Volume 17, Issue 1
Serving Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall
Board of Education approves budget By Stephanie Wilcox Town Times
Late in the evening of April 7, the District 13 Board of Education (BOE) unanimously approved taking the proposed 2010-11 gross education budget of $34,826,872 to a district meeting on Monday, May 3, at 8 p.m. in the CRHS auditorium. The budget meeting will adjourn to a referendum on Tuesday, May 4, from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. This decision came immediately after the budget was presented at a public hearing, where the board heard both support and opposition from many fervent parents and taxpayers. “This is ridiculous with where it’s all going,” said Durham resident Roger Kleeman of the budget, which is a net increase of 2.5 percent over this year’s budget. “Cut it way down and let parents then come out and say what they want.” Middlefield resident Kathleen Kokoszka added, “There seems to be a belief in the community that we can’t get quality education unless we see an increase (in the budget) year after year…Yes, chil-
dren are important, but we’re all important and shouldn’t have to sacrifice.” According to the board, almost all of the increases in the budget are due to salaries and benefits. Fiftysix percent of total expenses comes from salaries, and some spoke up about this, like Durham resident Joan Zito, who said, “I think teachers should be giving something back.” On the other hand, Durham parent Phuong Oanh Stephan was thankful the board refrained from proposing teacher/staff cuts. “I felt you listened to us as parents … and teachers give a lot more back than they need to,” she said. Durham resident Melissa Liampo also supported the teachers and the budget as proposed. She said teachers these days do far more than was expected of them years ago, and “they deserve our support 100 percent.” During the hearing, board member Kerrie Flanagan explained the district’s fiveyear Capital Reserve Plan that was designed to be a “timely, reasonably accurate schedule of maintenance and
improvements to security, technology infrastructure, repairs and maintenance of athletic facilities, etc.” Some of the significant projects slated for fiscal year 2010-11 are the athletic facilities at Coginchaug, classroom lock down system at Lyman and Memorial, cafeteria equipment (for operating efficiency) in all schools and oil tanks at Memorial and Brewster. Board member Mary Jane Parsons explained the district’s fund balance, which will be $1,189,348 plus a carryover of $600,000 on June 30. Durham resident Rick Parmelee had concerns with the fund balance being way too large, and he thought the five-year capital plan was “a big surprise.” He was also not fond of athletic expenses. “You pay to play basketball, then you pay to watch your kids play basketball? That’s morally wrong,” he said. But after it was all said and done and the board reconvened to finalize the budget, there were no changes made in response to these issues. “No one really came through with ideas,” said board member Norm Hicks. “I
Friday, April 16, 2010
Helping hands in our towns
Town Times photos by Stephanie Wilcox
Adopt-a-Road chair Babby Nuhn hands out bags last Saturday at Allyn Brook Park to a road clean-up volunteer. More photos on page 7. didn’t get any meat tonight.” The $34.8 million budget will go to a district meeting on May 3. The next board meeting will take place April 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Korn School. Viccaro briefly mentioned topics that were to be discussed at the April 28 meeting, including Race to the Top Funds, Scientific Research Based Initiatives (SRBI) and the strate-
gic plan, which the board will vote on at the same meeting. Viccaro asked the board to suggest meeting topics for the last four meetings of the school year, and technology, standardized test scores and Naviance were all proposed. Graduation was set for Friday, June 18, and the meeting ended after reports from the Finance and Policy committees.
Habitat for Humanity working on first Middlefield house By Judy Moeckel Special to the Town Times
Photo by Stephanie Wilcox
Habitat volunteers inside the home last Saturday.
Renovations have begun on the first Habitat for Humanity house in Middlefield, located at 7 Ballfall Road. It is expected to be ready for its new owners — a mother and her six-year-old son — to move in by fall. The house was declared “surplus state property” when the state undertook to widen Route 66 in Middlefield and Middletown several years ago. After two-anda-half years of negotiations with the State Department of Economic and Community Development, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity of Ct.,
Inc. (MHFH) was able to purchase the property from the state for the modest price of $1. By state law, the surplus property was first offered to the town of Middlefield, which chose instead to support MHFH’s application to purchase it for a renovation project. “Applause to Middlefield for endorsing our application,” exclaimed Joyce Yarrow, executive director of the Middlesex Habitat affiliate. “Not only is this the first Habitat home in that town, but its deed stipulates that it remain affordable housing in perpetuity. No matter who owns it in the future, they’ll have to meet income
guidelines.” The family who will be moving in next fall will have a nointerest mortgage through Habitat for Humanity. As with all Habitat projects, the mortgage recipient contributes “sweat equity” to their new
See Habitat, page 7
In this issue ... Calendar ...........................4 Durham Briefs ...........14-15 Middlefield Briefs......16-18 Obituary..........................23 Sports..........................24-27 Spring Fix Up.............10-13
First Selectmen Laura Francis of Durham and Jon Brayshaw of Middlefield are inviting middle and upper management professionals who are currently out of work or underemployed to take part in a special all-day workshop on April 20. The re-employment workshop is sponsored by Workforce Alliance, the regional workforce investment board for South Central CT. Francis is on the executive committee of chief elected officials that helps oversee the board’s activities. “We are pleased that Work-
Town Times Community Briefs force Alliance has created this program geared to the needs of workers throughout its region,” said Francis. “Many of Workforce Alliance’s programs have served the needs of our inner cities. The prolonged recession has created the need to offer career development programs in every town and city, including Durham and Middlefield.” “Connecticut has unique economic challenges. Many talented workers need to reinvent themselves to prosper in the new economy,” noted Brayshaw. “This workshop offers residents a creative way to approach the job
Index of Advertisers
Residents who are interested in participating should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Seating is limited, so respond quickly. All requests will receive replies.
Electronic recycle The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority is hold-
Corrections We strive to bring you the most accurate and up-to-date information available each week, but if you see something in Town Times that isn’t quite right, give our news department a call at 860-3498000, and we’ll do our best to make things right. In our Inland Wetlands Agency (IWA) Brief on April 9, we wrote that the IWA had passed the proposed Kastner and Calvanese development for seniors on Powder Hill Road (the site of the former Happy Acres), after closing the public hearing. The IWA did, in fact, close the Kastener and Calvanese public hearing, but the application they passed immediately afterwards was the Tradewinds proposal for 1 Lorraine Terrace (on the corner of Route 66, the former mini-golf course). It is the Tradewinds site plan that was not deemed a significant activity but for which the IWA held public
ing a residential electronics collections on Saturday, April 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the CRRA Transfer Station, Town Dump Road in Essex, for area towns including Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall. Paper shredding will also be available. For more information, visit www.crra.org/pages/links.htm. hearings on Feb. 17 and March 17. It was approved with six conditions, mostly about erosion controls and storm water management, as well as requests to notify Middlefield officials at set times in the construction process. The IWA noted that some of the plans would improve the property, such as removal of invasive plants and establishment of a permanent native vegetative buffer, and that the project would eventually be served by Middletown public water and sewer. The article on fall sports plans on page one of the April 9 issue said Coginchaug football players will likely hold practice at the field behind Strong School and Falcon Field in Meriden this fall. However, Falcon Field is not part of the plan. In any case, plans are not yet solidified for fall sports. On page 24 of last week’s paper, the picture on the far right was of Nicki Stevens hugging Kayden Manzara.
To advertise in the Town Times, call Joy Boone at 860-349-8026. Ace Oil.......................................20 Lema, William J., D.M.D..............3 Adams Home Improvement ......17 Lino’s Market ...............................5 Addy & Sons .....................11 & 24 Lyman Orchards........................19 Affordable Excavation ...............25 Lyon & Billard ..............................3 Allan’s Tree Service ..................25 Masonicare................................14 Anderson Lawn Care .......12 & 24 Mhs Primary Care .......................7 APEC Electric............................23 Micheli Unisex Styling Salon L....6 Appraisal One Associates.........26 Middletown Plate Glass.............22 Awning Place Inc.......................19 Midstate Tractor ........................13 Batters Box................................20 Mountain Spring Water ............26 Berardino Company Realtors3, 27 Movado Farm ............................24 Bruce Binge...............................26 Neil Jones Home Imp................22 Boylin, Dr William ........................5 Paint Spot..................................11 Brenda’s Main Street Feed .......10 Pet Stop.....................................22 Brick Construction .....................21 Petruzelo Agency Insurance.....18 Brockett Paving .........................24 Putter’s Paradis.........................20 Bye Bye Pest ............................20 Raintree Landscaping.......10 & 25 Cahill & Sons.............................24 Realty Associates......................27 Carlton Interior...........................18 RLI Electric........................11 & 24 Carmines Restaurant ..................5 Roblee Plumbing.......................23 Centurion Exterminating............23 Rockfall Co ...............................25 Chris Cotes Golf Shop ..............15 Rockfall Northeast ....................26 Conroy, John DMD....................14 RSDL Home Improvements .....21 Ct Home Additions & Remodel..23 Rudolph’s Landscaping.............13 CV Enterprises ..........................22 Santi, Shirley ...............................5 Dads Restaurant .......................18 Sea Breeze Hauling ..................25 Daquila Law Office .....................7 Sharon Mccormick Design .......25 Daricek Landscaping ................23 Shemeth, Todd............................6 Dean Autoworks..........................2 Singles Alternative.....................17 Durham Dental ..........................17 Sisters Cleaning Service...........24 Durham Farmers Market...........12 Split Enz ....................................26 Durham In Bloom ........................6 Stafford Motor Speedway ..........6 Fairchild, Chris ............................6 T-N-T Home & Lawncare..........24 Family Tree Care ......................22 Tile Renovators.................12 & 26 Five Star Performance Horse ...26 Tony’s Masonry.........................23 Fosdick, Gordon MD ...................7 Torrison Stone & Garden,.12 & 21 Fuel & Service .............................5 Turner, Elizabeth.......................27 Glazer Dental Associates............7 Uncle Bob’s Flower & Garden...11 Grosolar.....................................16 Used Hitchcock Furniture..........10 Handy Man................................11 VMB Custom Builders...............26 Home Works..............................21 Whitehouse Construction..........23 Ianniello Plumbing.....................21 Whitney Ridge Stables..............25 J Randolph Kitchens .................21 Wild Wisteria .............................10 Jay Landscaping .......................23 Wildwood Lawn Care ................22 JC Farm & Greenhouse ............15 Windows Plus..............................5 Ken Marino Sales & Service .......7
search. It will help them develop strategies to find comparable positions.” The workshop is being led by Laura Collins of Collins Group, a Human Resources consulting firm that brings over 20 years of corporate experience to business leaders. She has held leadership roles in staffing and development in both the finance and pharmaceuticals industries. She is also an adjunct professor of human resources at Gateway Community College. “We developed this workshop in response to an employment crisis that has left no town untouched,” said William Villano, executive director of Workforce Alliance. “Being unemployed is traumatic no matter where you live. There is a rule of thumb that it takes a month of searching for every $10,000 in income you require from a new job, That’s 10 months for a $100,000-a-year earner.” Reactions to the first workshop were very positive. Participants said they “Appreciated learning how to network, use internet job sites and better manage time.” Another noted that, “Everyone remained engaged and enthusiastic.” The workshop will cover job search techniques, resumes, networking and the use of social media like Facebook and LinkedIn. The workshop will be held in Durham Town Hall on Tuesday, April 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Lake Beseck: From pasture to pond to proud neighborhood By Trish Dynia Special to the Town Times
Inside at Rovers in the 1940s.
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See Lake Beseck, page 20
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Locals enjoy a clam back on the back lawn of Rovers Lodge, overlooking Lake Beseck in the 1940s.
William J. Lema, D.M.D.
area residents as well as Sam’s hockey buddies from New York City. The establishment was not named after a dog named Rover who wandered in one day with a polite burp and felt honor bound to mark his territory. It was actually named for The Rovers, a farm team for the New York Rangers that Sam Babcock played for. It became a full service restaurant and bar spread over two floors. The business hosted summer clam bakes, winter fishing derbies, swing band dances and Polish music festivals. “People came dressed in their best clothes and everyone had a wonder-
A popular playground for boating enthusiasts and fishermen, Middlefield’s Lake Beseck, along with Beseck Mountain to the west, derive their names from the Native American word ‘Bessett,’ meaning black, as in Black Mountain and Lake Black. Considering the lake area’s thoroughly colorful history, the name doesn’t seem to fit, but there it is. Prior to 1848, the area was swampy, spring-fed pasture where Benjamin Miller, a direct descendant of Middlefield’s founding family, grazed his cows. Then a dam was built to provide water power to a button factory, and several manufacturing enterprises soon sprang up in the area. Eventually, the power harnessed from the newly created Beseck Reservoir serviced mills from Baileyville to Rockfall. Location, Location, Location According to Lake Beseck Association president Dick Boynton, “By 1929 most companies in the area had converted to steam or electricity, with the Rockfall Pistol Shop being the last to convert in 1940.” This cleared the way for a newly formed company called Mountain Lake Development to create and advertise for sale building lots 25 feet in length starting at $95 each. Said Boynton, “It was a bit of a scam because the advertisements didn’t mention that you had to purchase at least two lots and those closer to the lake cost substantially more than $95.” Nevertheless, the strategy worked. Advertisements were placed in key
metropolitan areas where well-to-do families in search of a convenient summer getaway quickly snapped up the lots. So between 1929 and 1940 nearly 300 homes were built along the west side of the lake. Families often camped out in tents until a modest home could be built. Until the mid-1960s, Lake Beseck was maintained as a private community with its own general store and active beach house near the present day town beach, where numerous dances, picnics and other social events drew the community together. Said Boynton, “In the days before air conditioning, you came home from work at the end of the day, threw on your swim suit and went down to the beach to cool off and talk to neighbors.” The easy socialization which naturally flowed from these events created a close knit, friendly community where neighbors knew and helped each other, a situation which continues to the present day. Rover’s Lodge and a Bucket of Blood In 1934, New Haven resident Albert (Babs) Babcock and his son Sam purchased the BB Lodge on Baileyville Road and created a mecca for
April 16 Shabbat Celebrate the joy of Shabbat every third Friday evening at Congregation Adath Israel in Middletown. Services will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by a traditional Shabbat meal at 6:15 p.m., with conversation and song led by Rabbi Seth Haaz. The evening is free of charge and open to the public. Call 860346-4709 if you plan to attend. Flowers, Art and Market “Connecticut Barns and Farms; Their Beauty and Their Bounty,” a flower show, will be open to the public at the Barns at Wesleyan Hills from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Barn are located at 616 Long Hill Rd. in Middletown.
Electronic Recycle CRRA is holding an electronics collection from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the CRRA Transfer Station, Town Dump Road in Essex for residents Durham, Middlefield and info, visit Rockfall. For www.crra.org/pages/links.htm. Connecticut Day Celebrate Connecticut-produced foods and beverages at Lyman’s Connecticut Day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This event features complimentary tastings of Connecticut specialties, foods prepared in the Lyman farm bakery and deli and samples of an oversized Connecticut birthday cake. For info, call 860-349-1793, or visit lymanorchards.com. Benefit Dinner Enjoy a buffet dinner and blues/American roots music by Dan Stevens and Chris D’Amato at 4 p.m. at the Middletown High School, LaRosa Lane in Middletown. All proceeds to benefit Kleen Energy Systems power plant victims. For info or tickets, call 860344-3552 or e-mail email@example.com. Tag Sale St. James Episcopal Church, 498 Killingworth Rd. in Higganum, will have a tag sale from to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information or to drop off items, call 860-345-2445. Atwater-Donnelly Trio The American and Celtic folk group, Atwater-Donnelly
Trio, will perform at 7 p.m. at the United Churches of Durham. Tickets for the concert will be available at the door for $10 per person. The United Churches of Durham is located at 228 Main St. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-716-5497 for information.
April 18 Pancake Breakfast The Middlefield Explorer Post 82 will be hosting a pancake breakfast at the Middlefield Firehouse from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $5 for adults and children over eight; kids under eight are free. Four Seasons Concert Four Seasons will perform the works of Buxtehude, Bach, Haydn, Mendelsssohn and others at 4 p.m. at the Little Church in the Wilderness. Admission is $14, students $10, and children are free. The church is located at 50 Emanuel Church Rd. in Killingworth. There will be a reception following the concert. For info, call 860-663-1109 or visit www.churchinthewilderness.org. Choreography Program Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 East Kings Highway in Chester, will present set designer David Hays and former soloist ballerina Gloria Govrin, who will talk of their collaborations with legendary choreographer George Balanchine at 9:30 a.m. For info on this free program, open to the public, call 860-526-8920.
April 19 Free Movie Every Monday the Middletown Senior Center, 150 William St., offers a free movie at 12:30 p.m. Today’s movie is Precious with Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique and Mariah Carey. Call 860344-3513 for information. Chamber Breakfast Connecticut state university system chancellor, Dr. David Carter will be the speaker at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast at 7:45 a.m. at the Crown Plaza in Cromwell. For info, call 860347-6924 or e-mail email@example.com. Memorial Parents
The Memorial School PTO will meet at 7 p.m. Arts Advocacy Awards The Middletown Commission on the Arts invites everyone to attend the Arts Advocacy Day awards ceremony at 5 p.m. at First and Last Tavern, 220 Main St. in Middletown. The event will honor Marco Gaylord and the Greater Middletown Chorale. Refreshments are offered. For information, call 860-343-6620.
April 20 Street Musician Roy Lisker will talk about his experiences as a street musician in Paris at 7 p.m. at Russell Library, 123 Broad St. in Middletown. For information, call 860-347-2528. Meet Your Greens Come to Middlesex County’s networking event to exchange news about environmental issues at the Tavern at the Armory, Main St. in Middletown from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. PFLAG Meeting Greater New Haven Shoreline Chapter of PFLAG meets at the Church of the Redeemer, 185 Cold Spring St. in New Haven, the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. For more info e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-458-0493. Employment Workshop Middle and upper management professionals who are currently out of work or underemployed are urged to attend an all-day workshop at Durham Town Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. E-mail email@example.com to participate. Anime Film Children ages 11 and older are invited to see the movie Ponvo from 4 to 6 p.m. at Russell Library, 123 Broad St. in Middletown. Light refreshments will be served. For information, call 860-347-2528. John Lyman Parents The John Lyman School parent organization meets at 7 p.m.
April 21 TOPS Durham TOPS Club meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the third floor of the Durham Town Hall. For info, call Naomi Klotsko at 860-349-9558 or Bonnie Olesen at 860-349-9433.
Friday, April 16, 2010 Computer Recycling Middlesex Community College will hold a recycleing event for all computers and electronics (no TVs). Bring anything with a cord to the lower parking lot, 100 Training Hill Rd. in Middletown between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
April 22 CRHS Parents The Coginchaug parent council will meet at 7 p.m. in the school library. Students from EDGE will be present to discuss the dangers of cell phone use and texting while driving. Board of Education member will be present to discuss the upcoming budget. All residents are welcome. The Soloist The Soloist, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr., will be shown and discussed at 6:30 p.m. at Russell Library, 123 Broad St. in Middletown. Richard Alleva, film critic for Commonweal magazine, will lead the discussion. For information, call 860-347-2528. Earth Day Concert and Expo Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with an expo and concert at Coginchaug. At 6 p.m. organizations and businesses will have earth-friendly displays or products from 6 to 7 p.m. The concert begins at 7 p.m. The event is free, but a freewill offering will be accepted to support the “Earth’s Birthday Project” through the Nature Conservancy. Earth Day Panel Discussion Wesleyan University will host a group of experts in a panel discussion on the role of the arts and sciences in facilitating awareness of environmental issues. Following the discussion will be the world premiere of Connections Within A Fragile World, a documentary detailing the experience the first Feet to the Fire project. The event begins at 8 p.m. in the CFA Hall, on the Wesleyan campus. Admission is free. For more information visit www.wesleyan.edu/environmentalstudies or call 860-685-3733.
April 23 Business Networking The local chapter of Business Networking Internation-
al will meet in the United Methodist Church, 24 Old Church St. in Middletown, at 7:30 a.m. Contact Kirk Hagert at 860-349-5626 for info. A Nice Family Gathering Local actor Don Bourret will perform in East Hampton’s Podium Player’s A Nice Family Gathering. This very funny play is presented at the Goff House in East Hampton beginning tonight, with additional performances April 24, 30 and May 1, at 7:30 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee on April 24. Details, directions and tickets are available at www.podiumplayers.org and www.lelanderummel.com.
Opening Day Little League opening day at noon. Recorder Virtuosos Quartet New Generation will perform at 2 p.m. at Russell Library, 123 Broad St. in Middletown. Performing on recorders of varying sizes and shapes the Quartet transports the listener into new sonic worlds, confirming the recorder’s viability as a modern classical instrument. For information, call 860-347-2528. State Baking Contest Thomas Wilt, chairman of the Connecticut State Baking Contest, will give a free demonstration on how to make the recipe at the United Churches of Durham, 228 Main St. in Durham, at 9 a.m. Seats are limited to 15 participants. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860349-3237 to reserve your space. Information can be found at ctfairs.org web site. PuppetSpeak The Arts Center at Killingworth will host an evening of puppetry performances and workshops in the Deep River Theater, 174 Main St. in Deep River from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for 5-11 and again from 6:30 to 9 p.m. for those over 11. For tickets call 860-663-5593. Victorian Tea Heritage Quilters of Wallingford will present a Victorian tea from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 62 Colony St. in Meriden. Victorian Lady Kandie Carle will perform “1860’s: From Hats to Hoops” Tickets are $15 by calling Sharon Burch at 203-238-7784.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Little interest by Durham residents in housing rehab program email@example.com g as soon as possible.
for the bond money. The selectmen approved the request.
If any Durham residents were even vaguely interested in taking advantage of a housing rehab program they have been hearing a lot about, here is one last chance to get federal funds. At the April 12 Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting, First Selectman Laura Francis proposed shelving the home improvement program for another year until there is more interest from townspeople, as recommended by the consultant. Francis explained that a critical criterion for the program is to have 12 to 15 letters of interest from residents, and despite multiple announcements, Francis has received only three. “I’m not sure why, it’s a very good program,” she said. “I’m disappointed and surprised.” Selectmen John Szewczyk said he wanted to reach out to the community one more time for the sake of the three people who showed interest. Others interested should contact Francis for more information or send a letter to
Crooked Hill Road improvements extension
Pension plan and library copier
Brian Ferris asked the board to grant him an extension to complete the Crooked Hill Road improvements. When Francis told him she has received multiple emails from residents wondering why he wants an extension, he stated that the contract had expired, and he wanted the project finished. Ferris presented an encroachment permit to the board, which he explained was the item that was slowing everything down. Ferris said everything is in place, and the surveyor will stake the area next week so it will be ready to be paved. The extension will take the project to May 31, and Ferris confirmed that he is not asking
The selectmen approved resolutions pertaining to the town’s defined benefit plan. Francis explained that the resolutions are required by the IRS to allow Durham to pick up pre-tax contributions of employees to the pension plan, whereas the old plan was post-tax. The resolutions will benefit both the bottom line for the individual, as well as the employer who is paying less for employer taxes on payroll books, she said. The selectmen approved entering into a 60-month lease between De Lage Landen Financial Services and the town of Durham for a Sharp MX-C311 copier to be used at the Durham Library. Francis applauded
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The selectmen approved a
Memorial Day festivities and Washington Trail Road Race
• New Installation on Boiler/Furnace
proclamation for Silver Star Banner Day recognizing those who serve in the armed forces and their families. They also accepted a resignation from Mark Laudano, an alternate on the Planning and Zoning Commission, and approved George “Chip” Williams and Ona McLaughlin as alternates on the Historic District Commission.
Proclamations, resignations and appointments
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A resident requested a twoway stop sign at the intersection of Haddam Quarter Road and Johnson Lane. The selectmen discussed how there is already one stop sign and a twoway one doesn’t seem necessary. Francis thought that the manual only authorizes allway and four-way stop signs in addition to regular stop signs, but she will check with road foreman Kurt Bober before making any decisions.
