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A great resource for information in "The Valley" - Connecticut's Naugatuck Valley

Friday, August 31, 2012

Time for some time off in the Valley

I'm thinking about unplugging for the weekend.
I admit I face this challenge with some trepidation, but I'd like to try to go back to a simpler lifestyle for a few days. Emphasis on try!

On the other hand it's still summer and I may have to seek out another ice cream shop for my ongoing series ~  in which case I'll need to sign back on and write a post about my experience.


Meanwhile I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday! 

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oxford run/walk to benefit Hole in the Wall Gang Camp

Participants in last year's race wear superhero T-shirts

OXFORD - The second annual Ryan’s Superhero Run/Walk will be held Sept. 15.
This event is to honor the memory of Ryan VerNooy, a young Oxford resident who died in December 2010.

Last year's memorial race raised more than $9,000, organizers said. 

All proceeds will benefit The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford. The camp staff is dedicated to providing a fun camp experience to seriously ill children and their families throughout the Northeast, free of charge.


Check-in and day-of registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The race will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m, from the Colonial Tavern at 24 Hawley Road. There will be free on-site parking available.   

Participants have the choice of completing a 5K run or a 1.5-mile walk that each start and end at the Colonial Tavern. Some rolling hills are included in the course.

Superhero costumes are encouraged, but not required. All ages are invited to participate; strollers are welcome, but no pets.
The first 400 participants registered will receive a commemorative T-shirt from the event, and a complimentary gift bag. Food and water will be provided.

Awards will be given to the overall top three male and female finishers, as well as the top 3 males and females from the following age groups: 12 and under; 13-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60 and above. These and additional raffle prizes have been generously donated by local businesses and restaurants.
Pre-registration is $20. Day-of registration is $25.

For more information, or to sign up online, visit: www.hitekracing.com/ryanssuperherorun/

Computerized timing and results will be provided by HiTek Racing.

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Hosting a children's party? Here are some tips

By Bryan Lizotte
Guest columnist

There are many decisions to make pertaining to hosting a party for your child's birthday: theme, location, food, entertainment, and the like.

Whether you decide to have the party at your home or at a restaurant or other location, you may want to have entertainment.
You can have a magician, clown, face painter, balloon twister, caricature artist or some other entertainment.

If you do decide on an entertainer, don't wait until the last minute to contact them. Most entertainers are booked up at least three weeks in advance. I've been contacted many times on a Friday afternoon for people wishing to hire me on Saturday or Sunday, and 99 percent of the time I’m already booked. 

Also when scheduling entertainment, it is best to have the entertainer start a half hour or later than the start time of the party. Many times people arrive late and it is not fair to ask the entertainer to wait and start later, since most times they have another party booked after yours.

Some entertainers ask for payment in advance of the party or at the time of the booking. However, for those that say you can pay on the day of the party, please have the payment, whether cash, check, or credit card ready before it's time for the entertainer to leave. 

Serve food after the show


It is also best not to feed children during the show. Parents walking in front of the entertainer giving food and drinks to the kids is distracting. If the food is messy, some children may not be able to assist the entertainer if their hands are dirty. Many props are quite expensive and some are difficult to clean.

Do not have all the adults leave the room while the entertainer is performing. The entertainer is not a babysitter. Sometimes there may be one or two unruly children, and it is not the entertainer's job to discipline them. Parents of children under 3 should stay with their child.

Many times younger children will walk around and also try to touch the entertainer's props which may be dangerous.

Please be aware a child's birthday party is for the children. It’s rude for all the parents to be talking loudly behind the seated children while an entertainer is performing. Unfortunately this happens often and the children can't hear the entertainer and enjoy the show. At one birthday party where I was performing, the parents were so loud that a five-year old girl stood up and shouted “please be quiet I can't hear the magician.”

Keep adult beverages to a minimum

Alcoholic beverages for the adults should be non-existent or kept to a minimum. I have been the entertainer at a number of children's birthday parties where beer, wine and even hard liquor is flowing freely.
You wouldn't believe the number of times I have seen an adult stumble, and almost fall on children and even spill their alcoholic beverages on the children. At one party a grandma was so drunk that when she tried to take a picture she dropped her camera and swore in front of the children.

As an entertainer, I realize the birthday child is the star of the party. However, do not expect the birthday child to be the assistant for every trick the magician performs. The birthday child wants to enjoy and watch the show also
Most magicians and entertainers scan the audience for children that would be more appropriate for certain tricks. I have had parents insist that a two-year old help with a card trick, which is nearly impossible!

Before the show I welcome suggestions for which "special" children to employ as assistants, such as siblings or cousins. The birthday child is always highlighted in my show and in most other entertainers’ shows.
I also try to get as many children involved as possible, but sometimes there are 25 or more kids at a party and it's impossible to have each child help.

Do research before hiring

When looking for an entertainer do some research either online, in a party magazine or ask other parents.
It is generally best to contact an entertainer directly as opposed to calling an entertainment agency. If you contact the person directly you can pose questions, and if you have special needs you can see if the entertainer can assist.
A number of agencies are simply concerned with collecting their fee and many times don't pass on important information or needs to the entertainer. Also when using an agency you will pay up to 150 percent more for the entertainer.

I hope this information will help you have a successful celebration.


Lizotte, a Shelton resident, is a professional entertainer.

