Front Row Seat to March Madness

Dianne Nolan

Color Commentary and Sideline Analyst for Quinnipiac Men and Women, ESPN+ Basketball Broadcasts Color Commentary and Sideline Analyst for Quinnipiac Men and Women

ESPN+ Basketball Broadcasts

Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Fairfield University for over 27 years during which she led Fairfield’s major program transition from Division III to Division I through in-depth planning and execution.

Before heading to Fairfield U she was the Associate Head Women’s Basketball at Yale University, and Dianne headed program development, served as department liaison, and supported senior leadership on activity ranging from fundraising & recruitment to administrative operations & overall planning.

Dianne spends her summers at Yale as their Director of Summer Springboard Program at Yale, a program founded to give college-bound teens a supportive environment where they can explore their personal and academic passions. As a residential program living on the campus of Yale, the students gain valuable pre-college experience.

Head Basketball Coach at Lafayette College in Easton, PA for five years where she directed all facets of Division I Athletic Program, including program implementation and coordination, personnel management, talent recruitment, fundraising, and sponsorship acquisition. Established Friends Group generating enthusiasm and support for the College.

Provided guidance and mentorship to students in securing jobs. Designed and delivered various leadership workshops. Attained 100% graduation rate and national recognition while doubling average win totals.

How did she get her start?  As a teacher of course!  At Bridgeport Central High School.

A Business Based on Your Leftovers

Food Waste Recycling

Curbside Compost

According to the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, the single largest component of solid waste sent to incinerators and landfills is food waste.  Households typically have 12 lbs of food waste per house per week according to Nick Skeadas from Curbside Compost.

Curbside Compost collects food scraps from residential and commercial locations in Connecticut and New York. Their process ensures that food scraps are brought to compost facilities, not burn plants or landfills. This decreases waste and pollution, and produces healthy, rich soil to give back to the earth – “Staying true to our roots by leveraging our planet’s oldest method of recycling.” According to Nick Skeadas, Composting is rewarding, but can be difficult to do on your own. We do all of the work, and you’re the one making it possible! Plus, because of our scale we can compost items that aren’t recommended for home composters, like meat and bones.  Put it in your bucket with a compostable liner or brown paper bag, and we’ll empty it each week.

A study by the University of Arizona in 2004 indicated that 14 to 15% of United States edible food is untouched or unopened, amounting to $43 billion worth of discarded, but edible, food. Another survey by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab found that 93% of respondents acknowledged that they buy foods that they never used.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, 40% of food in the United States is never eaten, amounting to $165 billion a year in waste. This takes a tremendous toll on the country’s water resources and significantly increases greenhouse gas emissions.

Curbside Compost works with residents, schools, restaurants, businesses and events.  At the end of the composting cycle, they offer compost delivery for you to enjoy the fruits of your efforts.  Households get a free 1-cubic foot certified organic bag of composted soil each spring.  They also sell bags and bulk compost to the public.

How It Works:

Get your bin, fill it up

Curbside Compost will deliver a pail, lid, countertop bin and roll of compostable bags on your designated collection day. (First roll of bags is on us!)

We deliver your pail and lid on your designated collection day. The pail is 5-gallons and is 16″ tall by 14″ wide.  Most participants keep their pail in the garage, under a sink, in a cabinet, closet, kitchen or balcony.

We’ll collect it each week

Leave your filled pail with the week’s food scraps at the end of or on your driveway by 8:00 a.m. on your designated pick-up day and we will replace it with a clean one.  You can use BPI certified compostable bags or a brown paper bag to line your pail.  If you live in a town that doesn’t allow for waste to be left at the end of your driveway, we have to pick up your pail by your home (not on the curb).  If you would like us to pick up the container on your property we can do that.  We run collections until 7:00 P.M. each day.

Place an order for delivery

Place an order any time you would like compostable bags, compost, garden soil, or mulch delivered.  When you would like compost delivered, please order it online or reach out to us.  We also deliver loose garden soil and mulch by the yard.

When ordering bagged compost, we leave your compost with the clean pail.

Curbside Compost had Stratford customers for several years, but discontinued service as they did not have enough residents interested.  A minimum of 75 residents would need to sign up.  The 75 could be in the same neighborhood or scattered throughout town.  If interested you can send in your name and address, and, when 75 residents have signed up Curbside Compost will notify you that service is now available.  The 75 can be scattered around town – it doesn’t have to be on the same street or neighborhood!

