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TODAY Covering the Heart of the Farmington Valley

CAN YOU DIG IT? Archaeological Dig Reveals Valley’s Paleoindian Secrets

OCTOBER 2021

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A black bear rested in Canton resident Wendy Rosenberg’s front yard while its two cubs climbed a tree — “I talked to her for quite a while and she didn’t even attack me,” Wendy says. “Lucky, I guess!”

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LEADING OFF

Digging For Home COVER STORY

Archaeologists continue to unpack an internationally significant dig that reveals Paleoindian secrets from 10,500 B.C. — long before the pyramids were built RACE AND EQUITY IN THE VALLEY

An award-winning teen writer takes stock of the pursuit of equity and happiness in the Farmington Valley HONORING FIRST RESPONDERS

Voters must decide whether to fund a new fire station in Canton to replace an outdated 50-year-old facility SCHOOL SCOOP

The new head at The Master’s School has arrived from California — but he’s no stranger to New England QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“Paleoindian sites are rare in the Northeast, and sites preserved by rivers … are even more rare” — Dr. David Leslie • senior archaeologist BY THE NUMBERS

Artifacts found in Avon —15,000+

LET’S SAY you’re planning an in-law addition for your family’s seventhgeneration farmhouse, and the excavation for the new foundation uncovers tools from the first generation who lived there — what would you do with those tools? Throw them out? Not if you have an ounce of sentiment in your genetic makeup. For those with an ounce or more, my best guess is that you’d keep the tools, examine them, and ponder what they tell you about your ancestors and their life in the house that’s now your home. Essentially, this scenario has occurred here in our common home known as the Farmington Valley — a history-making archaeological site was discovered before a new bridge was built in Avon, and artifacts reveal intel about Paleoindian life here 12,500 years ago … centuries before Egypt’s pyramids were built. Intrigued? Read our cover story on page 4 — BWD Today Magazine • Covering the Heart of the Farmington Valley Bruce William Deckert — Publisher + Editor-in-Chief 860-988-1910 • Bruce.Deckert@TodayPublishing.net www.TodayPublishing.net > Digital Editions • Award-Winning Today Magazine Online — www.TodayPublishing.net/blog Follow Today Magazine CT on social media: Advertising — Contact the Publisher Editorial Associate — Kayla Tyson Contributing Photographer — Wendy Rosenberg Five Towns, One Aim — Exceptional Community Journalism Farmington • Avon • Canton • Simsbury • Granby – CT, USA • Two other Valley magazines: print circulation — less than 19,000 • Today Magazine: print circulation — 42,000+ • Ad Rates — same ballpark

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COVER STORY KUDOS Today Magazine’s September cover story featured the innovative ShopBlackCT initiative that aims to help Black-owned businesses operate in the black while helping consumers stay out of the red • www.TodayPublishing.net/digital-editions THE COVER STORY on ShopBlackCT turned out great! Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity. Sarah Thompson • Avon • ShopBlackCT founder WHAT A SURPRISE! Thank you very much for placing our photo on the September cover, and the article. I’m truly humbled. Robert Legagneur • Kerian Home Health Care • Simsbury PARENTAL GRATITUDE THANK YOU SO MUCH for publishing Shayaan’s article and my letter in the August edition ( Steam train and riverboat are portals to past). Can’t really thank you enough for encouraging and providing an incredible platform to my little one to write about his experiences. Your sweet introduction and background of the writer made the article look even better. Thank you again — all the best and looking forward to reading many more outstanding articles in Today Magazine! Sana Syed • Simsbury A 6th-grader today, Shayaan Khan contributed a cogent article to Today’s June 2020 edition: COVID-19 in the eyes of a 9-year-old

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CAN YOU DIG IT?

ANCIENT TOOLS — Artifacts discovered at the BDJ Paleoindian Site include: spear point pre-forms (upper left) • side scrapers (upper right) • end scrapers (lower left) • and spear point fragments (lower right) Courtesy Photos

10,500 BC: Archaeological Dig Is Paleoindian Mother Lode By Dr. David Leslie Special to Today Magazine

COVER STORY HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS

Editor’s Note

To mark Connecticut Archaeology Awareness Month this October, Today Magazine offers this cover story on the state’s oldest archaeological dig, discovered in Avon — a find of international significance.

UNEARTHING HISTORY Free Webinar Series ——————————— REGISTER + MORE INFO Click Here > Today Calendar

This report is by the senior archaeologist at Storrs-based Archaeological & Historical Services Inc., the firm that made the discovery.

