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Volume 18, Issue 21

Serving Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall

Friday, September 2, 2011

She came. She conquered. She left: Hurricane Irene

Above left, Ava Pitruzzello, Sophie Edson of Old Lyme, Cal Pitruzzello at 53 Day School Drive in Middlefield; Above right, Our Lady of the Leaves: a statue of the Virgin Mary in front of Notre Dame Church on Main Street in Durham is surrounded by some of the small branches that fell during Hurricane Irene. Photo at left by Amy A. Pitruzzello; at right by Sue VanDerzee

Complaints aired over new bus routes at BOE meeting By Mark Dionne Special to the Town Times

Last June, when the Board of Education (BOE) voted in favor of money-saving — bus routes with fewer stops — a member of the transportation study group said, “If you can get through one whole year... and take the backlash, the district will be better off for it.” Some of that backlash appeared at the BOE’s Aug. 24 meeting, the first meeting of the 2011-12 school year. The frequently emotional and occasionally contentious public comments lasted over an hour as parents listed numerous complaints about the new busing plan. Residents complained about unsafe walks, the

dropping of stops at several area day care facilities, longer rides and, in some cases, the lack of response from Regional School District 13’s (RSD13) central office. “It’s insulting to us that kids have to walk on dangerous roads,” said one parent, adding, “I’m very disappointed in this school district.” Most parents spoke about their specific stops: “They want me to walk him up a street where cars fly by.” “I’m not quite sure where the children are supposed to stand and wait for the bus.” Dolphin Days and the streets off of Stagecoach Road in Durham were the stops mentioned most often. Parents spoke about walks through areas where fatal ac-

cidents have occurred, and several raised the specter of kidnapping. The transportation line of the budget was cut by $40,000. Parents suggested alternatives to the board, including salary cuts, increasing class sizes and switching bus companies. Several parents said the savings was not worth the changes. “You need to find the $40,000,” said parent Jen Zettergren. BOE chair Tom Hennick began the meeting by saying, “We’ll be happy to listen to what you have to say, but we have to do it in an orderly fashion,” and several times had to request decorum at the meeting. One resident demanded to See BOE, page 3

Due to Hurricane Irene, the first day of school in District 13 has been pushed back to Sept. 6

Above, Hurricane Irene storm damage in Middlefield and in Durham, at left. See stories and more photos on the hurricane on page 8 and 22-23. Photos by Stephanie Wilcox and Elaine Chhabra

Town Times Community Briefs

Index of Advertisers

Open Air Market rescheduled The Wadsworth Mansion Open Air Market planned for Sunday, Aug. 28, has been rescheduled for Sunday, Oct.

Corrections We strive to bring you the most accurate information available each week, but if you see something in Town Times that isn’t quite right, give us a call at 860-349-8000, and we’ll do our best to make things right.

2nd annual Pedal for Pink at Durham Fitness October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the National Cancer Society, since the awareness program began in 1985, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older, and as a result, breast cancer deaths have been on the decline. Durham Fitness is helping to spread the word for early detection by having its second annual Pedal for Pink on Sunday, Oct. 16. According to owner Kristen Kleeman, the event will take place at Durham Fitness, 6 Main Street; from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. Riders and friends are invited to take part in Spinfest, a barbeque sponsored by Durham Fitness and area restaurants with music and more! Anyone can participate in this fun, exciting event. The event is open to both gym members and non-gym members alike. We ask for a

minimum donation of $20 which includes the Spinfest and a shirt. Proceeds will be donated to breast cancer awareness. Come show your support! For more information or to sign up for Pedal for Pink, please call Durham Fitness at 860-349-2480 or visit us on our Facebook page “Durhamfitness, Durham Connecticut”

4 C’s Square Dance Club kick-off The Durham Cogin-Chuggers and the Cheshire Cats Square Dance clubs have merged to form the new “4 C’s Square Dance Club.” The club will hold their New Club Kick-Off Dance on Friday, Sept. 9, at Brewster School, Tuttle Road in Durham, from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Bill Mager will be the caller and Sue Lucibello the cuer. Donation is $6 per person. The 4 C’s Square Dance Club will hold its second dance of the season on Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Cheshire Park and Recreation Building, 559 South Main St. in Cheshire, at 7 p.m. with Ken Ritucci as caller and Sue Lucibello the cuer. For more information, please call 860349-8084 or 203-272-7463.

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MASONICARE..........................15 MICKEY FINN’S........................15 MIDDLEFIELD HOUSING AUTHORITY................................3 MIDDLEFIELD REMODELING.18 MIDDLESEX DANCE CENTER ..13 MIDDLESEX HEALTH CARE.....5 MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL ..........11 MOVADO FARM.......................21 NEIL JONES HOME IMPROVEMENTS.....................17 NEW ENGLAND DENTAL........14 NORTHFORD FAMILY DENTAL...3 ORTHODONTIC SPECIALIST ...6 PRETE CHIROPRACTIC ................11 PROFESSIONAL SECURITY ..18 RAINTREE LANDSCAPING.....21 RANEY, JASON, DMD .............14 REALTY ASSOCIATES............23 REDWOOD COUNTRY FLEA MARKET ...................................12 RLI ELECTRIC..........................17 ROBLEE PLUMBING................21 ROCKFALL CO.........................22 ROCKWELL EXCAVATION & PAVING.....................................20 RSDL HOME IMPROVEMENTS .22 RUDOLPH’S LANDSCAPING ....6 SINGLES ALTERNATIVES .....14 SISTERS CLEANING SERVICE .20 SNOW SERVICES......................3 T-N-T HOME & LAWNCARE....20 THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE & BODYWORK.............................20 TILE RENOVATORS ................22 TORRISON STONE & GARDEN 19 UNCLE BOB’S FLOWER & GARDEN .....................................3 V. NANFITO ROOFING & SIDING .14 VMB CUSTOM BUILDERS ......18 WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY .........5 WHITEHOUSE CONSTRUCTION..21 WINDOW MAN .........................13 WINDOWS PLUS .....................10 YALE UNIVERSITY ....................6

Applications may be made at the Assessor’s Office, Town Hall, 393 Jackson Hill Road, Middlefield, each workday from 9 a.m. until noon and from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. (Fridays until 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 860349-7111.

Friday, September 2, 2011

23, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Hurricane predictions prompted the organizers to select another date for the annual market that draws thousands of people to the historic estate in Middletown.


ADDY & SONS..........................22 ADWORKS................................14 ALLAN’S TREE SERVICE........22 APEC ELECTRIC......................19 APPLE RE-HAB MIDDLETOWN12 BERARDINO COMPANY REALTORS...............................23 BINGE, BRUCE ........................17 BLACK DOG ...............................7 BONTERRA ITALIAN BISTRO.13 BOYLIN, WILLIAM ...................11 BROCKETT PAVING & CONSTRUCTION .....................18 CAHILL & SONS.......................22 CARLTON INTERIORS ............13 CARMINE’S RESTAURANT.......3 CENTURION EXTERMINATING.19 CLASSIC NAILS .......................19 CONROY, JOHN, DMD ............12 COUNTRY LANDSCAPING .....19 CT GYMNASTICS/TAG TEAM.10 CV ENTERPRISES...................20 DANNY’S UNLIMITED..............22 DEAN AUTOWORKS .................7 DRUMMOND’S CLEANING .....19 DURHAM AUTO PARTS ..........17 DURHAM DENTAL .....................7 DURHAM FAMILY EYECARE..12 DURHAM NATUROPATHIC HEALTH ......................................6 DURHAM TOWN NOTICE .........7 EASTER SEALS GOODWILL ..16 EDIBLE ARRANGMENTS........24 EXECUTIVE OFFICES.............20 FUGGE, DAVID, M ...................18 GLAZER DENTAL ASSOCIATES ..11 GRANT GROUNDSCAPES .....22 GRISWOLD PLUMBING SERVICES ................................18 HITCHIN’ POST ........................23 HOME WORKS.........................21 IANNIELLO PLUMBING ...........17 J.A. GYMNASTIC......................24 JAY LANDSCAPING.................21 JC FARM & GREENHOUSE ......7 JOE RIFF’S MUSIC ..................10 LEMA, WILLIAM J, DMD ............5 LINO’S MARKET.........................2 LYMAN ORCHARDS..................3

Bring proof of your 2010 income, including a copy of your 1040, if you file with the IRS, and your SSA-1099 plus proof of rent and utility payments for the year 2010.


