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Volume 17, Issue 51

Serving Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall

Dads are just big kids!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Middletown water system connection is best option for Durham By Cheri Kelley Town Times Two dozen people came to the public hearing on the water main extension feasibility study update and environmental impact evaluation on March 23, and annoyance was expressed for how long the study took — and how long the improvements will take. The recommendation

by Fuss & O’Neill is to connect to the Middletown system. As it stands today, Middletown does not have enough water supply to fill the town of Durham’s need, but with additional supply sources it is possible in the future. When contaminated water was found on Main Street at the location of the Durham Manufacturing and Merriam

Manufacturing companies’ sites, the town began looking for a clean water source. A study on this issue was commissioned about 12 years ago, and then an additional study was done about three years ago. The purpose of the most recent study was to update the first study, as far as identifying the superfund See Water System, page 24

Durham BOS disbands Public Safety Committee By Stephanie Wilcox Town Times First Selectman Laura Francis stated at the March 28 Board of Selectmen meeting that public safety is one of the town’s main priorities, “and we’ve shown that in a number of ways.” But in the last year in particular, Francis noted that she has given a

Kieran Driscoll with his dad, Jon, went to Durham CoOp’s annual Dad’s Night. This year’s theme was Western, and this duo played the part all the way! See more photos on page 22. Submitted MIca Machnik

lot of thought to what role the Public Safety Committee (PSC) has in how public safety is handled. She explained that an informal executive committee had formed, which includes the fire chief, EMS chief, emergency management director, resident state trooper and fire marshal; these are the decisionmakers with whom Francis

worked with directly regarding budgeting, planning,

See Durham BOS, page 19

In this issue ... Calendar ............................4 Durham Briefs.................12 Middlefield Briefs ...........13 Sports ...............................26 Obituary...........................19

Middlefield’s Chili Master

BOE brings budget down to 3.98 percent increase, takes out a nurse By Elisabeth Kennedy Special to the Town Times The March 23 Board of Education (BOE) meeting opened with high-spirited public comment accusing the board of scare tactics with threats of loss of accreditation and layoffs of 40 teachers. Other public comment was both in favor of and opposed to combining bus routes, and all were opposed to increasing class sizes and cutting additional

teachers. Suggestions concerned charging for programs and changing insurance packages. Superintendent Susan Viccaro confirmed there is no intent to charge for programs, and both Viccaro and business manager Ron Melnik indicated the district did well with a 9.9 percent insurance increase as the industry standard is 13-14 percent. Melnik further explained See BOE, page 23

On Thursday, March 10, the Middlefield Firehouse heated up with fierce competition amongst the Lions in their much-anticipated Chili Cook-Off. This year there were eight contestants vying for the bragging rights of “Chili Master.” There were some excellent combinations of ingredients and creative twists, making for a very enjoyable evening of good food, friends and lots of laughs. This year was a tight race for number one, but Mark Gribko managed to pull it off again. This is Mark’s second win (he won the event in its first year, three years ago)! Last year David Lowry was the winner. The eight Lions who made chili for this year’s event were Lisa Steward, Chris Hurlbert, Mary Roberts, Mark Gribko, Marc D’Amato, Jay Dalo, David Lowry and Melissa Kowal. Submitted by Melissa Kowal


Relay for Life The American Cancer Society is proud to present the 2011 Relay for Life of Greater Middletown, an overnight walk to fight cancer. This event will take place at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Middletown on June 11. To register or for more info, contact Lynn Kipphut at 203-379-4874 or e-mail her at Visit or

NHS spring clean-up It is that time of year again when you look to the Coginchaug National Honor Society’s annual spring clean-up fundraiser. In the past, the group has cleared gardens of

Town Times Community Briefs leaves and twigs, spread mulch and even painted barns. Usually teams of three to four NHS students are sent to help you beautify your yard, and your donation of $50 an hour goes to help support our school activities and charities, such as our own Malawi student from Save the Children. If you are interested in “hiring” an NHS team, please call Coginchaug High School at 860-349-7215 during the week of school vacation, April 16-23. Please give the secretaries your name, phone number and a brief description of the work you need done. NHS students will begin returning phone messages by the middle of the week of April 24. Your support is appreciated, and NHS looks forward to assisting in your spring cleaning.

Index of Advertisers

The Middlefield Explorer Post 82 and the fire department are hosting their second annual Middlefield Explorers Pancake Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Middlefield Firehouse on Sunday, April 10.

DMYFS First Aid and CPR For teens in grades 7-12, this six-hour course is designed to provide teens with necessary first aid and CPR skills to be confident in their volunteer or paid work in the community. This basic first aid course includes: CRP, falls, cuts, bleeding, choking and more. Course includes: workshop, textbook, exam and course completion card. This class is provided in collaboration with A Second

Chance and is an American Heart Association course. Students earn a two-year First Aid/CPR Certification through the American Heart Association at the conclusion of this class. Go to for further details, fee info and the program registration form. Course is on Tuesday, May 3, 6-9 p.m. and Wednesday, May 4, from 6-9 p.m. Registration Deadline: April 29.

Burn survivor to speak to CRHS students As prom and graduation season quickly approaches, the need to keep our teens safe becomes paramount. To help our community’s teens make positive and healthy decisions as they celebrate milestones in their high school careers, Durham Middlefield Youth and Fami-

ly Services, along with the Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Council, are bringing Coginchaug Regional High School students a powerful assembly and workshop program, Teen Smart Choices: Empowering Teens to Take Control of Their Lives on April 6 and 7. John Westhaver, the program’s presenter, will deliver a dramatic recount of the alcohol and speeding related automobile accident that he survived as a teen in 1994. John was left with burns on over 75 percent of his body. He has since devoted himself to helping others. His program uses a slideshow and rock music to capture teens’ attention to his powerful message. CRHS students will attend the assembly on April 6, and seniors will participate in a classroom workshop with John Westhaver during health classes.

Corrections We strive to bring you the most accurate information available each week, but if you see something in Town Times that isn’t quite right, give us a call at 860-349-8000, and we’ll do our best to make things right. The Special Olympics Connecticut-Eastern Region will organize the Special Olympics CT Easter Regional Games on Saturday, May 7, rather than the Greater Middletown Special Olympics (GMSO). GMSO is a local program that sends athletes to the regional and state competitions. The GMSO is also looking for a Head Swim Coach, and interested applicants can call SOCT at 1-800-443-6105 or online at There was no Board of Ed meeting on March 30, as was printed in an article in the last issue of Town Times. There will be a public hearing on Wednesday, April 6 at 8 p.m. at CRHS.

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To advertise in the Town Times, call Joy Boone at 860-349-8026 ACE Oil ......................................11 Kim’s Cottage Confections..........3 Addy & Sons ..............................23 Langer Contractors ...................21 Allan’s Tree Service...................23 Lema, William J, DMD.................3 Anderson Lawn Care.................11 Lyman Orchards..........................7 APEC Electric ............................26 Lyon & Billard ......................13, 16 Awning Place .............................18 Masonicare................................18 Be Free Solar.............................20 Middlesex Community College....12 Berardino Company Realtors.....2, 27 Middlesex Health Care Center ....11 Binge, Bruce ..............................22 Molecular Neuroimaging ...........17 Black Dog.....................................7 Morning Brew ............................19 Boylin, William, MD....................10 Movado Farm ............................25 Brick Construction......................24 Neil Jones Home Improvements ....21 Brockett Paving & Construction.....24 Orthodontic Specialist ...............10 Cahill & Sons.............................24 PD Home Care and Repairs .....22 Carlton Interiors...........................3 Peaceful Healing .........................6 Carmine’s Restaurant .................3 Petruzelo Agency Insurance.....20 Catamount Construction ...........20 Prete Chiropractic Center..........11 Centurion Exterminating............20 Quality Landscaping Services ......7 Conroy, John, DMD...................12 Raney, Jason, DMD..................13 Country Landscaping ............6, 21 Realty Associates......................27 CV Enterprises ..........................25 RLI Electric ................................24 Daricek Landscaping.................20 Roblee Plumbing.......................25 Durham Dental ..........................11 Rockfall Co ................................21 Durham Family Eyecare .............3 Rockwell Excavation & Paving....23 Durham Middlefield Falcons .....28 RSDL Home Improvements......22 Durham Town..............................3 Sisters Cleaning Service...........22 Family Tree Care ................24, 26 Solutions By Hypnosis ..............23 Fine Work Home Improvement ......26 Southern CT State University........5 Fuel & Service .............................6 T-N-T Home & Lawncare..........21 Fugge, David M.........................25 Therapeutic Massage & Body.....26 Glazer Dental Associates............6 Thompson Candy Company .......17 Golschneider Painting...............23 Tony’s Masonry.........................22 Handy Man ..................................3 Torrison Stone & Garden....10, 24 Hansen Contracting ..................22 VMB Custom Builders...............21 Home Works..............................25 Whitehouse Construction..........26 Huscher, Debbie .......................27 Wildwood Lawn Care ................23 Ianniello Plumbing.....................25 Windows Plus............................16 Independent Day School.............7 Zettergren, Kevin.......................27 J & J Gutter Systems ................20

Pancake breakfast

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011


Town Times

Durham finance board completes 2011-12 budget By Chuck Corley Special to Town Times

crew for some of the work, though, he guessed that the cost could go down to $150,000. The board also suggested finding a used scale to further reduce costs.

The Durham Board of Finance held budget workshops on March 15 and 22 to complete the budget for 20112012.

The board’s discussion about the library budget with Valerie Kilmartin and Mary Ryan dealt with the library’s lease of the rear parking lot from United Churches of Durham, with Ryan stating that the library board is not in favor of the lease. While the lease is valid until 2015, the finance board noted that it should not be renewed when it expires.

While the board wanted to know if the scale could be installed for 2011-12, DelVecchio noted that it would be “tough to do,” thanks to the four to five weeks needed to design a site plan and the need to go before Inland Wetlands and Planning and Zoning. DelVecchio noted that $10,000 is in the budget to design the scale and its installation.

The library board also took a $2,000 cut from its Books & Media budget, line 5004. Ryan and Kilmartin felt that the cut should come from another budget. While board member Rosemarie Naples agreed, the board ultimately approved the item at $52,000 with the cut. Tax collector Martin French also met with the board to review his budget. French explained two in-


Park and Recreation director Sherry Hill was also on hand to discuss her budg-

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DelVecchio and the board also discussed other ways to cut DMIAAB’s costs. DelVecchio told them that sticker prices are going up to $20. The possibility of charging for brush disposal also briefly came up, as well as potentially limiting the number of bags people could dispose of per week.

et. She noted that the programs have been “very successful,” and the only significant item was regarding salaries. Recreation lineitem 5505 was reduced significantly because the Recreation Department previously paid for vendors through the line item. These people are now on the town’s payroll for IRS purposes, thus reducing the Recreation line-item by $25,000. The board approved the item at $26,290.


The board spoke with Dom DelVecchio regarding DMIAAB’s (Durham Middlefield Interlocal Agreement Advisory Board) transfer station budget, with the board focusing on the $30,000 in revenue generated by demolition material and the $100,000 cost associated with removing the material. In order to cut costs, DelVecchio suggested that the transfer station use a scale to properly charge people who dispose of demo material. However, he added that this could cost upwards of $200,000 between buying the scale and installing it due to the need for site improvements to put in the scale. By using the town

creases in his budget, noting that he needs $1,500 to fund four classes for his new assistant. Costs are also up with the state for maintaining the delinquent taxpayers list. This list prevents delinquent taxpayers from registering any vehicles until they pay their taxes. The item costs $1,736, a 28 percent increase from last year. After reviewing these increases, the board approved the Office of the Tax Collector item, 1020, at $12,226.