CT’s Paleoindian Sites Thursday 10/7 – 7:00 pm

The unearthing occurred before the state DOT built a new bridge over the Farmington River where Old Farms Road meets Route 10. 4

A Deep Presence: 13,000 Years of Native American History Wednesday 10/20 – 7:00 pm

OCTOBER 2021 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE

IN JANUARY 2019 archaeologists from Archaeological and Historical Services, working for the state Department of Transportation in Avon, uncovered evidence of the oldest known archaeological site in Connecticut, and one of the oldest in New England. The Brian D. Jones (BDJ) Paleoindian Site, named posthumously for the late Connecticut state archaeologist, is a 12,500-year-old Paleoindian site located on the banks of the Farmington River, about 5 feet beneath the modern ground surface. The location is southern New England’s oldest archaeological site. Paleoindians, nomadic hunters and gatherers, were the first people to inhabit North and South America. They migrated from Eurasia


via the Bering Strait Ice-Free Corridor or by boats along the Alaskan coast and established themselves in the Americas about 14,000 years ago, or perhaps earlier. In New England, Paleoindians inhabited the region after the retreat of glaciers following the end of the last ice age, between 10,000 and 13,000 years ago. The BDJ Site has been the focus of a webinar lecture series by diverse scholars throughout 2021, supported by the town of Avon, Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library and Avon Senior Center. The title of the series is — Unearthing History: The Discovery of a 12,500 Year Old Paleoindian Site along the Farmington River in Avon, CT. Preliminary analysis of the BDJ Site was presented to an overflow crowd of about 350 at the Avon Senior Center auditorium in February 2020 — the last major event at the center before the COVID shutdown. The presentation included evidence that people repeatedly visited the site to hunt and gather, collect stone for toolmaking, and make and repair their organic and stone tools and camping gear. Excavations revealed a complicated buried sequence of archaeological deposits, situated on a raised ancient floodplain (or levee) of the Farmington River. This levee, situated between the river and a wetland, provided an ideal campsite for people in the past. The Farmington River continued to flood seasonally in this location for several thousand years, burying and stratifying archaeological deposits at the site between 8,000 and 13,000 years ago.

ROCKING HISTORY— Dr. David Leslie says the Paleoindian discovery in Avon is significant not only nationally but also internationally Paleoindian sites are rare in the Northeast, and sites preserved by rivers and buried by them are even more rare. No other sites in the Northeast have preserved stratified Paleoindian deposits. Over 100 formal tools — scrapers, spear points, knives, etc. — were recovered during the excavations, and over 15,000 individual pieces of stone chipping debris, a byproduct of stone tool manufacture and use on site. Stone tools were manufactured from a variety of materials COVER PHOTO This photo and the cover photo are aerial views of the BDJ Paleoindian Site, southern New England’s oldest dig uncovered in 2019 — all artifacts were carefully moved to an archaeological firm in Storrs so the state DOT could build a new bridge in Avon, so this site is no longer visible

found in specific locations throughout the Northeast, including jasper from the Delaware Valley in eastern Pennsylvania, chert from the Hudson Valley in eastern New York and possibly from northern Maine, and rhyolite from the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire. Local raw materials such as hornfels, quartz and chalcedony were also exploited by site occupants. Similar to other Paleoindian studies in the region, these disparate sources of stone tools indicate Paleoindians likely traveled over large territories following the migration of large game animals such as caribou. Other significant artifacts uncovered during the excavation include a drilled pendant fragment and grinding stones for processing nuts, tubers and red ochre pigments. Twenty-seven cultural features — that is, non-portable remnants of past behavior such as fire pits and post holes — were also found during the excavations. These features contained the burned remains of food, including cattail, pin cherry, strawberry, acorns, sumac, water lily and dogwood, as well as small animal bones, indicating a varied diet, likely reliant on wetland species of plants. Because these food remains were charred, they did not biodegrade over time and were identified by a botanical

