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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

O'Brien students, staff commended on fund-raising

Griffin Hospital initiative gains support 
Cheerleaders at Emmett O'Brien Technical High School in Ansonia use pom pons Friday to form a breast cancer awareness ribbon to support The Valley Goes Pink initiative to raise funds for The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital in Derby. 
The school raised $950 through the sale of pink T-shirts, wristbands, and carnations and participation in a volleyball game. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Photo contributed by Rodney Vardon

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School closings

From the City of Ansonia website:

Due to road closures, Ansonia schools are closed, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012

And from Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller's Facebook Page:

"School will be closed tomorrow. I am sorry for the delay in the decision but we tried to do the best we could with a difficult situation.

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Ansonia, Derby battle house fire

No injuries reported in afternoon blaze
House at 2 Beechwood Terrace, Ansonia. Patricia Villers/Register 
Ansonia and Derby firefighters responded late Wednesday afternoon to the scene of a house fire at 2 Beechwood Terrace in Ansonia's Hilltop section. Two people inside the house escaped uninjured, Ansonia Assistant Chief Ed Adamowski said. Smoke was coming from the basement when firefighters arrived, he said. Engines 3, 5, and 6 and Truck 7 were on scene, as was a firetruck from Derby. Fire Marshal Ralph Tingley was on the scene investigating the cause of the blaze. Patricia Villers/Register

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Seymour school decision will be made by 8 p.m.

"A decision on school will be made by 8 pm. Crews are currently working to get the high school up and running. As soon as the decision is made by the Superintendent, I will post it."
This is from Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller's Facebook page.

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Derby library invites kids to read to therapy dog

DERBY - The Derby Public Library welcomes Margie Miles and Sandy her therapy dog from 6-7 p.m. Nov. 27.
Children ages 5-11 are invited to share a book with Sandy during this reading enrichment program.
Each child will be given a 10-15 minute time slot to read to Sandy. 

Sandy and Margie are registered with Therapy Dogs, Inc. and volunteer at local schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. 
This is a great opportunity for beginner or reluctant readers, as well as experienced readers, to build confidence, enhance their reading skills and encourage a love of reading.
Come select a book from “Sandy’s Favorites” on display each month in the Children’s Room. 
Registration is requested. For information or to register, call the Children’s Room, 203-736-1482, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth S., or visit the Library website at www.derbypubliclibrary.org

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Low vision support group to host speaker

SHELTON - The next meeting of a low vision support group - Learn to See the World - will be at 3 p.m. Nov. 14 in the library at Crosby Commons at Wesley Village, 580 Long Hill Ave.

Speaker will be Mark Leventhal, a member of the Board of Directors of the Blind Veterans Association, Connecticut Regional Group. He will discuss ideas for handling the "holiday blues."
The meeting is free and open to the public. Individuals with low vision or are legally blind are encouraged to attend for fellowship and support. Light refreshments will be served.

Contact group facilitator Mary Ann Milano, Activities Director at Crosby Commons,  203-225-5018 or at mamilano@umh.org.


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Forum slated Thursday in Shelton


NOTICE: CHARTER REVISION OF CITY OF SHELTON


There will be a Public Forum for Questions and Answers regarding the Charter Revision for the City of Shelton at 7 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium at City Hall, 54 Hill St., Shelton.
Copies of the current Charter are available in the City Town Clerk’s office and the City of Shelton website.

This information was provided by the City of Shelton.

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Power returns to Seymour Town Hall

From the office of Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller's Facebook Page:

"Town Hall has power back and will be open tomorrow from 8 a.m. until 5:30 pm. The Town Clerk's office will also be open on Friday from 9 a.m. until noon. More information will follow."

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'Ghost' captured outside Sterling Opera House


Derby resident Alexis Pudimat, 11, took this photo of the front door of the Sterling Opera House with her iPhone before the Haunted Lantern Tours last week. The shadow in the center seems to be wearing a long coat and a Derby bowler hat.

The Sterling Opera House on Elizabeth Street in Derby will be featured at 3:30 p.m. today on The Travel Channel show, "Destination Fear."

Happy Halloween!


Photo and information about the opera house's "first outside spirit" were contributed by Derby Cultural Commission co-chairman Rich DiCarlo.


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Sandy stuns Seymour


Residents deal with fallen trees, power outages

Pine tree crashed on top of two cars in driveway of home at Oakwood Drive in Seymour.

 A tree fell across South Main Street, downing power lines.
  
This tree fell across Wycliffe Terrace.

 And this is another view.

Large pine tree fell on a house on Rimmon Hill Road.


Photos by Register Correspondent Jean Falbo-Sosnovich.

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Shelton fire official urges caution during power outages

SHELTON  - The Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau urges everyone to exercise caution when using alternate means of generating electricity, lighting, and cooking, during the power outages.

