Goddard School Gives Preschoolers A Proper Send-Off

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Jun 232020

While not being able to host a traditional graduation ceremony in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, an Orange area preschool came up with a way to give their graduates a proper send-off, while remaining socially responsible.

Earlier this month, teachers and staff from The Orange, CT Goddard School traveled from Milford to Guilford spreading cheer by providing each graduate with a mini-parade celebration. The students saw their favorite teachers and administrators, received their diploma and a gift bag of goodies, along with a graduation sign and tee-shirt.

Kimberly Kick, the on-site owner of The Goddard School in Orange, said that graduation is not only a celebration for the children and parents but for the faculty as well. “It’s been a journey filled with excitement and friendships, learning, and laughter. Many of the children have been with us since they were infants,” she said. “While we’ll miss seeing them on a daily basis, we’re confident that they are well prepared for the road ahead.”

“Many of the children and families come back to visit us and share their accomplishments with us long after their Goddard School graduation. It’s a wonderful feeling,” Kimberly said.

For more information on The Goddard School, visit www.goddardschool.com. 


Obituary: Mary Ehrler, Beloved Mother, Grandmother, An Exciting Life, Full of Love

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Jun 222020

Mary Elisabeth (Coutts) (Mallinson) Ehrler passed away gracefully surrounded by love on Friday, June 19, 2020. She was married to the love of her life, the late George W. Ehrler, Deputy Chief, New Haven Fire Department.
She was educated in the New Haven school system and then earned an associate degree in Police Science & Administration and then a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of New Haven. She was employed by the New Haven Police Department as one of the first Traffic Safety Assistants in 1968.
She became the first female Police Officer hired for patrol on July 1, 1974, in the town of Woodbridge. She retired after 25 years of service on September 4, 1999. Upon retirement, she went to work for the Amity Regional School District #5 as a Security Officer, or as she liked to say, she was Mom to 1600 students.
She was a member of many organizations during her life, New Haven Police Assoc. of CT, Ct Assoc. of Woman Police, Bethany Wanders, Bethany CERT, Bethany Cemetery Committee, St. Andrew’s Society of CT, MADD, and Woodbridge District Animal Control. Hers was a life of service.
She was the loving mother of Donna (Donald) Shea, Keith (Sheila) Mallinson of Bethany, Brian (Kelly) Mallinson of Rutland, VT. Beloved Gramma to Lisa (Bugsy) Lockwood, Donald Shea, Robert (Annice) Mallinson, Jonathan (Holly Mathews) Shea, Ryan (Alissa Grey) Shea, Jacqui, and Dominique (Thomas Grimshaw) Luca. Cherished Great-Gramma to seven whom she loved with all her heart. She is also survived by her sister, Ellen Coutts Waff (William) of NC, and several nieces and nephews.
Her family would like to extend a note of thanks to her doctor, Uyen To, whose care for their Mom was second to none.
Donations in her memory can be made to the St. Andrew’s Society of CT or to Bethany Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Friends and family are invited to pay their respects at the Celentano Funeral Home, 424 Elm St., New Haven on Monday, June 22 from 4-7 p.m. A Funeral Service will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m., also at the Celentano Funeral Home, followed by interment at Eastside Cemetery in Woodbridge. Masks and Social Distancing are required.

Scout Eagle Project Brings Beauty To Historic Homestead

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Jun 202020

The Orange Historical Society would like to celebrate Eagle Scout candidate Jason Buyn and other members of Troop 12 from Milford who have been hard at work at the historic Bryan-Andrew House on Old Tavern Road in Orange.
After completing the beautiful retaining wall, the scouts are clearing weeds and brush, repairing and staining an outside staircase, and planting arborvitae trees along the driveway.
Members of the OHS Board said, “Thank you, Scouts.” They praised them for being responsible and wearing masks, even on hot and humid days. 

Look For The New Plastic Bag And Wrap Shed At The Transfer Station

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Jun 202020

Orange Recycling Committee Chairman Mitch Goldblatt just announced that today at 11 a.m. the Home Depot Store Manager Matt Hyatt, along with his associate Pete, delivered a new shed for the Plastic Bag and Wrap recycling at the Transfer Station and Recycling Center.

With the help of Transfer Station Equipment Operator Gerry Butler, it was set up and ready to go within minutes.

“Please help spread the word and thanks to everyone for their patience,” Goldblatt said.

This is supposed to be a temporary structure as The Home Depot has the approval for a permanent structure, but that may still be several months away.

