Kristallnacht Remembered

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Nov 092021

Today is the 83rd anniversary of one of the most horrific world events.

On November 9, 1938, in an event that would foreshadow the Holocaust, German Nazis launch a campaign of terror against Jewish people and their homes and businesses in Germany and Austria.

The violence, which continued through November 10 and was later dubbed “Kristallnacht,” or “Night of Broken Glass,” after the countless smashed windows of Jewish-owned establishments, left approximately 100 Jews dead, 7,500 Jewish businesses damaged and hundreds of synagogues, homes, schools and graveyards vandalized.

An estimated 30,000 Jewish men were arrested, many of whom were then sent to concentration camps for several months; they were released when they promised to leave Germany.

Kristallnacht represented a dramatic escalation of the campaign started by Adolf Hitler in 1933 when he became chancellor to purge Germany of its Jewish population.

Source History.com

Orange Inauguration This Friday

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Nov 092021

file photo

First Selectman James Zeoli and all newly elected town officials will be sworn in at the Orange Inaugural event at High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, on Friday, Nov. 12 at 4 p.m.

Zeoli, and Incumbents Mitch Goldblatt, Ralph Okenquist, John Carangelo, and Judy Williams will join newcomer Connor Deane as they are sworn in on the Board of Selectmen.

Mary Shaw will be sworn in as Town Clerk (I believe Thomas Hurley already is sworn and on the job in the Tax Collector’s office)

McNabola, Jain and Nuzzo will be sworn to the Board of Finance.

Eichler, Hartshorn and Levere-D’addio will be sworn to the Amity Board of Education.

Rodrigues, Tremper, Cap, James and Messina-Mullen will be sworn to the Orange Board of Education.

Parente, Cornell and Torrenti will be sworn to the Town Planning and Zoning Commission.

Always taking up the most room at the front of the room, the long list of constables, Galatioto, Thomas, Carrier, Papelo, Daymon, Zapatka and Donadeo will be sworn in.



This Week In Amity Fall Sports

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Nov 092021

The end of the Fall Sports season has arrived and our best Amity athletes are preparing to compete in the state championships.

Here’s what’s going on This week.

Wednesday, Nov. 10

Girls Soccer vs TBA Home – Amity Field # 3 at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 11

Girls Swimming and Diving CIAC Class LL Diving Championships
Away – Middletown 5:30 p.m.

Girls Volleyball vs TBA Home – Amity Gymnasium at 5:00 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 12

Football vs Harding Away – Harding High-Lewis Field at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 13

Girls Swimming and Diving CIAC Class LL Qualifying Meet Away – East Hartford at 11:30 a.m.

Veterans Day 2021

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Nov 082021

To all Orange Veterans:

You are invited to Race Brook School on Thursday Nov. 11 at 9 a.m.

The regularly scheduled assembly and luncheon will be replaced with a drive-through celebration and a Grab-and-go breakfast.

Rain date is Friday, November 12.

Town Veterans Day Ceremony

The American Legion Post 127 will host the annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at the High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road.

As long as the weather is good it will take place outside at the flagpole near the Veterans Walk, in case of inclement weather it will be in the gym.

Lou Merritt and Anna May Pieger are handling the arrangements.


Board of Selectmen’s Meeting On Nov. 10

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Nov 082021

The Orange Board of Selectmen will meet at Town Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.

Following is the agenda:

•Call to order

•Fire Exits

•Pledge of Allegiance


Public Participation (2 minutes per speaker)



Consider and act upon the minutes of the Oct. 13, Oct. 19,  and Nov. 3 Board of Selectmen’s Meetings.

New Business

• Consider and act on the request to approve the tax refunds totaling $54,631.37

• Consider and act on the request to conduct a public hearing during the Board of Selectmen Meeting scheduled for Dec. 8, 2021 regarding fee increases for the Building Department. — Zeoli

• Consider and acton the request to conduct a public hearing during the Board of Selectmen Meeting scheduled for Dec. 8, 2021 regarding fee increases for the Fire Marshal’s Office — Zeoli.


Pension Board – Goldblatt

Emergency Management – Novicki

Capital Planning – Okenquist

Register Now For The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot

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Nov 082021

The Rotary Club of Orange announced its 9th Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk at High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, on Thursday, Nov. 25.

Registration is $27.00 per person with an additional $2.57 SignUp Fee.  Registration ends Monday, November 22 at 11:59 pm
Register today at https://runsignup.com/Race/Register/?raceId=96535 and support the many charitable programs of the Rotary Club of Orange, Connecticut.

