Saturday, June 29, 2013

Congratulations, Ansonia High School graduates!

ANSONIA - I attended the Ansonia High School graduation Friday evening, and found more than a few smiling faces.

I wish all the best to the 176 members of the Class of 2013 in their future endeavors!

Below are a few scenes from the festivities.

Smiling seniors strike a pose before lining up for the processional at Ansonia High School. 
They are from left,  Ka'Mondra Brown, Naomi Brown (no relation), Kristina Lee, and Brittney Maitland. Lee sang the 'Star Spangled Banner' during the program.

Brittney Maitland holds her cousin, Jazzy, outside before the graduation.

Seniors file into the gym. 

Music teacher Maria Tangredi conducts the school band during the processional.

Candice Charles sings 'America the Beautiful.' Next to her is Principal Joseph R. Dobbins.

Class President Sydney Arruda speaks to her classmates about the memories they have shared. 

An overview of the students, faculty, families, and friends during the ceremony.

Joseph Rosario is congratulated by his proud parents, Kevin and Marilyn Williams.

This happy face 'graduate' was eye catching!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Scouts from England to visit Derby

DERBY – Twenty one Scouts, Explorers and Leaders from the 107th Scout Group of Derby, England will be arriving at the Derby Train Station, at 6 p.m. Tuesday and will be greeted by their hosts, Housatonic Council Boy Scout Troop 3.

The Scouts will meet in uniform and walk from the Derby Train Station to the Second Congregational Church on Elizabeth Street, across from the Green.

The Second Congregational Church has been the sponsoring organization of Troop 3 since the Troop was founded in 1914.
A welcome dinner will be held at the church hall and Mayor Anthony Staffieri will be on hand to make a presentation to the visiting Scouts on behalf of the city of Derby.

The Derby, England S scouts will be hosted by Troop 3 families and they will be attending the Derby- Shelton fireworks display Wednesday.
Other activities include a Fourth of July picnic and a trip to Six Flags New England Amusement Park.
The Scouts will then attend a week of summer camping with Troop 3 at the Edmund D. Strang Scout Reservation in Goshen before departing on July 13.

In Derby’s Tercentennial year of 1975, legendary Scout Leader Edmund D. Strang and Troop 3 Derby began hosting exchange scouts from Derby, England. 
Troop 3 Derby Scoutmaster Randy Ritter and 107th Scout Group leader Stuart Cooke are coordinating the program this year.

For more information contact Ritter, 203-733-5347.

This post is taken from a press release from Scoutmaster Randy Ritter.

Medical terminology course offered at Griffin in Derby

DERBY - The Griffin Hospital School of Allied Health Careers, 300 Seymour Ave., Suite 206, will offer its new Medical Terminology course this July.

Anyone 18 years of age or older with a High School Diploma or GED may apply for admission.
Early application is encouraged; space is limited.

The Medical Terminology course starts July 9 and will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for four-and-a-half weeks for a total of 30 hours.
This course is a basic course of medical vocabulary. It introduces word construction, pronunciation, prefixes, suffixes and root words.
Use of medical dictionary and identification of accepted medical abbreviations help students navigate the world of medical terms. Using a body systems approach, the students will be able to apply their knowledge to the health care setting.
This course is beneficial to individuals pursuing a career in medical billing and coding, in a hospital setting or in any health-related profession. Cost of the course is $500, including a $25 nonrefundable application fee. Tuition includes cost of textbook.
For information or to apply call 203-732-1276 or visit
About the School of Allied Health Careers
Griffin Hospital's School of Allied Health Careers was one of the first hospital-based schools of its kind to be authorized by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education and offers Phlebotomy and other professional educational programs to provide training, education, and certification in selected health careers.

This information is from a press release from Griffin Hospital.

Ansonia graduation to be held indoors

From the Ansonia Public Schools Facebook page:
The Ansonia High School 2013 graduation ceremony will be held this evening, 6 p.m., at Ansonia High School, 20 Pulaski Highway.
Practice for seniors is 10 a.m. at the high school.

2 Derby Boy Scouts attain Eagle rank

Pictured from left at Second Congregational Church in Derby are state Rep. Themis Klarides, R-Derby, Eagle Scouts David Ahearn and James Butler, state Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, and state Sen. Joseph J.Crisco, D-Woodbridge. / Contributed photo 

DERBY - Housatonic Council Boy Scout Troop 3 members David Ahearn and James Butler were recently recognized for achieving Eagle Scout Rank during a Court of Honor at the Troop’s sponsoring organization, the Derby Second Congregational Church.

David William Ahearn Jr., 18, is the son of Gina Mattei and David Ahearn Sr. and the younger brother of Louis Ahearn. He is a resident of Derby and a parishioner at St. Mary’s Church.

