Nov 212014

basketbrigadesmpictureSeveral years ago, Orange resident Glen Ketchian introduced me to a wonderful program in which he’d been involved for 15 years.

The CT Thanksgiving Basket Brigade provides families in need in the Greater New Haven area with a laundry basket full of all the essentials needed for a full Thanksgiving meal.

Each year teams of hundreds of volunteers gather at two locations, Champ Direct Printing & Mailing, 75 Cascade Boulevard, Milford (just over the Orange border), and another building in Trumbull.

Dr. John Sottery continues to be in charge of the event which takes place next Saturday.

Screen-shot-2012-11-16-at-9.58.03-PM-300x124The organizers expect to deliver 600 food baskets between the two locations (Greater New Haven and Fairfield County areas).

Here is a link with all the information for this year’s Basket Brigade http://2014basketbrigade-milford.eventbrite.com (after you click on the link, scroll down the page and watch the youtube videos — it really brings you back to how good it makes you feel to give from the Heart)

The Basket Brigade will be on Saturday, Nov. 22 beginning at 9 a.m. and deliveries should be completed by 2 p.m.

If you would like to donate, help, or can drive a delivery vehicle sign up at the link posted above. (Yes, you really will feel good.)

Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops, High School Students looking for community service credits and anyone else who would just like to feel great by helping others for a day should consider coming out.

 Originally Published on Nov. 16 at 11:37

Nov 212014

fraser3Cub Scout Pack 922, chartered by the Orange Volunteer Fire Department, is hosting its 3rd annual holiday wreath sale event. Pack 922 will have the wreaths on display and available for on-site purchase at the Orange Volunteer Fire Station #2, 355 Boston Post Road, Saturday, Nov. 22, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Pack also will be taking pre-orders and delivering the wreaths starting Nov. 22. if you are unable to attend this event on-site. If you would like to pre-order a holiday wreath, please contact Pack 922 at 203-298-0818 or e-mail: [email protected]

The event is open to the public. The wreaths measure in size from about 22-24.” The wreaths are available either decorated (with a bow and pine cones) or undecorated.  The cost is $20.00 per wreath for either option. Pack 922 is working with a local supplier in CT, keeping the business in our home state!

All proceeds from the wreath sales will benefit Cub Scout Pack 922 to help fund scouting events, scouting awards, community projects, and much more!

Cub Scout Pack 922 meets once per month as a pack and has several fun and exciting activities planned for the pack each and every year.

If your son is interested in joining Cub Scouts (grades 1 through 5), you can visit Pack 922’s website at www.OrangeCTscouting.com for additional information and/or to e-mail the Cubmaster, Jeff Cap.

Originally Published on: Oct 16, 2014 @ 14:07

Second publishing on: Nov 10, 2014 @ 10:07

Nov 212014

(Photo by Terri Miles)

(Photo by Terri Miles)

Do you have small children? Do you love the magic of Christmas? For 20 years Santa Claus has teamed up with the Orange Volunteer Fire Department for its Santa’s Helper Fundraising event in which 100 percent of the proceeds are used towards the purchase of firefighting and rescue equipment. 

For two decades Santa’s Helper Teams of firefighters, special helpers, family and friends have been honored to deliver gifts, smiles, fun and visit with thousands of families throughout Orange. And now they are visiting the children of the children that they first saw back in 1994 pressing their little faces up against glass doors waiting for the fire trucks to come down their street with lights and sirens announcing Santa’s arrival.

If you would like to join in the fun and have one of the Santa teams arrive at your front door on Sunday, Dec. 14 between 2-8 p.m., it’s easy, Just follow the simple steps:


There is a fee of $15.00 per gift. Each gift must be INDIVIDUALLY wrapped in your favorite holiday paper with an over-wrap of plain brown paper. The name and address of the recipient must be clearly printed on the outside.
Please try not to make the gifts too large or heavy, Santa appreciates that.

We have a limited delivery number of 160 homes. This is an extremely popular event, and those spots fill up quickly. We strongly encourage you to have all of the gifts for your stop with you on Gift Drop-Off day. **For those families having a large party with many gifts on delivery day, please e-mail us at: [email protected] for special instructions.**


Gift Drop Off Day for the general public is at Fire Station #2, 355 Boston Post Road, (Across from TGI Fridays) on Saturday, Nov. 22 from noon to 2 p.m. PLEASE NOTE THE NEW TIME FRAME. This year, the organizers ask that the general public begin to arrive no earlier than 11:30 a.m. (30 minutes prior to the 12 p.m. start time.)  You will have a much shorter wait in line by following these new guidelines. Thank you!


