By Dan Shine
The Good Humor Man
It seemed as if there was no escape from the August heat wave. The boy and his two friends sat on their bicycles, too hot to move. Sometimes on days like this, the boy dreamed of wintertime, and playing outside in the cold and the snow; for in the summer of 1959, there was no home air conditioning, and nighttime brought with it no escape from the heat. Each morning, the boy woke up covered with sweat.
Suddenly, they heard the sound of approaching sleigh bells, and as the boys looked up, they saw a Good Humor truck coming around the corner! As the truck approached, the boy’s two friends dropped their bicycles and ran inside their house. Moments later, they returned, each carrying a dime and two pennies. At the sight of this, the boy dug into the pockets of his jeans, knowing full well that he had no money, but hoping that by some sort of miracle, the twelve cents would appear. But such was not the case.
By this time, the Good Humor truck had stopped, and the man was standing beside it, ready to help the other two boys. The Good Humor man opened the little freezer door on the back of the truck, and as he did, a thick ball of frost-laden air rolled out from the magical darkness into the hot August Sunshine. He took the boys’ money, inserted it into the coin changer on his belt, and handed them each an ice cream on a stick. As the boy watched hungrily, the others unwrapped Toasted Almond bars—his favorite—and began to eat them, all the while casting sly glances his way.
It’s funny, isn’t it, how a little memory like that can carry down for over fifty years?
The Good Humor Company started in Youngstown, Ohio in the 1920s. An ice cream parlor owner named Harry Burt developed the first Good Humor products with the help of his children. Burt envisioned the idea of fleets of white ice cream trucks, driven by white-uniformed Good Humor men.
The bells that Burt attached to the first Good Humor truck came from his son’s bobsled. The children of that era, and of the next several generations, spent their summer days playing all day long on the sidewalks and in the streets in the summer sunshine, and became Good Humor’s loyal customers, a fact to which many Baby Boomers and their parents can attest.
Good Humor was featured in countless magazines, films and Broadway shows. In the early 1950’s, it was the subject of a hit movie, “The Good Humor Man” starring Jack Carson.
However, the 1960s was a period of dramatic change, and one of the many things that began to be affected was Good Humor. With the arrival of televisions in every home, children began to spend more and more time indoors. Changing tastes, rising gas prices, rising insurance costs and other factors made Good Humor’s business model untenable: they sold their fleet in 1978.
These days, a visitor to the West Haven Boardwalk on a hot summer day will see ice cream trucks bearing signs stating that they proudly distribute Good Humor ice cream. In addition, Good Humor products are also available in stores. But for the boy of this story, and for all those children who are long since past their childhoods, the Good Humor man and his little white truck live on, but only in the world of their memories.
Dear Gripe Vine Readers:
If you are reading Gripe Vine today and you are a resident of West Haven, you may be familiar with the Boot Program. This program fines those motorists who are delinquent on their motor vehicle taxes can risk their vehicles being immobilized with a wheel-locking boot.
Back in mid- July, Gripe Vine posed questions to the Tax Collector relating to the status of this program. As of the writing of today’s column, I have not received a reply. Here are Gripe Vine’s questions that may illuminate taxpayers with the progress and success or non- success of this program:
What is the present $$ status re: money collected from the Boot Program?
How many individuals were fined so far this year?
What is the success ratio at this point of this program?
Does our tax office also control out -of- city residents and their ability to pay?
I have asked the city not to refer these questions to the firm(s) that controls this program. This information should be provided by West Haven’s Tax Office.
As soon as Tax Collector, Dorothy Chambrelli, responds to these questions, you will read her replies in Gripe Vine. Taxpayers should be able to view the success or non-success of income related programs.
Dear Eleanore Turkington:
There is a dangerous city tree and overgrowth between 35 and 51 Nonquit St. It is a city tree that needs to be trimmed or cut down.
The large branches have fallen on my property and into the street in front of my house. The underbrush is also overgrown and it’s impossible to see cars coming down Nonquit Street when pulling out of my driveway. It is also used as a garbage dump by passerby.
Nonquit Street Resident
I have written to Council Woman Robin Watt Hamilton expressing a potentially dangerous situation.
