VAX Facts

The state is releasing information about how many individuals are vaccinated in all Connecticut communities. As of March 18th, 2021, 12,211 or 23.5% of the town’s population had been vaccinated with a first dose. . As of Friday, March 19, vaccine scheduling is open to residents 45 years of age and older.

Stratford clinics have dispensed 7,130 vaccines to date. It’s important to keep in mind that we are part of a larger regional and statewide vaccination network and effort. Stratford does not vaccinate ONLY Stratford residents – many of residents and first responders have been vaccinated at locations outside Stratford, and conversely, many from outside of Stratford have been vaccinated here. Many residents and first responders have been vaccinated at locations outside Stratford, and conversely, many from outside of Stratford have been vaccinated here.

The Stratford Health Department is partnering with Stratford EMS in order to bring COVID-19 vaccines to residents determined to be “homebound” and unable to safely access the vaccine clinics being offered by Stratford Health. This is being done under the Governor’s executive order 7HHH, and is being called “Operation Homeward Bound” by the Stratford Health and EMS team.

Stratford EMS is providing EMS personnel who have been qualified as “vaccinators” through the State Department of Public Health and partnering them with another “Healthcare Professionals” like a Registered Nurse, to make up “vaccine teams” to deliver COVID vaccine services to those individuals determined by Stratford Health Department as being “homebound.”

The CT Veterans Administration is currently vaccinating veterans of all ages. Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics. Veterans (any age) must be enrolled for care with VA to receive the vaccine. Veterans can apply online at

Friday, March 19 – Vaccine by appointment at the Newington campus, 555 Willard Avenue., 8am-4pm, Call 203-932-5711 ext. 567, 7784 or 7754 to make an appointment.

Saturday, March 20 – Walk-in clinic at the West Haven campus, Firm B, Bldg. 2, 2nd floor, 950 Campbell Avenue, 8am-4pm. Call 203-932-5711 ext. 5627, 7784 or 7754 to make an appointment.

March 18 and 19 – Walk-in clinic at the West Haven Annex, 200 Edison Road/Pez Blvd. in Orange. 1pm- 3:45pm.

Mask and physical distancing required. To maintain physical distancing, if possible, we’re asking patients not to bring anyone with them to the clinic.

Clinics will continue at Birdseye every Tuesday and Wednesday based on vaccine supply and eligibility. We are encouraging everyone to register online through the CT DPH portal at:

Registering in the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) provides you with flexibility in securing an appointment at any area clinic, including at the Stratford Health Department.

The Stratford Health Department is opening up appointments based on the vaccine supply given to us by the state. Appointments will open up as soon as we get additional doses. Please continue to check in VAMS for availability. Vaccine clinics require an appointment (no walk-ins accepted) to be made in advance.

When viewing the directory of vaccine clinics, click on ‘More Details’ for specific information about how you can schedule an appointment at each location. Some locations offer online scheduling through their website or electronic health record, others allow scheduling by phone, and some locations can be booked through the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).

Governor Lamont has announced an update to vaccine eligibility in an attempt to speed up distribution of COVID-19 vaccines: Individuals who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine in Connecticut include:

Healthcare personnel;
Medical first responders;
Residents and staff of long-term care facilities;
Residents and staff of select congregate settings; and
PreK-12 school staff and professional childcare providers.
Going forward, Connecticut’s rollout of the vaccine will proceed on the following

March 19: Scheduling opens to all individuals age 45 to 54

April 5 (tentative): Scheduling opens to all individuals age 16 to 44
The state will work with providers and the Department of Developmental Services to accelerate access for the most medically high-risk individuals under 45 during the month of April.

