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    Town Green

    This week marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of Town Green Special Services District. This City organization was founded to create a cleaner, safer, and more inviting downtown; even a quick stroll around downtown will show the success of their efforts. The downtown New Haven of 2007 is a significantly more vibrant and exciting place than the downtown of 1997, and the Town Green District is now more active than ever. Eighteen new downtown businesses opened this past year alone; three are soon to open, and more will follow. Now, the District is working to transform the Coliseum area into the home of the Long Wharf Theater and mixed use development, convert the Wall Street parking garage into retail space, open up new condominiums on George Street, and continue the planning for creating an environmentally-friendly apartment building on the Shartenberg site with many affordable units.

    I congratulate them on their great work, and look forward to a downtown area that is able to truly serve New Haven residents.

    Mentoring Program Launched

    This week marks the official launch of Mentor New Haven. As I mentioned in last week’s Monday Message, Mentor New Haven is a program to match community adults with young people in the city, developing a culture of supporting young people more visible. Some 100 City of New Haven employees are being trained in small groups and then matched up with students to begin mentoring in the schools.

    Hopefully this campaign will help New Haven residents recognize that positive relationships with young people serve as an enriching experience for both individuals and that volunteering is the first step to creating a culture that supports our younger community. The City of New Haven, in its commitment to this initiative, is allowing employees to be released from work for one hour each week to volunteer within the New Haven Public Schools.

    TV Show Actors Join 11th Annual Police-Fire Hockey Game

    For those of you too distracted by March Madness to follow our City’s more lighthearted annual sports competition, this past weekend was the annual Police Department versus Fire Department hockey game. There have been 10 Police-Fire games since the tradition began, and the record is now split with each department having won five games. After an intense, but fun-filled game, the Fire department pulled through and won with a score of 7-6, gaining a winning record.

    Another change from the usual this year was the participation of two actors from the popular FX television show “Rescue Me.”

    While the hockey game is done in good fun, it is above all a community event. It is attended by New Haven residents, supported by local businesses, and always ends with time for open skating for kids. More importantly, the money raised by the event will be given to help the families of police officers and firefighters in need. This year, portions of the money will go to the families of Dan Picagli and Rob Fumiatti who lost their lives protecting the City, George Smith who died this year after a career of service, Firefighter Kenneth Oliver, and others. While we work now to strengthen and improve our Police Department, our commitment to community policing and the commitment of our officers remains as strong as ever.

    East Egg Hunt

    This week will feature another great New Haven tradition: the annual East Egg Hunt on the Green. It will take place on Saturday, April 7, at 10:00 a.m. In previous years our City’s energetic kids have scoured the Green in record time, so I’d recommend everyone shows up on time. There will also be, I’m told, a special visit from Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny in a City fire truck.

    Be sure to bring your own basket! For any more information, please call 946-8027.

    Let’s take a look at the week ahead:

    Yale-New Haven Hospital Mammography Van at Davis Street School

    April 2, 8am-2:30 pm, 35 Davis St. Please call 946-7537 for more information, or 688-6800 to sign up for an appointment.

    UNH Small Business Institute Workshop: Financing Small Businesses in a Dynamic Economy

    April 2, 7-8:30pm, at Berger Apartments, 135 Derby Ave. There is no charge, but please register at 932-7362 or profenrichment@newhaven.edu.

    Writing Seminars with Dan Bessie and Jeanne Johnson

    April 4, 6pm--Meet the Authors: writer/director/producer/animator Dan Bessie and novelist Jeanne Johnson, discuss their careers and publishing venture, Blue Lupin Press;

    April 5, 6pm--Screenwriting Seminar with Dan;

    April 5, 6pm--Memoir-writing seminar with Jeanne.

    At the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St. Details: 946-7431 or businessnhfpl@gmail.com.

    Easter Egg Dyeing

    April 5, 4:00 p.m., New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St.

    Come try your hand at coloring eggs every color of the rainbow at this booktivity program. There will be a story and crafts program for children ages 5-10, and refreshments for all.

    Thanks for reading my Monday morning message. I hope you have a happy and healthy week!

    Very Truly Yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.



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