Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Consignment/Gift Shop Opening Jan. 2 in Seymour

SEYMOUR- Lizzie's Corner, a unique consignment/gift shop, will hold its grand opening at 10 a.m. Jan. 2 at its new home, 19 Bank St.  Read a story about the new store by my friend and former colleague Patti Villers on her blog at:



Ribbon Cutting at River Rock Tavern in Derby Dec. 31

DERBY- Join us for a ribbon cutting and refreshments with Mayor Anita Dugatto and Bill Purcell, Valley Chamber of Commerce President, Thursday, December 31 at 1pm. This dedication and ribbon cutting takes place at 1:30pm followed by a casual social mixer that includes refreshments provided by River Rock Tavern and Anheuser Bush.

Serving patrons in Derby, CT, River Rock Tavern aims to become a staple in the culinary scene, and a highlight of what Connecticut bartenders have to offer in the form of creative cocktails. 
Owners Brad and Sharon Purciello are bringing their high regard for family values into the workplace at River Rock Tavern. From cousin and General Manager, Paul Evan, to nephew Daniel Purciello in the kitchen, to contractor Steve Purciello, who has done beautiful work renovating the property, the Purciellos know to take care of their close friends and loved ones, and utilize the skills of the people who surround them to the benefit of all involved. 

Brad and Sharon have lived in the valley for almost 25 years with their 21 year old son Cody, who is stationed in Spain as a Corporal in the Marine Corps, their daughter Cortney, who is a freshman at Quinnipiac University, and their niece Amber who is finishing up her last year in High School and aspires to follow in her cousins footsteps as a Marine.  As vice president at M & T bank, Brad has served the valley community by providing mortgage services to thousands of its residents, as well as volunteering as an EMT for almost 30 consecutive years.  Sharon has dedicated herself to raising her children for the past 21 years and is now Vice President of Operations in their new venture at 5 Main St. in Derby and along with husband Brad and cousin Paul look forward to expanding their brand in the near future. 

Upcoming Events:
*New Years Eve Celebration 12/31 incl. Champagne Toast

*Holiday Hangover Party Sunday 1/3 with west coast rockers “Hookers and Blow” w/ the comedy of VH1’s Don Jamieson + local act “Retro Boss”

*1/8 Fat Cat/Skinny Rat             1/9 Paul Leonard Band  
*1/16 What Up Funk                 1/23 Whiskey Train  1/30 F.b. Lily

(This is a press release from Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Learn the Pros and Cons of Sugar Substitutes

DERBY - The Diabetes Education & Support Group at Griffin Hospital will host two free talks about sugar substitutes on Tues., Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the hospital, 130 Division St., Derby.
Melissa, Mitri, MS, RDN, manager of Clinical Nutrition Services at Griffin Hospital, will host “Sugar Substitutes - The Good, the Bad & the Ugly.” Come learn about this often confusing and controversial topic, and when to incorporate sugar substitutes into a healthy eating plan. Mitri will also discuss practical baking and cooking tips on reducing the sugar content of recipes. Samples of healthier desserts will be provided for tasting, compliments of Griffin Hospital Nutrition Services.
The 2:30 p.m. session will be in Dining Room Conference Room 2 and the 6:30 p.m. session will be in Dining Room Conference Room 1.
The Diabetes Education & Support Group meets September - June on the second Tuesday of each month to discuss the management of diabetes, its challenges and day-to-day dietary concerns. All diabetics and their families are welcome to attend. No registration is required.
For more information, call Swansiger at 203-732-1137.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Make a Solar-Powered Spider at Derby Public Library

DERBY- The Derby Public Library invites all young adults ages 12 to 17 to Teen Maker Space, January 19, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, to learn some electro-mechanical basics by assembling, activating, & operating solar-powered spider kits. Space is limited to 10 participants.

