Seymour CT Post Office Persists In Violating Federal Accessibility Laws

by Joseph A. Luciano, Founder, DRAG CT, ADA Education Project

I am inviting PAR readers to sign the on-line petition to ensure Architectural Access at the Seymour CT post office—and all other public accommodations, all state and local government buildings, facilities, parks, parking lots, building entrances, sidewalks, restrooms, aisles between restaurant tables, and service and cashier counters.

The petition is at this link:

Seymour’s post office refuses to comply with ADA 1990 and other federal laws to provide reasonable access and accommodation to elderly and disabled persons unable to climb the mountain of steps at its public entrance. It defiantly refuses to provide an access route to the ramp in the rear that elderly and disabled have been using for years. The postmaster shut down the ramp last year and now requires us to telephone for “appointments” to obtain services outdoors on the sidewalk at the public entrance. The location of “sidewalk service” is unreasonable because it is a longer trek—because of broken sidewalks and absent crosswalks and curbcuts. It’s also unreasonable because all elderly/disabled persons do not have or are not able to use cellphones. The USPS refuses to publish information in the media notifying persons of all abilities how to obtain service. Signage and a doorbell are absent at the entrance. What’s really egregious is that al fresco postal service out-doors on the sidewalk will not work in rain, summer heat waves, cold weather, and snow.

Joseph A. Luciano
33 DeForest Street A24
Seymour CT 06483
(203) 463-8323

Call for Proposals for SCSU Women’s Studies Conference

by Alisha Martindale, Graduate Assistant, Women’s Studies Program

The Southern Connecticut State University Women’s Studies Program announces its 22nd Annual Conference “#FeministIn(ter)ventions: Women, Community, Technology,” to be held on the SCSU campus Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, 2016.

The conference aims to provide a critical site of collective inquiry into the intersections of women (and girls), community, and technology. In what ways have women and girls worked with technology, broadly defined, for the advancement of communities and/or shaping and building movements? We invite proposals that investigate the past, present, and future of the intersections of women, community, and technology and showcase feminist in(ter)ventions with technology. How have women and girls participated (or not) in the fields of technology? In what ways does this inquiry intersect with the studies of gender, race, class, and sexuality?

Call for Proposals Suggested Conference Themed Topics:

  • Women & the Media Girls Who Code/Black Girls Code
  • Feminist Apps/Feminist Ethics & Technology
  • Feminism, Environment, and Technology
  • Women, Sustainability, and Technology
  • Gender, Class, and Technology/Gender, Sexuality, and Technology Feminist Values and STEM
  • Gender and STEM Ethics/Women in STEM
  • Women in the History of STEM/Women Making History & STEM Reproductive Technologies and Feminist Concerns
  • Feminist Pedagogy and Technology
  • Women, Social Media/Technology, and Academia
  • Online (In)Visibility of Bodies Feminism and Big Data
  • Feminist Knowledge and Media Technology
    and more!

Info: (203) 392-6133 or see SCSU Women’s Studies Website for details:
E-mail proposals to
The proposal submission deadline is December 4.

Events at the Mitchell Free Public Library

All the following events will be held at the Mitchell Library, 37 Harrison Street, New Haven. For more information: (203) 946-8117, The library is wheelchair-accessible.

Saturday, Nov. 7 and 28, 10 a.m.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)–Calling all aspiring writers! Join us for a workshop and write-in! Every November, aspiring writers around the world sit down to fulfill their dreams of writing a novel. NaNoWriMo, a 501c3 nonprofit, inspires this creativity in people of all ages. It has been incredibly successful in helping participants reach their creative potential and challenge their imaginations. Meet past NaNoWriMo participants and learn how they success-fully completed this personal challenge. Breakfast will be served sponsored by Bruegger’s. Please call to register: (203) 946-8117.
Mondays, 6:30 p.m.

