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

FREE! Over 55 Housing Faces a Mixed Development Future By Linda Tishler Levinson Active adult communities seemed like the perfect answer for towns that wanted to grow in the 1990s. These developments, zoned for residents over age 55, would allow towns to expand their housing stock — and add properties to the tax rolls — without adding to the school population. The theory was that they would increase the grand list without adding to the school budget. And in the prosperous years from that time until the recession that began in 2008, the theory held true. Towns were approving these developments at a rapid pace. Developers found they had an eager market of baby boomers flush with stock market-driven retirement accounts, and the units were selling. “Five years ago when I planned it, over 55 was hot,� said Steve Riley, of the Riley Co. He had planned to build an active adult community in Somers, but sold the land along which had already been approved for the project when the housing market turned sour. He left building over55 housing behind and went back to concentrating on building retail stores and resort areas. “If I was developing houses, I would

In This Issue • PEOPLE: Rotary basketball all-stars selected from tournament ..........p. 3 • REGIONAL: Woodland owners asked to learn about program ....................p. 4 • BUSINESS: Elaine’s Coffee House opens in Broad Brook..................p. 5 • EAST WINDSOR: Snow melting away town’s budget ....................p. 6 • EAST WINDSOR: Senior center offers extensive programs ..........p. 8 • ELLINGTON: Town focusing on only most pressing needs ........................p. 9

have lost my shirt,� Riley said. Other developers have had the same change of heart. Two former active adult communities in Ellington, Windermere Village and Center Village, have gone to the town and received zoning changes. They now are zoned for multi-family housing. “In essence they both removed their age restrictions,� said John Collonese, assistant zoning enforcement officer in Ellington. Some, however, have retained their adult-community status. John Collins, Somers’ building official, said while there has been talk of zoning changes, none have been requested in Somers. Laurie Whitten, East Windsor’s town planner, said that town managed to keep its adult communities successful by limiting the number of them. “We have a cap on our active adult, and it’s not even built out,� she said. Some active-adult communities are still under development. Gaetan Gingras, of Gingras Development in Somers, remains convinced that the concept is a winner.

Not ‘Weight’-ing For Trouble

SENIOR/page 4

• ELLINGTON: Teacher at EHS called a gem for his efforts..................p. 13 • ELLINGTON: Senior center has health & wellness programs......p. 14 • SOMERS: Town will approach federal government for snow help ............p. 15 • SOMERS: News and happenings from around town....................................p. 22 • STAFFORD: Snow storms impacting town in a major way....................p. 26 • STAFFORD: New website focuses on all town has to offer ......................p. 27 • AUTO: Subaru WRX-STI..............p. 33 • CLASSIFIEDS:....................pp. 34-35

• NEXT ISSUE • DEADLINE: Feb. 24, 2011 St. Patty’s Day/March Madness

(860) 698-0020

Larry Palmer of Stafford shovels his roof on January 27 after the latest storm. So far, more than six feet of snow has fallen, which requires roofs to be cleared before they cave in from the weight.

Photo by Barbara Bresnahan








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North Central Publishing, LLC dba

Page 3


The North

Enfield Rotary President Rich Tkacz, left, and Tournament CoChair Nick Deni, right, congratulate Rotary Classic Basketball Tournament allstars, from left to right, Julie Gage, Ellington HS; Moira Honyotski, Hall HS; Kerry Davis, Enrico Fermi HS; Tournament MVP Sara Binkhorst, Hall HS; Shannon Griffith, Hall HS; and Rachel Kaliff, Enfield HS.

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


Barbara Bresnahan Keith Griffin Linda Tishler-Levinson Deborah Stauffer PHOTOGRAPHERS David Butler II Stacey Lyn McDonald ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Gary Carra Sr. Amy Hartenstein Joan Hornbuckle

Rotary Names Hoop Tourney All-Stars & MVP ENFIELD - The 18th annual Enfield Rotary Classic girls basketball tournament was held Dec. 28-29 at Enrico Fermi High School. In addition to teams from Enfield and Fermi, this year’s tourney welcomed visiting teams from Hall High School in West Hartford and Ellington High. This year, Hall captured tournament championship honors. It defeated Ellington on the first night and tournament runner-up Fermi in the final. Ellington defeated Enfield in the consolation game. Tournament all-stars, selected by coaches from the four teams, included Julie Gage, Ellington HS; Moira Honyotski, Hall HS; Kerry Davis, Fermi HS; Shannon Griffith, Hall HS; and Rachel Kaliff, Enfield HS. Sara Binkhorst of Hall HS was named the tournament’s

most valuable player. The Enfield Rotary Club has been sponsoring a girls basketball tournament since 1993. Rotarian Larry Tracey organized the first event and served as chairman for many years. Numerous members of the

Rotary Club volunteer their time every year to support the two-day competition. Proceeds from each holiday tournament are divided between Enfield and Fermi high schools to support their girls basketball programs.


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.


The names of the sledders were wrong in the front page photo of our January issue. The girl in the picture is Sara Laplante and her friend’s name is Michael. February 2011 North Central News




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Regional Woodland Owners Invited To Learn About Coverts Project ELLINGTON - Connecticut Coverts Project is a forest wildlife education program that reaches out to individual woodland owners to teach them how sound management practices can make wildlife healthier, more diverse and abundant. The Coverts Project began simultaneously in Vermont and Connecticut in 1983. Since that time it has spread to 11 other states across the northeastern U.S. Its goals

are to teach forest owners how good forest stewardship can: • Earn the woodland owner a long-term financial return, and • Improve the health and productivity of both the forest and the wildlife that live in it. For over 300 years, Connecticut’s forests have been cut over, burned and otherwise abused for human profit. Decades

Businesses Urged to Sign up for 42nd Annual Home and Product Show ENFIELD - The North Central Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the 42nd annual Home and Product Show. The event will be held at Asnuntuck Community College on Friday-Sunday, March 18-20. Booth registration is going on now for both chamber members and non-members.

This popular Chamber event regularly sells out, so businesses are encouraged to sign up early to ensure a spot. To register for this year’s show, call or stop by the chamber office located at 73 Hazard Ave., Enfield. For more information please call the chamber office at 860741-3838.

Salvation Army - Little League Donations Sought WINDSOR LOCKS - The Greater Hartford Board of Umpires and the Windsor Locks Little League are teaming up with the Salvation Army – Hartford North End to collect used baseball equipment for their upcoming season. Equipment can be dropped off daily at Alaimo & Barile Real Estate, 250 Main St.

in Windsor Locks. The equipment drive will continue right up to Sunday, March 20. Equipment can also be picked up by calling 860-627-2886 and asking for Mike or Ginger. Thanks for supporting inner-city youth baseball in Hartford.

of neglect have alternated with intense periods of indiscriminate cutting and abuse. Genetic depletion, poor health and productivity, and loss of wildlife species have been the result. Today, rapid development and land fragmentation, as well as poor cutting practices, continue to threaten forest and wildlife resources. Walt Moody, an Ellington resident, in cooperation with the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut

Department of Environmental Protection, provides resource information and coordination to assist landowners in enhancing the health and productivity of their properties and to practice sound forest and wildlife conservation. For further information please contact Moody at 860-875-1459. Moody is also a member of the board of the Northern Connecticut Land Trust and serves as chairman of the Ellington Conservation Commission.

Women’s Club Scholarship Awards Offered ENFIELD - The Women’s Club of Enfield is accepting applications for the Phipps Memorial Scholarship Award and the Dorothy E. Schoelzel Memorial Scholarship Award. These scholarships are given annually by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Connecticut. They enable Connecticut women to pursue advanced courses of study at accredited colleges. An applicant must be an Enfield resident

who has completed two or more years (three or more for the Schoelzel Award, majoring in education) of a college with a 3.0 average or better and must be working toward either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The maximum amount of a scholarship in any one year is $1,000. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 10, and may be obtained by calling Linda at 860-749-3872.

Senior Housing Undergoing Changes (continued from page 1) His company is developing Somers Village off Shaker Road in Somers. The development, located on 45 acres, will consist of 80 ranch and one-and-a-halfstory homes. The homes, which include luxury features such as 9-foot ceilings, central air condition, maple cabinets, first-floor master bedrooms, attached two-car garages and propane fireplaces, are listed in the $340,000 to $400,000 range. So far, Gingras said, 50 homes have

been built and sold, with 30 more to go. And while the market for these homes has slowed, Gingras remains sold on the concept. “The market is slow right now,” he said, but he has a waiting list of people who want to buy homes in Somers Village, but are having difficulty selling their current homes. But, he stresses, they are interested in living there. Gingars also owns a tract of land on Eleanor Road in Somers off Route 190, which he plans to develop as an active adult community in another year or so.

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4 North Central News February 2011

Windsor, CT • (860) 688-4200 Chicopee, MA • (413) 533-6167 West Springfield, MA • (413) 746-2677



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Business Davis Helps Celebrate Grand Opening of Elaineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coffee Shop EAST WINDSORâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Businesses are not only surviving in Broad Brook, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re thriving. That was the theme of an event here recently, where state Rep. Christopher Davis helped celebrate the grand opening of a new businessâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Elaineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coffee Shop. Davis, who represents East Windsor and Ellington in the state legislature, gave shop owner Peter Koumlelis a special, framed government citation after helping cut a ceremonial ribbon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For two years a lot of folks have talked

about how bad it is out there, that thousands of businesses have closed up shop in Connecticut,â&#x20AC;? Davis said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But tonight, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a pleasure to talk about a bright spotâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to celebrate the type of entrepreneurial spirit that we need to support and encourage in our state.â&#x20AC;? More than two dozen people packed into the coffee shop, former home to Elaineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pizza. The pizza shop moved recently, and rather than rent out the building, Koumlelis decided to open another business.