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expert using a high-powered microscope. Initially, a piece of charcoal from a hearth was radiocarbon-dated to between 12,410 and 12,568 years ago. The distribution of these features, along with the recovered artifacts, indicates that discrete areas were the focus of specific activities, such as spear point production, scraping and tanning hides for clothing or camping material, and general food processing activities. In the year-plus since the initial publication of the findings at the BDJ Site and the February 2020 presentation, we have learned much more about the site inhabitants through active research on the artifacts recovered from the excavation. An additional 21 charred botanical specimens have now been radiocarbondated from cultural features. One of the radiocarbon dates indicates that it was likely contaminated by modern rodent burrowing activity, but the remaining 20 radiocarbon dates indicate a complicated pattern of occupation, spanning 7,966 to 12,679 years ago. These radiocarbon dates span the Early, Middle and Late Paleoindian Periods (9,500 to 13,000 years ago) as well as the Early Archaic Period (8,000 to 9,500 years ago). Also, they indicate there were at least six separate occupations of the site — including three dates from the Early Paleoindian, 12 from the Middle Paleoindian, four from the Late Paleoindian (at least two separate occupations) and two from the Early Archaic (at least two separate occupations). Most of the radiocarbon dates indicate a peak site occupation about 12,300 years ago, during the Middle Paleoindian Period. Other examination is proceeding, including detailed geochemical analysis of soils, environmental reconstructions of the site based on pollen, microscopic analysis of plant remains, microwear analysis of stone tool use, testing for the presence of animal proteins on discarded tools, and general stone tool analysis. The Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library and Avon Senior Center will continue the Unearthing History series in 2022 with new topics and speakers — details TBA. +

HISTORY-MAKING DIG — Artifacts were methodically catalogued — below, artist Julie Looman’s rendering of Paleoindian life at the BDJ site

Today Magazine has previously reported on the BDJ Paleoindian Site in our March 2020, April 2020 and April 2021 editions www.TodayPublishing.net/digital-editions 6

OCTOBER 2021 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE


Businesses Debut, Give Back To Community Special to Today Magazine

The following Farmington Valley businesses have launched in 2021 and/or have given to various community causes —————————————————

Hope For Healing The Hope For Healing Center serves clients with holistic, evidencebased mental health treatment to improve their quality of life and enhance the well-being of the Shelley Christ community. Based in Avon, the center’s co-owners are Shelley Christ and Roy Gardner. “Starting out as registered nurses, Roy and I have worked together for the last two decades,” Shelley says. “We consider it an honor, and our mission — our purpose in life — is to show positive regard and radical acceptance toward people in general, but especially to those who are suffering with symptoms of depression, anxiety and trauma.” Shelley has 35 years of mental-health nursing experience working with all age groups in a variety of treatment settings. She has a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and is a certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. “Helping individuals find their purpose in life and working through their past trauma will have a positive impact,” she says, “improving their well-being physically, mentally and spiritually. … We provide compassionate and comprehensive services to people of all ages in a customer-friendly environment.” The Hope For Healing Center opened in February and is a member of the AvonCanton Chamber of Commerce. https://hopeforhealingcenter.com

Smileez Smileez, a state-of-the-art dental hygiene studio, debuted in Avon and has since added four more locations — Cheshire, Glastonbury, Manchester and West Hartford. Services include cleaning, preventive care and oral maintenance for kids and adults — with or without insurance — in a soothing aromatherapy environment. When Smileez debuted in February, its goal was to alleviate fear of the dentist via

BUSINESS BEAT

a “dental hygiene oasis” free of drilling and filling. Smileez is founded on the principle of minimally invasive dentistry. “We are constantly looking for ways to prevent the need for invasive dental procedures,” says a spokesperson. “We work incredibly hard to preserve every patient’s teeth so no invasive dentistry is ever needed.” Smileez is a member of the AvonCanton Chamber of Commerce. www.smileez.dental

The Coffee Spot

The Coffee Spot is a bakery, cafe and coffee shop serving breakfast and lunch daily. Located in a historic house (circa 1880) on Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, the eatery offers fresh-baked goods made on the premises daily, with gluten-free options. Regular baked items include cookies, scones, muffins, crumb cake, brownies and many more scrumptious options. The eatery has ample indoor and outdoor seating — for sitting, sipping, dining and even working remotely. Owner Amy Sheehan, a Simsbury resident, aims to give back to the community via a welcoming home-awayfrom-home environment. As her slogan states: “Read, relax and rejuvenate!” The Coffee Spot is a member of the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce. www.thecoffeespot.net

Eric Fadden • N.E. Drone

New England Drone Solutions Simsbury-based New England Drone Solutions specializes in aerial photography and videography and also offers traditional photo services. Owner Eric Fadden is an FAA-licensed commercial drone pilot. “I’m extraordinarily passionate about aviation and photography,” he says. “To successfully and safely complete an aerial shoot, you have to wear a multitude of hats, including those of a pilot and a photographer — at any given time during a flight there are a number of things going on that require attention simultaneously.” He launched the business in May. “I built a company that I would want to do business with again and again,” says Eric, a Simsbury COC member. “It’s my hope that others feel the same way.” He adds: “I obsess over the little details … and I’m equipped to meet my clients’ photographic and videographic needs in the sky and on the ground.” www.newenglanddronesolutions.com

