Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Navy's Rhode Island Sound rocks O'Brien Tech in Ansonia

Members of Navy Band Northeast's Rhode Island Sound pose for a group shot Wednesday after they performed pop and rock music at Emmett O'Brien Technical High School in Ansonia. The performance was part of the Ansonia 125 festivities. The city is celebrating its 125th anniversary.
Stay tuned for a story in the New Haven Register. 

Crisco: Bill will help vets apply skills in civilian jobs

HARTFORD -  State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, participated Tuesday in a press conference in support of a bill that will address barriers to employment for military veterans.

H.B. 5299, An Act Concerning The Findings of The Military Occupation Specialty Task Force will require that state licensing authorities accept military training and experience,where appropriate, as a substitute for additional training, and will allow veterans to gain streamlined occupational certifications.

“There is no reason why we should be placing additional burdens on our veterans seeking employment,” Crisco said. “Many of these veterans are eminently qualified for employment thanks to their military service, and it is time that they receive the credit they deserve as a result of their profession training and experience.”

In 2013, the state had 250,000 veterans with a veteran unemployment rate of 7 percent. Crediting military training and experience in Connecticut’s licensing and educational programs will increase employment rates for Connecticut’s veterans.

This bill will require various state agencies to certify, waive, grant, or award certain licenses, registrations, examinations, training, or credit for veterans whose military occupational specialty are similar or meet the same standards as its civilian equivalent.

Within two years of being discharged from service, assuming the discharge is not dishonorable, all fees will be waived as permitted by federal law. 
It will also allow college credits to be awarded for military training as it relates to an academic program.

The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Monday and now awaits a vote in the Senate. 

This is a press release from Crisco's office.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cupcake event in Branford to benefit BHcare

BRANFORD -  A Shoreline benefit for BHcare featuring Cupcake War 2014 will be held from 5:30-9:30 p.m. May 15 at The Owenego Beach and Tennis Club. 

The evening will feature a full menu, silent auction, music, a beautiful view of  Long Island Sound, and delectable cupcake desserts.

Five local bakeries are participating in the cupcake war. They are: JCakes (North Branford), Marjolaine Pastry Shop (New Haven), Meriano’s Bakery & Cannoli Truck (Madison), Pastry Fusions (North Branford), and Take the Cake (Guilford).


The committee, chaired by Charlotte Mattei, Senior Vice President, Webster Bank, and a BHcare board member, is seeking event sponsors and ad sponsors.  
Event sponsorships range from $250-$1,000 and ad book space is available for as little as $50.

Tickets are currently on sale for $50 each and are selling quickly.  Any persons or businesses interested in sponsorship or tickets are asked to call Debbie Soulsby,  203-736-2601, ext. 1321 or visit

Decreases in state and federal funding coupled with increases in demand for services make fund-raising events such as this benefit critical to sustaining services for those at risk and in need.  

The BHcare Shoreline Benefit is sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank, as well as by Connecticut Mental Health Center, Rose & Kiernan, and VNA Community Healthcare. 
Media partner is Shore Publishing.

BHcare is a regional community provider of behavioral health, addiction prevention, and domestic violence services for the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Greater New Haven and Shoreline communities. 

For more information, visit

This is a press release from BHcare. 

Ansonia to host open house at WPCA plant

Ansonia WPCA plant. / Contributed photo

ANSONIA - The city will hold an open house from 9:30 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) for the public to see the new plant and ask questions. 
The WPCA is located at the City Complex at the end of North Division Street. 
Rain date will be 9:30 a.m.-noon Sunday. 
For information contact the mayor's office, 203-736-5900. 

This is a press release from Mayor David S. Cassetti's office.

Cooking demo slated at Derby Public Library

            DERBY - The Derby Public Library has scheduled a cooking demo at 6:30 p.m. May 19.
            The theme of the evening will be Springtime Harvest.
            Stacey Ference of Savour Catering will show participants how to make delicious dishes using the first crops of the season. 
           There will be samples of all demonstrated foods.
           The class is for ages 18 and older.