Please park your car in the rear of the Fire Station. There will be firefighters there to assist you. The Drop-Off line will be located INSIDE the fire station. USE REAR DOOR MARKED ENTER. 


Delivery takes place on Sunday, Dec. 14 from 2-8 p.m. Santa on his fire truck with his Elf, and special firefighter helpers will arrive at your home to deliver the gifts back to your loved ones, and spend some time with your family for photos and smiles. 

If you have any questions, you can e-mail Elf Mama at: [email protected]
She will help you via e-mail. Please DO NOT call the Fire Stations as it’s a volunteer department and there will not be anyone there available to assist you with Santa’s Helper information.

**E-mailing Santa’s Helper does not guarantee you a spot on the delivery route. Sign-up on drop-off day is on a first come-first serve basis.


Originally Published on: Oct 8, 2014 @ 9:44

Second Publishing on: Oct 29, 2014 @ 17:00

Third publishing: Published on: Nov 19, 2014 @ 16:00

Nov 212014

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.44.15 PM

Are you looking for a gift that will keep on giving for centuries? What about a data disc on which to share all of your special videos, photos and family memories with your great grandchildren long after you are gone?

All of life’s precious memories: photos of your baby daughter in the delivery room, the best golden retriever you ever had, that special trip to Disney World when your little boy actually met Donald Duck, your grandma standing on the stairs showing off her new pantsuit, weddings and so much more.

You can take a thousand photos but in time they fade, and if you stored them improperly moisture will make them stick together and all those images are gone forever.

Back in the late 70s – early 80s the saving grace was a Betamax or VHS player, if you were tech savvy you could make a decent video slide show of your best photos. But tapes wear out, lose magnetic flux, often break and in humid environments, grow mold and they’re ruined.

Then, in the 90s and at the turn of the century came the invention of the DVD, USB Flash drives, Storage Hard Drives, and Memory cards but each of these long-lasting storage items have less than a generation of anticipated life and have a tendency to fail at the worst time.

When will someone invent a dependable back up medium that will never let you down?

Well Good News!  Working with the DOD, Naval Air Warfare Center, the Millenniata firm presented the D.O.D with the “M-DISC” DVD, which after exhaustive testing, the D.O.D. proved to be unquestionably a permanent storage medium for video or data!


 “The recently announced, Millenniata DVD, ( M-Disc) is very special 4.7GB DVD with a data layer made out of stone-like minerals and metalloids. The idea is that conventional optical discs (recordable DVD’s) have a very soft recording/data layer, and has little resistance to heat, humidity and light, while the M-Disc on the other hand, has an infinitely tougher data layer that can withstand all of the above, along with the test of time. M-Discs can’t be burnt with your current DVD burner — melting pits in stone requires a special laser that’s five times more powerful than normal DVD writing lasers!  But, on the flip side, M-Discs are backwards compatible and can be read by normal DVD drives.

Now the actual statistics:  According to the US Department of Defense, the Millenniata,

(M-Disc) is incredibly resilient. In the D.O.D. accelerated aging tests, 25 different “archival” DVD’s, including the M-Disc, were exposed to 85C (185F) temperatures, 85% humidity, and extremely bright, full-spectrum light for 24 hours.

Where every other archival-quality recordable DVD failed the test with thousands of read errors and with complete loss of data, the M-Disc passed with full data integrity. Millenniata even goes on to say that the stone layer of its DVDs should retain data for over 10,000 years — but the polycarbonate covers are only good for 1,000 years. Still, both figures are worlds higher than the 10-15 year average lifespan of hard drives, recordable DVDs, and flash drives.” The eye-opening fact is, prior to the announcement of the M-Disc, no dependable data-storage medium exists for video or important data that will survive even one generation!

See Final Report for Millenniata DVD Testing August 2009-October 2009″Naval Air Warfare Center,  http://www.esystor.com/images/China_Lake_Full_Report.pdf

Available to You Now

8deab2769c416e5962d56d0be6c0ccfdOrange resident Ron Davis, the owner of VideoLab, 200 Boston Post Road, may be 80, but he is by no means “Old.” Ron keeps up with all the latest technology and is known around the state for miracles he can do with videotapes after he was featured on FOX news for restoring a tape found on the beach after one of our recent hurricanes. 

Ron researched the M-Disc and installed all the necessary equipment needed to create these 1,000-year media storage DVDs for regular folks like you, who have precious memories that you want to pass down through the generations – and know those images will still be there when your great-granddaughter puts it into whatever version of a player companies are making in the future.

