Bathroom Fire Displaces Family In Hamden

Bathroom Fire Displaces Family In Hamden-0

A bathroom fire displaced a family late Wednesday night in Hamden, according to fire officials. Firefighters responded to a home in the 100 block of Hawthorne Avenue at about 11:50 p.m. on the report of a structure fire. All of the occupants were out of the home when firefighters arrived.

“Engine 3 made entry to the home and encountered a heavy smoke condition emitting from the first floor bathroom,” fire officials wrote in a press release. “The crew was able to extinguish the fire using a fire extinguisher, confining the damage to the bathroom. Companies remained on scene until 12:39 a.m. checking for any fire extension and ventilating the home. (HFD responding companies E3, E2, Sq1, T1 R1, C3).”

Fire Marshal Brian Dolan has determined that the accidental fire started in the bathroom light/fan assembly. The displaced residents will be staying with family while repairs are being made, officials said.


Furniture And Decor Inspired By Patrone’s 2019 Color Of The Year: Living Coral

Pantone announces their 2019 Color Of The Year!Getty

Pantone just announced their 2019 color of the year is Living Coral. They describe it as “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.”

Designers React

Designers are very excited about this choice including Aurore Martial of Domus Venus who told me, “After Ultra Violet last year, we’re definitely entering into an era of warmer and happier tones. Earthy tones are really in vogue, reminiscent of the 70s color palettes. I think we see a lot more of these pastel warm colors these days that are easily combined together to create beautiful mixes. I’d happily put it next to green shades or desert tones. It’s good to see more life coming in, this Living Coral is breathing a fresh air of happiness in interiors, hopefully, people won’t be as scared of using color in their homes too. If they are, and still want to stick to neutrals, the coral could be used as a nice contrasting color on accessories or woodwork.”

As Martial explained, this color might the mood-boosting shade we all need in our homes right now, “I like the addition of ‘living’ next to coral. It makes the traditional coral tone brighter and more invigorating. I almost feel in spring when I see it, yet it feels quite soothing too.”

How To Add Orange

An orange guest room.

An orange guest room.Alexis Rogers

Alexis Rodgers of At Home With Alexis saw this trend coming and used for the guest bedroom of homeowners Allison Weiss Brady and Chip Brady. She shared her key to using this modern color in a traditional space. “Every room has limiting factors; the challenge and the fun is how to use them to the room’s advantage. In this case, it was how to create a serene bedroom retreat in a small space without sacrificing color. This featured bedroom is the guest bedroom, and we wanted to infuse it with a vibrant, positive energy without overwhelming it. This careful balance of power is how I would describe the color coral: invigorating without overwhelming.”.

Invest in winter white dishes

1 Invest in winter white dishes


Purchasing a quality dish set like the Lenox Alpine collection is an easy way to elevate your houseguests’ dining experience. The glossy finish of this rustic collection will make your home-cooked-meals pop, and the classic design is versatile enough to be used anytime of year.


Invest in winter white dishes

“Dining room” means something different to everyone: maybe it’s the small nook off of your kitchen where you eat every meal, or perhaps it’s the spacious separate room you reserve for holidays. It can be easy for these rooms to fall flat—upgrading your bedroom or living room space often takes priority—but regardless of size, there’s a lot you can do to keep this part of your home fresh. Here are seven ways to take your dining room to the next level, just in time for the holidays.

1 Invest in winter white dishes


Purchasing a quality dish set like the Lenox Alpine collection is an easy way to elevate your houseguests’ dining experience. The glossy finish of this rustic collection will make your home-cooked-meals pop, and the classic design is versatile enough to be used anytime of year.

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2 Install a statement light fixture


A bold light fixture sets the mood for entertaining. (Pro tip: Make sure you choose one that can be installed with a dimmer.) This brass fixture adds a fun twist to the typical chandelier with its asymmetrical profile.

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3 Stock up on fun linens

Crate and Barrel

To complement the simplicity of your sleek white dinnerware, stock up on patterned tablecloths, runners, and napkins that you can mix and match. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, these prints will bring a festive feel to meal time.

