Friday, June 29, 2012

FRIDAY FIVE: A recap of this week in the Valley

Here are five of the stories that made headlines this week in the Valley. They are written by Register reporters Bridget Albert, Phyllis Swebilius and Patricia Villers, and are listed in no particular order.

Former Shelton cop may have bond increased.

Stratford man sentenced in Shelton robbery. 

Derby aldermen shun ex-finance director case. 

Ex-assistant principal picked as interim superintendent in Derby.

Ansonia making plans for farmers market. 

Derby Neck Library lists July programs

DERBY - At 10 or 11 a.m. July 9, bring your children to the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave., to sing and dance with Deidre Murtha.
This is a free program of summer music suitable for very young children.  Drop in at either hour.

K-9 demo
On Tues., July 10 at 11 a.m.,  come meet Police Trooper Alex Horjatschun and K9 Jorick for a demonstration on how police dogs do their jobs. This is a free program open to all ages. 

Magic and puppets
On July 11 at 10:30 a.m. the library presents a “Dream Big and Read Magic Show” with Bob Conrad.  He offers  magic, puppets, and ventriloquism.  Suitable for all ages.  

Reading to canines
On July 11 at 6 p.m. visit Cosmo and Thor, two St. Bernard Dogs, for your child to read to.   Call the library to sign up for a 15-minute session with one of these special dogs.  

Teen bingo
On July 12 from 2-4 p.m. all tweens and teens are invited to enjoy Teen Bingo.  Refreshments will be served and prizes awarded.  An easy and fun game of chance requiring no special skills to win. 

Meet a llama
On July 17 at 1 p.m. meet Copper the Llama as you hear stories about llamas and learn how their fiber is used.  This is a free program for all ages.

Acoustic music
Acoustic Musician Peter Biedermann will perform at 6:30 p.m.
This free program for all ages employs unique guitar sounds on several stringed instruments, as he plays his own creations.

Hear some bluegrass music
On Wed., July 18 at 6:30 p.m. come to the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave., to be entertained by Phil Rosenthal a nationally-known singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer.  Mandolin and banjo music featuring blue grass will be performed. This is a free program suitable for all ages. 

Meet the pigs
At 10:30 a.m. July 19, come “Pig Out on Reading”.  
You will meet Farmer Minor and his special pigs.  Petting and photos are allowed.  Learn about farm life for pigs. Recommended for children ages 4-12.
Trivia, anyone?
On Thurs., July 19 from 2-4 p.m. tweens and teens are invited to the Library for a Teen Trivia Contest.  All topics in the contest relate to teen themes in history, literature, science and popular culture.  Bring one or more friends, as team play will be involved—or we will help you create a team.  Prizes will be awarded. 

Read to Jake
At 3 p.m. July 22, Jake, a trained listening dog, will be available for children to read to. Children may sign up for a 15-minute session with this gentle dog,

Ahoy, matey
At 3:30 p.m. July 24 greet Captain Papillion as he sails in from Louisiana to teach you how to play pirate.  The captain sings and dances with all the mateys. Suitable for ages 5 and older. 

Amazing magic
At 6:30 p.m. July 25 meet Domino the Great who performs amazing magic tricks, has hilarious humor, music and more.  This is a free program suitable for all ages.
Movie night 
From from 6-8 p.m. July 26, all tweens and teens are invited to Teen Movie Night.  Featured is the terror classic “The Ring” shown in Blu-ray. Refreshments will be served.  This is a free, drop-in event; no registration is required.

Paranormal program
At 2 p.m. July 28 there will be a program presented by the Connecticut Paranormal Research Society.  By focusing on local history, members of CPRS’s experienced research team take you on a tour of the paranormal. This non-profit group will explain its work for the audience.

For information on any of the above programs call the library, 203-734-1492. 

The above information was provided by Pat Sweeney, reference and cataloging, Derby Neck Library.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Crisco backs Supreme Court ruling on health care

State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, Senate chair of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, today embraced the decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court upholding the major tenets of the federal Affordable Care Act. 
Crisco said many aspects of healthcare reform undertaken by the federal government have already been enacted in Connecticut.

As insurance committee chairman Crisco has successfully expanded insurance coverage to include new screening and diagnostic procedures, has worked to improve consumer options and increase transparency with regard to insurance rates, and has supported economies of scale, giving more people access to coverage through insurance pooling.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling provides dramatic reaffirmation that we’re on the right track with regard to healthcare reform in Connecticut and encourages us to recommit to the process already underway,” Crisco said. “The goal remains to provide increased access to affordable, high-quality healthcare – we believe expanding the pool of those insured sufficiently spreads risk and responsibility to control costs for individuals, families, businesses, and both private and public insurers.”

Crisco said Connecticut’s Health Insurance Exchange is another initiative meant to make information about health insurance options available to residents, and will play a key role as the state continues preparing for full ACA implementation in 2014.

“Connecticut has made great strides in its approach to improved healthcare, through preventative care, expanded options for consumers and insurance providers alike, and with optional, extended coverage for children through the age of 26,” Crisco said. “Today’s decision upholds our belief that effective healthcare reform must include all stakeholders, must be comprehensive in its scope in terms of coverage, cost, and eligibility, and perhaps most importantly of all, must be ongoing.”

“I heartily endorse the decision announced today and look forward to further implementation of healthcare reform in Connecticut so more residents have access to affordable, meaningful health insurance coverage,” Crisco said.

This is from a release from Crisco's Senate office.

Book about love, dysfunction is library discussion topic

    DERBY - The Derby Public Library has scheduled its next Lunchtime Book Discussion for 12:30 p.m. July 25.
     The selected title is J. Courtney Smith’s second novel, Maine.
     It revolves around three generations of women who converge on the family beach house in Maine, one last time.  Over the course of the summer, long-held secrets are revealed, embarrassing crushes bloom, and chaos develops.
    The author uses humor to examine the truths of the heart in this emotional story of love and dysfunction.
   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 information, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit  

The above is from Cathy Williams, Director, Derby Public Library.

Bridgeport history focus of book talk

SHELTON - Crosby Commons will host a lecture and book signing with Jeffrey C. Williams, author of  "Home of Happy Dancers - The Story of Bridgeport Connecticut's Ritz Ballroom" from 1-1:45 p.m. July 10 in the Gallery at Crosby Commons. 

Crosby Commons is located at Wesley Village, 580 Long Hill Ave.
The event is free; books will be available for a nominal fee.

For information contact Mary Ann Milano, activities director, 203-225-5018 or at:

The above is from a press release from Crosby Commons. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Free adult education courses offered

      SHELTON  - Valley Regional Adult Education will offer continuing education courses this summer from July 11-Aug. 16.
      English as a Second Language class will help students improve reading, writing and understand English.
      GED class prepares students in the areas of writing, reading, science, social studies and math in order to take the state administered GED exam.
      Both classes will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Adult Learning Center, 415 Howe Ave. In-person registration and orientation are July 10 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. July 10. There is no fee for either class. 
      Limited enrollment is on a first come, first served basis. Students must be residents of Ansonia, Derby, Monroe, Seymour, or Shelton to participate. For information visit or call 203-924-6651.

'Burlesque 2.0h' show to benefit Seymour theater restoration

SEYMOUR - Flirty, not dirty.

That's how Meghan Tarby is describing "Burlesque 2.0h" to be staged this weekend at the Strand Theater, 165 Main St.

Tarby's company, Looking Glass Events, LLC will present the show Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to benefit the Strand Theater Restoration Project.

Tarby writes: "This flirty, not dirty, vaudeville variety show is the second installment of Strand Theater Burlesque, which began in 2011 with three sold out performances of America the Beautiful: A Modern Burlesque Performance.
"That show raised $10,000 for the restoration of the theater's historic marquee. If you come to this weekend's show, you can see the progress from that project, which is nearly complete!"

This year's show features an all-volunteer cast, with special guest appearances by burlesque dancer, Dot Mitzvah;  First Selectman Kurt Miller; and the Society of American Magicians #127.

In addition to the ensemble dance numbers, there will be comedy, magic, and much more.

Each performance features a cocktail hour immediately following. Friday night's performance begins at 8 p.m.; doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday night's performance is at 8 p.m., doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the cocktail hour is hosted by The Original Antonio's Restaurant in Ansonia. Both of these shows are nearly sold out.

Sunday's performance is at 6 p.m.; doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 each and include food and two beverages during cocktail hour.

All profits benefit the Strand Theater Restoration Fund.
For tickets, call 203-400-4625 and leave a message or email

The above information was taken from a release from Tarby. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rotary's pavilion project progresses in Shelton

Work on the Riverwalk pavilion is moving along. Contributed photo
 I received a press release Monday from Lauren Kazzi, vice president of image for the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club, about the progress being made on construction of a pavilion at the Shelton Riverwalk.
The Rotarians have raised funds for the project, which is a joint effort between the club and the city of Shelton.
I was there for the ceremonial groundbreaking in November 2010.

