Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flea markets at Seymour church to benefit mission projects

SEYMOUR - Great Hill United Methodist Church, 225 Great Hill Road, will hold Flea Markets outdoors in the grove, or indoors if rain, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, and Sept. 8.   

Outdoor rental space for the flea market/tag sale items, product vendors, and antique dealers (no food vendors) is available for $25 for a 12 x 12 foot space. 
Set up can begin at 7 a.m. and break down beginning at the close of the event at 1 p.m.  The church will have coffee, soda, and water for sale.

All proceeds fund the church’s local and worldwide mission and ministry projects.  The church’s
Publicity committee will aggressively promote these events.

Call Pat Andreana at 203-888-0489 or email Pat at patandreana@aol.com for a registration form to reserve a space  -  only 24 spaces available.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Educator learns one person can make a difference

By Lois Knapton
Director, Special Education
Derby Public Schools

What can one person really do?
I have come to believe that one person can truly transform lives forever.

Remember Moses?  Well, I had the pleasure of visiting him again this week. He is a totally different child.
When we first met six weeks ago, he had been home-bound and in bed for 10  years, only crawling out to sit on the couch to eat his porridge; he is 14.

The mother did everything for him. She did not think Moses could learn anything. She also thought he was deaf.
With prompting and some physical assistance, he miraculously started walking on his own.

And that was only the beginning.
When we visited this week, Mary, the mother  said, that since we came last, he has grown so much and he is a completely different child now.
Both she and Moses are changed people forever. His bed sores are gone and he plays outside with his siblings, he is making noises now trying to talk, he is starting to communicate with his mom when he needs to go the bathroom...he can hold his own spoon...and he ran across the play area today. It is truly amazing to watch this continued transformation of lives.

Let's talk about Laveenda, she is the 12-year old girl the mother was carrying on her hip as we walked to her house. She spends most of the day in her bed.
 That day, six weeks ago, the mother was desperate for help, she was anxious and depressed, in total despair and feeling hopeless. 

Her family, including her husband,  has shunned her because her tribe does not accept such children, so the single mother had to find a separate house for the child to sleep in, alone.
The mother comes to visit her child four times per day to make sure she is safe.

The day we visited six weeks ago, the child was non-responsive, nearly falling asleep sitting up.
I was heartbroken. What could I possible do for them?

We talked. I talked about the fact that is is OK to have a child with a disability, it is not a curse, and that the child can learn.
I encouraged the mother to continue loving her child, despite the disabling condition. I told the mom to get the child outside, take her for walks. The child had scoliosis and can only walk for 50 feet or so.
We prayed for her and her family. Then we left. This past week, as we visited her again, the mother told us she was filled with hope. She mother had moved her child again to a new room, still alone, but closer to the mom. 

The child was sitting up and at times, tried to communicate with the mother.
I commended the mother on her obvious unconditional love for her child. She told us that since our last visit, she has been filled with  renewed hope and things have gotten much better for all of them.  It is still very hard, but at least it is better. I was amazed.

I was wondering, what did I really do? Then I realized I had accomplished exactly what I had set out to do in the beginning of all of this, instill hope and knowledge to parents and children with disabilities.

Then there is John Kiamani, an adult who suffered an accident two years ago, and is paralyzed from the waist down.
Again, on our first visit, weeks ago, I felt helpless.

What can I offer him? My knowledge on paralysis is minimal, and I could see no way for him to be productive in these slum conditions.
He would never be able to get out of his house. I was having limited thinking. The team of people encouraged him to be faithful in his walk. I told him God has big plans for him.

This week was our third visit to his house, and every time we visit, he encourages us, he greets us with a smile, and he prays for us and with tears in his eyes, he told me he is filled with hope since we first visited him; when he saw me come back to his house for third time, he felt truly blessed and encouraged. He said he is feeling stronger and better. And he is trying to think of a way he can be productive in society.

His wife works and he makes lunch every day for his two children, from his bed....life is hard here.
Every Sunday, his friends carry him to to the road and they put him on a Boda Boda (motorbike) sandwiched between two of them and take the long journey out to his church.
You can imagine how risky it is to ride a motorbike, on these Kenyan roads, when you have no feeling in your legs at all. Even balancing is a struggle. But they make it. Every Sunday.  
Back at the main office, as we were taking Chai, I was talking to Isabella, still in wonderment about what these people had said; and that their lives truly have been transformed and hope instilled.
Life is hard enough for able-bodied people and hundreds of times harder for people with disabilities. These people persevere through many hardships. I can see the hope in their eyes and smiles, they are truly grateful.

As my doubts attempt to creep in, Isabella replies, "We give them hope and prayer. Now do you believe one person can make a difference?"

Editor's note: Knapton is on a three-month mission working with special needs students and their parents in Nairobi, Kenya. She is sharing her experiences here each week.

Summertime in the Valley ... and the livin' is easy

Christopher Waugh, 13, of Ansonia, waits to catch "the big one" last week at Pickett's Pond in Osbornedale State Park in Derby. Photo by Patricia Villers

From free outdoor concerts to kayaking on the Naugatuck River, check out a variety of ideas in today's New Haven Register to make your summer in the Valley a fun one!

And stay tuned to my continuing series on where to find frozen treats in the Valley and beyond. 

I've tasted the offerings at seven spots so far, and I still have quite a list of places to visit.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

On farmers, history, and a sundae on Sunday

Yumm...a hot fudge sundae, an ice cream cupcake, and Moose tracks 

Ice cream 101 continues: Bethany edition

On Saturday I went to the newly-opened Ansonia Farmer's Market and met a young couple selling vegetables grown at Darling Farm at the historic Thomas Darling House in Woodbridge. The two are caretakers there and started a farm this spring.

Since husband Ralph, daughter Allegra and I all like learning local history, we drove there today to take a peek.
This house at 1907 Litchfield Turnpike in Woodbridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.  

While we were in the "neighborhood," we continued driving to Bethany and stopped at Billy's Old-Fashioned Ice Cream, 742 Amity Road (Route 63). We had been there before, but it had been quite a few years.

Since it's my ice cream series I threw caution to the wind and ordered the big, fat hot fudge sundae...strawberry ice cream was under all the whipped cream. I haven't had a sundae in a long time. It was quite good!

