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Quarantine Home Projects: CT Plumbing Says ‘Don’t Do It Yourself’

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NEW FAIRFIELD, CT—New Fairfield-based heating and plumbing professional David LaCava, owner of CT Plumbing LLC, has seen his business slightly decrease on the commercial end during this time of quarantine due to the novel coronavirus. But on the residential side, he has been getting a steady stream of calls from his regular customers as well as those seeking advice on how to “do it yourself” for home remodeling or improvement.

In today’s world of YouTube videos, it’s getting easier to access information on “how to” do projects yourself (DIY) without hiring a professional. There are some projects that require professional training and expertise to complete, such as plumbing and heating work. Many believe they can save money by doing their own home projects but unlike other DIY projects, mistakes are not cheap and can be dangerous.

“The best advice I can give is don’t (do it yourself). I’m a licensed and trained professional in plumbing and HVAC and there are some very dangerous situations a homeowner can get themselves into like possibly tapping into a gas line,” LaCava said.

LaCava urges special caution with installing a water heater—a project some think they can install on their own. Water leaks could be a problem when it comes to any installation but the main danger, LaCava said, is because many water heaters are heated through gas. Hooking up a gas line is always a job that should only be done by a professional. Gas leaks can turn into a very dangerous situation.

Even if the water heater is electric, a professional should still install it because improper installation could lead to water and steam escaping the heater which will cause mold to grow in the enclosed space.

“All that money saved by the DIY homeowner will disappear once the mold removal costs are factored in,” LaCava said. “Many times a homeowner will attempt a home improvement project and then call me after they run into problems to complete the job, which can be costly,” he continued, “so the best advice I can give them is to call a professional first.”

LaCava, who operates out of his New Fairfield, CT shop, has been in the industry for more than 30 years, is fully licensed in CT and NY, and has a AAA rating with the Better Business Bureau. For questions or more information, visit his Facebook page, email CTPlumbing7473@gmail.com, or call (203) 312-0182.

Westport Writers Workshop Offers Wide Variety of Online Classes This Spring

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 5.03.14 PMWESTPORT, CT— The coronavirus pandemic isn’t only impacting the way we live, it’s also changing the way we learn. Millions of students are currently attending school and learning via online distance learning programs and the Westport Writers Workshop is following suit. During this time of social distancing, the Westport Writers Workshop has never been more unified in their commitment to togetherness during the crisis by offering all of their spring classes online via Zoom video conferencing.

Located in a town with one of the highest numbers of coronavirus cases in the state is what led to their swift decision in the move to online classes, said Liz Matthews, Executive Director. She added that rolling with the changes is something they have to do for the sake of everyone’s health and sanity.

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Matthews, a writer, and editor, began her professional career in publishing at a literary agency and as an Editorial Assistant at Random House before teaching middle and high school English at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. A mom of two school-aged children, Matthews herself has had to adapt as a now work-from-home mom and a homeschool mom, as so many are doing across the country. Writing, like many, provides a creative escape in the crazy times we’re living in, she said.

Since its inception in 2003, the Westport Writers Workshop has developed into one of the most highly respected programs in the area for writers of fiction, memoir, romance, playwriting, children’s literature and much more. Through leadership and training from a stellar team of published, award-winning authors, students gain a deep understanding of the elements of writing and many go on to be published authors as well.

Offering workshops for every level of writer, from novice to published, Westport Writers Workshop is designed to encourage, inspire, and spark established and aspiring writers’ imaginations and help them to discover and develop their own unique writing talent and voice.

This spring, the Westport Writers Workshop is offering over two dozen online classes from romance and prose to screenwriting, memoir and travel writing. Jessica Speart is leading a class for writers who have a true story they feel compelled to tell called “Writing About Your Life.”

“It takes courage to share one’s life story,” Speart said. “Many times it deals with what was lost, what was broken, what was said, what was mended. We’ll provide a safe atmosphere in which to write about your experience in either the personal essay or memoir form.”