           Registration is required.
           For more 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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Wooden signs raise funds for Ansonia’s 125th celebration

Alderman Patrick Henri works Monday on Ansonia signs.


Signs for Ansonia's 125th.
ANSONIA >> For more than a month, Sixth Ward Alderman Patrick Henri has been busy creating a centerpiece for commemorations of Ansonia’s 125th anniversary.

The city was founded in 1889. It is named after industrialist Anson G. Phelps, who lived from 1781-1853 when Ansonia was a borough of Derby.
Henri has been putting together 10, two-sided wooden signs featuring white letters painted on blue and blue letters on white to spell out ANSONIA 125.

He said he was grateful to the students in the carpentry and manufacturing technology departments at Emmett O’Brien Technical High School who worked on the project.
“The carpentry shop made the frames of the backdrops and the bases on wheels and manufacturing technology (students) made the letters,” Henri said Monday evening as he rolled blue paint onto the cut-out letters.

Mayor David S. Cassetti stopped by Henri’s home to check the progress of the project and commended Henri’s hard work. “It’s good we can celebrate the city’s 125th in style, with all the festivities this year,” Cassetti said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
So far there are 10 sponsors for the letters and numbers, Henri said, and there are 10 spaces left.
Each of the wooden structures will have two sponsors, and each sponsor will get an ad placed under a character on a 1-foot-by-2-foot placard, he said.
Sponsorships are $250 each, which helps pay for the signs as well as give Ansonia 125 organizers “some seed money for events,” Henri said.

“This will be a centerpiece at events throughout the year commemorating Ansonia’s 125th anniversary, including the Memorial Day Parade and Harvest Fest (in October),” Henri said.
He will take the centerpiece to its first event Wednesday when the U.S. Navy Band and the Navy Submarine School Silver Dolphins Drill Team perform at 12:30 p.m. at Emmett O’Brien Technical High School, 141 Prindle Ave.

Have questions, feedback or ideas about our coverage? Connect directly with the editors of the New Haven Register at

Ansonia mayor gives thumbs up to project

Ansonia Mayor David S. Cassetti, left, stopped by Monday evening to check the progress of an 'Ansonia 125' centerpiece project spearheaded by Sixth Ward Alderman Patrick Henri, right. The two are in Henri's driveway.
The centerpiece will be a focal point at upcoming 'Ansonia 125' events, Henri said. 
Stay tuned for a story in the New Haven Register.

Seymour driver school to hold career fair

SEYMOUR - Allstate Commercial Driver Training School, 249 Pearl St., will hold a career fair from 11 a.m.-2:30 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 percent 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 13 employers including Lily, DHL, Frito Lay, WB Mason, and Schneider among other industry leaders. 
Also, the CT Career Coach Bus from the Connecticut Department of Labor will be on hand offering additional on-site job placement assistance. 
Kevin Seeley, a Veterans’ Employment Representative of the Department of Labor, will also be attending in order to provide assistance to veterans. 
The event is open to the public. 
For information contact the school, 203- 922-8252 or stop by the office.

This is a press release from the office of First Selectman Kurt Miller.

Ansonia police warn of danger of using phone while driving

ANSONIA - Distracted driving has become an increasingly important safety issue throughout communities in Connecticut as well as other states.

Distracted driving is inherently dangerous for not only the person talking or texting on their cell phone but for others who may be driving or walking along the same roadway, Lt. Andrew Cota, Ansonia Police spokesman, said today in a release.

In an effort to combat some of the dangers associated with distracted driving Ansonia Police have increased their enforcement of distracted driving violations. This includes, but is not limited to, talking on the cell phone without a hands free system, texting, and even using MP3 players and iPods while operating a motor vehicle.

209 infractions issued

Since March 1, 2014 Ansonia Police have issued 209 infractions for distracted driving and will continue to enforce observed violations. The first offense for distracted driving is a fineable offense at $150. Subsequent offenses and or violations in construction zones, etc. start at $300 and increase substantially for repeat offenders.

