Mayor's Monday Message|
Celebrating Halloween with 1,200 kids
This morning, I joined Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo, 1,200 school kids and six school bands as we celebrated the annual Mayorís Halloween Parade. Dr. Mayo and I dressed as dueling pizza chefs, accompanied by slices of healthful pizza, portrayed by sixth graders Ayjah Byrd and Kenyena Amiker of Betsy Ross Arts Magnet High School. I especially enjoyed the theme of Healthy Kids First, because our school district has done an outstanding job of emphasizing good nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles for children and their families. Have a safe and wonderful Halloween!
Ferry Street Bridge
Work continues on the Ferry Street bridge reconstruction. The contractor has begun blasting and painting the north approach span toward the Chapel Street site and has begun prepping the south side for the same work. You can find out more about the progress of this $16.6 million project when the City of New Haven, Alderman Alexander Rhodeen, D-13, and the Quinnipiac River Community Group hold an informational meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m. at the Waucoma Yacht Club, 279 Front Street. City Engineer Richard Miller, representatives from the DOT and Cianbro of Pittsfield, ME, the contractor chosen by the DOT to rebuild the Ferry Street Bridge, will answer questions.
Good news for efforts to combat underage drinking
I am pleased to report that the City of New Haven Commission on Substance Abuse Policy and Prevention has been selected to receive funding under the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) effective September 30, 2006. According to Director Esther Armmand, New Haven will receive $180,000 ($60,000 annually for the next three years) of the $2 million allocation by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Young people abuse alcohol more than any other substance, so the funding will allow us to support the engagement of hands-on youth driven leadership and to create policy strategies to reduce underage drinking and related harms.
Holiday Tree Comes to Town
While the Angel of Peace is scheduled to return to her perch on East Rock, we have another sizable presence on the Green this week. Last week, the parks department delivered a 60-foot Norway spruce donated by the Jennings family of Shelton, Connecticut to the Green. Moving a 60-foot tree is no easy task, and Iím always impressed by the job New Havenís Parks Department does every year. Even more impressiveóand dauntingóis the job they are starting today: tying up 20,000 lights to the tree. The tree lighting, presented by the Office of Cultural Affairs, is slated for Thursday, November 30. Children's activities will take place between 4-7:30pm. The event includes the United Girls Chamber Choir, Unity Boys Choir, the Heritage Chorale and more.
The Police Department recognized nationally in Bronze Telly Award
The New Haven police department has won national recognition alongside the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. A 2006 Bronze Telly Award was recently presented to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network for their development of a law enforcement training video on how to effectively help children at the scene of a domestic violence. The DVD was developed in collaboration with The National Center for Children Exposed to Violence (NCCEV) at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, and features Chief of Police Francisco Ortiz and Lt. Ray Hassett, among others. Iím proud our department is being recognized for its important work in helping our children.
Itís that time again Ė when the Department of Public Works, beginning November 1, posts streets to be swept with paper signs that will alert residents of parking restrictions. These signs will be posted during the day prior to sweeping being performed. This will give the City the option to focus on the streets most in need of sweeping based upon their condition. This will be ongoing through the end of December. Residents are reminded to not rake or sweep leaves or any other debris onto city streets or tree belts and utilize biodegradeable bags (available at most grocery and hardware outlets) for yard waste. Yard waste bags should be placed on the curb line on the usual trash pick-up days for your neighborhood.
Upcoming events related to Veterans Day
The Department of Elderly Services will host a Veterans Day Brunch at Anthony's Ocean View on November 8, 2006 from 11:00 AM - 3:00 pm. - RSVP at 946-7854. And I look forward to joining with the Mayor's Veterans' Affairs Advisory Committee and dignitaries to unveil our new Veterans Memorial Hall at Saturday, November 11, 2006, at 12:30 p.m. on the second floor of New Haven City Hall, 165 Church St.
I hope you have a happy and healthy week!
John DeStefano, Jr.