Girl Scout Day celebrated in West Haven
WEST HAVEN, March 16, 2022 — (Pictured): Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, back center, recognizes Girl Scouts of the West Haven Service Unit at City Hall on Monday.
During the half-hour ceremony, Rossi, a former Girl Scout and troop leader, answered questions before reading a mayoral proclamation declaring Girl Scout Day in West Haven.
The event was coordinated by Troop 60298 leader Carrie Malangone, Troop 60321 leader Jennifer Conroy, Troop 60351 leader Katie Koontz, Troop 60330 leader Heather Buccheri and Girl Scouts of Connecticut Member Experience Specialist Janeska Cardona.
The observance marked the 110th anniversary of Girl Scouts of the United States of America, a national organization founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Ga.
(City Photo/Carrie Malangone)
Keith Sweeney is West Haven’s 2022 Irishman of the Year. Sweeney, 68, a second-generation Irish American, will receive the “Irish Person of the Year” honor at the 29th annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration outside City Hall’s Campbell Avenue entrance at noon Thursday. (Contributed Photo)
Sweeney finally getting top Irishman honor Thursday
WEST HAVEN, March 16, 2022 — After a two-year pause because of the coronavirus, Keith Sweeney will finally get his celebratory day on St. Patrick’s Day.
Sweeney, an integral part of West Haven’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations as a committee member and participant, was named the city’s Irishman of the Year in 2020 and will now receive the honor as its 2022 recipient at the 29th annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at noon Thursday.
The West Haven St. Patrick’s Day Committee will fete Sweeney, whose grandparents hailed from the counties of Roscommon and Offaly, Ireland, by hanging a green street sign designating City Hall’s Campbell Avenue entrance as “Keith M. Sweeney Square” for a year.
Joan D. Connor, the 2019 recipient, will take home her sign at the start of the ceremony. Connor is now the longest-serving honoree in event history because of the twice-postponed celebration.
The “Irish Person of the Year” award is bestowed annually on an Irish resident or couple who personifies service in West Haven’s rich Irish American community.
“I am humbled to receive this award following all the great Irish recipients before me,” said Sweeney, a lifelong Westie who will toast his Irish heritage with scores of his closest friends and loved ones, along with an array of shamrock-clad dignitaries and descendants of folks from Erin.
Accompanied by Celtic music played by bagpipers and drummers, the West Haven Police Honor Guard will escort Sweeney to the Campbell Avenue side of City Hall for his special recognition.
A corned beef and cabbage lunch will follow in the First Congregational Church of West Haven’s Fellowship Hall, at 464 Campbell Ave. opposite City Hall on the Green.
The St. Patrick’s Day Committee is co-chaired by 2009 Irishwoman of the Year Mary Lyng Malenda and 2011 Irish Couple of the Year Glenn and Joanne Conlan.
It includes the lifeblood of West Haven’s Irish American society, such as members of the Irish American Club and former honorees, as well as former and current city, fire and police officials.
“Keith Sweeney’s accomplishments are a testament to the determination, joy and hope of the Irish,” Mayor Nancy R. Rossi said. “The residents of West Haven join me in congratulating Keith on his well-deserved recognition, an event in the making since 2020.”
Sweeney, 68, hails from an ancestry whose legacy is stitched into the tapestry of the American fabric.
More than 200 years ago, countless Irish people, escaping the Great Famine, embraced the dream of a brighter future and departed the Emerald Isle for a new beginning in the United States. With indomitable spirit and unshakable perseverance, the sons and daughters of Erin embarked on a perilous journey to make their new home in a place of hope and promise, and when they landed on America’s shores, they shared the true treasures of their homeland: song and literature, humor and tradition, faith and family.
In the 1890s, Sweeney’s grandparents left the Emerald Isle in search of the American promise, settling in West Haven.
The youngest of five brothers, Sweeney grew up in a single-family home on Lake Avenue overlooking Lake Phipps. He attended city schools and graduated from West Haven High in 1972.
Sweeney was married to the former Kathleen Johnson. They have two adult daughters — Erin Sweeney, of West Haven, and Shannon Sweeney, of Concord, Massachusetts — and two granddaughters: Etta Aylwin Seely, 3, and Nellie Kate Seely, 1, of Concord.
Sweeney is a member of the West Haven Irish American Club and was its Irishman of the Year in 1989. He is a former member of the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.