Please let me know as soon as you see an improvement here.
Dear Eleanore Turkington:
Back in June, I sent you a complaint about the large amount of trucks, buses and cars using Canton Street. My Council Woman Robin Hamilton was informed by you and was supposed to do something about it.
I sent another e-mail August 9 letting you know what was going on and on Sunday, August 4, there were no trucks using this street. Monday there were a few, Tuesday and the rest of the week it was like a landscaper’s happy highway. As of today, there has been no change since my original gripe was sent to you.
CK of Canton Street
Council Woman Hamilton had previously indicated she had spoken to Sgt. D’Amato of the West Haven Police Department Traffic Division who said he would post a No Thru Truck Traffic Sign on Canton Street.
Is there such a sign there? Let me know.
Coming up…Eileen Road, broken catch basin..Porto Potty gripe….pothole on Sorenson Road…no trash barrels in parking lot…Morse Avenue, trash and racoons…early morning noise on Cherry Street…loud motorcycle on Benham Hill Road…and much more.
You can send your gripes, comments and issues to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them c/o West Haven Voice 666 Savin Avenue. Please include your name, address and phone number, kept in strict confidence with me. If your gripe doesn’t fit on the coupon next to my column, you can use a separate sheet of paper. You can also submit through the online form.
By Rich Lowry
The Jeffrey Epstein case establishes beyond a doubt that if you’re a sexual predator, it pays to be a rich and connected sexual predator.
Epstein, now dead of an apparent suicide before his accusers had their day in court, worked the system and benefited from advantages and breaks unimaginable to anyone who didn’t jet around with influential friends.
The multimillionaire financier who lived in Palm Beach, Florida, and Manhattan, N.Y., used his resources to build a network of sexual predation and then used his resources to escape meaningful legal punishment. Even after registering as a sex offender, he lived a life of ease and glamour unavailable to even most of the 1 percent.
Epstein was the Jay Gatsby of sexual abuse, relying on his wealth to perfume over what should have been the overwhelming smell of sulfur.
He hired a highly credentialed, aggressive legal team that wooed and overawed prosecutors who were supposed to hold him accountable for his crimes. A decade ago, the state prosecutor in Florida took a pass, and former Trump Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, the U.S. attorney for Southern Florida at the time, applied the minimal possible sanction while affording Epstein every possible consideration.
In a letter explaining his handling of the case, Acosta described “a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors.” The proper response of an office invested with the awesome powers of government, arrayed against a lowlife and his hired guns, should have been to double down. Instead, Acosta’s office buckled.
If any of the nameless victims had been rich or famous themselves and able to hire an Alan Dershowitz or a Jay Lefkowitz, the result surely would have been different. A couple of years ago, Taylor Swift pursued, on principle, an assault case against a man who groped her at a meet-and-greet, and won a symbolic $1.
But none of the Epstein’s victims were anything like Taylor Swift. They were selected for abuse — because they were vulnerable. And failed by their government — because they were vulnerable.
Having minimized Epstein’s offense in Florida, his lawyers got busy minimizing the consequences. They somehow convinced a prosecutor in the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to petition a judge to lower Epstein’s sex-offender status. The shocked judge rejected it out of hand.
This held true to the pattern — all mistakes always worked in Epstein’s favor.
It was a mistake that Epstein got to leave 12 hours a day, six days a week, while briefly in jail in Palm Beach so he could pursue his “work” (including bilking one of his clients).
It was a mistake that New York City police didn’t enforce the requirement that Epstein check in every 90 days as required under his sex-offender status.
All the while, Epstein continued to socialize with fancy people, buying his way into their company and entertaining the great and the good at his New York City mansion. It was only when the Miami Herald unearthed the enormity of his crimes that Epstein’s world began to unravel.
It shouldn’t be possible for a hideous monster to game the American system of justice, but it’s exactly what Jeffrey Epstein did, from loathsome beginning to unforgivable end.
Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review.(c) 2019 by King Features Synd., Inc.
