Celebrate the Election of First Selectman Jim Zeoli and the Z Team

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Jan 122016

string-lightingThe election is over and now, it’s time to celebrate.

The Orange Republicans are hosting a celebration party for First Selectman Jim Zeoli and his ‘Z Team at the Birchwoods in Woodbridge (the former Oak Lane CC) 1027 Racebrook Road on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016,  7 -11 p.m.
The cost is $65 per person ($120 per couple) and includes an open bar (wine, beer and soda), hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, 3 carving stations plus dessert!
A D.J. will provide entertainment for the evening.

Make checks payable to Friends of Zeoli and mail to Lynn Plaskowitz, 301 Orange Center Road, Orange, CT, 06477 or for more information, call Nancy Nastri at 203-804-8680.

Amity Athlete Willing To Give It Her All (With Videos)

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Dec 292015

IMG_9408What is a great athlete? Is it the final relay runner who crosses the finish line or the teammate who handed her the baton? Is it the tallest basketball player who can hang off the hoop after dunking the ball or the little guy who passed it to him 10 seconds earlier? Is it the hockey player who makes the goal or the goaltender who prevents the other team from scoring for three periods?

A great athlete isn’t necessarily the one that gets all the accolades or who wins every event. A great athlete is the boy or girl, man or woman who gives everything he or she has to their sport. The team player who attends every practice and works just as hard or harder than teammates twice as strong and double the experience.

Amity High School has many fine athletes, some “benchwarmers” show they’ve got the right stuff when given a chance.

This year there is one sophomore who has always been interested in sports. She’s done gymnastics, field hockey, outdoor track and more. No matter what she’s doing, she puts everything she has into it.

12294813_1695502630693158_5587750816812748348_nDuring the fall field hockey season, Shayna Goldblatt, 15, of Orange began talking to the new Athletic Trainer, Kim Pearce every time she had a chance.

Pearce played football and wrestled when she attended Oxford High School and saw something special in young Shayna.

Noticing the drive and determination she showed on the field, Pearce told her, “You would be perfect for wrestling.”

After several conversations and careful consideration, Shayna was ready to try something different.

“It took a long time to convince my parents. I had to beg them, and when they realized I was serious about it, they agreed to let me try out,” she said.

No parent wants to see their daughter tossed around and held down by boys bigger than her.

Shayna’s father Mitch said, “It’s something she really wanted to do. She’s so determined and works so hard.”

Of  her new endeavor, Shayna said, “I LOVE IT, it’s different from any sport I’ve done. The technical side of wrestling is the toughest. You need to have a willingness to give it your all and it takes everything out of you.

“Practices are the hardest workout I’ve ever done, and it’s all for a 6 minute match,” she said.

At 94 pounds, Shayna is wrestling kids in the 99-106 weight class.

“It’s hard, but I put up a good fight,” she said.

Giving her all

In her first tournament in Shelton, where she was the only female, she wrestled a boy who had 10 pounds on her and he also had 3 years experience. She held her own until she was ultimately pinned. Shayna racked it up to experience.

“Wrestling is a team sport, but it’s all on YOU — you against one other person — you have to do it and want it,” she said. “You get out there on the mat, try your hardest and leave it all out there.”

After a match you have to figure out what you did wrong and work on the moves that didn’t work and improve on getting out of a jam.

Shayna said she appreciates the support she receives from Pearce and her parents.

“For my first tournament, which lasted several hours, my mother came and stayed for every match,” she said.

Opportunity of a Lifetime

10350349_1700094623567292_1295453894094353587_nOn Sunday, Dec. 27,  Shayna got the opportunity of a lifetime to meet and work with Women’s Wrestling Olympian Elena Pirozhkova in Springfield, Mass.

It turns out that her wrestling coach Todd Patterson went to high school with Pirozhkova and asked Pearson, to talk to Shayna about going to a clinic.

“So, on Sunday Kim and I went to a clinic with Todd and Corynne Chadwick and her father in Springfield Mass. and we got to meet and work with Elena,” Shayna said. “When we went off into groups to practice moves she spent most of her time with Corynne and me which was super cool because she focused so much on us and trying to get us to become better at the moves she taught us.”

“It was such an amazing experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. I am so glad that she took the time to work one on one with us,” she said.


It looks like the opportunity really gave her an advantage. Shayna competed in the Danbury Holiday Tournament on Monday, Dec. 28, and she won her first match ever (against Portland) and after that she won her second match (against Joel Barlow) and placed 4th in the 99lb weight class at the tournament.

Other Activities
Aside from Field Hockey, last spring we saw Shayna participate in outdoor track.
She competed in sprints and long jump, but in 2016, she wants to do long distance running.
Last summer she competed in her first 5K, the Peck Place Panther Pounce and placed second in her age group. She liked it so much that she ran in the Rotary Turkey Trot and took first place in her division.
The Amity Wrestling Team will host a meet in Woodbridge on Jan. 6.

How Do You Drive In Snow And Ice? Driving Safety Tips To Review Before You Go Out

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Dec 212015

driving on iceDriving tips from autoinsurancecenter.com:

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it.

Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared (TIPS), and that you know how to handle road conditions.

It’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle.

Driving safely on icy roads

  1. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  2. Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  3. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  4. Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  5. Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  6. Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  7. Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  8. Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  9. Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

If your rear wheels skid…

  1. Take your foot off the accelerator.
  2. Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right.
  3. If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
  4. If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  5. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse — this is normal.

If your front wheels skid…

  1. Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
  2. As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.

If you get stuck…

  1. Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
  2. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
  3. Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
  4. Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
  5. Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
  6. Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner’s manual first — it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you’re in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.
  7. More Tips

Sources: National Safety Council, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, Washington State Government Information & Services