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Spooner House pantry shelves almost bare

Shelton shelter holds Back-to-School food drive


For many, summer is a relaxing time full of nice weather and vacations. Unfortunately, for some, it is a time when they wonder when they will eat their next meal.
All summer Spooner House helped those who are less fortunate by providing food, shelter and a variety of support services. 
However, the demand for food was extraordinary and this has caused an extreme shortage, now leaving some clients without meals as we enter September.  The organization has announced a concentrated two week Back-to-School food drive from now until Sept. 21.
“All we are asking,” said Susan Agamy, Executive Director at Spooner House, “is that when you shop for your own children in preparation for the new school year, please pick up one non-perishable food item for each item purchased for your own family.
“I have never seen the stock on our shelves so low, we’ve experienced a 150% increase in demand in just four years,” she said. “Our volunteers and board members have been scheduling last-minute food drives and trying to spread the word about the desperate need all summer, but it’s hard to make up such a large shortfall, especially now that everyone is preoccupied with the new school year to remember to give back.”
For a list of the most needed items, visit http://www.actspooner.org/.
Deliveries of non-perishable food items are also accepted at Spooner House, 30 Todd Road  Shelton, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
To set up a special time for food delivery or pick-up, call 203-225-0453. 
Any donations are greatly appreciated. Checks should be made payable to: Area Congregations Together, Inc., Spooner House, 30 Todd Road, Shelton, Ct. 06484
Donations may also be made via PayPal by clicking on the Donate button at http://www.actspooner.org/
  
This is taken from a press release from Spooner House. 

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shelton fire official offers safety tips concerning oxygen

SHELTON -  Use of portable medical oxygen in the home is not uncommon and is very beneficial to many people. Medical oxygen adds a higher percentage of oxygen to the air a patient uses to breathe.

However, Ted Pisciotta, Assistant Chief, Fire Prevention would like to inform everyone who might be involved in a household where medical oxygen is used of the fire hazards that could exist. Fire needs oxygen to burn.
An increase of oxygen in air could cause a combustible material to ignite more easily. Oxygen that is permitted to saturate fabric covered furniture, clothing, hair or bedding, could make it easier for a fire to start and spread.
If a fire should start in an oxygen-enriched area, the material burning will burn more quickly.

According to the National Fire Protection Association smoking materials are the leading heat source resulting in medical oxygen related fires, injuries and deaths. If a patient is on oxygen, they should not smoke.

Pisciotta and the NFPA say homes where medical oxygen is used need to have specific fire-safety rules in place to keep people safe from fire and burns. The NPFA, along with the Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau, offer the following fire safety tips:

·         Candles, matches, wood stoves and even sparking toys, can be ignition sources and should not be used in the home.
·         Keep oxygen cylinders at least five feet from a heat source, open flames or electrical devices.
·         Body oil, hand lotion and items containing oil and grease can easily ignite. Keep oil and grease away where oxygen is in use.
·         Never use aerosol sprays containing combustible materials near the oxygen.
·         Do not permit anyone to smoke in the home.
·         Post “No Smoking” and “No Open Flames” signs in and outside the home to remind people not to smoke.

Always have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times. Know when and how to call for help. And remember to practice your home escape plan.

For information on fire safety, visit the Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau site under Public Safety at www.cityofshelton.org          


This information was taken from a release from Ted Pisciotta.

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Calling all writers, political junkies to Derby Neck Library

DERBY - Writers’ Round, a workshop for writers of all persuasions and genres, meets at the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave.  The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20.
For details call Ian, 203-734-1492.

Political discussion group
Enjoy the excitement of the upcoming fall elections by attending a monthly discussion group at Derby Neck Library.
In September the Current Events Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25.
For information call 203-734-1492.

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Milford couple running event to help get running water to Ugandans

Rain or shine run/walk to raise funds, awareness

On Monday I interviewed Jane Holler of Milford, who along with her husband Daniel Marecki run Uganda Farmers Inc.

They formed the nonprofit several years ago to help Uganda villagers get clean running water to improve their lives and eradicate the water-borne disease that affects so many.

Holler and Marecki with Ugandans as the tap is turned on in village of Ruhunda earlier this summer.









The couple is hosting the second annual Running for Water 5K Sept. 22 at Joseph A. Foran High School, 80 Foran Road, Milford.
Advance registration will be taken until Sept. 15; race day registration starts at 7:30 a.m. There is also a fun run for kids and a two-mile walk. The event is rain or shine.

Holler with children from the village of Ihunga who are fetching water from a river. She said the joy on the faces of the villagers who now have clean running water is wonderful to see. "It brings such joy and such hope to these kids," Holler said. "These people are so grateful. For them it's life-altering."


This Ugandan child is standing near one of the jerry cans they use to carry water. Holler said children are tasked with getting water for their families.
She said they often walk several miles twice a day to fetch the water. The children also gather the firewood villagers use to boil the water, she said. There is no electricity in the rural villages that she and her husband have been helping.

The nonprofit is planning a fun day, Holler said, with refreshments and live entertainment.
A jazz band will be performing at the school grounds and John Shannon will play guitar along the run/walk route.
 "The important thing is we need sponsors," Holler said. Donations are tax-deductible, and those who donate more than $200 will have their name printed on the race T-shirts and on any publicity material, she said. "Our generous donors are the ones who make it a success," Holler said.

Holler and Marecki are clearly doing great things to help the impoverished people of Uganda. They deserve support through monetary donations, sponsorships, or participation in the upcoming fun event.

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Kids' activities abound at Derby Public Library

      DERBY -   The Derby Public Library, 313 Elizabeth St., welcomes back Margie Miles and Sandy her therapy dog as they begin another year of the popular Read to Sandy program. From 6-7 p.m. Tuesday children ages 5-11 are invited to share a book with Sandy.
      Each child will be given a 10-15 minute time slot to read to Sandy.
      Sandy and Margie are registered with Therapy Dogs, Inc. and volunteer at local schools, hospitals and nursing homes. This is a great opportunity for beginner or reluctant readers, as well as experienced readers, to build confidence, enhance their reading skills and encourage a love of reading.  Come select a book from “Sandy’s Favorites” on display each month in the Children’s Room.
 
