Weekly Update - April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024


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Dear Neighbor,

Our legislative session is well underway and I wanted to share this update on what we have been working on.

As always, please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or concerns.

The topics covered are as follows:

  • Legislative Updates
  • Today in CT History
  • Community Resources
  • CT Foodshare
  • Manchester Community Events 
  • East Hartford Community Events
Legislative Updates

Today In CT History

Today in 1892, George Canfield Blickensderfer of Stamford patented the first successful portable typewriter, one of the most transformative examples of Yankee ingenuity ever to come from the Constitution State.


An antique Blickensderfer portable typewriter Model 5,

manufactured sometime in the 1890s.

Blickensderfer’s machine used a radical, minimalist design that contained up to 90 percent fewer parts than the heavier, more complicated desk typewriters that came before it. He proceeded to create an impressive catalog of portable typewriter models, which included budget models for home use and international versions whose English keyboards could be easily replaced with other languages. One model, the Blickensderfer Featherweight (popularly known as “the five-pound secretary”), was made from aluminum and remains one of the lightest typewriters ever manufactured.

One of the most unique features of the Blickensderfer typewriter was its keyboard, which swapped the “universal” (or “QWERTY”) keyboard layout popularized in the 1870s for a proprietary “DHIATENSOR” keyboard layout. Blickensderfer claimed his keyboard layout was the best option for efficient typing, since it clustered the ten letters most popular letters used in the English language on the first row of the typewriter. His argument didn’t catch on, however, and to remain competitive, Blickensderfer typewriters started offering universal keyboard layouts in the early 20th century.


This image, taken from George Blickensderfer’s 1892 patent for the portable typewriter, displays the inventor’s proprietary “DHIATENSOR” keyboard layout.

Since the “Blick” portable typewriter was easier to produce, transport, and operate, it became an overnight sensation and international bestseller. To keep up with demand, Blickensderfer opened a spacious factory on Atlantic Street in Stamford in 1896, only a few years after obtaining his revolutionary patent. Thanks in large part to his efforts, Connecticut became an international hub of typewriter manufacturing and home to some of the world’s most prolific typewriter companies, including Underwood and Royal.

Further Reading

A Different ‘Type’ of Connecticut Industry,” connecticuthistory.org

Blickensderfer Typewriters,” Stamford Historical Society

US Patent 472692A: Type Writing Machine, G. C. Blickensderfer,” via Google Patents

Town Of East Hartford

 Town Meetings
Regular Town Council Meeting

April 16th, 2024, at 7:30 PM

Community Cultural Center Auditorium (50 Chapman Place)

+1929-235-8441; ID: 565393232#    
Board of Education Meeting

April 15th, 2024, at 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

May 7th , 2024, 7:00 PM

Lincoln Center Hearing Room (494 Main Street)

Board of Directors

Board of Education Regular Meeting

April 22nd , 2024, at 7:00 PM

 Lincoln Center Hearing Room (494 Main Street)




Below is the list of locations in Manchester that are 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.


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


 Link to the statewide map



  • Squire Village, 48 Spencer Street, 06040 (1st parking lot off Imperial Drive #78)
  • Faith Tabernacle – Manchester 110 Utopia Rd, Manchester, CT 06042
  • New River Community Church -314 Woodbridge St, Manchester, CT 06042


East Hartford

Below is the list of locations in East Hartford that are 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) 291-7295 or (860) 291-7248


  • Hockanum Park- 75 Hamilton Park
  • Mayberry Village –St. Isaac Jogues Church Parking Lot (41 Home Terrace East Hartford)
  • Summerfield Townhouse (66 Plain Drive East Hartford, CT)
  • Veterans Terrace -102 Columbus St, East Hartford, CT 06108



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

Gardening Without Soil

Next date: Monday, April 15, 2024 | 06:30 PM to 07:30 PM

Levo International will demonstrate simple hydroponic methods you can do at home with very little effort and no prior knowledge. Come away with a ready to use kit so you can grow herbs in your window with no mess. Limited to 30 participants; registration is required and starts 04/08/2024 by calling our Reference Room at: 860-645-0821. 

Levo International began as an Eagle Scout project in 2016 in Haiti, with the idea of using hydroponics to fundamentally change food systems. With success in Haiti, Levo International adapted its systems to thrive in the New England climate, and has worked with dozens of organizations across CT. 



Jenn Bartlett



Can and Bottle Drive

The Knights of Columbus Council 1155 will be collecting refundable cans and bottles on Saturday, April 13, 2024 in St. James church parking lot, 896 Main Street, Manchester CT, from 9 am – 12 noon. All proceeds will be used to support council charitable activities. For more information please contact Grand Knight Pat Kennedy at 860-805-1652. Thanks in advance for helping ‘the Knights’ help others.

