Rain, Rain, Go Away…What’s Happening To Memorial Day Plans in Orange?

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May 302021

There was an indoor ceremony in 2018.

Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the brave men and women from ALL wars who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Parades and cookouts have become a tradition, but the most important activities are those that involve war veterans.

What can be more appropriate than the sky crying on Memorial Day? It may ruin most holiday plans, but the Orange Memorial Day Committee has one significant ceremony that it never cancels, no matter what the weather is like.

The Committee has canceled the Memorial Day parade for today, and it won’t be rescheduled. But more importantly, the Memorial Day Ceremony scheduled for 10:30 a.m. WILL still take place, not at the gazebo, but inside the gym at the High Plains Community Center as it did in 2018.

Please come out to honor those who died to secure our freedom.

AVANGRID Offers Safety Tips for Extreme Cold Weather

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Jan 282021

With the freezing temperatures and sub-zero wind chills forecast for this weekend, we thought it was a good idea to republish this informative story containing tips on many ways of taking care of yourself in the extreme cold.  

Weather Advisory Issued to Customers of United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas

AVANGRID a diversified U.S. energy company, and its subsidiaries in Connecticut and Massachusetts are urging customers to take measures to stay safe and warm during the bitterly cold weather that’s forecast for New England.

The risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and other hazards can increase as residents try to stay warm during the extreme cold. As this extremely cold weather settles in, the companies encourage customers to look around their homes and make sure they’re able to keep themselves and their families warm and to identify any potential safety risks that must be addressed.

Staying Warm

If you are unable to keep your home safely and comfortably heated, call Infoline at 211 for resources that can help you and your family.

Exposure to extreme cold can cause serious medical conditions including hypothermia and frostbite. To avoid them, stay indoors if possible and wear warm clothing, including head covering and gloves or mittens.

For information about frostbite, hypothermia, and other concerns, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Incidences of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning rise during cold weather, as a result of malfunctioning appliances, poor ventilation, and improper use of heat sources. Place smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, outside of sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to make sure the batteries are working, and replace the batteries at least twice a year.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless toxic gas. It is a product of fuel combustion, and a buildup can result from a furnace or space heater problem. Symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic flu, so make sure the CO detector is functioning.

For more information about fire and carbon monoxide dangers, visit the National Fire Protection Association, https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/News-and-media/Press-Room/News-releases/2016/Winter-weather-months-prompt-heating-and-carbon-monoxide-safety-warnings.

Stove and Range

The stove, range, and other kitchen appliances are designed for cooking, not heating. Use them as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition to creating a fire hazard, a natural gas stove or oven can present a carbon-monoxide risk when used for heating.

Space Heaters

Use only space heaters that have been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and never use a device designed for outdoor use indoors. Place the space heater on a level surface away from foot traffic, at least 3 feet from combustible materials. Inspect the cord for fraying, and after plugging it in, periodically feel the cord near the outlet to make sure the plastic is not getting hot. Do not run the space heater cord under a rug or carpeting, and never use an extension cord for a space heater. Keep children and pets away, and turn off the space heater when you leave the area.

More space heater safety information can be found on the U.S. Department of Energy website, at https://energy.gov/energysaver/portable-heaters.

Heating, Hot Water, and Plumbing

Keep the furnace area clear of flammable materials and keep vents clear to provide a good air supply to your heating system to ensure proper combustion.

Water pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures may freeze and burst. Don’t ignore drips or odd noises from your heating system — call your heating company to investigate. Wrap exposed pipes in your basement with pipe insulation to help them retain heat and avoid freezing.

The American Red Cross offers additional tips for avoiding frozen pipes at https://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes.

Meet The Newest Member Of The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office

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Dec 112020

The Orange Fire Marshal’s office is responsible for many important safety issues throughout town. Separate from the volunteer fire department, which responds to and extinguishes fires, the Fire Marshal (Jamie Vincent) or Deputy Fire Marshal (Tim Boyer) will respond to a scene not to fight a fire, but rather, in an investigative capacity, to get to the bottom of what caused the fire.

