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PRST-STD ECRWSS U.S. Postage Paid Northampton, MA Permit #395

School Scores Seen as Baseline for Future Results Local Postal Customer


By Linda Tishler Levinson

Most area school officials see the results of state Department of Education’s new Next Generation Accountability System and its school performance index as a baseline for future comparison. “The new system moves beyond test scores and graduation rates to provide a more holistic, multifactor perspective of district and school performance,” Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dianna R. Wentzell said in a written release. Schools are rated on 12 categories: academic achievement status measured by state assessments, academic growth, assessment participation rate, chronic absenteeism, preparation for post-secondary and career readiness — coursework, preparation for postsecondary and career readiness – exams, graduation — on track in ninth grade, graduation — four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate – all students, graduation – six-year adjusted cohort graduation rate – high needs, postsecondary entrance rate – all students (college enrollment), physical fitness and arts access.

The state also released lists of “Schools of Distinction,” schools where high-needs student populations outperformed the district and state average, schools that are exiting “Turnaround or Focus” status, and schools that will be targeted for greater intervention and support. “It’s a very complicated system for each one of these,” said Michael Bednarz, director of curriculum for the Stafford Public Schools. “This year’s date is meant to be a baseline for growth.” Michelle Middleton, chief academic officer for the Enfield Public Schools, agreed this year’s scores are meant as a baseline. Middleton said looking at more than just scores in rating schools is new and that next year growth will be added as an indicator. Irene Zytka, director of curriculum for the Somers Public Schools, said the state had done little to reach out to districts that fell in the middle of the ratings and her district was just beginning to analyze the data. In East Windsor, the scores were cause for celebration.

huge savings


“We are jumping for joy,” Superintendent of Schools Theresa Kane said. “We are no longer a focus school,” she said of Broad Brook Elementary School.

“We had a strong district strategic plan that we follow,” she said, crediting teachers and staff for their hard work.


Informative Workshop Protecting Your Assets from Nursing Home and Home Care Expenses With and Without 5 Year Planning

Wednesday, April 13, 1:00pm | Enfield Senior Center 299 Elm Street, Enfield

48 South Road, Unit 2 | P.O. Box 398, Somers, CT 06071 Bill McCloskey

K lot erFar ms .c om 860-871-1048 216 W est R d , Ellingt on, C T


Kate McCloskey

2 North Central News April 2016

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‘Savor’ The Flavors With Chef Robert Irvine

Random Raven


By Gary Carra Welcome back to Random Raven, a parameter-free potpourri of hypes, gripes, universal truths and local lore.

Phone: : FAX





You know, like a little phenomenon the Raven likes to call “cheer-defeating.” We’ve all been there, on the bleachers and sidelines. We want our little one to do well, as well as his or her teammates. But we also know if they win again this week, there’s a playoff game in Shelton next weekend, which means we’d have to cancel that dinner and concert at the casino. Of course, when our child does lose, we instantly feel equal parts horrible and responsible. But it’s a nothing a bonus spin on the “Wheel of Fortune” slot machine and “An Evening With The One Original Member of Kansas” can’t cure the following Saturday. ‘Savor’ The Flavors Anyways, speaking of Connecticut’s denizen’s of the dice, Foxwoods® Resort Casino will present it’s second annual Savor, A celebration of Wine, Food & Spirits April 7-9. The three-day event will

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Account Executives



“Book Early to Save Big”


Call (860) 872-1926 

once again take place at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford and spotlight some of the world’s top culinary talent in partnership with celebrity chef Robert Irvine, host of the Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible.” Irvine will be joined by other well-known chefs, worldrenowned vintners and spirits enthusiasts who will come together to share their love for exquisite flavors with the local community. Guests will enjoy a vast selection of local dishes from regional restaurants, culinary demonstrations, and wine, beer and fine spirits tastings. “Expect a bigger Savor with more delicious options, brand new events and amazing personalities. Join our own Executive Chef Edward Allen, awardwinning Executive Pastry Chef Franck Iglesias and others as they bring the best Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine leads an of the best to Hartford!” said Adam all-star team of taste-bud tantalizers at Odegard, Vice President of Food & Savor CT in Hartford April 7-9. Courtesy Photo Beverage at Foxwoods Resort Casino. For deets on the delectables or to pur- Festival ( April 28-May 1. This year, the sumptuous series kicks chase tickets, kindly point your browser to off Thursday with Dinner by Dames, a unique experience bringing together some Not to be outdone, the Ocean State will of Rhode Island’s most talented female play host to the 5th Annual Eat Drink RI chefs and bartenders for a multi-course dining event. On Friday evening, it’s the return of the Truck Stop to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank showcasing the excellence and variety of Rhode Island’s mobile restaurants. Saturday’s Grand Tasting features samplings of locally produced beer, wine & spirits, as well as an abundance of local food artisans at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Once again, the Festival closes on Sunday with the Grand CALL NOW Brunch pairing delicious edibles with live audio courtesy of local jazz students. FOR POOL 01&/*/(4



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Complaints? Suggestions? Questions? Send them all to the Random Raven at and listen to Gary Carra talk about area entertainment every Wednesday at 6:20 and 9:20 a.m. with Leslie In The Morning on Lazer 99.3 f.m. (streaming live at lazer993

April 2016 North Central News


Want fresher food than that? Catch it yourself - as opening day fishing in Connecticut starts April 9. And psst.. an inside tip for all you area anglers all but guaranteeing you won’t go hungry. Wait til April 16, then start your morning at the Loaves & Fishes Fisherman’s Breakfast April 16! Call (860) 741-0226 for tickets.


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Board of Selectmen Seek 4.86 Percent Budget Increase

East Windsor

EAST WINDSOR — The Board of Selectmen is seeking a $38,123,870 budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. The selectmen presented the budget, which represents a $1,767,122 or 4.86 percent increase, to the Board of Finance on March 23, First Selectman Robert Maynard said. The proposed budget includes $13,065,353 for the town, an increase of $652,523 or 5.1 percent; $1,185,144 for capital improvements, an increase of $419,091 or 54.71 percent; $1,194,238 for debt service, an increase of $13,406

or 1.14 percent; and $22,679,135 for the Board of Education, an increase of $1,061,131 or 4.91 percent. The proposed town mill rate is 31.5, compared to the current mill rate of 30.31. In District 1, when the Warehouse Point Fire mill rate of 1.2 is added, the total would be 32.74, an increase of 2.43 mills. In District 2, when the Broad Brook Fire mill rate of 1 is added, the total would be 32.54, an increase of 2.23 mills. Maynard said a town meeting vote on bonding for the roads program could move some of the funding for roads out

of the general fund, reducing the budget request for next year. The Board of Finance is scheduled to make its final budget recommendation by April 20. The budget referendum is scheduled for May 10. According to the town charter, a budget with a 2 percent increase over the current year’s budget is automatically enacted if voters have not approved a budget after three referendums, which was the case last year. In 2014, a budget was adopted following a third budget referendum, bringing an increase of 2.31 percent.

EAST WINDSOR - On Sunday, March 13, two members of the East Windsor Lions were presented awards for their outstanding volunteer work for the club this past year. Cathy Boulais, the club’s Reporting Secretary, received an award for being a “100 Percent Club Secretary” for filing all of her reports on the club’s activities

in a timely fashion. Sharon Rodriquez, a new member of the club in 2015, was honored by East Windsor Lions Club President Mary Lee Koehler as the club’s “Outstanding Lion” for 2015-16, for her many volunteer activities for the club, especially as the liaison for the Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops sponsored by the club.

And, a special mention went to the President of the East Windsor High School LEO Club, Gabriela “Gabby” Resto, who was presented an “Outstanding Leo” Award by Leo Club Advisor Barbara Sherman for her great service over the past year as the LEO Club president.

By Linda Tishler Levinson

Lions Honored At District Governor’s Annual Awards Breakfast

Syme Family Farm 121 East Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016 • (860-623-5925)

201 Weekly Cut Flower Club July -August 2, (8 weeks) Support Local Agriculture by Purchasing Fresh Cut Flowers Direct From a Local Grower. For 8 weeks starƟng July ϲth, we will cut a variety offield grown & greenhouse grown flowers for your bouquet. Pickup is on Wednesdays, between 4-7 pm. We grow over 30 diīerent varieƟes of cut flowers and your bouquet will be diīerent every week depending on what is in flower. We guarantee your saƟsfacƟ on, handled properly our bouquets have a long vase life. The Cut Flower Club makes a great giŌ for Mother’s Day, Birthdays or Anniversaries. The Cut Flower Club is a giŌ that keeps on giving for eight weeks. GiŌ CerƟficates are available. We can also custom design a membership, based on your schedule, please inquire. Either you, a family member or a friend can pick up your flowers, even if you are on vacaƟon.

Call 860-623-5925 or email if you have any quesƟons.

4 North Central News April 2016

Please return this form & payment to : Syme Family Farm LLC, Jennifer Syme, 121 East Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016 “Thanks for supporƟng local agriculture”- Jennifer Syme Name: ______________________________________________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________________________________________ Email Address: __________________________________________________________________________ We will email you on Tuesdays as a reminder. Phone Number: ___________________________________________________________________________ Please Circle Your Choice: Traditional Bouquet: 8 weeks @ $10.00= $85.08 (tax included) Premium Bouquet: 8 weeks @ $15.00= $127.62 (tax included)

A 2 percent increase went into effect in 2013, following the rejection of three budget votes. In 2012, a budget was approved on the third referendum. It carried a 1.97 percent increase.

