Material Girls Celebrates Eight Year Anniversary

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Jan 172019

Material Girls Boutique 463 Boston Post Road

Material Girls of Orange, 463 Boston Post Road, Left Side of Building (Same Building As Kaoud Rugs), is celebrating its eight-year anniversary and invites all of their customers who have helped them grow and expand over the years.

Grab your friends and join owner Kristina Kaoud and staff on Thursday, Jan. 17, for a fun night out, with big savings, raffles, giveaways, and drinks from 5 to 9 p.m.

Don’t miss out, invite your friends and family.

The celebration continues throughout the weekend.

Do You Know When The Winter Solstice Occurs?

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Dec 212018

Today, Friday, Dec. 21, the Winter Solstice occurs at exactly 5:23 p.m.

Some of you are delighted, while others are counting the days until spring arrives.

Most people count the whole day as the December Solstice. However, the Solstice is actually at a specific moment – when the Sun is exactly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn.

This is the day with the shortest daylight hours (9 hours and 5 minutes).

Welcome to Winter. Let’s hope it’s a good one, and we don’t have to shovel several feet of snow at one time in the coming months.


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. 

Get Your Tickets For Sunday’s Holiday House Tour Now!

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Dec 072018

Holiday House Chairmen Pat Nizen and Lisa Stackpole (Photo by Linda Bradford)

The Garden Club of Orange will host its biennial Holiday House Tour, “Deck The Halls” on Sunday, December 9, 2018, from !2:00 Noon to 3:30 p.m.

Co-Chairs Pat Nizen and Lisa Stackpole announced that five charming and unique Orange homes beautifully decorated by members of The Garden Club of Orange will be available for viewing.

House chairs include Pat Dray, Sally Denny, Lana Ho, Larry Huzi, Sandy Horling, Marianne Bauer and Nancy Bartle.

Limited tickets are available for purchase at $25 each, by contacting Nancy Becque at 203-795-9425.

The Garden Club of Orange is a member of the FGCCT, NEG, and NEC.

For membership information contact Joanne Friedrichs at 203-795-4266.

Letter: Amity Administrators, Clergy, Community Leaders Discuss Anti-Semitism, Intolerance

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Nov 162018

Dear Amity Community,

On Wednesday, November 14, a very productive meeting was conducted with the Amity High School Administration, leaders from local organizations and clergy to discuss the school and community’s response to the incidents of Anti-Semitism and other intolerant behavior in the school community.

This type of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. The high school administrators have spent the last few days working with students in small and large groups along with meeting with the faculty and representatives from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to listen and develop an action plan.

During yesterday’s meeting, there was a strong commitment to continue to work together to keep the community informed of the school’s response and action plan. We will know more about the plan to address the issues we are facing by November 30, at which time it will be shared with the community. Our priority is to make Amity a safe and supportive environment for all students. The following people are resources for you to contact for support or with questions:

Judy Alperin
Jewish Federation of Greater NH

Marji Lipshez-Shapiro
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

Anna Mahon, Principal
Amity Regional High School
Frank Barretta, Assistant Principal
Amity Regional High School

Rev. Shephard Parsons
First Church of Christ Woodbridge

Rev. Dr. Brian R. Bodt

Tyler Pepe
Regional Director, BBYO

Rabbi Michael Farbman
Temple Emanuel of Greater New Haven

Rabbi Rona Shapiro

Congregation B’nai Jacob Woodbridge
Rabbi Shea Hecht
Southern CT Hebrew Academy-CHABAD

Robyn Teplitzky
Jewish Federation of Greater NH

Monica Kreuzer, Associate Principal
Amity Regional High School

Dr. Jason Tracy, Associate Principal
Amity Regional High School

Jill LaPlante, Director of Counseling
Amity Regional High School
Susan Walden
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

Jennifer P. Byars
Amity Regional School District 5

Obituary: John Powers McGill, 92, Beloved Father, Grandfather

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Nov 162018

John Powers McGill, 92, passed away peacefully at his home in Orange, CT on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. Born at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Dorchester, Boston on April 28, 1926, he first resided in the Bronx with his parents Charles and Colette and in later years in Fairfield, CT, joined by his sister, Martha.

