Get Used To Bringing Your Reusable Bags To Stores Again

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Jul 012020

Covid-19 gave us a reprieve for a few months, but today we will have to begin paying 10 cents for those single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and other retailers again. 

Before heading out to any store, gather up your reusable bags and put them in your vehicles so you won’t be caught off-guard when you get to the checkout. Maybe put a post-it note on your dashboard so you don’t forget before you walk into the store.

The Department of Revenue Services (DRS) reminds everyone that the temporary suspension of Connecticut’s single-use plastic bag fee, originally implemented by Executive Order on March 26, expired on Tuesday, June 30. Retailers are prepared to resume collection of the state-level 10-cent plastic bag fee on Wednesday, July 1.

Any Connecticut retailer that provides plastic bags to its customers in connection with a sale of goods is required to collect the plastic bag fee. The plastic bag fee, which applies statewide at the rate of $0.10 for each single-use plastic bag, is collected by retailers and remitted to DRS on their state sales and use tax return.

As it has throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) strongly encourages state residents who use reusable bags for shopping to continue to do so. Over the past year, Connecticut shoppers have overwhelmingly embraced the use of reusable shopping bags, which helps reduce plastic waste that harms the environment.

According to guidance from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), given the most current scientific information available, reusable bags do not serve as a significant source of infection for COVID-19.

The primary route of spread of the virus is from person-to-person contact and airborne droplets, though it is important to clean and disinfect all surfaces commonly touched by people. Most reusable bags can be easily cleaned between uses through laundering, hand washing, or cleaning with a disinfecting wipe.


Local Energy Company Approved for National Home and Commercial Loan Program

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Jun 302020

Tracey Energy Systems, Inc., a full-service fuel oil company with an 89-year history serving greater New Haven has been approved as a qualified contractor for the National Energy Improvement Fund (NEIF) Loan program and can now offer residential and commercial access to fixed-rate energy loans for heating, cooling, and hot water installations.

“Loans through NEIF are designed to support and encourage businesses and
homeowners to make energy improvements to their properties,” explained Ralph Carlo,
who co-owns Tracey Energy with his wife and business partner, Jennifer Tracey-Carlo.
“These are simple-interest, fixed-rate loans, and can make a significant difference in
decisions to upgrade to more efficient and lower-cost heating and cooling systems.”

According to the NEIF site, the organization is, “focused on providing lending and
other services for improvements to make homes and businesses resilient, efficient, healthy
and comfortable.”

For more information on the NEIF program and opportunities for heating and cooling
system efficiencies, contact Tracey Energy Services at 203-777-5747.

Agenda For July 6 Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting

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Jun 302020

A virtual meeting

The Zoning Board of Appeals will host a Virtual Public Hearing Meeting on Monday, July 6 at 7 p.m.

This is a ZOOM Internet Remote Meeting.

NOTICE: In accordance with Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7B Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic, this meeting wi}l be held remotely with no in-person attendance. The meeting will still be broadcast live on OGAT and the following internet link is below.

Meeting Links

• Orange Public Access Television — Optimum Cable Channel 79,  Frontier Channel 6063

• Orange Public Access YouTube Livestream https://youtu.be/V3gPBSe Lh8

Residents may send questions or comments regarding the public hearing to: jdemiriian@orange-ct.gov and they will be read into the record on July 6, 2020.


1. Review of the Minutes from the March 2, 2020 meeting.


* PETITION #l813, Submitted by Dana S. Desrosiers. For property known as 330 Dogburn Lane. For the construction of a 16 x 20 deck. A variance of Section 383-30 C. Setback from Other Property line is requested.

A Selfless Decision — No Indoor Dining At China Pavilion Yet

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Jun 292020

A message from the owner of China Pavilion Re: Inside Dining

We have decided to remain open for Take-Out Only for the time being.

After open dialogue with staff and family, we made the decision to remain open for Take-Out Only until we can see evidence that reopening our dining rooms will not adversely put our customers and staff/family at increased risk for COVID-19. Our decisions have always been rooted in our core values, placing the health and safety of our people and community first. We cautiously reopened for take-out service and will continue to proceed with caution as we enter a new phase of ‘relaxed’ social distancing.

While we do miss our friends and all the laughter and hugs, we promise you that we will reopen when the time is right for all of us. We won’t compromise on our family values for profit. There is still too much at stake.

We appreciate your continued support, we hope you understand the reasoning behind our decision. You can still order curbside pickup by calling in your order 7 days a week from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Be well, be safe.

With Love,
Khanh Van Ton

The restaurant is located in the Hitchcock Plaza, 185 Boston Post Road, Orange. The phone number for China Pavilion is 203-795-3555. Click HERE for the Takeout Menu.