Registration is required. Light refreshments will be provided. 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)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Lots to do at the Derby Neck Library

Library Nov Dec 2014
DERBY - On Sat., Jan. 16 from 2 to 4 p.m., the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave., hosts a Teen Video Tournament featuring the newly released Super Mario Maker on Wii U.  All teens and tweens are invited to compete for a grand prize.  Free refreshments will be available through the afternoon.  Bring your friends for a fun time.  For details please call 203-734-1492.
On Mon., Jan 18 at 12:30-1:30 p.m., the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. will host Women’s Forum, a literary discussion group that focuses on short stories and poetry.  This month’s stories are “Ted and Angeline” by Dinah Lampitt and “Stuff and Sawdust” by Valerie Thame.  Copies are available at the library.  Feel free to bring a light lunch.  We serve free coffee and tea.  For details please call 203-734-1492.
On Mon., Jan 18 at 6 p.m. and again on Wed., Jan 20 at 10:30 a.m. the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. presents Tech Talks, a program which describes the latest in technology and how to best purpose it for your own needs.  For this month’s topic, please call the library at 203-734-1492.  Your questions are also welcomed at each session.
On Thurs., Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m., the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave., hosts Writers’ Round, a monthly workshop for writers of all genres—scripts, prose, poetry, fiction, history, etc.  Bring your original works to share with others and join us in practicing your creativity with a writing prompt.  For details please call 203-734-1492.
On Mon., Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m., the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave. hosts the Evening Book Club.  This group meets monthly in the Reading Room near the fireplace to discuss novellas written by award-winning authors.  Among selections are fiction, memoirs, and on occasion non-fiction.  This month we discuss “The Moon is Down” by John Steinbeck.  Copies of the book are available at the library.  For details please call 203-734-1492.
(This is a press release from Derby Neck Library)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Learn the Healing Techniques of Reiki and Soft Touch Massage at Griffin

DERBY - Griffin Hospital, 130 Division Street, Derby, invites the community to learn how to perform the healing benefits of Soft Touch Massage and Reiki with two workshops at the hospital this February.
The Soft Touch workshop is set for Saturday, Feb. 20 from 1-4 p.m. The Reiki workshop is scheduled from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27. Both therapies are offered to patients and their caregivers at Griffin Hospital as a way to reduce their anxiety, pain and stress.
Soft Touch is a therapeutic, relaxing and gentle rub that can be given to an individual's hands, feet, or back. The workshop is led by Licensed Massage Therapist Joanne Halstead, R.N., BSN, and Physical Therapist Nancy Corvigno, MSPT, PRPC. This basic-level training includes a demonstration of various Soft Touch techniques as well as opportunity for hands-on practice.
The cost is $30 for the public and free to current Griffin Hospital volunteers and staff. The registration deadline is Feb. 6. To enroll, contact Laura Murphy, Planetree Services supervisor at 203-732-7466.
Reiki is a complementary healing method based on ancient healing practices. It involves the conscious direction of healing energy -- through the practitioner's hands - to the patient. When channeled properly, this energy promotes healing by relieving energy blockages to the body. The practice of Reiki is intended to bring balance to the energy fields thereby promoting healing on all levels.
Reiki Masters Eileen Carino, R.N.-BC, MA, ADS, and Mark Sampieri, R.Ph., will teach the basic concepts of Reiki, allowing ample time for hands-on practice. The cost is $125, including certificate and Reiki book. Griffin Hospital employees and current volunteers can register at the discounted rate of $25.
Workshop space is limited, and preregistration is required by Feb. 13. To register, call Laura at 203-732-7466.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Santa Spotted in Shelton

SHELTON - Mrs. Merry Claus and Santa himself were recently spotted visiting with residents at Crosby Commons Independent and Assisted Living Community on Saturday, December 5th. The ever-famous holiday couple shared Christmas cheer with all after collecting wish lists, posing for photos and reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” before heading back to the North Pole for last minute preparations.
Crosby Commons residents, John Balogh (left) and Lillian Furedy (2nd from right) took a fun photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus during the visit.
Crosby Commons is an award-winning assisted and independent living community located on the Wesley Village campus on Long Hill Avenue in Shelton. To learn more about the community or to schedule a tour, call 203.225.5024 or visit
(This is a press release from Crosby Commons) 

Voice Your Opinion in TEAM's Needs Assessment Survey

DERBY- TEAM requests public input as the agency embarks on planning for its 2016-2019 Strategic Plan. In order to plan effectively for the next three years, TEAM is seeking input from municipalities,organizations, and local residents to identify the needs within the community.

The survey seeks input on topics like Jobs, Education, Housing, Childcare, Transportation, Elderly, Health Care, Community Needs and more.

Survey button website2While TEAM has sought survey input from clients on specific topics, this is the first time in that a comprehensive survey has been done across the Lower Naugatuck Valley community.

