City Notes

With Santa and Mrs. Claus looking on, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and her special guests, from left, Notre Dame High School seniors Kamron Bell and Jared Thayer, junior Roy Sebas and sophomore Rayquan Burruss, use electric switches to light the Christmas tree on the Green during the annual holiday kickoff Saturday. Rossi was also joined onstage by West Haven High School seniors Amanda Hill and Kassandra Marron. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Christmas tree lighting on Green heralds holiday season

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 27, 2018 — Santa and Mrs. Claus joined Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and her special guests to light the Christmas tree on the Green during the annual holiday kickoff Saturday.

Santa and Mrs. Claus, who arrived in a 1916 Ford pump firetruck from the West Haven Fire Department, were escorted to the Main Street stage by the West Haven High School and Seahawks cheerleading teams to the sound of applause and shouts of glee from an estimated 600 merrymakers young and old.

Before the lighting of the tree, which is encircled by five smaller evergreen trees adorned with fluorescent-colored lights, Rossi held a moment of silence for the late West Haven High Principal Pamela B. Gardner.

The mayor then recognized her guests, West Haven High seniors Amanda Hill and Kassandra Marron, followed by Notre Dame High School seniors Kamron Bell and Jared Thayer, junior Roy Sebas and sophomore Rayquan Burruss.

Rossi was also accompanied onstage by her grandson, Arthur, 8, and his friends Sean Albuquerque and Ella Rose McDonnell.

The late afternoon festivities opened with a rendition of the national anthem by West Haven High sophomore Nora E. Mullins and followed with holiday carols sung by the St. Lawrence School chorus.

The ceremony featured performances by the West Haven High dance team and the Top Hat Dance Academy and Yuletide classics sung by the Church of the Holy Spirit choir and the Bailey Middle School chorus.

Before their long sleigh ride back to the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus posed for snapshots in their workshop. Organizers offered the photos with Santa as a free digital download online.

People can view and download their photos on the city’s Flickr page at The internet address is case-sensitive.

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

The event was sponsored by Baybrook Remodelers Inc., Anthony Cordone, First Congregational Church of West Haven, Komar Construction Co., the McCarthy family, New Life Church, The Rock House School of Music, RVP Studios, Studio G Music Instruction, USAlliance Federal Credit Union, West Haven Chamber of Commerce and West Haven United.

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

Along with hayrides, children rode on a vintage firetruck from the West Shore Fire Department. Youngsters also enjoyed a variety of craft stations on the Green, where they decorated wooden ornaments, wrote letters to Santa, and made cards for U.S. troops overseas and those at the Veterans Affairs Hospital on Campbell Avenue.

People brought nonperishable items for the West Haven Emergency Assistance Task Force, which provides food for residents in need.

West Haven United, an organization aimed at bringing the city’s volunteer groups together, announced Theresa McElwaine, of West Haven, and Dreadies Headies, 397 Campbell Ave., as the winners of its ornament-making and merchant window-decorating contests, respectively. The winners received a gift certificate to Casa Bianca Pizza, 217 Campbell Ave.

Volunteers from the Chamber of Commerce handed out hot chocolate, and vendors sold food and novelties.

The vendors included the Cappetta’s Italian Imports & Pizza truck, Casa Bianca, Riley’s Mobile Kitchen and Sweet Cupcasions.

Also, volunteers from West Haven United sold hot apple cider and snacks.

After the lighting, the sounds of the holiday season filled the air with rock ’n’ roll renditions of Christmas favorites on the bandstand by bands from Rock House, RVP Studios and Studio G.

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Mayor onstage with children

Mayor Rossi is accompanied onstage by her executive assistant, Lou Esposito, and her grandson, Arthur, 8, third from left, and his friends, Ella Rose McDonnell, left, and Sean Albuquerque. (Contributed Photo)

Tree lighting

With the flick of a switch, the Green is transformed into a Christmas village. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Mayor Rossi

Mayor Rossi, with Executive Assistant Lou Esposito, welcomes families to the ceremony. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)


Members of the West Haven High School cheerleading team escort Santa and Mrs. Claus to the Main Street stage. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive in a 1916 Ford pump firetruck from the West Haven Fire Department. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Santa's workshop

Connor Leigh, 1, and his brother, Gabriel, 3, pause with Santa and Mrs. Claus in their workshop. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Youngsters decorate ornaments

Youngsters decorate wooden ornaments. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Letter to Santa

Lehanna, 6, helps her brother, Marc, 3, write a letter to Santa. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Bailey Middle School chorus

Members of the Bailey Middle School chorus under the direction of music teacher Paul Scanlon sing the songs of the holiday season. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Firetruck ride

Children and their parents ride around the 5.3-acre Green in a vintage firetruck from the West Shore Fire Department. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)


Maddern awarded scholarship from Park-Rec association

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 27, 2018 — Alyssa Maddern, of West Haven, right, pauses with city recreation program coordinator Diane Dietman after receiving the Dorothy G. Mullen and George Sanford Scholarship award Nov. 20 from the Connecticut Recreation and Parks Association.