Governor Ned Lamont announced significant planned changes to guidance associated with COVID-19 restrictions. Beginning Friday, March 19, all capacity limits will be eliminated for the following businesses, while face coverings, social distancing, and other cleaning and disinfecting protocols will continue to be required:

Restaurants (8-person table capacity and 11PM required closing time for dining rooms continues)
Personal services
Indoor recreation (excludes theaters, which will continue to have a 50% capacity)
Gyms/fitness centers
Museums, aquariums, and zoos
Houses of worship

Gathering sizes will be revised to the following amounts:
Social and recreational gatherings at private residence – 25 indoors/100 outdoors
Social and recreational gatherings at commercial venues – 100 indoors/200 outdoors
All sports will be allowed to practice and compete, and all sports tournaments will be allowed, subject to Department of Public Health guidance Connecticut’s travel advisory will be modified from a requirement to recommended guidance

Heartbreaking Loss to a Stellar Season

Red Devils Lose in Semifinals but Winner in Stratford

The Stratford High School Boys Basketball team finished its season Monday Night losing in the Semi Finals of the SWC Conference playoffs.   Stratford was defeated by Kolbe Cathedral 58-32 at the Sheehan Center.   Jayquan Kirkland led the Red Devils with 16 points.

Three players from Stratford were recognized for outstanding play in the SWC Conference. Jayquan Kirkland made the All SWC Conference Team.   Brady Knorr and Mike D’Aloia made the All Colonial Division Team. Stratford wraps the season with a record of 10-5.


#PlayLikeAGirl: Women’s History Month

Groundbreaking Women Athletes On and Off Their Venue

Sources: Insider

Wilma Rudolph
African American sprinter Wilma Rudolph was the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics. She overcame the loss of strength in her left leg and foot, caused by polio at five years old, to become the fasted woman in the world at the 1960 Olympics. She still holds the record for the 100 meters at 11.2 seconds and 200 meters at 22.9 seconds.

Rudolph gained international recognition during the 1960 Olympics because of worldwide television coverage and became an iconic figure for black and female athletes. During the peak of the civil rights movement, Rudolph was a trailblazer for the rights of African Americans and women. She broke the gender barrier of all-male events in track and field, and her legacy lives on today.

Billie Jean King
Former World No. 1 professional tennis player Billie Jean King is regarded as one of the greatest women’s tennis players of all time. She won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 in singles, 16 in women’s doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. An advocate for gender equality and social justice. She campaigned for equal pay when the Open Era began in 1968. She became the first female athlete to earn over $100,000 in prize money in 1971, but inequalities continued. Today, King is still a primary advocate for women and LGBTQ equality.

Aly Raisman
Aly Raisman is a two-time Olympic gymnast. In 2012, she won the team gold medal, floor gold medal, and bronze medal on balance beam. She took home the individual all-around silver medal and floor silver medal in 2016, as well as another team gold medal.
As decorated as Raisman is on the gymnastics floor, she has become an advocate in the fight to end sexual abuse. Raisman was one of over 100 gymnasts who came forward to speak out against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Since Nassar’s trial, during which she delivered a blistering speech, she has used her platform to focus on fixing USA Gymnastics and justice for all victims of sexual abuse.

Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan is the co-captain for the United States Women’s Soccer Team and won her second consecutive FIFA World Cup championship in 2019. She debuted in the World Cup in 2011, where the team won silver. In 2012, Morgan recorded 28 goals and 21 assists to become the second American woman to score 20 goals and 20 assists in the same calendar year alongside Mia Hamm. She was also the sixth and youngest US player to score 20 goals in a single year. Since being named to the senior US team in 2019, Morgan has accumulated 169 caps and 107 goals. She was also one of the first women’s soccer players to appear on the cover of a FIFA video game. Off the field, Morgan is part of the US soccer women fighting for equal pay.

Megan Rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe is a co-captain of the USWNT (United States Women’s National Soccer Team) alongside Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd. She helped the US to its second consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup championship in 2019, scoring six goals for the Golden Boot and Golden Ball Awards. She was also on the 2015 team that won the Cup, as well as the 2012 Olympic team, which took home gold.

