Today Magazine • July 2020

Page 1




Covering the Heart of the Farmington Valley


After Life-Threatening Illness, Valley Photographer Captures Life-Affirming Wildlife Images INSIDE POLICE CHIEFS ON GEORGE FLOYD COVID-19 Q&A WITH UCONN HEALTH GRANBY ARTIST TRACES JOY OF NATURE

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MANDEL VILAR PRESS — Nonprofit Publisher in Simsbury — SALUTES THE TOWN’S 350th BIRTHDAY!



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Today Magazine • Covering the Heart of the Farmington Valley


The natural world brings solace to photographer and Canton resident Wendy Rosenberg as she deals with difficult medical circumstances. COMMUNITY INTEL

9 — Being ‘Not Racist’ Is Not Enough

Avon High student. Hartford resident. Person of color. A young writer has a unique view of Black Lives Matter. MEDICAL MUSINGS

13 — UConn Health Expert: COVID Q&A

As we seek answers to the COVID-19 conundrum, a medical expert addresses key pandemic questions. SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS

14 — Artist Traces Joy of Nature

Granby artist Laura Eden has been painting since she was 5 years old, and she isn’t about to stop now. EQUITY AND RACE IN THE VALLEY

18-19 — George Floyd: Reaction + Next Steps

A Minneapolis redux in Simsbury, Granby, Farmington, Canton or Avon? Not if Valley officials have their way.


An All-Valley Welcome

GREETINGS, Farmington and Granby, and welcome to Today Magazine! Until this month, our award-winning publication has covered and reached the Farmington Valley’s tri-town area of Avon, Canton and Simsbury. A print-and-digital monthly, Today Magazine now covers the entire Valley — and we produce the only true Farmington Valley magazine, based on local media data, reaching all five core towns in the Valley. Two other Valley mags don’t mail to Granby, but we do — and they reach only a smaller subset of homes ... a limited upper-income demographic. Today Magazine is mailed to the entire upper-income demographic of the Valley’s five strategic core towns — plus every other home, apartment and P.O. box and every business in the Valley. We’re aiming for community journalism at its best, and we believe that community journalism needs to be accessible to everyone. Every Valley resident is valuable, regardless of income — and while conventional wisdom says it’s beneficial for advertisers to reach only an upper-income audience, at Today Magazine we believe the best value for advertisers and residents alike is reaching the entire Valley with our award-winning news coverage. + • Other two Valley magazines • Print Circulation — less than 20,000 • Today Magazine • Print Circulation — 42,000 • Ad Rates — about the same

Bruce Deckert — Publisher + Editor-in-Chief 860-988-1910 • Today Magazine — > Digital Edition Facebook — @TodayMagazineCT • LinkedIn— Today Magazine Advertising — Contact the Publisher Editorial Associate — Kayla Tyson Cover Photo — Wendy Rosenberg • Bald eagle takes flight Contributing Photographer — Wendy Rosenberg • 860-305-1655 Today Magazine Online —

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIMSBURY I want to congratulate you on the June 2020 issue and wish Simsbury a Happy Birthday! But more importantly, I wish to congratulate you on the news of expansion of the magazine to the other two towns, which means coverage of the main part of our beloved Farmington Valley! This is terrific to hear and we know it will be welcomed by every reader in all five towns. Some of your readers may know of the Western Reserve, the northern part of Ohio, founded by residents of Connecticut. I did the trip in reverse! My family moved to Connecticut from Cleveland, Ohio when I was 10, settling in Simsbury. After college I was very active with the Simsbury Historical Society, becoming their first real curator and co-creator of Three Centuries by Candlelight, a well-received holiday program. Then, 30 years ago this fall, I bought a house and settled in Avon, but only 1 mile from the border of Simsbury. So their 350th anniversary is special to me, as will be the 200th of Avon in a mere 10 years! All of us in the local history business can appreciate each other’s heritage and enjoy living in the Valley for this reason. Thanks for allowing us to share monthly history articles so we can learn from each other. Terri Wilson, President • Avon Historical Society


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My son was thrilled to see his published article! (June issue – “COVID-19 in the eyes of a 9-year-old”) You have helped him to engage constructively, and I am grateful to you for valuing the feelings of a child. Greatly appreciate your sincerity, dedication and commitment in providing a platform to young writers who want to be heard. Sana Syed • Simsbury Thank you so much for finding space for the hydroponics article. Sia is thrilled it’s been included in the June issue. I also saw the nice piece about Ariana in the May issue. Thank you! Christine Buhler Talcott Mountain Science Academy • Avon Correction — In the June article, Theresa Velendzas should have been listed as a mindfulness coach rather than parent volunteer.



Robin chicks in photographer Wendy Rosenberg’s Canton yard

Photos by Wendy Rosenberg

WILDLIFE WONDER By Bruce Deckert Today Magazine Editor-in-Chief THE SAGES AGREE that perseverance and patience in the face of adversity are worthy traits — and nature has an inherent grandeur that can mend and motivate a soul weary of persevering. Wendy Rosenberg can attest to both realities. A love and appreciation of nature has given her vital inspiration as she has battled acute medical issues for many years, and she in turn has inspired numerous people in the Farmington Valley and beyond with her stunning wildlife photography. A self-taught photographer, Rosenberg began taking photos with a Kodak Brownie camera as a teen in the 1960s, in an ironic locale for a nature lover — she was born and raised in the Bronx. What began as an avocation has become a calling. 4



Eagle Owl

“I photograph wildlife by observing and waiting patiently, sometimes for several hours to capture the right moment,” Rosenberg says. “Spending time in nature sates my soul and spirit. I find it extremely healing both mentally and physically.” She has showcased her photos at exhibits across the Farmington Valley: • Avon — The Investors Center • Canton — Roaring Brook Nature Center, LaSalle Market, Cherry Brook Health Care Center, Canton Library • Farmington — UConn Health Center, Farmington Library • Simsbury — McLean senior living community, Simsbury Library Rosenberg has been a key contributing photographer for Today Magazine since January 2019, and her photos have been featured by the Portland (Maine) Water

