New Laws on the Books for October 1st

by State Representative Joseph Gresko
Connecticut House District 121

Dear Neighbor,

Next week, several new laws in Connecticut will go into effect on October 1st. These laws are a result of the hard work of my colleagues and I during the 2021 session.

Below is a selection of some of the laws that will go into effect on Friday, October 1st:

Breastfeeding in the Workplace
Public Act No. 21-27 – Requires employers to provide a private room or location with an electrical outlet for women to express milk. Employers must also provide a refrigerated space to store the breastmilk.

The law also protects breastfeeding employees from workplace discrimination.

Marijuana and Smoking Restrictions
On October 1st, a portion of Public Act No. 21-1 will go into effect.

Medical marijuana patients who are 18 years of age or older can start growing mature and immature plants at home.

Smoking of any kind (tobacco, vaping, marijuana) will be prohibited within 25 feet of the any door, window, or vent intake of any building open to the public.

Pedestrian Safety
PA 21-28 clarifies the rules for pedestrians in crosswalks.

Starting October 1sr, drivers must slow down or stop if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk or indicated that they are going to cross.

Addressing Gender Discrimination
PA 21-30 – Requires employers to offer equal pay for “comparable” work regardless of gender.

Also requires employers to offer prospective applicants and employees with a scale of pay among those with similar tasks.

“Bottle Bill”
PA 21-58 -Starting October 1st, certain retailers will be required to have at least two reverse vending machines on their premises.

It also increases the handling fee paid by the distributors to redemption centers from 2.5 cents per beverage container to 3.5 cents.

For the complete list of laws that will go into effect on October 1st please go to:

Pedaling to Protect

Man Cycles 47-days, 3,800-miles Raising Funds

Center for Family Justice
Funds for Safehouse Serving Stratford Residents

Alan Masarek, an avid bicyclist and Co-Chair of The Empower House, fundraising drive, has cycled 34-days to raise funds in a pledge challenge benefiting The Center for Family Justice’s (CFJ) newly acquired double-sized safehouse, currently under renovation. Upon completion, the safehouse will serve Stratford residents. The goal is $1.4 million dollars.

Masarek, who is riding alongside 20 bicyclists in the Trek Bicycle “Bucket List” trip, which commenced on August 18th in Portland, Oregon, decided to structure his ride as a fundraising campaign. He hopes to generate enough corporate sponsorships and donations on his EmpowerRide to close a 40% fundraising gap in the $3.5-million-dollar project. His trip ends on October 3rd in Portland, Maine.

His itinerary and progress are tracked on the EmpowerRide page at Donors can sponsor him with a $100.00 per mile pledge or make donations in any amount. Masarek’s daily cycling adventures are posted on CFJ’s social media sites.

During Covid in 2020, domestic violence grew an average of 40% across the country, causing a critical shortage of housing for victims seeking refuge. With plans to open in 2022, The Empower House safehouse will provide temporary housing and support services to domestic violence and human trafficking victims primarily from Bridgeport, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, Trumbull and Easton.

Debra Greenwood, President and CEO at The Center for Family Justice said, “Talk about going the extra mile! Alan is going the extra 3,800 miles! He’s pedaling to protect victims of domestic violence and we are blessed to have him as co-chair of our Empower House fundraising team”.

The Bridgeport-based nonprofit The Center for Family Justice, located at 735 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, celebrates its 126th Anniversary this year. Those needing emergency housing and support services should call the Center’s hotline at 203-384-9559 for immediate help.

Planning Commission Meeting

September 21st

Vessel Technologies, Inc. appeared before the Planning Commission requesting creation of a new housing designation, Honeyspot Housing Zone (HSHZ), an amendment that would change the parcel of land at 313 Honeyspot Road (and Lot 14) from RM-1 (two family districts) to HSHZ.

Vessel proposes to construct a three-story 15-unit affordable housing development as allowed by the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) Section 8-30G.  According to Josh Levy, principal of Vessel, the Town Council has already given the nod to Vessel to develop this property, which is currently a municipal property.

According to Levy, the 15-units meets all POCD (Plans of Conservation Development) goals and objectives, and the Stratford housing plan.

“We are working to invent the technologies behind a 21st century housing economy. Our efforts are focused on better design, material selection and manufacturing processes. Our mission is to offer a housing alternative that is reliable, functional, durable, secure, accessible and affordable. We are developing close partnerships with landholders, such as municipalities, philanthropies, or private individuals, who share our vision and want to see their vacant land put to productive use. Our plan is to activate entrepreneurs within the communities we will serve, who will find opportunity in the jobs we will create in building and operating the Vessel system.”

