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    Office Of The Mayor
    Dear Friends

    I hope you're enjoying a beautiful week in New Haven. As temperatures continue to fall and we see the first signs of ice and snow, I remind you you to stay warm and drive carefully! The New Haven Police Department has also stepped up DUI checkpoints to take drunk-drivers off the streets and make our roads safer for holiday travel.

    Menorah Lighting on New Haven Green

    Please join me this Sunday at 4p.m. as we light our menorah on the New Haven Green. This will be a great event to which I encourage you to bring your families to.

    Downtown Development keeps Booming

    The former Coliseum property is now ready to be used for interim surface parking. While the City is preparing to issue proposals from developers in the next month and working with interested parties to develop the site, the interim parking will provide additional parking spaces for the downtown and generate revenue for the City.

    Legislative Update for Seniors

    December 13, 2007 the Department of Elderly Services in partnership with the State Commission on Aging will be holding its annual legislative update at Gateway Community College from 10:00 - 12:00 PM. You may recall that last year we held a town hall meeting for seniors in November and had a great turnout. The department provides transportation for seniors to the event from the senior centers. For more information please contact the Department of Elderly Services at 946-7854.

    VITA needs Volunteers!

    I invite you to volunteer your time for a very important cause- to prepare low-wage earners' taxes for free. Through volunteering, you will help residents avoid paying a huge sum at a paid preparer AND you'll promote the EITC- the most effective federal anti-poverty tax credit- which together puts money back into the pockets of working New Haven residents. Last year we helped bring in over $1.5 million in returns and tax credits to New Haven residents, and we need your help to do it again!

    Starting February 2nd the New Haven Economic Security Coalition, in partnership with my office, will open the doors of multiple free volunteer income-tax assistance (VITA) sites in the City.


    - Learn a new skill and help others!

    - Volunteers must commit to one night per week OR Saturday afternoons for 4 hours for the duration of the tax season.

    - All volunteers are required to undergo training on a computer tax program and tax law.

    - Spanish speakers especially needed.

    If you are interested in volunteering please email ebyrne@newhavenct.net

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

    Fair Haven K-8 School is collecting new and clean, reusable coats and jackets, gloves, hats and scarves to assist the Friends of Fair Haven One Warm Coat Committee effort. Coats of all shapes and sizes are welcome and children's sizes are most needed. Hats, gloves and scarves for our children are essential as our students' walk to school or wait for buses throughout New Haven. Friends of Fair Haven One Warm Coat Committee is soliciting donations from businesses and families who may be in a position to assist their neighbors. Donations may be dropped off at Fair Haven K-8 School located at 164 Grand Avenue at any time from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. any weekday. All donated coats will be given to our students and parents in an effort to keep everyone warm during the winter months.

    Monday, 12-3-07, 9:30am-11am, BETSY ROSS ARTS MAGNET SCHOOL, 150 KIMBERLY AVE.: Continuing our partnership with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, two of BRAMS 5th grade classes will have a guest speaker. Stephen Collins, Education Director for the NHSO will talk to students about his job as part of the NHSO Photography Project. Prior to his visit, students have used photos provided by Mr. Collins as writing prompts and will try to guess what Mr. Collins does for a living. This is the second year BRAMS has participated in this project.

    TUESDAY, DEC. 4, 2007: HILL REGIONAL CAREER HIGH SCHOOL, 8 A.M. - 2 P.M., SCHOOL GYMNASIUM: Career High School is turning a blood drive into an educational experience, as students involved in the Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA) assist the Red Cross. A goal of getting 40 donors to donate was exceeded, as more than 75 have signed up. The Red Cross is coordinating the Drive and our HOSA members are assisting. Hill Regional Career High School is an interdistrict magnet school with a focus on careers in science, medicine and technology.

    WEDNESDAY, DEC. 5, 2007, 11 A.M., MAYOR'S OFFICE, CITY HALL, 165 CHURCH ST: The Sound School's agriculture students deliver homegrown poinsettias to my office. A dozen agriculture students from the Sound School have been delivering 24 Christmas poinsettias they grew in cooperation with the parks department at Pardee Greenhouse to points across the City this week. The Sound School has an active urban agriculture program and is blessed to have the newly renovated Pardee Greenhouse for its classrooms. The Sound School is a vocational aquaculture high school that draws from New Haven and 21 contiguous towns.

    WEDNESDAY, DEC. 5, 2007, 10:15, JOHN S. MARTINEZ SCHOOL, 100 JAMES ST.: Eight students from Victoria Raucci's third grade class at John S. Martinez are participating in the Storytelling program to further their writing, fluency, and communication skills. A storyteller will visit the class to continue the innovative lesson. She reports, "Tyrese Evans, Shiann Thivierge, Elexis Soukthideth, Carlos Mejia, Jenny Calderon, Ziomaly Rodriguez, Albert Lucky, and Samantha Montes have all demonstrated excellent writing and expressive reading in the classroom - we look forward to watching the outcome of their creativity!"

    THURSDAY, DEC. 6, 2007, 10 A.M., JAMES HILLHOUSE HIGH SCHOOL: Students will begin sorting pencils donated as part of a special project to give every student at Freetown a pencil. As the Amistad makes it historic transatlantic voyage and arrives in Freetown December 9th, members of the Freetown-New Haven Sister Cities Committee and the Hillhouse Class of 2009 are collecting pencils and sharpeners for the committee members to pass out while visiting Freetown. Help us to make this project a success! Please call Althea Norcott or Darrell Brown (President of the Hillhouse Class of 2009) at 946-8469.

    THURSDAY, DEC. 6, 2007, 6:30-8:30 P.M., COOPERATIVE ARTS: Cooperative Arts & Humanities band concert

    FRIDAY. DEC. 7, 2007, 6 P.M., FAIR HAVEN SCHOOL, 164 GRAND AVE.: Fair Haven School will have a Movie Night showing "The Polar Express" for our Kindergarten through Grade 6 students and their families. Santa will pay a visit and give each child a bell on a ribbon.

    FRIDAY, DEC. 7, 2007, COLUMBUS FAMILY ACADEMY, 293 CLINTON AVE: Principal Dr. Abie Benitez launches a book club as part of her weekly parent chats.

    FRIDAY, DEC. 7, 2007, 10:30-11 A.M., MARITIME CENTER, 555 LONG WHARF DRIVE: The Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School Chorus will perform at the 18th Annual Trees of Hope for the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut. Children in grades 6-8 will sing seasonal selections at the Maritime Center, 555 Long Wharf Drive. Meanwhile, the Betsy Ross Arts Magnet String Ensemble will perform for travelers at Union Station. Students in grades 6-8 will play seasonal selections to entertain folks as they pass through the train station.

    Have a healthy and happy week!

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.



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