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Liquor Store Owners Both Oppose/Back Sunday Sales By Linda Tishler Levinson

Church Rebuilding After the Fire Longtime Somers Congregational Church member Polly McCranie reacts with tears as she views what is left of the Somers Congregational Church and memorial garden, the garden which her deceased father, Donald Stevenson, helped start some years ago. The church, built in 1840, was destroyed by fire Sunday evening January 1, 2012. McCraine commented, “It’s like my soul’s been murdered.� More photos, story beginning on page 18. Photo by Butler Photography

The governor wants to update the state’s liquor laws. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy held a news conference Jan. 14 at Enfield Town Hall to unveil proposed legislation to update the state’s Blue Laws, which regulate the sale of alcohol and prohibit Sunday sales at retail stores. The proposal is drawing mixed reviews from local package store owners. Malloy said he is proposing liquor law changes to help the state stay competitive with neighboring states and to give consumers a break. In addition to allowing the sale of alcohol on Sundays, some holidays and Mondays after some Sunday holidays, the change would eliminate minimum pricing regulations and allow quantity discounts, among other proposals. The legislation would also allow bars and restaurants to serve liquor until 2 a.m. seven days a week, rather than just on Friday and Saturday nights. Currently, they can only serve until 1 a.m. the rest of the week. “These laws are outdated and they artificially increase the price of alcohol to Connecticut consumers,� Malloy said in a

SUNDAY/page 3

In This Issue • EAST WINDSOR: Town, board studying budget season options..p. 5 • EAST WINDSOR: Images of Chamber, town & state meet and greet ............p. 6 • ELLINGTON: Residents to decide on senior center, school projects ......p. 7 • ELLINGTON: Friends of Music serve lots of students in town ..................p. 8 • ELLINGTON: Town welcomes new head Resident Trooper ................p. 9 • SUNDAY DRIVE: Festivals & foodstuffs abound in New England...p. 10

• ENFIELD: Board struggles to put budget together ........................p. 13 • ENFIELD: Lego makes major donation to Rotary playground..............p. 14 • SOMERS: New technology comes to eye doctor’s practice ............p. 22 • SOMERS: Two will be honored for rescue efforts ............................p. 23 • STAFFORD: Cuts sought ............p. 35 • STAFFORD: Youth Center celebrates 15th anniversary..........................p. 36 • CLASSIFIEDS:.....................pp.38-39

• NEXT ISSUE • DEADLINE: Feb. 23, 2012 (860) 698-0020















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North Central Publishing, LLC dba

The North Central News P.O. Box 427 Somers, CT 06071 PHONE: 860.698.0020 FAX: 860.394.4262 E-MAIL: WEBSITE:


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 Joan Hornbuckle 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.

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Business Sunday Liquor Sales Seen as Divisive Issue (continued from page 1) written statement. “By allowing Sunday sales, removing distribution and sales restrictions and by amending permit regulations, we’re going to help Connecticut regain its competitive edge in this industry, and we’re going to give consumers a break.” He said Connecticut and Indiana are the only states that ban the sale of alcohol on Sundays. “As the years go by and other states modify their laws to reflect modern-day realities, our statutes have collected dust, and it has resulted in consumers shopping in bordering states, causing Connecticut retailers to lose $570 million in sales each year to surrounding states by some industry estimates,” Malloy said. “This proposal is pro-consumer, pro-‘mom and pop’ and pro-dollars being spent within Connecticut.” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said the proposal would help make the state competitive.

CLARIFICATION Last month it was announced in the North Central News from a submitted press release that Home Sweet Home Furnishings and Gifts of Somers has been selected for the 2011 Best of Somers Award in the Used Furniture category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA). The North Central News received a complaint that the award was misrepresented as being from the U.S. Commerce Department. However, the press release that ran in the January 2012 issue on page 19 never identified the group as the U.S. Commerce Department, nor does it say anywhere in the press release that it is a federal agency. The press release clearly identifies the U.S. Commerce Association as a New York City based organization. It’s unfortunate if readers were left with the wrong impression. Upon further investigating the claims, it does appear that the U.S. Commerce Organization, like many other organizations, is in the business of selling awards. The Better Business Bureau says on its website, “[P]restigious awards from a national association appear to be part of a widespread scheme designed to get companies to pay for ‘vanity’ awards and plaques.” The North Central News does not believe Home Sweet Home Furnishings acted in bad faith when it submitted the news release to us. Going forward, the North Central News will require businesses receiving awards to undergo a strict vetting before news of the award will be published. Vetting will include such standards as if the business nominated itself for the award, a fee was required to participate and for what purpose, and if compensation was required to accept the award.

“A major focus of our administration is to make Connecticut more competitive with other states on many different levels, and this is another way we can do that. We believe it is time to end the long Connecticut tradition of spending money across the border because of antiquated laws that arbitrarily prohibit liquor sales during certain hours and on certain days. That is a tradition that has not only meant inconvenience for our residents, but has meant lost revenue for many of our businesses. It is also time to allow businesses more flexibility to decide if they want to sell these products, and how late they want to keep their doors open to do so.” State Sen. John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, said he agrees with the proposal. “That change will help small mom-and-pop stores along the Connecticut border. Liquor stores in Massachusetts already are worried about what the change would mean for their bottom lines. That says to me that we’re doing something right. The state should also look at crossborder competition on other goods, such as gasoline,” he added. Kuldeep Sandhu, owner of Somers Wine and Liquor on Main Street in Somers, agrees. Sandhu said he feels being

able to open Sundays would be good for business. And while some small package store owners say they want Sundays off, Sandhu said it doesn’t matter to him. “If it’s open, it’s no problem,” he said. Gregory Shemis, owner of Red Tops Wine & Liquor on Hazard Avenue in Enfield, disagrees. “I’m against them,” Shemis said of the changes. “I don’t think Sundays we should open … I don’t want to work seven days a week.” He said the changes would only benefit the big box stores. “I’m just a little guy,” he said, adding that taking away minimum pricing would drive out small businesses. Boyce Kaman, owner of Kaman’s Wines and Liquors on South Road in Somers, agrees that the proposals would hurt small package stores. “It’s not the Sunday sales thing that bothers me,” Kaman said. Being close to the Massachusetts line, he said, “We would benefit from Sunday sales.” But the changes in pricing would hurt, he said. “The governor wants to make every store a Wal-Mart,” he said. Getting rid of minimum bottle pricing and legalizing quantity discounts, “that would eventually eliminate me,” Kaman said.

February 2012 North Central News




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East Windsor Scouts Help the Library On Saturday, Jan. 21, Lynn Stanley, vice president of the Friends of the Library, met with East Windsor Junior Troop 10110 Girl Scouts. The girls restocked and organized all the books on the shelves. The library is fully loaded with new books, so please come and check it out. The girls are working toward their Bronze Award. From left: Diana, Leader Kyle Cullinane, Erin, Sydney, Friends of the Library VP Lynn Stanley, Anna, Faith, Leader Susan Guerette, and Megan.

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East Windsor Town, Board Studying Options to Maintain Budget Services By Linda Tishler Levinson EAST WINDSOR – Budget season is under way. The town held its first public hearing on the municipal and school budgets in January in order to gauge community sentiment for next year's spending plans. According to Superintendent of Schools Theresa Kane, the parameters have been set at a level-service budget for both the town and the schools for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. With a level-service budget, all educational programs would be maintained at their current level, Kane said. The dollar

figures are then adjusted to reflect whatever changes are needed to maintain those levels of service. Certain contractual obligations, such as employee raises and benefit costs are factored into the spending plan. “Everything you had this year, you roll over to next,” she said, adding, “We're putting all of these figures together now.” Last year the town adopted a $33,141,666 budget. That budget included a town-side budget of $13,735,215 and a Board of Education budget of $19,406,451. The mill rate currently is 24.3756.

Rotary Club Plans Super Family Breakfast EAST WINDSOR - The East Windsor Rotary Club presents a Super Family Breakfast on Feb. 5 (Super Bowl Sunday) from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the East Windsor High School Cafeteria, Main Street, East Windsor. Adult admission will be $5; children under 7 will be free and please bring

a non-perishable food item for the 5 Corners Cupboard Food Bank. The Rotary will be serving pancakes, French toast, sausage, and baked breads. Also take a chance to win a basket of Super Bowl party supplies. Proceeds help fund the club’s scholarship activities.