Rotary Club Honors Peter Larese as Citizen of the Year

EAST WINDSOR – On April 21, Peter Larese will be honored as the East Windsor Rotary Club’s “Citizen of the Year.” Join the Rotarians in thanking Larese for his many contributions to East Windsor at the Nutmeg Restaurant with a cocktail hour from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and formal presentations.  Tickets are $30 per person, available by  emailing or contacting Denise Menard at 860-5584797. For questions or additional information, contact Menard.

Join us for

Emily Eye Care’s Annual Trunk Show. May 18th - 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm 139 Hazard Ave Ste 1, Enfield, CT 06082 Featured lines: Swarovski, Guess, Timberland and Marciano by Guess In the Fashion and Optical world, a Trunk Show is an opportunity for a representative to show an entire frame line, with all available colors and sizes. This gives you a chance to try on frame styles, colors, and sizes that are not usually offered in our optical department.

Trunk Shows Equal Big Savings. With a special discount of 25% and free Crizal EZ on every pair, this creates the lowest prices of the year.

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Youth special for ages 12 and under with price packaging for $199, which includes select youth frames and single vision polycarbonate lenses and Crizal EZ with a 2 year scratch warranty.

*You must have a valid prescription at time of purchase. Offers apply to selfpay purchases only; all prices and specials do not apply to orders placed through insurance. Free Crizal is Crizal EZ; all other levels of Crizal would be at full upgraded price minus a discount. All orders must be completed and paid for that day for free Crizal offer. No rain checks

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East Windsor Senior Center Offers Variety of Programs

East Windsor

EAST WINDSOR - The East Windsor Senior Center is located at 125 Main Street, Broad Brook, above the Broad Brook Fire Department. To sign up for the following programs, please call 860-292-8262. SHOPPING Shopping at Big Y or Walmart, East Windsor, every Monday, 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Grocery shopping at Geisslerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, East Windsor, every Wednesday, 9 a.m.10:30 a.m. Mobile Foodshare at St. Catherineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Parking Lot â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Friday, April 8 and April 22 from 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. FITNESS/HEALTH (Drop-ins welcome) Wii Bowling, every Monday at 12:30 p.m. Free Fitness Class, every Monday with Lynne Miller, CYT at 10:30 a.m. Cost: $3/class Chair Yoga, every Tuesday with Yoga

instructor Lynne Miller, CYT at 12:30 p.m. Cost: $3/class Walking Club (Enfield Mall) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Wednesday, April 20 from 12:30 p.m.2:30 p.m. Free Wii Zumba with Melissa Maltese, April 13, 20, and 27 at 12:30 p.m. Free Foot care is offered on Tuesday, April 19, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. There is a $29 charge for foot care. Please call for an appointment. ART Art with Tex â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Every Monday at 12:30 p.m. Free Coloring with Kristen â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Thursday, April 7, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Free Arts & Crafts with Melissa â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Wednesday, April 20, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Free NEEDLEWORK Sit and Stitch with Mary-Ellen (Knitting, Crochet, etc.) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Thursday, April 21, from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Free JEWELRY MAKING WITH JAN-

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lunch) EVENTS AND PROGRAMS at the EW Senior Center Game Day, Tuesday, April 5, 10 a.m.11:30 a.m. Free FREE Tax Assistance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Monday, April 11, from 9 a.m. to noon (please call 860-292-8262 to schedule an appointment). Laughter Workshop, Friday, April 8, 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Free Tea Time, Tuesday, April 12, 10 a.m.11 a.m. Free One-on-One Law Sessions, second Tuesday of the month, April 12, 12:30 p.m., please call for an appointment. Free Trivia with Teresa, Wednesday, April 13, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Free In-House Money BINGO, Thursday, April 14, 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. Cost: 50 cents per card â&#x20AC;&#x201C; four card maximum Focus Group, Tuesday, April 19, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Free Food for Thought, Tuesday, April 19, 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Free


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ICE Jewelry Making with Janice â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Thursday, April 14, at 10:30 a.m. Cost: $10/class BOOK CLUB Monday, April 25, at 10:30 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Devil in the White Cityâ&#x20AC;? by Erik Larson. Free IN-HOUSE MOVIE â&#x20AC;&#x153;5 Flights Up,â&#x20AC;? Friday, April 15, 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. Free MONTHLY SOCIAL The monthly social will be on Thursday, April 28, at noon. Entertainment will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will feature Jose Paulo (the amazing Brazilian voice in America). Free TRIPS Windsor Shopping Center (Ocean State Job Lot, Shop Rite, etc.) and Lunch at Popeyeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Friday, April 22, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (bring money for lunch) Breakfast at Sloppy Waffle and Shopping at Footprints, Friday, April 29, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (bring money for




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Districts Will Use Results To Measure Future Performance


(continued from page 1)

In Ellington, the results were mixed. Center School was named a School of Distinction, while Ellington High School received a Focus designation for English/language arts. Superintendent of Schools Scott Nicol pointed out the Focus designation was based on the scores of 22 high-

needs students on the ASBAC test, which will no longer be administered in public schools in the state. The overall Accountability Index for schools in north central Connecticut were: East Windsor District, 77.5; Broad Brook Elementary School, 80.5; East Windsor Middle School, 74.8; East Windsor High

School, 76.3.

Ellington District, 84.6; Center School, 89.9; Crystal Lake School, 88.6; Windermere Intermediate School 87,6; Ellington Middle School, 80.8; Ellington High School, 72.6. Enfield District, 76.2; Edgar H. Parkman School, 79.9; Eli Whitney School, 84.2; Enfield Street School, 66.2; Hazardville Memorial School, 81.2; Henry Barnard School, 75.3; Nathan Hale School, 71.4; Prudence Crandall School, 82.9; John F. Kennedy Middle School, 67.3; Enfield High School, 76; Enrico Fermi High School, 77.2. Somers District, 79.8; Somers Elementary School, 79.1; Mabelle B. Avery Middle School, 67.2; Somers High School, 75.7. Stafford District, 76.6; Stafford Elementary School, 79; Staffordville School, 68.5; West Stafford School, 88.8; Stafford Middle School, 83.1; Stafford High

School, 71.7.

Suffield District, 83; A. Ward Spaulding School, 100; McAlister Intermediate School, 82.8; Suffield Middle School, 83.5; Suffield High School; 78.9. Windsor Locks District, 73.6; North Street School, 63.6; South Elementary School, 75.4; Windsor Locks Middle School, 68.7; Windsor Locks High School, 68.4.

Age for Tobacco Products

HARTFORD- State Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8) testified on Thursday, March 3, in support of increasing the age limit to purchase tobacco products. Senate Bill 290 - An Act Concerning the Sale and Purchase of Tobacco Products, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products and Signage Concerning the Use of Such Products and Systems - would push the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21.

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April 2016 North Central News


April2016Part1_NCN new template 4/3/16 6:37 PM Page 8

Charter Revision Commission Discusses Town Manager


ELLINGTON — The Charter Revision Commission is recommending that Ellington create a town manager position rather than having the first selectman manage the day-to-day operations of the town. The recommendation, which was the most significant of those discussed at a March 23 public hearing, was based on a

suggestion from former First Selectman Maurice Blanchette. He was not at the public hearing, but in the past has said the town has grown to a size at which it makes sense to hire a professional administrator. Among those in opposition to the proposal at the hearing was First Selectman Lori Spielman. She said she did not see what a town manager could do for the

ELLINGTON - Come join the fun at one of Ellington’s top spring events. Prized tickets are still available for the exciting Retro Dance, sponsored by the Ellington Women’s Club, at Ellington Ridge Country Club, 56 Abbott Rd., Ellington, on Saturday, April 23, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Baby Boomers can jive to ’60s and ’70s music. Appetizers will be served from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with a dessert buffet at 9:30 p.m., as well as free tea and coffee and a cash bar to help guests get down

and boogie to the beat of their nostalgic favorites. Raffle tickets for prizes will also be offered to add to the lively entertainment of the evening. Purchase your tickets to the EWC ’60s and ’70s Retro Dance soon while they still last. Tickets are $25 per person for this lighthearted evening and must be purchased in advance by calling 860871-8133 or 860-872-8290 no later than April 18. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

By Linda Tishler Levinson

Ellington Women’s Club Plans Retro Dance

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8 North Central News April 2016


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Jim McMahon PGA Professional


Jim is very knowledgeable on the game, golf rules, techniques, and is dedicated to guest service.


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Rolling Meadows would like to welcome Jim McMahon, PGA Professional, to their golf family. The course is a beautiful 18-hole countryside gem built in 1997. It was designed by legendary golf architect Al Zikorus. The rolling hills and valleys of rural Ellington make this course scenic as well as challenging for golfers.

Jim enjoys meeting and working with golfers. “It’s exciting to be working in a field that I just absolutely love. The game of golf teaches you more every time you play.”


Chairman Ellen O’Shaughnessy said not having a town manager reduces institutional memory and can delay important matters. In answers to questions about the cost of having a town manager, she said that a town manager could save the town money, since they are adept at finding grant funding. Changes to the town charter require a referendum.

Rolling Meadows Golf Course Welcomes New PGA Pro

Jim McMahon brings much talent, experience and enthusiasm to our course. As Director of Golf Operations, he is creating a teaching platform for all levels of golf abilities. “I feel that teaching fundamentals will promote a lifetime of enjoyment for the game of golf.”



town that isn’t already being done, according to the minutes of the public hearing. She also said she was against bringing in an outsider who knows nothing about Ellington. Board of Finance Chairman Robert Clements said he would prefer a town administrator in the new role rather than a town manager. Charter Revision Commission

We encourage you to come on up the hill and introduce yourself!

Rolling Meadows is open for the 2016 Season.



