Monthly Archives: August 2012

Hartford “Upward and Onward” in Delta Mag in September

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If you are flying Delta Airlines soon pick up its Sky Magazine…you’ll recognize the featured city if you are from around these parts.

Hartford is the 16-page centerpiece in the magazine you will find in the seat pockets and online at  beginning Sept. 1. And as the centerpiece, it is also pitched as an official Delta profile destination.

 The magazine’s monthly article on different cities features businesses, attractions and celebrities who help to make the city a dynamic place to visit for leisure and business travelers.

Among the celebrities in the article are ESPN sportscaster  Chris Berman, artist Walter Wick, former UConn player,  University of Hartford women’s basketball coach Jen Rizzotti, Gov. Dannel Malloy and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

In the table of contents, the story tease notes …  “Hartford: Long a magnet for Yankee ingenuity. Connecticut’s historic capital mixes business, bioscience and the good life.”

Coincidentally, former Windsor resident John Moreton is the associate publisher of Delta Sky, a  job he did not start however, until after Hartford had been chosen for the piece!


Scooping For A CCMC Cause In West Hartford

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You could barely walk along the sidewalk on South Main Street in West Hartford Thursday what with all the action including a band, dogs, the crowd and drippy ice cream cones.

The “inconvenience” around Ben & Jerry’s was all for a good cause though. It was “Gabriella’s Scoop Night” once again.

The event is sponsored each August by the Girodano family, whose now 9-year-old daughter, Gabriella Giordano, underwent open-heart surgery at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center several years ago. Since then, the family has hosted the evening with Ben & Jerry’s donating a portion of the money raised to the center and this year, its new Cardiovascular Care Center.

“I am hoping to scoop this year,” said Gabriella who turned 9 earlier in the week as she watched supporters arrive and the ice cream party begin. “I want to keep this going for a long time,” said the second-grader about the family’s efforts to raise money for the center. “I’m excited that people come.”

This year’s event also included live entertainment and a contingent from the West Hartford police department and its canine unit.

Among the “celebrity” scoopers who donated time to the event were West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka, as well as WFSB reporter Susan Raff, fresh off a vacation in Paris and Barcelona.

CT’s Charles Grodin Lends Celeb to Recovery Month

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Charles Grodin is best known as the star of films including “Midnight Run” and “Beethoven,” but the Connecticut actor is also a humanitarian. He quietly stepped up a few weeks ago to film a public service announcement for Laurel House, a Stamford -based organization that provides resources and opportunities for people living with mental illness. A well-known comedian and tv talk show host, the 77-year-old Wilton resident said he was impressed by the work being done by the non-profit and when approached, agreed to lend his celeb to the cause to raise awareness during September, National Recovery Month. Active on several non-profit boards, Grodin had just returned from a weekend getaway in Maine to visit fellow comedian and actor Bob Elliot, when he Spilled the Beans with Java.

Q: What was it about Laurel House that put you back in front of the cameras?

A: I actually do about 20 events a year and it’s usually because I say “yes” to people when others say “no.” It this case, I said yes but did not fully grasp what it was the organization did. I visited there and was impressed. It struck me that when you have mental issues, you must feel very alone. I have never had problems or dealt with those extremes in my life but realized it must be comforting and helpful to have a place where there are others who understand and can help so you are not so isolated.

Q: What do you think your voice adds to the cause?

A: I don’t know if it is really true or not but I am told my CBS news that my show on its website is one of the most downloaded features. I think it boils down to celebrity calls attention to a cause so I guess I help in that way.

Q: As a commentator and news guy, what do you think when it comes to the state of journalism these days?

A: I don’t think the presentation of news is clear. I read four or five papers a day and too much seems to be written from an insiders point of view. Too many questions are not answered. As far as blogs and social networking, horrible. Too many of the writers don’t know what they are writing about and it is all based on attack. And as far as the political campaigns, I find them impossible to watch. There is no real discussion. It just feels like you are watching big pep rallies.

Q: Speaking of politics, as a Connecticut voter, Murphy or McMahon?

A: I was pulling for Chris Shays. I thought he was an experienced, knowledgeable fella. I’m not quite understanding the WWE and the jobs it created and I really don’t know enough about Murphy other than he is going to be outspent.

