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Case Memorial Library Announces Upcoming Events

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Jan 142021
 

The Case Memorial Library, 176 Tyler City Road, offers the following:

Virtual Author Talk: Free the Beaches
Monday, January 25, 7 p.m.

Free the Beaches by Andrew W. Kahrl

is the story of a controversial protester who fought decades ago to open Connecticut’s beaches for out-of-towners, including minorities and the urban poor. Join us for a talk with Andrew Kahrl on Zoom — please note that registration is required, as for online security reasons only registered attendees will be able to attend this event. Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link via email before the event.

Magnetic Field Sensory Bottles

Wednesday, January 27
For children in grades 1-3.  Make a mesmerizing sensory bottle with the magic of magnet science!  Participants must supply their own duct tape.  Please note: participants’ skin may come into contact with MICR toner.  Also, this activity requires the use of neodymium magnets, which are extremely strong.  Adult supervision is required. Kit pickups will take place Wednesday, January 27-Saturday, January 30.

Tween Take and Make: Hot Chocolate Mug Cake
Wednesday, January 27 For tweens in grades 4-6. Make your own personal-sized cake in your microwave! We’ll provide the mug, the recipe, and the dry ingredients. Please note that the cake contains flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, milk, and the flavorless oil of your choosing.

Events are free and open to the public, except as noted. Please pre-register.
We offer curbside pickup and computer use by appointment.
Phone: 203-891-2170
http://www.casememoriallibrary.org
Visit our Facebook page

 

FDA Expands Sportmix Pet Food Recall After 70 Dog Deaths

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Jan 132021
 

The Food and Drug Administration is again alerting pet owners about high levels of aflatoxin in some pet foods after 70 dogs reportedly died and 80 others were sickened.

The food containing the toxin has been identified as certain Sportmix products manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods. The products were voluntarily recalled by the company on Wednesday.
The FDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are working with the manufacturer to determine whether more products contain high levels of the toxin. The FDA said the investigation is ongoing and the “scope of the recall may expand as new information becomes available.”
Aflatoxin is produced by the Aspergillus flavus mold, the FDA said. It can grow on grains used as ingredients in pet food, and when high levels of aflatoxin are consumed, it can cause illness or death in pets.
Pets poisoned by aflatoxin can display symptoms that include sluggishness, jaundice — a yellowish tint in the eyes or gums caused by liver damage — loss of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea, according to the FDA.
Even if a pet is not displaying any symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning, the FDA recommends that pet owners who have pets that have eaten the affected products contact their veterinarian — as it can cause long-term liver damage.

What Products are Involved?

On December 30, 2020, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. announced a recall of nine total lots of Sportmix pet food products. On January 11, 2021, Midwestern expanded the recall (see below). FDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture are working with the firm to determine whether any additional products may have been made with the same ingredients containing potentially fatal levels of aflatoxin. As new information becomes available, this product list may continue to expand.

The list of recalled dry pet food products announced by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. on December 30, 2020 is:

  • Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/02/22/05/L2
    • Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
  • Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
  • Sportmix Premium High Energy, 50 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
  • Sportmix Premium High Energy, 44 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
  • Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3
  • Sportmix Original Cat, 15 lb. bag
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
    • Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

On January 11, 2021, Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. expanded the recall to include all pet food products containing corn that was made in the firm’s Oklahoma plant and that expire on or before July 9, 2022. More than 1000 lot codes are affected so they are not listed individually.

