Doo Wop Dance
The West Haven Italian-American Civic Association will hold a Summer Day Doo Wop Dance at 85 Chase Lane on Saturday, July 27, at 7 p.m. Music by Charles the DJ till 12. Free beer, wine or soda. Cash Bar for mixed drinks. BYO snacks, coffee at 11. Tickets: $20 per person. Call Lou at (203) 934-3339 or (203) 464-1976 or Ben at (203) 933-4423.
WHHS Class of 1964 will be holding its 55th year class reunion on Saturday, Oct. 5 at App’s Restaurant, Captain Thomas Boulveard. More info to follow.
The West Haven Italian-American Civic Association Senior Center is seeking new members to join its Tuesday senior gathering. Join a group of friendly seniors in an afternoon of good company, with Bingo, cards, trips to casinos and conversations with like-minded people and more. We meet at the club, 85 Chase Lane, each Tuesday from noon to 3. The cost is just $3 per week to cover expenses. We offer refreshments at no additional cost. Call Sherri Torre, (203) 932-2893 for further information.
1st Church VBS
Join the First Congregational Church of West Haven for a week of fun and learning with its annual Vacation Bible School (VBS).This year features a journey to Athens on Aug. 5-9. Kids will learn all about the Apostle Paul and God’s immeasurable love. Visit our website for more information and registration: http://fccwesthaven.org/vbs/.
West Haven High School Class of 1969 will hold its 50th reunion on Friday, Sept. 27, at Seasons located at 990 Foxon Road, East Haven, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. There will be music provided by a DJ, a plentiful cocktail and hors d’oeuvre hour, buffet dinner along with open bar. The cost is $75 per person Checks should be made payable to Charlene Morgal and mailed to 18 Shumway St., West Haven, 06516, before Aug.ust 15 More information can be found on our Facebook page: WHHS Class of 1969- 50th reunion, or by emailing chazbo40@ aol. com /203 494 7379 or firstname.lastname@example.org /203 494 7730.
Senior Center trips
Join the West Haven Seniors on the following scheduled trip: All trips leave from Savin Rock Conference Center:
Monday, Aug. 19 “Holiday Hill” — statewide annual senior picnic 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is $45 per person with unlimited buffet all day. This trip is in conjunction with The West Haven Housing Authority. Pick up times are: Morrissey Manor 8., Savin Rock Conference Center 8:15, Surfside 8:30, Union 8:45, and John Prete 9. If you are being picked up at Housing Authority sites please make reservation with Yolanda (203) 933-9449. If you are being picked up at Conference Center please register at the West Haven Senior Center or call (203) 937-3507. Payment is due no later than Aug. 1.
Tuesday, Sept. 17, Aqua Turf – Rob Zappulla Celebrates the Music of Frank Sinatra $67 per person Rob has performed to sold out audiences of all ages across the country and headlined performances at the Lincoln Center in NYC and Foxwoods Casino to name a few. Menu includes coffee and donuts upon arrival, door prizes, complimentary glass of wine or beer. Family style luncheon: salad, penne bolognese, chicken florentine, baked scrod, vegetable, potato and dessert. Bus leaves Savin Rock Conference Center 10 a.m. Payment is due by Friday, Aug. 30.
Wednesday, Sept. 25– The Big E “New England’s Great State Fair” in Springfield Trip cost is $45. Scooter rental available for $50 and must be paid in advance of the trip by check or credit card along with reservation form available in the office. This trip is in conjunction with Savin Rock Communities. Pick up times are: Morrissey Manor 8 a.m., Savin Rock Conference Center 8:15, Surfside 8:30, Union 8:45, and John Prete 9. If you are being picked up at Housing Authority sites please make reservation with Yolanda (203) 933-9449. If you are being picked up at Conference Center please register at the West Haven Senior Center or call (203) 937-3507. Payment is due no later than Sept. 1.
A flyer with further details is available at the office at the West Haven Senior Center 201 Noble St. or you can call the Senior Center (203) 937-3507.
The Liberty Coin Club of West Haven, organized in1962, will host a Coin Show on Sunday, Aug. 18, Oct. 20, and Dec. 15, at the Elks Club, 265 Main St., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. Anyone with an interest in buying, selling or collecting coins, or with questions about coins, is welcome to attend. Expert dealers and collectors will be on hand.
An Al-Anon meeting group invites new members to attend its weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the First Lutheran Church, 52 George St. For information and details, call (203) 506-1464.