 Story times
 
      Registration is underway for the fall session of story times.  This story time session will run from Sept. 5 through Dec. 7.
  The Library offers a program for infants 6 to 12 months old beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
  Infants along with a caregiver are invited to register for Baby and Me a program which introduces our youngest patrons to the library and books through simple songs and rhymes, movement, board books and interaction with their caregiver.  The program will run for about 20 minutes followed by a play time which gives babies and their caregivers an opportunity to socialize.
     Nursery Rhyme Time for toddlers 12 to 24 months old along with a caregiver will be held Thursday mornings beginning Sept. 6 at 10 a.m.  Finger plays, songs, movement, instruments, stories and rhymes will be included in this half-hour program.
   Time for Two’s begins Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. with stories, songs, finger plays and a simple craft for children who are between 25 and 35 months old along with a caregiver.
    The library is introducing a story time geared for three year olds which is often that in between stage of child development where they are not quite ready for the independent preschool library program. Terrific Three’s will meet at 10 a.m. Fridays starting Sept. 7.
     Children 4-6 years old are welcome to join us for stories, songs, instruments, literacy games and a craft on Fridays at 11 a.m. beginning Sept. 7.
  Preschool Story Time is designed to be an early school-readiness experience, an introduction to peer interaction and improved listening skills.
Children will attend this story time on their own while a caregiver remains in the Children’s Room area.        
    
 Autumn bingo

      It’s time for Autumn Bingo at the Library from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 18.  Families with children ages 5-11 are invited to attend and try their luck during this fun evening event. 
      Children will be creating their own bingo card prior to the game. Books will be among the prizes for bingo winners.
 
The above is taken from a press release from library director Cathy Williams. For information call 203-736-1482.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Valley adult education enrolling fall classes

The lifelong pursuit of knowledge and continued expansion of interests is said to be beneficial for both the mind and body.  
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost half of the adult population in the United States is enrolled in some form of lifelong learning.

Adults in the Valley can join this quest by earning a high school diploma or GED, learning English, improving computer skills or pursuing a personal interest through the many classes offered at Valley Regional Adult Education.
Fall academic classes such as English as a Second Language, Citizenship and GED Preparation begin the week of Sept. 17 at locations in Shelton (daytime and evening programs), Derby, Monroe, Seymour, and Ansonia (evening programs). There is no fee. Limited enrollment is on a first come, first served basis.

Students must be residents of Ansonia, Derby, Monroe, Seymour or Shelton to participate. In person registration and orientation dates and details can be found at www.vrae.org.
Enrichment classes ranging from health/wellness, career/work, music, languages and much more begin late September. Class locations and prices vary. For a full listing visit www.vrae.org and click Enrichment.

The Fall 2012 catalog detailing all programs is mailed to households in Ansonia, Derby, Monroe, Seymour and Shelton. Browse the catalog online or download a copy at www.vrae.org. Catalogs are available at the  local library. 
For information, call 203-924-6651.

The above is taken from a release from Valley Regional Adult Education. 

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Talk at Griffin to offer shopping tips for diabetics

DERBY - The Diabetes Education & Support Group at Griffin Hospital will host a free presentation about grocery shopping for diabetics from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Sept. 11 in the hospital’s dining room at 130 Division St.
Jamie Lee McIntyre, RD, CD-N, Grade A Shoprite Dietician, will present “Shopping for a Diabetes Meal Plan.”
McIntyre will provide important information on diabetic meal planning, which is an integral part of blood sugar control.
The Diabetes Education & Support Group meets September - June on the second Tuesday of each month to discuss the management of diabetes, its challenges and day-to-day dietary concerns. This group is open to all diabetics and their families, at no charge.
For information, call Mary Swansiger, R.N., MPH, at 203-732-1137.

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Raw emotion is evident at anti-violence march in Ansonia (video)

video
Marchers proceed down East Main Street toward Veterans Park on Main Street.

ANSONIA - On Saturday I walked alongside more than 100 supporters of resident Shawn Venson in the second annual 'Stayin' Alive 25' community march downtown.

Venson lost his oldest child, Daryl Rhys Venson, 25, on March 9, 2011 when he was shot and killed in front of a convenience store on the corner of Hill Street and Root Avenue. 
No one has been arrested for the crime, yet Shawn Venson has said there were at least 15 witnesses.

As friends and supporters of all ages gathered at the corner to take part in the march, Shawn Venson said quietly that it was an emotional time. I'm sure that was an understatement.

At the rally at Veterans Park on Main Street, Shawn Venson said his "quest to live is stronger than ever." He said authorities are not doing enough to solve the murder and said he simply wants answers.

I didn't know Daryl but since the shooting I've gotten to know Shawn Venson, who happens to be a neighbor of mine. I can't begin to understand his pain.

We should all hope a witness does come forward and provide information about the slaying to police so the person who killed Daryl can be brought to justice.  

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YMCA offers after-school programs

Providing youth with opportunities to continue to learn and engage in meaningful activities at the end of the school day can boost their academic success.
To help motivate and inspire kids to learn, the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA branches are offering after-school programs to school-aged children throughout the area.
The Y’s after-school program combines academics with play and offers a caring and safe environment for youth who would otherwise be left unsupervised.

During the school year, 15.1 million U.S. children are left unsupervised after 3 p.m., according to the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization.
With the start of the new school year, the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA encourages parents to make sure children are involved in safe, educational experiences after school.

“At the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA, we believe all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve,” said Terry McCarthy, Executive Director of the New Haven YMCA Youth Center, a branch of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA.
“In the Y’s after-school programs, youth are cultivating values, skills and relationships and have an extra support system that encourages them to achieve success.”
Studies show participation in after-school programs helps boost school attendance and academic performance and reduces gaps in academic achievement among children from disadvantaged households.
YMCA after-school programs promote a love for learning, social and emotional development, and character and creativity.

In the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA’s after-school programs youth receive help with homework, a healthy snack, play time and additional activities that may explore arts and crafts, music, swimming, science, nature, and community service.
Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y.
For information about the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA’s after-school programs, visit www.cccymca.org or call 203-777-9622.

The above is taken from a release from Central Connecticut Coast YMCA.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Ansonia Republicans introduce resolution regarding tax office

ANSONIA - Alderman John Marini, R-7, said in an e-mail late today that he and fellow aldermen, Charlie Stowe, R-2, Phillip Tripp, R-2, and Joan Radin, R-5, have introduced a resolution “concerning impropriety at City Hall.”

