Weekly Update - January 19

January 19, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,

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

Cold Weather Protocol Activated
Legislative Updates
Connecticut has launched its new jobs portal, jobs.ct.gov, which is aimed at assisting state residents — and those seeking to move here — in the process of finding a job.

Jobs.ct.gov joins health.ct.gov and business.ct.gov as the next service category in Connecticut's ongoing journey toward an all-digital state government that streamlines and improves access to services and resources. Some of the resources available through jobs.ct.gov include:

  • Powerful job search tools
  • Job search tips and personal help
  • Free and low-cost training, certificate, and classroom programs
  • Resources to help employers hire, train, and retain employees

All of the resources are Connecticut-specific and focus on connecting jobseekers with the variety of employment and workforce development opportunities.

The strong and steady statewide economy continues to add jobs, but employers in some industries still face workforce shortages, and jobs.ct.gov will be a valuable resource to them. This portal also importantly provides employers with information to reach greater numbers of skilled jobseekers from diverse backgrounds, which is critical to a more equitable Connecticut economy.

Legislative Town Halls
Please join me and my colleagues as we host our pre-session town halls. Town hall events are opportunities to share what matters most to you. 

I hope to see you there!

Cannabis Ombudsperson Job Opening
Apply Here
Today In CT History

Born in Hartford on January 19, 1886, young Anna Louise James was the eighth of 11 children born to Willis James, a former slave who had successfully escaped from a Virginia plantation via the Underground Railroad. As a child, Anna’s family moved from Hartford to Old Saybrook, where she graduated high school and, as a diligent student, sought to pursue some form of higher education. Anna’s large, extended family included two of the only black pharmacists practicing in Connecticut, who likely inspired her to apply to the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy in New York City. She was the only woman in her graduating class, and in 1908, she became the first African-American woman to graduate from the institute. The very next year, she successfully applied for a license in her home state, becoming the first African-American female pharmacist in Connecticut history.

After college, Anna returned to Old Saybrook to work for her brother-in-law Peter Lane, who had opened the shoreline town’s first drug store several years earlier and installed a soda fountain that made the store a favorite destination for local children. In 1917, after Lane accepted a pharmaceutical sales position for a drug company in Hartford, Anna became the primary manager of the property, and finally assumed sole leadership in 1922. “Miss James,” as she was fondly known throughout the community, promptly renamed the establishment “James’ Pharmacy,” and continued running the store — and soda fountain — for nearly five decades until her retirement in 1967. Living on the upper floors of the historic, late 18th century building that housed her pharmacy, Miss James became a fixture in the downtown Old Saybrook community and a favorite neighbor to the many children — and adults — that frequented James’ popular soda fountain, which included famous Old Saybrook resident Katharine Hepburn.

Anna James was only one of the path-breaking members of her specially accomplished family. Her niece, Ann Lane Petry, daughter of Peter Lane and Bertha James Lane also became a pharmacist and worked in family pharmacy. She went on to become a writer of novels, short stories and children’s books whose 1946 work The Street was the first novel by an African-American woman to sell more than a million copies.

James Pharmacy .png
The James Pharmacy continues to serve Old Saybrook as an ice cream parlor and bed and breakfast.

After Anna James’ death in 1977 at the age of 91, the venerable James Pharmacy building remained vacant for several years before being purchased and reopened as an ice cream parlor. It subsequently and currently serves as a Gelateria and bed and breakfast. The handsome structure, which Anna Louise James had poured so much time and effort into maintaining, is now on the National Register of Historic Places, and, in recognition of James’ professional achievements as a woman of color, a featured stop on the Connecticut Freedom Trail. A pharmaceutical pioneer and beloved community leader, born today in Connecticut history.

Further Reading

Tedd Levy, “Miss James: First Woman Pharmacist in CT, Right in Old Saybrook, Shoreline Times via connecticuthistory.org

Anna Louise James Makes History with Medicine,” connecticuthistory.org

Our History,” The James Pharmacy Bed and Breakfast • Gelateria

Town Of East Hartford
 Town Meetings
Regular Town Council Meeting
February 6th, 2024, at 7:30 PM
Community Cultural Center Auditorium (50 Chapman Place)
+1929-235-8441; ID: 565393232#    
Board of Education Meeting
January 22nd, 2024, 7:00 pm
857 Forbes Street


Town Resources
Town Newsletters
Pulse of East Hartford     
East Hartford Public Schools
East Hartford Works

Town Of Manchester
Town Meetings
Regular Board of Directors Meeting
February 6th, 2024, 7:00 PM
Lincoln Center Hearing Room (494 Main Street)
Board of Directors

Board of Education Meeting
January 11th, 2024, 7:00 PM
Lincoln Center Hearing Room (494 Main Street)

Regular Meeting
January 22nd, 2024, 7:00 pm
 Lincoln Center Hearing Room (494 Main Street)


Open to the public--bring a sturdy grocery bag! This program is made possible by Foodshare and Winn Residential - Resident Service Program. For more information call 860-646-1280.
Squire Village, 48 Spencer Street, 06040 (1st parking lot off Imperial Drive #78) 
  • January 30th 9am - 9:30am

 Faith Tabernacle – Manchester 110 Utopia Rd, Manchester, CT 06042

  • February 1st 1pm -1:30pm

New River Community Church - 314 Woodbridge St, Manchester, CT 06042

  • January 24th 12pm -12:30pm

Get mobile pantry updates in your area by texting the word Foodshare to 85511.

