Orange First Selectman’s Debate Oct. 14

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Oct 142021

Another First Selectman’s Debate will take place at High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road, on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.

Although the sponsor did not share any information with us, including the plans for this debate, nor where the questions come from, it’s only fair that residents get a heads up so you can attend or watch on OGAT or YouTube.

Click the OGAT link on this page OR the link on the Town Website

Following this, the next important established and organized debate is the Men’s Club at Congregation Or Shalom on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. Which always is well done.


Reka, The Tiger Is Leaving The Beardsley Zoo

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Oct 132021

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will say goodbye next week to Reka, a female Amur tiger born at the Zoo, as she moves to a new permanent home.

We watched them grow

Born on November 25, 2017, Reka and her sister Zeya were raised by the Zoo’s animal care staff when their mother, Changbai, displayed no interest in her cubs. Zoo guests and supporters have followed Reka and Zeya’s journey from newborns whose survival was uncertain to the healthy young adult tigers they are today.

Managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), inter-regional transfers are arranged with careful attention to gene diversity in the hope that successful breeding will take place.

Last year, Zeya was sent to Rosamond Gifford Zoo as an excellent genetic match to that Zoo’s resident male tiger. Reka’s new home zoo will announce her arrival once a standard quarantine period is complete later this fall.  Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo remains home to Reka and Zeya’s mother, Changbai.

Amur tigers are very rare and are critically endangered in the wild. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) statistics, today Amur tigers are thought to occupy less than seven percent of their original range.

Threatened by habitat loss and degradation, poaching, tiger-human conflict, and loss of prey, four of nine subspecies have disappeared from the wild just in the past hundred years. The future of the Amur tiger has been a major concern of the world’s zoos for many years as the species has been pushed toward extinction.

There is an SSP program in place for many species of animals through oversight by a group called the Taxon Advisory Group (TAG). The SSP makes breeding recommendations based on genetics, age and health of animals, and need for more of the species to protect future populations.

An Amur Tiger

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Deputy Director, Don Goff, is the Co-Chair of the National Felid TAG group. He leads a committee of AZA-accredited zoo members whose goal is to save declining species.

“As sad as we are to say goodbye to Reka, the planned transfer of animals to other member zoos ensures the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA population,” Goff explained.

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has had repeated success in breeding endangered species, a testament to the Zoo’s animal care specialists and the highest quality of animal care.

The Zoo has been the birthplace of multiple endangered species in recent years, including Amur tiger cubs, maned wolf pups, red wolf pups, three baby Giant anteaters, and two Amur leopard cubs.

About Amur tigers

The Amur, once called the Siberian tiger, is a rare subspecies of tiger, and the largest cat in the world. Adult male tigers can weigh up to 675 pounds, with females weighing up to 350 pounds. Similar to people’s fingerprints, no two tigers have the same striped pattern.

Amur tigers differ from other tigers with fewer, paler stripes, and a mane that helps to keep them warm. They live in southeast Russia as well as small areas of China and North Korea. They live for 10-15 years in the wild, and up to 22 years in human care.

Strokes are serious, don’t ignore the signs — Part 2

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Oct 132021

This is the second part of a column about the strokes I suffered back in 2009 (In real time)

October 12, 2009

On that day, 12 years ago, I wrote: “It looks like I have more damage to my brain. The latest MRI shows new damage to the parietal lobe. probably happened when I had a bad headache for 6 consecutive days. DAMMIT! Anyone want to go to Maine for a week? Not too bright to go by myself, but it’s the ONLY REAL vacation I’ll have all year!”
{NOTE: It was the last vacation I EVER had.)
A week later, on Oct. 18,  I went back to Yale for a follow-up. The doctor told me that I was fine and YES, I certainly could go to Maine by myself, nothing was going to happen. The following morning, bright and early, I drove up to Maine and settled in, grabbing my camera for foliage photos in all of my favorite areas.
On the first two days I woke up early for the most magnificent sunrises in the world from the top of Cadillac Mountain.
On the third day of vacation, I decided to mark some personal uncharted territory and drove inland. I didn’t see any moose, which was my quest, but the scenery was beautiful. While out there in unfamiliar surroundings I began to feel dizzy and ill. I looked at my photos in the camera’s screen and they were all blurry. I began to yawn, but could not complete it — an all too familiar sign. I was having another stroke.
The GPS I owned at the time was not fully charged and it didnt work if it was plugged in. I had no idea where I was and I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to get back to the vacation home on Mount Desert Island (The part of Maine where Bar Harbor is located)
I took a deep breath and made a request. “Dad, I need help,” I said aloud. My father had passed away several years ago, but I could always feel his presence around me, especially when I was in trouble. “Please help me get back to the house.”
I started to drive and it was as if he took the wheel. I don’t know how much time had passed, but before I knew it, I was back on the Island and from there I could navigate to the house.

