Are You A Raffle Prize Winner? Find Out Now!

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Aug 022020

Carnival Chairman Donny Foyer welcomes everyone to the shortest carnival ever.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department did not have it’s 95th Annual Carnival this year due to the Coronavirus, but the Raffle did go on as planned.

Carnival Chairman Donny Foyer said that this year people were very generous and the raffle tickets sold very well, which will help make up for some of the $120,000 that an actual carnival can bring in to the department for its needs.

Along with the raffle ticket sales, the Orange Finance Department also arranged for two additional fundraising events that would bring in money to its $50,000 Fire Truck Challenge that would assist in the purchase of a new fire truck.

Jim Hassenmayer, the owner of the Orange Ale House, 517 Boston Post Road, donated 200 $30 gift certificates to his establishment that the firefighters sold for $25 each at the restaurant on Friday, July 24th. The fire department kept the entire$25 for each one sold. Even though the restaurant has suffered since March with all of the restrictions from the COVID-19 crisis, Hassenmayer did not hesitate to give this gift to the OVFD, valued at $6,000.

A second $50K Challenge Fundraiser took place at Golf Lounge 18 with a closest to the pin contest the following Sunday.


The Raffle Ticket drawing took place at the Orange Fairgrounds on Sunday, Aug. 2 at 4:30 p.m.

Selectman Mitch Goldblatt, once again read off the winning numbers and recipients’ names.

#1 –  $10,000 Visa Gift Card                     075872. Duran Villaverde, West Haven

#2 –  $5,000  Visa Gift Card                     085833. Laura Tafuto, Hamden

#3 –  $3,000  Visa Gift Card.                    024682. Ann Friend, Orange

#4 –  $2,500 Gift Cert Anytime Fitness   026117   Linda Geane, Orange

#5 –  $1,200 Gift Cert Diamond Designs 036566 John Coppola, Orange

#6.-  Apple I-Pad from Best Buy.              045461  Dan May, Orange

#7. –  $400 Gift Card Shop Rite.               087455. Victoria Wilde, Orange

#8 –   $300 Gift Card Trader Joes.           030566 Kathleen Chapman, Orange

#9.-   $250 Gift Certificate Knight’s Inc.  043391 Kathleen Taylor, Orange

#10 – $200 Gift Card Kohl’s                       101814. James Kohl, Orange

#11 – $200 Gift Card to Outback               102770. John Kuchar, Orange


Congratulations to all of the winners! And We Hope to see everyone at the Carnival in 2021.

NOTE: The Finance Department has decided to continue the $50,000 Challenge until the end of September so there’s still time to contribute AND you still have an opportunity to purchase any of the remaining $30 Ale House Gift Certificates for a $25 donation to the OVFD. 

Will We Be Able To See This Month’s Full Moon?

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Aug 012020

The Old Farmer’s Almanac shares this information about this weekend’s full moon.

August’s full moon, known as the Full Sturgeon Moon will appear on Sunday night, August 2, before reaching peak illumination at 11:59 a.m. on Monday, August 3. On either of these nights, look toward the southeast after sunset to catch a glimpse of the Sturgeon Moon rising, that is, unless it’s overcast or raining.

This month’s full moon was traditionally called the Sturgeon Moon because the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this part of summer.

Other names for this Full Moon include ”Full Green Corn Moon,” signaling that the corn was nearly ready for harvest, “Wheat Cut Moon,” “Moon When All Things Ripen,” and ”Blueberry Moon.”

Perseid Meteor Shower

Not too long after August’s Full Moon, it will be time to keep an eye out for the annual Perseid meteor shower, which lasts from late July to late August. The meteors will reach their maximum in the hours just before dawn (while it’s still dark) between August 11 and 13! Thankfully, the Moon will be in its Last Quarter phase at this time, so the meteors shouldn’t be too washed out to view. Read more about the Perseid meteor shower here.


