New Positively Connecticut™ with Diane Smith Airs Thursday, Dec. 18 at 8:30 p.m. Only on CPTV

Release Date: 11/25/2008

HARTFORD, Conn.  – In the new winter edition of Positively Connecticut™ best-selling author Wally Lamb talks to host Diane Smith about his first new novel in 10 years.  Then, Diane introduces you to the woman at Mystic Aquarium who talks to the animals – and they talk back.  And, not to miss out on holiday fun, Diane joins in a holiday extravaganza that rivals the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. These stories  – and more  –  are featured in the new episode of Positively Connecticut™ airing on Thursday, December 18 at 8:30 p.m. on CPTV.


Segments and towns highlighted in the December episode include:


Wally Lamb:  The Hour I First Believed (Norwich, Niantic and Storrs) – “The Hour I First Believed” is the title of Lamb’s extraordinary new novel that was 10 years in the works. In this candid interview, Lamb talks about how becoming an Oprah Book Club choice (twice) lifted him from life as an English teacher in Norwich to that of a celebrated, best-selling author. In addition, Diane takes viewers inside York Correctional Institute where Lamb leads a writing class for inmates, providing a poignant look at how women in prison helped shape his new book.
 
Tracy Romano: Woman of Innovation (Mystic) – With a Ph.D. in anatomy and neurobiology, one would expect Dr. Tracy Romano to have some extraordinary abilities. In researching how stress and the environment affect marine mammal health she  essentially talks to whales – and they are talking back. In Positively Connecticut’s continuing series about Connecticut women in science and technology, viewers meet Tracy, the vice president for research and zoological operations at Mystic Aquarium.


I Love a Parade (Stamford) – As one of the largest helium balloon parades in the country, the Stamford Holiday Helium Balloon Parade is an annual event that rivals the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. The buoyant event highlights 24 giant balloons and a crowd of nearly 200,000. Join Diane as she becomes a balloon handler for the day.

 
My Little Chickadee (Litchfield) – When Gordon Loery was a freshman at Yale a faculty advisor gave him some advice that set his life’s path --- “Find something you really care about and then find someone to pay you to do it.”  Loery is now one of the world’s leading authorities on black-capped chickadees which he has studied every day near his Litchfield County home for fifty years. His insights into the birds tell us a lot about our environment -- and are as meaningful to humans as they are to birds.
 
Crafted From Cardboard (West Redding) – James Grashow doesn’t work in bronze or marble, his sculpture is crafted from cardboard. He is currently working on a 14-foot cardboard re-creation of Rome’s Trevi Fountain. Grashow’s whimsical and visually astonishing work has been commissioned by organizations around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art and the New York Public Library. 
 
As the World Turns (New Haven) – Get a first-hand peek at Connecticut’s newest earth and space exhibit as Diane takes a tour of the vast wonders of our planet and solar system.  See the miracle of minerals at the Hall of Minerals, Earth and Space at the Yale Peabody Museum.
 
Positively Connecticut™ searches out the inspiring, warm, funny and sometimes downright strange stories that give Connecticut its character.   Positively Connecticut™ is made possible with support from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, People’s United Bank, Comcast and The Hospital of Central Connecticut.
 
“We are very pleased to support Positively Connecticut™ and appreciate Diane's efforts as one of Connecticut's chief ambassadors promoting the diverse heritage, attractions and family activities that make Connecticut a great place to live and visit,” said Karen Senich, executive director, Commission on Culture and Tourism.
 
“People's United Bank has been a trusted financial partner of Connecticut individuals and businesses for more than 165 years,” said Philip R. Sherringham, president and CEO, People's United Bank. “While we are expanding to Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, we continue to focus on our long-term relationships in our home state. We are pleased to partner with Diane Smith and CPTV to bring her viewers the stories of the many interesting people and places that form the character of our state.”
 
“Comcast is proud to meet the entertainment, information and communications needs of Connecticut’s residents, and we are committed to giving back to and enriching the communities where our customers and employees live and work,” said Doug Guthrie, vice president for Comcast’s Connecticut-Western Massachusetts Region. “We are proud to again sponsor the Positively Connecticut™ series on CPTV, as Diane Smith takes viewers around the NutmegState and showcases the people, places and culture that make Connecticut unique.”
 
“Leading a positive, happy life and connecting with the places and people around us are an essential part of overall health and well being,” said Helayne Lightstone, director of corporate communications at The Hospital of Central Connecticut.  “Our hospital is happy to sponsor Positively Connecticut™ as Diane Smith shares powerful stories that enrich the lives of residents of our state.”
 
CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN, www.cpbn.org). It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including UConn Women's Basketball, original documentaries and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television.  The stationoffers 11.5 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network also includes WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves over 200,000 listeners in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show and Front and Center with Ray Hardman. Overall, the network brings a broad spectrum of public affairs, entertainment, sports, and educational programming to viewers, listeners, and readers. For more information, visit www.cptv.org and / or www.wnpr.org.
 
Positively Connecticut™ is trademarked by LIN-TV and licensed by Diane Smith. 

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