Nick Skeadas noted that his company, Curbside Compost, has spent 7 years working on food waste.  They work with restaurants, institutions, grocery store, offices, rest homes, all kinds of commercial businesses that generate food waste.  “We are currently in discussion with Chipotle.  We have been trying to work with your Transfer Station.  We work with 10 transfer stations across CT, we provide carts to transfer station, and pick up each week (or more if requested).  Carting away food waste from a transfer station would be lowering the fee paid to a burn plant, as we are less expensive.”

Attack Garden Pests

Spring is Here…Time to take to the ground!!!!

Clean-up Your Yard and Garden

By: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

When it comes to preventing the spread of invasive pests, every one of us can play a big role. By doing the right things we can all help stop this threat to so much that we value. Please do your part and learn what you can do to leave Hungry Pests behind.

The mild winter that we experienced in Stratford this winter (did we have a winter?) will impact our spring and summer pests that are on the lookout for those tasty plants.  All bugs have a certain level of “cold tolerance.” Rather than dying off during the winter, many bugs simply become inactive or dormant, only to emerge once temperatures rise. To survive in this dormant state, pests need to find a warm place to spend the winter, like deep underground or inside a human home.  When the temperature drops – especially below zero – these insects can die off. But a mild winter leaves more above ground insects alive, which means more wake and hatch when the weather warms, leading to more insects in spring and summer.  And, Winter temperatures have to be extremely cold for a long time to affect mosquitoes and ticks. So our mild winter does not mean that there will be more of these blood suckers out there. But the early arrival of spring-like temperatures does mean that mosquitoes and ticks are becoming active earlier.

These damaging pests can hitchhike from place to place on our cars and trucks, hidden in fruit, vegetables, plants, firewood or on familiar outdoor items. But we can all learn to be more careful when we’re traveling or involved in outdoor activities. Working together, we can protect our crops and trees from harm.

The first step is to be aware of the pests that might be a threat in your area. Then be sure to cooperate with any regulations or quarantines that might be in effect. Finally, take care to be sure that you’re never packing a pest. Let’s all leave Hungry Pests behind.

Gardeners know nature’s balance. Be careful not to tilt the scales with a Hungry Pest.  A gardener’s hand can direct the ebb of life and transform a landscape. And with that ability comes responsibility. Be sure that Hungry Pests aren’t part of your design. Keep your eyes open and know the right things to do.

Preventing the introduction and establishment of invasive species in a new area is everyone’s responsibility. And there are important, simple things that we should all be aware of:

  • Buy only certified, pest-free nursery whenever possible.
  • Buy your plants from a reputable source and avoid using invasive plant species at all costs.
  • Buy your plants and seeds from domestic nurseries or learn how to import them legally to prevent the spread of Hungry Pests.
  • Remove invasive plants from your garden.
  • Until you are able to rid your garden of invasive plants, be responsible and remember to remove and destroy seed heads before they can spread. Also, don’t share invasives with other gardeners.
  • Talk to other gardeners about invasives and how you plan to help in the fight against them.
  • If you are worried that your garden will lose its luster after removing invasives, talk to your local native plant society or exotic pest plant council. These organizations will be able to suggest suitable native replacements.


Bird watching is about patience, keen observation and careful identification. Those are skills that can also help stop the spread of Hungry Pests. Please do your part when outdoors.

  • To avoid spreading seed of invasive plants, learn to recognize infestations and avoid passing through them.
  • Clean equipment, boots and gear between trips or, preferably, before leaving an infested area. Make sure to remove all seeds and other plant parts.
  • Report any invasive sightings to the local land manager or local USDA office.
  • Change the water in bird baths often to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Hikers, bikers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts share a special responsibility. When we get close to nature, it also means that nature can also get close to us. In fact, something unwanted may try to hitch a ride home. It’s important to be careful and make sure we’re helping take care of the outdoors we love.  Don’t move firewood. Buy or use firewood that is close to your campsite.

Invasive pests can easily be transported on living plants or fresh products such as fruit.

Many pests can be found in recently killed plant material including firewood, lumber, and wood packaging material. Avoiding the long-range movement of these materials to help slow the spread of pests.

Report any suspected invasive species to your county extension agent or local USDA office.