Facebook was a useful tool back in those days. I put a shout-out on my page and friends and acquaintances immediately chimed in. A dispatcher from the Woodbridge (CT) Police Department offered to call 9-1-1 for me, but I told him I’d do it myself, I’d be fine.

I called 9-1-1, and within a few minutes, an ambulance pulled up. I thought I’d just go to the hospital, get checked out and come back to the house — which is what happened at the New Haven area hospital. I left the computer on the table along with my camera and after assuring the Paramedic that I, Indeed was the patient, I climbed into the back of the ambulance for a very short ride to the tiny Mount Desert Island Hospital.

Real Hospitals Go Above And Beyond

The ER doctor took my complaint of an unfinished yawn and stabbing headache very seriously, and decided to keep me there for a while. Since I didn’t have my computer or any way to communicate with the outside world, the hospital landline became my lifeline and my friend Kathleen became my voice back home in CT, relaying all of the updates as they unfolded, through Facebook.

The nurse went out of her way working with my doctor to find a medication that would relieve my headache. For the first time in days, I could relax and sleep without crying from the pain.

My hospital stay lasted for nearly a week, and I felt respected and cared for. A therapy dog  — a golden retriever – came in one day and made me feel so much better. I was missing my Baron every day and getting a “Golden fix” helped ease the loneliness.

By day 5, the wonderful doctors and nurses fought with the insurance company to get coverage for an MRI and MRA, even though I had just had an MRI in New Haven less than a week earlier.

The hospital was small and did not have room for a permanent radiology department. The nearest machine was a mobile unit kept inside a tractor trailer that traveled around the state. On Saturday, it happened to be on site in the hospital parking lot. The nurse brought me outside in a wheelchair and I was able to enjoy the fall colors and crisp cool air the the first time in days. I sat on a platform that lifted me into the trailer.

The procedures took a while and quite some time after they were done, the nurse informed me that they didn’t have anyone who could read the films on a weekend. BUT since it was nighttime in Maine, it was early morning in Australia, they e-mailed all of the images halfway around the world, where professionals with fresh eyes could read the films and relay what the problem was inside my head.

What they found was astounding — my artery had collapsed and there was minimal blood flow going to all the critical areas of my brain. They said I had to get back to CT immediately where I could see a neurologist for treatment. But they told me in no uncertain terms that I could NOT drive myself back home.

Ashley and my daughter after rescuing me with my ex from Maine.

My daughter rallied my ex-husband and Ashley, a former newspaper intern to take the trip to Maine and drive me back home. They arrived on what would have been my 19th wedding anniversary (Oct. 25) had I not gotten divorced.

I felt terrible that we didn’t have time to see any of the sights or enjoy a fresh seafood dinner while they were there, but all of the restaurants closed by the time I was checked out.

My ex and daughter drove back home in his car, Ashley and I followed in my CRV.

Come back NEXT month for what happened next.

Orange Police: Woman Charged With Criminal Impersonation, Forgery

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Oct 112021

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, Orange police responded to the Derby Courthouse at 10:50 a.m. to process Elizabeth Sophia Flanagan, 36, of Milford, who was being detained on an unrelated matter. 

It was discovered that she was wanted on an active arrest warrant out of the town of Orange. Subsequently, she was charged with fifth-degree larceny, criminal impersonation, interference and two counts of second-degree forgery. 

Flanagan was arraigned at the Derby Court 



Residents Flock To The Paper Shredding Event At High Plains

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Oct 092021

The paper shredding and mattress recycling event at High Plains Community Center on October 9 was well received again.

Hundreds of residents took advantage of the free service handled by Affordable Solutions, owned and operated by Orange resident Joe Johnston.

Cars and SUVs lined up with bags or boxes filled with documents for shredding. Anyone who wanted their boxes or containers returned simply told a volunteer.

Other cardboard boxes were broken down and piled into recycling committee member’s SUV and brought to the transfer station for recycling. Paper and plastic bags also were transported to the transfer station and recycled, nothing was thrown away, and the Recycling Committee left the area cleaner than they found it when they set up.

Once again, the service was generously funded by the Rotary Club of Orange, and residents showed their appreciation by donating cash and checks to the Orange Rotary Scholarship Fund.

At the end of the allotted time (9 a.m. to noon), 10,000 lbs of paper had been shredded and 42 mattresses were brought in to be recycled.

Residents expressed their appreciation to Recycling Committee members and Rotarians alike.

Keep your eyes open for the next shredding opportunity, which most likely will take place in Spring 2022.

Who Won The First Selectman’s Debate In Orange?

