Who Will You Vote for @ Beardsley Zoo?

Five animal candidates are vying for the much sought-after title of Mayor of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. This important election will decide the Zoo’s second Mayor, the highest-ranking animal official who will showcase the important role of animal ambassadors. Last year’s winner, Wiggles the Chinchilla, died in office, and runner-up Kallisto the Amur leopard is completing Wiggles’ term.

The five candidates who have made it past this year’s primary rounds to the general election are:

· Harry the Guinea Hog piglet. As the youngest candidate to enter the race, Harry has a maturity beyond his months. He demonstrates a remarkable ability to negotiate with his littermates on issues ranging from what to eat and when to eat it to what to roll in and how to roll in it. It’s rumored that there was a spiderweb in the barn that read “some pig.” This has not been verified.

· Zari the African Grey Parrot. As a long-time animal ambassador and a veteran of ZooMobile visits to senior centers as well as starring roles at children’s birthday parties, Zari has a calm demeanor and rarely flies off the handle. Her campaign slogan is “a bird on the hand is worth two of the other candidates.”

· K-Man the Yacare Caiman. Sometimes called the “piranha caiman” as yacare caimans are known to snack on the razor-toothed fish, K-Man’s campaign materials claim this ability makes him the perfect choice for choppy political waters. He says he is looking forward to sinking his teeth into the job of mayor.

· Jolene the Whistling duck. Jolene is a natural politician, and as such, has decided to put her wing in the ring for a second run at mayor. Sociable, boisterous, and noisy, she has openly supported the rights of ducks who prefer to walk on land as well as those who prefer to perch in trees. She considers all animals equal under the law.

· Clara the American Bison. As the country’s national mammal and official symbol of the country along with the bald eagle, Clara says that she has the dignity and gravitas demanded of a zoo mayor. A devoted single mother, Clara wants voters to know that she can run up to 35 mph, is extremely agile, and can spin around quickly. She calls her ability to spin an advantage in seeing all sides of an issue.

“Once again, the race for Mayor of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is highly contested as each candidate attempts to win the support of voters,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “Unlike other elections, we encourage people to vote early, vote often, and stuff the ballot box.”

The election will be decided by online votes. The general public can vote for the candidate of their choice by making a one-dollar donation for each vote at https://CBZMayor2021.givesmart.com. Voting begins on Thursday, November 4. Polls close at four p.m. on Thursday, November 18.

The winning Mayor will hold a 12-month term. All donations to the ballot box will be used to support the Zoo’s mission of conservation, education, research, and fun.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo:

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 99th year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolves, Mexican gray wolves, and red wolves. Other highlights include our new Spider Monkey Habitat, the Rainforest Building, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can ride on the carousel, grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization approaching its 100th year at a time when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations and ecosystems is more important than ever.

Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org. In accordance with the state of Connecticut COVID-19 guidelines: we recommend that guests continue to wear masks while visiting the Zoo, but when guests are outside and can maintain social distance, masks may be removed. In any indoor area, or when social distancing cannot be maintained, masks are required. Everyone over the age of two, with the exception of those with medical conditions that preclude wearing them, should have a mask available.

Exceptional Dedication – Honoring Native Americans Veterans on November 14 @ The Institute for American Indian Studies

Each year, in honor of Veterans Day, the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington Connecticut honors the exceptional military service of Native Americans in a formal dedication. This year, the Institute is once again inviting the public to participate in the program that will honor three Native Americans whose passion and loyalty have helped to make America what it is today on Sunday, November 14 at 12 noon.

The first honoree is Joseph A. Perry, Jr. (Eastern Pequot), a Vietnam Veteran who enlisted in the United States Army in 1960. Upon his Honorable Discharge as Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division in 1963, he joined the Connecticut State Police in 1964, retiring in 1995 as Deputy Commissioner/ Colonel Division of State Police. In 1995 Joseph became the Director of Public Safety for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, retiring in 2011 as Inspector General.

Throughout his career, Joseph has volunteered extensively, serving several terms as a Tribal Councilor and Tribal Treasurer for the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation from 1996 through 2017. He also served on the Board of Trustees and Corporators of Norwich Free Academy from 1992 to 2007.

Currently, Joseph serves on Tribal Honor Guard, is a Tribal Ambassador and member of the Native American Heritage Advisory Council (NAHAC). In addition, he serves as a Corporator at William W. Backus Hospital, is on the Chairman Criteria Committee at the Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, and is a High School Football Official on the Eastern Connecticut Board of Approved Football Officials. Joseph is the recipient of numerous awards, including the University of New Haven Distinguished Alumni award, the Connecticut Chapter NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Southeastern Connecticut Chapter National Football Award – Distinguished American.

Al Sargent

The second honoree is Albert E. Sargent, Sr., a second-generation submarine sailor. Sargent is a descendent of the Shinnecock, Pequot, Cherokee, and Pokanoket peoples, with ties to the Narragansett and Nipmuc Native American communities. Sargent enlisted in the U.S. Navy in April 1977. He first attended Radioman A School in San Diego, CA, and, later switched to sub-school training in Groton, CT. He served on the USS Trout SS566 and was later assigned to the USS Grayling SSN566 submarine in Charleston, SC, as a machinist mate. In April 1981 he was transferred to the USS Casimir Pulaski SSBN-594, where he became Petty Officer, Second Class. In 1984, he was given shore duty at the Sub school in Groton, CT.

In 1987 Sargent was offered a submarine construction job at Electric Boat in Groton, CT on the greatest FBM of its time, the USS Tennessee SSBN-734. He served on board this vessel until 1991 as Petty Officer, First Class. Offered shore duty again in Groton, CT at NSSF Naval Submarine Support Facility, he supervised a group of sailors to service the subs at homeport. Leaving the NSSF, Sargent was offered the opportunity to serve on the USS Groton in 1994. While serving on the Groton, he was selected for Chief Petty Officer and asked to serve two more years, but having served twenty years, he declined. Sergent served on the USS Groton from 1994 until his retirement in August 1997.

Dante Biss Grayson

The third honoree is Dante Biss-Grayson, who served in the U.S. military as a Senior Airman from 2000 to 2012. His active military duty included seven combat tours in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Italy. In addition to Department of Defense Contracting, he was part of the Crash, Fire, and Rescue teams. He is trained in Emergency Management, Chem Warfare, base defense, search and rescue, heavy rescue, aircraft rescue, and inspection.

Today, Biss-Grayson is an Osage Artist that specializes in many media including fine art, large abstract paintings as well as drawings, installations, archetypes, abstract expressionism, expressionism, and the creation of ribbon skirts. A recent and ongoing project is creating poetry based on case files for missing and murdered indigenous women; to date, he has written more than 70 poems. Biss-Grayson, a world traveler will be at the Institute for American Indian Studies for the Veterans Ceremony as well as for several special programs planned throughout the weekend.

This outdoor ceremony will honor these individuals as well as all veterans, Native and Non-Native that have served our country. Following the ceremony, attendees are invited to enjoy light refreshments. This event is free and open to the public but pre-registration is requested. Please call 860-868-0518 or email events@iaismuseum.org.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies (IAIS)
Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. We have an outdoor replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village, the award-winning Wigwam Escape, and a Museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut.

When Glaciers Melt – First Settlers of Connecticut New Exhibit at The Institute for American Indian Studies

The new exhibit at the Institute for American Indian Studies located in Washington traces how Connecticut’s first settlers found their way as the glaciers melted. It is a rare opportunity to learn about the Connecticut environment, and the way people and animals lived here more than 10,000 years ago. A highlight of this exhibit is an extensive display of the Templeton Dig Site, one of the oldest in southern New England, found in Washington, Connecticut. The exhibit, When Glaciers Melt – First Settlers of Connecticut will be on display in the Institute’s special exhibition hall through mid.-November.

It is hard to envision that 21,000 years ago, much of the Northeast was covered under two miles of glacial ice. As the environment changed an ice-free corridor emerged in the western area of the United States and people began to migrate south across the Bering Strait. Eventually, they made their way to the Northeast. By the time settlers reached Connecticut, the average temperature was only 13 degrees colder than it is today! The receding glacial waters left a nutrient-rich soil that provided the perfect environment for the development of Paleoindian lifeways.
This exhibit illustrates how the first settlers in Connecticut lived. They are classified as hunter-gatherers and would follow migratory herds across the landscape and would forage for food such as strawberries, blueberries, and other seeds. The display on flint knapping is particularly interesting because it shows the reduction sequence of how rocks were broken down to form smaller pieces that would be used as tools such as projectiles and knives. One of the surprises of this exhibit is the number of different types of rocks used in flint knapping that came from places as far away as Pennsylvania, Eastern New York, and Rhode Island.

Another section of the exhibit details the Paleoindian environment that includes the presence of very large plants, trees, and animals. One of the most astounding animals showcased is a giant beaver that grew to the size of a black bear! This display makes an excellent photo opportunity for young and old alike! At some point both our modern-day smaller beavers and these giant beavers co-existed. Unfortunately, the giant beavers were unable to change with the environment and they went extinct around 10,000 years ago.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is the display regarding the Templeton Dig Site in Washington. Templeton is Connecticut’s first known Paleoindian site and, until recently it was the oldest site in all of southern New England. This exhibit includes explanations of why this site is so important, how it was excavated, what was found, an example of the tools excavators used, and plans for future excavations. A second display, the Brian B. Jones dig site located in Avon, Connecticut is also examined and discussed.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies (IAIS)
Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. We have an outdoor replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village, the award-winning Wigwam Escape, and a Museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut.

16th Annual Native American Archaeology Roundtable October 30

On Saturday, October 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. the Institute for Native American Studies is hosting the 16th annual Native American Archaeology Roundtable via Zoom for just $10 per person. The focus of this important and informative session is suited for scholars and people that have an appreciation of how we study Native American culture and archeology today. A highlight of this program is to explore the past, present, and future of Native American communities and the ongoing relationship between them and archeologists.

One of the greatest misconceptions of the 19th and 20th centuries was the regard by scholars of the indigenous people of North America as simple and primitive. It was believed that their culture was quickly disappearing all over the country. During this time period, most archeologists ignored Native American community leaders and excavated indigenous burials and other sacred sites. In 1990, this viewpoint began to change because of federal legislation that required archaeologists and museum officials to consult with federally recognized tribes about archaeological surveys, excavations, and artifacts.

As a result of this ongoing and evolving relationship with Native American communities, archeologists continue to develop non-invasive archaeological technologies that provide answers and enhanced perceptions while respecting the sites and artifacts. Balance is now considered to be of the utmost importance. This year’s roundtable will focus on the present archeological practices and explore ways to reconcile and collaborate with mutual respect and understanding.

The roster of scheduled speakers is impressive and includes Dr. Margaret Bruchac from the University of Pennsylvania, Rolf Cachat-Schilling from the Ethical Archeological Society, Brenda Geer from the Eastern Pequot/NAHAC, Bonney Hartley from Stockbridge Munsee-Mohican, Michael Johnson from the Mashantucket Pequot, Cathern Labadia from the State Historic Preservation Office, and Marissa Turnbull from the Mashantucket Pequot. The organizer and chair of this event is Dr. Lucianne Lavin, Director of Research and Collections at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Connecticut. Dr. Lavin is a member of Connecticut’s Native American Heritage Advisory Council, the editor of the journal of the Archeological Society of Connecticut, and the author of several books including Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples that can be purchased at the Museum’s gift shop. To register for this event click here. The registration fee is $10. For additional information and questions, please call the Insititute at 860-868-0518 or email general@iaismuseum.org.

About the Institute for American Indian Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures. Located on 15 acres of woodland IAIS is home to permanent and temporary exhibits, nature trails, a replicated 16th century Replicated Algonkian village. During the school year, over 7,000 school-age children visit for hands-on programs to learn about the Indigenous people who have called Connecticut home for thousands of years.

Fragments of Memory Art Show in Stamford

The The Ferguson Library and the Stamford Art Association are pleased to present Fragments of Memory that will be on display from October 2021 through January 2022 with an opening on Thursday, October 21. The Ferguson Library is located in the DiMattia Building, the art show will be on the Third Floor Auditorium Gallery Bedford and Broad Streets, in Stamford.

Fragments of Memory will be on display through January 20th in the Main Library third floor gallery. This is the first exhibit by the SAA at the Ferguson Library since COVID-19 restrictions forced the Art at the Ferguson collaboration between the SAA and the library to be put on hold. The theme is tied to “Beloved”, Toni Morrison’s classic novel, which is part of the October Big Read Program at the Library. Guests will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours to attend the opening.

About the Stamford Arts Association
Established in 1971, the Stamford Art Association is a nonprofit 501 (3)c organization whose members include painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers and multimedia artists. In its 50th year, our mission as an arts organization is to provide a forum where emerging and professional artists can discuss and exhibit their work within the community and compete in juried shows. The Association’s Townhouse Gallery holds eight consecutive shows each year, two of which are solo exhibits and six are juried exhibits with prominent jurors from art schools, galleries and institutions in New York and surrounding areas, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, Bruce Museum, and Museum of Modern Art. We host an international exhibit, the Faber Birren Color Award Show, and a High School Student Show for Fairfield County students. All artists, not just members, are welcome to submit their work for exhibits. Annual competitions draw submissions from local, regional, and national artists. The SAA also curates the 4 yearly “Art at the Ferguson” exhibits at the Ferguson Library.

Forest Bathing Wellness Walks @ Weir Farm

Saturday, October 23rd from 9:00 to 10:00 am. Certified Forest Therapy Guide, Jennifer Salkin, will be leading a slow-paced Shinrin Yoku hike. Shinrin Yoku, also called Forest Bathing at Weir Farm. Forest Bathing is a way to experience the natural world with attention to sense perceptions and has many health benefits. Register by calling 203-834-1896 x 28.

Forests have been imbued with magical, spiritual powers in folklore and fairy tales for centuries. But it’s their therapeutic properties that have captivated modern scientists. In Japan, shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing — defined as spending time among trees — has been considered a form of preventive medicine since the 1980s, when researchers in Nagano found that the practice lessens stress, boosts immunity and lowers blood pressure. Subsequent studies showed that soaking up the forest environment — the still atmosphere, the verdant scenery, the gentle crunching of twigs underfoot — reduces cortisol (the body’s primary stress hormone) and activates the parasympathetic (self-healing) nervous system. These findings paved the way for other holistic disciplines, including today’s forest medicine (the study of how wooded environments improve health) and ecotherapy (which considers the curative potential of natural settings).

Over the past decade, shinrin-yoku has become a well-established ritual among wellness buffs in the West, too, and from Baja California to the Berkshires, guided walks in the woods are now offered by rustic outfitters and high-end spas alike. Instead,forest bathing is simply about “connecting with nature through our sense of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.” But it’s the crisp, clean forest air that’s perhaps most powerful. Breathing in phytoncides, the aromatic oils released by trees, can increase the number of the body’s natural killer cells (a type of white blood cell crucial to the immune system that can limit the spread of microbial infections and tumors).