Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Derby Mayor Proclaims Monday, September 28 – October 2 Diaper Awareness Week

DERBY – On Monday, September 28, Mayor Anita Dugatto presented David Morgan, TEAM President/CEO a proclamation recognizing the week of September 28 – October 2 as National Diaper Need Awareness Week. 

A signature initiative of the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), Diaper Need Awareness Week features a range of activities focused on diaper need and its prevalence in communities across the country. 
“Derby is proud to be home to the TEAM Diaper Bank that recognizes the importance of diapers in helping to  produce economic stability for families and distribute diapers to poor families through various channels”, stated Mayor Dugatto. “I encourage the citizens of Derby to donate generously to the TEAM Diaper Bank and those organizations that distribute diapers to families in need to help alleviate diaper bank need in Derby and the surrounding communities.” 
Though diapers are a basic need for every child in their first years and are essential to the health and well-being of the child, safety net programs that provide assistance to low-income families such as SNAP (food stamps) and WIC do not cover the purchase of diapers.
To address the needs of families in the Valley, TEAM Diaper Bank provides monthly diapers and wipes to more than 200 eligible families residing in Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton.  Since opening in 2013, TEAM has distributed over 300,000 diapers to Valley families.
As part of Diaper Need Awareness Week, TEAM Diaper Bank will be hosting a workshop providing diapering and potty training support for all families with young children in the community. The public is invited to register for the workshop being held on Thursday, October 1 from 5:30-7:30 PM at TEAM Early Education Center, 80 Howard Avenue in Ansonia.
Individuals and organizations can get involved in Diaper Need Awareness Week by donating to the Diaper Bank or hosting a diaper drive. 
For further information about TEAM Diaper Bank or to donate, please contact Ayanna Williams at or 203-736-5420 ext. 204.
(This is a press release from TEAM, Inc.)

Career Fair in Seymour Oct. 6

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Substance Abuse Action Council Honors Conroy

Theresa Conroy and Pamela Mautte
Rep. Theresa Conroy (D-Seymour, Beacon Falls, Derby) was recognized by the Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action
 Council at their 2015 Community Champion Awards Ceremony on New Haven.
Pamela A. Mautte, Director Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council, “Theresa has worked on several substance abuse prevention and intervention initiatives over the past several years. It was my pleasure working side by side with Theresa this past year on opiate issues, banning powdered alcohol and other prevention issues.”
Rep. Conroy has been a strong advocate for many prevention issues. Rep. Conroy was instrumental in the passage of legislation that improves the monitoring and reporting of narcotic prescriptions and increases access to life-saving opioid antagonists. Naloxone, or Narcan, is an opioid antagonist that works to reverse the effects of opioids.
Between 2009-2014, there were over 2,000 accidental and unintentional opioid involved deaths that occurred in 150 of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns.  
“I want to thank the Valley Substance Abuse Action Council for their incredible work and advocacy,” Rep. Conroy said. “They are true champions of prevention.”
(This is a press release from Conroy's office) 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Harvest Festival in Ansonia Returns Oct. 3

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> The 12th annual Harvest Festival is right around the corner, ready to usher in the fall season with pumpkins, crafts, food, live music and more.

The event, staged by the Ansonia Cultural Commission, will take place Saturday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Main Street. Dozens of craft and food vendors will have booths set up between Tremont Street to Kingston Drive. The festival will take place rain or shine and admission is free.

According to Commission Chairman Ralph Villers, the event promises family fun for all.

“This year, we are bringing the Harvest Festival closer to its roots by simplifying the event, making it a bit smaller and more intimate,” Villers said. “We believe by resizing and reducing to just one entertainment stage, the focus returns to the vendors plying their wares and the visitors sampling their wares under a pleasant autumn sky.”
Read more here.

Joe’s Dogs opens next to Derby train station

Joe Miani of Derby is photographed with his food cart, Joe’s Hot Dog Cafe, next to the train station in Derby on 9/24/2015. (Arnold Gold — New Haven Register)

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

DERBY >> When resident Joe Miani retired from the automotive business after 40 years, instead of relaxing at home, relishing his golden years, he bought a hot dog trailer.

Since July, Miani and his wife, Barbara, have been enjoying retirement by working. They can be found cooking up hot dogs, sausage and peppers, breakfast sandwiches, coffee and more from their silver hot dog trailer perched underneath the Route 8 overpass next to the Derby Train Station on Main Street.