Energy Assistance Program Ending Soon EAST WINDSOR - This year’s energy assistance program will be ending soon. The last day to apply or order any deliverable fuel is March 15. The 2011/2012 income guidelines are as follows for everyone except for those households that heat is included in their rent. 1 person in household is $31,863.52 2 people in household is $41,667.68 3 people in household is $51,471.84 4 people in household is $61,276.00 5 people in household is $71,080.16 The income guideline below is for households that heat is included in their rent and whose rent is more than 30 per-

cent of their income. Households may be eligible to receive a small Cash Assistance benefit of $10, $15, or $20 based on their income. 1 person in household is $16,335 2 people in household is $22,065 3 people in household is $27,795 4 people in household is $33,525 5 people in household is $39,255 There is also an asset limit of $10,000 for homeowners and $7,000 for renters. If you believe you qualify for this program, please contact the East Windsor Human Service Department at 860-623-2430 to make your appointment.

Happenings at the Warehouse Point Library EAST WINDSOR - If you are getting cabin fever this month, come to the Warehouse Point Library for a good read, a trip to an exotic locale with a movie, or to explore a new museum in the northeast with one of our museum passes. StoryTime programs for 2-6 years continues through the month of February; some spaces are still available, please call the library. • Movies at the library include “Casablanca” on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 1 p.m. in the Community room. “Casablanca,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, stands the test of time as a great romance, a stirring

wartime adventure, and a suspenseful action movie. Refreshments will be served. • “Monte Carlo,” starring Selena Gomez as a high-spirited high school grad looking forward to a Paris vacation with her friend, but things do not go as planned, will be shown on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. The movie is rated PG and children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult. • The 2011 Community Day Photo Contest Display has returned to the Library. Come see last year’s entries as you plan for this year’s contest.

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Ellington Residents Will Decide Fate of Senior Center, School Projects By Linda Tishler Levinson ELLINGTON – Residents will vote on the senior center and Crystal Lake and Windermere school projects in a February referendum. The town has voted to place both items on the Feb. 14 referendum ballot. Voting will be from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Ellington High School. The $2.5 million senior center proposal involves the construction of a new senior center facility. The current senior center, which is located in a strip mall, no longer serves town seniors’ needs, First Selectman Maurice Blanchette said. “It’s clearly not well laid out for today’s expectation of a senior center.” The senior center proposal is for a 10,600-square-foot facility that would be built across from Ellington High

School. The building would include offices, a kitchen, health area, activity area and two multi-purpose rooms. The schools referendum involves $21.04 million for renovations and additions. “The project is critically important for our school system to be completed in the next five years,” said Tracey Kiff-Judson, vice chairperson of the Board of Education. Windermere School is at capacity, even as the student population is growing, she said, and Crystal Lake School is in dire need of repair. At Winderemere, she said. “Classrooms are tight, and a computer lab had to be dismantled this year to create another classroom. Ellington’s student population continues to grow at a time when other towns are closing and consolidating schools.

“This proposal will address both of those concerns,” she said. Once Crystal Lake has its addition and renovation, Kiff-Judson said the plan is to realign students at the town’s elementary schools to create neighborhood schools for children in kindergarten through grade 6. She said that if the referendum fails, the town would need to begin using portable classrooms within the next two years to handle the anticipated increases in the student population. The age of Crystal Lake School also is a factor, she said, with repairs and updates needed throughout the school, as well as safety concerns about the entrance to the school on Route 140.

Senior Center Offers Tax Preparation Help and Other Programs ELLINGTON - Winter is upon us, but take the time to come to the Ellington Senior Center and enjoy the many programs/activities we offer. The 2012 Tax Preparation Program is being held at the Town of Ellington Human Services Department (Arbor Park). Appointments will begin Thursday, Feb. 2, and end on Thursday, April 12. Appointment times are 9 a.m. to noon. A sign-up sheet is available at the Ellington Senior Center.

Please call 860-870-3133 to secure your appointment. State Rep. Christopher Davis will be at the Ellington Senior Center on Friday, Feb. 3, at 10 a.m. to discuss up-to-date issues happening within the state of Connecticut. Contact the Senior Center to sign up for this important program. Programs Ellington Singers, 31 in number, and their director are housed in the Ellington Senior Center. Ellington Singers meet

every Wednesday at 10 a.m. to rehearse the music scheduled for the “Spring Musicale” to be held at Ellington High School on Thursday, April 19. The group performs many interesting musical selections. You are all cordially invited to participate. Better Age Club of Ellington - The Better Age Club of Ellington meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month at 1 p.m. at the Ellington Senior Center. The dues per year are $3, payable in September. The membership is not limited to the Town of Ellington and welcomes all

to participate. The next business meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 9. The presenter at this meeting is CL&P. The Feb. 23 meeting is a special afternoon of entertainment by Paul Recker as he performs his music along with the accompaniment of his guitar. Memories & Creative Writing is held the third Thursday of the month at 1 p.m. at the Ellington Senior Center. All age levels are encouraged to come on Thursday, Feb. 16, to share their written or spoken language creations with this group.

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Ellington Ellington Friends of Music Pancake Breakfast and Cabaret ELLINGTON - The Ellington Friends biggest fundraiser the group has done. of Music will sponsor their second annual They hope to sponsor a concert at Pancake Breakfast and Cabaret on Ellington High School with the band The Saturday, Feb. 11, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Departures, and possibly collaborate with Ellington High School. Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event the library on doing some coffee house was such a success with close to 250 in events. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a challenge this year findattendance and over 70 students perform- ing venues to do events. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the overlap ing that the group decided to make it an of students involved in OKP (Opening Knight Players) and the heavy fundraising annual event. Ellington parent Jane Roets created the going on for them this year, we decided to group two years ago along with about 10 take our time,â&#x20AC;? Roets said. Students in the other parents with Ellington schools are the intention of supIN THE SCHOOLS introduced to the porting and enhancrecorder, an instruing the music proment similar to a gram in the schools. clarinet, in 3rd grade They hope to organize several other fundraisers to supplement and can begin playing an instrument with the resources provided to the music pro- lessons in 5th grade at Windermere Intermediate School. All students who grams in the school budget. Students from grades 4 through 12 will play an instrument become a member of be performing all during the breakfast on band. There is a 5th grade band and a 6th Feb. 11. The cost is $8 at the door and $7 grade band. Along with general music in advance. Children under 3 eat free. To classes, students can also join the chorus purchase advance tickets, please go to starting in 4th grade. Both the middle and click on school and high school have a vocal ensemble where students audition to get a Our Store. The pancake breakfast is currently the spot.

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time comes around, music seems to be one of the things threatened to be cut. The marching band and color guard were, in fact, cut from the budget in 2006-2007, but thanks to the American Legion HathewayMiller Post 62 and their donation of $2,400 the groups were able to continue. Ellington students are fortunate that the schools provide instrumental lessons during the school day in grades 5-8. Although the band directors encourage private lessons, they are not required for students to be in the high school bands. Ellington Friends of Music meet once a month and their next meeting is on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Ellington High School library. New members are always welcome. For more information, please contact Jane Roets at For more information on the Ellington schools and their programs, visit their new website at www.ellington

Once a student in Ellington starts playing an instrument in 5th grade, he or she can follow the music path through middle school and high school. The middle school has a 7th grade band and an 8th grade band and offers group lessons twice a month. At the high school, concert band students make up the marching band and the community can see and hear them at the Firemanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parade, Four Town Fair parade and Big E parade in September and again in May for the Memorial Day ceremony and parade. Students at the high school can also participate in the jazz band and wind ensemble, both of which require an audition. Middle school students can also participate in jazz band as an extra-curricular activity. Ellington music students can also be found providing holiday spirit at the Winterfest in December each year. Roets feels it is up to the community to support the music programs in the Ellington schools. Teachers and band directors are stretched and when budget