We offer various membership packages, outing and tournament events, Men’s and Ladies Leagues, clinics as well as lessons, golf shop merchandise and service . Restaurant and Bar offering catering services. Looking forward to assisting you with your golf and outing needs. Phone: 860-870-5328 or visit our website at

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Kindness and Diversity Weekend Planned in Ellington

Ellington By Deborah Stauffer

ELLINGTON - Kindness and cultural diversity will be highlighted in Ellington the first weekend of May when there will be several free, fun and interesting events. The weekend kicks off on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at Hall Memorial Library on 93 Main Street with Li Liu and the Traditions of Chinese Acrobats. Li Liu was born in the city of Shenyang, China and at the age of six began her training. She attended The Chinese National Circus School in Beijing for eight years. She has performed worldwide and loves to share the traditions and culture of Chinese acrobatics. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and pre-registration is required. Saturday, May 7, will be a fun filled day beginning at 9 a.m., on the first day of the summer Ellington Farmers’ Market at Arbor Park, where the Decide to Be Kind campaign will kick off for spring. During the month of March and April, Ellington Youth Services and the Decide

to Be Kind campaign are sponsoring a poster contest for youth. The deadline for entries is April 20 and the contest is divided into K-grade 2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12 categories. One winner from each category will be chosen and announced on May 7 at the Farmers’ Market. Each winner will be awarded a gift card. Along with the winners on display, there will be giveaways and “Join the Moo-vement” lawn signs will be available and a special cow craft for kids. The Kindness Cow (a real cow), named “Cookies and Cream” by the 5th grade Windermere students, will be there for photos. Visit the website,, for more details on all kindness events for April and May. One event planned is Kindness Cleanup Day on April 23 from 10 a.m. to noon at Brookside Park in Ellington and volunteers are really needed. Please contact Youth Services to sign up. On May 7 after the Farmers’ Market, the Friends of Hall Memorial Library will present for the first time a Holi

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Festival from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Holi is a traditional Indian celebration that announces the passing of winter and the coming of spring. This is a family friendly gathering with music, dance, food and colors. The festival will be outdoors and colored powders will be used. Old clothing and water pistols are recommended. Preregistration is also required by calling 860-870-3160 or by going online at The rain date for the Holi Festival is Saturday, June 11. A great ending to the day will be an

evening of cultural diversity, Around the World in One Knight, sponsored by the Ellington Youth Services’ High School Cultural Club. This event will be at the Ellington High School Cafeteria from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will include the Ellington High School Steel Drum Band, Irish Step Dancing, Bollywood Dancing, Henna, crafts for children, Martial Art’s Demonstrations from American Karate, Zumba Fitness and international refreshments. All events are free for everyone in town. Visit for more details.

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April 2016 North Central News

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We Put the Emphasis on Living! • Multiple floorplans with the largest apartments in the area • Many with full kitchens and balconies • Featuring our Rose Lane program for residents with Alzheimer’s and other types of memory loss - located in a secured neighborhood within our community • Delicious meals served restaurant-style featuring a variety of meal choices and dining settings • Fun activities such as art, musical performances, our innovative Come Fly With Me lifetime learning program, movies, book clubs and wellness programs • Scheduled transportation to shopping, restaurants, and doctor’s offices • Our own Optimal Living program designed specifically for you!!

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An Evening Of Southern Gospel Music

ELLINGTON - The Ellington Baptist Church will host The Needhams on Saturday, April 16, at 7 p.m. at the church located at 264 Pinney St., Ellington. The Needhams are known for their versatility and harmony in their performance of Southern Gospel music,

as well as their many original compositions. The group performs at over 150 dates annually, and brings an inspiring Christian message through their music. There is no charge for the concert. For further information, please call the church at 860-872-8444.

ELLINGTON - The Friends of Hall Memorial Library in Ellington have scheduled the Spring Bag of Books Sale for April this year. It will have more than 5,000 books available. The sale will be held at the Hall Memorial Library, 93 Main St. in Ellington. The sale will be open on Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., and Sunday, April 17, from 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Fill a bag with your choice of books for $9 on Friday and Saturday. The sale on Sunday will be in the second-floor room only and the price will be $5 per bag. The Book Cellar will be closed on Sunday. The Friends will also be offering their fabric bags for $2.50. You may donate books for the sale whenever the library is open. For more information, call the library at 860-870-3160.

Friends of Library Plan Spring Book Sale

Jewelry for St. Jude’s

Cassie Harvell from Ellington has been raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by making and selling bracelets for the past three years. On March 19 she presented a check for $400 to the West Stafford Fire Department at its 10th annual St. Jude’s Pasta Dinner.  St. Jude’s was notified in advance of the donation and honored Cassie with a plaque. Including Cassie’s special donation the dinner raised a total of $5,074.

ELLINGTON - St. Luke Church, Ellington, will be holding its 15th annual golf tournament on Friday, June 3, at Rolling Meadows Country Club in Ellington. The event will be a scramble format starting at 12:30 p.m. Lunch is included. Dinner, prizes, and raffle will

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follow at St. Luke Church. There will be prizes for men’s, women’s and mixed divisions. The church welcomes all golfers, individuals or teams, to sign up for this event. Please call Bob at 860871-2542 to register or for more information.

April 2016 North Central News

Expires 4/28/16

St. Luke Church Golf Scramble

April2016Part1_NCN new template 4/3/16 6:56 PM Page 12

Regional Task Force Set Up To Fight Opioid Addictions


By Linda Tishler Levinson

ENFIELD - “Enfield alone had 12 opioid deaths last year.” With those words, Enfield Mayor Scott Kaupin opened the first meeting of the North Central Region Opioid Task Force. The task force, which is working to find ways to fight the opioid epidemic in the area, held the first of four training sessions March 8 at Enfield Town Hall. Representatives of law enforcement, government, medical professionals and community organizations from Enfield, Somers, East Windsor, Ellington, Suffield, Windsor Locks and Windsor were invited. About 150 people attended, said Colleen Sullivan, prevention coordinator for Enfield Youth Services. “Substance use disrupts our families, our schools and our communities,” said

Jean Haughey, director of Enfield Youth Services, the moderator for the event. She said the group will work to reduce the stigma of addiction to promote treatment. Enfield Capt. Jeffrey Golden talked about how everyone knows someone with mental health issues and someone with an addiction. He said the department’s detective bureau dealt with 300 narcotics cases and made 50 arrests for the sale of narcotics last year, adding that it affects people no matter where they live or their socio-economic class. “It doesn’t discriminate,” he said. Miriam Delphin-Rottmon, commissioner of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said the Northeast has been the hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, with a 150 percent increase in heroin use since 2007. She said it has replaced alcohol as the drug

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most reported on admission for substance abuse. Delphin-Rottmon said among state efforts to combat opioid abuse and deaths are improved access to Narcan, an antidote to overdoses, strengthening the prescription monitoring program, improving prescriber education and coordinating a statewide response through the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Policy Council. DMHAS is finding agency providers to educate through community forums, organizing drug take-back days and drop boxes, taking part in community efforts, compiling resources and posting them online and has created a statewide number to call for treatment, 800-563-4086, she said, In 2015, there were 19,391 admissions for opioid treatment statewide, with 52 from East Windsor, 46 from

Ellington, 262 from Enfield, 42 from Somers, 20 from Suffield, 63 from Windsor and 67 from Windsor Locks, Delphin-Rottmon said. Dr. Samuel Silverman of Rushford Addiction Services spoke on the science of addiction, saying that it results in “a pathological pursuit of pleasure.” “When somebody has an addiction disorder, their wants turn into needs,” he said. “Addiction is not about drugs. It’s about brains.” He said that medication-assisted treatment often is the most effective. He said that for many people, years of treatment is needed. “The longer someone is in treatment, the better the outcome.” The next meeting will be from 10 a.m. to noon April 12 in the Council Chambers at Enfield Town Hall.

Town Celebrating Earth Day

ENFIELD - The Town of Enfield is hosting the seventh Annual Earth Day Celebration at the Angelo Lamagna Activity Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20. The Earth Day Celebration is slated to include demonstrations, games, music, as well as giveaways and information about recycling. Organizers are seeking demonstrations of environmentally friendly products, healthy/locally grown foods to eat,

animal care demonstrations (including wildlife rescue), games made of recycled products and intended for children, musicians and actors performing environmental music and skits. Local environmental organizations are encouraged to participate. If interested or for additional details, please call Alison Alberghini, assistant recreation supervisor, at 860-253-6425.

12 North Central News April 2016

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April2016Part1_NCN new template 4/3/16 6:37 PM Page 13

Town Spending Plan Seeks 5.3 Percent Spending Increase


By Linda Tishler Levinson

ENFIELD — Acting Town Manager Lee Erdmann is seeking a $131.3 million budget for the 2017 fiscal year. The proposed budget, presented to the Town Council March 21, would bring an increase of $6,632,738 or 5.3 percent. The spending plan includes $62,825,728 for the town, an increase of $3,997,391 or 6.8 percent, and $68,519,029 for the Board of Education, an increase of $2,635,347 or 4 percent. The overall $131,344,757 budget would bring the mill rate to 31.88, an increase of 1.99 mills or 6.7 percent, Erdmann said in his budget presentation. The effect on the average single-family

homeowner with one motor vehicle would be a tax increase of $237.81 or 5.8 percent, he said. That would be an increase of $19.82 per month. Among the major factors for the increase in proposed spending plan are employee health insurance premiums, which are projected to rise 22 percent; debt service costs, which will rise by $1,329,432; employee overtime costs, which are budgeted to increase by $308,500; and transfers to other funds, based on general fund contributions to capital and other funds. Erdmann said the change in overtime costs is based on the fact that in prior years, the need for overtime was underestimated.

