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PRST-STD U.S. Postage Paid Palmer, MA Permit #22

FREE! • EAST WINDSOR: Athletic Hall of Fame inducts Class of 2012 ........p. 5 • ELLINGTON: Tax exemption for agriculture goes before meeting ..........p. 8 • ENFIELD: Teacher grant award winners announced ........................p. 13 • SOMERS: Renata Bowers releases second ‘Frieda B.’ book ............p. 17 • SOMERS: Preparation helped town ride out superstorm ..................p. 19 •SUNDAY DRIVE: Columnist comes up with some ‘Bright’ idea ..............p. 27 • STAFFORD: High School honor roll students announced..............pgs. 32-33 •CLASSIFIEDS:............................p. 38

Hats Off To You Coventry/Windham RVT/Bolton Patriots running back Austin Ives (33) is tackled by the Ellington/Somers Knights during the third quarter at Ellington High School on Thanksgiving Day. Photo by David Butler II

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2 North Central News December 2012


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North Central Publishing, LLC dba

Page 3

Regional

Upbeat Start The North to Holidays Central News for Retailers P.O. Box 427 Somers, CT 06071 PHONE: 860.698.0020 FAX: 860.394.4262 E-MAIL: NorthCentralNews@aol.com WEBSITE: www.thenorthcentralnews.com

PUBLISHER/EDITOR Gary Carra CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Barbara Bresnahan Keith Griffin Barbra O’Boyle Linda Tishler-Levinson Deborah Stauffer PHOTOGRAPHERS David Butler II Stacey Lyn McDonald ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Gary Carra Sr. Amy Hartenstein CIRCULATION

Georgia Michalec PUBLISHER’S POLICY: The information presented in the North Central News is presented for your consideration and does not necessarily represent the views of the publisher or its advertisers. All information 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.

By Linda Tishler Levinson

Local business owners say they are optimistic about the holiday shopping season, despite what continues to be a sluggish economy. The season, which began at the end of November with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, has been promising so far, many local business people said. “Saturday went very, very well,” Siv Harvey, owner of Scandinavian Gift & Food Shop in Ellington, said of Small Business Saturday. Her shop had a Lucia festivity that day. The festival is a traditional start to the Scandinavian holiday season. “We do have good turnout because of that,” Harvey said. “One can only hope that will continue.” Brenda Friedrich, of Friedrich’s Jewelers in Stafford Springs, said that if Black Friday is any indication, this would be a lucrative holiday season. “I think it’s going to be very good, as usual,” she said, adding she is excited about their new line, Crystal Reflections. “I’m really hoping that it’s a good season,” said Kathy Hart, co-owner of Revay’s Garden and Gift Shop in the Broad Brook section of East Windsor. Hart said Revay’s is planning a variety of promotions throughout the season, such as on Chamilia items, but noted that Mother Nature can play a factor in the season’s success. “I think that weather plays a good part,” she said. “Small Business Saturday went very well,” said Fred Romano, owner of Somersville Gifts & Gourmet. “It was very well received. It really did drive traffic in here.” He said he plans to have small tasting events and weekend sales events throughout the holiday season. “I think we have to be optimistic, but I think people are buying this year,” he said. Romano said that so far he has seen more high-end items selling, noting that some of the ornament lines he sells are particularly pretty this year. Woodlandthemed ornaments have been selling especially well, he said. Not everyone found the weekend promotions helpful, yet they remained optimistic for the season as a whole. Somers Pharmacy & Gifts found the first weekend of the holiday shopping season rather disappointing, but is hopeful it will turn around. It has a number of classic toys, as well as Melissa & Doug toys, said owner David Guerette. “We’re anxious to see if the economy will turn around for us,” said Guerette, echoing the sentiments of all business owners.

St. Bernard First Readers Several students from St. Bernard School’s kindergarten and first-grade classes were recognized at a ceremony acknowledging their accomplishment of becoming a First Reader. They became a First Reader by successfully reading a selected book fluently on their own. The Kite Celebration (Key Initiatives to Early Education) honored students with a First Reader’s t-shirt, a medal, and bookmark. First row, from left, Evan Olearczyk, Elizabeth Kiczuk. Second row, from left, Masen Preste, Tyler Herzig, Jared Ryan, Andrew Hurlburt, and Faith Daigneau. Third row, from left, Jaylon Brew, Zachary Bonnini, Michael Coggins, Caleb Dickson, Ava Deprey.

December 2012 North Central News

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A look at cultural events in the area this month. In East Windsor: North Pole Connection The East Windsor Parks and Recreation Department will once again help Santa with his annual quest. Santa Calls for children preschool age to grade 3, will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 11 between 5 to 7 p.m. Please make arrangements to be home during this time so Santa can reach your child. Look for the flyers in the school bulletin or on our website: - www.eastwindsorct.com â&#x20AC;&#x201C; under the Parks and Recreation Department page. Please return form to the Parks & Recreation Department by Friday, Dec. 7 before 1 p.m. Please call 860-6276662 with questions. Broad Brook Fd Carol Sing The East Windsor Parks and Recreation Department will team up with the Broad Brook Fire Department to bring you the annual Carol Sing. This event is held at the Broad Brook Fire House, 125 Main Street in Broad Brook on Saturday, Dec. 8. Torch Light parade with begin at 5:30 p.m. Kids activities will start at 6:15 p.m.; the Carol Sing will start at 7 p.m. Hayrides, refreshments, and craftsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; as well as a visit from Santa himselfâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; will take place. (Snow Date is Sunday, Dec. 9). Please call

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860-627-6662 with questions. Fee: Donation of non-perishable food items for local food pantry. Home For The Holidays Lights Contest The East Windsor Parks and Recreation Department, in association with the East Windsor Chamber of Commerce, will hold our annual Holiday Lights Contest. The Contest applies to residents and businesses; judging expertise will be provided by the East Windsor Senior Center. Prizes will be awarded â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize for residents, and 1st prize â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Holiday Spirit Award - for businesses. Judging will take place the week of Dec. 17 5 to 8 p.m. Please register by calling the Parks and Recreation Office at 860-627-6662 by Dec. 14.

Attendees await the fateful â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;cow plopâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; at the St. Benard School Fall Festival. Courtesy Photo

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In Ellington: Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club Meeting Features Performer The Ellington Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 5, at 7 p.m. at the Ellington Senior Center, 16 Church Street, Ellington. The program will be a special Christmas presentation with guest Tom Russo from L&R Productions and co-author of the book "Unkiditional Love." Come learn where/how commercial jingles are created and come to life and sing along to your favorites. He will also share the humor and wisdom of his book which will be available for purchase at the meeting. Guests and new members are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Contact Karen at 860871-7322 for additional information.

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In Enfield: Participants Sought to Create Trees for Holiday Festival The Enfield Public Library, in conjunction with the Enfield Cultural Arts Commission, is pleased to present a Holiday Festival of Trees this season. The Festival of Trees Opening Reception will be held on Thursday, December 13 at 6:45 p.m. In addition to the display of trees, the opening reception will feature the holiday music of Vincent Cassotta. 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. Be creative. Think of something you may have at work or at home that you can make into a tree for the display. Community members of all ages are invited to create festive, non-traditional trees to enter in the libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gallery. All entries will be part of the opening night gallery reception and will be on display until December 28. Artists or â&#x20AC;&#x153;would-be tree creatorsâ&#x20AC;? should pick up an entry form and guidelines at the Enfield Public Library to participate in the art display. Trees should be dropped off by Dec. 10 to be included in the gallery. Guidelines for submission are also available on the libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website: www.enfieldpubliclibrary.org/festivaloftrees.htm . For more information call the library at 860-7637518.


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East Windsor 2012 Inductees into the East Windsor Athletic Hall of Fame EAST WINDSOR - The East Windsor Athletic Club Hall of Fame Class of 2012 induction was held Nov. 2 at Merlot on the Water in Broad Brook. The next induction will take place November 2014, and nominations can be sent to the EW Parks and Rec, 76 South Main St., East Windsor, CT 06088. The nomination form can be downloaded from EWsports.com. The inductees and their bios: Gary Perkins participated in baseball, soccer and basketball during his time at East Windsor High. He quickly became a standout on the baseball diamond. He excelled in multiple positions as a pitcher, shortstop, first baseman and catcher. These accomplishments gained him an AllConference selection in 1976 and 1977 as well as All State and JI All Area Team honors in 1977. During his senior year of high school Gary was selected for the state High School Coaches Association All-Star baseball game. Upon graduation Gary attended the University of Connecticut-Avery Point, where his record-low ERA of 1.15 in 1979 still stands today. He was then named to the CT Small College Conference All Conference Team. His talents led him to play in the 1983 American Sports

From left, are Amy Allbee Stepka, Julie Tetreault, Gary Perkins, Christopher Hayes, and Scott Shaw. Appreciation Game in London, England as well as playing for the USAFE Baseball League in Europe, where he hit three consecutive home runs in one game. Gary also went on to play for the Hartford Capitals and Moriarity Brothers from 1984 to 1988

in the Hartford Twilight League. After his career Gary went on to coach his sons Greg and Doug in youth soccer, basketball, and baseball as well as referee

for the CT Junior Soccer Association. Gary currently lives in South Windsor.

