Category Archives: Uncategorized

Candlewood Lake Authority Kicks Off 50th Anniversary with Lake Cleanup

BROOKFIELD, CT —The Candlewood Lake Authority has announced that they are kicking off CLA’s 50th Anniversary with an event to benefit Candlewood Lake. A clean up project is being organized at Candlewood Lake on Saturday, May 21, 2022, for the annual “J. Marsicano and F. Cioffi Memorial Candlewood Lake Clean-Up.”

As teams did last year, boat Captains will provide their own cleanup crew. Captains and crews should pick up their materials (bags, gloves, and additional instructions) between 8-10 a.m. at the New Fairfield Town Park boat launch. Crews will return at around 12 noon to unload the trash picked up at the ramp and then will gather at the park for lunch.

To sign up and fill out the waiver, visit the Candlewood Lake Authority’s website.

https://candlewoodlakeauthority.org/Volunteer

About Candlewood Lake Authority:

The Candlewood Lake Authority is wholly dedicated to the safekeeping of Candlewood Lake.  We promote responsible recreation, conservation, and stewardship for the largest lake in the state of Connecticut. Candlewood Lake Authority partners with the many stakeholders to advocate for Candlewood Lake including owners FirstLight Power, federal permittee Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) as well as local public officials, businesses, and residents.

Give Your Home a Makeover with New Windows from Elite Construction Group

BROOKFIELD, CT—With Spring weather on the way, many homeowners are
beginning to think about improvements to their home’s exterior. Upgrading to vinyl
siding, adding new windows and doors, and a new roof can boost your property value by
tens of thousands of dollars, according to experts in the field. Inflation is now at the highest level since the 1980s, according to experts, supply chain issues due to Covid, and the cost of materials skyrocketing, making home improvements might be the last thing on a person’s mind. However, David Alger, owner of Elite Construction Group in Brookfield, said now is not the time to neglect your biggest investment—your home.

“Leaving an old, worn-out roof for too long can lead to major, expensive problems down
the road,” Alger stated. “A leaky roof can cause water damage with water working its
way down to your windows and siding. This could be very costly to repair and cause
structural damage as well.” Alger said.


His in-house design team works with all budgets in mind to create a cost-effective plan
for homeowners to improve their homes from windows to doors to roofs and more. One
of the best ways to start on home improvements when trying to increase a home’s
energy efficiency, while also adding a fresh new aesthetic and some curb appeal, is by
adding new windows.

According to Charlotte Reach of Hunker Design, trends in windows for 2022 include arched and circular windows and floor-to-ceiling windows with accents that pop in an all-white room.

“More homeowners are using their homes to show off their individuality. It makes sense, as people have gone from having to be home to wanting to be at home in an environment that expresses their personalities and individual tastes. Since no one could travel [during quarantine], homeowners had to bring those experiences into their homes.”

Alger said that adding modern windows offer better insulation, which makes it easier for your heating and cooling system to keep your home energy efficient.

“If your energy bills are skyrocketing, replacing the windows in your home might be the solution to more savings down the road,” said Alger.

For more information on how you can turn your home living space work better for you and your family, contact David Alger at Elite Construction Group”: (203) 648-9995 or David@eliteegroup.com.

*This is a sponsored post. To learn more about your business being featured on CT Buzz News, please email CTBuzzNews@gmail.com.

