“Old Ironsides” Manned by First Woman

Women’s History Month – Military

Commander Billie Farrell

Source: New York Times, America’s Navy, CNN

Cmdr. Billie Farrell is the first female to captain the USS Constitution (aka Old Ironsides) in the historic warship’s 224-year history, beginning in 1797.  Farrell assumed duties as the 77th commanding officer of Old Ironsides following a change-of-command ceremony held January 21st, 2022, at Boston’s Charlestown Navy Yard.

A 2004 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Cmdr. Billie J. Farrell takes the helm of the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat and America’s ship of state. About 70,000 women are serving in the U.S. Navy. Billie J. Farrell is the first to command Old Ironsides, a hero of the War of 1812.

“To be the commander of her, and have ties to the heritage of our Navy and our country, is just an unbelievable experience,” she told CNN. “And to be the first woman to do it is also special because there are so many women serving our country right now, and so I get a chance to represent them.”

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Farrell is not the first woman to command or be second in command of a Navy vessel.   The first woman in the Navy to command a combatant ship, Cmdr. Maureen Farren, assumed the role in 1998, and more and more have joined the ranks ever since.

An 18 year veteran of the Navy, she was first inspired to join the Navy when she was in sixth grade.  “I was watching television at home in Paducah, Ky., and saw a Naval Academy graduation. I became fascinated with the tradition and ceremony and started looking into joining. I saw that it was an opportunity for a great education and a chance to serve my country. After finishing my senior year of high school, I headed to Annapolis for my first six weeks of training.”

Farrell credits mentorships for her beliefs, “I was fortunate that all the captains of the ships I served on took me under their wings and taught me lessons that I carry with me today. But these lessons were by actions, not words. The most important one I learned is that bad news doesn’t get better with time. If you know something, say something so that the situation can be helped or resolved in the best possible way. The other big lesson is to keep your calm. If you’re reactive, people won’t feel comfortable coming to you.”


Her military career started with her first two tours aboard the USS Vella Gulf, whose homeport is in Norfolk, Virginia, from 2004 to late 2007.

Farrell was then assigned to the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee, from 2008 to 2011, during which she received her Master of Science in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas.

She returned to the sea, reporting to the USS San Jacinto in March 2012 as the weapons officer and later as the combat systems officer.

Farrell served a stint at the US Naval Academy as the deputy director for professional development from 2015 to 2017. She then reported to Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic until 2020, when she left to serve on the USS Vicksburg.

She has been awarded numerous military decorations for her service, and, as Farrell breaks barriers as the USS Constitution’s first female commander, women have been a part of the ship’s crew since Rosemarie Lanam became the ship’s female crew member in 1986. Lt. Cmdr. Claire V. Bloom, was the first female commissioned officer to serve aboard the USS Constitution and led a historic sail in 1997, when the ship sailed for the first time under her own power since 1881.  Today, women make up more than a third of the ship’s 80-person crew.

What is your favorite story from the history of the Constitution?

The battle with H.M.S. Guerriere, a British ship, during the War of 1812. It is where the ship earned her Old Ironsides nickname. When sailors saw British cannonballs bouncing off the sides of the Constitution, they shouted, “Huzzah, her sides are made of iron.” In fact, they are made of wood, but the story speaks to her resilience as well as to the resilience of the sailors who fought during that battle.


Sources: Wikipedia, Chiff.com

The holiest month on the Islamic calendar, Ramadan begins this year on the evening of Friday, April 1, 2022 and ends on Saturday, April 30, 2022 lasting for 30 days.

All about Ramadan

In the modern, fast-paced world, Ramadan is a time for Muslims to put the breaks on — and to fully develop a kind regard for others.

That means fasting, introspection, and developing compassion for those less fortunate.

As quoted in the Koran, “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may acquire self-restraint.” (Qur’an 2:183)

Observing Ramadan

Ramadan is never a set date, but based on sightings of the moon, as well as other astronomical calculations. In Canada and the United States, most communities follow the decision of the Islamic Society of North America for the highly-anticipated start of Ramadan.

