State Representative Phil Young (D)

120th Connecticut House District

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Note: Safe House Map from the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence Attached.

Dear Neighbor,

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and Interval House is making a new toolkit available to schools and parents with free educational resources in English and Spanish.

The toolkit includes:

One in three adolescents in America are victim to sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse, and only 33% of those abused confide in someone about the violence.

Adults are mostly in the dark about teen dating violence as 82% of parents admit they do not know if teen dating violence is an issue. Three in five parents also cannot correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.

If you, or someone you know, needs help please call the CT Safe Connect 24-hour hotline at (888) 774-2900 or email safeconnect@ctcadv.org or use the chat option.  All services are free and confidential.

Direct connections to Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) member organizations — such as Interval House and 17 additional local domestic violence service providers — are available through CT Safe Connect for ongoing, in-person support, in addition to other community-based resources.

By shining a light on teen dating violence, we can begin to address root causes and educate our children — and ourselves — on how to identify abuse as well as how to engage in healthy relationships.

As always, please reach out to my office if you have questions or need assistance.

Forecast for Sunday…Warm and Sunny

 Come to Shakespeare Market for fresh air and lots of goodies!

Our vendor list for this Sunday:

Food Producers:

Eaglewood Farms:  CT raised Pork and eggs

Daffodil Hill Growers:  Fruits and Vegetables, Apiary, Cheese and Dairy Products, tomato sauce and salsa

Wave Hill Breads: Breads and Pastries from a family owned artisan bakery that has been in business for 15 years.

Why Not Farm:  grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free Angus Beef, Dog Treats and bird seed ornaments made with our suet.

The Healing Herb Garden:  elderberry and other medicinal herbs. We make elderberry syrup, shrub, syrup kit and teas.

The Drunk Alpaca:  CT craft Beer Infused Snacks (chips, pretzels, Nut), Beer Brownies/Blondies, “Best of Ct” Cookies and 9” deep dish Pies

Wildwood Granola:  10 flavors of gluten free vegan granol

Guardians Farm:  Goat milk soaps & lotions, sugar scrubs, beeswax products, bagged locally roasted coffee, farm logo apparel

The Salt Shaker: Salt Shaker specializes in unique, small-batch, flavored salt blends. Our goal is to provide elevated comfort food and retail products using organic, sustainable ingredients

Hot Food:

The Melting Truck:  Grilled cheese and Soup

Riehl Cool Crafts and Confections:  Hot Chocolate, Hot Tea, and Cocoa Bombs!

Check us out this week for Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday specials!

Calandrelli’s Kettle Corn:  We will be popping fresh kettle corn all day! We are beyond excited to get popping!

Crafts:

JQ Clay:  Handmade beautiful and functional pottery 🙂

Flora Create:  Memory Bears – Transform a loved one’s clothing into an incredible keepsake

Art By Liz Frascella:  Paintings on canvas, small framed paintings, bookmarks, coasters, and magnets

Merchant Ship Collective:  Clothing, Jewelry, Art, Leatherwork, and other handcrafted products. Unique and one of kind leather products.

The Crafty llama:  Wood Signs, coffee mugs, wine glasses, makeup brush holders, hats, cutting boards, masks, front door signs, unique cards, candle holders, car decals and other handmade unique gift items

Besoleze:  Wax melts, soaps, candles, hair accessories

KristiesVibe:  Handmade Jewelry, Stratford t-shirts, tote bags, Keychain, coffee mugs

Knit Knit Hooray:  Hand knit, crochet, macrame luxury hats, scarves, sweaters and seasonal decor.

Algae Art:  Hand-made art created from algae from Long Island Sound. Most pieces are original art pieces in frames of various size. Other items include greeting cards and may include magnets and keychains. All either re-prints or original art created by myself with the vibrant and natural colors of the algae.

Community

The YMCA of Stratford:  From exceptional fitness facilities including our indoor pool, Life Fitness circuit, Lifecycles, Elliptical Cross trainers, treadmills, recumbent bikes and upright bikes to our child watch and child care services for preschoolers, before and after-school child care and summer day camp – the Stratford YMCA is the place to go! Learn more about the Stratford YMCA and how to become a member.

