Thursday, July 31, 2014

Youth CONNection's 'Les Mis' on Shelton High stage this weekend

Sharing a note from Youth CONNection alum Marc Garofalo:

I want to personally invite you to come and see The Youth CONNection Players' production of Les Miserables this weekend.
A group of highly talented young adults, under the direction of Gary and Francesca Scarpa, have delivered a quality piece of live theater in our own community.

Check it out by clicking on this link:

Performances are at Shelton High School at 8 p.m. Friday, and at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $20 per person for adults - $10 per person for children.

You can order tickets by calling the Center Stage Box Office at 203-225-6079 or by visiting

The people who saw the show this past weekend have been raving about its quality and its emotion.
Let’s support this 30 year old mid-summer tradition here in the Valley.

Hope to see you there!


Marc Garofalo

Youth CONNection Alumnus


Note: Garofalo is the former mayor of Derby.

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Florists deliver smiles at facility in Shelton

Pictured back row from left, Crosby Commons resident Helen Musante, Bunnie Hovan (Hovan’s Flowers), Kathy Patavino and Judy Grabarz (Newtown Florist).
Front row from left, Jennifer Martinez (Gordon & Bonetti Florist), and Crosby Commons resident Barbara Kopac. /Contributed photo

SHELTON - Residents from Crosby Commons Assisted Living Community at Wesley Village posed for a photo with a few local Connecticut florists who delivered smile arrangements July 23, as part of Teleflora’s Make Someone Smile Week 2014.

Each resident received a special arrangement in a yellow smile face mug to brighten their day. Telefora has donated the iconic yellow mugs to thousands of participating florists nationwide, one for every bouquet made and delivered for the last decade.
Many thanks to everyone at Hovan’s Flowers in Stratford, Newtown Florist in Newtown, and Gordon and Bonetti Florist in Wethersfield, as well as other local wholesalers and growers for their donations of time, talent, and of course, the lovely arrangements.

For more information visit or call 203-225-5000.

 This is a press release from United Methodist Homes. 

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Derby Public Library to host discussion of novel

DERBY - The Derby Public Library has scheduled its next Lunchtime Book Discussion for 12:30 p.m. Aug. 27.   

The selected title is The Light Between Oceans by  M.L. Stedman.  

This unforgettable and deeply moving debut novel is set on a remote Australian island, where a childless couple live quietly running a lighthouse, until a boat carrying a baby washes ashore.   

This compelling story explores a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.  

Multiple copies of the book are available at the circulation desk.  Participants are asked to bring a sandwich and a friend as they “chat and chew.” 
Dessert and beverages will be provided.  

 Registration is requested.   

For more information, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit  

This is a press release from Cathy Williams, Director, Derby Public Library.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pizza clinics for kids continue in Ansonia

The next clinic will be held at noon Saturday. To reserve a spot call 203-732-8882.

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Family Campout at Ansonia Nature Center to mark anniversary

ANSONIA - Spend the night camping with your family and friends at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center to celebrate Ansonia's 125th anniversary on the weekend of Aug. 9-10.
The Family Campout and Star Party will be held from 5 p.m. Aug. 9 to 10:30 a.m. Aug. 10. The nature center is at 10 Deerfield Road.

Relax in your chaise lounge while we search the night skies for “shooting stars.”

Bob Carruthers and the New Haven Astronomical Society will be available to talk about the Perseid meteor showers.

Bring your own camping equipment, picnic dinner, and beverages. (Non-alcoholic drinks, please.)

We will also enjoy a nice fire and stories at Picnic Pavilion #2, where we will make everyone’s favorite camping treat, s'mores.

Awaken in the morning to the beautiful sounds of the Nature Center’s many bird species and join us for breakfast.

Fee is $10 per family, which includes breakfast. 
To register, call the nature center, 203-736-1053.

This is a press release from Melissa Torres, activities coordinator, Ansonia 125.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crisco welcomes new law to help horse owners, stables

State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, D-Woodbridge, talks Tuesday with 'Cheyenne' and Fiona Hynes, 12, of Woodbridge at Locket's Meadow Farm in Bethany just before the ceremonial signing of a new state law designed to help reduce insurance costs for horse owners and horse stables. Hynes testified earlier this year before the General Assembly in favor of the new law./ Contributed photo

BETHANY - State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, D-Woodbridge, Tuesday joined horse owners and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for the ceremonial signing of a new state law that will protect horse owners and equestrian businesses from paying significantly higher insurance premiums for owning or boarding horses and other, related animals. 