Valley Photographer Reflects Life-Affirming Wildlife Visuals District in annual calendars and at the district’s Sebago Lake Ecology Center. “My first exhibit was years ago at Roaring Brook when friends encouraged me to share my photographs after a yearlong hospitalization from a life-threatening illness,” she says. “Friends had to convince me to share my work because I couldn’t imagine anyone would be interested other than me.” Her photo celebrity has been an unexpected development. “I still cannot believe this is all happening,” says Rosenberg, a retired RN (registered nurse) who served in the operating room, psychiatric ward and hospice care. “Way out of my exclusive reclusive zone, but that’s a good thing. Everyone needs to get out of their zone every once in a while.” A Canton resident, Rosenberg has written a book documenting her ordeal with an elusive gastrointestinal condition — Getting Threw: A Story of Survival. Available at, the memoir is a brutal chronicle of her evasive illness, which has been a confounding and painful maze of surgeries, doctors and often-futile treatments. Yet Getting Threw is also a moving and triumphant clarion call to persevere

Bald Eagle

and never give up when circumstances seem hopeless — “to fight with tireless determination and tenacity,” she writes. “Against all odds and medical predictions, I am still here!” Rosenberg, 69, has found solace in her visual pursuit of wildlife. Her photography is a jubilant celebration of the natural world. Close-up photos of an array of animals — hummingbirds, dolphins, bears, deer and more — give viewers the apparent opportunity to saunter up to these creatures and say hello. “Wendy is often called Dr. Dolittle because of her relationship with nature and wildlife,” says her husband. Wendy and Jeffrey Rosenberg moved from West Hartford to Canton in 2002. The couple met in 1971 at a summer camp in Monroe, N.Y., where she was the head counselor and he was the lifeguard. They married in July 1972. Jeffrey, 69, was born in Brooklyn but grew up in rural Monroe, reminiscent of small-town Canton. “Wendy’s photography success is no surprise to me as she has so many creative and artistic skills and talents,” he says. “However, the ‘celebrity status’ is surprising but well-deserved and long overdue. It’s quite enjoyable to watch from

arm’s length. … Neither of us ever expected the fame, as Wendy is usually a very private person and never thought anyone would enjoy her work. This has been truly wonderful for her in so many ways.” Their son Jason — a Brooklyn resident and ’92 graduate of West Hartford’s Conard High School — is an artist/painter. While Wendy’s artistic eye has been applied to the photographic enterprise, she doesn’t tinker with her photos via Photoshop or otherwise. “I am often criticized for not altering my photos because they are not perfect, but I do not believe in perfect,” she says. “I believe in real and genuine. I like the real thing and being authentic. … “I do not believe in enhancing my photographs via software or apps. In other words, there is nothing like the real thing — what I see is what you get.” Wendy witnesses a diverse assortment of animals in the vicinity of her Canton home and yard, which she has registered as a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation. “One of the best places for me to photograph,” she says, “is in my own yard.

Wendy and Jeffrey Rosenberg < THEN

Courtesy Photos



BIRD IN THE HAND A male ruby-throated hummingbird and five butterflies illustrate Jeffrey’s comment: “Wendy is often called Dr. Dolittle because of her relationship with nature and wildlife.”

… Capturing the sights of nature fills my spirit. Nature was always calling to me as my focus. In my childhood, I started bringing home stray animals that I could help, and this continues to this very day.” Wendy’s volunteer work over the years has dovetailed with her career as a nurse. She has spent time with nursing-home residents and patients enduring difficult medical situations as well as youth facing tough emotional challenges. “I was bullied as a child,” she observes, “so I feel I can relate to many youngsters. I also lost several friends in the Vietnam War, so I volunteered spending time with veterans at VA hospitals in New York City after they returned. … I have had a passion for helping people since I was a young child. People have to have passions to keep them going.” Her nursing stops coincided with Jeff’s human resources career, which took the couple to Florida (Jacksonville), Indiana (Indianapolis) and Illinois (Chicago) before they settled in Connecticut. “I retired from nursing when we moved here, mostly because of my serious health issues,” she says. Jeffrey retired in 2006 as UnitedHealthcare’s vice president of human resources. Besides Wendy’s own backyard and her ample gardens — “they bring me joy”— her favorite spots in Canton are the Farmington River and Nepaug Reservoir. Her favorite aspects 6

Wendy Rosenberg utilizes a Nikon camera — the one on her shoulder is a Lumix.


of town are “overall community spirit, natural scenery and beauty.” Oh, she has also been a UConn Master Gardener since the early 1990s. Meanwhile, Jeffrey appreciates that Canton is “remote yet close to civilization.” Wendy and Jeffrey relish exploring this picturesque area by biking and hiking. As for constructive change in town? Wendy cites “haphazard zoning and development” and Jeffrey concurs. “Canton could be more thoughtful about development, especially along Route 44,” he says. “Zoning in general seems improperly administered. … When we lived in West Hartford, we were always attracted by the drive west over Avon Mountain, especially loving the golf course when entering Canton. Soon after we moved here the golf course was sold and another shopping mall was built.” Rome wasn’t built in a day, the saying goes, and Farmington Valley residents can hope that local officials make wise development choices. Another popular adage has guided Wendy. “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘One day at a time,’” she notes. “With all of my ongoing health issues, for me every single day is a gift, and I plan to enjoy that gift as much as I can every single day — also focusing on the positive, rather than the negative, is a main goal of mine every day.” + Today Magazine editor-in-chief Bruce Deckert is a five-time award-winning journalist.

OUTFOXED Let’s imaginatively connect the wildlife trio on this page: It could be said that the deer — by partaking at the bird feeder — has outfoxed the male purple finch.

