As you probably have heard, this past week U.S. Repeating Arms announced plans to close its doors at the end of March. Winchester firearms has been made in New Haven for 140 years, and the factory employs 186 people (many of them New Haven residents). I want all families to know that City Hall is working with the company and union leaders to keep the plant open and the jobs in New Haven. I will keep you posted, through the Monday Message, on our progress.
Now, let's take a look at the week ahead:
Monday: 5:45 p.m. New Haven Main Library (133 Elm St.) Today will mark the beginning of the 2006 season of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This excellent program allows low- to medium-income residents to get free assistance in preparing their taxes. Hundreds of New Haven residents participated in the program last year, receiving an average of $1,700 in tax refunds each. If you or anyone you know qualifies for this program, please call Infoline at 211 or the Community Action Agency at 203-848-6947 x213 to set up an appointment. The tax preparation meetings will take place in six different locations around the city.
Tuesday: Mayors and police chiefs lobby for automated traffic camera enforcement at city intersections / West Hartford
I will be joining the Mayor and Police Chief of West Hartford at a news conference to lobby for a new state law that would allow municipalities to install traffic cameras at intersections. According to a study conducted a few years ago, it's estimated that every three minutes someone in New Haven runs a red light. Other cities across the country have been able to install cameras, which serve as powerful deterrents to motorists who run red lights. Under current state law, municipalities in Connecticut aren't allowed to install these cameras - even though doing so would make our intersections safer and police departments more efficient. I am joining with West Hartford officials because traffic and pedestrian safety is an issue which affects communities of all size.
Wednesday: Connecticut Minority Construction Expo Connecticut Convention Center / Hartford
I will be speaking as part of a panel at the conference of the Connecticut Minority Supplier Development Council to discuss opportunities for Minority Business Entrepreneurs in our city.
Thursday: Public teacher jobs open house 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. / East Rock Magnet School 133 Nash St.
I encourage any education majors who are certified or will be eligible for certification in teaching to attend this special open house. It's a perfect opportunity to obtain information regarding employment in the New Haven Public School System and get all your questions answered. The snow date is Thursday, Feb. 2.
Saturday: Neighborhood Music School Ribbon Cutting / noon/ Audubon St.
The public is invited to the ribbon cutting for the newly renovated Neighborhood Music School. After the ceremony there will be free music and dance lessons and a "Jambalaya" concert (tickets required) at 8 p.m. This facility is one of the oldest and biggest community music schools in the country and the multi-million dollar renovation will make it even better. Check out the brief description of the renovation written by the New Haven Register's Maria Garriga, "The renovation gave the Neighborhood Music School a recital hall twice as large as the original, a bigger atrium, a bigger reception area and office, and new electrical, ventilation and heating systems. The lighting and fire protection system have also been upgraded. Walls have been taken down to open up more space. The school also received a humidification system to protect its valuable collection of instruments, including 20 pianos."
Thanks for reading my Monday Message. I hope you have a happy and healthy week.