Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Valley Legislators hold Forum on Opioid Epidemic

State Rep. Theresa Conroy
DERBY- State Rep. Theresa Conroy (D-Seymour, Beacon Falls, Derby), state Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr (D-Woodbridge) and state Rep. Linda Gentile (D-Ansonia, Derby) held a community forum on the prescription drug and heroin epidemic that is decimating communities across the nation and here in our backyard.
About 100 members of the community attended the forum March 29 at Griffin Hospital in Derby.
“Heroin overdoses are claiming more lives in Connecticut every year,” Rep. Conroy said. “Last year we had over 400 heroin-related deaths; in 2012 we had fewer than 90.”
Over the past two years, the Connecticut legislature has increased tools to address the state’s heroin crisis.  Connecticut has increased access to lifesaving opioid antagonists. Naloxone, or Narcan, is an opioid antagonist that works to reverse the effects of opioids. Nalaxone is not addictive and has little side effects, as compared to other self-administered drugs such as an epi pen – It simply saves the lives of people who have overdosed on an opioid.
The legislature is currently reviewing  SB 352, An Act Concerning Prescriptions for and the Dispensing of Opioid Antagonists, which would limit first time adult opioid prescriptions for non-chronic pain to a seven day supply and limit all prescriptions for minors.
“Connecticut has recognized that the opioid epidemic is a public health crisis,” Rep. Conroy added. “Prescription painkillers are often the first step on a path to devastating addiction.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advised doctors to refrain from giving opioid prescriptions to patients suffering from non-chronic pain, stating that the risks for such patients include addiction and death. The CDC also reported that from 2000 to 2014, the numbers of overdose deaths involving opioids, which include prescription opioids as well as heroin, increased by 200 percent. 
Last year, the CDC reported that people who use prescription drugs are 40 times more likely to try heroin. 
(This is a press release from Conroy's office)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Conroy Qualifies for "Clean Election Funding"

As a proponent of clean elections and removing special interest money from the State Capitol, Theresa Conroy has qualified for funding under the state Citizens’ Election Program. Conroy is seeking re-election as the state representative for the 105th Assembly District in Seymour, Beacon Falls, and Derby.

“I couldn’t have qualified for the Citizens’ Election Program without the support of the residents of the Valley,” Conroy said.

In order to qualify, candidates must receive donations from at least 150 residents of the towns in their district.

“I am dedicated to serving the people of the 105th District,” Conroy said. “Whether it’s pushing job-growth initiatives or securing funding for our schools, I will continue to fight for the residents of Seymour, Beacon Falls, and Derby.”

The Citizens' Election Program is a voluntary program which provides public financing to qualified candidates for statewide offices and the General Assembly. To participate, candidates must agree to abide by certain guidelines, including contribution and expenditure limits and disclosure requirements. This voluntary public campaign financing program was designed to encourage citizen participation and limit the role of special interest money in the State of Connecticut's political process.

Conroy serves on the Legislature’s Public Health Committee and has been a leader in the state’s policy response to the Opioid epidemic.

“Our state has taken important steps to help addicts and their families,” Conroy said. “But our work is not done. Prescription narcotic pain medication has become a highway to heroin addiction. We are losing too many Connecticut residents to this deadly addiction.”

Conroy said she remains committed to pursuing policies that aid seniors and expand options to age at home.  She has led efforts to develop livable communities.

Conroy is a strong advocate for servicemen and servicewomen and their families and an ally to veterans. She worked as a nurse for 28 years at the West Haven VA Health Center. She holds a master's degree from Fairfield University's Family Nurse Practitioner Program, a bachelor's degree from Southern Connecticut State University and an ADN from Quinnipiac University. She is currently an advanced practice nurse for CVS Minute Clinic.
(This is  a press release from Conroy's campaign)

Griffin Hospital Hosts Open House for New Lions Low Vision Center April 1

DERBY- Griffin Hospital and Lions Club of Fairfield and New Haven Counties will host an open house for the new Lions Low Vision Center at Griffin Hospital Rehabilitation Services on Fri., April 1 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Hewitt Ambulatory Pavilion, 350 Seymour Ave. in Derby.
The Low Vision Center assists individuals whose degree of vision loss can no longer be corrected by eye glasses, medicine or surgery. Occupational therapists at the Center evaluate an individual’s degree of vision loss and make recommendations for vision aids and devices that are provided at no charge. The open house will feature a short program by Dr. Joseph Sokol, of Connecticut Eye Specialists in Shelton, Griffin Hospital occupational therapists, and Lions Club members. There will be demonstrations of the adaptive equipment and time to speak with low vision experts.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Nephew of Derby Family Wins Emmy Award

DERBY –The nephew of the well-known Nolan Family of Derby, Jack Nolan, certainly has something to write home about.
Photo Courtesy of UND's Website
Nolan, who is the talent and affiliate networks program director for Fighting Irish Media for the University of Notre Dame, won a regional Emmy Award for his work. Nolan received the award last November during the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The Emmy was awarded to Nolan for ‘Outstanding Achievement for On-Camera Talent/Sports Anchor/Reporter/Play by Play.
Nolan’s uncle, Bob Nolan, a Derby native, said he couldn’t be more proud of his nephew, saying “Jack has really distinguished himself out there, and we are all so proud of him.”
Nolan is the great-grandson and shares the same name with Derby’s first police chief, Jack Nolan, along with former Derby Town Clerk Vincent Nolan.  

According to the University of Notre Dame’s website
http://www.und.com/genrel/111815aac.html, Nolan is known as “the voice” of Notre Dame Athletics, and is in his 34th year of association with the UND athletics department. According to his UND biography, Nolan is the main talent for the video programming on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com) and coordinates the day-to-day operations of all of FIM's radio and TV programming, which includes the coaches' television and radio shows, the Official Notre Dame Football Postgame Show and the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network. 
Nolan serves as the host of all of these shows, and he also does the radio play by play for the Notre Dame men's basketball team. The 2015-16 season marks Nolan's 34th year announcing Notre Dame basketball games on either radio or TV, making him one of the longest-tenured college basketball announcers in the country.
From 1982-2006, Nolan served as a sports and news anchor at WNDU-TV, the NBC affiliate in South Bend, and was involved in numerous award-winning productions that included his earning the Best Sports Play-By-Play award from the Indiana Associated Press seven times for his work on Notre Dame football telecasts and Notre Dame basketball TV and radio broadcasts. He also served as co-host of WNDU-AM's popular SportsTalk show from 1982 through 1999.
Before joining WNDU, Nolan served as a sports producer, reporter and anchor for Cable News Network (CNN) in Atlanta.
In 2013, Notre Dame Men's Basketball Coach Mike Brey and Monogram Club President Dick Nussbaum presented Nolan with an Honorary Monogram.
Nolan earned a number of academic honors on the way to graduating from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1981. Nolan is a native of Winchester, Mass., and is married to Detroit native Rhonda Brown, with whom he co-anchored WNDU-TV's NewsCenter 16 Sunday Morning Show between 1996 and 2002.
(Information shared from University of Notre Dame’s website)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Open House at Shelton's Wesley Village

SHELTON - Join us for an Independent Living and Memory Care Open House at Wesley Village on Sunday, April 3rd, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.
Tours will be available at Wesley Heights Independent Living Cottages and Lifestyle Transitions Memory Care. Both communities are located on the Wesley Village Senior Living Campus at 580 Long Hill Avenue in Shelton.
Wesley Heights Cottages are Independent Living market rate cottage rentals. All cottages offer one-floor living.  Monthly market rental rates apply. Cottages are available for $1,992/month, with limited availability. (For all cottage tours, please enter through Wesley Heights Assisted Living Community.)
Lifestyle Transitions offers Specialized Assisted Living & Memory Support options, with a unique design that allows for maximized independence throughout transitions of care. Options include a variety of apartment styles for individuals and/or couples. (Lifestyle Transitions is located in the Northwest Wing of Wesley Heights Assisted Living Community; please use Wesley Heights main entrance for all tours.)
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Lisa Bisson at 203.225.5024 or at lbisson@umh.org, or by visiting www.wesleyvillage-ct.org. To tour any of our other communities at Wesley Village, please visit our website or contact Lisa Bisson to schedule a personal appointment at a later date.
(This is a press release from Wesley Village)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ziti Dinner to Benefit Valley Scouts

ANSONIA - Holy Rosary Church's Catholic Men's Club will sponsor a ziti dinner fundraiser April 16 to benefit Scouting Venturing Crew 77 in their activities and service to the community.

 The dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at Holy Rosary Church Hall, 10 Father Salemi Dr. Dinner includes ziti and meatballs, salad, coffee, tea, soda and dessert. Cost is $10 person, and free for kids 5 and under.

 For tickets or more information call Carole at (203)231-3850 or Margie at (203)736-1752.

 Walk-ins are welcome.

Diabetes Discussion at Griffin Hospital

DERBY -Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby, will host a free  presentation on the basics of diabetes to help individuals understand the condition on Tues., March 29 at 6:30 p.m.
Mary Swansiger, BSN, MPH, will present “Diabetes 101,” an easy-to-understand overview of prediabetes, diabetes type 1, and diabetes type 2 as well as risk factors and prevention.
According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 29 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, including 8 million who are undiagnosed. There is also an estimated 86 million people with pre-diabetes.
The presentation is part of Griffin Hospital's Healthy U Talks, a series of free wellness talks featuring Griffin Hospital medical experts and community partners providing trusted health information and answers to questions on a wide range of topics. Light refreshments will be served.
To reserve your spot or for more information, call 203-732-1511 or visit griffinhealth.org/events.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Griffin Hospital to Host Prom Safety Awareness for Valley Teens

DERBY- Juniors and seniors of Lower Naugatuck Valley high schools and their parents are invited to the 6th Annual Prom Safety Awareness Night from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5 at Griffin Hospital, 130 Division Street in Derby.
“Underage drinking and distracted driving increases during prom season and the most powerful tool against these risk factors is parents,” said Cathleen Kellett of Griffin Hospital’s Community Outreach & Valley Parish Nurse Program.
This year’s free program will be presented by the Greater Valley Substance Abuse Action Council. The program will engage teens and their parents in an open conversation to encourage safe behaviors and decrease questionable decisions in regards to driving, texting, drugs and alcohol. There will also be a question and answer session.
Griffin Hospital will provide refreshments. Participating students will receive free gift cards for Dunkin Donuts and be entered into a grand prize drawing for prom ticket bids.
This event is free, but seating is limited. Reservation are due by March 28 to Dee at 203-924-7614 or kopecs@att.net. Please provide your name, phone number, town and number of guests.
The event is sponsored by The Valley Community Foundation, Shelton Youth Service Bureau, Ansonia Youth Service Bureau, Valley Parish Nurse Program, Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley and Griffin Hospital.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Valley Beer, Wine and Food Fest on Tap

ANSONIA - The Taste, a local beer, wine and food festival will take place beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19 at Warsaw Park, located on Pulaski Highway in Ansonia.

Tickets are $35 each in advance and $45 at the door. Proceeds will benefit Seymour Tradition softball. The price includes all food-beer-wine samples, and also includes a $10 credit voucher that can be used to purchase products that night.

If there’s a wine or beer that you enjoy, simply fill out the order forms that night, bring them to the GlenRo table and make the purchase. GlenRo will even make local deliveries if you can’t pick the items up at one of their two local locations.

There will be 22 tables of wine and beer, featuring more than 50 different wines and more than 40 beers to sample, along with a cigar table, food from eight local restaurants and more.
In addition to all of the food-wine-spirits, there is also live music. Casey Gorman will be strumming his six string that night, and playing songs that everyone knows.  The event will also feature raffles, including a chance to win a trip to Cabo.

Local Food Bank Collecting Easter Hams

DERBY- St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank is collecting Easter hams now until March 19.
Pre-cooked hams are needed to help feed friends and neighbors. Hams can be dropped off between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, March 19, at St. Vincent DePaul Helping Hands of the Valley, located at 237 Roosevelt Dr., Derby or the Office of the Town/City Clerk at Derby City Hall between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
(Information is from Derby Town/City Clerk Marc Garofalo)

Valley Students Join Forces to Fight Prejudice

Approximately 100 students, all members of the Human Relations Club, from Ansonia, Derby , Shelton and the newest addition,  Eli Whitney Technical School in Hamden, will come together to implement an education program, for all 4th grade and kindergarten students at Mead and Prendergast Schools in Ansonia and Bradley and Irving Schools in Derby. 

