Local news briefs

MILFORD >> The city Department of Economic and Community Development has partnered with Connecticut’s Small Business Development Center to offer a Micro-Enterprise Assistance Program.

The program, funded through the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development is intended to provide small businesses with the tools for expansion and growth in order to create and sustain viable and productive small businesses in Milford.

To be eligible for assistance, applicants must be a registered, existing commercial enterprise (for at least a year) that employs five or fewer employees, at least one of which must own the enterprise.

The enterprise must have its principal operations in Milford, and may be organized as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or any other recognized form of business.

More details are on the city’s website.

Prospective applicants must register at www.growct.com. Click on the “Request Business Advising” link at the top of the home page and fill in the necessary information. On the sign-up page, the applicant will be prompted to fill in “Referral Description.” In this section, the applicant is to write in “City of Milford Micro-Enterprise Program.” CTSBDC staff will review program guidelines and evaluate the appropriateness of the program to the applicant’s needs. Then the applicant will complete an application.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee composed of the director of Community and Economic Development, the Community Development Block Grant administrator and the chairman of the Economic Development Commission.

Contact Julie Nash, director of Economic and Community Development, at jnash@ci.milford.ct.us or 203-783-3230 for details.

MILFORD >> Mayor Benjamin G. Blake and Fire Chief Douglas A. Edo are calling on residents to sign up for the Milford Alerts Citywide Notification System.

At no cost to local taxpayers, the city uses the system to alert residents about emergencies and other important community news. It provides information quickly for such situations as severe weather, fires, floods, unexpected road closures, or evacuations of buildings and neighborhoods.

It also allows residents to sign up for community news of parade routes, festivals or upcoming meetings.

Residents may select the type of time-sensitive messages they wish to receive and the type of communication device to which messages are delivered, such as a home phone, cell, business phone, e-mail, text message, or hearing impaired receiving device.

To sign up, visit http://www.ci.milford.ct.us/sign-up-for-e-alerts/faq/how-do-i-sign-up-for-e-alerts

To see the public service announcement, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbnyopdWQSc

MILFORD >> The Energy Advisory Board encourages residents to consider home solar programs.

Connecticut Green Bank provides incentives to residents in one-to-four-family, owner-occupied properties in the UI territories.

Incentives are available to customers whether they choose to purchase or lease their system.

Information on the Residential Solar Investment Program, including incentives, can be found at www.energizect.com.

The following characteristics indicate that a good location for a solar system:

• A roof facing south, southeast or southwest (ground mounted systems are an alternative option).

• 35-50 degree roof tilt.

• Clear access to sun for most of the day, unobstructed by trees, roof gables, chimneys or other buildings.

• Adequate roof space and a roof in good condition.

Residents interested in going solar may visit www.gosolarct.com, which is dedicated to providing information needed to make smart decisions about solar for their home.

Residents interested in financing their system can learn about the Smart-E Loan, which offers no money down, low interest financing with flexible terms.

The Green Bank has partnered with local lenders statewide to offer the financing, which can be used to pay for more than 40 home energy improvement measures.

For more information, visit www.energizect.com.

Some installers may offer other financing options including loans, leases and power purchase agreements.

WOODBRIDGE >> Human Services is accepting donations for the Warm Hearts, Warm Homes Campaign Town Fuel/Food Fund through Dec. 31.

It is anticipating a need for $5,000 for the Fuel Bank and $2,000 for the Emergency Food Fund. The funds provide residents with emergency assistance with their primary heating source and emergency food.

“We are expecting an increase in the number of families applying for emergency fuel and food assistance this winter due to the decline in the economy,” said Mary Ellen LaRocca, director of Human Services.

Since Human Services is anticipating an increased need for fuel and food this year, it is inviting schools, church groups and civic organizations to consider sponsoring fundraisers to keep residents warm and safe this winter.

Make checks to the Town of Woodbridge Fuel/Food Fund and mail to Woodbridge Human Services Department, 11 Meetinghouse Lane, Woodbridge 06525.

WOODBRIDGE >> Woodbridge Town Library has two new online resources available for Woodbridge patrons: Hoopla Digital and Lynda.com.

