Dedication Ceremony Today For The Elaine Arena Blood Pressure Clinics At The OVNA

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Mar 222018

The Orange Visiting Nurse Association would like to invite the community to honor a longtime friend, Elaine Arena, with the dedication of our Community Monthly Blood Pressure Clinic in Elaine’s memory.

First Selectman James Zeoli will be in attendance making a proclamation on behalf of Elaine Arena. The ceremony will take place on March 22, 2018, 12 p.m. at the Orange Visiting Nurse Association, 605A Orange Center Road.

Juliette Elaine Winfield Downes Arena of Orange passed away at home surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. She was 91 years old. 

For twenty-two years Elaine was Finance Manager of the Town of Orange Visiting Nurse Association. After retirement, she was a dedicated volunteer for many years, most particularly as an IRS-AARP income tax preparer for the city of West Haven Senior Center. She had also volunteered with Orange VNA at their monthly blood pressure clinics for many years.

The blood pressure clinics are offered on the fourth Thursday of every month from 1 to 2 p.m. at the OVNA. This clinic offers residents an opportunity to have their blood pressure monitored or to receive information and counseling on health-related matters. The sessions are held by a Registered Nurse (RN) and/or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The screenings are free and no appointment is necessary.

Debate Question: Case Memorial Library

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Nov 062017

The three candidates for first selectman answer a resident submitted question regarding the Case Memorial Library.

This video was shot during a debate at Congregation Or Shalom.

Here is a Link https://youtu.be/3Bu-Ozjnhuw

Still Undecided? Videos: Closing Statements From Recent Debate

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Nov 062017

Election Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 7. If you’re still not sure who you should elect as the town’s First Selectman, you have three choices this year.

A couple of weeks ago, the three candidates took part in a debate at Congregation Or Shalom.

Orange Live posted the debate questions and answers online at that time, and now, so everything will be fresh on your mind, we’re offering videos of the closing statements and the answers to residents’ submitted questions.

We’ll begin with the Closing statements… and subsequent postings will include the remaining Q and A.

Alex DeAngelo  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uTLMib36q4

Margaret Novicki  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxarTMIs_6g

Jim Zeoli  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxZUCE9vxeQ

Fun Filled Hoedown Fundraiser Planned

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Oct 092017

Saddle Up and mosey on over to the Orange Hills Country Club, 389 Racebrook Road, on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. for an Old Fashioned Hoedown hosted by the Orange Republican Town Committee.

Tickets are $75 per person ($85 at the door), First come, first served – space is limited.

Includes pulled pork and all the “fixins,” and more. Appetizers, dinner, dessert, coffee, music and raffles. Beer and wine included, cash bar will be available.

Mingle with the GOP candidates, get answers to your questions.

RSVP by Friday, Oct. 13, to Laurie at 203-795-9651.

Send check, payable to ORTC to PO Box 632, Orange, CT 06477.


Here Are The 2017 Republican Candidates, Zeoli Accepts Nomination

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Jul 192017

The Orange Republicans held their caucus at High Plains Community Center on Wednesday, July 19.

Following is a list of the candidates for the November 2017 Municipal Election


BOARD OF SELECTMEN – John J. Carangelo, Ralph G. Okenquist,  Judith W. Williams

TOWN PLAN & ZONING COMMISSION – Kevin Cornell, Oscar Parente

TAX COLLECTOR – Sandra Pierson

TOWN CLERK – Uncontested

BOARD OF FINANCE – Joseph P. Nuzzo, Robert Bocek, Pat Romano

ORANGE BOARD OF EDUCATION – Jeffery Cap, Christian Young, Kimberley Browe

AMITY BOARD OF EDUCATION – 4 Year Term – Thomas Hurley, Steven DeMaio

AMITY BOARD OF EDUCATION – 2 Year Term – Shannan Carlson

CONSTABLES – Jeffrey Vargo, Michael Donadeo, Jody Daymon, Glenn Papelo



Zeoli: Town In Great Fiscal Shape

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Jun 212017

First Selectman Jim Zeoli is pleased to announce that the town of Orange is on a solid fiscal footing.

