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

FREE! Candidates Say Economy Top Issue By Linda Tishler Levinson

A ‘Fiery’ Performance Things heated up at Stafford’s annual ‘Autumn in the Park’ during a fire-eating demonstration by the Phoenix Fire Sword troupe, among other entertainment. More photos on page 36. Photo by Amy Hartenstein

In This Issue • FALL FEST: A look at upcoming activities in the area ............pgs. 4-5 • EAST WINDSOR: Skate park gets okay from selectmen ..................................p. 6 • EAST WINDSOR: Holiday assistance programs available for residents ..p. 7 • SUNDAY DRIVE: New York chic in New England, CT Auto Show ..........p. 9 • ENFIELD: Town one step closer to having one high school ............p. 15 • ENFIELD: Fourth annual turkey drive underway..........................p. 16

• ELLINGTON: Timing the issue on Senior Center proposal..............p. 19 • ELLINGTON: Family, teachers help students find career paths ............p. 20 • SOMERS: A ‘pressing’ engagement - images of cider press ....p. 25 • SOMERS: Library news ..........p. 30 • STAFFORD: Krol heralds budget passage, says town needs manager ..p. 39 • STAFFORD: Images of the 2011 Stafford Homecoming Parade ....p. 39 • CLASSIFIEDS:.......................p.45-46

• NEXT ISSUE • DEADLINE: Nov. 23, 2011 (860) 698-0020

With the economy as the primary issue for most of the candidates, voters will go to the polls on Nov. 8. In addition to Democrats and Republicans, third-party and petitioning candidates are seeking the top seats in several north central Connecticut towns. The municipal elections will be held from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. East Windsor East Windsor First Selectman Denise Menard is seeking a second four-year term. “We still have a challenging economy, and we need to keep moving,� the Democrat said. She stressed that the town needs to continue creating careful budgets, seeking out state and federal grants and attracting businesses. She added in the last four years the town has received $5 million in grants. “We can’t let opportunities go by that will bring aid to the town,� she said, Republican Robert Slate said he believes the town’s taxes are too high. He is concerned that businesses are leaving. To help with both problems, he is proposing a sponsorship program in which com-



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


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

Georgia Michalec PUBLISHER’S POLICY: The information presented in the North Central News is presented for your consideration and does not necessarily represent the views of the publisher or its advertisers. All information is checked for accuracy but cannot be guaranteed. Liability for errors in advertising is limited to rerun of the ad. Errors in advertising should be brought to the attention of the publisher, in writing, within seven days of publication for appropriate credit.

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News Campaigns (continued from page 1) panies that sponsor a new business would receive a 25 percent tax break, as would the new business. “If you can get a business in for two years, they generally stay,” Slate said. He also is proposing a return of the tax freeze for residents over age 70. A member of the Wetlands Commission and vice chairman of the Conservation Commission, Slate was a union steward at Hamilton Sunstrand and has a bachelor’s degree in business management. He also spent a year with the United Way, contacting businesses. He has lived in town for 34 years and is president of the Senior Club at the Senior Center. Petitioning candidate Judith Rajala is the executive managing editor of 1105 Media Inc. She is the vice chairman of the Board of Education, having served on the board since 2003. She has chaired the East Windsor Town Facilities Committee and has served on the school board’s curriculum council, finance committee and technology committee. She is a justice of the peace. East Windsor residents also will vote for candidates for the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance, the Board of Education, the Board of Assessment Appeals. the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Police Commission and constables. Ellington Republican First Selectman Maurice Blanchette is seeking a second term. A former Board of Education member who served eight years as chairman of the school board, Blanchette also was the president of a small company in town. Blanchette said his business experience and his experience over the last two years as first selectmen make him the better candidate for the office. Challenging Blanchette is Democrat Robert Hoffman. Hoffman is the vice chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission and has served eight years on the commission. He has been a part-time police officer in town for 30 years and recently retired as a lieutenant from the state Department of Correction. Saying that people feel shut out of town government, he said. ”I vow to improve communications.” Hoffman said Ellington is the state’s third-fastest-growing town and that a “smart-growth” approach is needed. He said that residential growth must be controlled so as not to overburden taxpayers. Ellington residents also will be voting for candidates for the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Library Board of Directors. Enfield In Enfield the mayor, who essentially services as Town Council chairman, is chosen by those elected to the council from the party that holds the majority. The

current mayor, Scott Kaupin, a door policy, so that people can feel they Republican, is running for councilman for are part of what goes on. the District 3 and is unopposed. Also runHe also wants to see changes in the way ning for councilman in District 1 are the town handles fiscal policy. Democrat Jill Krawiec and Republican Pettee also advocates a five-year plan Joseph Bosco; District 2, Democrat for road improvements to spread out the William Edgar and Republican Dominic cost of road maintenance and to ensure Alaimo; District 4, Democrat Stephen that all town roads are taken care of during Palmer and Republican Tom Kienzler; the cycle. councilman at large, Democrats Patrick Carson was Somers’ only town planner, Crowley, Thomas Arnone, Bob LeMay serving from 1987 to 2009. “It was at a and Cynthia Mangini, and Republicans time the economy was booming, and then Ken Nelson, Carol Hall, William Lee and the bottom dropped out,” she said of the Greg Stokes. town’s decision to eliminate the position. Residents also will vote for candidates With a degree from the University of for the Board of Education and constables. Connecticut in planning management and Somers Republican First Selectman Lisa CAMPAIGNS/page 11 Pellegrini is seeking a second term. While she has no Democratic opponent, she is facing challenges from two petitioning candidates, Robert Pettee and Patrice Lee Carson. “I am running again because I want to continue serving the community and providing a clear-cut vision for the future. That vision P.O. Box 2089 P.O. Box 929 includes streamlined process- New London, CT 06320 Somers, CT 06071 es, elimination of waste, TEL 860-444-7704 TEL 860-851-9644 improved infrastructure — FAX 860-444-7706 FAX 860-851-9647 roads and buildings — mentation of alternative enerA Division of Connecticut Commercial Realty gy systems and a heart healthy community,” Pellegrini said. Call us to see why we’ve been voted She said that she has been “THE BEST” 4 years in a row!!! aggressive in bringing almost a million dollars in state and SOMERS PROPERTIES: federal grants to the town over $129,900 900+ SF Cape w/1st floor master, the last two years. In addition, 1+ acre lot equipment has been replaced, $209,900 2 bdrm, 2 bath restored Cape, a preventive maintenance plan 1300+ SF implemented and the employee pension plan has been $625,000 5300+/- SF 2-family w/attached revised. kennel business Pettee is on the ballot as a $649,900 2300+/- SF Contemporary, 17+ petitioning candidate but has private acres been campaigning as running with Somers United, although ENFIELD PROPERTIES: he is an unaffiliated voter. He $133,900 2 bdrm, 1 bath Ranch, some previously was a registered upgrades Republican. “People have been asking $159,900 Charming 2 bdrm, 2 full bath me to run for first selectman Ranch for the past three years,” said $209,900 4 bdrm, 1.5 bath, 2377+/- SF Pettee, who has never held Colonial elected office. $895,000 2 family home on 5.75+/-1 acre lot He said while he does not describe himself as a politiSTAFFORD PROPERTIES: cian, he does not like what is $279,900 3 bdrm, 2 full bath, 2 half bath going on in town. Dutch Colonial Pettee grew up in Stafford, but spent a lot of time growing $284,900 3 bdrm, 3 bath Log Cape on up on his grandparents’ farm 1.79+/- acre lot in Somers. He was in the elec$289,900 3 bdrm, 2 bath Cape w/loft on trical contracting business for 2.3+/- acre lot more than 25 years and serves as a director for the Housing $525,000 42+/- acres of residential land Board of Authority and the Call our office or visit our website for details Four Town Fair. He has lived on these and all our listings! in town for 36 years, raising Like us on Facebook for daily updates! his children here. Commercial and Residential Real Estate Services Among the changes he SALES * LEASING * MANAGEMENT would like to see in Town Hall are the institution of an openAPPRAISAL * AUCTION November 2011 North Central News




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A Guide To Autumn Cultural Events Thanks to all sponsors, pgs.4-5

The North SUFFIELD - The Suffield Fire Department Central Auxiliary will host the returnNews of its Annual Crafts Fair Suffield Harvest Crafts Fair

50th Annual Farmhouse Fair in Ellington ELLINGTON - The Ellington Congregational Church is pleased to announce that its 50th annual Farmhouse Fair will be held on Friday, Nov. 4 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Patrons may purchase a baked ziti dinner on Friday evening and brunch or luncheon on Saturday. Live entertainment is offered both Friday evening and Saturday during luncheon. Raggedy Ann and Andy is the theme this year. A special raffle will be held with a Raggedy Ann handcrafted quilt, a pair of the largesize Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, and a table-top, themed,Christmas tree are the prizes. Tickets are $2 each. There will be a wonderful variety of booths including “Christmas Decor,” “Not Just Quilts,” “Cookies in a Can,” “Raggedy Ann and Andy,” “18 inch Doll Clothes,” “The Pantry” and much, much more. Newer attractions are the “Unique Boutique” and “Jazzy Jars, Etc.” What makes the fair special is that all the crafted items and food are made by the congregation. The church is handicap accessible. Please contact Janet at 860-871-1080 or Peg at 860749-5992 for further information.

on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center Firehouse, 73 Mountain Rd. (Rte 168), Suffield. Craftsmen and local artisans from the area will be displaying numerous items of interest such as jewelry, hand-spun textiles, wooden items, jams/jellies, ornaments and holiday gift baskets, just to name a few. Something for everyone of all ages can be found. There will also be a Firehouse Bake Shoppe and a Chinese Auction. The fair is part of the ‘Christmas in Suffield’ Craft Fairs.

Holly Day Fair STAFFORD - A traditional Holiday Fair will be held at the Congregational Church of Union, Rte. 190 (Buckley Highway), Union, on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free. The church is handicapped accessible. The fair will feature a variety of quality handcrafted Christmas gifts and decorations and jewelry, homebaked holiday pies, cookies by the pound and home-

made candies. Activities include the raffle of a gingerbread house and silent auction. Many activities for children including a photo op with Santa. Beverages and lunch will be served throughout the day. For more details, call 860-684-9124.

Holiday Ladies’ Night Out Benefits Food Pantry STAFFORD - On Thursday, Dec. 1, Chestnut Hill Nursery will host its second annual Holiday Ladies’ Night Out. A non-perishable food item is the ticket in the door to experience an evening of fun, with all donations helping to fill the pantry of Safe Net Ministries of Stafford. This truly is a one-stop holiday shopping experience, as more than 45 local businesses will be on hand showcasing their products and services. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Chestnut Hill Nursery, 75 Chestnut Hill Rd. (Rt. 190), Stafford. Some of the many businesses participating are: Middle Ground Cafe, Crossroads Gift Shop, Somersvillage Gifts, eM Framing, Friedrich’s Jewelry, Campbell-Keune Realty, The Olive Oil Factory, Pampered Chef, Arbonne, Pastries 4 Pets, Tastefully

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Fest Simple, Pond House Bed and Breakfast, Dave’s Mobile Construction Party, Festi Oil, Avon, Lunann’s Bakery, Stained Glass Creations and Beyond, Pops Biscotti, High Springs Orchard, Spa Time For You, Lao Long Tea Company, The Nut Guy, Jennifer Worthington Crafts, Warren’s Foods, Things by Jeanne, At Home America, Juice Plus, D’s is the Life, Little Fingers Crafts, Silpada, Celebrations by Christina, Angel Touch Reiki, Creations by Carol, US Borne Books, Zapatka Jewelry, Wooden Elements, and more. For more information, please call 860-684-2787.

famously known jazz band. The brunch will consist of a delicious buffet with many items to choose from. All sponsorship money will benefit the Little Sisters of The Poor for a roof and much needed indoor sprinklers at their Enfield home. There are brochures available for the sponsors. If you would like to purchase a cash raffle ticket at $50, the cash prizes are as follows: 1st Prize $4,000 2nd Prize $2,000 3rd Prize $1,000 Drawing to be held the morning of the brunch. Not necessary to be present when prizes are drawn.