Town Times & Places


April 1 Happy April Fools’ Day! Pray Eat Sing Celebrate the special joy of Shabbat at “Pray-EatSing” at Congregation Adath Israel. Instead of the normal 7 p.m. start, these special high energy services will begin at 5:30, making them family-friendly. Services will be followed by a traditional Shabbat meal at 6:30, with warm conversation and song led by Rabbi Seth Haaz. The evening is free of charge and open to the public. Please notify the synagogue office at 860-346-4709 or by email at by March 28 if you plan to attend dinner or would like to contribute toward the cost of the meal. Willy Wonka The John Lyman Parents Association presents a production of Willy Wonka Jr. tonight at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 6 p.m. at CRHS. One hundred and fourteen RSD13 students have been rehearsing for these shows. Tickets are available at or at the door. Men’s Night Out All men are welcome to the Men’s Night Out program held at AME Zion Church at 7 p.m. There will be men’s choirs singing and information on fatherhood, food, fun and fellowship. Located at 440 West St. in Middletown; 860-344-9527.


April 2 Farmers Market Indoor Winter Farmers Market at the Dudley Farm is held on the first Saturday of the month February May. Market hours are 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Produce, baked goods, maple syrup, honey, jam, farm fresh eggs, handcrafted soaps, jewelry, greeting cards and more are available! The Dudley Farm is located in North Guilford at the corner of routes 77 and 80. We can be found indoors in the yellow Munger Barn. For further info please call 860-349-3917. Womens Hike Join Women of the Woods

( for a hike at 10 a.m. at Wadsworth Falls State Park and Wadsworth Mansion. We will explore the vernal pools, appreciate the beauty of the natural world around us, have some quiet time in the woods and enjoy each other’s company. For more info, visit or contact Lucy at or 860-395-7771.


April 3 Unite in Spirit AME Zion Church presents Unity Sunday at 10 a.m. with guest preacher Rev. Margaret R.E. Lawson. “Only when we unite in spirit can we truly cope with the challenges we face.” All are welcome. For info, call the church office: 860-344-9527.


April 6 Healing Eucharist Come to the Church of the Epiphany, Main Street in Durham, at 9 a.m. for the weekly Holy Eucharist with healing. Knit Club Come knit or crochet at the Durham Activity Center every Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. TOPS Join the TOPS meetings every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Durham Town Hall third floor meeting room. For more info, call Naomi at 860-349-9558 or Bonnie at 860-349-9433.


April 7 Chorus The District 13 Choral Night for grades five through 12 begins at 7 p.m. at Coginchaug High school.


April 8 Tot Time The MOMS Club of Durham and Middlefield sponsors a weekly Tot Time at the Middlefield Community Center. It is held every Friday from 10:30 a.m. to

noon. This open-age playgroup is available to all residents and their children of Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall. No RSVP is required; just come on down and join the fun. For more info on the MOMS Club, please contact Ann at Frog Fridays People of all ages are invited to join Everyone Outside ( at 2 or 4 p.m. at the Field Forest in Durham. This week we will see wood frog eggs, perhaps salamander eggs and a variety of vernal pool invertebrates. Registration is required. For additional information or to register, contact us at or 860-395-7771. Cogin-Chuggers The Durham Cogin-Chuggers will hold their April dance at Brewster School, on Tuttle Road in Durham from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Jim Schell will be the caller and Sue Lucibello the cuer. For more info please call 860-349-8084 or 203-235-1604.


April 9 Coginchaug Little League Scholarship Coginchaug Little League would like to announce scholarship funds for graduating seniors attending college or trade school this coming fall semester. Applicants must have played for Coginchaug Little League for at least three years. Other eligibility, criteria and requirements can be accessed online by downloading an application at Students can also inquire at their guidance office. All applications and required materials must be postmarked by April 9. Questions may be directed to Tonya Little at 860349-8678. Passport Day in the USA The town of Durham Passport Office is hosting a special passport event in Durham from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. to provide passport information to U.S. citizens and to accept passport applications. Come to the second floor Durham Town Hall, 30 Town House Road.

Durham Library Hours: Regular library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Visit to search the catalog, review your account, register for a program or renew your materials online. For info or to register for a program by phone, call 860-349-9544. Christine Tkaczyk leaving Durham Library: Christine, our wonderful Young Adult librarian, is leaving DPL after eight years to spend more time with family. Please join us in wishing her well at an open house at the library on Saturday, April 2, at 2 p.m. Author Kristan Higgins discusses her latest novel: USA Today best-selling author and two-time RITA award winner Kristan Higgins will discuss her latest book, My One and Only, on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. No registration required. Art Display: Durham artist Gwen Clark will display her artwork during the month of April in the Activity Room. The Coginchaug High School art classes will feature an art exhibit during the month of May. Library Snapshot Week: The Connecticut Library Association is sponsoring a library “snapshot” program that will capture all the library activities and events from April 9 through April 16. Attend the library events that week to participate in our programs and express your thoughts and feelings about our library. PINKALICIOUS: On Saturday, April 23, from 11 a.m. to noon, the library will celebrate everything pink for children ages 3 through 7. Enjoy listening to Pinkalicious books by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann and other pink books. Create fabulous pink crafts and enjoy pink refreshments. Come dressed in pink from your head to your toes! Please call or stop by the library to register. Evening Adventures: The Kids’ Book Club spring session for grades 1 through 3 will meet on Thursdays from March 10 through April 7. Each week a differ-

Friday, April 1, 2011 ent book will be discussed along with crafts, snacks and games related to the book. Participants are required to read the book prior to the discussion. Books are available at the library. Please call or stop by the library to register. Exciting Music Event: The award-winning duo Atwater-Donnelly will perform a unique and thrilling blend of traditional American and Celtic folk music and dance, along with original songs and poetry on Saturday, April 9, at 1 p.m. All are welcome to this program. Mystery Book Discussion: The Mystery Book Club will meet on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m., when Rabbit Factory by Marshall Karp will be discussed. All are welcome. Copies of the book are available. Book Lovers Circle: The Book Lovers’ Circle will meet on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m., when Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout will be discussed. All are welcome. Copies of the book are available at the library. Teen Book Club: The teen book club will meet on Tuesday March 29 at 7 p.m., when The Rag and Bone Shop by Robert Cormier will be discussed. Copies of the book are available.

Levi Coe Library Hours: The library is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Visit or call the library at 860-349-3857 for information or to register for any program. You can also renew, reserve and check your library record on the website. Wish List Books: Donate one or both of the following Wish List Books to our library: Bel-Air Dead by Stuart Woods or The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly. If you choose to donate one or both of these books, you will get to be the first one to check them out! We will also add a bookplate to acknowledge your kind donation. Please call 860-349-3857 or stop by the library for further details.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Town Times

Housing Rehab Loan Program will not continue in Middlefield unless residents come forward By Cheri Kelley Town Times A few months ago Town Times reported that Middlefield homeowners who meet certain requirements were eligible to apply for the federally-funded Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program, but due to lack of participation, the town may not be able to continue the program. The government has cut the funding in half, which means that only half of the towns will be able to participate. Through the program, Middlefield receives $300,000 in each yearly grant cycle. This money is then used to fund renovations and repairs for eligible homeowners. This is one final call to follow the steps below if you would like to take advantage of the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program and keep grants coming this way. Here’s how the program works: the town pays the contractor using the grant money, and no money is taken from the homeowner until the property is sold. Funds are available at zero percent interest. Some of the uses for the money are for repairs and replacements on things like roofs, plumbing, wells, heating systems, electrical systems, windows and siding. This is just a snippet of what could be done with the funds, as

long as it is for renovations that will upgrade the home to current home and building codes. Unnecessary home improvements, like central air and decks, are not acceptable projects. To be eligible, household size and income are looked at. For example, a household of four with an annual income under $64,000 is eligible. Couples with an annual income under $51,200 are also able to apply to the program. Letters of interest must be written that explain what needs to be done. Often homeowners wait until the repair is immenent and then rush to find out what is available, and it takes a bit of time to apply. It is recommended for homeowners to

write their letters explaining that for the future, in the event of a septic system repair, for example, they are interested in the program. Financial director Joe Geruch explained further: “There have only been a few people responding. Community support of the program was very small. As it stands today, we will not be able to apply for the grant.” About 20 letters of interest need to be received in order for the town to apply for the grant. If that level of interest is not generated, the grant will not be awarded so the town will not take the time to apply. Geruch stated, “We may have to sit out a year or two and try again when the need is greater.”

Walk-a-thon for a good cause The Connecticut Athletic Trainers Association (CATA) is sponsoring the CATA Penny F. Dunker-Polek Scholarship Walk-a-thon on Sunday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wesleyan University in Middletown. The event includes a 5K run, kids run, walk-a-thon and vendor fair. Proceeds will help to endow an academic scholarship in memory of Penny F. Dunker-Polek, who died at the age of 35 after a courageous battle with colon cancer. The scholarship was initiated by Penny’s family and friends, who wanted to honor her unyielding dedication to her work as an Athletic Trainer and to her beloved “kids” – the athletes of the many schools with which she worked over the years. She never strayed from her first love of athletic training. Penny touched people at all of her professional stops: Middlesex Hospital, Gaylord Hospital, Bolton, Coginchaug, Vinal and Manchester High Schools, Valley Physical Therapy and Wesleyan University. She most enjoyed working with athletes on the high school and college levels. Please go to for more information or to register online.

To advertise your business, call Joy Boone at the

Town Times 860-349-8000


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• Meet with graduate faculty from more than 40 areas of study, including many programs that may lead to Connecticut teacher certification • Find out about financial aid and graduate assistantships • Get details on career services and living on campus

USPS 021-924 Published weekly by Record-Journal Publishing Co., d/b/a Town Times, P.O. Box 265, Middlefield, CT 06455. Periodicals Postage Paid at Middlefield, CT and at additional mailing offices.

To register for the open house, call 203-392-5240 or visit S C H O O L S O F A R T S & S C I E N C E S ∙ B U S I N E S S ∙ E D U C AT I O N ∙ H E A LT H & H U M A N S E RV I C E S 1196222


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Friday, April 1, 2011

Town Times

Examining the costs of health insurance in District 13 By Mark Dionne Special to Town Times In the proposed budget for District 13 schools, expenses overall were held to under a one percent increase, with most lines cut or held to small increases. The exception is startling: benefits jump 9.48 percent, from $5,398,930 in 2010-11 to a proposed $5,910,696 in 2011-12. The only other expense line to jump as high as Benefits is Buildings & Grounds with over an 11 percent increase, although the dollar amount of that increase — $82,141 — is modest by comparison. A majority of the expense lines actually decrease in the proposed budget, over seven percent in the case of capital expenses. Why is the Benefits line set to jump over half a mil-

lion dollars? Although the Benefits expenses cover employermatched Social Security, unemployment insurance, pension benefits and reimbursements for college courses, the majority of that money is spent on health insurance. And health insurance is responsible for the increase. According to Ron Melnik, District 13’s business manager, the insurer is charging 9.9 percent more for health insurance for the district’s employees. Melnik says that about half of that increase is due to usage, with increased claims spurring the company to increase rates. The other half of the increase is attributed to changes in health care law. Under the Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama 1196572

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in March of 2010, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Also, insurance companies that offer family plans, as District 13’s insurers do, are required to offer plans for the children of the insured up to age 26. Formerly, children were released from family plans at age 19, or slightly older if they were in college. The number of insured for next year is not yet set. To date, no person with pre-existing conditions or adult children has been added to next year’s plan. The insurance companies are increasing the district’s rates for anticipated expenses. According to Melnik, this is true with multiple insurance companies. The district puts its health insurance business out to bid to save money and has switched companies three of the last four years. The district can shop around but is contractually required to provide the same or better care with any company. The employ-

ees do not choose their company; for SY 2011-12, it will be Cigna. According to published reports and available budgets, other towns are facing similar situations, although it can be difficult to compare budgets exactly because some towns have a line for health insurance and some have a line for benefits that, like District 13’s, may contain other expenses. The proposed budget for Somers (est. population 11,215) also has health insurance as the largest increase, with Superintendent of Schools Maynard Suffredini claiming health insurance costs have gone up 20 to 25 percent. Tolland (14,823) has a proposed 18 percent increase in their Benefits expenses. Plymouth’s budget cites a 12 percent increase in health insurance costs and attributes it to usage, not changes in the law. Vernon and Portland have a less than three percent increase in their health insurance, but Ver-

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non took an enormous 22 percent increase in health insurance costs last year. In District 13’s recently signed three-year contracts the teachers, who are the bulk but not all of the employees, there is no change to their health insurance in 2011/12, the year of the proposed budget. Teachers will see an increase in their copays and deductibles in the following year. Of the more than 300 employees in the district, 289 currently take insurance with the district, and 115 of those use family plans. The policy insures 627 people.