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Friday, April 16, 2010
Town Times celebrates another birthday, its 16th! By Stephanie Wilcox Town Times Somewhere under the ground at Peckham Park in Middlefield, a Town Times time capsule awaits. No one can remember when it was put there, what’s in it exactly or when it was supposed to be resurrected. But it was put there as a fun way to commemorate the newspaper that has been serving the towns of Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall since 1994 and has become very much a part of the community. Though they didn’t open the capsule, the four founders of the Town Times gathered around last Wednesday evening for this story on the paper’s 16th anniversary. While flipping through past issues of Town Times and old photographs, there were a lot of “remember whens.” Remember when Sue VanDerzee bumped into Phyllis Sheridan at a bagel store in Middletown one morning? Phyllis approached Sue and said, “Hey, I heard you worked for a newspaper, and I think there should be a newspaper in our town.” Sue, who in fact had worked for a newspaper, also thought the town was lacking one ever since the Gazette, the town’s former paper, was
Ask for Chris.
“Many businesses took a leap of faith with us,” she recalls. In fact Uncle Bob’s, Montheis, Neil Jones, Alan’s Tree Service, Golschneider Painting. Dr. Bill Lema and Durham Dental were some of those brave businesses who took that leap and are still loyal advertisers to this day. Thank you all! Marilyn used her artistic talent to draw the masthead, and it’s still the same one used across the top of every front page today. Though few people know this, in the drawing are all four of their houses, the Middlefield Federated Church, Lake Beseck, Lyman Orchards and a few other houses from town. One of the harder decisions was settling on a name, and it came down to Town Lines or Town Times. The corporate name chosen was Good Gnus, LLC. The first thing that was sent out to townspeople was a mailing that said “We’re Coming!” Shortly thereafter, on April 22, 1994, the 20-page first issue found its way to everyone’s mailboxes. The front page story was about DMIAAB, and there was a picture of construction going on at the United Churches of Durham. “One thing that struck me was how immediately we be-
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bought by Shoreline Times and eventually disbanded. Sue recalls “much commiserating among folks in parents’ groups” during the months the town was paperless. So on that morning in the bagel line, Sue and Phyllis came to the realization that they both were interested, and they both had friends who also wanted to make it happen. With Sue and her friend Marilyn Keurajian and Phyllis and her friend Bill Currlin, it was the real makings of a team. Sue had newspaper experience and wanted to write, Marilyn had experience designing and selling ads, Phyllis wanted to write but was also a good business person and Bill was great with computers and technology. From then on, their lives were consumed with the work it took to get all the news and events out to the community, but what followed was an exciting and rewarding journey. “The town needed it and parents wanted it,” said Marilyn. “It was like a mission project for us, and no other local papers could serve these towns completely.” From the time they got together, it took a few months to get things going and to figure out who was doing what. But the big question was, “Can we actually do this?” They rented a space at Executive Offices in Middlefield, bought computers and spent $500 each to be trained in PageMaker. To pay for the soon-to-be paper, Marilyn went around trying to sell ads.
Photo by Stephanie Wilcox
Bill Currlin, Phyllis Sheridan, Marilyn Keurajian and Sue VanDerzee stand with the four clocks that usually hang on the walls at Town Times. The significance of the clocks? That’s a whole other story. came like stars,” said Marilyn. Bill remembers the proud feeling when he delivered the bundles of papers — “It was like I was the hero.” After that first issue, the founders agree that the trust and dependence the town had for the newspaper was almost instant. Though the paper was printed out of Turley Publications in Palmer, Massachusetts, all the production was done right here in Middlefield by these almost “rank amateurs.” Producing the Town Times back then was as technically advanced as the times allowed, though today it seems archaic. For instance, some of the information for stories came from encyclopedias on disks — remember,
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this was before Google. Once the pages were designed using PageMaker on the computer, they had to be tiled because they were printed in quarters. Then what was printed was cut up and arranged on a piece of paper using a wax machine. One time for a story on May flies, the creators found an actual specimen and waxed it down for use in the paper. Talk about using your resources and creativity!
With these slow, meticulous methods of production, there were many overnighters, but all felt there was equal contribution. In fact, they worked four to six See Birthday, page 19
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Friday, April 16, 2010
Habitat (From page 1)
Left, Barbara Kauffman and Al Bradanini, w h o passed out bags, take a break to pose with Adopt-aRoaders Don and Lisa Rawling. Below, L y n n Johnson receives a bag to help in Saturday’s Adopt-a-Road clean-up.
home, working on the renovations with the project volunteers. The Ballfall Road house has been gutted and will be new from top to bottom, literally. The renovations include a new roof and other specifics to bring it up to building code. Much of the work takes place on Saturdays, and donations of refreshments as well as labor are very welcome. For information, go to www.habitatmiddlesex.org and click on “Projects.” Donors towards this renovation project include: Middlesex United Way, Federal Home Loan Bank, Liberty Bank Foundation, Webster Bank, Bank of America, First America Title Insurance Company, Middlesex County Community Foundation and the Thomas J. Atkins Foundation. MHFH is raising the balance of the monies needed
to complete the project. Yarrow says that a family had been chosen for this house in summer 2008, but they lost them because of the delay. “We had to have a new applicant meeting, and the transfer of the property finally took place in the summer of 2009,” she explained. She notes that more than 200 families are on their “log list” for future home projects; however, she says, anyone can apply when a property comes up, as long as they meet the Habitat guidelines. MHFH is actively pursuing housing opportunities, including donations of land and dwellings, in the towns of Middlesex County. Letters to this effect will be going out to each town in the county in the near future. Donations are one part of the Habitat equation; the other part is the volunteers, who help provide the “American Dream” of home ownership to
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Town Times Opinion
Friday, April 16, 2010
Seniors: Help keep yourself safe with these tips
Town Times 488 Main St., P.O. Box 265, Middlefield, CT 06455 http://www.towntimes.com News Advertising Fax Marketplace
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Town Times is published every Friday by the Record-Journal Publishing Co. and is delivered to all homes and businesses in Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall. Sue VanDerzee, Editor Stephanie Wilcox, Reporter Brian Monroe, Advertising Director Joy Boone, Advertising Sales Wendy Parker, Office Manager Contributors: Betsy White Booz, Chuck Corley, Kathy Meyering, Trish Dynia, Judy Moeckel.
We’re on the Web: http://www.towntimes.com
Like most senior citizens, may be inside, do not enter. you wish to maintain your Leave quietly and call 911 to reFrank DeFelice, for lifestyle and your independ- Durham Public Safety Com. port the crime. ence. Out and about: Being safe during the golden Inquire with your local Seyears only requires a few simnior Service Group about transple steps: portation services. At home: Always tell someone where Remember to keep doors you are going and when you exlocked at all times. pect to return. Use quality locks on windows and sliding Keep your car doors locked at all times. doors. Be alert in parking lots or garages. Do not hide keys around the outside of the Have your keys ready when approaching house. your car or home. Never let strangers into your home without Do not carry packages that obstruct your checking their identification. view and make it hard to react. Be sure the number on your house is visible Carry a cell phone with you for emergencies. and lighted so that emergency personnel can If using public transportation, sit by the find you quickly when you need help. driver or by an exit. Know your neighbors and keep their phone Carry your purse close to your body; do not numbers handy for emergencies. dangle it. Trim trees and shrubs to eliminate hiding Place your wallet in the front pockets of places for thieves. your pants or inside your coat. Keep the exterior of the home well lit. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Install motion detectors on exterior lighting. Use direct deposit for social security and Install timers on several lamps, to create the other checks. impression of an occupied home. Work out a buddy system with a friend, If you arrive at home and suspect a stranger and check on each other daily.
Letters to the Editor
A dog’s leash was found in the Strickland field open space area. If you think it is yours and can describe it, call 860-349-8710.
Thank you, Laura and Alicia To the editor, The Durham Town Clerk’s office participated in Passport Day in the USA on Saturday, March 27. The day was very successful. We processed 39 applications and made over $1,000 for the town. I couldn’t have done this without the help of First
Selectman Laura Francis, who took the passport pictures, and my assistant Alicia Willett, who helped process the applications. Thank you, Laura and Alicia, for making the process run smoothly and efficiently! Kim Garvis, Town Clerk Durham
Your recipes are needed So many of our community events involve good cooking, such as the local volunteers who serve up wonderful meals at the Durham Fair, the spaghetti supper at the high school, the full breakfast at the firehouse to honor Veterans Day and the
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 letter writers are not necessarily those of this newspaper. Deadline: Tuesday noon for Friday publication.
Middlefield Old Home Days chicken barbeque. The residents of Middlefield, Durham and Rockfall sure know how to cook! This leads to a perfect opportunity for you to show off your culinary skills. The Middlefield Lions Club will be publishing a cookbook of the best recipes from Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall. Certainly those in the community have many good recipes they would like published! Some residents have served up such goodies as vegetable stuffed mushrooms; roast chicken with potato and olives; Lowry’s fabulous chili; and chocolate brownie cheesecake. Imagine having all those recipes, and many, many more in one volume. In order to make the recipe book a success, however, they need your help! Each cookbook contains about 350 recipes. They need to reach that goal in order to publish the book. You can send as many as five recipes in total, and you will get your name published in the cookbook with your recipe, for each one received. Tell your friends, relatives, neighbors and community organizations you work
with: they can send us their recipes too! Recipes are needed for appetizers, beverages, soups, salads, vegetables, side dishes, main dishes, breads, rolls, desserts, cookies, candies and more. E-mail your recipes by May 31, to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to The Middlefield Lions Club, P.O. Box 1, Middlefield, CT 06455 Attn: COOKBOOK. Be sure to include your phone number in case they have a question. Middlefield Lions
Stella made it home! It comes with an enormous amount of happiness and peace of mind that I am able to tell you I found Stella! After several false alarms throughout last week, I decided to head down to Connecticut from where we live in Vermont to look for her. I brought down objects with our home’s scent, and I even brought down used litter to spread around the outside of our house. I also printed out 40 more flyers to post around town and neighborhoods. On Saturday, April 10, I began my search at 8 a.m., at
2:15 p.m. I headed home to eat lunch and to spread her used litter around the yard and woods, hoping it would guide her way home. As I was doing that, I decided to yell her name. All of a sudden, I heard meowing! I was very excited and butterflies were in my stomach, but I knew I needed to be realistic. I kept calling her, and the more I called her name, the louder and more frequent the meowing was! I frantically followed her meow through the woods and towards a drain pipe! And there she was in the drain pipe behind a house on Route 77 in Durham! It was an awesome rescue with the help of my brothers Phil and Chris and one that I will never forget! It felt amazing to see her beautiful face again and know that she was home! I took her to PiperOlsen where she was checked out as being healthy! She did lose weight, but she is fine! I want to thank everyone for the help and keeping a look out for our dear Stella! Cindi Faiella and Jeffrey Kenyon
Friday, April 16, 2010
Town Times Columns
A funny thing at CRHS
Common sense needed
A funny thing hapThat might sound Andre Hauser pened in Coginsurprising, but everyCRHS Assistant Principal where you turn in Rechaug’s auditorium this weekend. If you gion 13 you run into were among the huge them – former stucrowds that attended dents who value the one, or in some cases community so much all three, of the perthat they return as formances of the CRHS school musi- adults, raising their own families cal last weekend, you know exactly here and sometimes even taking what I mean. A cast and crew of teaching positions in our schools. I around 100 staged a three-night run of haven’t had the opportunity to hire A Funny Thing Happened On The Way any of my former students yet, but our To The Forum, leaving huge crowds departing principal, Dr. Wysowski, in stitches every night. has former students scattered around Like anything worth doing, months the district, including a few here at of work went into making the show CRHS. As a going-away surprise, I the seamless success we all saw on asked a few of the district’s teachers stage. Roughly 75 student actors and for their thoughts, and here are a few musicians and another 15 faculty, of their Dr. W memories. staff, and parents have been working According to one younger teacher, together since late January building “When I was a freshman here, Steve sets, memorizing lines, choreography was the assistant principal, and the and music, and trying to figure out kids were scared of him, for the most just how wild the Proteans could get part… I remember that by the time I before someone got injured jumping was a senior, everyone, for the most on and off the stage. The week of the part, loved him.” play, an additional crew of helpers Another mentioned a surprise persigned on to sell tickets and snacks, formance a few years ago, still availserve as ushers, and do whatever else able on YouTube, featuring “his dancneeded doing the night of the play. ing at our Coginchaug Idol contest to As anyone who attended the show YMCA” and the fact that “he has alcan tell you, it was all worth it. The au- ways been a good sport about student dience had a great time, and it was ob- impersonations of him during drama vious that the actors and pit band class productions, and he even apmembers were having at least as peared in one.” That offbeat performmuch fun as the rest of us. ance knack is something that not But some of the most interesting many people outside of CRHS know things I learned came from just talk- about him, but here it is famous. ing to people in the lobby before the One of our English teachers reshow. For instance, in some schools minded me about “him walking into the performance arts kids and the ath- my Shakespeare class and reciting a letes are different kids, but we had speech from The Merchant of Venice, members of every single sports team but doing it in his John Wayne voice. at CRHS involved in the play. Not only Steve is the master of voices!” that, but we had several multiple-genAnd that’s what it’s all about at eration school play families with par- CRHS, learning to become the master ents in the audience and kids per- of many talents, then using them to forming, and even one grandfather help the community and brighten othand grandson both involved in stag- er people’s days. Have a great spring, ing the play this year! everyone!
Instead of cutting around 10 percent. spending to responsiWhat is needed is ble levels in state govcommon sense. More ernment, our state legspecifically, governislature has constantly ment can’t spend more voted to implement money than it collects. massive tax hikes for Tough decisions have the residents of Conto be made, and certain necticut. Besides raisspending projects ing taxes, however, might have to get put our state legislature on hold. The foundahas also been raising tion of what governJohn Szewczyk licensing fees to unreament should do: prosonable levels. viding a quality educaPossibly the most tion for our children, notable fee increases providing for the pubhave been those relic safety of all our resiquired to obtain fishdents, and maintaining, hunting, or traping a quality infraping licenses in Connecticut. These structure should be maintained and fees were increased by 100 percent in improved. just this past year. The end result However, all other forms of spendcould have been predicted. The num- ing must be thoroughly examined. ber of licenses purchased has de- There are numerous government creased by over 50 percent, resulting agencies that replicate work and can in a net loss of income for the state of be combined to provide a savings to Connecticut. Moreover, the industry the residents of this state. Programs as a whole has been hurt by a decrease that have been proven to have no posin the number of individuals partici- itive impact or have a cost benefit facpating in the activities and therefore tor that is unreasonable need to be not buying the equipment needed. eliminated (even if the initial intent of The state legislature needs a return the program was a good one). Proto common sense. Massive tax hikes, grams such as job training and job increases in licensing fees and in- reentry leading to self-sufficiency creases in spending are not the ways need to be improved upon and exto improve our economy. These are panded, whereas government welfare not the way to help businesses prosper programs with no timetable to help and certainly not the way to decrease the individual become self-sufficient a state unemployment rate hovering need to be eliminated.
A View From District 13
Patti Holden shared several photos from A Funny Thing Happened... last weekend at CRHS.
From A Durham Selectman’s desk
State Rep. Matt Lesser in Middlefield
State Rep. Matt Lesser, left, standing with John Erlingheuser, Connecticut AARP’s advocacy director. Middlefield residents Harry Aivano and Eleanor Melmer sat with Middletown residents Terry and Slim Kauczka at the Middlefield Senior Center. Rep. Lesser was there speaking about electricity rates and their particular effect upon seniors. Photo submitted
Friday, April 16, 2010
Do you want to grow a giant pumpkin? By Stephanie Wilcox Town Times Growing a giant pumpkin is all about the glory of having the biggest, baddest pumpkin around. They’re quite a spectacle around here as thousands of amazed spectators visit the pumpkin tent at the Durham Fair to witness these goliath fruits; fruits that were once itty bitty seeds planted
right here in Connecticut and erupted into produce that takes several bodies to move. And the weigh-in of these fruits is an event in itself. Last year’s state record for heaviest pumpkin was 1,449 lbs. Think you can beat it? Experienced growers Matthew DeBacco and Bart Toftness, from Team Pumpkin, think you can. They share their knowledge in giant pumpkin seminars in Durham; The first of
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much of them to add. DeBacco suggests having soil tested at the University of Massachusetts, which takes about a week to get results. Around May 1, put the plant in a pot and put the With a 400-500 pound pumpkin, you pot in a partiallyclosed cooler can go pumpkin boating, like Matt Dewith a light bulb Bacco likes to do in autumn. to germinate the seed. During “The goal is to get the plant this stage, keep the soil moist, big as quickly as possible,” not saturated; maintain a said DeBacco. “If the plant is warm environment, about 85 not big and healthy, you can degrees Fahrenheit; and keep forget about the pumpkin.” the conditions constant 24/7. As soon as you see the first true leaf, it’s time to get the ambitious sprout outside in the ground. When positioning in the ground, consider that whichever way the tip of the “true leaf” is pointing, the vines will grow away from that. Tilting the plant on its side while keeping this in mind will encourage the primary vines to grow out straight. If necessary, Team Pumpkin recommends using a hand-made or store bought cold frame, which acts as a temporary greenhouse, to keep the environment desirOpen Sat. 10-2 pm or by appointment able for growth. As the vines take off, use 140 West St., Middlefield bamboo shoots to train them (Top floor old Lyman Gun Sight Factory) and to stabilize the leaves. Many people think they can simply let vines run wild and create a big snarled mess, but for better airflow and ventilation, keep them trained in a Christmas tree shape, that is, A Specialty Gift and Floral Boutique keep secondary vines growing Make your home come alive with straight out from the primary vine. the colors and fragrances Pumpkins will grow off the of Spring! female flowers, but male flowNatural looking silk arrangements ... ers will show up about 10 or so Aromatique Candles & Potpourri ... days before. A few days after Bird Baths, Statues and Garden Stakes ... female flowers appear, pollinating will take place. Bees Just for you ... will do the job or you can help Spring sweaters, scarves, tops, pocketbooks it along by using the male and inspirational jewelry flower to pollinate the female flower. 354 Main St., Durham (860) 349-1550 For fertilizer, use seaweed
the season’s seminars was on March 28 when they explained just how to get started this spring. Begin first by establishing your growing area and preparing the soil. Each pumpkin needs a minimum of 300-400 square feet to grow, but 500 is ideal. When tilling the growing area, keep in mind that the top six to nine inches of soil are the most important to grow a big, healthy pumpkin. After tilling, get a one-cup sample for a soil test using random parts from the area. Why test? It shows the potential limiting factors in the soil and explains what nutrients and how
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See Pumpkins, page 23
Friday, April 16, 2010
‘Connecticut Barns and Farms: Their Beauty and Bounty’ at the Wesleyan Barns
“Connecticut Barns and Farms Their Beauty and Their Bounty,” a Middletown Garden Club and Garden Club of America flower show, will be held at the Barns at Wesleyan Hills on Friday, April 16. The events, including a farmers’ market, are free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will be a showcase for area flower arrangers who will interpret original art. The Middletown Garden Club has in its membership arrangers who have exhibited
all over the country and they will be joined by the best arrangers from the state’s other garden clubs. There will be a horticultural display of flowers and plants grown by the exhibitors and a photography exhibit. Included among the 16 artists whose work will be featured are Durham artists Marilyn Bober and Aleta Gudelski and Mike Waller of Middlefield. All of the art is barn- and farm-themed and will be for sale. The Lyman Farm is the honorary farm
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Friday,April 16, 2010
Rockfall Foundation Awards 2010 Environmental Grants
The Rockfall Foundation has awarded grants for grassroots environmental projects to 14 groups in Middlesex County. Local (Durham and Middlefield) groups and
schools netted four of those grants. A total of $15,000 has been distributed to county libraries, schools and other nonprofit organizations. The majority of the grants
curricula,” said Anthony P. Marino, chair of the foundation’s Grants Committee. “These awards are a tribute to the dedication and creativity of our county’s teachers, librarians and volunteer educators.” As in previous years, the funded projects stress handson learning and exploration, through tending organic gardens, creating interpretive signs for nature trails, and enjoying supervised encounters with live animals. Students will share their experiences
and learning on the web. “Most of these projects help build and nurture community among students and adults both in and outside of the classroom,” Marino adds. Educators at Memorial Middle School are partnering with the Regional School District 13 Outdoor Education Center, Connecticut Forest and Park Association (Rockfall) and Long Hill Estate (Middletown) to create a stan-
See Rockfall, next page
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Friday, April 16, 2010
(From page 12)
dards-based curriculum for two Wadsworth Legacy properties, Wadsworth Falls State Park and Long Hill Estate, which were once owned by Rockfall founder, Clarence S. Wadsworth. “Due to their location, the Wadsworth legacy properties are easily accessible to school children in six Middlesex communities,” according to Kevin Brough, principal of Memorial School. The projects materials and docent pro-
Spring is in the Air
gram will enable more classes to visit and explore these remarkable parks of natural beauty and ecological significance. “This initiative has the potential to bring students of diverse backgrounds together to explore the outdoor world.” A complete listing of the grant recipients and project descriptions are available on the websitewww.rockfallfoundation.org. Grants are awarded by the foundation annually. Application information and schedules are available by calling the office at 860-3470340 or visiting the website.
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Local Rockfall Foundation Grants 2009-2010 Connecticut Forest & Park Association, Rockfall “WalkCT Program - Middlesex County Representation on WalkCT Website” to collect and publish trail information for towns in Middlesex County on this statewide walking locations and healthy lifestyles website. Independent Day School, Middlefield “School Garden and Empty Bowls Projects” to cultivate an organic school garden and support food pantries in Middlesex County as part of an interdisciplinary standards-based curriculum project for students in kindergarten - 8th grade to learn about organic, sustainable food. Memorial Middle School, Middlefield “Stewardship of the Natural World Through Education and Experience at Wadsworth Legacy Properties” to create a standards-based curriculum to get students and families outside for hands-on education about the natural world so that they can become stewards of the environment; initiate a docent program to encourage area schools and families to come to the properties. Regional District 13 Outdoor Education Center, Durham “Interactive Website for Wadsworth Legacy Properties” to create an interactive website where it will be possible to click on different map locations to learn about local plants, trees, animals, ecology and history; and where teachers, docents and the public can print out information, curriculum and suggested activities.
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Durham Town Briefs
Durham Government Calendar (All meetings will be held at the Durham Library unless otherwise noted. Check the town Web page at www.townofdurhamct.org for agendas and last-minute changes.) Tuesday, April 20 7 p.m. — Board of Finance at Town Hall Wednesday, April 21 7:30 p.m. — Planning and Zoning Commission Monday, April 26 7 p.m. — Board of Selectmen at Town Hall followed by special town meeting at 8 p.m. of just over $145,000 from reserve funds to three accounts. Tuesday, April 27 7 p.m. — Ethics Commission Monday, May 3 7:30 p.m. — Board of Education at CRHS; annual budget meeting adjourns to a referendum on May 4 Tuesday, May 4 6 a.m.-8 p.m. — School budget referendum; Durham voters cast ballots at Korn School; absentee ballots available at the town clerk’s office in Town Hall. 6:30 p.m. — Public Safety Committee 7:30 p.m. — Midstate Planning, 100 DeKoven Dr., Middletown Monday, May 10 7 p.m. — Board of Selectmen’s annual town budget meeting at CRHS; your chance to vote on town budget. 7:30 p.m. — Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency
(From page 5)
traffic plan for Memorial Day festivities on May 31, 2010, and Francis noted the plan is the same as in previous years. They approved a request from the Durham/Middlefield Exchange Club for permission to sell snacks and hot dogs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Allyn Brook Park on May 31 in conjunction with the Washington Trail Road Race. In addition,
they approved a request from the same club for the annual Washington Trail Road Races on May 31 at 11 a.m. starting at Coginchaug High School.
Other business In old business, Francis said there was a meeting for BOMB (Bring Our Music Back) Fest with the Durham Fair Association, promoters and safety officials. She said the fest is gaining interest quickly.
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Public Comment A few residents spoke during public comment, including Joan Zito, who had issues having to do with the need for a senior center in dire times like these and why taxes were not decreased when the town hall building was completed.
P&Z refines home business regs and hears about “surprise” concert on fairgrounds The Planning and Zoning Commission met on Wednesday, April 7, to discuss implementing a new set of regulations for a home occupation permit. These regulations are meant to make it easier for low-impact home businesses to operate legally in the town. The proposal splits the permit into two categories, with the first requiring that a home
business have no non-resident employees, no customer parking and no physical expansion of the home for the business. The other category covers all remaining home occupation permits. During their discussion on the permits, the commission wanted to clarify whether or not a renter could apply for a permit. They decided that so long as the renter and the owner of the home agree, a renter can run a home business. However, the permit would go with the person running the business. As such, the permit would go with the renter rather than the homeowner. Retail sales were another concern of the commission, as they saw the potential for a business such as a hair salon to sell shampoo or other items related to the business. Town planner Geoff Colegrove explained that such sales should be fine so long as the products aren’t advertised and so long as they are not the primary purpose of the business. As for products sold over the internet, he explained that they aren’t functionally different from wholesale and shouldn’t qualify as retail sales. The proposed regulations also include a provision that would prevent a home business from reapplying for a new permit for a year should the business lose its permit due to violating the home business regulations. Commission member Ralph Chase felt this was too restrictive, as some people might make their living from their home business. In light of this, the proposal was changed to allow an applicant to reapply
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The town’s Supplemental Environmental Project was approved by DEP, and the first event is an Earth Day celebration at Coginchaug Regional High School. In new business, the town applied for almost $60,000 for storm damage from the recent rain storm. FEMA came to town to inspect the damage on White’s Farm, Higganum Road, Haddam Quarter Road, Pickett Lane and Parmelee Hill Road. She is waiting to hear if there will be a disaster declaration from the federal government and hopes there will be money to fix damages.
Friday, April 16, 2010
before a year has passed, although the commission can choose not to review the application. With these changes made, Colegrove agreed to revise the proposal and bring a finalized draft to the commission’s next meeting. Another major item that came before the commission was brought up by Jan Melnick, who informed them that there is a concert planned for May 30 on the fairgrounds. She told them that the event will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and that it’s expected that 12,000 people will attend the event. When Melnick asked whether or not the concert needed zoning approval, Colegrove informed her that it’s the first time that he even heard of the event. After reviewing what the fair can and cannot do, the commission disagreed over whether or not the Fair Association needed to come before them for permission. Member Frank DeFelice pointed out that the concert should qualify as a recreational use, while member Joseph Pasquale noted that it lacks an agricultural or educational aspect. Pasquale felt that the commission should review the matter a little further. The commission also discussed meeting with the Board of Selectmen and the Public Safety Committee in order to see what problems might arise from the Durham Fair running for four days rather than three. However, no formal plans have yet been made for the discussion. Greenland Realty was another item that the commission discussed, with member Cathy Devaux and resident Diana Cruise reporting that there were trucks going in and out of the site all day on Palm Sunday. They also reported that a wall of large cement blocks is getting built on the site. Commission chairman George Eames stated that they will look into the matter. (In attendance/Chuck Corley)
Voter registration at the high school
A voter registration drive will be held at Coginchaug Regional High School on Tuesday, April 20, from 10:30 a.m. See Voter, next page
Durham Town Briefs
Friday, April 16, 2010
Troop 27 holds pinewood derby
(Continued from page 14) The cub scout pinewood derby finals were held at the Raccoon Club on to 1 p.m. by the Registrars of Voters of Middlefield and Durham. A town resident must be a U.S. citizen, but does not yet have to be the age of 18 in order to register to vote. A registrant can choose to belong to a political party or can choose to be unaffiliated. Persons wishing to vote in any party primary, such as presidential, senatorial or state primaries, must be a registered member of the party holding the primary. Unaffiliated voters cannot vote in a party primary. While U.S. citizens owning property in town appraised at more than $1,000 are entitled to vote in the upcoming May school budget referendum, eligible town residents should register to vote so they also will be entitled to vote in this year’s primary or elections.
Durham Recreation job openings
Durham Recreation will be accepting applications for part time summer work for the Durham Recreation Department. The applications are at the Durham Town Hall on the first floor outside the Recreation Office. Applications must be handed into the Recreation Office no later than May 21. Interviews will take place in the month of May, pending job openings. For more information, call the recreation office at 860343-6724.
Spring fling for seniors
and Saturdays. Visit www.durhamlibrary.org to search the catalog, review your account, register for a program or renew your materials online. For information or to register for a program by phone, call 860-349-9544. PALS Book Sale: The annual book sale is scheduled for Friday, May 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday’s hours are a preview with an admission fee. Book lovers should not miss this sale, since there is always a terrific selection of titles for adults
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and children, as well as tapes, CDs and DVDs. The library is now accepting donations of books and media in good condition. No textbooks or periodicals please. All proceeds go to support library programs and new initiatives. The Mystery Book Discussion Group will meet on Tuesday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. to discuss The Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler. Copies of the book are available at the library. Everyone is invited to join this informal discussion.
We’re on the Web: http://www.towntimes.com
All Durham seniors are welcome to attend the third annual spring fling at the Durham Firehouse on Friday, May 7, from noon to p.m. There will be refreshments and Bob Mel will provide entertainment. There is no fee for this event. For more information, call 860-343-6724.
Saturday, March 27. Below, winners for the Webelos 1, included first place, Ryan Lau, of Middletown, car 122- 241.4 mph; second place, Connor Schaefer, of Durham, car 117 - 238.6 mph; third place, Sam Frosty, of Middletown, car `107 - 238.3 mph. Right, Connor Schaefer with his trophy.
Middlefield Town Briefs
Middlefield Government Calendar (Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings are held in the Community Center.) Tuesday, April 20 7 p.m. — Conservation Commission 7 p.m. — Board of Selectmen Wednesday, April 21 7 p.m. — Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency Tuesday, April 27 7 p.m. — Zoning Board of Appeals Wednesday, April 28 6:30 p.m. — Planning and Zoning Monday, May 3 7 p.m. — Board of Selectmen 7:30 p.m. — Board of Education at CRHS; annual budget meeting will adjourn to a referendum on May 4. Tuesday, May 4 6 a.m.-8 p.m. — Referendum on the proposed Region 13 school budget; Middlefield residents vote at the Community Center; absentee ballots available from the town clerk’s office. 7 p.m. — Levi E. Coe Library Association at the library 7:30 p.m. — Midstate Planning, 100 DeKoven Dr., Middletown
Concession stand open at Peckham Park
Middlefield park and recreation is proud to announce that the concession stand is
open at Peckham Park. Come down for a hot dog, burger, salad and more, Monday through Friday evenings. It is a great way to feed the family without breaking the bank. Now no more rushing to get the kids fed before or having them wait till after baseball
and soccer practice, grab a quick bite to eat at the park. With the warmer weather and later days coming, why not bring the kids down to the park in the evening for a little dinner and then let them run around on the playscape. They will sleep like babies. The good folks from Dad’s Restaurant in Wallingford can also cater birthday parties for you down at the Pavilion contact Chrissy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Board of Finance adjusts first selectman’s budget The Board of Finance held special meetings on April 8 and 13 in order to work on the budget for fiscal year 20102011. During this time, resident Marianne Corona provided a number of figures she received from the finance director regarding the grand list and the balance of the capital budget that failed to
match up with the figures the board currently has in their proposed budget. Due to these discrepancies, the proposed mill rate may be as high as 28.6 mills. This is 2.91 mills higher than the present mill rate of 25.69 mills. Based on the board’s own figures, however, the mill rate will be closer to 27.51 mills. Regardless, the board felt that they need to speak with finance director Joe Geruch directly to ensure that they have the most accurate numbers possible. Whether it is accurate or not, the 27.51 mills represents a .99 mill increase from the selectman’s proposal for 20102011. However, this is due to the board cutting out certain revenue items that they felt weren’t appropriate to include in the budget. The board chose not to include the sale of town property as revenue in the budget due to the uncertainty of when the land may be sold. The board also chose to increase the funding to a number of capital items, with the board increasing the proposed funding for a new pumper
Friday, April 16, 2010
from $25,000 to $50,000, the funding for a 1996 tanker replacement from $25,000 to $40,000, and the funding for communication equipment from $2,500 to $5,000. Wage increases for elected officials and non-union employees were another concern for the board. Although board members such as Rebecca Adams felt that these individuals are doing fine in their jobs, they thought that elected officials should not receive a raise during their terms. The BOF chose to eliminate the raises for all elected officials, as well as the proposed increase in the pension contribution for the First Selectman. However, they also agreed to eventually put together a plan that will decide at what point elected officials should receive an increase in wages. As for non-union employees, the Finance Director, Animal Control Officer, Fire Marshal, and the Park and Recreation Director all had 2.5 percent raises included in the selectman’s proposed
See BOF, next page
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Middlefield Town Briefs
Friday, April 16, 2010
(From page 16)
about the program and the number of people that use it. (In attendance/Chuck Corley)
Homeowner tax relief program
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See Tax, next page
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terest, Social Security, and any other taxable and non-taxable income; you must apply on or before May 7. Bring proof of 2009 income,
The state of Connecticut offers tax relief to elderly and disabled homeowners through a program administered locally by the assessor. Eligible applicants receive a reduction to their real estate property tax bill, based upon
their level of income. In addition, the town of Middlefield offers a matching program. In order to qualify, you must be over 65 as of Dec. 31, 2009, or eligible to collect permanent social security disability benefits (proof of disability is required); you must reside in the house for which you are applying; your overall income for 2009 must be less than $32,300 for a single person and $39,500 for a married couple; all income is counted, including wages, pensions, in-
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Animal Control Officer, Fire Marshal, and the Park and Recreation Director all had 2.5 percent raises included in the selectman’s proposed budget. While the board wanted to address the fact that these individuals didn’t receive a raise in 2009-2010, they also felt it necessary to acknowledge the country’s current financial crisis. As such, they struck a compromise by reducing the proposed raises from a 2.5 percent increase to a 1.5 percent increase. This is almost a $1,500 reduction in the budget. Another item that came before the board was who should be updating the town website, as this may require adding $12,000 to the budget to pay for someone to update it. The assessor, the town clerk’s assistant, the first selectman’s assistant and the town clerk were all noted as people who might be able to update the town website. Rather than pay for additional work hours, though, the board felt that the town clerk should be able to handle putting up legal notices, while the various boards and commissions should be able to update the site with their own information. Bernadette Basiel and Sharon Quirk from DurhamMiddlefield Youth and Family Services also were in attendance on the 13th to discuss their budget. The board’s main concern about DMYFS budget was whether or not it was meeting its requirements by state statute to take care of at-risk children and keep them out of the court system. DMYFS addressed this by stating they plan on re-implementing a Juvenile Review Board that would work with the school and the police department in order to intervene when a kid gets into trouble. Rather than putting them through the court system, they might instead do community service at the behest of the review board. Basiel and Quirk also explained that DMYFS helps keeps kids out of trouble by giving them something to do. Board member Alice Malcolm also wanted to know how many children ages 12-15 participated in the program, as she felt that is the age group that DMYFS should most concern itself with. DMYFS was
unable to provide hard numbers on how many families participated in their programs, however, due in part to the lack of a program director at present. While the board discussed possibly reducing the service’s budget, Adams recommended against it until they know more about the program and how much use it sees, as well as how its activities compare with Park and Recreation. The DMYFS budget went unaltered, at least until the board knows more
Middlefield Town Briefs
Levi Coe Library new titles
Hours: The library is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit www.leviecoe.com 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. New Titles: No One Would Listen by Harry Markopolos, The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear, The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason, Deception by Jonathan Kellerman, Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef and Fireworks over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff. New young adult and children’s titles include Silver by Edward Chupack, Whip It by Shauna Cross, How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford, Chasing the Bear by Robert B. Parker, Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng, Sir Francis Drake: Slave Trader and Pirate by Charles Nick, Crocodile Safari by Jim Arnosky, When Jack Goes Out by Pat Schories and Fox and Hen by Eric Battut. New DVD Titles: Sherlock Holmes, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, A Call Girl, American Sign Language for Kids and Adults, Planet 51, Precious, Where the Wild Things Are and more.
including a copy of your 1040 if you file with the IRS, and your SSA-1099. Applications may be made at the assessor’s office, town hall, 393 Jackson Hill Rd., Middlefield, each workday from 9 a.m. until noon and from 2 to 4 p.m. (Fridays to 3 p.m.). If you are housebound because of disability or ill health, a representative can apply for you, or the assessor can arrange to meet with you at your house. If you have any questions about the program, or to arrange a house visit, you may call the assessor, Steven Hodgetts, at 860-349-7111. If you were approved last year, you do not need to reapply until 2011 unless your income has changed significantly. Middlefield now also has a tax freeze program. The same income limits apply, and you must be 70 or over as of Dec. 31, 2009. Full details are available at the assessor’s office.
Carve your own walking stick
On April 17, the Connecticut Woodcarvers Association will help you learn a new skill and demonstrate how to safely carve your own walking stick. Watch demonstrations of wood carving methods and safety techniques. It’s a fun, free program hosted by the Ct. Forest & Park Association. Wood sticks will be supplied, but bring your own knife with which to carve. The event will run from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in CFPA’s community room at 16 Meriden Road, Rockfall. Drop in any time. The program is geared toward adults and families with children 10 years and older. Registrations are appreciated – please call 860-346-2372 and for directions go to www.ctwoodlands.org.
(From page 17)
Zoning Board of Appeals At the March 30 Zoning
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Friday, April 16, 2010
Board of Appeals (ZBA) meeting, the board discussed a request from Lisa Godbout for a variance to construct a garage and an addition to an existing house at 25 Woodland Heights. John Godbout said the variance would allow them to go closer than 20 feet from the property line into the side yard, and Lars Selberg stated he would need a sixand-a-half-foot variance. Godbout explained the area is 132 feet from the front setback line and the addition would be less than 35 feet tall. ZBA member Chris Champagne requested a more detailed sketch of the addition over the garage, including the height and grade to the roof line. Godbout said the height of the garage and addition would be the same as the house. Slope was discussed as being a hardship, and Selberg told the applicant to be prepared to discuss the slope hardship at the public hearing on April 27. He then encouraged the applicant to have neighbors send support in writing. In a discussion on board procedures, Champagne suggested they come up with a general guideline for public hearings. They discussed the language in the application for variances; specifically they want to make sure it’s worded so applicants know enough to put their applica-
tion in the best possible way without implying that if they follow all guidelines, they will automatically get their variance. The board also discussed how, under the Middlefield Zoning Regulations, a Special Exemption and a Special Permit are not the same thing. The former is a modification to the regulations approved by the ZBA and the latter is a modification of the Zoning Regulations by the Planning and Zoning Commission. They briefly discussed the function of ZBA and variances, what happens if decisions are appealed and what alternates who are not seated at a meeting can and cannot do. (From minutes/Stephanie Wilcox)
Free rain barrels Durham and Middlefield are sponsoring a free community rain barrel program. Join them on Thursday, April 22, “Earth Day 2010,” at Coginchaug Regional High School’s Earth Day Expo, from 6 to 7 p.m., and find out how you can get a free rain barrel for your home. Beverly O’Keefe, certified master gardener and certified trainer on storm water solutions will be available to demonstrate and educate on the importance of residential storm water management.
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Friday, April 16, 2010
(From page 6)
the tragedies in the communi- four creators let themselves ty that were crippling to report publish with two colors inon. The scariest experience, stead of one. This, of course, everyone agrees, was “the made it more expensive, so, lawnmower man.” They have “We splurged,” said Sue. “It no further comment other was a big deal.” than they feel badly to this These days, the anniverday. sary is recognized by hiding From a business perspec- candles throughout the pages tive, Sue, Bill, Phyllis and of the issue. Today, Sue is still Marilyn think that part of the Town Times’ editor and the success of Town Times was others remain close to the pathat they held meetings regu- per they founded, and it is allarly and learned how to share ways brings a sense of pride the work. The rest of the suc- with each anniversary. cess came from the relation“The Town Times made the ship that was built between communities much closer,” the paper and the community, said Bill. And, all agreed, a relationship that continues they’re happy they did it, and even after all but one of the they would do it all again. Hapfounders has moved on and py birthday, Town Times! the paper was bought by the Now, when can we open that Record-Journal, whose pub- time capsule? lisher Eliot White was a Durham resident for many years. “The community got to see itself through our eyes,” said Phyllis. How true! Who hasn’t hung on to a significant past issue or seen their photo in Town Times? (Coincidentally, the author of this story found herself on the front page of the Dec. 30, 1994 is- Half the Town Times original team — Sue sue during this in- VanDerzee and Phyllis Sheridan — pose terview.) with then-Durham First Selectman Hank On the first an- Robinson and then- Middlefield First Seniversary of the lectman Dave Webster for the ribbon-cutTown Times, the
months for free, and after that they began paying themselves a small amount. There was hardly a week when Sue, Bill, Phyllis or Marilyn didn’t have their children or dogs at the office during working hours. Even so, it was a saving grace that, at the start, the paper was only published every other week. The location of the Town Times’ office has changed twice in its 16 years from Executive Offices to a still-vacant spot next to Middlefield Pizza to the spot it currently holds next to Liberty Bank, also on Main Street in Middlefield, where it moved after being purchased by the Meriden Record Journal in 2002. Much has changed in the production and appearance of the paper — includingprinting with more color and publishing weekly — but much has remained the same. Things that were there in the first issues are still around today, including letters, babies, sports, spotlight, Town Times and Places, news releases, briefs, town meetings, Design-An-Ad, creative arts, inquiring photographer, Devil’s Advocate, columns and even Mark Czaja — yes, Mark was a columnist from the very beginning though now he is a frequent letter-writer. Over the years, many stories have stuck in the creator’s minds, like when the special Olympics came through and many local families hosted kids. The flood of ’95 that almost washed lym_SS55_4_12:Layout their office away and all1 3/11/10
ting at Executive Offices in 1994.
Korn kids light houses In conjunction with their electricity unit, all fourth grade students participated in building electric houses on Wednesday, March 21. An instructor from the Eli Whitney Museum facilitated the workshop, along with parent volunteers and staff. Students were able to apply their knowledge of the components of a complete circuit to make their houses light up. Peter Onofrio, right, and Kenny Douglas and Andrew Heath, below, work hard to get the lights on in their houses. Photos submitted by Eileen Chupron
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20 Lake Beseck (Continued from page 3) Rover’s on Lake Road. As its nickname would suggest, area residents considered the establishment to be a bad boy biker destination. Dick Boynton recalled that one day in 1957, he and his wife stopped there with another couple to have a quick drink. “My friend was wearing Bermuda shorts and a guy dressed in biker gear made fun of him.” Apparently Biker Guy picked a fight with Bermuda Shorts Nerd without realizing that said nerd was once the captain of the Yale football team. Long story short, nerd knocks out biker dude in one punch. Biker’s friends jump to his rescue. Nerd and friends skedaddle. Sam Babcock Jr. recalled, “The owner of The Bucket had
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a pontoon boat and he gave people rides around the lake.” The boat also stopped at Rover’s to pick up more passengers and by the end of the day there was much confusion as to where people had started out. Said Babcock, “People would debark at Rovers only to realize their cars were parked at The Bucket, and vice versa.” The owners of both establishments were often busy transporting people back to their original venues. “Captain Jack Will Get You High Tonight” No, this is not a story about drug dealers, Jack Daniels or Billy Joel’s hit song from the 1970s. Captain John “Jack” Sibley was a World War I veteran and United States Air Force pilot who established the Middlefield Air Cadets, a fresh air camp for inner city kids with an aviation theme. The camp was adjacent to the southern end of Lake Beseck on Powder Hill Road. For many years, Captain Jack provided guests
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with scenic airplane rides over Middlefield’s lake and farmland. During the 1940s, Captain Jack further developed the property to include a pool, sauna, tennis courts, dance hall and dining venue. It was The beach club house. advertised in the New York power days, found that the City area as a summer desti- system was too costly to mainnation for singles looking for tain and also make a profit. relief from the heat and an op- After lengthy negotiations portunity to meet new people. with residents of the private According to Captain Jack’s association, the town of Midson, Pete Sibley, “For whatev- dlefield and state of Connectier reason, the advertisements cut, Lake Beseck’s roads bebrought in mostly women, so came town roads, the lake and the joke around town is that dam were maintained by the my father was out recruiting state, a public boat launch local men to work at Happy was built on Baileyville Road, Acres and meet women.” It and the beach house, which should come as no surprise had been vandalized numerthat many volunteers an- ous times, was torn down. As in the story of Happy swered the call. From the ‘50s through the Acres, the ability of folks to ‘70s, Happy Acres was a fami- travel more cheaply by air to ly vacation destination, as distant vacation destinations well as a venue for company became a factor in depreciatpicnics and family reunions. ing property values in the But the buildings were get- lake area. Summer residents ting old and in need of costly abandoned their cottages and repairs. Reservations were subsequent owners attempted sparse because air travel was to live year round on properbecoming less expensive, al- ties designed, from a septic lowing vacationers to travel point of view, to be seasonal. longer distances to more exot- Some of the properties were ic venues. So Sibley and his completely abandoned, and mother Lorraine decided to by the early 1980s, 50 percent close down the resort, and the of the wells were contaminatcabins were converted to ed due to septic overload and modest one bedroom apart- e-coli was flowing into the lake itself, causing the town of ments. Fall and Rise of Lake Beseck Middlefield to close down the By the mid 1960s, the Mid- beach on a regular basis due dlefield Reservoir Company, to health concerns. In 1999, then Middlefield which had maintained the dam and lake since the water First Selectman Charlie Au-
Friday, April 16, 2010
gur and Boynton were key players in negotiating and obtaining funds for a new sewer connection with Meriden. Said Boynton, “It was difficult convincing residents that this would be a good thing. After all, they would have to purchase the connections and buy into this.” But since the sewer system went on line 10 years ago, the area has experienced a true renaissance. Property values have gone up substantially, home improvements are the norm, and many buildings have been removed and replaced with beautiful new homes. “It’s changed the whole look of the community,” said Boynton. “I’ve always said that Lake Beseck would become THE place to live in Middlefield, and it is slowly living up to my expectations.” Coming Home Although Dick and Nancy Boynton are recent transplants to Middlefield, having moved there in 1984 from Meriden, their roots in the area go back to an earlier time Boynton was living in Meriden with his wife Nancy who had lived in a house on Lake Beseck until her family moved in 1935 when she was just two years old. Over the years they had tried to find the house, but Nancy’s father was unable to pinpoint the location as the area had changed so much. Said Boynton, “I was driving around one day and happened upon a house for sale that I thought might be nice.” Subsequently he brought his
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Nancy Boynton, age two, at the house on Lake Beseck.
See Lake Beseck, page 21
Friday, April 16, 2010
Brochetti and Bufano engaged
Scouts go to ‘college’ The United Churches of Durham has hosted a merit badge college for Troops 27 and Troop 33 over the past four weeks. Scouts were able to complete merit badges that they were interested in. The counselors who volunteered their time were experts in their fields. There were 13 badges to choose from and each scout was able to do up to three badges each. I chose first aid, family life and American labor, other badges offered were fishing, emergency preparedness, communication, hiking, citizenship of the Nation, computing, electrical, reading/scholarship, soil conservation and collections. The merit badge college would not be possible if adults did not volunteer their time and effort to help the scouts. Troop 27 and Troop 33 would like to thank the following people who helped with this event this year: Mrs. Tausta, Mrs. Gribko, Ms Beckert, Mrs. VanSteenbergen, Mrs. Staddon, Mr. Yusza, Mr. Alderate, Mr. Villwock, Mr. Pietrzyk, Mr. Smigel, Mr. Meiman. Mr. McGuinness and Mr. Rupacz. By Alexander Staddon, Troop 33
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wife to see it, and she fell in love with it. Shortly after purchasing the home on Fowler Lane, Nancy’s father came to visit and realized it was the house they had lived in so long ago. Said Boynton, “He pulled out some pictures and we were able to determine from the foundation and other existing landmarks that it was indeed the same house.” Who says you can’t go home again?
(Continued from page 20)
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Newington. The groom-to-be attended Mark T. Sheehan High School in Wallingford and holds is E2 license. He is currently an electrician for IBEW Local 90 in New Haven. The couple is planning a July wedding.
T o w n Ti m e s S e r vi c e D i r e c t o r y
Durham and Middlefield are sponsoring a free community rain barrel program. Join them on Thursday, April 22, “Earth Day 2010,” at Coginchaug Regional High School’s Earth Day Expo, from 6 to 7 p.m., and find out how you can get a free rain barrel for your home. Beverly O’Keefe, certified master gardener and certified trainer on storm water solutions will be available to demonstrate and educate on the importance of residential storm water management.
Mr. and Mrs. John Sommers, of Middlefield, announce the engagement of their son, Michael Joseph Bufano, also son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bufano, of North Haven, to Stephanie Angelina Brochetti, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Brochetti of Berlin. The bride-to-be attended Berlin High School and Central Connecticut State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education in mathematics. She is currently pursuing a masters in mathematics for elementary education teachers. She is employed by Ruth L. Chaffee Elementary School in
In Our Schools
Memorial student scores perfect on WordMasters By Stephanie Wilcox Town Times
Lilian Zhou, a sixth grader at Memorial School, recently earned a perfect score in this year’s WordMasters Challenge — a national language arts competition entered by approximately 220,000 students. In the entire country, only 128 sixth graders achieved at this level. The challenge is an exercise in critical thinking where students complete analogies expressing various logical relationships. This was the second of three meets, where 50 words were to be mastered. Competing in the Blue Division of the challenge, Zhou won highest honors during the February meet. Other Memorial students who earned outstanding results were fifth graders Seth Azevedo, Tabitha Gable, Brian Jubelirer, Ricky Sorenson, Jack French, Emily Leibiger, Sam Marteka,
Lilian Zhou Rowan O’Connell, Nicholas Pitruzzello and Katelyn Richardson; and sixth graders Lauren Badin, Patrick Holden, Gillian Murphy and Shaun Witaker. Students were coached by their fifth and sixth grade Integrated Day teachers. The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and
then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships. Working to solve the challenge analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically. Though most vocabularyboosting and analogy-solving activities have been created for high school students, the WordMasters materials have been specifically designed for younger students, in grades three through eight. They are particularly well suited for able and interested children who rise to the challenge of learning new words and enjoy the logical puzzles posed by analogies. Zhou, who said the challenge was definitely hard, was also quizzed on the words at home by her mom. “We spent a lot of time practicing,” she said. For the third and final meet still to come, with 75 words, Zhou said she’s already just a bit nervous.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Local students on honor rolls Vinal Technical High School From Durham, earning high honors are, Christopher Gasior, Jacob Bogdanski, Matthew Glidden, Brianna Gasior and earning honors are Brandan Kauffman, MaryLynn Clark, Alfonso Caturanoj, Brandon Joslyn, Christopher Ziemba, Matthew Amendola, Amanda Rogers, Mark Pavlinko and Steven Koerber. From Middlefield, earning high honors, are Robert Carle Ashleigh Schmaltz, Samantha Misenti and Stephen Wyskiel and earning honors are Richard Parker, Brittany Gervais, Thomas D’Orvilliers and William Mazo. From Rockfall, earning high honors, Lauren Bradley, Heather Zambrello and Lisa Bradley and earning honors are Ben Majewicz and Shane Phenicie. Independent Day School From Middlefield, earning high honors, Michael Eliza-
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ECO and the music department at Coginchaug Regional High School are teaming up to sponsor an Earth Day Concert Expo. The event will be held on Thursday, April 22, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. From 6 to 7 p.m. various organizations and businesses will have earth-friendly educational displays to view or products to sell. The music department will then perform music celebrating the environment at 7 p.m.
The event is free to the public. A free-will offering will be accepted to support the “Earth’s Birthday Project” through the Nature Conservancy.
There will be a variety of participants in the expo. The town of Durham is going to promote residential storm water management and kick off their rain barrel promotion. They are also hosting master gardener Beverly OKeefe, who will be doing presentations on gardening and the use of rain barrels. The Durham Farm Market, Connecticut Light and Power, Durham-Middlefield Clean Energy Task Force, Perk-onMain, the environmental clubs from Memorial and Coginchaug, and more businesses and organizations will be there to celebrate Earth Day together and spread the word on how to live more environmentally friendly lives.
ECO is still accepting applications for table space at the Earth Expo. Do you grow and produce a local food product? Do you make something out of recycled or reused products? Are you artistic and create “earthy” designs? Do you like gardening and have some plants to give away? Contact ECO for a space! If you have an earth-friendly message you would like to display, or an earth-friendly product to sell, please contact Susan Michael at 860-349-7215 ext. 235 or email@example.com.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Pumpkins (Continued from page 10)
Edna (Crowley) Hewes Edna (Crowley) Hewes, 81, of Middlefield, wife of the late Peter Buckeley Hewes, passed away on Friday, April 9, 2010, at Middlesex Hospital. Born in Bennettsville, SC, she was the daughter of the late Colon G. and Hattie (Driggers) Crowley. Edna
lived in Middlefield for the past 56 years and was a longtime member of Middlefield Federated Church. She was a member of the Middlefield Garden Club and volunteered at Middlesex Hospital. Edna is survived by her two sons, Samuel D. Hewes of Middletown and John B. Hewes of Middlefield; a brother, Carroll Crowley and his wife, Vivian, of Bennettsville, SC; five grand-
children and several nieces and nephews. Besides her husband and parents, she was predeceased by her daughter, Gayle Hewes Thody. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 17, at 10 a.m. at the Middlefield Federated Church, 402 Main Street, Middlefield, with the Rev. Dale Azevedo officiating. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. There
will be no calling hours and in lieu of flowers, friends may make donations in Edna’s memory to the Book of Remembrance of Middlefield Federated Church, 402 Main Street, Middlefield, CT 06455. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.doolittlefuneralservice.com. The Doolittle Funeral Home, 14 Old Church Street, Middletown is handling the arrangements.
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or kelp powder, but stay away from Miracle-Gro as the salt buildup can reduce your yield over time. For weeds, Team Pumpkin recommends using weed block and laying black or clear plastic over your patch. But this is getting a little bit ahead. About the time you get your plant in the ground, Team Pumpkin will be holding their next seminar. Come to the Medical Building on Canfield Rd just off of Town House Rd. (Durham Fairgrounds) on May 2 at 1 p.m. They’ll talk more about how to grow your pumpkin and how to complete an isolated pollination so that you can produce your own pure-breed giant pumpkin seeds. Novice and experienced growers are encouraged to attend. In fact, no matter how big your pumpkin masterpiece ends up, the Durham Fair will gladly display it with no entry fee. “Everybody likes pumpkins,” said Toftness. “It’s work (to grow them) but it’s worth it, and it’s always fun in the pumpkin patch.” In the meantime, for more information, visit www.teampumpkin.org.
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Town Times Sports
Friday, April 16, 2010
Benchwarmers congratulate the five winter sports athletes of the month By Chris Flanagan Special to the Town Times
Audtey Biesak Wearing #14 and playing shooting guard for fourthyear coach Tony Calcagni, Audrey was one of a trio of “super-sophs” on the CRHS girls basketball team, a pivotal player who was instrumental in the Lady Blue Devils outstanding season. Biesak typically scored 12 to 14 points per game and played great defense, adding assists and rebounding with speed and athleticism.
Audrey Biesak “No one expected us to be this good, but I was confident right from the beginning of
the season,” said Audrey. She explained that this is a group of players who have competed together since middle school, playing as a unit on various travel and AAU teams. “I think that this is a bit different group than in recent years. We’re committed and well prepared; we’re good athletes and we go all out, even on defense. And coach got us into shape and kept us there,” she commented. It’s hard to argue with the results, for sure. The team went 7-0 before losing a game
and finished the regular season 17-3. Seeded first in the Shoreline tourney, they lost again to Portland in the semifinal game and were stung again by the Highlanders in the semi final game in Class S. So revenge is on Biesak’s mind, no doubt. “Next year, coach will have the returning players ready. I expect nothing less than to go to the finals in the conference and to go to the Mohegan Sun (the state finals).” Tayler Dontigney A senior cheerleader, Tayler is being recognized for
T o wn T im es S e rv ic e Di re ct ory
the third year in a row, more than any other student since we started this series six years ago. Captain of the Blue squad, and generally recognized as the leader of the group, Tayler mentioned that it was a “really good season with a lot to cheer about, especially the girls b-ball team.” Dontigney mentioned that the girls recently finished a New England regional competition, finishing third overall in the non-tumbling division and winning a trophy and a cash prize that will be utilized for cheering camp this summer. Tayler choreographed and picked all the music for the routine.
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“I’m really proud of my teammates. They put all-out effort into the season. They worked hard, and it’s appreciated.” For her own effort, Tayler made first team AllShoreline again this year. Tayler also competed in volleyball and softball, but has decided to take the spring season off to enjoy her last few weeks of high school, hanging out, working out and working part time until she starts her summer job at a restaurant. She has concentrated on business studies as a student and would like to attend Western New England College or Quinnipiac University and major in marketing. She would like to continue to cheer, as well, if she can balance that with her studies. An ideal career for her would be in sports marketing for ESPN. Garri Saganenko Garri is a senior who has just completed his indoor track career for coach Marty Roberts. In only his second year, he was able to break three school records in run-
See AOM next page
Town Times Sports
Friday, April 16, 2010
AOM (Continued from page 24) ning events this year, both individually and as a relay team member. Saganenko improved the school record for the 600 meter run with a 1:27.8
peting in multiple events for coach Dave Bellemere. Previously, she spent two seasons cheering on the White squad but came to realize that “I’m not really the cheerleading type.” She thought it was fun, but wanted to try something new during the winter season. Malcolm practiced at a number of events such as high jump, long jump and the 55m dash, but expressed a fondness for 55m hurdles, not everyone’s first choice. “It’s fun, and I didn’t get bored with it,” she said. At the Shoreline meet, the team did-
n’t finish very well. Hannah mentioned that a number of injuries hurt the cause, and some seniors did not come back this year. “For next year, it would be good if the level of involvement picks up,” Hannah added Hannah also was on the volleyball team and one of three captains this season. She also was on the softball team for three seasons but has decided to stretch her track season a bit further by competing in the outdoor season. She will try the two hurdles, the 100 and the 300, the long jump and the javelin for
something altogether new. Malcolm has been accepted to two colleges as a special education major, but she is also considering making her love of history a core concentration. Keene State and Eastern are in the mix, and Hannah’s thinking that the Willimantic school may get the nod so that she can remain close to family and friends. Erikson Wasyl Sophomore Erikson Wasyl played point guard wearing #23 for coach Todd Salva this
See AOM, next page
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time, and he was part of two relay teams that established new marks for the school, the sprint medley and the 4x400 relay. The team made a good showing at the Shorelines this year, finishing second to Old Saybrook. If it were not for a technical gaffe which caused a disqualification, the Blue Devils would have won the meet, losing the championship by a mere two points. The indoor team also made a good showing at States, finishing in the upper third, 10th out of 31 teams. Garri set his personal best time in the 600 and finished seventh overall, just out of the medal group. It was a very competitive field with the new Class S record set in the same heat. The outdoor season has already begun, and Saganenko is encouraged with both personal and team prospects. He will compete in the 400M, the 4x400 relay and the 4x800 relay, a new event for him. “I would like the team to win the Shoreline meet handily; I don’t want it to be close. I would also like to set the school record in the 400 and go to the State Open on the 4x400 team. Also, I think we can be top five in the States,” he said. Garri will take a year off after graduation to work, travel, gather himself and mature. Once in college, he will study writing and journalism. Hannah Malcolm Senior Hannah Malcolm has just completed an enjoyable second season on the girls’ indoor track team, com-
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Town Times Sports
The climax to the intramural basketball season at Korn School is the student vs staff game. Students from the top two teams defeated the Korn staff 53 to 51.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Middlesex golf tournament
The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament will be held Friday, May 7, at the Portland Golf Club in Portland. The fee is $165 per golfer. The proceeds of the tournament supports the activities of the chamber. Registration is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast in the clubhouse. The tournament begins at 9:30 a.m. Lunch and refreshments will be served at 11 a.m. From 3 to 4 p.m. the results will be recorded during a cocktail hour in the pavilion. Dinner is at 4 p.m. and awards at 5 p.m. One of the things that make this tournament such a wellreceived event is their great “after the game” festivities, including cocktails, dinner and prizes for all. Minimum prize value is $30, and in response to the increasingly generous gifts being received, all gifts worth more than $100 will be printed in bold type in the program. To donate a prize for the tournament, contact Johanna Bond at email@example.com at your earliest convenience.
season, another successful one for the CRHS cagers. At the one spot, perhaps the most pivotal single position in bball, Erikson broke through as an underclassman, keeping up with the more experienced, older players and enabling the Blue Devils to compile a 16-8 record overall, including tournament games. Erikson admitted that he felt “lucky to be surrounded by older quality players” and said it was a big factor in both personal and team success. As playmaker, scorer and defender, Wasyl proved he was up to the task time and again. But another factor is the experience he has gained by competing in the AAU pro-
Photo submitted by Eileen Chupron
T o wn T im es S e rv ic e Di re ct ory BUYING OR SELLING REAL ESTATE?
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16 Main Street • Durham, CT • (860) 349-6901
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V.M.B. Custom Builders “No jobs too big or small” Mike Gerchy
Specializing in Historic Renovations and Custom Cabinets, Additions, Decks & Roofs 35 Maiden Lane Durham, CT 06422 (860) 398-0785 VMBCustombuilders@live.com
Architectural & Landscape Design • Build Natural Stone • Residential & Commercial Design Professionally • New Construction & Renovation Designed into • Landscape Design & Installation Buildings & • Green Design & Energy Efficiency Landscapes
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Custom Building & Remodeling Contractor 1153218
POOL WATER (203) 237-3500
280 Old Pent Road, Guilford, CT 06437 4 minutes from Durham Center Five Star Performance Horses LLC email@example.com
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gram during the off season, which he feels is a high level of competition, somewhat beyond league play. He also mentioned that he got started playing the game very early at maybe two or three years of age. He still remembers the Fisher Price set his parents bought for him years ago. Erikson is looking forward to a really good season next year. Though there are some spots to fill “in the paint,” Wasyl sees a good returning core along with up and coming JV players. His personal commitment is to work on his defensive pressure, force the action and create offense. The AAU season is already underway, and he will further his conditioning next fall by competing in soccer once again. His wish is to play in Division II or III in college some day, but he realizes that his education comes first. Sports marketing and coaching are possible career choices, but right now, that seems rather far away to a kid having fun making good plays.
Town Times Sports
Friday, April 16, 2010
Durham’s Men’s Basketball League, round two By Scott Stange Special to the Town Times
Experience makes the difference.
FESTIVAL ACTIVITIES SCHEDULE OF
EVENTS SATURDAY, APRIL 17 & SUNDAY, APRIL 18, 2009 PARKING IS PERMITTED IN HUBBARD PARK FOR ALL EVENTS ON SATURDAY, APRIL 17TH AND SUNDAY, APRIL 18TH Refreshments for purchase will be available to all park visitors Saturday and Sunday
SATURDAY, APRIL 17TH
TAG SALE CONNECTICUT’S LARGEST! Under the Festival Tent Hubbard Park, West Main Street, Meriden, CT 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM rain or shine Come by to browse & buy at the area’s largest tag sale...and while you’re at it, take a stroll through historic Hubbard Park among the 600,001 blooming daffodils...
SATURDAY, APRIL 17TH
FISHING DERBY AT MIRROR LAKE 10 AM UNTIL 11:30 AM The derby is open to anyone age 15 and under. Children are encouraged to bring their own rods (a limited number of rods will be available for use). Live bait will be available. Prizes will be given for heaviest fish & longest fish. All participants will have the opportunity to win raffle prizes at the conclusion of the Derby.
SATURDAY, APRIL 17TH
CASTLE CRAIG CHAMPIONSHIPS Under the Tennis Court Tent
Presented by Beat the Street Community Center, Inc. First Bout Starts at 1:00 PM Admission: Adults $15.00 Students $7.00 Age 6 and Under FREE Tickets Available at the Door. Call 686-1639 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNDAY, APRIL 18, 2010 MERIDEN ROTARY DAFFODIL FESTIVAL 5K ROAD RACE 10 AM RAIN OR SHINE REGISTRATION 8:00 - 9:45 AM
1/2 MILE KIDS FUN RUN AROUND MIRROR LAKE SUNDAY, APRIL 18 FAIRVIEW PAVILION/HALFWAY HOUSE DEDICATION CEREMONY Parking available on Tower Road
360 Main Street Durham, CT 06455 Phone: (860) 349-5300 Pamela Sawicki-Beaudoin
Lisa Golebiewski, ABR, GRI
Cell: (203) 623-9959
Cell: (203) 631-7912
en Op 1-3 n Su
SUNDAY, APRIL 18TH Augusta Curtis Concert Band plays Concert at Hubbard Park The Augusta Curtis Concert Band will be playing a benefit concert for the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center on the tennis courts under a large tent in Hubbard Park. This 42 member band featuring community residents from ages 13 to 80 will perform for your listening pleasure. 3:30 PM
Under the Event Tent at Hubbard Park Admission $5.00 Children under 7 free. 40 Main St., Durham
55 Old Farms Rd. New Listing! Large 3 bedroom Raised Ranch located in quiet neighborhood. Beautiful, level park like yard with patio & inground pool, perfect for entertaining. Light & bright interior featuring fresh paint, new carpet & updated baths. Only $299,900. Call Jason Berardino #860-5081656. DIR: Rt. 17 to Stagecoach Rd. to Old Farms Rd.
PARKING IS PERMITTED IN HUBBARD PARK FOR ALL SATURDAY, 17TH & SUNDAY, 18TH EVENTS Refreshments for purchase will be available to all park visitors Saturday and Sunday
Children’s Carnival Rides Rides will be open Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18. Weather Permitting
Call (860) 554-5007
AGES 12 AND UNDER
PT Gardener Plant and maintain flowerbeds General upkeep of the garden. Two days per week at residence and one day per week at office location.
league MVP Adam Poturnicki in the post. Poturnicki went on a tear, scoring 16 of Torrison’s 30 first half points. Jason Troiano’s three-pointer midway through the second half capped a 33-10 run by Torrison, during which Red took virtually no shot uncontested. The second half lead built to 20 points with just over six minutes remaining. After a Mark Fong three, Ryan Cove dumped in an offbalance three-pointer and was fouled on the play, giving Red a quick seven points and starting the unexpected comeback. Again loose balls started to end up in Red players’ hands, and uncharacteristically Torrison was often out of position on defense. Cove was again fouled attempting a threepointer, and made two of three at the line. Pete Lynch got called for a lane violation on a made free throw that would have put Torrison up by two. Sullivan tied the game at 57 with the first of two foul shots, but was unable to make the second, and regulation ended with the score 57-57. Cove and Poturnicki each added a basket, to make it 59-59, as the teams went to a second overtime. Poturnicki took over the rest of the way, finishing with four of Torrison’s five points, all at the foul line, to wrap up the championship. Cove finished with 26, and Sullivan had 15 to lead Red. Poturnicki finished with 27, and Jeremy Lobo had 13 for Torrison. 1148147
Once again Torrison Stone used a strong second half to overcome a slow start in a 5540 victory over Tim Schuler’s Orange team. With the win, Torrison (2-0) advanced to the tournament championship played April 8. Pete Donceker (14 pts) provided most of the Orange offense as they led after the first half, 23-22, but Torrison took the lead early in the second half on the scoring of Mark Pfister’s nine points (10 total) and cruised the rest of the way. Adam Poturnicki led Torrison with 13, and Tyler Gerry scored 10. Dave Blair and Ryan Donecker picked up seven each for Orange (1-1). Mark Fong’s 14 first-half points and Paul DeFlippo’s 13 second-half points (15 total) led Red (1-1) to an upset victory 5849 over the Young Gunz (0-2) in the loser’s bracket game. Alex Schade did most of the Gunz scoring in the first half, but got into foul trouble, fouling out with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Red took a six-point lead into the half and never trailed in the second half, but had to rely on great free throw shooting by Paul and Frank DeFlippo to hold on at the end, shooting 18 of 23 for the game. Frank and Mark Fong led Red overall with 16 each, and Matt Sullivan scored nine. Greg Bereski scored nine, and Eric Sumpter had eight for the Young Gunz, whose season ends with the loss. Matt Sullivan was simply outstanding as Red shocked Orange 63-53 to advance to the league championship. Sully’s 33 points, including eight three-pointers, was the top sin-
gle performance in either category this year. Mark Fong was also impressive on the boards, and Red never trailed. Ryan Donecker had a big second half for Orange, and they briefly tied the game at 44, but it was Sullivan, Mark Jungels and Paul DeFlippo who led the late scoring to secure the win. Despite winning four of their prior five games, the two losses brings their season to an end. Donecker finished with 14, while Dave Blair added 13, and John Szewczyk had 10 for Orange. Team captain Frank DeFlippo scored 10 and Roe Granger picked up six in the victory for Red. Torrison claims title in classic two OT Mens League Final Torrison Stone suffered through a lethargic start, and then watched a 20-point second-half lead evaporate, but held on to complete their undefeated season with a 64-60 double overtime win over Frank DeFlippo’s Red team in the league championship game. Torrison did not look like a 12-0 team early. They were out-rebounded by the smaller Red lineup, and committed numerous turnovers. A Matt Sullivan three-pointer midway through the first half capped a 12-5 run to give Red a 17-10 lead. Following a timeout, Torrison came out with stifling defense by Tyler Gerry and Mark Pfister out front, and constant feeds down to
Friday, April 16, 2010
NO BIDDING? NO KIDDING. DON’T LET CONNECTICUT OFFICIALS REMOVE BIDDING NOTICES FROM THE NEWSPAPER. KEEP THE BIDDING PROCESS OPEN! Pending legislation (substitute bill #365) may remove bidding notices from newspapers, moving them from the public domain to government controlled web sites. We’re concerned. And you should be, too. Bidding notices like public notices are an important tool in assuring an informed citizenry. They have helped develop America into a participatory democracy for hundreds of years and where it counts the most: how your tax dollars are spent, how policy is made and how our futures are charted. They are located in easy-to-find sections of your newspaper. And they are fully accessible to
everyone - unlike the internet, which is not accessible to everyone. Less than 10% of the U.S. population views a local, state or federal government website daily, according to the May 2009 release of U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Estimates of Resident Population. This means more than nine out of ten people may never see a given notice. This compares dramatically to the fact that 83% of adults read a community newspaper every week, according to the National Newspaper Association. Furthermore, a bidding notice printed in the newspaper produces a permanent record. The internet does not, nor does it assure timeliness. And a newspaper is archived for years; not subject to computer crashes and hackers. Newspapers are easily verifiable, fully
transparent and represent a secure third party who has nothing to gain from any notice. Connecticut’s recent ethical lapses shed a glaring light on the full meaning of this problem. It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Every bidding notice, which runs in a Connecticut daily newspaper, is automatically uploaded to that newspaper’s web site and CTPublicNotices.org. Newspapers are your watchdogs. Don’t let that role be changed now. Voice your opinion. To keep your notices in the newspaper, contact your local elected officials or call: Governor Jodi Rell - 860.566.4840 Senate Democrats - 860.240.8600 House Democrats - 860.240.8500 Senate Republicans - 860.240.8800 House Republicans - 860.240.8700
Visit www.ctdailynews.com to contact your legislator today
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