Tuesday, June 30, 2015  
The Charger Bulletin

Local Gigs of the Week

by Ashley Winward | February 25, 2015

local gigs of the week

Toad’s Place
Feb. 26: Bright Night 14: Electro Glow Party

Feb. 27: Partynextdoor

The Space
Feb. 28: The Dodos with Springtime Carnivore

BAR (21+)
Feb. 25: California X with Ovlov and Dead Pines

Cafe Nine (21+)
Feb. 25: Kings and Queens of East Rock

Feb. 26: And the Kids with The Sun Parade and Rudeyna

Feb. 27: Victor Roland

Feb. 28: Natalie Tuttle with Rusty Things, and Peter J Brail

Feb. 28: Jazz Jam Session: George Baker Band

Feb. 28: MV & EE with Spectre Folk, The Mountain Movers and Rivener

March 1: Americana Songwriter Circle

Make-A-Wish grants a rocking wish

by Samantha Mathewson | December 10, 2014

Adrian Laureano was granted his wish Dec. 7 to sing with Disney Channel stars Austin and Ally in L.A. Dec. 11. UNH students and many others gathered to celebrate with him and make him feel like a true rock star. 

Adrian Laureano singing alongside his mother, Jasmine Gonzalez, and his brother, Josue Alvarez  (Photo by Samantha Mathewson/Charger Bulletin photo)

Adrian Laureano singing alongside his mother, Jasmine Gonzalez, and his brother, Josue Alvarez
(Photo by Samantha Mathewson/Charger Bulletin photo)

Adrian Laureano got to be a “rock star” for a day, as he was granted his wish from Make-A-Wish on Dec. 7, at Karaoke Heroes in downtown New Haven.

Adrian, 5 years old, was granted his wish to sing a song with Austin and Ally, and will be traveling to Los Angeles on Dec. 11 to do just that.

“I’m excited,” said Adrian, whose favorite singers are Disney Channel stars, Austin, played by Ross Lynch, and Ally, played by Laura Marano, who star in their own TV show, Austin & Ally. Adrian started off his party by singing a Lynch original, “Better Than This.”

Family and friends gathered to celebrate the granting of his wish, along with students from the University of New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University, Glastonbury High School, sisters of Zeta Phi Beta and brothers of Iota Phi Beta. Everyone acted as Adrian’s paparazzi, cheering as he arrived, asking to take selfies with him and to sign autographs to make him feel like a true rock star.

Adrian was also accompanied by two UNH students, Matt Redding and Dylan Jones, who acted as his bodyguards during the party.

“We’re just very thankful for everyone who came out to support us. We didn’t expect it to be like this,” said Adrian’s mother, Jasmine Gonzalez. “It means a lot; it’s unexplainable and very touching.”
After his opening act, students and guests in the audience helped him sing along to songs including “Roar” and “Firework,” by Katy Perry, and taught Adrian how to do the Cupid Shuffle.

“Even though I only played a small role in making this adorable little boy’s wish come true, I felt honored,” said sophomore Jessica Bradt. “It was really nice to see a smile on his face as we all applauded and cheered for him as he walked in and sang for us.”

Adrian was diagnosed with moderate to persistence asthma, tracheomalacia and gerd at six months old. Due to his illnesses, he takes two inhalers at night, along with two medications, and has to use a ventilator for five to ten minutes before going to sleep.

“It’s hard. It’s all year long and worse during the winter and spring because of allergens,” said Gonzalez. “He gets croup cough, and that’s when I have to send him to the hospital to get steroids to open up his airway.”

Adrian Laureano got to rock out with family and friends (Photo by Samantha Mathewson/Charger Bulletin photo)

Adrian Laureano got to rock out with family and friends
(Photo by Samantha Mathewson/Charger Bulletin photo)

Shelissa Newball, assistant director of office of student activities at UNH, along with her fellow Wish Granter Jennifer Canebari, arranged Adrian’s party and wish.

“It is a very unique wish,” said Canebari, who said she had to look up who Austin and Ally were.

Adrian and his family will also spend a day at Universal Studios while in Los Angeles.

