Thursday, October 31, 2013

Derby Historical Society to hold Thanksgiving Reception, annual appeal

John Ireland Howe
DERBY - The Derby Historical Society will hold its 23rd Annual Appeal & Thanksgiving Reception from 4:30- 6:30 p.m. Nov. 25 at Grassy Hill Lodge, 77 Sodom Lane.

Local caterer and community leader David M. Grant Sr. will be honored with the John Ireland Howe Award.

Donors of $40 or more to the Annual Appeal will receive a complimentary ticket to attend this program.
For information contact 203-735-1908.

The Derby Historical Society is a regional historical society dedicated to preserving, maintaining and celebrating the rich and varied history of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.

The Derby Historical Society welcomes all visitors and is also available to support researchers, school or other program needs.

Staff offices are located at the Sarah Riggs Humphreys House, 37 Elm St., Ansonia.
For more information, visit

This is a press release from the Derby Historical Society. 

Health facility in Shelton marks completion of renovations

New entrance to Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center at Wesley Village in Shelton./ Contributed photo

SHELTON - Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center at Wesley Village recently celebrated the completion of a  renovation project, bringing relationship-centered care even closer to residents.

The renovations included redesigned nursing stations which removed the physical barriers that prevent families and residents in wheelchairs to connect with staff.
Nursing stations have evolved into “interdisciplinary work centers” and encourage interaction between staff, residents, families, and guests.

Also part of the upgrades, which were reviewed and critiqued by staff, residents, and families during the renovation project, were updated sitting and dining areas, therapy rooms, furniture, artwork, flooring, ceiling, lighting, technology, and more.

'Out of the box' idea
Bishop Wicke received a waiver from the state for this innovative care initiative, which was considered an “out of the box” idea for their 120-bed facility which provides short-term rehabilitation and also long-term care.
Several events were organized to unveil the renovations during the month of October, including an open house for both healthcare professionals and the public and a dignitary event for local representatives, donors, and other guests.

Owned and operated by United Methodist Homes (UMH), a local, faith-based, not-for-profit organization based in Shelton, CT, Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center is proud to continue the mission of UMH by providing a continuum of services that supports health, independence, and dignity.

For more information about Bishop Wicke at Wesley Village, visit

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

Parent Child Resource Center in Derby offers safety tips

The Parent Child Resource Center wishes all of you a very Happy and Safe Halloween! As we prepare for trick or treaters, we thought to send some useful tips for safety.

Considering our focus is on supporting families and the well-being of children, we wish you all a very Happy and Safe Halloween Celebration!


Walk Safely

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. 

  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street.

  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.

  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are not sidewalks or paths, be sure to walk facing traffic, as far to the left as possible.

  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick or Treat With an Adult

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.

  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision.

  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. 

  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. 

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.

  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.

  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

For more tips and resources for kids and families, visit
This is a press release from the Lower Naugatuck Valley Parent Child Resource Center in Derby.


Dinner in Derby benefits Valley Shakespeare Festival

Revelers at fundraiser for Shelton troupe. / Contributed photo

DERBY - Valley Shakespeare Festival’s “All Hallows Eve” fundraiser last week at the Twisted Vine Restaurant was a hugely successful event.
Sixty-plus revelers were welcomed to the Halloween-themed dinner theater, arriving attired in all manner of costumes from insects to pixies, spies, superheroes, cartoon characters, historical figures, vampires and, of course, witches (it was, after all, a Shakespearean party!) 

A buffet dinner was generously provided by Mike Picone’s Twisted Vine Restaurant, followed by coffee and a Valley Shakespeare Festival cake. 

Guests were entertained by many members of the cast who performed in the company’s summer production of "The Comedy of Errors."
 Kristen Kingsley of Shelton, Amy Strachan of Monroe and Sarah Ann Masse of Trumbull, playing the three witches, opened with a reading of Act I, Scene I of "MacBeth."
They were joined by Shelton native Tom Simonetti, Nick Afka Thomas of Trumbull, and New Yorkers Adam Kezele and Jessica Breda, for a rousing rendition of “Magic To Do” from the Tony award-winning musical "Pippin."
Nick and Adam took a serious turn and wowed the crowd with a moving reading of Act III Scene III of "Hamlet" in which Hamlet comes upon his uncle, the king, in prayer confessing the murder of Hamlet’s father.
Jessica was up next, and lightened the mood with a delightful reading of the tongue-twister “Jabberwocky” from Lewis Carroll’s "Through the Looking Glass."
Kristen, Jessica and Sarah then returned with a deeply affecting performance of Act V Scene I of MacBeth in which Lady MacBeth is observed sleepwalking while uttering the famous line “Out damned spot.”
It featured Sarah as the tormented Lady MacBeth, Kristen as the doctor and Jessica as the gentlewoman.
Shifting gears again, Tom and Amy came on and brought down the house with a spirited performance of the satirical number “A Little Priest” from Sondheim’s "Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street." Nick concluded the evening’s entertainment with a heartening reading of Prospero’s Epilogue of "The Tempest."