New Salon Opens Somers welcomes new business, June Richards Salon at 612 Main St. in the Rockville Bank Plaza. June Richards is a full service hair and nail salon offering haircuts, styles, color, highlights and more as well as Light Concepts gel nails, manicures and pedicures. Kelly and Carianne invite you to stop in or call 860-265-7701 for an appointment.

James Richards, executive director of East Windsorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chamber of commerce, said the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts to create a favorable business climate through balanced taxes and zoning are working. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People are finding a way to make money here,â&#x20AC;? said Richards, who explained the goal is to create a quaint, village-like shopping district in the Broad Brook neighborhood. Davis, who lives in Broad Brook, campaigned on a platform that sought to loosen regulations and ease taxes on busi-

nesses, particularly small businesses, to help jumpstart the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy and its sagging job market. Connecticut is consistently ranked among the least businessfriendly states. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Businesses like Elaineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s are the backbone of our job market,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to get Connecticut working again, legislators have to think about how each of their actions affects employersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;from the coffee shop down the street to the small manufacturer on the other side of the state.â&#x20AC;?


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East Windsor Snow Draining Town Budget as Next Budget Being Drawn By Linda Tishler Levinson EAST WINDSOR — As the town enters its budget season for the coming fiscal year, it is faced with a new budgetary challenge — snow. As with many other area towns, the record-setting snowfall has put a strain on municipal budgets, already stretched thin by years of budget cutting and assumptions based on milder winters. The season’s first major snowstorm occurred on a Sunday, which just added to the overtime costs involved in clearing town streets. “We’re watching our overtime account,” First Selectman Denise Menard said. “We were at 50 percent after the first

big storm,” she said prior to the Jan. 26 storm, adding that with the additional overtime hours needed to pay snowplow drivers, the town may have used up its overtime account. “This is what happens when your budgets are so tight,” she said. At the same time, the town has gathered information from department heads as the officials begin to prepare their requests for the 2011-2012 fiscal year town budget. The Board of Selectman and the Board of Finance issued a joint letter asking department heads to be conservative in their budget requests, Menard said, but they have not set a specific target for what level

budget increase would be acceptable. Three 2010-2011 budget proposals were defeated in separate referendums, with the town charter provisions taking over after the third budget failed. The 2009-2010 budget with a 2 percent increase was then adopted, according to

town charter provisions. In other business news, the town has set a policy on when inclement weather will lead to the closing of Town Hall. Menard said the town will follow the state’s lead, closing Town Hall when state offices close.

Scantic River Testing The East Windsor American Heritage River Commission, in conjunction with the Scantic River Watershed Association, is testing the Scantic in various places along the river. The purpose of the testing is to ensure the water is safe for recreational activities on and about the Scantic River. Some of the river activities are fishing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, hiking and bird-watching. Greenway and waterway safety guarantees the full enjoyment of the Scantic River for our community. To find out, more visit us on Facebook at Photo by Alan Baker

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East Windsor Republicans Seek Candidates EAST WINDSOR - The East Windsor Republican Town Committee is currently seeking candidates for the following offices: First Selectman, Selectman, Board of Finance, Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Assessment Appeals, Police Commission, Constables and Board of Education. In addition, several boards and commissions have vacancies for appointed positions. If you’d like to be considered for appointment or nomination and are a registered Republican or unaffiliated voter, contact nominating committee chair John Burnham 178 Scantic Rd., East Windsor, CT 06088 or e-mail Linda Sinsigallo at

Model Train Show

River Commission New Year’s Day Hike The East Windsor American Heritage River Commission sponsored the first New Year’s Day hike. The commission members worked throughout the year to open up the Scantic River to paddlers and most recently opened up the foot trail from Old Ellington Road to Cemetery Road in the Broad Brook section of East Windsor. There was an overwhelming response from the community with more than 60 hikers (and several four-legged friends) coming out on a warm New Year’s Day to hike the river trail and support the commission’s hard work. Watch for more river events in the coming year.

WILLIMANTIC - The Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum will sponsor a Model Train and Die-Cast Show on April 17 at Windham High School, 355 High St., Willimantic. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations are $6 for adults, $1 for children ages 8-12, and free for children under 8. For information, contact Joseph Sokol at 860-872-2240.

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East Windsor East Windsor Senior Services Offers Programs and Events EAST WINDSOR - The East Windsor Senior Center is the focal point for East Windsor residents 60 years of age or older who seek out recreational, social and educational programs as well as transportation and nutritional services. We strive to promote the socialization, independence, self-sufficiency, and community involvement of our senior citizens. If you have any comments or questions, please call 860-292-8262 or e-mail You can download the center’s monthly Senior Services Events & Activities calendar and lunch menu by going online to – select town departments & agencies and then scroll down to Senior Services. Love to play cribbage? Well, have we got a game for you. We are looking for a few people who love the game to start a club. Call the

center and let us know you are interested. The center is looking for someone to teach us how to play the Chinese game of Mahjong. If you love the game, share it with those who would love to learn it. Call the center if you have time to share. Looking for a good book to read or a movie to watch? How about a puzzle to keep you busy on these cold days? Stop in the center to check out our extensive collection of books, movies and puzzles, all of which are available for the borrowing. The East Windsor Senior Center in conjunction with AARP is now offering FREE tax assistance. This service is available to anyone 60 years of age or older. We are able to do simple returns only and everything is done electronically. We can accommodate the homebound. Appointments are available on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon starting in February through the first week of April.

Panther Plunge Benefits Food Bank EAST WINDSOR - Come out and support the second annual Panther Plunge on March 5 at 1 p.m. to benefit the East Windsor Fuel Bank. Take the plunge into the chilly waters of the “RES” for only $15 and receive a Panther Plunge T-shirt. All proceeds will go directly to the EW Fuel Bank to help residents heat their homes this winter. Checks can be made payable to EW Fuel Bank. Donations will

be accepted from non-plungers as well. A small entry fee will be collected the day of the event of $5 per car or $10 for a sleeve of raffle tickets. Please also join us for a Warming Party at Broad Brook School hosted by the East Windsor PTO and the East Windsor Booster Club. Refreshments will be sold. Please contact the Parks and Recreation Department to register or to get more information at 860-627-6662.

Please call the office if you are interested in this free service. UPCOMING EVENTS Our next Focus Group will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. We will meet to discuss future activities, trips, and happenings at our senior center. Join us to share you ideas, suggestions, & opinions. Join us on Feb. 2 for our first Super Bowl Party. We’ll start the day with a special luncheon and close it out by having a special viewing of the movie “The Blind Side,” starring Sandra Bullock. The festivities will start at 11:30 a.m. Please call the office if you would like to join us. Join us for our new monthly Elder Law Program held on the second Tuesday of every month. We will have a lawyer from the law office of Kraner & Hess here for private oneon-one consultations on Feb. 8 from 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. If you would like an appointment, please call the office. Join us for a special presentation with Bradley Bowl of Windsor Locks on Feb. 10 from 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Come out and see what special offer they will be giving to our seniors. Join us on Feb. 14 as we celebrate Valentine’s Day. We will have special events going on all day. We will have a special luncheon at noon and will be showing the movie “Valentine’s Day” in the morning

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from 9:45 to 11:50. Genealogy in any form is a marvelous hobby. No hobby in the history of man can be as compelling, stimulating, challenging, or just plain fun as the study of family history. It is pursued because of the desire to do something worthwhile, and most of all, the commitment to leave this world just a little better than the way we found it. Join us on Feb. 15 as we welcome Germaine Hoffman as she gives us a special presentation and an introdutction to genealogy. Germaine will be at the center from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Space is limited, so call early to reserve yours. Intergenerational Week is the week of Feb. 20. In celebration of that, the East Windsor Senior Center in conjunction with the Parks & Recreation Department will be holding a Wii bowling tournament at the senior center on Feb. 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Feb. 25 we will be traveling to Bradley Bowl together to continue the bowling challenge from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you would like to join us for the fun, call the center by Feb. 17. On Feb. 24 from noon to 2 p.m. we will be celebrating our monthly social. This month we will be entertained by Dave Shortell. Dave has been an entertainer, guitar player, and singer for 35 years. Join us for a wonderful afternoon of live music. For reservations, please call the center by Feb. 22.

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266 North Rd., East Windsor, CT • 860-623-9068



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Ellington Town Officials Only Addressing Necessary Building Repairs By Linda Tishler Levinson ELLINGTON â&#x20AC;&#x201D; This is a budget year to hold the line and fix what needs to be fixed. That was the view expressed by First Selectman Maurice Blanchette on the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Capital Improvements Budget. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have enough money to do what we want,â&#x20AC;? he said. Instead of looking at what projects they would like to do, officials are addressing necessary building repairs and equipment replacement. At the same time they are trying to meeting the Board of Financeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $1 million goal for that

budget. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re bringing in a number that will be attributable to the capital improvements budget,â&#x20AC;? he said. Anything additional that needs to be done must be accomplished with leasing and perhaps bonding, he added, with buildings and roads being the priorities for what funds are available. Among the highest priority items in the budget is the libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two air-conditioning systems in the 20-year-old section of the building. Both systems are inoperable. The library also has a 20-year-old underground oil tank, which Blanchette said must be removed to avoid leaks.

