January2015NCN_NCN new template 12/30/14 2:32 PM Page 1
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In This Issue
â€˘ REGIONAL: Local efforts to save historical buildings .............. ............p. 3 â€˘ EAST WINDSOR: Selectmen oppose acquiring property ........................p. 4 â€˘ ELLINGTON: Charter revision commission will consider changes .............p. 8 â€˘ ENFIELD: Town steps up to help victims of fatal fire .........................p. 11 â€˘ SOMERS: Property revaluation will be delayed for a year .......................p. 14 â€˘ STAFFORD: Utility expansion project will proceed ................................p. 23 â€˘ CLASSIFIED ADS.........................p. 24 â€˘ SUFFIELD: New interim superintendent of schools named ..................p. 27
â€˘ NEXTâ€ˆISSUE â€˘ DEADLINE: Jan. 27, 2015 (860) 698-0020
Raising â€˜Doughâ€™ For A Great Cause
Thanks to a generous donation of apples from Johnny Appleseed Farm, students and parents from Enfield Montessori School provided 16 catering-size trays of apple pie and apple crisp to Enfield Loaves and Fishes and the Springfield Rescue Mission. The apple donation also allowed each of the 125 students at Enfield Montessori to make his or her own individual-sized pie.
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January2015NCN_NCN new template 12/30/14 2:32 PM Page 2
State Soccer Champions
The Somers High soccer team is the Class S 2014 state co-champion. The Spartans tied East Hampton in the championship game, 0-0, on Nov. 15. Somers’ overall season record was 15-2-3. Corey Brown and Nick Murdza were named to the Class S All-State team.
2 North Central News January 2015
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January2015NCN_NCN new template 12/30/14 2:32 PM Page 3
Struggling to Preserve Local Landmarks
By Linda Tishler Levinson
Phone: : FAX
North Central Connecticut communities are known for their small-town character and particularly for their historic buildings. But keeping those historic structures is a constant challenge, as they require expensive upkeep and owners who have the means and desire to maintain them. Projects currently under way in Stafford, Somers, Suffield and Windsor Locks show the challenges and possibilities those interested in these historic properties face. Save the Maple Grove A group of Stafford residents has formed the Save the Maple Grove organization in response to a proposal to build a Dollar General store in the old Maple Grove building at 111 West Main St., Stafford, the current Stafford Tavern site. Listed as one of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation’s Most Important Threatened Places in 2005, Maple Grove is being targeted by Dollar General for demolition or removal from
Projects Currently Under Way in Somers, Stafford, Suff ield and Windsor Locks
the site by May in order for the sale from current owner David Bacchiochi, of Stafford, to be completed. Parley Converse, a farmer and founding father of Stafford’s woolen mills, built the house in 1816, and his daughter and her husband extensively remodeled it in about 1870. The house was a restaurant from the 1930s until 1999, according to Save the Maple Grove. Now the Stafford Tavern building, it was formerly the Maple Grove Inn and Chez Pierre. “It’s one of the most historically significant privately owned properties in our town,” Ed Bareiss of Save the Maple Grove said. “Not only is it one of the single most recognizable landmark commercial enterprises that’s existed in town for the last 80-plus years, but when it was built in 1816, the owner was the founder of all modern-day commercial and industrial business, plus he built banks, churches, brought stagecoach
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travel, served as a notable government leader, was a military captain.” The group has met with Bacchiochi in an attempt to find another solution for the property, which they say he is being forced to sell since it is worth less than he owes on its mortgage. The are working to find a way to save it at its current location or find a way to move it. “Personally we believe the right place for this house is the spot in which it has stood for 200 years,” Bareiss said. He added the group has been told the property itself will be more valuable without the building. Bareiss disagrees. “If you think about the value five years from now, if the site contains an empty 200-plus-year-old historic landmark vs. a four-year-old empty sheet metal dollar store.” Stafford First Selectman Richard Shuck said the group has approached the town about moving the building, but the town does not have the funds to do so. He added it is unlikely the Maple Grove would qualify for federal historic preservation grant funding. Shuck said he feels the town needs a historic preservation commission, but that this is a private transaction. Neither Bacchiochi nor representatives of Dollar General could be reached for comment. Somers Inn The Somers Inn in Somers has new ownership. It was recently purchased by Jeannette Norman and her husband, Louis Masaschi, owners of Backyard Bar and Grille in Enfield and West Springfield. Norman said the inn will reopen as a restaurant in early 2015 and is currently being renovated. The couple has not yet announced the eatery’s new name. “It’s a very unique building,” she said, adding that it definitely needed some updating. Built in 1768, the Somers Inn began as a hotel and restaurant in 1804 as the Kibbe Hotel. Windsor Locks Train Station The Town of Windsor Locks has purchased the Windsor Locks Train Station from Amtrak for $1, according to economic development con-
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Selectmen Oppose Owning West River Farms Property
East Windsor By Linda Tishler Levinson
EAST WINDSOR – The majority of town selectmen do not think the town would benefit from owning West River Farms. At the Dec. 2 Board of Selectmen meeting, members heard a presentation by Jay Ussery of JR Russo on the town acquiring the property, according to the minutes of the meeting. He said the developer would install an access road to the property, part of which is located in South Windsor, prior to East Windsor potentially own-
ing the land. Ussery said the assessed value of the land would be $4,000 to $5,000 per acre, for a total value of $100,000. First Selectman Denise Menard said she felt the town would be able to access the property whether it was owned by East Windsor, South Windsor or the state. The selectmen were split in their views on owning the property, with Steve Dearborn and James Richards in favor and Menard, Jason Bowsza and Dale Nelson
saying owning the land would not be an advantage for the town. In other business, the selectmen are asking the Economic Development Commission to more specifically define the work that panel wants done by an economic development consultant. The EDC has budgeted $10,000 for the consultant. The selectmen also asked that the consultant’s top five recommendations come to the selectmen for consideration.
East Windsor Senior Center Offers Winter Classes and Programs EAST WINDSOR – The East Windsor Senior Center is located at 125 Main St., Broad Brook, above the Broad Brook Fire Department. To sign up for the following programs, please call 860292-8262. SHOPPING Shopping at Big Y or Walmart, East Windsor, every Monday 9 a.m.-11 a.m. EXCEPT Jan. 19 – MLK Day Grocery shopping at Geissler’s, East Windsor, every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Mobile Food Share at St. Catherine’s Parking Lot – Friday, Jan. 16 and Jan. 30 from 1:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m. FITNESS/ HEALTH Wii Bowling, every Monday at 12:30 p.m. EXCEPT Jan. 19 – MLK Day Chair Yoga, every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.
Wii Zumba, every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. Fitness Class for those 60 and older, every Thursday from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.: $5 per class. No class on Jan. 22 (monthly birthday social). Free blood pressure and sugar screening Thursday, Jan. 8 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Foot care is offered on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. There is a $29 charge for foot care. Call for appointment. ART Art with Tex every Monday at 12:30 p.m. except Jan. 19 – MLK Day JEWELRY MAKING Jewelry making with Janice, every other Friday at 10:30 a.m., January dates: Jan. 16 and Jan. 30: $10 payable directly to Janice.
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4 North Central News January 2015
Located in Windsor Locks, CT. we have an immediate opening for a Manufacturing Equipment Mechanic. The ideal candidate will have 5+ years working as a construction equipment mechanic and/or manufacturing equipment mechanic. CDL/B license desired. Responsibilities Include: • Maintenance & Repair on small manufacturing & construction equipment • Plant facility & vehicle fleet maintenance. • Grounds maintenance (snow removal, etc.) • Other maintenance duties as deemed necessary by management The work week is Tuesday-Saturday, first shift and as needed for emergencies. The position pays a highly competitive hourly wage based upon candidates experience & skills. Interested candidates should email a letter expressing their interest or a copy of their resume to email@example.com. We will send back an application for any prospective candidates to compete & return. Please no phone calls.