St. Joseph’s Residence First Annual Jazz Brunch

Annual St. Luke Church Christmas Bazaar

ENFIELD - Charitable giving arises from a sense of generosity, a wish to help others, a desire to improve the community. It does not require great wealth. St. Joseph’s Residence, Little Sisters of the Poor seeks your support in their First Annual Jazz Brunch being held at the Aqua Turf in Southington. The date is Sunday, Nov. 13 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Jazz music will be provided by a

ELLINGTON - Come one, come all to the annual St. Luke Church Christmas Bazaar, Nov. 4-5. The Parish Center and Church Hall will be filled with your favorite holiday fare. The St. Luke Crafters have been busy creating a wide variety of gift items including knitted hats, mittens, scarves, American Girl clothing and furniture, tied fleece blankets, and assorted oneof-a-kind Christmas ornaments and

dÊcor. The country store will be stocked with pickles, jams, flavored vinegars and other items ready to give and sure to please. Be sure to visit the attic treasures area; you never know what you’ll find. Of course, there will be delicious homemade baked goods and meals fresh from the kitchen along with cemetery baskets, gently used linens and jewelry, a tea cup raffle, and wonderfully filled and decorated gift baskets for every occasion. Please bring in non-perishable food items to be donated to the local food pantry for a chance to win a $45 Big Y gift card. Come, have lunch or dinner and get a head start on your holiday shopping. Hours are Friday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. St. Luke Church is located at 141 Maple St. in Ellington. The church is handicap accessible. For more information, call the rectory at 860-875-8552.

PTO Craft Fair Seeks Vendors

ELLINGTON - The Ellington Middle School PTO will be hosting its annual Craft and Vendor Fair on Saturday, Nov. 19. Are you a crafter looking for a great small town event to showcase your hard work? How 860-749-4005 about a local vendor looking to drum up some new business right before the We've Moved! to 60 Springfield Road, Somers, CT busy holiday? Yarn & Supplies for Knitting, Crochet & Weaving Please email your request Fibers for Spinning for an application to the fair Alpaca Sweaters, Blankets & Accessories or to obtain additional More Space! More Yarn! Hours: Tues.Thurs. 10-6, Fri./Sat. 10-5 • Sun. 12-4, Closed Monday information to EMSSame Great Service!


Dickens of a Weekend December 3 & 4 Shopkeepers of Somers Routes 190 & 83 Holiday Gifts • Refreshments Scavenger Hunt Info: (860) 749-0839 or (860) 749-9281

Drama Club Potpourri Craft Show ENFIELD - Enfield High School Drama Club will hold its 22nd annual Potpourri Craft Show on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Enfield High School, 1264 Enfield St. For more information, call 860-7451315. All new crafters are welcome.

Women’s Council Annual Craft Fair STAFFORD - Come shop with us! The Women's Council of the First United Methodist Church at 8 Church St. in Stafford Springs will host its annual Mouse Market Craft Fair on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Handmade crafts, baked goods, white elephant items, and professional vendors will all be featured at this wonderful tradition. A homemade luncheon will also be available. Vendor space is still available. Please call the church at 860-684-2468 for further information.

Brunch & Browse STAFFORD - Stafford Springs Congregational Church at 3 Main St. will hold its fifth annual Brunch & Browse, Saturday, Dec. 3, from 8 a.m. ‘til 1 p.m. There is ample parking across the street at Town Hall. For $6, a brunch of French toast with sausage or potato, bacon, cheese casserole served with homemade muffins, juice, coffee and tea will be offered. If you are in a hurry, there will be an express menu of juice, homemade muffin and coffee for just $3.50. Take-out is available.






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East Windsor Skate Park Gets OK from Selectmen; Fund Raising Continues By Linda Tishler Levinson EAST WINDSOR â&#x20AC;&#x201D; With final approval from the Board of Selectmen, the skate park is rolling along. The selectmen approved the project in October, First Selectman Denise Menard said. Final approval included making sure insurance coverage was in place, and with that taken care of the pad for the skate park will go down soon, said Lori Gabriel, chair-

man of the Skate Park Committee. The equipment is scheduled to arrive in November, although it may not be ready for use until the spring. Located across from the reservoir on Reservoir Avenue in Broad Brook, the skate park will be located next to the dog park. It began as a joint venture with the dog park. A grand opening for the skate park will be held in the spring. To start, the park will include quarter pipes, rails

East Windsor Senior Center Faces Off in Wii Tournament EAST WINDSOR - There are many activities scheduled for November at the Senior Center. The East Windsor Senior Center will be participating in a Wii Tournament with the Vernon Senior Center on Friday, Nov. 4. The Senior Center is looking for a few good men and women to join the team or the booster club and cheer them on. The Eastern Connecticut Chorale Concert is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10. On the way to the concert, the bus will stop at G and L Christmas Barn for browsing and shopping for Christmas decorations and ornaments. After the concert, the bus will stop for a sweet treat at Munsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Chocolates in Bolton. In-house activities taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 15, include Food for Thought with Janet Vining and Robertaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Craft Hour. The monthly social is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Nov. l7 with live entertainment provided by Lenny Zarcone. Informational programs will be presented in November by Webster Bank and Visiting Nurses Associates. Webster Bank will be presenting an informational program regarding identity theft on Friday, Nov. 18. Visiting Nurses will be discussing preventing fall-downs.

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and a box. So far the cost of the project is $11,800. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been baking and having pasta suppers to raise this money,â&#x20AC;? Gabriel said. They also have held raffles and concerts. A Christmas All Around the World event will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Sam Bucaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Broad Brook to continue raising funds for more equipment. For tickets call Gabriel at 860-623-0883.

Hartford Toner & Cartridge Announces New Partnership With Xerox EAST WINDSOR - As of August, Hartford Toner & Cartridge has entered into a partnership with the Xerox Corporation, one of the leaders within the document reproduction industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can now offer any business the full line of Xerox copiers, printers and multifunction machines, along with their MPS â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Managed Print Serviceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; program for any copying, printing and faxing needs,â&#x20AC;? said Tim Golubeff of Hartford Toner & Cartridge.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Currently, we are offering the opportunity for businesses to contact us to set up a free assessment of their complete print media environment. We feel confident that we will be able to save most companies money on their new or existing contracts,â&#x20AC;? he added. Feel free to call Golubeff at 860-2921280 (ext. 300) for more information or to schedule a free assessment of your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s printing needs.

Books and Volunteers Wanted EAST WINDSOR - East Windsor Friends of the Library has started its ongoing Book Sale at the Library Association of Warehouse Point. It is up and running during library hours and they have 18 volunteer students and seniors stocking the shelves. All of the proceeds earned will be used to buy new

materials for the library. The Friends are looking for donations of books, DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes, adult puzzles, books on tape/cd or any other materials. Please drop your materials off at the library. If you would like to volunteer, contact the library at 860-623-5482.

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Rajala Seeks Support for First Selectman To the Editor, There is no place for partisan politics and personal agendas in our town government. In these challenging economic times, East Windsor needs a leader who unites and inspires us to work together toward our success. I am that leader. The job of East Windsorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s First Selectman is both the CEO of a business and the chairperson of a municipal board. It is imperative that our First Selectman have higher education degrees, a proven background in business, positive people skills, and a keen knowledge of board operations. I have these qualifications. Throughout my 15 years building and managing my own business and a division of a global company, I gained valuable experience in the private sector. I develop and work within a fixed budget, handle accounts payable, contract with outside vendors, develop company publications, and manage employees around the nation.

As an active member of the East Windsor Board of Education for the past 10 years, I gained valuable experience on the inner workings of a town board. Together with my fellow board members, I adhere to Robertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rules of Order, negotiate contracts, follow state laws and policies, and review and implement the BOE budget. I value community input, lead by example, and promote open government. I am fiscally responsible, will encourage business growth, and will support and collaborate with our employees and volunteers. I am committed to serving our community openly and professionally. As you vote for First Selectman in East Windsor on Tuesday, November 8th, I ask that you vote for me, Judith Rajala. Judith Rajala 52 Scantic Rd East Windsor, CT

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Holiday Assistance Programs Available for Residents EAST WINDSOR â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Department of Human Services is accepting sign-up for the Holiday Programs Thanksgiving Food Basket, Christmas Food Baskets, Holiday Gift Program until November 3, 2011. To participate in food baskets programs you must be an East Windsor resident. To participate in the Holiday Gift Program you must be an East Windsor resident and have children who are 11yrs or under and reside with you. The following information must be pro-

vided to sign-up for the programs: Drivers License, Birth Certificate, Social Security Card (for entire house hold), utility bills, rent receipt or mortgage statement, income-four (4) consecutive weeks of pay stubs, copies of Social Security, Pension, or Veterans Benefits, Unemployment printout of benefits, current DSS work sheet, proof of child support, and a complete bank statement. If you have any questions please contact East Windsor Human Services at 860-623-2430.

Lions Club Turkey Shoot Runs Until Nov. 20 EAST WINDSOR - The East Windsor Lions Club will be holding their annual Turkey Shoot every Sunday through November 20 on North Road, East Windsor from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tickets will be available at 8:15 a.m. Funds raised from the Turkey Shoot are used to fund scholarships for East Windsor students, Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troop activities, East Windsor Visiting Nurse

Holiday projects, Fidelco Guide Dogs, sight related treatments to those in need, the Five Corner Cupboard food pantry, the Connecticut Lions Low Vision Centers, the Connecticut Lions Eye Research Foundation, the Lions Low Vision Corner at the East Windsor Library and so many more endeavors too numerous to mention. For more information contact Chairman Lion Jim Boulais at 860-289-7116. for issues, archives, advertising rates and more!



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Macie Grace Foundation Races $10,000 at Marathon $OZD\V&DOO )Â?Â&#x2019;Â&#x2030; $Â Â&#x201A;Â&#x2019;Â&#x2030;Â&#x2026;Â&#x152; Â&#x201D;Â&#x2018;Â?Â&#x2021;Â&#x201D; / /0 % ,Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x2026;Â&#x2026;Â&#x2021;  Â&#x2021;Â&#x17D;Â&#x17D;  Â&#x17D;Â&#x192;Â&#x2039;Â?Â&#x2018;Â&#x192;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2039;Â&#x17D;Â&#x2021;))





HARTFORD - The Macie Grace Foundation would like to thank all of the participants and donors involved in this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Race for Macie Grace. The Race for Macie Grace is held in conjunction with the Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K races. The Macie Grace Foundation had more than 100 runners or walkers participate in the event, many of whom are pictured. This is the foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only fundraiser and typically raises more than $10,000 for the organization. The Macie Grace Foundation was established to support families of critically ill infants before and after birth and works closely with the Connecticut Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. They also award scholarships to area

students who have overcome major challenges in their young lives. Thanks to the support and generosity of its many supporters, in just four years the Macie Grace Foundation has awarded more than $18,000 in scholarships, provided support for families during high-risk pregnancies, started a bereavement group for families that have lost an infant child,

and supplied the CCMC neonatal unit with hundreds of infant outfits for newbornsin its care. For more information about the Macie Grace Foundation or next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Race for Macie Grace, please email Thank you all for your generous support.

