City Notes
Sandy Point named 11th best beach to visit in New England

Sandy Point named 11th best beach to visit in New England

WEST HAVEN, May 10, 2018 — West Haven is home to one of the best beaches to visit in New England, according to Globe Magazine, which is published by The Boston Globe and Boston Globe Media.

West Haven, specifically the Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary, was ranked 11th out of “The 20 best beaches to visit in New England,” according to a story written by Patricia Harris and David Lyon, who are frequent contributors to Globe Magazine. The story was published May 2 as part of the magazine’s Summer Travel edition.

“West Haven being named to such a prestigious list of New England’s best beaches to visit is wonderful news, but I’m not surprised,” Mayor Nancy R. Rossi said. “Many of our residents, particularly the volunteers from the West Haven Watershed Restoration Committee, provide stewardship for the ‘Important Bird Area,’ a designation granted by Audubon Connecticut. And Audubon supporters monitor and protect the nesting areas. All of these efforts are an investment in Sandy Point’s conservation.”

Rossi added: “I know our city prides itself on being home to the longest stretch of publicly accessible shoreline in Connecticut and one of the state’s best locations to observe rare shorebirds at Sandy Point. All West Haveners should be proud of this special distinction by Globe Magazine.”

Globe Magazine, which publishes six issues per year, is available online and in the Boston Sunday Globe.

Harris and Lyon wrote that Sandy Point was best for “birding, fishing, trails.”

“Sandy Point is one of many natural resources that contribute to a better quality of life for our residents and is an economic driver for developers looking to invest in the city of West Haven,” said Fred A. Messore, the city’s commissioner of planning and development.

Topping the list of New England’s best beaches was the Cape Cod National Seashore in Provincetown and Truro, Massachusetts.

West Haven’s Sandy Point was preceded by DuBois Beach in Stonington, ranked 10th, and followed by Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, ranked 12th.

When highlighting Sandy Point, Harris and Johnson wrote: “A 1.7-mile recreation path ties together West Haven’s sandy beaches on Long Island Sound. On the eastern end, the sand spit known as Sandy Point is one of the prize locations on the Connecticut Coastal Birding Trail. Save the swimming for nearby Bradley Point and Morse parks and take the binoculars to Sandy Point to watch the shorebirds. A colony of sharp-tailed sparrows nests in the adjacent tidal marsh. The entire sanctuary is also a major stopover for spring and fall migrants. Surfcasters like the point at night during striper season.”

Read the full story at Globe Magazine.

City property owners reminded to observe blight regulations

City property owners reminded to observe blight regulations

WEST HAVEN, May 10, 2018 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi is reminding property owners to comply with the city’s blight regulations during the warmer months.

“We applaud the overwhelming majority of property owners who maintain their properties; however, to be fair to them, property owners who violate the ‘Blight Prevention’ ordinance under Chapter 129 of the West Haven Code are subject to fines,” Rossi said.

The ordinance, adopted by the City Council in 2012, gives the city more control when targeting properties in disrepair.

It defines property owners as “any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any private property in the City of West Haven to maintain such premises.”

The comprehensive ordinance defines blighted premises as any place that is “dilapidated,” a fire hazard, the site of illegal activity, threatens community safety, or has damaged or missing walls, roofs or floors.

It prohibits piles of trash, abandoned or inoperable boats or motor vehicles, overgrown grass and weeds, as well as other negative elements that cause the “serious depreciation of property values” or hinder the enjoyment of properties elsewhere.

Under the ordinance, grass, weeds or similar vegetation, excluding flowers, fruits and vegetables, may not “reach and remain at a height of eight inches or greater for a period of 10 days or longer.”

It also tackles graffiti and unkempt swimming pools.

Violations carry a $100 fine per offense per day.

The ordinance is enforced by the city’s property maintenance/zoning enforcement officers and police.

For the first offense, officials will issue a violation warning, with the second offense resulting in a citation.

If a citation goes unpaid, officials can put a lien on a property for any unpaid fine imposed by the city from the date it was levied, which can result in a foreclosure.

Citations issued are reported to the Fire, Building, Police, Public Works and Health departments and the zoning and corporation counsel’s offices.

To report a blight complaint, call the Building Department at 203-937-3590 and provide as many details about the complaint as possible. The department will respond in a timely manner. Complaints are kept confidential.