Sweeney, a longtime member of the St. Patrick’s Day Committee, has participated in many wearin’-of-the-green celebrations in his hometown by leading dignitaries in the opening procession and presenting the colors as a member of the West Haven Police Emerald Society.
Rossi praised the civic-minded Sweeney for his dedication to the yearly St. Paddy’s Day event and the Irish American community, saying, “Keith Sweeney’s Irish eyes have smiled on West Haven as a goodwill ambassador of our robust Irish American society.”
At the event, Rossi will present him with an Irish flag and a proclamation citing his commitment to “sharing and preserving the culture of Ireland and the teachings of St. Patrick.”
Sweeney will also receive an embroidered “Irishman of the Year” jacket.
The Irish American community in West Haven takes great pride in the St. Patrick’s Day traditions handed down from each generation. Every March 17, those of Irish birth or lineage honor the memory of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who brought the message of Christ to the Irish people nearly 1,600 years ago. Teaching the word of God, St. Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock, with each leaf representing the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The need to preserve their Celtic identity in the U.S. led the Irish to form the Hibernian Society, which held the first St. Patrick’s Day parades, and local organizations, such as the West Haven Irish American Club.
The New Haven County Firefighters Emerald Society Pipes & Drums will lead the event’s opening procession, followed by remarks by 2014 Irishwoman of the Year and state Rep. Dorinda Keenan Borer, D-West Haven, who is expected to serve as the master of ceremonies.
The Rev. Mark R. Jette, the 2010 Irishman of the Year, will offer an Irish blessing. Jette is the former pastor of St. Lawrence and St. Paul churches in West Haven and now serves Sacred Heart Church in Suffield.
Fiona Stewart, the queen of the 2013 Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the Irish national anthem, “Soldier’s Song,” followed by remarks by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Rossi.
Sweeney will then pull off a shroud revealing the rectangular sign.
Sweeney is best known for his decorated career as a West Haven police officer and detective. He served on the department for 11 years, starting in 1979, and was the recipient of several commendations.
Sweeney received the department’s Purple Heart and Medal of Valor, along with the Connecticut State Police’s Medal of Bravery, for gallantry in the line of duty while responding to an August 1988 mutual aid incident in which he suffered a gunshot wound to his right leg.
During his distinguished tenure, Sweeney also received the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association Award and the Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association Award.
Sweeney, a former member of the New Haven County Detectives Association, retired from West Haven’s finest in 1990.
He later served as an instructor at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy in Meriden and was an investigator at the state’s attorney’s office for the New Haven Judicial District, retiring in 2012.
Sweeney is a founding and charter member of the West Haven Police Emerald Society, was its Officer of the Year, and is a past president, trustee, quartermaster and treasurer.
He is a lifetime member of West Haven’s Elks Lodge 1537 and was its Elk of the Year in 2010. He is a past exalted ruler and has served as a trustee for nearly 30 years.
Sweeney’s propensity for public service included serving on the Board of Police Commissioners from 2016 to 2021. He also represented the 1st District on the City Council and served on the Democratic Town Committee.
Sweeney has given back to his community by coaching Conlan’s All-Stars — a girls hockey team in the late 1970s and early ’80s — and coaching and refereeing boys hockey. He has also volunteered at West Haven Hook & Ladder Company 1.
Sweeney is a former recipient of the Jimmy Fund award.
Rossi releases ARPA spending plan
WEST HAVEN, March 16, 2022 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi has released a comprehensive plan outlining how the city will spend about $29 million in federal coronavirus relief funding.
Rossi presented the ARPA Community Investment Plan to the City Council on Monday night.
The nine-page spending plan requires the council’s review and approval.
In October 2021, Rossi launched an online submission form seeking residents’ ideas for spending the American Rescue Plan Act funding.
The ARPA plan includes $3.5 million for the long-planned arts center at 304 Center St., $3.07 million for fire department aid, $3 million for stormwater management, $2.4 million for police personnel retention, $2 million for infrastructure paving and improvements and $1.65 million for municipal building improvements.
It also includes $1 million for a recycling and reuse center, $1 million for open space preservation, $1 million for small-business aid, $680,000 for public health outreach, $585,000 for broadband access and $500,000 for traffic and boardwalk monitoring cameras.
See the full ARPA Community Investment Plan.
In late January, Rossi established a nine-member committee to oversee West Haven’s allocation of ARPA funding.
The mayoral-appointed ARPA Committee is led by Chairman Kenneth Carney, Vice Chairman Michael P. Last and Secretary Dwight Knowles. The other members are Christopher Barstein, Neil C. Cavallaro, Iris Diaz, Kenneth Ferris, Gary M. Perdo and Rohan Smith.