The two days of teaching will focus on the themes of “Who Am I” and “Celebrating Differences” in the 4th grade and “Being Kind and Recognizing and Accepting Differences in People” in kindergarten. The main purpose of this program is to instill in students an understanding of the importance of working together and getting along in the diverse world we live in.

The HRC student leaders serve as role models, and inspire and motivate the younger children to embrace these concepts. Student leaders started working on this education program during the summer and through their efforts, age appropriate teaching packets were developed for use in the schools. Teaching dates will be March 23 and March 31, 2016.

All students who are participating in this program will take part in an all-day student developed and conducted training session on Tuesday, March 15,  at the Ansonia Boys and Girls Club . The collaborative effort between adults and students in Ansonia, Derby and Shelton, and Eli Whitney, has been amazing and has contributed greatly to the growth and development of the Human Relations Club.
The entire Human Relations Club, including students and adults, are deeply appreciative of the Valley Community Foundation and the Katharine Matthies Foundation. Both of these organizations have validated the work of the HRC by providing much needed funding to support its many programs.
For more information regarding the Human Relations Clubs please contact Nick Collicelli at 203-305-6342 or Nickhrc@sbcglobal.net  

Friday, March 11, 2016

Let's Talk Baseball in Derby

DERBY - The Derby Public Library will begin its 11th season of Sports Talks at 10 a.m. April 7.

These informal sessions are held Thursday mornings throughout the baseball season.  

They will again be facilitated by radio talk show host, author, and Major League Baseball rules consultant Rich Marazzi. 

Each session will include trivia contests, videos, lively conversation, and more.
All ages, from rookies through veterans, are invited to join Rich and his group of Silver Sluggers.  
No registration is necessary.  
For more information, stop by the Library at 313 Elizabeth 
St., call 203-736-1482, or visit www.derbypubliclibrary.org.
(This is a press release from Derby Public Library)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dive into Swimming Program in Seymour

Seymour/Derby High School Students Team Up for Healthy Partnership

SEYMOUR = On April 6, 2016, eight students from Seymour High School will visit Derby High school with their physical education and health teacher, Nick Aprea, to team up with eight students from DHS and their teacher, Eric O’Toole.

During the day the students will develop, perform, and film 3-5 minute videos that teachers in Ansonia, Derby, Emmett O’Brien Technical School, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton can use periodically in their classrooms to increase energy levels, attentiveness and work output.  It is their hope to promote activity as well as provide academic benefits.   
This group in partnership with VITAHLS (Valley Initiative to Advance Health and Learning in Schools) brings together Griffin Hospital, The Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center, and area schools.  One of the main goals of VITAHLS is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity. 
Throughout the day students will be treated to a visit from Dr. Jean Mee, CT State Department of Education consultant for Health and Physical Education.
(This is a press release from Seymour Schools)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Kick the Habit Now!

DERBY -Griffin Hospital offers free education, advice and support to help individuals prepare to quit smoking with its four-week smoking cessation program starting March 30.
“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 March 30, April 6, 13 and 20 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)

Monday, March 7, 2016

First Ever Naugatuck Valley Home Show a Success

SHELTON - On Sunday, March 6th, 2016, Spataro Construction produced the first ever Naugatuck Valley Home Show at the Shelton Courtyard by Marriott. The event featured over a dozen local businesses, servicing Fairfield and New Counties, who offer a wide range of services including landscaping, tree removal, plumbing, home security and more.

The vendors on handed included All Terrain Tree Removal, Shelton; Barnum Financial Group,  Shelton; Connecticut Basement Systems, Seymour; C-TEC Solar, Bloomfield; Decorating Den,  Oxford;  Home Depot, Derby;  InstaPlumbing, Wolcott; Mavilla Landscaping, Shelton; Spataro Construction, Derby; Standard Oil, Bridgeport; Standard Security Systems, Bridgeport; State Farm Insurance, Shelton and Wills Electrical Services, Shelton.

Also on hand were The Kidnetic Clubhouse and The Giggling Pig with games and crafts for kids, along with The Happy Cupcake who had samples for everyone to try. Giveaways at the event included an iPad Air, Kindle Fire, and gift cards to Valley Lighting, Center Stage, Doorbell Barbers, Giove’s, Grow, and Common Bond Market.

Nearly 200 people were in attendance, including Valley Chamber of Commerce President  William Purcell, who stopped for a picture (below) with Spataro Construction co-owners Ron and Josh Spataro as he made his way to each booth.
Josh and Ron Spataro with Valley Chamber President William Purcell
“The number of people who came out to meet us, as well as the other great companies there yesterday, exceeded our expectations,” said Ron Spataro. “We can’t wait to start planning our next show, which will take place later this year or in early 2017.”
To stay up to date with future shows and events, visit nvhomeshow.com.

(This is a press release from Spataro Construction)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Seymour K-9 Units Visit Boys & Girls Club

SEYMOUR - The Seymour Police Department's two K-9 units recently paid a visit to the Seymour Boys and Girls Club. Sage and her K9 handler, Officer John Oczkowski (left in photo) and the newest K9 to join the force last month, Rex, and his K9 handler, Officer Matthew Butler, (right in photo) wowed the kids with various demonstrations at the clubhouse, located in the Seymour Community Center.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Rep. Conroy Calls on Malloy to Restore Hospital Funds

State Representative Theresa Conroy (D-Seymour, Beacon Falls, Derby) is calling on Governor Dannel Malloy and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to release Medicaid reimbursement payments to the state’s hospitals.
This week, Governor Malloy and OPM suspended millions-of-dollars in payments to Connecticut's hospitals – a potential loss of $728,516 to Griffin Hospital in Derby.
“Governor Malloy needs to make these payments to hospitals,” Rep. Conroy said. “He is ignoring the will of the legislature and the voice of the people. I know this will hit Griffin Hospital and the Valley hard.”
Over the past year, legislators have repeatedly worked to restore funding Governor Malloy has cut from hospitals. 
In June of 2015, 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.
In early December, Legislative Democrats approved a bill that restored funding for Griffin to $4.72 million.
(This is a press release from Conroy's office)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Shelton Resident Celebrates 101st Birthday

SHELTON - Margaret Csanadi, a resident of Benchmark at Split Rock, celebrated her 101st birthday March 2.

Mayor Mark A. Lauretti presented Margaret with a proclamation, while entertainment was provided by East Chicago Joe.

Margaret enjoys trips to the Shelton Senior Center, and listening to the Navy Band, where she attended a concert at Griffin Hospital last December.

Happy Birthday Margaret!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ansonia to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

(Information shared from City of Ansonia's Facebook page)

Derby City Hall Collecting for Food Bank

DERBY - Derby City Hall is collecting canned food during the month of March for the St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank.
This month, donations of canned beef stew are being collected (Dinty Moore or any other brand). According to Town/City Clerk Marc Garofalo, donations can be dropped off at City Hall or the food bank itself, located at 237 Roosevelt Dr. 
During the month of February, City Hall collected 44 jars of mayonnaise and another 10 jars of jelly for the food bank.
City Hall, in lieu of a Holiday Secret Santa Gift, donated food to the St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry in December. After discussions with the operators of the Food Bank, Garofalo said city officials  asked them for monthly suggestions for food collections to concentrate on what is in short supply.  Garofalo said City Hall employees decided to start a monthly collection of one specific item to help the food bank feed those in need in Derby and the Valley.  In January, City Hall collected jars of jelly and in February, jars of mayonnaise were collected.
Food bank officials said a great deal of canned beef stew is used, especially during the colder months.
"Please consider donating some cans of beef stew and bringing them to the Town / City Clerk’s Office by the end of March and we will deliver them." said Garofalo.
(This is a press release from Derby City Hall)  

Paint the Town and Your House Pink

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