Weekly Update - Nov. 5

November 5, 2021


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Dear Neighbor, 

Get ready to fall back as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end on Sunday, November 7. Make sure to change your clock an hour backward.

The end of Daylight Saving Time is also a good reminder to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. By ensuring that the batteries in these life-saving tools are fresh, you can double your chances of surviving a home fire. According to the Fire Department, these life-saving devices should be replaced every ten years and tested monthly.

In this email you'll find updates on district resources and news. Please click the links below to read the section that corresponds with the highlighted headline.

A NOTE: If you're having trouble clicking through the following links, open this email in a browser, use a computer or scroll through this email to the relevant section. 

The topics covered are as follows:

On Legislative Business

On Community Resources 

Municipal Election Results Are In

On Tuesday, voters across the state elected new local leaders to Town Councils, Boards of Directors, Boards of Education, and many other municipal offices. 

In East Hartford, former East Hartford Director of Finance, Mike Walsh will become the town's new mayor. Incumbent Town Council Members Chairman Richard Kehoe, Vice Chairman Don Bell, Majority Leader Sebrina Wilson, Connor Martin, Angie Parkinson, Awet Tsegai, and John Morrison were re-elected for another two years. They will be joined by new members Tom Rup and Travis Simpson.


Other winners in East Hartford included:

  • Treasurer: John Murphy
  • Board of Education: Anabelle Diaz, Tyron Harris, Harry Amadasun, John P. Pereira, Valerie Scheer
  • Selectman: Charles Botts, Harrison A. Amadasun, Rob Rosa
  • Constables: Tia L. Woods, Joshua J. Quintana, Susan J. Tukey, Daron Ross, Charles H. Clarke

In Manchester, the Board of Directors is expected to be comprised of Jay Moran, Sarah L. Jones, Tim Bergin, Pamela Floyd Cranford, Dennis Schain, Jesse Muniz Poland, Brian Marois, and Peter Conyers. An automatic recount will take place for the final seat between Jacqueline Crespan and Jeff Sullivan, Jacqueline is currently 28 votes ahead. Other winners in Manchester included:

  • Town Clerk: Darryl E Thames, Sr.
  • Selectman: Steve Cassano, Kevin Zingler
  • Constables: Warren Packer, Colin O'Neill, Ed Slegeski, Albert Gionet
  • Board of Education: Melanie Stefanovicz, Tracy R. Patterson, Chris Pattacini, David M. Eisenthal, Michael Orsene, Richard Kohls, Cathy Hopperstad

Manchester also faced a ballot question on funding for a capital program – voters decided to appropriate $17,250,000 for the purpose of reconstruction and repair to various town roads.

Congratulations to all – whether you won or lost, putting your name on the ballot, and opening yourself up to criticism is no small feat. Voting in municipal elections is one of the ways to directly impact your community and have your voice heard; these are high-stakes contests in which a small number of votes is often decisive. Thanks to all those who turned out on Tuesday or sent in an absentee ballot for participating.


I would like to know, what do you think of this issue?

Journal Inquirer: Mike Walsh elected new mayor of East Hartford
Patch: Manchester 2021 Election Results: Voters OK $17M Capital Program
East Hartford Election Results
Manchester Election Results

Comptroller Lembo Project $482.3 Million Surplus

On Monday, Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo, in his monthly financial and economic update, projected a General Fund surplus of $482.3 million for Fiscal Year 2022. This news is yet another positive sign that Connecticut's recovery and overall budgetary stability continue to move in the right direction.


Thanks to a policy we passed in 2015, any excess revenue in certain volatile tax categories is automatically directed to the state's Rainy Day Fund. If the fund has already exceeded its statutory cap, the automatic contributions would then be used to pay down pension liabilities – Lembo expects this to be the likely outcome for the current fiscal year.


I would like to know, what do you think of this issue?

Press Release: Comptroller Lembo Projects $482.3M Surplus, Expresses Cautious Optimism in Connecticut's Recovery

Tweed Airport Expands Service for the First Time in 30 Years

More than 100 passengers departed Tweed Airport in New Haven on Wednesday for the maiden flight of California startup, Avelo Airlines. Nicknamed "Spirit of the Havens," the Boeing 737-700 airplane's departure marks the largest expansion of service at Tweed Airport in more than 30 years.


Avelo's decision to make New Haven its East Coast Hub marks a significant investment in our state, that is sure to boost the economy and create good paying jobs. Avelo has already hired 85 in Connecticut, with the potential for 150 to 200 by summer. The startup airline out of Tweed is part of a long-term, $100 million expansion. Funding will also be used to support a new terminal, expected to be open in Fall 2024, and increasing parking lot surface spaces.


