Monday, April 30, 2012

New Haven Register's new Milford Facebook page

The New Haven Register is launching a new page on Facebook to better engage with our suburban audience in the communities of Milford, the Valley and Amity.

Since this page is designed so we can interact with you on a variety of issues we thought it would be fun to have readers send in pictures to serve as the background for our Facebook page.

We’re looking for pictures that best symbolize the beauty or highlight the uniqueness of Milford, the Valley, and Amity.

If you’re interested please post/share the pictures on my Facebook profile: and/or email them to

I’ve seen so many beautiful pictures on Facebook of all three communities, and it would be great for us to showcase your talents. We will write a blog post crediting the photographer for their artistic talents on all photos we use.


Brian McCready
Metro Editor overseeing coverage of Milford, the Valley, and Amity
Twitter @nhrbmccready
Twitter @nhrvalley
Twitter @nhrbalbert
Twitter @ pswebilius

Milford's Memorial Day Parade details

State of Connecticut, Department of Veteran’s Affairs Commissioner, Dr. Linda Schwartz is scheduled to be the key-note speaker for the City of Milford’s Memorial Day Parade.  Dr. Schwartz, a retired U.S. Air Force Registered Nurse and Vietnam Veteran, is an advocate and activist who has devoted her life to healing the wounds of war and improving the lives of America’s 24 million veterans.

The City of Milford will host our annual Memorial Day Parade on Sunday, May 27th, 2012 at 2pm.  All units and marchers are asked to assemble at the Daniel Wasson Field parking lot at 1pm.A short ceremony at the gazebo on the green will follow.

The City Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony will be held on May 27th, 2012 in front of City Hall at 8:45am.  All are invited to attend this short but moving ceremony.

For those who wish to join our veterans organizations, boys and girls scouts, and other community groups put “Flags on Graves” in preparation for our Memorial Day events, please meet at either Milford, Kings Hwy, or St. Mary’s Cemeteries in Milford on Saturday,May 26th, 2012 at 8:30am.

Please join us this Memorial Day to honor our fallen heroes who have served this country to ensure and preserve our freedoms. 

Note the information in this release came from a city press release.

Contact Info:
Christine L. Smith                   
Vice Chairman
(203) 444-8995

What should Mayor Blake do concerning East Shore Middle?

It's been a pretty smooth ride thus far for new Mayor Ben Blake, but one of the biggest challenges he's faced this far includes what to do with East Shore Middle School renovations.

In a story I wrote about the bids, the numbers came in more than $3 million over budget. Blake and the Board of Aldermen approved $12 million for renovations and an addition, but parents and staff asked for $16 million.

Blake will meet with members of the city's Permanent Schools Building Committee 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall to discuss what to do. Blake told me Friday he's unsure what he will recommend.

In order to complete the scope of work the city signed off on $3 million will need to be approved.  My guess and it's just that, I have no inside information, is Blake will either rebid the renovation project, or seek to negotiate directly with the low bidder in an effort to drop the price so the scope of the renovations do not have to be scaled back.

We'll see what happens, and the Register will cover Wednesday's meeting. Let us know what you'd like to happen concerning the East Shore renovations.

Brian McCready
Metro Editor
New Haven Register
Twitter @nhrbmccready

Milford police arrests for this weekend

Milford police were busy this weekend and a couple of interesting arrests including someone walking into Shop Rite and allegedly stealing a $300 flat screen tv, and then someone allegedly caused a ruckus at Milford Hospital and damaged a wall.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Milford's drug give-back program

Two dozen people volunteered at the prescription drug give-back Saturday at the Milford Senior Center on Jepson Drive. Residents drove into the parking lot and deposited their unwanted medications in a bag for ultimate incineration. The program was sponsored by the Milford Prevention Council in conjunction with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

It aimed to reduce medications in the households and provide a proper place for their disposal, police Officer Jeff Neilsen said. Representatives of the Milford Prevention Council, the Milford Medical Reserve Corps, the Police Department and alumni of the Milford Police Citizen Academy participated. Milford's program was among 70 take-backs Saturday in the state.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spirited Milford death penalty debate

On my Facebook work account I received 35 comments concerning Connecticut’s repeal of the death penalty. I wrote an article about a Milford lawmaker, Gayle Slossberg, who initially supported the law, but over time changed her mind, and voted for the repeal.