New school year begins; traffic scofflaws abound
Tuesday begins the new school year for more than 6,000 West Haven children, either in public, private, parochial or home-school settings. For those going to local schools in West Haven or elsewhere, the majority will be transported via bus. Traffic safety, then, is paramount for those going to and from work.
This might be your run-of-the-mill “look out for pedestrians” comment, except we’ve noted an marked increase in people disregarding traffic signs, traffic lights, and other means of keeping traffic in order, including speeding. With children added to the mix of people in the pedestrian pool, the chances for serious accidents increase dramatically.
Over the last several weeks we have noticed that drivers blow through Stop signs at four-way or three-way stops, especially if they see other cars slowing to stop. Go to any major thoroughfare in West Haven or elsewhere, and people are, more and more, disregarding and going through stop lights at unimaginable rates. It is almost as if the traffic rules are for everyone else.
Last year, several drivers were cited for passing school buses displaying flashing lights. But one could witness this almost any morning along the city’s main drags. While there were many fined for their actions, many more got away with it. We see the new school year and the increasing disregard for traffic regulations as a dangerous mix that could only end in disaster.
Drivers have to be aware that with school starting, they may have to leave a few minutes earlier if they do not want to get stranded behind a school bus. But if they are behind that bus, they have to follow the safety regulations. No one wants an “If I only” moment.
Drivers who disregard stop signs are playing with danger, and will find themselves on the business end of a ticket or worse – maybe not this time, but somewhere in the future.
If you think we are genuinely concerned with this increased lawlessness – for that is what it truly is – you are right. Open disregard for the rule of law in the matter of driving, bespeaks a bigger, more insidious problem, one we see in society at-large: laws are subject to the individual. That is a dangerous notion.
School starts next week. We hope that nothing happens that will seriously alter the course of anyone’s life, young or old. Planning ahead, following the rules, and keeping a cool head will help it be a safe year for all.
Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and her staff are inviting residents to participate in a town hall meeting from 7-9 p.m. today in the Harriet C. North Community Room on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.
Organizers said residents are encouraged to bring prepared questions about issues affecting them or the city.
Questions are limited to two, and attendees are asked to keep each one under two minutes so all voices can be heard. In addition, one follow-up question is allowed after each initial question. Those rules may be altered by the moderator at the meeting, organizers said.
Opportunities for participants to submit questions or comments in writing as an alternative to speaking will also be available, organizers said.
The town hall moderator is Christopher Suggs, a resident of Allingtown and member of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The meeting will be livestreamed on the mayor’s Facebook page. Questions will be taken from Facebook live between breaks or at the moderator’s discretion.
For more information, call the mayor’s office at (203) 937-3510.
Well, honeybunch, here it is jest a few days from the new school year! It seems like only yestiday we were talkin’ about how much school is gonna be out for the next eight weeks or so. Before you know it, the eight weeks are up, and the kiddies find themselves at the end of their summer. No more are the school year’s waiting until Labor Day to open – with the exception of a few private schools. Nope. They start earlier, but they still don’t get out earlier. Go figger.
Of course, our editor has a few thoughts in this week’s editorial page about traffic and drivers. Cobina was tellin’ him about how she’s been in her gassamobuggy several mornings over the past couple o’ weeks and people are jest makin’ like stop lights and stop signs don’t exist – at least not for them. M’self was drivin’ t’other day on El-em Street near the Elm Diner, and at Second and Elm, she paused to stop for the light which changed. A car came up from behind her and jest blew past the light.
Last week, I was drivin’ along Brown Street, and I stopped at a four-way stop at one o’ the streets, and a thoid car saw we were stoppin’ so he just barreled through. Somebody’s gonna git hurt and then there are gonna be pearls clutched and tears streamin’.
D’ya think it might be cuz most o’ society now is goin’ to pot, and people don’t think authority – or authority figgers – need to be listened to? That’s Cobina’s take on the matter.
As we’ve been discussin’ over the past few weeks, the two political parties are havin’ a primary come Sept. 10 – the GOP can count this as the foist one it’s had in a dog’s age. Meanwhile, this is jest the standard operating procedure for the Demmies. It seems the GOP is takin’ this go-round very seriously. Leaders in that party see that people might be lookin’ elsewhere besides the Demmies for leadership, seein’ as how they can never git their ack together. It’s jest one flavor of Demmie over another.
