City Notes

Grand Marshal William “Bill” Benson, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War in 1967-68, steers the Memorial Day parade up Campbell Avenue on Monday morning from a golf cart driven by off-duty Trooper 1st Class Alison Peters of the Connecticut State Police. (City Photo/David W. Richards)

Parade honors America’s fallen

WEST HAVEN, May 28, 2019 — Grand Marshal William “Bill” Benson, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War in 1967-68, steered the Memorial Day parade Monday morning from a golf cart driven by off-duty Trooper 1st Class Alison Peters of the Connecticut State Police.

Benson, 71, led the 55-unit procession of veterans, bands and dignitaries, including Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and other city officials, along Campbell Avenue.

The parade stepped from Captain Thomas Boulevard north to Center Street, where thousands of revelers, many of them donning patriotic colors and waving American flags, lined the 1 ½-mile course.

Benson, who lives on Eaton Street with his wife of 40 years, Alice, was selected by the West Haven Veterans Council, which helps the city organize the annual parade, for his years of service to the Army, his fellow veterans and his community.

He is a longtime member of West Haven Vietnam Veterans, formerly Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 647, and served as president in the early 2000s.

Before and during that time, Benson was instrumental in raising funds to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Bradley Point Park. To this day, he helps maintain the grounds of the memorial, dedicated Nov. 12, 2003.

For the past four years, Benson has volunteered at the West Haven Veterans Museum & Learning Center, 30 Hood Terrace, where he gives tours to seniors, schoolchildren and veterans.

The hourlong parade included a flyover by a C-130 Hercules, a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft operated by the Connecticut Air National Guard.

The event, in memory of the deceased members of the U.S. armed forces of all wars, is the oldest parade of its kind in southern Connecticut.

In addition to nine marching bands — the most in recent memory — and a legion of veterans groups, the procession showcased the traditional contingent of youth organizations and sports leagues, dance and Scout troupes, fraternal organizations and service clubs, local and state leaders, police officers and firefighters.


‘Be a Good Egg’

WEST HAVEN, May 28, 2019 — With Memorial Day past and beach season underway, Connecticut Audubon reminds us how to “Be a Good Egg” at the beach.
— Keep your distance from shorebird habitat.
— Be sure to know and respect local dog/pet ordinances.
— Take your trash with you.
— Dispose of fishing line.
— Avoid feeding wildlife.
— Avoid noisy activities near nesting areas.
As a shoreline community, West Haven has a special interest in and responsibility to the health of the coastal environment. Coastal areas are uniquely important for many species of wildlife, especially birds. They offer critical breeding sites and rich sources of food for migratory stopovers.

Learn more at CT Audubon.

Take the pledge #BeAGoodEgg at CT Audubon.

Savin Rock Museum opening for season May 29

Savin Rock Museum opening May 29

WEST HAVEN, May 24, 2019 — The Savin Rock Museum, which chronicles West Haven’s 371-year history, will open for the season Wednesday.

The museum, based in the lower level of the Savin Rock Conference Center at 6 Rock St., will open from 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays through Aug. 29. In September, the museum will open from 1-4 p.m. Saturdays.

Admission costs $4, or $2 for adults 60 and older and children under 12. Group tours for 10 or more cost $25.

The museum displays artifacts from the old Savin Rock amusement park and its fire service, Engine & Hose Company 1, as well as Colonial pieces.

It also has a theater and learning center with exhibits, events and notable city figures, including 1933 Miss America Marian Bergeron and World War II Medal of Honor recipient William A. Soderman.

The gift shop sells official Savin Rock memorabilia; call museum volunteer Norma Kahl at 203-934-7234 to arrange a group tour. For information, call the same number and leave a message.

Dog license renewals due June 30

Dog license renewals due June 30

WEST HAVEN, May 22, 2019 — Residents who own dogs must renew their licenses from June 1-30 or face a $1 monthly fine, City Clerk Deborah Collins said.

State law requires dog owners to submit a current rabies vaccination certificate when applying for the new dog tags. Expired certificates are not accepted.

The fee for the two licenses, which are available in the city clerk’s office at City Hall, 355 Main St., is $8 for neutered or spayed dogs and $19 for other dogs. Failure to renew a license can result in a $75 fine.

Residents can also send vaccination records and checks in a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the city clerk’s office, P.O. Box 526, West Haven, CT 06516.

In conjunction with Dog Licensing Month, the city clerk’s office will hold its second annual Dog Contest for residents who license their dogs before June 30. The office will draw a winner in early July, and the winning dog will receive a gift basket and a “No. 1” dog tag and have its photo published in local newspapers.

Grass clippings now accepted at compost site

Grass clippings now accepted at West Haven compost site

WEST HAVEN, May 22, 2019 — The city has obtained a permit from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to start accepting grass clippings at the municipal compost site, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and Public Works Commissioner Tom McCarthy announced.

The DEEP permit, good until June 30, 2022, will also allow the city to start picking up grass clippings on residents’ weekly curbside collection days through Nov. 22.

Grass clippings must be in biodegradable paper bags and will not be accepted if they are in plastic bags, McCarthy said.

Glass clippings and leaves must be in separate bags.

“Crews will not pick up grass bags containing anything other than grass,” McCarthy said. “No leaves, no branches, no sand, no rocks, no dirt.”

Residents can bring grass clippings as well as bagged leaves and untied brush to the compost site, 1 Kimberly Ave., from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Compost is free with proof of residence.

Apraxia Awareness Day

Apraxia Awareness Day

WEST HAVEN, May 22, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, right, presents a proclamation declaring Apraxia Awareness Day in West Haven on May 14 to Forest Elementary School kindergartner Nicholas Gorske, who is held by his mother, Anna Gorske, and joined by his uncle, Daniel Eaton, and family friend, Courtney Schweiger.

Also receiving a mayoral proclamation for Apraxia Awareness Day was Haley Elementary School fourth grader Ethan Kubicko, who was accompanied by his parents, Jason and Maggie Kubicko, and Rossi’s executive assistant, Lou Esposito, who presented the proclamation.

Nicholas and Ethan have childhood apraxia of speech, or CAS, an uncommon speech disorder in which a child has difficulty making accurate movements when speaking.

To raise awareness of the speech disorder for the second straight year, both students recently contacted Rossi about declaring the special day in the city.

Rossi said: “It is imperative that there be greater public awareness about childhood apraxia of speech in our city among community members, physicians, educators, policymakers and elected officials. Our deepest respect goes to the thousands of affected children and their families for their determination and resilience in the face of great adversity.”

(City Photo)

Lou Esposito

Haley Elementary School fourth grader Ethan Kubicko receives a proclamation from Mayor Rossi’s executive assistant, Lou Esposito, left, recognizing Apraxia Awareness Day in West Haven on May 14 as Ethan’s parents, Maggie and Jason Kubicko, look on. (City Photo)

Fireworks ad book

Ad book supports overtime costs for Savin Rock Fireworks Spectacular

WEST HAVEN, May 3, 2019 — For the second year, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi has rolled out an ad book fundraising campaign to help cover overtime costs for the Savin Rock Fireworks Spectacular, which is set for 9:15 p.m. July 3.

Rossi said the ad book proceeds will specifically pay for police and public works overtime during the annual fireworks display, which is launched off Bradley Point and presented by the Savin Rock Fireworks Committee.

“Your support of this ad book will directly impact the overtime costs that come along with the city holding the fireworks,” Rossi said.

Ad book forms are available in the mayor’s office at City Hall, 355 Main St., or download an ad book form at July 3 Fireworks.

Four ad sizes are offered: $45 for a business card, $75 for a quarter page, $100 for a half page and $185 for a full page. Checks are payable to City of West Haven.

Send ads by June 14 to the Office of the Mayor, 355 Main St., West Haven, CT 06516. Or send a business card, letterhead or other information to the mayor’s office, and the office can create an ad. Send PDF files to

Corporate sponsorships are also offered: $1,000 for red level, $750 for white level and $500 for blue level. For details, call the mayor’s office at 203-937-3510.

Rossi said the city will charge both residents and nonresidents for parking on July 3. The fee is $5 for vehicles with a valid beach sticker and $10 for vehicles without a valid beach sticker. All parking proceeds will also support overtime costs, she said.

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

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

Applications available for summer youth jobs

Applications available for Summer Youth Employment Program

WEST HAVEN, May 3, 2019 — 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 8-Aug. 2, 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 noon 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 from 9-11 a.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.

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