“It makes me cry sometimes to think that his wish is coming true, and it’s something his family will remember,” said Newball, who has been with Make-A-Wish for less than a year. This is the sixth wish she has granted.

Newball had to contact the venue and all the attendees when planning Adrian’s party.

“Karaoke Heroes donated the venue,” said Newball. “They were so generous in everything they did, and every student contacted jumped at the opportunity.”

“As soon as Shelissa contacted me I knew we would absolutely participate,” said Meghan Boudreau, general manager of Karaoke Heroes.

Karaoke Heroes also knew that Adrian was a Spiderman fan and gave him Siderman toys upon his arrival.

Along with the gift from Karaoke Heroes, Aetna health insurance gave a travel package and the Undergraduate Student Government Association of UNH awarded Adrian a proclamation for his unwavering courage.

“Today’s experience was awesome,” said Adrian’s father, Adaberto Rivera. “He’s [Adrian] very bright and smart, and loves singing and dancing. He always has lots of energy.”

ESUMS breaks ground

by Miriam Correia | November 19, 2014

After a long journey, ground has finally been broken for the Engineering and Science University Magnet School.

UNH President Steven Kaplan, Pryor, Architect Svigals, and ESUMS Senior Odia Kane breaking ground for the Engineering and Science University Magnet School (A New Haven Independent Photo)

UNH President Steven Kaplan, Pryor, Architect Svigals, and ESUMS Senior Odia Kane breaking ground for the Engineering and Science University Magnet School (A New Haven Independent Photo)

The school was dreamed up in 2005 and debuted in 2008 as a partnership effort between the University of New Haven, New Haven and West Haven. ESUMS has had temporary homes in New Haven and, recently, Hamden to accommodate the larger population but its final resting place, so to speak, will be right next to UNH.

“This is a wonderful example of what can take place when local municipalities, the state and higher education collaborate to, in this case, create a school that is the first of its kind in Connecticut,” said President Steve Kaplan.

Once completed, the new location will fill an important community need and greatly improve the area surrounding the University. ESUMS also will make its lab spaces available to the University during the evening, helping to address a critical need on campus.”

After scoping out and appraising various areas in West Haven and New Haven, the decision was made to build right on UNH’s campus. Ground was officially broken in September of this year and the school is set to open in September of 2016.

A couple of the other areas that were considered were UNH’s own South Campus Hall and an abandoned bowling alley north of Boston Post Rd. The site was the best decision because ESUMS students will have access to UNH’s campus and resources and it will not displace any of the offices as it would have if South Campus Hall was chosen.

With the growing population of students, the school did have issues with their temporary locations. There was a location on State Street in New Haven but there were plans to move to Ella Grasso Blvd until the permanent home was completed because of the growth of the school. However, parents got together and protested because of the drug addicts and sex offenders in that area, so plans were changed. Sixth through eighth grade students stayed at the State St. school and ninth through twelfth graders moved to a space on Leeder Hill Dr. in Hamden.

Right now, the school has 570 students but it will grow to 616 at the new location. As part of the arrangement, New Haven students will have 65 percent of the seats, West Haven will have 20 percent, and the remaining 15 percent will go to the surrounding Connecticut towns; also, ESUMS students will be able to take free courses at UNH for college credits.

The school’s seniors have been working with the architects, Svigals & Partners, on the design through their “Kids Build” program.

The teachers and administrators have been saying that it will be “a building that teaches,” according to press materials given to the New Haven Independent, because the students will get to see some of the engineering concepts that they see in the classroom being applied in real life.

Students were able to contribute to designing the layers of brick for the foundation, cantilevering problems, and will help with other issues, “We’ll have them [the students] back to walk the site with our civil engineer and the landscape designer,” said the lead architect Julia McFadden to the New Haven Independent.

The school will cost about $85 million, but 95 percent of that money will be reimbursed by the state, according to Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The school will be five stories and will have labs, which UNH students will have access to, computers, 3-D printers and other awesome features.