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Ellington Town Welcomes New State Police Sergeant as Head Resident Trooper ELLINGTON - Ellington welcomes State Police Sgt. Patrick Sweeney to town as the new officer in charge of the Ellington Resident State Trooper Office. Sgt. Sweeney began his new position in town in January, replacing Sgt. William Konieczny, who retired in October after 26 years of service with the State Police. Sgt. Sweeney has been with the State Police for 13 years and has been a sergeant for four years. He is looking forward to working with the Ellington community. Sweeneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s previous position was a patrol supervisor for Troop B in North Canaan. The landscapes are most likely similar but the question posed - is the aroma similar? He will have to wait until spring for the answer. Sweeney is originally from Chicopee, Mass., where he was a city police officer for a year and a half. After coming to Connecticut and joining the State Police, he was a Resident State Trooper in East Granby for four years. Sweeney comes to Ellington with experience and knowledge of the workings of small towns and their policing needs. Ellington and 81 other towns within Connecticut participate in the Resident State Trooper Program; where there is no organized full-time police department, the primary law enforcement comes from the State Police. Ellington functions with one state police sergeant, four resident state

troopers, 13 police constables and three marine constables. Additional troopers are dispatched from Troop C in Tolland as needed. Sweeney has met a few residents so far and would like the opportunity to meet more. He will be available to meet parents on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the 8th grade parent orientation at Ellington High School. That night parents of incoming freshmen learn about what their children will be experiencing and will have the opportunity to speak with various member of the high school faculty. Sgt. Sweeney will be joining Youth Services at its table and looks forward to meeting parents and faculty members. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have met several residents and look forward to the warmer weather to get out of the office and meet more people,â&#x20AC;? Sweeney said. The State Police and Constables in Ellington work together with Youth Services and the DAPC (Drug Abuse

goals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My immediate concern for the town is to have an impact with the youth and the underage drinking,â&#x20AC;? Sweeney said. He plans to work with the town and school on a pre-prom awareness campaign in the spring and expects to increase patrols and visibility of the officers. For more information or to speak to Sweeney, call 860875-1522 during the day or email

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Entertainment Festivals & Foodstuffs Abound This February Welcome back to The Sunday Drive, the column that aspires to be your complete, entertainment itinerary for some lesser known/off the beaten path day trips. For this installment, your friendly, neighborhood Sunday driver sets his sights on some of New Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wonderlands, bands and culinary creations. Newport Winter Festival 2012 - Newport, RI Feb. 18 - 25 With more than 150 individual events, this Festival has become "New England's largest winter extravaganza." Alive with sparkle and excitement, the Winter Festival offers a unique winter experience combining food, music, and entertainment, with fun for all ages. Sand sculptures, a Chili Cook-Off, city-wide Scavenger Hunt, and an Ice Sculpting Competition, and a Children's Fair are just some of the many colorful and exciting events that will captivate you. The Winter Festival features an exciting Concert Series with a diverse selection of musical performances by BeatleMania, and new this year Tequila Sunrise, a tribute to the Eagles. The Newport Winter Festival is proud to have been the recipients of the 2004 Governor's State Tourism Award. In the past the Festival has been voted "Best Off-Season Event" by Newport Life Magazine's "Best of Newport" Awards. The Winter Festival was also chosen by the American Bus Association as one of the Top 100 Events in North America, and named the 34th out of the Top 250 Events in the Country by Events Business News! Whether you seek dining, dancing, or ice carvingâ&#x20AC;ŚThe Newport Winter Festival has it all! Purchase a Winter Festival button and receive free admission or significant discounts to events listed in this brochure, plus additional discounts at restaurants and retailers throughout the city. Be sure to refer to the on-going activities page for additional events. Buttons offer over $500 value for only $9. Partial proceeds to benefit local charity.


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New Location Opening Soon

10 North Central News February 2012



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Winter Wonderlands continued from previous page Red,White, & Brew Wine & Beer Pairing & Auction - Warwick, RI Feb. 9 Since weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ve delved into the Ocean State, hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s another audio/edible opportunity out of Warwick. From 6-9 p.m. on Feb. 9, the Warwick Museum of Art will offer an evening of great wine, food, and live music as well as the chance to bid on an eclectic array of live and silent auctions. All proceeds to benefit Easter Seals RI. Admission is $50 per person and the number for more information is (401) 2843738. FeBREWary: The Science of Beer Feb. 9 Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;scienceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experiement that always seems to elicit a steady stream of subjects. Seriously, a lot of science goes into creating a recipe that yields the best flavor of beer for the variety of palates needing to be satisfied. This evening at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington, Vermont will turn a neophyte beer drinker into a near-master brewer, or at the very least, teach us to appreciate the nuances of a good malt beverage. ECHO's After Dark FeBREWary event will have presenters from Northeastern University; University of Vermont; and Vermont

Home Brew Supply. Classic pub games will also be featured. Price is $20 and includes five beer tastings (there will be 15 beers featured) and a collectible tasting glass. For information and tickets, please cal 877-324-6386 and press â&#x20AC;&#x153;option 7.â&#x20AC;? American Lamb Jam â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Cambridge, MA Feb. 19 Hosted by TV Dinerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Billy Costa, lamb loving chefs will create luscious lamb dishes paired with local beers from area breweries and compete for the title of Boston Lamb Master and an opportunity

to battle other top lamb-loving chefs at a Master Lamb Jam this fall. Chefs who woo the crowds and win the hearts of judges will take home awards for Best in Show and Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choice. Attendees will see butchery demonstrations by Chefs Chris Douglas & Nuno Alves of Tavolo and Butcher Josh Pert. This event runs from 36 p.m. at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge.

A Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fair, scavenger hunt and chili cook-off are jut a few of the events that adorn the Newport Winter Festival. Admission to Lamb Jam is $50, not too â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;baaadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; considering it includes all food and beverages. Lake George Winter Carnival 2012 Last but not least, Lake George Village offers a month long celebration of winter during this annual family-friendly event at Shepard Park! The Winter Carnival officially begins with the New Year's Day Polar Plunge and First Day in Lake George. The Winter Carnival then picks up again each weekend throughout February, so mark your calendar and take part in the fun! Join the Polar Plunge if you dare! Afraid to get your toes wet that first morning? Well, no need to worry -- a polar plunge happens every weekend of the Winter Carnival! Get

to the beach by 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday of every weekend for this entertaining sight! Relish the warmth of tasty samples during the chowder, chili, BBQ and chicken wing cook-offs. Enjoy the always hilarious and fun outhouse races - a crowd pleasing favorite! Kids can play on the giant ice slide, participate in children's activities, enjoy a tethered hot air balloon ride or snowmobile sleigh ride and visit a historical reenactors' encampment of the 1700s. Do you own a facility or know of a hidden gem in the region that would be the perfect focus of a future Sunday Drive? If so, please email your suggestions to


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February 2012 North Central News




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Enfield Sixth Annual Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Vine Wine & Ale Testing Event ENFIELD - The Arc of Greater Enfield is sponsoring the sixth annual Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Vine Wine & Ale Tasting Event on Saturday, March 10, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Golden Gavel on Route 140 in East Windsor. This is a new location for the event that was previously held at the Enfield Elks Club. Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fine Wine & Spirits, the event sponsor, will feature more than 60 wines and 30-plus specialty ales and beers. A carving station will be staffed by Storrowton Tavern. In addition imported cheeses, crackers, fresh fruit, desserts and coffee will be served. Music, raffle prizes and a live auction will also be included.

