City Notes
Cultural event celebrates West Haven’s black heritage

African-American Citizens of the Year Millicent Huff Corbett, second from left, and Patricia Donaldson Turner receive citations from Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and West Haven Black Heritage Committee Chairman Steven R. Mullins during the 23rd annual Black Heritage Celebration Wednesday at City Hall. The cultural event, in honor of Black History Month, is presented by the Black Heritage Committee. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Cultural event celebrates West Haven’s black heritage

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 21, 2019 — The city honored the extraordinary legacy of African-Americans and the incalculable contributions they have made to shaping the greatness of America at the 23rd annual Black Heritage Celebration Wednesday at City Hall.

During the cultural event in observance of Black History Month, the city’s Black Heritage Committee honored West Haven High School senior Brandie James for academic excellence and recognized Millicent Huff Corbett and Patricia Donaldson Turner as African-American Citizens of the Year.

Huff Corbett and Donaldson Turner received a citation from Mayor Nancy R. Rossi recognizing their “pioneering good works.”

Reading the citations, Rossi said, “Diversity is the heartbeat of our nation, and your indomitable spirit and inspiring contributions are a testament to the promise of America.”

Huff Corbett is a woman of firsts. A Democrat, she was the first African-American elected to serve on the City Council, representing the 5th District from 1989 to 1991. She was also the first woman to serve in the New Haven Police Department’s motorcycle unit, having been an officer in the Elm City for 16 years.

Huff Corbett is a paraprofessional at Bailey Middle School.

Donaldson Turner, a Republican, served on the Board of Education from 1989 to 1993. She was an assistant teacher at St. Thomas’s Day School in New Haven for 15 years and served as a substitute teacher in West Haven for many years.

Donaldson Turner is a lifetime member of the Greater New Haven chapter of the NAACP.

The hourlong ceremony, held in the Harriet C. North Community Room, featured an awards presentation by Rossi and committee Chairman Steven R. Mullins, the master of ceremonies whose daughter, West Haven High sophomore Nora E. Mullins, sang a spirited rendition of the black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” She was accompanied on the performance by the near-capacity assembly of dignitaries, family, friends and residents.

James, who plans to study law at Temple University next fall, received a Black Heritage Committee certificate of achievement from Mullins, who was joined by Rossi, Superintendent of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro and West Haven High Assistant Principal John DellaCamera.

James serves as treasurer of the class of 2019 and is co-captain of the mock trial team. She also serves as treasurer of the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society and is a member of the math club, Theatre Workshop and the international club.

Mullins’ son, Carrigan Intermediate School sixth-grader Steven Christian Mullins, received an award for youth achievement. He is an actor starring in the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots.”

The program included remarks from Rossi, Cavallaro and New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp, the keynote speaker, as well as committee founder Beulah “Bea” Johnson, committee President Emerita Ernestine Jackson and Councilwoman Robbin Watt Hamilton, D-5.

Rossi thanked the committee for its commitment to keeping the Black Heritage Celebration event “relevant and vibrant,” saying: “I know the decorations subcommittee took care in making sure everything was just right. Your volunteerism is truly appreciated.”

Harp focused her remarks on African-American women in public office, asking the crowd of mostly women, “Who better to serve the public interest than women?”

“This latest wave of women in public service could not have come at a better time,” she said, referencing the surge of women in positions of influence at the local, state and national levels of government.

In honor of the monthlong black history celebration, organizers have decorated the walls of City Hall with banners and posters depicting important black leaders and role models worldwide.

The committee has worked since 1996 to promote racial harmony across West Haven, transforming City Hall into an exhibition of African-American art and literature throughout Black History Month to educate residents about black culture.


West Haven High School senior Brandie James is presented with a Black Heritage Committee award for academic excellence from Chairman Steven R. Mullins as, from left, Superintendent of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro, Mayor Rossi and Assistant Principal John DellaCamera look on. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)


Carrigan Intermediate School sixth-grader Steven Christian Mullins receives a Black Heritage Committee award for youth achievement from his father, Steven R. Mullins, as Superintendent Cavallaro and Mayor Rossi look on. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)


West Haven High sophomore Nora E. Mullins sings the black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)


New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp delivers the keynote speech. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)


Black Heritage Committee founder Beulah “Bea” Johnson gives closing remarks. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Bill Slater
Celebrating love

Celebrating love

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 15, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, center, joins Anthony and Lucille Martone during the city’s 29th annual Valentine’s Day party Feb. 14 at the Savin Rock Conference Center.

The Martones, who have been married for 67 years, were among 20 couples married for at least 50 years who were honored at the two-hour event, presented by the mayor’s office.