Wickham Park opens for the season

Wickham Park is a non-profit, private foundation whose property extends into both Manchester and East Hartford, Connecticut. The park contains 280 acres of gardens, open fields, woodlands, ponds, picnic areas, sports facilities, and is the proud host of weddings, receptions, fundraising walks, disc golf tournaments, tree tours, garden tours, car shows, cross country races, family and friend gatherings, and Santa’s Workshop!

FY25 Budget Adoption Meeting

The April 16th Budget Adoption has been rescheduled to May 14, 2024.

7pm in the Lincoln Center Hearing Room.

View the FY25 Recommended Budget by clicking here.

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

The Town of East Hartford in collaboration with the East Hartford Veterans Commission are excited to announce that the third annual East Hartford’s Memorial Day parade and series of events will take place Monday, May 27, 2024 at 10 AM.

The event will consist of three parts, including a parade, program at the Fallen Star Memorial and celebration of East Hartford. The parade will begin promptly at 10 AM, proceeding from 9 Riverside Drive to the Fallen Star Memorial located at Goodwin University.

“It was the Town's priority to bring back the Memorial Day parade 3 years ago and it has now become a tradition that the community looks forward to every year," said Mayor Connor Martin. "I have a lot of respect for our Veterans and the Memorial Day Parade is a small gesture in which we honor their service and sacrifice." 




  • To make the event possible, the town would like to extend sponsorship opportunities to local businesses and organizations. Those who wish to sponsor the event or offer in-kind services, please fill out the electronic form below by Wednesday, May 1, 2024.
  • *2024 East Hartford Memorial Day Sponsorship Registration*


  • East Hartford is also accepting applications from vendors who wish to participate in the Memorial Day event. Vendors will have to set up and disassemble their own tables, tents and chairs. Vendors who wish to participate are asked to register Wednesday, May 1, 2024.
  • *2024 East Hartford Memorial Day Vendor Registration*

The parade will be followed by a program at the Fallen Star Memorial and a family-friendly celebration of East Hartford with food trucks, music and activities.

To receive the latest updates on the Town’s news and events, visit www.easthartfordct.gov and subscribe at www.easthartfordct.gov/subscribe.

East Hartford's 3rd Annual Juneteenth

Community Celebration

The Town of East Hartford in collaboration with East Hartford Parks and Recreation, the East Hartford Black Caucus, the Commission on Culture and Fine Arts, and the East Hartford Public Library, invites you to attend the town’s third annual Juneteenth Celebration. Juneteenth, officially known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, is also known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans.

The event will take place on Saturday, June 15th from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, at Alumni Park. Admission is FREE.

A family-friendly stage lineup will honor Juneteenth through a diverse array of performances. Enjoy music, dance, spoken word, and historical interpretation! Bring a chair or a picnic blanket and stay all afternoon.

The Juneteenth Fest is the perfect family-friendly, community event that offers fun activities for children and adults alike. Among many activities, there will be a variety of vendors, food, entertainment, bounce house, face painting, powerful storytelling and so much more. 

In case of inclement weather, this event will be held inside at Community Cultural Center (50 Chapman Place).


East Hartford is accepting applications from vendors who wish to participate in the Juneteenth celebration. Vendors who wish to participate must submit the applicable form to East Hartford Parks and Recreation.

*2024 East Hartford Juneteenth Food Vendor Application*

*2024 East Hartford Juneteenth Non-Profit Application*

*2024 East Hartford Juneteenth Vendor and Crafter Application*

Vendors are asked to apply by May 31, 2024. 

For more information, please call Parks and Recreation at 860-291-7160 or visit www.easthartfordct.gov/parks-recreation.

Donate Life Flag Raising Ceremony

April is National Donate Life Month. The Town of East Hartford is observing by raising the Donate Life flag at the Raymond Library (840 Main Street, East Hartford), beginning with a ceremony on Monday, April 15 at 12:00 PM. In order to raise awareness for the critical need for organ donors, the flag will fly at the Library through the month of April.

This April we recognize National Donate Life Month as an annual celebration commemorating those who have given the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. For those whose lives have been saved or healed by a transplant, National Donate Life Month provides a chance to share their story to encourage more people to register as donors.

In addition to organ donation, tissue donations help over one million individuals each year. Heart valve, bone and skin donations give recipients a new chance at a healthy life, the recovery of tendons and ligaments can help heal a severe sports injury, and cornea donations give the gift of sight.

More than 100,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. And every 8 minutes another person is added to the national transplant waiting list. Transplants rely on the generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors, and there are not enough donors to meet the need.

The Town of East Hartford acknowledges our residents who are both organ donors and recipients, and invites you to join with us on Monday, April 15 for this flag raising ceremony.

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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