Ahearn joined Troop 3 at age 12, and was a member of the Whirling Dervishes patrol. He then became patrol leader of the Bananas in Pajamas Patrol, where they placed 4th at the Housatonic Council Klondike Derby.  David has also served as Troop Guide and as a Den Chief for Pack 3. He has earned 26 merit badges.

Ahearn participated in the Adventure to Eagle program at Strang Scout Reservation and Troop 3’s Block Island camping and cycling trip. He was a staff member of Camp Strang in 2011, where he taught outdoor skills in the first year camper program. He also attended the 2010 National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia with Troop 434, Connecticut Yankee Council, where he served as assistant patrol leader.

Ahearn recently graduated from Derby High School, where he was ranked sixth in his class. He has participated on the football, outdoor track, and wrestling teams. He was a football captain of the 6-4 Red Raiders, and made the All-NVL Brass and All-Valley teams at the right guard position. In outdoor track, David competed in shot-put and discus at the class-s state level and finished 2nd at his league championships for discus in 2013. Ahearn managed to accomplish a .500 record in the varsity 195-pound class, and lead the team in escapes despite only wrestling for one year.

Ahearn's project was the renovation of a nature viewing center, and the building of a new four-sided kiosk for the Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby.

He will attend Eastern Connecticut State University and major in biology. His goal is to go to dental school and become a dentist in the U.S Navy.

James “Jimmy” Butler, 14, is a lifelong Derby resident.  He is the son of Troop 3 Committeeman James and Andrea Butler and has two older sisters, Julianna and Sarah Butler. He is a parishioner at St. Michael's Church in Derby.

Jimmy began Scouting as a Tiger Cub in Pack 3 with Beverly Martin and he eventually earned the Webelos Arrow of Light award.
He has been a member of the Troop 3 Whirling Dervishes Patrol, where he has earned 58 merit badges , served as Den Chief, Quarter Master and Patrol Leader.  Jimmy has participated in many troop camp outs and he looks forward to once again attending summer camp at Strang Scout Reservation.

Jimmy is a brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow Paugassett Lodge 553.  He has served as an OA representative for the troop, Secretary on the Executive board and is currently a Vice Chief.

Jimmy had the privilege of attending the 100th anniversary of scouting National Jamboree in 2010 at Fort AP Hill, Va.  He participated in Troop 3’s West Coast trip in 2011 and the Florida Sea Base trip in 2012.  He will be attending the 2013 National Scout Jamboree at Bechtel Summit in West Virginia.

Jimmy is a freshman at Derby High School, where he is a member of the football, wrestling and track teams. He was also a member in the winter football league for three years and his team was recognized  by the mayor for being undefeated for all three years.

His Eagle Scout project consisted of cleaning up the area and sign installation at Witek Park off of Prindle Avenue in Derby.   
This project was done with the intent to beautify the area and make it more appealing to fishermen and visitors and to encourage others to enjoy the beauty of this area of the park.   

Jimmy’s goal is to attend the Naval Academy at Annapolis or Military Academy at West Point.

Mayor Anthony Staffieri presented the Scouts with gifts and proclamations. Also presenting proclamations were state Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, state Rep. Linda  M. Gentile and state Rep.Themis Klarides.
The Court of Honor was under the direction of Troop 3 Assistant Scoutmaster James Frovarp.

The honorees are the 288th and 289th Scouts in Troop 3 Derby’s 99-year history to obtain the rank of Eagle Scout.

This post is taken from a press release from Scoutmaster Randy Ritter.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Valley United Way honors volunteers

21st annual recognition event held

Volunteer of the Year Award winners from left: Nicole Herriot, Ron Baldwin, Tyler Haywood, David Pantalone, Carol Osgood, Michelle Kellett, Marian O’Keefe, Diane Berti. /Contributed photo

SHELTON - Valley United Way’s Volunteer Action Center celebrated National Volunteer Day “Celebrating People in Action” with the 21st Annual Volunteer Recognition Event Wednesday at the Valley United Way office, 54 Grove St.

Nominations were requested by agencies and local community groups to honor both individual and group volunteers that have given their time and attention to benefit others and initiated advancement in the Valley’s physical, intellectual, cultural, or moral condition.

This year’s student winners include Tyler Haywood of Shelton, receiving the Outstanding Middle School Youth award; Michelle Kellett of Shelton, receiving the Outstanding High School Student Award; and Diane Berti of Seymour, receiving the Outstanding High School Student Award.

Haywood, who just completed eighth grade at Hopkins School in New Haven, has been an active member of the Valley community, volunteering at Sunnyside School, collecting and delivering food to the Spooner House in Shelton, as well as helping plan and prepare the Joseph A Pagliaro Sr. Family Fund Easter Egg Hunt Pancake Breakfast.

Kellett is a busy young lady. Starting in elementary school, she put her leadership skills to the test organizing projects with her Girl Scout Troop and participating in student government. In middle school, she began to volunteer with the Valley Parish Nurses and the Spooner House.