Norcom Gives $26,000 Norcom Cares has raised $26,400 via its second 100 Mile Challenge to support area charities, including the Avon Food Pantry. The outreach division of Avon-based Norcom Mortgage, Norcom Cares assists both local and national charities. “From food and supply shortages to loss in revenue, our charities and nonprofit organizations are still experiencing the effects of COVID-19,” says Norcom president Phil DeFronzo. “We hope that these donations will help our communities flourish.” Community involvement is an essential aspect of Norcom’s identity, per

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its website: “Norcom Cares finds countless opportunities to get involved. We credit our employees as the origin of our diverse volunteerism as they support the causes that matter to them.” Headquartered in Avon, Norcom Mortgage has 26 branch locations in 12 states and Guam. www.norcomcares.org

Northwest Boosts Heublein Fund Northwest Community Bank has given $15,000 to the Friends of Heublein Tower for their Light the Beacon capital campaign, designed to repair the iconic tower atop Talcott Mountain in Simsbury. “The preservation of local history is an important tradition” for Northwest, says president and CEO Stephen Reilly. “We have a long-standing commitment to helping local nonprofit organizations succeed. … As support grows, Heublein Tower’s future looks bright.” Jay Willerup, president of the Friends of Heublein Tower, says the campaign will serve their broader mission “to restore, enhance and educate.” “Heublein Tower receives thousands of visitors a year from all over the world,” he notes, “and is a beacon of light to the community and beyond.” www.friendsofheubleintower.org

An Air Force veteran has designed an innovative blanket called The Warmer Upper — a high-tech, wraparound lap-throw blanket with a clear pouch for cellphones and the like. The clear pouch is touch-sensitive, allowing for use of phones and other devices while stored in the pouch — they can also be charged while in the pouch via a universal USB. The product’s slogan is: “Not your ordinary blanket.” Simsbury resident Paul Carrier is the designer of The Warmer Upper, which is manufactured in Connecticut with Americanmade fabric. His veteran-owned company is based in Simsbury. His two children are graduates of Simsbury High School, and he served as a coach for the Simsbury Soccer and Lacrosse Clubs. A portion of each sale is donated to the nonprofit Disabled American Veterans. www.mywarmerupper.com

Simsbury COC Awards The Simsbury Chamber of Commerce has presented its 2021 awards: Business Leader of the Year Tyler Anderson Chef/Owner • Millwright’s Restaurant & Tavern Educator of the Year Patricia Warner School Nurse Henry James Memorial School Public Servant of the Year Cheryl Cook Spirit Council, Community For Care, 350th Committee Chamber Member of the Year Nakia Kearse Co-Owner Your CBD Store Simsbury Lifetime Community Service Award Robert Kane For his time as owner of Kane’s Market www.simsburycoc.org 8

OCTOBER 2021 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE

Avon-based Mintz + Hoke is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021. The advertising agency has helped spread the word about numerous Connecticut clients, telling their stories over five compelling decades. Madison Avenue writer Alan Mintz and art director Joe Hoke established the agency in West Hartford in 1971 after they worked together at Hartford’s Graceman Advertising. Within two years the firm was one of the top three ad agencies in New England, a spokesperson says. In the early years, promoting the newly launched Connecticut Lottery was the most visible work, with TV and radio commercials reminding consumers, “You can’t win if you don’t play.” www.mintz-hoke.com

Don’t Shoulder It All Yourself By Dr. Brian A. Magna • DPT Special to Today Magazine

MOST PEOPLE have experienced shoulder pain that has dissipated on its own. However, the smallest amount of shoulder pain can be a sign of something more serious happening in the joint. Excluding cardiac episodes that can present as shoulder, neck and arm pain, many common conditions of the shoulder can become more debilitating if left untreated. The shoulder has a shallow joint, more like the top of a golf tee, rather than a deep pocket such as the hip joint. This shallow-type joint allows for many more movement possibilities that can be good or bad depending on one’s age, posture, strength and previous history with the shoulder. A simple increase of laxity (extra movement not usually present) can produce pain, weakness and decreased strength and function. The rotator cuff (four muscles surrounding the joint) are responsible for key movements that help raise your arm overhead and rotate the shoulder while adding stability and strength. Unfortunately, the rotator cuff can cause problems for both young and old, from Little Leaguers to senior golfers and gardeners. Other structures in the shoulder can also cause pain and suffer decreased function — including ligaments that connect bone to bone and add stability, and the labrum, a cartilaginous tissue that adds support and stability to the socket of the joint. A disruption in these tissues, perhaps combined with a musculotendinous problem such as the rotator cuff, can cause an imbalance and lead to pain, dysfunction and possibly surgery. As a physical therapist, I see a tremendous value in annual PT checkups. Such visits examine the entire body regarding strength, flexibility, posture, balance and range of motion. The main focus is to discover imbalances and prevent problems as we age and/or become more active physically. If you have any questions or concerns about your shoulder or any other orthopedic issue, don’t hesitate to contact a doctor of physical therapy. www.magnapt.com Dr. Brian Magna is the owner of Magna Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center, with locations in Avon & Canton