Here is the slightly-edited release:
The Shelton Riverwalk's latest project is almost finished. The Derby/Shelton Rotary Club, in partnership with the City of Shelton, is building a large pavilion for public use. The pavilion will be dedicated in memory of state Rep. Richard O. Belden, who died in August 2007.
The design and construction phases of the project are being overseen by Jim Tate of Shelton, who also designed the Farmers' Market nearby.

The Shelton Economic Development Corporation has also played an important role in keeping the project moving forward.
Heavy work will continue on the building until mid-July. The pavilion will be available for use sometime in September, after all of the finishing touches have been made to the landscaping.

I was amazed at how much work was completed in three weeks.
I took the photo of the foundation (below) June 2 while attending the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life at the Riverwalk.

Truth be told, I forgot to post it.

Foundation for the pavilion as it looked June 2. Patricia Villers/Register

The Rotary Club and city officials involved with the construction should be commended. The pavilion will be a great venue for community gatherings in the not-too-distant future.

Teens to tie-dye T-shirts, discuss trilogy at library

DERBY- The Derby Public Library invites young adults ages 12 to 17 to Tie-Dye T-Shirts from 2:30-4 p.m. July 17.
Laurie Lynn will provide participants new white T-shirts, dyes, and the expertise needed to create a personally-designed fashion statement.

And from 3:30-4:30 p.m. July 18, young adults ages 12 to 17 are invited to the second gathering of Hunger Games Trilogy Slam to discuss Catching Fire.
Participants also will receive their own personal copy of the third installment of this Susanne Collins bestselling trilogy to read (and keep), then share opinions and thoughts in a final group discussion from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Aug. 8.

Both of these programs are part of the Derby Public Library 2012 “Balance Your Life” Summer Reading Club.
They are made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Jane C. and David B. Cohen Fund through the Valley Community Foundation, in memory of David B. Cohen.

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

Derby to name interim superintendent Monday

By Register Staff

DERBY- The Board of Education is expected to name George Tanner as Interim Superintendent of Schools at a special meeting Monday, the district announced in a press release this afternoon.

Tanner retired from the school system in 2006, having served the district for 38 years as a mathematics teacher, a coach and assistant principal at Derby High School.

Tanner earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of New Haven, and a master’s degree in education from Southern Connecticut State University. He also obtained his sixth year degree in educational administration at SCSU.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Board of Education, our teachers and our city leaders on behalf of Derby’s schools over the next few months,” Tanner said in a prepared statement .

“We are fortunate to be able to have a person of George Tanner’s caliber to assume this important leadership position,” Board of Education Chairman Kenneth Marcucio said in a prepared statement. “His long history with the Derby Public Schools will serve us well during this time of transition.”

Tanner will succeed. Stephen Tracy as the school district’s chief executive officer. racy becomes the Superintendent of Schools for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, effective July 2.

The Board of Education plans to initiate a search for a permanent superintendent this summer.

Dinner to benefit Ansonia Community Action

ANSONIA - A ziti dinner will be held from noon to 4 p.m. July 14 to benefit Ansonia Community Action, a nonprofit agency in the city’s North End.
The menu includes ziti with meatballs, salad, bread and butter, dessert, and punch. Cost is $6 a person.
The dinner will be held downstairs at Ansonia Community Action, 4 Fourth St.
For information call 203-735-8592.

Kudos go out to Ansonia scholarship winner

 AHS graduate heading to art school in fall

Stephanie Lynn Duncan

ANSONIA  - Stephanie Lynn Duncan was ranked in the top 12 percent of her class at Ansonia High School. She has been receiving Julian A. Taylor scholarship awards since fifth grade.

She will receive the top honor, a $5,000 scholarship, at an annual dinner July 8 at John J. Sullivan's restaurant

Duncan was born in Mount Vernon, N.Y. to Prescina Cameron and Hezekiah Duncan. She is the second of four children; she has two sisters and a brother.

Duncan has received numerous awards such as the Charger Pride Award, Mary Haussler Sowkeep Memorial Art Award, John Quake Memorial scholarship, and the Jay Amico Artistic Memorial Scholarship.

She is a CAPT Scholar in Reading, Writing, and Science, and has been featured in the Congressional Art  Competition. She has volunteered for My Sister’s Place, Birmingham Group Health Services, Inc., and Toys For Tots.

While at AHS she participated in Student Ambassadors, Art Club, Cooperative International Studies Program, Newspaper Club, Student Employment Experience, and Screen Printing Group.

Duncan will attend Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. She has not yet decided on a major in her chosen field of art.

I congratulate Duncan on her achievements and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

The above biographical information was contributed by Ansonia resident Diane Stroman, a member of the Julian A. Taylor Scholarship Committee.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Good fortune finally finds deserving Derby couple

The story I covered over the weekend about Casimir and Patty Stochmal, the Derby couple who won a makeover of their front yard courtesy of the DIY network's Desperate Landscapes show, is about more than curb appeal.

The house as it looked Saturday afternoon.

Although the landscaping and all the extras (valued at "at least $25,000" by the show's executive producer) transformed the house, I couldn't help but be reminded of when I first met the Stochmals.

Six years ago this month I met the couple, as did news people from throughout the state, when their special needs daughter Lauren's prosthetic legs were stolen.
The legs were lost when her mother's car was stolen from a parking lot in Milford. They were later recovered in New Haven.

Lauren has Down Syndrome. An infection when she was just 13 months old required her left leg to be amputated below the knee.

Now 8, Lauren is a feisty child who is doing well at Bradley School, Patty Stochmal says. The couple also has a son, Kevin, who is 15.

It's clear this family has a lot of fans. The crew who arrived to transform the yard, build a porch, pave a driveway and create a stonewall had plenty of help from family, friends, and neighbors.

The volunteers - all looking sweaty and exhausted -  were quite a sight to see.

They gave the Stochmals physical help, but also moral support to deal with the stress associated with having a crew from a TV show stop at their front step.

Congratulations go out to the Stochmals for winning the contest, as well as to the army of volunteers who were there for them when they needed them.

Derby library talk to highlight history

 Learn what happened in the Valley 100, 75, and 50 years ago

DERBY - The Derby Public Library will ohstelcomes Rob Novak, Jr., local historian, at 6:30 p.m. July 23 to discuss Yesterday’s Headlines.
Novak has specialized in presenting local history in fun, interactive formats for general and specialized audiences for more than 20 years.
He is past director of the Derby Historical Society and City of Shelton’s Municipal Historian.  In addition, Novak has authored four books through Arcadia Publications, and has been a popular historical columnist.
Participants will be taken back to 1912, 1937, and 1962 to see what was happening locally 100, 75,
and 50 years ago in the Valley.
Registration is requested. For information, stop by the Library, 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit

The above information was taken from a release from Cathy Williams, director, Derby Public Library. 

Club seeks 3 host families for exchange student

    The Derby-Shelton Rotary Club is seeking three families in Derby to host an Exchange Student from Turkey for the 2012-2013 academic year. 
    The student has been accepted at Derby High School, where he will be a member of the junior class.

    The Exchange Program is overseen by Rotary District 7980, and has a very comprehensive set of policies for the behavior of incoming and outgoing students and their host homes, that includes restrictions on driving, drinking, drug use and school attendance.

    Rather than ask one family to host a student for an entire year, each family is asked to host the student for approximately three and one half months. 
    There is no compensation to the families, though the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club will provide the student with a spending allowance to pay for activities.
      Rotary District 7980 provides a local coordinator to check in with the student and family, and approximately once per month holds an event or trip for all of the Exchange Students in the area.  Exchange Students are not allowed go on trips independently without adult supervision, though they are encouraged to get involved in social activities with other youth in the school they are attending.
    The host family does not need to have a child attending the high school though it is preferable there are other children in the home.
 The Turkish Exchange Student is 16, speaks English and is a good student. Travel arrangements must be made soon
    If interested, call Michael Wynne, Youth Exchange Officer, Derby-Shelton Rotary Club, 203.954-0543 ext. 112, or at

The above was provided by Lauren P. Kazzi, vice president of image, Derby-Shelton Rotary Club.

JAT scholarship committee to present awards July 8

ANSONIA - The Julian A. Taylor Scholarship committee will present 2012 Ansonia High School graduate Stephanie L. Duncan with the $5,000 Julian A. Taylor Scholarship Award at its annual dinner July 8.
The award is given to the highest-ranking African American graduating senior in Ansonia High School accepted by a four-year college/university.
Duncan will attend Massachusetts College of Art and Design in the fall.