The state of Connecticut offers Rent Relief to Elderly and Disabled Renters through a program administered locally by the assessor. Eligible applicants usually receive a rebate check from the state based upon their level of income, and their rental and utility expenses. At the moment, the amount of the rebate cannot be forecast due to the state budget crisis.

In order to qualify, you must be over 65 as of Dec. 31, 2010, or eligible to collect permanent Social Security disability benefits (current proof of disability is required). You must have resided in Connecticut for a one year period prior to applying. Your overall income for 2010 must be less than $32,300 for a single person and $39,500 for a married couple. All income is counted, including wages, pensions, interest, Social Security, and any other taxable and non-taxable income. You must apply on or before Sept. 15.


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Friday, September 2, 2011


(From page 1)

themes, and the day care issue was one of them,” said member Kerrie Flanagan. After much discussion, members decided to approve potential changes in both practice and policy, allowing buses to stop at licensed day care facilities, even if those facilities are in cul-de-sacs. The new plan had eliminated approximately 350 stops, including nearly all cul-desacs. Viccaro said that she would pull together the complaints from day care centers. To be considered, the day care facilities need to be licensed with requests in writing, and the stops would still not be automatic.


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Sugarloaf Terrace, in the Rockfall section of Middlefield, is now accepting preapplications for occupancy. Sugarloaf Terrace is a low-income, elderly housing complex; HUD subsidizes rents for qualified persons. The waiting list is now open and will close again on September 8, 2011. Applications can be picked up at Middlefield Housing Authority, 1 Sugarloaf Terrace, Rockfall, CT. Applications must be received by the Housing Authority on or before September 7, 2011.




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Events........................................... 4 Durham Town Briefs.................12 Libraries................................ 10-11 Middlefield Town Briefs.......13-14 Sports........................................ 19

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hours per week for the rest of the fiscal year. Although this is to be a temporary hire not affecting the budget, Viccaro emphasized that the need to comply with data collection mandates is not going away. The board also agreed to meet to consider a candidate for the business manager’s position, vacated by Ron Melnik. The next BOE meeting will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at John Lyman School.


Members also decided to put a statement out on RSD13’s website regarding the complaint process and composing an informational letter to help central office’s Eileen Bengtson deal with

the volume of complaints. According to Johnson, day cares could add 21 stops back into the system, involving multiple buses and schools. Data collection mandates require staffing In other news, the Connecticut Department of Education has expanded the amount and type of data districts are mandated to collect. The data will go to programs called Teacher Course Student (TCS) and Special Education Data Application Collection (SEDAC) with deadlines in September and November. Hennick commented that the timeline “borders on the absurd.” Member Nancy Boyle said, “They’re expecting us to do this out of thin air in a month?” At Viccaro’s suggestion, the board approved using federal grant money to hire a data entry person for 12.5


know what the BOE members were paid. “Nothing,” Hennick responded, pointing out that they were volunteers. The resident later pledged to run for the BOE. The backlash started soon after the bus routes were released the weekend of Aug. 1314. Dr. Joseph Ochterski, a member of the district’s Transportation Committee, described the following Monday as “a hornet’s nest.” Superintendent Sue Viccaro estimated that the office has received more than a hundred calls. DATTCO representative Phil Johnson estimated that he received 50 calls. After the public comment portion of the meeting ended and the library at Strong School cleared out, members considered how to best address the concerns. “There were some very common


Town Times

The Middlefield Housing Authority does not discriminate based on race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, age, lawful source of income, familial status, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation. EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY

Town Times & Places


September 2 Bridge Night Come join in at the Durham Activity Center every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. for a fun night of bridge with great people. If you are not sure how to play, Jim will teach you. You may call Jim at 860-346-6611 for bridge questions. Call Durham Recreation at 860-343-6724 with further questions. Baked Bean Supper Take a break from the hot kitchen and come enjoy an old-fashioned, home-cooked meal without the cooking. Come to the final baked bean supper held at the United Churches at 6 p.m. in the airconditioned Fellowship Hall, located at 228R Main St. in Durham. The baked bean supper is a local tradition, featuring dishes such as baked beans, scalloped corn, macaroni dishes, salads and homemade breads and pies. All are welcome; call 860-3493683 for prices and info.


September 3 Corn Maze The 12th annual Corn Maze at Lyman Orchards will be open today through Oct. 10, with over two miles of trails and about 100 decision points throughout four acres of towering corn stalks. Visitors can walk through the maze on their own just for fun, use a map to plan their route or answer trivia questions along the way to point them in the right direction. One dollar of each ticket sold is donated to the American Cancer Society. Groups are welcome. For hours, pricing, discount coupons and additional info, call Lyman Orchards at 860349-1793 or visit . Dudley Farmers’ Market The Farmers’ Market at the Dudley Farm, corner of routes 77 and 80 in North Guilford, is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct. 29. Local and organic produce, herbs, eggs, flowers, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, soaps, jewelry, knitted things, gift items and more home-

made and homegrown items are sold. Tag Sale & Flea Market Notre Dame Church on Main Street in Durham will have their monthly tag sale and flea market, rain or shine, in their church hall, church garage, parking lot and lawn today from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Featuring household goods, pots and pans, dishes, craft and sewing supplies, furniture, clothing, antiques, collectibles, books and anything else you might need or want. A jewelry table and 30 tag sale tables with thousands of items are set up in the air-conditioned church hall. Breakfast and lunch are available for purchase. There are 40 vendors in the parking lot. Vendor space is available by calling Bob at 860-349-0356. The final sale is Oct. 1.


September 5 Durham Senior Lunches Every Monday and Wednesday, hot lunches are available for seniors over 60 and their spouses at the Durham Activity Center located at 350 Main St. Following the lunches on Mondays is game time which includes billiards, Wii and cards. For pricing info and to make a reservation, call Amanda Astarita, senior café manager, at 860-349-3153. Middlefield Senior Lunches The Middlefield Senior Café is serving lunch three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Reservations are required 24 hours prior, and their monthly menu can be picked up at the center, Town Hall or on their website:


September 6 Opening Day for Students The first day of school for the 2011-12 school year for students in Regional District 13 is today. Women’s A Capella SING! Valley Shore Chorus of Sweet Adelines International invites women to sing in their four-part harmony a capella group. Practice includes basic music

theory and styles. Our members carpool together from all over CT. Check us out on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Parish Hall, 47 Oak St. in Middletown. Call Joan at 860-767-8540 for information. Destination Durham Every Tuesday at 1 and 7 p.m. on Comcast Channel 19, Destination Durham will be aired for those living in Durham. DVDs are also available at the Levi Coe and Durham libraries. Learn About Lyme Disease A discussion of the basics of Lyme disease, including diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and precautions you can take to protect yourself, will be today from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Wallingford Public Library (200 North Main St.) with Jay Humphrey, PA-C. Call 203 265 6754 to register. Senior Center Bocce Come to the Middlefield Community Center every Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. for bocce. This is a great way to enjoy summer with neighbors and friends. This is the second to last session. For more information, call the center at 860-349-7121.


September 7 Durham Senior Lunches Every Monday and Wednesday, hot lunches are available for seniors over 60 and their spouses at the Durham Activity Center located at 350 Main St. Bingo starts at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays. For pricing info and to make a reservation, call Amanda Astarita, senior café manager, at 860-349-3153. Parent Info Night Parent Information Night is tonight. For John Lyman: grades K-2 is at 6 p.m. and grades 3-4 is at 7:30 p.m. For Brewster: at 6 p.m. TOPS Open House TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the Middlesex chapter, will be holding an open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Adult Day Center (32 Miner St. in Middletown). Free to the public. This is a non-profit, low-cost program. For more info, call Joan at 860-349-8669.