Connecticut Post Photographer Ed Brinsko Celebrated

“ReVisit Bridgeport: Photographs by Ed Brinsko”.
“Sunday Afternoon Talks”

Stratford Library April 2nd at 2 p.m.
Lovell Room
Free and Open to Public

The Stratford Library continues “Sunday Afternoon Talks”, its series of informative and entertaining talks featuring prominent local guest speakers.  On Sunday, April 2nd at 2 p.m. join Jay Misencik, Geralene Valentine and Ed Brinsko, Jr. for their presentation, “ReVisit Bridgeport: Photographs by Ed Brinsko”.  The talk and slide presentation will be presented live in the Library’s Lovell Room.  It is free and open to the public.

Ed Brinsko was a life-long Bridgeport resident. His career with the Post Publishing Company spanned 43 years. Like the best of early to late 20th century newspaper photographers, Ed Brinsko carried heavy cameras and many rolls of film and then spent hours developing his images in the darkroom.  From 1945 to 1988 – with a two-year interlude in the U.S. Army as a reporter with Pacific Stars and Stripes – Brinsko was a photographer for the Bridgeport Post- Telegram.

The images he captured during those years are flash-frozen specimens of times that have passed, a simpler time of post-war relaxation of Barnum Festival Ballyhoo Shows and the comedy of a Jack Benny. But the 50’s and 60’s were passing, and Ed Brinsko was there to document, from the JFK Inaugural Ball in January 1961, to the fiery speech of Malcolm X at the University of Bridgeport on November 21, 1963, the day before Kennedy’s assassination.

For the Library talk, Brinsko’s work will speak for itself in a lavish slide presentation: portraits of heavyweight champ Floyd Patterson training in Newtown in 1959, Jane Fonda cavorting at Compo Beach in Westport and, perhaps most interestingly of all: Charles DeStasio – Charlie the Bum – who wandered the streets of Bridgeport for close to 50 years.

The “Sunday Afternoon Talks” series, hosted by Charles Lautier of Stratford, is held from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Stratford Library Lovell Room.

For further information visit: or call the Library at: 203.385-4162

“Black Cake” by Charlaine Wilkerson Books Over Coffee Selection

Beginning Wednesday, March 29th at Noon
Lovell Room of the Stratford Library
Free and Open to Public

Linda Lidestri will be the discussion leader on “Black Cake” by Charlaine Wilkerson beginning on Wednesday, March 29th at noon.  “Black Cake” is a family saga that chronicles more than half a century of one family’s journey, including its thwarted dreams, star-crossed loves, and dark secrets. Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel, it centers on the story of Eleanor Bennett, a 70-something first-generation Caribbean immigrant living in Southern California. Her death opens the novel. Her two grown children, Benny and Byron, are to listen to a recording she made shortly before her death that reveals how little the two know about their mother.

The novel uses as its organizing motif the black cake, a traditional Caribbean dessert, with its wide variety of sweet ingredients, all of which blend to make a sublime confection. In Eleanor Bennett’s tumultuous life, the novel explores the nature of identity itself, the way in which cultures combine within families, and how generation to generation a family shapes its own history. In the grand tradition of storytelling that recalls the landmark works of realism of the 19th century, the novel is structured, nevertheless, in the distinctly postmodern tradition of nonlinear narratives with chapters that jump across time and move between multiple points of view. Even before it was published to critical praise, Black Cake was optioned by Oprah Winfrey’s production company to be developed into a limited series on Hulu.

For further information contact the library at: 203-385-4162.

Don’t Be A Fool

Experience a night of comedy brought to you by seasoned performers, Peter Morse and Ellen Hardy.

Do not miss out on this evening of fun!
Saturday April 1st at , 7:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport
275 Huntington Road, Stratford
$ 10.00 Tickets at Door

Come and warm yourself with a night of comedy brought to you by seasoned performers Peter Morse and Ellen Hardy.

From Alaska to California, from Missouri to Maine and across the sea to Europe, Mr. Morse and Ms. Hardy have acquired extensive experience in the world of theatre. They will be presenting a few of their favorite short comedic.

pieces such as, but not limited to:

“I’m Herbert”, “Set It Down on Gold with Lasting Pillars,” and a scene from “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Do not miss out on this evening of fun!