Avelo has already announced it will serve flights out of New Haven to Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Palm Beach and Sarasota-Bradenton. Regularly scheduled flights to Fort Lauderdale begin Friday, flights to Tampa begin Monday and flights to Fort Myers begin Thursday, November 11. All other flights will begin in December and January.


I would like to know, what do you think of this issue?

Hartford Courant: Avelo Airlines makes first flight out of Tweed-New Haven Airport. Here’s what you can expect from the start-up airline.
New Haven Register: Avelo Airlines takes flight from Tweed New Haven to Orlando - and soon to other Florida cities
New Haven Independent: “Spirit Of The Havens” Takes Flight

Today in CT History: Ella Grasso, America’s First Female Governor Elected In Her Own Right

Born to Italian immigrants in 1919, Ella Rosa Giovanna Oliva Tambussi grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood of first- and second-generation Americans in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. 

After marrying teacher Thomas Grasso in 1942, Ella Grasso wrote speeches for the Connecticut Democratic Party while raising her two children at home. Several years later, she successfully ran as a state representative from Windsor Locks and began her slow but steady ascendancy toward the state’s highest political office. After serving as Connecticut’s Secretary of the State and then in Congress as a U.S. Representative, Grasso defeated Robert Steele, Jr. in 1974 to become Connecticut’s first woman governor — and the first woman in the United States to win election to governor “in her own right” (i.e., the first woman governor who was not preceded in office by her husband).

Grasso inherited a daunting state deficit upon assuming the governor’s office, which required her to make highly unpopular austerity decisions amidst the stagnant American economy of the 1970s. Her popularity rebounded, however, during the Blizzard of 1978, which crippled the state for days. During the storm, Grasso trudged to the State Armory in Hartford on foot after her car broke down and assumed command of the state’s response team for the next three days — a heroic tale with great political optics that resonated well with the state’s beleaguered voters. She handily won re-election to the governor’s office in 1978, but health issues forced her to resign two years later. In early 1981, only months after she resigned, Ella Grasso died from ovarian cancer. In honor of her pioneering political accomplishments, President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A national glass ceiling shattered, today in Connecticut history.


Learn more about Governor Grasso and other interesting CT history facts by clicking here.

Access Health CT Open Enrollment Now through January 15

The open enrollment period for 2022 health coverage from Access Health CT began this week! Now through Saturday, January 15, you can shop for quality, affordable insurance plans.


Made possible by the American Rescue Plan, the new Covered Connecticut program has expanded access to premium-free plans. Now, families with a household income between 160 percent and 175 percent of the federal poverty level and at least one dependent child under the age of 19 can access this new benefit.


Enroll by Wednesday, December 15 for coverage that begins on Saturday, January 1. If you enroll between Thursday, December 16 and Saturday, January 15, coverage will begin on Tuesday, February 1.


Click here
call (855) 805-4325, or visit an Access Health CT in-person enrollment site to compare plans and get more information. Click here to find free assistance in navigating the open enrollment period.

Fall Leaf Collection Has Begun in East Hartford, Starting Soon in Manchester

The annual fall leaf collection program began in East Hartford on Monday. The collection started in the northwest corner of town around Pitkin Street and will proceed north through the Burnham and Goodwin Street areas – to view a progress map, click here. Reminder that leaves will be vacuumed once along each street, weather permitting. Bagged leaves in paper bags will be picked up weekly on your trash collection day. Please put bagged leaves on the curb next to your trash barrels for them to be picked up.

The expected completion date is Saturday, December 11. There will be no leaf collection on Veterans Day, November 11 and Thanksgiving Day, November 26.


Want to be notified when leaf collection will be hitting your street? Keep an eye out for lawn signs in your neighborhood or sign up to receive alerts through the EH Alert Platform. For additional information, click here.

For Manchester residents, leaf collection will begin on Monday, November 8. The collection will take place in two parts: Area 1 vacuum collection begins on Monday and Area 2 collection begins Monday, November 22, weather permitting. Prior to your scheduled collection, rake leaves to the front of your property – do not block sidewalks or rake leaves into the street, that is a violation of town codes.

In addition to the vacuum program, residents can also set out paper leaf bags for curbside collection on the day of their normal refuse/recycling collection. Residents may also drop off loose or paper bagged leaves at the Transfer Station composting area year-round from 7:15AM-3PM, Monday – Saturday.


Full details on collection can be found here and to find your area click here. For any additional questions, contact the Customer Service & Information Center at (860) 647-5235.

