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In This Issue

• EAST WINDSOR: Fire departments’ aid money goes up in smoke ......p. 5 • ELLINGTON: Town buys farm in interest of preservation ...............p. 7 • ELLINGTON: Variety show will benefit injured student-athlete ..................p. 8 • ENFIELD: Thompsonville could be getting a makeover soon ..........p. 13 • ENFIELD: ‘Enfield Idol’ making encore presentation ..................p. 14 • SOMERS: Pair of Girl Scouts earn organization’s highest rank ......p. 17 • SOMERS: Piedmont Percolator brewing up some hot acts ..................p. 23 •SUNDAY DRIVE: Everyone loves a St. Patrick’s Day parade .....................p. 25 •REGIONAL: Buzz Robotics wired to take part in world meet ..............p. 26 •STAFFORD: Shuck seeks bucks p. 29

• NEXT ISSUE • DEADLINE: March 27, 2013 (860) 698-0020

Musical Petting Zoo

Francesca Lamattina of Somers tries out a trombone with help from Musical Petting Zookeeper Patrick McMahon (right) during the Springfield Symphony Orchestra's Musical Petting Zoo at the Somers Library. Photo by David Butler II

Cut in State Funds Has Towns Fearing Future By Linda Tishler Levinson

Town officials in North Central Connecticut are concerned about the changes in state funding and taxation that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed in February. “His changes are going to create a lot of difficulties for us,” Enfield Town Manager Matthew Coppler said.

It’s time, the time of year for residents of north central Connecticut to make a difference in the lives of senior citizens by supporting the annual

“Walk for Dignified Rides for Seniors” Sunday, April 28, 2013 Asnuntuck Community College 170 Elm Street, Enfield, Connecticut Registration: 9:00 a.m. * Walk Kick-Off: 10:00 a.m. Walk for Rides provides funding for dignified transportation for seniors and the visually impaired 24/7, 365 days a year. To be a Walk for Dignified Rides for Seniors sponsor or to form a team please email or call (860) 758-7833. Team registration and donations can also be accepted online at

“I think it’s going to hurt the town,” Stafford First Selectman Richard Shuck said. Malloy’s budget proposals include eliminating the car tax for vehicles valued less than $28,000 and reinstating the sales tax exemption on closing costing less than $50. The budget proposal also eliminates Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds and the

Pequot grants and replaces them with increases in Local Capital Improvements Projects and Education Cost Sharing funds. “My budget is focused on the following priorities: growing jobs, investing in education, and finding ways to provide tangible relief to our middle class, including

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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.

State’s Planned Tax Cuts Have Towns Worried (continued from page 1)

relieving them of the most hated and unfair tax in Connecticut — the car tax — and by reinstating the sales tax exemption for some clothing,” Malloy said in a Feb. 15 letter to town leaders. “My plan also sends at least the same amount of state dollars to cities and towns as they currently receive. It’s true that aid comes in different ways, which will necessitate adjustments on your end. But at a time when states across the country are decimating local aid, no city or town in Connecticut will receive less total funding from the state than it did last year, and many will receive more,” Malloy wrote. Statewide implementation of the car tax elimination proposal would take effect on July 1, 2014. “I do have a problem with this,” Ellington First Selectman Maurice Blanchette said of the car tax elimination proposal, who estimated it would cost the town about $3.3 million annually. “We’d need a 10 percent increase in the mill rate to get back to where we were,” he said. “We still have to plow our roads. We still have to educate our children.” Shuck said one of the biggest concerns for Stafford would be the $600,000 in funding that Johnson Memorial Hospital would lose. “That would put them over the edge,” he said. “That’s an asset for our region, not just for the town of Stafford … that’s a qualityof-life issue, and it’s also a health and safety issue.” Of the car tax elimination, Shuck said, “The state would be stepping into the municipal revenue streams.” Coppler estimated Enfield would lose $2 million in revenue, and “that doesn’t even address his car tax proposal.” He said the town currently brings in about $7 million in car taxes each year. Somers First Selectman Lisa Pellegrini also expressed concerns about losing the car tax revenue. “To give an example in dollars, if the motor vehicle tax was exempted, then

the loss of revenue for the town would total almost $1.8 million. That is a staggering amount when you think that the town budget is a little over $6.9 million,” Pellegrini said. Of the elimination in PILOT funds, she said, “While on paper it looks equal, however, it actually poses some problems. LoCIP funds can only be used for a very specific list of criteria: capital equipment such as

trucks, equipment and road projects. Funding cannot be used for salaries or insurance or general operating expenses, and there is a process that must be followed in order to get the funding.” In the end, however, Pellegrini said the governor’s proposal might be good for towns in the long run. “It forces us to be responsible for our own operating expenses,” Pellegrini said.

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March 2013 North Central News


East Windsor

Lego Build at the Scout Hall Youth Center

EAST WINDSOR - A drop-in Lego Build will be held Sunday, March 17, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Scout Hall Youth Center, 28 Abbe Rd., East Windsor for all children no matter what town they live in. Want to do something on a Sunday afternoon that is free? Come and build cool creations; we have Legos for every age including 10,000 Duplos for younger children. Build whatever you can and feel free to take pictures, but please do not take

your creations home. The Legos must stay at the hall for the next Lego Build. The Youth Center has been the recipient of a donation of 20,000 Lego bricks from the Lego Corporation. It includes 10,000 Duplos and 10,000 Legos of every size and kind. A parent/adult must accompany the children. For more information, contact Nancy Masters at 860-289-5085 or

Five Corner Cupboard Taking Part in Feinstein Challenge

EAST WINDSOR - The Five Corner Cupboard, East Windsor’s food pantry, located at the First Congregational Church of East Windsor, UCC at 124 Scantic Rd., is participating in the Feinstein Challenge again this year. This is the 16th year Rhode Island philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein, through his Feinstein Foundation, will divide $1 million among hunger fighting agencies nationwide. Donations of food, cash, checks and pledges during March and April qualify for the challenge. The more donations received, the more Feinstein money the Five Corner Cupboard will receive to help East Windsor individuals and families in need. Last year during the Feinstein drive, the response was wonderful. The Cupboard expects folks will be just as generous if not more so this year. The Cupboard served

approximately 20 percent more families last year and expects at least the same in 2013. Everything donated is sorely needed and greatly appreciated. Donations to the Five Corner Cupboard go directly to the recipients in food and personal care items. For more information about the Feinstein Challenge go to: Monetary donations can be sent to: The Five Corner Cupboard, 124 Scantic Rd., East Windsor, CT 06088. Donations of food can be brought to the Cupboard Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11., Sunday mornings 9:30 to noon or call the church office at 860-654-0590 to make arrangements. There are also drop boxes located at the Broad Brook Post Office, Broad Brook Books, the Warehouse Point Library, Geisslers’ (EW) Market and various local churches.

EAST WINDSOR - The Annual Farmers Breakfast sponsored by the East Windsor Lions Club will take place on Sunday, March 10, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at East Windsor High School on South Main Street, Route 5. The menu consists of pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausages, hash browns, Dee’s famous biscuits, apple pie and beverages. The cost will be $7.50 for adults. Children under 12 will be $4.50. Tickets may be purchased at the door. This marks the 30th year that the breakfast will be held. Lions and guests come to East Windsor from all points of the state to enjoy a breakfast with friends.

The proceeds of the breakfast will enable the East Windsor Lions Club to fund high school scholarships, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts projects, Visiting Nurse projects, Fidelco Guide Dogs, the CT Lions Eye Research Center at Yale, the research center at UCONN, the CT Lions Low Vision Center, the East Windsor Five Corner Cupboard Food Pantry and many more charities too numerous to mention. The Farmer’s Breakfast has become a tradition and it is through the continued support of the community that it has proven to be successful every year. For more information, call 860-6230669 or 860-623-0823.

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East Windsor

Fire Departments Won’t Receive Capital Aid from the Town By Linda Tishler Levinson

EAST WINDSOR — The Warehouse Point Fire District will have to find a way to make repairs to its firehouses without capital improvement funds from the town. The Board of Selectmen voted at its Feb. 5 meeting against a proposal to amend the town Capital Improvements Policy. Under the current policy, capital projects must cost more than $20,000 and can be used only for town facilities. The Warehouse Point Fire District

Energy Assistance Program Important Dates

EAST WINDSOR - The following are important dates in the energy assistance program for deliverable fuels for East Windsor residents. March 15 is the deadline for fuel to be ordered through the CRT and Energy Assistance Program May 1 is the last day that a household can apply to establish its eligibility for benefits. May 31 is the last day to submit deliverable fuel bills to CRT to see if they are eligible to be paid. • May 1 is an important date in the energy assistance program for utility heat and heat included households. If you are a utility heated household or household with heat included you have until May 1 to apply for the program. If you have any questions about the Energy Assistance Program, please call East Windsor Human Services at 860-6232430

owns its buildings, not the town. Victor DeCapua and Jim Barton, of the fire district, had addressed the selectmen, saying the two firehouses are in constant need of repair. Needed improvements include the removal of underground oil tanks and parking lot repairs, according to the minutes of the meeting. The possibility of allowing the fire district to tax was discussed. However, it was noted that if it were to tax residents of the district for fire service, the district would

Community News

Friends of Library Book Sale Taking Place

EAST WINDSOR - East Windsor Friends of the Library will be having a book sale through Saturday, March 9. The sale will be held during library hours at the Library Association of Warehouse Point Public Library, 107 Main St., East Windsor. The cost is $6 per bag and an eco-friendly bag will be provided for free. Any questions, please call 860-623-5482.