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4 Purchase an after dinner dish set


In the colder months, after dinner coffee and tea is a must. Keep the dinner party going (and warm up your guests before they head outside) with these Alpine collection mugs.

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5 Hang an artistic mirror

Shades of Light

Open up your room by hanging a unique mirror on a wall near your dining table. Opt for one with a window frame style: this will not only make the space feel bigger, but also create the impression of extra light.

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6 Layer chairs with cozy throws


Another way to elevate your dining room is to add a cozy throw blanket or pillow to each chair. Go for a neutral hue of faux fur or cashmere for the winter.

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7 Spruce up your room with some garland

Ballard Designs

Stray from the traditional decor this year by decorating your mantle with magnolia garland. The rich, earthy color and texture will add dimension to your space. You can even drape a strand on your dining table runner as an unexpected centerpiece.



Be brave and turn everyday dining into a glamorous affair with moody shades, shiny surfaces and plenty of pattern

Whether you do your dining in a cosy nook, a dedicated room or just the corner of your kitchen, it’s time to dial your decor up a notch. Who’d want a drab TV dinner when you could be dining at a marble table, sitting on a plush banquette beneath an over-sized chandelier, or gazing at a striking artwork?

For dinner à deux, family mealtimes or just tea and toast, these fabulous ideas have one aim – to elevate everyday dining to something special.


Red-tailed hawk crashes through living room window, landing at dining room table

Image result for Red-tailed hawk crashes through living room window, landing at dining room table

Red-tailed hawk crashes through living room window, landing at dining room table

A family in Bellevue, Washington, returned home to find their front window shattered and a red-tailed hawk in their living room.

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The hawk flew around in the house, breaking vases and another window as it tried to escape.

Kani McKeague said when she came home, her boyfriend’s mother was already in the house and pointed out the bird.

“I was like ‘Oh my gosh.’ It was standing there kind of like this, like a statue,” McKeague said.

The family called the non-emergency number for police and was quickly connected to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The hawk was perched on a dining room chair when help arrived.

Sgt. Kim Chandler moved in to carefully capture the hawk as cellphone cameras recorded.

>> Trending: Workplace bullying, violence can increase your heart attack risk, study says

“The beak is pretty formidable but the talons are the business end, that’s the most important part,” Chandler said on Friday.

“You can absolutely tell by that video that bird was not happy.”

Chandler was wearing thick gloves and grabbed the hawk by the talons. He put pantyhose over the head of the hawk and pulled it down over the wings to keep it contained, but to still allow it to breath and move.

He took the hawk home and put it in a box overnight. The next morning he put the hawk on his deck.

“She’s posturing and her wings are out and her mouth is wide open. Like she was going to eat me, right now,” said Chandler.


Ghost restaurants set to disrupt traditional eatery industry

Canada’s foodservice industry has been booming in the past couple of years, with growth of 5.3 per cent in 2017 and forecast growth of 4.3 percent in 2018. With growth comes innovation and experimentation. “Ghost” restaurants or kitchens are an innovation we’re seeing across North America, Australia, and Europe. They’re virtual eateries that skip the storefront and bring food straight to consumers by delivery. There is no direct interaction between the customer and restaurateur – food is ordered via a third-party food-delivery company. In eliminating the dining room and bringing meals straight to the customer, ghost restaurants can often sell more meals per hour and use less real estate than a traditional restaurant.

Given the added financial pressure from increases in the minimum wage in some provinces, there is more focus on reducing operating costs and keeping labour expenses in check across the Canadian hospitality industry. Ghost kitchens could appeal to Canada’s 95,000 restaurant operators who can leverage ordering and delivery services, especially for fast-casual food.

The delivery-only model is widespread across the U.S. and U.K., and is proving to be successful with such companies as Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and Deliveroo leading the way. A survey of 100 of New York City’s top customer-rated restaurants via delivery services, Seamless and GrubHub found that more than 10 per cent came from ghost restaurants.