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East Windsor Hall of Fame Inducts 2012 Class of Honorees (continued from page 5) Scott Shaw participated in basketball, baseball and soccer during his time as an East Windsor High athlete. He was named to the varsity baseball team during his sophomore year where he batted .364 for the year. By his senior season Scott was batting .375 with 26 RBIs. He was voted All-North Central Connecticut Conference during his junior and senior seasons. Scott also participated in the Greater Hartford Twilight League for three years. Scott went on to play at MCC, and was invited to and attended the Atlanta Braves tryouts. He was offered a partial scholarship to play baseball at West Virginia Wesleyan College, but chose a career at the Department of Children and Families working with troubled youth, where he has been for the last 22 years. He currently participates in Competitive Menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Softball and was named to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;All-Worldâ&#x20AC;? team in the over-40 league. Currently, Scott lives in Ellington with his wife, Beth, and their children, Ryan, Rachel, and Tyler. Amy (Allbee) Stepka excelled in field hockey from grades 6-12. Amy was the first freshman selected for the All-

Conference team and was also selected for this award during her junior and senior year. She was also named field hockey MVP her senior year. Amy, who also participated in basketball and softball, was named a captain in her senior year. For her accomplishments she was named as the Hartford Courant â&#x20AC;&#x153;Front & Centerâ&#x20AC;? Athlete in 1988. During her senior year, Amy, who played goalie, allowed only 16 goals all season, which helped her team advance to the state tournament. She was recognized by her classmates by being named Most Athletic of her class in 1989, as well as awarded as a Scholar Athlete that year. After high school, Amy went to Central Connecticut State University and works at Alstom Power Inc. in Windsor. She resides in West Simsbury with her husband, Mike, and children, Kevin and Meghan. Amy is also involved in co-ed softball as well as coaching for the Simsbury Little League and Youth Hockey Association. Christopher Hayes, a four-year varsity starter in both soccer and baseball, also played three years of varsity basketball. His strengths as a goalkeeper were

admired by coaches and teammates. Chrisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ability to stop the ball in all sorts of weather and game conditions allowed him to achieve the prestigious titles of AllConference and All-State. His talents on the baseball field also allowed him to be named to the Senior All-Star Team. Chris received the Chris Corkum Sports Scholarship, as well as being named Most Athletic for the Class of 1990. Upon graduation Chris went on to play Division III baseball for Springfield College, where he was recognized for his work ethic and great character. Chris lives in East Windsor with his wife, Nichole, and two sons, Christopher and Andrew, while working for the state. Julie Tetreault was a four-year varsity athlete who succeeded on the pitcherâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s mound for the Panthers. Julie earned many awards while in high school, including the Coachâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award, All Conference and All State in softball. She was also named to the CHSCA All-Star team during her senior season. Julie graduated from Bryant University, where she participated on many intramural teams, often as the only girl on the court or field. Julie is a successful partner for Wallace Tustin Tetreault Realty and continues her love for athletics with co-ed indoor soccer, volleyball and

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6 North Central News December 2012

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By Linda Tishler Levinson

EAST WINDSOR â&#x20AC;&#x201D; While neighbors may be upset at the degree of storage materials kept at the town garage on Woolam Road, the Department of Public Works has been granted the right to keep them there. The Town Plan and Zoning Commission has voted to allow the storage use. Town Engineer and Director of Public Works Leonard Norton presented the results of water testing at the Town Garage site and from four adjacent properties. He said the North Central Connecticut Health District found no hydrocarbon compounds in the five samples tested, according to the minutes of the meeting. In addition to the possibility of contamination, residents had been concerned about the unsightly nature of the storage uses. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How long will Town Engineer Norton keep this pile of blight?â&#x20AC;? asked Gary Salmon of Woolam Road . Jennifer Prych, also of Woolam Road, noted that not all town garages are in residential neighborhoods, as this one is. Town officials argued that storage is among the designated uses of a Town Garage.

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Ellington Safe Grad Flipping Pancakes To Benefit Year-End Party ELLINGTON - Members of the Ellington Ad Hoc Safe Graduation Party Committee are trying their hand at flipping pancakes this year on Dec. 15 and are looking for the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s IN THE support. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve even invited Santa to help promote the cause. Raising funds for the annual substance-free party for graduating seniors at Ellington High School has been getting more and more challenging. The committee relies on donations from businesses and parents and also runs several fundraisers throughout the year. On Dec. 8 the committee is sponsoring a bus trip to New York City and is able to fill only one bus. Times are tough and it is being felt everywhere. In order to spark the interest of seniors to attend the substancefree party after graduation there must be entertainment, prizes, food and activities. All this costs money. The committee hopes to see the community come out to support the breakfast on Saturday, Dec. 15, in the Ellington High School cafeteria. Breakfast will be served between 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and Santa will be there to greet families and pose for photographs. Trish Willis of the Safe Grad Committee and organizer of the breakfast hopes to have local youth there to provide some musical entertainment.

She is also seeking donations from the community to help with overhead costs. Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, coffee, tea, juice and milk. Tickets SCHOOLS are $7 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. They can be purchased in advance by contacting Trish at 860-870-9684 or email tandrwillis@comcast.net or Debbie Stauffer at 860-875-9148 or email DLStauff@aol.com. Tickets will also be available on sale at the Ellington Youth Services Office at 31 Arbor Way in Ellington. If tickets are still available, they will also be sold at the door. The substance-free party has been around for more than 25 years. It takes place at Ellington Middle School and begins at 10:00 the night of graduation and goes until 5 a.m. the next day. The success of the party depends on the cooperation and support of the community. For more information, please contact Debbie Stauffer at DLStauff@aol.com. To make a donation, please send it to Ellington Safe Graduation Committee, P.O. Box 377, Ellington, CT 06029. For more information on the pancake breakfast or to donate, please contact Trish Willis at tandrwillis@comcast.net or call her at 860-870-9684.

deborah stauffer

December 2012 North Central News

7


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Ellington Town Meeting Will Decide Tax Exemption for Agriculture By Linda Tishler Levinson

ELLINGTON â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Town farmers may soon get a tax exemption on buildings used for agriculture. A Town Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at Town Hall on the proposed tax exemption for farm buildings. The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously at its Nov. 5 meeting to send the proposal to a Town Meeting. The measure also has been approved by the Board of Finance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beneficial to our farmers, and hopefully, that makes it beneficial to our town,â&#x20AC;? First Selectman Maurice

Blanchette said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are competing against the giant farms of the Midwest.â&#x20AC;? He added that many townspeople appreciate the value of having locally grown food available to them. The proposal is for an exemption on buildings solely used for farming up to a value of $100,000. The property must be actively used for farming and have expenses or gross receipts of at least $15,000 a year. The exemption would have to be approved annually. At a Nov. 5 public hearing on the proposal, Peter

Charter of Somers Road said that residents have been supportive of farmland in Ellington and that the farmers are grateful, according to the meeting minutes. He said the tax exemption would save him $500 a year in taxes. He added that if he sold his farm and homes were built on it, it could cost the town $450,000 a year to educate the children who might live there. James Gage of Hayes Avenue said it is important for the town to support farmers and to encourage them to keep farming.

Ellington Seniors Offering Technology Session in Conjunction with Best Buy ELLINGTON - The Ellington Senior Center is holding a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Meet and Greetâ&#x20AC;? on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. in the Billiard Room to launch a new technology program sponsored by Best Buy. As a part of its community outreach program, Best Buy will be offering free classes at the Ellington Senior Center every other week, beginning in January. The educational series will include instruction on topics such as tablets and computers for all levels, digital cameras, cell phones and

digital storage, just to name a few. There will be an opportunity to bring your own device and ask questions as time permits, as well as to sign up for a future class. Contact Samantha Baer at 860-8703133 or email saber@ellington-ct.gov. On behalf of the Ellington Senior Center, Program Coordinator Samantha Baer is offering gift-wrapping services to help with your holiday needs. Bring your purchase to the Ellington Senior Center on Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 10 a.m.-noon

email your news to northcentralnews@aol.com

for wrapping. There is a nominal fee based on package size. A cookie swap is also scheduled to take place on Thursday, Dec. 20, from 10 a.m.noon. Contact Samantha Baer at 860-8703133 with any questions about these programs. Trips Show Tours 2012 and the Ellington Senior Center present â&#x20AC;&#x153;Million Dollar Quartetâ&#x20AC;? on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 for a 2 p.m. matinee at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Million Dollar Quartetâ&#x20AC;? is the new hit musical inspired by the famed recording session

that brought together rock icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. These four young musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn., in what would be one of the most historic jam sessions ever. Enjoy lunch at the Chowder Pot in Hartford. Menu will be your choice of stuffed breast of chicken or baked stuffed scrod, potato, vegetable, garden salad, hot rolls with honey butter, coffee, tea and dessert. Cost of this trip is $129 per person. Sign up is at the Ellington Senior Center.

