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Santa’s Helper Is Set For Saturday, Dec. 15. Do You Want In?

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Nov 182018

Longtime Orange residents, can you believe it? Santa’s Helper is celebrating its 24th year of delivering gifts, smiles, and fun to hundreds of families in town.

Elf Mama was a young lass when she began organizing the popular fundraiser for the Orange Volunteer Fire Department back in 1994. Now, she’s a bit older (1,027 in Elf Years) and wiser (she’s seen it all, and dealt with it) and she’s still just as spry and enthusiastic about getting the elves and firefighter helpers together for the big day.

For the first time in 24 years, there are still a few slots open in which your family can share in the magic. Don’t let this rare opportunity pass you by. Send an e-mail to Elf Mama at ofdsantashelper@aol.com as soon as possible to be added to the list and to get directions for dropping off your gifts. DO NOT call the Fire Department about Santa’s Helper.

Santa is practicing his “Ho, Ho, Ho” and the elves and helpers are getting the fire trucks ready to go! Don’t make alternate plans for Saturday, Dec. 15, because Santa gets very sad when families aren’t home when he and the firefighters arrive. The start time for Santa’s Helper delivery day is 3 p.m.


A file photo from a previous Santa’s Helper visit. Little Cindy Lou Who is probably 13 years old now.

Elf Mama tells it like this — as many know, Santa’s Helper is a wonderful, exciting, fun and memorable fund-raising event with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting your Orange Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of firefighting and rescue equipment.

“Each year, every one of our 6 Santa’s Helper Teams of Santa, Elves and firefighter helpers are excited to visit and deliver gifts, share in some fun, take photos and help make lasting memories and traditions for every family. Children and adults alike look forward with excited anticipation to seeing the fire trucks with lights and sirens coming down their street to their front door, with Santa leading the way!  His truck full of gifts, his helpers and Elves coming in to visit with each family,” said Elf Mama.


GIFT RULES AND INFORMATION:  There is a small fee of $19.00 per gift/per household.  Each gift must be INDIVIDUALLY wrapped in your favorite holiday paper with an overwrap of plain brown paper.  The name and delivery address of the recipient must be clearly printed on the outside of each gift.  PLEASE try not to make the gift too large or too heavy, Santa appreciates that.  We do have a limit of 170 delivery spots/visits available.  We encourage you to try to have all the gifts for your visit with you on Gift Drop-Off day. (For families with a large party and many gifts, please e-mail Anne at ofdsantashelper@aol.com for special instructions. If there will be multiple families having their visit at one specific address, please let the Elf helpers know that upon sign-up on drop-off day.

Delivery Day

ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018, SANTA on his firetruck with his Elf and Firefighter helpers will arrive at your home to deliver the gifts to your loved ones and spend a few moments with your family and friends for photos and fun!

If you have any questions, e-mail Anne at ofdsantashelper@aol.com she will be happy to help you via e-mail.  Please do not call the Fire Stations as it’s a Volunteer Fire Department and there will not be anyone there to assist you with Santa’s Helper information.

NOTE: *E-mailing Santa’s Helper does not guarantee you a spot on the delivery route.  Sign-up is on Gift Drop-Off day and it is on a first come-first serve basis.


If you’ve never participated in Santa’s Helper, this is a great time to start a new tradition in your family, and you will be helping the all-volunteer fire department at the same time. Don’t miss out!

Below, a collage of one of the Santa’s Helper families in Orange that grew up with the program. The adults were children two decades ago, and the children are theirs. 

Don’t Forget Santa’s Helper Gift Drop Off Saturday Starting at Noon

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Nov 162018

Here’s a file photo from the 2012 drop off.

GIFT DROP-OFF DAY FOR SANTA’S HELPER IS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2018, 12:00 – 3:00 P.M. at Fire Station #2, 355 Boston Post Road (Across from TGI Fridays).  We ask that the general public arrive no earlier than 30 minutes prior to start time.  You will have a much shorter wait in line by following these guidelines.

GIFT RULES AND INFORMATION:  There is a small fee of $19.00 per gift/per household.  Each gift must be INDIVIDUALLY wrapped in your favorite holiday paper with an overwrap of plain brown paper.  The name and delivery address of the recipient must be clearly printed on the outside of each gift.  PLEASE try not to make the gift too large or too heavy, Santa appreciates that.  We do have a limit of 170 delivery spots/visits available.  We encourage you to try to have all the gifts for your visit with you on Gift Drop-Off day. (For families with a large party and many gifts, please e-mail Anne at ofdsantashelper@aol.com for special instructions.

Parking for Drop-Off day is in the rear of the Fire Station.  Firefighters will be there to assist you.  The Drop-Off Line is located INSIDE the Fire Station. Use the rear door marked ENTER.


Tip A Cop Today Until 1 p.m.