UNH Marching Band Attends New Haven Court House Ceremony

by Francesca Fontanez | November 7, 2014

The University of New Haven’s marching band made an appearance at the Richard C. Lee Court House on Oct. 30. An event was held to celebrate the 225th Anniversary of the District, as well as the 100th Anniversary of the Richard C. Lee Courthouse. The band played not only selections from their field show, but also a plethora of patriotic songs, leaving bystanders with a sense of pride and enthusiasm.

According to The Richard C. Lee U.S. Courthouse website, a cornerstone dedication ceremony was first held in 1914. Former President William Howard Taft, a professor at Yale Law School at the time, spoke at the ceremony. The text of his speech was placed in the cornerstone, along with other mementos nearly 100 years ago. The University of New Haven Marching Band was honored to be a part of the 2014 ceremony.

The University of New Haven’s Marching Band is one of the fastest growing collegiate bands in the country. What started out with 20 members in 2009 has grown to over 200. The Charger’s Marching Band is under the direction of Jason L. DeGroff.

While the Chargers’s season is just about coming to a close, they’ve had a very active season; five home games, two competitions (and one upcoming), and numerous UNH campus activities has kept the Chargers Marching Band and their supporters very busy this fall.

Trying to make the grass greener on the other side?

by Kayla Katt | September 24, 2014

While walking to class, I don’t appreciate getting wet from the sprinklers. I also dislike having to dodge the giant puddles in the walkways that the sprinklers make. Sprinklers should be used to water grass, not the concrete and especially not me.


The placement of the sprinklers boggles my mind. It’s as if the University of New Haven is trying to water both sides of the grass with one sprinkler; however this isn’t the case, because there are sprinklers on each side of the sidewalk. So why are they placed so close to the edge of the grass?

Something else that annoys me about this situation are the sprinklers on the grass behind Bixler. They are right in front of the windows on the first floor. What if residents have their windows open—wouldn’t the water get in through the windows?

The sprinklers by Bixler and Soundview aren’t the only annoying ones. The sprinklers by the library also water the walkway too, as if they are trying to reach the grass on the other side of the walkway—but again, they aren’t because there is already a sprinkler on that side, also watering the walkway. If the sprinklers are on when leaving the library, you are trapped. No matter which way you go, there is a sprinkler that is watering the concrete all the way down the walkways until you reach Buckman, down the stairs, or Gerhing Hall.

Lastly, UNH, it is not necessary to water the grass when it’s supposed to rain—or when it actually is raining. I know you want the grass to look good but the sky will take care of it for you for that one day. I’m not huge on the whole water conservation thing, but I’m pretty sure that watering your grass when it is raining is frowned upon. There’s also such a thing as overwatering grass; because of the constant watering, the grass gets muddy and swampy.

Photo from Twitter, where the Tweet read, “I was confused,  I thought this was UNH when they tried to ‘water the grass.’”

Photo from Twitter, where the Tweet read, “I was confused, I thought this was UNH when they tried to ‘water the grass.’”

On that note, my advice to you, UNH, is to not water your grass in the rain. Most importantly, when you “water the grass,” actually water the grass.

President’s Public Service Fellowship Presentations

by Samantha Higgins | September 16, 2014

The sixteenth year of the President’s Public Service Fellowship at the University of New Haven came to an end Friday Sept 5.

Over the course of 11 weeks, 11 UNH students of various majors were placed at different non-profit organizations in New Haven and West Haven for the fellowship. These organizations included the West Haven Mayor’s office, the Probate Court, New Haven Reads, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services and the Children’s museum, among others.

Dean Johnson says that they “normally place students outside of their comfort zone to provide them with an experience they might not normally seek for themselves.”

Because of this, every year there are fellows that think about exploring a different career path because of their experiences.

The fellows not only worked full time in their community but also focused on university competency journals, attended weekly dinners at various cultural restaurants in the area and attended many events, including the Arts and Ideas festival, a hike up the Sleeping Giant and the Savin Rock Festival.

In conclusion of their time at their placement sites, each fellow did a short presentation that included what their placement site contributes to the community, what their daily responsibilities were, what skills they gained or strengthened, what they learned and how they grew from the experience. Among the audience was President Kaplan, Phil and Susan Bartels, Mayor O’ Brien, Dr. Henry Lee, numerous other faculty, as well as supervisors from the placement sites.

