Monday, April 30, 2012

New Haven Register's new Valley Facebook page

The New Haven Register is launching a new page on Facebook to better engage with our suburban audience in the communities of Milford, the Valley and Amity.

Since this page is designed so we can interact with you on a variety of issues we thought it would be fun to have readers send in pictures to serve as the background for our Facebook page.

We’re looking for pictures that best symbolize the beauty or highlight the uniqueness of Milford, the Valley, and Amity.

If you’re interested please post/share the pictures on my Facebook profile: and/or email them to

I’ve seen so many beautiful pictures on Facebook of all three communities, and it would be great for us to showcase your talents. We will write a blog post crediting the photographer for their artistic talents on all photos we use.


Brian McCready
Metro Editor overseeing coverage of Milford, the Valley, and Amity
Twitter @nhrbmccready
Twitter @nhrvalley
Twitter @nhrbalbert
Twitter @ pswebilius

Biker bash to benefit veterans slated this weekend

    ANSONIA - A biker’s weekend bash sponsored by Brothers’ Harley Davidson to benefit the Disabled American Veterans will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Warsaw Park, 119 Pulaski Highway.
    Admission is $10.
    There will be dealer displays, a variety of vendors on hand and live entertainment by Murray the Wheel, Fully Loaded, Fool on the Hill, Blue Agaves.
    Activities will include a stunt riders show, body painting, tattoos, patch sewing, a mechanical bull and a bike contest with trophies awarded and a slow bike race.
    There is indoor and outdoor vendor space available. For information contact Dick, 203-435-3378 or Dennis, 203-893-5544.

Report: Arrest warrant details Ansonia snow plow theft

The Valley Independent Sentinel is reporting Monday that the Public Works employee arrested for allegedly stealing a city plow has applied for a special form of probation.

Volunteers push memorial project ahead

Last Thursday afternoon I covered a ceremonial groundbreaking for the long-awaited Broad Street Park project in Seymour. About 50 people, including elected officials, veterans, and families of veterans,  huddled in a gazebo at the site as a cold rain fell. 
What impressed me the most was the amount of volunteer work that has gone into the project. The lower Naugatuck Valley has often been called the Valley of Volunteers, and this veterans' memorial project is a perfect example of that volunteer spirit.
Seymour resident Al Yagovane, an Army veteran, has spent the last 27 years working on the park. It is at the corner of Broad and River streets, alongside the Naugatuck River.
The site already boasts a monument, flagpole, and gazebo, and is eventually going to feature walkways crafted from memorial bricks, fencing, lighting, and landscaping. The project has been helped by a $20,000 Katharine Matthies Foundation grant.

The Broad Street Park Renovation Committee members are: Sandy Cass; John Conroy Sr.; Kevin Cox; Melissa Girard; Michael Horbal; Theresa Spak; Clifford Strumello; Bill Wilin; Yagovane; Karl Zacharias.
Kudos to the committee and all who have given of their time and talents to develop this memorial to all veterans of all wars.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Connecticut law targeting scrap metal theft ignored by some dealers; Register investigation exposes loopholes (video, photos)

Sims Metal Management in North Haven "is not your grandfather's scrapyard." This is the ferrous metal yard. Mara Lavitt/Register

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
Investigations Editor / Twitter: @nhrinvestigate

On an afternoon in March, two New Haven Register reporters drove a Ford Freestyle SUV carrying a newspaper honor box into the lot of a Derby scrap metal business, M. Jacobs & Sons on Factory Street.
We wanted to see if the staff would ask for identification, or ask if we had permission to sell the large, metal, coin-operated Register honor box. The boxes are on streets and in plazas across the region and have been targeted by thieves and sold for scrap metal.
An employee asked us what we were selling, and we were truthful. The employee glanced in the window and told us to drive around back to dump it.

We unloaded the box and were paid $6 cash for it. No one ever asked us for any identification. We were not asked whether we worked at the Register or had any right to sell it.
The Derby business’ performance was the worst in a recent undercover sting operation in which Register reporters sold scrap metal to businesses in the region to see if they would follow the law.
To try to make it easier for police to catch metal thieves, lawmakers have created rules for scrap metal businesses to follow, like asking for identification from sellers.

Read the full story here.

Stolen memorial plaques replaced in Ansonia

John Giovacchino of Oxford drills holes to place a Vietnam memorial plaque at the Woodbridge Avenue Memorial. Two of the bronze plaques were stolen several months ago (one WWII and one Vietnam plaque). Behind him is his son, Jeff Giovacchino, another volunteer on the project. Peter Casolino/Register

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff / Twitter: @nhrvalley

ANSONIA — Seymour resident Herb Libby, 88, stood before the Woodbridge Avenue Honor Roll and War Memorial Saturday morning to see the progress of the installation of two bronze plaques.
One of them lists the names of some of the local residents who served in World War II; the other contains names of those who fought in the Vietnam War.
Libby, a World War II Navy veteran, was there to support his friend, Pete Giovacchino, 84, of Seymour, who has spent close to seven decades establishing and maintaining the honor roll and memorial.
Giovacchino is an Army veteran of World War II.
“I think it’s wonderful they’re doing this,” Libby said. His cousin, Wesley Libby, a Vietnam War veteran who lives out of state, is listed on the plaque, he said.
The inscribed bronze plaques list names of living veterans as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the country. The neighborhood honor roll and memorial was started in 1942 with the creation of a servicemen’s flag. Over 70 years, it has grown into an imposing site at the corner of Woodbridge Avenue and Visselli Court.

Read the full story here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

And the work begins

John Giovacchino of Oxford, right, measures one of two bronze plaques that are being installed at the Woodbridge Avenue Honor Roll and War Memorial Saturday to replace the two that were stolen in December. Giovacchino's father, John Giovacchino, is listed on the plaque. At left is Peter Giovacchino of Seymour, one of the founding members of the memorial committee and the younger John Giovacchino's uncle. Patricia Villers/Register

Restoring pieces of history in Ansonia

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff / Twitter: @nhrvalley

As an Ansonia resident I'm looking forward to covering two assignments on this fine spring day: one is a tour of the not-yet open to the public Ansonia Fire Museum on Howard Avenue.
I'll be accompanying city officials and getting a first-hand look of what has been created in part of the former Willis School, which originally was the Charles H. Pine Manual Training School.  
Alderman Eugene Sharkey, D-6, who also chairs the fire commission, will be hosting the tour.

Next up is the replacement of two bronze plaques at the Woodbridge Avenue Honor Roll and War  Memorial, also in Ansonia. Last winter the plaques, inscribed with the names of residents who served in times of war, were stolen during a rash of thefts in the Valley and in New Britain.

The Woodbridge Avenue Memorial was started more than a half-century ago in a grass roots' effort and is the pride of the neighborhood. It is on the corner of Woodbridge Avenue and Visselli Court, not far from the Seymour town line.
Each year a service is held there on the Sunday prior to Memorial Day weekend. I attended several of those services when our two children were members of the Ansonia High School Band. The band and chorus perform patriotic songs during the program.
This year the service will be held at 2 p.m. May 20, and organizers expect a bigger than normal turnout to help dedicate the refurbished memorial.