Well, in order to set themselves apart, according to Sammy Bluejay, the party is gonna have a debate betwixt the two candidates – endorsed candidate Michelle Gregorio and challenger Steven Mullins – on Sept. 5. They’ve asked our esteemed editor to moderate the event.
This is a good step for the party as it needs to set itself apart from the current establishment and make a real alternative for the voters. We shall see. Sammy Bluejay sez that GOP members are excited about the event. Let’s hope the voters who don’t count themselves as Republicans do the same.
Meanwhile, Iva Lootey has made some interesting observations whilst he is flutterin’ about the burg. Iva sez that the interesting thing, so far, is the way the signs are distributed. Each of the three candidates in the Demmy primary seem to have enclaves in town – districks that seem to favor one candidate over the other two.
That is an interestin’ point. Of course, effen yew know who is runnin’ the various factions of the party, and the history behind it, where the bases of support are is no real surprise. It’s always been that way even when it was Roper v. Allen v. Johson running the Dems. Now, it’s Morrissey v. Picard v. Borer. Each has a section of town that is on the side of the faction.
What needs to be seen – and it’s a mystery thus far – is what other members of the party are gonna do. Like Iva was sayin’, the fack that it’s a three-way race means that support is gonna hafta come from outside the normal enclaves, and the vote count is gonna hafta be higher for there to be a true winner.
Effen this thing is decided with the same 6,000 votes that seem to come out every primary, the plurality of victory is probably gonna be slight, and it will mean that the winner – whomever it is – will have more votes cast against him or her than will be cast for. That is a liability right off the bat.
Nelly Nuthatch was by, and she was tellin’ yores truly that city politicos are now really gonna try to kick the can down the road past the November election and maybe do it in the spring. This doesn’t set well with the people on the Charter Revision Commish, but the politicos don’t care.
For 18 months the commish worked – almost by it self cuz it didn’t have any resources – to make alterations in the charter that would go up for a vote in November. Now the politicos are saying they don’t have enuff time to let the public know about them.
It is that or is it the fack that now the recommendations are made the politicos see that this could alter the balance of power away from the status quo? One would be permitted to doubt their reasons. John and Jane Q aren’t as helpless or, to be blunt, stupid, as the politicos wanna make it sound.
Stalling the vote until the spring will give the establishment time to pick and pick and pick at the recommendations and marshal their political machines to make sure it don’t pass. We’ve seen this before. It looks like the social media complaints against the proposals are what talking heads would call a “proxy war” against commish’s ideas.
Like I said this has been seen before – maybe not in this way, but in similar fashion. Put together a charter revision panel, let it work out what should be done, and then trash it. Well, they haven’t trashed it yet, but that’s on the horizon. And those on social media who’re pitchin’ the biggest arguments are the dupes of political power brokers who don’t want their positions to change.
Whilst all that stuff is goin’ on, we see that another week has gone by and the Haven site is still a decaying mass of buildings that have yet to be demolished. It’s been several weeks now since reps from the developers said things would get percolating over there. We have seen nary movement over there.
People in the neighborhood are rightly concerned about the site. There are four blocks of abandoned buildings, and there have been four fires. We’re one windy night from a spark becoming a conflagration and good property being damaged cuz of neglect.
It would be nice effen someone from the city or from the developer gave updates as who what is going on over there. The property owners adjacent to it should be able to have some idea as to what to expeck…or is that asking too much?
The wag sez that he saw a blurb about the city re-upping the “boot” program. One wonders whether the scofflaws around the burg saw it. Probably not. We’ve come to that time o’ year when the city is lookin’ for kopecks it is still owed. The boot program has been a rather lucrative alternative to liens. We shall see what happens, but yew know once it starts, there will be much wailing that a body wasn’t given any notice.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt luff und kizzez,
By Josh LaBella
The Board of Education hosted their meeting in the new cafeteria of West Haven High School Monday night. After the meeting, the board and those in attendance were given a tour of the new wing of the high school. With the new year set to begin in a few days, the members were able to see what was in store for the incoming classes.
