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Santa Claus isn’t the only one coming to town By Linda Tishler Levinson

It’s beginning to look a lot like ...

With the holidays just around the corner, the North Pole’s most famous resident will be making appearances at several venues, including the Connecticut Trolley Museum’s annual Winterfest. See story, Page 8.


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With the holiday season under way, many people throughout north central Connecticut are anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus, bringing joy, hope and, of course, gifts. But towns in the region have been getting their own presents — in the form of new businesses. These businesses are gifts to their communities as they bring an enhanced tax base, as well as new vibrancy to the towns’ commercial areas and downtowns. Enfield has been particularly fortunate. Kristine Koistinen, administrative assistant for Enfield’s Development Services Department, said new businesses include Veritiv and Plastipak on Bacon Road, Preferred Display on Moody Road, Presstek on Shaker Road, Smashburger on Hazard Avenue, Sprint on Hazard Avenue, T-Mobile on Elm Street, and Dr. Devine optometry on King Street. Other newcomers in Enfield include Eric’s Auto Body on South Road, Fantastic Sam’s


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December 2017 North Central News


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North Central Publishing dba

P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06071 Tel: 860.698.0020 Fax: 860.394.4262 Email: We are a free, monthly publication that is direct mailed to just under 45,000 mailboxes in East Windsor, Ellington, En eld, Somers, Sta ord and Su eld, Conn. We are also available at more than 100 high tra c locales throughout Vernon and Windsor Locks for free pick-up. The North Central News was created in June of 2002 and continues to be both family-owned and locally operated.


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Jen Phillips

Account Executives

Gary Carra Sr. Joan Hornbuckle Deb Stauffer Contributing Writers

Keith Gri n Linda Tishler Levinson Deborah Stau er Photographers

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Kathleen Pelizari Interns

Kayla Bonanno John Godleski

By Julie Cotnoir

There are plenty of opportunities for area children to have meet-and-greets with the man of the hour during the next couple of weeks. Santa will be making several stops in the area during the days leading up to Christmas Day. Go back in time with a visit to the Connecticut Trolley Museum during its Winterfest and Tunnel of Lights festivities. Visitors to the 77-year-old East Windsor museum can bundle up and ride in the “electric sleigh” or choose to see the spectacular sights from the warmth of a closed trolley car. There will be holiday carols and beautiful, bright lighting displays. No visit is complete without a stop in the Visitors Center, otherwise known as Winter Wonderland. Check out the model trains, warm up with some hot cocoa and then take your turn sharing your Christmas wish list with the big

guy himself — Santa Claus. All children will have the chance to get their photo with Santa and receive a gift from him as well. The museum is open only for select dates, from 5 p.m.-9 p.m., throughout December. Come visit Dec. 8-10, 1517, 22-23, and 26-30. Tickets cannot be pre-purchased. If you are planning on going with a group of 10 or more, however, you must pre-register. Special event pricing is $9 for children 4-12; $11 for adults ages 13 and up and $10 for seniors. Visit to register and for more information. Non-group pricing is $3 for children; $10 for children 4-12; adults are $12 and $10 for seniors ages 62 and up. Enjoy a fun breakfast with Santa at Angelina’s at 555 Hazard Ave. in Enfield on Dec. 23. Owner Miguel Mendoza says customers have been

coming in growing numbers for this special event for the past five years. Customers that day can order off an extensive menu for this festive event. Whether it is pancakes, three-egg omelets, breakfast quesadillas or burritos, there is something for everyone, including a goody bag and photo for children meeting Santa. Breakfast with Santa is from 9 a.m.-11a.m. On Friday, Dec. 8, Here We Grow Preschool will host a free pajama story time. Hear stories and meet Santa. The event will be held at 6 p.m. upstairs at United Methodist Church at 330 Hazard Ave. in Enfield. Enjoy cookies, crafts and photos with Santa, as ShopRite of Enfield holds a fundraiser for area food pantries on Thursday, Dec. 14, from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. The store owned by the Miller family will be hosting this event. Children pay $8 a ticket to get a photo, enjoy crafting and have cookies and milk. Pre-registration is required for this event at the grocery store. Register at the store’s customer service desk, or by emailing There is a new location for visits with Santa just over the state line in Agawam, Massachusetts. Six Flags New England is hosting its inaugural Holiday in the Park. Santa will greet children with his elves on Kringle Lane. A 75-foot tall Christmas tree is the centerpiece of the lane, which is lit at 5 p.m. each night the park is open. Guests can ride more than 50 rides, check out festive entertainment and meet their favorite characters, outfitted in their holiday finest. Taking place on specific dates until Jan. 1, Holiday in the Park will feature spectacular lighting displays and entertainment including Frost-A Holiday Cirque Extravaganza at the Rockville Theater. Buy tickets online to get the best price of $42.99. Group ticket prices start at $35.99. Donate sports equipment at the gate on Dec. 9 and get in for free. Visit for details on dates and park offerings. Parking is $25 a day.

t c i f B C

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5he information presented in the North Central News is presented for your consideration and does not nec-cessarily represent the views of the publisher or its advertisers. All infor-mation is checked for accuracy, but cannot be guaranteed. Liability for errors in advertising is limited to rerun of the ad. Errors in advertising should be brought to the attention of the publisher in writing, within seven days of publication for appropriate credit.

It’s time for holiday food, fun and don’t forget Santa!

& Assorted Holiday Happenings

December 2017 North Central News

Publishers Policy

Santa Sightings

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Vacation week activities hit new heights at New England Air Museum

WINDSOR LOCKS – The New England Air Museum is offering an exciting array of family fun activities during school vacation week, Tuesday, Dec. 26 through Friday, Dec. 29. Explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with over 60 historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities including daily hands-on build-and-fly challenges, interactive flight science demonstrations, computerized flight simulators, and open cockpit experiences. In addition, these special events are scheduled: Tuesday, Dec. 26: Aviation Art Station, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors will create imaginative works of aviation art to take home. Wednesday, Dec. 27: Balsa Wood Airplane Workshop, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is for visitors ages 3 and older; there is a $5 cost per model kit. Thursday, Dec. 28: LEGO Flying Machine Contest, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children ages 3-13 are invited to construct a flying machine using the New England Air Museum’s collection of LEGOs to enter into the contest. Winners will be awarded prizes in three age categories, and participants need not be present to win. Friday Dec. 29: Nose Art Design, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Create a custom nose art design to take home. For details, visit or call 860-623-3305.

New businesses are making cash registers jingle in area towns (continued from page 1)

Barbershop on Elm Street, Cindy’s Deli on High Street, Enfield Compounding Center on Hazard Avenue, JLM Speech-Language Services on Palomba Drive, Family Martial Arts on Moody Road, Dream Nails on Hazard Avenue, Gentile Dental on Elm Street and Victory Taekwondo Karate School on Hazard Avenue. Mike Vezzola, executive director of the North Central Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, added new businesses in the Enfield area include Dymotek, Carr Hardware, Crown Furniture, Home Helpers, the Guidance Office and Next Street Driving School. New businesses in East Windsor include New England Carpet Gallery and Roberto’s Real American Tavern,

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Vezzola said. Jim Richards, executive director of the East Windsor Chamber of Commerce, said other new businesses in East Windsor include the Agonist gallery in Broad Brook and Edward Jones Investments. New to Suffield is Suffield by the River, and Broad Brook Brewery has broken ground for its move to Suffield. New to Ellington is Cold Creek Tavern, said Candice Corcione, executive director of the Tolland County Chamber of Commerce. She added that Jamaican Kitchen has opened in Vernon, as has Oyama Japanese restaurant in Tolland. New to Somers is Board and Brush on Quality Avenue, a DIY wood sign workshop, according to Jennifer Roy, town land use official.