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Entertainment New York Chic in New England, CT Auto Show Revs Up & A ‘Star’-Studded Affair In New Hampshire Welcome back to the Sunday Drive, the column that aspires to provide your complete, entertainment itinerary on a monthly basis. As promised, this month’s sojourn continues with a look at the trendy NYLO hotel in Warwick/Providence RI ( From the pod chairs suspended from the soaring ceiling to the sea coral-inspired chandeliers and the metallic bar, the 163-room NYLO isn’t your grandfather’s hotel. Despite the slew of amenities and upscale design, however, you also won’t need your grandfather’s bank account to stay there. In fact, between the regular specials the hotel runs and its competitive rates, acquiring a standard room for the $100-$150 range is commonplace. It’s environmentally friendly, affordable elegance, in fact, as the NYLO runs everything from its flat-screen tv laden rooms and trendy “Loft” bar to high-tech gym and innovative meeting spaces on 100 percent renewable energy. “Consumers are looking for high style that’s highly affordable,” NYLO Hotel CEO John Russell declared during the Rhode Island property opening. “These preferences are strong in other sectors. What Starbucks, JetBlue and Mini Cooper have accomplished in their industries, NYLO is doing for business and leisure travel.” Closer to home, The Connecticut International Auto Show revs into Hartford’s Convention Center Nov. 11-13.

The annual, auto-extravaganza showcases specialty vehicles and products highlighting the glamour of the auto industry. Check out vintage cars from the 1930s, courtesy of the Klingberg Foundation. The show is also the perfect place to shop for auto accessories for the auto enthusiasts on your holiday list! Tickets are $10 for adults and $5for children 6 – 12. Children under 6 are free. For details more information regarding the Auto Show, the public may call (800) 251-1563 or visit the show’s website Show Hours: • Friday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. • Saturday, Nov. 12, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. • Sunday, Nov. 13, 11: a.m. – 5 p.m. With your new wheels selected, why not consider a ‘star’ studded affair for your first test drive? Starry Night - an annual ode to art, hops and harvest flavors, returns on November 19 to the Discover Portsmouth Center in New Hampshire - replete with a ceramics exhibition by the Banks Gallery in Portsmouth as well as a select group of jewelers showing their unique hand-crafted pieces. RAIN for the Sahel and Sahara will also display their work. RAIN is an international non-governmental organization that works with women artisans of the Sahel and Sahara to help them achieve economic selfsufficiency. The evening will also feature the savory Mediterranean appetizers of Café Nostimo

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Warwick/ Providence Rhode Island’s NYLO hotel pits ‘affordable excellence’ with ecofriendly operation. Courtesy photo

in Portsmouth as well as a choice selection of Sam Adams beer for tasting. Musical entertainment will be provided by jazz duo Kemp Harris and Scotty Vercoe who bring their own spin on genre classics. Starry Night begins at 5:15 p.m. Make your reservations by calling the Star Island office at (603) 430-6272 or by emailing Tickets are $30/person in advance or $40 at the door. VIP Preview tickets are $50/person and allow admission at 4 p.m. and early access to the

jewelry and ceramics displays for the ideal opportunity to view and purchase the best pieces before someone else does. The evening will be held at the Discover Portsmouth Center, on the corner of Middle and Islington streets. Do you own a facility or know of a hidden gem in the region that would be the perfect focus of a future Sunday Drive? If so, please email your suggestions to

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10 North Central News November 2011



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Campaigns (continued from page 3) government, she has spent her career in the public sector. She has worked for the town of Coventry and for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, as well as for Somers. She currently works as a planning consultant. A lifelong Republican, Carson said she is running as a petitioning candidate to save the town the cost of a primary. Carson said she wants to keep a rein on taxes while still providing necessary services. Among her goals would be a plan for the Somersville Mill, something she said she has a proposal for. Somers residents also will be going to the polls to vote for candidates for the Board of Education, Board of Finance, Board of Selectmen, assessors, constables and library directors. Stafford In Stafford the race is wide open with First Selectman Michael Krol not seeking re-election. Seeking the town’s top seat are Democrat David Walsh, Republican Richard Shuck and Open party candidate Eric Molitoris. Walsh, a member of the Democratic Town Committee for 31 years, retired after 38 years as a political science professor. He said he wants to apply that knowledge to town government. If elected, he said he would take just $15,000 of the pay and benefit package the position offers. He said his plan is to try to get every

resident in town to assume more responsibility for investing in Stafford. They should shop in Stafford, volunteer in town and speak positively about the town. His goals are to attract new businesses to town while preserving the unique identity of Stafford. Shuck is the town’s zoning enforcement officer and was a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission for three years. For Shuck the key issue is getting taxes under control. “We need to look at everything we can do to grow our grand list,” he said. He also suggests looking at efficiency and productivity in town government and said he would seek better interdepartmental communication so as not to duplicate efforts. A town resident since 1996, he also is involved with the Boy Scouts. Molitoris was born and raised in Stafford. He retired after 25 years in the U.S. Army and is working on a B.S. degree in medical science. He stresses that the town needs to get taxation under control, saying those who run the town “have to learn to stop this tax-and-spend mentality.” “It’s all at the taxpayers’ expense,” he said. He said current town officials do what they want rather than listening to the people. Stafford residents also will vote for candidates for selectmen, town clerk, town treasurer, tax collector, Board of Finance, Board of Education, Board of Assessment Appeals, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and constables.


Top Row: Scott Kaupin, Joe Bosco, Dominic Alaimo, Peter Jonaitis Middle Row: Chuck Johnson, Greg Stokes, Ken Nelson, Kevin Fealy, Tom Kienzler Bottom Row: Tom Sirard, Carol Hall, Bill Lee, Donna Szewczak

5H(OHFWWKHRepublican Majority Tues., Nov. 8th. Vote Row B. For a ride to the polls, call 860-306-2023. Paid for by ERTC, Jason Jones, Treasurer. Approved by all candidates listed in advertisement.

November 2011 North Central News




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Regional Johnson Memorial Hospital Starts Construction on Infusion Center in Enfield

Johnson Memorial Hospital (JMH) recently initiated construction of its Infusion Center in Enfield by breaking through the first wall. The project was funded by the S. Prestley and Helen D. Blake Challenge Grant. Pictured in front of the wall are: Front row (left to right) - Julie Kadamus, RN, Infusion Nurse Manager; Maria Sierra, LCSW, Director, JMH Cancer Program; Helen D. Blake; Edgardo Abello; and Dennis Morgan, MD. Back row (left to right) - Kristoffer Popovitch, Executive Director, Community CancerCare; Patrick Mahon, Vice Chairman, Johnson Memorial Medical Center (JMMC) Board of Directors; State Representative David W. Kiner; Gary J. Roman, Chairman, JMMC Board of Directors; State Senator John A. Kissel; Arthur W. DeTore, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; Helen Worton, RN, Infusion Nurse; David R. Morgan, Interim President and CEO, JMMC; and David Bouchard, Director, JMH Engineering.

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VOTE Tuesday, November 8th Vote for the Somers Republican Team

What They Have Done

1ST Selectman

Lisa PELLEGRINI Selectman

C G “Bud “ KNORR Board of Finance

Michael PARKER Board of Finance

Joe TOLISANO Board of Education

Rick LEES Jr. Board of Education

Marc CICCIARELLA Library Board

Shirley WARNER Library Board

Bob SOCHA Board of Assessors

Joanna WHEELER Constable

David McCAFFERY Constable



Fiscal Stability Low Taxes Excellent Schools Going Green: Large Scale Solar Panel Installations for Town Buildings  More Health and Social Programs for our Seniors  New Sidewalks  Increased Road Upkeep and Improvements  More Open Spaces  Received $1 M in new Federal & State Grants  Lower Town Insurance Costs  Field Road Recreation Park Improvements  Woodcrest Senior Housing Phase II

Paid for by Somers Republican Town Committee Ed Sullivan Treasurer; Approved by the above listed candidates November 2011 North Central News




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Page 16

Enfield Town One Step Closer to Shuttering Enrico Fermi High School By Linda Tishler Levinson ENFIELD â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The town is moving closer to having just one high school. The Strategic Planning Committee for the consolidation of Enrico Fermi and Enfield high schools has endorsed the plan for a single high school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That does not mean the board,â&#x20AC;? Superintendent of Schools John Gallacher said, stressing that the final decision must be made by the Board of Education. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The sitting board has endorsed the concept,â&#x20AC;? he said, noting that could change after the municipal election. In October 2010 a study by GM2 Associates of Glastonbury suggested what would be needed to consoli-

date the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two high schools and where that school would best be located. Currently, the Strategic Planning Committee is leaning toward the Enfield High School site as the location for the combined facility. The proposal is to phase in the onehigh-school concept, beginning with a combined freshman class. Committee members met in October to begin to determine a curriculum for the consolidated school, Gallacher said. However, since eight of the committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s members are elected officials â&#x20AC;&#x201D; four from the Board of Education and four from the Town Council â&#x20AC;&#x201D; committee membership will need to be addressed after the Nov. 8 election.

That could change the committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view on the consolidation. The high school principals have set up a procedure for creating a joint curriculum and have instructed high school department heads to work together on the project. On Dec. 22 half of those department heads will present their findings, with the other half presenting at a later date, Gallacher said. He said the charge is to create those curriculums using the state standards for the class of 2020, which increases the graduation requirements. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We do want to come up with something that Enfield would be proud of,â&#x20AC;? he said.


Support Republicans To the Editor, During this campaign season, I have visited several neighborhoods in Enfield helping Republican candidates. In speaking to many of our residents, I have found that you are rightfully upset about what is going on in our nation and state. It is indeed a bleak situation. Many of you said that you were going to vote Republican, which is evident by the Republican support signs on your properties. Many also

stated, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry. You will win.â&#x20AC;? I am worried, though, that many will become complacent and take it for granted that the Republicans will win and not go to their polling places and vote. Make a statement â&#x20AC;Ś get out there and vote! See you on Election Day. Thank you for your support of our candidates. Joseph A. Porrello 41 Till St. Enfield

Alaimo Seeks Support

voice in town government. The biggest problems facing Enfield come from Hartford. Taxes and mandates are pushed on us from Hartford because legislators wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cut spending and ignore how their decisions harm the citizens. As chairman of the Thompsonville Fire Commission, I have worked hard to hold the line on taxes. Three out of the last four budgets proposed to and ratified by district voters have contained no tax increase. I aggressively negotiated with the firefightersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; union to secure concessions worth

To the Editor: My name is Dominic Alaimo and I am the Republican candidate for Town Council in Enfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s District 2. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m running for the Enfield Town Council because I want to serve the community that has contributed so much to my life. As a lifelong Thompsonville resident and businessman, I know what it takes to improve District 2. As a local retailer, I have a pulse on our community. I hear the peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s concerns and want to be their

LETTERS/page 18

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Page 17

Enfield Fourth Annual Turkey Drive Hosted by Richâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oil ENFIELD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; In an effort to help ensure that families and individuals in north central Connecticut enjoy a festive Thanksgiving meal, Richâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, located at 12 Moody Rd. in Enfield will host its fourth annual Turkey Drive on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For the fourth year, the goal of the Turkey Drive is to fill an entire service van with turkeys. The turkeys will be delivered to food shelves in Enfield and surrounding towns. Refreshments will be provided for everyone who brings a turkey to Richâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oil on Nov. 19. Last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drive resulted in more 100 turkeys and $600 in donations. Richâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s staff

members are gearing up for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event and looking to increase the amount of turkeys donated. Rich Tkacz, the owner of the company, stated, â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the past three years, members of the community have been so generous and supportive, their generosity makes the Turkey Drive such a success. My staff and I enjoy organizing the Turkey Drive to help local families during these difficult times and look forward to meeting and greeting everyone who joins us on the 19th.â&#x20AC;? If you would like more information about the Turkey Drive, please call Richâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning at 860-763-2015.

