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Students Participate in Annual Elementary School Olympic Games

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Jun 012016
 

On Wednesday, June 1, the 10th Annual Orange Elementary School Olympics took place at the Orange Fairgrounds from 4-7:30 p.m.

IMG_1520For the past decade, Jim Ronai has been running the event, and more than 150 Orange 5th and 6th grade students were conditioned and ready to compete against their peers from the three elementary schools during the games.
The student athletes must qualify in order to compete in one or more of the seven featured events. One of the goals of the program is to give children an opportunity to display their athletic talents in a school affiliated venue.
The hope is that many of these students will associate this positive experience with their academic experience and pride in their work, thus producing the foundation for the development of true student athletes. The kids work hard to qualify and play to win during the competitions. They show good sportsmanship and support one another during the games.
A large crowd of parents, teachers and siblings were there to cheer on these phenomenal athletes.

Included in the fun were emcee/DJs Eddie Choiniere and Jimmy Pino, Orange natives and Ronai’s childhood friends, who kept the afternoon and evening entertaining for everyone on the fairgrounds.

Spectators saw some future superstars who will wow the crowds on the fields and tracks of Amity High School, Lauralton Hall, Notre Dame – West Haven, Fairfield Prep and other schools in years to come. Some were extremely impressive.

 

Peck Place Panther Pounce 5K on Saturday

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May 142016
 

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.05.50 AMThe fourth annual Peck Place Panther Pounce 5K road race will take place at the High Plains Community Center (Orange Fairgrounds) 525 Orange Center Road, on Saturday, May 14.

This is a 5K Certified Course with computerized timing and results by HI-TEK Racing, LLC

The event includes awards and raffle prizes.

Wheelchair participants and walkers welcome.

Race day registration begins at 7:30 a.m.

T-Shirts for all pre-registered participants and first come, first served on race day

Step off at 9 a.m.

Awards ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

If you have a question or if you would like to be an event sponsor, make a donation to the prize raffle, or show your support by becoming a family sponsor, please contact: Whitney Shanley at shanleywhitney@gmail.com

REGISTRATION FEES: $25 Pre-Reg / $35 Race Day, Students $10

Proceeds benefit the Peck Place School PTO 

Click HERE to register online.

Published on: Mar 30, 2016 @ 09:28

Last Published on: Apr 25, 2016 @ 12:38

Town Workers Almost Done With Paving Projects

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Aug 252015
 

High Plains project

High Plains project

Three town improvement projects around town are almost completed and oh, what a difference they make.

As recently as this week, town employees have been paving the parking lots at Peck Place School, Fire Station 1 (next to Town Hall) and High Plains Community Center, including creating a new overflow parking area on the grass island along Orange Center Road.

By the time school begins and the Orange Country Fair arrives, the parking lines and directional arrows will be painted and everyone can begin to enjoy the results of the hard work these dedicated highway department workers put in this summer.

Two Parking Area Paving Projects Done By The Town

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Aug 022015
 

IMG_6834Residents in the Peck Lane, Old Tavern area have noticed large trucks traveling on their streets during the last couple of weeks.

Some have called the highway department to complain, others call to inquire, just out of curiosity.

So, why is there so much activity in that area?

Just like the parking lot paving project going on in front of High Plains Community Center, the Peck Place School parking lot also was desperately in need of some TLC IMG_6832and is being completely demolished and repaved.

Both are Town Projects and are scheduled to be completed well before school begins.

The photos show the Peck Place driveways and parking lot as it appeared on Sunday, Aug. 2 after being pulverized and leveled.

 

 

Update: What’s Being Done To Get Peck Place School Ready?

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Aug 262014
 

IMG_7128On Aug. 25, I shared an inside view of Peck Place School from a tour I took the previous Tuesday. 

At that time, some teachers were unloading boxes, setting up bulletin boards and getting comfortable in their classrooms, anxious to start the new school year with their students. 

The one thing that was missing was the custom cabinetry … and it is still missing. 

This morning, Supt. Lynn McMullin said the cabinets had been loaded onto trucks and left the suppliers’ — they were expected to arrive tomorrow (Wednesday, Aug. 27).

According to McMullin, the installers made a promise to work the entire weekend, including Sunday in order to get the job done (or as close to finished as possible).

Will Peck Place School have a prefect opening or an “okay” opening on Sept. 2?

Perfect: If the cabinets are completely installed and teachers can get all of their books and supplies put away.

Okay: Classrooms will have boxes on the floor and teachers will retrieve whatever they need from them during the first couple of days of school. 

If the cabinets are not done before school open, the workers will come in after school. The School of the 21st Century will go on normally, and the decision to have the cabinet installers begin work at 3:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. will be made next week. If the noise disrupts the School of the 21st Century, then workers will begin at 6 p.m. after the students have gone home. 