Ansonia Police are asking motorists to use care when driving on the roadways and avoid the use of hand-held mobile devices. 
Cota said that drivers are more susceptible to being involved in a crash when not paying attention to the roadway. 
Adults who are operating vehicles and using the hand-held devices with children in the car put these children at extra risk and also send the message that it is okay for their children to text/talk and drive.

"We are asking all motorists to help make our roadways safer by putting their cell phones away to concentrate on driving," Cota said.
"Please help us prevent an unnecessary tragedy by following the rules of the road. Roadway safety is of the utmost importance for the people of our community and violations will be enforced aggressively."

This is a press release from the Ansonia Police Department.

Valley Chamber to host Leadercast event in Shelton

SHELTON - The Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce will host a special program May 9 where community and business leaders can access the knowledge and experience of world-renowned leaders by attending Leadercast® at R.D. Scinto, Inc. Auditorium.

The event will run from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Leadercast is broadcast live from Atlanta, Ga. to hundreds of sites around the world, including the Greater Valley.
This year’s speaker lineup includes:
  • Andy Stanley, Leadership author and communicator 
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate & human rights activist live from Cape Town, South Africa
  • Malcolm Gladwell, Journalist and best-selling author of The Tipping Point and Outliers
  • Randall Wallace,Screenwriter, director, producer & songwriter (Braveheart,Secretariat)
  •  Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP
  • Laura Schroff, Former ad sale executive and best-selling author of An Invisible Thread
  •  Dr. Henry Cloud, Clinical psychologist and leadership consultant
  •  Simon Sinek, Best-selling author of Start with Why and leadership expert
  • Laura Bush,  First Lady of the United States(2001-2009) via exclusive video interview.

In addition, this year’s featured local leaders include: Charles J. Boulier III, President, ion Bank, Larry Janesky, Founder & President, Basement Systems, Inc.; Ed Schultek, Founder & Managing Principal, Sandler Training; Bob Scinto, Chairman, R.D. Scinto Inc.; and Kimberly Tabb, Business Ethics Officer, Prudential.

Last year, more than 100,000 leaders from 14 countries attended Leadercast. Now in its 15th year, this full day, experiential conference is on track to reach its largest audience to date.

This is the fifth year that the Greater Valley Chamber is hosting this event in Shelton. There are general CEU, CNE & HR credits available to attendees. Locally, the tickets are $99 per person which includes continental breakfast and lunch.

“Leadercast is the best and most consolidated source of leadership training that I know of,” said Greater Valley Chamber President Bill Purcell. “But it goes beyond that. I think this conference, although very focused on leadership, transcends the topic and really shows you how to lead in life.”

Leadercast exists to positively change the way the world thinks about leadership.
This year’s theme—Beyond You: Be A Leader Worth Following —challenges leaders to focus outward rather than inward. Experience Leadercast and discover what it means to be a leader worth following.

For more information about Leadercast, visit
For local ticketing information, call 203-925-4981 or visit

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

Seymour church to hold indoor tag sale

This is taken from Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller's Facebook page: 

Ansonia High School students to participate in Cinco de Mayo fest

ANSONIA - Crave, a Latin-fusion restaurant on Main Street, presents its third Annual Cinco de Mayo celebration this Saturday from noon until 11 p.m. in a parking lot adjacent to the restaurant. 
The event will showcase members of the Ansonia High School Spanish Honor Society in support of the City’s 125th Anniversary celebration.

In conjunction with the Ansonia 125 yearlong celebration, Crave presents the Ansonia High School Spanish Club and Honor Society as part of the event.
“It is important to join forces throughout Ansonia; we need to come together as a community and Crave’s Cinco de Mayo celebration provided a great opportunity to include Paula Erardi’s Spanish students,” Ansonia 125 Chief Coordinator Melissa Torres said.  

