VAX Facts

Confirmed Cases Of Covid-19 In Stratford As Of Today

Number of Cases for the Past Seven Days: 74
Percent Positivity for the Past Seven Days: 13.8%
Total Cumulative Cases: 14,746
There have been 203 deaths to date.

The state is releasing information about how many individuals are vaccinated in all Connecticut communities. As of August 10th, 80.02% of the town’s population had been vaccinated with at least a first dose.

Where to Go for Information

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Prevention includes hand washing, as well as covering up when coughing and sneezing. For more information visit: www.townofstratford.com/coronavirus.
Please email questions regarding COVID-19 to:health@townofstratford.com
CDC Recommends Moderna for those Aged 6-17

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine be used as an option for children ages 6 through 17 years, in addition to its already recommended use in children 6 months through 5 years and adults 18 years and older. The ACIP recommendation comes after a thorough review of the scientific evidence demonstrating safety and efficacy and supports the use of the vaccine among those 6 through 17 years of age. CDC recommends that Moderna COVID-19 vaccine be used for individuals 6 through 17 years of age to better protect them from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend children 6 months through 5 years of age receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC now recommends that all children 6 months through 5 years of age receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to better protect them from COVID-19.

All children, including those who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated. Although most children have only mild symptoms when infected, COVID-19 can cause some children to become very sick, even to the point of requiring hospitalization or even death.

The approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6-months old is another major step forward in the overall COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Parents have many options for where to get a COVID-19 vaccine for their child including:
Pediatricians’ offices: Hundreds of pediatricians will be administering COVID-19 vaccines across Connecticut.

Pharmacies: There will be hundreds of pharmacy locations that offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children. Pharmacies provide a safe, convenient, and easy location to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
DPH Yellow Van Clinics: The updated clinic schedule can be found at ct.gov/coronavirus

Test and Treat

Through the newly launched nationwide Test to Treat initiative, people can get tested and – if they are positive and treatments are appropriate for them – fill a prescription from a health care provider, all in one location. Test to Treat sites, located at select pharmacies, urgent care centers, and federally qualified health centers.

DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD states, “In order for COVID-19 treatments to work, they must be started early, within five days of when your symptoms start. The Test to Treat initiative provides eligible patients faster, easier access to potentially life-saving treatments.”

A web-based site locator is now available to make it easier to find Test to Treat locations. Those who may have difficulty accessing the internet or need additional support locating a Test to Treat site can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages – 8am to midnight ET, seven days a week.

The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is also available to specifically help people with disabilities access services. To get help, call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 9am to 8pm ET or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.

State Nixs Takeout Containers for Recycling

Update on Recycling

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Did you know that those black plastic containers what are often used for customers with their to-go food in them are not recyclable?  State environmentalists say they actually belong in the trash.

“Black plastic is a form of contamination in the Connecticut recycling program. Black plastic is not picked up by optical scanners at the materials recovery facilities, often referred to as a MRF, that sort and process our materials. And if they can’t identify what is black plastic, it ends up getting in bales of paper, or bands, bales of aluminum or other materials and will contaminate those loads,” said Department of Energy and Environmental Protection State Environmental Analyst Sherill Baldwin.

Baldwin said black plastic was removed last year from the state’s list of acceptable items to put in your home’s recycling bin.

“I think it’s really due to the pandemic. Because we’ve been doing so much takeout, I think there’s more black plastic than what facilities can handle, and it’s causing high levels of contamination,” Baldwin said.

Black plastic does have those triangular arrows, but you still should not place them in your recycling bin.

A reminder, this is what is allowed in Stratford’s recycling stream, you can recycle:

  • unbroken glass bottles,
  • any plastic container with a number 1 through 7 stamped on the bottom no larger than 3 gallons
  • no plastic bags or black plastic containers
  • empty food and beverage cans
  • and all paper (including newspapers, junk mail, magazine, etc.) and cardboard.

Alaskan Adventure

A Scouts Journey to the Alaskan Wilderness

By Zohar Rosenberg, Life Scout – Troop 72

On July 16th, Boy Scouts from Troop 72 embarked on a High Adventure Trip to Alaska for two weeks. We would be backpacking Denali National Park for five days, exploring the various towns in Alaska, and hiking through the Alaskan wilderness every chance we got. This trip, along with being really fun, allowed us to get a better appreciation of natures’ majesty.