The evening waning, the cast took a moment to confer about to whom to award the grand prize of the costume contest, two tickets to a performance of Westport Country Playhouse’s 2014 Season. 

Margaret Watkins was chosen for her original and inventive wardrobe creation, “Steampunk Rock Girl,” a style of clothing, and an artistic style as well, of the late '80s inspired by works by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and the industrialization of Western Civilization on culture during the 19th century.

Restaurant to donate to troupe
Folks who wish to continue to enjoy and support free theater in the Valley are encouraged to return to the Twisted Vine during November and December. That's when 10 percent of all food and beverage costs incurred by diners who mention Valley Shakespeare Festival will be donated back to the Company by the restaurant.

If you’d like to see more free theater in the Valley, support Valley Shakespeare Festival and “Dine at the Vine!”
Cast members include, from left, Valley Shakespeare Festival founder and Shelton native Tom Simonetti, Kristen Kingsley, Sarah Ann Masse, Nick Afka Thomas, Amy Strachan, Jess Breda and Adam Kezele. / Contributed photo

This post is a slightly edited press release from Cheryl O'Brien of Shelton. 

I'm sorry I had to miss this event ~ it looks like a fun time was had by all!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Crisco co-hosts Are You Dense Day to raise awareness

HARTFORD - State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, co-chair of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, was joined today by a bipartisan group of other legislators to co-host Are You Dense Day in the Legislative Office Building.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy delivered welcoming remarks to start the program; Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman also spoke at the event.

According to organizers, Are You Dense Day was planned to, ‘honor Connecticut’s global leadership in breast density legislation’ and raise awareness about how dense breast tissue can mask developing breast cancer from routine mammograms.
Connecticut has enacted a series of laws – beginning in 2005 – requiring notification of women who have dense breast tissue and insurance coverage for additional breast cancer screenings.

“Breast density is a well-established predictor of breast cancer risk, but dense breast tissue masks tumors because they look alike on a routine mammogram,” Crisco said.
“Forty percent of all women are said to have dense breast tissue and yet doctors speak to less than 10 percent of their women patients about it – we have so much more work to do to raise awareness of this critical component of early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.”

Are You Dense Day featured presentations from two radiologists who described the enhanced value of additional screenings for women with dense breast tissue.
“We’re finding small, mammographically occult cancers at a significant rate and we’re able to do that and still be efficient,” said Regina Hooley, M.D., Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Radiology at the Yale School of Medicine, one of the presenters.

“There are too many women who are unaware of their breast density, believe their ‘happy gram’ when it reports ‘normal,’ and are at risk of receiving a late-stage cancer diagnosis,” according to Nancy M. Cappello, Ph.D., founder and Executive Director of Are You Dense, Inc., and one of the organizers of Are You Dense Day.
“Cancers detected early have better treatment and survival outcomes.”

Are You Dense Day underscored Connecticut’s leadership on this issue – there are new laws in 12 other states comparable to those in Connecticut, pending legislation in nearly a dozen other states, and interest from the United States and other national governments.

This is a press release from Crisco's office.

Therapy dog, crafts, movies, and more slated at Derby Neck Library

DERBY - Grant, a therapy dog, will visit Derby Neck Library from 3-4 p.m. Nov. 3 for B.A.R.K. (Be a Reading Kid).
This program allows a child to practice reading to a trained, listening dog.
Registration for a 15-minute session requested.

Ancient board game
A Go! Club for teens and adults meets at the Library at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5.
Come learn this ancient Chinese game that predates chess. Boards and game pieces are available at the library and  instruction as to the game’s rules and strategies will be provided free of charge.
Registration is requested.

Pizza, movie
At 5:30 p.m. Nov. 7 adults over 18 are invited to enjoy dinner and a movie.
This monthly free program will feature ”Young Frankenstein” in high definition blu-ray.
Free refreshments will be provided, including pizza. Registration is requested.

Music and movement
Join Miss Kathi at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 for Bedtime Music and Movement.  Children are invited to wear their pajamas and bring a favorite stuffed animal as they sing and dance. Registration requested.