Next post I do I'll have to go back to having just one unadorned scoop.

Ralph enjoyed a cup of Moose tracks ice cream, and our daughter tried something a bit different, an ice cream cupcake.
It was a chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and sprinkles. She said it was super-sweet and she couldn't finish it.

But she liked what she did eat!

I was surprised that we were the only customers. The weather wasn't bad, no rain or humidity, and I thought there would be people there enjoying ice cream.  But maybe they had gotten there before us, or arrived later.

Will we return? Probably, but not before trying out ice cream places in the Valley, Milford, and beyond.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Holy Rosary Church to host Festa 2012

Italian festival on tap in Ansonia

ANSONIA - Holy Rosary Church parishioners have been busy preparing for their 45th annual event next weekend.

It will run from 5-10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday on the parish grounds, Father Salemi Drive. Admission is free. 

Check out the website for all the info, and get ready for some fabulous festival food and family fun.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ribas to retire as club's executive director

SHELTON -  Jack Ribas, the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club for the past 34 years, has announced his retirement, effective Dec. 12.
He has been a youth service professional since September of 1971, when he started his career as the Program Director of the then Community Center Boys Club.
In 1975 he was hired as the Unit Director of the North End Boys Club in Bridgeport and in 1977 was promoted to Director of Operations for the four-unit Bridgeport organization.

In February of 1978 Jack was hired as the Executive Director of the Community Center Boys Club and immediately began changing the organizational structure into its present form. Within the first three years, the Boys Club merged with the Community Center, becoming the Community Center Boys Club.

In 1980 girls were added as full-time members, and the name was changed to the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley. The Club grew from 420 members in 1978 to more than 2,300 in 2011, and the budget also grew from $72,000 to $1,720,000 (corrected amount; typo in previous release) in that same time period.

Ribas said, “It’s been a great ride. I never thought I would be doing this my whole life. I have had the opportunity to work with the best Board of Directors ever, hard-working community people giving of their time, talent, and treasure to make our community a better place for our children.
"We have built two new state-of-the-art Clubhouses for our kids at a cost of over $10 million, all raised by our volunteer Board from people and businesses in the Valley. I have been blessed to have a great staff of hard working, dedicated people, with a genuine concern for all our kids. Thousands of children have passed through our doors and have become better citizens, better students, and better people for having been here. I can’t tell you how many Alumni have stopped back here 20 years later and have told me how the Club saved their life. It’s a tremendous feeling to know you have truly helped someone, especially those children going through difficult times.”

Board president, Susan DeLeon said, “Jack will truly be missed, he has been the heart and soul of this organization. Jack has done such a great job for so many years, and we all know how difficult it will be to replace him, but the Club and all its award-winning programs will go on.

"The Board is in the middle of its succession planning, and the position and information have been posted on our website at www.BGC-LNV.org/employment-opportunities.aspx. Anyone interested in applying for the position should check out our web page. Candidate review will begin the first week of September.”

For information about the job listing, Club programs, or summer camp, visit web site or call 203-924-7462.

Wesley Village to host 5K race

Event to benefit Journey of Dreams, Spooner House

SHELTON - Wesley Village will host the fourth annual 5k Road Race and Fun Walk Aug. 25 starting at 9 a.m.  

The 3.1-mile race will begin and end at Wesley Village in the parking lot for Crosby Commons, 580 Long Hill Ave. Wesley Village provides housing and healthcare to seniors. 

The Fun Walk is around the campus of Wesley Village.  

Awards will be given to the overall first place male and female finishers and top three male and female finishers in each of the following age divisions: 

Under 13, 14-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80+. All 70+ run for free. Contact race director David Primini prior to the event. 
Post-race food is provided by Wesley Village. Event parking will be at Long Hill Elementary School, 565 Long Hill Ave., across from Wesley Village.

Proceeds from the event benefit the award-winning programs at Wesley
Village, including the Journey of Dreams Program, which grants wishes to the seniors on campus. 

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Spooner House in Shelton, which provides food, shelter, and services for the needy. 
Major sponsors are M&T Bank, Omnicare, Griffin Hospital Lifeline, Murtha Cullina LLP, Merit Insurance, McKesson, Unitex Textile Rental Services, Brennan Construction Co, Winter Brothers Waste Systems, CT. and Crown Uniform.

Participants who pre-register by Aug. 21 will pay $20 and be guaranteed a T-shirt
. After Aug. 21, registration is $25. Exact bills or checks only. 

Checks payable to UMH Road Race. There will be 50 shirts available on race day while supplies/sizes last. 
Every pre-registered participant is entered into a raffle to win Yankees, Red Sox and Mets tickets. There are raffle prizes of gift cards to area restaurants and businesses.

For online registration, course map and further information, visit

 For information on ACT Spooner House and the Valley Food Bank Network, visit www.actspooner.org.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

3 men inducted into Derby Hall of Fame

DERBY - The city’s Greenway Committee has selected three new members for the Derby Hall of Fame, Mayor Anthony Staffieri announced today.

This year’s inductees are Edward J. Cotter Jr., Patrick Brett O’Sullivan and William Burr Wooster.

“We are proud of their legacy and wish to honor their lives and their dedication to public service by inducting them into Derby’s Hall of Fame,” Staffieri said. “Each one in their own inimitable way has shaped the course of our history.”

The Derby Hall of Fame is located on the Hall of Fame Plaza at the Division Street entrance to the Derby Greenway. Each of the inductees will have a special Hall of Fame brick placed on the Plaza surrounding the National Humane Alliance Fountain prior to Derby Day.

Edward J. Cotter Jr. just may be the ultimate firefighter and photojournalist in Derby history. He worked as a photographer for The Evening Sentinel, the Connecticut Post and the New Haven Register and covered virtually every newsworthy event that happened in the lower Naugatuck Valley over his 50 year career.

Cotter was the police photographer for the Derby Police Department, founding father of the Storm Engine Company Ambulance and Rescue Corps, Valley Emergency Medical Services, Valley Fire Chief’s Training School and a longtime volunteer firefighter, fire chief and fire commissioner. He is a member of the Connecticut Firefighters’ Association Hall of Fame and the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame.