While charitable works are encouraged, fasting is the more familiar component of Ramadan. Daily fasting begins at dawn (just before sunrise) or Fajr, and ends at sunset or Maghrib. But not everyone is required to fast during Ramadan. Those exempted include children, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, and those who suffer from ill health.

As temperatures rise during the day, religious leaders and health officials advise properly keeping body-and-soul together by consuming fruits, carbohydrates, and lots of water when breaking fast.

The End of Ramadan

As you might imagine, the end of Ramadan is a big reason … to party!

The official end of Ramadan begins with the first sighting of a crescent following a new moon, marking the Festival of Fast-Breaking or Eid-ul-Fitr. In Arabic, Eid  means “festival” while Fitr means “to break the fast”. But most modern Muslims simple refer to it as the Eid.

With a long month of fasting completed, work is suspended and children are given the day off from school as families come together to worship and mark the end of Ramadan in a new-found appreciation of life’s many bounties. Following morning services, people dress in their finest clothes and tables groan with the weight of holiday dishes and delicacies in celebration.

DID YOU KNOW? Ramadan fun facts

• Ramadan isn’t limited to fasting and prayers. Positive actions might include giving money or volunteering for a good cause throughout the month.

• Fasting isn’t all bad. In fact, eating less may detox the body, lend you more energy, and make you more alert. Professional athletes even report having more stamina during the month of Ramadan.

• Non-Muslims can wish Muslim friends a happy Ramadan with the traditional saying, “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Have a (happy) blessed Ramadan.” To mark Eid, at the end of the month, the saying is “Eid Mubarek.”

• The end of fasting may be celebrated worldwide, but on different days. In some countries, Ramadan ends when you can see a new crescent moon with the naked eye. Others use exact astronomical calculations. Different time zones also play a part depending on where Eid is celebrated around the world.

More about Ramadan around the Web:

Just up ahead, discover more about Ramadan traditions and prayers, along with a cache of popular Ramadan recipes.

Also learn more about the sacrifices, strength and joy of Ramadan – a month-long testimony to faith observed by the planet’s more than one billion Muslims who each year celebrate Ramadan around the world…



The Town of Stratford remains in the yellow level for the period of 2/27/22 – 3/12/22. Stratford has an average of 9.4 cases per 100,000 people per day during the period, a decrease of 0.4 since our last report on March 14th.

The Stratford Health Department and State Department of Public Health have confirmed 10,604 COVID-19 cases in Stratford, and 1,951 probable cases as of March 21st, for a total of 12,555 cases. This represents an increase of 24 confirmed cases and an increase of 6 probable cases since our last report of March 14, 2022. The Health Department continues to monitor these trends.

There have been 196 deaths to date, and 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 March 16th, 2022, 79.14% of the town’s population had been vaccinated with at least a first dose.

Stratford clinics have dispensed 15,248 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.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, please call us. We are happy to discuss the vaccine and any concerns you may have. You can contact us by email at health@townofstratford.com or by phone at 203-385-4090.

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.

Get Vaccinated and Boosted.


Saturday deadline for signing up for Safe Sitters class.

It’s time to do some Spring Cleaning. Dig into those closets and basements and donate items you don’t need, have outgrown to Sterling House Community Center for their Saver’s Drive Drop-off on Saturday March 26th 9:00 – noon. Proceeds raised by your donations will go to SHCC Food-4-Kids program.

Still time to donate to SHCC Spring Easter Basket drive, their Spring Community project. Drop off jump ropes, jacks, sidewalk chalk, bubbles……all to be donated to children in local family shelters.

Puzzle night on the agenda for Friday, March 4th from 6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M. Pizza, non-alcoholic beverages, and you get to keep your puzzle.

Not only do you still have time to register your children for summer camp, but they are still accepting applications for Camp Counselors – must be at least 18 years of age.

Lacrosse still open for players as is Spring Soccer!!!

Gas Tax Suspended

State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District
State Representative Joe Gresko, (D)
121st Connecticut House District

Today, in the House, we passed an emergency-certification that will ease some of the financial burden on Connecticut residents and working families whose wallets and budgets have taken a hit due to rising gas prices and record-breaking inflation levels.