Q: There are credible rumors that a sequel to “Midnight Run” is in the works.  Have you been approached about reprising Duke?

A: I don’t know that. I had pitched an idea for a sequel and the last thing I heard was there would be a script. But no one said I would be in it and I don’t assume anything. There is also talk of another Beethoven sequel too. As far as Midnight Run, I probably wouldn’t do it because my son said I shouldn’t and I pretty much listen to him.

Q: Would you ever do a movie again?

A: It would have to be something that people would be interested in seeing. I have been with CNBC, MSNBC, CBS  the last 17 years. My focus has been more on news and being involved with charities. I don’t go to the movies much. The last one I went to in recent memory was “To Rome With Love,” a Woody Allen movie.

Q: What is something no one knows about you?

A: I was valedictorian of my high school class in Pittsburgh, Pa. But my grade point average was only 3.7. At our school the president of the class was automatically the valedictorian. What is ironic is that when I was class president I was impeached by the teacher. She said I talked incessantly. That was at Peabody High School. It was just closed because it was overrun by a gang. Gene Kelly went to high school there too, although he was older than me. My grandparents lived on the same block as his grandparents.


It’s Labor Day Weekend, Play Hard!

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Celebrate Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer in style with a variety of events meant to offer fun for the entire family and in some cases, help others as well.

The Connecticut Children’s Medical Center will be on the receiving end of some altruistic efforts this weekend including a weekend-long radio-thon and  the annual “Gabriella’s Scoop Night” at Ben & Jerry’s on South Main Street in West Hartford Thursday.

Let celebrity scoopers serve you ice cream from 6 to 9 p.m. with proceeds benefiting the hospital.  The annual event is organized by the Giordano family, whose 9-year-daughter Gabriella was successfully treated there. Proceeds from the evening benefit the hospital’s new Cardiovascular Care Center. (I am scooping from 6 to 6:30 p.m. and really do a good job! Come visit!)

Ghosts your thing? On Friday head over to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford for “Spirits of Stowe” at 7:30 p.m. Since it was first constructed, five people have died at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and this tour will allow guests the opportunity to sense their presence. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about Stowe’s interest in Spiritualism and the paranormal as you walk around the house with a K2 meter and Digital Voice Recorder. Admission: $15. Reserve your spot by calling (860) 522-9258, ext. 317

On Saturday and Sunday, enjoy the Riverfront U.S. Title Series Powerboat Race at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza in Hartford. The event will be the conclusion of a six-month season in the U.S. Title Series as world record racers from around the country will race their custom two-stroke engine boats through Hartford and East Hartford.

Country fair time continues with the Woodstock Fair, in South Woodstock, the state’s second oldest agricultural fair at 152 years old. From Friday through Monday activities include crafts, food, livestock shows, petting zoo, free stage shows, go-kart races, strolling entertainers and much more.

The Goshen Fairgrounds in Goshen will be home to the 100th Goshen Fair. The weekend-long event will feature a special Saturday evening concert followed by fireworks, and a Monster Truck show on Sunday.

Lime Rock Park in Lakeville will host Historic Festival 30 with three days of  on-track racing featuring more than 300 vintage race cars.

The  Haddam Neck Fair at the Haddam Neck Fairgrounds, 26 Quarry Hill Road, East Hampton opens Friday and continues through Monday. The agriculture fair features a baking contest, tractor pulling, horse show, road race, exhibits, family entertainment, midway, truck and tractor pulls and much more.

It’s an end of the summer tradition east of the river,  Farm Day Saturday  at the Fish Family Farm at 20 Dimock Lane Bolton, from  10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Enjoy live bluegrass music, farm animals, hay rides, bounce houses, face painting, games, a Farmer’s Market, and of course…lots of farm fresh ice cream. It is co-hosted by Lutz Children’s Museum. Admission is $6 per person ($5 for Lutz Children’s Museum members). (860) 643-0949

For more information go to:

High School Reporter At FoxCt

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FOXCT has added Ben Goldman, a Connecticut high schooler, to its news team.  According to reports, Goldman will only report on charity events around Connecticut

Goldman, a brain cancer survivor, hosts “Ben Goldman’s Charity Corner” which is listed on the station’s website as raising awareness for various charities around Connecticut.