It took a lot of training and preparation but in the end it was an adventure of a lifetime. My brother and I filled our backpacks to capacity and hiked around Stratford every day for a month. You may have seen us walking up and down Main Street. Sometimes we had extra weight in the bags just to be over prepared for this journey.

Our amazing trip started at the parking lot of the United Methodist Church at 2:00 A.M. The next 15 hours of driving and flights gave everyone a chance to get some sleep before the sun stopped setting. It would take us another day to actually get into the wilderness of Denali because we needed to make sure we had all of our equipment, our food was protected, and we needed to be informed of the safety procedures around the wildlife. From then on, we were on our own, making a new path where no man has gone before.

As we hiked into the park, some of the scouts saw a rock on a far away mountain; it became our goal to reach that house-size boulder. We hiked up and down mountains and even crossed an ice-cold river. After the river, we needed to find a spot to camp and we didn’t until 1:00 A.M., when the sun was still shining overhead. The sunset in Denali was more like perpetual dusk and it just got dimmer but not dark.

The second day, we hiked 2,500 feet up a mountain and made it to the rock at an elevation of 4,000 feet. Under the massive rock was a scurry of ground squirrels. Along with the view, the sweet smell of the forest and the cool wind on our faces, we all took in the beauty around us. This, in my opinion, made the hike worth it.

July 20th, we saw not one but two bears. Not just any type of bear, Grizzly Bears! They are huge and menacing but our troop was prepared. We made ourselves look big and talked to the bear so that we did not seem weak. That night we set up camp away from all the bears and they stayed away from us. The next day, we hiked down the mountain, walked through a swamp, and found our way to the one road that goes through the park.

Our trip to Denali National Park involved amazing encounters with wildlife and stunning views that were awe inspiring. Seeing something like that in person and not from behind a computer screen gives me some perspective of how incredible nature truly is. This trip is something that I will never forget.

You can see more images and video of this amazing adventure on the Troop Seventy Two Facebook Page or https://www.instagram.com/troop72/

For more information about Troop 72, go to Troopseventytwo.com

VAX Facts

Confirmed Cases Of Covid-19 In Stratford As Of Today

Number of cases in the past seven days: 65
Percent Positivity in the past seven days: 12.1%

Total Cumulative Cases: 14,653. There have been 203 deaths to date

The state is releasing information about how many individuals are vaccinated in all Connecticut communities. As of August 3rd, 79.98% of the town’s population had been vaccinated with at least a first dose.

CDC Recommends Moderna for those Aged 6-17

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine be used as an option for children ages 6 through 17 years, in addition to its already recommended use in children 6 months through 5 years and adults 18 years and older. The ACIP recommendation comes after a thorough review of the scientific evidence demonstrating safety and efficacy and supports the use of the vaccine among those 6 through 17 years of age. CDC recommends that Moderna COVID-19 vaccine be used for individuals 6 through 17 years of age to better protect them from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend children 6 months through 5 years of age receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC now recommends that all children 6 months through 5 years of age receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to better protect them from COVID-19.

All children, including those who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated. Although most children have only mild symptoms when infected, COVID-19 can cause some children to become very sick, even to the point of requiring hospitalization or even death.

The approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6-months old is another major step forward in the overall COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Parents have many options for where to get a COVID-19 vaccine for their child including:
Pediatricians’ offices: Hundreds of pediatricians will be administering COVID-19 vaccines across Connecticut.

Pharmacies: There will be hundreds of pharmacy locations that offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children. Pharmacies provide a safe, convenient, and easy location to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

DPH Yellow Van Clinics: The updated clinic schedule can be found at ct.gov/coronavirus

Test and Treat

Through the newly launched nationwide Test to Treat initiative, people can get tested and – if they are positive and treatments are appropriate for them – fill a prescription from a health care provider, all in one location. Test to Treat sites, located at select pharmacies, urgent care centers, and federally qualified health centers.

DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD states, “In order for COVID-19 treatments to work, they must be started early, within five days of when your symptoms start. The Test to Treat initiative provides eligible patients faster, easier access to potentially life-saving treatments.”

A web-based site locator is now available to make it easier to find Test to Treat locations. Those who may have difficulty accessing the internet or need additional support locating a Test to Treat site can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages – 8am to midnight ET, seven days a week.

The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is also available to specifically help people with disabilities access services. To get help, call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 9am to 8pm ET or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.

