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Tractor Parade A Tremendous Hit

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Dec 142018

(photo by John Lott)

The Orange Holiday Festival has always been a highlight of the season. It’s a time when residents come together to celebrate as one, taking in the sights and sounds of the town center, appreciating the historical aspects that are all too often overlooked these days, by visiting the Stone-Otis House and Academy Building (Museum – old schoolhouse) and enjoying the local talent of former school Principal/Musician Al deCant at the library and the tremendous bell choir and singers at the Congregational Church.

It’s been a tradition for the Amity Chamber Singers to perform at the library, but this year they sang from the loft in the church and sounded wonderful, but few people knew in advance that they’d be there and kept checking the library for them.

One feature that was introduced last year, the brainchild of Denise Fantarella, the town’s farming background had its own showcase event with the tractor parade. Locals were more than happy to adorn their big and small tractors, golf carts, etc with lights, lighted plastic blow figures, inflatables, and garland.

They gathered at the fairgrounds and then drove up to the Town Green on Orange Center Road past the enthusiastic crowd.

Now in its second year, the parade was as popular as ever. Fantarella and David Eisenman organized the parade and attracted 26 participants with tractors – 12 of them pulling festively decorated wagon “floats.”

People lined the street well in advance, anxiously awaiting the first glimmer of light to appear in the distance. Fantarella’s son, Blue, led the procession. It seems that each passing display was more colorful and elaborate than the next.

Aside from the tree lighting and visits with Santa, I think the tractor parade may be one of the most treasured parts of the Orange Holiday Festival.

Here are some more photos from John Lott.

Remembering The Victims of Sandy Hook 6 Years Later

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Dec 142018

On Dec. 14, 2012, Orange Live was just 7 months old. I’d promised readers that I would stick to the town of Orange and had kept my promise until 9:37 a.m. when I first heard about the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Everything that I reported that day came from former colleagues at the scene, one who was a good friend of Dawn Hochsprung, the school’s principal.

Although I could have grabbed a press pass and made my way up there, but first responders had enough going on and from the sound of their voices as they relayed their information to me, I knew that it was not necessary for me to be on the scene to feel the sadness and horror of a sicko murdering children and teachers in what everyone thought was a safe place.

I have never mentioned the murderer’s name, nor will I now, because that monster and its non-motive for killing the innocent should not be given any attention. But the principal, teachers, and little children, most of whom were as old as my granddaughter is now, should never be forgotten.


The monster started its morning by killing its mother in their home. Five minutes later at 9:35 a.m. it shot its way through a glass panel next to the locked front entrance doors of the school and was confronted by Dawn Hocksprung, School Psychologist Mary Sherlach, and Lead Teacher Natalie Hammond, who left a meeting to investigate. He killed Hockspring and Sherlach and wounded Hammond.

A school custodian, Rick Thorne ran through the school warning classrooms of the danger.

The monster forced his way into a first-grade classroom where substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau was trying to hide her tiny students in a bathroom. Rousseau and Rachel D’Avino a behavioral therapist, who was only there for the week were killed along with 15 students. Only one 6-year-old girl survived by lying still and playing dead — although she has to live with the horror of what she heard and saw that day.

The murderer then came into Victoria Soto’s first-grade classroom and shot her, teacher’s aid Anne Marie Murphy and five children. What exactly happened is not clear, but somehow, when the monster stopped shooting (possibly because the rifle jammed) nine children were able to run from the classroom to safety. Police later found two surviving children who had hidden in the bathroom.

Vicki’s father told me last year that his daughter was supposed to have the day off, but decided to go in that morning.

So, today, let’s take a few moments to remember the heroes, first responders, and the victims and their families and pray that even though many of our legislators are owned by the NRA and refuse to make changes, that senseless gun violence can be stopped. Enough is enough.

Think about these innocent children and the terror they felt, calling for their mommies’ and sobbing as the merciless monster shot them and their friends.

Charlotte Bacon, 6Daniel Barden, 7, Olivia Engel, 6, Josephine Gay, 7, Dylan Hockley, 6, Madeleine Hsu, 6,  Catherine Hubbard, 6, Chase Kowalski, 7, Jesse Lewis, 6, Ana Márquez-Greene, 6, James Mattioli, 6, Grace McDonnell, 7, Emilie Parker, 6, Jack Pinto, 6, Noah Pozner, 6, Caroline Previdi, 6, Jessica Rekos, 6, Avielle Richman, 6, Benjamin Wheeler, 6, and Allison Wyatt, 6.

The only guns that should be allowed to the public are muskets. They take a long time to load and give you time to think. 

Boys’ Hockey: Spartan Take Down D1 New Fairfield-Immaculate (NFI)

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Dec 142018

File Photo from 2018.

Other news agencies are not giving Amity any attention yet, but when they are in the state final, remember that Orange Live said they are “great this year” since before the season opener. I also said there would be a couple of stand out players, and so far, Jason Csejka #18, and Ed Martino #17 are two of the ones to watch.

The Spartans played NFI in Danbury on Wednesday and proved me right. (thanks, boys).

Going in, some may have thought they wouldn’t do well, but let’s take a look at what happened.