Lots of the following pet food products have been recalled if the date/lot code includes an expiration date on or before “07/09/22” and includes “05” in the date/lot code, which identifies products made in the Oklahoma plant:

  • Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk, 40 lb. bag
  • Pro Pac Performance Puppy, 40 lb. bag
  • Splash Fat Cat 32%, 50 lb. bag
  • Nunn Better Maintenance, 50 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Original Cat, 15 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Maintenance, 44 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Maintenance, 50 lb. bag
  • Sportmix High Protein, 50 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Stamina, 44 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Stamina, 50 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Bite Size, 40 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Bite Size, 44 lb. bag
  • Sportmix High Energy, 44 lb. bag
  • Sportmix High Energy, 50 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Premium Puppy, 16.5 lb. bag
  • Sportmix Premium Puppy, 33 lb. bag

Lot code information may be found on the back of bag and will appear in a three-line code, with the top line in format “EXP 03/03/22/05/L#/B###/HH:MM”

Example product label demonstrating location and format of lot code information.

If you have one of the products listed above but do not know the lot code or expiration date, FDA recommends that you stop feeding the product.

The affected products were distributed to online retailers and stores nationwide within the United States.

What Do Pet Owners Need to Do?

If your pet has symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning, contact a veterinarian immediately. Even pets without symptoms may have suffered liver damage, so you may want to contact your veterinarian if your pet has eaten any of the recalled products. Provide a full diet history to your veterinarian. You may find it helpful to take a picture of the pet food label, including the lot number.

Don’t feed the recalled products to your pets or any other animal. Contact the company listed on the package for further instructions or throw the products away in a way that children, pets, and wildlife cannot access them. Sanitize pet food bowls, scoops, and storage containers using bleach, rinsing well afterward with water, and drying thoroughly.

There is no evidence to suggest that pet owners who handle products containing aflatoxin are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning. However, pet owners should always wash their hands after handling any pet food.

You can report suspected illness to the FDA electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. It’s most helpful if you can work with your veterinarian to submit your pet’s medical records as part of your report. For an explanation of the information and level of detail that would be helpful to include in a complaint to the FDA, please see How to Report a Pet Food Complaint.

Amity Middle School Orange Students Receive Superintendents Award

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Jan 132021
 

Colin Spoerndle accepts a Certificate of Excellence from the Connecticut Association
of Public School Superintendents given by Amity superintendent, Dr. Byars. Not pictured Maya Quaranta. (Photo by Kathy Burke)

AMSO students Maya Quaranta and Colin Spoerndle received the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents Award of Excellence and were recognized at the January Board of Education
meeting for their community service and service to others, as well as their academic progress and leadership service to the school community.

Maya Quaranta is an active member of the AMSO school community. She serves as the student representative on the School Climate Committee. Maya can be counted on to share her ideas and make
practical suggestions to improve the school climate.

Her teachers note that Maya has distinguished herself among her peers with her diligence, ability to collaborate, and her outstanding effort. Outside of school, Maya contributes to her community
by volunteering at a local church baking treats for Orange residents. She also works at a nearby farm stand.

Colin Spoerndle also serves on the AMSO School Climate Committee and can be counted on to provide thoughtful, honest comments at school climate meetings. His insight and suggestions have been helpful

in providing the student perspective on what is and is not working in terms of our school climate. Colin’s teachers praised him for his positive attitude and work ethic that make him a leader among his peers.

Outside of school, Colin is busy swimming with the Amity Regional Aquatic Club. Colin has also been active in the Orange Little League helping out clinics for the younger children.

BREAKING: Zeoli Releases Information On The Racebrook Country Club Offer

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Jan 132021
 

 

To the Residents of the Town of Orange,

 The Town of Orange has been presented with a unique situation.  The potential for purchasing the Racebrook Country Club property.  The purchase price is $8.5 million for 287 acres of land which equates to $29,600 per acre.  The purchase would include the 27-hole golf course, the 23,000 sq ft clubhouse, the 9,000 sq ft maintenance facility, the driving range, two private homes, the multi-mile irrigation system, and several other improvements.  This is unique in that the Town would own the entire facility as a business investment and would lease it to Racebrook Country Club, who would pay the Town of Orange rent.  The Town has the opportunity to preserve a living legacy that has been part of the Orange landscape since 1912 by protecting approximately 290 acres of land while being maintained by a leasing entity.  The Town of Orange will not be operating a golf course.