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Dine, ‘DASH,’ Stay And Play In The Big City

Random Raven

By Gary Carra Welcome to Random Raven, the column with aspirations no greater than serving as your complete, entertainment itinerary on a month-to-month basis. While the Raven has found plenty of destinations that would require getting one’s motor running and heading out on the highway, this month’s installment focuses on locale near and dear to all Nutmeggar’s hearts. Specifically, our capital, Hartford. Sure, we’ve all “herd” about those Yard Goats packing them rafters for their debut season. But with the recent re-opening of the historic Goodwin Hotel ( and the enhanced service of CTtransit’s free circulator shuttle, DASH, it’s never been easy to stay - or bop around and play - the city. For it’s part in this equation, DASH couldn’t be easier to use - or spot. Just look for those big orange buses that pull into the Convention Center every 15 minutes between 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. weekdays (with extended service including weekends when there are major events down-

town. And hey, look.. a great example of this would be in a just a couple weeks for First Night Hartford, Dec. 31, when DASH darts about the city from 2 p.m. 12:45 a.m.). You hop on free, you get off at the XL Center, Hartford Stage, Bushnell, Dunkin’ Donuts Stadium or a host of other options. For more information including full route maps, schedules and updates, kindly point your browser to Comfortably settled back at the Goodwin.. faux, tin ceilings and brass vent fixtures give nods to the 124-guest room botique hotel’s storied past while 50” high def flat screens, in-furniture charging stations galore and Keurigs

proved the new ownership purposedly infused plenty of practical, modern flair as well. The renovated Goodwin also boasts a 3,000 square foot event space, yoga studio its own restaurant, Harlan Brasserie. Such a mix of transportation and comfortable accomodations just beg for extending a night at Hartford Stage, Theaterworks, The Bushnell, XL or our beloved Yard Goats into an overnight at the least... a full blown weekend at best. And with nightly rates at the Goodwin often dipping below $200, a “Staycation” in Hartford doesn’t have to be hard on the wallet, either.

‘HO HO HOME’ FOR THE HOLIDAYS: For the kiddos.. Santa’s Land in Putney, Vermont has re-opened this season after a 3-year hiatus. Oxford, Connecticut resident David Haversat has reportedly restored the popular, holidaythemed attraction to its former glory just in time the man in red. It will be open weekends in December through Christmas.

Hartford’s historic, newly reopened Goodwin Hotel (above and bottom left) offers both “affordable elegance” and the opportunity to turn a night on the town into a relaxing, overnight “Staycation.” Hartford’s new, free shuttle service, DASH (at left) also makes it easier than ever to get around.

Photos by Jen Phillips

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An Irish Country Christmas starring Deirdre Reilly

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy

Friday, December 15

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Thursday, January 11 & Friday, January 12

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Best of Boston Comedy Festival Friday, January 26

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December 2017 North Central News



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Holiday spirit rolling down the tracks at Trolley Museum

East Windsor

EAST WINDSOR – The Connecticut Trolley Museum’s Winterfest 2017 and “The Tunnel of Lights� began Nov. 24. A new addition this year to the trolley ride is a tree light show synchronized with music. Winterfest will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 810, 15-17, and 22-23. Santa will be on site until he heads back to the North Pole after closing Dec. 23. The event will also be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 26-30 for school vacation week. Hundreds of people enjoy a family tradition of coming for a trolley ride during the holiday season. Participants can either ride a closed car or brave the cold to journey in the open “electric sleigh.� Join the motormen in singing traditional Christmas carols as the trolley makes its way through the “Tunnel of Lights.� After the trolley ride, those attending can head inside the Visitors Center, which has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland complete with model trains, decorations, and entertainment. Additionally, Santa will be on hand to pose for picture in one of the historic trolleys and will have a gift for each child. Admission: $12 for adults, $11 for seniors (62+), $10 children (ages 4-12), $3 children (3 and under). Museum members receive half off admission. For details, visit or call 860-627-6540.

The Connecticut Trolley Museum’s Winterfest 2017 and “Tunnel of Lights� will be open weekend nights throughout December prior to Christmas, as well as Dec. 26-30 for the school vacation week.


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8 North Central News December 2017



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Board urged to stop milling around on Broad Brook plans

East Windsor By Linda Tishler Levinson

EAST WINDSOR — A member of the town’s Historic Preservation Commission is urging the Board of Selectmen to find ways to preserve the Broad Brook Mill. Jessica Bottomley, who also serves on the board of the Historical Society, spoke at the Nov. 21 Board of Selectmen’s meeting, according to the meeting minutes. Bottomley said the mill, which is owned by United Technologies Corp., is on the National Register of Historic places and is of historical significance to the town, since nearly all of Broad Brook was built by the

Broad Brook Co. She said to honor that history the town needs to work to develop a plan to preserve as many of the mill’s buildings as possible. First Selectman Robert Maynard said he agrees with Bottomley, but noted that UTC probably would like to tear down the mill and cap the property. He added UTC has been talking to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection about the property. Maynard said the main building has a leaky roof and mold, but the beams and structure are sound, so they hopefully could be saved.

He said he will attend future meetings on the mill and get more involved with working to save at least the main structure. Selectman Andy Hoffman said the mill would be an ideal place for an incubator facility in which to grow new businesses, pointing to one run by Central Connecticut State University in downtown New Britain that has been successful. Maynard said the selectmen have been working on such a plan for some time, and plans have been drawn up for the mill’s reuse. He suggested further discussion at the next selectmen’s meeting.

Broad Brook Congregational to offer variety of Christmas services

EAST WINDSOR — Broad Brook Congregational Church, 122 Main St., Broad Brook, has announced its Advent and Christmas worship services. Morning worship services are at 10 a.m. During Advent, each Sunday morning worship service will include a litany reading and advent candle lighting by a chosen family.

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The Christmas program will be Dec. 17. Children will participate in reading the book “The First Christmas,” by Keith Christopher, while they set up the Nativity for the congregation. A Blue Christmas service will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at the church. The Blue Christmas service is a spe-

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Advent, will be at 10 a.m. The Advent candle will represent love, symbolizing that God’s love illuminates all hatred. The sanctuary will be beautified with poinsettias. The traditional candlelight/tree lighting service will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 24. It is a service of lessons and Christmas carols. All are welcome to attend.

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cial reflective service geared toward those who bear a heavy heart and can't get in the spirit of the holiday season. The service is held in an atmosphere of quietness, with dim lights, soft music, scripture, and prayers to help one reflect on their feelings during this season in a calmer, softer way. The morning Christmas Eve service, Dec. 24, also the fourth Sunday in

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New high school principal to start in July ELLINGTON – The Board of Education has officially appointed John Guidry as principal of Ellington High School, with a start date of July 1, 2018. Guidry is an assistant principal at Hall High School and principal of the alternative high school for the West Hartford Public Schools. Hall High School is a high performing comprehensive high school with over 1,500 students. Guidry previously worked at Conard High School in West Hartford as a science teacher. In addition, Guidry comes to Ellington with a broad set of executive leadership experiences outside of education. As a graduate of the Duke University School of Law and Texas A&M College of Engineering, Guidry has served as

a systems engineer, legal counsel for Proctor & Gamble, and senior vice president, global legal counsel for Reckitt Benckiser, PLC in England. Guidry was also president of Good Counsel Consulting, LLC out of Avon. Guidry was selected through an extensive search process that included input from close to 100 stakeholders including parents, students, staff, faculty and Board of Education members. Seventeen members of the EHS Principal Search Committee conducted interviews. In addition, several members of the committee visited Hall High School to interact with West Hartford parents, students, faculty, staff and administrators who currently work with Guidry.

‘Healers with Halos’ event coming to Hall Memorial Library

10 North Central News December 2017

ELLINGTON – Children ages 5 to 12 years have an opportunity to practice their reading skills by reading aloud to an eager listener – one who just happens to have four legs and a wagging tail. Healers with Halos, formerly Allen’s Angels Therapy Dogs, will be at the Hall Memorial Library, in Ellington, between 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on Dec. 16, Jan. 13 and 27,

and Feb. 10 and 24. Online registration is recommended and is ongoing. To register, go to the library’s website,, and click on the library event calendar. Choose the date you are interested in, then click on the sign-up hand. This and all children’s programs are free and open to the public. For details, call the library at 860-870-3160.

Holiday madness too much? Catch a movie at the library

ELLINGTON – Escape the holiday madness with popcorn and a movie at Hall Memorial Library, 93 Main St., in December. The library movies scheduled for December are: “I Do ... Until I Don’t” (rated R) on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m.; “Money Monster” (rated PG) on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. “All Saints” (rated PG-13) on Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. “Stronger” (rated R) on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 28 at 1 p.m. Please check the website at for the full slate of programs for January. For details, call the library at 860870-3160.