Thanksgiving story time
At 3 p.m. Nov. 17 the Library will present “This is the Feast” for children ages 2 and older.
Join Linda Milardo, a history re-enactor and storyteller as she helps you celebrate Thanksgiving with a story. Participants will create a puppet craft. Registration requested. 

Women's Forum
At 12:30 p.m. Nov. 18 the Library will host Women’s Forum, a monthly discussion group that focuses on ideas and interests important to women—including the arts, literature, history, and the news.
This month we discuss our memories of Thanksgiving, such as family traditions, prayers, games, recipes, etc. Bring a light lunch; free coffee and tea provided.

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

This post is taken from a press release from the library.

Valley mystery photo ~ zombie style


Recognize this Valley native? Please leave your guesses in the comments!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween spirit spotted in Derby

This display caught my eye on my travels today. I had to stop and take a photo.

Have a Halloween-themed photo to share? Please send to and I just may post it. 

Commissioner to address small business owners at Shelton event

SHELTON - Commissioner Catherine H. Smith of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will offer a brief seminar to area small business people beginning at 9 a.m. Friday at the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce office, 10 Progress Drive.

She will introduce them to the state’s small business assistance programs including the highly successful Small Business Express (EXP), Subsidized Training and Employment (Step Up), and Job Expansion Tax Credit (JET) programs.
Immediately following the Commissioner’s presentation, DECD staff will be available to meet with individual small businesses to discuss the opportunities available to them.

“We have some of the best tools to help small businesses in the country, and in the past two years, we have helped hundreds and hundreds of small business people achieve their goals,” Smith said. “Connecticut has experienced the best two-year record of job growth since the late 1990s, with tens of thousands of private sector jobs created. We’re looking to continue that trend, so we’re coming out to the valley to make it a little easier for local business people to learn about our programs, and meet some of our economic development staff.”

The presentation is being hosted by the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association is co-sponsoring the event.

To register, email your first and last name, phone number, company name and address, to For more event information, call 860-270-8052.

Visit DECD on the web at

This is a press release from the Department of Economic and Community Development.  

Derby Library to host holiday crafts programs

Turkey to have starring role

DERBY - A special children’s holiday program will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 16 at the Derby Public Library.

Children in kindergarten through Grade 4 are welcome to attend The Thanksgiving Feast.  
Join Linda Milardo, a historical re-enactor and educator who will be dressed in Colonial attire, for a story about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. 
Kids will be able to view Colonial objects and toys and have fun making a turkey craft.
The program is free, but registration is requested.

Crafty Kids
       The Derby Public Library invites children in kindergarten through Grade 4 to stop by the library at 3:45 p.m. Nov. 19 for a Thanksgiving-themed Crafty Kids.  All materials will be provided and there is no fee to attend.
      Registration is requested. 

Tween Tuesdays
    The newly introduced Tween Tuesdays program for 10 to 12-year-olds continues at the Library with a Thanksgiving themed arts and crafts project at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19.
    All materials will be supplied and there is no fee to attend.
    Registration is requested. There is no fee to attend and materials will be supplied. 

Science Snoopers
       Science Snoopers presents Turkey Time at the Library at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 20. Children ages 3-6 will learn all about this “noble” bird as it was often called by Ben Franklin during this hour-long, interactive presentation.
     The Science Snoopers series are designed to introduce children to the natural world around them offering them an opportunity to explore the simplicity and complexity of science. 
    The class includes a short talk enhanced with hands-on material, props and an experiment, a short story related to the theme followed by an art project.
     Registration is requested. There is no fee to attend. 
     For further information or to register for any of the above programs, call the Children’s Room at 203-736-1482, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., or visit

This is a press release from the library.

Bus safety events held in Seymour schools

SEYMOUR - The week of Oct. 21 was National School Bus Safety Week.
During this week staff at Bungay and Chatfield-LoPresti elementary schools planned events aimed at improving bus safety and school bus awareness throughout the district.  
All-Star Transportation sent five teams of safety personnel along with four buses to each of the elementary schools.  
Safety personnel gave a presentation on bus safety to students outside each bus creating an awareness of traffic safety and pointed out the dangers of not being alert when boarding and exiting the bus. 
Inside each bus, other students participated in reviewing proper behavior while riding on the bus, safely crossing the street, and emergency bus evacuation, and other safety rules.  

Students from Bungay and Chatfield-Lopresti elementary schools participated in this event.

This post is taken from a press release from Seymour Public Schools.

Health expo slated Saturday in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE - New England Young at Heart Health Expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Woodbridge Senior Center gym, 4 Meeting House Lane.