The Wethersfield High School junior also covers sports for WCTV 14, Wethersfield’s public access channel.

WFSB Daniels/Martin Moving Up

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Some changes going on over at WFSB too!

Tina Martin is very excited about being named the station’s new weekend anchor.

“I have great news to share,” she announces on her Facebook page Tuesday night. “I  look forward to waking up with all of you!”

And on Twitter at about the same time, anchor Dennis House announced he has a new , on-air partner.

“I am pleased to tell you Hena Daniels will be my new co-anchor at 11.”

Daniels returned to WFSB earlier this year as weekend anchor after a stint at a sister station in Atlanta.

And lastly, Kevin Hogan, shoreline bureau chief, will also be taking on weekend anchor duties.

WTNH Erica Grow Going…

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After a little more than a year at WTNH in New Haven, meteorologist Erica Grow is moving on, to WUSA9, a CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.

Grow, who joined the Storm Team 8 in April, 2011, leaves the station on Sept. 9 and begins her new gig on Sept. 12.

“My hours were cut back to part-time at WTNH and the new job is a full-time one,” explained Grow who will do weekend evening weather and reporting during the week at her new job.  “While I had planned to stay in Connecticut longer, Washington D.C. will be a return to the big, big market. ”

Before coming to WTNH, Erica was a weekend meteorologist at WPVI in Philadelphia and has also anchored and produced weather coverage at WHP-TV Harrisburg and KMID-TV Midland, Texas.

Erica is a 2002 graduate of Pennsylvania State University and has a B.S. in Meteorology.

2012 Best of CT Announced

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It’s that time of year again when Connecticut Magazine announces its coveted “Best of Connecticut”  list.

The Hartford area did not fare badly with some repeat winners and some new ones as well, according to the list in the September issue.

Shady Glen in Manchester was deemed best cheeseburger; Wood-n-Tap best burger sliders; Grants Restaurant in West Hartford , best chocolate cake,  and Close Harbour Seafood in Southington, best Manhattan clam chowder.

Also in the foods category, Jojo’s in downtown Hartford was deemed best coffee bar, best crab cakes when to Carmen Anthony’s Steakhouse in Waterbury (although the crab cakes are available at all locations including Wethersfield location,) best Jewish deli, Rein’s New York-Style Deli and best diner, O’Rourke’s in Middletown.

On20 in downtown Hartford was deemed Best Bird’s Eye View at Dinner, Best Fried Chicken went to Greer’s in Bristol, and Best Guacamole, Besito in West Hartford. UConn Dairy Bar got the nod for Best Ice Cream and Hartford’s Carbone’s for best Caesar Salad. Best Cobb Salad went to Max Downtown in Hartford while Hartford’s  Salute won Best Side Dish for its mac’n cheese.

When it came to drinking, winners were Best Bloody Mary, Max Fish in Glastonbury ; Best Margarita, Coyote Blue in Middletown; the Cottage Restaurant in Plainville for Best Manhattan; Thomas Hooker Brewing for best Connecticut beer, and McKinnon’s West Hartford for Best Irish Pub.

Rooftop 120 was named Best Outdoor Bar, Sliders in Plainville for Best Sports Bar and Fleming’s in West Hartford for Best Wine By The Glass.

In the attractions category, Hartford’s  Connecticut Science Center won Best Indoor Family Amusement and Lake Compounce in Bristol, Best Outdoor Family Amusement.  New Britain Museum of American Art was named best Art Museum and Cinestudio in Hartford, Best Independent Cinema. New Britain Rock Cats was named Best Night at the Park, Artisan’s Marketplace in Plainville as Best Crafts Gallery, West Hartford Center as Best Destination Shopping, and Lux, Bond & Green in West Hartford,  Best Fine Jewelry Store.


For the complete list go to:

Taste of The Suburbs Dining Deals This Week

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Well, we just got done with “Taste of Hartford” and its $20.12 dinner specials.

Now it’s time to head out to the suburbs for dining deals.

Through Sept. 2, nearly a dozen restaurants in West Hartford, Glastonbury, Manchester, Wethersfield and Windsor will be offering similar dining deals! Go out to eat!