Magic Carpet Marks 100,000th Rider

On March 25, the Town of Enfield Magic Carpet fixed bus route celebrated its 100,000th rider, Linda Eaton, left. Standing with her is Dawn Wilcox, one of the Magic Carpet drivers.  

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Psychic to Appear at ACC Benefit

Little Angels Catholic Preschool Celebrates Pajama Day

Little Angels Catholic Preschool celebrated Pajama Day on Friday, Feb. 26. Students and faculty dressed up in their pajamas, and Librarian Joan Duggan from the Enfield Central Library visited the 4-year-old classroom and read stories to the students. Duggan reads to the 4-year-olds as students celebrated Pajama Day.

ENFIELD - Asnuntuck Community College’s Foundation is sponsoring an upcoming event, featuring Connecticut psychic medium Angelina Diana. She will be offering a reading event on Saturday, April 30, at 1 p.m. Funds raised that day will be used toward scholarships awarded by Asnuntuck Community College. As part of the fundraiser there will be random readings of the crowd. The psychic will also take questions from the audience. Due to the size of the crowd, not everyone can expect a reading. Tickets are $30 a person. The April 30 event will be taped by CT PATV 15 Cox Communications for Diana’s public access show. To purchase tickets to this unique experience, visit donate or for more information contact ACC’s Institutional Advancement and Community Engagement Director Keith Madore at 860-253-3041 or The popular psychic sold out during her last appearance at ACC.

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April2016Part1_NCN new template 4/3/16 6:37 PM Page 15

Benefit Ride Helps Local Boy and National Foundation


By Julie Cotnoir

ENFIELD - Macks Moran, from Enfield, clutches his Batman and his face lights up when asking a visitor if she wants to see his toys and his room. His balance may be unsteady and his speech not as advanced as other five-year-olds’, but Macks’ bright smile and joy for his family are heartwarming to watch. Little Macks is one of only 500 children in the United States to have the debilitating Niemann-Pick Type C. This inherited neurodegenerative disease impacts only one in 12,000 live births. Fifty percent of cases present before 10 years of age. Macks’ mom Laura Thompson said it was when Macks was 15 months old that doctors asked her and Macks’ dad whether their son had been sick. It was the little boy’s distended stomach that had the doctors asking this question. His liver and spleen were too large and that was when the little one received the devastating diagnosis. There is no cure for the disease. Thompson says that Niemann-Pick Type C is often referred to as a childhood Alzheimer’s disease. The family is starting to see the signs as the disease progresses. Macks will ask for mom when Laura is in the room. His cells are not removing the toxins. The medication Macks is currently on is slowing down the progression. New drugs and different types of protocols are being tested all the time. Thompson said she has befriended families of children with Niemann-Pick Type C across the country. One organization that she supports is the Ara Parseghian Medical Research

Foundation. This non-profit organization funds medical research. On May 21 Macks family will be participating in the third annual Macks Ride 2016. Macks and the Ara Paseghian Foundation ( will be the beneficiaries of the day’s proceeds. Family friend Frank Silver is once again organizing the day, which is family friendly and open to riders and non-riders alike. Motorcycles will leave the Thompsonville Moose Lodge 1525 at 124 South Rd. in Enfield and will take a three-hour scenic ride to Barkhamsted and back. The Thompsonville Moose Riders 1525 is supporting the event. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the riders will leave the Moose Lodge at 11:15 a.m. A buffet lunch will be served at 2 p.m. Local band Change-Up and D.J. Norman are donating their talents as the entertainment for the day. Thompson is hoping to use funds raised to construct an adaptive playground for Macks in the family’s backyard. She and nine-year-old daughter Skyla Thompson said it is getting to be challenging to bring Macks out for walks and to playgrounds because of the progress of the disease. Children suffering from the disease will have large amounts of cholesterol accumulate within the liver, spleen and brain, which is what results in neurological problems. His unsteadiness on his feet, as a result of the disease’s progress, means he needs a different type of playground. “We can’t move him around too much,” says Laura Thompson. Because of his challenges, a lack of movement could result in him putting

Nine-year-old Skyla Thompson, left, her five-year-old brother Macks Moran, and Laura Thompson are photographed in their Enfield home.

Photo by Julie Cotnoir

on too much weight. “We want to keep his legs moving,” Laura says. Funds raised go toward things Macks needs and what makes Macks happy, explains his mother. “Quality of life is what we are choosing for Macks.” Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased by contacting Frank Silver at 860-205-0547 or Laura Thompson at 860-278-6057. The day will include a raffle. Airline tickets, wine baskets and gift certificates will be some of the prizes included in the raffle.

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Home Improvement Guide Bob Vilaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;10 April Must-Doâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Projects Courtesy of

With cold weather finally on the way out, April offers the opportunity to return to outdoor living. Home improvement expert Bob Vila offers the following 'must-do' projects to do around the house this month. Prep your space for spring and summer by maintaining the home exterior and beautifying the lawn and garden. Then turn your attention indoors, specifically to the basement to protect your home from spring flooding. Most of all, take a moment to appreciate the season, and your house, too Check the Sump Pump As many homeowners know, April showers can bring flooded basements. Heavy rains cause soil to become saturated with water, and that water can leak into your home through window wells or a vulnerable foundation. A sump pump should be able to mitigate the problem, but only if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in good working condition. Check yours now to prevent costly flooding later. First, check the sump pump pit for debris and remove anything that doesn't belong. Then, fill the sump pump with water to test the float and


ensure that it starts and stops properly. Also, take a minute to clean the impeller, the small filter on the sump pump. If this part becomes clogged, it could cause a sump pump to stop running when you need it most. Unclog the Downspouts Everyone knows that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vital to clean gutters in spring and fall, but all too often homeowners neglect clogged downspouts, which can cause problems when torrential rains hit. After clearing your gutters of leaves and debris, run an auger or hose into the downspouts to clear away blockages. Then, consider installing a leaf strainer over the downspout to prevent future buildup. Paint the Front Door Want to give your home a simple facelift without the expense of a major improvement project? There's no better budget solution than painting the front door. For the cost of a small can of paint, you can instantly brighten your home's facade and give it a fresh look for springâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;all year long. Simply let the newly painted door make a statement on its own, or take the project even further by painting the trim, window frames,

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and shutters in a corresponding hue. Reseed the Lawn A hard winter can sometimes cause a lawn to come back thin and sparse in the spring. To give your grass a thicker, lusher look, the best thing to do now is to overseed. First, choose the best type of grass for your region: You'll want to select a coolseason variety, such as Kentucky bluegrass, if you live in the north; if you live in the southern states, go with a warmseason variety instead. Prep your lawn to receive new seed by mowing, then apply the seed using a spreader to ensure even coverage. Lightly water the new grass on a regular basis, and keep off the seeded areas as much as possible until the new growth is firmly established. Power Wash the Patio It's amazing what a year's worth of grime can do to a beautiful deck or patioâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;namely, age it beyond all recognition. Using a pressure washer (you can buy or rent one at most home centers), spray down the surface of the wood or concrete evenly. Once the work is done, you'll be impressed by the results of your clean-

ing. Remember: When using a pressure washer on exterior siding, keep the wand a few feet away from the surface, as the powerful stream can cause damage to shake shingles or stucco at close range. Update the Garden Freshen the look of your yard and garden by swapping out weathered fixtures and accents for new ones. Remove tattered wicker or rusty metal garden edging and replace it with reclaimed brick, mulch (or faux mulch), or your choice of material. Then, consider repainting a weathered birdhouse or adding a new, elegant birdbath to the backyard. Not only are they a welcome sanctuary for songbirds, but they double as delightful backyard architecture. Clean Bathroom Grout Even a clean bathroom can look dirty and dingy if the grout is discolored. The first thing to do is to make sure the grout is cleanâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a toothbrush and plain water or vinegar will accomplish this. If the grout remains discolored try applying oxygen bleach.



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Home Improvement Guide (continued from page 19)

If stubborn stains persist, as can happen with porous grout, consider hiding the problem with a grout colorant (available at home centers) or good old-fashioned latex paint, applied with a thin bristled paintbrush. Dry Out the Basement Because of their place below the grade, basements are vulnerable to leaks and excess moisture. That's why itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good idea to run a dehumidifier in the basement, especially if youâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or your off-season storageâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;spend a lot of time down there. Over time, excess moisture leads to mold growth, warped wood or paper,

rust, and peeling paint. A dehumidifier allows you to control the indoor humidity level, and take extra water out of the air. You can choose from a small, portable dehumidifier or a whole-house system depending on your needs. Check for Termites Preventing and eliminating termite infestations is a vitally important part of being a homeowner. But because of their tendency to hide in the wood itself, this destructive bug can be hard to spot. Take a walk about your home exterior, armed with a screwdriver and a flashlight. Use the screwdriver to probe behind wood trim and siding, looking for any pellet-like droppings, discarded wings, or wood that appears to be decayed or

water damaged. If you suspect a termite infestation, the best thing to do is to consult a specialist immediately. Don't wait to address the damage, or you could end up with tens of thousands of dollars in home repair costs before you know it. Plant a Container Garden With the threat of frost now gone, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the perfect time to plant a container garden. Choose colorful cool-season annuals like pansies and snapdragons, as well

as ornamental grasses and vinca vines. DIYers of all ages can make an afternoon project out of it by crafting a window box from wooden boards, or painting a terra-cotta pot to match your home's exterior. Remember, because of their small sizes, container gardens require more frequent waterings than garden beds, so go ahead and give yours a good soak whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. - Courtesy of



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Middle School Students Will Present ‘A Pirate’s Life for Me’


SOMERS - Students at Mabelle B. Avery Middle School will be traveling back in time, to a world where pirates ruled the seas and plundered islands in search of the sweet trade. Since October, dozens of students have been building sets, choreographing dance numbers, and constructing oversized anchors, cannons, and ship wheels. The award-winning playwright, Bill Francoeur, wrote “A Pirate’s Life for Me,” and it showcases some of the best musical lyrics in modern young adult drama. This year, the audience will also get a chance to understand what it takes to build sets and props through the use of interactive technology that will be introduced in the program for the very first time. Theatre enthusiasts will be able to witness, step by step, what it takes to put on a theatre production by having access to dozens of photographs and video from early rehearsals. What makes this show incredibly unique is that every musical number has been created and choreographed by students. One student is sixth grader Allison Carra. “I’m having a great time,” Allison said, in between teaching male lead, Patrick Connors (Roger Goodman) and female lead, Alexandra McLellan (Sarah Huffington), dance steps.