After graduating from high school at age 17, John joined the Navy, where he served as a submariner from 1943 to 1946, and then went on to UConn, where he met the love of his life, Marcia McGill. They were married for 57 years until her death in November 2008. After graduating in 1951 as an economics major, John worked at Sikorsky Aircraft where he sold everything but the aircraft itself until he retired in 1989.

In his free time, John followed his love of the sea and was an avid small boat sailor who spent many hours navigating harbors from Maine to the Carolinas with Marcia and their friends.

After he retired from Sikorsky, John was a tireless advocate for mental health care, in particular through his involvement with Bridges Healthcare as a board member who filled many roles. Most of all, John loved to spend time with his family and friends, listening to their stories and telling his own, listening to music, dancing and discussing politics.

He is survived by his three children, David (Peggy), Sarah (James Silberstein) and Paula; his five grandchildren; his four great-grandchildren; his sister, Martha Thornley; and many nieces and nephews.

All services will be private. In lieu of flowers, his family welcomes donations to Bridges Healthcare, 949 Bridgeport Ave., Milford, CT 06460 or at www.bridgesct.org.

The family is being cared for by CODY-WHITE FUNERAL HOME. To leave online condolences,  visit www.codywhitefuneralservice.com.

Girls Volleyball: #10 Amity Defeats #3 Westhill In Class LL State Semifinal

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Nov 152018

(file photo)

The Lady Spartans Volleyball team has been amazing since the beginning of the season, with only a handful of losses, they worked their way up to the Class LL State Semifinal in Fairfield on Wednesday night and shut out the No. 3 seed Westhill High team.

Both teams played their hearts out, but No.10 seed Amity was just that much better this time around, stunning their opponents with three wins (26-24, 25-23 and 25-20).

Even though the Lady Spartans won 3-0, it was no walk in the park. Every game was a nail-biter for players and fans alike.

In Game 1, Amity led by 3 to 4 points for most of the game but Westhill used its skills to tie them at 23-23 and 24-24. Then Amity kicked it into high gear to win 26-24.

In Game 2, Westhill made us sweat with massive leads of 8 to 10 points, but when they got to 21-18 Amity forged ahead to win 25-23.

In Game 3, Both teams played their “A” game but Amity pulled off a 25-20 win to advance to the state final against No.12 seed Darien at East Haven High School on Saturday at 10 a.m.

This is the second consecutive title game for Amity, which lost to Greenwich in 2017.

I would love to see Senior Captain Abby Harbinson celebrate a State Championship Title for everything she’s given to the team during her high school career. 

— The road to the title for Amity and Darien —

No. 10 Amity (17-5)

First Round: Amity 3, West Haven 0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-17)

Second Round: Amity 3, Shelton 1 (18-25, 25-22, 25-15, 25-20)

Quarterfinals: Amity 3, Cheshire 2 (29-31, 25-22, 14-25, 25-18, 15-11)

Semifinal: Amity 3, Westhill 0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-20)

No. 12 Darien (17-6)

First Round: Darien 3, Hall 1 (21-25, 25-10, 25-17, 25-10)

Second Round: Darien 3, Newtown 2 (25-21, 25-27, 21-25, 29-27, 15-11)

Quarterfinal: Darien 3, Glastonbury 1 (25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 25-21)

Semifinal: Darien 3, Southington 2 (27-29, 26-24, 25-23, 19-25, 15-12)


Who will win the Championship?

We will find out on Saturday. GO SPARTANS!

Amity High School Students Visit Storm King Art Center

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Nov 122018

(Photo by Ben Simon)

On October 26, Amity Regional High School students visited Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, New York.