He stated this after a Standard and Poor’s Review reaffirmed an AAA bond rating prior to the upcoming municipal bond sale.

Orange Live will have more information on this when it becomes available.

(Photos) Orange Memorial Day Ceremony

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May 292017

The town of Orange honored the brave men and women who’ve fought for our freedoms and have passed away.

Sunday was the Orange Memorial Day Ceremony, Parade, and Service. Large crowds attended each of them.

First, at the Orange Fairgrounds, the Memorial Day Ceremony with each of the honored guest speakers making brief, yet meaningful comments.

Robert Mirto was the moderator.

Grand Marshal – Robert H. DeFeo –  U.S. Air Force Active 1956-1959 – Reserve from 1956 – 1965 – rank of Captain.

Chief of Staff – Peter Shery –  U.S. Army 1953-1955 – Korean War Veteran. Citations received – Korean Service Medal, The U.N. Service Medal, and The National Defense Medal.

Honored Veteran – Donald J. Jewell, posthumously –  U.S. Coast Guard 1942-1946; World War 11 Veteran.  Past Commander of the American Legion Orange Post #127 and a life member.  His favorite quote was “I don’t always have my way but I always have my say!”

Jewell was one of Orange’s favorite sons. He died on February 16 at the age of 93.

His daughter Cynthia Romanoff accepted a plaque in his honor and presented it to her mother, Mary.

Keynote Speaker – Paul M. Tarbox    A Veteran of 10 years with the Connecticut Army National Guard.  He volunteered for deployment to Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraqi 2004-2005 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II with the 118th Area Support Medical Battalion. 

Tarbox’s speech was well thought out, contemporary and very well received.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli and US Senator Richard Blumenthal also spoke. Three Orange students gave special Memorial Day readings (one an original poem).

You may soon find the video of the ceremony on OGAT on DEMAND. (Click the link in the Left Column of Orange Live)


Pulled Pork Your Passion? This Is What It Takes To Prepare It For the Fair

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Sep 142016

Roasted pork butts for the fair.

Roasted pork butts for the fair.

The Orange Country Fair is known regionally as a very nice family event with tractor, oxen and horse pulls; animal exhibits; pig races; children’s activity area; and contests for baking, photography, children’s crafts, artwork, biggest pumpkin, tallest sunflower and so much more.

Some people look forward to something else entirely — the food! You can find all the traditional favorites in the main food tent under the pavilion including Hot Roast Beef au jus on a hard roll; Philly Cheese Steak Sub; LONGHINI Chicken Sausage & Pepper Sub; fried dough; Clam chowder and more. Then there’s the satellite tent on the lower fairgrounds where the aroma of roasted meat beckons you to stop by for a sandwich. This is where the first selectman can be found cooking up food for the majority of the two-day fair.

Preparing for the fair

While visiting the High Plains Community Center on Tuesday, I was drawn down the hall toward the Senior cafeteria by the amazing smell of “Sunday Dinner” coming from the kitchen. The ovens were filled with large covered roasting pans and I couldn’t help but stand there and take in the aroma — Ah, roast pork — It was unmistakable.

As I was leaving, First Selectman Jim Zeoli walked in through the back door and headed for the kitchen. What could I do, I had to follow him and find out what his role was in the process. (Click HERE for Video)

Many years ago, Zeoli and resident Ron Ruotolo came up with the idea of a satellite food tent to feed the fairgoers who were enjoying the activities on the lower fairgrounds. Here they’ve been serving hearty sub sandwiches and meals with roasted meats, and this location is famous for its pulled pork.

Every year, Zeoli prepares pork butts (Provided by *Napoli Meats out of New Haven), seasoning them with his special blend of shredded onions, brown sugar, hot pepper and several other spices.