The Julian A. Taylor Scholarship Fund was established in 1981 to honor and continue the ideals of the late Rev. Dr. Julian A. Taylor, former Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church.
Like the late Dr. Taylor, the committee endeavors to motivate and to foster the importance of education to African-American students in the Ansonia Public School District.
Believing in the importance of reaching students as early as possible in addition to the $5,000 award, 22 students in grades three through 11 will be honored as Julian A. Taylor Scholars receiving awards of $100 each. Over the past 30 years, the committee has provided over $145,000 in scholarships.

J.A.T. Scholar award winners are: John C. Mead School students-–Makayla Edwards, Nadia Gomes-Araujo, Taylor Sherman, Jacklyn Finney, Gracen Ker, Dominique Finney, and Kevin Rascoe; John G. Prendergast School –- Gary Reeves, Stephanie Umeugo, Abba Bestman, Jaylene Harris, Maliqa Mosley-Williams, Amir Dina, Tamille Johnson, and  Milan York; Ansonia Middle School –- Sash-Shawna Rubie, Adreeana Cox, Jahia Owens, and  Kyla Rascoe;  Ansonia High School -– Dequan Thomas, Reaghan Bennett, and Tobechukwu Umeugo.

The award dinner will be held at 2 p.m. July 8 at John J. Sullivan’s Restaurant, 557 Wakelee Ave.  Ticket donations are $35.
For tickets contact Elezena Anderson at 203-735-0421, or Evelyn Lindsey, 203-735-0645.

The above information was provided by Diane Stroman, scholarship committee member.

Derby special ed director assesses Kenyan students' needs

Training teachers, parents to work together 

By Lois Knapton
Director, Special Education
Derby Public Schools
Well, I have been here for 31 days and I have 57 more to go. 
Whew…so what have I accomplished in just four weeks?  Let's see, first I gathered data, talked to staff, and observed their current state of education. 
Then I proceeded to write a referral and assessment process that included holding one or two team meetings. They do lots of teacher training on various topics but they do not often talk about the children.  
So, I said it will be a 15-20 minute meeting with all the right people at the table, including the parent. This is also a foreign concept to them. 
 If the child requires assessment, I developed an informal assessment protocol and taught this protocol to five Kenyan teachers, all of whom have attended some Special Education courses at the nearby Kenyan Institute of Special Education. 
We are using simple tools from the classroom that visiting schools have left for the classroom teachers in Kenya.
Our new assessment team tirelessly assessed 122 children in the last week, applying labels where necessary.
Students with whom Knapton has been working.
Knapton, right, does an assessment with a Kenyan child. 
        The process ends with eight categories of identification: autism, developmental delay, hearing impairment, visual impairment, deaf and/or blind, physical disabilities (includes epileptic, asthma, crutches, etc), learning difficulty, and mentally challenged.
       Missing from the list is the category of emotional disability and ADHD.  
       These two categories will be too difficult to discern due to the culture these people live in. At the end of the referral process, if the student gets identified, the team will write a Student Success Plan (this is the substitute for an Individualized Education Plan) which includes two to three goals for this individual child. 
        No other school in Kenya is implementing a continuous process like this.
        American educators might be saying how can you do this without the use of standardized assessments.
      And I say, we have to start somewhere. There is no such thing as a standardized assessment in Africa.

Assessment team works with young children.

            My next steps include sharing our findings with school leadership, and discussing opening up a Resource Room so these children can be helped and the teachers can be supported. 
         July will be dedicated to parent training, administrative training and training of the teachers. All the stakeholders need to understand the system and why it is being put in place. 
           Then the head teachers can assure fidelity of implementation of the system. 

            It is surely archaic, but where there was nothing, there is something. 
            Now if we only had a Resource Room teacher ... and on I go ...

Editor's note: Knapton is on a three-month mission trip to Kenya. She is sharing her experiences here in weekly posts.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

FOI: Derby wrong to withhold records in public works case (documents)

Friday, June 22, 2012

FRIDAY FIVE: A recap of this week in the Valley

Here are five stories that made headlines in the Valley in the past week.

They are written by Register reporters Bridget Albert, Phyllis Swebilius, and Patricia Villers, and Register correspondent Jean Falbo-Sosnovich. They are listed in no particular order.

Riverside Apartment residents briefed on relocation

Seymour has new tax collector

Derby tax bills going out next week

Bail kept at $2m for murder suspect

Ansonia business owner threatens to sue city

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Griffin seeks 'outstanding women' nominees for annual awards

The Valley Women's Health Initiative is seeking nominations for "outstanding women" who have made positive contributions to the community.
Award winners will be recognized on Oct. 4, 2012 at the 12th annual "Women Making a Difference in the Valley" luncheon and fundraiser.
The event is slated to take place at Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby.

Individuals, business leaders, and organizations are invited to submit nominations. Nominees should exemplify the multi-dimensional role women play in today's society as demonstrated by the contributions they have made to positively affect their community.

Nominees must live or work in one of the Valley towns:  Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, or Naugatuck. Over the past 11 years, 77 women from various walks of life who live or work in the Valley have been honored.

Nominations should be submitted by Aug. 15. Nomination forms may be downloaded at
To request a nomination form, call Marianne or Connie, 203-732-1300 or email 
Nominations should be mailed to the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby, Ct., 06418, Att:  M. Vallillo.
Selected honorees and their nominators will be invited to the October luncheon as guests of the Valley Women's Health Initiative. Luncheon reservations will go on sale to the general public in August.

The Valley Women's Health Initiative is a coalition of health agencies, community leaders, and volunteers from the Valley community working toward the common goal of addressing and improving women's health issues.
Those issues include breast cancer and heart disease awareness and education.

Proceeds from the luncheon are earmarked for the Griffin Hospital/Valley Breast Care Fund, established in 2001 to ensure that no person, regardless of age or socio-economic status, is denied screening mammograms or diagnostic testing for breast cancer.

The above information is from a release from Griffin Hospital in Derby. 

Portraits paint story of Sterling Opera House

On Derby Day Saturday members of the Valley Arts Council unveiled a dozen portraits of some of the stars who performed at the stately Sterling Opera House on Elizabeth Street in Derby. The building, built in 1889, was used as a theater until 1945.
The portraits now grace the windows facing Elizabeth Street and the Green, as well as those on side doors that face a walkway.

A $1,000 grant from the Valley Community Foundation funded the project.

Here Valley Arts Council vice president Steve DiRienzo of Derby stands next to his creation, an oil and acrylic painting of the legendary band leader John Philip Sousa, who wrote several patriotic marches, including "Stars and Stripes Forever."
His band played at the opera house in the early 1900s.

DiRienzo said Sousa, garbed in a bright red band uniform, may have been the inspiration for the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper character on the cover of their 1967 album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
He said the tuba-like musical instrument called the sousaphone was named after Sousa, and the person who may have been the first to manufacture the sousaphone was named J.W. Pepper. Coincidence? Who knows?

DiRienzo said, "It's an open-ended exhibit geared to draw attention to the building." He said he'd like "to eventually have (the portraits) in the gallery, and have a reception for the artists." 

Shelton artist Len Grayeck stands next to his painting of the legendary comedian George Burns, who performed on the opera house stage in the glory days of vaudeville.
Behind him is a fabulous fiber-art portrait of Burns' beloved wife, Gracie Allen, created by Shelton fiber artist Karen Loprete.

Grayeck said Burns' round eyeglass frames and cigar "are almost iconic." He said he chose to capture Burns' look from the 1980s.
"I like the fact that he did it all," Grayeck said. "He started in vaudeville, went to radio, and then did TV and films." 

The project took about six months, from concept to installation last week, DiRienzo said. 

These 12 portraits created by 11 artists (council president Rich DiCarlo who came up with the original idea created two) are truly outstanding.

They're definitely worth a trip to downtown Derby to see!
This exhibit almost makes me want to get some paints and try my hand at dabbling on canvas. Almost.

Since the artwork will be up for awhile, I plan to photograph the rest of the photos and share them here at a future date. Stay tuned.

Hospital's golf tourney features 2 holes-in-one

Weinhaus and Glynn
A hole-in-one on a golf course is a rare occurrence in itself. However, when there is not only one, but two holes-in one on the same day – at the same tournament, and both on prize holes – that’s history in the making!

That’s exactly what happened at the 2012 Griffin Golf Classic which was held June 12 at Race Brook Country Club in Orange.

About halfway through the round, Patrick Glynn, Vice President of Sales at Highland Capital Brokerage in Farmington (photo, right), aced the 200-yard 12th hole, winning an HD TV.
Just about an hour later, Steven Weinhaus (photo, left) of Lord Chamberlain Nursing and Rehab Center located in Stratford, recorded his ace on the 15th hole, winning a 2012 Honda CrossTour, provided by Curtiss Ryan Honda.

