Once Around the City: Visitor from Nicaragua, mental health, mansion lectures and Fodor Fling

NORWALK, Conn. – The Norwalk/Nagarote, Nicaragua, Sister City Project’s (N/NSCP) field director, Miguel Salinas, will be visiting the Greater Norwalk area from April 26 through May 5. During his trip, Salinas will discuss the work of the Nicaraguan-based sister city project and provide an update on the destruction that resulted from the April 10 earthquake that centered on Nagarote. He will be the keynote speaker at the group’s annual fiesta, May 1at Oak Hills Restaurant on the Green.

Salinas has a series of speaking engagements planned:

  • Sunday, April 27: 10:30 a.m. to noon, Congregation Church on the Green, Norwalk
  • Monday, April 28: 8:40 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, Royle School, Darien; 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Carver Center, Norwalk
  • Tuesday, April 29: 9 to 10 a.m., Friends School, Wilton; 11:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Royle School, Darien; 2:15 to 4:30 p.m., Brien McMahon High School (Build-On program), Norwalk; 5 to 5:30 p.m., South Norwalk Community Center, Norwalk
  • Wednesday, April 30: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Spanish Class, Norwalk Community College, Norwalk; 12:55 to 2:20 p.m., Middlesex Middle School, Darien; 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Norwalk High School (Build-On program), Norwalk
  • Thursday, May 1:10 to 11 a.m., Norwalk High School, Honor Society, Norwalk; 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., keynote speaker at NNSCP’s annual Fiesta, Oak Hills Restaurant on the Green, Norwalk

South Norwalk Library launches 3-part mental health series

The South Norwalk Branch Library, 10 Washington St., will kick off its three-part mental health series Tuesday, May 13, with a screening of the documentary, “The Anonymous People.” According to the library press release, the documentary is about life and recovery from addiction. More than 23 million Americans are living in long-term recovery from addictions. Social stigma has kept their voices silent and faces hidden for decades. The moving story of “The Anonymous People” is told through the faces and voices of citizens, leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, public figures, and celebrities who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. The program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, May 20, the library continues its mental health series with the presentation, “NAMI In Our Own Voice” (IOOV). This program, put together by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, unmasks mental illness using speaker stories to illustrate the individual realities of living with mental illness, to provide a better understanding of what it is like to live with mental illness and stay in recovery and to change attitudes about mental illness.
Presenters Vered Brandman and Liz McDermott, Norwalk residents who are living in recovery from mental illness, will speak about their experiences, and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions.

The final program in the series, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, is “QPR” (Question, Persuade and Refer), an educational program designed to teach ordinary citizens how to recognize a mental health emergency and how to get an at-risk person the help they need. It is also an action plan designed to save lives with three steps. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.

Child care, sponsored by the Norwalk Early Childhood Council, is available for children ages 3 and older by pre-registration.

The events in this series are free and open to the public. Registration is available online or by calling (203) 899-2790, Ext. 15902. For more information, see the library website.

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum lecture series on tap 

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum 2014 Lecture Series begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 21. CT Historic New England’s Associate Curator Laura Johnson will present the illustrated talk, “Mottos, Messages and Gem Lore in Victorian Jewelry” and introduce the messages, both hidden and overt, in Victorian gems. Lecture attendees are invited to bring their own Victorian jewelry for expert identification (please note- not for appraisal).

This is the first in a series of lectures titled “Lockwood-Mathews Mansion: Seventy-four years of Culture — Art, Life, and Love, 1864-1938”  by curators and experts in the field of Victorian era material life.

The lectures are $25 for members, $30 for non-members per session. A discount package for all seven lectures can be purchased in advance for $150 for members/ $180 for non-members. The price includes lecture, lunch and a Mansion tour. Lunch is courtesy of Michael Gilmartin’s Outdoor Cookers.

For more information on schedules and programs, visit the website, e-mail [email protected], or call 203-838-9799.

A fine time at Fodor Farm Fling

The Fodor Farm Spring Fling at the new Culinary Barn on the farm grounds was sold out April 24, with 100 percent of the funds raised to help restore the original 1809 farmhouse on one of Norwalk’s oldest continuous historic farms, now a city-owned park in a dense part of the city saved by local activists from development.

The park now hosts a large vibrant and sustainable community garden with more than 300 plots, the new city tree farm, and the once-nearly-collapsed and graffiti-covered – but now beautiful again – Farmhouse now being restored in a smart public/private partnership into public event space and home to several local non-profits.

The decades-long effort was spearheaded by Norwalk Preservation Trust and the Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department, who sponsored the event. Mayor Harry Rilling, Rec and Parks Director Mike Moccaie, and NPT President Tod Bryant offered brief remarks, before dining on a three-course feast of local oysters and lamb, washed down with well-paired French wines, donated by Fat Cat Pie Co. and Fountainhead wines.


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