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    Dear Friends:

    Columbus Day Weekend

    I hope you enjoyed a fun and festive Columbus Day weekend. Our parade was a great success and so were the various other celebrations that took place throughout the City. I’d like to thank the Columbus Day Committee for all of their hard work putting this weekend’s events together. Next up in terms of major celebrations is our traditional Halloween parade. Next week we’ll give more details on that exciting event.

    Mayor’s Make a Difference Drive

    Thursday at 2:30 p.m. I’m kicking off a food and blanket drive to benefit shelters and food pantries that work closely with the City to make sure that New Haven residents have the resources they need to stay warm and well-fed this winter. Let’s not wait until the cold hits us before we begin amassing these resources. We’ll have collection boxes at City Hall, the Hall of Records and other City buildings and agencies. We’ll announce a complete list of collection locations and additional details at our event on Thursday. Needy families and individuals need clean blankets, towels, unused socks and non-perishable foods. This is a great way to get ready for National Make a Difference Day scheduled for October 27th. Instead of limiting ourselves to just one day of making a difference in our communities, lets make October Make a Difference Month and find ways to help our neighbors and families in need however best we can. E-mail jmayorga@newhavenct.net with stories of how you’re making a difference in New Haven this month. We’ll profile some of your stories on the City website throughout the month.

    Bike to Work Day

    Please be advised that Friday, October 12, 2007 is the next “Bike to Work Day,” sponsored by Elm City Cycling. Residents and commuters are encouraged to ease traffic congestion, save money on gas and do something for the environment by riding your bike to work.

    Poinsettia Sale to Benefit Sound School

    For the fourth year, we are offering an opportunity for you to purchase your holiday poinsettia plants while you support the agricultural program of our students at The Sound School. These beautiful jumbo-sized plants (3’x3’) were raised by Sound School students in cooperation with the staff of New Haven's Department of Parks, Recreation & Trees. Revenues from sales will be used to support future horticultural programs of the City/Sound School partnership. There are a limited number of plants available, so please complete the order form below and fax to (203) 946-6556. For additional information, please contact charles.mavrelion@new-haven.k12.ct.us or doboyski@newhavenct.net.

    Road to Freedom Bus Tour

    On Sunday, October 14 from 1pm until 4pm the Road to Freedom Bus Tour will be convening on the New Haven Green. The mission of Road to Freedom Bus Tour is to alert Americans to the need for Congress to keep the promise of the ADA by restoring the protections that have been eroded over the years. The Tour will feature:

    • The compelling history of the disability rights movement, including nine 3’x7’ panels with photos by Tom Olin and narratives by Arlene Mayerson

    • Presentation by Jim Ward, President and founder of ADA Watch, a program of the National Coalition for Disability Rights (NCDR)

    • Booths and Exhibitors in a Statewide Community Resource Fair

    • Comments from state and local elected officials, and Connecticut youths and adults with disabilities

    • Information about the recently proposed ADA Restoration Act, and what you can do to build support for its passage

    Next Week: Flu Shots

    Flu season is upon us. Protect yourself by getting a flu shot. You can contact your primary care physician or you can come down to City Hall on Wednesday, October 24th between 10am and 1pm to get your vaccination. We want to make sure residents are happy and healthy this season so make sure to participate. This program is for residents and will take place every Wednesday for one month from 10am until 1pm. You are encouraged to use your Elm City Resident Card to demonstrate that you are a New Haven resident. Elm City Resident Cards are available for $10 for adults and only $5 for children. The Office of New Haven Residents issues Elm City Resident Cards Monday-Friday from 9am until 2pm. Stay tuned for a mobile unit visit to a community based organization near you.

    Here’s what’s happening in New Haven Public Schools:

    The New Haven Fire Department’s “Smoke Trailer” will be visiting schools to teach students about emergency preparedness and creating emergency exit plans if they were to experience a fire in their homes. The “Smoke Trailer’s” schedule includes visits at:

    -Davis Street School from 9-11 am on Wednesday

    -Fair Haven School from 9-11 am on Thursday and

    -Beecher School from 11:30 am until 2pm

    Thursday, October 11, 2007 from 9:30am to 10:30: More than 450 volunteers will participate in the annual Read Aloud Day program, reading aloud to students Pre-K to 5th grade, sponsored by the New Haven Public School Foundation.

    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2007, 3 P.M., JOHN C. DANIELS SCHOOL, 569 CONGRESS AVE.: The New Haven Public Schools Afterschool Program will be more than 7,500 sites around the nation sending the message that after-school is key to children's success, and that we must keep the lights on and doors open after school. Parents, media, employers, neighbors, school officials and others have been invited to help us rally support for safe, stimulating after-school programs. This rally and open house will showcase the plethora of after school programs available to families in New Haven. Parents are invited to this open house to browse among dozens of booths by afterschool providers, to enjoy refreshments and to learn more about what their kids can do during the critical after-school hours.

    I hope you have a happy and healthy week!

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.



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