With school set to start next week, Superintendent Neil Cavallaro said the school system was ready to get the new year underway.
“Our schools are in pretty good shape and ready to open,” said Cavallaro.
During public session, Dana Parades, the principal of the high school, thanked the board and the community for their help in unveiling the new building. She compared it to bringing a newborn home from the hospital, adding, “It’s beautiful.”
The superintendent said the school system has hired nearly forty new teachers and twenty to thirty non-teaching staff to fill the positions left vacant by a large number of people retiring after last year.
The last part of the meeting saw all those in attendance taken on a tour by High School Building Committee Chairman Ken Carney. The tour went through the classrooms, kitchen area, administration wing, new entrance, and the media center to name a few.
When the tour finished the board voiced their happiness with the progress that has been made.
Board member Rosa Richardson wished everyone a great school year and told Parades to, “Break this school in.”
A press release Cavallaro’s office reminded students classes begin on Tuesday, Aug. 27. It added the first day would be a full school day.
The bus schedule can be found at the school’s website, www.whschools.org. The release also stated that all students need to be registered.
“All students new to the West Haven School District should be formally registered at their incoming school. Call 203-937-4300 for information as to school assignments by home address. The District’s residency policy requires that all students, without exception, produce bona fide proof that they live in West Haven,” the release said.
The release added, “As evidence of residency, the parent or legal guardian of each student must provide the school building administrator with the following most recent documents: Mortgage statement or lease provision, with landlord name and phone number; AND a current utility bill (phone, cell, cable, UI, gas, water).
Parents must accompany all new registrants who are under eighteen years of age. They are also required to present educational and health records obtained from the school that was previously attended.”
The school schedules are as follows:
•Haley, Mackrille, Pagels, Savin Rock, and Washington Elementary Schools will admit students at 8:55 a.m. (classes start at 9:10 a.m.) and dismiss at 3:25 p.m.;
•Forest Elementary School will admit students at 8:25 a.m. (classes start at 8:40 a.m.) and dismiss at 2:55 p.m.
•Carrigan Intermediate School will admit incoming fifth and sixth grade students at 8:15 a.m. and dismiss at 2:40 p.m.
•Harry M. Bailey Middle School will admit incoming seventh and eighth grade students at 7:40 a.m. and dismiss at 2:15 p.m.
•West Haven High School students are to report at 7:25 a.m. and will be dismissed at 1:45 p.m.
On Sunday, Sept.15, the annual Folks on Spokes Ride/Step Forward Memorial 5K will bring together hundreds of cyclists and walkers to raise funds to support Bridges Healthcare’s community mental health and addiction recovery services for Milford, Orange, West Haven and the surrounding towns.
Participants can bike any combination of the 5-, 10-, 20- and 40-mile routes along the scenic Connecticut coastline or walk the 3.2 mile shoreline trail. All are welcome to join the Remembrance Ceremony at 9:45 a.m. where participants will pay tribute to lives lost to addiction, overdose, suicide or other mental health-related issues.
“In an effort to bring mental health and substance abuse issues out into the open and remove the stigma often attached to these health disorders, Bridges Healthcare works to raise awareness and provide the needed support and treatment services, “ said John Dixon, Bridges Healthcare CEO and President. “The Folks on Spokes Ride/Step Forward Walk raises funds and demonstrates the community’s support for eliminating the silence, solitude and stigma that often surrounds mental illness or suicide and creating a system where no one has to face these disorders alone.”
Registration and check-in begin at Fowler’s Field in Milford at 7:30, the Ride begins at 8:40am, the Remembrance Ceremony is at 9:45am and the 5K Walk starts at 10. Pre-registration fees are $40 per cyclist, $30 per walker and $15 for all youth (ages 7 to 17; 6 and under are free) and include a free event t-shirt and refreshments. Day of fees is $50 and $40, respectively.
Cory, a Bridges Healthcare client, has participated in Folks on Spokes for 21 years, riding the 20 and more recently 10 mile routes. “I ride for Bridges because it is a great cause and it is a very inspirational day,” said Cory. “I enjoy the routes, and meeting and riding with new people each year who share the same interests and support Bridges’ work of treating individuals with mental health disorders.”
