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    Dear Friends

    Today is National Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Day. We thank all community members and organizations that continue to teach our youth about the dangers of drug use and that offer services and advice that assist youth to lead drug-free and safe lives. As we near the middle of National Awareness Month, National D.A.R.E. Day should serve as a reminder of all of our efforts to increase public awareness of the variety of resources available in New Haven for substance abuse prevention and treatment. We remind you that on display until the end of the month at the New Haven Free Public Library will be helpful information surrounding underage drinking and useful tools for parents to discuss issues concerning alcohol use with their children.

    April is also Stress Awareness Month. Between work, school, tax deadlines, and more, we recognize how stressful of a month April can be! We encourage all New Haven residents to consider strategies to reduce the factors that cause you stress, and to take time to reflect upon and to appreciate the non-stressful areas of your lives.

    Dunkin Donuts Awards to VITA Tax Volunteers

    On Tuesday, Dunkin Donuts will join us in honoring the members of the New Haven Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) who have worked hard to help eligible residents in the City complete their file their taxes. Dunkin Donuts will provide free coffee and other items at the Brewery St. Post Office to the volunteers who have so generously offered their services to low-income residents, senior citizens, and all other persons who require and who are eligible for free tax assistance. These VITA volunteers are part of the New Haven Economic Security Coalition (NHECS). NHECS was established in 2002 to provide free income tax filing to low-income individuals and families through IRSí VITA program. Last year, the NHECS, helped 2,484 New Haven residents claim more than $3.6 combined in federal and state refunds. Participation last year increased from 2006ís 773 residents who took advantage of the free tax return preparations. We thank the VITA volunteers for their dedication and hard-work and appreciate Dunkin Donuts support of their efforts this Tuesday.

    Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Quinnipiac Terrace

    This Wednesday, we celebrate the completion of the second phase of the Quinnipiac Terrace Development, part of the HOPE VI Revitalization project. The City of New Haven, the Housing Authority of New Haven, and Trinity Financial have been working on the development over the past 16 months and are thrilled with the developmentís progress. Quinnipiac Terrace Phase II consists of 79 affordable rental units, located on Peck Street and on St. Anthony Street. Overall, the development consists of 176 units. Its design reflects the historical oyster farming and fishing elements of the Fair Haven neighborhood, and boasts a new community center that looks onto the Quinnipiac River. Quinnipiac Terrace is a great achievement for the Housing Authority and the City of New Haven and is the result of the cityís ongoing effort to provide and uphold affordable, mixed-income housing for all residents. The Ribbon Cutting ceremony will take place at 11am at the Quinnipiac Terrace Community Center at 381 Front Street.

    Last Community Budget Meeting

    I encourage you to attend our final Community Budget Meeting which will take place at Nathan Hale School on April 24 at 6p.m. This is your opportunity to become engaged in the budget process, learn about what goes in to developing the budget and express your thoughts on the City's budget priorities. Please join us on Thursday the 24 for this important event.

    Quilt Design Contest for 2008 All America City Competition

    One of our tasks as a finalist in the 2008 All America City Competition is to develop a 12 inch by 12 inch sewn/designed fabric square that will become part of a national All America City Quilt. Each Senior Center in New Haven has been asked to develop a square that best represents what makes New Haven an All American City. The deadline is Friday, April 25th. A group of community members will vote on their favorite design, which will then be incorporated into this historic quilt. We wish our Senior Centers the best of luck and look forward to seeing the creative designs that are put forth!

    Have a happy and healthy week!

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.



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