Fun and Games for Children of all Ages!

Planned Children’s Events in 2021 Stratford Library

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming at the Stratford Library

The Stratford Library Children’s Department continues to offer stimulating programs for local kids and their families. Kick off the New Year by participating in one (or all) of the following events.

DIY Storytimes
The Stratford Library posts DIY Storytimes on the website at every Saturday. Families can enjoy these online storytimes any time. Themes for January include Time, Animals Dress Up, Penguins, Opposites, and Snowy Days.

The Great Family Read
The Great Family Read, a monthly book program for children grades 3 to 6 and their families. Each month, the Library will choose a high-interest book that both kids and their grownups will enjoy. The title will be available via the Library’s Hoopla ebook multi user platform, so each person in the family will be able to borrow their own digital copy of the book at the same time. January’s Great Family Read will be “New Kid” by Jerry Craft.  This graphic novel tells the story of Jordan Banks, a seventh grade artist who feels torn when his parents enroll him in an academically rigorous, but not very diverse, private school. “New Kid” is the winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature, and a current nominee for the Connecticut Nutmeg Book Award.

Register for this program at on the Events page, and the Library will provide you with discussion questions, information, and fun activities/supplies related to the book that families can use to create an engaging literacy experience.

School Support Tips
The Library posts School Support Tips every Monday to help families learn at home. Visit the website at to see new tips each Monday. Past tips have included the Library’s “Book Care Song” and “Borrowing ebooks.”

Online, Live Storytimes
The Stratford Library offers winter storytimes via Zoom beginning January 4. Toddler Time meets Mondays at 10:30 am for ages 1 to 2. Preschool Storytime meets Tuesdays at 10:30 am for ages 3 to 5. Baby Lapsit meets Thursdays at 10:30 am for ages 0 to 1. Storytime will not meet Jan. 18. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Draw with Josie
The Stratford Library’s volunteers Josie, Maggie, and Natalie invite children ages 6 to 12 to an online drawing class. The first class meets Monday, January 4 at 4 pm. Learn to draw Groot and Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy. Children should bring a pencil, eraser, and paper to the Zoom. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Read to Dogs
Children can practice their reading online with therapy dog Drago on Tuesday, January 5 at 4 pm courtesy of the Stratford Library. Therapy dogs love to listen to children read, even online! To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Phonics/Alphabet Parade
Grab ‘n’ go kits will be available throughout January for Phonics Parade (ages 5-8) and Alphabet Parade (ages 4-6) learning. Register online to reserve a kit then pick it up within two weeks. With Alphabet Parade, children will receive a simple craft relating to a letter of the alphabet and a writing practice sheet. With Phonics Parade, children can complete phonics practice and a game or activity that emphasizes sight words and letter sounds. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Coding Club
Stratford Library’s Coding Club meets online Wednesday, January 6 at 4 pm for children ages 7 to 12. Each class has two activities: a demonstration of a Scratch coding project that children can work on independently and a group activity involving secret codes, made-up languages, or hieroglyphics. Learn to think like a coder! To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Homework Help
The Stratford Library offers Homework Help to children in grades Kindergarten to six on Thursday nights at 6:30 pm over Zoom. Children should bring homework and will work with teen tutors on assignments. This program is courtesy of the Carol Pieper Memorial Fund and the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events

Astronomy Club
Stratford Library’s Astronomy Club meets online on Monday, January 11 at 4 pm for ages 7 to 12. January’s topic is “Constellation Challenge” – learn about the winter constellations and how to find them in Connecticut’s night sky. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Tuesday Craft Nights
The Stratford Library Children’s Department offers online crafting with grab ‘n’ go kits on Tuesday nights this winter. The January project is “Apron Decorating.” Ages 3 to 6 meet January 12 at 6:30 pm on Zoom and ages 6-12 meet January 19 at 7 pm on Zoom. Future Tuesday crafting projects for February and March will be listed on the Library’s Events calendar. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Book Scientists
Book Scientists is a new grab ‘n’ go learning experience offered by the Stratford Library Children’s Department. Each month, children ages 3 to 12 can sign up for different Book Scientists topics. Each Book Scientists kit will include two Library books, a craft and/or an extension activity. Library books will be chosen by the child’s age. The Book Scientists kits for January are Pets and Weather, and children can sign up for one or both. Pick up Book Scientists kits with a Library card in the Children’s Department. When you are done, return the Library books by their due date and keep everything else!