Parent honored Jennifer Schulten, left below, was recently recognized by the faculty of John Lyman School as an outstanding parent volunteer for creating and running the GO FAR program. Principal Karen Brimecombe presented Jen with an award earlier this month at a banquet sponsored by the Connecticut Association of Schools that was held at the Aqua Turf. Photo submitted by Elizabeth Hadlock


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Friday, April 1, 2011

Tax assistance for last minute filers By Cheri Kelley Town Times

and have not done your taxes yet, you should consider this free service,” said State Representative Matt Lesser. “This is great alternative to paying to have your taxes filed plus extra fees for socalled quick refunds.” An announcement from Lesser’s office gave the following details on IRS Free File: Since beginning in 2003, IRS Free File has offered lowto-moderate income taxpayers free access to leading commercial tax preparation software. This year, every taxpayer with a 2010 Adjusted Gross Income of $58,000 or less may visit to prepare, complete and e-file their federal and state tax returns at no cost. Taxpayers may visit the IRS website,, and click on the “Free File” icon. Users will find a list of Free File Alliance member companies and may either

choose the one that fits their needs or utilize the “help me find a company” tool. After selecting a company, taxpayers will be transferred to the company’s website to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal income tax returns. Three of the 19 participating software companies also offer services in Spanish. The state of Connecticut is among 38 states which allow taxpayers the ability to also file their state returns from the IRS site. Just click on the link marked “Federal/State e-file options” in the lower right hand side of the page. Whichever way taxpayers decide to go, all the paperwork for filing must be on hand and hopefully in an orderly fashion. Try to relax April 15 is just around the corner, but there is help out there.

Web update Last week we asked on our online poll, “Have you filed your 2010 taxes yet?” Thirty-one people responded by press time; 84 percent said “Yes” and 16 percent said “No” Those 16 percent who have yet to file may find tips in our article above. The countdown is on for the April 15 deadline to file state taxes and April 18 deadline for federal taxes. Go to to answer our next poll question.

Northern Middlesex YMCA Judo Club Judo Sensei Louie LaPila recently held a test for promotion at the Northern Middlesex YMCA for junior members. Those promoted to Gokyu (Yellow Belt) are Laitham Arias, Robert Walling, Tyler Barber and Jack Barry. Judo teaches discipline and coordination, and it is great exercize and fun! The Middletown Judo Club, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this fall, is under the leadership of Sensei Louie LaPila, 6th Dan, Black Belt. Submitted photos F r o n t row from left, Bob Walling, T y l e r Barber, Laitham Arias, J a c k Barry. Back row from left, Chuck Burns, Chase Cutler, Sensei Louie LaPila, Greg Makuch, Mike Bois, Joel Barry.

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For some they are dirty words that bring fear, but Tax Time doesn’t have to be so bad, especially when there are tax preparation programs available for people who qualify. If you have yet to file your taxes, you have just over a week to do so — by April 15 for state taxes and April 18 for federal taxes. At the Middlefield Senior Center there will be free income tax assistance every Tuesday until April 12. This service is provided by AARP. There will be an IRS-trained counselor available to help those with low or moderate income and who are 60 years and older. To make an appointment for this service, please call Antoinette Astle at 860-349-7121. Durham residents who qualify can go to any Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site and have their taxes prepared by volunteers through this program. Having a VITA site in Durham has not been possible up to this point due to lack of volunteers. But Janet Muraca noted that all qualifying Durham residents can go to any of the VITA sites in Middletown and Clinton. To locate the nearest VITA site, call 1-800-906-9887. Another way to beat the tax time blues is to take advantage of free tax preparation services available through the IRS Free File program. “If you made up to $58,000

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Town Times

Town Times Opinion


Friday, April 1, 2011

Improving Durham’s public safety structure By Laura Francis First Selectman, Durham

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Town Times is published every Friday by the Record-Journal Publishing Co. and delivered to all homes and businesses in Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall. Stephanie Wilcox, Editor Cheri Kelley, Reporter Kimberley E. Boath, Advertising Director Joy Boone, Advertising Sales Dee Wilcox, Office Manager Contributors: Chuck Corley, Diana Carr, Trish Dynia, Elisabeth Kennedy, Karen Kean, Judy Moeckel, Michelle P. Carter and Sue VanDerzee.

Due to the timeliness of this issue, we have lent our editorial space to Durham First Selectman Laura Francis to explain the change in the town’s structure of public safety. Public safety has always been a priority of the Board of Selectmen. As the Chief Elected Official, I have made it a personal mission to learn whatever I can about how to provide public safety services efficiently and cost effectively. I am a member of the Police Officer Standards and Training Council and am the vice chairman of the DEMHS Region 2 Emer-

gency Planning Team. Both of these organizations afford me the opportunity to learn and confer with my colleagues and other leaders in the emergency response field. Our state and local public safety officials have also been very instructive. While there is always more to learn, I have come to some conclusions that have driven some recent changes. I have learned that emergency services are best delivered within the Incident Command System (ICS). Each department has been trained to work within this standardized, on-scene, allhazards incident management approach that is used at all levels of government —

federal, state and local. ICS is flexible and can be applied to an incident of any type, scope and complexity. It is applicable across disciplines and is structured to facilitate activities in five major functional areas: Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics and Finance/Administration. Over the years, former Boards of Selectmen have appointed differing committees to serve as advisors on varying public safety topics depending on need. I have concluded that this function can be more efficiently provided by working directly with Durham’s public safety See Public Safety, page 25

Letters to the Editor Keep our children safe The school district is apparently considering reducing or eliminating a school nurse for budgetary reasons. This is an idea of questionable value. One never knows when sick or injured students will require immediate assistance from healthcare professionals at our schools. Eliminating one or more positions and combining responsibilities is the best way to ensure that school nurses will be urgently needed in two or more places at once. Is the savings really worth the risk? John-Henry M. Steele, Middlefield

A nurse is more than just a nurse It has come to my attention, as you may already be aware, that the Board of Ed has decided to cut a nurse’s position in our district. With this being done, it will leave one nurse to cover two schools. Having substituted in the school district as an RN, I find this cut outrageous and irresponsible to say the least! As it stands now, each school has its own RN, a medically trained professional who doesn’t just hand out band aids and ice packs. There are assessments made

Letters policy The Town Times intends to present a forum for the lively exchange of ideas and issues. To facilitate the publication of your contributions, several guidelines should be followed. Letters to the editor must be signed, with a phone number included. The writer will be called to confirm authorship. No anonymous letters will be printed. Contributions by any individual or group will not be published more frequently than once a month. Every effort will be made to print all letters received. However, the selection and date of publication will be at the discretion of the editor. Finally, the opinions expressed by our letterwriters are not necessarily those of this newspaper. Deadline: Tuesday noon for Friday publication.

on heart, lungs and abdomens, wounds treated and screenings conducted for hearing, vision and spinal malformations. Referrals have been made by our nurses for the students to obtain further medical treatment. Some of which have turned up diseases that needed indepth treatment and followup. Can our “fill-in” secretaries determine by neurological assessment that a small bump on the head actually caused a concussion (bruising to the brain)? That the frequent complaints of bruises is actually a symptom of a blood dyscrasia needing advanced medical treatment? That the slight change in a student’s affect is a sign of mental distress caused by abuse, drugs, depression or suicidal thoughts? What of medications? Will the “fill-in” administer medication without license or proper training? Know when an adverse reaction is starting to occur? Will the person know the treatment? Be able to assess and intervene? Should the ancillary staff have this extra pressure placed upon them? As much as one thinks “everything has been thought through,” is our children’s safety indeed be-

ing put at risk, all for the sake of saving money? Are our children not worth that much? We send our children to school trusting they will be taught in a safe, caring environment. An environment which will now be compromised for the sake of the dollar. I implore the Board of Ed to reconsider this cut and find other ways to reduce the budget without compromising our children’s welfare. Thank you for your time and careful consideration, Fran Ciarleglio, RN and Tony Ciarleglio, RPH, Middlefield

Lilly is home! Every day I wake up and thank goodness that I live in Durham. Most days I don’t have a specific reason, but on some days I have a real reason to be grateful for the kindness of my good friends and neighbors. Two weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to welcome into our home Lilly, a rescue dog from Arkansas. Our family was especially excited because Lilly was going to help us heal from the loss of our old family friend, Fossil. Unfortunately, the day after Lilly made the trek up from the south, she bolt-

ed, and despite everyone’s best efforts, she spent the next week frightened and alone lost in the woods of Durham. We posted signs, we knocked on doors and we walked for hours in the woods in hopes of catching Lilly. Every day Bruce and Marty Rau told us to be patient, and everything would turn out all right. Well, they were right. Very early last Saturday there was another sighting, and our wonderful dog warden sprang into action. Within an hour Lilly was rescued and back in our home. So now, if you see my husband Tom with a small yellow lab walking around town, you can rest assured that there is no better place to be. Josephine Wilt, Durham

Untamed lands no longer Thanks to Dave Chowaniec, who is Middlefield’s Animal Control Officer and state-licensed in nuisance wildlife control, we were able to leave our home safely one recent Saturday. We noticed from our deck’s sliding glass doors a mangy, limping raccoon on that sunny mid-morning. Our eyes