About the Race

5K RUN – 8:00 a.m.  FUN WALK – 8:05 a.m.
The race is certified and will start at the High Plains Community Center and run through Orange with a finish back at the Community Center. Scenic USATF Sanctioned and Certified Course – One Water Stop
Awards: Trophies to the top male and female finishers overall. Medals to the top three male and female finishers in each division. Divisions 5K Run (12 & Under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80+)  Finisher Ribbons for Walkers  Top quality T-Shirts to all PRE-REGISTERED participants
Refreshments served after the race
There is ample parking on site. Timing and Results by Northeast Sports Timing Service, Inc.
ENTRY INFORMATION  $27.00 by November 22nd – $30.00 After and on Race Day  Early Packet Pickup and Late Registration – Wednesday November 24th  at High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Rd., Orange, CT  from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
TO REGISTER – GO TO: www.rotarycluboforange.org  or www.runsignup.com 
DIRECTIONS For out-of-towners unfamiliar with Orange:
From I-95: Exit 41 – Marsh Hill Road – Orange  From New York take left, from New Haven take right.  Proceed North on Marsh Hill Road.  Go through two lights.  Continue straight across Rout 1, Boston Post Rd., and take a left at first stop sign onto Old Tavern Road.  Take a right at first light onto Orange Center Road.  High Plains Community Center is approximately ½ mile on the right.
From the Merritt/Wilbur Cross Parkway: Exit 57 – Rt. 34 Derby Ave.  Take Route 34 East.  Take a right at the first light onto Orange Center Road.  High Plains Community Center is 2 miles up on the left.

Amity’s Swimmin’ Women Win The SCC Championship

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Nov 032021

Amity Senior Swimmers pictured at last month’s senior night.

Congratulations to the Amity Lady Spartans Swimming and Diving team for an excellent season.

Amity won the Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC) girls’ swimming championship Wednesday at the Hutchinson Natatorium at the Southern Connecticut State University campus.

Team Scores

1. Amity 1,114; 2. Cheshire 1,099.50; 3. Lauralton Hall 817; 4. Daniel Hand 710; 5. Guilford 614.50; 6. North Haven 586; 7. Lyman Hall 546; 8. Jonathan Law 430; 9. Sheehan 425; 10. Foran 396.50; 11. Mercy 370; 12. Hamden 361; 13. Shelton 320; 14. East Haven/Wilbur Cross 304; 15. Branford 179; 16. West Haven 173; 16. Sacred Heart Academy 169.50.

Individual Results:

200-yard medley relay: 1. Amity (Elizabeth Brodie, Marea Li, Grace Mahon, Katherine O’Connor) 1:49.99; 2. Lyman Hall (Elise Richardson, Caroline Krawec, Hailey Baker, Elena Bielesz) 152.63; 3. Daniel Hand (Seorin Kim, Samantha Chemacki, Grace Sweeney, Kacie Wines) 154:63;

200-yard freestyle: 1. Claire Kehley (Lauralton Hall), 1:53.64; 2. Julia Barto (Cheshire), 1:57.28; 3. Norah Rome (East Haven/Wilbur Cross), 1:58.59;

200-yard individual medley: 1. Marea Li (Amity), 2:10.18; 2. Caroline Krawec (Lyman Hall), 2:13.50; 3. Julia Rosado (East Haven/Wilbur Cross), 2:14.72;

50-yard freestyle: 1. Avery Potyrala (Cheshire), 24.45; 2. Katherine O’Connor (Amity), 25.02; 3. Ashlyn Blessey (Lauralton Hall), 25.13;

Diving: 1. MaKenna Sharpe, Law, 402.60 points; 2. Hannah Tao, Cheshire, 363.40 points; 3. El-Lana Coleman, North Haven, 327.95 points;

100-yard butterfly: 1. Avery Potyrala (Cheshire), 2. Juliana Tyler (Cheshire), 58.60; 3. Grace Mahon (Amity), 58.62;

100-yard freestyle: 1. Katherine O’Connor (Amity), 54.44; 2. Amanda Wojenski (Hamden), 54.52; 3. Elise Richardson (Lyman Hall), 54.73;

500-yard freestyle: 1. Claire Kehley (Lauralton Hall), 5:00.71; 2. Julia Barto (Cheshire), 5:05.91; 3. Norah Rome (East Haven/Wilbur Cross), 5:13.01;

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Cheshire (Avery Potyrala, Gabrielle Sokolik, Carly Cahill, Julia Barto), 139.15; 2. Amity (Marea Li, Grace Mahon, Julia Snow, Katherine O’Connor), 139.44; 3. Lauralton Hall (Ashlyn Blessey, Jaiden Johnson, Caroline Begg, Claire Kehley), 1:44.58;

100-yard backstroke: 1. Elise Richardson (Lyman Hall), 59.38; 2. Julia Rosado (East Haven/Wilbur Cross), 59.69; 3. Elizabeth Bodie (Amity), 100.91;

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Caroline Krawec (Lauralton), 1:06.83; 2. Marea Li (Amity), 1:07.42; 3. Samantha Chemacki (Daniel Hand), 1:09.59;

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Cheshire (Julia Barto, Hannah Merritt, Julianna Tyler, Avery Potyrals), 3:38.60; 2. Lauralton Hall (Ashlyn Blessey, Caroling Begg, Phoebe Hamblett, Claire Kehley), 3:43.83; 3. Amity (Paige Boguneiecki, Amanda Ford, Lauren Sender, Julia Snow), 3:46.09.

