Ridgefield Area Children with Autism Can Find Refuge in New Learning Center
RIDGEFIELD, CT—Families who have children with autism or kids on the spectrum can find relief from the stress of scheduling multiple appointments with therapists, dealing with insurance companies and other related issues at the area’s newest child development center that is specifically tailored to their needs. Springtide Child Development Center is pleased to announce the opening of their newest location on Copps Hill Road in Ridgefield, Conn.
Co-Founder and CEO Jia Jia said she opened the facility in Ridgefield after seeing a great need in the area for the unique services they provide for families who are impacted by autism. Springtide opened its first center in Trumbull in June 2020. In this short amount of time, they’ve seen tremendous need and have gotten really positive feedback from the families they work with.
For Jia Jia it’s personal.
“When I was a kid growing up in Salt Lake City, we had a really close family friend with a kid with autism. They would fly their therapist from the East Coast to Salt Lake once a month, and then work with their kid on the therapeutic practices throughout the month, until they could see their therapist again next month. I remember how difficult this was for the family, and also how much the therapy helped. Nearly 30 years later, I am struck by how access is still a major issue for many families today,” she shared.
The center hopes to provide refuge for parents who struggle to schedule appointments across multiple therapists and have to navigate the tough waters of dealing with confusing insurance issues and other related problems by streamlining the process all into one place.
“I realized I could make a difference,” Jia Jia said. “Over the last 20 years, I have worked for some of the most innovative and customer-oriented healthcare companies, and I discovered I could apply my learnings here to really help families. We offer convenient interdisciplinary centers where kids can receive ABA, occupational and speech therapies in one location. We manage all the insurance paperwork. And we integrate our practices with seamless technology that improves the quality of our practice and enhances our therapist effectiveness.”
Jia Jia said they opened in Ridgefield because they loved the town Ridgefield and its community. Prior to Springtide, Jia Jia served in multiple executive leadership roles including Director of Operations at One Medical Group (NASDAQ: ONEM), SVP of Operations at Sandbox VR and COO of Oxeon Partners, and VP of Service Experience at Oscar Health Insurance (NYSE: OSCR).
Ridgefield Landscaper Helps Elderly, Homebound Clean Up & Stay Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic
RIDGEFIELD, CT—With so many home during the coronavirus pandemic digging through garages and basements and doing home DIY remodeling projects, one local business owner has seen an uptick in calls for service. William Coghlan, owner of Powerstone Landscaping, said he is getting more new customers now because people taking advantage of staying at home to clean out their house which has created lots of business for local junk haulers.
While his crews typically work closely with both commercial and residential property owners, they’ve now seen a shift to residential clean-ups since the social distancing orders have been put in place.
“More people are home now noticing all their junk,” Coghlan said, “and they don’t want to have to go out and deal with going to the dump and risk possible exposure during this crisis.”
Crews that pick up the trash are taking more precautions during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure their customers and crews stay safe—especially with elderly and homebound with weakened immune systems.
“We’re wearing masks and gloves and following social distancing guidelines. We are also offering contact-free payment through Venmo and Cashapp,” Coghlan said.
In addition to junk removal and scrap metal pickup, Powerstone Landscaping also offers brush removal, yard cleanups, leaf blowing, mulching, cutting and splitting of fallen trees, power washing, fence installation, moving and hauling services and much more.
In addition to offering more services, Coghlan said that since the pandemic, his company has extended its service area and added additional crew members to keep up with the extensive services they offer.
“We have also made it easier for customers that do not want direct contact by offering estimates over Facetime or by them sending us pictures of jobs they need to be done,” he stated.
“People are doing spring cleaning now more than ever and cleaning out basements and other stuff in their homes,” explained Coghlan. “We’re here to help make that process safe and painless.”
For more information, visit Powerstone Landscaping on Facebook, call (203) 731-9140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: William Coghlan, Owner, Powerstone Landscaping
Photo Credit: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Ridgefield Republicans Host ‘Meet the Candidates’ At Ridgefield Country Club
RIDGEFIELD, CT— The Ridgefield Republican Town Committee invites the public to meet the Republican candidates at the Ridgefield Country Club on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, from 6:30-9:00 p.m.
This event is being held for the purpose of funding a Ridgefield RTC downtown campaign office for this election season. If residents cannot attend the fundraiser but would like to donate, click here.
