West Haven Mayor Nancy R. Rossi on Wednesday presents a citation to Vertical Church Senior Pastor Ken Vance to celebrate the recent grand opening of the church’s Dream Center, including its food pantry, at 263 Center St. in West Haven. Rossi was joined by chief of staff Tom J. McCarthy, not pictured. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
Vertical Church’s Dream Center feted with citation
WEST HAVEN, Nov. 8, 2023 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and chief of staff Tom J. McCarthy presented a citation to Vertical Church Senior Pastor Ken Vance on Wednesday to celebrate the recent grand opening of the church’s Dream Center at 263 Center St.
On Oct. 28, Vance, who leads the Meloy Road-based nondenominational Christian church, held a ribbon-cutting with city, state and federal officials, along with congregants, business leaders and volunteers, to mark the opening of the new center in the heart of downtown.
The 3,000-square-foot center includes a clothing closet, a food pantry, services for employment counseling and financial education, and resources for emergency support needs, such as medical services and education assistance.
The bodega-style food pantry is open every Saturday from 9-11 a.m.
According to its mission statement, the Dream Center aims to aid people in need, including those without homes or jobs or with low incomes, “to restore hope and allow them to dream again.”
“Vertical Church has a proud history of serving those in the greatest of need, and this center will help ensure that the doors of opportunity continue to open wide for all who are willing to dream big,” said Rossi, reading the citation. “Your center will inspire individuals and families to be the best version of themselves by giving them hope and help through hunger relief, clothing support, job training, recovery support ministry, medical care and education.”
The ribbon-cutting opened with remarks by Vance, who thanked the city and the Rossi administration for their “tremendous partnership in serving the people of West Haven.”
Republican Rep. Charles J. Ferraro and Democratic Reps. Dorinda Borer and Treneé McGee, all of West Haven, presented a General Assembly citation to Vertical Church on behalf of the city’s delegation.
The ceremony also featured remarks by church Outreach Pastor Paul Bronson, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3.
“In America, people should never go homeless, they should never go food insecure,” Blumenthal said. “Their children should never go without a great education. In the United States of America, we need hope, we need dreams.”
The Veterans Walk of Honor in Bradley Point Park, West Haven. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh, File)
West Haven holding Veterans Day tribute Saturday
WEST HAVEN, Nov. 8, 2023 — The city and the West Haven Veterans Council will hold a Veterans Day tribute on the Veterans Walk of Honor in Bradley Point Park at 10:45 a.m. Saturday.
All veterans are invited to participate in the annual ceremony, which will feature remarks by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and a Veterans Council representative.
The public is also invited.
Tom J. McCarthy, Rossi’s chief of staff, will serve as the master of ceremonies.
The event will commence with a presentation of the colors by the West Haven Police Honor Guard and a flag-raising by the West Haven Fire Department Honor Guard.
It will include the national anthem and “God Bless America” sung by West Haven High School junior Zoe Powell, a wreath-laying, and opening and closing prayers given by Vertical Church Outreach Pastor Paul Bronson.
The tribute will also include a bell-ringing at 11 a.m. and taps played by retired West Shore Fire Department Lt. Kevin McKeon.
Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, is celebrated on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, marking the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918.
To coincide with the solemn ceremony, the Veterans Council will officially launch the 16th phase of its popular Brick Campaign.
In November 2006, the council began the first of 16 campaigns selling bricks to memorialize veterans on the 100-yard Walk of Honor between the William A. Soderman and Vietnam Veterans memorials.
The bricks, which cost $75, have charcoal lettering for personalized messages.
About 2,950 bricks have been installed to date, including 51 for the 15th phase, which was dedicated May 27.
Download a brick application.
Applications, due March 15, 2024, are also available in the mayor’s office at City Hall, 355 Main St. For details, call 203-937-3510.
Bereavement group for widows, widowers, partners
WEST HAVEN, Nov. 8, 2023 — The first gathering of a bereavement group for widows, widowers and partners is scheduled from 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the West Haven Senior Center on the upper floor of the Johnson Community Center, 201 Noble St.
To preregister or for more information about the bereavement group, call facilitator Cate Saxton at 203-535-1163. The preregistration deadline is Nov. 27.
Sensing a need in West Haven and the surrounding communities, the group’s formulation was established in 2021 by West Haven residents with support from the city Department of Youth and Family Services.
The group is offered to individuals who have experienced the loss of a spouse or partner so they can come together locally and support one another during the life-altering period.
The group’s mission is to provide a confidential, safe, supportive grief-sharing environment for widows, widowers and partners.
Gatherings are held monthly on the first and third Wednesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. at the senior center.
Visit the group’s Facebook page.
Smoke testing, stormwater mapping underway
WEST HAVEN, Nov. 3, 2023 — CDM Smith of East Hartford and Martinez Couch & Associates LLC of Rocky Hill have been contracted by West Haven to conduct a sewer system study for locating sources of stormwater inflow to the city’s sanitary sewer system.
