The annual lighting of the menorah on the Green will celebrate the first day of Hanukkah at sundown Sunday.
Led by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, the ceremonial lighting will include a Jewish blessing and mark the Jewish Festival of Lights, an eight-day commemoration of rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees after their victory over the Syrians.
The West Haven Veterans’ Museum & Learning Center at 30 Hood Terrace will be the scene of a tribute to the “Three West Haven Buddies,” who were lost in the sinking of the HMT Rohna in the Mediterranean Sea on Nov.26, 1943.
The program presented by the Rohna Remembrance Committee of West Haven, along with The Rohna Survivors Memorial Association, will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2.
PFC’s Pacifico A. Migliore, John T. Cox, and Pasquale J. Logiodice were among the 1000 GI’s lost that day. It was the greatest loss of life of Americans at sea in WWII. WHHS grads from the 40’s and 50’s, are invited.
Dinner chairman thanks helpers
I am writing today in hopes that you will share my appreciation to the West Haven community.
The 7th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner was a great success due to the generosity of the West Haven community. Nearly 60 volunteers and numerous donors came together to make the dinner the success that it was. I would like to extend a special thank you to Joe Collier of The Savin Rock Roasting Co. for providing our roasted turkey and Ron Quagliani and Sodexo of the University of New Haven for providing the fresh mashed potatoes. This generosity made it possible for more than 270 meals to be provided to the community.
Yours in the Community Together,
Thirteen seniors and now 13 consecutive Green Bowl wins for the Notre Dame football team. You gotta love the symmetry!
Even though the game was moved to Thanksgiving Eve, Zackary Hockman and Jackson Zalinsky made sure the rest of the Notre Dame football team would enjoy their Thanksgiving Day meal.
The dynamic Green Knight duo combined for seven straight Notre Dame touchdowns as the Green Knights erased an early 8-0 deficit en route to their 62-16 win in the 68th annual Green Bowl on Thanksgiving Eve at Hamden’s Joe Bruno Stadium. Notre Dame has now won 13 straight in the series that dates back to 1951.
Hochman was responsible for six touchdowns himself, spreading them evenly between rushing and passing. Zalinsky contributed one on the ground and three threw the air.
Hamden started strong forcing a Notre Dame punt on their first series. Hockman, who doubles as the Green Knights punter, couldn’t get the kick away as he was surrounded by four rushing defenders.
Hamden took advantage when Christopher Wallace found Tamayo Ferreira from 21 yards out and Hamden led 8-0 with 8:15 left in the first quarter.
After failing to score on a first and goal from the four yard line on its next drive, the Notre Dame defense did its part forcing a Hamden punt. Notre Dame’s offense took over from there. The Green Knights (6-4) would go on to score on its next five possessions to take a 33-8 lead into halftime.
Hochman scored the first two touchdowns on runs of five and four yards before Zalinsky ran one in from 19 yards out to take a 20-8 lead with 9:27 left in the second quarter.
Hockman then culminated his strong senior season, scoring four more touchdowns as Notre Dame cruised to a 48-8 lead. He scored on a two-yard run before catching three passes from Zalinsky from 15, 48, and 68 yards.
Zalinsky completed eight of 12 passes for 172 yards, while rushing for 45 yards on five attempts. Meanwhile Hockman caught six passes for 158 yards in his three touchdown receiving effort.
Notre Dame added a pair of touchdowns on the ground as Warren Murphy scored from eight yards out and Tyler Basti from 20 yards to conclude the game’s scoring. Murphy led the Green Knights rushing attack with 130 yards on 18 carries.
“We wanted to finish the season strong for our program, for our school, for our alumni, and most importantly for our seniors,” Said Notre Dame head coach Joe DeCaprio. “Our kids knew how important a win was on many levels and I am super proud of their effort in winning this game. It’s a great way to jumpstart next season.”
Notre Dame’s defense deserves a definite assist in this win. They held the Green Dragons to 193 total yards, including only 36 in the air. As if Hockman didn’t contribute enough offensively, he picked off two Hamden passes. The defense allowed only 12 Hamden first downs and were unbelievably efficient on third down preventing all six Hamden plays on third down from resulting in a first down.
The West Haven Squirt A travel hockey team tied the Greater New Haven A1 Warriors, 0-0, in its only game of the weekend. The Blue Devils’ record is now 14-8-2 on the season.
West Haven goaltender Maddex LaFountain made 19 saves in the game. The defense of Leo Mazuroski, Ryan Pniewski, Jonathan Charbonneau and Matthew Kelly was terrific throughout.