See Chowaniec, page 25

Town Times Columns

Friday, April 1, 2011

Memorial School happenings huge success. As we begin the As part of our eftransition to warmer, Kevin J. Brough, principal forts to continuously brighter days, stuMemorial Middle School promote a positive dents and staff at school climate, Memorial Middle Memorial School School will continue fifth graders will parto engage in a numticipate in a diversity ber of activities both in and out of the classroom. These program offered by students at Vinal activities serve to reinforce a sense Tech. This program, which will take of school community that is so im- place in mid-April, will reinforce the portant to all of us. Students recently importance of respecting others. completed mastery testing, and Through role-playing, cooperative throughout the testing period they group activities and student shares, maintained a high level of commit- participants will gain a greater unment and focus as they worked to derstanding of the importance of apcomplete testing in mathematics, preciating others and embracing difreading and writing. In addition, ferences. Many thanks are extended this past week was Spirit Week at to Mrs. Lynn Caliendo and the Diour school. On Tuesday through Fri- versity Club at Vinal Tech for all of day of this week students dressed in their work in making this program various themes developed by repre- possible. sentatives from our School Senate. Later this month we will begin the The culmination of Spirit Week will transition process and welcome fourth take place on Friday when the annu- grade parents to our annual grade 4 al student faculty volleyball game parents meeting. This meeting, which takes place. This contest, which is will take place on Tuesday, April 26, played in front of a full house of will consist of a presentation relating Memorial School students and to academic and extracurricular proteachers, is a strongly contested af- grams offered to students. Following fair, which is usually decided by the the presentation, parents will be given last volley! This event also features a a guided tour by members of our Stulive appearance by the famous dent Senate. Memorial Mustang! The music program at Memorial As we move from March into School has also been very busy this April, our After School Club pro- past month. Earlier this week all gram continues. For the past month sixth grade instrumentalists perover 125 fifth and sixth graders have formed at our Ensemble Night, been involved in one of 12 different which was held at Coginchaug Reclubs. These clubs range from fish- gional High School. In addition to ing to crochet and have provided a each instrumental group performwealth of positive experiences for ing, the audience was treated to perour students. Many thanks are ex- formances by the Select Chorus and tended to Mrs. Kathy DeBrum and the Jazz Band. On April 7 the choral all of the other parent volunteers for their work in making this program a See Memorial, next page

A View From District 13


Powder Ridge carping and Land Use Dept. musical chairs do just that. We will On March 15 at a most certainly revert sparsely attended to long term financBOS meeting, a ing via the issuance $25,000 check slid of bonds…once the across the table undeal with Alpine is der my nose along signed. You cannot with an “Agreement” sell bonds aimed at fisigned by Dennis Abnancing the purplanalp, the potential chase and restorabuyer of Powder tion of a ski area if it Ridge. This event does not become a ski triggered the final phase which (if all Jon Brayshaw, Middlefield area and instead is sold and used as a goes well) will result turnip farm. That’s in our handing over not what people votthe keys in 90 days (or ed for. less) to Alpine. LateMusical chairs is ly, what has taken the only way to deaway from this longscribe happenings in awaited achievement has been the “carping” (that’s a real our Land Use Department this word) voice of some who, instead of month. First, building official basking in the accomplishment after George Stronkowsky resigned, folnearly a year of negotiations, would lowed by office assistant Debra Pirather find fault with the way the card two weeks later. Both had town has been financing the pur- worked about three years. The buildchase. No question that volatility in ing official has now been replaced by the financial world is rampant with Bob Meyers, who will be filling in. no guarantees. The issue in dispute Debra’s position has been filled by has to do with permanent financing moving Nancy Davidson (assistant (like your home mortgage) versus town clerk) down the hill to fill that short term financing at three-nine position. As an experiment, I plan to months at a time. Going short term have the Building Dept. office closed at 2-3 percent interest versus long on Fridays. It may be hard getting term at 6.5 percent has saved the used to, but we do save over $50K per town about $350,000 in interest. That year when the music stops. Speaking of savings, there are a is a fact. (Call Joe Geruch at 860-3497112.) This savings (in interest) al- few (but not many) in the budget prelowed us to pay off $170,000 of princi- pared and submitted by this adminpal. Along the way, our Bond Coun- istration. Keep in mind that the cost sel, Finance Director and I did what of our yearly “Municipal Operayou would have done. It’s hard for tions” (excluding education) has me to turn my back on such a savings. Some would have wanted us to See Brayshaw, next page

From The Desk Of The First Selectman

Veterans’ Voices

My daughter Maureen, 2nd Lt USMC, is currently serving in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). She has been deployed since October. The Marines of the ISAF, located in Kabul, spend whatever little downtime they have visiting orphanages in and around Kabul. The photo in the center is of the first girls school which was opened in Ghanzi province. Submitted by Joseph P. Dooley


Friday, April 1, 2011

Town Times


(Continued from page 9)

groups at Memorial School will join with vocalists from Strong School and Coginchaug High School to present a District Choral Night. This program will culminate with a combined performance of students from all three schools! As we move towards the month of May, our Memorial School Drama Club will present Alice in Wonderland. This performance is the culmination of seven months of hard work and will feature over 60 students performing. With spring upon us, we will soon hear the sounds of peepers in our local wetlands. Spring peepers and other types of amphibians have remarkable life cycles and rely on vernal pools for survival. To gain a greater understanding of these amazing creatures, all sixth grade students will participate in vernal pool hikes. Under the direction of Outdoor Education Specialist Marcy Klattenburg, sixth grade students observe vernal pools at different seasons of the year and record various forms of life found in the

pools. Early April is usually “prime time� for these visitations, and our students look forward to observing the wide variety of life found in these pools. Rounding out the list of upcoming events at our school are many cultural arts activities. In early May all grade 5 students will participate in a Pioneer Living Program. All participants in this program will experience life as a western pioneer on the Oregon Trail. Students will pan for gold, grind corn into meal, wash clothing on boards and participate in games and activities of children in the times of the settlers. On May 3 sixth grade students will attend a performance by the African Dance Troupe Mikata. This performance aligns directly with the sixth grade social studies curriculum. Each of these activities will enrich student experiences at our school and provide authentic opportunities for all of our students to gain a greater appreciation of learning and respect for others.


(Continued from page 9)

stayed steady for five years at about $4,000,000. This was made possible by finding small savings in many areas. The findings are slowing down, and without reduction in staff, which I do not support, my notice to taxpayers is that we are nearing the point where it costs just so much to open the doors. We will, of course, continue to think outside the box for future savings. The budget is now in the hands of the BOF who will apply their cumulative wisdom as another set of eyes. If you have thoughts, now would be the time to share them. The final budget will be voted on in May. And finally, DMIAAB. You may recall that our transfer station agreement expires in 2011. So that the transfer station (one of my favorite places) continues to be there and moves with the times into the 21st century, we have had a very capable

temporary committee looking into an assortment of related operational and management issues. I don’t have much to report at this time except to say that, as the disposal of various waste streams become more complicated and expensive, we will need to meet the challenge. I do know that one improvement that is being planned is a scale. And finally, finally I detected the sight and smell of spring for about 15 minutes last week. The skateboard park was packed, brush is out in front of most homes, I was asked to be at opening day for the baseball program ,and our Old Home Days Committee is out flat planning. What’s better than that? When you read this note, Gwen, two of our grandchildren and I will be in Florida basking in the sun. Thanks for the airline tickets.

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DMYFS free parenting workshop Come to a workshop on Tuesday, May 3, from 6:30 8:30 p.m. at the CRHS auditorium entitled "10 Tips for Creating Cooperative Kids" Join Durham Middlefield Youth & Family Services (DMYFS) and national parent educator Bill Corbett to receive tips on tough issues, from homework, respect, boundaries, tantrums and more will, for pre-school to high school age. An open question and answer session will follow the presentation. Free childcare will be available. E-mail DMYFS at to reserve childcare. This program is Sponsored by DurhamMiddlefield Youth and Family Services in collaboration with The Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Council, The PTO/PTA of Strong, Memorial, Korn, Brewster Schools and Lyman school

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Town Times

Durham’s Natalie Charette wins State DAR history contest By Judy Moeckel Special to Town Times

At the ceremony, historian and reenactor Damien Cregeau, dressed in historically-accurate Revolutionary War attire, gave a talk on Israel Bissell and his Windsor-based family. Like Paul Revere, Bissell rode to warn of British attacks in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts; his 345-mile ride went from Watertown, Massachusetts to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


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DAR Good Citizens Award At 7 p.m. on April 11, in the Council Chambers in Middletown’s City Hall, the Wadsworth Chapter DAR will award its “Good Citizen Award.” Given as part of DAR’s commitment to education of our youth, the Good Citizen Award recognizes high school seniors who exemplify the qualities of a good citizen: dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. The recipients are chosen by their schools because they best demonstrate these qualities in their homes, schools and communities. This year’s honorees are Sophia Panaccione, Mercy High School; Peter Davis, Portland High School; Jean Ochterski, Coginchaug Regional High School; Elisa Ithier, Vinal Technical High School; Mark Scalzo, Xavier High School; Marco David, Middletown High School and Alyssa Fasciano, Cromwell High School.

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Natalie Charette received an award certificate and medal from the Wadsworth Chapter DAR as well as several gift certificates, including a family membership in the Connecticut Historical Society. She will receive her CTDAR state award at the organization’s spring state conference, which will be held from April 29 to 30 at

the Hartford Marriott Rocky Hill. Natalie says social studies is her favorite subject and that she reads a lot of books about history. She is a very appropriate choice as an award winner, given the Daughters of the American Revolution’s focus on education, historical preservation and patriotism.


Natalie Charette, a grade 8 student at Frank Ward Strong Middle School in Durham, loves history. Recently, her interest in the topic led her to enter the American History essay contest sponsored by the Wadsworth Chapter DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). Her essay won first place among students in her grade and also was chosen best in the state by the Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution. “The topic was Paul Revere,” Charette says. “We had to pretend to be Paul Revere writing about his life and accomplishments. It was fun to write from someone else’s point of view.” Charette read her awardwinning essay at a recent awards ceremony, sponsored by the Wadsworth Chapter DAR, at the Portland Public Library. The essay portrayed Paul Revere, born 275 years ago, weaving

together details of his life — such as how he led “the mechanics,” a covert network that monitored British movements during the struggle for independence — with his own reflections on his legacy.

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Durham Town Briefs


Durham Government Calendar Durham BOF (All meetings will be held at the Durham Library unless otherwise noted. Check the town website at for updates.) Monday, April 4 7:30 a.m. — Planning and Zoning 7 p.m. — Fire Department Trustees at 41 Main St. 7:30 p.m. — Clean Energy Task Force 8 p.m. — Historic District Commission Tuesday, April 5 7:30 p.m. — Midstate Regional Planning Agency Wednesday, April 6 6:30 p.m. — Durham Volunteer Ambulance Corps at 205 Main St., Durham 7:30 p.m. — Board of Education at CRHS library 8 p.m. — BOE public hearing at CRHS auditorium 7:30 p.m. — Planning and Zoning Thursday, April 7 7 p.m. — Public Safety Facility Renovations Planning Committee at 205 Main St., Durham 7 p.m. — D.A.R.T. (Durham Animal Response Team)

(Continued from page 3) Economic Development Commission also approached the board. He informed them that the commission does not intend to hold a business expo in the coming fiscal year, thus eliminating $3,000 in revenue that the expo typically generates. Rather than run the expo, the commission wants to bring businesses back into Durham by advertising the town’s vacant properties to them. Because of this, Colwell felt the $2,000 allocated to the commission was too low. However, the board maintained the $2,000 budget.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

The board also reviewed the Planning and Zoning budget with town planner Geoff Colegrove and commission chairman George Eames. Colegrove explained that the assistant ZEO’s cost only came to $750 as Colegrove had performed many of the ZEO duties himself and charged them to a different line item, rather than use the item intended for the assistant ZEO, Alan Johanson. Despite this, Colegrove felt that the $4,000 budgeted to the item was too little; he felt $5,000 would be more appropriate. Colegrove also explained that a lack of litigation kept the legal costs for the commission down in 2010-11. As there is no pending litigation, he felt that $10,000 should be reasonable, as the commission will still need legal consultation for updating the zoning regulations and the Plan of Conservation and Development. Due to the minimum use of the assistant ZEO, though, the board decided to cut the amount to $3,000. They approved the Planning and Zoning budget, item 2010, at $68,500, and legal, item 1555, at $7,500. One item that the board completely eliminated was the Public Safety Committee line item, which they set at zero dollars. They based this on the Board of Selectmen’s (BOS) pending decision to disband the committee, with Francis on hand to say, “I think I have the votes on Monday night� for eliminating the committee. (Note: At the March 28 BOS meeting,

the motion to disband the committee passed 2-1.) As such, the board approved item 4065 at zero dollars. Based on the board’s current information on health insurance, they set item 2525, Health Benefits, at $508,787. During the board’s review of the Conservation Commission budget, commission member Bob Melvin emphasized the commission’s need for gravel to help repair damage to the roads on White’s Farm. He noted that while the town crew will help fix the roads, the commission needs to provide the stone. In light of this, the board set the commission’s budget at $11,240. The board otherwise only briefly reviewed a number of other line items. They unanimously approved $4,930 for 1505 Mid-State Regional Planning; $1,698 for 1506 Middlesex Soil & Water; $3,500 for 7505 Old Indian Trail Water System; $35,566 for 101 Board of Selectmen; $38,000 for 1515 Town Counsel; $39,750 for 2560 Town Hall Expenses; $46,293 for 2568 Facilities Management; $20,075 for 2540 Tree Warden, and $31,730 for 4570 DMYFS.