Wii Bowling Tournament vs. Bloomfield at Bloomfield, Thursday, Jan. 29 at 12:30 p.m. EVENTS AND PROGRAMS at the EW Senior Center Game Day with Kristen, Tuesday, Jan. 6 from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. One-on-One Law Sessions, 2nd Tuesday of the month, January date: Jan. 13, 12:30 p.m. Please call for an appointment. Tea Time with Kristen, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. In-House Bingo, Thursday, Jan. 8, from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. Focus Group, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Discussion subject for this month will be “What’s New with Dial-
BOOK CLUB Book discussion is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 26, at 10:30 a.m. Book Selection: “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot IN-HOUSE MOVIE “Julie & Julia,” Friday, Jan. 23, 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. MONTHLY SOCIAL The monthly social will be on Thursday, Jan. 22, at 12:30 p.m. Featured entertainment will be: Graham’s Cocktail Jazz Trio. TRIPS Warehouse Point Library, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. CT Science Center, Friday, Jan. 9, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: $14 per person East Windsor Historical Society, Monday, Jan. 26, time TBA - Free
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East Windsor Visions of Sugar Plums Danced in Their Heads
The Warehouse Point library was filled with children creating gingerbread houses on Dec. 6. Children ages 5-10 attended the library’s annual event.
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East Windsor Parks and Recs January Winter Programs
EAST WINDSOR - The following programs are being offered by the East Windsor Parks and Recreation Department. WINTER YOGA: Classes will be held at the East Windsor High School in room D-4 from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. MONDAY classes will be held Jan. 5 to March 9 with no class on Jan. 19 and Feb. 16. WEDNESDAY classes will be held Jan. 7 to Feb. 25. The cost of this
program is: Residents $30 one-time fee, one day a week; $45 one-time fee, two days a week; Non-Residents $35 onetime fee, one day a week; $50 one-time fee, two days a week. Registration is through the Parks and Recreation Office or online with our Webster Bank Payment link. Please call 860-627-6662 with any questions. PERFORMING ARTS ACTING
CLASSES: The East Windsor Parks and Recreation Department along with Performing Arts Programs will be offering seven weeks of Acting Classes. Classes will be held once a week on Thursdays, Feb. 5-March 19 for students in grades K-4 from 4 p.m. to 4:55 p.m. at the Broad Brook Elementary School. The cost for this program is $95. Please contact the East Windsor Parks & Recreation Department at 860-627-
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person SAVE THE DATE Tuesday, Feb. 3, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Trinity on Main-Valentine’s Day Dinner and Show, price per person to be determined Wednesday, Feb. 4, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. CRRA Trash Museum with Lunch afterward, $2 per person, lunch on your own. Lunch at Hibachi Grill, West
Hartford, Thursday, Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m.1:30 p.m., lunch on your own Friday, Feb. 20, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. 34th annual Flower & Garden Show 2015, Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Cost: $14 per person by Jan. 30. Tuesday, Feb. 24, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Air Museum and Lunch at Stir the Pot, $10 per person The East Windsor Senior Center will be closed Monday, Jan. 19, for Martin Luther King Day.
Senior Center Activities Include Upcoming Trips
13, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. In-House Bingo, Thursday, Jan. 8, from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. Focus Group, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Discussion subject for this month will be “What’s New with DialA-Ride”. Food for Thought, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Laughter Yoga, Friday, Jan. 30, 10:30 a.m. Cost for this yoga class is $5 per
6662 for more information and a registration form.
January 2015 Holiday Tree Collection
EAST WINDSOR – Holiday tree collection will be held one week only: Monday, Jan. 12 through Friday, Jan. 18, 2015. Instructions: (1) Remove all holiday decorations (including garland) (2) Bring tree to curbside by 6 a.m. on your regular scheduled trash pickup day (3) with stump end of tree facing road (2 to 3 feet in from road) Alternative: If you miss this collection and still need assistance, please call GreenCycle at 860-871-7442. Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon. GreenCycle location: 235 Sadds Mill Road, Ellington. Note: All American Waste (contact no.: 860-289-7850) will pick up the trees, not in the garbage truck, but in an alternate truck.
6 North Central News January 2015
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Senior Center Presents Performance by East Chicago Joe
Comfort for the Homebound
Cut Ups Carving Club, which meets weekly at the Ellington Senior Center, made 24 “comfort birds” and donated them to the Ellington Human Services Department to distribute to the homebound for the holidays. Pictured, left to right are: Phil Buckley, Larry Wood, Al Lewandowsky, Anna Turner, MSW, outreach worker, Ed Ertel, Randy Russo, Wess Harnois, Bill Buss, Ed Hoffman.
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EAST WINDSOR - On Monday, Jan. 26, join the Ellington Senior Center for an amazing show as it kicks off its entertainment calendar in welcoming Joe Cadena, a.k.a. “East Chicago Joe.” Cadena has played extensively over 45 years in show bands, entertaining on the Las Vegas strip, Los Angeles, Atlantic City and resorts across the U.S. and Canada. His repertoire includes the musical stylings of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and the Great American Song Book. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door and include light refreshments. For a list of programs and upcoming trips, check out our newsletter, “The Maple Street Monthly.” Copies are available at the Ellington Senior Center at 40 Maple St. and online at www.seniorcenter.ellington-ct.gov. Stop in for a visit or give us a call at 860-870-3133.
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Charter Revision Commission Will Look at Major Changes
By Linda Tishler Levinson
ELLINGTON – The town has a new Charter Revision Commission. The Board of Selectmen voted Dec. 15 to create the charter review panel, First Selectman Maurice Blanchette said. The selectmen voted to appoint John Daigle Jr., Bruce Fader, Robert Harvey, Mark Joyse, Ellen O’Shaughnessy, Dale Roberson and Michael Stupinski to the panel. Beyond minor adjustments in language or other small changes, Blanchette said the panel would be asked to consider the town’s system of government. Specifically, it will be
asked to consider changing to a town manager or town administrator type of government. The panel also may consider anything in the town charter that it feels should be altered, according to state statute. Any changes proposed by the panel ultimately must win approval at a Town Meeting. At a Special Town Meeting on Dec. 15, residents voted to approve accepting and spending a number of grants. They include a $5,000 State Library Historic Document Preservation Grant for the Town Clerk’s Office, a $5,000 State Library Services and Technology Act
Book Club Will Discuss Cervical Cancer
EAST WINDSOR - The Book Club, 100 Main St., Broad Brook, will be hosting a book discussion at the East Windsor Senior Center on Monday, Jan. 26, at 10:30 a.m. The book selection to read is “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is a non-fiction book about
Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cell line, known as HeLa, that came from her cervical cancer cells in 1951. The book is notable for its science writing and dealing with ethical issues of race and class in medical research. Please call the East Windsor Senior Center at 860-292-8262 to sign up or just stop in.
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ELLINGTON – The Ellington Senior Center will offer two programs on balance and tax assistance in the coming weeks. How’s Your Balance? On Jan. 29 join the Ellington Senior Center for Visiting Nurse and Health Services of CT Seminar: “How’s Your Balance?” presented by Sandee Wood, RN. AARP Tax Aide Tax Aide will be offered on Thursdays from Feb. 5-April 9 at the Ellington Senior Center, 40 Maple St. Trained volunteers will complete federal
and state income tax returns at no charge for those 60 and older. This program is offered through AARP. Call the Ellington Senior Center at 860-8703133 for an appointment time between the hours of 9 a.m.-noon. Preference is given to Ellington residents. For a list of programs and upcoming trips, check out our newsletter “The Maple Street Monthly.” Copies are available at the Ellington Senior Center, located at 40 Maple St., and online at www.seniorcenter.ellington-ct.gov. Stop in for a visit or give the center a call at 860-870-3133.