Dean Johnson and Professor Marty O’Connor worked with the fellows throughout the summer. Johnson and O’Connor were heavily involved, doing everything from attending the weekly dinners to reading the journal prompts the fellows were assigned, and asking everyone about their experiences at their placements.

Graduate Assistant Maxine Swick was the coordinator of the program under Johnson and O’Connor and, in addition to her daily tasks, she organized the events the fellows attended.

The program is funded by the Bartels family. Phil Bartels thinks the opportunity is beneficial to the development of the students and that the 2014 fellows became more flexible in dealing with situations properly and handling different people and personalities.

The fellows gained skills that will be useful to them in future careers. These skills included communication, the ability to express themselves orally and increased self-confidence, teamwork and leadership skills, and adaptability.

Swick believes the program helps prepare the fellows for their future careers because it is “showing undergraduate students what it is like in the world after school and working full time.” The fellowship gives students an experience that includes working full time, having to make their own meals, finding their way to and from work each day and being able to learn how to balance a work and social life.

Stephen Shepard, a junior fellow, described his summer as “transformative in so many ways.” His placement was the Connecticut Yankee Council Boy Scouts of America, and while being the first fellows from UNH to be placed there, he showed them just how hard UNH fellows work.

Shepard had an important role, learning the management of a non-profit and the organization of Scouting; he also had roles of Den Leader and Scout Skills instructor at day camps around the state, but his main job was creating a curriculum for a STEM- based Cub Scout summer day camp.

He says that pioneering the relationship between UNH and the Connecticut Yankee Council was “scary but exciting.” Shepard intends to continue being involved, just as many other fellows plan to continue their involvement at their placements.

The overall consensus was that the 2014 fellows did a great job representing the university and gained a broader view of the world.

Phil Bartels says that they are “darn lucky” for “the opportunity to do something they have never done before, and maybe never will again.”

“The Fellowship is one of my favorite programs at UNH as it enables me to get to know a diverse group of students well and watch them grow and learn over an eleven week period,” said Johnson.

No. 10/11 West Chester Holds off Chargers, 35-30, in Season Opener at DellaCamera Stadium

by Charger Athletics | September 10, 2014

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Before a crowd of 3,291 fans at Ralph F. DellaCamera Stadium, the University of New Haven football team was edged in its season opener, 35-30, by No. 10/11 nationally-ranked West Chester. Joey Bradley (Issaquah, Wash./Issaquah / University of North Dakota) went 32-for-48 for 311 yards with one touchdown in addition to a rushing touchdown in his first career start for the Chargers. The outing marked the first game at the helm for Head Coach Chris Pincince.

Chargers score a touchdown!  (Photo by Erica Naugle / Charger Bulletin Photo)

Chargers score a touchdown! (Photo by Erica Naugle / Charger Bulletin Photo)

Following the narrow defeat, the Blue and Gold start the 2014 campaign at 0-1. West Chester, which reached the NCAA National Semifinals last season and is picked by the conference’s coaches to win the PSAC East this fall, moves to 1-0. The Chargers maintain an 8-6-1 lead in the all-time series. Today’s contest was the ninth meeting between the two clubs to be decided by one possession (eight points or fewer).

The game also featured a 75-minute weather delay at the tail end of the third quarter as a severe storm passed through New Haven County.

Bradley’s 32 completions and 48 passing attempts are the most by a New Haven quarterback since Ryan Osiecki went 37-for-61 at Southern Connecticut State on Oct. 2, 2009. DeeJay White (Brooklyn, N.Y./Sheepshead Bay / Bowling Green State University) was the recipient of seven balls for 83 yards, while Henry Adegunle (Rockaway, N.Y./Channel View) reeled in six passes for 54 yards and a score. Also on the outside, Ty Headen (Newark, N.J./American History) snagged five passes of 44 yards.

Brandon Fowler (Prospect, Conn./Woodland Regional / Connecticut) added three receptions, and Isaiah Austin (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek) and Roshawn Wilson (Miami, Fla./Miami Southridge) each caught two. Rounding out the action for the receiving corps was Courtney Moshood (Miami, Fla./Miami Palmetto) with a 16-yard catch.