Durham brush pick-up The Public Works Department will begin the annual spring curbside brush pick up the week of April 11. Brush should be less than four inches in diameter and not longer than six feet in length. Brush Durham Brush next page


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Town Briefs

Friday, April 1, 2011 Durham Brush from page 12

In the fall of 2011, town elections will be held. The Middlefield Democratic Town Committee is seeking persons who are interested in serving in elected positions and in directing the course of town events. Elected positions to be filled include first selectman, selectman, three members of the Board of Finance and the treasurer. If you wish to make a difference, please contact Allison Dodge, chair, at 860-349-0554 or other members of the Town Committee. This is an opportunity for public service within your town.

Income tax assistance Free income tax assistance is available every Tuesday until April 12 at the Middlefield Senior Center. This income tax preparation service is provided by AARP. The IRS-trained counselor will help those 60 years and older with low or

moderate income by appointment only. Please call the senior center to make an appointment at 860-349-7121.

Middlefield brush pick-up The Middlefield Highway Department will conduct its annual brush pick up for all residents of Middlefield and Rockfall. To insure pick-up, all brush must be at the curb by April 4. Residents should place clean brush at the curb with the butt end of branches toward the street. All branches should be less than eight feet in length and three inches in diameter. Leaves, stumps, garbage, or building materials will not be accepted. Only one truckload per household will be removed as this is meant for regular spring clean-up and not clearing.

Middlefield Government Calendar (Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings are held in the Community Center.) Monday, April 4 7 p.m. —Board of Selectmen Tuesday, April 5 6:30 p.m. — Parks and Recreation Commission 7:30 p.m. — Midstate Regional Planning Agency at 100 DeKoven Dr. in Middletown Wednesday, April 6 7:30 p.m. — Board of Ed at CRHS library 8 p.m. — Public hearing on budget at CRHS auditorium Thursday, April 7 7-10 p.m. — Economic Development Commission Wednesday, April 13 6:30 p.m. —Planning and Zoning Commission 7 p.m. — Water Pollution Control Authority Thursday, April 14 7 p.m. —Board of Finance

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should be stacked at roadside in an open area, away from mailboxes, trees, telephone poles and other structures. Brush should be stacked perpendicular to the roadway, butt end toward the road. No leaves, stumps, wood or foreign matter will be picked up. Each household will be strictly limited to one truck load during this collection. In an effort to be more efficient, it is recommended that neighbors combine piles on property lines. Loads shall not measure any larger than four feet high, six feet wide and eight feet long, unless combined with a neighbor. If your load does not follow these guidelines, it will not be removed. The town will publish in The Town Times, and also on our website,, each street/area to be passed each week. We will make one pass only so be sure to check. Residents with questions may call the Public Works Office at 860-349-1816. The week of April 11, the cleanup will be the Maiden Lane, Johnson Lane and Foot Hills Road areas.

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Town Times — Friday, April 1, 2011

Round One UT-San Antonio/Alabama St./Paint Imporium


Round Two Ohio State/Catherine & Co.

Round Two

Round Three

Round Three

Ohio State/Catherine & Co. George Mason/Moran’s TV & Appliance Villanova/Hunter’s Pool

Princeton/Rosie’s Cafe

Kentucky/K.T. Baxter’s

Illinois/Meriden Pawn Shop

Kansas/Lido’s Restaurant

Marquette/Dowling Ford

Richmond/Meriden Hyundai Richmond/Meriden Hyundai

Round Five

Morehead St./Danby’s A-1 Service

Round Five

Georgia/Michael’s Trattoria

Round One Duke/Darrell’s Auto Hampton/Josie’s Hair Salon

USC/VCU/YMCA of Wallingford & Duchess

Purdue/Miller Accupuncture & Chiropractic North Carolina/Horton Insurance Services

USC/VCU/YMCA of Wallingford & Duchess

Washington/Bella Luna Pizza

Florida St./Four Points by Sheraton North Carolina/Horton Insurance Services

Florida St./Four Points by Sheraton

Championship Game

North Carolina/Horton Insurance Services

Championship Game

Notre Dame/Aresco’s Superette

Round Two Duke/Darrell’s Auto

Round Two

Round Three

Round Three

Duke/Darrell’s Auto

Pittsburgh/Meriden Self Storage

Butler/Silver Mill Tours

Round Four

Michigan/MJ Duke’s

Arizona/Middletown Toyota

Round Four

Texas/Ives Road Wine & Spirits Oakland/Roberts Chrysler Dodge

Butler/Silver Mill Tours Kansas St./North Haven Bike &First Base Sports Cards

Arizona/Middletown Toyota

Bucknell/Avanti Restaurant

Round Five UConn/K. LaMay’s Steamed Cheeseburgers

Wisconsin/Vine’s Distinctive Wines

Round Five Butler/Silver Mill Tours


Notre Dame/Aresco’s Superette Akron/Valencia Liquor

Round One Pittsburgh/Meriden Self Storage UNC-Ash/Ark-LR/TJ’s Auto Body

Old Dominion/CT Power & Sport

Utah St./Prestige Cleaners

Belmont/601 Deli St.John’s/Colony Pizza

Cincinnati/Gionfriddo’s Tailoring

Gonzaga/Ted’s Restaurant

Gonzaga/Ted’s Restaurant

BYU/Carlton’s Interiors

UConn/K. LaMay’s Steamed Cheeseburgers

BYU/Carlton’s Interiors UConn/K. LaMay’s Steamed Cheeseburgers

Florida/Paul’s Deli & Catering

BYU/Carlton’s Interiors Wofford/Amore Apizza UCLA/Ace Oil

Temple/Stephen Toyota

UCLA/Ace Oil San Diego St./Marianna’s Belltop Bakery

Florida/Paul’s Deli & Catering

San Diego St./Marianna’s Belltop Bakery No. Colorado/John J. Kovacs Insurance

Florida St./Four Points by Sheraton

Wisconsin/Vine’s Distinctive Wines Texas/Ives Road Wine & Spirits

Temple/Stephen Toyota Penn St./Executive Kia

Texas A&M/Berlin Bicycle

Wisconsin/Vine’s Distinctive Wines

UConn/K. LaMay’s Steamed Cheeseburgers UConn/K. LaMay’s Steamed Cheeseburgers

Saint Peter’s/Wireless Zone of Meriden

Kansas St./North Haven Bike &First Base Sports Cards Arizona/Middletown Toyota

Cincinnati/Gionfriddo’s Tailoring Missouri/Suzio Insurance

Purdue/Miller Accupuncture & Chiropractic

Butler/Silver Mill Tours Butler/Silver Mill Tours

Arizona/Middletown Toyota Memphis/V. Nanfito Roofing & Siding

USC/VCU/YMCA of Wallingford & Duchess

USC/VCU/YMCA of Wallingford & Duchess

Syracuse/Uncle Bob’s Garden Center

Michigan/MJ Duke’s Tennessee/Case Handyman

Morehead St./Danby’s A-1 Service Georgetown/Foucault’s

Marquette/Dowling Ford

North Carolina/Horton Insurance Services LIU/Dino’s Seafood & Zandri’s Stillwood Inn

Richmond/Meriden Hyundai

USC/VCU/YMCA of Wallingford & Duchess

Syracuse/Uncle Bob’s Garden Center

Washington/Bella Luna Pizza

Illinois/Meriden Pawn Shop

Louisville/Sal’s Pizza

Kentucky/K.T. Baxter’s

Marquette/Dowling Ford Indiana St./Quality Time Food & Spirits

Boston Univ/Waste Material Trucking Co.

Vanderbilt/Billings Sports West Virginia/Tuxis-Ohrs Fuel

Kentucky/K.T. Baxter’s Xavier/Dad’s Restaurant

Kansas/Lido’s Restaurant

UNLV/Phil’s Lock Shop

Round Four

Kentucky/K.T. Baxter’s Kentucky/K.T. Baxter’s

Round One

Kansas/Lido’s Restaurant

Round Four

George Mason/Moran’s TV & Appliance

Kansas/Lido’s Restaurant

West Virginia/Tuxis-Ohrs Fuel UAB/Clemson/Brothers Pool


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2011 Ohio State/Catherine & Co.


Friday, April 1, 2011 — Town Times

Michigan St./Star Auto Sales Florida/Paul’s Deli & Catering

San Diego St./Marianna’s Belltop Bakery

Florida/Paul’s Deli & Catering

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UC Santa Barbara/G.T. Tire & Service Center


Friday, April 1, 2011

Town Times

Women of the Woods — a hiking group that appreciates nature By Diana Carr Special to Town Times

National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Lucy Meigs has felt at home in the wilderness all her life. As a child, she delighted in roaming her grandmother’s 100 acres of farm and woods in Indiana and attending summer camp in Vermont every year from the seventh grade on. As an adult, she reveled in the three months that she lived outside, backpacking and caving, as part of a course at the National Outdoor Leadership School (based in Wyoming). She went on to get a Ph.D. in geology, with an emphasis on hydrogeology (the study of how chemicals and contaminants move through rocks and soil), and to do research at the Sandia

When she became a mother, she formed a hiking group for other moms and their children. Six months after she and her family moved to Connecticut, she formed another hiking group, again for moms and their kids (with an occasional dad). Eventually this became hikes just for women. “I was finding women who wanted to hike for exercise,” she tells us, “but weren’t appreciating nature’s beauty. Then, when I was on a retreat three years ago, I came up with the idea of a women’s group focused on nature, and I came up with the name ‘Women of the Woods.’ The first hike was just a few good friends who

came to help me celebrate my birthday. My first official hike was on National Trails Day, in June of that year. We hike every month, year round, throughout central Connecticut. We take the time to admire nature’s beauty, experience some quiet time in nature and enjoy each other’s company.” A hike is typically three to four miles and usually consists of eight people who meet at the trail head. A few minutes in, they find a wide spot in the trail and circle up, at which time they tell their names, the towns they


