Rossi holding final town hall meeting at 6 p.m. today
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 4, 2023 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi is inviting residents to participate in a town hall meeting in person at City Hall or virtually on Facebook Live at 6 tonight.
The community event is aimed at fostering communication and transparency between City Hall and West Haven residents.
Residents can attend the town hall in the Harriet C. North Community Room of City Hall, 355 Main St., or they can participate in the meeting via Facebook Live on the UNH Mayor’s Advisory Commission’s page.
The town hall is sponsored by the mayor’s office and the University of New Haven Mayor’s Advisory Commission, a collaborative, student-driven task force founded in 2015 to strengthen town-gown relations.
The UNH commission is led by Brian Cao, a sophomore studying national security, and adviser Chris Haynes, an associate professor of political science and national security.
All members of the community are encouraged to participate in the town hall and ask questions. The moderators are Haynes and commission member Deepak Dinesh.
Participants can send questions before the meeting by email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also submit questions during the meeting in the “Comment” section on Facebook Live.
Participants must keep all dialogue courteous and respectful.
For more information, call the mayor’s office at 203-937-3510, or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avenue Groove, a six-piece “R&B, funk and dance band with attitude,” will perform from 7-9 p.m. Thursday in Old Grove Park on Palace Street in West Haven. The show, rescheduled from Sept. 8 because of rain, is part of the city’s new “Fall Foliage Concert Series.” (Publicity Photo)
Avenue Groove concert set for 7 p.m. Thursday
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 4, 2023 — The city’s “Fall Foliage Concert Series” is set for 7 p.m. Thursday with Avenue Groove, a six-piece “R&B, funk and dance band with attitude.”
The new concert series, held in Old Grove Park on Palace Street, will culminate Oct. 13 with American Honey, which specializes in modern country hits and ’90s pop rock favorites.
The two-hour concerts are free and sponsored by the city and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Avenue Groove show was scheduled for Sept. 8 but was postponed by rain.
American Honey will play a mix of modern country hits and ’90s pop rock favorites from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 13 in Old Grove Park on Palace Street in West Haven. The show is part of the city’s new “Fall Foliage Concert Series.” (Publicity Photo)
Expo for all things fire, emergency management, public safety, police and health set for Saturday
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 4, 2023 — The city will join West Haven’s three fire departments to mark the eve of Fire Prevention Week at an exposition of all things fire, emergency management, public safety, police and health in Old Grove Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The rain date is Sunday.
The third annual West Haven Fire, Emergency Management, 911 ERS, Police & Health Expo will bring together families and first responders — firefighters, police officers, EMTs, health care professionals — from around the state for hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations to promote public safety education.
The free public exhibition will include music by Tony V.
For all the details, see the Flyer.
State Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven. The city will honor Ferraro as its 2023 Italian American of the Year on the steps of City Hall at noon Friday. (Contributed Photo)
Rep. Charles Ferraro named city’s Italian of the Year
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 3, 2023 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and the West Haven Italian Heritage Committee will honor Republican state Rep. Charles J. Ferraro as the city’s “primo italiano” at the 24th annual Italian Heritage Celebration.
Ferraro, a world-class martial artist and an ambassador of his proud Italian heritage, will receive the Italian American of the Year award at noon Friday at City Hall, 355 Main St.
The award is bestowed annually on an Italian resident or couple who personifies service in West Haven’s close-knit Italian community.
Accompanied by Italian music and guided by Rossi, members of the committee and the West Haven Italian American Civic Association will escort Ferraro, the grandson of emigrant grandparents from the Campania capital of Naples, Italy, to the steps of City Hall for his special recognition. An Italian-flavored lunch will follow.
“When I received the phone call from the honorable Nancy R. Rossi, mayor of West Haven, that they had selected me as West Haven’s Italian American of the Year, my first thought was, ‘Wow, me? Are you sure?’” said a surprised Ferraro, a Republican whip and member of the General Assembly’s Italian American Legislative Caucus.
“Growing up here in West Haven as the son of a poor Italian mother and an Irish stepfather, where just about every personal major accomplishment was a first for our family, I could never even contemplate that someday I would be receiving such a distinguished recognition,” he said. “I am both grateful and honored that Mayor Rossi and the West Haven Italian Heritage Committee named me as their Italian of the Year.”
Ferraro, 70, a lifelong Westie and longtime small-business owner, will pay homage to his Italian lineage with scores of friends and loved ones, along with an array of dignitaries and descendants of folks from the old country clad in red, white and green.