Kissel Welcomes Spanish Exchange Students to Capitol On Oct. 11, Enfield High Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Language Department Chair Linda Dalpe brought a group of Spanish exchange students to the State Capitol in Hartford. The students, who are from Valladolid, Spain, were given a tour of the Senate Chamber by State Sen. John A. Kissel. Visiting students and teachers from Valladolid, Spain presented Sen. John A. Kissel with an honorary plaque during their Oct. 11 State Capitol visit. Valladolid is an historic city in the north-central portion of the country. Pictured (l to r) are: Asun Dominguez (teacher), Sen. John A. Kissel, Mario Calle (student) and Teresa Blanco (teacher).



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November 2011 North Central News




7:38 PM

Page 18

Enfield LETTERS TO THE EDITOR District 2 Councilman Candidate (REnfield)

(continued from page 16) hundreds of thousands of dollars. Under my watch, the District stopped the rampant abuse of overtime - a practice that was costly to the district and resulted in some firefighters making in excess of $120,000 per year. We replaced the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cadillac health plan with a high deductible plan that will yield both short-term and long-term cost savings. For the first time, all firefighters must pass an annual physical examination to stay on the job. In addition to providing cost savings, these concessions help enhance the professional standards and quality of service offered by our fire department. One of my goals as councilman is to enhance business development, keep upgrading our roads, sidewalks, and public infrastructure, aggressively market homeownership benefits and incentives, work with law enforcement to boost confidence through increased public safety, and plan for commuter rail and riverfront development appropriate for the community. I want to work for my neighbors â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both in District 2 and around town. Please give me a call at 860-748-8617 and we can sit down for coffee and talk about Enfield. Dominic P. Alaimo

Dumont Backs Kienzler To the Editor, I would like to thank the taxpayers of Enfield for their wonderful support these past four years. My time serving on the Enfield Town Council has been a challenging, yet quite fulfilling experience. I appreciate the confidence that voters placed in me in 2007 and 2009 to represent Council District 4 (the area from Shaker Road and north to the Massachusetts border). When I was first elected to the Town Council in November 2007, we faced many financial challenges because of overspending by the previous group in control of the Council. During my tenure on the Town Council, municipal government spending was brought under control, the first accomplishment. At the same time, we invested in Enfield Schools by appropriating money for new text books and new computers. We rebuilt many miles of roads, along with a modern bridge in Powder Hollow. High School athletic fields were placed under jurisdiction of the Town Council, and we constructed modern athletic facilities that will serve student-athletes for many years.


No longer is Enfield the laughing stock it once was among high school athletic directors. Much time and energy was spent developing a new dog park for the citizens of Enfield. I found this project to be one of my most satisfying accomplishments during 2009-2011. I am confident taxpayers in Council District 4 will be served well by voting for Tom Kienzler on November 8th. He is very knowledgeable about the Town, having served on the Board of Directors of the Thompsonville Little League for five years. He has also been very active in creating the Enfield dog park. Tom has my full support and I highly recommend him. Clemence B. Dumont Enfield Town Council, District 4 171 Brainard Road Enfield, CT 06082-2626

For Kaupin To the Editor, During the past four years as Mayor of Enfield, Scott Kaupin has built trust with taxpayers of Enfield, irrespective of political parties. He has strived to maintain strong educational services through strong partnership with the Board of Education.

Elementary school restructuring has saved residents from massive tax increases. At the same time, student class sizes will be better managed for the benefit of parents. Municipal government provides basic services for Enfield residents: snow plowing, weekly trash pickup, road reconstruction, library, senior center - without having had any property tax increases in four years. Just compare Enfieldšs track record with that of surrounding communities, many of whom have increased property taxes year after year. Scott Kaupin and his Republican team have been very responsive to taxpayer needs. He continues to hold quarterly community forums where residents may talk about any issue. These listening events have become a source of new ideas and suggestions about how to improve services without increasing costs. All the taxpayers of Enfield deserve a voice in local government. Mayor Scott Kaupin has given taxpayers that opportunity. I will be supporting Scott and the Republicans candidates Greg Stokes, Carol Hall, Ken Nelson and Bill Lee, please join me - vote Row B. Charlie Mastroberti 54 Weymouth Road Enfield CT 06082








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Ellington Debate Stirred Up on Timing on Senior Center Proposal Vote By Linda Tishler Levinson ELLINGTON — Timing is the issue for the senior center proposal. While the idea of a senior center and the conceptual plans for the building met with approval at the Oct. 17 Board of Selectmen’s meeting, determining when the project should be put before voters in a referendum brought some controversy. Wayne Reynolds, chairman of the Senior Center Steering Committee gave a PowerPoint presentation of

the project and introduced Anwar Hossain, an architect with Lawrence and Associates, who developed the conceptual plans for the center. The proposal is for a 10,600-square-foot facility that would be built across from Ellington High School. The building would include offices, a kitchen, health area, activity area and two multi-purpose rooms. When Melinda Ferry, chairman of the Human Services Commission, proposed adding the $2.35 million project to

the ballot when the additions and renovations for the Crystal Lake School go to referendum this January or February, the controversy began, First Selectman Maurice Blanchette said. While some of those in attendance felt the project should proceed quickly, others felt it would be better to present it separately in November 2012. In addition to separating the proposal from the school project, those in favor of the delay argued that the steering committee could use more time to raise funds for the project.

New Surprises Mark Upcoming 8th Annual Ellington Winterfest ELLINGTON - Ellington’s eighth annual Winterfest, to be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the gazebo green between routes 140 and 286 (Main Street), will be offering a few new surprises this year to add to the fun festivities. Thanks to Express Verizon of Meadowview Plaza in Ellington, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer has been outfitted with brand-new garb that is sure to make him and Frosty the Snowman a big hit with the kids. And Rudolph will be handing out special gift bags from Express Verizon at its “petting zoo” on the town green that evening, featuring miniature donkeys (who just might be wearing antlers to pass as reindeer). But that’s not all: To stoke the true hol-

iday spirit, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, located on Maple Street in Ellington, will be staging an enhanced version of their “Live Nativity” drivethrough, which they introduced last year, on both Thursday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 3. Special displays within the church will also be available for viewing. Lee Anne Sanville, who is heading this endeavor, can be reached at 860-916-3116 for further information. Winterfest will also be kicked off by the much acclaimed Holiday Sing-Along, presented by the Ellington Singers, at Hall Memorial Library, on Friday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. An enthusiastic evening of Christmas caroling will be followed by delicious treats for all participants.

Then, on Saturday, Dec. 3, the Nellie McKnight Museum on Main Street in Ellington will open its doors from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be highlighting Nellie’s newly restored bedroom on the public tour in preparation of the 200th birthday of Nellie’s house in 2012. And the Ellington Congregational Church will be busy offering numerous holiday activities on Saturday, beginning with the public viewing of the entries for their Gingerbread House Contest from noon to 7 p.m. (for further details, call 860-875-4512, if you’d like to enter), the new Christmas Carol Sing in the Church Sanctuary from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., and light “family-friendly” dinner fare at its downstairs “Winterfest Café” from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with continuous seating. And

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do listen for the sound of their church bells, and that of St. Luke’s, when they peal at 4:55 p.m. to ring in the holiday season. Of course, at 4 p.m on Dec. 3, the main event, Ellington’s annual “Tree-Lighting Ceremony,” will begin at the gazebo on the town green bordering Church and Main streets and Rte. 140. Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with Rudolph, Frosty, and an elf or two, will appear shortly thereafter to greet all the visitors to Winterfest. In the weeks ahead, please go to for information on scheduled events. You may also contact us at 860-875-3885 if you have further questions. In case of inclement weather, please call Hall Memorial Library at 860-8703160 on the day of the event for an update.

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Ellington Family, Consumer Science Teachers Help Students Find Career Paths If you have ever wondered â&#x20AC;&#x153;whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal is someday to have a Culinary cookingâ&#x20AC;? at Ellington High School, then Nutrition Class offered to mainly freshmen take a walk down the culinary hallway and and a Merchandise Retailing Class taught see. The day I did, I found students work- by Slattery. Space is always at a premium ing hard at making teddy bear breads. and because of the lack of it, Helmin says Their day started at 6 a.m. and by the time they are unable to directly associate with a I arrived at 7:30 a.m. the hallway smelled college-level culinary program. On prodelicious. This particular day was Baking duction days, his Culinary II class must and Pastry Arts class work in the cafeteria and the students his classIN THE SCHOOLS because came in early to room is not considmake sure their ered a commercial breads were given kitchen. He does, plenty of time to rise and bake. however, use a textbook that is endorsed David Helmin, who has been the sole by Johnson & Wales, so if a student takes teacher in this Family and Consumer his class and attends Johnson & Wales, Science (FCS) hallway offering Culinary he/she receives an automatic $1,000 scholArts, Baking and Pastry Arts, Child arship. Growth and Development, Early The move to take FCS out of the middle Childhood Development and Parenting school and bring Slattery to the high classes has been joined by Debra Slattery, school was made so that they could offer a who was the FCS teacher at Ellington program students can take while learning Middle School. Together they hope to cre- about various professions. One disadvanate a program to help students learn more tage to this move is now there is no feeder about various professions in the culinary program for the high school. Time will and child development fields. have to be made in the beginning of all About 200 students come through their classes to teach students the basics. classes and they usually have to turn stu- Another hurdle is that every student went dents away. In his fourth year at Ellington through the FCS program at the middle High School, Helmin has seen his courses school, whereas at the high school Helmin evolve from generic to career building. His and Slatteryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s classes are electives. Some

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Ellington High School teachers David Helmin and Debra Slattery. students may want to take his course, but just have no room in their schedules. Because of this fact, a student approached Helmin at the end of last year and asked if he would start a cooking club for those students who are unable to take his class. Students made fliers and recruited members and now once a month they meet. He

has about 13 students in the club and even a few teachers. In addition to the food classes, Helmin and Slattery also teach Child Growth and Development, Early Childhood Development and Parenting classes.

