Obituary: Carla Appel, 59, Beloved Wife, Mother, Friend, Dog Lover

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Aug 032020

Carla Nastri Appel, 59, of Orange, CT passed away on August 2, 2020, after a short illness. She is survived by her husband Ken, and her four sons Ken Jr., David, Michael, and Tyler.

She was the daughter of Dolores Nastri and the late Anthony Nastri. She also leaves behind brothers James Nastri (Nancy) and Mark Nastri (Violet) as well as her cherished nieces, nephews, and extended family.

Carla was a graduate of Gateway Community College where she earned a degree in Dietetic Science. She worked as a dietician and personal trainer and was passionate about her work. Her optimism and energy were contagious.

In her youth, Carla was an outstanding athlete competing in gymnastics, track and field, and bodybuilding, winning numerous contests throughout New England.  The joy of her life, however, was her family. She took such great pride in all of her son’s athletic activities especially, baseball.  She was always their biggest fan and along with her husband, seldom missed a game. She loved bringing her dog Brinley to her son’s games.

Carla was a compassionate and positive woman, a dedicated mother and wife, and a devoted friend. We will forever remember her big heart and beautiful smile. She will be dearly missed.

Services will be private at the West Haven Funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Martin DePorres Academy, 208 Columbus Ave., New Haven, CT 06519.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carla (Nastri) Appel, please visit the floral store.

In Spite Of Woodbridge Residents’ Efforts Amity Will Get Its Turf Field

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Jul 142020

During the various Amity High School Graduation events, I heard of a grassroots effort in Woodbridge to overturn the tri-town referendum decision to pass a turf field at the High School.

Parents, teachers, and athletes (most outgoing seniors) voiced a common concern. “What makes them think they have the right to do that?”

The last-ditch effort to block the approved turf field amid a pandemic went forward at two Woodbridge Planning and Zoning meetings this month.


After many years of trying to improve playing conditions for its athletic teams, and one failed referendum for an all-weather field in September 2013, Amity administrators worked tirelessly in 2019 to come up with a plan for a new sports complex at the high school.

A referendum was scheduled for December 4, 2019, which included two projects. The first project addressed improvements to the building and grounds facilities at all three schools. 

The second project aimed for improvements to the Amity Regional High School outdoor athletic facilities.  This project includes a complete upgrade of the athletic stadium, as well as upgrades to the competition field.  The athletic stadium was last improved 30 years ago, and almost all aspects of the stadium are at end-of-life. 

The asphalt track, constructed in 1999, would be replaced with a post-tensioned concrete track with an expected lifespan of 50 years or more.  The metal halide lights and wooden poles, installed in 1988, would be replaced with energy-efficient LED lights on metal poles.

An all-weather field would be installed, replacing the current sod field.  Installation of an all-weather field would increase the use of the stadium from its current single sport, football, to all six-field sports by adding competition space for girls’ field hockey, boys’ and girls’ soccer, and girls’ and boys’ lacrosse.

The proposal also included the installation of an LED scoreboard, which would allow the scoreboard to be adjusted to the sport or competition being played in the stadium.  Lastly, the proposal included enhancements to the current Amity competition field. This field, originally designed as a practice field, would be upgraded with permanent spectator bleachers and an ADA compliant walkway, and an LED scoreboard.


Public hearings were held to give tri-town residents opportunities to share their thoughts and any concerns about the projects.

Endless hours debating the safety of sod fields vs astroturf fields with health experts clarifying all the misinformation regarding alleged cancer-causing agents in the materials that would be used at Amity.

Hundreds of school athletic fields across the state and country have these fields with no documented health issues. Amity athletes play on these fields at away games all the time and no one ever complained of illness or injury from the field material.

The Referendum took place as scheduled with the following results

Recently, Woodbridge residents decided to fight back in order to get their way.

A small, but organized group of gadflies came together and spread the word that turf fields are deadly in many ways. •runoff would contaminate the underground water sources, •the shredded rubber causes cancer, etc, etc, etc, all arguments that were disproven during the public hearings last year.