Awards will also be presented to individuals recognized for their contribution to The Arc of Greater Enfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mission. Proceeds from this event support Camp Shriver and provides camperships for economically disadvantaged families that want to send their child to camp. Camp Shriver is a six-week summer camp program for children and young adults ages 4-22 who are intellectually delayed or have related disabilities. To purchase tickets ($30) or to obtain additional information, either call The Arc office at 860-763-5411 or email your request to





12 North Central News February 2012



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Enfield Board Faces Many Options as it Determines Upcoming Budget By Linda Tishler Levinson ENFIELD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Board of Education is scheduled to adopt a proposed budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year at its Feb. 14 meeting. In the meantime, members are considering their options. The school board asked Superintendent of Schools John Gallacher to present several versions of the education budget. He has prepared a fixed-cost budget, which largely replicates the current spending plan, a superintendentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget, in which he included what he felt was needed, as

CNA Course Being Offered ENFIELD - Enfield Adult and Continuing Education offers a certified nurseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aide training program (CNA) beginning Feb. 23. The course is a 100hour course (60 hours of classroom and 40 hours of clinical) designed to prepare individuals with needed skills to become certified nurse aides. Graduates from this program will be eligible to sit for the State Registry exam. Call 860-763-7032 with any questions and registration information.


well as spending plans with a 1 percent increase, a 2 percent increase, a 1 percent decrease and a 2 percent decrease. The fixed-cost budget carries an increase of 3.66 percent increase over the current $62,711,007 budget. With an increase of $2,295,667, that budget would total $65,006,674, Gallacher said. Making some adjustments, Gallacher said he was able to bring that to a 1.48 percent increase. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was able to whittle out some things,â&#x20AC;? he said. Those cuts include the estimated cost savings anticipated from the likely retirements of eight teachers. While his proposal keeps all but one teaching position, Gallacher said he anticipates being able to hire teachers at a lower salary rate than those retiring were earning. By contract, the teachers need to notify the superintendent of retirement plans by Feb. 13. The budget proposal anticipates the loss of federal stimulus dollars that the school had been receiving. A little more than two years ago, Gallacher said the school received just over $4 million in stimulus funds to help pay teacher salaries. That program ends in September. The school system has saved $1.3 mil-



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Mayor Honored for Storm Efforts In a Dec. 23 ceremony at Luluâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant, Enfield Mayor Scott Kaupin (at left) was presented with an official citation for his leadership during the October storm by Enfield state Sen. John A. Kissel. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mayor Scott Kaupin did such an incredible job in leading Enfield before, during and after the pre-Halloween storm,â&#x20AC;? Kissel said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We thought, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it be nice to recognize him publicly?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Mayor Kaupin was tireless in making sure Enfield residents knew how, when and where to get help. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think he slept for a week! He proved himself to be a steady hand during that major disaster and he did so in the same low-key, get-the-job-done fashion that we have all gotten to know. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leadership.â&#x20AC;?




result, rather than losing $1.1 million in school funding next year, the loss will be about $200,000.



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lion of that funding, and the Town Council has agreed to allow that to be used for the education budget, Gallacher said. As a


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%DQTXHW5RRP2SHQLQJ6RRQ February 2012 North Central News




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Enfield Lego Fund Supports Enfield Rotary Club With $250,000 Grant ENFIELD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Furthering its commitment to support organizations that serve children and childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creativity, The Lego Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fund recently announced a $250,000 grant to the Rotary Club of Enfield. The grant will support the creation of an accessible playground in Enfield, where Lego Systems, Inc. also has its headquarters. The planned outdoor playground space will be centrally located at the Enfield Public Library on Middle Road and will be a place where families can spend time together, enjoy the fresh air and benefit from physical exercise. In designing and installing an accessible playground, The Rotary Club of Enfield will ensure that children and family members of any ability can enjoy the space. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are very grateful to the Lego Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fund for supporting this community service project,â&#x20AC;? said Rotarian Ed Palomba, who chairs the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s accessible playground committee. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This generous grant will cover the entire estimated budg-

Awarding a $250,000 grant to the Rotary Club of Enfield for its accessible playground project are, from LEGO (l-r), Peter Arakas, Janice Favreau, Peg Parks, Mary Sutton, Brian Specht and LEGO Systems, Inc. President Søren Torp Laursen. Accepting the grant are Enfield Rotary President Michael Helechu, Accessible Playground Committee Chairman Ed Palomba, Past President Lindsey Weber and Rotarian Scott Kaupin, Mayor of Enfield. et for design, site preparation and con- site with walkways, picnic tables, benches â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Lego Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fund is our way struction of the playground.â&#x20AC;? and a pavilion and welcomes the support of supporting organizations that promote Palomba indicated that the Rotary Club of businesses in the local area. childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s creative development,â&#x20AC;? said will raise additional funds to enhance the Former Enfield Rotary Club President Søren Torp Laursen, president, Lego Lindsey Weber proposed the accessible Systems, Inc. and Lego Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fund playground project in 2010. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I imagined chairman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re thrilled to award our an outdoor play space that everyone in the largest grant yet to The Rotary Club of 2?Ă&#x2014;?FCP?LĂ&#x2014;&57$&&(66 community would enjoy. Soon, families Enfield, which has served our local comwill be able to enjoy a safe and engaging munity for over 80 years. We look forward space for physical activity and fresh air. I to the implementation of the new play2))+($7,1*2,/ 2,/&203$1< am very excited to see the playground ground, where all children and families in 7RWDO6DYLQJV6SHFLDO2IIHU (QILHOG6WUHHW(QILHOG come to fruition with the help of the Lego the area will be able to play and enjoy time &DOO)RU'HWDLOV Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fund.â&#x20AC;? together.â&#x20AC;?

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Enfield Couple Maintains Special Bond After 74 Years of Marriage By Julie Cotnoir ENFIELD - It was on January 16, 1938 that Enfield residents Guillermo â&#x20AC;&#x153;Willieâ&#x20AC;? and Virginia Recato took their vows as man and wife in their native Philippines. says that only 1.2 percent of all couples who marry will ever remain together for 65 years. Statistics are difficult to find for couples celebrating a milestone like 74 years. The world was a different place back in 1938. Shirley Temple was on the big screen in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Little Miss Broadway,â&#x20AC;? Nazi German troops were occupying Austria and Howard Hughes set the record of completing a flight around the world in 91 hours. The young couple married and found success in the Phillipines. They owned an operated a profitable slaughterhouse in their homeland. Willie took care of deliveries and Virginia ran the business. They had a beautiful house and they employed help to take care of their needs at home. It was a good life. Photo albums commemorating their 25th wedding anniversary in 1963 show a fashionably dressed Virginia, with her handsome husband surrounded by friends and family. A wonderful celebration, to commemorate a significant milestone, was photographed for posterity. It was just one year later when a visit to the United States would change the coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives forever. Willie traveled to the United States in 1964 to visit a sister living in Connecticut. As part of the visit he had the opportunity to go to the 1964-65 Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. It was a special year for the fair. Walt Disney was

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Willie and Virginia Recato, of Enfield, celebrated their 74th anniversary on January 16, 2012. Photo by Julie Cotnoir participating and many attractions, that guests to his theme parks enjoy to this day, were unveiled during the fair. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,â&#x20AC;? an audio animatronic exhbit, was presented, along with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Walt Disneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Carousel of Progressâ&#x20AC;? and the ride â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Small World.â&#x20AC;? Visitors paid just $2 to visit the more than 150 pavilions and exhibits at the fair. So impressed with what he saw Willie went back to the Phillipines and began the process to move his family to the United States. Connecticut was a natural choice and slowly with the help of Willieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister as a sponsor, a few family members at a time would begin their journey to America. It was a different life here. They did not

have servants and their own business, but there was much more to life than that, according to the family. Willie became a machinist and Virginia a cashier at the airport. One daughter says there was a freedom to being able to do things on their own, which they hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t experienced when living in a home with servants, who would do everything for the family. The family moved to Windsor Locks, Warehouse Point and in 1980 to Enfield. They have roots in the community. Anniversary albums, commemorating their 50th, 60th and 70th anniversary parties, show photos of the renewal of their vows at Holy Family Church and large gatherings of family and friends at La Renaissance and

La Notte. The couple, parents to three children, grandparents to 10 and great grandparents to still more, have gotten older and have had their challenges. They now share their home with one of their daughters. Gone are the days when the couple visits the senior center and dances with other couples. However, two years ago the couple took the 22-hour journey to the Phillipines, with their daughter, to visit family. Willie, 95, still loves to play pool on the billiard table set up in the family garage. Virginia, 90, has been afflicted with Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for the past 20 years and Willie is a little hard of hearing. However, the couple seen dancing, in the photos taken over the years, still show the sparkle in their eyes that the young people who pledged their love to each other 74 years ago had on that special day. Their time is now often spent at home sitting on the couch watching television being broadcast from the Phillipines. Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hands will take to a metal manipulative on a television tray for a few moments but then she turns to Willie and they stare into each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes. There is very little verbal communication, but watching the care Willie takes in holding her hands and looking into her eyes is breathtaking. As they move from the couch to the bench, for their anniversary day photo, the two even do a little dance, bringing Willie, if not Virginia as well, back to the dance floor on their wedding day back on January 16, 1938.

