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

MAY 2017 MEETING MINUTES

Whitneyville Civic Association

At 7:05 the meeting was called to order by President Janet Kazienko.

Tonight is Janet’s last meeting after her two years in office. Janet thanked the board and said she learned a lot on the job, but she’s happy to be passing the baton. She said her husband, especially, is relieved her tenure is over.

  • Conflict with Ridge Hill PTA meeting. Our meeting will potentially move from the 2nd to 3rd Thursday of the month.
  • Library Fundraiser. Dave Bechtel said the Library fundraiser brought in $2000, and was a lot of fun and great for the community. Maureen Armstrong will work on a check ceremony with the town library board. New trees were recently planted as part of the refurbishment.
  • Treasurers report: $1,664.81 and $3,848.82 in our accounts, including the library fund raiser monies.
  • Dave Bechtel was unanimously elected President. Connie Matheson was unanimously elected Vice-President.

Guest Speaker. State Representative Michael D’Agostino spoke.

  • D’Agostino is still trying to change the mechanism for distribution of state funds to schools. The state was ready to announce the new budget, when it learned that quarterly-filer taxes were seriously below projections. Now looking at a 2.5 billion dollar deficit.
  • Over the years, the state did not regularly put money aside to fund the pension obligation. Little is left for discretionary spending. The political reality is that taxes are unlikely to be raised.
  • However, there could be a sales tax increase and regional tax assessments, as are done in other states and are being discussed. No matter what else happens, educational taxes pay for more than just math and English teaching, so Rep. D’Agostino is hoping funds can be diverted from other pots to communities that need it.
  • Budget cuts will hurt state workers who may be laid off, resulting in depleted services and municipal aid.
  • We might not have a budget on June 7, which would give the governor plenary power, and might not be a bad thing since he is not running again.

Citizen Input and Questions.

  • Deirdre Dolan asked if legalized marijuana or toll roads are being considered as potential revenue sources. “Legalized marijuana is interesting,” Rep. D’Agostino said. “I think it will come back into the budget because the money will just end up in Massachusetts or Vermont.” Toll roads could also happen but the money can only be used for transportation which would make the transportation fund solvent, perhaps $100 million in the first few years. Reps from border towns like Danbury don’t like them.
  • Closing the hedge fund loophole will not happen. No appetite in the Senate and the Governor will veto that.
  • Connie Matheson asked, “Should we be making phone calls to support your formula for fairly supporting all the schools?” D’Agostino suggested calling Martin Looney to make sure Hamden gets its educational funding. Courts found that the way Connecticut distributes its educational funds is unconstitutional. This case is now at the state Supreme Court, and the new methodology Rep. D’Agostino is working on would change the formula so ring suburbs like Hamden would get more funding. The new formula forces districts of 1,000 or less students to join with larger districts or lose their funding.
  • Michael Ross noted that we are going to have 380 new households when the new development at Mather and Dixwell opens. What kind of impact will that have? Rep. D’Agostino said it will trigger redistricting as well as adding taxes to the town pot. But a lot depends on whether some of those kids have special needs. The new development is not family housing though; the units are small, single bedroom efficiencies.

Adjournment: President Bechtel adjourned the meeting at 9:00.

 

 

Books & Booze? Well, Who said Book Lovers Can’t Have Fun?

WCA Logo

This Friday: Support your local library, the heart of our Whitneyville community, and celebrate Spring at the same time. Join friends and neighbors on Friday, April 21st from 6-8 pm at The Playwright Banquet Room, located at 1232 Whitney Avenue. Enjoy complimentary appetizers, a cash bar and readings by Hamden’s own Poet Laureate Franz Douskey. Lightheartedly called “Books & Booze” (with alcohol optional of course), proceeds will be used by the Whitneyville Branch of the Hamden Public Library to support expanded programming and provide additional resources for residents and families in the community.

Tickets for this event, sponsored by the Whitneyville Civic Association, are $30 per person with proceeds benefiting our branch of the library. You can RSVP and reserve tickets by emailing Dave Bechtel at dpbechtel@hotmail.com .
Library fundraiser flyer
A fundraiser for the Whitneyville Branch of Hamden Public Library

Meeting Minutes: March 9, 2017

Minutes of March 9, 2017 meeting of Whitneyville Civic Association Held at Board of Education Building 60 Putnam Ave., Hamden

President Janet Kazienko called the meeting to order at 7:08.