Dr. Bernie Siegel, a Woodbridge resident, will be on hand from noon to 1 p.m. to sign his new book, The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing.

A flu shot clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, and there will be a variety of home, health and beauty products vendors.

Admission is free.
For more information call Elaine Marcucio, 203-887-5047 or

This post is taken from a press release.

Shelton program highlights cancer surgery options

Shelton Police Officer Mary Beth White

SHELTON - I attended a talk Monday night at the R.D. Scinto Auditorium about reconstructive surgery techniques for breast cancer survivors.

It was presented by Dr. Andrew S. Kenler and Dr. Shareef Jandali. They are members of the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center at Bridgeport Hospital, part of the Yale-New Haven Health System.

The event was organized by Shelton Police Officer Mary Beth White, pictured above, who was diagnosed last year with Stage 1 breast cancer.

As a breast cancer survivor myself I commend White for bringing such an educational presentation to the community during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Artist to teach clay workshop at Derby Public Library

DERBY - The Derby Public Library invites young adults ages 12 to 17 to a two-session Working with Clay Workshop from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 21 and Dec. 5.

Valley Arts Council President Richard DiCarlo of Derby will guide participants first through ornament sculpting, followed by painting of the holiday-themed sculptures.

Registration is requested.

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.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Shelton native seeks votes in singing contest

Courtney Peterman of Waterbury in the Bristol McDonald's where she works. Peterman is a semi-finalist in a company-wide singing competition and needs votes on her video at   Mara Lavitt/Register

Best of luck to Shelton native Courtney Peterman of Waterbury as she seeks votes in McDonald's singing competition!

Seymour students learn safety, storytelling, cancer awareness

Bungay School shares October events

SEYMOUR - Members of Great Hill Hose Company visited students in kindergarten through Grade 3 earlier this month at Bungay Elementary School.
The children learned valuable facts about smoke detectors, dialing 9-1-1, and stop, drop, and roll.  
The firemen also showed the children their “gear” that they wear while working at a fire, and explained that they should not be alarmed by the firefighters’ appearance in the event of a fire.  
The favorite part of the presentation was going outdoors and seeing a real fire truck.
Thank you to the Great Hill Hose Company and all the volunteer firemen for bringing this helpful program to our students.

Author Eshu Bumpus, pictured above, joined third graders to share entertaining folktales with them.
After his storytelling, he visited each of the four classrooms to help the students plan their very own interdiction stories. 
In the stories, they are the main characters with a special talent that will get them out of their problem. They received stickers that will help them map out their settings in future sessions.

Students and staff celebrated Seymour Pink, Inc. in support of breast cancer awareness.  It was a wonderful sight to see everyone dressed in pink, (there even was some pink hair), while endorsing this very special event. 
Even the school was decorated to match the upbeat mood to help eradicate this disease. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Bungay School staff would like to send a sincere thank you to everyone who donated and/or purchased this year’s T-shirt.

This information is taken from a press release from Bungay School. All photos are contributed.

Derby Public Library slates activities for kids

DERBY - The Derby Public Library welcomes Elaine Langsam, Baby Signs Certified Instructor and Early Childhood Educator, at 10 a.m. Nov. 7 for a special presentation geared for two-year olds and their caregivers. 
Toddlers will focus on learning signs as they interact with each other and their caregivers through a variety of activities including music.    

This program is free, but registration is requested. 
For information or to register, visit, call the Children’s Room, 203-736-1482 or stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St.

Lego Times
Also on Nov. 7 the Library invites children ages 4-11 to use their creative talents and stir their imaginations during Lego Time at 3:30 p.m. and again at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 16.
All levels of building skills are welcome to participate in this drop-in program which will be held twice a month. 
No registration necessary.

This post is taken from a press release from Derby Public Library.

TEAM, Wesley Village to host festival of trees, craft fair in Shelton

10th annual event planned
I snapped this photo at last year's preview reception at Wesley Village. All of the trees were beautifully decorated.

SHELTON – The 10th annual Festival of Trees and Wesley Village Craft Fair will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 23 and 24 at Wesley Village, 580 Long Hill Ave.
The event benefits Volunteer Caregivers at TEAM, Inc. and activity programs for seniors at Wesley Village. 

The two days include activities and fun for the whole family, including the viewing of beautifully decorated themed trees and wreaths donated by area businesses, organizations, and individuals.  Participants may buy raffle tickets for the chance to win any of the donated trees.
All drawings will be held on Sunday at 3:15 p.m. Winners do not need to be present. 

