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New Yale Management Campus

On Thursday Yale University opened the new Edward P. Evans Hall – School of Management Campus.

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New Haven, CT 01/09/14 – Final preparations were being done as Yale University opened its new School of Management campus, the Edward P. Evans Hall, on Thursday with a three-day conference in advance of students’ return next week. The school is very proud of this new, modern building, ” With its striking modern design, glass façade, and large courtyard, Evans Hall will take its place among the architectural landmarks that distinguish the Yale campus.”. Photo by JOHN WOIKE | woike@courant.com

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State Police Graduation

Connecticut State Police Trooper Trainees Alexander Cintron, Adam List and Gregory Sawicki sing the National Anthem at the start of the State Police 123rd Training Troop graduation at the University of Connecticut in Storrs Thursday. Eighty three graduated and will be patrolling the state.

Connecticut State Police Trooper Trainees Alexander Cintron, Adam List and Gregory Sawicki sing the National Anthem at the start of the State Police 123rd Training Troop graduation at the University of Connecticut in Storrs Thursday. Eighty three graduated and will be patrolling the state.

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“Everything you need for a year-round business, all lost in a day,”

Hartford – Louis Sanzaro IV looked around his wrecked office Tuesday morning in a warehouse destroyed by fire the night before. It reminded him of his seven months in Iraq. “It was just like Fallujah or something” he said later. “That’s what it looks like.”
2014.01.07  Louis Sanzaro IV stood amongst the ruins of heavy equipment that was once his landscaping and construction company. He suspects the fire started in a new truck that had some electrical problems, he said. Fire officials continue to investigate the cause.

2014.01.07 2014.01.07 Louis Sanzaro IV stood amid the ruins of heavy equipment that was once his landscaping and construction company. He suspects the fire started in a new truck that had some electrical problems, he said. Fire officials continue to investigate the cause. Photo by JOHN WOIKE | woike@courant.com

Sanzaro got a call about the fire about 11:40 p.m. Monday from an acquaintace who saw that the back of the building was burning. Sanzaro raced to the scene from his Wethersfield home and watched his livelihood go up in flames. For the rest of Christine Dempsey’s click here:

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Cava Restaurant Decorates For Christmas

Every year, Cava Restaurant is a holiday attraction for more than just its food. The owners of the Italian restaurant, on West St. in Southington, have invested approximately $50,000 in seasonal decorations to make the dining experience unique and festive for the holiday season. Each room is decorated in a different theme, and each year the themes change.

The main hallway runs down the center of the restaurant. The doorway to the left leads to the fireplace room, and the center hall leads to the tavern, which is decorated in a winter white wonderland theme.

The main hallway runs down the center of the restaurant. The doorway to the left leads to the fireplace room, and the center hall leads to the tavern, which is decorated in a winter white wonderland theme.

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Connecticut’s First Snowfall of 2014

It didn’t take long for Connecticut to receive a decent snowfall in the new year. The snow started early Thursday morning and continued throughout the day into Friday morning, leaving much of the state covered with snow. The high winds and low temperatures are also a concern, as mentioned in this weather story by Christine Dempsey.

John Sassu clears the driveway of his Bristol home, as the wind works against him and also paints the trees white. The first storm of the new year hit Connecticut Thursday night and into Friday.

John Sassu clears the driveway of his Bristol home, as the wind works against him and also paints the trees white. The first storm of the new year hit Connecticut Thursday night and into Friday.

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Toni Harp – New Haven’s 50th and First Female Mayor

Mayor Toni Harp was sworn in Wednesday, becoming the city’s first female mayor and the first new mayor elected in 20 years.

Harp, a Democrat, served 11 consecutive terms in the state Senate, beginning in 1992. She defeated Justin Elicker in the Nov. 5 election last year to become mayor.

