City Notes
Mario and Francine Coppola feted as city’s Italian Couple of the Year

Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, right, reads a citation honoring Mario and Francine Coppola as West Haven’s Italian Couple of the Year at the 20th annual Columbus Day Celebration on the steps of City Hall Friday. (City Photo/David W. Richards)

Mario and Francine Coppola feted as West Haven’s Italian Couple of the Year during ceremony on steps of City Hall

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 9, 2018 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi presented Mario and Francine Coppola with matching jackets embroidered with their new title, Italian-American of the Year, as part of festivities observing West Haven’s 20th annual Columbus Day Celebration on the steps of City Hall Friday.

Mario G. Coppola, who owned and operated Mario & Joseph Men’s Shop on Campbell Avenue for 30 years, and Francine Iannotti Coppola, former director of West Haven Adult Education, are the second couple to receive the award after Giuseppe and Theresa DePalma in 2016.

The Coppolas, who have been married for 45 years, were showered with words of praise from Rossi for “enriching the proud legacy and vibrant culture of our Italian-American community.”

At the 45-minute ceremony, the couple received a General Assembly citation from state Reps. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, and Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven, on behalf of the city’s delegation. They also received an Italian flag from Paul M. Frosolone, president of the West Haven Italian-American Civic Association, and Ellen Marazzi, 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 personifies service in the city’s close-knit Italian-American community.

As the sound of Italian music filled the air during the late morning cultural event in honor of the Italian explorer, the Coppolas saluted their heritage with dozens of their closest friends and loved ones, along with array of dignitaries, including North Haven First Selectman Michael J. Freda, and descendants of folks from the old country clad in red, white and green.

Mario Coppola, born in the town of San Salvatore Telesino in the province of Benevento, Italy, immigrated to the United States at age 16 with his father, Francesco, in 1961.

After settling in West Haven, they opened Coppola Tailor Shop at Elm Street and First Avenue in 1963.

Three years later, Coppola was drafted in the Vietnam War. He served stateside for several years in the Army Reserve and trained at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Lee, Virginia.

In March 1972, Coppola and his longtime friend and business partner, Joseph DeFrancesco, established the first Mario & Joseph Men’s Shop in Branford. Four years later, they opened the West Haven shop, at 495 Campbell Ave., with both locations thriving for many years.

Coppola, a respected business owner, closed the West Haven store in 2006 after DeFrancesco retired. He closed the Branford store when he retired in 2015.

Coppola said he met DeFrancesco while taking an English class at West Haven Adult Education, the same program Francine Coppola led years later for two decades.

Along with the Adult Education program, which is mostly based at West Haven High School, she was the English as a second language bilingual director and the fine arts coordinator for the Board of Education. She retired last year.

She also served as president and vice president of the Connecticut Association for Adult and Continuing Education, or CAACE.

Rossi also presented a citation to the Coppolas, who were accompanied by their son, Mario F. Coppola, of Orange, and their daughter, Christina Coppola DeCrescenzo, of West Haven. They were also joined by their four grandchildren.

Before an Italian blessing from Michael Abbott, director of ministry at Notre Dame High School, Liz Levy sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the Italian national anthem, “II Canto degli Italiani.” The renditions were followed by a greeting from mayoral Executive Assistant Lou Esposito, the master of ceremonies.

Rossi then delivered heartwarming remarks about the Coppolas, saying, “Your extraordinary story is treasured by our city,” and “your fearless spirit and inspiring good works are a testament to the promise and greatness of America.”

Francine Coppola, born in New Haven and raised in Hamden, is the daughter of an immigrant father and the granddaughter of immigrant paternal grandparents from the province of Caserta, Italy.

In 1907, overcoming hardship and strife through the everlasting values of strength and sacrifice, faith and family, her father, Mario Iannotti, then a child, and his parents left their home in the town of Piedimonte Matese seeking a better life in America, settling in New Haven before later migrating to Hamden.

The Italian parents of her New Haven-born mother, Rose Onofrio, hailed from the village of Faicchio in the province of Benevento.

After graduating from Hamden High School in 1968, Francine Coppola earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from Southern Connecticut State University. She also received a sixth-year diploma in administration and supervision from SCSU.

Her degrees and skills propelled her to a lengthy and rewarding career that began in 1973 teaching special education in West Haven. Her unwavering commitment to nurturing young minds became a hallmark for her success as an educator and administrator in the years that followed.

Mario and Francine Coppola’s propensity for community service includes serving as ambassadors of their proud heritage.

They are long-standing members of the San Leucio Society of New Haven. He served a stint as vice president and she as secretary-treasurer.

He was grand marshal of the 2011 Greater New Haven Columbus Day Parade in West Haven and is a member of the Italian-American Civic Association.

