Once Around the City: School physicals, getting bugged and saving energy dollars

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) joined Governor Dannel P. Malloy and other members of the Energy & Technology Committee for a signing ceremony to commemorate the passage of an Electric Consumers’ Bill of Rights. From left: Energy Committee Ranking Member Rep. Laura Hoydick (R-Stratford), Senate Chair Senator Duff, House Chair Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) and Gov. Malloy.
State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) joined Governor Dannel P. Malloy and other members of the Energy and Technology Committee for a signing ceremony to commemorate the passage of an Electric Consumers’ Bill of Rights. From left: Energy Committee Ranking Member Rep. Laura Hoydick (R-Stratford), Senate Chair Senator Duff, House Chair Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) and Gov. Malloy.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk public school students will return to classes in just a few weeks. The Norwalk Health Department is helping parents prepare for the upcoming school year by offering affordable school physicals for all children in kindergarten through grade 12 during the month of August. Examinations include all necessary screening tests, laboratory tests, and vaccines.

If your child needs a physical for entrance to school, schedule an appointment now.

If you have insurance and a regular health care provider, contact your child’s doctor to schedule an appointment, but if you are having difficulty finding an affordable, timely option elsewhere, call the Health Department for more information or to make an appointment at (203) 854-7776. Appointments are limited, and priority is given to Norwalk residents.

In addition to school physicals, childhood immunizations are available upon request.


Sudden Cardiac Arrest bill signed into law

New legislation that will promote greater awareness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), an often deadly condition can strike children who otherwise appear healthy, was signed into law this week. Sen. Bob Duff (D-26) joined Gov. Dannel P. Malloyin his office for a signing ceremony to commemorate the passage.

Andy Peña, a Darien student athlete, died of sudden cardiac arrest in 2011, just one month shy of turning 15. His family members looked on as the governor signed the bill.

“It is a frightening thought that even well-trained student athletes, who exercise regularly, may nevertheless fall victim to sudden cardiac arrest,” Duff said in a press release. “This legislation will alert parents and coaches to this condition, and ensure that they are aware of and know how best to react to the condition’s warning signs.”

The legislation, Public Act 14-93, will:

  • Require the State Board of Education to develop a sudden cardiac arrest awareness education program for use by local boards of education, including:

o   Warning signs and symptoms of SCA,
o   Risks of continuing activity after exhibiting warning signs and symptoms,
o   How to obtain proper medical treatment,
o   The proper method for returning a student who experiences SCA to sports.

  • Requires the State Board of Education to develop and approve an informed consent form to for parents and legal guardians of students involved in intramural or interscholastic athletics regarding SCA,
  • Requires coaches to annually review the SCA prevention program materials prior to coaching.
  • Provides immunity to coaches for any actions or omissions regarding the program unless the coach’s actions or omissions constitute wilful misconduct, gross negligence or recklessness.

Earlier this year, Norwalk Public Schools bought defibrillators for all the schools to help save those who suffer SCA or other heart problems.


What’s the buzz? Beware the pesky mosquito

The late summer months bring long days, warm weather, and mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus (WNV). WNV can pass to people through mosquitoes. Most people who get WNV experience no symptoms at all, but the virus can cause serious illness in some people, especially those older than 50 years old, according to the Norwalk Department of Health. Symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and/or disorientation.

Reducing the mosquito population is part of the Norwalk Health Department’s comprehensive WNV protection strategy. Applying larvicide in storm drains and various standing water locations around the city keeps mosquito eggs from hatching. This week workers from All Habitat Services, LLC, a company engaged by the City of Norwalk, will apply larvicide to those locations.

The Health Department and the Connecticut Department of Public Health encourage residents to take some simple precautions to “Fight the Bite”:

  • Avoid outdoor activity or use extra caution in the early morning and early evening hours, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Drain all collections of standing water, such as old tires, bird baths, wading pools, garbage can lids, gutters, and cans in recycle bins.
  • Use mosquito repellent when going outside.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves when spending time outdoors.
  • Keep gutters and leaders free of debris.
  • Install or repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  • Do not leave swimming pools uncovered without chlorinating and filtering.

Connecticut officials found the first mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV) this year in East Haven earlier this month. State agencies trap and test mosquitoes for WNV in towns across Connecticut to measure the presence of the virus. WNV is most common toward the end of the summer, so WNV activity at this time of year is normal. State officials recorded four cases of WNV infection in Connecticut residents last year.

Visit these sites for more information on West Nile virus, efforts to control mosquitoes and WNV in Connecticut, and WNV statistics in CT.


Officials to Norwalk citizens: Save your energy

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, state Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) and others joined CL&P, Mr. Handyman, Shiloh Baptist Church of Bridgeport’s FREEDOM Group and Senior Pastors Jeffrey Ingraham of Calvary Baptist Church, Dr. Lindsey Curtis of Grace Baptist Church and the Rev. Kenneth K. Dubose of St. James Baptist Church (and president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Fellowship of Norwalk) to announce support of programs provided by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund geared to reduce energy bills through weatherization, conservation and responsible usage.

This initiative will be launched Sunday, Aug. 3, from 1 to 3 p.m. with simultaneous free community outreach events at three locations: Calvary Community Outreach Center, 20 Concord St. in South Norwalk, Grace Baptist Church, 17 West Ave.; and St. James Baptist Church, 60 Rockland Road. Venues will host kick-off events, which include free food, games and program information. There will be $1,000 in raffles at each location, entry to which will be free for all attendees.

The initial goal is to reduce energy costs for Norwalk residents by more than $500K in the first 12 months, with hopes of multiplying that number as the program expands

The statewide program provides home energy audits and upgrades to both homeowners and renters throughout Connecticut, but this program initiative is focused on Norwalk as the launch point for efforts throughout Southern Connecticut.  Funding for the program, which provides free audits for approximately 60 percent of participants and a one-time fee of $99 for the balance of residents, is funded by rate payer set aside funds administered through the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, Energize CT.

Homeowners and residents can:

  • Have your home completely weatherized to save money every month on energy cost
  • Get the attic and walls of your house insulated free-of-charge (if qualified)
  • Qualify for discounted energy efficient appliances to replace their old refrigerator and freezer
  • Get details on more than 11 special programs to save energy
  • Qualify for the incentive offered  to upgrade lighting fixtures and bulbs, and heating and air conditioning units

Participants can get more information and are asked to pre-register either online at www.faithandresults.com, on the ‘Our Events’ tab or by calling any of the participating churches or Mr. Handyman directly at (203) 583-3728


Plugged in and turned on

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-25) joined Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other officials in Hartford for a signing ceremony to commemorate the passage of legislation that creates an “Electric Consumers’ Bill of Rights” for residential electric customers in Connecticut.

“When shopping for electric service, consumers deserve to know exactly what is being offered, what they are signing up for, and how that compares to the service they may already have. This legislation will put all of that information right at consumers fingertips, and also provide for periodic reminders to help everyone find the best possible deal for their energy needs,” said Duff.

The new law will create greater transparency in the electric market by requiring electricity suppliers to provide very clear and specific information about how much they are charging for electricity, as well as other terms and conditions, according to a press release from Duff’s office. The new consumer protections were adopted in response to a growing number of consumer complaints about spiking prices, deceptive marketing practices and lack a of disclosure about rates and contract terms in Connecticut’s electric supplier market.




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