TEACHERS/page 34


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Ellington EHS Teacher Variety Show a Hit and Big Help for Drama Trip By Deborah Stauffer It’s not every day you see your math teacher standing on her head. Ellington High School auditorium was the place to be Friday, Oct. 14, to see that and other unusual feats. A near sellout crowd was on hand to see some Ellington High teachers show off their talents and earn some money at the same time for the Opening Knight Players (OKP) 2012 Scotland trip. Members of the Opening Knight Players portrayed their favorite teachers as they introduced each act and while most students understood the humor better than the adults, it was nonetheless a night of entertainment and poking fun. The teachers had their fun too in a skit depicting a “typical day” at Ellington High School. The crowd roared as lead teacher Peter Corbett portrayed a high school student with very low life aspirations and tech ed teacher Duane McDuffee played a football jock tossing balls around the “classroom.” Among others, French teacher Dennis Klinkowski “slept” through the whole skit, complete with snoring sound effects and social studies teacher Lynn Ouellet was the overachiever while English teacher Georgia Roberts was the overzealous OKP fundraising student and world language teacher Amy White blow-

Drama Director Bill Prenetta and Chemistry teacher Sam Avram celebrating chemistry on stage. dried her hair in class; and all taking place during a quiz! On the more serious side, Bobbi Angelica, the music teacher at Ellington Middle School, belted out a beautiful rendition of “Cry Me A River,” while Lindsay McGinn sang “American Honey.” The audience was wowed by the band Old School, which featured principal Neil Rinaldi on drums.

a different and lighter way,” said William Prenetta, director of the Opening Knight Players. “It also gave both students and teachers the chance to interact outside the rigid confines of a classroom in a positive way.” In addition to the foot-tapping music, the audience was treated to some amazing feats, such as math teacher Jan Arnone in “The Matrix” balancing a bottle on her forehead while moving her body in amazing positions, and chemistry teacher Sam Avram “Celebrating Chemistry” with flames, foam and blood! This was a night of not only raising funds, but bringing a school community together. Norman Rockwell would have been proud. While the teachers are passionate about the subjects they teach, most students probably had no idea that Mr. Tracy could play the spoons or Mr. Melillo could jump so high and of course no one

“This show was a wonderful chance for the students of EHS to see their teachers in

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Somers 7th Annual Rotary Cider Pressing SOMERS - On a perfect autumn weekend, the Somers Rotary Club held its 17th annual Cider Pressing Oct. 8 and 9 in the center of town with the help of high school students. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The apples were particularly juicy this year, yielding 500 gallons from 165 bushels,â&#x20AC;? said Rotary Club Member Sandy Doig, who owns and maintains the press and organizes the event every year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A variety of apples were used - MacIntosh, McCoun, Cortland, Red and Yellow Delicious, making a tasty blend.â&#x20AC;? The press is an antique built in 1947 based on 1917 plans which was purchased for $25 many years ago from a local farmer. Apples are hand-fed into a grinder to create a mash, which is then collected in layers wrapped in heavy cloth, separated by press boards. A stack of six layers is then slid under the hand-cranked press to yield the cider. While one stack is being pressed another is being built right behind

it. The cider is collected in a large wooden tub, filtered and poured into half-gallon and gallon containers ready for sale. The students and faculty advisors that participate are from the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Senior Class and the Interact Club, and split the proceeds equally. They are involved in every aspect of the process except the grinding. A long line of former students who stopped by to reminisce, youngsters, with parents and grandparents in tow, are all fascinated to watch for when their time comes to take home a fresh gallon or two of apple cider. Splattered with apple chunks, Lou Bachetti helps the members of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Senior Class and the Interact Club grind, mash and then crank the press to make apple cider. Photo by Barbra Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Boyle

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Somers Somers Elementary Benefits from Installation of Solar Panels By Linda Tishler Levinson SOMERS — Somers Elementary School is looking a little brighter these days. Seven hundred solar panels have been installed at the school. The 175 kilowatt system is expected to cover 40 percent of the school’s electricity needs, First Selectman Lisa Pellegrini said. She noted that the entire system was made in the United States. The wiring is expected to be completed soon, and the system should be ready for use this winter. It is being installed by DBS Energy. Sidewalk project A Battle Street sidewalk is ready for use. Funded using $120,000 of a $220,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant from the state Department of Social

Services, the sidewalk runs from the corner of Main and Battle streets, past the Kibble Fuller building, the historical building, the Senior Center and the Woodcrest Housing Complex to the cemetery on Battle Street. With leftover grant money, trees will be planted to replace some lost during the recent storms. The grant included $100,000 for expansion to the Senior Center and repaving of the Senior Center parking lot. Construction on the Senior Center and the repaving of the lot is excepted to begin in the spring. Fire Prevention Open House The Somers Fire Department recently held a Fire Prevention Open House, organized by Lt. Glen Reynolds. Activities included a car seat installation workshop

during which residents could make sure their children’s car seats were properly installed, according to Gary Schiessl of the fire department. The State Police brought their car seat “Convincer,” which simulates what it is like to be in an accident and demonstrates how seat belts help prevent injuries. The fire department demonstrated vehicle extrication equipment and techniques. The department also used Enfield’s smokehouse to show children what to do in the event of a fire in their homes. A pancake breakfast also was part of the event as a fundraiser to help pay for the new Sept. 11 memorial, which was paid for and designed by the Somers Fire Department Association.


Devlin Seeks Support To the Editor, My name is Kathy Devlin and I am running for my sixth term for Somers Board of Selectmen. As an Executive Director for Johnson and Johnson, I worked with Fortune 100 employers. I learned and then applied business principles learned from my customers to Town of Somers operations. In the years I have served on the board, I helped bring about savings, efficiencies, improvements in employee health insurance, performance management, long range planning, and accountability.

I had the privilege of working with many dedicated selectmen who shared a similar philosophy for public service. That is, that once elected, my responsibility to the electorate is to make decisions based on what I think is best for the citizens of Somers, putting party politics behind. I credit myself as having followed that belief throughout my years of service. I would like to continue the good work that the Board has done, and feel committed to keeping the Town of Somers moving forward with efforts to prepare for future years. My priorities for the next two years are preserving our natural resources, maintaining our infrastructure, and protecting

our financial reserves. My voting record supports that I am a fiscal conservative. I want to serve the Town of Somers once again and ask for your vote on November 8th. Kathleen A. Devlin, Democratic Candidate Somers Board of Selectmen

For Parker for Finance To the Editor, The taxpayers of Somers are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and quality member on its Board of Finance as

Michael D. Parker. I have served with Mike on the Finance Board for the past several years and have observed his dedication to the office. He has added so much to the Board, with his businessman approach to Town finances. Mike is a practicing attorney and he lends much to the tough decisions the Board must make on a variety of matters during the course of its business. He is very thoughtful in his deliberations and

LETTERS/page 28

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Somers Letters (continued from page 27) always has in mind the best interests of all taxpayers of Somers. Please re-elect Mike Parker to the Somers Finance Board. He will continue his commitment to good fiscal management and to maintain our tax rate at the lowest possible level, commensurate with the level of services required by the townspeople. George F. Warner 116 Wood Road, Somers, CT

Backs Potrikus To The Editor, I hereby endorse Tim Potrikus as the candidate for the Somers Board of Finance. The main goal and aim of Tim is to listen to the taxpayer, give thoughtful consideration to all budget issues and use his vast experience from the Board of Education and his corporate success for the betterment of the Town. Tim has unflappable dedication to Somers as evidenced on his recent Board of Education experiences as well as his sincere desire to control spending to get the most value to the Town for all of the tax funds collected. Tim is known for his pleasant personality and thoughtfulness and deliberation on all issues confronting him. Please be certain to vote for this worthy candidate on

November 8th. Francis W. Devlin Jr. (Chair, Democratic Town Committee) 21 Longhill Drive, Somers

For Pellegrini, Devlin and Knorr To the Editor, In reviewing the list of candidates for the Board of Selectmen, there are a number of choices and distinct styles on the ballot. In making your selection, I highly recommend retaining the current Board of Selectmen. Lisa Pellegrini, Kathy Devlin and Bud Knorr have provided sound leadership, transparent government and demonstrated rational fiscal policy in demanding budgetary times. As a former selectman, I have intimate knowledge of their governing style, and abilities to manage this unique form of government. The framers of municipal government in Connecticut brilliantly ensured the balance of power by limiting the authority of the various boards, commissions and granted equal power to the legislative body, the citizenry, through the town meeting. The current Board of Selectmen understands governing at this level requires compromise and collaboration to move the town forward. So, when you hear the opposition candidatesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; state they will cut the education budget by $750,000 or eliminate the full time fire staff, they lack a fundamental understanding of the governing process. Is now the time to retrain

our leadership? Further, these sound bites are designed to garner support, without consideration of the consequences. For example; eliminating the full time fire staff would likely depreciate property values and certainly raise individual insurance premiums. The Board of Selectmen has very little influence or control of the Board of Educationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget, a specific control designed by the framers of town government. So, why does the current board deserve to be retained? Lisa Pellegriniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s list of accomplishments in a single term is a stunning example of her leadership abilities and governing style. Ms. Pellegrini had generated almost $1 million in grant funding for the Town of Somers, with an additional $1.2 million in pending applications. An organization that was fragmented is now operating in unity, with staff working in a defined organizational structure using sound business practices to provide the best services to the citizens at a reasonable cost. The functions of this government are being provided with less staff and at a lower cost than when Ms. Pellegrini started her tenure. Her restructure of the personal services costs (pension, medical and salary benefits) for town employees has resulted in savings to the town, while ensuring critical benefits to the employees are sustainable in the future.

Kathy Devlin has been the conscience of the people and has demonstrated a superior corporate knowledge and history of governing unprecedented in municipal government. Kathy has served in town government for over 30 years, brilliantly managing the relationships between the various stakeholders in the governing process. From my perspective, Ms. Devlin is the most intelligent and dedicated servant of the people in our great town. Bud Knorr brings unique skills to round out the Board of Selectmen. He is a no nonsense businessman, who can easily see through the various special interest agendas that come before the board and get to the core issue at hand. This is an important role in our community, as weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen in other forms of government, singular issues can easily highjack agendas and grind the governing process to a halt. One of the greatest responsibilities in our Republic is the election of our leadership and I encourage everyone to participate in the process. That responsibility is even more important in Somers, since the town charter doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t provide any mechanism to recall elected officials. So, as you cast your ballet in November, remember, you have one shot to make the right choice, so choose wisely. Joseph R. Tolisano 25 Whisper Wood Drive

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28 North Central News November 2011



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Somers Home Heating Questions Answered this Month on â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Kissel & Friendsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or the Enfield Neighborhood Services Fuel Bank at or 860-253-6396. Residents can also call the free 2-1-1 Infoline with questions. Sen. Kissel ( represents 7th Senate District towns including East Granby, Enfield, Somers, Suffield, Windsor Locks and portions of Granby and Windsor. His website is




SOMERS - This monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kissel and Friendsâ&#x20AC;? on PATV 15 focuses on home heating needs and available services to north-central Connecticut residents. The

show can be seen on Mondays at 9:30 p.m. Above, from left to right, are: State Sen. John A. Kissel and his â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kissel and

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Friendsâ&#x20AC;? guests Operation Fuel Executive Director Pat Wrice, and Joel Cox of Enfield Neighborhood Services Fuel Bank. For more information on how to get home heating assistance, contact Operation Fuel (


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Library Hours: Monday - Thursday: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

2 Vision Boulevard, Somers, CT 06071 (860) 763-3501 / Fax: (860) 763-1718 Email: Website:

PROGRAMS Book Discussion Denise Stankovics will lead a discussion of the book Snow, Stars and Wild Honey by George Morrill on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7:00 p.m. Copies of the book will be available at the library. Please call the library to register for the discussion. Movie Matinees Tuesday, Nov. 1 – The Beaver starring Mel Gibson; Jodie Foster Tuesday, Nov. 15 – Water for Elephants starring Reese Witherspoon; Robert Pattinson. Films start at 1:00 and are shown with subtitles when available. From Clutter to Clarity An interactive workshop with Rick Woods, the ‘Functional Organizer,’ who will help you create a more functional and a simpler environment. Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 p.m. Victorian Quilts and Traditions Jo Hansling, quilter, teacher and craftswoman, will present a one hour program on Victorianism and its culture through quilts, holidays, and special events. Sample quilts and holiday décor will be on display. Saturday, Nov. 12, 1:00 p.m. National Novel Writing Month November is National Novel Writing Month and the Somers Public Library will help you on your way to your first novel. Join our writing group once a week during November for support, technical help and ideas, or just visit for a quiet place to write. More information about the group is available at The program is free and open to adults and high school students. Call Cecelia Becker at 860-763-3501 to register or for more information Museum Passes Available The Friends of the Library have generously donated three new museum passes for the use of Somers residents. The Imagine Nation Museum, located in Bristol, admits 4 people for free; The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford offers 1 free adult ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket, or 2 free children’s tickets; and the New Britain Museum of American Art admits 4 people free. Please call the library for availability. Check Out E-readers The library now has a Nook and a Kindle e-reader as well as MP3 players available for adult residents to check out. The devices can be borrowed for three weeks. Late fees are $1.00 per day. The library subscribes to the OverDrive downloadable audiobook and eBook catalog which supports many devices and is available 24/7 from the library’s website. You will need an active Somers library card to request a title for download. For more information contact Francine Aloisa at 860-763-3501.