Joe’s Dogs is open Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; hours the Mianis say fit in nicely with their retirement schedule.

Miani, 67, just retired last October, but was already making plans for his future before that. He purchased the trailer six months prior to leaving a four-decade career servicing cars, because it was something he always wanted to do.
Read more here.

Family of Derby boy recovering from lifesaving surgery provides ‘bags of hope’ to others facing medical crises

Anthony Muoio, 17 months old, visits with the Rev. Bill Maguire, chaplain in the Department of Spiritual Care at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, Wednesday. A year ago, Anthony endured a 9-hour surgery to remove a life-threatening brain tumor. Maguire offered spiritual guidance to Sarah and Robert Muoio, Anthony’s parents. Catherine Avalone — New Haven Register
By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

As the one-year anniversary of Derby toddler Anthony Muoio’s lifesaving surgery approaches, his family paid it forward Wednesday to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, which saved the young boy’s life.

Anthony will be 17 months old on Friday, one year after undergoing an intensive, nine-hour surgery to remove a life-threatening brain tumor.

The tumor was resting against an artery, threatening to cut off then 5-month-old Anthony’s blood supply. Doctors successfully removed the tumor, and Anthony has experienced an “amazing recovery.” He will continue with followup care for years, but recently graduated to having MRIs every six months instead of every three, according to his parents.
Read more here.

Seymour Pink’s ‘Pounding the Pavement for Pink’ grows in popularity

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> More than 2,200 runners and walkers from 17 states will soon lace up their sneakers in an effort to kick breast cancer to the curb.

According to Seymour Pink Founder Mary Deming, Seymour Pink’s 4th annual ‘Pounding the Pavement for Pink’ 5k walk/run, sponsored by Haynes Construction, has significantly grown in popularity since the first 5K held in 2012. Last year’s attendance of 1,800 runners and walkers exceeded Deming’s expectations, and this year will be no exception. Deming anticipates upwards of “2,500” people to participate in this year’s event on Oct. 3, plus another 1,000 spectators cheering from the sidelines.

“Once again, this is due to a community’s response to unite against a diagnosis that has touched so many friends and family,” Deming said. “With Connecticut being # 2 in the nation for most breast cancer cases, we have heard those words, ‘You have breast cancer’ way too many times.”
Read more here.

Thousands enjoy Seymour Pumpkin Festival under fair skies

Thousands of people converged on French Memorial Park Sunday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the town’s longest standing traditions, the Seymour Pumpkin Festival.
The glorious, pre-fall weather drew upwards of 30,000 people to the fair grounds, not to mention the live music, midway rides, petting zoo and more than 100 vendor and food booths peddling fried dough, giant whoopee pies, fall crafts and more. (Photo by Jean Sosnovich - NHR)

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> Thousands of people converged on French Memorial Park Sunday (Sept. 20) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the town’s longest-standing traditions, the Seymour Pumpkin Festival.

The glorious, pre-fall weather drew upwards of 30,000 people to the fair grounds, not to mention the live music, midway rides, petting zoo and more than 100 vendor and food booths peddling fried dough, giant whoopee pies, fall crafts and more.

“It’s a very special day,” said Patricia Wasko, a volunteer with the Seymour Pumpkin Festival Association for 24 years. “We’re so happy with the attendance and seeing so many families come out today … that’s what the festival is all about.”
Read more here.

Seymour seeks to start construction of scenic greenway trail in the spring


The town hired Milone & MacBroom in 2013 after receiving a $10,000 state grant to do an engineering study and conceptual design of Phase 1 of the greenway. Those design plans have since been submitted to the state Department of Transportation for review.

Economic Development Director Fred A. Messore said the firm was the same one that designed the nearby fish bypass channel and adjoining park for the DOT, which turned out remarkable, he said.
Read more here.

Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation donates instruments to Irving School in Derby

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

DERBY >> Irving School has won something that’s truly music to students’ ears.

Jennifer Lucas, the elementary school’s music/chorus/band teacher, received word that she was awarded $15,400 worth of brand new musical instruments from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

Stub Hub, the corporate sponsor, donated 15 new saxophones, trumpets, flutes, trombones and clarinets for students who might not be able to afford an instrument on their own to strike up the band.

“This donation will help us continue to grow and develop our music program, and create access for all students who are interested in playing an instrument,” said Principal Jennifer Olson. “Mrs. Lucas has led the way with securing donations to help fund and expand the music room’s materials and resources.”
Read more here.

Seymour selectmen approve $12,500 salary increase for first selectman

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> Whoever becomes Seymour’s next first selectman will receive a $12,500 raise from the current salary.

The Board of Selectmen Tuesday unanimously approved boosting the elected position’s annual pay from $72,500 to $85,000. The raise takes effect Dec. 7, well after the November municipal election. State law prohibits towns from granting mid-term salary increases.

The selectmen approved the raise based on a unanimous recommendation from the first selectman’s bipartisan Salary Committee, comprised of Board of Finance Chairman Bill Sawicki, Board of Finance member Beverly Kennedy, Selectman Paul Roy and Selectman Al Bruno.

Sawicki said the salary for the town’s top dog hasn’t been increased in more than a decade. Prior to that, when the position paid about $52,000 a year, the salary hadn’t been raised since 1998.
Read more here.

Ansonia block watch organizer launches Facebook page

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> Residents in the city’s Hilltop section have a new tool aimed at keeping them up-to-date on home and neighborhood security, which many believe comes in handy in light of the recent rash of home break-ins in the area.

Resident Vinnie Scarlata has launched a Facebook page, dubbed Ansonia Hilltop Watch, and the page has received hundreds of “likes” just days since it hit the Web.

“It’s ‘right now’ information,” Scarlata said. “When we post something, we know people will see it within hours and that makes it a great tool for community support and update.”

Scarlata was tapped by Police Chief Kevin Hale to get the ball rolling on organizing a neighborhood block watch for the Hilltop. Creating a Facebook page is an effective way to get the word out quickly to people when posting meeting dates, updates about burglaries, tips on home security and more. Scarlata will work with Officer Rich Esposito and resident Ed Norman, who organized past block watch groups, in posting relative information to Facebook.
Read more here.

Volunteers give Ansonia park a facelift

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> In just three months, a group of volunteers has helped give Gatison Park in the city’s North End a facelift the community can be proud of.

Thanks to the newly formed Friends of Gatison Park, which is comprised of 11 adult and about a dozen youth volunteers, the park has received a makeover that boasts a newly painted swing set, replacement of wood benches, freshly painted basketball hoops, addition of 200 tulip and daffodil bulbs, new mulch and more. Volunteers also have been busy weeding and ridding the park of trash.

According to Friends’ founder and city resident Tarek Raslan, there are more exciting things in store for Gatison Park, which he called one of many “pocket parks” that are “real assets” to Ansonia.

“Walking through a beautiful park can literally change one’s outlook on the world,” Raslan said. “For a young kid it’s a place to socialize with friends, perfect their pitch or jump shot and dream about the wonders of the natural world. As a community, they provide a place to come together, create together and celebrate together. In a city where a majority of residents are living on properties that are a quarter-acre or less, these parks also play a crucial role for residents to simply enjoy the outdoors.”
Read more here.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Diaper Need Awareness Week: Dry, Clean Diapers For All Children

DERBY - Monday, September 28 marks the start of “Diaper Need Awareness Week,” organized by the National Diaper Network.

Though diapers are a basic need for every child in their first years and are essential to the health and well-being of the child, safety net programs that provide assistance to low-income families such as SNAP (food stamps) and WIC do not cover the purchase of diapers.

Infants and toddlers use between 8 and 12 diapers per day, at a cost of $70-$80 per month. Unable to afford a constant supply of fresh diapers, parents may frequently leave their baby in a soiled diaper for long periods of time, leading to rashes, infections, and other health problems. Desperate parents may occasionally resort to drying out soiled diapers for reuse. A Yale University study found that about 30 percent of low-income parents can’t afford to change their children’s diapers as often as they should be changed.
“Diaper need is a major problem for so many families in our state, affecting not just the health of children, but the economic prospects for parents forced to miss work because they can’t send children to daycare without a proper supply of diapers,” says TEAM President/CEO David Morgan.
Without a sufficient supply of disposable diapers, children are not able to enter child care and parents may not be able to return to work or school, leading to economic instability and continuing the cycle of poverty.
To address the needs of families in the Valley, TEAM Diaper Bank provides monthly diapers and wipes to more than 200 eligible families residing in Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton.
As part of Diaper Need Awareness Week, TEAM Diaper Bank will be hosting 2 workshops providing diapering and potty training support for all families with young children in the community. The public is invited to register for the workshops, held Monday, September 28 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM at Irving School, 9 Garden Place in Derby, or Thursday, October 1 from 5:30-7:30 PM at TEAM Early Education Center, 80 Howard Avenue in Ansonia.
For further information about TEAM Diaper Bank or to donate, please contact Ayanna Williams at or 203-736-5420 ext. 204.
(This is a press release from TEAM, Inc.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ed Strang Day for Kids Sept. 26th on Derby Green

Prescription Drug Take Back Day in Seymour Sept. 26th

SEYMOUR - State Representative Theresa Conroy (D-Seymour, Beacon Falls, Derby) is asking residents with old prescription drugs to properly dispose of them during this weekend’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
This Saturday, September 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can bring your old prescriptions for safe disposal to the Seymour Police Department on Franklin Street.
According to the state Department of Consumer Protection, flushed medications can get into our lakes, rivers and streams. Research has shown that continuous exposure to low levels of medications has altered the behavior and physiology of fish and aquatic organisms.
Pharmaceuticals enter our wastewater from a variety of sources, including the flushing of unused medications. A nationwide study done in 1999 and 2000 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) found low levels of drugs such as antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives and steroids in 80% of the rivers and streams tested.
It is also important to avoid tossing unused medicines in the trash. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is on the rise at alarming rates, along with accidental poisonings and overdoses.
“Prescription drug abuse is fueling a rise in heroin addiction as well. A growing number of young people who start abusing expensive prescription drugs are switching to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to buy,” Rep. Conroy said.
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the DEA, aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing prescription medications.
(This is a press release from Theresa Conroy's office)  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Derby Church to host Run/Walk Sept. 26 to benefit Derby Students

DERBY – Walnut Hill Community Church, located at the corner of Smith and Ninth Streets in Derby for a second year is hosting the Derby’s B.E.S.T. 5k Run / Mile Walk. Last year’s event raised $3,600, which provided funding for nine projects requested by teachers and administrators, that enriched, enhanced and improved the educational experience of more than 300 students in the Derby Public Schools helping to Better Empower the Students and Teachers in the Derby Public Schools to succeed.
Walt Mayhew, Pastor of Walnut Hill Community Church’s Derby Campus explained the church’s involvement. "Jesus told us to love God and love our neighbor. We also know the special place children had in Jesus heart. So this event is a wonderful way for us to live out our faith and look to make our community a better place to live, work and play."
The race committee has been actively promoting the event throughout the district and community looking increase the number of project that will be funded. "Last year we raised $3,600. This year our goal is to raise $7,000 so we can fund more projects and impact the educational experience of more students throughout the district." Mayhew said.

The Derby’s B.E.S.T. 5k Run / Walk will take place on Saturday, September 26th on the Derby Greenway starting on the industrial park access road behind BJs on 20 Division Street.

Check in on race day begins at 8:00 a.m. The Fun Run begins for younger children begins at 8:30, while the 5k Run& Mile Walk start at 9:00 a.m. Awards with be presented to the top finishers overall and by age group. A free post-race bib number raffle will be conducted and post-race refreshments will be served. To register, or for more information, visit
(This is a press release from Walnut Hill Community Church)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti Rides the Rails

ANSONIA -Mayor David Cassetti rode the Metro North line Monday with Senator Chris Murphy, mayors and first selectmen, from Waterbury to Bridgeport and State Sen. Joan Hartley, to talk to riders and discuss issues regarding the rail line.

The intent is to draw attention to the need for repairs and additions to our rail service, trains and stations. Mayor Cassetti is seeking funds to improve Ansonia's train station.

(This is from the City of Ansonia's Facebook page)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Valley Vigil to Honor and Remember Victims of Domestic Violence

Shelton = Every October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) is observed to bring to light an issue that effects all of our communities. Every 9 seconds, a woman is battered in the U.S. One in four women and one in seven men in the U.S. are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives.
To raise awareness about domestic violence, BHcare’s The Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS) will hold a vigil to honor and remember survivors and victims of domestic violence on Tuesday, October 13 at 6:00 pm at the Gazebo at Huntington Center Green, Shelton, CT. Chief Kevin Hale, Ansonia Police Department will be the keynote speaker. The vigil will also include recognition of law enforcement officials and community members.
For more information about the vigil, or about domestic violence services call (203) 736-2601, ext. 1381, or visit If you need immediate assistance, please call our 24-hour domestic violence hotline 1-888-774-2900.
UCDVS is a program of BHcare that provides services for victims and children of domestic violence free of charge. Each year, over 6,000 abused women and their children walk through the door of UCDVS looking for shelter, help and hope. Learn more at
(This is a press release from BH Care)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ansonia Mayor Goes to White House to Celebrate UCONN Women Huskies

ANSONIA = On Tuesday, Sept. 15, Mayor David Cassetti was invited to the White House to celebrate the UCONN Women’s Basketball Team and their championship year. 