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Enfield Lunch Bunch Valentine Slated for Feb. 15 ENFIELD - The public is invited to be a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lunch Bunchâ&#x20AC;? Valentine on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. at the home of Stephen and Karen Jarmoc, 33 School St., Enfield. Businesses, individuals and guests are welcome. Refreshments will be served; a $20 suggested donation would be appreciated. Hosted by Karen Jarmoc, board chair, United Way of North Central

CT; Roger LeBlanc, president â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Enfield Food Shelf Board of Directors and Lunch Bunch liaison; and Emily Happy Miller, community relations director â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ShopRite of Enfield. RSVP by Monday, Feb. 13, to or 860-745-3714. Inclement weather date is Thursday, Feb. 23.

Florist Will Speak to Enfield Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club ENFIELD - GFWC/The Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club of Enfield will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at noon at the Holy Family Church Hall on Simon Road, Enfield. Following the lunch and business meeting, Alex Kozikowski, a retired florist, will present a program on â&#x20AC;&#x153;How to Make Something for your Sweetie for Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day.â&#x20AC;? Alex was active in the florist business for 50 years, the last 15 of which he was self-employed. Members are reminded to bring a non-perishable item for the Enfield Food Shelf. The Enfield Club is a member of the General Federation of Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clubs International, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest and largest womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volunteer organization, and a member of the Connecticut State Federation who encourages its members to take part in many national and statewide

programs and projects. Anyone who is interested in attending a meeting or becoming a member of the Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club of Enfield should contact Lorraine at 860253-9163.

Award Applicants Sought ENFIELD - The Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club of Enfield/GFWC is accepting applications for the Phipps Memorial Scholarship Award and the Dorothy E. Schoelzel Memorial Scholarship Award. The maximum amount of a scholarship in any one year is $1,000. An applicant must be an Enfield resident and must be working toward either a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 10 and may be obtained by calling Karen at 860-745-0875.

Asnuntuck Students Help at Health Fair Asnuntuck Community Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Medical Assisting students returned to Hallmark Cardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Enfield distribution center in January to assist employees during the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Health Fair. The students and their instructor provided blood pressure readings and BMI and weight checks to approximately 75-100 employees that day. Pictured in the back row, left to right, Hallmark Cardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; nurse Geri Kemp, RN, ACC student Edward LaMothe, ACC instructor Michele Howard-Swan, ACC students April Withee, Cyndia Peres and Lynn Palmer. Front row, left to right, ACC students Barbara Johnson and Michael Castelvetere.

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Somers Support Strong in Wake of Devastating Church Fire By Linda Tishler Levinson SOMERS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Perhaps the sign out front says it all: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The building is gone â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the church remains.â&#x20AC;? Just before midnight Jan. 1, the Rev. Barry Cass got a phone call. The Somers Congregational Church was on fire. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The whole side was on fire,â&#x20AC;? he said. According to the Somers Fire Department, the call came in at 11:37 p.m. Jan. 1. The fire, which destroyed the 1842 meetinghouse and the Pilgrim Hall portions of the church, was under control after about two hours. In addition to Somers, the Ellington, West Stafford, Hazardville, Crystal Lake and Shaker Pines fire departments responded. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even as it was burning, people were coming,â&#x20AC;? Cass said, noting they were already saying they would rebuild and help

was already being offered. Although the church buildings were insured and the insurance agent has been wonderful to work with, Cass said there will be costs to the congregation for rebuilding. But the congregation wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be alone in its efforts to rebuild the church buildings. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People just started offering us help,â&#x20AC;? Cass said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Checks started arriving in the mail.â&#x20AC;? They came from â&#x20AC;&#x153;people from town, people weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never heard of,â&#x20AC;? he said, some from as far away as Michigan. The church already has committees working on the rebuilding plans. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to replicate what we had,â&#x20AC;? Cass said, but with updates required by building codes and minor improvements to the facility. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Though the heartbreak is widespread, I want to tell you about the amazing com-

munity spirit I witnessed firsthand when I toured the church grounds with Congressman Joe Courtney and local officials. I am proud to say that what I saw showed me â&#x20AC;&#x201C; once again â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that people in

our region may be down, but we are certainly not out,â&#x20AC;? said state Sen. John Kissel.

CHURCH/page 25



An encouraging sign outside of Somers Congregational Church after the fire. Photo Linda Tishler Levinson




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The community turned out en masse in support of Somers Congregational Church after is devastating Jan. 1 fire. Photo by David Butler II, Butler Photography











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Somers Somers Vision Clinic Embraces First-of-its-Kind Technology By Linda Tishler Levinson SOMERS — Somers Vision Clinic has a new outlook on the eye. Dr. Steven Squillace O.D., of Somers Vision Clinic on South Road, recently purchased a retinal imaging device, which for many patients will replace pupil dilation

with drops and the blurred vision and light sensitivity that can result. Dr. Squillace said, “The use of EasyScan in many cases will be a welcome alternative to the dilation process.” Known as EasyScan, the device, manufactured by i-Optics, uses laser technology

powered by a laptop computer and is able to scan through undilated pupils as small as 2 millimeters. Pupils range in size from 2 millimeters in older individuals to as large as 6 or 7 millimeters, Squillace said. Most retinal cameras require a pupil of at least 3.5 millimeters in size to view up to 45 degrees of retina. The retinal images the device is able to

capture are up 60 degrees by 45 degrees, which encompasses the most important anatomical landmarks in the back of the eye, Squillace said. The laser is of low intensity because the device is powered by a laptop, so it will not damage the eye. Because the scan is

SOMERS/page 23

Dr. Steven Squillace O.D., of Somers Vision Clinic

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Somers Two Firefighters Will Be Honored for Rescue of Kayaker By Linda Tishler Levinson SOMERS — Two Somers firefighters are being honored by the American Red Cross. Deputy Chief Frank Falcone and volunteer firefighter Keith Burger have been chosen by the Red Cross as Community Heroes of Connecticut and will receive the Firefighter’s Award for saving the life of a

kayaker stranded in the Willimantic River. “I nominated them after learning about the incident during a staff meeting … when the opportunity came to nominate individuals for the American Red Cross Community Heroes Award, I couldn’t wait to mail in the nomination letter,” First Selectman Lisa Pellegrini said. On Sept. 11, 2011, Falcone and Burger

Somers Vision Has New Technology (continued from page 22) done without dilation, patients can return to work or school after the exam without blurry vision. Squillace learned of the device last fall, while looking at larger and more expensive versions at a conference in Boston. At that time, the EasyScan had not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It received that approval later in the fall, and Squillace said he is the first optometrist in the United States to obtain EasyScan by i-Optics. A retina scan is used to learn about the eye health. The service can be used to diagnose diseases of the eye, such as macular degeneration, but also diseases of the body, such as high blood pressure and dia-

betes, he said. Looking through an ophthalmoscope, just a small portion of the retina is visible. EasyScan “gives us the big picture,” he said. Originally from Schenectady, N.Y., Squillace is a graduate of LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., and received his professional training at the New England College of Optometry in Boston. He did some clinical training at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. A Somers resident for 16 years, he opened his practice in town 10 years ago in January 2002. He and his wife, Joy, have two daughters, Kathryn, a student at Bentley College, and Sarah, a freshman at Somers High School.

both happened to be in Mansfield separately when they learned there was a kayaker in trouble on the Willimantic River. Both men are rescue divers. Along with other rescue divers, they hiked for 20 minutes in swamp and heavy brush to find the kayaker, who was holding onto his kayak, which was stuck on a partially submerged tree. His leg was trapped. Working as a team, they were able to free the kayaker. “All members of the rescue party performed exceptionally well as a team, acting in a professional and well-organized fashion. However, responding to a call from another town as they are passing

through on their time off says volumes about Frank and Keith’s character as individuals and firefighters,” Pellegrini wrote in her nomimation letter. Transfer station hours While the Board of Selectmen voted in December to reduce the hours of the Transfer Station, due to residents’ reactions to the proposal, the reduced hours were never implemented, Pellegrini said. “They want the service” and are willing to pay for it, she said. As a result, the selectmen are considering increased fees to offset the additional cost. Under consideration are increased sticker, contractor and bulky waste fees.