Patrick Brett O’Sullivan was the son of Derby’s first mayor, who went on to distinguish himself as a lawyer, corporation counsel, naval veteran, state senator, U.S. Representative, professor, judge, and ultimately the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

William Burr Wooster was a direct descendant of Derby’s first permanent settler of European descent and is best remembered as Colonel of the 29th Regiment, C.V., Colored which distinguished itself in service during the Civil War. In his role as a leading citizen of Derby, he had a successful law practice, served in both the state House of Representatives and Senate and served on the boards of several of the leading businesses in the city. At the time of his death in 1900, the Hartford Courant called him “Derby’s First Citizen.”

The above is a press release from Staffieri’s office.

A pint of pineapple, please

Ice cream 101 continues ~ this time in Seymour
Decisions, decisions

My daughter Allegra and I headed to downtown Seymour this afternoon to get a cone, but we ended up with a whole pint.

That's because the charming All-American Valley General Store at 16 Bank St., which opened last winter, is not yet equipped to sell cones and sundaes, owner Kim Dulka of Seymour said.

But it does sell ice cream from Wildowsky Dairy in Lisbon, and wow is it delicious.


Dulka said the most popular flavors so far are blackberry, maple walnut, and vanilla chip. Eventually she will be selling cones and sundaes, once the kitchen is completed.

As you can see we tasted pineapple. It was quite good. We sat on the porch outside the store and dug in with plastic spoons. We brought most of it home, of course.

This is another in a series of posts about where to find ice cream in the Valley and surrounding communities on a hot summer day. Lots of places yet to try!

Dr. Ya Ya rocks Derby Green

Connecticut's own Dr. Ya Ya's Dirty Rice Revue rocked the Derby Green at a free concert Tuesday. The Derby Cultural Commission is sponsoring the summer concert series, which continues at 7 p.m. Tuesday with I'liguri, a band that plays Italian music. Photo by Patricia Villers

We like the farmer's market, do you?

ANSONIA - Economic Development Commission Chairman Vinnie Scarlata this week announced a Facebook page for the new Ansonia Farmer's Market in the municipal parking lot on West Main Street.

The market had a successful grand opening last Thursday.

He said these vendors are expected to be there Thursday:

  • Darling Farm, 1907 Litchfield Turnpike, Woodbridge;
  • Eastside Greenhouses, 72 North Prospect St., Ansonia;
  • Grassy Hill Farms, 970 Grassy Hill Road, Orange;
  • Marcucio Farms, 34 Benz St., Ansonia;
  • Marcucio Gardens, 480 New Haven Ave., Derby.

Scarlata is trying to promote the market with a new Facebook page and is asking people to visit it and "like" it.

See you at the farmer's market!

Gentile welcomes road funding

      State Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, welcomes the expected allocation of funds to the towns of Ansonia and Derby for road improvements. 
      The State Bond Commission will meet Friday and is expected to approve the first half of the 2012-2013 town aid road grant in the amount of $15 million. 
Ansonia and Derby’s portion of that is $146,824.  
A second similar grant will follow at the end of the year.  Also known as TAR, Town Aid for Roads grants are generally released in January and July each year.
      “These funds help stabilize local property taxes and put people to work on projects that need to be done,”  Gentile said. “Town Aid Road grants are especially important, allowing communities like Ansonia and Derby to maintain our roads.”
     Gentile said district towns can anticipate receiving the following grants:
  • Ansonia – $80,088.
  • Derby - $66,736.
     The state grant funds allocated are used for safety issues, design work and repaving.
     The State Bond Commission meets at 10:30 a.m. Friday in room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

This information is taken from a release from Gentile's office.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spooner House staff, board to honor emergency personnel

 At annual Open House Sunday

SHELTON - Spooner House, 30 Todd Road, will host its annual Open House for the community from 1-5 p.m. Sunday. This year’s event will honor all emergency service personnel in Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, and Shelton.
The Open House is free; however, visitors are encouraged to bring a donation of cleaning supplies or paper goods to help keep the shelter and the food bank area stocked.  A list of suggested items is below or donors may call 203-225-0453 with questions.
Throughout the afternoon, tours will be offered of the facility while visitors get to meet the staff and members of the Board of Directors. Refreshments will be served compliments of a variety of the more than 30 Spooner House support volunteer groups. 
“The emergency service personnel in the area are very important to our residents and staff,” said Susan Agamy, Executive Director of Spooner House. “We are delighted to honor all firefighters, police and ambulance workers in five of the lower Naugatuck valley towns at this year’s Open House.”
In four years, our food bank program has experienced a 150 percent increase in the number of meals provided to households in need, from 61,000 in 2008 to 170,000 projected this year,” Agamy said. “We have also seen a 20 percent increase in the number of people needing shelter and related services over the past, and this event is designed to thank everyone for their continued help,” she said. 
Cleaning supplies needed: Fabric softener sheets, bleach, floor cleaner all-purpose cleansers (non-abrasive), stainless steel cleanser, dish soap, toilet bowl cleaner, glass cleaner, liquid hand soap, Lysol spray, Lysol cleaning wipes, rubber gloves (all sizes), sponges, paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, napkins, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, Ziploc bags (all sizes) and trash bags (39 gallon and kitchen size).

This information is from a press release from Spooner House.

Crisco announces $300,000 housing-rehab grants

State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. , D-Woodbridge, today announced the award of two $300,000 grants – one each for housing rehabilitation projects in Ansonia and Derby.
Crisco said the grants are part of the federal government’s Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program, administered in Connecticut by the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

Crisco worked on behalf of both the Ansonia and Derby applications while they were under consideration by DECD officials. Projects to qualify for funding through the Small Cities Grant program usually include economic development initiatives, construction of affordable housing, and improvement of municipal facilities or community centers.

“The Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program is vital to the well-being of small cities like Ansonia and Derby, this year allowing them to pursue general rehabilitation projects that simply must be completed to improve the quality of life for residents, and completing them without increasing local property taxes,” Crisco said. “I’m grateful for the favorable consideration by DECD officials of these local applications.”

In a general sense, the collaborative federal/state program provides financial assistance to low- and moderate-income applicants for a variety of housing rehabilitation needs including window and roof replacement, other weatherization improvements, and heating system upgrades.