In the first period, both teams were able to keep one another from getting onto the scoreboard.

Just 1:46 minutes into the second period, Martino made a goal off an assist from Csejka.

In the third period, Csejka wasted no time and :13 seconds after returning to the ice, scored off an assist from Martino, pulling Amity to a 2-0 lead. Six minutes later, a stunned NFI came alive and they made their first and only goal, bringing the score to 2-1.

At 2-1, anything could have happened, of course, and to Spartans’ fans delight, with less than three minutes left in the game, Martino slammed one in, assisted by Csejka and Yes, folks, Amity defeated NFI 3-1.


On Saturday, Dec. 15, The Spartans will be on the road in Milford for a game against the Milford Co-Op at the Milford Ice Pavilion at 1 p.m. Don’t miss it, come and cheer on the Amity Spartans this weekend.



Girls’ Ice Hockey: Notre Dame – Fairfield Defeats the Blades in Hamden

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Dec 132018

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, the Blades (Amity-North Haven-Cheshire) Ice Hockey team, took on Notre Dame – Fairfield (ND Fairfield-Law-Foran-Weston-Pomperaug) on their new home ice at the Hamden Ice Rink.

Our Blades played hard, but Notre Dame had the upper hand in this match-up, scoring one goal in each period (each one assisted by Laura Dennigan).

Notre Dame outshot the Blades 29 – 22.

Our Goalie, Caitlin Ranciato made 26 saves, and Notre Dame’s goaltender made 22 saves.

Team Records: Notre Dame 3-0, Blades 0-2

It’s still early in the season, and our girls have time to practice and improve on any weaknesses they may have.

The next shot they have will be on Saturday, Dec. 15 vs Guilford at the East Haven Ice Rink at 5:45 p.m.


Obituary: Helene “Mimi” Skuret Sutfin, 83, Beloved Sister of Daniel Skuret, Mother, Nurse

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Dec 132018

Helene “Mimi” Skuret Sutfin, 83 years old of Hamden passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, December 8, 2018. Helene was born in Derby December 6, 1935 and was the daughter of the late former Ansonia Chief of Police Daniel D. Skuret and the late Helen Kolakowski Skuret.
Helene graduated Ansonia High School in 1952, from Hospital of Saint Raphael School of Nursing in 1955 with her RN degree, and from Southern Connecticut State University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Helene enjoyed a long and fulfilling career as a nurse for 61 years until her retirement in 2016. Throughout her career as an RN she worked as staff nurse, school nurse, camp nurse, private duty nurse, IV nurse and she also taught home nursing at Hamden High School Adult Education.
By far Helene’s greatest joy was raising her three sons, Ronald E. Sutfin (Deb) of Durham, Kenneth D. Sutfin of Wallingford, and John “Jack” S. Sutfin (Alexis) of Hamden. She was also survived by her beloved grandchildren, Daniel R. Sutfin (Alyssa), Megan L. Sutfin, Adrianna J. Sutfin, John “Jake” A. Sutfin, Elizabeth A. Sutfin, Alexandria R. Sutfin.
She also leaves her sister, Barbara Heggestad of Bedford, MA and her brother Attorney Daniel D. Skuret, Jr. (Marcia) of Orange, along with many nieces and nephews.
Helene’s life will be celebrated with a memorial service on Friday, December 14 at Hamden Memorial Funeral Home, 1300 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden from 5-7 p.m.
There will be a funeral mass at St. Rita’s Church, 1620 Whitney Avenue, Hamden on Saturday, December 15 at 8:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Mt. St. Peter’s Cemetery in Derby.
Memorial Donations in memory of Helene S. Sutfin may be made to Saint Rita School, 1620 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06517. Condolences may be expressed at hamdenmemorialfuneralhome.com

Amity Middle School Students Emulate Jackie Robinson’s Character

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Dec 132018

(Pictured, left to right): Zephaniah Abdus-Salaam, Zshonna Singleton, Sam Sender, Aditi Bhattamishra, Claire Bath, Ari Chetwynd, Oliver Kusiak, and Patrick Coughlin.

Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play professional baseball, has been used as a role model for the students at Amity Middle School in Orange. Jackie lived by non-violent actions and by values that the teachers, staff, and administrators at Amity use today as an example for the student body.

Courage is the “Jackie’s Nine” characteristic of the month for November at Amity Middle School in Orange.  Zephaniah Abdus-Salaam, a seventh-grade student, defined courage as “being proud of yourself to really stand out and protect your friends from people you don’t know…people who may bully others.”  Eighth-grader Patrick Coughlin said that courage is “staying on task during a test and studying even when you don’t want to, so you get the best result.”

The following students were recognized for demonstrating courage to do what is right, even when it is difficult. Zephaniah Abdus-Salaam, Claire Bath, Aditi Bhattamishra, Ari Chetwynd, Patrick Coughlin, Oliver Kusiak, Sam Sender, and Zshonna Singleton.