I’d like to thank Coach Todd Rainey for always keeping me informed of the results after each meet this season (and past seasons). The girls’ success has a lot to do with your leadership. As always, I look forward to working with you in the future. 

Remembering Denise With Tie Dye And No Tears

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Nov 032021

Last year, during the pandemic, my longtime friend Denise Mirto called out of the blue one day to tell me something important. “I’ve got cancer,” she said.

“Don’t tell anyone,” she directed. I kept that promise.

She shared it with trusted friends and colleagues, but she didn’t want to have everyone moping around whenever they saw her or thought about her because of an illness.

Shocked and saddened, I asked all of the usual questions, “What kind? How bad? What can they do? How are you dealing with it?”

To this day, I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t remember what type of cancer she suffered from, but I do know that it was advanced and there was nothing that could be done to save her.

Although it ravaged her body, the cancer never defined who she was as a person. Denise didn’t want to upset anyone or worry them with this part of her life that couldn’t be changed.

Over the following months, we talked about chemo and possible experimental treatments. Losing all of her hair and her plans not to wear a wig to cover up her bald head. “I’ve got a nice shaped head, and I have my scarves,” she said.

Still, I bought the softest Hygee yarn and knitted a hat with her in mind. Knowing my “Deadhead” (fan of the Grateful Dead) friend, I even bought some cool tie dye material adorned with the band’s signature dancing bears with which to sew some face masks to use during the ongoing pandemic.

I offered both to Denise, but she politely turned them down, saying she was all set and had plenty of head coverings to keep her warm and masks to provide protection.

In early January, during a conversation via text, she wrote, “Feel exhausted every day – no chemo for past month – waiting for new plan tomorrow.”

Sadly, nothing the doctors tried worked. She was not going to get better, and she had come to terms with it.

This year, friends, neighbors, former coworkers from Real Estate agencies and around town came by with food or to visit. She and her husband, Bob both expressed their appreciation for the kindness everyone showed toward her.

When I spoke to Denise on Oct. 8, she told me that she had made her funeral arrangements at the West Haven Funeral Home. They discussed her obituary and her desire to have visitors leave their tears at home and to wear their tie dye shirts.

Denise strongly believed that we all impact those around us and even when we’re gone, the ripple effect can be felt and seen.

She left this world on her own terms. She was home with those she loved when she crossed over. She knew that she’d taken the burden of funeral planning and the stress of obituary writing off of her family, and the only thing left was to remember her as she was, attending Orange baseball games, organizing volunteers at the food tent during the Orange Firemen’s Carnival and running around like crazy, making sure everything was just right at the Orange Country Fair — she was so proud of the white directional signs that stand on the fairgrounds during the weekend event each year.

I have one big regret that I’m trying to push back in order to honor her wishes. On Sunday, Denise was on my mind all day long. I was exhausted from lack of sleep and all I wanted to do was stay in bed. But when I did go out to retrieve a prescription, I felt a strong pull to drive to her house for a visit. But I didn’t, I went home, fed my dogs and went to bed early.

Two days later she was gone and it was too late. Now I can hear her saying, “STOP IT! You can’t change the past, embrace the future and make the best of it.”

If you’re going to her wake, don’t dare have a sad face. Celebrate everything good and be happy.

I like to think that Jerry Garcia greeted Denise at heaven’s gate with her beloved dog Franco, and that she is finally pain free, carefree, wearing her tie dye and dancing.

I can see her face as the words, “Keep in touch with Bob and don’t forget to appreciate every moment of every day” are stuck in my head today.

Thank You Denise for your friendship and all of the belief you had in me over the years. For showing me how to be strong and how precious our time on earth is. Enjoy the afterlife, and keep watching over us. We already miss you. Forgive me if I choke up, and I will try really hard not to cry.


Orange Election Results by the Numbers

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Nov 032021

The Orange municipal election took place on Tuesday, Nov. 2 with a nearly non-stop flow of voters coming to the High Plains Community Center to let their voices be heard.

Following are the (unofficial) results of the election. 

ballot key























Race Brook CC Lease On Selectmen’s Agenda This Week

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Nov 022021

During the Orange campaign season, the town’s agreement with the Race Brook Country Club became quite the hotbed issue, even though residents, not lawmakers, voted to approve it.

A special meeting of the Board of Selectmen will take place at Town Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 5 p.m.

The board will immediately go into Executive Session during which They will have a discussion regarding the confidential indenture of lease from the Town of Orange to the Race Brook Country Club Incorporated for the premises located at 246 Derby Ave, Race Brook Road, 715 Race Brook Road and 716 Race Brook Road.

The Board will then close the executive session and vote on the lease.

Hopefully, Inquiring minds will be satisfied with what they learn at the end of this meeting.