Month: December 2017

December Solstice

Here are 10 things about the December Solstice you might not know:

December solstice illustration
The December Solstice (not to scale).
  1. Winter and Summer Solstice
    In the Northern Hemisphere, the December Solstice is the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is summer solstice and the longest day of the year,  because equinoxes and solstices are opposite on opposite sides of the planet.
  2. A Specific Point in Time
    Most people count the whole day as the December Solstice. However, the Solstice is actually at a specific moment – when the Sun is exactly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn. In 2017, the December Solstice is on December 21, at 16:28 UTC. Due to the Time Zone difference, some locations will have their solstice on a different date.
  3. Second Solstice of the Year
    Solstices happen twice a year – once around June 21 and then again around December 21. On the June Solstice, the Sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23° 30′ North) in the Northern Hemisphere, while on the December Solstice, the Sun shines directly over the Tropic of Capricorn (latitude 23° 30′ South) in the Southern Hemisphere.
  4. The Date Varies
    The December Solstice can happen on December 20, 21, 22 or 23, though December 20 or 23 solstices are rare. The last December 23 solstice was in 1903 and will not happen again until 2303.
  5. The Sun ‘Stands Still’
    The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning ‘the Sun stands still’. This is because on this day, the Sun reaches its southern-most position as seen from the Earth. The Sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction. It’s also common to call it the day the Sun turns around.
  6. It’s the First Day of Astronomical Winter
    In the Northern Hemisphere, astronomers and scientists use the December Solstice as the start of the winter season, which ends on the March Equinox. For meteorologists, on the other hand, winter began three weeks ago on December 1.
  7. The Earth Isn’t Farthest From the Sun
    During winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the Earth is actually closest to the Sun. Different seasons are not defined by how far the Earth is from the Sun. Seasons occur because Earth orbits the Sun on a slant, with an axial tilt of around 23.4 degrees. Therefore different amounts of sunlight reaches the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, causing variation in temperatures and weather patterns thoughout the year. In fact, the Earth is on its Perihelion – the point on the Earth’s orbit closest to the Sun – a few weeks after the December Solstice.
  8. Earliest Sunset Not on the Solstice
    Most places in the Northern Hemisphere see their earliest sunset a few days before the Solstice and their latest sunrise a few days after the Solstice. This happens because of the difference between how we measure time using watches and the time measured by a sundial.
  9. Daylight Hours Increase Faster in the North
    If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, the increase rate of daylight hours depends on your location’s latitude – in more northern latitudes you will see a rapid increase in daylight hours compared to if you’re in the more southern latitudes.
  10. Celebrated Around the World
    Many cultures around the world hold feasts and celebrate holidays around the December Solstice.

Easton Police Activity Log Week 12-11-17 / 12-17-17


Total Calls:  154 Suspicious MV 10
Accident 3 Suspicious Person 1
Aided/EMS 6 Suspicious Activity 1
Alarm 16 Criminal Arrest 0
Animal Control 8 MV Summons 0
Assist other Dept. 3 MV Clear/No Action 0
Fire Call 3 Infraction (MV/Accident) 1
MV Stop 16 Written Warning (MV Stop/Accident) 15
Verbal Warning (MV Stop/Accident) 2


On 12/11/17 a local resident who lives on Flat Rock Road reported a pack of coyotes may have killed a small dog or animal in the area between her neighbor’s house and HKMS. Caller wanted incident on file in the event that one of her neighbor’s calls to report their dog missing.

On 12/12/17 a local resident reported receiving multiple calls (615-789-5666) from a male speaking broken English who states her computer has an issue that needs to be fixed. No personal information given, caller just wanted incident on file as a matter of record.

On 12/13/17 a local resident reported receiving 4 phone calls on her cell phone from an automated system stating she has warrants for her arrest. They did not speak to anyone and did not call the number back. Caller wanted incident on file as a matter of record.

On 12/14/17 a report of items dumped across from 48 Far Horizons Drive. A bag of used toys/clothes, disassembled basketball hoop, lawn chair, satellite TV dish, patio umbrella & a rug dumped on the side of the road. Police Officer reports nothing identifiable found.  Items removed.