Friday, September 2, 2011 THURSDAY

September 8 Produce Collection John Lyman School students will be collecting home-grown vegetables and fruits today. Produce may be dropped off in the boxes in the John Lyman School lobby between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Donations from the community are welcome. The produce will be delivered to the residents of Sugarloaf Senior Housing in Middlefield and Mauro Meadows in Durham. Contact Margo Novak, John Lyman School, at 860-349-7240 or with any questions. Farmers’ Market The final Durham Farmers’ Market of the season is today from 3 to 6 p.m. Today’s theme is Harvest Festival. Visit for info. Memorial Open House Memorial School will have its open house at 6:30 p.m.


September 9 Bridge Night Come join in at the Durham Activity Center every Friday night at 6:30 p.m. for a fun night of bridge with great people. If you are not sure how to play, Jim will teach you. You may call Jim at 860-346-6611 for bridge questions. Call Durham Recreation at 860-343-6724 with further questions. 4 C’s Square Dance Club The Durham Cogin-Chuggers and the Cheshire Cats Square Dance clubs have merged to form the new “4 C’s Square Dance Club.” The club will hold their New Club Kick-Off Dance at Brewster School from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Bill Mager will be the caller and Sue Lucibello the cuer. For more information, please call 860-349-8084 or 203-272-7463.


September 10 Dudley Farmers’ Market The Farmers’ Market at the Dudley Farm, corner of routes 77 and 80 in North Guilford, is held every Sat-

urday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct. 29. Local and organic produce, herbs, eggs, flowers, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, soaps, jewelry, knitted things, gift items and more homemade and homegrown items are sold.


September 11 9-11 Remembrance The 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony will begin with a bell ringing at the United Churches. The bell will toll at 8:46 a.m., the precise moment of the first attack on the World Trade Center, and at 9:02 a.m., the moment of the attack on the second tower. We ask that each resident pause to observe these moments in silence and reflection and listen for the sound of the church bell as it tolls for those lost in the attack. At 6 p.m. the annual 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony will be on the south end of the town green. All members of our community are encouraged to join those who serve our town through volunteerism in emergency services, community service and town government, as well as those who have served our nation in the armed services as we mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Patriotic Tribute The Vocal Chords will host a 10th anniversary 9/11 patriotic tribute at the Bushnell at 2 p.m. This is going to be quite spectacular as firemen, policemen, EMS, military, bagpipers, honor/color guards and local dignitaries will be participating. If you know of any one that belongs to any of these organizations and who would be interested in participating please have them contact Sandy Zajac at 860-347-2688. A Cultural Hero In a free program, legendary pianist Byron Janis talks of his new book and his triumph over arthritis — and plays in memory of the victims of 9/11. Janis, the first American pianist to play in the Soviet Union and one of the towering figures of classical music, comes to Chester in a free program at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek today at 3 p.m.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Town Times

With power out, emergency shelter opened at CRHS By Mark Dionne Special to the Town Times Editor’s note: We hope that, by the time you read this, power is fully restored in Durham and Middlefield!

Submission reminder

The shelter, which opened using an emergency generator, offered food, water, show-

ers, cots and power chargers. People also were allowed to bring their pets to the shelter. Members of the Durham Animal Response Team (DART) were on hand to assist with pets, who had

to be leashed or caged. According to the reverse 911 message sent out, “the Town of Durham emergency shelter will be open 24 hours until power is fully restored in town.”

In the afternoon on Monday, fewer than 40 residents had taken advantage of the shelter. Middlefield residents would not have been turned away.


USPS 021-924 Published weekly by Record-Journal Publishing Co., d/b/a Town Times, P.O. Box 265, Middlefield, CT 06455. Periodicals Postage Paid at Middlefield, CT and at additional mailing offices. P O S T M A S T E R: Send address changes to Town Times, P.O. Box 265, Middlefield, CT 06455.


The Town Times welcomes submissions regarding upcoming events happening in the community (send to by noon Mondays). We do our best to run submissions at least once. However, due to space constraints, we cannot guarantee a submission will be published a specific date. To ensure your submission runs exactly as you would like, contact our sales representative Joy Boone at 860349-8026, or e-mail for a paid-for ad. Thank you.

On Monday, Aug. 29, at 9 a.m., Durham’s Emergency Management Department opened a shelter at Coginchaug Regional High School (CRHS) in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Town Times

Perseverance pays off for long-time Durham store owner By Diana Carr Special to the Town Times It’s a labor of love. It’s a result of many years of hard work. It signifies success. And it’s the place its 86-yearold owner, Carolyn Adams, delights in going to every day. Carolyn Adams Country Barn is not only a landmark in Durham but also a reminder to us all that perseverance and following your heart can bring you to a place in your life where you never tire of going to work.

Carolyn Adams in her store.

Photo by Diana Carr

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“I had been in manufacturing for 20 years, and I was ready for a change. And I like working with people. This just seemed like a natural expansion of our company. People said I was crazy and that no one would ever come to Durham except for the fair. Getting it up and running was exciting and an adventure. I never have doubts. I knew I could make it work.”



Adams, who lives in Middletown now after many years of residing in Durham, started her business in 1974 “as the lighting barn of Durham. We were a factory outlet back then for our own lighting company. My hus-

band and I owned Lehrolite, which was originally in Wallingford. Shortly thereafter, we expanded Carolyn Adams Country Barn from lighting to gifts, furniture and accessories. We started out with 1,200 square feet, and we now have 12,000 square feet. It took a few years, though. It wasn’t easy.

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In the late 1960s, Adams and her husband bought the property that now sports Carolyn Adams Country Barn. They moved into the house that was there at the time, and a few years later she started her business in the red barn that we all know so well. Ten years ago, she built Adams Commons, a 20,000 square foot building next door that she rents out to other stores. “Women in business today face different challenges,” says Adams, “because of their dual roles. They work, and they take care of their families. The majority of store owners here are women, and the fact that we are all very supportive of each other has contributed to everyone’s success. “Business in general has changed. We’re unique because of our excellent, personalized service. Customers say they don’t get service like this in other places. It’s because we know our products. “We think of our customers as friends. We have conversations with them. When someone walks

Friday, September 2, 2011


Town Times

Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education fall program

Adams (Continued from page 6) through the door and we ask them how they are, we mean it. And if they’ve got a story, we’re right there. “In addition to the customer service and friendliness, they get a unique product. We don’t buy things in bulk; we buy them one at a time. And we try to buy as many American-made things as possible.”


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“I love the interaction with people,” she says. “I’m healthy because I keep working. I have no plans to retire. Going up and down the stairs — the store has six levels —


With an energy that belies her age, this octogenarian works all day, six days a week, and says she loves it. She has purchased everything that is in the store. She unpacks everything. She runs the cash register. She does the window displays — “whatever catches my fancy” — delighting both young and old alike at Christmastime with a mechanical Santa and a sleigh made by a relative. Up to a year ago, she was moving furniture around. She most loves wrapping Christmas presents, especially when children are buying something for their parents.

Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education (MILE) announces the fall schedule of outstanding programs which will begin with orientation/open house on Friday, Sept. 16, at 10 a.m. This meeting and most of the programs, which begin on Monday, Oct. 3, will be held at Middlesex Community College (MxCC), 100 Training Hill Road in Middletown. This fall’s line-up includes sessions on Civil War music, letters from a Civil War private and history of the Civil War. You will also learn how to quilt, how to take care of houseplants, Tai Chi, basic finances and songbirds of the northeast. You will be able to participate in a book discussion and attend the Taste of MILE. Several trips to locations in CT are planned. The very popular Great Decisions will also continue. All adults 50+ are invited to become members of MILE and can sign up for programs by mail or at the orientation when brief overviews of the various programs will be presented. has kept me young. Doctors get customers because you Light refreshments will be served before the meeting. For tell me to keep working.” can’t tell from the outside of more information or to receive a brochure, you may call 860When she’s not working, the building how many 343-5863 or go online at the mother of six enjoys square feet we’ve got. I was spending time with her fami- able to get customers Legal Notice ly, cooking and giving back through advertising and to the community. She’s a word-of-mouth. That’s how Durham Board of Assessment Appeals big supporter of local I’m getting them now — Motor Vehicle notice: schools, churches and chil- through word-of-mouth. And The Durham Board of Assessment Appeals will meet on dren’s causes, both here and that’s why I’m staying in the dates listed below to hear appeals on the submitted abroad. business when everyone else applications for Motor Vehicle assessments. All meetings “I’ve loved helping people has to fold. I’ve got loyal cuswill take place at the Durham Town Hall, Main Street, to make their environments tomers who know I’ll take reflect their personality,” care of them. Durham. says Adams. “And this store Friday Sept. 16, 2011 7 pm-8:30 pm “It was a hard time comsignifies the success that Saturday Sept. 17, 2011 10 am-12:00 pm I’ve worked so hard for. For ing, but perseverance pays a while it was a challenge to off.”

