Come One Come All: Community Events Scheduled With Safe Covid 19 Protocols

by the Stratford Community Organizations Council

Stratford Library:

An anti-racism lawn sign exhibit featuring quotes from famous and not-so-famous people of color will be unveiled on the Library’s front lawn, Main Street entrance, on Monday November 16th at 4 pm. All are invited to attend the brief ribbon cutting ceremony.

Numerous online programs for all ages are currently underway. Visitors should check the Library’s website for information: www.stratfordlibrary.org.

The Library’s annual fundraiser set for next April has not been postponed until September 2021.

Sterling House:

Sterling House has expanded their hours: Expanded hours include 9am – 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 9am – 1pm on Saturday. Events in the works include: 2020 Holiday Toy Drive November Service Saturday: Thanksgiving Cards Thanksgiving Food Drive

Arts Alliance of Stratford:

Arts Alliance of Stratford has been working with high school students interested in journalism to do an interview project.

Stratford Economic Development/ Stratford Strong:

Stratford Strong: The basic needs taskforce is addressing food insecurity and back-to-school efforts. The taskforce feels they are in a good place. The communication/resource taskforce has been focusing on small businesses.

– One grant program was released on Friday, November 13th to help small businesses (<20 employees).
– Another possible grant will be coming for microenterprises ( <5 employees).

If you know anyone interested have them reach out to Economic Development. The group is working hard to come up with ideas to host holiday events safely. If you have an idea, pass it along to Economic Development!

Stratford Historical Society:

The Historical Society will be hosting another Stratford Lighthouse tour on November 21st, with rain date of December 5th . Three time slots are available: 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Each time slot is limited to 10 people, and advance registration is required. Social distancing will be maintained and face masks will be mandatory. The historical society hopes to make the tour a monthly program.

To register for the open house, visit townofstratford.recdesk.com/Community/Program  and scroll to “Lighthouse Tour.”

There will be a virtual presentation being held on December 12th entitled “Suffregettes in
Corsellettes”.

Parent’s Place:

Looking for a coordinator (BA Early Childhood or Social Work).

The outdoor play groups will be moving to virtual play groups as weather gets colder.

Continuing Education:

Classes are up and running. Being offered both virtually and in-person.

COVID-19 Testing:

Help us prevent the spread of COVID-19. Get tested today! 

COVID-19 Testing is available to all community members.

If you have symptoms and would like a test, please call your physician. If you do not have a physician, please sign up for an appointment at one of our community test sites or call our COVID-19 Call Center at 833-ASK-YNHH.

If you do not have symptoms and want to be tested, please sign up for an appointment at one of our community sites by scanning this QR code or going to this website: http://covidtesting.ynhhs.org/.

Appointments are not needed but can make the process faster. 

Other ways to find testing:

  • Visit YNHHS.org or call 833-ASK-YNHH
  • Sign up using the MyChart App (http://mychart.ynhhs.org/MyChart-PRD/)
  • Simply walk up to the community test site below.

Test Site: Bunnell High School Gym
1 Bulldog Blvd, Stratford

November 4, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm
November 11, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
November 18, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
November 25,  8:30 am – 2:30 pm

If you have insurance, bring your card. As always, there will be no cost to you.

Bring a photo ID (if possible) and wear a face mask or covering when visiting 

Great Reads Ready for All

New England History and Female “Convicts” shipped from England to Tasmania

“Sunday Afternoon Talks” New England at 400

New England at 400: From Plymouth Rock to the Present Day” with Professor Eric D. Lehman on November 15, will be held from 2-3:30 pm on Zoom. University of Bridgeport professor Eric D. Lehman will discuss his latest book, New England at 400: From Plymouth Rock to the Present Day, telling stories about the four centuries of lives, loves, failures, and successes of our fellow New Englanders.

Eric D. Lehman is the author or editor of seventeen books of history, travel, and fiction, including Yankee’s New England, Insiders’ Guide to Connecticut, The Quotable New Englander, and Becoming Tom Thumb, which won the Victorian Society of America Award and was chosen by the ALA as one of the best university press books of the year. His novella Shadows of Paris was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award, won a silver medal in romance from the Foreword Review, and was judged the novella of the year by the Next Generation Independent Book Awards.