Erardi has been a Spanish teacher at Ansonia High School since 2006. She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Connecticut, and has Masters’ degrees in Spanish and Education. 
Erardi, a Meriden resident, has traveled to many countries and loves sharing her love of travel with her students.
A group of her students will be at the celebration from 1:30-4:30 p.m. They include: Kimberly Robayo, Kaitlyn Aguilar, Pablo Suarez, Sanjida Shamim, Ryan Cafaro, Jennifer Godfrey, and Jesse Guevara. 

This is a press release from Ansonia 125 chief coordinator Melissa Torres.

Derby Public Library plans book talk

DERBY - The Derby Public Library hosts YA Wednesdays each month from 6-7 p.m.

All young adults ages 12 to 17 are invited to gather May 14 for Teen Book Talk when participants chat about titles they have recently read.

This venue will focus on sharing reviews and opinions on a variety of titles, as well as provide a means to decide upon future reading.

Light refreshments will be provided. Registration is requested. 
For more information stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth St., call 203-736-1482 or visit .

This is a press release from Tony DeLos, young adult librarian, Derby Public Library.

Ansonia restaurant to help mark city's 125th anniversary

Cinco de Mayo event planned downtown

ANSONIA - It’s time to spice up downtown as Crave restaurant announces its annual Crave Presents Cinco de Mayo Saturday
The free outdoor celebration will begin at noon and continue through 11 p.m. in the 5,000-square foot parking lot adjacent to the downtown Latin-fusion restaurant.

Table seating and tents will be set up throughout. Food and beverage tickets can be purchased on-site at the event.     

Three bands will perform throughout the afternoon and evening hours including Juke Box PD Bauer, Bobs Fault Band, and salsa band Orquesta Son 7.

The menu offered by chef Fabian Delgado will be prepared at on-premise grills, and include carne asada, tacos, burritos, tostadas, and more. Beverages will include margaritas, beer, and wine. 

In support of the city’s 125th anniversary celebration, members of the Ansonia High School Spanish Honor Society will showcase Spanish artworks, perform readings, and offer live singing performances.          

“As this annual event continues to evolve and grow in popularity, it offers to become an anticipated entertainment anchor to the city’s downtown renaissance,” said Crave owner Libby Meissner.

Parking is free throughout downtown.

For information, contact Meissner, owner of Crave, 203-735-3300 or e-mail

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

2 Valley Scouts attain Eagle rank

Pictured from left, Troop 3 Eagle Scout Ryan Cafaro of Ansonia, Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti, Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto and Eagle Scout Justin Patten of Derby at a recent Court of Honor held at Derby Second Congregational Church. / Contributed photo

DERBY-  Housatonic Council Boy Scout Troop 3 Derby members Justin Patten and Ryan Cafaro were recently recognized for achieving Eagle Scout rank during a Court of Honor held at the troop’s sponsoring organization, Derby Second Congregational Church.

Junior Assistant Scoutmaster and Life Scout Matthew Moran served as Master of Ceremonies. The program was under the direction of Troop 3 Assistant Scoutmaster James Frovarp.

Justin Patten, 16, is the son of Joe and Sheryl Patten and older brother of Jessica Patten, all of Derby. For his Eagle Scout Project, Justin chose to lead a group of Scouts to renovate the computer lab at Assumption School in Ansonia and help raise funds for them to purchase an iPad Cart by applying for grants and coordinating a Butter Braid fundraiser.

Justin began his trail to Eagle Scout as a Tiger Cub in Pack 3 in Derby, advancing through the Cub Scout and Webelos ranks to earn the Arrow of Light Award. He joined BSA Troop 3 in Derby and has been a member of the Trojan Rabbits, Ghostriders and Bananas in Pajamas Patrols. Justin has served as a patrol scribe, assistant patrol leader, patrol leader, Troop  Historian, Troop Guide and is currently Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.
Justin has earned a total of 41 merit badges and is a member of the Order of the Arrow Paugassett Lodge 553.

Justin has traveled with Troop 3 on trips to Cape Cod, the  Pacific Northwest and participated with the Housatonic Council contingent to attend the 2010 and 2013 National Jamboree.  Justin will represent Troop 3 this summer as an Exchange Scout to Limerick, Ireland. He will also participate in Troop 3’s  three-week Cross Country Camping trek this summer.