Photos by Wendy Rosenberg




Miller Family Farm celebrates 70 years By Cal Miller-Stevens Special to Today Magazine

My mother was quite industrious, selling eggs door to door on her “egg route” while my father drove a school bus

Courtesy Photo

IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE life on the farm in the 1930s. My father, Earl J. Miller, was just 8 years old when — due to the death of immediate family members — he, his sister Ann and his father Harold moved from Hartford to Avon to the “white house on the corner” of Arch and West Avon Roads. My father attended grade school in Avon and graduated in 3.5 years from Canton High School. He joined the military, serving as a private in World War II. After his return he worked as a laborer, truck driver and school bus driver to make ends meet. He met my mother Margaret, eventually known as Oma, in Bristol. They married and moved to Terryville to live near her family. My sister Sandi and I were born in Terryville and lived there until 1950, when we moved to Avon due to the passing of our grandfather Harold. He left the property in debt and my parents agreed to save it. They purchased it with the financial help of my maternal

Oma, Sandi and Cal Miller in 1959

HIGHLIGHTS OF AVON HISTORY grandmother Caroline. My mother was quite industrious, selling eggs door to door on her “egg route” while my father drove a school bus to help provide for our family. These were humble beginnings. In 1955, in a twist of fate, Clarence Carville — grandfather of the current owners of the Pickin’ Patch Farm on Nod Road — had 300 turkeys that needed a new home, and he called us. That launched our raising up to 15,000 turkeys over the past 65 years, filling Thanksgiving tables for a million families and many generations. Tragically, my parents passed away in their early 60s, leaving my sister and me to save the farm again due to high estate taxes. Our family struggled for many years until we diversified by creating, in 1999, a natural raw pet food line — Oma’s Pride. Today, a fourth generation of Millers has created a new logo that represents our commitment to the farm and community. They have also created a rapidly growing e-commerce division that distributes top-quality pet food throughout the country, ensuring our legacy is honored. These Millers are educated, passionate, innovative and committed to serving our community and being stewards of our family farm. As we approach our 70th year this month on the Miller Family Farm, I am humbled to share our family story and honor the legacy of Earl and Margaret Miller. Grit and determination, along with obligation, passion and love, has saved the family farm many times. +

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Why being ‘not racist’ is not enough By Noelle Blake Special to Today Magazine

AS I GREW UP, my parents always warned me to be on my best behavior whenever I left the house. The phrase was standard, but their reasoning was anything but. They, like many other black parents, were worried about the way their child would be perceived solely because of their race. My experience in Avon as a person of color is nothing in comparison to the discrimination that other people of color face across the country on a daily basis. I am lucky to have people around me who support and accept me despite our cultural differences. I am lucky to have the opportunity to attend a public school in a district that has better funding than my own. But why is it that when I am given these privileges, I am lucky rather than deserving? Connecticut ranks 39th on a list of states with the most racial progress. The reason I am afforded the luxury of attending school in Avon is because my state is one of the least integrated in the country. Many people like to think that 2 Forest Park Drive Farmington, CT 06032

success is achieved only through hard work, yet how am I meant to succeed in a state that is known for its wealth but that struggles to provide proper education for people of color? So, you are aware of the privilege that you have, whether it be because of your

black citizens who have been murdered by law enforcement. The same law enforcement that is meant to keep all people, regardless of race or ethnicity, safe. If you are aware of the privilege you have, use it. People are too inclined to voice their true thoughts around a group

I would like to live in a world where being on my best behavior does not determine whether or not my life is in jeopardy race, sex, social class or otherwise. You have friends who are people of color who you understand and appreciate. That is not enough. Being an ally to people of color is not enough, because in 2020, over 50 years after the civil rights movement, there should not be people who are actively against people of color. In light of recent events, you may be asking yourself how the death of George Floyd inspired protests across the country for his perpetrator’s arrest. In short, the outrage among the black community did not come solely from the death of George Floyd. It came from the death of George Floyd and the countless other law-abiding

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of like-minded individuals. Advocate for those who are rendered voiceless due to unlawful oppression and systemic racism. The primary reason this treatment has gone on for so long is because too often even the good cops are determined to defend the bad ones. There is no room for “bad apples” in a profession that deals with life-and-death decisions. I would like to live in a world where being on my best behavior does not determine whether or not my life is in jeopardy. Black Lives Matter. + Hartford resident Noelle Blake is a rising junior at Avon High — she has attended Avon schools since kindergarten


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A century ago, a boy’s life cut short by gunplay MY UNCLE, Leslie Harold Terry of Collinsville, was shot and killed at a friend’s house by another boy on July 29, 1920. From the obituary we learned that the boys were imitating some of the stunts they had seen in the movies. After shooting my uncle, the boy shot himself; the bullet lodged behind his right eye. This was the horror that Dr. C.J. Kilburn was called into. As he was working to save my uncle, Dr. Kilburn heard the pistol shot and stopped to remove the revolver from the boy’s hand. My uncle died 10 minutes after being shot. The bullet punctured his heart and left lung. Leslie was 12 years old at his death, and was preparing for his first violin recital. “BOY WOUNDS CHUM THROUGH ACCIDENT THEN SHOOTS SELF” — that was the headline, the tragic story in the newspaper. Behind the story are the loved ones who struggle with the fragments of their torn hearts, wondering how to put one foot in front of the other to go on living. My father, Dana Strout Terry, was 4 years old at Leslie’s death. Their mother Bessie became a “brittle diabetic” overnight, and Dad told us that he cried himself to sleep many nights because his mother was sick and there was no money for medicine. Dad carried this tragedy within himself all of his life. He yearned for the mother he loved who died when he was 21. She was a gifted pianist and played piano at the silent movies at the Town Hall in Collinsville. My choirmate Don Viering often spoke of her playing, saying that “she made the silent movies come alive.” Our father suffered from dramatic mood variability. When his mood was low the whole house would feel it. The pain would cling to the walls and hang in the air. The three of us kids often became his emotional support. Dad’s moods changed fast. When his mood was upbeat, he had fun. He could light up a room just by walking into it. He was so gifted; he had a raucous, booming laugh, he loved good food, he was a good dancer, he was a snappy dresser, he had a beautiful singing voice, he played trombone in the Collinsville Red Men Boys Band. Anything he got excited about, we got excited about.

