Upcoming Free Event at the Whitneyville Branch Library

Save the Date!  February 3, 2018

Please mark your calendar for:

Morning in the Stacks:  Children’s Author Deborah Freedman
Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Book reading, family activity, and celebration of National Carrot Cake Day!
At the Whitneyville Branch Library, 125 Carleton Street

We hope you can attend this free family event to celebrate our local authors and local library!

Co-sponsored by the Hamden Public Library and Whitneyville Civic Association

 

Upcoming events at the Whitneyville Branch Library

Please mark your calendar for upcoming neighborhood events at the Whitneyville Branch of the Hamden Public Library.  We hope you can attend these free events to celebrate our local authors and local library!

Evening in the Stacks:  Poetry with Bruce Coffin
Thursday, November 30, 2017 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Poetry reading, light refreshments and nourishing conversations with your neighbors

Morning in the Stacks:  Children’s Author Deborah Freedman
Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Book reading, family activity, and celebration of National Carrot Cake Day

Both events at the Whitneyville Branch Library, 125 Carleton Street, and are co-sponsored by the Hamden Public Library and Whitneyville Civic Association.

 

SEPTEMBER 2017 MEETING NOTES

September 21, 2017 Whitneyville Civic Association Meeting

Welcome.  President Dave Bechtel welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the Board members and Committee chairs. Dave announced, on behalf of Library Committee, that the library event held in the spring raised $2,443, and Maureen has gotten the funds and has started to allocate it for use.

Committee Updates.  Mark Foran gave the Traffic committee update. In light of all these apartments going in on Mather, Mark did three days of car counting to get a baseline to see how traffic is impacted once they are fully opened. Also discovered that the average speed on Mather is 36 mph. Highest was in the forties, but most were in the mid 30s. Speed is an issue, while capacity is not. Mark’s suggestion was speed tables on cut-through streets. The bridge over the canal can be dropped to help with safety. And the service road could be permanently open to relieve traffic on Mather.

A Music Jam recap was given by Former President Jan Kazienko. The three concerts went very smoothly. The anchor musicians were given money for the first time and this was appreciated.  The committee will have a wrap-up meeting where we hope to have more new ideas.

Secretary Deirdre Dolan gave an update on progress with the National Wildlife Foundation’s Backyard Habitat project. Five Whitneyville residents have already expressed an interest in getting involved in the project. There is a sign-up sheet for anyone else who would like to join the committee.

So far two yards in Whitneyville have been designated as certified Backyard Habitats. We will have to officially register Whitneyville and have a consultation with an National Wildlife Foundation representative to find out how many homes, parks, and public buildings will be needed to qualify for Community Wildlife Habitat status. It costs $100 to register, so that’s something the committee will need to do: raise the registration fee.

Only two CT towns are currently certified: Willimantic and Colchester.  There’s a piece of information we are really going to need and can’t find: how many people live in Whitneyville?  Many in attendance recommended using Census tract data.

Guest SpeakerDale Kroop, Hamden’s Director of Economic and Community Development, gave an update on economic development work in the neighborhood. He suggested that citizens visit his website,  http://www.hamden-ct.com/default.asp or email Dale at dkroop@hamden.com to sign up to get his emails.

Dale said the retail marketplace forecast is that by 2022 most shopping malls will be closed. By contrast, Hamden has the lowest retail vacancy rate in the region.

Other information from Dale included:

  • First Niagra building is now under contract with a New Haven boutique.
  •  On Mather, 80 units of affordable housing in a low-rise building are being built across from the larger apartment development.
  •  Other new businesses are going in as a result of the new residential development on Mather.
  •  The town’s job is to balance the needs of people and the marketplace.
  •  Putnam Place Plaza, where Stop and Shop was located, is left with a big hole. The  Shopping Center owners are looking for viable tenants who will be able pay their bills. Location, demographics, and zero foot traffic (nearby homes and businesses) may call for alternative uses, for example, a school or nonprofits.

Secretary Deirdre Dolan had to leave, but made a quick announcement:  Leonard Young, 12 Augur Street, belongs to Gimme Shelter which raises funds & awareness for Hamden’s Animal Control Gift Fund to design, build & staff a new Animal Shelter.

Their next event is this Saturday and it has a Whitneyville theme: wines from Wine 101 and food from Le Petit Gourmet! The event will be from 2 – 4 PM at a private residence on Blake Road. See the flyer on the other side of the dais for more information.

Vice-President Connie Matheson resumed taking minutes for the remainder of the meeting.

Dale Kroop continued his overview of economic development projects on Dixwell Avenue.  He discussed a number of completed projects and reviewed the scope and status of vacant buildings and properties.  He summarized the history of the former Hamden Middle School site and presented details of the current redevelopment plan including 57 units of mixed income housing, a community center and the abatement of the contaminated elements of the site. He then switched to Whitney Avenue speaking mainly about the repurposing of the Centerville Lumber site.

Dale stated that about 50 percent of his time is spent on small business development, coaching (some of our Whitneyville business owners were mentioned) and working with “solopreneurs” in nine industry clusters that meet several times during the year.  He closed by suggesting that we check out his website for full details.

LED Street Light Update.  Bob Pattison and Christina Crowder, from Spring Glen Association, gave an update on the work that they have been doing with regard to the LED street light conversion proposed by United Illuminating (UI). Their research has presented further concerns about what the “right’ fixture would actually be.  They have also spoken to towns who have been able to purchase the light fixtures from the utility and contract privately for maintenance, recognizing about a 50% savings. They have a proposal in front of the Mayor and hope to meet with him soon.  A public meeting on this topic is being planned.

