Klezmer Slam a Wonderful Night

Klezmer Slam 2016The Klezmer Slam on July 13th at DiNicola Park was a great success with six musicians performing two hours of great music to a large, appreciative crowd. Lots of fun, and a big thank you to all the musicians for donating your time and talents to the neighborhood!!

Up Next on August 17: The String Slam featuring bluegrass and other Americana music. If you’re a musician come join the jam. If you can’t play, come out and listen! The presence of both Popcentric’s Popsicle Girl and DiSorba’s dessert truck will sweeten the evening. August 17th, 6-8 pm at DiNicola Park.


Email Exchange re: Downed tree at Putnam and Whitney

Mayor Leng sent the following email to the WCA on June 15th: I’m going to look into this.


The WCA replied:

Dear Mayor Leng,

Your prompt response and willingness to look into this issue is noteworthy and appreciated. And please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.


Janet Kaszienko, President

Deirdre Dolan, Secretary

Letter: Tree Down due to Car Accident

Dear Mr. Cesare,

We are very concerned about a tree that was uprooted and knocked over as a result of a car accident at the corner of Putnam and Whitney near the bell in the downtown business district of Whitneyville.

We think the tree may be salvageable. It has been roughly wedged back into place by the WCA sandwich board, but without the board, it will fall over again. The Whitneyville Garden Committee discussed possibly doing this work ourselves, but we don’t have the equipment needed or the manpower.

Can the Public Works Department prioritize this issue?

We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter, and look forward to hearing back from you as soon as possible.

Thank you.


Janet Kaszienko
President, Whitneyville Civic Association

Deirdre Dolan

Follow-Up Letter RE: Whitneyville Parking Lot

Town of Hamden

Mayor Curt Leng
Hamden Government Center

Dear Mayor Leng,

Thank you for agreeing to formulate new language for the signage at the Whitneyville Parking Lot at the corner of Whitney and Ralston avenues in response to the Whitneyville Civic Association’s (WCA) concerns.

As you may recall, the WCA proposed the following:

  •  Establish a few commuter parking spaces for those who park and use the adjacent bus stops
  •  Remove the existing 2 hour limit signs
  •  Designate all of the lot (except for the designated commuter spots) as 2 hour parking from 8:00AM to 6:00PM

In your May 12 letter, you stated your support of “something similar,” and wrote of a plan you would work on with the Authority and Chief Wydra. We respectfully request an update on that language, as well information on how you and your administration plan to increase use of the alternative lot at 60 Putnam.

One thought is, perhaps use of the Putnam lot would increase if adequate signage on Whitney Avenue and Putnam advertised its location and availability. Potential downtown customers are likely to be frustrated if they are looking for municipal parking but cannot find it.

As always, the WCA appreciates all of your hard work on behalf of the citizens and town of Hamden, and is grateful for your support of our advocacy to maintain and improve the neighborhood of Whitneyville.



Janet Kazienko, President

Deirdre Dolan, Secretary

Whitneyville Civic Association

Cc:Chief Wydra, Dale Kroop

State Grant for Whitneyville Cultural Commons

An update from Rep. Mike D’Agostino:

Last week, the town was awarded a $30,000 grant (Community Investment Act) to conduct a full assessment and preservation plan for the Whitneyville Church/Cultural Commons.  The town should have by now received a hard copy and email copy of the contract that needs to be filled out and returned to the Department of Economic and  Community Development.  The town needs to return a signed contract to DECD in order to get the funds, along with a certification confirming that the Mayor is authorized to enter into the contract. 

I want to stress how imperative it is to get the contract executed and certification back to DECD as soon as possible.  The funds are there now but there is a real possibility the state will freeze more DECD grant funds as part of its deficit mitigation actions — this has happened to other grants.  In short, we have to get the $$ before it is gone. 

May meeting minutes, 5/12/16

Maureen Armstrong, Hamden Public Library

  • Daisy scouts are planting around the sign
  • Additional minor work is being done
  • Materials budget was cut by mayor and council, attending council meetings is a good way to support library
  • Programming for adults, including one-on-one computer classes, meditation, cooking & nutrition
  • Miller has Tuesday movie matinee, museum passes can now be booked online
  • Get newsletter online or at the library for more details
  • Summer Reading Program is starting soon
  • Many resources can be accessed from home via the library’s home page http://hamdenlibrary.org
  • Question: Saturday and evening hours? Staffing shortage was the problem, they might resume in the fall as positions are refilled

Update on letter to and meeting with Mayor about the physical state of the Whitneyville Branch. Several ideas were discussed, should WCA have a library committee? Contact Dave if interested, vice-president@whitneyville.org.

Gardening club work dates:
Liz has the schedule of Sunday mornings. Broader participation would enable more projects. May 22, June 19, July 24, August 1, September 18 – meet at the Pocket Park.

Spring litter pick-up this weekend. Supplies will be distributed Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9:00 – 10:00 am in the Ralston/Whitney parking lot. Bring filled bags back by 3:00 pm Sunday for the town to pick up.

Hamden Land Conservation Trust is having a photo contest with a deadline of 5/23/16 (see link under Town of Hamden resources above).

Update on letters (see Letters section above).

Vice-President 2017-2018, Dave Bechtel
Secretary 2017-2018, Diedre Dolan
Traffic issues discussion:
People who were working on traffic need to step back and we need more people. Moira, Mark, Julie Dowd, and Liz volunteered.

Some work has been done on traffic calming, including Mather / Waite improvements this spring.

Trish and Leah have worked on Mather St. traffic since 2008, worked with Scott Jackson to get the traffic study (linked above) done and the five-points intersection at King/Belmont/Mather improved.

Truck traffic from Mather St. construction has some options, but work early on is important (is there a construction traffic management plan filed?).

Important to comment on the new Plan of Conservation & Development still under development.

Other announcements:
Community investment fund grants (two $30,000 grants pending) need to be approved by the town to ensure the funds are secured.

Two cars stolen in the past month, some of this is seasonal. See prior notes from Sgt. Testa and Chief Wydra for crime prevention tips. Keeping cars, doors, and windows locked is key, as is reporting anything suspicious.

It’s pothole season! Report them to the town helpdesk or see-click-fix. The more reports the more likely they will be filled promptly.

Update from Laine on Whitneyville Cultural Commons. The 501(c)(3) application is pending with IRS – could hear any time now. The zoning changes have gone through, and the variances to merge the two parcels has also gone through. This means that discussions of parking on the Putnam end of the property are revived.

It’s New Haven Bike Month, and there are free breakfasts on Fridays – at Yale Art Gallery tomorrow, Pitkin Plaza next week.

State budget update from Rep. Mike D’Agostino: budget is passed in the special session. There are changes to how the car tax works which will result in slightly more revenue to the town and slightly lower car taxes. Hamden is coming out of the hard budget year with a positive.

Whitneyville Parking Lot

Curt Leng, Mayor
Chief Wydra, Traffic Commission

The Whitneyville Civic Association (WCA) proposes the following clarifying rules and practices to govern the user of the “Whitneyville Municipal Parking Lot” at the corner of Whitney and Ralston Avenues:
  •  Establish a few commuter parking spaces for those who park and use the adjacent bus stops
  •  Remove the existing 2 hour limit signs
  •  Designate all of the lot (except for the designated commuter spots) as 2 hour parking from 8:00AM to 6:00PM
(We understand that any existing overnight parking regulations or restrictions currently in place should continue.)
Approved by a majority of the executive board of the WCA. We look forward to hearing from you by May, 24th.
Jan Kazienko, President
Whitneyville Civic Association