Choreographers work very hard to pull everything together. The extra effort pays off, however, because once the actors learn the routine, everything seems to come to life. The process takes a while, but the choreographers find a way to teach the students so they can fully understand and master the routine. The song that everyone enjoyed learning was “I'll Marry the Wench.” Gabby Tullock, Kiera Clark, and Carra worked with the song that had to do with the lead roles getting married. At first, everyone was bashful, but soon realized that they must pull through and listen to the students that were trying to make the number reach its full potential. With every actor on stage, Carra, Emily Brayton, and Angelina Chapman took small steps to get the opening number to look fantastic and make the audience not want to move from its seats. “Livin’ the Good Life” is one of the funniest numbers, with great choreography done by Clark and Alana Sweat. The two did a fantastic job teaching the students in that particular group because it was challenging for them at first, but eventually things fell into place. “Anchors Aweigh” is a song that involves all three groups. Tullock and Carra worked hard to find choreography for every group.

Long John Silver, with sword, played by Sheridan Speight, is joined by members of Bluebeard’s Crew: Gabby, Claire, Allison, and Lily. Not only is the dance hard for the actors, but it had challenging vocals as well. “The Sweet Trade” was without choreography until Olivia Suter stepped up to the plate and made a fantastic routine so everyone will enjoy the thrill of the sweet trade. Amari O’Conner and Lily Saunders worked on a song that was fit for a queen. “The Pirate Queen” has

beautiful choreography that demonstrates and tells the story of the girls becoming pirates. “Captain Blood” has choreography done by Izzy Munson and Alexandra McLellan. This number not only involves Captain Blood’s crew, but the ensemble as well. All of the chore-

MBA/page 31

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30 North Central News April 2016




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April2016NCNpart2_NCN new template 4/3/16 5:21 PM Page 31

Overall Town Spending Could See 2.28 Percent Increase


By Linda Tishler Levinson

SOMERS -- The Board of Selectmen is proposing a $31,396,041 budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. The proposed spending plan is an an increase of 2.28 percent or $699,938 over the current year’s budget. The budget, which is being reviewed by the Board of Finance, would bring a 0.85 mill increase in the tax rate, bringing that rate to 24.22. “While other towns have regularly increased their mill rate, ours has

remained the same for the past three years. We believe the effects of revaluation and the desire to not negatively impact our community needs has made this increase necessary,” the board wrote in its budget presentation. “For the majority of taxpayers who saw a decline in their property assessments after revaluation, this mill increase will not result in a corresponding tax increase.” For a homeowner with an assessed property value of $200,000, the proposal would bring property taxes of $4,844,

MBA Students Present Pirate Play (continued from page 30)

ographers deserve praise for their hard work and positive attitude: Emily Brayton, Angelina Chapman, Allison Carra, Amari O’Conner, Izzy Munson, Alexandra McLellan, Gabby Tullock, Alana Sweat, Kiera Clark, Claire Bruso, Olivia Suter and Lilly Saunders. They make a huge contribution to the play and are doing a great job being leaders when it comes to teaching. “A Pirate’s Life for Me” will be per-

formed at the Percoski Auditorium at Somers High School on Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the MBA office and at the door. For additional information please contact MBA Drama Advisor Mark Maciolek at mark.maciolek@somers.k12.

an increase of $170 a year. The proposed budget includes $7,410,849, the same as the current budget; $22,014,859 for the Board of Education, an increase of $550,933 or

2.57 percent; $1,720,333, an increase of $99,005 or 6.11 percent; and $250,000 for capital projects, an increase of $50,000 or 25 percent.

Final Somers Beautification Plant Sale

SOMERS - The owners of Grower Direct Farm will graciously open their wholesale greenhouse on Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m. to noon for one last sale for the benefit of Somers Beautification. Grower Direct Farms is located at 164 Hampden Rd., Somers. This is the last time that the greenhouse will be open to the public for a sale on site. Somers Beautification wants to thank the owners for their support and help over all these great years. Without them Somers Beautification would never have been able to build as many gardens as it has in town. Volunteer members plant and maintain about 15 public garden areas in town. They decorate the town for the fall and winter holidays. When you purchase items at this sale, you support Somers Beautification, as well as the Somers

Fire Department and the High School Beta Club. Members of the Fire Department create order from chaos in directing the parking of vehicles and also in helping to load cars with purchases. Students from the Beta Club help in placing plants in cars or trucks as well as transporting carts to buyers. Pell Farms has been a welcome addition to this event. They supply perennials, shrubs, and trees for your wants and needs. Meadowbrook Farms will also be at the sale with young vegetable stock for your gardens. Please attend the plant sale, enjoy a free cup of coffee and a doughnut, meet members of Somers Beautification, Grower Direct, Somers High Beta Club, and Somers Fire Department, and purchase plants for your enjoyment or to give as gifts.


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Somers’ Skier Hannah Soar to Represent U.S. Ski Team


KILLINGTON - Killington Mountain School freestyle athlete Hannah Soar has been selected to represent the United States at the Junior World Championships in Åre, Sweden on April

9-10. Soar, a high school junior from Somers, was selected to the four-woman team based on her performance at this year’s NorAm Tour. Coach Kris Pepe, KMS Freestyle Program Director, said,

“It is a great honor for Hannah to be named as one of the four top U20 athletes in the country.” “Junior Worlds was something that I have always dreamed of getting an invite to,” Soar said. “I owe so much to coach Kris Pepe for helping me both mentally and physically prepare this fall in order to help me get ready for our winter competitions. I came into the season strong and determined to make sure that every competition run was as good as possible, and I resolved not to hold anything back. Thanks to my coaches, teachers, and teammates I was able to

have one of my most successful seasons yet, and plan to finish strong at Junior Worlds.” “Hannah has worked externally hard throughout this year,” Pepe added. “It is always awesome to see an athlete’s hard work pay off. Junior Worlds is very prestigious event; Hannah will ski against all the top U20 skiers in the world. It’s pretty cool for a 16-year-old to qualify for this kind of event. Her qualification has created a buzz throughout the whole team. It is a result that we can all take pride in.”

Popular Horizons Café Returns to Somers High

SOMERS - Somers High School Food Service and Management Program presents Horizons Café, a student-run restaurant. It operates each Thursday through April 28. It will be closed April 21 for April vacation. The students of the Somers High School Food Service Program prepare and serve such items as Baked Stuffed Shrimp, Filet Mignon, and Chicken

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Francese. The Café offers a prix fixe menu for $20. The menu will include a beverage, soup, salad, entrée, and dessert. A children’s menu is available. The restaurant, Horizons Café, will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and reservations are suggested for they are limited to 75 seats per evening. Reservations may be made by calling instructor Lynn Tracy at 749-2270, ext. 4170.

April2016NCNpart2_NCN new template 4/3/16 5:21 PM Page 33

Somers Senior Center Offers Various Classes and Trips


SOMERS - The Somers Senior Center will host a Lunch and Learn in April. On Monday, April 18, at 11 a.m., attendees will receive information from Greater Hartford Legal Aid, who offers free legal information and services to residents at least 60 years of age. Attorney Marilyn Denny from the Senior Law Project will be presenting on a variety of important topics and can also meet with anyone individually following the presentation. Health Care instructions and Power of Attorney will be reviewed. The Enfield Adult Day Center will host an informative presentation on Friday, April 8, at 2 p.m. Come learn about the facility and all it has to offer. Light refreshments will be provided. Blair Manor will present six sessions of diabetes education beginning in April. Session 1 will take place Friday,

April 22, at 2 p.m.; a general overview of diabetes including the different types and treatment methods. Session 2 is scheduled for Friday, April 29, at 2 p.m. and a dietician will be on hand to discuss which foods are good and which are not for those with diabetes. In celebration of National Poetry Month, join the center for a poetry reading by Ellen Rita Evans on Friday, April 15, at 1 p.m. Hear the words from the pages of “Heart, Soul, and Mind,” a collection of her poems and short stories. Please be sure to attend the April 25 Coffee Talk session and learn about volunteer opportunities at the Senior Center and in the community. Event takes place at 1 p.m. Do not miss the opportunity to sign up for an unforgettable trip to Harlem. The neighborhood has undergone an

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amazing revitalization and has so much to offer. You will enjoy a special guided tour of the Apollo Theatre, lunch at the famous Sylvia’s Restaurant, and a guided riding tour highlighting the Harlem Meer in Central Park, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, the famous brownstones, and so much more. Deadline to sign up is April 16. Cost is $115 per person. Open to all. The Somers Senior Center’s David Gwilliam Mohegan Sun Casino bus trip will take place on Friday, May 20. You do not have to be a senior or a resident of Somers for this trip. Bus will leave promptly at 8:30 a.m. from the Somers Senior Center and will return at around 5:30 p.m. Trip cost of $25 per person includes round-trip deluxe motor coach, two $10 gambling vouchers, a $15 food voucher, and the driver’s gratuity. Join the center on a three-day adventure to see some of the best the Green Mountain state has to offer. This trip includes tours of the Vermont State House and Teddy Bear Factory, and a

dinner cruise on the elegant Spirit of Ethan Allen. You will also tour the Rock of Ages Quarry where you will learn about the making of the National WWII Memorial in Washington DC and take home a commemorative keepsake. Cost is $411 per person double/triple ($541 single). Deposit of $150 per person is due by April 25. Take advantage of a limited time offer to try your first class of Zumba Gold or Qigong free. Qigong (regularly $5) has a new time on Fridays at 11 a.m. Zumba Gold is held on Mondays at 2:30 p.m. for $4 residents/$5 nonresidents. Chair Aerobics on Mondays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. free of charge (done with an instructional video). Bingo takes place on Thursdays from noon-3:30 p.m. The Knitting Group meets on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and the Art Group meets Friday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. Join the center for a game of Pitch (Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1 p.m.), Pinochle (Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m.), Wii Bowling or Dominos (both held Wednesdays at 1 p.m.)