They flooded the Town Planning and Zoning Commission with letters demanding that the project be rejected for those reasons and more.

On July 6, the Woodbridge TP&Z met online due to the COVID-19 restrictions on indoor gatherings and spent the evening reading the letters one after another until the chairman lost his voice. The meeting was continued until Monday evening, July 13.

Last night the Commissioners met online again and read letters from Woodbridge residents who opposed the plan and even some Orange residents who are in favor of it.

In the end, the facts won out over rumors and all other objections, and the original results of the December Referendum held strong.

Amity WILL have a new sports complex with a turf field. A groundbreaking will take place in the near future.


Jun 112020

Amity Principal Anna Mahon

The COVID-19 pandemic destroyed many people’s livelihoods, hopes, and dreams, but it couldn’t stop the Amity High School administration from giving students a meaningful commencement ceremony.

It was hard for high schools to plan their ceremonies because the virus kept changing everything. First, the question was, “Will we be returning to school?”  then “Will we be able to get the entire class on the football field at once while keeping them at a safe distance?” and of course, “Will we be able to invite families and keep everyone at a safe distance?”

So many questions, so many rules and so little time. But somehow Amity did it. With many teachers all-in to make it a special day for the graduating seniors, the 2020 Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, June 10, ran like clockwork.

On Tuesday, a virtual ceremony was taped and streamed live at http://video.amityregion5.org/show?video=d293e7a41123

The virtual portion of the ceremony includes the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Junior Class President Isabella Pfannenbecker, followed by addresses from Mrs. Anna Mahon, Principal of ARHS, Dr. Jennifer Byars, Superintendent of School for Amity Regional School District #5, Mr. John Belfonti, Chairperson of the Board of Education, Jayson Hutchinson, Senior Class President, Martin Gnidula, chosen to address the class for outstanding extra-curricular achievement, Sophia Wang, chosen to address the class for outstanding academic achievement and Mrs. Jill LaPlante, Director of Counseling Services, to present the Amity Award of Excellence.

The ceremony found at http://video.amityregion5.org/show?video=d8807aa23a6f was available for everyone to see and It was seamless. 

We encourage the entire community to take the time to watch the ceremony and begin the commencement exercises of 2020 to honor this outstanding senior class.

The students and their families first arrived at the staging area at the Church-Our Lady of Assumption parking lot on Center Road at a designated time for their waves with car placards displayed on the passenger-side dashboard.

Cars were assembled upon entering the front parking lot of the church and exited out the back parking lot exit (to Rice Road) at the appointed time. Mrs. Jill LaPlante, Director of Counseling Services, as well as Amity Regional High School security and Woodbridge Police Dept. were on-hand at the church parking lot to help organize and send each wave.

After exiting the church parking lot, the caravan of students/families proceeded to the back gate of the high school campus. At the entry point, each car was given a program and one faculty message booklet per graduate. Cars will process through campus to the first station at the tennis court where teachers were waiting to cheer on the graduates.

The cars stopped at the top of the hill and Associate Principal Miguel Pickering took the names of the graduates then Groups of 4 graduates (up to 8 cars) were “released” from the first station and proceeded down the hill to the stop sign at the corner outside of the district offices.

Seth Davis, senior class advisor, Director of Athletics Ernie Goodwin, athletic trainer Kim Pearce, and Athletic Department Administrative Assistant Lori Bonney were stationed here, and if a student received an award or lettered in a sport, he or she would receive it here.

Davis took the graduates’ names and radioed ahead which place he or she would take in the lineup. Cars were held at station 2 to allow for the front of the building to clear. Then they would drive around to the bus loop in front of the school. 

There were 4 designated locations for diploma distribution. At the designated location, each graduate exited exit his/her car while wearing a mask and waited for Mrs. Mahon to announce his/her name.

After hearing his/her name, the graduate walked to the carpet, removed the mask, and posed for an official picture holding a diploma jacket. After the picture, the graduate returned the diploma jacket to a bin and the graduate picked up his/her diploma folder with the official documentation inside.