Usborne Books & More:  Books, puzzles, activity books.

Sterling House Getting Ready for Spring

Sign up now!

The Bridgeport Islanders and the District 23 A Lions Club is hosting a pre-game food drive on Sunday, February 20th, to benefit the Sterling House Community Center food pantry.

A reminder, there is still time to sign up for Spring Lacrosse, Registration now open for Spring Soccer, and Sterling House Summer Camp – Parrot Patch has a new website.

New mask mandate released by Sterling House.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennis and Trees Hearing

Thursday February 24th at 6 p.m.

The Town of Stratford will hold a Public Hearing in accordance with Chapter 451, Section 23-59 CGS for the appeal of the removal of trees for the tennis court project at Longbrook Park. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 24th at 6 pm in Council Chambers, Town Hall, 2725 Main Street.

The Stratford Crier approach is not single minded. It’s responsive to the nuance and complexity of cities and community life. It’s cooperative among different priorities. Every voice, especially yours, adds a valuable perspective on how to build a financially resilient, prosperous future, protect our environment and increase economic development by protecting our town’s history and culture.

Our goal is to reach 500 signatures was surpassed – we presently have 630 people who are supporting a thoughtful and environmentally conscious plan by the Town of Stratford.  To read and sign our petition go to:  https://chng.it/VrNsFtzKmC

If you ask me…

Millennial Angst in Yale’s “Birthday”

By Tom Holehan
Connecticut Critics Circle

The venerable Yale Repertory Theatre is one of the last regional theatres in pandemic Connecticut to reopen its doors to the public and, with a truncated season, they have begun with Susan Soon He Stanton’s 2017 dramedy, “Today is My Birthday”.  This episodic little play that entertains in fits and starts deals with communication and Millennial angst in the form of its likable but self-absorbed heroine.

That heroine is Emily Chang (Jeena Yl), who finds herself back home in Hawaii after a failed relationship and journalism career in Manhattan.  We follow Emily’s attempts to understand and reconnect with her parents (divorcing after many years) as well as new love interests, married friends back home and a spotty job journey.  Like many contemporary playwrights, Ms. Stanton has really written a work that is more screenplay than stage play with its episodic structure employing over 50 breathless scenes in several different locations (Yale’s crew is kept very busy).  The play also takes place almost entirely on the telephone, live radio broadcasts, voice messages or intercom demonstrating contemporary life as it is currently lived by many.

Jenna Yl is a winning central presence here even while, as written, Emily is a bit of a pill.  That we tend to forgive her annoyances is credit to the actress and director Mina Morita who displays a mostly light touch and navigates scenes smoothly even as the play stretches towards the 2-hour mark with no intermission. The remaining cast members play several characters with quick costume and wig changes. Some are more successful than others especially Emily Kuroda playing Emily’s acerbic mother as well as a bossy receptionist and meek podcast host.  She’s a delight.  Atra Asdou also scores points as Emily’s frazzled married friend in New York and as the morose other half of a radio duo with the hilarious Chivas Michael.

Bridget Lindsay’s handsome scenic design takes up the entire stage and, with the exception of Emily’s small apartment setting, furniture pieces fly off and on in record time and to dizzying effect.  The biggest technical achievement, however, is the non-stop sound design by Noel Nichols and Uptown Works who capture with clarity and some humor every cell phone blip, text alert, answering machine message and radio station sound effect.

“Today is My Birthday” (and I do wish someone would explain that title to me) ultimately starts strong and funny and ends up merely exhausting and annoying by the time that final phone call has been answered.  It may not work in its current form for me, but I can still make a strong case that it would be far more at home on the silver screen.  Paging Jennifer Lopez!

“Today is My Birthday” continues at the Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel Street in New Haven through February 19. For further information, visit: www.yalerep.org or call the theatre box office: 203.432.1234.  Patrons are required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination and photo I.D. at the door.