Last year an oil tank at Town Hall leaked and repairs proved costly, he said. Also, the town wants to connect as many buildings as possible to the natural gas lines. All together, the library project will cost an anticipated $403,000. Also in need of attention are the heating controls at the Windermere School, Blanchette said. Some of the classrooms are so cold that children need to wear their jackets in class, while others are unbearably hot. The cost of that project is estimated at $320,000. In addition, the first selectman said, the town needs about $800,000 just to maintain the roads.

Fire Department Issues Warnings About Carbon Monoxide Dangers ELLINGTON - The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department wants the public to be aware of dangers from heating vents being blocked in the winter. Due to the heavy accumulation and drifting of snow experienced in the state of Connecticut, citizens are being informed of a common problem found with furnaces and other heating systems in the stormâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aftermath. The problem encountered by many homeowners occurs when snow blocks furnace and hot water heater fresh air intake and exhaust vents. This can cause improper combustion or venting within the furnace or, in some cases, can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to accumulate inside the home. Newer heating systems are more vul-

nerable to these issues due to the location of these vents, which are installed much lower on the side wall of a home. Homeowners can take the following precautions to ensure their safety: 1. Have a properly operating Carbon Monoxide detector. 2. Keep the fresh air intake and exhaust vent area free from snow or ice buildup. Homeowners can find the inlets and outlets of a furnace by looking at the heating equipment and following the intake back to where it penetrates the wall. Then check this area outside to ensure no snow is blocking the vents. Citizens are also reminded to keep alert for symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure. Symptoms and effects vary between

individuals, even at the same level of CO exposure, but people typically experience flu-like symptoms, including: dizziness, fatigue, weakness, headache or vomiting, trouble breathing, or confusion. If anyone suspects symptoms from carbon monoxide exposure they should evacuate the home

and call 911. The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department is equipped to check for this dangerous condition. For more information regarding The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department or their programs, visit www.



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Slow and Steady Paige takes it slow as she approaches the slope for an exciting take-off. Photo by Barbara Bresnahan

Shopping in the Blizzard From left, Raymond Riendeau and Michline Riendeau, both from New Hampshire, and Diane DiBerardino of Enfield brave the blizzard conditions to do some shopping. David Butler II photo




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Living in the Snow Life has become one perpetual snowstorm it seems in north-central Connecticut with recordbreaking snow falling in January. David Butler II photo

Sponsors Sought for Transportation Network Family Event EAST WINDSOR - Independent Transportation Network/ITNNorthCentral Connecticut, which provides dignified transportation for seniors and people with visual impairments, announces sponsorships are now available for the Family Funday Sunday “funraiser” on May 1. It will be held under the dome at the Sports World in East Windsor from noon to 4 p.m. Becoming a sponsor offers many benefits to local business owners. All promotional items and PR materials will be sent to a wide range of people including the seniors, visually impaired persons and their families in the 10 communities the program now serves, including

12 North Central News February 2011

Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Windsor and Windsor Locks. Events this year in addition to the traditional Walk for Rides will include a Hula Hoop contest for Rides, Bounce House contest for Rides, concert by the Enfield senior chorus the “Goldtones,” a classic car exhibit and rides, magician, face painting, tea cup raffle, flower sale and bake sale When you sponsor the Walk for Rides you help improve the well being of seniors and the visually impaired in your community. You also make an important and visible commitment to support and empower friends, family and neighbors as they tran-

sition through every stage of life. Sponsor levels available are “Major Event Sponsor” at $2,500; “Event Sponsor” at $250; and “Event Donor” at $100. Did you know that Connecticut is the seventh-oldest state in the nation and our population of 65-plus is projected to grow by 64 percent by 2030? This is your

opportunity to show this market that they are important to your business. Applications for sponsorships are now available at and For additional information, call Margaret Smith Hale at 860-758-7833 or e-mail



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Ellington Teacher/Advisor William Prenetta an Ellington High Gem ELLINGTON - If the halls of Ellington High School seem a little quieter this year it might be because veteran English teacher and drama club advisor William Prenetta is not roaming them. After 20plus years of inspiring young writers and actors and actresses, Prenetta decided to take some time off and look for inspiration himself to write a play, a childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book, a â&#x20AC;&#x153;how toâ&#x20AC;? theater book for high school theater teachers and N THE attend various workshops. If the halls are quiet, the classrooms are even quieter. When not on sabbatical, Prenetta, a 2005 recipient of the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Outstanding Teaching Citation, teaches sophomore Honors English, sophomore Level One College Prep and Theater I and Theater II. He developed the curriculum for all of them except for the college prep class, which he developed in conjunction with other teachers. He and a colleague have also created a new class that will be offered next year. When he is not inspiring or challenging his students, he is helping other students in their writing or acting skills. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mr. Prenetta is a special kind of teacher,â&#x20AC;? said Ellington High 2009 graduate Tim Larew. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just teach about writing and books, he teaches about life.â&#x20AC;? Larew is a sophomore at Boston University pursuing a degree in Communications. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one thing I took away from Mr. Prenetta, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that each of us has our own unique story and voice that, if we take the time, we can share with the world and the world will listen.â&#x20AC;? Taking a sabbatical from what he loves was no easy task for Prenetta. He decided he could not stay completely away so he


returns several times a week to continue his advising of the drama club, OKP (Opening Knight Players). When asked why he returns for the group, he smiled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although I am sacrificing some writing and personal time, I would dearly miss my interactions with my students,â&#x20AC;? Prenetta said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As much as I teach and guide them, I get tenfold back in the joy, wisdom and love they offer.â&#x20AC;? This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s president of OKP, senior CHOOLS Rachel Ballasy, conveyed similar feelings in return. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mr. Prenetta IS Opening Knight Players, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what defines it,â&#x20AC;? said Ballasy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the one whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pushing us and helping us to be the best we can be. Without him we wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be what we are now. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taught me so much and not just about theater, but lessons I can use for the rest of my life.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Billâ&#x20AC;? Prenetta has made a lasting mark on the town of Ellington â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a true gem to the town. He has been advising the OKP drama group for over 20 years; in fact, he started the group. There was no formal theater program at Ellington High School before 1990. Since then, OKP has produced more than 50 shows, ranging from main stage productions to one-acts to tenminute plays. Prenetta likes to challenge his drama students to go beyond what they think they can accomplish. The performances very often make students think about their own lives and paths. Some of their major productions have been controversial and critically acclaimed and many people have called them college level performances. Major productions have included â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Laramie Project,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dead Man Walkingâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Crucible.â&#x20AC;? In 2009, the group presented â&#x20AC;&#x153;Silenced on Barbour


Deborah Stauffer

Street,â&#x20AC;? which was a performance about the Hartford circus fire in 1944. OKP performs a play every March for the Connecticut Drama Association (CDA), of which he serves as president. Last year the play â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Insanity of Mary Girardâ&#x20AC;? took third place and the cast and crew were invited to represent Connecticut in the New England Drama Festival in Maine. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production for the CDA will be a play written by Prenetta while on his sabbatical. The play, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where the Sun is Silent,â&#x20AC;? was inspired by the life of Phoebe Prince, a freshman in high school who committed suicide after relentless bullying. The play explores the power of words, the dangers of denial, and the challenges of teenage life. The play will be performed this March 23 and 24 at Ellington High School at 7:30 p.m. and will also be performed at the Connecticut Drama Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Festival on March 25 and 26 in Pomperaug. Recently the drama group learned it has been selected by the American High School Theatre Festival to represent the United States in 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland, at its prestigious Fringe Festival. Although his schedule has been busy with writing and advising OKP, Prenetta has been able to make time to help several students preparing to go into theater in college and go on a mission trip to Haiti.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always lived under the philosophy that joy is only found in helping others,â&#x20AC;? said Prenetta, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and as Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gotten older, this has become more crucial.â&#x20AC;? A group of dedicated parents, the OKP Producers, meet monthly to support Prenetta and the drama club. For more information on the group or to join, please contact Alma Graziani at Visit the OKP website, which is off the Ellington High School website: ool/OKP/index.html


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Ellington Ellington Senior Center Offers Tax Help and Entertainment ELLINGTON - Winter is all around us, but venture down to The Ellington Senior Center and enjoy the many programs/activities we are offering. Tax Preparation Program The 2011 Tax Preparation Program is held at the Town of Ellington Human Services Department (Arbor Park). Appointments will begin Thursday, Feb. 3 and end on Thursday, April 14. Appointment times are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A sign-up sheet is available at the Ellington Senior Center. Please call 860-870-3133 to secure your appointment.

Ellington Singers Thirty-one in number and their director are housed in the Ellington Senior Center. The Ellington Singers meet every Wednesday at 10 a.m. to rehearse the music programmed for the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spring Musicaleâ&#x20AC;? to be held at Ellington High School on Thursday, April 21. The group performs many interesting musical selections. You are all cordially invited to participate in this special group of singers. The Ellington Senior Center can be reached at 860-870-3133.

Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club Seeks Scholarship Applications ELLINGTON - The annual Phipps and Schoelzel scholarships are available to Connecticut women pursuing an advanced course of study in institutions of higher learning. The applicant must be matriculating for a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s or postgraduate degree, have completed two or more years of college, and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0. All awards are granted on the basis of financial need, future promise and scholarship ability. Schoelzel Scholarship applicants must be in the field of education.