The event is free and open to the public. For further information call the Stratford Library at: 203-385-4162.

Christina Kline’s “The Exiles” to be Discussed on Nov. 18

The Stratford Library “Books Over Coffee” program continues with an online Zoom discussion of Christina Baker Kline’s historical drama, The Exiles, on Wednesday, November 18. The program, hosted by Linda LiDestri, will be held from 12 – 1 pm. The book talk is free and open to the public.

The Exiles is Christina Baker Kline’s historical fiction novel that takes place in the early 1840s and focusses on the transport of female “convicts” from England to Tasmania. The transport of prisoners to North America and Australia is generally known, but not about the female population to Tasmania. Christina Baker Kline his established herself as a novelist who plumbs noteworthy but little-known facets of the past, and The Exiles marks her third foray into the genre. While her Orphan Train and A Piece of the World were grounded in American history, The Exiles makes a bold geographic and cultural leap.

Limited reading copies of The Exiles are available for loan at the library’s Circulation Desk. All “Books Over Coffee” titles are available at the Library or on Kindle eReader for loan. Patrons can also download the eBook or audiobook through the OverDrive app at the Library. “Books Over Coffee” will conclude its 2020 season on December 16 with Dear Edward by Jane Napolitano.

For furthur information call the Library at: 203-385-4162 or register online at: http://stratfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/7073380.

“Courageous Conversations”

Racial Equity Subject of Zoom Talks Goal: Building Bridges for a stronger Stratford

by Stratford Citizens Addressing Racial Equity (C.A.R.E.).

A series of six Conversations on Racial Equity began on Thursday, November 5th via the Zoom platform. The new series is presented by Stratford C.A.R.E (Citizens Addressing Racial Equity) and sponsored by the Town of Stratford, the Stratford Clergy Association, The Stratford Rotary Club and the Stratford Library. The program is free and open to the public.

Led by trained facilitators from Raising the BAR, a program of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, the goal of the program is to make people come together to make Stratford stronger and healthier for all. The use of thought-provoking videos, articles and podcasts about how racism has shaped our environment were discussed.

Participants also worked in small groups to discuss how to unite to take action, heal divides and make a difference in Stratford. The series began with “Starting Point: Implicit Bias”. Participants were encouraged to watch a short video, “Peanut Butter & Jelly Racism”, before the meeting that introduced the concept of implicit bias. Minor glitches occurred (some of those who signed up for the series were not able to get in the Zoom meeting) and minor issues with the opening video for the meeting, a Ted Talk by Verna Myers, a Diversity Advocate, in 2014, were quickly addressed.

Participants were then broken out into “working” groups. There were 12 of us including a facilitator. We were able to interact with each other and hold meaningful discussions. (Who knew you could do that on Zoom?)

The remaining programs in the series include: “Housing Disparities” on December 3; “Health Disparities” (January 7, 2021); “Educational Disparities” (February 4); “Employment Disparities” (March 4); and “Criminal Justice Disparities” (April 1). It is not necessary to attend every session in order to take part in the series.

To register for the free conversation series visit: www.stratfordcare.org/courage.

Stratford Library offers “Medicare 101” Talk

Get Current Information and Changes for 2021
Zoom Info Session Set for October 27

The Stratford Library will host an informational session, “Medicare 101” on Tuesday, October 27 from 6-8 pm. The program will be presented on the Library’s Zoom platform. It is free and open to the public.

If you are currently enrolled in Medicare, or turning 65 over the next year or two you can learn about eligibility, how and when to enroll, when you can make changes, and the insurance options available to you. “Medicare 101” will be hosted by Independent insurance agent James Farnham. Adults will be able to review and compare what services are covered and not covered under Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. They can also detail the costs associated with medical and drug insurance and explore and evaluate Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans.

“Medicare 101” will help adults make more well-informed decisions and explain what Medicare means for the individual. Farnham’s program, geared to clarify, simplify and provide structure as well as develop an overall understanding of Medicare, is strictly educational. He is an independent agent appointed with 13 insurance companies working across six states.

