May 242015

IMG_4914Mother Nature woke up in a great mood today and gave us beautiful weather for the Memorial Day ceremonies, parades and picnics.

After the Ceremony at the gazebo, Orange Center Road was wall-to-wall people, waving flags and cheering as the parade passed from the first police car to the last fire truck the energy was strong and patriotism apparent.

The Orange Congregational Church Nursery Group sold hot dogs, treats and cold drinks on the green. A couple of vendors had balloons and other inflatables for sale, but it’s the free stuff that really got people excited: American Flags, pinwheels and Sgt. Stubby pins were gladly accepted on the fairgrounds and along the parade route.

See More Photos on Our Orange Live Facebook Page.

May 242015

IMG_4817After the Parade was over, Kevin Gilbert returned to the gazebo and found a “very nice” blazer that someone had left behind up there.

If it belongs to you, he left it in the rear of the gazebo, and you may pick it up before 5:30 or so tonight.

Gilbert was concerned that it would get ruined if the weather gets damp tonight, so he is going to retrieve it

Update: jacket and owner have been reunited.





May 242015

Don and Mary Jewell were honored during the ceremony on Sunday.

Don and Mary Jewell were honored during the ceremony on Sunday.

The Memorial Day Committee did a wonderful job planning an informative and meaningful ceremony at the gazebo prior to the annual parade on Sunday, May 24.

This year the Committee decided to honor Vietnam War veterans and a little known WWI Hero, “Sgt. Stubby.”

Commentator Bob Mirto read the story of Sgt. Stubby, a stray Pitbull who was smuggled on a ship and became a WWI hero, saving  dozens of lives and after receiving his Sergeant stripes, he outranked his handler.

When the guest speaker failed to show up, US Senator Richard Blumenthal stepped in and offered a brief speech.

Don and Mary Jewell were recognized as VIP Orange Veterans

The flags were waving, everyone was entertained and the weather was perfect – no one fainted from the heat and the well-attended ceremony went on quickly and got the message out that THIS is one of the most important things that anyone could do on Memorial Day.


May 242015

A view of the rear of the home and the propane tanks. (courtesy of Art Williams)

A view of the rear of the home and the propane tanks. (courtesy of Art Williams)

The devastating fire that destroyed a beautiful raised ranch on Derby Milford Road in a very short time on Saturday actually could have been much worse.

There was a danger right around the corner, that our volunteer firefighters were warned of before they arrived yet they still jumped right in and did their job. The danger — two giant propane tanks — in plain sight at the rear of the home as the fire poured out of the structure.

Imagine the injuries (or worse) that firefighters could have suffered if the tanks exploded.

Thankfully, there were no injuries.

The remaining structure continued to sizzle through the night and firefighters stood watch until about midnight to make sure no hot spots re-ignited.

May 232015

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 9.35.34 PMA fire broke out at 400 Derby Milford Road on Saturday May 23.

The homeowner was working outside, when he suddenly noticed his house was on fire.

The first fire truck arrived in minutes, a hose was hooked up to a nearby fire hydrant and the members of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department began working feverishly to extinguish the flames.

The smoke was so thick that it was impossible for neighbors to see what was happening. (courtesy of George Geane)

The smoke was so thick that it was impossible for neighbors to see what was happening. (courtesy of George Geane)

Derby and Woodbridge firefighters also assisted, but in spite of the quick response, and water availability, the home could not be saved.

The family’s loss was the talk of the town on Saturday afternoon and residents speculated as to how the fire started and why the home already was engulfed in flames when the dispatcher called firefighters to the scene.

Fire Marshal Tim Smith arrived at the home when flames were still shooting out of the roof and soon began his investigation.

He told Orange Live that the fire appears to be accidental, and it possibly started in a clothes dryer.

He said the house looks like a total loss.

So, how DID it spread so quickly? Smith said it had a good head start and went undetected for quite a while. “Once it broke out, the breeze pushed it through the house,” he said.

A view of the rear of the home. (courtesy of Art Williams)

A view of the rear of the home. Look At Those Propane Tanks !!! (courtesy of Art Williams)

The aftermath.

The aftermath.

May 222015

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 10.07.41 AMJerome Schwartz, 82, of Orange, passed away peacefully in his home beside his family on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

Born on June 27, 1932, in Bronx, NY to the late Jack and Frieda Schwartz. He attended City College in NY.

Jerry worked in retail management for many years and finished his career working at Dworkin Chevrolet.