Author Will Speak

EAST WINDSOR - The Friends of the Library Association of Warehouse Point are pleased to present author Laura Bradford. She will appear to talk about the first two books in her new Amish mystery series set in Heavenly, Pa. Bradford is also an award-winning romance writer and the author of the popular Southern Sewing Circle mysteries (under the name of Elizabeth Lynn Casey). Copies of her books will be available for sale and signing after the program. If you have read any of the Sewing

have to have open elections and budget talks. When asked why the town has two fire departments, DeCapua said that if the fire departments were to merge, it would come at a cost to the town. DeCapua also said that a merger would result in fewer volunteers and more paid firefighters. The selectmen’s vote not to amend the Capital Improvements Policy was unanimous.

Circle mysteries, you are sure to love Laura Bradford’s new Amish series. This program will take place at the Warehouse Point Library Association at 107 Main St., East Windsor, on Saturday, March 9, at 11 a.m. The program is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required. Call 860-623-5482 to register. Seating is limited. Please visit the library website at for all the free upcoming programs that are scheduled, such as beekeepers, the DEP and more.

Rotary Club Seeking Citizen of Year Nominations

EAST WINDSOR - The East Windsor

Rotary Club is accepting nominations from all East Windsor residents for the annual Citizen of the Year Award. Nominees must be residents of East Windsor. The award is given for service to the community. In past years, awards have been given to persons who have made significant contributions to the youth of the town including scouting and sports, 4H programs, public safety, public services, service to citizens’ groups, and contributions to the general welfare of the entire community. Nomination letters should be mailed to Dale Nelson, 51 O’Melia Rd., Broad Brook, CT 06016. Nominations must be received by Thursday, March 7. The award will be presented at a celebration dinner April 11.

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March 2013 North Central News


East Windsor

Parks and Rec Offers Variety of Programs in East Windsor

EAST WINDSOR – The following programs are being offered by the East Windsor Parks & Recreation Department. Call 860-627-6662 for more information. MENS OPEN GYM The East Windsor Parks & Recreation is sponsoring Men’s Open Gym on Monday nights. This is open to adults only; no students are allowed to participate. Open Gym Night will be held at the East Windsor High School from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Fee for this program is $2 per night or $32 for the 16 week session. To see if the program is not being held on a specific night, please call the East Windsor Parks & Recreation at 860-627-6662. PANTHER PLUNGE The East Windsor Parks & Recreation is sponsoring the 4th Annual Panther Plunge to benefit the East Windsor Fuel Bank. This year’s plunge will take place at the East Windsor Park (Reservoir) on Saturday, March 16, at 1 p.m. Anyone interested in participating in this, please contact the East Windsor Parks & Recreation at 860-627-6662. SUMMER JOB OPENINGS The East Windsor Parks and Recreation Department is looking for applicants interested in working with children during the summer months. Positions include Camp

Director, and camp counselors to supervise children participating in a four day a week summer camp program. Camp Director applicants must be 21 years of age and older. Camp Counselor applicants must be 16 years of age and older. CPR and First Aid certification is required. Interested candidates should download an application from the town website at or pick one up at the First Selectmen’s Office located in Town Hall, 11 Rye St., Broad Brook. Applications will be accepted until positions are filled. Any questions, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 627-6662. The East Windsor Parks and Recreation Department is currently looking for WSI instructors and Waterfront Director. Applicants must be 16 years of age and older. Waterfront Director must be 18 years of age and older and have current WSI certification. CPR and First Aide for the Professional Rescuer is required. Interested candidates should download an application from the town website at or pick one up at the First Selectmen’s Office located in Town Hall, 11 Rye St., Broad Brook. Applications will be accepted until positions are filled. Any questions, please con-

tact the Parks and Recreation Department at 627-6662. EASTER East Windsor Parks & Recreation will be holding the Annual Easter Eggstravaganza on Saturday, March 23, at 1 p.m. at the Broad Brook Elementary School. This is open to all children ages 1 through grade 4. There is a fee of $3 per child payable at the door, no tickets needed. Bring your own egg collecting basket. Don’t forget your camera to take a picture with the Easter Bunny. Call the Parks & Recreation Office at 860-627-6662 with any questions. YOGA East Windsor Parks & Recreation will be offering the Spring Session of Yoga starting in April. Monday classes: April 8 through June 10, skip April 15 and May 27. Wednesday classes: April 10 through June 5, skip April 17. Classes are held at the East Windsor High School, Room D4 from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. Cost: Residents $25 once per week, $40 twice per week. NonResidents $30 once per week, $45 twice per week. Please register through the Parks & Recreation Office. Registration forms can be printed from the Parks & Recreation Department webpage on the Town website: or are available in the Town Hall and at the

Parks & Recreation Office. Checks should be made payable to Diane Lemay. Registration is also available online through Webster Bank. Please see online link on the Parks & Recreation Department webpage. Please call the Parks & Recreation Office at 860-627-6662 with any questions. ZUMBA East Windsor Parks & Recreation will be offering the Spring Session of Zumba starting in March. Monday classes: March 18 through May 6. Wednesday classes: March 20 through May 8. Classes are held at the Town Hall Annex from 6 to 7 p.m. Cost: Residents $35 once per week, $60 twice per week. Non-Residents $40 once per week, $65 twice per week. Please register through the Parks & Recreation Office. Registration forms can be printed from the Parks & Recreation Department webpage on the Town Website: or are available in the Town Hall and at the Parks & Recreation Office. Checks should be made payable to Kim Goulet. Registration is also available online through Webster Bank. Please see online link on the Parks & Recreation Department webpage. Please call the Parks & Recreation Office at 860-627-6662 with any questions.

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Selectmen Explore New Polling Places Instead of Schools By Linda Tishler Levinson

ELLINGTON — The town is continuing its search for polling places other than the schools. At the Feb. 11 Board of Selectmen’s meeting, Selectman A. Leo Miller’s proposal to use the new senior center for voting was discussed, according to the minutes of the meeting. In December, Superintendent of Schools Stephen Cullinan renewed his request to stop using the schools for voting. Having voters going in and out the schools during the day is a safety issue, Cullinan said. To allow voters access to the school, the standard security system, which locks doors automatically, must be disabled. This creates

a lapse in security when voting takes place on a school day. Ellington High School and the Crystal Lake School are currently used for voting. Miller’s idea is to use the senior center once it opens. Construction on the facility is scheduled to begin in March. While the senior center would lack sufficient parking for voting, Miller said, the high school lot across the street could be used. Selectman John Turner said moving voting to the middle school rather than the high school might be an option. He said the school’s configuration would better allow voters to be isolated from students.

The matter remains under discussion. Blizzard of 2013 First Selectman Maurice Blanchette said the town fared well during the February blizzard. “We did quite well. We got the roads back up to shape, and we didn’t lose much time because of it,” he said. The town is estimating the blizzard cleanup cost more than $40,000, Blanchette said. Nonetheless, Blanchette said, “it certainly won’t be near the Storm Alfred amounts.” The town is scheduled to meet with a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to find out if it may be eligible for some reimbursement of those costs.

Town Participates In Partnership To Preserve Former Myers Farm

ELLINGTON - First Selectman Maurice Blanchette and Steven K. Reviczky, state Commissioner of Agriculture, announced recently that the Town of Ellington and the State of Connecticut completed the joint acquisition of development rights to an Ellington farm. The acquisition of approximately 70 acres near Green and Reeves roads, generally known as the Myers Farm, which was more recently under the ownership of Cal Myers, was completed on Dec. 28, 2012. The United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) was also a partner in the project.

Myers saw the acquisition as a positive move. “I think it was great that we were able to save a large piece of farmland within an area that has other preserved farmland and I was satisfied with the process,” he said. Ellington First Selectman Maurice Blanchette said, “The Town of Ellington is very pleased to continue its efforts in farmland preservation with the addition of the Myers Farm, and hopes that there will be more opportunities to help preserve farmland in partnership with the State of Connecticut and the NRCS.” “We are thrilled to see this highly productive farmland protected,” added NRCS

State Conservationist Lisa Coverdale. “The acquisition ensures this land will be available for crop production for many years to come.” Ellington Town Planner Robert Phillips said, “This was a win-win for all; the seller, the town, and the state. This was the second development rights acquisition in our successful local farmland preservation program and there are more in the pipeline. Farmland is what makes up the fabric of the town’s character and I am thrilled that we have more interest.” Reviczky added, “Keeping farms and farm communities like Ellington viable helps ensure we retain the ability to pro-

duce and meet the demand for local food, create jobs and preserve the unique character and culture of our state. It is vital that we continue to preserve our best agricultural land.” The preservation of the Myers Farm represents Ellington’s second joint acquisition by the Town, State of Connecticut, and the federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program administered by the NRCS and is another acquisition associated with the local farmland protection program. The 70-acre Myers Farm is located in


March 2013 North Central News



Small Town, Big Talent Community Make a Variety Show

ELLINGTON - Two active youth organizations in Ellington are joining forces to present a night of entertainment to benefit another youth and Ellington High School athlete, Troy Russell, who was injured this past summer in a swimming accident. Rise Above and Opening Knight Players (OKP) will present Small Town, Big Talent Community Variety Show on Saturday, March 23, at 7 p.m. at Ellington High School. Two goals are hoped to be achieved from this event: a chance for the entire community young and old to join their talents together and to raise some needed funds to help in Troy Russell’s recovery. On August 13, 2012, Troy suffered a serious accident in Narragansett, R.I., and broke two vertebrae in his neck. As a result he lost mobility of his legs and hands and has been working hard to regain it back. Rise Above member Ali Larew is spearheading the event and has encouraged all ages and all talents to come and audition for the variety show. OKP Director Bill Prenetta is providing his experience and knowledge of the stage while many Rise

Easter Egg Hunt Open To The Public

ELLINGTON - The Ellington MOMS Club will be having an Easter Egg Hunt at Brookside Park on Tuesday, March 19, at 4:30 p.m. This event is open to children 8 and under. Please RSVP to Reanna Goodreau at or 860-872-0666.