Ted Pisciotta, Assistant Chief, Fire Prevention, states such outages can present fire hazards that many people might not normally think about. Recent severe weather has been a reminder of how important it is to be prepared and keep safety in mind.
The fire prevention bureau recommends planning ahead of time and offers the following safety tips:

·    If you have a portable generator, or other fuel-powered appliance, only run and use it outdoors with adequate ventilation. Never use a generator or fuel powered equipment indoors, within a basement, or in a shed or garage even if doors and windows are open. Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if inhaled. This is in addition to the fire hazards associated with fuels involved with this equipment. Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors, and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions.

·    Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy duty, outdoor rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load.
 
 ·    Avoid the use of candles. With a variety of alternative sources of lighting available, candles should not be needed. Instead use battery operated lighting and flashlights or glowsticks that do not require flame.

·   Never use charcoal grills or camp stoves indoors. Deaths have occurred when consumers burned charcoal or used camp stoves in enclosed spaces, which produced lethal levels of carbon monoxide.

·   Install carbon monoxide alarms immediately outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home to protect against CO poisoning. Change the alarms' batteries every year.

    Finally, 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 “911” for help.  And remember to practice your home escape plan.

  For information, contact the Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau, 203- 924-1555 or on the web under “Public Safety” at www.cityofshelton.org.
   

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Naugatuck Valley communities dodge fallen trees from Hurricane Sandy

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent
and Patricia Villers
Register Staff

If you didn’t live immediately along the coastline the biggest inconvenience residents faced was a loss of power and downed trees, and the Naugatuck Valley was no different.

Seymour

First Selectman Kurt Miller said both large and small trees fell, taking power lines down with them, all over town, including Wycliff Terrance and South Main Street. Several streets remained closed until power crews can assess the situations. The trees have to be removed first before workers can get the power restored.

“Our teams are out again today focusing on opening up roadways, as there are many closed right now,” Miller said. “CL&P has provided us our own line and tree crew team that can work with our emergency personnel and public works to achieve this. As of right now, we are still assessing damage and have no estimates for power restoration.”

The emergency shelter at Seymour Middle School will be open Wednesday until 8 p.m. for residents to shower, charge their phones and stay warm, but there will be no food or overnight accommodations available.

Miller said the police department and Seymour Ambulance Association are open as charging stations and have water. Both fire departments also have water available.

Miller applauded residents for their patience, and all of the staff and volunteers who have helped the town since the storm began.

Ansonia resident Joe Morley went to check on his mom, who lives on Wycliff Terrace in Seymour, but was stopped dead in his tracks three times, due to massive trees laid out across various roads. A huge oak tree on Wycliff uprooted sometime overnight Tuesday, taking down power lines and knocking out power to surrounding neighborhoods.

“She (my mom) lives right on the other side of that tree,” Morley said. “I want to check on her to see how she’s doing.”

Russ Gloersen of Pearl Street was without power since Monday afternoon, and said he’s been “catching up on his sleep” during the outage. He picked up some cold medicine at CVS Tuesday, and was driving around and looking at some of the storm damage.
It was a tree on South Main Street that cracked in half and landed on power lines that took Gloerson’s power out.

Allison Bopp, of Warren Drive, lost power around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning. Luckily, she had an electrician come last month and outfitted the home with a generator. In anticipation of Halloween, Boop’s daughters spent the day carving and painting pumpkins.

Miller said he was unsure yet if Halloween could go on as planned tomorrow night, due to safety issues.

Derby

Derby Mayor Anthony Staffieri said Tuesday afternoon his city “weathered the storm pretty well. The rain event wasn’t there like originally predicted, but we had wind damage.”

The wind knocked down trees, and knocked out power to a good number of households, including Staffieri’s home in east Derby. He said the electricity went off at about 5 p.m. Monday. “I ended up reading a book by candlelight,” he said. “That was different.”

Staffieri said he had done a lot of driving around the entire city to assess damage over the past 24 hours and saw a lot of downed trees.

Staffieri said no one used the emergency shelter that had been set up at Derby Middle School. “No one even called to ask about it. Nobody was in need.”

Most of Derby’s east side remained without power, and traffic lights at busy intersections along Route 34 were not working, making travel difficult. City officials encouraged people to stay home so workers could begin the restoration process.

Trash pick-up was suspended Tuesday and is expected to resume Wednesday.
The Community Center, at 35 Fifth St., is open for residents without power, affording residents an opportunity to shower and charge their electronics. It will open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Residents need to bring their own toiletries.

Ansonia

About a dozen people took refuge Monday night at an emergency shelter at Ansonia High School.

Ansonia Rescue Medical Services member Bob Bialek said the shelter closed Tuesday.

“We had a full crew on overnight, both staff and volunteers,” Bialkes said. “It was an uneventful night.” He said everyone had food provided by cafeteria staff, including a hot dinner of chicken and rice.

By 10:30 a.m. all of the clients who had stayed had returned home.