“In each of these cities, the plan to use these funds to rehabilitate designated housing stock clearly demonstrates the value of the state’s Small Cities Grant program, because if either city was left on its own, there simply wouldn’t be enough money in the budget to address the issue,” Crisco said. “It’s always very gratifying to see how these partnerships – in this case between all three levels of government – bring beneficial projects to fruition, bringing relief to residents and municipal budgets alike.”

The above is a press release from Crisco's office.

Library lists August activities

DERBY - The Derby Public Library has scheduled a Gentle Yoga Dance session at 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 6.
Andrea Cashman, a Hatha Yoga instructor, will introduce participants to this restorative, joyful movement, which combines Yoga, the breath, and dance using chairs.  With global music, Andrea will guide everyone through a fun, sacred, inspirational dance of the multi-dimensional self, leading to a renewed sense of well-being to the body and spirit, while honoring individual abilities and aspirations. 

 This program is part of the Library’s Summer Monday Evening Escapes and Escapades series.  Registration is requested.
 All summer programming is being 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.

Sports talk

    The Library is in its seventh season of the very popular Sports Talk series, held every Thursday morning at 10.  These informal sessions will meet throughout the baseball season.  Rich Marazzi, radio talk show host, author, and Major League Baseball Rules consultant facilitates.  Each session includes trivia contests, videos, lively conversation and more.
All ages, rookies through veterans are invited to join Marazzi and his group of Silver Sluggers.  No registration is necessary.

Benefits info

    Social Security Specialist, Maria Grice, will be at the Library at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 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 needed.

Career coach

    The CT Works Career Coach returns to the Library 10 a.m. -3 p.m. Aug. 17.
    During both the morning session, 10-noon, and the afternoon session, 1-3, 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 but 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.

Computer classes

    The 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. Dates dates are Aug. 21 at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 22.

Book talk

    The Library has scheduled its next Lunchtime Book Discussion for12:30 p.m. Aug. 22. The selected title is Chris Cleave’s new novel, "Little Bee." It is a haunting story about the tenuous friendship that blooms between two dissimilar strangers – one an illegal Nigerian refugee, the other a recent widow from suburban London.
The author tells a brutal tale that balances an outwardly political motive with some larger truths.  Human nature and a disdain for injustice are prominent themes.  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 on any of the above programs, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St. , call 203-736-1482, or visit www.derbypubliclibrary.org.  

Reiki Level 2 workshop slated at Griffin

DERBY - Griffin Hospital is offering an opportunity to learn Reiki, a body, mind, and spirit approach to medicine and healing, at a special Reiki Level 2 Workshop from noon- 5 p.m. Aug. 9 at the hospital, 130 Division St..
Reiki Masters Eileen Carino, RN and  Joanne Halstead, RN, will teach the basic concepts of Reiki, allowing ample time for hands-on practice.
Reiki is a complementary healing method based on ancient healing practices. It involves the conscious direction of healing energy - through the practitioner's hands - to the patient. When channeled properly, this energy promotes healing by relieving energy blockages to the body.
The practice of Reiki is intended to bring balance to the energy fields thereby promoting healing on all levels.
The workshop is open to all individuals interested in becoming Level 2 Reiki practitioners (completion of a Level 1 Reiki workshop is a prerequisite). The cost is $125.
Workshop space is limited, and preregistration is required by Aug. 2. To register, contact Tricia Brister, Volunteer Services assistant, at 203-732-7555.

(Editor's note: this is a corrected version from the hospital; disregard yesterday's post)

Church social to feature ice cream, music

SEYMOUR - The Great Hill United Methodist Church Men's Club will present "Ice Cream - The Musical" next month.
This Great Family Event production will feature an old-fashioned ice cream social topped with great musical performances.
Only one show is scheduled on this East Coast tour and it will performed 3-5 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Great Hill United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 225 Great Hill Road.
The audience will have an opportunity to enjoy an ice cream sundae featuring vanilla or chocolate ice cream with an assortment of toppings.  The entire family will be able to sit back, enjoy their creamery delight and be entertained by several members of the “Companions” a local contemporary music group, Valley Performing Artists and the Great Hill Music Ministry.

Tickets are $6.  Reservations are suggested.
Tickets may be purchased in advance or may be purchased at the door.
For reservations, tickets or more information about this Great Family Event Production call Joe, the producer, 203-888-0489.

Proceeds will be used to fund, in part, the GHUMC Mission Ministry and the beautification of the Ryan VerNooy Memorial Tennis Courts in Oxford.

 The above was taken from a release from the church.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Educator survives scare in slums of Nairobi

By Lois Knapton
Director, Special Education
Derby Public Schools


Well, it finally happened. 
Let me preface it with I am unharmed and safe, in my temporary home in Africa.  
I have been in Nairobi for two months, and I venture out into the slums at least three times per week, we often need to wait on the side of the street to “jump” on a Matatu, to get to the next school.
 I am careful, always with one to three Kenyans, my hands are empty, my cell phone is hidden deep in my pocket, no purse, no handbag, we walk with a purpose, steadily, and quickly, watching all around us. But today was different.
           I and one other Kenyan staff slowly walked toward the main road to wait for our Matatu. It is a very busy place. Many people were roaming around, some waiting for the bus, some getting on or off, vendors selling their items, glue-sniffing people begging for food, homeless kids wandering around, and Matatus picking up and dropping people off, slowing down and speeding up. 
        I am used to many eyes watching me. 
        But today, I could see a young man eyeing me in a different way.  It seemed like he wanted to see what he could steal. I laid my arm over my pocket where my cell phone was tightly tucked away and crossed my hands in front of me. I turned away as he brushed past my shoulder. 
       The Kenyan staff was very keen on him to. We waited. Trying to stay calm and brave is a very difficult thing to do when you are raked with fear.
       So many things could happen out here. We had placed ourselves so only one side of me was open to the street. As I was convincing myself everything was OK, suddenly from behind my left shoulder, a right hand whipped in front of my face, grabbing the necklace I was wearing around my neck. 
      He yanked hard, the necklace broke free from my neck, and the two thugs calmly walked away, looking back over their shoulder as if to say, “Ha, we did it”… they were arrogant and defiant.
 I was stunned.  I just stood there, like a statue, watching them walk away, I wanted to run after them and start screaming, but I simply turned to look at everyone else who saw it, no one moved or spoke. The Kenyan staff with me was devastated.  She apologized and I said it was not her fault. We walked back and waited for our friend. They spoke in Kswahli.  They were very sorry it happened.
     Then, as if nothing had happened, we went right back the same spot, to get on a Matatu, to go to the staff training we had scheduled for the day.  As I rode that Matatu, my bravery suddenly turned to cowardess and I could feel the tears swelling up in my eyes. I felt so violated, my neck felt like it was scratched. I saw the whole thing happen again and again, they were so fast. So direct. So deliberate. Kenyans truly believe that all Americans have lots of money.  It could have been worse, they could have pushed me down, emptied my pockets, stole my shoes and anything else that is removable.  It was just a necklace, but that was not the point.