Ellington High juniors Erin Schirra and Alec Marcus rehearsing before their audition. Above and OKP members will be helping “We decided to host this event in hopes with all aspects of the production. that it would bring the community togethAuditions took place the last week in er for a night of entertainment showcasing February and as of print time there were acts of all ages in the lineup. Some  include a young violinist, several vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, a local rock band from  Vernon, a music teacher and a senior citizen choir. Several current Ellington High  School students are offering their talent along with alumni.  from Larew is excited about drawing the community for the show and hopes to  have a big variety of talent participating.

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some of our most talented friends and neighbors,” Larew said. “As a friend and classmate of Troy’s, I want him and his family to know that they’ve been an inspiration to us and we want to continue doing whatever we can to support them during Troy’s rehabilitation.” Anyone interested in being a part of the night can email Ali Larew at Alyssa Skewes Burnett-Pollock, a 2006 Ellington High graduate and former standout softball pitcher, is looking forward to participating in the event. “After being a DJ at the last fundraiser for Troy, I could not help but feel so much pride, support, and spirit from our community,” Skewes said. “I wanted to show my support and pride in my town by doing what I could to help raise more money for Troy. As an athlete, it really hits home.” Any questions about the event should go to the above email address to the attention of Ali Larew. Tickets will be sold at the door on the night of the performance and are $8 general admission and $6 for seniors and students. Proceeds will go to the Troy Russell Benefit Fund.

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Farmland Preserved for Future (continued from page 7)

Awards recognize individuals and groups that have significantly advanced farmland preservation through leadership, advocacy, planning, and education. For the last nine years, winners of the award have been chosen because they are champions for farmland protection. Award winners have logged countless hours and great successes in the name of preserving Connecticut’s most valuable and vulnerable resource - our farmland,” reads the Connecticut Farm Bureau website.

an agricultural part of town that abuts the Northern Connecticut Land Trust’s preserved “Swann Farm” on the southerly side of Reeves Road and the westerly side of Green Road that is largely unimproved. Approximately 94 percent or 66 acres of the 70-acre farm is classified as prime or important farmland soils, those most suitable for growing crops. Together with the 56-acre Swann Farm, the acquisition makes a contiguous block of 126 preserved acres. The contribution from the town was $71,370 with half that amount to be reimbursed to the town by the NRCS. The farm now has in place a permanent conservation easement restricting its use to agriculture only. Protected farms help the town retain its rural character and scenic vistas, protect natural resources, promote local food security, and sustain employment in the agricultural sector. The Town Planner recently accepted the 2012 Farmland Preservation Pathfinder Business Consulting (860) 924-4171 Outstanding Group Award from Business Coaching the Working Lands Alliance, a Staff Training project of the American Budgeting & Financial Reviews Success Farmland Trust, on behalf of Public Speaking Engagements for you. the town. “Established in 2003, the prestigious Pathfinder {Free Consultation}

Send Your News to northcentralnews

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10 North Central News March 2013


CLADDAGH? SINGLE: On the right hand, with heart facing away means you are open to love.

TAKEN: On the right hand, with heart facing towards you means you are in a relationship.

MARRIED: On the left hand, with heart facing towards you means you are married.

Side by Side Youth/Police Program Commences in Town

Ellington By Deborah Stauffer

ELLINGTON - Ellington’s Director of Youth Services, Diane Lasher-Penti, and Sgt. Patrick Sweeney, supervisor of the Ellington Resident State Trooper’s Office, have joined together to develop a new youth/officer program called Side by Side. The purpose of the program is to create more understanding between young people and the police. The program currently involves about 15 students in grades 6, 7 and 8 and four officers. The main goal of Side by Side is to encourage youth to make positive choices and develop leadership skills. Ellington has a successful sixth grade DARE program that helps students interact positively with police; however, Lasher-Penti and Sweeney hope to offer even more opportunities for youth and police to engage in a healthy and respectful connection. Several members of the high school

group Rise Above also participate with Side by Side as leadership role models. The combination of the groups creates a better understanding for all of them. Many team building and communication exercises are part of Side by Side. Their first activity in November was a low ropes course at the YMCA in Ellington. Then in February the group met at Windermere School and spent the afternoon playing dodge ball and other team building activities, ending the day with pizza. In April, they are planning a high ropes challenge course in Bristol to end the successful year. The group has been funded this year by Youth Services, but they hope to apply in the future for grants to help with funding and eventually expand the program and include community service projects. “This year is a building year so we hope

to continue to brainstorm on ways to come together,” Lasher-Penti said. “Our hope is that students will come from this program with a higher level of respect for themselves, others and the community.” Sgt. Sweeney believes the Side by Side program not only benefits the youth participating in the program, but also the troopers and town police officers as well.

“This program allows the police to interact with the youth and gain a better understanding of the difficulties that the youth are facing today. The program has a two-fold benefit for all involved,” Sweeney said. For more information on Youth Services, visit their website at


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Plans Proposed for Redevelopment of Thompsonville Section By Linda Tishler Levinson

ENFIELD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Enfield Community Development Corp. is proposing the creation of a Focus Area Committee for the redevelopment of Thompsonville. The group made a presentation to the Town Council at its Feb. 19 meeting entitled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thompsonville â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A State of the Village.â&#x20AC;? Daren LaMore of ECDC said a Focus Area Committee would be comprised of

residents, experts and professionals. The group would have subcommittees working on public safety, housing, transit-oriented design and business growth. Thompsonville fire station At the meeting residents said they were upset by proposals for a new fire station in the Thompsonville section of town. Donald Christmas, of Lincoln Street, said that over the last couple of years Thompsonville fire district taxpayers have

overwhelmingly said no to the new fire station. According to the minutes of the meeting, he said people feel whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening is sneaky and that residents are being disregarded. Joseph Sloan, of Frew Terrace, said people were angry and upset when they heard the new fire station was going forward because they voted against a new fire station. He questioned why they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t consolidate fire departments.

ENFIELD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Several well-known community members will star in the 10th annual Asnuntuck Community College Foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Last Dance of Dr. Disco, Murder Mystery Dinner and Auction. The event will take place on Friday, March 22, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Enfield. Proceeds will benefit scholarships and funds to prepare students with strong technical skills to ensure highly skilled workers. Among those starring in The Last Dance of Dr. Disco are Gary Carra, Tim St. James, Susan Beaudoin, Asnuntuck Community College; Denise Fleming, Rockville Bank, John Tinnirella, First National Bank of Suffield; Gary Cote, The

Hangman Wallpaper & Paint, Michelle Hogan, Hair Studio at Four Corners; Gary Guminiak, Hallmark and Angela Taylor. Additional cameo roles will be played by Dr. Martha McLeod, Asnuntuck Community College; Rich and Carolyn Tkacz, Richâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oil Service; Joyce Keating, Keating Real Estate; Joanne Kane and Alan Drinan. The mystery of The Last Dance of Dr. Disco is under the direction of Michael Helechu, Allied Community Services. Someone will be ruthlessly murdered at this event. Guests are sure to enjoy a suspenseful and intriguing evening of dining, auctions and entertainment. For more information, please call event

organizer Chris Casey at Chris Casey Concepts at 860-698-6267.

Murder Mystery Featuring a Talented Cast of Community â&#x20AC;&#x153;Celebritiesâ&#x20AC;? Church Offers Free Community Supper

ENFIELD - The Hazardville United Methodist Church will hold its first free community supper on March 16 at 5 p.m. in their Fellowship Hall at 330 Hazard Ave. in Enfield. Residents of the Enfield/Hazardville community are invited to enjoy a home cooked meal and fellowship with one another. For more information call the church at 860-749-7098.

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March 2013 North Central News



‘Enfield Idol’ Hits the Stage for 2nd Year for Education Group By Julie Cotnoir

ENFIELD - Students and teachers throughout Enfield will be the beneficiaries of the profits made from the upcoming “Enfield Idol” performance. Hitting the stage for the second year in a row, performers from around the community will share their talents and vie for the coveted title of “Enfield Idol.” Enfield Foundation for Excellence in Education (EFEE) a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization is sponsoring the March 15 event. This year’s event has been moved to Enfield High School and will start at 7 p.m. The show had to be moved to a larger venue this year due to the fact that the event held at Asnuntuck Community College had overwhelming success selling out in just three days. EFEE began in January 2009 as the brainchild of local moms Shannon Grant and Maureen Brennan. There were seven initial members who worked on setting the foundation for the group. “We wanted to create something unique that would make a difference,” says Grant. They have awarded more than $8,000 in grants to local educators since its inception. “My

ENFIELD/page 15


Contestants for “Enfield Idol” have been practicing for the big show. This year’s show, featuring 18 contestants, is scheduled for March 15 at 7 p.m. at Enfield High School. Tickets can be purchased for $10 at Tell Me a Story located at 76 Palomba Dr. or from the website Photo by Julie Cotnoir

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‘Enfield Idol’ Features Talented Performers Raising Funds


former. “I continue to sing at my church and have done a couple of open mics here and there, but nothing too serious has come from my singing; it remains a fun hobby that I like to share with others when I get the chance rather than a dream that I actively pursue,” he said. “My dog Gretchen remains my biggest fan, even through the sour notes and awful lyrics in my songwriting process.” He will be joining a couple of last year’s top participants for one number the night of “Idol.” “I’m looking forward to performing again for such a large audience. When I was asked to judge I quickly said I would, and I am really excited about using my knowledge of music and performing to help pick this year’s winner,” he said. He acknowledges that this year will be a different experience for him: “I’m also excited that I won’t have to be nervous backstage while singers are performing and that I will be able to enjoy the show.” The judge adds, “I’m glad that EFEE chose a larger venue to have the performance as they will hopefully be able to raise lots more money than they did last year and fund more grants.” Grant now serves as the grant committee chairperson for EFEE. She says they have big plans for the proceeds from this

