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Photo of Senator Bob Duff.


Bob Duff

Standing Up For You!

Help the Victims of Hurricane Harvey

The Americares emergency team--which is headquartered on Hamilton Avenue in Stamford--has actively ramped-up to help the people affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and all across the Gulf Coast. This includes deploying a response team, outreach to partners and coordination planning.

Health is on the way.

But they need your help. For every $10 you donate, Americares can provide $200 in aid. Right now, Americares is already in Texas, distributing water and aid and mobilizing medical outreach with their local partners. Please consider making a donation to Americares!

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross is helping by opening shelters, providing truckloads of supplies, and putting volunteers in place. Please consider giving!

Waterfront Love: A Concert to Benefit the Victims of Harvey

Wednesday, September 6 from 6:30 to 9:00 PM

Waterfront Love

Hosted by the City of Norwalk and Tim Currie's Motown Review Band at Norwalk's Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk will donate all gate proceeds from 5:00 PM through close to the cause. Donations can be made and T-shirts will be sold to benefit the victims of Hurricane Harvey. From one waterfront community to another let's show Houston some love! Contact with questions.

Please pass on the invite to all!

Walk Bridge Meeting

A public information meeting for the Walk Bridge Program will be held at Norwalk City Hall on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 5:30 PM. The meeting will provide an update on the environmental and design phases of the Walk Bridge Replacement Project and details of the CP243 Interlocking and Danbury Branch Dockyard construction projects.

An open house session will be held from 5:30 PM-6:30 PM, providing attendees with an opportunity to speak one-on-one with representatives from the Walk Bridge Program.

photo of the Walk Bridge.

A presentation will begin promptly at 6:30 PM and will provide information on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)/Connecticut Environmental Policy Act (CEPA) determinations and the advancement of design for the Walk Bridge Replacement Project. In addition, information will be presented on the construction of the CP243 Interlocking and Danbury Branch Dockyard Projects.

More information is available at

Labor Day: Norwalk Garbage & Recycling Collection

On Monday, September 4, 2017 (Labor Day), there will be NO garbage and recycling collection services and collection will follow the holiday schedule.

Garbage and recycling normally collected on Monday, September 4th will be collected on Tuesday, September 5th. Tuesday routes will be collected on Wednesday and so on until Friday routes are collected on Saturday, September 9th.

The Norwalk Transfer Station, located at 61 Crescent St., and the Yard Waste Site, located at 15 South Smith St., will both be CLOSED on Monday, September 4, and will reopen for regular business hours on Tuesday, September 5th.

For more information, please visit the Norwalk website at or contact the Customer Service Center at 203-854-3200.

Back To School Safety

Over half a million children are headed back to Connecticut's public schools, and that means--once again--that for the next nine months, we will be sharing the roads with walkers, bicyclists, school buses and automobiles, all trying to get children safely to and from school.

We're Back in School...Be Alert!

I'd like to take a moment to share some back-to-school safety tips with you as suggested by the National Safety Council. I know all of us are concerned with keeping our children, our grandchildren, our friends and our family safe as children return to continue their outstanding public education experiences right here in Connecticut.

Here are a few tips; for a more complete summary, please visit the National Safety Council website.

On the Bus

School buses are a safe way for students to travel, but children also need to do their part to stay alert and aware. When waiting for the bus, kids should stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness. When on the bus, wear a seat belt if they are available. When exiting the bus, if you have to cross in front, first walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the bus driver. And watch for traffic! Connecticut law requires all vehicles to stop for school buses and students, but unfortunately, not everyone obeys the law.

This time of year, it's especially important for motorists to be aware of stopped school buses and for students heading to and exiting buses. Under state law, it's mandatory that drivers stop for school buses that have their flashing red warning lights activated, whether they are approaching or following the school bus. Drivers that fail to stop are subject to a $450 fine.


Nearly 80 percent of playground injuries are caused by falls. Equipment associated most with injuries are climbers, swings, slides and overhead ladders. Playground surfaces should be made of wood chips, mulch, wood fibers, sand, pea gravel, shredded tires or rubber mats and should be at least 12 inches deep. Beware of hardware that is capable of cutting a child, such as bolts, hooks, rungs, etc. Children age 4 and under shouldn't play on climbing equipment or horizontal ladders. If your playground seems unsafe, report the problem to school or park officials.


Backpacks that are too heavy can cause a lot of problems for kids, like back and shoulder pain, and poor posture. Backpacks shouldn't weigh more than 10 percent of a child's weight (for example, an average 12 year old boy weighs 85-100 pounds, so his backpack shouldn't weigh more than 9 or 10 pounds!)

When selecting a backpack, look for: the correct size (never wider or longer than your child's torso, and never hanging more than four inches below their waist); padded back and shoulder straps; hip and chest belts to help transfer some of the weight; multiple compartments to better distribute the weight; and reflective material to help provide visibility in low light.

Also remember: a roomy backpack may seem like a good idea, but the more space there is to fill, the more likely your child will want to fill it!

Concussions, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and Sports Injuries

Older students may be involved in after-school sports, and for many, that means the possibility of a concussion. Every three minutes, a child in the U.S. is treated for a sports-related concussion. In sports in which girls and boys both participate, girls suffer a higher percentage of concussions.

girls on the soccer field.

About 10 percent of athletes will experience a concussion in any given sports season, although fewer than 10 percent of those concussions will involve a loss of consciousness. Football is the most common sport with a concussion risk for boys, and soccer is the most common sport with a concussion risk for girls. About 80 percent of concussions occur during games, not practices.

Signs and symptoms of concussion include confusion, forgetfulness, glassy eyes, disorientation, clumsiness or poor balance, slowed speech, and changes in mood, behavior or personality. Make sure all coaches know how to recognize the signs of a concussion and have a plan in case of emergency.

School officials, coaches and parents should also have greater awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, an often deadly condition that can strike children who otherwise appear healthy. I helped pass legislation on this topic several years ago in cooperation with the family of Andy Pena, a Darien student-athlete who died of sudden cardiac arrest in 2011, just one month shy of turning 15. The legislation helps alert parents and coaches to this condition and ensures that they are aware of and know how to best react to the condition's warning signs.