“Feedback from the survey will provide for critical guidance for TEAM’s planning and coordination of efforts to address the complex needs in our communities," said TEAM President/CEO David Morgan. "I encourage all residents to make sure their voice is heard.  Your responses will help continue to improve services in the Lower Naugatuck Valley and surrounding communities”.

The Community is invited to participate by going online to:\TEAMsurvey.  Paper copies are available at the following: locations:

·         TEAM, Inc., 30 Elizabeth Street, Derby

·         Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Shelton, Seymour and Oxford City/Town Halls

·         Local Libraries – Ansonia, Derby, Shelton and Seymour

The anonymous paper survey will be available until Jan 15, 2016 and is expected to take less than 15 minutes to complete. The online survey is available until Jan. 21, 2016.  Your responses are confidential and extremely valuable.
For more information please call 203-736-5420 ext. 207.

TEAM Inc. is a private, 501c (3) non-profit corporation whose mission is to connect individuals and families with solutions that lead to well-being, self-sufficiency and full participation in the community. It aims to achieve its mission by conducting activities that address the needs of economically disadvantaged individuals and families including resource mobilization, education, advocacy and service delivery. TEAM programs serve the communities of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Milford, Orange, Oxford, Shelton, Seymour and Woodbridge
(This is a press release from TEAM, Inc.)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Valley Students Take Part in Living Nativity/Christmas Concert

DERBY = Students at St. Mary-St. Michael School took part in the annual Living Nativity and Christmas Concert Dec. 16.

Parents and relatives experienced the re-enactment of the story of Christ's birth, along with traditional Christmas music selections.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wesley Village Resident Celebrates 100th Birthday with 100 Birthday Cards!

Christina Sudol poses with staff member Graciela Lopez, and Jonah, the dog
SHELTON- Residents and staff at the Wesley Village senior living campus in Shelton gathered together on Friday, December 4th to celebrate Christina Sudol’s 100th birthday. Christina, a resident in the Lifestyle Transitions neighborhood on the campus, was the first resident to move in to the new wing, which was opened in January 2015.
Staff from across the campus joined in the celebration and sent birthday wishes through 100 greeting cards, which were presented to Christina by Lifestyle Transitions program director, Lisa Kelleher.
“We’ve been collecting cards from everyone – staff, residents, family and friends. Students from Park City Magnet School in Bridgeport even sent a bundle of handmade cards for Christina,” stated Kelleher. “She was delighted!”
“I’m not 100,” Christina argued, with a smile. “How about 50 x 2?” Kelleher suggested, to which Christina agreed. Along with the birthday cards, the festivities included a beautiful birthday cake and Christina’s favorite musical tunes: big band, classical, and Frank Sinatra. Wesley Heights Resident Services Coordinator, Donna Brice also surprised Christina (a dog lover) with a visit from her dog, Jonah, a Shih-Poo.
Christina received a proclamation from Shelton’s mayor, Mark Lauretti, recognizing her 100th year and sending her best wishes. Before cutting her cake, she stopped to thank her guests and enjoyed the afternoon, posing for birthday photos and reading her many birthday cards. “It was a big party,” she told her daughter afterward.
Lifestyle Transitions at Wesley Heights is located at 580 Long Hill Avenue on the Wesley Village Campus in Shelton. The program offers specialized assisted living and memory care options for individuals in need of personalized routines and a supportive environment. The campus also offers assisted and independent living, skilled nursing, short-term rehab, and outpatient therapy and fitness services. To learn more, visit or contact Lisa Bisson at 203.225.5024.
(This is a press release from Wesley Village)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bungay School Students Win Poster Contest

SEYMOUR - Once a year many local Fire Marshals around the State promote a Fire Prevention Poster Contest involving fourth and fifth graders within their elementary schools.
This is a cooperative effort throughout the State involving many State Agencies, Fire Department and Fire Marshal Associations and the Connecticut FAIR Plan (representing the insurance industry). Students with the assistance of their teachers create posters that promote fire safety within their community and homes.
Fire safety information and examples are given to their teachers from the local Fire Marshal. The local Fire Marshal along with his or her team select the best one from the fourth and fifth grades. It is a difficult task but one I love doing. Those are then passed on to the County level where the best ones are chosen and then passed on to the State level.  
This year Bungay School had two winners, one in fourth grade, and the other in fifth grade.
"As Fire Marshal, I love going thru the hundreds of posters and observing the creative art form that the children have," said Fire Marshal Paul Wetowitz.” "Also, I am hoping that the fire safety lesson they learn will one day save themselves, family members, friends and people from the effects of fires.
Also, I am hoping that the messages they take with them will last a life time and they pass it on. Any fire is one fire too many to occur."
These two Bungay students, along with the other winners from Chatfield School, will also be offered a ride to school in one of the Fire Department’s trucks.
"Imagine going to school with lights blazing and siren sounding?" Wetowitz added.
Country and State winners will receive a monetary check along with the School receiving a matching grant. Their posters will also be displayed in locations around the State. 
(This is a press release from Bungay School) 