(continued from page 14)

goal is to double that amount this year,” notes the mom. According to organizer Gina Sullivan, Enfield High School will help the organization meet that goal. The school’s auditorium will offer 200 additional seats and a larger stage for the 18 contestants with an age range for this year’s performers from 8-44. “We are very excited and we hope it will be well received,” Sullivan said. “There is a great range of song choices. It will make for a good show.” Sullivan, a mother of two, says the participants have made song selections covering the gamut of genres. The evening will feature everything from Elton John to classical selections, ensuring everyone in the audience will be entertained. Asnuntuck Community College President Martha McLeod will serve as the emcee, with last year’s “Enfield Idol” winner Chad Galabach, local Enfield talent Becky Schaefer Vesce and retired music educator John Gionfriddo serving as judges. Brenna DaSilva Grimson, from Riley’s School of Dance, is once again volunteering to choreograph the show. Galabach is happy to be participating again this year as both a judge and per-

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year’s event. The group is working closely with the Superintendent of Schools on a project they hope will involve intermediate and middle school age children. She is unable at this time to disclose what the project is but acknowledges that the group is expecting the cost to be between $6,000$8,000, with EFEE and other sponsors picking up the entire tab. Last year’s event raised $4,000 and within a month of the event the group had awarded seven technology grants to local teachers, according to Grant. She said some funding went to putting iPads in the classrooms. One school received e-books, with another school receiving three iPod Touches, which are being used by students to learn their math facts and practice reading sight words. These tools have also allowed for Podcasts to be created so parents can be kept up to speed on their child’s progress in the classroom. EFEE is also planning to partner with Healthy Enfield to bring a series of family fun runs to Enfield High’s track this summer. They are hoping to bring experts in to help families learn the proper way to warm up. The culminating event will be for children to run in the race held each year as part of the Enfield Public Schools’ Family Day in September.

Tickets are for sale for “Enfield Idol” at Enfield’s newest bookstore, Tell Me a Story, at 76 Palomba Dr. (located near Smyth’s Ice Cream). They can also be purchased on the website for $10. If you would like information on how to be a sponsor of this event or purchase an ad in our program, please contact Sandy Donelan at 860-741-6951 or Jennifer Marone at 860-205-2376 or at This year’s contestants are: Katie Zbikowski Gabriella Place Nicholas Chickosky Jessica Handly Kaceyrose Fisher Sophia Sheehan Jessica Stears Sage King Alyssa Stauffer Tamara Holmes Amani Charles Jenna Boudreau Piper Reel Taylor Fritz Hannah Kibbe Lauren Attenello Jocelynn Sollmi John Foxx

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March 2013 North Central News


Library Hours:

Monday – Thursday 10:00-8:00 Friday 10:00-5:00 Saturday 10:00-3:00 Sunday 1:00-5:00 Library Closed:

March 29, Good Friday March 31, Easter

Friends of the Library Used Book Sale

Drop off donated books on Saturday, April 6, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the library. The book sale will be held in the Blake Community Room at the library. Preview: Friday, April 12, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Book Sale: Saturday, April 13, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 14, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Book Discussion

The non-fiction book discussion group will meet on Tuesday, March 21 at 1:00 to discuss Breaking Night by Liz Murray. This selection will be discussed in conjunction with The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. The next evening discussion at the library will be A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay on Wednesday, March 27 at 7:00 p.m. Copies of the books are available for loan. Please call 860763-3501 to register or for further information.

Movie Matinee

On March 26 the feature will be Argo, winner ‘Best Picture’ in this year’s Oscars. Movies are shown with subtitles in the Blake Community Room beginning at 1:00 p.m.

You can get that at the library?

Yes, we’re more than books and we can save you money! Here’s what we offer: Magazines to borrow and access to articles online E-Readers and MP3 players DVDs, CDs, Bookson-CD Museum passes Free Internet use Meeting space

Quiet study rooms Live entertainment Instructional classes Children’s programs Movie matinees Book Discussion groups Online databases And your greatest resource for help with any question – librarians!

NEW!! Now we go where you go…download our library app for your mobile device and get 24/7 access to library information and resources: Get Groovy with Pete the Cat! Sunday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m.

Calling all Pete the Cat fans! Join us for a visit with Pete the Cat from the wildly popular picture books by Eric Litwin. Pete the Cat will also pose for pictures so be sure to bring your cameras. Pete the Cat books include: I Love My White Shoes, Rocking In My School Shoes, His Four Groovy Buttons and Pete the Cat Saves Christmas. All ages are invited. Register now for this event!

Family Night Storytime

Tuesday, March 26, 6:00-6:45 p.m. Celebrate Spring at this special evening storytime! Children ages 2 & up with parents are invited to hear stories about some bunnies, lambs and chicks. We will also be making a craft and having a fun snack. Registration is required for this event.

Spring Session Storytimes

Registration will take place beginning Monday, April 1 for Somers residents and Tuesday, April 2 for non-residents. Storytime sessions will run for five weeks beginning April 8. Registration is required for all storytimes. To register for storytime or for more information, please call the library at 860763-3501.

Children ages 12 - 24 months, meets on Thursdays at 10:15 a.m. Children ages 24-36 months, meets on Mondays at 10:15 a.m. or Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m. Children ages 3-5 years, meets on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. or Fridays at 10:15 a.m.

Introducing our Kids Catalog!

The Kids Catalog allows you to search for juvenile material in the library and the easyto-read screens make it easy to locate the books your child needs. Go to our website to check it out!

Celebrate Easter With Us Somers Congregational Church, 599 Main Street, Somers, CT (860) 763-4021 / The Reverend Dr. Barry Cass, Pastor

Palm Sunday Sunday, March 24

8:15 am and 10:00 am Celebration of Palm Sunday Johnson Hospital Education Center

Monthly Community Suppers Call/email for reservations Church Building, 599 Main St., Somers Free to All 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm The 15th of every month

16 North Central News March 2013

Worship Services

Sundays 8:15 & 10:00 A.M. Johnson Hospital Education Center, Route 190, Stafford Springs, CT, Handicap accessible, Ample parking, Church School and Child care provided at 10:00 A.M.

Easter Services Sunday, March 31

6:15 am Sunrise Service and Breakfast ~Soapstone Mountain 10:00 am Traditional Worship Johnson Hosp. Educational Center Child care provided

Maundy Thursday Communion and Celebration of Tenebrae Thursday, March 28 Church Building, 599 Main St., Somers 6:30 pm

Vacation Bible School Summer 2013

for information contact Liz Scanlon, Christian Education Director at


Two Receive Girl Scouts’ Highest Rank with Town Projects By Linda Tishler Levinson

SOMERS — Two Girl Scouts helped improve the town as they completed their Gold Award requirements. The Gold Award is the highest in Girl Scouting. The town held a celebration for the Scouts on Feb. 7 at the Senior Center, First Selectman Lisa Pellegrini said. Girl Scout Emily Teel worked on replacing flooring and on repainting at the Senior Center for her project. Girl Scout Emily Jewel worked on replacing markers on the graves of veterans in the Somers Cemeteries, as well mapping out the veterans’ graves. USA Hauling, the town’s waste management contractor, made a $10,000 community outreach donation for the flooring project. This donation is included as part of the waste management contract the town has with USA Hauling, Pellegrini said. The Selectmen voted to direct funds to the Girl Scout Gold Projects. “The funding was able to pay for new tile flooring and carpet installation at the Senior Center. The old carpet was badly worn and stained. The new tile allows for easy cleanup and is non-skid. The color palette at the center is a beautiful mix of cappuccino shades, accented by burgundy curtains,” Pellegrini said. The donation also allowed for $200 toward the veterans grave markers at the cemetery. “The Board of Selectmen cannot be more proud of the work completed by both Emily Teel and Emily Jewell. We are also very appreciative of USA Hauling for their commitment to the community outreach program,” Pellegrini said.

At the Girl Scout Gold Award celebration on Feb. 7 at the Somers Senior Center are Human Services Director Amy Saada, George Roberts from USA Hauling, Girl Scout Emily Teel, First Selectman Lisa Pellegrini, Girl Scout Emily Jewel and Selectman Kathy Devlin.

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‘The King’ Entertains Seniors

SOMERS - Blizzard Nemo caused the Somers Senior Center’s Valentine’s Day Celebration to be postponed to Feb. 20. However, the blizzard certainly didn’t diminish the excitement, energy, and fun that the Somers senior citizens demonstrated. David Devonshuk did a fabulous job presenting his “Elvis Remembered” show. In full costume, he sang many of the great songs for which Elvis Presley is famous. No one could say that Somers seniors’ hearts were not captured. Many seniors joined in the fun by waving arms or clapping hands to the music and singing along with “Elvis.” The more than 70 seniors who attended this fun-filled after-

noon easily remembered the lyrics and tunes. Some seniors even kicked up their heels and danced to the music. Many spoke about the wonderful memories each song brought to mind — some blushing as they told their stories to friends. Thanks to Bill McCloskey’s annual Valentine’s Day tradition, all the women received a beautiful long-stem rose. Smiles and laughter filled the Center and love was in the air. This event was sponsored by the Town of Somers Senior Center. The senior center’s staff not only provided delicious refreshments, they also participated in the entertainment and ensured everyone’s needs were met.

Kindergarten Registration Scheduled

SOMERS - Registration for the 20132014 kindergarten (half-day) sessions will be held Monday through Friday, March 18-22, between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at Somers Elementary School, 4 Vision Blvd. Somers. Please bring with you at time of registration: 1. Proof of Somers residency 2. Child’s birth certificate, and

3. Child’s current immunization records Parents are expected to fill out all required paperwork at time of registration. To qualify for kindergarten in August 213, children must be 5 years old on or before Dec. 31, 2013. Children do not need to be present for registration. For further information, please call 860-749-2270, extension 3.

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Somers Senior Center Turns Green for St. Patrick’s Day

SOMERS - The Somers Senior Center will turn a “wee bit” Irish on Thursday, March 14, as it celebrates St. Patrick’s Day and enjoys great “Pub Style” Irish melodies from the “Irish to the Last Drop” singers and musicians. This group of five singers and musicians (Tom Curtiss, John and Ellen O’Shaughnessy, Joe King, and Don Benevides), all of whom reside in the Vernon area, began singing together many years ago at a church fundraiser. That success encouraged them to continue, and they have been harmonizing for Connecticut audiences ever since. Feel free to “wear the green” and get into the spirit of this fun event. You don’t have to be Irish! Perhaps some of you will show us a wee Irish jig! Enjoy the great entertainment and light refreshments between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Somers Senior Center, 19 Battle St. Tickets must be purchased in advance. The price is $2 for Somers seniors and $5 for out of town seniors. Tickets must be purchased no later than March 11. No tickets will be sold at the door. Any questions, please call 860-763-4379. This event is sponsored by the Town of Somers Senior Center.


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Huskies Manager Honored

Connecticut Huskies team manager and graduating senior Emily Plagenza poses for a picture with her mother and head coach Geno Auriemma during Senior Night before the game against the Seton Hall Pirates at Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated Seton Hall 90-30. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


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CLASSIC ROCK KINGS Featuring: Gary Carra, Ben Simborski, Joe Whalen and Scott Silvia 22 North Central News March 2013

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CROWN PRINCES OF COVER POP Featuring: Aaron Fay, Pete Maserati, Jesse Casinghino, Nate Fay and Edward “Stylz” Blizniak


March Piedmont Percolator Coffeehouse Returns After Snow Break SOMERS - Returning after an unexpected snow hiatus, the next installment of the Piedmont Percolator Coffeehouse Series, Sunday, March 10, will feature the guitar stylings of Donna Martin, a newcomer to the Piedmont Percolator Coffeehouse and Dan Stevens, who is joining the program for the second year. First to perform is Martin, an acoustic singer/songwriter born and raised in suburban Connecticut. Drawing from the seeds of her upbringing, her writing and singing has been described by critics as “wistful and personal,” adding that she is a woman “whose stories are colored by powers of observation and the frames she puts around them.” Martin has spent the

AARP Driver Safety Class Offered at Somers Senior Center

SOMERS - The AARP Driver Safety Class for seniors age 50 and older is again being held at the Somers Senior Center. The class will be held at the Somers Senior Center at 19 Battle St. on April 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The class is open to anyone at a cost of $12 for AARP members and $14 for nonmembers. The AARP Driver Safety Class not only provides a refresher of driving rules, but also teaches valuable defensive driving skills, safety strategies, tips for adapting your driving to compensate for physical and cognitive changes that come with

aging, etc. Since 1979, this course has helped more than 14 million drivers. By law, Connecticut residents age 60 and older who complete this class qualify for a minimum of 5% automobile liability insurance discount for at least two years. Some insurance companies offer a higher discount and/or may extend the discount to younger policyholders. Check with your insurance company. For additional information or to register, please call Bev Morin at 860-7493605.

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better part of two decades touring the Northeast and Canada. Stevens, deemed “Connecticut’s hardest working bluesman” by the New York Times in 2002 for his extensive touring in and around New England and New York, returns to Piedmont Hall to kick off the second portion of the evening. Stevens’ style reflects the influences of several meaningful mentors, legendary and awardwinning guitarists such as Paul Rishell and Dave Van Ronk, who helped him hone his acoustic guitar skills and instill in him an appreciation for the blues greats. Stevens’ work has been hailed by critics, and a review of his latest CD, “Broke Down and Hungry,” notes “his stylish fingerpicking

and warm vocals shade [his] tunes with fresh, penetrating nuances.” Needless to say, Somers is in for a musical treat with Donna and Dan at the helm. This highly successful second season of the Piedmont Percolator Coffeehouse Series concludes in April with Lauren Agnelli and Amalgamated Muck, but will return in October with a fresh new lineup of local musical and artistic talent. The program takes place at Piedmont Hall, 604 Main St., Somers, on Sunday, March 10, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission and coffee are free. For further information, call 860-763-1833 or visit

SOMERS - The Somers High School Music Department will hold its annual Pops Concert on Wednesday, March 20, and Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m. in the Somers High School auditorium. The concert will feature performances by the band, chorus, jazz choir and individual soloists and musicians. Tickets are $8 and may be

ordered in advance from a music student or purchased at the door. The Pops Concert is a fundraiser sponsored by the Somers Music Patrons to support the K-12 music programs. Proceeds from the Pops Concert are used to sponsor scholarships, student awards and equipment for the various music programs.

Somers High Presents Annual Pops Concert

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FA X : ( 8 6 0 ) 7 6 4 - 3 6 4 4 March 2013 North Central News



An Eye for Glass

Dan Morgan of Bethany takes a closer look at the antique bottles during the Somers Antique Bottle Club's Annual Show and Sale at the Saint Bernard School in Enfield. Photo by David Butler II

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

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24 North Central News March 2013

Sunday Drive

St. Patty’s Day Shenanigans & Something to ‘Wine’ About By Gary Carra

Welcome back to the Sunday Drive, the column that aspires to be your complete entertainment itinerary on a month-tomonth basis. As we March into March, we find no shortages of festivities for those who love a parade... or purveyors of fine wine and practitioners of scintillating murder mysteries, as luck would have it. When it comes to St. Patty’s Day parades, nobody does it bigger than New England’s own Holyoke, Mass. Actually, that’s not true. New York City has a bigger one. Holyoke just happens to host the second-largest parade in the United States. And the 2013 installment kicks off at 11:30 a.m. at the K-Mart Plaza on Sunday, March 17. New England’s Biggest Parade And talk about a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. A recent economic impact study on the Holyoke St. Patrick Day’s Parade showed that the parade generates more than $12 million in local sales courtesy of some 400,000-plus spectators. For more information on becoming one

of those yourself, kindly point your browser to for more info. Hartford Parade For those who prefer not to leave the friendly confines of the Nutmeg State to get their Irish on, well, you don’t have to, either. Greater Hartford boasts a sizeable St. Patty’s Day extravaganza March 9 downtown. It steps off at 11 and runs through Capitol Avenue, Main Street, Asylum and Ford Street and ends up at the arch - rain or shine. Best Viewing in New Haven If for some reason you can’t hit that one - or you simply want to be a part of the largest spectator event in the state of Connecticut - New Haven’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place the following morning, Sunday, March 10. Since the mid-1950s the St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Greater New Haven has become one of New England’s premier Irish events. Parade starts at Derby Avenue and Chapel Street and proceed along Chapel Street to Church Street to Grove Street, ending on Orange Street. Dunn’s


Pub, 2345 Whitney Ave., Hamden, will run a shuttle bus to the parade. The shuttle includes breakfast; $10 per person; children under 10, free. The shuttle will run from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 3 p.m.-6 p.m. A great alternative to parking downtown on a family friendly transport. Call 203-9969712 or email Or if you’ve just hit your shamrock quota, don’t whine about it. Wine. Wine & Ale The Literacy Volunteers of Northern CT is sponsoring the Annual D'Vine Wine & Ale Tasting Event on Saturday, March 9, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Golden Gavel on Route 140 in East Windsor. This event was formerly sponsored by The Arc of Greater Enfield. Joe's Fine Wine & Spirits, the event sponsor, will feature over 60 wines and 30plus specialty ales and beers. A carving station will be staffed by Storrowton Tavern. In addition, imported cheeses, crackers, fresh fruit, desserts and coffee will be served. Music, raffle prizes and a live auction will be part of the evening. Tickets are $30. For more information on the event or ticket purchasing, e-mail: Summers High Always a sucker to end on a ‘high’ note, your Sunday Driver would be remiss not to tell you that the makeup snow date for his band - Summers High - at Joanna’s in Somers with coverband heavyweights Maxxtone has been rescheduled to Saturday, March 23.

Death of Disco The preceding evening, you can also catch the Driver assuming the role of Dr. Disco in The Last Dance of Dr. Disco - the annual Murder Mystery 10th Dinner/Auction beneftting the Asnuntuck Community College Foundation. The event production will take place on Friday, March 22, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Holiday Inn in Enfield and proceeds from it will benefit scholarships and funds to prepare students with strong technical skills to ensure highly skilled workers Among Dr. Disco’s castmates are Asnuntuck colleagues Tim St. James and Susan Beaudoin; Denise Fleming, Rockville Bank, John Tinnirella, First National Bank of Suffield, Gary Cote, The Hangman Wallpaper & Paint, Michelle Hogan, Hair Studio at Four Corners; Gary Guminiak, Hallmark and Angela Taylor. Additional cameo roles will be played by Dr. Martha McLeod, Asnuntuck Community College; Rich and Carolyn Tkacz, Rich’s Oil Service; Joyce Keating, Keating Real Estate; Joanne Kane and Alan Drinan. The mystery of The Last Dance of Dr. Disco is under the direction of Michael Helechu, Allied Community Services. Someone will be ruthlessly murdered at this event! Guests are sure to enjoy a suspenseful and intriguing evening of dining, auctions and entertainment. For more information, call event organizer Chris Casey at Chris Casey Concepts at 860-698-6267.

Visit Us Online, Any Time At:

Literacy Volunteers of Northern CT Cordially invites you to the Annual

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March 2013 North Central News



Robotics Team Getting Ready to Compete at World Meet By Julie Cotnoir

(Science, Technology, STEM Engineering and Math) may be the buzz acronym of the day but for students and volunteers in Enfield, Buzz has been the word since 1996. Buzz Robotics FIRST Robotics Team 175 consists of students from both Fermi and Enfield High Schools, volunteers from their industry partner United Technologies Aerospace Systems, along with parents, retirees from UTC, teachers and other members of the community. This team is one of more than 2,550 teams, from 60 countries around the world that will be taking part in the annual FIRST Robotics Competition on April 24-27 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by famed inventor Dean Kamen as a way to introduce students to the fields of STEM. Known for inventing the Segway Human Transporter and the first wearable insulin pump for diabetics, Kamen holds 440 other U.S. and foreign patents. The local program receives financial and volunteer support from United Technologies Aerospace Systems but it is the students that raise a large sum of money for the program through various fundraisers. Bob Scagni, who retired after 46 years from Hamilton Sundstrand’s Space Systems division got the group off the ground back in 1996 and is just as committed to the group today as he was on day one. He said by having students involved in every piece of the project they have a stronger sense of ownership.