$10.00 Tickets at Door

Once Upon a Mattress

Stratford High School Drama Society

2023 Spring musical on Friday, March 31st at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 1st, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Once Upon A Mattress, based on the fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, takes place in a kingdom that has issues. King Sextimus (Kate Miller) has been struck speechless by a witch’s curse. The domineering Queen Aggravain (Mackenzie Snyder) has assumed power and has decreed that no one in the Kingdom may wed until her son, Prince Dauntless (Alex Bilan), has married to a “true princess” of Royal blood. Enter Princess Winnifred (Tiana Golding) a brash girl competing for the hand of Prince Dauntless. To find out whether she passes the royalty test, you will need to come see the show.

The book is by Dean Fuller, Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer, with lyrics by Marshall Barer. Music was composed by Mary Rodgers.

Senior Lanie Clark (Princess No.12/ 3rd Knight) said “The Drama Society is a lot more than just an after-school club. I have been able to learn everything from painting to singing, and have met so many amazing people that have made my high school experience so much brighter.”

The Stage Director and Co-Producer for the show is Kathleen Murphy, while Jeffrey Leinen is the Vocal and Technical Director as well as the other Co-Producer. Mark Ryan is the Orchestra Director, Caitlin Roberts is the Choreographer, and Will Duchon is the Rehearsal and Performance Pianist.

The backstage crew includes Production Stage Manager Kelsey Welch, Stage Manager El Youngquist, and Assistant Stage Manager David Pacheco.

Also appearing in the show are: Varrick Nelson (Minstrel), Lauren Eyerman (Jester), Kate Miller (King Sextimus the Silent), Carlos Lopez (Sir Studley), Billy McKay (Sir Luce), Josephine Mastro (1st Knight), Orchid Tejada (2nd Knight), Genevieve Horne (1st Lady-in-Waiting – Rowena), Julia Allen (2nd Lady-in-Waiting – Merrill), Kaleah Talton (3rd Lady-in-Waiting – Lucille), Maggie LaReau (kitchen wench Emily), Avery Carlo (Lady Beatrice, featured dancer) Amelie McCool (Nightingale of Samarkand), Zoe Baird (Lady and kitchen wench) and Gabriella Camille (Lady Mabelle).

Shows are Friday, March 31st at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 1st, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

All seats are $14. To order tickets, visit or or purchase them at the door.

You are Not Your Pain

By Irene Roth

Cover photo by: Road Trip With Raj

Many chronically ill individuals identify with their pain. They make statements such as,”I am in pain”. Or “I am experiencing pain”. With either of these statements, it would seem that we are closely linked to the pain. Therefore, our identity and who we are also linked to the pain.

It can be hard to separate yourself from your pain since it affects every part of your life and especially your attitude and mindset. It is when you realize that you are so much more than your pain that you can thrive and live a wonderful life. Each one of us can do.

So, how can we do this?  Well, here are a few easily achievable tips I’d like to share with you.

First, watch what you tell yourself every day. Many times, what you say to yourself over and over can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, if you keep telling yourself that you will never get better or that you’ll be in a wheelchair, your life will become even harder to manage.

Further, our negative self-talk can affect our attitudes and mood. For instance, if you keep telling yourself that you’re having a bad day, it can impact how your day unfolds. Therefore, it is especially important to become mindful of what we tell ourselves about our chronic illness. If we try to be as positive as we can, this will positively affect our overall health and well-being. But, unfortunately, if we keep saying negative things to ourselves, this too can impact how we live our life.

Second, realize that having a chronic condition is not all negative. There are many blessings to slowing down, decluttering unnecessary parts of our lives, and doing some of the things we enjoy every day. Taking the time to figure out what these things are can have a significant impact on your health and well-being.

When we were in our younger years without chronic illness, we probably overdid it a lot of the time. We may have had a difficult time to make time to do the things we enjoy. We even could have had a hard time figuring out what we needed to do to make our life more meaningful. Now we have the rare chance to really honor our needs and wants.

Third, you are so much more than your arthritis or any other chronic condition. You don’t have to identify with it. Remember, you have a chronic condition, it doesn’t have you unless you believe it defines you. This can be a hard statement to understand, so here is a further explanation.

Yes, we have our chronic condition. We will have bad days and good days. But we are still in control of our lives. We can take the time to rest and be. We can enjoy ourselves. And we could live a good life.

So, take stock today and asses how you are feeling about your chronic condition. If you are struggling with a chronic illness, know in every fibre of your being that you can live a good life. Now that spring is around the corner, it can be a great time to take steps towards renewal and replenishment. You have the key to bring this about, my dear friends.

Aging can be hard. And aging with agility and resilience can be even harder. But by tweaking a few of your mindsets and attitudes, you can be well on your way to refocus your life and creating balance in your life so that you can do all the things that you want, despite low energy levels.