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Housing Authority member chosen; selectmen to consider other vacancies ELLINGTON – At its Nov. 13 meeting, the Board of Selectmen chose William Correia to complete an unexpired term on the Housing Authority. Correia’s term is scheduled to end on June 30, 2020. Selectmen will consider appointments for the following boards/commissions/committees at the Dec. 11 meeting: · Ad Hoc Beautification Committee, one term to April 30, 2018. · Ad Hoc Patriotic Committee, student representative to Dec. 31, 2018.

· Board of Assessment Appeals, one term to Jan. 31, 2020; one alternate term to Jan. 31, 2019. · Building Code Board of Appeals, one term to April 30, 2020. · Economic Development Commission, two alternate terms to Jan. 31, 2019. · Inland/Wetlands Agency, one alternate term to June 30, 2019. · Land records inspector, one term to Dec. 31, 2018. · Vernon Area Cable TV Advisory Council, one term to June 30, 2019; one term to June 30, 2018.

Board Game Club ready to go Euro-style

ELLINGTON – Hall Memorial Library’s Board Game Club will meet from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Several local board-gamers will be on hand to teach participants about Euro-style strategy games. All ages are welcome, but anyone under 14 must be accompanied by an adult who will participate in game play.

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ELLINGTON – Residents approved eight out of 10 questions concerning the Town Charter on Nov. 7. They approved: · Renaming the Board of Library Directors the Library Board of Trustees. The vote was 2,395-374. · Prohibiting regular Zoning Board of Appeals members from concurrently serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission. The vote was 2,437-348. · Prohibiting Zoning Board of Appeals alternates from concurrently serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission. The vote was 2,309-459. · Repealing the section creating the Senior Center Endowment Fund Committee. The vote was 1,374-1,301. · Adding a section to create a permanent Design Review Board. The vote was 1,460-1,212. · Amending the wording of Section

917 to strike language that the Board of Selectmen is to appoint a fire marshal within 30 days of the start of their term in office. The vote was 1,634-1,056. · Adding language to allow the fire marshal to appoint and remove deputies, assistants and employees in his or her office, subject to Board of Selectmen approval. The vote was 2,110-637. · Amending the charter to include corrections to spelling, syntax, punctuation, capitalization and grammar that do not affect the meaning of the charter. The vote was 2,287-497. Residents voted against: · Adding a section to create a permanent Patriotic Committee. The vote was 1,428-1,339. · Increasing the minimum amount that would require competitive bidding from $7,500 to $25,000. The vote was 1,420-1,349.

We Grow The Best olidays Happy H ank you to all.Tphatronage. for your

Both our Ellington and Tolland stands will remain open until just before Christmas… For all your holiday needs, we will have a nice selection of apples, winter vegetables, cider, Ct made pies and breads, maple products, and honey. Also our delicious in store made apple cider donuts and many other delicious goodies. We will also have a huge selection of Christmas trees, wreaths, kissing balls and winter logs. Gift certificates are also available as well as many unique gift items. Holiday Stand Hours: 9-5 Daily (closed if severe weather

Stand addresses are: 185 West Road (RT 83) in Ellington 244 Hartford Turnpike (RT30) in Tolland (on the Vernon town line)

(860) 875-1000


December 2017 North Central News

If so, the Ellington Volunteer Ambulance has a spot for you. We provide training, uniforms, camaraderie, and many opportunities to provide care for the community. We also have an incentive plan which provides you a stipend thanking you for your hours of volunteering. Please contact us for further details.

Residents on board with most charter revisions

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Wreaths Across America ceremony planned for Ellington Center Cemetery ELLINGTON – The Ellington Ad Hoc Patriotic Committee welcomes all those who are interested to join the Wreaths Across America ceremony planned at noon Saturday, Dec. 16, at Ellington Center Cemetery, 95 Maple St. If you would like to participate or sponsor a wreath please contact Wilson Flynn by email at or call 860-896-9053. For 2017, the goal of Wreaths Across America is to make it personal by reaching out to local communities to help place wreaths on the graves of local veterans. There are more than 450 veterans buried at Ellington Center Cemetery, and the Ellington Ad Hoc Patriotic Committee is looking for local organizations that can help honor these veterans, as each $15 donation places a wreath. Additionally, the Patriotic Committee has a fundraising group ID CT0039; for every two wreaths purchased, one is awarded to Ellington at no charge. If you wish to honor a fallen service member by purchasing a $15 wreath, contact Wreaths Across America at(877-385-9504 or visit the website at using sponsor ID CT0039 and location ID CTECCE and your order will be delivered with the town order.

The wreaths will be presented during the Ellington Center Cemetery Ceremony. From 1992 to 2006 the annual tradition of placing wreaths to honor the fallen was conducted at Arlington National Cemetery, largely unknown by the public except for visitors to those hallowed grounds. In 2007, the Worcester family, along with veterans, and others who had helped with their annual Christmas wreath ceremony in Arlington, formed Wreaths Across America to continue and expand this effort and support other groups who wanted to do the same.

This nonprofit organization continues the Arlington tradition as part of its mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. In 2016, Wreaths Across America placed over 1,200,000 wreaths at more than 1,250 participating locations across the country (Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, 9/11 sites, Pearl Harbor) and beyond. This was accomplished with help from 2,897 fundraising groups, corporate contributions, and donations of trucking, shipping, and thousands of helping hands.

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12 North Central News December 2017

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Kissel on prison closing: Unfortunate, but look at positives regarding crime

HARTFORD — The Enfield Correctional Institution will be closing at some point during January or February 2018. All Department of Correction employees at ECI will be reassigned within the north-central Connecticut area. A declining inmate population was cited for the closure of the institution. “As the chairman of the Judiciary Committee I was informed that the reason this institution is closing is because of the declining inmate population,” said state Sen. John A. Kissel, R-Enfield. “While it is unfortunate that the facility is closing, we must look to the positive point that there are less crimes taking place within our communities.” Kissel also pointed out that Correction Department employees being reassigned in the area is another plus. “I am also thrilled to hear that the Department of Correction employees will have the opportunity to be reassigned to another nearby facility if they wish. The commissioner is also doing his best to make sure that the staff from the Enfield Correctional Institution get the shifts that work best for their schedules,” Kissel said. “For more than 20 years we have had a good working relationship and I am glad to see that continue with a matter that directly impacts my district,” Kissel said. “At the end of the day crime rates are down and workers will be able to keep their jobs; I think this is something we can all get behind.”




Voters nix JFK expansion; Ludwick chosen as mayor By Linda Tishler Levinson

ENFIELD — Residents voted against a proposal to expand John F. Kennedy Middle School by a vote of 4,144-3,290 in the Nov. 7 referendum. Voters were asked to approve the appropriation of $95 million for the project and to authorize the issuance of bonds, notes or temporary notes not to exceed $35.5 million. The balance of the project would have been paid for by grants and other funding. Among the items included in the project were repairs to the boiler, $430,000; plumbing, $670,000; HVAC, $1.8 million; pavement, $1.2 million; doors and windows, $575,000; roofs, $2.7 million; and environmental abatement, $2.7 million. The project also would have increased the size of the school and its capacity for students, as well as adding more parking and athletic fields.

Voters were asked to approve the appropriation of $95 million for the project and to authorize the issuance of bonds, notes or temporary notes not to exceed $35.5 million.

Mayor, Deputy Mayor The Town Council voted to appoint Michael Ludwick as mayor and Donna Szewczak as deputy mayor at its Nov. 13 meeting. Both are Republicans. Former Mayor Scott Kaupin did not seek re-election to the council this year.

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Library to host Festival of Trees


Thanksgiving at Parkway Pavilion

Family members and friends joined Parkway Pavilion Healthcare residents for a Thanksgiving meal on the Tuesday before the holiday. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all the fixings, was prepared and served by Parkway Pavilion staff. Parkway resident Louise Vujs is shown at right, with family members (from left) Kendall Vujs, Scott Vujs, David Vujs and Cameron Vujs

ENFIELD — The Public Library, in conjunction with the Enfield Culture and Arts Commission, is pleased to present a holiday Festival of Trees this season. The Festival of Trees opening reception will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14. Have a photo taken with Jingles the Elf on the Shelf. Music students from Enfield High School will perform and refreshments will be provided. Individuals, teams, groups, classes, co-workers, families, and friends are encouraged to create trees out of unusual materials to enter in the Festival of Trees. Community members of all ages are invited to create festive, nontraditional trees. All entries will be part of the opening night reception and will be on display until Dec. 30. Trees should be dropped off by Dec. 9 to be included. For details, go to or call 860-763-7518 or 860-763-7512.

