Community news: Ridgefield

The Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center recently had a woodworking workshop for the Tavern Museum and History Center's #HandsOnHistory: It Takes a Village exhibition on Oct. 9.

The Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center recently had a woodworking workshop for the Tavern Museum and History Center's #HandsOnHistory: It Takes a Village exhibition on Oct. 9.

Contributed photo

Photoshop Elements Intro course

Photoshop Elements Intro has everything you need to make your photos look amazing, turn them into beautiful creations and share them with family and friends. This course is for people new to Photoshop Elements. We'll work in Quick and Guided modes to fix the most common photo problems and then we’ll explore some very cool tricks to enhance and transform your images.

Instructor Deborah Tual, who is a professional photographer with over 25 years of experience, will provide photos for the class to learn specific techniques. She loves sharing her expertise about how images can be edited, enhanced and used creatively to express an artistic vision. 

This three-session workshop meets on Wednesdays (Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 and 9) from noon to 2 p.m. in person at the Annex (66 Prospect St., left of Yanity Gym). Cost is $120 per person. Advanced registration is required.  Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812. 

World War I history course

“World War I and the Versailles Settlement” is a Ridgefield Continuing Education Zoom course led by veteran history teacher Nancy Maxwell.  

The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria in June of 1914 triggered a chain of events resulting in a global war with four years of horrific fighting. By its end, three empires had collapsed, European society had been irrevocably changed and a new map was drawn. When hostilities finally ended in 1918, the peacemakers faced enormous challenges. The geopolitical face of Europe been irrevocably changed by the war; there were cries for revenge and retribution; and a delicate new balance of power had to be established. What were the primary goals of “the big 3” - Georges Clemenceau, Lloyd George, and Woodrow Wilson? Was the war inevitable? Were the seeds of World War II planted in the ensuing peace treaties? This course covers the alliances, personalities, and political ideals that shaped the events of World War I and its aftermath.  

This three-session class meets Mondays (Oct. 24 and 31 and Nov. 7) from 1 to 2:30 p.m.  Cost is $58 per person; Ridgefield seniors age 62 and over pay $49. Advance registration is required. 

Also available are "The Last of the Romanovs" Oct. 18 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at $2 per person; "The Russian Revolution" on Tuesdays (Oct. 25 and Nov. 1) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at $39 per person; and "World War II and The Cold War" on Mondays (Nov. 14 and 21 and Dec. 5) from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at $58 per person.  Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812. 

German and Spanish language classes

German classes for beginners are available through Ridgefield Continuing Education on Zoom, starting Oct. 19.  

"German: Total Beginner, Part 1" meets from 7:15 to 8:45 p.m.  "German: Beginner, Part 2" is for people with a little experience and emphasizes basic conversation for beginners with a focus on pronunciation, grammar, comprehension and vocabulary. Class meets from 5:30 to 7 p.m.  Classes meet on Wednesday (Oct. 19 and 26; Nov. 2, 9, 16 and 30; and Dec. 7 and 14).  Tuition is $171 per person, plus text.  

Instructor Karen Wolfinger is a native of Germany and has worked in the U.S. for over 20 years. She teaches at the German School of CT, as well as Air Force and National Guard personnel.  

Advance registration is required. 

Spanish Intermediate with Oscar Vargas starts Oct. 17 and continues Oct. 24; Nov. 14, 21 and 28; and Dec. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m.  Course descriptions and text information is at www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812. 

Health insurance course
 
Maximize Your Health Insurance is a new course in Ridgefield Continuing Education. Whether you get your health insurance through an employer or the health insurance exchange, you can learn to be an active consumer of your health insurance and maximize your coverage. The course will review how the health insurance industry works, identify best practices you can put into action right away and cover top five health Insurance Literacy (HIL) skill sets, including:
 
• Health insurance terms and concepts 
• How to understand what your plan covers 
• How to choose a health plan 
• Navigate tools and resources 
• Managing your claims questions 
 
Instructor William Pokluda, Certified Benefits Professional (CBES), has over 30 years of experience managing corporate benefits and working in the insurance industry.  A recommended but optional book "Maximize Your Health Insurance: Keep more money in your pocket" may be purchased for $6 at class.  This class meets on Oct. 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at East Ridge Middle School.  

Advance registration is required.  Cost is $29 per person; there is a senior discount and caregiver/relative discount available.  Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812. 

Ridgefield EV car ownership may top 500 by year’s end  

According to CT DMV data, Ridgefield residents owned 361 electric vehicles (EV) at the end of 2021. By June 30, 2022, that number stood at 427 and is projected to top 500 EVs by year’s end.

Many factors are now combining in a synergistic way to make EV ownership a “no brainer.” Gasoline prices skyrocketed recently.  Although the cost per gallon is now back to earth, the anticipation of a price surge gives Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) owners heart palpitations before each fill-up. Instead of stopping at the gas station, charge at home at night and leave each morning with a full “tank.”    

