Friday, July 29, 2016

Local Lawmaker Says "No" to Mileage Tax

Image result for linda gentile
State Representative Linda M. Gentile (D-Ansonia/Derby) is responding to reports that Connecticut is moving toward a mileage tax -- the idea of taxing motorists based on the distance they drive in their vehicles.

“Let me be clear, I am absolutely against any consideration of a mileage tax,” says Rep. Gentile.  “Talk about such a tax is aimed at getting voters riled up.”  Leadership in both chambers of the General Assembly insist they have no interest or plans to consider a mileage tax.  “For the record, I have no interest or plans to institute a mileage tax, as well,” says Rep. Gentile.  
Talk of a mileage tax began last year when the Governor’s Transportation Finance Panel recommended studying its potential implementation.  ConnDOT applied for a federal grant ($300,000) to pay for the study, joining with Vermont, Delaware, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.  DOT officials say the mileage tax could be an option to raise revenues.  Rep. Gentile says it is “a concept I cannot and will not support.”
(This is a press release from Gentile's office)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Vendors, Donations Sought for Festival of Trees

DERBY - St. Mary-St. Michael School in Derby is seeking vendors and donations for its popular Festival of Trees fundraiser this November.
Set for Saturday, Nov. 19, the Annual Festival of Trees is attended by hundreds of parishioners from St. Mary and St. Michael Church as well as residents in the community looking for unique gifts, ornaments, wreaths and artificial trees for the holiday season. The event also features raffles, food and photos with Santa.
Raffle donations are also greatly appreciated. Proceeds benefit St. Mary-St. Michael School.
To rent a table or for more information, contact Denise Bottone at 203-231-3810 or

A Musical, Magical Evening on Tap

DERBY -The 2016 Griffin Hospital Gala will celebrate the elegance and enchantment of autumn with an evening of lavish food, enjoyable music and entertaining magic from 7 – 11:30 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 16 at Aria, 45 Murphy Road in Prospect.
The evening will feature an unforgettable combination of spectacular views, exquisite dining and first-rate entertainment. Guests will be treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while enjoying Aria’s delightful manicured and sculpted gardens, and breathtaking scenic views. A customized dinner will be served accompanied with live music before a one-of-a-kind performance by award-winning and nationally-renowned magician, mentalist and entertainer, Dennis Watkins. The evening closes out with dancing to the energetic, Latin-inspired sounds and funky beats of the 10-piece band, Sugar. There will also be a silent auction for guests to bid on exciting prizes.
Tickets start at $185 per person. Black tie is suggested.
Proceeds will benefit essential programs and services for the Griffin Hospital community, ensuring patients have access to state-of-the-art care in a healing, patient-centered, Planetree environment.
For more information on tickets or sponsorship opportunities, contact Lisa Nista at 203-732-7384 or email, or visit
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Derby Woman becomes One Millionth Customer

Michele Mahan-Bibber with Griffin Hospital CEO/President Patrick Charmel
DERBY - Michele Mahan-Bibber, of Derby, became the one millionth customer of Griffin Pharmacy & Gifts on Monday, July 18.
As the milestone customer, Mahan-Bibber won a prize basket filled with gift cards and items from the store.
Established in 2000, Griffin Pharmacy & Gifts is a community pharmacy located on the ground floor of Griffin Hospital. The store offers prescription and over-the- counter medications, vitamins and nutritional supplements, surgical supplies, gifts, flowers and cards.
Griffin Pharmacy & Gifts staff and Manager Cathy Egan were excited to celebrate the historical transaction and thanked the Griffin community for the years of support.
“For more than 15 years we’ve grown to meet the ever-changing needs of Griffin's patients, employees and community,” Egan said. “However, with our customers, we would not have reached this milestone. We thank all of our customers for their continued loyalty.”
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Valley Classmates to Celebrate 65th Reunion

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ANSONIA - The 65th class reunion of Ansonia High School and Pine High School will be held on Sunday, August 7th at Molto Bene Restaurant (formerly Rapp's), 55 Wakelee Avenue, from 12 o 4 p.m. The cost is $40 per person. A cash bar will be available.

Please make your reservations by July 24, and make check payable to Donald Reidy, 212 Mountain Road, Seymour,Ct. 06483. For more information, call Don at (203)888-3410 if you have any questions.

Ansonia Nature Center Gets New Playground!