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Another year of growth for Farmers Market


Here are some of the scenes as Enfield’s fourth Community and Farmers Market closed out its season with the fourth annual Fall-O-Ween Festival on the Town Hall Green in October. Photos by David Butler II

Th Than Tha Thank Y Yo You N North No Nor Nort Central C Ce Cen Cent Centr Centra N Ne New News f voting fo v vo vot voti votin D Fignar Dr F Fi Fig Fign Figna Re Readers Reader Reade Read Rea for Dr. Kosta Boda Snowball Votive e Special was $35 Now $17.50 0

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December 2017 North Central News



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Enfield Civics challenge pays off for Loaves and Fishes

Students at Enfield High School’s civics class took part in a challenge to see which class could collect the most nonperishable food items over the course of two months. At the end of the challenge the food was delivered to Enfield Loaves and Fishes.


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Student’s tea party effort leaves St. Bernard School with donation ENFIELD — St. Bernard School eighth grader Gwen Forget, with the assistance of her family and classmates, threw a tea party and fashion show for lucky little girls and their dolls. This special event, held at the St. Bernard Church hall on Nov. 18, featured treats, crafts, raffles, and a fashion show with American Girl dolls as models. Gwen’s grandmother, Sylvia Forget, donated 25 complete doll outfits to be raf-

fled off, as well as baking the goodies and bringing her collection of tea cups used for the party. Chuck Forget, Gwen’s father, donated the American Girl of the Year doll, Gabriela, that was raffled off. This is Gwen’s fourth year of running the tea party, and all proceeds go St. Bernard School. This year’s party raised $800 for a total donation of $3,600 over the last few years.

At left, Gwen Forget, surrounded by her family, shows off the American Girl of the Year doll, and some of the donated doll outfits. Pictured (from left) are Chuck Forget, Adrianne Forget, Gwen Forget, Sylvia Forget, Joanie Provost, Catherine Roissing, and Rebecca Gritti. Above, Sisters Arielle and Isabelle Jacques enjoy the party with Arielle’s dolls.

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House-lighting contest entries due by Dec. 8


ENFIELD — The Recreation Department, in conjunction with Panera Bread, is sponsoring its annual houselighting contest. Official entry forms are available at the Recreation Office, online at, or email your entry to All entry forms must be turned into the Recreation Department by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8. This contest is for Enfield residents only. Judging will take place Monday, Dec. 11 through Wednesday, Dec. 13. Those taking part should leave their lights on from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Participants who won last year are not eligible for a prize this year, but may participate if they wish. Prizes will be awarded for the following categories: best overall, most spirited, most creative, and brightest.

Church set for 16th annual Cookie Walk, Christmas Tea

ENFIELD — The Hazardville United Methodist Church, 330 Hazard Ave., will hold its 16th annual Cookie Walk and Christmas Tea in the Fellowship Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Attendees will find a large selection of homemade and gluten-free cookies to fill the holiday cookie jar. The price for a 2-pound container will be $15. After selecting your cookies, those on hand can enjoy an elegant luncheon tea. The luncheon features homemade finger sandwiches, pastries, tea, coffee, and punch. Relax with friends and members of the church and community while soft Christmas music plays. Tickets for the luncheon will be available at the door for $10.

Movies, book discussions and more planned for library

December 2017 North Central News


ENFIELD — The Public Library has a wide range of activities planned for December. The Friday Film at 2 p.m. Dec. 15 will be “The Founder.” The Family Movie scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 28 will be “Despicable Me 3.” The following book discussions are slated: Dec. 8: Taste Testers 1 p.m., Holiday Cookie Swap. Dec. 13: Book Chat, 2:30 p.m., “The Art Forger.” Dec. 18: Page Turners, 6:30 p.m., “The Light in the Ruins.” Dec. 20: Pearl Street Chat, 9 a.m. Lots of Candles... Dec. 28: Other Worldly Words, 7 p.m. Dark is Rising. These adult programs are planned: Learning Mindfulness with Chuck Schad, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. Techno Topics: Intro to Google Tools, Dec. 11, 7 p.m. Author Nzima Hutchings, Every Kinda Lady, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. Holiday hours: The library will close at 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, and will reopen at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26.

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Car-buying tips for young drivers


STATEPOINT — Young people and students on the hunt for what may be their first car should know that there are many factors to consider beyond budget, and experts say this can be a difficult process to navigate. “With hundreds of makes and models to choose from, young car buyers can find it challenging to select the best match for their new lifestyles,” says Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader. To help families select cars for young drivers, as well as prepare them for safe travels, here are some tips and insights. • Consider new vs. used vs. handme-down: New cars don’t typically require much maintenance, which can make them good choices for young people, who should be focused foremost on their driving. Plus, new cars have all the latest safety features. However, new cars can mean depreciation, as they lose value at a much faster rate than used cars. While

a used car will likely be cheaper, it may come with more maintenance costs. Lastly, parents may consider simply giving their current vehicle to their child, assuming the car is in good driving condition. • Prioritize safety: The latest safety features are particularly important for those with less experience behind the wheel. Before selecting a vehicle, consider reviewing crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at • Rethink value: Value doesn’t necessarily mean buying the least expensive car. Remember to take into consideration fuel economy, resale value and practicality. Is this a vehicle that will spend more time in the shop than on the road? Also consider which services will come with the purchase. Some new cars, for example, come with free scheduled maintenance for a specific number of miles. You can also narrow down your options based on which cars are most

affordable to insure. • Technology: Young drivers today are likely going to be keen on selections with in-car technology. Voice-activated Bluetooth, hands-free calling and music streaming are just a few features that may appeal to your young driver. Whatever way you acquire your vehicle, it’s crucial to remember that regular maintenance will extend its life. Frequently wash your car to keep

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Tickets will be available to purchase now until December 13th at all Chamber events, at the Chamber office located in the Holiday Inn of Enfield at 1 Bright Meadow Blvd and at ShopRite of Enfield and Gale Toyota.

Tickets may also be purchased on line at Cost of tickets is $100 for a chance to win one of three great prizes. All proceeds from the fundraiser go to benefit the operational expenses of the chamber office, increasing benefit programs and advocacy for businesses in our region.


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December 2017 North Central News

Thii ki about Th b t getting tti your Thinking holiday shopping started and finding that perfect gift for someone special this year? Come on out to our farm and take a peek at the wonderful alpaca products we have for sale. We have a wide selection of very warm scarves, hats, mittens, gloves, hand felted purses, and our very popular line of mens’ and ladies’ alpaca socks available. Not to mention our adorable and super soft alpaca fur animals just waiting for you to take them home!

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December Decembe Decemb Dece De School Dec Decem Schoo Sch Scho S Va Sc Vac VVacation Vaca Week Vacat Vacati Vacatio W Activities We Wee A Ac Act Acti Activ Activi Activit Activiti Activitie ata At A The T New Th N England Ne E En Eng Engl Engla Englan A Museum! Ai Air M Mu Mus Muse Museu Museum Let your imagination soar at the New England Air Museum this holiday season! The museum is offering an exciting array of family fun activities during December School Vacation Week, Tuesday, 26th through Friday, December 30th. Explore three giant exhibit hangars filled with over sixty historic aircraft, and experience the wonders of flight through hands-on activities including daily hands-on Build & Fly Challenges, interactive Flight Science Demonstrations, computerized Flight Simulators, and Open Cockpit Experiences in historic aircraft. Tuesday, December 26th: Aviation Art Station, 10:00am - 2:00pm. Using an array of art making materials, visitors will create imaginative works of aviation art to take home.

Wednesday, December 27th: Balsa Wood Airplane Work shop, 10:00am - 2:00pm Build and fly balsa wood airplanes with help from our team of expert builders! This workshop is for visitors ages 3 and older, and there is a $5.00 cost per model kit. Thursday, December 28th: LEGO Flying Machine Contes t, 10:00am - 2:00pm. Back by popular demand! Children ages 3-13 are invited to construct a flying machine using the New England Air Museum’s collection of LEGOs to enter into the contest. Winners will be awarded prizes in three age categories, and participants need not be present to win. Friday December 2 29 9th: Nose Art Design, 10:00am - 2:00pm. Learn about the unique history of airplane nose art and create a custom nose art design to take home.