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Oct 072021

Incumbent First Selectman James Zeoli (R) went head-to-head with a young man he’s known and liked for decades, challenger Connor Deane (D) (who, in a sweet moment, presented his old bus driver with a photo of himself getting on to Zeoli’s bus back when he was in second grade).

For the most part both candidates were respectful of one another, both had thoughtful responses to the questions presented by the Orange Chamber of Commerce.

They had similar ideas on some subjects, but did not meet eye-to-eye on others.

Although Orange Live tried to keep up with them as they responded to the questions, arthritis and hearing difficulties made it impossible to keep up.

In order to do them justice, I will refer you to the Orange Government Access Television Site and suggest that you Sit down for one hour and hear their responses for yourselves.

So, Who Won The First Debate? Zeoli supporters would say he aced it. Fans of Deane would say he slayed the incumbent.

Click HERE or the OGAT On Demand box on the left side of this page and follow to the First Selectman’s Debate recording when it is posted.

Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The debates are the best way to weigh your options because, unlike reading a mass produced mailer, you can hear the candidates answer questions that are flung at them at the moment with no preview of those questions or coaching from their team members.

The next important established organized debate is the Men’s Club at Congregation Or Shalom on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

It’s all up to you, Orange residents. Who do you think would do the best job for you and the town? Get out and vote on Nov. 2.



Case Memorial Library: Banned Books Bingo Ends On Oct. 12

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Oct 072021

The Case Memorial Library, 176 Tyler City Road has announced the following events and activities for children, tweens, and adults through the end of this month.

Banned Books Bingo
September 27-October 12

Celebrate Banned Books Week with us! Stop by the Library and fill out a Banned Books Bingo card for a chance to win a banned-books themed heat reactive mug and a tote. To participate, select any five banned books you’ve read to get a bingo (across, down, or diagonal) and drop your completed bingo card into the raffle box,

Outdoor Concert: Yale Citations A Cappella Group
Saturday, October 9, 2 p.m.
An amalgamation of future scientists, doctors, nurses, artists, lawyers (and more!), The Citations is the a cappella group of the graduate and professional schools at Yale University. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. This program will be held outside on the Library’s back lawn. Please bring your own chair, wear a mask, and maintain social distancing.
Click here to register.

Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale
Saturday, October 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Books, DVDs, music, and more for all ages! Held in the Library basement. Masks required.

Virtual Zombie Escape Room
Launches Saturday, October 23Open to all ages but best suited for teens in grades 7-12 and adults. Think you have what it takes to survive a zombie apocalypse? Find out in our virtual escape room! Solve puzzles and test your problem-sol
ving skills (and patience!) alone or with friends and family. No registration is required.

Click here to enter the escape room – if you dare!

Take & Make: Peacocks
Monday, October 25

For children ages 3-5.  Learn about these dazzling birds and make one of your own!  Participants must supply their own glue sticks.  Kits may be picked up in the Children’s Room.
Click here to register.

Tween Reads: Halloween
Monday, October 25For tweens in grades 4-6. Looking for some thrills, scares, or even just some magic-themed fun? Try our Halloween-themed book pick! We’ll check out a Halloween book to you, based on your interests, and you’ll get some Halloween goodies to keep. Registration is required.
Click here to register.

Virtual Author Talk: Spooky Trails and Tall Tales Connecticut
Monday, October 25, 7 p.m.In our forests and meadows lurk spine-chilling ghosts protecting Captain Kidd’s treasure, the abode of the Devil himself, and shadowy creatures such as the Glawackus, all awaiting the next hiker to stumble down the trail.  Join us for a Zoom talk with author Stephen Gencarella!
Click here to register.

Mystery Book Discussion
Thursday, October 28, 1 p.m.Join Librarian Samantha Jasulavic for a discussion of The Diviners by Libba Bray. Registration is required, as for online security reasons only registered attendees will be able to attend this event. Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link via email before the event.The registrant’s name as displayed on Zoom must match the name used for registration in order to guarantee admission.
Click here to register.

Events are free and open to the public, except as noted. Please pre-register.
Phone: 203-891-2170
Visit our Facebook page

The Lowest of The Low: 7 Dogs Seized In Orange

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Oct 072021

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, Connecticut State Police announced the arrest of three Connecticut men and the seizure of seven dogs in Orange in connection to an illegal dog fighting syndicate that spans Connecticut and New York.

Ct State Police photo from Grassy Hill Road

On Oct. 5, police and animal control executed a search warrant at 968 Grassy Hill Road in Orange after an investigation into suspected animal cruelty. It was suspected the owner was keeping dogs for fighting.

The Grassy Hill address was developed from leads in the illegal dog fighting investigation with the Suffolk County PD.