30 North Central News November 2011

Saturday: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Library Closed November 11 November 23 November 24 Dec. 24 - 26

Veterans’ Day Close at 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day Christmas Holiday

Children’s Department Events November 2011 Events Knitting for Kids! Mondays, Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28 3:30-4:30 p.m. For students in grades 1-5. Learn the basics of knitting and create a project of your very own. Beginners and knitters of all abilities are welcome. Needles and yarn will be provided. There is a $5.00 per week fee for materials. Sign up now! CT Concert Ballet Presents excerpts from “The Nutcracker” Sunday, November 20, 2:00 p.m. Dancers from the CT Concert Ballet will present excerpts from their production of “The Nutcracker”. They will also provide information about classes, life as a ballet dancer and a demonstration with audience participation. Audience members are welcome to mingle with the dancers afterwards for questions and pictures. Free tickets are available beginning November 5. Family Movie Matinee Saturday, November 26 1:00-1:30 p.m. Prep & Landing, Rated G, 22 minutes. No one does stealth like an elf. 1:45-2:15 p.m. Merry Madagascar, Not Rated, 22 minutes. When Santa and his reindeer crash onto the island of Madagascar it is up to the Zoosters to save Christmas. No registration required. • Our current storytime session goes through December. We still have room in some age groups. Inquire in the Children’s Room.

December 2011 Events Snacks with Santa Presented by the Friends of the Library Saturday, December 3, 9:00, 9:45, 10:30, 11:15 a.m. The Friends of the Somers Public Library will hold their annual Snacks with Santa Program on Saturday morning, December 3. Somers residents may register their children for one of four sessions: 9:00,

9:45, 10:30, or 11:15. Each program will feature the reading of a Christmas story; time to talk with Santa, and a snack and gift book at the end of the program. Parents are invited to bring along their cameras. Due to the popularity of the Snacks with Santa program, registration must be done in person beginning November 19. Admission to each session will be with ticket only. Children must be Somers residents 8 years old or younger. Lego Club Sunday, December 4, 1:30-2:30 p.m. For children in grades 1-5. After hearing a story children will have time to construct a Lego project related to the theme of the book. Sign up now for this event.

Holiday Ornament Workshop Saturday, December 17, 11:00-12:00 p.m. We will provide you with the creative items you need to make a gift or a treasured keepsake. For children ages 6-10. Registration begins November 26. Teddy Bear Sleepover Party! Tuesday, December 27, 6:30 p.m. We will share stories, sing songs, enjoy a bedtime snack, and tuck our little friends into bed for a sleepover at the library. Please bring a stuffed animal and a blanket with you to the event. Pick up your friend the next day after the sleepover fun is done, along with a special souvenir. Registration begins December 12. Sir George & the Dragon by Pumpernickel Puppets Wednesday, December 28, 10:30-11:15 a.m. Join an adventurous princess as she journeys to Mystery Mountain to visit the Great Green Dragon. Along the way you’ll meet Zelda the babysitter, a silly bat, Sir George and his clumsy dog, and of course the lovable dragon. Recommended for ages 3 & up. Free tickets are available beginning December 12.



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Somers Ladies Aide Society Annual Bake Sale SOMERS - The Ladies Aide Society of the Congregational Church of Somersville will hold a bake sale on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out on the tasty goodies offered - just in time for Thanksgiving. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever purchased baked goods at the Blacksmith Shoppe in Somersville (run by the church women), you know we have some superb cooks and bakers. Come check out the selection of pies, cookies, breads, bars, cakes, candies, etc. Ready-to-bake pies will also be offered the ladies will prepare some pies on Friday morning and put them in the freezer - all you need to do is pop them in the oven, and your home will smell like fresh-baked pies. The church is handicap accessible.

Mobile Pantry Program Now Offered in Somers SOMERS - Foodshare is now a service offered to the residents of Somers. Foodshare is a mobile pantry program providing primarily fresh fruits and vegeta-

bles to individuals and families in need. The mobile pantry will distribute to the residents at the back of Somers Congregational Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parking lot (599 Main St., Somers), every other Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Please bring your own bags, and cancellations will be listed on WFSB-TV3 and WTICAM1080. Upcoming distribution dates are Nov. 9 and 23, and Dec. 7 and 21.

Somers Historical Society Museum Open SOMERS - The Somers Historical Society Museum will be open Saturday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is the second-to-last time the museum will be open in 2011. The museum has displays featuring military uniforms, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clothing made with fabric from the Somersville Mfg. Co., dolls, doll beds, and kitchen utensils used in the 1930s and 1940s. Photos of old houses of Somers and Somersville are featured in a collection at the museum. Of special interest are the two large scrapbooks at the museum. Menus from the Maple Leaf Tea Room and old newspaper articles are kept in the scrapbooks.





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Also there is a map of North Cemetery made by the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cemetery researchers. Call ahead if there is some aspect of Somers history you would like to research at the museum, and we will try to accommodate your request. Admission is free. For more information call 860-749-6437.

Students Will Canvass for Food Baskets SOMERS - On Saturday. Nov. 19, students from the Somers High School Honor Society and the Maybelle B. Avery Middle School Beta Club will canvas all neighborhoods in Somers from 9 a.m. to noon to collect non-perishable food products that will be used to fill Thanksgiving baskets for the needy. The Somers Social Services Department provides the names of the recipients of the baskets. The students will bring the collected

goods to the Somers Town Hall. If no one comes to your door, you may bring your food items to the Town Hall before noon on Nov. 19. Please be sure to check the expiration dates on the foods you donate.

Church Will Serve Supper at Lower Price SOMERS - The Somers Congregational Church will be having its annual Turkey Supper on Saturday, Nov. 5. The new lower price is $12 for adults and $4 for children (12 and under). Dinner includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, butternut squash and peas. Dessert includes a choice of apple or pumpkin pie with coffee. Reservations are needed. Call the church office at 860-763-4021. Seatings are at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Take-out orders are available at 5:15 p.m., 5:45 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.

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Famous guest at Crossroads Gifts and Greetings Clifford the Big Red Dog came to visit Crossroads Gifts and Greetings in Somers on Oct. 8. Clifford waved at the crowds outside, ambled about the store, helping the children with a store-wide scavenger hunt, posed for pictures with his smallest of fans, and gave hugs and high-fives to all. Natalie, 13 months old, was thrilled to meet her favorite book character as she gave him kisses and big hugs with the help of her grandmother, Beverly Lanoutte. Hutton, 18 months old, tries his skills at the Pumpkin Ring Toss game.














32 North Central News November 2011

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Somers The Calico Cat Comes To Rockville Bank Plaza

Fire Safety Starts at a Young Age From left, Stacey Murkette and daughters Alexa, 4, and Morgan, 2 weeks, Sparky. Michaela, 2 weeks, sisters Daniella, 3, and Haileigh, 1, and mom Kari Percoski. Photo courtesy of Stacey Murkette

SOMERS - Connecticut Commercial Realty & Select Homes has announced that it has recently leased the last remaining unit in the Rockville Bank Plaza at 612 Main St. in the center of Somers. Victoria Clark, broker/owner of the firm, represented the landlord, while realtor Christy Ryan of the same firm represented the new tenant in the transaction. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Calico Catâ&#x20AC;? is a unique gift shop owned by Judith Tsukroff and operated by Anna Salvato. The shop features seasonal/holiday goods, items old and new, and childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clothing. The store opened in early October and is full of great autumn decor. Merchandise will change frequently, so stop by often. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Calico Catâ&#x20AC;? will complement other businesses in the plaza including the Hong Kong Garden Restaurant, Connecticut Commercial Realty & Select Homes, Lisa Bonackerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of Dance, June Richards Salon, and the Rockville Bank branch. Connecticut Commercial Realty & Select Homes operates divisions in both commercial and residential brokerage and maintains offices in Somers and New London. The firm carries brokerage licenses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and provides certified appraisal services in both Connecticut and New York State. They may be contacted at 860-851-

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Regional Teachers Help Students Understand Their Possible Career Paths (continued from page 20) Through these classes, a preschool is offered to the public in the spring every year which gives students hands-on experience. In addition to the preschool, a relationship with Silver Lane School in East Hartford allows the high school students to become â&#x20AC;&#x153;buddiesâ&#x20AC;? with a kindergartner. They meet four times a year and Aetna funds a huge portion of the program through a grant for an inner city education program. In both programs, the students create the lesson plans and execute them while offering a service to the community. The kickoff gathering every year takes place at Johnny Appleseed Orchard where the children from Silver Lane visit and spend some time in the orchard and pumpkin patch with the high school students. Helmin fondly recalls a Silver Lane kindergartener jumping off the bus and looking out over the panoramic view from the orchard and exclaiming, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can see the whole world from here!â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we can touch a child in that way by exposing them to our surroundings, think of the impact we have made,â&#x20AC;? said Helmin. The preschool program is called Big Kids Little Kids and runs from late February through June. There is room for about 10 children and s offered twice a week. Students in the Early Childhood

Development classes are the teachers and the students from the Child Development Class are assistants and observers. Most of the high school students in the class plan to pursue a career in some type of field working with children. The Parenting class gives students a glimpse of what it means to be a parent. All students have the opportunity for extra credit and that means wearing an â&#x20AC;&#x153;empathy bellyâ&#x20AC;? or taking home a â&#x20AC;&#x153;babyâ&#x20AC;? for a weekend. Both are an eye opener for students. Slattery says the baby is a lot tougher and both are negative reinforcement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This gets students really thinking about what it takes to be a parent,â&#x20AC;? says Slattery. About half of the students do the empathy belly but it is the baby that brings the reality of parenting home to them. The student/parent must wear a bracelet that electronically connects him/her to the child. Slattery programs the â&#x20AC;&#x153;babyâ&#x20AC;? for the weekend, which determines what kind of disposition the infant will have. A computer inside the â&#x20AC;&#x153;babyâ&#x20AC;? records how fast or slow the parent responds to cries and even if there is rough handling. It is quite the high tech mechanism and I can attest that it is very eye-opening. My family experienced the â&#x20AC;&#x153;babyâ&#x20AC;? several times when my oldest daughter took the class and it certainly was realistic. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re taking kids out of their comfort zone,â&#x20AC;? said Helmin. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And that is a good thing.â&#x20AC;?


