What You Should Know About The Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation

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Aug 222019

When I was working at the Amity Observer Newspaper back in 2002, I came across a very sad notice. A young woman from Orange had passed away and the more I learned about her, the more I felt I knew her.

Jamie Alaine Hulley, the daughter of Judy Primavera and Fred Hulley, was only 20 years old when she died, leaving behind a legacy of talent and creativity.

Shortly after her death, the Jamie A Hulley Arts Foundation was established to help other young people learn about and appreciate all of the things Jamie loved. In the past 17 years, it has helped thousands of children, teens and college students realize their potential for creativity and gave many underprivileged children opportunities they otherwise would never have been able to experience.

Who was Jamie A. Hulley?

(from the foundation website)

jamieJamie was a creative soul who had the gift of seeing the world as a thing of beauty. As a child, Jamie saw pictures in the clouds, danced rather than walked, filled reams of paper with her sketches and paintings, performed for any audience, sang to anyone who would listen, and turned anything and everything into a beautiful art project. Her dreams for the future always involved “creating” in one way or another.

As she grew into adulthood, she became a talented studio artist, writer, dancer, singer, songwriter, actor, and comedian. Jamie was a lover of people who had the talent of seeing the good in others and making all who knew her feel special. She was known for her warm smile, quick wit, and her loud infectious laughter.

Jamie was an avid seeker of new experiences. She embraced the unknown with a seemingly insatiable curiosity and definitely was a person who danced through life to the beat of a different drummer. Jamie’s dream of pursuing a career in the arts was cut short in 2002 just two weeks before her 21st birthday after a brief battle with an aggressive form of lymphoma.

To celebrate Jamie’s vivacious spirit and the beauty that she brought to the world, her family and friends established the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation. The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides educational and career development opportunities in the arts including Grants for Schools, Special Project Grants in the Community; Scholarships, and Jamie’s legacy programs that reflect the experiences, the places, and the people that she loved.

This is where the money goes:

From Sept. 2017 through now, this is how the foundation has distributed its funds


 Eight 4–year college scholarships in theater and studio arts to Amity HS students
 13 full scholarships to Missoula Children’s Theatre camp at Fairfield University (based on need) to youth in greater Bridgeport area
 3 talent development scholarships for youth (based on need) to take weekly lessons in musical theater at Broadway Method Academy — The program run by Orange native, Connor Deane
 Four $1,000 scholarships awarded at the Sondheim Awards – 2 to the best actor/actress and 2 to students nominated by their high school teachers and chosen by the JAH foundation recognizing talent in both performance and in promoting a positivity on stage and off.

School Educational Programs:
 More than 25 different educational programs were sponsored in schools in the Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford regions
• Orange schools: 5 programs including Dancing with the Racebrook stars for its 9th year; yoga program for 1st graders at Turkey Hill School for its 4th year; and sponsorship of the Peck Place Drama Club’s production
• Amity Middle School Orange: 3 programs including the film production program in its 4th-year and Sponsorship of the Spartan
Player’s production of The Music Man
• Amity Middle School – Bethany: 3 programs – including sponsorship of the Spartan Players production of Once on This Island, Jr.
• Amity High School: 13 programs including sponsorship of Amity Creative Theatre’s productions of The Laramie Project Ten Years
Later and The Addams Family, funding to have ACT students mentored by Laramie Project people and Broadway actor Erick Buckley who was a cast member in The Addams Family; sponsorship of The Duality School of Music’s after-school music industry workshop series; visiting artists in studio art, music, and English including sponsorship of the annual Storytelling SLAM; The Memory Project; NAHS annual museum trip, etc.

Programs with Community Groups:
 Fellowship Place in New Haven – sponsorship of a year-round weekly dance class for clients living with mental illness
 Broadway Method Academy in Fairfield – support for development and production of Evita
 Square Foot Theatre in Wallingford – Headlining Sponsor for the 2017-2018 season
 Theatre Fairfield at Fairfield University – sponsorship of the student independent project
 Orange Community Women – sponsorship of Bubblemania Early Career Awards
 One award to Johnny Shea – he is now starring in the lead role in Peter Pan at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Legacy Awards:
 Art Award at Racebrook School
 Art Award at Amity Middle School Orange
 Dance Award at Lee Lund Studio of Dance in Milford CT
 Senior Thesis Stipend Award at Wesleyan University

What Can YOU Do?