New Orange Business Dedicated To Children’s Dentistry

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Dec 122018

Town of Orange Selectman Mitchell Goldblatt, Orange Chamber of Commerce President Leslie Marsh, Owner Dr. Paula Cerqueira, Husband Richard with Daughter Aurilia, and Don Lewis, former Chamber President. Children in front are Liam, Evan, and Jonah.

Orange Children’s Dentistry staff was joined by business leaders and local dignitaries on Tuesday, Dec. 11, to take part in the practice’s grand opening celebration, where attendees learned all about the array of services available to children.

“Children experience dental visits differently than adults do, and certain parts of their care will stay planted in their memories forever,” said Dr. Paula C. Cerqueira, a pediatric dentist and founder of Orange Children’s Dentistry. “Whether your child has preventative, restorative, or special dentistry needs, we make sure that they are treated like a family member and that they understand they are in a safe environment.”

Dr. C. told attendees that her practice would serve as a hub for all children dentistry needs. With experience in various dental offices throughout Connecticut, including a role in the Department of Pediatric Surgery at Bridgeport Hospital, Dr. C. says her experiences have prepared her to provide specialized oral procedures, comprehensive dental care and preventative services for children of all ages.

When Dr. C. decided to open her own dental practice, she set out to ensure that children would receive better care than she received when she was a child. She is confident the environment she has helped create will be welcoming and inviting to children and should reinforce the idea that the practice was “built from the ground up with children in mind.”

Dr. C.  encourages families to schedule a visit to familiarize their kids to her staff and the practice. “We look forward to helping your kids maintain a great smile, and we are especially excited about meeting a new friend,” she said.

During a tour of the new office, we noticed that the rooms are nicely done with pleasing color choices and televisions mounted on the ceilings. All of the adults in attendance mentioned how they wouldn’t mind being a patient there.

As a mother of several children, the four youngest ranging from toddler to pre-teen, Dr. C knows how important it is to have a comfortable, spacious waiting room where the children can play, read, or simply relax before they are called in for their appointment.

The office is located at 518 Boston Post Road, Suites 4 – 5, Orange, (the next building over from Applebees Restaurant) directly across the street from the Orange Ale House.

The practice will begin providing dental services in January. To make an appointment, visit the website, click on appointments and fill out the form or you may call 203-404-2224


About Orange Children’s Dentistry

Orange Children’s Dentistry was created from the ground up with children in mind. The team of experienced professionals at the practice firmly believe that every teeth cleaning should be fun, and rewarding for children to help them promote lifelong habits for good oral hygiene. To help create a positive experience for children and their families, the staff at Orange Children’s Dentistry set aside time to get to know every child and ensure they are comfortable at every stage of their visit.


Dec 122018

The town of Orange has three excellent official resources for locating information that you may be seeking, right at your fingertips.

The Town Of Orange Website is designed to make your search as stress-free as possible. 

It includes a business directory link, a page for town departments, a page for boards and commissions and meeting agendas and minutes, tons of information about the community – places to go, recreation programs and more.

The town developed a great resource for you in this location, check it out!

The Chamber of Commerce has a smorgasbord of listings that may answer your questions in a matter of seconds or minutes.

Visit the chamber’s Website today for all the latest business & community events and information!

The Orange Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) also has a beautiful website that you MUST see if you’ve never visited it before.

It has an incredible business directoryIt’s so easy to find whatever you’re looking for here. Go there NOW and check it out. You’ll never have to use a business phone book again. 

OEDC is the agency that publishes the absolutely stunning Orange Life magazine that I call the ultimate coffee table magazine. It has the best writing of any publication in town and it is a wonderful resource for Orange residents.

Here at Orange Live, we are dedicated to the town of Orange and don’t fill our pages with blogs or stories from Milford or other towns. You will find local links of interest in the left-hand column of our site. Make Orange Live your go-to source for Orange



Orange Police: Man Threatened To Kill Orange Resident

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Dec 122018

Officers responded to a private residence on Country Lane in regards to a threatening complaint on Dec. 9 at 11:15 p.m.

During the investigation, officers learned that Kurt Menosky, 28, of Milford had made dozens of phone calls and sent text messages to the resident at Country Lane, and during at least one of those calls threatened to kill the complainant.

Officers located Menosky at his residence in Milford, where he was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct and second-degree threatening.

He was released after posting $100 bond for court on Dec. 20.

Visit the Angel Tree At The Orange PD and Help Make A Child’s Dreams Come True

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Dec 112018

The Orange Police Youth and Community officers are trying something new this year, and the police department is hoping that this will be as successful as some of its other community-outreach endeavors.

Detectives Ryan DePolo and Carolyn Bailey, in partnership with Orange Community Services, have set up a ‘Holiday Giving Tree’ in the lobby vestibule at Orange Police headquarters, 314 Lambert Road.

On this tree are different angel ornaments. Each of these ornaments is dedicated to one boy or girl living in the Town of Orange. On each angel, there is the child’s name and the things he or she would like to receive for the holiday season.

The police are hoping that people will pick an angel from the tree and fulfill that child’s holiday wishes.

The items you pick for the child in need can be dropped at the Orange PD headquarters in care of either Detective DePolo or Detective Bailey. Please wrap the gifts and indicate which child you picked when doing so.