Valentine’s ‘Anything Chocolate’ Bake Sale SOMERS The Somers Congregational Church will hold its 19th annual “Anything Chocolate” baked and home-made goodies sale on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Town Hall basement. The sale offers a choice of bars, breads, cakes, candy, cookies or pies decorated for that special Valentine person. All items will use some type of chocolate as part of the

recipe. Come for a breakfast treat of cinnamon rolls with chocolate served with coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Join the church for a sweet morning out and bring your family and friends. The town auditorium is also handicapped accessible. Somers Town Hall is located at 600 Main St.

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Somers Church Rebounds from Fire with Support from Community (continued from page 18) â&#x20AC;&#x153;And, most importantly, the church, led by Rev. Barry Cass, has vowed to rebuild. This is going to be a Phoenix rising from the ashes. The process could take over a year, but the rebuilding will take place.â&#x20AC;? The congregation was formed in 1727, and the meetinghouse portion of the building dates back to 1842. The Pilgrim Hall was added in 1949, with the parish hall, the Bugbee Center, a separate building for the church school, office space and a library added in 1960. An addition joining the buildings was constructed in the 1990s. Church services for the first few weeks after the fire were held at Town Hall. Beginning Jan. 29 they were to be held at the Community Education Building at Johnson Memorial Hospital. The church offices are now located in a trailer in the parking lot, and the church is returning to a nearly full schedule of activities, Cass said. Information on church school is available on their website, Several fundraisers have already been organized, with some already having taken place Cass said. He said he was taken aback by the generosity and said they fundraisers were almost too numer-

Charred remains of the Somers Congregational Church after fire destroyed the building Sunday evening, Jan. 1. David Butler II; Butler Photography ous to keep track of. He mentioned fundraisers at Country Diner, the United Church of Christ of Belchertown, Mass., Pet City of Stafford, Beautiful Things and the Somers Fire Department among those holding fundraisers.

Dinner Benefit A murder mystery dinner benefit for the Somers Congregational Church Restoration Fund will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, at Joannaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cafe, present-

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1:04 PM

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Somers How To Save Some Time and Aggravation With Health Services By State Sen. Tony Guglielmo Do you know anyone who may have been wrongfully denied coverage for medical and mental health services? If you answered yes to this question there is help. The state has an office of the Healthcare Advocate (OHA). The office is there to help consumers. Its services include: Consumer education and assistance in selecting a plan Help with denials of coverage With so many people taking a proactive stance in their health care these days, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to know you have access to an advocate who can help you get through the complicated web of insurance policies. The OHA staff prepares cases thorough-

ly for appeals and appears in person to advocate for consumers at administrative appeals, and also prepares external appeals. In 2011 the OHA saved consumers a record amount of money: $11.5 million. I would argue they saved people a lot of time and aggravation as well. The savings represents the costs of healthcare services, procedures and claims that would have been taken directly from the wallets of hundreds of Connecticut consumers, had the agency not stepped in. The OHA received a federal consumer assistance program grant to help pay for staff. The Healthcare Advocate, Victoria Veltri has said the demand for her officeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s service keeps increasing. Even with the doubling of the caseload, she says they are

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only seeing a fraction of the true demand out there. As a consumer, you can trust the Health Care Advocate with intimate and complex physical and sometimes mental health situations. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nice to know there is a state office out there, doing a great job for the

people. For free assistance, consumers can call 1-866-466-4446, or email OHA at For general information, consumers can visit OHAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at

Ravelese Named Community Chairperson for Walk-For-Rides Event EAST WINDSOR - People today outlive their ability to drive by six to 10 years. With ITNNorthCentral Connecticut, they no longer need to be housebound. ITNNorthCentral Connecticut provides rides to seniors and the visually impaired 24/7, 365 days of the year. Walk for Rides provides the much needed funding to insure ITNNorthCentral Connecticut, continues the commitment to have available dignified transportation for seniors and the visually impaired. Trained drivers, provide rides for any purpose, including medical and hair appointments, errands and lunch or dinner dates. It allows seniors to continue living an independent, connected life on their terms. ITNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s service area includes the towns of Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Windsor and Windsor Locks.

Walk for Rides will take place at Sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World in East Windsor on Saturday, April 28, rain or shine (Sports World is an 80,000 sq. ft. indoor facility, weather is not an issue). Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the walk scheduled for 10 a.m. Joe Ravelese, owner of Country Diner in Enfield, is a strong advocate for senior citizens and is Community Chairperson of the Walk. Ravales says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am honored to act as Community Chairperson of the ITN Walk for Rides. Providing transportation to seniors, keeping them social and giving them the ability to be independent is so important to their health and well-being.â&#x20AC;? For more information, or to register for Walk for Rides, please call 860-758-7833 or email Online donations are also accepted at

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Somers Kissel Addresses North Central Chamber of Commerce Cider Press Efforts Rewarded State Sen. John A. Kissel (R- Enfield) addressed the North Central Connecticut Chamber of Commerceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s breakfast on Jan. 19 at the Holiday Inn in Enfield. Kissel said that at the State Capitol this year he will continue to push for pro-business policies, including growing Connecticutâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s manufacturing and agricultural industries and boosting small businesses. Kissel encouraged the public to contact him at 800-842-1421 or at He represents East Granby, Enfield, Somers, Suffield, Windsor Locks and portions of Granby and Windsor. Visit for information on the chamber.

President of clubs from Somers High School received checks from Walter Kacmarczyk Sr., president of Somers Rotary and for their clubsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; work on the Cider Press in the center of town in Somers. Pictured, from left, Walter Kacmarczyk, Rene Pellissier, representative from Scriptura, SHS Literary Magazine; Katie Loughrey, president of Beta Club; Karissa Welch, president of National Honor Society; Angela DiLorenzo, President of Interact; and Sandy Doig of the Somers Rotary Club.






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Nutrition Education and Weight Management Programs All Nutrition Programs are FREE!! For adults age 18 and over Program 1: Six Week Program Hosted by the E. Windsor Senior Center 125 Main Street Broad Brook, CT 06016 Fridays, 12:30pm – 2:30pm March 2 – April 6th, 2012 Program 2: Six Week Program Hosted by the Windsor Locks Senior Center 41 Oak Street Windsor Locks, CT 06096 Wednesdays, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, March 7-April 11th, 2012 All classes are taught by a Registered Dietitian and include lessons about the basics of nutrition, including the essential nutrients, and insights into how our daily behaviors impact the food choices we make. The program also covers the importance of physical activity and provides hands on experience reading food labels during an onsite supermarket tour. The six week program also includes a private one hour consultation with the dietitian

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28 North Central News February 2012



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Regional Rotary Club of Rockville Inducts James Walsh as its Newest Member VERNON - The Rotary Club of Rockville recently inducted James D.

Walsh of Ellington as its newest member of the club. Mr. Walsh is a financial advi-

sor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management at CityPlace II in Hartford. He has also volunteered for other area community organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and United Way. The Rotary Club of Rockville, with many members who live or work in the Vernon, Tolland and Ellington area, is part of the worldwide organization Rotary International. Rockville Rotary’s primary

focus is to help those less fortunate and Rotarians address many hunger, health, and humanity issues. Rockville Rotary meets every Monday at noon at The R House Restaurant located at 520 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon. Visitors and new members are always welcome. For more information, please visit

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Regional How to Choose the Best Martial Arts School for Your Child As the chief instructor of Integrity Martial Arts, it is a bit awkward for me to be writing an article on how to choose the best school because, of course, I want you to come to my school. That is because I know my school has the most to offer. But how can you decide for yourself what the best martial arts school for your child is? Who is karate for? Martial arts are for anyone. There are martial arts students who are underweight

and there are students who are overweight. Some martial artists are very athletic and some start out as real klutzes, some are flexible and some are not. I have seen good martial artists as young as 4 and as old as 82. Both men and women, girls and boys all participate in martial arts classes around the world. While practically anyone can do it (consult your physician if you have medical concerns), not everyone can teach it.

