Dietch Ready To Face Off Against Zeoli

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Jul 162019

On Tuesday night, July 16, the Orange Democrats unanimously voted Jody Dietch as their nominee for First Selectman.  

Here is the context of her acceptance speech:

I am honored to stand here before you to accept the nomination as the Democratic nominee for the First Selectman of the Town of Orange, a town that I have lived in nearly my entire life.

I moved to Orange when I was 4 years old and attended Race Brook School, then Amity Junior High School, as it was called then, and I graduated from Amity Regional High School.  Coincidentally, these are the same schools my sons, Howie and Mike, also attended and graduated from.  Yes, I am a product of our great public school system.

I attended Keene State College where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and minored in business. I then went on to graduate from American University’s Kogod School of Business in Washington, DC with a Master’s Degree in Public Relations. For the past 12 years, I have been an Executive Director in the non-profit sector.  Recently, I became a trained mediator through the Quinnipiac University Law School’s Center on Dispute Resolution.

After I got married, my husband, Jeff, and I moved back to Orange in 2001.  I became involved in the Race Brook PTA serving on the Playground Committee and eventually the executive board as Co-President with Jackie Esposito.  I went on to serve two elected terms on the Orange Board of Education in a bi-partisan manner. 

As a former owner of the Little White House Learning Center in Milford, I understand the importance of early childhood education.  During my time as the owner of Little White House, I joined Kids Count of Milford, which among many things, offers scholarships for children to attend preschool, because we know how important preschool is to a child’s future success.  I eventually served as its president, as well.

After leaving the Orange Board of Education, I became more involved in the Orange Democratic Town Committee serving in various capacities including Treasurer, secretary and, currently, chair.  My desire to serve my town is what has driven me to work diligently in these positions.

I have often considered a run for First Selectman, and as they say, timing is everything.  It is time to move Orange into the future, while respecting our past.  But our farming past is not the basis for our future.  Nearly every year that the current Republican First Selectman and his administration have been in office, our taxes have increased.  We need to look at more ways to control expenses including, but certainly not limited to, sharing resources with our neighboring towns. Yes, we do some of that now but there is more to be done.

We need to look at alternatives for the large empty big box stores that haunt the east end of Route 1 where LA Fitness, Lowe’s and Sam’s used to be. It is time to resurrect the Post Road Study Committee to present new ideas that will help lead us into the next decade with significant economic development and not economic stagnation.

Over several elections, we have talked about helping our seniors stay in their homes but what has been done to help them? My parents moved in with me recently.  I understand the challenges our seniors face. It took the campaign 2 years ago of Democrat Margaret Novicki to get new chairs at the High Plains Senior Center.  It is time to look at meaningful ways to work with our seniors and not just provide them with lip service.

We need better communication and transparency in government.  How is it our Orange Community Nursery school didn’t even know they were going to be forced out of their home last year?  They heard about it second hand. That is unacceptable.  Why was our pool not ready for our paying campers this summer? Our First Selectman needs to be on top of these situations and pay attention to issues that affect our residents.

Orange is a great town and I think we can make it better. We need to be a sustainable community.  Our current administration doesn’t even talk about ways to help the environment.  We need to make Orange green.  I want the residents of Orange to work with the administration to make this a reality and become a Sustainable Town.

I ask you to join me over the next 3 ½ months to work to elect this slate for the future of the Town of Orange.  I humbly accept your nomination as the Democratic candidate for First Selectman and ask you to be with me on this journey to victory November 5th.

Yes, There IS A Full Moon Today

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Jul 162019

This month’s full moon at 5:38 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, is known as the Full Buck Moon. At this time, a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode.

This Full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month. Thunder Moon, a tribute from the Algonquin to a time of year when spectacular electrical storms rake the northern forests.

The Chinese deserve credit for an equally ominous name. The moon coincides with the Hungry Ghost Festival, a time when the living honor the dead by leaving food and drink to the ancestors. Their name? The Moon of the Hungry Ghosts.

In medieval England, the moon had a more cheerful connotation. Crops were nearing harvest and if the fields were tall and healthy, the farmers went out to celebrate with their favorite drink, a fermented mixture of honey, malt, yeast and water (an acquired taste).

Today farmers might call it The Beer Moon, but back then the growers knew it as the Mead Moon.

Back In The Saddle Again

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Jul 162019

When my work computer started acting up I knew I had to get it fixed immediately.

I brought it over to PCW on the Boston Post Road and it was quickly diagnosed and repaired.

I know Orange Live has been a bit quiet – believe me it bothers ME TOO!

But thanks to Omar at PCW, I’m back in the saddle again and ready and able to post.

There was a house fire on Turkey Hill Road on Saturday night. I requested information from the Public Information Officer and he has yet to respond, but I heard no one was home at the time and a dog may have died. I can’t confirm though. If this is the case, my deepest sympathy to the family.


Fireworks Scare Animals: Don’t Lose Your Pet This 4th Of July Weekend

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Jun 292019


Does anyone remember the events following Independence Day 2012 when a couple of dogs went missing after they fled from their yards in search of safety after fireworks went off nearby? 