The pork is so popular that in 2016, he decided to roast 606 pounds (70 pounds more than in 2015) of boneless pork butts, which he began cooking on Tuesday morning. Each tray holds two pork butts, and each oven holds 6 trays. The meat roasts at a moderate heat for 7 hours, then Zeoli returns in late afternoon to remove them from the oven, drain the pans and allow them to cool before a group of women come in at night to rake (pull) the pork. This process continues every day until the fair opens on Saturday.

The Satellite Tent also serves roast pork (if you don’t care for the pulled version); a sausage that has broccoli rabe and garlic inside the casing served on a sub and topped with roasted garlic and broccoli rabe; rib eye steak; lollipop lamb chops; a sauteed vegetable sub; and fried pickles and jalepeno chips served with a chipotle sauce. All of these specialties are cooked with love by dedicated fair volunteers.

“We try to provide fair supporters with the highest quality, most delicious food and we’re very proud of what we do,” Zeoli said.

The Orange Country Fair runs this weekend at the Orange Fairgrounds, 525 Orange Center Road, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

*An Orange resident owns Napoli Meat and Sausage Company.

Photos: 2016 Memorial Day Ceremony At the Gazebo

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May 292016

It was a sunny, breezy hot day on the Orange Fairgrounds for the 2016 Orange Memorial Day Ceremony.

IMG_0945Robert Mirto, Esq., was the Master of Ceremonies, and he and all of the honored guests kept their addresses short, so there were no medical emergencies and the parade stepped off earlier than in some past years.

US Senator Richard Blumenthal, and First Selectman Jim Zeoli made brief comments, and two students from Orange Elementary Schools read short poems.

One woman who was honored at the ceremony was Magdalen Cronin, 100, who has crafted a wreath for the Memorial Day service at the cemetery for many years, and hopes to continue doing so as long as she can. “I enjoy making the wreath,” she said.

The Parade Committee did a fine job choosing the following parade recipients and keynote speaker.

Grand Marshal Arnold J. Casola is a U.S. Army, World War II Veteran – T5 Corporal – who served from 1944 to 1946. He was awarded the European African Middle Eastern, Good Conduct and Victory Medal. He is a member of theAmerican Legion Post 127 and a past Sergeant-at- Arms.

Honorary Chief of Staff James T. Dallas is a U.S. Army Korean War Veteran – Corporal – who served from 1950 to 1952. He served in the National Guard from 1948 – 1950 and at the Camp Pickett, Army Hospital for 2 years. He was a member of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department for 26 years now retired. He has been a member of the American Legion Post 127 for 55 years and worked for the Town of Orange Highway Department for 27 years now retired.

Keynote speaker Emily Dewey Trudeau, is the Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney, Judicial District of Fairfield and a Bronze Star decorated Veteran. From 2005-2006, she was a Special Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office District of Utah; from 2006-2012, she was an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, United States Navy; and she is currently Chair of the Military and Veteran’s Affairs Committee, Connecticut Bar Association.


Orange’s Loss is Shelton’s Gain: Saying Goodbye to Paul Grimmer

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Mar 242016

IMG_1441The town of Orange will suffer a great loss on April 29: Paul Grimmer, the Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation is leaving to take a job in Shelton.

Former First Selectman Mitch Goldblatt, Selectman Peach Reid and Frank Pifko from the United Illuminating Company interviewed Grimmer for the job of building several aspects of economic development in Orange.

“That was 14.5 years ago. They saw something in me and I got the job,” Grimmer said. “For this I am grateful.”

Grimmer became the town’s first full time executive director in September 2001.

The job, he said is building the town through business recruitment and retention. “I’m fortunate to have been able to do things beyond that, including introducing the first Orange Business Expo 14 years ago and the Orange Life Magazine, now in its sixth year.”

The Orange Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) is a not for profit organization to support the town’s economic development efforts.