Please Don’t Take Your Dog With You

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Aug 012020

Every year across the country children and pets die in hot cars.

Today I came across a troubling sight outside of my favorite coffee shop. When I drove up, I parked next to a car where a dog was sitting in the back seat with her head out of the fully open window – All of the windows were all the way down – it was 78-degrees.

After buying my coffee, I passed by again and she was laying down on the seat, which was in the full sun, and she was panting, not uncontrollably or drooling, or foaming at the mouth. The temperature had gone up to 80-degrees. I called over to her, but she didn’t get up.

I drove home, around the corner, to take care of my own dogs, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the dog in the car. I don’t know if they understood, but, I stopped to tell my dogs that if the other dog belonged to an employee who was working a shift I was going to offer to bring her home so she’d be safe and cool. So get ready to meet a new friend, and I headed back down there. (Just a short walk away.)

I must admit I was aggravated when I saw the car still there in the hot sun when I returned. She came over to me and I petted her to see how hot she was, and then I went inside to find the owner.

An older couple was sitting at a table and when I asked if she was theirs the woman pointed to the man and told me she was his dog.

“May I please give her some water?” I asked. The man agreed that it was a good idea, and thanked me.

One of the staff got me a 16 oz cup of water and I brought it outside. “Hi sweetheart, do you want some water?” I tilted the cup and let her drink it slowly, and she finished just about every drop. Since she’d been in the car for about 30 minutes, I asked If I could take her out of the car and sit with her in the shade, but they assured me they were leaving soon.

After cooling down with the drink the dog was happy to see her “dad” come back to the car. And he told me they were going for a walk at the beach.

This dog was obviously loved, but I would just never bring my girls anywhere if I knew I’d be leaving them in the car even for a minute. These are crazy times, and the owner was lucky that I was the dog lover who took a shine to his pup. Someone else may have called the police or grabbed her and taken her away out of concern.

If you LOVE your dog or your kids, please do not take them out in the car on a hot day, especially if you are going to stop somewhere “for just a minute.”

See the chart for how fast the inside of a car can heat up to a dangerous level for your loved ones. If you don’t believe it, then sit in your car with the doors and windows closed, or treat yourself to a slightly opened window and see for yourself how comfortable you are after 5-10-15 minutes or a half hour. You won’t leave your dog (or kids) in a locked car alone again.

Hurricane Season is Heating Up: What UI Customers Need to Know

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Jul 312020

UI is making preparations As Hurricane Isaias closes in on U.S. shores; the company urges customers to be ready, too

United Illuminating, subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc.(NYSE: AGR) is monitoring weather forecasts and making preparations as Hurricane Isaias approaches the southeastern U.S. coastline from the Caribbean.

While it is uncertain whether the storm will pose a threat to UI’s service territory, some scenarios project the storm or its remnants could affect the region by early to mid-week. UI prepares for storms year-round and reminds customers that they should be ready, too.

UI storm readiness personnel have already held planning meetings, and the company is preparing crews and equipment to ensure that adequate resources are available should the storm affect the region. UI crews are working under special protocols to keep themselves and the public safe during the pandemic.

In addition to its own crews, UI is securing contractor support and working with its mutual assistance group, as well as the other AVANGRID companies, in case additional resources are needed.

The company offers the following tips to help customers prepare and stay safe.

Before a Storm:

  • Sign up for Outage Alerts. Text “REG” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI) to receive free text alerts if you lose service, and for restoration updates. Or, visit uinet.com for more alert options.
  • Keep long-lasting LED flashlights and lanterns on hand, along with a battery-operated radio, fresh batteries, drinking water, non-perishable foods, and prescription medications.
  • Fully charge mobile devices and store emergency contacts in memory.
  • Fuel your vehicles and fill spare fuel tanks for generators.

Medical and Life Support Customers:

  • Customers who rely on life-saving medical equipment should have a plan in case of a sudden or extended loss of service. UI medical and life-support customers should register in advance to ensure the company is aware of their needs. Call UI at 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI).