Reminder: State & Local Offices Closed on Veteran's Day

A reminder that state and local offices will be closed on Thursday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. For East Hartford residents, there will be no leaf collection or curbside trash pickup on Thursday. Curbside trash pickup and recycling will be delayed by one day for the remainder of the week beginning Friday, November 12, and return to a normal schedule the next week. For Manchester residents, town offices and the public library will be closed, but there will be no delay in curbside collection.

There are a few ways to honor the sacrifice of our community's veterans over the next week:


On Saturday, November 6 at 8AM, join the East Hartford Veterans Commission at Hillside Cemetery for a gathering and flag placing ceremony in honor of the Town's deceased veterans. The Veterans Commission asks that you plan to arrive a little early for a brief service at the main flagpole in memory of their sacrifice. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a long screwdriver to assist in the flag placements.

The Town of Manchester will host a Veterans Day Parade on Thursday, November 11 at 10:45AM. The parade and color guard will form and step off from American Legion Drive. Attendees are encouraged to arrive at Manchester Memorial Hospital for an outdoor ceremony on Front Lawn which will include lowering of colors, placing of wreaths, playing of taps, and a bagpiper. Local and Federal dignitaries will be present. In case of inclement weather, the remainder of the ceremony will take place inside the hospital in the H. Louise Ruddell Auditorium at 11:15AM. Please wear masks and practice social distancing.

Join East Hartford Public Library on Thursday, November 11 at 10:30AM for a wreath laying ceremony at the Doughboy Monument in remembrance of the residents of East Hartford who fought in World War I. There will be a short ceremony and the ringing of the bells at First Congregational Church. Register by clicking here to receive an email reminder, and to be notified in case the event is rescheduled for inclement weather (rain date is Friday, November 12).

Manchester Residents – Sign Up for Santa Calls Now Available!

The Town of Manchester will be arranging for a very special call for your child from the North Pole! Santa will again be calling children in Manchester - here's his official greeting:


Season’s greetings to children and families of Manchester,


Ho! Ho! Ho! This is Santa Claus and I’m getting very excited for the wintery holiday season again. Here at the North Pole, Mrs. Claus and I are hard at work getting ready for Christmas. This year has been very different for us and the elves, as I am sure it has been for many of you.


While I cozy up at home with a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of Mrs. Claus’s famous cookies, I will be giving you a call so we can chat. All you have to do is click HERE to sign up for a phone call. The form you fill out will be sent to Santa’s workshop and the elves will put it on my schedule. I look forward to talking to you all!


I have to head back to the workshop now, but keep being good, stay safe, and get excited for Christmas time!


Until Christmas,

Santa Claus


To ensure that your child's call is as personal as possible, please fill out the form completely. Forms must be submitted no later than Tuesday, December 7. If there are multiple children in your household, please complete each child separately.

East Hartford Launches New Website

The Town of East Hartford has officially launched a new and improved town website! You can find the website at the same URL as before - www.easthartfordct.gov. The fresh new look features the ultimate user-friendly experience, improved navigation, and functionality.


The new site incorporates a clean view of critical town information readily available on the homepage to make navigation easier and faster. Find town news easily, or quickly identify how to stay connected with the town departments – be sure to check it out!

COVID-19 Updates & Upcoming Vaccine Clinics

Following final approval from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday, the COVID-19 vaccination is now available to children age 5 through 11. Vaccinations for children in this age group will differ slightly from the previous rollouts, under the FDA’s authorization children 5-11 will receive two doses of vaccine a third of the size of the adult dose, to be administered three weeks apart. The state Department of Public Health recommends that parents visit the CT Vaccine Portal to schedule a vaccination for their child. Find more information on what parents need to know here

On Thursday, Governor Ned Lamont announced a plan to ease some quarantine requirements for students who have been exposed to COVID-19. Through the new "screen and stay" policy, students will no longer have to quarantine if they are screen and meet certain requirements. Specifically, students and staff identified as close contacts to a known COVID-19 case but who are not yet fully vaccinated will be able to remain in school if they were wearing masks and don’t develop symptoms. Lamont stated that the mask requirement in schools will remain in place through Thanksgiving, and any future decisions will be made following more data about younger students getting vaccinated and how the state fares through the holiday season.

It's so important that we continue the precautions that have worked: observe social distancing, wear a face mask when social distancing is not possible or indoors, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, get tested if you were in contact with anyone who's tested positive, etc. But, most importantly – please consider getting vaccinated if you haven't already.