VAX FACTS

Confirmed Cases Of Covid-19 In Stratford As Of Today

Number of cases in the past seven days: 83
Percent Positivity in the past seven days: 15.3%
Total Cumulative Cases: 14,560

There have been 201 deaths to date. The state is releasing information about how many individuals are vaccinated in all Connecticut communities. As of July 27th , 79.96% of the town’s population had been vaccinated with at least a first dose. If you haven’t yet gotten boosted, consider now. The Stratford Health Department has clinics continuing into August. Call and make an appointment!

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.
Stratford clinics have dispensed 15,573 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.

CDC Recommends Moderna for those Aged 6-17

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine be used as an option for children ages 6 through 17 years, in addition to its already recommended use in children 6 months through 5 years and adults 18 years and older. The ACIP recommendation comes after a thorough review of the scientific evidence demonstrating safety and efficacy and supports the use of the vaccine among those 6 through 17 years of age. CDC recommends that Moderna COVID-19 vaccine be used for individuals 6 through 17 years of age to better protect them from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend children 6 months through 5 years of age receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC now recommends that all children 6 months through 5 years of age receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to better protect them from COVID-19.

All children, including those who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated. Although most children have only mild symptoms when infected, COVID-19 can cause some children to become very sick, even to the point of requiring hospitalization or even death.

The approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6-months old is another major step forward in the overall COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Parents have many options for where to get a COVID-19 vaccine for their child including:
Pediatricians’ offices: Hundreds of pediatricians will be administering COVID-19 vaccines across Connecticut.

Pharmacies: There will be hundreds of pharmacy locations that offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children. Pharmacies provide a safe, convenient, and easy location to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

DPH Yellow Van Clinics: The updated clinic schedule can be found at ct.gov/coronavirus

Test and Treat

Through the newly launched nationwide Test to Treat initiative, people can get tested and – if they are positive and treatments are appropriate for them – fill a prescription from a health care provider, all in one location. Test to Treat sites, located at select pharmacies, urgent care centers, and federally qualified health centers.

DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD states, “In order for COVID-19 treatments to work, they must be started early, within five days of when your symptoms start. The Test to Treat initiative provides eligible patients faster, easier access to potentially life-saving treatments.”

A web-based site locator is now available to make it easier to find Test to Treat locations. Those who may have difficulty accessing the internet or need additional support locating a Test to Treat site can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages – 8am to midnight ET, seven days a week.

The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is also available to specifically help people with disabilities access services. To get help, call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 9am to 8pm ET or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.

Probate Court, a Court For the Living

By Judge Max L. Rosenberg

Probate Court is most commonly associated with the deceased and their estates, but the court is actually set up to help families to protect their most vulnerable members.

Conservators and Guardians are appointed by the Probate Court to oversee the affairs of those with mental illness, those that can no longer care for themselves. It is the court’s solemn duty to protect those people who need the assistance of others from predatory conservators and abuse.

Guardians are entrusted to care and make decisions for a child under the age of eighteen (18). They are in charge of making decisions about medical treatment, educational opportunities, spending of funds, and general life decisions.

Conservators are appointed to oversee the personal and financial affairs of an adult (over the age of eighteen (18)). Before a Conservator is appointed, the court must determine the level of the individual’s ability to manage different aspects of their life. In some cases, the Conserved individual has a Conservator to handle all aspects of their financial and personal affairs, and in other cases, the court will appoint a Conservator to be on Standby and only oversee the choices made by the Conserved person. Additional levels of Conservators include voluntary and involuntary, as well as temporary and permanent.

Conservators and/or Guardians can be family members or court appointed attorneys. Once someone is conserved, they are considered a Protected Person. Regardless of the relationship, it is the responsibility of the Conservator and/or Guardian to regularly check in with the court and provide evidence of time spent and validate the funds used in the benefit of the conserved. For example, the court would have to approve purchases from a trust that is intended for the care of a Protected Person, preventing the guardian from purchasing luxury items and vacations with the funds intended for the basic care of the child. It would be inappropriate to purchase a car in the name of the guardian of a six year old child. It would be appropriate, however, to spend the funds on clothes. The Probate Court scrutinizes and holds accountable those Conservators and/or Guardians who abuse the funds intended for basic care.

The State of Connecticut offers classes and training for Conservators that are required to be appointed.

Probate Court is a court for the living, in that it provides security for the Conserved and those in need of Guardianship. Mentally Ill individuals who are living with a conservator or guardianship appointed by the court are protected by the ever watchful eye of the probate court. The Court is there to protect the assets of your loved one from predatory interests.