Danbury’s Irish-Americans Kick Off 2022 St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations with Parades & More

DANBURY, CT—After two years of cancellations due to the global pandemic, Danbury’s Irish-Americans are glad to celebrate their Silver Anniversary at the 25th Annual Danbury St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The month-long celebrations kicked off on Sunday, Feb. 20th with their St. Patrick’s Day Parade fundraiser at Molly Darcy’s, followed by the St. Patrick’s Day Ball on Saturday, March 5th. Not even a “bomb cyclone” could stop Danbury and New Fairfield area Irish-Americans from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New Fairfield (Danbury’s parade will be held on 3/20/22). New Fairfield resident Peter Hearty was presented with a proclamation from State Senator Julie Kushner for his contributions to the town by organizing the 52nd annual New Fairfield St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Danbury’s Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians hold the St. Patrick’s Day Ball annually the first Saturday in March at the Amber Room where they honor the man and woman of the year. This year, Richard Hawley, of Danbury, and Wendy Mitchell, of Brookfield, were named the Hibernians of the Year. Hawley was recognized for his years of fundraising at the annual golf classic and for starting the setback league. Mitchell was recognized for her efforts to raise funds for the club at last year’s “SHAMROCKAPALOOZA” benefit concert, serving as co-chair of the parade for the last five years, and serving as state recording secretary and webmaster, division Catholic Action and publicity officer. 

The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation and the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center kicked off their month-long St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with the annual Irish Ball on March 5, 2016. Danbury’s new Mayor Dean Esposito presented Mitchell and Hawley with a proclamation from the City of Danbury for their dedication the mission and helping to preserve Irish culture in the greater Danbury area. Senator Julie Kushner presented a proclamation to both from the State of Connecticut.

The duo will have the distinct honor of leading the City of Danbury’s parade on Sunday, March 20th at 2:00 p.m., along with their fellow Hibernians, Celtic Cross Pipes and Drums Corps, Newtown Horse Guard, Girl Scout and Boy Scout Troops, local politicians and officials, Danbury and surrounding town’s fire departments, Danbury police, and other marching units. The Danbury St. Patrick’s Day Parade is co-chaired this year by Kevin Hearty and Catherine Bach.

The following events are planned for St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday, March 17, 2022:

  • 9 a.m. Bethel flag raising, 1 P.T. Barnum Square, Bethel
  • 11 a.m. – Mass at St Peter Church, Main St. Danbury with prayers in English and Gaelic
  • 12 p.m. – Irish flag raising at Danbury City Hall, Deer Hill Ave. followed by refreshments 
  • 12:30 p.m. on – Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center (GDICC), 6 Lake Ave., Danbury, corned beef, cabbage, Shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread, and refreshments. The GDICC has Guinness and Harp on tap as well as a wide variety of other libations. Local Irish dance schools will perform and live bands Fiddlesuice and Steve O’Tree & Friends will play traditional Irish favorites.

On Saturday, March 19th, Two Roads Brewery is sponsoring a “Tap Takeover” with Tipperary Knights, $5 Two Roads specials, raffles, and more!

The 25th Annual Danbury St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held this year on Sunday, March 20, 2022. It is being sponsored by Title Sponsor, Townsquare Media Danbury, Platinum Sponsor Mercedes-Benz of Danbury, Gold Sponsor UK Gourmet and Dream Home Realty of CT. The parade steps off at 2 p.m. at Center and Main Street, Danbury in front of St. Peter Church. 

Parade Day is Sunday, March 20, 2022:

  • 2 p.m. Greater Danbury St. Patrick’s Day parade begins in front of St. Peter Church, Main and Center Streets
  • Shuttle buses will begin at 12 p.m. at the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury
  • Corned beef & cabbage, Shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread, and refreshments will be sold at the Danbury Irish Club, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury. Local Irish dance schools and live bands will perform traditional Irish favorites.

Questions? Call the club at (203) 739-0010 or email DanburyIrish@gmail.com

Photo: Wendy Mitchell, 2022 Danbury Lady Hibernian of the Year, Richard Hawley, 2022 Danbury Mens Hibernian of the Year

Photo Credit: Marion Lynott, Irish Flare Photography

Office Furniture Pop-Up Shop Offers Work-From-Home Clients Deep Discounts in Danbury

DANBURY, CT—For Russell Castro and his wife Andrea, Covid’s impact on the supply chain has caused business to boom as millions of Americans opt to work, and learn, from home during the pandemic. The pair, who have been in business for more than 30 years, noticed that their customers were fine with giving up their commute but not their high-end office chairs.