To register online for “Medicare 101” visit:
https://stratfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/7160584
For further information call: 203-385-4162.

Stratford Library Kids Event

The Stratford Library Children’s Department continues to offer stimulating programs for local kids and their families. The Library is currently offering limited computer use for adults with reservations and contact-free Take Out borrowing services, online programs, take and go program kits, Reference Chat and 24/7 online access to ebooks, audiobooks, movies and music. Staff will take calls Monday-Saturday, 10 A.M.-5 P.M.

Storytimes
Fall Storytimes will meet online via Zoom at the Stratford Library each week. On Mondays at 10:30 A.M., Toddler Time features rhymes and songs for ages 1-2. On Tuesdays at 10:30 A.M., Preschool Storytime features books and songs for ages 3-5. On Thursdays at 10:30 A.M., Baby Lapsit offers bounces, rhymes, and parent sharing for families of infants and toddlers. Halloween storytimes are Monday/Tuesday, October 26-27. Registered participants can visit the Library in costume at specific times to pick up a grab’n’go Halloween treat. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

The Stratford Library Children’s Department offers two fall reading programs for children. Children ages 0 to 4 can join “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” to share books with their children at home. Registered participants will receive a folder and check off sheets as well as special prizes along the way. Families can read any books they like as many times as they like to complete their 1000 books. Children grades K to 6 can join “Read Around Stratford” with monthly reading challenges as well as outdoor challenges around Stratford with sites that families can visit to complete scavenger hunts and more. Children who complete Read Around Stratford will receive a special gift next spring. This program is courtesy of the Carol Pieper Memorial Fund. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

DIY Saturday Storytimes are posted every Saturday on the Stratford Library’s Kids page. Families can enjoy storytimes with special themes to read online whenever is convenient. For more information, visit the website at www.stratfordlibrary.org/kids.

Homework Help
Families with children grades K to 6 can sign up for online Homework Help on Thursday nights at 6:30 P.M. on Zoom. Teen tutors will be available to help with homework and practice reading. Families are asked to bring homework or a reading book to the Zoom. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Alphabet Parade and Phonics Parade
Alphabet Parade and Phonics Parade will be offered by the Stratford Library Children’s Department on Wednesdays beginning in October. These programs meet on Zoom. Children ages 4-6 can join Alphabet Parade at 3:30 P.M. for the letter of that week. Children ages 5-8 can join Phonics Parade for gA.M.es that use sight words and the sounds in words to promote reading. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Draw with Josie
Meets on Zoom on Monday, October 12 at 4 P.M. for ages 7 to 12. This month, learn to draw Jack Skellington from the movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Children should bring a pencil, paper, and an eraser to the Zoom. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Science Camp
The Stratford Library’s Science Camp: Gumdrop Engineering workshop meets on Zoom Thursday, October 15 at 4 P.M. for ages 5-8. Registered participants can pick up an engineering grab’n’go bag to use during the Zoom class. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Kids Coding Club
The Stratford Library Kids Coding Club will meet Monday, October 19 at 4 P.M. on Zoom. Ages 7 to 12 are welcome to attend. Class will consist of a demonstration of a Scratch Coding project that children can try on their own and a group activity with ancient and modern codes. Projects may include hieroglyphs, made up languages, and tongue twisters.  To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Nutmeg Book Group
The Stratford Library’s Nutmeg Book Group will meet Monday, October 26 at 7 P.M. on Zoom to discuss the book “The Great Treehouse War” by Lisa Graff. Registered participants grades 4 to 6 will receive a free copy of the book and a goody bag courtesy of the Carol Pieper Memorial Fund.  To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Grab’n’Go Halloween!
Stratford children ages 3 to 12 are welcome to enjoy a Halloween grab’n’go treat pick up at the Stratford Library on Tuesday, October 27 from 4 to 5 P.M. Registered participants can come in costume, following Library safety guidelines, to the Library’s back courtyard and pick up a treat from the Children’s Department table. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203.385.4165 for more information.

