Fantastic! — Amur Leopard Cubs Now On Display At the Beardsley Zoo

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Jun 182019

The Beardsley Zoo welcomed two rare Amur Leopard cubs in January. The male looks like his parents (brown with spots) But his sister looks more like a panther. she also doesn’t have that magnificent tail — it had to be amputated after her mom cleaned her soon after birth.
As far as her coloring, well, here’s a press release from the zoo that thoroughly explains that:
One of the two Amur leopard cubs  (Panthera pardus orientalis) at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has a condition known as melanism. The male cub has the usual spotted coat, while the female cub is melanistic, a condition where the body produces an excess of black pigment, the opposite of albinism.
At first, a melanistic cat might look solid black, but even melanistic leopards are spotted. If you get a close look, you may be able to discern a pattern of black rosettes on a black background. Researchers have found that frequencies of melanism in leopards vary significantly across habitat types—highest in tropical moist forests and near zero in open habitats.
A melanistic cat living in deep jungle amid thick vegetation—where there are significant areas of dark shade—can blend into the background. But in the Amur leopard’s open-forest habitat, areas of dark shade are harder to come by, making a melanistic leopard much easier to spot.

For a leopard, survival depends on spotting prey before being spotted, so blending into the background is important. For that reason, while the Zoo’s female cub may one day be recommended for breeding, any of her descendants would not be included in reintroduction plans. For reintroduction, the intent is to produce genetic lines that will maximize survival in the wild. A melanistic cat, while normal in all other aspects, is at a disadvantage in the wild, because they would be more noticeable than typically spotted leopards.

While 11 percent of leopards alive today are thought to be melanistic, most are found in Southeast Asia, where tropical forests offer an abundance of shade. Melanism provides additional camouflage in those habitats, giving the predators an advantage when hunting. An extremely rare melanistic leopard was recently sighted in Africa for the first time in a century. There is currently one other melanistic Amur leopard in this country at the San Diego Zoo.

NOTE: The babies are now on display in their mother’s usual habitat with a viewing window. On Monday they didn’t come out until around 1 p.m. but that could change.
Before your children go off to summer camp, make sure you bring them to the zoo to see these magnificent cats.

Orange Residents: Important Information About Your Tax Bills

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Jun 172019

Tax bills are scheduled to be mailed the last week of June, the first installment due July 1, 2019.

The final day to pay without interest or penalty will be August 2,  2019.

Payments will not be accepted or processed until July 1, 2019.  Ct. State Statute 12‐163 If you want a  receipt, bring the entire three-part tax bill. Payments by mail require a self-addressed stamped envelope along with the entire three-part bill.

Tax bills may be paid online, on the Town of Orange website; there is a fee associated.

Motor vehicle clearance will take 11 days.  For 24 hr. clearance delinquent tax bill must be paid in cash in the office between 8:30  a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The 2018 Grand List information will not be available for viewing until July 1.

How Much Do You Know About Father’s Day?

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Jun 162019

The History of Christmas, Veteran’s Day, Easter, and other holidays are well known. But what about Father’s Day? How did it begin, and why?

Here’s a little history lesson from triviagenius.com:

The official first Father’s Day is a point of minor contention. On June 5, 1908, a church in West Virginia held a service honoring fathers after a coal mining collapse killed 362 men in the community and left more than 1,000 children fatherless. This is the first known instance of an official honoring of fathers, but this single event did not start the modern practice of Father’s Day.

The mother of Father’s Day, so to speak, was Sonora Smart Dodd, a resident of Spokane, Washington. Sonora Smart Dodd’s mother had died during childbirth, which left her father to raise six children as a single parent. She wanted to honor both him and fathers across the country by hosting Father’s Day on her father’s birthday, which was, coincidentally, June 5, the same day the West Virginia church had held their Father’s Day service the year prior.

Dogg suggested this to the ministry of the Spokane church, but they requested more time to prepare a sermon for the event. June 19, 1909, was chosen as the new date for the first Father’s Day, and in the following year, Washington State held the first statewide Father’s Day celebration.

Who’s That Knocking At My Door?

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Jun 112019

From the Orange Police Department:

Residents should be aware that there will be a group canvassing in town over the next few weeks.

Citizens Campaign for the Environment will be going door-to-door weekdays between 4p-9p and weekends from 11a-4p. If they are requested to perform follow-up visits from residents, those will take place between 8-9p.

This organization has registered with the police department and will continue to advise police of their activities/whereabouts while operating in town.

Their logo is shown below for recognition purposes. You can search for their website online as well if you desire more information.