Tom Holehan is one of the founders of the Connecticut Critics Circle, a frequent contributor to WPKN Radio’s “State of the Arts” program and the Stratford Crier and Artistic Director of Stratford’s Square One Theatre Company. He welcomes comments at: tholehan@yahoo.com. His reviews and other theatre information can be found on the Connecticut Critics Circle website: www.ctcritics.org.

VAX Facts

Mayor Laura R. Hoydick has announced that effective Tuesday, February 15th, the requirement for wearing face masks for all staff and visitors to all town buildings and facilities for those fully vaccinated is lifted. Those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue wearing masks in public spaces.   Masks may be required for vaccination clinics conducted by the Town.

The Stratford Health Department and State Department of Public Health have confirmed 10,342 COVID-19 cases in Stratford, and 1,908 probable cases as of February 14th, for a total of 12,250 cases. This represents an increase of 70 confirmed cases and an increase of 29 probable cases since our last report of February 7, 2022. The Health Department continues to monitor these trends.

Unfortunately there have been 189 deaths to date. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and loved ones of those lost in our community.

The state is releasing information about how many individuals are vaccinated in all Connecticut communities. As of February 9th, 2022, 78.41% of the town’s population had been vaccinated with at least a first dose. 

Note: Positive results from at-home COVID-19 tests are not included in counts.

Get Vaccinated and Boosted.The Stratford Health Department continues to host vaccination clinics for those seeking first, second and booster doses of the Moderna or J & J vaccine. Please call the Stratford Health Department for more information – 203-385-4090.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has proven to be very contagious, and those who remain unvaccinated should do so as soon as possible. More information on vaccines can be obtained by visiting:  https://portal.ct.gov/Vaccine-Portal.

Multiple clinics available check in to be checked out and vaccinated!  Let’s have the highest number of residents vaccinated in Connecticut!!!

Annual Report, Stratford CT, Registrar Of Voters Office, 2021

Welcome to the first Annual Report by the Stratford CT Registrars of Voters office, Calendar Year 2021

Department Focus & Mission

The Stratford Registrar of Voters office is responsible for the registration of eligible voters and the conducting of primary and general elections and referendums. Voters elect a Democratic and Republican registrar every four years on a town-wide basis to manage the office.

Our mission is to ensure the accuracy and integrity of all election results by providing professional and efficient services in an impartial manner and to encourage all eligible citizens to exercise their right to vote. Working with the Secretary of State’s office in Hartford, we maintain an accurate, updated voter registry to provide citizens with access to the vote and to uphold confidence in the voting experience. This includes

  • registering new residents as well as those who have come of age;
  • removing electors who are deceased or have moved out of town;
  • purging electors who have been inactive;
  • and updating the names, addresses and party affiliation of Stratford registered voters.

In an effort to prevent election interference, we seek to conduct all functions in the office in a strictly non-partisan manner. We hire 100+ poll workers, from across all political affiliations, for every election to help us fulfill our mission. Contact us if you would like to be considered for such a paid position: Registrar@townofstratford.com

Ensuring Accuracy 1:

Paring The Voter Rolls

In 2021, the ROV office continued to tightly monitor the registration of eligible voters in Stratford. While 3,028 voters had their registration removed during the CY 2020 presidential election, the number of removals increased to 5,446 in the 2021 municipal election year. Registrations can be removed due to such reasons as a voter moving out of town, dying, or not participating in several consecutive elections.

2021 also was a busy year for changes to registrations (3,095 changes processed in CY21, compared to 3,091 in the usually busier 2020 presidential election year).

In all, the office handled 11,003 transactions in CY2021, more than in the 2020 presidential year.

2021 also was a busy year for changes to registrations (3,096 changes processed in CY21, compared to 3,091 in the usually busier 2020 presidential election year).

In all, the office handled 11,003 transactions in CY2021, more than in the 2020 presidential year.

Ensuring Accuracy 2:

Eyeballing The Voter Registration Cards

While Stratford and all Connecticut municipalities rely on the state CVRS computerized voter registration system, we are mandated to maintain and update the traditional paper Voter Registration cards from 35,000 residents,

During slow periods in the office, we conducted an exhaustive inventory, looking at each individual card (every name, from A,B,D to X,Y,Z) to ensure the cards accurately reflected active voters.