Family recalls tragedy and honors the fallen

Courtesy Photo

By Diane Elizabeth Terry Special to Today Magazine

Leslie Harold Terry


Behind the story are the loved ones who struggle with the fragments of their torn hearts

Dad’s love of music infused our house. He made sure we had the latest hi-fi record player available. He would come home on Friday evenings, excited over his purchase of the latest Red Seal Selector (RCA LP) with excerpts from orchestral pieces. He would speak of his mother and of how much she would have loved this piece or that piece. When we listened to the Meditation from the opera Thais, he always wept. I wonder if he heard his mother and Leslie practicing that piece as Leslie prepared for his recital? Our Dad died young, at 56. I think he would be happy knowing that we are thinking about him and writing about the uncle we never knew. Our father had mounted an antique rifle over the fireplace in our living room. We knew we were to never touch it. We weren’t even supposed to think about touching it. Perhaps we will have a small service for Leslie at his graveside at Village Cemetery, with flowers and music and pictures, to let him know that it mattered that he lost his life so young. His life was precious then and it is now, to us. + A Simsbury native, Diane Terry has lived in Collinsville for 30+ years.

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Healthy habits for a COVID can-do approach By Linda York UConn Health Dietitian

AS A REGISTERED DIETITIAN and certified diabetes educator, I have heard how some of my patients are gaining weight, eating more out of boredom or stress, and exercising less during isolation. However, some of my patients are taking a can-do approach by walking more, eating better and losing weight. In short, they are becoming healthier. By improving our health, we can prevent many chronic diseases such as prediabetes, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and orthopedic injuries. Also, adopting healthy habits can reduce your risk of viral infections. So let’s take a look at some of these COVID can-do healthy habits. Healthy Habit #1: Physical Exercise Since the stay-at-home order was put in place, walking has exploded in popularity and everybody is outside. Let’s keep it up, and aim for whatever you can do. Depending on your level of fitness, it may start with a 10-minute walk each day with an increase by 5 minutes a week, trying

to get to a goal of 45 minutes each day. This will help you lose weight and reduce stress. Being mindful of the beauty of spring and nature that abounds surely helps. Hiking has increased. The AllTrails app is a great tool for finding easy, moderate or hard trails. If walking is difficult, try chair exercises or a stationary bike outside (or in front of your favorite window). For inside exercise, YouTube has several programs. Healthy Habit #2: Manage Stress This is easier said than done with so many people laid off from work. However, there are free online yoga classes. If you’re new to yoga, try gentle yoga with meditation. Practicing meditation and breathing is so helpful. Isolation can increase stress. Reach out to someone by telephone, email or an outdoor visit. During COVID time, be mindful of your alcohol intake. One 5-ounce glass of wine has 120 calories.

Healthy Habit #3: Healthy Diet A plant-based, Mediterranean, low-fat, portion-controlled diet using the plate method is advised. For every meal, make half of your plate fruits and vegetables, one-quarter of your plate lean protein and one-quarter of your plate complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber. Now may be the time to try more vegetarian meals — they provide more fiber, help promote healthy gut bacteria, have lower cholesterol and/or saturated fat, and are rich in antioxidant/fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. By adding more fiber, we reduce the calories we consume because high-fiber foods fill us up more. Since many of us have more time to cook, try something new such as baking whole wheat bread. Healthy Habit #4: Good Sleep Practice good sleep hygiene by going to bed at the same time, drinking less wine or alcohol before bed, and putting cellphones and devices in another room. Room blackening shades may be helpful. + Dietitian Linda York of Farmingtonbased UConn Health is an Avon resident. Edward Jones ranks highest in investor satisfaction with full service brokerage firms, according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction StudySM

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Coronavirus Q&A with UConn Health expert Special to Today Magazine

Vaccine by start of school is ‘best-case scenario’

AS SCIENTISTS and medical experts seek answers to the COVID-19 conundrum, Dr. Kevin Dieckhaus — chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UConn Health — answered the following Q&A from Today Magazine on key scientific issues related to the coronavirus and COVID-19.

“Flattening the curve” is the reason for stay-at-home mandates. This allows for a reduced peak in the number of cases but does potentially extend the duration of the epidemic. Reducing the peak is important to avoid overwhelming a finite healthcare infrastructure, and prevents associated mortality from inability to treat otherwise treatable patients.

1A. The CDC’s general guidelines say hands can be washed effectively with cold or warm water (and soap) — is cold water effective against the coronavirus?

Broadening the curve over time, even with an identical number of patients, would be more manageable for our current healthcare system and lead to reduced morbidity and mortality overall. • Editor’s Note — Dictionary definition of “morbidity”: “the condition of being diseased” and “the rate of disease in a population”

The more important issue is washing with any water regardless of temperature, and using soap to physically remove the virus from surfaces. • Editor’s Note — Complementary counsel from the CDC advises washing hands with “clean, running water (warm or cold)”

1B. If an alcohol-based hand sanitizer isn’t available, is utilizing hydrogen peroxide to wash hands just as effective against the coronavirus and other germs? Hydrogen peroxide is generally sold as a 3% solution. It can be diluted to a 0.5% solution for washing services, and should remain on the surface for a minute to provide disinfection for COVID-19. Repeated use of undiluted hydrogen peroxide on skin can lead to skin irritation. 2. There has been conflicting information about whether ibuprofen makes COVID-19 worse — should people with COVID-19 avoid ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs may increase the level of ACE2 on cell surfaces, which is the receptor to which SARS-CoV-2 binds. So there is a theoretical concern of more susceptibility to COVID-19 if one takes ibuprofen which may thereby increase the number of receptors on susceptible cells. This has not been borne out in any clinical trial. Nevertheless, given these concerns, the preferred antipyretic agent in the setting of COVID-19 is acetaminophen. • Editor’s Note — Dictionary definition of “antipyretic”: “used to prevent or reduce fever” • SARSCoV-2: official name of novel coronavirus 3A. According to reports, facemasks don’t protect the wearer but can prevent infected people (who don’t know they’re infected) from spreading the virus — is this accurate? This is accurate. Masking prevents the person who has COVID-19 and is without symptoms from dispersing the virus to surrounding air and surfaces.

3B. When everyone is wearing a facemask in public, is it possible for the coronavirus to spread through the air?

Masking would severely limit the airborne transmission. Coronavirus may still be transmitted by its presence on surfaces.