He is also a longtime member of the West Haven Rotary Club, having served on its board of directors, and is a former recipient of the Jimmy Fund award.

She served on the board of directors of the West Haven Community House.

The Coppolas live on Botte Drive in West Shore.

The couple’s name will join the 19 previous Columbus Day recipients on a plaque in City Hall.

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Mario and Francine Coppola

Mario and Francine Coppola receive matching jackets embroidered with their new title, Italian-American of the Year. (City Photo/David W. Richards)

Painting class

Painting class at senior center

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 9, 2018 — The Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center will offer a painting class for residents 55 and older from 12:30-2 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Johnson Community Center, 201 Noble St.

The fun, step-by-step class, instructed by Marrissa Russo of Make Your Own Masterpiece, will teach participants to create their own masterpieces.

Art supplies are provided, including canvas, paint and brushes.

The fee is $25 and required in advance. To register, visit the senior center or call 203-937-3507.

Medicare speaker set for Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center

Medicare speaker at senior center

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 9, 2018 — A representative from Banker’s Life will discuss Medicare and the open enrollment process from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Allington/West Haven Senior Center, 201 Noble St.

The representative will also talk about how Medicare works and the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans.

Elderly Services Director Sharon R. Mancini said it is important for people on Medicare to understand their options.

Open enrollment begins Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 1.

Banker’s Life is an insurance broker that can write policies for various companies; however, it is not allowed to write them at the senior center. Anyone who wants to use their services can make private arrangements with the broker.

Bulk trash week

Bulk trash pickup week, e-waste drop-off day set for next week

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 2, 2018 — The final bulk trash pickup week of 2018 is Oct. 8-12.

Residents are reminded to separate metals and recyclables from regular trash and to put out trash no more than 24 hours before pickup. Violations carry a $100 fine per daily offense, Public Works Commissioner Tom McCarthy said.

Bulk items include couches, chairs, tables, carpeting, padding, fencing and small amounts of bundled lumber, which may not exceed 6 feet in length. No building materials, mattresses or tires are accepted.

McCarthy said that although mattresses were formerly considered bulk trash, the city is no longer picking them up.

Most mattress retailers, however, will remove and recycle mattresses when a new mattress is purchased. Mattresses of any amount can also be dropped off for free from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays at Park City Green, 459 Iranistan Ave., Bridgeport.

The city is also no longer picking up tires on residents’ curbside collection days because of rising disposal costs, McCarthy said.

According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, there are no statutes that require tire retailers to take waste tires, but most will when a new tire is purchased.

The amount of bulk trash per collection is limited to 6 cubic yards, which is equal to a pile of trash about 6 feet long, 6 feet wide and 4 ½ feet high.

Homeowners are required to rent a dumpster or hire a junk removal service at their expense if trash exceeds 6 cubic yards. Otherwise, trash exceeding 6 cubic yards will be left at the curb, and a $100 fine per daily offense will be imposed, McCarthy said.

To prevent a potential fine, property owners should familiarize themselves with the city’s trash guidelines at Public Works.

Bulk trash must be generated by the customer at the residential unit where it is collected. Trash will not be collected if it is generated by anyone other than the resident of the home.

Bulk items must be separated and orderly. Do not place them next to a mailbox or utility pole or close to a fence, McCarthy said.

Also, do not place bulk items in front of a vacant lot or home — they will not be collected, he said.

Details at Bulk Trash Pickup.

For electronic items, including TVs, the final e-waste drop-off day of the year is Oct. 13.

Residents can drop off electronic recyclables — typically anything that contains a circuit board or needs a battery — from 8 a.m.-noon at the city’s highway maintenance garage, 1 Collis St.

Anything that has refrigerant, including air conditioners and dehumidifiers, is not accepted. Those items are considered white goods, and residents are asked to put them out for pickup on their weekly collection days.

The e-waste drop-off is free for residents who have such items as TVs, hand-held video games, computers, monitors, copiers, scanners, microwaves, toaster ovens and other small appliances.

Details at E-waste Drop-off.

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Energy assistance offered in West Haven

City offers energy assistance

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 2, 2018 — The city will begin accepting applications Oct. 15 for the federally financed Connecticut Energy Assistance Program in the Department of Human Resources on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.

Appointments for all heating sources can be made, starting Oct. 1, by calling 203-937-3572.

Applications will be processed by appointment Mondays through Thursdays. No walk-ins will be accepted.

Applicants who have difficulty speaking English are asked to bring a translator.

Eligibility for assistance is based on the income and assets of an applicant’s household. To qualify, applicants must provide pay stubs, including monthly Social Security benefits and pension checks, for the last four weeks for all household members 18 and older.

Applicants must also provide documentation of assets — recent bank account statements for all accounts for all household members — along with a current utility bill, Social Security numbers and birthdates for all household members.