With revenue in Canada’s food-delivery sector expected to amount to $2.5 million in 2018 (an annual growth rate of 23.3 per cent), the trend toward ghost restaurants is something we expect to see grow in the next year – particularly in Canada’s urban hot spots Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.

The ghost restaurant has many benefits for operators – the prime advantage being low overheads. Ghost restaurants don’t require expensive rents, wait staff, or tables for customers – all that’s required is a space kitted with industrial kitchen equipment, along with two or three chefs preparing food. Fixed costs are considerably lower in a ghost restaurant.

The model allows brands to be more agile and adapt easily to new dining trends and shifting consumer preferences. For a ghost restaurant that operates multiple food concepts, the sharing of ingredients can lead to better quality products and innovative offerings, which ties into economies of scale.

Food delivery companies such as UberEats, Foodora and Doordash, an important component of the ghost restaurant model, are building market share and allowing restaurants to expand their reach and profits without significant marketing spend.

Third-party delivery apps also give restaurateurs autonomy over the menu they present via the app. In the era of on-demand food, digital menus are another performance marketing tool, with restaurant owners able to use customer behaviour data to restructure and refine their offering, something they might not be able to do with the tattered paper menus at the back of customers’ kitchen drawers.

For larger brands with existing restaurant locations, having a ghost restaurant as well can ensure the quality of their dining experience is not impacted by overstretched kitchen staff or disruption by the delivery process. Naturally, this also presents difficulties, as brands seek to adequately recreate the flavour and presentation of food delivered to a customer’s door.

From a fast-casual restaurateur’s perspective, ghost restaurants can be effective. The front of the house in any restaurant is an expensive and inefficient use of space, especially as wages and rents continue to increase. However, the loss of walk-in footfall and the difficulties of upselling alcohol via delivery apps are potential challenges restaurateurs must consider if they are to sustain revenue levels.

This new round of digital-driven restaurants could solve many perennial industry challenges. Add to this the growth of third-party delivery companies, customers’ increasing penchant for mobile ordering and the recent explosion of such meal-delivery kits as Chefs Plate and Hello Fresh, and conditions seem ripe for the concept of ghost kitchens to do well.

The next wave of delivery restaurants won’t all be on busy street corners or in shopping mall food courts: some will be tucked away into discrete, semi-suburban commercial kitchens. But as promising as they are, ghost restaurants won’t single-handedly damage the traditional restaurant industry. Delicious food, combined with a beautiful setting and good service will always draw in friends and families looking for a wonderful night out.


New hotel rooms already busy

Image result for New hotel rooms already busy

Visitors to Norfolk are finding more available hotel rooms now that Norfolk Lodge & Suites has opened 27 of the 38 new rooms that are part of an expansion of the facility.

That includes a number of “extended stay” rooms that already have proven to be popular, said Shawn Severson, general manager of Divots Conference Center that is connected to Norfolk Lodge & Suites.

Severson provided the information at the Norfolk Area Visitors Bureau’s advisory committee meeting Tuesday.

The final 11 rooms that are part of the expansion are in the process of being completed, he said. The facility already had 100 rooms.

In addition to those new rooms, the Holiday Inn Express is converting five of its meeting rooms into guest rooms, said Traci Jeffrey, director of the visitors bureau.

Plus, construction of a new hotel at the corner of 13th Street and Omaha Avenue is still in the works, Jeffrey said.

In February, it was announced that a four-story hotel with 85 to 95 rooms was going to be built behind Perkins restaurant. It was expected to be completed in the spring of 2019.

Jeffrey said she recently talked to the people involved in the project and was told it is still on track.

The visitors bureau is funded by taxes collected on hotel rooms when occupied. Although lodging tax revenue was down a little the first few months of this year as compared to last year, it increased in May from $33,264 to $35,801, Jeffrey said.

Those additional hotel rooms will be especially popular during the summer when Norfolk hosts a variety of sports tournaments, as it did the third week of June when around 1,200 youth from Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota converged on the town for the Norfolk Express Soccer Club tournament, said Paul Hughes, development manager for the Norfolk Area Sports Council.