4. Is September — i.e., the start of the school year — a realistic time to expect a vaccine to be available? Vaccine development for COVID-19 has been on an accelerated path. Predictions of a vaccine available in September would be a “best-case scenario.” If an effective vaccine is developed in this short time frame, scale up would take additional time. 5. The CDC says that most people with COVID-19 “have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care” — and established science indicates that after people are infected with a virus, they develop antibodies and therefore immunity ... given this, is it counterintuitively advantageous for the general population (all those not at-risk) to catch this coronavirus so they won’t get sick with COVID-19 again?

This is the argument for “herd immunity,” which would suggest that if a large percentage of the population were to acquire COVID-19, those who survive would then be immune, decreasing the disease prevalence. The societal cost to this strategy would be millions of infections, and depending on the ultimate mortality rate of infection, perhaps many millions of lives lost.

6A. Given the science of virus immunity, could continued statewide stay-at-home mandates actually extend the duration of the coronavirus crisis?

6B. In other words, once society opens up again, all uninfected people can still get sick from the virus — so as long as at-risk populations self-quarantine, is it actually beneficial to end stay-at-home mandates, given the science of virus immunity?

See above (5 and 6A). The plan for stayat-home orders and social distancing is to reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 and thereby reduce morbidity and mortality until such time as more definitive treatments and/or preventive measures such as a vaccine are available.

7. As long as we as a society protect at-risk vulnerable populations — offer atrisk-only store hours, encourage or urge at-risk people to self-quarantine, wear facemasks when near at-risk citizens, etc. — is the best approach for the start of next school year to reopen schools and businesses and allow society to operate more normally? Maintaining quarantine and social isolation, so long as we do not have effective therapy or preventive measures to combat COVID-19, remain the only effective measure to reduce the burden of this pandemic. This strategy comes at a substantial cost in terms of the economy and society. Identifying the right balance between public health and societal needs will be a real challenge going forward until such time as effective treatments or prevention such as a vaccine are available. The question of reopening strategies will need to be made by our elected leaders, balancing public health, the economy and functions of our society. + UConn Health is based in Farmington and has other Farmington Valley locations in Avon, Canton and Simsbury, and other locations statewide




Painting since age 5, Eden isn’t about to stop now Special to Today Magazine

collections. Here is her wide-ranging Q&A with Today Magazine:

Courtesy Photo

LAURA J. EDEN is, of course, the namesake of a famous garden — vis-à-vis her At what age did surname — and a love of the outdoors and you become nature has informed her work throughout interested in art? her 40-year career. What sparked A resident of Granby, Eden was raised your interest? in Bloomfield, Conn. She is a graduate of Art runs in my Watkinson School and UConn (bachelor family. My maternal of fine arts) and has taken graduate grandmother was an courses at UHart. artist and mentored After college, she lived in Tariffville Laura Eden Hopmeadow Street • Simsbury, CT 06089 me until her passing from 1981-87, and374 bought a Bloomfield 860-651-8236 in 1977. My mom also went to art school condo in ’87 with funds earned from for two years before marrying my dad; the sale of her paintings. Eden lived in Find out how you can get improved value and peace she was always available to give advice. I Bloomfield until she married invisit ’97,our when of mind. Call or office today! received my first easel at age 5 and haven’t she moved to Granby. “Creating art and teaching art has been stopped painting since. The natural world has sparked my interest for as long as I my full-time job since 1980,” she says. Preview Only remember. Eden is a multi-award-winner and includes aher margin of text and graphics workclear has graced dozens of galleries, What is your primary medium? may be covered by frame and/or clips during installation) exhibits, and corporate and public Secondary mediums?

Noris Christensen

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Most satisfying aspect of being an artist?

I would have to say the abundance of amazing Land Trust properties, especially in Granby. We are fortunate to have so many beautiful places throughout the Valley to hike, paint and observe.

The natural world is my main inspiration. I am always in search of nature’s quiet places,

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Most definitely! My best proof of this is the results of my current adult watercolor students from around the Farmington Valley. Last year I compiled a show of my work alongside my students’ work: “One Image Many Views” at Lost Acres Vineyard Art Gallery in Granby. It was amazing. Viewers were hard-pressed to tell my students’ work from my own, and many of my students had never painted before taking my classes.

What is the inspiration for your art?



While not everyone has an evident artistic gift, do you believe anyone can create art at a certain level?

The two most satisfying aspects of my art are (1) sharing my joy and love of nature with my viewers and clients, and (2) watching my students blossom and learn to see with an artistic eye the natural world around them.

Beginning with a compassionate welcome, we work with residents, families, area hospitals and physicians to achieve the highest levels of care possible. We create the best plan for wellness and recovery for people who can return home—and a warm, safe and comfortable home for long term residents. Family owned and operated, our two affiliated locations provide the personalized care that makes all the difference. Let us tell you more.

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from landscapes to babbling brooks, flowers from my garden, or a pebbled ocean shore.

I worked primarily in watercolor from 1980 until 2002, when I evolved into egg tempera. I now work in both mediums and teach watercolor to adults.


652 West Avon Road, Avon, CT 06001 860-673-2521


What do you appreciate most about the Farmington Valley?

An anecdote that provides a glimpse of your work as an artist: From my personal statement: My paintings are meant to trigger daydreams. They are a response to quiet moments spent in nature’s grasp. Recalling a familiar feeling of place they, at the same time, show the viewer a more intimate, exaggerated perspective. I call it a bug’s eye view. Through my work I try to evoke a refreshing response to the commonplace. Further comment — I have been a part of the arts in the Valley since 1981, when I began showing at Arts Exclusive Gallery until 1991. I had a studio at the Farmington Valley Arts Center from 1997 until 2001. I am one of the founding members of the Granby Artists Association, and I have taught classes and workshops throughout the Valley all along. + 860-306-3879 •

GRANBY TODAY “The natural world has sparked my interest for as long as I remember ... I am always in search of nature’s quiet places, from landscapes to babbling brooks” — Laura Eden After The Rain • egg tempera > By Laura Eden — \/ Popping Through • watercolor

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880 Hopmeadow St. Simsbury, CT 06070 (860) 658-7613

120 Albany Turnpike Canton, CT 06019 (860) 693-0251 TODAY MAGAZINE – – JULY 2020




Simsbury Chamber presents annual awards Today Magazine Staff

THE SIMSBURY Chamber of Commerce has announced its 2020 Annual Leadership Award winners: • Business Leader of Year – Louis George • Public Servant of Year – Lisa Gray • Educator of Year – Erin Murray George is a founding partner of the law firm Hassett & George, located in Simsbury and Glastonbury. He has helped the firm grow to become a 25-employee team. He served as Chamber of Commerce president for two years and has chaired many Chamber events, including the major fundraiser, the Chili Challenge. “I am honored and truly appreciative to receive this award,” he says. “Knowing the caliber of the others who have received this award over the years emphasizes the honor. My efforts come out of a love for the community and the Chamber’s work.” George is president of the Simsbury Regional Bar Association. He was nominated for the award by Gerry Toner, who just completed his tenure as Chamber of Commerce president.

