A Connecticut-based writer/journalist and University of Connecticut graduate, my work has been recognized with five Society of Professional Journalists, Connecticut Chapter awards for excellence in journalism. In addition to Connecticut publications, I have written for The New York Times and The Boston Globe.
May 24, 2017- With the arrival of warmer weather it is time for me to take the necklace from my jewelry box, handmade by my talented nieces Katie and Sofia. I simply adore it. I adore its simplicity, the seashell design – and most of all that the two girts made it just for me. I have written about this necklace – shown in the photo to the left- in newsandviewsjb posts. Having the flexibility to write about things that touch my heart over a broad range of topics and covering a broad range of events, is for me the beauty of this forum.
Just this last week I received a Manchester Historical Society newsletter from Susan Barlow, a fellow Manchester Herald alumni. I thought she would be interested in the piece I wrote about the MHS exhibit of photos taken by Reggie Pinto, who had been a photographer with “the Herald” when we worked for the former local daily. I met Reggie as a young reporter just starting out. He was an excellent photojournalist and a very nice man. Susan responded with a request to publish the story on the MHS website where is it now posted at http://www.manchesterhistory.org/reprints/MHS3_ReggiePinto.html
A couple days later I received notification that a comment was awaiting approval on the article I wrote about 11-year-old Sofia having had a design she drew, chosen for a book cover at her school in Washington state. It turns out the complimentary comment was from a school friend of hers, which tickles me with joy.
On May 9, I wrote about the fine folks in Windsor, Connecticut (where I spent some 12 years as a reporter for the local newspaper) turning out for an Alex’s Lemonade Stand fundraiser, showing their continuing support for this organization founded to raise money to research pediatric cancer. On Monday, May 22, I posted an article about the Shad Derby Green Festival & Parade, also held in Windsor. This morning I wrote a piece on the passing of a Windsor police K-9 that served the town for eight years – though sad it is a window into the deep bond shared by police handlers and their K-9 partners.
Each article I have spoken about is meaningful to me. And come tomorrow – who knows where my newsandviewsjb pen will lead … – Jackie
February 9, 2017 – Oh my gosh! What an unbelievable Super Bowl – on the edge of my seat. Our QB Tom Brady and the New England Patriots came through! See two related stories I wrote, one posted before the other posted after the game on 2/5. So pleased with the participation for the “Coast to Coast” piece. And so happy to share Super Bowl Sunday at Sadler’s Ordinary in Marlborough. We had a great time but never could have imagined the roller coaster ride that was ahead in that historic game! – Jackie
November 25, 2016 – Attended the Thanksgiving Day Manchester Road Race yesterday and snapped some pics, great turnout, nail-biter of a finish! Look for a story early next week. Afterwards headed to East Haddam for Thanksgiving dinner. – JB
February 8, 2016- Yesterday was a whirlwind! So many I know are fans of “Remy’s Grinders”, and since I was headed to the Elks Lodge to do a short follow-up piece on the Super Bowl Sunday fundraiser for Windham Bigg Play, I also did a pick-up run for all the grinders we ordered. Next came the delivery which brought me from central to southeastern Connecticut and back again. It was simply a gorgeous winter day for the drive and I enjoyed every minute of it, as the sun shone on the foot or more of snowfall which arrived a few days back. (More snow is predicted for today – expected to start anytime now).
Glad for the non-profit Bigg Play – which sends young baseball players on goodwill trips abroad – that they did so well again this year. See today’s follow-up story. – JB
January 12, 2016 – Best Wishes for 2016! I have begun the new blogging year by publishing my 425th post. Add to that the articles I have had published as a journalist and the number is in the thousands. It’s quite daunting.
My first newsandviewsjb post of the New Year published 1/11 is about the first-ever National Hot Tea Month being observed this month. Today is also the first-ever National Hot Tea Day. I’m a tea lover – perhaps stemming or should I say ‘steeping’ from my English heritage – so I enjoyed writing this piece.
A cherished teacup on display in a small curio cabinet in my living room was brought over from England by my great – great – great grandmother – any more greats and as my sister said it would probably put the timing around that of the Mayflower. HA! In fact, according to oral family history, the Bennett Family is related to the Comforts whose relatives sailed to America on the Mayflower, but I have not yet been inclined to research and verify this information. One of my nephews, however, has traced the family tree back several generations in England to John Bennett which tickles us because my dad was John Sr. and my brother is John Jr.