In the event that more time is needed, students at Peck Place School may be put on the half day schedule on Thursday and Friday, so that when they return to school on Monday, Sept.8 they will find the “perfect” school.

The condenser installation and roof trim work will be completed by the weekend. 

“Everything else is done except the cabinets,” McMullin said.

The parent’s open house also may be delayed since Principal Eric Carbone and the BOE want them to get their first look at a “perfect” school – not an incomplete school.

Notes In A Nutshell: Board of Selectmen Aug. 13

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Aug 132014
 

The Orange Board of Selectmen will meet at Town Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

massage• To consider and act on the request to approve Golden Spa as a massage establishment (enclosure) – Yan Long Han & Su Fang Wu

Discussion:

The business is located in the Peck & Post Plaza 2nd floor. Only Wu is a licensed Massage therapist.

Currently, the windows are blocked with paper and should be removed after it is open for safety sake.

The police must complete background checks prior to approval. Mr. Han does not really speak English so Su Fang Wu translated the selectmen’s questions for him.

The Board voted 5-1 to approve pending the police chief’s signature after background checks. (Ken Lenz opposed)

zeoli board• Selectman Ralph Okenquist mentioned that First Selectman Zeoli was voted the 3rd best politician in CT in New Haven Living Magazine.

• Zeoli and John Carangelo toured Peck Place School today and even though it’s not 100% complete, it will be ready enough for the start of school on Sept. 2. Cabinetry will be the last thing installed.

• Zeoli gave a thumbs up to Mike Luzzi for his ability to be on top of four huge projects in town.

• The death of K-9 Major will be covered by the town’s insurance company.

• Fred Trotta is retiring and his replacement is already on the job learning the ropes.

• Sept 1 all town departments and the transfer station will be closed.

beatles• Sunday Sept. 28, the Beardsley Zoo will host Orange Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission for Orange Residents with proof of residency will be $5.

• UI tree trimming Rt34, Dogwood and Racebrook. Then Cart Lane, Cedar Grove, Old Cellar roads are next on the list.

• Rocco, the barber at Country Squire Barber Shop at 661 Orange Center Road is celebrating 50 Years as licensed barber.

• To consider and act on the request to hold a block party on Great Oak Road (enclosure) – Joy Iheanacho — Approved

• To consider and act on the request to hold a block party on Shagbark Drive (enclosure) – Timothea Ryan — Approved

• To consider and act on the request to hold a block party on Rainbow Trail (enclosure) – Sheila Millea — Approved

• To consider and act on the request to hang a banner on the fence at HPCC from 8/18/14 – 9/2/14 promoting “Come Together for a Night of Beatles Music”  – Kathryn Bellis, Church of the Good Shepherd

Proceeds will support outrach programs  Sat. Oct. 18 in the St. Barbara Greek Chuch Ballroom, $75, catered dinner, beer, wine, soda. Doors open at 6:30 goes on til midnight. — Approved

Jane• To consider and act on the request to hold the 18th Annual Chilly Chili Run (enclosure) – Jane Opper, Race Coordinator

She asked to waive rental fees (not custodial fees) The Amity Teen Center is 27 years old this year, and the new building is wholly owned by the Teen Center. The Teens will be doing the parking at the Labor Day Concert ($5 each car)  — Approved

• To consider and act on the request to hold the 2nd Annual Rotary Club of Orange Thanksgiving Day Run and 2 Mile Walk and to hang a banner to promote the event (enclosure) – Carl Russell, Rotary Club   

Proceeds are used for Rotary Charities — Approved

To consider and act on amending Chapter 211 of the Town Code – Firearms (enclosure) – Town Counsel Vincent Marino

Discussion:

Vincent Marino says town ordinance states no one can discharge a firearm without a permit from the Police Department.

Police Chief wants to work directly with businesses with indoor ranges.

The sound proofing is so good now that no one would ever hear anything.

Marino will draft the change and present to the Board at the September meeting.

COMMITTEES

Capital Planning – Selectman Okenquist — will request drafts for department’s 5-year-plan

Pension Board – Selectman Goldblatt – Thursday meeting

Bond Construction Oversight – Selectman Goldblatt — road milling work has been completed, everyone seems pleased with the results. Still money left in the bond for future work. chip sealing is being done. There is a culvert under Old Grassy Hill Road near Wright’s Pond that must be done. The road will be closed for quite a while so plan to use alternate routes around the area. Wright’s Pond will be pumped out so don’t be concerned if you see that happening. 

Close Regular Meeting and convene Executive Session

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Potential Land Purchase Discussion  (enclosure) No Action Will Be Taken tonight. 