Another very important component of the office is the fire inspector’s job. This very busy office usually employs two fire inspectors, but in early fall, it was short-handed. With the shift in assignments in the Fire Marshal’s office since Tim Smith’s passing earlier in the year — Deputy Vincent was promoted to Fire Marshal, Inspector Boyer moved up to Deputy and longtime inspector Mike Knight retired, which left a vacancy.

Introducing Joe Taylor Fire Inspector

The search for a good, qualified, responsible fire inspector was on, and in August, an application came through that checked all the boxes.

Joseph Taylor— call him “Joe” — was a Bridgeport Firefighter for 21.5 years and served in the fire marshal’s office for 7 years.

He retired in 2018 and was taking it easy and helping family members with little projects and taking care of his nieces and nephews whenever needed.

After more than a year of relaxation, COVID-19 hit, and life as he knew it changed. Retirement was boring, golf wasn’t his thing, and, at 52, it was time for Joe to get back to work.

He was looking for the right fit when the Orange inspector’s job opened up. Joe took the test and was certified when he was in Bridgeport and trained with the guys in that office. He had more than 100 fire investigations under his belt.

Working in Bridgeport, a city of 145,000 people was different from Orange (population 14,000) most of the inspections were multifamily homes, whereas in Orange the inspections are primarily businesses.

Since joining the OFM office, Joe has had a lot to learn, first and foremost, backroads.

He’s found the business owners to be nice, friendly and very cooperative.

He looks forward to doing home inspections and ensuring residents are safe in their own surroundings.

Joe said he’s happy to be back in the fire service. He loved being a firefighter and has the same feeling in this office. “It’s like a family, everyone is welcoming,” he said.

He can’t wait for COVID to be over so he can get out in the community and share in all the town events he’s heard so much about, such as the Firemen’s Carnival, Country Fair,  Fouth of July fireworks, etc.

Joe lives in Stratford with his wife of 25 years, Marcy.


Even The Coronavirus Can’t Stop Orange From Honoring Veterans

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Nov 112020

The town of Orange has always respected its veterans and honored the brave men and women who served and secured our freedom especially on Veterans Day.

Due to the highly infectious coronavirus and the vulnerability of the town’s treasured Vets who fought in the Korean War, Vietnam, and perhaps some battles prior to these, it was important to observe social distancing to fight for their well-being as they had so selflessly fought for ours.

This year’s gathering was small, with metal chairs spaced out on the grassy side of the Veterans’ Walk in front of High Plains Community Center. A wooden podium set up near the flagpole and only the American Legion Honor Guard was on hand to present the colors — Usually, the Orange Police Department Honor Guard and the Orange Rotary displays a Giant American Flag.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli, Legion Historian Jim White, and Police Chief Robert Gagne addressed the gathering.

What Covid stole from us this year was a local talented singer performing the National Anthem, but thankfully, the American Legion Post 127 was able to find a way to responsibly honor our local heroes on this special day.

Thank you to all of our veterans both here in Orange and around the world for your service and sacrifice.


Now Less than 10

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Aug 102020

By 10 p.m. on Aug. 10, the UI crews and friends have gotten the number of power outages down to 9. Better for the company perhaps, but for the customers who are SO CLOSE but still powerless, they’re not feeling so lucky.

Believe me, anyone who remains, we’re all with you and hope you get your service back soon.

Your Entire Family Could See The Perseid Meteor Shower

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Aug 102020

The Perseid meteor shower, one of the most popular meteor showers of the year, may be a little hard to see at its peak because of the moon’s brightness, but it’s still worth the effort to see it.

The show is scheduled to start pretty early, around 9 p.m. tomorrow night, (Tuesday, Aug. 11) and it will continue through the early morning with the best viewing between 2 a.m. and dawn, according to NASA.gov.

On a dark night, you could see up to 60 meteors per hour, but with the moonlight that could be reduced to 15 to 20, NASA said. But the American Meteor Society stated as many as 30 an hour could blaze through the moonlight.

You can try to get an early jump on the event by checking out the sky tonight, and the meteor shower will continue through Thursday, Aug. 13.

The Perseids have presented a breathtaking display for 2,000 years, according to NASA. If you can, use this opportunity to find a dark place that’s not washed up by ground lights and enjoy the show with your children or grandchildren for an everlasting memory.