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Nov 162018

The Orange Police Department and Connecticut Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics will host the annual Tip-A-Cop fundraiser at Chip’s Family Restaurant, 321 Boston Post Road, on Friday, Nov. 16 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tip-A-Cop is a signature Torch Run event where officers trade their uniform for an apron and serve you! All money donated during this event will go directly to Special Olympics Connecticut to support their athletes and raise awareness about individuals with intellectual disabilities.

So bring your family for breakfast, brunch or lunch and tip your awesome server generously for a worthwhile cause.


Winter Weather Advisory: Snow, Ice, Slippery Conditions Today

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Nov 152018

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 2 p.m. this afternoon to 11 p.m.

Mixed precipitation is expected with up to two inches of snow with a light glaze of ice on top. Winds may gust up to 35 mph.

Plan for slippery road conditions up to 11 p.m.

The hazardous conditions will impact the evening commute. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches.

Don’t forget to wear warm footwear with traction, the roads aren’t the only surfaces that will be slippery.

Know your vehicle’s capabilities, take it easy, keep a respectable distance between your car and other vehicles. Check traffic reports before venturing out and plan your trip accordingly. Keep an eye out for other drivers who may not be operating as safely as they should be.

Be careful out there and even if it takes longer than you’d like, get back home to your family safely tonight.

Nov 142018


Today, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides called the recent reports of anti-Semitic acts at Amity Regional High School unacceptable.

“These reported acts of hatred are unacceptable in any place and at any time,” Klarides said.

Klarides has reached out to school officials, including Principal Anna Mahon and acting Superintendent James A. Connelly, and has pledged her full support to local officials. “I am available to them in any capacity they deem appropriate,’’ she said.

“These young people need to be assured that they will be safe and protected,” Klarides said. “As leaders in our communities, our first priority must be protecting their rights and safeguarding their daily lives. This behavior cannot be tolerated.”

Nov 142018

We live in a scary world. With news of anti-semitic symbols and other vandalism at Amity that is making some of our young people uneasy, it is disturbing to find out that vandalism at High Plains may also have sent the same message of hatred in this community which also has a large Jewish population.

Orange Live reached out to Police Chief Robert Gagne for some reassurances.

Gagne confirmed that there was indeed vandalism at High Plains, and there have been eggings and spray painting incidents done by Amity kids, but some of the information that’s being shared has been misconstrued.

“There has been vandalism, which is bad,” he said. “But there were no swastikas, or anything anti-Semitic here in Orange, which is good.”

Gagne said Amity is taking the right steps, working to bring an end to this negative situation.

Don’t Miss The Auxiliary Bake Sale On Dec. 1 and 2

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Nov 142018

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will host its annual Christmas Bake Sale on Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2, at Treat Farm, 361 Old Tavern Road, Orange.

This wonderful annual event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

As you know by now, the Women’s Auxiliary includes some of the most talented bakers in the entire region. Every year you will find some new culinary creation that is absolutely delicious.

Treats Include Pies, Brownies, Cookies, Cupcakes, Fudge and some surprises.

Buy some Hot Chocolate and/or Hot Cider to sip while you shop for your Christmas Tree at the Farm.

All proceeds benefit the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

Many residents make a day of it by coming to the bake sale first, then head off to the town center for the Holiday Festival.


Amity Addresses Reports of Anti-Semitic Behavior In School And The Community

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Nov 132018

Dear Amity Community,

The Amity Board of Education and the Amity School District were shocked and saddened by the fears and concerns reported by the students and community members about the anti-Semitic behaviors they have experienced in both school and the community. The students feel unsafe because of these hurtful and hateful acts against them and their community.

The Amity School District will not tolerate this type of harassment and will investigate and take disciplinary action against students who demonstrate unacceptable behavior. We will also cooperate and coordinate with the local police department in some of these investigations.

The district will take a leadership role in partnering with the community, including religious leaders, elected officials, advocacy groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, state and federal officials, youth groups and other people of good will in a comprehensive effort to address this issue in our schools and community.

The most critical members of this partnership are the students, families, and staff of our schools. We sincerely welcome their involvement. Our goal is to make the Amity Schools and community the inclusive, tolerant, and safe community we all demand it should become again.

James A. Connelly

Interim Superintendent of Schools

Orange Students, Have You Made Your Fire Prevention Poster Yet?

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Nov 132018

Orange Fourth-and-Fifth grade students from public, private and parochial schools, you only have 17 more days to complete your 2018 Fire Prevention Poster for this year’s contest.

The purpose of the Fire Prevention Poster contest is to make school children and their families aware that preventing fires requires everyone being alert everyday to those acts, omissions, and dangers which cause fires, and to develop an interest in fire prevention/fire safety through a poster recognition program for the fourth and fifth grade students, and to promote a joint education effort between schools and the fire services.

As a former local judge, I must tell you how important it is to follow ALL of the guidelines listed below. One misspelled word, crowded illegible writing, tiny drawings or the omission of the words Fire Prevention – Everyone / Everyday will make your poster ineligible for the contest. Take your time, and do your best!

