Who done it? Books Over Coffee

The Survivors, on Wednesday, May 26, 12 p.m.-1p.m.

Zoom program hosted by Linda LiDestri
The program is free and open to the public.

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming at the Stratford Library

The Stratford Library “Books Over Coffee” program continues with an online discussion of Jane Harper’s popular mystery, The Survivors, on Wednesday, May 26th.

The Survivors, is a thrilling mystery by New York Times bestselling author Jane Harper. Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away.

Limited reading copies of The Survivors are available for loan at the library’s Circulation Desk. All “Books Over Coffee” titles are available at the Library or on Kindle eReaders for loan.

Patrons can also download the eBook or eaudiobook through the OverDrive app at the Library. The updated “Books Over Coffee” schedule through August 2021 is currently available at the Library.

For further information call the Library at: 203.385-4162 or register online and receive an invitation link for The Survivors at: https://stratfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/7322158.

Greatest Generation (and Beyond) to be Honored

Veterans Museum Ready to Launch- Looking for Donors

Photo: Connecticut Post

The new Veterans Museum at Boothe Park will be open from 10 am to noon every Saturday to collect items from local veterans as well as their own personal stories from their service. Many volunteers have worked hard to make this museum a reality, including Councilor Bill O’Brien, George Grom and Bob Mastroni.

If you have items or stories to contribute email them at stratfordveteransmuseum74@yahoo.com

The project is being led by a committee of volunteers headed by Army veteran and former Bunnell High School football coach Bob Mastroni, who also chairs the Veterans’ Monument Preservation Commission for Academy Hill.

Flag Day June 14th

I’m pleased to share I will once again be co-hosting a worn American flags collection for Flag Day alongside fellow State Representatives Dave Rutigliano (R-123) and Laura Devlin (R-134) and in cooperation with American Legion Post No. 141.

This flag collection has been an annual tradition for the past five years, and we’re happy to continue it again this year just in time for Flag Day on June 14th.

The drive-by flag collection will be outside Middlebrook Elementary School at 220 Middlebrooks Avenue in Trumbull on Saturday June 12th from 9:00am-11:00am.

Other Drop-off Locations:
Trumbull Town Hall, 5866 Main Street, Trumbull
Trumbull Police Department, 158 Edison Road, Trumbull
Drop-off locations will receive flags from May 10th – June 11th.
Following the collection period, worn American flags will receive proper ceremonial disposal according to the U.S. Flag Code.

For additional information please, contact my office at 1-(800)-842-1423.

Feng Shui Opens the Door to Powerful Relationships

By Joan Law
Feng Shui Joan’s Way

Feng Shui opens the door to powerful relationships by showing us how to create environments that encourage positive engagement with the people in our lives.

A wide range of tools are available for Feng Shui practitioners to utilize in their work with clients. I suspect most folks have seen this familiar image of the Bagua. Note the Love and Relationship area of this Bagua is circled.

Bagua Chart and Relationships
The Bagua is One of the Most Important Tools in Feng Shui
The Bagua is a visual map of how energy flows in our world. It is a key tool in Feng Shui study (link), and it offers a way to evaluate the energy in your environment.

Feng Shui is one of many ancient Asian philosophies that sought to understand how we could live in harmony with nature. And even today, Feng Shui principals are utilized by many of the world’s leaders, such as Richard Branson of British Airways, to plan and mange home and work environments.

Coupled with other Asian philosophies such as Yin and Yang and the Five Elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) it is believed that Feng Shui can have an impact on one’s success in both home and work relationships.

The nuances of Feng Shui are intricate and many. That is why, as a certified Feng Shui practitioner, I begin my journey with clients by taking the time to understand their challenges and the outcomes they wish to achieve.

The first step in my process in working with clients is really the first step into a good Feng Shui relationship. I listen to your story and from there we evaluate what may need to happen in order to grow, enhance, or even repair relationships in your life.

Chi Counselor
I’m not a marriage counselor but I am a Chi Counselor. In a consultation with a client who might be feeling a strain in their marriage I would likely start with an evaluation of the master bedroom. Everything from the colors in the room to the placement of furniture can impact the energy in this important space.