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8 North Central News December 2012

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Ellington Ellington High School Announces Winter Concerts ELLINGTON - The Ellington High School Music Department is proud to present the following concerts in December: The Winter Concert featuring the Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Wind Ensemble will be on Thursday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Gordon C. Getchell Auditorium. Come hear a wide variety of music from our three premier instrumental ensembles. General admission is $4 with

free admission for senior citizens and children under 5. The Winter Concert featuring the Vocal Ensemble and Chorale will be on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Gordon C. Getchell Auditorium. Come hear a selection of exciting choral music, including holiday favorites and an audience singalong. General admission is $4 with free admission for senior citizens and children under 5.

Get Your Last-Minute Holiday Cookies ELLINGTON - The Friends of Hall Memorial Library will hold the December Holiday cookie sale at the library, 93 Main St., on Sunday, Dec. 23, from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. If any cookies are left they will be sold on Dec. 24 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The cookie sale will feature assorted homemade specialty cookies packaged for giving and enjoying. The trays will contain

one pound of cookies and will be wrapped in plastic wrap with a bow on top. The trays are priced at $9. Proceeds from the sale will be used to provide library programs and other items that would otherwise not be available to the community. Plan to come early as these cookies sell out each year.

Foster Parents Needed

For the Touchdown Coventry/Windham RVT/Bolton Patriots wide receiver Nathan Decker (12) makes the catch and runs the ball for a touchdown against Ellington/Somers Knights defensive back Garrett Boulanger (16) during the second quarter at Ellington High School. The Knights would go on to win the Thanksgiving Day game 37-14. Photo by David Butler II

The Village for Families and Children is seeking to find dedicated and compassionate Foster Parents willing to open their home for our new and innovative foster care program. We will provide you with ongoing training and support groups, 24 hour on-call service, and a generous monthly stipend. Single,

Married, Renters or Homeowners are encouraged to apply. Call (860) 236-4511 or email to learn more. fostercare@villageforchildren.org

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December 2012 North Central News

9


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Spend New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day at Scantic River State Park EAST WINDSOR - The American Heritage River Commission will host the third annual New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day hike on Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. at East Windsorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Scantic River State Park, end of Melrose Road by the old bridge. Explore the Scantic River State Park, a two-mile round-trip hiking trail along the picturesque river. The water and land trails are maintained by the AHRC members and volunteers. In

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September, a 30-yard Dumpster was filled from the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Source to Sea Cleanupâ&#x20AC;? event from trash along the Scantic and Connecticut rivers. October offered a fun five-mile paddle down the Scantic River enjoyed by many canoers and kayakers. The commission works tirelessly to keep the trails open. For more information, email ahriver@sbcglobal.net.

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Supplies for Sandy Victims From left, Morgan Falcone, Kelsey Falcone, Connor Lewis and Terri Lewis joined many volunteers to help gather donations on a recent Saturday for a Hurricane Relief Drive sponsored by the Somers Fire Department with help from the New England Tractor Trailer Training School. Donations will be sent to the Staten Island Red Cross.

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11


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Enfield

A 100th Birthday Celebration The 100th birthday party of Barbara â&#x20AC;&#x153;Babsâ&#x20AC;? Baker took place on Sunday, Oct. 28. Barbara was a resident of Hazardville nearly her entire life. Barbara was surrounded by her five children, Barry Baker, Bonnie Baker, Betsy Baker Pillitteri and husband, Frank, Beverly Baker Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Connell, and Beryl Baker Daley with husband, Kevin. Most of her 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren were there. The celebration was held at Redstone Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in East Longmeadow, Mass.

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Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club of Enfield Christmas Luncheon ENFIELD - GFWC/Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club of Enfield will hold its holiday luncheon on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Grassmere Country Club, 130 Town Farm Rd., in Enfield. The social hour will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by the luncheon at 12:30 p.m. The Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club is proudly affili-

ated with The General Federation of Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clubs and the Connecticut State Federation. If anyone is interested in attending a Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club meeting or in becoming a member, she may contact Florence at 860745-5869.

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Enfield Tobacco Valley Teachers Federal Announces Teacher Grant Winners ENFIELD - The Tobacco Valley Teachers Federal Credit Union (TVTFCU) in Enfield is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2012 Teacher Grant Award. The credit union began this program this year in an effort to assist their members who are educators in funding equipment, supplies or training. The recipients are: Norma Turcotte, music teacher for the Enfield Public Schools. Turcotte has taught music in Enfield for 27 years and is currently the co-director of the InterElementary Chorus. She is a recipient of the Celebration of Excellence Award for

Mangini Appointed to National Committee ENFIELD - Cynthia Mangini, Enfield council member, has been appointed by the National League of Cities (NLC) Leadership to serve as vice-chair of the Finance Administrative Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR) Committee. The NLC is one of the largest, most influential municipal lobbying groups on the federal level. It involves such committees as Economic Development, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Human Development, Information technology and communications.

the Enfield Street School Assembly Program, the George Perry Literacy Scholarship and was a member of the Higher Order Thinking Schools Program that integrated the arts into all subject areas. Turcotte will utilize her grant funds to purchase dulcimers, a stringed instrument, for her elementary students so that each child will have his or her own instrument to play. Brian Olsen, science teacher at Enfield High School. Olsen has been teaching science at the high school for 12 years. He was chosen to participate in the 2011 United Technologies Corporation/National Science Teachers Association Summer Externship at Otis Elevator. He also participated in the 2012 Smith College Summer Internship for Teachers learning about zebrafish embryonic development and designing labs to incorporate into the biology curriculum. Next summer, Olsen will participate in the Smith College-New England Biolabs Molecular Biology Summer Workshop, which provides training in molecular and cellular biology. He said he expects to use his grant funds to purchase science equipment needed to perform a lab developed by his students to study the effects of alcohol on embryonic development (using

Norma Turcotte accepts her Teacher Grant Certificate from Myrijam Meserve, Manager/CEO, Tobacco Valley Teachers Federal Credit Union. zebrafish). â&#x20AC;&#x153;With increasing restraints on budgets and funding for educators, we wanted to offer some assistance. Our program is open to our members who are educators in our field of membership. Two grants are

awarded annually. It is our hope that this funding will add to the level of education that is offered to our area students,â&#x20AC;? said Myrijam Meserve, Manager/CEO for the Tobacco Valley Teachers Federal Credit Union.

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Enfield Voters Approve Plan To Consolidate Enrico Fermi, Enfield High Schools By Linda Tishler Levinson

ENFIELD — The town will have one renovated high school. Enrico Fermi High School. Open since 1971, will be shuttered. That was the decision voters made in the Nov. 6 election on the referendum question which asked voters to approve $103 million for the expansion and renovation of Enfield High School . The vote was 10,700-5,677 in favor of the school plan. Enrico Fermi and Enfield high schools would be consolidated into one combined high school. Total costs are estimated at $103.3 million, with about $68.6 million, or 66.4 percent, of those costs being reimbursed by the state. The town will issue bonds or notes to cover its portion, not to exceed $35 million, as well as using other sources of funds available to the town.

The EHS building will be renovated to current codes for accessibility, fire, safety, building and energy efficiency. A science, technology, art, math and engineering wing will be added to the school. The gymnasium and the auditorium will be expanded as part of the project. Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Schumann said the next step is to appoint a building committee for the project. Voters also approved the second referendum question, which called for the redistricting for the Town Council. This referendum question was approved 10,082-4,618. Currently, the districts are out of balance by population. For example, District 1 currently serves 9,897 residents, while District 2 serves 11,127 residents. Under the redistrict plan, the districts would range in population from 10,145 in District 1 to 10,418 in District 4.

Enfield Junior Women’s Club Turkey Drive ENFIELD - On Dec. 15, the Enfield Junior Women’s Club will be holding a Turkey Drive for the Enfield Food Shelf at the North Thompsonville Fire Dept., 439

Enfield St., Enfield. Donations will be from noon-3 p.m. Frozen turkeys, canned goods and any monetary donations will be accepted.

