City Notes
Fig fest

International Food & Fig Festival set for Saturday

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 13, 2019 — The second annual International Food & Fig Festival will celebrate the city’s diverse heritage of figs.

On Saturday, organizers will once again feature the popular fruit on the lawn in front of Savin Rock, off Captain Thomas Boulevard.

A fig is an Asian species of flowering plant in the mulberry family that is widely grown worldwide, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.

The festival is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will showcase vendors buying, selling and trading figs or fig trees.

Free parking is available in the parking lot of the nearby Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock St.

The multicultural event will include a fig demonstration, fig farmers market and fig tasting, as well as Tata’s food truck, organizers said.

“It is exciting to welcome back a unique festival that celebrates West Haven culture, food and, of course, figs,” Mayor Nancy R. Rossi said.

For the second year, Dr. Charles R. Vossbrinck, an associate agricultural scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and a self-proclaimed fig enthusiast, will speak at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. about propagating and overwintering figs in the state.

The station, based in New Haven and operated by the state, engages in scientific research and public outreach in agriculture and related fields. Founded in 1875, it is the oldest state experiment station in the U.S.

Rossi said the festival is taking place at no cost to the city, thanks to private donations and sponsors.

For information, contact Ruth G. Torres in the mayor’s office at

Mark and Rachell Macholl

City natives Mark and Rachel Macholl will sign copies of their newly released book, “Mickey’s Fight,” from 6-9 p.m. today at Duffy’s Tavern, 241 Campbell Ave. The No. 1-trending Balboa Press book chronicles their family’s battle to save their son from cancer. (Contributed Photo)

‘Mickey’s Fight’ book signing set for 6-9 p.m. today

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 13, 2019 — City natives Mark and Rachel Macholl will sign copies of their newly released, No. 1-trending Balboa Press book, “Mickey’s Fight,” chronicling their family’s battle to save their son from cancer.

The promotional book signing, “Beers & Books,” will take place from 6-9 p.m. today at Duffy’s Tavern, 241 Campbell Ave.

See the Poster.

People can bring a copy of the book for the Macholls to sign, or they can buy one at Duffy’s.

The 276-page book is available in hardcover for $35.95 and softcover for $17.99. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Ray Guarino, a fellow Westie who has cancer.

For details about the book, visit

Green Drinks

All-American cheerleaders

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 9, 2019 — West Haven High School varsity cheerleaders, holding citations from left, sophomore Tianna Greene, senior Destiny Barnett and junior Carly Cambino receive a General Assembly citation from state Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, fourth from left, and a citation from Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, fourth from right, on Sept. 5 for being named 2019 UCA All-American cheerleaders.

Joining the ceremony, organized by Ferraro, are, from left, Councilman Peter V. Massaro, D-6; City Council Chairman Ronald M. Quagliani, D-at large; state Rep. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven; West Haven High cheerleading coach Bridgette Hoskie and assistant coach Kristen Teshoney; state Rep. Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven; Councilwoman Robbin Watt Hamilton, D-5; and City Council Minority Leader Richard DePalma, R-at large.

The national cheerleading honor is given annually by the Universal Cheerleaders Association to select individuals who exemplify showmanship, poise, technique and crowd-leading skills.

(City Photo)

Roundabout upgrade slated for Jones Hill Rd., Ocean Ave.

An aerial rendering from the state Department of Transportation showing the soon-to-be upgraded Oyster River roundabout at Jones Hill Road and Ocean Avenue in the city’s Baybrook section. (CTDOT)

Roundabout upgrade slated for Jones Hill Rd., Ocean Ave.

WEST HAVEN, Aug. 23, 2019 — The state Department of Transportation’s Office of Engineering is developing plans to improve the Oyster River roundabout at routes 162 and 705 in the city’s Baybrook section.

The $325,000 project aims to upgrade the existing roundabout, or traffic circle, at Jones Hill Road and Ocean Avenue to current design standards for accommodating larger trucks, said the project manager, Scott Bushee, a principal engineer with the DOT’s Division of Highway Design.

Bushee explained that during the roundabout’s original design, a midsize tractor-trailer was the standard design vehicle for state arterial roads. But shortly after the roundabout’s construction more than a decade ago, national changes in the trucking industry prompted the DOT to change its regulations and increase the size of the standard design vehicle on state arterial roads because of technical advances in the industry and gradual acceptance of larger trucks by many states, he said.

“The larger trucks with longer trailers need more room to turn, resulting in off-tracking in the center island of the roundabout and damage to the outside curbing where drivers are trying to maximize available room to make their turn,” Bushee said.

According to the DOT, preliminary plans for the upgraded roundabout call for “expanding the truck apron 8.5 feet to the interior, replacing the outer concrete curbing with granite, constructing a hardscape concrete surface with a brick paver appearance within the former planter areas between the outer curb and the sidewalk, and repaving the roundabout.”

“The roundabout has required constant maintenance in recent years and will be upgraded with more durable materials,” said Bushee, adding that no private properties are affected in the plans.

Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, who recently met with state and city officials about the roundabout, thanked state Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, for helping to fast-track the state-funded project.

The DOT anticipates completing the design phase in December and starting the construction phase in summer 2020, which Bushee said should take about six to eight weeks.

No detours are planned during the work, said Bushee, who will give a PowerPoint presentation on the project at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at City Hall, 355 Main St. The public is invited.

Before the roundabout, the busy intersection was stop-controlled on Jones Hill Road with free flow on Ocean Avenue. Vehicles turning left onto Jones Hill Road caused traffic to back up on Ocean Avenue while waiting for a safe gap in oncoming traffic to execute their turn, according to information provided by the DOT.

“The resulting traffic congestion contributed to rear-end crashes on Ocean Avenue and angle crashes within the intersection,” the DOT said.

To improve safety and relieve traffic congestion, the first modern roundabout built on a state road was constructed there in 2007, reducing the total crash rate by 45% and injury-related crashes by 60%, according to statistics provided by the DOT.

Anyone interested in receiving information about “State Project No. 156-182” can contact Matthew Vail, transportation principal engineer with the DOT’s Bureau of Engineering and Construction, at or 860-594-3274.

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