You are not your chronic condition or your pain. You are a wonderfully authentic human being with amazing potential, with or without your chronic condition.

I wish you good health and an especially wholesome attitude,

Heart to Heart: A Special Dinner

 Honors and Benefits Campers

The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp

Sponsored by Connecticut Burns Care Foundation

Sunday, March 26th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Enjoy Gourmet Food From 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Gusto Trattoria
255 Boston Post Road, Milford

Please join us for a very special Dinner Show celebrating our love for the campers who attend The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp!  The show features Dominic Mantuano – “Opera to Broadway and Everything in Between”

$75 per person (includes the concert, buffet, & dessert) and RESERVATIONS ARE LIMITED TO 50 PEOPLE!.  For tickets, call the Foundation Office at 203-878-6744

We anticipate this to fill up quickly and recommend that you reserve early!

The Connecticut Burns Care Foundation’s mission is:

  • To provide financial aid to existing burn care units;
  • To promote the education of public and professional personnel for burn care treatment;
  • To promote burn prevention;
  • To provide financial aid for research on burn care;
  • To carry on any and all other matters as may relate to burn care.

The Connecticut Burns Care Foundation was conceived in 1978 by the visions of Dr. Andrew J. Panettieri, Chief of Surgery at Bridgeport Hospital and Bridgeport Firefighter, Arthur C. Luf. We are honored to carry on the mission and passion of our founders.

C.O.R.E. (Care – Outreach – Resource – Education) for burn survivors, first responders, families and organizations.  The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp is a safe, natural outdoor environment for kids ages 8 to 18 from around the world who have survived life-altering burn injuries.

We encourage camaraderie coupled with physical and social activities designed to help campers overcome anxieties, develop and enhance their physical skills, and allow them to move beyond their scarring and burn injuries.

Our Objectives:

  • To build each child’s self-esteem and self-confidence so that they are capable of overcoming their anxieties and are able to adapt to their injuries for reintegration into their family and community life.
  • To enrich the lives of child burn survivors by creating a camping experience that is fun, entertaining, empowering, enhancing, energizing, and full of self-discovery.
  • To provide child burn survivors with memories that will sustain and inspire them.

The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp became a reality in 1991 after many years and hours of dedication and planning by our late President and Founder, Arthur C. Luf. The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp is the only one of its kind in the Northeast.

All children attend free of charge. All expenses for lodging, meals, arts/crafts, activities and programs are paid for by the Foundation.

Most of these children have never seen a campground or enjoyed an overnight camp-out, let alone the many other camp activities which include campfires, hiking, fishing, archery, boating, and a challenging ropes course.

Active and retired firefighters from Fire Departments along the East Coast, medical personnel trained in treating burns, burn survivors, and caring individuals help round out the team of counselors for the children. All counselors serve on a volunteer basis.

Our campers come from all over with children from throughout New England, New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., Maryland, Florida, Puerto Rico and from other countries like Russia, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Peru, Croatia, and Vietnam.

We turn no child away.

“Play It Again Square One”

Stratford Library
Series Revisits Theatre’s “Agnes of God” on March 28th

The Friends of Square One Theatre, in conjunction with the Stratford Library, will continue the 17th season of its popular series, “Play It Again, Square One”, on Tuesday, March 28th beginning at noon.  The drama discussion series looks at recent productions by Stratford’s Square One Theatre Company and offers patrons the opportunity to explore and discuss aspects of the play they saw.

According to Friends President Carole Fanslow, the program continues to fill a void for theatergoers:  “This series has proved to be a great success.  We are grateful to Tom Holehan, the actors, and the Stratford Library for helping us to bring this unique program to our members and the theatergoing public.”

For the March 28th session, Square One Artistic Director Tom Holehan, General Manager Richard Pheneger, and cast members Priscilla Squiers, Lucy Babbitt and Céline Montaudy, will lead a discussion of the theatre’s recent, critically acclaimed play, “Agnes of God”.  John Pielmeier’s classic drama is based on an actual incident where a nun was accused of killing her newborn child.  The play concluded Square One’s 30th anniversary season.

“Play It Again, Square One” will begin at noon on March 28th in the Library’s Lovell Room.  It is free and open to the public.  Coffee and tea will be served.

For further information, call the Stratford Library’s Public Relations and Programming Office at 203.385.4162 or visit: