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Don’t Forget Santa’s Helper Gift Drop Off Saturday, Nov. 23 Starting At 9 a.m.

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Nov 172019
 

Here’s a file photo from the 2012 drop off.

GIFT DROP-OFF DAY FOR SANTA’S HELPER IS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2019, 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. at Fire Station #2, 355 Boston Post Road (Across from TGI Fridays).  We ask that the general public arrive no earlier than 30 minutes prior to start time.  You will have a much shorter wait in line by following these guidelines.

GIFT RULES AND INFORMATION:  

There is a small fee of $19.00 per gift/recipient. Each gift must be INDIVIDUALLY wrapped in your favorite holiday paper with an overwrap of plain brown paper. The name and delivery address of the recipient must be clearly printed on the outside of each gift. 

PLEASE try not to make the gift too large or too heavy, Santa appreciates that.  We do have a limit of 170 delivery spots/visits available.  We encourage you to try to have all the gifts for your visit with you on Gift Drop-Off day. (For families with a large party and many gifts, please e-mail OVFDSantasHelper@gmail.com for special instructions.)

Parking for Drop-Off day is in the rear of the Fire Station.  Firefighters will be there to assist you.  The Drop-Off Line is located INSIDE the Fire Station. Use the rear door marked ENTER.

 

Clocks Go Back One Hour As Daylight Savings Time Ends

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Oct 252019
 

Don’t Forget!!!!

Sunday, Nov. 3 marks the end of Daylight Savings Time.

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour at 2 a.m. Not just alarm clocks, microwaves, toaster ovens, DVD Player, Car radios, et al.

This also is the perfect time to check and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Annual Health And Safety Fair Today

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Sep 272019
 

file photo

The 18th Annual Health and Safety Fair will take place on Friday, September 27, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Admission is free.

Vendors representing all sorts of agencies will be on hand to give out information about products and services that benefit older adults.

There will be raffle prizes and refreshments.

For more information call 203-891-4784.

What Is The Fine For Passing A School Bus with Flashing Lights?

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Aug 262019
 

school bus with flashing lightsOriginally published in 2014, but still relevant.

Watch out, Bus drivers are keeping an eye out and police responding to complaints of drivers who do not comply with the laws regarding stopping for stopped school buses.

If you pass a bus, a camera will take a picture of your vehicle and you will get a summons.

From the State Website the whole story, including fines:

You want to know the legislative history of the act requiring police, on receipt of a written complaint from a school bus driver, to issue a written warning or summons to a motor vehicle owner for illegally passing a stopped school bus.

For your information, we also have appended a chart showing the disposition of cases in which vehicles failed to stop for a school bus from 2007 through 2011, according to figures provided by the Judicial Branch. We were unable to determine how many of these cases were based on a bus driver’s written report. Representatives of the Chief State’s Attorney’s office and the Judicial Branch said the state does not track those numbers.

BACKGROUND

A motor vehicle cannot pass a stopped school bus displaying flashing red signal lights but must stop at least 10 feet before or behind such a bus (CGS § 14-279). Under the law, police must issue a written warning or a summons to the owner of a vehicle who illegally passes a school bus “upon a written report from any school bus operator…specifying the license plate number, color and type of any vehicle” the bus driver sees violating the law. The driver’s report must also note the date, approximate time, and location of the violation.

PA 85-71

A provision allowing police to issue a written warning to a vehicle owner on receiving a bus driver’s written report was enacted in 1985 (PA 85-71, originating as HB 5749). The act also allowed anyone over age 18 to submit such a written report.

The Transportation Committee held a hearing on HB 5749 on February 4, 1985. Several people testified in support of the provision, arguing there was insufficient enforcement of the school bus passing law. A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) representative spoke against the bill.

Sharon Ward, school transportation safety director for a school bus contractor, said: “the statute must be changed so that local police and state troopers are required to make arrests when drivers give an adequate amount of information…the marker number, the color and make of the car.”

Another witness, Robin Leeds, executive director of the Connecticut School Transportation Association, said the bill “represents an attempt to address the most serious problem in school transportation, the danger in the unloading zones. Not only do all our fatalities occur here, but our most severe injuries as well. Already this winter, we have seen at least five children hit and seriously injured by motorists who did not stop for the flashing red lights of the school bus. In two of those instances, the motorist said to the officer…I didn’t know I was supposed to stop.”

“It is safe to assume,” she continued, “that those motorists had passed a school bus before. If their license numbers had been turned in by a bus driver and accepted by a policeman…who then sent a written warning…they would have known they were supposed to stop before they hit the children.” She said 20 states already had similar laws.

John O’Connell, DMV’s public transportation administrator, opposed the bill, saying the department had “some…concerns regarding the question of constitutionality and an abuse of such a statute about drivers picking up the plate numbers…”

The House of Representatives considered the bill on April 10, 1985, and passed it after amending it by voice vote to allow, rather than require, police to issue a written warning on receipt of a bus driver’s written report (LCO # 5478).