Can my kid do it? Research has shown that children derive tremendous benefits from doing karate such as: focus, self-esteem, discipline, increased responsibility and an ability to set and accomplish goals. It has also been proven that children who are hyperactive or have attention deficit often get breakthrough results through their participation in the right karate classes for them. With a well-trained instructor, they can also develop a sense of self-determination and a thirst for excellence. On the other hand, if the instructor is abusive or obnoxious, it can stress your kid out and cripple his or her self-esteem. Not all martial arts schools are the same â&#x20AC;Ś All our students feel that Integrity Martial Artsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; programs are great for them. For some of our students, however, the program has become absolutely central to

their life. The martial arts and their participation at our school have become intrinsic to who they are and how they see themselves. They have gained a personal confidence and power that they live with every day. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know whether or not the martial arts will affect you or your child this way, but in case it does, it is worth finding the right school. Doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that make sense? People ask me all the time about the martial arts. They ask how to find the best school in their area for themselves or their child. Let me share with you what I tell my friends; this is also the advice I gave to my own brother: First off, all martial artists think that their style is the best and most of them think that other styles arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t nearly as

HOW/page 31








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1:04 PM

Page 31

Regional How To Determine the Best Karate School for Your Child (continued from page 30) good. As a 17-year Kempo stylist who has studied many different styles (Tae Kwon Do in China, Shito Ryu Karate and Wu Shu with an Asian National Team, Shotokan, Shorin Ryu, Choy Li Fut Kung Fu, Jujutsu and Taichi), I like Kempo the best. For you or your child, you can pretty much ignore the style a school teaches. Do you care whether the style came from Northern Korea in the 18th century or from Okinawa, Japan in the early 20th century? If you are like most people, the answer is probably no. Second off, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pay careful attention to who has the highest black belt. Unfortunately, there is no universal standard for what a black belt is. In fact, if you wanted to, you could go get a black belt through a martial arts supply catalog, pay five bucks, put four rows of tape on it, and you could be a fourth degree black belt in Bob-Fu! Furthermore, you could have your friend start a club in which you and she are the only members, give it an important sounding name like â&#x20AC;&#x153;The World Martial Arts Associationâ&#x20AC;? and have her print a certificate on her computer and then you would be a fourth degree black belt certified by â&#x20AC;&#x153;The World Martial Arts Association.â&#x20AC;? Does this sound ridiculous? It is. My point is that unless you really New Location!

know a lot about the martial arts, you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tell who is really good or not just by looking at their belt or diploma. Is one school really going to be better than another one? Should you just go to the cheapest or most convenient school? If it is not the style and it is not the degree of black belt, how can you tell which is the right school for you? I would recommend two methods. Method 1: Ask the instructor the right questions. What training do you have in teaching the martial arts? May I see some references? If you have any special concerns or considerations, ask that too. For example, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have a bad knee, what would you have me do differently?â&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;My child has been diagnosed with ADD. Have you worked with ADD before? What training do you have in teaching ADD kids and how do you handle them?â&#x20AC;? DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T BE AFRAID TO ASK THESE QUESTIONS!!! It is worth investing a little time before you invest your money just in case the martial arts turn out to be something that really affects your life. The second method I would recommend is to try a free class. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just watch a class. You cannot tell if you want to play soccer by watching ESPN and you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t accurately decide from the sidelines if karate is something you want to do. So try

it! A good school will feel right. The instructors will do their best to make you or your child comfortable and will teach in a respectful and helpful way. If something feels wrong for your body, you should not have to do it. That is not smart or safe. The best schools always have one thing in common: a great culture. People are friendly and the instructors and students seem comfortable with each other. If the atmosphere is tense or rude, you are not going to be motivated to come back week after week, try another school.

PICKING/page 33



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Why do I think Integrity Martial Arts is the best? Integrity Martial Arts, LLC (IMA) is a company committed to the positive development of the mind and body through innovative and educational programs. We have taken the time to expertly develop curricula and staff that will make a difference for you. Whether you are interested in getting in shape or learning effective selfdefense or getting your child involved in



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Stafford Party-Lite Fundraiser Helps Emergency Fund STAFFORD - A Party-Lite Fundraiser will be held 2 p.m., Feb. 26, at the American Legion Post Home, 10 Monson Rd., Stafford Springs to benefit the American Legion Auxiliary Emergency Fund. When a sudden financial crisis befalls an eligible Auxiliary member, the Auxiliary Emergency Fund may be able to provide temporary emergency assistance when no other source of help is available.

The AEF, on occasion, could be a helping hand for a struggling member in need of food, shelter, or utilities for her family when a natural disaster or other calamity strikes. This is a program sponsored by the Department of Connecticut American Legion Auxiliary and has benefited several members of the Auxiliary throughout the State of Connecticut since its inception in 1969.

A Fresh Air Visit A Christmas Visit with our Fresh Air Child is a wonderful time for all of us. The Michaud family from Stafford has been hosting Shakeeya Smith, a 15-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y., since she was an 8-year-old girl. Shakeeya spent winter break with the Michauds, including Leone Mattesen (Grandma), Karen Michaud, Shakeeya Smith, Charlette Michaud and Cassie Welz, a friend from Brimfield, Mass., she met during her summer visit. For over 133 years the Fresh Air Fund has been to sending NYC children to visit homes in 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada for a one- or two-week trip in the summer. Karen Michaud is the Fund Rep. for the Central and NE Connecticut area and is always looking for new host families. If you would like information on hosting a child this summer call Karen at 860-680-4126 or go to the Fresh Air website.


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1:04 PM

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Regional Picking the Right Karate School for Your Child (continued from page 31) an activity that is active, fun, and promotes respect, self-discipline, and selfcontrol, we have the right program for you. How can I tell if an instructor is truly qualified to teach your child? We want to make sure that you understand that our programs are designed to give you the best experience in the martial arts that you can have. We have focused our energies into developing three primary areas. The first area is our staff. As president of this company, I can say that without a doubt, it is the people in our dojo that make it great. Our students, their families, and our staff work together like an extended family with a level of support and care that is extraordinary. Our staff is very well trained. Over the last 17 years, I have trained in many different schools, in many different states and even different countries. I have had the opportunities to train with an Asian national martial arts team and the old masters in China. My point is not to impress you, but to impress upon you that I have seen a lot of teachers. I can honestly say that I have never met a better bunch of teachers than what we have here at Integrity Martial Arts. Our students are extremely good because of the level of training our staff has. There are only 10 people in the country certified with a degree recognized by a Higher Board of Education (the people who certify colleges) to teach martial arts. I am one of those 10. I share my education in child development, psychology, teaching technique, and physiology with my staff each week at our staff meetings. We have outside experts come in and train us in effective communication and teaching technique. The second area is the curriculum and programs. Our martial arts curriculum for adults focuses on fitness and self-defense

and is taught in a peaceful atmosphere. Our childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curriculum actively engages kids in fun exercises designed to teach them Respect and Discipline. Our IMAX-D program even picks children up at their schools and brings them directly to our facility where they can take class and be picked up as late as 6 p.m. Integrity Martial Arts is deeply committed to children. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we consulted with a team of experts to create the Powerplayâ&#x201E;˘ program. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important that children learn to defend themselves, but for most children, self-defense is something that they will hopefully never have to use but Respect, Self-Discipline and Self-Control are things they can use every day. In the Powerplayâ&#x201E;˘ program, children are allowed to punch, kick, jump, yell, and run! Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re allowed to do the things that they generally arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allowed to do anywhere else. This happens in a structured environment, but the effect of all this freedom and energy is that children LOVE to be in our program. They get great exercise and look forward to coming to class. The Powerplayâ&#x201E;˘ program harnesses that excitement to accomplish its primary goal: Character Development. We use the energy used by the movement in class to teach respect, self-discipline and self-control. This is done in such a way that nourishes the childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s self-esteem through positive feedback, overcoming challenges, mastering responsibilities and achieving goals. We utilize the latest educational technology to develop these important qualities in children using the most powerful methods available. The best part of Integrity Martial Arts is the people! We know how powerful peer pressure can be. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cited as the leading cause of underage substance abuse. Kids will do something like smoking or drinking, which they know is bad for them, upsets their parents, and breaks the law just to gain the acceptance of their peers! At