The Mayor met with President Barack Obama and the Connecticut Congressional delegation to welcome the University of Connecticut’s Women’s basketball team to the White House in celebration of their 2015 NCAA championship title.

“I am so proud of the UCONN women’s basketball team, Coach Geno Auriemma, the coaching staff and all that they have been able to accomplish. I am especially proud of Ansonia’s own Tierney Lawlor. It was an honor and a distinct pleasure to be a part of the celebration.” Said Mayor Cassetti.
(This is a press release from Ansonia City Hall)


Sunday, September 13, 2015

TEAM Inc. in Derby marks 50th year helping others with needs

TEAM, Inc.

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

DERBY >> Since 1965, TEAM Inc. has been making a difference in the lives of thousands of disadvantaged families and individuals struggling to make ends meet.

Whether it’s providing diapers for babies, delivering hot and nourishing meals to senior citizens in their homes, sending toddlers to pre-school, putting toys under needy kids’ Christmas trees or helping heat homes in the winter, the nonprofit agency has helped countless people in the lower Naugatuck Valley and beyond, ensuring their basic needs are meet. Not only that, but the services provided by TEAM are geared to help impact and improve the prospects for long-term survival and success for its many clients.

To commemorate its five decades of service, TEAM is holding a 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration next month, according to Executive Vice President Diane Stroman.

The event has been scheduled for 6 to 11 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Race Brook Country Club, 246 Derby Ave., located in Orange. Ticket price is $100 per person, and includes Hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dancing to The Bernadettes, agency highlights and the presentation of Golden Heritage Awards to William Bassett, The Hewitt Foundation and Pitney Bowes Corp.
Read more here.

Owner of Villa Bianca in Seymour to give away $10 million in assets in ‘Win Your Dream Life’ contest

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> After nearly 40 years in the wedding/restaurant business, Villa Bianca owner Tony Mavuli is giving away his entire empire: the inn, a restaurant, the banquet facility, the chapel, his 4,000-square-foot home and the limos — and $100,000 in the bank, to boot.

Mavuli, 65, is ready to retire and has embarked on a unique way to find the next person or persons qualified to take over the Inn at Villa Bianca, which he has built up at 312 Roosevelt Drive over the past 35 years.

Mavuli said his children “sadly” do not want to take over the family business. So he created an essay contest and, for a $1,000 entry fee, the lucky individual who puts pen to paper and tells a panel of judges why he or she should win Mavuli’s “dream life” will inherit quite a hefty prize.

The giveaway includes the Inn at Villa Bianca itself, complete with banquet and hotel rooms, which sits on nine acres of sprawling, meticulously landscaped grounds, the wedding chapel, the fleet of limousines, the 1757 Tavern Restaurant, Mavuli’s fully furnished home on the property and a nice chunk of change — $100,000 — in a bank account.
Read more here.

Ex-Shelton High School teacher accused of misconduct with student, 17

By Register Staff

SHELTON >> A former Shelton High School math teacher is facing charges after police say he took a 17-year-old student out to dinner in April and tried to kiss her on the lips.

George Perduta, 57, turned himself in to police Tuesday, police spokesman Detective Richard Bango said in a press release Wednesday.

Bango said the charges stem from an April complaint made by a female who was a student at Shelton High School at the time.

The student, 17, told police she had gone to dinner with Perduta and he had asked her about her relationship status during the meal, which made her uncomfortable.
Read more here.

Public sounds off on transportation needs

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

DERBY >> A dedicated bus stop along Pershing Drive for shoppers; additional Metro-North train service at night; coordinating bus and train schedules in the same towns and cities so when a rider hops off the train, he or she can catch a bus home.

Those were just some of the suggestions from a handful of people during a public hearing at City Hall Wednesday held by the Connecticut Public Transportation Commission.

The goal was to gauge input from the public, transportation providers and public officials on how the state’s public transportation system could be improved. Wednesday’s was the first of four such hearings the Commission will hold statewide this fall to gather testimony, which will be compiled into an annual report to Gov.Dannel P. Malloy, transportation officials and the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee.