28 North Central News Decemberr 2017

36 Perimeter Road (o Route 75) Windsor Locks, CT

All events and activities are included with general admission unless otherwise noted. Events and activities are subject to change. Please note the museum will close at 3:00pm on Sunday December 31st for the New Years Eve holiday.

The New England Air Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seven days a week. Admission is $12.50 for ages 12 and up, $11.50 for seniors 65 and up and $7.00 for ages 4 to 11. Children under 3 are admitted free.

For more information, visit or call (860) 623-3305. The New England Air Museum is located in Windsor Locks, Conn. adjacent to Bradley International Airport. Take I-91 north or south to CT. exit 40 (Route 20) to Route 75 north.

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Enthusiasts walk the walk to keep Canal Trail in shape

Regional By Julie Cotnoir

The Windsor Locks Canal Trail, located along the Connecticut River, draws visitors from around the area. A 4.5-mile public recreation area, the path allows people to begin their journey in Suffield or Windsor Locks. Anglers, biking enthusiasts and those looking to take a leisurely stroll are all welcome to visit. The trail begins at Bridge Street (Route 140) in Windsor Locks and takes recreationalists north to an end point of Canal Road in Suffield. Fifteen years ago Suffield resident Steve Sorrow had to spend some time at Suffield House for some short term rehabilitation for his back. The facility is located near the trail. Sorrow and other patients began talking about the trail and how it was in need of some sprucing up. “I was aware of the canal and its features,� said Sorrow, who had lived in

TRAIL/page 33

A view of the Connecticut River from the Windsor Locks Canal Trail.


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DEC2017NCN29-36.qxp_NCN new template 12/4/17 7:46 AM Page 30


Trails panel is on the right path in Ellington

30 North Central News December 2017

By Deborah Stauffer

ELLINGTON — It’s been an active summer and fall for the newly formed Ellington Trails Committee. The ad-hoc committee was formed in the spring by First Selectwoman Lori Spielman with the purpose of maintaining and enhancing the town’s trail system. Chairwoman Erin Stavens and the committee created a logo and Facebook page with input from residents. So far they have had several weekends where they cleaned and marked the West Road, Windermere, Franklin Street, and Metcalf trails. The West Road, Franklin and Windermere trails are also maintained by the Ellington Hockanum River Trails Committee. The town of Vernon recently completed a suspension bridge off Windsorville Road that connects the Hockanum River Trail System between Ellington and Vernon. The Metcalf Trail, also called the Metcalf Nature Preserve, located off Cedarwood Drive in the town’s Woodside Acres section, was revitalized by the committee and a grand reopening took place Nov. 24. This has been its biggest project so far. Maps of all town trails can be found in the Town of Ellington Annual Report, on the trail committee’s Facebook page or at the Parks and Recreation Department (31 Arbor Way). Plans are in the works for a trail between Hopkins Road and Route 140, a trail system near Crystal Lake and a path along the perimeter of Brookside Park. “The support from the community has been aweinspiring and has allowed us to go farther than we had ever hoped for our first year as a committee,” Stavens said. “The Ellington Trails Committee has a bright future and is looking forward to serving Ellington residents for years to come.” The Trails Committee meets every first Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at Ellington Town Hall. New members are welcome. For details about the committee, contact Stavens at

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DEC2017NCN29-36.qxp_NCN new template 12/4/17 7:46 AM Page 33

Volunteers go the extra mile to keep trail looking good


(continued from page 29)

Windsor Locks from 1957-59. But he hadn’t been aware of the poor condition of the trail. He, along with Enfield resident Alan Roberts, among other volunteers, decided they would form a group to meet and work on clean-up for the trail. In 2004 they formed Windsor Locks Canal Trail Friends. Sorrow and Roberts, two of the original members, currently serve as president and vice president for the group. The group started with more than a dozen people from East Windsor, Enfield, Suffield and Windsor Locks, according to Sorrow. Meeting once a week on Tuesday mornings, the volunteers began to tackle the large project of making the trail and the surrounding area accessible to visitors. “You couldn’t walk down the trail if you were over 4-feet tall,” Sorrow said. “The brush had really overgrown.” Although the park and trail area is only open seasonally from April 1 to Nov. 14, the group arrives year-round every Tuesday, at the end of Canal Road in Suffield, at 8:30 a.m. to work on projects. Mowing the lawn, clearing brush and working on tree removal are some of the tasks they take on as a

group. Sorrow said despite the improvements he has witnessed since the group began their mission, he remains disappointed in how many people drop their trash and do not pick up their dog waste. Each Tuesday Sorrow said there are at least 20 volunteers there to help until 11:30 a.m. There are five other senior and retired volunteers who come to the trail an additional two days a week. The organization welcomes groups who would like to lend a hand. Students and advisers from Windsor Locks and East Windsor have helped with clean-ups in the past. The group has come across interesting items over the years, including large plastic drums, a 175 gallon propane tank stuck on the dam, and three years ago 20 feet of dock washed up on shore. The group has purchased sheds to store equipment and they are hoping to purchase a boat in the next year or two to assist with trimming brush along the canal bank. The Amiel P. Zak Service Fund has supported the group. That donation enabled the group to purchase a tractor. Sorrow, a retired Windsor Locks firefighter who served for 50 years, and an additional 10 years in his hometown of Wrentham, Massachusetts, said the work the

Canal Trail Friends group does is rewarding: “There is a lot of satisfaction in it.” Twice a year the group participates in large clean-ups such as CT River Watershed Council’s CT River Clean-up and Source to Sea Clean Up. The Windsor Locks Canal Trail Friends raise their own funds to keep the maintenance going. They have received federal trail improvement funds that are administered by the state, but still count on individuals to donate more than 50 percent of the funds needed to meet their budget. They have big projects planned for 2018 that will require significant funding. The group wants to be able to hire a professional tree cutter to take down 50 dead trees along the trail. When trees have to be removed and the group is able to handle it on their own, they split it and make it available to those willing to come to the trail for it. The group is always looking for

people able to help with clean-ups, grant writing, or assisting with small gardens the group maintains. To learn more about volunteer opportunities and/or how to make inkind or financial donations, email or Checks, made out to Friends of the Canal, a 501c, can be mailed to: P.O. Box 550, Suffield, CT 06093.

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‘Butterflies of Hope’ nets record amount for Network Against Domestic Violence

WINDSOR — The Network Against Domestic Abuse Purple Event “Butterflies of Hope” netted a record breaking $37,000. Proceeds from the event provide much needed assistance to adult victims of domestic violence and their children, as well as prevention education in north-central Connecticut school systems served by the agency. Smith Brothers was the Purple Ribbon sponsor of the event while Cigna was the Samaritan sponsor. First National Bank of Suffield and Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company were Humanitarian sponsors.

Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and desserts at the Hartford/Windsor Marriott and a variety of wine and beer tastings provided by Joe’s Fine Wine & Spirits of East Windsor. One lucky person went home with a diamond donated by Swede’s Jewelers. Kevin Hogan, WFSB Channel 3 news reporter, emceed the event and acted as auctioneer. Services provided by The Network Against Domestic Abuse are free of charge. The network operates a confidential 24-hour crisis hotline, seven days a week. For information about the network’s services, visit or call 860-763-7430.

Kevin Hogan of WFSB TV was the emcee and auctioneer at the “Butterflies of Hope” event.