As a result:

Some 2,720 cards were removed because the resident was not an active voter.

At least 479 voters improperly had two cards on file, even though they were listed only once in the state online CVRS system (which is the primary source to determine eligibility on Election Day). One common problem: a single woman was listed under her maiden name, did not tell the ROV office when she got married, and then registered again under her married name. The cards were combined, with careful attention paid to also combining the multiple voting records into a single record.

In addition, another 4,950 cards were not in correct alphabetical order. One reason: voters often incorrectly listed their first name, then last name, contrary to instructions. The cards were corrected and put back in order.

Learning From Others

The ROV office remained abreast of best practices in the field through participation in ROVAC (the Registrar Of Voters Association of Connecticut trade organization) and through the Secretary of State’s office. Registrar Louis DeCilio served as Chairman of the Audit Committee for ROVAC, while Registrar James Simon helped head a statewide effort to update the ROVAC Handbook due to the many changes in Connecticut election law.

In January 2022, the Stratford Registrars volunteered to have Stratford’s 2021 ballots used in a trial, conducted by the UConn Center for Voting Technology Research, to examine additional safeguards to protect the integrity of the vote tabulation process.

At a time when the voting process was being criticized elsewhere, the Stratford ROV office increased its use of Facebook to communicate directly with voters, explaining the year-long election process and answering their questions about the integrity and accuracy of elections in Stratford.

Supplemental Sources Of Information:

  • Stratford ROV Town Hall web pages : https://stratfordct.gov/content/39832/39846/39935/default.aspx
  • Register to Vote; change your name, address and/or Party affiliation: https://voterregistration.gov/OLVR
  • Look up and see if you are already registered: https://portaldir.gov/sots/LookUp.aspx?fbclid=IwAR lyUL06V2ci3TmhQDbOL­ b0tv4nOnowc38XOINlE6L33A3aJ5ifObNeX3k

Looking Ahead To 2022

Stratford Registrars take part in an appointed town Redistricting Commission, designed to redraw lines for the 10 Town Council Districts so each is within 10 percent of one another (based on the 2020 U.S. Census). Recommended changes go to the Town Council for final approval; new lines take effect in 2023 municipal election.

August 9, 2022

Potential primary elections for any challengers to party candidates for governor and other constitutional offices, Congress, state legislature, town Judge of Probate.

November 8, 2022

General election for offices listed above.

Come Visit Us At Stratford Town Hall, Room 117, Monday-Friday, 8:30a – 430p:

Registrar James Simon (D); jsimon@townofstratford.com Registrar  Louis DeCilio (R); ldecilio@townofstratford.com Judy Scala, administrative assistant; jscala@townofstratford.com

(Thanks to the Westport, Bristol ROV offices for the useful format they use in their annual reports.)

“The Sweetness of Water”

Books Over Coffee

Stratford Library Offers Zoom Book Talks

The Stratford Library has announced that its Books Over Coffee program will continue on the Zoom format through June 2022.  The monthly book discussion program has been a popular staple at the library for over 40 years.    It is free and open to the public.

The library continues to offer the latest in current titles and topics and, special for “Black History Month” on Wednesday, February 23rd, is The Sweetness of Water, a debut novel by Nathan Harris.

Taking place in the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle.  The story follows the unlikely bond between the two brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever.

To receive a link for the discussion, register at:

https://stratfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/8864682.

Other titles for the “Books Over Coffee series include: Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (March 30th, “Women’s History Month”), A Thousand Acres (April 27th), The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams (May 25th) and My Policeman by Ethan Roberts (June 29th, “Gay Pride Month”).

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.  The discussion programs are free and open to the public.  Links for each book discussion are found on the website.

For further information, visit the Stratford Library at 2203 Main Street in Stratford, Connecticut. Timely information is also available on the library’s website at: www.stratfordlibrary.org

Fair Housing Rights and Tenants Seminar

Building Neighborhoods Together (BNT)

Thursday, February 24th
Time: 5:30PM- 6:30PM

Building Neighborhoods Together (BNT) works to end housing insecurity, income inequality and homelessness by creating safe, affordable housing, and providing comprehensive financial and housing counseling services.