Derby City Hall Posts Holiday Hours

DERBY- The following is the schedule for Derby City Hall hours of operation for the December Holiday Season from Monday December 21, 2015 to January 1, 2016.

Derby City Hall
2015 Holiday Hours:

Monday    December 21, 2015    9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tuesday    December 22, 2015    9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Wednesday    December 23, 2015    9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Thursday    December 24, 2015    9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Friday        December 25, 2015    Closed

Monday    December 28, 2015        9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tuesday     December 29, 2015        9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Wednesday    December 30, 2015        9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Thursday    December 31, 2015        9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Friday        January 1, 2016            Closed

(This is a press release from Derby City Hall)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Kick the Habit for free at Griffin Hospital

DERBY- Looking to kick the smoking habit?
Griffin Hospital is helping members of the community prepare to quit smoking with a free smoking cessation program starting Jan. 6.
“That’s It – Learn to Quit” teaches a variety of methods to help individuals quit smoking. The program consists of Wednesday night meetings from 5:30-7 p.m. scheduled for Jan. 6, 13, 20, and 27 at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby.
“The goal of the program is to help you learn how to quit,” said Carrie O’Malley, RN, a co-coordinator of the program. “There are different methods of quitting and managing nicotine withdrawal. If one method didn’t work for you in the past we’ll help you understand all your options.”
Through group discussion and interactive activities, participants learn how to develop a quit plan that addresses their personal behaviors and habit. Strategies to manage nicotine withdrawal, behaviors, triggers, and urges are all discussed as well as weight control and stress management.
Participants must be prepared to attend all four sessions. To register for “That’s It – Learn to Quit,” call 203-732-1476.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Holiday Handmade Market in Shelton Dec. 12

Learn Therapeutic Touch at Griffin Hospital

Holly Major, NP, MSN, QTTT, Therapeutic Touch coordinator for Griffin Hospital, will conduct a two-day Basic Level Therapeutic Touch workshop on Friday, Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23.
DERBY- Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby, is offering a two-day Basic Level Therapeutic
Touch workshop on Friday, Jan. 22 from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 23 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. for individuals interested in learning about this healing method.
Therapeutic Touch (TT) is an energy healing technique that is derived from the ancient practice of laying on of hands. It has been taught to thousands of healthcare professionals and can help reduce pain and anxiety, expedite healing, and increase overall feelings of well-being.
The purpose of this Basic Level TT Workshop is to explain the concepts and practice of TT, allowing ample time for hands-on practice. Participants must attend both workshop sessions to receive credit. 
The workshop is open to the public and there are no prerequisites to attend.
The workshop instructor, Holly Major, NP, MSN, QTTT, is an adult nurse practitioner and the TT Coordinator for Griffin Hospital. Major has been teaching TT since 2000 and is a qualified TT instructor through Therapeutic Touch International Associates, the international association of Therapeutic Touch.
The fee for the workshop is $100, and includes all class materials. The deadline to enroll is Jan. 6.
For more information, or to enroll, contact Laura Murphy at 203-732-7466 or
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Rep. Conroy Praises Restored Funding for Griffin Hospital