Crisco, Malloy and others were on hand at Locket's Meadow Farm for the re-signing of Public Act 14-54, which requires that in any civil action brought against the owner or keeper of any horse, pony, donkey or mule to recover damages for any alleged personal injury, the animal shall not be found to belong to a species that possesses a naturally mischievous or ‘vicious’ propensity. 

The bill passed the General Assembly in early May on a unanimous and bipartisan vote.

“I was alerted to this issue earlier this year by calls from my constituents in Bethany, many of whom own horses or board their horses at places like Locket's Meadow,” Crisco said, who co-sponsored the legislation. 
“From a personal perspective, insurance coverage for these animals would have become unaffordable if they were automatically deemed to be vicious in nature. And from an economic standpoint, horse farms, stables and training centers – which contribute quite a lot to Connecticut’s economy – could have been put out of business. So I think this new law gives everyone a little peace of mind.”
The new state law was passed in reaction to a state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year which found that an owner of a domesticated animal has a duty, under a two-part test, to use reasonable care to restrain the animal so as to prevent it from doing injury. 

“Connecticut has a large population of horse owners and handlers, and as such, I’m happy to sign this legislation so that we can ensure their operations can continue without possible negative consequences,” Malloy said.  

“I am proud of Connecticut’s growing agricultural sector, and I remain committed to the growth of this industry and to the hard working farm families of Connecticut.”

This is a press release from Crisco's office.

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Malloy visits Bethany farm to celebrate passage of law to protect horse owners

Bethany resident Kathleen Schurman of Locket's Meadow Farm, left, rejoices Tuesday after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, far right, held a ceremony to mark passage of a law that protects owners and handlers of domesticated horses. 

Stay tuned for a story in the New Haven Register.

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Derby Library to host canine communication program

DERBY - The Derby Public Library has scheduled the program, Understanding Your Best Friend,
at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 25.

Phil Klein, Certified Dog Listener, will present a kind and empathetic method for gaining your dog’s cooperation based on its instincts.   

Participants will learn how canines see the world and the underlying reasons for unwanted behaviors such as hyperactivity, destructive chewing, incessant barking, toileting in the house, jumping on guests, and aggression. 
They will also learn the four main areas of canine communication, including the
leadership signals that will eliminate or minimize these behaviors.   

Come and learn how to turn your dog into a relaxed and joyful companion.  Bring your questions, but not your dogs for an enlightening evening.
Registration is requested.  
For more information, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit

This is a press release from Cathy Williams, Director, Derby Public Library.


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Staff at Shelton facility recognized

Bishop Wicke staff pictured from left to right: Deloris Gilliard, CNA, Loir Bauer, RN (Asst. Director of Nursing/Staff Education), Debra Samorajczyk, RN (Administrator), and Evelyn Rupsis, RN (Supervisor). / Contributed photo

SHELTON - Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center, a skilled nursing and rehab center located on the Wesley Village campus, was recently recognized for excellence by Qualidgm and the Connecticut Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative.

The 5-star rated facility was awarded recognition for their perfect attendance in all sessions of the Connecticut Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative, as well as their 2013-2014 achievement in consistent monthly submission of CARES Reports; project data gathered by staff to help promote quality improvement and person-centered care.

 Bishop Wicke is proud to be part of the Connecticut Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative (CTNHQCC), a national quality improvement initiative launched by Qualidigm, which focuses on improving the overall quality of care for nursing home residents. Qualidigm is a national healthcare consulting and research company providing innovative and scientifically-based solutions to transform care and improve care delivery and patient outcomes. (

Bishop Wicke continues to maintain a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for 2014 and is rated a top facility in the nation, as reported by U.S. News and World Report. (

For more information about mission-based healthcare services at Bishop Wicke, visit or call 203-929-5321.

This is a press release from United Methodist Homes.

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Club in Shelton to launch Great Futures Campaign

SHELTON - The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley is teaming up with the Boy & Girls Clubs of America to promote the Great Futures Campaign for America’s Kids.

On Thursday the campaign will be launched to mobilize the country around the issues facing America’s youth, raise awareness about the critical role of Out-of-School Time, and empower the next generation on its path to a great future.

 At 3 p.m. the “Bell Heard Around the Web” digital disruptor will engage celebrity supporters, corporate partners and employees, Clubs and alumni to raise awareness on social media and on websites.
The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley is asking the Valley community to join the effort.

“When schools are out, the Clubs are in,” says Shaye Roscoe, Executive Director, of the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.
“We seek to ensure that all kids, especially those who need us most, have a positive and enriching experience after the school bell rings to put them on the path to success. As the nation prepares to go back to school, the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley wants to ensure out-of-school is part of the conversation. What happens during these hours can significantly impact a child’s life path.”
“By providing access to positive and productive after school and summer programs, we can reverse negative trends facing our Valley’s youth,” says Jim Queen, Director of Operations.

