Free Admission at Mystic Aquarium for SNAP Households

Connecticut SNAP benefit households will receive free admission to Mystic Aquarium through December 2018.

Mystic Aquarium is focused on engaging communities throughout Connecticut in ocean conservation.

Connecticut SNAP EBT card holders simply have to show their EBT card and valid, matching personal identification to receive free admission for themselves and up to four guests. Also, card holders may buy tickets for $5 each for up to three more guests at the time of their visit. All children in the party under age 5 will be admitted for free.

55 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT 06355 · (860) 572-5955

www.mysticaquarium.org

Download Films for Free on Kanopy and Hoopla!

All you need is your library card from the New Haven Free Public Library!

Kanopy showcases more than 30,000 titles, including award-winning documentaries; acclaimed, rare and hard-to-find titles; classics films; and world cinema with collections from The Great Courses, Kino Lorber, and PBS among many others. Users are able to access Kanopy through a variety of devices and platforms, including Roku, Apple TV, iOS and Android.

Hoopla offers a huge collection of films, TV shows, educational videos, documentaries, music, audiobooks, e-books and comic books to enjoy straight from your browser, tablet, or smartphone! Easy to use with your library card — and no waiting!

Local Catholic Worker Mark Colville Jailed for Plowshares Action against Nuclear Missiles

by Stephen Kobasa, Kings Bay Plowshares support group

Mark Colville of the Amistad Catholic Worker House in New Haven was one of seven Catholic Plowshares activists who carried out a Plowshares action on April 4, at the Kings Bay Naval Base, St. Mary’s, Georgia, where Trident ballistic missile submarines and their nuclear weapons are based.

The seven chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who devoted his life to addressing the triplets of militarism, racism, and materialism. In their statement, which they carried with them, the group quoted King: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world (today) is my own government.”

A federal indictment charges the seven with four counts: Conspiracy, Destruction of Property on a Naval Station, Depredation of Government Property and Trespass. In response to news of the indictment, Mark wrote from the Camden County Jail, “Once again the federal criminal justice system has plainly identified itself as another arm of the Pentagon by turning a blind eye to the criminal and murderous course from which it has repeatedly refused to desist for the past 70 years.”

While Mark is in prison, the work of the Amistad Catholic Worker is being continued by Luz Colville. Support for that work can take any of several forms:

1) Donations of items for the community breakfast program: old-fashioned oats, grits, eggs, coffee, creamer, sugar, pancake mix, pancake syrup, cereal, milk powdered or fresh, canned evaporated milk, margarine, pasta, pasta sauce, tomato sauce, rice, beans, napkins, toilet tissue, rolls of paper towels;

2) Gift cards for purchase of above items;

3) Checks made out to the Amistad Catholic Worker and delivered or mailed to 203 Rosette St., New Haven, CT 06519.

Take Part in a Fun Event in West Haven to Support Youth with Disabilities, Tuesday, July 24

by Christopher Zurcher, Center for Disability Rights

The 2018 Center for Disability Rights Wheel-A-Thon – a fundraising and community awareness campaign to benefit the youth programs and activities of CDR and its partners – will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, at Savin Rock Conference Center, 5 Rock St., West Haven.

Registration will take place and pizza will be served to registered participants from 6 to 6:45 p.m. The ceremony starts at 6:45 and ends around 7 p.m. when the walk begins. Awards to walkers will be distributed around 7:30 p.m. and there will be live entertainment throughout the event.

Wheel-A-Thon participants can walk, roll in a wheelchair or ride a bicycle along a 1-mile route. Register and participate as an individual or form a team with your family, friends, and co-workers. To register to participate, visit the “Participate” page of the wheel-a-thon.org website.

The money raised during the 2017 Wheel-A-Thon provided Summer Empowerment Camp opportunities to nine high school juniors and seniors and provided five Wheel-A-Thon Scholarships.

Individuals who are not part of a team but who raise at least $25 for young people with disabilities can participate in the CDR Wheel-A-Thon as individuals.