Is Stress Killing You? Free Group Meditation Session at Peterson Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Ridgefield
Naturopathic Physician Dr. Layli Harandi
RIDGEFIELD, CT — Is stress killing you? According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. More than 75 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
Causes of work stress include:
- Being unhappy in your job
- The death of a loved one
- Loss of a job
- Increase in financial obligations
- Getting married
- Moving to a new home
- Chronic illness or injury
- Emotional problems (depression, anxiety, anger, grief, guilt, low self-esteem)
How can you tell if you’re stressed? Symptoms include:
- Depression or general unhappiness
- Anxiety and agitation
- Moodiness, irritability, or anger
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Loneliness and isolation
- Other mental or emotional health problems
Now that you’ve learned the causes, signs, and symptoms of stress, what can you do about it? Peterson Chiropractic & Acupuncture is offering customers and future customers a free 60-minute group meditation session led by Naturopathic Physician Dr. Layli Harandi at their office which is located at 31 Bailey Ave. in Ridgefield.
Peterson Chiropractic & Acupuncture is a family owned business that has been in Ridgefield for more than 40 years, run by Dr. Nickalos L. Peterson and his son, Dr. Nicholas A. Peterson. Dr. Nickalos L. Peterson and his wife Dawn, the office manager, moved to Ridgefield in 1977.
Their practice includes chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, cupping, kinesiology, sports medicine, wellness and nutrition.
Dr. Nicholas Peterson and Dr. Nickalos L. Peterson are licensed doctors of Chiropractic and acupuncturists. Dr. Nickalos L. Peterson practices medical acupuncture and Dr. Nicholas A. Peterson practices dry needle acupuncture. Peterson Chiropractic offers a wide variety of physical therapy modalities including electrical stim, mechanical traction, spinal decompression, power plate, ultrasound and more.
Hands-on modalities include acupuncture, therapeutic activities, trigger point therapy, massage, exercises, and PNF (Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation). Roberta Russell, L.M.T., provides massage therapy to complement their practice by helping patients relieve pain.
Peterson Chiropractic & Acupuncture is located at 31 Bailey Ave. in downtown Ridgefield. Visit their website to learn more. Join Naturopathic Physician Dr. Layli Harandi on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. for a relaxing session of meditation at Peterson Chiropractic & Acupuncture, 31 Bailey Ave., Ridgefield. Call (203)438-9609 to register.
166 Arts Organizations, Including 5 From Ridgefield, Receive $786K In Grants From Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund
HARTFORD, CT — The Connecticut Office of the Arts recently announced the 166 Connecticut Arts Endowment grants that were awarded to local nonprofits totaling $786,107.
- Brookfield Craft Center, Inc. – $6,488
- Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut – $1,620
- Danbury Music Centre, Inc. – $1,313
- Friends of the Ives, Inc. – $500
- Kent Singers – $500
- TheatreWorks New Milford, Inc. – $500
- Village Center for the Arts – $969
- Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum – $3,927
- Ridgefield Chorale – $615
- Ridgefield Playhouse for Movies and the Performing Arts – $6,021
- Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra – $1,684
- Ridgefield Workshop for the Performing Arts/Ridgefield Theater Barn – $500
- Arts Escape, Inc. – $875
To see the full list of grant recipients, visit the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s website.
Local Comics Headline at Ridgefield Playhouse
By Aline WeillerRIDGEFIELD, CT — Christine O’Leary has always been funny. But, it wasn’t until she won a stand-up contest in Maine that she quit her day job to pursue a career in comedy. O’Leary is now an award-winning stand-up comedian, professional host and coach for budding comics enrolled in her workshop at The Ridgefield Playhouse. Her spring semester students will take center stage at “Christine O’Leary’s Comedy Graduation Showcase” on Monday, April 30 at 7:30 (doors open at 6:30) at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield. General Admission tickets are on sale now ($20 each); orders can be placed online (Comedy Graduation Showcase | The Ridgefield Playhouse), called into the Ridgefield Playhouse box office at (203) 438-5795, or purchased in person the night of the show, space permitting.