The Seth Haley Memorial Loan Fund of West Haven provides eligible college students with loans of up to $2500 to help students finish their post high school education.
Applicants must be West Haven residents who have completed two or more years of college or post-secondary work or be in their final two years of advanced work. Any West Haven resident attending college or a post high school professional, technical or trade school can be eligible for a loan. Repayments do not begin, and no interest will be charged until one year after graduation. If you are interested in making an application for a loan, please Gert Beckwith at (203) 934-6921, or Ralph Lawson, (203) 934-6442
In the opening round of the playoffs the Gunning Law Firm Mets defeated the Augliera Movers Pirates, 6-4. Danny Potter and Tommy Vets combined on a five-hitter and had 15 strike outs. Mau Urriola had a home run and a double, and Michael Anderson had two hits for the Mets. Mark Lynch, Matt Cavallaro, and Devin Bernier had the hits for the Pirates.
JJ Gregoriades, Bobby Severino and Zach Goetze combined for eight hits as the Duffy’s Tavern Red Sox beat the Leslie Jewelers Dodgers, 9-0.
Mark Lynch pitched a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts as the Pirates defeated the Dodgers, 8-1 to continue on in the playoffs. Andrew Grillo had two hits and two RBI, and Marcus Vitolo had a triple for the Dodgers.
The Red Sox beat the Mets, 9-1, as Ethan Kelly and Zach Goetze combined on a one-hitter with 13 strike- outs. Zach had three doubles and 6 RBI to help his own cause. The Mets lone hit was a home run by Maurizio Urriola.
In the annual All Star game the National league de- feated the American League, 10-1.
The MVP for the National league was Rui Dasilva and the Sportsmanship award went to JJ Gregoriades.
The American league MVP was Tommy Vets and the Sportsmanship award went to Matt Cavallaro.
Last week’s column by syndicated writer and National Review editor Rich Lowry was a fascinating read for someone like this writer. He reviewed the new book, “Ballpark – Baseball and the American City” by Paul Goldberger. The development of the baseball stadium has always been of interest to me and how the game developed during that time.
Alexander Cartwright, rather than Abner Doubleday, is considered the pater familias of baseball as we know it today. Bat and ball games had always been around since Colonial times, with each town or region having its own variation on the game. In true baseball style, the game developed around two major styles of play, the New York and the Boston.
The New York brand was a variation of the British game of “Rounders,” while the other was a bit different with four bases, but with the batter in a place other than where we would consider home. It was the New York style of the game that Cartwright perfected with his rules.
It was he who came up with 90-foot base paths (he used 42 paces), and the tag or step on the base rather than hitting the runner with the ball. His New York Knickerbockers were players who tried the new game, along with cricket, to while away some hours. When fields in New York became unavailable, he moved to Hoboken’s Elysian Fields. The games were won when 21 “aces” or runs were scored. The Knicks didn’t do so well in its opening game, losing badly.
The development of the game from those first games to the game we know today is fascinating as well. The term “pitcher” has morphed into something other than what it originally meant. To “pitch” the ball meant to throw it in such a way so it could be hit. Much like fast-pitch softball, the ball was thrown underhanded, and then hit and fielded.
The idea that a pitcher should use deceptive grips and make the ball drop or curve was frowned upon. Even the President of Harvard thought such tactics were against the spirit of the game.
But, the game changed from those early days, and parks became important, especially when, in the true American spirit, people thought they could make money off the venture. Enclosed parks and admissions brought about a new era — and led to the professional leagues of today.
America grew up with baseball. The nation changed, and the game changed. From wooden stands that held about 2000, grew parks that packed in 15,000. The history of the Polo Grounds from a field in midtown to a park in Coogan’s Bluff is an interesting tale of money, politics, Tammany Hall and self-indulgent owners.
The Baker Bowl in Philadelphia was the first attempt at a concrete and wooden structure. It held about 20,000 when it was opened in 1887. It was the first “modern” park. It had many problems, including the fact its wooden grandstand was allowed to deteriorate. The Phillies played there until 1938, when they moved to Shibe Park and shared with the Athletics.
In fact, Shibe Park and Forbes Field, in Pittsburgh, are the first steel and concrete stadiums, and boasted some great architecture besides. Both closed at about the same time, giving way to cookie-cutter parks that doubled as baseball and football venues.
The Polo Grounds was opened three years later as was Tiger Stadium and Fenway Park. Only Fenway remains. Braves Field opened in 1914 in Boston and was a yawning field with the longest fences in the bigs.