The General Federation of Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clubs is the sponsor of these scholarships. The Ellington Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club is searching for applicants to be candidates at the state level. Scholarships are not granted for current or prior years. Feb. 10 is the deadline that applications may be accepted. Personal references and full financial disclosure are required. If you are interested in receiving an application or more information, e-mail or call 860-8710640.

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 unless otherwise announced or published. The dues per year are $3; payable in September. The membership is not limited to the town of Ellington and welcomes all to participate. Our next business meeting is scheduled for Feb. 10. The presenter at this meeting is Perne Maynard, who will present a memorable collection of WWII veteran stories. The Feb. 24 meeting will be hosted by retired Fire Marshal Don Maguda, who will talk about the sensational fires during his reign. Programs offered at each meeting are highly diversified in content. Guests are welcome. Memories & Creative Writing Memories and 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 Feb. 17 to share their written or spoken creations with this group. The group will also be addressing requests concerning â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rachelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Challenge,â&#x20AC;? a project between the Ellington Senior Center and Windermere School, writing letters to a sixth-grade student pen pal. Musical Insights Musical Insights is held the second and fourth Monday evenings of the month at 6 p.m. Musical Insights will next meet on Feb. 14 featuring a duo presentation on Mozart in the Classical period, while Part II will feature music special to Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day. On Feb. 28, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Composerâ&#x20AC;? Richard Wagner will be introduced to the group in different musical forms plus visual tools. James Stoughton is the presenter. All are welcome. Bring a friend.

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Somers Town Turns to Federal Government for Snow Relief Funds By Linda Tishler Levinson SOMERS — The town is seeking federal funding to help with this winter’s snowremoval costs. First Selectmen Lisa Pellegrini said the town is asking for $56,000 to aid with cleanup costs from the Jan. 11-13 storms. The state has asked Connecticut towns to list their costs as the state applies for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Before this time (the Jan. 26 storm),

the snow was stressing our budget a little bit,” Pellegrini said. Now the town has two snowplow trucks down awaiting repairs. Pellegrini also said the town asked residents for patience. “The snow just fell so quickly, and it takes a little over four hours to do a complete run,” she said. Red Cross Awards The sixth grade at the Mabelle B. Avery Middle School will be honored with an American Red Cross Community Hero of Connecticut award. Pellegrini nominated

New Pastor Welcomed at Somers Baptist Church

Lisa Pellegrini, First Selectman of Somers, welcomes John Reilly, new pastor for Somers Baptist Church, at Installation Service Sunday.

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the graduating class of 2017 in the Spirit of the American Red Cross category. “On Saturday, November 13, 2010 the Somers Class of 2017 and its families hosted a Hometown Heroes Event to celebrate Veterans Day and honor the men and women from Somers who have served and are currently serving in the United States Military. This wonderful event was the brainchild of the Class of 2017, an energetic group of Sixth Graders, and their endeavor was supported by their families,” Pellegrini wrote in her nomination letter. “The dedication and the ability of students so young to conceive and produce such a program in such a short time is a testament to their future leadership capabilities. We have been given a glimpse into the future and we were able to see the potential this Class has to continue to make a difference. That future looks very

bright. That is why the Somers Class of 2017 is an American Red Cross Community Hero of Connecticut,” she wrote. The class will be honored at a breakfast on March 16 at the Farmington Marriott hotel. Also nominated by the first selectman were Roland Henry and Pat Loftus. Henry was nominated in the Community Impact category. He coordinates the holiday gift basket program with local churches during the holiday season. Loftus was nominated in the Medical Professionals category. She is a volunteer emergency medical technician with the Somers Fire Department. For the past five years she has coordinated and taught CPR classes for the community. “We’re lucky to have such wonderful individuals,” Pellegrini said.

Sizer Will Replace Madden as GOP Registrar SOMERS - David Reed, chairman of the Somers Republican Town Committee, announced that Joan Sizer of 50 Whispering Woods Dr., Somers, was endorsed by the Republican Town Committee to replace the retiring Marjory Madden as the Somers Republican Registrar of Voters. Sizer’s appointment will run until the next municipal election being held this November. Sizer was chosen for the appointment because of her long, impressive career in

managerial positions in the insurance industry, her recent training and experience in the town election process and her computer literacy skills. She also has an impressive record of involvement in her church and with numerous Somers organizations. “It was tough to find a replacement for Marge Madden,” Reed said. “She gave Somers a distinctive record of integrity, efficiency, and professionalism for more than 20 years. I think Joan Sizer will be an admirable replacement.”

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Somers Somers

Daisies Making Pillow Cases Mom Heather Yoreo helps Anna Bocchino sew her pillowcase during a recent Daisies meeting. At right, Daisies have snack before starting. From left to right: Maddie Stanley, Emily Pincince, Bailey Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien, McKenna Cahill, Ava Caron, Peyton Holden, Eve Mattson, Anna Bocchino, Sophia Ferruolo, Sage Yoreo, Erin Fitzgerald

16 North Central News February 2011



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Speaker Emphasizes Need for Prison Education Programs SOMERS Somers resident Christopher Petrella addressed the graduates of a program at San Quentin prison in California in December. Following are excerpts from his remarks that emphasize the important of prison education programs. Good afternoon, everyone. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d first like to offer a few words of thanks and praise to all of the souls who have labored tirelessly to make this graduation so moving and so meaningful. Your dedication to the cause, your affection for others, your graceful attention to detail, and your love of good food (and lots of it) have not gone unnoticed. I always appreciate - but particularly today - all of the good you do and the generosity you embody. So, thank you. I suppose that I should begin this keynote by saying something poignant or profound. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure, however, that I have much to offer in terms of an introduction because I think our very presence here, together, gathered in this chapel to celebrate your successes and struggles itself bespeaks the unspeakable, it utters the unutterable. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a certain beautiful immediacy associated with our senses what we feel, literally - that all seems to get diluted when applied conceptually. So â&#x20AC;Ś what can I really summon in this

moment, particularly when we already know why weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re here? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been wrestling with this question for the last few weeks and have concluded that I can do little more than reaffirm the truths that you already know, and that so many of you, admittedly, have Christopher Petrella. taught to me. Although Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve facilitated a number of classes during our time together in TRUST, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m convinced that I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t â&#x20AC;&#x153;doâ&#x20AC;? anything for you, for if I were to â&#x20AC;&#x153;doâ&#x20AC;? something for you then someone else could just as easily come along and â&#x20AC;&#x153;undoâ&#x20AC;? it. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m therefore led to believe that the only way to move forward is to move forward together. Now, coming together is a beginning, and staying together is a necessity, but learning and living together is growth. Every Thursday throughout the semester your presence, your laughter, your wis-

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dom, and your fortitude remind me that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;until lions have their historians,â&#x20AC;? as the famous West A f r i c a n proverb goes, â&#x20AC;&#x153;tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.â&#x20AC;? That is, the millions of Americans who will never voluntarily step foot in a penitentiary are sadly defaulted to a sensationalized and brutish interpretation of prison life manufactured for them by the corporate mass media. And the mass media, I remind you, cares more about the free market than it does about free people, more about profit than it does about principle. Think, for instance, just how popular MSNBCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lockup Rawâ&#x20AC;? series has become over the past decade. I conducted just a little research and wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t too surprised to discover that more viewers tune in to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lockupâ&#x20AC;? than to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hardball with Chris

Matthews,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Countdown with Keith Olbermann,â&#x20AC;? and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rachel Maddow Showâ&#x20AC;? combined. Suffice it to say that the corporatized media is little more than the fourth branch of the government responsible for producing information intended to stimulate public support for unjust programs that most citizens likely wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t dream of endorsing in the absence of such propaganda. We must remember, therefore, that every social practice that encourages mass consumption also encourages mass conscription. Translation: that which massifies us, also, inevitably, pacifies us. I believe, therefore, that one of the most significant struggles in our time isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily between capitalism and socialism, or the global north and the global south (although those struggles are, of course, essential), but between education and propaganda. This is why a TRUST education - Teaching Responsibility, Utilizing Sociological Training - is absolutely necessary in a world that demonizes the powerless and deifies the powerful without feeling but an ounce of guilt. And what do you call a system thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s callous to human suffering, irresponsible, pathologically dishonest, and unremorseful? I call it sociopathic.