The Town of Manchester has worked with the Manchester Road Race to sponsor a free vaccine clinic on Saturday, November 6 in the cafeteria of Illing Middle School (225 East Middle Turnpike) from 9AM-2PM. The clinics are free, open to all, and will offer the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. First and second vaccinations, and Pfizer booster shots for those who qualify under current guidelines to receive them, will be available. For information on obtaining the vaccine, please contact the Manchester Health Department at (860) 647-3173 or healthdept@manchesterct.gov

Griffin Hospital and Connecticut Department of Public Health will offer free vaccine clinics on Tuesday, November 9 from 9AM-2PM at Whiton Library (100 North Main Street). First and second doses will be offered, in addition to booster shots. No appointment or insurance required. For more information call 2-1-1, or 7-1-1 for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Town of East Hartford has partnered with Griffin Hospital to hold a free vaccine clinic for children ages 5-11 on Saturday, November 13, 11AM-2PM and on Tuesday, November 16, 4PM-7PM. The clinics will be held at the East Hartford Public Library in Meeting Room 1. Parents will be entered into a raffle for a $100 Visa gift card for each child 5 to 11 years of age vaccinated. Residents are encouraged to contact the East Hartford Health Department at (860) 291-7324 to reserve a spot, but walk-ins will be accepted.

For more information on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or to locate an appointment near you, click here or locate a DPH Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination clinic by clicking here. Those without access to the internet can call the Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line, available seven days a week from 8 AM to 8 PM, at (877) 918-2224.


For East Hartford-based COVID-19 updates and resources, click here. And, for Manchester-based COVID-19 updates and resources, click here.

Join ECHN's Diabetes Wellness Center on Monday, November 8 at 6PM in learning how to live well with Diabetes. Katie Gustavesen RD, CDCES and Jillian Miner, Lifestyle Coach and Yoga Instructor, will provide you with fun, interactive tips, and strategies to improve your overall health while preventing or managing type 2 diabetes. This free program for adults requires registration and is limited to the first 20 people who secure their spot. Participants will receive a free, recently published diabetes cookbook generously provided by money from the Bernadette Connors Fund. To register call our Reference Desk at (860) 645-0821. To get more information, click here.

Get rid of unwanted waste at no cost on Wednesday, November 13 at the Manchester Transfer Station (311 Olcott Street). Clean up will take place from 7:30AM-3PM, and the shred event will take place from 9AM-12PM or until full. You must be a Manchester resident to participate, ID or proof of residence is required to gain access. For more information, please call (860) 647-3200. Please look at the picture above or click here for a list of acceptable items.

Manchester Community College (MCC) is hosting FAFSA Help Sessions throughout the month to provide current and prospective MCC students with free, one-on-one assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It will focus on the completion of the 21-22 and 22-23 FAFSAs. Upcoming sessions are as follows:

  • Thursday, November 18, 9AM
  • Thursday, November 18, 10AM
  • Tuesday, November 30, 2PM
  • Tuesday, November 30, 3PM

To prepare, please have the following available: Your FSA ID (username and password) and your parents' FSA ID if you are a dependent; your 2019 and/or 2020 tax return and W-2s, and your parents' 2019 and/or 2020 tax return and W-2s if you are a dependent; your Social Security number and date of birth and that of your parents; your driver's license


Pre-registration is recommended as sessions are filling up quickly, click here to register.

Registration is now open for the East Hartford Parks and Recreation Youth Basketball 2021-2022 program, offered to East Hartford children in kindergarten through 8th grade. Pre-Season Basketball Clinics are available for children in grades 3-8 beginning the week of November. The regular season will begin the week of December 6 and will require evaluations prior to participation. Players will be placed on teams after evaluation and the program will start December 11.  An Instructional Basketball Program for our younger players will begin Sunday, January 9.


For more information on pre-season clinics, evaluations, regular season, and instructional basketball programs, click here or call (860) 291-7160. To complete pre-registration, click here.

The program is currently seeking volunteer coaches! Those interested in coaching should fill out the Volunteer Coach Application and submit it to the Parks and Recreation office prior to Friday, December 3. A mandatory meeting for volunteer coaches will be held on Thursday, December 9 at 6PM.

Calling everyone ages 11-14! East Hartford Youth Services is meeting virtually on Tuesday, November 9 at 7PM for Talk-It-Out Tuesday with Kylah and Anne. During the meeting, the group will discuss becoming our best selves, connecting with others, and growing as individuals. To register for Tuesday's session or upcoming sessions, click here.

Design a tabletop terrarium using a mix of natural and found materials with East Hartford Public Library on Wednesday, November 10 at 6:30PM. Your colorful creation will feature a miniature dinosaur duo for Dinovember! Register in advance for a supply kit by clicking here and join via Zoom on Wednesday to craft together. Best suited for tweens, teens, and adults. Please note that this project contains small items and is not appropriate for very young children.

My office is always open if you or your family are in need of assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact me by email at Jason.Rojas@cga.ct.gov or by phone at 860-240-8541.


Jason Rojas


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