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50th Birthday for Mintz + Hoke


RACE AND EQUITY IN THE VALLEY

Valley Teens Call For Social Justice By Noelle Simone Blake Special to Today Magazine

A Hartford resident, Noelle Blake is an award-winning writer and a senior at Avon High School ————————————————— OVER A YEAR AGO, I wrote in Today Magazine about the pivotal point that we had reached as a nation in our fight toward racial equality. Back then, I spoke about my individual experience, how that experience shaped my ambitions, and how I wanted to be heard in my community. I spoke about my wishes for our society moving forward. Now, I speak with a different point of view — with an eye toward equality in all aspects of life. To me, activism is taking power back from those who have held it for generations. Activism is working toward a world where nobody has to shout in order to be heard. Previously, I spoke about the Black experience in America. Today, I advocate for everyone and anyone who has felt disenfranchised because of who they are, what they look like and what they believe.

Young people seek equity, speak for voiceless One thing that I am exceptionally proud of, one year later, is the commitment to justice and equity by people my age. I feel pride, because instead of waiting for permission to take action, teens have seamlessly come into their own and risen to the commitment that is social justice. I see this commitment each day. On my way to school from Hartford to Avon, I see signs demanding justice everywhere: Calls to Stop Asian Hate, to hear the cries of Native and Indigenous populations, to demonstrate compassion for transgender people. These causes are so important to me, even more so than my own, because they demonstrate that we have finally begun to create an open dialogue, in which people from every background can speak in earnest about the issues that directly affect them and see that they can be remedied. Avon feels like my community now more than ever. I get to see my peers rally together for positive change — our George Floyd remembrance ceremony in May

and the Pride Picnic in June. But beyond the town where I’ve found a home, I read of the projects and acts in Simsbury and Farmington, Canton and Granby, all by people like me. Young people who have lifetimes ahead of them, dedicated already to demanding change. And so, for teens like myself, I have two simple words: Keep fighting. Be vulnerable, be open, and have those tough conversations. People may not understand you yet, but if they see your passion, your dedication and your endless courage, they just might. Intersectionality is incredibly important to the conversation surrounding equity, so your advocacy could transform into others’ understanding much quicker than you think. + Noelle Simone Blake has received two SPJ awards in 2021 — a first-place and second-place honor — for articles in our July 2020 issue (page 9) and December 2020 issue (page 2) TodayPublishing.net/digital-editions

TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – OCTOBER 2021

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HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS

Avon at Centennial Exposition

AVON TODAY

By Nora O. Howard Avon Town Historian

FOR SIX memorable months in 1876, the United States celebrated its 100th birthday by throwing a party in Philadelphia. It was a spectacular way to try to bring the country together after the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the perfect opportunity to promote the country’s technological advances. Ten million people attended. Exhibitors included most of the then 37 states, the Western territories and dozens of foreign countries. The main exhibition hall was claimed to be the largest building in the world. Inside was a “fairy scene” with its grand pavilions, splendid showcases, tasteful displays of rich goods of every description, and sparkling fountains. There were exhibits on mining, metallurgy, manufacturing, education,

HistoryArchive.org

A lithograph of the Connecticut Cottage at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia science and much more. Open from May 10 to Nov. 10 in 1876, it was patriotic, educational and roaring fun. At least 81 people from Avon (population about 1,000) visited the Centennial, and those are just the ones who signed the guest book. Relatively few people from Connecticut attended in May and June. But by September, “Centennial Fever” had “fairly commenced, and Connecticut contributed its thousands daily to swell the throng.” Avon residents who attended the

Centennial included: Frank Hadsell, Nellie and Lucie Bishop, Oliver T. and Frances Bishop, Willis Chidsey, Carlos and Lavilla Day, Phineas Gabriel, Truman Miller, Lucian F. North, Fred Ripley, Franklin Sperry, Walter B. and Mary Stowe, and Carrie Woodford. Traveling from West Avon were Frank Hart, Burton Judd, Mary and Ella Thompson, and Ephraim Woodford. Sixty years after visiting the Centennial, Frank Hadsell’s memories continued on page 14

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CANTON TODAY

HONORING FIRST RESPONDERS

Residents to Decide Fate of New Firehouse By Bruce Deckert Today Magazine Editor-in-Chief