This potential purchase offers the preservation of continued recreational use and habitat for varied wildlife.  This allows the Town of Orange to ultimately control the destiny of the future of Orange.

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a review of Racebrook Country Club to consider the viability of a lease.  A complete review of the business operations has been completed.  The Board of Selectmen also unanimously approved a full appraisal of the property to support this type of investment.

This purchase will not be the same debacle that the Town of Woodbridge had.  These buildings have been maintained and continue to operate.  The business plan of Racebrook Country Club is strong.  The Town of Orange is not buying and planning to operate a golf and banquet facility.  The Town is also not planning to put in a third-party management company to operate on our behalf.

The bond indebtedness over twenty years will be approximately $10,300,000 to return on a lease of approximately $10,600,000.  The Town of Orange would begin receiving rent in September of 2022 starting at $250,000 per year for the first six years, and then an escalation clause to increase the rent every five years for the life of the forty-year lease.  You may ask what happens at the end of forty years?  Those in office will then be able to renegotiate for the Town and Racebrook.

The entire Board of Selectmen recognizes that this is a very rare opportunity to safeguard almost 300 acres and yet have someone pay to maintain and operate the property.  This is seen as a business and preservation action by the Board of Selectmen.  

There will be a referendum held Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at High Plains Community Center.  Absentee ballots must be requested by contacting the Town Clerk at 203-891-4730.  Absentee ballots must be received by the Town Clerk by February 16, 2021.  Any questions can be emailed to the First Selectman’s office at jzeoli@orange-ct.gov.  

The Board of Selectmen wants each vote to be counted, and this is a chance for you the voters to decide the direction.  

Sincerely,

James M. Zeoli

First Selectman

It’s Time To Register For Orange Little League

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Jan 132021
 

Registration for the Orange Little League 2021 Spring Season is now open.

All residents of Orange, Bethany, and Woodbridge are eligible and welcome to participate in Tee Ball, Baseball, Softball, and Challenger.

Registration fees are as follows: Tee Ball $160, Hardball $200, Softball $180, Challenger $50.

NOTE: There is an Early Bird Discount of $20  for two of the sports if paid before February 1 — Tee Ball $140, and Hardball $180.

Go to www.OrangeCTLittleLeague.com and complete the online registration and pay by credit card.

New Registrants must provide a copy/image of the player’s birth certificate.

Large families only pay registration for the older two players

The 2021 season starts in April – based on weather conditions and state health regulations.

There is NO WALK-IN REGISTRATION or registration accepted after the evaluations for baseball or softball. (Early March to be determined for players ages 9 and above)

Every effort shall be made to maintain the number of leagues and the age makeup of the leagues based on the local rules. Player assignments are made with considerations of age, player skill, and parent requests, however the Player Agent, in consultation with the Vice President may – based upon annual registration numbers – propose adjustments to the number of leagues and player assignments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Aware That A New Round Of PPP Loans Is Now Available

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Jan 122021
 

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) re-opens this week for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. This new round of federal funding includes $284 billion in forgivable loans for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers.

Businesses working with community financial institutions (CFI) can apply for First Draw PPP Loans starting Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. According to the Connecticut Small Business Administration (SBA), the following CFI are participating in the program as of today:

New Haven Bank

Location: 299 Whaley Ave, New Haven

Contact: Bill Hice

Phone: (203) 787-9513

Email: Whice@newhavenbank.com

Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union

Numerous locations throughout Connecticut

Phone: (860) 513-5000

Email: BusinessLending@NutmegStateFCU.org

Additional community financial institutions may be added to the program. The SBA will also begin accepting applications from other lenders soon.

For additional information on terms, eligibility and applications, check the U.S. SBA PPP website or contact local partners, including:

·        Connecticut Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

·        Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC)

·        Black Business Alliance (BBA)

·        Spanish American Merchants Association (SAMA)

·        HEDCO, Inc.