For example, one client of mine was considering moving in with her significant other. But just simply could not get a good night’s sleep in her “new” shared bedroom.

A review of the bedroom indicated that a heavy ceiling beam was positioned over the side of the bed where my client slept. It was not a surprise to find my client was unable to have a good nights sleep with this weight literally “hanging over her head”.

Fixes might include representations of pairs of items in the area or even a laughing Buddha with raised hands to lift the weight of the beam and “raise the roof.” I found the laughing Buddha at a local thrift store, Palm & Able in Shelton CT.


Save the Date! 
Sterling House 30th Annual Sterling Classic Golf Tournament
Monday, September 20th 2021

Space is Limited
Register your Foursome on the Sterling House website:


The Birth of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Celebrated Around the World

Different Dates and Different Deities

Sources: National Retail Federation, History.com, GrammarlyBlog

The origin of Mother’s Day as we know it in the U.S.A. took place in the early 1900s. A woman named Anna Jarvis started a campaign for an official holiday honoring mothers in 1905, the year her own mother died. The first larger-scale celebration of the holiday was in 1908, when Jarvis held a public memorial for her mother in her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia.

Anna Jarvis put Mother’s Day on the calendar as a day dedicated to expressing love and gratitude to mothers, acknowledging the sacrifices women make for their children.

That’s why she was determined to keep “Mother’s” a singular possessive, as marked by the apostrophe before “s.” Each family should celebrate its own mother, so that individual women across the country could feel the love, even in the midst of a broad
celebration of motherhood.

Over the next few years, Jarvis pushed to have the holiday officially recognized, and it was celebrated increasingly in more and more states around the U.S. Finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making Mother’s Day an official holiday, to take place the second Sunday of May.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from The Tree:
Anna Jarvis’ own mom, Ann Reeves Jarvis, played an important role uniting women for good causes. Mama Jarvis, cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the field during the Civil War, and in its aftermath she organized a “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” the goal of which was to foster reconciliation between former Union and Confederate soldiers by having them come together, along with mothers from both sides.

Ann Reeves Jarvis was working with mothers in the spirit of peace, as was Julia Ward Howe, another activist—as well as abolitionist and suffragette—who worked to have June 2 be celebrated as “Mother’s Peace Day,” and wrote a “Mother’s Day Proclamation” calling on mothers to work toward world peace.

These women and others were responsible for precursors to Mother’s Day in American culture, but celebrations of motherhood go back deeper than that. Such celebrations sometimes involved worship of a mother deity, such as the Goddess Isis in Ancient Egypt, or Cybele and Rhea in Ancient Greece. In other cases, celebrations were only tangentially about mothers: Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom, for example, was originally dedicated to the “Mother Church,” but was later broadened to honor human mothers, too.

Around the world, Mother’s Day is celebrated in a variety of ways and on different dates throughout the year, though many countries observe the holiday on the same day as the United States—proof of the powerful impact made by Anna Jarvis.

The Mother’s Day Controversy (yes, there was controversy!):

Even after Anna Jarvis was successful in getting Mother’s Day made an official national holiday, she wasn’t satisfied with the way that holiday was celebrated. She had teamed up with florists while she was lobbying to get the holiday recognized, even recommending a white carnation as the symbolic flower of Mother’s Day.

However, in the first few years of the holiday’s official existence, Jarvis observed as florists, candy-makers and card-makers, and even charities used Mother’s Day as a way to make an extra buck. The commercialization of Mother’s Day, according to Jarvis, defeated the whole point of a holiday that was supposed to be about celebrating the personal, individual connection between a mother and her children.

From about 1920 onward, Jarvis fought hard to prevent businesses from profiting by means of Mother’s Day cards, candy, flowers, and other gifts. Although she had fought to be recognized as the one and only “Mother of Mother’s Day,” she later lobbied to have the holiday removed from the calendar of national holidays, and spent piles of her own money in lawsuits against profiteers she saw as using the Mother’s Day name in vain.