Rossi recognized the Martones as the event’s oldest couple, presenting them with a gift-wrapped pendant and a bottle of Champagne courtesy of Leslie Jewelers and Ye Old Liquor Shoppe of West Haven. John and Mary Malenda, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January, were recognized as the youngest couple.

All received chocolates, wine glasses and roses, as well as a framed photograph of themselves.

The party included music by the Clam Diggers, hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. It was made possible by D&D Linen Supply and Fitzgerald’s Florist of West Haven and Costco of Milford.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Texas Bob

Mayor Rossi has a dance with Robert “Texas Bob” Marazzi. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

The Malendas

Mayor Rossi recognizes John and Mary Malenda, who have been married for 50 years, as the youngest couple. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

They do!

They do!

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 15, 2019 — Newlyweds Enid Santiago and Patricio Zhicay, center, are joined by City Clerk Deborah Collins, left, and Justice of the Peace Grace Hendricks on Feb. 14 at City Hall.

Accompanied by their 3-year-old son, Liam, Santiago and Zhicay were among six city couples united in matrimony on Valentine’s Day as part of an annual service sponsored by the city clerk’s office, which offers free weddings to the first six couples who apply for marriage licenses at City Hall.

The weddings, performed by a justice of the peace, took place hourly.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)


Registration open for tai chi

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 15, 2019 — Instructor Jonathan Davis is back, starting March 5 and March 7, with a new six-week format for tai chi.

The tai chi exercises will incorporate the Five Traditional Chinese Elements to benefit participants’ overall health and well-being.

Registration is open for Tuesday, Thursday or both days. A free trial class is available to anyone 16 and older the first week of the program.

Senior discount and multiple-day options are available.

Sign up at Park-Rec.

July 3 fireworks

Savin Rock Fireworks Spectacular set for 9:15 p.m. July 3 off Bradley Point

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 11, 2019 — The Savin Rock Fireworks Spectacular is set for 9:15 p.m. July 3 off Bradley Point, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi announced.

The fireworks display, billed as “the region’s largest Independence Day fireworks show,” draws an estimated 100,000 people of all ages to West Haven’s 3 ½-mile shoreline each year. The rain date is July 5.

“The Savin Rock Fireworks Committee is once again very excited to raise the money for the cost of the fireworks show,” co-chairwomen Sandy McCauley and Marianne Drapeau said.

Before the patriotic display, partygoers can shake, rattle and roll to live music at the Savin Rock bandstand from 6:30-9 p.m.

Memorial Day parade

Marchers sought for Memorial Day parade; applications due April 8

WEST HAVEN, Jan. 29, 2019 — The city is seeking veterans, civic groups, fraternal organizations, service clubs and marching bands to participate in the annual Memorial Day parade, which steps off at 10:30 a.m. May 27. There is no rain date.

Participants must register and list required special accommodations.

Transportation is provided for veterans who are unable to walk the 1 ½-mile parade course, which follows Campbell Avenue from Captain Thomas Boulevard to Center Street. To make arrangements, call the mayor’s office at 203-937-3510.

The parade grand marshal is West Haven Vietnam Veterans member William Benson, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War.

Download a Participation Form.
Forms are also available in the mayor’s office at City Hall, 355 Main St., where they are due April 8. Forms can also be emailed to parade organizer Kristen Teshoney at or faxed to 203-937-3705.

Elderly, disabled homeowners offered tax relief in West Haven

Elderly, disabled homeowners offered tax relief in West Haven

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 5, 2019 — Assessor Ann Marie Gradoia is accepting applications for tax relief programs for elderly and disabled homeowners.

Residents can apply for the programs, based on their 2018 incomes, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, Feb. 15-May 15, in the assessor’s office on the first floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.

The state elderly and disabled homeowners program offers tax reduction benefits depending on income and marital status. To qualify, the applicant or spouse must be 65 or older by Dec. 31, 2018, or permanently and totally disabled as defined by Social Security.

Income limits, including Social Security, are $43,900 for a married couple and $36,000 for a single person.

To qualify for the West Haven senior tax freeze program, the applicant must be 70 by the end of 2018 and have lived in the city for at least 20 consecutive years.

Income limits, excluding Social Security, are $50,000 for a married couple and $35,000 for a single person. Those eligible for the program must reapply each year.

The assessor’s office is also accepting applications until Oct. 1 for additional veterans exemptions. The maximum income is $43,900 for a married applicant and $36,000 for a single applicant.

Driver safety course offered in West Haven

Driver safety course offered March 6

WEST HAVEN, Jan. 29, 2019 — The Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from noon-4 p.m. March 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.

Second shovel

City issues snow rules for parking

WEST HAVEN, Jan. 17, 2019 — 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.

For the latest news and information, subscribe to the city’s Facebook page at

DMV Promo
Powered by CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus