City Notes
Bill Slater

A fond farewell

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 28, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi congratulates Director William P. “Bill” Slater on his retirement from the Department of Parks and Recreation during a reception attended by dozens of co-workers Thursday at City Hall.

Rossi presented a citation to Slater for “41 years of dedicated service” to the city, including the last 25 years as Park-Rec’s director.

He was also cited by the mayor for providing “dynamic and engaging programs to meet the recreational needs of our community, enhancing the quality of life for thousands of Westies.”

Slater was hired Feb. 21, 1978, under the administration of Democratic Mayor Robert A. Johnson.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

All in the family

From left, retiring Parks and Recreation Director Bill Slater and Mayor Nancy R. Rossi pause with Slater’s longtime supervisor, Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, and his longtime employees, program coordinator Tom Conroy, administrative assistant Kerri Ruocco, program coordinator Diane Dietman, and pool and waterfront coordinator Margaret Ruggiero. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Black Balloon Day

Black Balloon Day to honor casualties of opioid addiction on Wednesday

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 28, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi is calling on all residents who have been affected by the opioid epidemic to hang a black balloon in front of their homes in observance of Black Balloon Day on Wednesday.

For the second year, Rossi has pledged West Haven’s commitment to recognizing the special day after its co-founder, Diane Hurley, of Peabody, Massachusetts, reached out to the mayor seeking the city’s participation. Hurley’s daughter, Lauren Hurley, is the other co-founder.

Lauren Hurley’s mission began March 6, 2016, after her brother-in-law, Greg Tremblay, a father of four, died of a drug overdose a year earlier.

Hurley’s brother, Sean Hurley, was also a drug addict but has been clean for more than a year.

In the wake of the family’s tragedy, she and her mother have joined forces in the war on drugs.

On Wednesday, the Hurleys are encouraging all West Haveners who have been impacted by drug addiction, including pain-reducing opioid medications, to hang a black balloon outside their homes.

At the request of Diane Hurley, city officials will also hang a black balloon on the steps of City Hall for each resident who has died of opioids. A prayer service will take place there at 10 a.m.

At least 24 residents died of opioids last year, said city Health Director Maureen B. Lillis, referencing a November 2018 report by the state Department of Public Health’s Office of Injury Prevention.

Hurley is encouraging the city’s police and fire departments to participate by hanging black balloons as well.

Rossi said West Haven’s participation is aimed at “shining a light on how the national public health crisis of opioid addiction affects us locally.”

Anthem Blue Cross speaker set for senior center

Anthem Blue Cross speaker set for March 12 at senior center

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 28, 2019 — A representative from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will discuss the company’s Medicare plans at 12:30 p.m. March 12 at the Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center, 201 Noble St.

The representative will also answer questions about Medicare and explain various options. No insurance will be sold.

Anthem will provide light refreshments and a raffle.

To attend, call the senior center at 203-937-3507.

Yoga program offered at senior center

Yoga program for older adults

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 28, 2019 — The Department of Elderly Services is offering a 12-week yoga program that focuses on postures, breathing and meditation.

Instructed by Debby Kahan, classes meet 9-10 a.m. Tuesdays, starting March 19, at the Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center, 201 Noble St.

Kahan has years of experience teaching yoga and working with older adults.

A free trial class is available for those wishing to try it first.

The fee for the program, subsidized in part by the department, is $50, payable to West Haven Elderly Services.

To register, call the senior center at 203-937-3507.

City’s first ramen restaurant opens on Captain Thomas Blvd.

City’s first ramen restaurant opens on Capt. Thomas Blvd.

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 25, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, center, cuts the ribbon Monday with Iishin Ramen Bar chef and co-owner Johnny Chen, second from left, and co-owner Penny Gao, third from left, to mark the ceremonial opening of the city’s first ramen restaurant at 291 Captain Thomas Blvd., formerly Savin Rock Roasting Co.

Joining the celebration are, from left, state Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven; Rossi’s executive assistant, Lou Esposito; Iishin waiter Andy Xu; Gao’s mother, Cindy Gao; state Rep. Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven; Gao’s father, Jackie Gao; and Fred A. Messore, city commissioner of planning and development.

The remodeled restaurant’s bar mixes a clever concoction of cocktails, such as a Soho lychee martini and a sake cosmopolitan, with a creative menu of mouthwatering appetizers and heaping bowls of ramen noodle soup, a dish popular in Japan composed of wheat noodles and broth.

Located near the beach, many of Iishin’s ingredients are made from scratch, including house-made dumplings, tofu and soy sauce.

Its appetizers include edamame, pan-fried Japanese peppers with yuzu salt and Brussels sprouts tempura, as well as a spinach, avocado and seaweed salad.

Four rice bowls are offered — marinated chicken and egg, marinated sliced beef, braised pork belly and barbecue eel — and seven varieties of ramen soup. Signature Iishin Ramen is served with straight noodles in a pork bone broth boiled for more than 24 hours and topped with marinated pork belly, wood ear mushrooms, seasoned bamboo shoots, scallions, dried seaweed and marinated boiled egg.

Iishin is open Sunday-Thursday, noon-10 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, noon-11 p.m.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

‘Community Service Award’

‘Community Service Award’

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 25, 2019 — Frank Meyer, representing the New Haven Ski Club, center, receives a wooden “Community Service Award” plaque Monday at City Hall from Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and Robert S. Morton, director of the West Haven Interagency Network for Children.

The club was cited for its contribution to the annual toy drive organized by WHINC.

Dubel’s Cafe owner Fred Hugendubel, who was unable to attend the ceremony, is also a recipient of the award.

Morton, who is also the director of West Haven Youth and Family Services, distributed the toys, valued around $3,000, to 88 city families in need, including 168 children, and to WTNH-TV anchorwoman Ann Nyberg’s Toy Closet program at Yale New Haven Hospital.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

The Haven

Developer hires security company to monitor The Haven project site

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 25, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi announced that The Haven Group LLC has engaged a security company to monitor The Haven. The company will provide security at the development site as a result of the recent fires.

For the past four nights and until Sunday when the security company is on-site, the West Haven Police Department has sent officers to monitor the site at the developer’s expense.

The city is not paying for the additional officers, Rossi said.

The West Haven Fire Department, the fire marshal and the Building Department have been inspecting the properties and will issue a report to the city.

“The investigations are ongoing, but it is believed that the first fire is undetermined at this point and that the second fire (Bilco) was intentionally set,” Rossi said. “The city will also do what is necessary to keep the site safe.”

The mayor said she appreciates the cooperation and assistance from the fire department, the fire marshal, the Police Department, the City Council chairman and the City Council and all relevant city agencies in addressing the current public safety concerns.

Rossi also thanked the surrounding cities that provided mutual aid during the two fires.

The city will soon begin the street closure process for The Haven project, which is required as part of its development agreement with The Haven Group and may make the project more secure, the mayor said.

Blumenthal calls on Congress to expand fund for 9/11 victims

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., calls on Congress to fully finance the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund during a news conference Feb. 21 at West Haven Fire Department headquarters. Joining Blumenthal are, from left, City Council Minority Leader Richard DePalma, R-at large; mayoral Executive Assistant Lou Esposito; Mayor Nancy R. Rossi; District Vice Presidents Steve Michalovic and Bob Smith of the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut; UPFFA member Mike Spoldi; and West Haven Fire Department Lt. William Heffernan and Chief James P. O’Brien. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Blumenthal calls on Congress to expand 9/11 victims fund

WEST HAVEN, Feb. 22, 2019 — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called on Congress to fully finance the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund during a news conference Feb. 21 at West Haven Fire Department headquarters.

After alarming news that the fund is running out of money and will cut future payments to 9/11 victims by up to 70 percent, Blumenthal also called on Congress to make the VCF permanent.

Joining Blumenthal for the announcement were Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, mayoral Executive Assistant Lou Esposito and City Council Minority Leader Richard DePalma, R-at large, along with West Haven Fire Department Chief James P. O’Brien and Lt. William Heffernan, District Vice Presidents Steve Michalovic and Bob Smith of the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut, and UPFFA member Mike Spoldi.

The VCF has already approved 22,323 claims for survivors and their families for physical injuries as a result of their involvement at New York’s ground zero, including exposure to toxins.

According to the most recent VCF report, there have been 366 claims filed by individuals living in Connecticut, with 136 individuals living in the state already receiving funds.

With cancer rates for 9/11 responders on the rise and the fund set to expire in 2020, the VCF is more important than ever, said Blumenthal, who was also joined at the midday news conference by more than a dozen firefighters from the Elm Street department, which serves the First Fire Taxation District, also known as the Center District.

Blumenthal fought for the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act in 2015, which made the World Trade Center Health Program permanent and reauthorized the VCF through 2020.

Because of an increase in claims, however, the VCF is close to running out of money, Blumenthal said, forcing benefits to be cut by 50 to 70 percent to ensure that all eligible individuals receive an award.

O’Brien and Heffernan are among 35 West Haven firefighters who served at ground zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack and now participate in the WTC program, which ensures proper medical treatment and monitoring of more than 33,000 first responders and survivors who have 9/11-related illnesses.

Of the 35 firefighters, 23 are from the West Haven Fire Department, seven are from the West Shore Fire Department, and five are from the City of West Haven Fire Department Allingtown, O’Brien said.

Last Congress, Blumenthal was an original co-sponsor of the Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act, which would permanently reauthorize and finance the VCF as well as provide benefits to those who saw them reduced as a result of the current funding shortfall.

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 Feb. 20 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 Feb. 20 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)

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.

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.

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