Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hewitt Foundation grant funds Meals on Wheels in Valley

Pictured from left, Richard Knoll, TEAM President/CEO; Suzanne Reilly, TEAM Director of Family Support Services; and Pat Carey, Hewitt Foundation President/ Contributed photo

DERBY - Valley area seniors will continue to enjoy a daily delivery of Meals on Wheels along with weekly homemaking services thanks to a grant from the Hewitt Foundation. This $65,000 grant was recently awarded to TEAM, Inc for Senior Services.  

“The Hewitt Foundation is a fabulous resource for our elderly service programs and allows TEAM to stretch and reach beyond what would be possible with federal and state budget cuts. We can’t thank Hewitt Foundation enough for their support of this critical community service,” said TEAM President and CEO Richard Knoll.
"Every day, frail and isolated seniors are provided a lifeline with a nutritious meal and housekeeping assistance,” said Suzanne Reilly, Director of Family Support Services.  
“The Hewitt Grant allows for the continuation of programs for Valley seniors who will be impacted by budget cuts. These services allow our seniors to remain independent and healthy.”

Meals on Wheels delivers a daily meal to home-bound elderly residents. TEAM’s four drivers deliver over 200 meals each day throughout the Valley.
For information you may refer to or contact TEAM’s Nutrition Coordinator Ron Boucher, 203-736-5420 ext. 227.

This is a press release from TEAM.

Human remains found at scene of overnight fire in Seymour

The scene of a house fire in Seymour Wednesday morning. Charlotte Adinolfi/Register

By Charlotte Adinolfi / Twitter: @NHR_CharlotteA

SEYMOUR >> Human remains were found at 105 Davis Road after an early morning fire Wednesday.

The remains were found between the garage and the house. Two separate neighbors reported the fire not long before 2 a.m.

Fire Marshal Paul Wetowitz said the garage was fully engulfed and was spreading to the house when Oxford and Seymour firefighters arrived. The blaze took a half-hour to extinguish with no injuries to the firefighters.

Wetowitz said at this time the identity of the remains and cause of fire cannot be determined. The state medical examiner removed the remains from the scene. A full autopsy will be performed.
Wetowitz said they are actively investigating. He also said four cats were killed in the fire. They have determined the identity of the homeowner but are not aware of her whereabouts.

Neighbors describe the homeowner as a friendly, single woman who kept to herself.

"The only people who ever came there were people who helped her with the house maintenance," said Jim Bower, a neighbor.
Bower said he believed the homeowner worked at Yale.

A burned car can be seen at the scene. The fire started in the garage and spread to the house. Charlotte Adinolfi/Register

Look to the sky at Ansonia Nature Center program

ANSONIA - Spend the evening with Bob Carruthers and the New Haven Astronomical Society starting at 7 p.m. Aug. 17. A meteorite collection will be on display. 
Bring your own telescope if you have one (all questions about telescope viewing problems will be answered). 
With the moon in its first quarter, and weather permitting, expect to see the rings of Saturn, the Perseids, and other deep sky objects.
Bring a lawn chair or blanket, popcorn, and drinks (no alcohol or glass bottles). Fair weather or foul. 
Call 203-736-1053 to register for this free program at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation  Center, 10 Deerfield Road.
This is taken from a press release.

5K in Shelton to benefit Wesley Village

SHELTON - It's almost time to lace up those running shoes for a good cause.
Wesley Village will host the fifth annual benefit 5K Road Race on Aug. 24 starting at 9 a.m. 
The 3.1 mile race will begin and end at Wesley Village in the parking lot for Crosby Commons, 580 Long Hill

Wesley Village provides housing and healthcare to seniors. There is a fun walk that takes place around the campus of Wesley Village.
This year marks the first year of a kids fun run (begins at 8:30 a.m. and costs $5 – bouncy house too!)

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

Under 13, 14-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79* and 80+*.
Delicious post race food will be provided by Wesley Village. Event parking will be at Long Hill Elementary School, 565 Long Hill Ave., across from Wesley Village.

Proceeds will benefit the award winning programs at Wesley Village, including the “Journey of Dreams Program,” which grants lifelong wishes to the seniors on campus. 

A portion of the proceeds will also benefit Spooner House homeless shelter in Shelton.

Major sponsors
Major sponsors are: M&T Bank, Merit Insurance; O’Connor Davies, LLP; Omnicare; Griffin Hospital Lifeline; Santa Fuel; McKesson; Unitex Textile Rental Services; Brennan Construction; Winter Brothers Waste Systems, CT; Crown Uniform; Murtha Cullina; and Serra & Delvecchio.

Participants who pre-register by Aug. 19 will be guaranteed a commemorative T-shirt. Entrants who are 70-plus run for free. Contact race director prior to event. 

Starting Aug. 20 and on race day, registration will be $25, only exact bills or checks will be accepted. Checks are payable
to UMH Road Race. 

There will be 50 T-shirts available on a first come basis race day (T-shirts feature a new dri fit design). 

Pre-registration is strongly suggested. Computerized timing and results will be provided by Start-Line Race Services.
Race Director is David Primini, 203-225-5020.