First row, from left: Austen Juhasz, Sue Reis, Will Heartel, Connor Desmarist, Josh Jamison, Pete Polis, Zack Boyer, Lauren Hasley. Second row, from left: Earl Bahl, Dan Whalen, Kyle Dean, Brendan Toohey, Liz Donovan, Kelsie Atiyeh, Holly Beaudoin, Brian Toohey, Wendy Atiyeh, Mary-Lynn Osborn, Bob Scagni. Third row from left: Jim Morin, Ed Dolinsky, Matt Allen, Steve Olson, Mat Polis, Thomas Vose, Jim Hodrinsky, Jim Rapacki, Patrick Tillman, Bob Atiyeh. Fourth row, from left: Art Colling, Chris Kennedy, Pete Polis, Stu Karlsruher Student Austen Juhasz says he has been Scagni said the program, which has had ROBOTICS/page 27 more than 400 Enfield students as team able to explore many different areas. members over the years, allows them to tap into many aspects of career exploWest Stafford ration. “It allows them to find their niche,” Psychotherapy he said. Whether it is programming, design, entrepreneurship or marketing, Services For there is something for everyone who wants Women to participate.

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Robotics Team (continued from page 26)

Initially he says he was brought on to program the robot. This year he is actually working on the shooter portion of the project. He has plans to use what he has learned when he joins the Air Force. When conversing with students, as they work at constructing the robot and all the necessary items needed to compete, one thing that comes through loud and clear is the appreciation they have for the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mentors. Earl Bahl is one of more than 20 mentors who work with the students in Enfield. Retired from Hamilton Sundstrand, he has been helping the group for 18 years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It gives you a chance to interface with the kids.â&#x20AC;? Student Zack Boyer says that many times graduates of the local high schools will come back to be mentors for the team. Freshman Josh Jamison echoed how important the volunteers are to the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe this team would be here without long-term mentors.â&#x20AC;? Mary-Lynne Osborn is the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s high school advisor. A family and consumer science teacher at Fermi High School Osborn says she is very impressed with how well the mentors work with the students. She has told the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Superintendent that the opportunity to have one to one pairing of student to mentor allows the students to

immediately apply the skills they are taught. She says students are allowed to do a lot of the work and the mentors take the students seriously. All FIRST teams are given the same basic kit of parts and are allowed to customize the robot under certain parameters with a monetary budget that cannot be exceeded. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theme is Ultimate Ascent and involves getting your robot to get discs into the goals. Alliances are important, with teams interacting with students from other teams to learn which team has a robot that can perform a task that would be beneficial to their team. Every robot canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t perform every task needed to complete the mission so proper alliances are critical to a teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. Two competing alliances will compete on a flat 27 x 54 foot field. Each alliance will have three robots. There is also another twist. Teams must construct a pyramid structure that will be used at the end of the match. Additional points are awarded to alliances depending on how high up their pyramid their robot can climb. Hundreds of hours of planning and construction are needed in order to construct a worthy robot. Over the years in Enfield, 400 students have participated on the team and 250,000 volunteer hours have been donated to the team, according to information from the team. Literature from the team says 98 % of the students who have participated have pursued college, with

95% of those students, pursuing degrees in the STEM Field. The team says 15 students have accepted internships at United Technologies Corporation, Wendy Atiyeh, Team Coordinator, says one of her daughters was an intern at Hamilton Sundstrand and is now one of 8 graduates of the program to be employed there. Atiyehâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father and husband have all been dedicated to the team over the years, with her youngest daughter Kelsie, a senior at Fermi High School, also participating on the team as a member. Atiyeh has seen the end results for students. She explains, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The robot is simply the vehicle to teach students STEM in a real life situation.â&#x20AC;? Kelsie says the group, which in 2002 was awarded The FIRST Chairmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Award, tries to let youngsters in the area know about the team and all that it has to offer. They have brought the robot over the years to various elementary schools in town, Enfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family Day and also to United Technologiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Take Your Child to Work Day. She says her involvement has allowed her to meet the Commander and Chief of NASA and CEOs of various companies. Scagni says more than $16 million in scholarship dollars is available to Buzz and other FIRST students. Students from Enfield and Fermi have been awarded

more than a quarter million dollars in scholarships as a result of their involvement with the team. To see Buzz (yes it was named in honor of Buzz Aldrin and Buzz Lightyear) in action the public is invited to attend the Connecticut Regional sponsored by United Technologies on March 28-30 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily) at the Connecticut Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the team, visit






March 2013 North Central News



Fresh Air Fund Honors Local Volunteer at Annual Conference

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Karen Michaud of Stafford Springs was recently presented with the “Fund Representative of the Year” Award at the 2013 Fresh Air Fund Volunteer Leadership Conference. The Fresh Air Fund highlighted the most outstanding volunteers for their dedicated support of the Volunteer Host Family Program. Michaud was recognized for her management work throughout the Central and Northeastern Connecticut area.

Michaud excels at finding talented volunteers and keeping them engaged with the program. Her leadership skills and strong belief in the program motivates her team. Michaud stands out as “Fund Representative of the Year” for supporting all the Fresh Air children that visit in order to give them a terrific summer experience. The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.7 mil-

Karen Michaud accepts her “Fund Representative of the Year” award from Fresh Air Fund Executive Director Jenny Morgenthau and Director Volunteer Host Family Program & Community Outreach Liz Clardy. lion New York City children from low- For more information on hosting a Fresh income communities since 1877. Fresh Air Air child, please contact Karen Michaud at children are boys and girls, from six to 18 860-684-0617 or The Fresh Air Fund at years old, who live in New York City. 800-367-0003. Children on first-time visits are six to 12 You can also visit The Fresh Air Fund years old and stay for one or two weeks. online at

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First Selectman Seeks 2.25 Percent Increase in Spending


By Linda Tishler Levinson

STAFFORD — First Selectman Richard Shuck will present his budget proposal to the town at the first public hearing on the budget on March 6. Shuck said town department heads had sought budgets which would have called for a 12.5 percent increase over the current fiscal year’s $37,229,487 spending plan. Shuck said he pared those budget requests down to a 2.25 percent increase. Exact dol-

lar figures were not available at press time. “It’s a balancing act,” Shuck said of the budget requests. While fixed costs, such as insurance rates, are going up, Shuck said the town is working to limit budget increases. Some of those steps, however, lead to higher costs this year in hopes of savings in future years, he said. “We’re taking steps to try to become more energy efficient,” Shuck said.

That will lead to lower energy costs in the future as the town installs solar and other energy-saving measures, but “this year, we’re going to have to budget for it,” he said. The budget hearing will be held at 7 p.m. March 6 at the Stafford Community Center. Transfer station Work on the town transfer station is moving along, Shuck said. A contractor has been hired to take the main building down. It will be taken down once title issues with the vehicles inside are resolved, he said. The town transfer station has been open on a limited basis since a Jan. 2 fire that destroyed the main building. The transfer station is accepting bagged trash and recyclables only. To simplify

matters, Shuck said, the town has changed to single-stream recycling. Recyclables no longer need to be separated by type.

Women’s Reading Club Seeks New Members

STAFFORD - Tired of Reality TV? Time to immerse yourself in a good novel and share the experience with the serious women readers of The West Stafford Women’s Reading Club. In March, the group will be reading “Between Shades of Grey” by Ruta Sepetys. As a story that is seldom told, Ruta wanted to give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their life during Stalin’s cleansing of the Baltic region. The reading club is welcoming new members. If you are interested please call Georgia at 860-684-9500. The club will be meeting on March 25 at 7 p.m.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013 At Whiton Memorial Branch Library 100 North Main Street, Manchester, CT 06042 Due to the popularity of our free workshops, seats fill up quickly.

RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED Call 24 hrs./day: 800.234.0511 Du rin g o u r wo r ksh o p we ’ ll d i s cu s s th e F AFS A fo r m an d al l th e o th e r in fo r ma t io n yo u n eed to u n d er st an d in o rd er to ma xi mi z e th e a mo u n t o f fin an c ia l aid yo u a r e eli g ib le to r e c ei v e ! Ev en i f yo u r fa mil y is n o t el i gib l e fo r n e ed -b a sed a id , we wil l co ve r th e b es t str a te g ie s o n h o w to p a y fo r co ll e g e o n th e mo s t t a x e ffi ci en t b a si s — with o u t p u t tin g a st ra in o n th e r es t o f yo u r fin an ce s. In this workshop, you will learn: • How to increase your tax deductions and tax credits • How to pick colleges that will give you the best financial aid packages. • Which assets are taken into consideration when the U.S. Department of Education calculates your Family Contribution. • How to pay for college in a failing economy without relying on 529 plans, expensive private student loans or raiding your retirement accounts. • How to get ahead by developing a customized plan to meet all the college costs you will incur as a family. • How to lower your “out-of-pocket” costs and get the maximum amount of money from each school. February 2013 North Central News



Second Quarter Honor Roll Students at Stafford High School STAFFORD - Marco Pelliccia, principal of Stafford High School, is announced that the following students of Stafford High School have made the Honor Roll for the second quarter of the 2012-2013 school year. These students have completed all of their class work as of January 25, 2013 and have not received a grade lower than a 77 in any course. Students who have a 90 average or better have earned High Honors recognition. Students who have earned an 85 average or better have earned Honors recognition. Senior High Honors Angelique Bacha Jennifer Bourque Evan Cummins Marissa Gagne Ryan Gelinas Joshua Gluck Alexander Huffman Amanda Jacobsen Alicia Morgan Rebecca Novelli Katherine Ouellette