One of those pets was found about 1/2 mile away by neighbors who read the owner’s plea, the other, sadly, two years later was still missing. 

Here is a message that the late Jon Nowinski shared with us in 2017.

While this isn’t really an “event” we have created this as a reminder and resource for everyone over the next week. As July 4th celebrations begin, it is important to be aware that firework displays can not only scare pets, but can also harm their sensitive ears. 

Did you know that the time around July 4th is the highest time that pets go missing from homes? Not only because of the fireworks, but because of backyard picnics and events where people may forget to close the doors, lock the gates, and assure that their pets are safe.

Luckily there are some simple things you can do to make sure your pets aren’t scared and stay safe during this time.

According to behavior specialist Dr. Elizabeth Shull, low-frequency, percussive noises such as fireworks and summer thunderstorms trigger wild fear in about 20% of dogs. Even dogs that don’t usually react to loud noises may react differently to sounds such as fireworks.

One of the best things is to create a “quiet space” for your pets. Find a quiet, secure, room to keep your pets in. Consider turning on a TV or a radio to help drown out the noise from the fireworks. Put items such as toys, even extra food, in the room to distract the pet during the event.

And most importantly, in the event that your pet does get loose, always make sure they can be identified by collar, tag, and microchip! Make sure you have all that information handy, and frequently check on your pets to make sure you know where they are. If you have friends coming over, remind them that you have pets in the house that may be scared or skittish, and to make sure they close doors properly when going outside.

Meet the Candidates Picnic Planned

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Jun 082019

The Orange Democratic Party will host its annual Meet The Candidates Picnic at the High Plains Pavilion on the Orange Fairgrounds, Orange Center Road, on Wednesday, Aug. 28 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $25 each and available by calling Jody at 203-314-9975 or Polly at 203-494-5976.

For more information visit the Facebook page or the Democrats website.

Strawberry Festival At The Fairgrounds June 8

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Jun 062019

The Orange Congregational Church will host its annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 8 at the Orange Fairgrounds, 525 Orange Center Road, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Spend the day with family and friends and enjoy food, games, a fabulous vendor fair, pancakes, strawberries, jam, pies, shortcake, entertainment, and the annual Red Car Show!
  • 8:30 AM – Pancake Breakfast
  • 10 AM – 3 PM – Red Car Show
  • 10:30 AM – 11:30AM – Dimples the Clown
  • 11AM – 12:00 Noon – Hay Rides
  • 12 Noon  – 12:45 PM – Al DeCant – Children’s Entertainment
  • 1 PM – 5 PM – Furious George – classic rock
  • 2 PM – 3:00 PM – Magician – Bryan Lizotte
  • 4 PM – Pie Eating Contest

Volunteers Make A Difference On Orange Trail

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Jun 052019

The Orange Conservation Commission hosted a hike at The Ewen Preserve on Saturday, June 1.

This hike was part of Connecticut Trails Day where hosted hikes were held throughout Connecticut on the same day.

Pictured are the intrepid hikers who came out on a beautiful Saturday morning for a hike led by Travis Ewen who grew up on this land.

Highlights included a new walkway over wet sections and work done to restore fish movement on the Indian River, which flows through the Ewen Preserve.

Orange Business and Community Expo Scheduled

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Jun 052019

The Orange Economic Development Corporation will host the 17th Annual Orange Business and Community Expo on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

This year the Expo will take place at the University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven.  The move will allow for a larger audience and more vendors.  OEDC Executive Director Annemarie Sliby said, “We are excited with the change. The move will allow all vendors to be in one area, with a separate space for workshops and activities. There will be plenty of parking, as students have completed their semester.”

As always, the Expo is free and open to the public. Business owners, their employees, and local residents can look forward to product demonstrations, activities, raffles, and food; while networking with more than 60 business vendors.

Activities and events are still being organized. Some activities currently scheduled are: the Annual Spring Brochure Swap presented by Visit New Haven; Morning Jolt provided by the Orange Chamber of Commerce; Professional headshots provided by Lyon Photography, and returning this year is One-on-One Speed Networking with Rob Thomas.  One-on-One Speed Networking is a fun, effective way to make connections.  Rob Thomas, of Rob Thomas CT, professional networking coach, will be the moderator.  Seating is limited and registration is required.  Cost is $15 per person and includes a goodie bag, refreshments and raffle entry. All activities are free with the exception of the One-on-One Speed Networking. Check the OEDC website for updates and descriptions.   

Forty vendors have registered to date and space is still available but will sell out quickly.  Exhibitors can showcase their business, products or service, sell products on site, and network with business vendors and attendees.  Exhibitor space is reasonably priced at $300 for an 8-foot booth, which includes pipe and drape, linen topped-skirted table and 2 chairs.  In addition, all vendors receive their business information listed in the Event Program, business marketing materials included in Event Welcome Bags, company name listed in OrangeLife Magazine, an entry into the Vendor/Sponsor appreciation raffle, and exhibitor lanyards. Booths with electricity are limited but may be provided for an additional $100.  Registration for a booth is available online at the OEDC website, OrangeEDC.com/events_activities.

