Wednesday, December 29, 2010

There is still time to give to NEAT in 2010

As 2o1o draws to a close we wanted to remind everyone that you still have 3 days left to make your 2010 donation to NEAT.

Click here to access our donation page. Use the google check out button to make your secure donation to NEAT.

To read this years NEAT stories you can click here.

Thank you for helping NEAT.

We wish you all a safe and Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


The City of Middletown has a snow ban in effect beginning noon today, December 26th until further notice.
Please remember, if your car is preventing the snow plows from properly cleaning the street, it will be ticketed and could be towed.

Also, as a reminder, city ordinance requires you to shovel any sidewalk in front of your property no later than 24 hours after a snowfall. Please be considerate of your neighbors and shovel and/or salt your sidewalk.

If you are unable to shovel because of physical limitations, please call NEAT and we may be able to find help for you.

Or, if you are a renter and your property owner is not clearing the sidewalks, please let NEAT know so that we may inform the city Sidewalk Inspector.

If you need off-street parking, you may park at the following municipal parking lots: Corner of Washington/Broad St.(behind Kid City), Broad Street (across from Russell Library), Melilli Plaza (behind Main Street Market).

The City policy states that: "Parked vehicles of City streets must be removed by 12:00 pm. or run the risk of being towed by the Middletown Police at the owner's expense. If a vehicle is towed during the parking ban, you may claim the vehicle by contacting the Middletown Police Deparment at 347-6941. All payments, i.e., the ticket and towing chare, must be paid at the Police Department before a vehicle is released."
Thank You.

Monday, December 20, 2010


FREE Flu shots and Vision screenings are available tomorrow from 3-8 p.m. at AME Zion Church- 440 West Street, Middletown CT.


Children must be 3 years or older.

The event is sponsored by Mass Distributing Area 36: Towns of Cromwell, Middlefield, Durham and the City of Middletown; and the Middletown Lions Club.

FREE TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE FROM: St. Vincent Depaul Place, Eddy Shelter, River Valley Services,Travers Square,Senior Center/Sbona Towers, Westlake Drive,Maplewood Terrace,Long Lane Complex,Wadsworth Street Complex,Wilcox Apartments

For more information call (860) 344-3595

Sunday, December 12, 2010

NEAT Mentors have End-of-Semester Holiday Celebration

Yesterday (Dec. 11) the NEAT mentors and mentees decorated a tree, made holiday posters and constructed delicious gingerbread houses! Happy Holidays from the mentoring program!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Join the Community Music Initiative for caroling in the neighborhood next week!

Caroling will be happening NEXT Thursday December 16th - save the date!

Please call NEAT at 860 346 4845 with any questions.

You can also email Emily at

We'll sing wintery non-religious songs at the top of our lungs, beginning and Macdonough School and ending at the Green Street Arts Center with some hot chocolate and cookies. Please spread the word to family and friends. Everyone is welcome.

The route:

5:30 - meet outside the front of *Macdonough School* on Spring Street

5:30-6:30 - sing on Spring, Grand, Pearl, and Ferry Streets

6:30 - warm up at GSAC with some hot chocolate and cookies

Middletown is beautiful at night when it’s filled with people making music. This is the High School Marching band playing on Main Street.

A few reminders:

*Dress warmly, gloves especially

*Don't worry if you don't know any songs, you will learn them fast!

And I'll bring words to everything.

*If you'd like to contribute a baked good or hot drink, please email or call me to make arrangements (860 346 4845)

*If you want to come, but you're not free at 5:30, I can give you my cell number so you can call later and join us wherever we are.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Every year, NEAT hosts a holiday party the second Wednesday of December. This year we've decided to amp it up and instead, invite our members to a great event at Green Street Arts Center next Friday: a giant combined party. It will be a great event with bands, a sing along and NEAT's own Community Music Initiative youth singers entertaining. There is a suggested donation, but if that would keep you from coming, come anyway! NEAT would be happy to make a donation on your behalf. Bring a dish if you have one, or just bring your self. Read below for more info from Green St.:

As we begin the holiday season, please join us on Friday, December 3rd for Green Street’s Holiday Celebration! This musical celebration will feature Buru Style headlines with a set from their newly released CD “The Omnidenominational Holiday Experience,” and are joined by The Japanese, Blues Not Bombs, House of Moses, Static Stamina, Eric Lichter, The Kid Fiddlers all performing their own creative takes on holiday music. WESU DJ Lord Lewis the Velvet Knight will spin holiday funk twixt the sets, and the whole Green Street community is invited to participate in a holiday potluck.