We suspended the 25-cent-per-gallon gas tax from April 1st through June 30th, are offering free bus rides through June 30th and created an additional sales tax-free week on clothing and shoes under $100 in April.

We heard the calls from CT motorists who this week are paying an average of $4.33 for a gallon of gas compared to the previous national high of $4.11 in 2008 and voted to suspend the 25-cent per gallon gas tax through June 30, 2022. We can implement the change without violating any federal or state rules and, without any impact on our special transportation fund.

It is incumbent upon oil and gas companies to do the right thing by consumers and lower their prices. I hope you join me in calling on them to do so immediately.

We still have to keep an eye on the unscrupulous with respect to gas gouging. Today’s bill implemented safeguards that will allow the state to go after the companies who do not lower their prices, but remember, if you see something unusual, say something.

Tips for filing a complaint:
Use our complaint portal:


Identify the specific location of the gas station or business.
Identify the date and time of the offer or sale
Include documentation, especially receipts.

The annual inflation rate topped out at 7.9 percent in February, the highest it has been for a 12-month period since 1982. Today, we supported offering free bus service for our residents who do not drive but need transportation.

The tax-free week on clothing and shoes begins April 10, 2022 – April 16, 2022 is in addition to the annual tax-free week, which occurs in August.

We am committed to even more robust tax relief for you and your family. Please stay tuned as we craft our budget adjustments in the next month or so. More tax relief is coming!

As always, please feel free to reach out to:






Stratford Threatened by Zoning Changes of Single Family Homes

By Save Our Stratford Zoning

On Wednesday, March 16th over 30 concerned Stratford residents showed up at Paradise Pizza to discuss a developer’s request of a zone change on Broadbridge Avenue from Emerald to Barnum Ave.  The developer is seeking to have the zone changed from a single-family zone to a multi-family zone.

The developer has purchased two houses side by side.  Our understanding is that they would like to build up to 25 to 30 multi-family homes/units per acre.

House values will decrease!  Traffic will increase greatly!

Please go to the link below to sign the petition and add your comment.  The petition is not limited to one email address per household.  Everyone in your home over the age of 18 can add to keeping Stratford zoned as single family homes as it is today.  In addition, interested parties to help by signing the petition can be of friends and families that share the same feeling as us.

To sign on-line go to:


  • You now have made a difference! Thank you for caring about Stratford as you know it.

Letters for better clarification or your input can be written or emailed to:

Jay Habansky
Stratford Town Hall
Planning and Zoning
2725 Main Street Stratford

Jay Habansky’s email:

Jay will receive letters and forward them to be documented and read at the town meetings.

Editor’s Note:

Gold Coast Properties, LLC, a Stratford-based developer, wants to change Single-Family Zoning to Multi-Family Zoning in order to build around 35 units of housing per acre of land along both sides of Broadbridge Ave in Stratford.

According to one resident speaking out at the Zoning Commission meeting on January 28th, “Not only will our property values decrease, but so will our quality of life. This large development will increase traffic to an already dangerous road, which has no sidewalks, limited public transportation, and multiple lanes of speeding traffic. The increase in population will strain our already overcrowded school system, increases traffic, and possibly overburden our sewage system. When we bought our homes, we did so believing that the town zoning board would follow its own rules and regulations, instead of decreasing our property values and putting our safety at risk in order for a developer to profit. If this change goes through for Broadbridge Avenue, what will stop the same thing from happening in the rest of our town?


Out Door Dining – HB 5271

State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District

Out Door Dining – HB 5271

State Representative Phil Young (D)

120th Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

House Democrats are supporting local restaurants who are still fighting to recover from the effects of the pandemic. Republicans in the House voted “no”…and Senate Republicans blocked the bill from moving forward.

H.B. 5271 extends outdoor dining provisions by an additional 13 months. When this provision was first implemented in 2020, it allowed restaurants to safely stay in business when the number of people allowed inside buildings was restricted, keeping restaurant workers employed and customers safe.