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14 North Central News December 2012

Asnuntuck Honors Veterans Asnuntuck Community College honored its student veterans at an event held on Veterans Day. Enfield Mayor Scott Kaupin was on hand for this prestigious event and greetings were sent from Congressman Joseph Courtney’s office. Asnuntuck Community College, located in Enfield, has more than 100 veterans enrolled at the school. The college has been named by both Military Advanced Education and G.I. Jobs to their military friendly lists of colleges. Asnuntuck’s Veterans Coordinator BethAnne Egan listens as Veteran Brandon Lemery, a 2011 Asnuntuck graduate and a Constituent Service Representative for Congressman Courtney, reads a message from Courtney. Photos by Andrea Skidgel

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Regional Protect Your Pipes from the Expense of Freezing this Winter HARTFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Professional Insurance Agents of Connecticut Inc. reminds homeowners and business owners that now is the time to prevent your pipes from freezing. Winter can bring extreme, cold temperatures. And, it does not have to snow and sleet for your household pipes to freeze. Anytime the temperature reaches 32 degrees or below, if your pipes are not properly winterized, it could mean disaster for your home or business. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Subject to a deductible, most homeowners policies cover damage resulting from frozen pipes, including the repair of the pipe,â&#x20AC;? says Timothy G. Russell, CPCU, president of PIACT. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your policy will cover dwelling damage, and damage to personal property, such as furniture and rugs. And, tenants of a residence can get similar coverage for personal property by purchasing a renters policy and business owners can purchase similar coverage for business property.â&#x20AC;? However, PIACT warns, no coverage exists for frozen-pipe damage to an unoccupied home or business, unless heat is maintained in the building or the pipes have been drained. Even though most homeowners policies cover such damage, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to prevent it before it hap-

pens. An eighth-inch crack in a pipe can send up to 250 gallons of water flowing a day, destroying equipment and files; wrecking floors and furniture; and costing homeowners and businesses a lot of money. By taking a few simple precautions you can save yourself the mess, cost and aggravation frozen pipes cause. With a little attention and simple maintenance, you can help prevent pipes from freezing, says PIACT. Pipes that freeze most often are those exposed to the severe cold, such as those located in unheated interior areas like basements or attics, crawl spaces, garages and kitchen cabinets. Some measures PIACT suggests for safeguarding pipes and property include insulating the pipes in these areas. Additionally, make sure you seal leaks that allow cold air inside near the pipes. Look for air leaks and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in. Water supply to outside valves (hose bibs) usually have a shut off valve inside the house. The homeowner should shut the inside valve and open the outside valve. If water continues to drip outside, there may be a leak at the inside valve. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll probably need to call a plumber to fix this. For pipes in crawlspaces and garages, it

may be necessary to wrap the pipe with an electrical insulator. These wraps act like heating pads for the pipe to keep the fluid from freezing. If your pipes do freeze, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take any chances, warns PIACT. If you turn on your faucets and no water comes out, leave the faucet on, turn off the main shut-off valve for your water supply and call a plumber.

Take immediate steps to prevent further damage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If damage has occurred, contact your professional, independent insurance agent. He or she will be able to guide you through the claims process,â&#x20AC;? says Russell. PIACT is a trade association representing professional, independent insurance agencies, brokerages and their employees throughout the state.

Holiday Vacation Fun at The New England Air Museum WINDSOR LOCKS - The New England Air Museum will hold family fun activities Dec. 26-30. Daily activities on these dates include demonstrations about the science of flight, and the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Flight Sim Spot will be open each of these days between noon and 4 p.m. Flight Sim Spot allows visitors to use state-of-the-art simulators to virtually fly any aircraft using real cockpit controls. Additional activities are scheduled for the following days: â&#x20AC;˘ On Wednesday, Dec. 26, step into a room full of Legos and create a â&#x20AC;&#x153;fantastic flying machine.â&#x20AC;? Prizes will be awarded for the best Lego creation. â&#x20AC;˘ On Thursday, Dec. 27, the museum will host an open cockpit program with about 10 aircraft to be open, including helicopters, an airliner, a jet fighter and a WWII aircraft. All cockpits will close at 4

p.m. Visitors can also build and fly a model glider with local experts from the Academy of Model Aeronautics (there is a fee for the model kit, and this activity is best for ages 8 and up). â&#x20AC;˘ On Friday, Dec. 28, special guests will be on hand to help you learn how to draw your favorite aircraft. Ronald McDonald will also visit between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Activities are included with the price of admission on the day of your visit except where noted. The New England Air Museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week and is located in Windsor Locks adjacent to Bradley International Airport. Take I-91 north or south to exit 40 (Route 20) to Route 75 north. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and $6.50 for children ages 4-12 (3 and under free).

Send Your News to northcentralnews@aol.com

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December 2012 North Central News

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EXPERIENCE THE

JOY OF THE SEASON

Somers Congregational Church, 599 Main Street, Somers, CT (860) 763-4021 / www.somerscongregational.org The Reverend Dr. Barry Cass, Pastor

Worship Services Sundays 8:15 & 10:00 A.M.

Reason for the Season Bazaar December 1

Johnson Hospital Education Center, Route 190, Stafford Springs, CT, Handicap accessible, Ample parking, Child care provided at 10:00 A.M.

9:00 AM - 2:00 P.M. Bugbee Building of Somers Congregational Church, 599 Main St. Somers, CT Luncheon 11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.

20th Annual Nativity Display

Community Supper

Hundreds of Nativity sets on display throughout the Bugbee Building Somers Congregational Church Open 1 to 4 P.M. December 9, 16 and 23 5 to 7 P.M. Tuesday Dec 11, 4 to 7 P.M. Sat. Dec. 15 and 4 to 6 P.M. Wed. Dec. 19

Be

15TH OF EVERY MONTH Serving 5-6:30 P.M. Free (Donation Basket) Bugbee Building Somers Congregational Church, Saturday Dec. 15 Call for reservations

Christmas Eve Services Monday, December 24 Johnson Memorial Hospital Education Center 5:30 P.M. Family Worship 7:30 P.M. Service of Lessons & Carols 11:00 P.M. Communion

A.C.T.I.V.E.

Activity Class To Improve Vitality in Everyone

REGISTER TODAY!

A fitness and strength improvement program Classes designed for people who have or have not been exercising on a regular basis For everyone 18 years of age or older residing in the Health District

Registrat ion Forms av ailable a t: www.ncd hd.org or call 860-7450383

LOW COST CLASSES – LESS THAN $3 PER CLASS! East Windsor ACTIVE Class

Enfield ACTIVE Class

Splashin’ Action

Windsor Locks ACTIVE Class

E. W. Sr. Center 125 Main St, East Windsor

North Central District Healthtrax W. L. Sr. Center Health Dept 3 Weymouth Rd, Enfield 41 Oak St, Windsor Locks Mon/ Wed 10:30 - 11:15 am 31 N. Main Street, Enfield Tues 5:00 – 6:00 pm Tues/Thurs 8:30 - 9:15 am January 7 – April 3 No class Jan. 21, Feb. 18 24 classes - $60

Mon/ Wed 5:30 5:30 - 6:15 6 pm Januaryy 7 – Apri Ap Aprili 3 No class Jan. an. 21, 1 FFe Feb e 18 244 classes classe - $$60 $66

Thurs 5:30 – 6:30 pm

January 8 – March 28 24 classes - $85

January 8 – March 28 24 classes - $55 – residents $60 – non-residents

Suffield ACTIVE Suffield Sr. Center 145 Bridge Street Mon/Wed 10:10–11:10 am January 7 – April 3 No o class Jan. 21, Feb. 18 24

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Exercise Exe rccise cis c s Today T for a Healthy Tomorrow rrrow Funded by a SHD Preventive v ventive e Heal H Health al and Human Services Block Grant

16 North Central News December 2012

4

Sponsored by North Central District ct Health Dep Department parrtment

Suffield Suffield Sr. Center 145 Bridge Street

Yoga/Pilates Mon/Wed 9:00-10:00 am January 7 – April 3 No class Jan. 21, Feb. 18 24 classes - $60

Gentle Relaxation Yoga Tues/Thurs. 4:30-5:30 pm January 8 – March 28 24 classes - $60


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Somers Local Author Releases Second Book in Children’s Frieda B. Series SOMERS - “What would the world look like if all children dreamed big and believed in their stories?” This very question is what fuels the writings and work of Renata Bowers, author of the Frieda B. series of children’s books. This question is, in fact, the mission statement of Frieda B., LLC (www.FriedaB.com), an online company co-founded by Bowers to offer the growing line of Frieda B. books, as well as products and services designed to encourage and inspire the story within. “Think of it, imagine,” says Bowers. “Truly, what would the world look like if every 6-, 7-, 18-year-old believed he or she carries a unique story of invaluable worth… a story that no one else can tell, and that no one can take away? It’s the goal of every story I write, every presentation I make, every school I visit, every product we develop… to help kids – and adults – believe in the worth of their story.” The journey of Bowers and Frieda B. is a story all in itself. A story of dreams desired, pursued, elusive and realized. It began with the very first Frieda B. story, Frieda B. Herself, written more than a decade ago – a story of a young girl, the world’s biggest dreamer, who believes she

is free to be what she dreams. The story is clear in telling the reader s/he, too, can do the same. “In a nutshell,” recalls Bowers, “I wrote the story in 1996. Tried to get it published, to no avail, and continued to write four other Frieda B. stories. They all sat in my hard drive for a decade. It was my sister who never gave up on Frieda. She found a publisher in 2007, contracts were signed, Michael Chesworth (best known for his work with Pippi Longstocking) agreed to illustrate the book. It was a heady time.” But as with every good story, there have been chapters of considerable conflict. With illustrations complete and ready to go to press, in December 2008 – national economy tightening - the publisher put the project on hold … and ultimately cancelled the contract in September 2009. “At first I was greatly disappointed,” Bowers notes. “But then I began to sense freedom in publishing Frieda on my own. And that was spot-on accurate.” With the support of her husband, Bowers self-published Frieda B. Herself in March 2010, and soon realized the autonomy that self-publishing afforded her. With all rights returned to her, she was free to

develop Frieda B. as she sees best, and that is with a focus on what’s best for kids. “If I can’t first and foremost make an impact on kids, then what’s the point?” she asks. But starting and running the business alone, she admits, was at times a scary thing. “The learning curve was pretty big. I went from being solely a writer to having to know enough about publishing, marketing, legal, accounting, taxes, inventory and distribution to make this a legitimate business. I was the duck – the one gliding on the water, with legs pedaling furiously below. I tried not to break a sweat too often. I smiled a lot. And prayed.” And in answer to that prayer came friend and finance specialist, Paula LaJoie.

AUTHOR/page 18

Author Renata Bowers.

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KOGUT’S HEMLOCK HILL TREE FARM Information Phone (203) 630-6531 Plantation location: 108 Billings Rd. • Somers, CT 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily including Sat. & Sun. December 2012 North Central News

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Somers Holiday Show at Piedmont Percolator Coffeehouse Series SOMERS - Fresh off two consecutive full house events in October and November, the “Piedmont Percolator” coffeehouse series sponsored by The Somers Cultural Commission will take a nostalgic turn this December as it welcomes the Somers Village Players in their performance of “It’s A Wonderful Life Radio Show.” Hosted at historic Piedmont Hall, located at 604 Main St. in Somers, this is the second year the Somers Village Players have been invited to perform a special holiday program in the coffeehouse series. Under the direction of David Crowell, a cast of eight men and women will bring the beloved American holiday classic to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast.

An ensemble of a few dozen characters, complete with sound effects and music, tells the story of the idealistic George Bailey as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. It is a program that is sure to delight and inspire that special spirit of the holiday season. After the New Year, Piedmont Percolator will return with a diverse schedule of talented musical performances including Grass Routes Bluegrass Band, Michael Coppola, Four Tune Seekers, Donna Martin, Dan Stevens, Lauren Agnelli and Amalgamated Muck. Admission and coffee are free. For further information call 860-749-0339.

Annual Christmas Pageant at Congregational Church of Somersville SOMERS - The little angels and shepherds are gearing up once again for the annual Christmas pageant at the Congregational Church of Somersville (UCC), 22 Maple St. in Somersville. To be held Dec. 16 at 6 p.m., this production is free and open to the public. It not only includes exciting acting by our children, but the entire assembly will have the chance to join in some fun and beautiful Christmas caroling. Do you think your younger kids would like to join in the play? We might have a couple extra spots in the cast of characters; we’ll do our best to accommodate all interested persons. It’s a great way to help teach your kids about the true meaning of Christmas. Call the church office ASAP at 860-749-7741 to inquire about availability and rehearsals. Everyone, young and old alike, are invited to attend the Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. on Dec. 24.

Local Author Self-Publishes Her Second Book in Frieda B Series (continued from page 17) The two had a strong shared vision for doing something of great help to others. As the story would have it, they formed an LLC in January of this year, co-founding Frieda B., LLC. With their mission and business model firmly rooted in helping others, they have steadily grown their sales, product offerings, loyal customer base and partnerships. This September, a program they developed called Free to B. a Blessing was launched nationwide by scouting organization American Heritage Girls (www.ahgonline.org).

And now they have the second Frieda B. book, Frieda B. Meets the Man in the Moon. Again, self-published. “It’s a sweet story … funny and endearing,” says Bowers. “And the illustrations [again by Chesworth] are incredible. I didn’t think I could love a story more than I love Frieda B. Herself. But this one has nudged itself right into contendership. ‘Contendership’… Is that a word? Should be. Frieda would like that word.” Frieda B. Meets the Man in the Moon starts with Frieda deciding, on a warm night in June, to take a trip to the moon

“for she just had to know what it’s like where the rockets and astronauts go.” She and her perpetual sidekick/pet dog, Zilla, launch into space and inadvertently crash into the moon, hurting The Man in the Moon. The rest of the story explores how Frieda responds, leading the reader to realize the importance of making things right, making amends – even when you didn’t intend to hurt someone. The story closes with Frieda and The Man in the Moon best of friends. As it should be. Those interested in purchasing copies of

either Frieda B. title – as well as other Frieda B. products – can do so on the company website at www.FriedaB.com. And Bowers always welcomes opportunities for school visits and presentations with any size/age audience. “The message is timeless,” she says. “And I am entirely humbled by the opportunity to share it with all ages, through a character I’ve come to love dearly. My hope is that Frieda B. will inspire countless others to dream big and believe. I’d follow that story anywhere.”

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18 North Central News December 2012


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Somers Preparation Helped Town Weather Recent October Nor'Easter By Linda Tishler Levinson

SOMERS – Lessons learned. After the devastating October snowstorm last year, First Selectman Lisa Pellegrini said the town has worked to develop better ways to handle weather emergencies. “We were expecting that it would be a duplicate of Storm Alfred, but that was not the case,” Pellegrini said, noting the town fared comparatively well after the recent October storm. The town suffered minimal damage, and there was no flooding.

“We worked well with CL&P,” she said, arranging to have crews in town before the storm even began. “That was key.” About 23 percent of the town was without power as a result of the storm. Construction activity With a flurry of recent construction activity, town buildings have gotten a bit of attention lately. “We are happy to say that continuous improvements are being made to ensure that buildings operate as efficiently and as safely as possible,” Pellegrini said.

Any Denomination

Scott Meeker and Rich Gagnon of Prime Windows install new doors at Town Hall.

Among the improvements are new front doors on Town Hall, more efficient lighting in the police station, painting at Kibbe Fuller and handicap ramp improvements at Piedmont Hall. The renovations at Kibbe Fuller and Piedmont Hall have been done by prison work crews. Several months ago, Pellegrini met with Correctional Officer Leo MacDonald to formulate a plan for infrastructure improvements to town buildings. Over the summer Department of Public Works Deputy Director Todd Rolland coordinated

with MacDonald on the first project, which was to rebuild the handicap ramp at Piedmont Hall. Now they are working on improvements at Kibbe Fuller, including painting, replacing missing ceiling tiles and patching walls. Town Plan of Development Revisions are being made to the town Plan of Conservation and Development. There will be a public information meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, at Town Hall on the proposal.

December 2012 North Central News

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Affordable Self Storage

N Fully secured facility with N 24-hour access N Different size units available N Conveniently located next to the Four Town Fairgrounds # N 10â&#x20AC;&#x2122; x 20â&#x20AC;&#x2122; as low as $79 a month N 10â&#x20AC;&#x2122; x 30â&#x20AC;&#x2122; as low as $119 a month

Just Breathe Connecticut Moves into New Office Space SOMERS - During November, Just Breathe Connecticut, LLC moved the practice into an expanded office suite

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60 Sunshine Farms Road Somers, CT 06071

(860) 749-6549 Honoring Veterans

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Dallas Lemery, wearing a replica of his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s uniform, salutes during a special Veterans Day event held at Asnuntuck Community Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Veteransâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; OASIS Center. Dallasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; father, Brandon Lemery, is a 2011 Asnuntuck graduate and a Constituent Service Representative for Congressman Joseph Courtney.

within Somers Place at 24 Battle St. The space will be the biggest office let within Just Breathe history. The expanded space allows for a large and comfortable waiting room, dedicated adult and family counseling room, fun and unique play therapy room for children, and greatly expanded administrative area. Additional provider offices within the suite allow for the addition of complementary services and accommodation of additional holistic practitioners. Kerry L. Tuttle, LCSW and Owner at Just Breathe said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is an incredibly exciting time for my practice and signals another milestone in our amazing story. With such rapid expansion over the last two years this move will enable me to even further help others on their journeys to lead fuller and more authentic lives.â&#x20AC;? Just Breathe serves adults, children, couples, families and groups with an eclectic clinical melange of therapeutic modalities. Tuttle is particularly experienced in working with special needs families and has a strong advocacy background. She is also a certified mediator and is highly sought-after for her calm and supportive negotiation style. Just Breathe accepts most major medical insurance plans and offers a sliding scale fee to the uninsured. The office can be reached at 860-436-8079. Extensive information is also available on its website, www.JustBreatheCT.com. Tuttle views every new day as a chance to change your life and encourages you to make today the day you take your first step.