“We had a mother with two teen daughters come in," he said. “A tree brushed their house and took down power lines, so she decided they would be better off here.”

Bialek said a wind gust Monday night ”sucked all the doors wide open and blew the doormats” down the sidewalk in front of the school.

Bialek said he went home for four hours’ rest and his Prospect Street home had lost power.

He also commended the custodians and police personnel who were on hand for the duration.


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School closings

Public schools in Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, and Shelton are closed Wednesday, officials have announced.

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Storm's aftermath in Ansonia

The roof of this Ansonia house seems to have dodged a bullet during Sandy's wrath.

Do you have photos of storm damage to share? If so, e-mail me at pvillers@nhregister.com and I will post them here.

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Sandy snarls Valley traffic

I took a drive around parts of Derby and Ansonia this afternoon and can report that many traffic lights at major intersections were not working.


This is what greeted drivers who were headed down Pulaski Highway (Route 243) and planned to turn left onto Prindle Avenue in Ansonia. A utility truck can be seen on Prindle Avenue late Tuesday afternoon.
The power outage reportedly affected Platt Street and Elm Street, including the Ansonia Police Department. The same outage also affected Academy Hill Road, David Humphreys Road, and other streets off of those main thoroughfares in Derby's Hilltop section.



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Power outage at PD

As of 3:20 pm. today (Tuesday) the Ansonia Police Department had been without power since Monday night.
The department's phone number, 203-735-1885, is working. 

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DellaVolpe provides update


From Ansonia's website:
 
10/30/2012 - Tuesday's Message from the Mayor
 
This is Mayor DellaVolpe with an emergency update from the City of Ansonia Emergency Operations Center.
We are now working on the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy.  Crews from United Illuminating are currently in the City of Ansonia and working on making the downed wires safe.  When that is completed, restoration efforts will begin.  There are currently 1,411 customers in Ansonia that are without power.
There are several major roads that are currently closed due to downed trees and power lines which include sections of Division Street, Prindle Avenue and Beaver Street.  Please avoid these areas and use alternate routes.
The Ansonia Board of Education will be making a decision on the opening of school for Wednesday.  They will be sending out a message on the Connect Ed system later today with an update.
The emergency shelter at the Ansonia High School is closed as of noon today.
Residents may place storm debris on their lawns next to the roadway.  Public Works personnel will begin pickups once roadways have been cleared of debris.
There will be no further Code Red alerts unless a need arises.
Thank you for your cooperation during the storm.

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Ansonia closing info


From the city's website:
10/30/2012 - City Hall will be closed on Tuesday.
 
Due to weather concerns, Ansonia City Hall will be closed on Tuesday, Oct. 30. 
This includes all non-essential city facilities, including City Hall, Library, Nature Center, Senior Center. 
Please stay safe.

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Food safety tips offered - when in doubt, throw it out






This information is provided by Griffin Hospital.

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Photos, info sought

Dear Valley Readers,

Any photos of the aftermath or information about your neighborhood - debris on the roads, power outages - would be greatly appreciated.

Send to pvillers@nhregister.com, and I will post photos and info here on the blog, and submit them to the Register's website, nhregister.com.

Thanks, and I hope everyone reading this is safe and sound.

Patti

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Ansonia notifies residents of damage

10/29/2012 - Ansonia Emergency Notification
This is an emergency notification from the City of Ansonia.

The City of Ansonia is currently being hit with severe winds from Hurricane Sandy.  Gusts have been recorded near 60 miles per hour.  The severe winds are expected to last for several more hours.

There are numerous trees and live power lines down within the city and numerous residents are without power. 

The emergency services including fire, police, and medical personnel are prioritizing calls and are only responding to life-threatening emergencies at this time.  If you have a life-threatening emergency, please dial 911. 

We are asking that all residents remain in their homes if it is safe to do so and do not walk or drive on city roads until they can be cleared of debris and live power lines.
Please be safe.

Thank you.

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At the ready in Ansonia

Ansonia's Mass Casualty Unit vehicle on the scene this morning at the emergency shelter at Ansonia High School. Patricia Villers/Register

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Preparing for Sandy in Derby


Preparations were being made earlier today on Elizabeth Street.


DERBY - With Hurricane Sandy literally “knocking on the door” preparations have been ongoing locally. 
Above a public works employee removes the Commodore Isaac Hull banners from the downtown light poles.

In photo below, public works employee Frank Pelaccia was part of a crew that closed the downtown flood gates. Several workers are needed to close the gates.  

Pelaccia is lowering “the skirts” once the gates are closed to help prevent flow from coming under the gates.

Even though Metro North service had been suspended, Derby Public Works is in contact with Metro North when the gates need to be closed.

Derby Mayor Anthony Staffieri has been meeting with department heads from Public Works, Police, Office of Emergency Management, Fire, Ambulance, Education and the Water Pollution Control Authority. They will continue to meet until the storm has passed. 
Members of the Office of Emergency Management will monitor the storm from the command center located in the basement of Derby City Hall.