34 North Central News December 2017

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DEC2017NCN37-48.qxp_NCN new template 12/4/17 7:44 AM Page 37

Somers ’Tis the second annual ‘Season of Giving’ By Linda Tishler Levinson

SOMERS — The town Human Services Department is conducting its annual second Season of Giving campaign. “The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of programs in Somers that benefit our residents in need in an effort to increase community involvement and contributions. Oftentimes, people want to help but they simply don’t know how,” human services officials said in a written release. Ways to help include: · Town of Somers Emergency Fund: The fund assists low-income families in Somers with basic needs and emergency situations. Residents struggling financially can utilize the fund for heat, electricity, rent or other extenuating circumstances. This fund is available all year, but especially during the winter heating season. There are policies and an application process to avoid misuse of the fund. Checks made payable to Town of Somers Emergency Fund may be sent to: Town of Somers Human Services Department, 19 Battle Street, Somers, CT 06071. · Food pantries: Champ’s Place at the Somers Congregational Church, 599 Main St., accepts food donations in the church office Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monetary donations are preferred due to storage space issues and since items can be purchased at Foodshare at a reduced

“The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of programs in Somers that benefit our residents in need in an effort to increase community involvement and contributions.”

cost. Checks can be made payable to Somers Congregational Church with “Champ’s Place” in the memo section. All Saint’s Food Pantry at All Saint’s Church, 25 School St., accepts donations of nonperishable items. Donations can be dropped off any time in the basement entryway. Monetary donations can be made payable to All Saint’s Church with “food pantry” in the memo section. Hygiene items also are needed. · Meals on Wheels: The program provides meals six days a week throughout the year. In addition to nutrition, it provides a daily wellness check. Meals are prepared by Hometown Kitchen Restaurant. Clients with financial need may apply for the MOW subsidy program to reduce the cost of their meals. Checks can be made payable to Town of Somers Meals on Wheels

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Program and sent to Town of Somers Human Services, 19 Battle St., Somers, CT 06071. The MOW program also needs volunteers. Contact Christina Cenac at 860265-7551 or · Stuff-a-Cruiser: The annual event is coordinated by the Somers Women’s Club at the Police Department, 451 Main St. New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the Police Department and are distributed to families in need in town. · Adopt-a-Child: This program assists low-income families with providing gifts for their children for the holidays. Anonymous donors “adopt” a child or children and receive a list of items they need, as well as a few “wishes” and some general information about the child. Gifts are dropped off at the Human Services Office. To take part, contact Christina Cenac at 860265-7551 or · Salvation Army Kettle Campaign: The town Human Services Department is part of a service unit for the Salvation Army and receives funds from the Salvation Army annually to help meet the needs of low-income residents and part of the town’s role as a service unit to assist in coordination of the Kettle Campaigns. Ninety percent of funds raised through the Kettle Campaigns stay in the town’s service unit. To volunteer as a bell ringer, contact Deanna Schuetz at 860-265-7550 or

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Somers High School names students on first quarter honor roll


38 North Central News December 2017

SOMERS — Here is the Somers High School first quarter honor roll. Grade 12 High honors Danila Babushkin, Carley Bergamini, Brett Boyd, Joseph Calcasola, Michael Callahan, Gina Catellier, Qing Chen, Emma Cheyney, Madison Clark, Mary Clark, Adrianne Curtis, Michael Dalessio, Ashlie Delskey, Natalie Devlin, Anna Donovan, Hadleigh Eastman, Lauren Eastwood, Diana Elgin, Ashleigh Gentile, Sydney Graham, Abby Grandpre', Sydney Griger, Samantha Hearn, Nadine Hudroge, Bryan Jablonski, Jenna Jeffway, Hanna Jewell, Grace Keeney, Jayden Kement, Whitney Knight, Rachel Kwasnik, Ethan Lessard, Maggie Maznicki, Alex Miller, Christopher Morse, Connor Mulvihill, Aidan Nolan, Jayme Palazzo, Ashley Reed, Jake Regulbuto, Broderick Rheault, Mitzy Robbins, Connor Roberts, Robert Samson, Ethan Sparrow, Cassandra Speight, Camryn Swan, Paige Tomko, Ashley Tullock, Nicole Turley, Zachary Vargo, Colin Whitford, Abigail Worthington, Michael Yarrows. Honors Thomas Anderson, Brett Ansaldi, Adrianna Boucher, Haley Brault, Kelsey Bugden, Emmabelle Colton, Avery Foye, Megan Gagne, Alexandria Gershowitz, Samantha Kopec, Spencer MacLeod, Audra Murphy, Aayush Patel, Monae Perrier, Richard Petersen, Brady-Lee Rivard, Jonathan Shooner, Zaire Simpson, Juliana Smith, Athena Stamatopoulos, Jeffrey Suschana, Madison Terry, Alexander Williams. Grade 11 High honors Samantha Alaimo, Alyssa Albano, Emma Archambault, Samantha Barile, Hayden Barrett, Kyle Beebe, Andrew Brewer, Bryan Bushey, Stephanie

Butler, Alexandra Delesio, Mark Devlin, Katryna Dukehart, Ali Elhage, Jacob Ellis, Alexa Gallerani, Edwin Genece, Andrew Golden, Rose Karvandi, Matthew Kiernan, Marleena Kocot, Halina Kruzel, Emma Langlois, Nathan LaVallee, Megan Leonard, Timothy Lynch, Molly McLaughlin, Emily Miller, Alyssa Milliken, Kilee Nutbrown, Hannah Olesky, Trevor Parks, Jenna Pfeifer, Luke Phillips, Garrett Pruden, Delani Raina, Zachary Regulbuto, Emily Renzoni, Faith Sarisley, Christopher Skalski, Lauren Sloan, Sarah Smithline, Haley Swan, Heather Thompson, Christopher Uyar, Hannah Uyar, Sarah Uyar, Colin Watt, Jasmine Yard. Honors Alexis Ahluwalia, Erin Anthony, Madilyn Baer, Brady Coleman, Madison Crabb, Farrah Decker, Peyton Emrick, Emma Felix, Lauren Fitzgerald, Marissa Haluch, Payton Johnston, Trevor LaMontagne, Ciara Logan, Dominic Manning, Madeline Martin, Kendall McNamee, Erin Novak, Chase Reilly, Ryder Remenik, Brianna Renaudette, Dimarco Roberts, Erin Rush, Ezekiel Schweitzer, Supreet Sidhu, Kylie Thompson. Grade 10 High honors Taylor Althaus, Alexander Barresi, Athena Baumann, Chelsea Bergamini, Brieanna Bernier, Samantha Brown, Sophia Carenzo, Aidan Case, Wula Cham, Fiona Cheyney, Christian Chlebowski, Jared Cranna, Amit Deonarine, Samantha Gershowitz, Matthew Grandpre', William Heller, Zachary Hojnowski, Jonathan Kelly, Miranda McCarthy, Amari O'Connor, Donovin Ocasio, Stephen Piescik, Rachel Ranelli, Cade Raymond, Kylie Raymond, Victoria Reid, Kaitlyn Savage, Siobhan Scully, Andrew Skowronek, Caleb Spielman, Nancy Strever,

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Quinn Welch, Noah White, Spencer Whitford, Kyle Yvon, Jeannette Zanazanian, Anna Zheng. Honors Thylo Alves, Meghan Baker, Alexis Brown, Zachary Chaisson, Lauren Champiny, Sarah Cisco, Ashleigh Hesse, Nathanael Hicking, Megan Hollister, Emma Koseski, Marissa Long, Callie MacFeat, Caterina Mancini, Lauren Martin, Nicholas Mendez, Aiden Miller, Summer Nadler, Cassandra Rich, Zofia Roberts, Ryan Rogers, Kabir Sewrathan, Eleanor Stanton, Nicole Tardif. Grade 9 High honors Adam Argiro, Simon Banas, Miranda Barresi, Emily Brayton, Cecelia Bruel, Ryan Cashman, Julia Catellier, Keira Clark, Aidan Devine-Baillargeon, Jeffrey Devlin, Benjamin DuPerre, Sarah Finnegan, Brian Garrow, Megan Gaskell, Jack Gebo, Shawn Gentilcore, Giovanna Gioscia, Alexander Golden, Alexander Grzelak, Ethan Haluch, Adam Hinds, Keeley Joyal, Morgan Juzba, Emily Karabinis, Conner Kocot, Alec Levesque, Colin MacLeod, Lindsay Masamery, Alexandra McLellan, Mallory Murdza, Ayden Paulo, Tyler Poulin, Halle Raina, Hannah Renzoni, Emily Reynolds, Kyiah Rice, Laura Riley, Serena Robidoux, Michaela Scully, Nolan Soule-Rondeau, Sheridan Speight, Olivia Suter, Lilly Tisdale, Gabrielle Tullock, Tyler Watt, Shannon Whalen, Khadija Williams, Angela Young, Carson Yurgaitis, Eric Zheng, Dominic Zuccalo. Honors Jacqueline Beaulieu, Benjamin Bolduc, Claire Bruso, Sara Elhage, Jeremy Frazier, Jaydon Griger, Tanner Hammond, Danielle Hoague, Caelyn Hoffman, Jason Knybel, Madeline Mancuso, Sydney McIntyre, Reghan Morin, Sophia Pham, Janellyvet Toledo

DEC2017NCN37-48.qxp_NCN new template 12/4/17 7:44 AM Page 39

Library events will help get you in the holiday spirit


SOMERS — The Somers Public Library, 2 Vision Boulevard, has a variety of events that will help get you in the holiday spirit this month. Those interested can Learn to Make a Christmas Wreath from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 9. Resident John Clark will demonstrate how to make wreaths from nature’s bounty, and all participants will have an opportunity to try their hand at doing so. Adults can register for the program by calling 860763-3501.