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Town Times Opinion


Friday, September 2, 2011

Hurricane lessons from a local Town Times 488 Main St., P.O. Box 265, Middlefield, CT 06455 News Advertising Fax Marketplace

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

like open shelters. You can Hurricane Irene has come Sue VanDerzee get information on home ... and gone. However, we live phones, work phones, cell on Oak Terrace in Durham. phones and the internet, and It’s Tuesday evening, and we it’s free. have not had electricity since 4) Buying lots of milk for no-cooking-needSunday. That’s a long time to be without water and lights, cold food and drinks, TV, ed cereal meals is fruitless if you have no refrigeration, though it might work in a blizlandline telephones and internet. So what did Irene teach me, humbled as I zard since you could keep it cold outside. 5) A battery-operated radio is deemed a am in this situation? 1) Before the next weather event, lay up a very useful thing, though I’m not sure why. stock of C and D batteries; there are current- The only news station I have found on my ly none to be had in the whole state as far as car radio with current news about Irene and I can see or have heard from others engaged its aftermath is AM 880 (I don’t have the proper batteries for my house radio — see #1 in their own fruitless searches. 2) Filling your bathtub with water to flush above), and they talk about New York. your toilet is a really, really good idea when Maybe someone should start a Connecticut news station. Maybe there is one that I don’t severe weather threatens. 3) Sign up for the Durham emergency an- know about. In any case, some music might nouncements on the town website. They’re improve on the sounds of silence in an elecvery reassuring, and they give you a number tricity-free house. to call and tell you about important things, See Hurricane, page 22

Guest Column

Letters to the Editor BOE insanity I discovered recently that some of the tax money we pay to District 13 for our children’s schooling is being spent on chemical lawn care and toxic pesticides that were applied to school property this week. A broadleaf weed killer was applied which contains a chemical called 2-4D used by lawn care companies and homeowners to kill broadleaf weeds, such as clover and dandelions in lawns. This chemical is proven to be highly toxic. Cancer, asthma, autism, Parkinson’s disease, ADHD and birth defects have all been linked to exposure to common lawn care chemicals such as 2-4D. A study

published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute finds that home and garden pesticide use can increase the risk of childhood leukemia by almost seven times. This definitely poses a risk to our children. Do you want to know where this chemical was applied? At Coginchaug Regional High School and the Board of Education buildings. Tru-Green is a lawn care company, formerly known as ChemLawn, which was hired by our Board of Education to spray the grass. On Tuesday, Aug. 23, the Tru-Green truck pulled up, a man got out and started spraying all the lawns close to the building with toxic pesticides. The use of these

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, and letters may be edited for grammar or content. 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.

types of chemicals on properties is very dangerous. When I saw the little yellow signs that read PESTICIDE APPLICATION, I was livid. I could smell the chemicals, and my stomach felt sick thinking of all the teenagers who very soon would be walking across this grass, not knowing what they are walking through, stirring up, breathing in and tracking home. A chemical used to kill should not be applied to places our children hang out, especially for the reason it was applied. I photographed many of the areas where the little yellow signs were, documenting the sprayed areas. I walked around the building, careful not to step on any lawn, smelling that familiar sickening chemical scent, and my jaw dropped when I saw this last sign directly in front of the Board of Education. I realized who would have hired this company to do this. The district, who oversees our children’s future, is exposing them to toxic chemicals. And spending our tax money to do it! A little background on me. I am a fairly new CT resident, having moved here in 2006. I also hired Tru-Green to “fix” our weedy lawn for two seasons. They underbid

every other company I called, so I went with them. They said all the right things, how it was “safe” for my young children to walk on the grass once it was dry. I did not know any better — many homes in the neighborhood used this company or another company like them. I went back to college to study horticulture and landscape design and got a job at an organic garden center. My lawn has now been organic for three years and is safe and quite pretty. I have studied lawn care in school, learned organic gardening and lawn care at my job and become passionate about spreading the word that these everyday, easily-available lawn care products are just downright dangerous. They are especially dangerous to small living things like children and pets. I do not want my tax money spent on something that can directly harm our children! I want to feel secure knowing the BOE is looking out for my kids! This is ridiculous! The Connecticut legislature passed a law (P.A. 09-56) banning lawn care pesticide applications on the grounds of day care centers, elementary and middle schools

(grade 8 and lower) as a result of residents’ concerns about children’s health and the environment. This ban went into effect for day care centers on Oct. 1, 2009, and for K-8 schools on July 1, 2010. Some Connecticut municipalities have gone beyond the requirements of the law and have stopped using pesticides to manage turf grass on all their municipal properties. Read the details of this law at So, what the BOE applied on Tuesday, Aug. 23, is not illegal. What it is, however, is completely unnecessary and irresponsible. These chemicals were used to control the cosmetic look of the lawn. I feel the health and safety of my children and neighbors is more important than the “look” of the lawn. Go and see it for yourself. It is green. It was safe — according to the district employee to whom I spoke and was told these chemicals have not been used in years at the school. It looks kind of pretty actually, weeds and all. Now it is still green with some dead weeds and is not safe for our children to walk across. I believe we should not alSee Insanity, page 20

Friday, September 2, 2011

Town Times Columns

Covering all your nutritional bases on the run One of the most diftein shakes or bars. Andy Moses ficult diet-related These food suppletasks and one of the B.S., NASM-PES/CES, FMS ments have come a top reasons people long way in the last give for not sticking few years and are suto their diets is trying per convenient, goodto eat healthily while tasting (most of them, on the run. Between anyway) and easy on work, family time, working out and the bank account. They come in a ton all the other errands that come with of different flavors, and most are everyday life, we seem to be spend- packed full of vitamins, minerals ing a lot more time away from home. and amino acids. Just beware of the This extra time spent “on the run” shakes and bars that are high in sugtends to lead us down the wrong road ars and saturated fats and have more when it comes to eating healthy. Fast than 300 calories in them. These sofoods, high-calorie drinks and con- called “supplements” are actually venience store snacks seem to have just junk food disguised as a healthy become most of the population’s protein supplement. Also, make sure three main food groups. However, if you pre-mix your protein shakes, there are some ways to overcome you keep them in your lunch cooler this “fatty” dilemma. Here are five until you drink them or else they can things you can do to keep yourself spoil. The easiest and safest way is to healthy when you’re away from throw your one or two scoops of prohome. tein powder in your shaker and mix 1. Purchase a portable lunch cool- with water right before you drink it. er/tote. This is an absolute no-brain- This will not only take away the er. These are a must for anyone who chance of your shake spoiling, it will spends a decent amount of time on also free up some much-needed room the run. Not only do these “diet in your cooler. If you would rather savers” come in many different not do shakes or bars or if you sizes, but most of them can also be haven’t found any that you like, a purchased for under $20. serving of low sugar/low fat yogurt One of the great things about these (Greek is the best), low fat cottage lunch boxes is that you can get ones cheese or a handful of nuts/seeds that keep your food (or beverages) will surely do the trick. cold or hot. In other words, this en4. Drink plenty of water. If you are ables you to bring hot or cold not doing this, then you are doing food/beverages with you on the your body a huge disservice. Water road. There is absolutely no excuse makes up approximately 60 percent for you not to be able to eat your fa- of the adult human body by weight. vorite healthy meals away from Consuming adequate amounts of wahome. ter will benefit your body in many 2. Prepare meals ahead of time. If ways, including alleviating fluid reyou are a picky eater or someone tention, increasing the percentage of who never has enough time in the fat used for energy by improving livmorning, this one is definitely for er functions, decreasing appetite, you. Preparing meals ahead of time improving metabolic functions and not only saves you time in the morn- easier distribution of nutrients ing, but more importantly, it will en- throughout the body. On the other sure that you stay consistent with side, the body cannot adapt to dehyyour healthy eating habits away dration (excessive loss of body wafrom home. I personally prepare all ter), which impairs every physiologmy meals for the week on Sunday, ic function. Past studies have shown which enables me to just “grab and that a fluid loss of even two percent go” in the morning. And don’t wor- will affect bodily functions and dery... most cooked foods will stay good crease performance levels. In other for at least five days if they are re- words, drink plenty of water! 5. Keep it simple. I cannot stress this frigerated properly. Just remember, consistency with your diet is defi- enough! Keeping your nutritional pronitely the key to reaching your goals gram as simple as possible will definitely contribute to its overall success. and staying healthy. 3. Take protein supplements. If If you are spending many hours planyou want to stay energized and keep ning, preparing or meticulously your metabolism humming, you weighing every portion of your meals, should be consuming 5-6 small meals you will probably burn out quickly by (approximately two-and-a-half to making your diet a time-consuming, three hours apart) every day. One of burdensome task instead of the easy, the easiest and most convenient healthy lifestyle it should be. Keep ways to accomplish this is by supple- everything simple, and don’t let it conmenting in-between meals with pro- sume your whole life.