PRISON/page 18




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Somers Prison Education Programs Important (continued from page 17) This is precisely why we need prison education programs more than ever. TRUST not only holds us accountable to ourselves, but to others incarcerated at San Quentin, to our communities, and, therefore, to the world. TRUST provides us with the tools to stare unflinchingly into the abyss, even when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s staring back at us and helps us to see that the possible is often more important than the actual and that â&#x20AC;&#x153;life,â&#x20AC;? in the words of Jean-Paul Sartre, â&#x20AC;&#x153;begins on the other side of despair.â&#x20AC;? And in some form or another, regardless of the contours of our individual life experiences, despair, to a lesser or greater degree, brings us all to education. And education, in the deepest sense of the word, isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t preparation for life, but, rather, is life itself. Of course, education comes in variety of forms, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m convinced that whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s special and particularly effective about TRUSTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conception of learning is the implied recognition that growth is optional, not guaranteed. Change alone is eternal; growth, however, is intentional. The question, then, is not whether the world will change - we know it will - but whether we have chosen growth or decay, progression or oppression, emancipation or domestication? Education, therefore, is never neutral. Our relationships with one another and

with the world are always moving, always in flux, always subject to instability and, most importantly, always governed by a question of ethics. That is, what exactly does it mean to be human? To put it crudely: Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all gonna die some day, but what kind of person will we choose to be in the meantime, in the in-between time? To lead an ethical life means recognizing, in part, in the words of Elie Wiesel that â&#x20AC;&#x153;you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stand still on a moving train.â&#x20AC;? Orâ&#x20AC;Śas I like to say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t simply get swept away in the riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading to a waterfall.â&#x20AC;? If you wanna make it out alive - with your body, soul, your dignity - you gotta turn your boat around and start paddling like your life depends on it. Because, well, it does. The water represents life. TRUST provides you with the boat, the paddles and a compass to anticipate dangers but the choice to paddle is yours and yours alone. Thankfully, TRUST always encourages us to help one another paddle during the difficult moments. And in paddling together weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re called to recognize that for growth to be meaningful and enduring it must occur together in concert with others. And although we must begin within first, we should always remind ourselves that our humanity is bound up in the humanity of others, for we can only be human together. Pause on that for a second: we can only be human together. Sociological training. What is it? Well,

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letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first begin with sociology. Sociology initially emerged as an academic discipline in the 1930â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primarily in East Coast corporations such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. At its core, sociology was born of the desire to apply the analytic rigor of science to the human concerns of the social world. What exactly does this mean? Well, think of sociology as the bringing together of complex analytic thinking, human empathy, and empirical research. Therefore, in order to serve your communities as liberated and politicized human beings - as opposed to mere assets - you must be willing to squarely and unflinchingly challenge the social structures that produce what those in positions of power typically define as â&#x20AC;&#x153;criminal behavior.â&#x20AC;? You must be able to take simple answers like â&#x20AC;&#x153;you committed the crime, you do the time,â&#x20AC;? then translate them into complex questions like â&#x20AC;&#x153;what connection can we make between urban renewal and the criminalization of black bodies?â&#x20AC;?, and pose them to those in power â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mr. Schwarzenegger, Mr. Obama.â&#x20AC;? And you must be unwilling to accept oblique answers. As Malcolm X once said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let anyone stab you, pull the blade out halfway, and call that progress.â&#x20AC;? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not progress, my friends, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deception, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s denial. This type of ambiguity, in fact, speaks to the level of lethal denial emblematic of our entire culture of make believe. In fact, Huey P. Newton, cofounder of the Black Panther Party, once said that the 51st state of our country is none other than the state of denial. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re living through difficult times, dear friends, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m far from hopeless. As the saying goes, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I might be broke but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never be broken!â&#x20AC;? So why am I here? The answer is simple: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m here because youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re here. My humanity is bound up in yours because I believe that we can only be

human together. So as you graduate from the TRUST program today and enjoy the rest of the lovely festivities please remember that words like success, achievement, and accomplishment carry very little weight unless theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re harnessed to the ideals of growth, love, justice, and community. Growing can be painful, but no one ever said that the road to progress is straight. Surround yourself with those who sustain you and challenge you. For I have long believed that we find comfort in those with whom we agree, but growth in the presence of those with whom we do not. Growth, though messy, is worthwhile and as Frederick Douglass once said â&#x20AC;&#x153;there is no progress without struggle, there never has been and there never will be.â&#x20AC;? Learn from one another, grow with one another, and take care of one another. For if we take care of ourselves, one another, and our communities, well, then, of course, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be taking care of the world.



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Entertainment Auditions To Be Held for Rotary Talent Contests in Stafford STAFFORD - The Stafford Rotary club is holding auditions for two upcoming community events: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Battle of the Bandsâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Staffordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Got Talent.â&#x20AC;? The auditions will take place at Stafford High School on Wednesday, Feb. 2, and Thursday, Feb. 3, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. They are open to any act of any age from Stafford and surrounding towns. The entry fee to audition is $25 per act. There

will be cash prizes up to $500 awarded the night of the competitions. To register for the audition or for any questions please contact Ilene at 860-508-9757 or Kim at 860-851-9419. The actual events will take place on the weekend of Feb. 25-26 at Stafford High at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $8 per event or $15 for both events. Tickets will be available at the door.

Fifth Annual Wine & Ale Tasting March 12 ENFIELD- The fifth annual Wine Tasting fundraising event sponsored by the Arc of Greater Enfield will be held on Saturday, March 12, from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. at the Elks Club, located on North Maple Street in Enfield. Tickets are $30 per person. Tickets may be purchased at the Arc office, 75 Hazard Ave., Enfield, or at the Somersville Gift Shop, 111 Main St., Somers. Along with the unique wines and ale tasting, the evening will also feature a light fare, raffle prizes and music. The Arc of Greater Enfield provides

programs and services to more than 150 children and adults with intellectual and related disabilities. This includes yearround after-school work/social and recreational group activities as well as Camp Shriver, a six-week summer day program for ages 4-22. The proceeds from this fundraiser are directly used to benefit those special campers at Camp Shriver. For more information, call the Arc office at 860-7635411. Please buy your tickets early. Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event was sold out.


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February 2011 North Central News




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Somers Bottle Collectors Invited to Show and Sale SOMERS - Bring in your old bottles for a free appraisal to the Somers Antique Bottle Club Show and Sale Sunday, Feb. 27, at St. Bernard School on Pearl Street in Enfield. New England collectors will display and sell antique bottles, pottery, insulators and advertising items such as boxes, tinware and ephemera. The National Bottle Museum from Ballston Spa, N.Y., will provide information on educational classes for artistic glassblowing. Connecticut Glasshouses were one of the earliest industries in our countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history. You will see bottles that relate to businesses and their products as well as historic figures many bottles were made to commemorate. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $2. Children 12 and under are free. Call 860-745-7688 for more information.

Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Anything Chocolateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Bake Sale SOMERS - The Somers Congregational Church will be having its 18th annual â&#x20AC;&#x153;Anything Chocolateâ&#x20AC;? baked and home made goodies sale on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sale offers your 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. From 9 a.m. to noon, the church serves light and fluffy plain pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes or cranberry pancakes. Join them for a sweet morning out and bring

C OMMUNITY N EWS family and friends. The church is handicapped accessible.

Early Start Preschool Seeks Peer Role Models SOMERS - The Somers Early Start Preschool has openings for peer role models for the 2011-12 school year. If your child will be between the ages of 3 years, 2 months and 4 years, 8 months by Sept. 1, 2011, and you are interested in having your child considered as a role model, contact the Office of Pupil Services at 860749-2270, ext. 2052, no later than Monday, Feb. 14. In order for children to be considered as role models for our integrated preschool program, they must participate in our screening on Friday, Feb. 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the Somers Elementary School. There is a monthly tuition and parents must provide transportation. If you have concerns about your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth and development, you are also encouraged to contact us at the same telephone number.

SOMERS - There will be an opportunity for local Somers artists to display their framed artwork in the lobby of the Somers Town Hall. The artwork will be on display for three months at a time and then another group of paintings will be hung. The display will be maintained by the Somers Cultural Commission. Any artist wishing to exhibit may call 860-763-1833 for more info on times, sizes, etc.

MOMS Club of Somers Open House

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SOMERS - The MOMS Club of Somers is seeking new members. This is a wonderful opportunity for moms in Somers to get to know one another, share child care tips and participate in clubsponsored events such as weekly playgroups, special outings to area parks and attractions, and other activities based on

SOMERS - A Valentine Supper with baked stuffed shrimp, baked potato, mixed



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the interest of members (may include recipe swaps, walking groups, etc.) We welcome at-home mothers as well as mothers who either work part-time or from the home. The MOMS Club is hosting an open house on Tuesday, Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Somers Public library. There will also be a nutritionist there to talk to us and answer questions. Check us out at or feel free to email


Local Artists Can Display at Town Hall

vegetables, tossed salad, homemade breads/rolls, beverage and dessert will be served at the Congregational Church of Somersville, 22 Maple St., on Saturday, Feb. 12. Two sittings are offered: 5 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 860-749-7741 or e-mailing Cost is $15 for adults, $8 for children. The church is handicap accessible. Takeout dinners can be picked up between 5:30 p.m.-6 p.m. or 6:45 p.m.7 p.m.

Preschool Open House SOMERS - The Somers Cooperative Preschool is hosting an Open House on Feb. 8 from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for returning members, and from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for new members. Snow date is Feb. 10.

Casey Ray Earns Champlain Honors BURLINGTON, VT - Casey Ray, a resident of Somers, has been named to the Fall 2010 Champlain Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Deanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s List for academic achievements. Ray is majoring in Game Programming. Students named to the Deanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s List are full-time students with a semester grade-point average of 3.5 or more. Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s List honors are for a grade-point average of 4.0. Ray is the son of Karen and Whitman Ray of Somers.