Despite resounding support from the Connecticut Restaurant Association, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, and members of the public who have enjoyed having the option to dine out safely while supporting their favorite local restaurants, Republicans in the State Senate blocked the bill, delaying the final approval.

Failing to approve this bill will only create more uncertainty for restaurants still trying to recoup their losses from the pandemic. Connecticut restaurants supported healthcare workers and first responders by staying open at the height of the pandemic. Now they deserve our support.

Should you have any questions please contact me:

Rep. Phil Young

Legislative Office Building, Room 4000
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

Editor’s Note: House Bill 5271 posted following this letter from Rep. Phil Young

Letters To The Editors

Overfunding of Registrar of Voters Office

By: David Mullane

Dear Council members,

Since 2014 Stratford has been overfunding the Registrar of Voters office by paying the registrars full time pay for what is really a part time position.

This change came about when Republican council member Jim Connor proposed the increase in March, 2014:

“Compensation For Office Of Registrar Of Voters Sponsored by: Hon. James Connor, Eighth District Council Member BE IT Hereby Resolved That commencing with the fiscal year 2014-2015 and continuing until modified by the Council, the compensation for the Office of Registrar of Voters shall be as follows: Each Registrar of Voters shall receive compensation for the performance of all his/her duties.

The work week for the Registrar of voters and the assistants, shall consist of 37.5 hours per week for a total of five days, the same as the Town Employees. The hourly rate for the Registrars shall be $34.29. For the assistant the rate shall be 18.90. Additional overtime hours will be managed and handled under applicable federal and state statutes. Further benefits are appended as pages 15-18. Each Registrar of Voters shall further receive additional benefits during each fiscal year as follows: (a) two weeks paid vacation consisting of a total of 80 hours for registrars and 62 hours for assistant registrars of paid vacation: (b) ten days sick leave consisting of a total of 80 of paid sick leave for the Registrars and 64 hours for the assistant registrars of paid sick leave per fiscal year; (c) 8 hours of pay for each legal holiday, and mandatory closing i.e. snow, hurricane shutdown for which the Town Hall is closed for business; (d) health insurance coverage, if the Registrar or assistant registrar waives health insurance there will be an annual payout of 2500 dollars opting out of health care, vacation will be in accordance with __________and € One year’s annual salary Of life insurance coverage.

A Motion Was Made By Mr. Santi, Seconded By Mr. Connor To Approve The Foregoing Compensation Benefit Package. Mr. Connor Motioned To Amend, Seconded By Mr. Santi, By Inserting “Hourly” And “Federal And State” As Underscored Above And Deleting Paragraph Number 3. The Motion To Amend Carried With 9 In Favor And 1, Mr. Catalano, Opposed. The Motion To Approve The Benefit Package As Amended Carried With 9 In Favor And 1 Opposed (Mr. Catalano).

This change increased the RoV budget from $217,027 to $303,360 a 40% unnecessary cost raise.

Right next door to us in Milford they have the same size town in relation to voters and in 2014 they paid their RoV office $146,814 which is half of what we did that same year (over $150,000 in savings for the same office).

Milford’s elected Registrars are P/T employees which is just what Stratford Registrars were until Republican councilman Jim Connor’s proposal made them full time. How has this benefited the town since 2014 we have spent over $1 million more than Milford for the same service and even when our registrars were part time we still spent more than Milford.

This year Milford is proposing to spent $177,674 on RoV while Mayor Hoydick in Stratford is proposing to spend $283,531 ( over $100,000 more for the same function of government).

I wrote to the current Democrat Registrar Jim Simon about this cost and his answer was it is not necessary to spent this kind of money the position should be returned to it’s part time status.

“On January 13th the mayor’s budget team asked municipal supervisors to submit their budget requests for 2022-23. On January 29th, I recommended, in writing, that for the Registrar of Voters office, “The payroll amount be reduced to reflect the two elected Registrar positions being moved from full-time to part-time status.” On February 15th, I met with the mayor and her budget team and explained my recommendation. On March 11th, the mayor released her budget recommendation, and the two positions remain full-time. The next step is for the Town Council to conduct its budget hearings.”, Jim Simon, Registrar of Voters

In my opinion Stratford should not be spending more than Milford does on RoV and we are just wasting money to reward the Republican Registrar who is also the SRTC chairman.

