Second Debate, How Did It Go?

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Oct 142021

The second first selectman’s debate at High Plains Community Center on Thursday attracted a smaller in-person audience, but perhaps the online and cable viewing audience was larger.

The format was different, and the event was scheduled to last 90 minutes longer than the first debate with a break in the middle and audience questions.

If you listened closely, the two candidates often shared the same opinion on some items, and on occasion one candidate or the other received strong applause for his response, at other times there was silence.

I urge residents who did not attend or watch the debate live to catch up on what they had to say at HERE

There is one final debate, the annual Or Shalom Men’s Club Debate that will take place at Congregation Or Shalom, 205 Old Grassy Hill Road, on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

OVNA Flu Clinics Are Available

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Oct 142021

Medical professionals are predicting a very tough 2021-22 influenza season. This is a good time to plan ahead to protect your health.

The Orange Visiting Nurse Association (OVNA) has Flu Clinics scheduled at High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, on (Wednesdays) October 20 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please bring your insurance card. Accepted Insurances: Medicare, Aetna and Anthem BCBS.

**INSURANCES NOT ACCEPTED Cigna, Connecticare, United Healthcare and Medicaid**

The OVNA cannot provide the flu vaccine to people who are covered by insurances listed as not accepted.

Local Police Participate In Distracted Driving Initiative

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Oct 142021

From October 15, 2021 to October 31, 2021 the Woodbridge and Orange Police Departments will be taking part in a statewide initiative to combat distracted driving.

Members of these Department will be concentrating enforcement efforts on distracted driving in an attempt to increase awareness and continue to protect the motoring public.

Texting and driving are the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, and beginning October 1, 2021, it is more expensive.

Starting October 1, 2021, the fines for driving while distracted are:

o $200 for 1st violation, offenders are fined (was previously $150)

o $375 for a 2nd violation, offenders are fine (was previously $300)

o $625 for a 3rd or subsequent violation, offenders are fined $ (was formerly $500)

Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads. At any given moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady for more than a decade.

In Connecticut in 2020, there were nearly 5,000 crashes attributed to distracted driving. Connecticut law prohibits the use of any hand-held mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.

Drivers who are 16 or 17 years of age are prohibited from using a cell phone or mobile device at any time, even with a hands-free accessory.

Advice via the Woodbridge PD press release:

The Woodbridge Police Department suggest the following safety tips:

o If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.

o Ask your passenger to be your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.

o Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.

o Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination

The Woodbridge Police Department along with the State of Connecticut’s Department of Transportation urge you to put your phone down when you get behind the wheel.

For more information, visit www.distraction.gov

Orange First Selectman’s Debate Oct. 14

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Oct 142021

Another First Selectman’s Debate will take place at High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.

Although the sponsor did not share any information with us, including the plans for this debate, nor where the questions come from, it’s only fair that residents get a heads up so you can attend or watch on OGAT or YouTube.

Click the OGAT link on this page OR the link on the Town Website

Following this, the next important established and organized debate is the Men’s Club at Congregation Or Shalom on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. Which always is well done.


Reka, The Tiger Is Leaving The Beardsley Zoo

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Oct 132021

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will say goodbye next week to Reka, a female Amur tiger born at the Zoo, as she moves to a new permanent home.

We watched them grow

Born on November 25, 2017, Reka and her sister Zeya were raised by the Zoo’s animal care staff when their mother, Changbai, displayed no interest in her cubs. Zoo guests and supporters have followed Reka and Zeya’s journey from newborns whose survival was uncertain to the healthy young adult tigers they are today.

Managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), inter-regional transfers are arranged with careful attention to gene diversity in the hope that successful breeding will take place.

Last year, Zeya was sent to Rosamond Gifford Zoo as an excellent genetic match to that Zoo’s resident male tiger. Reka’s new home zoo will announce her arrival once a standard quarantine period is complete later this fall.  Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo remains home to Reka and Zeya’s mother, Changbai.

Amur tigers are very rare and are critically endangered in the wild. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) statistics, today Amur tigers are thought to occupy less than seven percent of their original range.

Threatened by habitat loss and degradation, poaching, tiger-human conflict, and loss of prey, four of nine subspecies have disappeared from the wild just in the past hundred years. The future of the Amur tiger has been a major concern of the world’s zoos for many years as the species has been pushed toward extinction.

There is an SSP program in place for many species of animals through oversight by a group called the Taxon Advisory Group (TAG). The SSP makes breeding recommendations based on genetics, age and health of animals, and need for more of the species to protect future populations.

An Amur Tiger

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Deputy Director, Don Goff, is the Co-Chair of the National Felid TAG group. He leads a committee of AZA-accredited zoo members whose goal is to save declining species.

“As sad as we are to say goodbye to Reka, the planned transfer of animals to other member zoos ensures the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA population,” Goff explained.

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has had repeated success in breeding endangered species, a testament to the Zoo’s animal care specialists and the highest quality of animal care.