Buy your tickets or make a donation to support CDR’s youth activities here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-cdr-wheel-a-thon-tickets-43038218470.

For more information call CDR at (203) 934-7077. Ask for Sandy or press Extension “10,” and she will return your call as soon as she can. If you prefer email, please send email to info@cdr-ct.org.

Free ‘Underground Travel Guide’ for Persons with Disabilities

by Joseph A. Luciano Sr., Disability Rights Action Group

This guide is currently in PDF format and can be useful to persons with disabilities, especially those using wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, or other mobility devices and seeking education, fun, entertainment, shopping, or dining experiences.

You may be (or you may know) a person who uses mobility devices and wants to “go out” to a mall, shopping center, store, museum, theater, library, or restaurant. You should know whether your destination is accessible – by ADA standards. You may find barriers there. For example, there is no ramp to get over steps at the entrance or the doorway is too narrow. Worse, the restroom is totally inaccessible!

Today – even 28 years after enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act – many public entities and their employees still do not know about their obligation to provide ADA 1990 access and mobility standards. You should not assume your destination has complied with federal law. Incidentally, educational materials including brochures, booklets, guides, and instructional videos about disability rights are free at ADA.gov under “Technical Assistance Publications.”

The Underground Travel Guide also gives advice on how to use the paratransit system. As good as it is, the system has a few quirks and snags you should be aware of. Connecticut has 12 ADA service providers comprised of vans and minibuses equipped with lifts to board and deboard persons using wheelchairs. Go to https://www.ctada.com/ServiceProviders.asp to see the providers serving your community and your destination. To learn how to obtain service click on the provider serving you. (Depending on the destination you may need to ride with more than one provider.)

The providers are:

  1. Greater Hartford Transit District
  2. Greater New Haven Transit District
  3. North-East Transportation Company
  4. Southeast Area Transit District
  5. Valley Transit District
  6. Middletown Transit District
  7. Milford Transit District
  8. Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority
  9. Windham Region Transit District
  10. Housatonic Area Regional Transit District
  11. Norwalk Transit District
  12. 9-Town Transit/Estuary Transit

The travel guide is copyrighted and is provided free here: https://tinyurl.com/2018-travel-guide.

For more information, e-mail DRAGconnecticut@yahoo.com or call (203) 463-8323.

Pushing the Envelope for Peace

by Nancy Eberg, Greater New Haven Peace Council

Our group has been involved in many diverse activities during the last year, some controversial. The Greater New Haven Peace Council opposes American intervention in the Middle and Far East, South America, and Africa; the rescission of many environmental protections and financial regulations; and the expansion of militarization.

We initiated the “Move the Money” governmental resolutions in New Haven which has spread across the country and was ratified by the US Conference of Mayors, resulting in public hearings showing how our taxes could be better spent on local issues than on war and weapons. Some of the Council attended international peace conferences in Cuba and Vietnam.

Our successful “No Foreign Bases” conference in Baltimore had representatives from around the US and the world. This was an attempt to form a more cohesive peace movement. Members of this group later engaged in an anti-war activity in NYC. Another anti-war conference at Middlesex College focused on American imperialism and the inherent violence in American society. Additionally, we held forums on the Cuban green energy initiative, Korea, and the opposition to the US military base on Jeju Island. The Board of Alders, at our request, held a public hearing with department heads specifying how decreased federal military spending could impact local government.

Our annual reading of MLK’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech was a success, despite the weather. We showed films high-lighting important issues, commemorated the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and met with our Congressional representatives. Also, we sponsored and engaged in other groups’ initiatives — activities on last year’s International Women’s Day, marches on women’s issues, gun violence, and immigration and the Greenwich anti-war demonstration, among others. Every Friday, pamphlets about the week’s current events are given out in front of City Hall.

Thus, it is evident that our group has, and will continue to, strive against this administration’s initiatives. We believe that diplomacy, not war, should be utilized to solve nations’ differences. Although right now our efforts seem to be exercises in futility, in the long run, we hope to prevail.