The above information is from a release from Griffin Hospital in Derby.  

The heat's the thing

So, the question is:  What are you doing to beat the heat?

I’m not what you’d call a “summer person.” I currently am hiding in the air conditioning. I was out earlier and it wasn’t pleasant. 

Even though it's only the second day of summer, has the heat gotten to you yet, or have you been able to escape it?

Heading to the beach? Not me. My idea of having fun at the beach revolves around having the temperature cool enough to wear a sweatshirt and jeans.

October is nice.

Splashing in a pool? We don't have one, and don't know anyone who does.

My goal is to stay indoors, drink plenty of water and hope the A/C doesn't quit.

I’ve never actually tried frying an egg on the sidewalk, but I imagine if someone wanted to experiment with the idea today, that egg would get cooked.

Save the date for reunion in Ansonia

ANSONIA - Cultural Commission chairwoman Judy Nicolari urges graduates of Ansonia High School and the former Pine High School, and their spouses to save the date for this summer's All-Decades Reunion.

The event will start at 6 p.m. Aug. 18 on the patio at John J. Sullivan's restaurant, 557 Wakelee Ave.

Nicolari said appetizers will be served, and there will be piped-in music, prizes, good conversations and  more.
"It's a great opportunity to get caught up with everyone who shared that wonderful high school experience," Nicolari said.

Admission is $15 and the restaurant owners will be giving back $5 to the Cultural Commission to be applied toward future summer concerts.

Teens to get taste of video production techniques

DERBY - The Derby Public Library invites young adults ages 12 to 17 to a Video Production seminar  from 3:30-4:30 p.m. July 10.
Journey through the process of cable show production as teacher, videographer, and “Great American Valley” enthusiast Marc Weissman informs participants about all the production bells and whistles available locally.

This program is part of the Derby Public Library 2012 “Balance Your Life” Summer Reading Club and is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Jane C. and David B. Cohen Fund through the Valley Community Foundation in memory of David B. Cohen.

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Children's program to focus on dreams, magic

    DERBY - Children ages 4-8 are invited to embark on a fabulous journey at the Derby Public Library at 6:30 p.m. July 17 as Maria Douglas of The Magic Storybook brings to life the book, Franklin’s Big Dreams by David Teague.
     The fun also includes playing theme-related games before traveling like Franklin into outer space.
     This event is part of the children’s night-themed summer reading program, Dream Big-Read.
      Registration is requested. For information or to register, call the Children’s Room, 20- 736-1482, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., or visit

      All 2012 Library summer programming is being made possible through the generous sponsorship of the Jane C. and David B. Cohen Fund through the Valley Community Foundation, in memory of David B. Cohen.

This information was provided by Sue Sherman, children's librarian, Derby Public Library.

Shelton Intermediate students earn plaudits

SHELTON - The following seventh grade students at the Shelton Intermediate School were presented with awards for the 2011-2012 school year at a June 7 assembly. 

Students Who Have Shown Excellence in Academic Areas:

Language Arts
Lauren Fadiman, Natalie Kaczynski, Megan Fava, Julia Codere, Anastasia Ryskin
Mackenzie Bures, Jason DeSio, Natalie Kaczynski, Sydney Muraoka, David Keith, Kayla Sekelsky
Amy Chang, Alyssa Mick, Kelly Sou, Kennedy Keklik, Sabrina Maldonado
Social Studies
Tyler Werner, Patrick Devaney, Jennifer Yi, Robert Weissenberg, Michael Rosati

Most Improved Students in Academic Areas:

Language Arts
Alexander Ercolani, Griffin Dokla, Clayton Farris, Brandon Van Akin, Sarah Vahos
Charles Gillespie, Haya Sobh, Hunter Wronski, Justin Fernandes, Jillian Feigenblat, Robert Valeri
Olivia Gill, Abraham Abdel-Hack, Jay Kollie, Olivia Puleo, Michael Wilson
Social Studies
Nathanael Aldana, Casey Carotenuto, Paolo Fiore, Angela Torreblanca, Natalie Ferris

Brittany Nurse, Timothy Higgins, Rachel Ambrogio, Bridget Lockhart, Jordan Dzurenda, Jessica Orazietti, Dominik Niedzwiecki, Pattiann Piazza, Alyssa Santos, Anand Vaish

Student of the Year Awards Were Given to Students Who Showed Excellence in Unified Arts:

Business Technology
Lauren Fadiman, Robert Weissenberg
Exploring World Language
Morgan Albert, Jamiy Burey
Art – 2D
Amanda Nettle, Peter Statkevich
Art – 3D
Callista Johnston, Juan Carlo Rojo
Jillian Feigenblat, Jarod Williamson
Alexa LaBaw, David Dzujna
Jazz Choir
Kathryn Arena, Amy Chang
Research & Tech. Skills
Natalie Kaczynski, David Keith
Physical Education
Jennifer Nguyen, Chandler Duhaime

Shelton Intermediate School held its Eighth Grade Awards Assembly June 5 to recognize outstanding achievement throughout the school year.  Headmaster Kenneth Saranich applauded the eighth graders for their outstanding accomplishments.

Awards were presented to the following students:

       Frank & Genevieve Bracnaro Award – Outstanding Effort and Citizenship:  Patrick Conte
       Lucy M. Beard Memorial Award – Excellence in History: Peter Peng
       The William Andy Brennan Award – Excellence in Spanish James Hunter, Jennifer Piciw
       The Robert & Lillian Butler Award – Excellence and Enthusiasm in Spanish: Nicole Belade, TeaJun Kim, William Simics, Alexis Zhitomi
       The Sumner Stowe Award – For Effort & Enthusiasm in French: Mackenzie Mazerolle, Sloane Rodia
    The Kathryn Provasoli Award – For Achievement, Interest and Enthusiasm in Spanish: Benjamin LaBaw, Travis Whitney
     The Kathryn Provasoli Award – For Achievement, Interest and Enthusiasm in French: Emma Mussatto
      The George Ann Mestuzzi Memorial Award – Excellence & Outstanding Effort in Mathematics: Peter Peng, Marissa Fusco, Justin Widomski, Nicole Parker, Seyenam Nuglozeh, Madison Zayas, Amanda Pan, Christopher Friend, Jarrod Sinibaldi, Natalie Tuccillo
     The Paul Gerst Memorial Award – Excellence in Science: Rachel Langdon
     The Carolyn Petz Award – To a Student Who Shows a Willingness to Help and Acceptance of Others: Jillian Ortoli, Alexis Zhitomi
     The Mary Lou Cook Award – To a Student Who Shows a Willingness to Help and Acceptance of Others: Jennifer Piciw
    The Russell & Nolda McKinnon Award – To a Student Who Has Shown Courage and Determination: Meredith Marrone, Niko Thomopoulos, Kevin Wu
    The Kathy Duguay Award – To an 8th Grade Student Who Demonstrates Good Leadership Skills and Work Ethic and Who Shows Good Citizenship and Community Service While Maintaining Good Grades: Jillian Ortoli
   The Joseph Cajigas Award – To an 8th Grade Student Who Exemplifies the Traits of Dedication, Leadership and Sportsmanship: Alexander Recker
   The Robert A. Stellavato Scholar Athlete Award – Eighth Grade Students (One Male, One Female) Who Have Exhibited Outstanding Academic Achievement in the Classroom and Demonstrated Leadership and Sportsmanship in an Interscholastic Sport: Joseph Niski, Saara Vohra
     Timothy J. Walsh III Award – To an 8th Grade Student Who Has Exhibited Qualities of Good Citizenship, School Spirit and Integrity: Amanda Pan
    The William A. Banfe Award – To an 8th Grade Student Who Has Exhibited Outstanding Effort and Achievement: Alyssa Lam
    The William A. Banfe Award – To an 8th Grade Student for Dedicated School Service: Celina Chapman
     SIS School Service Award – To an Active Boy and Girl Showing Leadership, Respect for Self and Others and Who Will be Attending Shelton High School: Virginia Lewis, Angus McNeil
    SIS Special Recognition Award – For Outstanding Effort Throughout the Year: Sarah Montagna, Nicholas Mocciola
    The Kathleen C. B. Samela Award – To a Student Who Shows Interest in the History of Shelton: Chelsea Chen
    The Legacy Award in Memory of Mrs. Josephine Viggiano, Mrs. Glorias Ivanoff, and Dr. William Philie – To a Student Who Has Shown Initiative and Determination: Chelsea Chen
    American Legion Oratory Contest Winner: Adnan Shilleh