Any business that is unable to participate as a vendor can still have a presence.  For just $75,  company marketing materials will be included in the Event Welcome Bags.  Another option is to place an ad in the Event Program; sizes and prices vary.  All visitors and attendees will receive Event Bags and Programs.

The event is sponsored by All American Waste; Connex Credit Union; Eagle Leasing Company; Hurwitz, Sagarin, Slossberg and Knuff; NORTHEAST Electronics Corporation; Orange Economic Development Commission; StateFarm Insurance; Taylor Rental Party Plus; UIL Holdings Corporation, and the University of New Haven.  For more information, call the Orange Economic Development Corporation at 203-891-1045 or visit the website at OrangeEDC.com/events_activities.

Series: Unconditional Love And Pet Adoption (#1 Franco)

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Jun 022019

Orange resident Denise Mirto and her faithful companion Franco.

Pet owners have known for a long time that a dog, cat, bird, fish, livestock, or reptile can teach a family valuable lessons on responsibility and caring.  

Those of us with pets also know about the unconditional love we share with them and the joy that they bring into our lives.

Ten years ago, in the summer of 2009, Bob and Denise Mirto decided it was time to adopt a shelter dog.

Their son and Bob’s secretary at his law office went to the West Haven animal shelter and brought home a small, 26-pound, longhaired adult male dog.

The Mirto’s instantly fell in love with him and named him Franco — after the Pittsburg Steelers’ running back, Franco Harris.

Just two weeks later, Denise learned that “The View” was doing a feature on rescue dogs. She sent in his photo and he was chosen to appear on the show. 

Franco and his new family were treated like celebrities. They were put up in a luxury hotel in New York City and Franco slept in the window and kept watch over the city that never sleeps from the 50th floor.

“The people at the studio told us that Franco was their favorite,” Bob said.

Sometime later, the family learned that Franco had an underactive thyroid, and started him on medication that mellowed him out.

“In the ten years that we had him, Franco only barked once, — at the cat,” Bob said. 

Franco became a fixture in the Mirto’s lives, they took him everywhere. Bob brought him to his West Haven Law Office, where he had a bed, greeted clients, and came to closings. West Haven High Students would come by at lunchtime and take him for a walk. He was very well behaved, and he loved visiting homes and the Orange Town Hall

Bob also was coaching the Orange Legion Baseball Team and Franco became the mascot, spending his time in the dugout during the games.

“He liked the attention that he got at the field, the boys loved him and high school girls would let him sit in their laps during the games,” Bob said.  “He was well traveled, he’s gone to Muzzy Field in Bristol, Palmer Field in Middletown for tournament games, and the last trip he took was the Bark at the Park at Yale.”

He loved to ride in the car and even had his own car seat.

If you know the Mirto family or attended a Legion Game in Orange in the past 10 years, then you knew Franco.

Sadly, this love story ended recently when Franco was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Before anything could be done, he died peacefully at home on Thursday, May 23. He was 14 years old.

As the news spread, the Mirtos were showered with messages of sympathy — 150 e-mails, phone calls, and cards.

“He touched so many lives,” Bob said. “We thank everyone so much for all the support we received in this very difficult time.”

He added, ” This just proves that you can take a skittish 4-year-old dog, show it love and have a remarkable relationship for 10 years.” 

This is the first in a series about pet adoption. Next Up Mi Sun, truly a rare find. 

If you would like to be featured in the series, send a photo and your information, including phone number to Orangectlive01@gmail.com

Three Residents Evaluated For Smoke Inhalation In Orange

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Jun 022019

A fire in an unattended self-cleaning oven Saturday night caused damage to an Orange home and led to three people being evaluated for smoke inhalation.

Orange volunteer firefighters were called to 832 Quarter Mile Road in Orange shortly before 9:30 p.m. Saturday for a report of an oven fire. Firefighters discovered that the family had set the self-cleaning oven to clean and then left the house. When they returned, they found the house full of smoke and items in the storage drawer under the stove burning.

According to the fire chief, “The family called 9-1-1 and they were able to put out the fire and remove the storage drawer from the home. In doing so, however, they inhaled a lot of smoke, causing some health concerns.”

While some firefighters cleared smoke from the home, others performed an initial medical evaluation of the people who were in the home. The residents were further evaluated by American Medical Response personnel but declined to go to the hospital.

“Operating between 800 and 1,000 degrees, self-cleaning ovens are a great convenience, but should not be left unattended,” the chief said. “While some ranges have storage drawers underneath the ovens, homeowners should be certain that the drawer is indeed a storage drawer rather than a warmer or broiler. It can be confusing. And, like any other appliance, ranges need to be maintained and used following instructions.”

He said the fire resulted in damage to the oven and smoke damage to the kitchen. The Fire Department does not issue damage estimates and because Orange firefighters were involved in the medical treatment of the homeowners, their names were protected under federal patient privacy rules. The Orange Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the incident.