I asked people what they thought and I received an amazingly passionate debate that went round and round for days. I truly appreciate the feedback and comments. It’s exciting for me to read the comments and know better what the readers are thinking. A big thanks to everyone who submitted a comment.

Here is the rundown below.

Joe Della Monica Maybe Senator Slossberg should have voted the people's conscience and not her own! I believe she was elected for that purpose and not for a self-fulfilling "change" of heart.

Sue Sawyer I think the people want the death penalty, especially after the horrific deaths associated with the Pettit case and our legislators should be representing what the people want and in this case there is strong support to keep the death penalty in CT.

Rich Smith Yes. We'll all feel better if we kill the (people). Sure, sometimes we kill innocent people, sure the system is unfair and broken, sure killing people sets us with other civilized societies such as Iran, North Korea and China. In fact, I think we would feel even better if we brought back electrocution or even stoning to death in the town square. Seems reasonable and rational.

Joe Della Monica Reasonable people believe in justice.....It is only fair to ask that question of two beings, the victims family and your God. Bye the way, our State Senator did not vote for the people who elected her. Unlucky for her, the felons don't have a vote.

Dave Leson Do not agree with Slossberg. It's a travesty that she voted based on her own feelings/beliefs and not those of the people she represents.

Joe Jeffery It's a difficult issue. On balance, however, I support the repeal of the death penalty, and will vote to re-elect those who voted for the repeal.

Joyce Milewski-Charney I don't agree, I used to be on the fence until I met Dr. Petit and his sister. I find it hard to understand how the individual that murdered Officer Wasson is still alive. I now believe if there is 100% proof then the death penalty should be the convicted fate. Just look into the eyes of the victims families, you may change your mind also.

Joe Jeffery There is 100% proof of very little in this universe.

Tim Chaucer ‎7 out of 10 Connecticut citizens understand that you do not remove a tool such as the capital felony statute from the toolbox of justice

Joe Jeffery Tim, do you have a link to that poll? Any recent polls on this will be skewed after the Petit trial and the media drumbeat for the death penalty. General year-to-year sentiments certainly run a little more towards repeal.

Joyce Milewski-Charney What do you mean skewed by the Petit trial. The Petit trial brought forth the reason there should still be a death penalty. The two men that took the lives of three innocent people in their own home in such a manner that only the devil himself could order should be lose their lives. They also took the lives of the survivors, they live with the pain and lose and horrific memories of that day. We are a free people and should not have to fear our safety and expertly in our homes. Think of the victims instead of the felonies.

Joe Jeffery poll numbers vary based on whatever's been playing big in the media. While you may have a long held strong viewpoint, the facts are that the public is fickle. And I'm still waiting to see TC's link to this poll.
Joe Della Monica Liberal mind set in this state is the reason people are leaving in droves...just another example of our whimpering attitude in Ct.

Dave Leson ·It's a 100% certainty that Hoyeson killed officer Wasson and a 100% certainty that Komisarjevsky and Hayes killed the Petits. Therefore, I'm CERTAIN that those (individuals) deserve to die. It sickens me that we as residents of this state will have to provide food and shelter to these degenerates for the rest of their unnatural lives. They should just be put down and sent straight to hell where they belong.

Peter Bravo  People will say, "it costs more to put a killer to death than to keep him in jail for life". That is because in Connecticut, the death penalty in Connecticut is almost unworkable. Don't repeal the death penalty...FIX THE STATUTE !!!! It can be done....just ask Texas.

Joe Jeffery the emotional, irrational arguments being made here are precisely the reason that our society is incapable of administering such a punishment equitably. "Animals?" "Wimpering?" When someone makes an argument or challenges a 'statistic,' we often see someone trot out insults to liberals and the "liberal mind set." That's no way to win an argument when life and death is at stake. "leaving in droves?" This is an unsubstantiated and false statement.