It takes the knowledge, skills, and behaviors kids learn both in school and out of school to put young people on the right path.
The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley offers programs at its Shelton, Seymour, and Ansonia clubs as well as satellite programs at schools. All Valley children are welcome.  

“I am forever grateful for my Boys & Girls Club, whose doors opened for a young, timid, unsure little boy and helped to transform him into the confident, determined young man who stands before you,” says Fred Dapp, 2014 Youth of the Year.

If you would like to donate, sponsor a child, or volunteer call 203-924-7462.
For more information about the Boys & Girls Club,

This press release is from the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, which has been serving the Valley community for more than 58 years.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Ansonia Library to host book talk

ANSONIA - The Ansonia Library’s monthly book discussion series will feature Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James, coming to PBS Masterpiece Theatre in October.

The discussion will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 28 in the Ansonia Library’s Community Room.
The program is free and open to the public.

Copies of the book are available at the Library’s circulation desk.

The Library is at 53 S. Cliff St.

For further information, call Joyce Ceccarelli, 203-734-6275.

This is a press release from Joyce Ceccarelli, Director, Ansonia Library. 

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Griffin Hospital in Derby seeks sponsors for 5K Walk/Run

Runners start out at last year's 5K Walk/Run. / Contributed photo
DERBY - Area businesses and community groups are invited to support The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital 6th Annual 5K Walk/Run set for Oct. 18.
This community-based event drew more than 500 participants last year and raised more than $140,000 in its four-year history. 
The course winds through the streets of Derby and Ansonia near the Center for Cancer Care at 350 Seymour Ave., and draws runners and walkers from throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley, including participants from Derby, Ansonia, Shelton, Seymour, and Naugatuck, and other parts of the state. 
Proceeds from the event support area cancer survivors during their treatment by providing financial assistance for a variety needs, including housing, clothing and grocery bills, transportation, wigs, and complementary medical services (massage, acupuncture, etc.).
Sponsorship opportunities include signage at the event, logos on the event promotional materials and T-shirts, and opportunities to have a table to distribute products at the event or put items, coupons or promotional material in participant give-away bags.
For more information, contact Christian Meagher, 203-732-7431 or

For more information about the 5K Walk/Run, visit

This is a press release from Griffin Hospital.

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Valley mystery photo

Any guesses where in the lower Naugatuck Valley I snapped this?

Leave your responses in the comment section. Thanks for playing!

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ice cream shop in Trumbull makes our Sunday sunny

Mud pie ice cream, anyone?

Today my daughter Allegra and I ventured out of the Valley - just a few miles from the Shelton line - to visit Sunny Daes, an ice cream shop in Trumbull.

I have been remiss this summer by not visiting ice cream shops and writing about our taste tests. Looking back it appears I wrote 16 posts about ice cream in 2012, and six more last year.

But as you can see I am trying to redeem myself with this post.

We chose to try Sunny Daes on this muggy afternoon on the recommendation of two friends. Both women told me a year ago to give it a whirl.

And we were not disappointed.

The homemade ice cream was rich. We both decided on Mud Pie, a decadently delicious coffee ice cream with fudge swirled into it. It was full of crushed chocolate cookie bits and walnuts too.

We decided we'll have to make a few return visits to try the homemade frozen yogurt, the soft-serve ice cream and the gelato.  I imagine they are just as good. The store also sells shakes and ice cream cakes.

Sunny Daes has five locations in Fairfield County: two in Fairfield, one in Stamford, one in Westport, and the one we visited at 900 White Plains Road in Trumbull.

The chain doesn't appear to have a website, but you can learn more about it on its Facebook page.


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Friday, July 25, 2014

Shelton Historical Society to offer program for children

            SHELTON - The Shelton Historical Society is offering Adventures in History, an enrichment program for children ages 7-12,  9 a.m.- noon Aug. 11-15 at the Shelton History Center complex, 70 Ripton Road.   
           History lessons disguised in activities, games, crafts, and nutritious snacks promote
 an understanding of the past.

            Cost of the program is $135/child for non-members.  For Shelton Historical Society
 members, the cost is $100/child.   
            Registration is limited and forms are available online at or at the Plumb Memorial and Huntington Branch Libraries.
             Aug. 7 is the deadline for registration.  

This is a press release from Tracey Tate, executive director, Shelton Historical Society.