Healthy Living


The perspective of a senator’s intern of it all. I listened to This past summer and learned from has been a busy one Lucy Burdge Senator Meyer as he at the State Capitol Senator Meyer’s Intern explained to me the with budget negotiabills he was trying to tions, the passage of pass or a problem many important bills that a constituent and a special session. was experiencing With all of this going on, it was a wonderful time to expe- that we were working to solve. Although I found it hard to sit by rience the functioning of Connecticut politics and watch it all happen while the historic new tax on manicures and pedicures went into effect as a legislative intern. Having finished my first year of and I realized that the level of imporcollege with an interest in politics tance of a proposal to make the offiand a desire to explore my interest cial color of Connecticut my favorite during the summer, I was most ap- — cobalt blue — was lower on the preciative when Senator Ed Meyer agenda than, say, the state budget, I offered me a chance, as a volunteer, saw that the elected officials of this to work in his office for three state understand what is important months to experience the day-to-day and work tirelessly to get the job atmosphere of state government. I done. Senator Meyer is a great examam a life-long resident of Connecti- ple of this. He recently sponsored cut, as well as a resident of Senator and announced the approval of a $1.7 Meyer’s district (Killingworth) and million grant to replace or refurbish have always been curious about the locomotives on the Shoreline where and how the decisions are East Railroad, which will create new jobs and ensure people a safer and made that affect my everyday life. Over the course of the summer, timely commute. He also underSenator Meyer and his wonderful stands the importance of the good aide allowed me to draft and send re- will that is in his community by ply letters to constituents, research gaining approval of a $500,000 state pressing issues, file important docu- grant to Roses for Autism, a proments and sit in on the House and gram run out of Pinchbeck’s Rose Senate floors during session. We Farm in Guilford providing employheard from thousands of con- ment for those with autism. As a result of my experience this stituents in the Senator’s district. Friends thought I was being sarcas- summer, a career in elective public tic when I genuinely recounted how office has a new attraction for me. “awesome” it was to be in the middle

From the State Capitol

Web update Our most recent poll question asked, “Do you support returning bus stops to day care facilities, even it if costs the district more money?” By press time, there were 37 responders. The results were: Yes: 46% No: 54% Answer our next poll online question at

Paws Place: Maggie Maggie is approximately four years old and a Sheppard/Terrier mix. She is a very loving, affectionate and submissive dog. She loves people and only wants to please and be a good dog. Maggie is very responsive and listens when you talk to her, and she is gentle in her movements. Maggie has been waiting a long time at the pound and truly deserves a new home. Maggie does not like other female dogs. She is good with male dogs but needs a slow introduction and time to warm up. She has the most beautiful puppy smile and hopeful eyes. Will you rescue her? For more information about this dog, please email:, call 203-235-4179 or check out The Meriden CT Animal Control, located at 311 Murdock Ave. in Meriden (right off East Main St exit on 691), has public viewing hours every day from 3 to 4 p.m., or you can call for an appointment.

In Our Libraries


Durham Library Hours: Regular library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The library will be closed Sept. 3-5 to celebrate Labor Day. To search the catalog, review your account, register for a program or renew your materials online, go to For information or to register for a program by phone, call 860-349-9544. Facebook: Receive daily updates on library news and events by becoming a fan on Facebook. Click on the Facebook link on the library’s website. DPL Book Talk: Participate in the library’s new blog about all things book! Just click on the DPL Book Talk

link on the library’s website. Art Display: Durham artist Angela Campo-Pelletier has watercolors on display in the Activity Room during September. Duct Tape Wallets: Ages 12-18. Learn the basics of creating with duct tape and make your own wallet. Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m. Please register. Teen Advisory Group: Young adults ages 12-18 in grades 7-12 who would like to volunteer to help improve the library are invited to join TAG. Monthly meetings and snacks; drop in! Next meeting is Saturday, Sept. 17, at 3 p.m. Book Lovers’ Circle: The Book Lovers’ Circle will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 7:30 p.m. when The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman will be discussed. All are welcome. Copies of the book

are available at the library. Mystery Book Discussion: The Mystery Book Club will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m., when Clue for the Puzzle Lady by Parnell Hall will be discussed. All are welcome. Copies of the book are available at the library. Story Times: Sessions start Oct. 3 and end Dec. 21. Registration begins Sept. 2 for Durham residents and Sept. 9 for non-residents. Register in person or by phone at 860-349-9544. Mother Goose Time: For children ages 18-30 months. An active 20 minutes of songs, finger plays and reading with a parent or caregiver. Siblings may attend. Session schedule: Mondays at 10:15 or 11 a.m. Time for Tots: For children ages 2.5 to 3.5 years.

Friday, September 2, 2011 Participants will sit with parents/caregivers to listen to great stories, songs and fingers plays and then participate in a related craft for this 30-minute story time. Siblings may attend. Session schedule: Wednesdays at 10:15 or 11 a.m. Preschool Time: For children ages 3.5 to 5 years. Enchanting stories, songs, and finger plays and a related craft at this 45-minute independent story time will mesmerize participants. Siblings may not attend. Session schedule: Tuesdays at 10:15 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. Kids Book Club — Evening Adventures: Children in grades 1-3. Five-week session begins in October; registration begins in September. Lunch Bunch: Program for children in grades 4-6 begins in September. Call 860349-9544 for dates. Registration not necessary.

Levi Coe Library Hours: The library is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and closed Fridays and Saturdays. The library will be closed Monday, Sept. 5, for Labor Day and will reopen on Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting Sept. 10. The library will also be closed Saturday, Sept. 24, for the Durham Fair. Visit or call the library at 860-349-3857 for information or to register for any program. You can also renew, reserve and check your library record on the website. Book Donations: The library is now accepting items in good condition for our annual November book sale. We do not accept textbooks or magazines. Thank you! Museum Passes: The library now has the following

Continued on next page


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In Our Libraries

Friday, September 2, 2011 Libraries continued

Russell Library

templating a career change, a new college graduate seeking your first job or a retiree looking for part-time employment, a solid, professional looking resume could present new opportunities for you! Learn how to develop and compose a new resume that is focused directly on your target audience — prospective employers.

ciencies. Learn how to ex- Hubbard Room. plore new strategies and Career Coaching: James techniques that demonstrate Kubat, an Associate Director your talents. Discover how of the Wesleyan Career Cento write a succinct career ob- ter, gives private, confidenjective/professional profile tial career coaching through and cover letter based upon appointments. Please bring your past achievements and a resume (if you have one) to future aspirations. Learn the appointment. You must how to align your expertise, register and/or cancel at the skills and talents to match Information Desk or by callthe roles and responsibili- ing 860-347-2520. You will reBusiness Professional and ties listed in job applications ceive a reminder call prior to Consultant Jeff Thierfeld on Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. in the the appointment. will offer participants the opportunity to work together ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS and share experiences. As a team, we will craft custom tailored resumes and cover CHIROPRACTIC CENTER letters. We will emphasize & ACUPUNCTURE methods that showcase your Specializing in the treatment of specific talents and profi• Sports Injuries • Low Back & Neck Pain