On 12/14/17 Bridgeport PD served an EPD PRAWN Warrant on:
Elio Figueroa
28 Ohio Avenue
Bridgeport, CT
DOB: 3/27/1990

In February of 2017, Mr. Figueroa was issued a Misdemeanor Summons for:

  • Operating a Motor Vehicle Under Suspension
  • Operating an Unregistered Motor Vehicle
When he failed to appear in court, a warrant for his arrest was issued on May 5, 2017 with an additional charge of:
  • Failure to Appear 2nd Degree
At the time, Stratford Police Dept. held 2 warrants for his arrest as well.

Winter: A Reason for Celebration

reprinted from CT DEEP

Winter’s official start was December 21st at 11:28 a.m.

Solstices come two times in the year, summer and winter, and are marked by a longer day or longer night. The Winter Solstice marks the time when we have the longest night and the shortest period of daylight. The Summer Solstice marks the opposite, highlighting the longest day and the shortest night. The Winter Solstice is recognized by many cultures with the commonality of celebrating the coming of light. As with many holiday celebrations, activities are centered around agrarian roots, linking us to the seasons and natural phenomena. In German and Scandinavian cultures the winter solstice was marked by burning oak logs, greens and wood throughout the night and spreading the ash the following days to promise a successful crop for the coming year. From this the Yule log, Christmas tree, wreaths and many holiday traditions evolved. Likewise, in other cultures the celebrations of the importance of light and coming of crops shaped traditions.

The importance of the winter season is sometimes lost in the aversion to shoveling snow or dealing with ice. But we need to recognize the wonder of natural phenomenon and take some time to observe it. Without this period of time seeds could not reset for growth, water systems would not be able to recharge, wildlife would not redistribute and regroup, and the availability of maple syrup would be lost. In the course of changing conditions we are seeing less and later snowfall, warmer winter days, quicker springs and early rains and floods. Our ability to support seasonal activity is based on our ability to know how to reduce impacts. There are many ways for students and individuals to take action. Becoming involved starts with observation. Winter is a great time to take part in some citizen science opportunities honing your skills in observation and research. Enjoy the season and learn more about your natural community.

One Book/ One Town Easton Public Library Launches One Book/One Town Community Read

by Shannon Bruchal

Come January, the Easton Public Library will begin a One Book/One Town Community Read program that will feature the book, The Yellow Envelope: One Gift, Three Rules, and A Life-Changing Journey Around the World, by Kim Dinan. This nonfiction book tells the story of what happened when Kim and her husband quit their jobs to travel the world. They’re given a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. The only three rules for the envelope: Don’t overthink it; share your experiences; don’t feel pressured to give it all away. The obstacles they face, and what they learn from the giving of the money and of themselves, changes their lives. Multiple copies of the book will be available at the Library beginning Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018. One Book/One Town Community Read is sponsored by the Friends of the Easton Public Library.

“I am very excited to bring back the One Book/One Town Community Read after many years on hiatus.  The book we have chosen, The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan, speaks to a number of themes, including travel, relationships, self-actualization, giving, and global awareness,” says Library Director Lynn Zaffino.  “I am extremely grateful to the Friends of the Easton Public Library for generously funding this program.”

The Library will be hosting several themed events that are connected to the book, beginning with a children’s service project for grades K-5, on January 25th at 4:15 p.m. Children will create a meaningful self-portrait that expresses their sense of identity.  Each portrait submitted generates funding from the Bezos Family Foundation – up to $600,000 – to benefit the “Students Rebuild” Organization and support programs that are run by CARE and Search for Common Ground, helping youth on different sides of conflict build peace. On Saturday, February 10th at 2:00 p.m., Sam Ducharme will present his program, Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail.  He will share his own experiences, as well as hiking techniques, logistics, and wildlife information. Kim Dinan, the author of The Yellow Envelope, will travel to Connecticut on Saturday, March 24th, for an author talk and book signing at 2:00 p.m.  She will be discussing the book, her travels, and the book’s impact on her life. Airfare for her trip was generously donated by Jon Sonneborn, former Library Board of Trustees Chair. On Thursday, April 5th at 7:00 p.m., there will be a community-wide book discussion. Additionally, the Library invites community members to share their favorite travel photos in an exhibit that will be on display in the Library from January to April, 2018.

The One Book/One Town movement began in Seattle, Washington in 1998. Since then, many cities and towns all over the United States have created their own community read programs. The Easton Public Library has participated in several One Book/One Town programs in the last ten years. This is the first one since 2010.