State Sen. Toni Nathaniel Harp was sworn in as New Haven’s 50th and first female mayor on New Year’s Day as her daughter Djana holds onto the bible while her son Matthew looks on at Hill Regional Career High School, which was designed by Harp’s late husband, Wendell. (Daughter Jamil is hidden behind Djana)

State Sen. Toni Nathaniel Harp was sworn in as New Haven’s 50th and first female mayor on New Year’s Day as her daughter Djana holds onto the bible while her son Matthew looks on at Hill Regional Career High School, which was designed by Harp’s late husband, Wendell. (Daughter Jamil is hidden behind Djana)

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UConn Women Dominate Duke 83-61

We all have “Bucket Lists”, mine included Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of the “Cameron Crazies”, which open in 1940 on the West Campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. It has been the site of many memorable basketball games, Tuesday night pitted the #1 UConn Huskies women’s basketball team against #2 ranked Duke. When the dust settled from the wood bleachers one thing was certain, UConn has few teams that can play 40 minutes at their level…

It was #1 UConn against #2 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC, Tuesday evening. At the conclusion of the game it was clear there are few teams that will be able to knock the Huskies from their lofty perch.

It was #1 UConn against #2 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC, Tuesday evening. At the conclusion of the game it was clear there are few teams that will be able to knock the Huskies from their lofty perch.

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80th Anniversary of Prohibition

If you’re in the mood for a drink, go ahead a grab a glass and toast to your ability to do so. This week, since it is the eightieth anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. According to this Wikipedia post, the “nationwide ban on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages,” lasted from 1920 to 1933. Below in this post are a series of photographs, gathered from various sources, from that era.

New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach (R) watches agents pour liquor into a sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition in an undated photo held by the Library of Congress. REUTERS/Library of Congress/Handout via Reuters

New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach (R) watches agents pour liquor into a sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition in an undated photo held by the Library of Congress. REUTERS/Library of Congress/Handout via Reuters

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77th Manchester Road Race

A beautiful, yet cold, Thanksgiving morning saw the successful running of the 77th Manchester Road Race. As is tradition, skilled and dedicated runners from around the country and world, were joined by local runners and walkers who ran the race in funny costumes.

The crowd at the start of the 2013 Manchester Road Race. (MRR Photo by John Long)

The crowd at the start of the 2013 Manchester Road Race. (MRR Photo by John Long)

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A Time For Giving Thanks

Living in an increasingly divided, tumultuous and complicated world, the Thanksgiving holiday offers an opportunity to truly reflect on our personal blessings. For many, the value of these blessings is even more treasured as they reflect on times of struggle. To some, adversity came long ago. Others are in the midst of difficult challenges today. Yet finding genuine reasons to be thankful can help us to persevere. There is a time to focus on our troubles for it helps us to recognize them, confront them and, with luck, overcome them. But our nature also demands time for reflection, which helps us establish our priorities, realize how much we depend upon each other, and remain humble. Here we offer you the stories of a few individuals who have faced challenges in their lives, and their brief reflections on what makes them grateful.

I asked one question “What are you thankful for?”

Giving Thanks

Dan Crowley, Simsbury

On April 9, 1942, U.S. General Edward King surrendered to the Japanese army after a battle on the Philippine peninsula of Bataan. Dan Crowley and a group of other soldiers didn’t obey that order — they fought on. Swimming to the small island of Corregidor, in Manila Bay, Private Crowley somehow dodged the artillery for nearly a month before being forced to surrender. The horrific World War II event that followed is now known as the Bataan Death March. U.S. and Philippine soldiers suffered unspeakable atrocities, and later, Crowley was enslaved 2,000 feet underground in a copper mine until Japan finally surrendered in September of 1945. Through the years, Crowley shared those memories with a fellow P.O.W. and best friend, Harry Johnson, who also survived the experience after being lucky enough to be dug out of a pile of corpses when someone heard him moan. That friendship ended three years ago at the passing of that kindred soul. Over the last year or so, Crowley also lost his wife of sixty-six years to cancer, and has been pre-deceased by his sixty-two-year-old son.

Crowley answers my question about thankfulness and shares his stories with so much passion and perspective.

