April 22, 1970, in a movement that led to environmental concerns gaining national attention and resulting in protective legislation. Those concerns from 48 years ago are still in the forefront today as policy rollbacks are underway at the EPA. Make a difference this weekend by taking part in some of the local events listed below. 

Saturday, April 21

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State Bond Commission Approves $1M Grant for Blackstone Library

by marcia chambers | Apr 14, 2018 8:56 am

With PermissionFor Blackstone Library leaders, Friday was one of those great days. In the morning, Library Director Karen Jensen and Blackstone Board Chair Andy McKirdy were on hand in Hartford with State Rep. Lonnie Reed (pictured) when the State Bond Commission formally approved a $1 million library construction grant.

Bill O'Brien PhotoIn the afternoon, they were back at the Blackstone to announce that individual donations to the library’s capital campaign reached the amount needed to qualify for the Branford Community Foundation’s (BCF) match of $100,000. The $100,000 grant, to be distributed over four years, is the largest single contribution to an organization in the history of the BCF.

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 12, 2018 8:17 am

We’re still waiting for spring. The teaser at the end of this week will morph back into the chilliness that we’ve come to expect. But there are signs: Earth Day is coming up and there are events that call attention to the need to protect our resources. Speaking of protecting, LWV and Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible will hold a forum Saturday on protecting our right to vote. (Are you registered?) Read on – there’s more! Got a cool event? Email by Wednesday noon.

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Jazz Spirits Live on

by Paul Bass | Apr 9, 2018 2:05 pm

The soul of the late great jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus hovered in Yale Law School’s auditorium Sunday. So did that of the late Stan Wheeler, watching over from an enlarged photo projected on a screen, as two generations of musicians kept their spirits alive.

The occasion was the 11th annual Stan Wheeler Memorial Jazz Concert. The concert has taken place every year since Wheeler, a Yale law professor who sidelined as a trumpeter and nurturer of musical dreams, died in 2007.

The concert not only kept Wheeler’s memory and commitment to the music alive. It also served as a convincing brief for the continued vitality and future

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 5, 2018 8:30 am

Spring is in the air – musically. Walsh kids have been preparing for their spring musical, “The Little Mermaid.” And on Sunday, jazz aficionados and friends of Stan Wheeler will flock to the Levinson Auditorium at Yale Law School for an afternoon of great jazz. Looking ahead, there are various art- and film-related events, along with opportunities to help you navigate these complicated times. Got a cool event? Email

Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Mar 30, 2018 8:00 am

Mary Johnson Photo}Did you know that Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal equinox? And that Passover’s dates are pegged to the Hebrew calendar, also based on the lunar cycle. It starts in the middle of the month of Nisan, when the moon is full, typically falling in March or April of the Gregorian (modern) calendar. As a result, Passover typically begins very close to Easter, as is the case this year. Passover begins today, which is Good Friday for Christians, and runs until April 7. Sunday, of course, is Easter Sunday, which happens to be April Fool’s Day! Whatever your religious persuasion, enjoy the day with family and friends. 

Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31

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Opening Night: Shrek Dazzles Branford Crowd

by Bill O'Brien | Mar 24, 2018 9:09 am

Bill O'Brien Photo“Shrek,” the fictional ogre character by American author William Steig came to Branford this week in the form of a play by the same name.  From all indications, the performance dazzled the mixed crowd of adults and children.

Bill O'Brien Photo“We lit up the theater tonight” (known as the Cathyann Roding Auditorium), said play Director Colin Sheehan. It was packed because Wednesday performance was cancelled because of the weather. Many people with tickets exchanged them for other performances.There are performances tonight and tomorrow.

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here &  Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Mar 22, 2018 9:05 am

A busy weekend, which will hopefully include melting snow. You can support the kids, whether it’s through the march in Guilford promoting stricter gun laws or by supporting Branford High School’s musical, “Shrek.” Little kids can enjoy a life-sized version of Candyland. And show your support for the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter … who doesn’t love pasta? Got a cool event? Email by Wednesday noon.

Saturday, March 24

March For Our Lives


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Cool Events This Week, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Mar 16, 2018 8:25 am

Bill OBrien PhotoWe finally spotted some robins. Given the triple header of Nor’easters, they were either in in hibernation mode or delayed their return though some have been known to linger through the winter. Cardinals, however, do linger through the winter contrasting brightly with the snow. (See top photo.) We’re starting to hear early morning bird songs, too. Be sure to explore some of the cool events listed below that will put you in touch with your own habitat. Got a cool event? Email by Wednesday noon.

Saturday, March 17

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