Editor’s Note: The Vessel System US Patent Number 10,704,251, is construction using modular systems and methods for assembling multiunit buildings, and particularly to systems and methods wherein individual units are constructed from multiple vertically stacked modules.

Levy noted that Vessel has been working with the town for over a month on developing the site, and, must have approval by October 1st.  The 15-units will each be 525 square feet, 1 bedroom, and provide 1 parking space per unit.  There will be a deed restriction of 1 person or 1 couple per unit.

The Vessel proposal passed the Planning Commission by a vote of 3-1.

In other business:

Merritt 8 LLC went before the Planning Commission to amend Section 5.3 and 6.3 regarding residence apartments (3 or more multifamily housing units) in an Office Park Development (OPD) Zone.  Stratford presently has two sites listed as OPD, Merritt 8 building on Hawley Lane, and the Stratford Executive Park on Lordship Boulevard (which apparently is not viable at this time).

The Commission instructed Merritt 8 that in order to move into Zoning for approval they needed to add affordable housing to their proposal, as well as mixed use.

Their proposal passed unanimously.

Tabled until the next meeting was a general discussion on recreational cannabis, and a moratorium extension on methadone clinics.

What’s Going On At Sterling House Community Center?

Sign up Now!

“Clean Out Your Closets”

In partnership with Savers of Orange, Sterling House Community Center (SHCC) is encouraging all friends of Sterling House to rummage through your closets, attics, basements, garages and sheds for usable items you can donate in support of our Food-4-Kids program, which provides weekend food for local students in need.

Donations will be accepted on Saturday, Sept. 25th, at the SHCC from 9 a.m. to Noon. We will accept items in good condition including clothes, wallets, handbags, sheets, towels, curtains, silverware, pots and pans, toys, games and more!

Please contact Pam Robertson for more information: or call (203) 378-2606, ext. 113.



Letter to the Editor

by State Representative Ben McGorty
122nd District

Dear Friends,

When the Connecticut House of Representatives next meets on Monday, September 27th, it will be in a special session to vote on a seventh extension of the Governor’s emergency powers, this time at least until February.

The Governor insists that Connecticut’s public health and civil preparedness emergency declarations must be extended, but our neighbors to the north in Massachusetts have still managed COVID effectively in their schools and workplaces, even though their Republican Gov. Charlie Baker ended his state’s emergency declarations months ago.

Meanwhile, the true emergency facing Connecticut – the erosion of our public safety in the face of rising violent crime and a wave of juvenile car thefts – has gone unaddressed, largely thanks to Democratic inaction in the legislature.

If you agree with me that this emergency can no longer be ignored, visit and write a message to those lawmakers still on the fence about protecting your safety.

Take Action Now
Please don’t hesitate to contact me regarding this or any state issue.

State Rep. Ben McGorty, 122nd District

Who Do You Think You Are?

Stratford Library to Open Sundays Beginning October 3rd

Featured will be a Genealogy Presentation

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming
Stratford Public Library

The Stratford Library will reopen on Sundays beginning October 3rd. Hours on Sunday will be from 1-5 p.m. and will continue until May 22, 2022.

On opening day (October 3rd) the Library will offer “An Introduction to Genealogy: How to Begin”, a workshop led by professional genealogist Sarah Greenberg. It is free and open to the public but limited to 25 participants with registration required. Another genealogy workshop is planned for November 21st.

Professional genealogist Sarah Greenberg will host the workshops at the Library guiding participants on the path to discovering their family tree. Introduction to Genealogy: How to Begin” will be held from 2-4 p.m. in the Lovell Room of the Stratford Library on October 3rd and November 21st.

Online registration is required at:

The town-mandated mask requirement will be observed for this program. For further information, call the Library’s Public Relations & Programming Office at: 203.385.4162.

The return of “Sunday Afternoon Talks” will continue with a hybrid version (in house and on Zoom) on October 17th and 24th.

Currently scheduled:
• “The Secret of Becoming a Great Communicator” with Jim Cameron (November 7th
• “The Town of Iron Toys” (November 14th)
• Holiday Music Concerts (December 5th, 12th & 19th)

Due to the ongoing pandemic, schedule is subject to change. Following Town of Stratford current mandates, the wearing of masks is required while visiting the Stratford Library.

Current Library hours are: Monday-Thursday: 10-8, Friday-Saturday: 10-5 and Sunday: 1-5 pm.

Photo: Stratford Library Board President Mike Aloi shows his support for the agency by purchasing a limited edition Stratford Library mug at the Mellow Monkey, Stratford’s unique gift shop. All proceeds from the sale of the mugs directly benefit the Library.