The event kicks off at 7pm and your suggested admission of $5 will benefit Green Street’s programs. We will also collect canned goods and non-perishables for the Amazing Grace Food Pantry. Visit the event on Facebook to RSVP and find out more Please check out of Facebook page and invite your friends and colleagues to become a ‘fan’ and RSVP to this fun celebration as well. If you are planning to attend, please let me know. We’d love to have you all here to celebrate with us.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NEAT Mentors and Mentees Enjoy Outdoor Fun

November 20, 2010
Who doesn't enjoy the great outdoors in autumn? Taking advantage of nice weather, the NEAT mentors and mentees paired up with Wesleyan's Outing Club to participate in fun outdoor activities and learn some new skills. We made quesadillas on a camp stove, "slug" wrestled (in sleeping bags), learned how to pitch a tent and tie knots, played hopscotch and jump rope, balanced on a slack line, enjoyed trail mix and made art with sidewalk chalk. Many thanks to Wesleyan Outing Club for helping out and for providing free t-shirts!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Free Financial Literacy Workshop!

One of the goals of the United Way Women’s Initiative is to ensure that women have the education and tools to be independent and self-sufficient. To help meet this goal the Women’s Initiative is sponsoring a free workshop called “Understanding Money & Credit” on Thursday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m. at Middlesex Community College. This event is not restricted to women - anyone is welcome to attend. The workshop will last about 90 minutes and breakfast is provided.

During this workshop you will:

  • Assess your current financial situation
  • Learn how to set financial goals
  • Understand the cost of credit
  • Create a budget based on your income

You will receive a free workbook to help you
on your path to financial stability. The first 50
participants also receive a free padfolio with

And did we mention it’s free?

More location details: @Chapman Hall (C & D)
Middlesex Community College
100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown

Jill Davoll at Middlesex
United Way, (860) 346-8695

Monday, November 29, 2010

CMI completes a successful first season – watch out, 2011, here we come!

The Community Music Initiative is a new NEAT program that builds North End community through participation in music. CMI has been running Saturday music events in the neighborhood every other week since September. Though the program is finished for this year, we’ll be back every other Saturday starting January 29th, 2011!

The first five CMI events have shown how fortunate we are to have an incredibly enthusiastic, creative, and musical neighborhood! Saturday events demonstrate increasing and committed attendance, from 25 participants at our first event to 53 at our fifth. CMI participants have been jumping into music-making with open minds and lots of energy, from young volunteers leading sections of the singing circle to older participants demonstrating drum beats for everyone to jam on. And best of all, people are making friends and making connections. One young CMI student now affectionately refers to another volunteer as her “adopted sister.” Performing together, singing together, and drumming together – we are getting to know each other.

Ana and Paige performing.

Jon and Aaron singing.

Our most recent workshop was especially musical and meaningful. Andrew Fogliano led us in Nyabinghi drumming which is a kind of group music where you drum and sing about life. And what did we sing about? Middletown, of course! We split up into small groups and made up short verses about the place we all live. Sometimes people disagreed (I like ____ restaurant better than ____) and sometimes they found common ground (I love going to the library, too). While making music together, CMI participants also learned about Middletown and each other.

Drumming and singing about life in Middletown.

A huge thanks to everyone who has supported the Community Music Initiative this fall. Thank you to workshop leaders, students, volunteers, and participants at our events. And a special shout-out to Roger Dufour, James Bendzinski, Betsy Gabriel, and Trisha Boirie for their consistent help making CMI Saturdays run smoothly.

Group photo, November 20th! Thanks Bruce Morin and Izzi Greenberg for all the fabulous photos along the way!

Stay tuned! CMI will post soon about a plan to go CAROLING. We’ll sing fun group songs with no particular religious-affiliation, travel around the neighborhood, and share some hot chocolate and snacks. If you’d like to be involved or help out, please email or call NEAT and ask for Emily (860 346 4845).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Macdonough Environmental Club with International Aspects

Maybe you can go home again — at least for a little while. At least that’s what 9-year-old Kendalyn Zipf thinks as she sits in a classroom at Macdonough Elementary School eagerly awaiting for the Skype call to go through.