The event also features a Holiday Craft Fair, with more than 50 vendors offering a variety of unique gifts and handmade crafts.
A local photographer will be taking photos with Santa from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. both days. 

Throughout the day, there will be a holiday bake sale as well as refreshments available in the Crosby Commons Café.

Information about TEAM 
TEAM provides supportive services to over 5,000 low and moderate-income families in the lower Naugatuck Valley region and Milford.
Located in Derby, TEAM programming assists socially and economically vulnerable families to meet their basic needs and become more self-sufficient.
Services reach all sectors of the community (e.g. young parents, preschool children, seniors and the working poor) through affordable child development, elderly nutrition, asset development, housing crisis avoidance, energy assistance and senior supports.
For more information on TEAM, please visit

About Wesley Village
The Wesley Village Campus provides a continuum of relationship-centered care. Wesley Village offers five-star rated skilled nursing care and rehabilitation at their newly renovated Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center, award-winning assisted living at Crosby Commons, independent living cottages at Wesley Heights, and a community Wellness Center.

Part of United Methodist Homes, a local, faith-based, not-for-profit organization, we are truly a campus committed to our mission to provide relationship-centered care for the mind, body, and spirit. For more information about Wesley Village, please visit

This post is taken from a press release from TEAM, Inc.

Oxford Historical Society to take part in giving challenge

OXFORD - The Oxford Historical Society will participate in the Give Local Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills online giving program.

This event is sponsored by the Connecticut Community Foundation.
Twitchell-Rowland Homestead /Photo from website

The challenge seeks to inspire people to support local nonprofit organizations during a 36-hour online giving period between 7 a.m. Nov. 12 through 7 p.m.Nov. 13.

Historical Society Preservation Chair, Dorothy A. DeBisschop said the Society looks forward to participating in the challenge.
The Connecticut Community Foundation will amplify every penny of every dollar donated during the 36 hour campaign with matching funds and prizes.

"Our next major project will be the paving of the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead driveway," DeBisschop said.  Last winter, the Society had to cancel some scheduled open houses because the driveway was too muddy for parking.
Through public support of the Give Local Online Giving Challenge, funds will be raised so that the Museum is accessible in all weather.

The online donation challenge is important because the Connecticut Community Foundation will cover all the processing fees. Every penny donated will go directly to the Society.
Joining CCF in this effort are the Naugatuck Savings Bank as Presenting Sponsor, Crystal Rock as Website Sponsor and WATR as Media Sponsor.

This is a press release from the Oxford Historical Society.  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

School in Ansonia gets into the pink

Emmett O'Brien Tech marks breast cancer awareness month

Students and staff wearing EOB Goes Pink Day T-shirts pose in front of the school Friday.
Principal Laurie LeBouthillier went on the roof to take a photo of them standing in the shape of a breast cancer awareness ribbon.
I stayed on the ground to capture this "sea of pink."

The school collected $1,450 for The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital in Derby. 

The gym was alive with spirit during Friday's volleyball tournament.
The cheerleaders created a special 'fight breast cancer' cheer.

O'Brien students and staff deserve plaudits for their efforts to support Griffin's breast wellness center and for raising awareness of the disease.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Singer to perform at Ansonia Nature Center

ANSONIA - The Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center will welcome back singer/songwriter Chris Rowlands at 7 p.m. Nov. 8.

The show will be a kid-friendly presentation for those who love music and nature.

Rowlands is an award-winning musician who tours the United States offering participatory environmental education concerts for children and their families. He creatively blends music, comedy, and education in a fast-paced show that teachers and inspires.

The concert is free, but a donation is requested to help support the Center’s wildlife rehabilitation program.

Space is limited; register early by calling 203-736-1053. The nature center is at 10 Deerfield Road.

This is a press release from the nature center.

Fundraiser Saturday to benefit Seymour Pink

I just realized I hadn't posted this information. My mistake!

It's another great event planned in the Valley during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to support Seymour Pink, Inc.

Seymour Red Day planned to support diabetes research, raise awareness

SEYMOUR - On Nov. 9 Seymour goes red in support of the American Diabetes Association.

The Board of Selectmen will sign a proclamation designating Nov. 9 Seymour Red Day.
The goal is to raise awareness to the plight of Americans living with diabetes and to gather donations for diabetes research.

Although this is only the second year that it will be a town-wide event, Seymour resident Jacob Liedke, an enterprising freshman at Seymour High School who first brought the event to fruition, has been working for years to bring an end to diabetes.
He and his mother, Nicole, both suffer from Type-1 Diabetes. When asked about his motivation for starting the event, Jacob said, “The American Diabetes Association needs our help to raise money to increase education about the disease and fund the research to find a cure.”