That said, there are ways that you can help keep the foundation strong, so it can continue its good work throughout the next year.

Obviously, you may attend the 17th Annual Gala on Sept. 7. But, if you cannot attend the event, you may make a donation at any time.

Send a check/money order to:
Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation
P.O. Box 1208
Orange, CT 06477


Major Intersection Closed Due To Accident

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Aug 202019

random file photo of a nighttime accident scene.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to an accident on Grassy Hill and Old Grassy Hill Roads around 8:15 p.m.

The accident reportedly involved a piece of farm equipment and emergency crews are dealing with chemical and fluid spills in the road, which is very near a watershed and popular fishing area.

The DEEP has been called and the road is closed and will be closed for quite some time.

Find an alternative route if you are headed to the Parkway or Route 34.

Give the crews some room to do their jobs and let others know if you’re aware of anyone that will be heading out that way.


Heat Advisory In Effect Through Tomorrow Night

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Aug 182019

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory now through 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.

Expect heat index values of 95-100.

Extreme heat can cause illness and death among the at-risk population who cannot stay cool.

The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor exertion or extended exposure.

About Heat Stress

  • Heat stress occurs when your body cannot cool itself enough to maintain a healthy temperature (37 °C).
  • When it is very hot, you may be at increased risk of heat stress.
  • Some people are more at risk of heat stress, including babies and young children, the elderly, and people with some health conditions or on certain medications.

Symptoms of heat stress:

  • tiredness and lethargy
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • muscle cramps
  • feeling thirsty
  • urinating less often.

Signs of heat stress:

  • pale skin
  • excess sweating or no sweating
  • dark urine.

Keeping Cool in the Heat

  • Drink plenty of fluids: water, diluted juice (mixed with water), low sugar sports drinks.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks (including tea, coffee and energy drinks) as these can increase dehydration.
  • Make ice cubes from water or cordial and suck them.
  • Wear light-coloured, loose clothing.
  • Stay indoors with a fan or air-conditioner on (ensure adequate ventilation if using a fan)
  • Take a cool shower or bath, or put your feet in a bowl of cool water.
  • Use a spray bottle filled with water, or a wet cloth, to cool your face and body.
  • Keep curtains, blinds and windows closed during the day to keep your home cool.
  • Sleep with just a sheet over you, in the coolest part of the house.
  • Limit time spent outdoors: go early morning or late evening, stay in the shade, put on a hat and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen.
  • Always carry a water bottle when out.

Don’t Forget Your Pets

Animals are vulnerable during extremely hot and humid weather.

If you let them outside to do their business, make sure you limit the time spent outdoors.

Keep a container of cool water available for him/her both inside and out.


Column: How My Life Changed 10 Years Ago On This Date

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Aug 182019

This is a column that I wrote in 2009 when I was the editor of the Amity Observer newspaper. For years, I had all of my copy written and the entire newspaper laid out the night before deadline day. But not this particular week. 

If it seems a bit scattered, (poorly composed) you will understand why 2/3 of the way through it at “Revelation”

I Had A What?

This has been a strange, scary and educational week. August 18, started out as a typical Tuesday, in which I normally would begin “laying out” the Amity Observer as I have for the past 10 years.

But something was different. I had what I thought was crippling depression. There was no reason for it, but I couldn’t get motivated to format e-mails, write stories, or prepare the paper for publication.

This has never happened before. I am known around the office for my dedication to the Observer. I wouldn’t ever do anything to compromise the quality of the newspaper or to be late turning in my stories, photographs or updating the web site, but that day I was unable to do anything.

I was fully aware of what day it was and knew I had to find my motivation to write inside briefs. But I couldn’t. I spoke to one of my co-workers around 11:30 that evening, as he and I collaborated on the final front page design for several years, and I hadn’t sent it to him yet.