The group — made up of fourth- and fifth-graders involved in the Environmental Club — is calling students in Ghana, an effort that is supposed to encourage cultural connections between students from foreign lands. The term “foreign,” however, is relative as students participating in the “Dear Mother…Letters to the Earth” project come from all walks of life, from all parts of the world. Some students are from the southern portion of the United States, affected by Hurricane Katrina. Others were affected by the oil spill locally and overseas, according to principal, Jon Romeo.

The brainchild of composer Glenn McClure, the project was kick started as a tribute to the College of the Environment on Wesleyan University’s campus, a program launched this past year. In April, McClure, a faculty member at New York’s Eastman School of Music, hopes to perform a musical composition he is in the process of producing. As a supplement to the piece, McClure will incorporate letters, poems and drawings depicting young students’ perspectives on “Mother Earth.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

CHC Groundbreaking

Today was the groundbreaking for the new Community Health Center building on Main St. and Grand St. in the North End. There were lots of great people in attendance, including kids from Macdonough Elementary School, Senator Dodd, neighbors, doctors and friends. Congratulations to CHC for the start of a terrific new project.

Friday, November 12, 2010

West African Drumming & Dance Workshop

Green Street Arts Center presents: West African Drumming & Dance Workshop
with teaching artists Jocelyn Pleasant and Lovette Caesar-Johnson

Saturday, November 13th | 1-3pm
Regular: $20 | Family/Friends, Student/Senior: $17 | Member: $16

Explore the rhythms and music of West Africa through drumming and dance. Guinean rhythms along with the corresponding dances will be taught. All participants, whether you choose to drum or dance, will gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between musicians and dancers in this rich and exciting experience.

Call 860-685-7871 or email for more information.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The State of Native Connecticut: A Panel Discussion

Join the conversation about on of the most relevant topics in Connecticut: Green Street hosts The State of Native Connecticut with esteemed panel participants on Friday evening.

The State of Native Connecticut: A Panel Discussion
Friday, November 12 | 7-9 pm
Suggested donation: $5

Join us to discuss the most current issues facing the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, Easter Pequot Tribal Nation, and Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Nation as they strive for federal recognition. Panel participants include
Trudie Lamb Richmond (Schaghticoke) and Ruth Garby Torres (Schaghticoke), and Troy Phillips (Nipmuc), and will be moderated by Amy Den Ouden, a member of the Anthropology Faculty at UMass Boston. To view more information on panel participants, click here.

Call 860-685-7871 or email for more information.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Don't forget to vote! Tomorrow is Election Day and it is a very important

dist 1election. We will be deciding who represents us as the Governor, in Congress, Senate, State Senate and the State House of Representatives, among others. We will be choosing people who will really affect our day to day life. I urge you all to get out and vote!! IF you have any questions about candidates, how to use the voting machines or anything else, please contact the NEAT office.

As part of the North End votes campaign, we still need a few volunteers this week to help out. If you can help at the polls, please contact the NEAT office to sign up. A neighborhood that votes is empowered!!

We need people to:

1) take a shift at Macdonough School (the North End's only polling place) to hand out "North End Votes" stickers and to answer questions (don't worry, we'll give you cheat sheets!)

2) offer to walk or drive your neighbors to the polls, or call NEAT if you know of a neighbor who needs a ride.

But, most importantly, VOTE! We hope to see you at Macdonough Tomorrow. (use the side entrance on Pease Ave. and don't forget your ID)
Not sure who to vote for? Check out these websites:

Friday, October 29, 2010

TONIGHT: Groundbreaking Short Films at Green Street

File Under Miscellaneous: Short Films at Green Street

Friday, October 29 | 7 pm
Suggest donation: $5

Explore the Native American/First Nation experience, past and present, from the perspective of two provocative filmmakers.

Join Green Street tonight at 7pm for the next event in this fascinating and informative series. Montreal-based writer and director Jeff Barnaby (Mi’kmaq) will discuss The Colony and his new film, File Under Miscellaneous, both of which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. File Under Miscellaneous received a warm reception at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and has been called “a dark SciFi gem” by critic Todd Brown. Barnaby’s psychological thrillers will make you reconsider stereotypes of what Native/First Nations art “should be.” In addition, there will be a screening of Bruce Curliss’ (Nipmuc) short film Survivor, which deals with the atrocities committed against the Nipmuc at Deer Island. On October 30, 1675, Native people from what is now South Natick were removed to Deer Island in Boston Harbor. Without adequate food, clothing, or shelter, the majority of the people—mostly women, children, and elders—perished.