Shelbey Prucker Michaela Vaughn-Kuehl Megan Watkinson Brianna Wert Kianna Woods

Junior High Honors Jake Kalette Conor Keleher Niki Leclerc Mykala Perrier Jesse Reeves Marc Richard Matthew Roy

Sophomore High Honors Caitlyn Eaton Hailey Ebenstein Nicholas Girard Shane Kalette Erica Lawlor Kaela Maloney Heidi Pokorny Kyle Ramsey Anyamanee Saksri Anna Smith Corine Sylvain Keighlee Szafir Calvin Wentworth Freshman High Honors Aaron Bernier

Michael Bladek Nathanial Boucher Curtis Campo Natalie Cyr Hunter Davis Alyssa Fecko Nathan Fish Rachel Gallison Samantha Gosselin Bridget Keleher Shannon Kennedy Sandra Korzeniewski Rowan Longmore Richard McKenney Alison Pisciotta Brianna Reeves Sophia Sargent Allison Schoolnick Dylan Snay Shannon Stuart Heather Tetrault Patrick Vincenti Devan Yeo Senior Honors Taylor Bain Marisa Brink Marita Brothers Taylor Burton Emerson Dolby Alec Gregory Kelsey Heavener

Vanessa Knowlton Jonathan Lerch Suzhaunna Lerch Megan Perrier Isabella Randazzo Rachel Sproha

Junior Honors Morgan Bagley Sara Bizilj Samantha DeGennaro Morgan Emmons Kristen Finch Megan Foley Erin Gelinas Elizabeth Girard Benjamin Gluck Stacey Hery Jordan Hosey Samantha Jackson Taylor Merrick Alyssa Murray

Theresa Nosel Amber Payzant Alexa Rossi Dylan Seekins Elisabeth Wood

Sophomore Honors Anna Austin Renee Chasse Alex Hoss Shannon Huda Kathryn Molitoris Matthew Moore Julia Nosel Terek Oldenburg Isabella Ostrowski Jonathan Petersen Joshua Simpson Raeanna Tumel Freshman Honors Christian Carrara

Anthony Ceniglio Devyn Colby Sabrina Czelazewicz Lindsay Dobitsky Collin Dubord Sarah Dwelley Marissa Dwyer Madison Grenier Ethan Ives Mackenzie Koelsch Zachary Kulman Troy Luchon Matthew Martinsen Kaitlyn Mathieu Emma Milikowski Elizabeth Pisciotta Hannah Seddon Peyton Teske Cameron Thayer Caitlin Toney Meadow Voisine Shelby Westall

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30 North Central News March 2013

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Coffee House Presents Canadian Songwriter/Singer Layah Jane

STAFFORD - The March 24 Sunday night free Stafford Arts Commission Coffee House will feature two dynamic musicians. The evening begins at 7 p.m. with the return of Dan Labich. He is a vocalist and guitarist with a background in rock, pop, and blues. This promises to be an hour of great American roots music. Labich has a dynamic personality and

American Legion Birthday Dinner

STAFFORD - The annual corned beef birthday dinner, put on by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 26, is Saturday, March 16, at the post home, 10 Monson Rd., Stafford Springs. Social hour at 5 p.m. with dinner starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are: Adults - $12, kids 5 and under - $6. Tickets are available at the American Legion Bar or by contacting Wendy Lerette at 860-684-2622 or email

Library Will Host Student District-Wide Art Show

STAFFORD - The Stafford Public School System will be having our annual District-Wide Art Show at the Stafford Public Library. The artwork will be on display during March, National Youth Art Month, as well as the month of April. A cross section of student work from all grade levels pre-k through 12th grade will be represented at the show. The art display will show the variety of

infectious good humor. At 8 p.m, Ontario singer/songwriter Layah Jane will grace the coffee house stage. Her vocals have been described as stunning, emotionally compelling and multi-layered. The commission is excited to introduce this talented musician to the Stafford area. The Coffee House is located at the Ben Muzio Town House (Old Town Hall), 221

artistic techniques and processes taught at all levels. All of the visual arts teachers including Mrs. Tannis Longmore, Mrs. Elizabeth Vannelli, Mrs. Dee Paradis and Ms. Jackie Sidor are excited about this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exhibit. As a team, they are excited for the community to see the incredible talent of the students. They hope the art display will show the importance art plays in the childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s educational experience in Stafford.

Dance Features Veteran Caller

STAFFORD - The Stafford Arts Commission is excited to sponsor the third in its fun and successful series of multigenerational community dancing. On March 16 at 7:30 p.m, Tony Parks will be doing the calling and Sue Hill & Friends return to accompany him with their lively music. Parks has called square and contra dances since 1964 for people of all ages and levels of experience. Parks is committed to keeping his dances simple and accessible with the goal of preserving square dance as an activity that everyone can enjoy. Although he is an author of a text on calling and has led dances on this Now offering outside RV and Boat storage


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continent and Europe, Parks derives his greatest satisfaction from watching first timers discover the joy of dancing. All dances are held at Memorial Hall, 275 Orcutville Ro,. Stafford. An $8 donation is requested. For more information contact Rich Sbardella at 860-684-3466 or

Senior Center Zumba Gold Classes

STAFFORD - Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something new and different at the Stafford Community Senior Center - Zumba Gold. Zumba Gold is different from Zumba Fitness. The program is for older adults and people just starting a fitness program. No jumping, turning, twisting. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy, like

playing follow the leader. The lower impact, easy to follow, Latin inspired fun dance fitness party designed for seniors, beginners or other people needing modifications in the exercise routine. Zumba Gold builds cardiovascular health by challenging the heart and working the muscles of the hips, legs and arms with dance moves. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be a member of the center to join in the fun. This successful program began in September 2012 at the Stafford Senior Center and has continued to grow. It is held at the Stafford Senior Center, 3 Buckley Highway, Stafford Springs on Monday and/or Friday mornings from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Just show up. The first class is free. For class details contact Kathy Ferreira, Zumba instructor, at 860684-2371 or at


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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; March 2013 North Central News


Children Lead Life-Changing Projects This winter, children at Integrity Martial Arts in Enfield took on leadership projects as part of their path to black belt. It is a reminder of how powerful children can be when they have the motivation to pursue their dreams and are given the reins. Integrity Martial Arts is a karate school, but its primary focus is to teach philosophical and educational concepts through the martial arts to people as young as three. Chief Instructor Jonathan Metcalf wrote the Maximum Impact Curriculum to help people as young as five learn the basic principles of leadership. Black Belts at Integrity Martial Arts complete this four year program as a part of their Black Belt requirements. The course teaches students about the primary ingredients of success in life. In order to be a leader, it is important to examine what you want to offer. Students begin the program by examining their core values and identifying what is most important to them, personally. These karate kids have identified core values such as family, fun, peace, the environment, contributing, doing their best, helping people, keeping animals safe, and showing kindness as central to their becoming effective leaders in their communities. This year, as part of a year-long course on Teamwork, students in the Maximum ,PSDFWSURJUDPFRPSOHWHGVHYHUDOWHDPSURMHFWVWRJHWKHU7KLV\HDUœVILQDODVVLJQPHQW was to design a project in which each student was the leader of a small team whose mission was to complete a goal reflective of their individual mission statements. In other words, students inspired themselves and others to create change. Some students took on charitable projects, others worked on creative arts projects and some honored family members with their work. Two six year olds who showed outstanding comRowan received a $350 check from 9ULVKDEKœVELUWKGD\SDUW\GRQDWLRQV passion were Vrishabh Uchil and Sula Roberge. 9ULVKDEKœVPLVVLRQVWDWHPHQWLV³,YDOXH IXQ EH cause learning new things is easy when you are having fun doing it. I also like to play IDLUDQGDOZD\VJLYHP\EHVW´ In lieu of birthday gifts from his friends, Vrishabh asked for monetary donations for a 3 year old girl named Rowan Baker who is fighting DEUDLQWXPRU:KHQ5RZDQœVIDPLO\KHDUGDERXWZKDW9ULVKDEKZDVGRLQJWKH\ZHUH so touched that they asked if he could come meet Rowan personally, so Vrishabh traveled with his mom to Massachusetts to meet Rowan. Vrishabh was able to personally GHOLYHUWKHUDLVHGIRU5RZDQœVIDPLO\LQRUGHUWRFRYHUWKHLUH[WHQVLYHPHGLFDO expenses. Sula, who is known for her sunny disposition and long beautiful blond hair, made a huge sacrifice and encouraged others to do the same. For the first time in her life, she cut her hair and donated it to Wigs for Kids, a charitable organization for children who have suffered hair loss as a result of cancer treatment. Her selfless gesture inspired her mother to do the same. Sula said she chose to do this because she wanted her life to be about caring for other people. Nearly one hundred students participated in projects. Please read the following examples:

6XODGRQDWHG´RIKHU hair to Wigs for Kids.

Honoring Others: Anna Merlino (age 16) ¹ $QQDGHFRUDWHGIRUKHUEURWKHUœV³:HOFRPH+RPHIURP $IJKDQLVWDQ´SDUW\DQGPDGHDPHPRU\ERRNIRUKLVYDFDWLRQXS1RUWK Nathan Kennerson (age 8) ¹ Nathan would like to give people respect, discipline and self-FRQWURODQGKHœGOLNHWKHPWREHZKRWKH\DUH+HKRVWHGDSDUW\WRFHOHEUDWHKLV JUDQGPRWKHUœVODVWFKHPRWUHDWPHQW Tyler Trotter (age 8) ¹ Tyler raised money for the Kidney Foundation by collecting cans and donations from family. His goal was to honor his great-grand father, Robert Trotter. 0DND\OD2œ6XOOLYDQ (age 10) ¹ Makayla is committed to making the world more peaceful. Makayla hosted a Christmas party for the elderly nuns and priests at the Our Lady of Angels Convent in Enfield. They made Christmas decorations, enjoyed homemade cookies and ice cream sundaes and watched a karate demonstration by Makayla. Heather & Kylie Thompson (twins age 11) ¹ Heather Heather & Kylie Thompson and Kylie held a penny drive and raised $257.22 for SFC (age 11) counted pennies to Micah Welintukonis and his family. SFC Welintukonis is raise funds for wounded a wounded combat paramedic who was critically wounded combat paramedic SFC Micah Welintukonis. while serving our country in Afghanistan.