Baseball and the baseball park are intertwined into the history of many great cities towns. Our own city had Donovan Field nestled on the edges of Savin Rock Amusement Park, which served the city and its professional and semi-professional teams for decades.
Quigley Stadium was first opened up in 1947 for the West Haven Sailors, a team that still holds memories for many Westies. West Haven Municipal Stadium became Quigley, named after Moe Quigley, who ran the team.
The stadium was built using benches from former observations cars for the Yale-Harvard Regatta in New London. It also boasted lights, the stanchions of which are still standing.
In the 1970s, the Eastern League West Haven Yankees played there with Dave Righetti as its star pitcher. More than 4,000 attended opening night. But, like many things, the novelty wore off, the teams were fair, and attendance dropped off. The team moved to Portsmouth, NH.
The stands are gone at Quigley are gone, replaced by aluminum bleachers. Only the field box areas remain of the old ball park. The city has changed. Much like the cities in the major leagues, and the major leagues themselves teams grew and died, moved and moved again. The Braves moved to Milwaukee and then Atlanta, the Athletics moved from Philly to Kansas City to Oakland.
I look forward to reading this latest opus, and adding it to my own collection of books that follow the development of the nation’s game, and its cities.
By Josh LaBella
For Patrice Farquharson, the importance of the quality of education the city’s young receive cannot be understated.
Farquharson, the executive director of the West Haven Child Development Center, has worked at the program for 41 years. Over the course of those years, Farquharson has played a role in educating thousands of West Haven’s youngest students.
According to Farquharson, she has worked at the center since shortly after graduating from UConn with a degree in education. She said she started out as an assistant preschool teacher but, within two years, became teacher and then executive director.
“I had been helping out the executive director at the time,” said Farquharson. “When she was not here I was filling in for her. So I had a little bit of a transition. But yes, I was young when I became executive director.”
Farquharson said she has worked to ensure the teachers get the respect they deserve and that working parents have a safe place to put their children while they are at work. She said the program started out servicing students from the ages of three to five – it soon became the only place in West Haven that taught students under the age of three.
In a write-up of the center’s history and mission, Farquharson stated, “The West Haven Child Development Center believes that the family unit is the strongest influence in the life of a young child. Our program is designed to support the family by providing the child with a warm, secure and educationally stimulating environment.”
While the program has grown over time, it now has about 186 slots for students, Farquharson said the mission has not. She said the program has been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children since 1991.
“They had developed a system where programs could be accredited so that parents would know that we had met a certain standard of quality,” said Farquharson.
The professionalism and credentials of the teaching staff are some of the highlights Farquharson said she is proud of.
“The state has recognized that teachers in early childhood play a very important role,” said Farquharson. “All the research points to what we always knew: the period between zero and five is a huge period of development and growth and brain development for the child so it’s important to have quality experiences.”
Farquharson, a lifelong Westie, said the program has many of alumni still living in the city.
“Lots of school teachers are graduates of the child development center,” said Farquharson. “Lots of people who work for UNH have been graduates of the child development center. So it’s nice to be able to see how successful our students have been and we like to think we had a part in that.”
Farquharson said through her career at the center she was able to keep herself “professional and up to date” in the field by first getting her masters in school administration and then a doctorate in child studies.
She said she wants the families to know that due to their status as a non-profit, all the money the center receives from grants go back into the program to guarantee continued quality. She said nobody working at the center are city employees.
“Mayor Johnson, at the time, had the foresight to see that, in order to not be an additional burden on the taxpayers, we are employees of the child development center,” said Farquharson. “We are run by a nonprofit board. Yes, we do pay a slight rent. But that was all part of the additional grant. But the service we provide far outweighs [any cost to the city].”
Farquharson said college students, with permission from the parents, come to the center from the surrounding universities, such as Yale, to do research, internships or work study in fields like nursing and psychology.
“We have a lot of talent,” said Farquharson. “That helps us grow and develop and give better services and understand the needs of the children better. I think that’s a big piece of what we do.”
The Tony Inzero Farmers Market is open for its 20th season on the Green.
Through Oct. 26, the market at Main Street and Campbell Avenue features state farmers selling homegrown fruits and vegetables from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.
It also includes crafters selling their wares.
By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
During a news conference Monday at West Haven Fire Department headquarters, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called for the passage of legislation that would make permanent the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and remove any limits on the fund’s appropriation.