Baseball players were also in town for the Class AA USSSA State Baseball Tournament, he said.

Plus, people from 10 states — bringing with them about 200 dogs — came to Norfolk for the Mid-America Working Terrier Association Trials. “That event is become a very popular summer tradition,” Hughes said.

The rest of the summer will be busy, too, with more ball tournaments, area county fairs and the Seven Cities Century Bike Ride

Bringing people to the area and providing them with a good experience is the goal of the visitor bureau and one reason why it and the City of Norfolk provided a trolley from local hotels to the Alabama concert at Divots on June 24.

Thirty-four people took advantage of the service, which pleased Jeffrey, who said she would like to see trolley services provided more often.

At Tuesday’s meeting, it also was reported that in an effort to gauge the experiences of Norfolk shoppers, the visitors bureau has enlisted the the services of two University of Nebraska-Lincoln students who are working as interns this summer with the Rural Futures Institute.

For the past few weeks, Samantha Guenther and Cheyenne Gerlach have been analyzing the retail climate in Norfolk. Their goal is to offer ways to promote “good customer experiences,” Guenther said.

The two will wrap up their work in a few weeks and provide a report of their findings to the visitors bureau and local businesses.

In other business, Jeffrey and other bureau representatives will be attending a Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District meeting on Thursday in support of the proposed riverfront development project.

The proposed project will make the river more accessible to the public and serve as an economic development tool that will help entice people to visit or move to Norfolk.“If we want to encourage new businesses, we have to have people for them to employ,” said Ron Stauffer, visitors bureau advisory board chairman. “I hope this will help draw professionals to town.”


KRM surprises dining room with birthday party


Cameron Owens walked into the dining room at the Kokomo Rescue Mission on June 27 for lunch and was greeted with unexpected décor.

The dining room was decorated with colorful “happy birthday” balloons and a banner, party favors, and festive centerpieces on all the tables. There was a clown and volunteers with cake and ice cream and gift bags. It was Owens’ 20th birthday, and his first thought was that someone was throwing him a party.

It was—but it also was for everyone else mulling through the dining room that day. The Kokomo Rescue Mission was putting on its 12th annual Surprise Birthday Party to honor those who may not be able to celebrate their birthdays throughout the year.

Owens said he couldn’t have picked a better day to eat at the Mission, as he had no plans to celebrate—or really even recognize—his birthday.

“This is pretty cool that they do this,” he said. “I didn’t have any plans, so I’m glad I came.”

Like everyone else who stopped through last Wednesday, Owens received a gift bag that was put together by volunteers with Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer. The gifts, which consisted mostly of an assortment of hygiene items, were packaged in a cinch sack. Church volunteers prepared 150 bags for men, 150 for women, and 30 for children.

Every other year the church is tasked with creating the gift bags, and Cindy Sewell with Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer said she’s happy to be a part of it.

“It’s a way to share the blessings that we’ve been given and the love that we feel from God to share that with other people so they feel that love,” she said.

After guests received their lunch, they stopped by the dessert table and received a slice of cake donated by Create-a-Cake and ice cream donated by Scoops.

Anna Brown, volunteer coordinator with KRM, said it’s always fun to watch people’s reactions to the surprise birthday party but that the main goal was to make each person feel valued.

“The thing is that there are so many people that don’t have a family member to celebrate with. They don’t have any money for a gift or someone to celebrate with them. So we just choose a day, and we want to celebrate them,” Brown said. “We want to make sure they feel valued and loved because they truly are loved and valued. We have a lot of great people that come every day. We have some people that come once a week just to help out, and so we just really want to make sure they feel special.”

In total, about 300 guests celebrated their birthdays.

Another one to celebrate was Mark Powers, who was expecting to stop in for a quick lunch while he was on break from his job in maintenance. He said he never expected a party to be going on.

“I was surprised. It’s not bad. They did a good job,” Powers said.

And attendee Joshua Brown said the event was a “wonderful surprise.” His birthday was on March 10, and since he didn’t celebrate, he said it was nice to be able to have a belated celebration in the company of others in the dining room that day.

While the guests ate and mingled with each other, Nurse Humdinger, played by Pat Mills, weaved through the dining room, pulling out her tricks. She showed off her four-carat diamond that literally was four carrots in the shape of a diamond and made balloon hats and animals for guests. She left smiles in her wake as she made her rounds.

Mills has been a staple at the annual birthday party for years, but she said she almost didn’t make it to last week’s.

“You know, I wasn’t even going to come today. I wasn’t because it was rainy, and I had some things to do at home. I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll just stay home.’ But I kept thinking, ‘This is what I’m here for. It’s what I’m here for.’ I’m 80 years old now, and I thought, ‘I’m not sure I can even do it.’ But I can. So I’m here. And it’s good for my heart,” Mills said.


Our homes don’t need formal spaces

For a recent study, UCLA-affiliated researchers in fields ranging from anthropology to sociology used cameras to record in great detail how 32 dual-income families living in the Los Angeles area used their homes. Their findings link real data to something about which I have been yelling into the void for years: Nobody is actually using their formal living and dining rooms. Families actually spend most of their time in the kitchen and the informal living room or den.

Yet we continue to build these wastes of space because many Americans still want that extra square footage, and for a long time, that want has been miscategorized as a need.

Any big-house ethnographer can see this in episodes of shows like House Hunters, where the prospective buyers will say infuriating things like, “I like having Thanksgiving at my house every other year, so I’m going to need a chef-level kitchen and a two-story deck.” This claim has about as much substance as another common House Hunters trope: “I like this house, but that easily repaintable green half-bath is a deal-breaker for me.”

TV hate-watching aside, it’s important for us as homebuyers, -builders, and renters to be able to discern a need versus a want (or as my mother says, an “I cannot” versus an “I don’t want to”) when looking for a potential home. “Entertaining space,” as it is marketed by builders, realtors, media, and popular culture, is, more often than not, a want that has been rationalized and internalized, and thus feels like a need. But now that science proves that nobody uses their formal living and dining spaces, it’s time for us to sit down and have a struggle session with “space for entertaining.”

Elite houses, from the domus of a Pompeian politician to the Palace of Versailles, from Biltmore to McMansions in subdivisions named Biltmore, have always maintained a separation of formal and informal space. The absence of all that extra space (combined with the standardization and mass production of building materials) is what made detached single-family housing inexpensive and accessible to different classes in the first place. One of the simplest reasons so many clamor for formal spaces is because they are a signifier of wealth and prestige, a sign of having “made it.”

These spaces are frequently articulated in a house’s architecture, partly for their symbolic value. These elements show up in exaggerated forms: The irregular massing and enormous windows of two-story foyers and great rooms, as well as formal dining rooms (often nested in a separate mass or articulated with wall-to-wall windows) facing the street, are such common McMansion features that yours truly has, over the past three years, immortalized them with a series of pejorative terms (Lawyer Foyer! Dining Turret!). If these rooms were designed for their actual practical purposes (entertaining) instead of being architectural megaphones for their owners’ money, they wouldn’t be cavernous spaces where it takes 50 steps to walk from the refrigerator to the oven, where the windows are so large that the heating/cooling bill is hundreds of dollars with an added bonus of being able to get a sunburn inside, and where the mere clinking of plates (much less a conversation) mercilessly reverberates through 3,000 square feet of pure echo.

The ironic inefficiency of hyper-exaggerated high-end entertaining spaces belies a truth: These spaces aren’t really designed for entertaining. They’re designed for impressing others. And not just impressing others: After all, it’s general politeness to compliment a host on their home no matter how impressive it is. The real goal, deeply embedded in these oversized, over-elaborate houses, is not for guests to say, “Oh wow, this is nice,” but to make them think, “Oh wow, this is nicer than what I have and now I feel jealous and insecure.” In true American irony, these giant “social” spaces (and McMansions in general) are birthed from a deeply antisocial sentiment: making others feel small. Considering that so often our guests are members of our own family adds another layer of darkness to the equation.