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School in Derby accepting registrations

DERBY - St. Mary-St. Michael School is accepting registrations for the 2014-2015 school year.  

There are openings in all grades, from pre-kindergarten through Grade 8.

To be eligible for full-day kindergarten, children must be five years of age by Jan.1, 2015.  

The school offers part-time and full time pre-kindergarten for children who are three and four years of age.  
The school also offers Before and After School Care (7 a.m.-6 p.m.).

To make an appointment to arrange a tour with Principal Linda Coppola, call 203-735-6471.

This is a press release from the school.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tech Time on tap at Derby Public Library

 DERBY - The Derby Public Library will hold Tech Time sessions at 6:30 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month and at 10 a.m. every third Thursday of the month.

There will be a variety of topics covered on a revolving basis. 

On Aug. 20 and 21 the topic will be Web-Browser Selection.  

Areas covered will be the definition of a web-browser, differences between Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, and web-browser installation. 

Ideas for future topics are welcomed.
No reservations are accepted and there is a seven-seat limit per class.  

For more information, stop by the Library, 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482, or visit   

This is a press release from Cathy Williams, Director, Derby Public Library.

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Army Band strikes a chord in Ansonia

The Rockville-based 102nd Army Band performs big band standards, jazz, Sinatra and more Wednesday night at a free summer concert at Veterans Park in Ansonia. 

For one set some of the musicians went into the audience. I was seated in the front row and when I turned to my right I found a trombone next to my face.

My husband Ralph and I enjoyed last year's performance, and last night the musicians didn't disappoint. It was a fun concert.

Looking forward to their return visit next summer.

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Center Stage in Shelton to perform 'Les Mis'

Fridays and Saturdays July 25th - August 2nd at 8:00 pm
Saturday August 2nd at 2:00 pm
Featuring The Youth CONNection
At Shelton High School

SHELTON - I saw the fantastic 2002 production of "Les Mis" performed by Gary and Francesca Scarpa's talented Youth CONNection players, and I hope to see this one as well. 
This production is directed by Gary Scarpa and daughter Mia Scarpa.

The award-winning musical is based on the classic historical fiction by 19th-century French novelist Victor Hugo.

The flier with performance schedule information was taken from Center Stage's website.

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Bike ride to benefit Shelton non-profit

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Critters to visit Ansonia Library

ANSONIA - The Ansonia Library children’s department will offer Curious Creatures at 2 p.m. Aug. 18.
The Library will be visited by snakes and a baby alligator.

This program is for children of all ages.

This event is part of Ansonia Library’s summer reading programs. It is free and open to the public.   

For further information, call the Ansonia Library children’s department, 203-734-6728.

The Library is at 53 S. Cliff St.

This is a press release from Joyce Ceccarelli, Director, Ansonia Library.

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Map shared for town-wide tag sale in Ansonia

* Please click to enlarge.

Tag sale shoppers will be able to pick up free maps today through Saturday at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center, 10 Deerfield Road, and at City Hall, 253 Main St.

Ansonia 125 activities coordinator Melissa Torres reminds residents the Ansonia Transfer Station will be open until 5 p.m. Saturday for residents to discard unsold items. 

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All-Decades Reunion will be all fun in Ansonia

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Derby schools selected for fitness center

Ribbon cutting slated in October

DERBY - The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils and the state of Connecticut selected Derby Middle/High School to become a National Champion School. 

Being recognized for their school’s commitment to physical fitness and wellness, Derby’s award is a Live Positively Fitness Center. 
As a National Champion School, Derby’s students will have a new state-of-the-art center that includes strength training equipment, cardio fitness equipment and interactive exercise games.  

The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Council is committed to breaking the cycle of childhood obesity and providing children with a new opportunity to grow up healthy and strong.   

Studies show that regular physical activity decreases the risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer.   
Physical activity can reduce depression and anxiety and improve students’ academic performance and self-esteem.

Kelly McKeag, Program Director, National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils stated “by installing fitness centers in schools, we are making a positive impact on the lives of children and improving their long-term well-being. 
"We recognize Derby Middle/High Schools as a leading example of a high-quality, innovative school with a clear commitment to the health and success of their students.” 

Dr. Matthew J. Conway, Jr., Superintendent of Schools, said, “We are very pleased at this news.  It is a recognition and great opportunity to build on all the great health and wellness initiatives already going on in our schools and with our community partners.”  
As part of the award The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Council will host a ribbon cutting celebration at our school in October.  

This is a press release from the office of the Derby Superintendent of Schools.  

Congratulations go out to Derby Public Schools for achieving this national recognition. 

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