Manchester Mobile Foodshare
East Hartford
The Connecticut Foodshare truck will be in the parking lot to distribute the food. Please bring your bags and be prepared to possibly wait in line.
Hockanum Park- 75 Hamilton Park
  • January 22nd - 9am - 9:30am 

Mayberry Village –St. Isaac Jogues Church Parking Lot (41 Home Terrace East Hartford)

  • January 22nd - 12:30pm – 1:15 pm

Summerfield Townhouse  (66 Plain Drive East Hartford, CT)

  • January 17th - 1:15- 2pm
  • January 31st - 1:15pm-2pm

Veterans Terrace102 Columbus St, East Hartford, CT 06108

  • January 29th - 1:30am - 2pm

Get mobile pantry updates in your area by texting the word Foodshare to 85511.

East Hartford Mobile Foodshare

Ladies, if you would like to have fun and make new friends while helping the community, then we are looking for you!   Check out the Manchester Women’s Club, we meet the 3rd Monday of the month 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at Center Congregational Church - 11 Center Street (next door to the Town Hall. Park in the town hall lot, go in the church 'Office' door, then toward your right and downstairs - signs posted). 

We do a wide variety of volunteer activities to help others in the community, such as Little Free Libraries for children, projects for Vets and MACC, as well as social activities to get to know each other. We have speakers come in from the community on a variety of topics. We would love to have you join us!

For more information:



Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Each year, we honor and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most prolific activists of the Civil Rights era and the movement for racial justice. Dr. King’s unwavering leadership in fighting against injustice through nonviolent means paved the path of equity and equality for all in our nation. This year, the Department of Race and Equity will be joining the Manchester Youth Service Bureau in hosting the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration! Every year, this event honors students in our district who are continuing Reverend King’s legacy. The DRE is excited to join the host of this event, the Manchester Youth Commission, a youth advisory board consisting of 23 high-school aged students who work to empower the voice of youth in local government.

The 39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration will be hosted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, at the Manchester High School Bailey Auditorium at 6 pm. Nominees are individual students or groups of students from the Manchester Public School community who uphold Dr. King’s values of racial and social justiceequity and equality, peaceful protest, and the fight against racial oppression. These students will receive the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. award to celebrate their contributions to our community.


The Department of Leisure, Family, and Recreation Winter/Spring Program and Event Guide is here!

Event Guide
Town Of Manchester
Town Resources
Manchester Public Schools - One Manchester
Manchester Matters

Mayor Martin invites you to attend the Annual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 6:30 PM. The meeting will take place in the Auditorium of the Community Cultural Center, located 50 Chapman Place.

Come hear Mayor Martin's vision for the community and an update on all the exciting initiatives that are in the works. The presentation will include an extensive list of projects and objectives covering several areas of operation that are designed to move East Hartford forward.

In addition to the Mayor, the community will have an opportunity to meet Town of East Hartford directors, get to know their local government and ask questions.

East Hartford Parks and Recreation Offering
Winter Adult Classes

East Hartford Parks and Recreation continues to offer adult programming beginning in early January 2023. 

Adult Aqua Zumba

Aqua Zumba will be held on Mondays and Thursday evenings from 5:30pm – 6:30pm at the East Hartford Middle School pool.  The winter session will include 16 classes and is $64 for residents and non-residents.  Classes will begin on Monday, January 8, 2024.  Registration is required online at www.ehparks.org, and registration is open now for residents and non-residents. Class instructors are from Eliza’s Energy Source. 

Adult Zumba and Yogalates

Adult Zumba and Yogalates will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Sunset Ridge Middle School Gymnasium.  Zumba will be from 6pm – 7pm and Yogalates will be from 7:15pm – 8pm.  The winter session will include 20 classes and is $80 for residents and non-residents.  Classes will begin on Tuesday, January 9, 2024.  Registration is required online at www.ehparks.org, and registration is open now for residents and non-residents. Class instructors are from Eliza’s Energy Source. 

For more information on our adult classes please visit https://www.easthartfordct.gov/parks-recreation/pages/adult-senior-programs-1  or call our office at 860-291-7160. 

Free-Play Basketball and Adult Open Gym

East Hartford Parks and Recreation is offering two fun programs: Open Gym for East Hartford residents in Grades 7 through 12 and Adult Drop-In Basketball.