In high school Kellett excelled in student government as well as extracurricular activities all while being a Valley United Way High School Volunteer Council Member, a junior member of the Sutter Terlizzi Post 16 American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, a volunteer at Griffin Hospital and working part time.

Berti, a senior at Seymour High School, is a dedicated volunteer at the library, working three times a week helping patrons find materials, shelving books, making department deliveries, and helping out in the technical services and circulation department. Sheloved volunteering at the library so much that she will soon be studying to become a librarian.

Living Treasures
Winners of the Outstanding Volunteer Award include Nicole Herriot, David Rabinove and Ron Baldwin of Shelton.
The Living Treasure Awards were given to Carol Osgood of Shelton and Marian O’ Keefe of Seymour.
The Sharon Bryce Holly Community Hero Award was given to David Pantalone of Ansonia.

Herriot valiantly took charge throughout the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. Moved by the devastation many families faced from the storm, she immediately secured space in the Boy Scouts of America building in Derby and arranged for volunteers to staff a collection drive for two weeks. Using word of mouth, social media and other outlets she spread word of the drive to the community.
The Valley supported Herriot, quickly filling the building with donated goods. She then contacted neighboring municipalities and organizations to see where these items were most needed and organized their delivery.

Winner of the Sharon Bryce Holly Community Hero Award, David Rabinove, has been a volunteer for TEAM Inc. since 2007.
The award is named for Sharon Bryce Holly, an outstanding employee of the Valley YMCA who through her community efforts, positive attitude and her willingness to help whenever it was needed, made a lasting impact on the Valley.

Starting as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Tax Preparer and making his way to the Board of Directors, Rabinove donates his time and skills processing the tax returns for the Valley’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance partnership.
On Sundays he meets people at Derby Neck Library to help them complete their returns. He has also completed tax returns and provided technical assistance and quality control at the TEAM site on Saturdays and weekday evenings January through April.
Rabinove also created a family budgeting program for TEAM clients. He joined the TEAM Board of Directors in 2009 and was elected Treasurer in 2012.

Baldwin has been a vital part of the Center Stage Theatre’s team since its first season in 2005. An engineer by trade and a talented visual artist, he graciously volunteered to assist with set construction and design for the theater.
Since that day Baldwin has helped with every production at Center Stage as well as the Shelton High School Drama Club spring musical. In his words, “I keep doing what I’m doing so that you can keep doing what you’re doing.” Baldwin has volunteered hundreds of hours each year to Center Stage and has inspired other volunteers to join him.

Osgood has been an extremely active member of the community, volunteering at the Bishop Wicke Café, acting as a personal shopper for residents, filling in at the Wellness Center as needed, and plays piano for the residents at all three Wesley Village Communities in Shelton.
She also accompanies the Wesley Heights Chorus on the piano and began a program where the residents gather to sew sleeping bags for the homeless.
Most recently Osgood has developed a new program at Wesley Heights called, Songs at Eventide, providing another source of inspiration and fellowship with the residents while reinforcing the bonds that tie the community together.

O’Keefe has a great passion for history and put forth efforts throughout her life to protect it. She has investigated the history of the areas she’s lived in, become involved in its museums and historical societies, and sought to publicize the events and local personalities who shaped those towns.
She has completed a historic resources inventory for the Connecticut Historical Commission and promoted her region’s history through lectures, publications, tours, and curatorial efforts.

O'Keefe was a member of the Derby Historical Society Board of Directors while also serving as curator.
Along with her volunteer work in Derby and Seymour, she provides volunteer support to the P.T. Barnum Museum in Bridgeport.
O'Keefe has been a valuable asset to Healthy Valley, a committee of the Valley Council for Health and Human Services.

YMCA board member
David Pantalone has been a Board Member of the Valley YMCA since 2008, chairing the Property Committee for the last five years and stepping up in 2012 to become the Vice-Chair of the Board of Managers. Pantalone can be seen at the YMCA every morning and sometimes in the evenings as well. He is directly responsible for tens of thousands of dollars of donations and in-kind services to the Valley YMCA, using his skills as a HVAC contractor fixing, repairing and installing numerous air condition units and boiler repairs over the past five years.

Recently Pantalone secured the donation of a sauna for the men’s locker room, a beautiful new welcome center desk, and an $8,000 donation of glass sliding doors for the new strength training center.

These volunteers were chosen based on their great sense of community responsibility and social awareness while embodying United Way’s vision of a caring community and Live United. Congratulations to all winners, thank you for all you do to make the Valley a better place to live, work and volunteer.

To learn about the Volunteer Action Center or to find an opportunity visit Valley United Way’s website, or call Patricia Tarasovic, 203-926-9478.

This post is taken from a press release from Valley United Way.  

Shelton Historical Society to hold weeklong summer program

Kids to learn about early 20th-century life 

SHELTON - Just when you are looking for more things to occupy your children during the
summer, Shelton Historical Society offers Adventures in History, its enrichment program for
children ages 7-12.  