Of course, keeping up with (or surpassing) the Joneses isn’t the only motivation for designing homes with formal entertaining spaces. Most people don’t consciously want to crush the self-worth of their visitors. This is where the concept of “want” versus “need” comes back into play.

Entertaining space is very cleverly marketed and popularized by home and garden media entities like Houzz, DIY, and HGTV in a way that makes it feel like an essential. It’s no coincidence that most of the ads on these sites and channels are for mortgages, home decor, builders, real estate companies, and Home Depot. All of these entities benefit from your insecurity about the efficiency and worthiness of your home, and they also benefit when you make your home bigger or buy (and furnish) a bigger home.

Entertaining is emotional, as anyone who has fretted about getting the house “presentable” for guests—or seen someone else fret about the same—can attest. When we allow others into our space, we become vulnerable. We want to be good hosts, for everything to go as smoothly as possible, and for our guests to be happy and comfortable. Often, this is because they are our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family—people we care about and respect, and whose care and respect we want in return. But in all the hubbub of hosting, we sometimes forget that friends and family already care about us—they’re there to see us, not our houses, nor our stuff. Besides, even if we’re hosting work events or fundraisers where some of the guests are strangers, nobody is going to be so impolite as to call out a lack of specific home features like high great-room ceilings. Even if they were to do such a thing, fear of isolated rudeness hardly justifies building thousands of square feet of entertaining space or going into debt getting a bigger house.

At the same time, many of us feel compelled to entertain. We all want to feel like power hosts, extremely likeable and sociable people who are the life of the party. We need that second dining room because it is an architectural manifestation of our above-average social lives and unnaturally large circles of friends and admirers. But not all of us were built for entertaining in the first place, and perhaps we should examine ourselves and our social preferences before building massive spaces for people we most likely won’t ever see. We think our spaces will create the lives we want: If only we had a great room with an expansive deck, we could finally host big, sophisticated, straight-out-of-Mad Men parties. That built-in Tiki bar will definitely make us reconnect with all of our friends from college, and maybe if we had that massive kitchen, Aunt Jane and Dad would finally stop arguing about politics at Thanksgiving and peace would descend upon the entire world. These sentiments reflect two commonly held American cultural beliefs: that we can solve our problems (or at least feel better about them) by simply buying things, and that the best social lives are ones that involve hosting grand parties. But we can entertain where and how we want to. It can be as simple as inviting a few people over to hang out in the spaces we already have.

Even if we do use our great rooms and formal dining rooms to host Thanksgiving and entertain those circles of friends, we’re still designing our spaces for maximum occupancy instead of the average family of three to five people who actually live in them every day. If you build a 4,000-square-foot house for a family of four, that’s 1,000 square feet per person, and if the house were being used to its full potential, nobody would ever see each other. There’s a reason why the UCLA study showed that the most-used common areas are the kitchen and the informal living room: People like to spend time together eating and watching TV, without the glare from those two-story great-room windows. Large, unused spaces designed for social functions foster isolation instead.

Designing our homes for the worst-case scenario—a hundred people are all at our house for a party and the party is also a tribunal where all of our guests publicly judge us—prioritizes guests who spend a very short amount of time in our houses over our own daily needs. As the UCLA study indicates, we vastly overestimate how much we will be entertaining, and this is especially true for houses in neighborhoods where a 30-minute drive is required of anyone who wants to visit in the first place.

When planning or searching for your next home, prioritize (and be honest with yourself here) the spaces you and your family will use every day. More often than not, a dining room is all the extra space you’ll need for major holidays. If your living room, dining room, and kitchen are designed for heavy and practical use, they will easily accommodate a few extra people.

And no matter the layout of your chosen home, if you want to entertain, entertain! Nobody is stopping you from being the savvy socialite you want to see in the world, and you definitely don’t need 1,000 square feet of otherwise useless space to have your friends over for drinks. In college, you likely hosted great parties where everyone managed to fit in your tiny and probably much more rundown apartment. Channel that earlier self, and you might find that your house has very little to do with it.