            Then my mind started racing, as tears slowly rolled down my cheeks
           What in the world am I doing here; living in a culture that struggles to survive on a daily basis, walking through areas where homeless children roam aimlessly for years, until they start sniffing glue to numb the pain, babies cry out for the mother they do not have, children play in the black sewer water that runs down the middle of the area, pregnant woman carry huge loads on their head or buckets of water, vendors sell food with flies buzzing around, people are starving, sick, begging, dying, daily. 
           And I think one lone soul can make a difference.
           At first thought, I said maybe I should give up and go home early.  Just get on an airplane and leave all this behind. I have done all I could do here.
          But then that small, quiet voice spoke to me, always so calm and convincing; you know what, I am making a difference, and I will persevere through this. 

In every success, there are stumbling blocks, and hurdles we must jump.  Nothing is ever easy, trials and tribulations are the joy of living, just think if everything was easy, no problems, no worries; life would be so boring. 
 But when I am in the middle of a life-lesson trial, it feels so difficult.  But in the end, I come out fighting, feeling strong and courageous again, ready to conquer the world and continue my mission.

Epilogue:  Two days later, the Executive Director called me down to the front office of the main building we work out of. He wanted to see me immediately. As I walked toward his office, my mind was racing; what had I done wrong, did I say something wrong in the teacher trainings, were they going to send me home, was I pushing too hard for a Resource Room? Why on earth would they want to speak to me? God only knew.

     I entered and sat down, while three people stared at me. I was so nervous. Then he pointed to his desk so I would look down, “Is that yours?”
 There was my necklace, the one that had been ripped off my neck two days ago, in the slums….I could not decipher my emotions…I was in awe. He asked me to look closely; he wanted to give me plenty of time, to see if it truly was my necklace.
 It was, and it was not broken. Then one of them made a phone call to let someone know it was my necklace and everyone rejoiced. The necklace had been sold and was retrieved. 

The details of the return will remain undisclosed, but I will tell you it is extremely rare for stolen items to be returned.  This truly was another miracle. 

Sunrise in Kenya

Editor's note: Knapton is on a three-month mission working with special needs students and their parents in Nairobi, Kenya. She is sharing her experiences here each week.

Derby Legionnaire honored for service

K. Robert Lewis, Department of Connecticut Service Officer, presents award to Andrew Cota, Post 24 Service Officer. / Contributed photo

DERBY - The American Legion, Department of Connecticut honored a Valley Legionnaire for service to his fellow veterans in his position as Service Officer of the John H. Collins Post 24, American Legion.
Department Service Officer K. Robert Lewis of the Niantic Post made the presentation to Andrew Cota,  Service Officer for the John H. Collins Post 24 of Derby. The presentation was made at an "Open House for Veterans" Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Building in Derby.
Cota has been serving as the Post Service Officer for several years and has shared the Veterans Service Office located in Derby City Hall with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Service Officer Paul Lutson. The duo have been able to assist area veterans with disability claims as well as hardship claims.
The Department of Connecticut chose Cota as this year's recipient  as "Service Officer of the Year" in recognition of his many hours of volunteer service helping his fellow Veterans.
Cota is a retired Derby police chief.
The above information is from a release from Post 24 Adjutant Bernard Williamson of Derby.

Ansonia will soon have Asian fusion restaurant

Spotted today:  A sign of the times.

Ansonia will soon have an Asian Fusion restaurant at the site of the former Pilgrim Bar-B-Q restaurant on Main Street. Economic Development Commission chairman Vinnie Scarlata said he was pleased to see that plans are moving along for the restaurant, which he said will offer "more gastronomic diversity" to downtown. Patricia Villers/Register

A sweet treat found on Main Street

'Ice cream 101' continues

After driving this afternoon to what turned out to be an ice cream spot that no longer exists (that was embarrassing) I took daughter Allegra to Eddy's Bake Shop in downtown Ansonia.

I'd heard the bakery recently started making gelato, also known as Italian ice cream, and selling it by the cup. Nine flavors were available.
It has less fat than ice cream but tastes just as good!
Key lime on left, fudge brownie on right

Allegra tried key lime. I had to get something chocolate so I chose fudge brownie, with a bit of whipped cream on top, just because. We braved the humidity and sat at one of the three tables on the sidewalk in front of the bakery.

We both gave the gelato a thumbs up and agreed we had to return to try another flavor, such as cookies and cream, tiramisu, or raspberry.


Stand down to assist veterans

ANSONIA - No Vet Left Behind, Inc., a nonprofit that serves all veterans, will hold a stand down next month. The organization assists active duty, National Guard, homeless and retired veterans and their families and holds stand downs twice a year.

The veterans fair will be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 17 at the organization’s Stars and Stripes Thrift Shoppe, 14 Jewett St.

The free event includes clothing, medical assessment, dental screening, haircuts, toiletry kits, information about wills, life insurance, legal aid/child support, assistance applying for DD214 and more.

For faster registration have DD214 or VA ID available. If a VA ID is not available along with the DD214, a photo identification must be provided.

Free breakfast and lunch will be available. Volunteers are encouraged and donations are welcomed.

Some free transportation will be available. To obtain a schedule and pickup times, call Mary Porter, No Vet Left Behind President, at 203-906-0533 or 203-732-7800.