In the e-mail Marini said:
“These actions include: a) calling for the immediate resignation of the Tax Collector; b) the implementation of a forensic fraud audit; c) the suspension of those commissioners and employees implicated in the scandal, pending the results of state and city investigation and d) the creation a “citizen’s committee” to improve overall transparency and accountability on City Hall.

“The resolution also calls for the initiation of the charter revision process to make pertinent changes to the charter, including a requirement that future tax collectors must obtain a certification as a job prerequisite.  Also, we would like the charter to be revised to incorporate Alderman Adamowski’s call for membership on a Board or Commission to be contingent on being up-to-date on taxes.

“I would also like to note that I, and the other Republican Aldermen, are in full support of the mayor’s present proposal and the previous resolution submitted by Aldermen Edward Adamowski, D-1, and Jerome Fainer, D-4. We just believe there is more that can be done.”

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Fund-raiser to benefit skate park construction

SHELTON - The Ruby Tuesday restaurant at 811 Bridgeport Ave. is the place to be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as the Seymour Skate/BMX Park Committee takes part in a “Community Give-Back Program."

The event is to raise funds to support building of a new Seymour Skate/BMX Park.  
Ruby Tuesday is offering 20 percent of all purchases over the three-day period by anyone who presents a “Give Back Coupon.”
 The coupon is available for download at seymourct.org , go to “Calendar of Events” and see Ruby Tuesday Fundraiser.  
The project is moving along but need funds to eventually complete the project.
A recent fundraiser at Hot Tamales Restaurant in Seymour raised just over $1,100 from a raffle and donation from the restaurant that will be used to support construction of the new park. 
The group is also exploring for grant opportunities and welcome any support that can be offered to help fund the completion of this state of-the-art family park.  

The above information was provided by Rich Kearns, vice chairman, Seymour Skate/BMX Park Committee.

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Griffin to offer pastoral education course

DERBY - Griffin Hospital’s Pastoral Care and Education Department is offering an extended unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for area clergy, seminarians and lay persons from Sept. 3 to Jan. 9.
Clinical Pastoral Education is designed to enhance pastoral care, listening, assessment and intervention.  The CPE model of education is action/reflection with an emphasis on process learning.
The course requires a commitment of approximately 20 hours a week.
For information and/or an application, contact Chaplain Cormac Levenson at clevenson@griffinhealth.org or 203-732-1126.

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Malloy commends Shelton students

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Monday welcomed Shelton’s SIS Robotic Revolution Team and their advisors to his office at the State Capitol in Hartford, where the team demonstrated its award-winning “Smart Sticker” invention. The invention indicates to consumers whether food may have become spoiled due to improper storage.  The team, consisting of sixth through eighth graders from Shelton Intermediate and Perry Hill Schools, toured the State Capitol and visited with state officials. / Contributed photo


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All-Class Reunion to feature 'Live from Derby' app

           DERBY - The 13th Annual Derby All-Class Reunion committee has announced an exciting possibility for the night of the Sept. 1 event. For a small window of time members are looking to be "Live from Derby, Ct., the Derby All-Class Reunion." 
           Alumnus Jack Walsh has been investigating how to do it and it will be broadcast through an Upstream App. 
           Users will be able to click on the Facebook Reunion and Memories page created by alumnus Dan Allen or go to the Derby page at www.electronicvalley.org/derby and click on the links. If you go there you will be able to see three of the tests run Saturday night and while the test was in progress an additional user logged on. 
      This feature will be great for those who are too far away to attend but still giving them a chance to not only see what's happening but also sending a chat message as well. One just needs to create a user name. It's simple and free.  
       The All-Class Reunion will be held Saturday with classes 1979 and earlier meeting at the Elks Lodge and 1980 and later at Archie Moore's restaurant. Everyone is encouraged to "move about the city" that night.

This information was contributed by alumnus Markanthony Izzo of Derby.

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Health district to hold shingles vaccine clinic

SEYMOUR - The Naugatuck Valley Health District will hold a special clinic to provide the shingles vaccine Zostavax® ("ZOS-tah-vax") to individuals aged 60 and up. 
The first clinic will be held Sept. 10 at the health district office, 98 Bank St. Shingles vaccine will also be offered at weekly immunization clinics each Tuesday from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Appointments are required.
Anyone who has had the chicken pox is at risk for getting shingles. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. It is estimated that more than 90 percent of adults in America have had chicken pox. 
Shingles can be painful and can cause serious problems such as long-term nerve pain. Zostavax® is not a treatment for Shingles—it's a vaccine you can get now to help reduce your risk of getting Shingles in the future. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 60 years receive one dose of shingles vaccine. You should not get Zostavax® if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, including gelatin or neomycin, have a weakened immune system, take high doses of steroids, or are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. People who have already had shingles can receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease.
The cost for the vaccine is $200, payable by cash or check. Beginning in September, vaccine recipients will be able to use Visa, MasterCard or debit cards. The health district also accepts most Medicare Part D plans for the Shingles vaccine. This may lower out of pocket costs for those insured.
It is estimated that as many as 60,000 adults die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases. Too often, they forget to update their vaccinations or incorrectly assume the shots they received as children will protect them for the rest of their lives. 
The health district offers a wide range of vaccines to protect adults from preventable illnesses. The following adult vaccines are offered at weekly immunization clinics: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) also called Tdap; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); shingles; hepatitis A; hepatitis B; varicella (chickenpox); meningococcal and influenza vaccines.
For information about the shingles vaccine clinic or any other vaccine services, contact Caleen McGuigan at NVHD from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, 203-881-3255.
The Naugatuck Valley Health District serves residents of the municipalities of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Seymour, and Shelton. 

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Ansonia man remembers Neil Armstrong


Patrick Henri of Ansonia, standing center, poses with astronaut legends in Afghanistan.
Pictured seated from left, astronauts Neil Armstrong, James Lovell, and Eugene Cernan. Standing from left U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officers Bill Clark, Patrick Henri, and Senior Chief Homero Carrillo. Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class John Fischer, U.S. Navy.