State Representative Theresa Conroy (D-Seymour, Beacon Falls, Derby) is pleased to announce Democrats in the General Assembly have restored significant funding to thestate’s hospitals, including 3.5 million in funding for Griffin Hospital in Derby. 
The legislature met in special session last night to approve a package of spending cuts and reforms to close a deficit in the current year’s state budget. Included in the package is the restoration of approximately $50 million in hospital funds.
“On September 23, I pledged to fight Governor Malloy’s cuts to Griffin Hospital; in October we secured funding for small hospitals; and now the legislature approved a budget reform package that restores $3.5 million of the Governor’s cuts to Griffin,” Rep. Conroy said.
In June of this year, Legislative Democrats approved a state budget that included $4.8 million for Griffin Hospital. In September, Governor Dannel Malloy unveiled a package of budget rescissions that included up to $84 million in cuts to hospitals and reduced Griffin’s state funding to $1.2 million. Rep. Conroy worked to ease the impact to Griffin Hospital and by early October, Governor Malloy agreed to restore $14.1 million to the state’s small hospitals. Last night, the Legislative Democrats approved a bill that restored funding for Griffin to $4.72 million.
“We appreciate Rep. Conroy’s continued advocacy on behalf of Griffin Hospital,” said Patrick Charmel, Griffin Hospital President and CEO. “The reduction in the Governor’s rescission cuts contained in the legislation passed today will help to preserve Griffin’s ability to fulfill its care giving mission.”
“This week in 1909, Griffin Hospital opened a 24-bed hospital on Seymour Avenue in Derby,” Conroy said. “The first patient was admitted on Dec. 9th where the price was 31 cents a day. The Connecticut General Assembly has always had a part in the history of Griffin, from granting the charter in June 1901 to today – ensuring that we maintain funding to keep this great institution in the Valley to serve our residents.”
(This is a press release from Conroy's office)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fill-A-Cop Car with Toys Sat. Dec. 12 at Seymour Stop & Shop

SEYMOUR- The Seymour Police Department is hosting its 10th annual toy drive Saturday, Dec. 12 at Seymour Stop & Shop, 15 Franklin St.

People are asked to fill up a patrol car with new, unwrapped toys to benefit local families this Christmas.

The event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., is sponsored by the Seymour Police Department, Stop & Shop, TEAM, Inc. and Mario D'Addario.  
(Information shared from Seymour First Selectman's Facebook page)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Frosty The Snowman LIVE! at The Strand Theater on Saturday, Dec. 12th.

SEYMOUR - Landmark Theatre presents a children’s holiday classic, Frosty The Snowman, Live on Stage at The Strand Theater in Seymour, CT.

Frosty the Snowman has all the charm of the beloved children’s tale and holiday song brought to life on stage!  Follow the comic antics of Frosty, a snowman that come to life when the village children place a magic top hat on his head.  The song: Frosty the Snowman, a Holiday favorite, occurs throughout the play.
Frosty the Snowman is a perfect first or early live theater experience for young children. The show is fast paced with music, dance and audience participation.  Children are invited to stay after the show to meet the characters and take photos. 
This program brings veteran actors, directors, musicians and choreographers together to participate with eager and talented youth to present theatre for young audiences.  Frosty the Snowman offers natural casting of both adults and children to tell the story that was made a holiday staple with the 1969 animated Christmas family television special on CBS. 
The program will open with The Sunshine Road Show and will include an interactive holiday sing-along lead by entertainer David Verdosci. Children will be invited to participate in familiar holiday tunes!  David Verdosci and the Sunshine Road Show has been touring for over 15 years.  Their belief is in the power that music has on children’s well being.  They have devoted their creativity to developing music that is encouraging, interactive and of course fun!
The cast for Frosty the Snowman includes LCT executive director, Jeffrey Dunn as Frosty, Blaise Russo of Thomaston as Professor Hinkle, veteran performer Brock Putnam of Litchfield as Santa Claus and Jaylee Lewis of Thomaston as Karen.  The show is directed and choreographed by Caitlin Barra. 
Frosty the Snowman will be presented  on Saturday, December 12th @ 1pm & 4pm at The Strand Theater, 165 Main St, Seymour, CT 06483
Tickets are $12.00.   All seats are reserved. For more information contact the Box Office (860) 283-6250. Monday – Friday 1–6pm & Saturday 1-4pm. Or purchase online at
(This is a press release from Landmark Theatre)

National MS Society Honors Derby Physician

Joseph Guarnaccia, M.D., clinical director, Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Center at Griffin Hospital, Derby, was recently inducted into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Volunteer Hall of Fame. He is joined by National Multiple Sclerosis Society Connecticut Chapter President Lisa Gerrol and board of directors Chairperson Jack Betkoski./ Contributed photo
DERBY -Joseph Guarnaccia, M.D., clinical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, was recently inducted into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Volunteer Hall of Fame at its 2015 Society Leadership Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.
Guarnaccia, recognized for more than 20 years of volunteer service with the Connecticut Chapter, has focused on impacting public policy and improving access to care for Connecticut residents.
Recently, Guarnaccia worked with the chapter to pass Senate Bill 418 which broadens coverage by insurance companies for off-label prescription drugs in Connecticut. Effective January 2016, peer-reviewed medical literature will be added as an acceptable reference source for coverage determinations related to off-label prescriptions.
Multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease of the central nervous system, affects more than 6,500 Connecticut residents. The cause is unknown and there is currently no cure. Symptoms can include numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, loss of mobility and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.
For more information on multiple sclerosis or how to get involved with the Connecticut Chapter, visit
For more information about The Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Center at Griffin Hospital, visit

Derby Students Rewarded for Excellent Attendance

DERBY-  On December 3, students and families from Irving School were treated to a special performance by Danz Magic to promote school attendance, goal-setting, and perseverance. The show was held to support Irving’s plan to reduce chronic absenteeism and build a school culture that values and recognizes regular school attendance. 

Danz Magic’s owner, Debbie Parlow, collaborated with Irving School’s Attendance Coordinator, Maria Bowers to plan this event for students.  The Danz Magic Dance Team includes approximately 50 dancers from around the Greater Valley area ranging in ages from nine -23 years. The dancers perform routines with tap, ballet, lyrical, jazz, pointe, and tumbling.  
Parlow said, “Danz Magic wanted to spread a little magic throughout our community, and help Irving School teach the importance of commitment and dedication.  We know it will help these kids become responsible people, who go far in the future.” 
Irving School is in its fourth year of a comprehensive turnaround, and designated as a Review School in the Department of Education’s Alliance Grant, an improvement from a Focus School status in 2012.  Alliance Districts are required to address chronic absenteeism, which includes students missing 10% or more of school. 
“We made it a priority this year to improve student attendance,” said Principal Jennifer Olson. “Historically, our school struggled with inconsistent student attendance including absences, tardies, and early dismissals.  We are intentionally working to help families to identify and resolve any obstacles that interfere with children coming to school every day.”  
In the first marking period, daily attendance at Irving School improved from 95% in 2014-2015 to 98% in 2015-2016. Chronic absenteeism also dropped from 17% to 11.9%.  The state’s target is 10%. 
“Making attendance a priority in your home as early as preschool will create a habit that follows students through life.  When children miss school, whether it is an excused or an unexcused absence, they miss out on important learning,” said Bowers.  “We want our students to be ‘On Time and Ready to Shine’ because it is a great start to being the best you can be, and I am here to help.” 
Fifth grade teacher, Jori Pirritino said, “The school’s focus on attendance helps me as a teacher because we can build a more cohesive classroom community because everyone is there for the same experiences and learning.” 
The Danz Magic performance is one of many ways Irving School is helping bring attention to the importance of school attendance. The school celebrates classes with perfect attendance daily, and recognizes students with perfect attendance quarterly.  At the first marking period Honors Reception in November, 89 students, or 27% of students in Grades K-5, were awarded certificates for perfect attendance. According to Olson, 14 students who had perfect attendance in the first marking period were chronically absent last year. 
Parlow and Danz Magic’s Assistant Director, Stephanie Waldron, offered Irving students who attended the performance a free dance lesson, and Danz Magic pencils that read, “On Time and Ready to Shine!”  Danz Magic has studios in Derby and Milford and is celebrating 29 years in business. “At Danz Magic, we are not just another dance studio, we are a family. Kids form friendships that last a lifetime,” said Parlow. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Valley Officials Nab State Awards

Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti
Tom Haynes and Oxford First Selectman George Temple

Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti and Oxford First Selectman George Temple were honored during the Connecticut Economic Resource Center’s (CERC) 2015 Celebrate CT Awards at the Bushnell in Hartford on Wednesday, December 2.
The Fountain Lake Industrial Park in Ansonia and The Quarry Walk at Oxford Towne Center project were the recipients from the Naugatuck Valley Council of Government’s 19-town region.
The awards recognize individuals, companies and programs that have uniquely contributed to economic growth in Connecticut.
Tom Haynes, of Haynes Development Co., was also honored during the ceremony for the Oxford project.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Seymour Ambulance to Host Annual 'Pictures with Santa' Fundraiser

SEYMOUR- Seymour Ambulance Association will hold its annual Pictures with Santa Fundraiser on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6.