For more information on One Book/One Town community Reads, contact Lynn Zaffino at 203-261-0134, or via email at

Lyrics Coffeehouse


The Lyrics Coffeehouse will host Plywood Cowboy with opening act Lena Rich at the Redding Community Center for a Friday night performance on January 5 at 7:30 p.m.

The Coffeehouse is in its 15th season of offering original music in Redding on the first Friday of the month; November to April. It features musicians who will perform their own original music into an environment conducive to listening. Residents can bring a bottle of wine, hors d’oeuvres, and your laptop. Admission to the shows is $10 in advance of the shows, or $12 on the night of the show.
Tickets are half price for seniors and students.

For more information, call (203) 938-2551 or the Park and Recreation page of the town website,

The complete list of performers:

Scoff Woldson and Other Heroes          November 3
David Morgan                                        Saturday, December 2
Plywood Cowboys                                 January 5
Pat Wictor                                              February 2
The Whispering Tree                             March 2
John McAuliffe                                       April 6

Patricia’s Presents Great Gift Idea iPhone hands free accessory


Patricia’s Presents is offering Bandolier: the must have iPhone accessory.

Hands Free Chic, Smart and Ready for Anything.

Sophisticated style that redefines mixing business with pleasure. Bandolier is the style savvy way to bring along the essentials without the bother of a handbag.

Transforms your iPhone into a piece of wearable technology that will change your life. Stylish, smart and fun, it’s the ultimate statement in chic utility allowing you to navigate the day’s adventures, free and easy.

With its patented design, each Bandolier features two slots to accommodate credit cards, driver’s license and/or cash for true liberation from the necessity of carrying a handbag.

Patricia’s Presents has the game-changing accessory that epitomizes high tech and high fashion.

Patricia’s Presents is located at 199 Ethan Allen Highway (Route 7)
This item is only available in store. 

Mark Twain Library Glass-ical Musick

by Romy Weinberg, Mark Twain Library

The Allen and Helen Hermes Arts Series will present Dennis James and “Glass-ical Musick,” an exploration of the history of glass music on January 7, 2018, at 3:00 the Mark Twain Library in Redding, CT. A reception will follow the performance.

James will present his authentic recreation of the glass armonica—invented by Benjamin Franklin around 1761—plus a concert set of pre-tuned musical glasses called the Seraphim.

Franklin invented his armonica after attending a concert of musical glasses.  He wrote in his diary that he was “charmed by the sweetness of its tones,” and his mechanized improvements resulted in what is now considered to be the first truly American musical instrument.

James plays his own recreation of the Franklin armonica design incorporating crystal glass bowls made in Frauenau, Germany.  Mounted on a motor-turned spindle and rubbed with his water moistened fingers, the armonica glass bowls produce notes and chords of remarkable sound.

James developed an interest in glass music in the late 1960’s when he heard recordings of the German glass music virtuoso Bruno Hoffmann.  In 1983 he organized the First International Glass Music Festival, bringing performers and enthusiasts of glass music from around the world together for the first time.

As one recent reviewer wrote, “James has to be heard to be believed. His way with the instrument is virtually magical . . . it glitters, it soothes, it seduces.”

The beauty and mystery of glass armonica music is being revived internationally, aided by James’s performances. A dedicated devotee of music history and authentic performance practice, James plays his armonica with enchanting sensitivity and now tours internationally, performing eighteenth century musical compositions for the device by Mozart, Beethoven, Hasse, Reichardt, Roellig, and many others.

A popular feature of James’s performance is the distribution of tuned brandy snifters to the members of the audience, who are instructed how to play and then perform spontaneous music together in a harmonic choir.

Dennis James has maintained an active international career in music since 1967.  He is a graduate of Indiana University with a Masters degree in organ performance.  James has performed recitals and with ensembles throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.  His recording career ranges from an all-glass major release on the Sony-Classical label (Cristal: Three Hundred Years of Glass Music) to appearances on Linda Ronstadt’s latest popular CD’s (on Epic) plus various European label solo and ensemble classical CD releases (by Naxos, ADDA, Syrinx, Hyperion and Ricercar).

For additional information about the Hermes Art Series or to register for this program, visit or call the library (203) 938-2545 for information.