A Holiday Cookie Exchange is planned for Thursday, Dec. 14 at either 10:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m. Participants can bake their favorite cookie recipe, then bring the same quantity of those cookies that you wish to take back home (three dozen recommended). Those interested are asked to bring in the recipe to share as well. Sign up for the Holiday Cookie Exchange by calling 860-763-3501, or in person at the library. An all ages Holiday Movie Marathon is scheduled

Cozy Mystery Book Bunch to meet

SOMERS — The Somers Public Library’s Cozy Mystery Book Bunch will meet at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, to discuss “A Dark and Stormy Murder.” Copies of the book are available at the library. To reserve a copy and to register for the Cozy Mystery Book Bunch program, those interested should call 860-763-3501.

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for Tuesday, Dec. 19. “The Polar Express” (rated G, 100 minutes) will kick things off at 1:30 p.m. That will be followed by “Elf” (rated PG, 97 minutes) at approximately 3 p.m. The event wraps up with a screening of “The Santa Clause” (rated PG, 97 minutes) at approximately 4:30 p.m. For details on these or any of the library’s other programs, call 860-763-3501.


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Shoreline Ringers: A holiday tradition in Somers since 2009

SOMERS — The Shoreline Ringers will return to the Somers Congregational Church at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. The Ringers first performed at the church during the Christmas season in 2009 and have since become a part of the Christmas tradition in Somers. Directed by Jane Nolan, the Shoreline Ringers are a top-level community handbell choir, ringing five octaves of Malmark handbells, and seven octaves of Malmark handchimes. They have played at Carnegie Hall with the U.S. Coast Guard Band for their Christmas program and for the WFSB “Joy for the Kids.” The Shoreline Ringers create remarkably subtle and dynamic textures and moods and can make popular, classical and jazzy works all come to life. Advanced techniques and rhythms are presented with ease and assurance. The concert has something for everyone from age 7 to 97, and is perfect for setting the holiday atmosphere of joy and good will. Somers Congregational concerts are supported entirely by donations at the concert. Admission is free. A suggested donation level is $10 per person.

Lend your voice to the choir

SOMERS — The Somers Congregational Church is looking for singers this holiday season. Singers are sought to join the church’s Adult Choir on Christmas Eve for the 7 p.m. service. The choir will be doing choruses from the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah. Any and all voice ranges are welcome. There will be rehearsals on Thursday nights from 8:15 to 9:00 in the choir room at the church on the second floor. For details, call the music director, Mahlon Peterson, at 203-465-9090 or just come to a rehearsal.

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DEC2017NCN37-48.qxp_NCN new template 12/4/17 7:44 AM Page 41

Holiday programs will help make children’s spirits bright


SOMERS — The Somers Public Library, 2 Vision Boulevard, has a variety of programs geared toward children during the holiday season. Make an Ornament with Jumping Clay will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at the library. It is for children in grades K and up. Participants will mold and sculpt a special ornament for their tree with Aime from Jumping Clay. Registration is open now. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Somers Library. Special Christmas Storytime for ages 2-5 will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8. Celebrate the holiday season with stories, songs and a craft. Register for this event now. Decorate a Gingerbread House for ages 5 and up is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16.

Participants will be able to decorate their very own gingerbread house. Bring your creativity and the library will provide the gingerbread house, icing and candies. Registration is open for Somers residents only. In addition, the “Free to Be a Reader” Storytime with “Frieda B.” author Renata Bowers will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, at the library. Bowers will read from her book “Frieda B. and the Zillabeast,” focusing on Frieda B.’s love of reading, which is one of the main themes of the story. If time allows, Bowers will share her own love of books by also reading one of her personal favorite picture books. The Frieda B. series received Gold for Best Picture

DPW issues mailbox damage reminder SOMERS — The Department of Public Works, in its Winter Operations Guidelines, issued a reminder that it is not responsible for mailbox damage as a result of snow being discharged from snow removal equipment. When a mailbox or post is damaged by direct contact from DPW snow removal equipment, the following will occur: 1. Inspection of mailbox and post to determine cause of damage. 2. Determination of responsibility (improper installation of mailbox, rotted mailbox post, or plow operator error).

3. If the investigation determines it was operator error, the mailbox or post will be repaired or replaced with a standard metal mail box and/or standard wooden post of $25 in value maximum. The DPW will only replace the mailbox or post if the plow equipment has made direct contact with the box or post. The majority of mailbox and post damage is the result of improper installation or maintenance. A properly installed and maintained mailbox will withstand snow removal operations. occur during the winter months.

Book Series in 2015 from the National Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. All Frieda B. books will be available at this event for purchase and signing. All ages are welcome. Participants should call to register prior to this event. Read to a Dog is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at the library. Practice your reading skills by reading to a dog in a relaxed, “dog-friendly” atmosphere. All dogs have been trained, tested and certified by Healers with Halos. Participants may bring a book or select one at the library. The time slots are for 15 minutes at 10:30, 10:45, 11, and 11:15. Registration is required. Call the library at 860-7633501 to register or for details on the programs.

Fill the cruiser again this year

SOMERS — The Somers Women’s Club and the Somers resident state troopers are again conducting a drive to collect toys for children in need during this holiday season. An unlocked cruiser with a “Fill a Cruiser” banner will be placed in front of the Somers Resident State Trooper building, 451 Main St., Somers, through Dec. 15. The windows and trunk of the cruiser will be left open to provide access for donors to place the toys inside between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. The toys will be distributed to needy children within the town at Christmas. Any toys remaining will be retained by the state troopers and given to children who suffer a distressing situation during the year. Make this a joyful season for the young children in our community by leaving a donated toy in the cruiser.



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Stafford High School students earn first quarter honors


STAFFORD — Here is the Stafford High School first quarter honor roll. High honors Grade 12 Adrianna Barnett, Zachary Briggs, Ashley Burlone, Erica Christofferson, Luke Dabek, Hannah Davis, Breanna Earl, Megan Eaton, Terrell Flint, Autumn Gagnon, Sarah Gallison, Michaela Lauf, Kathryn Liebler, Kaylee Miller, Abbe Minor, Sydney Perez, Sean Perrier, Jordyn Powell, Stephanie Ramsey, Cassandra Rogers, Shelby Shayler, Devin Stachelsky, Kylee Teats, Rachel Ulitsch, Jamie Yeo, Claire Zopelis. Grade 11 Allisha Bakker, Paige Beaudoin, Julianna DeSantis-Raymond, Isabelle Garreffa, Tiahna Guzzo, Jeffrey Kology, Jacob Lizotte, Julia Lybarger, Lynesey Maloney, Luis Medeiros, Miranda Pechie, Brenden Pontz, Loren Pontz, Abby Rose, Gabrielle Thayer, Chalan Whelan, Nicholas Wyse.

Grade 10 Cassidy Babcock, Hilary Bareiss, Stephanie Brown, Ryan Foley, John Frank, Shannon Frazier, Angelina Gill, Arianna Jameson, Bridgett Leroux, James Missell, Nikolas Neuhofer, Adam Ricci, Jose Santiago, Ashley Wilson, Grace Zopelis. Grade 9 Rebecca Caron, David Christofferson, Sydney Dolbier, Rose Fountain, Dominick Gray, MacConall Gray, Giana Guida, Emma Hatch, Spencer Hill, David Hirsch, Brooke Hubbard, Trentin Kology, Julie Lidwin, Clara Lybarger, Allison Misenheimer, Krista Mitchell, Reis Moulton, Mackenzie Murdock, Samuel Neves, Luke Olsen, Emily Padegimas, Michaela Pechie, Laurel Perez, Treena Pitts, Rose-Anna Ravetto, Ryan Riley, Katelynn Shayler, Audrey Sprague, Kenneth VanDyk, Alison Verney, Angela Wasilewski, Callie Worthington, Sierra Wyse, Lily Zopeli.