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Local Distillery Introduces New Rum
ELLINGTON - Co-owner Rich Gummoe of Connecticut Valley Distillery, LLC of Ellington is releasing Smuggler’s Rum, the first only silver style rum produced in Connecticut. The recipe formulation of hand-crafted, small batch rum has been in development for over two years and is styled on the rums of colonial times. The product is made in small batches and is now available locally in the Tolland and Hartford counties. Silver rum is great for sipping straight up or on the rocks and is perfect for mixing in holiday drinks such as traditional eggnog and Coquito, the Puerto Rican style eggnog made with coconut milk.
“This colonial New England style of rum took us by surprise in the way that it proved the performance of our production process and ability of the distiller/blender. We assumed that our rum would require barrel aging before it could meet the the standards of a premium craft rum. Instead we were able to produce an unbelievably smooth silver rum that goes great with any cocktail,” Gummoe says. The distillery’s website or Facebook can be referenced for a listing of retailers. The list is often revised to reflect that retailers are currently stocking the rum. Visit www.ctvalleydistillery.com for more information.
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Newly Elected Vail Assigned to Legislative Committees
HARTFORD — Incoming State Rep. Kurt Vail (R-52) received his committee assignments this week, allowing the freshman lawmaker to take his professional experience and knowledge and turn it into shaping public policy. Vail, who was elected in November and will be sworn in on Jan. 7, was appointed by incoming House Republican Leader Themis Klarides to the Labor and Public Employees, Insurance and Real Estate, and Public Safety and Security committees. As a former prison guard with other experience selling insurance, Vail said he’s up for the challenges facing the General Assembly.
“It’s exciting,” Vail said. “I’m ready to get to work for the people of Somers and Stafford and I’m ready to bring real world experience into state government. We need to be sure we take a common sense approach to fiscal issues and respect the small businesses and families who are hoping for a more successful Connecticut.” Vail’s duties with the Labor Committee will require him to work closely with the Department of Labor that handles workers compensation law, minimum wage, union disputes, collective bargaining and work safety. As a former prison guard, Vail understands state employee service and union con-
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Economic Assistance Program grant to help fund the project. Hilltop Farm The town of Suffield has received a $250,000 state grant to help restore Hilltop Farm. According to the Friends of Hilltop Farm, from 1913-1925 George Hendee, of Indian Motorcycle fame, purchased 24 parcels and created Hilltop Farm. Hendee’s holdings ultimately totaled 500 acres. He lived at Hilltop until 1940 when ill health forced him to sell. In 2004 The Friends of the Farm at Hilltop began managing the farm under lease agreements with a private owner and the Town of Suffield. “In 2005, The Friends succeeded in getting the mammoth 20,000 square foot Colonial Revival barn and additional structures on 250 acres of the farm listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Hilltop Farm Historic District,” according to the group’s website.
Working for Local Landmarks
10 North Central News January 2015
sultant Patrick McMahon. The town has hired Cross Key Architects of Hartford as it explores possible uses for the site. Ideas include community meeting space, an art gallery and shared workspace, McMahon said. A history of the train station was compiled by historian Mickey Danyluk in 2004. It states, “The existing abandoned passenger train station was built in 1875 by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, some 31 years after the railroad came through Windsor Locks, replacing transportation of goods and people on the Connecticut River and its canal at Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The train station is the sole surviving structure of the mid-19th century Main Street business district of the once quaint industrial village of ‘Windsor Locks’ founded in 1854.” The town of Windsor Locks has applied for a $500,000 Small Town
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cerns. That experience also provides solid footing for his work with the Public Safety Committee, where his role will focus on topics like state and municipal police, crime, fire marshals and fire safety.
The Insurance Committee handles all matters relating to insurance law and real estate law. Vail, an experienced insurance salesman, understands the industry and its current regulations and future hurdles.
Zawistowski Receives Committee Assignments
HARTFORD—State Rep. Tami Zawistowski has been appointed to four legislative committees. Zawistowski, elected to her first full two-year term in November, will serve on the legislature’s committees on Appropriations, Planning and Development, Transportation, and Internship. Her new assignments begin at the start of the legislative session on Wednesday, Jan. 7. “I look forward to tackling the work associated with these committees, which manage topics at the forefront of issues that impact so many residents—from our state’s finances to the growth and development of our communities,” said Zawistowski, who represents the 61st
House District serving Suffield, East Granby and Windsor. The budget-writing Appropriations Committee handles all matters related to the budgets of state agencies, while other issues under its banner include state employees’ salaries, benefits and retirement as well as pensions and collective bargaining agreements for state employees. It also has cognizance over teachers’ retirement and veterans’ pensions. “Committee work is where the laws of our state are crafted, and it’s where legislators like Tami can make the most difference for the people they serve and the state as a whole,” said incoming House Republican Leader Themis Klarides.
In a story on new businesses coming to the area in the December 2014 issue, the location of a pharmacy coming to
Enfield was identified incorrectly. It is coming to Hazard Avenue between the old gas station and the liquor store.
January2015NCN_NCN new template 12/30/14 2:32 PM Page 11
Assistance Being Collected For Victims of Fatal Fire
By Linda Tishler Levinson
ENFIELD – The town is working to help the families of those killed in a Dec. 10 fire on South River Street. The town Social Services Department will be helping to coordinate relief efforts for the families of the fire victims. They are initially working to provide for their immediate shelter, relocation and basic needs. Donations are being sought to provide this support until new permanent housing is found. Financial contributions can be made to the “Enfield Food Shelf” and mailed to Social Services at 100 High St., Enfield, CT 06082, noting “Fire Relief Fund” on the check. As the families recover, the town is trying to help them find a new home. Local landlords or anyone who knows of available apartments is asked to call 860-253-6398. Once permanent housing is found, the town will be collecting items such as
household goods and furniture. The fire was reported at about 6:15 a.m. Dec. 10. Firefighters from the Thompsonville Fire Department responded to the report of a house fire at 68 South River St., according to State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance. Firefighters found heavy smoke and fire coming from the front of the duplex on the first and second floors. Vance said fire officials reported that conditions within the residence quickly deteriorated, causing the second floor to collapse onto the first floor. At that time firefighters were forced to exit the building. Four people were killed in the fire. According to William J. Provencher, assistant chief of the Thompsonville Fire Department, they included Orise Handfield, 59, and Cathy Armes, 36. According to published reports, also killed were 20-year-old Joshua Johnson and 19-year-old David Cygan.
Station Raises Funds for Fire Victims
David Fisch (center) from Radio 104.1 presents Joel Cox (left) and Pam Brown (right) from Enfield Social Services with $1,277 of contributions made to the South River Street Fire Relief Fund. David and the team at Radio 104.1 broadcast live from the Town Green on Thursday, Dec. 11, to raise funds to assist the victims of the fire.
