Spring has finally arrived! As I spoke at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival on the Columbus Green, I was thrilled to see New Haven’s signature cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Spring in New Haven is one of the loveliest times of the year and I look forward to seeing more and more residents out and about in our parks and streets, taking advantage of our great natural resources, walkable streets and terrific areas for cycling.
This weekend also marked the annual New Haven AIDS Walk. Each year, I am more inspired by the enthusiasm, energy, and dedication of the Walk’s participants. Through this important event, we are able to increase public awareness with regards to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Programs such as the New Haven Mayor’s Task Force Against AIDS help ensure that our commitment towards combating HIV/AIDS continues well beyond the day of the walk. Over the past years, City Hall, devoted New Haven residents, and numerous community-based organizations, have helped in New Haven’s fight against AIDS through the implementation of a successful needle exchange program, which has cut new infections by one-third, through increased sex education classes in schools, through community care vans, allowing treatment and assistance to extend beyond hospitals, and much more. I thank all participants, organizers and sponsors of the 2008 AIDS Walk for their dynamism and commitment, a mark of New Haven’s unified front against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Ugandan Children’s Choir Performs at City Hall
City Hall is honored to host a performance by the Ugandan Children’s Choir this Tuesday at 1:30pm. The members of the choir are Ugandan orphans who are conducting a twelve-day tour of the region, performing their resounding repertoire at various locations. We welcome the choir and look forward to what will be both a meaningful and exciting performance.
Young Elected Officials Conference
This Wednesday, I will be speaking at the Young Elected Officials Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Young Elected Officials Network unites and supports progressive elected leaders who share a passion for building communities characterized by freedom, justice and opportunity for all residents, regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, or socio-economic background. I will discuss current issues surrounding immigration in the United States, fostering a dialogue with these bright leaders on how we can best assist our communities’ immigrant groups.
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.
Powder House Day
This Saturday is New Haven’s 233rd Powder House Day. This day commemorates the events of April 22nd, 1775 when the Governor’s Foot Guard requested the keys to the powder house to prepare its soldiers’ march into Cambridge, Massachusetts, marking New Haven’s official participation in the American Revolution. A memorial service will take place at the New Haven Center’s Church on the Green, followed by a reenactment of the historical event across the Green, ending at City Hall. I encourage all to come and witness New Haven history in the “re-making”!
Here’s what’s happening in New Haven Public Schools this week:
TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: MicroSociety Magnet School, 103 Hallock Street: Students, teachers and staff members will mark Earth Day by joining together in earth-friendly learning activities to honor our planet and spread the message: ‘If we do a little each day, we can make a difference.’ Contact: Michelle Maiorino, 946-7761.
TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008, BARNARD ENVIRONMENTAL MAGNET SCHOOL, 170 Derby Ave., Barnard will celebrate Earth Day with the study and celebration of winged creatures at a Bird Festival entitled “Wind Over Wings” in the Cafetorium Pre-k-Grade 3 at10:00am and Grades 4 -7 at 1:30 pm Outdoor activities related to birds will be conducted by Kellogg Nature Center.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2008, 10:00 A.M.: BARNARD SCHOOL, 170 Derby Ave.: The celebration of Earth Day continues with the school system taking time to honor an educator who has championed the environment. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo, Science Supervisor Richard Therrien, Principal Lisa Thomas and Science Fair committee members will honor Marjorie Drucker, Science Magnet Coordinator of Barnard Environmental Magnet School for being named the 2007-2008 Middle School Science Teacher of the Year by the Connecticut Science Teachers Association. Ms. Drucker’s “classroom” is filled with life: a salmon egg hatchery; snakes, gerbils, a greenhouse, plants growing in the school courtyard and the coordination of some 14 outside environmental and community partnerships. Marjorie has been the Science Magnet Resource Teacher at Barnard since 2004 and has been responsible for planning and coordinating Barnard’s science and environmental curriculum for the school, as well as coordinating delivery of services with outside partners to enhance and enrich the environmental curriculum.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2008, 6 p.m.: CASCADE, 480 Sherman Ave., Hamden, The Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame has selected Hill Regional Career High girls’ basketball team, the Panthers, to be the recipient of the annual Brenda Reilly Memorial High School Award as the outstanding girls’ basketball team in the state for the 2007-2008 season. The Panthers, led by coach Kevin Walton, won the Class LL state championship in a 71-66 victory over New Britain and were voted the No. 1 team in the final Register Top 10 poll by a panel of sports writers and coaches.
THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2008, 8:00 A.M.: TRUMAN SCHOOL, 114 Truman Street, 5th – 8th grader students who have received honors for the past two marking periods will join their parents in a special reception to recognize their achievements.
FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2008, 10:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.: CLINTON AVENUE SCHOOL, 293 Clinton Ave. “Community Resource Fair for Parents” sponsored by New Haven Public Schools Social Work Department. Participating Agencies-DCF,DDS, HUSKY, JUNTA, Centro San Jose, CT. Home Recovery, CT. Mental Health, Hill Health Center, New Haven Police Department, CAMPES, Juvenile Court, Infoline, New Haven Reads, Fair Haven Health Clinic.
Have a happy and healthy week!
Very truly yours,
John DeStefano, Jr.