Justin is a Junior at Notre Dame High School in West Haven, where he has earned his Varsity Letter in Cross Country and also participates on the Indoor and Outdoor Track teams. Justin has achieved  high honors every trimester and he plans to attend college in pursuit of his lifelong dream of working in the medical field.
In addition to his Scouting and scholastic activities, Justin has played basketball for Derby Youth and GNHPAL leagues and baseball for Derby Little League, Derby Babe Ruth and Ansonia Babe Ruth leagues. Justin is currently a volunteer at Griffin Hospital.

Ryan C. Cafaro, 16, is the son of Troop 3 Committee member Carole Cafaro and Troop 3 Assistant Scoutmaster Christopher Cafaro of Ansonia.  He is the younger brother of Troop 3 Eagle Scout James B. Blaskewicz, III and older brother of Rebecca and First Class Scout Matthew Cafaro.

Ryan is a junior at Ansonia High School, where he is a member of the National Honor Society, Cooperative International Studies Program, Spanish Club and Spanish National Honor Society. 

Ryan is an active parishioner at Holy Rosary Church in Ansonia, where he has been an altar server. He has also been a Junior Docent with the Derby Historical Society.

Ryan began his Scouting career as a Tiger Cub in Pack 3 Derby. He went on to attain the Arrow of Light Award as a Webelos Scout and then joined Troop 3 Derby.  As a member of Troop 3, Ryan participated in trips to Cape Cod and a camping trip along Pacific Coast Trip in 2011.  Ryan also attended the National Scout Jamboree in 2010 as a member of the Housatonic Council contingent.

Ryan has served Troop 3 as Patrol Scribe, Grubmaster, Assistant Patrol Leader, and Patrol Leader.  He was also a Den Chief for Pack 3.  He currently serves as Troop 3’s Senior Patrol Leader.  He is a member of the Housatonic Council Order of The Arrow Paugassett Lodge #553. Ryan has volunteered at Cub Scout Day Camp as well as attended resident camp at the Edmund D. Strang Scout Reservation.

Ryan’s Eagle Scout Project took place at the Derby Historical Society’s David Humphreys House and Sarah Riggs Humphreys House. He led a group of Scouts to do landscaping,  constructing a portable handicap ramp and installing doors with ventilation for the collection rooms. 

Ryan will be representing Troop 3 as an exchange Scout to Derby, England for three weeks this summer.  He plans to attend college to become a history teacher.

Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti and Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto presented gifts and proclamations to the Eagles on behalf of their communities. 
Also giving greetings were Housatonic Council Scout Executive Kevin Bishop and District Director Bill Zinky. Scouts who were part of the ceremony include Joe Szewczyk, Mike Szewczyk, Anthony Bartholomew, Colby McLiverty, Dominic Livoti and Andrew Devine. Additional participants included Eagle Scouts and Scout leaders Charles Stankye III, Daniel Cyrul, William V. McDonnell Jr, James Blaskewicz and Scoutmaster Randy Ritter. 
Also participating were Tim Bailey, Pam Neuendorf, Beverly Martin and Margaret Vernazza, Director, Holy Rosary Church.

Cafaro and Patten are Troop 3 Derby’s 292nd and 293rd Eagle Scouts since the troop was founded in 1914.  
Troop 3 meets Wednesdays, 7PM at the Derby 2nd Congregational Church and invites all boys at least 11 years of age to join in on the troop’s Scouting adventures.

This is a press release from Scoutmaster Randy Ritter.

Wesley Village in Shelton to host talk on aging

SHELTON - Balancing the responsibilities of work, finances, family life, and caring for an aging loved one can leave you feeling “Sandwiched” and in need of support.

Caregivers are invited to Wesley Village from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. May 7  for the “Sandwiched” caregiver education series.