  • Do not use a generator that plugs into your home’s electrical system unless it was installed by a licensed electrician via a transfer switch. Improperly connected generators can back-feed electricity into the outside grid and pose a danger to the public and to crews working to restore service.
  • Carefully read and observe the instructions in your generator’s operating manual.
  • Properly ground all portable generators.
  • Never run a generator indoors, in an open garage, or near a window.
  • Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running.

Report an Outage:

  • To report an outage, visit uinet.com or call 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers can also report outages using the company’s new mobile app, available from the Apple Store and Google Play. Or, they can report outages via UI’s mobile alert system: text “OUT” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI). Registration is required.

For additional storm readiness and safety information:

Storm relief resources can be found by calling Connecticut’s InfoLine at 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211ct.org.

To see the Hurrican’s Path closer look below:

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Mourns the Loss of Red Panda

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Jul 312020

Meri, the Red Panda (Jack Bradley)

The family at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is saddened to announce the passing of Meri, a seven-year-old female Red panda, on Monday, July 27. The Zoo’s animal care team found that she had passed away in her sleep during the night, with no obvious signs of distress. A post-mortem necropsy showed that the cause was a cardiac condition.

The Zoo sent out this notice today: Born on June 27, 2013, at the Detroit Zoo, Meri came to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo on January 11, 2018, from the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, Delaware. She was named for Meriadoc Brandybuck, a character in J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings. She was a beloved member of the Zoo family.

“Meri will be deeply missed by all of us here at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “She had a unique personality and related well both to her companion, Rochan and to her animal care staff. It has been our privilege to have known her for the past two years.

The Zoo remains home to Rochan, a six-year-old male Red panda who has been part of the Zoo family since October 2015. The Natt Family Red Panda Habitat opened in October 2018, a gift from Bob and Helen Natt of Easton, also funded by monies raised by supporters and from the Werth Family Foundation.

The Red panda habitat offers indoor and outdoor viewing access for the Red pandas with air-conditioned indoor living quarters and a yard landscaped with bamboo and plenty of treetop spots for sunbathing.

Rochan and Meri were part of the Species Survival Program (SSP), a breeding and management program designed to preserve the long-term sustainability of captive-based animal populations. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will work with the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA) Species Survival Plan to identify another female Red panda as a new companion for Rochan.

Timely News: Boy Scout Breathes New Life Into Outdoor Classroom

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Jul 312020

Just In Time For Students’ Return To School After Pandemic Lockdown

Troop 12 Eagle Project Volunteers

The aging and overgrown outdoor classroom at Race Brook Elementary School in Orange included decaying tree stump seats and dilapidated picnic benches and it was in dire need of renovation.

Frankie Cavallaro, a Boy Scout with Troop 12 in Milford and an RBS alumnus, saw an opportunity to serve his community while working toward achieving his Eagle Scout rank:

“The outdoor classroom was in pretty bad shape, and it occurred to me that this was the perfect way for me to transform it into a more inviting and usable space to which staff and students might escape for some fresh air and social distancing during the school day,” he said.

Cavallaro solicited area businesses for material donations and set to work in his home garage constructing new bench seating and decorating them with school colors. He enlisted 10 other scouts from his troop to spend a Saturday cleaning out the area, weeding, edging, spreading new pea stone, assembling, and painting picnic tables.

Mike Gray, Director of Business and Operations for Orange Public Schools, said, “His efforts have led to an inviting open-air space that will certainly be utilized by students and staff at Race Brook School. Frankie is a fine example of youth putting their leadership skills into action and giving back.”

Cavallaro would like to thank the following organizations for the generous materials and financial contributions that made this project possible: Ivy League Landscaping, Home Depot in Orange, Rings End in Orange, and the Race Brook School PTA.

He would also like to thank his troop, Mr. Gray, and his parents for their assistance and support, “I couldn’t have done it without them!”