While the Republican mayor proposed this wasteful spending, and the Republicans are the majority on the council and can easily pass it again for a 9th straight budget.

I hope you will spotlight this wasteful spending in Budget workshops and at Town Council meeting in the questions to the mayor portion.

Can Mayor Hoydick explain why we need to spend this money. Can Councilman Jim Connor explain why he proposed this raise in 2014. Can CAO Tymniak justify this expense? His own hometown of Fairfield, where he was also treasurer pays their RoV less than Stratford, and Fairfield has 6000 more voters than Stratford, and Fairfield registrars are part time.

Thank you for your service to our town and you consideration on this matter.

House Bill 5271

General Assembly Raised Bill No. 5271
February Session, 2022 LCO No. 1580

Referred to Committee on Planning and Development
Introduced by:

An Act Concerning The Provision Of Outdoor Food And Beverage Services And Outdoor Displays Of Goods.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

1 Section 1. Section 1 of special act 21-3 is amended to read as follows
2 (Effective from passage):

3 (a) As used in this section:

4 (1) “Applicable laws of the state” means chapters 14, 97a, 98, 124, 126,
5 242 and 541 of the general statutes, section 22a-27j of the general statutes
6 and any special act, municipal charter, ordinance, resolution or
7 regulation;

8 (2) “COVID-19” means the respiratory disease designated by the
9 World Health Organization on February 11, 2020, as coronavirus 2019,
10 and any related mutation thereof recognized by the World Health
11 Organization as a communicable respiratory disease;

12 (3) “Food establishment” means a food establishment that is licensed
13 or permitted to operate pursuant to section 19a-36i of the general

LCO No. 1580 1 of 8

14 statutes;

15 (4) “Local enforcement official” means a zoning enforcement officer,
16 or such officer’s designee, or building official, or such official’s designee;

17 (5) “Municipality” has the same meaning as provided in section 8-1a
18 of the general statutes; and

19 (6) “Outdoor activities” means outdoor food and beverage service or
20 outdoor displays of goods for sale. “Outdoor activities” shall not include
21 live entertainment.

22 (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 8-3b of the general
23 statutes, for the period commencing on [the effective date of this section]
24 March 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, if a zoning
25 administrator, chairperson of a zoning commission or planning and
26 zoning commission or chief elected official of a municipality finds that
27 a proposal to establish or change a zone or regulation to expand or
28 permit outdoor activities is necessary to respond to or provide economic
29 recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, such zoning administrator,
30 chairperson or chief elected official may place such proposal on the
31 public hearing agenda of the zoning commission or planning and
32 zoning commission, as applicable, and such commission shall conduct
33 a public hearing and act on such proposal without the need to comply
34 with the requirements of said section of the general statutes.

35 (c) (1) Notwithstanding any provision of the applicable laws of the
36 state, for the period commencing on [the effective date of this section]
37 March 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, any person
38 making a permit application to engage in outdoor activities shall make
39 such application to a local enforcement official, who shall review and
40 make a determination on each such application. If such outdoor
41 activities will occur on a state highway right-of-way, an additional
42 permit application shall be made by such person to the Department of
43 Transportation pursuant to chapter 242 of the general statutes. No local
44 enforcement official shall impose a fee for a permit application under
45 this subsection.