Grammar School Students Who Already Challenge and Change The World

by Frank Panzarella, community activist

The Green Wolves, fourth-grade students at Elm City College Preparatory Elementary School, came up with that name for their own wonderful and imaginative adventure in becoming young activists.

Their teacher, Kurt Zimmermann of their Expeditions class, saw the PAR newsletter on-line and invited us to do a training for young people on things to think about when becoming an activist.

While some were still shy, others were bursting with ideas and questions. They surprised us right off by quoting suggestions from our own notes before we even began.

These kids were very interested in environmental issues and showed us their current great campaign. They raised money to replace all the teachers’ disposable coffee cups with lovely ceramic mugs that had the teachers’ names printed on them, so the teachers would reduce their paper waste.

We were thrilled to meet this group of engaging and endearing students and thank Mr. Zimmermann for the opportunity. We thought PAR readers would be interested in the notes we left the students with.

An Activist Guide List – Questions to Ask Yourself

  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
  • “Doing something is better than doing nothing.”
  • “My way is not the only way.”

Passion

  • What are the issues you feel strongly about? What would you like to accomplish or change? What do you need to study and understand?
  • Are there other people you know concerned about these issues? Who can you talk with?

Organize

  • How can you educate people about why your issue is important?
  • What are your short term and long term goals? What would you like to see happen in relation to your cause?
  • Who is it you would like to reach on your cause?
  • Are there people or groups who might be allies in reaching your goals?

Action Plans

  • What kinds of actions are appropriate for your cause?

Educational events

  • Write letters, articles, and petitions.
  • Use social media.

Rallies and demonstrations

  • Picket lines
  • Speak at hearings or local government meetings.

Create a plan to advance your cause and build support

  • Call a meeting to plan your actions if necessary.
  • Figure out a group process.
  • Be aware of your members and their ideas.
  • Promote democracy in action – listen to all and learn to resolve differences.
  • Respect the rights of others to have different views.
  • Struggle for a programmatic unity on issues — in other words, something everyone in your group can agree on to take some action.
  • Have a summation meeting. Meet again after your action to figure out what worked and what didn’t. What do you think could have been better? Decide if you will do something next, and pick a date for another meeting to figure out what it will be.
  • Have fun doing good things for the benefit of everyone.

The Poor People’s Campaign: A Moral Agenda Based on Fundamental Rights

Over the past two years, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has reached out to communities in more than 30 states across this nation. We have met with tens of thousands of people, witnessing the strength of their moral courage in trying times. We have gathered testimonies from hundreds of poor people, and we have chronicled their demands for a better society. The following moral agenda is drawn from this deep engagement and commitment to these struggles of the poor and dispossessed. It is also grounded in an empirical assessment of how we have come to this point today. The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America report reveals how the evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy and militarism are persistent, pervasive, and perpetuated by a distorted moral narrative that must be challenged.

We must stop the attention [deficit] that refuses to see these injustices and acknowledge the human and economic costs of inequality. We believe that when decent people see the faces and facts that the Souls of Poor Folk Audit presents, they will be moved deeply in their conscience to change things. When confronted with the undeniable truth of unconscionable cruelty to our fellow human beings, we must join the ranks of those who are determined not to rest until justice and equality are a reality for all. www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Connecticut-Fact-Sheet.pdf.

Connecticut Sued for Using Clean Energy Funds to Fill Budget Gap

by Paula Panzarella, Fight the Hike

The state legislature’s attempt to raid $155 million from the clean energy and efficiency funds has met with strong resistance.

On May 15, with CT Fund for the Environment as the lead plaintiff, a lawsuit was filed in federal court in Hartford. Fight the Hike is one of twelve groups suing to get the funds restored for clean energy, conservation, and efficiency programs. These programs have helped Connecticut’s economy, improved health by lowering pollution from fossil fuels and resulted in lower costs for taxpayers. We demand their funding be fully restored!

These funds were for the energy programs that we have paid for through the surcharge fee on our United Illuminating and Eversource electric bills. The money was collected specifically to help consumers improve energy efficiency, take part in energy conservation programs, low-interest loans to help with solar panels, modernize furnaces, water heaters, etc.

Besides these programs helping consumers, they helped build up Connecticut’s economy. There are more than 34,000 people working in the energy-efficiency industry in Connecticut. It will be a staggering blow to these businesses and their employees if people cannot continue to have the assistance of these clean-energy programs.

The “Combined Public Benefits Charge” portion of our electric bill is how the Energy Efficiency Fund, CT Green Bank, and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are funded. To bolster the General Fund, the state is planning on seizing $155 million that was collected and earmarked for clean energy and efficiency programs.

By crippling these programs, it’s estimated that more than 6,600 jobs will be lost in the next two years, $21 million in state tax revenue will be lost, tens of thousands of people will not be able to receive energy assessments, weatherization upgrades, energy efficiency programs, and financial assistance for low-income ratepayers. The case will be heard before the end of June for a ruling to be made to stop the planned seizure of funds on July 1.

In other news, the legislature failed to pass an important large-scale community solar bill that would have allowed for 300 megawatts of new solar power. They passed a bill that would sunset net metering, another blow to the growing clean energy industry. Net metering allows homeowners to be credited for solar energy produced by their home that exceeds their usage (like rollover minutes on a cell phone).

Assortment of Library Events for New Haven Big Read 2018

by Eleanor Montgomery, New Haven Free Public Library

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

The 2018 Big Read centers on Claudia Rankine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric, with related free events offered throughout greater New Haven. Citizen is a genre bending, award-winning, work of art combining lyric prose with internal monologues, visual art, slogans, photographs, quotes, a screen grab from YouTube, and film scripts. It is a touchstone for talking candidly about racism. Events are as follows.

Urban Experience Book Discussion Series Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
June 2, 12-1 p.m. Wilson Library, 303 Washington Avenue
New Haven NHFPL Librarian Marian Huggins will lead this discussion on Citizen by Claudia Rankine.

Film and Discussion: Whose Streets?
June 4, 5:30 p.m. Ives Main Library, 133 Elm Street, New Haven
An account of the Ferguson uprising as told by the people who lived it. The filmmakers look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement. Discussion with Festival Fellows to follow.

Citywide Youth Coalition and Arts & Ideas Dinner & Dialogue: Internalized Racial Oppression and Exploring Citizenship Town Hall
June 7, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Ives Main Library, 133 Elm Street, New Haven
Last June, our high Festival Fellows hosted a standing-room-only Town Hall meeting on gun violence. Join them this year as they explore the themes of Citizen, opening up a public discussion about the continuing epidemic of racial inequity in America.

Art Responding to Citizen Series
June 9
Hoodies: Katro Storm and Nasty Women CT Art Installation June 10, Artivism: A Workshop with Juancarlos Soto New Haven Green Art workshops and exhibition on the New Haven Green.

The Word Citizen Poetry Jam at Arts & Ideas
June 13, 7:30-9 p.m. First & Summerfield United Methodist Church, 425 College Street, New Haven
Select students and teachers from The Word’s New Haven Public Schools Citizen residencies will perform their poems and raps.

Racial Imaginary Ideas Program
June 16, 1:30 p.m. Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven
Inspired by Claudia Rankine’s building of an extraordinary “Interdisciplinary Cultural Library” to provide a platform for artists and scholars to explore the idea of race. Essayist, poet, and curator of the Racial Imaginary Leronn P. Brooks will be joined by poet and lawyer Monica Youn for a discussion of this new model of art curation, collaboration, and its role in lifting voices that are otherwise unheard through galleries and museums.

Citywide Youth Coalition Dinner & Dialogue: Healing from the Trauma of Racism
June 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Ives Main Library, 133 Elm Street, New Haven
Learning and experiencing healing practices.