He is survived by his loving wife, Maxine, of sixty years, his daughters, Karen Evangelista and Mindy Schwartz, his son, Larry Schwartz (Deborah Schwartz) and his four loving grandchildren, Steven, Rachel, Alexis and Rebekka.

Funeral Services at Or Shalom Cemetery, 3 Farwell St. West Haven, CT. Friday morning May 22,2015 at 10:00 o’clock.

The Robert E. Shure Funeral Home 543 George St. New Haven, CT is in care of arrangements.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society P.O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.

Period of mourning will be held Saturday Thru Wednesday 7pm to 9pm with Minyan Services Monday thru Wednesday evening at 7pm. at Family’s Home 481 Wolcott Ln. Orange, CT.

May 192015

*APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL USE – DRIVE THRU SERVICE WINDOW. Submitted by property owner Stanley A. Jacobs Et Al. For property known as 111 Boston Post Road. The proposal is to install a Drive Thru Service Window for a proposed restaurant in an existing building.

Plans met all criteria, Unanimously approved. This will be a Goodies Restaurant.


Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.56.09 PM*RE-SUBDIVISION APPLICATION – Re-Subdivision of 0 Marsh Hill Road (Assessor’s Map/Block/Lot 3-1-1) and 55 Marsh Hill Road (Assessor’s Map/Block/Lot 3-1-10) to reconfigure these two (2) existing lots into two (2) reconfigured lots; Total acres 29.031; Zoning District LI-2; Applicant: Orange Land Development LLC; Property Owner: Dichello Distributors, Inc. A SITE PLAN APPLICATION as to 55 Marsh Hill Road has also been submitted seeking confirmation that existing improvements on proposed reconfigured 55 Marsh Hill Road are in compliance with applicable requirements of the Orange Zoning Regulations.

(Train Station preparations)

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 10.00.51 PMSITE PLAN APPLICATION – 55 Marsh Hill Road. Submitted seeking confirmation that existing improvements on proposed reconfigured 55 Marsh Hill Road are in compliance with applicable requirements of the Orange Zoning Regulations.

This hearing has been continued until the next TP&Z Meeting.



Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 10.02.57 PM

May 192015

Screen shot 2013-04-01 at 12.16.14 PMWhat do a family-owned cellar door company, a construction company, a tea manufacturer, an orchard and a law firm have in common?

More than you would ever guess, say members of the University of New Haven M.L. McLaughlin Center for Family Business, where members have found that their business challenges are surprisingly similar.

“I used to think no one in the world had the same problems we do,” says Jonathan Bishop of Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford “But at the first meeting I attended, I learned that a lot of issues we face are the same issues other family businesses face.”

Bishop is a fifth generation owner of a 300-acre farm that has a winery and grows and sells fruits, vegetables and farm products. The orchard is a charter member of the center, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month.

Working with family is tricky, Gene Bishop, Jonathan’s father, says. “If we all had to be in the same room doing the same thing every day, we would not have lasted. We have to view ourselves as stewards of the business.”

Survival of a family business often depends, said Paul Sessions, director of the center, on good communication, strategic planning and taking the emotions out of business dealings.

“Sixty to eighty percent of the businesses in the U.S. are family-owned businesses,” Sessions said. “We find it is common for them not to address issues until they become a crisis.”

Most family businesses don’t discuss business challenges inside the family for fear of setting off a dispute. And they are worried about talking outside the family, too, he said. “It’s really lonely out there and yet there are so many folks out there facing the same issues.”

Sessions says one of the perks of membership in the McLaughlin Center is that business owners support one another and keep each other’s confidences.

Adam Lyman, one of the ninth-generation to run Lyman Orchards of Middlefield, which includes golf courses, a farm store, gift shop and pie business in Middlefield, says confidentiality is key. “One great thing is that we feel completely comfortable being able to talk about our business because of the confidentially imposed by the center.”

Headquartered at UNH’s Orange campus, the Center for Family Business has 44 members and offers conferences on topics from embezzlement to goal setting to customer appreciation and informal forums that allow family businesses to talk with one another. It also provides counseling to businesses when needed.

Succession is often a major issue. Passing the business along from father or mother to son or daughter, much less to siblings, cousins and others is not easy. But the center can help, said Stephen Tagliatela, one of the owners of Franklin Enterprises, a construction company based in the Greater New Haven area that owns apartments, the Saybrook Point Inn and other businesses. “We (Stephen and his brother, Louis) are the fourth generation and we had a smoother transition because of the center. You really can’t take a class to learn how to do this.”