On Wednesday morning, Aug. 19, I woke up late and remembered that I hadn’t written two of my front-page stories, nor had I laid out any inside pages.

I felt “out of it.”

I was numb in the head, unable to get anything done, although I wanted to, and realized how important it was that I step it up a bit.

Using notes I had previously compiled, I wrote the story about Russ Arpaia, the hot dog vendor, and Keith Johnstone, the injured firefighter from Bethany, and sent them to my managing editor 10 minutes before the newspaper was due to go to press. This was totally out of character. I would never do that if I was in my right mind.

I remember driving to work as my paper was supposed to be on the way to the printing plant. I knew I should be, but couldn’t bring myself to be concerned. As I walked down the long hallway to the office, it seemed like a tunnel. A long, fuzzy tunnel.

When our production “go-to guy” Mario told me that I was four hours late, I had to look at the clock. I couldn’t believe what he was saying, and I couldn’t do the math.

Strangely enough, still no sense of urgency. That wasn’t me. He asked, and everyone else was wondering “What’s wrong with you?” (add a curse word in there) I didn’t know. I thought maybe it was the “depression” that I felt the day before. My managing editor strongly suggested that I see a doctor. I called the doctor’s office to see what the waiting time would be and drove home.

Later that night I went to my friend’s house to pick something up. She, too, asked, “What’s wrong with you?” she mentioned that my eye looked funny. I had no idea what she was talking about. She said my speech was slow, and I was in a daze, taking forever to answer simple questions.

A Visit To The Doctor

On Thursday, I woke up early and made my way to the doctor’s office. The wait wasn’t long. My friend (and co-worker) Jill, showed up at the office, just out of the blue. Luckily for me, she answered questions about my insurance. My head was fuzzy and I didn’t know what they were talking about.

“Insurance Card? Why do you need an insurance card?” We have new insurance that just kicked in, I didn’t get a card yet, but I had a piece of paper that explained the insurance plan.

Jill called my managing editor and got some answers. The doctor’s staff was able to confirm that I had insurance that was active. Jill came into the exam room with me and told my doctor all about what she had observed about my behavior – information that I would not have been able to provide.

The doctor told me to take a week off, and I told her that I didn’t know how to do that. She then ordered a magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI). My head was still “fuzzy” and I had a headache. Why an MRI?

The appointment was set for Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 5 p.m. Hearing this, my doctor said “no” and insisted that I get there sooner. “You don’t fool around with the brain,” she said. Her staff made another appointment for the following day, Friday, Aug. 21.

When I got to the newspaper office on Thursday to pick up the 200 copies of the Observer that I deliver every week, my publisher and managing editor met me and told me that I had vacation time coming this week. They told me that I couldn’t write any stories for this week’s edition, but I insisted on doing the Open Farm story since it was the last part of a six-part series. I wanted to keep the formula uniform with the other five parts – that was important. They finally agreed.

They’d made arrangements for my police blotter and other stories to get written by other reporters for this week’s edition.

I drove myself to Stratford for the MRI on Friday, still speaking slowly when I answered questions but I was fully aware of what was going on.

I wasn’t feeling like myself and went through red lights and stopped at green lights along the way. I knew what I was supposed to do but couldn’t seem to do it.


Within a few minutes of leaving the MRI testing place, my doctor called my cell phone and said, “You had a stroke.” “Oh, OK, that explains it,” I thought, then I asked, “Was it a TIA mini-stroke or a stroke, stroke?”

“It was a stroke,” she said. “You need to pick up your films from the MRI office, and you have to get a ride to Yale-New Haven Hospital emergency room right away.”

I called Jill and asked if she could give me a ride. Within minutes she was ready and waiting for me and off we went.

I had my CD film of my MRI with me and that little piece of paper with insurance information to give at Yale.

The staff took me in immediately, as my doctor had called in advance.

Everyone told me how lucky I was to still be able to function after the loss of blood flow to the frontal lobe, which controls one’s ability to plan and the temporal lobe, which controls speech.