He has the blank M-Discs in stock at VideoLab and he’s ready to go.

“We’ve performed extensive testing of the “M-Disc” and couldn’t be more pleased with the results,” he said.

VideoLab is offering these “Forever” discs to customers for just $29. This would make a wonderful, affordable holiday gift for anyone you love.

The M-Disc is also a phenomenal option for hospitals, doctors, lawyers and Government offices that have valuable data that needs to be stored safely, securely and permanently!

VideoLab is the first, and currently only local place to have this service available. Bring your most precious DVD to Ron today at VideoLab and he will create a shiny new, “Forever” M-Disc for you!    Call 203-799-7017.

Originally  Published on: Nov 10, 2014 @ 0:48 

Second publishing on: Nov 12, 2014 @ 16:48

Third publishing on: Nov 15, 2014 @ 21:45

videolab mdisc

Nov 212014

FB sky Ronnie nwThe Vece Family is getting together in honor of their angel Ronnie and to help raise money for the annual Ronnie Vece Scholarship Fund, at the Orange Ale House, 517 Boston Post Road, Saturday, Nov. 22 from 4-10 p.m.

The family will be raising college scholarship money for the best senior defensive lineman on the Amity High School football team.

“Ronnie was an amazing person and an awesome athlete who made such a huge impact on everyone he met,” said his mother, Claudia Wolf. “We will never forget him so let’s celebrate his memory with family and friends, food, live music, prizes, raffles and a good time.”

Everyone is welcome. $20 will be charged at the door and $10 for people under 18. There will be food and the first beer on the house for “legal aged” guests.

T-shirts will be available again if you didn’t get one last year.

About Ronnie

A former Amity Football player, 2006 Amity Grad, Ronnie Vece, 24, was killed in a motorcycle collision in West Haven on July 13, 2013.

He was a 2006 Amity High School graduate and a star football player; he attended Milford Academy Prep School of South Berlin, NY and Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts where he played football and his team was Division Champions for three years and he later attended SCSU.

Ronnie enjoyed playing his guitar, boating, hunting and fishing; he was truly an outdoor action figure, according to his family.

Originally Published on: Nov 17, 2014 @ 11:27

Ronnie poster 2014 sm

Nov 212014

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 1.28.55 PMKeith Brian Norton, Sr., 49, passed away peacefully at Danbury Hospital on November 17th following a lengthy illness.

Keith was born in Danbury, on September 23, 1965. Beloved son of Patricia A. (Durkin) Norton and the late Kevin G. Norton of New Fairfield.

Keith was a graduate of New Fairfield High School, Class of 1984. He received his Associates Degree from Post University in 1986. He was the former owner and President of Hissong & Weyant Tree Experts of Danbury, and was a licensed State Arborist, as well as the former tree warden for the Town of New Fairfield.

Keith was a previous member of the New Fairfield Sparklers, the Connecticut Rebels and the Germantown Ancients, all of which he developed life long friendships. He was so proud of his Irish heritage and became quite proficient with the Gaelic language. His spontaneity and and “unique” sense of humor will be remembered by all he met.

In addition to his mother Patricia, he will be sadly missed by his three cherished children Colleen Norton of New Britain, Rebecca and Keith Brian Norton, Jr. of Orange; his brother Christopher and his wife Karen and daughter Catherine of Wallingford; his close friend and companion Renee Bronte of New Fairfield; and his former wife Lois Rynkiewicz of Orange. He will also be missed by his Aunts, Uncles and a multitude of cousins and friends.

He is predeceased by his maternal grandparents Francis and Helen Durkin; and his paternal grandparents Homer and Luella Norton.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, November 22nd at 11:00 am at the Congregational Church of New Fairfield, Gillotti Rd, New Fairfield. Burial will follow at Mountainview Cemetery.

Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of Keith’s life at the Congregational Church of New Fairfield Hall following the burial.

In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund has been established for his minor children. Contributions may be made to: Norton Children’s Scholarship Fund, c/o Patricia A. Norton or c/o Savings Bank of Danbury (New Fairfield Branch), 100 & Route 37, New Fairfield, CT 06812, Attn: Josylda S. Kopke.
To light a candle of hope and remembrance, visit www.cornellmemorial.com.

Nov 212014

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 11.49.21 AMTwo Amity residents who are student-athletes at Notre Dame of West Haven made college commitments in their respective sports in front of family and friends Thursday afternoon.

Joe Biondi ‘15 signed to play lacrosse at Florida Southern, while Evan Lumpinski ‘15 will take his baseball talents to UMass-Amherst.

