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    Dear Friends

    We are pleased to announce that New Haven has been named one of America’s finest walking cities! According to the American Podiatric Medical Association’s 2008 “America’s Best Walking Cities,” New Haven ranked 19th out of 500 major American cities, and #1 in Connecticut for its excellent “walkability”. New Haven also ranked highest out of all cities in Connecticut for its percentage of bicycle commuters, according to a recent U.S. Census report. We are proud of the active and energetic residents behind these statistics!

    Community Budget Meetings

    Thank you again to those who attended the first of our four community meetings to discuss the FY09 budget. It’s important to have community members present and involved in this process. We look forward to seeing you at our next meetings on:

    March 27 at 6pm, St. Aedan’s Church Hall on Fountain Street

    April 9 at 6pm, Pilgrim Church Hall on Grand Ave.

    April 24 at 6pm Nathan Hale School on Townsend Ave.

    Real Life. Real Talk. Launches in New Haven

    On Thursday, I will participate in the launch of an important program in New Haven—Real Life. Real Talk. The program is a product of Planned Parenthood and more than 30 community partners including New Haven Public Schools, the New Haven Free Public library, churches, hospitals, and more. Real Life. Real Talk fosters open, honest, and frank discussion on sex and health between adults and teenagers. The program equips teens and their parents with the necessary tools to make safe and positive decisions concerning sex, romance, and relationships. Nearly forty events are planned at which parents can get the tools they need to begin this important family dialog. Real Life. Real Talk. aligns with the goals of our own Teen Pregnancy Task Force and bolsters our efforts to make New Haven a supportive and healthy environment for our young adults and their families. For more information about the program, please join me at 10:30am at Wilbur Cross High School at 10:30am, or visit: www.realliferealtalk.org.

    Honoring the Bregamos Theater Group

    On Monday, March 17th, we honor the Bregamos Community Theater Group for its upcoming participation in the International Community Arts Festival in the Netherlands. Bregamos is the only theater group representing the United States at this international event. Bregamos was founded five years ago in Fair Haven with the mission of uniting cultures and different age groups through theatrical performance. The group’s performances touch upon important social and cultural issues and are a testament to the talent and dynamism of its participants. We will honor the Bregamos Theater Group on March 17th at 2pm in the City Hall Atrium and look forward to their continued artistic contributions and the positive impact such productions will have on our community.

    Final Downtown Community Crossing Meeting

    Next Tuesday, March 18th marks our final Downtown Community Crossing Meeting. We encourage all residents to take part in our last meeting of this series that addresses the future of New Haven. The meeting will take place at the Martinez School Library at 100 James Street at 6:30pm.

    Substance Abuse Services Resource Guide

    The Commission on Substance Abuse Policy and Prevention will soon launch its Substance Abuse Services Resource Guide, a comprehensive handbook with detailed information for New Haven residents to locate substance abuse treatment and assistance. The guide brings us one step closer towards the prevention and reduction of substance abuse in New Haven and ensures that those in need of assistance have easy access to appropriate resources. The guide will be distributed in various locations throughout the city and will soon be available in PDF form on the city website.

    Here’s what’s happening in New Haven Public Schools this week:

    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12 and THURSDAY, MARCH 13, PARDEE GREENHOUSE, 3:30-4:30 P.M., 180 Parks Road, Hamden: Agriculture students from the Sound School will be busy tending and bundling dozens of green carnations in advance of St. Patrick's Day. The students deliver the carnations to city employees on St. Patrick's Day, Monday, March 17, as a fundraiser for its urban agriculture program. Contact: Chas Mavrelion, 946-6937.

    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, 6-7:30 P.M., BARNARD MAGNET SCHOOL: Barnard will hold its Family Science Night, complete with live "critters" and a slide show courtesy of Mystic Seaport.

    FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2008, NOON-2:30 P.M., LAUREL VIEW COUNTRY CLUB, 310 WEST SHEPARD AVE., HAMDEN: Several students from New Haven Public Schools are among those being honored at the Superintendents' Student Award Luncheon, sponsored by the South Central Superintendents Association. Congratulations to: Omar Moreno, Keytana Escobales, Nicholas Rivera and Otessa Carter, all of John S. Martinez School; and Otis Brown and Ariane DaSilva, Hill Regional Career.

    SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2008, 6 P.M., FOXON COUNTRY HOUSE, EAST HAVEN: James Hillhouse High School announces its second Annual Athletic Hall of Fame dinner. For 148 years, James Hillhouse High School has produced some of the greatest names in American sports history. This event acknowledges outstanding athletes - leaders in their communities and pioneers at the high school, universities, and professional levels -for their athletic accomplishments. Honorees include the late Maurice Podoloff, the founding father of the National Basketball Association. Also Sam Bender, Harry Bosley, Willie Boyd, Bob Burnley, Eugene Davins, Walter Esdaile, and several others.

    Have a happy and healthy week.

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano Jr.,



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