Public Support Needed for Complete Streets Ordinance

Logo-v01-OTA proposed “Complete Streets Ordinance” is on the agenda of the City of Middletown’s Public Works and Facilities Commission meeting on Wednesday, July 8, at 7 p.m. in Room 208 of the Municipal Building, 245 deKoven Drive in Middletown. The purpose of the ordinance is to help Middletown become a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly community by ensuring that the needs of all users – pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit users – will be considered in planning all future transportation improvements.
Middletown’s Complete Streets Committee, established in early 2012 by Mayor Drew and chaired by the Jonah Center, developed a Complete Streets Master Plan by early 2013. This master plan was incorporated into the City’s Plan of Conservation and Development in 2014. The master plan defines key streets, highways, school zones, and commercial areas where additional sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle lanes, and off-road trails would be most helpful in connecting various parts of the city for users of non-motorized transportation. The draft Complete Streets Ordinance under consideration will help our community seize every opportunity to make key bike-ped improvements while other infrastructure improvements are being planned.
A show of public support at the July 8 meeting will help ensure endorsement of this Complete Streets Ordinance by the Public Works and Facilities Commission, so that the ordinance can move on to the General Counsel Commission and eventually to the Common Council. Please plan to attend if you are able. For more information, contact John Hall at 860-398-3771 or send a message from our home page.

Sunset Paddle in the Floating Meadows — Aug. 22

Wild RiceThe Jonah Center invites kayakers and canoeists to paddle the Floating Meadows on Saturday, August 22, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., ending at sunset. We will follow the Mattabesset River upstream, assisted by an incoming tide, and view the 1000 acre marshland’s bright green wild rice grass in late afternoon light at the most spectacular time of year. Redwing blackbirds and swallows will likely be very active, with a half-moon high in the sky.

The outing will start and finish at the new Phil Salafia Canoe and Kayak Launch at 181 Johnson Street in Middletown’s North End (next to the recycling center). Paddlers need to provide their own boats, lifejackets, water and snacks (if desired). Pre-registration is not required, but participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver and photo use permission slip. The Jonah Center requests a donation of $10 for each participant.

For more information, contact John Hall at 860-398-3771.

July 11 River Paddle Cancelled

2011 June paddle bannerThe Jonah Center’s River Paddle on Saturday, July 11, has unfortunately been cancelled.  In the meantime, we encourage you to use the new canoe and kayak launch at 181 Johnson Street, in Middletown. (See the post below for more details.)  If you wish to be on the Jonah News Email list to learn about future paddles and other events, you may sign up using the form on the left side of this page.

Sorry about this change of plans.  We’ll announce another paddle as soon as we are able to make plans.


Canoe & Kayak Launch Ribbon Cutting — Fri. June 5, 3 p.m.

Kayak Launch Markup 2013-06-18The Jonah Center’s earliest and longest-lasting project has born fruit. After 9 years of planning, proposal writing, grant writing, negotiations with City officials, set-backs, objections, more site-seeking, and much waiting, the Phil Salafia Canoe and Kayak Launch on the Coginchaug River is now open for use.
The official ribbon-cutting by the Mayor will take place on Friday, June 5, at 3 p.m., to coincide with the end of the Macdonough School Canoe Trip led by the Jonah Center and our volunteers. Continue reading

Riverfront Encounter — Sat. May 9, noon to 5 p.m.

Riverfront Encounter imageWesleyan’s Center for the Arts and College of the Environment, in collaboration with the Jonah Center and many other organizations, invite the wider community to this eco-arts event in Harbor Park, Middletown, on May 9.

Music, exhibits, food, activities for children, boat rides, rowing instruction, environmental action tent, and more.

For a full list of activities, click here. 

Making Portland More Bike-Ped Friendly

CS image 7The Complete Streets Group of Portland invites the public to an information sharing session on Thursday, May 28 at 7 p.m., at the Waverly Center (formerly Senior Center). After a brief overview by Kathy Herron on the Complete Streets movement along with the group’s mission and goals, the public will be asked to share their thoughts on areas in town where it feels safe and pleasant to walk or bicycle, as well as dangerous intersections, high-speed traffic roads, school walking routes, etc. – that they would like to see become more pedestrian/bicyclist friendly. Continue reading

Jonah Center Favorite — Two Talks at Wesleyan by Prof. Brian Stewart

Earth Day Rant 2015“Sustainability by Number”

Thursday, 23 April, 4:30 p.m.
Exley Science Center Room 58

Through its exuberance, humankind has dug itself into an enormous hole, one that requires some quantification to try to grasp. Through numbers, we will examine the size of the hole and its rate of growth. Giant problems require giant solutions; we will explore the form these solutions might take — and the form they probably will not take.

“Stop Drilling Down!”

Tuesday, 28 April, 7 p.m.
Exley Science Center, Room 150

“Drilling down” is a metaphor for probing a question ever more deeply, learning more and more in the process. It’s what academics do, and it’s a good thing to do — right? Only if we also take the time to synthesize what we and others have learned in an attempt to grasp the whole picture. This talk is an attempt to do just that, examining the human situation from a physical perspective. Continue reading

Volunteers Needed for City Environmental Committees

Middltown logoThe City of Middletown’s Planning, Conservation and Development Department is seeking citizen volunteers to fill vacancies on two advisory panels. There are currently four vacancies on the Conservation Commission and five vacancies on the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency. Continue reading

It’s Time To Call Your Legislators

CGACurrent law already bans pesticides (with some exceptions) on elementary schools and day-care centers. Now we need to expand this protection to high school students and the general public.  Also, these chemicals are killing our ponds, rivers and Long Island Sound.

Please take a few moments to call or email your Ct State Rep or Senator.  Legislator contact info and a sample message are below.

Continue reading