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Officials Applaud Funding For Affordable Housing
ENFIELD - Area officials on Dec. 9 applauded Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s announcement of state funding to rehabilitate affordable housing in Enfield. The state Department of Housing (DOH) is awarding the funding as part of the State-Sponsored Housing Portfolio Revitalization Initiative. The awards are as follows: Woodside Park and Ella Grasso: The Enfield Housing Authority will rehabilitate these two developments, which together provide a total of 80 rental units for elderly and disabled residents at 1-40 Woodside Park and 25 Central Street in Enfield. The rehabilitation will include roof and window replacement, siding and masonry replacement or repair, fire alarm system replacement, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, and the installation of an emergency generator and security camera systems. DOH will provide approximately $2,751,000 and the housing authority will fund reserves to address future capital needs of the project. Windsor Court: The Enfield Housing Authority will rehabilitate this property, which comprises 40 rental units for the elderly and disabled residents at 1-40 Windsor Court. The rehabilitation will include roof and window replacement, siding and masonry replacement or repair, fire alarm system replacement,
new flooring, and the installation of an emergency generator and security camera system. DOH will provide approximately $1,243,000 and the housing authority will fund reserves to address future capital needs of the project. “These funds will make housing for our frail and elderly residents safer and more accessible,” Sen. John A. Kissel said. “Enfield has an excellent reputation for maintaining its elderly housing units, and this investment will help improve the quality of life for many area seniors.” “Our senior citizens deserve to comfortably retire in the community that they helped build,” Rep. David Kiner said. “That means living in affordable housing that is high-quality and safe. This funding is great news for Enfield.”
Work & Training Opportunity
ENFIELD - Enfield Adult and Continuing Education offers a Certified Nurse’s Aide Training Program (CNA) beginning Feb. 23. Graduates from this program will be eligible to sit for the State Registry exam. Call 860-763-7032 with any questions and registration information.
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Kissel Discusses Running for Governor
Credit Union Donates to ‘Toys for Joy’
The Tobacco Valley Teachers Federal Credit Union (TVTFCU) donated a variety of toys that were collected from credit union members and staff to the Enfield Police Department’s Toys for Joy program. This annual program provides new toys for children in the Enfield area. “We have been holding an annual toy drive to support the ‘Toys for Joy’ program. I would like to thank our members and staff as well as non-members for their generosity. We always receive a great assortment of toys!” said Myrijam Meserve, Manager/CEO, Tobacco Valley Teachers Federal Credit Union. Pictured from left are Mireille Marquardt, Christine White and Carol Nodurf.
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ENFIELD – State Sen. John Kissel, (R) 7th District, one the longest-serving senators in the state Senate, provides his view of the state's status and the fiscal hurdles and options confronting the Legislature in the new 2015 session. In his interview with CTVV's Host Susan Regan, Kissel, as the new Deputy Minority Leader, discusses potential revenue short falls contributing to our current hundred million dollar deficit, his position on the use of drones, proposal to re-introduce border tolls, Republicans seat gains in the House and
Senate and the first woman, Themis Klarides, elected as the new House Minority leader. Most candidly Senator Kissel shares his personal commentary on running for Governor in 2018 - something a number of his colleagues and constituents have enthusiastically endorsed. Watch this informative CTVV segment on Cox/Enfield Channel 15 and Frontier Digital TV Channel 99 Friday Jan. 9, 16 and 23 at 6 p.m. This and all other CTVV programs are available on its website: www.ctvalleyviews.com.
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January2015NCN_NCN new template 12/30/14 2:32 PM Page 14
Town Delays Property Revaluation for a Year
SOMERS – Revaluation will be delayed a year. The Board of Selectmen has voted to postpone revaluation, First Selectman Lisa Pellegrini said. While state law requires the town to conduct a revaluation of all properties in town every five years, a new law allows it to postpone implementing that revaluation up to one year. The statute calls for alternating nonphysical and physical revaluations. The town’s last revaluation, held in 2009, was an exterior or non-physical inspection. The recently conducted 2014 reval-
uation was a physical evaluation that included on-site visits and a complete reinspection and remeasurement of all properties. This revaluation corresponds to the town’s Grand List as of Oct. 1, and would have affected tax bills due beginning in July, Pellegrini said. The results of the revaluation have been finalized and the town’s 2014 taxable real estate grand list, based on the revaluation, has been reduced 4.1 percent. This means a loss of $30,856,960 in taxable property. The updated assessment multiplied by the current property tax mill rate of
23.37 results in a loss of $721,127.15 in tax revenues or approximately one mill at the current tax rate when compared to last year. The vote to delay revaluation will mean the new figures will be implemented for the Oct. 1, 2015, grand list assessments. The new tax figures will be used beginning in July 2016. “Further, the assessor will not be required to send out impact notices to property owners. Prior to finalizing the town’s 2015 Grand List next year, further updates and analysis will be undertaken,” Pellegrini said.
SOMERS - The Congregational Church of Somersville hopes you made a New Year’s resolution to join members of the congregation for some delicious and nutritious meals in 2015. Start by joining the Congregational Church for a family-style baked ham dinner, complete with salad, mashed
sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, homemade rolls and breads, beverage and apple squares. The dinner, at the church at 22 Maple St., Somersville, will be served on Saturday, Jan. 10. Two sittings are offered: 5 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Takeout orders are also offered and can be picked
up between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Reservations should be made in advance, both for dine-in and takeout, by calling or emailing the church at 860749-7741 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $12 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-10. The church and its dining hall are handicap accessible.
By Linda Tishler Levinson
Somers Congregational Church Will Host Ham Dinner
14 North Central News January 2015
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Meunier Inducted into Engineering Honor Society
KINGSTON, RI - The University of Rhode Island chapter of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi inducted new members at a ceremony on Dec. 9. Fiftytwo junior and senior students, representing all eight engineering programs at the university, were inducted, including Joann Meunier of Somers. Founded in 1885, Tau Beta Pi is the nation’s largest engineering society and represents the highest honor to be obtained by an engineering student. Membership is awarded on the basis of high scholarship and exemplary character. The University of Rhode Island’s pioneering research extends the university’s influence well beyond its coastal borders, while its unique interdisciplinary courses provide its 16,637 undergraduate and graduate students with global opportunities in an intimate environment.
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Relay For Life Kickoff Celebration
SUFFIELD - Want to be part of a worldwide effort in the fight against cancer? Join hundreds of American Cancer Society Relay For Life participants across the community at the Relay For Life of North Central CT in Suffield on June 6-7, 2015. The Relay season will get under way on Jan. 26 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at the Healthtrax Fitness Center, 3 Weymouth Road, Enfield. The Kickoff Celebration will feature healthy snacks, special guests, door prizes, entertainment and an opportunity to connect with old friends from last year, as well as new friends who will take part in this year’s Relay. Relay For Life is a family-oriented event where participants enjoy the
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camaraderie of a team and also raise funds to support the activities of the American Cancer Society. It’s the American Cancer Society’s version of an athletic relay, but with a fun twist. Participants camp out at the Relay site, and when they are not taking their turn walking, they take part in fun activities and enjoy local entertainment. This “Celebration of Life” brings local communities together to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and inspire everyone to fight back. For more information on Relay For Life of North Central CT, visit www.relayforlife.org/northcentralct. Or contact Heidi MacDonald (event chair) at RFLNoCentralCT@gmail.com.
Letter to the Editor Church Thanks Town, Congregation, Neighbors, Businesses for Help
Dear Friends, Three years ago on January 1, 2012, fire destroyed our church, Somers Congregational. This was a loss for the church members and for the community of Somers, and the community responded, marshalling all of its resources in support of our continued operation and rebuilding efforts. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, The Board of Selectmen provided continuity by allowing us to hold worship services in Town Hall for several weeks and housing our food pantry for several months. The Somersville Congregational Church hosted our community suppers for three months; suppers for Loaves and Fishes continued with the help of the United Methodist Church; and our suppers for the Friendship Kitchen continued with the help of the Stafford Methodist Church. Johnson Memorial Hospital provided a facility for us to worship and hold
Sunday School for 100 Sundays. To help us rebuild, individuals in Somers and surrounding communities lent support with a flood of letters and donations. Area business held fundraisers, and many musical groups presented benefit concerts. For this magnificent effort from all aspects of the community we are forever grateful. This week with the help of donations from 71 businesses and organizations, 85 churches, and 695 people, we have reached our goal of meeting all costs beyond the insurance settlement. It has been a journey of faith that has brought us to this point with the help of our congregation, our community and beyond. Thank you for your prayers and your support. Sincerely, Anne Kirkpatrick, Moderator Somers Congregational Church
18 North Central News January 2015
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January2015part2_NCN new template 12/30/14 9:59 AM Page 19
Regional Turkey Drive Results in Over 100 Turkeys and $750
ENFIELD – Rich’s Oil in Enfield made a donation to Toys for Joy for every turkey donated at its seventh annual Turkey Drive. By teaming up with the Enfield Police Department, this year’s Turkey Drive helped to ensure families and individuals in North Central Connecticut enjoyed a festive Thanksgiving meal and children had toys this Christmas. Rich’s Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, located at 12 Moody Road, Enfield, hosted its sevneth annual Turkey Drive on Saturday, Nov. 22.