Many other communities have their own economic development office and need to pay staff, maintain the office and provide healthcare. Orange is fortunate to have the EDC acting as the support to the town. The town provides the OEDC with $60,000 of it’s (approximate $200,000) yearly operating budget, then it’s up to the OEDC to get the additional resources by fundraising. A significant portion of income is obtained through ad sales for the Orange Life Magazine and the business expo generates a good income, according to Grimmer. The magazine and expo also promote town businesses and highlight the good work of people of Orange.

Grimmer said through his position, he’s been able to work with amazing companies like UI and participate in bringing some great companies to town.

One of his best memories of his tenure is seeing the completion of the Edison Road extension, which was on the books in the Orange Industrial Plan since 1963.  Grimmer spent a good part of an 8 year period piling up both state and federal grants and slowly but surely the extended road created business opportunities.

“Before Aurora Products moved here, they wanted to know if the road would actually be extended,” Grimmer said. “I assured them it would, and now the company is on its third expansion since coming to town.”

Grimmer said the town has benefited from the teamwork of the OEDC. “I have some awesome leaders: First Selectman Jim Zeoli; Alan Fischer, always steady at the wheel; and Armand Cantafio who I can always bounce ideas off of.” he said. “The critical element to my success here is the tremendous leaders I’ve had behind me.”

The Farmer’s Market is not an OEDC activity, but in this case, Zeoli expressed interest in having one in Orange and Grimmer said, “I’ll do it.” He confessed that he always stepped up because it was important to participate in community and business activities.

The key to his longevity at the OEDC was that the Board of Directors gave him the rope to go out and participate in community organizations and activities like the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Orange.

“It made my job more enjoyable because of the personal contacts I’ve made over the years,” he said.

Zeoli said losing Grimmer is happy and sad. “We became good friends and he does an outstanding job for the town. It’s unfortunate that he’s leaving after 15 years, but I fully understand. This is an advancement for him and a step up. He’s going back to where he started. I wish him good luck.”

“It’s going to be hard to replace him,” Zeoli said. “People don’t realize how much he does: The Artisan Festival, Rotary Lobsterfest  and Rose Sale,The Business Expo and the Chamber of Commerce. He’s the driving force behind the Farmers Market and he excels in reaching out to property owners.”

Zeoli said Grimmer has town information embedded in his brain. “When you ask him something, he knows the answer in minutes.” — Orange Live can attest to this. When we asked how long Edison Road was in the works, he seamlessly turned to a crowded bookshelf and took out a small folder from 60 years ago. 

Zeoli said it will be a huge challenge to replace him after 15 years of experience on the job. “He’s leaving a huge void, but for his personal career, it’s a step up and in these tough economic times every step up makes life easier.”

As far as leaving Orange, Grimmer said he feels good that he did his best here and noted that he is leaving a lot of friends behind.

A New Opportunity

Grimmer’s last day with the OEDC is April 29. Until then it’s business as usual with him working feverishly on getting the May issue of Orange Life ready and preparing for the Orange Expo.

On May 2 he is starting his new career as the Shelton Economic Development Commission President and COO of the organization.

[NOTE: On May 2 he will become the vice president of the Shelton Economic Development Commission, then, on Aug. 3 will replace the retiring James Ryan as President.]

The job description is different from what he did in Orange — there will not be a “Shelton Life” Magazine. His focus will be on grants administration, revitalization and Brownfield Remediation along the river front.

Grimmer, 50, is a Shelton resident and began working in the Shelton Community Development office as an intern in 1987 while attending Penn State University — so he really is “going home.”

The town of Orange has some huge shoes to fill in finding a replacement for Grimmer, but the search will go on and a notice will be posted in the near future.

Orange Live wishes Paul the best of luck and a lot of happiness in his new venture. Orange’s loss is Shelton’s gain. Let’s hope his replacement can continue putting out a quality Orange Life Magazine — the BEST hard copy news resource in the town of Orange.