46 (2) Notwithstanding any provision of the applicable laws of the state,
47 for the period commencing on [the effective date of this section] March
48 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, any person who
49 makes a permit application to a local enforcement official to engage in
50 outdoor activities shall not be required to submit (A) plans stamped by
51 a licensed engineer, landscape architect or architect, (B) a site survey,
52 (C) a parking plan, (D) a traffic study or plan, (E) a sign plan, (F) a soil
53 erosion and sediment control plan, (G) a photometric lighting plan, or
54 (H) a stormwater management plan, provided such person submits, at
55 a minimum, a (i) drawing or illustration, roughly to scale or
56 dimensioned and depicting with reasonable accuracy the outdoor area
57 proposed to be used and what is proposed to be placed, built or erected
58 in the outdoor area, and (ii) written narrative describing any noise,
59 waste management, odor, light pollution or environmental impacts
60 expected in such outdoor area as a result of such outdoor activities and
61 an explanation of how such impacts will be mitigated. The local
62 enforcement official reviewing such application may require an
63 applicant to submit additional information that such officer deems
64 necessary to protect public health, safety or the environment, provided
65 such officer shall consider the need for expedited review of such
66 applications.

67 (3) Notwithstanding any provision of the applicable laws of the state,
68 for the period commencing on [the effective date of this section] March
69 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, each local
70 enforcement official shall approve, approve with conditions or reject
71 any application for outdoor activities and notify each applicant of such
72 decision in a manner prescribed by the local enforcement official not
73 later than (A) ten days after the receipt of such application, or (B) ten
74 days after the receipt of any additional information requested by the
75 local enforcement official pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.
76 The failure of any local enforcement official to provide such notice shall
77 be deemed to be an approval of such application.

78 (4) Notwithstanding any provision of the applicable laws of the state,
79 for the period commencing on [the effective date of this section] March

80 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, if a local
81 enforcement official approves with conditions or rejects an application
82 pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection, the applicant may appeal
83 such decision, not later than seven days after the receipt of notice of such
84 decision, to the zoning commission, planning and zoning commission
85 or chief elected official of the municipality, as applicable. A public
86 hearing shall not be required for any such appeal.

87 (5) Notwithstanding any provision of the applicable laws of the state,
88 for the period commencing on [the effective date of this section] March
89 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, nothing in this
90 subsection shall affect an individual’s right to submit a complaint to any
91 relevant municipal authority or the right of any such municipal
92 authority to enforce conditions or requirements associated with
93 permitted outdoor activities, impose fines or issue notices of violations
94 or cease and desist orders.

95 (d) Notwithstanding any provision of the applicable laws of the state,
96 for the period commencing on [the effective date of this section] March
97 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, any person
98 permitted to engage in outdoor activities may engage in such activities
99 (1) on public sidewalks and other pedestrian pathways abutting the area
100 permitted for principal use and on which vehicular access is not
101 allowed, (A) provided a pathway (i) is constructed in compliance with
102 physical accessibility guidelines, as applicable, under the federal
103 Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC 12101, et seq., as amended from
104 time to time, and (ii) such pathway extends for the length of the lot upon
105 which the area permitted for principal use is located, is not less than four
106 feet in width, not including any area on a street or highway, and remains
107 unobstructed for pedestrian use, and (B) subject to reasonable
108 conditions imposed by the municipal official or agency that issues right-
109 of-way or obstruction permits, (2) on off-street parking spaces or
110 parking lots associated with the permitted use, notwithstanding any
111 municipal ordinance establishing minimum requirements for off-street
112 parking, (3) on any lot, streetface, yard, court or open space abutting, or
113 noncontiguous lot that is not more than one lot, streetface, yard, court

114 or open space removed from, the area permitted for the principal use,
115 provided (A) such lot, streetface, yard, court or open space is located in
116 a zoning district where outdoor activities are permitted, (B) such use is
117 in compliance with any applicable requirements for access or pathways
118 pursuant to physical accessibility guidelines under the federal
119 Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC 12101, et seq., as amended from
120 time to time, and (C) such person obtains written authorization to
121 engage in such outdoor activities from the owner of such lot, streetface,
122 yard, court or open space and provides a copy of such authorization to
123 the zoning commission, and (4) until eleven o’clock p.m. on Friday and
124 Saturday and nine o’clock p.m. on all other days of the week, or until
125 times established by the zoning commission, planning and zoning
126 commission or chief elected official of the municipality, as applicable,
127 whichever is later.