Staged crash leaves lesson for prom night in Seymour (videos)

Seymour and Oxford Emergency Services as well as CT State Police and agency partners staged a mock prom-night crash with Seymour High School seniors as the "victims" for the benefit of Seymour and Oxford juniors who watch as the emergency services show how they deal with a multiple-vehicle crash with fatalities. Mara Lavitt/Register

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent / Twitter: @nhrvalley

SEYMOUR — Seymour High School students were told Friday that drinking and getting behind the wheel is a deadly combination.

That was the message at the school’s eighth annual “Take a Stand Day.”
The program, created by Director of Security Richard Kearns, has gotten state, federal and national recognition for its message to teens.
Kearns, with the cooperation of Seymour and Oxford police, fire and emergency services, as well as dozens of local sponsors, stages the event right before the junior prom.

Read the full story here.

Derby eyes regionalizing dog pound (video)

DERBY — The city has two options regarding its recently closed dog pound: regionalize or reopen.
Police Chief Gerald D. Narowski presented the choices to the Board of Aldermen during its meeting Thursday. The city closed its pound about two weeks ago.
Former Animal Control Officer Joe Klapcik abruptly resigned April 13.
Klapcik had been scheduled to retire April 30, but officials said he got upset with someone and quit.
“You have two choices: Either keep the pound open or regionalize with a contiguous municipality with less than 25,000 people,” Narowski told the board.
The Woodbridge Board of Selectmen this week approved an agreement to add Derby’s dogs to its animal control duties.

Read the full story here

Derby finance director told to leave job

DERBY - Finance Director Henry J. Domurad attempted to report back to work Friday but was told to leave by Mayor Anthony Stafferi’s Administrative Assistant Phil Robertson.
Robertson confirmed he told him to leave by telephone.
Domurad’s Attorney John M. Gesmonde said Domurad was in the finance office for ‘about an hour’ before being asked to leave.
Domuard normally works Monday to Thursday and was expected to return to work on Monday following Thursday’s Board of Aldermen meeting where a questionable resignation letter was a point of discussion.
Gesmonde, last week, claimed someone forged Domurad’s resignation letter, and alleged a public official may face felony charges.

Read the full story here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Shredding day set in Derby Saturday

DERBY — St. Mary-St. Michael School is sponsoring a Community Shred Day from 9 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday at the school, 14 Seymour Ave.
Eco Shred will provide shredding services on site, allowing people to watch their documents be destroyed. All shredded documents will be recycled.
Documents people may bring include: bank statements, insurance forms, pay stubs, canceled checks, medical records, tax forms, personal files and anything with personal information that needs to be destroyed to avoid identity theft.
Donations are $10 for each small box/bag up to 30 pounds, and $15 for each box/bag over 30 pounds. All proceeds benefit St. Mary-St. Michael School.

Woodbridge OKs Derby animal control merger

WOODBRIDGE — The Board of Selectmen has approved adding Derby’s dogs to the town’s animal control duties.
Last week, Derby’s animal control officer abruptly resigned three weeks before his retirement, leaving the city to scramble to find state-mandated animal control coverage.
Initially, Oxford stepped in for the weekend, and Woodbridge Animal Control has filled in since.
Town Attorney Gerald Weiner said Derby will pay the town $3,500 for animal control services through June 30. The agreement mirror’s the town’s contract with Bethany.
Woodbridge will provide all necessary animal control assistance required by state statute, including necessary patrols, housing and associated care for impounded animals.
After June 30, the municipalities can enter into a new yearly agreement. Bethany is due to renew its animal control agreement at the same time.

Read the full story here

Derby Finance Director Henry Domurad still on the job despite resignation letter snafu (video)

DERBY — The bizarre circumstances surrounding the supposed resignation of Finance Director Henry J. Domurad got a lot more bizarre Thursday.
Because aldermanic President Ron Sill said the board was never notified by Mayor Anthony Staffieri about Domurad submitting a resignation letter earlier this month, but had to read about in the media, several aldermen believed Domurad still held the post.
And that’s why Domurad, who insists he did not resign, will report to work Monday as usual.
During the Board of Aldermen’s meeting, which drew a standing-room-only crowd, the board voted 5-3 to not accept Domurad’s resignation.
The board also voted to not appoint former Mayor Alan Schlesinger as interim finance director, nor to form a search committee to find a permanent replacement for Domurad.

Read the full story here.

$20,000 grant to build Seymour veterans memorial

SEYMOUR — For more than a quarter century, veteran Al Yagovane has been working on the Broad Street Park.
So it goes without saying Yagovane was pleased to see the project take a step forward.
“For 27 years, I’ve been working on this, and I’m hoping to get it done this year,” Yagovane said during a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday for the project to honor veterans of all wars.
He said he’d like to have it ready by Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Yagovane served in the Army from 1961-69 and from 1974-2002. “This (memorial) covers everybody. They don’t have to be from Seymour,” he said.
Yagovane credited the work of the renovation committee with getting the project moving forward. The project has received $20,000 seed money in the form of a grant from the Katharine Matthies Foundation.
He said no taxpayer funds will be used. Individuals and businesses have donated money over the years, but more donations are needed.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Valley Arts Council gallery no longer in the dark

DERBY - Let there be light.
After a week of being in the dark, the electricity has been returned at the Valley Arts Council’s Gallery@37, 37 Elizabeth St.
Council president Rich DiCarlo said Thursday, “Out of darkness came some good. The lack of electricity led to us planning a poetry reading and gaining some new members.”
The council has put out a call to poets for a reading at 7 p.m. May 19 at the gallery. The event is open to the public. It will feature budding poet Jen Mandeville, a senior at Seymour High School.
The power went off because the council had not received state funding that it had planned to receive in February. Then in a comedy of errors, the state check was mailed to an address in Shelton, where the council formerly had a small office.
“Basically our check was being bounced between Hartford and 900 Bridgeport Ave. in Shelton,” DiCarlo said. That address is the former location of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, where the arts group once had an office.
DiCarlo said he wanted to thank the individuals who stepped forward in the past week and donated money to help the nonprofit.
“All is well, but we can always use a helping hand,” he said.

Seymour eyesore about to be demolished

Housatonic Wire Company Owner Alex Budzinski took a picture Thursday of the demolition machine arriving to the River Street business in Seymour.

SEYMOUR--Demolition is scheduled to start Monday at the former burned-out remains of Housatonic Wire Co. Property Owner Alex Budzinski said Thursday.

The contractor is slated to meet with a neighbor, concerning air quality monitoring, prior to removal of the debris getting underway. Budzinski said he received the go-ahead to commence demolition 8 a.m. Monday.

"I think we're good to go," Budzinski told Register correspondent Jean Falbo-Sosnovich Thursday evening.

The pile of unsightly rubble has remained an eyesore in town since the former historic wire factory was consumed in a blaze on Sept. 11, 2010. Demolition had begun in October 2010, but was halted, due to weather, and a bunch of red tape the owner encountered with insurance and permits.

A new demolition contractor has since come on-board, EnviroGuard, which delivered its machine to the site Thursday.

The fire that destroyed the factory at 109 River St., was ruled accidental by the town and state fire marshals' offices. Contractors using blow torches to cut up metal pipes in the vacant building were cited as the cause of the fire.