The Commercialization of Mother’s Day: Did Anna Jarvis have success getting people to cut down on the consumerism? If you’re considering buying your mother a card or a bouquet of flowers, you’ve got your answer. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Mom without emptying your wallet. It’s all about making it special for your Mom.

The National Retail Federation does a yearly survey to find out how much Americans are planning on spending for Mother’s Day. Here’s a hint: most people aren’t busting out the crayons to make a homemade card. According to them Mother’s Day sales are estimated to reach $26.7 billion, up 7% from 2019.

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day Today:

For most modern moms, going out to brunch or getting a Hallmark card and a fat bunch of flowers will do the trick. Sure, Anna Jarvis will roll her eyes, but if Mom’s grateful, where’s the real harm?

If you want to go the Anna Jarvis route you can pledge to do the dishes for a week? How about cleaning your room? Laundry doesn’t get done on its own! Remember, “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” Jill Churchill, American Author

VAX Facts: More Money for More Shots

State Representatives Step Up!

State Representative Joe Gresko (D- 121st District and State Representative Phil Young (D-120th District) both applaud the recent announcement that Stratford will receive new federal funds to boost the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in hard-to-reach communities.

Stratford will be one of 27 municipalities and health departments across Connecticut which will receive the new funding, which totals more than $13 million.

“Our goal with the vaccination program is to reach out to every Connecticut resident, particularly those who have historically been underserved when it comes to access to health care, transportation, or other challenges,” Governor Ned Lamont said in a statement. “Everybody deserves the right to access these lifesaving vaccines. We need to do everything we can to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to receive this care.”

“As one of the few accredited health departments in Connecticut, the Stratford Health department continues to go above and beyond for the safety of our residents,” said Rep. Gresko.

“These funds will play a vital role in improving access to the COVID vaccine in our community,” said Rep. Young. “I thank Governor Lamont and applaud his continued commitment to equity in public health.”

Members of the public may call the Stratford Health Department or Stratford Senior Services for help with making a vaccine appointment at 203-385-4090 or 203-385-4050.

Residents can also visit https://portal.ct.gov/Vaccine-Portal to find a vaccine appointment near them.

Time to Develop a Green Thumb!

Local Family Encouraging Gardens and Landscaping

Shannon Landscape & Garden Center

1111 Honeyspot Road (directly across from UPS)  

Shannon Lawn & Landscaping is a local family business that started in 1987. It is owned by Michael Shannon, his wife Christine Shannon and Michael’s brother, John Shannon—all of Stratford. They recently moved their company to a larger facility which was necessary to support the growth of their landscaping operations business. Their new location offered them a space to showcase their beautiful plants and trees, giving them the opportunity to begin this new adventure into the retail market and to provide an easy, serene shopping experience to their customers.

According to Christine Shannon, “each year, we bring in plants and materials for use in our landscape installations and lawn care services. We only select plants and stock that do well in our region based on our 35-year experience in the industry. We carry many trees and shrubs that thrive in our region and plan to bring in more native plants as they become available. Our designers on staff select varieties that are popular in landscaping beds and privacy screenings. Our planting recommendations are designed to provide continuous color and beauty throughout the growing season.”

The Garden Center has many products available for outdoor projects including a large variety of trees, shrubs, vegetables, flowers, fertilizer products, seed, tools, sod, mulches and soils. “Our newly renovated building and landscape yard is a great place for our clients to see first-hand the materials we will be using when planning our design and installations at their homes. We are taking requests from anyone looking for something specific and are happy to schedule an estimate if you prefer the plants be delivered and installed for you.”

Their Shannon Lawn & Landscaping’s service business features all facets of landscaping including planting design and installation, lawn fertilization and insect treatments, pruning and mulching, masonry installation, property maintenance & irrigation and landscape lighting systems. They currently service over 2000 customers and employ 35 people in our community. “We are industry experts for all your outdoor landscaping projects and are welcoming new customers every day.”

Grand Opening this weekend: There will be a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Mayor Laura Hoydick on Friday May 7th to kick off their Grand Opening just in time for Mother’s Day.

