Archive | Simsbury

Alika Hope and The Ray of Hope Project Drops New Album

HARTFORD —  Alika Hope and The Ray of Hope Project recently announced the release of their first album, Hope for a Motherless Child, with an album release event at the Noah Webster House

The event is scheduled to begin 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  at 227 South Main Street, West Hartford, CT on May 4.

There will be a brief program at 6:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. All album sales from this event will benefit Families in Crisis; a Connecticut based 501(c) (3) which helps children whose mothers are currently incarcerated.

Produced by Alika Hope and Ira Sakolsky, and featuring the sounds of Ray Morant, John Henry Langley, Dexter Pettaway, Geoff Cox, Lawrence V. White, Jason Apostoleris, Charlie Slaughter and Alika Hope, Hope for a Motherless Child highlights classic renditions of African American spirituals such as “Wade in the Water,” “This Little Light of Mine” and “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More.”

Hope for a Motherless Child also introduces exclusive new arrangements of this historic music incorporating jazz, opera, and even some rap! Special guest appearances by Abraham Lincoln, Soujourner Truth, and William Lloyd Garrison round out the recording. Sure to please listeners of all ages, Hope for a Motherless Child educates while it entertains.

Please inquire for high-resolution images and to book media appearances.

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Simsbury Land Trust to Hold Family Hike

SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Land Trust is holding family-hike to the Indian Council Caves and Beaver Pond on the Tunxis Trail in Barkhamsted on Saturday, Oct. 18.

Hikers are asked to meet at Legeyt Road Trailhead at 10 a.m. The hike is about two miles around trip on fairy easy terrain.

Participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes, bring a vater bottle and a snack and plan for the hike to take about three hours.

The hike is free, but registration is required. Call 860-658-6530.

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State Offers Aid to Companies for Employment

WETHERSFIELD – Southwest Connecticut employers are invited to learn more about the Subsidized Training and Employment and Training Program (Step Up) as well as a variety of other hiring and tax incentives designed to benefit their businesses by attending a May 29 conference being held in the Westport Inn Ballroom.

Officials said that the conference aims to target companies of any size that can learn about the opportunities and benefits available to their business, including the wage reimbursement program through Step Up, low interest financing under the Small Business Express Program, assistance on recruitment and business plan development, and tax incentives for equipment upgrades and job creation initiatives.”

Taking place from 8 to 10:30 a.m., the event, begins with networking and light refreshments at 7 a.m. Employers can pre-register online for the conference by or more information can be obtained from Dolores Ryan, BridgeportAmerican Job Center by contacting her at or (203) 455-2602.

Additional conferences, also to be held from 8 to 10:30 a.m., will be offered on the following dates:

  • June 3, Progress Square Industrial Park, 32 Valley Street, Bristol
  • June 5, Western Connecticut State University, Westside Ballroom, 43 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury
  • June 11, Goodwin College, Main Campus – Auditorium, 1 Riverside Drive, East Hartford
  • June 12, University of Connecticut’s Torrington campus, 855 University Drive, Torrington
  • June 19, Simsbury High School Auditorium, 34 Farms Village Road, Simsbury
  • June 24, Three Rivers Community College, 574 New London Turnpike, Norwich
  • A future conference is also being planned for the town of Meriden.


Posted in Avon, Bloomfield, Business, East Hartford, Glastonbury, Hartford, Manchester, Nation/World, Neighborhood, New Britain, Simsbury, West Hartford, Wethersfield, WindsorComments (0)

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U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Should Seek Answers from DECD, Others

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’ meeting today with elected officials, political candidates, community activists and residents in the Greater Hartford region should tackle this burning question: Why is there $12 million for minority businesses sitting at the Department of Economic and Community Development in a time when these businesses are bruising from a deep economic recession and a long recovery?

In a region where Latino and black jobless rates dwarf the state’s recently reported jobless rate of 9 percent, DECD has yet to distribute the allocated money to small and minority business owners, who are likely job creators for many Hartford residents.  We hope that besides her roundtable discussion, press conference and other meetings around the state today, she makes a beeline to DECD.