This month's featured program is The Emotional and Social Aspects of Aging.
Nic Giordano, of Med Options, a psychologist, the Rev. Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for Wesley Village, will offer important information about the often overlooked emotional and social aspects of aging.
Discover what every adult child needs to know about helping their aging loved one through times of transition and loss.

To RSVP, contact Wesley Village, 203-925-4952 or visit

All programs will be held at Crosby Commons Assisted Living Community on the Wesley Village Campus at 580 Long Hill Ave.

 A light supper will be served. This is a monthly series….Be sure to “Save the Date” for other upcoming programs on the first Wednesday of the month.

This is a press release from United Methodist Homes.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rain moves Earth Day celebration indoors at Ansonia Nature Center

Nature center volunteer James Fourtin shows off a python friend at Saturday's Earth Day celebration.

James Tully holds a boa constrictor at the nature center. He said the snake wasn't venomous. Tully also showed visitors what looked like a tarantula but I didn't venture close enough to take a photo. I decided to keep my distance.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ansonia students learn to start a garden

John G. Prendergast Elementary School sixth graders in Ansonia, Janel Xayarath, left, and Makayla Godfrey start work Thursday on a vegetable garden behind the school. They were being directed by FoodCorps representative Eileen Garcia of New Haven, who has been working with students at the school.

The story is posted here.

Navy Band to perform at O'Brien Tech in Ansonia

Crisco hails passage of UTC investment bill

HARTFORD - State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr., D-Woodbridge, spoke Thursday on the Senate floor in support of legislation formalizing an agreement between the State of Connecticut and United Technologies Corp.
Under the agreement the company will invest up to $500 million to upgrade and expand its aerospace research, development, and manufacturing facilities in Connecticut over the next five years.

The agreement represents a re-commitment by UTC to its home state, and will have a direct or indirect impact on more than 75,000 jobs in Connecticut. 
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 34-2.

“This bill is a vital investment in Connecticut’s engineering and manufacturing future,” said Crisco. “United Technologies is more than just a developer of engines and machine parts—it is a developer of people. This is a great day for Connecticut’s aerospace industry.”

Specifically, the company will:

  • Construct a new Pratt & Whitney corporate headquarters, which it will keep in Connecticut for a minimum of 15 years
  • Construct a new Pratt & Whitney worldwide engineering center of excellence in Connecticut
  • Keep Sikorsky corporate headquarters in Connecticut for a minimum of five years
  • Create a customer training center at UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) in Windsor Locks
  • Build new labs and infrastructure at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC)
  • Invest in new research projects and capital investments at Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, UTAS and UTRC
Construction on the projects is expected to begin this year and continue through 2018.

In return, the State of Connecticut will allow exchange of approximately $20 million per year of UTC’s previously earned but unused tax credits to finance the construction, up to a maximum of $400 million.
The exchanged credits will be offset with tax reductions over a 14-year period, with the final amount based on the company’s level of jobs, wages, and investments.

If UTC fails to meet any of its obligations under the agreement, the benefits to the company would be either significantly reduced or eliminated. 
The agreement further incentivizes UTC by allowing for more exchanges as the company adds jobs in Connecticut and makes additional capital investments.

The enabling legislation, House Bill 5465, passed the House of Representatives April 17. The bill now proceeds to the desk of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

This is a press release from Crisco's office.

Game to benefit Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness in Derby

A fun event for a great cause!

Conroy backs bill extending 'Good Samaritan' protections

Calls heroin use 'a public health crisis'

HARTFORD - State Rep. Theresa Conroy, D-Seymour, Thursday lauded House approval of legislation to extend “Good Samaritan” protections to someone who administers an opioid antagonist (such as Narcan) to someone experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose. 

The bill (HB 5487) provides civil and criminal immunity to members of the public who act with reasonable care to administer Narcan.

“We are in the midst of a public health crisis,” said Conroy, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. “Heroin is devastating families in our state.  Narcan will save lives and we want to protect people who act to save their loved ones.”

Existing law allows licensed health care practitioners authorized to prescribe an opioid antagonist to family members of drug users if they believe it could assist a person who may experience an overdose.