Lisa Gray honored with Public Servant award

“Lou is a tireless volunteer and contributor to the community and its businesses,” Toner says. “Although his firm provides many legal services, Lou dedicates much of his practice to providing legal guidance and facilitating commercial transactions for local businesses.” Gray served as executive director of the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce before transitioning this year to a full-time role as president of A Promise to Jordan, the nonprofit she founded to combat the stigma of addiction and mental health issues. The organization is named after her son, who died at 24 of an accidental opioid overdose in June 2018. See the March digital edition of Today Magazine for a cover story on her nonprofit: “I am extremely honored and humbled,” Gray says. “My 5-1/2 years as the Chamber executive director were the most rewarding




of my career. … To have the support of my community in this fight has been gratifying beyond measure.” Gray was nominated by Simsbury First Selectman Eric Wellman, who notes that she has worked to build community partnerships: “One such partnership is a collaboration with the Town of Simsbury, which this year became a Recovery Friendly Community. A Promise to Jordan is [our] lead agency and community champion.” Murray was nominated for Educator of the Year by superintendent Matt Curtis. “Erin has had a significant positive impact on the teaching and learning culture in Simsbury,” he says. “She strives for excellence and commitment each and every day.” Murray has served as an assistant superintendent in Simsbury for 13 years. “I have worked hard to be a leader with the knowledge, skills and disposition to meet the complex issues of schools today,” she says. “I am extremely proud to work in the Simsbury Public Schools.”

Celebrating 10 years!

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Up Top Barbershop aims for over-the-top service Bryan Doerr and Josh Bodian answered this Q&A

Owners — Bryan Doerr and Josh Bodian Number of employees — 4 Where did you grow up? We grew up in Connecticut — Bryan in Burlington and Josh in Enfield. Why did you choose this profession?

Up Top Barbershop CT Year Established — 2018 (860) 658-4499 West Simsbury, CT

BUSINESS BEAT Work experience before starting your business:

What sets your business apart?

Being creative and being able to build long-lasting relationships with our clients, and the art of the trade.

The personal experience we have with our clients. We style hair for both men and women, and we make people look good and feel good while providing a personal experience. We offer a variety of services that most barbershops don’t — full hottowel shaves, facial exfoliating, hair designs, eyebrow waxing, beard grooming, men’s and women’s hair coloring. Stop in to check out the services we offer!

Your main obstacle, and how you can overcome it:

What do you appreciate most about the local business climate?

We both were tired of going to barbershops and never getting the haircut we wanted, so we decided to start learning ourselves. Most enjoyable aspect of your work?

Keeping clients up-to-date and educating them on new trends and styles, along with the maintenance required. Also, informing clients on terminology to make sure they are getting their desired haircut. Most satisfying accomplishment? It would have to be taking over a oneperson barbershop and building it up to four barbers so far. We are very grateful for the support we’ve received from the local community in helping us grow this fast! Goals for the next five years? To keep growing and build a great reputation for the business.

The Farmington Valley is filled with very successful and reputable businesses. Everyone seems to support each other.

Josh has owned a barber shop in Enfield for the past 13 years and also works as a real estate agent. Bryan worked as a barber for 10 years before stepping into an ownership role at Up Top Barbershop. Together they look forward to growing in their roles in the community and expanding their entrepreneurship. Further comment: When you go to a barber, it’s not just our job to make you look better — we want you to feel better and go about your life with more confidence. Getting a haircut can be therapeutic and refreshing, and we want to make sure we provide that for all our customers. +

What constructive change would you like to see regarding the local business climate? More social media support and interaction between businesses. Which business leader today inspires you most? Ed Mylett — author of #Max Out Your Life

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George Floyd: Valley Reaction + Next Steps By Bruce Deckert Today Magazine Editor-in-Chief

ON MEMORIAL DAY, according to video footage and numerous reports, white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned his knee on the neck of George Floyd — a black man who was already handcuffed and lying facedown on a city street — for eight-plus minutes until Floyd lost consciousness and was pronounced dead soon after at a local hospital. Police had arrested Floyd after he was accused by a store owner of paying with a counterfeit $20 bill. Floyd was handcuffed with his hands behind his back when Chauvin arrived to join the officers who placed Floyd in police custody. Chauvin has been charged with murder. The three officers who were with him have been fired along with Chauvin, according to reports, but they face lesser charges. Today Magazine reached out to the police chiefs, town leaders and state legislators in the five core Farmington Valley towns — Avon, Canton, Farmington, Granby and Simsbury — for comment about Floyd’s death. • These five core Valley towns are represented in Connecticut’s legislature by four state senators and five state representatives, though not strictly along town lines — italicized below underneath each legislator’s name are the Valley towns the legislator represents, plus other represented towns/cities (if they fit on that line). D = Democrat — R = Republican

• Police chiefs and town leaders are listed in alphabetical order by town. State senators and representatives are listed in alphabetical order by last name. • Police chiefs had a maximum count of 130 words for their statements — other officials had a 100-word maximum. Today Magazine asked these Valley officials this question: What is your response to the death of George Floyd while in police custody and the aftermath in Minneapolis? POLICE CHIEFS