It will be held 9 a.m.- noon Aug. 12-16, at the Shelton History Center complex, 70 Ripton Road.

Disguised among playing forgotten games, creating useful objects using simple tools, and concocting wholesome snacks from fresh ingredients, participants will learn lessons about how life was during the early years of the 1900s. 

“In this age when kids spend  much of their leisure time with electronic games and devices, we hope to reintroduce them to outdoor fun spent with others and an appreciation for the conveniences that they might take for granted,” said Ellen Kolesk, Shelton Historical Society librarian and an organizer of the program.

Cost of the program is $135 a child for non-members, and $100 a child for Shelton Historical Society members. 

Registration is limited. Forms are available at or at the Plumb Memorial and Huntington Branch Libraries.
Aug. 5 is registration deadline. 
There are six historic 19th-century buildings, including the Brownson House, the Trap Fall School, and the Wilson Barn, that comprise Shelton History Center, one-half mile north of the Huntington Green.  

Shelton Historical Society personnel staff the facility and its research library, and care for its collections part-time or by appointment. 

Children who participate in Adventures in History will become familiar with all the buildings as they make comparisons between their experiences and those of their ancestors. 
They just might have some old-fashioned fun while they do.

This information is taken from a press release from Shelton Historical Society.

Learn to make natural bug repellent at workshop in Ansonia

ANSONIA - Join Ranger Dawn Sotir at 2 p.m. July 13 at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center to learn how to make sprays and creams that bugs hate.

She will share the ingredients and her expertise for making chemical-free and safe repellents, nature's way to deter pests.

Tuition is $8, which includes all ingredients and instructions.
Call 203-736-1053 to register.

The nature center is at 10 Deerfield Road.

'Giggling Pig' to offer art class at Derby library

DERBY - The Derby Public Library invites young adults ages 12 to 17 to an Art Class instructed by The Giggling Pig of Shelton from 1:30-3 p.m. July 25.

Participants will use acrylic paints on canvas.

This program is part of the Derby Public Library's 2013 “Beneath the Surface” Summer Reading Club. Space is limited; registration is required.
For information, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482, or visit

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Breast wellness center in Derby offers new risk test

DERBY - The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital has launched a high-risk breast cancer program that includes state-of-the-art screening options including the BREVAGen predictive risk test.
BREVAGen is the latest advance in assessing a woman’s unique risk of developing non-familial or sporadic breast cancer.
“The breast cancer screening process can be arduous and confusing for patients because there are so many screening options and test attributes to sort out,” Denise Barajas, MD, medical director at The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness, said.
“We can simplify the process by administering BREVAGen, which gives patients an accurate five-year and lifetime risk assessment for developing estrogen-positive breast cancer. By knowing each patient’s risk we can then develop personalized breast health and monitoring plans tailored to their specific risk and needs which will help us reduce the incidence of advanced breast cancer cases we see; this should help save lives.”
BREVAGen is a predictive risk test that more accurately identifies a woman’s unique risk of developing sporadic, estrogen-positive breast cancer.
BREVAGen examines a woman’s clinical risk factors, such as their lifetime exposure to estrogen, combined with scientifically validated markers to determine each patient’s personalized five-year and lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.
For more information about BREVAGen at The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness, contact Catherine Krueger, 203-732-7233.
How BREVAGen Works
The BREVAGen predictive risk test is administered in a physician’s office using a simple, non-invasive “oral-swab.”
Physicians receive a comprehensive genetic risk prediction report to review with the patient. The patient’s risk of breast cancer is calculated by combining their relative risk score from seven genetic markers, called single nucleotide polymorphisms, with factors that comprise the patient’s clinical and reproductive history including current age, age at menarche, age at live first birth and race/ethnicity.
The BREVAGen test provides five-year and lifetime predictive risk assessments to more accurately evaluate the patient’s risk for developing sporadic breast cancer, regardless of family history or previous indeterminate test results.
Clinically Validated
BREVAGen was proven superior in determining breast cancer risk. Utilizing data from the U.S. Women’s Health Initiative Clinical Trial, 3,300 women underwent breast cancer assessment utilizing the BREVAGen test. 
Of those 3,300 women, 1,664 were diagnosed with breast cancer and 1,636 were in the breast cancer-free control group. BREVAGen test results support current American Cancer Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and The National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for prevention and early detection of breast cancer.

About The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital
The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital opened in 2011 and primarily serves the  Valley and surrounding communities. It combines state-of-the-art technology, a team of highly trained physicians and staff, and a Planetree healing environment to offer patients a comprehensive range of personalized breast care and wellness services. 
The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness features two new, state-of-the-art digital mammography suites with 3D mammography (tomosynthesis) capability, a breast ultrasound suite, and the most advanced system available to perform stereotactic biopsy.
The Center also utilizes a rapid diagnostic model where patients are often given test results the same day imaging tests are performed, and if indicated, follow up testing (ultrasound, breast biopsy) and even consultation with a breast surgeon are often available the same day if the patient’s schedule permits.
For information, call 203-732-1300 or visit
About Phenogen Sciences
BREVAGen is supplied by Phenogen Sciences, a subsidiary of Genetic Technologies Limited. Phenogen Sciences, the U.S. subsidiary of Australia-based Genetic Technologies Limited, is a pioneer in personalized healthcare. Phenogen offers novel predictive testing and assessment tools that help physicians proactively manage women’s health risks. For more information, visit 
About Genetic Technologies Limited
Genetic Technologies is an established diagnostics company with more than 20 years of experience in commercializing genetic testing, non-coding DNA and product patenting.
 The company has operations in Australia and the U.S. and is dual-listed on the ASX (GTG.AX) and NASDAQ (GENE). Genetic Technologies is focused on the commercialization of its patent portfolio through an active out-licensing program and the global expansion of its oncology and cancer management diagnostics assets.
For information, visit

This is a press release from Griffin Hospital. 

Ansonia to kick off concert series with The Soul Funk Band

     ANSONIA - The Ansonia Cultural Commission will kick off its free summer concert series July 10 with The Soul Funk Band at Veteran’s Memorial Park, Main Street (next to City Hall.)   
    All concerts are from 7-9 p.m. 

    Other concerts scheduled are:

    July 24: 102 Army Band  - all members of armed forces and their families (past and present ) are especially invited to share this special evening of patriotic music.

    August 7: Starving Artists, classic rock band from Seymour.

    August 21: Mark Lanzieri, a local favorite, specializing in Sinatra tunes.

    Something for everyone! You are invited to bring a chair and snacks. 

    Country Creamery of Oxford will be selling ice cream.

    Also, the Ansonia Library will be on site collecting used and new books to sell or supplement the library’s inventory.

    Rain date will be the following day.

This post is taken from a press release from the Ansonia Cultural Commission.

Derby library to host tie-dye fun, book talk for teens

DERBY - The Derby Public Library invites young adults ages 12 to 17 to Tie-Dye T-Shirts from 3:30 to 5 p.m. July 16.
Laurie Lynn will provide participants new white T-shirts, dyes, and the expertise needed to create a personally designed fashion statement.
This program is part of the Library's 2013 “Beneath the Surface” Summer Reading Club. Space is limited; registration is required.

Book discussion

The Library hosts an ongoing book discussion series for  ages 12 to 17. Participants will meet at 3:30 p.m. July 24 to review Paper Towns by John Green.
One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.
Copies will be available at the circulation desk while they last and reservations may be made by phone or on-line.
Light refreshments will be provided.
This program is part of the “Beneath the Surface” Teen Summer Reading Club.
For more information on these programs, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit

This is a press release from Derby Public Library.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Builders association honors Gentile with Dream Award

Linda Gentile speaks on floor of the state House.

    HARTFORD - The Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut honored state Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, with the Connecticut Dream Award. 
    This award, the highest honor given to public officials by the association, recognizes those who have demonstrated consistent support for the policies of the HBRA of Connecticut and who have made significant contributions to the home building industry and the production of more housing for Connecticut’s citizens.

     “Representative Gentile has exhibited common sense and reason as co-chair of Planning & Development in 2011 and 2012. Moving over in 2013 to co-chair the Environment Committee, she brought a desperately needed measure of balance and fairness to the historically anti-business Environment Committee,” said Bill Ethier, HBRACT’s Chief Executive Officer.

     “I am very pleased and humbled to even be considered for this award,” Rep. Gentile said.  “Our home builders play an important role as we look to revitalize Connecticut.”

     The 2013 Connecticut Dream Award was presented at the association’s Leadership & Legacy Dinner.
     The event gathered current and future leaders of the statewide association and the five local HBRA chapter associations: Eastern CT, Fairfield County, Greater Hartford, New Haven County, and Northwest CT.

     The Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut is a professional trade association with 900 member firms statewide.

    Members, all small businesses, are residential and commercial builders, land developers, remodelers, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers 
     The HBRACT’s officers, members and staff work to solve industry problems and promote Connecticut’s economic growth.

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

State lawmakers host health fair at Shelton Senior Center

State Sen. Kevin C. Kelly, right, meets last week with members of Shelton Chapter 3240 of AARP, Inc. at the Shelton Senior Health and Wellness Fair. / Contributed photo
SHELTON - State Sen. Kevin C. Kelly, R-Stratford, and state Reps. Jason Perillo, R-Shelton and Larry Miller, R-Stratford, hosted a health and wellness fair for seniors in partnership with the Shelton Senior Center June 19.

“I am proud to host this important and informative event for Shelton seniors and their families,” Kelly said.
“We must maintain health care quality and access for our seniors, and this event helps them connect with essential services that allow seniors to remain independent and in their homes. It is my hope that today’s successful event will serve as a step forward for our Shelton seniors, and I must also thank the many vendors who took part in the effort to improve their quality of life.”

State and local organizations and volunteers provided attendees with health screenings and information about programs available to seniors related to health, wellness, legal issues, financial services and more.

“Now more than ever we need to safeguard the services available to seniors, and ensure that seniors are aware of the myriad of services that exist for them to take advantage of,” Perillo said.  

“Right here in Shelton we have so many great organizations, volunteers and caregivers who are essential to improving the quality of life for our seniors and this event was a great way to introduce many of them for the first time.”

“This event was a fun way to ensure that all our local seniors have additional opportunities to see the large number of excellent resources available to them,” Miller said.
 “Seniors today have many concerns from health care to finances, and we had on hand experts in every field to answer questions and offer assistance in all of them. I am confident that those who attended took away helpful information, and maybe learned about a new policy or program that can help them.” 

To share thoughts or comments, contact Kelly at 800-842-1421 or Perillo and Miller at 800-842-1423.

State Rep. Jason Perillo speaks with seniors about the information and services available at last week's Shelton Senior Health and Wellness Fair. / Contributed photo

This post is taken from a press release.

Derby restaurant holds benefit, donates to cancer organizations

Pictured Monday at Marco Pizzeria and Restaurant in Derby are from left, Camp Rising Sun volunteers Scott Capozza of Oxford, Lindsay LaFemina of Danbury, and Dan Root of Fairfield. They are next to a banner announcing a 12th annual fund-raiser to benefit the camp for children with cancer to be held July 17 in Branford.  Patricia Villers/Register

DERBY - My husband and I attended a fun event Monday night at Marco Pizzeria and Restaurant that supported two great causes: Camp Rising Sun, an overnight camp for children with cancer, and CT Challenge, an organization in Southport that empowers cancer survivors.

Kudos to Marco owner Tom Andrews for donating half of the proceeds from the event to the two charities. And plaudits go to his eight employees who donated their time.

Andrews, a Valley native who lives in North Branford, told me he would like to host similar events to help other local organizations raise funds.

And I must add that the thin-crust pizza was delicious!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Career Coach to visit Derby Public library

DERBY - The CT Works Career Coach returns to the Derby Public Library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 12.
           During both the morning session, 10 a.m.-noon, and the 1-3 p.m. session, instructors will be offering Job Search Assistance.
         Learn where to look for jobs, how to get the job you want, and how to search for jobs on the Internet.
          The workshop is free and open to the public.  Registration is requested but walk-ins will be welcomed on a first come, first served basis. 
         The CT Works Career Coach is a project of The WorkPlace, Inc. operated by Career Resources. 
        For information, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St. , call 203-736-1482 or visit

This is a press release from Derby Public Library.

Stewie the Duck teaches swim safety in Seymour

These are some of the first graders who learned about water safety from Stewie the Duck and Seymour Police Officer Mike Jasmin (pictured) during a program last week for all Seymour first grade students. / Contributed photo 

SEYMOUR - Last week Stewie the Duck visited Seymour students as Seymour Public Schools in partnership with the Seymour Police Department presented a water-safety program for the second consecutive year to all first grade students.

The program, “Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim,” was founded by Kim and Stew Leonard Jr.

It teaches children and parents the importance of water safety. The Leonards turned their personal tragedy of the drowning of their toddler son into inspiration and created this invaluable program. 

Through the generosity of the Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities, 225 “Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim” Books and CDs were donated to Seymour Public Schools and each child took home a free copy. 
The total cost of these books with CD totaled just over $1,100.

The program was presented by certified lifeguards Amanda Garcia and Katherine Acquavella, Seymour High School students, Seymour Public Schools Director of Security Rich Kearns and Seymour Police Department Officer Mike Jasmin. 

This post is taken from a press release from Rich Kearns, Director of Security, Seymour Public Schools.

Twilight hike at Ansonia nature center will be aglow

ANSONIA - Join Rangers Wendy and Martin at 7:30 p.m. July 7 at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center and follow the wooded paths to find glow worms in the leaf litter.

Participants will experience a brilliant display of twinkling lights in this season when fireflies are attracted to the nature center's habitat.

Wear long pants, long sleeves and shoes for hiking.
This family-oriented event is free.
Call 203-736-1053 to register. Inclement weather will cancel.

The center is at 10 Deerfield Road.

This information is taken from a press release.

Woman, 102, honored as she bids farewell to Seymour

Clara Amodio, seated, is joined at the Callahan House in Seymour by friends Samuel Dmytryshyn, 97, right, and Laura Bengivengo, 96. 
Bengivengo, Amodio's neighbor at Callahan House, checked up on her daily. / Contributed photo

SEYMOUR - Clara Amodio, who just turned 102, is leaving the Seymour Housing Authority’s Callahan House after 22 years of residency.  