Hoopa Digital provides public availability of thousands of movies, television shows, music albums, eBooks, audiobooks and comics, all available for mobile and online access. Lynda.com provides access to more than 4,000 free courses online.

Woodbridge resident card-holders can download the free Hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or IOS device or visit hoopladigital.com for thousands of titles — from major Hollywood studios, record companies and publishers — available to borrow 24/7, for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets and computers.

Residents can use Lynda.com online to learn new business, creative, and tech skills with expert-led online video tutorials, any time, anywhere. PCMag says that lynda.com is “hands-down one of the best sources for online learning. When you need skills training fast, lynda.com is the go-to source for high-quality results.”

“We strive to be an integral source for learning and entertainment in our community,” said Eric Werthmann, director at Woodbridge Town Library. “Our new partnership with hoopla digital and Lynda.com helps us continue that mission, and we’re excited that these new services will give our patrons 24/7 access to a wide variety of library content and educational courses.”

Both services will debut Oct. 1.

The services are available to Woodbridge patrons with a valid library card. For any questions, contact the Adult Services Department at the Woodbridge Town Library at 203-389-3434.

WOODBRIDGE >> The Human Services Department is scheduling appointments for Woodbridge residents for the 2016-2017 Connecticut Energy Assistance Program administered by TEAM Inc.

Income eligibility requirements must be met.

Verification of income and assets must be submitted with the application. This includes copies of the last bank statement(s) or checks(s) for:

• pay stubs (last four), or income verification from the individual’s employer.

• Social Security benefits notice.

• Supplemental Security income.

• Pension.

• Unemployment.

• Alimony/child support.

• Interest and dividend income.

• Utility bill.

In addition, the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of all family members residing with the applicant are required.

For more information regarding the Energy Assistance Program, or to schedule an appointment, call Woodbridge Human Services Director Mary Ellen LaRocca or Judi Young at 203389-3429.

BETHANY >> Residents no longer have to call for a Saturday bulky waste appointment in order to dispose of unwanted mattress and box springs.

The Bethany Solid Waste and Recycling Committee has announced that the town has joined the state-mandated (Public acts 13-42/14-170) and mattress-industry funded Connecticut Mattress Recycling Program.

This program benefits the environment as well as the residents and taxpayers of Bethany.

Through participation in the MRP we are assuring that component parts and materials of acceptable mattress and box spring units are responsibly recycled while saving the $25 per unit charge we were incurring when we sent such units out mixed in our bulky waste.

Here are the requirements:

• Mattresses and box springs will be accepted any time that the recycling center is open. There is a special metal container for the program.

• See the attendant before unloading any units.

• Acceptable units must be dry and cannot have any major soiling, damage or any bedbugs.

• Any units found to be unacceptable to the program will then be treated as normal bulky waste and there will be a $25 per unit charge payable in cash at time of dropoff.

• For more information, call 203-393-1555 or stop by the recycling center for answers before bringing bedding units for disposal.

BETHANY >> Residents are reminded that the sorting requirements for the recycling center have recently changed as follows:

• Metal and aluminum cans, clean foil and pie plates should now be combined with Nos. 1-7 plastics. They should no longer be put in the big metal trash can.

• Cereal boxes and light paperboard should now be combined with mixed papers, and not put with cardboard. Actual corrugated cardboard is now a single separate item and the paperboard products are now considered mixed paper.

A printed list of the sorting requirements can be obtained at the recycle center shed or at the tax collector’s office at Town Hall. Recycle center stickers for vehicles may also be obtained at the tax collector’s office.

WOODBRIDGE >> The nonprofit Amity Teen Center Inc., 10 Selden St., is seeking sponsors to help fund electrical and HVAC upgrades and energy-efficient siding and windows.

The teen center was established in 1987 to provide a safe environment for area youths after school and on weekends.

The ATC has applied for funding under the Neighborhood Assistance Act for its Energy Conservation Program.

Corporations that pay state income tax can receive a 100 percent state tax credit for donations for these purposes.

In effect, every dollar donated is offset by the Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit. The companies are helping the center at no cost to themselves, as well as improving the environment.

The contribution must be made between by Oct. 1.

The building was purchased, renovated and opened in 2006.