Graduates then listened for Supt. Byars’ turn of the tassel announcement and, after turning their tassels, returned to their vehicles and exited campus through the Newton Road front entrance.

Although unconventional, parents should appreciate the fact that for the first time ever they were allowed to be close enough to their children to actually see their faces when they graduated. Usually, they are seated in the stands packed like sardines hundreds of feet away.

Congratulations to all of the Amity Graduates, I’m so happy that you were able to have some kind of ceremony, to see your teachers again, and to share it intimately with your parents.

Great Job Amity Administration and teachers. I’ll see you next year.

The 2020 graduation ceremony concludes on July 7 with the final group of students receiving their diplomas(about 40 students chose this option). Orange Live will post more information on this event when it becomes available.




Goodwin Hosts the 64th Amity Block A Awards

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Jun 082020

It is with great pride and a sense of sadness that I present to you this year’s winners of the 64th Annual Amity Block A Awards.

This is Amity’s big night to honor its most amazing athletes, a night that some of the boys and girls have looked forward to for four years. But due to the COVID-19 restrictions the ceremony, for which I have been the photographer for the past 8 years or so, was canceled.

But a pandemic wouldn’t stop Amity Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin from honoring the athletes and involving all of their coaches for the Virtual 64th annual Block A Awards (without the dinner)

It wasn’t as long as usual, and the athletes weren’t able to accept their awards in front of their peers and parents, but hopefully hearing what their coaches had to say about them and why they were chosen as the team MVP, a specialized scholarship recipient, scholar-athlete or the coveted player of the year, gave each one some comfort, especially the seniors for which this has been a really trying year.

That said, here are the 2019-2020 Block A Award-Winning Athletes:

Most Valuable Players

Boys Basketball – Joe DiGello

Girls Basketball –  Jillian Martin

Cheerleading – Isabel Cavanagh

Boys Cross Country – John Dill

Girls Cross Country – Ariana Garay

Dance Team –  Sydney Reiner

Field Hockey – Tess Csejka

Football – Joe DiGello

Boys Ice Hockey – Justin Miller

Girls Ice Hockey – Tess Csejka

Boys Indoor Track – Ariel Gordon

Girls Indoor Track – Audrey Marin

Boys Ski Racing – James Fortin

Girls Ski Racing – Natalie Prinz

Boys Soccer – Ali Bobi

Girls Soccer –  Jenna Ciola

Boys Swimming – Tyler Roy

Girls Swimming – Katie O’Connor

Girls Volleyball – Zoey DiZenzo

Wrestling – Simon Flaherty


Unified Sports

Unified Sportsmanship Award – Andrew Serrano


Coach’s Association Awards

Coach of the Year Award – Todd Patterson (Wrestling — Amity’s best year)

Assistant Coach of the Year Award – Mike Brady (Boys Basketball)

Coaches Association Outstanding Service Award – Beth Young (Booster Club)


Special Awards and Scholarships

Steven J Zeider Award (swimming) – Casey Donovan

James Dunleavy Award (hockey) – Caleb Marcin

Thomas G Laugeni Award – Tyler Roy

Thomas G Laugeni Award – Alexandra Plaza

Mark E Greco Award – (hockey) Sai Neelam

Jeremy Saxe Award – Zach Young

Athletic Director’s Award – Ethan Kaempffer

Albert J. Seymour Award – Will Rotko

Albert J. Seymour Award – Dana Della-Giustina



Scholar-Athlete – Zach Young

Scholar-Athlete – Ella Marin


Paul Mengold Award

Paul Mengold Award – Haley Cable



Versatility Award – Simon Flaherty

Versatility Award – Ana Carney


Sportsmanship Award – Nico Semonella

Sportsmanship Award – Payton Papa


And Finally Top Honors Go To

The 2020 Athletes of The Year

Athlete of the Year – Joe DiGello

Athlete of the Year – Tess Csejka


See the entire Block A Award Presentation below:


Amity Grad Honored by Saint Mary’s College Athletic Department

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May 062020

Kendra Osinski, an Orange native, and Amity Regional graduate, was honored with a special award by the Saint Mary’s College Department of Athletics, Notre Dame, Indiana, in an online ceremony on Sunday, May 3.