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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48 South Road, Somers, CT 06071 22 North Central News February 2011



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Somers Gasek To Sing In Liturgical Choir SOMERS - Miles Gasek, son of Bernadette and David Gasek of Somers, is among the 38 members of the Saint Michael's College Liturgical Choir who will sing in schools and churches in Braintree, Milton, Weymouth and Dedham, Mass., Feb. 4-6. The group of singers and instrumentalists will be accompanied by the Rev. Brian Cummings, SSE, Saint Michael's director of Edmundite Campus Ministry, who will preside and preach at the Masses to be celebrated. Choir Director Jerome Monachino, Saint Michael's associate director of Edmundite Campus Ministry for Liturgical Music, will lead the choir. The group is traveling from Saint Michael's College, a liberal arts residential Catholic college located in the Burlington area of Vermont. Gasek, a junior music and English double major, graduated from East Catholic High School before coming to Saint Michael's. The choir including Saint Michael's students and alumni, will follow this schedule: â&#x20AC;˘ 9 a.m. Mass on Friday, Feb. 4 at: Archbishop Williams High School

C OMMUNITY N EWS 80 Independence Avenue Braintree, MA 02184 â&#x20AC;˘ 1 p.m. Mass on Friday, Feb. 4 at: Fontbonne Academy 930 Brook Road Milton, MA 02186 (617) 696-3241 â&#x20AC;˘ 4 p.m. Mass on Saturday, Feb. 5 at: Sacred Heart Church 55 Commercial Street Weymouth, MA 02188 (781) 337-6333 â&#x20AC;˘ Two Masses: 9 a.m. & 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6 at: St. Mary's Church 420 High Street Dedham, MA 02026 (781) 326-0551 Music at Mass The Saint Michael's Liturgical Choir and Ensemble performs in its own eclectic and popular musical style, using a combination of African, Brazilian, and American Swing flavors to compliment traditional hymn singing. Guided by their mission of inspiring sung prayer, they perform with

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great enthusiasm. The group was one of the select few choirs invited to perform for Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day in Denver, Colo., in the 1990s.

Town Goes Green With First Solar Panels SOMERS - The Town of Somers has its first fully operational 'Solar Panel Plant' at the Somers Fire House. Solar panels will provide an alternative source of power, which in turn, will reduce the total electric power consumption by that facility. Somers is also investigating the installation, through Federal Grants, solar panels at the school complex and public works building. The link below will connect you to a live feed being sent from the monitoring system at the Fire House showing the amount of power being generated from the panels.

Erica Siver Earns High Honors At UNH SOMERS - Erica Siver of Somers has earned High Honors for the fall semester of the 2010-2011 academic year at the University of New Hampshire. Students named to the Dean's List at the University of New Hamsphire have earned

recognition through their superior scholastic performance. Highest Honors are awarded to students who earn a semester grade point average of 3.7 or better out of a possible 4.0. Students with a 3.5 to 3.69 average are awarded high honors and students whose grade point average is 3.2 through 3.49 are awarded honors.

Lortie, Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neill, Tabb, Knightly Among AIC Deanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s List Students American International College in Springfield, Mass., has named 507 students to the Fall 2010 Dean's List. Dean's List students are full-time students, with a grade point average between 3.3 and 4.0 for the semester. The following students were among the AIC students recognized for academic achievement: â&#x20AC;˘ Travis Knightly of Stafford Springs. Knightly, a senior, is an Occupational Science Major (BSOS). â&#x20AC;˘ Sarah Lortie of Stafford. Lortie, a sophomore, is a Nursing Major (BSN). â&#x20AC;˘ Andrew O'Neill of Somers. O'Neill, a sophomore, is a Freshman Physical Therapy Major (BS). â&#x20AC;˘ Daniel Tabb of Somers. Tabb, a senior, is a Physical Therapy Major (BS). American International College in Springfield is a four-year, private, coeducational institution founded in 1885.

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Regional â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Labworksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Contest Lets Audiences Pick Favorite Play ENFIELD - The Valley Repertory Company is in rehearsal for its February production, The 2nd LabWorks 15-Minute New Play Contest, returning by popular demand following February 2010â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inaugural contest. This time around, audiences will choose a winning play from six comedies and another winner from six dramas. The authors of the winning plays will each receive a prize of $150. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 12 plays, chosen from over 170 submissions, are by playwrights from all over the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; New England, California, Chicago, Oklahoma, Georgia, Minnesota, New Jerseyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and one from Ontario, Canada, the contestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first semifinalist from outside the U.S. The majority of these plays will be having their world premiere on the Valley Rep stage. On Thursday, Feb. 17, audiences will choose two dramas and two comedies to advance to the contest finals. Thursday eveningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dramas are â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dupedâ&#x20AC;? by Marv Hall, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dark King Kills Unicorn â&#x20AC;&#x153;by Reina Hardy, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;To Crash (like waves crash)â&#x20AC;&#x153; by Christine J. Schmidt; the eveningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comedies are â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Laid Schemesâ&#x20AC;? by Courtney M. Brown, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Thong Snipperâ&#x20AC;? by Matt Hanf, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ameliaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Untimely Demiseâ&#x20AC;? by Michael R. McGuire. On Friday, Feb. 18, audiences will enjoy dramas â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mirror Touchâ&#x20AC;? by Michael Burgan, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Missed Connectionsâ&#x20AC;? by Brianne Hogan, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Reservations Cancelledâ&#x20AC;? by John Zygmunt; and comedies â&#x20AC;&#x153;Henryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Earâ&#x20AC;? by Richard Davis, Jr., â&#x20AC;&#x153;Uncle Arnie on Fire â&#x20AC;&#x153;by St. John Karp, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Cardâ&#x20AC;? by Michele Markarian, again selecting two of each

to advance to the final performance on Saturday, Feb. 19. Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finals audience will then vote to select two winning playwrights, one in the drama category and one in the comedy category. Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LabWorks 15-Minute New Play Contest featured an ensemble of 14 actors, 10 of whom have returned for the second contest, including three who are directing this time around. The acting ensemble also includes 4 more returning Valley Rep members and 8 actors who are new to the Valley Rep stage. Bruce Showalter, Becky Beth Benedict, and Paul DiProto are three of last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actors who are directing for the second contest. "Having acted in last year's LabWorks,â&#x20AC;? says Showalter, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was intrigued by the format. Being only 15 minutes each, the plays present a unique opportunity to really focus in on character development. As a director, it's an interesting challenge to help your actors bring their characters to life and make them believable in such a short span.â&#x20AC;? Becky Beth Benedict, who directed Valley Repâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s November hit Almost, Maine, says: "In directing three of the dramas in the contest, I am struck by the comedic moments in each ... the laughter serves as a great contrast to the heavier moments of each play. The actors and myself are having such a fantastic time creating the stage version of these playwrights' written words." Says DiProto, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Directing brand-new plays attracted me to this project. Having participated as an actor last year, I understood the challenge there would be in bringing these plays to life. The three I'm directing are comedies ranging from classic

comedy to absurdism to farce. Comedy is not easy, but I've been blessed with talented casts who are working very hard to tell the authors` stories.â&#x20AC;? Charles Schoenfeld, who appeared onstage at Valley Rep in November 2009â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Curious Savage,â&#x20AC;? rounds out the directing slate, and also served on the contestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s five-person play selection committee. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There's a special excitement that comes from bringing to life stories that have never been told before, by new or mostly undiscovered playwrights,â&#x20AC;? Schoenfeld says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That's what drew me so strongly to this event, over anything the other local theaters were doing this winter. I'm a decent writer myself, and I was brutally hard on many of the submissions during the play selection process. It was all in the hope of finding those few gems in the pile. And I believe we succeeded at that.â&#x20AC;? Elizabeth Reynolds costarred in last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winning play and returns this year in two comedies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was truly such a fun and rewarding experience last year, I had to audition again and was blessed and lucky enough to be chosen,â&#x20AC;? Reynolds says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am in awe of playwrights in general, but for someone to be able to capture unique characters and circumstances in 15 minutes, that is pretty amazing.â&#x20AC;? Karen Balaska has performed with The Suffield Players and is one of the contestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newcomers to The Valley Repertory Company. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Valley Rep was looking for volunteers to read original one-act plays for the competition,â&#x20AC;?

LABWORKS/page 25




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24 North Central News February 2011



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Somers A scene from contest finalist "An Actual Baby Person" by Washington playwright Barbara Lindsay, featuring Laura Wittenberg of Stafford Springs and Tim Carson of Enfield.

A Family Snow Affair


continued from page 24

From left, Brandon, Mike, Sara and Ryan make it a family affair on this trip down the hill at the Somers school complex after a recent snowstorm. Photo by Barbara Bresnahan

Balaska says. “I had heard how successful last year's maiden voyage was, so I jumped at the chance to be involved. The read was such an amazing and fun experience I decided to audition and hope for the best. I was happily cast and I've been having a really great time.” Performances are at 100 High St. in Enfield. Show dates are Feb. 17-19. Curtain is 8 p.m. These performances are likely to sell out, so advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended. Tickets are $10 per individual performance; a prepaid package for both Thursday and Friday night’s performances, allowing you to see all 12 plays, is just $15. The 2nd LabWorks 15-Minute New Play Contest contains adult language and situations. For tickets and further information, please call 860-749-4665, visit, or “Like” “The Valley Repertory Company” on Facebook.