AVANGRID Companies Resume Customer-Facing Work

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Jun 192020

As Connecticut enters Phase 2 of reopening  United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas announced they will begin resuming customer-facing work that has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March, the subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) have been deferring certain non-emergency tasks that require employees to enter customer premises. As they resume these activities in the weeks ahead, employees will continue to take measures to protect themselves and the public.

“We will continue to put the health and safety of our customers and employees first as we resume the work that was deferred or otherwise impacted by COVID-19,” said Tony Marone, President, and CEO of Avangrid Networks, the parent company of UI, SCG, and CNG. “As an essential industry, much of our work has continued despite the pandemic, with our focus on continuing to ensure safe and reliable delivery of energy to customers. Today’s news will expand our work to include important customer-facing tasks that improve the customer experience.”

For UI electric customers, the work includes indoor work related to metering that requires an employee to enter a customer’s home or break social distance barriers. For SCG and CNG natural gas customers, it includes indoor leak and corrosion surveys, indoor gas meter replacements and meter relocations, as well as any required maintenance activities that will result in the temporary disconnection of gas supply and will require technicians to enter the customer premises to relight gas-burning appliances.

Employees will only work when they are able to do so safely and have the appropriate personal protective equipment. They will continue to follow practices recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and adhere to all applicable state requirements. To keep customers and employees safe, the following company protocols will remain in place:

  • Employees will engage in physical social distancing from customers and one another, and they will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) whenever maintaining distance is not possible.
  • Appropriate PPE will be provided to employees along with guidance surrounding its use.
  • Health and safety checks will take place before employees start their shifts.
  • For work that requires entering a customer home, customers will be contacted to ensure no one in the household is showing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • When necessary, the company may partner with other emergency responders to enter the location.

The timeline for resuming the work will be guided by continued assessments of needs, state guidelines, and the safety of customers and employees.

In-person Home Energy Solutions energy audits remain temporarily suspended. However, the companies are offering no-cost virtual pre-assessments for residential customers, in which qualified energy experts can conduct a virtual walkthrough of the home to identify ways to save energy. Participants will receive a bundle of energy-saving products by mail, as well as information about potential rebates on upgrades and low-energy appliances. When in-home assessments resume, customers who have received the free pre-assessment will be able to schedule one at no cost. For information, call 877.WISE.USE (877.947.3873).

The Town Loses Another Very Good Man

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Jun 182020

Anita and Al Pol in 2015

We are sad to announce the passing of Elfo “Al” Pol, 94, today, June 18.

The one consolation is that we can picture him back in the loving arms of his beloved wife, Anita, who passed away in 2018, and his son, Larry, who died last year.

Al was well known for his dedication to the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli said, “He was a good man who did a lot for the town for a lot of years. It’s unfortunate, but his health was failing and his life partner was gone. It was his time. He will be missed.”

Anita and Al “cutting a rug” at the Senior Picnic in 2014

Scholarships Awarded In Unusual Location Today

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Jun 132020

Orange Scholarship Fund Association presented their scholarships on Saturday, June 13 at a socially distanced ceremony on the Orange Town Green.
Scholarships were awarded to Mitchell Bronson, Gina Driscoll, and Mason Shepard. The Orange Lions also presented their scholarship at this time. Mitchell Bronson will attend UConn to study Computer Science, Gina Driscoll will attend Middlebury College and has not yet chosen a major.
There were each awarded $2000 scholarships. Mason Shepard will attend Lehigh University to study Molecular Biology. He received a $3,000 scholarship from the Ashlie Krakowski Memorial Fund of the Orange Scholarship Fund. Mason also received a $1000 scholarship from the Orange Lions.

A Message From The Orange Senior Services Coordinator

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Jun 122020

High Plains

Dennis Marsh released this information from the Orange Senior Center this week.

Senior Center
All senior center activities, classes, and trips are canceled. Please check the senior center
website at www.orange-ct.gov/782/community-services for further information. Or feel
free to call the senior center office at 203-891-4784.

Virtual Classes
If you would like to participate in Andrea Cashman’s Yoga, Danielle Pettit’s Zumba Gold,
or David Chandler’s Tai Chi class via Zoom—call the office with your email and we will
ask the instructor to email you an invite.

If you would like to participate in Chair Exercise, visit the Town Website at Orange-ct.gov, and under Departments, you will see a link to the Senior Center. There you will find the Chair Exercise video.
Join Suzanne Anderson for a weekly Arts and Crafts video on the Town website. I recently added a class on how to make your own face mask at home with Suzanne Anderson and Rae Maclellan.