The West Haven Peewee A travel hockey team split a pair of games this weekend, falling to South Windsor Saturday afternoon, before rebounding to top Western, 5-3. Sunday morning.
The Westies opened the weekend with an 8-3 loss to South Windsor. In a game which was close throughout, South Windsor put the contest away with three goals in the final 1:38 of the game.
Trailing 1-0, West Haven evened the contest just 41 seconds later when Brady Price scored off assists from Bruno Martone and Mike Page. South Windsor led 2-1 after one period and 3-1 after two periods of play.
After South Windsor score twice in a span of 1:05 for a 5-1 advantage, the Westies again fought back with two goals in 24 seconds. Price scored an unassisted goal for his second of the game, and Mickey Dowd scored off an assist from Haygen Axelrod to get the Westies within a pair of goals with 4:31 to go.
Despite constant pressure, the Westies could not get closer and South Windsor iced the game in the final 98 seconds, including two goals in the final 11 seconds. Bryan Hong played well in goal despite the loss.
The Westies got back in the win column Sunday morning with a 5-3 victory over Western 06 at the Edward L. Bennet Rink in West Haven. Zach Goetze and Dowd led the offense with one goal and one assist apiece, while Jason Alling added a pair of assists.
West Haven took a 1-0 lead 3:29 into the contest when Dowd scored a power play goal in front off assists from Axelrod and Alling. With the game even at one, Goetze, stepped in front of a Western pass while short-handed and scored on a breakaway for a 2-1 lead with 4:29 left in the opening period.
Western scored twice in 22 seconds early in the second period for a 3-2 lead, but the Westies got the equalizer 4:52 into the period when Michael Madera scored off assists from Goetze and Dowd.
Page gave the Westies the lead for good with 4:19 left in the middle period. Off a perfect pass from Price, Page scored on a 2-on-1 break, with an assist also going to Alling.
Cody Rocchio gave West Haven some breathing room when he scored 2:31 into the third period. Jacob Silva played well in goal for the Westies.
Chris Consorte, Connor Moriarty, and Danny Johnson all played well on offense, while Ray Heenie and Dylan Bosworth played well defensively.
The West Haven Bantam A travel hockey team got back to its winning ways this weekend, going 2-0 in the games it played.
The weekend started with an 8-0 win over the Wallingford Hawks at the Edward L. Bennett Rink on Saturday. The Westies started with a goal in the first five minutes of the first period by Luca Ubaldi. Michael Alfano scored two unassisted goals within 30 seconds of each other at the six minute mark of the first period, and Adrian Fielosh then scored a minute later, off a pass on the blue line from Ubaldi.
West Haven scored again midway through the second period, off a nice passing play by all three forwards on the ice, Dante Hardt scored the goal in front, with Jayden Spreyer and Joey Honcz getting the helpers.
Matt Morgan scored 40 seconds later with an assist from Alfano. Ubaldi then scored his second of the game unassisted with 3:19 remaining in the second. Anthony Peschell scored the Blue Devils’ final goal at the beginning of the third period off of a breakaway.
Brendan Smith played two periods in the contest, with Michael Andreesen coming in the third period, as the two combined for the shutout.
Kevin Gardner, Sean Bosworth and David Brown all played well in the win.
Sunday brought the Blue Devils to South Kent Prep School to take on the Northwestern Icehawks, where the Westies came out on top 4-3.
Justin Pniewski scored in the opening minute with an unassisted goal to get the game started. The score would not change until midway through the second period, where the Icehawks tied the game at one. The Westies went up 3-1 within the first five minutes of the third period. Carl Murgo scored the second goal, with Morgan getting credit for the assist. Morgan then scored 43 seconds later with an unassisted goal.
Northwestern pressured the Blue Devils by scoring to make the game 3-2, with Alfano answering 15 seconds later for a 4-2 West Haven lead. Fielosh got the assist on Alfano’s goal.
Northwestern made a last ditch effort and was able to make the score 4-3, but could not overcome the Blue Devils. Andreessen played the first two periods in goal, with Smith coming in for the third.
Ryan Bernardi, Joe D’Aurio and Matt Wezenski all played well in the win.
The Bantam A coaching staff would like to congratulate and wish the best of luck to the players on the team who are leaving to go and play on their respective high school teams.
Already in the postseason for the second straight year, the Fairfield Prep football team wanted to make sure its seed was also in place. More importantly, the Jesuits wanted to get off to a quick start and remain healthy as the postseason approached.
