City Notes
Christmas tree lighting on West Haven Green set for Nov. 25

With the West Haven Christmas tree aglow in the background, The John C. Ireland Bandstand on the snow-covered Green is bedecked with huge electric snowflakes as Victorian-era streetlamps decorated with angels blowing on trumpets illuminate the walkways during a Yuletide celebration from yesteryear. (Contributed Photo)

Christmas tree lighting on Green set for Saturday

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 22, 2017 — The annual lighting of the Christmas tree on the Green will ring in an evening of merrymaking Saturday.

On a nearby stage on Main Street, the festivities will kick off at 5 p.m. with renditions of holiday carols performed by Michael Martone and Friends, followed by Yuletide classics spun by Martone.

At 6 p.m., Mayor Edward M. O’Brien will greet revelers and announce the four selected artists of his Christmas card campaign: Bailey Middle School seventh-graders Jasmin Cintron and Llianay Romaro and eighth-graders Eveleen Jiang and Sofia Lora.

The West Haven High School cheerleading team will then escort Santa and Mrs. Claus and their elves to the stage, where they will help O’Brien and his Christmas card designers use a “special smartphone app” to set the tree aglow.

The Christmas tree is encircled by five smaller evergreen trees adorned with fluorescent-colored lights.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will meet visitors and pose for snapshots in their workshop until 9 p.m.

For the first time, organizers will offer the photos with Santa as a free digital download online.

From Tuesday to Jan. 8, people can view and download their photos on the city’s Flickr webpage at The internet address is case-sensitive.

Just steps from Santa’s workshop, boys and girls can drop off their wish lists at St. Nick’s official U.S. Postal Service mailbox.

The ceremony is sponsored by the USAlliance Federal Credit Union, Marenna Amusements and the West Haven Voice.

According to organizers, the elves will give out “magic reindeer food” to help Santa and Mrs. Claus return to the North Pole.

Huge electric snowflakes will decorate The John C. Ireland Bandstand, and Victorian-era streetlamps bedecked with angels blowing on trumpets will illuminate the walkways.

Along with hayrides, children can enjoy a variety of amusement rides. They can also fish in a “pond” for prizes.

The activities are free, but people are asked to bring nonperishable items for the West Haven Emergency Assistance Task Force, which provides food for residents in need.

Volunteers from the Chamber of Commerce will hand out hot chocolate, and vendors will sell food and novelties.

The vendors will include the Cappetta’s Italian Imports & Pizza truck.

If it rains, the lighting will go on at 5 p.m. Monday.

Plans announced for DMV license service center in City Hall

State Rep. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, speaks to reporters during a news conference Tuesday at City Hall announcing that the state Department of Motor Vehicles, the city and its Chamber of Commerce will open a customer service center for driver's license and ID card renewals early next year in the lower level of City Hall. Joining Borer are, from left, Mayor-elect Nancy R. Rossi, state Reps. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, and Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven, Mayor Edward M. O'Brien, chamber Executive Director Alan R. Olenick and DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Plans heralded for DMV license service center in City Hall

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 22, 2017 — State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Michael Bzdyra, together with state Rep. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, and officials from the city and its Chamber of Commerce, announced Tuesday that DMV and the city will open a chamber-operated customer service center for driver’s license and ID card renewals early next year in the lower level of City Hall, 355 Main St.

The effort is part of DMV’s plan to replace the now-closed eight AAA offices in New Haven and Fairfield counties.

Read the full DMV News Release.

$25M in bonds sold to fund deficit, FY2015-2016 budgets

$25M in bonds sold to fund general fund deficit, FY2015-2016 budgets

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 22, 2017 — The city sold $25.77 million in bonds through a negotiated, public sale Tuesday, Mayor Edward M. O’Brien announced.

The bonds were sold in two series: The first, totaling $16.13 million, will finance West Haven’s accumulated general fund deficit as of June 30, 2016, while the second, totaling $9.63 million, will fund the city’s fiscal year 2014-15 and 2015-16 capital budgets.

Read the full News Release.

Dubel’s Cafe donates $5,850 for breast cancer awareness

Dubel’s Cafe donates $5,850 for breast cancer awareness

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 22, 2017 — From left, Art Gilbert and Dubel’s Cafe owner Fred Hugendubel, co-chairmen of the Dubel’s Golf Tournament, present a $5,850 check for the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program to committee member Beth A. Sabo on Nov. 9 at City Hall as tournament organizers and breast cancer survivors Elma Mohan and Jo-Anne Hugendubel-Case look on. The money was raised at the annual golf tournament in October. Since its inception in 2001, the program has collected more than $780,000 for breast cancer research and education. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

O’Brien declares Nov. 25 Small Business Saturday in West Haven

O’Brien declares Nov. 25 Small Business Saturday in city

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 30, 2017 — Mayor Edward M. O’Brien has announced the city’s participation in the eighth annual Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25.

Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and patronize the small, independently owned businesses that help stimulate local economies across the country.

“I am once again proud to acknowledge the many quality and vital small businesses in every corner of our city and the invaluable contributions they make to our economy and the life of our community,” said O’Brien, a former downtown merchant. “I urge both residents and visitors to make every attempt to support West Haven’s small businesses on Nov. 25.”

Before taking office in 2013, O’Brien was the founder and owner of GoldWorks at 499 Campbell Ave., a jewelry repair and retail shop that has operated in the heart of the downtown business district since 1988.

Small Business Saturday was established by American Express in 2010 in response to the most pressing need of small-business owners — more customers — and has served as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday shopping season for small businesses ever since.

According to AmEx, an estimated 112 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday last year.

Similar to last year, the Small Business Saturday Coalition, led by Women Impacting Public Policy, a nonpartisan small-business advocate known as WIPP, is rallying mayors nationwide to show their support and encourage their communities to shop small on Nov. 25.

In recognizing the importance of supporting independent businesses, O’Brien has issued a Small Business Saturday proclamation declaring the special observance in West Haven.

Read the Proclamation.

“The City of West Haven, Connecticut, supports our local businesses that create jobs, boost our local economy, and preserve our neighborhoods,” the proclamation reads.

Nov. 25 also marks the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree on the Green. The Yuletide event attracts hundreds of people each year, many of whom O’Brien hopes take advantage of sales at downtown specialty shops.

Merchants and consumers can learn more about Small Business Saturday, including how to participate, at

Driver safety course offered in West Haven

Driver safety course offered Nov. 29

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 30, 2017 — The West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from 2-6 p.m. Nov. 29 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.

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