This information was contributed by Derby resident MarkAnthony Izzo.

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Sandy stronger than Hurricane of '38

According to an e-mail from CTNewsAlert.com, the "National Hurricane Center is now saying that Sandy is stronger than the great Hurricane of 1938 as far as low pressure goes."

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Valley residents taking a wait and see attitude

 
Ansonia resident Bob Bialek, a member of Ansonia Rescue Medical Services, shows the sanitized cots that are available to evacuees seeking shelter in the Ansonia High School gym. Patricia Villers/Register


By Patricia Villers
Register Staff
and Jean-Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent


Naugatuck Valley residents took a wait and see attitude concerning Hurricane Sandy.
As of late Monday morning just one senior citizen was staying in the emergency shelter the city had opened at 8 a.m. at Ansonia High School.

Beverly Favreau, who lives in the Ansonia Housing Authority’s Central Street Apartments complex, was reading as she sat on a cot in the gymnasium.

“I just was concerned when I saw on the TV that parking lots in Stratford were flooded,” Favreau said, and she decided to evacuate. Her sister gave her a ride to the shelter, she said.
Favreau was 11 when the Flood of ’55 devastated the Valley, and she said she has vivid memories of the devastation.

“You can’t trust the Naugatuck River,” she said.

Favreau was living on Maple Street in Seymour at the time and remembers that her church, Seymour Congregational on Broad Street, sustained a lot of damage. “I hope my church is going to be OK,” she said.

Ansonia Rescue Medical Services’ member Bob Bialek, of Ansonia, gave a visitor a tour of the shelter. He said boys’ locker room facilities are being used for men, and girls’ locker room facilities are available for women.

Bialek said the city has made accommodations to have Valley Transit District buses and buses from Emmett O’Brien (Technical High School) available “to use if a mass evacuation is needed.”

The high school is at 20 Pulaski Highway. Ansonia Rescue Medical Services’ personnel stationed there said they were there for the duration of the storm.
“We’re prepared to be here as long as necessary,” Bialek said. Drinking water is available there, as are 150 sanitized cots and blankets from Federal Emergency Management Agency, he said.

EMT Terry Godfrey, of Ansonia, said cafeteria employees were there preparing lunch for workers and shelter clients.

She had her 15-year old twins, Andrew and Jenn, with her to help at the shelter. “They’re Junior Corps members,” Godfrey said, and have been involved with the organization for many years.

Godfrey said last year during Hurricane Irene three people, parents with a child, sought shelter at the high school.

Major Theresa Burkholder from the Ansonia-based Greater Valley Salvation Army arrived at the shelter to offer her agency’s assistance.

“We’re available if there’s a need,” Burkholder said. “We can provide meals, and we have blankets, toiletries, diapers, and other supplies,” she said.

Burkholder said she would deliver items to Ansonia High School if requested.


The above story is also at www.nhregister.com. Check back for updates.

Update: Derby Mayor Anthony Staffieri said that at 2 p.m. he had just returned from areas of the city near the Housatonic River.

He said McConney’s Grove off Roosevelt Drive and O’Sullivan’s Island were “still in great shape. There were no significant water problems.”

Staffieri said he expected heavy wind could cause problems later today.

“Wind could knock down trees which could down power lines,” he said.

Staffieri said he held several meetings with department heads Monday.

“Their equipment is in good working order, and the flood gates have been closed,” he said.

If it’s necessary the city will open Derby Middle School as a shelter, with Bradley School as a secondary location if needed, he said.

“We have food and water, we’re prepared.”

Staffieri said it appeared that City Hall would be closed tomorrow.

“We encourage people to call the police department, the fire department, or public works,” he said. “Right now they are waiting for a call. Hopefully there won’t be any calls. That means that there were no problems.”  


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Derby emergency numbers

The phone number for Derby Emergency Management: 203-736-1459.

Derby Police Department: 203-735-7811.

Derby Public Works: 203-736-1468.

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Emergency info from Derby

The city of Derby is disseminating information from its Facebook page.

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Info from Ansonia website


10/29/2012 - Trash collection for Tuesday is suspended until Wednesday in Ansonia.
 
Trash collection will be suspended tomorrow until Wednesday. All pick-ups for the remainder of the week will be a day later.

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Ansonia closes flood gate

This is an e-mail message from CTNewsAlert@aol.com:

"ANSONIA - We have just been advised that Ansonia has closed the flood gate located on West Main Street near the train station in response to Sandy."

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Resources offered for area disabled

Here's a note from Ansonia resident Cathy Adamczyk:
  
"Below is some important information about a great resource for people with disabilities.  Keep the information handy in case you need to access some supports.  Stay safe, all!"

Good afternoon Connecticut Partners, 

As we prepare for Hurricane Sandy, I am happy to share that we have a wonderful resource headed to Connecticut
to support our efforts. 