Library offers computer classes, fun for tots

DERBY - Computer classes are run at Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. several times each week.
On Mondays and Wednesdays a class is offered from 6 to 7 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays a class meets from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Students determine their own pace of study with the help of the instructor. Lessons are best suited for absolute beginners and one visit each week is suggested.
For details and to register, call Bob at 203-734-1492.


Pre-threes meet Mondays at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. with Miss Kathi. A program best-suited for ages birth to 3 years old, the activities include finger plays, stories, music, puppets, and nursery rhymes.

Movin' on

Been There, Done That, Movin’ On, for 2 and 3 year olds meets at the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. each Tuesday morning at 10 with Miss Kathi.  Children are ready to participate if they have finished at least five sessions of Pre-Threes or Music and Movement at the library.

Sing and dance

Music and Movement meets at the Library Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and again every Thursday morning at 10 or 11 a.m. Enjoy singing and dancing with Miss Kathi using small musical instruments and scarves as you learn music and language skills.
Story hour

Littles’ Story Hour happens each Tuesday at 1 p.m.  This program for ages 3-5 presents flannel board stories, puppets, and short films of adapted children’s books.

Bedtime music
Bedtime Music meets once each month. Our next event is at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1. Ages birth and up are invited to wear their p.j.’s and bring a stuffed toy to the program. Dance and sing under our special indoor stars.

For information or to register for any of the above programs, call 203-734-1492.

Seymour Class of '56 to hold 56th reunion

OXFORD -  Seymour High School Class of 1956 will celebrate its 56th reunion from noon ot 4 p.m. Sept. 16 at Brookside Inn Restaurant, 231 Oxford Road.
Dinner is $25 per person. Call Joe Marino, 203-231-3031, or Liz Cotnoir, 203-305-2948 for details.

Foxwoods CEO remarks anger Gentile

State Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, has issued a statement expressing her outrage over remarks made by Foxwoods Resort Casino CEO in a recent Boston Globe story.

“I’m outraged by these disrespectful remarks and encourage Derby and all seniors to boycott Foxwoods until they receive a public apology,” Gentile said.
 “Mr. Butera’s statement was insensitive, insulting and uncalled for.  Senior citizens have worked hard their entire lives. Targeting them now that economic times are tough is not acceptable. You never heard of an issue with seniors when Foxwoods was making money hand over fist.”

Below is a letter to Gentile and state Rep. Themis Klarides, R-Derby, from Derby Senior Center Executive Director Sarah Muoio:
Dear Representative Gentile and Representative Klarides,
Yesterday it was brought to my attention that an article was recently published in the Boston Globe that deeply offended the population we so closely work with. 
The article entitled, "Should Massachusetts learn from Foxwoods?"(which I am attaching to this e-mail) provided a few direct quotations from Foxwoods Resort Casino's chief executive Scott Butera. In the article, Butera states "he can do without those stereotypical busloads of senior citizens who show up with walkers and oxygen tanks." Butera jokes, "We've dropped a lot of that...not for humane reasons...it's because those darn elders don't gamble away enough of their money to help Foxwoods reach its goal." 
Many senior center directors, like myself, provide Foxwoods casino bus trips to our members. I have urged many of them to join me in boycotting Foxwoods by cancelling our bus trips and refraining from scheduling any trips that go to Foxwoods in the future. I will be moving any future trips to Mohegan Sun, a casino that does not seem to mind our seniors spending money there. By contacting the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and yourselves, I hope we can urge Foxwoods to terminate Mr. Butera. Offending the fastest growing population in the country is not good for business nor is it very respectful. 
I think this heartless, insulting man should be terminated for his disrespectful comments. 
Sarah Muoio
Executive Director
Derby Senior Center
293 Main St.

What do you think of Butera's remarks? Will you join a boycott of Foxwoods?

Radiologist joins breast wellness center staff

DERBY - Griffin Hospital recently welcomed Laura Sheiman, M.D., a board-certified and fellowship trained radiologist, to its staff at the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness, 300 Seymour Ave.

Laura Sheiman, M.D.

Dr. Sheiman specializes in breast imaging and recently completed an extensive fellowship in Breast and Body Imaging at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she served as chief fellow and an instructor at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Her clinical expertise covers all aspects of breast imaging, including screening and diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, and image-guided breast procedures.

Dr. Sheiman received her bachelor of science degree from Cornell University and her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After an internship in internal medicine at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, she completed a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

She presented research at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Association of University Radiologists, and has published radiology papers in the American Journal of Roentgenology and the Journal of Applied Radiology, as well as other medical publications. She maintains professional memberships in the Society of Breast Imaging, Radiological Association of North America, American College of Radiology and the American Association of Women Radiologists.

“The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness is truly excited to have Dr. Sheiman as part of its team of highly trained and skilled staff,” said Chris Cooper, director, Radiology and Cardiology/Neurology. “Her expertise in breast imaging is a valued asset to the Center and the community.”
Dr. Sheiman comes on board as The Center also prepares to include 3D mammography to its imaging services in August. 3D Mammography, or breast tomosynthesis, increases the effectiveness of digital mammography, which is recognized as the best way to detect breast cancer at an early and highly treatable stage.

For information about the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness, call 203-732-1300 or visit www.griffinhealth.org/cbw.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Farmers' market welcomed in Ansonia


As a resident of Ansonia I'm happy the city now has its own farmers' market.

The market in the municipal parking lot on West Main Street was open for business Thursday for the first time. Three local farms were represented.

A small but steady stream of customers came through to see what was for sale. Everyone seemed pleased the market was there.

I bought a beautiful flowering plant for half the price I would have had to pay at a retail store.


My husband bought several different kinds of vegetables for just $5.

Kudos go to Economic Development Commission chairman Vinnie Scarlata and commission members for turning an idea into a reality in just a few short weeks.
And city officials are to be commended as well for quickly approving the concept.

See you Saturday at the farmer's market!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

4th annual lobster takeout on tap at Seymour church

   SEYMOUR -  Lobster lovers why not invite your friends, family, and neighbors to
your  home for a fantastic Lobster Bake and let the Great Hill United Methodist Church do all the cooking?
    The fourth Annual Lobster “Take Out” Dinner will be held Aug. 25. Please plan to pick up reserved dinners between 4-7 p.m. at the church, 225 Great Hill Road.
     Menu will include a 1-1/4 lb. steamed lobster, baked potato, ear of corn, coleslaw, and large homemade cookies. All this will be packaged and ready for pick up for $20.
    Reservations are required for this “Take Out Only” Dinner and must be made prior to Aug. 18.
   For information or reservations call Pat, 203-888-0489.