Speaking in support of the amended bill, Representative Wilber said “the feeling of the [transportation] committee was that most people do not pass school buses intentionally, but they do it forgetfully, and if a warning is issued, they probably will not do it again, or not so likely to do it again.”

Representative Frankel opposed the bill, saying its “fatal flaw” was that it was directed at vehicle owners, rather than the person driving the vehicle when the violation occurred. But Representative Ward, arguing for the bill, said school bus drivers “faced…a dilemma. They see a vehicle pass them illegally…They do not know who the operator is, but they clearly can get a marker number.”

“Nothing in this bill prevents a ticket if you know who was the driver,” Ward said. “It takes the extra step, however, of allowing a warning to the owner of a vehicle when you cannot identify the operator.”

The House passed the amended bill by a 117 to 32 vote.

The Senate debate occurred on April 17, 1985. Senator Giulietti opposed the measure, saying it did not “really have any teeth” because it allowed, rather than required, police to issue a warning. He also objected to “making school bus drivers or any other person over 18…policemen.” Senator Consoli also objected to giving “non-police personnel” the authority to make a complaint in these cases.

Senator Morano, speaking on behalf of the bill, argued that “any tool…to teach people not to go racing by stopped school buses would be good legislation.” Senator DiBella, also speaking on behalf of the bill, said it would allow a policeman “to issue a warning without being on the scene.”

The Senate passed the bill, as amended by the House, by a vote of 30 to 3.

SUBSEQUENT CHANGES TO THE LAW

PA 85-71 was codified in CGS § 14-279. The statute has since been amended several times, as follows (excluding technical changes):

PA 86-155 changed the law by (1) explicitly requiring vehicles to stop for stopped school buses displaying flashing red signal lights on any highway, private road, parking area, or school property; (2) eliminating the ability of “other persons 18 years of age or over” to submit written reports of vehicles failing to stop; and (3) requiring, rather than allowing, a police officer to issue either a written warning or summons on receiving a school bus driver’s written report.

PA 01-192 expressly required emergency vehicles, such as fire department and police vehicles, to stop at least 10 feet from a school bus displaying flashing red signal lights.

PA 11-255 replaced the fine for the first offense of between $100 and $500 with a $450 fine and allowed video evidence of failing to stop for a school bus.

What You Should Know About The Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation

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Aug 222019
 

When I was working at the Amity Observer Newspaper back in 2002, I came across a very sad notice. A young woman from Orange had passed away and the more I learned about her, the more I felt I knew her.

Jamie Alaine Hulley, the daughter of Judy Primavera and Fred Hulley, was only 20 years old when she died, leaving behind a legacy of talent and creativity.

Shortly after her death, the Jamie A Hulley Arts Foundation was established to help other young people learn about and appreciate all of the things Jamie loved. In the past 17 years, it has helped thousands of children, teens and college students realize their potential for creativity and gave many underprivileged children opportunities they otherwise would never have been able to experience.

Who was Jamie A. Hulley?

(from the foundation website)

jamieJamie was a creative soul who had the gift of seeing the world as a thing of beauty. As a child, Jamie saw pictures in the clouds, danced rather than walked, filled reams of paper with her sketches and paintings, performed for any audience, sang to anyone who would listen, and turned anything and everything into a beautiful art project. Her dreams for the future always involved “creating” in one way or another.

As she grew into adulthood, she became a talented studio artist, writer, dancer, singer, songwriter, actor, and comedian. Jamie was a lover of people who had the talent of seeing the good in others and making all who knew her feel special. She was known for her warm smile, quick wit, and her loud infectious laughter.

Jamie was an avid seeker of new experiences. She embraced the unknown with a seemingly insatiable curiosity and definitely was a person who danced through life to the beat of a different drummer. Jamie’s dream of pursuing a career in the arts was cut short in 2002 just two weeks before her 21st birthday after a brief battle with an aggressive form of lymphoma.

To celebrate Jamie’s vivacious spirit and the beauty that she brought to the world, her family and friends established the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation. The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides educational and career development opportunities in the arts including Grants for Schools, Special Project Grants in the Community; Scholarships, and Jamie’s legacy programs that reflect the experiences, the places, and the people that she loved.

This is where the money goes:

From Sept. 2017 through now, this is how the foundation has distributed its funds

Scholarships:

 Eight 4–year college scholarships in theater and studio arts to Amity HS students
 13 full scholarships to Missoula Children’s Theatre camp at Fairfield University (based on need) to youth in greater Bridgeport area
 3 talent development scholarships for youth (based on need) to take weekly lessons in musical theater at Broadway Method Academy — The program run by Orange native, Connor Deane
 Four $1,000 scholarships awarded at the Sondheim Awards – 2 to the best actor/actress and 2 to students nominated by their high school teachers and chosen by the JAH foundation recognizing talent in both performance and in promoting a positivity on stage and off.