Joe Della Monica Hey everyone, listen up! I was not aware it was feel sorry for a murderer day! I am truly sorry and now I'm going to pay my respects to those who did not have the respect of those they killed. Here are just a few benefactors of my well wishes: I'll start with Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Richard Trenton Chase and try to finish the list as soon as possible. Get a grip

Oh wah, wah, wah. More Liberal crybaby..Wah...Human life is precious! Wah...Now we're like the 3rd world nations who stone people to death in the public square. Wah...I'm just crying now because I'm a whining liberal crybaby. Get at least a slight grip on reality. Those who kill in cold blood and are proven to be guilty either by sound scientific evidence, or simply by their own admissions of guilt (OR BOTH!!!), have turned in their membership cards to the human race…

Joe Jeffery Brilliant arguments, Joe and Dave. Seventh grader-style name calling. Conservatives claim to honor and respect our nation's heritage. Is yours the dignified political discourse of our founding fathers? Hardly. Stop dishonoring your country by talking to people in this way. It's a real shame.

Joe Jeffery From USA Today: " The National Research Council concluded last week that there have been no reliable studies to show that capital punishment is a deterrent to homicide. A Gallup poll last fall found support for the death penalty had slipped to 61% nationally, the lowest level in 39 years." Tim's 70% figure above doesn't seem to jibe with this 61% national number-- especially considering that the nation is, on average, to the right of Connecticut's politics. Yes, yes, I know: more pinko "whining and crying." "Whining" must mean "the making of cogent, respectfully worded arguments and sourcing of relevant statistics, whenever done by a moderate or liberal."
Rocco Frank Milford Independents The police have mistakenly condemned too many innocent people over the years, even a guilty conviction can be wrong. DNA has started to set the record straight and I think it is a good idea to set the death penalty aside until the system is improved.

Joe Della Monica Joe, I haven't called anyone a name. I could care less what the "National Research Poll showed for a figure on those who support the death penalty. States control the death penalty status in their own way, without federal government interference and that's what obviously bothering you. Liberals want the government so entrenched in their lives they no longer need to make those really tough decisions. Capital punishment is still favored by 65% of those polled in Connecticut which is as left as you get on the political spectrum. ( Look up the latest Quinnipiac poll 4/21/12). Joe, I've done more to protect this countries good name they you could do in 5 lifetimes. I will give you this much Joe, capital punishment is not a deterrent to anyone except the convicted, because he will no longer pray on the weak, extort the fears of the elderly and will no longer burden our society with costs associated with housing an animal. Joe, what are you going to do if the wolf comes knocking on your door? Rolling up in the fetal position under the blankets doesn't always work?

Joe Della Monica Rocco, prior to making a statement, get the facts straight and have someone proof-read your work. Police don't condemn anyone. Arrests are made based on probable cause and these facts are given to the court system. The courts make decisions of innocence or guilt, not the police.

Joe Jeffery Joe, fair enough. But -- "liberal mindset, whimpering attitude" and suggesting that I sympathize with the homicidal. This is what I was reacting to. Not as bad as Dave Leson's comment, and I thank you for it. But "get a grip" isn't really all that polite and respectful, is it? I enjoy arguing points and words, not so much personal insult. And I would note that I don't see you addressing Dave's over-the-top stuff...

Joe Jeffery Hey, I'm over the top on the internet too sometimes. :) I really think we as a community and a state and a nation can approach the law and politics in a better way than we all have over the past decade. It's turned into a nationwide shouting match-- often on both sides of the aisle.

Joe Della Monica Fair enough Joe but a liberal mindset is not offensive unless you believe it is. If someone said to me your very conservative, I would not take offense. I just have zero tolerance for those who take without remorse and those who will speak on behalf of those so convicted.

