Upcoming Events

This posts are written over time, listing upcoming events that I hope to attend, write about, or encourage others to consider.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit

It is said that “time is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen at once”. Perhaps there is something unnatural about the time we live in, because it seems like too many things are happening at the same time.

I like to start off each month with “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” to bring the childhood hope of a lucky month. As I write my “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” post, I like to reflect on what has gone on the month before and what is in the cards for the coming month. I might have to be three different rabbits to chase all that is going on, but I remember the old saying, chase two hares, catch none.

Last month was very busy. A lot of my focus has been on Connecticut Politics as there have been conventions going on. Also, Nokia came out with an update for their N900 phone and with the latest news from Google, there has been a lot going on. Through all of this, I’ve been falling further and further behind in my emails.

It isn’t the four hundred unread emails that bother me so much as the dangling discussions that I need to share my thoughts on. Some of my group psychotherapist friends have been discussing conflict resolution and the situation in Israel has emerged as a key theme. Another fascinating discussion is about ‘government relationship management’. This is taking the idea of a customer relationship management system, turning it on its head as part of Berkman Institute’s work on vendor relationship management, adding a little open government and applying the ideas to our political process.

Of course this leads to Personal Democracy Forum which will take place later this week in New York City. Then, there is Internet Week, where I hope to have some interesting discussions about politics and marketing. The America’s Future Now conference, overlaps with Internet Week and it looks like I won’t make it down to DC for that conference this year. All of this is followed by my Thirtieth College Reunion.

Unfortunately, all of these require money in one way or another and that has been in short supply recently, so higher on the list is finding some new consulting contracts.

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This Week In Woodbridge

After a particularly quiet week last week, this week in Woodbridge starts off with a flurry of activity. On Monday, starting at 6 PM, there will be a special meeting of the Board of Selectmen to review department budget requests for FY2011 and to vote on the recommendations to the Board of Finance for the FY2011 budget. At the same time, the Board of Fire Commissions will hold a meeting at the new fire house. This meeting will also be discussing budgets, building use. The EMS Commission is scheduled to start at 7 PM at the Town Hall.

Over at Beecher Road, there are two meetings taking place, both starting at 7 PM. The regular meeting of the Woodbridge Board of Education is scheduled for the Media Center. At the meeting, there will be a report on the monthly enrollment as well as actions on the school district’s participation in the Open Choice Program and the Wintergreen Magnet School.

The board is also scheduled to act on a recommendation of the BRS Town Building Committee to retain Dimeo Construction as the construction manager for the BRS building project. Acting as a committee of the whole, the board will review curriculum issues as well as the strategic school profile.

The recreation commission will meet at the same time at the South Assembly Room. The agenda will cover mostly the same topics as the January agenda, but in a slightly different order.

At the Library on Wednesday evening, starting at 5:30, there will be a career networking meeting. The regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen is scheduled to take place at the Town Hall starting at 6 PM. The Woodbridge Park Association is also reportedly meeting on Wednesday and the Massaro Farm Board is reportedly meeting on Thursday. There will also be a screening of The Time Traveler’s Wife at the library starting at 7 PM on Thursday.

Ending off the week will be The Hoot at Beecher Road School from 11:30 to 3:30. Also, starting at 1 PM on Saturday will be storytelling about maple syrup starting at the public library, followed by a hike in the Alice Newton Street Park.

This will be followed by a Gala Purim Masquerade Ball at Congregation B’nai Jacob in Woodbridge starting at 6:15 PM. Sunday, starting at 3 PM there will be a Purim Carnival at the Jewish Community Center.

(Cross-posted at the Woodbridge Citizen).

The Crowd Sourcing Winter Vacation Contest

Fiona’s week long school vacation starts a week from tomorrow. It will include Valentine’s day, President’s day, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, and probably some other important days I am not aware of. In other years, we haven’t really done anything special during winter vacation. It has conflicted with my work or my wife’s work. However, this year, we really need a few days away.

We’ve talked about various things to do. We could go into New York City, or maybe up to Boston for a day of exploring museums. We could go Cape Cod for a few days and walk on quiet beaches. I started looking for ideas online.

One site I checked was Festivals.com. They listed Dance Flurry, the great folk dancing festival up in Saratoga Springs, NY. Last summer at Falcon Ridge, we spent a bit of time with folks from Bungieville, a group of dancers from Long Island that always camp together at Falcon Ridge, and dance together at Saratoga Springs. Unfortunately, it conflicts with a few things, so we won’t be at Dance Flurry.