To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Learn About Dog Training
Children and families are invited to join the Stratford Library and Miss Lauren, owner of Drago and Veloce, for a short Zoom about dog training, dog shows, and tips for training a dog. Miss Lauren, owner of two Spinone Italiano dogs, will show commands her dogs have learned, what skills dogs display in shows like the American Kennel Club’s, and tips for training a dog. All kids who want to learn about dogs are welcome to attend and ask questions. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Nutmeg Book Group
The Stratford Library’s Nutmeg Book Group will meet Monday, January 25 at 7 pm on Zoom to discuss “Front Desk” by Kelly Yang with children grades 4 to 6. Front Desk stars Mia and her family as they work at a motel with an unscrupulous owner. 10-year-old Mia manages the front desk and helps the guests while pursuing her own dreams of becoming a writer. Registered participants will receive a grab ‘n’ go kit containing a free copy of the book and other materials, courtesy of the Carol Pieper Memorial Fund. Children should read the book prior to the discussion. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

The Library is currently offering limited computer use for adults with reservations and contact-free Take Out borrowing services, online programs, take and go program kits, Reference Chat and 24/7 online access to ebooks, audiobooks, movies and music

For more information about Library programs and services for children, call 203.385.4165 or visit

Festive Facts: New Year’s History

Source: History.Com Staff

What does “Auld Lang Syne” mean, and why do we sing the song at midnight on New Year’s Eve?

“Auld Lang Syne,” the title of a Scottish folk song that many English speakers sing at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, roughly translates to “days gone by.” The poet Robert Burns is credited with transcribing, adapting and partially rewriting it in the late 18th century. Its lyrics, which rhetorically ask whether “auld acquaintance” should “be forgot,” have been interpreted as a call to remember friends and experiences from the past.

Though sung on New Year’s Eve since the mid-19th century, it became firmly cemented as a holiday standard when Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians played it during a radio broadcast from New York’s Roosevelt Hotel at midnight on December 31, 1929. The band went on to perform the hit every year until 1976, and loudspeakers continue to blast their rendition after the annual ball drop in Times Square.

Who were the first to make resolutions for the new year?

People have been pledging to change their ways in the new year—whether by getting in shape, quitting a bad habit or learning a skill—for an estimated 4,000 years now. The tradition is thought to have first caught on among the ancient Babylonians, who made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. (They would reportedly vow to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment.)

The age-old custom of breaking one’s newly formed resolutions within several months—a fate that befalls the majority of would-be reformers, according to statistics—probably originated shortly thereafter.

When was the first New Year’s Eve ball dropped in New York’s Times Square?

An estimated 1 billion people around the world watch each year as a brightly lit ball descends down a pole atop the One Times Square building at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The world-famous celebration dates back to 1904, when the New York Times newspaper relocated to what was then known as Longacre Square and convinced the city to rename the neighborhood in its honor. At the end of the year, the publication’s owner threw a raucous party with an elaborate fireworks display.

When the city banned fireworks in 1907, an electrician devised a wood-and-iron ball that weighed 700 pounds, was illuminated with 100 light bulbs and was dropped from a flagpole at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Lowered almost every year since then, the iconic orb has undergone several upgrades over the decades and now weighs in at nearly 12,000 pounds. In more recent years, various towns and cities across America have developed their own versions of the Times Square ritual, organizing public drops of items ranging from pickles (Dillsburg, Pennsylvania) to possums (Tallapoosa, Georgia) at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Who made January 1 the first of the year?

Throughout antiquity, civilizations around the world developed increasingly sophisticated calendars, typically pinning the first day of the year to an agricultural or astronomical event. In Egypt, for instance, the year began with the annual flooding of the Nile, which coincided with the rising of the star Sirius. The first day of the Chinese New Year, meanwhile, occurred with the second new moon after the winter solstice. In ancient Rome, the original calendar consisted of 10 months and 304 days, with each new year beginning at the vernal equinox; according to tradition, it was created by Romulus, the founder of Rome, in the eighth century B.C.

Over the centuries, the calendar fell out of sync with the sun, and in 46 B.C. Julius Caesar decided to solve the problem by consulting with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of his time. He introduced the Julian calendar, which closely resembles the more modern Gregorian calendar that most countries around the world use today. As part of his reform, Caesar established January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future.