·        Univ. of Hartford Entrepreneurial Center & Women’s Business Center

·        Minority Construction Council (MCC)

Other services such as Lantern, a new resource from our partner SoFi that helps match small businesses with SBA-approved lenders, are also available. Lantern closely monitors a lender’s application processing capacity ensuring borrowers receive a timely response and equal access to capital.

The PPP has been a lifeline for thousands of Connecticut businesses. We want to do all we can to make sure our small businesses are first in line.

Sincerely,

David Lehman, Commissioner

david.lehman@ct.gov, (860) 500-2310

AVANGRID Offers Safety Tips for Extreme Cold Weather

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Jan 112021
 

Weather Advisory Issued to Customers of United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas

AVANGRID a diversified U.S. energy company, and its subsidiaries in Connecticut and Massachusetts are urging customers to take measures to stay safe and warm during the bitterly cold weather that’s forecast for New England.

The risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and other hazards can increase as residents try to stay warm during the extreme cold. As this extremely cold weather settles in, the companies encourage customers to look around their homes and make sure they’re able to keep themselves and their families warm and to identify any potential safety risks that must be addressed.

Staying Warm

If you are unable to keep your home safely and comfortably heated, call Infoline at 211 for resources that can help you and your family.

Exposure to extreme cold can cause serious medical conditions including hypothermia and frostbite. To avoid them, stay indoors if possible and wear warm clothing, including head covering and gloves or mittens.

For information about frostbite, hypothermia, and other concerns, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Incidences of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning rise during cold weather, as a result of malfunctioning appliances, poor ventilation, and improper use of heat sources. Place smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, outside of sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to make sure the batteries are working, and replace the batteries at least twice a year.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless toxic gas. It is a product of fuel combustion, and a buildup can result from a furnace or space heater problem. Symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic flu, so make sure the CO detector is functioning.

For more information about fire and carbon monoxide dangers, visit the National Fire Protection Association, https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/News-and-media/Press-Room/News-releases/2016/Winter-weather-months-prompt-heating-and-carbon-monoxide-safety-warnings.

Stove and Range

The stove, range, and other kitchen appliances are designed for cooking, not heating. Use them as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition to creating a fire hazard, a natural gas stove or oven can present a carbon-monoxide risk when used for heating.

Space Heaters

Use only space heaters that have been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and never use a device designed for outdoor use indoors. Place the space heater on a level surface away from foot traffic, at least 3 feet from combustible materials. Inspect the cord for fraying, and after plugging it in, periodically feel the cord near the outlet to make sure the plastic is not getting hot. Do not run the space heater cord under a rug or carpeting, and never use an extension cord for a space heater. Keep children and pets away, and turn off the space heater when you leave the area.

More space heater safety information can be found on the U.S. Department of Energy website, at https://energy.gov/energysaver/portable-heaters.

Heating, Hot Water, and Plumbing

Keep the furnace area clear of flammable materials and keep vents clear to provide a good air supply to your heating system to ensure proper combustion.

Water pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures may freeze and burst. Don’t ignore drips or odd noises from your heating system — call your heating company to investigate. Wrap exposed pipes in your basement with pipe insulation to help them retain heat and avoid freezing.

The American Red Cross offers additional tips for avoiding frozen pipes at https://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes.

FDA: Coronavirus Variants May Lead To False-Negative Results

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Jan 102021
 

The U.S. drug regulator said on Friday genetic variants of COVID19, including the one found in the UK, could lead to false-negative results from some molecular COVID19 tests, but the risk of the mutations affecting overall testing accuracy is low.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it has alerted lab staff and healthcare providers to the possible false-negative results and has asked them to consider such results in combination with clinical observations, and use a different test if COVID19 is still suspected.