By Patrick Henri

    During my eight-month deployment to Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy, I had the rare and exciting opportunity to meet three astronauts, each an American space exploration legend, at Camp Eggers, Kabul.

  Amongst the cadre of Navy veterans was Neil Armstrong, who died Saturday at age 82.
  Armstrong will forever be remembered in the annals of world history as the first man ever to set foot on the moon in 1969 as the commander of Apollo 11.
   Accompanying Armstrong on this USO-sponsored event was Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon as commander of the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, and Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13 which experienced critical systems failures.
   The failures caused its scheduled moon landing to be aborted as the crew miraculously limped its broken spacecraft safely back to earth in 1970.

    The event was chronicled in the successful 1995 film "Apollo 13" starring Tom Hanks who portrayed Lovell. The astronauts graciously shared recollections of their out-of-this-world experiences and participated in a question and answer session moderated by TV personality David Hartman.

    After the event, I along with shipmates Chief Bill Clark, also from Connecticut, and Senior Chief Homero Carrillo of California presented each astronaut a Camp Eggers' Chiefs' Mess coin as a token of thanks for their visit, and admiration for their accomplishments.
  The “awarding” of coins is common amongst military commands and individual service members when recognition is warranted but not in an official capacity.

  It was awesome to meet and shake the hands of true American icons and space pioneers. The audience of approximately 100 service members were pretty much awestruck by the astronauts' presence and morale was sky-high that day. It was one of those events in life that we'll never forget.

   I learned of Armstrong’s passing through his Facebook page where friends from Camp Eggers were posting photographs of the astronauts and paying tribute to them.
   These are not ordinary men. Those who got to see them, hear them speak and get photographs of them will never forget what a privilege it was and how much it meant to each one of us.
   These men, in their 70s and 80s, traveled thousands of miles and were being hurriedly ushered from camp to camp in armored vehicles just so that we could have a few hours of distraction from the daily grind of serving in a war zone.
  They are men of the highest caliber.
  We are all sorry to hear of Neil Armstrong’s passing but in the best of Navy traditions, we wish him "Fair Winds and Following Seas."


Henri, an Ansonia resident, works in public affairs for the U.S. Navy.




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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Golf tournament to benefit Derby school

ORANGE - The 2012 Saints Open Golf Tournament to benefit St. Mary–St. Michael School in Derby will be held Oct. 1 at Race Brook Country Club.
Registration for a single golfer is $225 and includes 18 holes of golf, a BBQ lunch, a one-hour open bar, as well as a raw bar and a carving station dinner. 
Foursomes are available for $800.
Sponsor opportunities include shirts, refreshments, beverage carts, and tee signs.
Registration forms, sponsor forms, and the Saints Open brochure can be downloaded at http://stmarystmichaelct.eduk12.net/ under forms and documents.
This event has been rated fun. All are invited. 
For information contact Art Gerckens, agerckens@stmarystmichael.org.



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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Anti-violence march slated at 5:30 p.m. today in Ansonia

Note: This is a re-post for anyone who may have missed it on Monday.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Ansonia march to raise awareness about gun violence

ANSONIA - Resident Shawn Venson has organized a second annual “Stayin’ Alive 25 Community March” at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in memory of his son, Daryl Venson.

Daryl Rhys Venson, 25, was shot and killed March 9, 2011 in front of a convenience store on the corner of Hill Street and Root Avenue. He was unarmed when he was shot in the back in front of 3 Hill St.
No arrests have been made in the case.

The march will start at the corner where Daryl Venson was slain and proceed to Veterans Park on Main Street, adjacent to City Hall.

Last year 200 supporters turned out to march with Shawn Venson and his family to raise awareness about violence in the city. 
 

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Derby school seeks craft vendors

DERBY - Vendors are being sought for the Festival of Trees - Christmas Bazaar at St. Mary–St. Michael School, 14 Seymour Ave.
The annual fair will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Nov. 17.
If you are looking for an event in which to sell your crafts eight-foot tables are available for $25 a day.
To reserve a table call Heidi Maraucci  203-503-1925.

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Crisco, Gentile hail grant for Ansonia operations center

$50,000 to go toward emergency communications generator

State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge and state Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, today welcomed news from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of the imminent release of state funding to help Ansonia acquire a new emergency communications generator. A state grant for $50,000 will help the city underwrite improvements at its Emergency Operations Center at the John G. Prendergast School.

The lawmakers said the item is included on the agenda for next Friday morning’s meeting of the State Bond Commission and expected to receive final approval and allocation at that time.

“The serendipitous timing of this news – on the anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene’s devastation exactly one year ago – is a fitting reminder of how communications difficulties grossly compounded the response to that storm among first responders, other government agencies, and utility companies alike,”  Crisco said.
 “The old generator in Ansonia had far exceeded its life expectancy and replacement parts are no longer available – I’m grateful to Governor Malloy and the state Office of Policy and Management for their favorable consideration of this application to refortify Ansonia’s emergency preparedness in this manner.”

“Making sure that our towns and cities have the tools they need to assist residents during an emergency is absolutely essential,” said Malloy.  “With this funding in place, Ansonia will be in a better position to weather whatever Mother Nature throws our way next.”

“I'm delighted Governor Malloy is continuing his commitment to small cities and emergency preparedness,” Gentile said. “The lessons learned following last year’s October nor'easter and Tropical Storm Irene include having municipalities able to power their emergency infrastructure to better assist residents.  It is encouraging the state is taking action in Ansonia.”

The lawmakers acknowledged the leadership of Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe and the comprehensive application prepared by city Grant Writer Eileen Krugel.

“Ansonia is in urgent need of a generator… for our emergency communications systems (that) serve the primary communications equipment for police, fire, EMS, and Department of Emergency Management Homeland Security Region 2,” Krugel wrote.
“This generator… is limited to the emergency communications equipment, the phone system, boiler and fire safety equipment. The city school bus company also relies on this equipment – this is important in the event of a disaster with evacuations.”

Crisco and Gentile said the urgent need for a new generator to power the communications equipment became undeniable during a recent, statewide emergency preparedness drill held in Ansonia.
The grant itself will be administered by the state Department of Economic and Community Development.


The above was taken from a release from Crisco's office.

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Seymour tennis team attends sports symposium

                   Teammates get together at New Haven Open. / Contributed photo

Several members of the Seymour High School Varsity Tennis Team were chosen to attend the Girls' High School Sports in Connecticut Symposium on Title IX, Celebrating 40 Years of Inspiration at the New Haven Open at Yale presented by Aetna.
Team members who participated were from left, Mallory Briggs, Gabby Zawadzki, moderator Cindy Bronson, EPSN Sports Center Anchor, Katherine Acquavella, Cierra Green, and Monica Mordowanec.
The girls were also treated to an afternoon of tennis play in addition to a panel discussion with several high-powered women in sports. / Contributed photo


This information is taken from a release from Missy Orosz of Seymour. 

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Eating ice cream while working makes for a good day

Ice cream 101: The series continues

On Thursday I was invited to yet another ice cream social... this time at the Doyle Senior Center in Ansonia.
I covered the third annual Ice Cream Social and Games Day hosted by the Ansonia High School Human Relations Club.
It looked like everyone had a fun summer afternoon, as did I.  

Both the young and young-at-heart played bocci, Wii games, line danced and chatted before digging into ice cream sundaes, such as the one pictured below.


Another sundae!

























The photo is blurry because I took it while holding the video camera with one hand. Oh the things we go through to get a photo.

Thanks to Human Relations Club advisor Nick Collicelli for inviting me, and for insisting I join in the sundae party.

I've decided to swear off eating ice cream for a few days. But I'll be back next week with more ice cream stories.

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Derby Neck slates computer classes, preschool programs

DERBY - Beginning Sept 11, computer classes will be run at Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. several times each week.  
On Mondays and Wednesdays a class is offered from 6-7 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays a class meets from 10:30-11:30 a.m.  Students determine their own pace of study with the help of the instructor.
The lessons are best suited for absolute beginners and one visit each week is suggested. 
For details and to register, call Bob, 203-734-1492.
Pre-threes
Beginning Sept. 10,  Pre-threes meet 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 
Beginning Sept. 11,  Been There, Done That, Movin’ On, for 2 and 3 year olds meets Tuesdays at 10 a.m. 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.
Music and Movement 
Also starting Sept. 11 Music and Movement meets Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and again every Thursday at 10 a.m. 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 Tuesdays 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
Beginning Sept. 5 Bedtime Music and Music meets once each month at the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave.  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.

To register for any of the above activities call 203-734-1492.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Conference in Ansonia to aid small businesses

    ANSONIA - A free conference for small businesses and manufacturers will be held Sept. 12 at the Ansonia Armory, 5 State St.
    The Greater Valley Step Up Conference begins at 7:30 a.m. with registration and light refreshments. Presentations and information booth visits are scheduled from 8-10:30 a.m.
    Attendees will learn about opportunities to grow their business.
    Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman is scheduled to attend, as are local and state legislators, municipal officials and area agencies.
    For information call Dolores Ryan, 203-455-2602. To RSVP, register before Sept. 10 at www.ctworkSSw,org /STEPUP.

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Ansonia teachers to hear motivational speaker at convocation

ANSONIA – Steve Sobel, one of the top motivational/lifestyle speakers in the country, will be the keynote speaker for the Opening Day Convocation for Ansonia Public Schools Wednesday at Ansonia High School.
Sobel will present 'The Power and Passion of Extraordinary Educators.” More than 250 teachers and staff are expected to attend the program.
   
Sobel is a former teacher, principal, and special education director who is known widely for his wit, wisdom, humor, and unique insights. He is the author of the “Good Times Handbook-Your Guide to Positive Living and an Exciting Life.”

Superintendent of Schools Carol Merlone will open the program at 8 a.m. in the high school auditorium, followed by remarks from Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe.
After the program, Ansonia teachers will meet and attend workshops in preparation for the opening of the school year Sept. 4.

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Mixing music and ice cream in downtown Ansonia

Ice Cream 101: The series continues

Soul Funk performs Wednesday in Veterans Park. Photo by Patricia Villers

Whew! At least I wasn't the only one eating ice cream Wednesday night at the second summer concert in Veterans Park.
I noticed lots of people lined up to get ice cream from Country Creamery's Fabulous Traveling Sundae Bus. Naturally I had to partake; anything for a blog post.
My daughter and husband joined me in enjoying sundaes, such as the one below.
I was urged to try Country Creamery at 144 Oxford Road, Oxford, so when I saw the bus I appreciated the convenience. It saved me an almost 18-mile round trip.
 
Photo by Allegra Villers

We also enjoyed listening to Soul Funk, a high-energy, New Haven-based band that got the audience up on their feet, singing and dancing to familiar rock, R&B and Motown tunes, mostly from the 60s and 70s.

The Ansonia Cultural Commission is sponsoring three free concerts in the park this summer. The final one, at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5, will feature Ansonia resident Mark Lanzieri, who is well known for his renditions of Sinatra tunes.

See you there!

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Run/walk in Shelton raises $700 for combat wounded

Pictured from left: Capt. Tim Huff*, Steve Frank*, Mary Beth Perelli, Seana Barr (Air Force medic), Lauren (combat wounded in Iraq) and Mike (National Guard veteran) Cust with their daughter Mary May and Lauren’s service dog Dorothy, Ed Michaud*, and Al Meadows* comprised the team that participated in the third Annual Sunset Run For The Warriors, which was comprised of  a 7K race or a 1-mile walk, Aug. 19 in Shelton. The team raised $700 for Hope For The Warriors®.  *Combat wounded in Vietnam / Contributed photo

SHELTON - Five combat wounded veterans, four wounded in Vietnam and one wounded in Iraq, helped to form an eight-person team which participated in the 3rd Annual Sunset Run For The Warriors® Aug.19 to raise money for Hope For The Warriors®. 
The team members participated in either the 7K run or a shorter walk while raising $700 for wounded troops and their families.
The team was formed to support the newly reactivated AMVETS Internet Post 43 which has a mission of “To assist and inform veterans of Afghanistan, Iraqi, and the Global War On Terrorism.”
A total of the 65 new members recruited in the last year and a half have been post 911 veterans. 
The AMVETS are the most inclusive of all the veterans' organizations - the only requirement is an honorable discharge, regardless of where the veteran served. 
Active duty servicemen and women, National Guard and Reserve personnel are eligible for membership.
For information contact Al Meadows al.meadows@snet.net (203) 929-3357.