Nominated by Dietman, Maddern received the award at CRPA’s 58th annual Conference & Tradeshow at the Mohegan Sun Hotel & Convention Center in Uncasville.

Maddern, an eight-year employee of the Department of Parks and Recreation’s playground program, is a senior at Southern Connecticut State University majoring in recreation and leisure studies, with a concentration in therapeutic recreation.

CRPA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization created in 1949, provides a support network for its members through professional development and resources to enhance the quality of recreation and parks services statewide.

(Contributed Photo)

VFW olympian

VFW member golden at national games

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 27, 2018 — Randy Acklin, a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9422, shows off the two gold and silver medals he won at the 32nd annual National Veterans Golden Age Games Aug. 3-8 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Acklin won the gold in the men’s 200- and 800-meter runs and the silver in the men’s 400-meter run and 1,000-meter power walk.

The Golden Age Games, open to veterans 55 and older who receive health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, are the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation program in the U.S. They are the only national multievent sports and recreational competition program designed to improve the quality of life for older veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.

The VA challenges and encourages senior veterans to embrace a healthier lifestyle, thereby achieving the NVGAG “Fitness for Life” motto.

The 2019 games are June 5-10 in Anchorage, Alaska. Registration is Feb. 25-March 8.

(Contributed Photo)

Pinpoint relocates to West Haven

Pinpoint relocates to West Haven train station district

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 21, 2018 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, center, cuts the ceremonial ribbon Nov. 20 with Pinpoint managing partners T.J. Andrews, third from left, and Steve Gentile, fourth from left, to mark the relocation of the marketing company’s headquarters to 45 Railroad Ave. in the city’s burgeoning transit-oriented development zoning district around the train station.

Joining the celebration are, from left, mayoral Executive Assistant Lou Esposito; state Reps. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, and Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven; City Clerk Deborah Collins; and city Planning and Development Commissioner Fred A. Messore.

Pinpoint was previously at 53 Hancock St., Stratford, and is now in a newly remodeled, 25,000-square-foot warehouse across the street from the Metro-North Railroad commuter station.

Gentile, who is also the company’s strategy director, said the move to West Haven triples the space Pinpoint had occupied and was critical to accommodate its rapid expansion in personnel, capabilities and production equipment.

The full-service marketing company, founded by Gentile in Milford 11 years ago, specializes in creative design, large-format printing, direct mail, imprinted promotional products and brand development.

Pinpoint has 20 full-time employees, with plans to expand its workforce by at least 40 percent in the next five years, and is a partner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

Other clients include Live Nation, Comcast Corp., Yale University and iHeartMedia Inc.

Read the official Pinpoint News Release.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Mayor Rossi

Mayor Rossi stands next to corrugated plastic cutouts of nutcracker soldiers made by Pinpoint that will go on display during the holiday season at the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Snow parking rules

City issues snow rules for parking

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 15, 2018 — To help crews expedite snow removal, Public Works Commissioner Tom McCarthy is reminding residents and businesses to observe parking regulations during and after storms.

Per the “Severe Weather” parking ordinance under Chapter 188 of the West Haven Code, police will tag and tow vehicles violating the ordinance at the owner’s expense. Violators will receive a $100 fine.

Once snow begins to fall, a parking ban is in effect on the even-numbered side of most roads, unless one is posted with a “No Parking” sign on the odd side.

The ban is in effect for 36 hours after a storm. Residents are urged to park in driveways or designated private lots.

However, during an official snow emergency declared by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, a parking ban will run from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on both sides of Campbell and Savin avenues, Morgan Lane, Elm Street, Meloy Road, Second Avenue from Elm to Beach streets, and Main Street from Savin to Washington avenues.

McCarthy is also reminding residents and businesses to shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours after a storm or face a $25 fine “for each day that the violation persists.”

According to the “Removal of Snow and Ice” ordinance under Chapter 195 of the West Haven Code, people are given 24 hours to remove snow from sidewalks on and bordering their properties. Violators are subject to the $25-per-day fine, which is enforced by the Police Department, the ordinance states.

To report a complaint, call the department’s nonemergency line at 203-937-3900. Complaints are kept confidential.

McCarthy also pointed out that plowing or blowing snow into city streets is prohibited and violators are subject to a $60 fine for each offense, per the ordinance.

Also, residents and businesses with mailboxes damaged by snow thrown from a plow are the responsibility of the property owner. The city will only repair mailboxes damaged by the striking of a plow blade if there is visible evidence, such as paint or tire tracks.

Snow removal around mailboxes is the property owner’s responsibility.

Residents are also urged to help firefighters keep hydrants clear of snow.

For more information, call the Department of Public Works at 203-937-3585 or visit Public Works.

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