ANSONIA = Hundreds of employees from Basement Systems of Seymour volunteered their time over three days to build a brand new playground at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center, located at 10 Deerfield Rd. The first group of summer camp kids got to christen the new, wooden playground on Monday, July 18. Basement Systems Founder and CEO Larry Janesky heard that a playground was needed to replace the old, 25-year old one that had to be torn down earlier this year for safety reasons. Janesky, who designed the new playground himself, rallied his employees, who worked around the clock, braving the sizzling summer heat, to give hundreds of local kids a fun place to swing, slide and play.  

(Photo shared from Ansonia Nature Center's Facebook page)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lets Go Seymour High School Class of '86

SEYMOUR - Attention Seymour High School's Class of 1986: it's been 30 years since we (yours truly included) graduated and it's time to and gold style!

Come show your Wildcat pride during our 30th Class Reunion, scheduled for 7 to 11 p.m. Sept. 17 at The Hops Company (formerly Grassy Hill Lodge), located at 77 Sodom Lane, Derby.

Tickets are just $25 per person, and include pizza from Zuppardi's, along with a cash bar.

Come reminisce with old friends and recapture some of that Wildcat magic from days gone by!

To purchase tickets, visit the following link as soon as possible:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hey Valley: Know Any Oustanding Women?

DERBY - The Valley Women's Health Initiative is seeking nominations of area women who have made positive contributions to the community to be honored at its Annual Women Making a Difference in the Valley Tribute.
The luncheon and fundraiser will be from noon-2 p.m. on Thurs., Oct. 6 at The Inn at Villa Bianca in Seymour. Over the past 15 years, more than 100 women from various walks of life who live or work in the Naugatuck Valley have been honored at this event.
Individuals, business leaders, and organizations are invited to submit nominations. Nominees should exemplify the multi-dimensional role women play in today's society as demonstrated by the contributions they have made to positively affect their community. Nominees must live or work in Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Oxford, Seymour, or Shelton.
Nomination forms are available on the Valley Women’s Health Initiative page on or by emailing Chris Cooper at Nominations must be submitted by Mon., Aug. 1.
Selected honorees and their nominator will attend the luncheon as guests of the Valley Women's Health Initiative. Reservations are $40 per person and will go on sale in August.
Sponsor opportunities and congratulatory advertisements in the luncheon’s souvenir program are available. Contact Dorothy Gandy at contact for information.
Proceeds are earmarked for the Valley Breast Health Care Fund, a donor-advised fund administered by the Valley Community Foundation.
Founded in 1999 with the support and leadership of Griffin Hospital, The Valley Women’s Health Initiative is comprised of members of the community working toward a common goal of improving women’s health and quality of life in the Valley. Its primary goal is to reach out to any person who cannot afford breast cancer screening and diagnostic imaging costs and enable them to receive it.
Members of the committee include Co-Chairs: Kate Cosgrove and Dr. Stephanie Wain; Daun Barrett, Darlene Breving, Cary Carpino, Dolores Chew, Christine Cooper, Karen Cusick; Dorothy Gandy, Antonietta Hallet, Elizabeth Johnson, Lisa Kechijian, Peggy Marlowe, Frank Michaud, Mia Talamelli, Patricia Tarasovic, and Nancy Valentine.
To learn about the various ways you can help support the Annual Women Making a Difference in the Valley Tribute, call Chris at 203-733-7266, Dorothy at 203-233-7639 or Kate at 203-888-3290.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

Sounds of Summer in Shelton

Image result for free summer concert series clip artSHELTON - ​Come summer, you will have another reason to visit Downtown Shelton: free live music! 
Celebrate Shelton! and Liberty Bank are proud to announce the second annual “Downtown Sounds: Concert Series at Veterans Memorial Park" which will take place on Fridays - July 22, July 29 and August 5 from 5:00pm - 9:00pm. There is a rain date of August 12 and rain date information will be updated at :
 “Each night, we will welcome handmade artisan vendors, a beer garden sponsored by Two Roads Brewing Company, and​ food trucks for families to enjoy" said Nicole Heriot-Mikula, co-creater of Celebrate Shelton 
Food trucks will include: Caseus Cheese Truck, Common Bond Market, Dad's Food Truck, Mama Dee's Italian Kitchen, Gypsy Joe Cafe, Pierogies on Wheels and Tipsy Ice Cream Cones.