Out of the backfield, Andre Anderson (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) and Trevor Officer (Monroe, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury) had three grabs apiece for 34 and 30 yards, respectively. Officer was New Haven’s leading rusher with 42 yards and a touchdown, while Anderson picked up 32 yards and a score on the ground and Moshood scampered for 14 yards on an end around.

Defensively, three players making their New Haven debuts led the way. Matt Zakrzewski (Traverse City, Mich./Saint Francis / Indiana) made a team-best 10 tackles to go along with a fumble forced and recovered. Tarik Pusey (Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln / Rhode Island) also pounced on a pivotal fumble in the fourth quarter, and Matt Olivo (Carteret, N.J./Saint Joseph) reeled in an interception.

Tyler Condit (Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) added eight tackles from the linebacker position, and Dave Calderon (Neptune, N.J./Neptune) picked up a sack.

For West Chester, quarterback Sean McCartney went 17-for-31 for 262 yards with four touchdowns to four different receivers. The Golden Rams’ defense was led by D2Football.com Preseason All-America Al-Hajj Shabazz, who had an interception, recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown and later blocked a second punt.

The Golden Rams got on the board first, opening a fast-paced first half with a six-play, 84-yard touchdown drive. McCartney hit Mike Doty with a 38-yard strike to stake the visitors to a 7-0 advantage.

The Chargers responded in kind with an eight-play, 61-yard march to paydirt. A Bradley screen to Anderson for 26 yards was the big play on the drive, which ended with Bradley sneaking the ball over the line from one yard out.

After New Haven came away with the first defensive stop of the contest, the Blue and Gold scored again for the first of six lead changes in the game. The Chargers stormed into the red zone once again but, after a holding call erased a touchdown, settled for three points as Anthony Greenfield (Bloomfield, N.J./Paramus Catholic / Wagner) split the uprights on a 32-yard field goal to put the Blue and Gold on top, 10-7, with 5:03 to play in the opening quarter.

Olivo’s interception squashed the ensuing West Chester drive, but New Haven went three-and-out on its next possession and the snap on the punt attempt sailed over Greenfield’s head to put the Golden Rams in business at the New Haven eight-yard line as the first quarter expired.

After the squads moved to the other end of the field, McCartney connected with Shawn Driggins for a four-yard touchdown to put the visitors back in front, 14-10.

Each offense would stall in its next three possessions before New Haven took the lead once again. This time the drive consumed 3:34, spanning 10 plays and 80 yards, as the Chargers picked up five first downs through the air before Anderson finished off the march on the ground from three yards out. The Chargers did not convert the extra point but remained in front, 16-14.

West Chester would take a lead into the locker room, however, as McCartney hit Tim Brown with a 31-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the half. At the whistle, the visitors held a 21-16 advantage.

New Haven went three-and-out to open the second half, and West Chester’s Jeremy Irving broke through the line and blocked the ensuing punt from the Chargers’ end zone. Shabazz fell on the loose ball and, following the extra point, West Chester held the contest’s largest lead at 28-16.

The Chargers were undaunted by the special teams miscue, as they immediately set off on a 75-yard drive to paydirt. Bradley completed his final five passing attempts of the march, capped by a 29-yard hookup with Adegunle for a touchdown.

West Chester appeared poised to return the favor, as a McCartney scrambled would have set the Golden Rams up with a first down inside the red zone. However, Zakrzewski stripped the ball from the West Chester signal caller and recovered it to give possession back to the Blue and Gold.

The New Haven offense capitalized on the turnover, as well as an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the visitors at the end of the possession change. The Chargers would benefit from a second unsportsmanlike conduct flag and a 15-yard pass interference call on the march, capped by a three-yard plunge from Officer. After the extra point, New Haven grabbed a 30-28 lead with 2:41 to go in the third quarter.

The Golden Rams responded quickly on their next drive as a 44-yard McCartney bomb to Erick Brundidge put West Chester back in front, 35-30, with 21 seconds left in the third quarter.

At that point, inclement weather halted the contest for 75 minutes.