In a letter to clinical laboratory staff and health care providers on January 8, 2021, the FDA warned, “The SARS-CoV-2 virus can mutate over time, resulting in genetic variation in the population of circulating viral strains. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting clinical laboratory staff and health care providers that false-negative results may occur with any molecular test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 if a mutation occurs in the part of the virus’ genome assessed by that test. The FDA monitors the potential effects of genetic variation in molecular tests that have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and has been doing so on an ongoing basis throughout the pandemic.”

The more contagious variant of COVID19 that has swept through the United Kingdom has been reported in at least five U.S. states, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said this week.

Scientists have said newly developed vaccines should be equally effective against the new variant.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc’s TaqPath COVID19 combo kit and Applied DNA Sciences’ Linea COVID19 assay kit were found to have significantly reduced sensitivity due to certain mutations, including the B.1.1.7 variant or the so-called UK variant, according to the agency.

However, the detection patterns of both tests may help with the early identification of new variants in patients, the FDA said.

The performance of Mesa Biotech’s Accula test can also be impacted by the genetic variants, the health regulator added.

Mesa said its test would tolerate the genetic variation presented by the new strain and that it should not have an impact on the clinical performance of the test.

Britain said in December rapid lateral flow tests being deployed in the country’s mass-testing program can identify the variant, while Roche said its molecular test for COVID19 was unlikely to be affected by the mutant strain of the virus.

— By Vishwadha Chander 

A Reminder of Bike Rules For the Racebrook Tract

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Jan 082021
 

The Orange Conservation Commission (OCC) decided in 2016 to restrict bicycle riding on the trails at the Racebrook Tract from November 1 to May 1 of each year.  This will allow the unauthorized trails that have sprung up throughout the area to re-establish new growth and return to their natural condition.

As a reminder, Racebrook Tract is currently closed to all bicycle riding. When it re-opens on May 1, 2021, the OCC reminds users that bike riding is only permitted on OCC-designated trails.

Unauthorized trails have caused erosion, destroyed sprouting undergrowth, and harmed the overall beauty of this piece of Orange Town Property. It is the hope of the OCC that this closure, along with more thoughtful use of the area in the future, will allow this valuable piece of Open Space to recover.

The OCC asks everyone who uses the Racebrook Tract, as well as other Town Open Spaces to continue to be good stewards of these beautiful pieces of land by staying on OCC-designated trails, picking up litter, cleaning up after your dogs, and notifying the OCC of fallen trees or other trail obstructions.

Please see us on Facebook – Orange Conservation Commission, leave a voice mail at 203-891-4768, or contact any member of the Commission with your observations or concerns.

Masks Up: Covid Variant B.1.1.7. Is Here!

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Jan 072021
 

Governor Ned Lamont announced that a COVID-19 variant first found in the United Kingdom and said to be more easily transmitted is now in Connecticut after the state confirmed two cases today (Thursday, Jan. 7).

The variant, known as B.1.1.7 was found in two people between the ages of 15 and 25 who live in New Haven County, according to the state. One of them recently traveled to Ireland while the other traveled to New York State.

Due to the easy transmission of this newer strain, please be wary and wear a mask to protect not only yourself but everyone else, in case you are infected and don’t yet have any symptoms.

Sure, there are vaccines now, but not everyone is vaccinated yet, and unless you are on the frontlines you may not get one before it’s too late.

After seeing several people I care about suffer from Covid — and four families that I know went through the holidays without their loved ones who died from this terrible virus.

No matter what your political beliefs are, Covid does not pick and choose. It will latch onto you, squeeze your lungs and give you a fever so high that you will pray for death just so it will be over I was told.

Families suffer because unlike the good old days – back in 2019 – you can’t visit your gramma, or dad, or son in the hospital while they often die alone with only a sweet angel that they don’t know (a nurse or doctor) holding their hand.

Just wear a mask! They are not expensive, they are not in short supply anymore, they are not uncomfortable. Dammit, you CAN breathe! There’s no excuse.