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Area’s Largest Indoor Tag Sale

SOMERS The Somers Congregational Church is holding its annual Indoor Tag Sale, which is highly anticipated by tag sale lovers and bargain hunters with thousands of wellpriced items. There is something for virtually everyone. The hours of the sale are Saturday, April 30, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The church is located at 599 Main St. in Somers. For more information visit

Bus Trip to Newport Flower Show

SOMERS The Somers Congregational Church Ladies Group is sponsoring a bus trip to the Newport Flower Show on Saturday, June 25. The bus departs from the church located at 599 Main St., Somers at 8:30 a.m.

Tickets are $65 per person and include roundtrip motor-coach, admission to the flower show, gratuity and taxes. Tickets may be purchased at the church office Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information call 860-763-4021, email or visit the church website at

Collection for Domestic Abuse Victims

SOMERS - As a continued supporter of the local Network Against Domestic Abuse, the Somers Women’s Club is initiating a drive to collect gently used handbags and items needed by women in a crisis situation. The goal is to provide each woman who is seeking shelter a handbag filled with personal necessities such as hair brushes and combs, toiletries, cosmetics, deodorants, personal hygiene products, and vitamins and health aids. The club hopes to be able to

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Seniors Luncheon

SOMERS - All Somers seniors are invited to a luncheon hosted by the Ladies Aide Society of the Congregational Church of Somersville on Tuesday, April 26, at noon. This annual luncheon will consist of baked ham, ranch potato casserole, vegetable, gelatin salad, homemade rolls and breads, beverage and bread pudding with raspberry sauce. Reservations should be made in advance by calling or emailing the

church office at 860-749-7741 or, or by signing up on the sheet posted at the Somers Senior Center. Cost is $5 per person; the church, located at 22 Maple St., and its dining hall are handicap accessible. Please consider joining up for this scrumptious luncheon.

Village Players Spring production

SOMERS - The Somers Village Players Spring Dinner Theater will be producing the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning show “Proof” by David Auburn. Catherine has inherited her late father’s mathematical brilliance, but she worries that she may also share his debilitating mental illness. Directed by Shirley Elliott Warner and produced by the Village Players of Somers, the cast includes Jackie Mishol, Christine Zdebski, Keith Giard and Joshua Prouser. Show dates are April 8 and 9, 15 and 16, 22 and 23 and will be staged at Joanna’s Banquet Facilities, 145 Main St., Somers. For information and to find out when tickets will be on sale, please visit the website at


PROOF By David Auburn

Performance Dates:

April 8 & 9 • 15& 16 22 & 23, 2016

Directed by Shirley Elliott Warner

Spring Dinner Theater

Reservations are required.


50% OFF 34 North Central News April 2016

gift the shelter with 50 filled handbags for Mother’s Day. The Somers Pharmacy is assisting with this endeavor by placing a decorated carton in the store for individuals wishing to contribute. Also aiding the Somers Women’s Club with its efforts to help abused women, Dress Barn in Enfield continues its campaign of “Stepping Away from Abuse” by encouraging women to donate socks and hosiery when buying items for their own use. On this approaching Mother’s Day, please visit these businesses and offer a donation to help make this a better day for women suffering from unfortunate circumstances.

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Gaynor Joins 360 Federal Credit Union

WINDSOR LOCKS – Robert L. Aresti, president/CEO of 360 Federal Credit Union, announced that Traci Gaynor has joined the company as branch manager at the Rt. 75 location. Gaynor brings over 15 years of banking experience and 11 years in management to 360FCU. Gaynor is responsible for coaching and mentoring the sales team, achieving branch and credit union goals and implementing marketing campaigns and product launch strategies. Prior to the 360FCU, Gaynor was branch manager with Peoples Bank for over four years. Gaynor received her bachelor’s degree in Business from American International College and is currently working towards her Masters at Springfield College. She resides in Massachusetts where she sits on two boards, The Friends of the Homeless and The Association of Black Business and Professional and volunteers at the Urban League in the Senior Citizen Program and an after school program, called ADC Prevention Services. Headquartered in Windsor Locks, 360

Federal Credit Union has a total of two full service branches open to the public in Hartford County, as well as a branch in UTC Aerospace Systems in Windsor Locks, Enfield High School and at Ensign-Bickford Aerospace in Simsbury. Established in 1952, the credit union’s membership of over 16,000 worldwide and now proudly serving Hartford, Middlesex, and Tolland counties.

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36 North Central News April 2016

Featuring: Music, Art Education, Drama, Creative Movement, Literature, Discovery, Outdoor Activities Field Trips.

Week 1: June 27-July 1 American Spirit - Yay, America! Celebrate our great country in story, song and art.

Week 2: July 5-8 Messy Art - Explore many different ways to express yourself through visual art.

Week 3: July 11-15 Animals Big & Small - Learn about some of your favorite animals - past & present, while we share adventures in story, song and art. Field Trip: Wickham Park Week 4: July 18-22 Country Fair - Each school will spend the week exploring activities that you might find at a country fair. Family Night: Thurs., July 21 at 684 Tolland Stage Rd., Tolland for all families. Week 5: July 25-29 Drama with Puppets and More - A week filled with stories told through puppets and other dramatic forms. Field Trip: Fri., July 29, No Strings Attached in Stafford Week 6: Aug. 1-5 Olympic Week - PSA will present their own Olympics at each location. There will be opportunities to visit other countries. Week 7: Aug. 8-12 Explore Underwater Life - Field Trip: Mystic Aquarium Week 8: Aug. 15-18 Let’s Go Camping - An adventure exploring the outdoors.

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April School Vacation Fun at The New England Air Museum

WINDSOR LOCKS – The New England Air Museum will hold family fun school vacation week programs from April 9 to 24. Explore three giant hangars filled with over 80 aircraft and experience the wonders of flight. A variety of activities will be offered daily including hands-on build and fly challenges, open cockpit experiences aboard real aircraft, aircraft scavenger hunts, and more. The Museum's Flight Sim Spot will also be open daily between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Flight Sim Spot allows visitors to use state-ofthe-art simulators using real cockpit controls and suitable for ages 10 and up. In addition, docents will be on hand to interact with the visitors. Additional activities are scheduled for the following days: Monday, April 11 - Aeromodeling Workshop - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Build and fly an AMA Delta Dart model airplane with help from our expert aeromodelers. Requires the purchase of a $5 Delta Dart kit. Modelers must be age 10 or older.

Tuesday, April 12 - Paper Boomerangs - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Discover the science behind how boomerangs fly and build your own boomerang to take home. Wednesday, April 13 - Pinwheel Helicopters - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. How do pinwheels spin? How do helicopters fly? Learn how by building your own pinwheel helicopter. Thursday, April 14 - Constellation Viewers - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Discover the secrets of the night sky, learn the history of constellations, and build your own paper portal to the stars. Friday, April 15 - LEGO Flying Machine Contest - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Back by popular demand. Create a fantastic fantasy flying machine and enter to win a prize from our Wings ‘N Things Gift Shop. Contestants need not be present to win. Monday, April 18 - LEGO Flying Machine Free Build - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Create a fantastic fantasy flying machine.

April2016NCNpart2_NCN new template 4/3/16 5:21 PM Page 37

Public Input Sought on Proposed Town Spending Plan


By Linda Tishler Levinson

STAFFORD -- The public will get a chance to speak out on the proposed town budget at an April 20 public hearing. The Board of Selectmen is seeking a $12,610,746 townside spending plan for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which represents an increase of $13,361 of 0.1061 percent. The budget includes a general government budget of $10,014,516, a decrease of $37,678 or 0.37 percent; a debt service budget of $2,061,795, an increase of $45,775 or 2.27 percent; and a public library budget of $534,435, an increase of $5,264 or 0.99 percent. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking at making it even lower,â&#x20AC;? First Selectman Anthony Frassinelli said. He said there will be some impact on the budget based on assessments and that it will be affected by the state mill rate cap for motor vehicles. Beginning with the 2016-17 fiscal year, the state Legislature enacted a law capping the tax rate for motor vehicles at 32 mills, regardless of the local mill rate. The

townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current tax rate is 33.37 mills. The Board of Education is seeking a $27,855,810 budget, which represents an increase of 1.4 percent or $383,310. Internet Safety The Stafford Public Schools are offering an Internet Safety Program for parents on April 7 at Stafford Middle School with dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and a presentation from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Separate presentations are being made during school hours for fifth-graders and middle and high school students. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really excited about this opportunity,â&#x20AC;? said Michael Bednarz, director of curriculum for the school system. Scott Driscoll, a former Connecticut law enforcement officer, computer forensic examiner, and member of the FBI Innocent Images Task Force, will be making the presentations. Topics will include apps and programs children use, cyberbullying, sexting, social networking, digital footprints, online trends and dangers, tips on using technology safely and strategies to

keep families safe. The program is being sponsored by Kristin Guglielmo and the Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance Agency and the

Stafford Elementary Schoolsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Programs After School in Stafford, Bednarz said. Childcare for ages 3 to 10 will be provided at the free program.