In medieval Europe, Christian leaders replaced January 1 as the first of the year with days carrying more religious significance, such as December 25 (the anniversary of Jesus’ birth) and March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation). Pope Gregory XIII reestablished January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

What are some traditional New Year’s foods?

At New Year’s Eve parties and celebrations around the world, revelers enjoy meals and snacks thought to bestow good luck for the coming year. In Spain and several other Spanish-speaking countries, people bolt down a dozen grapes—symbolizing their hopes for the months ahead—right before midnight. In many parts of the world, traditional New Year’s dishes feature legumes, which are thought to resemble coins and herald future financial success; examples include lentils in Italy and black-eyed peas in the southern United States.

Because pigs represent progress and prosperity in some cultures, pork appears on the New Year’s Eve table in Cuba, Austria, Hungary, Portugal and other countries. Ring- shaped cakes and pastries, a sign that the year has come full circle, round out the feast in the Netherlands, Mexico, Greece and elsewhere. In Sweden and Norway, meanwhile, rice pudding with an almond hidden inside is served on New Year’s Eve; it is said that whoever finds the nut can expect 12 months of good fortune.

What do Paul Revere, J. Edgar Hoover, Lorenzo de Medici, Betsy Ross and Pope Alexander VI have in common?

All of these historical figures came into the world on January 1. According to tradition, babies born on the first of the year grow up to enjoy the luckiest of lives, bringing joy and good fortune to those around them. (You can be the judge of whether these particular individuals lend support to the legend.)

The use of a baby as a personification of the new year has been traced to ancient Greece, where an infant in a basket was paraded around to mark the annual rebirth of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. Sometimes accompanied by Father Time, “Baby New Year” has appeared in banners, cartoons, posters and cards for several hundred years.


Stratford Town Council Meeting

Summary of December 14, 2020 Meeting

The following town residents spoke during the Public Hearing portion of the Stratford Town Council meeting:

Mike Aloi, President of the Stratford Library Association. Mr. Aloi updated the Town Council on current library programs, as well as reported on the future of the Library. According to Mr. Aloi the current building is inadequate for town needs. Meeting spaces are cramped, the stem lab is small, teen department is next to main computer room. The state average for library meeting space is for 125 people, ours is 80. Stratford Library has .68 square feet of space, state average, 1.1 square feet, which would mean that the Stratford Library would need an additional 22,000 square feet to meet that average. Mr. Aloi is seeking Council assistance to do a study to increase the library space.

Karen Tracy and Kathleen Callahan commented on a resolution presented by Councilwoman Shake that would declare racism as a Public Health issue in town. Ms. Tracy felt that the revised resolution by the Town Council did not include any of the input from public and asked that the Town Council go back and revisit the resolution.

Ms. Callahan noted that she would like to see Stratford on leading edge of addressing racism, rather than on the sidelines.

Barbara Heimlich, had questions regarding the CARES act: requesting information on who submitted applications and who received the grants. Ms. Heimlich also inquired about the Baldwin Senior Center fresh food program, who has the contract for the program, and is the program still active? Also would like transparent information on the Stratford Grand List for the last 2 years, who came on and who left.

Upon adjournment of the Public Hearing, the Stratford Town Council held their regularly scheduled meeting.

Mayor Laura Hoydick’s “Mayor’s Report”

The Mayor’s Report included the following:

Connecticut CARES, will give grants to qualified businesses, up to $2,500. To date 28 businesses have applied.

Center School: There are currently 2 proposals, which will be presented to the Stratford Redevelopment Agency at their January meeting.

Shakespeare Property Subcommittee:
Also to be discussed during the January meeting of the Stratford Redevelopment Agency is a report on the development of the Shakespeare Theatre property. During the December 3rd meeting of the Redevelopment Agency, there was a presentation of Shakespeare Property Subcommittee research by Chairman Greg Reilly. Mr. Reilly
reviewed the previously distributed information packet re: research findings citing 15 comparable facilities as examples. The example facilities cited are located in other States as well as in Connecticut. Categories for consideration for development are Open Space/Park options, outdoor venues, multipurpose spaces – small, multipurpose spaces – large, combination venues. Each category was described and the location cited. Suggestions for immediate property improvement, community vision and funding were also discussed.

Short-term/long-term uses for the Stratford site were reviewed as well as input from the 5 community workshops and the survey. Short-term use included outdoor theater, festivals, fairs, and open space.

