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Dec 182014
 

Jr. Chris Winkel's hoop hanging move at Wednesday's basketball game.

Jr. Chris Winkel’s hoop hanging move at Wednesday’s basketball game.

Back in 2012-13, the Amity Spartans Boys Basketball team had a great season with players like Zach Campbell and Remi Farrell leading the way.

Farrell was known for the way he would dunk the ball and then swing from the hoop. At Wednesday night’s game against the Career Panthers, another tall blonde, Chris Winkel, did just that, bringing fans back in time.

Although 2013-14 was a “rebuilding” year for Amity Coach Jeff Nielsen, his team seems to have some talent this year, with good team play and lots of hard work out on the court, in spite of the 23 point spread in the final.

Career is a strong team and their success at the foul line is nothing to sneeze at.

Playing in this game were:

Seniors

Brett Zaniewski (10), Jared Tashea (31), Brett Southworth (33), Dave Piechota (34), Matt Ronai (43), Doug Rives (45),  and Phil Hochman (52)

Juniors

Brian Ronai (2), Mike Stewart (3), Truman Etkin (15), Eli Oliphant (20), Chris Winkel (44) and Pasquale Villano (54)

Sophomores

Chris Wright (14) and Colin Beaulieu (12).

Winkel was the Spartan’s high scorer with 16 points, followed by Matt Ronai with 11 points.

The boys play next at Hamden High School on Friday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.

Dec 172014
 

10850265_747501041969987_1110753153982734140_nOn December 10, 2014, Orange Police officers participated in the ‘Shop with a Cop’ program sponsored by the REACH Foundation.

Orange PD Officers Lynn Dey, Jeff Fernandes, Brian Petrucelli, Ryan DePolo, Robert Amarone, and Lt. Max Martins volunteered their time to meet with local children, have dinner with them, and then join them on a shopping trip at the Milford Target store.

The event was a huge success, and the officers had as much fun as the kids did.

Orange Live profiled the program on Dec. 9. See Story HERE.

 

 

Dec 172014
 

As residents continue to clean up after the recent rain storms, and prepare for the upcoming snow storms, Fire Marshal Tim Smith grows increasingly concerned that people are using fresh storm debris such as logs and branches in their fireplaces and wood stoves.

This unseasoned wood, and any softwoods such as spruce and pine, will contribute to creosote buildup in the fireplace and chimney, resulting in a severe chimney type fire that could extend to the framing of a home.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department already has responded to a few chimney fires since the cold weather began, luckily none of them has resulted in the loss of a home yet. Yet a heating device was to blame for a house fire that displaced a family a couple of weeks ago.

Smith included a Winter Fire Safety article from FEMA and a link to a video on proper fireplace use.

Here is the Article in its entirety:

More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the fire risks when heating with wood and solid fuels.
Heating fires account for 36% of residential home fires in rural areas every year. Often these fires are due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. All home heating systems require regular maintenance to function safely and efficiently.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility …Fire Stops With You!

Keep Fireplaces and Wood Stoves Clean

•    Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.

•    Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations and flammable materials.

•   Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.

•    Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney opening from getting into the room. Most glass fireplace doors have a metal mesh screen which should be closed when the glass doors are open. This mesh screen helps keep embers from getting out of the fireplace area.

•    Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.

•    Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures.

•    Keep air inlets on wood stoves open, and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise you may cause creosote buildup that could lead to a chimney fire.

•    Use fire-resistant materials on walls around wood stoves.

Safely Burn Fuels

•    Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.

•    Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.

•    Build small fires that burn completely and produce less smoke.

•    Never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.

•    When building a fire, place logs at the rear of the fireplace on an adequate supporting grate.

•    Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.

•    Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.

Protect the Outside of Your Home

•    Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.

•    Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.

•    Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.

•    Remove branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.

Protect the Inside of Your Home   

•    Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and     change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long life smoke alarms.

•    Provide proper venting systems for all heating equipment.

•    Extend all vent pipes at least three feet above the roof.

For more information and safety tips from the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office visit:  www.orangefiremarshal.com

 

Originally Published on: Nov 19, 2012 @ 1:35 p.m.

Dec 162014
 

800px-Connecticut_State_Capitol,_HartfordOn Dec. 15, new House Republican Leader Themis Klarides gave State Reps-Elect Pam Staneski (R-119) and Charles Ferraro (R-117) their first term legislative committee assignments .

Both Staneski and Ferraro were elected to their first term on Nov. 4 and in the days afterward they have prepared themselves for the start of the legislative session that opens on Jan. 7.