Adjournment.  Dave adjourned the meeting at 9:30.

 

Mayor’s Night Out

Mayor Curt Balzano Leng will be hosting a “Mayor’s Night Out” event on Monday, October 23rd, from 6pm – 8pm at the Board of Education Headquarters, located at 60 Putnam Avenue, Hamden, CT 06517. The Mayor will be available for dialogue and citizen input on neighborhood as well as Town-wide issues in an informal coffee hour type setting.

The goal of this initiative is to provide greater accessibility to the Mayor throughout the community and foster a direct connection with residents. “Mayor’s Night Out” will continue to be held in various Hamden neighborhoods throughout the coming
months.

For further information, please contact Information & Research Officer, Patrick J. Donnelly at (203) 287-7009 or by email at pdonnelly@hamden.com

Hamden Candidate Forum

The League of Women Voters (LWV) to sponsor Hamden Legislative Council Forum and Mayoral Debate

 

ALL Hamden District and At-Large Legislative Council candidates and Mayoral candidates have been invited to participate in the LWV Legislative Council Candidates Forum and Mayoral Debate on Oct. 26th at 7:00PM in the Thornton Wilder Auditorium,  2901 Dixwell Avenue.

Ray Andrewsen, General Manager and Morning Show Host of Quinnipiac University’s community radio station, will moderate the event.

The 1st part of the evening will be devoted to the Legislative Council District and At-large candidates.  Each candidate will be introduced and have 2 minutes to name the district they plan to represent and state the reason they are running.  

The second part of the evening will be devoted to a Mayoral debate between Democratic candidate Curt Balzano Leng and Republican candidate Salman Hamid.

PLEASE ATTEND!   Residents will be encouraged to submit their questions on local town issues at the debate The questions will be asked of the candidates by the moderator.  

Learn about your candidates!  Ask questions! Get Answers!

Canal Crossing Letter

Dan Kops, Hamden Department of Planning and Zoning

 

Dear Mr. Kops,

Mixed-income communities build stronger communities and living in these communities has contributed to educational and economic successes and expanded opportunities for all. Acknowledging this, the State of Connecticut passed legislation that dictates that 10 percent of housing in the state meets the affordable standards as established by the state.

The developers of Canal Crossing are building luxury apartments on Mather Street.  In order to get approval for this project, they took advantage of the affordable housing law outlined in 8-30g, which allows a developer to build multi-family housing in a location not zoned for multi-family housing.  In order to get approval under 8-30g a developer must provide affordable housing in 20 percent of their units at that location.

Now, with the project starting to lease apartments, they are asking the Planning and Zoning Commission to allow them to eliminate any and all affordable housing they were supposed to provide on Mather Street and put that number of units at their Mix Avenue property instead.

We see value in the affordable units at the Canal Crossing location and cannot support the reassignment to another location that perpetuates economic segregation.

Sincerely,

Whitneyville Civic Association Board

Dave Bechtel, President

Connie Matheson, Vice President

Deb Maldonado, Treasurer

Deirdre Dolan, Secretary

Free Music Jams in DeNicola Park

The 4th annual free Whitneyville Music Jam series kicks off June 14th with live Bluegrass music in DeNicola Park in Whitneyville,.

The Music Jam series features a different style of music for each of the three dates.

June 14: Bluegrass: Influenced by the music of Appalachia, bluegrass has mixed roots in Irish, Scottish, and English traditional music.

July 12: Klezmer: Soulful Jewish music of Eastern Europe influenced in the 20th century by ragtime, blues, and jazz.

Photo of musicians performing
Klezmer Musicians July 12 at DeNicola Park

 

August 16: Celtic: Traditional music of the Celtic countries – Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany (in France), Galicia (in Spain) and later the United States and maritime provinces of Canada.

Sponsored by the Whitneyville Civic Association, the annual Jam series is anchored by local musicians, but these are jam sessions, so if you play, please bring along your instrument. All jams are acoustic.

Bring a chair and a picnic basket: eating dinner is encouraged! Music begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 8.

In case of rain, please check Whitneyville.org for weather updates.

DeNicola Park is on Treadwell Ave. in Whitneyville, across the street from the intersection with Lake Street and features a huge playground, basketball and bocce courts, tall shady trees, and a great open space for picnicking, throwing a Frisbee, and playing tag.

 

 

Congratulations Chief Wydra Letter

Thomas J. Wydra                                                                       July 15, 2017

Chief of Police

Hamden, CT.

Dear Chief Wydra,

On behalf of the Whitneyville Civic Association, we offer our sincere congratulations on your appointment to the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training Council. It’s good to know that even while serving on this council, you will remain as our chief of police.

The tasks of the POST Council are of great importance and reflect the skill and professionalism you have brought to nearly 25 years of police work. We know you will bring your wisdom and experience to overseeing police training and setting department and officer standards.

Hamden is fortunate to have a local police department that, under your leadership, practices 21st-century policing including up-to-date technology, conflict de-escalation, and mediation training for our officers.

We appreciate your support of the citizens of Whitneyville, including speaking at our Civic Association meetings in recent years. This kind of hands-on community work improves relationships between police and citizens.

We look forward to many more years with our police department under your leadership.

Sincerely,

Dave Bechtel, WCA President

Deirdre Dolan, WCA Secretary