To Learn more about Persons with Intellectual Disability’s within the Probate Court System: click here:
http://www.ctprobate.gov/Documents/User%20Guide%20Persons%20with%20Intellectual%20Disability.pdf

To Learn more about Guardianships in Connecticut: Click Here:
https://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/notebooks/pathfinders/guardianshipinct/guardianship.pdf

The Story of a Magic Garden

By Andrea Byrne
Editor

There is such a place, you know, And it”s here in Stratford, on Elm Street.  Enter the grounds of Shakespeare Park at 1850 Elm Street, and to your right you will see one of the loveliest public gardens in the state.  It is a garden with history and celebrity.

On July 19th a ceremony took place at the entrance to Shakespeare Park, paying tribute to Christine Rudney for all she has done in the last eleven years to bring the Shakespeare garden back to life.  Our Sister Cities group, part of an organization that connects all the Stratfords of the world, sponsored a bench for the garden with the inscription:

Stratford Sister Cities

In Recognition of Christine Rudney

Christine Rudney Bench With: Left to right, standing: Jaqueline Partridge, Orna Rawls, Christopher Aurelia, Anne Lees, Deb Perssons Left to right seated: Christine Rudney, Jean Goodnow 

The Sister Cities Choir performed several pieces on the steps of the White House.  Christine was clearly touched, and gave her thanks to those who have participated in so many ways over the last decade.  She also gave us the origin story of the garden.

When the American Shakespeare Theatre was in its heyday in the 1950”s an actor named Will Geer performed there.  He later became well known as Grandpa Walton on the popular TV show, “The Waltons”.  What is less known about him is that he started out to become a botanist, and received his master”s degree in botany at the University of Chicago.

He was well-versed in the many plants that make an appearance in Shakespeare”s plays.  He could—and did—quote the lines with ease.  It was that passion that led him to create the herbarium at the property”s entrance.  He preferred the term herbarium because many of the plants in Shakespeare”s day were favored for purposes in addition to their beauty—food, medicines… and poisons. (See list below.) They were not the hybrid forms we are familiar with, but much smaller and less showy versions that today would likely be thought of as wildflowers or weeds.  For example, what Shakespeare referred to as a “pansy” was actually the much smaller “Johnny-Jump-Up” or Viola.  Our Pansies are hybrids that were cultivated in the 19th century.

Geer’s initial plan was a small Perdita spring garden, named for a character in “A Winter”s Tale”.  He envisioned it along the walk leading to the theatre, and something that would be enjoyable and educational for the many school children who came to see performances.

Funds for a larger garden came from the Fairfield County Garden Guild (a little bit of magic!), and the initial labor came from Will Geer.  He had a vacation home at 3000 Nichols Avenue called Geer-Gore Gardens that he visited often throughout the years.  That garden provided some of the plantings for his new undertaking, which he named Shakespeare”s Herbal.

The basic layout remains the same, and is traditional for Shakespeare gardens, featuring boxwoods at the gate and pathways to guide you through the plantings.  The boxwoods that Will Geer planted were a cutting from a tree outside Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-Upon-Avon, given to him by a lady doctor who had visited the cottage.

As one garden story goes, there was a rather prominent actress working at the theatre (initials KH… any guesses??) who was in the habit of plucking lettuce from the garden for her salads.  When Will chided her for it, she tossed him twenty dollars, saying “go buy some more lettuce”.  He didn’t.  Instead he bought a crabapple tree, planted it just outside the garden and good-naturedly named it after her.  She responded with equal good humor, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she kept on picking lettuce.

Geer was with the theatre company for ten years, but left in 1965 to pursue work in California.  In his absence, someone always magically stepped in.  Sometimes it was actors and sometimes members of the Garden Guild, but Will returned often to look in on the garden and do his part in maintaining it.

Geer Photos: Will Geer starting the Shakespeare Garden

Wyman Pendleton, a fellow actor and garden enthusiast, shared care of the garden while he was a member of the acting company through the “70”s, working together with Will in the herbarium or writing each other with what new plantings or changes were being made.

When the theatre fell on hard times and was forced to close altogether in the “80”s, the garden fell into disrepair as well.  Guild members tried to maintain it for a while, but that, too, faded away.

Some thirty years later, around 2011, Christine entered the scene to provide a bit more magic—and a great deal of work.  Christine grew up in Stratford and worked at the theatre in her teens, so it has a very special place in her heart.  She lived its history.

