City Notes
Upgrade to LED streetlights will save city about $338K a year

Upgrade to LED streetlights will save West Haven about $338K a year

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 10, 2017 — United Illuminating is converting the city’s 4,388 streetlights to environmentally friendly LED lighting, a move that will conserve energy while saving taxpayers an estimated $338,000 a year in electrical costs, Mayor Edward M. O’Brien announced.

O’Brien said UI is replacing the city’s existing high-pressure sodium streetlights with LED, or light-emitting diode, technology to provide a more energy-efficient, cost-effective product.

The Orange-based utility, which owns and maintains West Haven’s streetlights, is performing the work at no additional cost to the city, he said.

“I am extremely excited about the agreement we reached with UI to upgrade our city’s streetlights,” O’Brien said. “These new lights will improve our infrastructure, save us approximately $338,000 every year, and cost our taxpayers nothing. This is clearly a total win for West Haven.”

State Rep. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, added: “The 3,000 Kelvin color temperature LED option was chosen because it will still keep our streets properly illuminated for safety purposes but, at the same time, will do it in a way that is both environmentally friendly and healthy. The softer version will still keep with the integrity and feel of the neighborhoods. It’s not only a financial win, it’s a quality-of-life win.”

On Sept. 26, O’Brien signed a UI streetlight conversion contract calling for the utility to retrofit the city’s existing cobra-head streetlight fixtures and replace their existing high-pressure sodium lights with brighter, high-efficiency LED lights.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to help West Haven reduce its energy costs while providing high-quality, efficient LED lighting for city streets,” said Roddy Diotalevi, senior director of sales and external relations for UI. “Upgrading to LED street lighting is just one of the ways UI and its parent company, Avangrid Inc., are using technology to improve people’s lives and reduce harmful impacts on the environment.”

In late 2015, the city converted the interior and exterior lights to LED at its Beach Street wastewater treatment plant and 13 pumping stations.

O’Brien said the LED lights use significantly less energy than the high-pressure sodium lights they are replacing, reducing the city’s energy costs and contribution to global warming.

The retrofit and installation of the new lights is expected to begin in early 2018, he said.

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Columbus Day Parade returns to city for first time since 2011

The Second Company Governor's Foot Guard leads the 2017 edition of the Greater New Haven Columbus Day Parade on Campbell Avenue Sunday afternoon. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Columbus Day Parade returns for first time since 2011

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 10, 2017 — The 2017 edition of the Greater New Haven Columbus Day Parade celebrated the Italian explorer in grand style Sunday.

Over the course of 90 minutes of festivity, the largest procession of its kind in New England sailed up Campbell Avenue and featured 80 marching units and 25 bands from across the region.

West Haven took over the Columbus Day Committee of Greater New Haven’s rotating parade from last year’s host, Hamden, assuming site duties for the annual procession that commemorates the adventurous spirit of Christopher Columbus, a son of Genoa who discovered the New World 525 years ago and charted a route for millions of Italian sons and daughters who followed his crossing to America.

Italian-American West Haveners Natalie Guiliano DeRosa and Grace Iannucci Hendricks guided the afternoon parade as grand marshals. A third marshal, city resident Marie D. Lacobelle, was unable to attend.

The procession stepped from Captain Thomas Boulevard north to Center Street, where revelers, many of them donning red, white and green and waving Italian flags, lined the 1 ½-mile course.

The event was also held in the city in 2006.

The parade began with an escort division led by the West Haven Police Color Guard, followed by the grand marshals with the West Haven High School Band, committee members and the Second Company Governor’s Foot Guard.

The procession, composed of five divisions, included just about every kind of group, marching unit, float and vehicle imaginable, such as police and fire departments, Italian-American societies, drill teams, drum and bugle and fife and drum corps, fraternal organizations and service clubs, school bands and nonmilitary color guards.

Among the dignitaries who marched were Mayor Edward M. O’Brien, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-3, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and state Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, along with radio personalities.

Guiliano DeRosa and Lacobelle, who are second- and first-generation Italian-Americans, respectively, are former recipients of the West Haven Columbus Day Committee’s Italian-American of the Year award, with Guiliano DeRosa receiving the civic honor in 2014 and Lacobelle in 2015. Iannucci Hendricks, a second-generation Italian-American, was the recipient of this year’s award recently.

All three are longtime members of the West Haven Italian-American Ladies Auxiliary.

To view the photo gallery, click on Scenes from the 2017 Greater New Haven Columbus Day Parade.

