Ridgefield events: RIFF 2023 All Access passes, 'Ridgefield Rocks' concert, Charter Revision meeting

Ridgefield Library closed March 10 for staff training

The Ridgefield Library is your place for Lifelong Learning, and our exceptional staff take that to heart. To make sure that we can give you our best every day, the Library will be closed March 10 for a full staff training day.  

The planned training sessions will include safety training as well as professional development geared to library staff. The library administration thanks our Board of Directors for supporting and recognizing the vital importance of a well-trained staff to provide outstanding library service to the Ridgefield community. No overdue fines will be accrued during this scheduled closing.

The library will reopen March 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Remember you have 24/7 access to a wealth of streaming and downloadable content for all ages, virtual programs, online learning, business databases and much more at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org.

All Access passes available for 2023 Ridgefield Independent Film Festival 

Ridgefield Independent Film Festival (RIFF) 2023 All Access passes are now available until March 30 for the discounted price of $99, after which they will be $150. 

This year, Ridgefield Independent Film Festival will bring films and filmmakers from around the world and around the corner to six venues in Ridgefield Connecticut for four days of in-person screenings, parties and panel discussions. Official selections will be announced March 15.

RIFF 2023 Venue Partners include the Ridgefield Playhouse, the Prospector Theater, Ridgefield Theater Barn, Ridgefield Library, Keeler Tavern Museum and Lounsbury House.

Please visit RIFF’s website www.riffct.org for more information.

Take 'Indoor Golf' classes through Ridgefield Continuing Education

Take 'Indoor Golf for Beginners and Golf enthusiasts' in Ridgefield Continuing Education. Come and learn the game of golf and continue to improve your golf game in a fun, indoor environment. Beginners and returning students are welcome.

Learn all the fundamentals including putting, chipping, pitching, and golf swing with irons and woods, plus the history, etiquette and rules of golf. Please bring your clubs to class.

Jo Rasmussen is the golf coach at Ridgefield High School for both the girls and boys golf teams. She plays competitive golf in CSGA, New England and USGA tournaments.  

A new four-session class starts March 21 and will met March 28, April 4 and April 18 from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. at Branchville School Gym. Cost is $95; Ridgefield seniors age 62 and up pay $81.  

For more information, visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

'iPhone Photo Editing and Enhancements' course offered through Ridgefield Continuing Education

iPhone Photo Editing and Enhancements is a new course in Ridgefield Continuing Education. Participants will learn how to edit and enhance their photos with confidence using the Photos app on their iPhone.

The built-in editing and enhancement tools - including adjusting light and color, adding filters, crop and straightening - are amazing and you can easily fine-tune your photos in just a few minutes. This is useful for all skill levels and iPhone models with the latest iOS software version.  

Instructor Deborah Tual is a professional photographer with over 25 years of experience who loves to share her expertise about how images can be edited, enhanced, and used creatively to express an artistic vision. Advance registration is required.  

Class meets on March 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Zoom. Cost is $40; Ridgefield seniors age 62 and over pay $34.  

For more information, visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

'Contact and the Deeds' course taught through Ridgefield Continuing Education

"Contact and the Deeds" is the topic of a course in local archaeology in Ridgefield Continuing Education.  In 1525, Verrazano mapped the New England coastline. This was Contact. This meeting between the Native Americans and the Europeans brought many changes to the lives of the indigenous people. These lectures will address these changes, as well as the initial land deals that took place among the Native Americans, the Dutch, and the English between the Norwalk River and the North (Hudson) River. 

Instructor Lynn-Marie Wieland is a lithic (stone tools) archaeologist specializing in Southern New England prehistory with an emphasis on the Native Americans of Ridgefield, who belonged to a larger community whose territory covered the land between the Norwalk River and the Hudson River. She excavated a site in Ridgefield that covered at least 10,000 years of occupation. Her specialty is the study of the manufacturing and use of stone tools.  

This class meets in person on March 22 and March 29 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Annex; a Zoom option is available. Cost is $52; Ridgefield seniors age 62 and older and disabled indivdiuals pay $44. Advanced registration is required.  

Visit  www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more information.

'Voice-Overs' classes offered through Ridgefield Continuing Education

"Voice-Overs . . . NOW is your TIME" is a fun and enlightening in person class available through Ridgefield Continuing Education that will show you how you could actually begin using your speaking voice for commercials, films, videos and more!  

You will also have the opportunity to book a 1-on-1 script read and voice evaluation via phone with your instructor, Dan Levine, Founder and President of Such A Voice, who has earned the respect of the industry and has helped launch the careers of countless successful voice-over actors throughout the United States.  

Dan is a 1992 Tony Award nominee for the score of the Broadway musical “Anna Karenina.” He has won many awards for his commercial productions as well, including a national Clio Award and several local advertising ADDY Awards and nominations.  He is also a successful record producer and music arranger/orchestrator, his arranging and production credits include CDs for singers such as Leslie Uggams. For 17 years, Dan produced commercials for hundreds of clients around the country.

This workshop meets March 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at East Ridge Middle School. Advanced registration is required. Tuition is $31.  

Visit www.ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 to register.

Ridgefield High School Dance Team wins second place at CIAC competition

The Ridgefield High School Dance Team won second place at the CIAC State Dance Championship on the weekend of Feb. 25 and has been invited to the New England Regionals.

Ridgefield Nutmeg Chapter student secures grant to raise awareness for Tobacco Endgame Movement
The NUTMEG Chapter of National Charity League, Inc. (NCL), the nation’s premier mother-daughter volunteer organization, is pleased to announce that Mikaella Bernard, Class of 2024 TickTock Council Representative, secured a $500 grant for our chapter to build awareness of  American Heart Association’s Tobacco Endgame Movement.

As part of the American Heart Associations, Heart Health Month, the Tobacco Endgame Movement is focused on leveraging the power of peer-to-peer influence, inviting teens and young adults to make a difference in the fight against vaping and other tobacco use.

As an RHS student and athlete, Bernard sees firsthand how prevalent vaping has become.  She sought the grant to find a way to educate the Ridgefield community on the harm of tobacco use and to correct the misconceptions that vaping is different or less harmful than traditional smoking,  

Armed with the knowledge that prevention is the key to success, the Nutmeg TickTocker Council will focus their efforts there and are asking for participation from the Ridgefield community to help spread the word.

In partnership with SoBol of Ridgefield (90 Danbury Road, Ridgefield, CT) on Jan. 29, NCL Nutmeg Chapter Ticktockers cnducted “woman-on-the- street” style interviews featuring three "Did You Know?" questions about tobacco and vaping usage. The questions were designed to evoke surprise and offer education to promote prevention.

These interviews were recorded (with consent) and compiled into a shareable video posted on all NCL Nutmeg Chapter social media platforms as well as on the Tobacco Endgame Movement website.

The first 25 participants in the interviews were rewarded with coupons good for up to a $5 savings on a Sobol smoothie or another menu item.

All in the Ridgefield community were encouraged to attend and participate in this event.

Budget changes discussed at Charter Revision Commission's March 9 meeting

New standards of conduct for the town, suggestions from the Board of Finance to clarify its responsibilities, and the power of the town meeting to change proposed Board of Selectman and Board of Education budgets will be among the topics discussed at the Charter Revision Commission’s next regular meeting on March 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Annex.

A complete agenda and minutes from past meetings are posted on the town website, www.ridgefieldct.org. The first part of each meeting is designated for public comment, offering residents the opportunity to express their ideas and effect change on how our town is governed. Residents may also send emails to crc@ridgefieldct.org, or letters with written suggestions to the Commission at Ridgefield Town Hall, 440 Main St.

The Commission is soliciting input for charter changes from residents and members of town boards, commissions, committees, and agencies throughout March and April. It will consider and evaluate these proposals, and then publish a draft of proposed changes. Residents can comment on those proposals in public hearings in May. The commission will then present a final report to the Board of Selectmen.  Following selectmen approval, residents will vote on proposed changes in November’s election.

The Town Charter is comparable to a state’s constitution or an organization’s by-laws. Because it defines the basic authorities and operating rules of the town, it directly affects each resident. State law determines how and when the town’s charter can be changed.  

Charter changes run the gamut, from significant shifts in the structure of town government to small edits that clarify wording. In the last charter revision cycle, proposed changes included separating the Inland Wetlands Board from the Planning and Zoning Commission (which was approved by voters), and converting the positions of the town’s treasurer and tax collector from elected to appointed (both of which were rejected by the voters).  

To read the charter, or for more information on the current commission or past charter changes, go to the town’s website. For reminders of upcoming charter revision public hearings, sign up for ‘general government notifications’ on Ridgefield Alerts.

Friends of the Ridgefield Library seeks new members, volunteers

Membership is now open. The Friends of the Ridgefield Library (FORL) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to supporting the activities and mission of the Ridgefield Library. The funds raised by the Friends help support many visible aspects of the Library, such as the Summer Reading program, expanded wifi, pandemic expenses, lectures and many other features the community benefits from. 

Benefits of Friends Membership include:
• Friends’ newsletter, Friends’ Trends
• Free early admission on the first day of our General Book Sale
• Invitation to Friends Holiday Party in December and Annual Dinner/Meeting in June
• Pride in knowing you are preserving and improving library service in our community

Memberships last one year from the date of payment. We will remind you when it’s time to renew your membership. Membership dues are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law and are eligible for many corporate matching fund programs.

To join the Friends, complete a membership form (which you can find here) and drop it with your check at the Circulation Desk at the Library or mail it to 472 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877, Attn: Friends Membership.
•    Senior Friend – $15
•    Individual Friend – $20
•    Family Friends – $35
•    Good Friend – $50
•    Best Friend – $100

Membership dues paid to the Friends are distinct from contributions to the Library’s Annual Appeal. Friends’ dues provide the seed money for book sales and other Friends’ activities, the proceeds of which are used to support specific Library services and programs. Appeal donations made directly to the Library support the Library’s annual operating budget.

The Friends Board meets on the first Monday of most months at 1:30 p.m. at the Library. Board meetings are open to all members of the Friends.

Volunteers are always needed to process book donations as they come in; research and list books online; serve on various committees; and work at semi-annual book sales. Volunteering opportunities range from a couple of hours once a year to an ongoing weekly or monthly commitment.

Internet Book Sales Volunteers Needed:
Have an hour or so free every week? Spend a lot of time online? Become an Internet Lister! We will train you to evaluate books and list them on Amazon. We also need help processing and shipping completed sales. 

The Friends of the Ridgefield Library invite you to stop by the Friends Sorting Room on the Lower Level of the Library for their monthly Secret Stacks Book Sale, held on the second Saturday of the month.
•    Sorting Room open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
•    Items for all ages and interests – fiction, mysteries, trade paperbacks, children’s books and more
•    Cash or charge accepted (charges over $10)

The Friends of the Ridgefield Library accept book donations. Leave your donated books on the cart(s) outside the Friends Sorting Room on the lower level of the Library during regular open hours. Please do not leave donations in the Library Lobby or anywhere outside the building. 

If you have questions or would like additional information, please mail friends@ridgefieldlibrary.org. 

'Ridgefield Rocks' fundraiser charity concert to benefit The Prospector Theater

After our successful "Ridgefield Rocks" fundraiser concert in November 2022 to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Ridgefield, Great Hill Media Group is excited to announce another "Ridgefield Rocks" charity concert production in partnership with Sugar Hollow Taproom. 

On April 16 from 4 to 8 p.m., local Ridgefield musicians will donate four hours of music to benefit The Prospector Theater in Ridgefield. 

$20 entry includes free hot and cold food from many of Ridgefield's favorite restaurants. 

You can buy tickets in advance at https://buy-tickets-here.ticketleap.com/ridgefield.../.

Women’s History Month ARTalk at Ridgefield Library with Dr. Michael Norris

In celebration of Women’s History Month on March 12 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., art historian and educator Dr. Michael Norris will give an ARTalk about renowned 19th century French Impressionist painter Berthe Pauline Morisot (1841-1895) who captured her world in a vibrant, changing style, often focusing on modern young women and children as her subject matter.

While many of her paintings were of domestic scenes, Morisot also painted numerous landscapes en plein air (in the open air). Her brush work was notably in the French Impressionist manner with broad strokes and very abstract background patches of color and form  – hallmarks of this emerging modern approach to painting. She was one of Édouard Manet’s favorite models and was also married to his brother Eugène—who devoted his life to furthering Morisot’s career. The couple became a fixture in late 19th-century Parisien culture. 

This series of ARTalks is co-sponsored by the Ridgefield Library and the Ridgefield Guild of Artists and is dedicated to exploring the creative process through lectures, films and workshops that focus on art, architecture and design.

For more information and to register, please visit www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282.

Chair Yoga and Mindfulness series continues at Ridgefield Library

The Ridgefield Library offers two in-person classes, Chair Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation, which are good for overall conditioning and are great as stress busters.

The next Chair Yoga with instructor Liz Wendell is coming up on March 15. at 1 p.m. This class is part of a bi-monthly series happening at the Library on the first and third Wednesdays of the month (please check www.ridgefieldlibray.org to confirm the schedule). Participants use a chair, standing and seated, as a prop for support. Wear loose fitting clothes to make stretching easier. Chair Yoga offers the full benefit of any other yoga class: centering, yoga warm-ups, yoga movements and postures as well as concentration and breathing techniques. Chair Yoga makes practicing yoga accessible for all ages and conditions.

The Community Mindfulness Project presents a meditation class at the Ridgefield Library every other week on Monday evenings, with a couple of exceptions. These sessions typically take place on the second and fourth Monday of the month from 7 to 7:45 p.m. The next meditation session will take place on March 20.  These sessions provide time for community building, mindful meditation instruction, a guided meditation, sharing and reflection—and are suitable for first timers and pros alike. No special clothing or equipment is needed. Participants will sit in chairs in a circle.

Both the Chair Yoga and Mindfulness Mediation classes are made possible by programming support from the Ridgefield Library’s "Noreen L. Papa: Mothers Live Your Life Fund."   

Please register for each session at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282.

ROAR volunteer selected as Statewide Volunteer of the Year

On behalf of the NYSHFA/NYSCAL Clinical & Quality Services Committee, a volunteer at Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue (ROAR) was selected Statewide Volunteer of the Year in the Group category.

The volunteer will be honored at the Association’s Awards Banquet at the NYSHFA/NYSCAL Annual Conference, which will be held at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y., on May 10.

Norwalk River Valley elects new president

At the February Board of Directors’ meeting, the Friends of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) voted unanimously to elect Kate Throckmorton as interim president of the organization through 2023. Current president Charlie Taney will assume the role of 1st Vice President.

Ms. Throckmorton agreed in the interim to step back from her role as NRVT’s Wilton team leader. Ms. Throckmorton, a Wilton native, has been a board member of the NRVT since 2020. With this leadership shift, First Vice President Taney will actively pursue a Board President replacement at a time when the  organization is looking for new talent in the face of the expanding work that lies ahead.

Since 2012, the NRVT in partnership with the Cities of Norwalk and Danbury; and the Towns of Wilton, Redding, and Ridgefield has applied for CT DEEP RTG and Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program grants to build more trail. With funding from the State of CT and donor contributions, nearly twelve (12) miles of the NRVT have been completed to date in Norwalk, Wilton, and Redding. 

There has been much progress in the last three years designing and building the planned 30-mile Trail. Sections in Norwalk, Wilton, and Redding officially opened in early 2022. In October 2022, CT DOT funding letters were received for the Ridgefield Ramble and continuation of the Wilton Loop North projects. When the current Ridgefield and Wilton lengths are finished, the total length completed of the NRVT will reach the halfway mark at 15 miles.

More recently, the Friends of the NRVT partnered with the Western Council of Governments in applying for a multi-million dollar planning grant as part of a Federal initiative under Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity to invest $1.5 billion in the upcoming fiscal year. The popular program helps communities around the country carry out projects with significant local or regional impact and is administered through the Department of Transportation. 

The Friends of the NRVT Board meets monthly at the Comstock Community Center, Room 30, 180 School Road in Wilton. The next meeting is March 15 at 5:30 p.m.  The public is welcome to attend and meetings last no longer than 7 p.m.

For more information, visit www.nrvt-trail.com. Interested volunteers should contact Mr. Taney directly at ctaney@nrvt-trail.com.

Upcoming Author Talks at the Ridgefield Library

The Ridgefield Library will be hosting three author talks during the month of March. This series is co-sponsored by Books on the Common and copies of the featured books will be available for sale and for signing.

Kicking off the series is Julietta Appleton who will give a talk about her new book, "SOLA: Hollywood, McCarthyism and a Motherless Childhood Abroad" on March 9 at 7 p.m. According to Appleton, McCarthyism affected not only major Hollywood players like actors, directors and writers, but also people behind the scenes like her father who while in the midst of a successful Hollywood career was “crushed” by McCarthyism and the Red Scare during the early years of the Cold War. Coupled with her mother's sudden death, young Julietta existed in a world where she didn’t quite fit. She was unmothered, untethered and considered un-American. While living in ex-pat communities of artists and writers across Europe—from Italy to Ibiza to the Canary Islands, and upon returning to the US, Julietta’s searched for a place to belong, a place where she could be heard and a place to call home.

On March 19 at 2 p.m., Ridgefield's own Martha Talburt will talk about her new book of poems, pictures and reflections, "A Bridge, Not a Wall." Please join us to hear some of her fascinating stories and inspirations. Having taught drawing at Founders Hall in Ridgefield for 16 years and through Wilton Continuing Education, Talburt is an established art teacher. At Founders Hall she currently teaches four classes from Basic to Advanced Drawing and Portraiture. She also teaches private art lessons. Talburt studied at the Arts Students League in New York City. 

Finally, on March 30 at 7 p.m., baseball writer Tyler Kepner will give a talk about two of his best-selling books, “K: A History of Baseball In Ten Pitches” (2019) and “A History of  the World Series” (2022). Kepner has been The New York Times’s national baseball writer since 2010. He joined The Times in 2000 and covered the Mets for two seasons, then covered the Yankees from 2002 to 2009.  The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy calls Kepner "The best baseball writer in the nation." 

Kepner attended Vanderbilt University on the Grantland Rice/Fred Russell sports writing scholarship. He then covered the Angels for the Riverside (CA) Press-Enterprise and the Mariners for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer before he joined The Times. A native of Philadelphia, he started covering baseball as a teenager, interviewing hundreds of players for a homemade magazine that was featured in The Times in 1989. Copies of Kepner’s two books will be available for sale and for signing. 

Please register for each author talk separately at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or call 203-438-2282 for more information.

Rides for Ridgefield virtual presentation: Town Transportation Options 

The presentation will be Tuesday, March 21st at 1pm-2pm at the Ridgefield Library.

There will be three presenters:

Laurie Fernandez has overseen Human Resources for twenty-three years at the Town of Ridgefield. Her job involves so much more than hiring and firing people and working on payroll.  She is called into key meetings with many different departments and works with unions, the police and fire departments, clerical workers and the highway department on numerous business-related decisions. Fernandez loves the challenge of negotiating, restructuring projects, workman’s compensation issues, and helping to design the town budget.  She is also responsible for the Parking Administration in Town, the front desk/mail room operations and the Senior Bus. She will share all we need to know about available transportation in Ridgefield.

In addition, Rides for Ridgefield and Hart Bus Services will be making presentations. 

This program is made possible by the Commission on Aging. It can be attended in person or on Zoom. Please register for the link at the library's website, www.ridgefieldlibrary.org . 

Registration for the program closes March 21 at 1 p.m.