The issue of a business’s future is not as intuitive as it seems, Sessions said. Should the business be turned over to the next generation? Can the parent let go? Can siblings work together? Should the business be sold or closed?

Sessions knows what he is talking about. He and his brother were the sixth generation to own the family’s metal stamping business which they sold in 1993.

“When you get beyond the hard cold facts,” Sessions said, “You have to deal with the emotional side. It’s important that a business not negatively impact family and family relationships. Because if it does, it’s really not worth it.”

“The Family Business Center helped save our business,” James B. Stirling, of Stirling Benefits of Milford, said. “It helped us learn from other families and avoid mistakes that they had made.”

Robert Hendrick, of Bigelow Tea, noted that issues for family members in business also effect other employees. He is not a member of the family that owns the Fairfield tea company, perhaps best known for its blend, Constant Comment, but he still finds it worthwhile to attend the center’s meetings.

“It gave me a chance to meet others with similar experiences. Family business problems are business problems. And I always learn something from the meetings.”

Brother and sister Lynne Perry and Bill Bassett, Jr. retained their membership in the center even after their business was sold. “We have used so many great things we learned in the forums,” Perry said. “I have life-long friendships from the women’s group and met some of the smartest, funniest people I have ever known.”

Charter members of the center are all based in Connecticut and include: Aaron Supreme Trailer Leasing of New Haven, Barrett Outdoor Communications of West Haven, Bigelow Tea of Fairfield, The Bilco Company of New Haven, Bishop’s Orchards of Guilford, and The Lee Company of Westbrook, National Sintered Alloys of Clinton and Saybrook Point Inn a/k/a Franklin Construction of New Haven.

The center also has five sponsors: Wiggin and Dana, a law firm with offices in New Haven, Stamford, Greenwich, Hartford, New York and Philadelphia; Gowrie Group, an independent insurance agency in Westbrook; Marcum Accountants and Advisors of New Haven; U.S. Trust, Bank of America Wealth Management of New Haven; and Daniel M. Smith & associates, business estate and retirement planning of Stamford and Guilford.  

— press release from UNH


May 192015

Windmill Vineyard discussion

Windmill Vineyard discussion

The Windmill Vineyard Application again went before the Town Plan & Zoning Commission on Tuesday evening.

The plans met with resistance from the commission and residents. While the commission is focusing on upholding the town regulations, residents are worried that the applicant is trying to sneak a large banquet/catering facility into the neighborhood.

Not only was some of the paperwork not appropriately signed off on, including the town sanitarian, but the size of the building also was in question.

A resident on Old Tavern Road submitted a letter in support of the Winery.

The Laudino family purchased the property mainly because of the windmill, built in 1912. They plan to restore it.

Arborvite have been purchased to give residents some privacy, they plan to run a quiet, peaceful facility the would be closed by 6 p.m.

The Town Sanitarian sent in a letter for the record stating that the plans submitted tonight were much more ambitious than anything he saw in January, therefore new plans must be submitted to his office and to the Fire Marshal’s office.

The Commission must consider the size and use of the facility in a residential neighborhood. The septic system must be able to handle the demand.

The plan is inconsistent with the plan of conservation and development, and many other problems.

The Special Use Application and Site Plan Application Both were unanimously denied




May 192015

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 1.47.19 PMNicole Dannenhoffer DeVito 29, of Bethany beloved daughter of Nancy DeVito of Bethany and Thomas Dannenhoffer of Branford passed away on May 15, 2015 at her home.

Sister of Matthew Dannenhoffer of Bethany. Granddaughter of Vito DeVito of Orange and the late Mary Palmieri DeVito and Andre Dannenhoffer of Milford and the late Carol Pilla Dannenhoffer. Also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Nicole was a 2003 graduate of Amity High School and 2008 graduate of Newbury College and received her master’s degree in 2013 from Northeastern University. At the time of her death Nicole was the owner of Nicole’s Paws and Pets.

Friends may call at the PORTO FUNERAL HOME 830 Jones Hill Rd. West Haven TUESDAY from 5 to 8 p.m.

Relatives and friends are invited to go directly to Holy Infant Church WEDNESDAY morning to celebrate A Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in Orange Center Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the ASPCA P.O. Box 96929 Washington, DC. 20090-9629.