Her marriage and career as a nurse had taken her to New York City where she lived for many years, raising her family.  She returned to her childhood home in the historic district when her father was ill, and it was then that she joined others who were hopeful of rejuvenating the theatre.  She happily took on the task of working with the costumes worn by so many stars who headlined there.  She created an exhibit which was displayed not only in the lobby area of the theatre, but also at the Fairfield Historical Society.  In addition, she helped to organize the boxes and boxes of theatre ephemera that filled the old offices—programs, receipts, letters and so much more.

She grew frustrated with all the failed attempts at restoring and restarting the theatre, so decided to take on a project where she could actually make something happen—the garden.  By that time it was a mess, with an overgrown pear tree at the center of it.  She consulted an arborist about pruning the tree so she could renew the garden.  He responded, “You can have a tree here, or you can have a garden, but you can”t have both.”  The tree was removed.  Sadly, somewhere in those intervening years the boxwoods from Anne Hathaway”s cottage had been removed, too.

Christine set to work.  Theatre-enthusiast and former Councilman Matt Catalano put her in touch with two women studying to be professional gardeners.  Jane Weimar and Delores Luciano needed hours to fulfill requirements for their licensing as Master Gardeners, and were happy to spend those hours working at the Shakespeare garden.

Delores got Christine connected with Sal Gilbertie of Gilbertie”s Herbs and Garden Center in Westport.  Every year since, his generous response has been, “Take as much you want.”  Jane made contact with Will Geer”s daughter Ellen to let her know his garden was being revived.  She was delighted and offered whatever support she could provide.

From this fresh start, Christine spearheaded all the subsequent activity, as well as being the dedicated worker, waterer and plant provider.  But she feels the magic of this garden is the way it brings people together.  “Someone always shows up,” she says. “Someone always steps in to help, just when you need it.”

People donate not only time and expertise, but plants either from their own gardens or purchased just for this one.  Friend and neighbor Orna Rawls has taken an important role as “keeper of the birdbath”, daily making sure the water is clean and fresh. The town has also contributed by providing some plantings, and assistance with the heavy labor.

Two more magic-makers showed up a couple of years ago, Anne Lees, a Master Gardener and Landscape Designer, and Jean Goodnow.  Anne is a professional gardener, and Jean maintains the Sister Cities Friendship Garden at Boothe Park.  She has also sought out donors of goods and services, as well as financial gifts for the Shakespeare garden.

Christine still actively takes a part in the garden, but has “handed over the trowel” to Anne and Jean. Their know-how and energy are providing the next generation of plantings and design.  If you”re interested in helping at the garden, stop by any Monday morning around 10:00 and talk with Anne and Jean.  Or, go there anytime to just enjoy the beauty of it all.

The following is a partial list of items planted in Will Geer”s Shakespeare”s Herbal:

  • Lupine
  • Heather
  • Aloe
  • Hyssop
  • Poppy
  • Aconite
  • Rue
  • Chamomile
  • Cinquefoil
  • Foxglove
  • Ginger
  • Columbine
  • Fennel
  • Lavender
  • Borage
  • Spearmint
  • Mallow
  • Stock
  • Buttercup
  • Lemon Balm
  • and of course, Roses

 

 

 

About Stratford Sister Cities

Source: StratfordSisterCitiesChorus.com, Waymarking.com

History of Stratford Sister Cities

There are many Cities and Towns around the world with similar names; Stratford is no exception. Some Stratford’s around the world have and continue to establish relationships among the other Cities, Towns and their residents. A group of Stratford Sister Cities had got together in 1984 and began to have some reciprocal interaction.

The two Stratford’s that are closest to each other, Stratford, Ontario and Stratford, Connecticut, have had a long history of cultural, sporting, and social exchanges. Each year exchanges are organized. In 1985, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, became involved and with their involvement, a reunion has taken place every two years

Sister Cities Organization in CT:  The late Hugh Catalano became the chairman for the Sister Cities Organization in CT, overseeing the chorus and the Youth Exchange Program between Ontario and Stratford CT.  Grade 6 and Grade 11 student ambassadors, chosen on the basis of merit and scholarship, participated in that cultural exchange opportunity in the 1990s into the year 2002, after which funding became unavailable.

Now:  The Sister Cities Organization includes 6 Stratfords in five countries:  United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and The United States.

Sister Cities Band and Chorus

1986:  Birth of the Official “Stratford Sister Cities Band” whose purpose was musical exchange with the other Stratfords of the world.  In 1987 the band traveled to England to perform with the Ontario Pipe Band and the Stratford-Upon-Avon Wind Band.  Hugh and Mary Lou Catalano accompanied the band on that trip which marked their long term involvement as promoters, organizers, and supporters of the Sister Cities program.