“I’m thankful to be alive. Thankful that I was somehow chosen to still be alive. All my friends, who I was with in the rotten Japanese slave labor camps are dead,” he says sitting in the drivers seat of his bright red 1997 Mustang Cobra sports car. “I savor life, the Simsbury resident says. “I was in bad shape for a while. No corporation would hire us, when we got home. I went out and sold on my own for straight commission.” Crowley is also grateful for his family, especially his father who he learned so much from, and his wife, who’s parting advice to him was to find a young woman and enjoy life. So what is he doing with the life he is lucky to keep living? “Eat, sleep and make love,” he punctuates with a hearty and sustained laughter.

At 2:00 p.m. on December 7, the state of Connecticut is dedicating a bridge in the Weatogue section of Simsbury the “Bataan Corregidor Memorial Bridge.” Crowley will be communication with the pilots to perfectly time the military fly-over.

“I’m thankful that finally recognition is being given to the memory of the men of Connecticut and throughout the United states,” he says. Crowley has led the effort for years, saying, “his is not about veterans, it’s about those who died in the battle and aftermath as prisoner slave laborers. They must not be forgotten.”

VIEW FOUR MORE  STORIES HERE

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First Night Of Hanukkah

Beth David synagogue celebrated the first night of Hanukkah at the nightly sunset service center in their West Hartford synagogue. The synagogue normally has a larger celebration, however, Rabbi Yitzchok Adler, said the service is smaller this year because it coincides with Thanksgiving. “Normally we have a big Hanukkah event but you can’t compete with Thanksgiving,” he said.

Larry Cohen, of West Hartford, kisses his Grandson, Liam Zenick, also of West Hartford, during a reception after the first night of Hanukkah. Cohen said it was Liam's first Hanukkah.

Larry Cohen, of West Hartford, kisses his Grandson, Liam Zenick, also of West Hartford, during a reception after the first night of Hanukkah. Cohen said it was Liam’s first Hanukkah.

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UConn Defeats Stanford 76-57

STORRS — Most times, it happens just once a season. But for some strange reason, the sight of Stanford-UConn doesn’t seem to generate the kind of national excitement it seemingly should.

Then again, sometimes in the midst of a hard-fought game between two elite programs, the fire and joy of what transpires is overshadowed.

Not by disinterest, but by the concern for a young woman injured in its pursuit.

No. 1 UConn beat No. 3 Stanford, 76-57, on Monday at Gampel Pavilion, their first meeting at Geno Auriemma‘s castle in the cow pasture since 1993, when national championships were just a dream for him. For the rest of John Altavilla’s story click here:

Jonathan the Husky Dog unveils the 8th national championship banner before the No.1 UConn women defeated No. 3 Stanford 76-57 at Gampel Pavilion Monday night.

Jonathan the Husky Dog unveils the 8th national championship banner before the No.1 UConn women defeated No. 3 Stanford 76-57 at Gampel Pavilion Monday night.

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Field Of Flags Veterans’ Memorial

6,674 flags waved at church goers as they entered United Congregational Church in Tolland. Each flag represented one U.S. soldier lost during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

A ceremony was held at the church Sunday afternoon, to honor those lost, as well as veterans and fallen veterans of all wars and current service members as well. The service included the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, and the singing of the National Anthem and America The Beautiful, as well as a prayer for peace.

The “Field of Flags Memorial” was planted by members of the congregation on October 25th, and will be displayed through November 15th, to remember the lost.

The Honor Guard, of the Tolland Fire Department, leads the procession outside near the end of the ceremony.

The Honor Guard, of the Tolland Fire Department, leads the procession outside near the end of the ceremony.

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Class L Field Hockey Rematch – Conard beats Hall 3-1

Last week, the Conard and Hall field hockey teams — crosstown rivals — played to a tie.

That was unsatisfying to both teams.

They got another chance to face each other Wednesday night in a first-round game in the Class L state tournament, this time with no chance to tie.