There is an alternative for those who find themselves reluctant to tell their story – the fictionalized memoir. This hybrid genre allows the writer to relay their experience, or life story, as a fictional account.  The author is free to play with timelines and create a searing emotional journey that can be just as powerful and truthful as any memoir.

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Another featured class they’re offering is Romance Writing which is being taught by Libby Waterford. Romance is a billion-dollar industry and is one of the most diverse genres in publishing.

“In this course, we’ll talk about the hallmarks of the romance genre and how to develop your central love story from meet-cute to happily ever after,” Waterford said. “We’ll discuss popular tropes, conflict, the black moment, character archetypes, sex scenes, and how to reach that emotionally satisfying ending. Prompts will be provided, or bring your in-progress romance manuscript to share and discuss via supportive feedback.”

Additional class offerings this spring are as follows:

Spring 2020 Creative Writing Workshops on Zoom:

7 Mondays, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, June 1

7 Mondays, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, June 1

7 Mondays, 10am-1pm | April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, June 1

7 Mondays, 1:30-4:00pm | March 30, April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18

7 Mondays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. | April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, June 1

7 Mondays, 7 to 9 p.m. | April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, June 1

8 Tuesdays, 10am-12:30pm | April 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2

7 Tuesdays, 7 to 9 p.m. | April 21, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9

8 Tuesdays, 7 to 9 p.m. | April 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2

8 Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | April 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27, June 3

4 Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | April 15, 22, 29, May 6

4 Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | May 13, 20, 27, June 3

8 Wednesdays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. | April 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27, June 3

8 Wednesdays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. | April 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27, June 3

8 Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | April 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4

8 Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. | April 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4

8 Thursdays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. | April 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4

8 Fridays, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | April 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5

8 Fridays, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | April 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Monday thru Friday, June 22-26

Register for a class by clicking here. To check if a class is full, call (203) 227-3250 or email exec@westportwriters.org. All of the Westport Writers Workshop spring workshops offered on ZOOM are open to writers of all skill levels. Visit their Zoom tutorial pages to learn more about how to use the platform or contact them at exec@westportwriters.org with any questions.

 

 

Prestige Companion & Homemakers Takes Steps to Prevent COVID-19 in Elderly Clients

shutterstock_1526695244FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT— Prestige Companion & Homemakers​, a home care agency for the elderly that serves the entire state of Connecticut, is taking important safety precautions in the wake of the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) urgent warnings to help prevent the spread of coronavirus among their home care clients.

Nashia Lewis, Program Manager for Elder Care at Prestige Companion & Homemakers, said they are taking several important safety precautions to keep their elderly clients safe at home.

“As best practice at Prestige Companion & Homemakers, we will continue to put the safety of our clients first. As a best practice, we have retrained our staff in proper hand washing as well as clients and family members,” Lewis stated.

Public health officials are urging the elderly to avoid large public gatherings, travel and events. Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont recently called upon town and city officials to cancel all large public gatherings, events, and parades, according to a press release​ on the state of Connecticut’s website.

Many nursing homes are restricting visitors into their facilities in order to protect their residents. At Prestige Companion & Homemakers, most of their residents stay in their own homes and have certified nurse’s assistants, home health aides, and patient care assistants visit daily to assist with medications, bathing, chores, cooking, cleaning, shopping and more. This, Lewis said, is why health and safety is of utmost concern among their staff and clients.

“We have taken the initiative of purchasing and distributing hand sanitizer to our clients and caregivers as it helps the spread of any virus, including the coronavirus. Understanding that it takes less than one percent to be contaminated with the virus, we practice best handwashing guidelines with family members as well as clients,” Lewis said.

According to the CDC​, “community preparedness planning for COVID-19 should include older adults and people with disabilities, and the organizations that support them in their communities, to ensure their needs are taken into consideration. Many of these individuals live in the community, and many depend on services and supports provided in their homes or in the community to maintain their health and independence.”