With substantially fewer moving parts, EV maintenance costs are demonstrably lower than ICE vehicles. Consumer reports estimates that an EV owner will save $ 13,000 in maintenance and fuel costs over a 15-year timeframe. That’s almost $1,000 per year in savings. For those who need a more immediate financial incentive to act, there are Federal and State subsidies to EV ownership, and additional Eversource subsidies for EV chargers and their installation. The Federal Government offers up to a $7,500 tax credit on certain EVs; and CT offers up to $2,250 point of sale credit on certain models.

Worried about EV range?  Worry no more.  The median range for 2021 model year EVs was 234 miles. Yet the average work commute is 41 miles. Other than long-distance travel, a 150-mile range EV satisfies virtually all the driving needs for most people. And yet, the median range for EVs continues to climb. 2023 EV models will top 300 miles of range; and range will continue to grow with motor and battery advancements. In fact, EV battery technology and bidirectional charging has now crossed over into powering your home. No need for a noisy ICE generator, just plug in the car to keep the refrigerator humming. 

And then there are the environmental benefits. CT’s grid will be 90% renewable energy by 2030. Transitioning from fossil fuels to CT’s grid will help to save the planet and reduce US reliance on dictators with huge oil reserves and territorial ambitions. This article was written by Vincent Giordano, Ridgefield resident and volunteer with the Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment (RACE).    

Future RACE articles will address:
 
•       Ridgefield’s use of $ from nip bottles sales;
•       Transitioning from fossil fuel to battery operated lawn equipment;
•       Recycling and Xmas;
•       Ridgefield homeowner’s converting to heat pump technology

Absentee ballots available at Town Hall

Absentee ballots for the Nov. 8 State Election will be available in the Town Clerk’s office weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., beginning Oct. 7 until Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m. Absentee ballot information can be found by visiting www.ridgefieldct.org/town-clerk/pages/absentee-ballots.  
In addition, the Town Clerk’s office will be open on Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon for absentee voting.  Please email townclerk@ridgefieldct.org or call 203-431-2783 for further information.

Ridgefield Historical Society annual meeting Oct. 18
The Ridgefield Historical Society’s annual meeting will take place at the Scott House, 4 Sunset Lane, and via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 5 p.m. The session will include annual reports and the election of a slate of directors. To sign up to attend or to receive a link for the meeting, email info@ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org. 
Participation details will be provided with the link. To join  the Ridgefield Historical Society or for more information, call 203-438-5821 or visit ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org.
Following the close of the annual meeting, the officers and board will convene a regularly scheduled meeting, which is open only to the board. 

Ridgefield Social Services, Ridgefield Library provides free prescription reviews

Ridgefield Social Services and their team of CHOICES certified Medicare counselors will once again be offering free prescription coverage reviews to Ridgefield residents at the Ridgefield Library.

These free, one-on-one meetings will provide a confidential review of your prescription drug coverage, an explanation of benefits and general assistance to people with Medicare. Counselors will compare your current drug coverage with plans for 2023 assuring all your medications are covered and you are not paying more than you need to. Ridgefield Social Services and its team of certified counselors have saved Ridgefield residents an estimated $780,000 in premiums and copays since the inception of this program in 2014.

Medicare Prescription Drug plans make changes each year to their monthly premiums, medication coverage and network providers.

Through Dec. 7, Open Enrollment is the only time you can change your prescription drug coverage for the coming year. The Center for Medicare Advocacy urges beneficiaries to “carefully weigh all their Medicare coverage options annually," and Ridgefield Social Services is here to help. 

In partnership with the Ridgefield Library, counseling sessions will be made by appointment. We will also be able to make appointments through zoom or phone if an in person meeting is not possible. 

To schedule your appointment, you will be asked to complete the Medicare Plan Comparison Worksheet and Drug Screening Form, providing your name, phone, email, current coverage, medications, etc. These forms may be picked up at the Town Hall information office or by emailing municipalagent@ridgefieldct.org.

For more information on any of our programs and to make your appointment to speak with a Ridgefield Medicare CHOICES counselor, please email Karen Gaudian at municipalagent@ridgefieldct.org or call at 203-431-2754.

 
This program is made possible through the joint efforts of the Ridgefield Department of Social Services, the Ridgefield Library, Founders Hall the Western CT Area Agency on Aging (WCAAA), and additional support from the Commission on Aging (COA). 

CHOICES counselors are trained to provide unbiased information and counseling on Medicare, Medigap, Medicaid, Medicare Savings Programs, Long Term Care Insurance and other state and federal programs. 

The WCAAA is one of five Area Agencies on Aging in CT and is a private, not-for-profit organization which serves the needs of older adults or individuals with disabilities.