Hartford has the highest jobless rate in the state. The overall unemployment rate for the city is reportedly 17 percent. The Latino jobless rate is 25 percent. The black jobless rate is 27 percent. These figures do not factor in the number of people who have stopped looking for work after one or two years of unemployment or underemployment.

Moreover, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra added 14 people to the unemployment line this week, in an effort to balance the city budget.

Besides pontification from pundits and politicians, we need to see leaders taking actions to create conditions that promote economic growth, so that businesses can hire more city residents. Distributing the money to Hartford’s small businesses would allow at least two hires by each company and at the same time help build capacity to provide better services to city residents. It all seems elementary. Yet there is so much malaise in all sections of the city. And the biggest obstacle seems to be the very people who are purportedly community leaders.

Solis must question these community leaders and local officials about their seemingly inability to coordinate efforts to create conditions that help businesses grow so that they can provide jobs.

The $12 million can provide many jobs. News that that much money allocated specifically for minority businesses was just sitting at DECD met puzzled participants at a small business summit for urban business sponsored by the state National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other entities. The irony was that the summit provided possible answers to this predicament. It was clear that summit organizers failed to inform local business owners of the summit within a one-mile radius of the Artist Collective on Albany Avenue, where the event was held. The  auditorium was packed with mostly business owners, who traveled from New Haven and Bridgeport. And the few Hartford business owners present heard the news from friends in other parts of the state—not in Hartford.

The one-day summit had so many key people present to help these businesses. It was also unbelievable that more effort was clearly not made to inform business owners about this economic-boosting opportunity right in thier backyard.

How unfortunate.


Posted in Bloomfield, Business, East Hartford, Editoral, Featured, Glastonbury, Hartford, Manchester, Nation/World, New Britain, Simsbury, West HartfordComments (0)


Library Offers Job Hunting Workshop

GREATER HARTFORD — The Simsbury Public Library will offer two free workshops for job seekers in November.

“Your Hired! How to Land the Perfect Job in Any Economy” will be held on  Thursday, Nov. 4 from 2 p,m. – 4 p.m .

Pete Winiarski, Results Coach and Consultant will discuss how job seekers can get clear about their perfect job and how to employ the three types of action and why goals are reached faster when these three are employed.

He’ll also discuss the power of environments and how they can create desired results and be critical for identifying a ‘perfect job’.“Breaking Through the Employment Barriers: The Inside Scoop” will be held on Tuesday, Nov.  16 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm.

Marcia LaReau PhD of Forward Motion has spent over two years working with job seekers, recruiters, and HR professionals. She will present key findings regarding the barriers that slow the road to employment success. In addition, attendees will learn how to make friends with the ‘black hole’ – partnering with technology, how to appeal to recruiters, human resource professionals, and hiring managers, job seekers’ self perceptions, interviewing strategies that work, and how to stay motivated.

The programs are free of charge, open to the public and will be held in the Program Room of the Simsbury Public Library at 725 Hopmeadow Street (Rte. 10). To register or for more information, visit the Library’s web site at or contact Jennifer Keohane, Business Outreach Librarian at (860) 658-7663 x 2107.

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Simsbury Library To Host “Goal Setting” Workshop

HARTFORD COUNTY  –- The Simsbury Public Library will host a free business
workshop, “Bullet-Proof! How to Achieve Great Results in Any Economy” on
Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m.

The program is part of the free, ongoing “Wednesday Night is Business Night” series and will be presented by Pete Winiarski of Win Enterprises, LLC.

Pete Winiarski, results coach and consultant will lead attendees through some interactive exercises to them understand some underlying principles of success and goal achievement that enable long-term and sustainable results. In addition, participants will learn fundamental formulas that pave the way for all success, the Power of the 9 Environments for sustainable results, the correct way to set goals and some simple, game-changing secrets to guarantee they’re achieved and how to determine what a Life Purpose is and why to align with this purpose.