Come and support a great cause and avoid the long lines at the mall. Pictures on Saturday, Dec. 5 will be from 9 a.m. to  5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Your digital photo will print while your child enjoys a holiday movie, writes a letter to Santa, does a craft project with Santa's elves and enjoys a holiday treat.  Parents can choose from one 8-by-10, two 5-by-7s, or nine wallet size photos. Each photo sheet is $14, or an entire package consisting of each sheet can be purchased for $35.

All proceeds benefit the volunteers at Seymour Ambulance.

For more information contact Amanda at 203-888-8843 or

(This is a press release from Seymour Ambulance Association)

Adam’s House Grief Education Center Invites Community to Grand Opening Dec. 3rd in Shelton

SHELTON- Adam’s House is holding a Grand Opening Celebration Dec. 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Shelton, CT, to introduce the non-profit grief education center at 241 Coram Ave. to community leaders and residents.
“After more than three years of fundraising, we are thrilled to be able to open our doors,” said Executive Director and Founder Allison Wysota. “We hope many people will stop by to learn more about our plans to help grieving families and children in Connecticut.”
Wysota was inspired to create Adam’s House after her husband, Adam Wysota, died on May 6, 2012, and she sought grief counseling for herself and her three sons. At Adam’s House, grieving families and children will gather together to draw strength and support from their peers. In eight-week programs guided by trained facilitators, parents will gain insights and strategies for dealing with their loss. At the same time, their children will join their own special groups to explore their feelings through art, play and peer-support activities.
Wysota encourages Shelton residents to be among the first to take an indoor tour of the charming, newly renovated home designed to offer a warm, comforting setting for families, volunteers and staff. “We are looking to build a community here of trust, healing and encouragement, said Wysota.” With strong community support, Adam’s House hopes to provide a healing place that inspires grieving families to once again, live their lives to the fullest.”
Wysota said there are many myths and misconceptions about grief. “For example, the old way of thinking taught bereaved people that when someone dies, he or she ceases to exist and should no longer be discussed at any length. The grieving family member or friend should “get over it,” and stop grieving typically six months after a death, according to society. Wysota said research now teaches that there is no “getting over it,” but that grieving people can establish what is called, ‘continuing bonds,’ ways that the deceased person can have a presence in a grieving loved one’s life. In that way, a mother knows that it is healthy for a son to make a gift to honor a Dad who has died because it’s a way to establish the late Dad’s presence in the boy’s life.”  
Wysota is proud that Adam’s House represents a strong grassroots network of Connecticut supporters who helped raise the funds to purchase the home. Adam’s House honors the legacy of Adam Wysota, a beloved father, Little League coach and active volunteer in his Weston, CT community. Before his passing, Adam Wysota held prestigious Wall Street positions at Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., Barclays Capital, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley.                                                                
“I’m very grateful for the hundreds of supporters who have helped realize our first goal of purchasing a beautiful new home in a wonderful location for Adam’s House,” said Wysota. “But we still have more to accomplish before we are ready to deliver our special programs next year to grieving families and children.”
Already, volunteers from Alcoa Howmet in Branford, CT, have donated their time and painting skills to help paint the children’s room at Adam’s House The company also provided a grant to fund the children’s program materials. Wysota invites many local companies, schools and individuals to donate their expertise and their time to support Adam’s House. Weston high school students who are members of the National Honors Arts Society volunteered their Sundays to paint beautiful room murals. In addition, Adam’s House future renovations need the fundraising support of companies and individual sponsors.
“We have many opportunities for volunteer projects, from day-long tasks to projects that require longer commitments,” said Wysota. “We welcome new friends from the Shelton and neighboring communities to pitch in and help us create a nurturing, supportive environment empowering grieving families to find renewed hope and encouragement in life.”
Adam’s House Mission
At Adam’s House, we believe no child should ever grieve alone. Each child deserves a supportive and understanding community to learn and explore their feelings of loss. All grief journeys are unique and grief is a natural reaction to the loss of a loved one. At Adam’s House, we will be a partner in support of your healing process.
Adam’s House Background
Adam’s House is located at 241 Coram Ave. in Shelton, CT and is an entity of The Adam Wysota Foundation. Adam’s House is a 501c3 organization. All donations to Adam’s House are tax deductible. For further information, go to or call 203-513-2808.  
(This is a press release from Adam's House)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Downtown Seymour Celebrates the Holidays Saturday, Dec. 5

SEYMOUR- On Saturday Dec. 5, 2015 the town of Seymour will be celebrating the holidays with an array of festive events sponsored by many town organizations including the Seymour Culture and Arts Commission, American Legion, American Legion Band, Seymour EMS, Metro North, local boy and girl scout troops and Santa Clause himself!