To my surprise, I was admitted and sent to a room on the eighth floor. And I remained in the hospital from Friday through Wednesday. Writing that final installment of the open farms’ story (and this column) from the hospital bed.

On my walks and stretcher rides in the hospital hallways, I heard other people talk about he loved ones they were visiting who had strokes and were going for MRIs. These people were profoundly affected by their strokes. Some couldn’t talk, others couldn’t walk, or lost the use of their extremities.

It’s then that I realized just how lucky I was, considering that I didn’t recognize the severity of the initial symptoms. Assuming that I had the stroke on Tuesday when I was “Depressed,” and didn’t get to the doctor’s office until three days later, I am extremely fortunate.

I actually had several TIA (mini-strokes) weeks earlier leading up to this one.

I would go to the gym and while I was on the treadmill, I noticed that my right leg would drag behind. When I was walking my Golden, Baron, I also experienced the leg dragging issue, but didn’t do anything about it. I also stuttered occasionally. 

I hope this will serve as a warning for everyone out there. Pay attention to “strange” changes in your body. Call 911 immediately if you have concerns. if not for my managing editor, my friend Jill, and my awesome doctor, this could have ended much differently. 

This is the first installment of a three-part series that I will publish in real-time as they ran 10 years ago.


Check Out The Full Sturgeon Moon

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Aug 152019

Tonight’s full moon (Aug. 15) is known as the “Sturgeon Moon,” a name which is said to most likely derive from both colonists and Algonquin-speaking tribes in northeastern North America.

If you have a chance before you go to bed take a peek outside. It really is quite lovely.

Open House: Move-In Ready 3 Bedroom Ranch

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Aug 112019

Are you in the market for a nice family home in Orange? Stop by this open house at 447 Skyline Drive today at 11 a.m.
Sun-filled, updated 3-bedroom, 2-bath 2,100sqft Ranch with open floor plan. Nestled on a 0.8acre lightly wooded lot in established neighborhood.
Gleaming hardwood floors, 6 panel solid wood doors, Updated Kitchen with  quartz counters and new stainless steel appliances (2018) open to Dining Area making entertaining a joy!
Large, sunny L-shaped Living room with bay window and a fireplace. 20 x12 main level, Family room added in 2002 with a vaulted ceiling and access to large deck overlooking fenced-in back yard.
Updated main bath (2015); Master Bedroom with its own full bath and double closets and French doors. Heated lower level adds 300 sq. ft of living space with a brand new carpet .
Lower level includes a Recreation Room and a finished room for a possible office. GAS HEAT! 200 amp Electrical. New water tank and well pump (2017); New water heater (2016) Minutes from Great River Golf Course. Just unpack and enjoy!
Asking price is $379,900.

Are You Missing A Little Buddy? Fear Not It’s Safe And Sound In Orange

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Aug 062019

This friendly Cockatiel was found in a lady’s backyard on Ridge Road in Orange on Tuesday.

A friend took it in and has it at her house and wanted to spread the word in case anyone is missing one.

“He’s” very sweet and gives kisses, but no owner response yet.

If your Cockatiel flew the coop, please call Jean at 203-907-8370.

Plenty Of Interesting Items On Tonight’s TPZC Meeting Agenda

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Aug 062019


TUESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2019 –  7:00 P.M.

Lower Level of Town Hall

  • 8-24 Referral Municipal Improvements – Request by the Town of Orange to clear Fred Wolfe park for expanded use.    
  • Review of the Minutes from the June

    TP&Z Chair Ozzy Parente

    18, 2019; & July 2, 2019 meetings.