Dave Leson Sorry to have gotten under your apparently thin skin Joe Jeffery. I for one take offense to liberal minded "thinkers" like you slinging insults as well. Especially when you fire the first volley. I seem to recall you saying that the viewpoints expressed here by those of us who dare to disagree with you as being, and I quote, "emotional, and irrational arguments", therefore deeming my views to be emotionally irrational. Clouded by emotion and therefore not rational or valid. Is that correct Joe?
And by the way, this gem of an insult was flung before I ever mentioned anything about liberals, conservatives or whatever group anyone may be associated with. You also referred to me as a seventh-grader because of my viewpoints. So, regarding the insults, I'd say you're being a bit hypocritical here... eh Joe?
No matter what your affiliation is, until you've been a victim, as in having a loved one killed by a confessed murderer, then you can be emotionless in this matter. However, those of us who have been traumatized wear our emotions on our sleeves and are proud to stand up for victim's rights including having killers put to death.
Let another round of your insults begin!

Rocco Frank Milford Independents Joe I worked many many murder trials in my life as Sheriff, I can tell you first hand that the evidence is collected by homicide investigators, the FBI, and in all cases these police experts are called into court to testify to an objective jury. Public defenders are often ill equipped to contest the contaminated evidence that is very common and in most cases, because the police are in a position of public trust, jurors tend to find them more credible than I believe they should.

Rocco Frank Milford Independents This entire thread is silly Ct has not put anyone to death in over 60 Years.

Dave Leson · Not true Rocco. Michael Ross was put to death by lethal injection just 7 years ago.
One less (person) able to prey on society if ever released. If not executed, there would always be the possibility that someone or some group of people could decide at some time to release this killer because they feel he's "paid his debt". I for one am glad he's gone.

Rocco Frank Milford Independents Yes correct forgot about him, last one after him was in 1960, a gangster the serial killer excepted what concerns me the most, is the person who never killed before getting convicted erroneously before that person has had a chance to prove their innocence.

Dave Leson · What I'm talking about Rocco, are those who have been convicted by sound scientific evidence. Evidence that is beyond question and in many cases, is also supported by the killer's confession of guilt. As in the Officer Wasson case. Officer Wasson radioed Hoyeson's vehicle information to HQ during the stop, Hoyeson was captured with the murder weapon in his possession with one missing bullet, GSR tests proved that he had recently fired the weapon, and his girlfriend even told the investigators that Hoyeson had told her he was going to "Go out and kill a cop". He also CONFESSED.
Hayes and Komisarjevsky had similar irrefutable evidence presented and they too BOTH CONFESSED. What reason is there for not executing these thugs? That's my question.

Joe Jeffery I can think of at least one regime that used "sound scientific evidence" to define certain persons as "animals." Then they killed them. And Dave, there is a difference between 1) arguing against someone's arguments or words and 2) attacking them personally. Look at what I've typed and look at what you've typed. Different. I try to only go after your words. :)

Joe Jeffery ‎" If not executed, there would always be the possibility that someone or some group of people could decide at some time to release this killer because they feel he's 'paid his debt'." <--- a good point. I don't think this rare possibility is enough to necessitate executions. Is Charlie Manson running around? I think we can trust that life without parole is indeed w/o parole. There are far greater dangers that we face as individuals and as a nation to waste time on the baroque system that is death row and the appeals process. I would find greater peace knowing that an assailant was locked away for life rather than experience the drawn out hardship of the execution process. As I am not without sin, I'll not cast stones. I will, however, support an effective and *fair* judicial system and police force. Gayle has done this. Thumbs up!

Milford Police make shoplifting arrest

Milford police arrest Thursday include a shoplifting where the suspect is alleged to have used force to get away, of course, before being apprehended.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Long-time Milford art educator retires after 42 years

MILFORD – The Annual Milford Public Schools Art Show has become a favorite event in Milford with hundreds of students and their parents touring the halls of the Parsons Complex to view the student pieces on display.   While attendees enjoyed the elementary art show opening in March, it was the formal announcement of long-time art educator Frank Vespi’s retirement that took center stage during the show’s opening ceremony.  Mr. Vespi’s retirement will be effective at the end of this school year.