For Middle and High School students in grades 7 – 12

East Hartford residents or students attending East Hartford Middle or High School can participate in Basketball Open Gym on Mondays and Fridays. The program starts runs through Friday, March 8th from 6:30 – 8:45pm at East Hartford Middle School.  Grade 7 and 8 will be in the Lower Gym and Grades 9 – 12 will be in the Upper Gym.  The program is FREE, but all participants must be registered at www.ehparks.org and have a Town ID or EHHS/EHMS ID at the program. There will be no program if there is no school or school is let out early due to inclement weather.


For adults ages 18 & up

East Hartford Parks and Recreation is offering Adult Open Basketball at Goodwin Elementary School. All participants must complete a registration form the first evening they attend or register at www.ehparks.org for a season membership. The program is Monday and Thursday nights and will run through Thursday, March 7th. Residents can purchase a season pass for $20 or $2 an evening.  Non-residents can purchase a Season Pass for $40 or $4 an evening.  The program time is 6:30 to 9:30pm.  Basketball sneakers are mandatory.  There will be no program if there is no school or school is let out early due to inclement weather.

For more information, please call the Parks and Recreation office at 860-291-7160.

Officer Brian A. Aselton Memorial Snow Dash Postponed

Due to the impending Winter Storm Aspen, the 31st running of the annual Officer Brian A. Aselton Memorial Snow Dash 5K Road Race has been postponed  for the safety of participants and staff. The new race date is Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 1:30 PM. Thank you for understanding. The event is sponsored by the East Hartford Parks and Recreation Department and the East Hartford Police Department.

The race will start and finish at Langford School located at 61 Alps Drive. Over 200 runners are expected to participate in the race that is run in tribute to Officer Brian A. Aselton. Proceeds benefit the East Hartford Police Department Child Safety and Crime Prevention Programs and the Officer Brian Aselton Scholarship Fund. Commemorative award plaques will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each division for men and women. Divisions include 17 & under, 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80 & up. Discount Trophy generously provides the awards. Official race apparel is available race day.

On January 23, 1999, Police Officer Brian A. Aselton gave his life in the line of duty protecting the citizens of East Hartford. The tragic loss of Officer Aselton devastated the community. Officer Aselton was only 26 years old when his brilliant life was extinguished; yet, his spirit lives on in those who remember him. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Officer Brian A. Aselton Memorial Scholarship Fund and East Hartford Police Child Safety and Crime Prevention Programs. Sine the inception of Brian's scholarship fund 314 scholarships have been awarded. 

Originally, the race was developed in 1993 to benefit the East Hartford Police Department’s Community Outreach Division. The Community Outreach Division operated youth programs throughout town in areas such as Veterans Terrace, Hockanum Park, Mayberry Village and East Hartford Estates. The race was renamed for Officer Aselton in 2000.  In 2001, the Quality of Life Division took over these responsibilities.  In 2005, Child Safety and Crime Prevention Programs became the race’s beneficiary. Hundreds of East Hartford children and teens annually participate in these programs.

***To register for the race online follow this link: click here 

Online registration is open. Same day registration must be completed online. There will be no paper registration race day.  

On Jan. 28, 2024, police officers will be directing traffic throughout the run. The following streets will be temporarily affected with road closures:

Long Hill Street (between Burnham Street and Goodwin Street), Leverich Drive, Alps Drive, Yale Drive, Goodwin Street (between Long Hill Street and University Avenue), Prestige Park Road, University Avenue, Colby Drive, Bay Path Drive, Andover Road, Temple Drive, Syracuse Drive, and Purdue Lane.

For more information, please contact Recreation Supervisor, Jonathan Cooper, at 860-291-7164.


VITA Free Professional Tax Help

IRS-certified VITA volunteers from the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut will be at Raymond Library on Sundays from 1 PM to 4:30 PM, beginning January 28 through April 7. Registration is required. Dial 211 to set up an appointment.

For more tax help resources, visit our website:

Web Site
East Hartford Parks and Recreation
Offering Winter Swim Lessons

East Hartford Parks and Recreation continues to offer opportunities for residents to swim and now we are excited to announce another session of swim lessons beginning in early January 2024.

Group Swim Lessons at the Middle School Pool
The winter session of Group Swim Lessons will be held on Wednesday evenings beginning January 3rd, or on Saturday mornings beginning January 6th.  Lessons are offered as an 8-week session and the fee for the session is $40 for residents or $50 for non-residents.  Registration is required online at www.ehparks.org, and registration begins Tuesday, December 5th at 9am for residents and Tuesday, December 12th at 9am for non-residents. 


East Hartford Middle School is located at 777 Burnside Avenue, but the pool is only accessible from the school entrance on Scotland Road. 

For more information on our swim lessons, or to review the pool rules please visit www.easthartfordct.gov/parks-recreation or call our office at 860-291-7160. 


Winter Programs at East Hartford Public Library


Please visit their online calendar for event listings:

Town Of East Hartford
Town Resources
Pulse of East Hartford Newsletter
East Hartford Public School News
East Hartford Works
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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