For online registration, course map, course records and results from last year, visit

Wesley Village is a campus comprised of Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center, Crosby Commons and Wesley Heights assisted and independent living communities. It is part of United Methodist Homes, a local, not-for-profit organization with a 125-year tradition of caring.

This information is from a press release from United Methodist Homes.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ansonia Rod & Gun Club donates $5,000 to Griffin 5K

Organization to serve as finish-line sponsor

Griffin Hospital President and CEO Patrick Charmel, second from left, accepts a $5,000 sponsorship check from Ansonia Rod & Gun Club Treasurer Horace Behrle. 
Also celebrating the donation were, Chief Radiation Therapist and 5k Walk/Run Co-Chair Lori Murphy, left, and Radiation Therapist and 5K Co-chair Laura Howell.

DERBY - The Ansonia Rod & Gun Club continued its generous support of the Annual Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital 5K Walk/Run with a recent donation of $5,000 to be the event’s finish line sponsor.
The donation was spearheaded by Ansonia Rod & Gun Club Treasurer Horace Behrle, who also serves as a Volunteer Ambassador at the Center for Cancer Care.

Set for Oct. 12, this will be the fifth year for the Center For Cancer Care 5K Walk/Run, which brings together cancer patients, their family members, and friends, to run or walk through Derby and Ansonia in honor, memory, or celebration of a loved one and their cancer journey.

The event has grown from approximately 250 participants in its inaugural year in 2009, to more than 550 participants last October.

The event still has sponsorship opportunities available, including signage at the event, logos on the event promotional materials and T-shirts, and opportunities to have a table to distribute products at the event or put items, coupons or promotional material in participant give-away bags.

For information about sponsorships, contact Christian Meagher, 203-732-7431 or
For information about the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital 5K Walk/Run, visit, call 203-732-1284 or email

This is a press release from Griffin Hospital.

Seymour Lions Club installs officers

Pictured from left are Melissa A. Smith Poynton, Rose Marie Sheehy, Anne Barton, Annette Dlugokenski, Frank DeLeo and Yvonne Lorincz. / Contributed photo

ANSONIA - An installation ceremony was held recently at Molto Bene Italian Restaurant for incoming officers of the Seymour Lions Club.
Yvonne Lorincz was elected club president for 2013-14.  Lorincz has been an active member of the Seymour Lions Club for the past four years.

Melissa A. Smith Poynton was elected to serve as the club secretary and the seconnd VP.  The club’s first vice-president will be Rose Marie Sheehy who will also be the club’s treasurer. Annette Dlugokenski will serve as Tail Twister and Rosaria Forto will be  Lion Tamer.

Lorincz said, “I am looking forward to leading various projects and continuing the Seymour Lions Club’s commitment to serving the community.”

Since the club’s chartering in 1952, its members have worked on a variety of projects in the local community, such as Senior Health Fair, Eye Screenings, Sight Saver Days, Senior Pizza & Bingo, Scholarships, Recycle For Sight, Christmas Parade Float, Trick or Treat in Downtown Seymour, Summer Cruise Nights and an Annual Benefit Car Show. 
Monies raised are distributed to various charities including but not limited to American Red Cross, Fidelco Dogs, Low Vision Center, CRIS Radio, Diabetes Awareness, Camp Hemlock and LCIF.

The Seymour Lions Club has 37 members and meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Molto Bene Italian Restaurant. 
Lions clubs are made up of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs.

For more information or to get involved, contact Melissa A. Smith Poynton, 203-430-9356 or at or visit 

This post is from a press release from the Seymour Lions Club.

Shelton teen applauded for musical accomplishment

Shelton residents Michael and Michaela Coppola, a father-daughter duo, play jazz guitar Friday at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby.

My story about Michaela's passion for music - and jazz guitar in particular - is online today.

She deserves congratulations for all she has achieved at a young age!

Derby Neck Library slates fun activities for kids

Music, movies, and more planned in August

Art on wheels 
DERBY - At 10 a.m. Aug. 6 and again at 10:30 a.m. the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. will be visited by the Art Truck.  
A full art studio on wheels will be available for children to be creative. 
The program is recommended for ages 3 and older. Reserve a space; seating is limited.

Movie for teens
At 5:30 p.m. Aug. 6 the Library hosts Teen Movie Night. 
Play a game of I-Spy and win a prize.  This month’s feature film is "The Host."
Free refreshments will be served.  All teens and 'tweens are invited.

Music and movement
Miss Kathi presents Bedtime Music and Movement at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7.
Wear pajamas and bring a favorite stuffed animal to sing and dance along. This is a fun event for young children.  

Read to therapy dog
From 3-4 p.m. Aug. 11 children are invited to read to Grant, a therapy dog. 
This free program is BARK (Be a Reading Kid). The reading sessions are 15 minutes. 
Registration requested.

Learn origami
From 1-2 p.m. Aug. 12 have fun with Origami for Kids. Learn the Japanese art of paper-folding and take home your free creations. 
This program is best suited to children ages 4 and older.  

Summer songs
At 10 a.m. Aug. 13 and again at 10:30 a.m. Deirdre Murtha brings summer songs to the Library.
This is a fun event for babies and toddlers as they interact using their own small musical instruments and scarves.