Today is the anniversary of my mother’s birthday – Happy Birthday Mom! It has been five years since her passing and all of us in the family still think about her. She loved snow and coincidentally after a snow drought here in central Connecticut, happily snow is predicted for tonight – a perfect gift on this day. – JB
December 21, 2015 – newsandviewsjb article “Yankee Magazine Food Awards Winner Helps Draw Crowd to Winter Farmers’ Market reposted by market master on Ellington Farmers’ Market website.- JB
December 9, 2015 – Okay, it’s not “me and a red Corvette” or a vintage baby blue convertible Mustang for that matter. But this MINT 1950’s Chevy is pretty neat. Snapped during the “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Norman Rockwell Holiday Recreation” – see today’s story. Coming on Friday, look for a DESTINATION piece about “Widow Bingham’s Tavern” at the Red Lion Inn which is located in downtown Stockbridge.
Vintage vehicles from East Coast states turned out for the event on Sunday, Dec. 6, which recreated a 1960’s Christmas Eve scene illustrated by Rockwell and published by McCall’s magazine back in December 1967. Notice my UConn Huskies zip fleece & – yes, I made sure to find a Connecticut license plated car for the photo.
Unseasonable temperatures in the low 50’s has this New England girl missing the snow! – JB
Oct. 13, 2015 – My favorite time of year – autumn in New England. Me on an old country road near Storrs, CT after my stop at the Buell’s Harvest Festival in Eastford – see story posted today “Harvest Festival Draws Crowd to Buell’s Orchard”. As well, a snapshot of gorgeous, October foliage at Belltown Orchard in South Glastonbury, I took on Saturday 10/10 and am now using for my newsandviewsjb Twitter page background. – JB
August 1, 2015 – I snapped this “selfie” outside the Old State House in Hartford, Connecticut. I adore this photo because I have always been drawn to the dignity of this building. It has been a constant in my life since I was a child, growing up and driving into the city where my dad worked. Along the north side of the Old State House as you enter Hartford from the highway is Central Row, where there used to be what was called “The Isle of Safety”. Connecticut Company buses would line up to load and unload passengers there. On Saturday mornings when my family and I would drive into Hartford with Dad – he went to work and we went shopping – it was bus after bus after bus in a row, to accommodate the bustle. (Look for my story about exterior renovations underway at the Old State House to be posted soon.)
June 19, 2015- Discovered newsandviewsjb write-up on the “Taste of Mystic” is posted on the Harbour House facebook page. How nice. – JB
March 26, 2015 – Appreciated receiving a “thank you” call from Munson’s for my 3/24 post “It’s Chocolate Covered Raisins Day – Head to Munson’s”. – Jackie
Feburary 2, 2015 – Check out my new favorite pic taken on Super Bowl Sunday – read today’s post “New England Patriots Win Super Bowl, Defeat Seahawks – ‘From Sea to Shining Sea’ We Had It Covered”. – Jackie
Feb. 2, 2015 – Wow! The response to the newsandviewsjb story “Lengendary ‘Remy’s Grinders’ Reappear on Super Bowl Sundays” has been great! As of today, views of the article are approaching 2,000 and it has been posted on 666 Facebook pages.
When we went to pick up our “Remy’s Grinders” on Sunday, I heard from the Bigg Play president that they too had gotten a tremendous response from the story – the grinder sale is a fundraiser to help send youth baseball teams abroad.
I want to send out special thanks to Melane, who first posted the article on her Facebook page, and to Deb who reposted it on a Windham nostaligia site. – Jackie
Feb. 1, 2015 – How nice – a link to my ‘Silk City Chorus/ I’m Your Puppet!’ article is posted on the Manchester Arts Commission facebook page. – JB
December 9, 2014 – During a visit to the Old Manchester Museum for a holiday open house I came upon a “Manchester Herald” box – see today’s post “Mulberry & Manchester – What’s the Connection?..” I began reporting as a correspondent for the Herald. – Jackie
December 5, 2014 – Another pleasant surprise – in searching out eating spots in Greater Hartford I discovered a newsandviewsjb story I wrote is now the welcoming page for the Center Perk restaurant website! – JB
November 17, 2014 – Pleasantly surprised to hear from Au Bon Pain restaurant with a thank you for the write-up I posted today about their Westfarms cafe, “Destination: Au Bon Pain – Holiday Shopping Oasis at Westfarms Mall.” As well, they retweeted my story to 3,887 of their Twitter followers. – Jackie
October 3, 2014 – This morning I added my contribution of Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and chocolate chip cookies to the “Mom’s Recipe Box” family project, a series I have been running on newsandviewsjb since July. It has been a rewarding experience and I am enjoying reading each write-up that is sent with the recipes.