Director Jeff Barnaby was recently interviewed by The Hartford Courant, click here to read the article.

(Viewers should note that The Colony and File Under Miscellaneous are not suitable for viewers under the age of 18 without parental accompaniment.)

North End Farmers' Market Season Finale

Today from 10 to 2 in front of It's Only Natural Market, 575 Main Street

You don't want to miss it! Several fantastic guest vendors are joining us--Crystal Pistritto with beautiful hula-hoops, Whey Better Farm with soothing soaps, and Tschudin Chocolates with dessert delicacies. Plus, First and Last Tavern will serve up their tasty, soul-warming chili, voted best in this year's Middletown chili cook-off! This week is also your last chance to use WIC and Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program checks before they expire.

We would like to thank everyone involved with the market--vendors, volunteers, musicians, and all the shoppers that took time out of their busy Fridays to stop by. It's been great to see the North End Farmers' Market become a popular Middletown shopping destination as well as a great place to gather with friends over lunch and live music. Have a warm and healthy winter--we'll be back next year!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Green Street Arts Center’s Special Events October 22-24

On behalf of the Green Street Arts Center of Wesleyan University, we invite you to participate in a weekend of engaging and exciting events.

Dine & Donate

Friday-Sunday, October 22-24
Support the arts simply by dining on Main Street!
Download, print, and present this coupon your server at one of the following local restaurants and they will generously donate a portion of your bill to Wesleyan’s Green Street Arts Center.

Esca Restaurant & Wine Bar
Fiore II Italian Restaurant
Mikado Japanese Cuisine
New England Emporium
Puerto Vallarta
Thai Gardens Restaurant
Typhoon Thai Cuisine

Green Street Open House
Saturday, October 23 | 2-4pm
Green Street celebrates Wesleyan Homecoming/Family Weekend in style. Join us for Salsa, West African Drumming and Dance, visual art projects for the whole family, and a spectacular performance by the popular band Buru Style! Enjoy tours, refreshments and a special pre-registration discount if you sign up for a Session Two class before you leave. Light refreshments will be served.

Sunday Salon: Hawaiian Nationhood and Indigenous Rights

with Professor J. Kehaulani Kauanui
Sunday, October 24 | 2-3:30pm
Suggestion donation: $5
This talk will address the outstanding Hawaiian independence claim and the persistent issue of sovereignty facing the Kanaka Maoli (indigenous Hawaiian) people. Come learn more about how the U.S. government came to acquire Hawai`i and the spectrum of political activism relating to self-determination and nationhood. For more information on any of these events or to reserve your seat call 860-685-7871 or email us at Information about these and all of our programs and offerings can be found on our website: We hope you will join us this weekend and thank you, in advance, for your support of Wesleyan University's Green Street Arts Center.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The market is on!

The North End Farmers Market runs Fridays from 10 am - 2 pm in front of It's Only Natural Market,575 Main St.

The weather held out for us, so come on over to the market! There is a wide variety of local produce available, as well as Tschudin Chocolates, New Image Greenhouse (beautiful mums), and Pattie Palace serving up lunch.

See you there!


NEAT's Mentoring program is up and running again and we have spaces for new kids to join the program. If you have a child ages 7-13, please call the NEAT office. The program asks that the pairs meet for one hour a week, not for homework or tutoring, but to build a one-one-one relationship. This program has been amazing for many North End kids and students alike. Please call NEAT if you're interested. 860-346-4845 or email

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Tonight, Thursday, Oct. 14th at 6:30, NEAT will host a meeting at the Green Street Arts Center to talk with Park and Rec Department Director, Ray Santostefano about a current site plan for the new Willy Pep Park at the corner of Green St. and deKoven Dr.

The current plan includes a small skate/bmx park and will have space for passive recreation (community garden or something like it) and potentially a small play scape for younger children. If you have questions or concerns about the potential park, please come to the meeting to get answers.

It is very important that the neighborhood has time to help plan this park. Please come out to participate.

There will be childcare and pizza for the kids.

Community Music takes Mtown by storm!