New Electric Vehicles Come to Town Hall

On March 4, two new electric cars were delivered to the Stafford Town Hall. In keeping with the clean initiatives the Stafford Energy Advisory Committee has done for Stafford, this committee has secured grants totaling $56,228. They will go towards the $63,994 cost of two 2016 plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volts. These cars can go 53 miles on electricity before a gasoline generator starts to power the car. Above, First Selectman Anthony Frassinelli charges one of the cars.

April 2016 North Central News

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April2016NCNpart2_NCN new template 4/3/16 5:21 PM Page 38

Stafford Library Offers Variety of Programs During April


STAFFORD - The Stafford Public Library has scheduled the following programs in April. All events are free and open to the public. The library requests pre-registration b calling 860-684-2852 or www.stafford Monday - Rhymetime will be held on April 11, 18, 25 at 10 a.m. for children 0-2 years Tuesday - Teddy Bear Time will be held on April 12, 19, 26 for children 2 years and older Wednesday-Animal Storytime will be held on April 6, 13, 20 27 at 3:30 p.m. w/animal guest! Mother-to-Mother at 11 a.m. every Friday. A group where moms can sup-

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port each other, share information and enjoy one anotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s company. Children welcome. Movie at The Library - â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Heart of the Sea.â&#x20AC;? Rated PG-13. Movie at 2 p.m. Teen Game Club â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 9 and 23. Bring your Beyblades, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh. Magic the Gathering or something else. Pre-register. April 9 at 2:30 - Movie - â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Force Awakens.â&#x20AC;? Rated PG-13. Popcorn provided. OPEN ART STUDIO for teens and adults from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, April 4 and 18 with guest artist Helen Dewey, local watercolor


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38 North Central News April 2016

ÂĄÂ&#x153;Â&#x2013;Â&#x17D;Â&#x161;Â&#x2039;Â&#x153;Â&#x161;Â&#x17D;ÂŁ Â?Â&#x153;Â&#x17D;ÂŁÂ&#x161;Â&#x153;¤Â&#x2019;Â&#x160;¨Â&#x17D; ¤Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x17D;Â&#x160;Â&#x161; Â&#x160;Â&#x2039;ÂĄÂ&#x153;Â&#x2013;Â&#x17D;Â&#x161;Â&#x2019;Â&#x17D;Â&#x160;ÂĄÂĽá&#x20AC;&#x201D;á&#x20AC;&#x201D;á&#x20AC;&#x201D;

artist, Please register. Meditation at 7 p.m. with Clare Vidich or Arlene Avery on April 5 and 19. April 11 at 6 p.m. - â&#x20AC;&#x153;Night of 1000 Starsâ&#x20AC;? with guests, the Stafford High School Madrigal Singers to help celebrate National Library Week at the library. Family Game Time at the Library April 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. All ages are welcome to come and play card games or board games, etc. The library has a large collection. You may bring your own games from home. Magic the

Gathering and other card games are welcome. Movie at the Library - April 16 at 10:30 a.m. - â&#x20AC;&#x153;Open Season Scared Sillyâ&#x20AC;? - Rated PG. April 21 at 7 p.m. welcome past state archeologist Nicholas Bellantoni, who will present a program titled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Hitler Projectâ&#x20AC;? sponsored by the Friends of the Stafford Library. Stafford Library Book Club welcomes you to the library on April 27 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the book â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Thirteenth Taleâ&#x20AC;? by Diane Setterfield. Books are available for checkout.

STAFFORD - Realize Your Beauty Day is a day dedicated to young people helping young people respect their body and inner beauty. It is a day to celebrate what makes each of us uniquely beautiful. The event is sponsored by Realize Your Beauty, Inc. and a group of area advocates. Beauty does not come in size small fits all and self-esteem need not be dependent on body size. Too many children and adolescents struggle to maintain a positive body image. The rise of life-threatening eating disorders and youth who hate their body size is alarming. The media glorification of ultra thin people has magnified the problem. Bullying of people of size continues at alarming rates. Young people need to be empowered

to realize their worth and beauty no matter their size. Parents can be a positive force in this journey of self-affirmation. Join in a celebration of real beauty and promoting positive body image. Come and learn, affirm and share the power. The event features poetry slamming, dance, drama and art projects. Help stand up for people everywhere who feel they are not good enough. Take the Realize Your Beauty pledge. Parents, support your children to believe in themselves. The event, open to all, is Friday, April 15, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Stafford Community Center, Buckley Highway (Rt. 190), Stafford Springs. For more information, contact Deidriene Knowlton at 860-916-0769.

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April2016NCNpart2_NCN new template 4/3/16 5:21 PM Page 39

LadySong and Treble Troubadors Celebrate Final Season


STAFFORD - All good things must come to an end. The present concert season of LadySong and Treble Troubadours conducted by Susan Leavitt will be the last for the two groups on April 30 at Stafford Middle School. Leavitt has been conducting music in Stafford for over 45 years, starting first in the public schools, then with the Community Chorus, and finally with LadySong and Treble Troubadours. Leavitt feels she has been truly blessed to make music with so many friends for so many years, and she would like to end this chapter of her life with many of them either participating in the concert or attending. “I am so excited about this final concert with LadySong and Treble Troubadours,” she said. “We have over 35 former singers returning to sing a portion of the program together in celebration of the bonds that one makes through music. “There are many fond memories from

the past 45-plus years, trips with students, concerts in and out of schools, performances of major works like the Gloria by John Rutter, the complete Messiah, and one of our favorites, The Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten. Music makes friends and creates bonds that transcend mere acquaintances. “I cherish the many opportunities that I have had to create those bonds and cement those memories. I am sure that the ‘Thank You for the Music’ concert will be another memory to cherish for years to come.” She will add some “alumni” pieces to the regular concert so this can happen. Leavitt is especially interested in knowing whether men from her previous choruses want to be involved since this will determine what pieces of music she selects. Message on Facebook to Susan Bills Tupper Leavitt or email whether you can participate or not.

STAFFORD – The Stafford Springs Congregational Church, located at 3 Main St., will hold its annual Meatloaf Luncheon on April 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eat-in or take-out options are available. Walk-ins are welcome. Should you decide to sit at our tables, there is ample convenient parking across the street at Town Hall.

For the low cost of $9, you can enjoy a generous lunch of meatloaf, red potatoes, gravy, Italian green beans, carrots, bread and butter, coffee and tea and for dessert, apple pie. As always, proceeds benefit the local missions of the church. Call the church at 860-684-4194 for more information or to purchase advanced tickets.

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vided before the concert at 7 p.m. There will be no tickets for the concert, but donations will be sent to the Hope of Honduras.

April 2016 North Central News

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The present concert season of LadySong and Treble Troubadours conducted by Susan Leavitt will be the last for the groups on April 30 at Stafford Middle School.

April2016NCNpart2_NCN new template 4/3/16 5:21 PM Page 40


Safe Net Ministries Monthly Food Cupboard Distribution

Lions Club Eyeglass Collection Boxes

Lion Bob Campbell shows the new eyeglass collection boxes he built to be installed in various locations throughout the towns of Stafford and Union. Boxes are located at Dr. David Palozej's office, Outdoor Equipment, Stafford Library, all branches of Stafford Savings Bank, and Stafford Senior Center.

STAFFORD - Safe Net Ministries will conduct its March Food Cupboard distribution on Saturdays, April 9 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The distribution will be held at Safe Net Headquarters, 86 Main St., Stafford Springs. Food distribution is held the second and fourth Saturday of each month. Donations of items including soap, shampoo, toothpaste, shaving products and tissue are needed. Volunteers are needed to assist with food delivers at 9 a.m. on the second and

fourth Mondays of the month. The time commitment is one hour. Safe Net’s mission is a multi-denominational nonprofit organization helping our Stafford and Union neighbors in need, to provide comfort and support as necessary through our various ministries – Food Cupboard, Flo’s Friendship Kitchen, and utility/general assistance. Donations may be sent to Safe Net at Post Office Box 93, Stafford Springs, CT 06076. Contact Safe Net at 860-851-9987.

STAFFORD The Second Congregational Church of Stafford in West Stafford at the intersection of Rts. 190 & 30 is hosting a Flea Market on

Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is open to the public and space is available. For more information, call 860-684-5689.