His maternal grandparents left their home in southern Italy and came to America for a brighter future, arriving in Canada in the 1940s before settling in New Haven’s “Six Corners,” a predominantly Italian neighborhood with six corners that converged at the intersection of Columbus Avenue.
In the daring spirit of Italians who charted a course for millions of immigrants who followed their crossing to America, Ferraro and his grandparents are a testament to the diversity and promise of the United States.
“It is my pleasure to honor Representative Ferraro as this year’s Italian American of the Year,” Rossi said. “I believe this recognition is long overdue.
“Representative Ferraro is both a business owner, with international accomplishments in Tang Soo Do, and a state representative who has faithfully served his constituents since 2014. I thank him for his public service to the residents of West Haven as well as the residents of Orange and Milford.”
Ferraro represents the 117th District, is the ranking member of the Energy and Technology Committee, and serves on the Human Services and Veterans committees.
During his five terms, Ferraro has been a champion for helping small businesses thrive, making Connecticut more business-friendly, and creating policies and providing funding for programs for older adults and veterans. He has also been a staunch supporter of renewable energy, public safety and health care.
Ferraro was honored for legislative achievements in energy and technology in 2021 and 2022. He has been named the West Haven Republican Town Committee’s 2023 Republican of the Year.
Outside of politics, Ferraro is a 10th-degree black belt, the highest level of recognition given in the martial arts community.
He is the founder, president and grandmaster of Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan, a composite style of classical martial art influenced by the Northern Chinese arts, the Southern Chinese arts and the Okinawan discipline of Karate, with schools throughout the U.S. and South America.
From 1978 to 1995, he sat on the board of directors of the U.S. Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation Inc. and has served as the president of the board of directors of the U.S. Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan Association Inc. since 1997.
Ferraro was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 1996, named the Grandmaster of the Year in 1998, and selected to “Who’s Who in the Martial Arts” in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.
He has also owned and operated the West Haven Academy of Karate for 48 years and has participated in and conducted “hundreds of fundraising events” to help people in need.
In observance of Italian American Heritage Month, West Haven recognizes the unique and vibrant culture of Americans of Italian descent and celebrates the story of generations of Italian sons and daughters who came to the United States seeking hope and opportunity to reach for the American dream.
At the City Hall ceremony, Rossi will present Ferraro, West Haven’s top “paisano,” with an embroidered “Italian American of the Year 2023” jacket and a mayoral citation for his civic-minded contributions and volunteerism.
He will also receive an Italian flag from Paul M. Frosolone, the president of the Italian American Civic Association, and Debbie Giordano, the vice president of the association’s Ladies Auxiliary.
The cultural event will include remarks by Rossi and her chief of staff, Tom J. McCarthy, the master of ceremonies. Before an Italian blessing, West Haven’s own Liz Levy will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the Italian national anthem, “II Canto degli Italiani.”
Ferraro, born in New Haven in 1952, was raised by his Italian mother, Jennette Bissonette, and his Irish stepfather, James Savidge, in the heart of West Haven’s bygone amusement park, Savin Rock Park.
The family homestead was on Marsh Street, across from Harvey Tattersall’s West Haven Speedway, formerly known as Donovan Field. In the late 1960s, the house and road were dismantled to pave the way for the Savin Rock Urban Renewal Project.
Savidge, affectionately known as “Big Jim,” was a prominent Democratic political figure in West Haven and worked as a dispatcher at the Department of Public Works.
Ferraro’s mother stayed home to raise her three children, including his younger siblings, Linda and James.
Ferraro, a 1970 graduate of West Haven High School, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Southern Connecticut State College in 1975 and received a Master of Science degree in fishery biology from Murray State University in Kentucky two years later.
In 1976-79, he represented many insurance companies as a general agent. His agency specialized in the sale of insurance policies for life, health and disability, along with annuities and financial planning.
From 1979 to 1982, Ferraro was employed as a territory representative for Westwood Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Bristol-Meyers Co. in Buffalo, New York.
He was responsible for informing dermatologists in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts about Westwood’s products. He was also responsible for servicing and maintaining wholesale and drugstore key accounts with an emphasis on maintaining inventory and promoting new products.
Ferraro and his high school sweetheart, the former Geralyn Ann DeMaio, have been married for 45 years and live in West Shore. They have two sons, Christopher and Brandon Ferraro, and two grandsons, Roman, 7, and Leo, 6.
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Energy assistance offered in city
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 3, 2023 — The city is accepting applications for the federally funded Connecticut Energy Assistance Program.
Appointments for all heating sources can be made by calling 203-937-3572.
Applications will be processed via phone by appointment Monday through Thursday. No walk-ins will be accepted.
Applicants who have difficulty speaking English are asked to have a translator.
Eligibility for assistance is based on the income of an applicant’s household. To qualify, applicants must provide pay stubs, including monthly Social Security benefits and pension incomes, for all household members 18 and older.
Applicants must also provide SNAP benefits, Social Security numbers and birthdates for all household members, as well as current utility and water bills for the household.
West Haven Senior Center sets Ivoryton Playhouse trip Nov. 29
WEST HAVEN, Sept. 26, 2023 — The West Haven Senior Center is offering a bus trip to the Ivoryton Playhouse on Nov. 29 to see “Million Dollar Quartet Christmas,” a holiday musical featuring the sounds of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.
The trip includes lunch at Scotch Plains Tavern in Essex, followed by the musical.
The cost is $150 and includes transportation, gratuities and admission to the show.
Payment is due Oct. 30.
The bus departs at 10:30 a.m. from the Veterans Memorial Park parking lot at 91 Bull Hill Lane, the former Nike site, and leaves at 4:30 p.m. from Ivoryton.
Nonmembers of the senior center and nonresidents are welcome. To make a reservation, call the center at 203-937-3507.
West Haven Vietnam Veterans and the city are presenting a 19-month poster display on the Vietnam War at City Hall, beginning this month. The poster series, “A Learning Experience,” will chronicle nearly every aspect of the war, starting with “Native Americans in the Vietnam War,” which pays tribute to the war’s most decorated Native American soldier, the late Billy Bob Walkabout, a native Cherokee who lived in West Haven and Montville before his death in 2007. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
Poster display at City Hall chronicles Vietnam War
WEST HAVEN, Sept. 20, 2023 — The city and its Vietnam veterans group are presenting a 19-month poster display on the Vietnam War at City Hall, starting this month.
Fifty years ago, President Richard Nixon held a White House reception for U.S. prisoners of war from Vietnam. On May 24, Nixon’s namesake library in Yorba Linda, California, observed the homecoming’s golden anniversary — 50 years to the day of the then-president hosting the largest dinner in White House history in honor of the released POWs.
In 1973, 591 of the POWs were released by the North Vietnamese. A half-century later, nearly 200 of them dined in the Richard Nixon Presidential Library’s White House East Room replica and re-created the celebrated dinner, down to the menu items and centerpieces.
To mark the anniversary locally, the city and West Haven Vietnam Veterans Inc. are sponsoring the educational poster series, “A Learning Experience,” to recognize the unwavering courage and selfless sacrifice of the approximately 766 American service members held captive during the Vietnam War, said Dave Ricci, the veterans group’s president.
The series, already underway, will also chronicle nearly every aspect of the war, said Kevin Sullivan, a member of West Haven Vietnam Veterans.
Sullivan said the first poster display, “Native Americans in the Vietnam War,” pays tribute to the war’s most decorated Native American soldier, the late Billy Bob Walkabout, a native Cherokee who lived in West Haven and Montville before his death in 2007 at age 57.
Walkabout was a citizen of the Anishanoi, or Blue Holly Clan, of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
He served in Company F, 58th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam and received several U.S. military decorations for valor in combat, including the Distinguished Service Cross — the Army’s second-highest military decoration after the armed forces’ Medal of Honor — along with the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.
Many of the decorations were awarded during Walkabout’s “exceptionally valorous actions” on Nov. 20, 1968, during a long-range reconnaissance patrol southwest of Hue.
Walkabout was honorably discharged as a second lieutenant. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
“This two-part poster series will explore some of the accomplishments, the stereotypes, the bravery and the pain that shaped the Native American experience during and after the Vietnam War,” said Vietnam Veterans member Howie Thomas, a member of the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe of Kent in the hills of northwestern Connecticut.
“The complete poster series will be presented as a learning experience,” Ricci said. “Posters will be placed and rotated monthly by members of our veterans group.”
The posters will cover much of the wood-paneled walls on City Hall’s first-floor entryway, Ricci said, adding that members of the public will see the displays upon entering the building’s west wing.
In October, the displays will continue with “The POW Experience in the Vietnam War,” a four-poster set commemorating the hundreds of POWS who came home from Vietnam in 1973.
It will follow with “The United States Road to War in Vietnam: 1945-1965” in November and “The U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War” and “The Coast Guard in the Vietnam War” in December.
