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City launches task force to combat blight; details below
Click on link for info about Savin Rock 5K race for Charlotte Bacon
Task force talks up blight, zoning regulations with merchants

Mayor Edward M. O’Brien, right, West Haven Business Association member Carolyn Sires-Halaszynski, owner of Physicians Physical Therapy Aqua Sports Complex at 544 Campbell Ave., and Zoning Enforcement Officer John Bernardo lead a special task force on Campbell Avenue Monday, April 21, to discuss city zoning regulations with business owners, including, above, Dairo Vanegas, owner of Jerri’s Luncheonette at 564 Campbell Ave., who receives copies of the blight ordinance and sign rules from O’Brien.
The task force is walking from business to business along Campbell Avenue — Elm Street to Captain Thomas Boulevard — to educate merchants about O’Brien’s new campaign to ensure that businesses are in compliance with blight and zoning regulations.
The task force members, composed of the Building, Fire, Health, Planning and Development and Police departments and the mayor’s office, are Building Official Frank Gladwin, Ron Baia Jr. and Cathy Conniff, zoning enforcement officers of property maintenance, West Haven Fire Department Marshal Keith Flood, Health Director Maureen B. Lillis, Planning and Development Commissioner Joseph A. Riccio Jr., Assistant City Planner Rob Librandi, police Officer Christopher Cinque and O’Brien’s executive assistant, John W. Lewis.
Nancy Guman, branch manager of Webster Bank at 584 Campbell Ave., is chairwoman of the citywide business association.
O’Brien initiated the effort in response to a call by the association “to clean up and improve West Haven” as well as to institute a policy of consistency for the rules by which all city businesses operate.
The city plans to expand the informational campaign to the rest of the business community once the downtown district, which includes Captain Thomas Boulevard, has been covered.
By late May, the task force is expected to begin the process of inspecting properties for blight and zoning violations, which carry a $100 fine per daily offense.
(City Photos/Michael P. Walsh)

Murphy, O’Brien call for passage of bill to preserve L.I. Sound
From left, U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy, D-Conn., drums up support for the Long Island Sound Stewardship Act with Audubon Connecticut President Stewart Hudson, Save the Sound Executive Director Curt Johnson and Mayor Edward M. O’Brien at a news conference Friday morning, April 11, on the beach walk behind the Savin Rock Conference Center. Murphy and O’Brien conferred with about a dozen environmental advocates to urge the U.S. Senate to pass the bill, which would authorize new funding to restore and protect the Sound. The officials then toured areas damaged by Superstorm Sandy. During the conference, Johnson highlighted a joint initiative by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to open up the mouth of the West River, which flows into New Haven Harbor, for the first time in a century to allow fish to migrate upriver and spawn. Johnson also touted an effort led by O’Brien to improve a vital span of the city’s wastewater pipeline to prevent spills into the Sound. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)


After joining state Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, for the introduction of a municipal liquor permit bill before the General Assembly’s Committee on General Law at the state Capitol in Hartford on Thursday, March 6, Mayor Edward M. O’Brien, second from left, pauses with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, center. Accompanying O’Brien are, from left, city police Detective Brian Reilly, Capt. Richard DiMeola and Officer David Sydnor. (City Photo/John W. Lewis)

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West Haven Community Garden

Anti-Blight Ordinance

Making a difference
Mayor Edward M. O’Brien is all smiles with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House during a visit Thursday, Jan. 23, with members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. O’Brien and his executive assistant, John W. Lewis, represented West Haven at the mayors’ conference convention recently in Washington. During the weeklong assembly of mayors whose cities have 30,000 or more residents, O’Brien had productive discussions with U.S. Transportation Department Secretary Anthony Foxx, Sacramento, Calif., Mayor Kevin Johnson, vice president of the mayors’ conference, and U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy, D-Conn. O’Brien also met with Newton, Mass., Mayor Setti Warren, chairman of the Community Development and Housing Standing Committee, of which O’Brien is a member, and Tampa, Fla., Mayor Bob Buckhorn. The committee recommends policies for the general body to evaluate for endorsement at the conference’s summer meetings. (City Photo)

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Big Bargain Convenience opens on Bull Hill Lane

ABOVE: Mayor Edward M. O’Brien, second from right, celebrates the grand opening of Big Bargain Convenience Sunday, April 6, at 221 Bull Hill Lane with store officers, from left, Hari Karki, Syed M. Shah, Mohammad K. Malik and Sam Ahmed.

At 8,000 square feet, the city’s “largest convenience store” offers a full line of cleaning products, groceries and auto supplies at discount prices.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Beach walk extended for ‘dancing on the boardwalk’

ABOVE: Mayor Edward M. O’Brien looks on as a crew from the city’s sidewalk contractor, Colonna Concrete & Asphalt Paving of 160 Fresh Meadow Road, pours concrete to extend the beach walk at the end of the Oak Street cul-de-sac Tuesday, April 22.

O’Brien said the new walkway extension is aimed at accommodating the sea of dance enthusiasts for the highly anticipated return of the popular “dancing on the boardwalk” series, which is slated to kick off Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11, at 2 p.m. with a special concert by Vinnie Carr.

The roadwork also includes shortening the cul-de-sac to make Oak Street, which is home to the Surfside senior housing complex, safer for both pedestrians and motorists.

The $30,000 sidewalk project is being financed with Local Capital Improvement Program funds from the state Office of Policy and Management and supervised by Public Works Commissioner Joseph Durante.

Colonna is expected to complete the job later this week.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Breast cancer walk set for Saturday, May 10, in Grove

Registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 10, for the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Committee’s 14th annual Walk for a Cure.

The 3-mile walk, held rain or shine, will start from the Old Grove Park bathhouse and run along the beach walk to Second Avenue before returning to the Palace Street park.

Registration forms are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in the Personnel Department at City Hall, 355 Main St.

The walk starts at 8:30 a.m. Preregistration is $15; sign-up is $20 at the event.

The first 100 walkers will receive a free T-shirt and coffee.

Proceeds will go to the Susan A. Ruickoldt Scholarship Fund.

For details, call 203-937-3558 or 203-937-3619.

Scholarship offered to West Haven High School seniors

The West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Committee is accepting applications for a scholarship fund it founded in memory of a third-grade Savin Rock Community School teacher who died of breast cancer.

The 12th annual Susan A. Ruickoldt Scholarship Fund will award $2,000 to a female West Haven High School senior who plans to continue her education.

Candidates must submit an application form, an official transcript and a class rank, as well as a 250-word essay on achievements and goals and a 250-word essay on the importance of breast cancer screening and education.

Applicants also must submit a letter of acceptance from a postsecondary school and a letter of intent to attend the school.

Applications are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in the Personnel Department at City Hall, 355 Main St., where they are due by 5 p.m. Monday, May 5.

The committee will announce the recipient of the scholarship fund Saturday, May 10, at its annual Walk for a Cure in Old Grove Park.

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