The Community Music Initiative has officially made its first splashes in Middletown with two successful music Saturdays! This new North End program is all about making music together – using music as a way to develop leadership, support our youth, encourage self-expression, and build community.

Active participation is the life of the program. A total of 17 people have volunteered officially in some way - as singing leaders, lunch organizers, set-up and clean-up workers, and performers. Everyone throws their full energy into the music as well. Our first workshop, on building drum kits from recycling, got the entire group spontaneously marching around the room. And at our singing workshop the next week, we had families swaying together as we sang “Lean on me” at the top of our lungs. Even outside the planned activities, community members can be found making music, like two youths who sat down at the piano during lunch to play together.

Our next event is October 23rd, and North End resident Bill Carbone will bring his fabulous drumming skills to get us started on a drum marching band. Saturday events are FREE and open to EVERYONE, no matter what age you are or how much musical experience you have. Join us!

To learn more, visit

Saturday, October 9, 2010


You can go to NEAT's website to learn more about it. We are looking for a full-time community organizer and a part-time administrative assistant. We have a small but energetic team! We'd really like to hire someone from the North End (or Middletown at the least)...please spread the word. Here's more info:

Community Organizer Position Summary: This organizer will work directly with the Executive Director and community leaders from various sectors to organize, create and disseminate information that supports the goals of the North End Action Team. The organizer will focus on outreach, committee and program development, sustainability and campaign and event management. The position will report to the Executive Director. S/he must be willing to work a flexible schedule, as some weekend and evening work will be required. A background in community organizing or related field is strongly desired. Associates Degree or two years of higher education plus two years of directly related employment experience preferred

Administrative Assistant Position Summary: NEAT is seeking a P/T (20 hour per week) Administrative Assistant to perform diverse tasks. Associates Degree or two years of higher education plus two years of directly related employment experience preferred. Good interpersonal skills, reliability, ability to work with persons of all ethnic background. Experience with maintaining computer-based database and financial accounts. Writing correspondence using Word for Windows and email. Setting up and maintaining well organized file systems which maintain records for all transactions in an organized manner. Person to work under the direction of the Executive Director.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Community Music Saturday

This Saturday is a Community Music Saturday!

Come join us at our second event 11am-1:30pm. It's fun, educational, and best of all, it's FREE.

Saturday events include performances by community members, a workshop, a free delicious lunch and a big old jam session.

This week the workshop is group singing for all. We'll sing easy fun music together. No experience necessary. Upcoming dates are: Oct 9th, Oct 23rd, Nov 5th and Nov 20th.

Events are located at the Green Street Arts Center in Middletown, 51 Green Street. Starting at 11:00 am and ending at 1:15.

*No need to register: just show up!

This program is a project of the North End Action Team, 668 Main Street, 860 346 4845. If you have questions about the program or would like to help out, please call and ask for Emily. Or email

Market Today

The North End Farmers Market runs Fridays from 10 am - 2 pm in front of It's Only Natural Market,575 Main St.

After last week's downpour, the market is on again today!

A wide variety of produce is still available:
  • Apples (many varieties)
  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Bread
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cheese
  • Cider
  • Eggplant
  • Fall squash
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes
  • Salsa
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • And more!
Guest Restaurant: Iguanas Ranas, heroically stepping in after a last minute cancellation
Guest Vendor: New Image Greenhouse with colorful mums on sale for $6

Sizzling Salsa Nights at Green Street

Join local salsero Jason Pepin on Saturday, October 9th at 7pm at Green Street Arts Center for a sizzling Salsa Social. A Salsa Social is a one-night event where anyone can come to Green Street, get a taste of Salsa with a beginner lesson, and then spend a few hours immersing themselves in Latin culture. Music videos are projected on the walls, while sultry Latin rhythms fill the space of our beautiful Performance Studio.

Beginners are welcome for instruction from 7-8 pm (included in price of admission) and encouraged to join dancers of all levels as the fiesta unfolds. For more information visit Green Street's blog at To reserve your spot call 860-685-7871 or email

Salsa Socials
Saturdays, October 9 & December 11 | 7-10 pm
Regular: $8; Members/Family & Friends/Students/Seniors: $5

Green Street's resident salsero Jason Pepin presents two evenings of hot music, open floor, and the best dance crowd in Connecticut. Beginners welcome for instruction from 7-8 pm (included in price of admission).