Report: Oxford students must take breathalyzer at prom

The Valley Independent Sentinel is reporting that Oxford students must take a breathalyzer in order to attend the prom. The policy has some flexibility in how its administered.

Deadline nears for Feinstein Challenge grant to feed hungry

The drive to stamp out hunger ends Monday as part of the 15th annual Alan Shawn Feinstein $1 Million Giveway to Fight Hunger campaign.
Feinstein, a philanthropist from Rhode Island, has pledged to give away $1 million to hunger relief nationwide.
Feinstein will add to all contributions received by Spooner House during this campaign. The larger the contribution received by Spooner House, the more Feinstein funds will be given to help others in the lower Naugatuck Valley.
This is the 12th year that Spooner House has participated in the program, and your donation toward this campaign will make you a partner in the most successful grassroots campaign to fight hunger of all time. 
“To date Spooner House has received $25,700 in donations of cash and non-perishable food items which qualify for the Feinstein $1 Million Giveaway,” said Susan Agamy, Executive Director, “but in 2011 we raised more than $49,700 combined, so we could really use a last minute push for any qualifying donations.”
 Only gifts of cash, checks or non-perishable food received by April 30 will count towards the Spooner House total used to determine the amount of funds they will be eligible to receive from Feinstein’s challenge grant. Non-perishable food donated will be valued at $1 per item. 
The Feinstein million dollars will be divided proportionately among all agencies complying with the food drive formula. There will be a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $35,000 given to participating agencies. 
Those unable to donate food are still encouraged to help. Checks should be made payable and mailed to: Spooner House, 30 Todd Road, Shelton, CT. 06484.  Donations may also be made via PayPal by clicking on the donate button at  Deliveries of non-perishable food items are also accepted at the above location Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donors may also set up a special time for food delivery by calling 203-225-0453.
In Ansonia, donations for the Spooner House’s Kathleen B. Samela Memorial Food Bank may be brought to the office at Christ Episcopal Church, 56 Cliff St., Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or call 203-734-2715 to arrange for dropoffs at another time. 

The above release was provided by Kay Page Greaser of Large & Page Communications, Inc. in Hartford. 

Oxford social media marketing business lets fingers do the talking

The Talking Finger folks, from left: Erik Granato, principal; Dana Bereza, social media strategist; Chris Durso, graphic designer, and William DeRosa, principal. / Contributed photo

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff / Twitter: @nhrvalley

Some people have always talked with their hands, but now it seems almost everyone talks with their fingers.
That is the idea behind the name, Talking Finger, a social media marketing business based in Oxford. It was founded two years ago by Valley residents Bill DeRosa and Erik Granato.
The two men say companies need to have a social media presence as well as a traditional marketing one. They help businesses develop marketing strategies.
Granato said the concept at the time they started Talking Finger - a name for which he takes credit - “was to offer a way to market with a social media focus, cross the platforms and create the synergies.”
DeRosa said, however, “You can’t eliminate a traditional marketing campaign.”
“Businesses need to redefine strategies,” DeRosa said.

Read the full story here.

Scouts continuing 88-year tradition with Gang Show

The cast of the 1932 minstrel show. Rodman Kneen Sr. of Shelton, who is still active in Scouting, is in the second to last back row on far left, wearing a sweater and tie. / Contributed photo  

DERBY - The more than 100 members of Cub Pack 3, Boy Scout Troop 3 and Venture Crew 33 will present their 88th Annual Scout Gang Show at 7:30 p.m. May 11-12, at the Derby United Methodist Church. 
The church is across from the Derby Green at the corner of Fifth and Elizabeth Streets. Part old time minstrel, vaudeville, and variety show, the longest-running show of its kind has been performed by the Derby scouts since 1922 (shows weren’t performed for 2 years during World War II). Although the Derby show is the only one performed in the United States, Scout Gang Shows are performed by Scout groups throughout the United Kingdom and former British colonies. 
Award winning stage and screen performer Brian Dennehy and local Center Stage director Gary Scarpa are among the scouting alumni who performed in the show as youths under the direction of the late Scouting pioneer Edmund D. Strang.
Highlights of this year’s “What a Wonderful World” themed show include “Baby” by Tiger Cub Nicholas Palumbo, “Over There” by Cub Mike Szewczyk and “Grandma’s Feathered Bed” by Chorus Director Scout Matthew Moran. 
The director and interlocutor for the show is Troop 3 Scoutmaster Randy Ritter and piano accompaniment is provided by Jeremey Lombard. Lighting and sound is under the direction of Assistant Scoutmaster John Spinetti.
The “Endmen” or joke tellers for the show include Neeraj Madivala, Steven Tracz, Andrew Devine, Billy Kowarik, Brian Welch, Alex Oppel, Tyler Stankye and Charles Stankye IV. The Stankye brothers are third-generation endmen performing in the show. “Stooges” for the show are David Ahearn, Mike Neuendorf, Mike Tracz, John Murray and Patrick Matuska. 
The Stooges are under the direction of Mr. Rodman Kneen, Sr. who has been involved with the show for 80 years, having first performed as a Cub in the 1932 show. 
Special guests include Sarah Widomski, Sara Poppa, Troop 3 Committeeman and former Mayor of Derby, Marc Garofalo, Derby Second Congregational Church pastor, the Rev. Larry Crasilli and his wife, Doreen. Tickets are available for $7 from Pack 3, Troop 3 and Crew 33 scouts, or by calling 732-0343. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Proceeds from the show assist scouts in attending Housatonic Cub Scout Day Camp at Warsaw Park and Boy Scout Summer Camp at the Edmund D. Strang Scout Reservation in Goshen.

The above information was contributed by Troop 3 Scoutmaster Randy Ritter.

Women urged to nurture body, soul at 2nd annual Women's Day of Health in Derby

DERBY — Women of all ages and backgrounds invariably put other peoples’ needs ahead of their own.
That was the message of a keynote address, “Bringing Out the Aphrodite in You,” presented by Delphine Geraci, a bariatric nurse and mother of four, at the 2nd annual Women’s Day of Health.
The Women and Heart Disease Committee sponsored the event Saturday at Griffin Hospital.
“As women, we want to make everybody happy,” Geraci said. She reminded the approximately 105 on hand that they are “powerful people.”
Geraci said bariatric nursing is “a field I’m passionate about, and the one thing I’m most passionate about is how we feel about ourselves and our bodies. “As women, we really do it to ourselves; we’re good at putting ourselves down. We need to appreciate who we are, especially our bodies.”
Geraci advised women to “honor, respect, and fuel” their bodies. She suggested making a list “of all the things your body lets you do. Read it and add to it often.”

Read the full story here.  