CITIZENS WILL DECIDE the fate of a proposed Canton fire station in a special referendum on Election Day. The town’s main fire station at 51 River Road — known as the Collinsville Station — is nearly 50 years old. The building remains the same size (9483 square feet) and retains the same footprint as when it opened in 1972. The $5.4 million proposal calls for demolition of the existing structure and construction of a new 14,000-square-foot facility. The two-story structure is situated on the town’s five-acre public safety campus, along with the Canton Police Department and the Department of Public Works. A special town meeting to discuss the proposal is slated for Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at Canton High School. The referendum vote is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 2 — absentee ballots are available. What’s wrong with Collinsville Station? Over 50 years, the station’s layout has become outdated and fails to meet many required national standards, says

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The size of the Collinsville Station hasn’t changed in 50 years, but the apparatus has increased

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SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS

FARMINGTON TODAY

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HEART OF THE FARM

GRANBY TODAY

LOST ACRES VINEYARD

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Vineyard Is All-Senses Experience

By Lynne Adame Special to Today Magazine

MUCH OF THE Farmington Valley’s appeal is its lush greenness and the beautiful scenery we enjoy at almost every turn — and then there’s the beauty that’s created by imaginative, industrious people like husband-andwife owners Kevin Riggott and Michelle Niedermeyer of Lost Acres Vineyard.

Producing over 2000 cases of wine annually, North Granby-based Lost Acres draws in-the-know area residents as well as wine-loving visitors. Five acres were planted in 2010 with 3000 vines comprised of six white grape varieties, and the first harvest followed in 2011. This year more than 2000 gallons of juice will be produced, which will become continued on page 14

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SIMSBURY TODAY

New Head of School Takes Master’s Reins THE NEW HEAD OF SCHOOL at The Master’s School is one month into his first year as an educator in the Farmington Valley. Dr. Mike Beck came to Master’s after a 14-year stint as head of school at the Dunn School in Los Olivos, Calif. However, Beck is no stranger to New England. From 1997-2008 he held various roles at the Fay School in Southborough, Mass. — including assistant head, director of development, teacher, coach and dorm parent. Based in West Simsbury, Master’s is a nondenominational Christian day school serving students from pre-K to grade 12 plus postgraduate, offering rigorous

academics in a closeknit community. “We truly believe God has led Dr. Beck to seek out The Master’s School,” says a school spokesperson, “and we are eager to see the Lord’s continued work in this new season.” Mike Beck Master’s celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. The school opened in September 1970 at the site of the former South Elementary School in Simsbury. Since 1980, Master’s home has been a picturesque 10-building campus on Westledge Road. “I am both humbled and excited about being selected as the next head of school,” Beck says. “With clarity of

AVON — continued from page 10

VINEYARD — continued from page 13

remained ones of despair. He bitterly remembered that “I was obsessed with the desire to go and what was worse I did go. … I know Mother did not want me to do this, not that she objected to any pleasure I might have, but she desperately needed all the money I could give her.” “The trip cost me over [ten dollars] — more than a month’s wages. … Since then I have reproached myself many times for doing this. … I did not fully comprehend all of the sacrifice my mother had made and was making to hold her family together.” Frank was 18 years old when he visited the Centennial. He took a train to New Haven, a boat to New York City — “This was my first trip on salt water, or any water” — and another train to Philadelphia. “I had only a few hours to stay, but what I saw was wonderful to me.” Racing through the Exposition, Frank found time to register at the Connecticut Cottage on Oct. 23, signing his name and writing down that he was from Avon. The thick guest book was on the desk near the main entrance, and Frank’s signature joined thousands of other Connecticut residents. On page one was the signature of Connecticut Gov. Charles Ingersoll. It was only an overnight trip for Frank. He must have slept on the way home, as he arrived back in Avon on the morning of Oct. 24. On that marvelous day, he saw just about all the wider world he would ever see in his long life. He always regretted taking the trip. +

their Clemons Springs, Chardonnay, Riesling, Wedge White, Salmon Brook Rose, and Enders Reserve wines. Wine and food are the proverbial match made in heaven, and Lost Acres’ food pairings are justifiably popular. The farm kitchen offers wine-friendly cheese and antipasto plates in the Tasting Room, a beautiful venue where visitors enjoy local artists’ exhibits. Specialty food nights include Date Night Pizza (must be ordered ahead), Grill and Chill events with Avon Meats, the Relish This Food Truck, and the Lobster Tails and Cousins Maine Food Trucks. Or you can sit back and sip while enjoying live music on Friday Night Date Nights and during Sunday Music sessions. Wine tastings are $7 and include samples of five wines and a complimentary logo tasting glass. Wines are $12.99 to $21.99 by the bottle and $7 by the glass. Lost Acres has a great calendar of activities that continues even after the leaves fall. There are music and theatre offerings, numerous art exhibits and yoga, plus a lovely garden. The Harvest Party on Sept. 25 celebrated the bounty of the season with participation in grape picking and the blessing of the grapes. Participants enjoyed an afternoon of live music, food by Avon Prime Meats, and learned about grape processing finishes. The season continues with the Thanksgiving Indoor Farmers Market on Monday, Nov. 22 from 1 to 7 p.m. —