Integrity Martial Arts, we use positive peer pressure to accomplish amazing results in children. Imagine a community designed such that showing respect is cool! Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face it, this is probably the only place in the world where your child can get high-fives from this kind of experience and positive reinforcement has a huge effect on a child. This is just one example of how the Powerplayâ&#x201E;˘ program uses child psychology to make a difference for every student. Sign up for your free class at Integrity Martial Arts by calling: (860) 698-9226 or emailing You can also drop by our facility in Scitico Plaza at 585 Hazard Avenue in Enfield, CT. - Jonathan Metcalf, Owner and Chief Instructor, Integrity Martial Arts



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Stafford First Selectman Considering Various Efficiencies for Savings By Linda Tishler Levinson STAFFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; First Selectman Richard Shuck is looking for ways to make the town run more efficiently. As part of that effort, Shuck has appointed Dennis Milanovich, the current town building official and town engineer, to the additional position of director of public works. The public works directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position was eliminated several years ago, and the department since then has not had any direct managerial supervision, Shuck said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had working supervisors,â&#x20AC;? he said, adding that this made it hard for them to have enough time for the administrative side. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m trying to give them a little more direction and a little more help.â&#x20AC;? Since building activity has been slow in

town, Milanovich seemed like a logical choice, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My goal is to try to get people in the right positions where they can focus on their job.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all a matter of trying to be more efficient, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know taxpayers are expecting some cuts,â&#x20AC;? he said of the town budget that is currently being worked on. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see where there are major cuts.â&#x20AC;? He said the town budget has been cut year after year, and while there may be more efficiencies possible, they may not be large. One area he said he hopes to save money on is energy. He is trying to negotiate better prices for diesel fuel and gasoline, which could mean a savings of $60,000. One wild card remains the town grand

list, which has not yet been submitted by the town assessor. The assessor has been given an extension until the end of February for the grand list due to the recent revaluation of town property. Shuck also said he hopes to save some funds through better maintenance of town vehicles. For example, he is asking town drivers to take the time to wash their vehicles after plowing. While this does add some to overtime costs, he said it will be likely be worth it in lessening wear and tear on the vehicles from the chemicals used on icy roads. He also is asking Milanovich to come up with a plan for maintenance of town facilities and roads, so that preventive maintenance as well as repairs is being done.

Other matters facing the first selectman include a charter investigation panel. Since the town currently has no charter, it is governed according to state statutes. Shuck said the town would be able to exercise more control if it had a charter. Shuck also is working on a presentation on pursuing plans to move all town offices to the Witt School building. That would allow the town to consolidate its operations without having the expense of new construction. He said it would cost approximately $6 million to renovate the Witt building, far less than the price of a new building. He also said he wants to see town offices stay in the current town center. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best interest to create another center,â&#x20AC;? he said.

Arts Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coffee House Features Two Popular Connecticut Performers STAFFORD - At 7 p.m. on Feb. 26, Kristen Graves, one of the most popular musicians to perform at Stafford Arts Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coffee House series, will open the program. This CT singer/songwriter with exceptional vocal and instrumental talent combined with her original folk and pop music

and lyrics, creates a comfortable connection with any audience. Add to this mix Kristenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s endearing personality and another outstanding performance will result. Jesse Terry, singer and songwriter with down-to-earth appeal and sharp songwriting ability, will follow at 8 p.m. Also from Connecticut, this talented musician and +2'

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Auto 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design: Stunning Design, Performance A lot of bright, shiny cars roll through fine price to pay for driving Volvo's most my driveway and I get to see a lot more at powerful engine ever and one of its best various new car introductions. It's helped sedans ever. It’s just that great a vehicle. me reduce my lust for a lot of cars, trucks, The six-speed automatic transmission minivans, crossovers and SUVs and made quickly fires off gear changes with the me appreciate good, basic transportation. Sport mode holding shifts deep for better Every once in a while, though, along response from the torque power curve – comes a set of wheels that get my heart basically the prime points for best pull and spinning. And, in this instance, acceleration. You can shift it's literally the wheels of the manually but you're never Volvo S60 R Design that get going to do as well as this secmy heart spinning. They're the ond-generation transmission BEHIND cherry on this delicious hot can. The Wheel fudge sundae of a performance Handling is also superb with sedan. The R Design is Volvo's the S60 R Design. Its electrondesignation for its high-perically controlled all-wheelformance factory-authorized KEITH GRIFFIN drive system with Instant performance tuning. In addiTraction and Corner Traction tion to the S60, it's going to be available on Control with torque vectoring help this the XC60, the XC70 (a hot station sedan maintain strong grip through the wagon!), the C30 and the C70. corners. This sedan just always feels in But I’m here to focus on the Volvo S60 control of its environments. I love the idea R Design. I'll be driving the other variants of corner traction control where the inside at the end of February, but to my mind wheel has the brake applied and the outVolvo has set the bar pretty high. side wheel gets more power. It allows you The S60 R-Design features Volvo's to really push through curves. most powerful production engine ever. It I’m going to defer to Volvo’s explanagenerates 325 horsepower at 5,400-6,500 tion of its tweaking of the engine control rpm and 354 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000- module for better performance. “Provided 3,600 rpm. That low RPM number for by Polestar, a Swedish racing and pertorque is what gives it such good accelera- formance products company partnered tion. The S60 R-Design will reach 60 mph with Volvo Cars, the tuning optimizes in just 5.5 seconds, according to Volvo. engine output in a variety of ways. More The S60 R-Design rockets to 60 mph 0.3 air and fuel are funneled into the combusseconds faster than the S60 T6 and pro- tion chambers and spark timing is duces 8 percent more horsepower and 9 advanced, creating the performance gains percent more torque. driving enthusiasts demand.” Of course, to be upfront, the S60 R Volvo says this is all accomplished Design does cost $42,500 vs. $38,450 for without hurting fuel economy. You're not the T6. Is the extra $4500 worth it? I'm as going to pay a fuel premium for the addifrugal as the next guy but it seems like a tional power of the R-Design over the

standard T6. They have the exact same fuel economy ratings of 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, for a combined average of 21 mpg. In a week of driving in the model loaned to me by Volvo, I averaged about 22.4 mpg. Inside, a number of new features help to further differentiate the S60 R-Design. (After all, you want to know what you paid the extra money for.) The driver and front passenger are ensconced in sports seats. The highly supportive backrest from the S60 is matched by an all-new seat cushion with deeper side bolsters. Being a man of large girth, I found the seats a little overwhelming at times but those of you of normal size should not have any problems. The standard upholstery is off-black leather with contrasting stitching and a sport-oriented textured leather accent with an embossed R-Design logo across the front-seat backrests. The interior also features a sport steering wheel with R-Design logo, gear selector, sports pedals, floor

mats and the iconic blue watch-dial instrument cluster. So, is the Volvo S60 R-Design all its cracked up to be? Absolutely. Volvo has managed to create a true Swedish sports sedan that combines power, agility and loads of safety into one package. VITAL STATISTICS Wheelbase: 109.3 inches Length: 182.2 inches Width: 73.4 inches Height: 58.4 inches Curb weight: 3835 lbs. Engine: 3.0 Liter, inline 6-cylinder Horsepower: 325 hp @ 5,400 rpm Torque: 354 lb.-ft. @ 3,000-3,600 rpm EPA estimated mpg city/highway: 18/26 Base price: $42,500 As-tested price: $46,000 Also consider: (a comparative vehicle) BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E Class, Audi A6


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February 2012 North Central News  

Town, school, government, senior, fire, library, parks and rec news for East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Somers, Stafford and Vernon.

February 2012 North Central News  

Town, school, government, senior, fire, library, parks and rec news for East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Somers, Stafford and Vernon.