Health district seeks contractors

Agency gets HUD grant to make homes lead-safe 

The Naugatuck Valley Health District received a $2.48 million, three-year grant in renewed funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to protect children from lead-poisoning by making homes lead-safe.
 As a result, NVHD’s lead-hazards repair program, the Naugatuck Valley Emends Lead Hazards (NauVEL) project, is currently seeking Licensed – RRP Certified Contractors preferably based in the Valley to pre-qualify to bid on upcoming repair projects estimated below $5,000 per housing unit.  Contractors who participate in these projects must work lead-safe and meet all state and federal standards for lead-safe dust containment, worker and resident safety, and obtain dust-wipe clearance testing by a certified lab.
Detailed information about the NVHD and the NauVEL program are available online at:  http://www.nvhd.org/nauvel/ .
By visiting the website, interested contractors are able to review and print specifications including the Contractor Application 2012, the Contractors Manual 2012, and the Receipt for Contractors Manual 2012 posted in the Downloads section.   Applications from Contractors are accepted on an ongoing basis, but must be completed and received before a bid can be accepted from a construction company.
To receive an application to pre-qualify for bidding, call the NauVEL office, 203-828-9925.
Open bidding opportunities are posted online when available. Examples of past lead-safe renovation projects are also available online in the Gallery of Completed Projects.

Medical practice plans move to Oxford

Valley Orthopaedic Specialists is relocating its Ansonia office to Oxford to accommodate growing patient volume.
Effective Sept. 3, the Ansonia office will move from its 111 Wakelee Ave. address to 144 Oxford Road, Oxford.
The office’s phone number, 203-734-7900, will remain the same.
All four Valley Orthopaedic Specialists physicians—Drs. Gerald Cambria, Gary Richo, Ignatius Komninakas, and Scott Waller—will practice at both the new Oxford office as well as the practice’s main office, located at 2 Trap Falls Road, Shelton.
For more information visit www.vosct.com.

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

A new taste in town

Gourmet restaurant opens in Derby

Tanya Skeeter shows off her signature salad. Photo by Patricia Villers

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to attend the grand opening of The Gourmet Cafe in downtown Derby.

Not only were the food samples scrumptious, but I met some interesting folks while I was there.

The beautifully-designed restaurant in the Plaza on the Green on Elizabeth Street opened quietly in May, chef/owner Tanya Skeeter of Bridgeport said.

She started her culinary career as a caterer in Bridgeport, where she has been dubbed "The Salad Lady," she said.

Skeeter's signature salad, The Tree of Life, pictured above, is filled with lots of vegetables as well as cranberries and strawberries. She served it with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
You can order it straight up, or topped with chicken, turkey or shrimp, and crumbled gorgonzola cheese.

An appetizer featuring focaccia squares topped with a fresh tomato slice, mozzarella cheese, basil and drizzled with balsamic vinegar was wonderful.

I also sampled spinach and cheese quiche. I haven't eaten quiche in a long time, but this one had the fluffiest filling I had ever eaten.

The atmosphere is relaxing. Quiet music plays in the background. Two large mirrors create a feeling of depth.
The walls are painted a soft green, which designer Joan Andrews of Bethel said she chose because green is fresh, and it evokes all things natural.

Andrews said she wants people to feel at home in the restaurant, and see it as a place to escape from the daily routine.

Derby Mayor Anthony Staffieri, a former restaurant owner, has become a regular customer. He said he sees the cafe as "a new wave" in the restaurant industry.

I wish Skeeter and her staff all the best as they cater to residents of the Valley and beyond.

Mayor Anthony Staffieri, third from right, cuts the ribbon at the grand opening. Photo by Patricia Villers

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Derby couple's landscaping makeover airs tonight

Jason Cameron, left, host of "America's Most Desperate Landscape" on the DIY Network, poses with homeowners Patty and Casimir Stochmal of Derby. The Stochmals won a front yard makeover worth more than $25,000 in a contest sponsored by the DIY Network. The work was completed in three days in June. The show airs at 9 p.m. today. / Contributed photo

Ansonia concert postponed

ANSONIA - The first summer concert of the season scheduled for tonight has been postponed, Cultural Commission chairwoman Judy Nicolari said.

The Starving Artists will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday at Veterans' Park next to City Hall on Main Street.

The Starving Artists is a classic rock band formed in 1992 by Dave McWilliams of Seymour and Rob Henry of Shelton.
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, Willie Nelson, and more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Closing the circle is vital, educator says

Helping needy, learning to drive all part of her journey in Kenya

By Lois Knapton
Special Education Director
Derby Public Schools

My new motto this year is Close the Circle, that means whatever I start, I need to assure that it gets finished, checking with everyone involved until the very end.  

So here in Kenya, we met a parent and her child has clubfoot.
She did not know what to do. We referred her to the clinic, we assured she went to her appointment, and now her son is being treated for free. His clubfoot surgery went well.  

Here he is with his casts on: 

They will stay on for two months, then he will wear foot braces. 

Below is a second child we are working with. He is done with his surgery and now in phase II. He will wear these foot braces for two to three years at night.
They will stay on for two months, then he will wear foot braces.

        Another story: When we met Nicole, she was constantly crying;  her mother said she never stops crying and it has lasted four years.

       The mother continually tries to console her daughter. As I looked at the child, I felt she was having ear problems. 
       We told the mother to bring her child to the clinic. One of the teams was holding a free medical clinic that week at the school. The mother followed through and brought her child to the clinic. The mother was given ear medicine. 
       We told her we would be back to assess after the medication was finished. Ten days later, guess what? Nicole's ears cleared up, she can hear now and she has stopped crying. The mother was amazed and so happy. 

     And the stories go on and on...