The Jesuits can check all off the list.
Scoring 49 first half points, and taking advantage of several West Haven miscues, the Jesuits cruised to a 63-12 victory over the Westies in a Southern Connecticut Conference Tier I contest at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven Thursday morning.
“I thought the boys played very well today,” Fairfield Prep Keith Hellstern said. “We were able to play different guys and get them in and out. We have several kids we can run in and out of there which is big for us to keep moving the right direction.”
Very well would be an understatement for how Hellstern described the play of his team. The Jesuits, who look to have finished fifth in Class LL with a 9-1 record and will travel to fourth-seeded Southington Tuesday evening in the Class LL quarterfinals, scored on their first four possessions of the game and never looked back.
Senior Thomas Walton not only scored twice in the opening quarter on runs of six and 26 yards, but also busted loose for a 78-yard kickoff return for a score after West Haven got within 28-6 late in the second quarter.
“I thought the kickoff was a great answer,” Hellstern said. “We are very lucky to have several players who can go in and out. We were not trying to run up the score. We were just trying to execute. It is a credit to the kids.”
For the Westies (5-5), the season ended with one of the most-lopsided losses in recent memory for the team. West Haven had a drive stalled after reaching the Prep 5, a pass intercepted, a punt blocked, and a pair of fumbles in the first 24 minutes of play.
“You have to give Prep credit,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said. “They are a very good team. They played a great game. They did everything right.”
Prep, which gained 160 yards in the opening quarter and 245 in the first half, started quickly and never slowed down.
After a short West Haven punt, the Jesuits needed just two plays to go 53 yards, capped when quarterback John Iaropoli hit Finn Duran with a 44-yard scoring strike and a 7-0 lead after Murray McCarthy hit the first of his nine extra points with 2 minutes, 55 seconds gone by in the game.
Walton then took over. After Prep pushed West Haven back and the Westies turned the ball over on downs even after Jordan Berrios raced 75 yards to the Prep 5-yard line, Prep marched 81 yards on 10 plays, including a running into the kicker on fourth down.
Three plays after the penalty, Walton followed his 35-yard run with a 6-yard scoring run and a 14-0 lead with 3:33 to go in the opening quarter. The Jesuits then needed just two plays to go 36 yards for a score on their next possession, again capped with a 26-yard score by Walton down the right sideline with 1:12 left in the opening quarter.
“Our line did a great job today,” Walton said. “We were able to run the ball very well. Our coaches called great plays all game.”
After a solid West Haven drive stalled again, Charles Wilcox came off the right edge and blocked a West Haven punt to the West Haven 19. Douglas Harrison raced in on the next play, giving Fairfield Prep a 28-0 advantage.
“It was important to get off to the quick start,” Walton said. “We set the tempo right from the start. I thought we did a good job with that.”
The Westies finally got on the scoreboard 3:06 later. Tylen Jennette, who finished with 99 yards rushing, led a four-play drive in which he also had a 36-yard burst, with a 4-yard score.
The Westies never had time to celebrate as Walton was at it again. Fielding the kickoff at his own 22-yard line, Walton cut through traffic and out ran the Westies for a score and a 35-6 lead with 4:54 left in the first half.
“We were able to get everyone in the game,” Walton said. “Everyone did their job. This is a great win for us.”
The Jesuits secured the fifth seed and also a running clock in the second half when they capitalized on a pair of West Haven fumbles to take a 49-6 lead at the half.
Connor Boyle scored the first of the two touchdowns in the final 2:57 with an 18-yard run, before lineman turned running back James Brown scored from 1-yard out in the final 46 seconds of the half.
“It feels great to get back there,” Hellstern said of the postseason. “We want to be productive in what we do and do it with a winning attitude. We are trying to prepare these guys to be great young men. It is about the process. If you don’t follow the process and do the right things, the wins and losses don’t matter.”
John Scholl (1 yard) and Dean Tsiranides (18 yards) scored for the Jesuits in the second half, while Jaden Grant added a 65-yard run for a touchdown with 2:39 to go for the Westies.
The Harugari Singing Society, 66 Highland St., is planning two Christmas events:
Sunday, Dec. 2 is the annual Christkindl Markt. Open to the public it offers a Rouladen Dinner this is $18 for members and $25 for non-members. Shopping begins at noon with the dinner at 2 is open to shoppers not staying for dinner from noon to 5. Sunday Dec, 16 the club plans Holidays with Dinner, Dancing and Live music at the Weihnachtsfest. Roast Beef Dinner will be served at a cost of $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Doors ppen at 1. Dinner is at 2. It is open to the public. For reservations for both events, please call Barbara Pokora at (203) 640-3656.