Shelton Intermediate School Awards Were Given to Students Who Showed Excellence in:
Business Technology
Meredith Marrone, John Saksa
Exploring World Language
Emma Doherty, Charles Aldrich
Saara Vohra, Jarrod Sinibaldi
Allison Brown, Alexander Main
Art – 2D
Deusa Hughes, Nicholas Laskaris
Art – 3D
Dana Immerso, Seyenam Nuglozeh
Communication Technology
Haley Danowski, Joseph Niski
General Music
Erika Sabovik, Eric Carney
Jazz Choir
Katheryn Nelson, Abigail Wells
Celina Chapman, Alexander Recker
Basic Princ. of Engineering
Dana Immerso, Mark Sullivan
Research & Tech. Skills
Rayanne Aidibe, Justin Widomski
Physical Education
Jennifer Piciw, Alexei Ziemkiewicz

Students Who Have Shown Excellence in Academic Areas:

Language Arts
Peter Peng, Maxwell Kintner, Rachel Merriam, Emma Mussatto, Jennifer Piciw
Connor Struyk, Nicolette Niedzwiecki, Sarah Henckel, Nathan Vargoshe, James Hunter
Social Studies
Alexis Zhitomi, Sarah Montagna, Enea Stafa, William Simics, Zachary Johnson
Peter Peng, Justin Widomski, Seyenam Nuglozeh, Amanda Pan, Jarrod Sinibaldi
Marissa Fusco, Nicole Parker, Madison Zayas, Christopher Friend, Natalie Tuccillo

Most Improved in:

Language Arts
Richard Simics, James Mandel, Juliane Shriver, Natalie Candler, Derek Schlaich
Colleen Flood, Isabelle Louime, Niko Thomopoulos, Lindsey Popowich, Luiza Limberti
Social Studies
Andrew Amante, Davin Santana, Abigail Wells, Emanuel Pineda, Ryan Burke
Emily Canfield, Deusa Hughes, Victoria Croteau, Colleen Chagnon, Casey Cisero
Angela Simics, James Mandel, Anthony Torraco, Jordan Tromp, Destiny Alamo

Citizenship Awards:
Marissa Fusco, Victoria Neves, Rachel Langdon, Steven Parravano, Gabriella Lindade

Consistent Effort:
Sloane Rodia, Travis Quinlan, Alexei Ziemkiewicz, Alexander Main, Christopher DiCairano

Summer concerts on tap in Ansonia

ANSONIA - The Cultural Commission is sponsoring three summer concerts to be held at Veterans Park next to City Hall.
Two adjacent parking lots will be utilized in the event there's an overflow. All concerts will be held on Wednesdays with a rain date scheduled on the following night.

The first concert is from 7-9 p.m. July 18 and features The Starving Artists, a classic rock band formed in 1992 by Dave McWilliams of Seymour and Rob Henry of Shelton. Both families have a long musical background.

George Lesiw, a jazz guitarist from Ansonia and a graduate of Berkley School of Music, and Gary Collins, formerly of the Beatles' tribute band "Apple" provide lead and harmony vocals.

The band focuses on '60s and '70s music, along with classic tunes from the Beatles, Guess Who, Creedence Clearwater, Willie Nelson, to name just a few.
So take your shoes off, relax and let the music take you back to a time when things were "free and easy."

     The second band, Soul Funk, will be featured at 7 p.m. Aug. 22. This band has played at Mohegan Sun on numerous occasions and has played locally at the PM Lounge on Main Street.
     The third concert will start at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 featuring our local star, Mark Lanzieri and his band.  Lanzieri is known for his "Sinatra" tunes and has a tremendous following throughout the Valley.
He is featured at the Holy Rosary Festival in Ansonia and the Ansonia Harvest Festival every year, as well as numerous restaurants. Lanzieri often sings at his famous hot dog stand in front of the Derby Superior Courthouse as he serves up hot dogs and sodas.
     All concerts are free and attendees are asked to bring chairs and snacks, and are encouraged to put on their dancing shoes.

I'm looking forward to attending these concerts, are you?
To steal a line from Cultural Commission chairwoman Judy Nicolari, "See You On Main Street."

The above information was provided by Judy Nicolari.

Seymour students get water-safety tips from 'Stewie the Duck'

First-graders read about water safety with 'Stewie the Duck.'

SEYMOUR - Students at Bungay, Chatfield and LoPresti schools last week learned water safety during a “Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim” program. 
The students received 200 books donated by Stew Leonard, as well as water safety information for children to take home to their parents.    
As summer begins, warmer weather will bring the opening of family pools and visits to the beach.  Every year there are accidental drownings during the warmer months.  
Seymour Public Schools Director of Security Rich Kearns and Seymour Police Youth Officer Joseph DeNigris said they thought it would be beneficial to the community to present a water safety program to the younger children that can be shared with their families.  A little bit of prevention can save a life!

All first grade students in the Seymour Public Schools attended a water safety program called “Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim.” 
This program was founded by Kim and Stew Leonard Jr. It teaches children and parents the importance of water safety.  They turned their personal tragedy of the drowning of their toddler son into inspiration and created the program.
Through the generosity of the Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities, Seymour schools were able to have 200 “Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim” Books and CDs donated,  and each child will take home a free copy. The total cost of these books with CD is just over $1,000.  Kearns said he is strongly urging parents to take the time to read this book with their child and share the important water safety tips with the entire family. 
  The program was presented by Certified Lifeguards Amanda Garcia, Michelle Pleban, and Katherine Acquavella from Seymour High School, Kearns and DeNigris.  

The above information and photo were provided by Rich Kearns.

'Sizeable blast' planned in Seymour Thursday

SEYMOUR - Haynes Construction Co. anticipates conducting a sizable blast at it quarry at 600 Derby Ave., at about 1 p.m. Thursday.
This involves the temporary closing of Route 8, both sides, for maybe several minutes. This is being done as a pro-active step in case fly rock lands on Route 8.
This action will involve the State Police, state Department of Transportation, Seymour Police Department, Seymour  Fire Marshal’s Office, Haynes Construction Co. and Blastech Drilling and Blasting Co.. Haynes will be notifying the immediate neighbors surrounding the quarry by e-mail and phone over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Tthe town is taking pro-active steps to ensure the safety of the general public and property. The state’s Blasting Regulations are being strictly enforced by the fire marshal's office. Seismic monitoring devices will be used as they always have been in the past. If anybody calls with questions or concerns after the blasting, please forward them to the fire marshal.

Haynes anticipates this type of blasting to occur at the quarry periodically.

The above information is from a post on Seymour's Facebook Page by Seymour Fire Marshal Paul Wetowitz.

Library offers free walk-in computer classes

DERBY- The 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 long. No reservations are accepted; there is a seven-seat limit per class.
July class dates are at 10 a.m. July 17 and at 6:30 p.m. July 18.
For information, stop by the Library, 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit

Career Coach to make stop in Derby    

  DERBY - The CT Works Career Coach returns to the Derby Public Library from 10 a.m-3 p.m. July 13.
During both the morning session, 10 a.m.-noon, and the afternoon session, 1-3 p.m., instructors will be offering Job Search Assistance. Learn where to look for jobs, how to get the job you want, and how to search for jobs on the Internet. 
The workshop is free and open to the public.  Registration is requested; walk-ins will be welcomed on a first come, first served basis. 
The CT Works Career Coach is a project of The WorkPlace, Inc. operated by Career Resources. 
For information, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit   

Center slates hikes, jam-making fun in July

Nature's Child:  The Creatures of Long Island Sound

    ANSONIA - Bring your preschooler to a program for three-to five-year-olds at 10:30 a.m. July 6 at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center, 10 Deerfield Road.
    Join Ranger Wendy to learn about the cool creatures who share Long Island Sound with us.  Come to see and touch the Nature Center's new salt water tank residents.
Want to cuddle up to a crab or sing a song to a snail? How about checking out a live horseshoe crab and learning why you should never pick them up by the tail? Want to see a lobster, mussels and sea stars, all creatures that inhabit Long Island Sound?
Tuition is $6 per family; $4 for Ansonia residents and family-level F.A.N.C.I, members. Call 203-736-1053 to register.

Firefly Twilight Hike

Join Rangers Wendy and Martin for the Annual Firefly Twilight Hike at 7 p.m. July 6.
Every summer the nature enter twinkles after dark because so many fire­flies are attracted to its habitat.
On this evening adventure, walk through the woods and fields of the Center's 150-acre park lands. The brilliant display of a group of fireflies on a summer evening is a truly beautiful sight.
Wear long pants and sleeves and shoes for hiking. Geared for families, this hike is limited to 25 people.  Call 203-736-1053 to register for this free program.

Monthly meeting of the Friends

At 5:30 p.m. July 11 the Friends' will meet at the center. New members are always welcome. Volunteers are needed for special events, family programs, and daily work in­cluding wildlife rehabilitation, gardening, trail maintenance, and reception center duties.