Report on Valley Emergency Medical Services probe expected in May

A report on Valley Emergency Medical Services’ structure, and review of its policies and procedures, is expected next month, after Valley leaders requested an inquiry into the regional paramedic service.
The Valley Council of Governments, comprised of Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe, Derby Mayor Anthony Staffieri, Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller and Shelton Mayor Mark A. Lauretti, directed its attorney earlier this month to conduct the review.
The probe was ordered after a VEMS board member got into an out-of-state accident last December with a company vehicle.
The Valley towns contribute annual funds for VEMS’ paramedic services, although Derby has not paid since 2005.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gentile lauds law expanding insurance board

State Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, praised the House of Representatives’ approval Wednesday of legislation (HB 5013) that expands the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange board by four members and also makes Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri a voting member.
     “Expanding the board and making the healthcare advocate a voting member will help guarantee better representation for all stakeholders and especially the people who are in need of affordable, quality health care,” said Gentile House chair of the Planning and Development Committee.  “This is absolutely a huge help for small business.”
     The exchange is a marketplace that will offer affordable, high-quality health insurance options, providing relief to families and small businesses who are struggling to afford insurance.
     The exchange was created by legislation enacted last year as a quasi-public agency, governed by a board of directors, which is empowered to help individuals and small employers obtain health insurance. The exchange will be fully operational starting in 2014.
     “The new legislation not only affords broader representation but also ensures that the exchange board is in compliance with federal regulations. The bill also clarifies the law’s conflict of interest provisions,” Gentile said.
     The legislation requires the president pro tempore of the Senate to appoint a small-organization employer for a two-year term and requires the Speaker of the House to appoint a consumer for a 2-year term. In addition, the majority leaders in the House and Senate will jointly appoint a new member representing consumers and the minority leaders in the House and Senate jointly will name a new member representing small business. This would increase the board from 11 voting members to 16 voting members.
     The bill also clarifies that employees members may not serve as consultants to trade associations of insurers, insurance brokers, health care providers, or health care facilities. Current statute already prohibits exchange board members from being employed by or members of these groups.

The above information was released by Gentile's office.

Shelton Police statement on pit bull attack

Listed below is Shelton Police Department press release concerning a stray pit bull that repeatedly bit a woman more than a dozen times. Police ended up shooting and killing the dog.

On Tuesday at approximately 5:20 PM the Shelton Police Department received a report of a dog attacking a female while getting into her vehicle at 1 Forest Parkway, which is an office building. Officers and EMS responded to the scene. The female was treated on scene and transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Officers attempted to capture the dog that had came out of a wooded area, but it ran back into the wooded area. The animal appeared to be a pit bull.

Today, 4-25-2012 Officers and Animal Control responded back to 1 Forest Parkway to capture the animal. After numerous sightings the animal was located in the woods by officers. The dog showed aggressive behavior towards the officers and it was dispatched.

The animal was taken to a local veterinarian were it was determined to have a micro chip. At this time police do not have the information from the chip and will be following up to locate its owner. The dog was determine to be a pit bull and weighed approximately 40 pounds.

Derby dog pound's treatment of pit bull investigated by Connecticut Department of Agriculture

DERBY — The state Department of Agriculture is now investigating allegations a pit bull dog was neglected at the Derby Animal Shelter, officials said.
The first veterinarian, T. C. Nanavati at Ansonia Animal Hospital in Seymour, who examined Oliver, a 2 to 4-year-old dog, said the animal had been neglected at the shelter. Six pit bulls and pit bull mixes were relocated last week from Derby to the Woodbridge Animal Control facility.
Police, along with the Department of Agriculture, sought a second opinion, which is pending.
Animal Control Officer Joe Klapcik abruptly resigned last week, leaving the Derby Animal Control facility to be operated with mutual aid from Oxford and Woodbridge animal control.
Mayor Anthony Staffieri said while Oxford Animal Control was overseeing the shelter the officer took Oliver to Nanavati because of wounds on his body.
However, Stafferi said “The state (Agriculture Department) came in and said there were no problems (at the shelter).”
Ray Connors, state animal control supervisor, confirmed the state agency was involved in the case.
“We are working with the Derby Police Department in any way we can to help,” Connors said.

Read the full story here.

Report: Shelton police shoot pit bull that attacked woman

WTNH News 8 is reporting that police in Shelton shot and killed a stray pit bull that attacked a woman who was walking to her car.

Did he or didn't he?

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff

There seems to be some small-town drama brewing in the smallest city in Connecticut.

What is going on in Derby?

In recent weeks three city employees have tendered their resignations.

And now one of those people, former finance director Henry J. Domurad, says through his attorney, John M. Gesmonde, that his resignation letter is a fake.

Mayor Anthony Staffieri insists the letter is real. 

What is going on here?

Derby ex-director of finance seeks state probe

By Bridget Albert
Register Staff / Twitter: @nhrbalbert

DERBY — The chief state’s attorney has been asked to investigate the bizarre circumstances concerning the resignation letter of former Finance Director Henry J. Domurad.
Domurad’s attorney, John M. Gesmonde, claims someone forged his client’s resignation letter, and a public official may face felony charges.
Mayor Tony Staffieri disputes that the letter was forged, saying Domurad personally handed him the  letter.
“It is what it is,” Staffieri said. “He submitted his resignation and I accepted it. He handed me his resignation letter.”

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Assumption School stages 'Bye, Bye Birdie'

Eighth grade student Zachary Ardito, playing the part of Conrad Birdie along with other upper class students is seen practicing “Got a Lot of Livin’ to Do” in this year's performance of "Bye, Bye Birdie," directed by Anthony Burke.  Choreographer is Virginia Boxley.

"Bye, Bye Birdie" is Assumption School’s 12th annual Broadway musical production.
Assumption School draws on its talented students in all grades, Pre-K through eighth, to participate in its gala spring event. The cast is made up of upperclassmen, while the remaining student body makes up the giant chorus.
Virginia DeGennaro is the producer.  There is a wealth of participation from parishioners and friends to faculty and staff. The musical represents a collaborative effort that makes the production a success.  The school relies on volunteer help from props, to sets, to painting and scenery.
It is the only production of its kind in a Catholic elementary school.   
Suggested donation is $12 per ticket.  Tickets are on sale now at the school and available at the door.  Performance dates are May 11 and 12.  Curtain time is at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, call 203-734-0855.

The above information was provided by Lucia Hanock.

Seymour residents clean up

Sunday's downtown cleanup crew poses at the Seymour train station. / Contributed photo

SEYMOUR - On Sunday, dozens of residents volunteered to help clean up downtown Seymour in honor of Earth Day. 
The Seymour Pride Committee, in coordination with First Selectman W. Kurt Miller organized the Earth Day event and hopes the event can be an annual one. Seymour Pride has coordinated an Earth Day clean-up for the past few years, but this year was the most successful event yet.
Volunteers met in front of Town Hall at 8 a.m. and set to work in areas downtown, cleaning, picking up garbage, sweeping, or raking.
The most work was done cleaning the hill along the train tracks behind Main Street. A box spring, a mattress, several tires, and car parts were among the items found there. In total, four truckloads of garbage were filled and taken away by public works trucks.
All the potted planters in downtown Seymour, as well as flower boxes along the Town Hall parking lot were filled with flowers generously donated by Lowes, Ace Begonias, and Haynes. 
Kim Osgood, chair of the Seymour Pride Committee said, “It was great to see so many people from different aspects of town represented at the event. There were Seymour Lions, town employees, police, cheerleaders, residents, and public works employees among some of the volunteers.  It was fantastic to see everyone working together for our community.” 
 “We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help! I am humbled by the generosity of our residents,” Miller said. “A big thank you to all who took time out of their Sunday to help us.”
 Seymour Pride and the town would like to give a special thank you to Zois Pizza Palace for providing the volunteers with pizza and soda as well as to Smith Shell Station for providing water bottles for the volunteers.
For upcoming Seymour Pride events please visit the town’s website under Calendar of Events or by liking “Seymour Pride Committee” on Facebook.