Affordable Housing Development: Our Neighborhood Development team identifies and evaluates sites for affordable housing development in Connecticut.

Housing & Financial Counseling:  Become self-sufficient, build wealth & maintain financial stability with Empowerment Resource Academy classes & counseling.

Property Management / Resident Services:  BNT’s property management and community building initiatives maintain properties and supports the community.

Stratford Library Caters to Children!!!

Multiple Events to Inspire and Entertain

The Stratford Library welcomes 2022 with its popular film series offering free showings of recent, popular films shown uncut and on widescreen each month.  All shows will be presented in the Lovell Room at 12 p.m.  For information call: 203.385.4162.

Reading is Snow Much Fun – Winter Reading Challenge for Kids

If the weather outside is frightful, stay inside and read! The Stratford Library will offer a fun winter reading challenge for children in grades K to 6. Families can sign up for the “Reading is Snow Much Fun” challenge. Children will have a snowflake displayed in the Library, with stickers added every time a child completes a reading challenge. Children who complete six reading challenges will receive a coupon for free ice cream in the spring. Register any time the Library is open in the Children’s Department on the second floor. For more information about Library programs and services for children, call 203.385.4165 or visit stratfordlibrary.org/kids.

DIY Book Club

Stratford Library announces the Do It Yourself (DIY) Book Club, 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 app (download the free app from your phone/tablet’s app store), so each person in the family will be able to borrow their own digital copy of the book at the same time. January’s DIY Book Club title will be The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. Register for this program at stratfordlibrary.org on the Events page, and the Library will provide you with discussion questions, information, and fun activities related to the book that families can use to create an engaging literacy experience. For more information about Library programs and services for children, call 203.385.4165 or visit stratfordlibrary.org/kids.

Storytime To Go

The Stratford Library will offer Music and Storytime “to Go” during January and February 2022. Music to Go is for ages 0 to 2 and Storytime to Go is for ages 3 to 5. Sign up each week, then stop by the Library to receive a packet of songs, rhymes and a book, or songs, rhymes, books, and a craft according to your child’s age. There will be different themes and activities each week so you can enjoy a cozy Storytime at home! To register, visit the website at stratfordlibrary.org, then choose Events. For more information about Library programs and services for children, call 203.385.4165 or visit stratfordlibrary.org/kids.

Winter Carnival Wednesdays

The Stratford Library will offer short, outdoor activities for children and their grown-ups each Wednesday in January and February. Join us at 3:45 p.m. each Wednesday for a different, fun outdoor activity – young children will need a grownup’s help. To register, visit the website at stratfordlibrary.org, then choose Events. For more information about Library programs and services for children, call 203.385.4165 or visit stratfordlibrary.org/kids.

Jr. Scientists Grab’n’Go

The Stratford Library Children’s Department presents Jr. Scientists Grab’n’Go for ages 3 to 7 with pick up starting Wednesday, January 12th. Pick up a kit with a different science experiment each month. The kit contains items that children and their families can use together to test scientific principles. To register, visit the website at stratfordlibrary.org, then choose Events. For more information about Library programs and services for children, call 203.385.4165 or visit stratfordlibrary.org/kids.

Stratford Library Alphabet Parade grab ‘n’ go craft kits will be available in January for children ages 3 to 6. Children will receive a simple craft relating to a letter of the alphabet and a writing practice sheet with each Alphabet Parade kit. The letter “V” will be available starting January 13th; the letter “W” will be available starting January 27th. Register online to reserve a kit on the website at stratfordlibrary.org, then choose Events. For more information about Library programs and services for children, call 203.385.4165 or visit stratfordlibrary.org/kids.

Homework Helpers

Families with children in grades Kindergarten to 6 can sign up for Homework Helpers, a tutoring program that meets on Zoom on Thursday nights at 6:30 pm beginning January 13th. Teen tutors will provide help with math, reading, and Spanish homework. To register, visit the website at stratfordlibrary.org, then choose Events. For more information about Library programs and services for children, call 203.385.4165 or visit stratfordlibrary.org/kids.