O’Leary has taught nearly 30 sold-out comedy classes at her post at the Playhouse, with many repeat students, who take an 8-week program to develop a tight, economized, 5-minute set — the first increment of time given to new stand-ups at comedy clubs. The students bring weekly material to “Rip and Read” in class to determine winning content, then video conference one-on-one with O’Leary to finalize their material and hone their set. After two months, they’re ready for an audience.
“Comedy is a way to tell the truth, solve a problem and sell the material with a feeling. I love and live to share with people the greatest ‘high’ and joy I know — standing up and getting paid in laughs! Anyone can do this; there’s enough for everyone. For me, stand up is liberation and freedom. You can ‘up your game’ in life whether your a parent or a podiatrist,” said O’Leary, Founder, Team Green Light Comedy.O’Leary’s stand up class has been a staple at The Ridgefield Playhouse since 2013. Her Assistant is fellow comic, Sue Ellen Landwehr, who has also performed locally. The April 30th lineup includes amateur comedians: Angel Fredricks, Will Bergen, Judy Eckert, Frank Fuhrman, Stephanie Griffin, Jerry Kuyper, Matthew MacGregor, Michael Mast, Micky Pasquerella, George Reynolds, Ben Robertson, Marcela Rodrigues, Eric Schwartz, Michael Zeitz, and Aline Weiller. They include doulas and designers, wealth managers and writers, students and salespeople, electrical engineers and bankers, teachers and beyond.
“You’ll never see anything like it…they’ll be born as comics before your eyes,” O’Leary added.Christine O’Leary has worked with headlining comedians to include Gilbert Gottfried, Joy Behar, Chevy Chase, Sinbad, Tracey Morgan, Robert Klein, Margaret Cho, and Janeane Garofalo. She takes her Team Green Light Comedy comrades to area shows and also hosts and performs at companies, colleges, and charitable, club and pride events nearby and nationally. She can be contacted via email@example.com and on all social media platforms.The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not for profit 501 (c) (3) whose mission is to present a variety of performing arts to the community and the surrounding area that they can enjoy and experience at a varied price point. The Playhouse presents national and local acts and is the cultural hub for the town of Ridgefield. For details regarding “Christine O’Leary’s Comedy Graduation Showcase” tickets and classes, visitwww.ridgefieldplayhouse.org.###
PHOTO: Comedian Christine O’Leary and her students gear up for their “Comedy Graduation Showcase” at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield on Monday, April 30th at 7:30. General Admission tickets $20) are on sale now, are available via www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org, but calling (203) 438-5795, or can be purchased in person on the night of the show, space permitting.PHOTO CREDIT: Sue Ellen Landwehr
Ridgefield DIY Pizza-Making Company Brings Families Together for Make-Your-Own Dinner
RIDGEFIELD, CT — After making and tasting thousands of different types and styles of pizza, a husband and wife duo launched their Ridgefield-based DIY pizza-making company called PIY, Pizza It Yourself, to the delight of families across Fairfield County. Ed Winstanley, from Westchester County, and his wife Grace Winstanley, from the Victoria, British Columbia, originally met at IBM and started a staffing business based in New York City 10 years ago.
“We ate copious amounts pizza while living in NYC before moving to Ridgefield,” Grace said. “We’re obsessed with pizza but with a big family and staffing business, we knew it wasn’t realistic to open a restaurant. Hello Fresh and Blue Apron appeared on the scene but we didn’t see anyone addressing our favorite meal so we started packing up dough, cheeses, and sauce for our neighbors to try out. We loved that the credit was given to the chef at home— neighborhood kids saying that their Mom’s pizza is ‘the best.” Families were enjoying the experience together and wanting more pizza!”
The couple moved to Ridgefield in 2013 after looking for a “family-friendly” town in Fairfield or Westchester County.
“When we first drove through Ridgefield and met some of the locals, it was instant, we fell in love and knew we’d found our new hometown,” Grace said.
Ed who used to work in IT and currently owns a staffing business has prior experience working at a pizzeria with his brother who had a pizzeria in Vermont. Eventually, the brothers moved closer to home and Will took over Il Sorriso in Irvington, New York. Ed experimented making pizza at home until he perfected the recipes and techniques.
“My brother and I talked about pizza recipes on a regular basis and when he came over for lunch one day, he was blown away that I had made a perfect pizza in a regular kitchen oven. It was that moment we knew pizza at home could be very special,” Ed shared.