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Iannucci Hendricks feted as city’s Italian of the Year

Grace Iannucci Hendricks receives a jacket embroidered with her new title, Italian-American of the Year, and a citation from Mayor Edward M. O'Brien at West Haven's 19th annual Columbus Day Celebration on the steps of City Hall Friday. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Iannucci Hendricks feted as city’s Italian of the Year

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 10, 2017 — Mayor Edward M. O’Brien presented Grace Iannucci Hendricks with a jacket embroidered with her new title, Italian-American of the Year, as part of festivities observing West Haven’s 19th annual Columbus Day Celebration on the steps of City Hall Friday.

Iannuccu Hendricks, a second-generation Italian-American, was showered with words of praise from O’Brien for “her dedication to her ancestry and community.”

At the 40-minute ceremony, Iannucci Hendricks received a General Assembly citation from state Reps. Michael A. DiMassa and Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, on behalf of the city’s delegation and an Italian flag from Paul M. Frosolone, president of the West Haven Italian-American Civic Association, and Josephine Matera, former president of the West Haven Italian-American Ladies Auxiliary.

The West Haven Columbus Day Committee recognizes an Italian resident, or couple, each year who epitomizes service in the city’s vibrant Italian-American community.

“I am very proud of my heritage from Italy,” said Iannucci Hendricks, a long-standing member of the Italian-American Ladies Auxiliary.

As the sound of Italian music filled the air during the late morning cultural event in honor of the Italian explorer, Iannucci Hendricks saluted her heritage with about 100 of her closest friends and relatives, along with a sea of dignitaries and descendants of folks from the old country clad in red, white and green.

“I want to thank everybody,” she told the crowd. “Thank you very much for this (award).”

Iannucci Hendricks, a longtime Westie with a passion for Italian music and opera, is the granddaughter of immigrant grandparents from the Campania capital of Naples, Italy.

In the late 1800s, her grandparents left their homes in southern Italy seeking a brighter day in the U.S., with her paternal grandparents eventually settling in West Haven.

O’Brien also presented a citation to Iannucci Hendricks, who was accompanied by her daughters Kathleen Hendricks and Rosemary Turcotte and her sisters Leonora Raccio, Annabelle D’Amicis and Elizabeth Allspaugh.

She was also joined by several nephews and a niece.

Before an Italian blessing from the Rev. Eric Zuniga, parochial vicar of St. John XXIII Parish, which serves St. Lawrence, St. Louis and St. Paul churches, members of the West Haven High School Bel Canto Choir, directed by Phyllis Silver, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”

It was followed by a rendition of the Italian national anthem, “II Canto degli Italiani,” by Liz Levy and a greeting from city Corporation Counsel Vincent N. Amendola Jr., the master of ceremonies, who lauded the choir’s performance, saying: “That’s the future of West Haven. Quite good.”

O’Brien then delivered heartfelt remarks about Iannucci Hendricks, a parishioner of St. Lawrence Church and former president of its Mother’s Club and St. Theresa Ladies Guild.

“Grace Iannucci Hendricks’ inspiring good works have helped shape the character and life of our city and its deep-rooted Italian-American community,” said O’Brien, whose Italian lineage runs on his mother’s side of the family.

Iannucci Hendricks’ propensity for community service includes sitting on the board of directors of the West Haven Community House and the board’s Fundraising and Head Start committees. She is also a member of the agency’s Head Start Policy Council and Personnel and Fund Development committees.

Her dedication to the Community House was rewarded in 2011 with the Pauline Lang Exceptional Board Member award.

Iannucci Hendricks was a 10-year member and secretary of the Board of Police Commissioners and served on the pension board.

She is a member of the Ward-Heitmann House Museum Foundation.

Iannucci Hendricks was born in New Haven in 1931 to Salvatore Iannucci, a supervisor at the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. in the Elm City, and the former Rose Zingarella, a homemaker who also toiled part time at Winchester during World War II.

After moving to West Haven in 1940, Iannucci Hendricks and her eight sisters and three brothers were brought up in a single-family home on Sumac Street in West Shore.

A graduate of Stiles Elementary School, she attended the old West Haven High School on Main Street and earned her GED diploma in 1974.

Iannucci Hendricks was employed as an office clerk at the Armstrong Rubber Co. on Elm Street in West Haven and worked at the Connecticut Savings Bank on Church Street in New Haven. She was also an administrative assistant for the Democratic registrar of voters and a paraprofessional for the Board of Education in West Haven.

Iannucci Hendricks is the widow of James Hendricks, a warhorse of the city’s Democratic Party who died in 2001.

The couple raised their four daughters, including Theresa Palluzzi and the late Patricia Carney, on Union Avenue in the Center.

Iannucci Hendricks has 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Her name will join the 18 previous Columbus Day recipients on a plaque in City Hall.

To view the photo gallery, click on Scenes from the 2017 Columbus Day Celebration.

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Bloom restoring Hubbard Nature Center for Eagle Scout project

Volunteers organized by Eagle Scout candidate Nathanael "Nate" Bloom, not pictured, make necessary repairs Sept. 23 to the decks and trails at the 7.6-acre Hubbard Nature Center on Hubbard Road. They also cleared debris to improve accessibility and applied paint selectively to preserve the existing examples of artwork. (Contributed Photo/Nate Bloom)

Bloom restoring nature center for Eagle Scout project

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 10, 2017 — When Nathanael “Nate” Bloom turned 17 in May, he knew he would need to work aggressively to meet his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout before his 18th birthday.

By August, Bloom, a city resident, had selected his service project: the revitalization of the Hubbard Nature Center.

At the time, he noticed some of the walkways and decks had fallen into disrepair and many of the railings were covered with graffiti. There was also a lot of overgrowth, and the trail had not been cleaned up in a while.

As he looked closer, Bloom learned something else about the trail. Some of the graffiti was actually carefully painted artwork, something he started calling “uncredited artwork.”

Bloom decided he wanted to preserve the artwork as part of his service project and to design it in two phases.

The first phase would be the revitalization of the park’s infrastructure, which would require clearing overgrowth, retrieving trash, and repairing and painting the graffiti parts of the walkway, he said.

“The Hubbard Nature Center is an educational resource in our city,” said Bloom, a member of Boy Scout Troop 899 in West Haven. “Removing offensive and profane graffiti will make it an appropriate place for young children to learn. I believe that people will be less likely to vandalize artwork than freshly painted boards and that the beauty of nature and art will combine to make this a unique and wonderful space.”

After the Parks and Recreation Commission approved his project in August, Bloom initiated the planning process and organized a group of about 20 fellow Scouts, Scout leaders, parents and volunteers from the community to complete the first phase, which involved replacing missing or broken boards, cleaning up the trails, improving handicapped accessibility, removing debris, and selectively painting over the graffiti.

Now, from noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Bloom is inviting other members of the public to join in and roll up their sleeves for the final step of the revitalization project by adding new artwork to the walkways and railings.

“In the second phase, I would paint over graffiti on the walkway while preserving the local artwork there,” Bloom said. “The community would then be invited to add to the artwork in exchange for a nonperishable food item that would be donated to the West Haven Emergency Assistance Task Force.”

Acrylic paints and brushes will be provided, but artists are encouraged to bring their own.

The 7.6-acre park is on Hubbard Road, which runs between Jones Hill and Benham Hill roads in West Shore.

The Eagle Scout service project is the most critical component of becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.

According to Scouting guidelines, service projects need to be “helpful to any religious institution, any school or the Scout’s community, and it needs to benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.”

As part of his project, Bloom needed to measure missing and broken boards and to estimate the necessary lumber, paint and hardware to complete the park’s revitalization.

When asked about the most difficult aspect of leading the troop in the project, he said, “Keeping younger troop members on task and focused will be challenging.”

Driver safety course offered in West Haven

Driver safety course offered Oct. 18

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 10, 2017 — The West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from 2-6 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Johnson Community Center, 201 Noble St.

The program is designed to help sharpen driving skills, develop strategies to adjust to age-related vision changes, develop hearing and reaction times, and learn about the effects of medication on driving performance.

Participants must complete the class to receive a certification for insurance purposes.

The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers, payable to AARP.

To register, call the senior center at 203-937-3507.

VNA walk-in flu clinic tapped for city employees

Flu clinic on tap for city employees

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 10, 2017 — The Health Department will hold a VNA Community Healthcare-sponsored flu clinic for city employees from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Oct. 31 in the basement conference room of City Hall, 355 Main St.

However, employees at least 65 years old who wish to receive the high-dose flu shot must visit the Oct. 12 clinic between 9:30 a.m. and noon at the Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock St.

The walk-in clinic will accept the following insurances for those 65 or older: Medicare Part B, Aetna Medicare, Anthem BCBS Medicare and Connecticare VIP. For those 18 or older, the clinic will accept Aetna, Anthem BCBS, Connecticare, Healthy CT and Harvard Pilgrim Health.

Insurance carriers Cigna and United Healthcare are not participating.

Employees should bring all insurance cards and wear a short-sleeved shirt.

They can also pay by cash, check, MasterCard or Visa.

For details, call the flu hotline at 203-458-5920.

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