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45 Pioneer Heights, Somers, CT â&#x20AC;˘ 860-749-2510 www.ClearMountainAlpacas.com Thinking about getting your 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 mensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and ladiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; alpaca socks available. Not to mention our adorable and super soft alpaca fur animals just waiting for you to take them home!


Regional New England Ukulele Ensemble To Perform at Enfield Library ENFIELD - Visit the Enfield Public Library on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. for a fun-filled evening of musical entertainment with the New England Ukulele Ensemble (NEUE). Does this name sound like an oxymoron? The â&#x20AC;&#x153;ukuleleâ&#x20AC;? is a humble instrument, yet â&#x20AC;&#x153;ensembleâ&#x20AC;? brings to mind special, unique musical works coupled with skilled musical craftsmanship. Happily for us all, this is exactly what the New

England Ukulele Ensemble is. Using our unassuming and friendly ukuleles, the five members of NEUE recreate classic tunes from the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;60s, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;70s, and more; all of your favorites like â&#x20AC;&#x153;California Dreaminâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blue Bayou,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mama Told Me Not to Come,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Happy Together,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Eleanor Rigby,â&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Surfinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; USA!â&#x20AC;? This is not your mamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s elevator music, however. NEUE offers expertly arranged

Thanking Veterans Students of Saint Martha School in Enfield honored and acknowledged our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s veterans by sending hand-made cards and letters to them. The students learned about Veteransâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Day in the Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Families 4 Families Project,â&#x20AC;? which combines students from Grades K-8 into 10 families to build community and provide service to others. Emma Rubin, a Saint Martha School third-grade student, makes a card for our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s veterans.

vocals and the beloved, familiar harmonies that propelled all of those great songs to the classic, timeless, platinum-selling status that they still are known for today. Holiday tunes will also be featured during this exciting performance. Your spirits will be instantly lifted, and you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be able to stop smiling as you

fall in love with the sounds of the New England Ukulele Ensemble. All programs at the Enfield Public Library are free and all are welcome. To register for this program visit the Circulation Desk or call 860-763-7512. For more information on library programs, visit www.enfieldpubliclibrary.org.

Church Holiday Fair Features Russian Goods HARTFORD - The All Saints Church annual Food and Holiday Fair will be presented noon-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at All Saints Church, 205 Scarborough St., Hartford, with ample and free parking available. Admission to the fair is also free. Enjoy some ethnic foods, find a special gift item, and more. The holiday gathering will offer a non-meat lunch for din-

ing in and frozen ethnic foods to go, including stuffed cabbage, vareniki (pierogi), and homemade borscht and mushroom barley soups. There will be vendors offering a variety of crafts. The church bookstore will make available Russian imported items. Pysanky, crafts and other items also will be sold. For more information, visit www.allsaintshartford.org.

Rockville Public Library Holiday Cookie Sale ROCKVILLE - Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so little time and so much to bake during this holiday season, but the Friends of the Rockville Public Library, 52 Union St. in Vernon can help with their annual holiday cookie sale! The public is invited to call the adult circulation desk or visit the library and reserve one or more trays of cookies for $12 each.

Each tray contains a 2 lb. assortment of holiday cookies, home-baked and even packaged for gift giving. The cookie trays will be ready for pick-up on Saturday, Dec. 15, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. All proceeds from the sale will benefit library material and activities. To reserve your cookies, please call the library at 860-8755892, ext. 21.

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Regional Northwest Catholic Donates Technology to St. Bernard School ENFIELD - This fall, St. Bernard School benefited from a technology upgrade at Northwest Catholic High

School. The high school donated 37 desktop computers, along with an assortment of flat screen monitors, speakers, and other

equipment, to its sister school. This equipment will allow St. Bernard School to replace computers as needed in its K through 8 classrooms, allowing the school to continue to focus its tech plan on alternative technologies such as tablets and floating labs. This donation was initiated by St. Bernard School alumnus Francis Butler on a summer visit to his former high school. His sister Marissa, a student at Northwest Catholic, assisted with delivery from the high school while younger brother Anthony received the donations on behalf of St. Bernard School, where he is currently a seventh-grader. Director of Technology Michelle Lavoie commented as the donations arrived at the school, “We’re grateful to both the Butler family

and Northwest High School. It’s rewarding to see the Catholic schools helping each other in such a meaningful way. Together, we’re preparing our students for success in this ever-changing technological world.”

Feed the Hungry to Avoid Overdue Fines STAFFORD - During the month of December the Stafford Library will be accepting non-perishable food items in lieu of overdue fines. Patrons without fines are welcome to donate food also. All food items collected will be donated to Stafford Social Services Food Bank. For more information, call the Stafford Library at 860-684-2852.

Anthony Butler, a 7th grader at SBS, and Marissa Butler, a senior at NWC.

James P. Fitzgerald, DMD, MS Dr. Fitzgerald and his staff are dedicated to helping their patients achieve and maintain good health, function and appearance. Dr. Fitzgerald graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. He completed a residency in General Dentistry at Danbury Hospital and then returned to the UConn School of Dental Medicine for a Fellowship in Periodontics. Our practice utilizes current technologies to make your care better and more comfortable. We perform a wide range of general dentistry services, and have a focus on replacing missing teeth with crowns, bridges and dentures on dental implants.

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24 North Central News December 2012

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Regional Enfield Montessori School Honors Three of its Volunteers Johanne Murphy, Heather Williams, and Cheryl Walker of the Enfeild Montessori School were honored at the 35th Anniversary HOPES (Help Our Parish Elementary Schools) Dinner sponsored by the Office of Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of Hartford, and held at the Aqua Turf Club, Southington, on Sept. 23. The gathering of more than 530 included pastors, principals and volunteer leaders representing several school constituencies â&#x20AC;&#x201C; parents, grandparents, past parents, alumni and friends. Ninetynine representatives from 46 schools were honored with the 2012 St. John Neumann Award for Volunteer Service, in recognition of outstanding service to Catholic education at the parish school level. They are pictured with Elizabeth Page, Director of Enrollment and Admissions and Sr. Francine, Vice Principal. The Enfield Montessori School serves children from ages 3 to 12. For more information, visit EnfieldMontessoriSchool.org.

Arts Commission Sponsors Holiday Meet and Greet

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STAFFORD - The Stafford Arts Commission would like to invite all Stafford artists and friends to a holiday gathering at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Old Town Hall (Ben Muzio Town House, 221 East St., Stafford). This is an opportunity

for the commission and local artists to get to know one another over coffee and baked goods. Please feel free to bring your artwork or come ready to perform. There will be a sound system set up for anyone who would like to share his or her music.

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$ for $ Effective. Affordable. Dollar For Dollar, the North Central News is THE most effective, affordable, local vehicle to advertise your business in. How can we make a statement like that? We’re not, but our customers are! And, here’s what else they are saying about us....

... “We’ve heard 100% positive feedback from our friends and customers about the paper, and I love reading it each month!”

... “An awesome small-town local paper with a lot of potential for growth. I have seen exceptional results from my investment in advertising with them!” ~ Chris, Clear View LLC Ellington, CT

... “We are very pleased with the results we’ve seen from advertising in the North Central News over the last 7 months. Definitely a paper we will continue to use as a tool in building our business!” ~ Karen, Mainline Heating & Supply Ashford, CT

... “ I can tell when the paper has been deliverd each month, because my phone starts ringing with new business...” ~ Tom, Creative Stone Scapes Stafford, CT

~ Ron Jr., Maple Tire Center Stafford, CT

... “I am very pleased with the results I’ve seen from advertising in the North Central News. You get great value and results for your money. I’ve been in the paper since the beginning and will definitely continue.” ~ Carol, Shear Magic Salon, Somers, CT

Call or email to get into the next edition of the region’s fastest growing publication!

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26 North Central News December 2012

Reach Nearly 45,000 Homes Every Month!