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Hours: The library is open from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Starting Sept. 10, Saturday library hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library will be closed Sept. 3-5 in observance of Labor Day. Resumes & Cover Letters: Whether you are con-

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museum passes, which offer either free or reduced admission: Beardsley Zoo, CT State Parks & Forests Day Pass, Mystic Aquarium, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and CT’s Old State House. Please call the library for more info. Children’s Story Times: Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., beginning again on Sept. 7. Library annual meeting: Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 6:30 p.m. Connecticut author Amy Bloom will be giving a presentation. Public welcome. Please join us. I Met a Goat Today: Saturday, Sept. 17, (two sessions) from 10:30 to 11:10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. to noon. This program is presented by Kelly’s Creations. Registration is required. Limit 12 children per session. You’ll be able to meet a real goat and learn all about goats. You’ll even have the opportunity to feed a goat at this program! Wish List Books: Please donate one or more copies of the following wish list book for our library: Lethal by San-

dra Brown. If you choose to donate a book, you will get to be the first one to check it out. We will also add a bookplate to acknowledge your kind donation. Call or stop by the library for further details.


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We take family medicine to heart, having been in private practice providing urgent and primary family care to patients throughout the Durham area. Our physicians are board certified and welcome patients of all ages.


At Middlesex Hospital Primary Care Durham, our doctors provide experienced and compassionate healthcare while helping you take charge of your health and well-being. We strive to offer the highest quality of family medical care in a friendly environment.

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Above (top left clockwise): Bradford W. Wilkinson, M.D.; Tanya L. Feke, M.D.; Amber L. Bowell, P.A.-C; Rena C. Jacobs, P.A.-C.

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Durham Town Briefs


Durham Government Calendar (Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings are held in the Durham Library. Check the town website at for updates.) Tuesday, September 6 6:30 p.m. — Public Safety Committee 7:30 p.m. — Midstate Regional Planning Agency at 100 DeKoven Dr. in Middletown Wednesday, September 7 6:30 p.m. — Durham Volunteer Ambulance Corps at 205 Main St. 7:30 p.m. — Cemetery Company at Town Hall 7:30 p.m. — Planning and Zoning Thursday, September 8 7:30 p.m. — Zoning Board of Appeals at Town Hall community supper on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Durham Activity Center, 350 Main St.

Free community supper The Church of the Epiphany will sponsor a free Open Labor Day Mon. 6 AM-3 PM

The free suppers are sponsored by Epiphany’s Outreach Committee. Expected renovations to the parish


Information about the Community Supper is available by calling Church of the Epiphany at 860-349-9644.

hall have meant the committee has had to seek other locations in which to hold them. The church has received a $28,000 grant from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and is awaiting final approval from the commission to start the project. In June, July and August, the United Churches of Durham hosted the suppers. Parishioners from the Church of the Epiphany will provide the meal, and Notre Dame parishioners will provide desserts. People wishing to order food from Angel Food Ministries are welcome to do so at the supper. Church of the Epiphany is a host site for the program, which sells food at volume discount prices. Information about Angel Food Ministries is available by calling 860-3493088, or on line at

Camp Farnam grant secured Durham Selectman John Szewczyk recently announced that the Farnam Neighborhood House, Inc. has been awarded a $960,000 grant from the State Bond Commission at its meeting on Aug. 26. Camp Farnam in Durham will be one of the major beneficiaries of this grant for projects that include dam repairs, electrical improvements, construction of docks dining hall and kitchen renovations, along with the construction of an environmental learning center. “This grant should enable Camp Farnam to make many of the improvements needed

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Durham Selectman John Szewczyk at the State Capitol in preparation for the Bond Commission meeting on Aug. 26.



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Friday, September 2, 2011

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Middlefield Town Briefs

Friday, September 2, 2011

Senior Center events

Bingo will resume on Sept. 19. Cards are $1 each (four card max). Foot care is offered the third Wednesday of each month. Appointments can be made from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. by calling the center. The cost is $30 for a soaking, assessment, massage and clipping of toe nails. This service is provided by Masonic Home Care. Free blood pressure clinics are held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month following lunch. No appointments are necessary to see the nurse. To sign up for lunch or any of our programs or if you have any questions, please contact Antoinette Astle at 860-349-7121. The Middlefield Senior Center is located in the Community Center, 405 Main St.

Board of Finance

Middlefield Government Calendar

The Board of Finance held a special meeting on Aug. 25 to handle transfers and discuss the possible acquisition of a police cruiser. Transfer requests included Town Clerk Assistant (training the new assistant), Peckham Park expenses and Private Duty Wages (to be reimbursed by CL&P and AT&T). The main focus of the board’s discussion and public comment was the possible purchase of a new police cruiser. Finance director Joe Geruch presented the board (via e-mail) with a proposal to purchase a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria to replace the current 2006 vehicle. Rebecca Adams explained that, See BOF, next page


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(Unless otherwise indicated, all meetings are held in the Community Center.) Tuesday, September 6 6:30 p.m. — Parks & Recreation Commission 7 p.m. — Board of Selectmen 7:30 p.m. — Midstate Regional Planning Agency at 100 DeKoven Dr. in Middletown Wednesday, September 14 6:30-7:30 p.m. — Planning and Zoning Commission 7 p.m. — Water Pollution Control Authority 7:30 p.m. — Board of Ed at Lyman School

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Meet the Democratic candidate running for first selectman of Middlefield on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 12:45 p.m. Lucy Petrella will be on hand to address seniors and their issues and concerns. All are welcome. This event will be held in the Senior Center dining room in the Community Center. Middlesex Health Care Center in Middletown will be sponsoring a breakfast at the Middlefield Senior Center on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 9 a.m. Reservations for this breakfast must be made by Sept. 14. Space is limited for this popular event. Middlesex Health Care generously donates the breakfast events and also offers great support by volunteering to call bingo and bringing delicious refreshments. Please call the center if you would like to come to the breakfast, and, as always, we ask that you “lug a mug,â€? helping us to go green so that we can cut down on paper waste. The Middlefield Senior CafĂŠ is serving lunch three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Reservations are required 24 hours prior, and our monthly menu can be picked up at the center, Town Hall or on our website: All meals are also served with coffee, tea and milk. The suggested donation is $2. Meals are prepared by CRT and served by volunteers in our commu-




Friday, September 2, 2011

Town Times

of the vehicles from three to (From page 13) six years, which, for a police vehicle, is not realistic. She although it was not antici- further explained that this is pated that the vehicle would the last year Ford will manuhave to be replaced for sever- facture the Crown Victoria, al years, it has become ap- as it is moving to the Taurus parent due to costly repairs for police vehicles, citing the that it needs to be replaced. disadvantages to purchasing Adams also stressed the a vehicle its first year in cirtown’s obligation to provide culation. safe and reliable vehicles for Discussion covered “preits officers. Marianne Corona shared ferred set-up” and “nonprethat, several years ago, the ferred set-up,” decal or not to town increased the lifespan decal, and the cost to transfer


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equipment. Frank St. John expressed discomfort approving any purchase without understanding “preferred” versus “unpreferred” and other specs that may be required. Adams questioned if the town’s troopers should have input. Corona explained that time is of the essence because the vehicles are in short supply. St. John indicated he is comfortable funding the purchase but needs a lot more information before doing so. It was agreed that Adams and Jeremy Renninghoff will go over the vehicle specs with the police department, get an explanation of “preferred”

set-up from Geruch and forward the gathered information to the board. Renninghoff stressed that, regardless of the board’s decision, the purchase will have to go to a town meeting because the capital fund is underfunded. Corona asked the board to consider a subcommittee to develop a long-term capital plan. Alice Malcolm shared that it has been the aim of the board to develop a capital plan, but they have not been able to accomplish it, expressing frustration at the amount of time wasted in transfers month after month. Adams explained it is the board’s responsibility to ap-