Officer Brian Croteau and Promise from the Town of Enfield K-9 Unit were on hand for the fundraiser. The turkeys were delivered to the Enfield Food Shelf and a check in the amount of $750 was donated to the Toys for Joy program. Tkacz stated, “I am pleased with this year’s turnout at the Turkey Drive despite frigid cold temperatures. Our annual Turkey Drive is something my staff and I look forward to every year. We pride ourselves on being an active part of the community.”
Scholarships Available for Women
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 Bachelor’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 the Women’s Clubs is the sponsor of these scholarships. The Ellington Women’s Club is searching for applicants to be its candidates at the state level. Feb. 10, 2015 is the deadline for accepting applications. Personal references and full financial disclosure are required. If you are interested in receiving an application or more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-3758145.
Enfield Police Department K-9 Officer Brian Croteau and Promise with Rich Tkacz, owner, Rich’s Oil.
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Somers Public Library 2 Vision Boulevard, Somers, CT 06071 860-763-3501 • Fax: 860-763-1718 Email: email@example.com www.somerspubliclibrary.org
account, and also instruction on accessing some of the library’s databases including Ancestry.com. Call the library for more information or stop by for a listing of class times.
Talking Books at the CT Library for the Blind If you, or someone you know has difficulty reading regular print materials, the Connecticut Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped may be able to help. Their collection of 30,000+ digital audio books includes bestsellers, biographies, romance, mysteries, westerns, children’s books and much, much more. The Library lends recorded books along with the necessary playback equipment, free of charge, to any Connecticut resident unable to read regular print due to a visual or physical disability. An application for service must be completed and signed by an appropriate certifying authority (such as a librarian). For more information call 860-721-2020 or toll free 800-842-4516 to request an application or program information. An application for service can also be downloaded from the Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped website @ http://bit. ly/1AclL1T
Writers Group If you are a writer looking for support, technical help, or ideas, the library will offer a meeting space for anyone interested in working with a group of other writers. The program is free and open to adults and high
Winter Storytime Session Registration for the Somers Public Library winter storytime session will begin the week of January 5. Somers residents can register beginning Monday, January 5 and non-residents can register beginning Tuesday, January 6. Storytime sessions will run for seven weeks January 12 –February 27. Registration is required for all storytimes. Children ages 12-24 months will meet on Mondays at 10:30 a.m.
Book Discussions The non-fiction group will meet on Tues., Jan. 20 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The evening discussion led by Denise Stankovics will meet on Wed., Jan. 28 to discuss The Burglar in the Library by Lawrence Block. Copies of the books are available for loan at the library.
Computer Challenged? This winter we will be offering classes on topics such as the basics of Word and setting up an email
20 North Central News January 2015
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Take Your Child to the Library Day Saturday, February 7 We will join other libraries across the U.S. and Canada and participate in the 4th Annual Take Your Child to the Library Day! Stop in and see what great things your library card can do for you. Check out a book, magazine, DVD, audiobook, eBook, puppets and more! Be sure to register for these special events taking place:
Let’s Celebrate all things “Frozen”! 12:30-2:00 p.m. For ages 3 & up! Decorate a cookie, make an Olaf craft (different crafts for ages 3-5 and 6-10), games, raffles and more. Registration is required for this event.
Winter Reading Program February 2- February 28 Pick up your first reading sheet beginning Monday, February 2 and check out five books from the library. Return your completed reading log to the library for a special surprise.
Family Movie Matinee Tuesday, February 17, 1:30 p.m. We’ll be showing the new movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Rated PG; 81 min. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
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Parents – Check out the new View Playaway View™ brings education and entertainment together in a simple all-in-one video player. Built with kids in mind, each View comes preloaded with only the best in kids’ video content. The library has many titles available. These are perfect for long car trips! Look for the special display in the Children’s Room.
Pancakes & Pajamas Family Night Tuesday, January 20, 6:00 p.m. Wear your winter pajamas for some pancake making, stories and songs. All ages are invited. Registration is required for this event.
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Children ages 3-5 years will meet on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. or Fridays at 10:30 a.m.
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Read to the dogs with Allan’s Angels R.E.A.D.® Team 10:30-11:30 a.m. Readers in grades K-4 are invited to register for a 10 minute slot to read to one of Allan’s Angels R.E.A.D.® Team, specially trained dogs who love to listen to books. Children can choose a story to read to a furry friend in a relaxed, “dog-friendly” atmosphere. Register now for this event.
Children ages 24-36 months will meet on Wednesdays or Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.
Movie Matinees On the first Tuesday of the month we will show a recently released film in the Blake Community Room. Join us at 1:00 on Jan. 6 for And So It Goes starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton. On Feb. 3 the feature will be The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren. Films are shown with subtitles when available for the convenience of the hearing impaired.
Library Closed: Monday, January 19, Martin Luther King Day
Winter Events from the Children’s Room
Homebound Book Delivery If you are a Somers resident and unable to get to the library because of age or disability, the “library” can come to you. If you would like to take advantage of this service call Francie Clark at 860-763-3501 to arrange an initial visit.
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Sens. Kissel, Guglielmo Named to Legislative Leadership
HARTFORD - Republican state senators from North Central Connecticut have received legislative committee assignments and leadership posts for the upcoming session of the Connecticut General Assembly. State Sen. John A. Kissel of Enfield has retained his seat as lead Republican senator on the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, which has cognizance of all matters relating to the Department of Correction, prisons, courts, and criminal law. A Chief Deputy Minority Leader, Kissel will serve as ranking Republican on the Program Review and Investigations Committee, which examines the effectiveness of state government programs. He will serve on the Appropriations Committee, which oversees state government spending, and the General Law Committee, which oversees all matters relating to consumer protection. “It is such an honor for me to serve the people of north-central Connecticut,” Kissel said. “Serving on
these committees will allow me to make a positive impact on policies which affect our lives every day. I look forward to this challenge and urge area residents to continue to contact me on any issue that they feel is important.” Entering his 12th term in office, Kissel represents Connecticut’s 7th Senatorial District, which includes East Granby, Enfield, Somers, Suffield, Windsor Locks and portions of Granby and Windsor. An attorney, Kissel holds degrees from the University of Connecticut and Western New England College School of Law. He lives in Enfield with his wife, Cynthia, and their
sons, Nathaniel and Tristan. State Sen. Tony Guglielmo of Stafford will also be sworn into a 12th term on Jan. 7 at the State Capitol in Hartford. Guglielmo will be the ranking member on the Public Safety Committee and sits on the Program Review and Investigations, Internship, and Executive and Legislative Nominations committees. Guglielmo was also named Chief Deputy Minority Leader of the Republican Caucus. As ranking member on Public Safety, Guglielmo has always taken an active role in making sure the policies passed by the committee keep the citizens of Connecticut safe. “I have always believed government has three key roles: to educate, keep the food and water supply safe and to protect the public safety of residents. Some public safety policies have served the public well but some have been concerning to say the least. I recently fought for a slow-down of the consolidation of the state police barracks around the state. There were some scary instances and we needed to be thoughtful and not rush. I look forward to working hard on finding solutions once again,” Guglielmo said. The Public Safety committee has cognizance of all matters relating to homeland security, the Department of Public Safety, including but not limited to state
police, the fire safety code, legalized gambling, and military and veterans’ affairs, except veterans’ pensions. The Internship Committee a major objective of the program is to prepare interns to analyze bills, tracking them, research, draft news releases and speeches, liaison work, constituent casework, etc. The Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee reviews all executive and legislative nominations requiring action of either or both chambers including, nominations of workers’ compensation commissioners, nominations to the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Guglielmo, who retired as president and owner of the Penny-Hanley & Howley Co., Inc. in Stafford, was appointed by President Bush to the U.S. Small Business Administration National Advisory Council in 1989. Prior to this, Sen. Guglielmo was appointed by President Reagan to the Federal Council on Aging in 1981. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Sen. Guglielmo served in the U.S. Army from 1962-1968. He holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s Degree in history from Trinity College.