By Bruce Deckert Today Magazine Editor-in-Chief

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OCTOBER 2021 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE

SCHOOL SCOOP mission to glorify Jesus Christ, we look forward to joining the school community in developing the whole person.” Before his career in education, Beck served for 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He has a bachelor’s degree in oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy, a master’s degree in national security strategy from the National War College, and a doctorate in strategic leadership from Regent University. Beck was chosen after an extensive national search and succeeds Ray Lagan, who was school head for six years. Nearly 40 qualified candidates from across the nation expressed interest in the role. Beck and his wife Maura reside on campus. + www.masterschool.org featuring Holcomb Farm and Gresczyk Farm vegetables, Lost Acres baked goods and wine, Sepe Farm lamb, and Maple View Farm eggs, beef and pork. You’ll also find Sweet Pea Cheese goat and cow dairy products, Grace Hill Farm cheeses and Barden Farm jams and jellies, all ready for your holiday table. Meanwhile, CottageWicks offers soy candles, Mimi’s Hilltop Apiary features honey and beeswax products, and Lyric Hill Farm provides goat-milk soaps and other unique products. Oh, and you can order a fresh Miller’s turkey by Nov. 15 on the Lost Acres website. If you’ll be out of town on Nov. 22, don’t despair — these same vendors will be back for the Holiday Indoor Farmers Market on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a one-stop source for gifts and holiday meal inspiration. Handcrafted wines can make meals a more memorable experience. Choose from Lost Acres’ crisp whites, lush and rich reds, and specialty wines, including Salmon Brook Rose, slightly sweet, with cranberry and pepper notes; Old Orchard Apple, fruity and smooth with a big apple bouquet; Belden Brook Blue, with its bright blueberry nose; and Enders Reserve, a late-harvest sweet dessert wine. Plan a visit and discover your favorites. If you join the Lost Acres CSA, you’ll enjoy special member pickup events including cellar tours, barrel tastings, cookouts, live music performances and more. Raise a toast to the harvest, the holidays and a great 2022! www.lostacresvineyard.com


FIRE — continued from page 11 public relations officer Sylvia Cancela of the Canton Volunteer Fire & EMS Department. The station is hazardous to the health and safety of Canton’s firefighters and EMTs, according to the Friends of the New Collinsville Fire & EMS House, a political action committee that supports the proposal. “When a 911 dispatch goes out … firefighters and EMTs must squeeze around open truck doors and steel columns, installed at the recommendation of the town engineer to remove the sag and bounce from the second floor,” says the Friends website. “The layout … leaves no room for vital equipment to redirect diesel exhaust from the trucks to the outside of the building.” The tight space requires these volunteer first responders to “dodge truck bumpers and each other” and the obsolete setup delays response “to critical incidents when seconds count,” per the website. Canton has three fire stations — the other two are the Canton Street Station at 14 Canton Springs Road and the North Canton Station at 540 Cherry Brook Road. The $5.4 project is only for the Collinsville Station. The history of the Canton Volunteer Fire & EMS Department is rooted in the Collins Company, which supplied fire protection for the town beginning in the 1800s. In 1950 company employees formed the Canton Memorial Ambulance, which merged in 1963 with the Collins Company Fire Department. When the company closed in 1966, the Collinsville Volunteer Fire Department was established.

Tight quarters require EMTs to maneuver past firefighters gearing up to board a truck.