The above information was contributed by Christine Conroy, administrative assistant to First Selectman Kurt W. Miller.

Report: Derby finance director's alleged resignation letter is fake, lawyer says

By Register Staff
DERBY — A lawyer says Henry Domurad, Jr. did not resign as Derby’s finance director — and the resignation letter released by City Hall is fake, the Valley Independent Sentinel reports.

Seymour budget meeting Tuesday night gives residents final chance to weigh in

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — Residents will have a final opportunity Tuesday night to weigh in on the $52.56 million budget proposed for fiscal 2013.
The annual town budget meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Seymour Middle School, 211 Mountain Road.
The meeting is a formality: It must be held prior to the budget referendum, according to the town charter. The meeting will be adjourned to the referendum, scheduled for 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 3 at the Seymour Community Center, 20 Pine St. Voters will cast separate ballots for the town and school budgets.

Read the full story here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Daisy Scouts get kick out of karate

Long Hill School's Daisy Troop in Shelton recently visited Valley Karate. The first grade girls participated in a karate lesson led by Master James Bergers. The lesson helped the girls earn their patch for confidence and courage. Valley Karate hosts similar lessons for Girl Scout and Boy Scout Troops free of charge. If your troop is interested in learning self-defense, courage, confidence, respect, or fitness contact Valley Karate, 203-924-2467 or

Derby library slates children's events

Time to snoop     

DERBY -  Children ages 3-6 are welcome to attend another Science Snoopers program at 10:30 a.m. May 2 at Derby Public Library.  Jump in and learn all about our amphibian friends during Swamp Thing, presented by Jean Mai. 
      The Science Snoopers series are designed to introduce children to the natural world around them offering them an opportunity to explore the simplicity and complexity of science.  The class includes a short talk enhanced with hands-on material, props and an experiment, a short story related to the theme followed by an art project.
      Registration is requested; there is no fee to attend.
Time to hoop

      The Library welcomes back Bring the Hoopla at 11 a.m. May 19. Learn the art of hooping during this fun and highly interactive program for children ages 4-11.  It is suggested that you wear comfortable clothing and get ready to do a lot of moving!  The hoops will be provided and there is no fee to attend.

Got rhythm?

       Children ages 3-6 along with a caregiver to attend Fun with Rhythms at 10 a.m. May 4.  During his return visit, Edward Leonard will present this educational drum and music circle which is designed to teach young children the fundamentals of music while playing interactive rhythm games with drums and hand held percussion instruments. 
      Registration is requested.  

Getting crafty

   The Derby Public Library will offer an after school program at 3:45 p.m. May 22 for children ages 5-9.
    During this arts and crafts program, kids will be creating a summer themed project.  All materials will be included and there is no fee to attend.  Registration is requested.

Read to Sandy
Margie Miles and Sandy her therapy dog will visit the Derby Public Library for the popular Read to Sandy program May 15.  Children ages 5-11 are invited to share a book with Sandy during this interactive reading program.
           Each child will be given a 10-15 minute time slot to read to Sandy.  Sandy and Margie are registered with Therapy Dogs, Inc. and volunteer at local schools, hospitals and nursing homes.  This is a great opportunity for beginner or reluctant readers, as well as experienced readers, to build confidence, enhance their reading skills and encourage a love of reading.  Come select a book from “Sandy’s Favorites” on display each month in the Children’s Room. 
         Registration is requested.

Make a craft for Mom

      A Mother’s Day craft program will take place at Derby Public Library at 3:45 p.m. May 8 for children ages 5-9.  Be creative and make a card for mom along with a special surprise for Mother’s Day.
    All materials will be supplied and there is no fee to attend.
    Registration is requested. For information or to register for any of the above, contact the Library, 203-736-1482, stop by the Children’s Room, 313 Elizabeth St., or visit


Derby to observe National Day of Prayer

    DERBY - The city will observe National Day of Prayer at noon May 3 on the Derby Green.
    All religions and cultures are welcome.
     The National Day of Prayer has been a vital part of our national heritage since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation.
    A joint resolution by Congress in 1952, signed by President Truman, declared an annual National Day of Prayer.  In 1988, that law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently establishing the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday of every May.
     Each year the president, governors, mayors, and other elected officials sign proclamations encouraging all Americans to pray for their country on the National Day of Prayer.
     Organizers are asking people to make time to join this gathering to pray for the nation. The country needs prayer now more than ever.  The emphasis will be on the following topics: government, military, first respondents, media, business, education, church, and family.
     For a full listing of all National Day of Prayer activities visit the National Day of Prayer Task Force Website,

    The above was provided by Jerry and Debby Borrelli, National Day of Prayer Coordinators for Derby. For information, contact them at 203-734-1150.

Striving to stay healthy takes effort

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff

    Good health: we all try to attain it, and maintain it.
    On Saturday my daughter and I attended Griffin Hospital’s second annual Women’s Day of Health.
    We enjoyed it last year and planned to return this year. Fortunately we both were able to attend, along with about 100 other women of all ages.
    As I listened to keynote speaker Delphine Geraci, a bariatric nurse, discuss how most women perceive their physical appearance in a negative way all I could think of was “she’s absolutely right.”    
    Women can be their own worst enemies, and as Geraci said they need to remind themselves to take a step back and realize how important they are to the people in their lives, be it family, or friends, or both.
    In addition to Geraci’s talk, “Bringing Out the Aphrodite in You,” the day included breakout sessions. Participants could choose three of five to attend.
    We attended a presentation about preventing cancer led by Zandra Cheng, a breast surgeon who is director of the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital.
    She is a brilliant woman, and I have a special place in my heart for her. She operated on me just over a year ago and I feel like I owe her my life.
    Cheng said she is honest with her patients, but that in one survey 20 percent of doctors who responded said they had lied to their patients. She said they included lies of omission as well as lies about the seriousness of the patient’s illness.
    In another session called “Acupuncture and Beyond,” led  by Lisa Rosenberger, a doctor of naturopathic medicine, and Holly Major, an Advance Practice Registered Nurse, we learned about therapeutic touch. They said it was “a contemporary interpretation of several ancient healing practices.”
    The method re-balances the energy in a person’s body, they said, and can be helpful with anxiety and pain, among other things. They also said the goal is to treat the cause of the imbalance, “not just the symptom of the disharmony.”
    The third session I attended, while my daughter learned CPR techniques from Cathi Kellett, a Griffin Hospital Valley Parish Nurse, was led by a physical therapist.
    Nancy Corvigno talked about problems related to incontinence in a talk called “Don’t Make Me Laugh.” But her lighthearted presentation about a serious subject did just that: it made us laugh.

   Note: Did anyone reading this post attend the Women’s Day of Health? If so, what did you learn? Would you considering attending next year’s event?
    I know I plan to do so.