Back to Basics: Rhubarb Workshop

Join Director Donna Lindgren at 10 a.m. July 14 the Ansonia Nature Center to find out how to make delicious strawberry rhubarb jam.
With the main ingredient taken from Donna's organic backyard garden, participants will roll up their sleeves, put on aprons, and create tasty homemade jam.
Tuition of $8 includes the easy recipe, all materials, and a jar to take home.  Register early for this class that is sure to fill up quickly.
Make checks payable to the Ansonia Nature Center.

Park Tots: Beach Buddies

Bring your infants and toddlers at 10:30 a.m. July 20 and join Ranger Stefanie for this monthly program that offers socialization and fun for toddlers and their caregivers.

Midsummer Wildflowers Program

Join Alison at 2 p.m. July 28 for a stroll through the park meadows in search of midsummer wildflowers. Learn to identify our native perennial flowering plants.
Please call 203- 736-1053 to register for this free program.

P.A.C.K. presents environmental entertainer

Save the date: 7 p.m. July 27 for an inter­active presentation by artist Chris Rolands. The program is perfect for those who love music and nature.
Rolands is an award-winning singer and songwriter who is touring the United States and abroad offering participatory environmental education concerts for kids and their families.
He creatively blends music, comedy and education in a fast-paced show that teaches and inspires.
The Environment Magazine honored Rolands by awarding him its first "E" award for his environmental education programs.

Call 203-736-1053 to register with Ranger Wendy for this free program.  Don't miss this outstanding musical presentation.

P.A.C.K. (Parents and Communities for Kids) is supported by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Hat's off to 142 graduates of Seymour High School

Valedictorian urges classmates to heed Dr. Seuss' sage advice:  'Be who you are and say what you feel'

Tuesday night's ceremony at Seymour High School's John DeBarber Field caps off another graduation season in the lower Naugatuck Valley.
Seymour High School seniors march to their commencement ceremony. Photo by Jean Falbo-Sosnovich

A tip of the hat goes to all of the graduating seniors. We wish them the best in their future endeavors, be it in college, the military, or in the workplace.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Library to host tournament for young adults

 DERBY - The Derby Public Library invites young adults ages 12 to 17 to a Battleship Tournament from 3:30-4:30 p.m. July 11.
 “Enlist” in a special Teen Zone competition featuring this neo-classic and favorite game. The victorious will advance and continue on a coordinated date/time until we crown the “Master & Commander.”

This program is part of the DPL 2012 “Balance Your Life” Summer Reading Club and is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Jane C. and David B. Cohen Fund through the Valley Community Foundation in memory of David B. Cohen.
Registration is requested.

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

The above is a release from Tony DeLos, Young Adult & Reference Librarian, Derby Public Library.

Shelton High team makes finals in robotics competition

The following news was released today by Shelton Superintendent of Schools Freeman Burr.


"I am excited to report the following update regarding our FLL Robotics Team," Burr said. "First, please click on the link below to see our team’s video."

"As you may remember there are four finalists in the competition:
  1. MATobot (New York, NY, United States), Smart Milk Pitcher
  2. Moderately Confused (Dublin, OH, United States), Erasable Barcode
  3. Seven World Wonders (Yeruham, Israel), FreezeStick
  4. S.I.S. Robotic Revolution (Shelton, CT, United States), Smart Sticker
The teams were to be honored at an awards ceremony this morning at the US Patent & Trademark Office in Washington, D.C.  At this ceremony, the team was slated to find out if it had been selected as the eventual winner from the four finalists.   
For information visit 

Congrats to Shelton students on perfect attendance

SHELTON - The following students at the Shelton Intermediate School received “Perfect Attendance” Awards for the 2011-2012 school year:

Grade 8

Charles Aldrich, Sophia Barranco, Brittany Forte, Jonathan Hunter, Gabriella Lindade, Brendan Stewart, Robert Tartaglia, Travis Whitney

Grade 7

Daniel Bronson, Dylan DeMoura, Meika Jean-Baptiste, Jigar Kapadia, Shane Lacobelle, Giridhar Murali, Ryan Murphy, Kaleigh Panek, Michalina Papastavros-Corbo, Celine Samrin, Victoria Shuster, Michael Simons, Tyler Trabka

Shelton Intermediate presents fitness awards

SHELTON - Physical Fitness Awards were presented to the following students at Shelton Intermediate School for the 2011-2012 school year. 

Presidential Physical Fitness Award

Grade 7    Morgan Albert, Loren An, Gabriel Aponte, Kathryn Arena, James Ball, Kaitlyn Barber, Noelle Bederman, Alexis Belco, David Berritto, Fallon Berry, Sejal Bhargava, Margaret Blanco, Emmeline Bronson, Mackenzie Bures, Morgan Camp, Anthony Cardenales, Madalena Cardoso, Jon Chiluisa, Michael Ciocca, Julia Codere, Kaitlyn Craft, Jay Damania, Mark Damato, Jr., David D’Amore, Joshua Darak, Jason DeSio, LaurieAnn Dewitt, Rebecca Dion, Victoria Dobrzycki, Lauren Doherty, Daisy Dufour, Santino Durante, Jordan Dzurenda, Lauren Fadiman, Julia Falaguerra, Marta Fedorko, David Ferris, Elena Ford, Erynn Francino-Quinn, Ana Frentress, Kelsie Garretson, Frank Genova, Alexandra Gergely, Olivia Gill, Charles Gillespie, Justin Greene, Amity Raye Haluschak, Krista Haray, Emma Henning, Timothy Higgins, Alexandra Horahan, Natalie Kaczynski, Pauline Kaczynski, Kennedy Keklik, Monika Kiwak, Alyssa Kosiorowsi, Makayla Kraynak, Alexa LaBaw, Mary Lewis, Thomas Lindberg, Nicola LoBello, Joseph Lombardi, Kevin Ly, Amy Lynders, Sabrina Maldonado, Emily Manzo, Valerie Mingrone, Frederick Monahan, III, Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Nguyen, Liam O’Brien, Casey O’Connor, Shelby Offord, Kylee Opper, Austin Pagan, Kaleigh Panek, Nicholas Papa, Megan Petrone, Nicole Pingree, Gabriella Rego, Julia Riccio, Amanda Rodriguez, Olivia Ross, Emma Rupp, Ashley Samorajczyk, Alexandra Schaible, Anthony Schiavo, Timothy Schiffer, Kayla Sekelsky, Kristen Shuster, Victoria Shuster, Zaria Siler, Jade Serrano, Ethan Shuster, Nisa Silva, Matthew Silverstein, Michael Simons, Jenna Sinko, Sarah Skoronski, Kelly Sou, Devin Spisto, Ryan Stachelczyk, Samantha Stevens, David Spitz, Julia Szczesna, Mikaela Trafecante, Kayla Walewski, Michael Watt, Alexa White, Samantha Widomski, Kristen Wiley, Hunter Wronski, Alyson Yakowicz, Joseph Zoppi. 

Grade 8    Caitlin Basdeo, Alexis Birmingham, Alexandra Biron, Anya Bliska, Betina Bruno, Emily Canfield, Colleen Chagnon, Celina Chapman, Andriana Corbett, Victoria Demko, Dearyn Dennis, Christopher DiCairano, Catherine Dobensky, Emma Doherty, Alex Donoso, Jillian Engeldrum, Marissa Fusco, Alyssa Gagnon, Flor De Maria Garrido,  Alexis Gerics, Pranshu Gupta, Michelle Gutierrez,Tyler Hansen, Ryan Hart, Katerina Hasiotis, Peter Hoff, Kailee Hudak, James Hunter, Tyler Hurd, Dana Immerso, Melissa Jacksis, Alexander Kirk, Samuel Kirk, Stephanie Kreitler, Benjamin LaBaw, Virginia Lewis, Gabriella Lindade, John Litts, Joseph Lombardi, Carlos Maldonado,  Steele Marro, Meghan McCart, Brooke McCone, Kyle McGinnis, Morgan Moura, Emma Mussatto, Katheryn Nelson, Juliane Niedzwiecki, Nicolette Niedzwiecki, Joseph Niski, Lauren Oakes, Ashley O’Donnell, Jillian Ortoli, Amanda Pan, Christopher Pereira, Nicholas Perna, Sarah Perregaux, Keith Prior, Gabrielle Rago, Alexander Recker, Nicole Roberts, Sloane Rodia, Kevin Sala, Megan Sampson, Kenneth Schif, Cassidy Scofield, Adnan Shilleh, David Sicinski, Peter Silano, Abigail Slater, Enea Stafa, Christian Tallo, Colleen Toole, Natalie Tuccillo, Saara Vohra, Kaiyla Warren, Rachael Watcke, Justin Widomski, Ryan Widomski, Morgan Wilson, Nadia Wilson, Samantha Woods, Tiffany Wronski, Madison Zayas, Alexis Zhitomi, Rubena Ziko. 