Originally from Rockland County, New York, the family now has ties to New Fairfield with the owner’s brother, Rick Castro, also his business partner, having deep roots in the community for over 25 years. Brothers Russell and Rick Castro partnered to open OFIS Furniture as a pop-up shop located at 61 Newtown Road in Danbury, next to Denny’s Restaurant.

Russell has been selling high-end, gently used office furniture since 1994. He said he went into business after college, being unable to find a job that he liked.

“Two friends were in the business of removing old phone systems from companies that went out of business, then saw that there was a huge resale value in the used furniture that was left behind,” Russell said. “Landlords needed the space empty and the clients asked us to remove it.”

During and after quarantine, the partners said a big change they have seen since the pandemic is people taking part in the “Great American Resignation” and starting their own business. They have seen people who used to work in the corporate environment now starting their own hair salons, boutiques, and small businesses. Even accountants and tax professionals have been coming to them as they, along with thousands of Americans, have chosen to work for themselves rather than deal with the corporate world.

Castro said they are one of the largest office furniture liquidations companies in the country and being able to help people downsize or move off into their own business venture has been so rewarding. 

“We take in the furniture from Fortune 100 corporations and resell it to smaller Fortune 500 companies.  During Covid, people working from home found themselves sitting on a folding chair and were missing that high end $1,500 ergonomically correct chair that they had at the office.”

All of the furniture they sell is in excellent condition, cleaned and sanitized, and in stock with no long lead times. They offer affordable delivery and stand behind their product by offering a 3-year warranty even after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. If the chair breaks and is not functioning properly, they will repair or replace it for our customers no questions asked.

“The people came from hours away,” he shared, “sometimes with the whole family—kids looking for a good learn-at-home set up. We have been getting calls from the Westchester and Connecticut area for furniture and decided to open up a second location in this area to help meet the demand in this area.” 

The owners said they decided to take their furniture “on the road” and “test the waters here in Connecticut.” They hope to extend their lease should the demand and market call for it.

“We have been doing this for 30 years and it is all we know. This new retail sector is fun as we get to meet new people, learn what people do and help them to find what they need to work better and feel better. Knowing we are helping someone on many levels feels good. Saving them a lot of money is great. When people walk through our door to buy a single chair or to furnish an entire office and when they see our inventory and the prices their reaction to us is, ‘Why would we go anywhere else?’ or ‘Why would we buy new office furniture when we can buy this for 2/3 off new?’ That is what we are proud to offer. During the year we have clubs/organizations that we work for donations,” Russell said.

The Grand Opening of OFIS Furniture will be on Saturday, March 5th from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. They will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. They will also be open by appointment for home furnishing clients. 

The owners will be on hand at the Grand Opening to meet and greet visitors. Mention “Buzz” to get $20 off your purchase. For more information, call OFIS Furniture at (732) 677-8450 or Rick Castro at (203) 733-8807 or visit their website: OFISfurniture.com.

Kids Can Find Their Literary Voice with Muse Squad

A Ridgefield Mompreneur contributes to the arts scene with her 10-week, MFA-inspired program for middle schoolers. And there’s still time to join the squad!

RIDGEFIELD, CT–Let your child’s individualism shine and bring their creative side to the surface by being a part of Muse Squad’s class of 2022. This winter, there’s a fresh new way for tweens and teens to get involved in their local writing community. All are welcome!

Brittney Richardson, founder of the newly launched Muse Squad, a creative writing program for kids, plans to use mastery-based learning to instill advanced literary techniques and inspire confidence in her students.

“Mastery learning refers to a shift in responsibilities, so that a student’s success or failure is more reliant on the instruction and not necessarily the student’s ability,” according to Top Hat, an online learning platform. 