During the Question and Answer session of the meeting, questions and discussion went forward re: identifying sources of redevelopment revenue for the Stratford Shakespeare Property, non-profit financial support for the cited example venues, clarifying usage of waterfront property. Next steps for crafting a vision which is consistent with the deed’s call for public access, having open space and possibility for future development.

Development in phases, short and long term and combine enhancement with Complete Streets and Greenway Projects. The street below the Stratford Shakespeare property, Shore Road, was discussed. The street is not part of the property. It becomes flooded during high tides and storms. It needs to be elevated but has chemical contamination underneath. It was suggested that the staircase that previously existed from Shore Road to Shakespeare Property become restored. It is noted that such a staircase must be ADA compliant. Remediation of the existing buildings on the property is noted.

Mayor Hoydick pointed out that the costume house is not worth rehabbing. Information was put forward re: encumbrances to property, survey is complete, plans for adjoining wetlands, 1500 year flood plain, Zoning restrictions and easement to property.

Army Engine, end of year report expected.
495 Lordship Boulevard, demolition complete, the developer is in the process of getting building permit for the 260-thousand-foot building.
91 Wood Avenue is presently town property; it will be offered to neighbors before then thrown out for sale for development. Possibility of 3 building lots.
Exit 32 and Exit 33 is moving along, with an expected release of property to be negotiated with former Ross and Roberts property and Hudson paper. The Mayor also commented on the Hawley lane traffic issue which has been a source of complaints, she said it is being addressed.

The Mayor also said that the 2 year look-back on Grand List requested by Councilwoman Kaitlyn Shake will be presented at the next Town Council meeting.

Following the Mayor’s Report the Town Council presented, and approved an ordinance to create an Education Reserve Fund pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 10- 248a to provide funding resources solely for future Board of Education non-recurring expenses such as capital, technology, and/or unanticipated special education expenditure funding needs.

Contributions to Fund. Subject to audit confirmation of the Board of Education’s available year-end balance and the status of the unassigned General Fund balance, the Town Council may, except as provided below, deposit into a nonlapsing account any unexpended funds of the prior fiscal year from the budgeted appropriation for education for the town. This amount may not exceed two percent (2%) of the total budgeted appropriation for education for such prior fiscal year, or such other percentage as authorized by Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-248a.

The appropriation shall not be considered by the Town Council until the end of the third quarter of the current fiscal year. If, prior to the appropriation being made, the State of Connecticut reduces and/or withholds ECS revenue in an amount greater than provided for in the Town budget, the appropriation request of the Board of Education may be denied in part or in whole.

The Education Reserve Fund shall be part of the Town’s pooled cash account or a separate cash account in the custody of the Town Finance Director. The Town Finance Director may, from time to time, invest all or any part of the monies in said Education Reserve Fund in any securities in which public funds may lawfully be invested. All income derived from such investments shall be paid into the Town’s General Fund and become a part thereof.

The Board of Education shall also maintain a ledger of the deposits and withdrawals of the fund within their records

Let’s All Clean House in 2021!

Getting Organized

by Joan Law
Feng Shui Joan’s Way

Every year “Get Organized” makes it to most New Year’s Resolution lists. The first step to successfully fulfilling this resolution is identifying the source of disorganization and then working to eliminate it.

More often than not, the avenue to disorganization is excess stuff or clutter in your environment (home and/or office). Start by becoming your own advocate for change. You know you better than anyone else.

Do you shop when you are bored? Do you bribe your kids with toys and treats? Do you stock up, just in case of an emergency? Keep in mind, our shared COVID year is an anomaly and I know we’ll all have toilet paper well into 2021! How about at work? Do you file important documents all over the top of your desk? Do you fill your work-space with items not work related?

These are just some of the ways that clutter can invade our lives and weigh us down. My specialties include Real Estate Staging and Clutter Clearing.  I am often hired by Real Estate Agents and Retirement Planning professionals to assist their clients with getting organized. These business professionals are working hard to help clients take the next important step in their lives and they know that the process is not an easy one.

While my expertise is grounded in solid Feng Shui practice, I also provide council to my clients as they are making these life decisions.

Clearing clutter can feel great! And once you get started it is easy. The feeling of accomplishment that shedding clutter weight creates gives you an energy that will have you plowing through the rest of those resolutions in record time.

Take the time for a Feng Shui inspired clutter clearing session and finally take “get organized” off your list for good.