The three-week study, overseen by CDM in designated Allingtown neighborhoods only, will attempt to locate direct and indirect connections from sources, including catch basins, roof drains and broken sewer pipes. One of the methods used is smoke testing, performed by Martinez Couch.
During testing, white smoke is introduced into the sanitary sewer system via a smoke-generating machine at an existing maintenance hole. White smoke is vented from holes in maintenance hole covers on the street and plumbing vent pipes on or near the roof surface.
The procedure is normal and not cause for alarm.
For full details, read the informational flyer.
For the affected Allingtown neighborhoods, see the project maps: Smoke Testing Area and Supplementary Smoke Testing Area.
In addition, CDM Smith is conducting a mapping of the city’s storm drain system over the next nine months in the following neighborhoods:
Benham Hill Road
Carrigan Intermediate School
Fresh Meadow Road
Jones Hill Road
Mackrille Elementary School
Oak Grove Cemetery
Park Terrace Avenue
Haley Elementary School
Shingle Hill Road
Stop & Shop
Valley Brook Road
West Haven Senior Center slates Old Sturbridge Village trip Dec. 8
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 24, 2023 — The West Haven Senior Center is offering a bus trip to Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts on Dec. 8.
Day-trippers can tour the holiday-decorated village to learn about the origins of Christmas traditions, taste holiday treats, ride the horse-drawn carryall, see demonstrations and shop village-made products.
The cost is $145 and includes transportation, driver gratuity, admission to the village and a “holiday” buffet lunch at Wight Farm.
Payment is due Nov. 10.
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 around 4:30 p.m. from Sturbridge.
Nonmembers of the senior center and nonresidents are welcome. To make a reservation, call the center at 203-937-3507.
Members of the West Haven Shoreline Restoration Committee and officials of GEI Consultants Inc. of Glastonbury conduct a site visit at the West Haven Boardwalk Resilience and Eco-Restoration Project on Monday. From left, project co-lead Mark E. Paine Jr., the director of the West Haven Department of Parks and Recreation; Jane Whelan of the Menunkatuck Audubon Society; Ron Walters of the Native Plant Initiative; Kathy Hebert of the Land Trust of West Haven; Robin Parsons of the Native Plant Initiative; and Michael Koontz, GEI’s senior urban design/waterfront planning practice leader, and Laura Schwanof, GEI’s landscape architect/ecological practice leader. Missing from photo is project co-lead Marilyn Wilkes, the Land Trust’s vice president. (SRC Photo/Marilyn Wilkes)
Consultant chosen for Boardwalk Eco-Restoration
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 24, 2023 — The West Haven Shoreline Restoration Committee has chosen GEI Consultants Inc. for Phase 2 of the West Haven Boardwalk Resilience and Eco-Restoration Project.
Over the next four months, the committee will collaborate with the Glastonbury consulting company to complete the coastal resilience and ecological restoration of a 1 ½-acre portion of the West Haven shoreline adjacent to Old Grove Park.
The committee, also known as the SRC, will announce its final plans to the public in February 2024.
“The project addresses challenges associated with restoring and preserving native coastal habitat in a densely populated urban area and in response to climate change,” said project co-leads Marilyn Wilkes, the vice president of the Land Trust of West Haven, and Mark E. Paine Jr., the director of the city Department of Parks and Recreation. “It will help the community understand the connection between robust ecosystems and coastal resilience, will provide accessible and healthy green spaces to systemically marginalized and vulnerable populations, and will manage the shoreline space so that wildlife and people can thrive.”
The project’s target outcomes and impacts include:
— The restoration of 1 ½ acres of native coastal habitat and improved habitat connectivity to adjacent public green spaces.
— A long-term plan for invasive plant control and restoration maintenance at the site.
— A living classroom for public school and public use that includes interpretive signage linking by QR code to in-depth information on the Land Trust’s website.
— Free educational events on-site designed to appeal to a range of audiences and ages.
— Improvements to public amenities, including benches and walking paths at the site.
— Access for residents under the Americans with Disabilities Act, including access mats to the beach area.
— The creation of a replicable model for use by similar coastal restoration efforts in other communities.
— More site visitors equating to more economic opportunity in the area.
In August 2022, Rep. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, secured $200,000 in state funding for the project’s design phase.
Additional funding is needed for the construction phase, and the committee is applying to a number of state and local environmental agencies.
GEI, a full-service ecological firm, provides geotechnical, environmental, water resources, civil design and construction services throughout the project’s delivery lifecycle, from conceptual planning to permitting, design, engineering and construction management.
The committee chose GEI from a competitive pool of request-for-proposal applications because of its innovative strategies, extensive experience with successful shoreline projects and team approach.
The SRC is composed of members of the Land Trust, the city and the City Council, as well as residents who volunteer with local environmental groups.
Extensive community outreach contributed to Phase 1’s completion of preliminary engineering plans to 30% design.
Phase 1 plans and community surveys can be viewed on the project’s website.
Shoreline Restoration Project updates can be found on the Land Trust’s website or the city’s website.