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Health, safety fair to feature family fun

11th annual event planned Sept. 16

SHELTON  - The 11th Annual Children’s Health and Safety Fair will take on a Family Carnival theme, providing free food, fun, and games along with a variety of health, wellness and safety programs and displays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, One Positive Place.
Sponsored by the Valley Parish Nurses of Griffin Hospital, the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, and Griffin Faculty Practice Primary Care, the fair will feature carnival games, a moon bounce and magic show.
Free food, drinks and healthy snacks will be available.
Other activities include health, wellness and safety interactive displays, a car seat and bike helmet clinic, the Child Identification Program (CHIP), fire engines, safe house rescue vehicles, and much more. Free bike helmets will be available for the first 300 children.
Attendees also will have an opportunity to tour the Griffin Hospital Mobile Health Resource Van, featuring books, magazines, pamphlets, Internet access, audio and video, and other health education materials. Nurses will be available to answer a variety of health-related questions.

The Griffin Hospital Valley Parish Nurse program was established in 1990 and is now one of the largest in the country, with nearly 40 participating churches, more than 125 parish nurses, and 350 additional volunteers who support the nurses and who serve on the health cabinets of the individual churches.

The Boys & Girls Club provides, in a safe environment, programs that inspire, educate, guide, and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.

Griffin Faculty Practice Primary Care is a multi-specialty medical group affiliated with Griffin Hospital, offering exceptional, personalized care to residents in the Lower Naugatuck Valley and surrounding communities at our conveniently located offices in Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton.
For information about the fair, call 203-732-7371 or 203-732-7584.

 This information was taken from a release from Griffin Hospital. 

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Support Ansonia shopkeepers, help fund field repairs

David Conti, an owner of Arrow Printers, Inc. at 311 Main St., Ansonia, is one of more than 20 downtown business owners participating in today's effort to raise funds to cover costs of repairing the vandalized Ansonia High School football field. Damage to about 20,000 square feet of the field was estimated at $15,000. No arrests have been in the case. Photo by Patricia Villers 

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Historian to speak at festival in Oxford

OXFORD - Historian John Babina, Jr. will speak at the annual Peach Festival at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in St. Peter's Church, 421 Oxford Road (Rt. 67).  
He will discuss the history of the Stevenson Dam. After the talk, photos of the building of the Stevenson Dam, old photos of residents of the Riverside area, and photos of the Hale-Coleman Peach Farm in Seymour and Oxford will be on display in Fellowship Hall. 
 
From 4 to 7 p.m. attendees may purchase home-made peach shortcake and ice cream. 
Admission is $1. 
 

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Seymour Rec slates activities


Parent/Toddler Playgroup
The Seymour Recreation Department is now registering for its Toddler Playgroup Program. The play group is for children ages 1 through 4.
Parent/Guardian are required to stay with their child. The sessions are held at the Recreation Center, 20 Pine St. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and will run for eight weeks starting Sept.18  Cost is $20 for Seymour residents; $25 for non-residents.
 Pre-School Sports Mania
The Seymour Recreation Department is now registering for its Pre-School Sports Mania Class. Children aged 2-5 will be able to learn and play various sports that are adapted for their age and ability. 
Activities to include hula hoops, Nerf balls, parachute games, floor hockey and more. Wednesdays 9:30-10:15 a.m. starting Sept. 26 and run for five weeks in the Recreation Department Gym. Cos is $20 for Seymour residents; $25 for non-residents.
Pre-School Craft Class
The Seymour Recreation Department is now registering for its Pre-School Craft Class for children 18 months through 5 years of age. 
Come and get messy and be creative with simple arts and craft projects. Class will meet Wednesdays from 10:15-11 a.m. in the Recreation Department multi-use classroom starting Sept. 26 and will run for five weeks. Cost is $20 for Seymour residents; $25 for non-residents. All supplies are included in the price. To register for any of the above, call Jack Ahearn or Missy Orosz, 203-888-0406.

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Irving School students to get back-to-school boost

Corporate Volunteer Council members pose next to piles of back-to-school items. / Contributed photo

Employees from 46 companies from Valley United Way’s Corporate Volunteer Council (CVC) will join together in the gym at Irving School in Derby Thursday for the 17th Back to School Clothes for Kids project with outstanding results.
About 200 Derby schoolchildren in need from Irving and Bradley schools will be presented with bins filled with two complete outfits, underwear, socks, sneakers, a winter coat and a backpack filled with school supplies. Their happy smiling faces guarantee that they will have that extra step in their walk as they begin their year at school.
To date the CVC has outfitted 2,402 Valley children and spent $480,400.

Interim Derby Superintendent of Schools George Tanner along with Jennifer Olson, Irving School Principal and Christine DiGrazia, Bradley School Principal, will be on hand to greet the children and thank the CVC companies for their generous donations.

The goal of the CVC project is to provide new clothing to needy children at the start of the school year in an effort to improve attendance on the first days of school and boost confidence. National statistics show that many underprivileged children miss the first few days of school simply because they do not have new clothes to wear.
The CVC hopes that by providing the children with clothes and school supplies, they will be encouraged to do their best while receiving a boost to their self-esteem. CVC Companies strongly feel that the attendance of the children on the first day of school attributes to this program’s success

The CVC is a coalition of local businesses and corporations that have an active employee volunteer involvement program.  The CVC is proud to play a vital role in boosting self-esteem and confidence by helping children to look and feel their best when they attend school, which has a proven positive effect on educational performance.
For information contact Valley United Way’s Volunteer Center Director, Patricia Tarasovic, 203-926-9478 or at patricia.tarasovic@valleyunitedway.org.