The bill goes next to the state Senate for consideration.

Conroy urged area residents to attend an upcoming forum on the heroin epidemic. The event, hosted by the Valley Substance Abuse Action Council, will be held at 11:30 a.m.Tuesday at the Valley United Way office in Shelton.

This is a press release from Conroy's office.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ansonia 6th graders, school principal have fun in dirt

ANSONIA - John G. Prendergast School Principal Joseph Apicella Thursday helps sixth graders prepare ground for a vegetable garden. Stay tuned for a story in the New Haven Register.

Griffin in Derby offers health career classes

 Joanne Halstead trains Griffin Hospital School of Allied Health Careers students on an EKG machine in the school’s mock hospital patient room. /Contributed photo

DERBY - The Griffin Hospital School of Allied Health Careers, at 300 Seymour Ave. Suite 206 offers day and evening class times for its spring/summer Certified Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician and Phlebotomy programs.
Anyone 18 years of age or older with a High School Diploma or GED may apply for admission. Early application is encouraged for all courses, as space is limited.
The School of Allied Health Careers offers day and evening sessions for its CNA program with classes on Monday and Wednesday nights starting May 19 and daytime classes on Tuesday and Thursday starting May 20. The PCT program begins May 19 and the Phlebotomy program begins May 19.
The 13-week CNA course offers students an affordable and condensed schedule with classes taught by professionals in the medical field. 
Course content includes infection control, legal and ethical responsibilities, communications, body mechanics, moving and positioning residents, personal care skills, nutrition, measuring vital signs, and restorative care. After successfully completing the course and clinical experience, students will be qualified to take the State exam for certification as a Nursing Assistant in Connecticut. The CNA course tuition fee includes the course book, CPR training, and malpractice insurance coverage for the clinical rotation.
The 16-week PCT program requires students to attend practical training on Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., and have the option to take the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday classes either during the day from 9 a.m.-noon or evenings from 6-9 p.m. The Patient Care Technician program offers ample hands-on training and opportunities for practical experience in the school's fully equipped mock hospital room. The course tuition includes textbook, malpractice insurance, CPR certification, and national certification.
The 13-week phlebotomy program has day (9 a.m.-noon) and evening (6-9 p.m.) class options available for its Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday schedule. The course tuition includes a 40-hour internship, national certification, lab coats, CPR certification, malpractice insurance and textbook.
For information or to apply, call 203-732-1276 or 203-732-7578 or visit
Griffin Hospital's School of Allied Health Careers was one of the first hospital-based schools of its kind to be authorized by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education and offers Phlebotomy and other professional educational programs to provide training, education, and certification in selected health careers.
Classes are taught by certified instructors in the Griffin Hospital Medical Building, 300 Seymour Ave.

This is a press release from Griffin Hospital.

Forum in Derby sheds light on women's issues

Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto, left, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, center, and Teresa Younger, Executive Director, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, participate Wednesday in a roundtable discussion about women's issues at Derby City Hall.

DERBY - Healthcare and Connecticut Women was the subject of an invitation-only roundtable by women for women I covered Wednesday at City Hall.

It was part of a series of forums co-hosted by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Teresa Younger, Executive Director, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut.

More than 30 women attended the forum and several spoke candidly about their concerns and challenges caring for children and aging parents, while pursuing careers.

The discussion was a good one, and demonstrated to participants they all face similar challenges on a daily basis.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Malloy: Plan to modernize trash disposal cost-effective

Gentile says bill would create more 'green' jobs 

HARTFORD - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Wednesday urged the legislature to act on his proposal to double the state’s recycling rate and transform an outmoded system of trash disposal by adopting a more modern, cost-effective, and environmentally sound materials management approach. 

“Forty years ago, Connecticut became a national leader in waste management by ending the land filling of trash and opening our six waste-to-energy facilities,” Malloy said. 
“These plants have served us well, but it is now time to move our system squarely into the 21st Century by adopting legislation that will allow us to strengthen our focus on recycling and recapture more of the valuable materials from our waste stream.  This in turn will save taxpayers and businesses millions of dollars a year in disposal costs and better protect our air quality and the environment.”