For more information go to Harugari.org.
Concert and dinner
The First Baptist Church of West Haven is inviting you to a Christmas Concert and Dinner on Sunday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m. The main performer will be the Martine Bruno or Angel of New York, who recently
Center plans trips
Join the West Haven Senior Center for the following scheduled trip: All trips leave from Savin Rock Conference Center.
MGM Springfield Casino Tuesday, Jan. 15, cost is $25 per person. Bus leaves Savin Rock Conference Center at 8:30 a.m. Trip includes $10 free slot play. Payment is due by Jan. 4. Registration information for rewards card to be completed at time of registration.
Flyers with details for this trip are available at the office West Haven Senior Center 201 Noble St., or call (203) 937-3507 for more information.
The annual Christmas Fest on the Green is scheduled for Saturday, Dec 1, from 9-2:30. The festival will have craft and candy vendors, delicious lunch, bake sale, kids’ crafts and trinket tree, our SERRV shop with gifts from around the world, as well as our book sale and White Elephant sale. Several trees, wreaths, and other items are being raffled off. Santa will be visiting and taking photos. Also included: a collection of food for WHEAT and toys for Second Chance Toys, an organization that partners toy drives with local organizations in need of toys. Second Chance Toys requests plastic toys that are clean and in good condition that have no small pieces (anything that will fit through a toilet paper tube). Contact First Congregational Church at (203)-933-6291 for more information.
The Christmas Festival, is looking for vendors for Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9-2:30. Handmade creations preferred. The fee is only $30 for an 8’ table, with $5 going toward our restoration fund to help repair our steeple and a portion of our sanctuary ceiling which has fallen. The festival includes crafters, light breakfast fare, delicious luncheon, book sale, SERRV Shop, Pics with Santa, and more. Contact the church at (203) 933-6291, for an application.
F Senior trips
F Seniors and Friends has a trip planned for the new year: A trip to Atlantic City is planned for Jan. 2-4 at Resorts Casino. It includes four meals, $20 in slot play and two shows. Price is $229 per person.
For booking, call Fred at (203) 389-5808 or (203) 927-4249.
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 National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Chapter 257, will hold its annual holiday party and installation of elected officers on Monday, Dec. 3, 1:pm, at Brazi›s Restaurant, Long Wharf, 201 Food Terminal Plaza, New Haven. Contact (203) 287-8673.
Balancing the care of a family member, a household and a job is overwhelming. Meet with a representative from VNA Community Healthcare’s Family Caregiver Support Network for a FREE consultation to discuss your personal care-giving issues, receive tips, guidance and explore solutions. Call VNA Community Healthcare’s Helpline at 1 (866) 474-5230 (toll free) to schedule a private in-person or phone session with one of our family caregiver experts. Consultations are held by appointment at several convenient locations including West Haven, Hamden and North Haven.
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 or write to 170 Ivy St.
Milton C. Cochran, USMC
See part 2 here.
See part 3 here.
Antoinette “Toni” Cochran awoke suddenly; she sat bolt upright in the darkness and shook her husband: “Bus, Bus, wake up! Something terrible has happened to Milt. I don’t know how I know this but I’m sure of it! What do we do?”
Call it mother’s intuition, call it what you will; but Milt’s mother was correct. Halfway around the world there had been an explosion which would bring destruction, death, loss and love into Milt’s life.
Born Jan. 6, 1947, Milt Cochran grew up in a loving family with two brothers. He was an average student, but he excelled at baseball; as the years went by, his pitching skills became well-known up and down the Housatonic River Valley. Colleges and professional teams began to take an interest in him; scouts had their eye on him. The future was bright for Milt Cochran.
The human body is strong, yet fragile. The rigors of pitching every high school game of his senior year began to tell on Milt; his shoulder began to separate, and it became clear that as a baseball player he was finished.
What should he do next? Milt sat around the kitchen table with his father and uncle and discussed the matter. Both were World War II infantry veterans, and advised Milt to join the Navy. He would be on board a ship, they said, and he’d be safe. Yes, that sounded like a good idea, so Milt enlisted.