Standing with state officials, 9/11 first responders, and members of the West Haven Fire Department, the New Haven Fire Department and the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut, Blumenthal demanded an immediate vote by the Senate after the bipartisan measure was passed by the House of Representatives on Friday.
“This cause is bipartisan and is national in scope,” said Blumenthal, adding that he is hopeful for a Senate vote in August.
The VCF provides compensation for any individual who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of Sept. 11, 2001, or the debris removal efforts that took place in the aftermath of those crashes.
Joining Blumenthal for the announcement were Lou Esposito, executive assistant to Mayor Nancy R. Rossi; state Reps. Michael A. DiMassa and Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven; West Haven Fire Department Chief James P. O’Brien; New Haven Fire Chief John Alston Jr.; Lou DeMici, secretary of the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut; and John Dye, of New Haven, the father of a 9/11 first responder.
Esposito, who represented Rossi, said the mayor was unable to attend because of the impending birth of her grandchild.
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.
Dye’s son, Michael Dye, a 20-year veteran of the New York City Police Department, has brain cancer and is a VCF recipient. A detective in his early 50s, he is retiring from the force later this year.
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 the VCF set to expire in 2020, thousands of survivors will not be fully compensated for their injuries and illnesses without swift action, said Blumenthal, who was also joined at the morning news conference by more than a dozen firefighters and commissioners from the Elm Street department, which serves the First Fire Taxation District, also known as the Center District, along with chiefs from the West Shore Fire Department and the City of West Haven Fire Department Allingtown.
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% to ensure that all eligible individuals receive an award.
O’Brien is among 35 West Haven firefighters who served at ground zero after 9/11 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.
Alston, who responded to ground zero as a member of the Jersey City (New Jersey) Fire Department, also participates in the WTC program.
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.
By Dan Shine
Read part one.
When Tony Zuppardi got sick in 1983, he turned the business over to his children, Robert, Cheryl and Lori. The three of them ran the business until Robert became ill and then totally disabled. Today, Cheryl and Lori continue to run the business along with their children.
Grandmother Angelina Zuppardi lived to be over 90, outlasting her husband, three of her children and her daughter-in-law. However, old age is but a long process of surrender, and the mind is tough yet fragile: as time went by, Angelina would show up for work, as she had for decades and begin her daily routine, making pizzas on a bare countertop where circles of dough should have been. She made a mess, but her granddaughters made no move to stop her—for they understood that everyone needs to have something to do, and to feel that the world needs them.
Cheryl and Lori Zuppardi have chosen to maintain the restaurant pretty much as it has been for the last fifty years. They plan to stick with the current business model and avoid the idea of franchising. However, they now ship their pizzas all over the country: currently, Zuppardi pizzas have been enjoyed in thirty eight states.
What guides the current Zuppardi management as they run their business? They believe in the principles that their parents and grandparents employed in bygone times—the things that they were taught as children–and they feel strongly about staying true to their parents’ wishes. And they are true to Tony Zuppardi’s Rule: that “the last bite has to taste just as good as the first.”
Cheryl Zuppardi says, “I’ve worked here for my whole life and I feel close to my parents here. I look up at their portrait on the wall while I’m working, and I feel proud of them. And I know that they are right there with me. I know how proud they are of how we are keeping the business running. In a way, we feel like caretakers of our parents’ legacy: Dad used to say, ‘This is the roof I raised my business and family under, and we’re staying right here.’” And so it all continues.
Zuppardi’s most popular pie is the homemade sausage pizza with mozzarella and mushrooms; this pizza has always been called “The Special,” as it was originally named by Tony Zuppardi. It should be noted that in order to satisfy their customers’ cravings, the Zuppardi family creates 250 pounds of their own special sausage every week.
Speaking of the toppings, back in the early days at the “old” Zuppardis, the toppings were all prepared next door, in the Angelina’s kitchen: Tony Zuppardi had wired up a doorbell arrangement with the button in the restaurant and the bell in the house. A code system was created for ordering the different toppings, which would be prepared upon demand on the family stove, and brought over by Angelina in an iron skillet.
Zuppardi’s Apizza is believed to be West Haven’s oldest pizza parlor. Dec. 7, 2019 marks Zuppardi’s 85th anniversary; stop in soon and have a bite of West Haven history.
By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
The Planning and Zoning Commission is holding an interactive public workshop for the proposed village district regulation for the center of West Haven.