Driver safety course offered in West Haven

Driver safety course offered Nov. 14

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 2, 2018 — The West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from noon-4 p.m. Nov. 14 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.

West Haven Parent Support Groups set open house, resource fair

West Haven Parent Support Groups set open house, resource fair

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 21, 2018 — The West Haven Local System of Care’s Parent Support Groups will hold an open house and resource fair from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the West Haven Community House, 227 Elm St.

The event, sponsored by the West Haven Parent Support Group, Autism Family Support Group and Spanish Parent Support Group, will give families of children with special needs an opportunity to learn about new resources and services while meeting other families.

In addition to the three support groups, the fair will include representatives from the following organizations and agencies: ASD Fitness Center, Special Needs Undergraduate Swim Lessons, Connecticut Dental Health Partnership Family Services of Connecticut, Bridges HealthCare, Shoreline Center for Autism & Developmental Disorders, Yale Child Study Autism Program, Shoreline Behavioral Health & Wellness, Clifford Beers Marne Street Clinic, Behavioral Management, West Haven Police Department, The Kennedy Center, FAVOR, West Haven Pharmacy, and Kidsense.

Flu clinic on tap for Oct. 24 at Savin Rock Conference Center

Walk-in flu clinic on tap for Oct. 24 at Savin Rock Conference Center

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 19, 2018 — The Health Department will hold a flu clinic sponsored by the Orange Visiting Nurses Association for city residents from 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 24 at the Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock St.

The walk-in clinic will accept the following insurances: Anthem, Medicare, Aetna and Connecticare.

Insurance carriers United Healthcare, Cigna, Oxford and Medicaid/Husky are not participating.

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

People can also pay by cash or check.

Also, the private pay rate is $40 for a quadrivalent flu shot and $65 for a high-dose flu shot for those 65 or older.


Land damaged by Superstorm Sandy can be enrolled into easements

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 19, 2018 — The U.S. Agriculture Department is accepting a third round of applications from eligible landowners who want to sell the development rights of properties along Connecticut’s coastline that were damaged by Tropical Storm Irene and Superstorm Sandy in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Funds are available through USDA’s Emergency Watershed Protection Floodplain Easements Program, which is managed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, known as NRCS.

Applications are accepted through Oct. 10.

Read the official USDA News Release.

For more details, view the Emergency Watershed Protection Program Flyer.

RWA bringing advanced metering infrastructure to city

RWA bringing advanced metering infrastructure to West Haven

WEST HAVEN, Aug. 7, 2018 — About 13,000 Regional Water Authority customers in West Haven will have the water industry’s latest metering technology installed starting next month, joining the 50,000 customers in the RWA’s water district who have already received the upgrade.

The system will allow the RWA to accurately read customers’ water meters by securely transmitting a low-powered signal from an AMI endpoint, a small device connected to the meter, to the RWA’s office.

The technology will upgrade how the RWA receives water consumption information, eliminate the need for manually reading customers’ meters, provide early detection of water leaks, and largely eliminate estimated water bills.

The RWA will deploy the new metering system to every customer in its 15-town service area over the next two years.

The RWA hired Contract Callers Inc., or CCI, to install the new advanced meter reading devices. Installation generally takes less than an hour and involves attaching the AMI endpoint to the customer’s existing water meter, usually where the existing meter reading device is located.

Read the official RWA News Release.

Watch the RWA Advanced Metering Infrastructure video on the official RWA YouTube channel.

For more information, visit the RWA website at or the CCI website at

Farmers market

Farmers market open Thursdays, Saturdays on West Haven Green

WEST HAVEN, July 30, 2018 — The Tony Inzero Farmers Market is open for its 19th season on the Green.

Through Oct. 27, the market at Main Street and Campbell Avenue features state farmers selling homegrown fruits and vegetables from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

It includes crafters selling their wares.

The Thursday markets showcase food trucks, including 744 Express and Spuds Your Way, dishing up such savory favorites as baked potatoes, lobster rolls and pulled pork sandwiches. Each truck offers a weekly special.

Farmers market

Farmers market vouchers available

WEST HAVEN, July 20, 2018 — Farmers market vouchers are available at the West Haven/Allingtown Senior Center, 201 Noble St.

To receive $18 in vouchers, the income limits for those at least 60 years old are $30,451 per year, or $2,537 per month, for a married couple and $22,459 per year, or $1,871 per month, for a single person.

Each voucher booklet contains six $3 vouchers.

When picking up the vouchers, eligible residents must show proof of income and sign a receipt confirming they meet the income guidelines. For proof of income, residents can show a gray Connect Card from the state.

The Tony Inzero Farmers Market is on the Green from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 27.

For information about the voucher program, call the Department of Elderly Services at 203-937-3507.

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