Free English Classes–Clases de Ingles Gratis

Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Free GED Tutoring

Saturday, Nov. 21, 2 p.m.

A Glance at the World Through Film: Departures (2008), an award-winning film from Japan. A young man returns to his hometown after a failed career as a cellist and stumbles across work as a nōkanshi—a traditional Japanese ritual mortician. Free. Refreshments. Discussion led by Debbie Evans, world cinema buff. Wheelchair accessible.

Events at Ives Free Public Library, 133 Elm St.

Meditation Every Tuesday, 6 – 7 p.m. Through Dec. 29.

Meditation includes many different techniques to promote self-awareness, relaxation, mindfulness, build internal energy or life force and to develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness.

In cooperation with the Art of Living Foundation, the NH Zen Center, and the NH Shambhala Meditation Center, the library is privileged to offer this wellness program. No matter why you come to consider meditation, starting with an experienced practitioner guide can be helpful. Our schedule of instructors is as follows:

  • 1st Tuesday of the month—-Art of Living Foundation
  • 2nd Tuesday of the month— New Haven Zen Center
  • 3rd Tuesday of the month— Art of Living Foundation
  • 4th Tuesday of the month— Shambhala Meditation Center of New Haven

Beginners are welcome. Basic instruction provided. Chairs are available for all, or participants may bring a cushion or pad if they wish. There is no charge, no sign up, walk-ins welcome. Questions: (203) 946-8138.

Christian Community Action, Inc. Advocacy & Education Presents: People Empowering People (PEP) Training

Are you interested in empowering yourself and others? Do you enjoy working on community group projects? Are you interested in learning more about ways in which you can improve your community?

If your answer is yes! CCA’s Advocacy & Education Project will be offering a 10 session certified training class Mondays and Wednesdays 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Oct. 26-Dec. 2. Lunch will be provided. Location: 660 Winchester Ave.

Lower Level Community Room. Program participants will earn a UCONN PEP Certificate. For more information, contact Merryl Eaton, (203) 780-8335 or email:

Listen Here! Short Story Reading Series

by Bennett Graff, Publisher, New Haven Review

The Institute Library is proud to host the Listen Here Short Story reading series, a night of classic short stories selected by the staff of the New Haven Review and read by cast members of the New Haven Theater Company.  Reading starts at 7 p.m., with a talk back at 8 p.m. Also, freshly baked cookies and tea are available. $5 suggested admission, but no obligations!  Join us at the Institute Library, 847 Chapel St, New Haven. Our next reading will be November 17.  Our theme: “Close Calls.” Our stories: “The Killers” by Ernest Hemingway and “Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” by Stephen Crane. Please note that the Institute Library is one flight up and not wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit us at

Sharon House Tour Oct. 3: Fascinating Solar Straw Bale House Saves Energy

by Judi Friedman, People’s Action for Clean Energy

A fascinating passive solar home is on tour in Sharon, CT on Saturday, October 3. This Net Zero Energy Challenge winning house has organic straw bale construction and 33 solar-electric panels on the house and horse barn. Tours and seminars will be held at 12 noon and 2:30 p.m. by the knowledgeable owners and technology experts. Nearby, the Sharon Audubon Center has one-hour raptor aviary tours at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for $5 per person.

The house has a dramatic open floor plan, with a beautiful handmade masonry heater that supplies most of the heat. Other energy-saving features include solar-powered mini split ductless heat and cooling pumps; ground mount solar hot water panels; an HRV air exchanger; natural lighting supplemented by LED and compact fluorescent bulbs; and recycled energy-efficient appliances.

The event is sponsored by People’s Action for Clean Energy, the only all-volunteer nonprofit public health organization in Connecticut devoted solely to clean energy education. Co-sponsors are the Sharon Audubon Society and the Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Reservations will be accepted in order of receipt for the October 3 tour, which will be held rain or shine. The non-refundable tickets are $15 per person. To order tickets, go online to and click on Events, indicating the choice of time for the tours and seminars. Tickets may also be ordered by sending $15 per person to PACE c/o Donna Grant, 128 Melrose Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016. Include the ticketholder’s name, phone number, address, email address and choice of time. For ticket information, call (860) 623-5487. For tour information, call (860) 693-4813.