"Starting at 5:00pm each night, there will be live music from sought-after local and regional bands," noted Michael Skrtic, another co-creater of Celebrate Shelton. The musical line-up includes: The Royal Din and The Balkun Brothers on July 22nd; The Alpaca Gnomes and Hubinger Street with the Kazoo Crew Family Band on July 29th; and Frank Viele and West End Blend on August 5th.
"We are thrilled to continue this free summer concert series in Downtown Shelton with great live music, food and activities for families" said Jimmy Tickey who is also a co-creater of Celebrate Shelton. "We were overwhelmed by the response last year, and we are looking forward to another successful summer concert series" Tickey said.
Downtown Sounds: Concert Series at Veterans Memorial Park is sponsored by Celebrate Shelton and Liberty Bank, with support from R.D. Scinto, City of Shelton, as well as The Valley Community Foundation, Electri-Cable Assemblies and Avalon Shelton.
Celebrate Shelton, a city-wide initiative, was created by small business owners - Nicole Heriot-Mikula, Michael Skrtic and Jimmy Tickey. Learn more about Celebrate Shelton at

Monday, July 11, 2016

Free Concerts in the Park

So Much to Do at Ansonia Nature Center

ANSONIA - The Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center has announced the following programs for August:


Mon. Aug. 1–Fri. Aug. 5, Mon. Aug. 8–Fri. Aug. 12,

Mon. Aug. 15–Fri. Aug. 19, 9:30 am–3 pm.                 

Choose one or more weeks!

For children from 5 to 11 years old who love the outdoors and wildlife, these popular classes will not only be educational but also a chance to explore the 156 acres the park offers. We will visit a variety of habitats such as the park’s wetlands, fields, and woodlands. A great choice for a fun late-summer experience!

TUITION: $150 priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $175 all others. 

CREATURE FEATURE: Snakes of Connecticut Sat. Aug. 6, 12 noon

Meet some of nature’s most important predators up close and personal! Discover how they eat, what’s inside those long, skinny bodies, and how invasive species impact the natives. Come see some of our indigenous snakes. FREE. Please register in advance.

ROCKS IN SPACE: Perseid Meteor Showers – Fri. Aug. 12, 8 pm

Come to Ansonia’s darkest location for some unusual night sky             

viewing with Bob Carruthers and the New Haven Astronomical Society. In addition to a chance to see the annual meteor showers (and touch a real meteor!), lunar rays—glass ejecta from the moon’s meteor craters—and Saturn will be visible if we have clear skies. Telescopes will be available. Meet at picnic pavilion #2. Children must be accompanied by an adult. FREE. Please register.


See July 10 listing for description.


Many colorful summer and fall wildflowers can be found growing in Connecticut’s fields, forests, and wetlands. Compared to the light pastel colors of our spring flowers, summer flowers are bold and vibrant. Asters, goldenrods, and milkweed are easily observed, but many others are elusive and require a bit of searching. Area naturalists Peter and Barbara Rzasa will provide a Powerpoint                 presentation highlighting not only our common native wildflowers but also the not so common ones such as pipsissewa, turtlehead, bottle gentian, butterfly weed, rattlesnake plantain, Virgin’s bower, and arrowhead. This FREE presentation will also cover the parasitic plants dodder and Indian pipe as well as the carnivorous Northern pitcher-plant and sundew. Stories and flower folklore of our native summer and fall wildflowers will be shared.


This Naugatuck River Revival Group (NRRG) movie shows our river like never before. You will see it from its beginning in Torrington to its tide waters, where it meets the Housatonic River, and view what it is like in, over and under the river. The Naugatuck River, suitable for both children and adults, is a glimpse into a planned documentary called The Last Refuge and features the wildlife and people who use the river. You will see songbirds bathing and get close to eagles, owls, and salmon. You will meet two ancient creatures: lamprey and elvers (baby eels). Trapped at the Kinneytown Dam in Seymour, these elvers traveled thousands of miles from the Sargasso Sea to grow to lengths of over 3 feet. If they survive they will stay in the Naugatuck for the next 20-30 years before returning to the Sargasso to breed. Come close to one of the oldest predators on Earth: the peregrine falcon. Watch volunteers struggle to clean the river. See unique views of the new $6.4 million Tingue Dam Bypass. “We want to bring the river to the community,” Sondra Harman, NRRG Executive Director, said. “We want to show people that the river is beautiful.”