Richardson designed the course to feel more like a club, and to complement other studies. “With a stress-free atmosphere and no grades, there’s no pressure, just fun,” she said about the Thursday night class.

“Mastery-based learning can be traced to the 1960s, when Benjamin Bloom, a professor at the University of Chicago and an education psychologist, challenged conventional classroom practices. He imagined a more holistic system that required students to demonstrate learning before moving ahead. But the strategy was not widely used because it was so labor intensive for teachers. Now, with computer-assisted teaching allowing for tailored exercises and online lessons, it is making a resurgence,” said Kyle Spencer in a 2017 New York Times article.

Richardson strives for inclusivity. She said, “You don’t have to be a seasoned writer to sign up for the course. Maybe you’ve never tried to write creatively before, but wonder, what if I’d be good at it?”  

Throughout the program, young writers will build skills, polish their craft, and bond with like-minded peers. Each class has a unique theme and includes time for students to read their work aloud. After completing the original curriculum, students will have the start of a novel, a short story, or several standalone pieces to put in their writing portfolio.

Muse Squad adds a new fun and engaging facet to Ridgefield’s already vibrant arts community. In Miss Brittney’s evening class, your child can give the essays and papers a rest, and for 90 minutes, let their imagination go free. Visit the website to learn more.

26th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration Honors MLK + Local Resident


Ridgefield’s 26th Annual MLK, Jr. Day Celebration, A Free Event for the Community

Stream Live Online or Attend in Person

Monday, January 17, 2022 @ 2 pm

January 17, 2022 marks the 26th anniversary of Ridgefield’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, honoring the legacy of the great civil rights leader with an awards ceremony, speakers and performances. Each year as the community joins together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King, The Spirit of Dr. King Award is given to a Ridgefield resident for their outstanding commitment to service and selflessness.

This year the award will be presented to Allison Stockel, Executive Director of The Ridgefield Playhouse. This free community event will feature performances by ACT of CT’S Daniel C. Levine and Bryan Perri, actress Kimberly Wilson, The Ridgefield Chorale, Ridgefield A Better Chance students, MoJazz Dance, Ridgefield’s poet laureate Barb Jennes, Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray and many others.

This year’s celebration will be a hybrid of live and virtual performances, with attendees able to attend in person free of charge, or to watch live on the The Ridgefield Playhouse YouTube channel on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 17th beginning at 2pm.

Over the years, the town’s MLK Jr. Day celebration has changed and grown – from standing on the steps outside of the Community Center, to becoming a larger event in the basement of Town Hall, to becoming even more celebratory when moved to The Ridgefield Playhouse in 2013. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. have been reiterated and celebrated year after year. 

The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968, but it wasn’t until 1983, when President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names, or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

Ridgefield’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration is a production of the Town of Ridgefield and the Ridgefield Playhouse.

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Turn Your Basement Into a Home Office/Game Room with a Custom Remodel from Elite Construction Group

Photo credit: Rendon VA

BROOKFIELD, CT—With the work-from-home trend continuing to take our nation by storm in the wake of COVID-19, many contractors are busier than they’ve ever been. According to Rick Welday of Forbes, “71% of office workers were doing their job from home all or most of the time last year. Additionally, nearly 93% of school-aged students reported some form of distance learning during 2020. These are huge numbers that underscore the drastic ways in which we’ve had to adapt technologically as the state of the world changed around us.” (Pew Research Center).

With the rise of work-from-home parents and learn-from-home students, finding space in the home where children and their parent employees can focus at the same time, under the same roof, is crucial to both of their success. With many families having several children and one or two work-from-home parents, finding a quiet space to concentrate can be quite a challenge.

So how are families solving the noise/space issue in their homes? Enter in David Alger, owner of *Elite Construction Group. “Now more than ever we’ve seen an increase in people rethinking their home living spaces. From home offices, to renovating a basement or garage and turning it into an office, family room or a den, we’ve seen it all. This trend is not going away any time soon.”