Rapinoe has made noise both on and off the field. She is an advocate for numerous LGBTQ organizations and often uses her platform to speak out against social injustice. She is also an advocate for women in sports and equality.

Renee Montgomery
Renee Montgomery is a retired American basketball player and sports broadcaster who is currently vice president, part-owner, and investor of the Atlanta Dream. During her 11-year playing career in the Women’s National Basketball Association, she won two championships with the Minnesota Lynx. During her college playing career, she won a national championship with the UConn Huskies.

In 2018, Montgomery signed a multi-year contract with the Atlanta Dream, and In June 2020, Montgomery announced that she would forgo the 2020 WNBA season due to concerns of racism and the coronavirus. In February 2021, she announced her retirement from the WNBA and Montgomery was part of a three-member investor group that was approved to purchase the Atlanta Dream.

The ownership change followed pressure on former owner Kelly Loeffler, a Republican and former U.S. Senator who angered WNBA players with her opposition to the league’s racial justice initiatives, to sell her share of the Dream. Loeffler had previously refused a visit with Montgomery on social justice initiatives.

Criminal Justice-a Primer

Zoom in on Conversations On Criminal Justice

Sponsored by the Council of Churches

Courageous Conversations on Racial Equality focusing on Criminal Justice will take place on APRIL 1ST on ZOOM – 7:30 – 8:45 PM

How can we come together to make Stratford stronger and healthier for all? Join CARE for a series of Zoom conversations led by trained facilitators from Raising the BAR, a program of The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. Learn from thought-provoking videos, articles and podcasts how racism has shaped our environment. Then work in small groups to discuss ways we can unite to take action, heal divides and make a difference…right here at home

Learn more and register at: STRATFORDCARE.ORG/COURAGE

A Cuppa With Mystery and Intrigue!

Books Over Coffee March 31st

Discussion Leader: LINDA LIDESTRI. Wednesdays at Noon ON ZOOM!

Florence Adler Swims Forever is the debut novel of American author Rachel Beanland. and centers upon the Adler family living in Atlantic City during the 1930s.

Over the course of one summer that begins with a shocking tragedy, three generations of the Adler family grapple with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets.

Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. This is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence. Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.

When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal after tragedy. (less)

Free & Open to the Public for further information call the Library at: 203.385.4162.


Know Your Town: Second District

Councilmember Spotlight
Second District Councilmember Kaitlyn Shake

By Ariana Fine

[Stratford Crier’s mission is to inform and update Stratford residents on various categories of interest, community events, pertinent information, and/or input into specific tasks or project. We would like to highlight the work, dedication and projects of our elected officials, beginning with town council members. Stratford Crier is posing the following questions to each of these elected officials to find out more about what inspires them in this position and what they hope to accomplish in their term.]

I have had the distinct honor and responsibility of serving our town as the 2nd District Councilwoman since December of 2019. My first term in office presented several challenges and opportunities as an essential worker working on the frontlines as a registered nurse and fulfilling my responsibilities as a councilwoman. I continue to be inspired by our residents in their ability to display acts of kindness, resiliency and initiatives to help keep our community safe as we move through this unprecedented time together. In addition to the town council, I also serve on: Public Works, Building Needs, Ordinance Committee, Pension Board, WPCA and Chair of the Longbrook Park Commission.

1. What do you see as the needs of your district at the present?

I see three major areas of focus and must start with one of the town’s treasures: Longbrook Park. As our community begins a safe reentry from pandemic restrictions, it is a perfect place to

spend some time outdoors. It troubles me that vandalism is on the rise, the pond needs attention, and littering continues to be a constant problem. While many in the district help maintain the park, we need the support of the town’s administration. As Chair of Longbrook Park Commission, I engaged the Police Department, Engineering, Public Works and the Conservation Departments to talk about the town’s role in park revitalization and sustainability.

The Second District is home to many small businesses and essential workers. As I visited business over the past year, I shared information about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and how to apply for them. Neighbors in our district need relief, from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and through other state and local actions.