Neither team would score again when action resumed, but the final 15 minutes of play were not lacking for drama. The period began with a Shabazz interception, but New Haven held on third-and-two from midfield to regain possession.

The Golden Rams, however, would get a stop and blocked another punt – this time with Shabazz getting his mitts on the ball – to set themselves up with a first down at the New Haven 21-yard line. West Chester would surge to a first-and-goal situation at the two-yard line before a big goal-line stand for the Chargers.

The defensive line stepped up to stifle Eddie Elliott in the backfield for a loss of three and, on the next play, Pusey jumped on an Adam Dempsey fumble to give New Haven another chance on offense.

The New Haven offense marched back down the field with 6:35 left and 94 yards away from paydirt.  Bradley would connect on four straight passes to move toward midfield, but the Chargers soon faced a fourth-and-eight situation at their own 45-yard line. Adegunle was unable to haul in a ball dropped in between a trio of West Chester defenders, and the visitors reclaimed possession on downs.

The Chargers defense would hold on the next drive, using their timeouts and forcing a punt. The boot off the foot of Rich Bruno settled again at the six-yard line, forcing New Haven to once again drive 94 yards – and this time with just 69 seconds to play.

A series of short completions moved the Blue and Gold as far as their own 32-yard line before Drew Formica came up with a strip and recovery to end the drive with just 28 ticks left. West Chester took one snap in victory formation to escape DellaCamera Stadium with a 35-30 decision.

The Chargers return to the gridiron next Saturday, Sept. 13 to open the Northeast-10 Conference slate at LIU Post. The Pioneers also stand at 0-1 after ceding 20 unanswered points to fall to East Stroudsburg, 43-35, in their home and season opener this afternoon.

New Haven returns to the Blue and Gold turf on the following Saturday, Sept. 20, to welcome Assumption for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

The Game Changer

by Jenn Harrington | October 23, 2013

Candidates in West Haven’s Mayoral Race Debate on Current Issue

Elections for the office of Mayor in West Haven are less than a month away, and in preparation for polling, all three candidates took time out of their Wednesday night to meet at Carrigan Middle School to debate their ideas on the future of our city.

The line-up for November includes Edward O’Brien (D), Bart Chadderton (R), and incumbent John Picard (write-in). Each candidate sat on stage of the Carrigan Middle School auditorium, waiting for questions to be verified and attendees to find their seats. Each prepped with notes and talked to supporters to ease nerves.

The crowd was smaller, filling only a third of the room, but each West Haven resident was eager to hear what the candidates had to say. Former University of New Haven Professor, Gary Fetzer, hosted the debate leading in the evening stating that all questions were submitted by audience members and were verified for validity beforehand.

A hush fell over the auditorium and ears began to lean forward in an effort to hear which candidate chose the best response toward solving current issues that city residents find most imperative. If politics is a game, then a debate is the defining play on the field. Each candidate rotated turns in answering the proposed questions and followed with a 60 second rebuttal.

First question: What makes you qualified?

Picard started off in round one stating his experience, education, and ability to lead are qualities that make him the right fit for reelection. He went on to discuss local accomplishments in West Haven through job creation and tax revenue. O’Brien worked off his message of being born and raised in our city holding the qualities of honesty and integrity.

Chadderton, who began on a slightly different tone, referenced a recent article published in the New Haven Register regarding dirty politics and a feeling of being personally attacked. To keep in tow with tone, he also brought forward the lack of financial stability and the cities position of worst bond rating.

As questions continued each candidate stuck with a theme. Picard chose accomplishments to highlight success of the future, O’Brien pushed forward economic development on a large scale, and Chadderton ensured he would work on city finances and “get ducks lined up in a row.”

Through the debate as Chadderton worked to promote his platform ideas, a heated banter occurred through rebuttal with O’Brien and Picard. The idea of economic development was in discussion.

Picard promptly praised the planned addition of a CVS for providing 35 new jobs. O’Brien refuted that economic development is not a CVS or deli in an effort to provide examples of small-business, but what is needed is the addition of big business and large-scale developing.