The above information was contributed by Patricia Tarasovic, Valley United Way.

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Valley United Way names resource development director

Sara German
Valley United Way is pleased to announce the appointment of Sara German as Director of Resource Development.
She will be in charge of all aspects of the annual community campaign, special events and leadership and endowment giving.
She will also be coordinating the of United Way’s Marketing Committee.
German jad her desire kindled for United Way service a decade ago when she was a member of the Youth Leadership Program and discovered the importance and rewards of community service through United Way.
The Ansonia High School graduate developed a passion that followed her to Central Connecticut State University where she earned a BA in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science.
She put those skills to work at Valley United Way during her senior year when she served as an unpaid intern in communications and marketing.
Following graduation, Sara went to work at the United Way of Mid-Maine in Waterville, Maine where she served as Resource Development Coordinator. She helped coordinate all aspects of a successful community campaign that raised $730,000 over a large, rural area in Maine.
She returned to Connecticut, and has been working for the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County as Program Coordinator of the Voluntary Action Center there. She helped build the Center within the United Way structure.
She has also served as a volunteer during that time as well as a volunteer advisor to Valley United Way's Youth Leadership Program.

German said, "From the day I graduated from Youth Leadership I knew that I wanted to work for United Way."
Jack Walsh, President and C.O.O. at Valley United Way said, "We are thrilled to have Sara fulfill a long time dream and return to Valley United Way. However, we are even more pleased to have someone with her passion and skills join us just as we begin the annual Community Fund Raising Campaign."
He noted that with her knowledge of the community, her work with two United Ways and her strong communication and marketing skills that she will make an immediate impact and a long career with United Way.

Valley United Way is the leading philanthropic resource for the Valley towns of Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton matching the needs of the community and the interests of donors to improve the quality of life in the community.
United Way supports and creates initiatives addressing youth, families and people in crisis. Each year Valley United Way funds programs and organizations that make a measurable difference in the lives of people living and working in the Valley.


The above is taken from a release from Jack Walsh, President and Chief Operating Officer, Valley United Way. 

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Ansonia woman named 'everyday hero'

Honored by Bridgeport Hospital rehab center after recovering from stroke
Dorothy "Dee" Marinelli of Ansonia, second from right, receives honor
Dorothy “Dee” Marinelli of Ansonia is the recipient of this year’s Everyday Hero Award from Bridgeport Hospital’s Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers for her determined efforts to recover from a stroke in February 2011.
The award is presented at the Ahlbin Centers Auxiliary annual luncheon to a patient who has made significant progress and demonstrated outstanding spirit and courage in the face of disability.

“Dee’s stroke left her with a limited range of motion, decreased strength and decreased coordination in her right arm and hand,” says occupational therapist Kristin Edgerton. “Dee is right-handed so this made most of the activities of daily living very difficult for her.”
Dee arrived at her outpatient therapy evaluation in a wheelchair and could only stand for about five minutes at a time. Her ability to speak was also affected by the stroke.

The Ahlbin Centers therapy team focused first on increasing the range of motion in Dee’s arm. She started working with a device called a SaeboFlex, which helps the hand grasp and release and strengthen the upper arm.
Therapists then worked with Dee on activities of daily living such as sitting, standing, climbing stairs and balance. They also helped Dee to improve her ability to speak, at first by producing yes/no responses to basic questions and then by formulating meaningful phrases and sentences.
“Dee displayed unbelievable motivation and effort at every single treatment session,” said occupational therapist Sue Rhode. “She was always positive, determined and encouraged challenges, no matter how difficult.”
Dee received outpatient occupational, physical and speech therapy from March to November 2011. She quickly became independent in carrying out daily activities, such as cooking, cleaning and caring for her four-year-old son.
Now 46, Dee has progressed from being in a wheelchair to walking with a cane and being to climb and descend stairs.
Since ending her therapy sessions, Dee has installed hardwood floors in her home, mowed the lawn and chopped wood. Her physician has even allowed her to resume driving.
“Dee demonstrated tenacity in an incredibly difficult situation,” said speech therapist Renee Dagostine. “She jumped headfirst into resuming her life and making the most of it. She taught us all about perseverance, strength and bravery. She has greatly touched us all.”

Ahlbin Centers provides inpatient rehabilitation services at Bridgeport Hospital and outpatient services in Bridgeport, Shelton, Southport, Stratford and Trumbull.
Services include physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as early childhood and geriatric programs.   

The above release was contributed by Bridgeport Hospital.

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Dip-Top's treats get thumbs up

Ice Cream 101: The series continues

Life can get crazy and complicated, and that pretty much is why I started this series.

I simply wanted to have some fun: finding ice cream spots; consuming frozen treats; spending some time with my two grown children; and writing about my experiences.  

But I've not posted about ice cream in almost two weeks, and thought it was about time to do just that.
So Monday afternoon son Cameron and I headed to Dip-Top at 263 Boston Post Road, at the corner of Old Tavern Road in Orange. That corner at the five-way intersection has been home to delicious ice cream and other frozen treats since 1956.

If I said I remember when the location was once the home of Tastee Freez, I'd be dating myself.

Well I guess I just did.

I wonder when it became Dip-Top? I remember the building was devastated by a fire in 1999, but I don't think it was still Tastee Freez when that occurred.

Does anyone else remember the old Tastee Freez? 

I chose classic chocolate soft serve, but of course I had to have it topped with strawberry sauce and whipped cream to make it even more sinfully good.


Cameron was fine with just getting a cup of cake batter ice cream. It was even richer than the cake batter ice cream he has had in the past because it was full of chocolate chips.
He gave it two thumbs up.


As you can see from the photos we sat on a bench facing the busy Boston Post Road, not the quietest location. But we enjoyed anyway.

I guess we should have ordered ice cream cones with a dip top, to put the house specialty to the test.

Next time!

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