Vespi, a 42-year veteran of the Milford Public School system, was honored by art teachers across the district with the dedication of the Elementary Art Show to him for his selfless service to the students of Milford for more than four decades.  To further credit Mr. Vespi for his life’s work, five of his students were selected to have replications of their artwork featured on the covers of the art show programs this year.  For those in attendance, it was a teary affirmation of the work Vespi has done for the district and a show of appreciation for this man who has been a friend to many: parents, teachers, and students, alike.

In addition to teaching students in Milford, Vespi served as the department chair for art in the Milford school district for the past 40 years. Vespi was responsible for preparing the annual operating budget for the discipline, ensuring teachers had ample opportunity for professional development and support, and worked with teachers to further refine curriculum and delivery of it to students. He was instrumental in putting together the annual art shows and for making sure art had a ‘presence’ in all student’s lives, grades K-12.

Throughout the span of his career, Mr. Vespi has seen a great many changes take place – all for the betterment of education in our district.  At the beginning of his career in 1970, art teachers did not have a dedicated classroom space in which to teach their students.  Rather, teachers toured through the building using a cart that carried all the supplies for the lesson of the day.  Today, schools have dedicated classroom space for art instruction.  In the early part of his teaching career, Mr. Vespi notes kindergarten students did not have art classes at all; art teachers instructed a wider range of students (for example, the elementary configuration back then went up to 8th grade), and computer technology was not even invented yet (and, therefore, neither was graphic- or computer-generated art!).

Mr. Vespi points to several key innovations that have helped drive art forward in Milford over the years.  He considers the annual trip to the New Britain Museum of American Art for all 5th grade students in the district a highlight, as well as the development of the District Art Show that occurs each spring in the Parsons Complex.  Vespi was instrumental in having an operating kiln and materials housed in every school.  He notes that with ever-developing technology, improvements have been seen in new paints, glazes, and other materials over the years and is pleased with the evolution of the field he has seen up to the present.

Vespi notes that one of the most rewarding aspects of his career is seeing dozens of former students who went on to pursue a career in art.  In addition, he said it’s an honor that several of his former students are now his colleagues, as fellow art teachers here in Milford.

Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth Feser commented on Vespi’s noteworthy career.  “I have known Frank for only one year, but in that short time I have seen evidence of his influence on the quality of the art program in the Milford Public Schools.  Students and staff alike have benefitted enormously from his excellent teaching, his passion for art, and his consummate professionalism.  Milford is so fortunate to have had Frank dedicate his career to its children.”

Assistant Superintendent Michael Cummings said “Mr. Vespi is a first rate teacher.  He has a strong understanding of his content area, a passion for his work, and a love for children.  He has always advocated for public displays of student work and has spent many hours crafting our highly successful art displays.  We have been very fortunate for his contributions as a teacher and as an instructional leader.”

As for retirement plans, Frank and his wife of 38 years, Pattie, will be leaving Connecticut for the sunny skies of North Carolina.  With three grown children now on their own, the couple is ready to embark on the next part of their life’s journey. 

Milford Board of Education spokeswoman Kathy Bonetti wrote the above press release. 

Milford police make child porn bust

MILFORD—A 17-year-old city teen was arrested on a warrant Wednesday for uploading and possessing 200 images of child pornography into a Facebook account, police said Thursday.
Police spokesman Lt. Vaughan Dumas wrote in a department press release Thursday that the department’s Computer Crimes Unit received a cyber-tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a person from Milford uploaded more than 200 images of child pornography into a Facebook account, police said. 

The investigation led to a city address where a search and seizure warrant was executed, police said. Police seized a computer from the residence and after a forensic review an excess of 100 images and videos of child pornography were found, police said.

The 17-year-old teen, whose name was not provided by police because of the juvenile’s age, was connected to this upload and to Facebook through his email address and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The teen was charged with first-degree possession of child pornography, and possession of transmitting child pornography by a minor. The teen was released on $1,000 bond and is due to appear in Superior Court May 16.

To receive breaking news first, simply text the word nhnews to 22700. *Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.