RV Lifestyle Offers A Look At Some Of The Best Things To Do In CT

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Jun 102019

The site “Your RV Lifestyle” presented a list of the 100 Best Things To Do In CT. 
With Summer coming and families planning vacations and road trips, we are, with permission, publishing the list 10 destinations at a time. 
Here are the top 10:

Connecticut is the third smallest state by area, in the USA, and has the highest per-capita income. The capital city is Hartford. It is also known as Constitution State, the Provisions State, The Nutmeg state, and the Land of steady habits.

The first European settlers were of Dutch origin, although the first major settlement was in the 1630’s by English settlers.

Connecticut has a strong tradition with maritime, having the Connecticut and Thames Rivers, along with many ports along the Long Island Sound.

You will find that the state of Connecticut has within its borders shorelines, forests, historic villages, colonial churches, and modern expressways. Connecticut is certainly a thriving state, with a lot to offer the tourist.

1. Long Island Sound

This tidal estuary is over 21 miles at the widest point. It runs from east to west, from east River in New York to the north shore of Long Island. About 8 million people live on the Sound.
You will find many state parks along the sound, as well as many delightful villages. If you enjoy seafood, then make sure you head for one of the many restaurants along the Sound.
There are many places to stay so you may want to book some accommodation and stay a few days while you explore. Alternatively, take an RV and be your own boss!

2. USS Nautilus

USS Nautilus was the first operational nuclear-powered submarine. Because of this, the sub was able to remain submerged for long periods of time.
The Nautilus was ordered to conduct ‘Operation Sunshine’ and on July 23rd 1958 she became the first ship to cross the North Pole.
The submarine was decommissioned in 1980 and has been preserved as a museum open to the public. You will find the submarine in Groton.
Plan to spend a half day here.

3. Yale University

This university is the third oldest in the USA, and is located in New Haven.
The university is open for guided tours. Be sure to take a walk through the gardens which are immaculately maintained. There are frequent concerts which are open to the public to attend. These must be booked in advance.
The guided tours are a great way to learn about the history of the university, and well worth taking advantage of. You will also be able to stop at the library, and the botanical garden, so allow yourself a full day here.

4. Connecticut State Capitol

You will find the State Capitol in Hartford, just south of Bushnell Park. Originally there was a large statue on the top of the dome, but this was removed after the hurricane which happened in 1938.
Note that at the base of the dome there are 12 statues, in pairs which represent Commerce, Education/Law, Agriculture, War/Force, Science/Justice, and Music.
You can take a self-guided tour through the building, although guided tours are available on the weekdays. Guided tours start at the entrance of the Legislative Office, which is on the west side.
Allow a half day to see the building.

5. Mark Twain House

There is also a museum here. You will find them in Hartford. This was the home of Mark Twain and his family from 1874 – 1891.
The author Samuel Clemens wrote many of his best works here, such as The Prince and the Pauper, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
The building has also been used as a school and a public library, until it was until it was taken over by the Mark Twain Memorial group. It is now a national Historic Landmark.

Allow yourself a half day to see themuseum and the house.

6. New England Air Museum

You will find this at Bradley International Airport, in Windsor Locks. There are three hangars where you will find 66 aircraft, 26 helicopters, ejection seats, missiles, and many other aircraft memorabilia.
You can take a guided tour, or walk around by yourself. The museum does many children’s activities, and often hosts special events.
The visitor’s centre has many books and technical manuals to buy. There is also a library where you can find photographs and microfilms.
Plan to spend most of the day here, especially if you have come for a special event.

7. Foxwoods Resort Casino

You will find this hotel and casino complex on the Mashantucket Pequot Indian reservation. There is a total of six casinos with over 250 gaming tables.
If you like casinos, then you will be happy visiting here as there are blackjack tables, roulette, poker, and craps tables, as well as over 5000 slot machines.
Look out for the Hard Rock Café when you need a bite to eat.
If you plan to stay more than a day, then you can book into one of the hotels. There is a special arcade for children and teens.

8. East Rock

This is to be found in Hamden, and you will be astounded by the magnificent views of New Haven, and Long Island Sound. If hiking is what you like, then you will want to head here.
You can either walk, cycle, or take a car along the route. Once you get to east Rock, be sure to check out the ‘Soldiers and Sailors’ monument which is one of the iconic landmarks of the area. You really cannot miss it as it stands over 110 feet high. It dates back to 1887.
If you visit in the winter months, then you may want to bring snowshoes and cross-country ski in the area.

9. Horace Wells Memorial

Horace Wells was a dentist who first pioneered the use of anaesthetic. The story goes that in 1844 Horace and his wife attended a seminar on laughing gas. Horace decided that this might be the answer to removing teeth without the pain.
On his return home, Horace set up a demonstration with a student, the gas was not administered correctly, and the student cried out in pain. Horace was mortified and finally handed over his practise to another dentist.
Horace eventually ended up taking his own life, and is now buried with his family in Hartford. The epitaph reads ‘The Discoverer of Anaesthesia’.