Sunday Drive A â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Brightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Idea & Some Cyber Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas Welcome back to the Sunday Drive, the column that aspires to provide your complete, entertainment itinerary on a monthto-month basis. That said, this installment, your friendly, neighborhood Sunday Driver actually had a particularly bright idea. In addition to â&#x20AC;&#x153;illuminatingâ&#x20AC;? the masses on two of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most bulb-ous affairs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Bright Nights in Springfield and Hartford's Holiday Light Fantasia â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we list a couple of stocking stuffers available via online order that can actually keep you OUT of your car â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the holiday traffic â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this season! â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bright Ideasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; For Short, Seasonal Trips Bright Nights at Forest Park (413) 733-3800 www.brightnights.org Named one of America's Top Attractions by the American Bus Association, Bright Nights in Forest Park is a 2.5-mile-long holiday light extravaganza that attracts visitors from all corners of the globe. More than 500,000 twinkling lights are part of this unique attraction, which takes place from the Friday before

Thanksgiving through the Sunday after New Year's Day. Highlights include Toy Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bug out if you still donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a Land, North Pole Village, Seuss Land and stocking stuffer for the reader in your dozens of other holiday scenes. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. Get the Buglit, the new, flexible season runs through flashlight that is sure to light up your Jan. 1 from 5 p.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9 life â&#x20AC;&#x201C; exactly where you need it! p.m. Sunday through Photo by North Central Images Thursday, 5 p.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and holidays. Price is per vehicle $18 Monday through Thursday, $21 Friday through Sunday and holidays. Holiday Light Fantasia in Goodwin Park Goodwin Park, Hartford, CT 742-2267 Website: (860) http://www.holidaylightfantasia.org Holiday Light Fantasia is a magical drive through light display located in Hartford's Goodwin park. Whether you're Years and Three Kings Day. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a kid, grandparent or just a young couple event runs through Jan. 6, open Sundaywho are young at heart, the dazzling show Thursday 5 p.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9 p.m. and Fridaywill sure to be your new Holiday tradition. Saturday 5 p.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 p.m. The show stretches for over two miles Admission is $12 per car (up to 10 pasthrough Goodwin Park where whimsical sengers). FF218317 Job No.: holiday scenes, familiar characters and Cyber Stocking Stuffers Hartford, CT Engagement City: local tributes shine bright in over 35 lightNow, normally, when one talks about an edMedia: scenes and 200 individual displays. The insect problem, the thinking is that they lighted animations celebrate not only cannot get rid of the pests in question. In Insertion but Date(s): Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New the curious case of the The Buglit from Nite Ize (niteize.com, price $12.99), however, your Sunday Driver couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to

get his hands on one if his life depended on it. Samples of the bright-beaming bugs in question first arrived in the office last month. Since my oldest daughter, Emily, quickly absconded with them one by one for her sister Allison and friends, however, Ad Size: weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to defer to her critique. From Emily Carra: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Buglit Section: is a flexible, fun gadget that is perfect for anyone ages 6-106, in my opinion. Since they

FELD ENTERTAINMENT

SUNDAY/page 34

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December 2012 North Central News

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Stafford Palace Presents Documentary Narrative with Live Performance STAFFORD SPRINGS - Palace Theater will present â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Calling: A Documentary Narrative-Film W/Live Performancesâ&#x20AC;? taking place at The Palace Theater on Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at the box office at 75 Main St., Stafford Springs.

Also available online at Ticketfly.com and www.thestaffordpalacetheater.com. Tickets will be $12 in advance for general admission and $15 day of show. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Callingâ&#x20AC;? is a documentary-narrative film by an international team that includes three Stafford Springs residents.

They travel to South Africa to experience and share the indigenous spirituality of the Zulu tribe. See how this ruggedly beautiful South African landscape creates a unique grace in its people. The Zulu healers all believe they were led to their path through a Calling. Does everyone have one? Travel with the team as they journey into the collective soul by an ancient charted path to find out.

This will be the first film screening at the Palace in 52 years and the only screening of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Callingâ&#x20AC;? before it is submitted to international film festivals. Come be a part of Sundance Director and Stafford Springs native Roger Ingrahamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest creation. Enjoy a live performance of original music, and Q&A with the team as part of this exceptional night. Suitable for all ages.

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Stafford Town Better Handles Superstorm Sandy Thanks to Preparation By Linda Tishler Levinson

STAFFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lessons helped the town be better prepared for Superstorm Sandy. About 20 percent of the town was without power for five days, First Selectman Richard Shuck said. After the five days, all had their power restored. After Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm last year, Shuck said

the town learned to be better prepared. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of it is out of our control,â&#x20AC;? he said of storms, but after last year the town had learned to better communicate with residents and better advocate on their behalf. Using the Stafford Citizen Alert system, the town was able to provide information about outages and shelter options. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m thankful we fared as well as we did,â&#x20AC;? Shuck said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think overall it fared

Freshmen House Program Off to a Successful Start at High School STAFFORD - Stafford High School is proud to release information related to its new Freshmen House transition program. In Connecticut high schools and across the United States, high school students transitioning from eighth grade to ninth grade have traditionally struggled to maintain academic achievement during their freshman year. In response to such a dilemma, a team of Stafford High School faculty members convened a committee to conduct research on potential solutions. As a result, over the course of the 2011-2012 school year, Stafford High School implemented the Freshmen House, a program designed to provide social and academic support to all ninth-grade students. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Houseâ&#x20AC;? follows a school within a school model where students are split into

teams and monitored closely by a common group of teachers. When problems arise, the team is able to intervene quickly using a Scientific Research-Based Intervention (SRBI) approach. The results have been overwhelmingly positive. Since the implementation of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Houseâ&#x20AC;? in September 2011, overall ninthgrade student failures have been reduced by 66%. Students failing three of more courses during freshman year, typically viewed as â&#x20AC;&#x153;at-riskâ&#x20AC;? for drop-out, have been reduced by 70%. In addition, ninthgrade student discipline-related incidents have reduced significantly, including the total number of ninth-grade suspensions, which have been reduced by 85%. For more information, contact Marco R. Pelliccia, Principal, at 860-684-4233.

booths in Hyde Park. Winterfest The Stafford Community and Civic Affairs Commission is sponsoring the third annual Winterfest Parade beginning at 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at Olympic Circle. The parade will march down Main Street, ending at Town Hall. The Madrigal Choir will lead a carol sing at Town Hall, where there will be a bonfire, along with hot cocoa, coffee, baked goods and crafts for children. There will be a visit from Santa Claus. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m trying to encourage as many people as we can to be involved,â&#x20AC;? Shuck said. Decorated floats or vehicles, groups of marches, horses and sleighs are welcome to participate in the parade. To register to drive or march in the parade, contact contact Cindy Kabel at 860-604-1509 or email Barbara Bresnahan at BarbBres@Live.com by Dec. 10.

fairly well,â&#x20AC;? especially compared those in more hard-hit places. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I encourage everyone to think about those people and say a prayer for them,â&#x20AC;? he said. Downtown Trick-or-Treat The Halloween Downtown Trick-orTreat, organized by the merchants on Main Street, was a huge success, Shuck said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was like a big block party,â&#x20AC;? he added. They had wanted a Halloween event and had organized this one in a short period of time. In addition to the Main Street merchants giving out Halloween treats to children, there was a big show at the Palace and civic groups became involved, Shuck said. Next year, he said, the town plans to apply for a permit from the state to close Main Street during the event. The town hopes to involve businesses outside the downtown area, perhaps by setting up

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December 2012 North Central News

31


Stafford First Quarter Honor Roll Announced at Stafford High School STAFFORD - Marco Pelliccia, principal, of Stafford High School, is pleased to announce that the following students of Stafford High School have made the Honor Roll for the first quarter of the 2012-2013 school year. These students have completed all of their class work as of Nov. 6, and have not received a grade lower than a 77 in any course. Students

who have a 90 average or better have earned High Honors recognition. Students who have earned an 85 average or better have earned Honors recognition. Senior High Honors Angelique Bacha Emily Bergeron Lauren Bragdon

Taylor Burton Sara Fogarty Marissa Gagne Ryan Gelinas Joshua Gluck Amanda Jacobsen Alicia Morgan Shelbey Prucker Jaime Sierra Jonathan Simmons Megan Watkinson Brianna Wert Junior High Honors Elizabeth Girard Jake Kalette Conor Keleher Niki Leclerc Jesse Reeves Sarah Seddon Tyler Whaley Sophomore High Honors Anna Austin Renee Chasse Caitlyn Eaton Hailey Ebenstein Nicholas Girard Shannon Huda Shane Kalette Erica Lawlor

Kaela Maloney Matthew Moore Julia Nosel Isabella Ostrowski Kyle Ramsey Anyamanee Saksri Anna Smith Corine Sylvain Keighlee Szafir Calvin Wentworth Freshman High Honors Aaron Bernier Michael Bladek Curtis Campo Anthony Ceniglio Natalie Cyr Hunter Davis Collin Dubord Marissa Dwyer Alyssa Fecko Nathan Fish Rachel Gallison Ethan Ives Bridget Keleher Shannon Kennedy Sandra Korzeniewski Rowan Longmore Richard McKenney

HIGH/page 33

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Stafford High School Honor Roll Announced for First Marking Period (continued from page 32) Emma Milikowski Alison Pisciotta Elizabeth Pisciotta Brianna Reeves Sophia Sargent Allison Schoolnick Hannah Seddon Dylan Snay Shannon Stuart Peyton Teske Patrick Vincenti Shelby Westall Devan Yeo Senior Honors Cassidy Aubin Taylor Bain Emily Barone Jennifer Bourque Marita Brothers Andrew Buchanan Evan Cummins Samantha Freeman Ashley Lacroix Jonathan Lerch Heather Moore Rebecca Novelli Isabella Randazzo