'Fishing school' slated Thursday at Armory

    ANSONIA - The Ansonia Parks & Recreation Department is sponsoring the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's - Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) Program or "Fishing School" in Ansonia.
    This is an opportunity for the novice angler to learn about: Connecticut Water; Fish Identification; Fishing Tackle and Technique; Fishing Laws and Regulations; How to Tie a Strong Knot; How to Clean and Cook Your Catch; Sportsmanship and Safety; How to Cat; Where to Catch Fish.
    The program will be held at the Ansonia Armory on North State Street, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday. Parking is available on North Cliff Street.
    A fishing trip to Colony Pond at Abe Stone Park is planned for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.  Classes will be conducted by certified DEEP CARE instructors.
     The free program is open to adults and children 7 years or older. Students under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
    To register or for information contact Dave Connelly, instructor, 203-231-0946.

The above information was taken from the City of Ansonia's Website.

Ex-Shelton police officer, facing trial, has case continued to May 14

By Register Staff
Fired Shelton police Officer Loren Casertano made a brief appearance today in Superior Court.
His case was continued to May 14.
Casertano is facing drug charges after police allegedly found two controlled substances and syringes in Casertano’s locker at the Shelton station.


Church to host art auction

SEYMOUR - Great Hill United Methodist Church, 225 Great Hill Road, will host an Art Auction May 18 with preview at 7 p.m. and auction at 8 p.m. at John J. Sullivan’s Restaurant, 557 Wakelee Ave., Ansonia.
Admission is $25 per person, and includes hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, two complimentary wine tickets, and a cash bar.
Marlin Art has a distinguished collection of art and memorabilia to suit everyone’s taste and price range. Approximately 160 pieces will be on hand.
There will also be a silent auction and door prizes.
For tickets or more information, call Stephanie Bruno, 203-720-2124.  Ticket sale deadline is May 1.

Chipping away

Workers from Chip-Away Tree Service, Inc. of Seymour take down a tree Saturday morning in the parking lot at Griffin Hospital in Derby. Patricia Villers/Register

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shelton man named veteran of the year

American Veterans (AMVETS) National Commander Gary Fry, right, presents Alfred Meadows with the Silver Helmet (known as the Veterans Oscar) in recognition of his selection as the American Veteran of the Year. Photo courtesy of American Veterans National Headquarters

Shelton resident Alfred Meadows has been named the American Veteran of the Year for 2012 by the American Veterans. He was presented the Silver Helmet American Veteran of the Year Award at the AMVETS' Spring National Executive Committee meeting March 17 in Herndon, Va. 
The AMVETS Silver Helmet Award‚ a unique silver replica of the World War II GI helmet‚ has over the years acquired a well-deserved reputation as one of the most prestigious of all the awards given by veterans organizations and is now known as the “Veterans Oscar.” 
The Silver Helmet was first presented at the AMVETS 10th Anniversary Dinner to World War II hero and diplomat General of the Army George C. Marshall‚ in recognition of his contributions as a soldier‚ statesman and American. 
The AMVETS National Honors and Awards Committee‚ composed of all past national commanders and the last five “AMVET-of-the-Year” awardees‚ reviews the nominations and makes recommendations to the convention to determine the recipient.
The Silver Helmet Awards Banquet is held annually in conjunction with the AMVETS Spring National Executive Committee meeting.
In addition to AMVETS members, the audience each year includes cabinet members‚ members of Congress and military officials who come to pay tribute to the recipients of the award and AMVETS.
Meadows was also awarded a plaque which stated “Alfred Meadows is a proud U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart Medal recipient who has served in the Republic of Korea and Vietnam.
In addition to his volunteer service to AMVETS, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and other organizations, Meadows created Operation Gift Cards, which since 2005 has provided wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with more than 12,800 thank you kits containing more than $257,000 in department store gift certificates. The operation also helps to educate military patients on programs that sponsoring veterans’ organizations provide to help them and their families.
Through Operation Gift Cards for Our Wounded Troops, Meadows has helped to coordinate more than $193,000 in gift certificates and product donations from organizations and corporations to military charities assisting wounded warriors.
In recognition of his tireless and exceptional efforts assisting our wounded American veterans and their families, AMVETS is proud to present Alfred Meadows with the AMVETS Silver Helmet Award for AMVET of the Year.”
 In his acceptance speech Meadows contributed the success of Operation Gift Cards to the dedication of the one hundred and 92 representatives (189 from Connecticut) of the 63 groups and individuals who have been cosponsors.
The representatives have made 81 visits to our wounded troops in military hospitals Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, Md. while delivering more than $527,100 in PX gift cards, corporate donations, and wish list items.
Meadows also received recognition for creating a state-wide “Internet Post” for Afghanistan and Iraqi veterans with the primary mission of assisting and informing OEF/OIF/GWOT/OND veterans and their families.
For information about Operation Gift Cards or the new post, contact Meadows, 203 929-3357 or

The above information was provided by AMVETS.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Part-time maintenance workers hired for Seymour parks

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — The town’s parks, which officials said are in need of some serious sprucing up, will finally be getting a mini-facelift.
A lack of maintenance and a manpower shortage have left the various parks, including French Memorial Park and Gary Park, in need of some TLC. So the Board of Selectmen voted this week to hire four, part-time seasonal employees to get the parks in shape for spring and summer.
The employees, who will earn $15 an hour, will come on board May 1 and work through August, according to First Selectman Kurt Miller. They will work with the Parks Department in conjunction with the Public Works Department. About $20,000 has been allocated for the work.

Read the full story here.

Derby landlord aims to rebuild after fire

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
DERBY — Doug Leone, owner of the six-family house at 92-94 Olivia St. hit by fire last month, said Thursday he is going to rebuild.
“But right now, we’re waiting for the insurance company,” he said. “It’s an ongoing process.”
The city has been waiting to hear from Leone since Building Official David Kopjanski wrote him a letter April 2 wanting to know his intentions for the building, Fire Marshal Phil Hawks said Thursday.
The fire was started by a cigarette on the third-floor porch.

Read the full story here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Enlightenment found in the near-darkness

The Valley Arts Council's Gallery@37, at 37 Elizabeth St., Derby. Patricia Villers/Register 

Sometimes it helps to be in the right place in the right time.

That's what happened to me late Friday afternoon when I stopped in the Valley Arts Council's Gallery@37 at 37 Elizabeth St., Derby to take a photo of two board members sitting in the near-darkness.
The only light was natural light coming through the storefront windows. I had written a story about the lack of electricity earlier in the day. It was dark because the arts council, which relies heavily on state funding, couldn't afford to pay the electric bill.

When I arrived, an impromptu poetry reading had just started. A teen-ager read her poems that were filled with raw emotion. In one she talked about her late mother, who died 11 years ago, and what she would have liked to tell her.
Two of the women listening to her got tears in their eyes.

She also wrote about her bout with depression, and about a relationship that didn't work out.

I found out later the talented poet was Jen Mandeville, 17, a senior at Seymour High School.

After she read her poems, several council members there discussed holding a public poetry reading. Minutes later they decided to hold the first such event at 7 p.m. May 19.

The council has put out a "call to poets" for that night.  

As we sat in the late afternoon shadows listening to Jen, one person said the young poet had truly "enlightened" those of us gathered in the gallery without lights.

And I wholeheartedly agree.