This year’s Seymour Red Day will include the Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes.  Registration will begin at 2:30 p.m. and the walk will begin at 3 p.m.
The route begins at Town Hall and ends at Hot Tamale Mexican Restaurant, 39 New Haven Road in Seybridge Plaza, where a reception will be held for participants afterward.
Children and families are encouraged to sign up.  Registration, which includes a T-shirt and refreshments, is $20 a person or $50 for a family. 
At 8 p.m. Hot Tamale will host an adults only '80s Party. Costumes are not required and raffle tickets will be sold.

All proceeds and donations from the walk, donation and raffles will be donated to the American Diabetes Association.
Contact Nicole Liedke at with any questions.

This is a press release from the Town of Seymour.

Seymour High School's safe driving pledge aims to save lives

*Sharing story from last week; pledge deadline is tomorrow

SEYMOUR >> Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among teens in the U.S., statistics show, and that’s why school officials here are urging the community to make a pledge in the name of safe driving.

That staggering fact has prompted students at Seymour High School to rally community members, friends and family to commit to safe driving with an email campaign through Oct. 26.
“We are working hard to reverse the startling statistic that car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the U.S.,” said Seymour Schools’ Director of Security Richard Kearns.
Kearns said the high school is participating in “Celebrate My Drive,” a national program dedicated to celebrating the fun of getting a driver’s license, while also teaching young drivers safety habits to help them avoid car crashes.
If SHS is successful in recruiting enough support through the email campaign, Kearns said the school stands to win a $100,000 grant and possibly a concert in town by Grammy-winning artist Kelly Clarkson.

Kearns said making the pledge is simple, and anyone with a computer and an email address can log onto by Oct. 26 to make a safe driving commitment once a day, every day.
“The more safe driving commitments our community makes on behalf of Seymour High School, the better our chance to win $100,000 and host the Kelly Clarkson concert,” Kearns said.
The Celebrate My Drive campaign is sponsored by State Farm Insurance, which says, according to its website, “a teen’s first year on the road is the most dangerous,” and teaching young drivers safe driving habits can help avoid accidents.

Statistics from State Farm’s website show the fatality rate for drivers age 16 to 19 is four times that of drivers aged 25 to 69 years; the crash fatality rate is highest for 16- to 17-year-olds within the first six months after getting their license; the top three predictors for fatality are non-use of seat belts, teen drivers and roads with speed limits of 45 mph or higher; half of teen drivers report driving 10 mph over the speed limit at least sometimes; nine out of 10 teens reported it was common to see teens driving while talking on a cellphone; teens have the lowest seat belt use rates of any age group, leading to deadly consequences, with six out of 10 drivers ages 16 to 20 who were killed in crashes having been unrestrained.
Kearns said more information about the campaign can be obtained by calling 203-888-2561 ext. 1003.
Pledges can also be made on Facebook at

Craft fair to benefit Seymour Pink

I saw this on Facebook today and had to re-post. I do what I can to support Seymour Pink, a wonderful, grassroots organization established to fight breast cancer, raise awareness, and support those who have been diagnosed with the disease. 

I've written before about my gratitude to the organization, because I also received financial support from Seymour Pink during my treatment for breast cancer.
It was not only the much-needed money I was given to put toward medical bills, it was the knowledge that a group of people who I'd never met cared enough to show concern.

I'm happy to say I've since gotten to know Seymour Pink founder Mary Deming, a woman who has helped so many!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Derby Historical Society to host 'Taste of the Past'

ANSONIA – The Derby Historical Society will host “A Taste of the Past” from 1-4 p.m. Nov. 16 at the David Humphreys House, 37 Elm St. 

It will be held in lieu of the historical society's annual Open Hearth Cooking event, due to ongoing renovations at the David Humphreys House.

There will be samplings of traditional holiday favorites, including, but not limited to, baked ham, Brunswick stew, plum pudding, and pumpkin pie. 
Docents and junior docents will demonstrate Colonial tasks and give house tours. 
The gift shop will be open during this event. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and children under 12.

Call 203-735-1908 for information or visit

Staff offices are located at the Sarah Riggs Humphreys House, 37 Elm St. 

This post is taken from a press release from the Derby Historical Society, a regional historical society dedicated to preserving, maintaining and celebrating the rich and varied history of the Lower Naugatuck Valley. 