The evening will begin with the arrival of Santa Clause at the Seymour train station on Main Street at 6:13 p.m., followed by a tree lighting by the American Legion on the corners of Bank and Wakely Streets at 6:45 p.m. The downtown merchants will be open and celebrating the holidays as well with individual festivities in their shops as part of First Saturday. The Connecticut Yuletide Carolers will also be strolling through our historic downtown in full Dickens’ costume singing the songs of the season.

Bank, First and Columbus Streets will be closed to traffic beginning at 5:30, please park on the surrounding streets. Please do not park in the First Street plaza as store owners will tow your car.

For questions or more information please call Kim at 203-888-7880.
(Information shared from Seymour First Selectman's Facebook Page)

City of Ansonia's Tree Lighting Set for Dec. 4

Monday, November 30, 2015

Griffin Hospital Receives High Marks for Quality and Patient Safety

DERBY- Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT was recently recognized by two national healthcare organizations for continued excellence in quality and safety.
Griffin Hospital was named a 2014 “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®” this month by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America, and was honored with an “A” grade in the Fall 2015 update to the Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital safety rating organization whose Hospital Safety Score is the gold standard rating for patient safety.
Griffin is the only Connecticut hospital to be named a Top Performer by The Joint Commission four times, and it is the third consecutive time the hospital earned top Hospital Safety Score. Griffin is one of only 1,043 hospitals out of more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2014 Top Performer distinction, and one of an even more select group of 773 hospitals nationwide receiving a Leapfrog Group A grade.
“As a patient-centered care hospital, Griffin Hospital is focused on doing what is best for patients, caregivers and our community,” said Griffin Hospital President and CEO Patrick Charmel. “These recognitions are a tribute to the staff at Griffin Hospital who work together to make sure patient-centered care starts with high-quality, safe care.”
Top Performer
As a 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®, Griffin was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2015 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions. The performance measures included in the recognition program are heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, inpatient psychiatric services, stroke, venous thromboembolism, perinatal care, immunization, tobacco treatment and substance use.
To be a 2014 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2014 accountability measure data, including:
  • Achieve cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
  • Achieve performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure with at least 30 denominator cases; and
  • Have at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and within that measure set, achieve a performance rate of 95 percent or above on all applicable individual accountability measures.
“Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone of high-quality health care. I commend the efforts of Griffin Hospital for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions,” said Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and CEO, The Joint Commission.
For more information about the Top Performer program, visit
“A” Grade for Safety
The Leapfrog Group is an independent hospital safety rating organization whose Hospital Safety Score is the gold standard rating for patient safety. The score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading patient safety experts, rating hospitals on errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Hospital Safety Score is published widely to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when choosing a hospital stay.
“Griffin Hospital’s A grade is a powerful reminder of its commitment to putting patient safety above all else, and we are pleased to recognize the persistent efforts of your clinicians and staff to protect your patients,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, which administers the Hospital Safety Score.
Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single A, B, C, D, or F score, representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm.
More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned scores in October 2015, with Griffin Hospital among only four Connecticut hospitals in the select group of 773 hospitals nationwide receiving an A grade.
The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, offering a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades on the website. Patients can also review their hospital’s past safety performance alongside its current grade on the Hospital Safety Score site, allowing them to determine which local hospitals have the best track record in patient safety and which have demonstrated consistent improvement.
To see Griffin’s full score, and to access consumer-friendly tips for patients and loved ones visiting the hospital, visit or follow The Hospital Safety Score on Twitter or Facebook. Consumers can also download the free Hospital Safety Score mobile app for Apple and Android devices.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Last Call for Early Bird Tickets for Brewers Ball

LAST CALL FOR EARLY BIRD TICKETS! Early Bird Ticket sales to Connecticut's largest homebrew com...