The program is free of charge, open to the public and will be held in the Program Room of the Simsbury Public Library at 725 Hopmeadow Street (Rte. 10). To register or for more information, visit the Library’s web site at or contact Jennifer Keohane, Business Outreach Librarian at (860) 658-7663 x 2107.

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Hartford-area Jazz Singers Compete in DC

HARTFORD — City native Dana Lauren is among a dozen jazz musicians  selected  from applicants from around the world to be semifinalists in the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in Washington, D.C.

Dana Lauren

The competition, slated for  Oct. 3-4 at the Smithsonian and Kennedy Center, will feature  semifinalists from France, Germany, Japan, and the United States. These budding jazz musicians will compete for over $100,000 in scholarships and prizes, including a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Records.

Lauren, 22, began her classical training at age 15. She currently studies at the Berklee College of Music, where she plans to complete her degree in vocal performance this fall. In 2008, her band, the Dana Lauren Sextet, was chosen as one of four groups to study with Christian McBride and other jazz greats at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Academy.

Lauren will join Simsbury native  Richard Saunders, who started singing at age two. He attended the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, where he began studying jazz. Saunders was the first vocalist to sing with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at the 2009 Monterey Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival.  Saunders studies at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Both semifinalists will have the pleasure of meeting President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama, who are the Honorary Co-Chairs of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition Finals & Tribute to the Great American Songbook Gala Concert.

They will also get to be in the company of Aretha Franklin, the  judge  of the event — along with legendary jazz vocalists Kurt Elling, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau, Patti Austin, and Dianne Reeves. The Queen of Soul will also receive the 2010 Maria Fisher Founder’s Award.

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Hartford Guardian News Magazine Wins National Award

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Connecticut’s capital city online newsmagazine The Hartford Guardian is one of three winners of the 2010 McGraw-Hill Companies Personal Finance Awards national competition.

The Guardian’s founding editor Ann-Marie Adams won third place for stories that tackle economic issues facing minority communities. Adams’s story,  “Losing Ground: Foreclosure Rate Higher Among Minority Homeowners”, details the particular hardships faced by minority homeowners in Connecticut facing foreclosure.

The Guardian covers Hartford and its surrounding areas and focuses on untold stories about the city’s diverse residents.

First place went to Elizabeth Ostos of a monthly newspaper Mercado de Dinero for her article “Credit consolidation in a country in debt”. Second place went to Carlos Rajo of Telemundo, Los Angeles for his article “A House of Their Own: Is the American Dream too Expensive?” Rajo explains how the mortgage crisis has changed the perception of home ownership among the Hispanic community.

The journalists were among 30 reporters who participated in The International Center for Journalists online program in English and Spanish. The program sought to provide in-depth knowledge of consumer finance issues of particular importance to minority communities.

The winners will be honored in September at The McGraw-Hill Companies’ headquarters in New York. The New York Times Columnist Ron Lieber will give the keynote address.

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Simsbury Library Offers Resume Workshop

SIMSBURY — The Simbury Public Library’s Business Resource Center will offer a free workshop, “Under Construction: Building Your Resume for College” on
Thursday, Sept. 30 at 7pm.

The program is free of charge, open to the public and high school students who are planning to attend college are encouraged to attend.

Job seekers aren’t the only ones needing to create a resume; universities and college applications are now asking for this type of document as part of their application process. High school students need to know how to create a strong resume that reflects their skills, experience and educational achievements. During this interactive workshop, Claudia Mosley of North Star Educational and Career
Consultants will show students how to build their resume for college. Attendees will learn about the college applicant game, what makes a sound resume/application and tips for structuring their resume.

Claudia Mosley, completed her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received both a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Afro-American Studies. Formerly Interim Assistant Dean for Teacher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside , her diverse range of experience includes pre-college advising, guidance counseling, college level academic advising and student service administration.

The program is free of charge and open to the public, but reservations
are requested. To reserve a seat visit the library’s website, or call 860.658.7663. The programs will be held in the program room of the Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St.

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