The recognition program theme is: FIRE PREVENTION – EVERYONE / EVERYDAY

Poster Recognition Program Entry Requirements

Posters must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the contest:

1. The posters must be created 12-inch by 18-inch paper. Manila, white drawing, colored construction paper, oak tag, or their equivalents can be used.
2. Use materials in color or black and white which can be commercially reproduced, e.g., poster tempera, crayon, felt tip markers, watercolors, pen and ink, computers, etc. Collage techniques are acceptable. Bold, solid colors carry better at a distance.
3. Include the theme title “FIRE PREVENTION – EVERYONE / EVERYDAY“. Additional phrases or words should be kept to a minimum. All words must be spelled correctly and readable at a distance.
4. Be original artwork and lettering.
5. The use of replicas of copyrighted or registered characters and/or logos, or software clip art is prohibited!
6. The poster must be reproducible.
7. All posters must be done by an individual. Joint artwork is not permitted.
8. Have fun and show off your talent!

Computer-generated art will be judged on the quality of the work and how well it conforms to all contest criteria. Collage techniques may be used to meet size requirements. Judging will be on the same basis as all other entries.

Each poster submitted must show legibly on the back of the poster:
1. Student’s name and grade
2. The School name
3. School information, including address, town, county, and telephone number
4. Teacher’s name

Each town is allowed to submit one (1) fourth-grade poster and one (1) fifth-grade poster to the County recognition programs. Local winners represent the town where they attend school. Town winners must sign a release statement for reproduction and a statement that the idea, concept, and artwork are all original, and free of “doctoring up”, corrections or overdrawing or outlining by the teacher or someone else to be considered. Two (2) fourth and two (2) fifth-grade winners will be chosen for each County and will be entered into the State final. One (1) state winner will be chosen.

Dates and Deadlines

A. LOCAL recognition programs officially begin on October 1.
B. Posters must be submitted to your local Fire Marshals, or their designee, through your school principal by December 1.
C. Local Fire Marshals must submit town winners to their County Representative by January 5.
D. County winners must be submitted for State judging by February 2.
E. A luncheon will be held for all county winners. The state winner will be announced at that time

Rights and Awards

A. All recognition program entries become the property of the Connecticut Fire Prevention Poster Committee and will not be returned. The winning posters will be used to promote fire safety and prevention throughout the State of Connecticut. The winning statewide poster will be reproduced and distributed to all towns. Winning county posters will be exhibited at various locations, including the State Capitol during the month of October.
B. The decision of all judges will be final.
C. Each local participant will receive a certificate of participation.
D. Sponsoring Teacher of the State Winner will receive a framed certificate.
E. Prizes:
Local: At the discretion of the local Fire Marshal
County: Fourth and Fifth-grade winners – $150 check
State: One overall winner – $750 Check
State winner’s school: $500 Grant check

Possible Fire Prevention Poster Topics:

1. SMOKE DETECTORS: The poster could include where they should be in the home, and how often to clean and test them, replacement of batteries.
2. FIRE SPRINKLERS: How they work
4. CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS: Where you should have them, or how they work
5. FIRE CAUSE- CARELESSNESS: Examples of poor maintenance of your home could contribute to a fire
6. FIRE CAUSE- MISUSE OF ELECTRICITY: Overloading of outlets with power strips, use of extension cords, or damaged electrical cords and equipment
7. FIRE CAUSE- MISUSE OF SMOKING MATERIALS: Misuse of matches and/or lighters, Careless smoking
8. FIRE CAUSE- ALTERNATIVE HEATING: Use of space heaters, wood stoves, or pellet stoves incorrectly
9. Fire Survival programs such as E.D.I.T.H (Exit Drills In The Home); Stop, Drop, and Roll; Learn not to Burn, etc.

If you have any questions, the staff at the Fire Marshal’s office are there to help! You can call 203-891-4711, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and get a quick answer from someone in the office. If they aren’t there, leave a message and someone will call you back as soon as he or she can!

Celebrate Chanukah at Temple Emanuel of Greater New Haven

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Nov 112018

Come join the fun and celebrate Shabbat Chanukah at Temple Emanuel. On Friday, December 7, we will welcome Shabbat with a music-filled service led by Rabbi Michael Farbman and the Temple Emanuel Band. We will fill the sanctuary with the light of our chanukiot and have a delicious dinner with family and friends. All are welcome to participate in this joyous annual event.
The service begins at 6 p.m. Please bring your voices, your favorite chanukiah, and candles and, if you’d like to, some latkes to share as part of our family-style meal. Dinner reservations are required and can be made either on our new website, tegnh.org, or by calling the TE office: 203-397-3000. The suggested donation for dinner is $10 per person or $25 per family.
Not a member of Temple Emanuel? Come check us out.
For more information about services and celebrations at Temple Emanuel, please go to the TE website, tegnh.org. Temple Emanuel is located at 150 Derby Ave. in Orange.