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Stafford Snowstorms Having a Major Impact on the Townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Budget By Linda Tishler Levinson STAFFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The town is seeking federal funds to assist with the blizzard of costs associated with this winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s storms. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mostly, snow, snow and more snow weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re dealing with,â&#x20AC;? First Selectman Michael Krol said. State officials have asked Connecticut towns to compile a summary of their costs associated with the Jan. 11-13 storm. The state is applying to the Federal Emergency

Management Agency for disaster assistance. Krol said the town spent $42,000 on that storm out of its total snow-removal budget of the $72,000. It also spent $10,000 in overtime pay out of its $29,000 overtime budget. The highway department also is putting bigger wings on the snowplows so that it can push the snow further back, as the record-setting snowfalls make it harder to

Coffee House Features Three Talented Musicians STAFFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Stafford Arts Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Feb. 27 free Sunday night Coffee House evening will feature three talented musicians. Recently appointed as Staffordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resident Town Troubadour, popular musician Jim Bailey will be joined by Bruce John, whose Eagleville Band is well known to audiences in the Willimantic and Stafford area. Jim and Bruce have combined their musical talents many times before and their audience friendly compatibility, when on stage together, is apparent. They have intergenerational appeal with their instrumental expertise and country, blues, folk and rock and roll style. They will be followed by Kristen

Graves of Westport, who is returning again to Staffordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coffee House stage. A singer and songwriter, Kristenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original and heartfelt lyrics should again please her audience, combined with her vocal and instrumental musicianship and stage presence. The Coffee House is located at the Ben Muzio Town House (Old Town Hall), 221 East St. (Rt. 19) Stafford Springs, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Refreshments are available. Additional parking: Memorial Hall (Rt. 319) and the Town Garage (Rt. 19). Please consider donating a non-perishable food item for Stafford Family Services Food and Fuel Banks. For more information, call 860-6849500

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find places to put all the snow. In other business, the town has closed the upper part of Hampden Road for the winter. Gates have been installed to keep motor vehicle traffic off the street until things dry out in late spring. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not closed forever,â&#x20AC;? Krol said, adding that horses and hikers can go through the gates. The road was repaired recently thanks to one of the property owners allowing the town to use his gravel. The library board ordinance was sched-

uled for a Jan. 27 town meeting vote. The proposed ordinance would have allowed personnel changes to go through the Board of Selectmen. Since library employees are unionized, Krol said the town needs to have the selectmen involved in those personnel matters. In addition, a town meeting vote was scheduled for Jan. 27 on the political signs ordinance. The ordinance would ban campaigning at polling sites.

C OMMUNITY E VENTS Author Talks and Book Signings STAFFORD - Four area authors will present talks and book signings at the Stafford Library on the following Tuesday evenings at 7: Feb. 22, Bruce Dutton, local history, Several books about the history of Stafford. March 1, Jane Svejk, murder mystery, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bells, Books and Murderâ&#x20AC;? March 22, Angelica Fleury, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Miracle of a Hairy Woodpeckerâ&#x20AC;? March 29, William P. McDermott, local history, Stafford, Connecticut 1719-1870: From farm to factory

Family Comedy Evening STAFFORD - To help relieve the midwinter â&#x20AC;&#x153;blues,â&#x20AC;? Stafford Arts Commission is sponsoring a family Comedy Evening on Saturday, Feb. 5. Steve Diamond, actor, stand-up comedian and storyteller from Storrs, will host

the program. Diamond, who has performed at numerous local venues, including the Vanilla Bean and the University of Connecticut, will be joined on stage by Howie Mason and followed by Stafford resident, Rodney Norman and Kelly Morse, from Rhode Island. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students. The program will be held at Ben Muzio Town House (Old Town Hall), 221 East St. (Rt. 19) Stafford Springs, at 8 p.m. Additional parking is at the Town Garage (Rt. 19) and Memorial Hall (Rt. 319) For more information, call 860-6849500

Teen Video Contest STAFFORD - Create a short Public Service Announcement video promoting the summer reading theme â&#x20AC;&#x153;You Are Hereâ&#x20AC;? and you could win a prize. Teens across America will see your video and a winner will be selected for each state and CSRP affiliate. For more details, visit challengeoverview.html +2'

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Stafford New Website Showcases Community of Stafford Springs By Barbara Bresnahan STAFFORD - The residents of Stafford now have a new open forum to keep up to date on the goings-on of their close-knit community. Called, the site aims to show folks all the special attributes the town has to offer as well as provide information on upcoming events and news of all kinds. The idea was the brainchild of Chris Paradiso, a life-long resident of Stafford. “As marketing director for Paradiso Insurance, I have seen the positive results

that social media and internet marketing has had in the short time we’ve had our Website up, and I have witnessed the fans, subscribers and viewers take notice and share the information we are providing,” explained Kate Pisciotta. “As this progresses, we want to see everyone involved with this website as the one place you can go for all information to do with our great town, Stafford Springs.” “With this website, we are changing the outlook of the town, bringing people together and keeping everyone informed,” added Pisciotta, who is also the site’s web-

master and go-to person. “With our website, the goal is to have others share the information through all social media outlets, to spread the word of events, meetings and information important to the residents.” Since starting the site in January, several volunteers have joined the team, helping to add content to the site. Eventually, Paradiso, Pisciotta and Kurt Vail, another popular contributor to the site, plan to have “everything on there” - sports such as Stafford Little League, leisure activities in town for adults, art openings and events, a

Read Your Way Across the USA for Free Gift and Prizes STAFFORD - The Stafford Library is offering a Winter Reading Program for adults only. What better way to spend a cold, wintry evening than curled up snug under a warm afghan with a good book and a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Of course, the joy of reading is its own reward, but the program also offers a chance to win prizes. The program continues through Saturday, March 19. To Read Your Way Across the U.S.A., you’ll “visit” five different areas of the United States - the Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, and South—by reading a book from each area. Books can be

set in the region, the author can be from the region, or the region can be the subject of the book. For example, if you are a James Grippando fan, you might seek out his suspenseful books set in Miami, Fla., to cover the South; or read a Debbie Macomber book to cover the Northwest, because she lives in Washington state. Nonfiction books and audio books count, too. So, if you read a travel book about Arizona, that covers the Southwest. After reading five books representing the five regions of the United States, return the raffle entry form to the Stafford

Library to receive a free gift AND add your entry into our raffle prize drawings. After you finish five books, consider reading another five. You will receive a second free gift and again your entry will be entered into our drawings. Please stop in the library to pick up your winter reading packet. A map with the U.S.A. divided by region will be included along with how to find reading suggestions. Please call Ann Davis at the library at 860-684-2852 with any questions you may have.

business section, video promotions of home-based businesses, library events, a volunteer-of-the-month spotlight, photo galleries, human interest stories and more. “How many people know that Les Rollins’ kid caught in the All-Star Game? Only 24 kids in the country get to do that. And Neil Hoss’ kid too, but nobody knows that,” said Paradiso. Similarly, Paradiso noted, there are residents of town, along with businesses, with amazing histories. “We can spotlight the mills in Stafford. We are the cloth ‘god’ to Italy. Do people know that ‘Moose,’ Brian and Keith Hillebracht own the Twin Rinks in Enfield? And that a Stafford resident owns Star Athletics in Tolland? Or that guns were once made in Stafford Springs, and Bim (of Yellow Brick Road Antiques) owns one? Or that prisoner-of-war Darrell Stark has his own book?” Paradiso said. The future of is limitless. Already on the site, folks are blogging, several videos are downloaded, events are compiling, and excitement is building. To join or contribute to the new site, please visit them online at

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Stafford Souper Bowl Benefits Food & Fuel Banks

Pat, Agnes, Donna and Arlene were the eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kitchen crew, making plenty of soup to feed an army. The leftovers were brought to the soup kitchen in town.

Kevin Nevins and his daughter Sage arrive for the fundraiser.

Debbie Kmetz, Mick and guests entertained at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SAFF fundraiser.










28 North Central News February 2011



7:28 PM

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Social Service Director Karen Troiano, Selectman Dennis Hathaway, Office Manager Stephanie Irving and her daughter and First Selectman Mike Krol serve up soup for a good cause on Jan. 22 at the annual fundraiser, which earned $895 for the food and fuel banks in Stafford. Below, Jan Newsome serves a young guest, Nyah, at the Jan. 22 Souper Bowl fundraiser.

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Stafford Kaplan SAT Practice Tests Offered for Free STAFFORD - Are you planning to take the SAT this year? Representatives from Kaplan will be here in February and April to give practice tests. Take advantage of this free opportunity to prepare for the test and get some feedback from experienced tutors on how you can improve your scores.

Students Invited to Celebrate Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day at Church STAFFORD - Boys in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to bring their mom, aunt, grandmother, etc. to celebrate Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day at Stafford Springs Congregational Church on Feb. 5 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Cost is $15 per couple (with each extra child $6.) There will be candy for each couple. The event is sponsored by the Stafford Junior Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club.

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The first practice SAT test will be on Saturday, Feb. 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students who take this practice test are invited to come back for a Score Give Back Session on Thursday, Feb. 24, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Students will find out their

Softball and Baseball Signups Scheduled STAFFORD - Stafford Little League Fastpitch Softball and Baseball signups will be held Friday, Feb. 11, at the Senior Center from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 12, West Stafford, Stafford Elementary, and Stafford Middle, 10 a.m. to noon; Friday, Feb. 18, Senior Center, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 19, West Stafford, Stafford Elementary, and Stafford Middle, 10 a.m. to noon. You may also register by going online by visiting and clicking the registration button.

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scores and get some feedback from tutors on how they can improve. Parents are encouraged to attend the Score Give Back Session with students. The second practice SAT test will be on Saturday, April 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Score Give Back Session for this practice test will be Thursday, April 14 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Again, parents are encouraged to attend the Score Give Back Session with students. Students are encouraged to attend one or both of these practice tests. Tutors from Kaplan will analyze your scores during the Score Give Back Sessions and will give valuable tips on how to get a higher score on the SAT. Register early to make sure you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get left out. You can register online at or call 860-6842852.