For more information about Prestige Companion & Homemakers​, please visit their website www.prestigecandh.com or call (203) 262-0046 or email info@prestigecandh.com.

Image: Shutterstock

Candlewood Lake Authority Forms ‘Lake Management Plan’ Committee to Help Protect Candlewood Lake

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Photo and article by the Candlewood Lake Authority—

DANBURY, CT—As the 2019 boating season comes to a close, and the buoys are removed from Candlewood Lake, the Candlewood Lake Authority is taking time to reflect on the year and prepare for the future. We are pleased with all of the positive feedback we’ve received from the community regarding the control of the Eurasian Watermilfoil and good water clarity, and encouraged by the scientific water quality monitoring results we’ve received so far this year. We are happy for all the work the community has done to protect the lake and educate their neighbors to thank for that progress!

While we can celebrate ongoing programs like the Sterile Grass Carp, the drawdown conducted by FirstLight Power, and the new Homeowner’s Guides that helped us make progress, this year’s success does not mean our work is over. On the contrary, the improvements we’ve seen this year only give us more energy to work towards continuous improvements and sustainable progress for Candlewood Lake. It is for that reason that we have begun work on a new “Lake Management Plan” tailored for Candlewood Lake!

Looking to the future, there are many goals we want to accomplish to continue to preserve, protect, and improve Candlewood lake for generations to come. To do that, we are using a tried and true method developed by lakes around the country and even the world – creating a Lake Management Plan that outlines every area where progress needs to be made, sets goals of what that progress will look like in both the short and long term, and outlines strategies to accomplish those goals. These areas include all sorts of critical aspects of lake management including the fish community, aquatic plant management for recreation, blue-green algae, invasive species, water quality improvement, stormwater management, watershed land management, and community engagement and education, to name a few!

To create this document, we cannot work alone. Many different people and organizations have a part to play in protecting Candlewood Lake. For this reason, we formed a Lake Management Plan Committee in June of 2019. Following the creation of that committee, at the beginning of September 2019, we reached out to the critical stakeholders around the lake to join us as members of the committee and provide their critically important insight and expertise.

Those organizations include but are not limited to: each of the five municipalities around the lake, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, FirstLight Power Resources, and Eversource. Furthermore, we are incredibly fortunate to have a robust network of lake managers and limnologists who have undertaken relevant projects at their lakes, both locally and through our membership in the North American Lake Management Society, and have offered their assistance and expertise as we work through the creation of this document. While Candlewood Lake is incredibly unique, the experience of these limnologists will be fundamental in helping inform the goals we can realistically set and the strategies we use to attain them. The Candlewood Lake Authority has a long history of collecting and analyzing important lake data, creating strategies and action plans to address pressures facing the lake, and even has an initial Lake Management Plan we created in 1985. While our new plan will be informed by the work the CLA has done in the past, the 2019 Candlewood Lake Management Plan will be created with stakeholder input to ensure its longevity. It will also be a “living document” so as scientific discoveries are made, the community continues to change and evolve, and the ecosystem in the lake changes, that doesn’t mean the plan is out of date; it can simply be amended and updated to reflect our new understanding.

    While we know that the CLA could sit down and write a “plan” without any input from the community, it would not be terribly effective at protecting the lake – because we are far from the only ones working to preserve Candlewood, and we must work with the community and other organizations to ensure that our goals and strategies are both realistic and effective. We cannot wait to begin this process in earnest and look forward to working with the community and lake experts to organize our efforts. We know how much everyone loves the lake, and we work every day to help make sure that the lake remains beautiful for years to come, because we love it too. We hope you are as excited about the future of Candlewood Lake as we are.

St. Joseph Catholic Academy’s Open House is on Sunday, Oct. 27th

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BROOKFIELD, CT — St. Joseph Catholic Academy (SJCA), a Catholic high school preparatory school located in the heart of Brookfield, will be hosting their Open House on Sunday, October 27. SJCA is Pre-K through Grade 8 school accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges that serves more than 8 towns.