  • Request to finish attic area at Traveland 564 Racebrook Road.
  • Request Orange Land Development to extend TODD Approval for 24 months from September 4, 2019.
  • SITE PLAN APPLICATION-Submitted by Ajitpal S. Padda for property owner Orange Plaza LLC C/o Centro Property Group.  For property known as 220 Indian River Road.  The proposal is to refit an existing, indoor retail recreation use (fitness & martial arts studio) into a Virtual Reality-indoor Golf facility.  Integrated into the proposal is a casual, light food service component offering snacks and beverages.
  • Report of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
  • Old Business
  • New Business

            PUBLIC HEARINGS (*1)

  • *PETITION TO AMEND THE ORANGE ZONING REGULATIONS – -Submitted by property owner 35 Old Tavern Road LLCTo amend Article IV, Section 383-33 et seq., of the Orange Zoning Regulations to permit mixed-use residential development in the Local Shopping Center (LSC) District.
  • * APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL USE – Submitted by Indian River Road, LLC, for property known as 197 Indian River RoadThe proposal is for a three-story assisted/independent living and memory care facility with associated parking, utilities, and landscaping.  A SITE PLAN APPLICATION has also been submitted in conjunction with this project.

  • APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY SPECIAL USE EARTH MATERIALS REMOVAL & FILLING –Submitted by Indian River Road, LLC, for property known as 197 Indian River Road.  To include earthwork of approximately 60,000 cubic yards of Cut and 60,000 cubic yards of Fill material to result in a ‘balanced site’.   This application is related to the construction of an assisted/independent living and memory care facility at the property.  An APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION OF SOIL EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL MEASURES has also been submitted.

AND The Winners Are… Are You On The List?

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Aug 042019

In case you didn’t stick around for the raffle prize drawing at the Firemen’s Carnival this afternoon, here’s the list of winners, along with the ticket number that was drawn. Are you one of the lucky winners?

1st- $10,000 Visa gift card — 021282 Joan Cretella, West Haven

2nd- $5,000 Visa gift card — 126873 Cynthia Spector, Orange

3rd- $3,000 Visa gift card — 064979  William Beletsky, Orange

4th- $2,500 Anytime Fitness gift card — 138938 Sal Persico, Orange

5th- $1,200 Diamond Designs gift card — 016323 Ken Huzi, Shelton

6th- iPad wifi 128GB from Best Buy — 092721 Doloris Oliver, Orange

7th- $400 ShopRite gift card — 136130 Carol Anderson, Clinton

8th- $300 Trader Joe’s gift card​ — 127982 Anita Vitti, Orange

9th- $250 Knights Power gift card — 099303 Elizabeth Mullins, Orange

10th- $200 Kohl’s gift card — 001505 Alfred Della Russo, Orange

11th- $200 Outback gift card — 080641 Marie Kaufman, Orange

Pig Ear Pet Treats May Be Connected To Salmonella Cases In Humans

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Aug 022019

The FDA has issued a recall of two brands of pig ear dog treats for potential Salmonella Contamination.

The Recalled Products Are:

1. Pet Supplies Plus

All bulk pig ear dog treats stocked in open bins, from various vendors (not prepackaged, branded pig ears)

These recalled pig ears were sold as dog treats in pet stores across the United States, as well as online.

They were distributed to Pet Supplies Plus stores in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

2. Lennox Intl Inc.
Lennox Premium Natural Pig Ears, 8-pack bundles, with UPC code 742174995163 or 742174994166
Lennox Premium Natural Pig Ears, individually shrink-wrapped, with UPC code 0385384810 or 742174P35107 (may not have the Lennox brand name on the label)

Lennox pig ear dog treat recall 2019

The Lennox pig ears were shipped to distributors and retail stores across the country from Nov. 1, 2018, to July 3, 2019. The company says it’s aware of at least 2 dog illnesses and “several” human illnesses that have been caused by salmonella contamination.

About These Pig Ear Recalls

Both of these recalls come on the heels of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory on July 3, 2019, warning consumers of the potential for bulk pig ears like these to be contaminated with salmonella.

The FDA is working alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate dozens of cases of human-contracted salmonella, including hospitalizations. They suspect these cases may be connected to contaminated pig ears.

According to the CDC, about 89% of sick people “reported contact with a dog before getting sick,” and about 73% “reported contact with pig ear dog treats or with dogs who were fed pig ear dog treats.”

The FDA says it’s reaching out to “impacted firms to remove these pig ears from the marketplace and identify other places where they may have been distributed.”

A common supplier has not yet been identified. Additional pig ear recalls may be forthcoming.