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are from and how they’re doing. Says Meigs, “It helps to know where everyone is coming from. For instance, if someone doesn’t seem very friendly, and we learn that she’s had a tough week, we know that’s not how she really is. We try to make this a safe place.” As the walk continues, Meigs gives a little talk on the things they see. Sometimes during a hike they will stand or sit quietly for about 10 minutes, to connect with nature. At the end of the hike they circle up, say their names again and discuss anything they saw or heard that made an impression. Meigs says she often sees people exchanging e-mail addresses and making plans to stay in touch with each other. Women of the Woods is one of the many programs of Everyone Outside, which is a program for health and environmental stewardship

that is funded by several grants. Its three aims are to lead hikes in the area, to do activities that encourage people to pursue outdoor activities on their own and to put some of the local trails on the web. Meigs coordinates the program, and Marcy Klattenburg (District 13’s environmental educator) and Cathy Carrington (a science teacher at Memorial School) are heavily involved with the development of educational materials. One of the activities that is near and dear to Meigs’ heart is Frog Fridays, when she leads a group — on Fridays, so that students don’t have to worry about homework due the next day — to the vernal pools that are in the woods behind the high school. A vernal pool dries up for part of the year, or every few years, so there are no fish. And that means that certain frogs and salamanders can breed there without the threat of predators. “When I did this last spring,” she says, “the frogs couldn’t have been better behaved. They were mating, and their quacking (yes, they quack!) was so loud that we had trouble talking over them. We were able to watch

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Town Times Inquiring Photographer


In honor of April Fools’ Day, Inquiring Photographer asked: “What was the best April Fools’ prank that you played or was played on you?!” Photos by Karen Kean ized, I couldn’t get my door open, no matter how hard I tried. It was really stuck. I pulled and pulled. Finally it opened a crack and I could see duct tape holding the door closed. My brother had duct taped my door closed. I didn’t think it was very funny, but he did. RYAN DONECKER When I was in sixth grade at Memorial School, all of the students made a terrific plan. We were all to walk out of school at a specific time. The time arrived. We all got up from our desks and walked out the front door in unison to the blacktop area in the front of the school. We all thought it was great. Happily, so did the teachers. They are all fun-loving people who, thank goodness, have a sense of humor. They let us stay outside for another 15 minutes. It was the best April Fools’ joke ever!

MARISA SPIRITO I taped the hand spray at the kitchen sink with clear tape so the next person who turned on the water would get sprayed. It was so funny, but my Mother didn’t think so.



My Grandpa pretended to make me a hard boiled egg. I love hard boiled eggs. But when I went to crack it, the yolk was runny and fell out all over my plate. He laughed and said “April Fools.”


My friend is afraid of spiders. When he wasn’t looking, I put a spider in his lunchbox. It looked very real. I watch him as he went to take out his lunch — he jumped a mile. It was so funny. I couldn’t stop laughing. Luckily we are still friends.

I switched the salt and sugar. I put the salt in the sugar bowl. When my Mom came downstairs and fixed her coffee, she unknowingly put the salt in her coffee. It was soooooooo funny. She ALANA BECKERT was not happy. But then As my alarm went off and I she laughed when she remade my way to my bed- alized I had pulled an room door, I suddenly real- “April Fools’” joke on her.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Town Times

Woods (Continued from page 16) the progression from eggs to tadpoles, then to tadpoles with legs and finally to frogs. I’ve been leading hikes for 13 years, and I’ve never had so many people as interested as they are in this.” Though the group hikes are an integral part of Meigs’ life, she also enjoys hiking alone. And she comes by it naturally. Her 70-year-old mother will be hiking the Appalachian Trail for several weeks this summer, by herself, for the second time. Meigs says that she has never met anyone on a trail that made her feel concerned for

her safety. “The first step is to make sure you can’t get lost and that you have the skills to get out of a bad situation. Have a plan, in the event that you get hurt. Carry a cell phone. Here in Connecticut, if you keep your wits about you and have basic skills, you’re not likely to stay lost for long. The open spaces are small. If you just walk in one direction, you’ll find your way out.” Meigs says she would like to see more people outside, appreciating nature for the marvel that it is. “These days people’s lives are so busy, and they are spending so much time working and on the computer that they are disconnected from the natural world. Even kids are inside a lot,

playing with their electronics. And society has changed. Kids aren’t allowed to roam about freely, like they used to. “Only by having a deep connection with nature will people be willing to be stewards of the environment and help preserve open space. Nature is a special place for me. In good times and bad, it gives me solace and heals and uplifts me, and it helps me to think about things and to process them. It has such amazing infinite beauty. Any time of the year you can find something wonderful to look at.” For info on Women of the Woods, visit For info on Everyone Outside, go to

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Cadillac: A study in consumer perception dispenser. Let me Joel Camassar In the earstart off by ly 2000s apologizing Cadillac realto Cadillac ized that the o w n e r s , majority of Buick owners its consumer and senior citizens. Honestly, there is base was going to stop drivno better car for cruising ing or die if they didn’t revithan a Cadillac. In fact, my talize the brand to appeal to personal automotive taste a younger target market. tends to fall towards that of Buick, faced with the same senior citizens than people problem as Cadillac, proin my own demographic. duced the same insipid cars Please read the following yet used a multimillion dolwith a grain of salt and with lar ad campaign to convince your tongue firmly in your us that Tiger Woods drove a Buick. Needless to say, no cheek. A decade ago, the average one bought it. It’s hard to beCadillac owner was born lieve that Tiger’s car of during the Triassic period. choice was a beige blob with Cadillacs came standard a Buick ornament, effectivewith an AARP membership ly proving to GM corporate and were limited to a top that even a young athletic speed of twenty miles per pitchman can’t sell a stereohour. Most were white, typical old man’s car. Clearbeige, eggshell or buff and ly, Cadillac needed more ordered with a column shift than an ad campaign to saland a bench front seat. Com- vage the brand. While the inmon dealer-installed acces- troduction of the Escalade in sories were landau tops, 1999 helped by adding rap wire rims on whitewall tires, and an automatic Metamucil See Cadillac, page 24

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Obituary Durham BOS (Continued from page 1) Philip R. Martel schools, businesses, the Durham Fair, the winter hotline and Emergency Notification System. All the while, the PSC was in existence, but not being used as often as intended. “I concluded that it’s best to work with the chiefs of service directly,” said Francis. Therefore, she made a motion to disband the committee and move forward with the Public Safety Executive Committee. Selectman Jim McLaughlin was in full support because, he said, the responsibility lies with those folks anyhow. Selectman John Szewczyk, however, disagreed as he did not want to get rid of a group who is willing to do it for free. Francis responded that she thinks going forward, the committee would not be used the way they were in the past. Szewczyk attempted to amend the motion by including a member of the public to the aforementioned list of executive committee members, but Francis and McLaughlin would not support it, and the original motion passed 2-1. In public comment at the end of the meeting, PSC chairman Frank DeFelice spoke fondly of the Public Safety Committee and their work and expressed his gratitude toward several people and organizations for their support over the years. Resident Donia Viola suggested to the board that they add

the public health director to the Executive Committee. The board briefly discussed the Regional School District 13 teacher contract. The contract is a three-year contract that increases expenses 5.25 percent over the years, and it was done without arbitration. Francis said it is in line with other towns’ trends and that it was fair. After discussing whether or not to send the agreement for a town meeting vote, the selectmen decided that the risk of getting caught in a binding arbitration process was not warranted for this contract, and so they declined to send it to a town meeting. Francis reported that the Board of Finance decided not to bring forward the idea of pursuing one-half a trooper for the town. She said she didn’t feel it was the right time to bring it back up this year as the money would need to come out of the contingency or fund balance. In old business, Francis said the Water Main Planning Committee will have their organizational meeting on April 27 at 9 a.m. at DEP headquarters in Hartford. Peggy Helterline was offered the position of assistant assessor and will start around April 13. In new business, the town received a grant for $1,700 for new energy efficient lawn equipment under the DEP Lawn Equipment Exchange Fund (LEEF). A weed whacker will be replaced with a brush cutter and a trimmer. The town was also notified

of a CIRMA dividend award of $6,085 that is payable in fiscal year 11-12. Durham was approved on the Citizen’s Emergency Response Team (CERT) grant. The town will be registered with the state as a CERT Team town. Francis was hopeful that the allocation for the Workforce Alliance summer youth program remains at the proposed level so the town would be eligible to re-

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Philip R. Martel – beloved teacher, friend, father, weather forecaster, disco music aficionado, and accomplished pianist – passed away on March 25, 2011, surrounded by his daughter and close friends, after a fleeting battle with cancer. Born on February 13, 1947 in Southbridge, MA, Phil was the son of the late Rene Martel and the late Rita Lamoureux Martel. Raised in North Grosvenordale, CT, Phil was the valedictorian of his class at Tourtellote Memorial High School. He then studied chemistry and math at Boston College where he was the pianist for the Boston College University Chorale, winning the 1968 Peloquin Award and graduating magna cum laude, as a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, a national Jesuit honor society. After college, Phil began his teaching career where he touched the hearts and minds of thousands of students, from West Rocks Junior High School and Norwalk High School in Norwalk, CT to Coginchaug Regional High School in Durham, CT. He was only 64 when he died, but he taught for a total of 43 years and loved every minute of it. Phil was a character who will always be remembered and quoted by those who crossed his path and those he made smile and laugh. Philip is survived by his daughter, Nicole Martel, of Stamford, CT. In addition to his daughter, Phil is survived by his brother, Paul Martel, of Thompson, CT, three nephews, an aunt, Gloria Szydlik of Southbridge, MA, and many lifelong friends and extended family members. Friends and family are invited to celebrate Phil’s life at a memorial mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford on Saturday, May 7, at 11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to either Apple Rehab of Middletown, c/o Frank Fiore, 600 Highland Avenue, Middletown, CT 06457, or to the University Chorale of Boston College, c/o Anthony Papetti, Boston College, Lyons 428, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.


Town Times ceive $18,276 in funding.

The Destination Durham production team will be working with the Economic Development Commission to promote Durham via a video. Alana Adams Simlick was appointed to the Economic Development Commission. The selectmen concluded the regular meeting and went into executive session on land acquisition or sale.

Art in Town Times


Friday, April 1, 2011

Local Artist Inspires IDS Students

Brewster Craft Club

Surrealist artist Zahir Abid, of Middletown, met recently with seventh graders at the Independent Day School to talk with them about art and to share some of his amazing paintings. With their art teacher, Madeline Smith, the students have been entrenched in a surrealism unit. Following his visit, Abid remarked that he was very touched by the interest and engagement of the students, as well as impressed with their analysis and the depth of their observations. A copy of one of Mr. Abid’s paintings, “Symphonity,” was purchased by the art department and is on display in the hallway near the art room. The word, “Symphonity,” which was coined by the artist, combines symphony and city, the elements in his painting. Abid’s son, Edir, is a 2010 graduate of IDS. By JoAnn Rider

Pictured are participants of the Brewster Craft Club. This is the first year that the BKPTA has sponsored Craft Club, and it has turned out to be a huge success! Craft Club is a five-week program that gives kids the opportunity to spend an hour after school on Fridays with their peers. Each week the children learn a new craft that they are able to bring home to share with their families.

Homeschoolers Art Gala

Levi Library hosted an art show for homeschooled artists from across Connecticut on March 26. All the artwork was for sale and benefited the Children and Young Adult Rooms at the library. Those who attended enjoyed live music, storytelling and of course, all of the art!

Photos by Cheri Kelley

Bright and sparkling home decorations.

Submitted by Christie Fournier

Town Times Service Directory Storytime led by a queen.



The band playing live music.



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Schools in Town Times

Friday, April 1, 2011


Fun facts shared at Lyman A kids’ author visits Korn Mrs. Martinez’s first and second grade class shared amazing family history facts at a recent assembly at John Lyman School. Pictured below, Meredith Lentz, Ben Carroll, Leo DiLeone, Ava Schaffer, Grace Gavin, Thomas Kannam, Noelle Sorensen, Nicky Stevens, Fenna Lacourciere and Tyler Fusco.