The Zoo has been the birthplace of multiple endangered species in recent years, including Amur tiger cubs, maned wolf pups, red wolf pups, three baby Giant anteaters, and two Amur leopard cubs.

About Amur tigers

The Amur, once called the Siberian tiger, is a rare subspecies of tiger, and the largest cat in the world. Adult male tigers can weigh up to 675 pounds, with females weighing up to 350 pounds. Similar to people’s fingerprints, no two tigers have the same striped pattern.

Amur tigers differ from other tigers with fewer, paler stripes, and a mane that helps to keep them warm. They live in southeast Russia as well as small areas of China and North Korea. They live for 10-15 years in the wild, and up to 22 years in human care.

Strokes are serious, don’t ignore the signs — Part 2

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Oct 132021

This is the second part of a column about the strokes I suffered back in 2009 (In real time)

October 12, 2009

On that day, 12 years ago, I wrote: “It looks like I have more damage to my brain. The latest MRI shows new damage to the parietal lobe. probably happened when I had a bad headache for 6 consecutive days. DAMMIT! Anyone want to go to Maine for a week? Not too bright to go by myself, but it’s the ONLY REAL vacation I’ll have all year!”
{NOTE: It was the last vacation I EVER had.)
A week later, on Oct. 18,  I went back to Yale for a follow-up. The doctor told me that I was fine and YES, I certainly could go to Maine by myself, nothing was going to happen. The following morning, bright and early, I drove up to Maine and settled in, grabbing my camera for foliage photos in all of my favorite areas.
On the first two days I woke up early for the most magnificent sunrises in the world from the top of Cadillac Mountain.
On the third day of vacation, I decided to mark some personal uncharted territory and drove inland. I didn’t see any moose, which was my quest, but the scenery was beautiful. While out there in unfamiliar surroundings I began to feel dizzy and ill. I looked at my photos in the camera’s screen and they were all blurry. I began to yawn, but could not complete it — an all too familiar sign. I was having another stroke.
The GPS I owned at the time was not fully charged and it didnt work if it was plugged in. I had no idea where I was and I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to get back to the vacation home on Mount Desert Island (The part of Maine where Bar Harbor is located)
I took a deep breath and made a request. “Dad, I need help,” I said aloud. My father had passed away several years ago, but I could always feel his presence around me, especially when I was in trouble. “Please help me get back to the house.”
I started to drive and it was as if he took the wheel. I don’t know how much time had passed, but before I knew it, I was back on the Island and from there I could navigate to the house.

Facebook was a useful tool back in those days. I put a shout-out on my page and friends and acquaintances immediately chimed in. A dispatcher from the Woodbridge (CT) Police Department offered to call 9-1-1 for me, but I told him I’d do it myself, I’d be fine.

I called 9-1-1, and within a few minutes, an ambulance pulled up. I thought I’d just go to the hospital, get checked out and come back to the house — which is what happened at the New Haven area hospital. I left the computer on the table along with my camera and after assuring the Paramedic that I, Indeed was the patient, I climbed into the back of the ambulance for a very short ride to the tiny Mount Desert Island Hospital.

Real Hospitals Go Above And Beyond

The ER doctor took my complaint of an unfinished yawn and stabbing headache very seriously, and decided to keep me there for a while. Since I didn’t have my computer or any way to communicate with the outside world, the hospital landline became my lifeline and my friend Kathleen became my voice back home in CT, relaying all of the updates as they unfolded, through Facebook.

The nurse went out of her way working with my doctor to find a medication that would relieve my headache. For the first time in days, I could relax and sleep without crying from the pain.

My hospital stay lasted for nearly a week, and I felt respected and cared for. A therapy dog  — a golden retriever – came in one day and made me feel so much better. I was missing my Baron every day and getting a “Golden fix” helped ease the loneliness.

By day 5, the wonderful doctors and nurses fought with the insurance company to get coverage for an MRI and MRA, even though I had just had an MRI in New Haven less than a week earlier.

The hospital was small and did not have room for a permanent radiology department. The nearest machine was a mobile unit kept inside a tractor trailer that traveled around the state. On Saturday, it happened to be on site in the hospital parking lot. The nurse brought me outside in a wheelchair and I was able to enjoy the fall colors and crisp cool air the the first time in days. I sat on a platform that lifted me into the trailer.

The procedures took a while and quite some time after they were done, the nurse informed me that they didn’t have anyone who could read the films on a weekend. BUT since it was nighttime in Maine, it was early morning in Australia, they e-mailed all of the images halfway around the world, where professionals with fresh eyes could read the films and relay what the problem was inside my head.

What they found was astounding — my artery had collapsed and there was minimal blood flow going to all the critical areas of my brain. They said I had to get back to CT immediately where I could see a neurologist for treatment. But they told me in no uncertain terms that I could NOT drive myself back home.

Ashley and my daughter after rescuing me with my ex from Maine.

My daughter rallied my ex-husband and Ashley, a former newspaper intern to take the trip to Maine and drive me back home. They arrived on what would have been my 19th wedding anniversary (Oct. 25) had I not gotten divorced.