Energy costs have steadily risen and have reduced funds available to operations.

For information, go to www.ct.gov/drs/lib/drs/fillable_forms/2016forms/naa-02- fillable.pdf, call Linda Cohen at 203-980-3409.

WOODBRIDGE >> A second free electric vehicle charging station was recently installed at the Woodbridge Town Library.

The first public charging station is in the parking lot between Town Hall and the Sheehy Department of Public Works. Both are available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The EV stations are part of our ongoing efforts to promote energy efficiency and the use of clean energy,” said First Selectman Ellen Scalettar.

“Woodbridge residents take seriously their responsibility as stewards of the environment.”

Both stations were installed thanks to a grant from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Use of the charging station will be free for at least three years, a requirement of the grant. For an average electric car using the charger for an average amount of time the town will pay about $2.50.

The grants are designed to alleviate “range anxiety” by reducing the distances between charging stations.

There are now more than 300 electric vehicle charging stations in the state.

According to the assessor, there are 28 electric vehicles registered in town and another 275 hybrids.

MILFORD >> The Knights of Columbus is running its bingo Wednesdays bingo at St. Gabriel School, 1 Tudor Road.

Doors open at 4 p.m., with bingo starting at 6:30. Admission is $2.

For more information, contact Ron Pasacreta at 203-877-1269 or ronpasacreta@yahoo.com.

MILFORD >> An MS Support Group meets once a month at 1:30 p.m. the second Saturday at Milford Hospital, 300 Seaside Ave. Call Debbie at 203-878-6661 or John at 203-874-1225.

For more information on multiple sclerosis, visit www.ctfightsMS.org or call the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter at 800-FIGHT MS.

MILFORD >> The Caring Network, a free ongoing support group for adults who have lost a loved one through death, meets 6-8 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of every month at Bridges … A Community Support System, at 949 Bridgeport Ave.

Adults do not need to register. The group is facilitated by a Bridges counselor and is sponsored by Bridges…A Community Support System, and Cody-White Funeral Home.

For a brochure, or other information, call Cody-White Funeral Home at 203-874-0268, or the group facilitator, Cynthia Dodd, M. Div, at 203 878-6365 ext 344.

Registration is not needed. The group is facilitated by a Bridges counselor.

For information, call the funeral home at 203-874-0268, or the group facilitator, Cynthia Dodd, M. Div., at 203-878-6365, ext. 344.

WOODBRIDGE >> The Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society is offering a plaque program for historic homes in Woodbridge.

Historic homes are a reminder of the history of the town and the people who lived here. The program is to honor and call attention to the historic buildings in town through the issuance of plaques bearing the name of the original owner or occupants, and the date of construction.

Residents interested in purchasing and installing a plaque for a home, may visit www.woodbridgehistory.org for more information and an application form. Or email info@woodbridgehistory.org.

The society anticipates starting the program in the fall, based on the interest received.

MILFORD >> Band members and choral singers are sought at the Milford Senior Center, 9 Jepson Drive.

There are several instruments available for players to use if they join the band.

According to music teacher Linda Whittaker, “There are two trumpets, two clarinets and also a saxophone which have been donated for seniors to borrow who know how to play, but don’t have the instruments any more.

“If you played trumpet or clarinet or alto sax in high school or in the service and remember at least 9 or 10 notes, we would love to have you fill a chair with the band.”

The band meets Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Singers 55 and older may join the center’s Choral Group on Fridays, 10:30-11:45 a.m.

The group sings standards from the American Great Song Book and other familiar tunes, as well as patriotic and holiday music for special presentations throughout the year.

For more information, call Whittaker at 203-877-2134 or 203-877-5131.

ORANGE >> The New Haven & Derby Model Railroad Club is seeking new members.

It has 75 percent rebuilt its extensive HO-gauge scenic railroad layout, which loosely portrays the local area of the 1950s.

The club seeks new members of all ages who want to learn raialroading, build scenery and help with the annual October train show.

The club’s layout is in the basement of the Orange Historical Society, 605 Orange Center Road. (Use the basement door on left side of building).

Sessions are 7-9 p.m. the first, second and fourth Thursdays monthly.