Dave Schaad, FEMA Disability Integration Advisor, is traveling from Denver to Connecticut to support efforts to ensure the needs of people with disabilities, access, and functional needs are being addressed. 
Dave will arrive in Connecticut tomorrow and his contact information is david.schaad@fema.dhs.gov and his cell phone is 303-999-7923. 
Please keep David in the loop for any questions or concerns.

Thank you and be safe!


Kate McCarthy-Barnett
Regional Disability Integration Specialist
Office of Regional Administrator DHS/FEMA Region I99
High Street, 6th Fl

Boston, MA 02110 (617) 816-6351 (cell)
kate.mccarthybarnett@fema.dhs.gov

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Flood concerns in Shelton


Report: Shelton residents may be asked to evacuate due to potential river flooding

The Valley Independent Sentinel is reporting on its website that Shelton residents may be asked to evacuate especially if the Housatonic River flood.

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Storm info: Ansonia City Hall to close


From the city's website:
City Hall is open Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
 
Due to weather concerns, Ansonia City Hall will close at 12:30. Please stay safe.

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in recognition of November being Diabetes Awareness Month, the Diabetes Education & Support Group at Griffin Hospital will host a free presentation about diabetes treatments from 6:30 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13 in the hospital’s dining room at 130 Division Street in Derby.
Dr. Liquin Song, Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, will present “New Treatments for Diabetes.” 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 more information, call Mary Swansiger, R.N., MPH, at 203.732.1137.

The waiting is the hardest part

Sandy is on her way, now all I see is gray.
There is occasional wind but that's nothing compared to what is supposed to get here.

If any readers have photos to share, please send them to pvillers@nhregister.com.
I will post them here on the Valley blog and submit them to be used on our site, nhregister.com.

Also, please e-mail any storm-related information you'd like me to post here as well.

Stay safe!



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Sunday, October 28, 2012

A note from the Ansonia Nature Center

ANSONIA - The Nature Center will be open Monday morning so the staff can tend to the resident animals, according to a note posted this evening on Facebook. 
The weather will determine the length that the center will remain open tomorrow. We wish all our friends a safe couple of days as we all get through this storm.

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Ansonia updates emergency info

10/28/2012 - Sandy - Sunday evening update (taken from the City of Ansonia website)
 

This information was sent out earlier on a CodeRed alert:

Hello, this is Mayor James DellaVolpe with an important message from the City of Ansonia.
The current forecast shows that Hurricane Sandy will impact the City of Ansonia after midnight tonight with the worst of the weather during the day and evening on Monday and into Tuesday.  While the track of the storm may change, we can expect to receive hurricane force winds and heavy rain over a one or two-day period.  Be prepared for street and basement flooding as well as power outages. 
Please stay away from any downed trees, poles, or power lines.  During the height of the storm, police, fire, and emergency medical crews may only be able to respond to life-threatening emergencies. Please call 911 to report emergencies. 
The City of Ansonia’s emergency managements personnel will be staffing the emergency operations center beginning tonight at 100 p.m. and continuing thru the storm and the immediate cleanup.
The City of Ansonia has made the decision to open the Emergency Shelter on Monday at 8 a.m. for those seeking emergency shelter. The emergency shelter is located at the Ansonia High School on Pulaski Highway.  Any residents that are going to the shelter are asked to bring any medication, pillow, blankets, and personal toiletries. 
If needed, an animal shelter will be opened at Prendergast School. Any animals need to be caged and the resident is required to supply food for the animal.  One resident will be needed to remain at the school with their animal.
Depending on the amount of damage caused by the storm, assistance with debris removal may be delayed for several days after the storm.
City crews have begun cleaning catch basins and will continue to do so until the storm priorities dictate otherwise.  If possible, we would appreciate any assistance in keeping these catch basins unobstructed to help reduce local flooding. 
We will be updating residents as the need arises. (See below for UI outage information.)
Thank you and be safe.
Mayor James Della Volpe


UI Outage information:
The United Illuminating Company encourages all of its customers to be prepared for the impending storm.  
First of all, please be safe.  Always remember to stay far away from any downed power lines.  Assume downed wires are live, stay far away and please call UI at 1-800-722-5584.
 Also, if you witness utility crews at work in your area....... please allow them to complete restoration work. 
These crews have limited direct information for the public and restoring power to neighborhoods is often delayed when they are detained by well-intentioned customers.
The best option is to call UI at 1-800-722-5584 or visit the website at uinet.com for updates and information. 
You can also get information by following the UI on Twitter @UnitedIllum.

As an Ansonia resident, I was pleasantly surprised to get a phone call from the mayor minutes ago with this information. 

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Storm photos? Please share them with The Register

A paraphrased note from Register Metro Editor Brian McCready:
If you have any Sandy-related pictures, please e-mail them to bmccready@nhregister.com.
Thanks and stay safe!

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

City website posts emergency information

The following information taken from the City of Ansonia's website is a storm note for oxygen dependent and medically fragile residents.

Please note: oxygen dependent and medically fragile residents should take heed of the impending storm. 
Spare batteries should be charged in the event of power outages; medications should be filled; along with other emergency procedures (as noted in Mayor James Della Volpe’s press release – see below).


If you need assistance, contact the Ansonia Police Department at: 

                                                                 203-735-1885
          (Please save this number by your phone)
* It is noted for oxygen dependent residents to contact this number if you see your supply running low, but prior to running out.


The mayor's press release issued Friday is below:

Hurricane Sandy Preparations

October 26, 2012



ANSONIAMayor James Della Volpe announced today that the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is working on preparations for the impending storm next week. The National Weather Service is forecasting Hurricane Sandy to make an east coast landfall late Monday.

“This morning we held a preliminary EOC meeting with all departments and will be closely monitoring the storm situation,” Della Volpe said. The EOC is comprised of Ansonia’s various departments which include: police, fire, medical, education, and public works. Representatives from area utilities will also work out of the EOC to coordinate local response to issues as they arise.

The EOC is led by Della Volpe and Police Chief Kevin Hale, the city’s Emergency Management Director.

Della Volpe also urged residents to take heed of hurricane preparedness tips provided by the Department of Emergency Management Homeland Security:

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
·        One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
·        At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
·        Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
·        Flashlight and extra batteries
·        First aid kit
·        A whistle to signal for help
·        Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
·        Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
·        Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
·        Local maps
·        Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Family Emergency Plan
·        Identify an out-of town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
·        Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
·        Teach family members how to use text messaging. Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
·        Subscribe to alert services. Many communities/states now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about severe weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. In Ansonia, go to www.CityofAnsonia.com  to register for Code Red alerts (at the bottom of the home page).

UNLESS EVACUATION OF A RESIDENCE IS ORDERED OR A MEDICAL EMERGENCY EXISTS, RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO REMAIN INSIDE THEIR RESIDENCE AND STAY OFF THE ROADS DURING THE HURRICANE.

EMERGENCY SHELTER INFORMATION
As part of the emergency operations plan, the City of Ansonia is making preparations to open an emergency shelter for Ansonia residents, if needed.  In event that the emergency shelter is needed, the opening of the shelter shall be posted on the City of Ansonia web site at www.CityofAnsonia.com.  Additionally, information can be obtained by calling the Ansonia Police Department at 203-735-1885.

The primary emergency shelter for the City of Ansonia will be located at the Ansonia High School, 20 Pulaski Highway.  Parking will be available in the high school parking lots.  Residents that elect to use the shelter are encouraged to bring blankets, pillows and any emergency supplies that will be needed for a short-term stay.  No domestic animals except for emergency service dogs will be allowed in this emergency shelter. 

EMERGENCY PET SHELTER
If the primary emergency shelter is opened, the pet shelter will be located at Mead School, 75 Ford St.  Residents will be required to provide food and a kennel for their pets while at the shelter.

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS

Police/Fire/Medical Emergencies – 911 or 203-735-1885
Power Outages should be reported to United Illuminating at 1-800-722-5584 or 203-499-3333.

“Our main concern is for the safety and security of our residents,” Della Volpe said. “We ask all residents to take this weather event seriously.”

The EOC will be meeting late Sunday afternoon to monitor updates and continue storm preparations. Updated information will be posted on the City of Ansonia’s website (www.CityofAnsonia.com) and local media as it becomes available. Please share this information with neighbors that do not have computer access.
 

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Valley officials preparing for Sandy

Note: In case you missed it, here is info I got from officials yesterday. Stay safe!


Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe announced Friday the city's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is working on preparations for the impending storm next week.

"This morning we held a preliminary EOC meeting with all departments and will be closely monitoring the storm situation," Della Volpe said. The EOC is comprised of Ansonia's police, fire, medical, education, and public works departments.

Representatives from area utilities will also work out of the EOC to coordinate local response to issues as they arise.

The EOC is led by Della Volpe and Police Chief Kevin Hale, the city's Emergency Management Director.

In Seymour, police spokesman Lt. Paul Satkowski said police and town emergency officials have already met several times to put plans in place.

“We had a lot of experience last year (dealing with Hurricane Irene and the late October snowstorm) and we will build off of that,” he said.
“We have our cars gassed up and our equipment in place (if needed) to block off roads,” Satkowski said.

Derby officials are “closely monitoring” the storm, Mayor Anthony Staffieri said. “On Monday morning I’ll have a meeting with all the department heads for the whole city,” he said, to make final preparations.

“Public works has been clearing storm drains and lowering the ponds and reservoirs and testing the flood gates," Staffieri said. “We’re going through all the steps” to prepare, he said. 


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Friday, October 26, 2012

FRIDAY FIVE: A recap of Valley stories

These are five of the stories that made headlines in the Valley this week.
They are written by Register Reporter Patricia Villers and Register Correspondent Jean Falbo-Sosnovich and are listed in no particular order.



State approves Seymour traffic project.

Derby elementary school wins arts grant.

Griffin Hospital now 'Baby-Friendly.'

Church celebrates new chapel filled with icons from Ansonia church.

Valley food banks get much-needed funding.


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Love babies? Of course!

Griffin Hospital wins Baby-Friendly designation 
 

Several first-time moms and their babies attended a celebration Thursday of Griffin Hospital's designation as a Baby-Friendly hospital. Pictured from left are Alina Probierz of Seymour with Liliana Nowak, nine months; Meghan Cole of Milford with Ella, 11 months; and Jaimie Kassheimer of Ansonia with Zach Kassheimer, nine months. Patricia Villers/Register


Griffin is one of only five hospitals in Connecticut to receive the designation. See story today for more on this upbeat award.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Griffin Gala 2012 to benefit VITAHLS initiative

Event will be held at Shubert Theater 

Griffin Hospital's Griffin Gala 2012 will be held Thursday at the Shubert Theater in New Haven
It will feature a special celebrity musical performance by Megan Hilty, star of NBC's hit series Smash and Broadway's "Wicked." The evening will benefit the VITAHLS program.

Griffin Gala 2012 will include a reception, dining in downtown New Haven, auctions, and a performance by Hilty. 
Learn more at www.griffinhealth.org/gala.

For information contact Katherine Bequary, event coordinator, at 203-732-7504 or kbequary@griffinhealth.org.

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Safe Kids, FedEx offer Halloween safety tips

On average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than on other days of the year. But with some simple precautions, kids can stay safe.
Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley, Griffin Hospital and FedEx urge parents to prepare children to act safely and drivers to be particularly alert.

“Parents need to talk to kids about safety before they go out trick-or-treating,” said Cathi Kellett, Coordinator, Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley. "Many kids will be out trick-or-treating while it is dark when it is more difficult for drivers to see them. There are several easy and effective behaviors that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk of injury. For example, children younger than age 12 should not be alone crossing streets on Halloween without an adult. If older kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision, parents should make sure they go in a group and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.”

In preparation for Halloween, Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley will team up with Walk This Way program sponsor FedEx to provide kids with reflective materials to promote visibility, including zipper tags that can be attached to costumes and trick-or-treat bags, as well as important safety information for children, parents, and drivers.

Drivers need to be extra alert as there will be more children on the streets and sidewalks – and those kids may be focused on gathering candy and caught up in the excitement of the holiday rather than being careful while crossing streets. "Safe Kids and FedEx urge drivers to slow down on neighborhood roads to make Halloween more enjoyable for everyone, but also to help save lives," Kellett said.

Top safety tips Safe Kids and FedEx recommend for parents:
  • Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Slow down and stay alert - watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
  • Costumes can be both creative and safe. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct a child's vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible instead. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
Top safety tips Safe Kids and FedEx recommend for drivers:
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
In 1999, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and create safer, more walkable communities.
Every day, more than 75,000 FedEx vehicles are on the road, sharing the streets with pedestrians, fueling the company's dedication to pedestrian safety and sharing the lessons of safe driving that FedEx has learned over the past 39 years.
Over the past 13 years, the Walk This Way program has expanded to include Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines where it has educated more than four million children.


Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Its members include local police, fire, EMS, schools, LNV Boys & Girls Clubs, TEAM Headstart, Derby Elks, and VSAAC. Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley was founded in 2004 and is led by Griffin Hospital and the Valley Parish Nurses.
For information, visit safekids.org.

This is taken from a release from Griffin Hospital.

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Housatonic Council to host Radio City bus trip

DERBY - The Housatonic Council Boy Scouts of America is hosting a bus trip to Radio City Music Hall to see the “Christmas Spectacular” Dec. 5.
The cost is $125 a person and includes transportation and a first mezzanine show ticket.  The bus will depart the Derby train station at 9 a.m., arrive in the city for the 2 p.m. matinee and depart the city at 4 p.m. for return to the Derby train station. 
There will be time for lunch and shopping prior to the show.
To reserve tickets, contact the Housatonic Council, BSA, 203-734-3329.

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Polish Falcons walk to support Center for Cancer Care

Derby walk-a-thon raises $1,260

DERBY - Members of the Polish Falcons of America recently donated $1,260 to The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital’s 5K Walk/Run Fund.
The money was raised at the 2012 Derby Greenway Walk-a-thon and will support Center for Cancer Care patients with free transportation, support groups and yoga classes, provide free wigs, co-pay assistance, and other forms of financial assistance.