First Fisher House in Connecticut opens at VA Hospital

Flanked by West Haven Fire Department Honor Guard member Lt. James McNulty, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, right, pauses during the national anthem at the dedication of the first Fisher House in Connecticut on Friday at the West Haven Veterans Affairs Hospital. The 16-suite, 13,500-square-foot “comfort home” will provide temporary accommodations at no cost for the eligible family members of veterans receiving inpatient treatment. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

First Fisher House in Connecticut opens at VA Hospital

WEST HAVEN, May 10, 2018 — The first Fisher House in Connecticut was dedicated by U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, Fisher House Chairman and CEO Ken Fisher, VA Connecticut Healthcare System Director Gerald Culliton and Mayor Nancy R. Rossi during a ceremony Friday at the West Haven Veterans Affairs Hospital.

The Fisher House will provide temporary accommodations at no cost for the eligible family members of veterans receiving inpatient treatment.

The dedication was held next to the new house, near VA’s Campbell Avenue entrance, and was followed by a ribbon-cutting.

The Fisher House will not only create an instant community for its residents, united by their common mission of supporting a sick or injured loved one, but will also provide each individual with a secure and private refuge after a long day at the hospital to rest and recharge, the Fisher House Foundation said in a news release.

The 16-suite, 13,500-square-foot “comfort home” joins the other 75 Fisher Houses operating in the United States and Europe.

As part of the morning ceremony, the completed house was gifted to the VA to operate and maintain in perpetuity.

In addition to the suites, there is a common kitchen, laundry room, dining area, living room and space for children to play.

Millions in funding for the house was made possible through the fundraising efforts of the Friends of Fisher House CT, the Fisher House Foundation and the local community before the ground was broken on April 11, 2017.

The Friends of Fisher House has been supported by such events as marathons, ballroom dancing, golf tournaments and baseball games, as well as donations from customers at ShopRite grocery stores across the state.

“The Connecticut community really stepped up to make this Fisher House a reality,” Fisher said. “”Supporting our military, veterans and their families is a privilege, but we can’t do it alone. Their excitement and tireless efforts will continue to go a long way for those who call Fisher House their home.”

Culliton said: “We are honored to have the first Fisher House in the state of Connecticut. Our West Haven campus is the only full-service inpatient VA facility in the state. The Fisher House will provide the families and caregivers of our veterans with a safe, comfortable, supportive environment while their veteran receives care.”

Scholarship offered in memory of schoolteacher

Scholarship offered in memory of West Haven schoolteacher

WEST HAVEN, May 10, 2018 — The city’s Breast Cancer Awareness Committee is accepting applications for a scholarship fund it founded in memory of a third-grade Savin Rock Community School teacher who died of breast cancer.

The 16th annual Susan A. Ruickoldt Scholarship Fund will award $2,000 to a female high school senior from West Haven who plans to continue her education.

Candidates must submit an application form, an official transcript and a class rank, as well as a 250-word essay on achievements and goals and a 250-word essay on the importance of breast cancer screening and education.

Applicants must also submit a letter of acceptance from a postsecondary school and a letter of intent to attend the school.

Applications are available in the guidance office and physical education department at West Haven High School, 1 McDonough Plaza. They are also available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in the Department of Human Resources at City Hall, 355 Main St.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. May 24.

Day of prayer

Day of prayer

WEST HAVEN, May 4, 2018 — Holding hands in prayer, from left, city administrative revenue collection clerk Victor M. Borras, Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and her executive assistant, Louis P. Esposito Jr., are led in a service by the Rev. Kathryn King, pastor of the First Congregational Church of West Haven, at the city’s celebration of National Day of Prayer on May 3 on the steps of City Hall.

The special day, which calls attention to the freedom of religious expression, was marked by Rossi reading a mayoral proclamation declaring National Day of Prayer in West Haven.

“Since the founding of the United States, public prayer has been a cornerstone of our rich heritage and values,” Rossi said. “The observance of National Day of Prayer is a powerful tool that unites citizens from diverse religious backgrounds in an effort to face life’s challenges with renewed hope and determination.”

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Tree planting at City Hall dedicated in memory of Ed Silver

Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and David Silver throw ceremonial shovels of dirt to dedicate the planting of a pink flowering dogwood in memory of his brother, former Silver’s Drug Shop owner Edward N. “Ed” Silver, on the front lawn of City Hall at West Haven’s Arbor Day celebration May 2. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Tree planting at City Hall dedicated to the late Ed Silver

WEST HAVEN, May 4, 2018 — Throwing ceremonial shovels of dirt, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and David Silver dedicated the planting of a pink flowering dogwood in memory of his brother, former Silver’s Drug Shop owner Edward N. “Ed” Silver, on the front lawn of City Hall at West Haven’s Arbor Day celebration May 2.

Rossi and Silver, who was joined by his wife, Merle, were accompanied by fellow West Haven Rotary Club members Dianne Milano, who serves as president, and her husband, Phil Milano, along with Colleen Bailie, Lynn Fiorillo and Donald Thomas.

The morning event was also attended by Rossi’s executive assistant, acting Public Works Commissioner Louis P. Esposito Jr., as well as mayoral adviser Tom McCarthy, Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, tree warden Leo Kelly and former Councilwoman Gail S. Burns, D-10.

Rossi observed the special occasion, held at Main Street and Campbell Avenue, by reading a mayoral proclamation declaring Arbor Day in the city and unveiling a plaque at the base of the new tree in honor of Ed Silver.

The tree species, native to eastern North America, “is commonly planted as an ornamental in residential and public areas because of its showy bracts and interesting bark structure,” Rossi said.

“Trees in our city increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas, and beautify our community,” Rossi said. “Trees, wherever they are planted, are a source of joy and spiritual renewal.”

Ed Silver, who died Oct. 28, 2017, at age 92, operated Silver’s Drug Shop for more than 50 years on the opposite corner of City Hall. The popular drugstore was founded by his father, pharmacist William H. Silver, in 1919.

After his father died, Ed Silver took over the store when he was in his 20s and was later joined by his brother.

After Ed Silver retired, David Silver’s son, Scott, helped run the drugstore, which had a luncheonette that served about 500 people a day until 1982. The store closed in 2006.

Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by Julius Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

By the 1920s, each state had enacted public laws mandating an Arbor Day observance. The customary observance is to plant a tree.

On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, more than 1 million trees were planted.

Arbor Day

Joined by Mayor Rossi, David Silver and his wife, Merle, hold up the plaque in honor of Ed Silver. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Arbor Day

Mayor Rossi and the Silvers are joined by fellow Rotarians, from left, Lynn Fiorillo, Colleen Bailie, Phil Milano, President Dianne Milano and Donald Thomas. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Arbor Day

Tree warden Leo Kelly with Mayor Rossi. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Applications available for Summer Youth Employment

Applications available for Summer Youth Employment Program

WEST HAVEN, May 4, 2018 — Applications for the Summer Youth Employment Program are available through May 31 in the athletic director’s office at West Haven High School and the main office at Bailey Middle School.

The summer program, which runs July 9-Aug. 3, is aimed at funding positions for low-income residents ages 14-21.

Students must pick up and drop off applications at their school office.

Drop off applications with all required documents from 9-11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the high school and from 9-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Bailey. No applications will be processed after 3 p.m. May 31.

Students who attend other schools must pick up applications in the Department of Human Resources on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St., where the completed forms must be returned between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.

Students must also include copies of information, such as a birth certificate and Social Security card, as well as documentation of household income.

Family income is based on the number of people per household and is required to be within 185 percent of state poverty income levels.

Applicants will be notified by mail or phone if more information is needed.


Public invited to review, comment on regional Hazard Mitigation Plan

WEST HAVEN, April 27, 2018 — The South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG) invites the public to review and comment on the Draft South Central Region Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan.

The plan is aimed at identifying and assessing natural hazard risks, such as flooding, hurricanes and winter storms, and determining how to best minimize or manage those risks.

Read the official news release at SCRCOG.

The draft plan is available for public review April 30-May 14 on the project webpage at

For more information and to comment on the plan, contact City Engineer Abdul Quadir at 203-937-3577 or

Driver safety course offered in West Haven

Driver safety course offered June 6

WEST HAVEN, April 27, 2018 — The West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from 5:30-9:30 p.m. June 6 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.

Health Department publishes monthly newsletter

Health Department publishes monthly newsletter, Health Notes

WEST HAVEN, April 27, 2018 — The Health Department has published the first issue of its monthly public health newsletter, Health Notes.

Read the newsletter at Health Notes.

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