Beach party
At 3:30 p.m. Aug. 14, the Library celebrates summer reading with a Beach Party. 
All children are invited to come enjoy our garden, filled with kiddie pools and sprinklers.
Mr. Bungles will perform with his giant 10-foot bubbles and all will make their own fun bubbles.  Wear a swim suit and bring a towel.  

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

This post is taken from a press release from Pat Sweeney, reference and cataloging, Derby Neck Library. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Letter writer applauds library director

Shawn Fields
To the Editor:

Congratulations to long-time Huntington Branch Library Director, Shawn Fields, who begins his exciting new position as Director of Newtown’s Cyrenius H. Booth Library this month.
In his five-plus years within the Shelton Library System, Shawn demonstrated a savvy and unique combination of technology, research and innovative knowledge along with an incredible knack for building relationships amongst patrons, fellow staff members across the entire CT Library System, as well as within the Valley community at large.

A humble, appreciative and well-respected team member, Shawn is a former Marine who also holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science and Religious Studies. He came to Shelton after having worked at both Sacred Heart and Quinnipiac University libraries, and clearly loves working with children.
In fact, Shawn went so far as to completely immerse himself into last year’s “One Book, One City” program, donning full “Gandalf the Wizard” garb as the City of Shelton celebrated J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale, “The Hobbit.”
But along with his many library-related accomplishments, Shawn - an Oxford resident - also somehow found time to serve as President of the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club in 2011-12, passionately spearheading the implementation of the local Amber Alert child-recovery system as one of his very first Rotarian projects.

On a more personal level, I had the esteemed pleasure of working side-by-side with Shawn on several episodes of the local TV show, “Looking Up: A View From The Valley.”
To date, Shawn has made a record six appearances on the program, and right from his very first on-camera appearance, his charm, wit and personable nature made him a natural for TV.
Shawn effortlessly conveyed his vast library knowledge, his extensive Rotarian experience, and even took the time to provide viewers with several very informative and entertaining book/ DVD reviews to help with leisure time choices.
Without question, it has been an absolute pleasure to get to know and work with Shawn during his time in Shelton, and on behalf of everyone in the Valley, I want to thank him for all the wonderful and worthwhile things he’s done for the region, wish him much success on his new venture, and look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts together in the community.

Marc Weissman
Producer/Host “Looking Up: A View From The Valley” Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m., Channel 10

Shelton health facility holds country-western event

Crosby Commons residents Hank Gambaccini and Corrine Sharp enjoy “sarsaparilla” floats during Country Western Day. / Contributed photo

SHELTON - Staff and residents at Crosby Commons Assisted Living Community at Wesley Village put on their cowboy hats and saddled up their horses for a day of western fun.
 Organized by Activities Director,Mary Ann Milano, the day featured a chuck wagon-style barbeque dinner, water pistol shooting lessons, and plenty of country music! 

Wanted posters were hung around the entire community, announcing a reward for the return of a few “notorious” outlaws, whose intimidating photos strangely resembled those of several Crosby residents.
“Sarsaparilla” floats were served out on the “mesa” and cowboy hopefuls were given a chance to take a rope in their hands and lasso a wild pony. 
It was “Home on the Range” for Crosby residents, and though the “deer and the antelope” may have been a few miles away, there were only “encouraging words” for this fun community event.
Crosby Commons is an Assisted and Independent Living Community at Wesley Village and is owned and operated by United Methodist Homes, a faith-based, not-for-profit organization.
Find out why residents at Crosby Commons feel so at home and stop by for a tour today.
Contact Executive Director, Lois Poutney, 203-225-5501 for more information.

This is a press release from Crosby Commons.

BHcare welcomes new president as Cormack retires

Roberta Cook
ANSONIA - After 30 years of dedicated service, Marilyn Cormack retired in June as president of BHcare.   
Cormack has been an influential force behind the growth and success of the organization. 
Her commitment, dedication and passion for the mission has helped to make BHcare what it is today. 
The staff is very grateful for her leadership and wish her well in her retirement. 
Roberta Cook has been appointed by the board of directors as her successor. 
She has been co-leading BHcare with Cormack since the merger of Birmingham Group Health Services and Harbor Health Services in January 2012.  

Cook joined Harbor in 1993 as the chief financial officer and was elected as president in 2005.  
She brings with her an extensive background in financial management, strategic planning, program development and community relations that uniquely positions her to lead BHcare in its mission.

This information is taken from a newsletter from BHcare.

Driver school in Seymour to hold career fair

SEYMOUR - Allstate Commercial Driver Training School, 249 Pearl St., will hold a career fair from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Thursday.
The facility, which offers courses to obtain CDL A, CDL B, CDL Passenger licensing, and forklift training, opened in Seymour in 2012.

With the demand for commercial drivers expected to increase by about 8 per cent in the coming decade, the school represents a great opportunity for people seeking employment. Courses are usually taught on a one-on-one basis and approximately 10 students graduate per week. 