Wait, What? A Popular Orange Police Sergeant Retired This Weekend

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Jun 292020

Chief Gagne presents Sgt. Aquino with his retirement badge.

Over the past 25 years, I’ve gotten to know a lot of our local police officers. Naturally, after all this time, I’ve seen so many of them retire and move on. Some, I’ve stayed in touch with, others are just gone with the wind. But I still remember each and every one of them.

Pre-pandemic I most likely would have gotten a heads-up and had an opportunity to say goodbye, but this weekend that didn’t happen and one of my absolute favorite members of the OPD left without even the slightest hint.

There was only one other time that I cried when one of my boys in blue left, and that was back in 2012, soon after opening Orange LIve when Asst Police Chief Ed Koether retired after 30 years on the job.

So, who is the second Orange cop that made me cry? Believe it or not, Sgt John Aquino, 53, one of the kindest, friendliest, most understanding, and professional officers I’ve ever had the pleasure to have known.

Over the past 25 years, I always looked forward to seeing his smiling face at the Orange Country Fair, Firemen’s Carnival, Senior Health and Safety Fair, parades, and numerous public events. When my granddaughter was little and I was clueless about the newer child safety seats, it was John who helped teach me how to install it properly.

If I locked myself out of my car, which happened a lot, I was never embarrassed if he was the responding officer.

John served in the Patrol Division from 1995 to 2007 and was the  Youth and D.A.R.E. Officer from 2007 until his promotion to Sergeant on July 5, 2013.

I remember how amazing it was the day Detective Aquino was sworn-in to the rank of Sergeant, before a standing-room-only crowd of family, friends, fellow officers, and the three Orange elementary school principals. See VIDEO HERE.

He was then assigned to the midnight shift as a Road Sergeant. 

Then, this past Saturday, June 27, Sgt. Aquino worked his last shift with the Orange Police Department after 25 years of dedicated service to the Town of Orange.

Without much fanfare, John retired with Chief Robert Gagne presenting him with a plaque and his retirement badge.

Community Minded Officer

John was a member of the ATV unit, many times he participated in the Special Olympics Torch Run, as the D.A.R.E. Officer, he drove the Easter Bunny to the Lions Easter Egg Hunt at the Orange Fairgrounds, and he participated in the DEA’s Drug Take-Back Day for several years. 

In November 2016 he was one of the Orange police who took on a scruffy look to raise money for the Jimmy Fund in Chloe Clemens’ name. It was the last time I can remember when the members of the department were allowed to go unshaven – but only for a month.



Sgt Aquino, 53, was a 25-year veteran of the Orange CT Police Department.

He graduated from the University of Bridgeport in 1989 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies.

He was appointed as a probationary officer in Orange on June 23, 1995.

He was assigned to the patrol division from June 1995 to February 2008.

The Aquino Family in 2013 (Sgt. Swearing-in)

In February 2008 the was assigned to the Investigative Services Unit, serving as the Youth and DARE Officer and in the capacity of School Resource Officer.

Sgt. Aquino went to school to become a child safety technician (installing child safety seats in vehicles).

He and wife, Francine have been married 25 years (on July 19) and they have two sons, John and Michael.

Congratulations John, thank you for your service and your friendship over the years. I wish you only happiness and success in your future endeavors. You are already missed.

Happy Anniversary to you and Francine.



Framework for Connecticut Schools During the 2020-21 Academic Year

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Jun 252020

Yes, your children WILL be going back to school this fall.

There are a lot of rules set up for the 2020-2021 school year, comprised in cooperation with students and parents. The one sticking point that many are not thrilled about is that kids will be required to wear masks all day, which may very well prove to be difficult, especially for those younger than 10.

This is what the state has provided:

Guiding Principles

As Connecticut schools plan to reopen, the guidance and considerations outlined in this framework are grounded in six guiding principles:

  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
  2. Allowing all students the opportunity to return into the classrooms full time starting in the fall;
  3. Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially canceling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread;
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities who are emerging from this historic disruption;
  5. Fostering strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff; and
  6. Factoring into decisions about reopening the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school.

These guiding principles require all districts to develop their plans with a certain level of consistency, however, they retain wide discretion in implementing approaches to reopening given unique local considerations.

School districts must balance their planning with contingency plans to provide robust, blended learning or remote learning for all grades in the event that a school, district, or region has to cancel or limit in-person classes due to health precautions.

Main Operational Considerations


  • Districts should emphasize grouping students by the same class/group of students and teachers (into a cohort) so each team functions independently as much as possible. Consider this methodology by grade levels.
  • Placing students in cohorts is strongly encouraged for grades K-8, and encouraged where feasible for grades 9-12.