Angela Santochristo Julia Shirk Maria Spellman Michaela Vaughn-Kuehl Lauren Webb Shane West Kianna Woods Junior Honors Andrew Bachiochi Sara Bizilj Samantha Boudreau Emily Bradway Lindsy Burns Chyanne Coltey Adriana Conlin Draven Domingues Megan Foley Logan Frassinelli Erin Gelinas Stacey Hery Samantha Jackson Jessica Johnson Kyle Kimball Caitlyn Luchon Taylor Merrick Theresa Nosel Amber Payzant Mykala Perrier Matthew Roy

Dylan Seekins David Simmons Taylor Smith Tyler Stemmerman Miranda Wyse Sophomore Honors Heather Dolby Alex Hoss Cassandra Jenkins Alyssa Kniep Taylor LaFlamme Gabriel Lawson Kathryn Molitoris Jonathan Petersen Heidi Pokorny Joshua Simpson Jason Tedford Raeanna Tumel Raymond Vandall III Freshman Honors Veronica Allevo Nathanial Boucher Christian Carrara

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December 2012 North Central News

33


Stafford Sunday Drive Saves You a Trip with Gift Giving Online Items (continued from page 27) come in a variety of colors, the Buglit is also not gender specific. The light it emits

is astonishingly bright for something its size. There are three lighting modes, too. Bright, dimmer or click the body three times for the most entertaining feature of

all â&#x20AC;&#x201C; strobe. But the true genius of the Buglit is its flexibility. With its four bendable legs and small clip at its bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s base, you can literally attach it to anything and have light just where you need it. In fact, I did just that and attached it to my clipboard as I wrote this review!â&#x20AC;? And finally, for your aspiring vino aficionado, UncommonGoods.com has really gone outside the box with this gift idea: the Wine Bag, a sleek, stylish carrier aimed at helping you transport â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and preserve your favorite box wine. An airtight spout fits all standard taps, and its adjustable

interior is roomy enough to slip an ice pack (or three) to chill white wines. Rinses clean for easy maintenance. Price is $69.95. Happy Holidays, everyone. Stay tuned for the next installment when we uncork Mohegan Sunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 10th annual Sun Winefest (Jan. 25-27), sample some of the savories from the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest eateries and much more! (Send your Sunday Drive suggestions to: northcentralnews@aol.com.)

Middle School Announces Conference Schedule STAFFORD - Stafford Middle School Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 6. Afternoon and evening hours have been provided so teachers will be available to discuss your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s academic and social progress. Conference times are 2 p.m.-4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Conferences will be on a first-come, first-served basis for all grades.

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In order to accommodate all who wish to take advantage of this opportunity, individual conferences will be limited to 10 minutes. Additional conference time can be scheduled for a later date if you wish. Unified Arts teachers will be in their classrooms to meet with parents. Report cards for the second term will be issued on Dec. 12.

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Stafford Businesses Unite To Fight Hunger During Holidays

Opening Night of The Palace Benefited Arts Commission STAFFORD - The Palace Theatre opened with an amazing performance by Coyote Grace. The Palace, a vision of David Bacchiochi, is the newest artistic venue for the Town of Stafford and downtown Main Street. The opening night concert by Coyote Grace was collaboration between David and the Stafford Arts Commission. David provided, with the assistance of Arts Commission Chair Georgia Michalec, a thrilling musical event to herald the opening of the theater. This collaboration illustrates the power of partnership in the support of the arts. The Stafford Arts Commission extends a heartfelt thank you to David for donating to the Commission $5 of every ticket sold, a total of $1,105. The Arts Commission is happy to acknowledge the contribution made by David at a time when the commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget was slashed and community sponsorship is crucial. Davidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contribution and those of other local businesses have been a vital life support for the continuation of the commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission.

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STAFFORD - In the spirit of the season, the Main Street Business Association of Stafford Springs is launching a food drive on behalf of Safe-Net Ministries of Stafford Springs. The drive will run from through Dec. 16. During this time, local businesses along Main Street in Stafford Springs will be taking your donations of sealed, non-perishable food items. Businesses accepting donations from the public include: â&#x20AC;˘ Middle Ground CafĂŠ â&#x20AC;˘ Penny-Hanley & Howley Insurance â&#x20AC;˘ Rustology â&#x20AC;˘ Stained Glass Creations & Beyond â&#x20AC;˘ Studio Foto

Resident Art Exhibit STAFFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; An exhibit of the wildlife art of Pat Morris will be on display from through Jan. 1 at the Enfield Public Library at 104 Middle Rd. in Enfield. Morris is a wildlife artist who works primarily in pastel; she also specializes in pet portraits and paintings on feathers and birch bark. She is a resident of Stafford Springs and a native of Manchester. Her work has been exhibited in the last 25 years in art shows and venues throughout the Northeast.

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meet the special needs of local residents caught in difficult, transitional times in their lives. Safe Net Ministries seeks to provide temporary assistance to those in need of: food, clothing, utilities and shelter. Safe Net Ministries is solely supported by private and corporate donations. On the last day of collection, December 16, the Stafford Community and Civic Affairs Commission will hold its Winterfest Parade down historic Main Street, ending with carol-singing, cocoa, coffee, baked goods and crafts for sale at Town Hall, and a warm bonfire in Haymarket Square. So come celebrate the holidays in beautiful downtown Stafford Springs this season. And be sure to bring your donation to help Safe Net help others.

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Auto 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Combines Strong Fuel Economy, Safety After spending some time with the 2013 mph, and the approaching vehicle can't be Toyota Avalon Hybrid at its recent media going more than 18 mph. That's not likely, introduction in San Antonio, Texas, I real- one would hope, in a mall parking lot, but ize that the Japanese automaker has made it is likely on a busy street. Toyota's great strides towards combining safety lawyers are reminding us that it's not with fuel economy in a pretty outstanding designed to deal with you driving recklesspackage. It gets 40-mpg city and 39-mpg ly in reverse, nor can it protect you from highway for a combined rating of 40 mpg. pulling out in front of speeding vehicles. Chew on that number for a second. This The system is standard on the touring and full-size luxury sedan, that weighs just shy limited Avalon hybrids. of 3600 lbs., can theoretically go 680 miles Unlike a lot of other hybrids, there's not on one tank of gas. Yet, it saca huge price difference in trim rifices nothing when it comes levels between the standard to space or creature comfort. Avalon and the hybrid version. Nor are there concerns The XLE Premium price difabout safety either as I menference is $33,195 vs. $35,555 EHIND tioned above. The Avalon for a $2,360. The gap narrows The Wheel doesn't have the hypothetical on the XLE Touring ($35,500 12 airbags mentioned above vs. $37,250) and Limited but it does come with 10, ($39,650 vs. $41,400) trim levwhich means you're covered KEITH GRIFFIN els of $1750. from practically every angle in In the past, it could take five a collision. It also comes standard with years or more to make up the difference whiplash lessening seats. Get hit from the between regular and hybrid levels but that side, front, or rear and you're really well timeline has dropped significantly. Based protected (while getting 40 mpg). on annual fuel cost figures from the EPA, One of my new favorite features in cars the timeframe has been winnowed down to is rear cross traffic alert that uses the sen- 22 months for the XLE Touring and sors in the rear quarter panels. The system Limited trim levels and 30 months for the continuously measures the relative speed XLE Premium. It's a price worth paying. and position of the approaching vehicle to As mentioned, the new Avalon has been calculate a potential impact, which is the redesigned so it pays little resemblance to expected time that the vehicle will cross its dowdy predecessor. There are nice lines the driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s path. Basically, it's going to let cut into the doors and the front-end has you know if something bigger than a been overhauled. It's suggestive of the new scooter is coming at you when you back Kias but that's not necessarily a bad thing. out of a parking space or your driveway. The interior is stunning, too. The new The system detects vehicles approaching Avalonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interior surfaces are finished in from the side and behind the Avalon. If premium materials such as hand sewn softcars are approaching within the detection touch material for the dash panel, unique area, a buzzer will sound. smoke chrome trim surrounding the center There are a couple of caveats. The trans- panel, and high-quality glossy panel trim mission has to be in reverse (so it doesn't around the shifter. The new Avalonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s front work if you slide out in neutral for some seats offer revised side bolstering using a reason), you can't be going faster than 5 lighter, denser foam material that helps

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improve body positioning for driver and passenger. The 2013 Toyota Avalon continues to drive well, too. It has a smooth, comfortable ride. Granted, I was driving over Texas roads, which aren't quite as seasoned as New England highways. Still, the Avalon hybrid (and its regular gas sibling) model provided a ride that one comes to expect from the top-of-the-line Toyota. It's such a good vehicle that one could be forgiven for not moving up to a Lexus. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I could live with a car like the Avalon for the rest of my life and be perfectly content.

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

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December North Central  

Community, school, library, parks and rec info and more for the towns of East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Somers, Stafford and Vernon.

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