Heck, with that task done, you might even get climbing to the top of the Himalayas on this year’s resolutions!

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas from the Staff at the Stratford Crier

May your holiday be blessed with the love of family and friends. Though this Christmas will be different, we are all in this together, and we are united in wishing for Peace and Love. Here’s wishing you happiness and health to you and yours in the year ahead.

Honoring Kwanzaa

“We will never know ourselves if we do not know our history.” Maulana Karenga

“It takes a village to raise a child.” African Proverb

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb

“It’s not what you call me, but what I answer to.” African Proverb

“I do my best because I’m counting on you counting on me.” Maya Angelou

“If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” Maya Angelou

“Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.” Maya Angelou

“If you have a purpose in which you can believe, there’s no end to the amount of things you can accomplish.” Marian Anderson

“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” Nelson Mandela

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Big Story: A Winter Market for Stratford

The Shakespeare Market

Coming Soon!! The Shakespeare Market – A  bi-monthly outdoor food and craft market on the grounds of the American Shakespeare  Festival Theatre at 1850 Elm Street in Stratford.

Targeting JANUARY 17, 2021, on the First and Third Sundays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. beginning January 17 th through to April 18th . In development now but are aiming for a January 17th launch with crafts, food vendors and activities supported by community organization partners.

Get outside! Visit one of Stratford’s hidden gems! Check out the vendors! Talk a brisk walk and see the beautiful Housatonic River, learn about Stratford’s history at Mac’s Harbor, or wander down to Bond’s Dock!

Don’t let this be the Winter of Your Discontent! Don’t let COVID keep you inside! Come out and socially distance with us on first and third Sundays from January 17 through April 18.

Find Out More!!!!

Peace and Many Blessings for Kwanza

Peace and Many Blessings as The Stratford Crier celebrates Kwanzaa with our readers which begins on Saturday December 26th.

Kwanzaa is a holiday created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 based upon the the African tradition of celebrating the harvesting of the first fruits. Kwanzaa is a time of reflecting, reassessing, recommitting and rejoicing–and giving special reverence for the creator and creation and commemorating the past.

Five common sets of values are central to the activities of the week: ingathering, reverence, commemoration, recommitment, and celebration. The seven principles (nguzo saba) of Kwanzaa utilize Kiswahili words: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani). Each of the seven candles signify the principles. Like the Jewish Hannakah, candles are used to represent concepts of the holiday.

The symbols of Kwanzaa includes crops (mzao) which represents the historical roots of African-Americans in agriculture and also the reward for collective labor. The mat (mkeka) lays the foundation for self- actualization. The candle holder (kinara) reminds believers in the ancestral origins in one of 55 African countries. Corn/maize (muhindi) signifies children and the hope associated in the younger generation. Gifts (Zawadi) represent commitments of the parents for the children. The unity cup (Kkimbe cha Umoja) is used to pour libations to the ancestors. Finally, the seven candles (mishumaa saba) remind participants of the severl pinciples and the colors in flags of African liberation movements — 3 red, 1 black, and 3 green.

Gifts are exchanged. On 31 December participants celebrate with a banquet of food often cuisine from various African countries. Participants greet one another with “Habari gani” which is Kiswahili for “how are you/ how’s the news with you?”

Bankruptcy in a COVID World

By Max L. Rosenberg, Bankruptcy Attorney

In the bankruptcy world, it is generally understood that the four “D”s account for the majority of petitioner’s reasons for filing. They are 1. Divorce, 2. Death 3. Discharge of job, 4. Disease (or Sickness). Obviously, any one of these four factors can throw a person’s life into turmoil. Today, every one of us is already starting out with #4. The pandemic. COVID-19.

As the pandemic continues to sweep across the globe, the greater ramifications on the business health of our society are becoming more and more apparent. On the Bloomberg news site, Financial Analyst, Margaret Ngo, writes, “…small businesses are disappearing by the thousands amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and the drag on the economy from these failures could be huge.”

Yelp’s data shows more than eighty thousand companies permanently closed between the beginning of March and the end of July. Roughly, sixty thousand were local businesses, or firms with fewer than five locations. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute eight hundred small businesses filed for Chapter 11 from mid-February to the end of July.

It’s a grim time for all business owners and not just in the United States. Norwegian Air has petitioned an Irish court to oversee a restructuring of its enormous debt as it struggles to avoid being shuttered. El Al, the Israeli airline is rumored to be seeking similar relief. In England, Regal Entertainment Group owner Cineworld Group is in talks with investors for financial bail outs after almost a year of empty theaters.