People Against Injustice News: Sept. 24 Protest, Meeting with Sen. Winfield Oct. 5

by Jane Mills, PAI

People Against Injustice joined several other local justice groups in writing a letter to city leaders and state prosecutors protesting the August 17 arrest of a young man, “Mykel,” on Kensington St. in New Haven whose only crime appeared to be filming the police. He faced a misdemeanor charge of resisting or interfering with police. To sign-on to the letter go to and search using this phrase “Support the right to record police in New Haven.” A copy of his video is linked in the online petition. It is legal to record police in public in all 50 states.

A protest on his Sept. 24 court hearing date was held in front of the New Haven courthouse during which people showed their support, asking us questions or calling out from their cars. We handed out info cards and talked to reporters. At  10 a.m. a group of us attended Mykel’s court hearing. The charge against him was dropped.

We are lodging this as a victory but concerns remain about representations about the video made by the state to the judge during Mykel’s brief hearing and about the fate of his Facebook account, which was taken down by Facebook for “verification,” after he posted his video of the police. We will continue to look into both.

State Sen. Gary Holder Winfield will attend PAI’s next regular meeting on Oct. 5 to review possible legislation for the 2015-2016 legislative session. Newcomers are welcome. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. sharp on the lower level of the main branch of the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street (at corner of Temple Street).

PAI has launched a Facebook page. Please visit our page, named “People Against Injustice – PAI” at this url:

People Against Injustice is a New Haven-based, grassroots organization committed to reform of the criminal justice system. Since its founding in 1996, PAI has worked on dozens of justice-related issues, including over incarceration and the War on Drugs, prosecutor and police misconduct, and racial and economic disparities in the justice system. PAI engages in direct action as well as educational initiatives. Reach us at

‘Speak Out for Justice’ Oct. 7 with Remi Kanazi and Bishop John Selders

by Stanley Heller, Middle East Crisis Committee

Come to the New Haven Library on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. for “Speak Out for Justice.” Meet Remi Kanazi, Palestinian-American poet and activist, on the release of his new collection of poems: Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up from Brooklyn to Palestine. He also wrote Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine.

remi-kanaziKanazi writes and performs political poetry addressing topics such as human rights, Palestine, Iraq, and Islamophobia. Approaching his work from a humanist perspective, Kanazi says, “I’m not a nationalist, I’m not an ethno-centrist. This isn’t about me being a Palestinian or me being an Arab. It’s about a system of oppression and what’s being done to a people. So whether you’re talking about police brutality or the US-Mexico border or Afghanistan or the war in Iraq or the plight of Palestinians, what they’re going through and the injustice that’s being perpetrated against them is what matters. And that’s what we’re working against – systems of oppression.”

Our program also features Bishop John Selders, a leader of “Moral Mondays” who has led protests in Hartford against police brutality and who took part in the “All Roads Lead to Ferguson Tour” in July and August.

The Right Reverend Doctor John L. Selders, Jr. is an ordained minister serving in the United Church of Christ, the Organizing Pastor of Amistad United Church of Christ, Hartford, CT, Associate Chaplain at Trinity College, Hartford, CT and Executive Director of Zezzo House (an 18 unit housing project). John worked for 12 years as a Lecturer at Yale Divinity School in New Haven.

The program is sponsored by the Middle East Crisis Committee. MECC was founded in New Haven in 1982. Our TV program “The Struggle” has been broadcast on over 30 stations weekly since 2003. We’ve covered civil rights and black lives matter struggles over the years. Our latest is coverage of the Newark New Jersey protest:
Executive Director: Stanley Heller, (203) 934-2761.

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