Despite her age, she retains the wit and charming personality that has made her one of the most beloved residents at the Callahan House.

She arrived at the facility shortly after its opening and has long been a fixture there. Amodio will be leaving to live with her daughter in Pompano Beach, Fla. after spending most of her life here in Connecticut.  She is looking forward to sitting in the sun and watching the ships sail by not to mention a much-deserved break from the harsh New England winters.
First Selectman,Kurt Miller, and Seymour Housing Authority Director David Keyser, were both on hand last week for a farewell celebration organized by the head of the tenant association, Dominick Bellucci.
Bellucci, who said he had ample time to get to know Amodio, described her as sweet and funny, while Keyser called her “the ideal tenant.”  
Amodio, who has only recently been using a wheelchair, had all the residents laughing and smiling as they lined up to say goodbye.  

Miller said, “What a pleasure it is to be invited today, though we’re sad to see Clara go.”  

This information is taken from a press release from the Office of the First Selectman.


Ansonia Nature Center to host nature education day

ANSONIA - The Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center and the friends of the late educator John Adzima will host a day of nature study Monday, July 1.

The day will honor Adzima's memory and his love for nature and young children.
On this special day, Ansonia Public School Pre-Kindergartners and Redwing Pond House preschool students will learn about Redwing Pond and the inch by inch Children's Garden in the park.

For more information call the nature center, 203-736-1053.

This post is taken from a press release.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Firefighters in Shelton to hold tag sale

SHELTON - White Hills Voluntary Fire Company 5 will hold a Community Tag Sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the firehouse, 2 School St.
This is an outside event but if there is inclement weather the fire company has a large hall on the second floor that will be used.

There will be a variety of items for sale, including tools, toys, antiques, clothes, Longaberger baskets and much more.
Sellers are wanted. Cost is $25 per space.
For information contact Lisa Tatun, 203-926-8997.

This post is taken from a press release. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wishing best of luck to O'Brien's Class of 2013

The message on the fence leading to the ceremony on the field says it all.

ANSONIA - Friday evening's picture-perfect weather served as a fitting backdrop for the 115 members of the Class of 2013 at Emmett O'Brien Technical High School as they received their diplomas in an outdoor ceremony.

Principal Laurie LeBouthillier addresses students and families.
Valedictorian and Class President Patrick Coyle addresses his classmates.
Salutatorian Adrian Torres gives his speech.
Ansonia Mayor James Della Volpe greets graduates.

Graduates garbed in green and gold, O'Brien's school colors.

Congratulations to students, teachers and parents!

Congratulations to the Derby Little League Red Sox

DERBY - The Little League Red Sox defeated the Yankees 9-1 Thursday in a Major League championship game at Uluski Field in Derby.

Smiling Red Sox players Julian Delarosa, left, and Logan Corrigan show off their championship trophies. 

Red Sox teammate Damien Caruso plays second base.

Thanks go out to Derby resident April Pruzinsky for contributing this information and for her great photos.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Walk in Shelton, Derby Saturday to benefit club

SHELTON - The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley is holding its fifth annual walkathon Saturday. Previously called Get Your Walk On, the event has been renamed Walk for Kids, the Herbie Rollinson Memorial Walkathon. 

“The name was changed to reflect exactly what the event is and what we’re walking for…it’s all about the kids,” says Sue DeLeon, Board President. 
“Our Boys & Girls Club is more than just a safe place for them to go after school. A boy or girl walking through our doors will experience a variety of programs designed to enhance their academic performance, teach them about good character and citizenship, and inform them about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.”
Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the walk starts at 10 am. Walkers may stay on the half-mile loop at Veterans Park or, if they wish a longer route, they can continue to the Derby Greenway. 
Prizes will be awarded for the top individual fundraiser and for the top team fundraiser. A minimum pledge of $25 is required for individual walkers, which gets them a commemorative walkathon T-shirt. 
Teams are welcome and encouraged to walk and will also receive our commemorative T-shirt.
To pre-register and get a pledge form, contact Ann Wheeler. 203-924-7462, or download a walkathon packet from Click on the walkathon link.

Derby restaurant to host fund-raising event Monday

DERBY - Marco Pizzeria & Restaurant, 656 New Haven Ave., will present a special night to benefit Camp Rising Run from 4-8 p.m. Monday.

Restaurant manager Jordan Mann said in a release that 50 percent of the proceeds (dine-in and take-out) will benefit Camp Rising Sun’s cycling team at this year’s CT Challenge bike ride in July.

Mann said the restaurant is opening up special for Monday's event  and the entire staff is volunteering for the benefit.

Visit Marco's for a great meal and Wooster Street-style pizza and support two local charities that benefit cancer survivors.

The fund-raiser is only being held at the restaurant's Derby location, Mann said. 

For more information on the organizations, visit or

This post is taken from a press release from Jordan Mann, manager, Marco's Pizzeria Restaurant,  Derby.

Griffin Hospital to hold men's health day in Shelton

 DERBY – Griffin Hospital’s Health Initiative for Men (HiM) invites men to receive free health screenings, earn some free games and take a chance to win a grill at its first Men’s Health Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 29 at The Sports Center of Connecticut, 784 River Road, Shelton.

Held in recognition of Men’s Health Month, the event is entitled “The Nuts & Bolts of Men’s Health” and will feature a series of health information tables and free health screenings, including Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test, blood sugar, blood pressure and Body Mass Index. 

For each station completed, attendees can earn a “Play For Free” card from The Sports Center, which can be used at most of the Center’s attractions such as the driving range, mini golf and batting cages. Attendees who complete five or more stations will receive a $25 activity card for the Center.
Attendees will be entered into a drawing for a Char-Broil grill worth $399.

About The Health Initiative for Men
In an effort to help inspire men to have an annual physical and to raise awareness about men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and colorectal cancer, Griffin Hospital launched the Health Initiative for Men (HiM), a community-wide preventive healthcare effort. 
The goal of the HiM is to influence men to see their physician annually, and to be screened for various diseases that respond better to treatment if detected early. 
For more information about HiM, visit
This is a press release from Griffin Hospital.

Ansonia Farmer's Market to be relocated

The recently paved parking lot on Upper Main Street, Ansonia, will be the new home of the Ansonia Farmers' Market when it opens in July, Economic Development Commission Chairman Vinnie Scarlata said this week. This is the market's second year.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Genealogy, technology topics of programs planned at Derby Library

DERBY - The Derby Public Library will host Introduction to Genealogy: Do You Know
Where Your Ancestors Are? at 6:30 p.m. July 15.
          This beginner’s journey into the past will be presented by Carol R. Whitmer, professional genealogist from the Connecticut Historical Society.
          Topics covered will include how to get started, best research practices, electronic resources, and collecting and preserving your family
         Registration is requested. 

 Tech Time 
 The Library will hold Tech Time sessions at 10 a.m. every third Tuesday of the month and at 6:30 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month.
There will be a variety of topics covered on a revolving basis. On July 16 and July 17 the topic will be Basic Computer Skills.  

This introductory class will cover computer hardware,
Windows, internet searching and e-mail.

           Topics for future months include information databases, e-readers and other timely subjects.  It is the intention of these sessions to help patrons keep up with the ever-changing world of technology.
           No reservations are accepted and there is a seven-seat limit per class.
           For information, stop by the Library, 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482, or visit    

This post is taken from a press release from Cathy Williams, Director, Derby Public Library.

Yale-Griffin study: Walnuts help protect against diseases

Promising results from a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition provide convincing evidence that walnuts can help protect against heart disease.

This study, conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, explored the health effects of daily walnut consumption by a group of adults at risk for developing diabetes or heart disease.

These results are consistent with findings of a prior study conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center team, which found a significant improvement in blood vessel function among people with diabetes who consumed two ounces of walnuts per day for eight weeks.
“Our work to date has shown clear benefits of adding walnuts to the diet for people with, and at risk, for diabetes,” said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, and principal investigator of the study. 
“To some extent, this is because walnuts are concentrated in a variety of health-promoting nutrients, including omega-3 fat. The results are also probably due to the fact that eating more walnuts, which tend to help us feel and stay full, means eating less of other, less nutritious foods - so there are benefits both from what is added to the diet, and what is bumped out. We now move on to the next question: Do walnuts improve overall diet quality, and help with weight control, for healthy adults? I think so- but the study we are now running will tell us for sure.”

The adults who took part in the study were overweight, had an average age of 57 years, and had at least one of several conditions (high blood pressure, high blood glucose, high triglycerides, or low HDL cholesterol) that can raise the risk for diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Diabetes, in turn, can raise the risk for cardiovascular disease. 

Study participants were asked to practice their usual eating habits for one eight-week period called the control phase. 
Participants were then instructed to continue their usual eating habits for another eight-week period called the walnut phase, with one exception - eating two ounces of walnuts per day while adjusting for the extra calories from the walnuts so their daily calorie intake would be consistent with the control phase. The researchers found that after eight weeks of daily walnut intake, the study participants’ blood vessel function improved significantly compared to the control phase, their body weight and waist circumference remained stable, and they experienced a beneficial trend in reduction of systolic blood pressure (the upper number in a blood pressure reading), however that did not quite reach statistical significance.
The study results provide evidence that walnuts can play a role in protecting against heart disease in at-risk individuals.
The study was funded by the California Walnut Commission. The researchers are conducting another study to see if the beneficial health effects of consuming walnuts hold true for a six-month time period for adults who are at risk of developing diabetes.

About the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center
The Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center was established in 1998 through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of the PRC is to develop innovative approaches to health promotion and disease prevention that will directly benefit the public's health, first locally, and then nationally. For information, visit

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