Drive-Thru Food Pantry November 10th

Where: Holy Name of Jesus Church
1950 Barnum Avenue, Stratford CT

When: Tuesday, November 10th 3:00 – 4:00 PM

To encourage social distancing and help limit the spread of COVID-19, the Stratford Health Department, CT Food Bank, and Holy Name of Jesus Church have partnered to offer a drive-thru food pantry. We ask for all those attending the drive-thru pantry to adhere to the following directions:

  • Stay in your car at all times
  • Pop your trunk (if possible)
  • A pre-selected bag of food will be placed in your car
  • One bag per car

Community Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing

Stop the Spread – Get Tested

Community COVID-19 Test Site Available

Location:
Stratford Health Department
468 Birdseye Street, Stratford, CT

Testing in Parking Lot

Dates:

Friday, October 30, 2020
Friday, November 6, 2020
Friday, December 4, 2020

Time: 9:00 am – 12:00pm (Last Person 11:45 am)

No Doctor’s Note Needed

Please bring the following: Photo ID and Insurance Card

History or Football? “Sunday Afternoon Talks” Set for November 1-22

by the Stratford Library

The Stratford Library will present four special sessions of its popular “Sunday Afternoon Talks” series of informative and entertaining talks featuring prominent local guest speakers, on Sunday, November 1-22 at 2 pm.  The four talks will be presented on consecutive Sundays on the Zoom platform.  They are free and open to the public.

American Revolutionary War historian, Eric Chandler, will return to the Library with his talk, “In the Beginning and the Wars before the Revolution: We’re all Englishmen, Right?” on Sunday, November 1. Chandler explores the series of bloody confrontations between Native Americans, as well as in the North American theaters of European wars as the Great Powers maneuvered to extend their empires abroad and how they helped fan the flames leading to the War for Independence. Chandler is currently serving his third term as a member of the Norwalk Historical Commission, sits on the Norwalk Historical Society Board of Directors as well as the Board of Directors for the recreated Sheldon’s Horse, 2 nd Regiment Continental Light Dragoons for which he also serves as lieutenant and adjutant. To register online for the Zoom talk visit: https://stratfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/7120734.

The remaining programs for November are: “Hell on Wheels: The Wild West” with Professor Hamish Lutris on November 8, “New England at 400: From Plymouth Rock to the Present Day” with Professor Eric D. Lehman on November 15 and “Sodbusters and Colleges: The Winning of the West” with Professor Lutris on November 22.

The series, hosted by Charles Lautier of Stratford, will be held from 2-3:30 pm on the Zoom format. For further information call the Stratford Library at: 203-385-4162.

The Day That Was…

On September 11th Stratford Police Sargent Jamie “Javi” Rivera posted on Facebook (see screen shot of post below) which was then widely shared and condemned on social media. In his post Sargent Rivera claimed “Black lives matter is a terrorist organization!!!! They call for the killing of cops. No matter what color.”

The post went viral, resulting in a statement published by Mayor Laura Hoydick and the Rev. D. Stanley Lord, President of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP, following a meeting between Rev. Lord and Police Chief Joseph McNeil. Additional statements were also issued by Town organizations condemning Sgt. Rivera’s post.

During the Town Council meeting on September 14th Stratford residents spoke during the Public Forum on the recent Facebook post by Sgt. Rivera

Rev. Lord, Greater Bridgeport NAACP
Dr. Tina Manus
Yolanda Mitchell
Donald Goodson
Sonya Huber
Stacey Tavaras
Linda Fernandes
Kimberly Rice
Stephanie Philips

 

All speakers called for police accountability for the incident, including (but not limited to) a police review board, education and training. Mr. Goodson noted that every crisis presents an opportunity, and hoped that Stratford would take this incident to work with the NAACP and well as members of C.A.R.E ((Citizens Addressing Racial Equity). There was also calls for an investigation into Sgt. Rivera’s post, as apparently there is a Code of Conduct for the police department that might have been violated.

The Stratford Crier made an editorial decision to post all of the statements for reader information with no comment or opinion. Before posting this article a call was placed to Mayor Hoydick and Police Chief McNeil for comment. Their offices did not respond.