128 (e) (1) Notwithstanding any provision of the applicable laws of the
129 state, for the period commencing on [the effective date of this section]
130 March 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, the
131 Department of Transportation may allow any person to engage in
132 outdoor activities on a nonvehicular portion of a state highway right-of-
133 way, provided the department establishes any conditions on such use,
134 as deemed necessary by the Commissioner of Transportation.

135 (2) For the period commencing on [the effective date of this section]
136 March 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, outdoor
137 activities shall be considered a special event for the purposes of section
138 14-298-262 of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies.

139 (3) Notwithstanding any provision of the applicable laws of the state,
140 for the period commencing on [the effective date of this section] March
141 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, any municipality
142 shall request a special event permit from the Department of
143 Transportation before closing any part of a vehicular portion of a state
144 highway right-of-way for outdoor activities, in accordance with the
145 provisions of section 14-298-262 of the regulations of Connecticut state
146 agencies. The Department of Transportation shall expedite its review of

147 any such request.

148 (4) Notwithstanding any provision of the applicable laws of the state,
149 for the period commencing on [the effective date of this section] March
150 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, any municipal
151 official having jurisdiction over local roads, in consultation with the
152 municipality’s local traffic authority, may close a local road to permit
153 outdoor activities without conducting a public hearing, except that if
154 such local road is utilized as part of a public transportation route, such
155 official shall consult with the Department of Transportation.

156 (f) Notwithstanding any provision of title 30 of the general statutes
157 or any provision of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies, for the
158 period commencing on [the effective date of this section] March 31, 2021,
159 and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, no entity that is licensed to
160 serve alcoholic beverages shall be required to obtain a patio or extension
161 of use permit to engage in outdoor activities, provided such entity: (1)
162 Complies with the provisions of this section, (2) complies with any rules
163 for outdoor dining, including, but not limited to, safety or social
164 distancing requirements issued by the Governor, the Department of
165 Economic and Community Development or other agency or entity
166 authorized by law or pursuant to an executive order, to issue such
167 requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, (3) complies with
168 any municipal requirements related to outdoor dining or the sale of
169 alcoholic beverages that are consistent with the provisions of this
170 section, (4) complies with any provision of title 30 of the general statutes
171 or regulations of Connecticut state agencies regarding the prohibition of
172 the sale of alcohol to minors or intoxicated persons or regarding
173 restrictions on the times such entity may serve alcoholic beverages, (5)
174 complies with any rules in effect limiting or restricting the sale or
175 consumption of alcoholic beverages only to customers who consume
176 food on such entity’s premises, (6) does not maintain an outdoor
177 consumer bar, as defined in section 30-62a of the general statutes, and
178 (7) does not provide live entertainment, unless such entertainment was
179 previously permitted in such entity’s outdoor space or such entity
180 obtains permission from the applicable municipal official to provide live

181 entertainment, and the provision of such entertainment complies with
182 any relevant safety or social distancing requirements issued by the
183 Governor, the Department of Economic and Community Development
184 or other agency or entity authorized by law or pursuant to an executive
185 order, to issue such requirements in response to the COVID-19
186 pandemic.

187 (g) Any outdoor activity allowed pursuant to Executive Order No.
188 7MM of Governor Ned Lamont prior to [the effective date of this
189 section] March 31, 2021, shall be deemed approved and permitted in
190 accordance with the requirements of this section until [March 31, 2022]
191 April 30, 2023, without need for reapplication, (1) provided an
192 additional application shall be made for any expansion of a previously
193 approved outdoor activity, except if such expansion is solely related to
194 alterations to reduce the width of a pathway required pursuant to
195 subdivision (1) of subsection (d) of this section, provided such pathway
196 is not reduced to less than four feet in width, and (2) except that any
197 person engaging in a previously approved outdoor activity on a state
198 highway right-of-way who seeks to continue such outdoor activity after
199 April 19, 2021, shall make an application to the Department of
200 Transportation pursuant to chapter 242 of the general statutes to ensure
201 compliance with relevant federal requirements.