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SHS salutes vets with Field of Flags

STAFFORD — Stafford High School was proud to invite local veterans to the school for its Field of Flags ceremony last month, honoring them and their service to the country. There were roughly 50 veterans in attendance, representing all of the branches of the armed forces. Many of the veterans were SHS graduates, ranging from Steven Marvonek, Class of 1947, to Michael Bladek, Class of 2016. The veterans were treated to a breakfast reception and serenaded by the Stafford High School Madrigal Singers and Concert Choir. Former Marine Corps and Army National Guard officer Brett Wilson, father of two SHS students, shared that it took going off to war in Iraq for him to learn peace and clarity of purpose in his life. The highlight of the celebration was when every student, faculty member, honorary guest, and able-bodied veteran planted a flag in the front field of the school.

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Guglielmo says state has taken ‘important step’ on foundation issue

STAFFORD — Eligible homeowners in northeastern Connecticut impacted by the ongoing crumbling foundations problem can now begin to apply to receive reimbursements for the testing of their homes. The state is making $5 million available to provide assistance for the cost of testing foundations for homeowners. “I am happy to report that the state has taken an important step forward in addressing the crumbling foundation crisis,” state Sen. Tony Guglielmo, RStafford, said. “I’ve seen first-hand the shattering impact this disaster has had on my constituents and even my neighbors — it is truly heartbreaking. We must continue to provide relief to those who have been affected and do everything within our power to help make these families whole.” Under the program, homeowners are eligible for a 50 percent reimbursement – up to $2,000 – for the testing of two core samples within their homes. Homeowners who have visual testing conducted by a licensed professional engineer are eligible for a 100 percent reimbursement – up to $400. The homes must have been built after 1983 and be located within a 20-mile radius of the J.J. Mottes Concrete Company in Stafford Springs. Homeowners can begin applying for reimbursements now by visiting and submitting application. A phone line has also been established at 860-724-4277 to provide additional assistance.


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Developer proposes housing for former Witt School building By Linda Tishler Levinson

STAFFORD — Discussions continue on developer Joseph Vallone’s proposal for apartments in the Witt School building. Vallone is the developer of the Loom City Apartments in the renovated Roosevelt Mill site in the Rockville section of Vernon. He is interested in renovating the Witt School and creating approximately 38 apartments, consisting of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Vallone told residents at an Oct. 24 presentation the project would not include the gymnasium, which would be left with the town for public use. He said the proposal would likely include affordable housing units in the 78year-old school building that has been vacant for 10 years and that he would seek a tax abatement from the town for the project. Members of the Stafford Historical Advisory Commission were scheduled to further discuss the proposal at their Nov. 27 meeting, after the North Central News went to press. On Oct. 30, the commission heard about the proposal and was seeking information on the Hyde Park endowment to confirm the town can sell the school building, along with land and a parking lot. Commissioners discussed the possibility of a historic designation for the site, which could aid prospective developers in obtaining funding for rehabilitation of the building. Certain historic designations at the state and federal level could bring matching grants or allow for certain tax abatements. Vallone told residents at the Oct. 24 meeting a historical designation for the Witt building would not affect neighboring homeowners’ ability to make changes to their properties. He said while larger developers might approach the town, he will be an involved developer. “You’re going to see me here,” Vallone said. “I don’t have five projects going on in the office right now.”

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Suffield Players present a tasty treat with ‘A Christmas Pudding II’

SUFFIELD — “A Christmas Pudding II” by David Birney performs at The Suffield Players in early December. An ensemble of 24 talented local thespians from Massachusetts and Connecticut are gathering to create a delightful holiday production filled with songs, tales, and good tidings of the season on Dec. 8 and 9 at 8 p.m.,

and Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. at Mapleton Hall in Suffield. This play is recommended for all ages. “A Christmas Pudding II” is the Suffield Players’ 2017 Holiday Benefit Challenge production, performed with scripts in hand as a staged reading with a minimum of rehearsals — and a maximum of creativity.


All proceeds from this production go toward the maintenance of Mapleton Hall, the Suffield Players’ historic theatre home. Those attending the show will support the “Step Up” Fundraising Campaign for the much-needed refurbishing of our North and South Hall porch stairs and railings. General admission only; no reservations. A $10 donation is suggested at the door. Additional contributions to the “Step Up” campaign will be most appreciated. Names of contributors will be shared in the newsletters and show programs throughout the 2017-18 theater season. “A Christmas Pudding II “is directed by Roger A. Ochs (East Windsor). The cast: Mason Beiter (Suffield), Ryan Bird (Somers), Daniel Cohn (Longmeadow, Mass.), Lynn Faherty (Suffield), Alexandra Fox (Springfield,

Mass.), Paul Gessay (Windsor), Zach Gray (Enfield), Ken Hebert (Holyoke, Mass.), Helen Hogan (Granby), Stephanie MacGillivary (Enfield), Jane McGinn (Suffield), Nicole Murray (Agawam, Mass.), Lisa Parker (Suffield), Joan Perkins-Smith (Southwick, Mass.). Other cast members include: Andy Price (Granby, Mass.), Dana Ring (West Hartford), Suzanne Romano (West Suffield), Kelly Seip (Springfield, Mass.), Krista Stoops (Westfield, Mass.), Matthew Swanson (Springfield, Mass.), Terry Szymanski (West Hartford), and Hannah, Peter and Micah Zaitz (Wilbraham, Mass.). The show is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. For more information about “A Christmas Pudding II” or the “Step Up” Fundraising Campaign, contact, or visit


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DEC2017NCN37-48.qxp_NCN new template 12/4/17 7:44 AM Page 45

Tax program will provide relief for those with faulty foundations


By Linda Tishler Levinson

SUFFIELD —The town on Nov. 27 announced a federal tax relief program for homeowners with crumbling foundations. Reps. John Larson and Joe Courtney, both D-Conn., worked with the Internal Revenue Service to secure this tax relief, according to information posted on the town’s website. Under federal tax law, taxpayers may deduct a casualty loss from their income caused by sudden loss due to fire, flood, theft or other sudden and unusual causes. While pyrrhotite-related damage develops over time, Courtney and Larson sought IRS guidance to allow a casualty deduction related to this longer-term damage, citing the precedent of IRS assistance to homeowners affected by corrosive Chinese drywall in 2010, Larson and Courtney said in a written release. The new guidance approves the congressmen’s request for tax relief. The guidance allows for the treatment of crumbling foundation-related repair costs

“While there is no one silver bullet solution to make up for the loss experienced by these homeowners, (this) announcement by the U.S. Department of Treasury will provide at least some degree of relief for many of them.”

as a casualty loss deduction from a taxpayer's taxable income. The change is effective immediately, and taxpayers can submit amended returns. “The individuals and families in Connecticut with crumbling foundations have been experiencing an ongoing nightmare,” Larson said. “While there is no one silver bullet solution to make

up for the loss experienced by these homeowners, (this) announcement by the U.S. Department of Treasury will provide at least some degree of relief for many of them. It is the first time that the federal government has acknowledged the unique harm Connecticut residents have suffered through no fault of their own,” Larson said. Courtney said, “This is the culmination of a 19month process with the Treasury Department, IRS, and the National Taxpayer Advocate to get federal recognition of the severe property casualty loss that north-central and eastern Connecticut homeowners are struggling with. “This tax guidance adds a powerful new tool to the toolbox of options for homeowners and communities looking for way to get their arms around this extensive and long-term problem for our region. The origins of this effort started at the grassroots level from homeowners speaking out at community meetings and from Connecticut’s CPAs who urged Washington to extend casualty loss deduction to this problem,” he said.

We wish you and your family a most joyful holiday and a happy new year! We invite you to celebrate the season with us at Cocoa with the CEO, Joe Greco, and Storytime by the Fire with local children’s book author Cheri De Maria on December 19 from 4:00–7:00 p.m. at our Suffield office. Each child receives a free copy of Cheri’s book!

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December 2017  
December 2017  

Find out what new businesses are coming to town...push on to preserve historic mill in Broad Brook. New high school principal for Ellington,...