Alger and his team of designers, carpenters, and home remodeling crews have been busy churning out top quality family rooms, home offices, attic space makeovers and more to accommodate the rising demand.

“Businesses are trending towards having employees work from home even after the pandemic has passed because the cost in doing so is beneficial. This shift in the market has prompted some homeowners to consider major home renovations to develop these additional spaces in their home—whether it’s refinishing a basement, creating an office space in a large room, or a small addition.”

“More than a year into the pandemic, more than 56% of American workers are still working remotely, with 41% fully remote. This represents a 44% increase from prior to the pandemic. And of those continuing to work remotely, 82% hope to continue to work from home at least one day a week or more in the future. These sentiments are presenting a challenge to return-to-office strategies as companies look to retain their employees. In fact, many employees have expressed that they would look for a new job if they were no longer allowed to work where they choose,” Welday stated.

For more information on how you can turn your home living space work better for you and your family, contact David Alger at Elite Construction Group”: (203) 648-9995 or David@eliteegroup.com.

*This is a sponsored post. To learn more about your business being featured on CT Buzz News, please email CTBuzzNews@gmail.com.

Photo credit: Rendon VA

Ridgefield Area Children with Autism Can Find Refuge in New Learning Center

RIDGEFIELD, CT—Families who have children with autism or kids on the spectrum can find relief from the stress of scheduling multiple appointments with therapists, dealing with insurance companies and other related issues at the area’s newest child development center that is specifically tailored to their needs. Springtide Child Development Center is pleased to announce the opening of their newest location on Copps Hill Road in Ridgefield, Conn.

Co-Founder and CEO Jia Jia said she opened the facility in Ridgefield after seeing a great need in the area for the unique services they provide for families who are impacted by autism. Springtide opened its first center in Trumbull in June 2020. In this short amount of time, they’ve seen tremendous need and have gotten really positive feedback from the families they work with.
For Jia Jia it’s personal.

“When I was a kid growing up in Salt Lake City, we had a really close family friend with a kid with autism. They would fly their therapist from the East Coast to Salt Lake once a month, and then work with their kid on the therapeutic practices throughout the month, until they could see their therapist again next month. I remember how difficult this was for the family, and also how much the therapy helped. Nearly 30 years later, I am struck by how access is still a major issue for many families today,” she shared.


The center hopes to provide refuge for parents who struggle to schedule appointments across multiple therapists and have to navigate the tough waters of dealing with confusing insurance issues and other related problems by streamlining the process all into one place.

“I realized I could make a difference,” Jia Jia said. “Over the last 20 years, I have worked for some of the most innovative and customer-oriented healthcare companies, and I discovered I could apply my learnings here to really help families. We offer convenient interdisciplinary centers where kids can receive ABA, occupational and speech therapies in one location. We manage all the insurance paperwork. And we integrate our practices with seamless technology that improves the quality of our practice and enhances our therapist effectiveness.”

Jia Jia said they opened in Ridgefield because they loved the town Ridgefield and its community. Prior to Springtide, Jia Jia served in multiple executive leadership roles including Director of Operations at One Medical Group (NASDAQ: ONEM), SVP of Operations at Sandbox VR and COO of Oxeon Partners, and VP of Service Experience at Oscar Health Insurance (NYSE: OSCR).

CLA Removes New Fairfield Dock That Played Host To Invasive Zebra Mussels

NEW FAIRFIELD, CT—The shoreline of Candlewood Lake in New Fairfield is one dock less after the Candlewood Lake Authority (CLA) removed it due to a harmful invader—zebra mussels.

These pesky creatures may look cool, but they can damage ecosystems by harming native species, according to Professor Pierce of the University of Wisconsin who stated, “In order for a zebra mussel to live, it must attach itself to a hard object. Not only do zebra mussels attach themselves to things like rocks, logs, and the hulls of ships, they also attach themselves to native species. Many native mollusk species are at risk of becoming extinct or endangered because of zebra mussels.” In addition, they can lower water quality and clarity.