    Another success story: I met my sponsor child and her family again this year..."By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." Alma 37:6.
    And another success story: I took up driving in Kenya. Wow, what an experience. 
     The steering wheel is on the right-hand side of the car and you drive on the left hand side of the road. Thankfully, the gas pedal is still on the right and the brake pedal is still on the left. With all the Matatu's and crazy drivers, I really need to concentrate. But I just had to learn. Just to say I did it!!!
     Also, I attended a pre-wedding ceremony on Sunday. It was a fund raiser for someone's wedding. The funny thing was they auctioned off these chickens, and some eggs, and an umbrella. 
    I am definitely in Africa.
   Life in the slums is difficult, but they do not know any other way. So you wake up in the morning, and go to work if you have a job, otherwise, you sell your goods on the road, or beg, or steal, and do your laundry, next to the sewer that runs through the slums; hang it out to dry and go find food.  

      I am honored to be here serving for God. "The course of our lives is seldom determined by great, life-altering decisions. Our direction is often set by small, day-to-day choices that chart the track on which we run. This is the substance of our lives - making choices." ( Stand a Little Taller, 2001).  
      I will close this circle and leave behind a sustainable special education referral, assessment, and support system for this school and community. 
     I have four more weeks to finish the task.
     I guess I will have to come back to see the fruits of my labor blossom and change lives forever.
     I haven't even left and already I am thinking of coming back. But that is how it goes.       

Editor's note: Knapton is spending three months working in Kenya and is sharing her experiences here each week.   

Shelter to hold open house

SHELTON - Spooner House Community Open House will be held 1-5 p.m. July 29 at the shelter, 30 Todd Road.

A presentation to honor Valley first responders will be held at 2 p.m. Come meet the staff, have some refreshments and tour our beautiful facility.

This event is free of charge, but donations of cleaning supplies and paper goods would be greatly appreciated.

For information, call ACT, 203-225-0453 or visit www.act-spooner.org.

The above was provided by Tony Vellucci, Development Director, Spooner House.

Farmers' market is welcome news for downtown Ansonia

By Marc Weissman
"Looking Up: A View From The Valley"
Community Access TV show

Hats off to Chairman Vinnie Scarlata of Ansonia's Economic Development Commission for an absolutely fabulous job spearheading the city's new Farmers' Market that kicks off at 2 p.m. Thursday.
It will be open 2-6 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays each week through the fall. 

Illustration by Rich DiCarlo of Derby

What a great way to attract more patrons to Ansonia's downtown as well as help promote overall business development in the city.

Between the recent success of the second annual Pierre Lallement Bike Festival, and now this follow-up effort -  completed in just three weeks from concept to approval - Scarlata has clearly demonstrated himself as a positive force to be reckoned with in the Valley.

And in case you hadn't heard, in addition to nearby farmers participating in this worthwhile community effort, Vinnie and the EDC have also smartly included Eddy’s Bake Shop and Big Y as vendors. There is even open space allotted for any  local  co-op  growers  from   Ansonia's  own  Nature   Center
What this means is that Scarlata and his group have astutely developed a unique and savvy biweekly event that collaborates local agriculture, at least one downtown business and a corporate entity all in one nice, neat, Valley-friendly package.

Good luck, Vinnie, and congratulations to all involved! 

Check out www.lookingupvalley.com
to learn more about Weissman's community access TV show.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ice cream meets history, again

A mooo-ving experience

 Today I headed to the historic Field View Farm in Orange, on the Derby town line.
Chillin' on a hot summer afternoon

We were going to go there Sunday afternoon, but a thunderstorm ruined our plans. It would not be fun trying to enjoy some ice cream when lightning is in the atmosphere.

So instead my daughter Allegra and I visited the nation's oldest continuously operating dairy farm today. The farm was founded in 1639.

We were not disappointed. It was a super hot afternoon, in my opinion, and the ice cream was super cold. It didn't melt at all as we sat and enjoyed.  

Allegra ordered a cup of strawberry with sprinkles.


And I went with swamp ice cream. Interesting name, eh?

It was cookies and cream ice cream with caramel swirled in it and M&Ms mixed in as well. Yes, it was sweet. But a delicious treat.

I asked Allegra to take the picture in front of some of the fresh vegetables for sale there, just to create that farm atmosphere.

After living in the area my entire life, it was the first time I ever went to Field View Farm.

There were a few picnic tables to sit at and the only drawback, if you could call it that, was the faint aroma of manure in the air. Cows were relaxing under cover just a few yards away.

But it is a dairy farm after all! 

If you missed any of the previous ice cream posts, you can check them out here, here, and here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

FRIDAY FIVE: A recap of this week in the Valley

These are five of the stories that made headlines in the Valley over the past week.

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

Seymour couple wins $60M Powerball jackpot.

Seymour school board cuts $131,000 post.

Derby police chief tells cafe to shape up.

Ansonia to get farm market.

2nd severed cat's head found in Oxford.

Operation Gift Cards receives $20,000 donation

Veteran Angel Cadena, left, accepts a $20,000 donation on behalf of Operation Gift Cards and the Disabled American Veterans from Steve Lobdell, center, and Steve Curry of Fairfield Firefighters Local 1426. / Contributed photo

Operation Gift Cards for wounded troops, a program co-sponsored by 62 Connecticut organizations, has received a $20,000 donation. 
Angel Cadena, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan-two tours) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (one tour) and a member of AMVETS (American Veterans) Post 43 accepted the $20,000 donation July 10 from the Fairfield Firefighters Local 1426.
The check was presented by Steve Lobdell and Steve Curry. The Fairfield firefighters raised the money during the annual Stratton Faxon Fairfield Half Marathon and 5K hosted by the Fairfield firefighters' local in June.
Lobdell, creator and President of the fairfieldhalf.org, and Steve Curry, Assistant Chief of the Fairfield Fire Department and an Air Force veteran, have both been among the 199 representatives (from 64 organizations - 62 from Connecticut) who have visited the wounded troops for Operation Gift Cards. 
The AMVETS and the Fairfield Firefighters Local 1426 have been the largest two supporters of Operation Gift Cards.

This information was provided by Al Meadows of Shelton.

Last Call for Early Bird Tickets for Brewers Ball

LAST CALL FOR EARLY BIRD TICKETS! Early Bird Ticket sales to Connecticut's largest homebrew com...