Osinski, who was a four-year member of the Saint Mary’s lacrosse team, was named as the recipient of the Impact Player Award. A two-time All-MIAA selection, she is listed in the top four in program history in career goals, assists, and points.

Beyond those personal accolades, however, is the student-athlete who stepped in to be the team’s goalie when an injury to a teammate created a void. Osinski played eight games in goal during her sophomore season.
The Belles put together the longest winning streak in program history with Kendra as the starting goalie in five of those six games, and she scored the overtime game-winning goal in the sixth game of that stretch.

May 052020

The CIAC’s consideration for any spring sports experience has always been contingent on the re-opening of schools for in-person instruction.

This morning, Governor Lamont ordered the cancellation of in-school classes for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Therefore, there will not be a 2020 CIAC spring sports season.

The CIAC empathizes with our school communities and the experiences lost due to COVID-19. Our focus is now on completing guidelines for summer contact and the resocialization of CIAC sports in the fall.

Editor’s Note: Spring Sports include Baseball, Golf, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Softball, and Tennis.


No Sports At Amity Until At Least Mid April

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Mar 122020

(photo from live science.com)

The coronavirus has done a number on sports throughout the USA. There is no March Madness, High School teams will not realize the joy of winning a state championship title, Indoor professional games are being squashed with every passing day, opening day for Minor League baseball teams has been delayed indefinitely, and so on.

Opening Day for Amity Baseball, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball is scheduled for Monday, April 13, but only time will tell when the games will actually begin.

BOWA schools will be closed for two weeks, so that also will have an impact.

Take care everyone. And do everything you can to stay healthy.

Let The States Begin: Girls Hockey at 4 p.m.

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Mar 032020

The Girls Ice Hockey State Championship will begin today between the Blades (Amity/NH/Cheshire) and rivals Guilford.

On Saturday, the Blades lost the SCC title to the Indians, so this will be a great game, as always.

The puck drops in the first round of the States on the Blades’ home ice, Lou Astorino Ice Rink in Hamden at 4 p.m.


Blades Advance in SCC Tournament

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Feb 272020

The Blades (Amity/Cheshire/North Haven) Girls Ice Hockey team won the SCC Semi Final game against Hamden 4-3 on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Hamden.


1              2              3          F

Blades                  1              2              1          4

Hamden               0              1              2          3


The Blades outshot Hamden 48-17.

Here is a rundown of the game.

First Period

The Blades’ Tess Csejka scored the first goal, assisted by Olivea Kosh.

Second Period

Hamden’s  Lauren Mullally answered with a goal off an assist from Demeri Carangelo.

The Blades’ Nadia DiNitale broke the tie on an assist from Tess Csejka.

The duo of DiNitale from Csejka struck again bringing the second period score to 3-1

Third Period

Hamden came on strong in the third period with Reilly Sargolini scored, assisted by Demeri Carangelo.

Then Sargolini tied the game, assisted by Kathleen Gould.

But wait, it wasn’t over yet, In came Csejka hitting one in for the Blades, assisted by Caroline Cadelina.  And the Blades Win! 4-3.


Blades Jade Krukar 14

Hamden- Katherine Shapland 44

What’s Next?

This is a very exciting time for our extremely talented girls as all of their hard work this season culminates in the following opportunities:

The #1 Blades advance to the SCC Final against Guilford on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the Bennett Rink in West Haven at 1 p.m.

Then, on Tuesday, March 3, the Blades play Guilford in the first round of the States on their home ice, Lou Astorino Ice Rink in Hamden at 4 p.m.

Go Blades!

Feb 262020

Two championship competitions will take place on Friday, Feb. 28.

Boys Swimming and Diving will participate in the SCC Diving Championship at Sheehan High School at 5:30 p.m.

The Wrestling team will participate in the CIAC State Open Championship at Floyd Little Athletic Center Field House at 3 p.m.