  • Owner Spotlight: Chris Fiore owner of Wine 101 gave a presentaion about the new business at 1220 Whitney Ave. Unit C. Chris said that he met his partner, Carol Cyr, giving wine tastings to raise money for their childrens’ school. But as they did, they came to believe that wine classes should not be pretentious and, if done right, can open people up to new ideas and learning to be passionate about what they like. The two launched a business which grew through word of mouth as they gave tastings in peoples’ homes. Their store brings in small, eclectic wines and exposes people to new tastes. Customer service is the highest priority. The store also carries craft beer, spirits, and cheese, but the main product is the wine.
  • Elections: Janet announced that elections will take place at the May meeting. The President’s position is open.
  • LED Light Follow-Up: The bulb standard that UI would like is 4,000k, and no alternatives in terms of bulb warmth (measured in k) were previously considered for municipal use. But due to citizen education and activism, now UI is looking at 3000k LED lights, which Hamden may be able to get by waiting until UI has them. Mayor Leng wrote a letter to UI and has been vocally supportive of the warmer lights.
  • Lighting Change: Janet reported that Hamden Hall is requesting a lighting change for their athletic fields that could affect other parks. The town’s next meeting is April 14th.
  • Library Committee: Dave Bechtel reported that the Whitneyville Branch of the Hamden Public Library has a lot of structural issues. The town passed a capital budget with $40,000 for the two branches, and maybe a $15,000 carry over from last year. Also, there will be a tree planted at the branch on Arbor Day which is also when WCA has its spring clean-up. A fundraiser and friendraiser to be held April 21 at the Playwright is also planned. The event will be called Books and Booze.
  • Summer Music Series: A committee met, and decided to stick with the same set-up of three different events in the evenings once a month in June, July, and August at Denicola Park. There were a lot of new ideas that could appeal to a more diverse crowd. The next committee meeting is at Janet’s house on March 19 at 5:00 pm.
  • Backyards for Wildlife: National Wildlife Foundation has a program that is being brought to Whitneyville.  Deirdre Dolan announced that citizens can start anytime by going to the NWF website and signing up. All that’s needed is food, shelter, and water sources for wildlife to qualify to be certified. An effort will be made to advertise to all residents, especially younger people with families who can’t make it to WCA meetings, so they will sign-up   Information sessions can be arranged at the library and at the Hamden Earth Day event.
  • Traffic Committee: Mark Foran spoke about meeting with Mayor Leng and Police Chief Wydra about traffic in the Whitneyville area. They discussed a new roundabout at Ridge and Hartford Turnpike that should make this intersection safer. The town has done a lot of work in Whitneyville, and is now looking at other neighborhoods that need attention. The Traffic Committee has compiled a preliminary list of other traffic calming issues which was discussed. A final draft of this list may be posted on the WCA website.
  • Gardening committee: Liz Hellwig set dates for work at the Pocket Park. May 7, June 11, July 9, Aug. 13, and Sept. 10, all at 8:30 am.
  • Dues: WCA Dues are due and Deb Weckerle can accept them any time.
  • Judy Gordon requested that we ask our government representative to discuss impacts of the budget cuts we will most likely see as a result of expected cuts to the federal budget. Janet agreed that was an excellent idea.

Meeting adjourned by Janet at 8:30

January 2017 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes of the Whitneyville Civic Association

January Meeting, held at the Board of Education building 60 Putnam Ave., January 12, 2017

President Janet Kazienko called meeting to order at 7:08.

Janet said Travis Pittman of Salad Palace was invited to speak and will do so when he gets here.

  • A Bocce Court seems to have showed up in Denicola Park, Michael Ross announced. As Past President of the WCA, he spoke to the Mayor about it, and is trying to find out where it came from.  Janet asked if anyone wanted the WCA to officially react to this, and there was no request made to do so.
  • Library Committee: Dave Bechtel said the committee is following up on the Mayor’s promise to spend $40000 on both braches of the library. Dave said the committee has a great plan, and the Whitneyville branch is now open on Saturdays with consistent hours. The committee is planning a fundraiser, tentatively called “Books and Booze” at the Playwright in early spring.
  • Travis, owner of Salad Palace, talked about the cancer scare that inspired him to change his diet and then opened up Salad Palace to bring healthy food that can change your health, even reverse diabetes. The website is thesaladpalace.com. The menu features many types of healthy salads, smoothies, and juice, and there is a new menu coming up.
  • Janet said she is hoping to see a committee get together to work on changes to the summer music programs that the WCA has offered in the past. She is looking for new ideas. Marc Levenson said he is interested in getting involved.
  • Bob Pattison spoke about the new municipal LED lighting programs going on across the country, which often creating bright, even blinding light in neighborhoods. LED is good, he said, but the color makes a big difference. Light is measured in Kelvin; bright LEDS are heavy on the blue color, and new health studies highlight some of the issues in reference to circadian rhythm disruption and other health hazards. AMA recommends 3000K or lower, warm vs. bright lighting. UI currently wants to use the 4000 Kelvin lights. Marty Mador, head of the towns Energy Use and Climate Change Commission said he is not sure if the lights have been purchased, but Hamden might be getting these lights in May.
  • Dale Kroop, Hamden’s Economic Development Director, said energy is an issue that has been handled ad hoc. He would like to see the Energy Use and Climate Change commission work toward an action plan. Janet said she had contacted Teresa Eller at UI, but she could not come, but when Dave Bechtel and Michael Ross went to her, she made it clear that UI is working with towns, yet asking municipal leaders about lumens, but not color. Danny Kazienko stressed that it is not the brightness, it is the color, the blue color, that is disruptive.
  • Traffic Committee: Mark Foran said the committee had no report but was seeking input from residents. Marty mentioned issues with Augur, Street. Mark said Augur really has been left out on some of the changes and yet has some real issues. A chicane was proposed for that street, a good idea but it was never implemented. It would be at a 25 mile per hour speed limit. What Mark would like to do is create a visual representation of what this would look like. The Traffic Committee will be meeting sometime in the next month.

Deb Weckerle announced a book giveaway for teachers.

Jen Brosious announced several benefit events that are upcoming at the Whitneyville Cultural Commons and the Yoga Center.

Janet adjourned the meeting at 8:20.