If that’s not dark enough, almost one hundred thousand sexual-abuse claims have been filed against Boy Scouts of America while their continued survival currently rests in the bankruptcy court.

According to Bloomberg, year to date, 227 companies with more than $50 million in have filed bankruptcy, the most since 2009, when 272 similar companies filed. So how does this effect your life and your family? The answer is in every way. This will continue to affect the government, the places you shop (or used to shop), the holidays you intend to spend together, and for many most importantly, the debt you continue to accrue. Rather than bemoan the possible option of bankruptcy, I would ask that people who are afraid, ashamed, and dismayed at the possibility, reexamine this concept in the best possible light.

If you are eligible it may be the salvation you are looking for. Even if you opt to file and successfully discharge your debt, I want to remind you that we do not know how long this crisis will last. You can only receive a discharge of your debt in a chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years.

Tighten your belt, spend less. Try to find a way to save wherever you can. Don’t make loans or allow yourself to be in position where people owe you money. Bankruptcy may offer the respite that we need to survive an avalanche of debt, but it will take real life adjustments to get through the long-haul.

I often tell my friends, family, clients, and anyone else who will listen to me that bankruptcy has been with us as long as civilization has been around. It is a pressure release valve used to control and limit the pressures in our system that build up during economic downturns and health crises.

Without it, in my opinion, chaos would ensue. If debt has become insurmountable and overwhelming, at least get a proper evaluation. A person should always be aware of their options.

With that in mind, how has the pandemic changed bankruptcy? Here is the silver lining. Under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, debtors already in a Chapter 13 can now extend the length of the re-payment plan to seven years.

Stimulus checks will not affect eligibility on the Chapter 7 Means Test or count toward disposable income for Chapter 13s. And most conveniently of all, original or wet signatures and in person review are now permitted to be done virtually, as are the 341 Meetings. When the Relief Act ends with the crises, Bankruptcy Court hearings will again be in person. Normal requirements will resume. So if bankruptcy is a thought on the horizon, the timing has never been better.

Learn more about the Myths of Bankruptcy here:

Stratford Library set to begin Books Over Coffee on Zoom beginning January 27th

Special “Meet the Author” Events Also Planned

by  Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming at the Stratford Library

The Stratford Library has announced its selections for the Winter/Spring 2021 series of “Books Over Coffee”, a monthly book discussion program that has been a popular staple at the library for over 30 years. The library continues to offer this lively forum even during unusual times by utilizing the Zoom platform. “Books Over Coffee”, is free and open to the public, and offered on monthly Wednesday afternoons from 12-1 pm hosted on Zoom by Stratford Library staffer Linda LiDestri.

Opening the new series on Wednesday, January 27 will be “One Day – The Extraordinary Story Of An Ordinary 24 Hours in America” by Gene Weingarten. On New Year’s Day 2013, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Gene Weingarten asked three strangers to, literally, pluck a day, month, and year from a hat. That day–chosen completely at random–turned out to be Sunday, December 28, 1986, by any conventional measure a most ordinary day. Weingarten spent the next six years proving that there is no such thing. ONE DAY asks and answers the question of whether there is even such a thing as “ordinary” when we are talking about how we all lurch and stumble our way through the daily,
daunting challenge of being human.

Other book selections for 2021 will be James McBride’s “Deacon King Kong” on February 24 (special for “Black History Month”), “Florence Adler Swims Forever” by Rachel Beanland (March 31, “Women’s History Month”), “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell (April 28), “The Survivors” by Jane Harper (May 26) and “Boyfriend Material” by Alexis Hall (June 30, “Pride Month”). Both “Deacon King Kong” and “Hamnet” were recently selected by The New York Times as two of the best books of 2020.

In addition, special “Meet-the-Author” events are being planned with writers Paul Backalenick (“Carrie’s Secret”) and Roberta Seret (“Transylvania Trilogy”). Copies of all books are currently available for loan at the library’s Circulation Desk. The titles are also available for loan on Kindle and Nook eReaders. Participants are invited to register for the January “Books Over Coffee” session online at:

For further information, visit the Stratford Library at 2203 Main Street in Stratford, Connecticut or call its Public Relations and Programming Office at: 203.385.4162. Timely information is also available on the library’s website at: