1. Yellow Ribbon Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay:

 

• All resident tuition and fees for a public school

• The lower of the actual tuition and fees or the national maximum per academic year for a private institution.

Cost of actual tuition and fees may exceed these amounts if one is attending a private school or is attending a public school as a nonresident student.

Institutions of higher learning (degree-granting institutions) may elect to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program to make additional funds available for a veteran’s education program without an additional charge to one’s GI Bill entitlement.

Degree-granting institutions of higher learning participating in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program agree to make additional funds available for a veteran’s education program without an additional charge to their GI Bill entitlement. These institutions voluntarily enter into a Yellow Ribbon Agreement with the Veterans Administration and choose the amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed. VA matches that amount and issues payments directly to the institution.

 

Available Benefits & Eligibility

 

Only veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate, as determined by service requirements, or their designated transferees may receive this funding. Active-duty service members and their spouses are not eligible for this program. Child transferees of active-duty service members may be eligible if the service member is qualified at the 100-percent rate.

 

To receive benefits under the Yellow Ribbon Program:

 

• You must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill

• You must not be on active duty or a spouse using transferred entitlement

• Your school must agree to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program

• Your school must have not offered Yellow Ribbon to more than the maximum number of individuals, as stated in their participation agreement

• Your school must certify your enrollment to VA and provide Yellow Ribbon Program information

• Benefits expire 15 years after you leave the service, instead of the previous ten years.

 

You may be eligible if you fit the following circumstances:

 

• You served an aggregate period of 36 months in active duty after September 10, 2001

• You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001.

• You are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on the service eligibility criteria listed above.

 

 Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

2. State of Connecticut Tuition Waivers for Veterans

Veterans may attend Connecticut public colleges and universities tuition-free. Connecticut statutes provide that tuition may be waived for qualified veterans attending the University of Connecticut, Connecticut state universities and the 12 community-technical colleges.

Waivers cover only the cost of tuition for credit-bearing undergraduate and graduate programs. Other charges, such as for books, student activity and course fees, parking and room and board are not waived.

To qualify for a waiver at the University of Connecticut and Connecticut state universities, veterans generally must be admitted to a degree program. The community-technical colleges are more flexible.

 

Tuition Coverage

 

Tuition waivers for veterans cover 100 percent of tuition for General Fund courses at all public colleges and universities and 50 percent for Extension Fund and summer courses at Connecticut state universities.

Source: Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs

 

3. Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling for Veterans

Educational Services

 

Educational funding may be available to veterans who demonstrate a need for training or retraining to better prepare them for today’s competitive job market.

If a veteran wishes to attend a local community college or university, he/she will be informed of the veteran tuition waiver benefit to determine eligibility. The veteran will be instructed to file for financial aid. If in need of financial assistance beyond this, she or he can request funding from the Residential and Rehabilitation Services Director, if eligible.

Instruction in basic computer skills, use of Windows programs and use of the Internet are arranged through the Vocational Department at a local training facility.

Personal enhancement classes such as Tai Chi and CPR are also offered at the facility.

Source: Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs

 

 STORRS — A student team from Connecticut is among five teams in New England chosen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to receive up to $15,000 to pursue projects that deliver sustainable, alternative methods of addressing environmental challenges.

The University of Connecticut/Storrs won the funding for a project that will develop a cost effective and environmentally friendly flame retardant.

The “Environmentally Friendly Flame Retardants Based on Inorganic Nanosheets” project will make a flame retardant that will have similar or higher flame retardancy performance; minimum release of toxic gases during combustion; no leak of toxic chemicals during production, transportation, and usage; and, similar or lower cost when compared to conventional flame retardants.

“Projects and designs created by student teams each year surpass our expectations,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “It’s exciting and hopeful that students are coming up with sustainable ways to address our country’s challenging environmental issues, while also helping to create a vibrant, growing economy.”

Also from New England, college teams at Bridgewater State University, University of Massachusetts/Lowell and Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute as well as Norwich College in Vermont were among 42 college teams nationwide selected for EPA’s annual Prosperity and the Planet (P3) student design competition.

Past P3 teams have used their winning ideas to form small businesses and non-profit organizations. An intercollegiate team made up of students from Harvard, MIT and two Chinese universities launched the nonprofit organization One Earth Design, based on their winning project: a solar-powered device that cooks, provides heat and generates electricity.

Since 2004, the P3 Program has provided funding to student teams in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, committing over $10 million to cutting-edge, sustainable projects designed by university students. Projects from this year’s teams include sustainable alternatives to address the reduction of traffic congestion in Cincinnati, extending the growing season for farmers by heating greenhouses with biomass and environmentally friendly flame retardants.

Funding for the P3 projects is divided into two phases. In the first phase, student teams submit a proposal for a project, and if they are selected, they compete with other Phase I winners at the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. At the Expo, teams compete for Phase II funding of up to $75,000. This year marks the 11th year for the EPA P3 Program.

 SEYMOUR — The town of Seymour will receive $375,000 to make the downtown area compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The money is part of $5 million awarded to 13 Connecticut municipalities to develop and/or improve town commercial districts to attract small businesses, grow jobs and improve pedestrian access and livability in town centers. The Seymour plan calls for replacing trees whose roots are displacing the sidewalks. Funds will also be used to replacing lighting fixtures that are 20 years old and inefficient, saving the town an estimated 77 percent in energy costs.

 MILFORD — The Milford Bank is sponsoring a drive to collect items for victim-support packages by the Rape Crisis Center of Milford. Donated items may be dropped off at any bank office through September 30. Items needed include lightweight pants, sweat pants, elastic-waist shorts, sweatshirts, T-shirts, white low-cut socks and underwear all in sizes, especially large and extra-large. Also, flip flops, comb/brush sets, toothbrush/toothpaste set, water, Gatorade, individual tissue packs, small hand sanitizer, and individual snacks like granola bars or crackers.

The mission of the Rape Crisis Center of Milford (which also serves Ansonia, Derby, Orange, Seymour, Shelton and West Haven) is to eliminate violence and sexual assault through education and prevention and to empower victims to regain control of their lives.


NAUGATUCK — Ion Insurance Corp. will relocate its headquarters to a larger and more visible location in downtown Naugatuck next month, the company has announced. The company will move from its current location at 270 Church Street to new digs at 24 Cherry Street, announced David Rotatori, president of Ion Insurance and chief financial officer of Ion Bank, the insurance agency’s sister company. At 5,000 square feet, the new location will provide the company with a 21-percent increase in usable office space, he said.

Ion Insurance also last month acquired Drescher Insurance of Cheshire (see story this issue).

 Proposed fare increases draw scrutiny

HARTFORD — Some Connecticut commuters might have to dig deeper into their wallets to get to work if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority realizes proposed fare increases. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy expressed his dismay with the proposal, especially in light of MTA’s assertion that it has realized a savings on expenses.

In July, MTA released its proposed 2015 budget and four-year financial plan, which included fare increases in 2015 and 2017. In a letter dated August 14 to MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast, Malloy said Connecticut’s 2015 budget assumes no fare increases for Metro North’s New Haven line.

“It should go without saying that Connecticut expects Metro North to control expenses and to live within the adopted budget for 2015,” Malloy wrote. The governor also demanded an accounting of MTA’s reported expense savings.

“In the financial plan released last week,” Malloy wrote, “the MTA touts significant expense savings, but calls for fare increases in 2015 and 2017 that could impact the New Haven line. Those points don’t seem to add up. I would like a full accounting of Connecticut’s share of the proposed savings that were reported in the budget plan. Please provide the requested information to Commissioner James Redeker of the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

The MTA noted in a release dated July 28 that although it expects to save $1.3 billion in 2015 and $1.5 billion in 2017, it also faces whopping labor-cost increases over the next several years.

In addition to governing public transportation in southeastern New York, MTA is under contract with the Connecticut Department of Transportation to provide service lines in New Haven and Fairfield counties. Those lines are major sources of transportation to and from work for in-state Connecticut commuters and Connecticut residents who work in New York.

For example, Metro North’s New Haven rail line originates in New Haven and culminates at Grand Central Station, New York City. A typical route includes stops in Milford, Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford, among other cities. A single one-way peak-time adult ticket for the entire route — from New Haven to New York — currently costs $21.50 if purchased before boarding. (The on-board one-way fare is $28.) Riders also have the option of purchasing multi-trip passes at discounted rates.

Among upcoming MTA expenses, according to the four-year financial plan, is a negotiated settlement with labor that amounts to a $260 million yearly increase, on average, for labor costs. Expenses also will include “a series of investments in new service, improved service quality and enhanced safety for customers and employees,” according to the MTA.

Among other delineated MTA expenses include $20 million annually for new subway, bus and commuter railroad service; $125 million between 2015 and 2018 for new maintenance and operational necessities; and $363 million for employee, customer and public safety investments.

 

 From Ditch Corner to Goatville, recalling the Elm City’s rich (and sometimes not-so-rich) history

 

Those of us who live in or were born in New Haven can easily tick off the names of the neighborhoods everyone knows: The Hill, Westville, Fair Haven, Newhallville, East Rock, Morris Cove, to name a few. Also included are Amity, Beaver Hill, Dwight, Brookside, Wooster Square and Broadway. The number of modern-day neighborhoods and historic districts lies somewhere between 30 and 65, depending on whom you ask and where you’re standing when you do the asking.

This is not a definitive story about these forgotten neighborhoods because back in the early days of the colony, nearly every corner was a neighborhood or area named after someone famous or dead. But when you do a little research and look at a few historic maps, that’s when the “forgotten” neighborhoods appear, bringing with them a new understanding of just how steeped in history the Elm City remains.

No such research can be undertaken without a trip to the Whitney Library and its archives, located inside the New Haven Museum, where reside 30,000 printed works, 300 manuscript collections and countless maps and drawings that document the life of the city that was founded in 1638 by Rev. John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton, the latter of whom was the stepfather of Elihu Yale and — well, it quickly becomes easy to see how this is all intertwined.

Thanks to the work of several writers, including Doris B. (Deb) Townshend, Robert M. Lattanzi and Colin Caplan, one can discover the origins of these forgotten neighborhoods, the way of life in the early days of this seafaring colony and the origins of the city’s street names and neighborhoods.

For example, City Point still is referred to by locals who live there as Oyster Point or Oyster Point Quarter, harkening back to the oyster fishing industry that once was based there, now removed to the Quinnipiac River area (or “Dragon” as it was known in the 19th century. If you left the Quarter and traveled west, you’d come upon Sodom Hill, later named Mount Pleasant and now known as “The Hill.”

Travel down Congress Avenue to Congress Circle (or Square), near George and Church streets, and you’ll be in the Oak Street area, host to newly arrived ethnicities including Irish, Jewish and Italian immigrants a century ago. Head east and up Columbus Avenue to the Six Corners neighborhood, also bounded by Hallock Street, Dewitt Street and Washington Avenue. You’d be a stone’s throw away from the Suburb’s Quarter and Mr. Lamberton’s Quarter, having never stepped out of the modern-day Hill neighborhood.

Heading toward downtown, you might cross through the Thompson Square neighborhood, named in the 1860s after a Mr. Thompson (obviously). This later became Spireworth Square and, yet later, was renamed Trowbridge Square. Nearby you’d find possibly the oldest building in New Haven at 198 North Front Street, owned by the Fargeorge family back in the 1600s.

Sailing into the mouth of the Quinnipiac River, known as the Neck and then Dragon in the early 1800s, you might have agreed with Capt. Richard Russell when he passed through Clamville and looked upon the west side riverbanks, noting it was a “Fayre-Haven,” while the Farms and Waterside occupied the east bank of Dragon.

Farther up the river, the Hemingway family farmed their property, known as Quinnipiac Meadows. And where the Mill River joined Dragon, you’d find Grapevine Point and the Barnesville Hotel, located in Barnesville. Moving toward the East Shore, one would find Woodwardtown near the intersection of Main Street, Quinnipiac Avenue and Forbes Avenue.

Wooster Square wasn’t always the namesake of Revolutionary War hero Gen. David Wooster. Once known as Oyster Shell Field, it later become known as New Township Park (the neighborhood that arose to the east of the original nine squares was known as New Township), and finally Wooster Square, says Colin Caplan, a New Haven native who has written five books about the city and operates “Taste of New Haven,” whose mission it is to educate visitors to the city on its food, culture and history.

“Slineyville was an Irish neighborhood located in an area near Barnesville and close to what we now call Wooster Square,” explains Caplan. “It was named for a man named John Sliney. It was kind of like a slum for poor workers who lived on the outskirts of town in the early to mid-1800s. There was even a Sliney’s Corner, at the corner of Chapel and Chestnut streets.

“Not too far from that in the same time period was an area called New Guinea,” Caplan continues. “That was part of William Lanson’s development; [he] was a runaway slave. He became a contractor in the city and the only person who devised a way to extend Long Wharf into the longest wharf in the country [jutting approximately three-quarters of a mile out into New Haven Harbor] at that time. He developed New Guinea and also New Liberia, located near Green and East streets, a black and Irish neighborhood.”

Caplan says Hell’s Alley, located at the top of Beaver Pond Park, lived up to its name.

 

“It was on the border with Hamden,” says Caplan. “In the late 1800s to early 1900s, the newspapers mention it as a kind of scary romantic area. It’s what we now know as Cherry Ann Street in Hamden. There was a shanty village of largely Polish families. Conditions were reported as deplorable and there were knife fights and murders. It was cleared when the city developed Beaver Pond Park.”

“Let’s not forget Goatsville on upper State Street near where Route 80 is now,” says Joe Taylor, a well-known local researcher and city historian. “And before we had Westville, it was known as Hotchkisstown, named after the Hotchkiss family that lived out in that area.” Farther on up the western bank of upper West River, now known as Amity, there existed Chestnut Hill, a farming community.

The Broadway District, now a popular shopping mecca with exclusive and unique shops developed by Yale University, wasn’t always that glamorous a location.

“The area where Broadway now is located was a small busy commercial zone because of all the roads that converged down there that created a small business district,” adds Caplan. “It was an early dense area of commerce. Before it was called ‘Broadway,’ it was referred to as Ditch Corner. But the actual Ditch Corner, which is an old term going back to the 1680s, refers to a ditch that was dug between Beaver Pond and a creek, which later was known as the Farmington Canal. They dug the ditch to try to reverse the flow of Beaver Pond into the old creek to create a new mill closer to town. The corner to which we refer was that of Goffe and Orchard streets, the old way out of town. That corner was the site of a big battle in 1779 between the British and American troops.”

Next time you’re shopping on Broadway, glance northward toward that intersection and imagine that, only a few hundred years ago, people were fighting over our independence and not haggling over the price of a new pair of shoes.

 

In today’s economy, many believe transportation infrastructure is destiny. If true, West Haven’s long-awaited Metro North station, which became a reality in summer 2013, will help propel that city forward as its serves the new and growing needs of the University of New Haven and the West Campus of Yale University.

The station is situated on Sawmill Road between Hood Terrace and Railroad Avenue and has more than 650 commuter parking spaces.

Passengers are served by Metro North’s New Haven Line and Shore Line East trains. A decade in the making, the $80 million project has two 12-car platforms, a station building, a pedestrian bridge and rebuilt track.