Helmin and his students can be found serving delicious appetizers and treats at the high school open house, parent-teacher conferences, Ellington Community Scholarship ceremony in June and various other events around school. He just recently purchased a dozen purple chef coats and plans to hand pick six to eight students to be part of competitions called Chop Competition. Their name is quite fitting: Chevalier de les Table Ronde, which translates to Knights of the Round Table. He is not sure how far the team will go because to really compete they need a true culinary kitchen.

Helmin has a long history in the food service industry and has owned two restaurants. He taught a class at Morse School of Business, which resulted in creating a Hospitality Curriculum there, and became the department head. Enrollees in the program increased 500% during his time at the school. He has always wanted to be a high school teacher though and decided to become certified in Family and Consumer Sciences. He is very happy to have found his place here in Ellington and something tells me the feeling is mutual. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait to see what else Helmin and Slattery cook up!


For Hoffman for First Selectman To the Editor, Ellington voters will have a choice in the November 8 municipal elections. Bob Hoffman, a lifelong Ellington resident, is the Democratic candidate for First Selectman. In addition to a long career in the Connecticut Department of Correction, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant and served in that capacity for 15 years, Bob has also been a long-time



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police officer in Ellington, and is a current member of the Planning & Zoning Commission. As a resident of the Crystal Lake area, often under-represented in town government, Bob will bring an additional perspective to the First Selectmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office, while representing the entire town. He will listen to the concerns of the people and work to continue to make Ellington the great place it has been for his entire life. John Halloran 4 Egypt Road, Ellington CT



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Regional Variety Show Raises Funds for Drama Clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Scotland Trip (continued from page 21) would know that Mr. McCallum could dance if they never attended the performance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think the most amazing thing about the night was the teacher-student collaboration,â&#x20AC;? said Rinaldi. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are no other events that have teachers and students working collaboratively.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no easy thing to gather this many teachers together and no one knows for sure how Prenetta convinced them. The story goes that he put out a plea for help with his fundraising for a trip his group is taking next August to the Edinburgh (Scotland) Fringe Festival. OKP was selected by the American High School Theatre Festival to attend the festival. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safe to say the respect and friendship the staff at the high school share made it an

Lead teacher Peter Corbett in the skit â&#x20AC;&#x153;Real High School.â&#x20AC;? easy choice to help Prenetta and his group out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although it was meant to be a fundraiser, I decided to do this particular



event as the means to foster a community performance of Disneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beauty and The spirit between teachers and students,â&#x20AC;? said Beast.â&#x20AC;? This production promises to be a Prenetta. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important for students to spectacular one with lots of activities for know that their teachers are people with children to participate in before and during talents and interests.â&#x20AC;? It sounds like this the performances. could be an annual event. If you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get a chance to catch this For more information, visit the OKP OKP fundraising performance, the next website off the Ellington High School one up is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Almost Maineâ&#x20AC;? and will be per- website at formed on Nov. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. This is a play about a mythical town called Almost, Maine. During a cold winter night, the residents will fall in and out of love in hilarious ways. It is a charming and touching story. Then on Nov. 26, OKP will present an Alumni Drama/Music Extravaganza James Patsun - President featuring OKP Alumni stuâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Serving the area for over 30 yearsâ&#x20AC;? dents and excerpts of many of SPECIALIZING IN CUSTOM BUILDING, their past performances over REMODELING AND EXCAVATION the last 20 years. In addition, 64 Field Road, Somers, CT 06071 local musicians will showcase Tel: 860 763-3946 Fax: 860 749-6872 their talents that evening. Fully Licensed & Insured CT & MA A+ BBB Keep an eye out for details on OKPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s March 9-11, 2012


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Autumn in the Park

The internationally touring Manchester Regional Police and Fire Pipe Band marched in Hyde Park in Stafford at the sixth annual Autumn in the Park playing an hour of its famous bagpipe music on Oct. 1. At right, Little Sawyer got her face painted. Photos by Amy Hartenstein

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Regional Registrars Have Special Hours for New Voters The Tolland County Registrars of Voters will hold a special voter making session at their offices for those residents who wish to vote in the Nov. 8 Municipal Election. It will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eligible voters must be citizens of the United States, residents of their town, and 18 years of age by Nov. 7, 2011, in order to vote. Eligible residents may also register anytime before Nov. 1 during regular

business hours at the Registrars of Voters office or the Town Clerkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office. The deadline for mail in applications has passed. A special session on Nov. 7 is the deadline for new voters to register in person for the Nov. 8 election. This session is for people who become eligible to vote in their town after Nov. 1. The Registrars of Voters will hold the special session on Monday, Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. to noon. You must

register in person with proof that you were not eligible to register before Oct. 25. If you are an active serviceman/woman, you may appear in person on Nov. 7 until 5 p.m. For details, please call the Registrars Office in your town: â&#x20AC;˘ Ellington Town Hall, 55 Main St. 860-870-3107 â&#x20AC;˘ Somers Town Hall, 600 Main St. 860-763-8211 â&#x20AC;˘ Stafford Town Hall, 1 Main St., 860-684-1770 â&#x20AC;˘ Tolland Town Hall, 21 Tolland Green, 860-871-3634 â&#x20AC;˘ Vernon Town Hall, 14 Park Place, 860-870-3685



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Stafford Krol Heralds Budget Passage; Says Town Needs Manager By Linda Tishler Levinson STAFFORD â&#x20AC;&#x201D;First Selectman Michael Krol can say he left the town with a budget, although it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always look like that might be the case. Voters approved a budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year in an Oct. 13 referendum. The vote was 930-629. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now we have a budget,â&#x20AC;? Krol said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That was a relief.â&#x20AC;? It was the third budget referendum for the town this year. The budget brings a 1 mill increase in the tax rate. The budget was set at $36,025,608. The mill rate will remain at 28.96, the rate used to calculate the tax bills that

were mailed out this summer. A mill represents $1 in tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value. Budget referendums in May and September were defeated. After the May budget defeat, the selectmen had decided to postpone another budget vote until the state had a firm budget in place. Krol, who is completing one term as first selectman, said he decided not to seek re-election so that he could return more fully to his accounting business. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It takes more time than I can take way from my other business,â&#x20AC;? Krol said of being first selectman. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love doing accounting work.â&#x20AC;?

He added that he supports having the town adopt a charter and move to a town council-town manager form of government. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The town government really needs to change how we manage the town,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We really need to get a town charter.â&#x20AC;? Currently, the town has no charter, and its form of government is determined by state statute. Krol said he advocates the council-manager form of government so that a full-time manager could be free of the politics of being an elected official while running the town on a day-to-day basis.


For Shuck, Guglielmo-Knowlton To the Editor, For Stafford voters, November 8th cannot come soon enough. If the past three budget referendums have shown us anything, it is that we need severe change in Town Hall. Although the First Selectmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position is an open seat, I would submit to you that the current administration and the Democratic Town Committee Chairman, who is among the three First Selectman candidates, is no different than the current party in power. The political party managing the town has yet to provide Stafford residents with a transparent budget, leading us to believe that there are perhaps frivolous or unpopular expenditures being made. The Board of Education does a wonderful job with budget line items; one would think the First Selectman could do the same. We have also seen a variety of new positions created. In case you did not know, the Town of Stafford hired a CFO

making nearly $70,000 per year. The current party in power also created a full-time I.T. position for town hallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 12 computers. This position now costs the taxpayers nearly $60,000 per year. Your hard earned money also pays for what is called a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Special Projects Administrator,â&#x20AC;? which is costing you nearly $55,000 per year. And now we have a candidate that wants to continue his studies in the ivory tower while he hires a town manager to do the work. According to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the average Town Manager salary is $108,921. Does it really make sense to create yet another position? If you want to bring common sense back to town hall, vote for Richard Shuck and Deidriene Guglielmo-Knowlton. Deidriene has served us well by voting no on increased spending and on the recent tax hike. Unlike his opponent, Rich is not looking to take a part-time salary and hire a Town Manager. He doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have an upside down view of government where administrators, project managers, directors




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or other â&#x20AC;&#x153;chiefsâ&#x20AC;? outnumber workers. This team is ready to roll their sleeves up and work for you, the taxpayer. Vote for common sense, vote for Shuck and GuglielmoKnowlton. Douglas H. Minich 40 East Street Stafford Springs, CT 06076

Walsh Refutes Claims To the Editor, I am writing this letter to refute the false statements contained in an editorial letter of Mr. Douglas H. Minich of October 20, 2011. In his letter, Mr. Minich makes two

obvious references to me, the Democratic candidate for First Selectman of Stafford, which are clearly untrue: 1. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And now we have a candidate who wants to continue his studies in the ivory tower, while he hires a town manager to do the work.â&#x20AC;? 2. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unlike his opponent, Rich is not looking to take a part time salary and hire a town manager (referring to Richard Shuck, the Republican candidate for First Selectman). He doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have an upside down view of government where adminis-

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Stafford LETTERS TO THE EDITOR trators, project managers, and directors or other â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;chiefsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; outnumber workers.â&#x20AC;? To set the record straight, I have pledged to take only $15,000 of the total First Selectmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pay and salary benefits as a gesture of my commitment to public service. I will work full time for the people of Stafford, using my lifetime of study of the best practices of government to move the town forward. I will not hold any other position such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;continuing studies in the ivory tower.â&#x20AC;? I will not hire a town manager if I am First Selectman. More important, I do not hold â&#x20AC;&#x153;an upside down view of government where administrators...or other â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;chiefsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; outnumber workers.â&#x20AC;? If the citizens of Stafford were to vote for a town manager system, the Board of Selectman (all 3 selectmen) would cease to exist, as would the position of Special Projects Administrator since this job would be part of the responsibilities of the town manager. Rather than an increased cost to taxpayers as Mr. Minich claims, the town manager would cost less because his salary of approximately $110,000 (Minichâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s estimate) would be offset by the combined savings of the 3 salary packages of the selectmen, $69,750, and the salary of the

Special Projects Administrator of $58,000 for a total of $127,750. Mr. Minich knows these figures and he is only trying to confuse struggling taxpayers in the closing days of the election. If a town manager system is not adopted by the people, I will continue to work full time throughout both years of my term for $15,000 annually. Nothing better illustrates why I have called for consideration of the town manager system than Mr. Minichâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s letter. As long as Stafford politics is dominated by this kind of distortion and pettiness, the town will never reach its potential. David F. Walsh Democratic candidate for First Selectman of Stafford

For Shuck To the Editor, This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s municipal election offers Stafford residents a real choice. Our usual choice is the devil you know, and the devil you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know. The democratic candidate was a distinguished college professor of 38 years in political science. However; he has never been forthcoming with his area studies. For all we know he could have taught Ancient and Medieval Political Thoughts or U.S. Middle East Policy. That said, it

hardly prepares one to manage a municipality. Academia is often described as life in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ivory Towerâ&#x20AC;? or a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sterile Environmentâ&#x20AC;?. The average college class room contains no blizzards, car crashes, pot holes or broken sewer lines. It does contain dozens of eager young obedient faces, quietly hanging on every word of theory that is being taught since their grade depends on it. Irate citizens who have their own theory may look very different to the professor. A town manager. Now that sounds like a good idea. But is it what we need or just more theory? Either way isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it just handing our problems off to someone else without solving them? Maybe instead of passing our problems on to an â&#x20AC;&#x153;expertâ&#x20AC;? we should take a hard look at ourselves and rewrite the rule book so the ship stays on course no matter whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the drivers seat.