If you would like to learn how to use Peapod with Josh, visit this link

Frozen Meals
There is a special meal program consisting of a box of 5 frozen meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. We can deliver them or you can come by and pick the meals up. Delivery is only available to Orange residents. Call the office to complete an application. A suggested donation of $3 per meal would be greatly appreciated.
Community Services has an Emergency Food Bank available for Orange residents in need. Call (203) 891-4788 for assistance.

AARP Safe Driving Courses
AARP announced that all in-person AARP activities have been canceled through the end of 2020. AARP Smart Driver online course is an alternative, especially for those who need to renew their car insurance discount. AARP has extended their special 25% off discount through the end of the year.
Website: www.aarpdriversafety.org
Promo code for 25% discount:  DRIVINGSKILLS
Good through: December 31, 2020

AARP Tax Help
Many people have relied on the Senior Center’s AARP Tax Help Program. The AARP Tax Volunteers will not be returning this year. However, I found that the AARP Foundation is offering online tax help. The link is below and it can also be found on the Senior Center web site: orange-ct.gov, put your mouse over Departments and you will see all the way to the right (the last in the list) Orange Senior Center. Click on the Orange Senior Center and in the middle of the next page you will find the link

Social Security
“How can I get help from Social Security without visiting an office?” You can find the answer at www.ssa.gov/onlineservices which links you to some of our most popular online services. You can apply for retirement and disability benefits, appeal a decision, apply for Medicare and much more. Social Security’s newest feature is Advance
Designation, which enables you to identify up to three people, in priority order, who you would like to serve as your potential representative payee in the event you ever need help managing your benefits.

All Senior Center trips are canceled until September

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.




AVANGRID Launches Program To Help Residents Lower Utility Bills

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Jun 102020

UI, SCG and CNG Launch No-Cost Virtual Pre-Assessments to Help Residents Reduce Energy Use and Lower Utility Bills

Customers receive recommendations and an energy-saving bundle of energy-efficient lighting, power strips, and more

With many Connecticut residents working and spending more time at home, personal energy usage is likely to be higher than normal. To help residents reduce energy use and lower their utility bills, Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG) and United Illuminating (UI), subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc., have launched a new and no-cost virtual pre-assessment that allows their Home Energy SolutionsSM program to continue without an on-premise technician.

“Many families are spending more time at home, which means their energy use is likely to go up,” said Larry Rush, Home Energy Solutions program manager, United Illuminating. “From more home-cooked meals and time watching television to working from home and running appliances, such as an increase in handwashing and water heating, our changing habits are affecting our energy use. Energy efficiency is the best way to control and reduce the costs of home energy usage.”

Once a customer is signed up for Home Energy Solutions SM, an energy expert conducts a virtual walk-through inspection of the home through a secure video-conferencing application. During the virtual pre-assessment, the customer is engaged to review identified areas such as heating and cooling equipment, water heater, appliances, lighting, windows, insulation, water use, and electronics.

Additionally, the energy expert will review the home’s fuel type, size, number of persons living in the home, and overall energy use. The energy expert will then provide a complete review including a list of recommendations and expectations for the customer’s in-home energy assessment that will be scheduled.

“The virtual pre-assessment allows us to practice safe social distancing and help customers identify areas where they can see immediate savings,” added Rush. “Customers will receive a pre-assessment bundle that may include energy-efficient LED lightbulbs and advanced power strips. A full home visit will occur at a later date to provide air sealing and other home energy-saving measures.”

In addition to the virtual home energy pre-assessment, UI offers resources and information to help customers better understand their energy usage and an online Energy Analyzer that offers targeted energy efficiency information, advice, and support to help customers achieve savings.

Home Energy Solutions offers $1,000 worth of on-the-spot weatherization and energy efficiency services to homeowners, renters, and property managers, as well as incentives and additional resources to further reduce energy use. The program has helped save customers an average of $200 annually on their energy bills.

The benefits of having an energy-efficient home.

  • Save money. Efficiency measures can lower your monthly energy bill.
  • Comfort. Imagine a comfortable home without hot and cold spots throughout the seasons.
  • Value. Having an energy-efficient house is a great selling point and adds value to your home.

    CNG, SCG, and UI customers also can take a free home energy efficiency quiz at GetEnergySmart.com to help determine how energy efficient their homes are before signing up. By answering a few simple questions, residents can easily learn to identify areas of concern, discover opportunities to lower energy bills, and begin making their homes more energy-efficient and comfortable.

    To sign up for the virtual home energy assessment, please call 1-877-WISE-USE.