——————————————

Collinsville Station – By the Numbers – Canton’s main fire station at 51 River Road — aka the Collinsville Station — opened in 1972

1972 Square Feet — 9483 Canton residents: 1970 census — 6868 EMS calls in 1972 — 167 Equipment — 2 engines, 1 rescue truck, 1 ambulance

2021 Square Feet — 9483 Canton residents: 2020 census — 10,902 EMS calls in 2020 — 1123 Equipment — 2 engines, 1 rescue truck, 2 ambulances, 1 paramedic vehicle, 1 utility truck, 1 rescue boat & trailer, 4 mountain bikes equipped with EMS supplies Source — Town of Canton

————————————————————— Today, Canton Volunteer Fire & EMS serves nearly 11,000 residents. As its name makes clear, the department maintains a volunteer model, led by chief Johnathan Gotaski. The Friends leadership team is comprised of three Canton residents: state Sen. Kevin Witkos (chair), Mary Tomolonius (vice chair) and Kristin Oswald (treasurer) — Cancela has interviewed these principals, and here are their statements:

Kevin Witkos State Senator • 8th District Witkos represents the Farmington Valley towns of Avon, Canton, Granby and Simsbury plus seven more CT municipalities The Time for Action is Now In 1966, Collinsville’s firefighters responded from a barn on Front Street. In 1970, chief Roy Brucker argued for a new station: Current facilities were “inadequate and unsafe.” Training space was “almost nonexistent.” The building was unsafe for the “weight of modern equipment.” And “vehicle access to principal thoroughfares [was] difficult.” In 1972, Collinsville Station opened at 51 River Road, with two engines, an ambulance and a rescue truck. But by 1978 the apparatus, equipment and membership had already outgrown the station. And in 2021, most of the same problems impacting response that Brucker raised in 1966 are significant issues today. As a former fire chief, I can tell you that to safely respond, Canton’s firefighters and EMTs require professional training; a healthy environment to work, study and meet; and equipment and apparatus that’s in compliance with national standards. The new Collinsville Fire & EMS House will give them what they need for decades to come: • Multipurpose training room for drilling and mandated education, with updated technology and new community programming focused on risk reduction and safety awareness. • Secure, consolidated storage area for medications, supplies and equipment,

TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – OCTOBER 2021

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A Canton EMT is forced to climb bumper-to-bumper ambulances to reach the passenger rear door and confidential patient reporting and records. • Private dorms for EMS crews, whose 12-hour shifts require overnight stays. • Reserved space for decontamination, laundry facilities and gear lockers. • Main living space to encourage teamwork and communication. Mary Tomolonius Executive Director CT Association for Community Transportation This Referendum is About Who We Are as a Community We all know a Canton volunteer firefighter or EMT. They are our neighbors, family and friends. They skillfully and bravely serve our community, managing emergencies on land, in the woods and on the river — all day, every day, no matter what. While all EMTs report out of Collinsville Station, firefighters are assigned to a particular station (Collinsville, Canton or North Canton) because of its proximity to their homes. This enhances morale, facilitates training and accelerates response.

The new Collinsville Fire & EMS House will be built in the same public safety complex where it has served Collinsville for 50 years. And the proposed new design includes features that specifically address neighborhood interests: • Drive-through bays that reduce engine noise, the number of backup alarms and traffic circulation. • Additional buffer lighting and landscaping. • Environmental mitigation and removal of the current station. Kristin Oswald Owner + Manager Planning Partners LLC Let’s Modernize Collinsville Station With the Lowest-Cost, Best-Value Option Building a new Collinsville Fire & EMS House is the unanimous recommendation of numerous boards, committees and commissions that, since 2015, assessed, studied and analyzed engineering, regulatory, financial, geographic, health, safety and operational reports.

State Senator Kevin Witkos 16

OCTOBER 2021 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE

The $5.4 million cost — an estimated increase of about $85 per year in property tax for taxpayers owning the median assessed valued house in Canton ($255,100) — is the least expensive construction option, by far, and takes into consideration possible increases in costs. A number of other financial considerations are important to me: • Over the 2020-21 budget period, Canton is scheduled to decrease its outstanding debt. • Interest rates are at historic lows, resulting in lower bonding costs. • While the referendum is on Nov. 2, the actual bonding investment will not take place until 2022, with construction starting in 2023 and ending in 2024. • Economic conditions, during the 2022 bonding year, will inform the construction process, financial commitments and timeline. www.townofcantonct.org www.cantonfireandems.com Friends of the New Collinsville Fire & EMS House website: NewCollinsvilleFireEMSHouse.weebly.com – also on Facebook


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TODAY MAGAZINE – www.TodayPublishing.net – OCTOBER 2021

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OCTOBER 2021 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE

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OCTOBER 2021 – www.TodayPublishing.net – TODAY MAGAZINE

Profile for Bruce Deckert

Today Magazine • ​October​ 2021  

ENLARGE VIEW by clicking box-like icons at bottom right of window — TODAY Magazine • Covering the Heart of Connecticut's Farmington Valley —...

Today Magazine • ​October​ 2021  

ENLARGE VIEW by clicking box-like icons at bottom right of window — TODAY Magazine • Covering the Heart of Connecticut's Farmington Valley —...

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