Families are invited to tour highly acclaimed innovative classrooms, meet instructors, enjoy some STEMIE games and learn about the STEM/STREAM programs that extend instruction outside the traditional classroom setting. Come learn how a multi-age, interdisciplinary, innovative, faith-based program provides children an opportunity to explore, be creative and excel beyond their own expectations as prepared leaders for high school and beyond!

Experience the spirit of  SJCA by visiting during its Open House on Sunday, October 27 at 10:30am, 5 Obtuse Hill Road, Brookfield. To start your application, schedule a shadow day or a private tour visit www.sjsbrookfield.org. 

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Danbury Area Kids Invited to Free Halloween GLOW Party & Theater Show

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DANBURY, CT — Danbury area children ages 10 and under are invited to join the Danbury Youth Theater Troupe​ (DYT) on Saturday, Oct. 26th from 12pm-1pm at the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury. There will be free glow sticks, goody bags to the first 30 children, snacks and FUN! An R.S.V.P. is required to attend before Thursday, Oct. 24th by emailing wendyannmitchell@Live.com. Space is limited.

The free theater production showcases the work of DYT’s actors’ work over the last five weeks of class. The theater troupe is busy preparing for their next 5-week mini-session for their winter production and is seeking more actors to join in.

All productions are 100% original, written directed and produced by “Miss Wendy” Mitchell who specializes in teaching beginner’s theater classes. Wendy has her Head Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education through the State of Connecticut and over 20 years of experience teaching youth theater, preschool and working as a daycare director. Each child is taught at their own pace and kids of all skill levels are welcomed and embraced.

We will hold a food drive at the fall play for the food pantry and a toy drive for Family & Children’s Aid at the winter play for those in need on the community. Danbury Youth Theater​ teaches kids that they can use their gifts and talents to help those in need in their community.

Questions? Call, text or email Wendy Mitchell: Wendyannmitchell@Live.com (203) 501-7424.

https://danburyyouththeater.com/

Photo by Wendy Ann Mitchell, Danbury Youth Theater

Brookfield Nonprofit Plans 20th Annual ‘Rake n Bake’ to Help People in Need in Greater Danbury Area

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BROOKFIELD, CT—When Brookfield resident Peter Brady retired from his “regular” job, he had no idea that what he started as an after retirement ministry would soon turn into a full-time volunteer gig that would help thousands in need in the Greater Danbury area.

This fall they are planning their 20th annual “Rake n Bake” community service outreach program and it’s sure to be bigger and better than ever. The community event and its organizer helps the elderly and homebound by organizing a team of volunteers to go out and rake and clean up people’s yards. The nonprofit Brady founded has helped countless local folks not only with yard cleanup but also with buying food, making utility bill payment for those in need, helping people housing, purchasing wheelchairs, scooters and so much more.

In a newsletter to his helpers and volunteers, Brady said:

“You’ve all no doubt noticed those little objects falling from the trees, making a mess of your driveway, deck, and car. That can only mean one thing…’Rake and Bake’ is back!! It’s time to register for HDHM’s signature volunteer event of the season – this year marking our 20th year helping needy citizens of Brookfield and surrounding towns who would not otherwise be able to handle this basic home cleanup task themselves.

I will be running this year’s event for Pete and I will make sure the experience is as helpful to our clients and meaningful to our volunteers as in years past. YOU and literally hundreds of others make this event happen each year by providing the raking energy – but it’s success really depends on one single favor you can do for us right now…  signing up early.

Though the actual raking happens all on one day (this year on November 16th), it takes our hard-working committee members several weeks to coordinate the many teams, equipment and properties to prepare. Please go to hdhm.org and click on the Rake/Bake link to register right away.”

Peter Brady, who goes by the name of “Boss Man,” woudl appreciate volutneers and donations to help make this year’s “Rake n Bake” a success. To make a donation, click here.

For more information, visit the HDHM Facebook page.

#NeverForget #911 #September11

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 12.36.41 AMToday we remember those lost on September 11, 2001. It started out as a beautiful, sunny day, much like today, and ended in such horrific devastation with thousands of lives lost.

We will never forget all of the brave first responders and civilians who perished on 9/11. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones. Thank you for your service.

Foodie Alert! Long-Standing Bethel Farm Gets New Owners

 

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BETHEL, CT — Foodies take note! Redding and Bethel business owners have joined forces to take over running Holbrook Farm from the Holbrook family, according to MSN. Local foodies will recognize the names of the new owners— Jeff Taibe and  Stephanie Sweeney, owners of Taproot Restaurant in Bethel and Sean and Erin Reilly, owners of the Redding Roadhouse in Redding — have partnered to revamp the business.

For decades John and Lynn Holbrook, owners of Holbrook Farm, have offered fresh, locally grown produce, hosted Farm to Table dinners and provided the community with healthy, natural food choices. The Holbrooks retired in 2012 the lessee at the time, Jessica Wong, took over running the farm from 2012-2018.

John and Lynn Holbrook purchased 12 acres of land in Bethel, with only two acres in production. While the farm is not certified organic, they do use compost and natural leaf mulch to aid in fertilization and weed suppression. They do not use pesticides.

“Holbrook Farm has been clean of pesticides and herbicides for at least the last 40 years that we have owned the land. We don’t spray with pesticides, we try to use beneficial insects and companion plants and we don’t use herbicides. Weeds have a place in the ecological mix as long as they are controlled,” John Holbrook said.

Holbrook Farm is located at 45 Turkey Plain Rd. in Bethel, Connecticut. For more information, visit their website.

Has Spring Sprung? Calendar of Fun CT Events to Get You in the Springtime Mood

Screen Shot 2019-05-14 at 6.36.01 PM.pngWondering if spring has sprung or will ever spring? It seems like someone has upset Mother Nature and she has unleashed her cold, rainy fury on us for far too long. But even if the weather doesn’t cooperate, CT Buzz News has a variety of indoor and outdoor events that will get you in the mood for warmer weather.

The biggest event this weekend is the St. Mary School carnival in downtown Bethel.

Here is what’s going on this week. Do you have an event to submit? Email it in a Word document or email the text in the body of an email and send to: CTBuzzNews@gmail.com. No PDF’s, please. Thanks! 🙂

Wednesday, May 15

  • St. Mary School Carnival, Municipal Center, 1 School Street, Bethel, 6:00pm-10:00pm
  • Sing & Sign with Ms. Janine at Kid’s Kingdom in Brookfield, 100 Pocono Rd. Brookfield.  You’re guaranteed to learn several signs, dance and have fun at the same time! All ages are welcome. In case of bad weather, the program will be held in Brookfield Town Hall in Room 133. Time: 4:15 – 5:00 p.m. Dates: 5/1, 5/8, 5/15, 5/22.

Thursday, May 16

  • St. Mary School Carnival, Municipal Center, 1 School Street, Bethel

Friday, May 17

  • St. Mary School Carnival, Municipal Center, 1 School Street, Bethel

Saturday, May 18

Sunday, May 19

  • St. Mary School Carnival, Municipal Center, 1 School Street, Bethel,12:00pm-2: 00 pm & 4:00pm – 8:00 pm.
  • Bethel Memorial Day Parade, Greenwood Ave., Bethel, 2:00 p.m.
  • Rockin’ the Hook Concert, 12-7 p.m., Sandy Hook Center, 5 Glen Road, with music by Traveling Danburys and Cheap Thrills, hosted by S.H.O.P., the Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity.
  • Blue Ribbon Ventures Horse Show at Fair Hill Farm, 1060 Sport Hill Rd, Easton, 9 a.m.

 

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