Jane Sutcliffe, children’s author, came to Korn School on Friday, March 25, to present three sessions to students entitled “How I Found Out My Teacher’s Shoe Size.” Students were asked to submit a letter as to why they would like to eat lunch with Ms. Sutcliffe and what questions would they like to ask her. From these entries, 30 students were chosen to eat lunch with her. A book signing was also held. Some of her non-fiction books include Amelia Earhart, Milton Hershey, Walt Disney and The Attack on Pearl Harbor.

Photos submitted by Elizabeth Hadlock In the photo above, Rose Esselstyn of HigAll the afternoon kindergarteners shared ganum and Pat Piscatelli of Middlefield are leprechaun facts. Below, Connor Glidden selling supplies to Elliott Evans of Middleshares his leprechaun fact. town, Allie Santiago of Durham and Menelik Nesmith of Middletown.Submitted by JoAnn Rider

IDS Interact Club news The Independent Day School decided to join with Connecticut Rotary International District 7980 and host a Rotary International Interact Club that any Middle School student at IDS can choose to participate in.


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The club’s first project was the collection of mugs, utensils and dishtowels for St. Vincent de Paul of Middletown; 112 dishtowels, 233 forks, knives, and spoons, as well as a large box of cooking utensils, and 113 mugs were donated. A recent cause raised $109. Club members also started a school store from which proceeds will go to the Purple Pinkie initiative. They have already collected over $200 for the cause.

Town Times Service Directory


“Interact” is derived from “inter,” for international, and “act,” for action. Interact Clubs provide youth with opportunities to perform community service projects both locally and internationally within a framework of education and meaningful opportunities. Involvement in Interact provides a continuum of service opportunities beginning in middle school, progressing through high school, college and into young adulthood and beyond.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Town Times

Emergency Kit donation Durham Co-Op Nursery School goes Western with Dads The Durham Middlefield Youth and Family Services (DMYFS) Safe Dates Team donated emergency kits to New Horizons Domestic Violence Center of Middletown and The Women and Families Center of Meriden during their Safe Dates wrap-up on March 23 at DMYFS. The emergency kits provide basic supplies to teens who may be experiencing dating violence. By Jane Moen

On Friday, March 25, the Durham Co-Op Nursery School held their annual “Dad’s Night.” This year had a Western theme. The preschoolers brought their dads or grandfathers in for a night of wild west fun, including a hay-bale horse ride, panning for gold and even a tepee! For questions regarding enrollment, please call the Durham Co-Op at 860-349-9885. Pictured at right, Ali Vestergaard and Annika Liss riding a hay-bale horse with no hands. Photos submitted by Mica Machnik

Pictured below, the two-day class with their dads and grandpas. Pictured are Parker Dumont, Safe Dates member; Sarah Chagnon, New Horizons Domestic Violence Center; Alex Fernandez, Women and Families Center; and Jane Moen, DMYFS program director.

Pictured below, Jake Raney, with rope in hand, and his dad Drew.

Pictured above, the threeday class with their dads and grandpas.

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The Durham Co-op Nursery School will hold the second annual Family Movie Night at the Durham Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 21, (rain date June 11). This year’s film is Kung Fu Panda on a two-story inflatable screen under the stars. Doors will open at 7 p.m. with the movie beginning at sunset. Free entertainment will be provided by The Karma Brothers band, and a concession will be open. For ticket info or to learn how you can help sponsor the event, call the co-op at 860349-9885. Current families and alumni of the co-op, please call if you are interested in showing a message or photo on the screen for a very small donation.

Town Times Jumps

Friday, April 1, 2011


(From page 1)

On the revenue side of the budget, Viccaro proposed expanding the Middlesex Transition Academy by offering the program to other districts, explaining that this is a very attractive option for other school districts. BOE member Kerrie Flanagan agreed that it is a popular program receiving very positive feedback. The program is run in collaboration with Wesleyan University and currently provides transi-

tional programming for 11 students from 18-21 years of age. Viccaro proposed adding five to six students next year from other school districts who will pay a fee to enroll their students in the program, thereby generating revenue for RSD13. BOE member Bill Currlin suggested a presentation be done to further educate the board and public on this outstanding program. Viccaro reported that of the district’s 40 non-tenured teachers, 15 received layoff notifications. She explained that the teachers were notified of potential layoffs due to budget cuts and said that while it is not likely that the positions will be cut, the district is required to notify teachers by April 1, and she prefers that they are told by her and do not learn of the possibility following a board meeting. She shared that the only areas to make cuts as large as she’s been asked to

make requires cutting positions, and the 15 notifications were sent out to give the board options in making those cuts. Melnik presented the board with information on a three-year electric contract, explaining that the existing contract ends in December 2012; the district has been approached about extending that contract for an additional two years. The advantage to the district is locking in at 85.79 cents, which will translate to a savings of $37,450 per year based on current usage. Discussion involved staying with this consortium or finding another, locking into a rate or gambling on it going lower and waiting to see what impact the solar panels will have on the district’s electric usage. A motion to extend the electric contract with added language concerning load shedding was approved. A motion passed to send

the proposed budget to public hearing on April 6, 2011. Nancy Boyle was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who took the time to fill out the budget survey on the district’s website, having received 407 responses. After the meeting, many comments were made that expressed disappointment that the board did not consider suggestions made via the survey. Viccaro met with Lisa Larsen, who is working on getting the documentary Race to Nowhere to CRHS for a showing on April 25. This is an 80-minute presentation with documentary and panel to discuss whether our children/students are overscheduled. Viccaro encouraged parents of all age groups to attend. Tickets can be purchased on the internet for $10 or at the door for $15. The board then went into executive session to discuss teacher non-renewals.

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that five percent of the increase is due to new insurance regulations, and testing the market proved the district could not do better than the 4.9 percent increase. Other public comment concerned a ranking process and merit raises for teachers, and the status of the well at Brewster School. (Melnik reported that work on the well should start this week and be resolved within 60 days.) Chairman Tom Hennick reiterated that at the last meeting the board agreed that the budget was still too high and asked Viccaro to make additional cuts to realize a net impact below four percent. Viccaro reported that additional cuts were made, and she presented a budget summary outlining a 3.98 percent overall increase. She took the board step-bystep through the summary, explaining the very difficult decisions made to achieve the requested cuts. She explained it was unanimous that no one wanted to cut any more teachers, but the areas where cuts this large can be made are in salary and benefit lines. She shared that throughout her years working for RSD13, she worked hard to bring a nurse to all areas, so being faced with cutting a nurse was especially difficult for her. That being said, due to very limited options, she proposed cutting a school nurse, a savings of nearly $47,000, leaving one shared nurse on the campus (Korn, Strong and Coginchaug). Other cuts involved support staff, supplies, special ed, overtime and health insurance, but no teachers. Questions raised by board members involved whether the daily needs of students were considered before proposing cutting a nurse. Viccaro explained that principals are allowed to administer certain medications in the absence of a nurse, and because the affected schools are in such close proximity to each other, a nurse will be nearby. Coginchaug principal Andre Hauser shared that while the ideal is to have a nurse in each school, he is confident that a schedule can

be worked out so that the nurse is at a school at its busiest time, and stressed that a nurse will be within 200 yards of each school. Strong School principal Scott Nicol stressed that student safety will not be compromised; other services might be stretched while the nurse is not in the building, but it is do-able. Viccaro shared that this is not something she wants to do, but there is nowhere else to cut without cutting programs.


Town Times Jumps


Cadillac (Continued from page 18) stars and wannabes to the Cadillac consumer base, Cadillac’s cars were not selling and were seen by consumers as the equivalent of pairing black socks with sandals. Zip forward about seven years to today and Cadillac is the proud manufacturer of the fastest production sedan in the world. With 556 horsepower, available 6-speed transmission and a limitedslip differential, the Cadillac CTS-V sedan hurdles from 060 mph in around 3.9 seconds, about half a second slower than a Ferarri Enzo. That’s impressive considering the Enzo is a lightweight supercar and the Cadillac can fit three of your best friends and a small amount of luggage. While previous Caddies were equipped with marshmallow on sponge-

cake suspension, the V uses dampers filled with magnetorheological fluid, which adjust every millisecond to respond to road conditions and driver input. Cadillac produces not only a V series sedan but also a mean looking two door coupe and a surprisingly meaner looking wagon. I’m not exactly sure what one does with a 556 horsepower station wagon, but I suppose if you want to pick up groceries and scramble your eggs in their shells, the wagon would be a great choice. In terms of foreign competition, the Germans have traditionally dominated the sport sedan market with the hand-built Mercedes AMG sedans and BMW M series. Cadillac’s V series is making Germans shake in their lederhosen, rivaling Mercedes, BMW and Audi sport sedans in athletics, design and price. Interestingly, both Cadil-

lac’s and Tiger Woods’ current reputations have completely changed. Cadillac has transformed its brand from “the standard of retirees and some rap stars” to the “new standard of the world,” their current marketing slogan. Fortunately for Cadillac, their new “bad” image saved the company from the same fate as Pontiac and Saturn, while Tiger’s new bad-boy reputation lost him sponsorships from Nike and Buick. However, like Cadillac, Buick is attempting to revitalize their brand image, so Tiger’s new persona may be exactly what they’re looking for.

Water System (Continued from page 1) areas within the town, what the water demand is for these areas, what the costs are for the various options that were investigated, alternative sources of supply for Middle-

Friday, April 1, 2011

town that could be used in Durham, and to complete an environment impact evaluation. Six different options were brought forward during the meeting as to where and how to get the water to the area affected by the superfund site contamination and to other areas in town. Five were dismissed, leaving the Middletown option as the most cost-effective and less invasive choice. After this was determined, there are still many decisions that need to be addressed within that option. Nine different areas were ascertained within the town of Durham. These areas were combined in different ways to make seven possible choices for the town to decide how to implement the new system. Cost projections were determined with or without fire hydrants. For the superfund site only, without fire protection, the estimated cost is

Town Times Service Directory

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$8,540,000; with fire protection it is $10,010,000. The cost projection for all areas discussed beside the superfund site, without fire protection, is $24,550,000 and $26,940,000 with fire protection. Areas in Study Update A. Superfund Site B. MTBE Site Along Main Street C. 1,1 Dichloroethylene Area D. The Parsons Area E. School Area F. Durham Heights Area G. Woodland Drive Area H. Royal Oak Drive Area I. Durham Center System Scenarios For Water Service Areas 1. Area A-Superfund Site 2. Core Area- (Superfund Site + Areas B, C and D) 3. Core Area + School Area (Area E) 4. Core Area + Durham Center Area (Area I) 5. Core Area + Durham Heights Area (Area F) 6. Core Area + Areas F, G and H 7. Core Area + Areas E, F, G, H and I

It was discussed that there are many benefits to having fire protection, including savings for insurance costs for homeowners and an increase in property values. One noteworthy item is that, after the water main is extended to the superfund site area, the wells will likely be abandoned per requirement. Once the wells are abandoned, the contaminated water flow will start to move to the southwest, thus contaminating other areas of town over a long but undetermined period of time. First Selectman Laura Francis will look into all the possibilities, and she believes that the town can start with one or two areas and over time continue to branch out to the other areas. Currently, there is no funding for this project. Francis stated, “It could take three to five years just to build the capital.” The town will need to partner with Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of Public Health, and because of the superfund site, the Department of Environmental protection, as well as Middletown and Cromwell. Francis stated, “The town of Durham pledges to cooperate with these agencies and to find a solution and route for implementation. When the studies sit on a shelf, they go bad. We have learned our lesson.”