Newly Updated Outdoor Classroom at Race Brook School


Don’t Forget To Buy Your OVFD Carnival Raffle Tickets!

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Jul 292020

With the Coronavirus messing everything up across the world, it’s easy to get confused about what day it is, what events we used to look forward to on any given weekend.

For example, this weekend we would have been flocking to the Orange Fairgrounds for the Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival, playing games, spinning on rides and enjoying carnival food, and cooling down with the World’s Best Ice Cream Sundae.

Without the actual event, you may have forgotten to buy your raffle tickets this year. Thankfully, there’s still time! Dig into your pocket and grab a $5 or $20 or more and take a chance on winning up to $10,000. Seriously, how can you pass that up?

Tickets are available at several convenient locations around town, go out and get yours today before you forget. The drawing is on Sunday! All proceeds will help the OVFD help YOU in the event of an emergency!

List of 2020 Raffle Prizes

1st Prize $10,000 Visa Card – People’s Bank

2nd Prize $5,000 Visa Card – People’s Bank

3rd Prize $3,000 Visa Card – People’s Bank

4th Prize $2,500 Gift Certificate, Anytime Fitness, 560 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT

5th Prize $1,200 Gift Certificate – Diamond Designs, 500 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT

6th Prize Apple I-Pad Wi-Fi – 128 GB, Best Buy, 53 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT

7th Prize $400 Gift Card – ShopRite, 935 Boston Post Road, Milford, CT

8th Prize $300 Gift Card – Trader Joe’s, 560 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT

9th Prize $250 Gift Card – Knight’s, Inc., 286 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT

10th Prize $200 Gift Card – Kohl’s, 250 Bull Hill Lane, Orange, CT

11th Prize Gift Card – Outback Steakhouse, 132 Marsh Hill Road, Orange, CT

Alcoholic beverages not included

About Ticket Sales and the drawing

Tickets are available from ANY Orange Volunteer Firefighter; at People’s Bank, 653 Orange Center Road, Orange; First Selectman’s Office, Orange Town Hall; and Knight’s Power Equipment, 286 Boston Post Road.

If you can’t make it to any of these places, the word is you will have an opportunity to buy tickets prior to the drawing at the fairgrounds on Sunday. 

The price is still $5.00/each Suggested Donation

Drawing will take place on Sunday, August 2, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. at the Orange Fairgrounds, 525 Orange Center Road, Orange, CT

Ticket holders need not be present to win.

The weather may be a little wet and/or humid in the mid-80s but the raffle WILL go on as scheduled.

Be Aware Of This Road Improvement Project On Route 1

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Jul 282020

A road construction update from the Orange Police Department Facebook page:

The State DOT project to replace the culvert over Silver Brook, which flows under Rt1 near Chips Restaurant, and to add a fifth lane on Rt1 between Racebrook Road and Lambert Road will finally begin this Wednesday, July 29.

The first stage of the construction will encompass replacing the culvert under the 2 eastbound lanes on Rt1 and doing other drainage work along the road. This stage of work is expected to run through the spring of 2021.

The second stage of construction will encompass replacing the culvert under the 2 westbound lanes on Rt1 and finishing up the road work. The whole project is expected to be completed by December 2021.

During construction, there will only be one lane of traffic on Rt1 in each direction between Racebrook Road and Lambert Road with a third “suicide” lane in the center to help keep traffic flowing.

Please be patient and expect delays as motorists get used to the new traffic pattern. Alternate routes are always an option to circumvent the area.

Why Won’t Orange Live Branch Out?

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Jul 282020

In the past two weeks, I’ve been asked several times by friends, web designers looking for business, and other online entities, “Why don’t you branch out and cover news from other towns?”

When I tell the web people seeking my business that I only cover Orange, even though the highest percentage of my readers are in Milford, they question why I don’t expand into Milford.