School Educational Programs:
 More than 25 different educational programs were sponsored in schools in the Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford regions
• Orange schools: 5 programs including Dancing with the Racebrook stars for its 9th year; yoga program for 1st graders at Turkey Hill School for its 4th year; and sponsorship of the Peck Place Drama Club’s production
• Amity Middle School Orange: 3 programs including the film production program in its 4th-year and Sponsorship of the Spartan
Player’s production of The Music Man
• Amity Middle School – Bethany: 3 programs – including sponsorship of the Spartan Players production of Once on This Island, Jr.
• Amity High School: 13 programs including sponsorship of Amity Creative Theatre’s productions of The Laramie Project Ten Years
Later and The Addams Family, funding to have ACT students mentored by Laramie Project people and Broadway actor Erick Buckley who was a cast member in The Addams Family; sponsorship of The Duality School of Music’s after-school music industry workshop series; visiting artists in studio art, music, and English including sponsorship of the annual Storytelling SLAM; The Memory Project; NAHS annual museum trip, etc.

Programs with Community Groups:
 Fellowship Place in New Haven – sponsorship of a year-round weekly dance class for clients living with mental illness
 Broadway Method Academy in Fairfield – support for development and production of Evita
 Square Foot Theatre in Wallingford – Headlining Sponsor for the 2017-2018 season
 Theatre Fairfield at Fairfield University – sponsorship of the student independent project
 Orange Community Women – sponsorship of Bubblemania Early Career Awards
 One award to Johnny Shea – he is now starring in the lead role in Peter Pan at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Legacy Awards:
 Art Award at Racebrook School
 Art Award at Amity Middle School Orange
 Dance Award at Lee Lund Studio of Dance in Milford CT
 Senior Thesis Stipend Award at Wesleyan University

What Can YOU Do?

That said, there are ways that you can help keep the foundation strong, so it can continue its good work throughout the next year.

Obviously, you may attend the 17th Annual Gala on Sept. 7. But, if you cannot attend the event, you may make a donation at any time.

Send a check/money order to:
Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation
P.O. Box 1208
Orange, CT 06477

 

Open House: New Construction In Active Adult Community

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Jul 212019
 

Open House at 37 Beecher Walk today from 12-2 p.m.

Newly constructed 1,330 sqft 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo at 37 Beecher Walk, a lakefront community for active adults that features energy-efficient cluster homes with first-floor master bedroom suites.

Are you looking to downsize, but still live close to or move closer to your family? If the answer is yes, then Beecher Walk is the solution for you.

This beautiful new construction 55+ adult community is tucked away off the road and yet is conveniently located near all the shopping and dining possibilities of the Boston Post.

All units have the convenience of a ranch-style living with a main level master suite and laundry room but with the added bonus of a guest bedroom and full bath on the upper level. Have we mentioned the gorgeous kitchen featuring an island large enough to seat four?

And all the storage space available in the full basement? And, of course, the energy-efficient gas heat and cooking? Enjoy all the benefits of new construction — especially the opportunity to design your very own unit by picking out all the finishing touches.

Schedule an appointment to visit today! There are a limited number of income-restricted opportunity priced units available. Please call or email for details. For GPS, use 100 South Orange Center Road and look for our sign!

Available for $265,900.

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

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Jun 292019
 

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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.

Daylight Savings Time Begins on Sunday, March 10

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Mar 092019
 

thDaylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 10. That means it’s time to Spring Ahead one hour.

Tonight, don’t forget to set your clocks (TV, Stove, Microwave, Car, etc) forward one hour before you go to bed.  Also, don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors.

So, you lose an hour’s sleep, and that may throw you off for a day or two. BUT, the sun will rise at 7:16 a.m. and set at 6:57 p.m. on Sunday and it is supposed to be a nice day with temperatures near 60.

Welcome DST!

Did you know?: The Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. beginning in 2007, though Congress retained the right to revert to the 1986 law should the change prove unpopular or if energy savings are not significant. Going from 2007 forward, Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.

  • begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and
  • ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of November

 

Chamber Members, Register Today for Tuesday’s Morning Jolt

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Feb 262019
 

The Orange Chamber of Commerce will host its Morning Jolt! networking program at Eli’s Restaurant, 285 Boston Post Road, on Tuesday, February 26, from 8 to 9 a.m.

Get leads and meet other Chamber Businesses for coffee and conversation.

The event is free and open to local businesses.

Bring your business cards and be ready to network with other business professionals.

RSVP to Carol today at director@orangectchamber.com

 

Last Chance To Register For Tuesday’s Morning Jolt

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Feb 252019
 

The Orange Chamber of Commerce invites all local business owners to join in Coffee and Conversation at Eli’s Restaurant, 285 Boston Post Road, Orange, on Tuesday, February 26, from 8 to 9 a.m.

Bring your business cards and be ready to network with other business professionals.

Get leads and meet other Chamber Businesses.

This event is Free and OPEN to local businesses.

RSVP today to director@orangectchamber.com