Co-chairmen for this year’s event are Bridges’ Board members Karen and Dr. Frank Fortunati. Karen Fortunati’s young adult novel, The Weight of Zero, won the Connecticut Book Award and is about a young woman’s struggle to accept a mental illness diagnosis. The story of hope realistically portrays the impact of a strong support network.
According to Karen, “Frank and I are thrilled to continue this critical mission here in our hometown of promoting mental health care and reducing the prejudice that often surrounds mental health and addiction issues.”
Frank Fortunati, MD, JD is the Vice-Chief of Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Medical Director of Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. He is also an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale Medical School. Most of his career has been devoted to the treatment of adolescents and young adults struggling with a wide range of behavioral health conditions.
“Suicide rates have increased 30% across the country between 2000 and 2016, and are now the 10th leading cause of death. Worse than that, suicide is now the second leading cause of death in those between age 10 and 34. That is an absolute crisis,” according to Frank. “Effective mental health treatment must be provided early and locally for us to reverse this trend,” he said, adding “large hospital systems cannot reverse this trend alone. We must do everything we can to support community based mental health programs, like Bridges.”
The event’s major sponsors include The Milford Bank, Barrett Communications and Subway Franchise Headquarters.
To register or for more information, visit www.bridgesct.org. To sponsor the event, call Marcy Hotchkiss at 203.878.6365 x 359.
By Josh LaBella
Chris Walsh has successfully owned and managed Duffy’s Tavern for nearly two decades. He said he using a no shenanigans philosophy, fresh food and cleanliness to keep the costumers coming back.
The business plan has clearly worked as last year Walsh opened up another restaurant, Prospect Beach House, last October.
Walsh said he started helping his father, John, himself a longtime restaurateur, with the Duffy’s when he got out of college. By the early 2000s, Walsh took over the business and has been using his father’s “formula” as a guide for both Duffy’s Tavern and Prospect Beach House.
The business owner said he did not always know he wanted to work in the restaurant business but he knew it was in his blood.
“Back then, we were going through a little bit of a recession,” said Walsh. “I wanted to help my dad out as much as I could. So, I went right from school into the business to try and take a little pressure off of him. I ended up staying with it because I did enjoy it. I’ve been there ever since.”
Walsh said his dad opened up Duffy’s in 1983 and handed the business over to him when he retired in late 2002. He said there is never a dull moment in the restaurant business.
“It’s always incredibly challenging,” said Walsh. “Probably too challenging. But your feet never go to sleep. There’s always something to do. There’s always something to recreate. You always want to be evolving in the restaurant business. You don’t want to get stagnant.”
According to Walsh, he is always thinking about the “next move” even when his businesses are doing well. He said the work is fulfilling and that he loves when customers tell him they enjoyed the experience.
“Believe me, there’ve been times where I wished I worked a 9 to 5 job,” said Walsh. “But something always pulls me back and keeps me interested.”
Regarding Duffy’s, Walsh said his father was the trailblazer but he tries to put his own spin on it. He said the business has attracted loyal customers in its 36 years of operation.
“Back when he [his father] started it was a little bit crazier,” said Walsh. “There were a lot more shenanigans and him, being an ex-cop, ruled it with an iron fist and always said, ‘If you mess up here, you’re out. That’s it.’”
He said keeping that tight grasp on the business has helped keep a lot of the “riff raff” out and the good customers coming in.
Walsh said revitalizing an old building and bringing something to his home district of West Shore was his motivation for opening Prospect Beach House. He said when he bought the location, he came in knowing exactly what he wanted to do.
“It kind of called to me in a way,” said Walsh. “I could do this, clean up that corner, and, hopefully, do West Haven proud.”
According to Walsh, the past year with Prospect Beach House has been challenging but has gone well. He said if he did not have the experience it might have been harder.
“Because I have the experience, I was able to make the adjustments I needed to early on,” said Walsh. “The numbers are right and everything looks good.”
Walsh said people ask him how he manages to run both businesses and he always tells them it is because he has great help.
“It’s a team effort,” said Walsh. “Without my people it would be impossible to do what I do.”