My third concern is more a request than a need. Our district is involved in many town projects: Raymark property clean up, Exit 33 entrance construction, West Broad Street bridge and road work, Stratford High School renovations, Main Street repaving, and more. This work invariably leads to traffic congestion and noise. I ask for more patience from us all as we move through completion and reap the benefits of all the activity.

2. What is your vision for your district’s future?

My vision requires listening to my neighbors, elevating their concerns and seeking solutions. It recognizes the district as a prime area for both development and regeneration. It relies on a strong alliance with Town Hall to ignite its innate potential.

I envision a well-maintained and oft-visited Longbrook Park. The health of the pond is always foremost in my mind; we are remediating algae growth and shallow depth issues. While we love the Canadian geese, we need to ensure people and geese coexist together! I envision fostering more transparent and collaborative partnerships with relevant town departments to address the park, like the current responsive relationships with Public Works and the Baldwin Center.

The Second District is arguably the economic engine of the town and I envision welcoming new businesses to the district and being at the table discussing recruitment and incentives. All ideas should be considered as we seek to revitalize our district’s storefronts. As the people of our district have spoken, their mixed-use priorities for the Center School property must be respected, whether innovative businesses, support for local artists, or spaces for young professionals and families. I will continue to amplify their voices.

3. What is your vision for the town?

There is talk about establishing a “new normal” as we recover from the pandemic. I envision Stratford as an innovative leader, recognizing the absence of a collective “normal” and moving forward blending individual and community assets while healing deep-rooted wounds. Inertia is a powerful force, and this is the time to be bold!

I envision leveraging funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to meet the immediate needs of our neighbors and to position the district to thrive in a post-COVID world. While uncertainty remains, planning our recovery and building our resilience must begin. We can expand our Health Department’s Resilient Stratford initiative and address the grief and trauma of our residents, including this in our emergency preparedness and response planning efforts and including input from mental health experts. My advocacy throughout the pandemic – door-to-door communications and persistent requests for readily accessible COVID testing and vaccine distribution – needs to be integrated as a town-administrated effort.

I have heard “same storm, different boat” throughout the pandemic and I envision a town that applies the lens of equity to all its observations, considerations and decisions. I will continue to advocate for the inclusion of all voices, all needs and all talents, knowing that reinvigorating Stratford requires us to support and develop our community members as and when necessary, throughout the full lifecycle, for all residents.

I envision intentionally blending development, affordable housing, and a vibrant regional art council that maintain the character of Stratford while promoting spaces that encourage healthy lifestyles and environmental sustainability. This requires reevaluating our boards and commissions to reflect the needs and demographics of the town. Look, we all know that civics, and an engaged citizenry, has taken a hit. Hyper-partisanship abounds. This produces fertile ground for status quo governing, no matter the party affiliation in the majority. My vision for Stratford relies on cooperation and collaboration across all communities, districts, interests and political parties. Being timid will get us nowhere and bold action will not happen without buy-in from a cross-sector of all parties, including elected officials, appointed commissioners and our town residents. I envision our town being one of community, a community that recognizes all Stratford has to offer while committing to filling the gaps together.

4. What is your vision of collaboration between the town administration and residents to help make Stratford a stronger community? How do you see town residents’ roles and participation?

I view my role as an elected official as one of not only amplifying the voices of my constituents in the Second District but of including them in the decisions. Conversations have reinforced the sentiment that “my voice doesn’t matter.” All our elected officials have a responsibility to hear AND listen. There are many of examples of residents engaging on town concerns with participation in groups like Stratford Forward, Stratford CARE, Shakespeare Market and this Stratford Crier community paper. Our job is to empower them, and their opinions, after engaging and encouraging them.

Charging both Town Hall and the Town Council with better communication is a good place to start, a time to reset. While we leverage technology to reach people, nothing beats a door knock or a phone call. I know that when I reach out and ensure you that your concerns matter to me, many of you share what you need and participate in both the challenges and the benefits of living in Stratford.

When I ran for public office, I knew I would learn a lot. Beyond the process of a functioning municipality, I developed an idea of my role as a citizen of this town. What can each of us do to support our working families, attract new businesses and residents while supporting those currently here, maintain our parks and beaches, protect our waterways, secure the futures of our youth and seniors, address racial inequities and disparities, and really…enjoy all Stratford has to offer?

As I said earlier, civic engagement needs some work – we all need to find being part of a community appealing and worthwhile. If politics is your thing, join one of the town committees; otherwise, there are many organizations, boards, and commissions to join. To strengthen the bonds with the residents, the town needs to better promote these opportunities as well as conduct regular listening sessions. Transparent communication around budgets and priorities, with consistent follow-up and follow-through, will engender the public trust required to engage and participate.

Take Action:

Email your councilperson and the Mayor or submit a statement during our public comment section of our monthly Town Council meetings the second Monday of every month with signup beginning at 6:30 p.m. and comment starting at 6:45 p.m.


Stratford Board of Education names new Superintendent

Stratford School Move Forward

Windsor High School Principal Uyi Osunde names to post

Photo Courtesy of Journal Courier

On Thursday the Board of Education announced that Windsor High School Principal Uyi Osunde has been named the next Superintendent of Schools in Stratford. Osunde is replacing current Superintendent Janet Robinson, who is retiring in June after leading the district since 2013. His start date is July 1.

Osunde, who served as principal at Windsor High School since 2016, possesses a “wealth of school leadership experience, serving as a principal, assistant principal and counselor in Connecticut high schools,” according to a news release.

According to Mr. Uyi Osunde, “I am humbled and excited about the opportunity that Allison DelBene and the Stratford Board of Education have extended in selecting me to lead Stratford Public Schools. I look forward to establishing relationships and collaborating with faculty and staff, parents and guardians, as well as town leaders, to do this work of shepherding our students through, what is hopeful to be, the back end of the coronavirus pandemic.”

He was chosen from a pool of 22 applicants from several states. The search was facilitated by consultants from Trumbull-based Cooperative Educational Services (CES) and The Bryan Group, who guided the district’s search committee through the decision- making process by providing a leadership profile and selection criteria based on results of a survey and focus groups with the district’s various stakeholders, in addition to providing measurable performance criteria drawn from an advanced interview process with candidates.

Foodies Alert: What’s Cooking at the Stratford Library?

What is your favorite recipe? What recipe has been handed down in your family from generation to generation?

The Library is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a cookbook to be published in Fall 2021. The library is currently soliciting local recipes to be added. You can add your recipe by following this special link: which has all the information (including the form) to submit your recipe.

2021 marks the Stratford Library’s quasquicentennial, or 125th anniversary! Whether you just moved to Stratford this year or still have your beige Stratford Library Association card, we’re sure you’ll want to make some 125th anniversary memories with us.

One way you can connect with the Stratford Library’s 125th celebrations is with food! The Stratford Library 125th Anniversary Committee is assembling a Stratford Library cookbook. We’d love to receive your family recipes so that everyone in Stratford can enjoy them. Honor a relative or a friend by sharing your recipe’s history so your memories will live on in our town.

Cookbook submissions will be accepted through May 21, 2021. Cookbooks will be available for purchase starting in Fall 2021. Each print cookbook purchase includes an ebook version – whether you are a cookbook collector or a smartphone sous-chef, our cookbook will work for you!

Speaking of books – book sales at the library have been cancelled, and they are still not collecting donations because their volunteers do not have a Covid-safe space to manage and sort the donations. They also do not have a space to stockpile donations until their volunteers can return.  If people have books to donate, they can call and check with Goodwill and Savers (in Milford) or the Pequot Library (Southport) to see if they are accepting donations.


Summer Camp at Sterling House: Sign Up Now

Red Devils Headed for SWC Semi-Finals!!!