The answer is simple, my upbringing, and the fact that eight years ago when I launched Orange Live, I promised my readers that I would remain true to my word to only cover news that involved the town of Orange.

If I can’t stand by my word, then how can anyone ever believe they can trust a word I say?

Every other news outlet covers some other town, usually for the money they can make from it — Orange AND Milford; Orange AND Woodbridge; Orange, Bethany, Woodbridge, AND Milford.

From the start in May 2012, I promised to only cover Orange, incorporating news from Amity High School because Orange residents go there, AND the Beardsley Zoo, because it is Connecticut’s Zoo, a treasure that’s only a short drive from Orange. It offers learning opportunities for children and adults and it is a wonderful resource right in our backyard, so to speak.

Yes, occasionally, I have posted a bear sighting in Woodbridge if it is close to the town border, because ultimately a black bear will show up in Orange within a week or two after being seen over there.

Other than that, I have remained true to my promise.

A turning point

Before my strokes in 2009, I covered the three Amity towns in a newspaper every week for more than 10 years, running from Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge, juggling school plays and events, summer activities, parades, senior activities, veterans’ affairs, tri-town meetings, and police blotters. And I did it well. Back then I won several awards for my writing and photography, and everyone knew who I was. My face was plastered on page 4 on my column every week, so how could you miss me?

I slowed down a bit after that, with seizures being the only after-effects of the strokes. They hindered my memory and comprehension, and when they would hit were unpredictable.

I left the newspaper for a new Online-only company, which I made into a household name within a few months.

After a couple of years, I didn’t like the direction they were taking, as they opened hundreds of new sites at once, which put a strain on the mother company’s finances, which trickled down to the individual site editors.

They wanted us to take news from other sources, publish a paragraph or two, then link back to the source. “That’s not what I was hired to do.” I told my very young ‘boss.’ I was fired for insubordination.

On my own

It was a big relief. I walked away from a good-paying job and that night I started Orange Live, introducing it on Facebook, and launching the site three days later.

Being my own boss has its perks, I don’t have to put my face on the site – If you know me, you know me, If you don’t, well that’s okay too. I do my best to keep up with what’s going on. I do everything by myself, answering e-mail, editing, writing, photography, ads, posting on the site, Twitter, Facebook, etc. I don’t get paid for anything I do.

I participate in local charities by donating homemade prizes, candy for the Lions Easter Egg Hunt, etc. and I offer my assistance wherever it’s needed.

So, back to the point. Why don’t I expand to other communities? I just love Orange, I know the people, I know the town better than my own, and in many ways, it feels like home to me. Most importantly, my parents raised me to be honest. I gave you my word 8 years ago, and I stand by it now and always will.


Be Aware Of These COVID-19 Rule Updates

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Jul 282020

Following is a message from The CT Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman:

While we have paused on the Phase 3 reopening of the state to protect the health of all of our residents, we have made some updates to our industry-specific rules after consulting with industry leaders and public health officials.

These updates provide more specific guidance, as well as new recommendations for a broad range of sectors. Highlights include:

New rules for Indoor Recreation and expanded guidance for Outdoor Events.

Changes impacting Offices, Personal Services, Hair Salons & Barbershops, Retail, Libraries, etc.:

Non-essential businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask.

In the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19, it is recommended the business implement 24-hour passive decontamination and follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting.

For bathrooms, the posting of signage encouraging reduced capacity and reminding individuals to wash their hands and wear masks is suggested.

Changes impacting Restaurants:

Servers are no longer required to wear gloves.

Indoor performances are now allowed (with the exception of musical vocalists).

Hotels are now permitted to provide non-essential services and amenities (e.g., valets, ice machines).

These and other sector-specific updates go into effect immediately. Businesses and non-profits that have already completed the self-certification process as part of Phases 1 or 2 do not need to re-register, but must comply with any new rules for their sector.

Thank you for continuing to comply with these enhance protocols as we find new and better ways to get back to work safely.


David Lehman, Commissioner