But ninth-seeded Conard didn’t want to take any chances. The Chieftains scored seven minutes into the game and then twice more to beat No. 8 Hall, 3-1. For Lori Riley’s complete story click here:

 Kiernan Henderson (L) got the scoring started for Conard at the 23:14 mark of the first half as she slips the ball past Hall goalie Kathleen Keegand Wednesday night.

Kiernan Henderson (L) got the scoring started for Conard at the 23:14 mark of the first half as she slips the ball past Hall goalie Kathleen Keegand Wednesday night.

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Erin Stewart, New Britain’s New Mayor, Ready to Serve

New Britain’s newly elected twenty-six-year-old Mayor, Erin Stewart, has a little experience with that office. Her father, Tim Stewart, held that office for four terms. Now elected to her first political position, Stewart is quickly working to prepare herself, her staff, and her city for the transition after defeating Mayor Tim O’Brien Tuesday night. After a late night of celebrating with her supporters at the Whinstone Tavern at Stanley Golf Course, in New Britain Tuesday night, Stewart was at her campaign office Wednesday morning to conduct television interviews and start the transition into her new job. Click here to read Don Stacom’s election night story.

The day after winning the New Britain Mayoral election,  Erin Stewart, twenty-six, is working toward preparing for her inauguration next week. Stewart, a Republican, whose father, Tim Stewart, also served as the Mayor of New Britain, was at her campaign office Wednesday morning.

The day after winning the New Britain Mayoral election, Erin Stewart, twenty-six, is working toward preparing for her inauguration next week. Stewart, a Republican, whose father, Tim Stewart, also served as the Mayor of New Britain, was at her campaign office Wednesday morning.

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Red Sox Win 2013 World Series in Game 6

The Boston Red Sox are World Champions again! And for the first time since 1918, they won it at Fenway Park. Fitting for the occasion, David Ortiz took a World Champions banner and waved it over home plate, facing the Fenway Park sign, and all the past divisional and series pennants displayed below it.

Ortiz was named Series MVP, and seemed to will this team to victory, especially in the crucial Game 4, but the win was a true team effort, with everyone contributing something to the special win. As in most winning teams, the chemistry of the players was as important as the talent on the field.

The atmosphere at Fenway was magical as fireworks exploded behind the Green Monster, and smoke filled the stadium. Fans rushed on the field to stand on home plate, pitch from the mound, and capture a little of the infield dirt for a souvenir.

Please read Paul Doyle’s wrap-up of the incredible game here and his story on their season of redemption here. And read Jeff Jacobs column here. The entire World Series coverage can be found here.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, 34, waves a pennant on homie plate, in front of the Fenway Park sign and all the other pennants the team has won.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, 34, waves a pennant on home plate declaring another Red Sox championship, as he looks at a row of photographers, the Fenway Park sign and all the other pennants the team has won.

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Red Sox Take Game 5 of 2013 World Series

There were no ninth inning heroics or controversial calls in this game. Both starting pitchers, Adam Wainwright, for St. Louis and Jon Lester, for Boston, lived up to their reputations and this game was a classic pitchers dual. Boston scored one run in the first inning, and Lester gave up a towering home run to straight away center field by Matt Holliday in the fourth, but that was score, 1 to 1 until Boston took the lead for good in the seventh inning, scoring two runs, one on an Ellsbury RBI single.

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara came into the game with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and retired all four batters he faced, and the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 3 to 1. The teams now head back to Boston for Game 6 Wednesday night, with Boston holding a commanding three games to two games advantage in the best of seven series.

Click here for Paul Doyle’s story, and click here for Jeff Jacobs column. When was the last time the Sox won the Series at home? Jacobs tells you that in this story.

Fans reach for a ball tossed to them from a Red Sox player as he left the field after pre game warm-ups. From  left, are. an unidentified girl, Hanks Edwards, 10, of Missouri, Yianni Georgacacos, 9, and his father, Aki, of Calgary.

Fans reach for a ball tossed to them from a Red Sox player as he left the field after pre game warm-ups. From left, are. an unidentified girl, Hanks Edwards, 10, of Missouri, Yianni Georgacacos, 9, and his father, Aki, of Calgary.