Helping Children: Quinn Bathgate (age 9) ¹ 4XLQQœVPLVVLRQLVWRVSUHDGKDSSLQHVVLQWKHZRUOG4XLQQ FROOHFWHGWR\VDQGGRQDWHGWKHPWR³7R\VIRU 7RWV´IRU&KULVWPDVJLIWVWREHQHILWXQGHUSULYLOHJHG children. Sam Gallant (age 15) ¹ Sam would like to help people to the best of his ability whenever possible. He hosted a 24 hour gaming marathon to support ChilGUHQœV0LUDFOH1HWZRUNKRVSLWDOV Ryan McCloud (age 9) ¹ 5\DQœVJRDOLVWREHDUH sponsible person who shows caring and respect. In Quinn Bathgate (age 9) donated lieu of birthday gifts, Ryan asked his friends to doWR\VWR³7R\VIRU7RWV´ nate toys for underprivileged kids. Andrew Cekala (age 6) ¹ Andrew hosted a dance party where his friends brought a QHZWR\DV³DGPLVVLRQ´7KHWR\VZHUHGRQDWHGWR³2SHUDWLRQ(OI´WKDWGLVWULEXWHVWR\V to military families in need during the holidays, especially when the parents are deployed.

Serving Those in Need: Bella Morcus, Trever Lewis (both age 9) and Ben Hocutt (age 15) ¹ Bella, Trever and Ben each had individual projects that collected non-perishable food that was donated to the Enfield Food Shelf. Michael Beaudry and Alan Burn ¹ Michael (age 10) and Alan (age 15) made 38 apple pies which they sold at their church. Combining the proceeds from the pie sale, along with other donations, they raised $617 that they donated to the Enfield Food Shelf. MiFKDHOVDLGWKLVSURMHFWZDVYHU\UHZDUGLQJIRUKLP³7KLVSURMHFWPDGHPHWKLQNDERXW how hard it is to be poor. It made me happy to know I made a lot of families happy by JLYLQJWKHPDWXUNH\GLQQHURQ7KDQNVJLYLQJ´ Aaron Coons and Owen Kennedy ¹ Aaron (age 9) and Owen (age 8) made Halloween treat bags with candy and donated them to the Enfield Food Shelf. They wanted children from the food pantry to feel special and enjoy the Halloween treat bags they put together. Al Preston (age 12) ¹ Al wants to live life pursuing excellence in things that are imporWDQWWRKLP$OKHOGDZLQWHUFORWKLQJGULYHIRU³%LJ%URWKHUVDQG%LJ6LVWHUV´%LJ Brothers and Big Sisters is one of the oldest and largest youth mentoring organizations in the country. Christian Dion (age 10) ¹ Christian collected cans in his neighborhood and he donated the proceeds to benefit the Emergency Aid Association in Suffield. The Emergency Aid Association supports social services in the Town of Suffield.

Assisting Animals: Amber Olson (age 11) ¹ Amber made 180 homemade dog bones and donated bones to (QILHOG$QLPDO&RQWURODQGWR2OLYHUœV7DLOVZKLFKLVDFDQLQHVSDLQ2OG/\PH 2OLYHUœV7DLOVLVVHOOLQJWKHERQHVDQGGRQDWLQJWKHSURFHHGVWR DORFDODQLPDOVKHOWHU$PEHUGHVFULEHGKHUH[SHULHQFH³, PDGHGRJERQHVIRU2OLYHUœV7DLOV0\JRDOZDVWRPDNH GRJERQHVDQG,GLGLW,GLGQœWQHHGDELJWHDP,KDGDIHZ friends and family. My friends and I really wanted to help the GRJV2OLYHUœVZDVUHDOO\KDSS\ZLWKDOOWKHGRJERQHVZH PDGHIRUWKHP´ Callahan Murphy (age 12) ¹ Callahan is committed to giving 100% all of the time and to inspire others to do the same. She collected 12 blankets and several cans of dog food which were donated to a local animal shelter. Callahan was also excited that the animal shelter invited her to visit whenever she would like to. Amber Olson made 180 homemade dog bones. Matt & Aaron Wandishion ¹ Matt (age 13) volunteered to save endangered birds and learned about wildlife rehabilitation. Aaron (age 11) learned to help save the endangered barn own. He researched their habitat and how to make nesting boxes. Michelle Lavoie (age 10) ¹ 0LFKHOOHœVPLVVLRQLVWREHDUHVSRQVLEOHDQGFDULQJSHUVRQ She believes that a good person and role model should be helpful, kind and patient. Michelle organized a bake sale to donate funds for the Connecticut Humane Society. Sarah Metcalf & Griffin Johnes ¹ Sarah (age 9) and Griffin (age 11) hosted two cattoy making events. They organized the creation of 100 homemade cat toys which were donated to a local cat shelter and raised money to buy food for the animals as well.

Many dozens of people of all ages participate in the Maximum Impact Leadership Program at Integrity Martial Arts. It is a four year curriculum which is required in order to achieve Black Belt, the mark of expertise in the martial arts. The philosophy behind the program is to teach character values and character education early, when minds are most flexible to encourage a lifetime pursuit of excellence and integrity. In an age where children are engaged in an increasingly violent world, it is refreshing to hear of children working towards creating a brighter future. For more information about Integrity Martial Arts, call Chris at 860-698-9226 or email: *ADVERTISEMENT

32 North Central News March 2013


VW Staying Out of Pickups, Welcomes Diesel Competition

Volkswagen as a company is on a well- burgeoning interest from other manufacknown path to be the world's largest turers in returning to this segment. "It will automaker by the end of this decade. To help the acceptance and awareness of get there it has been busy building the diesel technology," Mahoney said. "As a framework that will enable a smooth company with 3 percent of the market ascension. share we would not be able to turn around Just don't expect the rise to the top to the misconceptions about diesel." come in the bed of a pickup truck. That's One thing VW won't do, Mahoney the message Tim Mahoney, claims, is abandon its hard executive vice president and core fans of its R line. "It's chief product and marketing to keep important officer for Volkswagen of Volkswagen enthusiasts at America, delivered during a the top of mind," said EHIND media roundtable at the Chicago Mahoney. "You can choose The Wheel Auto Show. It's a product, he volume and the passion goes said, that doesn't fit its global out of the brand. Volkswagen strategy. doesn't want to do that. We "Pickups are the domain of KEITH GRIFFIN can't just chase volume." the domestic brands," he said. Along those lines, the "We won't get into the segments where we German automaker introduced the 2014 wouldn't make money and dealers won't Beetle GSR in Chicago. Painted yellow make money. That's a formula that doesn't with broad parallel thick black stripes on work." the hood, black roof, and black trunk, it's Surprisingly, Volkswagen at this point an eye-catching vehicle with a 2.0-liter also has no plans to enter the A-class mar- turbocharged inline four-cylinder TSI ket in the United States. That would engine that generates 210 horsepower. include vehicles that are smaller than subMichel said one of the challenges the compacts (picture the Scion iQ and Fiat manufacturer faces is the price point, Five Hundred for example.) The problem which has made VW shift three-quarters of is price and fuel efficiency. its manufacturing for the North American As Rainer Michel, vice president of market to North American plants. product marketing and strategy, pointed "We don't make cars that just get you out, the company has nothing to gain in from Point A to Point B," Mahoney said. terms of fuel efficiency standards by "Americans want something with good adding the small cars to the domestic line- performance. We will keep niche products up. Also, and this is probably the real driv- like the CC and the Jetta wagon. Not ing force, the small cars aren't that prof- everybody is happy with SUVs. They want itable for dealers. "It comes down to can the fuel efficiency and size of a station you sell enough volume to make a profit. wagon. It's interesting. After the station Right now it's not a priority," he said. wagon business died [for other OEMs], One formula that has been working for we're still doing well." the company is diesel powerplants. One Volkswagen is also laying the groundout of 5 diesel vehicles sold in the USA are work for more customers by beefing up its Volkswagen products. It welcomes the credit center in Illinois.


The 2014 Beetle GSR was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show. It's show above with the 1973 model it is based on. So, why is captive financing so impor- This market, in particular, is important to tant to a manufacturer (and by default its VW because of the high volume of people dealers)? People who finance buy more leasing and financing their vehicles. For the first time, VW Credit gave a equipment, which means more profits. Also, cash is not king when it comes to car glimpse into its credit business during a companies. "People who pay cash tend to recent grand opening of an expanded credkeep their cars longer," he said, adding that it facility in Libertyville, Ill., outside of cash buyers hold onto their vehicles for 7.2 Chicago. VW Credit, the captive finance years while people financing keep their partner of Volkswagen and Audi in the United States, increased the number of all vehicles for 4.8 years. People who finance are also more loyal new contracts signed by 28.3 percent in to their brands. On average, 76 percent buy 2012 to 404,947, compared to 2011. The their next car from the same company total number of current contracts increased while cash buyers have more of a wonder- by 13.4 percent to 950,873 – the highest ing eye. Slightly less than two-thirds amount ever. The number of total assets return to the same manufacturer the second during the business year 2012 rose by 17.5 percent to the record level of $23 billion. time around. (For the latest new car news, follow me Christian Dahlheim, executive vice president and chief financial officer of on Twitter at aboutusedcars. You can also Volkswagen Credit, said financial services read the latest automotive news at are an important part of Volkswagen's bot-, where I am a contributom line with it representing half of the tor, or learn about buying and selling a Volkswagen Group's revenues worldwide. used car at


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March 2013 North Central News  

Community news and information for the towns of East Windsor, Enfield, Ellington, Somers, Stafford and Vernon. CT.

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