Storm King is an outdoor sculpture museum that is located on 500 acres in the Hudson Valley of New York. This trip would not have been possible without the sponsorship of the Jamie Hulley Foundation, Amity Enterprises, and the National Art Honor Society.

Every year the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation pays for admission to Storm King Art Center for the students of Amity’s National Art Honor Society.

Although it was a chilly day, it was a great trip and the students gain valuable knowledge of outdoor sculpture.

Empty Bowls: Amity High School Art Students Give Back

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Nov 122018

The Amity Regional High School National Art Honor Society will host its annual Empty Bowls event on Thursday, Dec.13, with a snow date of Tuesday, Dec.18,   

This grassroots event invites the entire Amity community to help those who are less fortunate in the district. All proceeds will be evenly divided and donated to the Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge food pantries. 

Starting at 5:30 p.m., the community is invited to the Amity Regional High School Cafeteria for an evening of soup and friends. 

A minimum donation of $10 per patron is requested and includes a handmade bowl, choice of hearty homemade soup, and bread. 

This evening would not be possible without the National Art Honor Society students making the beautiful bowls, the Advanced Culinary students creating delicious soups, and local donations of bread. 

Organizers want to thank the Jamie Hulley Foundation for their generous donation that covers our costs in order to help us in sending all donations to the local food pantries.  We hope that the community can come and support us this year.

If you have never attended this event, then you are missing out on something quite special. Not only do you help those in need, but you can see for yourself how hard Amity students work on important community service events such as this. Try to get there early so you can pick out your favorite bowl to take home with you.

United Illuminating Helps Communities Light the Streets for Less

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Nov 012018

With the long nights of winter looming, United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), is helping communities save energy and money by installing efficient LED street lighting across its service territory.

The company says it is on track for its end-of-year goal to convert 85 percent of the 51,500 municipal streetlights it owns and maintains to LED technology. By Dec. 31, the company expects to have converted approximately 44,000 municipal streetlights to LED. UI owns and maintains the streetlights in 16 of the 17 Connecticut towns and cities it serves.

“Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, and as the days grow shorter, we’re pleased about the progress we’ve made in rolling out money- and energy-saving LED street lighting,” said UI President & CEO Tony Marone. “LED lighting is a ‘win’ for everyone involved — particularly our towns and cities, who save significantly on energy costs while also drawing tax revenue from the upgraded UI fixtures. Additionally, LEDs provide a crisp, high-quality light that can improve visibility and help keep streets safe.”

The LED (light-emitting diode) fixtures use significantly less energy than the high-pressure sodium streetlight fixtures they’re replacing, and last about 2.5 times longer, which means reduced maintenance and fewer burned-out bulbs.

Converting to LED streetlights can provide municipalities upwards of 35 percent savings on monthly street lighting bills, UI estimated, depending on that community’s exact street lighting plan. In addition to the energy savings, the upgraded streetlights are also valuable assets generating annual tax revenue for each community.

“The new streetlights offer an excellent quality of light, which helps reduce accidents and keep our streets safe. And we’re able to pass the savings along directly to our taxpayers,” Orange First Selectman James Zeoli said.

The energy-efficient bulbs also offset the need for energy generated by burning fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and are thought to contribute to climate change. UI’s parent company, AVANGRID, has pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2035.

UI launched the program in 2015 in Bridgeport and is on track by year-end to complete the roll-out in a total of 15 communities.

As part of its LED rollout, UI works with municipal leaders to develop a custom plan that meets the needs of the specific community and neighborhood. Its LED offerings include two different color temperatures (3,000 and 4,000 Kelvin) and six wattage options to accommodate residential, commercial and industrial areas.

When complete, the LED street lighting is expected to:

  • Reduce overall electric consumption by about 12.8 million kilowatt-hours a year across UI’s system — more electricity than 1,500 typical homes use in a year.
  • Offset carbon-dioxide emissions equivalent to those produced by burning 4,700 tons of coal, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.
  • Reduce maintenance costs by an estimated $2.6 million over 15 years.