Stratford the Beautiful

Stratford Crier Contest

Be Blessed by Goody Bassett!

The Crier has launched a weekly photo quiz to acquaint readers with the many beautiful parts of our town.  Crier photographers will publish photos of Stratford’s gems and ask readers to identify the location. First right response will be honored with a free ice cream cone from Goody Bassett, a Stratford Mecca for ice cream lovers.

Email your “guess” to:

This week’s marker commemorates one of Stratford’s famous, nationally celebrated residents.

Can you identify the location? Tell us what you know about William Samuel Johnson.

Let us know where, and what you know about it. There’s ice cream at Goody Bassett on Main Street, just waiting for the “first responder”.

Send submissions to:


What’s Old is New!

Ride the Tidal Wave

Stratford locals and professional sellers from near and far will be there with a river raft of trinkets, treasures, and stacks of stuff! You never know what you’re gonna find at The Tidal Exchange! Come find what you are looking for in Stratford this Saturday, and every Saturday, through November 13!

You can’t get enough stuff and you know it! If one is good, two is better! And if two is better, a baker’s dozen might scratch that itch!

Around each and every corner is there’s another chance something special is going to jump out at you! If Captain Kidd really buried his treasure right off the Connecticut coast, just imagine what you can dig up in Stratford !

As many as 75 Vendors from far and wide gather to strut their stuff in Stratford Connecticut Directly off Interstate 95. Every Saturday from 8am – 2pm through November 13th!

Tools, Toys, and old tractor seats! Vintage, vinyl, a veritable treasure trove of stuff! Handmade, homemade or hauled in from somewhere or another!

Vintage Valhalla! The Antique Acropolis! Tool Town! The Dollar Depot!

A Food Truck Fiesta! (come hungry)

Tag Sale booths too! Have your tag sale at The Tidal Exchange

Free Parking all day
Free admission after 12 p.m.
Early Buyers get the pick of the litter for $10 between 8 a.m.- 9 a.m.
From 9-12 p.m. it is $3 per person
Friends and families are welcome for $5 for up to 5 people.
Vendors can still reserve spots at…/CTEventsUnli…
Find out more at:

Thank you! Thank you for all your support for this great new event in Stratford! 

Lesette Franceschi Seals the Deal

Stratford Democratic Town Committee Nominates and Endorses Candidate for District 3

On Wednesday the Stratford Democratic Town Committee met in a regular meeting to introduce, nominate, and endorse Lesette Franceschi to represent District 3 on the Stratford Town Council.

The seat was previously held by Paul Tavaras, who, after being nominated at a caucus in July, withdrew from the race in August, citing personal and professional reasons.  She will face off in November against Republican Nominee Victor Ayala to represent the 3rd District on the Town Council.

Franceschi describes herself as creative, artistic, outgoing, friendly, and positive. Her passion is helping others to succeed, making others feel safe, and educated. She has accomplished this through her volunteer work.  As a Third District resident she promised to be a strong voice to advocate for long standing issues in the district which have not been addressed by the current administration, e.g. flooding, neighborhood safety.

Lesette is a Certified Nurse Aid – Patient Care Technician. She earned her Community Health Worker certification at Housatonic Community College, and her experiences include working closely with communities in Bridgeport, Stamford, and Stratford through networking and public community fairs.

In addition to her healthcare career, Lesette owns her own business as an online mentor, helping others to achieve success.  She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Colorado Technical University.

Passion for Photography

Art Exhibit “Ardor”

Stratford Resident’s Photography On Exhibit through October 2021

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming
Stratford Public Library

A photographic exhibit by Stratford’s Shanae Lynch is the September/October art exhibit at the Stratford Library.  The exhibit, entitled “Ardor”, is free and open to the public.  Shanae Lynch is a longtime resident of Stratford who recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She does not have any formal education or training in art but considers photography to be a new-found passion. She draws her inspiration from stillness within fleeting moments and surrounding energies. She also enjoys writing poetry and painting. Her hope is to continue to cultivate and connect with her creativity in ways she finds fulfilling.

Viewing hours for “Ardor” are: Monday-Thursday: 10-8 and Friday-Saturday: 10-5 and Sunday: 1-5 pm (beginning October 3).  The display is located in the Main Lobby of the Stratford Library, 2203 Main Street in Stratford and will continue through October 31, 2021.

For further information, call the library’s Public Relations and Programming Office at: 203.385-4162 or visit:

Photo Caption:  “Serene”, one of several color photographic works by Shanae Lynch, is currently on exhibit at the Stratford Library.