The committee meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 5:45 p.m. in the Harriet C. North Community Room on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.
Carney is the chairman of the West Haven High School Building Committee and the West Haven Building Oversight Committee; Last is the city treasurer and a member of the board of directors of the West Haven Community House; and Knowles is the clerk of the high school’s Building Committee.
Barstein is the executive director of Benchmark Senior Living and was a hospitality industry professional and educator for more than 35 years; Cavallaro is the city’s superintendent of schools; and Diaz is the chairwoman of the Board of Fire Commissioners of the City of West Haven Fire Department Allingtown and was the vice chair of the city’s Charter Revision Commission.
Ferris is a former two-term city treasurer and was a member of the city’s Inland Wetlands Watercourse Agency; Perdo is a member of the high school’s Building Committee and the Washington School Building Committee; and Smith is an accountant at the West Haven VA Medical Center and was a member of the Charter Revision Commission.
Marchers sought for West Haven Memorial Day parade
WEST HAVEN, March 9, 2022 — The city and the West Haven Veterans Council are seeking veterans, civic groups, fraternal organizations, service clubs and marching bands to participate in the annual Memorial Day parade, which steps off at 10:30 a.m. May 30.
Participants must register and list required special accommodations for the procession, which has no rain date.
The city will provide transportation for veterans who are unable to walk the 1 ½-mile parade route, which follows Campbell Avenue from Captain Thomas Boulevard to Center Street. To make arrangements, call the mayor’s office at 203-937-3510.
The parade grand marshal is Emery Linton Sr., an Army veteran of the Vietnam War.
Download a Participation Form.
Forms are also available for pickup in the mayor’s office at City Hall, 355 Main St., where they are due May 6.
Completed forms must be faxed to 203-937-3705 or mailed to the West Haven Memorial Day Parade, Office of the Mayor, 355 Main St., West Haven, CT 06516.
Dell offers West Haven employees new team member discount program
WEST HAVEN, March 9, 2022 — Because of West Haven’s ongoing relationship with Dell, the city is pleased to announce that Dell has extended discounting on consumer PCs to all West Haven employees and their families and friends.
Member benefits include:
· Exclusive monthly offers.
· Best-price guarantee on consumer PCs from Dell.
· Up to 30% off Dell PCs, electronics and accessories.
· Free enrollment in the Dell Rewards Loyalty Program: 3% back, plus free expedited shipping.
· Military and veterans receive an additional 10% discount.
· White-glove quoting from the MPP Executive Sales Team upon request — please provide member ID: 132940501.
All member discounts are built into the site, and members are not required to log in or use any codes to qualify for discounts.
All offers below will be available on West Haven’s exclusive MPP Page.
MPP Upcoming Offers:
- Semiannual Sale: Through March 23.
- MPP Flash Sale: April 19-20.
For questions or concerns about the program, contact MPP Strategic Account Manager Bria Simmons at email@example.com.
Support groups resuming in person
WEST HAVEN, March 9, 2022 — The support groups offered by West Haven’s Youth and Family Services and Interagency Network for Children will resume in-person meetings this month at the Johnson Community Center, 201 Noble St.
March 14, 6-7:45 p.m. (meets the 2nd Monday of each month): WHINC Parent and Guardian Support Group; topic: Emotional Freedom Technique, or “Tapping” — method to relieve stress/anxiety.
April 11, 6-7:45 p.m. (meets the 2nd Monday of each month): WHINC Parent and Guardian Support Group; topic: Connecticut Department of Developmental Services — family services and transition options for ages 18-22.
Information: Viola, 203-804-5326.
March 9 and March 23, 6-7:30 p.m. (meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month): West Haven Bereavement Support Group for widows, widowers and partners.
April 13 and April 27, 6-7:30 p.m. (meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month): West Haven Bereavement Support Group for widows, widowers and partners.
Information: Toni-Jo, 203-410-2541.
3rd Jueves, 17 de Marzo, 6:15-7:30 p.m.: WHINC-Grupo de apoyo hispano para paderes de ninos con necesidades especiales; tema: Aprederan sobre tutela y Curatela.
3rd Jueves, 21 de Abril, 6:15-7:30 p.m.: WHINC-Grupo de apoyo hispano para paderes de ninos con necesidades especiales; tema: Sobre el manejo del estres.
Preguntas: Grisel, 203-843-6976.