Picard hit strong in his rebuttal. “Small business is the backbone of the country,” said Picard, “they account for 75% of jobs.” A round of applause resonated in the crowd.

O’Brien stood by his notion that big-business will bring in revenue, create more jobs, and provide for a friendlier city.

Chadderton resonated that “money is everything.” Finances are at the top of his priority list. “Take care of the money first.” Once that is handled then the city can work on spending in the right direction to balance the budget and get the city out of debt.

Another hot topic on the floor was Education; where funding should be placed and what changes could be made.

Don’t spend on structure; money can be used for resources. Books are old and classes are decrepit stated O’Brien. “We need to do better with what we have.”

Chadderton reminded the audience that grades and test scores are low. There isn’t a need for more money to be pumped in, but for it to be redirected and for the leadership in schools to become stronger.

Picard chose to show the positives on West Haven education. He mentioned the University’s initiative to provide scholarships for local students and said that more support through resources and lobbying can help the local education system.

Other topics in debate included zoning in Allingtown, high-end versus affordable housing, the asphalt plant, and consolidation of fire departments.

Each candidate was given the opportunity for a few final words. Chadderton’s closing remarks reiterated his fury at allegations from the Register article he mentioned in opening and stated that this is the example of a need for checks and balances.

Picard continued to delight on all of the great accomplishments the city has seen thus far. O’Brien revisited economic development and stated that the city needs to get a handle on its quality of life.

The evening closed with an overall feeling of interest in seeing the election results. Each candidate gave effort for their platforms, but the debate was one that provided for residents to hear how their political leaders think. Will our city have the right man in place? Only time will tell.

The debate was sponsored by the West Haven Chamber of Commerce, and updates on the West Haven Mayoral Race can be found online

Ra Ra Riot Ra Ra Rocked It

by Nicolas Weilmann | October 16, 2013

On Saturday, Oct. 12, I went to go see the Baroque Pop/Electronic Indie band Ra Ra Riot at the Center Church on The Green, located on Temple Street in downtown New Haven.

Photo by Elissa Sanci

Photo by Elissa Sanci

Having seen them twice already, I knew it would be a great show, but I had no idea how it could be any different than the other two times. As soon as I entered the church, I realize how unique the venue was. The Center Church was established in New Haven as a Puritan church in 1638, and even though it has been restored many times since then, it still looks very antique on the inside. Because of this, I was shocked when I realized that there would be a rock show right where the priest gives his sermons.It turns out that the congregation rents the church out many nights a year for various concerts. Even though the tickets are general admission, there was no standing room, and everyone had a seat in the pews. This sounds like an odd way to give a concert, but if you can imagine standing for about four hours straight, you’ll start to change your mind.

Two bands opened for Ra Ra Riot on this leg of their Fall Tour. The first band was Cayucas, an indie band that was formed by two twin brothers, Zach and Ben Yudin in Santa Monica, California. The second band was Caveman, who, regardless of their rugged stage presence, put on a fantastic show. Both bands did an amazing job at warming up the crowd and getting everyone pumped up for the headliners. By the end of both openers sets, the crowd was on their feet.

Like most churches, synagogues and temples, the Center Church had incredible acoustics. Good acoustics are needed in churches, because before the microphone was invented, it was necessary for everyone in the congregation to be able to hear the priest well. The acoustics of the church allowed the sound from all the speakers to be distributed perfectly among everyone, so the back row heard the band just as well as the front row did. Each band had their own sound engineer, which is a great advantage since every band is different, and engineers who know the band will know how to better design their sound.

Ra Ra Riot always had a great stage presence. The bassist, Mathieu Santos, always has a smile on his face. The singer, Wes Miles, hits spectacular high notes as if it was sampled straight from the album. That’s one of the things that are so great about Ra Ra Riot’s live performances. They are masters at reproducing the sound that they have on their studio albums, which is something very difficult to do when the vocals are in such a high pitch range. Most vocalists have to either change the key of their songs or just sing in a different register to be able to sound good live. Miles never disappoints the audience with his vibrant vocals.

Even though they only have three studio albums, Ra Ra Riot includes a balanced combination of songs from their first two Baroque Pop albums and their third album, Beta Love, which marked a change in direction in the band from Baroque Pop to Electronic Indie. They always do a good job in regards of pleasing both their new and old fans.