 

Racial Equity Subject of Zoom Talks “Conversations” Begin November 5

A series of six Conversations on Racial Equity is set for the Zoom platform beginning Thursday, November 5 at 7:30 pm. The new series is presented by Stratford CARE (Citizens Addressing Racial Equity) and sponsored by the Town of Stratford, the Stratford Clergy Association and the Stratford Library. The program is free and open to the public.

Led by trained facilitators from Raising the BAR, a program of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, the goal of the program is to make people come together to make Stratford stronger and healthier for all. Thought-provoking videos, articles and podcasts about how racism has shaped our environment will be discussed and participants will also work in small groups to discuss how to unite to take action, heal divides and make a difference in Stratford.

The series begins on November 5 with “Starting Point: Implicit Bias” held on Zoom from 7:30-8:45 pm. The remaining programs in the series include: “Housing Disparities” on December 3, “Health Disparities” (January 7, 2021) “Educational Disparities” (February 4), “Employment Disparities” (March 4) and “Criminal Justice Disparities” (April 1). It is not necessary to attend every session in order to take part in the series.

To register for the free conversation series visit: www.stratfordcare.org/courage.


Statement from the Stratford Republican Party

Lou Decilio, Chairman of the Stratford Republican Party

This is being handled by the administration, Chief of Police, the NAACP, and CARES.
Everyone is in communications and I’m confident it will be settled.

 

Statement from the Stratford Democrats

By Steve Taccogna, Chairman of the Stratford Democrats

The Stratford Democratic Town Committee strongly condemns the irresponsible, offensive, and erroneous comments made by Sgt. Jaime Rivera of the Stratford Police Department about the Black Lives Matter movement.

These comments are unacceptable and reprehensible. They are aimed at movements to end systemic police brutality against black men, women, and children and to silence those calling for such reform. This act of bad faith calls into serious question the suitability of the officers who stand against this goal.

It is vital that we hold people accountable for their words and deeds, especially those in whom we have placed our trust and our safety. It is also imperative that those who do not share the values of routing out racism in our law enforcement system and in our communities be investigated and assessed on whether they can conduct their jobs without bias or malice.

We await the Stratford Police Department’s plan to address this individual incident, to prevent similar situations in the future, and to rout out in its own department the underlying sentiments that lead to behaviors such as those exhibited by Sgt. Rivera.

Stratford Library Open for Business

By Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library

While the world paused to get its bearings, the Stratford Library did the same. As we all shift back to our autumn “normal,” we thought it would be helpful to update you all on some of the goings on at the Library that you may (or may not!) already know about, including:

● The entire Library is open for browsing, borrowing!

● Computers for Adults and Teens can be reserved in advance for a one hour time slot. Call: 203 385-4164 for an appointment.

● Express computers are available for printing and quick computing needs, no appointment necessary for a 15 minute session, once a day.

● You will enter the building through the back (parking lot) entrance and will be greeted by a staff member who will screen you prior to entry.

● Masks must be worn by everyone (age 2 and up) while in the library.

● The Library will begin assessing overdue fees on September 28th (no fees will be charged from March 13 through September 26). However, if you still find yourself wary of venturing out, please call 203-385-4160 and we’ll work with you to try to extend loan periods. It may not always be possible, especially if items have holds on them, but we will work with you!  All items may be returned 24/7 in the Book Drops located at the front and rear of the Library.

● Items returned to the Stratford Library are quarantined for 3-5 days, so they are not immediately removed from your account (no overdue fees are charged for quarantine days).  If you see returned materials still on your account six days after returning them, call 203-385-4160

● Use your Stratford Library card to access free, downloadable books, videos, audiobooks, music and magazines.

● Photocopiers and scanners are available, no appointment necessary.

● The microfilm reader/printer is available by appointment.  Call 203-385-4161.

● Our Adult, Teen, & Children’s Departments are working harder than ever to bring you a variety of wonderful virtual programs Grab ‘n’ Go kits. Check out our Events Calendar or sign-up for library eNewsletters for the latest news on our programs & services.

● If you still prefer contact free Take-Out Service, call to make arrangements (Teen 203-385-4167; Adult 203-385-4164).