School bus involved in 3-vehicle Ansonia crash; no students injured

The scene of an accident involving a school bus in Ansonia Thursday. Patricia Villers/Register

ANSONIA >> A school bus was involved in a crash at Main and North Main streets in Ansonia Thursday afternoon, but none of the students aboard was injured, according to Lt. Andrew Cota of the Ansonia Police.
A bus was stopped at the corner and a car was stopped directly behind it when a third vehicle slammed into the car and pushed it partially under the bus, Cota said.
Some students from Emmett O’Brien Technical High School were reportedly checked at the scene for injuries as a precaution, according to NBC Connecticut.
Cota said the occupants of the middle vehicle were able to walk away from the scene, and the driver who caused the chain reaction was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for an evaluation.
The school bus was likely returning from a job site at which the O’Brien students were working, Cota said.

Derby police ask public's help in home invasion investigation

A police car sits on the corner of Lombardi Drive and Sentinel Hill Road in Derby, where a home invasion took place. Patricia Villers/Register

DERBY >> Police are asking the public’s help in their investigation of a home invasion that took place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at 1 Lombardi Drive, according to spokesman Lt. Sal Frosceno.
The 80-year-old female resident, who was home alone at the time, stated that she interrupted a burglary and was assaulted by two masked individuals, Frosceno said. The victim sustained injuries, including head wounds, and was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital. She is in stable condition. She was discovered by her daughter, who called police, shortly afterward.

As a precautionary measure, Bradley Elementary School, which is in close proximity, was placed on lock down for approximately 30 minutes, Frosceno said.
Derby and Ansonia detectives are continuing to investigate. They are following up on leads developed through the crime scene and witness statements.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Derby Police at 203-735-7811. All calls can remain anonymous.

Dine at Derby restaurant, support local troupe

Valley Shakespeare Festival, a Shelton-based nonprofit organization, was founded earlier this year.

Two-tone tree spotted in Ansonia

I saw this colorful tree on the Hilltop today and had to take a photo. I'm enjoying the fall colors, because they won't last much longer.

Breast surgeons to host talk in Shelton

New techniques will be discussed
SHELTON - Two breast surgeons will host "New techniques in breast conservation and treatment of breast cancer" at 6 p.m. Monday in the R.D. Scinto auditorium, 3 Corporate Drive.

The presenters are Dr. Andrew S. Kenler and Dr. Shareef Jandali, both members of the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Cancer Center at Bridgeport Hospital, part of the Yale-New Haven Health System.

A question and answer segment will follow the talk. Light refreshments will be served.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Kenler is a board certified general surgeon specializing in diseases of the breast.
Jandali is a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in the newest breast reconstruction techniques including oncoplastic surgery, one-stage breast reconstruction with implants, and nipple-sparing mastectomy reconstruction.

In the United States, 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer during her lifetime.
Men are also at risk and account for about 1 percent of all breast cancer cases.
Even though breast cancer awareness is high, all too often people don’t take the steps to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

A breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and it is important to be educated on the treatment options that are available.
Novel treatment and reconstructive options exist. The marriage of oncologic issues and cosmetic issues has come to the forefront in the treatment of breast cancer.
This allows women to not only be cured of their illness, but to be left "whole" after surgery. 

For more information contact Shelton Police Officer Mary Beth White, 203-924-1544 ext. 416.

This post is taken from a press release.

Kids to learn science at Derby Public Library

    DERBY - The Derby Public Library will host a science program at 2 p.m. Nov. 5 presented by the Regional Water Authority’s Whitney Water Center.
      The hour-long program is for children in kindergarten through Grade 4.

     Liquid Assets is a hands-on program discovering the properties of liquids with experiments and more.  
    There is no fee to attend, but registration is requested..
    For information or to register, visit, call the Children’s Room, 203-736-1482 or stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Career coach to visit Derby Public Library

DERBY - The CT Works Career Coach will return to the Derby Public Library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15.
During both the morning session, 10 a.m.-noon, and the afternoon session, 1-3 p.m.,  instructors will be offering Using Social Networking in Your Job Search. 

This workshop will explain very useful tools that job seekers need today.
Social networking has become one of the most popular ways of landing your next “big” job by creating useful connections online. These connections make it easier to look for a job online through your created network. 
 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 more information, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit

This is a press release from Derby Public Library.

Wesley Village staff supports Seymour Pink, wins chili competition

Wesley Village team poses by the Survivor’s Tent at Pounding the Pavement for Pink 5K. / Contributed photo

Staff members from Wesley Village rolled up their sleeves to support two community events in Seymour earlier this month: Pounding the Pavement for Pink, a 5K run/walk for breast cancer awareness, and the Smoke in the Valley Chili and Craft Beer Festival.