In 1989:  All three bands performed for Stratord, CT’s 350th anniversary to a full house at the Shakespeare Theatre. In 1990 The Sister Cities Band performed at Carnegie Hall and then went on tour to Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland.

The Sister Cities Chorus was born in 1991.  Founded by Hugh Catalano and conducted by Wooster Middle School music teacher, Lynn McGilvary, the chorus debuted locally in the spring of 1992.  The group traveled to Stratford-upon-Avon that summer and to Stratford, Ontario in the summer of 1993.  From 1996 until 2012, Dr.  Joe Utterback, Minister of Music at the First Congregational Church, was the chorus’ director.  The  baton was then passed to Jeffrey Leinen,  Choral and Drama Director at Stratford High School who currently holds the position.

Culture

The cultural aspect is important to the reunions. Three of the Sister Cities have well known theaters. A concert involving participation from each sister city is an integral part of each reunion. Each sister city asks its residents to billet or provide home stays so that the visitors can experience family living in a private home. This also helps to form lasting relations among the visitors and their hosts.

The reunions do not emphasize commercial relations as the organization is not in that business. There are no formal or other business meetings but there are many social gatherings. The only meeting usually held is to determine the location of the next reunion.

Local and national businesses are usually asked for support in defraying some of the costs involved in each reunion and have been most generous in the past.

Stratford Sister Cities Friendship Garden

This garden is located in Boothe Memorial Park near the rose garden. This friendship garden is dedicated to the following cities:

  • Stratford-Upon-Avon, England
  • Stratford, Ontario
  • Stratford, Prince Edward Island (PEI)
  • Stratford, New Zealand
  • Stratford, Australia

Each of the six Stratfords has an identical garden which are planted with colorful red, blue and green plants.

 

Kevonna Edwards Bicycle Rodeo

15 Years of Rodeo with Stratford Rotary, PAL and SRO

South End Community Center

Kevonna Edwards was a CARE Counselor and worked in after school programs at the South End Community Center. In 2007, Kevonna who was a Bunnell student, died tragically in a car accident.

A decision was made by Tymatha (Ty) Sims, South End Community Center (Program Coordinator, and Alec Voccola, who was with the police emergency service, and whose son was a friend of Kevonna, to do a Bike Safety Rodeo for summer school students that would connect with community leaders.  The Bike Safety Rodeo fits Kevonna’s memory, as she loved teaching, and always stressed safety.

Voccloa, who was an SRO officer worked to keep the rodeo alive, and has kept the program running safety, even though Covid forced them to downsize. Also on board is PAL, who showed up with bikes, helmets, cones for the

Sponsors who were “rounded up” to participate include: SRO and PAL have been huge supporters.

Stratford Rotary, who has been on board for 15 years and has given participants bike bells, bike lights, helmets, bikes, bike locks, and provide participants lunch and snacks.

Children who do not have bikes are given bikes.  After 15 years the Bike Rodeo participants have grown so that they now have 30 riders.

There is 30 children in the Summer Camp program, with 6 children who are “leaders in training” who have had 24 hours of training before program.  The leaders in training help with lesson plans, field trips, and day-to-day activities.  After summer camp is over they are evaluated and given a small stipend.

Heat Hints for Blues on the Beach

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

Dear Neighbor,

The summer’s first heat wave is here. The next several days are set to see temperatures in Connecticut reach more than 90 degrees with a heat index of triple digits at times, which has prompted activation of the state’s extreme hot weather protocol starting today and effective through 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 24th.

The purpose of the protocol is to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive protection from hot conditions. While enacted, a system is set up for state agencies, municipalities, and other partners to coordinate with United Way 2-1-1 to make sure that information regarding cooling centers is available statewide, providing a location to get some relief from the hot conditions.

Anyone in need of a cooling center should call 2-1-1 or look online at 211ct.org to find their nearest location.

There are three cooling centers in Stratford:
Baldwin Center – 1000 W. Broad St.
Stratford Library – 2203 Main Street
Stratford YMCA – 3045 Main Street

Visit the Town of Stratford website for more information, including hours of operation for each location.

Heat-related illness can affect anyone, though some people are at greater risk than others, including infants and young children, people 65 years of age or older, those who are overweight and anyone who overexerts during work or exercise or is physically ill with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation.

Here are some additional tips to stay safe in extreme heat.

Enjoy the Beach, Have Fun at Blues on the Beach

Sincerely,
Phil
Phil.Young@cga.ct.gov