                                                   
Norwalk River Valley Trail holds Mutt Strut & Friends Howl-O-Ween Oct. 22

The Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) is bringing their signature event back to the community for the fourth time and this time with a theme! “Mutt Strut & Friends Howl-O-Ween Edition,” a family- and user-friendly event, will be held virtually and in-person this month.  
For the virtual contest, the NRVT is featuring all things Halloween! Spooky, funny, scary, or cute, everyone is encouraged to showcase their pet through Oct. 20 with their own online page.

There is no fee to enter.  Entrants can go to www.nrvt-trail.com/muttstrut to create a pet page. Pages are created to post favorite pictures of dogs (or other furry friends - cats, ferrets, bunnies, etc.), share a short video, and encourage friends and family to “vote” with a contribution.  

The virtual contest offers fun for the whole family and the chance to win big prizes.  Prize categories include:

• Top Dog - This is the pet that gets the giant trophy (and props) at our awards ceremony (as it should be for raising the most money) in addition to a pet goodie basket valued at $150. 

• Most Fans - The pet with the most individual contributors will be designated our ‘Fan Favorite’ and receive a prize basket valued at $100.
 
• Best Video - Who’s ready for prime time? This pet’s cameo will say it all and receive a prize basket value of $100.
 
• Best Image - A picture says a thousand words and the most expressive pet online will win a prize basket valued at $100.

Not a fan of all that online stuff?  Or want to show off your furry friend even more to help the NRVT? 

There is also an in-person option. After a hiatus due to COVID, NRVT Mutt Strut & Friends will be held outside and in-person on Oct. 22 in three locations - Norwalk, Wilton, and Ridgefield - from 3 to 5 p.m.  The in-person events feature contests while owners enjoy the Trail with their pets. Prizewinners for each location include:
•       Cutest
•       Best Costume
•       Biggest Personality
And will be recognized at our awards ceremony with a prize basket valued from $75 to $150. Registration fee is $25 at www.nrvt-trail.com/muttstrut-registration-in-person .

Locations for the in-person event on Oct. 22 are:

• Ridgefield
• Future Ridgefield Ramble
• Route 7 & Simpaug Turnpike

All prize-winning owners for both contests are invited to receive their pets’ awards and prize baskets valued at an awards reception in mid-November. Food and drinks are included.

The NRVT has received support for this event from local community members and businesses including the event’s Business Title sponsor BLT LiveWorkPlay and the Pforzheimer, Jansen, and Foster families. 

During COVID, the NRVT’s trail use skyrocketed by 245 percent and the organization built more Trail in Wilton, Norwalk and Redding. The NRVT has a little more than 11 miles of completed of trail, three more miles planned and ready to build in Ridgefield and Wilton, and recently submitted grant requests to begin in Danbury, add on in Wilton, and connect points north of Norwalk. Events like the Mutt Strut & Friends help build more community-friendly, universally accessible multi-purpose trail.

Ridgebury Farm and Stables hosts "Fete Friday" fundraiser

Ridgebury Farm and Stables is hosting its first annual Ridgebury Riders Farm Fete Friday on Oct. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. Funds raised from the event will go directly to the Ridgebury Riders program, which provides scholarships to riders in need of financial support as well as ongoing care for its therapy horses and specialty tack needed for therapeutic riding. 

Ridgebury Farm and Stables, an Equine Centered Holistic Wellness and Nature Therapy Farm on 56 pastoral acres with private trails is the home of Ridgebury Riders, a 501c3 non-profit organization and American Hippotherapy Association recognized facility specializing in Occupational, Physical, and Speech-Language Therapy as well as Equine Assisted Therapy. The farm also offers lessons to family of their riders. 

To purchase tickets or sponsor this event, please visit www.ridgeburyfarm.com. 

RETELLING EDEN: A Poetry Writing Workshop
 
When: Sunday, October 23rd from 3:00-4:30 PM
and Sunday, October 30th from 3:00-4:30 PM
 
What: In this two-part workshop, we’ll read and respond to beloved Old Testament narratives in the form of poetry or short prose. 
 
How: Participants will be invited to assume the voice of a character who took part in (or observed) the action – from the dove that flew from Noah’s ark to the serpent who tempted Eve. 
 
Why: The process of conjuring the specifics of setting, character, dialogue, and emotion is highly creative and, oftentimes, faith-affirming.
 
Join Jesse Lee Associate Pastor Thomas Stubbs, Director of Music Ministries Sarah Fox, and Ridgefield Poet Laureate Barb Jennes for this engaging two-part workshop. No writing experience is required - just willingness to have fun and rejoice is a community that welcomes all faiths and beliefs.

More: This event is FREE and open to ALL people of all ages. We’d love to see a diverse crowd here! 

Contact: Heidi Yeranossian
         heidi@jesseleechurch.com