Power shut off at Valley Arts Council gallery, but shop remains open

Valley Arts Council President Rich DiCarlo, left, and gallery administrator BillieJo Scharfenberg chat Friday afternoon in the council's Gallery@37 in Derby. The gallery has had no electricity since Thursday afternoon when the power was turned off. The nonprofit's board members are appealing to the community for donations. Patricia Villers/Register 

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
DERBY — The lights have gone out — literally — on the arts in the area, Valley Arts Council President Rich DiCarlo says.
“We were operating the gallery this afternoon and everything went black,” he said late Thursday. “We first checked with the landlord, but there was no power interruption.”
The gallery, at 37 Elizabeth St., will be open this afternoon even without the lights.
DiCarlo said the all-volunteer, nonprofit organization has been sending money to United Illuminating as it could afford to do so to keep the lights on.

Read the full story here.

Valley leadership telecast to feature NFL star Tim Tebow

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
SHELTON — NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow will be there, as will CNN correspondent Soledad O’Brien.
The event is the May 4 Chik-fil-A Leadercast presented locally by the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The leadership development program promises to be “transformative” for all who attend, Valley Chamber President Bill Purcell said. “(People) are guaranteed to take away many nuggets of wisdom.”
This is the fifth year the Chamber has presented the event. It will again be held in the R.D. Scinto Inc. Auditorium, 3 Corporate Drive.
Purcell said, “It’s a day to stretch your mind about leading in challenging times.”

Read the full story here.

New push to resolve issues at Riverside Apartments in Ansonia

Tenants meet Thursday at Riverside Apartments on Olson Drive in Ansonia. Phyllis Swebilius/Register

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
ANSONIA — Aggressive dogs, abandoned vehicles, health hazards: Jimmy Miller, interim executive director of the Ansonia Housing Authority, is targeting them all.
Miller on Thursday evening updated Riverside Apartments tenants on how he is addressing those problems and more.
There is a push, he said, to keep the grounds clean and remove abandoned vehicles; have extra patrols by police officers; crack down immediately on illegal residents and dogs; and help tenants who have health hazards in their apartments caused by mold, mildew and a leaking roof.
The nine-building complex on Olson Drive is due for eventual replacement in two stages. Two of the original 11 apartment buildings were razed in September 2009. The site was developed a half-century ago. Miller has said he wants to see the south side residents moved out by the time school starts in September.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Facility seeks therapy dogs

SHELTON - Wesley Village is looking for therapy dogs to visit senior residents.
To find out how you can volunteer and qualify for a Pet Therapy Program, you can attend an event at 6:30 p.m.  June 6 at Crosby Commons, 580 Long Hill Ave.
To register, call Barbara Quinn, 203-944-8292.

Driver, passenger unhurt as car slides into embankment in Seymour

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
SEYMOUR - Resident Evelyn Molner, 63, and a female passenger also in her 60s escaped injury Wednesday when the vehicle in which they were riding slid down an embankment next to the Community Center parking lot and into the Naugatuck River, police said.
Lt. Paul Satkowski said Molner “hit the gas instead of the brake” and crashed into the wooden guardrail in the parking lot at 20 Pine St.
“The riverbed is low,” he said, and the vehicle stopped on “dirt, gravel and sand.”
Satkowski said if the water level had been higher it could have been a different situation. "We were very fortunate in that respect," he said.
Molner apparently was going to the senior center inside the community center to attend an event,  Satkowski said. “She pulled into the parking spot on the river edge and hit the gas instead of the brake.”
The car sustained minor damage, he said. It was driven a short way down the riverbed where it was pulled onto a tow truck. Public works employees will repair the guardrail, Satkowski said.

Derby police chief: Reports of neglect at city's Animal Control are false; dogs moved to Woodbridge

The Derby dog pound on Coon Hollow Road has been closed. Patricia Villers/Register

By Phyllis Swebilius
Register Staff
DERBY — The city has a temporary agreement with Woodbridge to accommodate dogs previously held at Derby's pound, Police Chief Gerald Narowski said this morning.
The six pit bull dogs were transferred Tuesday to Woodbridge Animal Control, he said.
Deputy Police Chief Raymond Stuart confirmed the dogs were at WAC.
“We helped them out yesterday with mutual aid,” Stuart said.
He said the cost to the city was still being worked out, but that it would be less than or equal to what Derby has been spending.
The procedure for reporting dogs remains the same: Call the Police Department. If an animal control response is needed, it will be from the Woodbridge facility, Narowski said.

Read the full story here.

Let your voices be heard

Dear fellow Valley residents and those who work in the Valley,

We all know this is a unique area, filled with history, tradition, and the spirit of volunteering, as well as interesting people involved in interesting pursuits.

The New Haven Register is offering an opportunity to let you have your voices heard here, on this blog, dedicated to all things Valley.

If you'd like to write an occasional post about a local issue, your organization, or an event you're planning, e-mail me at (please include your full name and contact information) and it will be considered for publication. 

I'd love to hear from you.
  - Patti Villers

Ansonia tax board OKs $5,700 for Economic Development Commission bicycle festival

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
ANSONIA — Funding for a number of initiatives proposed by the Economic Development Commission, including creating a website, and facelifts for downtown storefronts, will have to wait a little longer.
While the Board of Apportionment and Taxation on Monday approved a transfer of $5,700 for the EDC’s bicycle festival scheduled for June 3, it deferred discussion on the EDC’s request to transfer the entire $80,000 remaining for several other initiatives.
The discussion will continue at the tax board’s budget workshop scheduled for 7 p.m. April 30 at City Hall.
Following the death of former Economic Development Director Claude Perry last year, there is $80,000 remaining in the EDC’s budget for salary. The EDC requested the tax board transfer the entire amount for various initiatives before the money went back into the city’s general fund.

Read the full story here.

Valley promotes literacy through Read Across America

By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
ANSONIA — Reading is one of the most important skills a child can develop. Not being proficient in reading can pose major challenges as a child progresses through school.
That’s why for the fourth consecutive year, the Valley’s Early Childhood Task Force hosted Monday’s Read Across America, said task force chairwoman Pamela Lorenzo.
More than 50 people attended a breakfast kickoff at John J. Sullivan’s Restaurant.
She said it was the second year the Valley Community Foundation had sponsored the breakfast and the purchase of books that 33 people, including state and local officials, were scheduled to read to students in Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Shelton.
Lorenzo is program manager/supervisor at the Nurturing Families Network in New Haven.
She said although it was mid-April, “We’re technically celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday,” which is March 2. “We can’t forget him,” she said of the late children’s author’s impact on reading. Seuss was born in 1904 and died in 1991.

Read the full story here.

Girl Scouts touch my heart

 On getting a group hug from Troop 60500 

Last Thursday night I attended a monthly meeting of ‘Circle of Friends,” a breast cancer support group that meets at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby.

I’ve never been part of a support group before, but after getting diagnosed with breast cancer 14 months ago I was urged by several health care professionals to give it a try. I joined, and I’m glad that I did.

Last week one of our group facilitators, Joyce Grohe of Seymour, distributed goody bags filled with toiletries, treats, letters, and handmade “Bottles of Hope,” all from Ansonia Girl Scout Troop 60500. We all got a box of Girl Scout cookies as well!
I got a note decorated with breast cancer logos and a smiling sun signed with love from a Troop member named Allie. She said she hoped I enjoyed the cookies. (I did.)