Ct State Police Photo from Grassy Hill Road

In the search on Tuesday, police seized evidence indicating dogs were being used for illegal fighting at the property. Additionally, dogs found in outdoor kennel structures on the property were found in unsanitary conditions and tethered in their cages in an unlawful manner.

As a result of the search, seven dogs were seized and placed in the care and custody of the state Department of Agriculture and will be housed at the Milford Animal Control.

Criminal charges related to animal cruelty are expected.


On July 31, Connecticut State Police raided a property on Britannia Street in Meriden and seized eight Pitbulls found in cages in the backyard. Police discovered a large makeshift and portable dog-fighting ring and seized numerous items associated with dog fighting.

“These pit bulls were viciously abused and conditioned to be aggressive and violent fighters,” Attorney General William Tong said at the time. “A multi-state police investigation is ongoing and those responsible for these heinous crimes will be held to justice.”

On Sept. 27, police found and arrested men – considered fugitives from justice – in connection to the investigation: Getulio Vargas Maedo, 46, of Bridgeport, Jose Rivera, 42, of Meriden, and Nelson Rivera, 43, of Meriden.

All three are detained without bond. They appeared in court on Sept. 28.

— Source CT State Police and WTNH

Second Arrest Made In June 7 Woodbridge Homicide

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Oct 062021

On Wednesday, October 6, detectives from the Woodbridge Police Department arrested a second suspect in connection with the death of a West Haven man that occurred on June 7, 2021 on the property of the Pease Road Playground/Alegi Athletic Fields, 160 Pease Road, Woodbridge.

The victim, 33-year-old Rondell Atkinson of West Haven, died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Rickey Traynham charged with murder

Arrested today was Rickey Traynham, 26, of New Haven, who was charged with felony murder, murder, first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, two counts of criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a large capacity magazine.

Traynham has been incarcerated since July 11, 2021, following his arrest by detectives from the Woodbridge Police Department and Connecticut State Police Central District Crime for the charge of Larceny 2nd Degree for being in possession of the deceased victim’s motor vehicle after the incident. Traynham was presented for arraignment today for these additional charges and is being held in lieu of a $2,000,000 court set bond.

Jorden Rudel was the first arrest.

On July 1, 2021, Detectives from the Woodbridge Police Department and the Connecticut State Police arrested Jorden Rudel, 24, of Derby for his role in this homicide.

Rudel remains in Connecticut Department of Corrections custody on a $2,000,000 bond after being charged on that date with felony murder, murder, first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit first degree robbery and second-degree larceny.

The police investigation revealed that on the evening of June 7, 2021, the victim traveled to the park with Traynham and Rudel, who then robbed him of his personal belongings, and after shooting him multiple times and leaving him in the parking lot, fled in his vehicle. The body of the deceased victim was discovered the following morning by a jogger who alerted authorities.

Woodbridge Police Chief Frank Cappiello praised the tenacious efforts of not only the detectives from his agency, but also those from the Connecticut State Police Central District Major Crime and Emergency Services Units and the New Haven Police Department, along with personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State of Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory and the New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office, who collectively worked to identify all those responsible for committing this heinous crime.

Important Notice: Amity Hall of Honor/Hall of Fame Date Change

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Oct 062021

The 2021-2022 Amity Academic Hall of Honor and Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be postponed with a new date of Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Due to new COVID concerns, organizers have decided to wait until spring.

The event will still take place at Grassy Hill Country Club, 441 Clark Lane, Orange.

Please save the date and come out to honor all of these worthy Amity alums.

The Honorees include:

Rob Leonard

Academic Hall of Honor:

Robert Leonard(’87) Business/Finance He is the Owner of New England Brewing Co. in Woodbridge.

Scott Klein (’88) Education/Journalist. Klein is a Journalist and the Deputy Managing Editor at ProPublica.

Mark A. Levine (’88) Engineer/Charity. Levine is an Engineer and an Advocate to others with Cystic Fibrosis.

Michael Slomsky (“91) Business/Finance/Charity

Athletic Hall of Fame:

Joey Ciancola

Sal Coppola (’87) Amity Varsity Baseball Coach, who has won seven SCC and six Class LL state championships and last season celebrated his 500th game with the Spartans

Gilbert Jennings (’91), who thrilled Amity sports fans in football, wrestling and outdoor track and field.

Erin (McLauglin) Guise (’05) an exceptional Amity swimmer.

Janice Ehorn (’08) Amity Volleyball standout.

Allison Barwise (’09) this Amity Tri-athlete indoor and outdoor track and field and soccer player was named the New Haven Register Female Athlete of the Year in 2009;

The late Joseph “Joey” Ciancola (10) who excelled in hockey and baseball at Amity.