Friday, July 8, 2016

Julian A. Taylor Scholarship Event Sunday July 10

On Sunday, July 10, 2016, the Julian A. Taylor Scholarship committee will present 2016 Ansonia High School graduate Adreeana  Cox the $5,000 Julian A. Taylor Scholarship Award at its annual award dinner.  The award is given to the highest-ranking African American graduating senior in Ansonia High School accepted by a four- year college/university. Adreeana will attend The University of Tampa in the fall.

The Julian A. Taylor Scholarship Fund was established in 1981 to honor and continue the ideals of the late Rev. Dr. Julian A. Taylor, former Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church.  Like the late Dr. Taylor, the committee endeavors to motivate and to foster the importance of education to African American Students in the Ansonia Public School District.  Believing in the importance of reaching students as early as possible in addition to the $5,000 award, 22 students in grades three through eleven will be honored as Julian A. Taylor (J.A.T.) Scholars receiving awards of $100.00 each.  Over the past 34 years, the committee has provided $173,000 in scholarships.
J.A.T. Scholar award winners are: Mead School students—Trioni Wright, Jasmine Duffus, April Walfall, Symone Finney, Felicity O’Brien, Marisol Laureano, Louis Gripper, Brianah Akins; Prendergast School –- Jada Sampson,  Kierra Thomas, Eniyah Lawrence, Jaden Napoleon, Adalee Evans, Maqila Mosley-Williams, Xavier Coverson-Twyne, Sa’ray Allen; Ansonia Middle School –-Maliqua Mosely-Williams, Hawa Camara, Jordan-Sahara Credle;  Ansonia High School – Ekettee Weamie, Stephanie Umeugo, and Berlove Lelain.
The event Guest Speaker is Superior Court Judge Erika Tindill. Judge Tindill currently sits in the Stamford-Norwalk Judicial District.  She served in the Malloy administration as Chair of the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles from 2011 -2014. She held the position of Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Deputy Director for New Haven Legal Assistance Association, Inc. 
The award dinner will be held on Sunday, July 10, 2016 at Grassy Hill Country Club, 441 Clark Lane, Orange CT at 2:00 P.M.  Ticket Donations are $35.00. For ticket information please contact Surether Belton at (203) 735-1470 or Diane Stroman at (203) 645-9635. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Calling Seymour High School's Class of '86

SEYMOUR - Attention Seymour High School's Class of 1986: it's been 30 years since we (yours truly included) graduated and it's time to and gold style!

Come show your Wildcat pride during our 30th Class Reunion, scheduled for 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 at The Hops Company (formerly Grassy Hill Lodge), located at 77 Sodom Lane, Derby.

Tickets are just $25 per person, and include pizza from Zuppardi's, along with a cash bar.

Come reminisce with old friends and recapture some of that Wildcat magic from days gone by!

To purchase tickets, visit the following link as soon as possible:

See you all there!!!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Valley Residents Celebrate their 100th Birthdays!

SHELTON - Wesley Village staff, residents and guests gathered at Wesley Heights Assisted Living Community to celebrate the birthdays of six centenarians with a special luncheon on Tuesday, June 22nd.
The event recognized five Wesley Heights residents who had or would be celebrating 100 years or more during 2016. Residents who were honored included: Helen Hagner (102), Isabel Roberts (102), Edna Flanagan (100), Susan Perkins (100), and John Girolamo (100). Also honored at the event was former Wesley Heights resident, Minnie Sutton, who celebrated her 106th birthday in May. Sutton now resides at Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is also located on the Wesley Village senior living campus, along with Wesley Heights.
The event, organized by Wesley Heights Activities Director, Linda Fera and Resident Services Coordinator, Donna Brice, included special guest speakers Chaplain Cathy Nickse, Coordinator of Spiritual Care for Wesley Village; David Lawlor, President and CEO of United Methodist Homes; and  Shelton Mayor, Mark Lauretti.
Proclamations were issued to each centenarian and hand-delivered by Mayor Lauretti who posed for a photo with each honored resident. David Lawlor shared words of wisdom from each of the centenarians and thanked them for their influence. “For all of the wisdom you bestow upon us and the way you support your fellow residents and our staff, we thank you very much for being part of Wesley Village. Happy Birthday!”
(This is a press release from Wesley Village)

Town Wide Tag Sale Coming July 30

Friday, July 1, 2016

Derby/Shelton Fireworks Postponed Until July 3rd

DERBY - The Derby/Shelton Fireworks have been rescheduled to Sunday July 3, 2016 at 9:00 pm, due to the weather.

(Information shared from City of Derby's website)

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...