Today Magazine has reached out to police chiefs, town leaders and state legislators in the five core Farmington Valley towns and asked for their response to the killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day — here are their replies Christopher Arciero • Canton Police Chief An extremely troubling video depicts the actions of several Minneapolis police officers that resulted in the death of George Floyd. Those officers’ actions were reprehensible and demonstrated a level of illegality, inhumanity and depravity that is unacceptable on any level. Every Canton Police Officer shares this view. Canton police officers recognize the significant responsibility they owe to the community. It is much more than public safety. We recognize the value of human life and are committed to respecting human rights and the dignity of every individual, and the constitutional, moral and ethical right for everyone to be treated with respect, fairness and impartiality. We are devoted to this community in a manner calculated to instill confidence, compassion and trust. The Canton Police Department stands as one with our community. Paul Melanson • Farmington Police Chief First and foremost, the death of Mr. Floyd is a tragedy and I am disgusted. It is intolerable how someone sworn to protect and serve could do this, while other officers stood by and failed to intervene. Unfortunately, these actions in Minnesota erode the layers of trust, confidence and goodwill that so many police officers have built within their communities. Social injustice should be vilified for what it is, and every community should work to ease the tensions it creates. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Farmington officers work daily to uphold the high standards all sworn officers should abide by. We will continue to engage with our citizenry and work tirelessly to be a department of equality and justice for all.

James Rio • Avon Director of Police Services

Carl Rosensweig • Granby Police Chief

I have emphasized, and Avon’s officers agree, that what occurred in Minneapolis was horrific and criminal. Avon’s policy addresses the reasonable use of force and the duty of officers to stop the use of excessive force by another officer. These principles were all absent during the incident in Minneapolis. Respect and fair treatment are the core expectations of this department and must be present in any interaction we have with the public. Most of the societal injustices that exist are not the fault of the police but can be exacerbated by them. We can start repairing the reputation of law enforcement with empathy and competence during any contact. This is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to continuing our duty to protect and serve in an impartial and respectful manner.

The killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis shocked the conscience of law enforcement officers throughout the country. It is unlawful, immoral and disgusting. I, along with all Granby officers and town officials, are unanimous in our condemnation of the actions and inaction of the officers involved in this horrible event.


Nicholas Boulter • Simsbury Police Chief The death of George Floyd … is an absolute tragedy. The manner in which he died was horrendous and the loss of his life was avoidable. The actions by the Minneapolis police officer and the inactions by his colleagues have launched our nation into a state of mourning and a demand for change. The Simsbury Police Department is committed


to a strong relationship, a partnership, a mutual respect with our community. That is our style of policing and our reputation. Members of this department work hard to keep this community safe, to serve everyone impartially, with appreciation for individual cultures and choices, to be inclusive and to protect the rights of everyone. We are dedicated to policing with compassion, fairness and respect. We will not tolerate mistreatment of anyone. TOWN LEADERS Heather Maguire • Avon Town Council Chair Avon is a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community built on the basis of equal treatment under the law, fundamental fairness and a respect for all individuals. The Avon Police Department works tirelessly to uphold those values, to contribute positively to our community, and to continue to be worthy of our respect. Despite this, we recognize that we can always work harder to correct social injustice in our society. Our efforts can, and should, begin right here at home. I encourage us all to support each other as we strive to do better for our community and country. Bob Bessel • Canton First Selectman George Floyd’s death demands that local leaders take action to improve police practices and to root out systemic racism. Well before this incident, Canton Police established policies and procedures that respect and protect everyone they serve. While a great step forward, we must remain vigilant and work together to ensure that equal rights and justice prevail for all. C.J. Thomas • Farmington Town Council Chair • Today Magazine hasn’t seen a reply after emailing him three requests for comment. B. Scott Kuhnly • Granby First Selectman I am truly saddened and outraged by the death of George Floyd and my heart goes out to his family and loved ones. Racism has no place in our hearts or in our communities and we must do better. Eric Wellman • Simsbury First Selectman Like all Americans, I am heartbroken by the needless loss of life in the killing of George Floyd. Our country needs to acknowledge the experience of African-Americans — the indignities and inequities they face simply navigating life. In Simsbury, we must continue the work we have started with our Equity Council and Spirit Council, which are intended to bring our community together and forge

Farmington Valley officials mourn and denounce a tragedy that has shocked a nation — and eye needed change moving forward positive change on issues of diversity and inclusion. I am proud of our work, but there is so much more we need to do to ensure our town is a safe place for EVERYONE who lives here.

the moral universe being long but bending toward justice. It’s on us right now to prove him right. I believe strongly that the peaceful protests and vigils being held across the state are a clear and necessary call to action, requiring a tangible and meaningful response by the General Assembly in a special session this summer.

STATE SENATORS State Sen. Gennaro Bizzarro • R-6th District Farmington (about 25%), Berlin, New Britain In Farmington and throughout Connecticut, we honor George Floyd’s memory not by looting and destruction of property, but through peaceful protests, a commitment to unity, and a collective will to make substantive changes to our public policies. We honor George Floyd’s memory by resolving to stand against racism and police violence. … We must never turn a blind eye to mistreatment and injustice. Last year, I co-sponsored legislation which reshapes how police handle use-of-force incidents. That bill, which is now state law, added the use of chokeholds to the list of incidents police departments report. … That bipartisan progress must continue. State Sen. John Kissel • R-7th District Granby, East Granby + 5 more

State Sen. Derek Slap • D-5th District Farmington (about 75%), Burlington + 2 more My heart breaks for all those who are hurting right now. As a white man of privilege, my obligation is to listen and be a strong partner in helping to confront racism and racial inequality. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about the arc of

Event info is accurate to our knowledge — but be sure to confirm

Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center events Sat-Sun 8/1-8/2 – CT Volley Tourn. Sat 8/29 – Darius Rucker Sat 8/31 - Mainly Marathon Fri-Sat 9/11-9/12 – Septemberfest Sunday 9/27 – Try Simsbury Saturday 10/3 – River Run • Canceled: Hartford Symphony Orchestra Talcott Mountain Music Festival Simsbury Art Trail Various Simsbury locations Thru 9/29

It is heartbreaking that we continue to see incidents of excessive force by police officers leading to the death of minority individuals across our country. While laws differ from state to state, here in Connecticut we have taken meaningful steps in recent years to address use of force and accountability. Last year, the state Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 380, a bill focusing on these specific issues. I was proud to have co-sponsored, worked on and supported these efforts. However, these issues do not go away simply because a bill is passed. This must be an ongoing conversation and meaningful efforts must continue. STATE REPRESENTATIVES