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Pump Stations Receive Design-Build Institute Gold Award
STAFFORD - On Dec. 11, the Town of Stafford Water Pollution Control Facility received a gold award from Design-Build Institute of America, the New England Division. The DesignBuild Institute of America is a nationally known organization promoting a design-build approach that delivers design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility in efforts to be more cost efficient. In the fall of 2013 the Stafford Water Pollution Control Authority negotiated a contract with CDM Smith Inc. to undertake the design-build approach for the replacements of the Orcuttville Road and Lake Shore Boulevard pump stations. The original pump stations were built in 1979 and were profoundly in need of replacement. With the design-build approach, the Stafford WPCA was able to arrive under budget returning $135,000 to the Town of Stafford. “The Design-Build approach allowed us to work closely with CDM Smith, giving us the opportunity to adjust each potential challenge th a t
From left, Rod Shaffert, president DBIA New England Region; Kurt van Heiningen from CDM Smith Inc.; Rick Hartenstein, superintendent of the Stafford WPCF; Jim Fox, Treasurer of DBIA New England Region and host of the Award Ceremony. arose throughout the entire project. The entire project was completed two months ahead of schedule and under budget.” said Rick Hartenstein, Superintendent of the Stafford WPCF. “We had two primary goals for this proj-
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Selectmen Will Proceed with Utility Expansion Project
By Linda Tishler Levinson
STAFFORD â€“ The Utility Expansion Project is moving forward. The Board of Selectmen at its Dec. 11 meeting discussed the progress of the project. The town is completing a package to present to its partners in the public/private project to expand utility along the Route 190 corridor. First Selectman Richard Shuck said the project began as an effort to bring city water and sewer to the Route 190 corridor, but that effort would have cost the town $6 million â€œjust to get the water and sewer in the 190 corridor,â€? he said, pointing to the area up to West Stafford School.
Shuck said the project grew when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced his Comprehensive Energy Plan, which urged the expansion of natural gas lines and asked towns and utilities to work toward that goal together. Shuck said the project will be funded by using a portion of the funds the large businesses involved will save by changing over to natural gas. In addition, Yankee Gas would contribute $20 million, Shuck said. Also involved in the partnership is Johnson Memorial Hospital, which had been ordered by the state Department of Environmental Protection to tie into the town's water and sewer systems, but now can take advantage of the natural gas lines as well at a cost
of $6 million for the hospital, the same cost as hooking into the townâ€™s water system alone. As part of the project, Shuck said, power lines along Main Street will be buried and new lights will be put up to â€œmake it more of a nice, lit-up, walkable Main Street.â€? â€œThis is going to be really good for the town of Stafford,â€? he said. One concern residents have had, Shuck said, is that homeowners would be forced to hook up to these utility lines if they go past their property. This will not be the case, he said. Instead, there will be opportunities to tie into these lines and a fee schedule established, but on a voluntary basis.
Students Named to Second-Term Stafford Middle School Honor Roll
STAFFORD - Kenneth Valentine, Principal of Stafford Middle School announces the names of the following students who have achieved honor roll status for Term 2. HIGH HONORS â€“ GRADE 6 Besaw, Madison Bradley, Cory Halloran, Basha Lueckel, Naomi Lybarger, Clara Milnes, Casey Mitchell, Krista
Moulton, Reis Murdock, Mackenzie Neves, Samuel Padegimas, Emily Pitts, Treena Ravetto, Rose-Anna Riley, Ryan Sprague, Audrey Verney, Alison Wasilewski, Angela Worthington, Callie Zopelis, Lily
HIGH HONORS â€“ GRADE 7 Frank, John Missell, James
Mullen, Abigail Qureshi, Wassay Ricci, Adam Rolland, Rebecca Sprague, Muriel Zopelis, Grace
HIGH HONORS â€“ GRADE 8 Allevo, Adrianna Campos, Tyler Jay Fecko, Ashley Kallenbach, Marissa Sladek, Elizabeth Smida, Lauren
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January Events at the Stafford Library
STAFFORD - All events are free and open to the public, but we ask that you call to register at 860-684-2852 to give us time to properly prepare for the programs. • Jan. 3 at 10:30 a.m. - Sensory Story Time - Sensory Story Time uses multisensory experiences to keep your child engaged. All ages and families welcome. • Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. - Frozen Gala - All the royalty in the realm are invited to Queen Elsa’s tea party. Queens, kings, princes and princesses may all come in their costumes for a special tea. • Jan. 14 at 4 p.m. - Local schoolteacher and Scrabble player, Kevin Nevins, will be host to our first of many Scrabble club meetings. Learn how to play this fun game and challenge others with your skills.
Venture Crew Hosting Fundraising Breakfast Buffet
STAFFORD - Ready for a hearty breakfast on a cold January morning? Then come out and support the youth of Venture Crew 8150 Stafford Springs, CT. They are hosting their 4th Annual Venture Breakfast Buffet at the West Stafford Fire Department Saturday, Jan. 17, 7:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Snow date is Sunday, Jan. 18. Ventures will be serving eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes (blueberry too),
breads, fruit, coffee, tea and juices. Cost is $8 adults, $6 seniors, and $5 children under 12. The youth are fundraising for a canoe camping trip in West Virginia this summer. Please come and support Stafford youth interested in pursuing outdoor adventures. Contact Deborah at 860-597-6114 for advanced breakfast tickets or questions.
Students Bake Bread to Help the Hungry
STAFFORD - “Its good to make bread, its good to give something back.” That is what Stafford Middle School students did on Monday, Nov. 17, and Wednesday, Nov. 19. Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, “Family and Community in Stafford” took place as students, together with a family member made fresh bread. Each night from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Home Economics room, Room 103, families met to mix, stir and knead dough, as they learned the art of making homemade bread. Local VanDyk family members Zachary, Hannah and Kenny have all participated in the Family Bread Baking Event. Older brothers and sisters have moved on to the high school or graduated, but Kenny, who is now in 6th grade will bake again this year. The event has become a Thanksgiving tradition since it began eight years ago. All the ingredients have been donated by the King Arthur Flour Company. Over 350 loaves of bread have been made so far. Using flour and
yeast, each participant made two loaves of bread. Students went home with the fresh bread to bake and the additional bread was baked in Home Economics classroom the next day and donated. Fresh bread has been donated to local charities through Safe Net Ministries, Flo’s Friendship Kitchen, a local soup kitchen, to the Stafford Community Center and Stafford Family Services.