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prove each expenditure over budget, adding that doing so provides public notice of items that are overspent. Ellen Waff added that the board has the opportunity to ask questions and to say no. Renninghoff provided a brief RSD13 update, sharing the discontent expressed regarding bus route changes, most of which he felt were a matter of convenience, not safety. He further shared that the board will explore changing stops for licensed day cares and stressed the $47,000 saved by the route changes. Renninghoff indicated that the school budget process will begin in October, and he hopes to get the budget to the town earlier to assist in the town’s budget process. St. John questioned the impact of the postponement of the Powder Ridge closing. Adams explained that shortterm financing will not be affected, provided the closing happens before December. (Elisabeth Kennedy/In attendance)

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Friday, September 2, 2011


Town Times

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Virginia and Joseph Konefal, of Rockfall, are pleased to announce the engagement of their granddaughter Claire I. Konefal Winterscheid, daughter of John and Karen (Konefal) Winterscheid, to David A. Oliphant of Seattle, WA. Claire graduated from Oregon State University in 2007 and is currently working in the radiology department at a veterinary hospital. David is the son of Kathie Stewart and step-son of Marty Stewart of Portland, OR. David graduated from the University of Washington in 2002 and currently manages a branch of a local credit union. Claire and David currently reside in Seattle, WA. The couple, together with their families and friends, look forward to a wedding celebration at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle, WA, in October 2011. Submitted photo



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Summer Fun in Town Times


Friday, September 2, 2011

Locals beachin’ it Residents from Durham and Middlefield shared some fun summer photos with us at Town Times! Here they are at the POW beach in South Lyme, CT. At left, the Turecek, Piquol, Cade, Ram and Kulpik families. Below (l-r): Nico Kulpik, Ava Pitruzzello, Kiyah Kulpik, Cal Pitruzzello and Mary Mitchard. Submitted by Debi Kulpik

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The Middlefield Democratic Town Committee hosted a free hot dog picnic at the Peckham Park pavilion on Thursday, Aug. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. It was an opportunity to meet the Democratic candidates and to chat and hear about their backgrounds and thoughts about important issues all while enjoying a lovely all-American hot dog BBQ picnic, complete with lemonade and watermelon slices. The Democratic candidates are Lucy Petrella (First Selectman), Dave Burgess (Selectman), Alice Malcolm (Board of Finance), Jim Irish (Board of Finance), Mary Wolak (Board of Finance), Donna Golub (Town Clerk) Anne Olszewski (Tax Collector), Ellen Waff (Treasurer) and Mark Myjak (Board of Assessment Appeals).


Scouts in Town Times


Friday, September 2, 2011

Pack 33 summer campout and induction ceremony A few weekends ago was the camping trip at Hammonassett State Park where these scouts spent three days and two nights camping, fishing, cleaning the beach, bike riding and enjoying the campfires. They were also presented with kerchiefs for their next rank and received the “Leave No Trace” badge for environmental awareness, where part of the requirement was fulfilled by cleaning the beach. The Wolves also earned the “Ecological Badge.” At the end of the ceremony, the little brothers of the scouts were inducted into the packs by their older brothers as this year’s Tigers. Pack 33 scouts are from Middlefield, Durham and Rockfall. They will be holding their signup meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Colman’s Church in Middlefield. See right for more details.

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Pack photo taken by Curtis Studios Tigers photo taken and submitted by Paul Miarecki

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Girl Scouts will be holding an information night for parents of girls in grades K-12 for troops based in Durham and Middlefield on Monday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. at Levi Coe Library. If you cannot attend this meeting but have questions about Girl Scouts, please contact either Lisa Deschnow from Girl Scouts of Connecticut at 860-347-5768, ext. 3751, or Sheryl Slight at 860-3492428 or e-mail

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Town Times Sports

Friday, September 2, 2011


Seventy-seven-year old Middlefielder stays young with softball

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softball players just starting out. She said, “Learn the rules and improve every time in some way, every time you practice or play the game.”

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Above, Jane pitches at a recent game; photo at left, Jane at bat. Submitted photos


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For those who need a little inspiration to get out there and get active, meet Jane Parmalee. Jane is a Middlefield resident full of energy and raring to go. She is the pitcher for the Durham Recreation Softball League and will celebrate her 78th birthday on Sept. 5. The league is open to all adult age ranges; on Jane’s team, there are ladies who range from right out of college all the way up to Jane, whose daughter, Jen Huddleston, says she is probably 20 or 30 years older than the rest of the women in the league. Jen is also in the league; she joked, “We’ve been together all along; she can’t get rid of me.” She and Jane met with Town Times at their family-owned business, Indian Springs Golf in Middlefield. Mr. Parmalee built the golf course in 1963 and now Pam, Jen and John, Jane’s son, own and operate the course. Jane tends to the gardens at Indian Springs. “She loves working out in the gardens,” Huddleston shared. It seems that she loves to keep moving and have lots of fun. The Durham Recreation League is not a highly competitive league, but it is, according to Jane, “for people who love softball and love to have fun.” There are nine teams that are sponsored by different groups and businesses within Durham and Middlefield. People within the two towns

and the surrounding area are welcome to join. The league plays on the field at Coginchaug Regional High School (CRHS) and at Peckham Park. They have a few practices at the beginning of the season, just to get the kinks out, but

mostly they just like to play the game. It is supposed to be fun, after all. The ladies play two games a week when the season starts (which is after July 4) and goes until the end of August. Jane bats and is the pitcher for her team but has a substitute runner. She is equipped with a secret weapon: her spin pitch, which Huddleston said “works like a charm.” Jane only walked three people all season. Jane and Jen have been in the league for about six years, and Jane says she looks forward to it every year. During her winters in Florida, she practices out in her yard and is ready to go when the season starts. “When you like something, you really look forward to improving,” which is really the basis for her advice to

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Town Times

Insanity (From page 8 low the district to spend our tax money so frivolously. Right now, we are cutting bus stops to save money (putting many children in dangerous situations) and spending it on this poison. Something is not right here. Do you agree? You can read what the towns of Branford, Essex and Plainfield are doing to protect their citizens: My intention is to educate people who do not realize the dangers they are subjecting their families and pets to when they apply these products that are so easy to buy and apply. I have been thinking of how to do this for about two years, and this was the jumpstart I needed. Seeing our education tax money being used to spray

chemicals at our high school was my wake-up call. Seeing these signs here at the school made me sick. I am relieved to get started on this mission and hope you will join me. Diane St. John

Redistricting article revisited I read, with interest, the Friday, Aug. 26 Town Times article by Cheri Kelley, entitled, “What is redistricting and why is it done?” and have the following comments and observations. Whereas the Connecticut Constitution, Article III, Section 6 requires redistricting to occur on or before Feb. 15 the year following US census, US federal law allows redistricting to be done every year, if the state so desires,. This follows a June 28, 2006, Supreme Court decision related to a Texas state legislature-initiated, mid-decade

enacted, congressional redistricting. This activity was at the behest of then Texas representative Tom DeLay(R) and Governor Rick Perry-(R), as, apparently, they were not satisfied with the 2002 Texas election results, which gave Republicans control of both chambers. They desired even greater Republican control through redistricting. Why is it done? “In order to have near equal populations in each district so that each vote is worth the same amount.” Presumably, this means each elected representative. The worth of individuals’ votes is not worth the same amount. To gain political advantage, political parties make use of gerrymandering, a practice which seeks to gain an advantage for a particular group or party by manipulating geographic boundaries. Gerrymandering uses two particular techniques to accomplish

political goals: packing and cracking. Packing concentrates as many voters of one type into a single electoral district — one that opposition voters are certain to already win. Cracking spreads out voters of an opposition group or party among many districts in order to deny them a sufficiently large voting bloc in any particular district. Gerrymandering works through the wasted vote effect (uselessly increasing votes for the winners). Is gerrymandering legislators and Reapportionment Committee members unscrupulous? Probably not; however, an informed public can only help to keep our honest politicians honest. Why write about it now? Good question; public hearings and meetings on the 2011 redistricting ended July 20. A public hearing schedule is published at the website. The Town Times needs to be a bit

timelier reporting on redistricting. Robert Belinda, Middlefield

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Volunteer opportunites at Arts Center Killingworth Arts Center Killingworth offers the public a variety of upcoming volunteer opportunities. Become an “Arts Center Representative” at a local artist’s Open Studio, greeting visitors and becoming part of the art exhibition and selling experience during the 2011 Autumn Art Trail Weekend (Oct. 89). Volunteers are also needed for the Trail’s TwoDay Outdoor Arts Festival on the Madison Green. Other fall opportunities include assisting at the Arts Center’s creative birthday parties for children and modeling for fashion illustration classes. These volunteer opportunities are perfect for all ages. Teens earn community service credits throughout the year by working with us! For more info, call 860-6635593, e-mail m or visit