For those who have followed my commentaries about the change of the mascot logo for the University of Connecticut, my Alma Mater, “Say It Isn’t So – Friendly UConn Husky Mascot to Go” (posted March 19, 2013), “Fierce Faced UCONN Husky Has No Bite” (posted September 27, 2013) and “I’ve Gone Over to the Hungry Husky Dark Side” (posted May 11, 2014), this photo that accompanied my “Mom’s Recipe Box” submission is proof that I have joined the ranks of those sporting the new fierce faced Husky.
Nonetheless, my heart still belongs to the effervescent, smiling Husky. JB
June 28, 2014- See newsandviewsjb story posted today, “Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry Reflects Unique Educational Opportunity.” Enjoy! – Jackie
June 7, 2014- Yesterday I took my first trip down to Misquamicut Beach in RI since Hurricane Sandy hit two years ago (see today’s post Destination – The Andrea). One of my favorite parts of this popular summertime spot, which I remember from before the storm, was a striking stone fireplace. One now stands on the Andrea’s outside patio bar. -JB
May 6, 2014- I learned this morning that a link has been provided on the Connecticut National Army Guard facebook page to my newsandviewsjb article “Malloy, Wyman, Blumenthal Join Groundbreaking for CT Trees of Honor Memorial” (4/18/2014). It was posted by the guard with a notation that among the fallen from Connecticut in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be memorialized by the living trees are four Connecticut National Army Guard soldiers: Sgt Felix Del Greco, Spc. Robert Hoyt, Staff Sgt. Joseph F. Phaneuf II and Staff Sgt. Edwin Rivera. – JB
April 13, 2014 – A glorious day for a parade! -JB
March 15, 2014- On Wednesday I attended “Women’s Day at the State Capitol 2014” hosted by the state Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Hartford, CT. This year’s forum examined the effect of gender for female journalists reporting on politics and public policy. In that the COLD weather has persisted into early March, it was a brisk walk to the Legislative Office Building – I did not wear high heels but did have on lip gloss – see related post from 3/13 “No Cigars, So Are Lipstick and High Heels Tools of the Trade for Female Journalists Covering Politics?” – JB
6/11/2013-Serendipity (one of my favorite words) at Nevers Park – see my story posted earlier today, “Impromtu Encounter With Silk City Chorus Leads To Beautiful Serenade” – JB
1/2013 -According to WordPress, newsandviewsjb is being read in seventy-three countries, the top three being the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Wow, it boggles the mind to think that as I sit at my computer writing my posts have a global reach! Best Wishes for the New Year – Jackie
9/29/2012 This September marks the one year anniversary for newsandviewsjb. Yesterday I published my 80th post and it has been a busy few months since I last paused for reflection here. It was my privilege in June to cover the announcement of the selection of a site in Middletown for a Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial. The grove of trees that began as one citizen’s dream is on the way to becoming reality through a grassroots effort. It will honor Connecticut soldiers who died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last Wednesday, it was simply a glorious Connecticut Day at the 2012 Big E. Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman attended. So glad I happened to check out the New England Grange building where I came upon a quilt being raffled off to benefit the Ct Wounded Warriors Project.
Autumn is my favorite season. There is nothing like autumn in New England! Breathtaking foliage, crisp, cool air, turtlenecks, corduroys and wool sweaters, nestling by a fireplace with a good book and football games – Tom (could he be any cuter) Brady has taken to the gridiron once again as quarterback for the New England Patriots, and my UConn Huskies are back in play. Until next time…… Jackie
5/15/2012-Drove out to UConn’s Storrs campus on Sunday May 13th to take a last look at Memorial Stadium – starting this week it is being dismantled. See related post for 5/14 titled ” ‘There are places I remember…’ Good-bye to UConn’s Memorial Stadium.”
2/17/2012-In September 2011, I launched newsandviewsjb with a story about a compelling 9/11 tenth anniversary tribute. Since then for my news blog, I have had the opportunity to photograph Connecticut’s lieutenant governor at the Big E, and review and photograph “The People’s Project,” a renovation project at the governor’s residence in Hartford. I have added semi-regular features, “Destination” and “From Mom’s Recipe Box.” I have used this forum to try to raise awareness about meaningful causes, as well as, current events in articles such as “Dear Soldier…”
As I approach writing my 38th post it seems like a good time to pause and reflect. I am enjoying writing for this venue – I am appreciative of family and friends and those who discover my posts in the ‘blogisphere’ and log on, and I am appreciative of the many wonderful comments I have received. Thank you for reading newsandviewsjb – Jackie