Fitness Class Offered at Senior Center
EAST WINDSOR - The East Windsor Senior Center, 125 Main St., Broad Brook, will continue to offer weekly Fitness Classes on Thursdays from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Classes are $5 per class payable weekly or monthly, preferred. Cash or checks made out to “The Town of East Windsor” will be accepted. Please call 860-292-8262 to sign up or drop in. Please allow extra time before class to fill out the required paperwork. Classes are provided by Pride Fitness with Erin Maratta, certified fitness instructor.
Letter to the Editor Safe Net Thanks Community for Its Funding Support
To the Editor: The Safe Net Board of Directors thanks all of our supporters throughout the year, especially during our holiday direct mail campaign. Thanks to the community’s support, Safe Net has been able to distribute food to about 160-170 families twice a month. We were also able to provide turkeys and fixings for Thanksgiving to our clients, among many other programs. Safe Net is a volunteer, multidenominational ministry serving those in need in Stafford and Union. Our success is only possible due to the wonderful devoted volunteers and the support from the community. May you have a blessed New Year. Safe Net Board of Directors Keith Marin, President
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January 2015 North Central News
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DAR Chapter Honors Veteran, Students and Enfield Teacher
ENFIELD - The Penelope Terry Abbey Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution held their annual awards night ceremony at the Enfield Public Library on Dec. 4. Awards were given in three categories: Outstanding Veteran Volunteer, Good Citizens, and Outstanding Teacher of American History. James W. Raynor was named this year’s Outstanding Veteran Volunteer. Raynor was drafted into the Army in March 1952. After 16 weeks at infantry basic camp at Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania, and eight weeks of infantry leadership, he arrived in Korea in December 1952. He was assigned to the 578th Combat Engineers attached to the 40th Infantry Division as a Reconnaissance Sergeant. He became Section Leader, and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, First Class. Raynor spent 14 months in the combat zone, including the winter and spring campaigns of 1953. He separated in February 1954, served six years inactive in the reserves, and was honorably discharged on May 26, 1954. Since returning to full civilian life, Raynor has participated actively in military-related groups for many years. He is a member of the John Maciolec American Legion Post 154; two-time Past Commander of the Post; the 2014 Recipient of the Post’s Outstanding Legionnaire Award; and a member of the post’s Honor Guard for Military Funerals. Raynor belongs to the National American Legion Association, the National Korean War Veterans
Association, and is a past First Vice President of the Korean War Veterans Association for Connecticut Chapter I. He is a member of the Veterans Council of Enfield, the Sons of the American Revolution, and an Honorary Member of the Connecticut Governor’s Foot Guard. He participates in the Memorial Day Parade, the Veterans’ Day Parade, Gold Star Luncheons, Post 154 Four Chaplain’s Mass Navy Ritual. He is also a volunteer for Bingo at the State Veterans Home in Rocky Hill. Raynor is also involved in the religious community. He was a founding member of Holy Family Church in Enfield; a former Lector, Eucharistic Minister for Holy Family Church; past president, and current Auxiliary Member of the Legion of Mary, and a CCD Teacher for one year. For many years Raynor has participated in the Prison Ministry at McDougal Correctional Institution for the Legion of Mary. Four local high school seniors were recognized for the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. They are: Jillian Lapponese, daughter of Dave and Pam Lapponese, from Fermi High School in Enfield. Jillian is on the National Honor Society and the Jazz Ensemble and she participated in Relay for Life. She has served as captain for field hockey, basketball and softball. Jillian participates in her local church’s youth group, which is heavily involved in community service activities. These activities include volunteering at the Enfield Soup Kitchen and Food Shelf,
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visiting the nursing home, and picking up trash around town. The Good Citizen from Enfield High is Kyla Pokorny, daughter of William Pokorny. Kyla is in the National Honor Society, on the junior prom committee and the Unity Team. She is the class vice president, a member of the Art Club and is the varsity softball manager. She has numerous awards, including the EHS student of the month. Kyla’s community involvement focuses on Volunteer work at Johnson Memorial Cancer Center, Kindred Transitions Care and Rehab, and the Enfield Soup Kitchen. The Somers High School Good Citizen is Zachary Varnauskas, son of Joseph and Deborah Varnauskas. Zachary has been the class president all four years and a member of Students Supporting Students. He is a mentor for the unified basketball team with specialed students. He works at Geissler’s Supermarket and has been on varsity baseball since his sophomore year. He was nominated by his class advisors to attend the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership seminar during his sophomore year. Zachary plans to pursue a career in health care.
Wayne Osborn, representing East Windsor High School, was the fourth Good Citizen named. Wayne is the son of Earle and Jennifer Osborn. He is the president of the Senior Executive Board, Historian of the Student Government Association, treasurer of the National SS Honor Society, co-captain of the varsity soccer team, head sound technician for drama, first trumpet for NCCC Band, and a delegate for Model Congress. Wayne was voted the East Windsor High School Outstanding Student for the first quarter of 2014. Wayne’s community efforts are often focused around his church and playing taps for veterans who have passed. The chapter’s award winner for Outstanding American History Teacher is Sean Patrick Crane. It was announced at the awards ceremony that Crane has been named the Connecticut State Society’s Outstanding American History Teacher. He will receive an award at the CTDAR’s Spring Conference, and go on to compete at the National Level. Crane is the Social Studies department chairperson and advanced placement United States history teacher at Enfield and Fermi high schools.
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New Interim Superintendent of Schools Starts
By Linda Tishler Levinson
SUFFIELD – When students return to school after the holiday break, they will find a new superintendent at the helm. The Board of Education voted on Dec. 22 to appoint Mel Chafetz as interim superintendent of schools beginning Jan. 1. “Dr. Chafetz has been a devoted supporter of Suffield and Suffield schools for 30 years, and we are grateful he has
taken a break from his retirement to help us move our district through a time of transition to a new Superintendent in the 2015-2016 school year,” board members said in a written statement. Chafetz is the former principal of the Spaulding, Bridge Street and McAlister Intermediate schools. Superintendent of Schools Karen Baldwin left the school system as of Dec. 31.
Chafetz was a member of the Board of Selectmen prior to his appointment. “I accepted this challenge knowing it is only temporary, but I aim to help the board during this period of transition to a new superintendent, and develop a budget that supports a strong instructional program. Our goal is to have a new superintendent start July 1, 2015. The selection process is arduous, but it is our intent to make it as open and inclusive as possible,” Chafetz said in a written statement. “My family moved to Suffield at the end of 1984 when I was named principal of Spaulding and Bridge Street schools. My two daughters graduated from the Suffield Schools and my wife, Beth, was a seventh- then eighth-grade teacher at Suffield Middle School for 15 years,” Chafetz’s statement read. The Board of Education voted unanimously Dec. 16 to accept an agreement between the board and Baldwin that moved up her departure date. The board also voted to appoint themselves as a search committee to find an interim and permanent superintendent. Baldwin had previously announced that she was leaving the Suffield schools as of June 30 to become superintendent in Ridgefield. Baldwin had been superintendent since August 2011.
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Groundbreaking for Library Mary Anne Zak Entrance
entrance is expected to be open in November 2015. Other donations for the entrance came from library endowments from the Suffield Library Commission, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the Suffield Public Library Foundation. The Town of Suffield also contributed to the entrance, and are also funding a concurrent renovation project which will
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28 North Central News January 2015
SUFFIELD - On Thursday, Dec. 18, patrons, staff, donors and friends marked the beginning of construction at the Kent Memorial Library in Suffield. Work will soon begin on a new handicapped accessible entrance. Since its construction in 1972, the library has not been accessible to many of Suffieldâ€™s elderly or disabled citizens because of the steep slope at its entrance. Michael J. Zak, who grew up in Suffield, contributed $850,000 to the new entrance to honor his mother, Mary Anne Zak, still a Suffield resident. The library with the new Mary Anne Zak
replace the glass windows, the HVAC system, update the electrical system, fix the outside brick walks, and add sprinklers to the library building and other small updates. Tecton Architects designed the entrance. Silver Petrucelli & Associates planned the renovations. The contractor for both projects is Enterprise Builders.