Town Times Jumps

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chowaniec (Continued from page 8) followed the pitiable critter to the top of a small wood pile covered with tarp, immediately adjacent to our slider. Believing the animal to be rabid, we immediately called Dave and left a message on his cell. Before I could take my next breath, Dave returned my call, and within less than five minutes he drove up our driveway. Armed with elbow-length gloves and a snare loop, Dave battled with the squealing, biting animal for several minutes as my family members and I peered out helplessly from separate backyard windows inside our house. Upon securing the animal, Dave carried it to the farthest point of our yard and shot it. Wow! Thank you, Dave, for your instant response, courage, and an amazing job well done. Denise Bellmore Steele, Middlefield

ready employ someone who is quite capable, yet our first selectman went to an outside consultant for advice which again costs the town thousands of dollars. (The ex-mayor of Hartford can verify that you can’t get something for nothing.) 3) My biggest disagreement on this subject is the price we are paying for development rights. I find it hard to accept that the “powers that be” are willing to pay a little less than $6,000 per acre for an area that is plus or minus 80 percent hillside and not conducive to housing. Remember this area is a ski area. I doubt if the town took any “perk” test to actually determine what area was conducive to housing, how many and under what condition… In general, the town purchased this ski area for many reasons, some valid, some not. Now it is two or three years later, and we still own a white elephant that has had the buildings vandalized, that

land marred, etc., thus reducing the face value of the property tremendously. It is quite apparent that some sort of adequate “security program” was not put into effect. Wasn’t this entire property insured immediately upon purchase? When you purchase a house or other property of value, don’t you insure it? This blunder has cost the town thousands of dollars. Basically this entire project, since we purchased this area, has been one blunder after another. I will remember this lack of leadership at the next election, and I also will remind you, the voters of Middlefield, how our present administration squandered our hardearned tax money. Al Smith, Middlefield (*Editor’s note: According to finance director Joe Geruch, the town has saved approximately $350,000 using short term borrowing because of the difference in interest rates.)


creased sharing of resources among and between agencies. This helps reduce the (Continued from page 8) costs associated with providing public safety services. service providers. Therefore, As part of this restructurwe have decided to restructure our public safety organi- ing process, the Public Safety Committee is being disbandzation. This restructuring will ed. I, along with the Board of formalize the Public Safety Selectmen, will work directExecutive Committee that ly with our chief service we have been developing for providers. Residents can adthe past three years. Each dress all public safety conmonth, the fire chief, EMS cerns directly to the first sechief, emergency manage- lectman and the Board of Sement director, resident state lectmen, who have been trooper, fire marshal and I charged with that function meet to discuss the aforemen- by charter and state statute. I will continue to work tioned disciplines. Other personnel are invited to these closely with the chiefs on a meetings as necessary. We number of topics, including meet more often when need- personnel, communication, ed; for instance, during this licensure, risk management, past winter, conditions re- training and equipment, quired that we met once a among others, to provide a week during the month of more efficient public safety January. This structure has organization for Durham. I allowed us to look at matters sincerely thank the current of public safety in a holistic, and former members of the comprehensive manner that Public Safety Committee for has already resulted in in- their service.

Public Safety

Town Times Service Directory

Powder Ridge comments 860-349-0467

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The saga of Powder Ridge has been going on now for a few years — more years than we care to think about. Years that have cost the taxpayers of Middlefield thousands of dollars. Apparently a “sale” is pending. However, there are a few conditions of events leading up to the sale and the sale itself that I question. 1) Short-term borrowing versus long-term borrowing — according to our first selectman, the agreement at the town meeting to purchase this track of land for $2.85 million had a statement in it that said the town could not borrow any long term money until a contract was signed with a prospective buyer. If such a statement exists, it was not disclosed to the public, or if a statement of this nature exists, is it an interpretation? We all know our current administration interprets things to their advantage. Short-term borrowing has cost our town thousands of dollars.* 2) Why was a financial advisor hired by the town to assist on this project? We al-


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Town Times Sports


Cheerleading Award

Friday, April 1, 2011

Zumba® For A Cure raises $700 Sixty-five people participated in Zumba® For A Cure on March 22 at Brewster School, put on by Durham Fitness and Durham Women’s Club. The event raised $700 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Katelyn Chabot received a cheerleading award at the CHSCA All-State Cheerleading Banquet. She was surrounded by her fellow teammates and her two coaches, Karen Kean and Sherry Hill. The banquet was held at the Aqua Turf in Southington on Tuesday, March 22. Photo submitted by Karen Kean

Submitted by Kristen Kleeman

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Men’s League Allstate By Scott Strang Special to the Town Times Allstate Fire Equipment 52, Around the Clock 50 – Allstate limited Around the Clock to just six field goals in the second half, and held on to end a six-game losing streak. Mike Bertrand (16 pts) and Mark Sutterlin (17 pts) led the charge for Allstate (3-8), while Todd Manjuck had another big rebounding night. Allstate spent most of the second half trying to stop ATC’s Steve Markowski. Markowski had 28 points, but almost all of his second half scoring was from the free-throw line where he finished 10-13. Dave Blair also ended with 14 for Around the Clock (6-5), and Dave DeRosa scored nine for Allstate. The two teams meet again in the first round of the Durham Men’s League playoffs this week. The winner faces Torrison in the semi-finals.

Young Gunz 45, LasEngS 41 – The Young Gunz hit just one 3-pointer all night, but managed to sneak by LasEngS in their regular season finale. There were eight lead changes throughout the night, but LasEngS (1-10) lost the game at the foul line, finishing just one of 10 at the stripe. Mike Bereski led the Gunz (6-5) with 11, and Kevin Walsh and Alex Schade each scored eight. Tim D’Aquila scored 17, and Nick Hulkias finished with 12 for LasEngS.

Torrison Stone 62, Snowservices 37 – Danny Haynes hit back-to-back 3pointers to give Snowservices a brief 19-18 first half lead, but Torrison followed with a 29-4 run to end any hopes of an upset. With the win, Torrison (92) finishes the 2011 regular season undefeated in league play heading into the league playoffs, their only losses coming against Southington teams. Dave DeSanti led Torrison with 19, including four 3pointers. Adam Poturnicki added 15. Haynes and Ryan Cove each finished with 13 for Snowservices (5-6), who face LasEngS in the opening round of the league playoffs.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Town Times


DURHAM IT’S A SMALL PRICE You’ll pay for this cute and cozy 3 NEW LISTING

360 Main Street Durham, CT 06455 Phone: (860) 349-5300 Pamela Sawicki-Beaudoin

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DURHAM PRIVACY ON A CUL-DE-SAC The best of both worlds: a neighborhood with a completely private yard! Stunning and spacious Contemporary with over 3500 sq. ft. of living space just flooded with natural light. Pristine and clean, no white gloves needed here. Move in today for $474,000.

860-828-3230 (OFFICE) KEVIN ZETTERGREN 1196755

DURHAM IT’S OPEN SEASON FOR BETTER LIVING Beautiful 2800 sq. ft. Colonial set on nearly 3 acres. Private backyard and only one visible neighbor. Enjoy the stunning Brazilian cherry floors, expansive master suite with an extra wing for home office or gym. Perfect condition and priced at $474,900.

OPEN SUN. 12-2 PM 97 HUBBARD STREET, MIDDLEFIELD Dutch Colonial surrounded by privacy - Gorgeous backyard with gunite inground pool, patios, and rolling lawn area Fantastic spring/summertime playground. 3 BR/2 full baths - Home features many newer updates - Newer Kitchen w/granite, ss applc., 3 fireplaces, newer family rm. addition, heated mudrm., 2 car garage and so much more. Priced for attention @ $379,900. Visit w/Kevin Zettergren 203-430-9954. DIR: Cherry Hill to Hubbard - across from Memorial School



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Lyman Orchards’ 27th Annual nutritious and delicious Easter Apple Hunt will be held Saturday, April 16, on the grounds of the Apple Barrel market (rain date: April 23). Children are divided into age groups and race around the Easter Hay Maze searching for more than 15,000 hidden apples, each one from Lyman’s own trees, with some bearing stickers which are redeemable for prizes. Things to do include visits with the Easter Bunny, a magic show, horse-drawn wagon rides, pony rides and children’s visits with real live rabbits. The outdoor grill and concessions will be open for coffee, donuts and more. Visitors may also enjoy a pre-hunt breakfast at the Apple Barrel eatery or a snack on the deck. Registration forms will be available at the Apple Barrel market only on the day-of the event. For price details and more information, call 860349-1793 or go online at Apple Hunt Schedule: 10:30 am: ages one to three years (one adult permitted in the maze with each child). 11:15 am: ages four to six years (one adult permitted in the maze with each child). 12 noon: ages seven to 10 years (no adults permitted in the maze). Events Schedule: Pony Rides with Tara Farm Rescue: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Visits for children with real live rabbits: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Foxglove Farm’s horsedrawn wagon rides: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Free magic show on the Apple Barrel deck: 1 p.m.


Lyman Orchards’ Easter Apple Hunt Experience makes the difference.

INDUSTRIAL SPACE FOR LEASE Tax and Moving Incentives! security camera on site. Centrally located in downtown Meriden, CT. Convenient access to major highways and railroad/bus terminal. (Rt. 5, I-91, Rt. 15, Rt. 66 are within a mile of location.)

Total Space Available: 7,500 SF Rental Rate: $5.50 /SF/Year Min. Divisible: 3,600 SF Property Type: Industrial Property Sub-type: Warehouse Zoning Description: Enterprise zone

Call: 203-317-2330 for more information or search our listing on (11 Crown Street, Meriden, CT)


Located in Meriden, CT on property zoned c-1, Enterprise Zone with potential tax incentives & moving expense incentives. This 3,600 sq. ft space is expandable into adjacent space for a total of 7,500 sq ft of space. Some of the features are covered loading docks, 24 hour tractor trailer access, up to 20’ ceilings, high voltage available, office / bathroom /

Town Times Spotlight

28 On February 15, Allison Dickson, below, of Durham, was inducted to Merrimack College’s Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa as a chartering member. Omicron Delta Kappa is a national leadership honor society recognizing meritorious leadership and service in campus life.

daughter of Mr. Nicholas M. Nyhart and Rev. Kathleen McTigue of Durham, Jordan Santiago, son of Mr. and Mrs. Braulio Santiago of Durham, Justin

Hall, son of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Hall, III of Middlefield and Daniel Piscatelli, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Robert Piscatelli of Middlefield.

For the fall 2010 semester, Alyssa Onofreo, daughter of Anthony and Pamela Onofreo of Middlefield, was named to the Dean’s List at Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park

Friday, April 1, 2011 School of Communications and Eric Troiano, son of Gino and Nancy Troiano of Rockfall, was named to the Dean’s List at Ithaca College’s School of Music.



Emily Sokol, below, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jason E. Sokol of Durham, was named to the winter term 2011 Dean’s List at Choate Rosemary Hall.


The following students were named to the winter term 2011 Dean’s List at Choate Rosemary Hall: Natalie Bennett, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Howard Bennett of Durham, Katharine Bronson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Richardson Bronson III of Durham, William Bronson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Richardson Bronson III of Durham, Maris Nyhart, daughter of Mr. Nicholas M. Nyhart and Rev. Kathleen McTigue of Durham, Hannah Nyhart,


Town Times published 4-1-2011

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