The dock that was removed on Thursday, November 12 by the CLA, had about 6-12 live zebra mussels attached to it and were solitary mussels that were not yet forming colonies.

“This is the first time in over 8 years that this dock has been removed from the lake so we are unsure how long these mussels have been in the water, and when they attached to the dock,” a representative from the CLA said.

No other zebra mussels were found on neighboring docks and the CLA will continue to monitor the situation by combing the shoreline during the deep drawdown this winter.

The CLA is asking the public to clean, drain and dry their boats, kayaks and other nautical equipment before dropping them into the lake to help stop any potential invaders.

If you see any mussels that look similar to the one pictured, report the finding with a photo to science@candlewoodlakeauthority.org. Fore more information, visit the Candlewood Lake Authority online at candlewoodlakeauthority.org/invasivespecies.

Photo credit: Candlewood Lake Authority

JJ Stacks is Building Taste in Brookfield One Double-Decker at a Time

BROOKFIELD, CT—If you need an excuse to eat a hearty and delicious double-decker burger or sandwich today, JJ Stack’s got you covered! The newly opened Brookfield eatery boasts mouthwatering burgers, hot dogs, hand cut fries and much more. Owners Joe Attonito and Joe Acocella opened the unique eatery in late August and have been going full steam ahead ever since.

Attonito was the owner/operator of the former Tiger’s Den Sports Bar in Ridgefield, and has over 28 years of experience in the industry, started our as a bus boy and working his way up through the ranks.

“Currently I work in sales, selling food to restaurants, but was itching to get back in. This to me is like sort of some unfinished business when my previous restaurant closed abruptly after years of struggle,” Attonito said.

Acocella, on the other hand, is a restaurant newbie, but is dedicated to learning the business and becoming a bigger part of the day-to-day operations he said.

The dynamic duo said they were originally going to open a food truck but then came across this opportunity and they couldn’t refuse the chance to make something uniquely theirs and thus JJ Stacks was born. The restaurant got its name when Joe Acocella combined their first initials and the restaurant concept of their triple decker sandwiches.

Attonito said he chose to open in Broofield becasuse he loves the feel of a charming small town.

“I grew up working in restaurants with heavy “local” and “regular” business and that’s how I want to grow,” Attonito said. “We are a very community-oriented team as far as supporting local business and teaming up for fun and often charitable events, and Brookfield seems like a town that would greatly appreciate that.:

At his previous restaurant, Attonito was well-known in the Ridgefield community and helped dozens of non-profits, educational organizations, sports teams and more. He has already begun doing the same in Brookfield by hosting a few charitable events.

While opening during a global pandemic has been a challenge, Attonito said that the large patio and outdoor section offers plenty of room for safe social distancing and a great view of the mini golf course which is perfect for outdoor family fun.

“The fact that the whole feel of the place is that of an old take-out burger and ice cream joint which made us feel more comfortable considering COVID precautions. We love the idea of a unique way to spend time outdoors and something fun for kids and families to do together after being cooped up inside for so long. Obviously, we have our share of challenges, but we’re hoping the community takes to us quickly and we’re able to overcome what is sure to be a very tricky winter,” Attonito said.

Speaking of which, the restaurant offers take-out and curbside to go in addition to catering for corporate and community functions. The restaurant will be open all year round offering their full menu as well as homemade soup and donut specials for curbside and take-out, as well as limited dine-in options. JJ Stacks also participates with @deliverydotcom @ubereats @doordash and @grubhub.

The roadside restaurant is conveniently located at 537 Federal Road in Brookfield. For more information, visit JJ Stacks on Facebook, Instagram @JJStacks203 or online at JJStacks.com.

Photos: Joe Attonito, JJ Stacks

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