Social Distancing and Facilities

  • Review building space and reconfigure available classroom space, such as gymnasiums and auditoriums, to maximize social distancing, consistent with public health guidelines in place at that time.


  • Districts should plan for buses to operate close to capacity with heightened health and safety protocols, including requiring all students and operators to wear face coverings.
  • Plans must be developed to activate increased social distancing protocols based upon community spread.

Face Coverings

  • All staff and students will be expected to wear a protective face covering or face mask that completely covers the nose and mouth when inside the school building, except for certain exceptions including when teachers are providing instruction.

Ensuring Equity and Access

  • Equitable access to education is a top priority that supports a full-time in-school model by mitigating any barriers to education or opportunity gaps that increased during the pandemic. Efforts to support equity, close the opportunity gap, and provide a wide range of support for students in the state are best achieved with in-person schooling opportunities for all ages.
  • Districts should identify gaps and develop action plans for reopening that specifically address inclusion, equity, and access for all learners with strategies and clearly defined action steps.

Connex Presents Giuliano With Scholarship Award

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Jun 242020

Lauryn Giuliano of Orange (pictured with her parents) was the recipient of the Nicolas G. Hackett Memorial Scholarship, an award named in honor of a longtime volunteer at Connex Credit Union.

Lauryn is currently majoring in Psychology at Southern Connecticut State University, where she maintains a 4.0 GPA while serving as a presidential student ambassador and mathematics peer mentor.

In high school, Lauryn also completed more than 415 hours of volunteer service working with organizations such as the West Haven Animal Shelter and Locket’s Meadow Horse Rescue Farm in Bethany.

For more information on the scholarship program or Connex Credit Union, visit connexcu.org.

Building Confidence through Proper Signage is Key to the Safe Re-opening

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Jun 242020

As the state moves through phase two and toward phase three of re-opening, businesses will begin looking for signs with which to guide their customers through their stores and restaurants.

The following is a message from Orange’s own Signarama, 553 Boston Post Road.

As Connecticut begins our phased re-opening, as a Business Owner or Human Resources leader, you will need to take utmost precautions to adapt your business into a safe environment for both workers and customers. Discover all the ways to allow your business to function– without compromising public health or confidence.

Our business, Signarama-Orange, is here to support you in workplace readiness with a wide variety of products and advice on what your business will need for a wide variety of required signage.

Signarama has been an integral part of many businesses in this community for over 20 years. We will continue to provide the professional support and products you need in this unprecedented time to get everyone back at work with the right reminders and modifications.

Call us today at 203-795-5450 for a free consultation, or email us at sales@signs-ct.com.


Fireworks Are Still Illegal and Dangerous: Read on, Orange

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Jun 242020

It’s that time of year again, people have already begun lighting up fireworks across the state, as the Fourth of July approaches, fireworks vendors are beginning to sell their wares.

Sparklers are dangerous, they can reach a temperature of 1,800 degrees and burn your hands and/or clothing.

We all look forward to the summer weather and celebrating the opportunity to be outdoors at picnics, barbecues, and other events.  At many of these smaller than usual gatherings, the use of fireworks, both legal and illegal, is on the rise. When used legally and safely by professionals, fireworks can be enjoyed.  Unfortunately, numerous incidents of injuries, fatalities, or accidental fires caused by the private use of fireworks are reported each year across the United States.

Several years ago, the State of Connecticut made it legal for any person sixteen (16) years of age or older to possess, sell, or use any sparkling device.  The use of any type of sparkling device by a person under the age of 16 is illegal.

NO OTHER TYPES OF FIREWORKS ARE LEGAL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC ACT 00-198!  This includes, but is not limited to, devices known as “M-80’s,” “Cherry Bombs,” “Bottle Rockets,” and any device that is explosive or aerial such as ground displays or roman candles.  While the use of sparkling devices is legal in Connecticut, they can be dangerous if not used properly.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office asks that you remember the following safety guidelines.

•   When handling a sparkling device, wear protective goggles and gloves.  Sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit once they are lit and many burns and eye injuries have been reported as a result of improper use.

•    Do not use ANY open flame devices when dry ground conditions are present. The Fire Danger Level is available at their website, www.orangefiremarshal.com or by calling the Fire Marshal’s Office at 203-891-4711.

•   Be aware of your surroundings.  Be sure others are a safe distance away before igniting any sparkling device.


•    Always have a source of extinguishment.  A garden hose or fire extinguisher can quickly put out a small fire before it gets out of control, only if it is close by.  Anytime there is a fire or other emergency, do not hesitate to call 911.  A delay in a call can make a tragic difference in the outcome.

The local and state fire officials want everyone to enjoy the summer season.  Please keep these tips in mind to ensure that it is a safe one.  If you would like more information, call the Orange Fire Marshal’s Office  Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at 203-891-4711.

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.