“Giving back to our town is very important to our family, so we are sponsoring a fundraiser for our local Stratford Police Athletic League (PAL) this weekend. We are donating $1 for each tree and shrub sold this weekend to Stratford PAL.”

Looking ahead, “when time allows, we will be installing a Waterfall and Koi Pond in our outdoor garden to feature pond installation services which we provide. We are committed to the future growth of our landscape service and sales divisions as we continue to beautify the properties in our service areas and provide a friendly workplace for our family of Shannon employees.”

Shannon’s Garden Center is directly across from UPS, and the new the home of their 3 business divisions – Shannon Lawn & Landscaping, Shannon Landscape & Garden Center and Shannon Irrigation & Landscape Lighting. They can be reached at (203) 375-8240, on Facebook, as well as their website www.ShannonLandscaping.com.

Their landscape service divisions are open on weekdays during normal business hours, with the Shannon Landscape & Garden Center also open on Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm.

Juliette Low Park Arbor Day Celebration

Photos: Paul Tavares, Fourth District Councilman
by Joe Gresko, State Representative 120 District

Mayor Laura Hoydick delivered an Arbor Day Proclamation Friday April 30 th at Juliette Low Park on Woodend Road and Sedgewick Avenue. Joined by Third District Town Councilor Paul Tavaras, (the Third District Councilman), State Representative Joe Gresko, Town Councilor Bill O’Brien, Public Works Director Raynae Serra, Conservation Superintendent Kelly Kerrigan, as well as Cassandra Bryant, Ray Boychew and Matt Hurley from Rayzor’s Edge.

Rayzor’s Edge Tree Services donated over $15,000 of tree and grounds work to make improvements, remove dead trees, and plant new ones. in association with the Town’s Public Works Department. Four trees were planted at Juliette Low.

Juliette Low Park, located on Woodend Road and Sedgewick Avenue is named for the founder of the Girl Scouts, and was created by a Town Council Ordinance in March of 1973. The ordinance was introduced to the Council by Second District Councilman James Caraglior. The park was created on the site of the old Sedgewick School and the abandonment of some remnant properties on Woodend Road and Sedgewick Avenues. The park was enhanced and improved in 1975 through the use of some CDBG money.

Listed as a “small park less than 5 acres”, in 2019 a pavilion was built providing shelter from the rain, though no picnic tables or permanent grills, until last Friday when the town delivered several picnic tables for use in the park to acknowledge Arbor Day.

Travel to Transylvania: Home of Dracula!

Meet the Author: Author Roberta Secret To Discuss “Transylvania Trilogy”

Sunday, May 16th at 2 p.m. on Zoom

The Stratford Library will host Roberta Seret for a special “Meet-the-Author” program on Sunday, May 16 from 2-3 pm.   Seret will discuss her “Transylvania Trilogy”, which includes “The Gift of Diamonds”, “Love Odyssey” and “Treasure Seekers”, on the Library’s Zoom platform. The program is free and open to the public.

Roberta Seret, Ph.D.is the founder and executive director of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at United Nations, International Cinema Education Organization and the Director of ESL and Film for the Hospitality Committee of the United Nations. An adjunct instructor at New York University in English she has published various articles in film review for the Journal of International Criminal Justice and Oxford University Press. Her work in the United Nations Global Classroom has been praised by various influential Americans, including Michelle Obama, Mike Bloomberg, and Caroline Kennedy. The Transylvania Trilogy is her first fiction series.

“Transylvanian Trilogy” is a kaleidoscope of exotic colors set in Romania, Turkey and Iran, where governmental intrigues are little known and are waiting to be discovered. All three books, Gift of Diamonds, Love Odyssey and Treasure Seekers, can be read independently or interchanged. The main characters are Mica, Anca, Marina and Cristina, four friends since their teenaged days in Transylvania, who were known as the Four Musketeers, Poets of their Lives. As they narrate their lives, their stories interweave with fact and fiction to reveal political truths that have never been exposed before, especially in a novel.

To register for the May 16th Zoom program and receive an invitational link go to: https://stratfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/7483692 For further information, call the Library at: 203.385.4162.