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CCC Boy’s Soccer Semifinal

Berlin struck first after Michael Lathrop scored with 11:25 remaining in the first period against Farmington at Middletown high School Monday evening during their CCC soccer semifinal. Colin Cheesman scored the tying goal with 4:20 left and then struck the winning goal for Farmington with 34 seconds remaining in the second period for a 3-2 victory and Farmington will play RHAM on Wednesday night at Middletown High School for the championship.

Colin Cheesman (second from left) is mobbed by teammates Nicholas Mello (L), Kamil Kolacz, #11, Evan Peluso, #10, and Evan Hughes (R) after his goal with 34 seconds remaining in the second period gave Farmington a 3-2 victory against Berlin in the CCC soccer tournament semifinal at Middletown High School Monday evening. Cheesman also scored the tying goal with 4:20 left.

Colin Cheesman (second from left) is mobbed by teammates Nicholas Mello (L), Kamil Kolacz, #11, Evan Peluso, #10, and Evan Hughes (R) after his goal with 34 seconds remaining in the second period gave Farmington a 3-2 victory against Berlin in the CCC soccer tournament semifinal at Middletown High School Monday evening. Cheesman also scored the tying goal with 4:20 left.

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The Grandeur of Autumn

Autumn
by: © Julie L. O’Connor
There’s a crispness in the air that greets the morning sun, a feeling of anticipation, a new day has begun.
Harvest days are ending, winter is drawing near, yet in between is surely the most special time of year.
They call it Indian Summer, and it seems to fit the bill, for it’s as if the Lord took a feathered brush and painted all the hills.
For the whole poem click here:
 The first hard frost of the season hit most of central Connecticut on Saturday morning as a maple leaf is outlined with the icy remnants as the sun turns it to dew.

The first hard frost of the season hit most of central Connecticut on Saturday morning as a maple leaf is outlined with the icy remnants as the sun turns it to dew.

I’m often asked this time of year what can I do to improve my foliage photos. I’m not really sure how to answer that since i do not take many “foliage” photos per se but what I try to do is incorporate them into my everyday photojournalism.

I also try to use the sun to my advantage and keep it at 90 degrees or more to my subject so that the color look more vibrant. Fortunately this time of year the sun never really gets high in the sky so almost anytime of day is good for photos. One of my favorite times to shoot foliage is after a light rain which seems to saturate the colors of the leaves and causes the shadow areas of the forest to go darker adding more contrast.

Two other useful tools that I would recommend are a polarizing filter and a graduated neutral density filter. I do not own or use either one but if you want better landscape photos I would highly recommend looking into them. The polarizer will cut down on the glare that can be caused by the sun reflecting off the leaves and will also add a richness to your sky. The neutral density will allow you to balance the overexposure of the sky similar to what a polarizing filter would accomplish.

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Red Sox and Cardinals Game Two of 2013 World Series

When David Ortiz hit a two run home run in the bottom of teh sixth inning, it looked like Boston was going to continue their World Series dominance over St. Louis. However, poor fielding in the seventh led to St. Louis scoring three runs and beat the Sox on sloppy play — the same way St. Louis played in their loss in the first game. The Boston Red Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in game two of the World Series at Fenway Park in Boston by a score of 4 to 2. The Series is now tied one game a piece. Read Paul Doyle’s game wrap-up here. Jeff Jacobs found an avid St. Louis fan in Connecticut and writes about the Cardinals museum he has in his Avon home. Click here to read Jeff’s column. And keep reading by going to Jacobs’s postgame column here!

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, 34, hands out balls to fellow members of the 2004 World Series Champion Red Sox, on the pitchers mound before the game so they could all throw out the first pitch.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, 34, hands out balls to fellow members of the 2004 World Series Champion Red Sox, on the pitchers mound before the game so they could all throw out the first pitch.