I felt terrible that we didn’t have time to see any of the sights or enjoy a fresh seafood dinner while they were there, but all of the restaurants closed by the time I was checked out.

My ex and daughter drove back home in his car, Ashley and I followed in my CRV.

Come back NEXT month for what happened next.

Orange Police: Woman Charged With Criminal Impersonation, Forgery

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Oct 112021

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, Orange police responded to the Derby Courthouse at 10:50 a.m. to process Elizabeth Sophia Flanagan, 36, of Milford, who was being detained on an unrelated matter. 

It was discovered that she was wanted on an active arrest warrant out of the town of Orange. Subsequently, she was charged with fifth-degree larceny, criminal impersonation, interference and two counts of second-degree forgery. 

Flanagan was arraigned at the Derby Court 



Get Your Tickets NOW For An Afternoon For The Arts

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Oct 102021

The Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation offers the most amazing opportunities to students throughout the area.

The Foundation is named for the late Jamie Hulley, the daughter of Judy Primavera and Fred Hulley, an Amity grad who loved to create. she was a singer, dancer, actress, artist, and all around wonderful happy young woman.

Her parents keep her memory alive by offering scholarships and grant money to others who share her enthusiasm for music, the theater and many other artistic mediums.

The money to fund the foundation is provided by donations and the annual Arts Gala. The COVID pandemic hurt everyone in some way, and the foundation suffered last year when the Gala couldn’t take place due to health concerns.

But thanks to the science that brought us COVID Vaccines, and a better understanding of what preventive measures can be taken to keep everyone safe, the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation event is back!

This year’s An Afternoon for the Arts featuring Carole’s Kings, an all male Carole King Review featuring the music of “Beautiful” — “Locomotion,” “I Feel The Earth Move,” “So Far Away,” “One Fine Day,” “You’ve Got A Friend,” and so much more.

The fun family day will take place on Sunday, Nov. 7 at The Brady Center for the Performing Arts, Amity High School, 25 Newton Road, Woodbridge.

Doors open at 1 p.m. with a Lite Reception and Raffle Preview. The Show begins at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $45 each and can be purchased by clicking HERE 
or click on the AD in the Right Column of this site.
Your ticket purchase allows the foundation to continue to provide enrichment classes for young artists in all genres – music, dance, visual arts and theater. All proceeds will be dedicated to their educational programs, scholarships, and community projects throughout New Haven and Fairfield Counties.
Current CDC guidelines for indoor performances will be followed.
Please click this link to purchase your tickets in advance as part of our safety protocol.

About the Performers:

CAROLE’S KINGS is the world’s first all-male Carole King tribute. With lush orchestrations, witty banter, and a cast of three incredibly talented New York stage veterans, CAROLE’S KINGS is a dynamic act jam-packed with chart-topping sensations such as “The Locomotion,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “You’ve Got A Friend,” and many more. An expanded set also includes songs by King’s friends and collaborators James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Neil Sedaka. Recent performances have brought this act from venues like Caesars Palace and Celebrity, Princess and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Fun for the whole family!


$10,000 Matching Grant Challenge

To show our appreciation for your support, for every $25 you donate, you’ll receive one entry in our Match Challenge Appreciation Raffle for your choice of a $500 Visa or Amazon gift card . Donate $25 and you get one entry; donate $50 and you get two entries … You help us win the $10K matching funds and we will pay it forward to one lucky winner. Match Challenge Appreciation winner will be announced during our show.

Click HERE for the fundraising page.

Residents Flock To The Paper Shredding Event At High Plains

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Oct 092021

The paper shredding and mattress recycling event at High Plains Community Center on October 9 was well received again.

Hundreds of residents took advantage of the free service handled by Affordable Solutions, owned and operated by Orange resident Joe Johnston.

Cars and SUVs lined up with bags or boxes filled with documents for shredding. Anyone who wanted their boxes or containers returned simply told a volunteer.

Other cardboard boxes were broken down and piled into recycling committee member’s SUV and brought to the transfer station for recycling. Paper and plastic bags also were transported to the transfer station and recycled, nothing was thrown away, and the Recycling Committee left the area cleaner than they found it when they set up.

Once again, the service was generously funded by the Rotary Club of Orange, and residents showed their appreciation by donating cash and checks to the Orange Rotary Scholarship Fund.

At the end of the allotted time (9 a.m. to noon), 10,000 lbs of paper had been shredded and 42 mattresses were brought in to be recycled.

Residents expressed their appreciation to Recycling Committee members and Rotarians alike.

Keep your eyes open for the next shredding opportunity, which most likely will take place in Spring 2022.

Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale On Oct. 23

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Oct 092021

file photo from a past sale

The Friends of the Library will host its Fall Book Sale at the Case Memorial Library, 176 Tyler City Road, on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Stop by and browse the endless variety of books, DVDs, music, and more for all ages.

The prices are incredibly affordable. Don’t forget to bring a bag (or two) for all of your purchases.

This popular event takes place in the Library basement. Masks are required.