The commission is asking the public to tell them what works, what doesn’t work and what should be done to make their experience using public buses, trains, taxis and other transportation services better.
Read more here.

Ansonia aldermen approve body cameras for cops

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> By year’s end, city police will be armed with a tool aimed at keeping interaction between police and citizens transparent.

The Board of Aldermen Tuesday unanimously approved the purchase of 25 body cameras for the police department. The cameras, according to Police Chief Kevin Hale, will cost $37,655, but the department previously secured a $30,000 Justice Assistance grant to cover the bulk of the cost. The remainder will be paid for through the department’s Asset Forfeiture Account.

Hale said the cameras, while “not a solution to everything,” will be beneficial.

“This is just another tool to assist us,” Hale said. “Everybody tends to behave better under (the eye) of a camera, and they will help provide us with evidence and help in determining the validity of complaints.”
Read more here.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Derby to Mark 14th Anniversary of 9-11

Mayor Dugatto asks Derby Residents to Remember 9-11
Asks that Flags in City fly at Half-Staff
DERBY- In conjunction with the action of Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Mayor Anita Dugatto is reminding all citizens of Derby that U.S. and state flags should fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday September 11, 2015 in rembrance of the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The City will also remember the 14th anniversary of that tragic day by participating in a Memorial Service on the Derby Green at 6:00 pm led by the Hotchkiss Hose Company #1 of the Derby Fire Department.
“As we remember the victims and heroes from that terrible day 14 years ago, we pause to honor the sacrifices of so many people who make our country the best in the world.” noted Dugatto.  “We hope to see a large turnout in honoring the 161 Connecticut residents who lost their lives that day.”
Mayor Dugatto has directed City Staff to carry out the suggestion of Governor Malloy.
Please see attached link to information from Governor Malloy
For further questions, please contact the Office of Mayor Anita Dugatto at 203.736.1450 or .
(This is a press release from Mayor Anita Dugatto's office)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Food Truck Festival on Tap in Derby

Seymour seeks benefactor to donate the perfect Christmas tree

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> O’ Christmas tree, O’ Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches? That’s what town officials want to know as they embark on a Rockefeller Center-esque search to find the perfect tree to grace Broad Street Park this holiday season.

The Parks Commission is looking for someone to donate the ideal evergreen, spruce, fir or pine tree to serve as a showpiece in the center of the park, located at the corner of Broad and River streets.

Commissioner Bill Sawicki said there’s some criteria the tree needs to fit. First off, “it should be green,” he quipped.

First Selectman Kurt Miller said the tree should be at least 25 feet tall, and “relatively accessible for retrieval.”
Read more here.

O’Sullivan’s Island in Derby to get fishing pier

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

DERBY >> The city has secured a $325,000 grant to build a fishing pier at O’Sullivan’s Island.

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of the Connecticut Housatonic Natural Resource Trustee Council, according to a press release from Mayor Anita Dugatto.

Dugatto said although the pier was previously planned, the project was unable to be approved due to ongoing environmental issues at the site.

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG), however, was able to secure the funding after conducting extensive analysis of the soils and groundwater. Based on those studies, NVCOG requested a report on potential public health risk from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CTDPH). Meg Harvey, epidemiologist with the CTDPH and author of the June 2015 Health Consultation for the site, concluded that, “the available site information indicates that the intended construction and engineering work can proceed as planned in a safe manner.”
Read more here.

Organizers plan bigger, better Seymour Pumpkin Festival to mark 50th

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

SEYMOUR >> Nothing says fall in the Valley quite like the annual Seymour Pumpkin Festival, and with this being the 50th anniversary of the autumn tradition, organizers are planning a celebration bigger and better than ever.

The stage is set for the 50th annual festival to take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20 at French Memorial Park, located at the junction of Route 67 and Spruce Street. The festival will be held rain or shine. Admission is free.

The park will again be transformed into a Halloween haven of more than 100 juried arts and crafts booths, food vendors, children’s activities, pumpkin and scarecrow decorating contests, music from the band Phoenix and more. The seven-acre park lends itself to the festival, due its terrain, with each section of the park bearing a special name, like Goblin’s Gulch, Witches Walk, Pumpkin Patch and Scarecrow Alley.
Read more here.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

More than $17,000 Raised for Families of Ansonia Girls Killed in Car Accidents

ANSONIA – More than $17,000 was raised in two fundraisers to support the families of two six year old children, who lost their lives in car accidents in August. Nyah Marcano, a Prendergast student, and Leah Rondon, a Mead student, were about to enter first grade this year. In addition to the two fundraisers, the City of Ansonia donated $6,780 from the proceeds of the “Rock the Valley” event on Aug. 22.