Festivals.com also listed the Chainsaw Rendezvoux. This is a weeklong gathering of chainsaw artists in western Pennsylvania. It seems like a fairly long trip to see some chainsaw artists in action, but it does sound very interesting.

The State of Maine’s Festival Page for February listed a nice collection of winter festivals, and we might head up there. However, many of them are focused on snowmobile races or ice car races. Races don’t rank high on our list of interesting things, but there is also going to be ice sculptures and fireworks.

I’ve wondered if sites like Dopplr, Where Are You Now?, CouchSurfing, Yelp, 43 Places, Upcoming, Foursquare, BrightKite, or some other set of sites might be helpful in finding a special vacation.

Then, it occurred to me, why don’t I put this request out on my blog, and spread it to various social media sites? So, I open it up to friends, followers, readers, and anyone else that stumbles across this website. Share your best idea for inexpensive, interesting things to do in the North Eastern United States for a husband, wife, and eight year old girl. If I get some good ideas, I’ll recap them in a later blog post, and perhaps do some blogging and other social media activities from the event. If it comes from a blog in one of my blog networks, I’ll through a little link love in there too.

So, what do you say? What fun events are happening in mid February?

Random Updates

First the first time in many days, I’ve caught up on the email, and read my minimum quota of blog posts. By caught up on email, I mean that I’ve read every email that has come into my two main email accounts this month. I still have 167 to reply to and 92 of them are marked urgent in my in box, and with another 43 marked urgent stuck away in various folders.

Some emails will be a bit of work to respond to. I’ve been helping various people out with their websites, and some of the responses are long. Others, should really be worked into blog posts, but I may not ever get around to giving them the attention they need. So, instead, I’m going to highlight various things

Grapski v. Alachua

One issue I’ve been following closely is the case of Charlie Grapski and his various issues with assorted authorities in Alachua County Florida. Earlier this month, Circuit Judge James Nilon called Charlie Grapski a ‘bully’.

Circuit Judge James Nilon shook his head as he looked at Alachua political activist Charles Grapski. …

“That day, you didn’t want to seek access to the courts,” Nilon said. “…You couldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

Nilon said Grapski uses his “intellect to bully people.”

“In my view, you don’t know where your individual liberties end,” Nilon said.

A few weeks later, A state district court ruled that Alachua violated state open records law. Charlie Grapski wouldn’t seek no for an answer when the county was breaking the law. Instead of being arrested and bullied by the police, he should have been given a medal.

Upcoming Events

January 25th Robert Burns Birthday! Hoist a dram to wash down a bite of haggis as we honor the famous Scottish Bard. Also, the Beecher Road Parent Teacher Organization is having a big meeting in the evening.

January 26th, 9:30 A Forum on State Budget Reform and Connecticut’s Economic Development Strategies will take place in the Old Judiciary Room at the State Capitol in Hartford.

January 29th The movie, “The End of Poverty?” will return to New York City showing at the Cinema Village.

January 31st A Democratic “Party for the Party” will take place Sunday afternoon from 4 to 6 PM at The Fat Cat Company, 9 Wall Street, Norwalk, CT. This is a free party with a chance to meet candidates for Senator, Governor, Congress, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Comptroller, Attorney General and the State Legislature.

February 5th and 6th For those of you interested in traditional journalism, the New England Newspaper and Press Association 2010 Convention will take place in Boston.

February 6th For those interested in newer forms of journalism, PodCampWesternMass will take place Westfield State College.

A final note: Today is National Pie Day. Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford, CT is having a special pie sale today and tomorrow to celebrate.

There are a lot of other random updates that I should include, but that’s good enough for now. Time to step away from the computer and enjoy the beautiful day.

Blogger’s Notebook

It is a rainy Sunday morning about two weeks before municipal elections in Connecticut. My inbox has piled up with various notices and it seems like a good time for another Blogger’s Notebook post, highlighting some of the notices and clearing my queue.

At the top of the list are notices about voter registration. Since we do not yet have election day registration in our state it is even more important to look at when your last chance to register will be. Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz as well as various civic involvement organizations have been working hard to get more citizens registered. For those wishing to register by mail, voter registration cards must be postmarked by Tuesday October 20th. If you wish to register in person you have until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday October 27th to make it to your Registrar of Voters office.

Politicians are all out this weekend meeting potential voters. Since the elections are municipal elections, many of the candidates lack name recognition and the draw is often the better-known politicians stumping for the local candidates.