Stratford High School Basketball Team Play Monday

The Stratford High School Boys’ Basketball team is headed to the Semi Finals of the SWC Conference tournament!

The Red Devils defeated Joel Barlow 59-47 Thursday night at the SHS Gymnasium to advance. Jayquan Kirkland dominated with 22 points. 6 other Stratford players (Mike D’Aloia, Brady Knorr, Jaden Perez, Scott Knorr, Fenley Turenne, Ben Petrie) were in the scorer’s column to seal the victory! Joel Barlow’s Carter Janki had 20. Stratford faces the winner of Kolbe Cathedral v Brookfield on Monday Night.

Per local administration and DPH, 2 family members of active participants of the home team may attend the games. All games are broadcast on the NFHS Network for spectators to view.

They advanced to the quarterfinals of the SWC tournament with a 70-49 win over Pomperaug HS Monday Night at SHS gymnasium. Jayquan Kirkland and Brady Knorr led the red devils with 26 points and 25 points respectively. Arik Dagan and Max Frankin led Pomperaug with 13 points a piece.

The Stratford High School Girls’ Basketball Team defeated cross town rival Bunnell 36- 35 in their final game of the season on Thursday. Senior, Sydney Ritchie, hit the go ahead three pointer with 10 seconds left. Great way to end the season!

Unfortunately, the Women’s Basketball team was hampered this year by having been quarantined. They lost to Kolbe Cathedral 74-33 in the first round of the SWC playoffs on Tuesday night. (Bunnell girls also lost to New Fairfield 45-18)

Per local administration and DPH, 2 family members of active participants of the home team may attend the games. All games are broadcast on the NFHS Network for spectators to view.

Friday, 3/12
Girls v New Milford (home) 6:00
Boys @ New Milford (away) 7:15

Tuesday, 3/9
Boys lost @ Kolbe Cathedral 65-46. Brady Knorr had 20 points in the loss.

Saturday, 3/6
The Stratford High School Boys’ Basketball team improved to 7-3 on the season with a 43-37 victory on the road v Weston on Saturday. Brady Knorr led the Red Devils with a double double 12 points and 13 rebounds. Jaden Perez dropped in 10 points along with 4 steals. Stratford faces Kolbe Cathedral, one of Connecticut’s top ten teams, Tuesday, March 9 in Bridgeport.

Thursday, 3/4
Stratford Boys Basketball lost a hard-fought battle to top ranked Notre Dame Fairfield Thursday night 74-70. The Red Devils played aggressive defense against the Lancers who are ranked 4th in the State of CT in most recent polls. Stratford had 3 players i double figures, led by Mike D’Aloia with 19 points, including five – 3 pointers. Brady Knorr dropped in 19 points and Jayquan Kirkland added 17 points. Akim Joseph and Andrew Saint Louis had 23 points each for Notre Dame. Stratford moves to 6-3 on the season.

Monday evening. (3/1)
The Stratford Boys’ Basketball team had 3 players in double figures as they rolled past New Fairfield with a 66-55 victory to move to 6-2 on the season. Jayquan Kirkland dropped in 19 points, Fenley Turenne added 14, and Brady Knorr with 13. This was a team effort as Mike D’Aloia and Ben Petrie both had 8 points each.  New Fairfield was led by Matt Garbowski with 16.

Friday, 2/26 The Stratford Boys’ Basketball team improved to 5-2 on the season with a 59-50 victory over Newtown Friday night in the new SHS Gymnasium.  Jayquan Kirkland led the way for the Red Devils with 18 points.  Brady Knorr dropped in 11 and Mike D’Aloia added 10.  Newtown was led by Isaiah Thomas with 13 points.

The Stratford High School Girls’ Basketball Team defeated cross town rival Bunnell 36- 35 in their final game of the season. Senior, Sydney Ritchie, hit the go ahead three pointer with 10 seconds left. Great way to end the season!