The event will host 10 employers including Coca Cola, DHL, Swift, and Schneider among other industry leaders.  
The CT Career Coach Bus from the Connecticut Department of Labor will be on hand offering additional on-site job placement assistance.
Jason Cappola, a Veterans’ Employment Representative of the Department of Labor, will also be attending to provide assistance to veterans.  
The event is open to the public and everyone is welcome.
For information, contact the school, 203-922-8252 or stop by the office.

This information is taken from a press release.

TEAM launches Valley Diaper Bank

 Mothers and children photographed at the Valley Diaper Bank. / Contributed photo

 Through the generosity of a private donor, TEAM, Inc. announces the launch of the Valley Diaper Bank, providing baby diapers and wipes for families in need.
Federal assistance programs do not cover the cost for diapers, not WIC, SNAP/Food Stamps or Medicare.  An infant uses up to 12 diapers per day, a toddler up to 8 per day. But in low-income households, a baby may be in a single diaper all day or longer. 
 Fledgling household budgets lead to difficult choices and potentially devastating alternatives that will impact the health and wellbeing of the child and their family. Parents who can’t afford diapers can’t leave their child at daycare to go to work or school.
TEAM’s Valley Diaper Bank will address this largely unknown and chronically unmet need. The Diaper Bank is being piloted for families in Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton, with children under the age of 4. 
To register for the Valley Diaper Bank or for additional information, contact Ayanna Williams, Family Resource Center Manager, at 203-736-5420 x 208.
This information is from a press release from TEAM, Inc.

Blessing of Backpacks slated in Oxford

OXFORD - The Oxford-Seymour clergy and churches will sponsor a Blessing of Backpacks at 4 p.m. Aug. 25 at Oxford Town Hall Gazebo.
Bring your backpacks to be blessed.

Participating churches will be collecting donations of backpacks and school supplies.

Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller and Oxford First Selectman George Temple will be on hand as the community comes together to support its children.

This is taken from a press release from Great Hill United Methodist Church in Seymour. 

Derby library to host college fair today

DERBY- The Derby Public Library, 313 Elizabeth St, in partnership with regional colleges and universities, will host the 2013 Derby Public Library College Fair today.   
The event will provide representatives from local colleges and universities that will speak to participants about the application process and the possibilities available to Derby area residents to be empowered to attain a bright future with a college education.  

The event will also feature an Understanding Financial Aid seminar. 
The fair will take place from 4-7 p.m. in the conference room on the third floor. The  Financial Aid Seminar will begin at 4:30 p.m.

“In addition to providing quality programing and resources that foster growth through literacy, the Derby Public Library is committed to facilitate the means for our youth and community to pursue higher education,” said Cathy Williams, Library Director. 

“We will bring under one roof local college and university representatives that will help address questions and concerns about our regional higher academic institutions and will have information about the application process.”

Participating institutions include Albertus Magnus College, Gateway Community College, Lincoln Technical Institute, University of Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University. 
Patrons will have the opportunity to talk individually with each of the college representatives. 

The event will also host a seminar intended to help dispel any myths regarding the Financial Aid application process.  
Vincent Winans and Tom Polowy of LPL Financial will conduct a free seminar that will shed light on what is Financial Aid, how it works and how to navigate the application process.

For information or to RSVP e-mail Ana Gonzalez at or call 203-672-6771.  

This information is taken from a press release.

Report: Possible fatal accident closes part of Route 34 in Derby

DERBY — Route 34 is closed between Buckingham Road and Lake View Terrace due to an accident.

The Valley Independent is reporting one driver is dead in the crash on Roosevelt Drive, which involved a SUV and a tractor-trailer.

Route 67 can be used as an alternate route.

Check here for up-to-date traffic information.

Fatal crash reported on Rt. 34 in Derby

DERBY - The Valley Independent Sentinel is reporting on its Facebook page this morning that a female driver has been killed in a head-on crash on Roosevelt Drive (Route 34) near Lakeview Terrace.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cyclists for CT Challenge in Fairfield offer inspiration, hope

Event held under picture-perfect skies Saturday
A sea of cyclists at opening ceremonies Saturday morning at Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport. These dedicated men and women, who pedaled anywhere from 10 to 180 miles to raise funds for cancer survivors, are my heroes. The 180-mile ride was held over two days.

Here's another view of these super athletic cyclists before they took off Saturday.

WESTPORT - Yes, I know this isn't a View from the Valley as the name of this blog would suggest..but since I live in the Valley I thought I'd take some liberties today.

And of course there are way too many Valley residents living with cancer and in the midst of undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and other forms of treatment to fight the disease. 

I wrote a story about CT Challenge earlier this month. 

My husband Ralph and I volunteered Saturday at this event; he is working on a YouTube slideshow using our photos. I'll embed that in a future blog post, I guess! He's better at some of this technology than I.

We got involved as volunteers through my participation in a weekly exercise class for breast cancer survivors at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby. The class is led by cancer certified exercise trainer extraordinaire Dan Root, who works at CT Challenge.

Since the class is free for those of us in Griffin Hospital's survivorship program, volunteering at this wonderful event is one small way for me to give back. And it was truly a great day.

Former major league baseball player and manager Bobby Valentine, athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, speaks to fellow cyclists at the opening ceremonies. He was introduced by CT Challenge co-founder and President Jeff Keith of Fairfield, who survived cancer when he was 12. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Griffin in Derby to host AARP driver safety course

DERBY - Griffin Hospital will host an AARP Driver Safety Program from 8:45 a.m. to
1 p.m.  Sept. 7 at the hospital, 130 Division St.

The AARP Driver Safety Program is the nation's first and largest refresher course for drivers. 

While the course is geared toward drivers age 50 and older, the course is open to all interested persons.
The training is designed to help you learn current rules of the road, how to operate your vehicle more safely in today's increasingly challenging driving environment, and some adjustments to common age-related changes in vision, hearing, and reaction time.

The course covers such topics as how to maintain proper following distance at all times; the safest way to change lanes and make turns at intersections; the effects of medications on driving; how to minimize the effect of dangerous blind spots; the importance of eliminating distractions, such as eating, smoking, and cell-phone use; proper use of safety belts, air bags, and anti-lock brakes and ways to monitor your own and others' driving skills and capabilities.

Participants will gain a greater appreciation of driving challenges and how they can avoid potential collisions and injuries to themselves and others.
As an added bonus, participants can check with their auto insurance agent to learn whether their company provides auto insurance discounts for completing the course.
The cost is $12 for AARP members; $14 for non-members.
Make checks payable to AARP. Call 203-732-7584 to register.

This is a press release from Griffin Hospital.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Army band delights Ansonia concert-goers

The 102nd Army stage band performs Wednesday at Veterans' Memorial Park in Ansonia.

ANSONIA - My husband Ralph and I enjoyed the sights and sounds of the 102nd Army Band Wednesday night in a free summer concert sponsored by the Ansonia Cultural Commission.

The band is made up of Connecticut National Guard members.

 The band's brass ensemble took the stage ...

and some of them walked into the crowd

where they were well-received.

The American flag, Connecticut flag, and POW-MIA flag fly high above the musicians.  Here    the group's rock band is performing.

Here's another photo of the rockers.

The musicians inspired several audience members to get up and dance. 

Judging by the standing ovation the audience gave the musicians it's safe to say the concert was a huge success.

The Cultural Commission will host Starving Artists, a Seymour-based rock band, at 7 p.m. Aug.  7.
See you at the park!

Seymour Pride to host blood drive

SEYMOUR - The Seymour Pride Committee and the American Red Cross are hosting a blood drive from 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 14 at Seymour Land Trust hall, 13 Chatfield St.

Please join our lifesaving mission and schedule an appointment today!
The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. 
Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every two to three seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime.

Thank you for supporting the American Red Cross blood program.

Go to to register or just stop by.

This post is taken from a press release from Kim Osgood, Seymour Pride Committee.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Shelton book store to host discussion group

Career Coach to visit Derby Public Library

DERBY - The CT Works Career Coach returns to Derby Public Library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 16.
            During both the morning session, 10 a.m. to noon, and the afternoon session, 1-3 p.m., instructors will be offering Job Search Assistance.
            Learn where to look for jobs, how to get the job you want, and how to search for jobs on the Internet.
           The workshop is free and open to the public.
           Registration is requested 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 Cathy Williams, Director, Derby Public Library.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Griffin to offer free screenings at Oxford car show

OXFORD - Griffin Hospital will provide free prostate-specific antigen tests and A1C diabetes tests at the Oxford Center Fire House Car Show Saturday.

Sponsored by the Health Initiative for Men (HiM), and Griffin’s Community Outreach Program, the tests will be conducted on the hospital’s Mobile Health Resource Van along with free blood pressure screenings.
PSA is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. Healthcare workers on the van will take a small blood sample from participants which will be sent to a laboratory to be measure the level of PSA in the blood. A high PSA level could be an indication of prostate cancer.
The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes by gauging average blood sugar levels for the past two months. The higher the A1C level, the poorer the blood sugar control and the higher the risk of diabetes complications.
With the leadership and generosity of Ansonia businessman Frank Michaud, partner with Michaud and Accavallo, CPAs, LLC in Ansonia, and his wife, Judy, Griffin Hospital launched HiM in 2011 to help inspire men to have an annual physical and raise awareness about men's health issues, such as prostate cancer and colorectal cancer.
For information about HiM, visit
The Oxford Center Fire House Car Show will be held from 3-8 p.m. Saturday at the Oxford Center Fire House, 484 Oxford Center Road.
For information about the car show, call 203-881-1411.

Crisco welcomes selection of Woodbridge for microgrid program

HARTFORD - State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. , D-Woodbridge, today welcomed news from
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy that the Town of Woodbridge has been awarded a state grant to complete a town center microgrid to keep critically important town buildings operational during widespread power outages.

The funding is available through a pilot program enacted last year meant to shore up the state’s preparedness for and response to extreme weather events, Crisco said. 
A total of $18 million will be distributed to nine qualifying communities; Woodbridge will receive a grant worth $3 million.

“Woodbridge was selected for this program because town officials had the foresight to have natural gas service installed recently for town hall and the public works facility, the police station, fire headquarters, and high school, and because all those facilities are concentrated near the center of town,” Crisco said. 
“Once the town’s microgrid is built, a 1.6 megawatt natural gas turbine and a 400 kilowatt fuel cell, using fuel available through the new gas lines, will generate power for the town’s essential functions when the large-scale electric grid fails.”

“Microgrids play a major role in our efforts to modernize and harden our infrastructure to withstand severe weather,” Malloy said. “These projects will help protect residents and vital public services even when the power goes out, and in doing so allow us to provide critical services during times of emergency. Over the next two years, I’ve recommended an additional $30 million in funding for the state’s microgrid program to strengthen more Connecticut communities.”

“This is very exciting news for Woodbridge,” said Woodbridge First Selectman Ellen Scalettar. “All of our residents will be the beneficiaries of this new, cutting edge technology. Distributed generation will provide reliable energy during emergencies for our critical facilities, including the Police Department, the Senior Center and Amity High School.”

According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, 36 cities and towns originally submitted proposals for microgrid concepts. 
After detailed feasibility studies, 27 of the 36 moved on to a final round of assessment last winter. 
The nine pilot projects to be awarded funds were announced today.

This is a press release from Crisco's office.

'The Drowsy Chaperone' heads to Shelton for 5 performances

The talented members of the Shelton-based Youth CONNection will stage this Tony Award-winning musical comedy for five performances at Shelton High School. 
The shows will be performed at 8 p.m. July 26, 27, Aug. 2 and 3, with a 2 p.m. matinee Aug. 3.

Stavros Koumbaros, Tom Ball, and Ali Dunne, from left, perform a scene from the show at the July 3 Shelton fireworks event. / Contributed photo

Earlier this week I spoke to director Gary Scarpa (who founded the Youth CONNection three decades ago with his wife, Fran) about the production.

The musical sounds like it will be hilariously funny, and a perfect addition to my summer staycation. I'm looking forward to seeing it. The Scarpas always produce a great show.

Stay tuned for a story in the New Haven Register.


Openings available in Leadership Greater Valley program

SHELTON - Leadership Greater Valley is now accepting applications.

Leadership Greater Valley is a training program for professionals
combining leadership building with community education. What sets this program apart from others is its ability to go beyond corporate to develop the vision and the drive for community change.

The program is scheduled to start Sept. 12, and will run for eight consecutive Thursday afternoons.
LGV is an eight-week program where participants can get a bird’s-eye-view of the issues facing the Valley.
The class is limited to 15 selected individuals who will have the personal opportunity to learn from leaders of many local organizations and associations.
The small class size allows for participants to gain an intimate, one-on-one experience with instructors.

Focus first on individual
The program is unique in that it focuses on the individual before moving on to focus on the Valley. Also, instead of one full day a month for one year, like most other programs, the Leadership Greater Valley program meets for four-five hours per session and the program is completed in eight weeks.

The program is perfect for those new to the area or for companies that see potential in someone to become a leader.

It’s designed for managers and leaders to develop and hone their leading skills.

Virginia Dedad, program graduate and owner of Royal Service Travel, helped highlight some of the benefits of the program:
 “The best benefit is that it increases your knowledge of the Valley and the surrounding towns and the introduction to your classmates is invaluable. It’s a wonderful way to meet people and bond with them.
"You also have the opportunity to meet with leaders in the Valley and get the tools they’ve used to be successful. If someone’s not in a leadership role, it gives them a good insight to what it takes to become a leader. It helps people from all walks of life and all ages.”

This program format has proven successful in many Connecticut communities.
Tuition is only $495 corporate first person rate; $350 non-profit and additional people from any one company.
For more information call the Chamber office, 203-925-4981.

Download the application here. Application deadline is Sept. 9, 2013 

This post is taken from a press release from the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Derby teen readers invited to party at library

DERBY - The Derby Public Library invites members of the 2013 “Beneath the Surface” Teen Summer Reading Club to an end-of-program Dance-Off & Wrap Party, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Aug. 15.

The accomplishments of summer reading club members will be celebrated with food, music, and a drawing for the program’s grand prize winner.
Registration is required.

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

This is a press release from Tony DeLos, Young Adult/Reference Librarian, Derby Public Library.

Shakespeare staged in Shelton

Hundreds brave heat to attend performances

A scene from Shakespeare's 'The Comedy of Errors' presented last week at Veterans' Memorial Park in Shelton. / Contributed photo

SHELTON - The Valley Shakespeare Festival kicked off its inaugural season with its production of "The Comedy of Errors" at Veterans' Memorial Park last week.

The three performances were both well-received and well-attended by more than 400 guests who braved the heat and the threat of severe thunderstorms to make their way to the park to enjoy the first ever free outdoor Shakespeare production in the Valley's history.

These courageous and dedicated souls were rewarded with three beautiful nights of comic theater under the moon and stars served up as only the Bard of Avon can do.  "Our revels now are ended...", but only for a time! 
Valley Shakespeare Festival will be back with more fun and entertaining events throughout the course of the year and again next summer with a new play, so be sure to keep an eye out for their upcoming events.

The cast and crew would like to thank all who attended the performances and their fundraiser and all their wonderful sponsors for their belief in the organization's vision and support of their dream to provide free Shakespeare for all. 

This press release was submitted by Shelton resident Cheryl O'Brien. 

Seymour group plans trip to benefit animal shelter

SEYMOUR - The Seymour Pride Committee still has seats available for the bus trip to Mohegan Sun casino on Aug. 17.
Proceeds from the trip go the Seymour Animal Shelter.

Tickets are $40 and include a $15 meal voucher and three $5 wheel bets.
The bus will leave the Tri-Town plaza on Derby Avenue at 4 p.m. and will return at 1 a.m.  
New deadline for tickets is Aug. 1

The committee has helped the shelter with much needed supplies the past two years and members hope to be able to do it again.

To reserve a seat contact Kim Osgood at

This is a press release from Kim Osgood, Seymour Pride Committee member.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pond life is topic of Ansonia Nature Center program

ANSONIA - Secrets of Redwing Pond will be the topic of the next Nature’s Child program at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 16 at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center, 10 Deerfield Road.
Preschoolers accompanied by adults are invited to join Ranger Wendy for an introduction to Redwing Pond, home to turtles, frogs and more.

Participants should dress to get a little wet and maybe muddy as they hunt for the wild inhabitants and learn about their lives.

Call 203-736-1053 to register.
Tuition is $6 per family, and $4 for Ansonia residents and family-level members of the Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc.

Crisco, Gentile hail imminent funding for TEAM

$170,000 allocation expected from state
HARTFORD – State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, and state Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, today welcomed news of imminent state funding for the early care and education center operated by TEAM, Inc. in Ansonia.

State support is to be provided through a provision of state law enacted earlier this year for facility improvements where school readiness and daycare programs operate.

The grant for TEAM, Inc. is included on the agenda for Friday’s meeting of the State Bond Commission and is expected to receive final approval at that time, the lawmakers said.

“For nearly 50 years TEAM has been helping economically disadvantaged families throughout the Naugatuck Valley by providing direct services or by referring them to other sources for help, always with the goal of increasing their clients’ self-sufficiency,” Crisco said. 
“I’m delighted we can bring these state resources to bear to the benefit of TEAM, which in turn provides essential services to more than 5,000 area families each year.”

More specifically, the $170,000 allocation expected on Friday will help underwrite a security system upgrade, playground resurfacing, and improvements to the air regulation and cooling system at TEAM’s Howard Avenue facility in Ansonia, the lawmakers said.

“TEAM provides affordable daycare and Head Start programs for many children from not only Ansonia and Derby, but also from all of our Valley communities,” Gentile said. “I am pleased these funds will be put to good use to provide a safe and healthy learning and play environment for our children. We know that a positive early learning experience is fundamental to educational achievement and success.”

“When we improve early childhood education, we set a foundation for our young people that they will build on their entire lives,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.
“Early learning programs like these provided in Ansonia will significantly contribute to a child’s overall healthy development, enabling them to learn the skills needed for success that will lead them through the rest of their lives.”

TEAM, Inc. operates more than a dozen separate programs for clients of all ages, ranging from school readiness and daycare for children to Meals on Wheels and home heating assistance for seniors.

 This is a press release from Crisco's office.

Get to know local snakes at Ansonia Nature Center program

ANSONIA - Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation is celebrating 2013 as the Year of the Snake.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife Division is participating in this yearlong outreach campaign to raise awareness of the status of snakes and the threats and human attitudes that contribute to their decline.

There are 14 native species of snakes found in Connecticut.

At 2 p.m. Aug. 17 join Assistant Nature Center Director Alison Rubelmann who will conduct a program on local snakes and other reptiles who are often in need of some good public relations.
Learn how snakes benefit people and the environment.

Call 203-736-1053 to register for this free program. The nature center is at 10 Deerfield Road.

Ansonia library to offer Colonial fun for kids

ANSONIA - The Ansonia Library children’s department will offer a program, Butter Churning in the Colonial Days, for grades kindergarten and up at 10 a.m. Aug. 13.
This event is part of the Library’s summer reading programs.

For information call the children’s department, 203-734-6728.

The Library is at 53 S. Cliff St.

This is a press release from Joyce Ceccarelli, Library Director.

Water main failure reported in Ansonia

The following information was posted just after 1:40 p.m. today on Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller's Facebook page:
"Regional Water Authority construction crews are responding to a water main failure at the intersection of Wakelee Avenue and Franklin Street in Ansonia.
"We are attempting to maintain pressure and provide adequate volume of water supply to the areas north of this intersection via two temporary modifications to the distribution system in this immediate area. Please note that there may be reduced pressure and volume in the affected area despite these modifications. Both Ansonia and Seymour Fire Departments have been notified.

"Specific customers impacted are those residing on the following streets; Wakelee Avenue north of Franklin and Great Hill Rd in Ansonia and Great Hill Rd/Fountain Lake Rd, Derby Ave, Bungay Rd, Brookdale Rd and Ansmour Rd in Seymour.

"The time needed to repair the failed main and for full service restoration are unknown at this time as existing conditions are being identified."

We head to Hamden on National Ice Cream Day

HAMDEN - Son Cameron and I headed to Hamden to find a frozen treat on Sunday, which just happened to be National Ice Cream Day.

After all we had to celebrate ice cream!

We stopped at Cherry on Top Ice Cream Shop at 1654 Whitney Ave. in the Spring Glen section of town. The friendly server told us the shop opened in June of 2012.

Coincidentally the shop also serves Buck's Ice Cream, which I and my ice cream compadres have now enjoyed at several locations, most recently last week at Dave & Dave's in Shelton.

Cameron ordered a medium-sized sundae with two scoops of cookies 'n cream ice cream and a scoop of peanut butter fudge ice cream, Nutella (hazelnut chocolate spread), walnuts and whipped cream.

His reaction? "It was really good!"

I got a waffle cone with a scoop of birthday cake burst ice cream topped with a scoop of rich chocolate ice cream. I daresay it was a delicious combo.

The ice cream parlor has a few seats inside but since Sunday was not too hot we decided to sit at one of the tables out on the sidewalk to enjoy our treat.
The afternoon was quiet and there didn't even seem to be much traffic on normally busy Whitney Avenue.

Would we go back? Absolutely. I recommend you give it a try!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Seymour church to hold BBQ dinner Aug. 3

SEYMOUR - A Chicken or Ribs Bar-B-Que Dinner will be held from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 3 at Great Hill United Methodist Church, 225 Great Hill Road.
The menu will include choice of chicken or  (Rowland Farms) ribs, coleslaw, baked beans, dessert and a beverage. 
The price per dinner for adults is $12 and $6 for children (8 and under). 
Take-out meals will also be available.

            Reservations are  suggested.
            For information and/or reservations contact Bob DeBisschop, 203-888-4159 or 203-906-2958 or Ken Shaw, 203-415-7093.

2 Seymour officers win plaudits for heroism

SEYMOUR - Police Sgt. David Parratt and Officer James Duda are to be commended for saving the life of an infant earlier this week.

Read Register Correspondent Jean Falbo-Sosnovich's compelling account of what unfolded Monday in a harrowing incident on Rimmon Street on the Seymour-Beacon Falls line.

Valley Community Foundation awards 1-year grants to 28 nonprofits

DERBY - Through its $3,000 and under Community Grants process, the Valley Community Foundation has awarded nearly $50,000 in one-year grants to 28 nonprofit and grassroots organizations serving the Valley region. 

"We are so very pleased to have received such wonderful applications to support such a wide variety of projects," said Sharon Closius, President /CEO of The Valley Community Foundation.

 "Our Community Grants Review Committee, comprised of dedicated local citizens throughout our Valley communities and chaired by board member Liz Kennard, did an outstanding job of thoughtfully reviewing each application and making recommendations to our full Board," she said.  "Their comments and input were invaluable as we made the final decisions in our 2013 Community Grantmaking process."  

"VCF's grant dollars will fund programs such as "Read and Grow: 1,000 Books before Kindergarten," to support the cost of books, puzzles, games, and book bags for 100 Shelton children to help and encourage their families to read 1,000 books to them before they enter kindergarten.  
"Additional funds will support "Project Family Hope" in Ansonia, which focuses on activities and experiences designed to strengthen family bonds and relationships. 
"And thanks to VCF's Community Grant program, the Seymour Historical Society will now be able to purchase a software program to digitize handwritten archival records that are currently on file cards so that Seymour's valuable history can be preserved and passed down to new generations for years to come," Closius said.

 The Community Grant program is one of several grant programs VCF offers, including:

  *   Revolving Response Grants, which range from $250-$5,000 and meet nonprofit organizations' emergency or urgent needs
  *   Responsive Grants, which generally address an organization's operating, programmatic or capacity building needs at the $5,000 or more level.

VCF plans to distribute $665,000 in grants to community organizations from unrestricted funds this year. 

The Valley Community Foundation was established in 2004 to serve Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton.  Since then, it has dedicated itself to making the Naugatuck Valley a better place to live and work, both now and in the future.  

VCF's Community Grants Program (formerly known as Valley Small Grants) is rooted in The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven's Neighborhood Leadership Grant Program. It provides funding to assist organizations in carrying out their civic agenda, and to support the development and implementation of worthy projects throughout the Valley.

Thanks to the generosity of Valley donors, hundreds of thousands of grant dollars each year are distributed from the Foundation. 

In addition to grant-making, VCF works in strong partnership with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven toward building a stronger community by: working closely with donors to grow and deepen the impact of their philanthropy; identifying and supporting grassroots leadership; and strengthening nonprofits and promoting philanthropy through technical assistance programs.

To learn more about how your gifts of cash, life insurance, appreciated stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets can help to support the quality of life in the Valley, contact Sharon Closius at <><> or 203-751-9162.  

For a complete list of 2013 community grant recipients or for additional information, visit VCF's website at<>.

This is a press release from the Valley Community Foundation.

Paint the Town and Your House Pink

  Pinkest House/Yard/Business Decorating Contest Sharing from Seymour Pink founder Mary Deming: "We love seeing all of the pink ribbons...