The workshop is set for 7 p.m. July 30 in the Harriet C. North Community Room on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.
The workshop is a follow-up to the June 18 public information session that introduced the concept of the village district regulation for downtown West Haven.
Based on the positive reaction at the June meeting, the commission is inviting members of the public to share their input on a draft regulation of the proposed village district.
P&Z Chairwoman Kathleen Hendricks said the commission aims to attract a wide range of participants for the workshop, including area businesses and property owners, neighborhood residents and community leaders.
Hendricks said the commission is considering the regulation initially for the area roughly bounded by the railroad tracks, Washington Avenue, Atwater Street and Savin Avenue.
Elements of the zoning concept include establishing design standards and an architectural review process for visible changes to buildings in the area; guiding new development in the central business district; protecting and improving the residential and business character of the area; and performing an architectural review by a professional architect of proposed projects as part of the current zoning approval process.
The village district concept for the West Haven Center was first envisioned as one of multiple recommendations for improving the downtown area in the city’s Plan of Conservation and Development, which was adopted by the commission in June 2017.
For more information, call the Department of Planning and Development at 203-937-3580.
Ed. Note – This is the third in a five-part series on candidates of both parties seeking the nomination and/or election as mayor.
By Josh LaBella
Steven Mullins said he has been involved in West Haven politics since he was a child. He sees his run for mayor as a continuation of that trend.
As a student, Mullins was class president in high school, was on the Drug and Alcohol Commission and has helped on political campaigns since 1986. As an adult, Mullins has been involved in a litany of community and political organizations including being president of the Black Heritage Committee, finance chairman of the West Haven High School Building Committee, and serving for 13 years on Planning and Zoning Commission (six of which as vice-chairman or chairman).
Mullins, a republican, said he feels West Haven is in a slump and he can get the city out of it. He said many of the friends he graduated with in 1993 do not see any reason to come back.
“A lot people have just left and don’t see any reason to come back,” said Mullins. “There’s nothing here for them. Right now there is nothing for me to motivate my children to live in West Haven and to raise their children in West Haven. That is the feeling of lots of people.”
Mullins said the city is a great place to raise a family but there is no reason for people not to “grow wings and fly off.” He said he wants change that perception so people continue to see a reason to be in West Haven.
“It hurts me how people, from time to time, call it Waste Haven,” said Mullins. “It’s a place of great potential. It just hasn’t been tapped into. I think our politics have managed to hurt us a great deal over the decades.”
Mullins said when people think of the city of West Haven, they think of absolute inefficiency. He said it is not necessarily the fault of the current or previous administration but one-party rule has not benefitted the city.
“When I mean efficiency I mean the city is at a point where it is either not capable of or not willing to do common regular things,” said Mullins. “I’m not even talking about the finance situation. I’m just talking about the stuff you do as a town because you are supposed to do it.”
Mullins referenced an issue where he tried to get potholes filled in this past Easter and they we’re only filled last week. He said in order to get it done his neighbor, who has a son that uses wheelchair, had to take a picture of his son next to the potholes.
“I shared it on to West Haven – The Way It Is,” said Mullins. “Do you know within hours public works was on my street paving?”
Mullins said if the city cannot handle minor issues like potholes it cannot tackle major issues like finances. He said city officials have a habit of “yessing” people but not following through.
According to Mullins, West Haven needs to hire an economic development administrator to market the city to businesses as a full time job.
“We need someone who is going to actually go out and market the place,” said Mullins, “and that’s going to be his only job. I’m talking about someone with qualifications. I’m talking about someone with degrees or certifications to do it. Not just because they are a friend or they contributed to my campaign.”
He said having someone in that role combined with finding a way to streamline the permit process would help make the city more business friendly.
The mayoral candidate said he has heard from “far too many” businesses about how long to process to get city approval takes. He said the process can take years and many businesses choose to go somewhere else.
Vis-à-vis taxes, Mullins said better economic development can be paired with a hard look at the budget to result in a lower cost for taxpayers. He said West Haven does not prioritize where it spends its money and referenced an anecdote he said in a city council meeting.
“If your car is about to be repossessed, your house is being foreclosed on and you owe your kids tuition,” said Mullins, “should you go on vacation for a week in Disney World?”
Mullins said the city needs to look at whether it can afford events and spending such as the fireworks. He said he is not necessarily saying they should be cancelled but the city needs to take a closer look at it.
“We need to look at how we are spending money and decide what is important and what needs to wait,” said Mullins.