Nyah Marcano-photo from GoFundMe page

The two fundraisers were held last week: A ziti dinner on Aug. 27, and an “Ansonia Goes Blue for Nyah and Leah” balloon fundraiser on Aug. 28 and 29. Hundreds of volunteers, including parents, staff from Ansonia Public Schools, the Ansonia Fire Department, the Ansonia Police Department, Ansonia Rescue Medical Services, the Boys & Girls Club and other agencies donated their time for one or both events. More than 400 people attended the ziti fundraiser, while more than 2,200 balloons were sold and delivered to Ansonia homes and businesses. An additional 700 balloons were tied to the fronts of every school and public building in town as well.

Leah Rondon-photo from GoFundMe page
“On behalf of Ansonia Public Schools, we are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support during this time of sadness for the Marcano and Rondon families,” said Dr. Carol Merlone, Superintendent of Schools. She gave special thanks to the City of Ansonia, the many companies that donated to the fundraisers, the staff of Ansonia Public Schools, and every volunteer. “Ansonia is a caring community that showed its unity and its strength.” 

The Valley United Way is serving as fiduciary for all funds that were raised. A committee has been formed to distribute the funds that were raised.
(Information is from a press release from Ansonia Board of Education)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Award-winning photographer to exhibit photos at Oxford Town Hall

This photo by Lisa Colberg titled
Twirling, Spinning captures a moment
with movement and joy,
so that the viewer feels the emotion
and wonder of childhood .  
Photographer Lisa Colberg will exhibit her photos for the months of September and October in the Meeting Room Gallery at Oxford Town Hall. The show is open during regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 30.

Colberg is an award-winning photographer whose inspiration comes from her late father, who was her family’s “Memory Keeper.” Self-taught, Colberg's desire is to artistically present images that tell a story beyond the actual moment captured. She often pursues images found in reflections, silhouettes and shadows, mesmerized by the depth and wonder that emerge from such photographs. Colberg prefers natural light and uses minimal post-processing, preferring to stay true to the actual image captured, to present it artistically, to enhance emotion, encourage wonder.

Colberg lives in Connecticut with her young family. When not behind the camera, Colberg works as a medical social worker. Her career has been as inspiration as well in her photography, especially in her portrait work, as her career has taught her much about humanity.

It is the mission of OCAC to enhance the quality of life of Oxford citizens and surrounding communities through the support of the arts. The OCAC will support, enhance, and facilitate artistic endeavors including the performing arts (music, dance and theatrical), visual arts, literary arts and cinematography with programs scholarships and special events, art and craft exhibits and the OXFORD’s FACE (Festival of Arts, Culture and Entertainment) in May. For more information contact, or Or call 203-881-6085.

This is a press release from Dorothy Peebles-Pelley, Gallery Director, Oxford Cultural Arts Commission.


Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council to hold prevention conference Sept. 24

Jeffrey Nielsen
Pina Violano
The Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council will hold its 25th Anniversary A Piece of the Prevention Puzzle Conference on Sept. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Anthony’s Ocean View, 450 Lighthouse Road, in New Haven.

Theresa Conroy
This year’s conference focuses on internet safety, emotional intelligence, and prescription pill and heroin use. Participants will learn practical tools and skills from nationally recognized experts. The cost of the workshop is $75. Continental breakfast and deli lunch are included and continuing education and training credits are available.

The conference will also feature VSAAC’s 2015 Community Champion Awards. The awards are given to those in the community who take action and effect change in the field of substance abuse prevention and/or intervention activities. The awards spotlight and applaud the work that is being done to help prevent substance abuse on the grass-roots, community level - work that is absolutely critical to VSAAC’s efforts to keep our kids safe from alcohol, tobacco, drug use, suicide, risky behaviors, and promote good mental health in the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Greater New Haven and surrounding communities.

Carol Cruz
This year’s Community Champions include Carol Cruz, CCAR Project Manager for the Young Adult and Families Program; Jeffrey Nielsen, Sergeant, Milford Police Department; Theresa Conroy, State Representative, APRN for Minute Clinic and Pina Violano, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Yale-New Haven Hospital.

For more information or to register, visit

VSAAC, a program of BHcare, is a public/private partnership comprised of community leaders and citizens who develop and carry out strategies to reduce alcohol, tobacco, drug use, suicide, risky behaviors, and promote good mental health among youth and, over time, among adults through community education, community mobilization, public awareness, and advocacy in the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Greater New Haven and surrounding communities.

This is a press release from BHcare.

Retirement savings program, water color workshop and more at Derby Public Library

The following information was provided by Derby Public Library Director Cathy Williams. For more information, stop by the library at 313 Elizabeth St. or call 203-736-1482 or visit

Maximize Your Social Security Benefits
Monday, Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m.
David Cowan, endorsed AAA retiree advisor, will discuss how to navigate retirement savings challenges, ways to safeguard retirement savings, and how to increase Social Security benefits by as much as $100,000. Learn when the right time is to start taking your Social Security, hidden benefits you may have from a former or deceased spouse, and the benefits of “switches.” While the program is targeted for pre-retirees, ages 60-66, the general public is welcome to attend. Registration is requested.

Water Color Painting Workshop
Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.
Ages 18 and over are invited to enjoy this fun evening resulting in fabulous art!  Participants will go home with new friends, great memories, and a newly-created masterpiece that will show off your “inner-artist.” No experience? No problem!  Local artist, Rich DiCarlo (Valley Arts Council), will guide you step-by-step on this creative journey as you learn the ins and outs of creating your own water color painting.  No previous artistic experience necessary – great for beginners or seasoned professionals. Snacks will be provided.  It is promised to be a surprisingly easy and fun way to spend an evening! Registration is required.

Lunchtime Book Discussion: A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope by Tom Brokaw
Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 12:30 p.m.
The selected title is the powerful memoir, A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope by Tom Brokaw. As Brokaw battles multiple myeloma, an incurable but treatable blood cancer, he reflects on a long and lucky life, including a great marriage of more than 50 years, a brilliant journalism career culminating in his 22 years as anchor of NBC Nightly News and a bestselling author, and his scores of devoted friends.  As he comes to terms with his own mortality Brokaw also looks at the larger picture of aging in America and rising health-care costs.  Multiple copies of the book are available at the circulation desk. Participants are asked to bring a sandwich and a friend as they “chat and chew.” Dessert and beverages will be provided. Registration is requested.

September events at Derby Neck Library

The following events will take place at the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave., in September. For details, please call the library at 203-734-1492.

Smash Club! for teens and tweens 
Thursday, Sept. 3 from 2-4 p.m.
The first meeting of the Smash Club! for teens and tweens. Come play exciting games on our Nintendo Wii U  just for fun, not for competition. Featured will be the Super Smash Brothers and other newly released games. Bring a friend and enhance your skills.

Dinner and a Movie for ages 18 and older
Thursday, Sept 3 at 5:30 p.m.,
Come enjoy this month’s feature film, “Mad Max,” shown in high definition Blu-ray on our large screen. A free dinner is served at intermission and free movie-style refreshments are also available during the show.

Tech Talks,
Monday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. and again on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 10:30 a.m., 
Tech Talks, an on-going monthly program that offers advice and some training on how to best use the technology in your life.  Topics vary each month, so please call the library for this month’s featured talk.  Feel free to bring your questions to this session as well.

Miss Kathi in Bedtime Music and Movement
Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Come dance and sing under our indoor stars. Those attending may wish to wear jammies and bring along a favorite stuffed animal.

Women’s Forum
Monday, Sept 21 at 12:30 p.m.
A monthly lunch group that discusses literature, mainly short stories. This month’s stories are “Me and Big Foot” by Jill McCorkle” and “The Last Few Kilometres” by Leonid Tsypkin; copies of the stories are available at the library. Bring a light lunch if you wish, we serve free coffee and tea.

Advanced Care Planning session
Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
Lead by Daun Barrett, director of Community Outreach and Parish Nursing at Griffin Hospital, learn all the details of the process of planning for future medical decisions. This method  reduces the stress and confusion of making medical decisions in crisis situations. This is a free program.

Evening Book Club
Monday, Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m.
This group meets monthly, on the final Monday, to discuss shorter books of fiction, memoir, or non-fiction, including inspirational themes. Each discussion is both stimulating and informative. Free copies of the books are available at the library; this month we focus on “The Actual” by Saul Bellow.

Learn Organic Gardening