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    Dear Friends

    Tomorrow I will be holding a press conference to kick-off the third year of the Senior Tax Freeze. During these difficult economic times, this program will assist eligible senior citizens in our community by capping their property taxes for as long as they own and reside in their homes. At this event, you can learn where to apply, eligibility requirements, and hear from seniors who have benefitted from this program in past years. The press conference will take place at 11:00 a.m. at the East Shore Senior Center, located at 411 Townsend Ave.

    Here’s what else is happening this week in New Haven:

    Crime Reduction Press Conference

    On Thursday, February 5th at 11:00 a.m., I will join Chief Lewis at New Haven Police Headquarters to announce the Police Department’s new crime reduction strategy, introduce the department’s revamped mission, and discuss goals for 2009.

    Go Red

    February 6, 2009 is National Wear Red Day for Women. “Wear Red” day is part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red movement to encourage women to be more assertive about their heart-health through education and empowerment. I am asking all City of New Haven employees, women and men, to wear red on February 6th to help increase awareness about this important public health issue.

    The Go Red national movement helps women learn to take action to reduce their risk for this serious, and largely preventable, threat to their lives. “Wear Red” offers a unique opportunity to share the message that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American women age 25 and older. Nearly 460,000 women in the U.S. die from coronary heart disease and stroke every year, more than the next five causes of death combined, including all cancers. Symptoms of heart disease in women differ from those in men, often leading to misdiagnosis. In Connecticut, more than 5,300 women die of heart disease and stroke each year, one in five females in the United States have some form of cardiovascular disease, and fifty-four percent of women who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms.

    I invite you to visit the Go Red for Women “Red Dress” display, sponsored by Seychelles, in the atrium of City Hall during the week of February 6th. While you’re there, please pick up some valuable information about heart disease that could save your life or the life of someone you love. I also ask that you visit the following link to the American Heart Association http://www.goredforwomen.org/take_action.aspx to learn more about how you can take action to prevent heart disease. Talk to your doctor about your test results. Knowing and understanding your cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure numbers are essential to keeping your heart healthy.

    Last year, 30 Connecticut towns and cities participated in the Go Red for Women campaign. Let’s keep the momentum going. Thank you for your support and participation as we work together to increase awareness about heart disease and its impact on women. On Friday, February 6, wear something red…a red dress, a red tie, a red jacket, scarf, hat, blouse or shirt and Go Red for Women !

    See, Sip, and Savor

    Throughout the month of February, 20 New Haven restaurants will be participating in the See, Sip, and Savor event. For $29 per person, you can enjoy a three-course meal at one of these restaurants before or after seeing a show at one of our City’s theaters. Before you go, please visit: www.infonewhaven.com/seesipsavor for participating restaurants, menus, and further details.

    The following events will be taking place in the New Haven Free Public Library this week:

    VITA Tax Prep

    On Monday, February 2nd at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 7th at 10:00 a.m., there will be free tax preparation assistance for low and moderate income families available at the Main Branch. VITA is an IRS-sponsored program, for more details visit: www.nhesc.org/taxprep.htm. Please call first to make an appointment: (203) 946-8482.

    Creole Folktale at Mitchell

    In celebration of Black History Month, visit the Mitchell Branch on Tuesday, February 3rd at 4:00 p.m. for a children’s puppet show. The show will be based on the book “Talking Eggs,” a Creole folktale by Robert D. San Souci.

    Chinese New Year Celebration

    Visit the Main Branch at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 7th to celebrate the Year of the Ox. This bilingual program will include stories, songs, crafts, and refreshments.

    Do you know someone who might want to receive my weekly message but isn’t on my mailing list? If so, please e-mail a request to: jmayorga@newhavenct.net from the e-mail address you’d like us to add on. Requests will generally be processed within 48 hours of receipt.

    I wish you a happy and healthy week!

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.


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