Sunday, August 3, 2014

Making lemonade out of lemons in Derby

Participants in Yale University's Community Rowing Program glide along the Housatonic River Friday morning.

DERBY - This is a tale about being in the right place at the right time, even though it was the wrong time.

On Thursday night I went to City Hall to cover Mayor Anita Dugatto's second open door session.

The kickoff session the previous week started at 7 p.m., but I was on vacation and didn't attend.
Fast forward to this past Thursday, and, without double-checking, I had it in my head that the session was starting at 7 p.m.

Dugatto's plan is to meet with residents from 5-7 p.m. Thursdays.

The informal meeting in aldermanic chambers was just wrapping up when I arrived.

In a release last month Dugatto said, “I hope this opportunity will inspire people to speak up, seek answers to their questions, and participate in the revitalization of our city.
"I look forward to meeting with residents, property owners, business owners, and anyone else interested in our community and its potential.”

Dugatto said Thursday residents discussed various issues, from creating a new website for the city, to  trying to define 'What is Derby?'
"It was an informal meeting, I didn't take notes," she said. "We reminisced, and we talked about the future," she said.

Dugatto suggested I join her first thing Friday morning at Yale University's Gilder Boathouse on Roosevelt Drive to observe the last day of a summer Learn to Row program.

And I'm so glad I did.

I chatted with several friendly rowing coaches and after a bit of coaxing I got into a small boat with Dugatto and rowing coach/lifeguard/photographer Jon Robinson of Shelton to see the rowers up close.

I took lots of photos, learned about rowing, and had a great time. I daresay Dugatto had a great time as well.

Please check out a slideshow here in the New Haven Register's Media Gallery, and stay tuned for a story in the paper.

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