Friday, September 2, 2011


Town Times

Lyman Orchard’s Corn Durham barn Maze opens to the public raising 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The maze is also open Labor Day and Columbus Day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Last admittance into the maze is 5:30 p.m. when ticket sales close. Lyman’s 2011 Corn Maze will remain open through Oct. 30. Submitted by Brendan D. Casey

On Thursday, Sept. 8,, come learn to Letterbox (think Scavenger hunt) from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Durham Farmers’ Market. Make your own letterbox stamp, find a letterbox hidden nearby and join the EveryoneOutside (www.EveryoneOutside.or g) Letterbox Challenge and earn fun prizes.

Durham residents Randy McLean and Angela Gulielmetti lost their 1820 barn last winter from the snow pack on the Gulielmetti farm on Mica Hill Road. They decided to replace it with a new post and beam barn instead of a conventional barn. Despite the recent hurricane destruction, the crew raised the barn on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Here are photos of the barn going up. Submitted photo

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The 12th Annual Corn Maze at Lyman Orchards kicks off Saturday, Sept. 3, at 10 a.m, with a patriotic ribbon-cutting ceremony. The red-white-and-blue-themed event will also include fun family activities all day long. The opening weekend will honor America’s Armed Forces, as well as celebrate the many ways to enjoy the event’s main culinary attraction: delicious Connecticutgrown corn. The highlight of the day is the opening of the Corn Maze, a four-acre design featuring an American flag and eagle, carved in honor of those who serve. Accompanied by arrangements of patriotic music, former U.S. Army Ranger Captain Joseph DeRing, a recipient of both the U.S. Army Bronze Star for service in Iraq and the Meritorious Service Award for service in Afghanistan, will preside over the ribbon-cutting ceremonies, officially opening Lyman’s 2011 Corn Maze. Prior to the ribbon cutting, visitors will be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the work involved in creating a corn maze, showing how each maze is designed to provide a unique and special navigational experience for all those who travel through it. Two miles of winding pathways take visitors through every corner of the four-acre maze. Overlook bridges provide a 360-degree view of the sprawling cornfield. Lyman’s “Corn Cops” are always on duty to help visitors navigate the disorienting landscape. Visitors will encounter nearly a hundred decision points along the way, and, on average, maze-goers complete their journey in about 30 to 45 minutes. “Visitors will receive maps, passports and fun facts about America’s many heroes. Each of these serves as a clue that can be used to help find the way to the exit,” says John Lyman, executive vice president of Lyman Orchards. Lyman Orchards donates $1 of every maze admission ticket sold to the American Cancer Society. Corn Maze hours of operation are Wednesday through Friday,

Town Times Hurricane Coverage


A large tree fallen thankfully away from any structures on Oak Terrace near its junction with Haddam Quarter Road. Photo by Sue VanDerzee

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hurricane (Continued from page 8) 6) We don't know enough about our neighbors. Our daughter, who is a minister, knew which older people in the congregation lived alone and who should be called. I would have been happy to do that, too, but I just don't know enough about who lives on my street to be useful. That’s a real shame. 7) Generators are dangerous. If you have and use one, make sure you have several

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working carbon monoxide detectors in your home and follow safety instructions to the letter. No fooling around with this one. 8) I really miss my ceiling fans. We don’t have central air conditioning (just one window unit in our bedroom that has seen little use this summer), but our ceiling fans in nearly every room are on all summer. I really, really miss them. 9) A friend suggested on Facebook using solar lights indoors for at least a bit of light. Very clever, especially if you have several single solar lights on stakes. Just let them charge outside and bring them in at night. 10) Arrange to have family or very close friends nearby — the kind who don’t mind sharing their bathrooms and freezers with you when they have electricity and you don’t. (Thanks, Katie and Rob.) 11) Damage from severe weather events is totally capricious. No power here; power next door. Tree down there; old tree takes wind in stride there. It’s a bit like life, wouldn’t you say? Our “control” over events, or lack thereof, is graphically illustrated by such circumstances. 12) This has been a wild year, courtesy of Mother Nature. Since many scientists predict more frequent and severe weather events because of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not to mention the occasional rumbling earthquake, we might begin to look a little differently at these events. Perhaps it is not the most useful thing to spend 48 hours in panic mode watching a large hurricane meander up the Atlantic coastline. Perhaps we should begin to think “big picture” and make the kind of lifestyle changes that would render severe weather a little more manageable. What about if more of us had solar power? Middlefield and Middletown are investigating wind power. Should Durham do the same? What about growing and preserving more of our own food? Should we drive less and reduce home energy use as much as possible in an attempt to heal the climate, or at least prevent it from further degradation? As Irene fades into history, what lessons have you learned?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Town Times Hurricane Coverage


Life without electricity

Photo by Michelle P. Carter

Experience makes the difference.

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

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And I really enjoy waking the next morning freshening up with warm running water and pouring a hot steaming cup of coffee with milk. Remember milk, ice cold and creamy, straight from the fridge? Those were the days. After this kind of start to the day, I am ready for anything my boys can bring; “let the messes commence!” Paints come out, mud pies are made and sand castles are built; the gooey, dirty, grimy lovable possibilities are endless. Having the ability to scrub the creative kiddo catastrophes away at the end of the day, I now realize, is some-

We can start there and research to learn more so we can utilize our new knowledge the next time the power goes out. Until then, I will appreciate electricity all the more.

Right, damage at Durham Eye Care on Main Street.


I love being able to settle down after giving warm baths, picking out comfy straight-from-the-dryer pajamas and reading or watching a good movie with my husband, as the little ones drift off to sleep listening to their favorite lullabies tucked in for the night in their beds.

is scarce. Years back, people knew how to store food for the long run without the need for freezers; there were root cellars and smoked or dried foods. We need to relearn these skills in preparation for these times. We need to become less reliant on these conveniences because that is what they truly are — convenient and not easy to obtain. More living off the land and self-sufficiency lessons are on the table for me and my boys. Good thing my husband already has some knowledge in this area, and maybe he can share it now that I am more open to it.


The storm itself wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but the lack of electricity afterwards was what separated the men from the mice, as the saying goes. I, unfortunately, feel that living in a town without a sewer system when the power goes out and therefore having no running water was a bit more than I could handle comfortably. After two days with two young kids, no facilities and no coffee, my whiskers were starting to show. I’m all for slowing down, playing board games, reading by candlelight and chatting it up with my family, but really, aside from the candles, we do this sort of thing all the time.

thing that I have most definitely taken for granted. Conversations about the way we live are cropping up in the stillness of the night. We are so reliant on electricity. We have a well at our house, but the old fashioned hand pump has long been removed for a newer electricrun pump system that leaves us without water in conditions where we are without power. We did everything that was recommended. We filled the bathtub and countless repurposed soda bottles with water before the storm. We lowered the temperature in the fridge and did laundry for fresh clothes. But how sad is it that we have lost the ability and knowledge to get by for more than a few days without power? The contents of our refrigerator have spoiled, and ice


By Cheri Kelley Town Times


Friday, September 2, 2011

Town Times

Additions to CRHS track & Field The buildings for the CRHS Track & Field arrived on Tuesday: a storage building for all of the field items, a ticket booth and a concession stand (hot dogs and burgers)! This was all purchased with donated monies during the athletic facility project. The buildings were purchased from Kloter Farms. Photos by Bill Currlin

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9-2-2011 Town Times  

Town Times published 9-2-2011