Richetelli says Peck Place Situation Still Needs Attention

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Mar 192014
 

thAfter speaking at this week’s Orange Board of Education meeting, resident Michael Richetelli sent in this letter to the editor regarding his thoughts about the Peck Place School situation:

To The Editor:

The numbers are in; it will cost $2 Million to repair the damage done to Peck Place School from the pipe break and resulting flood on Monday, January 6th. The Board of Education members acted swiftly and responsibly by relocating the Peck students to the Yale West Campus in the aftermath of this disaster. As a father of a child in Peck Place, I have seen firsthand how this event has negatively impacted the educational process of our children.

The town recently approved spending $2 million to restore Peck Place, with the majority of the work awarded with no-bid contracts. It is critical to ensure that this work is done quickly and properly for the safety of our children. However, BOE Business Manager Kevin McNabola has left the district for another position; Kevin has been integral in coordinating the planned restoration of Peck. I have asked the BOE to hire a construction manager to oversee this project, as we need the expertise of a professional to manage the different tradesmen, ensure the project meets identified time constraints, and ensure fiscal responsibility.

It is also appropriate to investigate what protocols and precautions were taken to prevent this event. The taxpayers deserve accountability in determining if this could’ve been prevented and to ensure that safeguards are implemented for the future; they also deserve answers to the many unanswered questions.

The facilities manager for the BOE has stated on the record that he was concerned about freezing temperatures going into the weekend and had the building checked on Sunday, Jan. 5th. What kind of inspection was done? Working in the Property Management field, I was trained that there is only one critical task when checking a building for frozen pipes- run the water! If this safeguard was taken, this situation may have been averted.

It also came to light that an alarm was sounded after the pipe broke. Was this alarm responded to properly? Could the damage at Peck Place School have been prevented or mitigated? I’ve advocated for the BOE to form a bipartisan committee to include residents with expertise in building management and maintenance to review this matter and make recommendations to the BOE. I truly hope that they will follow through on this important retrospection due diligence. 

Mike Richetelli

 

Reno’s Pizzeria Has A Heart Of Gold: Thank You Dave and Stephanie

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Feb 272014
 

Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 9.29.14 PM

By Lidia Meneo

If you have lived in Orange over the past 8 years or so, you probably participated or heard about the huge fundraiser Reno’s Pizza held at their original location in 2007. The event was to raise funds for a new playground at Peck Place School. The former principal, Mr. Al DeCant was playing the guitar, kids were singing, teachers and staff were serving — it was so much fun!

Dave Kennedy, the owner of Reno’s Pizzeria and his wife, Stephanie did not stop there, Year after year they give back to our town. In 2010, when Reno’s Pizzeria was moving to 500 Boston Post Road at Hawley Lane Plaza, parents and Orange residents couldn’t wait for Reno’s to re-open. The Kennedys posted status updates every few days on their Facebook page, the progress being cheered by their supporters. Although their new place is smaller they keep on giving. To say the Kennedys are good to their community would be an understatement. The friendliness of their staff shows that there is a lot of good going on within the business as well.

Reno’s Pizzeria’s slogan states, “We Live Here, We Work Here, We Go To School Here!” I have heard many times during various meetings, “let’s ask Reno’s for donations,” or “Reno’s is good with giving,” or “Why don’t we do a Reno’s gift Cards Fundraiser?” Reno’s Pizzeria supports not only elementary and middle schools, but also organizations — long-time supporters of softball and baseball teams, i.e. Ct Crushers Baseball Team. Time after time Committee Chairs come to the Kennedys for help and they are never denied.

I felt compelled to write this article of recognition after it was announced that Reno’s will be giving FREE pizza for the entire Peck Place School at their Yale West location on Friday, Feb. 28. Orange BOE and school officials offer a limited lunch to students, since there is no cafeteria to make hot lunches; they are doing everything they can to make lunch attractive. Out of the goodness of their hearts Reno’s once again steps up for the town of Orange — this simply is the icing on the cake! This is Community Service at its best; it  just does not get any better!

Personally, and on the bahalf of many parents and organizations we all thank you for everything you do. Dave and Stephanie Kennedy are what make the town of Orange great. You are the STAR family and exemplary business of our community with a Heart of Gold.

 

 

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Race Brook School Student Named New Haven County Fire Poster Contest Winner

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Feb 262014
 

Fire Inspector Michael Knight, Student Zaruf  Mujawar and Race Brook Principal Mike Gray.

Fire Inspector Michael Knight, Student Zaruf Mujawar and Race Brook Principal Mike Gray.

Every year, the Town of Orange Fire Marshal’s Office invites all fourth and fifth grade students to take part in the Connecticut Fair Plan’s Fire Prevention Poster Contest.  The three elementary schools graciously provide the staff from the Fire Marshal’s Office with time in their curriculum to speak to the students about the contest and to stress the importance of fire prevention.