The Navy made him a Hospitalman, possibly because they knew he had worked at Griffin Hospital. Milt received his training, and was then assigned to the U.S. Sub Base in Groton, Connecticut. He would have been content to have stayed there indefinitely, but fate had very different plans for him.
One chilly October Morning after returning from an ambulance run, he was told to pack his gear and prepare to be assimilated into the Marine Corps. Milt was astounded:
He had joined the Navy to be on a ship, not to be a Marine, as he told anyone who would listen. But his protests fell on deaf ears, and so, after intensive field training at Camp Lejeune, he was off to join the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Marine Division, somewhere near Danang, South Vietnam. With trepidation that bordered on terror, Milt the would-be sailor was delivered to “H” Company and became part of the ground forces.
Milt quickly became aware of the strong bond that exists between fighting men who face death on a daily basis. He also gained an understanding of the powerful bond that exists between the Marines and their medical corpsmen. And finally, he came to the realization that combat corpsmen bleed and die just like the men that they care for; in fact, he discovered that those corpsmen were prime targets, singled out for death by the enemy. But like his fellow corpsmen, Milt was loyal to his men, and never hesitated to go out on a dangerous patrol, or to go out under heavy fire, whenever he heard the call, “Corpsman up!”
Milt was supposed to serve a 13-month hitch in Vietnam; that hitch was cut short after seven months that seemed like eternities in themselves.
To be continued-
By Mayor Nancy R. Rossi
The City of West Haven has struggled with finances for decades. It was in 1991 that the state had to intervene and take over when city and state officialsdealt with deficits of around $17 million.
In the spring of 2017, former Mayor Ed O’Brien built $8 million of additional state funding into his budget to fund his ever-increasing spending plans. I spoke at budget hearings and meetings along with City Treasurer Michael Last asking that the mayor and council remove the additional state funding from the proposed budget, since it was pretty clear and obvious we would not receive it. The City Council failed to get enough votes to pass the budget plan, which resulted in the mayor’s budget passing by default, as allowed in the city charter.
In November 2017, Mayor O’Brien and the City Council authorized deficit bonding in the amount of $16.1 million. This was to cover the cumulative deficit through June 30, 2016 and the state had assurances from the O’Brien Administration that the Fiscal Year 2017 budget was balanced, which turned out false—there was another $1.4 million deficit in fiscal year 2017. Mr. O’Brien took office in 2013 with an inherited $7.8 million deficit and when he let office in 2017 the deficit had more than doubled to $18.1 million—that is why we are where we are. O’Brien ran up additional deficits each of his years in office to the tune of an additional $10.3 million increase to the deficit in four short years, which does not include the $8 million built into FY 18!
I took the oath of Office on Dec. 1, 2017 and was ordered to Hartford on my first week and handed a letter from the Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes placing West Haven under the control of the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB). The reason was Connecticut State Statutes required any municipality that issued bonds to cover a deficit to fall under the opuses of the MARB.
After taking office, I was informed that West Haven was projecting another multi-million dollar deficit for Fiscal Year 2018, which ended on June 30, 2018. My administration made immediate cuts (over $2 million) and through elimination of programs and jobs, a freeze on non-essential overtime, better oversight and controls on expenditures, and tough decisions including scaling back and canceling events, the City will have a FAVORABLE audit report for fiscal year 2018 when the audit is released. The Sewer fund that has been running deficits for years will finally have a surplus and a positive fund balance.
The MARB did approve West Haven’s five-year plan, which included state aid on Nov. 1. There was $8 million for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 (current year). There is $6 million projected for 2020, $4 million for 2021 and $2 million for 2022. The five year plan has no MARB aid in fiscal year 2023 and the budget shows a surplus. The city budget balances each of the five years and relies on MARB funds for four of the five years. The five-year plan also begins funding our long-term liabilities which include Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) by starting a trust fund. The city has been using the “pay as you go” method which was not responsible and would not be sustainable. Is there risk in projecting state MARB aid for future budgets—absolutely there is—but we have an agreement with the state and there will be the same risk moving forward with all of our state funding, including Education Cost Sharing (ECS), LoCIP, and Pilot funding, which accounts to over $50 million annually.
The five-year plan does include small tax increases over the five years. The five-year plan is just that a plan– a strategic document and road map to help us get out of our current fiscal mess. It is my absolute hope that we can avoid raising taxes in the plan by keeping the momentum on revived economic development projects, continued budget cuts and operational efficiencies, and the reorganization of city government to be more efficient and cost effective.
I believe that that City of West Haven is on the right path and want to thank our residents for their support through these trying and difficult times.