On Sunday Senator Chris Dodd, Mayor Dan Malloy, Ned Lamont, State Treasurer Denise Nappier, State Comptroller Nancy Wyman, and State Representatives Roberta Willis and Michelle Cook will be attending various events supporting local candidates in Torrington, Harwinton, and Goshen. The Torrington event will take place at Torrington Democratic Headquarters, 29 Main Street, Torrington, 2 p.m. Harwinton will have a turkey roast at 215 Locust Road, Harwinton for $25 per person and the Goshen event will take place at Goshen Town Hall Conference Room, Route 63, Goshen, 2-4 p.m.

Yesterday, Senator Dodd, along with his wife Jackie Clegg Dodd and Milford Democratic Mayoral hopeful Genevieve Salvatore all participated in the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network’s (FAAN) 3rd annual “Walk for Food Allergy: Moving Toward a Cure”. The Dodd’s daughter and the Salvatore’s son both suffer from severe allergies.

Ned Lamont is also out stumping for other Ms. Salvatore at 100 Lansdale Avenue in Milford this morning, after also having been out stumping for David Martin in Stamford.

In other electioneering, the New Haven Register has an interesting article, Tweeting for Votes on the use of social media in local elections. The article is worthy of a blog post in and of itself discussing some of the views expressed there.

In other news about Twitter and politics, CTNewsJunkie reports Twitter has sided with the Democrats over the fake Twitter accounts the CT GOP had set up. These accounts have been taken down.

One of the important aspects of the municipal elections in many locations will be board of education elections. One board of education announcement that came across my desk from several different directions was the announcement that “Alex Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), a New Haven-based education reform advocacy group, has been appointed by Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. to serve on the New Haven Board of Education.”

I met Mr. Johnston at a conference on education at Yale and New Haven is lucky to have him. The conference was during the confirmation hearings for Linda McMahon to be appointed to the State Board of Education. State Rep. Andrew Fleischmann at the time spoke vehemently against McMahon’s appointment. With her current run for U.S. Senate, McMahon’s work at WWE is coming under much greater criticism, as highlighted in this blog post on MyLeftNutmeg.

As a final note about electoral politics, CTNewsJunkie also reports about an informational forum planned by the Government Administration and Elections Committee on the Citizens’ Election Program. This program was struck down by a judge and needs prompt modifications if it is to be used for the 2010 election cycle. The forum will take place at the Legislative Office Building on Thursday at 11 AM. Hopefully, I will be able to attend and live blog the event.

Last Thursday, there was a Bus Rapid Transit Symposium at the Legislative Office Building. On Monday, there will be a “2009 Prospering Communities, Thriving Families” conference at the Hartford Downtown Marriott. The week ends off with International Day of Climate Action on Saturday. From 1 to 4:40 there will a Family Fun Day at the Massaro Farm at 41 Ford Road in Woodbridge. Community Supported Agriculture shares in the farm are expected to be available at the family day. This is a practical, fun, and close to home way to help fight climate change.

There will also be events at the lower green in New Haven on Saturday starting at 2 PM as well as a potluck dinner and discussion at the Quaker Meetinghouse on 225 East Grand Avenue starting at 5 PM.

Unfortunately, we are supposed to be attending an event in New Hampshire and will most likely miss these events.

On the national level, I need to finish up my work on my response to Cablevision’s request to encrypt basic cable in New York City. I’m also working on my thoughts for the FTC hearings in Washington in December about the future of journalism.

The FCC has now posted an independent review of the FCC by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Next Generation Connectivity: A review of broadband Internet transitions and policy from around the world. That is on the to do list, as well as following legislation to support public access television as well as Local Community Radio Act (HR 1147).

In other tidbits, David Plouffe campaign manager for Obama's presidential campaign will be speaking in Second Life as part of the fall public affairs lecture series, “Assessing Obama's First Year.” . You can find more information at http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2010/oct/plouffe101609.html

The GoodNewsNetwork highlights an article about a Former refugee who recycles US hotel soap for Uganda

The Country Club of Woodbridge is having an open house today. It is a rainy day which might not be best for the open house. However, they have discounts on membership in effect until the end of the month, so it is worth stopping by and checking out.

Finally, for this morning, Bill Chmura has written about his first batch of hard cider. Bill and I have been emailing back and forth, and I need to follow up with him on his latest adventures.

There are plenty of other items I would have liked to highlight, but the notebook is long enough, and I have other tasks to get to.

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