Grade 7 – Standard Fitness Award

Team 7-1     Savannah Aldridge, Daniel Barone, Nolan Casey, Michael Colburn, Anna Curran, Alexander Ercolani, Isabel Frentress, Emma Gallagher, Austin Hathaway, Kelly Hinterneder, Glen Kaelin, Sean Kennedy, Kevin Kiernan, Aimee Koller, Carl Kopf, Michael Leone, Timothy LeStrange, Samantha Lewis, Matthew Liscio, Timothy Lombardi, Carley Lutheran, James Peck, Marissa Peck, Jack Piscitelli, Renee Pontbriant, Teyri Reed-Quiles, James Reilly, Andrew Reis, Timothy Renkowsky, Jae’da Richardson, Quentin Salgado, Kaylee Serra, Sean Walsh, Brandy Watson, Tyler Werner, Jevaun White, Jayson Zuluaga. 

Team 7-2    Abraham Adel-Hack, Neeraj Badshah, Kiersten Beas, Casey Carotenuto, Kyle Gil, Sean Conway, Kiara Davila, Francis DeMarco, Patrick Devaney, Griffin Dokla, Mason Helm, Meika Jean-Baptiste, Shane Jubenville, Riley Kelly, Michael Lake, Scott Lee, Alivia Leonard, Bridget Lockhart, Andrew Magel, Evan Mancini, Richard McCarthy, Tami McCook, Kathleen McNamara, Jaclyn Mulqueen, Sebastian Musante, Jacob Neu, Amanda Nettle, Carly Nicholas, Connnor O’Rourke, Omar Sabbagh, Matheu Sagehorn, Celine Samrin, Haya Sobh. 

Team 7-3    Bryan Alverto, Nolan Anderson, Jenna Bednarz, Alan Bensen, Gina Bialy, Alexander Boswell, David Brown, Sydney Camacho, Joseph Campos, Joseph Ciliberti, Madison Collins, Haley Constantino, Gregorio Corsale, Aeemay Dabiran, Dylan DeMoura, Alyssa Doolan, Justin Farina, Mihaly Farkas, Megan Fava, Nicole Guittard, Nicholas Heiden, Christopher Hinterneder, Annalee Howard, Kayla Infante, Jigar Kapadia, Jay Kollie, Kevin Kryzanski, Jaylan Leon, Porter McKinnon, Georgia Merdinger, Christopher Miska, Chyanne Moore, Danielle Moura, Sydney Muraoka, Victoria O’Malley, Jessica Orazietti, Andrea Pannone, Jennifer Peebles, Ronald Rich, Lillian Rivera, Isaijah Robles, Juan Carlo Rojo, Kyle Sastram, Hailey Servidio, Lindsay Shanahan, Peter Statkevich, Anna Tran, Abigail Turco, Jennifer Yi, Morgan Zayas. 

Team 7-4    Alexander Azary, Sarah Bishop, Reed Boles, Victor Cabeliera, Jake Camerino, Emily Carlucci, Nicholas Chaber, Ashley Connolly, Brian Craft, Anthony Dellavolpe, Grace DeSanti, Chandler Duhaime, Joseph Gjidoda-Ostertag, John Goncalves, Hayleigh Evans, Dylan Hamme, Callista Johnston,  Ryan Kelly, Athena Klonaras, Joshua Krassner, Joseph Kucky, Nicholas Lacey, Thomas Lewis, III, Rachel Malinowski, Cameron Marro, Jessica Mercado, Mackenzi Pereira, Pattiann Piazza, Patrick Pineau, Enrique Prieto, Olivia Puleo, Tayliah Quiles-Sisk, Nathaniel Reyes, Jeffrey Santos, Jennifer Siemiatkoski, Jonathan Sobotka, Tomas Stisi, Angela Torreblanca, Miranda Tortora, Brandon Van Akin, Emma Vittori, Miles Wallace, Tristan Wasilewski, David Wells, Morgan Willets, Robert Weissenberg. 

Team 7-5    Tyler Adams, Eric Bailey, Dominic Biedron, Jamiy Burey, Troy Brown, Ethan Buckley, Melanie Byron, James Chopak, Angelo Ciocca, Gina Cioffi, Jacob Costa, Michael Einig, Natalie Ferris, Henry Foss, Rachel Giangregorio, Kayli Glazewski, Jeffrey Lever, Jr., Carolanne Lisa, Trey McLoughlin, Andrew Mueller, Emely Ricci, Luke Riccio, Michael Rosati, Anastasia Ryskin,  Anthony Santos, Kaitlyn Smith, Michael Taylor, II, Rheaona Toth, Tyler Trabka, Anand Vaish, Robert Valeri, Jr., Andrew Walsh, Matthew Wells,  Sarah White, Tyler White. 

Grade 8 – Standard Fitness Award

Team 8-1    Angel Acevedo, Brandon Blankenship, Amanda Bolduc, Julia Boretsky, Eric Carney, Patrick Conte, Jenna DeLeo, Julia Dolbier, Megan Doyle, Zachary Ferreira, Gino Fiore, Colleen Flood, Jack Gleason, Christopher Gowans, Daniel Heiden, Morgan Horbal, Liam Keary, Britany Kelley, Adam Kropiewnicki, Gina Lampart, Sydney Larsen, Julie Lin, Christina Lombard, Vanessa Masick, Steven Mastronardi, Michaela Mattern, Mackenzie Mazerolle, Dominick Melendez, Rachel Mikuliak, Alexander Mills, Jordan Oakes, Joshua Panos, Peter Peng, Elise Rivera, Zachary Rogers, Courtney Salinsky, Matthew Salinsky, Yulitza Rivera-Santiago, Michael Turaj, Kevin Robinson, Ashley Sanchez, Julia Simics, Darren Smith, Stephanie Stoll,  Mikayla Szczepanski, Taylor Tadduni, Scott Toth, Richard Turiano, Srivarnika Varada, Nicolette Vartuli, James Vasquez, Annette Wysocka, Troy Zaleski. 

Team 8-2    Haley Ahern, Taylor Anderson, James Botti, Bryce Bryant, Megan Byrne, Alexis Calhoun, Jared Camera, Taylor Casciello, Edmund Conklin, Shiloh Coram, Nico DiStassio, Randle Dressler, Tommy Duong, Paige Ennist, Madison Feigenblatt, Jessica Florczak, Claire Fox, Hunter Garrett, Skye Groballi,  Deusa Hughes, Christopher Kanios, Maxwell Kintner, Jake LaMacchia, Daniel Leonard, Victoria Leonzi, Isabelle Louime, Jessica Masulli, Alex McCarthy, Sarah Montagna, Brandon Murphy, Stephen Musante, Nicole Norris, Joshua Pacenti, Norma Pacheco, Dana Pirosafo, Davin Santana, Thomas Sheehy, Kevin Siddall, Sara Sikhampheng, Courtney Sissick, Elysia St. George, Tyler Stevens, Mark Sullivan, Paige Taylor, Nicole Uysal, Maria Vega, Brendon Watcke, Travis Whitney. 

Team 8-3    Rayanne Aidibe, Casey Belade, Elizabeth Breton, Hannah Brighindi, Tanner Buckmir, Danny Castro, Hayvin Cobb, Jostin Cobb,  Alexa Cortinhas, Victoria Croteau, Andrew Cunha, Melissa Dawley, James DeFrancesco, John DeMarco, Sean Deeb, Andrew Fernandes, Brett Forte, Britany Forte, Israel Gonzales, Kaley Hanna, Sarah Henckel, Ronald Hubbard, Tatyana Hunt, Emily June, Phoenix Kiely, Jamie Lewis, Madisan Ligi, Sara Lipinski, Eamon McCarthy, Angus McNeil, Rachel Merriam, Nicholas Monaco, Kristjan Ndoj, Seyenam Nuglozeh, Marissa Percivalle, Mark Percivalle, Richard Pogacsas, Connor Prindle, Nathalia Ribeiro, Gregory Rogalin,  Brooke Sanderson, Joseph Severo, James Shea, Amy Sheldon, Juliane Shriver, Erika Sobovik, Kayla Uzarski, Joseph Wannagot, Abigail Wells, Ryan Wilczynski, Tyler Willoughby, John Wise, Alexei Ziemkiewicz. 