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Greenpeace Captain Peter Willcox

More than a month after Norwalk native Peter Willcox was arrested by Russian authorities on a piracy charge during a Greenpeace protest in the Arctic, his wife, Maggy Willcox, talked to him on Monday for the first time since the ordeal began.

“He sounded strong and positive,” she said of her husband, the 60-year-old captain of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, which was towed to shore by the Russians. Dubbed the Arctic 30, 28 members of Greenpeace, plus a photographer and a videographer, have been in custody since two activists tried to hang a banner on an oil rig to protest drilling on Sept. 18. For the rest of Christine Dempsey’s story click here:

Maggy Willcox has a photocopy of her husband, Capt. Peter Willcox of Greenpeace, who is being held in Russia on piracy charges, taped to the back window of her car. Willcox, his crew and his ship - The Arctic Sunrise, were remanded in the Barents Sea and towed to shore by the Russian government. Willcox put the charges this way: "The whole charge of piracy is ludicrous."

Maggy Willcox has a photocopy of her husband, Capt. Peter Willcox of Greenpeace, who is being held in Russia on piracy charges, taped to the back window of her car. Willcox, his crew and his ship – The Arctic Sunrise, were remanded in the Barents Sea and towed to shore by the Russian government. Willcox put the charges this way: “The whole charge of piracy is ludicrous.”

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A Yellow Ribbon Welcome

Ann R. McLaughlin started the “Yellow Ribbon” ceremony a few years back when her grandson left for a tour in the middle east and then eventually when he came home, and now she does it for all of the East Hampton kids that are serving in the military. They put yellow ribbons on a small tree on Main Street when they leave and then cut them off when they come home. On Sunday the town honored three veterans that recently returned from Afghanistan – U.S. Army Specialist Matthew Kelly, his brother U.S. Army Master Sgt. Paul Valvo and U. S. Army Staff Sgt. Alicia Valli.

Patriot Guard Riders hold onto American Flags as they encircle the tree on Main Street that holds the names of all the veterans from East Hampton that are currently serving in the military overseas.

Patriot Guard Riders hold onto American Flags as they encircle the tree on Main Street that holds the names of all the veterans from East Hampton that are currently serving in the military overseas.

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Cross Country Championship at Wickham Park

Wickham Park in Manchester was the setting for the CCC Cross Country championships Wednesday afternoon. Hall’s Ari Klau helped the boy’s team to the title and Tolland took home the girls. “We came here to have fun today and not worry too much about winning,” said Tolland coach Judi Lafontaine. “My girls are fighters and they don’t know how to do anything else but win right now.”

With the Hartford skyline and the fall foliage as a backdrop the varsity girls make their way across a field near the start of the race. — John Woike / Hartford Courant, Oct. 16, 2013

With the Hartford skyline and the fall foliage as a backdrop the varsity girls make their way across a field near the start of the race. — John Woike / Hartford Courant, Oct. 16, 2013

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Slackline 101

Slacklining is a practice in balance that typically uses nylon or polyester webbing tensioned between two anchor points. Many people suggest slacklining is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held rigidly taut (although it is still under some tension); it is instead dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a long and narrow trampoline. The line’s tension can be adjusted to suit the user and different types of webbing can be used to achieve a variety of feats. The line itself is usually flat, due to the nature of webbing, thus keeping one’s footing from rolling as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the line allows for tricks and stunts. Slacklining has quickly become popular due to its simplicity and versatility and its ability to be practiced in a variety of environments. Those who participate in slacklining are often called “slackers”.[1] -Credit Wikipedia

Caroline Smith, of Lexington, Ky, practices her slacklining between two trees in the Davenport College courtyard at Yale as a sliver of the moon rises Tuesday evening. Smith is a senior majoring in psychology and finds this form of exercise is very relaxing, similar to yoga requiring balance and calmness.

Caroline Smith, of Lexington, Ky, practices her slacklining between two trees in the Davenport College courtyard at Yale as a sliver of the moon rises Tuesday evening. Smith is a senior majoring in psychology and finds this form of exercise is very relaxing, similar to yoga requiring balance and calmness.