The couple said what makes their pizza so special is not only the incredibly fresh, clean and delicious dough and ingredients but the experience of making artisanal pizza at home with family and friends.
“We love bringing people together over a delicious, easy to prepare a meal. Families are busy and we’re hoping to bring back a better version of Pizza Friday sans shopping or prep work. Recent studies show the benefit of families eating together, from improved relationships to lower symptoms of depression and drug use. We hope to make a difference by strengthening the family bond, the fabric of our society,” Grace stated.
In addition to bringing family and friends together for a delicious, healthy meal, PIY also does all they can to support the local community by doing fundraisers for organizations and nonprofits.
Grace Winstanley said that the couple loves hearing about their customers’ passion for pizza night. “We enjoy hearing about their new pizza traditions— how they look forward to pizza night and how dinner is prepared with and by their kids. We have 10-year-olds who love making pizza for the family and now the parents can ask, ‘What’s for dinner?'”
PIY currently delivers fresh ingredients to families in Ridgefield, Danbury, Bethel, and Redding. For more information visit www.pizzapiy.com.
Photo by Grace Winstanley
Best Brunch Spots in Ridgefield
RIDGEFIELD, CT — Blueberry Blintzes, Eggs Benedict, Spinach Frittatas, Country Farm Pancakes…. is your mouth watering yet? Looking for a great spot to take the family for Easter Brunch or Passover? Here are the top three spots in Ridgefield, as ranked by Trip Advisor and Yelp users.
Yelp’s Top 3 Ridgefield Brunch Spots
- Bailey’s Backyard, 23 Bailey Ave.
- SUCRÉ SALÉ, 109 Danbury Rd.
- The Hideaway Kitchen & Bar, 30 Grove St.
Trip Advisor’s Top 3 Ridgefield Brunch Spots
- Luc’s, 3 Big Shop Lane
- Bernard’s, 20 West Lane (Route 35)
- Little Pub, 59 Ethan Allen Hwy.
What do you think of their picks? Tell us in the comments.
We wish you a very Happy Passover season and a Happy Easter to you and yours!
Photo Credit: sushiesque via Flickr Creative Commons
BREAKING: Ridgefield Superintendent of Schools Placed on Administrative Leave
Sunday, March 11, 2018, 10:35 p.m.
RIDGEFIELD, CT — After a special Executive Session was called by the Ridgefield Board of Education last Friday, the Chairman of the Board announced Sunday, via email, that Ridgefield Superintendent of Schools Karen Baldwin has been placed on administrative leave. Te letter did not state whether or not Dr. Baldwin is on paid or unpaid leave.
The following letter was sent to parents Sunday evening:
“Dear Ridgefield Community,
After the Special Meeting that the Board of Education held on Friday evening, we want to reassure all members of our school community that the board will continue to work closely with the experienced team of leaders who work in our schools and in the District’s Central Office to ensure that work continues without interruption. Our administrators and teaching staff have a depth of knowledge and experience that will help to guide the District.
On Friday at a Special Meeting of the Ridgefield Board of Education, the board took the following actions. The Board of Education authorized board member Jonathan Steckler, to appoint an investigator to look into the alleged use of sources by the Superintendent. The investigation will be without prejudice. While the investigation is ongoing, the Superintendent has been placed on Administrative leave. An interim Superintendent will be appointed shortly. Our community is relying on the professional Ridgefield administrators, teachers, and staff to be focused on the job of teaching and learning. If anyone has any questions or comments that they feel are of immediate importance, please begin by contacting your building administrator.
Board of Education Chair”
The investigation stems from allegations made that Dr. Baldwin’s letter to parents following the Parkland, Florida high school shootings was plagiarized. After it took Dr. Baldwin a week to address the tragic shooting in which 17 high school students were murdered, parents and students were upset and voiced their concerns on various town Facebook pages. Paul Kim, a Ridgefield High School senior, attempted to address the plagiarism at a Board of Education meeting, but was not allowed to speak.
The following document was obtained by CT Buzz News that shows striking similarities between Dr. Baldwin’s communications and letters and speeches from others, including Brookfield’s Superintendent of Schools and President Barack Obama.
Click here to read the document.
How do you feel about the allegations? Tell us in the comments or send a Letter to the Editor to firstname.lastname@example.org.