After Rep. Klarides announced to Pam and Charles their committee appointments she said, “The early work of the committee process is where our state laws are born, and it’s where legislators like Pam and Charles can provide the most positive influence for the people they serve and the state as a whole.”

Staneski was tapped to serve on the Education, Children’s and Veterans Affairs committees.

“I am looking forward to an exciting legislative session serving on both the Education and Children’s committees with a bi-partisan focus on putting forth legislation that will improve our young people’s education and protect and support our state’s most precious resource, our children,” said  Staneski.

“I fought hard to get on the Veterans Affairs committee. Connecticut needs to do everything possible to make sure our state’s veterans are properly cared for and have employment opportunities when they return back to civilian life,” she said.

When he takes office, Ferraro will serve on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, which is tasked with writing the two-year state budget.

“Analysts say we’re facing a massive budget deficit, and just before the legislative session begins we’re hearing little beyond talk about tax increases to fill the multi-billion-dollar gap,” he said. “People can’t afford tax hikes, and the legislature should explore ways to reduce government spending before digging deeper into anybody’s pocket,” said Ferraro.

Ferraro has also been tapped by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides to serve on the Public Safety and Security committee which has cognizance over all matters relating to homeland security, the Department of Public Safety, including state police, state organized task force on crime, municipal police training, fire marshals, the fire safety code and the state building code, civil preparedness and legalized gambling.

Additionally, Ferraro is being appointed to the Human Services committee which oversees all matters relating to the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Children and Families, including institutions under their jurisdiction; the Office of Child Day Care; the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities; the Commission on the Deaf and the Hearing Impaired; and the Board of Education and Services for the Blind.

“Serving on the Human Services committee gives me an inside look at the Department of Social Services which is the largest line item in Connecticut’s state budget and serves so many state residents,” he said.

Dec 152014
 

binky babyEleven years ago, when my daughter was two, my wife and I decided it was time to break her of the pacifier habit.
She called it her “binky”, and was as attached to a pacifier as any child her age would be.
She would frequently lose her binky in the middle of the night and cry until we could get up and find it for her.  (We would sometimes leave a few extra scattered in the crib so she would be sure to find one quickly and save us the trip.)
She had a nice collection of binkies.

We decided the best way to insure success of breaking the habit was to get her to buy into the plan.
So my wife came up with the idea to explain to her that she was a very lucky girl to have binkies because there were poor children around the world that had none.  We explained that a really nice thing for “big girls” to do when they are all done with their binkies is to give them to Santa Claus.  He would bring them to the North Pole and then he would deliver them to the needy boys and girls around the world.
She seemed hesitant but agreed.
On the night the fire truck arrived we were all ready.  We had her place the binkies in a little Ziploc bag and hold them for Santa.  With the lights flashing and music playing, we stood at the door watching the excitement and waiting for Santa and the elves and the firemen to come to the door.
When Santa got to the porch, she held out her bag of binkies and proudly told Santa she was a big girl now and that she wanted him to give them to the poor kids in the world.
Santa  was a champ.  Caught completely off-guard, he improvised beautifully and took the bag from her and thanked her for being such a big girl.  Then he turned and handed them to one of his elves, paused for a minute, and then came inside for the traditional visit.
She never needed a binky ever again.
The next year when I went to the firehouse to drop off the present with my check, Mama Elf recognized the address and was so happy to recount the story to me and her coworkers.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but Santa that year was none-other than the Fire Chief himself…. and she told me that my daughter’s generosity was so overwhelming that she had made him CRY!
I feel truly lucky to have had the opportunity to live here in Orange and participate in such a wonderful tradition.
We love telling this story every year.
Sincerely,
Mike and Angel Pickett

Dec 152014
 

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 11.18.29 PMOn Saturday, Dec. 13, Thomas McMahon, 65, of Golf Road, Orange, turned himself in on an arrest warrant at the Orange Police Department.

McMahon was charged with first-degree arson, a felony, and providing a false written statement.

It is alleged that on October 27, McMahon intentionally set fire to his home on 496 Golf Road, while it was occupied. No one was injured.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department, Milford Fire Department, Orange Fire Marshals, Orange Police, and Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Unit arrived at the scene of the fire and brought it under control.

The fire appeared to have been set from inside the residence, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage.

McMahon was released after posting a $50,000 bond. He is due in Derby Superior Court on Jan. 5, 2015.

Orange Police Detective Mike Morrin investigated this incident and secured the warrant for McMahon’s arrest.

 

Dec 152014
 

lp

This is a file photo from a similar event.

Best Santa’s Helper story!

As Christmas 2010 approached my two young daughters, Erin age 9 and Kelsey age 11, were looking forward to Christmas.  As we had done every year since we moved to Orange we had dropped off a gift for each with Mama Elf and were looking forward to Santa’s visit on December 19th.

Then came a shock.  My father had been battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia since late September and had been doing very well. It was a struggle but he had had some good test results just before Thanksgiving and we thought he was on the way to recovery.  But on Dec. 14th he took a very sudden turn for the worse and he passed away on Dec. 15th.  His wake was scheduled for December 19th and the funeral for December 20th.

My daughters had been very close with their grandfather and took his passing hard.  Our family would still find a way to get through the holidays for them but with the wake on Sunday we would not be around for Santa’s visit.

My husband Bob went down to the firehouse to explain to Mama Elf that he would like to retrieve the presents we had dropped off and tell Santa not to stop at our house.  To his surprise she wouldn’t hear of it.  She asked him to leave the presents and she would see if a few of the firemen would be willing to come another night. Arrangements were made for Tuesday or Wednesday the following week (honestly, I have no idea what day it was since my brain was in a fog).  We didn’t tell the girls because we wanted it to be a surprise.

Well, we were all surprised!  That evening 5 fire trucks came through our neighborhood  with lights flashing and sirens blaring!!!  There were a bunch of other vehicles parking on our street  too!  Firemen and elves were everywhere!  The firemen formed a double line from the street to our front door and Santa and his elves and helpers all came down the aisle and into our house!

Apparently when Mama Elf asked for a few volunteers to make the special visit to my family ALL the firemen and women, Santa and elves volunteered!  Every individual that came into our house offered their condolences and wished the girls a Merry Christmas.  They brought us candy canes and beautiful snowflake ornaments for our tree that we gladly hang every year.  It was a magical night for my girls.

I am so happy to have a chance to share with everyone the most wonderful and moving moment of our very difficult Christmas and to thank Mama Elf, Santa, the elves and all the fantastic volunteers at the Orange Fire Department.  Their compassion and thoughtfulness are true examples of the Christmas spirit!

Merry Christmas,

Krista McCormack

Dec 152014
 

IMG_7408I’ve been going out with the Santa’s Helper Crew for so many years that I’ve lost count.

It all began when I was with the Amity Observer newspaper. My son would accompany me as my photographer and I would “observe” and write a story.

I carried it through to some “hyperlocal” news site and finally now, I’ve covered it for two years on Orange Live.

Santa’s Helper is one of those timeless events that I enjoy being a part of. Seeing the children jumping with excitement at their front door brings me back to when I was young and believing was all you had to do to have a magical Christmas.

Remember, you have until Saturday, Dec. 20 to enter the Orange Live Santa’s Helper contest. Just send your “story” (and a photo if you have one.) to [email protected].

 

 

 

Dec 142014
 

762 Lambert Road

762 Lambert Road

Come visit this immaculate contemporary style raised ranch on one acre, with a sunny approved in-law set up at 762 Lambert Road today from 1-2:30 p.m. Wayne Hugendubel will greet you there.

Stunning inside and out, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom 2,053 sq feet of living space with vaulted ceiling, skylights, fireplace, central air, central vacuum all for just $374,900 (Price cut by $10,000 on Dec. 12).

Has hardwood floors and carpeting, attached 2 car garage, ceiling fans in 2nd and 3rd bedrooms. Full basement with walk-out.

Includes Dishwasher, Washer, Dryer, Range / Oven, Refrigerator.

Has a septic system. Public water.

Contact Wayne Hugendubel at  203-903-2405

Dec 132014
 

The look of wonder on their faces speaks volumes.

The look of wonder on their faces speaks volumes.

Santa’s Helper is one of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s most magical traditions.

Now in its 20th year, Orange Live is asking participants to share their most treasured memories of Santa’s Helper and what it’s meant to you and your family.

Send us an e-mail to [email protected] (this is NOT a Link) with “Santa’s Helper” in the subject line by Saturday, Dec. 20. Include a Photo of your special Santa’s Helper visit with your submission if you have one.

Orange Live will publish as many of your stories as possible. Then, Elf Mama, who’s been the backbone of the event for two decades, along with firefighters and elves, will choose their favorite one(s) and the winner(s) will receive a special prize.