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    New TV Show

    This past week was the debut of a new television show that many of you might not have heard about. No, it wasnít a new reality show on one of the major networksóitís a new TV show produced by the City of New Haven to help educate and help residents. Itís called In Touch with Mayor DeStefano. During the show, I highlight some issue of importance to the City, and then open up the phone lines to answer and respond to citizens. The goal is to ensure that all of you feel more connected to what weíre doing in City Hall, and that I am able to personally respond to your needs. It will be replaying on CTV (Channel 23) this week, and I encourage you to watch it.

    The next installment of the show will take place May 23, and will focus on parks and recreation for the summer and elderly services, among other topics.

    AIDS Walk

    This past Sunday was the Third Annual AIDS Walk New Haven, a charity event that raises money for 10 local AIDS service organizations. The event is a great example of different groups getting together in order to serve the community: itís organized by Yale students, open to every member of the New Haven community (and beyond), and raises money for local service groups. The event is particularly important because federal and state budget cuts have recently limited communitiesí funds for fighting AIDS, and the event raises money to serve those members struggling with the disease in our community.

    Cherry Blossom Festival

    Sunday was also the 32nd Annual Wooster Square Cherry Blossom Festival. The Festival is a celebration of the arrival of spring, and the organizers could not have chosen a more beautiful day to hold their event. The day was made even more beautiful, of course, by the famous cherry blossoms in Wooster Square Park that are now beginning to show their vibrant colors. The Park has 78-cherry blossom trees, most of which were planted 1974.

    Letís take a look at the week ahead:

    Monday, April 24

    Beecher School Opens

    Today, I joined Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo and others to welcome students into their newly-renovated Beecher School. The $40 million project is perhaps better described as a transformation rather than a renovation; the Beecher school students will be coming back to a school that now accommodates students from Pre-K to 8th grade, and features a new library media center, numerous new rooms for art, music, science, and classes, and new playing fields.

    Earth Day

    This Monday is Earth Day, and to celebrate, weíll be launching Clean Sweep New Haven. Clean Sweep is a year-long campaign to make New Haven a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly city. Since our environmental practices are really aimed at ensuring our children inherit a healthy and safe world, the launch event will happening with some of those children, at the Clinton Avenue School.

    Tuesday, April 25

    Gun Control Press Conference

    This week is National Crime Victims week. It is important that we take the time to support individuals who have suffered from a violent act and take steps to keep others from having to go through the same pain and suffering. Along with Police Chief Francisco Ortiz, Iíll be holding a press conference at Police Headquarters to show my support for a bill to make it a crime for the owner of a lost or stolen firearm not to report the loss within 72 hours of the incident. I am in favor of this bill because we need to get guns off of our streets and we need to cut off the sources from which criminals obtain these weapons.

    Community Tour Continues

    Iíll be hosting the second of three community forums of the Mayorís Community Tour this Tuesday, at 6:30 p.m. in St. Brendanís Church. These community meetings are completely open to the public, and will be a time where I discuss a number of important new City policies with any of you who are interested. Iíll talk about the new City budget, the senior tax freeze, and the phase-in plan for property tax reevaluations, while experts from my staff will be on-hand to help any of you with any specific concerns you might have. The discussion last week was fantastic, and I would like to thank Pilgrim Church for serving as hosts.

    The third, and final, stop on my community tour will be May 15th at 6:30 p.m. at the Church of the Redeemer (near Whitney Ave. and Cold Spring).

    Wednesday, April 26

    Senior Tax Freeze

    On Wednesday, Iíll be signing the senior tax freeze into law. This great program is a key part of this Cityís effort to provide for the elderly members of the New Haven community. I have been pushing for this program for some weeks now, and after its passage through the Board of Aldermen last Monday, Iím excited that it will become a reality.

    I hope you have a happy and healthy week!

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.



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