For more information about these library programs, please contact Eleanor Montgomery at emontgomery@nhfpl.org or (203) 946-8130, Ext. 312.

#MothersDayBailOut Challenges the Nation’s Money Bail System

by Melinda Tuhus, WPKN Between the Lines

Connecticut was one of many states and cities around the U.S. that raised money and awareness to bail women out of jails and prisons for Mother’s Day this year. The Connecticut Bail Fund, working with a dozen other groups, raised about $30,000 and bailed out 30 women. The funds were used to bail out 26 women from the state’s only women’s prison, York Correctional Institute in Niantic – and another four from immigration jail. While these women are charged with crimes, they have not been convicted and are incarcerated only because they can’t afford to pay bail. The groups participating in the “Mothers Day Bail Out,” as it’s called, are not simply raising money to release women from jail, but are challenging the entire money bail system, which discriminates against the poor, the population most often caught up in the criminal justice system.

REMINDER Call for June Articles for PAR Newsletter

Dear PAR Contributors,

Readers want to know: What is the purpose of your organization? How are you building your group? What campaigns are you organizing? What events are you planning?

We want to publicize the work groups have done and what they’re planning to do. We want to spread the word to others who will be inspired to join you, support your activism and build the struggles. Send us articles (even a paragraph or two) about what your group wants to do and any ideas for organizing!

Please send articles about your group’s recent and current activities and upcoming actions and events to parnewhaven@hotmail.com.

Reminder: We do not publish in July or August. The June issue will also cover events for July and August. Be sure to let us know of summer activities for this upcoming issue.

*** We are very interested in your reports on actions such as May Day and struggles for racial justice. Help inspire others through your commitment! ***

The deadline for the June Progressive Action Roundtable Newsletter is Friday, May 18.

GUIDELINES FOR ARTICLES

We ask everyone to limit articles to 350 words.

Please include an enticing headline/title for your article so our readers will focus on your work right away.

Be sure to indicate your name and organization as they should appear in your byline.

If you haven’t written recent articles for PAR, please include information about your group’s purpose.

Do not use different fonts or sizes in your article.

Please keep in mind that as layout space permits, we will include photos.

IMPORTANT: Don’t neglect to add your organization’s contact information such as phone number, e-mail address or website, so our readers can get more information about what your group is doing.

ABOUT CALENDAR ITEMS

If you mention an event in an article, please also send a SEPARATE calendar announcement.

Please give street addresses for any events or meetings, even for “well-known” public buildings.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please indicate whether your event location is wheelchair accessible.

You can also send us SAVE THE DATE items about future events, even if you do not yet have all the details in place.

The PAR newsletter will come out approximately Thursday, May 31. Please consider this when submitting calendar items.

Here are other suggestions about submitting copy to the PAR Newsletter:

1. If you ask or encourage new groups to submit articles or calendar items to PAR, please give them a copy of these tips.
2. Submit copy by e-mail, either as regular text or as an MS Word or attachment (.doc or .docx).
3. If you are a first-time author for the PAR Newsletter, thank you! We hope you will subscribe and encourage others in your organization to do so.
4. If you know of someone who wants to write an article but does not use e-mail, send an e-mail to us with that person’s name and phone number.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT INSERTS

We prefer to carry articles and calendar listings rather than inserts. But if you have an insert to include in the Newsletter, we ask you to send the information contained in the flyer to this e-mail address as well so that it can be easily added to the PAR calendar.

Your organization must make and pay for the inserts. We will be able to handle only those inserts that are a full sheet (8.5 x 11) or half-sheet (8.5 x 5.5) of paper. We cannot accept postcards or cardstock flyers. There is a fee of $7 for inserts.

E-mail us if you’d to join our monthly planning meetings or help with the mailings. We always welcome more helpers and new ideas.

We’re looking forward to your articles! Thank you for your help in creating this community newsletter.

– PAR Planning Committee

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