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — Those words, written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from a Birmingham jail, are words we are all reflecting on during these days of anguish after the death of George Floyd. We condemn police violence. We pray for George Floyd. We condemn injustice. And we pursue justice until justice is achieved. As ranking member of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, I believe substantive changes will be made to strengthen our state laws. As Dr. King noted in his letter from a Birmingham jail, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”


State Sen. Kevin Witkos • R-8th District Avon, Canton, Granby, Simsbury + 7 more

State Rep. Mike Demicco • D-21st District Farmington (about 90%), including Unionville Along with millions worldwide, I am shocked, disheartened and outraged by the senseless death of George Floyd. I stand in solidarity with peaceful protestors, who are exercising their First Amendment right. They want nothing more, and nothing less, than justice, dignity and respect for all people. Racism, in various forms, has been our national shame for four centuries. It is sometimes overt, often subtle, and always insidious. I am committed to working for the elimination of racial inequities. I hope we can begin a real dialogue involving schools, houses of worship, businesses and government, and work towards real change. State Rep. Tammy Exum • D-19th District Farmington (about 10%), Avon (about 25%) + 1 The death of George Floyd sadly encapsulates what African-Americans have known for centuries: We are not treated equally as

citizens in the United States of America. As a mom of three sons, I can’t help but worry about their safety as they leave my home. For too long, many have ignored the racial injustices that have existed since our country’s founding. This tragedy, and our response, is a turning point. As the state representative of the 19th District, I promise to continue to search for solutions and be an active participant in the conversations around these issues going forward. State Rep. John Hampton • D-16th District Simsbury I condemn the brutal murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. There’s no place for such hatred and violence in 21st century America. Black lives matter and are endowed with inalienable rights to pursue happiness and personal fulfillment without exception. Systemic racism must be dismantled and that hard work begins in communities like Simsbury. I am calling for a special session of the Connecticut General Assembly to craft legislation that would include further limits on the use of excessive force by police, the requirement of body cameras for all police officers, and expanded diversity training. State Rep. Leslee Hill • R-17th District Canton, Avon (about 75%) My reaction to the horrific murder of George Floyd, at the hands of men who never deserved to wear a badge, is profound sadness, anger and frustration. These emotions cause me to look inward to reflect on my personal values and actions, and outward to focus on the opportunities I have, by virtue of the position I hold, to catalyze change. We cannot pass this off as a problem that doesn’t impact our small towns. We must ensure that everyone participating in the life of our communities knows they are safe, respected and welcome. State Rep. Bill Simanski • R-62nd District Granby, Barkhamsted, Hartland, New Hartford • Today Magazine hasn’t seen a reply after emailing him three requests for comment. +

Our digital edition is posted well before the month begins Get an early peek at the Calendar – Free Fitness Classes for Kids! Access online at home Mondays – 4:45 pm Free – all ages • Register at: Beginner Pilates Thursdays – 6-7 pm Intermediate Pilates Mon 9-10 am – Wed 8:30-9:30 am • Magna Physical Therapy, Avon • Virtual access during COVID-19 Register — 860-679-0430 Granby & Simsbury Chambers of Commerce: Golf Tournament Hop Meadow CC, Simsbury Tuesday 9/1 •

350 Day — Septemberfest Simsbury • Saturday 9/12 Tickets: Heritage Day Simsbury Historical Society Saturday 9/26 Free • Revolutionary War re-enactors+ • Gifts of Love Charity Golf Tournament Golf Club of Avon Tuesday 10/13 – 10 am Seeking sponsors • 676-2323 (rescheduled from June) Celebration Gala The Riverview, Simsbury Friday 11/13 •

Send Events: 50th Reunion: Simsbury High ’70 • Postponed – new date TBD Info: Avon Public Library lineup These events free • 673-9712 Data Analytics Boot Camp Summer 2020 • Online registration Data Analytics Mondays thru 7/20 • 7-8:30 pm Python Tuesdays thru 7/21 • 7-8:30 pm SQL Wednesdays thru 7/22 • 7-8:30 pm Power BI Thursdays thru 7/23 • 7-8:30 pm Data in Cloud Fridays thru 7/24 • 7-8:30 pm




A clearwing hummingbird moth finds nourishment in a butterfly bush. These moths are typically less than 2 inches long.

Photo by Wendy Rosenberg

Today Magazine expands reach to entire Valley WITH THIS JULY ISSUE, Today Magazine is expanding its coverage area to include the entire Farmington Valley. An award-winning monthly, Today Magazine is the only true Valley magazine, per local media data — we mail to Granby, but the other two Valley mags don’t. So far, Today Magazine has reached the tri-town heart of the Valley (Avon, Canton, Simsbury) and now reaches all five core Valley towns. Our print circulation is more than double the other two Valley magazines, per their data, and our ad rates are about the same. Today Magazine is mailed to the entire upper-income demographic of the Valley’s five core towns — Farmington, Avon, Canton, Simsbury and Granby — plus every other residence and every business in the Valley, 100% distribution. In other words, we mail to all homes, all condos, all apartments, all P.O. boxes and all businesses. Our circulation is 42,000-plus. Meanwhile, the other Valley magazines mail only to a smaller subset of homes — a limited upper-income demographic — with a circulation of less than 20,000 at about 50% distribution, per their data. Today Magazine is committed to reporting relevant and valuable local news — recording the underreported upside of the Valley community while covering significant stories such as the selfless service of volunteer firefighters and the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Simsbury. These two stories won awards this year from the Society of Professional Journalists. + 860-988-1910 •


TODAY MAGAZINE Print Circulation — 42,000+ Other Two Valley Mags Print Circulation — less than 20,000 Ad rates are about the same! THE ONLY TRUE FARMINGTON VALLEY MAGAZINE We mail to Granby, but the other Valley mags don’t

Print + Digital — Award-Winning 100% Distribution

Mailed to Every Residence + Every Business in Valley

Farmington • Avon • Canton • Simsbury • Granby



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