The 2024 poster displays will kick off in January with “Indigenous Peoples in the Vietnam War,” followed by “Native Americans in the Vietnam War” in February.
The rest of the 2024 displays are:
— March, “African Americans in the Vietnam War.”
— April, “Making the Modern World.”
— May, “Air Base Defense in the Vietnam War.”
— May, “U.S. Army Airmobility in the Vietnam War.”
— June, “Riverine Operations in the Vietnam War.”
— June, “Combat Medicine in the Vietnam War.”
— July, “Military Nurses in the Vietnam War.”
— July, “Medical Advancements in the Vietnam War.”
— August, “U.S. Servicewomen in the Vietnam War.”
— August, “Service Organizations in the Vietnam War.”
— September, “Intelligence in the Vietnam War.”
— October, “Counterinsurgency in the Vietnam War.”
— November, “U.S. Sensor Technology in the Vietnam War.”
— December, “United States Allies in the Vietnam War.”
In January 2025, the displays will continue with “Casualties by Other Means in the Vietnam War,” followed by “The POW Experience in the Vietnam War” in February 2025 and “Reclaiming What Was Lost in the Vietnam War” in March 2025.
The poster series will culminate with the 50th anniversary of National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29, 2025, Ricci said.
Farmers market open Thursdays and Saturdays
WEST HAVEN, Sept. 12, 2023 — The Tony Inzero Farmers Market has opened its 2023 season next to the Oak Street Beach parking lot off Captain Thomas Boulevard.
The market, nestled on the right side of the beach lot, includes state farmers selling homegrown fruits and vegetables and crafters selling wares from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays through Oct. 14.
It features artisan breads by Hoffman Unlimited LLC, sauces and jams by Chile King LLC, and salts, oils and vinegars by Dash N’ Drizzle.
The farmers market is partnering with ArtsWestCT this season to showcase a variety of entertainment, such as live performances and unique demonstrations, at the Saturday markets.
The market also includes more than 20 different vendors, crafters, organizations and food trucks during the season.
The Thursday markets feature What the Truck?! BBQ, in addition to ice cream at both markets.
Parking is available in the Oak Street municipal lot and on Palace Street. Oak Street is on the senior shuttle route and the CTtransit route. In addition, a van will run from the West Haven Senior Center, 201 Noble St., to Oak Street at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays.
The Department of Elderly Services is distributing reusable farmers market cards to eligible city residents. Residents 60 and older who meet income requirements are eligible for $24 vouchers in the form of electronic cards. For information on the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program, call the department at 203-937-3507.
The farmers market is sponsored by the city and has operated since 2000. It was dedicated in 2010 in memory of Anthony F. “Tony” Inzero, a leader in the downtown business community who co-owned Flower Affair on Campbell Avenue for many years and was a founding member and longtime president of the West Haven Business Association.
To participate in the farmers market or for information, contact Killian Gruber, the market’s manager, at email@example.com or 203-937-3510.
For the latest news on the market, go to West Haven Farmers Market.
West Haven Vietnam vets sought for new section of memorial ‘wall’
WEST HAVEN, Aug. 18, 2023 — Current and former city residents who served in the Vietnam War are sought by the West Haven Vietnam Memorial Inc. Committee to have their names inscribed on a new section of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Bradley Point Park.
To qualify for name recognition on the memorial “wall,” Vietnam veterans must apply and meet the following requirements:
— Applicants must live or have lived in West Haven. Veterans living in West Haven must provide proof of residence, such as a utility bill.
— Applicants must have served in-country during the Vietnam War.
— Applicants must have been honorably discharged from military service. A DD214 form (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) is required.
— Applicants must share potential costs, if any.
The committee does not have a formal application. Veterans must mail all documents, which are due Jan. 1, 2024, to West Haven Vietnam Veterans, City Hall, lower level, 355 Main St., West Haven, CT 06516.
Those with questions can call Bill at 203-521-2356, Steve at 475-655-2993 or Paul at 203-500-2159.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial includes a black granite wall inscribed with the names of those from West Haven who served or gave their lives in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975, along with three white flagpoles draped with the American, Connecticut and prisoner-of-war flags.
The memorial, dedicated Nov. 12, 2003, also includes a black granite map of the four battle districts of Vietnam bearing the inscription “All Gave Some, Some Gave All,” as well as five bronze insignia markers atop black granite posts representing each branch of the U.S. armed forces.