The live show has always been fun. They manage to play their music well, keep the audience captivated, and run around stage, keeping things fun all at the same time. Throughout their years of performing live this has always been a constant; however, this tour included something new.

Along with a great stage presence, they added an awesome lighting program. These last shows included lighting design that Ra Ra Riot hasn’t really implemented in previous tours. Multiple triggers such as the bass drum, snare drum, or certain vocal melodies cause certain light patterns to be seen by the audience. Instead of having regular lights hanging from the ceiling, the band had many thin cylinders surrounding the stage, which gave it a very fun yet minimalistic stage setup.

After the show was over, I stayed behind after everyone left, hoping to meet the band. One of my favorite things about Ra Ra Riot is that since they are not as well known as other artists, they are a lot more modest and down to earth. I met all of the members of the band, and I was able to talk to them both as a fan and as a musician. I talked to Mat (the bassist) about techniques that we had in common, along with ones that we didn’t share.

I’ve met many other well-known musicians and I’ve never felt like I’ve been able to connect with them on the level that I connected with the members of Ra Ra Riot. They have a great stage presence, they have a great sound, and they keep the audience entertained from the time they start, till their last song, so I would highly recommend seeing this band live to anyone interested in the indie music scene.

Community Resilience Program

by Samantha Mathewson | March 13, 2013

In wake of all the tragedies schools have faced, whether it be close to home such as Newtown, or farther and in the past like the Virginia Tech shooting, New Haven feels the effects and plans to act now to better protect themselves for the future.

A metal detector does not provide enough security, nor does it provide the feeling of trust or safety in schools. The solution is not to have armed personnel around every corner waiting for someone to open fire; however, the community is taking a step towards stopping violence with a new Community Resilience Program for the current generation of students.

The program was announced Monday, March 4, and will be built off of already existing support programs, such as Boost! and Alive (Animating Learning by Integrating and Validating Experience) that have been rolled out through the city’s schools.

“The program seeks to screen all students for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), create a New Haven Trauma Coalition to oversee the strategy, a citywide campaign to educate the public on mental health and childhood trauma, and continue efforts to support families,” said Mayor John DeStefano Jr. to the New Haven Register, when the program was announced.

This “proposed expansion of set of interventions,” will be available to every public school student. Healthy development of children is necessary for them to thrive in schools. Trauma has led students to a life of violence, incarceration and or development problems.

According to an article in the New Haven Register, “City officials cited a pilot program administered to kindergarteners in the Strong School. According to the pilot, 90 percent of kindergarteners reported some kind of ACE, though only 23 percent were displaying symptoms.”

State Sen. Toni Harp, co-chairwoman of the Mental Health Working Group of the Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety, said that up until now, it has been ignored that violence is a public health issue. “Now is the time, and Connecticut is probably the most appropriate place to make a stand for non-violence and enhance public policy. Violence is an epidemic. It is a public health epidemic,” she said.

For this new Community Resilience Program to work, there will be annual screenings preformed on every student, numerous intervention programs, crisis teams established, advancements of mental health services, and the ultimate challenge of spreading awareness.

All the costs of the efforts made to support the new program add up. A total of $70,000 was requested to hire one new staff member, $4.7 million to expand intervention services at each school, $1.3 million for technical assistance and training, and approximately $450,000 to raise awareness through campaigns to inform the public.

Boost!, The United Way of Greater New Haven, the New Haven MOMS partnership, Clifford Beers Clinic, the Foundation for Arts and Trauma, New Haven Public Schools, the city, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Comer School Development Program, the Yale Child Study Center and the New Haven Family Alliance are programs included in the entire collation.

“By addressing the needs of our children when they are young, we can ensure we have healthy happy and productive lives down the road,” Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo said.

However, while the schools and the community want to do all they can, a citizen commented on the article released in the New Haven Register regarding the new program and asked, “Meanwhile, what are the parents doing? Isn’t it like part of their job in raising children to install good character?”

So the question remains, will this new program work? Or is there more they can do?


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