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    Dear Friends:

    Yesterday kicked-off New Haven Restaurant Week! Now through April 24th, 25 of New Haven’s finest restaurants will feature prix fixe menus for lunch ($16.38) and dinner ($29.00). I encourage you to take advantage of these special prices to try a new restaurant or visit an old favorite! For a list of participating restaurants, their menus, and for further information on Restaurant Week dining, please visit: http://www.infonewhaven.com/restaurantweek. Here, you can also find out more about special events and offers that many local shops and art galleries are offering in celebration of Restaurant Week.

    Here’s what’s happening in New Haven this week:

    Route 34 Re-vision Press Conference

    Earlier today, I held a press conference with Representative DeLauro as well as representatives of Yale New Haven Hospital, Private developers, Yale University and the School of Medicine, to announce the next steps in making the re-vision of the current Route 34 East connector a reality. This project will create a new tax base, new land for development, generate jobs, and reconnect the street grid between Downtown, the Medical District, and city neighborhoods.

    Wind Turbine Groundbreaking

    On Tuesday, April 21st at 2 p.m., we will be breaking ground on a six kilowatt wind turbine at the Long Wharf Pier. The wind turbine installation is part of the CT Clean Energy Fund’s $500,000 Small Wind Turbine Demonstration Project, which seeks to establish the performance of small wind turbines in CT in order to create better incentives for small wind installations.

    “Bag Swap” to Prevent Underage Drinking

    April is Alcohol Awareness Month. As part of this event, the Commission on Substance Abuse Policy and Prevention, Teens Breaking Barriers, the Chapel West Special Services District, and New Haven Wine and Liquor Store, will be teaming up to prevent underage drinking through “Bag Swap.” Students from Katherine Brennan Middle School, the New Haven Boys and Girls Club, and Teens Breaking Barriers have decorated brown paper bags with prevention messages to increase awareness about underage drinking. On Tuesday, April 21st, the New Haven Wine and Liquor Store, located at 202 Whalley Avenue, will be distributing these bags to adults who make purchases at the store. The “Bag Swap” will kick-off at 3:30 p.m.

    National Conversation on Climate Action

    Wednesday, April 22nd is Earth Day! In honor of this event, the City of New Haven is participating in the National Conversation on Climate Action. This is an initiative to engage residents in solutions-oriented dialogue about climate action at the local level. I encourage residents to come to City Hall to show your support for local action on climate change and to learn what New Haven is doing and how you can get involved. There will be an exposition from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the City Hall Atrium as well as conversations beginning at 5:00 p.m. and 6:46 p.m. For more information, please visit: www.climateconversation.org or call: 203-946-6377.

    Rock to Rock

    On Saturday, April 25th, join me and explore New Haven by bicycle! Rock to Rock is a day-long celebration of New Haven’s rich environmental and cultural resources. Join other bicycle riders travelling between East Rock and West Rock, with celebrations on both sides of the City. Along the way, there will be food, music, opportunities to plant trees and to explore the city parks. You will travel along the Farmington Canal Trail and official City bike lanes. All proceeds, including registration fees, pledges, donations, and sponsorships, will go towards supporting the work of local parks and environmental education organizations. To register and for more information, please visit: www.rocktorock.org.

    Arbor Day Tree Planting

    New Haven was recently selected as an official Tree City USA! Our City was selected for this distinction because our residents plant most of the trees here in New Haven. To celebrate this honor and Arbor Day, there will be a tree planting at Beaver Pong Park on Saturday, April 25th at 12:30 p.m.

    Culinary Walking Tour

    Experience a guided Culinary Walking Tour through historic downtown on April 25th and enjoy tasty samplings along the way. The tour departs the Davenport's at the Top of the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale at 1:45 p.m., rain or shine. Tickets: $59. Call: 203-777-8550 or 1-800-332-STAY (7829). Reservations required. (Amex, MC & VS accepted).

    Iron Chef Elm City

    There will be an Iron Chef Elm City on Sunday, April 26th at noon at Gateway Community College. The competing chefs are: Arturo Franco-Camacho of Bespoke, Rafael Palomino of Pacificom, and Manuel Romero of Ibiza. Admission is $30 for kitchen (registration limited to 40), $20 for viewing room, and $10 for students and senior citizens (viewing room only). Call: 203-777-8550 or 1-800-332-STAY (7829). (Amex, MC & VS accepted).

    Community Budget Meeting

    I will be the last of a series of four community budget presentations on Wednesday, April 29th at 6:30 p.m. at Wexler/Grant School, 55 Foote Street. Join me at this meeting to discuss my proposed 2009-2010 budget.

    Green Tip

    To protect indoor air quality, use paint that has low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The strong smells associated with wet paint are VOCs emitted by the drying paint, causing respiratory problems. Instead, use low or no VOC paint, available at most paint and home improvement stores.

    I hope you have a happy and healthy week.

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.



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