10. Peabody Museum of Natural History

You will find this at Yale University. It is one of the oldest, and largest natural history museums in the world. George Peabody founded it in 1866.
Possibly the most well-known hall is the ‘Great Hall of Dinosaurs’, which includes a baby Brontosaurus.
Look out for the vertebrate collections which are the most expensive fossil collections in the USA.
Allow yourself a full day to look around here. There is a small café where you can get a snack and refreshments.

Superintendent: It’s Time to Register For School In Orange

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Jun 102019

The Orange Public Schools will have rolling registration for new K-6 students. To begin the registration process, visit the registration page for your child’s school at www.oess.org  and fill out the online registration forms.

Please prepare the documents listed and a representative will contact you to set up an appointment. Between July 8 and August 1, registration appointments will be held at Peck Place School, 500 Peck Lane, Monday through Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. 

From August 8 on, registration appointments will be held at your child’s respective school.

PLEASE NOTE:  Parents are requested to bring child’s original birth certificate, proof of residency, physical and immunization records at the time of the meeting.

Dr. Vince Scarpetti

Superintendent of Schools

Strawberry Festival At The Fairgrounds June 8

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Jun 062019

The Orange Congregational Church will host its annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 8 at the Orange Fairgrounds, 525 Orange Center Road, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Spend the day with family and friends and enjoy food, games, a fabulous vendor fair, pancakes, strawberries, jam, pies, shortcake, entertainment, and the annual Red Car Show!
  • 8:30 AM – Pancake Breakfast
  • 10 AM – 3 PM – Red Car Show
  • 10:30 AM – 11:30AM – Dimples the Clown
  • 11AM – 12:00 Noon – Hay Rides
  • 12 Noon  – 12:45 PM – Al DeCant – Children’s Entertainment
  • 1 PM – 5 PM – Furious George – classic rock
  • 2 PM – 3:00 PM – Magician – Bryan Lizotte
  • 4 PM – Pie Eating Contest

Letter: Thank You To The Memorial Day Committee

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Jun 052019

Parade Chairman Kevin Gilbert thanks Karen Goldberg for her service during the Memorial Day Ceremony

It has been my pleasure to work for the Town of Orange for the past 37 years. One of the duties of my job as Office Manager – Selectman’s Office included secretarial work for the Memorial Day Committee.

The Committee, made up of 20 Orange residents from all walks of life, work tirelessly and meet every other week from March to May to choose the parade honorees from Grand Marshal, Honorary Chief of Staff, Honored Veteran and Keynote Speaker.
It is not an easy task and they work very hard to choose the best candidates. Other duties assigned to the Committee include hiring marching bands and putting all the organizations in marching order down Orange Center Road to the Orange Cemetery. 
All residents of the Town of Orange should thank the Memorial Day Committee for their hard work year after year. Their main concern is to have the best parade and they have been successful year after year.
I thank the Memorial Day Committee for their parting gifts. They were overly generous.
With much appreciation, 
Karen S. Goldberg

Jamie Hulley Foundation Brings Songwriting Program To Race Brook School

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May 292019

Students learning about the structural possibilities of a song.

Sixth graders in Bernadette Bober’s room at Race Brook School are participating in a songwriting workshop.

This program was made possible by a grant awarded to RBS from the  Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation.

Students were asked to brainstorm freely as a whole and then broken into smaller groups to allow for the development of themes, lyrics, and melodies.

The groups were offered guidance as needed but encouraged to work as a team to flesh out their ideas. This gets them out of their comfort zone and fosters cooperation and team building.

This program is called “Write it Out”  started by Guilford-based singer/songwriter Laura Clapp. She is a Berklee College of Music graduate, mother of two and performer who loves working with children through song.

More information can be found at www.writeitoutworkshops.com.  

The Best Kept Memorial Day Secret in Orange

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May 262019

Today we celebrate Memorial Day and honor those brave men and women who served this country and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Everyone knows about the Parade, the ceremony prior to the parade and the brief service at the cemetery afterward.

The one thing that only I have covered in the past 15-20 years is the Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s Memorial ceremony on the Town Green at the Firemen’s Memorial Stone which is located at the opposite end of the green from the church.

Every year, after the cemetery service, members of the OVFD march down to the memorial and the officers read the names of all the deceased firefighters who served in the department.

I encourage all residents who are still around after the parade to try to attend and see just how special it is. No one outside of the OVFD family (and I) have ever been there,  but it is quite touching and a nice solemn way to recognize and honor these brave men and women.