I urge everyone to take a hard look at the choices, and on Nov. 8th support Richard Shuck, the only candidate that has real life experience and the leadership skills to move our community forward. He hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t changed who he is to run for public office. He has always been a calm problem solver who is willing to work towards a level headed common sense solution for the betterment of the community. Paul Adamski Stafford Springs

Hoss Seeks Support To the Editor, On November 8th the town of Stafford will vote for a new administration with the town first selectman seat open. As the 930-629 passing of the budget referendum suggests, the town is ready to move forward in implementing what has previously

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Staffordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Homecoming Parade 2011

Flights of Fancy Art Gallery Open House STAFFORD - Join the festivities at the Flights of Fancy Art Gallery annual holiday Open House on Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Throughout the day, artisans will be showcasing their talents and exhibiting their works. Demonstrations of twig furniture, jewelry, stained glass, beading, quilting and wool spinning are scheduled. Several local painters, ceramicists, and photographers will have exhibits. The gallery also features fused glass, felted wool and turned wood creations. The Open House provides a wonderful opportunity to purchase unique, one of a kind

gifts. During the open house, Flights of Fancy will sponsor an Open Mike and local acoustic musicians are invited to participate. The gallery is a drop-off point for Santaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toy box and the Stafford Food Bank. Flights of Fancy Art Gallery is located at 17 Crystal Lake Road (Rt. 30), Stafford Springs, in the lower level of the Mallardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nest Antique shop. Owner Georgia Michalec welcomes you. For more information, call 860-684-3837.

The Class of 2014 does it again! For the second year in a row, the Stafford High Class of 2014 won the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Floatâ&#x20AC;? award in the Homecoming Parade held on Saturday, Oct. 22. Stafford High students joined in the traditional exciting â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spirit Weekâ&#x20AC;? showing their class spirit, to finish off the weekend with the Homecoming Parade and Dance. Each graduating class built and submitted itsr own float, and the Homecoming Courts traveled in shiny convertibles up Main Street from the Town Hall to Olympic Field, where the floats were judged. Above, Senior Class of 2012 Homecoming King Jesse and Homecoming Queen Jessica wave during the parade.

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42 North Central News November 2011

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ƒ‹†ˆ‘”„›–Š‡–ƒơ‘”†‡‘…”ƒ–‹…‘™‘‹––‡‡ǡ‹—”ƒǡ”‡ƒ•—”‡”Ǥ’’”‘˜‡†„›ƒ˜‡ƒŽ•Šƒ†‡‹Ž ‘••Ǥ



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Stafford Next Coffee House Features Two Former Connecticut State Troubadours STAFFORD - The next free Coffee House sponsored by the Stafford Arts Commission will be held Sunday, Nov. 27, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Ben Muzio Town House (Old Town Hall), 221 East St., Stafford Springs. It features two former Connecticut State Troubadours as the entertainment. At 7 p.m., Pierce Campbell, singer, songwriter and musician will entertain. He has been playing music full-time for 25 years and has released five CDs. He enjoys

writing and playing folk, jazz and Celtic music, performing solo and with The Kerry Boys, and the Pierce Campbell Jazz Trio. He is a versatile and humorous performer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; moving from Celtic ballads, Irish folk and sing-alongs, to sea songs, jazz and pop classics. He has opened for Tom Paxton, Aztec Two Step, Cheryl Wheeler and The Young Dubliners, among many others. Lara Herscovitch, who will take the

stage at 8 p.m., is described as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;unique and charismatic songwriter/performer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; her music, a skillful blend of contemporary acoustic/ folk, with pop, jazz, blues and Latin influencesâ&#x20AC;?(Acoustic Live in NYC). â&#x20AC;&#x153;She masterfully merges soulful melodies with perfect word craftingâ&#x20AC;? ( (New Haven Advocate). Refreshments are available. Extra parking is available at Memorial Hall (Rt. 319) and Town Garage (Rt. 19). Please consid-

er a donation of a non-perishable food item for Staffordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family Services Food Bank. There will be no Coffee House in December. The next date will be Jan. 29, 2012. For more information, call 860-6849500 or 860-684-5211.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (continued from page 40) been planned. We do not have to reinvent the wheel. Reviewing reports filed in town hall such as the 1968 Community Development Action Plan, the 1999 Town of Stafford Plan of Development and the current Economic Development Committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s excellent report, we have a blueprint for future success. Having met with local town council leaders that have town managers, I see the lack of continuity in governments as one of the factors that limits the progress of these ideas. We as a town should investigate bringing in a town charter as a way of improving our system. Dave Walsh and I are not looking for common thoughts from our government. We are looking for exceptional service as we have delivered in our previous and current professions and jobs. We expect to represent our town in a professional way. We are listening to our fellow citizensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ideas to improve our schools, roads, parks and self-esteem. We want to offer more of a say in government than a vote every 2

years. We want the graduates of Stafford High School to get into their college of choice or be well trained for a job, and choose to come back and live in our town. We want to give hope not just that tomorrow will be better than today, but that Stafford will be a model for Connecticut towns when we celebrate our 300th anniversary in 8 years. I cannot make promises as to what will be accomplished. I can keep my commitment to excellence and blend courage and passion in caring for others, dreaming bigger than what others think practical and expecting more than others think possible. I ask you to remember to vote on November 8th and think of the future of Stafford as you select the most qualified candidates. Neil Hoss Selectman Candidate in Stafford

For Shuck To the Editor, When elected First Selectman, Rich


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Shuck will practice fiscal responsibility. He will implement revenue neutrality in every case possible. He wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t spend more money than we have. He will work with all departments, boards and commissions to make sure that the Town is not duplicating efforts and ultimately costing the taxpayer unnecessary spending. He will not expect elusive state and federal funding. Our transparent approach to government in the Town of Stafford will begin with open communication to the public. Our Board of Selectmen will promote a business friendly environment. Due to Richâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s career in real estate, small business ownership, and his training and practical experience as Zoning Enforcement Officer he is the candidate to get this done. As First Selectman Rich will reform Staffordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current form of Government. For the last 40 years, Staffordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s government has been controlled by the same outdated policies and the same select group. He will focus on the best interest of the community and not on the agenda of a few. Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t time for a change? Pam Griffith Stafford Springs

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I would like to inform everyone of a few facts about Richard Shuck. His work ethic is outstanding. He cares about Staffordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future. He understands first hand how hard it is these days to make ends meet with the rising cost of almost everything. He can and will work with everyone on how to keep Stafford moving forward. Rich is in it for the long haul â&#x20AC;&#x153;not short termâ&#x20AC;?. I am confident that Rich would make a great hard working First Selectman. For the past 3 years, Rich has been the Zoning Enforcement Officer who has worked side by side with all departments and understands their needs to get the job done. A vote for Rich is a vote for Staffordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future. Thank you, Barry Locke

November 2011 North Central News




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Page 44

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Auto 2012 Fiat 500c Cute But Not a Good Value for its Price Maybe you've heard the old clichĂŠ that may realize. Don't overlook a Fiat for safegood things come in small packages? ty reasons. It would be a mistake. Unfortunately, in the case of the 2012 Fiat The 2012 Fiat 500 has been named a 500c cabriolet that's not the case. It's a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Top Safety Pickâ&#x20AC;? for 2011 by the small package but it's not a good thing in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spite of how darn cute it is. (IIHS). The IIHS recognizes vehicles that Where does the fault lie with this cute demonstrate â&#x20AC;&#x153;goodâ&#x20AC;? performance in front, little Italian import? The side, rollover and rear crash test problem comes from the evaluations performed at its powertrain. This is a small â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Vehicle Research Center. and I do mean small â&#x20AC;&#x201C; car Vehicles must also have elecBEHIND with no zip to it or good fuel tronic stability control, a stanThe Wheel economy for its size. dard feature on all Fiat 500 Let's address the latter models (and required on all point first. It's one of the big 2012 models period). knocks against the Smart car. KEITH GRIFFIN The Fiat 500 has seven stanIt's little and cute like the Fiat dard airbags for enhanced pas500 and only gets 33 mpg city and 41 mpg senger protection. These include driver highway. The Fiat 500c, based on EPA fig- and front passenger advanced multi-stage ures, does even worse at 27 city and 32 air bags, driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s knee air bag, full-length mpg. A Hyundai Accent, which is bigger side-curtain air bags and standard seatby all measurements, gets 30 mpg city and mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags for 40 mpg highway. enhanced passenger protection. Reactive What's unsettling is how under powered head restraints that deploy in the event of a this little car is â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even for a little car. rear collision to minimize the space Americans don't mind small if it has a lit- between the driver and passengerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head tle zip to it. The Fiat 500c has a 1.4-liter and the front head restraints also are stanMultiAir in-line four-cylinder engine that dard. High strength steel door beams offer provides 101 horsepower and 98 lb. ft. of additional protection in the event of a side torque. As I said last summer when I impact. reviewed the Mazda2, torque figures in the You may be safe in this car but I'm not double digits are never a good thing. sure how comfortable you're going to be. I One thing I can't knock about small cars made a long highway drive from is their safety. Sure, you can't overcome Middleboro, Mass., to my home outside of the laws of physics. A semi tractor-trailer Hartford. All I could think was, "I'm too crashing into a Fiat 500c is never going to fat to Fiat." The Fiat is really cut almost end well for the Fiat passengers, but there's like an Italian suit. Anybody broad of a lot more protection inside than people shoulder might find it uncomfortable for

an extended drive. I had no place to rest my left arm for the trip because I felt pressed against the door. OK, so not all is negative about the Fiat 500c. Its multi-position power-retractable cloth top is fascinating. With just the push of a button, the Fiat 500câ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s power-operated cloth top retracts up to the rear spoiler during speeds up to 60 mph (a midway point can be chosen by pressing the button anytime between). Press the roof button again, and the roof will neatly fold all the way open and tuck neatly behind the rear head restraints (up to 50 mph). It's also constructed to create a quiet cabin under full speed. The Fiat 500c has a base price of $24,000. The model Fiat loaned me for review cost $25,020. Frankly, I think that's too high a price to pay for cute when it's so lacking in practicality. Look instead at a Mini Cooper or the Volkswagen Beetle as

two too-cute alternatives that are going to serve you better in the long run. (For the latest new car news, log onto, where I am a contributor, or learn about buying and selling a used car at VITAL STATISTICS Wheelbase: 90.6 inches Length: 139.6 inches Width: 64.1 inches Height: 59.8 inches Curb weight: 2486 lbs. Engine: 1.4-liter, four-cylinder Horsepower: 101 horsepower Torque: 98 lb. ft. EPA estimated mpg city/highway: 27/32 Base price: $24,000 As-tested price: $25,020 Also consider: (a comparative vehicle) Mini Cooper, VW Beetle, Smart fortwo


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November 2011 North Central News  

Town, school, senior, library, parks and rec news and more for the towns of East Windsor, Ellington, Enfield, Somers, Stafford and Vernon.

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