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Winners of the Kent Memorial Library’s Scary Short Story
SUFFIELD - Fortunately, the dark and stormy nights cleared over the Kent Memorial Library in Suffield when the recently held Scary Short Story contest ended. Winners of the contest sent shivers up the spines of the judges with their original stories. The first annual contest was sponsored by The Friends of the Kent Memorial. First prize winners received $25, second prize winners received $10 and third prize winners received $5. There were no entries in the 12-14 or 15-18 age categories.
Winners will be asked to read their stories at the library at a later date. The winners and their titles are: Adult 1st Prize Good Bones by Lisa Everett Unclear Antecedents by Jonathan DeCoteau 2nd Prize History Repeated by Elaine Therian 3rd Prize Mrs. By Amanda Tini
SUFFIELD - Brush up on your spelling over the holiday season so you can compete in Kent Memorial Library’s First Spelling Bee on Saturday, Jan. 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The spelling bee will be held in the dining room at the Suffield Senior Center located at 145 Bridge St. The spelling bee is open to children in 5th grade and higher grades,
teens and adults. Participants need to register at the Kent Memorial Library by Thursday, Jan. 8. Cash prizes, funded by the Friends of the Kent Memorial Library, will be awarded for the various age levels. Participants can register in person or by phone. Call the Kent Memorial Library at 860-668-3896.
Ages 9-11 1st Prize
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Pressing Business by Faith Connors 2nd Prize Haunted Bus Ride by Lucie Casinghino 3rd Prize Haunted Graveyard by Lily Smith Nightmare by Mary Parnin Ages 6-8 1st Prize
It was a Dark & Spooky Night by Rowan Milton Benoit 2nd Prize The Haunted Mansion in the Woods by Felix Everett Scary Day & Night by Seth Healy 3rd Prize The Halloween Party by Kathryn Tini The Headless Cat by Fiona Everett
Suffield Players’ Three One-Act Comedies
SUFFIELD - The Suffield Players announce their winter production: Comedy with a Twist: Three One-Act Plays by Christopher Durang It is directed by Kelly Seip, Konrad Rogowski and Shaun O’Keefe. Performances are Feb. 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at Mapleton Hall, 1305 Mapleton Ave., Suffield. The Suffield Players will bubble over this winter as they present Comedy with
a Twist, a delicious trio of comedies for adult audiences. The plays in Comedy with a Twist are: “For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls;” “Desire, Desire, Desire”; and “The Actor’s Nightmare.” Ticket prices are $17 ($12 Opening Night). Discounts available for groups, seniors and students, as well as for season subscribers. For reservations, call 860-668-0837 or visit www.suffieldplayers.org.
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January 2015 North Central News
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Guitar Class Recital
Judy Simondsâ€™ Guitar 1 Class performed its end of the semester recital at Asnuntuck Community College. The students performed a wide variety of musical selections including â€œOde to Joyâ€?, â€œDust in the Windâ€?, â€œLet it Beâ€?, â€œBlue Skiesâ€? and â€œScarborough Fairâ€?. Â Students are pictured with instructor Judy Simonds, front row, far left, and ACC President James Lombella, center, back row.Â Students are Erica Babbitt, Ethan Bartlett, Evan Beutel, Christopher Blizniak, Alan Bolieau, Kaitlyn Chatis, Samuel Collin, Olivia Davenport, William DiSisto, Patrick Herring, Bryan Murphy, Cameron Paquette, Anthony Serra, Adam Wunch and Brandon Wunch. The recital also featured performances from Fred Centrella, with his grandson, ACC student Bryan Murphy. Photo by Julie Cotnoir
30 North Central News January 2015
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â€˜Classifiedâ€™ Information On Page 24! All classified ads are 30 words or less, no logos. Price is $24.95 for text only or $29.95 boxed. Checks and classified copy can be sent to North Central News, P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06072. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. DEADLINE FOR FEBRUARY EDITION IS JANUARY 27.
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Chrysler 300 Embraces its ‘50s Roots with New Design
Automotive By Keith Griffin
The 2015 Chrysler 300 may be the halo car of the Chrysler lineup, but it borrows heavily from the 2015 Chrysler 200 – and that’s not a bad thing. The 300 continues the styling cues first introduced on the smaller midsize sedan earlier in 2014. When the modern version of the Chrysler 300 was introduced in 2005 it was a big, stunning car with a bold design. Chrysler execs admit it lost those “epic proportions” when it was restyled for 2011. Now the design once again embraces the “go big or go home” philosophy that made the 300 a hit. Brandon Faurote, head of Chrysler design, said at a media introduction in Austin, Texas, the focus was on a bolder front fascia with a grill that is 33 percent bigger than the 2014 model. It still lacks the boldness of the 2005 model, though. Where Chrysler really knocks it out of the park is with the rear design. From the side view, the trunk gets a lift to give it more of a compact look and the rear spoiler lip adds a sporty flair. The dual exhaust tips are more horizontal and the tail lamps are more vertical with the stop function in the middle and surrounded by bright rings. It adds a more formal feel to the design. It’s best appreciated at a stop light when you’re behind the 300.
The new 2015 Chrysler 300S is the sporty model. It features unique blacked-out accents, large 20-inch Hyper Black finish wheels, more athletically sculpted side sills, unique deck-lid spoiler and a higher output Pentastar V6 engine with 300 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque, plus sport mode and paddle-shifting capabilities now as quick as 250 milliseconds. It has a starting price of $34,990 including the $995 destination charge. For another $3,000 you can add the 5.7liter V8 with its 363 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 394 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm. For the first time the V8 gets an eight-speed transmission, which results
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in better fuel economy of 16-mpg city and 25-mpg highway for a combined 19 mpg. It also gets slightly improved performance from the 2014 model, which has the same engine but a five-speed automatic. Chrysler says the 300 S can do 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds from the previous 6.0 seconds. I spent a good portion of the day around Austin’s hill country with the 300 S. Swathed in a redline tri-coat pearl exterior paint, it made a strong impression with its 20-inch aluminum hyper black wheels that were shorn in all-season performance tires. Definitely not the right tire for Northeast winters, though. Speaking of our nasty winters, you can’t get the Hemi engine with all-wheel
drive. For that you need to drop down to the V6, but honestly it’s not a huge power sacrifice. Best estimate is you’ll hit 60 mph about a second slower (and pay an extra $2500). That’s not a significant performance penalty. Plus your fuel economy is better at 18-mpg city and 27-mpg highway for a combined 21mpg. A short 50-mile ride in the 300 C didn’t feel like a step down. The interior is well designed, but the rotary transmission shifter feels like a miscue. Chrysler promotes it as modern, but it lacks the substantive feel one expects from a transmission shifter. However, the rest of the interior design is nothing short of brilliant. Heating and cooling controls are easily adjusted on the go. Sure, you have to click through a couple screens to heat and cool your seats but that’s not a deal breaker. The rest of the uConnect system is intuitive and easy to navigate. It’s a user interface that embraces the time tested philosophy of “Keep it simple, stupid.” Too many manufacturers “smarten” up their infotainment systems beyond the simple comprehension required when driving. Pricing for the 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited starts at $31,395 and works its way up to the fully loaded 300C starting at $42,395. Most buyers will be in the Limited segment and that’s a good place to be.
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