Biondi, who hails from Orange, has been a three-year stalwart on the Green Knights lacrosse team. A midfielder, Biondi was named co-captain for the 2015 lacrosse team. He also had a stellar summer playing for Team Connecticut and Unparalleled Lacrosse in several prestigious tournaments, including the Brine National Lacrosse Classic in Maryland. He is the son of Maria Biondi of the Orange VNA.

“Joe is a do-it-all midfielder,” said Notre Dame Head lacrosse coach A.J. Alessi. “He is a tough kid, who is an offensive threat, can shoot with both hands, and a key face-off guy for us. He had a great summer and I am excited for this college opportunity for him.”

Biondi, who also plays hockey for Notre Dame, chose Florida Southern for a pair of reasons. He said, “It’s a great academic school which has a unique human movement performance academy that will help me achieve his goal of becoming a physical therapist. Plus, it has had a lot of recent lacrosse success and I am looking forward to continuing that.”

Biondi added, “I am thankful for my family, who helped me immensely with this process as well as all my coaches and teammates who have helped me get to this point. While I am looking forward to my college experience, I can’t wait to get both my senior year of hockey and lacrosse seasons underway.”

Meanwhile, Woodbridge resident Evan Lumpinski ‘15 signed to play baseball at UMass-Amherst. A key contributor on last spring’s Notre Dame state champion baseball team, Lumpinski is a great hitter who can play multiple positions, including outfield and first base.

Lumpinski led Notre Dame with 22 RBI’s and 2 HR’s last season. His .300 batting average was fourth on the team while he was second with five doubles and third on the team with 24 hits. He also had the go-ahead RBI single that gave Notre Dame the lead for good in Notre Dame’s 9-2 championship-game win over Masuk last June at Palmer Field.

“I liked the coaches at UMass a lot,” said Lumpinski, who will serve as a tri-captain for the Notre Dame baseball nine this coming spring. “I wanted to go to a big school, it’s close to home, and I feel like I have a chance to contribute right away. They offer my major as I want to study environmental science so the combination just felt like the best fit for me.”

“Evan has a great swing and had some big hits for us last year,” said head coach Lou Kessler ‘77. “He is a strong kid, who can hit for power but go to the opposite field as well. Hitting is not easy but he can make it look easy at times with his sweet swing. He is someone you want at the plate with runners in scoring position”

Nov 212014


Come on in and see what the Academy Museum gift shop has to offer.

Come on in and see what the Academy Museum gift shop has to offer.

It’s that time again.  Holiday shopping for those hard  to “buy for” friends and family. 

The Orange Historical Society Antique Shop is your place to choose the unusual and unique items for just the right person.

Open Saturdays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., the Academy, 605 Orange Center Road is easily accessible and parking is next door.

Stop in, browse and take a tour of the museum.  You might just put a dent in that holiday gift list.

For information call 203-795-6103.

Originally Published on: Nov 16, 2014 @ 10:57

Nov 212014

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 2.12.48 PMOrange Superintendent Lynn McMullin has turned in her letter of resignation.

After only three years on the job, McMullin was officially hired by the Litchfield Board of Education as its new Superintendent.

The Litchfield Board announced its decision on Wednesday evening and McMullin immediately informed the Orange BOE of the change in the following letter:

It is with heartfelt appreciation for the opportunities you have afforded me that I write this letter of resignation from my position as Superintendent of the Orange Public Schools.

Just a few moments ago, I accepted a position as the new Superintendent in Litchfield, Connecticut. Litchfield is much closer to my home in Massachusetts and, with a K – 12 school system, offers me a chance to return to my high school roots. I am anticipating my last day of employment in Orange will be January 2, 2015.

Orange’s staff is exceptionally strong, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside a leadership team with such outstanding vision and commitment. You, too, have been a dedicated Board who never shied away from the demanding responsibilities you took upon yourselves.

We have experienced so many unforgettable moments, from the first day we climbed onto Peck’s roof in January of 2012 to the endearing approach of the Orange Elementary Marching Band up Orange Center Road this past Memorial Day.

I won’t forget my three years in Orange and wish you all the best in the future.

All eyes will be on the Board of Education now as they proceed with a search for a new superintendent. Some residents complained about the way in which a new principal for one of the elementary schools was hired, stating that it was not done properly.

As with all sensitive issues in the Orange School system the board must know that they are under the microscope especially when it comes to hiring someone for the top position.

Nov 202014

interfaithsymbolsEveryone is welcome to attend the annual Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 680 Racebrook Road, Orange on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.

Clergy from several local churches and synagogues participate in the service.