According to a card included with each Bottle of Hope, the tiny glass object “symbolizes a wish and a hope for health.The project was started in 1999 by a Rhode Island cancer survivor.”

A few months ago the same Troop had given our group hand-made felt ornaments featuring a pink breast cancer logo attached to a white cross. They had used them to decorate a Christmas tree at the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital.

All the gifts were unexpected and simply wonderful. I could feel the thoughtfulness that went into their creation.

My letter was written by Danica Graham of Ansonia. Her words made me teary-eyed.

She wrote in part: “I think making Bottles of Hope is a good thing. That’s why I love to make them for others...Today was a fun day because we got to learn how to use the clay, almost professionally, to make a little bottle that’s called ‘Bottles of Hope.’

“...this one bottle will most likely change a person in need of hope’s life...Today when my Girl Scout Troop (60500) was trying their hardest to do their best, I think it means something.

"So I hope these decorated, beautiful, awesome bottles will change their new owner’s life.”

Wow. See why it brought tears to my eyes?

I offer a big thank you to all of the members of Troop 60500 and the adults who guide them. And I wish them all the best.   

Len Greene Jr. to seek re-election in Valley's 105th District

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — State Rep. Len Greene, Jr., R-Beacon Falls, announced he’s seeking a second term to the 105th District seat.
Greene made his announcement Sunday afternoon in front of Seymour Town Hall.
“Two years ago, when I first announced my intention to run for the office of state representative, I made a promise to my constituents … I promised that I would bring common-sense principles back to our state government in Hartford,” Greene said.
Greene cited some of his accomplishments that have benefitted constituents in the 105th District, which includes Seymour, Beacon Falls and Derby. Those include helping secure more than $1.4 million in funding for the Housatonic Wire cleanup in Seymour; new sewers on Chamberlain Road in Seymour and replacement of a dangerous bridge and dilapidated retaining walls on Route 42 in Beacon Falls.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shelton man charged with public indecency


SHELTON – A 63-year-old man was charged Tuesday with public indecency after he was allegedly found in his car with his pants down, police said.
Police responded at 11 a.m. to Riverview Park, located on Howe Avenue, on a report of a suspicious male in a vehicle originally in the area of Birchbank Road, said Lt. Robert Kozlowsky in a written statement.
Police said an officer approached the vehicle and noticed Michael Chupick of Nichols Avenue in the driver’s seat with his pants down. Police said Chupick could not explain why his pants were down or why he was in the area.
Chupick is charged with public indecency and was released on a promise to appear May 1 at Derby Court.
Police responded to a report of a suspicious man in a similar vehicle in the same area yesterday, but were unable to locate the man at that time, according to the statement.

Church to present 'Sinners' Parade' this weekend

    SEYMOUR - Great Hill United Methodist Church, 225 Great Hill Road, will present a musical “The Sinners’ Parade Never Ends” at 7 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday
    This musical drama sequel is based on the passion of Christ and the sacrifice he made for all who walk their lives in the Sinners’ Parade.
    It was written by Spike Jones, with music by Barbara Zanowiak, and directed by Yashu Putorti.
    There is no charge for this event; however a free will offering will be taken.  Refreshments will be available. 
    For information call Jones, 203-828-8652.

Library seeks scholarship applications, lists events

   DERBY - The Derby Public Library is accepting submissions for its Annual Scholarship Prize of $500.  It is open to all high school seniors living in Derby who plan to further their education,  regardless of where they go to school.
   The Library Board of Directors will choose the winner based on an essay explaining the role of libraries in their life. The award will be presented at the Library Board of Directors
meeting June 20.
   In addition to the monetary prize, the winner’s name will be added to the Scholarship Prize Plaque located in the Young Adult department. Seniors may submit their entry directly to the Library Director now through May 14.

* * *

    Social Security Specialist, Maria Grice, will be at the Derby Public Library at 10 a.m. May 15 for an informal information session.  Find out how to apply for benefits, which benefits are available, on-line services, Medicare, COLA increases, the future of Social Security, and more.
   This is an opportunity to have all your questions answered. Pamphlets and brochures will be available. No registration is necessary.

* * *

    Derby Public Library will host a free career development workshop  from 10 a.m. to noon May 16.  A nationally certified Resume Writing Professional from the Connecticut Department of Labor will give tips on how to improve your current resume.  Participants will learn how to enhance their content by adding summaries, profiles, accomplishments and achievements.
Registration is requested.

* * *

    Derby Public Library continues to offer free monthly walk-in basic computer classes. They are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. and the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. This introductory class, taught by library staff, covers computer hardware, Windows, basic word processing and internet searching.
    The class is 90 minutes. No reservations are accepted and there is a seven-seat limit per class.
May class dates are May 15 at 10 a.m. and May 16 at 6:30 p.m.
     For information, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St. , call 203-736-1482 or visit

Monday, April 16, 2012

Seymour Pink plans pasta dinner

SEYMOUR - The fifth Annual Pasta Dinner, sponsored by Seymour Pink, will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. May 1 at Brookside Inn, 231 Oxford Road, Oxford. 
The dinner will feature raffle baskets donated in honor or in memory of loved ones. All proceeds from the event go directly to help support the mission of Seymour Pink, including helping those in Seymour and surrounding communities afflicted by breast cancer. 
For tickets, call 203-668-3170 or email at

Seymour to use phone app for safety alerts

SEYMOUR - The Town of Seymour, through a contract with Emergency Communications Network, LLC, will begin providing public safety alerts through the company’s new public safety app – CodeRED Mobile Alert.
The app, which is a free download for iPhone and Android subscribers, will allow Seymour residents, as well as those traveling through the area, to receive community and emergency alerts via notifications to their smartphones. 
Thomas Eighmie, Seymour's Emergency Management Director, said the new platform will serve as one additional tool to help inform the community and visitors about important information that may impact their safety. 
"The app works similarly to our current CodeRED system. If you have the app downloaded and are in the affected area of the alert, a notification will be sent through the app to alert you of the issue,” Eighmie said.
"Residents who have enrolled for the CodeRED System will continue to receive voice calls, text messages and emails. However, the app is designed to keep users safe and informed while on the go. 
“The app is unique because, for example, if we have a Seymour  resident who is traveling to another state that also uses the CodeRED system, they will receive any community or emergency alerts from that specific area as well. It’s just one extra way to stay safe when you’re away from home,” Eighmie said.  
This additional outlet for the town to communicate time-sensitive messages to residents and visitors is at no additional cost to the current contract with Emergency Communications Network.
Emergency, community and missing children alerts are always free to app users. The app also provides subscribers a free, 30-day trial of CodeRED Weather Warning, which alerts users if they are in the direct path of a severe thunderstorm, tornado or flash flood. Users have the ability to select the types of weather notifications they want receive, to customize the app based on their unique preferences. “With the weather component, you don’t have to be worried about missing hearing a tornado siren or watching a weather report. The app will alert you immediately after the National Weather Service issues a severe weather warning, no matter the time of day,” Eighmie said.
Residents with iPhones and Android smartphones are encouraged to download the app to begin receiving notifications from the Town of Seymour. The app is available for a free download on the iTunes store and Google Play. 
For information or to download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app, visit

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