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40 North Central News April 2016

Car Show - Every Wednesday 5pm-9pm starting April 6th

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April2016NCNpart2_NCN new template 4/3/16 5:21 PM Page 41

Free Tax Prep Available through April, In-Person or Online


STAFFORD - At VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites throughout Greater Hartford and Windham Counties, IRS-certified volunteers work one-on-one with taxpayers to prepare and electronically file state and federal income tax forms at no charge. Volunteers ensure that filers claim their proper tax credits and refunds. Refunds are available in seven to 10 days. “This is a great group of volunteers. They are doing a very real service,” said State Senator Tony Guglielmo (35th District) on a recent visit to the Stafford Public Library, which hosts a VITA site in its computer lab on Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. VITA site coordinator, Ruthann Bouchard, has been volunteering for the program for the past three years. She was looking for something meaningful to do after retiring from a 30-year career at The Hartford. She coordinates the Stafford VITA site and the site at Putnam Public Library, which operates on Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. and

Fridays, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. “A lot of people in this area are struggling financially,” Bouchard said. “VITA saves them money on tax preparation services and helps identify all of the tax credits they’re eligible for.” Several of the volunteer tax preparers at the Stafford location are students at Eastern Connecticut State University. “They’re here to gain valuable experience that helps build their resumes,” Bouchard said. By appointment, free, in-person help is available to individuals and families with household incomes up to $54,000. To schedule an appointment, dial 2-1-1 and press ‘3’ or visit In addition to the in-person help available through VITA, individuals and families with household incomes up to $62,000 in 2015 can file for free on their own online at any time using Online assistance is available. Last tax season, through VITA and MyFreeTaxes, nearly 11,000 working individuals and families in central and

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State Senator Tony Guglielmo visits with Ruthann Bouchard, VITA site coordinator, at Stafford Public Library to learn more about how free tax preparation services help families build financial stability. northeastern Connecticut received $28.4 million in federal tax refunds and credits – money coming back into local communities. VITA and MyFreeTaxes is offered in Hartford and Windham Counties by The Village for Families & Children and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut to help working families become financially secure. Free tax preparation is one way for hard-working families to keep more money in their wallets. For more information, visit The 2016 VITA and MyFreeTaxes program partners are: Community

Accounting Services; Human Resources Agency of New Britain; Internal Revenue Service; The Village for Families & Children; and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. The 2016 VITA/MyFreeTaxes program is generously supported by: Comcast Corporation; Eastern Connecticut State University Center for Community Engagement; Farmington Valley Community Foundation; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; Liberty Bank (in Windham County); MassMutual; New Alliance Foundation, Inc.; North Hartford Promise Zone; Santander Bank; and Webster Bank.



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April 2016 North Central News

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Updates Coming to the Kent Memorial Library in Spring


SUFFIELD - Good news for the Kent Memorial Library. When the library returns to its 50 North Main Street, which will probably take place in late spring or early summer, the library will be getting new furniture and an update to its Historical Room, along with a new accessible entrance. Many thanks are given to Michael Zak, the Library Commission, the Friends of the Library, and the Library Foundation who have funded the project. The library will be replacing furniture, which dates back to the opening of

the library in 1972. Comfortable and elegant couches and chairs will be added to the library’s living room areas which are located in the magazine and café areas, as well as the popular space overlooking the Main Street courtyard. Additionally, there will be new study tables and chairs, a display case, magazine shelves and whimsical, but functional, pieces for the children’s and teen areas. Look for the new furniture at the beginning of summer. The Library’s Historical Room will be completely updated to reflect its pur-

SUFFIELD - After discussions in the Kent Memorial Library’s Great Decisions World Affairs program regarding Islam and the crucial challenges involving the Middle East, Dr. Mohamad Khaled, a Suffield resident, was asked to present a picture of the Muslim world from an American Muslim perspective. In this program, to be held April 8 at 3 p.m., Dr. Khaled will explore the

beliefs of Islam integrating its past, present and future perspectives within the current social and political contexts. The program will be held at the Suffield Senior Center located at 145 Bridge St. Following his presentation, participants will be able to ask questions. Please register for the program at 860-668-3896, at the Kent Memorial Library located at 61 Ffyler Place, or online at

Islam and Humanity: Perceptions and Reality

pose as an archival research and storage facility. A mobile compact shelving unit will be installed which will allow the library to protect documents while offering more storage in less space. The Historical Room houses a large collection of primary source historical documents pertaining to Suffield and the region. Some items are unique, some date to the 1700s, and some pertain to the Western Reserve area of Connecticut that is now part of Ohio. The collection consists of photographs, account books, letters, pamphlets, maps, books, artwork, and newspapers. During the renovation, the contents of the Historical Room of the library were moved by volunteers to safe storage in February 2015. The Suffield Historical Society and the Library Commission helped to pay for the removal and storage costs.

The new metal shelving will replace the original wooden shelves. Current archival standards recommend the removal of wooden shelves because byproducts produced by the wood contribute to the deterioration of the collections they house. Two anonymous donors, the Library Foundation, a grant from the J. Gladwyn Cannon Trust Fund, the Suffield Historical Society and the Library Commission paid for the shelves. The Suffield Public Works Department prepared the room for the installation. The Historical Room, with documents returned, is expected to be operational in May. Shortly after the library returns, the Northeast Document and Conservation Center from Andover, Mass., will prepare a conservation assessment of the room and its contents. The assessment will be paid by a grant from the Amiel P. Zak Fund.

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Town Budget Seeks to Expand Number of Police Officers


By Linda Tishler Levinson

SUFFIELD — The Board of Selectmen is seeking a $15,130,406 general government budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. The proposed budget is a 2.04 percent or $302,052 increase over the current spending plan. The increase is in line with the Board of Finance’s request for a budget increase between 1.5 percent and 2.5

percent, First Selectman Melissa Mack said. She acknowledged this would not be the final budget figure that is presented to voters. “The Board of Finance will be making some cuts,” she said. Mack said the selectmen hope to add some new positions. “We’re playing a bit of catchup, in particular with our police department,”

she said, noting the selectmen are recommending the hiring of a narcotics enforcement officer, a fourth sergeant and a records administrator. “We have shifts with more often than not, no supervisory person — hence the fourth sergeant — and our records sys-

tem was poor. This is a critical area. We need a records manager. We need a narcotics officer and felt it was a very necessary component,” Acting Chief Anthony Riello said at the March 14 Finance Board meeting, according to the meeting minutes.

Suffield Players Present ‘The 39 Steps’

SUFFIELD - Madcap comedy, murder and mayhem ... who could ask for anything more? The Suffield Players announce their spring production: “The 39 Steps,” written by Patrick Barlow and John Buchan. Directed by Roger A. Ochs, this award-winning action comedy for ages 11 and up performs on May 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m., and May 15 at 2 p.m. at Mapleton Hall in Suffield. “The 39 Steps” mixes a Hitchcock masterpiece with juicy spy novels, film noir ... and a bit of Monty Python.

Packed with non-stop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a very versatile cast), an onstage train-roof chase, handcuffs, missing fingers and old fashioned romance. All performances in Mapleton Hall, 1305 Mapleton Ave., Suffield. Ticket price: $19 ($13 opening night). Discounts available for groups, seniors and students, as well as for season subscribers. For reservations, call 800-2896148 or 860-668-0837 or visit

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April 2016 North Central News

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2017 Chrysler Pacifica at Top of the Minivan Segment

Automotive By Keith Griffin

Mark Twain once said words along the lines of, “The report of my death was a great exaggeration.” The same could be said of the minivan segment. It’s not dead and is, in fact, growing stronger with each passing year. Case in point is the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. The company that created the minivan back in 1984 is ready to take on the best Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Kia have to offer. The Pacifica is all new from the ground up. At the introduction, Chrysler said that’s necessary because the new family is different. It spends more time in its vehicle than around the dinner table. The new Pacifica has a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, with its best-inclass 287 horsepower and 262 lb. ft. of torque delivered. Mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, the minivan worked its way through the gears with ease under hard acceleration. As an added bonus, the Pacific is rated at 28 miles per gallon on the highway. Unfortunately it’s a rather lackluster 18 mpg around town, which is where it will probably get most of its use. Looking for better fuel economy? A hybrid version is being unveiled later this year. There’s a real practical side with the Pacifica. Thanks to the stow and go seating, it has the ability to swallow up

a 8 x 4-foot sheet of plywood. It also has the largest interior volume in its segment at nearly 200 cubic feet of space (which is 10 cubic feet larger than the Town & Country). One nice touch is the onboard vacuum. Yes, Honda pioneered this with the Odyssey but Chrysler gets kudos for relocating it to the second row, where the spills actually happen. Also, the filter is reusable and can be cleaned in a dishwasher. The Pacifica is a surprisingly nimble vehicle. It has an independent rear suspension for better handling and it drives smaller than any minivan I have ever driven. I’m a bit of a passenger van geek from the Mazda Mazda5 mini-minivan that sits in my driveway to the 12-passenger Sprinter vans I have driven on many occasions (as well as all the minivan offerings on the market). The Pacifica handles the best of the lot. It drives like a midsize sedan, but with that great minivan seating position. Is this a perfect vehicle? It has some features I don’t like, in particular the rotary e-shifter on the dash. It’s just clunky and requires too much effort to shift among reverse, drive and park. The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica LX has a starting MSRP of $28,595, plus $995 destination. Fully loaded it’s going to run north of $43,000 but it’s not going to lack for creature com-

forts. Chrysler execs are comfortable with the pricing strategy saying 65 percent of minivan transactions are above $30,000. That last figure demonstrates why manufacturers It might be somewhat disheartening to current Town & Country owners but Chrysler execs freely call that the van of the past. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the future of minivans. Chrysler has succeeded with its new minivan. The pioneer in this segment proves with this new design that its

2017 Chrysler Pacifica is now a top competitor among minivans.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Price, base (with destination): $29,590 Fuel economy: 18-city/28highway/22-combined Drivetrain: 3.6liter V6: Minivan Horsepower: 287 @ 6,400 rpm Torque: 262 @ 4,000 rpm Overall length: 203.6 in. Wheelbase: 121.6 in. Height: 69.9 in. Width: 79.6 in. Curb weight: 4,330 lbs.


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