Dining staff from Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center, a skilled nursing facility at Wesley Village in Shelton, welcomed breast cancer survivors under the “Survivors Tent,” a breakfast station at the 5K race organized by staff members.
The staff also prepared and served muffins, scones, fruit, and hot coffee to race participants.
Volunteering their time in memory of a good friend and co-worker who died of breast cancer this past year, the staff joined together to host the breakfast and also participated in the race.
A team of Wesley Village chefs from Bishop Wicke and Crosby Commons Assisted Living Community also competed in the Seymour Smoke in the Valley Chili and Craft Beer Fest on the same day.
The chefs entered two chili varieties: a beef and black bean chili and a beef and turkey chili with sweet corn.
The event was attended by nearly 3,500 people. The competition featured 12 judges and 12 competitors made up of  teams from local organizations, restaurants, and fire departments.

The Wesley Village team was awarded first place and second place, as well as the people’s choice trophy for best chili. Kudos to the Wesley Village team for their creativity, hard work, and community support!

For information about Wesley Village and its outstanding staff, visit

 Wesley Village chefs Elliott Beardsley and Hector Velez with their trophies. / Contributed photo

This is a press release from United Methodist Homes.

Fall foliage found in downtown Ansonia

Any guesses where I snapped this today? 

Ansonia Library to offer origami class for kids

ANSONIA -The Ansonia Library children’s department will offer an origami class for ages six years and above at 4 p.m. Nov. 18.

This program is free.

For information call the Ansonia Library children’s department at 203-734-6728.

The library is at 53 S. Cliff St.

This is a press release from Ansonia Library.

School in Derby to host wine tasting

DERBY -St. Mary-St. Michael School's Wine Tasting Fundraiser will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at 500 Degrees on Main Street, a restaurant, 181 Main St.

Tickets are $25 per person and include wine and hors d'oeuvres.
There also will be wine basket prizes and door prizes.

To purchase tickets contact the school, 203-735-6471.
All proceeds benefit St. Mary-St. Michael School.

This is a press release from St. Mary-St. Michael School.

Luminaries light the night in Derby

Luminaries displayed in front of the gazebo on the Derby Green.

DERBY - My daughter Allegra and I attended the city's luminary lighting ceremony Tuesday night on the Green.
As a breast cancer survivor the solemn event meant a lot to me, and I thank those who organized it.

The luminaries cost $3 each and all the money raised from the sales will benefit The Campaign for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital.

We're looking forward to next year's ceremony.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Derby, Shelton veterans among DAV honorees

Top photo, left side of vehicle: Vic Carrol, Burke Ross, Lauren Cust (twice), Senna Punancy, Joe Wargo; bottom photo, right side: Ed Michaud, Maj. Betsy Walsh, Buffert Brooks, Ashley Kenyon, Frank Dlugokinski, Steve Frank, and Josh Phillips. Inset, rear of van: Capt. Dean White. / Contributed photo

Ten area veterans were honored for their dedication in assisting other veterans by being selected to have their service picture displayed on a new Disabled American Veterans Local Veterans Assistance Program van. 
The honorees were Capt. Dean White, Derby; Vic Carroll, Stamford; Burke Ross, Shelton; Lauren Cust, Shelton; Senna Punancy, Bridgeport; Joe Wargo, Trumbull; Ed Michaud, Stratford; Maj. Betsy Walsh, Milford; Buffert Brooks, Stamford; Ashley Kenyon, Waterbury; Frank Dlugokinski, Torrington; Steve Frank, Naugatuck; and Josh Phillips, Derby. 
They were selected from the list of hundreds of dedicated Connecticut veterans being considered for the honor.
The DAV and the AMVETS have partnered in the effort to purchase vans for the DAV created LVAP, which provides day trips to veterans in homeless shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and veterans who are “shut-ins.”
The LVAP vans also have been used for Operation Gift Cards. Operation Gift Cards has presented over $719,000 in post exchange (military department store) gift cards and other donated items to the wounded troops at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital in Bethesda, Md. during its 99 visits over the last eight years. 
Sixty-eight groups have co-sponsored the program.
CT Heroes on Wheels is another major program which benefits by the use of the LVAP vans. CT Heroes on Wheels provides free electric wheelchairs, electric scooters and other medical equipment to needy veterans and their families.
The DAV and AMVETS are collecting donations for the purchase of at least one additional LVAP van. 
Anyone interested in making a donation for the LVAP van may contact Al Church (DAV State Treasurer) (860) 529-1759 or
For information about the DAV or AMVETS programs contact Al Meadows (203) 929-3357 or
This is a press release from Al Meadows of Shelton. 

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...