202 (h) Notwithstanding any provision of the applicable laws of the state,
203 nothing in this section shall alter or affect a nonconforming use or
204 structure or prohibit any person from seeking or obtaining approval for
205 engaging in outdoor activities pursuant to existing municipal zoning
206 regulations.

207 (i) For the period commencing on [the effective date of this section]
208 March 31, 2021, and ending [March 31, 2022] April 30, 2023, any
209 minimum requirement for off-street parking or requirement prohibiting
210 outdoor activities from taking place on parking lots shall not apply to
211 the extent required to allow outdoor activities alone or in conjunction
212 with any other activity authorized by law, executive order or municipal
213 regulations, including any activity required to enable the response to the

214 COVID-19 pandemic.

215 (j) The provisions of this section shall be liberally construed to
216 promote the continuation of outdoor activities, as permitted by
217 Executive Order No. 7MM of Governor Ned Lamont.

218 Sec. 2. (Effective from passage) Section 182 of public act 21-2 shall take
219 effect May 1, 2023.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:
Section 1 from passage SA 21-3, Sec. 1
Sec. 2 from passage New section

Statement of Purpose:
To extend the application of certain temporary provisions concerning the permitting of outdoor food and beverage services and outdoor displays of goods until April 30, 2023, and delay the application of certain permanent provisions concerning the permitting of outdoor food and beverage services until May 1, 2023.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]

If you ask me… “Dream Hou$e”

Long Wharf Theatre

By Tom Holehan
Connecticut Critics Circle

World Premiere At Long Wharf Theatre

As their penultimate production prior to closing up shop, New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre, in partnership with the Alliance Theatre and Baltimore Stage, is currently presenting the world premiere of “Dream Hou$e” by Eliana Pipes.  The dollar sign in the title is not a typo.

In “Dream Hou$e” we are introduced to two Latinx sisters, the very pregnant Julia (Darilyn Castillo) and her high-strung older sister, Patricia (Renata Eastlick), who reunite after the death of their mother.  They meet with the intention of selling their family home on a reality home improvement show hosted by Tessa (Marianna McClellan).

There is baggage between the two sisters.  Patricia was left as caregiver to her dying mother while Julia continued her teaching career as an unwed mom.  There is friction about the home sale as Julia has a sense of its history (or so she thinks) while Patricia is anxious to get out and reap the rewards of a big payday.

The timely themes of identity and what price can be put on heritage resonate in the first third or so of the play.  “Dream Hou$e” starts strong when the sisters reunite in a friendly/awkward manner and both actors are good enough to show us the layers of tension between them and all the history that remains unsaid.

Their different approaches to a shared family history is an interesting conflict especially, later in the play, when they appear to switch viewpoints.  This core story should have been enough given that the women are likable and flawed and very worth following as characters.  But Pipes switches gears after a bit and adds a surreal bent to the story once the HGTV show elements kick in.

Some of this is funny, some is like shooting fish in a barrel (parodying reality TV is a futile process).  But, late in the play, when Tessa starts asking Patricia to literally sell the clothes off her back (and more), the play turns obvious, grim and somewhat sordid.  You could feel the audience resist.  It all suddenly becomes very literal and heavy-handed which undermines the sister’s crucial relationship.

All three actors are well suited for their roles and do what they can with the muddled script under Laurie Woolery’s lively direction.  Kudos also to Woolery’s handling of her resilient stage crew who are enlisted here to not only act as the home improvement show crew but take charge of countless scene changes and a mountain of props.

I can only imagine what the backstage area of the theatre looks like!  I loved Stephanie Osin Cohen’s beautiful adobe home setting with its swirling shades of brown and burgundy.  It’s a shame that the set is soon dismantled throughout the evening adding a suggestion of mold that resembled thick blood red spaghetti.

Mark Holthusen’s excellent projection designs and Jason Lynch’s lighting also deserve mention.  The play has many worthy elements and is strongly acted, but the surreal aspects and confused plotting should be addressed for future productions.

“Dream Hou$e” continues at Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive in New Haven through April 3rd.  For tickets or further information visit: https://longwharf.org/shows-events/dream-house

Patrons are required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination 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.