SafeNet Ministries Food Distribution

Happenings at Stafford Library STAFFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The following programs will take place at the Stafford Public Library in February. Feb. 7 - Snowman Craft at 6 p.m.: All ages are invited to create a snowman with assorted materials. Feb. 11 - Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day Card Workshop at 3:30 p.m.: make beautiful cards for your loved ones. Feb. 15 - Byki Demo at 6 p.m. (adult program) Feb. 18 - Game Time at 2 p.m.: Come play a board game or Wii. We even have a Presidents game. Feb. 19 - Kaplan SAT Practice Test at 11 a.m. Feb. 22 - Teen Craft at 4 p.m.: Feb. 22 - Author Bruce Dutton at 7 p.m. (adult program) Feb. 24 - Kaplan SAT Practice Test Score Give Back Session at 6 p.m.

Open Mike Night

STAFFORD - The Safe Net Ministries Food Cupboard will be open Saturday, Feb. 12 and Feb. 26. The hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a supplemental food program. Please notice our new address: 86 Main St., Stafford Springs. Call 860-851-9987 with any questions regarding eligibility of you, friends, or other family members. To register and participate you need to bring a photo ID. During our first year of operation, we have registered 333 families, and distributed over 90,000 pounds of food. Through the efforts of a fabulous volunteer team effort, we have grown tremendously and are ranked as one of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Top Performingâ&#x20AC;? food cupboards serviced by Food Share.

STAFFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Stafford Arts Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next Open Mike Night will be on Thursday, Feb. 17, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ben Muzio Town House (Old Town Hall), 221 East St., (Rt. 19) Stafford Springs. Sign-up begins at 6:45 p.m. Host Jim Bailey invites musicians, singers or spoken word performers to present their work to an appreciative audience every third Thursday of the month, through April 2011. Admission is free for both performers and audience. Refreshments are available. For more information, call 860-5976326.

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%XFNOH\+LJKZD\5RXWH6WDIIRUG6SULQJV&7 Â&#x160;¨Â&#x201C;Â?Â&#x153;ÂĄÂ?Â&#x160;ÂŁÂ&#x2013;­á&#x20AC;&#x2018;á&#x20AC;&#x201D;á&#x20AC;&#x201D;á&#x20AC;&#x201D;á&#x20AC;&#x2018;ÂĄÂĽÂ&#x2019;Â&#x153;Â?Â&#x17D;Â?Â&#x201C;Â&#x152;ÂŚÂĄÂ&#x2018;Â&#x17D;ÂĄÂŽá&#x20AC;&#x2018;Â&#x;ÂŚÂ&#x201C;Â&#x161;Â&#x17D;á&#x20AC;&#x2018;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Â?Â&#x160;Â&#x161;Â&#x201C;Â&#x153;Â&#x161;Â&#x161;Â&#x201C;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x160;Â&#x2014; Â&#x2014;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201C;ÂŁÂ&#x153;Â&#x161; Â&#x160;ÂĄÂ?Â&#x161;Â&#x17D;ÂĄá&#x20AC;&#x2018;á&#x20AC;&#x201D;á&#x20AC;&#x201D;á&#x20AC;&#x201D;á&#x20AC;&#x2018;ÂŚÂĄÂ&#x2018;Â&#x17D;ÂĄÂŽá&#x20AC;&#x2018;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Â?Â&#x160;Â&#x161;Â&#x201C;Â&#x153;Â&#x161;Â&#x161;Â&#x201C;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x160;Â&#x2014;á&#x20AC;&#x2018;Â&#x153;¨Â&#x201C;Â&#x161;Â&#x17D;á&#x20AC;&#x2018;Â&#x;ÂŚÂ&#x201C;Â&#x161;Â&#x17D;



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Stafford New Governance, Organizational Structure For Johnson Memorial STAFFORD SPRINGS/ENFIELD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Members of the Johnson Memorial Medical Center (JMMC) Board unanimously accepted a new organizational and governance structure during its annual meeting on Jan. 17. This approval follows JMMCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s emergence from bankruptcy on Oct. 1, 2010. The meeting was the first of its kind since the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s emergence from bankruptcy, name change, and appointment of a permanent chief executive officer. JMMCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new organizational structure includes three entities: Johnson Memorial Hospital, Evergreen Health Care Center (EHCC) and Home & Community Health Services (H&CHS). EHCC is a skilled nursing facility that provides long-term care, short-term rehabilitation and recov-

ery, and care for those with Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disease and similar forms of dementia. H&CHS is a home health and hospice agency. The functions of JMMCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s additional entities have been absorbed into the hospital and Johnson Professional Associates (JPA), which is controlled but not owned by JMMC. JPA is a group of highly skilled physicians and midlevel providers. The organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new governance structure includes a single Board of Directors, which replaced the previous five Boards. In accordance with the newly accepted Bylaws, the Board of Directors consists of nine to 13 members with term limits. Current members include Gary J. Roman, Patrick Mahon, James M. Makuch, Evelyne A. Parizek,


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James A. Baum, Richard P. Dobson, Sr., John T. Larabee, Joan C. Smith, and John Patton, who was newly appointed. Each board member was appointed for one to three years, enabling an orderly turnover and the recruitment of new directors. Up to 25 percent of the Board of Directors will be filled by physicians, who are currently being recruited by the Governance and Nominating Committee. The Board of Directors will select a group of 30 to 60 Members who represent the communities JMMC serves. Members have significant authority, such as approving the selection of the auditor and electing the Board of Directors. In addition, the board will recruit community members to serve on Advisory Councils, which will represent the neighborhoods in JMMCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s service area and advise on pre- and post-acute care services. Each Advisory Council will provide insight into the health care needs of those living in each community, assessing the appropriateness, quality and responsiveness of JMMC in meeting

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Auto Subaru WRX STI a Snarling, Refined Super Sports Car The motoring gods and Mother Nature in the snow because I understand its capaworked in concert to deliver me the Subaru bilities (ably demonstrated on a mud track WRX STI right before the gullywhomper by a rally driver in Colorado). It’s not for of a storm that would dump 24 inches of the inexperienced driver, a class that snow on my driveway. After more than includes some folks in their 40s – so I’m four hours clearing a driveway that nor- not just targeting teenagers. Invest in a permally takes an hour to clean, I was ready formance driving school if you’re going to to take the STI out into its element – and it buy the STI. You’ll enjoy the car a lot more when you understand its full capabildidn’t disappoint. This year’s version of the Subaru WRX ities. Subaru has also introduced an improved STI is wider and lower this year for noticeably better handling, which is important at WRX, the somewhat tamer sibling of the Impreza WRX STI. Somewhat the 158-mph top speed the tamer is a relative term because high-boost 305-hp turit features a 265-hp turbocharged/intercooled Boxer bocharged/intercooled 2.5-liter engine teamed with a 6-speed Boxer engine teamed with a 5manual transmission is capaspeed manual transmission that ble of. But it’s also key when BEHIND produces 244 lb.-ft. of peak traversing snowy corners. The The Wheel torque at 4,000 rpm. Even at STI just kept itself planted altitudes of 12,000 feet at and firmly in control. Independence Pass it delivered Of course, all of the snow spirited performance. on the ground and the cold KEITH GRIFFIN Acceleration came quickly temperatures just wreaked havoc with the STI’s fuel economy. It hov- with no turbo lag. There’s no doubt this is a car built for ered in the 14 mpg range most of the time except for one 240-mile roundtrip to speed but there is also a sense of refineMiddleboro, Mass., where it edged up to ment to it because of the Subaru Intelligent 18 mpg. OK, so I’m blaming the snow, but Drive technology that is only found on the I was also partly to blame. I enjoyed feath- WRX STI. The driver selects among three ering the accelerator so I could hear the modes: intelligent with a more relaxed throttle response; sport, which as expectdistinctive turbo whine. Safety features abound in the STI. It has ed, delivers quicker throttle response, and both stability and traction control that are sport sharp that tweaks the engine's elecoperated through a multi-mode vehicle tronic throttle mapping for even faster dynamics control that can entirely turn off throttle response. As odd as it sounds, Subaru has transboth controls (but you don't dare with the STI – especially in snowy weather). Other formed the WRX STI into a daily comstandard safety features include brake muter through interior refinements. As one assist, 3-point seatbelts for all seating posi- Subaru exec joked, it's no longer just a toy tions, advanced frontal airbag system, for boy racers. It has a leather-wrapped tilt side-curtain airbags, front seat side-impact and telescoping steering wheel that feaairbags, front seatbelt pre-tensioners and tures control switches for Bluetooth force limiters and headrests for all three hands-free phone function. You can also rear seat positions and safety pedal system. get leather seats and a sunroof. That's One point I need to emphasize is the something previous generation owners WRX STI is a powerful vehicle. I liked it didn't care about.

Subaru even points out that thanks to compact layout of the double-wishbone rear suspension that helps minimize intrusion into the cargo area (or trunk as we mere mortals call it), the four-door version of the WRX STI can hold three professional size golf bags. What is this world coming to? Golf clubs and the STI mentioned in the same sentence outside of a police report about a road rage incident? The standard WRX is so powerful and so refined that it almost begs the question, why bother with the STI? If it's raw power with strong rally driving capabilities you crave and a wing that telegraphs your passions, the STI is going to be your beast. If you are sated by discrete power that's announced only by vehicle badging - and you have no desire to throw your sedan through mud and gravel, the WRX is going to be your preference. (For the latest new car news, follow me on Twitter at aboutusedcars. You can also

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Individual Taxes Business Taxes IRS Representation Accounting & Auditing Bookkeeping Payroll February 2011 North Central News




36 North Central News February 2011

7:28 PM

Page 36

February North Central News  

North Central News

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