Team 8-4    Agean Binan, Taylor Blankenship, Allison Brown, Brandon Buckmir, Natalie Candler, Andrew Champagne, Sierra Chavez, Brianna Coba, Tori Coppola, Deanna Diaz, Krystal Disney, Justin Dressler, Matthew Eaton, Sandra Fernandes, Stephanie Fortier, Christopher Friend, Asia Ginorio, Lindsay Gowans, Tierney Hall, Maryana Hnyp, Jonathan Hunter, Tate Kassery, TeaJun Kim, Ashley Kovac, Alexander Main, Julia Mancini, Emmanuel Martinez, Nicholas Mocciola, Alison Packnick, Kaylee Pagliaro, Steven Parravano, Emanuel Pineda, Phillip Ramos, Brendan Rush, Courtney Russo, Braeden Sagehorn, Steven Schmidt, Sappir Shilonie, William Simics, III, Philip Smolitsky, Tyera Sowell, Brendan Stewart, Thomas Sweeney, Zachary Tuskowski, Kara Tyszka, Leanne Varga, Nathan Vargoshe, Emma White, Kyle Winfield, Matthew Zelanin, Laura Zielinski. 

Team 8-5    Destiny Alamo, Charles Aldrich, Arianna Berardi, Madeline Bocchino, Ryan Burke, Matthew Cenci, Chelsea Chen, Casey Cisero, Adrian Colon, Mackenzie Curley, Curtis DeLima, Alexander DeMeis, Ian Diaz,  Gjon Gjuraj, Pedro Hernandez, IV, Craig Imari, Henry Jiang, Andrew Krzywosz, Ethan Lam, Christopher LaPinta, Annabelle Liptak,  George Lucido, III, Jacob Maier, Samuel Molitoris, Jennifer Piciw, Madeline Ronga, Ralph Rotondo, Christopher Ruemmele, Nicole Therese Saladores, Michael  Sherman, Jarrod Sinibaldi, Ryan Smith, Robert Tartaglia, Richard Tran. 

Intermediate school names students of year

SHELTON - The following students have been selected as Students of the Year for the 2011-2012 school year at Shelton Intermediate School: 

7-1    Lauren Fadiman    Tyler Werner
7-2    Jenna Sinko    Patrick Devaney
7-3    Anna Tran    Gregorio Corsale
7-4    Alexandra Gergely    Chandler Duhaime
7-5    Emily Manzo    Tyler Trabka

8-1    Alexis Zhitomi    Connor Struyk
8-2    Juliane Niedzwiecki    Maxwell Kintner
8-3    Alyssa Lam    Adnan Shilleh
8-4    Julia Mancini    Alexander Kirk
8-5    Arianna Berardi    Alexander Recker

This program is designed to recognize a student from each team who has demonstrated good citizenship, positive attitude and/or excellence in academics, activities, etc.
Teachers nominate students monthly, along with providing reasons for their nomination.  Team teachers then vote and winners are selected. 
At the end of the year, all Students of the Month become eligible to be voted Students of the Year. 

This information was provided by Shelton Intermediate School.

MDA seeks 15 camp counselors for August session

The search continues for an additional 20 men to fill the Muscular Dystrophy Association camp counselor roster.

Associates at MDA are busy planning a week of summer fun and male volunteers are needed to assist children with muscle diseases and help them enjoy a fun-filled, carefree week at MDA summer camp.

The camp takes place from Aug. 4-10 at Easter Seals Camp Hemlocks in Hebron.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, US Citizens and able to put the needs of someone else before their own need. As a volunteer counselor, an individual has the opportunity to assist campers with fun recreational activities such as adapted sports, fishing at the fishing dock, swimming and arts and crafts. Counselors become close companions to campers and assist them with daily tasks such at eating, bathing and dressing.

“MDA summer camp is a special week of the year where children affected by muscle diseases can enjoy themselves by participating in full range outdoor activities adapted to their abilities. Besides being great fun, camp helps youngsters find their independence and builds their confidence by helping them grow and develop emotionally and socially— it’s truly the highlight of the year, for both campers and their volunteer counselors.  Every camper is matched with their own volunteer counselor for the week. Several men from the area have signed up but we are still in need  of 15 more to complete our camp roster,”  said Jennifer Dain, MDA Camp Director.

MDA is dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and far-reaching professional and public health education.

Volunteering as a counselor at MDA summer camp is a rewarding and life-changing experience. The friendships formed and the memories created will last forever. To obtain a volunteer application or learn about other ways to support MDA’s summer camp program, call your local MDA office at 203-248-6500. Additional information about volunteering at MDA summer camp is available online at

For information, contact Jennifer Dain, 203-248-6500 or

Ansonia biker benefit raises $10,000 for DAV

Biker bash organizers present funds to DAV. / Contributed photo

Biker bash organizer Dick Lupkas, center, and Dennis Jones, on his right, donated a $10,000 check  to the Disabled American Vets,  Chapter  11, Naugatuck Valley division. Others in photo are  DAV Chapter Commander Dave Opotzner, holding check, second commander Tom Cannavaro, far right, and member Joe Rannazzisi, far left. The money was raised at a recent Biker Bash at Warsaw Park in Ansonia. An additional $5,000 was donated to the American  Legion. Lupkas said DAV Chapter 11 "donates every penny to disabled veterans who need it." 

Photo contributed by Dick Lupkas of Derby.

3 Ansonia school officials retiring at end of June

Pictured from left are Robert Lisi, Lynn Bennett-Wallick, and Lawrence DiPalma. The three retiring administrators have a combined 105 years in the field of education. Photo by Eileen Ehman

By Eileen Ehman
Grants Manager/Community Liaison
Ansonia Public Schools

ANSONIA – When the final day of the 2011-12 school year ended June 7, three of Ansonia’s administrators said goodbye to their last classes of students.
    All three are retiring at the end of June. They are: Robert Lisi, interim principal of Ansonia High School; Lynn Bennett-Wallick, principal of Ansonia Middle School; and Lawrence DiPalma, principal of John G. Prendergast School.
  Each administrator was honored by their peers, family, and members of the community at dinners or picnics held this spring.
    Together, the three administrators have 105 years in the field.
    Lisi is a 37-year educator, starting and finishing his career in Ansonia Public Schools. He has spent the last 16 years of his career at Ansonia High School, serving as assistant principal until February, when he assumed the role of interim principal.
Lisi obtained three education degrees from Southern Connecticut State University: a B.S. degree in Health Education in 1974, a M.S. degree in Special Education in 1980, and a Sixth-year degree in Educational Administration and Supervision in 1982.
    He started his career as a special education teacher at AHS in 1975, spent one year as a high school science teacher, then seven years as director and teacher of the Alternative High School for the school district.
In 1986, he was appointed as Supervisor of Special Education, a position he held until returning to AHS as assistant principal in 1996. Among his community activities, Lisi has been a long-time member of the Board of Directors for the Parent Child Resource Center, serving as president from 1991-1994.
    Bennett-Wallick spent nearly all of her education career in Ansonia. A biology teacher for many years at Ansonia High School, she was selected as Ansonia’s Teacher of the Year in 1998. She began her teaching career at St. Joseph and Assumption Schools in Ansonia and joined the Ansonia Public Schools in 1984. Bennett-Wallick joined the administrative ranks in 2003 as assistant principal of AMS, then became principal in 2004.
    Bennett-Wallick received her B.S. degree in Biology/Chemistry secondary education from Cardinal Cushing College; her M.S. degree in Health Education from SCSU; a 30 credit program in Educational Leadership from St. Joseph College; and a sixth-year degree in Foundations in Education from SCSU. She has also served as business agent for the Connecticut State Federation of Teachers.
    DiPalma is retiring after 40 years in the education field. Principal of Prendergast School for the past two years, he joined the Ansonia school district in 2008 as an Assistant Principal of Prendergast. Carol Merlone, Superintendent of Schools, said she recruited DiPalma for what he will be remembered: “I brought Larry to Ansonia to revamp the way we teach math in the elementary grades. We call it ‘DiPalma Math’ for a reason. It changed our teaching, and our students’ mastery of math increased dramatically,” she said.
    DiPalma has worked in a variety of private and public schools throughout his career, which began in West Haven in 1972. He has been principal of two parochial elementary schools in Connecticut, principal of the Highville Charter School in Hamden, and a math teacher and department chair for nine years for a public middle school in Norwalk.
He received a B.A. degree in Liberal Arts from the College of the Holy Cross in 1972; his master’s degree in Education from Bridgeport University in 1986; and a sixth year degree in Administration from Sacred Heart University in 1990.
    In addition to DiPalma Math, he will be remembered as the Connecticut winner of the National Distinguished Principal Award in 2011. 
    “We are grateful to these three veteran educators who helped move our district forward, especially over these last several years,” Merlone said. “They provided strong leadership when it was needed the most. I wish them the best in this next phase of their lives.”

Paint & Sip Event in Seymour