The poster contest begins the first week of October of each year.  Students have until December to complete their own artwork and turn it into the Fire Marshal’s Office.  The rules are simple.  The poster must be original work of the student and cannot contain any copyrighted images or sayings.  It must be neat and reproducible.  Lastly, the poster must have the words “Fire Prevention – Everyone/Everyday” somewhere in the picture.

One fourth-grade student’s poster and one fifth-grade student’s poster is chosen to be submitted to the New Haven County level contest.  If chosen as a winner for the County, that entry continues to the State contest where the artwork could become the State of Connecticut fire prevention poster for the following year!

This year, Inspector Michael Knight visited Race Brook School, Peck Place School, and Turkey Hill School in October to review the rules and to offer assistance to the students, if needed.  From these visits, almost two hundred (200) original posters were submitted.

Peck Place Principal Eric Carbone, poster winner Jeffrey Hutchinson, and Fire Inspector Mike Knight at the Yale Campus.

Peck Place Principal Eric Carbone, poster winner Jeffrey Hutchinson, and Fire Inspector Mike Knight at the Yale Campus.

In early December, a panel of judges selected posters created by Zaruf Mujawar and Jeffrey Hutchinson for the excellent artwork and clear fire prevention message and these posters were sent to the New Haven County contest. Their hard work was evident in the posters they turned in to be judged.

Fire Marshal Timothy Smith was recently notified  that  Zaruf Mujawar  was selected as the New Haven County winner for her grade.

Her poster will now be entered to compete against the winners of the other counties throughout Connecticut. Zaruf has been invited to the County Winner’s luncheon on March 27 where the state winner will be announced.

 

Thank you to all the students who created posters, congratulations to Jeffrey and Zaruf for their award-winning posters, and good luck to Zaruf in the State-level contest.

Board of Finance Approves Peck Place Spending (With Cost Spreadsheet)

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Feb 252014
 

Board of Finance and Board of Education talk about Peck Place Costs

Board of Finance and Board of Education talk about Peck Place Costs on Feb. 24

The Board of Finance (BOF) sat at a very full table Monday night at Town Hall, when joined by members of the Board of Education (BOE).

The two boards discussed, item-by-item the proposed cost to get Peck Place School back up and running by Aug. 1, 2014 so that it can be ready for the first day of the 2014-15 school year on Sept. 2.

On Jan. 6, a pipe burst at Peck Place School causing flooding throughout 60% of the building.

The BOE jumped on it immediately in an effort to get the problem areas repaired as quickly as possible so the students could get back to their school.

After finding asbestos in the mastic (glue) under the damaged floor tiles, school officials explored the remainder of the building for other issues that could cause problems in the future.

They approached First Selectman Jim Zeoli, with their findings and went through the state database to find certified contractors who are approved by the state to start working on the project.

The BOS approved $115,000 for the Phase 1 asbestos abatement.

BOF member PJ Shanley asked the BOE what was being done to ensure that the same thing wouldn’t happen again.

BOE Facilities Director Mike Luzzi said they were going to insulate the outside walls; possibly get an automatic shutoff; disconnect and try not to have any water pipes in any of the classrooms, except for the very little kids who they wouldn’t want to send out in the halls by themselves to get a drink of water or to wash their hands.

BOF member James Leahy stressed that he wanted a timeline for all of the work that was to be done at the school.

This was something that selectmen Mitch Goldblatt and Ralph Okenquist both spoke of during the special BOS meeting just hours prior to the BOF meeting.

Fred Kendrick also from the BOF said, he wanted to be assured that the work would be done in time for the kids to get back to school in the fall. He insisted that when contracts were drawn up that each included a timeline for the work to be done.

Leahy said, “A timeline is imperative. we must know that the job can be done by Aug. 1 or the BOF can’t approve anything.”

After looking over the entire spending spreadsheet provided by BOE Business Manager Kevin McNabola, BOF Chairman Kevin Houlihan said, “This estimate is for the worst case scenario. There has to be savings in there somewhere.”

Houlihan verified that the town’s current fund balance is $13 million. “This would be a supplemental appropriation from the fund balance to the BOE budget, non-transferable for anything but this action,” he told the BOE members.

The BOF approved the spending, stressing that the words “not to exceed” the dollar amount before them was included in the motion, and any reimbursements received through bonding, the state or insurance would go to reduce the appropriation.

Below is the spending spreadsheet presented to the BOS and BOF on Monday.

The Lines for Cabinetry and Electrical work both were blacked out for a reason. The cabinetry is going out to bid and the UI has an incentive program the will cut down on the lighting costs. The town has used it in several buildings and it has been a proven cost cutting program.

Superintendent Lynn McMullin said “Renovate Like New” Grant money could be available but waiting for approval and to obtain it would take a long time. 

peck finances