Among other changes, the governor’s proposal:

  • Sets a 60 percent target rate for reducing solid waste disposal by increasing source reduction, recycling, and reuse.  The current reported recycling rate is under 30 percent.
  • Reshapes the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA) – a quasi-public entity that owns and operates the waste-to-energy plant in Hartford – into a leaner organization focused on promoting innovation in materials management.
  • Creates a process to explore the re-purposing of the CRRA facility, Connecticut’s largest, oldest, and least efficient waste-to-energy plant, to recover more materials of value from trash and to provide better, cheaper service for member communities.
  • Creates “RecycleCT” – a statewide education initiative to promote recycling, much the way “EnergizeCT” is promoting energy efficiency and renewables.
The legislation, Senate Bill 27An Act Concerning Connecticut's Recycling and Materials Management Strategy, was reported out of the General Assembly’s Environment Committee and Government Administration and Elections Committee with strong bipartisan backing and now awaits action in the Senate.

Malloy noted the proposal builds on the success of two “producer responsibility” programs now operating in Connecticut that have established industry financed systems for the collection and recycling of obsolete electronics equipment and used paint – and on a pioneering approach to the diversion of food wastes and other organic materials from the waste stream through the use of anerobic digestors.

Business and residents in Connecticut currently produce approximately 3.2 million tons of municipal solid waste each year. 
Approximately 64.5 percent of this trash is incinerated at the six waste-to-energy facilities, almost 24.8 percent is reported diverted from disposal through recycling, 9.9 percent is shipped out of state, and 0.8 percent is landfilled in Connecticut.

It is estimated that more than $10 million in valuable commodities are burned at the waste-to-energy facilities each year.

It has also been estimated that cities and towns and their taxpayers would save $35 million a year if the recycling rate was moved to just 40 percent.  Recycling is also a growth industry that creates jobs – experts say that for every 10,000 tons of waste generated recycling creates 36 jobs.

Malloy said the bill – which was based on the recommendations of his Modernizing Recycling Working Group – has the strong support of municipal leaders and public interest groups across the state.

“Making a move toward a 21st Century system of waste management is critical to Connecticut’s environmental and economic health,” said state Sen. Ed Meyer, D-Guilford, who serves as Senate chair of the Environment Committee. 
 “Connecticut now recycles only 25 percent of its solid waste, and we need to do better.  Upgrading our state’s recycling capabilities will create new, green jobs and help conserve millions of dollars by recycling reusable materials.  This is all on top of the great environmental benefit it brings to our state when we cut down on incineration and other less clean forms of waste disposal.”

State Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, House chair of the Environment Committee, said, “This bill is important in raising the bar for increased recycling. With diligence, hitting these goals will save money for both the state and taxpayers and opens the door to the creation of more ‘green’ jobs.”

“This proposal is the result of countless hours of thoughtful analysis and deliberation by municipal officials, commercial haulers, waste facility representatives and environmental groups who served on task forces and working committees over the past two years,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.  “Their collective research, compilation of opinions from public hearings, and knowledge from first-hand experience has been critical to crafting this important legislation.”

“Just as we transitioned away from land-filling 40 years ago, now is the time to transition away from incineration,” said Abe Scarr, Director of the Connecticut Public Interest Group (ConnPIRG).  “Connecticut burns more trash per person than any other state in the country and by wasting less and recycling more, we protect public health, save taxpayers money, and boost the economy.”

“Incinerators and other waste facilities are disproportionately placed in low-income and communities of color.  This environmental injustice exposes these communities to numerous adverse health effects from the toxic particulate matter released during the incineration process,” said Sharon Lewis, Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, which has campaigned for years for alternatives to incineration. 
“CCEJ is encouraged by the opportunity to replace the incinerator with recycling infrastructure and good, green jobs for our community."

This is a press release from Malloy's office.

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