Pictured from left, 5K Walk/Run Co-chairs Laura Howell and Lori Murphy, Terry Wadsworth, member, PFA Nest 36 in Ansonia, PFA Nest 208 in Derby President Peter Lenart, PFA District 5 National Director John Kowarik, PFA Nest 36 in Ansonia President Joe Choromanski. / Contributed photo

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Club to offer drama program for children

SHELTON - The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley is holding registration for its drama program taught by returning drama instructor Nicole Heriot.

Drama Club is only open to Boys & Girls Club members ages 10 and older. Cost is $25. 
New students will be accepted up to the third week.

An open house and informational session will be held from 6-7 p.m. Nov. 5 
The course will begin with six weeks of instruction starting Nov. 12 and continuing through Dec. 17, meeting from 6-7 pm. 
From 7-7:30 pm, Heriote will be available to help students requesting assistance with anything in the theater arts.

Classes will resume Jan. 7, and conclude with a production in the spring.

Registration is online only at www.BGC-LNV.org/Shelton Clubhouse. 
Contact Heriot at NBHeriot@gmail.com for information.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Guest column: Candidate sees economy as key issue for state

By Tony Szewczyk
Republican Candidate
17th District 

As I run for Senate, I feel a great urgency about what I’m doing. I’m alarmed at how bad our economy is and that it has been this way for so long. I’m deeply concerned about the enormous weight put on our citizens’  shoulders by ever-increasing inflation and too many taxes.

Now, in our 60s, my wife and I worry about whether we’ll have enough money to get us through our retirement years. 
We’ve saved over the years but inflation is reducing our nest egg more and more. Will we be forced to move away from Connecticut to a “kinder” state? Will my wife have to leave her beloved grandchildren behind? Will I have to sell my ancestral home and move away?

The scariest thing is that, as I look around, I don’t see this same urgency in most people. I get the impression that most people think it will all just work out somehow.  I don’t understand that. If we keep electing the same people, or the same kind of people, to office then how can things just work out?

I remember reading “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” That Yankee was in that Court because of his intelligence and all of the innovations he could offer. 

Connecticut was famous for its forward thinking and abilities. What happened to that?  I remember seeing the movie "Blade Runner," more than once.
That is how I see Connecticut becoming in the not too distant future. Is that what we want?


Szewczyk is a Derby resident. He is challenging incumbent state Sen. Joseph J.Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, in the November election.


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Congratulations go to Derby students, teachers

Irving School wins $3,000 grant for innovative art project

Irving School's budding artists are all smiles as they show off some of their new supplies. Pictured back row from left are Jurnee Pervis, Kameron Vereen, Kyle Baktis, Ariana Rodriguez. Front row, Grace Saldana, T.J. Orazietti, Samuel Florio. / Contributed photo



DERBY - Markers, paints, colored pencils, and of course, crayons, are now in good supply at Irving School.

That's because the school is one of only 20 nationwide to be awarded the 2012 "Champion Creatively Alive Children's Grant" sponsored by Crayola and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
The $3,000 grant included $500 worth of supplies for students' artistic endeavors.

Please check out a story about the grant award by my colleague Jean Falbo-Sosnovich in today's paper. 

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Clinic teaches child safety, distributes car seats

Safe Kids, Valley parish nurses host event
Easton Police Officer Mark Pastore secures Charlize Wallace into her new car seat. / Contributed photo 

More than 75 children from the Valley will be traveling safer thanks to a car seat clinic Thursday.
 
Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley and Griffin Hospital Valley Parish Nurse Program hosted the car seat clinic at the Head Start TEAM Early Care and Education Center at 80 Howard Ave., Ansonia. Combining grants from BJ’s Charitable Foundation and Safe Kids USA, they were able to have a complete child safety education program that culminated in the distribution of 76 car seats.
“With the money from BJ’s and Safe Kids, we were able to have an entire educational program for the parents here which included pedestrian safety as well as car safety,” said Cathi Kellett, Coordinator for Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley and Special Programs Coordinator for Griffin Hospital Valley Parish Nurse Program. 
“To be eligible for a car seat, parents had to go through all of the classes and complete a post-test on all of the safety information. Today, we are able to give out 76 car seats to families in need.”
Car seat recipient Nicole Souza wasn’t aware her 4-year-old daughter Charlize Wallace still needed to be in a car seat until she was recently pulled over by local police. 
“Thankfully they gave me a warning, and I was able to participate in this program,” Souza said. “[Charlize] hasn’t been in a car seat since she outgrew her old one about a year ago.”
Kellett, along with school staff, gathered information from the parents ahead of time such as the children’s height and weight so they could have the correct seats prepped for installation at the clinic. The seats were installed by Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians, who undergo continuous training to maintain their title.
“We go through about 40 hours of training and have to recertify every two years,” said Mary Swansiger, Outreach Coordinator for Griffin Hospital Valley Parish Nurse Program. “During that two-year period, we have to work at various community events to keep our skills up, and have to practice on all five types of car seats.”


This information is taken from a release from Griffin Hospital. 

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